Jan 022021
 
 January 2, 2021  Posted by at 10:06 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Pierre-Auguste Renoir Les Grands Boulevards 1875

 

Israel Zooms Past 1 Million Vaccinations In Sprint To Vanquish Pandemic (ToI)
100s Of Israelis Get Infected With COVID19 After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine (RT)
Fauci Says Mandatory COVID19 Vaccines Possible For Travel, School (NYP)
Fauci Says US Will Not Delay Second Doses Of COVID Vaccine (G.)
The Missing Flu Riddle: ‘Influenza Has Been Renamed COVID’ (JTN)
2 Minnesota Lawmakers Demand Nationwide Audit of COVID19 Deaths (ET)
All Primary Schools In London To Remain Closed After U-turn (G.)
Ireland Covid Cases Surge As Health Official Warns Virus Is ‘Absolutely Rampant’ (G.)
Judge Rejects Election Lawsuit Against VP Pence (JTN)
Janet Yellen Made Millions In Wall Street, Corporate Speeches (Pol.)
Paper Dollars in Circulation Globally Spike amid Hot Demand (WS)
Schumer Begins 2021 Promising To Fight – Then Immediately Surrenders (DP)
Forecast 2021 (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL: 11.5%; UK: 1.39%; US: 0.84%; GLOBAL AVERAGE: 0.13%

Israel Zooms Past 1 Million Vaccinations In Sprint To Vanquish Pandemic (ToI)

Israel has vaccinated 1 million people against COVID-19, more than a tenth of its population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, as the country’s inoculation drive cemented its status as the world’s most rapid thus far. Netanyahu was on hand to mark what he said was the millionth Israeli to receive a vaccine, in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. Netanyahu called it a moment of “great excitement.” “We are breaking all of the records. We brought millions of vaccines to the State of Israel,” he said. We are ahead of the entire world… with our excellent HMOs.” Arabs make up around 20 percent of Israel’s population and have been relatively slow to embrace the vaccination campaign, prompting Netanyahu to launch a series of visits to Arab localities, his first in years, in what is also seen by many as an attempt to score political points ahead of the March elections.


Netanyahu said that “it’s important for me that the Arab public in Israel will get vaccinated quickly” as “it’s saving lives.” He delivered the same message at a vaccination center in Tira, another Arab town, on Thursday. The Jewish state has so far greatly outpaced other countries, per capita, with 11.55% of the population inoculated, according to statistics from the Our World in Data website operated by Oxford University. Second place is held by Bahrain with 3.45%, followed by the UK with 1.39% (though the latter’s data is a few days old). The US stands at 0.84%. The world average is 0.13%. Israel is currently in its third nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak. It has reported more than 426,000 cases and at least 3,338 deaths since the pandemic began.

Read more …

Not great PR.

100s Of Israelis Get Infected With COVID19 After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine (RT)

With the vaccine not providing immediate immunity to the coronavirus, over two hundred Israeli citizens have been diagnosed with the disease days after getting the Pfizer/BioNTech jabs, local media reported. The number of those who got Covid-19 despite being vaccinated was at around 240 people, according to data from Channel 13 News. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which the Israeli health authorities rely on, doesn’t contain the coronavirus and can’t infect the recipient. But time is needed for the genetic code in the drug to train the immune system to recognize and attack the disease.

The course of the US-made vaccine requires two shots. According to the studies, immunity to Covid-19 increases only eight to ten days after the first injection and eventually reaches 50 percent. The second jab is administered 21 days from the first one, while the declared immunity of 95 percent is achieved only a week after that. And, of course, there’s still a five percent chance of getting infected even if the vaccine is at its full potential. Israeli news outlets which reported the figures urged the public to remain vigilant and thoroughly follow all Covid-19 precautions during the month after the first shot of the vaccine is administered.

The Jewish state is currently undertaking a massive vaccination campaign, which already saw over one million people or almost 12 percent of the population getting the Pfizer/BioNTech jab. That’s the largest span per capita in the world, according to Oxford University. The first phase of the program aims to immunize medics and elderly people before expanding on to other categories. Around one in a thousand people have reported mild side effects after the injection, including weakness, dizziness and fever as well as pain, swelling and redness in the spot where the shot was given. Only a few dozen of them required medical attention, the Health Ministry said.

Read more …

A passport stating you had a jab that doesn’t protect people around you. Logic?

