Objective English By Hari Mohan Prasad Ebook3000

Hyperinflation is Coming- The Dollar Endgame: PART 5.1- "Enter the Dragon" (SECOND HALF OF FINALE)

Hyperinflation is Coming- The Dollar Endgame: PART 5.1-

(Hey everyone, this is the SECOND half of the Finale, you can find the first half here)

The Dollar Endgame

True monetary collapses are hard to grasp for many in the West who have not experienced extreme inflation. The ever increasing money printing seems strange, alien even. Why must money supply grow exponentially? Why did the Reichsbank continue printing even as hyperinflation took hold in Germany?
What is not understood well are the hidden feedback loops that dwell under the surface of the economy.
The Dragon of Inflation, once awoken, is near impossible to tame.
It all begins with a country walking itself into a situation of severe fiscal mismanagement- this could be the Roman Empire of the early 300s, or the German Empire in 1916, or America in the 1980s- 2020s.
The State, fighting a war, promoting a welfare state, or combating an economic downturn, loads itself with debt burdens too heavy for it to bear.
This might even create temporary illusions of wealth and prosperity. The immediate results are not felt. But the trap is laid.
Over the next few years and even decades, the debt continues to grow. The government programs and spending set up during an emergency are almost impossible to shut down. Politicians are distracted with the issues of the day, and concerns about a borrowing binge take the backseat.
The debt loads begin to reach a critical mass, almost always just as a political upheaval unfolds. Murphy’s Law comes into effect.
Next comes a crisis.
This could be Visigoth tribesmen attacking the border posts in the North, making incursions into Roman lands. Or it could be the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, kicking off a chain of events causing the onset of World War 1.
Or it could be a global pandemic, shutting down 30% of GDP overnight.
Politicians respond as they always had- mass government mobilization, both in the real and financial sense, to address the issue. Promising that their solutions will remedy the problem, a push begins for massive government spending to “solve” economic woes.
They go to fundraise debt to finance the Treasury. But this time is different.
Very few, if any, investors bid. Now they are faced with a difficult question- how to make up for the deficit between the Treasury’s income and its massive projected expenditure. Who’s going to buy the bonds?
With few or no legitimate buyers for their debt, they turn to their only other option- the printing press. Whatever the manner, new money is created and enters the supply.
This time is different. Due to the flood of new liquidity entering the system, widespread inflation occurs. Confounded, the politicians blame everyone and everything BUT the printing as the cause.
Bonds begin to sell off, which causes interest rates to rise. With rates suppressed so low for so long, trillions of dollars of leverage has built up in the system.
No one wants to hold fixed income instruments yielding 1% when inflation is soaring above 8%. It's a guaranteed losing trade. As more and more investors run for the exits in the bond markets, liquidity dries up and volatility spikes.
The MOVE index, a measure of bond market volatility, begins climbing to levels not seen since the 2008 Financial Crisis.

MOVE Index
Sovereign bond market liquidity begins to evaporate. Weak links in the system, overleveraged several times on government debt, such as the UK’s pension funds, begin to implode.
The banks and Treasury itself will not survive true deflation- in the US, Yellen is already getting so antsy that she just asked major banks if Treasury should buy back their bonds to “ensure liquidity”!
As yields rise, government borrowing costs spike and their ability to roll their debt becomes extremely impaired. Overleveraged speculators in housing, equity and bond markets begin to liquidate positions and a full blown deleveraging event emerges.
True deflation in a macro environment as indebted as ours would mean rates soaring well above 15-20%, and a collapse in money market funds, equities, bonds, and worst of all, a certain Treasury default as federal tax receipts decline and deficits rise.
A run on the banks would ensue. Without the Fed printing, the major banks, (which have a 0% capital reserve requirement since 3/15/20), would quickly be drained. Insolvency is not the issue here- liquidity is; and without cash reserves a freezing of the interbank credit and repo markets would quickly ensue.
For those who don’t think this is possible, Tim Geitner, NY Fed President during the 2008 Crisis, stated that in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, we were “We were a few days away from the ATMs not working” (start video at 46:07).
As inflation rips higher, the $24T Treasury market, and the $15.5T Corporate bond markets selloff hard. Soon they enter freefall as forced liquidations wipe leverage out of the system. Similar to 2008, credit markets begin to freeze up. Thousands of “zombie corporations”, firms held together only with razor thin margins and huge amounts of near zero yielding debt, begin to default. One study by a Deutsche analyst puts the figure at 25% of companies in the S&P 500.
The Central Banks respond to the crisis as they always have- coming to the rescue with the money printer, like the Bank of England did when they restarted QE, or how the Bank of Japan began “emergency bond buying operations”.
But this time is massive. They have to print more than ever before as the ENTIRE DEBT BASED FINANCIAL SYSTEM UNWINDS.
QE Infinity begins. Trillions of Treasuries, MBS, Corporate bonds, and Bond ETFs are bought up. The only manner in which to prevent the bubble from imploding is by overwhelming the system with freshly printed cash. Everything is no-limit bid.
The tsunami of new money floods into the system and a face ripping rally begins in every major asset class. This is the beginning of the melt-up phase.
The Federal Reserve, within a few months, goes from owning 30% of the Treasury market, to 70% or more. The Bank of Japan is already at 70% ownership of certain JGB issuances, and some bonds haven’t traded for a record number of days in an active market!
The Central Banks EAT the bond market. The “Lender of Last Resort” becomes “The Lender of Only Resort”.
Another step towards hyperinflation. The Dragon crawls out of his lair.

QE Process
Now the majority or even entirety of the new bond issuances from the Treasury are bought with printed money. Money supply must increase in tandem with federal deficits, fueling further inflation as more new money floods into the system.
The Fed’s liquidity hose is now directly plugged into the veins of the real economy. The heroin of free money now flows in ever increasing amounts towards Main Street.
The same face-ripping rise seen in equities in 2020 and 2021 is now mirrored in the markets for goods and services.
Prices for Food, gas, housing, computers, cars, healthcare, travel, and more explode higher. This sets off several feedback loops- the first of which is the wage-price spiral. As the prices of everything rise, real disposable income falls.
Massive strikes and turnover ensues. Workers refuse to labor for wages that are not keeping up with their expenses. After much consternation, firms are forced to raise wages or see large scale work stoppages.

Wage-Price Spiral
These higher wages now mean the firm has higher costs, and thus must charge higher prices for goods. This repeats ad infinitum.
The next feedback loop is monetary velocity- the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy.
The faster the dollar turns over, the more items it can bid for- and thus the more prices rise. Money velocity increasing is a key feature of a currency beginning to inflate away. In nations experiencing hyperinflation like Venezuela, where money velocity was purported to be over 7,000 annually- or more than 20 times a DAY.
As prices rise steadily, people begin to increase their inflation expectations, which leads to them going out and preemptively buying before the goods become even more expensive. This leads to hoarding and shortages as select items get bought out quickly, and whatever is left is marked up even more. ANOTHER feedback loop.
Inflation now soars to 25%. Treasury deficits increase further as the government is forced to spend more to hire and retain workers, and government subsidies are demanded by every corner of the populace as a way to alleviate the price pressures.
The government budget increases. Any hope of worker’s pensions or banks buying the new debt is dashed as the interest rates remain well below the rate of inflation, and real wages continue to fall. They thus must borrow more as the entire system unwinds.
The Hyperinflationary Feedback loop kicks in, with exponentially increasing borrowing from the Treasury matched by new money supply as the Printer whirrs away.
The Dragon begins his fiery assault.

Hyperinflationary Feedback Loop
As the dollar devalues, other central banks continue printing furiously. This phenomenon of being trapped in a debt spiral is not unique to the United States- virtually every major economy is drowning under excessive credit loads, as the average G7 debt load is 135% of GDP.
As the central banks print at different speeds, massive dislocations begin to occur in currency markets. Nations who print faster and with greater debt monetization fall faster than others, but all fiats fall together in unison in real terms.
Global trade becomes extremely difficult. Trade invoices, which usually can take several weeks or even months to settle as the item is shipped across the world, go haywire as currencies move 20% or more against each other in short timeframes. Hedging becomes extremely difficult, as vol premiums rise and illiquidity is widespread.
Amidst the chaos, a group of nations comes together to decide to use a new monetary media- this could be the Special Drawing Right (SDR), a neutral global reserve currency created by the IMF.
It could be a new commodity based money, similar to the old US Dollar pegged to Gold.
Or it could be a peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency with a hard supply limit and secure payment channels.
Whatever the case- it doesn't really matter. The dollar will begin to lose dominance as the World Reserve Currency as the new one arises.
As the old system begins to die, ironically the dollar soars higher on foreign exchange- as there is a $20T global short position on the USD, in the form of leveraged loans, sovereign debt, corporate bonds, and interbank repo agreements.
All this dollar debt creates dollar DEMAND, and if the US is not printing fast enough or importing enough to push dollars out to satisfy demand, banks and institutions will rush to the Forex market to dump their local currency in exchange for dollars.
This drives DXY up even higher, and then forces more firms to dump local currency to cover dollar debt as the debt becomes more expensive, in a vicious feedback loop. This is called the Dollar Milkshake Theory, posited by Brent Johnson of Santiago Capital.
The global Eurodollar Market IS leverage- and as all leverage works, it must be fed with new dollars or risk bankrupting those who owe the debt. The fundamental issue is that this time, it is not banks, hedge funds, or even insurance giants- this is entire countries like Argentina, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

The Dollar Milkshake
If the Fed does not print to satisfy the demand needed for this Eurodollar market, the Dollar Milkshake will suck almost all global liquidity and capital into the United States, which is a net importer and has largely lost it’s manufacturing base- meanwhile dozens of developing countries and manufacturing firms will go bankrupt and be liquidated, causing a collapse in global supply chains not seen since the Second World War.
This would force inflation to rip above 50% as supply of goods collapses.
Worse yet, what will the Fed do? ALL their choices now make the situation worse.

The Fed's Triple Dilemma
Many pundits will retort- “Even if we have to print the entire unfunded liability of the US, $160T, that’s 8 times current M2 Money Supply. So we’d see 700% inflation over two years and then it would be over!”
This is a grave misunderstanding of the problem; as the Fed expands money supply and finances Treasury spending, inflation rips higher, forcing the AMOUNT THE TREASURY BORROWS, AND THUS THE AMOUNT THE FED PRINTS in the next fiscal quarter to INCREASE. Thus a 100% increase in money supply can cause a 150% increase in inflation, and on again, and again, ad infinitum.
M2 Money Supply increased 41% since March 5th, 2020 and we saw an 18% realized increase in inflation (not CPI, which is manipulated) and a 58% increase in SPY (at the top). This was with the majority of printed money really going into the financial markets, and only stimulus checks and transfer payments flowing into the real economy.
Now Federal Deficits are increasing, and in the next easing cycle, the Fed will be buying the majority of Treasury bonds.
The next $10T they print, therefore, could cause additional inflation requiring another $15T of printing. This could cause another $25T in money printing; this cycle continues forever, like Weimar Germany discovered.
The $200T or so they need to print can easily multiply into the quadrillions by the time we get there.
The Inflation Dragon consumes all in his path.
Federal Net Outlays are currently around 30% of GDP. Of course, the government has tax receipts that it could use to pay for services, but as prices roar higher, the real value of government tax revenue falls. At the end of the Weimar hyperinflation, tax receipts represented less than 1% of all government spending.
This means that without Treasury spending, literally a third of all economic output would cease.
The holders of dollar debt begin dumping them en masse for assets with real world utility and value- even simple things such as food and gas.
People will be forced to ask themselves- what matters more; the amount of Apple shares they hold or their ability to buy food next month? The option will be clear- and as they sell, massive flows of money will move out of the financial economy and into the real.
This begins the final cascade of money into the marketplace which causes the prices of everything to soar higher. The demand for money grows even larger as prices spike, which causes more Treasury spending, which must be financed by new borrowing, which is printed by the Fed. The final doom loop begins, and money supply explodes exponentially.

