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2 years of PTI with the economy

As PTI comes onto two years, I felt like making this post on account of seeing multiple people supporting PML-N for having an allegedly better economy for Pakistan, particularly with allegations present that PTI has done nothing for the economy. So here's a short list of some major achievements done by PTI in contrast to PML-N.
This is by no means a highly comprehensive list, just my opinion on some of the bigger achievements; saving the economy from defaulting, adopting tax reforms, tourism reforms, export reforms among them whilst managing covid and economic stability with relative success.
There are of course a multitude of other factors, successfully avoiding a blacklist from the FATF, macroeconomic reforms, attempts to strengthen the working class; ehsaas programs, Naya Pakistan housing schemes alongside other relief efforts. These are measures in accordance with curtailing the effect of increasing taxation and attempts to abate the economic slowdown that came as a result of forcing an increase in government revenue. Alongside the focus on multiple new hydroelectric dams, industrial cities, reduction of the PM office staff from 552 to 298, 10 billion tree project and an overall renewed interest in renewable energy and green Pakistan. The list is comprehensive.
Pakistan remains on a rocky path, it is not out of the woods yet. Covid-19 has seriously hampered the overall projections, and caused a worldwide economic contraction. Not only that, but there are criticisms that can be attributed to the government as well, as they are not without fault. However, the overall achievements of the government with regards to the economy do present hope for the long-term fiscal policy and development of Pakistan.
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Reduce Output And Price, Now Is The End Of OPEC?

Reduce Output And Price, Now Is The End Of OPEC?

Photo: Internet
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the global economy has entered a recession, with gold soaring, stock markets tumbling, and oil prices plummeting.
Saudi Arabia cut pricing for oil sales to Asia and the U.S. for October shipments, and the reduction exceeded last month.
Global daily oil consumption (total liquid volume) broke the "100 million barrels" mark for the first time in 2019, reaching 10.96 million barrels. It means the global daily consumption is more than 100 million barrels, and the annual consumption is more than 5 billion tons.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, fuel demand has decreased significantly, while global oil supply has continued to increase.
Global oil consumption has decreased by nearly a quarter due to COVID-19. The global daily oil consumption level in the second quarter of this year was less than 77 million barrels, which is almost 20 years ago.
20th April saw WTI oil prices plunge from $17.85 to -$37.63, more than a 300% drop, the largest one day drop for U.S. crude in history.
The oil prices up and down in history, and various factors impact the oil prices. One of the most critical factors is OPEC.
The Birth of OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela.
Before the OPEC, the Seven Sisters (E Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Socony, Standard Oil Company of New York, and Texaco) controlled the world's oil markets.
In the 1950s, coal was the most critical fuel globally, but oil consumption increased rapidly, and demand continued to grow. In 1959, the United States' Seven Sisters lowered the price of oil produced in Venezuela and the Middle East by 10% to reduce the United States' price.
To counter the U.S. oil monopoly, OPEC was born.
OPEC's 13 members control approximately 30% of global oil supplies and 79.4% of proven reserves. OPEC member nations produce about 42% of the world's crude oil, and OPEC's oil exports account for roughly 60% of the total petroleum traded worldwide.

Photo: OPEC
Impact of OPEC on Oil Prices
Within the OPEC group, Saudi Arabia is the largest crude oil producer in the world and remains the most dominant member of OPEC, with each instance of a cut in oil production by them, resulting in a sharp rise in oil prices, and vice versa.
Additionally, the 'kingdom of Saud' is also the leading exporter of crude oil globally. Since 2000, all historical instances since the 1973 Arab oil embargo indicate that Saudi Arabia has maintained its upper hand in the oil market. It calls the shots in determining crude oil prices by controlling supply.
All major oil price fluctuations in recent history can be clearly attributed to production levels from Saudi Arabia, along with other OPEC nations.
Is it now the end of OPEC?
The success of shale oil and the plunge in oil prices in 2014 are signs that OPEC has declined.
Since 2014, U.S. shale oil has created a boom in domestic crude oil production. Shale oil comprises more than a third of the onshore production of crude oil in the lower 48 states. It drove U.S. oil output from 8.8 million barrels per day in 2014 to a record 12.2 million barrels a day in 2019.
As a result, the United States became the world's largest crude-oil producer.

Photo: EIA

Photo: EIA
Today the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia rank among the top three in world oil production.

Photo: EIA

Photo: EIA

In November 2014, despite the appeals of other OPEC members to cut production, Saudi Arabia suddenly increased production sharply, trying to defeat U.S. shale oil companies through the competitive increase in OPEC member states. But American shale oil survived strongly by borrowing, and it became more efficient, and production costs were greatly reduced.
During this time, Saudi Arabia's economy is declining rapidly. Saudi Arabia had the highest government deficit in history-98 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 15% of GDP in 2015.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia led OPEC and Russia to reach an OPEC+ production reduction agreement. Since then, oil prices have steadily rebounded. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has begun to consider taking advantage of high oil prices to list Saudi Aramco to ease domestic financial difficulties.
During this period, OPEC +'s reduction in production has rescued U.S. shale oil again. The production capacity of shale oil has increased sharply by 4 million barrels per day, surpassing Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
So far, the OPEC structure and cohesion continues to divide and elude.
On 8th March 2020, Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia, facilitating a 65% quarterly fall in the price of oil. The price war was triggered by a break-up in dialogue between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia over proposed oil-production cuts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia walked out of the agreement, leading to the fall of the OPEC+ alliance.
While past oil shocks have been driven by either supply or demand, the price collapse of 2020 is highly unusual in oil market history: It results from a massive demand shock and a huge supply overhang at the same time.


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top one:
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Why Is Brexit Taking So Long Time?

Why Is Brexit Taking So Long Time?

Photo: Internet
What is the European Union?
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states located primarily in Europe.EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market.
Due to EU countries having close economic and trade relations, the EU's establishment can effectively prevent wars. The EU has helped foster long periods of economic prosperity, and it's helped keep the region at peace.
In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
What is Brexit?
Brexit(a portmanteau of "British" and "exit") is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Following a UK-wide referendum in June 2016, in which 52% voted in favour of leaving the EU, and 48% voted to remain a member, the UK Government, which was then led by Theresa May, formally notified the EU of the country's intention to withdraw on 29 March 2017, beginning the Brexit process.
Why Britain left the EU?
The appealing part of the EU was that it made it easier for European countries to share in one another's prosperity. But, as with any union, cooperation means weathering downturns together — and that hasn't always been so easy.
For example, the 2008 financial crisis. Many economists agree that the European Central Bank failed to respond effectively, leading to a recession that was much more severe than it needed to be. Unemployment rose, and tax revenue fell. Banks needed bailouts, and debt in a number of EU countries soared.
According to data from the UK Ministry of Finance, the UK paid 18.8 billion pounds to the EU in 2014, equivalent to 361 million pounds a week.
After the financial crisis, worries about immigration, rising right-wing forces, split within the party, etc. Former Conservative Prime Minister Cameron finally promised that if he wins the 2015 election, he will hold a Brexit referendum.
David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave the EU.
When might Britain actually leave the EU?
UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, but that is not the end of the Brexit story.
That's because the UK is in an 11-month period, known as the transition, that keeps the UK bound to the EU's rules. The transition (sometimes called the implementation period) will end on 31 December 2020.
Top of the to-do list will be a UK-EU free trade deal. This will be essential if the UK wants to be able to continue to trade with the EU with no tariffs, quotas or other barriers after the transition.
Both sides will also need to decide how far the UK is allowed to move away from existing EU regulations.
Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will need to be decided. For example, Law enforcement, data sharing, and security; aviation standards and safety; access to fishing waters; supplies of electricity and gas; licensing and regulation of medicines.

