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Forex Trading in Kenya.
Someone posted on here a few days ago asking about forex and forex trading in Kenya, I have gone through the responses and clearly, most people don’t have an idea. It is 3am in the morning and am in a good mood so let me make this post. This will be a comprehensive and lengthy post so grab a pen and paper and sit down. We’ll be here a while. FIRST OF ALL, who am I..? I am a forex trader, in Nairobi, Kenya..i have been actively involved in forex since I found out about it in Feb 2016 when I somehow ended up in a wealth creation seminar (lol) in pride inn Westlands, the one close to Mpaka Rd. Luckily for me, it was not one of those AIM global meetings or I’d be on Facebook selling God knows what those guys sell. I did not take it seriously till August of the same year and I have been active ever since. I don’t teach, mentor or sell a course or signals, I trade my own money. I am also posting from a throwaway account because I don’t want KRA on my ass. What the fuck is forex and forex trading. In simple plain English, forex is like the stock market but for currencies. Stock Market = Shares, forex = currencies. If you want more in-depth explanation, google is your friend. These currencies are pegged on specific countries, united states- dollar, UK- pound, euro zone- euro, Switzerland- Swiss franc, Kenya- Kenya shilling.. you get the point. Now, there are specific events and happenings between these economies that affect the movement and values of the currencies, driving their value (purchasing power up and down). Forex trading exploits these movements to make money. When the value is going up, we buy and vice versa (down –sell) Is forex trading illegal in Kenya? Is it a scam? Illegal, no. scam, no. All the banks in the world do it (KCB made about 4 billion from trading forex in 2019) Have there been scams involving forex in Kenya? Yes. Here is one that happened recently. This one is the most infamous one yet. Best believe that this is not the end of these type of scams because the stupidity, greed and gullibility of human beings is unfathomable. However, by the end of this post, I hope you won’t fall for such silliness. What next how do I make it work..? Am glad you asked. Generally, there are two ways to go about it. One, you teach yourself. This is the equivalent of stealing our dad’s car and hoping that the pedal you hit is the brake and not the accelerator. It is the route I took, it is the most rewarding and a huge ego boost when you finally make it on your own. Typically, this involves scouring the internet for hours upon hours going down rabbit holes, thinking you have made it telling all your friends how you will be a millionaire then losing all your money. Some people do not have the stomach for that. The second route is more practical, structured and smarter. First Learn the basics. There is a free online forex course at www.babypips.com/learn/forex this is merely an introductory course. Basically it is learning the parts of a car before they let you inside the car. Second, start building your strategy. By the time you are done with the babypips, you will have a feel of what the forex market is, what interests you, etc. Tip..Babypips has a lot of garbage. It is good for introductory purposes but not good for much else, pick whatever stick to you or jumps at you the first time. Nonsense like indicators should be ignored. The next step is now the most important. Developing the skill and building your strategy. As a beginner, you want to exhaust your naivety before jumping into the more advanced stuff. Eg can you identify a trend, what is a pair, what is position sizing, what is metatrader 4 and how to operate it, what news is good for a currency, when can I trade, what are the different trading sessions, what is technical analysis, what is market sentiment, what are bullish conditions what is emotion management, how does my psychology affect my trading (more on this later) an I a swing, scalper or day trader etc Mentors and forex courses.. you have probably seen people advertising how they can teach and mentor you on how to trade forex and charging so much money for it. Somehow it seems that these people are focused on the teaching than the trading. Weird, right..? Truth is trading is hard, teaching not quite. A common saying in the industry is “Those who can’t trade, teach” you want to avoid all these gurus on Facebook and Instagram, some are legit but most are not. Sifting the wheat from the chaff is hard but I did that for you. The info is available online on YouTube, telegram channels etc. am not saying not to spend money on a course, if you find a mentor whose style resonates with you and the course is reasonably priced, please, go ahead and buy..it will cut your learning curve in half. People are different. What worked for me might not work for you. Here are some nice YouTube channels to watch. These guys are legit..
After a short period of time, you will be able to sniff out bs teachers with relative ease. You will also discover some of your own and expand the list. Two tips, start with the oldest videos first and whichever of these resonates with you, stick with till the wheels fall off. How long will it take until things start making sense Give yourself time to grow and learn. This is all new to you and you are allowed to make mistakes, to fail and discover yourself. Realistically, depending on the effort you put in, you will not start seeing results until after 6 months. Could take longeshorter so there is no guarantee. Social media, Mentality, Psychology and Books Online, forex trading might not have the best reputation online because it takes hard work and scammers and gurus give it a bad name. However, try to not get sucked into the Instagram trader lifestyle as it is nowhere close to what the reality is. You will not make millions tomorrow or the day after, you might never even make it in this market. But that is the reality of life. Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed. Your mentality, beliefs and ego will be challenged in this market. You will learn things that will make you blood boil, you will ask yourself daily, how is this possible, why don’t they teach this in school..bla bla bla..it will be hard but growth is painful, if it wasn’t we’d all be billionaires. Take a break, take a walk, drink a glass of whatever you like or roll one..detox. Chill with your girl (or man) Gradually you will develop mental toughness that will set you up for life. Personally, I sorta ditched religion and picked up stoicism. Whatever works for you. Psychology, this is unfortunately one of the most neglected aspects of your personal development in this journey. Do you believe in yourself? Can you stand by your convictions when everyone is against you? Can you get up every day uncertain of the future? There will be moments where you will question yourself, am I even doing the right thing? the right way? It is normal and essential for your growth. People who played competitive sports have a natural advantage here. Remember the game is first won in your head then on the pitch. Books: ironically, books that helped me the most were the mindset books, Think and grow rich, trading for a living, 4 hour work week, the monk who sold his Ferrari..just google mindset and psychology books, most trading books are garbage. Watch and listen to people who have made it in the investing business. Ray Dalio, warren, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn. This is turning out to be lengthier than I anticipated so I’ll try to be brief for the remaining parts. Brokers You will need to open up an account with a broker. Get a broker who is regulated. Australian ones (IC Market and Pepperstone) are both legit, reliable and regulated. Do your research. I’d avoid local ones because I’ve heard stories of wide spreads and liquidity problems. International brokers have never failed me. There are plenty brokers, there is no one size fits all recommendation. If it ain’t broke..don’t fix it. Money transfer. All brokers accept wire transfers, you might need to call your bank to authorize that, avoid Equity bank. Stanchart and Stanbic are alright. Large withdrawals $10k+ you will have to call them prior. Get Skrill and Neteller if you don’t like banks like me, set up a Bitcoin wallet for faster withdrawals, (Payoneer and Paypal are accepted by some brokers, just check with them.) How much money can I make..? I hate this question because people have perceived ceilings of income in their minds, eg 1 million ksh is too much to make per month or 10,000ksh is too little. Instead, work backwards. What % return did I make this month/ on this trade. Safaricom made 19.5% last year, if you make 20% you have outperformed them. If you reach of consistency where you can make x% per month on whatever money you have, then there are no limits to how much you can make. How much money do I need to start with..? Zero. You have all the resources above, go forth. There are brokers who provide free bonuses and withdraw-able profits. However, to make a fulltime income you will need some serious cash. Generally, 50,000 kes. You can start lower or higher but if you need say 20k to live comfortably and that is a 10% return per month, then you can do the math on how big your account should be. Of course things like compound interest come into play but that is dependent on your skill level. I have seen people do spectacular things with very little funds. Taxes..? Talk to a lawyer or an accountant. I am neither. Family? Friends? Unfortunately, people will not understand why you spend hundreds of hours watching strangers on the internet so it is best to keep it from them. Eventually you will make it work and they will come to your corner talking about how they always knew you’d make it. The journey will be lonely, make some trading buddies along the way. You’d be surprised at how easy it is when people are united by their circumstances (and stupidity) I have guys who are my bros from South Africa and Lebanon who I have never met but we came up together and are now homies. Join forums, ask questions and grow. That is the only way to learn. Ideally, a group of 5-10 friends committed to learning and growth is the best model. Pushing each other to grow and discovering together. Forex is real and you can do amazing things with it. It is not a get rich quick scheme. If you want a quick guaranteed income, get a job. And now it is 5am, fuck. This is oversimplified and leaves out many many aspects. Happy to answer any questions.
