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No, the British did not steal $45 trillion from India

This is an updated copy of the version on BadHistory. I plan to update it in accordance with the feedback I got.
I'd like to thank two people who will remain anonymous for helping me greatly with this post (you know who you are)
Three years ago a festschrift for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri was published by Shubhra Chakrabarti, a history teacher at the University of Delhi and Utsa Patnaik, a Marxist economist who taught at JNU until 2010.
One of the essays in the festschirt by Utsa Patnaik was an attempt to quantify the "drain" undergone by India during British Rule. Her conclusion? Britain robbed India of $45 trillion (or £9.2 trillion) during their 200 or so years of rule. This figure was immensely popular, and got republished in several major news outlets (here, here, here, here (they get the number wrong) and more recently here), got a mention from the Minister of External Affairs & returns 29,100 results on Google. There's also plenty of references to it here on Reddit.
Patnaik is not the first to calculate such a figure. Angus Maddison thought it was £100 million, Simon Digby said £1 billion, Javier Estaban said £40 million see Roy (2019). The huge range of figures should set off some alarm bells.
So how did Patnaik calculate this (shockingly large) figure? Well, even though I don't have access to the festschrift, she conveniently has written an article detailing her methodology here. Let's have a look.
How exactly did the British manage to diddle us and drain our wealth’ ? was the question that Basudev Chatterjee (later editor of a volume in the Towards Freedom project) had posed to me 50 years ago when we were fellow-students abroad.
This is begging the question.
After decades of research I find that using India’s commodity export surplus as the measure and applying an interest rate of 5%, the total drain from 1765 to 1938, compounded up to 2016, comes to £9.2 trillion; since $4.86 exchanged for £1 those days, this sum equals about $45 trillion.
This is completely meaningless. To understand why it's meaningless consider India's annual coconut exports. These are almost certainly a surplus but the surplus in trade is countered by the other country buying the product (indeed, by definition, trade surpluses contribute to the GDP of a nation which hardly plays into intuitive conceptualisations of drain).
Furthermore, Dewey (2019) critiques the 5% interest rate.
She [Patnaik] consistently adopts statistical assumptions (such as compound interest at a rate of 5% per annum over centuries) that exaggerate the magnitude of the drain
Moving on:
The exact mechanism of drain, or transfers from India to Britain was quite simple.
Convenient.
Drain theory possessed the political merit of being easily grasped by a nation of peasants. [...] No other idea could arouse people than the thought that they were being taxed so that others in far off lands might live in comfort. [...] It was, therefore, inevitable that the drain theory became the main staple of nationalist political agitation during the Gandhian era.
- Chandra et al. (1989)
The key factor was Britain’s control over our taxation revenues combined with control over India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its booming commodity export surplus with the world. Simply put, Britain used locally raised rupee tax revenues to pay for its net import of goods, a highly abnormal use of budgetary funds not seen in any sovereign country.
The issue with figures like these is they all make certain methodological assumptions that are impossible to prove. From Roy in Frankema et al. (2019):
the "drain theory" of Indian poverty cannot be tested with evidence, for several reasons. First, it rests on the counterfactual that any money saved on account of factor payments abroad would translate into domestic investment, which can never be proved. Second, it rests on "the primitive notion that all payments to foreigners are "drain"", that is, on the assumption that these payments did not contribute to domestic national income to the equivalent extent (Kumar 1985, 384; see also Chaudhuri 1968). Again, this cannot be tested. [...] Fourth, while British officers serving India did receive salaries that were many times that of the average income in India, a paper using cross-country data shows that colonies with better paid officers were governed better (Jones 2013).
Indeed, drain theory rests on some very weak foundations. This, in of itself, should be enough to dismiss any of the other figures that get thrown out. Nonetheless, I felt it would be a useful exercise to continue exploring Patnaik's take on drain theory.
The East India Company from 1765 onwards allocated every year up to one-third of Indian budgetary revenues net of collection costs, to buy a large volume of goods for direct import into Britain, far in excess of that country’s own needs.
So what's going on here? Well Roy (2019) explains it better:
Colonial India ran an export surplus, which, together with foreign investment, was used to pay for services purchased from Britain. These payments included interest on public debt, salaries, and pensions paid to government offcers who had come from Britain, salaries of managers and engineers, guaranteed profts paid to railway companies, and repatriated business profts. How do we know that any of these payments involved paying too much? The answer is we do not.
So what was really happening is the government was paying its workers for services (as well as guaranteeing profits - to promote investment - something the GoI does today Dalal (2019), and promoting business in India), and those workers were remitting some of that money to Britain. This is hardly a drain (unless, of course, Indian diaspora around the world today are "draining" it). In some cases, the remittances would take the form of goods (as described) see Chaudhuri (1983):
It is obvious that these debit items were financed through the export surplus on merchandise account, and later, when railway construction started on a large scale in India, through capital import. Until 1833 the East India Company followed a cumbersome method in remitting the annual home charges. This was to purchase export commodities in India out of revenue, which were then shipped to London and the proceeds from their sale handed over to the home treasury.
While Roy's earlier point argues better paid officers governed better, it is honestly impossible to say what part of the repatriated export surplus was a drain, and what was not. However calling all of it a drain is definitely misguided.
It's worth noting that Patnaik seems to make no attempt to quantify the benefits of the Raj either, Dewey (2019)'s 2nd criticism:
she [Patnaik] consistently ignores research that would tend to cut the economic impact of the drain down to size, such as the work on the sources of investment during the industrial revolution (which shows that industrialisation was financed by the ploughed-back profits of industrialists) or the costs of empire school (which stresses the high price of imperial defence)

Since tropical goods were highly prized in other cold temperate countries which could never produce them, in effect these free goods represented international purchasing power for Britain which kept a part for its own use and re-exported the balance to other countries in Europe and North America against import of food grains, iron and other goods in which it was deficient.
Re-exports necessarily adds value to goods when the goods are processed and when the goods are transported. The country with the largest navy at the time would presumably be in very good stead to do the latter.
The British historians Phyllis Deane and WA Cole presented an incorrect estimate of Britain’s 18th-19th century trade volume, by leaving out re-exports completely. I found that by 1800 Britain’s total trade was 62% higher than their estimate, on applying the correct definition of trade including re-exports, that is used by the United Nations and by all other international organisations.
While interesting, and certainly expected for such an old book, re-exporting necessarily adds value to goods.
When the Crown took over from the Company, from 1861 a clever system was developed under which all of India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its fast-rising commodity export surplus with the world, was intercepted and appropriated by Britain. As before up to a third of India’s rising budgetary revenues was not spent domestically but was set aside as ‘expenditure abroad’.
So, what does this mean? Britain appropriated all of India's earnings, and then spent a third of it aboard? Not exactly. She is describing home charges see Roy (2019) again:
Some of the expenditures on defense and administration were made in sterling and went out of the country. This payment by the government was known as the Home Charges. For example, interest payment on loans raised to finance construction of railways and irrigation works, pensions paid to retired officers, and purchase of stores, were payments in sterling. [...] almost all money that the government paid abroad corresponded to the purchase of a service from abroad. [...] The balance of payments system that emerged after 1800 was based on standard business principles. India bought something and paid for it. State revenues were used to pay for wages of people hired abroad, pay for interest on loans raised abroad, and repatriation of profits on foreign investments coming into India. These were legitimate market transactions.
Indeed, if paying for what you buy is drain, then several billions of us are drained every day.
The Secretary of State for India in Council, based in London, invited foreign importers to deposit with him the payment (in gold, sterling and their own currencies) for their net imports from India, and these gold and forex payments disappeared into the yawning maw of the SoS’s account in the Bank of England.
It should be noted that India having two heads was beneficial, and encouraged investment per Roy (2019):
The fact that the India Office in London managed a part of the monetary system made India creditworthy, stabilized its currency, and encouraged foreign savers to put money into railways and private enterprise in India. Current research on the history of public debt shows that stable and large colonies found it easier to borrow abroad than independent economies because the investors trusted the guarantee of the colonist powers.

Against India’s net foreign earnings he issued bills, termed Council bills (CBs), to an equivalent rupee value. The rate (between gold-linked sterling and silver rupee) at which the bills were issued, was carefully adjusted to the last farthing, so that foreigners would never find it more profitable to ship financial gold as payment directly to Indians, compared to using the CB route. Foreign importers then sent the CBs by post or by telegraph to the export houses in India, that via the exchange banks were paid out of the budgeted provision of sums under ‘expenditure abroad’, and the exporters in turn paid the producers (peasants and artisans) from whom they sourced the goods.
Sunderland (2013) argues CBs had two main roles (and neither were part of a grand plot to keep gold out of India):
Council bills had two roles. They firstly promoted trade by handing the IO some control of the rate of exchange and allowing the exchange banks to remit funds to India and to hedge currency transaction risks. They also enabled the Indian government to transfer cash to England for the payment of its UK commitments.

