Welcome - The International Writers Magazine
- November Editorial 2011
Welcome to the December and Last month of Hackwriters
We are in our last month on-line. Only regular feature writers material is going up as we are closed to new submissions. Sorry. But catch up on what you have missed. There are 6600 individual articles, reviews, stories, travel pieces to enjoy. Read whilst it lasts...
James Skinner our regular Spanish Correspondent reminds us that he warned us at least seven years ago in the Hackwriter pages that Spain would eventually implode from the effect of Socialist policies in Spain and he has been consistently reminding us of impending doom there ever since. He asks me why the financial gurus don't seem to have Spain on their radar and are targeting Italy. Aside from the obvious foolishness of Silvio the PM
- the problem is that those who run the banks and stockmarkets tend to only travel in small circles. London, New York, HK, Tokyo, Chicago and Paris and Milan get their attention. Madrid not so much. They speak only to themselves and lack a broader view of the whole. They don't speak Spanish in the main and they can't see that Spain is very quickly heading towards breaking up into three countries. Or that every town hall has borrowed billions and the whole country is covered in fantastic motorways that go nowhere and carry no traffic. With unemplyment at 22% and zero growth Spain could be the country that will eventually break the Euro's back - staying on the periphery of Euro concerns for now until Rajoy takes over. The new technocrat governments in Italy and Greece will return to normality (of a kind) we hope. Meanwhile the Euro is still in acute danger.
There is no easy way to solve the Euro crisis without impoverishing us all - whether your country is in the Euro or not. The bankers and stockbrokers will have their billions and security guards, but we shall be poor for a decade or longer and political shocks and even extreme violence may well be part of our daily lives. There is precious little one can do to protect yourself financially. No one knows what investment is 'safe'. Gold? With a six percent dealer profit margin the gold price is not cheap and you run the risk of countries like Italy (that has many tons of gold) having to suddenly dump it to stay solvent.
Luckily we don't have 25% inflation rate that I still bitterly remember from when I was a student in London long ago. But it is entirely possible that deflation - or stagflation will come to haunt us next year in the West. If you don't happen to live in a house that Russian Oligachs want in the best parts of London - you may well find that prices of homes could fall. This has already happened in the North of England and getting a mortgage is becoming harder and harder. The prices of homes in the USA have steadied (we read that at least apartments and houses are no longer going down in price in Florida) but this Euro problem could drive everything down again and if you aren't worried about your bank going under in 2012- you probably should be.
Is there any good news? Well investing in arms manufacturing might be a good strategy right now. Robert Harris has a best seller at the moment called 'The Fear Index'. To be honest I thought it poorly written and naive and the main protagonist - a former mental patient running the world's largest hedge fund a tad implausible. His main point is that investing in human 'fear' can make you rich. Taking the most pessimistic view - shorting shares - will make you rich. If you think that everything will turn out fine right now - buy Bank shares. If you think that all roads might lead to war and revolution - buy tanks and build a bomb shelter.
We live in the land of smoke and mirrors. Euro Crisis Deepens scream the headlines. I am reminded of that scene in the Edward Norton movie 'The Illusionist' as he grows an orange tree from a seed to full bloom with complete edible oranges in a matter of minutes. You stare at the 250 million Euros in the Eureopean Central Bank and watch it grow to a trillion Euros before your very eyes. You can see it's a trick, you know it's a trick, but you don't know how it's a trick. 17 Euro currency countries will have to bend down on one knee now to a new fat controller who will dictate their politics, their taxes, their rules - you think this will actually happen? And who will the fat controller be? It's like Belling the Cat a play performed by kindergarten children.
Celebrations will be short I think - especially when you realise that the average wage for a railway worker in Greece is still 65,000 euros a year! Oh to be a railway worker in Greece.
Good luck to the new PM's in Greece and Italy - we shall all need it.
There is perhaps a way to solve this crisis. Greece and Portugal should abandon the Euro and go back to their own currencies. It will be painful but perhaps not as painful as the whole Euro collapsing under the weight of their collective debts. Somehow it seems to me that Bernie Madoff is running things in Europe and no one is listening to the little kids who points and shouts 'But the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes'. Fairy tales can teach us a lot I think.
Hackwriters Coming to an end
Yes this is the last full edition of Hackwriters.com and it will disappear into the ether forever at the end of the year. Sad but true. But then again where’s your Atari now? Remember Netscape? Things come and go in the digital age and it’s onward to the next big thing. We live in an era of obsolescence and it is increasing exponentially. In the week that the 7 Billionth child is born it is worth remembering that when we started twelve years and eleven months ago there were only 6 Billion people on earth and we were running scared of YK2 (The Millennium Bug that was going to shut down all the computers (except Apple). Ha. (If you want to know more about that read the excellent ‘Things We Didn’t See Coming’ by Steven Amsterdam.
A number of Hacks readers have written to me regretting the passing of the magazine and it is a shame but other than advertising my own books (which sadly few of you ever bought) we remained true to the early spirit of the web that it should remain free and not have any intrusive ads or sell out to the ‘man’. Seems a foolish concept now doesn’t it. Nothing is free – well for twelve years and eleven months it was – but I had to pay for it and not just in money but huge amounts of time as well and there’s only so much you can do before reality sinks in or sinks you. I have no regrets. Some great writers have been discovered along the way and many have moved on to brighter and better things. No one owes you living as a writer (more’s the pity eh) or editor, for that matter.
So anyway – I want to thank all our regular contributors such as James Campion, James Skinner, Abigail George, David Russell, Dean Borok, John M Edwards, Tabytha Towe, Martin Green and a ton of others who will be upset I haven’t named them but hey, you know you are. Hacks will go to the great digital graveyard in the ether and if you have copied and pasted your article into word file by now, do it now, as it will all be gone in December.
© Sam North Dec 1.12.11.
Editor – Hackwriters.com
Author of 'Diamonds - The Rush of '72'
The Fantastic True story of the 1872 Diamond Rush in the USA
'If you liked Butch & Sundance - you will love this' - Nick Strange
also available as an e-book on iTunes
Please note you can buy my Sherlock Holmes novel The Curse of the Nibelung as an e-book direct from iTunes now or from Barnes and Noble
Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this November edition from all over the world. Many thanks too to those who have bought my books recently (Discounts now available via Lulu). Another Place to Die has passed the 3000 figure now and that cheers me up and is now available as an e-book. Now if I could get Mean Tide or Diamonds to sell as well, I'd be really happy you can now download them as e-book on iTunes or Lulu. It really does help keep Hackswriters going. Take care out there. Get writing.
The good news is my Sherlock Holmes novel The Curse of the Nibelung is now available as an e-book on itunes. Download here or Here
Mean Tide by Sam North *Buy now and get 25% off
(Now a Young Adult Mystery e-book)
Mean Tide - a tale of spiritualism and a young boy's fascination with a murdered man. Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and
completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'
His father has disappeared, his mother is sick. Oliver, recovering from chemo, is sent
to live with his psychic Grandma by the river in Greenwich. Oliver quickly
discovers he is living with a world of strange people. When he finds a dog with
its throat cut on the riverside, everything changes. Oliver wants to find the people who did this terrible thing and discovers the terrible truth about himself.
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