Photo: BBC
What will happen to the UK after the Brexit?
In terms of economy, the UK, which has withdrawn from the European Union, saves 8 billion pounds (this amount of money is equivalent to 0.5% of the UK's GDP) every year it pays to the EU's finances. After Brexit, immigration policies can also be further tightened to free up more jobs and labor benefits. Finally, Brexit can get rid of the red tape of the EU (about 70% of the laws in the UK are governed by EU laws), for example, no longer implementing the EU's common agricultural policy.
However, after Brexit, tariffs will inevitably increase, and these tariffs will be transferred to commodities. To make better profits, many companies in the UK will rush to run away. For example, Dyson has moved its headquarters from the UK to Singapore. Many established British companies have left the UK because of Brexit. The news that Japanese car company Honda announced that it would close its British plant even shocked Britain.
Besides, the City of London carries 74% of EU foreign exchange transactions, 40% of global Euro transactions, 85% of EU hedge fund assets, and half of EU deposit insurance. After Brexit, London's dominance in the foreign exchange market, including euro transactions, will decline.
The current international order is the best since World War II, but Brexit shows how to make all countries truly unite and help each other, humankind still has a long way to go.
After the Brexit, there will be more influential in the financial market in the future. TOP 1 Markets will keep an eye on it with you.

https://preview.redd.it/ic5tdpzgh1n51.png?width=686&format=png&auto=webp&s=e4b46fa72fb484475b7743c2ced235f0d8a0493e

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For more information please download “TOP 1 Markets” at APP store or google play.
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top1markets:
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top one:
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2020 Foresight: What to do to Protect and Profit in Bear Market.

2020 Foresight: What to do to Protect and Profit in Bear Market.
Not many people like to talk about bear markets, especially not when the more emotive terms such as "Stock market crash" are used. It's often looked upon as fear mongering, and sensationalism. Preparation is practical, though.

This post is not intended to be fear mongering. In fact I want to discuss ways we can look at the market and plan for different scenarios that can mean we have no reason to be afraid.
Even if the S&P500 was to trade at 1,000 (big drop from current price (Today is the 31st August 2019, price is 2,946), we can plan and act in such ways this is a non harmful event for us. Particularly those who have net worth's to protect that has heavy stocks exposure.
This is not going to be one of these, "It's the top RIGHT NOW ... everyone panic!" sort of posts. Regardless of my views on this, I know this is a message that would not be well received. You do not know me, and too often people have cried wolf on this and been laughably incorrect. Instead what I will do is describe price moves in the indices that most people will have every reason to believe at this point can't happen.
Hopefully, they do not happen. I am not gleefully fangirling for a market crash. I just think there is prudence in preparation. These events will not happen in the hours after I post this, so I'd ask you kindly suspend prejudices. There is nothing to be gained by bickering over opinions of whether this will happen or not. I just want to give my perspective on how a person should protect themselves after it happens, if it does.
I'll cover some of the things I'd forecast will be points people will want to raise or questions likely to be asked. If you'd like to skip to the forecast and subsequent trade plan you can scroll down to the line break (unless you're going to make a common comment, then please read the following section first).

Why Do I think My Opinion Matters?

Many of you may be smarter than I in many ways, but few of you will have spent as much time assessing charting patterns as I have. Indeed, many people will scoff at the very idea of "lines on a chart" being worth anything. I'm not here to have this debate, I fully agree your view point is rational and logical. If I'd not spent years watching price charts every day, I'd think the same.
I focus mostly on Forex markets. I know these well. There are many ways currencies look like they may move that are ways they should not move unless there is big problems in stocks. These are nagging warnings. The attitude to risk in the Forex markets is negative, and stock markets show dangerous patterns. I watch these topping sorts of patterns every day. I see them in intra-day crashes, intra-week crashes and intra-month crashes.
Most major moves fit into these patterns, and when the same patterns are applied to previous stock markets in the months before they crashed, the way the patterns form and then complete (in a crash) is the same. From my perspective, these are just intra-decade crashes. There is little technical difference on the charts - although it's very different in the real world it affects.
This is why I am doing this in a "IF we see this ... then this is likely". I know at this point in the pattern, my methods predict something that will be highly unusual. If that thing happens, if we do not crash after that, we'd be breaking the trend of all market crashes in history (this is not likely, it does not seem the smart way to bet your net worth).

Technical Analysis is Tea Leaves!


You're welcome to your opinion on this, and I do understand your point of view. I will not post examples to try and prove my perspective on it, since it will always be called "curve-fitting". All I will say is nothing I have done in my years of trading has involved me persuading others what I do works. I do not sell training or anything of the like. I've spent many years using the things I've learned to bet my own money, and I've done well.
I will not debate on this subject, because it's always a deadlock. You can not convince me I've not seen what I've seen, and I can not show you what I've seen, and do not expect you to believe it without proof.

Stop Fear Mongering!


I really would like to re-iterate, I do not want you to be afraid. I am going to describe something that might happen that will be scary if it does happen. If it does not, there is no problem. I do not wish you to be fearful before, during or after.

This is like "Stop, Drop and Roll". None of us ever expect to be ablaze. If we are, this is good information. It will be better than running about waving arms and feeding the flames to engulf us. All I want to do here is to give you the "stop, drop and roll" of a market crash. To prevent you panicking and making bad decisions at bad areas. To allow you instead to go, "Fuck! Okay ... well that's not good. Now I have to ..." if scary things do happen.

No One Can Time the Market!

People have predicted and traded every stock market crash in history. The fact that many people try this and get it wrong does not take away from the fact people get this right, then place the right trades and make millions. Not many people make understanding the ways a market moves their life's work. If you do, you get a good feel for it's mood at any given time.

[Fundamental Analysis ] Says That Won't Happen!

I am not here to debate analysis viewpoints. Doing so has little use, it's better to forecast, assess and then take the best actions. I'll confess I am too ignorant on many of these topic to engage in debate. I wake up every day 5 days a week and decide where to bet my money. In doing this, I've found charts forecast and news reports. I can find no way of making money by being told what happened already, so I use the charts.
What I will say is for the warning move I will discuss to happen, something news related will have to change. Some catalyst event will have to happen. In 2008, it was Lehman. Make no mistake, the warnings were on the chart long before the bankruptcy was in the news.

Time in the Markets is Better than Timing the Markets


I am perfectly fine with this perspective, and not here to argue against it. If the market could drop 50% or more and you'd not be concerned because you think it will be back up in 10 years, this is none of my business.
I'm a day trader, so for me personally timing the markets is everything. Spending a lot of time in the market day trading often means you've made a mistake. I'm looking for ways to get foresight into what market moves may develop and understanding of what times and conditions I can enter into these moves to profit from the.
I want to stress I am not necessarily advocating the average person tries to time the markets. In the same way an electrician would not suggest you re-wire your own home. You also could not say to the electrician it's better to leave the lights off than risk getting a shock. Different preparations and skills sets give different possibilities. I spent a lot of years and lost money through a lot of them starting out learning how to do this.
The things I will explain here will not allow a person to consistently time the market. If I may be excused a cheesy pun, this "crash course" will be dealing with only single event, and one single set of scenarios. What I want to put forward for you in this is price moves to watch for and then (really quite specific) levels of price that are likely to offer us the best prices to protect long stock portfolios, or take speculative short trades. Very thin area of assessment.


Forecast and Plan.

What if the S&P500 Went to 2,200 ... Quickly?


It's the weekend, and the last day of August in 2019. The S&P500 has closed 2922 after rallying through the week after some sharp drops from all time highs. We may see record highs again if this keeps up ... but what if next week it opens and starts to fall? Or maybe rallies higher but can not make a new high and starts to fall.
What if it falls faster than it did in the last drop, and what if this time it does not stop? What if it gets to the lows of 2790, and goes from there quickly to 2700. These big levels act as resistance and the market can not trade higher than them. Instead it hits them, reverses and goes down more.

I think people would be nervous, but there'd be still the feeling of this being a normal, albeit tough, corrective move. There's weekly lows of 2,333. Above here the market is still technically up-trending. What if we got there, and the market went through it like it was nothing? What if the coming weeks or months we seen candles bigger than any we've seen recently? What if we were hearing news reports of record falls, rather than record highs?
What if over the development of only weeks and some horrific trading days we went from today's 2922 to break under the 2015 lows of 1,886?
I think people would be afraid!
Nothing I am saying is for the purposes of fear mongering, but I think this is possible. I'd like to say I think it's "highly unlikely", but I am thinking a lot about how to structure real bets on it and I like my odds. If this happens, it's likely the market will go lower still. What you do during the following weeks and months may have a huge affect on your financial health by the start of 2021.

