Venezuela crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help World Vision
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Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, is a case study in the perils of petrostatehood. Since its discovery in the 1920s, oil has taken Venezuela on an exhilarating but dangerous ... Venezuela has been in the grip of an economic crisis for years now with hyperinflation one of the main problems. Business news website Bloomberg has been tracking the price of a cup of coffee in ... Venezuela has been governed for the past 20 years by the socialist PSUV party. From 1999 to his death in 2013, Hugo Chávez was president. He was succeeded by his right-hand man, Nicolás Maduro. Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world. But it has been suffering an unprecedented fuel crisis due to widespread shortages at petrol stations. Muravchik, Joshua (2019) How Socialism Broke Venezuela: The Tragic Journey from Perez to Chavez to Maduro. Commentary, 147(3): 31–36. Naím, Moisés and Francisco Toro (2018a) Venezuela’s Suicide: Lessons from a Failed State. Foreign Affairs, 97(6): 126–138. Naím, Moisés and Francisco Toro (2018b) Why Nicolás Maduro Clings to Power. Meet the man walking across six states to D.C. to call attention to Venezuela's crisis. Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez. Latino. A street dog leads a Venezuelan family to a new home in Colombia. Venezuela crisis timeline. 1920s to 1970s: Oil is discovered in Venezuela, which is found to have the world’s largest reserves. The nation’s economic development is based on rising prices and profits in oil exports. 1980s to 1990s: Global oil prices fall; Venezuela’s economy contracts. The country faces massive debt. Venezuela has been thrust into uncharted territory — with political tensions approaching boiling point ahead of two nationwide anti-government protests this week.
Despite US sanctions, Iran sends fuel to Venezuela, second shipment after May
2020.09.30 10:01 theworldreviewsDespite US sanctions, Iran sends fuel to Venezuela, second shipment after May
In a blatant violation of US sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela, on Monday Tehran sent vessel Forest carrying oil tankers to Venezuela’s El Palito refinery port. Iran set off not only one, but three vessels containing thousands of barrels of fuel to the South American country to meet its fuel demand. The other two, Fortune and Faxon, would be reaching at Venezuelan shore in the coming days. Venezuela’s drastic lack of fuel not only caused major drop in its food output, but also impacted supply chain with millions of buses, trucks and emergency vehicles being unable to run and deliver products to different cities. The country has been witnessing one of its worst economic and political crises. On Sunday, Tehran’s semi-official news agency, Mehr news reported that General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran sent oil shipments to Venezuela in exchange for gold bars. He said, “We gave Venezuela gasoline and received gold bars, and we took the gold to Iran on a plane so that nothing could happen to it along the way.” This is the second time that Islamic republic gave gasoline to Venezuela since the end of May. In May, Iranian fleet of five vessels carried nearly 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and fuel additives, as well as parts for local refineries to Venezuela. The two nations established strong bond over US sanctions and hard pressed isolation. Iran’s foreign ministry said that any action regarding US sanction to stop them would only push the Islamic country towards “a swift and decisive response.” Iran tried to send another shipmentcontaining four vessels with 1.1 million barrels of gasoline in August, but got seized by the US forces. The US government called it “largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran” by the Department of Justice. It added that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated as a terrorist organization, was responsible for the shipment. US imposed sanctions on Venezuela preventing it to import oil from international market. The US special envoy to Venezuela and Iran, Elliot Abrams said that US sanctions on Venezuela even pulled away Russia and China from sell gasoline to the Latin American country. US has been trying create pressure to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who with his corrupt and mismanaged way of working, have been draining the country for past 6 years.
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 84%. (I'm a bot)
He's struggled to renew the momentum he generated last year.6:50 p.m.Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has blasted the United States as "The most serious threat to peace in the world" in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly while calling for the Trump administration to lift punishing sanctions. 4:40 p.m.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has used his speech before the U.N. General Assembly to urge the "De-occupation" of Russian-annexed Crimea and remind the world that his country is stuck in a frozen war with Moscow-backed rebels. In a prerecorded speech Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly, Uhuru Kenyatta said the U.N. was created to bring hope to a world in ruins after World War II, "But what does it bring to the world today?". President Michel Aoun spoke Wednesday in a prerecorded speech to the U.N. General Assembly's virtual summit, telling world leaders that Lebanon is facing multiple crises that pose an unprecedented threat to the small country's existence. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in a prerecorded speech to the U.N. General Assembly's first high-level virtual meeting that the post-Cold War world largely missed the chance to build a truly just system. Tokayev suggested establishing a network of regional disease centers under U.N. auspices, and a new "International Agency for Biological Safety" based on the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and accountable to the U.N. Security Council.
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Zhongzheng, Taipei During the Cold War, Haiti was among a few select nations to recognize the Republic of China over the People's Republic based in Beijing and maintain full diplomatic ties even after our expulsion from the United Nations and many other intergovernmental organizations. To this day, Haiti maintains a friendly and cordial relationship with Taiwan, being one of only fifteen nations in the world to do so; this relationship is further exemplified in the $150 million Taiwan offered as a relief fund to Haiti after the disastrous 2010 Haiti Earthquake that claimed the lives of as many as 300,000 people. Having learned of Haiti's woes and the myriad of issues plaguing your nation, we remain fully committed to doing anything we can to alleviate the worst of these issues and welcome any specific requests that the Haitian government and its people might wish to table at this moment. Fuel shortages in Haiti Fuel shortages are among the most important crises the state of Haiti seems to be facing at this moment. Unable to import petroleum due to outstanding debts, especially to unstable Venezuela which had previously supplied most of Haiti's fuel needs, the Haitian nation has been forced to investigate and explore means to somehow pay off its current debts - amounting to about $1.2 billion - so that it may be able to import appropriate amounts of fuel once again. While we cannot offer fuel directly as we are not an oil-producing nation, we can offer to help alleviate some of Haiti's debts so that it may work towards solving its fuel shortages through imports from non-Venezuelan sources. While Haiti has begun to pay off its debt at a slow rate, about $2.8 million a month, it remains uncertain whether it might be able to import substantial amounts of oil to fulfill its needs due to a lack of investor confidence in the nation's economy and government. In order to alleviate this crisis, the government of Taiwan is willing to offer a no-interest loan of $1.2 billion to the government of Haiti to assist in debt servicing. Of this amount, we will waive $700 million and the remaining value of $500 million may be paid over the next fifty years, following a grace period of no payments of five years, at a rate that suits Haiti. To ensure that this money is handled efficiently and does not end up in the pockets of greedy and corrupt middle-men, we propose that the sum be handled through a two-tiered provisional management and dispensation bureau consisting of both Haitian and Taiwanese officials. While organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank have offered loans to Haiti in the past, those have come with strict conditions and consequences including steep raises in gasoline costs by upwards of over 50%, leading to widespread protests and the emergence of a black market for petroleum sale in the country's urban areas. We do not intend to force any such back-breaking conditions upon the people of Haiti; instead, we only wish that this money is truly spent on properly alleviating this crisis that has established a chokehold on Haiti and that the government of Haiti pledges to immediately begin exploring more effective ways of renewable energy to reduce its reliance on volatile petroleum imports from PetroCaribe. Assistance fund for development of renewable energy As a sign of its goodwill towards the people of Haiti, the government of Taiwan is ready to dispense a grant of $50 million to assist in the development of renewable energy sources in the country including solar and wind farms. We are also willing to dispatch teams of experts to help in establishing these farms over the next few years to assist Haiti in reducing its reliance on fossil fuel and unstable petroleum imports.
2020.09.21 12:02 SilverwxyzMeu parceiro gringo rico me agrediu fisicamente e me jogou na cara que sou brasileiro prostituto
Quem aí é pobre e gostaria de um príncipe encantado pra te tirar da miséria e viver num castelo… de preferência na Europa com um bom padrão de vida? Pois é, encontrei algo parecido (só que não). Quem procura esse tipo de coisa ou aceita entrar nessa talvez seja bom saber que muitas vezes a vida não é esse conto de fadas. Resolvi tentar minha sorte na Europa, Itália. Sou professor de inglês formado, sempre fui independente, mas na Europa dificilmente contratam um brasileiro pra dar aulas de inglês. As escolas preferem falantes nativos dos EUA ou Inglaterra. Mesmo se eu tivesse 100 anos de cursos e experiência, nunca vou deixar de ser brasileiro, e a maioria das escolas nem pega o currículo. Minha formação não vale muita coisa na Europa. E o mercado pra dar aulas de português é quase inexistente. Nisso eu conheci um cara, gostamos um do outro… fui morar com ele. Percebendo minha dificuldade pra encontrar bom trabalho, ganhando pouco, ele propôs pra eu trabalhar menos e voltar a estudar, fazer outra graduação. Detalhes: ele é rico e tem o dobro da minha idade, eu 30 e ele 60. Sim, eu prefiro homens maduros. Aí é que está o problema, aliás, vários problemas: nossa grande diferença de idade, classe social, minha nacionalidade considerada “inferior”, a fama da prostituição dos brasileiros… Desde o início passei por várias situações desagradáveis… Alguns amigos dele me perguntaram na cara mesmo se sou prostituto brasileiro e se não estaria com ele por causa do dinheiro. Ele brigou com esses amigos por causa disso. São muitos desafios manter uma relação assim. Já é difícil pelo fato de sermos dois homens, e com grande diferença de idade! Se ao menos ele tivesse uns 10 anos a menos, seria mais fácil eu apresentar pra minha família... Minha mãe jamais aceitaria eu estar com um homem mais velho que ela. Algumas vezes tentei terminar a relação. Já estive prestes a sair de casa, ele não deixou e disse: “Termine seus estudos, eu gostaria muito de dar isso pra vc. Depois você vai embora e encontra alguém mais jovem que eu”. Na verdade desde os primeiros dias que nos conhecemos ele sempre tentou me comprar, com luxos, viagens, e já no início da nossa relação disse que não tem herdeiros e procura alguém mais jovem como eu pra deixar tudo. Várias vezes ele me pede pra gente ir assinar os papéis do casamento e herdarei tudo. Ele diz exatamente isso! Aliás, ele já disse que fez o testamento dele declarando que sou o herdeiro. Eu e ele sempre fomos bons amigos, tivemos uma conexão forte, sem problemas na relação, algumas briguinhas cotidianas, nada de mais… Um ponto negativo é que ele é abertamente racista. Costuma fazer comentários contra negros, e sempre que ele tem oportunidade ele faz piada com o fato de eu ser brasileiro, diz que venho da selva, de um país perigoso, subdesenvolvido, que faço vodu, macumba… Antes ele era casado com uma moça da Guiana e depois teve um namorado da Venezuela. Ele culpa a origem latino-americana dos ex-parceiros pelo temperamento difícil e comportamento “primitivo”. Ele gosta de pessoas mais jovens. Como seria numericamente mais difícil ele conseguir um jovem europeu que queira morar com um velho, ele tem o histórico de pegar jovens desfavorecidos do “terceiro mundo” pra ajudar a trabalhar e estudar, todos os relacionamentos dele foram assim. Ou seja, ele mostra toda sua riqueza, tenta impressionar, e depois teme que está sendo usado, comprando alguém, e nos conflitos acaba sendo racista e usando o poder financeiro pra dominar e inferiorizar. Se eu não respeito alguma “etiqueta” ele diz: VC VEIO DA SELVA MAS AGORA ESTÁ NA EUROPA, PRECISA SABER SE COMPORTAR. Na verdade eu não me sentia ofendido, ele é alemão e eu apenas retrucava falando coisas negativas de alemães. Eram piadas de mal gosto que fazíamos um contra o outro… E como resposta eu beliscava os mamilos dele, ele odeia quando faço isso. Já era um costume nosso. Mas essa simples besteira desencadeou um conflito. Há dois dias estávamos na rua, eu tremendo de frio, e ele fez piada: VOCÊ É UM ANIMAL DA SELVA MESMO. NÃO ESTÁ FRIO. Em resposta, belisquei o mamilo dele, e desta vez ele teve um ataque de fúria. Ele apertou meu braço com bastante força, arranhou, tirou sangue. Ele nunca tinha me atacado dessa forma. Fiquei bastante chateado e passei o resto do dia sem conversar com ele. No final do dia, mostrei pra ele os hematomas, isso não se faz. Começamos a brigar e daí ele já abriu a porteira, falou várias coisas racistas, e por fim disse que sou um prostituto. Estávamos prestes a nos atacar fisicamente, ele veio pra cima de mim pra me dar socos. Eu empurrei, fiz posição de defesa e disse: EU SOU MAIS FORTE QUE VOCÊ. SE VOCÊ OUSAR, EU QUEBRO SUA CARA E TIRO SANGUE DE VERDADE. Ele recuou, sentou-se na cama e ficou acuado ofegante, tremendo, vermelho. Estamos juntos há 4 anos, sempre tivemos uma relação pacífica, sem grandes dramas, nada parecido com isso tinha acontecido entre nós, foi bastante extremo. Estamos sem conversar há 2 dias na mesma casa, desviando um do outro, está insuportável. Eu já fiz dois anos de curso, precisaria de mais um ou dois anos pra terminar. Na Itália é quase impossível trabalhar, se sustentar e estudar ao mesmo tempo, as aulas são em período integral, precisa de dedicação quase exclusiva. O que vocês fariam? Tentariam engolir tudo isso, tentar fazer as pazes e procurar terminar o curso, ter um sonhado diploma europeu. Ou desistir de tudo... achar qualquer emprego, qualquer lugar pra morar... Ou voltar pro Brasil nesse período de crise, sem dinheiro e sem muita perspectiva? Enfim, pra quem leu até aqui fica a lição: tentem ser independentes, donos dos seus próprios narizes e liberdade. O risco de depender de alguém é sempre alto... mais cedo ou mais tarde podem jogar isso na sua cara. ... Resumo: moro na Europa com um homem rico e mais velho que me deu oportunidade de estudar. Tivemos um atrito bobo que desencadeou um conflito, ele é racista, me chamou de prostituto brasileiro. Já fiz metade do curso. Não sei se engulo e tento terminar os estudos ou se desisto de tudo. UPDATE: Gente, obrigado por todas as mensagens! Eu já estava me preparando pra receber pedras aqui... porque na vida real recebi várias pedras por eu ser jovem, pobre e estar com um homem mais velho e rico. Mas de certa forma me impressionei por ninguém aqui ter me julgado. O desfecho até agora: ficamos 2 dias sem conversar. No terceiro dia, ele veio pedir desculpas, disse que ele estava um pouco sob efeito de álcool, disse que entendi errado. Ele disse: EU FALEI QUE VC ""AGE""" COMO PROSTITUTO QUANDO APERTA MEUS MAMILOS, FALEI ISSO PORQUE NÃO GOSTO QUANDO VC FAZ ISSO. NÃO DISSE QUE VC ""É"" PROSTITUTO. Ele disse que me conhece, sabe que não sou prostituto e não faria sentido ele dizer isso. Disse que entende que sou sensível com o uso da palavra "prostituto" por causa da minha nacionalidade e situação de estar com ele, mas que não foi intenção dele atacar esse ponto. Enfim... ele tentou se esquivar, contornar a linguagem pra forçar outro sentido, que o conflito tomou uma proporção descabida, disse que foi o álcool. Não colou muito na minha cabeça, mas pelo menos ele pediu desculpas e disse que sou parte da família dele e que meu futuro significa muito pra ele... Eu só ouvi, fui meio frio, mas aceitei o pedido de desculpas. Ele é alemão, depois disso não nos abraçamos, não nos beijamos. O clima ainda está um pouco estranho, mas tudo pacífico e tranquilo. Obrigado por todos os conselhos!
