• Dec, 2022
  • Dec 02, 2022
  • Has there been a rising tide of intolerance in the Middle East over the past 50 years?

    Used to be a more tolerant place?

    Homosexuality. People who feel highly threatened by tolerance.
     
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 28, 2022
  • This is probably the worst day for Xi Jinping since he took over in 2012, says expert - YouTube 
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 27, 2022

  • Calling publicly for the downfall of the ruling party hasn't happened in China since basically 1989. Tiananmen square being referred to by talkers.

  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 24, 2022
  • Ukrainian Consequences: The New American War Model - YouTube (at least while US perception of US interventions recovers [Zeihan thinks 18 years])

    Proxy country supplied, satellites/missile coordination, kill chain reduced from hours to minutes, US gear limits Ukrainians from moving into Russia (can't do what they do now without US gear/tech), specialOps (teams of less than 100) doing disruptions and acting as a counselor for local forces.
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 22, 2022

  • 2.5% growth in subSaharan Africa (3x the global average).

    The effect of growth depends on the country. If the country has decent government and the citizens are taken care of, more population may cause less problems. Nigeria, says one man, is the opposite.

    Nigeria expected to be 3rd largest country by 2050.

     
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 21, 2022
  • Beijing in effective shutdown, a week after announcing 'easing'

    Situation is more confused now, as local officials want to look like they're matching the government's easing policy, but also want to keep deaths at zero.


  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 20, 2022
  • South Korea 2022

    K-pop very important to the Korean economy and now (BTS visit to the UN) Korean politics.

    Is it sustainable long-term? "It doesn't matter. That's sort of what the whole ecosystem was built for. The reputation of the cars feeds into the reputation of the phones, and the reputation of the makeup and the movies and the films. If one falters, the others can pick up the pace. ... Korea's very innovative. They're always ready ... to start new things. They're very long-term thinking ... If you're just doing 4-year terms it doesn't work." - Euny Hong

    Next, AI, holograms, entertainment.

    ABBA was once second-earner to Volvo, maybe, for Sweden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HkkHyUDTqw&list=WL&index=10

    There's a Korean version of just about everything. Browser, food, fashion.

    Most K-pop groups have foreign members now. It's not the exception, closer to the rule. ... Squid Game cast wasn't all Korean. Diversity. What's Korean (culture-wide) is now being redefined and maybe expanded. The population is aging and maybe shrinking, thinking about immigrants, embracing them as Korean. They have to reach out and collab more, it's not just out of charity but out of necesity, good business. ... This will make it not just sustainable but thrive. Things made not just for Koreans but for export as well. Exporting both culture (entertainment) but also technology.

    How to translate that into things Korea really cares about? like the immediate neighborhood and preserving security. Korea is the smallest country there amongs larger major powers. “Having the power of attraction is like having a great playmaker on your team but you still need a close-er” - Scott Snyder.

    What does Korea stand for? It's a very successful country, but one of the most stressed OECD society. As they grow quickly they experience stresses.

    Their soft power is causing backlash in China. To be sure, though, N Koreans are watching their drama.

    Korean language courses at colleges are full, and half of the students are non-heritage, and all of it has to do with Korean pop culture. How to turn that into lifelong supporters and friends of Korea, much like Japan has done with the past generation.

    'Korea is having difficulties deciding between the US and China, but on values Korea shouldn't have difficulty making a choice. It's very hard for Korea to talk about values anywhere that China has interest, for example Hong Kong. That's problematic if we're talking about soft power. You can't be a values producer and values projector on a conditional basis.'

  • Serious protests in China against lockdowns

    ... for Covid and various things involved with that which the people are not happy with, one of the main ones being that officials come to just take people away (a certain number of those present, it seems, rather than anything purposeful, which people in the videos say they ‘don’t understand this Covid policy') because there is ‘a case in the building.'

    Some sang ‘Sea and Sky’, some sang ‘The Lonely and the Brave,’ some sang ‘Unity is Strength’ from highrise buildings that had ‘concerts’.

    Lots of footage being published, with hundreds of people passing barricades, protests, yelling things at officials. On social media, Chinese have been using other (Chinese) languages to bypass to some degree censorship of language.

    ‘The resistence is a result of people’s bottom line being repeatedly challenged.'

    More technical news starts at around 20:00

  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 16, 2022
  • "I don't think invading Taiwan is a good idea, even for China, and I think the Chinese know this. But because they know how much the balance of power matters, they believe they need to have the capacity to invade it." - Samo Burja

  • Hundreds of people.

    China said they were migrant workers, reportedly.

    Rising numbers of cases of Covid in China recently.

     
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 15, 2022
  • Headlines about Russian missile landing in (NATO member) Poland and killing 2 people

    On the Ukraine border.

    G19 day, G20 tomorrow. Sentiment seems to be 'pissed off'. Prognostication seems to be 'increased support for Ukraine', which means more money being sent there in the form of weapons.

