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THROW YOUR FD's in FDS

Factset: How You can Invest in Hedge Funds’ Biggest Investment
Tl;dr FactSet is the most undervalued widespread SaaS/IT solution stock that exists
If any of you have relevant experience or are friends with people in Investment Banking/other high finance, you know that Factset is the lifeblood of their financial analysis toolkit if and when it’s not Bloomberg, which isn’t even publicly traded. Factset has been around since 1978 and it’s considered a staple like Bloomberg in many wealth management firms, and it offers some of the easiest to access and understandable financial data so many newer firms focused less on trading are switching to Factset because it has a lot of the same data Bloomberg offers for half the cost. When it comes to modern financial data, Factset outcompetes Reuters and arguably Bloomberg as well due to their API services which makes Factset much more preferable for quantitative divisions of banks/hedge funds as API integration with Python/R is the most important factor for vast data lakes of financial data, this suggests Factset will be much more prepared for programming making its way into traditional finance fields. According to Factset, their mission for data delivery is to: “Integrate the data you need with your applications, web portals, and statistical packages. Whether you need market, company, or alternative data, FactSet flexible data delivery services give you normalized data through APIs and a direct delivery of local copies of standard data feeds. Our unique symbology links and aggregates a variety of content sources to ensure consistency, transparency, and data integrity across your business. Build financial models and power customized applications with FactSet APIs in our developer portal”. Their technical focus for their data delivery system alone should make it stand out compared to Bloomberg, whose UI is far more outdated and complex on top of not being as technically developed as Factset’s. Factset is the key provider of buy-side portfolio analysis for IBs, Hedge funds, and Private Equity firms, and it’s making its way into non-quantitative hedge funds as well because quantitative portfolio management makes automation of risk management and the application of portfolio theory so much easier, and to top it off, Factset’s scenario analysis and simulation is unique in its class. Factset also is able to automate trades based on individual manager risk tolerance and ML optimization for Forex trading as well. Not only does Factset provide solutions for financial companies, they are branching out to all corporations now and providing quantitative analytics for them in the areas of “corporate development, M&A, strategy, treasury, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations workflows”. Factset will eventually in my opinion reach out to Insurance Risk Management a lot more in the future as that’s a huge industry which has yet to see much automation of risk management yet, and with the field wide open, Factset will be the first to take advantage without a shadow of a doubt. So let’s dig into the company’s financials now:
Their latest 8k filing reported the following:
Revenue increased 2.6%, or $9.6 million, to $374.1 million compared with $364.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2019. The increase is primarily due to higher sales of analytics, content and technology solutions (CTS) and wealth management solutions.
Annual Subscription Value (ASV) plus professional services was $1.52 billion at May 31, 2020, compared with $1.45 billion at May 31, 2019. The organic growth rate, which excludes the effects of acquisitions, dispositions, and foreign currency movements, was 5.0%. The primary contributors to this growth rate were higher sales in FactSet's wealth and research workflow solutions and a price increase in the Company's international region
Adjusted operating margin improved to 35.5% compared with 34.0% in the prior year period primarily as a result of reduced employee-related operating expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 11.0% to $2.63 compared with $2.37 for the same period in fiscal 2019.
Adjusted diluted EPS rose 9.2% to $2.86 compared with $2.62 in the prior year period primarily driven by an improvement in operating results.
The Company’s effective tax rate for the third quarter decreased to 15.0% compared with 18.6% a year ago, primarily due to an income tax expense in the prior year related to finalizing the Company's tax returns with no similar event for the three months ended May 31, 2020.
FactSet increased its quarterly dividend by $0.05 per share or 7% to $0.77 marking the fifteenth consecutive year the Company has increased dividends, highlighting its continued commitment to returning value to shareholders.
As you can see, there’s not much of a negative sign in sight here.
It makes sense considering how FactSet’s FCF has never slowed down:
https://preview.redd.it/frmtdk8e9hk51.png?width=276&format=png&auto=webp&s=1c0ff12539e0b2f9dbfda13d0565c5ce2b6f8f1a