German Hyperinflation
Monetary velocity rips higher and eventually pushes inflation into the thousands of percent. Goods begin being re-priced by the day, and then by the hour, as the value of the currency becomes meaningless.
A new money, most likely a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, gains widespread adoption- becoming the preferred method and eventually the default payment mechanism. The State continues attempting to force the citizens to use their currency- but by now all trust in the money has broken down. The only thing that works is force, but even the police, military and legal system by now have completely lost confidence.
The Simulacrum breaks down as the masses begin to realize that the entire financial system, and the very currency that underpins it is a lie- an illusion, propped up via complex derivatives, unsustainable debt loads, and easy money financed by the Central Banks.
Similar to Weimar Germany, confidence in the currency finally collapses as the public awakens to a long forgotten truth-
There is no supply cap on fiat currency.

QE Infinity

When asked in 1982 what was the one word that could be used to define the Dollar, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker responded with one word-
All fiat money systems, unmoored from the tethers of hard money, are now adrift in a sea of illusion, of make-believe. The only fundamental props to support it are the trust and network effects of the participants.
These are powerful forces, no doubt- and have made it so no fiat currency dies without severe pain inflicted on the masses, most of which are uneducated about the true nature of economics and money.
But the Ships of State have wandered into a maelstrom from which there is no return. Currently, total worldwide debt stands at a gargantuan $300 Trillion, equivalent to 356% of global GDP.
This means that even at low interest rates, interest expense will be higher than GDP- we can never grow our way out of this trap, as many economists hope.
Fiat systems demand ever increasing debt, and ever increasing money printing, until the illusion breaks and the flood of liquidity is finally released into the real economy. Financial and Real economies merge in one final crescendo that dooms the currency to die, as all fiats must.
Day by day, hour by hour, the interest accrues.
The Debt grows larger.
And the Dollar Endgame Approaches.

Nothing on this Post constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any security, portfolio of securities, investment product, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. From reading my Post I cannot assess anything about your personal circumstances, your finances, or your goals and objectives, all of which are unique to you, so any opinions or information contained on this Post are just that – an opinion or information. Please consult a financial professional if you seek advice.
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[Sauna bathing] In 2010, a competitor died at the World Sauna Championships, causing the event to be permanently cancelled.

Warning for some graphic content. I give more warnings further down.
Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture. This is a typical sauna.
Finland currently has a population of 5.5 million. It also has an estimated 3 million saunas. They are everywhere, from businesses, to homes, to state institutions.
On average, saunas are usually between 150°F and 195°F (65°C to 90°C). Some sauna enthusiasts enjoy temperatures of up to 212 °F (100 °C). A select few even enjoy bursts of up to 266 °F to 284°F (130°C to 140°C). Heavy temp bathers always wear felt hats and slippers, because the wood gets so hot.
However, sauna endurance is different. Instead of short bursts, competitors aim to spend up to 16 minutes in a +200°F (100°C) sauna.
The world championship
The competition was founded in town of Heinola in 1999. It started after unofficial sauna-sitting competitions were banned from a leisure centre.
In the first championship in 1999, 60 contestants from 5 countries attended the event. By 2008, it had grown to 164 competitors from 23 countries. Numbers slightly dipped in the final event, 135 competitors from 15 countries attended.
The competition was also popular enough to get a tv show in Japan in 2004. It was apparently watched by “tens of millions”. Personally, I doubt this figure.
This was followed by another program in 2007, following a Japanese singer, Kazumi Morohoshi who took part in the championship. His odds were 13-1. He was knocked out in the first round with a time of 5:41.
Regulations were strict. All contestants had to sign a legal waiver before participating, agreeing not to sue the organizers if anything went wrong. Other rules included: all contestants had to provide a doctors certificate stating that they were healthy, no rubbing or slouching was allowed, elbows had to be kept on knees, and all forms of doping, including intoxication, were forbidden. Full list of rules in English on Wikipedia, taken from the now defunct official website.
Prizes varied from year to year. In 2005, the men’s prize was a weeks’ vacation to Morocco. The organizers didn’t award prize money, just “small things”.
The longest reigning male champion was five-time winner Timo Kaukonen. The men’s competition had always been won by a finn, never another nationality.
There were two long reigning female champions: Leila Kulin and Natalia Tryfanava. They had each won three times.
However, prior to the fatal incident in 2010, there had been other mishaps. In 2007, Natalia Tryfanava collapsed in the sauna.
Natalya motions the judges again, "Come get me!" At last, they go in -- and you can see the heat hit them in the face like a Holyfield right -- but they can't get her off the bench! It's as though she is glued! One try! Two tries! Nothing! She's going to die in there, in front of 500 people! Finally, they get a third man, and they're able to scrape her off the bench. They try to get her into a wheelchair, but it's like trying to put an elm tree into a box, limbs are everywhere, and spasming. At last they fold her into it and race her to the cold showers.
In the end, She needed supplemental oxygen.
Newer competitors also frequently suffered burns. A software designer from New York, who also entered the championship in 2007, was so badly burned that he needed to be hospitalised:
The description was also written by Rick Reilly, a sports writer for ESPN. It's a bit OTT (over the top) in my opinion.
NSFW warning
I'm waiting to congratulate him when I notice something awful. There's two big patches of skin missing on his upper lip, just under his nostrils.
"Dude, were you by any chance breathing through your nose in there?"
"Yeah, why?" he says.
"Your skin is all gone under your nose! It's burnt off!"
He feels his upper lip in horror. He runs to the mirror. It's worse. The tops of his ears have split open and are bubbling. Under his arms and on his back are bright purple patches. His forehead is painted bright red and blistering in front of his eyes. I take him to the beer garden to try to cool him off, but nothing helps. He is sweating like Pam Anderson at Bible study. "Man, I'm burning up. Even my tongue is burnt." His wife begs him to quit, but he refuses. Says he's trained too hard. She shakes her head.
He refused to quit, though, and moved on to the second round later in the day. In that one, he bolted out after only 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
When we greet him, I nearly ralph. He is melting like the wicked witch. His forehead, his lips, and his ears are giant sacks of pus. His tricep is riddled with pebble-sized blisters, dozens of them. So much skin is hanging off him he looks like the world's most successful gastric-bypass patient. His forehead is a science fiction movie. His nose is cooked like a forgotten kielbasa. And this is just what we can see.
"I don't know, man," I say. "Maybe you should go to first aid."
"Nah, I'm fine!" he insists. "Although, it does kinda hurt back here." He lifts up his shirt and there it is: this horrible, huge, pus-filled huge sack -- the size of a $3 pancake -- just hanging off his armpit. His wife gasps. My wife turns away in horror.
When we drag him to the first-aid EMT, the guy says, "You must go to the hospital. Within 24 hours, when these blisters break, you will lose lots of fluid. You will be highly susceptible to infection. We can't do anything for you here. It is too serious."
So we pile him into our rented Volvo and take him to the hospital, where, as we're leaving, his wife is shaking her head.
The finale
Warning for some gruesome details in this section. Nothing as graphic as above.
In 2010, the finale had six contenders. Four of them left the sauna after two to three minutes. This was unusual. Usually, the finalists lasted way longer. Past results. The temp of the sauna was an eye-blistering 230°F (110°C0).
The last two competitors were Timo, and a Russian, Vladimir Ladyzhensky. The latter was a frequent competitor. The year before, he’d achieved third place. He was an amateur wrestler in his 60s
Timo was much younger. In 2010, he was 45-years-old. And he trained year-round for the championship. He used saunas three times a day, sometimes with temps hotter than the finale, and drank 3-4 gallons of water a day to cope with the heat. He was also sponsored by a sauna manufacturer and arrived at the event in a mobile home with its own sauna.
However, six minutes into the finale both men collapsed in front of an audience of nearly a 1,000 people.
According to an eyewitness account (from a woman who did not wish to identified), this is what happened:
"I saw Timo and the Russian confirming [to medics] every 10 or 20 seconds that they were OK. They were raising their thumbs all the time but after six minutes -- and only seconds after another raised thumb -- the referees decided to take them both out, first Timo who was still able to -- or at least half able, with some help -- to come out. The Russian had to be dragged out and after that he fell on the floor in front of the sauna and was sort of convulsing and cramping. Then they put a curtain up in front as they [medics] worked on them."
"Why is it that 128 [other competitors] leave the sauna when their body tells them to and then these two [don't]," .... "What were they thinking, or were they thinking at all? There must be some explanation or reason why they stayed there over three minutes longer than the others, why their skin burnt the way it did and reacted the way it did, in a way never seen before. I hope the [police] investigation gives us some answers."
Both men had suffered severe burns and blisters. Some of the blisters had burst in the sauna, covering it in blood.
Timo was rushed to the hospital. Over 70% of his body was covered in burns. The worst affected area was his legs, because they had been so close to the stove. The burns were so bad that they even extended to his lungs and caused his respiratory system and kidneys to fail. The head physician of the hospital he was staying at said the burns were similar to those caused by steam explosions, and that he hadn’t expected Timo to survive.
Timo was in a medically-induced coma for three weeks. He required countless operations, skin grafts, and other treatments to make a full, albeit painful, recovery. The whole process took more than a year.. Despite this, he didn’t blame the organizers. He fully retired from the sport after recovering.
Even before the finale, he had felt uneasy. Shortly before entering the sauna, he said that “"It doesn't feel good getting in there this year,"…"But I will clench my teeth and see where this leads us.".
Ladyzhensky wouldn’t be so lucky. He died from his injuries after efforts to resuscitate him failed.
The head organizer of the championship, Ossi Arvela, later said that all safety rules had been followed and that the event had had enough first aid personnel. Nevertheless, he decided to permanently suspend the event.
The police investigated Ladyzhensky’s death, but decided not to charge the organizers. They could find no evidence of wrongdoing.
It later emerged that Ladyzhensky had broken the rules of the championship by using strong painkillers and some sort of anaesthetic cream on his skin to dull the pain from the intense heat of the sauna. He died of third-degree burns.
In April 2011, the Heinola city council officially cancelled the championship. Full statement here.
Finland has many other unique and crazy sports, from wife carrying, to boot throwing, to mosquito killing, but none have ended in such tragedy as the Sauna World Championship.
I haven’t been able to find any other similar competitions. So, it seems sauna endurance is dead as a sport.
Thanks for reading.
submitted by Tokyono to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]