2020.09.11 23:23 ToguroSenpaiPorque a esquerda que celebra Allende não celebra o chavismo na Venezuela?
https://preview.redd.it/5j62u9oo5lm51.png?width=282&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0f6c2a166d9fa47819521861f7db7fcb88ef170 O sonho de Allende de um socialismo através das eleições burguesas foi posto em prática pelo Comandante Hugo Chávez e o Presidente Nicolas Maduro, pese todas as dificuldades da democracia burguesa. A oposição de direita tentou tudo que podia contra o chavismo, do golpe militar pinochetista até ataques terroristas e pedidos por intervenção dos EUA. Tudo do mesmo manual da CIA que derrubou Allende no 11 de Setembro de 1973. Fracassaram, pois Chávez e Maduro não cometeram o erro de Allende: armaram o povo, chamaram o povo ao combate, esmagaram todo golpismo nas Forças Armadas, no Parlamento e no Estado e não tiveram medo de jogar opositores nas masmorras se isso fosse necessário. Porque a esquerda que celebra Allende não celebra Maduro? Ás vezes eu tenho a impressão de que a esquerda tem um sério problema de preferir a derrota a vitória. Vencer é muito difícil, comandar uma revolução é complicado. Mais fácil ser oposição barulhenta. O martírio pega bem: pra que ganhar quando você pode dizer "perdemos, mas odiaríamos estar no lugar de quem nos venceu" ou "perdemos, mas nossos inimigos irão para a lata de lixo da História" ou ainda "lutamos como nunca, perdemos como sempre"(tem gente que fala isso com orgulho). Pra que botar fogo no país contra o Impeachment da Dilma Rousseff e a prisão do Lula quando você pode simplesmente falar "a história absolverá Dilma e Lula e Moro e os golpistas irão para a lata de lixo da História"? A romantização da derrota na Guerra Civil Espanhola não tira o fato de que Franco governou o país por 40 anos e que o país é uma monarquia detestável até hoje. A romantização da derrota no Chile não tira o fato de que o país foi tão empobrecido pelas políticas de Pinochet que teve uma onda de protestos gigantesca ano passado. Eu não quero perder mas me contentar em "estar do lado certo da História". Eu já sei que estou. Eu quero estar é do lado vitorioso. Dane-se se vão lembrar de mim, de meus camaradas, ou da revolução que apoiei como um bando de "tiranos sanguinários genocidas". Fazemos fronteira com um país governado por um novo Allende, sem os erros do primeiro. Seu nome é Nicolás Maduro. Apoiemos ele e a revolução bolivariana que começou com Chávez, de quem ele é fiel discípulo. Pois bem "Ah, mas na Venezuela tem crise, pobreza e fome." Bem, você já viu o preço do arroz e do óleo na prateleira do mercado do seu bairro? Milhares de "refugiados" venezuelanos estão voltando desesperados para o país para se proteger da COVID-19 e da miséria. Essa é a tal "crise, pobreza e fome" na Venezuela - tem origem na mesma sabotagem golpista e no mesmo embargo imperialista que levou a escassez com Allende e, entretanto, vivem melhor que no resto do continente. Pois o pior socialismo continua sendo melhor que qualquer capitalismo. Texto da pagina Comunista Opressor facebook
2020.09.11 19:21 VS_communityCan cryptocurrency save from inflation?
Hello! 👋🏻 In this post, we will tell you about whether cryptocurrency can save you from inflation. ⌛️ Recently, the issue of protection from the negative effects of inflation for many people has become especially acute. ❗️ Due to the quarantine measures that many countries took short-sightedly, their economies inevitably went into decline, businesses suffered losses, especially small and medium-sized businesses. This naturally led to increased inflation. 🔹 Can cryptocurrencies help their own to cope with inflation? 🔹 One of the features of cryptocurrencies is the limited emission of coins, which means that they are not subject to inflation by their nature. 🔐 For example, the emission of Bitcoin is 21,000,000 BTC. Some of these funds are irretrievably lost and some will be lost in the future. 🏆 This means that the price of BTC will inevitably rise due to the laws of economics. 💵 This rule also works for other coins, whose emission is limited. Since cryptocurrencies are used as a means of payment, they will always be in demand. 📈 In addition, it is enough to pay attention to the price chart of fiat money and cryptocurrencies. Due to the crisis, fiat prices began to fall. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, showed rapid growth after a slight correction. 🥇 Token from DSF is limited to emissions of 1,000,000,000. DSF is the industry's first decentralized financial social network, which means that due to crises, the value of tokens will only increase because e-commerce is a trend that has shown rapid growth. ✅ Therefore, cryptocurrencies are an excellent tool for protecting against the negative effects of inflation and for diversifying your portfolio. In addition, during the crisis, they will show growth due to increased demand for them. An example is Venezuela, where cryptocurrencies, without exaggeration, save lives. 📢 Learn more about the DSF project and its benefits on our website: https://dsft.io https://preview.redd.it/1n36593myjm51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1e55dcffda09bd31a2d35f5544731eb4c8dcba49
2020.09.09 14:39 Bioman312[Old School RuneScape] Revenant Cave Protection: A tale of in-game mafia, real-world consequences, and a lot of people in cheap gear
This is the story (so far) of "paid protection" at the Revenant Caves (sometimes called "the rev caves" or "revs") in the MMO game Old School RuneScape (OSRS). It's an issue that's been going on for a while ("a pretty damn long time" as of a year ago, oldest I could easily find), but has only recently gotten a lot of attention from players and from Jagex (the developepublisher). First off, some background.
OSRS is not primarily a PVP game, but it does have some exceptions. Besides PVP worlds (specific servers where you can be attacked by other players in most places in the game world), the biggest example is the Wilderness, an area that is fully PVP, on any server. The Wilderness is divided into areas with higher and lower "levels", meaning that as you go deeper into the Wilderness, other players of higher and higher combat levels can attack you, and it gets harder and harder to get out safely. It's also divided into "single-combat" (singles) and "multi-combat" (multi) areas, referring to whether multiple players can be attacking you at the same time.*1 The Wilderness is an area that's designed to be "high risk, high reward". It has some of the best moneymaking opportunities and skill training methods in the game, as well as some high-tier items that can exclusively be found there, but the tradeoff is the risk that other players can attack you if they're within the required combat level difference between you two (e.g. if you are combat level 80, and you go into level 20 Wilderness, you can be attacked by anyone with a combat level ranging from 60 to 100, or vice versa). Normally, if you die in the Wilderness, you lose all the items you were carrying except the three most valuable ones. However, if you attack someone unprovoked, a skull icon will appear above your head for some amount of time, and if you die while "skulled", you lose everything you were carrying.*2 You can alternatively take other methods to become skulled without attacking players, like wearing certain items or talking to certain NPCs. This is because being skulled can have some benefits (more on that later).
The Revenant Caves
The Revenant Caves are the epitome of the "high risk, high reward" design of the Wilderness. The area ranges from level 17 to 40 Wilderness, and is almost entirely multi-combat. It's filled with monsters called "Revenants", which drop very valuable items. In addition, they aren't very strong, and even drop items that make them deal less damage to you when you have those items equipped, or items that allow you to carry more of the items that they drop. To further expand on the risk factor, the most valuable drops from Revenants have an increased drop chance if you are skulled. Because of all this, the Revenant Caves are one of the biggest hotspots for pvp combat.
Real World Trading
"Real world trading" (RWTing) is something that pretty much everyone who plays OSRS knows about, despite it being against the game rules. This is when real-life currency is used by a player to buy in-game currency (gp). It can also apply to in-game services, like paying someone to complete a very difficult boss gauntlet on your account so that you can get the reward at the end. The game has one single allowed method of getting gp for real money, and that's through the use of "bonds"*3. You can buy a bond with real money for the price of two weeks of game membership, and either redeem that bond for those two weeks of membership, or sell it to another player for gp so they can redeem it. This allows for effectively purchasing game membership with gp, though it's typically not a trade that's "worth it" for either side unless someone has a ton of real-life money to spend on the game, or a ton of gp to spend to keep their membership going. RWTing is significantly more efficient than buying gp with real money via bonds, and there is also obviously no way to earn real money with bonds - there's just the singular payment to Jagex for a bond to enter the game. The obvious downside is that it's against the game rules, and if it's detected, you can be permanently banned from the game. RWTing is a decently popular "underground market" for the game, for two major reasons:
It's an easy way to make a decent amount of real-world money for the gp seller (really the only way to make money from OSRS that doesn't involve making a YouTube channel or streaming on Twitch and taking donations).
In some parts of the world, due to political or economic reasons, making gp in-game and then selling it via RWTing can be a more viable method of making a living than getting a real job.
The big popular example of this is the country of Venezuela, which is experiencing multiple political and economic crises right now. Due to the weakness and instability of their local currency, people in Venezuela can sometimes make more wealth by selling gp in OSRS for stronger and more stable real-world currencies than they can by working a normal job and being paid in their local currency. This is pretty well-known by OSRS players around the world.*4
Ragging and Paid Protection
The act of "ragging" is typically looked down upon among OSRS players. The idea is that it's pretty easy to be competitive in pvp in OSRS while wearing armor that's not very valuable. You won't have the absolute best equipment available, but having the best equipment available only really matters at the margins. And when your chance of winning is reduced from 50% to 45% in return for your opponent risking way more than you, it turns out that you have the upper hand in the long run. This gets even more lopsided when we consider multi-combat areas (like the rev caves), where you can have ten people in a clan all wearing ragging gear, ganging up on one person who isn't in the clan, but has really good gear. The ten people have a huge advantage, and there's basically no way for the one person to win, despite the ten all wearing worthless gear. This is basically what's been happening all the time at the Revenant Caves, on an industrial scale. Clans with many many players organize to basically "take over" a server at the rev caves. Anyone who is not in that clan is immediately ganged up on and demolished. And what's more, the clans have realized that, instead of just making money from killing the Revenants and other players, they can also charge players (either gp or real-world money) for "protection", allowing them to kill the Revenants without any risk of being attacked by other players. This basically means that, for a while now, it's been very difficult to do anything in the rev caves as a single player, since if the server you're on is "owned" by a particular clan, you will be immediately attacked by upwards of 10-20 other players wearing rag gear, because you didn't pay the fee to enter. Here are a couple examples of this happening.*5
Players have been asking for changes to the rev caves for a few months now in response to this issue, since that area has basically turned into a mafia-ruled deathtrap that you can only enter by paying other players for the privilege. The most common suggestion is to have Revenants "roam" the Wilderness instead of staying in one area. This not only makes it impossible to "lock down" the ability to kill Revenants, but it also encourages players to look around the entire Wilderness area instead of just going straight to particular hotspots. Jagex has made a few changes to the Revenant Caves since they were added in 2017, though they were mostly within the first year after they were added to the game, and mainly concerned tweaking how much gp you could make from killing Revenants, not countering paid protection. More recently, as the issue has hit more of a peak, Jagex announced in July of this year that they wanted to adjust some of how Revenants worked to fix various issues. So far, all they've done is nerfed one of the items that's dropped from Revenants (the one that makes it easier to kill them), and nerfed the average loot value from the Revenants themselves. They've also said that they're looking into changes to the caves themselves specifically to combat paid protection, and most recently they said that they'd be "re-continuing the community discussion around things like Revenant caves and PJ timers very soon."
