Dico Lucidas - Taceo Nubilas

Wisdom is the sunlight of the soul

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing

Aristotle

I intended to make a Blog, partly because I wanted to communicate with my large and extended family, in a way that all members could see it. Partly, because I wanted to tell my life story before my family read someone else stories about me. Because I have never spoken, others have seized control of my story. Now I will attempt to tell my story, in a way that futures members of my family will have something to read about me, my words, my truth and not all the lies and fiction.

“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky, White Nights

The great writer Amos Oz, in his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, writes “my ambition was to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants, writers are not hard to kill. But not books. However systematically you try to destroy them there is always a chance that a copy will survive.” I believe that in the age of the Internet, something will remain in someone’s mind and the seed will have been sown and perhaps one day, the truth will emerge from the darkness and soil of lies.

Many writers have long argued that it is senseless to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction; it is all writing. We live faster than ever before with information, facts and content raptures form. Breaks and changes it, there are no borders between fact and fabrication, one flows into the other. Witnesses are never impartial. In telling a story, humans create, they wrestle time like sculpture does marble. They are actors and creators.

Continue…. 2016

I have been saying now for decades, ultimately, we all have to face reality and the music. Someone has to pay from all the printing of money and debts – One day.

This morning I received an email today:

The Chairman of the Fed knows this. The President knows it. So does the Treasury Secretary. In fact, nearly everyone at the top levels of the U.S. Government knows it, too. But they would never say it out loud. Not even to themselves. If they did, the whole house of cards would come tumbling down.

What’s their dirty little secret? The national debt is now too big to be paid off! That’s right, the U.S. A.’s national debt of $28 trillion dollars — $157 trillion if you count the bills we have to pay in the future — is now too big to be repaid by raising taxes or cutting spending.

There’s only one way out of this fiscal crisis, and they’re not going to tell you about it for obvious reason. One has to devalue the US Dollar and reset the world monetary system.

This time it is worse than when I wrote in our market report back in 1976, that the meetings of the IMF were discussing to “built” another penthouse on top of another one on the 50th floor of their skyscraper, no one wanted to speak about the fact that the skyscraper was built in a swamp and slowly sinking. Now we have reached the end of all cycles.

As a technical analyst and market technician, I have close to sixty years followed a foundation incorporated in my birth year, the Foundation for the Study of Cycles was incorporated on January 10, 1941, by Edward R. Dewey after he discovered coincidental cycles in nature and business. I read his compelling paper, The Case for Cycles published in 1967 when Dewey presents years of research that convinced him of natural environmental forces that stimulate and depress mankind in mass. This leads me to go to meetings in London City with like-minded people looking at technical analysis of the prices, being bonds, equities and commodities and the first steps to founding STA (The Society of Technical Analysts).

I made an academic paper, in the late 1960s, on the moon influence on the price of cotton and silver over a period of 170 years, at the time, clearly showing the connection with the monthly cycle of the moon. After all, we have known for years that women menstrual period was governed by the moon cycle. Mental and hormonal states are under the influence of the Moon. Just as the Moon takes about 28 days to circle around to Earth, a woman’s menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days.

My Sixty Years of Experience

Have taught me that nothing lasts forever, changes will always come. I started out in adult life as a “financial advisor” nearly 60 years ago; at the time, I was a very young man taking my knowledge from others and indeed from reading many books. After working several years with investment research, including creating the first offshore investment fund report for institutional investors (a technical and quantitative analysis to mutual funds and investment trusts). In fact the word “offshore” had been defined by some of my collegues and me, as stated in the New York Times in 1969. In 1969 co-founded the first company in Europe, possibly in the world, for financial and estate planning in London for High-Net-Worth Investors (HNWI), Associated Financial Planning (AFP). Sadly, I lacked the tenacity to stay the course, mostly totally distracted from the basic investment advice I had for years given to others. 

When I created Scandinavian Capital Exchange in Scandinavia in 1973, I pioneered alternative investment and investment in commodities, including precious metals. Prior to this, I had been an advocate of including at least 10% of gold into your investment portfolio. Even before President Nixon in August 1971, took gold out of the U.S. monetary system, I had recommended holding gold.