Ukraine Recap: October 20th

📰 [Daily War Summary] Summary of the events which transpired on Thursday, October 20th
🪖 🔗 ISW, DefMon, 🔗 Andrew and 📺 Reporting from Ukraine have the daily border reports. Here is Tim White’s daily thread. Here are the 🔗 daily attrition statistics. And SaberFlux has the daily personal observations from the city of Kharkiv.
🍄 The barge bridge reported in Wednesday’s recap was likely targeted by HIMARS on Thursday. russia claimed the attacked killed three civilians and injured ten a claim widely picked up and broadcast over their propaganda outlets as russia tries to secure unmolested lines of retreat from Kherson for their military personal and equipment.
🥷 A network of pro-russian shadow editors were editing Wikipedia to advance russian narratives.
👉 We’re starting to see what a russian retreat from Kherson looks like as collaborators and sympathizers run with their families and stolen property and experienced russian troops are rotated out to be replaced with 💭 newly mobilized troops. Likely Ukraine has paused their planned counteroffensive to let this process play out.
🌊 With reports that russia has mined the Nova Kakhovka dam, russian bot farms are pushing a copy and paste campaign to push the idea that Ukraine will destroy the Nova Kakhovka dam, an act which would flood the banks of the river the russians are evacuating to, would cut off water to Crimea, and disable the cooling systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Alarmingly, there is news that russia is abandoning Enerhodar, the city near the nuclear power plant. For the people wondering if this is another idle russian threat, the russians already breached the dam at Kryvyi Rih, and laid 175kg of TNT to blow a dam in Kharkiv.
🕹️ The White House said that Iranian troops are directly engaged on the ground in Crimea supporting the russian drone attacks on Ukraine. And in russia, an official said the quiet part out loud to a hot mic on national TV. On another program, russian propagandists noted Iran being heavily sanctioned is good for russia.
👉 The security service of Ukraine 💭 took down a bot farm in the Dnipro area that spread russian disinformation in Ukraine and western Europe with 10,000 fake accounts. The owner of the farm faces up to ten years in prison.
👉 There is no babushka uprising in russia because the men are unemployed and would drink themselves to death anyway but some babushkas are wondering why they haven’t heard from their sons recently.
👉 Ukrainians tested russian bullet proof armor to much hilarity, so russians put Ukrainian armor to the test and got upset. russia’s Rybar weighed in on the controversy, ⚠️ blaming the manufacturers, then had to make ⚠️ hamfisted clarifications when threatened with “discrediting the russian army”.
👉 On the 29th of September, A russian aircraft 💭 accidentally released a missile due to a “technical malfunction” while interacting with a UK aircraft over the Black Sea. The UK’s patrols are now escorted by Typhoon fighters as a result of the incident.
👉 An underwater cable cut south of france has impacted the internet connectivity between Asia, Europe and the United States.
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 An undersea phone and internet communication line was cut off the coast of the Shetland Islands, an archipelago in Scotland. In all likelihood this is just an accident, but this is the second such incident in as many days.
🇷🇺 Just days after shooting a Kherson Conductor for refusing to perform a propaganda concert, russia is upset that russian conductor Valery Gergiev ⚠️ was stripped of his title as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
🇷🇺 russian attempts to re-establish deep contacts with Washington have been 💭 unsuccessful.
🇧🇾 Medics, doctors and nurses in Belarus have been called to military offices. There is a growing concern amongst Ukraine officials that Belarus might invade, but instead of pushing toward Kyiv, would attack in the west to try and cut Western supply lines to Ukraine. Despite Ukraine’s concerns, the US sees 💭 no signs of imminent military action. Meanwhile Belarus is nervous about Poland having a military and is sprucing up its bomb shelters.
🇳🇱 The Dutch House voted to create a special tribunal in the Hague to place russia’s aggression against Ukraine on trial.
🇸🇪 There was a large Swedish military and police response to reports of drone activity over a military facility.
🇫🇮 Finland also has drone problems where a man with russian license plates was seen filming IKH facilities. IKH is a major importer of tools and machinery.
🇺🇦 Ukrainian President Zelensky denied Ukraine’s involvement in the explosion on the Crimean bridge. If true, the bridge could have been targeted by russian factions seeking an expedited end to the war.
🇺🇦 Ukraine is enlisting Jewish Leaders to lobby Israel for arms.
🇨🇭 While the German President was too anxious about russian drone attacks to visit Kyiv on Thursday as scheduled, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, was delighted to keep up his visit.
🇭🇺 Hungary’s largest pro-Orbán news site recognizes russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories by claiming Ukraine has “launched an attack against russia”.
🇩🇪 In northern Germany, an arsonist burned down a hostel for Ukrainian refugees. Fourteen Ukrainians and three red cross workers were able to escape and there were no injuries. Earlier in the day police had investigated vandalism on the building as someone had drawn a swastika.
🇬🇧 UK Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned her position. This is not expected to affect UK support for Ukraine. It’s even possible Boris Johnson may return.
💰🇬🇧 Britain followed the US and 💭 sanctioned Iran for supplying drones to russia with the initial round targeting the drone manufacturer and three Iranian generals.
💰🇪🇺 Spain and France have authorized sanctioned owners of super yachts to pay for their upkeep while under government custody.
💰🇵🇱 Ukrainians have opened almost 10,000 businesses in Poland since February 24th — almost every tenth business in Poland is owned by Ukrainians.
💰🇦🇺 Austrailia has extended its sanctions on russia and Belarus and imposed new sanctions.
💰🇵🇭 The Philippine President has backed a deal to cancel the purchase of 💭 16 russian military helicopters, preferring instead to source them from the United States.
💰🇷🇺 russia ordered the nation’s pension program to transfer 1 trillion rubles of its 10.8 trillion ruble reserves to cover russia’s budget deficits. In March, the pension fund had 13 trillion rubles.
💰🇷🇺 Due to a 95-97% drop in foreign tourists, russia abolishes its tourism agency.
🎁🇺🇸 With news that a republican controlled house would make getting funding for Ukraine much harder, it’s reported Congress is looking to pass a $50 billion dollar aid package for Ukraine by the end of the year before a new party takes control. This money would be enough to fund Ukraine through 2023.
🎁🇺🇸 Mark Hamill, as a fundraising ambassador for Ukraine, has sent 500 drones to Ukraine’s frontlines.
🌾 There are only 30 days left in the grain deal.
🤔 Interesting Things
♨️ A Ukrainian sauna on the front line.
📷 David Letterman is in Kyiv.
✊🌻 Ukraine is still favored to recover its pre-invasion 2022 borders by western government reports and trusted third party analysts. Ukraine has stated its goal is the full liberation of all occupied territory including the Donbas and Crimea regions back to the 2014 pre-invasion borders. Currently russia’s goal is to capture the Donetsk Oblast and retain control of the Luhansk Oblast, both tasks it is currently failing. russia has been downgrading its stated objectives since its retreat from Kyiv.
🇺🇦 Current state of the war: russia has ~25k troops trapped between Ukrainian forces and the Dnipro river in Kherson to the south. Ukraine has also mounted a successful counter-offensive in Kharkiv that has seen russian forces driven from the region and now threatens months of painful russian advances in the Donbas area. russia has been unable to mount any serious offensive operations since July. Currently the advantage rests decisively with Ukraine.
📰 An archive of these posts is available at /pcx99/
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Ukraine Recap: October 27th

📰 [Daily War Summary] Summary of the events which transpired on Thursday, October 27th
🪖 🔗 ISW, DefMon, 🔗 MilitaryLand, Andrew, and 📺 Reporting from Ukraine have the daily border reports. Here is Tim White’s daily thread. Here are the 🔗 daily attrition statistics. And SaberFlux has the daily personal observations from the city of Kharkiv. Today’s analysis of Kherson is provided by General Ben Hodges.
🪖 Although fighting is still fierce, there are a few factors contributing to a slowing Ukrainian advance these days. The first is that while mobilized russians are unequipped and untrained, it still takes time to deal with them, and russia is flooding the battlefield with them. The second is that it has been raining lately and rain creates mud.
🪖 Soledar is Ukraine.
🪖 Bakhmut, forever Ukraine.
🪖 Kherson waits… But there’s no rush.
🪖 Bilohorivka is Ukraine.
🍄 After russia’s channel 24 showed that 🔗 not all the tankers were destroyed on Wednesday, there were more fires in Shakhtarsk, a critical logistics hub, on Thursday. It looks like its gonna take a few days to fix those tracks.
🍄 A gas explosion in Izhevsk, russia.
☢️🍿 Ukraine’s nuclear regulator said that russia is conducting “💭 some kind of illegal construction” at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and asked the IAEA to investigate.
🥷 In Ufa, russia 5 electric railway transformers were set on fire within 2 days. The russian anti-war group, Stop the Wagon, claimed responsibility for an explosion on the main railway between russia and southern Belarus on October 24th and the kremlin is concerned.
🥷 Someone fired a RPG (locals say Improvised Explosive Device) at a police department in Kherson.
🛩 Ukraine shot down a SU-25 ground attack aircraft and a Ka-52 attack helicopter. So many Ka-52s have been shot down recently that russia’s fleet has been decimated.
👉 Another day and another mobilization horror story on mobilized men with little water, no food, fake training, only small arms, and a tank with no fuel. Some lucky mobiks manage to sneak in a looting spree, but not too lucky as this video was found on the phone of a dead soldier.
👉 In Poland they are still pulling down Soviet monuments and in liberated Izyum and Kyiv they are renaming all the streets and squares associated with russia and the Soviet past.
👉 russia says satellites providing services or otherwise being used to aid Ukraine could become targets. Taking out even a few satellites could make future space launches impossible.
⚡ Strikes on energy infrastructure in Kyiv overnight left the area with only 600-800 megawatts of capacity and the usual demand is 1,200 megawatts — leaving over a million people without power. As Kyiv goes dark, Ukrainian President Zelensky said “Together we will walk through this darkness. The most important thing is to preserve the light in our hearts”. Since Ukraine began rationing electricity, the number of accidents in Kyiv has 💭 risen by 25% in the absence of streetlights.
⚡ Ukraine has begun testing the 💭 importation of electricity from Slovakia. One megawatt of power was imported during the test. Ironically, while russia is trying to destroy Ukraine’s electric grid, russia’s puppet territory of ⚠️ Transnistria has been exporting electricity to Ukraine for the whole war.
👉 Although no invasion from Belarus is expected, Ukraine has, none-the-less, 💭 strengthened its presence on the northern border.
👉 Ukraine killed a russian 💭 lieutenant colonel. In a HIMARS attack in occupied Luhansk, at least 💭 ten russian officers were killed and sixty military personnel killed. As of October 23rd , 1,370 russian officers have been killed in Ukraine.
👉 Ukraine introduces its “Shark” drone. The Shark is designed for deep reconnaissance, to aid in adjusting artillery and HIMARS strikes and evaluating their effectiveness. The Shark was developed during the war, in Ukraine. Meanwhile Belarus has invented the “cope bucket”.
👉 In occupied Berdyansk, russians will go door to door to search the phones of residents for ‘Kyiv propaganda’ as it implements military censorship under putin’s martial law decree. In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast russians are kicking Ukrainians out of their homes and schools so they can quarter all the mobilized russians that are flooding the territories.
👉 Ukraine is building an “Army of Restoration”. Unemployed people can apply to help rebuild the country, though the work only pays minimum wage. Ukraine also announced that 💭 American astronaut Scott Kelly has become an ambassador of the UNITED24 government fundraising platform and will develop the “Medical Aid” program and his first project will be to raise funds the purchase of class C ambulances.
🇺🇳 At the UN Security Council, russia droned on about “💭 the secret American and Ukrainian bio-labs” like a drunk Q-Anon Uncle at the Thanksgiving table. The US 💭 rejected the claim. russia also tried to stop UN experts from being sent to Ukraine to examine russia’s Iranian-made drones but the UN legal office was able to provide examples of past assistance, including russia’s own requests.
🇷🇺 russia is simulating a coup and practicing evacuating members of the government.
🇷🇺 “We tried to shit relations with both the leading Western countries and NATO” - putin.
🇷🇺 Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of russia’s propaganda outlet russia today, ⚠️ asked Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, to unban russia Today and Sputnik, and remove her shadow ban. Ms. Simonyan isn’t the only russian official banking on Mr. Musk to restore their ability to conduct disinformation campaigns on Twitter.
🇷🇺 putin’s goddaughter, Xenia Sobchak, has left russia through Belarus into Lithuania on her Israeli passport.
🇧🇾 putin is using Belarusian hospitals to hide russia’s military casualties.
🇫🇷🇩🇪 After their reported falling out on Wednesday, French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz agreed to forge an alliance and start a trade war with the US.
🇩🇪 Germany has successfully tested a laser weapon to fight drones and missiles.
🇮🇹 Italy’s new far-right Prime Minister told the Italian Parliament that the only way to facilitate a peace deal between russia and Ukraine is by helping Kyiv to defend itself.
🇲🇩 The US Treasury sanctioned nine individuals and twelve companies used by russia to corrupt and capture Moldova’s government.
💰🇷🇺 Thanks to sanctions and the war, russia’s economy is struggling, but the regional states are really struggling.
🔥 Due to cuts in russian supplies of diesel fuel and strikes in France, parts of Europe are starting to run out.
🔥 russia believes that the second line of the Nordstream 2 is still functional and wants to deliver gas to Germany through it. However the German government believes the explosions have most 🔗 certainly damaged it and has no plans to try and activate it.
🔥 Europe, once fearing gas rationing this winter, now $has a glut$
🎁🇩🇪 Germany delivered 2 HIMARS compatible MARS II launchers and ammo, 4 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers, and 2 unmanned surface vessels.
🎁🇺🇸 This is a small week for Ukraine as the US allocates “only” $275 million in military aid consisting mostly of ammunition, which is good because Ukraine is begging for guns, shells and firepower. The details should be released on Friday. The US is also setting up a system to account for the aid, a process that should be helped by Ukraine’s recent adoption of NATO style “LOGFAS” logistical tracking.
🎁🇳🇱 The Netherlands sent 💭 120 thousand tulip bulbs to be planted in Kyiv and in Lviv.
🎁🇪🇺 Ukraine expects 💭 €2.5 billion euros in financial aid from the EU in November and another €500 million euros in December.
🎁🇮🇱 Israel 💭 has donated 10 generators and 20 heaters.
🎁🇳🇱 Two dutchmen drove their food truck to Ukraine for the 7th time and handed out free food in Borodianka.
🎁🇪🇸 Spain is preparing a new package of military aid for Ukraine. No details yet.
🎁🌎 Ukraine received a 💭 British de-mining machine, the Armtrac 400. The 18 million hryvnias ($488K) was crowdsourced globally through the UNITED24 platform.
🎁🌎 Another batch of 20 Warmate drones are heading to the front. United24 has so far provided a total of 40 of these drones. Funding for the drones is crowdfunded through the Ukrainian government program UNITED24.
🎁🇱🇹 Lithuania is 💭 providing Ukraine with 7 Toyota Land Cruisers, 200 armored SUVs and other equipment.
🌾 23 Days left in the grain deal.
🤔 Interesting Things
📷 A Ukrainian artillery commander admiring her work.
📷 Kyiv in the dark.
📷 What brother’s morale doing?
🎥 Lunch time.
🎥 Arnold Schwarzenegger appeals to the russians.
🎃 There’s a place in Ukraine known for having a lot of witches. When the russians showed up there locals told them that if they didn’t leave they’d be cursed and they wouldn't get a hard on.
✊🌻 Ukraine is still favored to recover its pre-invasion 2022 borders by western government reports and trusted third party analysts. Ukraine has stated its goal is the full liberation of all occupied territory including the Donbas and Crimea regions back to the 2014 pre-invasion borders. Currently russia’s goal is to capture the Donetsk Oblast and retain control of the Luhansk Oblast, both tasks it is currently failing. russia has been downgrading its stated objectives since its retreat from Kyiv.
🇺🇦 Current state of the war: russia has ~25k troops trapped between Ukrainian forces and the Dnipro river in Kherson to the south. Ukraine has also mounted a successful counter-offensive in Kharkiv that has seen russian forces driven from the region and now threatens months of painful russian advances in the Donbas area. russia has been unable to mount any serious offensive operations since July. Currently the advantage rests decisively with Ukraine.
📰 An archive of these posts is available at /pcx99/
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[Translation] Letters to O-mei-syu-sama vol. 51-60

