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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Every International Financial Centre (IFC) Should Repeal Every Forced Legalisation Motivated By Any EU/OECD Imitative

Every EU/OECD/FATF Initiative is Illegal

International Financial Centres (IFCs) should form an (OPEC style) organisation and propose a set of universal rules for financial centres


By Professor Gilbert Morris

Professor Morris on Illegal EU,OECD and FATF Initiatives
I won’t say: “I told you so!”
But since it’s promulgation - here and elsewhere - I have rejected the EU’s beneficial ownership initiative as illegal, bogus, unconstitutional wherever adopted and counter to the rules on international agreements in the Vienna Convention on Treaties 1969.
That imitative, like 99% of the EU/OECD/FATF initiatives are:
1. One-sided fiats
2. Secured by threats and one-sided goalpost moving blackmail through Blacklists
3. Unconstitutional
4. Anathema to the multilateral system
5. Undermines basic common law privacy
6. Usurpative and biased
7. Lacked mutuality
International Financial Centres (IFC) - particularly in the Caribbean - will rejoice at this ruling like mistreated children scavenging for crumbs!
But in fact, they had NOTHING to do with it. In every jurisdiction over the decades, I’ve argued that their Attoney’s General should file cases. But, they were all prepared to capitulate as usual; none of them sufficiently schooled in their own constitutions as it relates to the geopolitics of financial centres, and none seemed committed to their sovereign capacity. Instead, all seemed ready with cowardly excuses as to why capitulating was better than standing on constitutional authority and trade rules, upon which - I’ve argued tirelessly - financial centres should be based.
I argued further for 23 years: every EU/OECD/FATF initiative is illegal.
That’s not because I wished to defend lazy capitulating IFCs. Rather, it’s because as citizens of our countries and the world, we must exercise care for the global financial system and its multilateral network by demanding adherence to defensible rules applied to all alike.
As I said a few months ago in an article for IFC Review Journal “every IFC should repeal every forced legalisation motivated by any EU/OECD imitative.”
Additionally and I repeat: IFCs should form an (OPEC style) organisation and propose a set of universal rules for financial centres.
This case is proof that the rule of law approach was right and has been right all along. A lawless sense of superiority on the one hand and cowardice on the other hand permitted it to run so long!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

FTX Ventures was a large money sink

CEO of Alameda explained how they lost it all

All-Hands meeting:

The Alameda/FTX Story in a nutshell
At the all hands meeting, Caroline revealed the truth.  A little over a year ago, FTX started spending a lot of money.  Various investing shell companies set up w/ FTX or Alameda names were created, some known most unknown, that invested in various illiquid assets that no one in the firm or FTX knew about.  

FTX Ventures was a large money sink.  These various illiquid assets were also money sinks.  I think one of the investments was like 1bb on a crypto mining company that went bankrupt?  Alameda had also bought out Binance’s stake in FTX for ~1-2bb.

FTX was buying luxury apartments in The Bahamas, building an office in The Bahamas and then currently in the middie of building a newer, costlier office that would be in the shape of an F. Stadium naming rights, advertisements, endorsements also aren't cheap. 

It's important to note that at this point in time, none of the user funds had been touched and this had all come from mainly from Alameda loaning FTX money and being given FTT as collateral.  Alameda was able to loan so much money to FTX partly because they just had a lot of money, but also because they had many loans themsevies from lenders such as Genesis. 

Getting loans at that time was generally pretty easy.  There is where the hole in the balance sheet came from Around 6 months ago. 

LUNA crashed to 0, sending reverberations across the crypto world as they wiped out ~800bb in market value.  Alameda didn't actually lose much money directly from Luna crashing, in fact they were probably net short at the time of the crash.  

However, the Luna crash caused many firms to become liquidated, the most notable one being 3 Arrows Capital(3AC).  3AC had taken out a ton of loans (see point above about loans being easy to get), and 3AC defaulting caused a lot of these loaners to go bankrupt.  

This event created what is known as the “credit crunch”.  In the credit crunch, many loaners suddenly recalled all of their loans just to see who was still liquid.  

Alameda lost a lot from giving out loans to firms who defaulted.  Alameda was now also on the hook for money they didn't have, since they had given a lot of the loan money to FTX or had lost it loaning to now bankrupt counterparties.  

SBF had two choices at this point, let Alameda get liquidated or send user money from FTX to ensure Alameda’s survival.  

As you read online, SBF chose the latter.  From this point onwards, it was just a ticking time bomb before the truth was found out and both FTX and Alameda liquidated.  