Fauci Says Mandatory COVID19 Vaccines Possible For Travel, School (NYP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s possible that COVID-19 vaccines will become mandatory in order to travel to other countries or attend school. “Everything will be on the table for discussion,” Fauci, who will be chief medical adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, told Newsweek. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stressed that it’s “not up to me to make a decision,” but added that “these are all things that will be discussed [under the Biden administration].” “I’m not sure [the COVID-19 vaccine] going to be mandatory from a central government standpoint, like federal government mandates,” Fauci said, though he added that he’s “sure” that some individual institutions will require the shot.


Fauci said vaccine requirements in schools are “possible,” but they would come from mandates at the state or city level. “A citywide school system might require it in some cities but not other cities. And that’s what I mean by things not being done centrally but locally,” Fauci said. In regard to travel, Fauci said the US could potentially issue COVID-19 vaccine passports — similar to the ones planned for Israel that would allow residents to travel abroad without being tested for coronavirus. The coronavirus vaccine might also become required by other countries to go there, Fauci said. “So we, in this country, don’t require [people] to get a yellow fever vaccine when you go someplace. It’s the place to which you are going that requires it,” he said.

Read more …

The UK is playing around with what the producer says should be done.

Fauci Says US Will Not Delay Second Doses Of COVID Vaccine (G.)

The American infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said he does not agree with the UK’s approach of delaying the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. On Friday, Dr Fauci told CNN that the United States would not be following in the UK’s footsteps and would follow Pfizer and BioNTech’s guidance to administer the second dose of its vaccine three weeks after the first. Despite an outcry from doctors, the UK’s chief medical officers defended their plans this week to delay the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to patients, meaning people would now wait up to 12 weeks. The change is to prioritise giving more people their first dose.


Dr Fauci told CNN: “We know from the clinical trials that the optimal time is to give it on one day and for [the Moderna jab which is also approved in the US] wait 28 days and for Pfizer 21 days later.” He added that while you can “make the argument” for stretching out the doses, he would not be in favour of doing that. Pfizer and BioNTech also warned that the two doses were crucial to achieving maximum protection against Covid, saying that they did not have evidence that the first dose alone would protect patients after three weeks. In the UK, the new move will apply to people who were expecting to have their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after 4 January. Patients getting the first jab of the newly approved AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will also have to wait up to 12 weeks.

Read more …

The numbers are stark:

“This week one year ago, the positive clinical rate was 22%, where now it stands at 0.1%.”

The Missing Flu Riddle: ‘Influenza Has Been Renamed COVID’ (JTN)

Rates of influenza have remained persistently low through late 2020 and into 2021, cratering from levels a year ago and raising the puzzling specter of sharply reduced influenza transmission rates even as positive tests for COVID-19 have shattered numerous records over the last several weeks. Where have all the flu cases gone? Epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski thinks he can answer the riddle. “Influenza has been renamed COVID in large part,” said the former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University. “There may be quite a number of influenza cases included in the ‘presumed COVID’ category of people who have COVID symptoms (which Influenza symptoms can be mistaken for), but are not tested for SARS RNA,” Wittkowski told Just the News on Thursday.


Those patients, he argued, “also may have some SARS RNA sitting in their nose while being infected with Influenza, in which case the influenza would be ‘confirmed’ to be COVID.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly influenza surveillance tracker reports that the cumulative positive influenza test rate from late September into the week of Dec. 19 stands at 0.2% as measured by clinical labs. That’s compared to a cumulative 8.7% from a year before. The weekly comparisons are even starker: This week one year ago, the positive clinical rate was 22%, where now it stands at 0.1%. Those low numbers continue trends observed earlier in the year in which flu rates have remained at near-zero levels. The trend is not limited to the U.S. Worldwide, health authorities have all reported sharply decreased influenza levels throughout what is normally peak flu season in the northern hemisphere.

Read more …

Of course you must have this.

2 Minnesota Lawmakers Demand Nationwide Audit of COVID19 Deaths (ET)

Two Minnesota legislators who believe their state’s COVID-19 death count is inaccurate are calling for a nationwide audit to find out how many people died from something other than the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus but were added to the pandemic death totals. Republican State Rep. Mary Franson said she has enlisted a team to examine data provided by Minnesota’s health department. Her team allegedly found that COVID-19 was blamed for some deaths clearly not linked to the respiratory disease. “We found clear-cut examples from the Minnesota Department of Health’s own files—public records—of suicide, a drowning, an auto accident where the passenger was ejected from the vehicle, we found dementia … and strokes,” Franson said during an interview with Fox News, adding that she was “so shocked at what I found that I just could not keep silent.”