https://preview.redd.it/6axdb6lh9hk51.png?width=593&format=png&auto=webp&s=9af1673272a5a2d8df28f60f4707e948a00e5ff1
FactSet’s annual subscriptions and professional services have made its way to foreign and developing markets, and many of them are opting for FactSet’s cheaper services to reduce costs and still get copious amounts of data and models to work with.
Here’s what FactSet had to say regarding its competitive position within the market of providing financial data in its last 10k: “Despite competing products and services, we enjoy high barriers to entry and believe it would be difficult for another vendor to quickly replicate the extensive databases we currently offer. Through our in-depth analytics and client service, we believe we can offer clients a more comprehensive solution with one of the broadest sets of functionalities, through a desktop or mobile user interface or through a standardized or bespoke data feed.” And FactSet is confident that their ML services cannot be replaced by anybody else in the industry either: “In addition, our applications, including our client support and service offerings, are entrenched in the workflow of many financial professionals given the downloading functions and portfolio analysis/screening capabilities offered. We are entrusted with significant amounts of our clients' own proprietary data, including portfolio holdings. As a result, our products have become central to our clients’ investment analysis and decision-making.” (https://last10k.com/sec-filings/fds#link_fullReport), if you read the full report and compare it to the most recent 8K, you’ll find that the real expenses this quarter were far lower than expected by the last 10k as there was a lower than expected tax rate and a 3% increase in expected operating margin from the expected figure as well. The company also reports a 90% customer retention rate over 15 years, so you know that they’re not lying when they say the clients need them for all sorts of financial data whether it’s for M&A or wealth management and Equity analysis:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/factset.asp
https://preview.redd.it/yo71y6qj9hk51.png?width=355&format=png&auto=webp&s=a9414bdaa03c06114ca052304a26fae2773c3e45

FactSet also has remarkably good cash conversion considering it’s a subscription based company, a company structure which usually takes on too much leverage. Speaking of leverage, FDS had taken on a lot of leverage in 2015:

https://preview.redd.it/oxaa1wel9hk51.png?width=443&format=png&auto=webp&s=13d60d2518980360c403364f7150392ab83d07d7
So what’s that about? Why were FactSet’s long term debts at 0 and all of a sudden why’d the spike up? Well usually for a company that’s non-cyclical and has a well-established product (like FactSet) leverage can actually be good at amplifying returns, so FDS used this to their advantage and this was able to help the share’s price during 2015. Also, as you can see debt/ebitda is beginning a rapid decline anyway. This only adds to my theory that FactSet is trying to expand into new playing fields. FactSet obviously didn’t need the leverage to cover their normal costs, because they have always had consistently growing margins and revenue so the debt financing was only for the sake of financing growth. And this debt can be considered covered and paid off, considering the net income growth of 32% between 2018 and 2019 alone and the EPS growth of 33%
https://preview.redd.it/e4trju3p9hk51.png?width=387&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f6bee15f836c47e73121054ec60459f147d353e

EBITDA has virtually been exponential for FactSet for a while because of the bang-for-buck for their well-known product, but now as FactSet ventures into algorithmic trading and corporate development the scope for growth is broadly expanded.
https://preview.redd.it/yl7f58tr9hk51.png?width=489&format=png&auto=webp&s=68906b9ecbcf6d886393c4ff40f81bdecab9e9fd

P/E has declined in the past 2 years, making it a great time to buy.

https://preview.redd.it/4mqw3t4t9hk51.png?width=445&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8d719f4913883b044c4150f11b8732e14797b6d
Increasing ROE despite lowering of leverage post 2016
https://preview.redd.it/lt34avzu9hk51.png?width=441&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3742ed87cd1c2ccb7a3d3ee71ae8c7007313b2b

Mountains of cash have been piling up in the coffers increasing chances of increased dividends for shareholders (imo dividend is too low right now, but increasing it will tempt more investors into it), and on top of that in the last 10k a large buyback expansion program was implemented for $210m worth of shares, which shows how confident they are in the company itself.
https://preview.redd.it/fliirmpx9hk51.png?width=370&format=png&auto=webp&s=1216eddeadb4f84c8f4f48692a2f962ba2f1e848

SGA expense/Gross profit has been declining despite expansion of offices
I’m a bit concerned about the skin in the game leadership has in this company, since very few executives/board members have significant holdings in the company, but the CEO himself is a FactSet veteran, and knows his way around the company. On top of that, Bloomberg remains king for trading and the fixed income security market, and Reuters beats out FactSet here as well. If FactSet really wants to increase cash flow sources, the expansion into insurance and corp dev has to be successful.
Summary: FactSet has a lot of growth still left in its industry which is already fast-growing in and of itself, and it only has more potential at its current valuation. Earnings September 24th should be a massive beat due to investment banking demand and growth plus Hedge fund requirements for data and portfolio management hasn’t gone anywhere and has likely increased due to more market opportunities to buy-in.
Calls have shitty greeks, but if you're ballsy October 450s LOL, I'm holding shares
I’d say it’s a great long term investment, and it should at least be on your watchlist.
submitted by WannabeStonks69 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.

