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A poor loser

Four years ago, at this time, Hillary Clinton had to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump. She just lost an election to him, but in the interest of democracy and in the usual sign of leadership, she turned up for what is essentially the party of the winner.  I think you know where I am going with this. 

Joe Biden and Barack Obama also attended that inauguration and so it is quite stunning, after some 150 years of this tradition, that Donald Trump, a man who loses frequently, but does not like to admit it, could not turn up for his opponent’s inauguration.  Instead, he demanded a send-off at a near air force base where thousands of people received an e-mail asking them to come and to “bring 5 friends with” – and they were so desperate that the invites were even sent to his critics and  people he had fired.  In other words, on the same day that an inauguration for the new President was being held in the same city, he was begging people to turn up at his event rather.

I think that Donald Trump ultimately, if we leave aside everything else, personifies exactly the thing he hates the most – losers.  The problem is, unlike those of us in golf, horseracing and in litigation, who have to learn to lose sometimes and do so gracefully, he is not only a loser, but he is a poor loser. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 22-Jan-21   |  Permalink   |  16 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Covid stats are wrong

I wrote a blog article early last year about the statistics we would see about Covid.  In that article I said that we will discover one day that the deaths from Covid were far higher than whatever we would be told and that the statistics in South Africa would be hopelessly out.  I said the only way we would know how many people actually died from Covid would be to compare it to the normal deaths in a year and see how many extra deaths there are. 

That blog of mine has now been confirmed.  The government has reported that just during a December period the excess deaths, not attributed to Covid, but higher than normal, were 130% higher than the normal deaths during that period.

That means, with there currently being allegedly 35,000 deaths from Covid in SA that figure is hopelessly wrong.  Is it double that number, is it treble that number – we will not know until all those excess deaths last year and still to come this year are calculated by experts in future. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 18-Jan-21   |  Permalink   |  24 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
The future of WhatsApp

We all use WhatsApp at no cost.  Of course, it never came free to Facebook – they bought it for $19 billion in 2014. 

A recent purchase by Facebook for $1 billion gives a clue as to what the future is for WhatsApp – they bought a company by the name of Kustomer Inc.  Apparently, the plan is to make money out of the 2 billion monthly users of WhatsApp of whom 400 million alone are in India, by selling goods and services inside WhatsApp or potentially allowing companies to use WhatsApp to handle customer services.  It is something my firm will have to watch closely, because WhatsApp is hugely popular and in SA, even though in countries like the USA, where Facebook is based, the vast majority of people are not familiar with WhatsApp.   WhatsApp is much bigger in countries like SA, India and Europe, but has a very small role in Facebook’s own country – probably because unlimited texts, etc have always been the order of the day in the United States and WhatsApp initially grew in countries where the mobile companies were charging a lot more for sending SMS messages as well as MMS messages.  There may also be plans to use WhatsApp for payments, but in many respects that would be driven by the Indian market the most because that is the country where WhatsApp is the most popular. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 14-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  33 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Airbnb lists on the Stock Exchange

Airbnb listed on the Stock Exchange yesterday in a massive IPO, where they initially listed at $68 and ended the day at $144.71.  It is a technology driven company that I believe is going to succeed, so I will certainly be investing in it, although not necessarily immediately – I am hoping the price will settle down a bit lower than that!  I think a lot of people think that Airbnb is a company where people rent out a spare room in their house, but a lot of people have taken it much further than that and have multiple units now and run it as a full-time business.  I even know one particular person who rents properties from landlords and then leases them out on Airbnb with the landlord’s permission.  So, he pays a certain amount a month and then marks it up and has a manager who runs around and make sure that everything is clean and good.  So many of these businesses are all based on the same premise in many ways just cutting out the middleman, although you could argue in this case that the middle man are hotels.  Have any of you used Airbnb and if so, have your experiences been positive or not?  Here is a fun fact – Airbnb has 4 million hosts!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 11-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  26 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Joyce Zulu

Joyce Zulu was the third member of staff I ever hired and given that the second member of staff was only with me for a temporary period of 2 months Joyce was, until her death in November, was my longest ever employee.  She used to be a cleaner in the Constantia Centre, the building where my firm first started and she became a filing lady in my firm.  Her role expanded through the years and she eventually helped us with consulting with clients, often playing the role of almost a translator and eventually took on an all purposes administrative and secretarial role.  She was with my firm for 25 years and she was somebody I could rely on.  When she suddenly did not turn up at work for about 2 weeks in a row in November my wife said to me she must be seriously ill or dying, because that it was not in Joyce’s nature to simply disappear.  Joyce had even taken the trouble to write to my wife when my wife lived in Russia and she was a compassionate woman who displayed considerable empathy towards our clients. 