Complying to a scammer, but not quite the way he wanted me to!
(To any moderator, I have anonymitised everything and made sure that it is according to rules of this subreddit,I wanna share this story so please let me know should further editing be required ! please Consider this person has likely stolen thousands and thousands of innocent people so i wanna spread awareness! So the other day (actually my birthday too :)) I found this account on IG, I saved him as Scumm in my phone but he claims to be an "Alex", hit him up if you wanna get rich it is a fiest. So i hit him up and be like: [19:00, 23/09/2020] OP: Hello sir I am Tom, I read a lot of things about Forex and crypto and your page in particular and just inherited some money from a relative , I heard so many good things I thought you might help me invest some of that money so it is not lost? Kindly [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Welcome [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Where are you from? [19:09, 23/09/2020] OP: Germany [19:09, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok Tom [19:09, 23/09/2020] Scumm: We specialise on Stock And cryptocurrency trading, with the sole aim of making awesome profit from the rapid changes in price of the assets and currencies we trade. We are group of professional market analysts that studies the market picking the best assets to invest on, and as well the best cryptocurrency pairs to trade on. We have mastered risk management and as well best possible strategy to maximize our clients Profits [19:10, 23/09/2020] Scumm: With the minimum investment of 1 BTC you can make 3.8BTC in a month [19:11, 23/09/2020] Scumm: If I may ask do you have a Bitcoin Wallet address? Now you can see how this is a scam and no one should ever follow such ludicrous claims! 380% in a month, if sb knew how, they wouldnt share that ,not in this world, not in this century... So i amlike: [19:15, 23/09/2020] OP: I'd be willing to invest even 2 bitcoin but I would need your company credentials and iban to send money to [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: I can only provide you a US account to make payment [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: This if gonna be possible [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Hmm I'll see maybe that works [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Easiest would be IBAN [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Your company does not have any European bank accounts? [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: IBAN [19:20, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Mate I always follow procedures so I have not accept Transfer for deposit [19:20, 23/09/2020] Scumm: But I will see to that ok You see where this is going I want some info and make him believe he or one of his mules at least gets sweet sweet cash. NOT SO FAST [20:49, 23/09/2020] Scumm: I’m waiting on my Colleague to forward details to me now [20:49, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok so you are not sending today? [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: Thank u so much [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: I can try but I have to call bank [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: For over 1000 [20:50, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok ok mate [20:50, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Good [21:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX Bank Account number: 8XXXXX0 Sort code: XXXX IBAN: GBXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [21:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Are you there Mate? [22:43, 23/09/2020] OP: Yes hi thank u so much [22:43, 23/09/2020] OP: Let me chdck [22:46, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [22:53, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Are you trying to send it now mate? Spinning it furtherly: I just tell some yada yada about how it takes time and a signature since its such a large sum! [11:46, 24/09/2020] OP: Do you have license [11:46, 24/09/2020] Scumm: 25BTC too small for even my students 😂 /\SURE buddy! */* [11:46, 24/09/2020] OP: NASAA 67? [11:47, 24/09/2020] OP: For financial advisor [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: This [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: Sorry was upside down [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: ? [11:51, 24/09/2020] Scumm: I’m an independent expert trader and portfolio management in crypto market [11:52, 24/09/2020] Scumm: License only met to give out from head of Admin [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: Ah kk [11:52, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yes mate [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: But normally 67 and 68 is required [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: For normal managers? [11:53, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yes [11:55, 24/09/2020] Scumm: have no worries mate [11:55, 24/09/2020] Scumm: 100% Now this is quite interesting NASAA 65 and 66 are licenses needed to be an account manager in the US so if he was he should know that i just made up 67 and 68! [19:20, 24/09/2020] OP: Ill makethe first payment asap, but i cant make my bank go faster sorry [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: howeverone thing: [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: most of the moneyigotis still in USD isit possible u said invest and send to USbank too? [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: for 20kUSD and above [19:22, 24/09/2020] OP: its hard for me topurhcase that much bitcoin on my own right now [19:22, 24/09/2020] OP: but i see that i can trust you! [19:22, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Mate ASAP you said you make payment today and you didn’t so I don’t know if you even sure about this yet [19:23, 24/09/2020] Scumm: I don’t get you please [19:23, 24/09/2020] Scumm: You mean you want your profit sent to a US bank? [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: You have no worries about that mate [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I am [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I signed the paper mate I am so happy [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: That's all they need I told u [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: To make payments international so large [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yeah you said that mate [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I am beeing honest as well [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: So I sent it back by post Today [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: But I am not at my banks city so post takes 1-2 days and then they can release [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: Sorry to keep u waiting [19:25, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [19:25, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Oh I see [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: No what I meant: if I wanna start with more can j invest 20k USD too? I know u usually don't do and j ask very weird questions but I meant [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: I am not always home have pc etc but I am in contact with u and my bank [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: So is it possible? Otherwise I have to convert USD to euro or GDP [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: 40k is sill in USD I have [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: That would be even crazier profits 🤑🤑🤑 [19:27, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Now I’m understanding SO NOW HE IS UNDERSTANDING good good, and almost ready to screw one of his US mules too: [21:00, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [21:04, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Can they send from US to the IBAN account? [21:05, 24/09/2020] OGOP: Hm I don't know it's a bit tricky BC I'm no us citizen [21:05, 24/09/2020] OGOP: I have one iban authorised to cash all out in euro [21:05, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok ok mate [21:06, 24/09/2020] OP: And US I think right now [21:06, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate please hold [21:10, 24/09/2020] OP Sure man [21:11, 24/09/2020] OP: Uff such a huge step for me [21:11, 24/09/2020] OP: I hope u do it real good 🤑🤑🤑 [21:12, 24/09/2020] OP Do you have customers in US too? [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Bank name: Teachers Federal Credit Union Bank address: XXXXXXX Account holder: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Account Holders address: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX Routing Number: XXXXXXX Account number:XXXXXXXXXX [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Sure mate //SO HE CLAIMS TO HAVE SCAMMED US CITIZENS! [21:12, 24/09/2020] OP: Nice [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Please make sure you send confirmation immediately So finally I did not send him payment proof,I sent him a spoofed link to fetch his IP with a link to "payment proof" and got his IP and location (cant showr a real link bc it has my IP in it...) And was like " oh hey how is the whether in Irele, Nigeria??" Needless to say he blocked me straight away after I called him a disgraceful sc*m but hey..... I still called the corresponding banks, the UK Fraud Action and the FBI just to make sure and shared all of the details without any editting :) Have fun "mate"! If they can freeze only 1 $ and return it to a likely victim, I am more then happy Cheers dont get scammed! TL/DR: Scammed a Nigerian scammer into sending me real accounts, names and details in UK and US (mules) to forward to the police and may or may not have donated 500 to charity.