Demand for U.S. Dollars

Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.

https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6

https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

Source: Bloomberg
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.

https://preview.redd.it/3vq7v1jg09p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f11b5f5245a8c335ccc60432873e9bad2eb1e1
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.

Institutional Developments

In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
Thank you.

Reference:
[1] How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
[2] The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
[3] Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
[4] Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
[5] Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
[6] Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
[7] McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
[8] Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
[9] Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
[10] Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
[11] Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
[12] The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
[13] Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
[14] Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
[15] New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
[16] Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
[17] Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
[18] Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
[19] Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
[20] Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
submitted by Tokenomy to tokenomyofficial [link] [comments]

Factset DD

Factset: How You can Invest in Hedge Funds’ Biggest Investment
Tl;dr FactSet is the most undervalued widespread SaaS/IT solution stock that exists
If any of you have relevant experience or are friends with people in Investment Banking/other high finance, you know that Factset is the lifeblood of their financial analysis toolkit if and when it’s not Bloomberg, which isn’t even publicly traded. Factset has been around since 1978 and it’s considered a staple like Bloomberg in many wealth management firms, and it offers some of the easiest to access and understandable financial data so many newer firms focused less on trading are switching to Factset because it has a lot of the same data Bloomberg offers for half the cost. When it comes to modern financial data, Factset outcompetes Reuters and arguably Bloomberg as well due to their API services which makes Factset much more preferable for quantitative divisions of banks/hedge funds as API integration with Python/R is the most important factor for vast data lakes of financial data, this suggests Factset will be much more prepared for programming making its way into traditional finance fields. According to Factset, their mission for data delivery is to: “Integrate the data you need with your applications, web portals, and statistical packages. Whether you need market, company, or alternative data, FactSet flexible data delivery services give you normalized data through APIs and a direct delivery of local copies of standard data feeds. Our unique symbology links and aggregates a variety of content sources to ensure consistency, transparency, and data integrity across your business. Build financial models and power customized applications with FactSet APIs in our developer portal”. Their technical focus for their data delivery system alone should make it stand out compared to Bloomberg, whose UI is far more outdated and complex on top of not being as technically developed as Factset’s. Factset is the key provider of buy-side portfolio analysis for IBs, Hedge funds, and Private Equity firms, and it’s making its way into non-quantitative hedge funds as well because quantitative portfolio management makes automation of risk management and the application of portfolio theory so much easier, and to top it off, Factset’s scenario analysis and simulation is unique in its class. Factset also is able to automate trades based on individual manager risk tolerance and ML optimization for Forex trading as well. Not only does Factset provide solutions for financial companies, they are branching out to all corporations now and providing quantitative analytics for them in the areas of “corporate development, M&A, strategy, treasury, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations workflows”. Factset will eventually in my opinion reach out to Insurance Risk Management a lot more in the future as that’s a huge industry which has yet to see much automation of risk management yet, and with the field wide open, Factset will be the first to take advantage without a shadow of a doubt. So let’s dig into the company’s financials now:
Their latest 8k filing reported the following:
Revenue increased 2.6%, or $9.6 million, to $374.1 million compared with $364.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2019. The increase is primarily due to higher sales of analytics, content and technology solutions (CTS) and wealth management solutions.
Annual Subscription Value (ASV) plus professional services was $1.52 billion at May 31, 2020, compared with $1.45 billion at May 31, 2019. The organic growth rate, which excludes the effects of acquisitions, dispositions, and foreign currency movements, was 5.0%. The primary contributors to this growth rate were higher sales in FactSet's wealth and research workflow solutions and a price increase in the Company's international region
Adjusted operating margin improved to 35.5% compared with 34.0% in the prior year period primarily as a result of reduced employee-related operating expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 11.0% to $2.63 compared with $2.37 for the same period in fiscal 2019.
Adjusted diluted EPS rose 9.2% to $2.86 compared with $2.62 in the prior year period primarily driven by an improvement in operating results.
The Company’s effective tax rate for the third quarter decreased to 15.0% compared with 18.6% a year ago, primarily due to an income tax expense in the prior year related to finalizing the Company's tax returns with no similar event for the three months ended May 31, 2020.
FactSet increased its quarterly dividend by $0.05 per share or 7% to $0.77 marking the fifteenth consecutive year the Company has increased dividends, highlighting its continued commitment to returning value to shareholders.
As you can see, there’s not much of a negative sign in sight here.
It makes sense considering how FactSet’s FCF has never slowed down
FactSet’s annual subscriptions and professional services have made its way to foreign and developing markets, and many of them are opting for FactSet’s cheaper services to reduce costs and still get copious amounts of data and models to work with.
Here’s what FactSet had to say regarding its competitive position within the market of providing financial data in its last 10k: “Despite competing products and services, we enjoy high barriers to entry and believe it would be difficult for another vendor to quickly replicate the extensive databases we currently offer. Through our in-depth analytics and client service, we believe we can offer clients a more comprehensive solution with one of the broadest sets of functionalities, through a desktop or mobile user interface or through a standardized or bespoke data feed.” And FactSet is confident that their ML services cannot be replaced by anybody else in the industry either: “In addition, our applications, including our client support and service offerings, are entrenched in the workflow of many financial professionals given the downloading functions and portfolio analysis/screening capabilities offered. We are entrusted with significant amounts of our clients' own proprietary data, including portfolio holdings. As a result, our products have become central to our clients’ investment analysis and decision-making.” (https://last10k.com/sec-filings/fds#link_fullReport), if you read the full report and compare it to the most recent 8K, you’ll find that the real expenses this quarter were far lower than expected by the last 10k as there was a lower than expected tax rate and a 3% increase in expected operating margin from the expected figure as well. The company also reports a 90% customer retention rate over 15 years, so you know that they’re not lying when they say the clients need them for all sorts of financial data whether it’s for M&A or wealth management and Equity analysis:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/factset.asp