The United Nations (1962) historical data for 1900 to 1960, show that for three decades up to 1928 (and very likely earlier too) India posted the second highest merchandise export surplus in the world, with USA in the first position. Not only were Indians deprived of every bit of the enormous international purchasing power they had earned over 175 years, even its rupee equivalent was not issued to them since not even the colonial government was credited with any part of India’s net gold and forex earnings against which it could issue rupees. The sleight-of-hand employed, namely ‘paying’ producers out of their own taxes, made India’s export surplus unrequited and constituted a tax-financed drain to the metropolis, as had been correctly pointed out by those highly insightful classical writers, Dadabhai Naoroji and RCDutt.
It doesn't appear that others appreciate their insight Roy (2019):
K. N. Chaudhuri rightly calls such practice ‘confused’ economics ‘coloured by political feelings’.

Surplus budgets to effect such heavy tax-financed transfers had a severe employment–reducing and income-deflating effect: mass consumption was squeezed in order to release export goods. Per capita annual foodgrains absorption in British India declined from 210 kg. during the period 1904-09, to 157 kg. during 1937-41, and to only 137 kg by 1946.
Dewey (1978) points out reliability issues with Indian agriculutural statistics, however this calorie decline persists to this day. Some of it is attributed to less food being consumed at home Smith (2015), a lower infectious disease burden Duh & Spears (2016) and diversified diets Vankatesh et al. (2016).
If even a part of its enormous foreign earnings had been credited to it and not entirely siphoned off, India could have imported modern technology to build up an industrial structure as Japan was doing.
This is, unfortunately, impossible to prove. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication that India would've united (this is arguably more plausible than the given counterfactual1). Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been nuked in WW2, much like Japan. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been invaded by lizard people, much like Japan. The list continues eternally.
Nevertheless, I will charitably examine the given counterfactual anyway. Did pre-colonial India have industrial potential? The answer is a resounding no.
From Gupta (1980):
This article starts from the premise that while economic categories - the extent of commodity production, wage labour, monetarisation of the economy, etc - should be the basis for any analysis of the production relations of pre-British India, it is the nature of class struggles arising out of particular class alignments that finally gives the decisive twist to social change. Arguing on this premise, and analysing the available evidence, this article concludes that there was little potential for industrial revolution before the British arrived in India because, whatever might have been the character of economic categories of that period, the class relations had not sufficiently matured to develop productive forces and the required class struggle for a 'revolution' to take place.
A view echoed in Raychaudhuri (1983):
Yet all of this did not amount to an economic situation comparable to that of western Europe on the eve of the industrial revolution. Her technology - in agriculture as well as manufacturers - had by and large been stagnant for centuries. [...] The weakness of the Indian economy in the mid-eighteenth century, as compared to pre-industrial Europe was not simply a matter of technology and commercial and industrial organization. No scientific or geographical revolution formed part of the eighteenth-century Indian's historical experience. [...] Spontaneous movement towards industrialisation is unlikely in such a situation.
So now we've established India did not have industrial potential, was India similar to Japan just before the Meiji era? The answer, yet again, unsurprisingly, is no. Japan's economic situation was not comparable to India's, which allowed for Japan to finance its revolution. From Yasuba (1986):
All in all, the Japanese standard of living may not have been much below the English standard of living before industrialization, and both of them may have been considerably higher than the Indian standard of living. We can no longer say that Japan started from a pathetically low economic level and achieved a rapid or even "miraculous" economic growth. Japan's per capita income was almost as high as in Western Europe before industrialization, and it was possible for Japan to produce surplus in the Meiji Period to finance private and public capital formation.
The circumstances that led to Meiji Japan were extremely unique. See Tomlinson (1985):
Most modern comparisons between India and Japan, written by either Indianists or Japanese specialists, stress instead that industrial growth in Meiji Japan was the product of unique features that were not reproducible elsewhere. [...] it is undoubtably true that Japan's progress to industrialization has been unique and unrepeatable
So there you have it. Unsubstantiated statistical assumptions, calling any number you can a drain & assuming a counterfactual for no good reason gets you this $45 trillion number. Hopefully that's enough to bury it in the ground.
1. Several authors have affirmed that Indian identity is a colonial artefact. For example see Rajan 1969:
Perhaps the single greatest and most enduring impact of British rule over India is that it created an Indian nation, in the modern political sense. After centuries of rule by different dynasties overparts of the Indian sub-continent, and after about 100 years of British rule, Indians ceased to be merely Bengalis, Maharashtrians,or Tamils, linguistically and culturally.
or see Bryant 2000:
But then, it would be anachronistic to condemn eighteenth-century Indians, who served the British, as collaborators, when the notion of 'democratic' nationalism or of an Indian 'nation' did not then exist. [...] Indians who fought for them, differed from the Europeans in having a primary attachment to a non-belligerent religion, family and local chief, which was stronger than any identity they might have with a more remote prince or 'nation'.

Bibliography

Chakrabarti, Shubra & Patnaik, Utsa (2018). Agrarian and other histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri. Colombia University Press
Hickel, Jason (2018). How the British stole $45 trillion from India. The Guardian
Bhuyan, Aroonim & Sharma, Krishan (2019). The Great Loot: How the British stole $45 trillion from India. Indiapost
Monbiot, George (2020). English Landowners have stolen our rights. It is time to reclaim them. The Guardian
Tsjeng, Zing (2020). How Britain Stole $45 trillion from India with trains | Empires of Dirt. Vice
Chaudhury, Dipanjan (2019). British looted $45 trillion from India in today’s value: Jaishankar. The Economic Times
Roy, Tirthankar (2019). How British rule changed India's economy: The Paradox of the Raj. Palgrave Macmillan
Patnaik, Utsa (2018). How the British impoverished India. Hindustan Times
Tuovila, Alicia (2019). Expenditure method. Investopedia
Dewey, Clive (2019). Changing the guard: The dissolution of the nationalist–Marxist orthodoxy in the agrarian and agricultural history of India. The Indian Economic & Social History Review
Chandra, Bipan et al. (1989). India's Struggle for Independence, 1857-1947. Penguin Books
Frankema, Ewout & Booth, Anne (2019). Fiscal Capacity and the Colonial State in Asia and Africa, c. 1850-1960. Cambridge University Press
Dalal, Sucheta (2019). IL&FS Controversy: Centre is Paying Up on Sovereign Guarantees to ADB, KfW for Group's Loan. TheWire
Chaudhuri, K.N. (1983). X - Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments (1757–1947). Cambridge University Press
Sunderland, David (2013). Financing the Raj: The City of London and Colonial India, 1858-1940. Boydell Press
Dewey, Clive (1978). Patwari and Chaukidar: Subordinate officials and the reliability of India’s agricultural statistics. Athlone Press
Smith, Lisa (2015). The great Indian calorie debate: Explaining rising undernourishment during India’s rapid economic growth. Food Policy
Duh, Josephine & Spears, Dean (2016). Health and Hunger: Disease, Energy Needs, and the Indian Calorie Consumption Puzzle. The Economic Journal
Vankatesh, P. et al. (2016). Relationship between Food Production and Consumption Diversity in India – Empirical Evidences from Cross Section Analysis. Agricultural Economics Research Review
Gupta, Shaibal (1980). Potential of Industrial Revolution in Pre-British India. Economic and Political Weekly
Raychaudhuri, Tapan (1983). I - The mid-eighteenth-century background. Cambridge University Press
Yasuba, Yasukichi (1986). Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment. The Journal of Economic History
Tomblinson, B.R. (1985). Writing History Sideways: Lessons for Indian Economic Historians from Meiji Japan. Cambridge University Press
Rajan, M.S. (1969). The Impact of British Rule in India. Journal of Contemporary History
Bryant, G.J. (2000). Indigenous Mercenaries in the Service of European Imperialists: The Case of the Sepoys in the Early British Indian Army, 1750-1800. War in History
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Fueling The Us Economy's Middle Market Growth Engine

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Global Financial Markets: Habits of Good Traders and Bad Traders [Part 1]

Global Financial Markets: Habits of Good Traders and Bad Traders [Part 1]
The Internet has created opportunity of easy access to the Global Financial Markets. Everyone who desires to learn and earn can now trade in the Global Financial Markets, irrespective of their location around the world without discrimination. What used to be the secret investment opportunity for the rich and privileged few, has now become an open marketplace through digital platforms made accessible on mobile phones, portable tablets and laptops. Therefore, as Internet connectivity and broadband access continues to penetrate into every remote corners of the globe, the awareness of Global Financial Markets commonly referred to as FOREX TRADING, will continue to soar!
According to Ian H. Giddy, Stern School of Business, New York University “The global financial markets include the market for foreign exchange, such as the Eurocurrency and related money markets, the international capital markets, notably the Eurobond and global equity markets, the commodity market and last but not least, the markets for forward contracts, options, swaps and other derivatives”. Simply put, the Global Financial Markets is a virtual platform for online trading of Currencies of countries at the International Foreign Exchange Rate, as it is done real time between Banks, Large Corporations, Investment Firms, Hedge Funds and Private Equity Portfolio managers. These are the big players, usually called the Market Makers. These Market Makers are high value and high volume traders that account for over 90% of the 5 trillion dollars worth of trading done everyday for 24 hours throughout the 5 working days of the week. The participation of Individual Traders called Retail Traders in the Global Financial Markets is only possible through a registered and verified account on the trading platform of licensed and regulated Brokers like in the Stock Exchange industry.
While the sound of participating in an open market valued at over 5 trillion dollars per day, sounds attractive and inspiring; very few Individual Traders have successfully earned profits from the Global Financial Markets consistently. In many instances, the odds are usually against the Individual Traders due to the numerous cycles of events and uncertainties that influence Global Economy and Trade relationships between countries of the world which directly or indirectly affect the sentiments of buyers and sellers of the currency of countries against others.
While many may assume that making profit in the Global Financial Markets is just as simple as clicking BUY or SELL buttons on the Broker’s trading platform, the few successful traders know that there are a lot more to learn and apply. Like everything in life, learning by doing is the best way to winning the trophy. Fairly enough, all Forex Brokers in the Global Financial Markets provide demo accounts with virtual money to help traders learn and practice before investing their real money. Unfortunately, due to the habit of indiscipline, many traders are usually impatient in learning and often allow greed to push them to rush into live trading without developing the necessary skills and habits that will guarantee consistent profit and successful trading career.