No one at FTX or Alameda knew how much was spent and that FTX user funds had been used to save Alameda.  All the credit crunch did was expedite how quickly FTX/Alameda's frivolous spending would be found out.  Caroline painted Alameda and FTX getting liquidated as a likely event rather than a tail event (which would've been helpful to know before they hired me...).  

It was also revealed at this time that Binance had stepped away from their deal to acquire FTX, citing that the hole in the balance sheet was too big to fill.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Cohesion to confront polarization economically, socially and politically

Polarization Matters Less Than Bridges

By Adri├ín Contursi - Luis Porto:

Polarization Matters Less Than Bridges
The term polarization has traditionally been used in political studies to describe an expansion in the distance between the two political parties that make up the majority of voters in a country.  The process of polarization, on the other hand, refers to the positioning of these communities of actors towards opposite ends of an axis (left-right, liberal-conservative, among others).  

In literature two types of polarization are distinguished, one that is social (or affective) and the other is issue-based.  Social polarization refers to the increase in social distance between political parties.  It is composed of three phenomena: greater partisan bias, greater emotional reactivity and greater activism.  On the other hand, issue-based polarization refers to the traditional concept of polarization, indicating an increasing distance between parties' average positions on specific issues. 

On the other hand, network theory illustrates the importance of gaps and bridges in the structure of relationships.  Relationship networks are social structures in which actors form connections and interact with each other. Through social interactions and network structure, multiple processes and phenomena occur such as information cascades, herd behaviour, the emergence and evolution of social norms, learning and contagion are a few of the most important ones. 

If we stop at contagions, it is worth noting that the morphology of the network matters.

How do information, ideas and behaviours spread?   Simple and complex contagions 

A simple contagion, for example, is how information or a virus spreads in social interactions and in the network of relationships.  A weak relationship is enough for it to spread. 

Complex contagion, on the other hand, is a contagion that involves some kind of personal risk, whether financial, psychological or reputational.  People's behavior and behavioral change is linked to complex contagion.  In this type of contagion, relationships must be strong between people, in general there is a sense of shared identity, of belonging, to family, friends, club, political party...  In the topology of networks strong relationships matter because they promote intimacy and trust because people become responsible for their actions and that fosters solidarity and cooperation. 

More important than emotional triggers, it is social reinforcement in redundant groups that facilitates complex contagion, and politicians have been shown to be complex contagions. 

But since reinforcing or changing behavior requires redundancy, weak relationships are important if they link us to identity groups, to communities, that reinforce the behavior of one's community.  These weak connections between groups can be very important in reinforcing or counterbalancing ideas, beliefs, behaviors. 

These connections between groups is what is called the width of the network, they are the bridges between different communities and are crucial because of their counterbalancing role.  Simple contagions occur through weak relationships but complex contagions occur through redundancy and overlapping clusters and strong relationships, but the more connected to different groups a person is, the more difficult it becomes to convince them due to counterbalancing influences. 

Consequently, for the purposes of analyzing political polarization behavior, it is not only the poles that matter, but also the bridges, the weak connections, between the poles.  The concept of bridges refers to the fact that, if these relationships are erased, each member of each community loses contact with the other community.  

Within each community, identity group, pole, network interactions reinforce one's belief system and make it difficult to reach consensus on conflicting issues with other poles; something called "motivated reasoning bias”.  That is, the more we are criticized, the more we become locked in defense in silos, in politically homogeneous and polarized echo chambers.  

Enmization, the "them or us" is related to polarization but it is not a product of it but of the frame of reference of each identity that generates this "them" or "us".  It is the result of few bridges between the poles. 

A simplified way of presenting the extent to which polarization becomes a problem is then on two axes: number of poles and number of bridges. 

And from this double-entry matrix, a typology can be created.

Social media platforms illustrate this. 

The following are infospaces of the Twitter network for different countries in election circumstances distributed in the four quadrants, according to the previous matrix.  [View Here]

The Twitter infospaces correspond to countries that match the proposed typology.  

The upper quadrant presents the grid of a polarized country with recurrent conflict and violence.  [View Here]

In the upper left quadrant is the network in a country with many factions and few bridges, which is reflected in its parliament and suffers from a lack of governance, also recurrent.  [View Here] 

In the lower left quadrant is a country with many factions but also many bridges.  Without being a perfect pluralism, it is very similar.  [View Here]

Finally, in the lower right quadrant, three poles are shown.  However, the purple community is not a political community but a community of outside accounts.  The pink and orange communities are political and show a large number of bridges between them.  It is a country always considered in high positions in the rankings of different indicators of Democracy.  In addition to the large number of bridges, it has another characteristic common to countries with strong democratic institutions, and that is precisely the low capacity of external actors to influence internal actors.  [View Here]  

In short, polarization in political science has always been associated with the tendency to divide society into extreme positions and to actual and potential conflict.  However, the illustrations presented in this article show that two elements have to come together for actual or potential conflict to appear: the extreme positions and the bridges between them.  