FactSet also has remarkably good cash conversion considering it’s a subscription based company, a company structure which usually takes on too much leverage. Speaking of leverage, FDS had taken on a lot of leverage in 2015:

So what’s that about? Why were FactSet’s long term debts at 0 and all of a sudden why’d the spike up? Well usually for a company that’s non-cyclical and has a well-established product (like FactSet) leverage can actually be good at amplifying returns, so FDS used this to their advantage and this was able to help the share’s price during 2015. Also, as you can see debt/ebitda is beginning a rapid decline anyway. This only adds to my theory that FactSet is trying to expand into new playing fields. FactSet obviously didn’t need the leverage to cover their normal costs, because they have always had consistently growing margins and revenue so the debt financing was only for the sake of financing growth. And this debt can be considered covered and paid off, considering the net income growth of 32% between 2018 and 2019 alone and the EPS growth of 33%

EBITDA has virtually been exponential for FactSet for a while because of the bang-for-buck for their well-known product, but now as FactSet ventures into algorithmic trading and corporate development the scope for growth is broadly expanded.

P/E has declined in the past 2 years, making it a great time to buy.

Increasing ROE despite lowering of leverage post 2016

Mountains of cash have been piling up in the coffers increasing chances of increased dividends for shareholders (imo dividend is too low right now, but increasing it will tempt more investors into it), and on top of that in the last 10k a large buyback expansion program was implemented for $210m worth of shares, which shows how confident they are in the company itself.

SGA expense/Gross profit has been declining despite expansion of offices
I’m a bit concerned about the skin in the game leadership has in this company, since very few executives/board members have significant holdings in the company, but the CEO himself is a FactSet veteran, and knows his way around the company. On top of that, Bloomberg remains king for trading and the fixed income security market, and Reuters beats out FactSet here as well. If FactSet really wants to increase cash flow sources, the expansion into insurance and corp dev has to be successful.
Summary: FactSet has a lot of growth still left in its industry which is already fast-growing in and of itself, and it only has more potential at its current valuation. Earnings September 24th should be a massive beat due to investment banking demand and growth plus Hedge fund requirements for data and portfolio management hasn’t gone anywhere and has likely increased due to more market opportunities to buy-in.
submitted by WannabeStonks69 to investing [link] [comments]

Wayland Group DD

I want to use this thread to present the key findings of going through recent Wayland news releases. Everything shown here is public accessible. I have no intention to accuse someone of fraud or something like this, just asking questions ....