“Discipline is the ultimate secret of Distinction. What makes the difference between Good and Bad Traders is Self-Discipline!”


[Image Source: https://trading-education.com/101-inspirational-trading-quotes-and-what-they-mean]
The only Broker that I have personally observed to be committed to helping Individual Traders develop Self-Discipline and Expertise through continuous Education and Enforcement of Self-Discipline is Olymp Trade [www.olymptrade.com]. The Broker enforces self-discipline through an automated Trade Limit which is triggered when an Individual Trader begins to take reckless risks with their hard-earned money in search for dangerous profits. Many inexperienced traders hate this trade limit control, but the good, expert traders openly appreciate Olymp Trade for helping them to develop the Self-Discipline habit.
With the implementation of the Trade Limit rule, Olymp Trade has helped many of her Individual traders to learn the self-discipline habit. This has given a higher percentage of beginners or novice traders the golden opportunity to become an expert trader and earn profit consistently over time, while they avoid the common pitfalls that destroy many who trade with other brokers without the Trade Limit feature on their platform.

[Image Source: https://trading-education.com/101-inspirational-trading-quotes-and-what-they-mean]
In conclusion, while this article emphasized that Self-Discipline is the main difference between good traders and bad traders, there are other habits of good traders that will be explained in subsequent articles coming soon in this series.
Thanks for reading and adding your own comment to this article.
References
Ian H. Giddy: The Global Financial Markets.
[http://people.stern.nyu.edu/igiddy/gfm.htm#:~:text=The%20global%20financial%20markets%20include,options%2C%20swaps%20and%20other%20derivatives]
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Learn How To Trade Forex - Can A Beginner Make Money In Forex Trading?

Introduction
Contrary to what every Forex 'expert' out there would have you believe, it's not easy to learn how to trade Forex at all. Trading Forex is one of the most challenging skills you can ever set out to learn, which is especially daunting if you're a beginner just starting out to learn how to trade Forex. If you're finding it hard to learn how to trade Forex successfully right now, you're probably wondering: "Can a beginner make money in Forex trading?" By the end of this article, you'll know what you can do to make money in Forex trading right now.
Can A Beginner Make Money In Forex Trading?
If you have a look around the many Forex websites, forums, seminars and magazines, it seems like everyone's making millions of dollars trading Forex! The thing is, Forex traders love to talk about their winning trades and make themselves out to be wildly profitable traders, but the reality is that only 5% of Forex traders are consistently making money. Yes, even a beginner can make money in Forex trading, but there's a big difference between making money in Forex and making a full time income, achieving financial freedom, and building wealth through Forex.
What Stops Beginners From Making An Income
So what's stopping beginners from making a consistent, long term income from trading Forex? Well, unlike the professional Forex traders working for the big banks and hedge funds, most beginner traders learning to trade Forex aren't paid a full time salary to immerse themselves in the markets. If you're just starting out in Forex, then you've probably got a full time job that you spend at least 8 hours a day on, and a family and social life outside of that. That means that you have a very real shortage of time to get yourself to the level where you can trade like a pro, and believe me, it takes a lot of time and consistent effort.
It takes years of study, practice and real experience in the markets to learn how to trade Forex successfully, and get to the level where you can consistently make money in Forex trading. Not to mention that you'll be taking on, for all intents and purposes, an unpaid part time job that will chain you to your computer while you are trading. It's something that will alienate you from your social circle, and put considerable strain on your family relationships as well. It's no wonder that most traders wanting to learn how to trade Forex will give up within 3 months, and never make money in Forex trading.
What You Can Do To Make Money In Forex Trading Now
So what can you do to make money in Forex trading right now? The best shortcut I know is to buy a proven Forex trading system to do your trading for you. I'm not going to look you in the eye and tell you that you can just go out there and pick any system and make millions, because that's simply not true. Profitable trading systems are rare, and you need to choose very carefully. That said, if you can find a trading system that works, you can overcome the biggest challenges any trader faces while they learn how to trade Forex. You'll be able to gain valuable Forex market experience, preserve your personal relationships and most importantly make money in Forex trading while you learn how to trade Forex.
When you've built up the capital and income of your Forex systems operation, and have gathered up valuable trading experience, you may decide to try out trading Forex for yourself. Regardless of whether you trade with an automatic Forex system in the short, medium or long term, it's a powerful solution that will enable you to make money in Forex trading even if you're a beginner.
submitted by Ozone21337 to BestForexTradingtools [link] [comments]

Prelude to a Market Bloodbath: a Ludicrous Theory of How It All Started.

The text below was actually a comment of mine on another Redditor's post, but since I think they all left for the day, I have decided to create a standalone post with it.
Even though it's my theory, tbh I prefer the other theory of mine, which is:
From the COVID-19 outbreak to the great oil war between Russia & Saudi to the market crash, this whole event is a live simulation that some powerful group is executing for their future plan.
But today, I would like to present my less favourable theory: Theory of How COVID-19 Pandemic Has Started.
Obviously, for some parts, I got the sources. But for others, it's just a speculation based on the well known (?) inner working (political) systems of China.