*1 An unrelated issue that's been going on recently is the idea of "singles clans", or clans that basically "take turns" attacking a person in singles to get an unfair advantage. Something that a lot of people have asked Jagex for is a "PJ timer", which basically makes it so that you can't attack someone in singles if they've been in combat within the last X seconds. *2 You can use the "Protect Item" prayer to either protect a 4th item when unskulled, or a single item when skulled. It's possible to use the "Smite" prayer to try to cancel another player's "Protect Item" prayer so they don't keep that extra item. *3 It's debatable whether this is something that counts as a proper "microtransaction" because it's basically equivalent to buying game membership time with real money. It's still the only thing that OSRS has that's even close to a microtransaction. *4 Yes, people get racist about this, and no, I won't be covering that in this post. *5 In this case, the players were tasked with making as much money as possible from scratch for a special event, so two of them decided to go to revs with barely any gear equipped, and just try to get whatever they could from stuff that people left on the ground. This same kind of thing happens regardless of what gear you have equipped - there's not really a chance to fight back.
2020.09.07 16:51 VS_communityIs it too late to invest in cryptocurrency?
Hello. 👋🏻 Today we will talk about why it is not too late to invest in cryptocurrency. ✅ The current capitalization of the entire crypto market is only a small fraction of the value of some large companies The cryptocurrency was conceived as a new form of money. However, today it still accounts for only a small fraction of all financial assets in circulation. At the moment, the total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency industry does not exceed $ 130 billion. That's far less than the value of giants like Amazon ($ 902.8 billion) and Apple ($ 889.2 billion). By the most conservative estimates, digital currencies are quite capable of occupying the same niche as gold. If we take into account their ability to completely replace ordinary money, it becomes clear: the growth potential of the cryptocurrency industry is simply enormous. ✅ Institutional money has not yet entered the crypto market Institutional capitals, usually managed by investment firms, are still shunned by the cryptocurrency industry. However, the situation is gradually changing for the better. Some time ago, the largest American bank Morgan Stanley announced its interest; Fidelity went even further and started offering cryptocurrency trading and safekeeping services to corporate clients. Most likely, other companies will also pick up this trend. ✅ The crypto industry still has plenty of room to grow Blockchain technologies will improve, investors will gain experience, so in the future, we may witness an exponential growth in both real application and market capitalization. ✅ Cryptocurrencies can act as a store of value during crises Cryptocurrencies are not owned by any country and are not controlled by the government. They have no physical form and are easy and safe to store. Therefore, cryptocurrency helps protect capital from crises. Venezuela and the economic crisis in Zimbabwe are recent examples. 💰 With BITLEVEX you can earn up to 500% profit within just one day! It is a licensed business activity available worldwide featuring zero trading fees and no commissions! Try it yourself! Register on bitlevex.com https://preview.redd.it/v6wr6pf8oql51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=079deea4ba5323ba5c41589ac0e27c2d2ec39099
2020.09.03 04:38 sexywheatIs it normal to experience back to back to back unending crises late into the modern era?
The capitalist, religious and conservative factions HATE me. Like 0 percent support hate. Even though they number only a few hundred people (out of ~2,500) they somehow manage to repeatedly try to blackmail me over and over again. The capitalists will force an economic crisis, the religious folk will force an anathema, and the conservatives force early elections. The thing is, as soon as one crisis ends a new faction demand starts IMMEDIATELY, with no time gap in between. Is this normal? Am I expected to raise their favourability or something to avoid this? Frankly I don't really care and would rather just put them all in prison but can't be bothered to. I have like 30 million dollars in the bank and 80% support so I can weather the storms, it just gets annoying after a while and I feel like I'm trying to govern Venezuela. Edit: Thanks for the advice everyone! I like to play this game vicariously and if I was actually the dictator of Tropico I would just tell them to go kick rocks, so I'll probably just keep doing that and deal with the crises. But if I ever get tired of it I know what to do now :)
2020.08.29 05:01 DIOgenes_123A política interna do PCCh: um modelo para a união de esquerda no Brasil?
O Partido Comunista da China possui diversas correntes internas e não possui o monopólio do poder dentro do país (existem nove outros partidos que devem reconhecer a primazia do PCCh). De forma bem simplificada, existem três correntes: os liberais a favor de maior abertura ao mercado, desregulamentação, liberalização política, etc (porém duvido que sejam abertamente tão entreguistas e elitistas quanto os neoliberais em países capitalistas). Esse grupo perde força desde 1989 após os protestos de Tiananmen, quando tentaram tomar o poder. A crise de 2009 e a atual crise de 2020 apenas os enfraqueceram mais ainda. Existem os moderados de esquerda, parecidos com os sociais-democratas. Defendem liberalizações em algumas instâncias e intervenção estatal em outras, buscando criar uma rede social básica robusta. No plano internacional, buscam assegurar a coexistência, porém sempre rebatendo o imperialismo ocidental. E por último, existe a Nova Esquerda Chinesa, próxima ao maoísmo e de preceitos marxistas mais ortodoxos. Possuem presença significativa na intelectualidade. O equilíbrio entre estes três grupos foi bem sucedido, afinal, caso não fosse, teríamos agora uma China sabotada por completo pelo Ocidente, não a mais nova superpotência. Independente de nossas opiniões pessoais sobre se a China é ou não capitalista, está ou não seguindo o caminho correto, a realidade é que está tendo enorme sucesso e o povo chinês aprova maciçamente o governo, e esse é o foco dos comunistas: melhorar a vida do povo. O que a experiência chinesa na política interna pode nos ensinar? É minha opinião que ela comprova a necessidade de uma importante aliança: Comunistas e social-democratas anti-imperialistas (importantíssimo colocar ênfase no aspecto anti-imperialista). É atraente imaginar que com um esforço exemplar, infatigável e constante, pode todo o povo e todos os grupos políticos alinharem-se à posição mais revolucionária e abnegada. Um país de Lênins! A realidade, no entanto, é menos romântica. O capitalismo é um sistema que avança e cria uma massa de valor de uso cada vez maior a todo momento. Claro, esta massa concentra-se principalmente nas mãos da classe burguesa, porém ela ainda existe e cresce. Caso o capitalismo gerasse apenas atraso e miséria, seria o sistema mais frágil da história. Caso tivesse esgotado seu potencial e utilidade histórica, cairia como caiu o Velho Regime. Porém cá estamos. Com uma migalha do capitalista, constrói-se uma nova casa na favela, compra-se um carro ou paga-se um seguro de saúde básico. Toda crise parece eterna (principalmente aqui na periferia do capital) porém elas passam e um novo período de crescimento começa. Surgem novos políticos e agrupamentos de esquerda, oferecendo e obtendo duramente novas migalhas. Um celular, uma rua asfaltada, um financiamento; a crise do governo FHC trouxe Lula, afinal. Porém, mesmo obtendo-se migalhas provisórias e concessões pontuais, a realidade é que o cerco capitalista se fortalece. Dia após dia, monopólios crescem, esmagando, consumindo e controlando a pequena burguesia, a classe média e até algumas grandes empresas. O capitalismo monopolista, o imperialismo por definição, estende seus tentáculos. O imperialismo diminui a margem de ação daqueles que buscam obter migalhas, alguma ilusão de democracia e livre-arbítrio. Um desespero começa a dominar os escalões mais baixos da sociedade: o desespero da absoluta insignificância perante o sistema e a política burguesa. Enormes conglomerados tecnológicos manipulam os fatos e propagandeiam como jamais seus valores e ideais, criando uma nova realidade. Amazon, Google, Apple. Os bancos a financiar a mídia e governos. A automação a ameaçar o trabalho, o mais básico direito humano. Apontar a distopia não a revela, pois ela já está nos holofotes. Parte da esquerda (os típicos social-democratas) nega que ela exista, ou se não nega, afirma que é apenas temporária, acessória ao capitalismo e passível de mudança dentro da lógica do sistema. Exemplo mais claro de um idiota útil dentro desses moldes é o pusilânime Haddad, o “tucano petista”. É pouco interessante a aliança com social-democratas completamente iludidos; se não é por ingenuidade que fazem isto, é por malícia. Agora outras forças, ainda que com tendências reformistas, possuem potencial de perceber a distopia e a absoluta hegemonia do capital sobre a sociedade. Dentre estas forças, os sindicatos reacionários são um importante exemplo e, como escreveu Lênin, o trabalho revolucionário dentro deles é fundamental. Porém, tais sindicatos e associações de classe reacionários não existem em um limbo político: eles são a origem e a base dos social-democratas! E no contexto brasileiro, isto é mais explícito ainda! Assim, trabalhar de forma crítica junto aos social-democratas e outras forças progressistas torna-se inevitável. Mesmo após uma revolução, essas forças continuam a persistir e auxiliar no desenvolvimento das forças produtivas. China, Vietnã e Cuba não são exceção a esta regra, menos ainda Venezuela. Diversos partidos comunistas aderiram a esta estratégia: o PC marxista indiano controla Kerala em coalizão com partidos social-democratas, o PC bielorrusso apoia Lukashenko, o PC Venezuelano apoia Maduro (agora de forma mais crítica) e o PSUV… no Brasil, o PCdoB formou uma aliança de sangue com o PT, ridicularizada pelo seu rival, o PCB, que formou uma aliança com o PSOL em 2018… A discussão principal deve rodar em torno de quais alianças e concessões são necessárias e positivas no longo termo, e quais são improdutivas ou, pior, auto-destrutivas. Devem os comunistas brasileiros trabalharem em conjunto com o PT? O PSOL? Importante pontuar: formar seus próprios sindicatos “puros” e negar-se a qualquer compromisso é sintoma de esquerdismo terminal! Que fazer?
2020.08.23 02:31 ed8907Economic Analysis - Argentina
NOTE: This is the second installment of the basic economic analyses I’m doing for LatinAmerica. To read the first one, click here. Where do I even start? Argentina (the third largest Latin American economy) is going through a major economic crisis right now that worsened because of the harsh and long lockdown the Argentinian government implemented. However, the problems are not new, and Argentina has not had a stable economy in a long time. Every time we read news about Argentina, they have defaulted on its debt or they have just reached a new inflation milestone. Lately, it made news the fact that multinationals companies are leaving Argentina to settle in countries such as Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. In the end what we know is that the Argentinian economy is a mess. But why? First: The Argentinian citizens don’t trust their currency and that’s the main reason why most Argentinians try to save in US dollars. High-priced items and real estate are usually priced in US dollars, but also computers and cars. This is very bad because it means that the US dollar is taking away responsibilities from the Argentinian peso. This also affects the reserves of the BCRA (Central Bank of the Argentinian Republic) because the US dollar is not only used for foreign transactions, imports and reserves, but for domestic transactions, as protection against inflation and for saving. Because of this reason, Argentina has about 9 or 10 different exchange rates. This has provoked curious names such as dólar blue or dólar streaming. Second: The reason why Argentinians don’t trust their currency is because it’s been used (and abused) to finance an exceptionally high public spending. Argentinian governments have increased the size of the government so much that it’s become a monster on its own. To finance the constant budget deficits, the government decides to print money (or they use other financial tools such as LELIQs) to cover the deficit. It’s been done so many times that there’s absolutely no trust in the currency. This is the main cause of the high inflation in Argentina. Third: When Argentina couldn’t (1991-2001) or didn’t want to (2016-2019) print money, they decided to finance the deficit with debt, most of the time in US dollars. Yes, Argentina decided to fund its huge government with debt. We know it’s a bad idea and it ended bad with a default in 2001-2002 that provoked one of the most horrible crises Latin America has ever witnessed. The government is trying to restructure its debt again and it’s been successful with some bondholders and negotiations with the IMF will take place later in the year. Fourth: Because they cannot always finance the massive public spending (it is waste at this point) with money printing or debt, Argentina has developed a horrible tax system that scares away domestic and foreign investors not only because the rates are high, but because it is extremely complicated to deal with. There are taxes applied to everything and everyone. This (and having 9 or 10 different exchange rates) is scaring away potential investors. Fifth: One of the few advantages the Argentinian economy has is that is kind of diversified with agriculture exports and services being dominant. They do have kind of a decent industrial sector, but it is not competitive anymore. One of the excuses the industrial sector uses is that they cannot import capital goods because they cannot access US dollars. Here we see how the economy is a network and we need to have everything for it to work. The economic situation of Argentina was bad enough in January 2020. After more than 5 months with a harsh lockdown that bankrupted thousand of small and medium enterprises, the situation becomes even more complex. The challenge is that, unlike other Latin American economies, Argentina needs to attack all of its economic problems at the same time. That’s the only way an economic program would work. Why? They attacked inflation during the 1990’s, but public spending remained high and they had to acquire debt to finance it because they couldn’t print money. The result? 2001-2002. For example, if Argentina lowered their taxes it still wouldn’t fix their problems because inflation would remain high. Can we then conclude with saying that the root cause of the economic problems in Argentina is its extremely high public spending? Saying that would be too simplistic because there are other things we need to consider, but if it’s not the main reason it is one of the main ones. EDIT: I cannot say if Argentina is going to become another Venezuela or not. I hope they don't. The risk of hyperinflation is very real. The risk of shortages is low.