(To any moderator, I have anonymitised everything and made sure that it is according to rules of this subreddit,I wanna share this story so please let me know should further editing be required ! please Consider this person has likely stolen thousands and thousands of innocent people so i wanna spread awareness! So the other day (actually my birthday too :)) I found this account on IG, I saved him as Scumm in my phone but he claims to be an "Alex", hit him up if you wanna get rich it is a fiest. So i hit him up and be like:
[19:00, 23/09/2020] OP: Hello sir I am Tom, I read a lot of things about Forex and crypto and your page in particular and just inherited some money from a relative , I heard so many good things I thought you might help me invest some of that money so it is not lost? Kindly [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Welcome [19:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Where are you from? [19:09, 23/09/2020] OP: Germany [19:09, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok Tom [19:09, 23/09/2020] Scumm: We specialise on Stock And cryptocurrency trading, with the sole aim of making awesome profit from the rapid changes in price of the assets and currencies we trade. We are group of professional market analysts that studies the market picking the best assets to invest on, and as well the best cryptocurrency pairs to trade on. We have mastered risk management and as well best possible strategy to maximize our clients Profits [19:10, 23/09/2020] Scumm: With the minimum investment of 1 BTC you can make 3.8BTC in a month [19:11, 23/09/2020] Scumm: If I may ask do you have a Bitcoin Wallet address?
Now you can see how this is a scam and no one should ever follow such ludicrous claims! 380% in a month, if sb knew how, they wouldnt share that ,not in this world, not in this century... So i amlike:
[19:15, 23/09/2020] OP: I'd be willing to invest even 2 bitcoin but I would need your company credentials and iban to send money to [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: I can only provide you a US account to make payment [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: This if gonna be possible [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Hmm I'll see maybe that works [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Easiest would be IBAN [19:19, 23/09/2020] OP: Your company does not have any European bank accounts? [19:19, 23/09/2020] Scumm: IBAN [19:20, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Mate I always follow procedures so I have not accept Transfer for deposit [19:20, 23/09/2020] Scumm: But I will see to that ok You see where this is going I want some info and make him believe he or one of his mules at least gets sweet sweet cash. NOT SO FAST [20:49, 23/09/2020] Scumm: I’m waiting on my Colleague to forward details to me now [20:49, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok so you are not sending today? [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: Thank u so much [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: I can try but I have to call bank [20:49, 23/09/2020] OP: For over 1000 [20:50, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok ok mate [20:50, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Good [21:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX Bank Account number: 8XXXXX0 Sort code: XXXX IBAN: GBXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [21:08, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Are you there Mate? [22:43, 23/09/2020] OP: Yes hi thank u so much [22:43, 23/09/2020] OP: Let me chdck [22:46, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [22:53, 23/09/2020] Scumm: Are you trying to send it now mate?
Spinning it furtherly: I just tell some yada yada about how it takes time and a signature since its such a large sum!
[11:46, 24/09/2020] OP: Do you have license [11:46, 24/09/2020] Scumm: 25BTC too small for even my students 😂 /\SURE buddy! */* [11:46, 24/09/2020] OP: NASAA 67? [11:47, 24/09/2020] OP: For financial advisor [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: This [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: Sorry was upside down [11:50, 24/09/2020] OP: ? [11:51, 24/09/2020] Scumm: I’m an independent expert trader and portfolio management in crypto market [11:52, 24/09/2020] Scumm: License only met to give out from head of Admin [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: Ah kk [11:52, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yes mate [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: But normally 67 and 68 is required [11:52, 24/09/2020] OP: For normal managers? [11:53, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yes [11:55, 24/09/2020] Scumm: have no worries mate [11:55, 24/09/2020] Scumm: 100%
Now this is quite interesting NASAA 65 and 66 are licenses needed to be an account manager in the US so if he was he should know that i just made up 67 and 68!
[19:20, 24/09/2020] OP: Ill makethe first payment asap, but i cant make my bank go faster sorry [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: howeverone thing: [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: most of the moneyigotis still in USD isit possible u said invest and send to USbank too? [19:21, 24/09/2020] OP: for 20kUSD and above [19:22, 24/09/2020] OP: its hard for me topurhcase that much bitcoin on my own right now [19:22, 24/09/2020] OP: but i see that i can trust you! [19:22, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Mate ASAP you said you make payment today and you didn’t so I don’t know if you even sure about this yet [19:23, 24/09/2020] Scumm: I don’t get you please [19:23, 24/09/2020] Scumm: You mean you want your profit sent to a US bank? [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: You have no worries about that mate [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I am [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I signed the paper mate I am so happy [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: That's all they need I told u [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: To make payments international so large [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Yeah you said that mate [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: I am beeing honest as well [19:24, 24/09/2020] OP: So I sent it back by post Today [19:24, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: But I am not at my banks city so post takes 1-2 days and then they can release [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: Sorry to keep u waiting [19:25, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [19:25, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Oh I see [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: No what I meant: if I wanna start with more can j invest 20k USD too? I know u usually don't do and j ask very weird questions but I meant [19:25, 24/09/2020] OP: I am not always home have pc etc but I am in contact with u and my bank [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: So is it possible? Otherwise I have to convert USD to euro or GDP [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: 40k is sill in USD I have [19:26, 24/09/2020] OP: That would be even crazier profits 🤑🤑🤑 [19:27, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Now I’m understanding SO NOW HE IS UNDERSTANDING good good, and almost ready to screw one of his US mules too: [21:00, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate [21:04, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Can they send from US to the IBAN account? [21:05, 24/09/2020] OGOP: Hm I don't know it's a bit tricky BC I'm no us citizen [21:05, 24/09/2020] OGOP: I have one iban authorised to cash all out in euro [21:05, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok ok mate [21:06, 24/09/2020] OP: And US I think right now [21:06, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Ok mate please hold [21:10, 24/09/2020] OP Sure man [21:11, 24/09/2020] OP: Uff such a huge step for me [21:11, 24/09/2020] OP: I hope u do it real good 🤑🤑🤑 [21:12, 24/09/2020] OP Do you have customers in US too? [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Bank name: Teachers Federal Credit Union Bank address: XXXXXXX Account holder: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Account Holders address: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX Routing Number: XXXXXXX Account number:XXXXXXXXXX [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Sure mate //SO HE CLAIMS TO HAVE SCAMMED US CITIZENS! [21:12, 24/09/2020] OP: Nice [21:12, 24/09/2020] Scumm: Please make sure you send confirmation immediately
So finally I did not send him payment proof,I sent him a spoofed link to fetch his IP with a link to "payment proof" and got his IP and location (cant showr a real link bc it has my IP in it...) And was like " oh hey how is the whether in Irele, Nigeria??" Needless to say he blocked me straight away after I called him a disgraceful sc*m but hey..... I still called the corresponding banks, the UK Fraud Action and the FBI just to make sure and shared all of the details without any editting :) Have fun "mate"! If they can freeze only 1 $ and return it to a likely victim, I am more then happy Cheers dont get scammed! Have a wonderful day! TL/DR: Scammed a Nigerian scammer into sending me real accounts, names and details in UK and US (mules) to forward to the police and may or may not have donated 500 to charity.