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Both Shanghai clique (Jiang Zemin) and Communist Youth League (Hu Jintao) want to unseat Xi Jinping.
.A. Because:
Shanghai clique detests Xi Jinping because Xi & his Princelings put many key politburo of Shanghai clique in jail in the name of anti-corruption.
And Princelings took away Shanghai clique's influences from big key Chinese businesses such as Wanda Group, Alibaba Group & Tencent.
Communist Youth League loathes Xi Jinping because Xi & his Princelings broke China's 太上王 institution, the nation's long standing political treaty among the ruling classes, by sidelining most of Hu Jintao's prominent politburo in the council.
Subsequently, the political power of Li Keqiang's (Communist Youth League) within State Council has been dramatically minimized over the years, although he is the No. 2 party figure.
It was a break with two previous generations of leadership, which were based on consensus among members of the ruling party’s inner circle of power, the Standing Committee, a.k.a China's 太上王 institution.
So,
Shanghai clique and Communist Youth League decided to work together to hatch a seemingly perfect plan:
- Unseating Xi Jinping would be the best outcome, but they knew it would be laborious.
- While keep trying to unseat Xi, this operation by their plan should be something to weaken Xi Jinping's power within State Council.
- The operation should also reboot the political power of Li Keqiang to re-boost the current status of Communist Youth League within State Council.
- The operation should also restore the financial flow for Shanghai clique & the businesses that are still under Shanghai clique's control.
- By weakening Xi Jinping's power, the operation should reinstate Shanghai clique's control of (at least some of) key businesses of the nation.
- Used-to-be hyper wealthy Shanghai clique decided they were to be okay with what's going to happen in the field, colossal businesses loss in the region;
because 1) most of better businesses used to be owned by them have been already taken away by Princelings anyway. And 2) a while ago their foreign financial backers, such as Henry Kissinger, George Soros & Koos Bekker who used to be kissy kissy with them, left for the new power in China. Now those backers seems to be in bed with Xi. And 3) Xi started to crack down Shanghai clique's assets hidden overseas with the inside-info those backers provided to Xi. exploding head gifs
- The operation's process must appear natural, so the blame could never fall onto neither of Shanghai clique nor Communist Youth League.
- For the operation, they needed to pick an appropriate region where the influence of Shanghai clique and Communist Youth League were still prevalent.
- All the blame should fall under Xi & Princelings' political and bureaucratic incompetence.
.B. Preparation:
- Dr. Wang Yanyi is a Chinese immunologist. She is the director general at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the deputy director for Wuhan in the China Zhi Gong Party.
- Dr. Wang Yanyi is married to Chinese professor Shu Hongbing.
- Shu Hongbing is a Chinese cytologist and immunologist. He is a tier-1 member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a close associate of Jiang Mianheng thru said Academy and Shanghai Tech University connection.
- Jiang Mianheng is Jiang Zemin's son (Jiang Zemin = No. 1 in Shanghai clique). Jiang Mianheng has served as Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the first President of ShanghaiTech University.
- Because many international bodies are closely monitoring the NBL-4 facility in Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory and in turn the NBL-3 facility in the same laboratory attracts fewer observing eyes from outside bodies, they decided to use the latter to pick & modify the pathogen.
- The pathogen's spreading speed should be rapid to achieve the maximum effect.
- Jiang Chaoliang is a pro-Shanghai clique Chinese politician and he was the Communist Party Secretary of Hubei.
- Later, as a result of his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, Jiang Chaoliang has been replaced by Ying Yong, a close ally of Xi Jinping.
.C. Operation:
- The operators released a pathogen of their choice in Hubei near the end of 2019. The holiday season was coming up, so there would be large frequent crowds to spread the pathogen.
- Some people in the region started to experience flu like symptoms but they didn't think much about it because it's a Winter season.
- Seeing numerous passengers were unusually ill, the cab drivers in Wuhan city knew something was up with the area close to the city laboratory.
- The number of flu patients in Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University started to curiously go up.
- The CPC bureaucrats in said hospitals started to report the situation to their superiors. Then, in turn, those superiors reported to politburo in State Council.
- Finally, Xi Jinping received the news regarding the situation in Wuhan city.
- On Jan. 7, 2020, Xi demanded during a Politburo Standing Committee to take care of the situation.
- Jiang Chaoliang and the other pro-Shanghai clique politburo in Hubei province pretended listening to Xi's order but they quietly ignored it by suppressing the evidences + sabotaging the field. -- Have you read the article which was reporting that the researchers received a gag order from China’s NHC with instructions to destroy the samples?
- Shanghai clique & Communist Youth League told their relatives and close associates to leave the region. It would look business as usual because it's near the Chinese New Year holiday season.
- Remember, Academics & the related institutions in China are Shanghai clique's turf.
- On Jan. 14, W.H.O declared that "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China."
- On Jan. 20, 2020, after realizing his previous directions were conveniently ignored, Xi gave special instructions to control the now-became outbreak.
- But again the pro-Shanghai clique politburo in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province pretended following Xi's instructions but ultimately ignored those by still sabotaging the proceedings.
- Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang allowed and in fact applauded a massive annual potluck banquet for 40,000 families from a city precinct, who (on the ordinary people levels) are mostly the supporters of Xi Jinping. ---- It's going to be interesting to see who they would blame later on if there were to be a disaster in the region.
- On Jan. 23, 2020, after having confirmed their relatives and close associates left the region, they imposed a lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province.
- Before the lockdown, 5 million people have already left Wuhan city. It was on. Some of them went to their homes in the different regions of China. But some people with connections & means left China and went to U.S., South Korea, Iran, Italy, & France, which are Chinese tourists' popular destinations.
- Xi Jinping and his Princelings now suspected something was not right. Xi disappeared from the public view.
- Willy Lam, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, commented that Xi Jinping's activities after his lengthy public disappearance looked like an attempt to shift blame to Li Keqiang if progress in fighting the disease is unsatisfactory.
.D. Outcome:
- With his performance of containing the situation were being praised by State Council, Li Keqiang's political power has been expanded within the council. ---- Li Keqiang belongs to China's Communist Youth League, which has been under Shanghai clique's control.
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- On Feb. 1, the US was the one of the first nations in the world along with Russia and N. Korea that banned not just Chinese nationals but all foreigners travelling from mainland China, declares public health emergency. And China and some US media criticized Trump for stoking fear and overreacting.
- On Feb. 3, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. ---- Let's see where those money will go to. (Actually we would never find out but it will probably go to key people of Shanghai clique.)
- On Feb. 7, China National Petroleum Corp. has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to make a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019.
- On Feb. 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. ---- My guess is that at this moment, the US admin noticed something is up, so they tried to secure some leverage against Russia.
- Around Feb. 24, China is rumoured (on Twitter) to delay its US-China phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increasement of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.
- If China indeed delays the phase one trade deal implementation, there won't be many comebacks (such as more tariffs) that the US can carry through, because now the pandemic is happening within the US Soil.
- On Feb. 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.89 and closed 3128.21. By Feb. 28, it dropped to 2954.22.
- On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others.
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- On Mar. 1, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law.
- On Mar. 1, Princelings published an awesome propaganda called A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020 which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus.
- Starting at Mar. 3, the Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus.
- On Mar. 4, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China (理直气壮, 世界应该感谢中国)."
- Said article states "If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only (banning exports), the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic."
- This Xinhua article would be in part Shanghai clique's grand posturing (who are holding political power & capacity in medicals & biochemicals of China) to show off to people of China that Shanghai clique is still relevant in power.
- On Mar. 5, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely.
- On Mar. 7, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. ---- Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & Morgan Stanley.
- Interestingly, one common factor that connects Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & Morgan Stanley is China.
- On Mar. 8, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has initiated. The ostensible reason was simple. China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers as the coronavirus outbreak forced the economy to a standstill.
- On, Mar. 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging.
- On Mar. 16, the fan club of Europe globalists (:D) has published a piece, China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity. The piece says the following:
Combined with the new aid disbursements and advice the other countries, Chinese leaders appear to be hoping that their heavily-promoted success in fighting the virus helps Beijing appear like a global leader on public health – and thus ready to take on other types of global leadership.
“The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful” [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda.
This is not necessarily true. After all, other wealthy Asian states have shown different, effective models. But it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
- On Mar. 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history and falling to its lowest level in nearly three years. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope.
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Many thanks for reading up my long ass post!! -- The updated version is hopefully coming soon. :D
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So you wanna be a proffesional trader?

Back to the trenches I guess. Some of you might remember my last post over proffesional approaches to the markets. If not I suggest you take a look on it before reading this.
https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/cxymyf/a_peek_into_how_financial_institutions_play_this/
I promised to discuss some stuff about macroeconomic approaches to forex, and well, with some delay here I am. Again, here I introduce the very same disclaimer. This is a professional approach, not coming from retail. Take everything with a grain of salt, and exercise proper due diligence with your approach. Sincerely hope you get something out of this post.
An inconvenient, forex truth
You've been there, struggling and suffering for a while. You have experienced the pain that the markets can unleash on you. You have left positions on the red for longer than your sanity could possible hold. You have opened positions that moved to the green, but you did not take any profits and you let that position slowly die and possibly causing huge loses. Now here you are , in October 2019, possibly as a breakeven trader, still suffering and trying. You have researched hundreds of indicators, if not thousands. You thought you have all sorted out with your RSI , stochastics and TDI. Yet you have switched between strategies more than you have changed your underpants in your whole life. Spent too many hours looking at the screen, wondering what the hell you are still missing.
And the incovenient truth is that you want the glitz and the glamour, and the caviar, but you are not willing to eat the shit. And this is the shit: How are you expecting to make any good money on a field where you dont know virtually anything about it. Nor the substance that you are trading, nor what moves it. How are you actually expecting to beat guys that breath and eat economics?. You know literally nothing about volatility and liquidity, about interbanking flows , about puts and calls, market microestructure and price delivery mechanisms both on OTC markets and CME , what is GDP , how is calculated and why is critical. CPI, NMI, GDP to debt ratios, UST, repo markets, shadow banking, carry diferentials, how and why commodities alter certain currencies. EM vs G10 currencies, pegged vs unpegged. Balances of Payments.... When you hear "greeks" you are thinking about the Iliad or Athens. You know nothing about business and credit cycles. Valuation anchors, return to the mean, standard deviations, fair values. I could go on and on and on. Does this make you uncomfortable? It should.
You have dozens of the best students that the world can produce, coming out of the London School of Economics, or from IT degrees in Harvard and MIT, all moving into freaking huge financial institutions, building complex system, doing incredible research . Funded to an extreme you can not imagine. Working in partnership with the IMF and Central Banks all aroundthe world. PhD's dedicating their lifes to such complex systems and situations....... and yet here you are, insolent and ignorant piece of s***, you that have been trying to make your "RSI" or "stochastic" work for 2 months, trying to beat this multi billion-trillionaire infrastrucure. Do you start to realize where the f*** do you stand? Do you really believe even for a freaking second that you can beat them on their game? Using RSI or Ichimoku? EAT.THIS.SHIT.
And its not that technicals are not necesary. They are. But believe me, I (and most pro's that I've ever engaged with) spent less than 1/5 of the time actually managing trades and looking at price charts. If I'm not scalping , my day starts with me reading around 12 to 15 research papers coming from the main financial institutions, glued to my Reuters terminal reading more reports, looking at polls, updating my macroeconomic models with the latest data, performing calculations related to options...... only then, with a fundamental trading idea, I will move to evaluate technicals to see if the timing is good.
I want to learn, how shall I procede?
You want to build a lasting and enjoyable relationship with the market? EAT THE SHIT, and do all that is under your control to actually be able to open The Financial Times and understand what they are talking about. It will take you years, and for the education, hundreds of dollars. But this is how it goes if you want to get real. This is career, not a hobby. This is simply the way to be consistent. EAT THE SHIT.
I compiled some resources to get you started:
ACATIS Konferenz 2016, Mr. Koo, Surviving in the Intellectually Bankrupt Monetary Policy Environment - A great video coming from Nomura, to understand the actual shitty situation in the Eurozone.
Online Courses - Look for IMF on EDX. Also, a fenomenal course on Banking and Money in Coursera.
Books -
Macroeconomics, Gregory Mankiw - Start here to graps the basic concepts
Financial Times Guide to the Financial Markets
Financial Times Guide to Banking
Applied Financial Macroeconomics and Investment Strategy: A Practitioner’s Guide to Tactical Asset Allocation
The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession
The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap: A Hazardous Road for the World Economy
The Other Half of Macroeconomics and the Fate of Globalization (English Edition)
The new lombard street - how the fed became the dealer of last resort
Foreign Exchange , Amy Middleton
The Role of Currency in Institutional Portfolios, Momtchil Pojarliev and Richard M. Levich
Currency Overlay: A Practical Guide, Second Edition, Hai Xin
The Handbook of Corporate Financial Risk (2nd edition)
Trade Stocks and Commodities with the Insiders: Secrets of the COT Report (Wiley Trading)
How I Made One Million Dollars Last Year Trading Commodities
Market Liquidity: Theory, Evidence, and Policy (English Edition)
Trading And Exchanges: Market Microstructure For Practitioners
The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates
The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve
Big Debt Crises
Payments Systems in the U.S. - Third Edition: A Guide for the Payments Professional
The Volatility Machine: Emerging Economics and the Threat of Financial Collapse (English Edition)
Stabilizing an Unstable Economy
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22 year old friendship ruined, need your thoughts....

