Thursday, December 21, 2017

Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse

The most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know they are being watched and overheard. Their mail is being examined. Their homes can be invaded.
— Vance Packard, who died on this date in 1996


WE ARE used to dealing with political crises, but not a break in the rule of  Law 






Sydney lawyers under fire for 'eye-watering' $860,000 fees in family ...

  • India is buying Sri Lanka’s second-largest airport, despite it only handling a dozen passengers a day.
  • China recently took control of a nearby port that opens up significant trade routes, and India is worried about China’s growing role in the Indian Ocean.
  • Experts say the $300 million investment by India is an attempt to limit China’s ability to operate its port as a naval site.
India is buying world's emptiest airport in its battle for territorial dominance with China - , via the excellent Samir Varma.  India/China remains one of the world’s big stories…

Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse  ...

More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse.

All around Switzerland, for example, one can find thousands of water fountains fed by natural springs. Zurich is famous for its 1200 fountains, some of them quite beautiful and ornate, but it’s the multiple small, simple fountains in every Swiss village that really tell the story. Elegant, yes, but if and when central water systems are destroyed these fountains are a decentralized and robust system for providing everyone with drinkable water.
The Swiss political system is also decentralized. If the central government fails, the Swiss might not even notice. The mountains and valleys also mean that Swiss towns and villages are geographically independent yet linked in a spider-web of robust connections.

Despite being at peace since 1815, Switzerland is prepared for war. Swiss males (and perhaps females in the future) are required to serve in the military (those who cannot, pay a special tax) creating a robust reservoir of trained citizens ready to serve in an emergency.

The Swiss have been tunneling the Alps for hundreds of years creating innumerable secret hideaways for people and stores.

As a further example of how ridiculously well prepared the Swiss are for any and all threats, there are things like hidden hydroelectric dams built inside of unmarked mountains so that in the event of mass bombings, they’ll still have electricity from these secret facilities. And, remember, these are the things the Swiss government has let us know about. It is thought that there are probably more fortifications and hidden goodies scattered about the country’s landscape. (ital. added, AT)


 Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service



This is reminiscent of the rise of the shadow banking system in the early 2000s as lightly regulated credit vehicles sprung up alongside traditional bank lending. This time it involves what Dan Awrey and Kristin van Zwieten of Oxford university call the shadow payment system: electronic payments settled by banks are expanding and so are the alternatives.
Bitcoins and Shadow economy

The Shadow Payment System
43 Journal of Corporation Law, Forthcoming
 Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 55/2016
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2843772




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THE scale is staggering, even by the standards of scandal-worn South Africa. Steinhoff, a retailer that is one of the country’s best-known companies, admitted to “accounting irregularities” on December 6th when it was due to publish year-end financial statements. Its chief executive, Markus Jooste, resigned, and the firm announced an internal investigation by PwC. Within days Steinhoff had lost €10.7bn ($12.7bn) in market value as its share price fell by more than 80% (see chart). Much is unclear, but it is shaping up to be the biggest corporate scandal that South Africa has ever seen. The company has said it is reviewing the “validity and recoverability” of €6bn in non-South African assets.
Steinhoff traces its roots to West Germany, where it found a niche sourcing cheap furniture from the communist-ruled east. The company merged with a South African firm in 1998 and is based in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town—An accounting scandal sends Steinhoff plummeting


'Enough is enough': Why Sir Frank Lowy walked away from Westfield


Westfield-Unibail: The inside story on how Frank Lowy did the deal ...







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