Because of well-known events, I did not even consider continuing to work in finance. Central to the relationship in banking and finance is trust. When such trust has become an issue, it can never be restored. This meant I stayed away from this area of work; nevertheless, I did follow the markets from the sideline.

I happened to be in New York on Monday the 19th of October 1987, the Black Monday; I later witnessed near 35 years of history of financial markets. We will now face monumental changes, not only caused by the world pandemic but more due to the printing press of money and a change of cycles.

When Obama was President, I hoped that he would face up to reality, that so much US debt was held by China and by other outside investors. He could so easily tell the world that today we create a “blue” or “pink” dollar and all the greenbacks holders outside US, will have to value themselves. The price and purchase power of the US Dollar will remain the same in US. As to Dollars held outside (according to CIA, most held by enemies), that will be the holder’s responsibility. Now, since he left the presidency, the financial reality has totally changed and the Dollar has to be revalued by a large devaluation, as a total global monetary reset. The best would be to increasing the value of gold, like in 1932by “an executive order” by the US President . Afterall the US have the most gold in the world. Russia and China have been buying and storing gold for years, but nevertheless, US has most.

We are coming into new major cycles, both for wars, inflation and commodity prices. Energy is the greatest inflation hedge, so oil and gas will move, possibly dramatically. Everyone should have gold, silver and palladium in the portfolio, but also industrial metals like copper and nickel will go up. As to equities, the military industry will benefit from major crises and uncertainties. The massive build-up of debt will ultimately lead to bankruptcies of nations. Anyone invested in bonds will lose their shirt. We all have to pay the price for our leaders’ reckless spending schemes, obscene debts and money printing. Without being dramatic, we will witness the collapse of the societies, currencies and investment markets that have been built on those follies. This will happen very soon!!

more to follow…..

The IPO of Coinbase, to me, indicate the top of this market (April 14, 2021)

Somehow, I do not believe in all these cryptocurrencies now; when Coinbase, the Digital Currency Exchange, is worth more than BP, this is unrealistic, moreover, command a higher value than the major stock exchanges in the world together. This is unrealistic and naïve to think that this bubble will not burst. It is the Emperor without clothes, with more than 7000 cryptocurrencies!! Bitcoin trading north of $63,000!!

It is interesting that Coinbase acts as principals and not as an exchange; they can create their own crypto assets, moreover pass on any bad deals to their customers. They first made a profit last year, how convenient, after nine years of trading.

Anyone out there with any sense?

Coinbase is somewhat different from other well-known cryptocurrency exchanges as they are more of a broker than an exchange. This means that when you buy cryptocurrencies on the platform, you are actually purchasing the coins directly from Coinbase, as opposed to trading them with other users.

In return for this, Coinbase charges you to deposit and withdraw funds, as well as a transaction/trading fee every time you buy or sell coins.

Don’t forget you only have the option of going long at Coinbase. This means that you can’t make a profit if you think the markets will go down.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry can create their cryptocurrency; there are now more than 13.500 cryptocurrencies. Most of them have no assets to back their valuation. Worse, no income. They are only making money for their founders and early investors. What realism is there with more than $2 trillion in crypto? All air!!!!!

As FT writes: Sceptics note that cryptocurrencies have yet to achieve widespread adoption in payments and other core areas of the financial system. Jay Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, on Wednesday called cryptocurrencies “vehicles for speculation”, reflecting a view that is still prevalent among policymakers around the world. In 2018, Bank for International Settlements head Agustín Carstens said “cryptocurrencies are, in a nutshell, a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

Others warn prices are only sustained by speculative buyers.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England said last week that investors risked losing all of their money. “They have no intrinsic value. That doesn’t mean to say people don’t put a value on them, because they can have extrinsic value. But they have no intrinsic value,” he said. “I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.”

What will happen if there are future crypto wars? Cyberattack on electricity network? Knocking out all the exchanges? Or that one country like the USA forbid cryptocurrencies? Turkey has just ban digital money payment for goods and services, who is next? China does not allow the citizen to own or trade in cryptocurrencies. What will happen when the government request all banks to reject crypto and inform on owners with crypto accounts to the Revenue? Nearly all the exchanges, act as principals, charging interest on the huge leverage trading; they can monitor all the trading and force price moves, creating more fees and profits – what kind of exchange is that?