I'd love some perspective on a recent story that's bothering me. Any and all perspectives welcomed.
In August last year an old friend (we're 38 now and 16 when we met) had been doing a guidance ritual with his mum who is trained to be a shaman… she gave him LSD as part of the ritual- and I haven't tried it so I don't know what it's like.
Anyway, for some reason I contacted him out of the blue the next day when he was still feeling some of the effects. He told me that he loved me, probably always had and it had been a long time coming. I was really surprised, but it was lovely. On some level I'd always felt like that about him (I denied it a lot over the years) but really didn't think that he would ever say or feel something like that.
In that convo he said I'd make a great girlfriend and he'd be lucky to have me, I was really smart and lovely but intense and opinionated. Also, that ironically he thought he'd missed his one chance at happiness with me (you can understand the ironically part when you know the backstory). He said I was beautiful and he was stupid for not being completely in love with me. He said he was sure we'd known each other in past lives. I was very touched by all of this because I adore him but I took it with a pinch of salt, and tried to find out if it was just a fleeting feeling.
But he also said that his life is on a dark path, and that in this lifetime he is only meant to suffer, maybe he'll be dead by 50 and we should see each other in the next life. He said he has huge issues (lots of drink and drugs of many types), is also very intense, and I'd never be able to handle the up and down of his lifestyle.
I got the feeling that he was having those thoughts about loving me for the first time right then, so I asked him if he’d felt like that before, or just that night. And he said he’d thought it the last time we spoke when I’d interviewed him for a book a couple of years previously. But I didn’t get the impression he’d really felt like that when we were younger.
I checked a month or 2 later if he remembered what he said because I thought maybe he had just been high. He said he thought he remembered everything he had said, and said I wasn't very nice for not believing him, so I was really happy and decided to go and see him.
Fast forward a couple months to after Christmas - I hadn't been to see him yet- but we’d been messaging and sending photos. For Christmas, his mum had bought him a tarot card reading with a chocolate ritual with a shaman or a psychic lady, and he was sharing with me that he'd done it and that it said his head was really messed up. He seemed quite upset.
So me being 5% moron, my nervousness and excitedness had returned (I was always very, very nervous around him when we were young) and I made a joke he really didn't appreciate, offering to shoot him in the head if he wanted (I was trying to lighten the mood, and also we seemed to be getting a bit more gentle, intimate and less jokey in the way that we were talking to each other, which freaks me out. He's much sweeter than he used to be, and it kind of makes me freeze up a bit).
Well! Bang. It was like I stabbed him in the chest or something. It seemed to instantly remind him of all the things that annoy him about me, and after 5 months being really sweet he went cold on me. Really, really cold. From there I got very confused and kept making worse mistakes because I got nervous, and kept trying to fix it. I sent him some long, weird email which I’m sure made things worse. I also posted something on Facebook which made it look like I was chatting to other guys. All very silly. It's ridiculous. I'm an adult and am pretty confident these days. But suddenly I was really nervous again feeling like a kid and like there’s something terribly wrong with me.
I arranged to go and see him for a few days in Tenerife, and before I went it was pretty tense between us and I couldn't tell if he wanted me to go or not- I did everything I could to try and find out if he actually wanted me to go or not- but he was his usual tight-lipped self. When I got there, he was very hospitable, apologized for being off-radar and showed me round, we went out to bars and the beach...
We spent four days (before he had to go home to England) as a quasi-couple, and it was a very surreal experience. It was bizarrely intimate, sweet but tense, with someone I know very well... naked. For the first time I realised how peace-loving and gentle he is- which I never saw before. He can't stand a lot of the more boisterous things I do, which is fair, but ironically they're things I tended to do from nerves and trying to get his attention. I kind of got it after that- why he finds me so aversive sometimes, it's like we're stuck in a negative feedback loop, and he thinks I’m too harsh for his delicate constitution. Which, he might just be right about.
In between the fun, laughing, joking, drinking, sex and bonding- of which there was lots and it was really nice - he was filled with sadness and depression, grumpiness, and a funny attitude from him that seemed to shout: "yuck, it's you, you're more like a sisteannoying irritation than a woman to me." He said that it was because his life was falling apart- and he was obviously very very depressed but trying to show me a good time and doing a good job of it too, I might add. But so many things pointed to the fact that he mainly just felt annoyed by me, found me totally unsuitable, and kind of pitied me, rather than feeling any love for me, and that he finds me generally very annoying. Wall up, blinds closed, aint comin' in.
He also kept telling me about his lifestyle of drink and drugs and how everyone he knows is a junky or a crazy person. It felt like he was trying very hard to make me see reality and put me off him, or save me from him, or warn me, or see how I would react and if I would run. Or save himself from what he sees as inevitable hostility and rejection (as well as from me and how annoying I am). "Be careful what you wish for" and "curiosity killed the cat" seemed to be his repetitive catchphrases when I showed an interest in him. Apparently, his ex thinks he's a bastard, he would tell me.
I think, ideally, if he could change me (he used to talk a lot about me doing DHT to rebalance myself) he would want to be in a relationship, because we enjoy each other’s company. But it could only work if he was tougher and I was less harsh. I think he sees these things quite clearly as they are – that he’s got a delicate constitution, and I’m far too frustrated by him to be delicate enough for things to work out. I’d soon get pissed off and ditch the situation, rather than sweep things under the rug and carry on from day to day in a carefree world of consumption- I just couldn’t do that. I’m a strategic future-planner.
At one point we played some intimacy/trust game with lots of questions, and he loosened up a little... but the way he would answer questions like "Name 3 things you like about your partner" was like "well you ARE very caring" in the same way that someone might say "Well, Hitler WAS very spiritual." It's funny because in relationships I'm very soft in general, in recent years, but I do still get very harsh and frustrated when problems don’t seem solvable. But with him I just can't seem to relax and trust him enough to be soft with him at all, and he didn't give me a chance anyway. We just don’t trust each other- we’re not safe for each other.
After I went home he checked in with me a couple times, which I liked. He tried to share some things with me that interest him, about quite spiritual or unusual subjects (trees being interconnected, aliens having been involved in human development, DHT, the memory of water… stuff that as someone who studied physics I don’t normally hear about, but I’m pretty open to hearing about them)- he's very soft and very chilled- doesn’t like stress at all. But every time I tried to dig a bit deeper and engage with him to see what it was about them that interested him - he completely ignored me. Didn’t try, nothing. Me trying to talk with him about the things he shared seemed to send the walls up and just bug him. Really really frustrating. It's like I couldn't do anything right. Particularly frustrating when he said he was trying to open up my mind- but then wouldn't connect or follow through.
So, for a couple months, for the first time in 20 years I seemed to be chasing him. It's like he promised me something, judged me for being nervous and "annoying" and not perfect, and then instead of being understanding, he ran. Yikes.
Eventually I got so confused I sent him screenshots of the conversation where he'd said he loved me and he didn't even remember it! He was shocked, blamed it on the drugs and mental illness saying that he was "not a well person." He said he was beginning to get the feeling that he'd "annoyed me" now, and that he sees me as a friend, and he didn't mean to piss me off. Then he changed the subject. He finished up that conversation by saying "we're on different paths and in different places", and he needs to sort himself out and that's that.
The backstory goes like this… The first year we knew eachother he nicknamed me “TT” which meant “no tits and no teeth” (I had big gaps before I had braces). He used to do things like hit me on the butt with a stick and then I’d punch him and go nuts. He really took the piss out of me with his friends and girlfriends because I had a huge crush on him (he thought it was hilarious that I felt like I’d been struck by lightning when I first saw him). They used to put me on speakerphone and laugh. He was the only guy I ever asked out – which I did on his answer machine!! Ugh. So, yeah, really humiliated me actually and I’ve never asked anyone out since (thank goodness I’m a woman, haha).
After that I had braces and turned into a social person who had lots of parties and friends. He started being really nice to me. But I didn’t forgive him very easily, and we had a big bust up and weren't friends for a year or so. I did a pizza leaflet with his phone number on it. And I banned him from my 18th birthday party to which all our friends were going, and he was pretty upset. I felt bad once when I saw him outside one of my parties on the curb holding his head in his hands saying “why does she hate me so much?” Well, deep down I loved the guy, but he’d humiliated me, so I guess there was a thin line between love and hate. I don’t know if that would have made him feel any better, but hopefully.
From some point on, we made up and we always had great chemistry after that... we did things like hanging out and smoking some weed in his car together with other people, going out in London with our mutual friends, him giving me lots of lifts home from pubs and friends houses, me driving his car drunk and pretending I was going to crash it to wind him up (that was stupid and irresponsible).
Looking back I think he kind of liked me at that point but was scared of me, didn’t know how to make a move as I had moved on and had given him such a hard time, but at the time I really didn't have a clue whether he liked me or not, I was always just very, very feisty and energetic around him (after all the humiliation I guess) so I could never be calm.
Then we went to the same uni town, texted constantly for a year, and even then he said he thought we’d known each other in past lives. To my friends I gave him the nickname "my future husband", he asked me out in the cutest way by saying that if I had the guts and the inclination to go out with him, then we should go for a drink. I was soooo excited..
Well, we almost went out and then he dropped out of uni because of an argument with a lecturer or something. I honestly believe everyone has to follow their own path, so for me it was just sad for him that he had so much stress, and it was disappointing about the date. Our first kiss was when he came up to the uni town again and we did a pub crawl, and he seemed to want to go and sit somewhere and be sweet but I was too nervous so we just kept doing the pubcrawl and ended up spooning on a friend’s floor (just hugging and kissing).
We almost went on a date in our home area but he cancelled without suggesting an alternative, and I got annoyed so he stopped talking to me- surprisingly easily- it’s like he has a very low threshold for any kind of angst, and isn’t able to soothe himself or the other person, so just bails. Which, considering the fact that he creates a lot of angst-provoking situations means that he kind of expects to go through life without facing any consequences for his actions. Pretty frustrating for someone like me, who expects quite a lot of openness and honesty.
We eventually hooked up once and he never called me after so after waiting for a while, I reluctantly moved on and ended up with someone else for 4 years. I have no idea how he felt about this, but a couple of small things surprised me and I wondered if he had actually felt more than I gave him credit for. I mean, that love confession blew me away, I wouldn't have thought for a moment that he had been harbouring any thoughts like that about me, I thought for him it was all a big joke and meant nothing, so maybe he did feel something other than annoyance for me when we were younger.
It's hard to tell as he's been with a lot of women, is very tight-lipped and doesn’t put himself on the line, or take any risks at all. But in those days I was always so nervous around him that any signs would have just gone completely under the radar anyway.
A few years later, after lots of traveling, he popped up working in the office down the hall from me at this random summer job I took and we started emailing lots. He seemed disappointed with how life was not as exciting as he'd expected. Then he disappeared one day- he was living with his ex at the time (very lovely girl) and I was with the same guy (the 4 year one).
A few years after that we were back hanging around in the same social circle until everyone, including him, moved abroad, and eventually, so did i. It was funny, I would always be able to talk to him if I was upset about, say, moving to uni or something. It didn't happen often but a couple of times.
Most of this he probably wouldn't even remember because I think he's been with a lot a lot of girls.
He has low self-esteem, apparently. He thinks he has bad luck with women even though women adore him (he's exceptionally easy on the eyes. He’s beautiful actually)- and according to a mutual friend of ours, when he was a teenager he always worried that no decent women would want someone like him.
Recently (in the past 15 years, which isn’t so recent, lol) we didn't really hang out much but we became more normal adults. I went down quite a dry academic path and got a BSc in physics with astrophysics and an MSc in clinical research, and ended up stuck in a corporate job I hated until I quit to become a writer, whereas he had more balls than me and did what he wanted much earlier- becoming an entrepreneur trading stock, gold, Forex, imports and exports... at times making a fortune and at other times going bust and beating himself up for it, but always finding something new to try, which I think's pretty damn cool (but try convincing him of that).
It's pretty normal for entrepreneurial people to have ups and downs in their success-levels I think, but he seems to judge himself very harshly. The last couple of years he’s been making more money than I’ve ever been able to shake a stick at! I really don’t think he should feel ashamed at all (which he seems to), I think he should feel proud that he’s so dynamic. Good for him. He’s awesome. The only thing I wish is that he had heavy enough emotional armor that he could deal with more difficult situations without bailing.
Anyway. Over the years I stopped being super into him and we had a nice, pretty normal friendship -we chatted sometimes on messenger and would always have nice chemistry when we saw each other. He's been trying to arrange a visit for about 10 years or so between the various countries we've been living in (we're both expat people and he wanted to come see me in Madrid and Amsterdam when I lived there, then he wanted me to go seem him in Tenerife for a few years) and I've avoided it, as although I wanted to see him I was scared of a casual fling with him as it’s not what I wanted, and I really don’t like that kind of thing anyway (tried it once or twice thinking I could handle it and I was being all “modern” and cool and everything – because I think I’m a bit old fashioned deep down - but I got emotionally attached and then end up hurt. So now I accept myself for who I am- someone who doesn’t really like flings or casual stuff, but someone who is into monogamy. Whoops! How very boring and unfashionable, and I don’t give a shit. Rayyyy for the love. Whoop whoop.).
A couple years ago I interviewed him for a book I wrote about ADHD entrepreneurs. His lifestyle was pretty cool making a lot of money through affiliate marketing and living near the beach in hot sunny Tenerife in an apartment with a pool. But he seemed to think that he sucked for some reason (everyone else seems to think it's pretty darn cool). He said that when he grew up he was under a lot of pressure and that it seemed to have messed up his head. He said that to do well in life you need to do what you want to do, because if you listen to other people you are only going to be messed up. When he was on LSD he said that he had thought he loved me during that interview.
This year, his life as an expat abroad basically fell apart as the affiliate marketing scheme crashed and he had to move home to live with his parents, which has brought him really, really down into depression. He said he keeps being told he is going to end up working in McDonalds, and being reminded of the fact that he’s almost 40, and this seemed to be weighing on his mind. It sounds like a lot of pressure.
But anyway, for about 5 months after the conversation when he was on LSD he opened up to me, and he was really lovely to me. It was so nice. I guess it was because I was more relaxed and the main thing I wanted was to check up on him and see that he was ok. I didn’t have an agenda to see if he would be a match for me or anything like that- I was just really worried about him. So maybe he felt safe enough to relax.
I said that I always imagined that we would end up as platonic roommates when we were 50 and I would make him sandwiches and listen to all his funny antics – which he thought was cute. Actually, I really did like that idea- because it would take away the underlying obligations that a relationship brings that we couldn’t deliver for each other. And friendship is what relationships turn into anyway.
For my part, it's really disturbed my sleep for months since I came back from visiting him.
Now after trying to message in a friendly way during the coronavirus quarantine (er, I am very very bored) and being annoyed by his total lack of supportiveness, I've recently just told him that I don't want to be friends any more. Too painful. He says I have anger issues and I think he sees himself as an innocent victim.
Actually, if I'm honest, I've been pretty angry at a lot of people for a few years, so, maybe he has a point.
I guess I'm being a bit selfish. It's not really fair expecting anything from a self-confessed depressed, unwell person. He's "in his pit of despair" as he calls it for 6 months and he has zero interest in me. I'm utterly irrelevant to him. He's snippy, rude, ignores me, and then seems to offer a little bit of an olive branch in the smallest of ways.
Excuse the really long story, would be interested in any insight people have on this situation, particularly with respect to how you think he feels and why he acts the way he does. If I feel like I understand this situation then hopefully I can stop thinking about it, because for the past 10 years I've just had the odd nice thought every now and then about him- and would like that to become the status quo again.
submitted by clarejackson10 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