    Some things Poland might respond with, according to a redditor: "Additional arms and funding (remember those requests for jets?), decreased restrictions on the use of arms, incentives for foreign legion involvement, providing facilities to hold POWs, missile defense coverage for at least part of Ukraine, asset seizure, war criminal abduction, covert operations that go unacknowledged..."

    Yesterday Zeihan posted about the start of the 'fall of Crimea'. Russia did a withdrawal from a location, because no way to supply its forces without the rails (alternative was more roundabout routes overland or over the Black Sea).

     
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 14, 2022
  • Anywhere but China (ABC) when looking for a factory nowadays. But 'Who lost America?' for China? They had the biggest lobby in America, the US business community. Advocating stronger, deeper ties with China.

    US and China are still intertwined though, and have 40 years of ties (sending kids to study in the other country, buying factories in the other country).

    It is thought that although they are competitors and peers, they do not share values. How true is this? Tom Friedman says this difference in values didn't matter while China was selling the US low tech goods, but when China started selling really important tech, that value difference became important.


     
  • Nov, 2022
  • Nov 02, 2022
  • Americans 77% have a favorable impression of South Koreans now (versus 31% in 2003). BTS and Squid Game.

    Traditional ally UK, 57%. Americans have a higher impression of South Korea than of Australia and France, also.

    China consistently has soured relationships when a country speaks out (often about Taiwan), and for China this is a no-go and China penalizes (economic action) them some way or other).

    NBA tweet led to a ban.

    The way China is run curbs any action to gain soft power, commented Aini. Everything that China has to show (which would be good for its image) has to go through a censorship and propaganda filter, filtering anything that could be seen as detrimental to the State. What comes out doesn't strike a chord. "China itself is actually stifling a lot of the soft power that it could have." Despite headlines saying China has a $10b soft power budget.

    Some things that China is exporting are a makeup thing, Douyin, and a game, Genshin Impact.

    If China drops it's filter, though, it will become more influenced (and communicate more?) with the West, which could lead to more instability.

    People note that nowadays, anytime anyone even talks about or mentions something that is 'Chinese culture' in a positive sense, other people 'backlash' and start making comments that are negative about something China does that aren't really relevant to the original topic.

    Another thing is that a lot of Douyin makeup is just reposted as 'Korean makeup' despite its Chinese creators, which is a label that might get more interest or views.

    Chinese can't access the world to show their culture because they're blocked, unlike Japan and Korea.


     
  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 30, 2022
  • New footage from China congress fuels questions about why Hu Jintao was hauled out - YouTube 

  • Military spending to go up.

  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 24, 2022

  • He expects China to retaliate (perhaps against US tech companies in China) for Biden's banning exports of tech stuff to China.
  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 20, 2022
  • 45 days as PM of Britain (shortest ever), Truss resigned

    Elected by 'less than 1/10 of 1%. She appointed to leadership only friends and like-mindeds.'

    About 7 days for them to find out who the next PM will be. Not a General Election. Sunak is favorite in betting. Boris is among the potentials.

     
  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 14, 2022


  •  
  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 05, 2022
  • Putin signed into law the annexation of about 18% of Ukraine
  • OPEC cut [really around 900k] barrels

    SA ok, but UAE and Kuwait seemed to be on board. Becky on CNBC asked why they didn't raise their hands if they're supposed to be US allies.

  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 03, 2022
  • China has a lot of energy

    Runaway energy usage on crypto-miners. Some think China made a mistake, and there should be more freedom to do crypto-mining in China. But what is the production? Once mines are set up, they only need a few people to run them.

    Why out of China? Capital controls, it can be challenging to tax, can leave borders.

  • Oct, 2022
  • Oct 02, 2022
  • "India will not be the next China ... It will be bigger"

    ... title of a vlog I saw.

    What were the preexisting weaknesses of China that it inevitably had to face? versus those of India?

  • Sep, 2022
  • Sep 30, 2022
  • Opening the Venezuela/Colombia border

    A ton of Venezuelans want to cross the Darian Gap and go north into the USA (we could posit that if they were closer they would all already be there). Groups go regularly across the dangerous passage. It takes 2 weeks to arrive in the States. ... Between them and the Darian Jungle is Colombia, which has been a great friend politically to America for years. Colombia elected Petro, a ‘socialist’ president (their first Leftist president) who took office in August. He opened the border with Venezuela a few days ago.

    For previous years, Venezuealans already crossed easily into Colombia, and millions are new immigrants who crossed not though the border. How much difference does legal crossing make?

    Venezuelans prisons are overfull. Prisoners crossing is being discussed on Colombian analysis news. (Interesting to remember how Britain exported its prisoners to places like Australia over 100 years ago. To contrast, everyone talks about how currently America makes a profit for selected groups though the monetization of incarceration.) However, how many of these Venezuealans are in for polical crimes (black market petrol sales) or economic crimes (people who would not sell so many illegal products if there was a healthy economy to work in)? Or for drug crimes (drugs which are increasily being made legal in many countries)?