How Does This Scenario Look on a S&P500 Chart?



https://preview.redd.it/ggqyvs2f6xj31.png?width=658&format=png&auto=webp&s=a9d00d758caf655341bd4780a8277b7556546a50

That looks like it's not going to happen, right? I think that this looks like it's not going to happen. We learn through our life experience, and my life experience has taught me when I ignore what I think about things like this and build well structured trade plans that would assume it will happen, money comes. For me, this makes sense to bet on at the moment, as unlikely as it looks. That's getting a bit into "Calling the high", though. \Which this is not about.

This is about what do you do if this happens? What if there is a day when they say on the news that the market just made it's lowest point in the last five years ... and economists and experts say it can go down more!

1 - Filter and assess your sources.
Before you act or even think about the information these sources have (pertaining to what trades to make or expect), check what they were saying now. If they're not saying this could happen - don't worry too much about what they say happens next. They have as much chance of being wrong.

2 - Do not panic.
This is a time to remain calm. Bad things have happened, and there will have been multiple days the market has dropped precipitously. Different economic factors explaining these moves may be threatening to get worse and the market may take more dangerous swings spiking under recent lows. This is the point at which most people will panic and make bad choices with their portfolio.

3 - Buy Around 1,800
This obviously sounds like something anyone would do right now, with price at 2,922; but with the conditions that'd have to be occurring for this of move to happen will make this highly counter intuitive at the time.

4 - Understand Something Changed, New Highs are Not Coming
From peak pessimism around 1,800 I expect the market to start to rally. Rallying strong. Making markets great again.
At this point, you should understand something has changed. The market is not meant to trade at that level in an up-trend. Frequently when these levels 'break', there is a strong counter move that is fierce. It's also brief. We can buy here and offset some of the losses in the mini bounce (but be very cautious).
2,129 area is where the danger of a bear move comes back in. It might rally a bit above here into 2,333.

This is where the second mistake many people will make will be. Not buying the lows, but then starting to buy into this rally thinking it's going to new highs.

Very Important: If price makes moves consistent with what I've described 2,220 - 2,300 are hedge areas.
If you take appropriate actions in these areas you can protect yourself from the chance of excessive loss if the market is to crash in 2020. You can also do this without taking on much risk. Granted if you hedge long portfolios there is some risk of losing a little, but your area of risk on these hedges is less than the area of risk on a long portfolio after this has happened.
When this has happened, historically it's always led to a crash in the coming months/year. We'll have done something the markets do not usually do. Big corrections may look similar, but when you deal with this all the time, you come to know there are specifics that should be noted. If the levels I've mentioned for a buy fill, the market is crashing. It's no longer a question of if.

5 - Hold Hedges Until 1,100

If we crash, the low will probably be only a bit below this level. Anything more than this in a fall would be truly horrific (I know many people think this is horrific, but from a technical point of view this is really to be expected, and not unusual. It only happens after long periods of time, so it's unexpected and uncommon. It not unusual in trend formation).

https://preview.redd.it/puc4slkk6xj31.png?width=662&format=png&auto=webp&s=69e219ba15beddd6bbc944898efa8bce74cd3c85
I am not a financial adviser, and can not tell you any trades you should be making to hedge portfolios or to take speculative positions. I've given these levels on the S&P500, and there are many things correlated to this you could use to protect portfolios. If this happens, I will be very much 'In the trenches'. I'll be trading in various markets every day and sharing some of my insights and trade plans, but I can't tell you specifically what to do.


I am only sharing this with you to let you know there are strategies people have used in the past to predict crashes, and I've used these strategies a lot and become good with them. They now predict a market crash starting in 2019, developing through 2020, and the things I've explained in this post would be the next steps if the prediction is accurate.
If the next steps happen, the strategy would then forecast the S&P500 to go from 2,200 - 2,400 sort of range to 1,000.
I am asking no one to take this seriously at the moment, but I would suggest if the market makes moves similar to what I've described - you then consider there may be a lot of merit to what it further forecasts. Things could look very different from how they do this weekend in a few weekends time.
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.

When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
Suggested Reading:
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
submitted by roy_batty3000 to EndlessWar [link] [comments]

2020 Foresight: What to do to Protect and Profit in Bear Market.

Not many people like to talk about bear markets, especially not when the more emotive terms such as "Stock market crash" are used. It's often looked upon as fear mongering, and sensationalism. Preparation is practical, though.

This post is not intended to be fear mongering. In fact I want to discuss ways we can look at the market and plan for different scenarios that can mean we have no reason to be afraid.
Even if the S&P500 was to trade at 1,000 (big drop from current price (Today is the 31st August 2019, price is 2,946), we can plan and act in such ways this is a non harmful event for us. Particularly those who have net worth's to protect that has heavy stocks exposure.
This is not going to be one of these, "It's the top RIGHT NOW ... everyone panic!" sort of posts. Regardless of my views on this, I know this is a message that would not be well received. You do not know me, and too often people have cried wolf on this and been laughably incorrect. Instead what I will do is describe price moves in the indices that most people will have every reason to believe at this point can't happen.
Hopefully, they do not happen. I am not gleefully fangirling for a market crash. I just think there is prudence in preparation. These events will not happen in the hours after I post this, so I'd ask you kindly suspend prejudices. There is nothing to be gained by bickering over opinions of whether this will happen or not. I just want to give my perspective on how a person should protect themselves after it happens, if it does.
I'll cover some of the things I'd forecast will be points people will want to raise or questions likely to be asked. If you'd like to skip to the forecast and subsequent trade plan you can scroll down to the line break (unless you're going to make a common comment, then please read the following section first).

Why Do I think My Opinion Matters?

Many of you may be smarter than I in many ways, but few of you will have spent as much time assessing charting patterns as I have. Indeed, many people will scoff at the very idea of "lines on a chart" being worth anything. I'm not here to have this debate, I fully agree your view point is rational and logical. If I'd not spent years watching price charts every day, I'd think the same.
I focus mostly on Forex markets. I know these well. There are many ways currencies look like they may move that are ways they should not move unless there is big problems in stocks. These are nagging warnings. The attitude to risk in the Forex markets is negative, and stock markets show dangerous patterns. I watch these topping sorts of patterns every day. I see them in intra-day crashes, intra-week crashes and intra-month crashes.
Most major moves fit into these patterns, and when the same patterns are applied to previous stock markets in the months before they crashed, the way the patterns form and then complete (in a crash) is the same. From my perspective, these are just intra-decade crashes. There is little technical difference on the charts - although it's very different in the real world it affects.
This is why I am doing this in a "IF we see this ... then this is likely". I know at this point in the pattern, my methods predict something that will be highly unusual. If that thing happens, if we do not crash after that, we'd be breaking the trend of all market crashes in history (this is not likely, it does not seem the smart way to bet your net worth).

Technical Analysis is Tea Leaves!


You're welcome to your opinion on this, and I do understand your point of view. I will not post examples to try and prove my perspective on it, since it will always be called "curve-fitting". All I will say is nothing I have done in my years of trading has involved me persuading others what I do works. I do not sell training or anything of the like. I've spent many years using the things I've learned to bet my own money, and I've done well.
I will not debate on this subject, because it's always a deadlock. You can not convince me I've not seen what I've seen, and I can not show you what I've seen, and do not expect you to believe it without proof.

Stop Fear Mongering!


I really would like to re-iterate, I do not want you to be afraid. I am going to describe something that might happen that will be scary if it does happen. If it does not, there is no problem. I do not wish you to be fearful before, during or after.