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While reasearching Epstein's known associates, an interesting individual stood out. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Lady de Rothschild. No intention of this being a Rothschild Conspiracy. If your are uninterested to read the content below, scroll down to Comment to get my summary and take on this information. As always please Fact check this. (HJI) is a bi-partisan, transatlantic movement of business leaders, senior policy makers and academics focused on promoting a more Inclusive Capitalism. The HJI calls for international collaboration from businesses and other organizations to encourage the widest possible adoption of programs that improve capitalism as a driver of wellbeing for society. The HJI grew out of the Task Force project For Inclusive Capitalism, which sought solutions to the effects on society and business as a result of the global financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 and the dislocations caused by capitalism’s practice over the past 30 years. The Taskforce, which was co-chaired by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CEO, El Rothschild, published its inaugural paper Towards a More Inclusive Capitalism in May 2012. The report sets out three pathways for business action that lie at the heart of the HJI’s mandate:
Education for employment: addressing the gap between employer needs and employee skills
Nurture start-ups and SMEs: mentoring small businesses and improving access to credit for them
Reform management and governance for the long term: replacing today’s focus on short term performance
The HJI exists to highlight and support businesses and other organizations working to promote the broadest possible adoption of best practices in these and other areas related to Inclusive Capitalism. The HJI believes there is an urgent and compelling demand for business to act to address the greatest systemic issues facing capitalism today. The HJI also believes that business is best positioned to lead innovations in areas that need them the most.
Scoop Jackson was convinced that there's no place for partisanship in foreign and defense policy. He used to say, 'In matters of national security, the best politics is no politics.' His sense of bipartisanship was not only natural and complete; it was courageous. He wanted to be President, but I think he must have known that his outspoken ideas on the security of the Nation would deprive him of the chance to be his party's nominee in 1972 and '76. Still, he would not cut his convictions to fit the prevailing style. I'm deeply proud, as he would have been, to have Jackson Democrats serve in my administration. I'm proud that some of them have found a home here.
Jackson was known as a hawkish Democrat. He was often criticized for his support for the Vietnam War and his close ties to the defense industries of his state. His proposal of Fort Lawton as a site for an anti-ballistic missile system was strongly opposed by local residents, and Jackson was forced to modify his position on the location of the site several times, but continued to support ABM development. American Indian rights activists who protested Jackson's plan to give Fort Lawton to Seattle, instead of returning it to local tribes, staged a sit-in. In the eventual compromise, most of Fort Lawton became Discovery Park), with 20 acres (8.1 ha) leased to United Indians of All Tribes, who opened the Daybreak Star Cultural Center there in 1977. Opponents derided him as "the Senator from Boeing" and a "whore for Boeing" because of his consistent support for additional military spending on weapons systems and accusations of wrongful contributions from the company; in 1965, 80% of Boeing's contracts were military. Jackson and Magnuson's campaigning for an expensive government supersonic transport plane project eventually failed. After his death, critics pointed to Jackson's support for Japanese American internment camps during World War II as a reason to protest the placement of his bust at the University of Washington.Jackson was both an enthusiastic defender of the evacuation and a staunch proponent of the campaign to keep the Japanese-Americans from returning to the Pacific Coast after the war.
Jackson Papers controversy
Senator Jackson's documents were donated to the University of Washington shortly after his death in 1983, and have been archived there ever since.When the materials were donated in 1983, university staff removed all information considered classified at the time.Additional materials were added to the collection until 1995. At some point, library staff discovered a classified document in the collection and sent it to the government for declassification. In response, in the summer of 2004, a man who identified himself as an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) called the University of Washington asking to inspect Senator Jackson's archived documents housed there. He found a document labelled as classified and showed this to a librarian. In February 2005, 22 years after Jackson's death, a five-person team including staff of the CIA, Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Information Security Oversight Office came to library to review all of Jackson's papers to remove anything still considered classified, or reclassified since then. The Department of Energy found nothing of concern, but the CIA blanked lines in about 20 papers and pulled 8 documents out of collection. As of 2018, some files in the collection are available only to those regarded by the library as "serious researchers", who must first sign a release not to divulge some of the information contained in the files.
The Henry Jackson Society
The society was founded on 11 March 2005 by academics and students at Cambridge, including Brendan Simms, Alan Mendoza, Gideon Mailer, James Rogers and Matthew Jamison. It organises meetings with speakers in the House of Commons. The society claims that it advocates an interventionist) foreign-policy that promotes human rights and reduces suffering, by both non-military and military methods, when appropriate. In 2006, the society worked to raise the profile of the Ahwazi Arabs of Iran, who it claims are currently being oppressed by the Iranian government. After originating within the University of Cambridge, the organisation is now based in London. In April 2011 the entire staff of another London think-tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion (which has since been dissolved), joined the Henry Jackson Society. The organisation is a registered charity in England and Wales and earns financial backing from private donations and grant-making organisations which support its work. The income of the society increased significantly from 2009 to 2014, from £98,000 to £1.6 million per year. In 2017 Hannah Stuart, one of the society's Research Fellows, released Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015), which profiled every individual convicted under terrorism legislation in the UK between those dates with an Islamist connection.
Structure and projects
The Society has produced a breadth of research reports and papers. These have mostly focused on Islamist extremist activity in the UK, crackdowns on human rights and democracy elsewhere, and various facets of foreign policy and defence.Its current workstreams include:
Asia Studies Centre. This Centre seeks to provide "an in-depth understanding of the structural shifts, regional complexities and historic tensions that exist alongside the tremendous economic and social growth that traditionally characterise the 'rise of Asia'."Publications include a paper on the possible outcomes of the negotiations with North Korea,and the need to safeguard critical national infrastructure in the West from vulnerabilities which may be built in by China.
Global Britain Programme. Focuses on "the need for an open, confident and expansive British geostrategic policy in the twenty-first century – drawing on the United Kingdom’s unique strengths not only as an advocate for liberalism and national democracy, but also as a custodian of both the European and international orders." This centre has published papers on what the European Union 'owes' the United Kingdom, as well as advocated for increased military spending by NATO members.
Russia & Eurasia Studies Centre. Researches domestic and foreign policy issues in Russia and the former Soviet states. In 2018 the Conservative) MP Bob Seely published a paper through this Centre which sought to define 'Contemporary Russian Conflict', and in which he accused the government of Vladimir Putin of pursuing KGB-style tactics.
Centre for the New Middle East. Established following the Arab Spring, the Society describes this Centre as "dedicated to monitoring political, ideological, and military and security developments across the Middle East and providing informed assessments of their wide-ranging implications". The Centre has released reports highly critical of Iran.
Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism. Focuses on the threat to the United Kingdom and elsewhere by Islamist terrorism. Reports have ranged from analyses of the UK charitable sector to the way in which criminals utilise the darknet.
Student Rights. Created in 2009 "as a reaction to increasing political extremism and marginalisation of vulnerable students on campus". This project has tracked what it describes as "extreme" speakers on British university campuses.
In September 2018, the Society announced the creation of a new Centre for Social and Political Risk. This Centre will "identify, diagnose and propose solutions to threats to governance in liberal Western democracies", focusing on social cohesion and integration; freedom of speech and political correctness; demographic change; and other issues.