I am very sad that she has passed away and it has been difficult to ascertain how she passed away, but I know that she was immune compromised and it may well be that Covid-19 played a role in her death.  Rest in peace Joyce, I am shocked that you have gone so soon. Thank you for the 25 years that you spent with our firm and I do hope that your family are better off because of the time you spent with the firm -and thank you for your loyalty and dedication to me for all of those years.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 03-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  64 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher is a Netflix documentary film, filmed in South Africa, and the first South African nature documentary to be one of Netflix's original productions.  It stars Craig Vorster and his friendship with an octopus in a kelp forest near False Bay close to Simons Town in the Cape. 

It is an absolutely remarkable documentary and I will not spoil  anything about the documentary other than to say that it involves fights between the octopus and pyjama sharks and you will be astounded at how intelligent octopus are. The footage is amazing and it has already won some awards.  If you have Netflix, I strongly recommend that you watch this South African sensation which is being watched around the world at the moment!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 17-Nov-20   |  Permalink   |  38 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
TikTok stars

I was reading through the earnings of the most well-known people on TikTok and although they are doing very well it was not exactly the figures that I imagined.  Forbes estimates that the number one earner is Addison Rae Easterling who earned $5 million in the past year largely through branded merchandise and sponsorship from companies.  Of course, that is not bad for a 19 year old, but it is not exactly the figures we hear in other fields.  Second and third are the D’Amelio sisters of whom Charli D’Amelio is the better known.  Charli D’Amelio earned $4 million in the last year, which is fantastic for a 16 year old and her 19 year old sister, Dixie D’Amelio earned $2,9 million.  How long those types of gigs last is another question and I am not just talking about the concerns that obviously many might have about the future of TikTok, but as long as they invest the money wisely, don’t spend too much in terms of getting a very fancy house, they will not have to work again.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 09-Nov-20   |  Permalink   |  49 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Elon Musk - seventh richest in America

It is quite amazing that somebody who went to Pretoria Boys High School and was born in South Africa is now the seventh richest man in America according to the Forbes 400 Annual List. 

It is also a very sad story for yet another boys’ school in South Africa that is remembered by what is clearly the most successful student ever, as being an unhappy place for him with lots of bullying.  Elon of course did not form Tesla, he took it over and really took it to new heights, and he also has another very successful company, namely SpaceX.  According to Forbes he was worth, at the time of publication, $68 billion or to put that into South African terms R1122 billion, which you could just round off at R1,1 trillion!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 03-Nov-20   |  Permalink   |  46 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Trump will lose - part 2

I think that Donald Trump is going to get hammered in the US elections next week and no doubt he may bring some court challenges as he has threatened, but I believe he is going to lose in any event – and I am not sure it will be close enough to even make it viable for him to bring court challenges.  He will of course claim that it is the biggest fraud in all history, because he is just simply a man who cannot accept that has lost and isn’t as popular as he believes he is – and the reason for that is that he is a narcissist and can never ever admit defeat or when he is wrong. 

When the history of this election is written and when people look back on 2016, I think one of the factors they will point to, apart from the incompetence of Donald Trump, will be all of those who did not want to support Trump the last time but did not like Hillary Clinton either.  So many of them did not vote at all and I think they have learned their lesson.  When Hillary Clinton said that the next President of America could choose two or three Justices of the Supreme Court people attacked her saying she was being hysterical and that that was not going to happen.  Donald Trump has now selected three Justices of the Supreme Court and all of those who did not vote last time now know the consequences of that decision in 2016 and will, I believe, come out and vote in big numbers. A lot of people don’t appreciate that there are more registered Democrats in America than there are Republicans, and that does not mean that I agree with the Democratic policies, some sections of which do tend to run too close to socialism, but whereas Ronald Reagan sold America capitalism with a heart, we have seen the heartless side of capitalism with Donald Trump.  I think that is going to lead to a resounding defeat for him in the election. 

I think that common decency will win the day and the rest of the world will be so much better off - Donald Trump has certainly not been good for the world. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 28-Oct-20   |  Permalink   |  44 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Trump will lose

In 2016 I wrote quite a lot about the elections and I saw Donald as a very real threat to Hillary Clinton for a long time.  I would not have written about it as much as I did if I did not see him as a threat.  His win was unexpected, but not the massive shock that he makes out – it is never really a shock in a 2 horse race if the lesser favourite of the two horses wins.

I think that those who think he is going to repeat it again because he has some magical powers are making two mistakes.  Firstly, it is clear that his business skills have really been overrated – as many have said, it appears that he plays a businessman on TV as opposed to actually ever being a successful businessman.  If he had simply invested his father’s money that he inherited in the S&P Index Fund, the main Stock market index that investors follow, he would have made more money than he is worth now – and that is not a compliment.  That would be 7% or 8% a year and most people who run their own businesses do not make only 7% or 8% a year over the long run.  There would be no benefit to running private businesses if you could only match what the Stock Market could do – you would then just put your money into shares and sit at home and do no work.  So, the whole superstar businessman story is total nonsense.  I am not saying he is not a brilliant marketer and has convinced many people that he is a star businessman, but that is marketing as opposed to being the brilliant businessman. 

