Tell it like I see it…my weekly news collection

Weekly news collection of April, 17, 2020

Blockchain

  • Rabobank, Cargill, Agrocorp and their ship agents have settled a commodity transaction between Indonesia and USA on a private blockchain built on the Hiperledger Fabric. This has cut costs and time for the transaction in half.
  • The Covid-19 vaccine debate shows how Bill Gates has a new problem: how to continue to deploy large amounts of money into critical sectors — in a tangled web of economical and political interests at play — while remaining credible as a philanthropist and avoid being fingered as yet another George Soros? If Bill Gates wants to be credible as a philanthropist he has to take some bold steps to ensure that his image and the perception that people have of himself are as true as possible to this role. This means that the activities of his foundation must be open, transparent, accountable and beyond doubt. The Gates Foundation should adopt the blockchain as a trusted and transparent infrastructure/protocol in its dealings with its grantees. So now there´s no excuses, the instruments are available to show that philanthropists are true to their words. Blockchain/DLTs shall become the default technical solution for any charitable or philanthropist organization which wants to be responsible, accountable, credible and trustworthy.

Crypto and Money

  • This is not new but it is a very insightful report on how the Plus Token scammed bitcoins are dumped on the market at regular intervals and have been suppressing the price of BTC since the past summer. When this is over the cap over bitcoin price might suddenly go.

More background info on the story below:

  • This idea has been already discussed and Andreas Antonopoulos was one of the first to mention it. It is about the enormous existing synergies between renewable energy production and crypto mining. The concept is simple, it makes very much sense and it will make crypto mining sustainable and energy neutral: renewable energy produced cannot be stored and must be used in the grid immediately. When this is not possible, rather than wasting the excess energy, this can be used to mine crypto on site for additional revenues. Now this has been achieved also by a traditional oil company which converts an otherwise wasted gas by-product of oil extraction into energy for crypto mining on site. Excellent job

Economics

  • The US jobs market is cratering. 22 million jobs have been lost in the last four weeks. Basically ALL the jobs added since the 2009 recession in 10 years have been lost in 4 weeks.

As I have described in the article below this is what will force the hand of governments into reopening the global economies ASAP. Otherwise a depression will cause certainly more harm than the virus. By the way Germany is already on the go, with infections seemingly under control…

  • The FED is monetizing US debt at levels not seen before in history. At the peak of QE it bought US$ 120 billion per month, today it is 70 billion PER DAY!!

Investing

  • While stocks like Expedia or Booking are down +50% from the peak before the crisis the FANGs have substantially recovered most of the losses. This despite the fact that their largest customers like Expedia which spends annually US$ 5 billion in advertising will be cutting those expenses by up to 80%.

Just consider that — according to Investopedia — “advertising contributed 90% of Google’s total revenue, 79% of Yahoo’s total revenue and 99% of Baidu’s total revenue, and digital advertising accounted for 92% and 90% of Facebook’s and Twitter’s total revenues, respectively” those stocks should be down a lot more than they are. So is there potential for shorting? Prudence is necessary. Fundamentals do not mean much when the FED throws trillions at the market to support asset prices. So much that Blackrock said that “Investing is dead. We will follow the Fed and other DM central banks by purchasing what they’re purchasing, and assets that rhyme with those”

So it´s easy, just follow the crowd.

Covid induced Fanta-Geopolitics?

  • The US President Trump has issued a Presidential Memorandum to provide “covid-19 assistance” to Italy. What that means really? Hard to say yet, but certainly it goes beyond its literal meaning. It may be just an effort to counter the recent PR successes of China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and Albania which have helped the Italians in the crisis with medical staff and equipments? Or it can be much more than that. Rumors are that the move was prompted by the US secret services´awareness of “social-political instability” mounting to very high levels in Italy. The Presidential Memorandum has force of Law in the USA and is second solely to the Presidential Executive Order. Therefore something that is not issued “lightly”. It is broadly drafted as to ensure that substantially any actions can be taken. Now, considering the EU´s internal conflicts and the mounting tensions between Italy and the northern block led by Germany, can this memorandum — especially the use of Articles 4 and 6 — possibly lead to a financial and “logistical” support to allow Italy´s final €urexit?? Will the Trump administration be willing to go the extra mile to financially back-stop the issuance of a new Lira? No doubt that Secretary of State Pompeo has repeatedly pledged the US help for Italy “like no other country in the worlds can do”. I have no doubts on that. Historically Italy — as a vassal of the USA — has been a very prosperous country from the end of the WWII until the €uro came into force in 2000 (in 1980 Italy was the 4th largest economy in the world). After that Italy became rather irrelevant for the USA and it switched position becoming the unfortunate vassal of a German-French led EU which rapidly brought Italy to the current levels of poverty in less than 20 years. So, ask anyone with a bit of brain, he will say that it is much better to be a prosperous vassal of the USA — at least minimally independent with its own currency and its own Central Bank — rather than the bankrupt vassal of the Germans and French. The problem is that there is not ONE political LEADER in Italy willing to take Trump´s hand and test to which extent the USA will really go to help Italy and take a calculated risk to possibly break up the German-French led EU. Certainly this is a good moment like none before, since Italy is becoming again critical for the US in Europe and the Mediterranean (Lybia..), the crisis has acted as catalyst to raise people´s awareness of the inadequacy of both the EU and the €uro, and Italy could join forces with the Brexiteers and maybe take along some other EU countries fed up as well with what the EU has become. Time will tell if the EU appointed traitors which govern in Rome will prevail again and if this crisis goes wasted. Let´s see if — depite all the above — PM Conte still performs its ultimate treason of the people of Italy by signing the ESM implementation the 23.4.2020

Covid-19

  • While Germany, Austria and other EU countries go back to work and seem to have the situation under control, Spain, France, UK and the USA still face big problems. The situation in the northern part of Italy is improving fast — seems thanks to the use of massive doses of Heparin (a blood natural anticoagulant) which seems to dramatically improve the breathing functionality of infected patients, so much that there are now 2900 patients treated in ICU units in the whole territory. The country however remains completely shut including regions which could be go back to work as normal since there are substantially very few new infections. For instance, Bayern in Germany has ca 267 new cases as I write and they are going back to work while Italian Veneto region has only 160 new cases and it is still completely shut down. In average Italy´s infections are growing at 1,6% per day. This is the 2nd slowest growing country in the EU after Austria and still in complete lockdown with devastating economical consequences whose responsibilities shall be fully ascribed to the incompetence of the Conte puppet/traitor government.
  • Keep monitoring: You would think that a decentralized covid-tracking app would be the best option because no one can abuse it, including governments and would therefore be happily adopted by everyone. Nope. Certainly not by governments… The pan-european consortium in charge of developing the covid tracking apps seems to have rejected — without explanation — a decentralized app which was studied to fulfil both the need of tracking the virus for health purposes and the need to preserve privacy. It looks like the EU wants a centralized app which “cannot be externally reviewed and could open the gates of privacy hell and become the wet dream of security services

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