Wilders is changing his image..... suddenly has bright blue eyes !

Sometime ago, the website of Geert Wilders was hacked. And today I figured, let's see what his new site looks like. Of course it would have been fun to toy around with it and see if this site could be hacked, but I couldn't even start trying. Because something was staring me in the face. And it surprised me. But it also reminded me of something.

If you know Geert Wilders and his history, then you know that there is some Indonesian blood in his family. And you would also know that he's originally got black dark blond hair and brown eyes with big black pupils. While we are by now accustomed to his hair being dyed blond, we all recognize him when we see the picture here:

So you can imagine that I was quite a bit surprised to see his new website with the following, iconic picture:

At first I did'n believe it, so I magnified the picture to look again at his eyes:

Well, we all know what a little Photoshop can do to improve the looks. But this, I felt, was different.

So I tried to remember what is was that made this so familiar. I browsed around the web, my books at home, magazines, asked the neighbours, but still I couldn't figure it out. In the end I had to give up. I vaguely recall that there is something about a strong desire and ideal to have blond hair and blue eyes, but I just can't remember what it is.

PS Not having ever seen him in person (I am now checking a lot of google-images) it may be the case that his eyes may have a shade of grey/blue/green. Still this upgrade to hefty blue remains remarkable.

PS 2 (20.55): Indeed they appear to look a shade of blue. So he may (or may not) have used some digital highlighter that created the unnatural image.

PS 3 (23.24): I struck out the black hair, as I was wrong about his original hair colour as well. It used to be dark blond rather than black. So what remains is a bit of photoshopping and digital polishing that struck me. 


Eurocrisis: the frog may have been long boilt but we fail to notice...

Looking at todays market developments I am very much reminded by the complex discussions of 2007 and 2008. I think also these days, here in Europe we are failing to recognize that the political and decision process has gotten out of control. The bailout-frog is long boilt and dead, but we keep pretending it is alive and will be able to move. And heaven only knows wen reality will sink in.

Mind you, my personal opinion is that the Wednesday-package was not about bailing out Greece but about bailing out Europe. Given that clearly the EU governments don't have the support/cash to fund a bailout fund themselves, they had to provide the EFSF with sufficient flexibility to go shopping for funds in the market. Three cheers to Angela Merkel for finally understanding that...

And the European leaders of course also placed an emergency solution via the IMF in the background. In doing so the (emergency) plumbing is laid for a bailout of Europe. As a result, the financial markets could no longer determine whether the bazooka was sufficiently big. It's size is unknown, now that there is the possibility of some Chinese or Saudi Arabi or the IMF to step in. So, lot's of work to do, but the main problem was solved.

Thus, the essence of the EU-package was that it ensured that the EU itself would qualify for emergency packages, should push come to shove. And this appeared to work for a day or so. And while Draghi outlined to continue to take extra-ordinary measures, Italy got burnt in the market. So that did not bode too well.

And here we are now. Tuesday evening, first of november 2011. Berlusconi is meeting with his Cabinet to discuss measures. As is the Greek Prime Minister who presumably felt that the First November of 2011 was a good day to announce a referendum (1-11-11, it must mean something in Greek mythology). And of course, the Dutch Members of Parliament will also convene this evening. So there will be more discussions. And letters to parliament. And then our Prime Minister will say stuff. And then there will be the G20. And so on, and so on.

I understand that for those working in civil service, there is no giving up on Europe and procedure. They must continue to go the way that has been prescribed and try to make something out of this very desperate situation. But it is all quite similar to the myth/story of the boilt frog. If you put a frog in a glass of water it will jump out if it is heated quickly, but will not when the water is heated slowly. So in a situation of slow changes, the frog will boil to death.* 

The whole EU-situation now reminds me very much of the complex discussions we had here in the Netherlands with the takeover of ABN AMRO by Barclays, followed by the bid of RBS/Fortis/Santander. This whole deal messed up incredibly and had all kinds of side effects (no attention paid to smaller banks with two of them failing subsequently: DSB Icesave). And the one major lesson that we could learn in the Netherlands was that it is essential to identify the moment in which a process has become too complex to handle.

And what I'm saying here: we may have passed that moment quite some months ago already. We are already witnessing the Lehman 2 moment in the markets, but European politicians are too busy to notice (as they are holding summits and meeting to prevent Lehman 2 from happening).

By the way: later scientists proved that the story was untrue and an urban myth. Maybe someday people will say the same of the Euro...