The other mistake I think they are making is that people are tired of the division that he has brought.  They are tired of his lack of empathy for people and all of that has been very well illustrated during the whole Covid-19 issue.  The fact of the matter is America has not done well in dealing with Covid-19 and largely it has been because of the leadership of Donald Trump, a man who even after getting Covid-19 still mocks masks and says they are not really effective.  One wonders how many people have died, while listening to the President of America, who really just talks nonsense either to appeal to his base or perhaps, mistakenly, because he is just not very bright and has not studied any of the signs.  In that regard, he is surrounded by top scientists but he has replaced the advice of Dr Fauci with a radiologist. So, right now, the President of America is advised, when it comes to viruses, not by a doctor who specialises in viruses but by a person who specialises in reading X-rays!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 27-Oct-20   |  Permalink   |  48 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Covid-19 and death statistics

I wrote some time ago it will take some years before we discover the true number of people that have died.  Sadly, we all fall into the trap of saying that things are not so bad, or that the statistics have improved.  We ignore the fact that even in advanced countries, like the United States, not everyone is getting tested.  Statistics indicate that in America the average number of deaths for this year so far is running at about 40,000 higher than the normal deaths plus Covid-19 death.  So there are an extra 40 000 dead this year so far, but not accounted for in Covid-19 deaths.  In other words, what that means is that the American death toll, currently at approximately 215,000 from Covid-19 is more than likely to be really 255,000 or maybe people are just dropping dead from unusual conditions this year?

The bottom line is, if countries like America can’t even get their statistics right, what are the odds that those statistics are really correct in South Africa?  When I wrote about this before I said that it will only be in 3 or 4 years’ time, in most countries, that they will know the true death toll, and that the death toll at any given time will be higher than what we think it is.  Based on American statistics we know that the SA statistic must probably be at least 20% more people that died than the figure we are given on a daily basis – currently at 18 500.

 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 19-Oct-20   |  Permalink   |  54 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
2020 US election - postal votes

As the election gets closer you will be hearing a lot about this.  That is because Donald Trump has been speaking about this issue all the time saying it is not possible to have a fair election if there are postal votes.  He does add one exception to that – he will not win Florida without postal votes of the elderly so he has said that postal voting in Florida is fine. 

The important thing to remember, when you hear about all of this in the future, and he Russians are already spreading fake news about it, as they did in the 2016 election, is that Americans have been allowed to vote by post forever.  In fact, it is quite routine for up to one-third of all votes, including when Trump won in 2016, to be via post.  It is not unusual, it is not strange and Trump’s own appointees will confirm this.  His Postmaster General, appointed by Trump, has said the Post Office can deal with all the votes even though Trump says they can’t.  His FBI director has said that they have had no evidence, now or in the past, of any significant fraudulent voting via post.  In other words, what we are getting prepared to hear, with Russian assistance, is a fake story about fraudulent voting via post.  There is simply no evidence of it and it is the way things have always been.  Just remember that when this becomes a big issue in the first week of November.  Obviously, in a year with Covid-19 there will be far more postal voters than ever before, but what really appears to lie behind it is that President Trump feels that if more people vote he is likely to lose and if less people vote he has a winning chance.  For now, he is way behind in all the polls losing by between 6% to 8%.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 28-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  36 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
Have you been injured in a motor accident?
Recent Settlements
Lumbar spine compression fractures R2 500 000.00
Severe hip fracture requiring total hip replacements R3 305 000.00
Head injury with disfiguring facial scaring of a young female R4 000 000.00
Whiplash and compression fracture of the spine R4 000 000.00
Broken Femora R1 914 416.00
Broken Femur and Patella R770 881.15
Loss of Support for two minor children R2 649 968.00
Fracture of the right Humerus, fracture of the pubi rami, abdominal injuries, head injury R4 613 352.95
Fracture of the right femur, Fracture of the right tibia-fibula R1 200 000.00
Broken Jaw, Right Shoulder Injury, Mild head injury R1 100 000.00
Degloving injuries to the hips, legs and ankle R877 773.00
Head injury R 2 734 295.12
Fractured pelvis R1 355 881.53
Damaged tendons in left arm R679 688.03
Fractured left hand R692 164.48
Amputated right lower leg with loss of income R3 921 000.00
Fractured left foot R600 000.00
Head injury and multiple facial fractures R5 000 000.00
Head injury, compound fracture right femur, right tib and fib fracture, and injury to the spleen R4 529 672.06
Head injury, multiple facial fractures, collapsed lung and a fracture to the right frontal bone R2 890 592.77
Loss of support R5 144 000.00

 


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