I was the co-founder in the late 1960s and early 1970s of a group of Technical Analysts in London, holding regular meetings. Later we incorporated in the late 1980s and became the Society of Technical Analysts (STA), today a highly respected professional association, and leading member of the international Market Technician Association.

I should have predicted all this speculation coming. Moreover, looking at the charts of bitcoin, it appears one of the easiest things to trade and make money in during the last ten years, with regular and very identifiable cycles. 320, 80 and 20 days. I have for years just walked away from something which is so obvious, – I have been blind. For me it is not an issue if all these now 12.000 plus cryptocurrencies is a total fraud, we now have values of more than 2.5 trillion dollars, and despite most of this is just “air” with NOTHING behind., one could have had a fantastic ride both on the up and downside.

Bitcoin lies in the same economic category as financial games like poker, roulette, and the lottery. These are all zero-sum games. The property binding all zero-sum games together is that the amount of resources contributed to the pot is precisely equal to the amount that is paid out. Because nothing additional is created in a zero-sum game, for every player who wins something from the pot, there must be a loser.

Compare this to win-win financial opportunities in financial ssets like stocks or bonds. In the case of a stock, each shareholder’s contribution is used to support the underlying firm’s deployment of capital. This cocktail of machinery, labour, and intellectual property are combined to create products, the sale of which generates a return. Put differently, as long as the firm’s managers deploy the money in the pot wisely; the firm can throw off more cash to shareholders than the sum originally put into the pot.

PS! I have to declare that my opinion might be tainted by the fact that I back in 2011, agreed to receive 280 Bitcoins, as a refund for some software I had purchased with a credit card. The bitcoin was valued at 9-10 cents, it was only reluctantly I agreed, but the developer told me that they had to pay credit card fees and I on my end and it would be better to get bitcoin. I received an electronic wallet for the first time. I did notice during 2012, the value of the bitcoin going up, but I did not have the possibility to engage myself in the trading, as I found the whole concept conspicuous, obviously not knowing much about the whole concept. Nevertheless, I place my wallet in a TrueCrypt encryption, which even later complicated everything more. In 2017 I tried to get into these hard drives which unfortunately had been damaged in the storage by water; however, I failed, with the computer, I believe, having the wallet with the bitcoins. So until now, I have lost 280 bitcoins, having them virtually in my hand in 2011 – at that time with some reluctance.

A good read: The Tether Ponzi Scheme – Single Lunch, reflection what it is all about and indeed how stupid “investors” are – all the time, never learn from history. Shows how to steal USD 60 billion and not go to prison, a lot smarter than Bernard Madoff. It is worth reading Amy Castor investigation and timeline.

What sixty years plus experiences in the financial markets have taught me, reality ultimate comes to everyone. Some have to face the music, with losses, bankruptcies and personal misery and suffering, blaming everyone else. I am still totally convinced this is the greatest Ponzi scheme in history!!!

In the latest update, the crypto market is being constantly manipulated, providing great trading opportunities, however since I wrote above and to now 26 July, more than four months ago, nearly all prices have been crashing.

Today, the FT had an interview with the head of Man Group, Luke Ellis, who said:  “If you look at cryptocurrencies as a whole, it is a pure trading instrument. There is no inherent worth in it whatsoever. It is a tulip bulb,” Ellis said, referring to the flower that became the focus of a 17th-century Dutch financial mania. London-based Man Group, which manages $127bn for clients, is known for using quantitative models that seek to profit from pricing anomalies and trends in the markets. Much of the market action, in crypto trading, involves participants who doubt their ultimate utility.

Crypto is essentially an economic cult that taps into very base human instincts of fear, greed and tribalism, combined with economic illiteracy as a means to recruit greater fools to pile money into what looks like a weird, novel digital variant of a pyramid scheme,” argues Stephen Diehl, a crypto-sceptic software engineer. “Although, it’s all very strange because it’s truly difficult to see where the self-aware scams, true believers and performance art begin and end. Crypto is a bizarre synthesis of all three.”

Given the global financial system’s growing exposure to digital currencies, the culture around crypto, how much or little it changes, could have major consequences for retail investors, central banks and the environment. Crypto’s most ardent proponents predict it will eradicate inequality, wipe out corruption and create untold wealth. Most cults make similarly expansive promises. And as the gulf between promise and reality grows, things get dark.