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What Is Capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market—known as a market economy—rather than through central planning—known as a planned economy or command economy.
The purest form of capitalism is free market or laissez-faire capitalism. Here, private individuals are unrestrained. They may determine where to invest, what to produce or sell, and at which prices to exchange goods and services. The laissez-faire marketplace operates without checks or controls.
Today, most countries practice a mixed capitalist system that includes some degree of government regulation of business and ownership of select industries.
Volume 75% 2:05

Capitalism

Understanding Capitalism

Functionally speaking, capitalism is one process by which the problems of economic production and resource distribution might be resolved. Instead of planning economic decisions through centralized political methods, as with socialism or feudalism, economic planning under capitalism occurs via decentralized and voluntary decisions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of production, especially in the industrial sector.
  • Capitalism depends on the enforcement of private property rights, which provide incentives for investment in and productive use of productive capital.
  • Capitalism developed historically out of previous systems of feudalism and mercantilism in Europe, and dramatically expanded industrialization and the large-scale availability of mass-market consumer goods.
  • Pure capitalism can be contrasted with pure socialism (where all means of production are collective or state-owned) and mixed economies (which lie on a continuum between pure capitalism and pure socialism).
  • The real-world practice of capitalism typically involves some degree of so-called “crony capitalism” due to demands from business for favorable government intervention and governments’ incentive to intervene in the economy.