The think tank has been described by the media as having right-wing and neoconservative leanings, though it positions itself as non-partisan.In 2014, Nafeez Ahmed, an executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, said that the Henry Jackson Society courts corporate, political power to advance a distinctly illiberal oil and gas agenda in the Middle East. In 2009 the society became the secretariat of two all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs), for Transatlantic and International Security, chaired by Gisela Stuart, and for Homeland Security, chaired by Bernard Jenkin. A transparency requirement upon non-profit organisations acting as secretariat at that time was that they must reveal, on request, any corporate donors who gave £5,000 or more to the organisation over the past year or cease acting as a secretariat organisation. In 2014, following a query, the society refused to disclose this information and resigned its position as secretariat of the APPGs concerned in order to comply with the Rules. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, upheld a complaint against these APPGs on the grounds data had not been provided, but noted the society had already resigned its position and that the consequence of this non-provision therefore "appears to have taken effect" as the Rules intended. The case was therefore closed with no further action taken and the APPGs themselves dissolved with the dissolution of Parliament in March 2015. The APPG Rules were subsequently changed in March 2015 so that only those non-profit organisations providing services to APPGs of more than £12,500 in value needed to declare their corporate donors. In July 2014 the Henry Jackson Society was sued by Lady de Rothschild over funds of a "caring capitalism" summit. Lady de Rothschild claims that she has financed the summit and that HJS and its executive director Alan Mendoza are holding £137,000 of “surplus funds” from the conference that should be returned to the couple’s investment company EL Rothschild. Think tank discussions on the Middle East and Islam have led some media organisations to criticise a perceived anti-Muslim agenda. Marko Attila Hoare, a former senior member, cited related reasons for leaving the think tank and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was urged, in 2015, to sever his links with the society. According to the report published in 2015, "a right-wing politics is apparent not only in the ideas that the Henry Jackson Society promotes, but also emerges distinctly on examination of its funders." In 2017, the Henry Jackson Society was accused of running an anti-China propaganda campaign after the Japanese embassy gave them a monthly fee of 10,000 pounds.The campaign was said to be aimed at planting Japan's concerns about China in British newspapers. Co-founder Matthew Jamison wrote in 2017 that he was ashamed of his involvement, having never imagined the Henry Jackson Society "would become a far-right, deeply anti-Muslim racist [...] propaganda outfit to smear other cultures, religions and ethnic groups." "The HJS for many years has relentlessly demonised Muslims and Islam." In January 2019, Nikita Malik of the Henry Jackson Society provided The Daily Telegraph with information they claimed showed a Muslim scout leader was linked to Islamic extremists and Holocaust deniers.In January 2020 The Daily Telegraph issued a retraction and formal apology saying that: "the articles said that Ahammed Hussain had links to extremist Muslim Groups that promoted terrorism and anti-Semitism, and could have suggested that he supported those views and encouraged their dissemination. We now accept that this was wrong and that Mr Hussain has never supported or promoted terrorism, or been anti-Semitic.We acted in good faith on information received but we now accept that the article is defamatory of Mr Hussain and false, and apologise for the distress caused to him in publishing it. We have agreed to pay him damages and costs." The initial signatories of the statement of principles included:
This has been a rabbit hole and only half the story regarding Lady Forester. Then only link between Lady Forester and Jeffrey Epstein is In 1995, financier Lynn Forester discussed "Jeffrey Epstein and currency stabilization" with Clinton. Epstein, according to his own accounts, was heavily involved in the foreign exchange market and traded large amounts of currency in the unregulated forex market. I will post another story Lady Forester and the coalition for Inclusive Capitalism.
Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.
This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant. However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.
When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
New Cold War with drastically reduced economic ties
China resolve their tensions, integrate and run the world together
Transactional US-China relationship of the sort during the 1980s
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy
Other countries like Japan and South Korea to dependent on China. Too integrated.
Raise objections to Belt and Road. But no alternative
My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed. International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter. The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US. The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.
OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION
Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000). The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914. Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels. Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm. The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism. As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.
BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA
According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
Provisions to protect IP
Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations. I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO. WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT. The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule. In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak. Here is the commitment paragraph for China "The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. " This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics. NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.
REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH
I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access. Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress. THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes. Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English. Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic, IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box. So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure: In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on here as of late talking about GVT’s potential as a trading platform, and while that’s great and all, I’m here to tell you that’s not how this thing is going to play out in the long run. In the recent Medium article entitled “94,000 — Genesis Vision Token (GVT)” the author makes the case for a $94,000 GVT token by 2021. He made many good points, but there is one critical error he and most of the people in this community keep making. Day traders RARELY OUTPERFORM INVESTORS in the long run. The author based this argument on the assumption that, “a growth rate of 11.06% per week is sustainable in the future,” even saying it was, “VERY conservative.” Recently, I’ve have been seeing a bunch of posts and comments suggesting growth rates like this are reasonable, and I want to explain to everyone why it won’t happen. 1) Firstly, let’s address the results of the trader’s challenge. Yes, I understand what you’re thinking, “But the top five all had over 400% returns!” This is true, but if you took those same top five traders and had them repeat the challenge every week for the next year most would return to near the mean of the market. Even while monitoring the tournament I saw several traders go from top 5, 300% returns, to losses in less than 24 hours. For every trader that made ridiculous returns there were just as many losses, and you won’t be able to “pick the winners” because there will be different winners every period. It’s true that there will be some day traders that are able to outperform the market consistently, but after transaction costs and fees to manage, the best you could expect is a couple percent above market average. Here’s some evidence: http://technicalanalysis.org.uk/support-and-resistance/Curcio-etal1997.pdf (Found it extremely difficult to outperform foreign currency exchange markets) http://viking.som.yale.edu/will/research.papers/day-trading-international-3-15-00.pdf (Found that some traders were able to outperform market by roughly 20%, which is significant, but that’s likely a 1-1.5% increase in returns per year, before accounting for managing fees.) https://www.cfapubs.org/doi/sum/10.2469/faj.v59.n6.2578 (this study gives hope, finds it possible to day trade profitably, but again I question what the results would’ve been over a longer time frame) 2) Here’s what I will concede to those of you hoping for magical 11% returns per week (which by the way would turn 5k into over a million in less than a year). The cryptocurrency market is wild right now, and if 2018 picks back up and looks anything like 2017, you could expect massive returns, possibly even in the 1000s %. Additionally, wall street hasn’t entered the game yet, so for now, there is still room to take advantage of market irrationality. But trust me, when million-dollar algorithms (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u007Msq1qo) are generating trades across the block from Coinbase or Binance every few milliseconds, there will be little room for day traders in the space. So, it isn’t that you can’t make money or even outperform the market, but it just won’t be as crazy and advantageous as you think. 3) This brings me to point three; the real value of GVT. Genesis Vision will do two things extremely well, it gives access to exposure from a wide variety of markets from one platform (cryptos, forex, Nasdaq, etc.), and it ensures trust. I personally am most excited about the wide access to markets through knowledgeable managers. I know nothing about technology stocks, but if I want exposure in that market, I can find a manager experienced in that area who is up to date on the latest news. The same goes for crypto. I found out about NANO at around a $1.50 and did well because of it, but my dad (who knows little about crypto and mostly owns the Coinbase coins) never had a chance. Now, he will be able to tie his capital to someone deeply involved in daily news and analysis in the crypto world, which as I’m sure many of us know, can feel like a full-time job. So, when fundamentals change, or new technology arrives on the scene, he isn’t late to the party. Then there is the aspect of trust. Users can verify that traders are handling their money correctly and legitimately generating the returns they are claiming. This could be huge in private equity markets if Genesis Vision really takes hold. Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to clear up a lot of the misconceptions flying around this sub. Sure there will be a place for day trading on GVT, but its real breakthroughs are easy access to markets through knowledgeable managers and trust. Also, I'm interested to hear your arguments because I am by no means an expert and I'm sure people will have a lot of stuff to disagree with me on.