    Yesterday in Colombian cities there were large marches in protest of the new president. Signs carried were about taxes, breaking Antioquia into three pieces, and the Darian Gap, among other themes. Most of the marchers were older, unlike many protest marches.

    Side note. Colombians say Venezuealans are tall. How true is this?
  • Sep, 2022
  • Sep 16, 2022
  • Things no one is heard guessing:

    - What a conclusion in Ukraine might look like
    - If Putin remains in power if Russia loses
    - Under what circumstances might sanctions against Russia be lifted
  • Tehran has all of a sudden lost its primary weapons sponsor and its primary Security Council sponsor - Zeihan

    They'll start to think and act differently. (Zeihan still). They may negotiate differently.
     
    He thinks Israel and Syria will have some firework competitions (because he thinks Biden has recently changed his stance from a former strong opposition to potential war there) and Syria will sue for peace.

    He thinks the Poles, Latvians, Fins, etc will try to peel off Belarus out of R. orbit. He sees Lukashenko sued for war crimes for providing access to Russia into Ukraine.

    Saudis (how much energy can be brought to market) will decide the government of Caracas through it's influence on the decisions of the US.
  • Sep, 2022
  • Sep 14, 2022
  • In 5 years the US will be in a better position than it is now, with a better supply chain - Zeihan
     
    East Asia primary source on income is manufacturing.
  • Sep, 2022
  • Sep 13, 2022
  • A couple destroyers in the Indian Ocean basin would be enough to end China's energy imports.

    (Because China's warships can only do 400 miles under combat situations.)

  • "China is probably the biggest loser in the Ukraine war after Ukraine itself." - Zeihan

    "Because they're the last country in the kick line, everyone else gets their stuff first." (Energy, Food from the Russian space)

  • Sep, 2022
  • Sep 08, 2022

  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 30, 2022

  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 29, 2022

  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 25, 2022
  • Mystery deepens over Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri's death | International News | WION - YouTube 
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 19, 2022
  • Gravitas: China's Sichuan shuts all factories to save electricity - YouTube 
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 18, 2022

  • 60 years. Only certain types of business.
     
  • Agriculture is the sector facing the most threat over the next 10 to 20 years and it will result in multi-continental famines (between the Ukraine war and the breakdown of fertilizer supply chains) -Zeihan

    When we globalized, everyone learned to specialize. It was all about the extra value added. And we didn't really worry about having to grow sufficient food for our own plates, so we got into better things. We moved into manufacturing and services. We moved into the city. Agriculture moved from the center of everyone's lives to the edge. It became reliable the more secure and safe globalization became. That's working in reverse now. Countries have to grow their own food (now dependent on and on land only useful with fertilizers), and that means the volume produced is going to go down.

     
  • "Beijing has been quite stunned at the extent of the cooperation between Europe and America on sanctions against America. The calculation ... before the invasion was that Europe and America would be divided, and America would slap a few sanctions on but it wouldn't really be game-changing ..." - John Lee (Hudson Inst)

    "The Chinese now realize that if there's any kind of war, for example over Taiwan, the high likelihood is that the Americans would get global cooperation to start imposing extremely harsh particularly financial sanctions on the Chinese, and that would devastate the Chinese economy"

    Only the Americans tend to do war well over more than one of the 4 domains (land sea air cyber). China and Russia have high impressive numbers in military costs and equipment but haven't really invested that much in logistics and organization and coordination across domains. So its great for them to have all these weapons but if they can't actually use them in a coordinated way ...

    Unlike Russia, China still seeks to be known as a legitimate or respected leader. You can't do that just by material power alone. It would have to get other country's to accept its ownership over Taiwan for that, it couldn't just start bombing Taiwan. So the Chinese are now thinking How do we do that?

    The Covid19 pandemic began a process of diversification away from China. And factoring in the real political risk of being so reliant on China.
     
    Russia is a massive surplus producer and exporter of food stuffs and energy. China is the world's largest importer of all of that, especially for the imports necessary to grow food. The sanctions placed on Russia if placed on China would lead to a de-industrialization of the entire Chinese system in under a year, according to Ziehan.

    Boycotts. Shareholders, consumers can take a stand to change corporate policy. That's a surprise to China, according to Zeihan.


  • 3 choke points: Straight of Hormuz, Straight of Malacca, Singapore Straight.
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 13, 2022
  • Sri Lanka allows Chinese vessel to dock, Washington and Delhi raise a concern | World English News - YouTube 
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 11, 2022

  • "Someone who could bring together various factions of the Taliban and make sure they were following the same line."

    "The Taliban have been saying that their biggest achievement so far in the country is they've been able to provide security to the people of Afghanistan, and attacks like this ... are meant to taint that."

