Is Australia The Next Greece?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/19/2015 21:45 -0400

Australian consumers are more worried about the medium term outlook than at the peak of the financial crisis, and rightfully so.

Source: @ANZ_WarrenHogan

As The Telegraph reports, by the end of the first quarter this year, Australia’s net foreign debt had climbed to a record $955bn, equal to an already unsustainable 60pc of gross domestic product, and is set to rise as RBA’s bet that depreciation in the value of the country’s currency would help to offset the decline in its overbearing mining industry hasn’t happened to the extent they would have wished.

 Furthermore, as UBS explains, China’s real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia’s nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China’s collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit, as Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman and matriarch of Perth’s Hancock mining dynasty stunned her workers this week: accept a 10% pay cut or face redundancies.

The government in Canberra and the Reserve Bank of Australia, The Telegraph explains,  had bet that depreciation in the value of the country’s currency would help to offset the decline in its overbearing mining industry. However, that hasn’t happened to the extent they would have wished.

Last month Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman and matriarch of Perth’s Hancock mining dynasty delivered an unwelcome shock to her workers in Western Australia:accept a possible 10pc pay cut or face the risk of future redundancies.

Ms Rinehart, whose family have accumulated vast wealth from iron ore mining, has seen her fortune dwindle since commodity prices began their inexorable slide last year. The Australian mining mogul has seen her estimated wealth collapse to around $11bn (£7bn) from a fortune that was thought to be worth around $30bn just three years ago.

 

This colossal collapse in wealth is symptomatic of the wider economic problem now facing Australia, which for years has been known as the lucky country due to its preponderance in natural resources such as iron ore, coal and gold. During the boom years of the so-called commodities “super cycle” when China couldn’t buy enough of everything that Australia dug out of the ground, the country’s economy resembled oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

However, a collapse in iron ore and coal prices coupled with the impact of large international mining companies slashing investment has exposed Australia’s true vulnerability. Just like Saudi Arabia, which is now burning its foreign reserves to compensate for falling oil prices, Australia faces a collapse in export revenue.

Recently revised figures for April show that the country’s trade deficit with the rest of the world ballooned to a record A$4.14bn (£2bn). That gap between the value of exports and imports is expected to increase as the value of Australia’s most important resources reaches new multi-year lows. Iron ore is now trading at around $50 per tonne, compared with a peak of around $180 per tonne achieved in 2011. Thermal coal has also suffered heavy losses, now trading at around $60 per tonne compared with around $150 per tonne four years ago.

For an economy which in 2012 depended on resources for 65pc of its total trade in goods and services these dramatic falls in prices are almost impossible to absorb without inflicting wider damage. The drop in foreign currency earnings has seen Australia forced to borrow more in order to maintain government spending.

The respected Australian economist Stephen Koukoulas recently wrote of the dangers that escalating levels of foreign debt could present for future generations. Could a prolonged period of depressed commodity prices even turn Australia into Asia’s version of Greece, with China being its banker of last resort instead of the European Union.

As UBS further explains, China’s real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia’s nominal GDP growth this last decade.

The property-driven slowdown in China’s GDP growth is continuing to having a disproportionately large negative impact on Australia’s economy. This is because China clearly remains Australia’s largest export destination, having peaked at a record high ~? share of total exports last year (equivalent to ~7% of GDP), but more recently retracing sharply to the current 28% share. This reflects the >20%y/y drop in Australia’s nominal exports to China in FY15 – which is on track to subtract ~1¼%pts y/y from nominal GDP.

In contrast, FY14 export values surged 26%y/y, adding 1¼%pts y/y to nominal GDP. Notably, this turnaround entirely reflects collapsing prices, which more than offset surging volumes. (Indeed, this overall fall in export values is despite a boom in Chinese tourism arrivals which are currently growing ~20%y/y.)

