July 29th, 2014

Иван Дурак

David Stockman, On Putin’s “Aggression”: Imperial Washington Is Intoxicated By Another Big Lie

Imperial Washington is truly running amok in its insensible confrontation with Vladimir Putin. The pending round of new sanctions is a counter-productive joke. Apparently, more of Vlad’s posse will be put on double probation, thereby reducing demand for Harry Macklowe’s swell new $60 million apartment units on Park Avenue. Likewise, American exporters of high tech oilfield equipment will be shot in the foot with an embargo; and debt-saturated Russian state companies will be denied the opportunity to bury themselves even deeper in dollar debt by borrowing on the New York bond market. Some real wet noodles, these!
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Иван Дурак

Peter Turchin, "Of Course, War Is Evil!"

I am currently working on a book that tries to answer the question of how we came to live in huge, complex, wealthy, cooperative—and peaceful societies?
My answer is: competition between societies.
And during most of human history, this competition took the form of warfare (this logic is explained in this post).

My analysis shares some common ground with that of Ian’s, and differs significantly in other ways. But I agree with him that it was war that created large cooperative societies. So when we abolish war, as I believe we must, we also need to be careful not to be hit by unintended consequences.

Suppose that Alpha Centaurians arrive in the Earth’s orbit, and effectively stop all interstate wars. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Yes, for a while. But if the Centaurians do not implement an effective alternative mechanism for peaceful intersocietal competition, the utopia will gradually evolve into a dystopia.
Иван Дурак

now is a perfect time to invest in Russia

The bottom line is that:
- a nation willing to sacrifice 20% of its population,
- its western frontiers, and
- its towns and cities

to resist invasion from the West is unlikely to flinch at financial and investment sanctions.

The bulk of Russia’s population is:
- behind Putin, or at least
- skeptical of the West,
- which it rightly sees as hypocritical, vacillating and weak.

From that, I draw 2 conclusions:
1. For those, who have the stomach for it, now is a perfect time to invest in Russia:
- prices are low and
- the ruble is cheap;
- right or wrong, Russia will survive this episode and life will return;
- there is potential for great returns over the medium term;
- that may seem callous, but it is true nonetheless.

2. Be careful on whom you depend:
- Europe cannot strike at Russia without slitting its own throat
- their fortunes are intertwined;
- don’t be like Europe;
- think ahead and make sure your money, investments and property aren’t locked in one country or currency;
- diversify … and always have a back-up plan.

Kind regards,

Ted Baumann
Offshore and Asset Protection Editor