Bridges are also important for governance even when there is pluralism of positions so that this does not turn into factionalism.  Bridges that ensure greater density of relations between interest groups at the economic level, identity groups at the social level and ideological families at the political level. Bridges and fabrics.

Social cohesion understood "as the strength, quality and diversity of relationships between individuals, groups and communities, together with the links between society and the state, markets and other institutions, all based on trust, respect, mutuality and equality of opportunity, for the dignity and well-being of each person and the common good of all".  Cohesion to confront polarization, economically, socially and politically.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The Poverty Pandemic

Correcting course to accelerate poverty reduction


On End Poverty Day we must respond to current challenges in ways that do not further impoverish the poor today and focus on creating opportunities that they can enjoy tomorrow.

End The Poverty Pandemic - Restore Commerce
On End Poverty Day this year, it’s hard to find cause for celebration.  The COVID19 pandemic triggered a historic setback, pushing 70 million people into extreme poverty in 2020 – the largest one-year increase in three decades.  

The war in Ukraine deepened the global economic slowdown, which is now in its steepest decline following a post-recession recovery since 1970.  At this rate, nearly 7 percent of the world’s population – almost 600 million people – will still be struggling in extreme poverty in 2030.   

Whilst the picture is sobering, it is a wake-up call for us to think and act to correct course. It’s important to remember that many of the development challenges we face today did not start with the pandemic.  Riding on the momentum to build back better, it’s a good time to review deficiencies of past policies and underinvestment.  

We must correct course now across a comprehensive range of policies and step-up global cooperation for a lasting recovery to move towards green, resilient, and inclusive development.  

In any crisis, it is the poor that are hit hardest.  According to the latest World Bank analysis, the poorest people bore the steepest costs of the COVID19 pandemic: income losses averaged 4% for the poorest 40%, double the losses of the wealthiest 20% of the income distribution.  

It is the poor who do not have the resources to cope.  During the pandemic, strong fiscal policy measures did help to protect poor and vulnerable people, but poor countries were less successful than rich countries.  With less to spend, low- and lower-middle income economies offset barely a quarter of the impact on poverty.

What may be even more worrying are the long-term consequences of multiple overlapping crises, which could worsen poverty in the near future if we do not accelerate action.  Losses in learning and human capital, as well as climate change are among the most critical.

Losses in Learning and human capital: As a result of prolonged school closures and shocks to household incomes during the pandemic, learning poverty has increased by a third in low- and middle-income countries.  This means that an estimated 70% of 10-year-olds are unable to understand a simple written text. 

Today’s students could lose 10 percent of their future average annual earnings as a result.  Youth have also suffered a loss in human capital, in terms of both skills and jobs. 

Short-term declines in youth employment can lead to more frequent unemployment spells, lower future wages, and increased social unrest.  Beyond reducing incomes, the decline in human capital will lead to lower productivity and less inclusion for decades to come, hindering growth, increasing poverty and inequality.

These trends can be reversed if countries act quickly and decisively, guided by evidence on what works.  We must keep schools open, assess students and match instruction to their levels, streamline the curriculum and focus on foundations  - especially literacy, numeracy, and core socioemotional skills.  And we need to create a national political commitment for learning recovery, guided by credible measurement of learning.  We must not forget to invest in girls’ education – which may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world.

Climate change: The climate crisis is already here, and it could push an additional 132 million people into poverty by 2030.  The adverse consequences of climate change—water scarcity, crop failure, food insecurity, economic shocks, migration, and displacement— can multiply threats by exacerbating conflict, reducing economic opportunities and social cohesion, as well as straining public institutions.

We need to make sure that climate is integrated into development and ensure a well-managed ‘just’ transition towards clean energy sources in a way that protects people, communities, and the environment.  

Developing countries face a triple penalty – they pay more to provide electricity services; they are locked out of economical clean energy projects; and they are locked-in to fossil fuel projects with high and volatile variable costs.  We will need impactful programs and projects, adequate public policies, and significantly increased funding from multiple sources. Countries need to also invest in adaptation and resilience.

A resilient recovery will depend on a wide range of policies, including fiscal reforms that reorient spending away from subsidies toward support targeted to poor and vulnerable groups, and improvements in efficiency and efficacy.  Prioritizing long-term growth requires appropriate investments in crisis readiness, too. 

