Tag Archives: Russian sanctions

Bits and Pieces – 20180916, Sunday

Commentary

Your lesson in socialism for today (2:22 minutes) from the economist Milton Friedman:

If, you were engaged by Friedman and want a bit more, watch this one.

Bits and Pieces – 20180413, Friday

Commentary

Our focus remains on Syria. While Trump has taken a step back, assets are still being assembled: A Second US Tomahawk-Capable Destroyer Enters The Mediterranean. As the article notes the US won’t have the USS Harry Truman carrier strike group in place until April 22, and the military would not want to launch an attack with such high risk without all their pieces on the board. We expect the rhetoric to continue.

The wild card is Trump. How can he back down? The longer he waits, the greater the risk that an independent investigation may be able to be conducted that might exonerate Assad.

Bits and Pieces – 20180325, Sunday

Commentary: This edition of Bits and Pieces is rather long in the tooth and perhspd less coherent than usual.

Bits and Pieces – 20170731, Monday

Commentary: I want to explain why Bitcoin can never be a viable currency. My understanding of Bitcoin is that there is an upper limit on the number of coins that can ever exist, somewhere around 21 million. The block-chain, as I understand it is simply a security paradigm for the system.

If bitcoin were only to be used to buy potatoes, the question of their relative values might be settled by adding the weights of all the potatoes in the world and saying that this is equivalent to the total number of bitcoins since bitcoins are assumed to be worth nothing for any other purchase. Let’s say that one ton of potatoes is equivalent (worth) 2.4 bitcoins (which hides the problem of fractional bitcoins – what are they and how do you manage them?).

Suppose next year there is a bumper crop of potatoes. There are twice as many potatoes but the same number of bitcoins. The value of a potato relative to a bitcoin has been cut in half.

Suppose farmers can agree that a bushel of wheat is equivalent to 10 pounds of potatoes. Further, they find that the amount of wheat grown is twice the amount of potatoes in value. Also, they decide to accept bitcoins for wheat. The total amount of merchantable produce in bitcoins is 3 times our initial example. That means a ton of potatoes is worth 0.8 bitcoins now.

Expand this to all products and services produced in the global economy and the value of a single potato becomes extremely small.

In a practical monetary system, the currency must be expansible to price the economy in practical terms and also be able to grow as the economy grows. Bitcoin can’t do either.

A useful model for understanding Bitcoin is the tulip mania in Holland in the 17th century – it’s a speculative bubble.

Bits and Pieces – 20170614 – Wednesday

Commentary: Here is a must-watch half hour video by George Friedman. He presents the best succinct description of key geopolitical issues that I can recall: the position of Russia, the problems in the EU, the Middle east with Turkey in a pivotal role, where China stands: Crisis & Chaos: Are We Moving Toward World War III?

Turn off CNN, NBC, CBC and the rest of the MSM and spend the time listening to this a second time. He brilliantly summarizes all you need to know about the issues driving the important events of today and tomorrow. If on the other hand you’d feel more comfortable watching a telethon, turn on CTV.

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