Weak Chinese demand remains a key downside risk for not only Australia’s economy but also the RBA & AUD outlook. The weakness in Chinese growth is having the most obvious negative impact on Australia because our basket of exports is (almost) uniquely concentrated in commodities (back down to ~? share), where China is generally the marginal price-setter. Indeed, after iron ore alone reached a 30% share of total Australian exports in 2013, the recent renewed collapse in iron ore prices saw its export share drop back closer to 20%. The price effect has been a key driver behind Australia’s terms of trade collapsing by ? since its peak in 2011.

This negative income shock is weighing heavily on Australia’s fiscal position, which has seen its deficit consistently worse than expected over that period; as well as leading to a ‘capex cliff’, which has seen the RBA cut rates and drag the AUD/USD down to a 6-year low. Indeed, an ABS survey of the outlook for mining investment in FY15/16 implies a ~37% collapse which could directly subtract a massive 2%pts y/y from nominal GDP. As such, weak Chinese demand remains a key downside risk for not only Australia’s economy but also the RBA & AUD outlook (with the latter still expected to depreciate further to 0.70USD ahead).

*  *  *

As The Telegraph concludes, rather ominously,

The problem is that Australia, after decades of effort to diversify, is looking ever more like a petrodollar economy of the Middle East, but without the vast horde of foreign currency reserves to fall back on when commodity prices fall.

Instead, Australians must borrow to maintain the standards of living that the country has become accustomed to, which even some Greeks will admit is unsustainable.

Big Pharma Is Puppetmaster Behind TPP

Big Pharma Revealed As Puppetmaster Behind TPP Secrecy

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/10/2015 22:13 -0400

It is no secret that US healthcare corporations have been among, if not the biggest beneficiaries of Obamacare: by “socializing” costs and spreading the reimbursement pool over the entire population in the form of a tax, pharmaceutical companies have been able to boost medical product and service costs to unprecedented levels with the help of complicit insurance companies who have subsequently passed through these costs to the consumer, in the process sending the price of biotech and pharma stocks to levels not seen since the dot com bubble.

But when it came to the highly confidential TPP, it was unclear just which corporations were dominant in pulling the strings.

Now thanks to more documents published by Wikileaks, and analyzed by the NYT, it appears that “big pharma” is once again pulling the strings, this time of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which if passed will “empower big pharmaceutical firms to command higher reimbursement rates in the United States and abroad, at the expense of consumers” according to “public health professionals, generic-drug makers and activists opposed to the trade deal.”

In other words, just like the narrowly-passed Obamacare was a gift for big Pharma, so America’s legal drug dealers are now trying to go for another price boosting catalyst, one which however will involve not just the US but some 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Worst of all, the negotiations for the next price increase is taking place in utmost secrecy where “American negotiators are still pressing participating governments to open the process that sets reimbursement rates for drugs and medical devices.”

As RT notes, the latest disclosure links the Healthcare Annex to the secret draft of the quite aptly-named “Transparency” Chapter of the TPP, along with each country’s negotiating position. The leaked “Annex on transparency and procedural fairness for pharmaceutical products and medical devices” is dated from December 2014, with the draft being restricted from release for four years after the passage of the TPP into law.

RELEASE: TPP Transparency Chapter Healthcare Annex https://t.co/jc4hYqh06V #TPP #TTIP#TISA pic.twitter.com/xIlO4QCUu6

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 10, 2015

Worse, while in the US the rising healthcare costs are at least spread across a broader social safety net, the TPP is targeting countries where the potential jump in drug prices will have dramatic effects. As the NYT notes, “foreign governments and health care activists have accused pharmaceutical giants, mostly based in the United States, of protecting profits over public health, especially in poor countries where neither the government nor consumers can afford to pay rates anywhere close to those charged in wealthier nations.”

That fight re-emerged in the Pacific trade negotiations, which involve countries with strong cost-containment policies, like New Zealand, as well as poor countries like Peru and Vietnam.