I'm doing a tribute to the 24 days of Christmas by going over the financial statements of 24 companies that are considered downrange, speculative, and just plain high risk. The legal cannabis industry already has a ton of risk in it - but this stuff - is only for thrill seekers. All opinions are my own, and certainly not a recommendation for or against any of them, or to buy or sell. I've limited myself to 45mins to each, and kept to most recent financial statements You'll likely know more about the company than me if you're following them. This is only my reactions with a brief commentary about what I see in their financial statements. I haven't been consistent in following them all over the past year: some I have, others not. The second one of this year.....is here CMM - Canabo Medical Inc. Scratched! Guess there’s another slot open for a Dive in this year’s Crawl! I did take a run at Aleafia’s financials a few weeks ago though. Their ‘merger’ with Emblem hadn’t yet been announced. Alefia ‘Just Said No’ to cultivation by the looks of it. Best choice for them, at least on the face of it. ISOL - Isodiol International Price Then: $11.50 Price Now: $1.71
Has taken cash and turned it into receivables, inventory, prepaids, and fixed assets. Looking good here.
Except for the $110MM added in goodwill/intangibles. Entrance fee to explore the world of LATAM and vape pens I suppose.
Significant inventory build. 50% margin YTD.
That 50% margin - of $9MM YTD, is supporting $21MM of operating expenses over same period.
Wages and salaries have exploded. As has SBC (which has eclipsed it no less for last period).
As has advertising and promotions. Doesn’t bode well for margin maintenance
Professional fees same. ‘Detonated’ applies as an appropriate adjective as well.
Intangibles/goodwill now 76% of all assets. Up 10%. Less than the rest of G&A is a good thing?
Per Note 19, of the $143MM in these as Canadian assets, they have $0 in revenue attached.
US/UK - far better. Provided that goodwill can be leveraged somewhere…..
Kure Corp eye watering in cost. Hella price to pay for a vape manufacturer. $36MM cash too. Sellers weren’t taking (rolling) paper.
Share price blast radius is notable.
Well then. International operations do attract cost (their G&A is bracing), as does business dev. Especially in Brazil. When a company with a net book value of $2.7MM costs $36MM (takes me back to Canopy buying 2 money losing greenhouses with a net book value of $6MM for $86MM at the time). ISOL’s still shopping too. Round Mountain looks like ISOL tossed them a life preserver. One will have to trust mgmt as to quality/fit of underlying assets. I didn’t detail, it’s only a half million, they bought it for what looks like working capital, I assume it saved them from insolvency. A pretty sweeping and broad horizon is presented by these statements - in a company looking internationally. They’ve got a clean professional presence (I’ve seen them at pretty much every trade show I’ve attended), yet, $12MM in op costs per quarter based on $8MM in sales for same….sheesh. Margin relatively static as well. That needs to improve, and sales need to triple+ to support ops. They lost $6MM per quarter this year, sales modestly up Q over Q. IMH - Invictus MD Price Then: $1.40 Price Now: $0.81
Salaries at $2.5MM, professional fees $1.5MM. To the latter, these have been abating as companies get up and planing. Not here.
Op expenses high, $13MM this quarter. Ouch.
Margin seems erratic. Might be operational stabilization, might be a very dark cloud.
Note 15 explains where their cash came from, along with a 40% increase in shares o/s
Warrant strike prices are all over the map. Relatively modest in options. Despite $2.5MM in SBC this quarter, don’t look like it’s going to be as high for awhile. I’d need more time to confirm that.
Related party transactions…sigh. Compelling business reasons are great. Anything less....more than simply poor optics. Can’t tell either way, in any of these without going deep. Note 16.
Getting a rock star as a front end ain’t cheap. Added $7MM in goodwill, from an $11MM spend. Remainder was expensed in sales and marketing. Well then. Note 10.
Note 11 - ran out of time.
Few things here. While I don’t get the warm and fuzzies from this (what the elves are taking these days apparently does give you that & they swear by it), it looks better than it did last year. I have concerns over sales, margins, and the assets in subs. Wrote one off this year. Only 9 months to find out it’s a mutt? Honestly, this company requires far (far) more time to get a handle on. Will do on website. Needs a full once over to be fair. MDM - Marapharm Ventures (now: LIHT CANNABIS) Price Then: $0.92 Price Now: $0.17
50% of assets goodwill. Full Spectrum indeed. Better be some good gear.
70MM warrants o/s
Shares were issued for 2018 include (clears throat): cash; assets; services; debt; warrant execution; stock options; bond bonus; RSU’s; and even some for the treasury. Whew! Note 14
The 10MM warrants issued at $0.20 look like playing catchup. Share price dump has been….unhelpful in that regard.
Revenues anemic, laying missionary on 30% margins. Blech.
Wrote a gain on a ‘bargain purchase price’ regarding Full Spectrum. Sheesh. After booking the rest as goodwill?
Would show heavy losses if it wasn’t for that $7MM up write.
Good disclosure on commitments (Note 16). And in segmented reporting (Note 17).
Note 21 (subsequent events) is busy. Operationalizing the US.
Sigh. Another that needs more time. Where is Quadron when you need them? Nothing stand out - at least in terms of company differentiation or size. Boring. And leveraged. The Full Spectrum thingy hits their financials like landing an 8 ft fish in a 7 ft boat. I’d need to deconstruct that ‘asset’ to get any strong utility out of this. I’d really want to have a handle on it - and management - if I was to go anywhere near this outfit. Doesn’t look unfairly priced. Unless you ask the people who placed at $0.865, $0.70, and $0.50 during the year. Ugliest thing I see is them issuing shares for $0.38 and $0.04 to retire debts, when the share price was $0.80 and $0.40 respectively. If I was one of those in the private placements, I’d be coming out of my shoes on that (Note 14). Even if it was only $40k. Speaks to quiet desperation at one point. Whether there’s a viable business in here….tune in next time for another episode of ‘Dive Bar Pub Crawl’. As I see it….this would take far too much time for the level of interest I have in it. Unless Full Spectrum is a home run….. ATT - Abattis Biocuetical Corp. Price Then: $0.48 Price Now: $0.08 Man, what a difference a year makes. I’ve largely avoided looking over last years’ Crawl as reference, except to skim for major points. This one remains clear in my memory…it looked like a complete mutt then. Only thing they looked good at was producing press releases. They’re still kicking, as is the rate of news releases/month. They have begun paying a formal IR front end, so maybe this will slow down. Or perhaps speed up. Can’t tell. Ah well, latest fins I can find are somewhat old (Sept release. Amended too :( ). New ones should be due pretty quick.
Sales in first quarter of this year: $237.00. Yep, that’s dollars.
Expenses: $6.9MM same quarter. $3.3MM in consulting fees alone.
Note 13 details the consulting fees. The note is also titled ‘Related Party Transactions’.
Share float increased from 159MM to 406MM YoY. There are no words for this.
Net loss for year end, $24MM on $5,900 in sales. There are fewer than no words for this. Like, an empty set of words.
Well, at least there’s $1.3MM in PP&E. Woot!
And….$51MM in intangibles.
And….$10MM in blockchain, via investment in some sort of clearinghouse to provide liquidity for the crypto-tokens they’ve invented (some sort of Active Health/CanNUMUS spit swap).
* “Token burning will also act as a low‐friction method of returning value to token holders”.* Well, there you go. You can rich, and be frictionless whilst doing so (Note 7).
Gonna stop there. I’ve got a stitch in my side, and a headache. If I ever get my hands on the mug who suggested this one….the elves heads are collectively a ‘bag of cats’, and the little buggers staged a walkout. They’re outside singing Woody Guthrie songs and burning pallets. This totally sucks. As does Abattis’ financials. They offer low friction on tokens perhaps, but any cash put toward this thing will probably have the friction of a canvas bag re-entering the atmosphere. Poof. My personal choice for ‘Dive Bar of the Year’. Curiously, it’s not an easy title to take. IN - Inmed Pharmacuetical Price Then: $1.47 Price Now: $0.37
Plenty of cash. Not much change in assets, or anything else for that matter over the year.