Letters to O-mei-syu-sama:
Band-Maid terms:
All the links and the notes are mine.

2020-09-04 22:15 Vol. 51 Saiki
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
OK. Good evening. I’m Saiki.
The hot weather continues even in September. I, Sai-chan, properly feel tired from the heat. Hey, Earth, you haven’t told me it’s this hot.
I’ll do my best to keep my health! O-mei-syu-sama, let’s keep going together!
Well, we had online okyu-ji, right?
We did it twice.
To our delight, those of you o-mei-syu-sama in more than 50 countries all over the world watched us!
I’m so happy we had such a large audience
It’s only online that we can deliver Band-Maid servings to people in countries or regions we haven’t been to yet
I hope to deliver it directly there someday
Wait for us
Also in Japan, there are still a lot of places we haven’t visited yet
Like in Tohoku. Right! I want to go to Tohoku! I want to take Shinkansen for that.
Ah-chan said she wants to go to Akita to eat kiritanpo
We were talking about going to Iwate to try wanko soba together
I wish we could go on a tour again and have a great time with you all soon! I really wish!
I don’t have time to be tired from the heat.
O-mei-syu-sama, let’s work out to keep our strength together, even though there won’t be servings anytime soon!
Eat properly!
Have a drink too!
I’m looking forward to the day when we can see you, all in good health.
That’s all.
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-09-22 20:00 Vol. 52 Miku Kobato
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Kuruppo. I’m Miku Kobato, po. Everyone, how are you doing, po?
I, Kobato, am working on songs every day, po. I haven’t been able to take my time to watch movies lately, so I’ve been getting inspirations from manga, po. I can imagine from drawings as well as from texts, which is really great, po. It seems I read manga quite fast, which is another reason to read them, po. Because I have to absorb lots and lots of things, po!!
The other day, I asked you masters and princesses on Instagram what manga you were impressed with or you like, and I was glad you gave me a lot of answers, po. There were many manga I like, and of course there were many I haven’t read, so I’ll make a list and read them, po. As for Kobato’s recommendations, they are too many! I wouldn’t be able to finish writing about them, po. lol I like all kinds of genres, so I hope I can present them to you somewhere, someday, po. My favorite manga artists are Takehiko Inoue-san and Hinako Ashihara-san, po. I love them so much that I even go to see exhibitions of their original drawings. Basically I read manga on the web or Kindle, and if I bought all the ones I read in book form, I would probably lose a lot of space in my house to manga, po… Of course, there are some I want to buy in book form, so I buy what I carefully select, po! So, between working on songs, I read manga and the like, or I watch horsies, or!
Recently I’ve been interested in everyday kimonos, and I’ve been buying little by little, po. I can put on a yukata by myself smoothly, but putting on a kimono is a different thing, so I want to be able to put it on by myself, po. My grandma had a lot of kimonos and usually wore them, so I should have learned how to wear from her, po… I regret a bit, po. It’s a long-term goal, po.
Now, I wonder when I will be able to see you all again, po. It might take a long time before I can see you in person, but I promise I will improve myself by then, po!! I’ll do my best to give you a lot of wonderful news, so please wait for a while, po!!!
Well then, it’s about time. Bye-bye kuruppo.
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-10-02 18:00 Vol. 53 Kanami
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
How are you~? Masters and princesses!
I’m Kanami! It has been getting colder lately~. It’s already fall~.
Speaking of fall… I celebrated my birthday last month, on September 28! (clap clap clap) Thank you all for so many messages!!
Maybe because it’s the time of year I was born, I like fall the mostest. I’m sensitive to the cold, so I wear a hoodie or a long sleeve T-shirt more often at home these days!! (The Band-Maid Online Shop has been updated recently, so please get your fall and winter items by all means♫) https://bandmaid.store/
On my birthday… what a surprise!!! I was writing songs at home all the day!! lol A deadline comes up every day! (`・ω・´)ノ However, as presents to myself, I ordered delivery sushi for lunch! and unagi for dinner! so it was a delicious day♪
Whew… up until now, even during a production period, I was able to see my bandmates and eat out after a concert or a rehearsal… or take my computer to a café and program there for a change… but I try to stay at home as much as possible in this period… (´;ω;`) Honestly, I feel lonely!! Wahhh!
But at times like this, I read comments on social media and YouTube. I’m encouraged by the fact that thankfully there are so many people who love us!! I’m soothed and feel like “All right, I’ll do my best!” Thank you for giving me power all the time!!
Masters and princesses, I’d like to do my best with my bandmates to give you power, cheer you up, and soothe you!! Yeah!
And, and, and!
We finally announced this.
We will release the single Different in December 2020! We will release a new album in January 2021!
There are a lot of songs I’d like to let you listen to as soon as possible!! Please wait for them with lots and lots and lots of expectations!!
And I’m looking forward to see you at “Band-Maid Nippon Budokan Okyu-ji” on February 11 (Thursday, holiday) next year, in 2021!!
That’s all from Kanamincho!
Band-Maid release info: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/364081
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-10-17 20:00 Vol. 54 Saiki
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Good evening, o-mei-syu-sama
How are you? I’m doing well!
This is a letter from Saiki to you.
Somehow it’s become really cold
But it’s sometimes a little hot during the daytime, and the temperature changes so often, right?
Is it fall? Or is it already winter? Has winter come?
It’s raining today so it’s even colder, and I couldn’t get out of bed easily
O-mei-syu-sama, please take good care of yourselves
I’m taking care of myself too
Let’s keep it up together
I don’t yield to the change of seasons
I love winter best
Because winter clothes are by far the prettiest
I can’t think of any other reason
Kanami-chan said she likes fall in her letter, right? O-mei-syu-sama, I wonder which season you like? I’d love to hear~!
By the way, Misa-chan likes fall, winter, and spring
Ah-chan likes fall
Kobato likes fall too
Fall is by far the most popular
And summer is not popular at all! lol
But you know, Japan has four seasons clearly, which is wonderful, isn’t it?
Oh, yes.
We Maids are beginning to feel our production is settling down. The finish line is not close yet, but we can already see it. We’re gonna work like a fiend to finish it in November. Bring it on
Please look forward to it
The single and the album are coming out soon. I really really really hope you’ll listen to them soon.
They are so cool
Stay excited and thrilled~
If I report about Sai-chan’s life
Let me see
I danced for the first time in a while!
This girl I learned dancing together with in high school is a dancer now and teaches dancing so she gave me a lesson
It was fun~
She taught me a dance that’s going around now~
It was difficult as expected because it was for the first time in a while, but the fun overwhelmed me like crazy so I was like “Let’s do it again next month!”
I’m really really looking forward to next month and I’m so excited
However, it was hard to dance while wearing a mask! lol
Oh! lol Maybe I should ask her to choreograph to a Band-Maid song! lol
I’ll ask her to do it~
I wonder if she will do it~
I hope I will be able to report about it.
Bye-bye now.
Band-Maid release info: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/364081
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-10-30 20:00 Vol. 55 Akane
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Good evening, o-mei-syu-sama! I’m Akane!
The weather has been nice lately, but it has become chilly… O-mei-syu-sama, are you in good health? All you all right?
I’m the most sensitive to the cold among us members, so I already live with the help of Heattech shirts, a heated rug, an electric blanket, a duvet, and thick socks. My protection against the cold is on point. I’m doing great thanks to it.
Now, as Sai-chan said in the last newsletter, we are going to wrap up the production! It will be a very busy November.
We have sooooo many things to do, such as the production, preparation for Budokan, and others, that we don’t have enough time every day!! We are grateful for and happy about that!! I feel thankful every day!!
At the same time, I think I have to take good care of my mind and body, so I started going to the sauna with Misa recently!
I have been interested in sauna for a long time, and I also read all the volumes of the sauna manga Sa-do two years ago, but I couldn’t make up my mind to go there alone…
Then, Misa told me she was interested in it too, so we went together and… we got addicted to it perfectly.
I really recommend it because it relieves fatigue from your whole body and makes you feel good and refreshed.
I’m still just a sauna novice, so I take a lot of time to go into the cold bath desperately, even though I soak only up to my stomach… lol
Every time me and Misa see experts smoothly take a cold bath, we are like “So cool…!” while watching them with respect.
We hope to be able to fully soak in the cold bath like a boss soon.
Those of you o-mei-syu-sama familiar with sauna, please teach us a lot!!
First of all, I’ll report again if I become able to take a cold bath. lol
Well then! Please look forward to many fun things!!
That’s all from Akane~ Bye-bye!
Band-Maid release info: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/364081
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-11-13 21:00 Vol. 56 Misa
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Hi, I’m Misa. Everyone, how are you? I’m good.
It’s so cold these days… At last, I have brought out my kotatsu [note: heated table]. When you get into the kotatsu, you are tempted to fall asleep under it, aren’t you? I’m careful not to do so because I almost dry out every time.
Oh! On November 11, the bass day, I appeared on J-Wave’s The Bass Day radio show. Did you listen to it?? It was also live-streamed on Youtube. Did you watch it?? How was I?? Did I talk well?? I was nervous… but Chris Peppler-san was so kind that I had a great time talking with him.
There are quite a few things to love about bass. It’s an important ingredient to make the melody and the rhythm stand out, and bass phrases themselves can change the vibe of a song quite a lot, so it’s a lot more interesting than you might think~. If you are interested, please give it a try!!
If I have a chance to do another Instagram live or something, I’ll teach you a tune with a bass that’s easy to copy. Do you have any requests? TELL ME NOW!!!
I was so happy Sai-chan gave me a comment~! It was read in the radio show and also featured on an article called “The Bass Day Paper” on the bass day.
Like “Thank you, Misa, for supporting our band with your sound and your pure heart.”
I’m kind of blushed but thanks! lol
I’m looking forward to our future. I’m glad I have them as my bandmates! Kobato, thank you for forming Band-Maid.
Well, I call it a day with this good feeling. Bye-bye.
Band-Maid release info: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/372103
8/16 (Sun) Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji archive tickets now on sale: Available for viewing until 11/16 at 5 pm. https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/334081
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-11-27 21:00 Vol. 57 Miku Kobato
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Kuruppo. I’m Kobato, po!! Everyone, how are you doing, po?
There have been good things happening to me Kobato, but also really a lot of unlucky things lately, like “Why this?”, po.
I’m sometimes upset like “Po!!!”, po.
My bandmates suggested me to rather keep a diary of unhappy things on me, po. lol
I’m often told by my bandmates and other people that I’m haunted, and I’m also prone to bad luck or body stiffness, so I’ve been to ritual purifications rather often, though, po…
I’ve never had a proper reading done, so I’m wondering if I should rather try an exorcism, po?
If you have any recommendations for exorcists, please let me Kobato know, OK, po? lol
But I digress. We have announced a lot of things, po, right? First of all, the release of the new single Different is coming soon, po.
We started working on this song after we got the offer of Log Horizon, and we secretly planned to release it for a long, long time, po. I’m so happy we are finally going to release it to you all, po!!
And on December 13, we will be live-streaming a full-length serving for the first time, po. That will be our third online okyu-ji, but what a surprise, it’s a FULL-LENGTH serving.
You will hear new songs of course, and we will also play songs that we can only play at a full-length serving, po.
Let’s have fun together online and blow away the cold weather at the first serving in a while, po.
All of us are steadily practicing and preparing every day to make it a wonderful online okyu-ji, po!
Moreover, moreover! Po! We’ve also announced the details of the album release, po. The title “Unseen World” means “To the Unseen World”, po. You must be wondering what kind of album it is, po, right?? I’m not going to tell you about the details yet, though, po. It’s an album that combines “Return to the roots” and “Progress from the present” into one, po.
By the way, “Progress from the present” is a new word coined by me Kobato, po. lol [Note: 現点進化 (“progress from the present”) is a single word in Japanese.] I hope you are waiting for it with excitement, po! I, Kobato, am excited and thrilled to let you all listen to it as soon as possible, po, po!! And after releasing the album! Look! It’s coming soon, po! Budokan!!! Po po po po po po!!!!
Also, I can’t tell you yet, po, but we’re preparing various things that will surprise you masters and princesses, so please look forward to them, po.
Wow! A lot of fun keeps coming, po! It’s not time to relax, po!! Everyone, take care of yourselves, po! Blow away unhappy things on you, po!
That’s all from Kobato, po. Bye-bye kuruppo.
12/13 (Sun) BAND-MAID ONLINE OKYU-JI (Full show): https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/376042
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-12-12 21:30 Vol. 58 Kanami
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
O-mei-syu-sama, how are you? I’m Kanami♪
Heeeey everyone!!! Finally, finally, the long-awaited Band-Maid Online Okyu-ji is coming tomorrow!!
It’s a full-length show~~~ (`・ω・´)ノ
We did a dress rehearsal yesterday, and to my surprise, the setlist was changed a bit again! lol Those of you masters and princesses who check Twitter probably know this, but the setlist has been changed over and over this time (panicking)
However, it’s a piece of cake to do it, if you masters and princesses can enjoy the show the best with it!!!!!! (Good job me)
Christmas is coming soon, so I hope you can also enjoy a little bit of that atmosphere⭐︎ (I would be happy if you noticed…)
Ah-chan’s birthday is coming soon too. I’ll be happy if we all can say happy birthday to her together!! (*´ω`*)
Recently, I’ve been spending my days rehearsing for tomorrow’s serving and giving interviews, and in between, I went around music stores and so on~♪
I also think it would be nice if I could improve my equipment for Budokan, so I’m doing some research!!!
(Please don’t forget about Budokan!⭐︎)
Those of you who check Instagram probably know this, but I will install new equipment at the serving tomorrow, so don’t miss it~!!
(Awww I can’t wait!!♪)
The season has changed and it has become cold. Stay warm! Moisturize! Wear a mask! Wash your hands and gargle! Stay healthy~!!
See you tomorrow~~~ (`・ω・´)ノ
12/13 (Sun) BAND-MAID ONLINE OKYU-JI (Full show): https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/376042
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2020-12-25 19:45 Vol. 59 Saiki
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
O-mei-syu-sama! Merry Christmas!
I’m Saiki
How are you doing? This year’s Christmas is somewhat warm, isn’t it?
I had an image of extremely cold weather about it until last year, but this year I can live without so much clothes
So I spend my days with a cool face
Santa-san didn’t come to Sai-chan’s house though (I didn’t call him though)
I wonder if he came to you o-mei-syu-sama?
Santa-san seems to be immune to COVID-san
He’s awesome
Thank you for all your hard work this year too
I hope all the children in the world are happy
All right.
We Maids started preparing for the Nippon Budokan serving such as rehearsals
We’ve even decided on the setlist, even though tentative
It’s the greatest setlist ever
Well, I’m sure it will keep changing, but please look forward to it anyway
Oh, yes.
I’m sorry we had to change the general ticket sale date for Nippon Budokan and keep you waiting
We’re trying to arrange everything so that you can see the show safely
We’re working hard to do the best serving for you
So let’s keep it up and get over COVID-san together
Sai-chan is cheering you.
And guess what.
We’ve been interviewed a lot lately and promoting Unseen World
We did this and that for the first time
I, Sai-chan, can’t tell you about them though
Wait for official announcements
I’m sure you masters and princesses will be pleased! You will be delighted!
Oh, yes.
There’s a board of the Unseen World artwork at Tower Records Shibuya
Have you seen it?
Or have you seen its picture on social media?
I went to see it
Its presence was awesome! It was beautiful! It was excellent! I’m so happy!
Ah. I had so many things to tell you that I kept on writing and writing
As for today’s topic, I exchanged Christmas gifts with my bandmates
(Manager’s note: we have just uploaded it! Speedy upload) https://bandmaid.tokyo/movies/50361
Well then, have a happy new year
BAND-MAID NIPPON BUDOKAN MERCH: The first pre-order now on sale! Will be accepted until tomorrow 12/26 (Sat) 23:59 https://bandmaid.tokyo/products
12/13 (Sun) BAND-MAID ONLINE OKYU-JI (Full show) Archive Tickets are on sale now!! https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/376042
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/