Feb 20 2019: Wayland Group Provides Corporate Update
I do not want to speak about the well below average generated revenues nor the revenue forecasts. Just as a side note: Ben had a forecast of ~ $15,000,000 for Q4 2018 (October – December 2018). The corporate update states $1,305,033 for Q4 2018 (< 10 percentage of the forecast). In addition, you cannot whitewash the 480% increase to the previous quarter.

“Wayland has also entered into an agreement to obtain additional funds to support the expansion of the Company’s global footprint and fund development of its flagship Langton facility. This agreement is with certain investment funds managed by Alpha Blue Ocean Inc. (“Alpha Blue”) a money manager based in London, United Kingdom with a strong track record of partnering with public companies and delivering meaningful value to their shareholders.”

Founder and CEO of Alpha Blue Ocean Inc. is Pierre Vannineuse (https://www.linkedin.com/in/piervan/)

Ok let’s have a look at their strong track record:

JUN 21 2018
QuickCool AB (Publ) ("QuickCool" or the "Company") has entered into a financing agreement with European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund through its financial advisor Alpha Blue Ocean Inc.
See: http://news.cision.com/quickcool/quickcool-ab-enters-into-a-financing-agreement-with-european-high-growth-opportunities-securitizatio,c2554476

See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/j7HxzPk.png

Okay next
MAR 28 2018: CybAero and European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund (“EHGO”), advised by Alpha Blue Ocean Advisors Ltd, member of the Alpha Blue Ocean Investment Group (“ABO”), has now signed an agreement regarding a financing solution of up to SEK 52.5 million in the form of thirteen convertible loans, the first loan of SEK 4.5 million and the following twelve loans each of SEK 4 million.
See: http://news.cision.com/cybaero/cybaero-signs-agreement-with-alpha-blue-ocean-for-up-to-sek-52-5-million,c2483046

Seriously? Just 3 months later:
June 22 2018: Sweden’s largest military drone maker files for bankruptcy
“CybAero had provisionally negotiated a financing solution with the Luxembourg-based European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund, or EHGO, to raise $6 million in the form of 13 convertible loans. The EHGO had hired the London-based Alpha Blue Ocean Advisors to mediate a deal. The first tranche in this solution involved a bridge loan amounting to $227,000.
Nasdaq First North rejected this first tranche arrangement and insisted that, in order for trading in its share to resume, CybAero needed to place a minimum of $114,000 in escrow on a authorized bank account. Moreover, Nasdaq First North launched an investigation to determine if the negotiated financing solution violated stock exchange rules.”
See: https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters/unmanned-systems/2018/06/22/swedens-largest-military-drone-maker-files-for-bankruptcy/

Also see: https://simplywall.st/stocks/se/capital-goods/sto-cba/cybaero-shares/news/will-you-be-burnt-by-cybaero-abs-stocba-cash-burn/

Okay next
Feb 20 2018: MOLOGEN AG enters into financing agreement with Alpha Blue Ocean's European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund
See: https://www.dgap.de/dgap/News/corporate/mologen-enters-into-financing-agreement-with-alpha-blue-oceans-european-high-growth-opportunities-securitization-fund/?newsID=1053753

See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/JXVJ7yq.png

Okay next
19 March 2018: Cereno Scientific enters into a financing agreement with European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund through its advisor Alpha Blue Ocean
See: https://www.cerenoscientific.se/en/en/ehgo_agreement

See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/CS7rq5y.png

Okay next
10 Jan 2018: FIT Biotech's EUR 10 million financing agreements' share loan and first part of commitment fee related shares have been handed over today to Alpha Blue Ocean
See: https://www.pm360online.com/fit-biotech-oy-fit-biotechs-eur-10-million-financing-agreements-share-loan-and-first-part-of-commitment-fee-related-shares-have-been-handed-over-today-to-alpha-blue-ocean/