The agreement “will increase the cost of medicines worldwide, starting with the 12 countries that are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Judit Rius Sanjuan, a lawyer at Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization that provides medical care in more than 60 countries.

None other than the CEO of Mylan explained in the simplest possible way what is going on: a government mandated monopoly under the guise of a trade pact: “Heather Bresch, the chief executive of Mylan, one of the largest generic-drug makers, said the brand-name pharmaceutical industry was “establishing, through U.S. trade policy, an international system designed to maximize its monopolies.”

But where the alarm bells truly go off is when someone, anyone, uses the word “fair” to justify policy, such as surging drug costs. To wit: “drug companies, however, say they need to be able to charge fair prices to compensate for the billions of dollars and decades of research that go into their medicines.”

What is amusing is that the true motive behind the TPP’s secrecy have been quite clear to virtually everyone but the population of the TPP’s host nation:

“It was very clear to everyone except the U.S. that the initial proposal wasn’t about transparency. It was about getting market access for the pharmaceutical industry by giving them greater access to and influence over decision-making processes around pricing and reimbursement,” said Deborah Gleeson, a lecturer at the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University in Australia. And even though the section, known as the transparency annex, has been toned down, she said, “I think it’s a shame that the annex is still being considered at all for the T.P.P.”

RT adds that one country that should be in arms over the TPP is Australia:

The secret negotiations now allegedly reveal that Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme might be undermined, pushing up the cost of medicines in the country.

“United States trade negotiators have aggressively pushed for provisions favoring multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers at the expense of national governments and public healthcare systems,” the Sydney Morning Herald wrote.

But the one place where the biggest price shock may be unleashed is, not surprisingly, the US itself :

The leaked TPP document “shows that the pact could expose Medicare to pharmaceutical company attacks and constrain future policy reforms, including the ability of the US government to curb rising and unsustainable drug prices,” the US consumer rights advocacy group and think tank Public Citizen said in its Wednesday statement.

The group says president Obama’s administration has been “acting at the behest of pharmaceutical companies,” and the secret negotiations it has been holding within the partnership might affect Medicare, limiting “Congress’ ability to enact policy reforms that would reduce prescription drug costs for Americans.”

The same Congress, incidentally, which gladly washed its hands of any discussion of the TPP when the Senate “fast-tracked” its passage and as the NYT further notes, “a House vote on final passage of the bill, now expected on Friday, appears extremely close.”

In other words, in exchange for a few million in lobby spending, aka bribes, by Big Pharma, the US Congress has once again sold out the US population, and this time it even voluntarily bypassed even the mock democratic process of debating the law it will pass.

Why? Just so shareholders of pharmaceutical companies could reap even greater profits at the expense of not just the US population, but of the populations of some of the biggest US trading partners, all of whom are about to see the prices of medical care skyrocket.

And since nothing is confirmed until it is officially denied, here is the punchline:

“The transparency annex in T.P.P. is not subject to Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and nothing in its provisions will undermine our ability to pursue the best health care policy for Americans, including any future action on health care expenditures and cost containment,” a trade representative spokesman said.

Those Americans who may wish to challenge the claim well, they are out of luck: Congress is about to make sure there is no way anyone can have a say into what big corporations have in store for the US population.

The full Transparency Chapter Healthcare Annex below:

Wiki Leaks Annex

Meet The Extreme Super Rich

Meet The Extreme Super Rich: A List Of The 80 People Who Own As Much As The World’s Poorest 3.6 Billion

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/28/2015

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to make it clear that the definition of oligarch, a term I use a lot, does not center solely around money.