“The citizens of our country are being led in fear, and that fear is leading them to make irrational decisions based on the governors with their shutdowns,” she added. “So we need this audit. We need the truth.” Franson was joined by Republican State Sen. Scott Jensen, a practicing physician. Jensen has become the subject of two state probes earlier this year for arguing that the federal and state guidelines on reporting COVID-19 deaths could pressure local authorities to misclassify and inflate their numbers, and that doctors and hospitals are motivated to do so for more health care dollars. “If you could hit a threshold of 161 admissions to your hospital with COVID-19 diagnosis between January and June, you received $77,000 of additional money for each one of those admissions” through the CARES Act, Jensen told Fox News. “I don’t think there’s any questions that reverse incentives have been created.”

Read more …

Make it up as you go along.

All Primary Schools In London To Remain Closed After U-turn (G.)

All primary schools in London are to remain closed for the start of the new term after the government bowed to protests and legal pressure from the capital’s local authorities. Under the government’s initial plan, secondary schools and colleges were set to be closed to most pupils for the first two weeks of January, while primary schools within 50 local authorities in London and the south of England were also told to keep their doors shut until 18 January. But the list omitted several London areas where Covid-19 transmission rates remain high including the borough of Haringey, whose leaders said they were prepared to defy the government and support any schools that decided to close to protect staff and pupils.


The protests from local authority leaders came to a head with a letter to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, from nine London authorities asking for their primary schools to be closed to all except vulnerable children and those whose parents were key workers. The action provoked an emergency Cabinet Office meeting on New Year’s Day, which signed off on the revision, adding the remaining 10 London education authorities to the government’s “contingency areas”. Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said primaries across the country should close. “What is right for London is right for the rest of the country,” she said. “It is time for the government to protect its citizens, and in particular its children, by shutting all primary schools for two weeks in order for the situation to be properly assessed, schools made much safer and children and their families protected.”

Read more …

“The virus is absolutely rampant now in the community. Everybody is at extreme risk of contracting the virus.”

Ireland Covid Cases Surge As Health Official Warns Virus Is ‘Absolutely Rampant’ (G.)

Ireland is bracing for 9,000 more Covid cases to be added to the official tally as the system struggles to handle a surge in positive results, with health officials warning hospitals will not be able to cope if the trend continues. The sharp rise in positive results led to delays in formal reporting, said Professor Philip Nolan from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), though he said it “does not affect case management or contact tracing or our overall monitoring and modelling of the pandemic”. On Thursday, NPHET estimated the number of positive tests still pending registration was 4,000, more than doubling to 9,000 the following day. On Friday, Ireland formally reported a daily record 1,754 confirmed cases, surpassing 1,500 daily cases for the fourth day in a row. Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the biggest worry was the rapid rise in hospitalisations.


“We are now admitting between 50 to 70 people a day to our hospital system. Unfortunately, we expect this to get worse before it gets better. Our health system will not continue to cope with this level of impact.” “We have also seen a significant increase in positive laboratory tests in recent days reflecting a true increase in the incidence of the disease as well as the delay in people coming forward for testing over the Christmas period. As our systems catch up with these effects it places significant pressure on our reporting system.” On New Year’s Eve, Ireland entered a level-five lockdown, with non-essential shops closing, a 5km travel limit, restrictions on household gatherings and schools staying closed. Paul Reid, CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE), told RTÉ Radio 1: “The virus is absolutely rampant now in the community. Everybody is at extreme risk of contracting the virus.”

Read more …

“..the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case and must dismiss the action..”

Judge Rejects Election Lawsuit Against VP Pence (JTN)

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Friday night against Vice President Mike Pence filed by a Texas congressman seeking to reject Joe Biden’s electors when Congress certifies the election next week. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle ruled that Rep. Louie Gohmert lacked standing to bring the legal action that would prevent Pence from confirming Joe Biden’s electoral victory. “Plaintiff Louie Gohmert, the United States Representative for Texas’s First Congressional District, alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives. Under well-settled Supreme Court authority, that is insufficient to support standing,” the judge ruled.