2020.08.20 19:05 deep_muff_diver_Tens of millions of black people are going to starve to death because of the lockdowns. If you're pro Back Lives Matter, you'd either be anti-lockdown or an utter hypocrite
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/africa/coronavirus-hunger-crisis.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage The virus doesn't cause starvation. It's a respiratory virus. The lockdown response, ensuing disruptions to supply chains, and catastrophic economic damage are causing this. Thus, if you believe Black Lives Matter, you'd be against the lockdowns. If someone can tweet this to Maj Toure, Eric July, Candace Owens(?), etc. that would be great, as they hopefully will retweet a variant. I don't use Twitter. Thanks. Paywalled article from link: nytimes.com ‘Instead of Coronavirus, the Hunger Will Kill Us.’ A Global Food Crisis Looms. By Abdi Latif Dahir 13-16 minutes The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year. In Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, residents already live in extreme poverty. Coronavirus lockdowns have caused many more to go hungry. Credit...Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
Published April 22, 2020Updated May 13, 2020
NAIROBI, Kenya — In the largest slum in Kenya’s capital, people desperate to eat set off a stampede during a recent giveaway of flour and cooking oil, leaving scores injured and two people dead. In India, thousands of workers are lining up twice a day for bread and fried vegetables to keep hunger at bay. And across Colombia, poor households are hanging red clothing and flags from their windows and balconies as a sign that they are hungry. “We don’t have any money, and now we need to survive,” said Pauline Karushi, who lost her job at a jewelry business in Nairobi, and lives in two rooms with her child and four other relatives. “That means not eating much.” The coronavirus pandemic has brought hunger to millions of people around the world. National lockdowns and social distancing measures are drying up work and incomes, and are likely to disrupt agricultural production and supply routes — leaving millions to worry how they will get enough to eat. Image Distributing meals in New Delhi this month. Credit...Rebecca Conway for The New York Times The coronavirus has sometimes been called an equalizer because it has sickened both rich and poor, but when it comes to food, the commonality ends. It is poor people, including large segments of poorer nations, who are now going hungry and facing the prospect of starving. “The coronavirus has been anything but a great equalizer,” said Asha Jaffar, a volunteer who brought food to families in the Nairobi slum of Kibera after the fatal stampede. “It’s been the great revealer, pulling the curtain back on the class divide and exposing how deeply unequal this country is.” Already, 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages, but now with the pandemic, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. Altogether, an estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year’s end. “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” Mr. Husain said. “It wasn’t a pretty picture to begin with, but this makes it truly unprecedented and uncharted territory.” The world has experienced severe hunger crises before, but those were regional and caused by one factor or another — extreme weather, economic downturns, wars or political instability. Image The Mandawi wholesale market in Central Kabul, Afghanistan, in March. Credit...Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times This hunger crisis, experts say, is global and caused by a multitude of factors linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing interruption of the economic order: the sudden loss in income for countless millions who were already living hand-to-mouth; the collapse in oil prices; widespread shortages of hard currency from tourism drying up; overseas workers not having earnings to send home; and ongoing problems like climate change, violence, population dislocations and humanitarian disasters. Already, from Honduras to South Africa to India, protests and looting have broken out amid frustrations from lockdowns and worries about hunger. With classes shut down, over 368 million children have lost the nutritious meals and snacks they normally receive in school. There is no shortage of food globally, or mass starvation from the pandemic — yet. But logistical problems in planting, harvesting and transporting food will leave poor countries exposed in the coming months, especially those reliant on imports, said Johan Swinnen, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington. While the system of food distribution and retailing in rich nations is organized and automated, he said, systems in developing countries are “labor intensive,” making “these supply chains much more vulnerable to Covid-19 and social distancing regulations.” Yet even if there is no major surge in food prices, the food security situation for poor people is likely to deteriorate significantly worldwide. This is especially true for economies like Sudan and Zimbabwe that were struggling before the outbreak, or those like Iran that have increasingly used oil revenues to finance critical goods like food and medicine. In Venezuela, the pandemic could deal a devastating blow to millions already living in the world’s largest economic collapse outside wartime. Image A virtually deserted Candelaria Square in Caracas, Venezuela, during the nationwide lockdown in March. Credit...Adriana Loureiro Fernandez for The New York Times In the sprawling Petare slum on the outskirts of the capital, Caracas, a nationwide lockdown has left Freddy Bastardo and five others in his household without jobs. Their government-supplied rations, which had arrived only once every two months before the crisis, have long run out. “We are already thinking of selling things that we don’t use in the house to be able to eat,” said Mr. Bastardo, 25, a security guard. “I have neighbors who don’t have food, and I’m worried that if protests start, we wouldn’t be able to get out of here.” Uncertainty over food is also building in India, where daily-wage workers with little or no social safety net face a future where hunger is a more immediate threat than the virus. As wages have dried up, half a million people are estimated to have left cities to walk home, setting off the nation’s “largest mass migration since independence,” said Amitabh Behar, the chief executive of Oxfam India. On a recent evening, hundreds of migrant workers, who have been stuck in New Delhi after a lockdown was imposed in March with little warning, sat under the shade of a bridge waiting for food to arrive. The Delhi government has set up soup kitchens, yet workers like Nihal Singh go hungry as the throngs at these centers have increased in recent days. “Instead of coronavirus, the hunger will kill us,” said Mr. Singh, who was hoping to eat his first meal in a day. Migrants waiting in food lines have fought each other over a plate of rice and lentils. Mr. Singh said he was ashamed to beg for food but had no other option. The Coronavirus Outbreak › Frequently Asked Questions Updated August 17, 2020
Why does standing six feet away from others help? The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It's a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it's windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart. I have antibodies. Am I now immune? As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time. I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief? The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all. What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work? Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees -- without giving you the sick employee’s name -- that they may have been exposed to the virus. What is school going to look like in September? It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
“The lockdown has trampled on our dignity,” he said. Image Waiting in line for meals in New Delhi, where daily-wage workers with little or no social safety net say hunger is a more immediate threat than the virus. Credit...Rebecca Conway for The New York Times Refugees and people living in conflict zones are likely to be hit the hardest. The curfews and restrictions on movement are already devastating the meager incomes of displaced people in Uganda and Ethiopia, the delivery of seeds and farming tools in South Sudan and the distribution of food aid in the Central African Republic. Containment measures in Niger, which hosts almost 60,000 refugees fleeing conflict in Mali, have led to surges in the pricing of food, according to the International Rescue Committee. The effects of the restrictions “may cause more suffering than the disease itself,” said Kurt Tjossem, regional vice president for East Africa at the International Rescue Committee. Ahmad Bayoush, a construction worker who had been displaced to Idlib Province in northern Syria, said he and many others had signed up to receive food from aid groups, but that it had yet to arrive. “I am expecting real hunger if it continues like this in the north,” he said. The pandemic is also slowing efforts to deal with the historic locust plague that has been ravaging the East and Horn of Africa. The outbreak is the worst the region has seen in decades and comes on the heels of a year marked by extreme droughts and floods. But the arrival of billions of new swarms could further deepen food insecurity, said Cyril Ferrand, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s resilience team in eastern Africa. Travel bans and airport closures, Mr. Ferrand said, are interrupting the supply of pesticides that could help limit the locust population and save pastureland and crops. Image Seeking shelter under a tree as locusts take flight in Laisamis, a town in Marsabit County, Kenya, in February. Credit...Khadija Farah for The New York Times As many go hungry, there is concern in a number of countries that food shortages will lead to social discord. In Colombia, residents of the coastal state of La Guajira have begun blocking roads to call attention to their need for food. In South Africa, rioters have broken into neighborhood food kiosks and faced off with the police. And even charitable food giveaways can expose people to the virus when throngs appear, as happened in Nairobi’s shantytown of Kibera earlier this month. “People called each other and came rushing,” said Valentine Akinyi, who works at the district government office where the food was distributed. “People have lost jobs. It showed you how hungry they are.” To assuage the impact of this crisis, some governments are fixing prices on food items, delivering free food and putting in place plans to send money transfers to the poorest households. Yet communities across the world are also taking matters into their own hands. Some are raising money through crowdfunding platforms, while others have begun programs to buy meals for needy families. On a recent afternoon, Ms. Jaffar and a group of volunteers made their way through Kibera, bringing items like sugar, flour, rice and sanitary pads to dozens of families. A native of the area herself, Ms. Jaffar said she started the food drive after hearing so many stories from families who said they and their children were going to sleep hungry. The food drive has so far reached 500 families. But with all the calls for assistance she’s getting, she said, “that’s a drop in the ocean.” Reporting was contributed by Anatoly Kurmanaev and Isayen Herrera from Caracas, Venezuela; Paulina Villegas from Mexico City; Julie Turkewitz from Bogotá, Colombia; Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon; Sameer Yasir from New Delhi; and Hannah Beech from Bangkok.
2020.08.19 02:34 dunfredSymptoms of Collapse, from a Left-Wing Theoretical Perspective
There has been much talk, both here and increasingly in the mainstream, about "collapse." But how can we precisely define collapse? Some might say it would be signalled by a generally breakdown in democratic institutions, and they would be partially right. Others might say it would be signalled by ecological disaster, or widening inequality, and they too would be partially right. But what these definitions miss is the why—the unified explanation for why all these things occur, how they emerge, and so on. Here is one framework, that directly references left-wing political and economic arguments regarding collapse; and further explains their origin. For the sake of those who prefer brevity, I'll also include a tldr at the top of every bullet point. Edit from below: actually, this took a lot more space than expected, so if this is well-received, I'll do parts 2 and maybe 3, which would be about the Second Contradiction (capitalism --> environmental collapse) and imperialism respectively.