This is like "Stop, Drop and Roll". None of us ever expect to be ablaze. If we are, this is good information. It will be better than running about waving arms and feeding the flames to engulf us. All I want to do here is to give you the "stop, drop and roll" of a market crash. To prevent you panicking and making bad decisions at bad areas. To allow you instead to go, "Fuck! Okay ... well that's not good. Now I have to ..." if scary things do happen.

No One Can Time the Market!

People have predicted and traded every stock market crash in history. The fact that many people try this and get it wrong does not take away from the fact people get this right, then place the right trades and make millions. Not many people make understanding the ways a market moves their life's work. If you do, you get a good feel for it's mood at any given time.

[Fundamental Analysis ] Says That Won't Happen!

I am not here to debate analysis viewpoints. Doing so has little use, it's better to forecast, assess and then take the best actions. I'll confess I am too ignorant on many of these topic to engage in debate. I wake up every day 5 days a week and decide where to bet my money. In doing this, I've found charts forecast and news reports. I can find no way of making money by being told what happened already, so I use the charts.
What I will say is for the warning move I will discuss to happen, something news related will have to change. Some catalyst event will have to happen. In 2008, it was Lehman. Make no mistake, the warnings were on the chart long before the bankruptcy was in the news.

Time in the Markets is Better than Timing the Markets


I am perfectly fine with this perspective, and not here to argue against it. If the market could drop 50% or more and you'd not be concerned because you think it will be back up in 10 years, this is none of my business.
I'm a day trader, so for me personally timing the markets is everything. Spending a lot of time in the market day trading often means you've made a mistake. I'm looking for ways to get foresight into what market moves may develop and understanding of what times and conditions I can enter into these moves to profit from the.
I want to stress I am not necessarily advocating the average person tries to time the markets. In the same way an electrician would not suggest you re-wire your own home. You also could not say to the electrician it's better to leave the lights off than risk getting a shock. Different preparations and skills sets give different possibilities. I spent a lot of years and lost money through a lot of them starting out learning how to do this.
The things I will explain here will not allow a person to consistently time the market. If I may be excused a cheesy pun, this "crash course" will be dealing with only single event, and one single set of scenarios. What I want to put forward for you in this is price moves to watch for and then (really quite specific) levels of price that are likely to offer us the best prices to protect long stock portfolios, or take speculative short trades. Very thin area of assessment.


Forecast and Plan.

What if the S&P500 Went to 2,200 ... Quickly?


It's the weekend, and the last day of August in 2019. The S&P500 has closed 2922 after rallying through the week after some sharp drops from all time highs. We may see record highs again if this keeps up ... but what if next week it opens and starts to fall? Or maybe rallies higher but can not make a new high and starts to fall.
What if it falls faster than it did in the last drop, and what if this time it does not stop? What if it gets to the lows of 2790, and goes from there quickly to 2700. These big levels act as resistance and the market can not trade higher than them. Instead it hits them, reverses and goes down more.

I think people would be nervous, but there'd be still the feeling of this being a normal, albeit tough, corrective move. There's weekly lows of 2,333. Above here the market is still technically up-trending. What if we got there, and the market went through it like it was nothing? What if the coming weeks or months we seen candles bigger than any we've seen recently? What if we were hearing news reports of record falls, rather than record highs?
What if over the development of only weeks and some horrific trading days we went from today's 2922 to break under the 2015 lows of 1,886?
I think people would be afraid!
Nothing I am saying is for the purposes of fear mongering, but I think this is possible. I'd like to say I think it's "highly unlikely", but I am thinking a lot about how to structure real bets on it and I like my odds. If this happens, it's likely the market will go lower still. What you do during the following weeks and months may have a huge affect on your financial health by the start of 2021.

How Does This Scenario Look on a S&P500 Chart?





That looks like it's not going to happen, right? I think that this looks like it's not going to happen. We learn through our life experience, and my life experience has taught me when I ignore what I think about things like this and build well structured trade plans that would assume it will happen, money comes. For me, this makes sense to bet on at the moment, as unlikely as it looks. That's getting a bit into "Calling the high", though. \Which this is not about.
Edit: Hmm, it sounds like it's not going to happen. I can not post pictures here apparently.

This is about what do you do if this happens? What if there is a day when they say on the news that the market just made it's lowest point in the last five years ... and economists and experts say it can go down more!

1 - Filter and assess your sources.
Before you act or even think about the information these sources have (pertaining to what trades to make or expect), check what they were saying now. If they're not saying this could happen - don't worry too much about what they say happens next. They have as much chance of being wrong.

2 - Do not panic.
This is a time to remain calm. Bad things have happened, and there will have been multiple days the market has dropped precipitously. Different economic factors explaining these moves may be threatening to get worse and the market may take more dangerous swings spiking under recent lows. This is the point at which most people will panic and make bad choices with their portfolio.

3 - Buy Around 1,800
This obviously sounds like something anyone would do right now, with price at 2,922; but with the conditions that'd have to be occurring for this of move to happen will make this highly counter intuitive at the time.

4 - Understand Something Changed, New Highs are Not Coming
From peak pessimism around 1,800 I expect the market to start to rally. Rallying strong. Making markets great again.
At this point, you should understand something has changed. The market is not meant to trade at that level in an up-trend. Frequently when these levels 'break', there is a strong counter move that is fierce. It's also brief. We can buy here and offset some of the losses in the mini bounce (but be very cautious).
2,129 area is where the danger of a bear move comes back in. It might rally a bit above here into 2,333.

This is where the second mistake many people will make will be. Not buying the lows, but then starting to buy into this rally thinking it's going to new highs.

Very Important: If price makes moves consistent with what I've described 2,220 - 2,300 are hedge areas.
If you take appropriate actions in these areas you can protect yourself from the chance of excessive loss if the market is to crash in 2020. You can also do this without taking on much risk. Granted if you hedge long portfolios there is some risk of losing a little, but your area of risk on these hedges is less than the area of risk on a long portfolio after this has happened.
When this has happened, historically it's always led to a crash in the coming months/year. We'll have done something the markets do not usually do. Big corrections may look similar, but when you deal with this all the time, you come to know there are specifics that should be noted. If the levels I've mentioned for a buy fill, the market is crashing. It's no longer a question of if.

5 - Hold Hedges Until 1,100

If we crash, the low will probably be only a bit below this level. Anything more than this in a fall would be truly horrific (I know many people think this is horrific, but from a technical point of view this is really to be expected, and not unusual. It only happens after long periods of time, so it's unexpected and uncommon. It not unusual in trend formation).
I am not a financial adviser, and can not tell you any trades you should be making to hedge portfolios or to take speculative positions. I've given these levels on the S&P500, and there are many things correlated to this you could use to protect portfolios. If this happens, I will be very much 'In the trenches'. I'll be trading in various markets every day and sharing some of my insights and trade plans, but I can't tell you specifically what to do.

I am only sharing this with you to let you know there are strategies people have used in the past to predict crashes, and I've used these strategies a lot and become good with them. They now predict a market crash starting in 2019, developing through 2020, and the things I've explained in this post would be the next steps if the prediction is accurate.
If the next steps happen, the strategy would then forecast the S&P500 to go from 2,200 - 2,400 sort of range to 1,000.
I am asking no one to take this seriously at the moment, but I would suggest if the market makes moves similar to what I've described - you then consider there may be a lot of merit to what it further forecasts.
submitted by whatthefx to investing [link] [comments]

2020 Foresight: What to do to Protect and Profit in Bear Market.

2020 Foresight: What to do to Protect and Profit in Bear Market.
Not many people like to talk about bear markets, especially not when the more emotive terms such as "Stock market crash" are used. It's often looked upon as fear mongering, and sensationalism. Preparation is practical, though.