    No one has claimed it. Similar attacks in the past have been claimed by Isil.

     
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 09, 2022
  • China has been carrying out military drills near Taiwan. Taiwan carried some out today.

  • Another example of how things go along (although philosophically opposed by many) until there's an actual contention, and then true colors are displayed.

     
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 06, 2022

  • Kissinger, Nixon, anyone?

     
  • Aug, 2022
  • Aug 02, 2022

  • In Kabul


     
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 31, 2022

  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 28, 2022
  • Zelinsky poses for Vogue


     
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 27, 2022
  • Russia might leave the ISS, it's being reported

  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 25, 2022
  • 1983 - 2015 - Peter Zeihan

    35 years with plenty of finance, no security risks, and where anyone who wanted to play a part in the international trading system could (even countries that could have never been successful on their own in a pre-American-led-and-secured globalized system), and it was backed up by massive waves of workers and consumers. Low security costs allowed low-cost production.

    China had its best 35 years. Remove American globalism from the equation and it doesn't work. Play China forward and you see they don't have a work force.

    Currently, half the world population is dependent directly on food imports. 3/4 on fertilizer imports to grow their own food. Trade links.

    Some places weren't able to expand their populations until they could import food (like the Middle East). Some places couldn't get into manufacturing until the security thing happened (like East Asia). Some places used to go to war for energy until recently (like Europe).

     
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 11, 2022
  • Putin to temporarily shut down Nord Stream, reportedly
  • Sri Lanka protests. Destroyed the leaders house. He resigned. India did not send military aid.
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 08, 2022
  • Chinese belt and road region


    #China #IR
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 07, 2022


  • This time there was no little vial presented to Congress, so who knows what to make of this claim.

    Analysts say this time Iran wants to get an ironclad deal that the US can't back out of, and uranium stockpiles are leverage.

    Israel's new PM went to France to try to get Macron's help, but Macron wants dialogue, he stated publicly, and a new deal with Iran.

     
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 04, 2022

  •  
  • Jul, 2022
  • Jul 01, 2022
  • Turkey 'got what it wanted from Finland and Sweden' in talks, its government says

    ... and it approved the bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Many view this as picking sides against Russia. Erdogan also said yesterday 'We will work with Biden for the purchase of the F-16s.'

  • China going for global currency status, reaching out to 5 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, HK, Singapore and Chile

    They can build a yuan reserve and a yuan pool (15b yuan each country). A global financial system.



  • Any direct transactions will trigger Western sanctions. This is being called a 'hack' so India's biggest cement maker can buy from Russia. 157k tonnes worth $25m (172m yuan). The sale was arranged from Dubai, reportedly. The mechanism isn't known.

    Coal is the main fuel to manufacture cement.

    13% of Russian reserves are already in yuan. Indian companies must be trading USD for yuan in a Chinese bank in China or HK. There are no sanctions if you don't use USD.

    Yuan to Ruble trade has increased 1000% since the invasion of Ukraine.

     
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 22, 2022
  • Europe taking a lot of flack for recently switching to coal after long criticizing developing nations for using it

    Russia has cut gas exports to Europe 50% over the past week, reportedly.

    Some say China and India are buying more Russian gas.

    Colombia increased exports of coal to Europe 50% (1.3m tonnes) this year. South Africa is now sending coal to Europe.

    Europe uses 20% of the world's energy resources, but has 7% of the world's population.

     
  • "Because Afghanistan is different" - Fatima Gailani

    "This is not an Afghanistan that came out of a very bitter, ugly civil war of the Mujahedin."

    "It's an Afghanistan of educated people. It's an Afghanistan of men and women seen in important positions. This is an Afghanistan where people can go on radio, television and criticize their governments, the leaders."

    Are they doing that now? "They are doing that now. How long they will continue ... But no one could shut them up. That one thing I know."

    "If anyone is interested in governing Afghanistan, they have to accept the new Afghanistan. Never in the history of Afghanistan was it that way."

     
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 20, 2022
  • Petro, first non-conservative president of Colombia in decades, won 50% to 47%

    Petro takes office from Duque August 7.

    Like 11m votes for him in a Country of 52m. The choice was between (Petro) a leftist who talks a lot about change, which many of the people want (the two main complaints of Colombians seem to be 'inequality' and 'corruption'), although at a risk of making things worse ('like Venezuela' since Petro is considered to be socialist). And on the other hand a right politician, which represented for voters stability and less risk but not the change many want.

    Petro has promised several things (which are not largely ideas new to him), but they would require political support beyond his office to pull off. He does not have the majority of Congress.

    1. Make more use of land. 1.5% of Colombians own 50% of the land. The idea is to tax land in ways that would encourage using it more, and to redistribute some land.

    2.a. More equality in access to health, ie a universal state system which doesn't depend on the ability of patients to pay. Payed for with 'progressive taxes' and a strong hand with corruption.