Late last year, in the post Inside the Mind of an Oligarch – Sheldon Adelson Proclaims “I Don’t Like Journalism,” I attempted to frame the word oligarch as I use it. I wrote the following:

In a nutshell, while many oligarchs are extremely wealthy (or have access to extreme wealth), not all people with extreme wealth are oligarchs. The term oligarch is reserved for those with extreme wealth who also want to control the political process, policy levers and most other aspects of the lives of the citizenry in a top-down tyrannical and undemocratic manner.
They think they know best about pretty much everything, and believe unelected technocrats who share their worldview should be empowered so that they can unilaterally make all of society’s important decisions.
The unwashed masses (plebs) in their minds are unnecessary distractions who must to be told what to do. Useless eaters who need to be brainwashed into worshipping the oligarch mindset, or turned into apathetic automatons incapable or unwilling to engage in critical thought. Either outcome is equally acceptable and equally encouraged.

With that out of the way, Five-Thirty-Eight provided the following:

Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam. The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms — while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population has fallen.

There you have it. The reason the wealth of the richest has doubled since 2009, is because “it’s not a recession, it’s a robbery.” Central bank and government policy has done this, it is no accident.

For more evidence…

Four years earlier, 388 billionaires together held as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world.

Thirty-five of the 80 richest people in the world are U.S. citizens, with combined wealth of $941 billion in 2014. Together in second place are Germany and Russia, with seven mega-rich individuals apiece. The entire list is dominated by one gender, though — 70 of the 80 richest people are men. And 68 of the people on the list are 50 or older.

Oxfam notes that global wealth inequality is increasing while the rich get richer. If trends continue, the organization projects that the richest 1 percent of people will have more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016.

Now here’s the list:

I didn’t provide this list to say whether these people are good or bad. I provide it, because whenever 80 people own as much as the poorest 50% of the globe, we sure better know who they are. We should also be cognizant of the disproportionate influence any of them can have on public affairs should they want to.

Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) Financial Planning

BANKING BAD

By Adele Ferguson and Deb Masters

VIDEO: Extended interview with Jeff Morris, CBA Whistleblower(Four Corners)

Monday 5 May 2014

This is a story about ordinary Australians taking on Australia’s biggest bank. It begins with a dying man who believed the Commonwealth Bank wronged him and who was forced into a David and Goliath legal battle in the last six months of his life.

It’s going to be very hard for me to trust anyone at any bank at any given time because they were just ruthless… They knew he was an easy target and they just went for it,” his daughter told Four Corners.

This week in a joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation, reporter Adele Ferguson examines a sales-driven culture inside the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division that has been described as profit at all cost – a culture that has been built on commissions.

The program also looks at the wilful practices of another financial planner, whose annual salary was almost half a million dollars. The CBA protected him until a whistleblower and several of his clients fought back.

The planner’s customers, mostly retirees, believed the Commonwealth Bank when it said it was ‘the people’s bank’. But when they saw their life savings disappearing as a result of bad advice, they knew they had to act. Adele Ferguson tracks down the planner.

This story reveals how those customers who believed they were wronged took on both the bank and the corporate regulator, ASIC, and won. There are others who didn’t fight and may have lost their life savings.

The CBA says it has since cleaned up its act and there is no place for so-called ‘rogue’ financial planners.

The program comes at a time when Australia’s biggest banks are trying to expand a system that rewards bank tellers and financial planners for selling their products to customers.

The Federal Government also wants to make changes to the financial advice legislation that would reintroduce some of the commissions and kickbacks that had been banned under the previous government. If the reforms go ahead it will potentially mean financial planners are less, not more, accountable to their clients.

This program is a sobering lesson for all.

If you have money to invest or you are setting yourself up for retirement this is a program you cannot afford to miss.

BANKING BAD, a joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation reported by Adele Ferguson and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 5th May at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 6th May at 11.00am and 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

Show transcript

Show background information

First posted May 5, 2014 15:47:00

 

Victorian State and Police breached UN covenant

Victoria breached UN covenant in treatment of police bashing victim

ABC 7.30 Report

The United Nations has delivered a scathing decision on the Victorian Government and its police force, saying it has breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) after failing to compensate a woman viciously bashed by police.

Corinna Horvath, from Somerville on Melbourne’s southern fringe, was beaten by officers from the local Hastings police station in 1996.

