Eurasia, Policy, Politics

Next installment of permanent war: Iran (again)…?

Today, (Friday the 13th of all days), President Trump announced that he is withholding certification of the Iran nuclear deal and announced that he would label Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Again, the U.S. gets confrontational with a rival power in an escalation that could provoke yet another devastating war in the Middle East. As always, this is all perfectly justified: Iran, you see, is a rogue regime, a threat, its military is a terror organization, the country has a general deficit of freedom and democracy, etc…

And let’s not imagine that this is all down to Donald Trump. On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a an audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. On the occasion she said, “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran … we would be able to totally obliterate them.”  The U.S. establishment has long had Iran in its crosshairs, waiting for a pretext and the opportunity. Continue reading

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Policy, Politics, Psychology, Real life, Social development, Truth

Freedom of speech should be sacred

“There is no god higher than truth.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Update: just hours after I posted this article, Amazon.com sadly de-listed my book, “The Killing of William Browder.” (I assure you, there was no trace of hate speech in my book)

Across the Western world, government bureaucracies and large media corporations like Amazon, Google, Twitter and Facebook have been increasingly proactive in suppressing “hate speech,” always with bestest of intentions. However, these efforts are unnecessary and will likely prove counterproductive.

Warning about the danger of disastrous rise of misplaced power” in our societies, Dwight Eisenhower said in his January 1961 farewell address that, Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” can curb the power of the state, “so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Freedom of expression is the essential means of keeping the citizenry alert and knowledgeable. As such it should not be suppressed under any pretext, but encouraged and cultivated. Continue reading

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Economics, Eurasia, Media, Policy, Politics, Social development, Truth

Vladimir Putin’s 17 years in power: the scorecard

The following article summarizes many of the changes in Russia over 17 years  under Vladimir Putin’s rule. All of the information presented is based on empirical data, most of it from western sources like the World Bank, Ernst&Young, Vtsiom, Ipsos and Gallup. Virtually none of this information was presented in any western corporate press with the notable exception of Forbes magazine (which took the information down after a few weeks). In addition to the below, I’ve subsequently published an article in three parts titled, “Is Vladimir Putin evil?

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Policy, Politics, Social development

Surveillance state: it ain’t about your privacy

We should be very concerned about the surveillance state in the west – but our privacy is not the main reason why.

Wikileaks’ latest dump of CIA documents confirmed what many of us suspected all along, especially after the Edward Snowden revelations: that the NSA (and GCHQ…) use our computers, mobile devices, and even internet-connected TV sets to spy on us. Some people feel they have nothing to hide, so they aren’t bothered about it. Others feel outraged on the grounds that it violates our civil liberties and our right to privacy. But there’s a much more important reason to be concerned about mass surveillance, and it isn’t about the privacy of the vast majority of us. Continue reading

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Commodity price, Commodity risk, Economics, Energy crisis, Hedging, Inflation, Oil market, Policy, Social development

Is an epic energy crunch in the making?

Last year I published a report with the (justifiably) bombastic title, “$500 per barrel: could oil price rise tenfold?” One of my central claims was that producing oil requires investment of real capital including materials, equipment and highly skilled labor, and that, “as more and more resources are required to generate the same amount of liquid fuels, energy production is becoming ever more expensive to society in real terms.” Thus, as it becomes more expensive in real terms (as the deteriorating EROEI figures indicate), the fact that energy has recently become cheaper in nominal (dollar) terms can only be a temporary abberation. EROEI stands for energy return on energy invested; in the early 1900s, we obtained 100 barrels euqivalent of oil per barrel invested (EROEI of 100 to 1); today we are at about 15 to 1 globally and at 11 to 1 in the USA. Continue reading

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Economics, Policy, Politics, Social development

Meet the riff-raff Trump supporters!

Donald Trump and his administration have been at the receiving end of passionate denounciations and scorn from many opinion leaders in the media. At the same time Trump’s approval rating among American voters has ranged between 50% and 60%. Here’s a statistical sketch of this American riff-raff and why they may support Trump.

Fully 35% of Americans do not have enough money to live comfortably (english: they can’t make ends meet). That’s more than 110 million people. These Americans have to supplement their cost of living with credit card debt. The Urban Institute reports that this same proportion of Americans (35%) have debt in collections (180 or more days past due). On average, the households that carry credit card debt are over $16,000 in the hole, paying an average interest rate at 16.1% (that’s $2,600 per year just in interest). Continue reading

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Media, Policy, Politics, Psychology, Truth

Zika hype and how the media fail to serve us

Noam Chomsky wrote that, “Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.”

Any time the mainstream media latch onto an issue and make it a big story you can be sure that it’ll be spun, doctored and distorted so that the public can’t take a well-informed position on the subject. Examples of this are countless and pervasive. About a year ago, the Zika virus story suddenly burst forth, seemingly out of nowhere, linking the mosquito-borne virus with frightful birth deformities in infants of affected mothers, including microcephaly. The story led to mass trip cancellations, abortions, unnecessary carpet-spraying against mosquitoes (which killed millions of bees), and much hysteria in general. As it turns out, the virus is harmless. Continue reading

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Central banking, Commodity price, Economics, Inflation, Policy, Uncategorized

Greenspan: Fed balance sheet is a tinderbox of explosive inflation looking for a spark!

In June 2011 Carmen Reinhart wrote a paper for the IMF titled “Financial Repression Redux.” She suggested that the current policy of financial repression could ultimately lead to high levels of inflation. Today, five years later it seems like she couldn’t have gotten it more wrong. In spite of the unprecedented monetary expansion, monetization of public debt and swelling central bank balance sheets, deflation seems entrenched. So why worry about inflation at all? In short, because deflation could actually give rise to inflation. Continue reading

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Policy, Politics, Something completely different

Ex UK Ambassador Craig Murray after visiting Julian Assange: it wasn’t the Russians…

After visiting with Julian Assange, former UK Ambassador Craig Murray reported on his blog: “I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks.” The full article is here: How to Really Really Upset the Foreign Office and Security Services.

Alex Krainer is an author and hedge fund manager based in Monaco. Recently he has published the book “Mastering Uncertainty in Commodities Trading“.

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Central banking, Economics, Inflation, Monetary reform, Policy

The biggest scam in history of mankind

“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” – Lord Acton

Well over a century ago, Lord Acton had understood the problem that’s been well obscured from students of economics, history and politics over the more recent generations. The role of money in our society is not sufficiently well understood today. Its importance was underscored by Thomas Paine when he said that, “Money, when considered as the fruit of many years’ industry, as the reward of labor, sweat and toil, as the widow’s dowry and children’s portion, and as the means of procuring the necessaries and alleviating the afflictions of life, and making old age a scene of rest, has something in it sacred that is not to be sported with, or trusted to the airy bubble of paper currency.Continue reading

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