“The other Plaintiffs, the slate of Republican Presidential Electors for the State of Arizona (the “Nominee-Electors”), allege an injury that is not fairly traceable to the Defendant, the Vice President of the United States, and is unlikely to be redressed by the requested relief. Accordingly, as explained below, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case and must dismiss the action,” he added.

Read more …

… and you ain’t in it..

Janet Yellen Made Millions In Wall Street, Corporate Speeches (Pol.)

In the past two years, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to be Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, has raked in more than $7.2 million in speaking fees from Wall Street and large corporations including Citi, Goldman Sachs, Google, City National Bank, UBS, Citadel LLC, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Salesforce and more. Yellen’s financial disclosure is one of three filed by the Biden team at the end of 2020 that could become politically problematic with the left wing of the Democratic Party when confirmation hearings begin in January. A Biden transition official said they filed the forms “mid-week” before the Office of Government Ethics posted the forms late Thursday, New Year’s Eve.

Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, brought in nearly $1 million giving nine speeches to Citi alone. She earned more than $800,000 speaking to Citadel, a hedge fund founded by the Republican megadonor Ken Griffin. She also spoke to the law and lobbying firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. In addition to Yellen, Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee to be secretary of State, disclosed the clients he advised through WestExec Advisors, the consulting firm he co-founded with other Obama administration alumni. Those clients included the investment giant Blackstone, Bank of America, Facebook, Uber, McKinsey & Company, the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, the pharmaceutical company Gilead, the investment bank Lazard, Boeing, AT&T, the Royal Bank of Canada, LinkedIn and the venerable Sotheby’s auction house.

The disclosures cracked open WestExec’s closely held client list, which the firm had previously refused to divulge. WestExec has paid Blinken nearly $1.2 million over the past two years, according to the filing, with another estimated $250,000 to $500,000 owed for his work this year.

Read more …

To the mattresses.

Paper Dollars in Circulation Globally Spike amid Hot Demand (WS)

The amount of “currency in circulation” – the paper dollars wadded up in people’s pockets and purses, stuffed under mattresses, or packed into suitcases and safes overseas – jumped again in the week ended December 30 to a new record of $2.09 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, where currency in circulation is a liability, not an asset. This was up by 16%, or by $293 billion, from February before the Pandemic. The amount has doubled since 2011. This amount of currency in circulation is a function of demand – and that demand has been red hot: US Banks have to have enough paper dollars on hand to satisfy demand at ATMs and bank branches.

Foreign banks will also request paper dollars from their correspondent banks in the US, or return unneeded cash to them. When there is demand for paper dollars, banks buy more of them from the Fed. They pay for them usually with Treasury securities they hold or with excess reserves they have on deposit at the Fed. The surge of paper dollars is a sign of hoarding, not of increased payments. In the US, the share of paper dollars for payments has been declining for years, replaced by electronic payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, PayPal, Zelle and similar systems, all kinds of smartphone-based payment systems, the automated clearinghouse (ACH) system, and checks every now and then.


During periods of uncertainty, people load up on cash, as they have done leading up to Y2K, during the Financial Crisis, and now during the Pandemic. But much of the hoarding of US dollars takes place overseas, with demand for those paper dollars then winding its way to the US banking system via the correspondent banks. These paper dollars also lubricate all kinds of corruption, drug trafficking, and other activities – and laundering this cash is a big profitable industry.

Read more …

The stench….

Schumer Begins 2021 Promising To Fight – Then Immediately Surrenders (DP)

Senator Bernie Sanders spent New Year’s morning making one last attempt to halt the defense bill in order to force Republican leader Mitch McConnell allow a vote on $2,000 checks — and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer spent the morning treating everyone like we’re gullible idiots. “I just took to the floor again to demand a vote on $2000 survival checks,” Schumer declared, and he slammed Republican lawmakers for objecting. He promised: “Democrats will not stop fighting.” Then moments later, Schumer and most Senate Democrats surrendered — live on C-Span for everyone to see, they obediently voted for McConnell’s motion to move forward the defense bill for final passage, so that the Senate can close down without any vote on the $2,000 checks. Most Democrats then voted for final passage as well.

Put another way: Schumer tweeted out his promise to fight for starving Americans, while knowing that moments later he would be on live television surrendering to Republicans. Democrats didn’t even muster enough votes on the procedural motions to keep it close enough to force Georgia incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue off the campaign trail to help McConnell — a scenario that could have provided a huge boost to Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who have been campaigning hard for the $2,000 checks.