The officers broke down her door without a warrant, handcuffed her and beat her up to a dozen times, leaving her unconscious and with a broken nose pouring with clotted blood.

“My face was beaten to a pulp. My nose was broken – suspected broken jaw,” Ms Horvath told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

Her lawyer, Tamar Hopkins from the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre, says the attack was outrageous.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful what happened to Corinna. She was beaten senseless by officers who had no reason to do what they were doing,” she said.

Ms Horvath was 21 at the time and had a testy relationship with local police.

The night before the assault she had been pulled over for a minor traffic violation and had driven her car home despite police deeming it not roadworthy.

She was charged with a string of offences which were later thrown out when it was revealed that the police who entered her home that night had lied and fabricated evidence.

She sued the police and the Victorian County Court awarded more than $300,000 to her and the other witnesses injured that night in her home.

Judge Roland Williams was damning in his description of the officers’ conduct, particularly Constable David Jenkin.

Jenkin in his conduct showed the most high-handed approach, accompanied by excessive and unnecessary violence, wrought out of motives of ill-will and a desire to get even.

Judge Roland Williams

“Jenkin in his conduct showed the most high-handed approach, accompanied by excessive and unnecessary violence, wrought out of motives of ill-will and a desire to get even,” Judge Williams’s judgement said.

But the officers cried poor – one declared bankruptcy and the others said they were unable to pay.

The State of Victoria appealed the damages decision in the Court of Appeal and won on the basis that it was not vicariously liable for officers who acted outside the realm of their duties.

This exemption does not apply to any other class of public servant. Ms Horvath did not receive the damages.

“There was no good outcome for us,” Ms Horvath said.

“Not only did we get the money taken away from us, but the way I look at is, the State Government said: ‘You acted out of the scope of your duty and we will not cover you. Therefore, we will not pay for you’. But, therefore, where’s the assault charges?”

Ms Horvath’s lawyers took her case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in 2008 and it has taken six years to reach its decision.

The UNHRC has found Australia has violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Victoria must pay compensation to Ms Horvath.

It says the state must review its legislation, tell the UN how it is going to remedy this situation and must “widely disseminate” their decision within 180 days.

“A state cannot elude its responsibility for violations of the covenant committed by its own agents,” the decision says.

UN decision ‘vindication’, says barrister

“It’s a vindication, I think, of the stance that we took that Victoria was a signatory of the covenant, that agreed to abide by its terms, and it wasn’t just something that applied to African countries or other countries and not us – it applied to us as well and we could do [well] to look in our own backyard,” Ms Horvath’s barrister, Dyson Hore-Lacy QC, told 7.30.

Four committee members went even further than the majority, finding that the state breached Article 7 of the ICCPR, which bans torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

“The facts as presented by [Corinna Horvath] and established by the County Court of Victoria reveal a gross form of ill-treatment,” the four committee members stated in their finding.

In December, Victorian law will change to provide that if a claimant against a police officer who acts wrongfully on the job is unlikely to ever recieve compensation having exhausted all avenues, the state must pay.

Ms Horvath’s lawyers say this will still be an expensive and lengthy two-step process.

It’s an extraordinary contradiction that the state would say that the officers were behaving with such wilful disregard, disrespect for a person, and yet, continue to employ them.

Lawyer Tamar Hopkins

Ms Horvath’s lawyers maintain the UN decision is unequivocal and that the proposed law changes do not go far enough.

“We expect the Japanese to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice on whaling,” Mr Hore-Lacy said.

“It would be very hypocritical for the state to say: ‘Oh no, we’re not going to abide by this decision because we don’t like it’.”

Ms Hopkins said none of the officers who beat Ms Horvath lost their jobs – in fact they were all promoted and two are still working for Victoria Police.

“It’s an extraordinary contradiction that the state would say that the officers were behaving with such wilful disregard, disrespect for a person, and yet, continue to employ them,” Ms Hopkins said.