2021-01-22 18:30 Vol. 60 Akane
— Band-Maid Official Mail Magazine “Letter to O-mei-syu-sama” —
Hi!! Our first newsletter in 2021 is from me, Akane!
The year 2021 has come! O-mei-syu-sama, how did you spend New Year’s Eve and celebrate New Year??
I ate toshikoshi soba while watching Kōhaku Uta Gassen at home, and after entering the new year, I watched CDTV all through until early in the morning. I was inspired by the performance of my respected bands and fellow bands over the TV as soon as the new year began! They were all so cool!! I wish we could do a joint concert!!
On New Year’s Day, I made ozoni for the first time. My mom had made it for me every year, but this year I made it myself. (Smug)
I did my best to make it with advice from Misa and Sai-chan~.
My cooking skills are steadily improving, so I’ll keep on cooking this year. Go me! Go!
By the way, I’m having a hard time these days because my enthusiasm for Haikyu!! came back. I’m totally into it. My favorite is Tōru Oikawa. I also love Kenma Kozume, Kōshi Sugawara, Tobio Kageyama, and Atsumu Miya. Basically I love setters. I keep Oikawa-san merch all over my house as eye candy. If I start playing volleyball, someone please stop me.
All right. The year 2021 has been full of happy things since January already~!
First of all, on January 7, the Band-Maid Official LINE was created!
On January 9, the 2021 February issue of Young Guitar, where we Band-Maid appear on the cover, was released!
On January 13, the anime Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table, whose opening theme song is Different released on December 2 last year, started airing on NHK!
And on January 20, we released our 4th album Unseen World~!!!!
We believe we have created an album that exceeds all of your expectations! We are full of confidence about all of its songs, so listen to it every day! lol
The online listening party was also a lot of fun! Those of you o-mei-syu-sama who joined it, thank you very much! It’s so nice all of us can listen to something together♪
After that, we had the YouTube premiere of the Warning! music video! It was also so much fun to watch it with you all~!
I couldn’t stop smiling as I received so many happy reactions and thoughts from all of you about Unseen World and the MVs of Manners and Warning!!
There was a huge explosion in the Warning! MV! You were all surprised, right?! lol That’s not CG, OK?!! lol
I had very precious experiences in the MV this time, like the explosion and playing the drums on the truck bed.
When the car was moving, I played while fastened with a safety belt. It was my first time playing the drums in such a condition. lol
It was a tough shoot with snow and heavy rain in the middle, but I’m so excited that the MV turned out incredibly cool.
Watch the MV a lot! Listen to the album a lot!
It’s true I’m disappointed the Budokan show this year I was really looking forward to was canceled, but we will become the strongest band by saving up power and improving our skills and have a return match with Budokan!! We only move forward!!
On February 11, we are going to do an online okyu-ji instead, so we will do it with the same spirit for Budokan of course! We are rehearsing and preparing for it with all our might! O-mei-syu-sama, look forward to it!
And when the time comes for us to do servings together again, let’s vent all our frustrations so far!!!!
We Band-Maid will do our best to bring you happy news, songs, and servings this year again, so please support us in 2021 as well!!!!
That’s all from Akane! See you soon♪
Warning! Music Video: https://youtu.be/9yD3IqrLtPk
Band-Maid media info: https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/384822
2/11 (Thu) BAND-MAID ONLINE OKYU-JI (Feb. 11, 2021): https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/398790
12/13 (Sun) BAND-MAID ONLINE OKYU-JI (Full show): https://bandmaid.tokyo/contents/376042
BAND-MAID Official Web Site: https://bandmaid.tokyo/
submitted by t-shinji to BandMaid [link] [comments]

Respect The C.I.A (American Dad!)

Respect The C.I.A (American Dad!)

"Francine, you be very careful out there today. We're at terror alert orange. Which means something might go down somewhere at some point at time... So look sharp!"
National security is serious business. Unlike the nerds at the N.S.A, the Central Intelligence Agency know how to get it done and how to look cool doing it. The C.I.A's role in American dad seems to cover a lot of bases, from destabilising and removing despots from Latin-American countries (and replacing them with even more bloodthirsty ones that like to dance) to monitoring citizens and upkeeping a scathing permeant record of their activities that make it hard to get a job. The C.I.A definitely puts the best interest of the American population first.
The C.I.A does not achieve it's goals through diplomacy (mostly). If there is a problem, there is likely a gun / secret technology / piece of blackmail that will see the objective through to the end and more specifically the resources of the C.I.A are displayed right here conveniently!
The specifics of the C.I.A's hierarchy are never really shown in detail, There are Senators, Internal affairs agents and occasionally other high authority figures that show up around the office. The main thing to know is the one calling the shots is mostly Bullock, a 70 year old very possibly clinically insane man. Mostly the C.I.A are able to get the job done. Stan Smith himself has shown to have a decent amount of authority as well.


  • Bold feats note a good piece of equipment of feat for a technology from the C.I.A
  • Antifeats will be noted
  • Hover over a feat to see what series it came from (using the Wiki's season guide)
The hub post explains the canonical discrepancy in more detail (Coming soon), For now check out this prototype of the canon. The TLDR; for this thread is
feats marked with [Cyborg] come from an alt-timeline, feats marked with [Chineese sellout] come from a non-canon episode, feats marked with Macfarlenverse come from Stewie's simulation ,feats marked with TV at the end take place when the canon takes place inside a haunted TV and feats with TV+AlienSim are feats that take place after the canon takes place in a haunted TV and then earth gets destroyed and then simulated by an alien civilisation in the future






Exo-Skeletal Weapons system
Unnamed Misc/Mechs

Avatar Program

Avatars are robots who look like humans and are controlled by a C.I.A agent in a mocap suit. They also have Superhuman physicals. So there is that.