Capitalism and Private Property

Private property rights are fundamental to capitalism. Most modern concepts of private property stem from John Locke's theory of homesteading, in which human beings claim ownership through mixing their labor with unclaimed resources. Once owned, the only legitimate means of transferring property are through voluntary exchange, gifts, inheritance, or re-homesteading of abandoned property.
Private property promotes efficiency by giving the owner of resources an incentive to maximize the value of their property. So, the more valuable the resource is, the more trading power it provides the owner. In a capitalist system, the person who owns the property is entitled to any value associated with that property.
For individuals or businesses to deploy their capital goods confidently, a system must exist that protects their legal right to own or transfer private property. A capitalist society will rely on the use of contracts, fair dealing, and tort law to facilitate and enforce these private property rights.
When a property is not privately owned but shared by the public, a problem known as the tragedy of the commons can emerge. With a common pool resource, which all people can use, and none can limit access to, all individuals have an incentive to extract as much use value as they can and no incentive to conserve or reinvest in the resource. Privatizing the resource is one possible solution to this problem, along with various voluntary or involuntary collective action approaches.

Capitalism, Profits, and Losses

Profits are closely associated with the concept of private property. By definition, an individual only enters into a voluntary exchange of private property when they believe the exchange benefits them in some psychic or material way. In such trades, each party gains extra subjective value, or profit, from the transaction.
Voluntary trade is the mechanism that drives activity in a capitalist system. The owners of resources compete with one another over consumers, who in turn, compete with other consumers over goods and services. All of this activity is built into the price system, which balances supply and demand to coordinate the distribution of resources.
A capitalist earns the highest profit by using capital goods most efficiently while producing the highest-value good or service. In this system, information about what is highest-valued is transmitted through those prices at which another individual voluntarily purchases the capitalist's good or service. Profits are an indication that less valuable inputs have been transformed into more valuable outputs. By contrast, the capitalist suffers losses when capital resources are not used efficiently and instead create less valuable outputs.

Free Enterprise or Capitalism?

Capitalism and free enterprise are often seen as synonymous. In truth, they are closely related yet distinct terms with overlapping features. It is possible to have a capitalist economy without complete free enterprise, and possible to have a free market without capitalism.
Any economy is capitalist as long as private individuals control the factors of production. However, a capitalist system can still be regulated by government laws, and the profits of capitalist endeavors can still be taxed heavily.
"Free enterprise" can roughly be understood to mean economic exchanges free of coercive government influence. Although unlikely, it is possible to conceive of a system where individuals choose to hold all property rights in common. Private property rights still exist in a free enterprise system, although the private property may be voluntarily treated as communal without a government mandate.
Many Native American tribes existed with elements of these arrangements, and within a broader capitalist economic family, clubs, co-ops, and joint-stock business firms like partnerships or corporations are all examples of common property institutions.
If accumulation, ownership, and profiting from capital is the central principle of capitalism, then freedom from state coercion is the central principle of free enterprise.

Feudalism the Root of Capitalism

Capitalism grew out of European feudalism. Up until the 12th century, less than 5% of the population of Europe lived in towns. Skilled workers lived in the city but received their keep from feudal lords rather than a real wage, and most workers were serfs for landed nobles. However, by the late Middle Ages rising urbanism, with cities as centers of industry and trade, become more and more economically important.
The advent of true wages offered by the trades encouraged more people to move into towns where they could get money rather than subsistence in exchange for labor. Families’ extra sons and daughters who needed to be put to work, could find new sources of income in the trade towns. Child labor was as much a part of the town's economic development as serfdom was part of the rural life.

Mercantilism Replaces Feudalism

Mercantilism gradually replaced the feudal economic system in Western Europe and became the primary economic system of commerce during the 16th to 18th centuries. Mercantilism started as trade between towns, but it was not necessarily competitive trade. Initially, each town had vastly different products and services that were slowly homogenized by demand over time.
After the homogenization of goods, trade was carried out in broader and broader circles: town to town, county to county, province to province, and, finally, nation to nation. When too many nations were offering similar goods for trade, the trade took on a competitive edge that was sharpened by strong feelings of nationalism in a continent that was constantly embroiled in wars.
Colonialism flourished alongside mercantilism, but the nations seeding the world with settlements were not trying to increase trade. Most colonies were set up with an economic system that smacked of feudalism, with their raw goods going back to the motherland and, in the case of the British colonies in North America, being forced to repurchase the finished product with a pseudo-currency that prevented them from trading with other nations.
It was Adam Smith who noticed that mercantilism was not a force of development and change, but a regressive system that was creating trade imbalances between nations and keeping them from advancing. His ideas for a free market opened the world to capitalism.

Growth of Industrial Capitalism

Smith's ideas were well-timed, as the Industrial Revolution was starting to cause tremors that would soon shake the Western world. The (often literal) gold mine of colonialism had brought new wealth and new demand for the products of domestic industries, which drove the expansion and mechanization of production. As technology leaped ahead and factories no longer had to be built near waterways or windmills to function, industrialists began building in the cities where there were now thousands of people to supply ready labor.
Industrial tycoons were the first people to amass their wealth in their lifetimes, often outstripping both the landed nobles and many of the money lending/banking families. For the first time in history, common people could have hopes of becoming wealthy. The new money crowd built more factories that required more labor, while also producing more goods for people to purchase.
During this period, the term "capitalism"—originating from the Latin word "capitalis," which means "head of cattle"—was first used by French socialist Louis Blanc in 1850, to signify a system of exclusive ownership of industrial means of production by private individuals rather than shared ownership.
Contrary to popular belief, Karl Marx did not coin the word "capitalism," although he certainly contributed to the rise of its use.

Industrial Capitalism's Effects

Industrial capitalism tended to benefit more levels of society rather than just the aristocratic class. Wages increased, helped greatly by the formation of unions. The standard of living also increased with the glut of affordable products being mass-produced. This growth led to the formation of a middle class and began to lift more and more people from the lower classes to swell its ranks.
The economic freedoms of capitalism matured alongside democratic political freedoms, liberal individualism, and the theory of natural rights. This unified maturity is not to say, however, that all capitalist systems are politically free or encourage individual liberty. Economist Milton Friedman, an advocate of capitalism and individual liberty, wrote in Capitalism and Freedom (1962) that "capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. It is not a sufficient condition."
A dramatic expansion of the financial sector accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism. Banks had previously served as warehouses for valuables, clearinghouses for long-distance trade, or lenders to nobles and governments. Now they came to serve the needs of everyday commerce and the intermediation of credit for large, long-term investment projects. By the 20th century, as stock exchanges became increasingly public and investment vehicles opened up to more individuals, some economists identified a variation on the system: financial capitalism.

Capitalism and Economic Growth

By creating incentives for entrepreneurs to reallocate away resources from unprofitable channels and into areas where consumers value them more highly, capitalism has proven a highly effective vehicle for economic growth.
Before the rise of capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries, rapid economic growth occurred primarily through conquest and extraction of resources from conquered peoples. In general, this was a localized, zero-sum process. Research suggests average global per-capita income was unchanged between the rise of agricultural societies through approximately 1750 when the roots of the first Industrial Revolution took hold.
In subsequent centuries, capitalist production processes have greatly enhanced productive capacity. More and better goods became cheaply accessible to wide populations, raising standards of living in previously unthinkable ways. As a result, most political theorists and nearly all economists argue that capitalism is the most efficient and productive system of exchange.

Capitalism vs. Socialism

In terms of political economy, capitalism is often pitted against socialism. The fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism is the ownership and control of the means of production. In a capitalist economy, property and businesses are owned and controlled by individuals. In a socialist economy, the state owns and manages the vital means of production. However, other differences also exist in the form of equity, efficiency, and employment.

Equity

The capitalist economy is unconcerned about equitable arrangements. The argument is that inequality is the driving force that encourages innovation, which then pushes economic development. The primary concern of the socialist model is the redistribution of wealth and resources from the rich to the poor, out of fairness, and to ensure equality in opportunity and equality of outcome. Equality is valued above high achievement, and the collective good is viewed above the opportunity for individuals to advance.

Efficiency

The capitalist argument is that the profit incentive drives corporations to develop innovative new products that are desired by the consumer and have demand in the marketplace. It is argued that the state ownership of the means of production leads to inefficiency because, without the motivation to earn more money, management, workers, and developers are less likely to put forth the extra effort to push new ideas or products.

Employment

In a capitalist economy, the state does not directly employ the workforce. This lack of government-run employment can lead to unemployment during economic recessions and depressions. In a socialist economy, the state is the primary employer. During times of economic hardship, the socialist state can order hiring, so there is full employment. Also, there tends to be a stronger "safety net" in socialist systems for workers who are injured or permanently disabled. Those who can no longer work have fewer options available to help them in capitalist societies.