The Primary Contradiction: Private Profits, Public Production
tldr of the issue/process: In capitalism, industries inevitably must either reduce the vast majority of workers to subsistence wages or merge with other firms, or companies will become unprofitable. tldr of the symptoms: Formation of monopolies or cartels of corporations, extreme inequality, mass poverty or reliance on government benefits, extraordinary corruption of the political system, and increased militarism/imperialism to open up foreign markets. Long version: The entire point of capitalist production is that certain individuals own the factories, the machines, the tools, the "productive capital," so to speak, while the majority of people are workers who do not own productive capital. Since the factory-owners control the production process on a high level, they privatize profits, and will operate the business accordingly. So here we have an irreconcilable tension between private profits and public production: in order to survive (and thrive, beyond eating gruel and living in a slum), workers require high wages, but in order to survive as a capitalist the business-owner must maximize profits. What does this tension look like? Well, during some periods of time, this tension is hardly noticeable. When times are good, when there are vast amounts of natural resources present, when overall profits are high, capitalists can afford to pay workers higher wages. All is good! But this state of affairs never lasts long—and it's not an accident. Companies compete against each other, and it is empirically well-established that profit rates tend to decline over time (see links below) due to a multitude of reasons. When profits begin to decline, the profit squeeze trickles down to the workers. Factories are shuttered, wages are frozen, unions are busted. These are "crises of capitalism," or as is often referred to in polite capitalist society, a "recession." So what are the symptoms of this? Firstly and foremostly, you will be able to observe that industries creep toward monopoly or cartelization (splitting up markets into local monopolies), as merging and streamlining is often one way of cutting overhead and increasing profit margins. You will also observe extreme inequality emerge, as the race to squeeze positive rates-of-profit out of unprofitable corporations will usually mean cuts to wages or layoffs, making the working class even poorer overall. But now, with the newfound positive profit margins, the capitalist becomes even richer than before—thus widening inequality in both directions. The logical extension of this inequality is mass poverty. But here, there exist some policy measures that could theoretically combat this symptom. The most obvious is some form of welfare benefit, much like the discreetly named "stimulus checks" in the USA. These artificially increase profit margins. But, like everything, they come at a cost. Either this is deficit spending (which must be paid back eventually—I don't think it's necessary to talk about why a perpetual super-welfare state would be a bad thing) or it is based on a tax increase. If it's the former, well, you can't do that forever. And if it's the latter, you might temporarily increase consumption, but that cuts into precisely the same profit margins that caused the recession in the first place when they fell too low. It's a lose-lose(between providing welfare or not)-lose(between where that welfare money comes from) situation in the long run. Such are the policy solutions available to a capitalist government. Yet another way you might observe this tension is through political corruption. The usual ideal is that government is democratic, serves the people, is free from corruption, etc. But what happens when business is endangered, when the masses are getting rowdy? A simple matter of lobbying one way, throwing some money another way, perhaps some threats and politicking here and there, and now you are able to have the Army sent in to break up strikes threatening your profitability (link below—this actually happened), you're able to remove workers' rights and safety legislation that interferes with your profit margins. And there, you've managed to turn the supposedly impartial and "class-neutral" government into an extension of capitalist class interests. Some slack might be allowed during periods outside of crisis; but when the real crisis occurs, the boot will come down hard. Frankly, it's a miracle that the BLM protests weren't completely cracked down on, even though the police brutality against protests was already high. And finally, what Lenin referred to as the "highest stage of capitalism": imperialism. If your own nation's workers refuse to work for low wages, if you're running out of cheap raw materials in your own country, what do you do? Invade another country and turn their labor into your labor, turn their resources into your resources! If that's too obvious, or the international community frowns on you invading countries nilly-willy, then just destabilize the government there through all channels available, and suddenly a foreign market just opened up! This is obviously a complex topic, which is why people write so many books about it. But when the coups and US-aligned "revolutions" start coming, know that it is a symptom of capitalism's incoming failure. Obvious examples in recent history include Venezuela and its oil, Bolivia and its lithium, and, of course, the Middle Eastern wars. Hope this was an interesting read. Here are some links for your benefit, as mentioned above. https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/the-us-rate-of-profit-in-2017/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County_War https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/the-marxist-theory-of-economic-crises-in-capitalism-part-one/
NOTE: I said that I wanted to come to this forum to post basic economic analyses of some Latin American countries. I am starting with Venezuela. This is a very basic analysis of the how Venezuela got to the current situation. It's not a report and I am not including a lot of other political and social details. u/Cacaudomal, let me know if this will be allowed here and, if possible, create a new flair for "Economy". Venezuela nationalized its oil back in 1976 during the first presidency of Carlos Andrés Pérez. This was supposed to help Venezuela, but truth is this only created an economy with dependency on this natural resource and increased corruption. On Friday February 10th, 1983 the economic history of Venezuela changed forever as the Venezuelan bolivar lost the stability it had during most of the 20th century. The reasons are complex to describe, but basically uncontrolled public spending is the main one. The bolivar never recovered its prestige. In 1989 the Caracazo happened and in 1992 there were two coup d’état attempts. In this scenario Hugo Chávez began to be admired by the Venezuelans as - according to a lot of people - he tried to do the right thing by overthrowing Carlos Andrés Pérez. This is the first thing that a lot of people don’t mention. Even if Chávez was supported massively by the lower classes, he was also supported by most of the private sector back then and by most of the middle class and intellectuals. Chávez becomes president in 1999. In November of that same year a new constitution is approved by 80% of the citizens in a referendum. The big problems started in 2001 when Chávez tried to introduce laws trying to "protect the poor" and a land redistribution program. These laws were unpopular with the Venezuelan elite and Chávez lost a lot of the support the private sector gave him at first. Some of his political allies became his opponents after this too. In 2002 there was an event that changed Chávez forever or at least forced him to show his real face: a coup d’état attempt. Between this and the general strike of 2002-2003 things were never the same. In 2003 Venezuela was in a really bad economic situation. However, things change rapidly once oil prices started to go up because of international factors. On February 5th, 2003 the Venezuelan government implemented CADIVI which was a currency exchange control that is responsible for a lot of the issues Venezuela faces today. A curious fact is that Chávez implemented this policy because he didn’t want Venezuela to end up like Argentina which was just recovering from a very serious crisis. The huge inflow of US dollars allowed Chávez to “pacify” the population. The lower classes were able to buy expensive imported goods at ridiculous prices. The middle class was able to travel and use their credit and debit cards to buy dollars overseas and sell them in the black market (raspar cupos). The upper class (including politicians) was able to create fake companies to practically steal the US dollars (empresas de maletín). Because of this high inflow of US dollars, the Venezuelan government was able to destroy the private sector through expropriations without worrying about supply issues as they could import products with a cheap US dollar. Just to clarify, Chávez did use repression against the Venezuelan people. However, he controlled most of the situation with the US dollars he got because of high oil prices. Now, there’s no free lunch. Chávez died in 2013 and Maduro became president during controversial elections. The economic situation of Venezuela worsened as oil prices plunged. There was a huge deficit and the government decided to print money to cover this provoking one of the highest hyperinflation rates in Latin American history. This situation was worsened as the private sector had been destroyed and now it was very difficult to import products as CADIVI ended and US dollars could only be bought in the black market. The economic situation of Venezuela is extremely complicated because most economic indicators are horrible and the currency is totally destroyed as this point mostly because the black market is the one that determines exchange rates. It’s been 7 years of hyperinflation, shortages and fall in economic output which is extreme even by Latin American standards. The situation worsens because of a political crisis that makes it impossible to develop a sound economic program to help. A lot of the very same people who hate Maduro also distrusts the opposition. Now, a country that enters in economic crisis doesn’t mean it’s going to become Venezuela. As I’ve explained before, Latin America is recognized by constant economic crises. I have listed some of them before. All countries fell and then recovered. Some of them fell again. Even if I have had a lot of issues with Venezuelans, I have to say I am very interested in seeing Venezuela recover. I just hope they learn from the hell they’ve gone through.
The plot is administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a regime-change vehicle that uses the pretense of “humanitarian aid” to advance Washington’s aggressive foreign-policy interests. The document (PDF) details the creation of a new “task order” called Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) and its plan for “Nicaragua’s transition to democracy” – a euphemism for removing the leftist Sandinista Front for National Liberation (known commonly by the Spanish acronym FSLN) from power. In the pages, the US government agency uses hardline neoconservative rhetoric, referring to Nicaragua’s elected government as the “Ortega regime,” and making it clear that Washington wants to install a neoliberal administration that will privatize the economy, impose neoliberal reforms, and purge all institutions of any trace of the leftist Sandinista movement. The USAID regime-change scheme states openly that one of its top “mission goals” is for Nicaragua to “transition to a rules-based market economy” based on the “protection of private property rights.” The document concludes by calling for the future US-installed regime in Nicaragua to “rebuild institutions” and “reestablish” the military and police; to “dismantle parallel institutions” that support the Sandinista Front; and to persecute FSLN leaders through “transitional justice measures” – in other words, a thorough purge of the Sandinista movement to prevent it from ever returning to power. In case it was not explicit enough that Washington’s goal was regime change, the 14-page USAID document employed the word “transition” 102 times, including nine times on the first page alone. USAID declared its intention to assist in what could be an “orderly transition” or a “sudden transition without elections,” which is clear code for a coup. At the same time, it acknowledged that Nicaragua’s right-wing opposition is divided and has little chance of winning the upcoming 2021 national election. https://preview.redd.it/c36321qc4df51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=6b0129c06092fc134e462f53b06e6b3de3e2f7c0
USAID oversees another far-right coup attempt in Latin America
Ever since the Sandinista Front returned to power in Nicaragua through democratic elections in 2006, Washington has been hellbent on trying to topple it. In 2018, the Donald Trump administration supported a violent coup attempt in Nicaragua, in which far-right gangs took over neighborhoods and paralyzed the country with bloody barricades known as tranques. The US-backed insurgents unleashed a reign of terror, killing and injuring hundreds of Sandinista activists and state security forces; marking the homes of leftist activists, ransacking and burning some down; and torturing and threatening supporters of the elected government. When the 2018 putsch attempt failed, the US government resorted to a raft of aggressive tactics to bring down Nicaragua’s leadership. In the past two years, the Trump administration has imposed several rounds of suffocating sanctions on the small Central American nation, often with bipartisan support in Congress, not a word of opposition from the Democratic Party, and cheers from the billionaire-funded human rights industry. The US Agency for International Development was instrumental in the Donald Trump administration’s violent US coup attempts against Venezuela’s elected government in 2019, working directly with the Department of Defense. USAID has poured hundreds of millions of dollars funding the US regime-change efforts against the leftist Chavista government, and has bankrolled the Trump-backed coup regime of Juan Guaidó. USAID has always functioned as a CIA cutout and soft-power arm for Washington. But under the Trump administration, it has kicked its coup efforts in Latin America into hyper drive. In April 2020, USAID was taken over by de facto director John Barsa, a hardline Republican businessman, Trump ally, and son of anti-communist Cuban immigrants. In coordination with Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Barsa has turned USAID into a blunt weapon of regime change, openly financing putsch efforts against the socialist governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
US govt’s Democracy International posts job listing for USAID coup liaison in Nicaragua
The Grayzone contacted USAID to ask confirmation that the document detailing its plans for a political “transition” in Nicaragua was authentic. The agency did not respond. We were able, however, to gather evidence demonstrating the document’s legitimacy. The pages spelling out the regime-change plot employ precisely the same language and phrases as a job listing that was posted in late July by another US government-funded organization, Democracy International. In fact, the USAID document appears to be a more detailed job description for this post. Democracy International stated in its listing on LinkedIn that it was seeking a Nicaraguan national in the capital of Managua to work as a “Senior Level Technical Expert – Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance to provide technical and programmatic support for USAID/Nicaragua’s Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) Task Order.” Directly echoing the USAID document, the Democracy International job listing said that the “purpose of the Task Order is ‘to provide rapid, responsive, and relevant analytical and technical assistance that bridge USAID/Nicaragua’s efforts to create the conditions for, and support, a peaceful transition to democracy in Nicaragua.'” This employee would help develop a “Transition Response Plan” – a regime-change scheme. (The brief job listing uses the term “transition” 10 times.) https://preview.redd.it/sqgntuqf4df51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=8776e8e274b0809b55257cddedbbb080aa2f4fa5 During the Cold War, coup coordination jobs like these would have been covert positions arranged with the CIA. In the freewheeling 21st century, however, this dirty regime-change work is carried out in the open, and advertised publicly on LinkedIn. In case it wasn’t clear what this organization’s relationship was to USAID, it stated clearly on the post: “Democracy International, Inc. (DI) provides technical assistance, analytical services and project implementation for democracy, human rights, governance and conflict mitigation programs worldwide for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. State Department and other development partners.” The job listing explicitly noted that the employee would work with the US government to provide “technical advice and country knowledge to GON (government of Nicaragua) ministries, USG (US government), and other stakeholders.” Clearly, Democracy International is searching for a local point person to help carry out Washington’s regime-change efforts on the ground. The USAID document spelled out in detail the specific destabilization strategy that this liaison would follow. The Grayzone called the Democracy International office with a request for comment on the LinkedIn job listing, the RAIN program, and the USAID document. A secretary would not let us speak with a specific member of the international team, simply saying, “We will inform the relevant people that we have received a call and I can give them their name and number and they will call you.” The secretary asked if The Grayzone had a specific question to respond to. We said, “Local Nicaraguan media outlets have criticized USAID’s RAIN program, which is described in the Democracy International job posting, and characterized it as what appears to be an attempt at orchestrating a coup in the country. Can you respond to that characterization and do you think it is fair or unfair?” The Democracy International secretary replied, “Wow that’s so interesting. I will definitely let them know that you called.”