Other Robots/Drones


Cyborg Program

Stan Smith singed up to a cyborg program in the C.I.A, but little did he know this decision would come back to haunt him presently due to time travel stuff. A cyborg version of Stan came from the future to steal his wife. Thefore be aware that these are feats from an alt-timeline C.I.A. Full Cyborg Stan thread here
Technologies & Weapons
Current time-line cyborg stuff


Mind control / reading / manipulation

Mind control
Mind manipulation
Mind reading


Biological Augmentation


Physically damaging

Time travel

Computers + simulators + Hacking

Computers + simulators

Misc Tech.

submitted by seoila to respectthreads [link] [comments]

Pakistan’s Next Crisis is Guaranteed

This was originally posted at https://brettongoods.substack.com/p/pakistans-next-crisis-is-guaranteed


  1. Pakistan’s current economic crisis is caused by a spike in oil and gas prices leading to a sharp drop in foreign exchange reserves. The government has reserves worth a month of imports and would not have met their debt commitments without an IMF bailout.
  2. This is not the first IMF bailout for Pakistan: it’s the 23rd! The problem is not only about this specific crisis, but that the Pakistani economy has extremely poor policy that makes economic growth almost impossible. It is inevitable then, that economic crises happen so often.
  3. The reason why this happens is because the Pakistani elite do not want it! They do not have the incentives to increase economic growth whether due to corruption, military control of the government and or general incompetence. Until this changes, it is very likely that Pakistan will have low economic growth, and inevitably more crises like this

From Crisis to Crisis

The current economic crises in Pakistan and Sri Lanka (both articles from Noah Smith, recommended) might seem like they’re because of this moment. It might seem as if the crisis is because of a specific action taken by a specific person (like the Sri Lankan debt binge in 2019), or because of some unlucky event (like the Russian invasion of Ukraine which raised food and energy prices). But when you look at the economic history of post independence Pakistan, it doesn’t seem like this was a one off thing. The country has had 23 IMF bailouts since independence, and it doesn’t seem as if any of them has led to structural change.

The imports go boom

The immediate reason for Pakistan’s crisis is simple: they will run out of foreign exchange reserves and not have much to pay their foreign currency debts. They will run out of foreign exchange reserves because their central bank sold most of them in defending the currency’s value.
The central bank had a problem: in 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to higher energy and food prices. Pakistan’s largest import is petroleum, its second largest is gas and its third largest is crude oil. The current spike in oil prices from about $70/barrel to $120/barrel and spike in natural gas means that the country’s import bill increases. It is very hard to have a lesser quantity of oil and gas because it’s so important to several functions like electricity and transportation, so consumers end up accepting the price increase in the short term. So, for countries that have to import these products, it ends up in a higher import bill for them. Pakistan’s imports in June are up 16% over May’s, and 24% over last June’s.

The problem is that when your imports exceed your exports (and in the absence of foreign investment), this usually leads to the currency depreciating. Pakistan not only has had more imports than exports, but also has had declining foreign investment, which means that there is strong selling pressure on the currency. Fewer people want to buy Pakistani rupees and more want to sell them. The State Bank of Pakistan tried to reduce the effect of this by buying Pakistani Rupees and selling foreign currency. But the selling pressure was so strong that they were close to running out of money. In August 2021 the SBP had about 20 billion USD of foreign exchange reserves. On 15th July, they had only 9.3 billion of reserves.
The problem is that in the last month, Pakistan imported about $7.8 bn of goods and services and exported only $2.9 billion worth of items. It is likely that the import bill increases, due to increasing gas prices, and the currency depreciates more. Should the SBP want to defend the currency’s value, they’ll be facing stronger selling pressures and will have to spend more to defend the currency’s value.

Paying the money back

The other problem is that Pakistan has a serious external debt problem. The country has about $100 billion in foreign denominated liabilities, out of which $81 billion is government debt. Out of that $81 billion, about a billion comes due in less than a year. It is almost guaranteed that the numbers from the PBS in the link above (from March) are an understatement, as the government has been borrowing rapidly in the financial markets.
The problem is that the massive fall in the PKR’s value has meant that it takes a lot more PKR than it used to to pay the foreign denominated debt. The Pakistani government will have to spend much more on debt payments than it used to.
It is unlikely that the government will not have the money to pay its debts over the long run. Financial markets have recognised this and Pakistani bond prices have fallen about 40% in the last few months. It is possible that the country won’t have enough foreign exchange reserves to make foreign bond payments, and if it does, it will be at the expense of spending the money somewhere else important.
See Bloomberg for more on it
Some facts about the economy make it almost inevitable that they will have foreign exchange crises.

Power Problems

For almost all countries that do not produce fossil fuels at home, they end up importing them. This is true for China, Japan, India and Germany. (America became a net exporter of oil in 2019, but might return to being a net importer this year). Pakistan has multiple problems in its energy sector. The first is that everytime the price of oil and gas increases, their import bill also increases.
A higher import bill is one problem. The government taking the cost of imports on the fiscal makes it worse.

More Money More Problems

Every government faces political problems when energy prices rise. But Pakistan is probably unique in trying to solve those problems with subsidies that are unsustainable. In the previous fiscal year , there were power subsidies of about 378bn PKR versus a budgetary allocation of only ~150bn PKR. In this fiscal year, they would be about 500bn PKR making about 5% of the budget.
The problem here is clear. When the government commits to subsidising fuel if the price goes up, it takes an implicit liability on its budget. If fuel prices go up, it has to increase spending at the same time when the balance of payments is facing stress. This will make fuel cheaper, and instead of rationing the quantity of fuel via higher prices, will encourage its consumption leading to a higher subsidy cost. The government is converting a balance of payments problem to both a balance of payments problem and a fiscal problem.
You can model the Pakistani government as sort of being short the price of oil and natural gas, and that has been a terrible trade so far.
The government seems very committed to keeping them, in light of the upcoming elections in 2023 (although they do know the risks themselves).

Power Problems II

And along with the subsidies, the other problem is that for the same political reasons, the previous government refused to increase energy prices even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and only when the new government came did they increase the price of power (and that too barely)
The other problem is that many of the subsidies that the government promises to power distribution companies do not get paid. This paper estimates it at about 12% of GDP, although the IMF puts it at around 6% of GDP. Regardless of the actual number, this is a serious problem! If power distribution companies do not get the subsidies they are promised, they are unable to make payments to anyone up the supply chain. Which makes the existing problem of higher prices worse by increasing the number of problems in transmitting electricity.

The Budget Problem

Along with the Power Problems, Pakistan has another serious problem. It does not collect very much in taxes, but spends as if it did. To cover the difference the government borrows money, usually in foreign currency.

We Don’t Pay Taxes Here

Pakistan has a low tax to GDP ratio of about 13% which is far lower than comparable countries (Thailand at 17%, India at almost 18% and Turkey at 18%). There are a few reasons why this happens. The first is that the government is under political pressure to give exemptions to political supporters, especially right before elections. Along with that the direct tax base is very narrow. Only 2.9 million Pakistanis pay income tax out of a population of 220 million people. There are also several exemptions to the sales taxes which reduce the amount of revenue
The current sales tax system is also very fragmented with provinces collecting services tax and the federal government collecting the goods tax. The system as a whole is cumbersome and hard to deal with. Along with that, there are several negative effects of the current tax system. There is no mechanism to claim tax credits on inputs, and so exporters face higher costs compared to other countries

The Debt Problem

For many countries of Pakistan’s development level, it is generally harder to borrow large amounts at long durations domestically. The local debt markets wouldn’t be able to support large amounts at long durations and even if they did, the interest rates would be much higher. So, governments choose to borrow in foreign currency above. As said above, they have about 80 billion in foreign debt (which is an understatement given it is likely that the government has borrowed more in the last year).
The sharp fall in the Pakistani rupee’s value means that the cost of servicing the debt too would have increased, and put a further strain on the already limited foreign exchange reserves.
The foreign debt creates a serious foreign exchange constraint for Pakistan. The country has to generate enough foreign currency to service its debt or risk defaulting on it and being cut off from the financial markets.
The oil spike is bad luck, subsidising oil during the oil spike is bad policy, the long term problem of low tax collections are worse than that, but borrowing money in foreign currency to fund expenditures is the ultimate sin. Debt by itself is not bad, but the problem is that Pakistani governments are using it to spend it on expenditures and not productive investments.
All of these make foriegn exchange crises more likely. The reason why other countries manage to avoid this is because they have economic growth that keeps money flowing in. A very good way to avoid repeated economic crises is to have consistent economic growth.

The Growth Problem

And the previous 1600 or so words are only hinting towards what is Pakistan’s biggest problem. Its economy is unproductive, and is not growing to the extent to which its political aspirations ask for. It is not wrong for Pakistani voters to ask that they don’t spend over half their incomes (see the CPI basket here) on food and energy. But the problem is that their incomes are not growing fast enough.
There are three parts to this. First, productivity growth in Pakistan has been low and declining. Second, this is caused in large part by onerous government regulation and command of the economy. Finally, everything described above is a symptom of the above two problems.
A small caveat: Pakistan is not very poor, but has had slow growth relative to its neighbour India, and Bangladesh (which was part of the country from 1947-71).

Productivity is (almost) everything

For an economy to grow, you need capital and labour. More machines and more people, make countries richer. But the problem is that only adding more machines and people can’t go on forever. Countries also have to use them productively. It makes little sense to have increasing use of factors like capital and labour if they’re not being used productively. Except for a few periods, this has been the case in Pakistan. Most economic growth has come from adding more resources to the Pakistani economy, and it is only in a few decades that economic growth has come from productivity improvements rather than adding capital and labour.
You can see examples of this in multiple places, but I’m going to focus on one extreme one: exports. Pakistani exports are concentrated in a few low value products and in very few firms. The top 25 firms make about a quarter of Pakistan’s total exports, and all of them in textiles. Exports are good because they cause firms to compete in the global market and make them more productive. They also lead to foreign exchange earnings which help the balance of payments problem.
The productivity problem also shows up in the size of firms. Just like India, Pakistan has too many small firms. As this World Bank article notes, the average small firm in Pakistan has only two employees.
And the diagnosis of the problem is that the Pakistani economy has a productivity problem.

Big Government, Big Problems

The Pakistani government bears responsibility for their low productivity in two ways. First the onerous regulation that pervades much of the economy keeps the country poor, and corruption high. Second, the state owned enterprise sector takes up too much capital and is very unproductive.


It is very hard to start a firm in Pakistan. It takes about 17 days and costs about 6% of your annual income. This makes new firm entry very hard, and means that existing firms are protected and more productive new firms don’t enter the market. And even after they do start it, running one is difficult. Regulatory laws are poorly enforced and government inspectors are commonly corrupt.
The tax system also makes it harder to export. States and provincial governments have a mix of indirect taxation powers which leads to regulatory uncertainty for firms. Many times products are taxed twice by both of them and they can’t claim credits for it. The GST does not allow firms to deduct input GST costs which makes them disadvantaged globally. It is also very hard to import capital goods in Pakistan because of the tariffs involved in importing them. This reduces exports because these imports are used to produce items that will be exported again later.
Worst of all, the uncertainty leads to a focus on low value exports (about 60% of exports are textiles comprising simple linen, knitwear etc and another 20% is food like rice and fish).

Capital Sucking SOEs

Pakistan has a problem: its state owned companies are very unproductive. The usual problems for all state owned companies exist here. SOE managers are poorly motivated, poorly incentivised and poorly run.
Out of 213 SOEs, only 85 are commercial (for making money) versus strategic (for some national purpose like energy security for example). Non financial commercial SOEs had assets amounting to 44% of GDP but generated only 0.4% of employment. Despite having 44% of GDP in terms of assets, their revenues amounted to only 14% of GDP. Revenues aren’t counted in GDP though, profits are. The net profit of Pakistani SOEs has been negative since 2014 and over one third of them have consistently lost money.
Credit too is extended to the SOEs far above the private sector. Bank loans to the government and SOEs grew at more than double the rate of private sector bank loan growth from 2019 to 2021. To add to all of this, SOEs have contingent liabilities of more than 7% of GDP which would be a burden on the government budget if the contingencies occur.