Be realistic, what will happen to crypto” currencies” when either limited or total war breaks out when paper/fiat money can’t even be used. Only gold and other real valuables can buy something. With no internet connection, even no electricity, where is your electronic wallet? In any conflict, to knock out communication is the first objective, therefore, in any conflict around the world, the internet is the first to go down. Take a hard look at the reality.

Just forget all this, do not, compare bitcoin to gold or any real asset; bitcoin is only an insane illusion of speculators hope, fuelled by the many who purchased this dream at 10 cents, not $69,000. With all these “few” people’s billions, they can suck in all the fools, they can daily manipulate the markets and operate their own “exchanges” for their total benefit, allowing all the fools out there to make stops and sell orders, always taken out, both on the long and short side of the market, making more money for these people. To me, the whole thing is not only the wild west but total criminality and daylight robbery. As of writing near 10,000 cryptos!!!

Most recently, SEC chair Gary Gensler described cryptocurrencies as “wild west” and added that they were “full of fraud, fraud and abuse.”

Although, I have only been an observer, I predicted the collapse of the crypto “currencies, more than 14 months ago. Anyone reading this page last April (2021) could see I predicted that this completely mad hysteria of Bitcoin and crypto with DeFi, was just in reality a one BIG PONZI – a fraud. Sadly, few will be prosecuted and even go to jail.

Never, in my right mind, would I have believed that it was possible to deceive and defraud the world with such a great Ponzi scheme.

It reminds me, what I told the First Institutional Investors Conference in 1969 (at the Savoy Hotel in London), that the world wants to be deceived and indeed referred to another Dane, Hans Christian Andersen, fairy-tale story about an emperor without clothes as two tailors took advantage of people’s stupidity.

I never believed these crypto, latest count more than 22,000 “token”, was a currency, just ridiculous. They represented to me a simple greed and fraud, in its simplicity. Yes, there was many very smart people out there involved and some took away huge fortune.

Nevertheless, it is all the hike and disinformation, it was the emperor without clothes and the early “investors” according to research only 64 people, in Bitcoin, have been able to orchestra the whole concert, moving the market as they liked and to get all the “stupid” people in buying their story.

When every Tom Dick and Henry can “create” a coin, and simply steal money from the public, something ultimately must happen, and we see reality coming to all market including the stock market and bonds. Cash and real value will be KING, I do not see the bottom yet and the real CRASH!! Just wait when the world must account for debt!

“The tide has gone out in crypto, and we’re seeing that many of these businesses and platforms rested on shaky and unsustainable foundations,” said Lee Reiners, a former Federal Reserve official who teaches at Duke University Law School. “The music has stopped.”

If you believe, as I do, that crypto is to a large extent a Ponzi scheme, this may just happen to be the moment when the scheme has run out of new suckers.

But there’s also a more fundamental issue: People who touted cryptocurrencies as a hedge against fiat-currency inflation — sort of a digital equivalent of gold — fundamentally misunderstood how fiat currency systems work, and also, for what it’s worth, misunderstand what has historically driven the price of gold. It was, in fact, predictable that an upsurge in inflation would drive the price of Bitcoin down — although maybe not that it would produce such an epic crash.

An interesting article!!!

Beware of Scams!!!

Decentralized finance is the biggest scam in the cryptocurrency universe | by Max Mittelstaedt I Bitcoin for Governments | Medium

Decentralized finance is the biggest scam in the cryptocurrency universe, it is NOT decentralized, all the hype have just been created to make the founders billions, for little “work”. Decentralized Finance is a lie. 99% of the Altcoins are unfortunately centralized scams.

Defi does not have a secure foundation. Defi projects belong to a company with a CEO, an address and a legal department. Most coins had an ICO (An initial coin offering (ICO) is a type of funding using cryptocurrencies.) where the money was distributed to the founders and foundation.