    2.b. Pensions. The offices that currently manage pensions Petro has accused of corruption. Critics say the country traditionally is not efficient as an administrator of money.

    3. Environmentalism. Colombia's oil wealth he wants to phase out to become a green economy.

    Because it is such a big change, and people weren't sure it would happen, I think it's fair to say people are excited to see what will happen, whether they are hopeful or dreadful.

     
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 14, 2022
  • BRICS looking for new members, first time they've done so since adding South Africa 12 years ago

    G8 became G7 when they kicked Russia out.

    India has wanted to join UN Security Council for a long time, as have other countries, but none have been accepted.

    New institutions. They are saying this is a new world, some think.
     
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 12, 2022
  • Russian cars, newly produced, without airbags or anti-lock brakes

    ... because they can't import those right now because of their war.
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 11, 2022
  • Shanghai lockdown back on
  • Will Russia continue to be a reliable supplier of arms to India, as Russia becomes involved with China?

    "A weakened Russia, with a degraded military industrial structure, is not going to be the major reliable, efficient partner we were counting on before the war." Indian congressman

    India is considering closer alliance with the US but is not impressed with the US's history of alliances (it hasn't always fared very well for the US's alliance partners, some say).

    Some say India is coming to resemble China and Russia more than it resembles Western democracies.

    2 months before the Ukraine invasion Putin visited India on a rare trip abroad.

    In 1971 both India and the Soviets were concerned about China and made a strong pact. Russia became India's #1 arms supplier (against China, India's longstanding adversary).

    Recently, the US threatened to sanction India for an arms purchase of high-tech Russia weapons.

    However, India buying arms from Russia seems to have been declining anyway over the past 10 years. India buys more now from US, Israel, France and other countries.

    Russia has historically voted against and even vetoed UN movements in support of India, particularly in India's sensitive issues like Kashmir.

     
  • Jun, 2022
  • Jun 10, 2022
  • Taiwan 2022 Q2

    US and Chinese defense ministers have held their first face to face talks in Singapore.

    China's MoD spokesperson was quoted 'If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China [ie independence?], the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war. No matter the cost.'

    India recently entered the South China Sea theater by supplying the non-China side with weapons. France recently sent a diplomatic mission to Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the main issues between the US and China. Recently Biden stated he would defend Taiwan militarily if it was attacked by China.

    On the street and among commenters, people speculate China may invade during the current Ukraine invasion or perhaps after it concludes.

  • May, 2022
  • May 31, 2022

  • According to Redacted, US proposed change so that authority would shift to WHO and not citizens' elected reps. Voted down only because of African countries (Western ones went along with it). This treaty, which rushes vaccines to people (without their consent), is called the "Right to Health" treaty.

    WHO a couple years ago (after Swine Flu) changed their definition of 'pandemic' away from the severity of the disease to just case numbers. So they could impose whatever measures as long as a certain number of people had a disease, regardless of what it was, it seems.

    #1 donor to WHO is Gates Foundation. Next Germany, then the US.

    A commenter on the video: The Nuremberg code consists of 10 principles, the first of which being that the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential in any experiment on humans.

    How would this treaty relate with human and civil rights? Would it just override all of them?

     
  • May, 2022
  • May 15, 2022
  • Random notes

    We're in a transition environment, and that means volatility (transition to higher rates, inflation, food prices).

    People last year, some people called it a potential hedge. Crypto is showing its true colors in this environment. But are they anything more than a small diversionary thing (Ukraine war they showed a use)?
     
  • May, 2022
  • May 13, 2022
  • Random economic notes from experts

    US stock market has lost $7t in 2022.

    Generational buying opportunity.

    But some of these stocks have almost doubled in PE since pandemic lows.

    Some were used as bond proxies, defensive plays in an uncertain world.

    The 3 major areas of the world are all slowing economically. China lockdowns for Covid. Europe's looking at a recession this year. US is slowing. Growth scare is yet to be priced into markets.

    Keep an eye on investment grade, because if there's been excessive leverage taken there, that's when finance contaminates the economy (instead of the other way around).

    Stagflation as the baseline (El-Erian). Something worse depends on soft or hard landing. Inflation stuck at 5 to 6%. Complacency about CPI numbers.

    UK leader to cut 90k civil servant jobs.

    Some ask if Apple stock bounce (May 12) was a signal for a market bottom.

    We've priced in probably a hard landing. (Brian Kelly).

    We don't know if the type of stock trader who is interested in ARK-types are buying in. The prime brokers and the market makers know; they know if they're creating to lend but they won't tell us. (Jan van Eck) Vandatrack tracks retail flow and I think they're showing buyers. (Batnick)

    Investors are waiting for a higher low, watching constantly wanting to buy.

    There were a lot of narratives about why the bond market was the way it was over the past 10 years. The Central Bank. There's just one reason.

