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Russia Derangement Syndrome confounds western thinking

There’s no God higher than truth

Mohandas Gandhi

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, the west enacted a set of extreme sanctions and the ruble began to collapse. Many in the west were delighted to gloat about Putin’s “miscalculation.”

The collapse of Russia’s currency was proof that the west inflicted a crushing blow on Russia. Stability of the currency is central to any economy, especially if it is the only currency in circulation (i.e. there’s no viable alternative). As John Maynard Keynes wrote, “there is no more positive, or subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency… The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction and does it in a manner that not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” 

But not only did the ruble fully recover, it turned out to be the world’s best performing currency to date in 2022. Regardless, the western commentariat wasn’t inclined to change its tune. Reuters published an article titled, “Ruble’s strength is a sign of Russia’s weakness.” Its author, Pierre Briancon illuminates us that, “the Russian rouble’s recent sharp rebound reflects economic weakness, not resilience.” His reasoning is utter garbage, reflecting the Russia Derangement Syndrome that’s infected many minds in the west.

The Syndrome has made any positive statement about Russia wholly indigestible to the western intellect. It has become like gluten to the gluten-intolerant. At the same time, any rumor, quip, soundbite or cliche that denigrates Russia readily meets eager minds that will latch onto it and brandish it around as proof positive that Russia bad. 

Thus, Reuters’ Briancon thought it fit to remind us about the Potemkin villages (faking prosperity, for god’s sakes!! Such a Russian thing to do, so totally alien to the unblemished western mind). He goes on talking about Putin “coercing” exporters to convert their accounts to rubles, slapping “punitive” interest rates, etc. You know, the same bag of devious trickery that had made the Argentine peso, Venezuelan bolivar and Zimbabwean dollar such stellar performers in the years past.

Well, whatever. The collapsing ruble was proof of Russia’s weakness. The rising ruble is also proof of Russia’s weakness. In fact, everything is proof of Russia’s weakness.

THE EMPIRE OF LIES

Vladimir Putin called the west an empire of lies and I think we all understand what he’s saying. The Russia Derangement Syndrome did not emerge because our media reported honestly about Russia but only happened to find bad things to say about it. To the contrary, the negative image of Russia has been relentlessly cultivated for many decades to turn it into a core cultural fact in the west. Here are just a handful of concrete examples:

  • During his lecture at Yale University in September 2018, Valdimir Pozner told the audience that he had paid a team of researchers to pull from the archives of the New York Times all stories related to Russia over a three year period (2014, 2015, 2016) to see how many of them cast Russia in a positive light. They found zero positive mentions of Russia.
  • In March 2017, the US National Reconnaissance Office launched a spy satellite aboard an Atlas V rocket powered by the Russian-made RD-180 engine. The 1,500-word official press release did mention the engine three times, but never once disclosed where it was made. Media reports about this event followed suit, scrupulously omitting the Made in Russia part. Clearly, an “Upper Volta with missiles” or a “gas station with an army” shouldn’t be capable of building advanced technological products.
  • In 2015, Forbes contributor Mark Adomanis published an article “10 Charts that Explain Russia.” Adomanis was careful not to add any positive or approving language of his own, but simply presented data that showed positive trends in Russian economy and society. In fact, Adomanis’ language was quite defensive: “Some people find this impossible to accept. They ‘know’ that Putin’s malevolence, corruption, and incompetence have spilled over into every corner of Russian society...” But for the offence of violating the fatwa “thou shalt not speak positively about Russia” Adomanis’ article was promptly flushed down the memory hole. 404-file not found.
  • In what was ostensibly a travel program, BBC’s Simon Reeve managed to paint a comically dark image of Russia. The creepy caricature was appropriately debunked by Graham Phillips, another Brit who actually lives in Russia.

This kind of distortion of our information space has been almost constant over many decades and it has turned irrational Russophobia into a cultural fact in the west. 

MIND THE WINDS OF CHANGE

But truth is not irrelevant. It is not merely a quaint quality we should perhaps desire and acknowledge in a perfect world, absent the pragmatic exigences of the concrete challenges we face. Truth – investigating it, learning to recognize it, and not only telling it but sharing it far and wide – is an absolute necessity. With regards to my professional occupation, I’ve repeatedly proposed that the first pillar of a sustainable, successful approach to portfolio investing should be truth (followed strategy, discipline, patience) entailing a clear-minded assessment of what transpires in the world.

But the importance of that clear-mindedness transcends the investing considerations. Given today’s geopolitical developments, the clash between the unipolar world order and the emerging multipolarity will have profound implication for history as it unfolds and on the future of humanity. Seeking to see things as they really are, as opposed to the way we might wish them to be, shouldn’t be a controversial proposition. As Stopford Brooke said, “If a thousand old beliefs were ruined in our march to truth, we must still march on.” 

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The above article was first published in this morning’s TrendCompass report (17 May 2022). For investors, traders and hedges you might want to consider subscribing to I-System TrendCompass, possibly the very best trend following newsletter on the market today. One months’ test drive is free of charge. Trends represent far and away the most powerful drivers of investment performance. The most reliable way to capture the windfalls from market trends is through systematic trend following. For more information, please check out I-System Trend Following and our superb turn-key portfolio solutions.

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Eurasia

Russia strikes back against the Empire (2/2)

This article is the second of two parts about Russia’s radical new gambit in its relationship with Western powers. In part 1 I covered the recent history of the conflict, its broader historical context as well as its economic underpinnings. This part discusses Russia’s likely response to the US/NATO failure to respond to her security concerns. The video version, which covers both parts is available at this link.