Mixed System vs. Pure Capitalism

When the government owns some but not all of the means of production, but government interests may legally circumvent, replace, limit, or otherwise regulate private economic interests, that is said to be a mixed economy or mixed economic system. A mixed economy respects property rights, but places limits on them.
Property owners are restricted with regards to how they exchange with one another. These restrictions come in many forms, such as minimum wage laws, tariffs, quotas, windfall taxes, license restrictions, prohibited products or contracts, direct public expropriation, anti-trust legislation, legal tender laws, subsidies, and eminent domain. Governments in mixed economies also fully or partly own and operate certain industries, especially those considered public goods, often enforcing legally binding monopolies in those industries to prohibit competition by private entities.
In contrast, pure capitalism, also known as laissez-faire capitalism or anarcho-capitalism, (such as professed by Murray N. Rothbard) all industries are left up to private ownership and operation, including public goods, and no central government authority provides regulation or supervision of economic activity in general.
The standard spectrum of economic systems places laissez-faire capitalism at one extreme and a complete planned economy—such as communism—at the other. Everything in the middle could be said to be a mixed economy. The mixed economy has elements of both central planning and unplanned private business.
By this definition, nearly every country in the world has a mixed economy, but contemporary mixed economies range in their levels of government intervention. The U.S. and the U.K. have a relatively pure type of capitalism with a minimum of federal regulation in financial and labor markets—sometimes known as Anglo-Saxon capitalism—while Canada and the Nordic countries have created a balance between socialism and capitalism.
Many European nations practice welfare capitalism, a system that is concerned with the social welfare of the worker, and includes such policies as state pensions, universal healthcare, collective bargaining, and industrial safety codes.

Crony Capitalism

Crony capitalism refers to a capitalist society that is based on the close relationships between business people and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the government in the form of tax breaks, government grants, and other incentives.
In practice, this is the dominant form of capitalism worldwide due to the powerful incentives both faced by governments to extract resources by taxing, regulating, and fostering rent-seeking activity, and those faced by capitalist businesses to increase profits by obtaining subsidies, limiting competition, and erecting barriers to entry. In effect, these forces represent a kind of supply and demand for government intervention in the economy, which arises from the economic system itself.
Crony capitalism is widely blamed for a range of social and economic woes. Both socialists and capitalists blame each other for the rise of crony capitalism. Socialists believe that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of pure capitalism. On the other hand, capitalists believe that crony capitalism arises from the need of socialist governments to control the economy.
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https://preview.redd.it/grfmt8oe4le41.png?width=1199&format=png&auto=webp&s=49d71283e37563aff53287dff7c1f99f993fb8b5
submitted by MattPetroski to ItalicoIntegralism [link] [comments]

Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant.
However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.

SUMMARY

When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy

ARTICLE

Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

INTRODUCTION

My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed.
International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter.
The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US.
The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.

OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION

Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000).
The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914.
Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels.
Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm.
The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism.
As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms
NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.

BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA

According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
  1. Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
  2. Provisions to protect IP
  3. Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
  4. Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
This grouping of conditions is similar to the points filled under the 301 investigation which serve the basis for initiating the tariffs. I have been reading some sources that say this discussion on this second group of broader issues could only be finalized later
The official justifications for placing the tariffs on Chinese goods is found under the March 2018 investigation submitted by the office of the President to Congress titled FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO CHINA’S ACTS, POLICIES, AND PRACTICES RELATED TO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND INNOVATION UNDER SECTION 301 OF THE TRADE ACT OF 1974. From this investigation the United States Trade Representative (USTR) place US Tariffs on Chinese goods as per Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Here is a press release by the USTR listing the reasons for placing tariffs, and the key section from the press release. Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations.
I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO.
WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT.
The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule.
In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak.
Here is the commitment paragraph for China
"The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. "
This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics.
NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.

REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH

I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
  1. The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
  2. You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
  3. China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
  4. Dealing with China, its a no win situation whether you use a tough multilateral / unilateral approach. If the US endorse a tough unilateral approach gives the impression that the US is acting like the British during the Opium War. If you take a concerted Western approach you are accused of acting like the 8 Powers Alliance in 1900.
  5. Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
  6. China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
To his credit, Trump has said his aim was not to overthrow authoritarian governments, and that even applies to the likes of Iran. The Arab spring scared Russia and China, because the US for a brief moment placed the spread of democracy over its security interest.

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE US MAKES DECISIONS REGARDING CHINA

At this moment, China or the trade war isn't an area of great concern for the American public, among international issues it ranks lower than international terrorism, North Korea and Iran's nuclear program.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access.
Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress.
THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA
I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes.
Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English.
Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic,
IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT
From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
This is supported by remarks by Henry Paulson and Charlene Barshefsky. As Paulson remarked
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box.
So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure:
In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.

CONTINUED

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Ripple-overview of cryptocurrency features

Blockchain technology is multifaceted and allows you to implement the most daring and unexpected projects, which are significantly superior in all respects to the very first cryptocurrency – Bitcoin. One such project was Ripple, which was originally created as a faster, safer and cheaper alternative to interbank transfers. Thanks to the efforts of developers and moving away from the traditional structure of the distributed network, Ripple eventually became one of the few projects that combine the functionality of a payment system and a universal platform that allows participants to exchange liquidity for various assets, including but not limited to Fiat currencies.
Ripple cryptocurrency is often compared to Bitcoin, but not because they are similar. On the contrary, we are talking about such large-scale differences that part of the crypto community doubts whether Ripple is a cryptocurrency? Judge:
To ensure high performance and increase throughput, developers had to abandon the traditional distributed network system, where each participant has equal rights with the rest. In the ripple network, node computers have more privileges – they are in constant relationship, searching for consensus and forming a ledger-a distributed database that is similar to the Bitcoin blockchain, but still is not a chain of blocks in the "classical" sense.
The very idea of blockchain implies the creation of an unbroken and unchanging structure. It is impossible to cancel an already committed transaction that has passed through the block mining procedure. This statement is true for the Bitcoin network, but not for Ripple, which officially has a procedure for cancellation of payment, and therefore-and a single control center, which can affect the functioning of the entire system. The fact of violation of one of the fundamental provisions on the structure of decentralized anonymous networks, which directly points to the equality of powers and rights of each of the participants, is the main reason for the heated debate about the true nature of Ripple. Based on the analysis of official information from developers, it is really hard to decide whether Ripple is an ordinary payment system that successfully "masquerades" as a cryptocurrency or it is an innovative solution, one of the few that is able to link the world of the real economy and cryptocurrency .
If we continue the line of comparison with Ripple and Bitcoin, one of the most fundamental differences between them will be the complete absence of mining. Immediately after the launch of Ripla, 100 billion tokens of the internal cryptocurrency XRP were "PreMain". To date, only 55% of the total number of coins issued is in circulation, but since January 2018, developers have been putting 1 billion XRP into circulation through exchanges every month. The concentration, in fact, in one hand more than half of the entire money supply inevitably generates talk about the high risk of investing in this cryptocurrency. In addition, there is one unpleasant moment in the history of Ripple related to the attempt to sell a large number of XRP coins by one of the former members of the development team, which does not add to investors ' confidence in the overall reliability.
But the most important difference between Ripple is a fundamentally different purpose of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was conceived as an anonymous payment system, but has turned into an investment tool for those who love risk, and the entire Bitcoin network is actually only engaged in servicing transfers between participants. The creators of Ripple do not try to use competition among token holders to increase the overall capitalization of the system. One of the confirmations of this point of view is the constant rise in price of the Bitcoin mining process, which serves as one of the factors pushing its rate up. But Ripple Labs chose a different strategy: they are trying (and not without success) to attract major players in the financial market, offering them to become members of the network and supply liquidity (live Fiat money). The role of the internal cryptocurrency is reduced to the function of a universal transmitting and connecting link between counterparties that can not carry out direct conversion operations between the used instruments from the world of the real economy.
In fact, Ripple is a combination of traditional and decentralized payment systems: the search for consensus and the implementation of transfers are entrusted to nodes that are large financial institutions with their own funds in Fiat currencies. And if other projects of the crypto world issue slogans about the imminent and imminent demise of the traditional banking sector under the influence of blockchain technology, Ripple, on the contrary, expands the horizon of possibilities of banks and financial institutions, offering them a more profitable and universal algorithm for domestic and international payments.
But, despite the fact that Ripple has existed for quite a long time, while it is a competition to the same SWIFT only formally: daily turnover is not comparable either in volume or in the number of operations. And although Ripple is consistently moving towards attracting more large participants (American Express and Money Gram have already become partners), it is still very far from the level of a global and universally recognized payment system.
For a private person, Ripple is not only a convenient payment system with guaranteed liquidity and instant transfers (but not anonymous-this is the requirement of member banks and legislation). Due to the presence on the largest crypto exchanges, private investors can successfully earn on fluctuations in the exchange rate of XRP to the dollar and other cryptocurrencies. The second way is to trade through a Forex broker company, you should choose a dealing center that offers a CFD (contract for difference) with Ripple-there are not very many of them yet.
More https://brave.com/fra293
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