COVID19 showed us how progress achieved over decades can vanish overnight when such readiness is lacking.  Public investments that support long-run development, such as investments in human capital of young people or investments in infrastructure as well as research and development can have a positive impact on growth, inequality and poverty decades later.

We must respond to current challenges in ways that do not further impoverish the poor today and focus on creating opportunities that they can enjoy tomorrow.


Thursday, September 22, 2022


You can keep your crumbling cookies, 5Billion Sales!

By Dennis Dames

5 Billion Sales MLM Scam Online
It's Thursday September 22, 2022 - heading on to two months since the arrogant and shameless criminals at 5Billion Sales MLM Program locked-out many thousands of well-intentioned affiliates - on August 01, 2022.  They did this after taking us through a fraudulent verification process - where they with ill-intentions, collected our personal information.

They are now saying that they are conducting a manual verification from their back office on every locked-out affiliate, and will contact us accordingly when that exercise is completed.  I doubt that that will ever happen.

The 5Billion Sales criminal organization has already directed all of our affiliate tagged URLs to their main page.  That was the plan all along - in my humble opinion.  It's a typical strategy of crooked MLM operators; to use innocent folks to build their elaborate Online scam establishment, and reap a whole lot of undeserved traffic.

To add insult to injury, they have included an "ACCEPT COOKIES" BUTTON to their website!  DON'T ACCEPT 5BILLION SALES POISONOUS COOKIES.


Keep connected with this blog for further details and info on this monumental 5Billion Sales MLM scam.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Authorities in Asia are increasingly sensitive to the rising risks posed by crypto as adoption continues to spread

Crypto regulation, and regulatory frameworks are underway in several countries including India, Vietnam and Thailand

To be fully effective, crypto regulation should be closely coordinated across jurisdictions

The extent of integration of crypto into the financial system in Asia 

Crypto is More in Step With Asia’s Equities, Highlighting Need for Regulation

By Nada ChoueiriAnne-Marie Gulde-Wolf and Tara Iyer

Crypto trading volume, and co-movement with equity markets, has surged in the region.

Risks posed by crypto as adoption continues to spread
Few parts of the world have embraced crypto assets like Asia, where top adopters include individual and institutional investors from India to Vietnam and Thailand.  This raises the important issue of the extent of integration of crypto into the financial system in Asia.

While digitalization can aid in the transition to an environmentally-conscious payment system and also foster financial inclusion, crypto can pose financial stability risks.

Before the pandemic, crypto seemed insulated from the financial system.  Bitcoin and other assets showed little correlation with Asian equity markets, which helped diffuse financial stability concerns.

Crypto trading, however, soared as millions stayed home and received government aid, while low interest rates and easy financing conditions also played a role.  The total market value of the world’s crypto assets surged 20-fold in just a year and a half to $3 trillion in December.  Then it plunged to less than $1 trillion in June as central bank interest rate increases to contain inflation ended easy access to cheap borrowing.

While the financial sector appears to have been insulated from these sharp movements, it may not be in future boom-bust cycles.  Contagion could spread through individual or institutional investors that may hold both crypto and traditional financial assets or liabilities.  Large losses on crypto may drive these investors to rebalance their portfolios, possibly causing financial-market volatility or even default on traditional liabilities.

As Asian investors piled into crypto, the correlation between the performance of the region’s equity markets and crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has increased.  While the returns and volatility correlations between Bitcoin and Asian equity markets were low before the pandemic, these have increased significantly since 2020.

For example, the return correlations of Bitcoin and Indian stock markets have increased by 10-fold over the pandemic, suggesting limited risk diversification benefits of crypto.  The volatility correlations have increased by 3-fold suggesting possible spillovers of risk sentiment among the crypto and equity markets.

Key drivers of the increased interconnectedness of crypto and equity markets in Asia could include growing acceptance of crypto-related platforms and investment vehicles in the stock market and at the over-the-counter market, or more generally growing crypto adoption by retail and institutional investors in Asia, many of whom have positions in both the equity and crypto markets.

Using the spillover methodology developed in our January Global Financial Stability Note, we also find that the rise in crypto-equity correlations in Asia has been accompanied by a sharp rise in crypto-equity volatility spillovers in India, Vietnam, and Thailand.  This indicates a growing interconnectedness between the two asset classes that permits the transmission of shocks that can impact financial markets.

Accordingly, authorities in Asia are increasingly sensitive to the rising risks posed by crypto as adoption continues to spread.  They have therefore dialed up their focus on crypto regulation, and regulatory frameworks are underway in several countries including India, Vietnam and Thailand.