Clearly, the conflict between east and west is not over ideology or a bit of territory. It is about hegemony over resource rich regions of the world and this makes the two sides’ positions intractable. The Russians clearly understand this which may explain why they presented the Western powers with a set of demands so tough that they certainly knew they would be rejected. It seems that Russia really does intend to respond with military technical measures that will jeopardize western powers’ security. So far however, even among the Russian analysts, nobody seems to know what’s coming next.

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Energy crisis, Eurasia, Politics, War and peace

Russia strikes back against the Empire (1/2)

This article is first of two parts about Russia’s radical new gambit in its relationship with Western powers. We’ll examine the recent history of the conflict, its broader historical context as well as its economic underpinnings before venturing to analyze, in part 2 where this conflict could lead in the coming months and years. The video version, published on the “Markets, Trends and Profits” channel is below:

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Central banking, Eurasia, History, Policy, Politics

The “Three Block” global agenda today and the role of finance (part 3 of 3)

This is part 3 of a 3-part series shedding light on the role of British secret diplomacy in the run-up to World War 2. This article looks at the role of finance in shaping the new global order, still based on the same three-block world agenda. Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2 and the 46 min. video report on YouTube, which covers all three parts.

The “three block” imperial agenda today

While Nazism was defeated in World War II at a massive cost in lives and treasure, the same structures of power that financed and empowered Hitler have retained their levers of power and are continuing to shape global geopolitics to this day. They have not given up on their vision of a “three block world”, which is perhaps most visibly represented by the Trilateral Commission, one of the most influential think tanks in the world. Founded in July 1973, the Trilateral Commission’s aim is to foster close cooperation between Japan, Western Europe and North America. But unlike in the 1930s, today the control of continental Europe is being pursued through the ostensibly democratic political institutions of the European Union rather than by conquest and brute military force.

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History, Politics, Truth, Tyranny, War and peace

Appeasement: the betrayal in Munich (part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 of a 3-part series shedding light on the role of British secret diplomacy in the run-up to World War 2. Here’s the link to Part 1. The 46 min. video report on YouTube covers all three parts.

The sacrifice of Czechoslovakia

The treacherous sacrifice of Czechoslovakia to Germany is one of the least well understood episodes leading to the tragedy of World War lI. Conventional history associates the Czech crisis with Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement at Munich. The story we were taught in school was that the British government agreed to partition Czechoslovakia only as a desperate measure to avoid a greater European war. This view is based on the idea that Germany was already an overwhelming military power that could easily crush Czechoslovakia’s weak defenses. However, this idea is patently false. In late 1938 Czechoslovakia did in fact capitulate without resistance, but this was not because her defenses were weak. Rather, Czechoslovakia’s government was paralyzed and sedated as a result of the treacherous scheming of Britain’s secret diplomacy.

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Eurasia, History, Politics, Tyranny, War and peace

Appeasement: the shocking truth about the 1938 Munich Agreement (part 1 of 3)

(Video report & 3-part article) With escalating tensions between Russia and the west, we keep hearing about Munich and about Appeasement that led to World War II. But the truth of those events has remained widely misunderstood. As one meme going around in the social media says, “If the news are fake, imagine how bad history is!” To avoid sleepwalking into another great war, it is essential that we understand what really happened in 1938. Prepare, it is nothing like they taught us in school.

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Great Reset, Liberty, Something completely different, Tyranny

Theranos scandal: the six encouraging lessons (part 3 of 3)

This is part 3 of the 3-part series on the Theranos scandal. Part 1 contrasted the standard media narrative about Theranos with a more realistic interpretation of the conspiracy (yes, it was a conspiracy, that’s not disputed – the only question remaining is who was behind it. Part 2 examines the probable agenda that spawned Theranos and connects it to today’s public health events. Here we’ll focus on most important part of this story and the very reason why I believe it’s worth telling. A video report covering all three parts is at this link.

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Health, Liberty, Something completely different, Truth, Tyranny

Theranos scandal: the REAL story (2/3)

This is part 2 of a 3-part article. In Part 1 I contrasted the standard media narrative of Theranos with an alternative interpretation based on publicly available information. The implausible standard interpretation is that Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes herself launched the venture, defrauded everyone involved and kept up the fraud for over 12 years. In this part we’ll take a closer look at this network’s likely agenda with Theranos. A video report that condenses the whole 3-part story is at this link.

POWERS BEHIND THE STAGE

It is far more likely that Holmes was recruited to be the front-woman of Theranos while the project’s real power brokers remained behind the stage. Her real qualifications were her youth, unbridled ambition, lack of any scruples about deceiving her own employees, investors and the public, and her willingness to advance her goals over people’s lives. She also had that sense of her family’s greatness which might have enabled her to set aside all legal and ethical considerations in pursuing her grand mission. Another plus would have been her supposed fluency in Mandarin, since future health challenges were expected to come from China.

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Uncategorized

Is it a buy? Gold and Silver round-out a bullish technical case.

One of the greatest worries for investors and savers – and also everyone living on fixed income – is inflation, which could accelerate to levels not seen since the 1970s. One of the asset classes that ofer effective protection from inflation are precious metals. Over the recent months, as many commodities have rallied strongly (Oats, Coffee, Oil, Natural Gas, Corn, Copper…), Gold and Silver spent nearly a year treading water and going nowhere. But yesterday’s COMEX closing prices rounded out a clearly defined bullish technical picture. On the occasion I decided to publish this morning’s TrendCompass Major Markets report in full.

Silver

In May I wrote that Silver looked poised to stage a bullish breakout from the consolidation pattern it’s held since last August. I also warned that it is never a good idea to trade in anticipation of such events, but instead to wait for either a pull-back which often does happen in such circumstances, or for the bullish break-out itself. Now we’ve had a pullback and with yesterday’s strong close the technical picture looks much more clearly defined:

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