USAID’s regime-change plot to “transition” Nicaragua to a “market economy”
USAID’s Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) plan makes it clear that it is just a “short term bridge” to bring about regime change in the country, adding, “It is USAID’s intent to follow RAIN with longer-term programs, which will be determined as the crisis evolves.” The regime-change plot outlined a “Mission Goal 2” in which “Nicaragua provides basis for future economic growth and increased trade through transition to a rules-based market economy based on transparent and accountable regulatory institutions, fiscal and monetary stability, respect for the rule-of-law and protection of private property rights.” A supplementary “mission objective” emphasized USAID’s desire for a new neoliberal regime in Nicaragua that “works with the private sector to rebuild institutionality and an efficient and fair administrative bureaucracy” – in other words, mass privatization. (Among the supposed crimes committed by the Nicaraguan “regime,” USAID lists “confiscation of properties.”) https://preview.redd.it/gcga9wci4df51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=d67c3e9db5e3b8fd9acd481a220110c1ae77e9a2 The USAID document outlined further US priorities for Nicaragua following a successful regime-change operation. USAID’s “Mission Goal 3” would be “Security reform and rebuilding institutions” to “reestablish independent and professional security forces.” This is clearly a call for purging the police and military of Sandinista loyalists and bring in US trainers to establish a neocolonial-style security force, much like General Keith Dayton did in the occupied West Bank after Palestinian resistance was extinguished following the Second Intifada. The “new government must act quickly to dismantle parallel institutions,” USAID adds. This is an indirect hint that Washington seeks to destroy the Sandinista Front, the Sandinista Youth, and other grassroots institutions that work with but are independent of the current socialist government. At its most severe, such a proposal could amount to an Augusto Pinochet-style purge of the left in Nicaragua. “Additionally, it will need to implement transitional justice measures,” the USAID document added. This language, which has also been used in the proxy war on Syria, suggests the new neoliberal Nicaraguan government would be compelled to prosecute Sandinista Front officials, echoing the strategy the US-backed right-wing regimes in Bolivia and Ecuador have used to criminalize the left-wing parties that previously ruled those countries, hunt down former leftist leaders, and throw opposition officials in prison on dubious charges. Another important part of the RAIN job would include recruiting native coup coordinators to help carry out the regime-change plot. USAID described this responsibility as follows: “Identification of potential Nicaraguan partners for rapid impact Grants Under Task Order to promote transition-related activities.” The initiative allotted $540,000 in grants to entice Nicaraguan opposition groups into assisting the regime-change effort. (In the second-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, where the minimum wage is between $200 and $300 per month, half a million dollars is no petty sum.) These funds would compliment the millions of dollars that USAID and the NED provide to right-wing Nicaraguan organizations every year. The USAID document insisted that “Nicaragua’s immediate future remains highly uncertain.” Yet it acknowledged that the right-wing opposition is divided and unpopular, admitting that its leadership has not “coalesced around a party or candidate.” Taking into account the weakness of the opposition heading into the 2021 national elections, the USAID plan outlines three scenarios for the overthrow of the socialist government and a “transition” to a US-friendly neoliberal regime. The first is an “Orderly Transition scenario,” a far-fetched situation in which an unpopular US-backed opposition group somehow manages to win the election. The second potential regime-change scenario is described as a “Sudden, Unanticipated Transition,” in “which one or more political crises, such as a snap or failed election, a presidential resignation, a major health crisis, a major natural disaster, or internal conflicts, lead to sudden regime crisis and transition either to an interim government or a new government.” This is the coup option, and USAID makes it clear that it would be more than happy with such a situation, and wants its RAIN liaison to prepare for it. The third is a “Delayed Transition scenario,” in which the Sandinista government remains in power. In this case, USAID says that RAIN would help it destabilize the government in other ways and lead to future regime change. https://preview.redd.it/pbljilbv4df51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=b2080eea5757f4fe414ea1f2d1e3ea3a3c3f2853 But USAID didn’t want readers to get the wrong impression. It stressed in the document that its coup would be “gender sensitive in compliance” and based on “gender-informed analytical work.” (Although the women who make up the bulk of the Sandinista base would have to be excluded from Washington’s woke political “transition”). The USAID document balanced its liberal language on gender with neoconservative rhetoric claiming, “Malign foreign influences, principally Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, will continue to attempt to strengthen the corrupt autocratic Ortega regime.”
“What if Nicaragua did that in the United States?”
The existence of the USAID regime-change document was first reported on July 31 on the popular Nicaraguan radio and video show Sin Fronteras, hosted by William Grigsby Vado. Grigsby, a prominent leftist media personality with a large following at the base of the Sandinista Front, condemned the US plot. “It is nauseating, the document; bearing to read it is difficult,” he said in outrage. “You have to have a strong liver to bear it. It pained me a lot.” “What right does the US government have to contract a firm to subvert public order in any country?” Grigsby fumed. “It is a shameless intervention. Before they did it with the military; in this case they are doing it by subverting public order and funding political opposition activities. That is unacceptable!” “What if Nicaragua did that in the United States, if for example Daniel Ortega said, ‘Hey, we’re going to help the protesters in Portland’?” he added. “But they reserve to themselves the right to act against the democratic institutionality of a country.” Grigsby concluded by condemning “yankee imperialism” and slamming Nicaraguan opposition figures who are participating in this regime-change scheme. “You all can do one of two things,” he thundered at the opposition. “Follow the rules of democracy, accept your defeat, and participate in the political game. Or you can simply remain as treasonists, hitmen, and traitors.” The USAID document shows Washington pushing the latter option, and driving the country into a deepened conflict.
Hello Cultists! In preparation for u/Casperwyomingrex ‘s In Cold Blood series, I’ve decided to analyze Easy Days and talk about activism. I’m not sure how this post will take form. I originally planned on talking about all of the different charity work that Bastille has done, but I feel like that isn’t productive. Plus, Easy Days, when broken down to its core, a call for all of us to not “fall back into the easy days”, so Bastille is begging us to have uncomfy conversations to keep us from falling back into them. I’ll talk more about this and how to engage after the analysis. Easy Days Video: https://youtu.be/MDRrSqgtFw4 All the things we tell ourselves To feel a little better, better All the lies we tell ourselves When we don't have an answer Don’t let me lie down On the world, the world around us Don't let me get down When we're dancing in the dark I think that most of us (especially in america), tend to tell ourselves “it isn’t really that bad” or just turn off the news whenever something about crises across the globe comes on. These are just some of the most obvious “things we tell ourselves to feel a little better.” As Dan addresses, this partly comes from the narrative “you can’t change anything” or “this is beyond you” (which is totally incorrect). By “lying down,” we are falling asleep and ignoring the world's problems. We choose bliss over confrontation. As far as “dancing in the dark,” I think that has multiple meanings. There are manyyyy songs that are titled “dancing in the dark,” but there is a lot of lyrical similarity to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” You can't start a fire you can't start a fire without a spark This gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark I’m not super familiar with Bruce Springsteen (a shame, I know), so forgive me if my paraphrasing isn’t the most accurate. While “Dancing in the Dark,” is more about taking control of your personal life and not falling into a groove, I think that Dan took this message and applied it on a much wider scale. ’Cause I don't want to fall back again Back into the easy days Everything was so simple then Little fires burned away Oh won't you help me start a fire? Come on won't you help me start a fire? 'Cause I don't want to fall back again Back into the easy days Most of us can agree that living in bliss during the easy days caused “little fires” to burn away. They became insignificant to us. Huge crises like the current political/economic/literally everything in Venezuela fade away. Dan asks us to “help start a fire” to relight these conversations and bring change to avoid us and him from “falling back again.” Omen, you're a fire in the past Overlooking trouble gone bad Sugarcoat nostalgia, get lost And why'd you want to be that guy? The bridge has never made the most particular sense to me, but I’m going to start with scraps and hope that y’alls in the comments can give your takes. Omen is generally a prophecy that (at least I feel) refers to the future, so by Dan saying that it was a “fire in the past” means that we either ignored or didn’t start enough fires to cause people to listen to the omen of what was to come. We “overlooked” the “trouble” causing it to “go bad”. We got distracted by the “easy days” being “sugar coated” with “nostalgia” that we either “got lost” in the bliss, or Dan is telling us to “get lost” because we aren’t paying attention to the world. I’m not sure who “and why’d you want to be that guy?” is referring to. Could it be the public for being ignorant to the world? Possible links to the Bastille universe: “I was the match and you were the rock, maybe we started this fire” from Things We Lost In The Fire. There is another interpretation of this song that would closer align to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” that could lead to a link with TWLITF. “We were lying in the middle of the road” from Glory I’m thinking that Easy Days might actually be a love song, but that's a rabbit hole I’m not about to jump down. Edit: I was listening back through Wild world and came across the lyric "and when we pick over the past we glorify it" which reminds me of "sugarcoat nostalgia" Edit again: I think that there are definitely huge connections in theme to Way Beyond Thus concludes the analysis and begins the discussion element of this post. I think it’s important to note all of what’s going on in the world right now, from locally, to nationally and abroad. I’m going to ask/highlight a few things/questions to get the ball rolling. All of the wonderful Introduction posts have proven that we have a very diverse cult, so what’s a problem where you live ( be safe about this and try to avoid doxing yourself)? What’s something that is corrupt or that you’d like to see change? What’s an issue you think needs more light shed on it? What’s a small country that needs help/ attention drawn to its issues? How can we help out? Are there any links/gofundmes/petitions that we can sign? My response: I’ll admit, I’m not the most educated on this stuff. It’s hard finding out about global issues with the total nationalist shit show that the U.S. is, so if any of you guys have a good newsource on this stuff that’d be amazing for you to drop it in the comments. Nationally: I’m sure all of you reading this know about the BLM movement in the United States and somewhat abroad. I’m not going to speak on this too much as there are people who have spoken on this wayyyy more gracefully than I have, but I’d like to note that BLM also sorta encompasses LGBTQ+ and Native Americans, so if you don’t support it already but you support one of those other groups then you really should. Also, Donald Trump fucking with the U.S. mail service and mail in ballots/ voting locations to keep people from voting (not going to go too hard on this because I feel that its already been jammed down everyone’s throats). Due to a technicality, police officers in 35 U.S. states can sexually assault someone and claim that it was consensual. While in many cases the officers still end up charged, there are some cases where the officer uses the consent excuse and gets away charge-free. Abroad: I haven’t heard a lot of news stations covering this as much as before, but Venezuela is still in crisis. The country was already a mess due to Dictators and the coup, but covid has left a lot of their population sick and jobless. I don’t personally live near or around Venezuela, so I’m not the most educated. But my heart belongs in South America. I love the cultures, the food, the dancing, and it feels selfish to be enjoying it in America while they are suffering. I’m not sure about any links to help, but I know the Red Cross is helping out there and across South & Central America (as well as all the crazy shit going on in Africa and the Middle East, I’d love if it one of you guys with more information could elaborate on that) Anyway, I know this post and the comments are going to leave us all depressed and feeling helpless, so here ya go. And before anyone comments this, this post can entirely be summed up with “when real life’s more fucked up than fiction” (HA, beat ya to it!) If you guys have any links to charities feel free to comment. I know that the guys majorly support Choose Love, but if there are any other charities they’ve supported please comment that too. On a different note, I’m going to be gone till the end of this week, so I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to respond to comments or be able to post anything else, but I’ll seriously be missing you guys. See ya later
2020.08.03 16:41 drfritz2Cheguei a marca estável exata de 10.000 de karma post. Para comemorar eu criei esse post respondendo o motivo da esquerda não dar certo no Brasil. Leia com atenção pois é importante.
Muitos perguntam o motivo da esquerda latino americana não dar certo e o motivo da esquerda não ter resposta para um momento como o que estamos vivendo agora. Poderíamos dizer que caso a esquerda consiga chegar ao poder e produzir resultado, que sofrerá um golpe militar patrocinado pelo império. (Ex: Bolívia) Ou então que se chegar ao poder e conseguir impedir um golpe, que terá de montar um governo autoritário e então ficar sangrando devido ao bloqueio feito pelo império (Ex: Venezuela) Ou mesmo que se conseguir sobreviver a isso por décadas, vai continuar isolado e vivendo praticamente em um mundo à parte. Vai ajudar todo mundo, mas não vai receber ajuda de ninguém (Cuba) . Poderia tentar fazer uma conciliação com a burguesia local, para depois tomar um golpe branco e então observar um grande retrocesso. (Petê) Observem que os caminhos já estão dados e o fracasso é praticamente certo. Para conseguir sucesso, é necessário que o império esteja em crise e não tenha forças suficientes para manter seu domínio na região. É possível que esse cenário esteja em construção agora. Ninguém sabe o que pode acontecer. Porém existe um desafio anterior. Um desafio que se mostra, ao meu ver, como o principal empecilho para qualquer sucesso da esquerda, tendo em vista que Bozo está no poder. Essa tese é minha e após fazer diversos testes tanto aqui, como em outros espaços, acho que está pronta para ser formalizada: INIMPUTABILIDADE ESTATAL O estado burguês extermina, massacra, pisa no pescoço e oprime o proletariado. Os agentes estatais podem fazer tudo isso. Podem prevaricar, trabalhar em conluio, cometer peculato e improbidade administrativa. Eles podem fazer qualquer coisa! Um traficante estatal internacional, pode ser pego com 39 kilos de cocaína no avião presidencial. Agentes do judiciário podem atuar de forma política e seletiva. Tudo é permitido. O que não pode ser feito? O que todas as esquerdas se negam a fazer? Aconteça o que acontecer, doa a quem doer, custe o que custar, NINGUÉM da esquerda irá levantar a bandeira da EXONERAÇÃO de criminosos estatais. Todos os protestos, todas as ações, vão apontar para o abstrato. Nenhuma ação vai apontar para o núcleo do problema que é a INIMPUTABILIDADE. Observe que não é impunidade, é anterior a isso. Qual o resultado desse fenômeno? A classe proletária, exterminada, esmagada e massacrada, apesar de alienada não é burra. O ódio e a revolta estão latentes. A relação com o estado é aversiva e desagradável. Escola, saúde, educação, tributos, saneamento, infra estrutura, aposentadoria, assistência social, trânsito, justiça. Em todas as frentes o estado oprime. O que a burguesia faz? Discurso liberal para privatizar e enxugar o estado. Também faz discurso moralista anti corrupção. Os proletários caem na pegadinha. As esquerdas ficam sem narrativa, pois precisam defender a autonomia do estado, mas não conseguem responder as opressões. Na hora do vamos ver, do pega pra capá, do tudo ou nada, da vida ou da morte, as esquerdas estão do lado dos inimputáveis. Não pedem a exoneração dos criminosos (comprovadamente criminosos). Então é isso amiguinhos. Se você depois de ler esse texto, continua a favor da INIMPUTABILIDADE ESTATAL, saiba que é por isso que a esquerda não tem proposta, pois não existe proposta a ser feita quando se aceita esse tipo de coisa.
