Archive for the ‘Geo Politics’ Category

“It’s the era of socially responsible investment – ooh hello, Saudi Aramco”

With interest rates so low for so long (emergency measures they say?) the chance to earn greater returns, could be too much to pass by, even if it risks loosing face for the supposed ethical stance adopted for the sake of good PR(opergander)

This piece from MoneyWeek reflects on the difficult decision which exposed most of the investment community, in being very quick to discard any thoughts of ethics when it came to investing with a regime which very publicly killed a journalist not so long ago…

One of the most telling stats is how much a bond sale is oversubscribed. This gives an idea of the amount of orders compared to the original amount on offer; for Saudi Aramco’s $10bn sale, they received almost $90bn of orders – almost 10 times oversubscribed….! That’s quite a lot of disapproval folks!

What if we are unable to value those elements most crucial to our survival? What is the benefit in resource allocation via capitalism then?

Image result for 23 things they don't tell you about capitalism

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Please make use of my copy of this text, my highlights are included in this version

In order to counter the prevailing narrative all too often forced upon us, Joon Chang does a valid job of presenting his research and evidencing his take on the alternative consequences of this form of ‘neo liberal’ capitalism. This form of market based trade varies from those of historical applications, and as the author shows, these do not transport well across borders.

The key points that I would like to make note of are as follows;

  • The prevalence of limited liability which ties into what I have read of other commentators, who raise legitimate concerns around the level of risk taking that this encourages and the fact that it is the shareholders who stand to loose their entire investment. The historical structure was one of full exposure to the risk of the venture ensuring that incentives of management match that of the investor

• I would like to draw attention to the assertion that ‘there is no such thing as a free market’ and that ‘economics is not a science but a political excercise’. This further raises the question as to why it is taught so prevalently in high schools ?

• Free market for labour? No, the biggest control in place here is immigration!

• The developed world benefits greatly from historical legacies and development which has taken place over centuries – this points directly to colonialism in my view – no observer should discount the impact the modern world structure has had on wealth and continued productivity

  • Change (economic development) and Value must be put into perspective, who is giving it value and is it of value to everyone?

• The way in which nations are assessed in terms of quality of life or economic indicators leaves a lot to be desired, if qualitative factors such as prison populations, income inequality, not too mention debt levels were factored in to this argument, the perspective would change quite significantly

• Perhaps most importantly for me; the impact of colonialism has not been deeply considered when trying to understand ‘modern world’ problems. After all, a number of Eurocentric commentators like to applaud Europe’s ‘contribution’ to the making of this contemporary world, how it was shaped (literally, with a blood soaked sword) by the West, but in this process of this construction why are we failing to appreciate the ongoing impact of over 400 years of systematic, comprehensive oppression, population upheaval and geographical reconstruction. Why?

 

Please read this article by MoneyWeek on the recent raising of the US debt ceiling….it continues to shatter the perception that the US is the most economically prosperous nation with a healthy growth rate

The US has just voted to blow its budget

This is a piece from 2017, by TruthOut.org. Putting aside the kind of doomsday/beware: the robots are coming type scenario, I would like to direct readers to the impact and consequences discussed for wealth inequality, productivity and earnings in this new era, which in turn has significant consequences for debt;

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40495-the-robot-economy-ready-or-not-here-it-comes

 

Note the historical parallel to contemporary Chinese and Middle Eastern dominance of US assets and currencies and their recycling of dollars back into the US dominated global economy….

An excellent history of the workings of global central banking, seen through the economic history of Japan. The Asian financial crisis, Long Term Capital Management and the recent Euro debt crises are also explored and together brought into contemplation….highly recommended

 

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/escape-cult-materialism/

An exploration of our pervasive culture of consumption.

I noted the following well made points illustrated in this piece;

• The materialist dream is not practically possible for all humanity, therefore this will always necessitate leaving large parts of the world behind, keeping them poor and chasing an impossible reality. This level of inequality is inbuilt, and intentional. It is the modus operandi of consumerism

• Violence and warfare are integral aspects of this cult. In order to secure power, competitive advantage and gain access to markets for supply and demand components, an active military is fundamental

• When attempting to find linkage between different facts and truths in order to uncover the greater truths, one part of this documentary was particularly appealing. View from 34:16;

“Wasteful inefficiency, broken social system, toxic pollution, drug addiction, perpetual violence, misery….”