A significant effort is also needed to address important data gaps that still prevent domestic and international regulators from fully understanding ownership and use of crypto and its intersection with the traditional financial sector.

Regulatory frameworks for crypto in Asia should be tailored to the main uses of such assets within the countries.  They should establish clear guidelines on regulated financial institutions and seek to inform and protect retail investors.  Finally, to be fully effective, crypto regulation should be closely coordinated across jurisdictions.


Monday, August 29, 2022

Now is the time to build a digital lifeline – before the next disaster hits

Secure and resilient internet infrastructure is a fundamental necessity

The world needs a digital lifeline


This piece was originally published on Project Syndicate on July 19, 2022.

People Need A Digital Lifeline for a better quality of life all around

In periods of crisis, digital technologies provide a lifeline that keeps people, communities, and businesses functioning.  From the COVID-19 pandemic to violent conflicts and natural disasters, being connected has allowed us to continue working, learning, and communicating.

How policymakers have responded to these emergencies has played a large part. In particular, as a new paper by the World Bank Group’s Development Committee shows, more agile regulation has accelerated digitalization and unleashed innovation.  In today’s global context of several overlapping crises, this needs to become the norm.  Secure and resilient internet infrastructure is a fundamental necessity.

During the pandemic, as more and more of our lives went online, internet usage spiked worldwide. In 2020, 800 million people went online for the first time, and 58 low- and middle-income countries used digital payments to deliver COVID-19 relief. 

To manage that surge, governments and regulators in more than 80 countries moved quickly to change rules, including those governing the allocation of radio spectrum – the electromagnetic waves used for wireless communications.  In Ghana, regulators assigned temporary radio spectrum to networks in high demand, and all mobile-service providers were granted permission to expand coverage.  This resulted in better-quality service for more than 30 million mobile subscribers, letting them “go” to work, learn online, and access essential services.

Agile regulations have also helped digital technologies offer critical support to people in fragile and conflict situations.  In Ukraine, the presence of a strong internet connection through satellite links, even while terrestrial infrastructure is under attack, has enabled the government to communicate with its citizens in real time.  At the beginning of the war, shelling and cyberattacks were predicted to take down the internet, but innovations such as the satellite hookups have kept the country online.  Here, too, the Ukrainian government moved quickly to speed up permissions and adapt rules.

But a digital lifeline is effective only if it is safeguarded from cyberattack, something that Ukraine knows well.  For many years, the country has been a testing ground for strikes on infrastructure.  Hackers carried out waves of attacks that hit Ukraine’s distribution centers, call centers, and power grid.

And it’s not just Ukraine.  All countries are vulnerable to these incursions.  The United States fell victim to cyberattacks last year that took down its largest fuel pipeline, leaving many Americans in long lines to fill their gas tanks.  And in Africa, Kenyan internet users endured more than 14 million malware incidents in 2020.

Like cyberattacks, nature can cause damage to communications infrastructure that demands an agile reaction.  A volcanic eruption in January this year sent the island nation of Tonga into digital darkness.  The eruption cut Tonga’s single undersea telecom cable and threw the country into 38 days of isolation from the internet and much of the outside world.  This crisis has prompted discussions about how to strengthen the network and emergency-response systems, so Tongans are not at risk of digital darkness again.

To mitigate such vulnerabilities, unleashing digitalization needs to be a high priority even in periods of relative calm.  Potentially transformative yet fast-evolving technologies require policymakers to promote financing, regulations, and institutions that make it easier to test out new ideas in real life.  Some countries are starting to make progress.  Kazakhstan is using agile regulation to digitalize, decentralize, and decarbonize its vitally important energy operations.

Unlocking the potential of digitalization for the masses through well-targeted regulation can also help close the digital divide and improve welfare.  

Recent research has shown that the availability of cheaper internet access increases employment among low-income households.

Countries such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Malaysia provide low-cost plans for poorer users.  

Digital access is essential for people all over the world, especially residents of under-connected rural areas, the poor, women, and the displaced.  In Nigeria and Tanzania, poverty rates fell by seven percentage points in areas with internet connections.

With the world facing multiple emergencies, policymakers need to mobilize digital connectivity to improve the daily welfare of the most vulnerable populations.  Right now, innovation is moving so fast that many officials, especially in developing countries, are finding it hard to keep up and ensure that the benefits of digitalization reach the people who need them most.

But we should not need a crisis to accelerate the transformation.  Now is the time to build a digital lifeline – before the next disaster hits.

Read more about the World Bank’s work on digital development and the digital lifeline that proved crucial in the pandemic in this recent paper on digitalization and development.