    IPOs (Rivian) and growth stocks (Zoom) were huge but now are small relative to established companies. "It was a relative game." "Did you see what they're paying for Tesla?"

    "Everything trades off of Apple, I think."

    The labor market is SO tight.

    "The Fed is happy. The market decline is orderly (haven't had to pause the market) They're being very transparent about what they're doing. And people still have jobs."

    The only problem is that our cost of living is going up. Wages are going up, but how is your quality of living?

    There's 1.9 (reported) jobs right now for every 1 person seeking a job. You can quit your job and get another one in a snap. How powerful do you feel? Stocks in your portfolio are 30% lower than they were a year ago.

    If there's a recession, we're not low enough (stock market). Because multiples will have to come down and earnings will come down with them.

    The elephant. The Fed is going to get out of fixed income market. And we have commercial banks that provide no liquidity to the fixed income market. So that is where the breakage can happen. Because everyone has to borrow money if they want to buy a house or anything else?

    Does that Fed tighten too much? I don't think they care about asset prices, because they need to kill inflation. They made a boo-boo and they really want to fix it. "Causing inflation." ("Transitory.") That is their job: price stability.

    The pain that's going to come from borrowers having to pay a lot more debt.

    Corporations are OK (balance sheets). It's governments that have borrowed too much money.

    The biggest global risk is a China recession. And that's priced in because China's in a recession.

    Everything prices off of treasuries.

    Circled on the calendar. In June the Fed leaves the fixed income market. (Back in July?)

    The Fed wants to reload their ammo, so they can come back into the market if they want to. Then they can do bond market intervention if they want. As the liquidity comes out of the system and the labor market is still OK. It could be really tough for investors but that's not important to them.

    I think they're more mad at having to pay $200 to fill up their gas tank than anything else right now. The pocketbook of the household is going up. Everything.

    Wages are sticky inflation. Everything else is fixable. You can have more wheat next year. We're getting close to the wage price spiral but we're not there yet.

    The stock market is not the economy, but it is the economy to private companies.

    There's a lot of ebbs and flows to valuations.

    One of the price-setters for venture capital and growth tech is Masayoshi Son, lost $24b in Q1. (He made a lot in Alibaba. He doesn't currently have a lot of money to spend, so.) He still put $2.5b out on the street in Q1. SOFTBANK.

    Some people focus on 0 to 1. I want to focus on 1 to 2. You wanna have more than 1 product. So, Robinhood had low-cost trading. Then what? That's not the company, that's just the 0 to 1. How do you get your competitive pricing moat? You almost know Coinbase is gonna get decreasing revenue from their customers, just because there's going to be more competition. ROBINHOOD. COINBASE.

    There's a lot of fintech companies, all spending money on trying to win customers. The race to zero.

    What are you betting on in the crypto space (for private investing)? Software development teams, that can solve a problem that needs to be solved for a long period of time.

    I can't hire enough people, and you have to pay them too much. My brokerage account shrunk. My cost of everything is up. Everyone quit on me.

    Consumer credit boomed in March (2022). Sign of gas prices are too high, and I need to leave a higher balance on my credit cards. I was not squeezed for the last 2 years (stimi checks). I'm not paying with cash anymore; I'm putting half on my credit card. (credit was way down during stimulus check-era.)

    People say consumer spending is doing good because it's still high. But that's not the right reading. They don't want to be spending that. That's just what it costs now.

    If you greenlight (and regulate well) onshore crypto, people don't need to go to offshore). But the problem is the FCC needs to fight against the banking regulators.

    Bitcoin is maturing as an asset. The biggest country stopped mining and it survived. The mining difficulty rate adjusted. ... But it is not hedging against inflation. Gold didn't hedge inflation in the current environment really well either (it did hit a high last year).

    The dollar is weakening and strengthening. It's at a 20-year high.

    MARKET HISTORY when thinking about Bitcoin. FDR made it illegal for individuals to buy gold. But they could buy gold coins. Coograms and Maple Leafs. Everyone bought gold through futures contracts instead. And then we had gold bullion ETFs.

    I think gold has underperformed the last 5 years because of Bitcoin. People born with a cellphone in their hand. People in Ukraine.

    Smart Contracts have outperformed over the last 12 months. One of them has to be a winner. And you should also buy a basket.

    GDX is more liquid than gold. In a bear market it's hard to trade a gold company.

      
  • May, 2022
  • May 12, 2022

  • Recently the US, which has never recognized Taiwan's independence (for the sake of its relationship with the CCP) deleted a sentence on the State Dept website that said the US "does not support Taiwan independence." It changed wording that had referenced Taiwan as being part of China.

    Is the US going to spend some more money on arms for Taiwan?

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 26, 2022

  • This video gives an idea of how China is managing its cities during the pandemic April 2022 (2 years after the start, but after the latest Omicron strain, when China locked down Shanghai again). Lots of images.