The UN decision requires disciplinary proceedings against the police to be re-opened and says the state must appoint an impartial body to investigate human rights abuses – not, like in this case, leaving it to Victoria Police to deal with it internally.

 

Prominent Economists Call for End to Fractional Reserve Banking

Submitted by George Washington on 05/01/2014 

Excessive leverage by the banks was one of the main causes of the Great Depression and of the 2008 financial crisis.

As such, lower levels of “fractional reserve banking” – i.e. how many dollars a bank lends out compared to the amount of deposits it has on hand – the more stable the economy will be.

But economist Steve Keen notes (citing Table 10 in Yueh-Yun C. OBrien, 2007. “Reserve Requirement Systems in OECD Countries”, Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board):

The US Federal Reserve sets a Required Reserve Ratio of 10%, but applies this only to deposits by individuals; banks have no reserve requirement at all for deposits by companies.

So huge swaths of loans are not subject to any reserve requirements.

Indeed, Ben Bernanke proposed the elimination of all reserve requirements for banks:

The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.

Economist Keen informs Washington’s Blog that about 6 OECD countries have already done away with reserve requirements altogether (Australia, Mexico,  Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK).

But there is a growing recognition that this is going in the wrong direction, because fractional reserve banking can destabilize the economy (and credit can easily be created by the government itself.)

It was big news this week when one of the world’s most prominent economics writers – liberal economist Martin Wolf – advocated doing away with fractional reserve banking altogether… i.e. requiring that banks only loan out as much money as they actually have on hand in the form of customer deposits:

Printing counterfeit banknotes is illegal, but creating private money is not. The interdependence between the state and the businesses that can do this is the source of much of the instability of our economies. It could – and should – be terminated.

***

What is to be done? A minimum response would leave this industry largely as it is but both tighten regulation and insist that a bigger proportion of the balance sheet be financed with equity or credibly loss-absorbing debt. I discussed this approach last week. Higher capital is the recommendation made by Anat Admati of Stanford and Martin Hellwig of the Max Planck Institute in The Bankers’ New Clothes.

A maximum response would be to give the state a monopoly on money creation. One of the most important such proposals was in the Chicago Plan, advanced in the 1930s by, among others, a great economist, Irving Fisher. Its core was the requirement for100 per cent reserves against deposits. Fisher argued that this would greatly reduce business cycles, end bank runs and drastically reduce public debt. A 2012 study by International Monetary Fund staff suggests this plan could work well.

Similar ideas have come from Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University in Jimmy Stewart is Dead, and Andrew Jackson and Ben Dyson in Modernising Money.

***

Opponents will argue that the economy would die for lack of credit. I was once sympathetic to that argument. But only about 10 per cent of UK bank lending has financed business investment in sectors other than commercial property. We could find other ways of funding this.

Our financial system is so unstable because the state first allowed it to create almost all the money in the economy and was then forced to insure it when performing that function. This is a giant hole at the heart of our market economies. It could be closed by separating the provision of money, rightly a function of the state, from the provision of finance, a function of the private sector.

(The IMF study is here.)

In fact, a lot of experts have backed this or similar proposals, including:

Interestingly, the Chicago Plan for full reserve banking came very close to passing in 1934. But the unfortunate death of one of its main Congressional sponsors – Senator Bronson M. Cutting  – in a plane crash reversed the momentum for the bill.

As Wikipedia notes:

Cutting played a key role in the political struggles over the reform of banking which Roosevelt undertook while dealing with the Great Depression, and which resulted in the Banking Reform Acts of 1933 and 1935. As a supporter of the Chicago Plan proposed by economist Irving Fisher and others at the University of Chicago, Cutting was among a handful of influential Senators who might have been able to remove from the private banks their ability to manipulate the money supply by enforcing a 100 percent reserve requirement for all credit creation, as stipulated in the Chicago Plan. His unfortunate death in an airliner crash cut short what may have been his most enduring legacy to the nation.