The Reform Problem

Nothing I’ve said above is new. Pakistani economists have been lamenting for years that structural reforms aren’t happening. Here is former Pakistani Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz all the way back in 1999
Pakistan was in severe economic crisis. We were known as a "one-tranche country". We used to take one tranche from the IMF. We were constantly in Fund programs. We would violate all the conditions of the program and it would be stalled, and then we would go back. This was the routine more or less. We had severe balance-of-payments problems. We did not know how to meet our foreign exchange expenses beyond a certain day. Our debts were technically in default; some were past due and no new credit was available from the market Source: Asia Society
IMF reports have said this since 2001 (from when the first digital reports are available). And even today, the need for structural reforms is well known. Here is Atif Mian from last week: https://twitter.com/AtifRMian/status/1549803193634283525
So why aren’t Pakistani politicians taking action? After all the problems are clear. Their solutions too are clear. It is just not clear how they can implement them and stay in power.

Elections make it difficult

It is almost an article of faith that getting re-elected for a government requires cheap energy and food prices. After all, they form a majority of Pakistan’s consumption basket. And to be fair to the government, they did try. They signed natural gas deals in 2015 with Russia and one with Qatar this year. And the Russian invasion did make it difficult by increasing oil and gas prices which in the extreme cases led to blackouts and rationing. Pakistani politicians have the strongest incentive to do anything and everything to get the lights back on. It is unsurprising that they chose to subsidise oil and gas and put price controls.

The Elite Bargain

The deeper problem beyond the impulse to subsidise energy is that the Pakistani establishment does not have an elite bargain that leads to good economic policy. What does that mean? In every country the major political parties and other important stakeholders (the public, military and the media) agree on a set of norms.
They agree on the goal of the government (in China that was very explicitly to get powerful via economic growth), and to a lesser extent, the means to do it. In Pakistan, the problem is that it is each for himself. The major political parties do not take the actions needed to increase economic growth (like reducing the regulations for businesses or reducing the import tariffs) because they do not see the point in it.
Sometimes there are important stakeholders that prevent reform. The Pakistani Army via the Fauji Foundation and other trusts controls several businesses (one of the first search suggestions in the dropbox is “Fauji Foundation cement”), and they have a great deal of political power in the country. The army is widely believed to control the government from the inside, and it would not be surprising if they had stopped trade liberalisation to protect their core financial interests.
Pakistani politicians themselves make large amounts from corruption, and it would make sense for them to keep the show running as it is because it personally benefits them. A more liberalised economy would lead to their existing sources of rent being destroyed and new people coming in place.


I’m more or less convinced that unless the government has a change of heart and decides to fight the special interests that force it to have such poor economic policy, these crises are inevitable.
And I’ll leave you with this meme to end it

I write at brettongoods.substack.com. Follow me on Twitter at @PradyuPrasad
submitted by bretton-goods to neoliberal [link] [comments]

So what is DeFi exactly?

I have always been confused about what Decentralized Finance actually is. I've looked onto several DeFi platforms, and from my understanding they (claim to) lend out cryptocurrency at very high interest rates, and give out a relatively high APY for users that are willing to stake their crypto at the platform (they lend the crypto to the defi platform and the platform lends them out)
So it's somewhat similar to a privately ran bank? The way they word their businesses makes it seem legit, with the high APY being paid from the high interest rates of their loans, but is there an actual demand for crypto loans? I feel like if one has enough collateral to borrow crypto from these platforms, they might as well just buy the crypto themselves, without having to pay exorbitant interests.

Personally I think this all seems like HYIP schemes, where a platform would claim to have a profitable business like a forex trading bot or gold mining (and in defi's case, crypto lending) then try to attract "capital" from investors, promising a high APY. However it's essentially a ponzi scheme. Is my understanding correct or defi actually has a way to make enough profit to pay their stakers?
submitted by PestoChickenLinguine to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Spenny's forgotten blog posts

I have a few KVS related text files on my computer I never read until today and they had me laughing my ass off. They're from Spenny and it seems they were from his blog on his old website (web archive).
They don't seem to be on the web archive anymore, so here they are:

"A Note To Spenny Haters"
I'd like to take this opportunity to forgive and thank some of the haters who post aggressively nasty personal attacks on this and other blogs. Kenny Vs. Spenny is a show that engenders conflict, so it's not surprising that fans support either Kenny or myself. I encourage the haters to continue these spirited attacks as a healthy and non-violent way of dealing with their inner-turmoil. My ego is sufficiently formed to absorb most of the angry missives.
However, there are some haters that cross the line. Though I'm not a psychiatrist, I think that these extreme haters might consider some sort of counseling or anger management class. It's little comfort to me, but worth mentioning, that these malignant haters seem to always come from Kenny's fan base, not mine. Kenny is a lot of things; cheater, narcissist (possibly clinical), greedy, liar (possibly pathological), immature and stinky but he has never been homophobic or racist. I challenge Mr. Kenneth Joel Hotz to use blog technology to publicly distance himself from this pathetic element of his fan base. Kenny, even your abject insecurity shouldn't need the support from pathetic creeps like these.
I'd also like to touch upon the fake Spenny phenomenon or Spenomenon, if you will. Over the years I noticed an increasing number of people who pretend to be me on social networking websites, blogs and chat rooms. It got to the point that if I was in a chat room, I spent most of the time trying to prove that I was me instead of connecting with the fans on a meaningful level. Also, my Wikipedia page has been under siege as my legitimate biography has been continuously altered to make me look like a cross between Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler. The result is that I have stopped trying to communicate directly and will only do so in ways like this where the fans can know it's actually me and not some pathetic joker trying to get a naked picture of a girl by using my identity. Fair is fair, those naked pictures should be for me.
I'd like to thank the good people of Showcase for allowing me this opportunity to communicate with you. I wish everyone (including the malignant Spenny haters) all the best and hope you've been enjoying season five.
Love, Spenny

"First Guy To Touch The Ground Loses"
This was a cheap victory. I won because Kenny lost his balance. Yippee. It was especially unsatisfying because it was a rare instance when I actually had a decent master plan. Escaping to a boat where I would blissfully float my way to victory was admittedly uncharacteristic, and I was bitterly disappointed the plan was ruined by Kenny’s shenanigans. His perversion of the rules by Clintonian wordplay was feeble. For me, not touching my stuff didn’t just mean Kenny not physically touching my stuff, it meant (and I believe a child would have understood it) that Kenny could not directly or indirectly interfere with my stuff. But Kenny, the human loophole, decided to ruin yet another competition. I seriously need to consider retaining an attorney to draft the rules.
The sex swing – and I didn’t know it was a sex swing -- was a ruse. I wanted to have something dramatic to distract Kenny from my maritime master plan. Unfortunately, for me, I ended up stranded in the sex swing, which not only left me completely vulnerable, but was extremely uncomfortable.
Kenny took advantage of my vulnerability by transforming himself into what can only described as a hack version of a James Bond villain, whose cadence, lame rhymes and loaf of rye bread sidekick were clearly not developed in any meaningful way. (Kenny has a history of creating one-dimensional characters: Silencio, Maurice Del whatever-the-hell-he’s-called., the fat guy, Yarp Yarp etc…) I assume he creates these characters as a launching pad to his next show…my fingers are crossed.
Lastly, and reminiscent of competitions past, the parameters of this contest were at best ill-conceived. Is the floor of the house considered the ground? Is a house not raised above the ground? If the floor is considered the ground then why didn’t we just wear shoes? My point is that the competition was conceptually flawed. It’s bad enough when I have to suffer a humiliation, but it’s that much worse when compounded by an illogical competition.
But I make no excuses. I’m a grown man (sort of) who has consented of free will to participate in this train wreck of a show. My main fear is that my professional, personal and psychological life will be irreparably harmed by participating in Kenny Vs Spenny. My hope is that people will ultimately see me as a decent-ish human being and not just a whining loser who got what he deserved.

"Who Can Bone More Women"
Okay. Terah had a penis. I now understand why intercourse was out of the question. I suppose on a purely sick level this might be seen by Kenny as the greatest achievement of his “adult” life. Hiring a pre-operative transsexual was low; another example of Kenny fearing a legitimate loss in a crucial male competition by hijacking it under the guise of a “clever” master plan. I fully admit that I was blinded by my desire to win -- Terah could have had a goatee and I may have missed it. But defeating Kenny is my job and I make no apologies. Though my arousal strategy was solid and has served me well in my civilian life, the cameras made it difficult. Terah’s willingness was my only road to victory and just didn’t realize the road was under construction.
I suppose I could argue that because Terah sees hehimself as a woman that I actually may have won the competition…but it's too late. I guess we'll never know what would have happened if Kenny hadn’t ruined the competition like a frightened little girl. Maybe it's Kenny that should seriously look at the validity of his gender orientation.
For the record, I remain, as always, a heterosexual male. My support of the gay and transgender community is as solid and sincere as ever. If there appeared to be any shame on my part when Kenny revealed to me that Tara was not a full female, please understand that it was shock, not shame. I know there will be Kenny fans that will snicker and call me names, and if there is any shame to be had, that's where it belongs. What happened, happened, and I'm going to look at it as a life experience not many heterosexual men get to have...I never thought I'd have something in common with Tommy Lee.
Though I fully support Terah’s right to be comfortable with your sexual identity, I do not support sleazy payoffs and cheating. Shame on you, Terah. And shame on you, Kenny. Shame. Shame. Shame.
For personal and professional reasons, I will never speak about this competition again.

"Who Can Keep A Dump In Their Pants The Longest"
First of all, I clearly and unequivocally won this competition. Kenny’s kitty-littered poop dropped out of his diaper on camera for all to see – game over. Though I wasn’t aware of it until after I did the humiliation, there isn’t a person alive that could convince me I don’t deserve a bold check in the win column.
Secondly, now that’s out of the way, I can honestly say that this was one of the most dreaded competitions in which I’ve ever participated. I didn’t sleep the night before because I was worried that I just wouldn’t be able to poop in my diaper…after all, I hadn’t pooped a diaper since I was a baby. But once the competition was underway, and with the support of the crew, nature took its course and the rest is uniquely stinky Kenny Vs Spenny history.
As for Kenny’s issue with my brilliant blue pantaloon scheme; I’ll fully acknowledge that it’s arguable that the feces had left my diaper, but it’s a moot point because as previously noted he lost the competition much earlier.
Kenny has publicly stated that if he could dose me with a laxative everyday, he would. Nice. I knew Kenny had dosed me with laxatives in this competition, even though I didn’t know how. As far as I’m concerned, that was not in the spirit of the competition and crossed yet another line in a seemingly endless series of lines. Kenny Hotz is disturbed and needs to come to terms with his transparent obsessions with both my penis and my poop.
If nothing else, I hope this competition raised awareness for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Please give generously.