[..] Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and president-elect Joe Biden played particularly pernicious roles helping McConnell slash the original stimulus bill in half. And Schumer’s behavior today — pretending to be fighting hard, while voting with McConnell — was the icing on the cake. Liberal pundits and billionaire-owned media corporations outed themselves as absurdly-detached elitists — making the fake argument that the $2,000 survival checks might go to some people who don’t really need help, and the baffling claim that Americans will probably just save the checks because they can’t go to restaurants (which are still fully open in most states) or travel on airplanes (yes, people are still flying).

The only players who come off well in any of this are the handful of Democratic senators who had the guts to vote against all of McConnell’s key procedural motions (Sanders, Markey, Merkley, Warren, Wyden and Van Hollen) and rank-and-file House Democrats who were willing to use their power to pass the $2,000 checks (and yeah, Pelosi deserves some credit for quickly delivering the $2,000 checks amendment to the Senate).

Read more …

A long column.

Forecast 2021 (Jim Kunstler)

Life in the USA, and other “advanced” nations will reset, but not in the way that most people blabbering about “the Great Reset” think or say it will. Surely, there are groups, gangs, claques, and covens of people in the world who have some consensual agreement about how things might work, and how they would run them to their benefit, in their hypothetical ideal disposition of things. For instance, the so-called “Davos Crowd.” What are they? A convocation of bankers, market movers, politicians, business moguls, tech entrepreneurs, Hollywood catamites, black ops runners, and PR errand boys who have plenty of financial and political mojo in their own realms, but not enough collectively to carry out the kind of global coup that comprises the standard paranoid Great Reset fantasy.

That they meet-up in an ultra-luxurious setting out of a James Bond movie every year stokes terrific fascination, envy, anger, and paranoia that they are capable of anything beyond a festival of ass-kissing, mutual self-congratulation, and status-jockeying, which are the actual activities at the Davos meet-up. For another thing, in the USA, at least, there are too many pissed-off people with small arms, hardened by years of proffered bad faith and dishonesty from the political/media/higher-ed complex, to just bend over and take it up the back-door from a gang of seditious, would-be aristo-totalitarians with lèse-majesté dreams of nostalgie-de-la-boue Marxist redemption. If you have any doubt about how disruptive angry people with small arms and lots of ammo might be to condescending elites, just review the events in the Middle East the past twenty years and imagine those dynamics transferred to Kansas.

What does the “reset” fantasy supposedly include? A “new world order,” a phantasm of a unified world government, which is preposterous because the macro-trend at this moment of history worldwide is the opposite of consolidation and centralization of power, but rather breakup, downscaling, and re-localization. Why? As you saw in the Econ chapter, because the scale, pitch, and range of all our activities must be reduced to survive in the post-industrial conditions of resource and capital scarcity. And it will happen whether we like it or not and despite anybody’s objections. What else is in the Reset grab-bag? Supposedly a single world currency, also absurd for reasons already stated — unless you are talking about gold and silver, which may eventually become the universally-accepted medium of exchange (and store of value, index of price) if the post-industrial contraction is severe and destructive enough.

But fuggeddabowt “digital currencies,” especially in the USA because too many people are “un-banked,” or otherwise depend on cash-money in the informal “gray” economy of just-getting-by (and there will be a lot more of these types as the middle-class gets pounded further down into the mud), plus a large cohort of digitally-capable people just plain ornery about being herded into an IRS surveillance cul-de-sac — and the whole lot of them will fight like hell to prevent government-sponsored crypto-dollars from replacing what used to be considered money. And, if, in the unlikely event that rebellion fails, it’s back to gold and silver by default — and that might literally mean by default.

Read more …

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 2 2021

Viewing 14 posts - 41 through 54 (of 54 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #67606
    WES
    Participant

    John Day:

    Sadly, I am afraid the mood at the OK Corral on January 6th will more likely resemble that of a funeral.

    With the Uniparty’s “No Standing” courts pulling the rug out from under all of the legal challenges and ignoring actual evidence, people are slowly realizing the fraudulent 2020 election is now a done deal.

    These people are trying to come to grips with the fact American elections have always been rigged. It is a very hard pill to swallow as these people still held some “hope”.

    January 6th will be people trying to deal with the lost of any future “hope”.