This post is not intended to be fear mongering. In fact I want to discuss ways we can look at the market and plan for different scenarios that can mean we have no reason to be afraid.
Even if the S&P500 was to trade at 1,000 (big drop from current price (Today is the 31st August 2019, price is 2,946), we can plan and act in such ways this is a non harmful event for us. Particularly those who have net worth's to protect that has heavy stocks exposure.
This is not going to be one of these, "It's the top RIGHT NOW ... everyone panic!" sort of posts. Regardless of my views on this, I know this is a message that would not be well received. You do not know me, and too often people have cried wolf on this and been laughably incorrect. Instead what I will do is describe price moves in the indices that most people will have every reason to believe at this point can't happen.
Hopefully, they do not happen. I am not gleefully fangirling for a market crash. I just think there is prudence in preparation. These events will not happen in the hours after I post this, so I'd ask you kindly suspend prejudices. There is nothing to be gained by bickering over opinions of whether this will happen or not. I just want to give my perspective on how a person should protect themselves after it happens, if it does.
I'll cover some of the things I'd forecast will be points people will want to raise or questions likely to be asked. If you'd like to skip to the forecast and subsequent trade plan you can scroll down to the line break (unless you're going to make a common comment, then please read the following section first).

Why Do I think My Opinion Matters?

Many of you may be smarter than I in many ways, but few of you will have spent as much time assessing charting patterns as I have. Indeed, many people will scoff at the very idea of "lines on a chart" being worth anything. I'm not here to have this debate, I fully agree your view point is rational and logical. If I'd not spent years watching price charts every day, I'd think the same.
I focus mostly on Forex markets. I know these well. There are many ways currencies look like they may move that are ways they should not move unless there is big problems in stocks. These are nagging warnings. The attitude to risk in the Forex markets is negative, and stock markets show dangerous patterns. I watch these topping sorts of patterns every day. I see them in intra-day crashes, intra-week crashes and intra-month crashes.
Most major moves fit into these patterns, and when the same patterns are applied to previous stock markets in the months before they crashed, the way the patterns form and then complete (in a crash) is the same. From my perspective, these are just intra-decade crashes. There is little technical difference on the charts - although it's very different in the real world it affects.
This is why I am doing this in a "IF we see this ... then this is likely". I know at this point in the pattern, my methods predict something that will be highly unusual. If that thing happens, if we do not crash after that, we'd be breaking the trend of all market crashes in history (this is not likely, it does not seem the smart way to bet your net worth).

Technical Analysis is Tea Leaves!


You're welcome to your opinion on this, and I do understand your point of view. I will not post examples to try and prove my perspective on it, since it will always be called "curve-fitting". All I will say is nothing I have done in my years of trading has involved me persuading others what I do works. I do not sell training or anything of the like. I've spent many years using the things I've learned to bet my own money, and I've done well.
I will not debate on this subject, because it's always a deadlock. You can not convince me I've not seen what I've seen, and I can not show you what I've seen, and do not expect you to believe it without proof.

Stop Fear Mongering!


I really would like to re-iterate, I do not want you to be afraid. I am going to describe something that might happen that will be scary if it does happen. If it does not, there is no problem. I do not wish you to be fearful before, during or after.

This is like "Stop, Drop and Roll". None of us ever expect to be ablaze. If we are, this is good information. It will be better than running about waving arms and feeding the flames to engulf us. All I want to do here is to give you the "stop, drop and roll" of a market crash. To prevent you panicking and making bad decisions at bad areas. To allow you instead to go, "Fuck! Okay ... well that's not good. Now I have to ..." if scary things do happen.

No One Can Time the Market!

People have predicted and traded every stock market crash in history. The fact that many people try this and get it wrong does not take away from the fact people get this right, then place the right trades and make millions. Not many people make understanding the ways a market moves their life's work. If you do, you get a good feel for it's mood at any given time.

[Fundamental Analysis ] Says That Won't Happen!

I am not here to debate analysis viewpoints. Doing so has little use, it's better to forecast, assess and then take the best actions. I'll confess I am too ignorant on many of these topic to engage in debate. I wake up every day 5 days a week and decide where to bet my money. In doing this, I've found charts forecast and news reports. I can find no way of making money by being told what happened already, so I use the charts.
What I will say is for the warning move I will discuss to happen, something news related will have to change. Some catalyst event will have to happen. In 2008, it was Lehman. Make no mistake, the warnings were on the chart long before the bankruptcy was in the news.

Time in the Markets is Better than Timing the Markets


I am perfectly fine with this perspective, and not here to argue against it. If the market could drop 50% or more and you'd not be concerned because you think it will be back up in 10 years, this is none of my business.
I'm a day trader, so for me personally timing the markets is everything. Spending a lot of time in the market day trading often means you've made a mistake. I'm looking for ways to get foresight into what market moves may develop and understanding of what times and conditions I can enter into these moves to profit from the.
I want to stress I am not necessarily advocating the average person tries to time the markets. In the same way an electrician would not suggest you re-wire your own home. You also could not say to the electrician it's better to leave the lights off than risk getting a shock. Different preparations and skills sets give different possibilities. I spent a lot of years and lost money through a lot of them starting out learning how to do this.
The things I will explain here will not allow a person to consistently time the market. If I may be excused a cheesy pun, this "crash course" will be dealing with only single event, and one single set of scenarios. What I want to put forward for you in this is price moves to watch for and then (really quite specific) levels of price that are likely to offer us the best prices to protect long stock portfolios, or take speculative short trades. Very thin area of assessment.


Forecast and Plan.

What if the S&P500 Went to 2,200 ... Quickly?


It's the weekend, and the last day of August in 2019. The S&P500 has closed 2922 after rallying through the week after some sharp drops from all time highs. We may see record highs again if this keeps up ... but what if next week it opens and starts to fall? Or maybe rallies higher but can not make a new high and starts to fall.
What if it falls faster than it did in the last drop, and what if this time it does not stop? What if it gets to the lows of 2790, and goes from there quickly to 2700. These big levels act as resistance and the market can not trade higher than them. Instead it hits them, reverses and goes down more.

I think people would be nervous, but there'd be still the feeling of this being a normal, albeit tough, corrective move. There's weekly lows of 2,333. Above here the market is still technically up-trending. What if we got there, and the market went through it like it was nothing? What if the coming weeks or months we seen candles bigger than any we've seen recently? What if we were hearing news reports of record falls, rather than record highs?
What if over the development of only weeks and some horrific trading days we went from today's 2922 to break under the 2015 lows of 1,886?
I think people would be afraid!
Nothing I am saying is for the purposes of fear mongering, but I think this is possible. I'd like to say I think it's "highly unlikely", but I am thinking a lot about how to structure real bets on it and I like my odds. If this happens, it's likely the market will go lower still. What you do during the following weeks and months may have a huge affect on your financial health by the start of 2021.

How Does This Scenario Look on a S&P500 Chart?



https://preview.redd.it/olpwljpcxuj31.png?width=895&format=png&auto=webp&s=d9fa619352baeaa81e8d0d99b1b131231f7d4e46

That looks like it's not going to happen, right? I think that this looks like it's not going to happen. We learn through our life experience, and my life experience has taught me when I ignore what I think about things like this and build well structured trade plans that would assume it will happen, money comes. For me, this makes sense to bet on at the moment, as unlikely as it looks. That's getting a bit into "Calling the high", though. \Which this is not about.

This is about what do you do if this happens? What if there is a day when they say on the news that the market just made it's lowest point in the last five years ... and economists and experts say it can go down more!

1 - Filter and assess your sources.
Before you act or even think about the information these sources have (pertaining to what trades to make or expect), check what they were saying now. If they're not saying this could happen - don't worry too much about what they say happens next. They have as much chance of being wrong.

2 - Do not panic.
This is a time to remain calm. Bad things have happened, and there will have been multiple days the market has dropped precipitously. Different economic factors explaining these moves may be threatening to get worse and the market may take more dangerous swings spiking under recent lows. This is the point at which most people will panic and make bad choices with their portfolio.

3 - Buy Around 1,800
This obviously sounds like something anyone would do right now, with price at 2,922; but with the conditions that'd have to be occurring for this of move to happen will make this highly counter intuitive at the time.