    Lower immunity from natural infection - uniquely vulnerable. It was a source of national pride for Chinese that their case numbers had been so low, and they had so 'successfully' weathered the pandemic relative to other countries, although their strict lockdowns of cities caused economic and other problems (such as other health problems due to lack of diagnosis and treatment, access to medicine, etc, psychological problems from isolation, social issues from lack of socialization - it has been said (by Mill in the following terms) that the necessity of the mental wellbeing of people (on which all their other wellbeings depend) lies in freedoms) as well as extreme tracking and monitoring through electronic devices and registration. Some say the Chinese see the issue politically, as the Chinese system versus the West, so it may be less likely China would now permit opening the cities and having more infections, because of the images that would be shown to the world.
     
  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 25, 2022
  • Cameroon signed a new agreement with Russia for Military cooperation

    They have ongoing military agreements.
  • Members of the Saudi royal family have been selling yachts, homes etc for a few years

    Apparently, MBS has cut money usually given to royals. He wants the money to fund ambitious projects. Some say that if the royals have lavish lifestyles, MBS will view them as rivals, and so are opting to hold cash.

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 24, 2022
  • Macron won a second term

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 20, 2022
  • China makes security pact with Solomon Islands

    Reportedly just before a US diplomat was supposed to go to keep this very thing from happening.

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 12, 2022

  • Chinese city residents are organizing in group chats (on their phones) to negotiate and buy food bulk from vendors they know

  • Chinese government facing criticism inside country for:

    - efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines
    - refusal to use mRNA vaccines provided to them by US

    200m people (20% of population) are locked down in China right now. 13 of their largest cities and some other cities.

  • Shanghai has been under (strict) lockdown for a couple weeks now, as part of a zero Covid plan

    There's no food on the grocery store shelves now, reportedly. The government is deploying food packets. Reports that wealthy people had hoarded the food from stores.

    Truck driver restrictions/refusals to enter Shanghai disrupting supply chain.

  • Four deadly attacks in Israel in past weeks

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 08, 2022
  • "Globalization, which historically was viewed as a barrier to conflict due to the interdependent nature of global trade, has now become a new battleground." - Patrick Boyle

    China recently stated that the US's use of weaponization of global finance (sanctions on Russia [after doing it to Iran's central bank a few years ago]) would be the downfall of it's status as world reserve currency. Ie integrity.

    China has a version of Swift, and India is considering (so far just considering) doing a Ruble-Rupee exchange or working in barter.

    Most of the West is on side, sanctioning Russia, and that makes up the bulk of currency action, but there are still 100 countries or something that are not sanctioning Russia. Brazil is another country that might help Russia work around the sanctions. Boyle said the use of sanctions in the way the US is doing will have many countries wondering if they can still trust the US.



     

  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 07, 2022

  • Parents and children had been separated by force (no choice), if one was found to have Covid. They are now allowed to be together again.

    Only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. Images of China's biggest city look the same as the 2020 beginning of the pandemic.

    State-owened banks are loaning businesses, which have no revenue now, money, in some cases.

    In other cases, people are working, traveling in a closed loop between home and their factory. Factories set up tents during the pandemic, which allows them to do this now.

    China uses drones to go around telling people not to go out or doors.

    The hope is to reduce new infections to 0 in two weeks.

    This lockdown is expected to cost Shanghai 3.5% in economic growth.

     
  • Apr, 2022
  • Apr 04, 2022

  • Note that RT is banned on YouTube. This news comes from a blogger who used RT.
  • People seem to be starting to talk about 'fear'

    I mean vloggers, writers, commenters. This seems to be just starting in at least some sense. The fear of people faced with anxiety and threat (from, I guess, governments more than anything).
     
    I've seen this topic taken up by several vloggers lately.
  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 24, 2022

  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 20, 2022
  • The Germans have been slashing [defense] budgets basically every year for the last 20 years. The capabilities of the once-fearsome West German military that became the German military, those are long gone. There's really nothing Germany can do except economically. - Samo Burja

    Britain, France. These are shadows of what they were even in the 90s.

  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 18, 2022
  • SA holding the cards

    XI is reportedly going to make his first overseas visit in 2 years to SA. Recently Biden asked SA to increase oil production and they said no.

    US is energy independent (biggest oil producer) and China is the biggest energy consumer (currently buys 1/4 of SA's oil exports). SA is the biggest crude oil exporter.

    US published documents on Yemen or something and linked SA royal house to Kashogi killing. China has it's think in Xinjiang.

    SA and US have an old relationship. China has leverage over Iran, something US may never have.

    How much weapons will China provide for SA?

    Reportedly China is talking about using Yuan instead of USD to buy oil. SA made a deal with Nixon to trade oil only for USD in return for security guarantees.

     
  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 14, 2022
  • "Note that [the US] cannot simultaneously embargo these three places," Samo Burja said about the US going to try to get Venezuela to produce some oil. The US can't embargo Venezuela, China, and Russia all at the same time.