See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/N0XhSQp.png

FIT Biotech Oy Company release 20.02.2019 at 14:30 EET
Liquidity crisis, request for a tranche and changes to financial calendar and date of the Annual General Meeting
Despite the financing agreement in force, Alpha Blue Ocean (”ABO”) has not paid tranches envisaged by the agreement since 12 November 2018. This has resulted in a liquidity crisis in FIT Biotech Oy (”Company”). The Company has today filed a latest request for a tranche with ABO. Unless ABO pays this tranche by 22 February 2019, Company will have to file for bankruptcy.
See: https://www.marketscreener.com/FIT-BIOTECH-OY-22752983/news/FIT-Biotech-Oy-Liquidity-crisis-request-for-a-tranche-and-changes-to-financial-calendar-and-date-o-28037452/

I think you are able to recognize the pattern. However the best is yet to come. Just google “alpha blue ocean death spiral”. Same type of financing for Element ASA – a Norwegian based mining company.

“The Induct Manager will demand a million dollar compensation from the "Death Spiral Mortgage Company" Alpha Blue Ocean Stock Exchange and Finance”
See: https://vaaju.com/norway/the-induct-manager-will-demand-a-million-dollar-compensation-from-the-death-spiral-mortgage-company-alpha-blue-ocean-stock-exchange-and-finance/

Why Would a Company Want Death Spiral Financing?
“A company that seeks death spiral financing basically has no other option to raise money to survive.”
See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/deathspiral.asp

See also:


Biotech Firms Run Away After Industry Party With Topless Dancers
See: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/after-biotech-party-features-topless-dancers-firms-pull-support#gs.RO9Bf8oK

https://i.imgur.com/oQ4n3TC.png
Haha … Sean?

Also have a look after Pierre Vannineuse other investing company Bracknor IG. I did not check, but it possibly has a similar track record.

I could go on like this, but I think you got it. So this means “strong track record and delivering meaningful value to their shareholders.” for Ben?

Next news release:
Feb. 07, 2019: Wayland Group Receives EU-GMP Certification for German Facility
“Wayland Group is pleased to announce that it has received both Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Distribution Practices certifications from the national authority in the State of Saxony for the Company’s Ebersbach facility in Germany.”
See: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/02/07/1711837/0/en/Wayland-Group-Receives-EU-GMP-Certification-for-German-Facility.html

Welcome to EudraGMDP
EudraGMDP is the name for the Union database referred to in article 111(6) of Directive 2001/83/EC and article 80(6) of Directive 2001/82/EC. It contains the following information:
· Manufacturing and import authorisations
· Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates.
· Statements of non-compliance with GMP
· GMP inspection planning in third countries
See: http://eudragmdp.ema.europa.eu/inspections/displayWelcome.do

https://i.imgur.com/W2zdxqH.png

Looks promising

https://i.imgur.com/c6yVRxu.png

SCOPE OF AUTHORISATION
Name and address of the site : Maricann GmbH, Moritzburger Weg 1, Ebersbach OT Naunhof, Sachsen, 01561, Germany
Human Medicinal Products
Authorised Operations
IMPORTATION OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS (according to part 2)
Part 2 - IMPORTATION OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
2.3 Other importation activities
2.3.1 Site of physical importation
2.3.2 Importation of intermediate which undergoes further processing

But where is the GMP certificate? Latest GMP certificates for Germany:

https://i.imgur.com/bZxouN0.png
https://i.imgur.com/ZOlvlwo.png

Just for their facility in Canada. Maybe the missing of the announced GMP certificate is because of the german tender process. Maybe not, who knows …

“These certifications provide Wayland with the foundation to start selling product into the lucrative German and other developing European markets …”

Oh really? Not in my view …

Next news release:
Jan. 31, 2019: Wayland Group Comments on Recent Promotional Market Activity

“Since September 1, 2017 the Company has engaged MJM Markets and Consulting (Toronto, Canada; Follow The Money Investor Group, o/a 2632436 Ontario Limited (Toronto, Canada); Harbor Access LLC (NY, USA); Investing News Network; M. Davis & Associates Capital Inc (Vancouver, Canada); ERPR AS (Oslo, Norway); BlackX GmbH (Germany); Tycona Media (Vancouver, Canada); DiePRBerator (Germany); Global Financial Network (Toronto, Canada), and Prosdocimi (London, UK) at various times to provide investor relations services, public relations services, marketing, native advertising or other related services including the promotion of the Company, its business and/or its securities.”