The implosion of online trading hubs highlights pitfalls of what one legal expert describes as ‘tulipmania’ investments

An interesting article by Concoda:  We’re About to Witness the Great Cryptocurrency Reset,  The crypto movement is destroying itself

“This and other supremacy wars only increase the crypto elite’s ever-increasing power. Just as we’re components in Wall Street’s machine, we’re plebs in the crypto elite’s rising order. It’s our anger and passion that fuel it. They feed us freedom and liberty porn through social channels and the media. They peddle crypto versions of the legacy financial system as rebellious breakthroughs, such as yield-farming, a Ponzi scheme replica of traditional fractional reserve banking, while pocketing the big bucks through fees.

Let’s face it. With the crypto supremacy wars fueling more division and inequality, the Bitcoin elite wreaking havoc on a global scale, and the community abandoning Nakamoto’s sound money vision to participate in Ponzi schemes, it’s sad but true: the crypto movement is slowly destroying itself.

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger called bitcoin “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”
“I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air,” he said. The 97-year-old Munger has long criticized bitcoin for its extreme volatility and a lack of regulation.
I somewhat agree with him, however, blockchain is here to stay and a DeFi revolution will happen.

Looking at Bitcoin here in early 2022, it looks for me that we will have a socalled head and shoulder formation bring Bitcoin back under US Dollar 10,000 with Etherium most likely far under 1,000. Something will cause all this – the reality of market and value.

I believe we are going see the 1970s all over again, I strongly believe that we will see that gold and silver prices will go dramatically higher. Just think for a moment, the US have 100 trillion of unfunded liabilities. They must devalue the US Dollar somehow.

 

US-China doomsday threat ramped up by hi-tech advances, says Kissinger

Former US secretary of state says the strained relationship is world’s ‘biggest problem’, in an interview in Die Welt interview published on Sunday. Former US diplomat Henry Kissinger has said that US-China tensions threaten to engulf the entire world and could lead to an Armageddon-like clash between the two military and technology giants.

Strains with China are “the biggest problem for America, the biggest problem for the world,” Kissinger told the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum on global issues. “Because if we can’t solve that, then the risk is that all over the world a kind of cold war will develop between China and the United States.”

His comments came as US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, warned that “the way we fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones”, in his first major policy speech.

Kissinger said that while nuclear weapons were already large enough to damage the entire globe during the cold war, advances in nuclear technology and artificial intelligence – where China and the US are both leaders – have multiplied the doomsday threat.

“For the first time in human history, humanity has the capacity to extinguish itself in a finite period of time,” Kissinger said. “We have developed the technology of a power that is beyond what anybody imagined even 70 years ago.”  “And now, to the nuclear issue is added the hi-tech issue, which in the field of artificial intelligence, in its essence is based on the fact that man becomes a partner of machines and that machines can develop their own judgment,” he said.

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that aired on Sunday (May 2) that China had recently acted “more aggressively abroad” and was behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways”.

Asked by CBS News’ 60 Minutes programme if Washington was heading towards a military confrontation with Beijing, Mr Blinken said: “It’s profoundly against the interests of both China and the United States to, to get to that point, or even to head in that direction.”

He added: “What we’ve witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact.”

Asked about the reported theft of hundreds of billions of dollars or more in US trade secrets and intellectual property (IP) by China, Mr Blinken said the Biden administration had “real concerns” about the IP issue.

He said it sounded like the actions “of someone who’s trying to compete unfairly and increasingly in adversarial ways. But we’re much more effective and stronger when we’re bringing like-minded and similarly aggrieved countries together to say to Beijing: ‘This can’t stand and it won’t stand’.

Conditions are ripe for a repeat of 1970s stagflation and 2008 debt crisis

Professor Nouriel Roubini writes in the Guardian; “Warning signs are there for global economy, and central banks will be left in an impossible position”

“In April, I warned that today’s extremely loose monetary and fiscal policies, when combined with a number of negative supply shocks, could result in 1970s-style stagflation (high inflation alongside a recession). In fact, the risk today is even bigger than it was then.”

I totally agree, we are truly in for something big. 

The Scandals about Jersey – Channel Islands

Lawyers and trustees from Jersey Channel Island stole my property, my home for many years, overlooking Monaco in 2014 by removing me as a director of a Jersey registered company, I was 100 % shareholder of the company. They stole everything, the large property, my art collection, a collection of rare and first edition books, and all my family’s items. (see shortly Equiom-Fraud.com and Wanted for Theft of My Home). A list of the people involved!