4 - Understand Something Changed, New Highs are Not Coming
From peak pessimism around 1,800 I expect the market to start to rally. Rallying strong. Making markets great again.
At this point, you should understand something has changed. The market is not meant to trade at that level in an up-trend. Frequently when these levels 'break', there is a strong counter move that is fierce. It's also brief. We can buy here and offset some of the losses in the mini bounce (but be very cautious).
2,129 area is where the danger of a bear move comes back in. It might rally a bit above here into 2,333.

This is where the second mistake many people will make will be. Not buying the lows, but then starting to buy into this rally thinking it's going to new highs.

Very Important: If price makes moves consistent with what I've described 2,220 - 2,300 are hedge areas.
If you take appropriate actions in these areas you can protect yourself from the chance of excessive loss if the market is to crash in 2020. You can also do this without taking on much risk. Granted if you hedge long portfolios there is some risk of losing a little, but your area of risk on these hedges is less than the area of risk on a long portfolio after this has happened.
When this has happened, historically it's always led to a crash in the coming months/year. We'll have done something the markets do not usually do. Big corrections may look similar, but when you deal with this all the time, you come to know there are specifics that should be noted. If the levels I've mentioned for a buy fill, the market is crashing. It's no longer a question of if.

5 - Hold Hedges Until 1,100

If we crash, the low will probably be only a bit below this level. Anything more than this in a fall would be truly horrific (I know many people think this is horrific, but from a technical point of view this is really to be expected, and not unusual. It only happens after long periods of time, so it's unexpected and uncommon. It not unusual in trend formation).
I am not a financial adviser, and can not tell you any trades you should be making to hedge portfolios or to take speculative positions. I've given these levels on the S&P500, and there are many things correlated to this you could use to protect portfolios. If this happens, I will be very much 'In the trenches'. I'll be trading in various markets every day and sharing some of my insights and trade plans, but I can't tell you specifically what to do.

https://preview.redd.it/4rjtgvjpxuj31.png?width=888&format=png&auto=webp&s=36ca33f1a0d73b98528a5d5b7886aa5e0d94d601

I am only sharing this with you to let you know there are strategies people have used in the past to predict crashes, and I've used these strategies a lot and become good with them. They now predict a market crash starting in 2019, developing through 2020, and the things I've explained in this post would be the next steps if the prediction is accurate.
If the next steps happen, the strategy would then forecast the S&P500 to go from 2,200 - 2,400 sort of range to 1,000.
I am asking no one to take this seriously at the moment, but I would suggest if the market makes moves similar to what I've described - you then consider there may be a lot of merit to what it further forecasts.
submitted by whatthefx to u/whatthefx [link] [comments]

New rule! Also are cryptocurrencies an investment, will there be a crash? Everything answered here!

This is going to be the only crypto post for now and an announcement:
Rule 6: Bitcoins & cryptocurrenies should be discussed in CryptoCurrency. Posts regarding this topic will be automatically removed.
If there's a stock correlated with cryptocurrencies, like coinbase going IPO, then that's fine, you might have to message the mods after posting to have it approved, no big deal.
Also if you're questioning whether something is an investment or not, just search for it on personalfinance. For general currency trading strategies, see forex .
If you're wondering if bitcoins are an investment or if there will be a crash, read on.

Are cryptocurrencies an investment?

This post is going to deal with bitcoins & cryptocurrencies as an investment... they're more speculative. All currencies are speculative mostly due to how the forex market works, but more because of exchange rates between countries keep currencies balanced (including inflation, country debt, interest rates, political & economic stability, etc), so you can only profit in price fluctuations.
Sure you could buy the currency of a depressed country, like Mexico decades ago, and then hold in the hopes it'll go up (which it did for Mexico), but that's also speculation (no one knew Mexico would pay off so much debt).
Bitcoins are also affected by other countries' currency values, but more so by the future expectation of legitimacy, world wide adoption, limited gains from mining, and eventual limit in supply. But at any given moment the United States could pay off more debt, raise interest rates to reduce inflation (or cause deflation), grow GDP, or even reduce the supply of USD all of which would increase the value of USD (keep in mind bitcoins can't do any of these things).
Far too many people are treating cryptocoins as an investment because currently (June 5th 2017) a lot of crypto investors are worth a lot of money, god bless you people, so this post will also help you determine if we're headed for a crypto crash and maybe you can keep those profits.

Should I invest in cryptocurrencies?

Understand that an investment is something you hope will go up in the future or provide income, both of which for the long term vs speculation which profits on short term inefficiencies.
Speculative securities are typically commodities, options, bonds, and currencies, but also stocks that are volatile enough to give you extreme returns or extreme loses.

Examples of investments:

Examples of speculation:

Reducing the risk of speculation

Typically for speculation you reduce risk by reducing your trade size and timeframe, but since you're trying to invest into something that is speculative, you can try:
Asset allocation, a strategy that reduces risk.. If you're 80% stocks, 15% bonds, 4% gold, and 1% bitcoins, if something were to happen to bitcoins, you still have 99% of your money.
But even very aggressive long term portfolios leave speculation out completely and just go 100% stocks because stocks benefit from growth while speculative securities like gold benefit from global turmoil in the short term. Only mid risk & mid term portfolios can take advantage of gold's speculative returns.
I also mention asset allocation because many crypto investors have been using this strategy on a portfolio of 100% crypto coins, but that doesn't help you reduce the overall risk of crypto coins, you're just reducing the risk of 1 speculative asset with another speculative asset. 100% crypto portfolio would face the same risks such as being made illegal, IRS aggressively hunting down crypto profits, a drop in correlated coin markets, or just a loss of popularity would all cause a sell off. Even the USD or Chinese currencies becoming more valuable would reduce the value of crypto coins.

Should I buy coins right now?

Cryptocoins are a better investment after a period of consolidation when volatility has stabilized:

Bitcoin 2013/2014 speculation, chart

Bitcoin 2015 consolidation, chart

Source Bitstamp exchange, while the volume is #2 to GDAX, Bitstamp is better to look at for historical price/data, more charts here.

RSI & MACD key for above charts and primer

Analyzing overbought signals

So the first chart above have RSI & MACD screaming that bitcoin is overbought and you shouldn't invest in 2013/2014.
The black squares in the 2nd chart show consolidation and reduced volatility, a "better" time to invest. If you were trading short term, it would be a whole different story, and there would be opportunities to buy & short, but since this is written for investing, the small overbought signals are ignored, so if you were to buy Bitcoin at $300 inside the first blacksquare (2nd chart) and then it suddenly drops to 25%, it's okay because the volatility is much lower compared to previous price movements (nothing compared to 80% loss in the 1st chart). Any investor would tell you a 25% drop is terrible, but bitcoins are speculative and that kind of drop is pretty damn good for this level of volatility.

Nothing goes straight up forever

and anything that comes near this vertical incline will eventually lose 80% to near 100%, always happens, it's usually preceded by emotions (price euphoria), attention, and increased volume, all classic signs that something is becoming riskier.
Other speculative securities gaining multiples and then losing 80% to near 100% of value:

Notable comments on reddit:

*This is just to get you guys looking at different subs on this topic, and yeah it's mostly anti-crypto, but don't let that discourage you.

Is Bitcoin going to crash?

