Archive for the ‘Geo Politics’ Category

What do we mean by Progress?

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Geo Politics
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I read a piece published by MoneyWeek which made me ponder about how many of us understanding the term ‘Progress’

It was Isaac Newton who is quoted as saying; “If I have seen further , it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, itself a paraphrase of an older quote by John of Salisbury….

This made me think that progress can never be the achievement of one people at any one time or era. We are all in this race, progress is attributable to many of us, each taking our own steps, making our mark and then either explicitly or implicitly passing on our achievements to those who come after us.

Can we really attribute ALL prosperity to a single people(s) or even a single idea, or system, unless, this starting point was fully formed from the beginning?

When economic and intellectual progress is considered, let us not simply reward modern day Europe in all its guises. What of the ancient Indus Valley, Mesopotamian and Nile River civilisations who gained from their respective predecessors. What of Ancient China and the Far East, what of the Ancient Africans, of which their accomplishments are unsung, for did they not make great strides in their own right before handing over to Ancient Greece or Rome. Did the Muslims not preserve this knowledge before adding to it for the ‘Enlightened’ Europeans to take hold of everything that came before?

The baton will continue to be passed, for we all participate in this race. Yet for some, this rac(e)ial identity will be used to define our place and our achievements. 

Realise the lens with which we view our collective place in this world and our progress.

Poor countries don’t need charity. They need justice.

Is this another deception with our perception of ‘The World’?

One of the most comprehensive reports into the real financial transfers into and out of the developing world shows that the extraction of wealth from the third world, much of it former colonies, continues apace.

Rich countries aren’t developing poor countries; poor countries are developing rich ones

How Poor Countries Develop Rich Countries

I find the fact that some $4trillion since 1980 is attributed to debt interest repayments fascinating. The scale of this particular transfer is testament to the continued servitude of many nations states.

When many times more is sent back in exchange for every dollar received in aid, does this not sound like a familiar profit making enterprise at work?

Reading the original report, I find this sentence especially on point…

Much improved statistical compilation and reporting is required in order to have a more adequate picture of global financial flows; a task that urgently needs to be undertaken collaboratively by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations, Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Bank for International Settlements.

Is this a list of the usual suspect organisations?

 

As the new calendar year opens and the prior year draws to a close, many media slots are filled with both reviews of the past 12 months and predictions for the coming period.

In a year which has shattered any pretence, if there was indeed any in the first place, that certain qualified professionals have an innate ability to understand and predict future events and trends more so than those not so versed, I find it bewildering how the routine of setting predications continues apace.

Yet, nothings changes with the time and space given to these commentators. Does this suggest that we are simply suffering the fall out of the media’s own making?

Does it become a necessary exercise in futility that cannot be undone. People are paid to ply their trade, plenty of investors hoping to be the early bird yearn for such opinion, however what fundamentals change with the ticking of the clock past midnight on the 31st of December….none. Events occur at various moments, they may be game changers, or just another part of an ongoing trend, but until such time, why do many of us become caught up, entangled, in the futility of reviewing for only the sake of review? Until material events take place, should the consensus be the same from one small moment to the next?

With the amount of opinions available, getting the right outcome then becomes a sure fire way to earn a name for yourself…and then ensure others listen to you the next time. It will also set yourself apart from others and thus raise your status even further, allowing one to earn a greater share of the pie.

But the emphasis seems to be to write for the sake of writing, to pick winners or make new observations, not because anything has changed, but because of the need to make a statement, an observation or raise an issue not already discussed. Because the machine is too bloated and it needs more junk to feed on, many are only too pleased to oblige, and before we know it, we don’t have quality research on the market, we have noise. Distracting garbage probably not worth the paper its written on, something to separate the herd from the those with an eagle eye.

No-one can be right all the time, and no-one can rightly claim to know more than their peers. And yet in a year such as 2016 when eggs have been freely spread over the faces of our esteemed experts no such change is thought to be appropriate this time around.

Sometimes, less is needed, not more. Sometimes no comments are more insightful than the need to fill a void, to sell more observations to the detriment of the ordinary investor. I find a great connection here to the fact that even in an information age, with so much growing information at the tips of our fingers, we are arguably becoming ever more ignorant, being drowned in distraction not clarity. Look at the clamour of reporters trying to decipher from the tiniest inferences from Central Bank Governors as to the perceived direction of rates and the economy….there is just too much at stake not to be overzealous in this regard.

Will we think back to the remarkable number of events throughout modern history when the herd were quite disastrously wrong (EU Single Currency argument ?), or is this too just many people buying the trash up for sale. Perhaps we have never been accurate at all but the blurred reality shown to us is one that most experts get it right… mostly, but who’s really keeping check?

I wonder how the future will pan out…..let me see what those in the know are saying….?

 

 

 

In 1985 a precedent was set, as the leading economies of the day met to agree a way forward for mutual benefit and growth.

Read a summary of the event here

Putting this into perspective, considering modern day interventions, which has become a little too coordinated and frequent. Ultimately the Central bankers continue to take center stage, markets can’t get enough of them. They pour over every word, the syntax and the general impression they give about the coming months, are they feeling too hot or too cold, bull-shit or bear-shit?

These are the puppet masters, managing the stage, setting the scene.

Another example of the manipulation and authoritarian control excercised over our economic reality

 

Jim Rickards shares his opinions on the current gold market activity in this article;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/17/gold-is-the-spectre-haunting-our-monetary-system1/

Some fascinating insights on the way Dollar wealth can be used for geo political means and how it is the currency denomination, rather than the commodity itself which can determine how effective it is from outside influence and control.

Explore the following link for Jim Rickards explanation of the Tiffin Dilemma which links the US Dollar to global trade and the also to the gold standard and currency preservation….

http://www.capitalandconflict.com/central-banks/triffins-dilemma-and-the-future-of-sdrs-2/

 

A long standing concern with using Gold as sound money is the market in which it operates. Please see previous posts exploring this however a current article from the Telegraph sheds more light on the workings of these mechanisms, further highlighting the extent of the manipulation possible and the lack of transparency – it is a wonder that we still call it a market, since it arguably doesn’t even meet some of the fundamental proponents, namely efficient information and price movements based on real participants trading the commodity.

It is telling how much speculators were able to move the market recently. Some commentators have often ridiculed the extent of their influence when markets work in the right way….whenever that is.

Note also the reference to how controlled the price is relative to the US Dollar – the world’s (great fiat) reserve currency – any thoughts the days of the Dollar were numbered should be tempered. This demonstrates the ability to control Gold through the ‘tool’ of paper currencies and interest rates, let us not think merely changing the base of money will solve our problems, we must reconstruct the entire market and all it stands for.

Emerging markets have borrowed $4.5 trillion in US dollars. The borrowers are vulnerable to a double squeeze from both higher US rates and a dollar spike.

What threatens to become a “margin call” for dollar debtors could ricochet through gold markets as a secondary effect. It may have begun already.