2020.07.30 19:33 vegasbmNigeria, 26 other countries head for food crises
A new analysis by the United Nation’s (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have identified Nigeria and 26 other countries across the globe as front liners of an impending food crisis, driven by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The joint analysis warned that the “hotspot countries” are at high risk and in some cases are already seeing significant food security deteriorations, noting that in the coming months, there would be rising numbers of people pushed into acute hunger. According to the report, no world region is immune, from Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Asia, to Haiti, Venezuela, and Central America, to Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria in the Middle East, to Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Liberia Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe in Africa. Speaking on the report, Director-General, FAO, Qu Dongyu, said this could be the worst food crisis in generations, as these countries were already grappling with high levels of food insecurity, and acute hunger even before COVID-19. https://guardian.ng/features/agro-care/nigeria-26-others-head-for-food-crises/
2020.07.27 18:15 Buck_JoffreyWealth Formula Episode 222: The Dollar Milkshake Theory with Brent Johnson
Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/222-the-dollar-milkshake-theory-with-brent-johnson/ Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Brent Johnson. Brent is the CEO and portfolio manager at Santiago Capital in San Francisco which he formed after a successful lengthy career with private clients at Credit Suisse. Brent's Dollar Milkshake Theory has been circulating on the internet and on the podcast circuit and he's here today to explain it and discuss it. Brent, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. Brent: Thanks for having me. Happy to be here and looking forward to speaking with you. Buck: Well great, thanks. You know before we jump into the theory itself, you know we have my listeners, people like me right maybe we're kind of smart because we went to med school or we went to law school or whatever, but we may not be quite that sophisticated on you know the nuances of the financial markets that are going on right now. So do me a favor give us a little bit of background on the economic situation the situation with the markets that we're in as a country at sort of the macro 101 level that sort of leads into your theory. Brent: Sure. Well so, first of all, I would say that you know I think everything I do, I start with a very big picture and then I drill down in more detail and more detail and more detail. So I'm very much a big picture person and as you know over the last couple years well actually over the last decade you know since the global financial crisis I've really dug deep into the macro world and not only the macro world which you know for those who don't know it's basically the big picture the country by country basis and interest rates you're not necessarily looking at the balance sheet of an individual company, but looking at big overall trends and global you know things that are happening on a global basis and as part of that I really dug into central banking and the way the monetary system is designed to just kind of understand how money gets into the system how it flows why it flows what are the different things that influence it and you know in doing that I started I got into that probably about 2006 or 2007. I had kind of this fortuitous meeting you know when I was still at Credit Suisse and I realized that all the people I thought were experts really weren't as smart as I thought that they were and since they couldn't give me the answers and they would laugh at me if I asked these what I thought were good questions but they thought were silly so I basically had to go find the answers myself and through that whole process of self-discovery and self-education I got a better understanding of how the monetary system actually works and I discovered that the situation for the United States was not very good for lack of a better word. So I didn't predict the global financial crisis but I was ready for it when it happened now subsequent to that the global financial crisis over the last 10 years the central banks and the monetary authority authorities around the world have for lack of a better word flooded the market with liquidity because it wasn't just the United States that was in trouble in the global financial crisis it was kind of the whole world. And so over the last 10 to 12 years we've seen the whole world you know reflate as they pump the liquidity into the markets but with sporadic crises popping up you know every couple years in different parts of the globe. And it was through that work that I I initially thought that the dollar was in big trouble because of the bad situation that the United States was in and in hindsight I think I did really good analysis on the United States and a lot of other people have done really good analysis on the Snited States. But what I discovered in probably 2016 was that while I had done fantastic in my own opinion analysis on the United States I had not done the same level of analysis on the rest of the world. And so I was kind of analyzing the United States in a vacuum but the reality is we don't live in a vacuum. It's a global world it's a global market you know money doesn't just stay in the United States. It flows all over the world and money that gets created in Germany doesn't just necessarily stay in Europe it can flow the United States or South America. And so when and then the last thing you got to realize is that currencies fiat currencies. Fiat currencies are basically countries or you know the paper currencies that countries issue these are not backed by anything they're not backed by gold they're not backed by oil they're not backed by land so it's really the promise that the government the tax revenue of the citizens that's what backs the currencies and so what I realized while I had done good analysis on the US Dollar I had not held the same level of critique to the other currencies and the reality is that all these fiat currencies trade relative to each other. They don't trade on an absolute basis they may trade on an absolute basis versus something like gold but against each other they trade on a relative basis. So if you have 10 people lined up and you're trying to pick out the smartest one and but they're all idiots one of them is still going to be the smartest idiot yeah right yeah and so and so the smartest idiot is going to do better relative to the other nine and when I started thinking about it and when I started really kind of analyzing the way the system was designed and the way that it functions and the way it's enforced is that despite all the problems for the United States, that it had numerous advantages over the other currencies and a lot of those other currencies had the same problems as the United States. Buck: So we’re the least ugly country in the room. Brent: Yeah and it's kind of a silly analogy but it's correct and it's kind of this some people say well that's too simplistic and well yeah it is simplistic but that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. And so it was through that work that led me to my Dollar Milkshake Theory and in essence the Dollar Milkshake Theory. Buck: Before you start with that let me ask you this and it's a very simplistic question but I think it's one that people, so okay so we're talking about whether the dollar ultimately is strong or is it going to be weak. Why does that matter? Brent: Well it matters for a couple of reasons. If it's weak on an overall, on an absolute basis then your purchasing power over time is going to fall and that has huge implications for your savings account or your retirement account or the way you want to live in the future. You may think you have plenty of savings to live the rest of your life and in the style through which you've become accustomed, but if the cost of living goes up significantly in the future you may not be able to live as well as you think you will. Now if prices fall then that would be good for your you know your savings account would increase in value, but if the value of the dollar loses time over time value over time then your savings may not be enough to sustain you through that time period so that's why it's important on an absolute basis. And then it's also important on a relative basis because you know that relative prices of currencies are what drive capital markets and capital markets involve things like interest rates and stock markets and real estate markets and so you know the flow of capital into a country or into a region typically accompanies a strength of that currency and it typically indicates you know a positive flow of asset prices. Like if all of the capital was leaving the country then that would be bad for those assets in that country or that country so it's important for both of those reasons. Buck: Got it and that's really important I think just to set the stage again because really this whole thing is about ultimately the strength of the dollar and you know how that affects everything else. So you know guys like Peter Schiff out there are saying that the dollar is about to crash because the amount of money we're printing and that gold is going to go through the roof. So why is he wrong and this is probably you know ties in with explaining your Dollar Milkshake Theory. Brent: So the first thing I'd say is he's not completely wrong. He's right on part of it but he doesn't have the whole picture I don't think. And then the second thing is that I have said many times that I think Peter is probably as good as anybody is explaining where we're going to end up and why we're going to end up there. I just don't think he has a good understanding of the road that we're traveling to get to that ultimate destination that he has laid out, and the again the part of the reason I say that is because again fiat, so he may be correct in that the dollar is going to lose value versus gold and gold is going to go through the roof, I happen to agree with him that over the next you know three to five to ten years, gold's gonna go to five thousand dollars and potentially much higher than that. So on that perspective we're completely in agreement but when he says the dollar is going to zero, maybe versus you know again physical assets or gold but versus other currencies I think he's completely wrong, in other words versus the Euro or versus the Yen or versus the Yuan I think he has it completely wrong because I don't think he understands the supply-demand dynamics of the dollar versus the supply and demand dynamics of those other currencies. And the advantages that the United States has and the disadvantages that those other countries have again I think he has a very good understanding of the destination but not the path which we follow to get there. Buck: So tell us about the Dollar Milkshake Theory. Brent: Yeah so the Dollar Milkshake Theory, I came up with it after watching a movie you know four or five years ago this movie called There Will Be Blood. It was about this ruthless oil executive who just hated his competitors and would do anything to beat them and he was trying to buy some land that had oil on it and the you know his competitor wouldn't sell him the land so he basically said well you know what I own the land right next door so I don't really need to buy it from you I'm just going to stick a straw down I'm going to stick a pipe down into the ground on my side of the fence and I'm going to suck up your oil and he said I'm going to drink your milkshake. So I don't really need to own the land I just need to be able to have a straw to stick down in there and that and I thought about it and that's really kind of what I think is going to happen over the next two to three years in the United States. So over the last 10 to 12 years as I said earlier all the central banks got together and after the global financial crisis, they injected liquidity into the market. Now you know they call it QE, they call it you know fiscal stimulus there's a number of different names that they use for it but essentially they're pumping new liquidity into the system. And my point is is that it's not so much important who injects it, what's really important is who captures it or who sucks it up. And from let's call it 2009 to 2015 all the central banks were doing it in unison but in 2016 the US started raising interest rates and so we started rather than pushing, injecting liquidity in we were pulling liquidity up into the United States by raising interest rates. And so as I said we started drinking that liquidity that the rest of the world was mixing. Now that interest rate the higher interest rates are the raising of interest rates stopped in 2019 and since then we've actually been lowering interest rates but on a relative basis, our interest rates are still much higher than most of the rest of the world and in addition to that so while the the the raising of interest rates were part of the straw that would suck up that liquidity they weren't the only component of it there's a number of other components that I think give the United States an advantage that sucks that capital to the United States. The first one is that we have the biggest and the deepest capital markets in other words we can absorb all these flows because our capital markets are so big and there's so much demand for them. The second thing is that the dollar payment system is what is so when you think about money traveling around the world or when you well if you wire money from the United States to Brazil or if Brazil wires money to Japan it typically flows through the channels of the dollar payment system because the dollar is the global reserve currency we're the worthy global superpower we've designed the system through which banks communicate with each other. So we control that system and we can either let people access the system or we can kick them out of the system and we've done that there's been several times over the last you know couple decades where we've kicked people out of the dollar payment system. We've done it to Russia we've done it to Iran we've done it to Venezuela. It's part of putting financial sanctions on other countries. And so that's a so you know the fact that we control the dollar payment system is a big part of the straw. The other thing is that we have relative to a lot of other countries we have you know regulations that are pro-business, you know we don't have any capital controls. If you wire money into the United States you can send it back out it's not the same you know in places like China or Venezuela or Russia, they don't have the same capital controls or we don't have the same capital controls that many other countries do. And then finally and a lot of times people don't like me saying this, but it is, in fact, true is that you know the US military plays a big part in this the US military enforces the United States role as the global hegemon and if a country does something that we don't like there's always the military option. Now I don't like saying that I don't necessarily like this option I don't like this policy that the United States uses but it is in fact a policy that we do use and it's one that needs to be taken into consideration. So that's just a few of the factors that I think lead to the US being the number one destination for global capital. Buck: And again it really comes down to this idea that we are the you know least ugly country financially in the room and you know we also are the one with like the big gun right? So all this money comes in and that creates a demand for the dollar and that then, therefore, inflates our asset prices in the US. Brent: That's right. And there's one other aspect too that I didn't mention and that is debt. So when you borrow money, you're basically creating demand for those dollars in the future, you know if you borrow money you're getting money today but you have to pay it back 5 10 15 years down the road. And so you're creating demand on a yearly basis to service that debt and then you're creating demand for the ultimate repayment of that loan in years in the future. And what has happened since the global financial crisis is that the dollar debt in the world issued by countries or entities outside the United States, so entities corporations companies individuals countries they all issue dollar-denominated debt, even though they're not a US entity and that amount of US Dollar debt issued by global entities has more than doubled in the last 12 years and until the entire system changes that is demand for dollars. So there's an incredible amount of demand for dollars both inside the United States because it's our currency, but then there's there's this whole second market the dollars that exist outside the United States and those are called Euro dollars and there's a huge Euro dollar market that is huge demand for dollars outside the United States. So we have these two markets the domestic market and the offshore market for dollars and the interesting thing is that the offshore market for US Dollars is bigger than almost any other currency all on its own. So if you look at the entire market for Euros both the onshore and offshore market for Euros it's about the same size as just the offshore market for dollars so the point is is that there's incredible demand for dollars not just inside the United States but by the rest of the world as well. Buck: So tell me obviously this theory predated the pandemic. Is the pandemic here and the crisis is this accelerating? Brent: Yeah so also it's really kind of an interesting thing and I'll walk through it slowly to kind of layout why