Expenses flat, R&D up, as is SBC. Nothing earth-shaking
Easy to look at from B/S - Income Statement perspective. Loving pharma co’s in this regard.
Active in placements. Steady amount of funds coming in, even if down-raising. Shows interest.
50MM in options and warrants o/s. Share price trajectory has taken a lot of them out of play for the moment.
R&D expenses mainly salaries, nominal amount to patents. In pharma, investors need to have a handle on viability of the research, quality of the management, etc. doing these is kinda fun as the financials are a dream compared to… oh….an ‘Abattis’ let’s say.
TGIF - Friday Night Inc. Price Then: $1.20 Price Now: $0.37 I looked at these guys as recently as July. I also met up with them at MJBizCon in Vegas. I asked for a look at their facility….they never did get back to me. I won a laptop bag and some nice swag at the booth on a business card ‘draw’, it didn’t help getting a tour tho. I really wanted to see it…the financials got me curious in last year’s Crawl, and I strongly get the sense I’m missing something of note in them. Seems an incomplete story tbh. Maybe just some mild indigestion. And….for a region notorious for $70 eights in top shelf, I was also curious why they were recording sub $5 revenue on grams. Got the annuals now….
$6MM in gross margin, $11MM in expenses. Ramping.
Forex and translation (assuming Fx) $1.1MM. A correction, or, an acquisition conversion to native currency.
Modest forecast for sales price per gram ($4.16). I really want to know why their sales price sucks this hard. Outside of scope for the Crawl (time, and, I need an answer from the company. Guys?)
Good disclosure largely, Notes 8, 7, and 11
Writing up forex accretion on goodwill, ptooey.
Still 22MM of in-the-money warrants and options. ~=$4MM live.
Marginal adjustments to cap structure through secured lending. Marginal though.
Related party transactions relatively good compared to peerset.
More good disclosure in segmentation (Note 19).
There’s a reason price softening is lower in this one compared to others - at least they are in production & they have a product suite (at least in their booth at MJBizCon). No retail frontage (?) would explain the shitty sales price. I have somewhat of a soft spot for Canadian business, and I’d hope that relatively early movers would be seeing this start to ramp. As my trip to the US revealed - the US is a hyper-competitive compartmentalized environment. I do believe vertical integration is requisite for a company with this breadth and spend. Gonna sit in on the next call on these guys, and try and get a (the) story. Looks like false starts in build out, and challenges ramping. Sales are growing. They don’t look to be peddling a ’take me out’ story or stance…but….I have blind spots on this one. Because of Abattis, the elves are now wearing balaclavas and carrying home-made gas masks. Told me they are going for a stroll. I gave the RCMP a heads up. Gotta keep up good community relations and all.
DEMYSTYFYING CRYPTOCURRENCIES, BLOCKCHAIN & ICO IN SIMPLE ENGLISH – REFLECTIONS AND WAY FORWARD FOR 2018
DISCLAIMER: The authors of this article by no means are advocating, advising or persuading anyone to invest in Cryptocurrencies, ICOs or any other form of investment. Investments are subjected to market risks and you must do your own research before investing and seek financial advise and help from qualified personnel. Any businesses or companies quoted in this article have not paid us financially or through any other means for profit or gain. The authors also do not intent to challenge, disrespect or disobey any specific government, institution or personnel of authority including Banks, Financial regulators, governing bodies and laws of the land. All viewpoints in this article are our own and does not relate to any company, partner, employment or body that we are associated with in our day to day life. THE HEADLINE: As we reflect upon on 2017, it is probably fair to make a bold statement that it has been a phenomenal leap forward for the trio of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and the ICO. Here is why: • Bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency and once defamed as a ‘hyper-coin’) hit another all-time high passing $8000. Today, Bitcoin is worth about $50 billion and has been accepted under the law and tax frameworks of Canada, Australia, and Japan. • Ethereum network (platform) and its own fuel ( coin) Ether has appreciated more than 2,800% since it was launched in 2015. • Underlying Blockchain technology is no more a hype, it is disrupting every industry through its secure public ledger • ICOs have raked in over 3.6 Billion Dollars, the largest ICO in 2017 has been Filecoin raising over 257 Million Dollars. This is the just beginning of the ICO revolution where IPOs and traditional stock exchanges are going to become a thing in the past. Let’s admit it. We either have a tribe of people who love the whole concept of decentralized and autonomous Peer to Peer network completely secure and away from the control of the regulators and bureaucrats OR you still belong to the other tribe, you think Cryptocurrencies are dark alleys and ‘good’ people should stay away lurking in these areas. We respect views on either side and we would like to just attempt to demystify few basic practical concepts here that one should know if you are new to this so called “Crypto Tribe”. EVOLUTION OF CRYPTO AND BITCOIN The first internet currency, known as DigiCash, was created by David Chaum and is said to have its origin from Netherlands. This was arguably the first attempt, but the idea failed and the company went bankrupt in 1998. Keeping up with the trend PayPal ( one of the global leaders in Payments Industry) was next to follow-up and became highly successful, but did not create an actual cryptocurrency. So history was made when the first real cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was invented by someone went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and went online in 2009. There has been several failed attempts to identify this person. This ground breaking and revolutionary makes it possible to take to replace central authorities, government, watchdogs bureaucrats and politicians with the decentralized blockchain, and take power away from Wall Street. Bitcoin has already broken its own records several times since it started. The chart below will obviously blow your mind if you have not tracked Bitcoin recently. In less than 8 years Bitcoin has given over 8000% return. From 0 to 8000 USD per coin. And ofcourse there are talks of the next bubble and market for Bitcoin crashing down anytime. Really? Let’s address them a bit later in this paper. The legacy of crypto goes back to the days of World War II when cryptographic systems were devised to securely transmit messages between various parties. All has happened is the technology and evolution has progressed since with the advancement of Computer systems and underlying hardware and software. We hence now have a very powerful system on the network for anyone to harness. WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN? A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way not in citation given. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority. And that is the latest Wikipedia definition for you. However, in layman terms, what is the best way to explain it? Let’s think of a used-car for a purpose of illustration. The new buyer would like to ensure that the car is genuinely owned by the seller, that the car servicing history is fully up to date and any major issues has been picked up transparently in the car service history. In real world that may not be possible always. Let’s take another example. We go to our regular family doctor ( GP). Their computer has full history of our health records from illness, diagnosis, medicines and treatments. If we go to another city, it would be very important that the new doctor has full information as well. Sometimes things do not work that way. And this is where the power of Blockchain comes into play. Blockchain is like a decentralized and distributed computer or electronic database existing on multiple computers at the same time ( but not owned by any big company specifically atall). The database keeps growing continuously as new sets of key information, or ‘blocks’, are added to it. Each block contains a very important information - timestamp and a link to the previous block. These then actually form a chain, everyone in the network gets a copy of the whole database but the database is not managed by any particular body, person or corporation. Entire old block are preserved forever and new blocks are added to the ledger irreversibly, making it next to impossible to manipulate by faking documents, transactions and other information. And yes, hackers know this and they have no interest in this area as they cannot manipulate here. They will most likely to continue to pry on large private businesses and public sector for ransom not Blockchain for a very long time or may be forever! It is also worthwhile mentioning here that since Blockchain runs on a public network, there are concept of ‘mining’ and rewards to the ‘miners’. In simple terms, people are rewarded for allowing their computers to be used for harnessing the ‘processing power’ of Block execution. Every new transaction on a block ofcourse needs to be executed. Now that you have got a bit of history of the whole Cryptocurrency and Block chain technology mumbo-jumbo, you may be thinking what about another term ICO which everyone keeps talking at the Pub and every now and then on various websites and journals. What are ICO really? Let’s get that out of way as