Interesting, not surprising, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has exposed the fraudulent and corrupt system in Jersey in a detailed report, stealing millions from the client. The report: Lost trust: leaked files expose Jersey’s inaction on fraud scandal. I have for years advised people not to use Jersey; as I know well, back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, they just stole people’s money by charging outrageous fees and creating a situation where they could milk the clients. At times, they would secretly inform on their clients so that they could by Courts sit on the money for years, milking fees and using the money.

The report states that Jersey: Has £1 trillion sitting in its trusts, companies, funds and foundations, according to a report commissioned by Jersey’s finance lobby group, and much of this is pumped into London. With so much money under its domain, Jersey has staked its reputation on being a better-regulated and more transparent tax haven than other offshore jurisdictions.

A huge leak of secret files from a prominent Jersey trust company tells a different story. The 350,000 pages of internal records show that over the span of several decades from the early 1980s, the La Hougue group advised numerous clients, many of them based in the UK, on how to minimise their taxes, both through legal avoidance measures and occasionally bordering on tax evasion.

But behind the scenes, it used client money for personal expenses by borrowing from clients under the guise of investments and onboarding new clients to repay the existing ones. It sometimes fabricated paper trails for itself and for clients, some former trustees admitted in a US court. All of these are breaches of trust law. In one instance, it helped a Canadian company evade a CA$10m tax bill by engineering a fake bankruptcy, the records show.

Read the report from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Alexei Navalny calls for tougher action on global corruption

The jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has written from behind bars to urge western politicians to take meaningful action against global corruption and to impose personal sanctions against oligarchs “in the entourage of Vladimir Putin”.

Writing in the Guardian before the first anniversary of his poisoning on 20 August last year, Navalny lambasts western leaders for not doing more to tackle what he admits is a “tricky issue”. He says his own survival after being exposed to novichok was only down to incompetence and corruption inside Russia’s FSB spy agency.

Afghanistan collapsed because corruption had hollowed out the state

The Afghan state was held together by theft, extortion and nepotism – at the highest levels. I found an interesting article in the Guardian by Zack Kopplin is an investigator at the Government Accountability Project. See: The Guardian 

 

Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years

Science and religion have often been at odds. But if we remove the theology—views about the nature of God, the creation of the universe, and the like—from the day-to-day practice of religious faith, the animosity in the debate evaporates. What we’re left with is a series of rituals, customs, and sentiments that are themselves the results of experiments of sorts. Over thousands of years, these experiments, carried out in the messy thick of life as opposed to sterile labs, have led to the design of what we might call spiritual technologies—tools and processes meant to soothe, move, convince, or otherwise tweak the mind. And studying these technologies has revealed that certain parts of religious practices, even when removed from a spiritual context, are able to influence people’s minds in the measurable ways psychologists often seek.

My lab has found, for example, that having people practice Buddhist meditation for a short time makes them kinder. After only eight weeks of study with a Buddhist lama, 50 percent of those who we randomly assigned to meditate daily spontaneously helped a stranger in pain. Only 16 percent of those who didn’t meditate did the same. (In reality, the stranger was an actor we hired to use crutches and wear a removable foot cast while trying to find a seat in a crowded room.) Compassion wasn’t limited to strangers, though; it also applied to enemies. Another study showed that after three weeks of meditation, most people refrained from seeking revenge on someone who insulted them, unlike most of those who did not meditate. Once my team observed these profound impacts, we began looking for other linkages between our previous research and existing religious rituals.

Gratitude, for instance, is something we had studied closely, and a key element of many religious practices. Christians often say grace before a meal; Jews give thanks to God with the Modeh Ani prayer every day upon awakening. When we studied the act of giving thanks, even in a secular context, we found it made people more virtuous. In a study where people could get more money by lying about the results of a coin flip, the majority (53 percent) cheated. But that figure dropped dramatically for people who we first asked to count their blessings. Of these, only 27 percent chose to lie. We’ve also found that when feeling gratitude to a person, to fate, or to God, people become more helpfulmore generous, and even more patient.