    When I was working in a Siberian coal mine, back in 1983, what struck me the hardest, was the total lack of “hope” that I could see in people’s eyes. The Russian solution was to drink vodkas to try and temporarily escape their hopeless world.

    #67607
    WES
    Participant

    John Day:

    Getting malaria while working in Africa really sucked!

    What I found most interesting is that the local expats did not take malaria medication unless they got malaria!

    They said it wasn’t wise to take malaria medication for long periods of time (years) because it was too hard on the kidneys.

    But at the same time none would venture out into the bush nor would they go outside at night. They all retreated into their well screened homes before dark. If they did leave, at night, they went straight to their cars.

    #67608
    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    V. Arnold: ” I did the Dengue Fever thing about 10 years ago”

    That might have a silver lining.

    Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against COVID-19 (Reuters)

    Places with lower coronavirus infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.

    “This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2,” the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel coronavirus.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil-study-exclu/exclusive-study-suggests-dengue-may-provide-some-immunity-against-covid-19-idUSKCN26C27E

    #67609
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against COVID-19 (Reuters)

    Thanks for that information, Doc Robinson. Very interesting to say the least.
    Lets hope it’s accurate…

    #67610
    Geppetto
    Participant

    Well, If you had bought BTC on Nov 3, 2016 @ $690 and had the resolve of a disciplined investor/trader you would probably have an opinion more in line with Dr. D. Just sayin’.

    And speaking of resolve you may want to peruse this little diddy:

    https://interfax.com/newsroom/exclusive-interviews/70696/

    #67611
    Geppetto
    Participant

    Also….I wouldn’t dare to predict the future, but, have learned to *ride* the waves. You can earn interest at Coinbase via DeFi. 6%

    Again, just sayin’. Just make sure you are pointed in the right direction when you pee in the wind. Taleb’s picking up pennies in front of the steamroller scenario is a good one.

    🙂

    #67612
    straightwalker
    Participant

    @Dr D
    Thanks for your take on trading bitcoin; it syncs up with my limited experience. If you are going to trade against the pros who have unlimited capital and inside advantages, you’d better do it with extreme humility and take what you can get.

    @madamski

    Investing is a voyage of self discovery: you must lean on your strengths (patience, research, people skills, decisiveness, courage, etc. etc. whatever they are) and stay in your groove. This is usually learned, if at all, the hard way. Gold is excellent for the long haul. Its cash price is completely manipulated by the big guys and gals, but in the long run it dependably holds its purchasing power. And is beautiful to look at or work into jewelry. As currency, it has drawbacks.
    Bitcoin is presently in a tulip like price surge, but I don’t think it is a fraud. It is an audacious application, the first face, of the block chain, an invention made possible by the computer, the internet, cryptography, and decades of software advances. Block chains store data irreversibly. They can be public, where anyone can access the data, or private, where you have to have the keys to the building. In either case, data entered can not be changed in any way. Can not.
    O.K., voting, accounting, scientific data, contracts, words…the information in block chains is trustworthy, indefinitely, as long as the block chain exists. Block chains are also referred to as “distributed ledgers.” The computers which maintain a block chain each have a total copy of all of its data. The internet allows these computers to be anywhere in the world. A world wide block chain like bitcoin can not be shut down by the U.S. government.
    O.K., so the bitcoin block chain contains every bitcoin transaction ever made in each of the computers that maintains it. No one owns the block chain. It is designed to allow peer to peer transactions without intervention. If you own bitcoin you can give it to someone else, trade it for something, save it (hopefully) as a store of value (intended to increase in value as there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins). It is a first, a deflationary currency that can be subdivided indefinitely.
    You get the idea. It is not a fraud or ponzi scheme. It is an experiment, a brave new world experiment.
    Sorry to go on and on. Others know much more than I. If you set up a bitcoin wallet, I’ll send you a satoshi (one hundred millionth of a bitcoin) from my tiny stash.