possible. THE DAWN OF INITIAL COIN OFFERING ( aka ICO) You are probably already familiar with the traditional stock market and the concept of Initial Public Offering ( IPO), so we will not go too deep into it. But in a nutshell, until recently businesses have raised money from the public by listing their businesses on the famous stock exchanges. Ofcourse, it is not possible for Mr. John Smith from a little village selling his home made secret strawberry jam globally until he has deep pockets. Neither he can even dream of getting his business listed on a stock exchange to raise cash from public. Hence listing businesses and raising cash has remain the forte of the big and bold with the backing of Venture Capitalist firms, Private Equity firms and the Brokers. And ofcourse there has been the means of the “Angel Investor” who would give cash by taking significant equity stake in a business started by the entrepreneur with their blood and sweat. Then emerged the concept of “Crowd Funding”. Online project funding websites like kickstarter, crowdcube, seedrs emerged. They allowed entrepreneurs to request for funds from the public. But these methods have raised limited funds, grossly regulated by the local authorities and not everyone could raise money from here. So you may ask what IPOs and Crowdfunding has anything to do with Blockchain technology and ICOs? Well what if we say that there are investors out there who believe in the disruptive nature of Blockchain Technology and are also early adopters of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Then there is whole liberal aspect of the unregulated market which makes the whole world shift towards a very different perspective. Now an entrepreneur could actually raise money for building their business from very early stages ( sometimes from just a concept level) and accepting the money not in traditional currency ( aka Fiat currency) but Cryptocurrency. And further, each of these new projects could even release their own version or token of an underlying cryptocurrency or digital currency. Now that’s sexy and awesome isn’t it? Well, we are not going to down the route here to inform the readers it is good or bad practice in this paper. We will leave that opinion formation to yourself. Now that you got a high level understanding of ICOs, the next thing you may want to know is that it is pretty straight forward to invest into an ICO ( we will cover more in this paper later). But you need to understand is ICOs just like an IPO are for short duration. Usually they last for few weeks (typically 4 weeks). You get bonus Tokens or the crypto coin to invest early. Once the ICO minimum target is reached ( Softcap) the coins gets listed on the CoinExchange and they start trading. Coinexchange? What are these then? Quite simple, just go back to the analogy between a traditional stock and traditional stock exchange. Very simple concept really. How you buy, sell and do the nitty-gritty just differs. Since there are no brokers or regulators involved here. The whole process is really simple and quick. It may worthwhile sharing a quick snapshot of the ICO market worldwide: It is mind boggling to see that new businesses in really concept stages are raising more money than traditional businesses in just few hours of ICOs getting listed. Obviously this is really bothering lot of people in high ranking posts. We are not here to again debate who is right or wrong here. What we essentially want you to understand is some of these ICOs are really shaping the next wave of revolution. How many of you believed that a Smart Phone with a so called ‘mobile app’ would be worth billion of dollar? Look at Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, Facebook. Why no one complains about their valuation? May be because these businesses have backing of very large venture capitalists, Private Equity firms? But who runs these VCs and PE firms? Do you really need 70 Billion Dollars to run a Taxi mobile app? We honestly do not know. But what we know for sure is disruptive technologies and businesses built on top of them always have an edge. And then you combine the technology and handover its power to the people you create a social eco-system that is so strong and powerful that it can override and form its own status. And that is what is happening with the ICOs. People are investing into their trust and belief. Now that’s more powerful than any single bank, government or institution ! If you have followed this paper so far, you should have started to get an idea of what is really going on here about the trio – Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrencices and ICO. However, I am sure you still have may have zillion questions about how you do certain things. Let us try give you answers to some of the most common questions asked by those who really want to get involved. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Question 1: I am interested in buying and investing into a Cryptocurrency. Should I buy Bitcoin? Answer: Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrency. We can not advise you anything specific as you need to do your own research. The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 6 November 2017 was over 1172 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently (2017-08-19) the largest blockchain network, followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin. Question 2: I am interested in investing into a ICO that what research and due-diligence I need to do ? Answer: We are glad that you mentioned the two magical words “research” and “due-diligence”. That is the most important golden nugget that we want you to take-away from this paper. Never-ever invest into a ICO unless you have researched it for how long it takes to build a strong opinion. Here is a good article that gives some really good tips. One quick tip from us would be ensure that Team is really strong and they are genuine people. http://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqF Question 3: How do I find out about upcoming ICOs and useful related news and press releases? Answer: There are plenty of websites now that can give you early headsup and keep you well informed. Our favourites are ICOBENCH, COINDESK, ICOALERT. Question 4: Where can we buy and sell ICO and cryptocurrencies? Answer: If you are newbie, it may be a good idea to ask someone in your close network to guide you. There are lots of information and instructional video available on Youtube and other social media network and blogs. Sometimes too much information leads to confusion. You may also want to look into tutorials and training available at UDEMY.COM. But please steer away from self-proclaimed gurus. Do not buy any quick rich scheme related courses and scams. We have found that for beginners https://www.myetherwallet.com/ or https://parity.io/ are good starting point for Ethereum Blockchain related transactions. Question 5: When is a good time to invest in Cryptocurrency? Answer: We wish we had the crystal ball to give you the answer. If we had this crystal ball in 2009 ( when Bitcoin started), we would be very rich people right now. But with a bit of research and education, you can master this. You need to make your own decision when is the right time for you. Question 6: ICO and Cryptocurrency are all hype and dodgy? Answer: We are assuming you are a beginner, you do not know enough about Blockchain technology and how it works, you possibly have not spent enough time learning and tracking about cryptocurrencies. There is also a possibility you have never invested in a cryptocurrency or ICO. Or possibly you invested in a ICO that was a scam. You possibly could be a sophisticated investor in property, traditional shares, gold, forex and much more. But may be you do not want to know any more about Digital currencies or Technology as it is not your “comfort zone”. So the question is how much of homework you have done to assess if this whole concept for you is really interesting or completely ruled out? The decision end of the day is yours. AUTHOR: Avijeet Jayashekhar: Has over 20 years of entrepreneurial, management consulting , Technology leadership in UK Financial Services Industry. He also has a long successful property investment business in UK. In his last stint, as Vice President of Barclays Bank UK, he managed large Technology Programme in next generation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process automation and Digital Payments including Blockchain. He has track record of setting up 3 successful global Technology businesses. Integrally part of the London Fintech and PropertyTech businesses, he is a popular mentor and speaker. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Computer Science, a Business Management Qualification and Project Qualification from Stanford University. He is a British Citizen of Indian origin and lives near London with his family. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avijeetjs/ REFERENCES: https://icobench.com/statshttps://www.coinbase.com/https://www.icoalert.com/https://www.coindesk.com/information/what-is-a-distributed-ledgehttps://tokentarget.com/the-evolution-of-the-ico-2017-and-beyond-2/http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/the-basics-of-cryptocurrency/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/cryptocurrency/https://themerkle.com/top-10-cryptocurrency-icos-throughout-2017-to-date/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchainhttp://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqFhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptocurrencieshttps://en.insider.pro/tutorials/2017-09-04/what-blockchain-laymans-terms/
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