"Who Can Piss Off More People"
Well, dear friends, it’s time to show my true colors and give the Devil his due. As I’ve repeatedly said publicly, Kenny is capable of beating me without cheating, and this competition rises to that rare occasion. It never occurred to me that I could piss-off people on mass…but it did occur to Kenny, and he rightly deserves his victory. Well done.
I’ve always had issues with taking on competitions that are against my core ethics, and pissing off unsuspecting innocent people fell into that category. But unfortunately I was talked into it by Kenny, who told me that not doing it was lame and that I was a wimp. It bothers me that at my age I can still be persuaded by such childish labels, but it worked, and to certain extent I got what I deserved. Kenny has had infinite experience in pissing me off, so I was in trouble from the get-go.
I physically transformed myself to create a character to shelter me from the reality of what I was doing, but in the end, everyone watching the show will know it’s me and the buck stops here. I especially felt bad for the older woman I harassed with the baby carriage when I was pretending to be a parking meter cop. I think I may have traumatized the poor woman…and for what? Senior citizens should be treasured and not purposely pissed-off for the sake of a ridiculous competition on an even more ridiculous television show. I can only hope she finds it in her heart to forgive me. But, for the older woman who was paid by Kenny to be scared of my mega-phone horn, for her, I have no sympathy. I hope the money Kenny paid you was worth your credibility.
My intention was to take this pointedly negative contest and at least try to teach a lesson about how people spreading their bad moods make the world an unhappier place. And not only do I think that my message didn’t come through; I think we might actually be encouraging this kind of sick behavior. I pray I’m wrong.
As far as Kenny’s “Jesus Sucks” aerial banner, and the resulting fall-out, I will have to defend my “friend”. Was it in bad taste? Yes. Was it the creation of a deeply sick and twisted mind? Absolutely. BUT, at the end of the day, they’re only words on a banner, and we need to be thick-skinned enough in a democracy to not only tolerate opinions that are distasteful to us, but to fight for the right for people to express them. I realize this runs counter to certain Human Rights Commissions, but that’s how I feel. Personally, I don’t think Jesus sucks. I think Kenny sucks…sucks stinky ass.

"Who Can Smoke More Weed"
I’m fairly certain that marijuana should be illegal. If everyone smoked pot, society as we know it would ground to a halt.
When I was younger I smoked dope from Columbia and Mexico, but the potency of the weed these days is an entirely different thing; it rendered me completely useless as a competitor and a human being. I almost forgot how to breathe and became completely paranoid, lethargic and withdrawn.
I also felt completely self-conscious and for obvious reasons didn’t want to look like a stoned idiot on camera. Let’s face it, I’m used to looking like an idiot on TV, but a stoned idiot is different. At some point during the haze I realized that the crew filming me was the biggest impediment to winning the competition, so I spent a lot of time trying to avoid them. I’ll admit that avoiding the cameras does not make for great television, but I was too stoned to care – and therein lies my point about society grounding to a halt.
My hope is that the weed smoking competition becomes an anti-pot smoking public service announcement. The only anomaly is that smoking pot actually made Kenny a nice guy. So, maybe pot needs to be legal for medical reasons and to turn your asshole best friend into a nice guy. Other than that, I’m sticking to the hootch.

"Who Can Wear a Gorilla Suit The Longest"
The Gorilla is an endangered species. For Kenny to mock my efforts to use the show to raise awareness of the fate of the mountain gorillas is truly beyond my capacity to understand. For whatever reason, Kenny and I have a voice on television, and we should, whenever possible, use that voice to in some small way try to help something other than ourselves…a concept that Kenny could never grasp. Gorillas are gentle, vegetarians and killing them so that some asshole can have an ashtray to butt-out his cancer stick is not exactly a high water mark of human achievement. It’s low…even by Kenny’s standards.
This competition was a sham. Either I have a mole in my midst, or Kenny is so obsessed with beating me that it’s becoming impossible for me to play out any of my secret plans without joining a witness protection program. Both my sauna and ant strategies were hijacked, and if I ever find out that there actually is a mole, or some sort of subterfuge within the production office, I will go public and out the rat(s) in no uncertain terms. Kenny is a rat on his own…he shouldn’t have any help. And I’ll say it again…we need some sort of governing body for this series!!!
Lastly, let me mention the fact that Kenny, my “best friend”, thought it a competitive strategy to light my head on fire in order to win the competition. Nice. Let’s suppose for a moment that the entire costume became a conflagration and I was covered head to toe with 3rd degree burns. Funny stuff. For the record, this is something I would never do to him…it’s a crazy little thing called behaving like a civilized human being. Luckily, I only lost a competition and didn’t end up with years of skin grafts in some burn ward. You see, unlike Kenny, I have a somewhat healthy sense of relativity: losing a competition is preferable to being burnt alive in a gorilla costume.
For those of you who think this is the logic of a loser…then so be it. This episode clearly illustrates that Kenny will do ANYTHING to win. Sound familiar: Enron, Nazi Germany, Wall Street, Tonya Harding. Congratulations Kenny. You’re in good company.

"Who Do Disabled People Like More"
Once again I cry foul! I won this competition. It should be clear to anyone with a functioning brain that the disabled judges liked me more than Kenny. But any satisfaction I could have had was erased by Kenny's name-switch strategy that had him intentionally making them hate him, which of course was completely antithetical to the purpose of the competition. I don't think there are any scenarios on the planet – never mind a victory on this stupid show -- that would justify me to intentionally tormenting the disabled. Though I referred to them as "super-abled" because they are thriving despite their circumstances, I don't think they (especially the blind man) needed to be violently hit in the head while playing dodge ball, or verbally abused for an innocent lack of musical talent. I wonder if Kenny considered pushing them over a cliff or gassing them to assure victory.
Yet again Kenny has cowardly escaped the realities of the competition. Some will find this clever...I do not. Taking advantage of the similarities of our names, while mildly amusing, obfuscated the realities of the competition, and as such, is at best a meaningless victory. Historically Kenny hates judged competitions because it infringes on his insecure need to be in control. He reacts to this lack of control by becoming even more devious than usual. It’s pathetic and speaks to his ultimate fear that I will win if we compete on an even playing field. And this isn't sour grapes...it a rational reaction to being sucked into the vortex of a clinically narcissistic, man-child sociopath.
Another reason why this competition could be rendered null and void is that the judges were supposed to have to have never seen the show to prevent any biases. Jeff, the guy in the wheelchair, admitted on camera that he lied to the production and had seen the show before. I should have known he had Kenny tendencies (or Kendencies, if you will) by his unkempt appearance and questionable odor. And I won't let Jeff hide behind his disability. Lying is wrong. It's as wrong for Jeff as it would be for a Prime Minister or a child.
And lastly I'd like everyone to take a moment to ponder how our disabled judges will feel when they see this episode. My guess is that two of them will be more than a little upset....welcome to my world.

"Who's The Best Pro Wrestler"
I love wrestling. Participating in a wrestling competition was a dream come true. And even though the competition didn’t go my way – more on that in a moment – I enjoyed this episode as much as any other we’ve done in the series.
Although he tried to sodomize me with a beer bottle, it was a thrill to meet the Iron Sheik. Would I trust him to baby-sit? No. But the man was a World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion, winning the title from Bob Backlund on December 26th 1983 at Madison Square Garden. The Sheik --or Sheiky Baby as he’s affectionately known -- definitely has anger issues. But that’s understandable because the world of wrestling is a rough business with lots of residual downsides that most people don’t understand. I sincerely wish Sheik all the best and hope he finds some inner-peace.
Now the competition: Not surprisingly I take issue with the decision. The judge, Bloody Bill Skullion, has obviously taken too many drop-kicks to the head if he thinks that pathetic excuse for a wrestler Yarp Yarp (Kenny) won the competition. I don’t care if I lost character – Yarp Yarp didn’t wrestle!!! Wrestling is scripted, and we addressed that reality in the competition. Matches AND double-crosses are part of the script and wrestlers are forewarned of a double-cross. I was not informed of Yarp Yarp’s double-cross, and that is my main issue. Sure, wrestlers use improvisation techniques and stay in character, but important story-beats (and a double-cross is an important story beat) would be discussed beforehand. Either Skullion didn’t know that it was not discussed, or he was paid-off, or he’s had too many blows to the head. Either way, I dispute his decision.
Unlike Kenny, I actually learned to wrestle. I performed many moves: the camel clutch, a suplex, a drop-kick, a sunset flip, an airplane spin and many more. My character (The Nice Guy) was a solid wrestling persona with relevant accoutrements including Mother Gladys and my bodyguards, The Gentlemen. I fulfilled a childhood dream by spilling real blood for my fans. I did the competition, while Kenny essentially hiked up his stinky underwear, wore a basketball on his head, and swung a hammer screeching, “Yarp Yarp.” It may be marginally funny, but it was a lame wrestling persona. And to top it off, as I said, Kenny didn’t even wrestle!!! Pathetic.
Beyond Skullion’s idiotic decision, I believe the episode speaks for itself, and I bet many, including me, will feel cheated, wondering how it was possible for Kenny to win. Regardless, I’m very proud of my wrestling debut.
I’d also like to express my supreme disappointment in Tyson. He turned on me like a rat, and did it without telling me. I’m not sure why he did it, but I have a long memory. I’m not saying that I’ll beat him up -- it’s clear that I couldn’t, and I don’t believe in violence as a way of solving disputes. My revenge, like my revenge on Kenny, is the simple fact that he has forever documented himself on my show as a greasy scumbag, and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
Lastly, I’d like to dedicate the wrestling competition to the late great Bobo Brazil and the incomparable Andy Kaufman.

"Who's The Best Soldier"
Alright, I’ll admit that I’m a friendly fire incident waiting to happen. I’ll also admit that Kenny is physically stronger than me. I’ll even admit that Kenny would make a better soldier.
I personally don’t think that Kenny needed a strategy to beat me in this competition. It’s precisely Kenny’s win-at-all-cost ethos, combined with his all-consuming hobby of fragging the masses in video games, that makes him a better soldier…but that’s only compared to me. Kenny would last less than a nanosecond in the actual military. Team play, discipline and conformity are not Kenny’s strong suits. Actually, upon reflection, I could see Kenny as an Ernie Bilko-like figure, bilking his fellow soldiers and the military out of every dollar he could scam.
I went into this competition thinking that honor and a willingness to obey orders were important military values. But what I found was a system where sociopaths and psychopaths are rewarded. This is not to say that I in any way am discrediting the military. The sad fact is that we live a dangerous world, and the military is a necessary reality. It’s not surprising the military culture probably needs to be intrinsically psychopathic, illogical and unfair to function in the insanity of war -- for reference read Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
But what do I know? I use hand sanitizer, Shea butter and enjoy watching The Two Coreys. One thing for sure…if the military was made up of idiots like Kenny and I, we’d all be goose-stepping or living on communes or trying to kill Salman Rushdie.

"Who's The Better Jew"
Barukh ata I dunno… that pretty much sums up my knowledge of Judaism…and I’m a Jew! If I was a gambling man, I would have bet the farm on Kenny winning this competition. After all, Kenny’s mother is Israeli; he speaks Hebrew and went to Jewish parochial school, while I was raised in a secular home. Not that I don’t like being Jewish; I love bagels and lox, the Marx Brothers and appreciate being circumcised since I found out that uncircumcised men have more feeling and sensitivity during sex…the last thing I need is more feeling and sensitivity during sex. Ultimately, I believe religion has made great contributions to our culture; but I personally think that the human mind is limited (especially mine), unable to grapple with the big truths, if even the concept of truth has any relevance beyond our own logic and imagination. I digress…
So, feeling behind the eight ball, I enlisted an orthodox Rabbi named Chiam to help me cram Judaism to make up for a lifetime of willful neglect. I was particularly shocked to find out that masturbation was frowned upon by Orthodox Jews…a good reason to consider the reformed or conservative sects. Anyhow, Chiam was a good man and was helping me until Kenny cowardly interfered and tricked the Rabbi into leaving prematurely. Once again Kenny showed a stunning lack of respect for other people’s time…I hope the Rabbi puts some sort of Jewish curse on him if such a thing exists.
So, with Rabbi Chiam gone, I was forced to fend for myself. It didn’t go well. I wasn’t allowed into a Jewish community Centre (presumably because of the cameras, or perhaps they heard of my prodigious masturbation schedule.) I visited a Holocaust Memorial where I felt completely over my head and was sure that someone would think I was making light of the Holocaust, which has historically been Kenny’s domain. I genuinely tried to pray in a Synagogue but between my self-consciousness and neurotic inner-voice, it was far from a spiritual experience…nonetheless I prayed for peace on earth, a victory in the competition, and barring that, a light humiliation.
But unbelievably, the Rabbi/Judge (not Chiam) chose me as the better Jew. His reason: Kenny had essentially rejected his faith, while I hadn’t been exposed enough to it and was still technically open to Judaism. Gotta love those abstract-thinkin’ Jews. I’ll take it.
submitted by Haekki to kennyvsspenny [link] [comments]

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