    #67613
    Boogaloo
    Participant

    My thoughts on Bitcoin are a lot like my thoughts on gold: Everyone should have some. It doesn’t matter what price you get in. There is no need to buy a lot, no need to take a big risk — this is an asymmetrical bet with huge upside against little downside. The day will come when the USD loses reserve currency status. Nobody knows when that day will come, or what the trigger will be. But when it happens, everything in the world will be revalued overnight, and a new asset will take over as the reserve asset. In the long run, I expect that gold will be the big winner. But Bitcoin may have an important role to play on the journey to that destination. At present, Bitcoin cannot be manipulated through the futures market the same way that gold can be, which makes it unique. Governments may be able to manipulate it by buying up a large reserve, but that would run the price to the stratosphere. In the sense that it is beyond manipulation, it is the only way to vote against the status quo financial system. Bitcoin is immune to sanctions, so it is the only way to vote against Empire. There is $300Trillion is assets sloshing around the financial system. If only 1% of that ends up in Bitcoin, that still puts us 6x higher than the current market cap of $500Billion. And if the USD loses reserve status, Bitcoin has the potential to go to the moon and never come back. Same with gold. That is why it makes sense to own a little of both. The physicality and indestructability of gold is both a strength and a weakness. It can be a problem if you are trying to cross borders. It can be a problem if you are the leader of a small country opposed to Empire and you are worried about the US Army coming to seize your gold. It can be a problem if your gold is parked in England or New York, and the Empire changes the rules and refuses to recognize a duly elected government. It can be a problem if you are an institution like a pension fund that does not have a vault for secure storage. Of course there are risks to Bitcoin — including the risk of legislation to make it illegal, or the risk of losing the keys, or the risks of a competitor like Etherium, or the risk of huge volatility swings while this nonexistent asset finds its niche in the international financial ecosystem. But now that Bitcoin is winning over more institutional investors, the risks of being banned are waning, the risks of competition are waning, and the upside greatly outweighs the downside — especially in a world trending towards negative interest rates. As for me, I bought my first gold coins in 2009. I bought my first Bitcoin at the beginning of November. And I have decided that no matter what happens — whether they shoot to the moon or trend towards zero — I will not sell any gold or Bitcoin until after the USD loses reserve currency status. I sleep a lot better at night now that I have a slice of this nonexistent asset.

    #67614
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    You get the idea. It is not a fraud or ponzi scheme. It is an experiment, a brave new world experiment.

    That is an interesting point of view/opinion; which may have some validity, but, it’s one which I do not share, my pov/opinion is different.
    I found this article interesting but certainly not definitive.
    https://cointelegraph.com/news/defining-bitcoin-money-currency-or-store-of-value
    I have a lot of trouble accepting BTC as a “store of value” in the same way as defined by gold.
    Living in Asia, I see gold used all the time in commerce.
    I think it is a mistake to view gold as an investment as opposed to a store of value; investments tend towards short term thinking (months/weeks); where-as gold tends towards the long term (years/decades).
    In that vein, when buying gold, its price is not a factor for me/us for the above mentioned reasons.
    Anyhoo, my 2 cents worth/opinion…

    #67615
    straightwalker
    Participant

    @v arnold
    I agree with you about gold. I wish I had some.
    I love it when people disagree with me, by the way; it’s my best chance to maybe learn something.
    I didn’t get malaria or dengue in Thailand, mostly cuz I walked around in Chiang Mai for a year and didn’t get much into the boonies. Wimp award. Loved the Thais.

    #67616
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    straightwalker
    Loved the Thais.

    Yes! They’re terrific indeed…cheers…

    #67627
    John Day
    Participant

    Oh, I am chagrined to find that what I liked so well about that oil essay was copied and pasted from Jim Kunstler.
    It is excellent, and long.

    #67633
    madamski cafone
    Participant

    That blockchain currency was not necessarily started as a fraud doesn’t mean it has or will remain honest. The fact that it requires an enormous amorphous ephemeral structure like the internet makes it a silly wish from the start. One does not create durable lasting value via an enormous amorphous ephemeral structure.

    I see it as a fanciful deification of our magical trust in money. Also, while I do not doubt that its inventers and early adopters intended it as honest currency, and don’t see it as a fraud, they were deluding themselves. The problem has never been “stable currency” or such. The problem has always been the relationship between available material resources (including human beings) and the markers they use to symbolize stored value.

    Money has always been a concept symbolized by some kind of material marker, be it cowrie shells, iron bars, gold dubloons, greenback dollars, or bank checks. Now we have a vast mathematical vortex of mathematically choreographed electrons called bitcoins that requires a huge amount of material and energy just to remain solvent.

    In the end, I see it as about the same as Pythagorean numerology.