Even very subtle actions—like moving together in time—can exert a significant effect on the mind. We see synchrony in almost every religion the world over: Buddhists and Hindus often chant together in prayer; Christians and Muslims regularly kneel and stand in unison during worship; Jews often sway, or shuckle, when reciting prayers together. These actions belie a deep purpose: creating connection. To see how it works, we asked pairs of strangers to sit across a table from one another, put on headphones, and then tap a sensor on the table in front of them each time they heard a tone. For some of these pairs, the sequence of tones matched, meaning they’d be tapping their hands in unison. For others, they were random, meaning hand movements wouldn’t be synchronized. Afterwards, we created a situation where one member of each pair got stuck doing a long and difficult task. Not only did those who had been moving their hands in unison report feeling more connection with and compassion for their partner who was now toiling away, 50 percent of them decided to lend the partner a hand—a big increase over the 18 percent who decided to help without having just moved in sync.

The combined effects of simple elements like these—ones that change how we feel, what we believe, and who we can depend on—accumulate over time. And when they’re embedded in religious practices, research has shown they can have protective properties of sorts. Regularly taking part in religious practices lessens anxiety and depression, increases physical health, and even reduces the risk of early death. These benefits don’t come simply from general social contact. There’s something specific to spiritual practices themselves.”

Chinese could hack data for future quantum decryption, report warns

‘Threat groups’ could target valuable secrets with aim of unlocking them when computing power allows

Chinese hackers could target heavily encrypted datasets such as weapon designs or details of undercover intelligence officers with a view to unlocking them at a later date when quantum computing makes decryption possible, a report warns.
Analysts at Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, say Chinese hackers could also steal pharmaceutical, chemical and material science research that can be processed by quantum computers – machines capable of crunching through numbers at unprecedented speed.

I wonder what will these quantum computers do to the crypto market?

Nicole Perlroth’s sobering investigation into the cyber weapons arms race, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends, has been named Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year for 2021. The judges lauded Perlroth’s unprecedented in-depth analysis, which they said had opened their eyes to the potential for a cyber catastrophe.

Roula Khalaf, FT editor and chair of judges, said: “Cyber security isn’t featuring highly enough on CEOs’ agenda. I hope this award will prompt them to read this book and pay attention.” In her prologue to the book, published by Bloomsbury, Perlroth hopes it will shine “a glimmer of light on the highly secretive and largely invisible cyber weapons industry so that we . . . may have some of the necessary conversations now before it is too late”.

Magnus Tyreman, McKinsey’s managing partner Europe, who presented Perlroth with the award at a ceremony in London, said it was “an alarming book” that “makes a compelling, granular and matter-of-fact case for how vulnerable global computer systems have become, even as it also comes with an urgent plea for specific and systematic action”.

For years I have been a supporter of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, this is what they wrote today (26.02.2022):

Like all of you, I’ve been following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with absolute horror and disbelief. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is responsible for what can only be described as an entirely unprovoked attack by a nuclear power on a much weaker neighbour. After a while, my mind wandered back to the UK to think about our role in all of this.

I lead the Bureau’s Enablers team. We were set up in 2020 to explore the role British lawyers, bankers, accountants and others play in facilitating corruption and wrongdoing abroad. These are the enablers. Without them, Putin would be a lot weaker.

The freedom the tycoons depending on Putin have in the UK is essential for him to keep their support and maintain his iron grip on power. They buy the most luxurious homes in London. They send their children to the UK’s finest private schools. And should the police ever start questioning the source of their billions, London’s smartest lawyers bury any inquiry in a blizzard of legal threats. Journalists like us, who dare try to shine a light on the underbelly of London’s wealth business, face the same onslaught.

Prime minister Boris Johnson joined the US and EU in announcing a raft of sanctions against Russian oligarchs, banks, companies and more. He promised to reform Companies House, the UK’s corporate registry, strengthen police efforts against kleptocrats and publish a register of all the properties owned by overseas companies.

Both the Russian invasion and the response are unprecedented for almost everyone reading this. But we’ve heard promises of similar punitive measures before. After the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 and the 2018 poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal on British soil, the government promised to unravel the insidious relationship between oligarchs and the enablers. And yet nothing has happened. Instead, the ruling party accepts millions in donations from politically connected Russian oligarchs. And enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency and Serious Fraud Office are like mice nibbling away at a mountain – they are woefully underfunded and lack the political support they need to be effective.