See: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/01/31/1708838/0/en/Wayland-Group-Comments-on-Recent-Promotional-Market-Activity.html

Really? What is your business model @ Wayland?!

Just to give you one example:

BlackX GmbH received 1,300,000 shares (each $1.50 = $1,950,000) for the creation/translation of pump articles. See: https://webfiles.thecse.com/CSE_Form_9_-_Notice_of_Issuance_of_Securities_BlackX_12Nov2018.pdf?4gdPoHHl03IN_5qafloB2.0FP4zHeqYb=

For what exactly? Example:
https://www.dgap.de/dgap/News/dgap_media/maricann-group-inc-mit-volldampf-die-zukunft-ceo-ben-ward-gibt-ausblick-ueber-hervorragende-entwicklung-der-wayland-group/?newsID=1110809

A template lacking in content with share price predictions of 3 to 5 Euro (4.5 – 7.5 CAD).

Next news release:
Jan 30 2019: Wayland Group Corporation: European Cannabis Giant Wayland is said to be in advanced talks to purchase and re-open the Voss Water bottling plant in Norway
See: https://www.ftmig.com/company-news-releases/european-cannabis-giant-wayland-is-said-to-be-in-advanced-talks-to-purchase-and-re-open-the-voss-water-bottling-plant-in-norway/

The not named London based Norwegian investor in the last paragraph is probably Lars Christian Beitnes (also mentioned in the second paragraph). After reading his name in a Wayland press release again, I got excited. Again? Yes, I have done some DD about Beitnes when Wayland announced the first Malta LOI with Medican Holdings (USD$10.1MM for a recently created shell company in Malta) - see: https://www.newcannabisventures.com/maricann-to-pay-10-million-to-acquire-malta-licensed-cannabis-producer-medican-holdings/

I was glad when Malta Enterprise terminated this LOI “Malta Enterprise then contacted Maricann to request the Company make its own application, as their preference was to work through Maricann rather than Medican.“ – see: https://www.newcannabisventures.com/maricann-to-pursue-malta-medical-cannabis-license-independently/

Why am I shocked to see the name Beitnes and Wayland in a press release?
In my view Beitnes is far away from being a person you should do deals with. He is being accused to be part of several frauds/scams in the past/present and recently left as a Chairmen of Element ASA – see: https://www.dn.no/bors/element/lars-christian-beitnes/rikard-storvestre/avtroppende-styreleder-far-100000-kroner-i-maneden-for-radgivning/2-1-498862

Element ASA … wait … yea the norwegian based mining company who is the victim of the death spiral financing by Alpha Blue Ocean Inc.!!!

There is a long thread about him in a Norwegian stock community with everything mentioned why you should avoid him – see: https://forum.hegnar.no/thread/16282/view/0/0?page=1

Because of the length of the thread, see some highlights:

I know this is much content, but if you want to make your own picture of Beitnes just dig into this whole Element ASA debacle starting last year. Two auditors (EY & PwC) and the CFO left Element … Then Beitnes left as Chairmen but now serving as external consultant for Element receiving 100.000 NOK monthly. https://www.dn.no/bors/element/lars-christian-beitnes/rikard-storvestre/avtroppende-styreleder-far-100000-kroner-i-maneden-for-radgivning/2-1-498862 would be a good start. Or dig deeper into the Swedish Pensions Authority lawsuit against Beitnes.

Finally … just ask yourself why does Ben deals with such shady persons? Did Ben no DD on those guys or did he not want to … And that is just the top of the iceberg.


TO BE CONTINUED
submitted by PHan222 to weedstocks [link] [comments]

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

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

Ask yourself:

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

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

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

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

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

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

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

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

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

US CIA Coup Playbook:

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

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

Ask yourself:

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

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

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

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

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

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

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

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

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

US CIA Coup Playbook:

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

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

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

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

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.
Suggested Reading:
When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
submitted by roy_batty3000 to Communist [link] [comments]

COMPREHENSIVE Forex Trading SOLUTION/ANSWER; FEEDBACK NEEDED

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
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Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
submitted by gentlestream to Forex [link] [comments]

Feedback Needed

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
submitted by gentlestream to algotrading [link] [comments]

Feedback Needed

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
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There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
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Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
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What is Divergence in Forex? - Technical Analysis Trading Tutorial

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