that is. So we have been of the opinion that we were set up all the all the conditions were there for a crisis of the of the supply-demand imbalance between the supply of dollars and the demand for dollars we knew there was an imbalance and we knew something would happen to make that imbalance kind of go out of whack even more and that the price of the dollar would rise very fast. And the pandemic is probably the last thing that we ever would have thought of to do it but essentially what happened was when global commerce stopped and when trade stopped as a result of the covid and the virus and you know people stopped flying and people stopped trading and ships stopped going and it basically also took the velocity of money or the speed with which trade was taking place to zero for lack of a better word right. And so all these people that needed these dollars to pay their loans to to to to buy this inventory to do whatever it was they couldn't get the dollars anymore so we got in march we got into this dollar funding squeeze where the dollar appreciated you know six or seven percent which is a lot for a currency to appreciate six or seven percent over a couple weeks that's very big especially when it's the global reserve currency that everybody needs. And so and the antithesis of that was everybody had to sell assets in order to get the liquidity because they weren't getting it through trade they had to sell what they had in order to get the liquidity and that's why we saw the huge sell-off in the markets in March. And so there was this huge demand for dollars because the velocity of money had gone to zero but what has taken place since then is then the central banks came in the fed came in and not only did the central bank provide new liquidity and pump new money in but there was a number of programs that were put in place to defer dollar payments, in other words you could call your bank and say can I defer my mortgage for three months or six months or whatever and they would say yes, now they didn't forgive those payments you still owe them but they would let you defer it for six or seven months, same thing with rents same thing with us with cross-border finance, a lot of trade around the world again takes place in dollars. If brazil trades with Japan a lot of times that trade will take place in dollars but if you ordered let's say a million dollars worth of inventory from a supplier in China but they didn't actually ship it to you, well then you're not going to pay for it either. So while in the very short term it caused a big demand for dollars, the fact that payments have been deferred and at the same time that the fed was flooding liquidity in, it gave a temporary oversupply of dollars so you've seen the supply of dollars fall or you've seen the price of dollars fall back over the last three or four months but our argument is that as soon as trade starts happening again as soon as all these payments that have been deferred have to be made again that you're going to see a re-emergence of this dollar shortage where there's not going to be enough dollars to go around to meet the demand. Buck: So let me ask you something. Part of what you were talking about with gold. I've always sort of been of the thought that gold is almost sort of like the anti-dollar right gold goes up you know they're sort of inversely related, but did I get you right in that part of your theory is that gold and the dollar kind of go up simultaneously and if so how is that possible? Brent: Yeah so it's a great question and so again I think it depends on if you're just looking at those two currencies then they both can't go up together. One of them is going to rise versus the other one. But the point that I like to make as part of my theory is I think we're going to get into a place where the dollar and gold are rising together versus everything else. So if you just look at gold in the dollar they both can't rise together. But if you consider all the different assets in the world and all the different currencies and all the different choices, I think the two most important assets that you can own over the next two to three to five years is dollars and gold because I think versus all the other currencies and many other asset classes those two assets are going to perform better than anything else and so and so and so you know again it kind of depends on how you in other words while doll while gold might go up versus the dollar I think it will go up even more versus the Euro or even more versus the yen or the Australian dollar or whatever it is. Buck: So let's talk about like based on this theory and I know you've got your work is basically around this and your funds and stuff but at a high level, what are some of the like concepts to model your portfolio or to consider in your personal portfolio? I mean how do you design something like that? What are some of the big concepts? Brent: Sure so I think this is where it kind of gets important to layout different time frames and I always say that I'm gonna first of all I'm gonna tell you exactly how I think asset prices are gonna play out over the next two to three years, that doesn't necessarily mean that's what I think is going to happen over the next two or three months. So in general the Milkshake Theory says that the US Dollar is going to rise versus all of the currencies over the next two or three years. The rise of the dollar is going to create chaos in the monetary system. It will create a number of crises around the world where you know asset prices in Canada and Australia and Europe and Africa and South America will go down because the dollar will squeeze those countries and I think the flight into the dollar will mean that the liquidity comes to United States it goes into US asset prices so we will be able to continue to finance our treasury by the flow of capital. I think US stock prices will go higher over the next couple years I'm not sure about real estate I think real estate I don't think real estate is going to crash but I don't necessarily think real estate is going to go through the roof, but I think I think what happens is we get this melt-up for lack of a better word in US Dollar and US asset prices and we get this meltdown in the rest of the world. Now I don't think that that's going to happen over the next two or three months it could but I actually think that we're in for another pullback in US equities let's call it between some time over the next nine months and when that happens you know I think that would or would if we do get a second wave of Covid or whatever it is you know there's a number of you know when these dollar payments have to be made again we think there's a number of people that are going to go bankrupt etc but then when we get further into the crisis when this starts happening on a global basis and the global capital really starts flowing to the United States out of a flight to safety so to speak that's when we think that we will get this melt-up where the stock market will go back to its all-time highs and even higher. I just don't think we're there right now today. Buck: So we're talking about you know two or three years you know just sort of ride this out at that point and then what would happen after that? Brent: After that, what I think will happen and you know the bottom line is that the dollar just you cannot have a strong dollar for a long period of time because it literally it just wrecks the monetary system and there's a whole concept that goes back to I think it was the 60s there was an economist named Robert Triffin and he basically said if you have an individual country's currency which also acts as the global reserve currency that all other countries use, then at some point, and it might take a long time, but at some point, the needs of the domestic economy will come into conflict with the needs of the global economy. And this kind of goes right into the heart of Trump's Make America Great Again. You know for the dollar, for the monetary system to function as it does we have had to offshore all of our manufacturing to other countries and so we supply the dollars they supply the goods and that's how the whole country the whole global monetary system works. But Trump has tried to reverse that he wants to bring the manufacturing back, he wants us to export less and import, or he wants us to export more and import less. Well, this is the exact thing, Triffin’s dilemma. This is the domestic economy coming into conflict with the international commodity economy or the global economy. So I think that's what's going to take. We're already there we're kind of in that now but I think it's going to get exacerbated over the next couple years and essentially I think it will cause so many problems the strong dollar will cause so many problems that they will have to do something to redesign the monetary system or weaken the dollar because the system just won't function with a really strong dollar and so what I think will probably have like another plaza accord type deal you know back in the 80s the dollar got really strong and a bunch of the countries got together and they artificially weakened the dollar because it was causing problems. I think something like that will happen again and I think that's when that's I think so the dollar will get weakened either artificially or because of a redesign of the monetary system or whatever and I think that will be the time to then get out of the US Dollar and get out of US assets and then go buy the international markets or the markets that have been beaten up as the dollar got stronger so basically you flip it and do exactly the opposite, but I think that's a couple of years away. Buck: How do you time that though? Brent: I mean it's hard because it's very hard. Buck: Because by the time they announce like some sort of you know meeting that looks like the plaza accord I think everybody's already there right? Brent: Well I think listen I'm I'm not arrogant enough to think that I'm going to be able to time this perfectly, but I think we're a I don't think we're close to that yet and I think there has to be a lot more pain before we get to something like that and so while I'm in in our separately managed accounts that we oversee for clients, we're largely trying to protect against this chaos that we see coming, but then I mentioned to you that we have a private fund that we manage and in that private fund we're actually trying to profit from this chaos that we see coming and the thing is that most people think that if you go around and you survey financial institutions and asset managers and currency experts the majority but the far majority of people believe that over the next two or three years the dollar is going to weaken because of the amount of stimulus that the fed is providing and policies etc etc. If you look at traders positioning you know people are very short the dollar they're very long the Euro. So the most people don't think the dollar is going to go higher over the next couple years partly because it just can't be allowed to happen because it creates so many problems but what that sets up is it sets up an opportunity to where if it does happen, you can make a lot of money because not many people think it will happen so the odds are kind of in your favor and the pricing of these trades to do if the dollar does get strong is very much in your favor. So we've set this fund up to where if we're even a little bit right we have the opportunity to make a lot of money and so what we've said is that you shouldn't put your whole portfolio into this fund, but this is a way to put you know as an example five percent of your portfolio into this fund and if we're right that five percent has the opportunity to do very well and help hedge against the rest of your portfolio in the chaos, or even a source of to make a lot of money and if we're wrong and we lose half of it or whatever it is well then that must mean the rest of the world's doing fine, the other 95 percent of the portfolio is doing very well and more than making up for this hedge. But the trades the dollar trades that we're looking at are very asymmetric so it's an opportunity to bet a little in order to make a lot. It's kind of like an insurance policy that you know nobody thinks they're going to wreck their car the next day nobody thinks that their house is going to burn down that night but they have but they buy the insurance policy just in case it does right so maybe you pay you know ten thousand dollars a year in insurance on your house but if your house burns down they give you a million bucks to rebuild it or what or whatever it is and so that that's kind of how we view this as well. Buck: Got it. So one other question and maybe our last you know question on this is what things could happen that would potentially you know what would sort of break your theory? Like you know what are the unexpected things that happen that you know make it so that the theory kind of is no longer possible? Brent: Right well there's a couple things that could happen. Number one the theory could be delayed in other words I think it'll play out over the next two or three years what is possible and again this isn't my base case but I can't rule it out is that you know the fed and the monetary authorities are able to do something over the next six months, 12 months to push the dollar much lower another 10 percent lower or something, in which case they push the problem off into the future and then it takes another year two years three years for my thesis to play out again. So maybe it's possible that I'm early. The only way I can figure out if I'm completely wrong is if if the if Trump and the treasury were to come out overnight and artificially just write down the dollar overnight and come out and say we have you know Trump says I've instructed Mnuchin to do whatever he needs to do to get the dollar index from 95 to 65 over the next six months you know whether they go out and they buy they print dollars and they buy foreign currencies or they pay gold higher or whatever it is, in that scenario, our thesis would not play out on a currency basis, however, the interesting thing is that in itself would cause a bunch of chaos. You know the the dollar getting written down 20 or 30 percent or whatever it is you have to remember that makes the Euro go up 20 or 30 percent it makes the yen go up 20 or 30 percent makes the yuan go up 20 or 30 percent those economies it would be very hard for those economies to sustain a 20 or 30 rise in their currencies. So then they would have to come out and try to write down their currencies and so in that chaos we think we would still make some money but it would potentially derail the overall thesis that I have as far as a whole milkshake right. Buck: Right so like an all-out currency war. Brent: Yeah Buck: Well listen this has been really useful and educational for us all, Brent. It's Santiago Capital in San Francisco. Investors need to be they need to have a net worth of over two million dollars to participate, that doesn't mean that's your investment but that's your net worth. How do people get in touch with you if they're interested in potentially participating in your fund. Brent: Sure well if you just go to [email protected] or you send me an email [email protected]. I also have a website it's just a basic website it just has my contact information but it's santiagocapital.com. I'm pretty active on twitter @SantiagoAUfund is my handle but if you just type in Santiago Capital you'll probably find me I'm pretty active on there again and I'm happy to share my contact info with you and if any of your listeners contact you, feel free to forward them on to me you know and I always say this and I'll tell you it's getting harder and harder to do because I get a lot of emails and phone calls and direct messages but I do try to answer everybody and if you send me a message and I don't answer you feel free to send another one I will eventually get to it I won't ignore you forever and I'm always happy to try to help people. Buck: That's great, fantastic, Brent, and again thanks for coming on the show, and hopefully we can you know have you on again sometime as this thing plays out in the next few years. Brent: Yeah I'd be happy to do that and I appreciate you guys taking the time to hear my thoughts. Buck: We'll be right back.
2020.07.21 00:23 theRealSenninBolsonaro está comprando as Forças Armadas para se perpetuar no poder.
Bom dia a todos. Desde a vitória de Bolsonaro, vemos cada vez mais os militares ganhando força dentro das engrenagens do Estado. Muitos setores estratégicos do país, nós vemos entregue a alta-cúpula das Forças Armadas. Além de ficarem de fora das reformas, como reformas, os militares estão ganhando cada vez mais privilégios. Hoje, saiu a notícia que militares de baixa patente, que forem indicados a cargos comissionados, vão ter um salto de salário. É evidente que Bolsonaro não confia apenas na alta cúpula entreguista e parasita desse país. Ele precisa de parasitas mais leais a ele. Bolsonaro está comprando as Forças Armadas com poder econômico e político afim de se perpetuar no poder. Estratégia até que foi usada, na Venezuela, em parte por Chaves e intensificada por Maduro. Reparem que os Ministérios, cada vez mais são empurrados para crises e crises, até cair no colo de Militares. Está se tornando um modus operandi. E a nossa elite acovardada pisa em mil ovos pra fazer critica as ações desses militares-ministros. Ainda não vimos um militar sendo tirado de Ministro nesse governo e, provavelmente, não vamos ver. Estamos de frente pra um projeto de transformar o Brasil, numa pseudo-ditadura. Bolsonaro aceitaria uma derrota em 2022? As Forças Armadas vão aceitar de bom grado a mudança e a perda de seus altos cargos agora conquistados?
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