In the past two years, my team has revealed how lawyers exploit English courts on behalf of the Russian state. We have exposed the ethically borderline tactics former British special forces soldiers turned corporate spies deploy on behalf of their Russian paymasters. And we’ve uncovered sweeping money-laundering problems at a British bank.

We will continue to investigate the banks and law firms helping Putin’s oligarchs. We will unpick the record of the government and enforcement agencies; if they’re not doing their job properly, what’s the point? When we try to get a response from the people we are writing about, we will almost inevitably receive a legal threat. It’s not exactly a perk of the job, but it won’t deter us either.

Our exposes, like those by other great journalists, will help make sure the UK isn’t complicit in the global kleptocracy in which we now live. Will it change Putin? Will it dampen his imperial hunger? No. But it will weaken him.

Thank you for following our work. Please do support us too, if you can 

Thanks, Franz – 

France Wild –  Enablers Editor

The Poor People of Russia and Ukraine, deserve better, however, we are all responsible for Putin – the little man!

Back in 2017, I wrote that Putin was an unknown quantity, as I was reminded, small people always have a problem with size.  Putin Russia is less than half of France’s GNP. They are nothing, the leaders have robbed their people and their nation. However, I could see the writing on the wall many years ago even before 2014. Moreover, been extremely critical of “Londongrad” and how the British nation opened its arms to these kleptocrats and thieves.  I saw them in London’s West End twenty-five years ago behave like a barbarian, however, they were all making millions for the City lawyers and bankers.

Considering that more than €20 trillion has been taken out of Russia in this century alone and what I have witnessed. I have travelled extensively in Russia, and sometimes I felt truly sick seeing how poor the Russian people are. Most live in conditions, no one can imagine that any civilised people living in. At the same time, I did find the Ukrainians extremely poor. It reminded me of travelling in the North of England in the late 1950s and around Milano, in Italy, at the same time. Most children without shoes with their parents steer poverty in the face.

Paul Krugman wrote today in New York Times:” Before Putin invaded Ukraine, I might have described the Russian Federation as a medium-size power punching above its weight in part by exploiting Western divisions and corruption, in part by maintaining a powerful military.

Since then, however, two things have become clear. First, Putin has delusions of grandeur. Second, Russia is even weaker than most people, myself included, seem to have realized. It has long been obvious that Putin desperately wants to restore Russia’s status as a Great Power. His already infamous “there is no such thing as Ukraine” speech, in which he condemned Lenin (!) for giving his neighbour what Putin considers a false sense of national identity, made it clear that his aims go beyond recreating the Soviet Union — he apparently wants to recreate the czarist empire. And he apparently thought that he could take a big step toward that goal with a short, victorious war.”

I have walked the street of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol, I am so deeply sorry, that these people again have to suffer so much and be destroyed. The unbelievable suffering that all Ukrainians had gone through now for more than hundreds of years, all just being small prawn in other’s politics and power. I have previously written about the terrible deed of Stalin, including the death of 12-13 million Ukrainian in 1930-33, with man-made famine and state-organised genocides organised to destroy the people of Ukraine (See Moments in My Mind) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor.

 

We in the West, the so-called civilised world are all guilty of the killing of all those innocent people in Ukraine, all dying for nothing, only a sick and twisted dictator’s last grab for power at his dying days – we are all cowards in not stopping this despot to Putin. In the fight against evil, there is no middle ground, no grey area, no neutrality. Those who are not actively and vigorously fighting against evil are helping evil to triumph. We should All be ashamed!!!

The estimable Russia expert Fiona Hill warned that Vladimir Putin may already be laying the groundwork for the use of chemical or even tactical nuclear weapons should he fail to win quickly, perhaps through some “false flag” operation that he can blame on Ukraine or the United States.

The barbaric thug to Putin, a war criminal, that will meet his maker one day, if not in this world than beyond, We in the western world allow this barbaric to grow in power and statute. We should have listened to Alexander Litvinenko, The world’s chess champion Garry Kasparov, Alexei Navalny and so many who warned that Putin was another Hitler.

Think about the war criminal Putin bombing kindergarten, hospitals, schools and all places where innocent children and women are!! A WAR CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!!

 

 

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