Maybe, the signals are getting louder, you tell me: The only chart you wanted to see this entire time.
So based on the above chart, is bitcoin overbought? MACD levels are the same as 2013's crash, but the increased in value is around 4.3x or 2.4x (depending on which you look at), so maybe we'll see another spike before a crash, I don't know, it's up to interpretation right now. There's the emotional price levels of 3000 and 4000 that we might have no problem getting to in an overbought environment before a correction. And how big will the correction be? I think 80%, but it very well could be around 50% down to $1200, the previous level of resistance which would become support.
I put everything above in its own wiki here.
Well I hope that helps everyone. Sorry to anyone that may feel butthurt on classifying cryptocoins as speculation, I hope you understand the facts. Feel free to argue or agree with this. If I made any mistakes and you point them out, I'll correct them and give you credit for it in an update to this post and the wiki.
Also the automod will is just going to blanket remove posts (not comments) with the following keywords {crypto, bitcoin, btc, etherium, altcoin} (see update 4 below) (this will eventually get relaxed if Coinbase ever IPOs) and then it'll send the user this message:
"Sorry your post[link] was removed in stocks because of rule 6: Bitcoins & cryptocurrenies should be discussed in CryptoCurrency. You can find more information in our are-cryptocurrencies-investments wiki. If you're trying to discuss a non-OTC stock related to cryptocoins like Coinbase IPO, or this was just a mistake, message the mods and they'll approve your post, thanks."
Update: Created wiki, added relevant websites and sub reddits. Also turned on automod reply.
Update2: those relavant websites and subreddits I put into the wiki, thanks u/dross99 for recommending ethereum

Relevant websites/wikis

Relevant subreddits

  • CryptoCurrency - main sub to learn about all bit & altcoins
  • ethtrader - trading eth
  • ethereum - for more eth information
  • btc - the place to have bitcoin discussions or r/CryptoCurrency; while Bitcoin does have a lot of information on Bitcoins in general, you'll find many reddit subs completely opposed to Bitcoin for heavy censorship of discussions, especially those critical of bitcoins, so you're better off reading the sub's wikis and discussing bitcoins in btc & r/CryptoCurrency
  • personalfinance
Update3: Shoutout to the mods on CryptoCurrency
Update4: Updated auto mod keywords, it's not a blanket catch all, a little completed to understand if you don't know regex but it looks like this
"crypto ?(trading|investing)","(should(| I)|could(| I)|can(| I)|how to|is it worth) (buy|sell|mine|min)(|ing) (btc|btcs|bitcoin|ether|etherium|eth|litecoin|ripple|altcoin)" 
submitted by provoko to stocks [link] [comments]

