Category Archives: Economics

Brein vs The Pirate Bay – Chinese filtering

A little ago I wrote a furious blog about organisations that should be violated from this world, or change it’s method of thinking. The RIAA and BREIN are just a few of those organisations. Just very recently reported that a dutch judge allowed an order from PRIVATE company BREIN which asked to shutdown access from The Netherlands towards Sweden (The Pirate Bay).

Whilst I do not want to judge whether the content provided by TPB should be illegal or legal (depends on country, law, etc), I do want to judge about what I wrote in the previous paragraph. How is a Dutch judge allowed to “order” a foreign entity (or group of people whatever) to shut down access from an entire country just because someone isn’t agreeing with the site? The power of the interwebs(yeah internet) is that there is a freedom of speech,press, and things. If something is forbidden in the country of hosting, then there is a case.. in that specific country. We tell everyone we are the western and civilized world, but instead we are far worse then China in our filtering methodology.

The judge must have been having a really bad day to allow this, give “jurisprudentie” about this and allow other funky things like “We have requested the persons to be in the court via email, facebook, twitter and more of those technology related things”. This goes beyond control. 1984 here we come, BigBrother is Brein and associated judges!.

Do note that I believe these sites have such a large success in the first place is because of the prices being too high for digital media (CD/DVD and so on). If the prices lower, you will see a dramatic decrease in downloading, if the prices are kept high, there will remain an increase in interest in these things. I wonder when people will start realising that.

For now, The Dutch Government, Judges and “organisations” had failed again, I do not understand how they can keep surviving. Stand up people!.

[lang_en]Dutch cities with money in Iceland[/lang_en][lang_nl]Nederlandse steden met geld in IJsland[/lang_nl]

[lang_en]The last few days more and more reports came in that we have cities that invested money in Iceland, in the landbanksi bank for example. The money that was on the banks with high interest was money that the cities had as savings for projects, like improving schools, roads etc. Since they didn’t need it instantly they decided to put it on an high interest account, to gain some extra money out of it.

Stupid thing though: they invested more then 40.000euro (from which 38.000euro was initially covered, now increased to 100.000euro). A lot more. Some cities had a close to 30.000.000euro on those accounts. Eventhough the bank had a good credit rating at the time, I honestly do not understand those amounts of money. How stupid can you be when you know that you are only covered for a maximum of now 100.000euro. I also feel that these amounts of money should be invested within the country so that our taxmoney and city savings are locally kept and can be acted upon in case of need.

The problem is that you are handling with an foreign country now, which might not be obliged to return the funds, especially because the information clearly states what they cover and what they do not. One of the most stupid things that our cities did, this needs to be cleared up, and a few people should get kicked around a bit to learn that these things are just not possible. It keeps amazing me that these things happen.[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]De laatste paar dagen komen er steeds meer berichten binnen dat onze steden geld hebben geinvesteerd in IJsland, en dan met name de landbanksi bank. Het geld dat op de hoge rente rekeningen stond was het geld dat steden over hadden voor projecten, scholen, wegen etc. Omdat ze deze niet direct nodig hadden hebben ze besloten om deze op een hoge rente rekening te zetten om wat extra geld te verdienen.

Stom genoeg hebben ze meer dan 40.000euro (waarvan 38.000euro initieel gegarandeerd werd, later werd dat 100.000euro) geinvesteerd. Veel meer. Sommige steden hadden rond de 30.000.000euro op die rekeningen staan. Ook al had de bank een goede krediet waardering op dat moment, begrijp ik echt niet dat er zoveel geld op staat. Hoe stom kun je zijn wanneer je weet dat je (nu) maximaal 100.000euro terugkrijgt? Ik denk daarnaast dat het geld gewoon in het land had moeten blijven, het is ons belasting geld en als er dan wat is kan er direct op gehandeld worden.

Het probleem nu is dat we met een buitenlands land werken, die nu misschien niet in staat is, of verplicht is om de fondsen terug te storten, al helemaal omdat de documentatie duidelijk aangeeft wat er wel en niet vergoed wordt. Dit is een van de meest stomme dingen die onze steden hebben gedaan waar helderheid in gebracht moet worden. Daarnaast moeten er een aantal mensen geschopt worden omdat dit soort dingen gewoon niet mogen gebeuren. Het verbaasd me elke keer dat deze dingen gebeuren.[/lang_nl]


[lang_en]Last night it became clear that the account holders for Icesave will see their funding back to up to 100.000Euro. This is great news for all account holders (including me) so that they do not see their savings burned up.

One question that still stands though: How could and do we foresee these things (as per Wouter Bos’ comment that we are responsible ourselves, which I share). It would be a good lesson for us (account holders) and the politics (Dnb/dutch gov.) that we need more insight in foreign banks that are banking within the country. It should be easy to see the liquidities (is that written like that?) of the bank or it’s status so that you know in what you are going to invest. A fair bit of responsibility also is in the pocket of the Dutch National Bank, they need to monitor these things better to avoid these kind of problems and have to oversee that banks can indeed payout their agreements one way or the other. Ofcourse that doesn’t stop banks from falling over, but still.

I can sleep well again ;)

[lang_nl]Gisteravond werd het duidelijk dat alle rekeninghouders van de Icesave bank, hun spaargeld (tot aan de 100.000Euro terug zullen zien. Dit is supernieuws voor alle rekeninghouders (inclusief mijzelf), omdat hun spaargeld nu niet in rook opgaat.

Één vraag die nog steeds staat is echter; hoe kunnen we dit soort dingen aan zien komen (Zoals Wouter Bos’ commentaar is dat we zelf verantwoordelijk zijn, een gevoel dat ik deel). Het is een goede les voor ons (Als rekeninghouders) en de politiek (DNB/Nederlandse overheid), dat we meer inzicht nodig hebben in buitenlandse banken die in Nederland bankieren, zo kun je enigzins inzien waarin je investeert. Een deel van de verantwoording is echter ook voor de Nederlandse Bank, deze zullen de situatie beter moeten monitoren om deze problemen te voorkomen en om overzicht te hebben dat de banken inderdaad hun garanties kunnen uitbetalen op welke manier dan ook. Natuurlijk voorkomt dat niet dat banken omvallen, maar het is een begin.

Ik kan weer goed slapen ;)