    “According to Aristotle, the Pythagoreans used mathematics for solely mystical reasons, devoid of practical application. They believed that all things were made of numbers. The number one (the monad) represented the origin of all things and the number two (the dyad) represented matter. The number three was an “ideal number” because it had a beginning, middle, and end and was the smallest number of points that could be used to define a plane triangle, which they revered as a symbol of the god Apollo.The number four signified the four seasons and the four elements.The number seven was also sacred because it was the number of planets and the number of strings on a lyre, and because Apollo’s birthday was celebrated on the seventh day of each month. They believed that odd numbers were masculine, that even numbers were feminine, and that the number five represented marriage, because it was the sum of two and three.

    “Ten was regarded as the “perfect number” and the Pythagoreans honored it by never gathering in groups larger than ten. Pythagoras was credited with devising the tetractys, the triangular figure of four rows which add up to the perfect number, ten. The Pythagoreans regarded the tetractys as a symbol of utmost mystical importance. Iamblichus, in his Life of Pythagoras, states that the tetractys was “so admirable, and so divinised by those who understood [it],” that Pythagoras’s students would swear oaths by it. Andrew Gregory concludes that the tradition linking Pythagoras to the tetractys is probably genuine.”

    Currency holds accurate validity, as a genuine symbol by which material resources can be exchanged in a sufficiently fair virtual manner*, only insomuch as there is an accurate census of how much stuff exists versus how many markers of value exist. *(that’s a complex notion, jah? in fact, it’s magical thinking, but magical thinking has its value. mathematics are just an uncommonly symmetrical form of symbolic magical thinking)

    The very fact that one can invest in bitcoin — or any currency — in order for today’s dollar-worth of bitcoin to become two dollars-worth tomorrow is proof of their vulnerability to corruption: markers do not increase the amount of stuff they can buy.

    Any currency that can represent the value of, say, an entire town, is bullshit. All modern currency is bullshit, and while bitcoin’s initial concept was to create a symbolic store of value that can’t be corrupted, the very idea of “buying money” renders it a fever dream. This isn’t to say that, for example, Boogaloo’s enhanced sense of security via bitcoin is foolish: his logic is sound. He knows it’s a game among many other games. I think he is wise in this matter.

    We have all been rasied in a thoroughly financialized society. People trust money more than just about anything except maybe their closest friends, their spouse, and their dog. God-fearing Xtians work 40 hours a week for Mammon and 5-10 hours at most for God… unless they’re paid ministry.

    Money rules us. We don’t rule it. We don’t own the internet. No one owns their bitcoins. It’s an illusion. A highly profitable illusion if you understand how rapidly Taleb’s Steamroller can accelerate and decelerate, and are able to read the signals indicating the imminence of either event. But nonetheless, an illusion. That very few people understand. That is by nature ruled by its predominant investors since it is, after all, merely a money market, which have ever been the spawning ground of evil.

    The Root of Modern Evil

    In Monopoly, people buy stuff in order to make money. Boardwalk is considered good only because it earns the most money not because the Jersey Shore is a swell place. Money uber alles.

    The Babylonian Woe

    Davis Astle writes difficult prose but it’s worth navigating, imo, if one wants to get one’s head around why the Prince of Peace went apeshit on the money-changers. If anyone knows of an image of this event that shows a bit of blood, I’d be grateful to see it. A scourge can do nasty things to a human body.

    “I love it when people disagree with me, by the way; it’s my best chance to maybe learn something.”

    Just cuz I’m gay doesn’t mean I don’t admire a real man. *swoon*

    #67634
    Noirette
    Participant

    madamski, yes to Thatcher using arms against ‘coal’ (coal-miners..) She had a degree in chemistry or related and from what I have read of her sayings she understood the ‘emissions’ thing well. Of course she had some short-term aims, but she also saw herself as a ‘leader’ and ‘tech advancements’ and ‘moving on to better’ etc. as energy advancement is solidly ingrained in the GB pol. class since say 1850…Ex. around 1914 or so The Royal Navy switched from coal to oil (Winnie.) N. Sea oil boomed / became more profitable / more was discovered – extracted (leaving out details) after the 70s oil ‘crisis’ and Thatcher was PM at the time of its high production.

    The idea that natural gas is cleaner than oil (correct in a way) was, and is, also very strong. Now, renewables are the all rage, see for ex. Merkel and her handling of ‘energie’ – she obviously thinks she is on the front-line of ‘newness’ or pretends to be so and prefers to support certain ‘green’ industries (subsidies etc.) while doing everything to sell cars worldwide.

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