CRYPTOCURRENCY BITCOIN

CRYPTOCURRENCY BITCOIN
Bitcoin Table of contents expand: 1. What is Bitcoin? 2. Understanding Bitcoin 3. How Bitcoin Works 4. What's a Bitcoin Worth? 5. How Bitcoin Began 6. Who Invented Bitcoin? 7. Before Satoshi 8. Why Is Satoshi Anonymous? 9. The Suspects 10. Can Satoshi's Identity Be Proven? 11. Receiving Bitcoins As Payment 12. Working For Bitcoins 13. Bitcoin From Interest Payments 14. Bitcoins From Gambling 15. Investing in Bitcoins 16. Risks of Bitcoin Investing 17. Bitcoin Regulatory Risk 18. Security Risk of Bitcoins 19. Insurance Risk 20. Risk of Bitcoin Fraud 21. Market Risk 22. Bitcoin's Tax Risk What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is yet to be verified. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.
There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite it not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.
Understanding Bitcoin Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency: Balances are kept using public and private "keys," which are long strings of numbers and letters linked through the mathematical encryption algorithm that was used to create them. The public key (comparable to a bank account number) serves as the address which is published to the world and to which others may send bitcoins. The private key (comparable to an ATM PIN) is meant to be a guarded secret and only used to authorize Bitcoin transmissions. Style notes: According to the official Bitcoin Foundation, the word "Bitcoin" is capitalized in the context of referring to the entity or concept, whereas "bitcoin" is written in the lower case when referring to a quantity of the currency (e.g. "I traded 20 bitcoin") or the units themselves. The plural form can be either "bitcoin" or "bitcoins."
How Bitcoin Works Bitcoin is one of the first digital currencies to use peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments. The independent individuals and companies who own the governing computing power and participate in the Bitcoin network, also known as "miners," are motivated by rewards (the release of new bitcoin) and transaction fees paid in bitcoin. These miners can be thought of as the decentralized authority enforcing the credibility of the Bitcoin network. New bitcoin is being released to the miners at a fixed, but periodically declining rate, such that the total supply of bitcoins approaches 21 million. One bitcoin is divisible to eight decimal places (100 millionths of one bitcoin), and this smallest unit is referred to as a Satoshi. If necessary, and if the participating miners accept the change, Bitcoin could eventually be made divisible to even more decimal places. Bitcoin mining is the process through which bitcoins are released to come into circulation. Basically, it involves solving a computationally difficult puzzle to discover a new block, which is added to the blockchain and receiving a reward in the form of a few bitcoins. The block reward was 50 new bitcoins in 2009; it decreases every four years. As more and more bitcoins are created, the difficulty of the mining process – that is, the amount of computing power involved – increases. The mining difficulty began at 1.0 with Bitcoin's debut back in 2009; at the end of the year, it was only 1.18. As of February 2019, the mining difficulty is over 6.06 billion. Once, an ordinary desktop computer sufficed for the mining process; now, to combat the difficulty level, miners must use faster hardware like Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), more advanced processing units like Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), etc.
What's a Bitcoin Worth? In 2017 alone, the price of Bitcoin rose from a little under $1,000 at the beginning of the year to close to $19,000, ending the year more than 1,400% higher. Bitcoin's price is also quite dependent on the size of its mining network since the larger the network is, the more difficult – and thus more costly – it is to produce new bitcoins. As a result, the price of bitcoin has to increase as its cost of production also rises. The Bitcoin mining network's aggregate power has more than tripled over the past twelve months.
How Bitcoin Began
Aug. 18, 2008: The domain name bitcoin.org is registered. Today, at least, this domain is "WhoisGuard Protected," meaning the identity of the person who registered it is not public information.
Oct. 31, 2008: Someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto makes an announcement on The Cryptography Mailing list at metzdowd.com: "I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party. The paper is available at http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf." This link leads to the now-famous white paper published on bitcoin.org entitled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." This paper would become the Magna Carta for how Bitcoin operates today.
Jan. 3, 2009: The first Bitcoin block is mined, Block 0. This is also known as the "genesis block" and contains the text: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks," perhaps as proof that the block was mined on or after that date, and perhaps also as relevant political commentary.
Jan. 8, 2009: The first version of the Bitcoin software is announced on The Cryptography Mailing list.
Jan. 9, 2009: Block 1 is mined, and Bitcoin mining commences in earnest.
Who Invented Bitcoin?
No one knows. Not conclusively, at any rate. Satoshi Nakamoto is the name associated with the person or group of people who released the original Bitcoin white paper in 2008 and worked on the original Bitcoin software that was released in 2009. The Bitcoin protocol requires users to enter a birthday upon signup, and we know that an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto registered and put down April 5 as a birth date. And that's about it.
Before Satoshi
Though it is tempting to believe the media's spin that Satoshi Nakamoto is a solitary, quixotic genius who created Bitcoin out of thin air, such innovations do not happen in a vacuum. All major scientific discoveries, no matter how original-seeming, were built on previously existing research. There are precursors to Bitcoin: Adam Back’s Hashcash, invented in 1997, and subsequently Wei Dai’s b-money, Nick Szabo’s bit gold and Hal Finney’s Reusable Proof of Work. The Bitcoin white paper itself cites Hashcash and b-money, as well as various other works spanning several research fields.
Why Is Satoshi Anonymous?
There are two primary motivations for keeping Bitcoin's inventor keeping his or her or their identity secret. One is privacy. As Bitcoin has gained in popularity – becoming something of a worldwide phenomenon – Satoshi Nakamoto would likely garner a lot of attention from the media and from governments.
The other reason is safety. Looking at 2009 alone, 32,489 blocks were mined; at the then-reward rate of 50 BTC per block, the total payout in 2009 was 1,624,500 BTC, which at today’s prices is over $900 million. One may conclude that only Satoshi and perhaps a few other people were mining through 2009 and that they possess a majority of that $900 million worth of BTC. Someone in possession of that much BTC could become a target of criminals, especially since bitcoins are less like stocks and more like cash, where the private keys needed to authorize spending could be printed out and literally kept under a mattress. While it's likely the inventor of Bitcoin would take precautions to make any extortion-induced transfers traceable, remaining anonymous is a good way for Satoshi to limit exposure.
The Suspects
Numerous people have been suggested as possible Satoshi Nakamoto by major media outlets. Oct. 10, 2011, The New Yorker published an article speculating that Nakamoto might be Irish cryptography student Michael Clear or economic sociologist Vili Lehdonvirta. A day later, Fast Company suggested that Nakamoto could be a group of three people – Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry – who together appear on a patent related to secure communications that were filed two months before bitcoin.org was registered. A Vice article published in May 2013 added more suspects to the list, including Gavin Andresen, the Bitcoin project’s lead developer; Jed McCaleb, co-founder of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox; and famed Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki.
In December 2013, Techcrunch published an interview with researcher Skye Grey who claimed textual analysis of published writings shows a link between Satoshi and bit-gold creator Nick Szabo. And perhaps most famously, in March 2014, Newsweek ran a cover article claiming that Satoshi is actually an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto – a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer living in California. The list of suspects is long, and all the individuals deny being Satoshi.
Can Satoshi's Identity Be Proven?
It would seem even early collaborators on the project don’t have verifiable proof of Satoshi’s identity. To reveal conclusively who Satoshi Nakamoto is, a definitive link would need to be made between his/her activity with Bitcoin and his/her identity. That could come in the form of linking the party behind the domain registration of bitcoin.org, email and forum accounts used by Satoshi Nakamoto, or ownership of some portion of the earliest mined bitcoins. Even though the bitcoins Satoshi likely possesses are traceable on the blockchain, it seems he/she has yet to cash them out in a way that reveals his/her identity. If Satoshi were to move his/her bitcoins to an exchange today, this might attract attention, but it seems unlikely that a well-funded and successful exchange would betray a customer's privacy.
Receiving Bitcoins As Payment
Bitcoins can be accepted as a means of payment for products sold or services provided. If you have a brick and mortar store, just display a sign saying “Bitcoin Accepted Here” and many of your customers may well take you up on it; the transactions can be handled with the requisite hardware terminal or wallet address through QR codes and touch screen apps. An online business can easily accept bitcoins by just adding this payment option to the others it offers, like credit cards, PayPal, etc. Online payments will require a Bitcoin merchant tool (an external processor like Coinbase or BitPay).
Working For Bitcoins
Those who are self-employed can get paid for a job in bitcoins. There are several websites/job boards which are dedicated to the digital currency:
Work For Bitcoin brings together work seekers and prospective employers through its websiteCoinality features jobs – freelance, part-time and full-time – that offer payment in bitcoins, as well as Dogecoin and LitecoinJobs4Bitcoins, part of reddit.comBitGigs
Bitcoin From Interest Payments
Another interesting way (literally) to earn bitcoins is by lending them out and being repaid in the currency. Lending can take three forms – direct lending to someone you know; through a website which facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, pairing borrowers and lenders; or depositing bitcoins in a virtual bank that offers a certain interest rate for Bitcoin accounts. Some such sites are Bitbond, BitLendingClub, and BTCjam. Obviously, you should do due diligence on any third-party site.
Bitcoins From Gambling
It’s possible to play at casinos that cater to Bitcoin aficionados, with options like online lotteries, jackpots, spread betting, and other games. Of course, the pros and cons and risks that apply to any sort of gambling and betting endeavors are in force here too.
Investing in Bitcoins
There are many Bitcoin supporters who believe that digital currency is the future. Those who endorse it are of the view that it facilitates a much faster, no-fee payment system for transactions across the globe. Although it is not itself any backed by any government or central bank, bitcoin can be exchanged for traditional currencies; in fact, its exchange rate against the dollar attracts potential investors and traders interested in currency plays. Indeed, one of the primary reasons for the growth of digital currencies like Bitcoin is that they can act as an alternative to national fiat money and traditional commodities like gold.
In March 2014, the IRS stated that all virtual currencies, including bitcoins, would be taxed as property rather than currency. Gains or losses from bitcoins held as capital will be realized as capital gains or losses, while bitcoins held as inventory will incur ordinary gains or losses.
Like any other asset, the principle of buying low and selling high applies to bitcoins. The most popular way of amassing the currency is through buying on a Bitcoin exchange, but there are many other ways to earn and own bitcoins. Here are a few options which Bitcoin enthusiasts can explore.
Risks of Bitcoin Investing
Though Bitcoin was not designed as a normal equity investment (no shares have been issued), some speculative investors were drawn to the digital money after it appreciated rapidly in May 2011 and again in November 2013. Thus, many people purchase bitcoin for its investment value rather than as a medium of exchange.
However, their lack of guaranteed value and digital nature means the purchase and use of bitcoins carries several inherent risks. Many investor alerts have been issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other agencies.
The concept of a virtual currency is still novel and, compared to traditional investments, Bitcoin doesn't have much of a long-term track record or history of credibility to back it. With their increasing use, bitcoins are becoming less experimental every day, of course; still, after eight years, they (like all digital currencies) remain in a development phase, still evolving. "It is pretty much the highest-risk, highest-return investment that you can possibly make,” says Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group, which builds and invests in Bitcoin and blockchain companies.
Bitcoin Regulatory Risk
Investing money into Bitcoin in any of its many guises is not for the risk-averse. Bitcoins are a rival to government currency and may be used for black market transactions, money laundering, illegal activities or tax evasion. As a result, governments may seek to regulate, restrict or ban the use and sale of bitcoins, and some already have. Others are coming up with various rules. For example, in 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services finalized regulations that would require companies dealing with the buy, sell, transfer or storage of bitcoins to record the identity of customers, have a compliance officer and maintain capital reserves. The transactions worth $10,000 or more will have to be recorded and reported.
Although more agencies will follow suit, issuing rules and guidelines, the lack of uniform regulations about bitcoins (and other virtual currency) raises questions over their longevity, liquidity, and universality.
Security Risk of Bitcoins
Bitcoin exchanges are entirely digital and, as with any virtual system, are at risk from hackers, malware and operational glitches. If a thief gains access to a Bitcoin owner's computer hard drive and steals his private encryption key, he could transfer the stolen Bitcoins to another account. (Users can prevent this only if bitcoins are stored on a computer which is not connected to the internet, or else by choosing to use a paper wallet – printing out the Bitcoin private keys and addresses, and not keeping them on a computer at all.) Hackers can also target Bitcoin exchanges, gaining access to thousands of accounts and digital wallets where bitcoins are stored. One especially notorious hacking incident took place in 2014, when Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Japan, was forced to close down after millions of dollars worth of bitcoins were stolen.
This is particularly problematic once you remember that all Bitcoin transactions are permanent and irreversible. It's like dealing with cash: Any transaction carried out with bitcoins can only be reversed if the person who has received them refunds them. There is no third party or a payment processor, as in the case of a debit or credit card – hence, no source of protection or appeal if there is a problem.
Insurance Risk
Some investments are insured through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Normal bank accounts are insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to a certain amount depending on the jurisdiction. Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin accounts are not insured by any type of federal or government program.
Risk of Bitcoin Fraud
While Bitcoin uses private key encryption to verify owners and register transactions, fraudsters and scammers may attempt to sell false bitcoins. For instance, in July 2013, the SEC brought legal action against an operator of a Bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme.
Market Risk
Like with any investment, Bitcoin values can fluctuate. Indeed, the value of the currency has seen wild swings in price over its short existence. Subject to high volume buying and selling on exchanges, it has a high sensitivity to “news." According to the CFPB, the price of bitcoins fell by 61% in a single day in 2013, while the one-day price drop in 2014 has been as big as 80%.
If fewer people begin to accept Bitcoin as a currency, these digital units may lose value and could become worthless. There is already plenty of competition, and though Bitcoin has a huge lead over the other 100-odd digital currencies that have sprung up, thanks to its brand recognition and venture capital money, a technological break-through in the form of a better virtual coin is always a threat.
Bitcoin's Tax Risk
As bitcoin is ineligible to be included in any tax-advantaged retirement accounts, there are no good, legal options to shield investments from taxation.
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Read it once, go read other crypto stuff, read it again… keep doing this until the whole document makes sense. It’ll take a while, but you’ll get there. This is the original whitepaper introducing and explaining Bitcoin, and there’s really nothing better out there to understand on the subject.
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.
Suggested Reading:
When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
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