  • "It's not in China's interest to have Russia collapse. So I think a coupling of Russia to the Chinese system feels like the default outcome right now." - Samo Burja

    Resulting in high energy prices in Europe, slow de-industrialization and impoverishment of Europe.

    China is the only winner of a conflict between Europe and Russia, Burja said, although he said the US could benefit long term from the goings on (because the US can be energy independent and produce oil, in addition to other reasons).

     
  • "The entire German strategy for the last 40 years has been 'Use our economic weight to effect a favorable security and trade and regulatory environment worldwide. That strategy has failed profoundly." - Samo Burja

    ... talking about Ukraine.
  • Poll about if America were invaded like Ukraine


     
  • 18m excess deaths attributed to pandemic (not counting 2022 it seems)

    The paper doesn't say (because we don't yet have research with any conclusions it seems) what happened. Was it that the virus in its various strains was stronger than thought, or was it people not able to access health care, or was it due to preventative measures, or what?

    It's expected there will be repercussions going forward as well, as people who avoided or weren't able to get diagnoses for things didn't know or weren't able to be treated in a timely manner.

    Paper in the Lancet  
  • "Some sort of clarification of the situation of Ukraine was inevitable." - Samo Burja

    "Either there would be another coup like the one in 2014, and the government would once more flip towards Russia. Or NATO would move very quickly, and put NATO troops in Ukraine and make Ukraine a NATO member and Russia probably wouldn't dare to overturn that outcome with military force."

    "Part of the game is inflicting unacceptable political and economic situations on your enemy, forcing your enemy to act first militarily, thereby having the moral justification to retaliate much more strongly."

    "Powers do try to entrap each other into military action. If I believed more in the competence of the Pentagon, I would believe that they had goaded Russia into an invasion that they knew Russia would fumble."
     
  • "NATO is not benevolent. Both NATO and Russia are engaged in imperialistic expansion, driven of course by mutually irresolvable legitimate security concerns." - Samo Burja

  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 13, 2022
  • So far, violence not super high in Ukraine

    MSM is constantly reporting on the destruction, but it's very limited. Talking about 'a building' or 'an attack.'

  • Results of Ukraine war, according to Samo Burja

    1. China develops more alternatives to the Western financial and economic system (West is "fighting tanks with sanctions," so Russia will seek alternatives), and starts offering them to rogue states around the world. Even if China doesn't offer a base of support to Russia, countries around the world will more and more want to turn to China for their economic integration. (Will China also 'buy terrorist states' as Chomsky puts it?)

    2. Russia successfully occupies large chunks of Ukraine that it did not occupy before.

    3. Putin remains in power for the next year.

     
  • Many commentators and experts when talking about Ukraine are saying it's a war crime or it's an unjust war, but leaving it at that.

    They're not saying anymore against Russia's actions. They are all putting it in context of the situation the West has created. Then they add again their line about it not being a just war, or about it being a war crime.

    They liken the war, being a pre-emptive war, to the US invasion of Iraq, which they also say is a war crime.
  • Putin starts destroying cities, or a prolonged war of attrition, are the two prospects Chris Hedges presumes for Ukraine

    Putin has been restrained in the damage he's done in Ukraine, Hedges said, but he may become frustrated and lift restraints, resulting in largescale deaths. Or, if there is a steady stream of arms shipments into Ukraine, it may be a long war of attrition.

    Which would be more profitable for the permanent military industrial complex?

    #Ukraine #Russia #MIC
  • Ukraine seems to for many people be highlighting the negatives of 'nationalism'

    Which unites the right and left, often contains or mixes with racism, one group over another or excluding another.
     
  • "Because Russia controls the air, the game is ultimately fixed against the Ukrainians" - Chris Hedges

    Because the West won't call a 'no fly zone' (which would be interpreted by Russia as an act of war, it's been said), Russia will control the air and therefore the war.

    Hedges hearkened back to Iraq where Apache helicopters basically acted as mobile tank-destroying machines, picking one off after another.

  • SA executes 81 men

    The largest mass execution recently. Some were murderers, and others were found to have 'pledged allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations.'

    This was reported by Wion.

    73 of the 81 were Saudi nationals who had been found guilty in a single case of attempting to assassinate security officials, targeting police stations and convoys.

    SA officials said it was 'only protecting its national security interest through its laws.'

    The countries that execute the most people are China, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and fifth SA.

     
  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 12, 2022
  • US has been involved in fighting in 84 of the 194 countries recognized by the UN

    ... according to Wion

    Map with the countries it's invaded or been military involved in:


     
  • Mar, 2022
  • Mar 11, 2022
  • Reportedly, UAE and SA have declined to answer phonecalls from Biden

    ... although they have both spoken to Putin, reportedly.

    Wion said the reason was a 'trust deficit.' And noted the affair with the killing of the journalist Kashogi.