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The Presidency of Donald Trump is one of conflict and confrontation, of demonizing everything related to Muslims, Mexico and China, imaginary results, and controversial self-appraisal. One of the most recurring statements of Trump is how he was going to manage the enormous trade-deficit of the U.S. by trade wars and those would be ‘great and very easy to win’ [sic].

Trump inherited Obama’s 2016 stabilized trade balance of 2,186 billion in imports, 1,451 billion in exports and a trade deficit of 735 billion. Looking at the deficit, the European Union was responsible for 19.9% and China accumulated 47.2% of the total deficit. The NAFTA countries, another target of Trump’s fury, were responsible for 10.1% of the total trade deficit, with 1.5% from Canada and 8.6% from Mexico. …


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Most countries have legislation that authorizes law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor telecommunications and internet traffic, and they also have legislation that authorizes surveillance and foreign intelligence gathering. Legislation that forces local corporations to collaborate with these efforts are also very common.

The United States however takes it a couple of steps further with the following legislation:

· Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes unrestricted global physical and electronic surveillance, monitoring and data collection and obligates U.S. entities to collaborate.

· Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) obligates U.S. …


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The world has 3 economic giants at this moment. Based on its 2018 GDP, the U.S. is the undisputed leader of the pack with 21.4 trillion USD. The European Union (EU27 without the U.K.) came in second with 18.3 trillion USD GDP, followed by China with 14.4 trillion USD in GDP. With the current pandemic and recession, these giants came closer to each other but that might be a temporary realignment, so let us focus on the known and confirmed data.

Looking at these numbers without context, we might get the impression that the U.S. is the absolute powerhouse, and its population lives in the wealth it generates. It is true that the U.S. is still the largest economy by GDP but there are some interesting details that puts this in the right perspective. Its many Multi-National Corporations channel as much of their revenue as they can to tax havens like the Cayman Island, Ireland, and Luxembourg, which is estimated at one third of the entire economy and GDP. This means they are in reality contributing to these countries and not the economy of the U.S. …


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In his final hours in office, Donald Trump once again (ab)uses his powers to strike against China with an Executive Order. This time, he will ban Chinese payment apps, including Alibaba’s Alipay, Tencent’s QC Wallet and WeChat Pay. For national security reasons, of course. Because according to Mr. Donald Trump, these apps can ‘by accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information’ [sic] and that is a national security threat.

There is a loophole in the justification of this Executive Order which is the actual user base of these payment platforms, and not the fantasized ones Donald Trump pretends to be concerned about. PayPal holds the crown with a 55% market share of online and mobile payments in the U.S. That is more than all its competitors combined! Stripe as runner up does not even reach the 20% bar. Apple, Google and Amazon are coming up fast. They might not reach PayPal but they will eat market share in all directions. Compared to that, Alipay is peanuts with a market share of 0.23% in the U.S. and WeChat Pay does not even show up in the Top 100, putting its market share well below 0.01%. …


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Boris Johnson does not leave an opportunity unused to refer to the new variation of the COVID-19 virus as the single root cause of the current developments in the United Kingdom, immediately followed by appraisal for his own actions, of course. Since Boris Johnson has a track record of bending facts to his liking, like for example when he claimed that no other country in the world had a functioning Contact Tracing APP when more than 20 countries had already launched such APP, including Germany and Australia, let us have a closer look at the data and facts. …


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Boris Johnson signing the NO-DEAL for the service industry Brexit agreement

The deal is done, and its content is advertised differently at both sides of the North Sea. From 10 Downing Street we here nothing but self-appraisal about the amazing deal, as was to be expected. From the rest of the United Kingdom, and especially from England where the majority of the Service Industry is located, the hangover misery becomes louder with each day the captains of industry spend digesting what has happened since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

In Brussels and across Europe, there is a lot of confusion. Not about the deal itself, not even about the economic impact. Simply about one question. Is this what all the fuzz has been all about? Four years of rhetoric and claims. Four long years of negotiations about proposals by the Brits which were rejected by the same Brits, and the outcome is covering just a fraction of the economic interests of the United Kingdom. More importantly, the most significant contributing element of the British economy is not covered: the service industry. …


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The financial industry of the United Kingdom contributed 132 billion pounds to the British economy in 2018 which was 6.9% of the entire economical output of the country. With 63 billion pounds worth of exported financial services, the financial industry was also the largest contributor to the trade balance for services with 20.6% of the total volume.

43% of the exported financial services are delivered to the European Union and the quick math tells us this represents 27 billion pounds, or a whopping 9% of the entire British trade balance in services. In this context it is also important to understand, that services form 37.5% of the British total trade balance and are the positive contributor to the trade balance of the United Kingdom. The British financial industry employs 1.1 million people which is roughly 3.1% of all jobs in the United Kingdom. …


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The British automotive industry currently employs 860,000 people, down from 1,140,000 at the beginning of 2016. This includes 180,000 people directly employed in manufacturing cars, down from 210,000 in 2016. The impact on the economy and the balance between import and export is clear from the balance between 79 billion pound in annual turnover adding only 15 billion pound in GDP value. A whopping 64 billion pound is imported in parts, services, equipment, and licenses, mainly from the EU and Japan.

And this is where the current deal stings hard. 8 out of 10 cars produced or assembled in the United Kingdom are exported. With a total volume of 1,000,000 cars produced in 2019, 850,000 were exported and although there are more than 160 countries importing cars from the UK, almost 450,000 were exported to the European Union. The current BREXIT deal allows free trade for domestic products and the rule for domestic products requires a maximum of 40% of added value to be non-domestic. …


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More than 300,000 COVID-19 casualties in the U.S. (and rapidly approaching 350,000 deaths) tells us a very sad story. A very sad story about a country that wants to lead the world and considers itself to be the greatest country mankind has ever seen. It is a story about poor leadership and malfunctioning healthcare.

The story of poor leadership and malfunctioning healthcare starts and ends with Donald Trump. When the danger of this virus became clear, and the World Health Organization gave crystal clear warning with declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30th, Trump responded by banning travel from China, and declared that as if it was a victory on its own. …


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Boris Johnson — Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

During the first wave of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson and his administration spend 6 weeks cheering ‘take it up the chin’ [sic] and ‘let it move through the population in one big wave’ [sic] while the healthcare systems was already collapsing underneath their noses. …

About

Johannes Drooghaag

Dad, consultant, coach, speaker, author. Mainly Cyber Security, leadership, responsible tech and organizational change. https://johannesdrooghaag.com

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