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Trading economic news

The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases.
This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.

How economic news is released

First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week.
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020.
In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus.
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots.
No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners.
Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup.
Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price!
Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!

How the news affects forex markets

Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent.
It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast.
Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators.
Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market.
The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US.
Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com.
Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles.
I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report.
USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present)
USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present)
The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all.
For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected.
The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up.
I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.

Backtesting

So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report.
Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters.
Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk.
Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not.
Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one.
The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest.
Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered.
I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized.
For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade.
Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot.
Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from.
Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade.
That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.

Make it real

If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day.
Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved.
Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world.
I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
submitted by thicc_dads_club to Forex [link] [comments]

Immediate Aftermath : The more data we collect and analyze, the clearer the picture becomes.

This is the updated first part of the list that has recorded the notable events as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. [2nd Part] ― The LINKS to events and sources are placed throughout the timeline.
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The More Data We Collect and Analyze, the Clearer the Picture Becomes.
Someone threw a stone in a pond a long way away. And we're only just feeling the ripples. — Fukuhara from Giri/Haji, Netflix series
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On Jan 30, Italian PM announced that Italy had blocked all flights to and from China. While Italy has banned people from air-travelling to China, however according to IATA data, there's no measurement implemented for air-travellers from China into Italy till the Mar 07. Especially for Chinese people who have EU passports.
On Jan 31, the US announced the category-I travel restrictions, barring all foreigners who have been in China for the past 14 days, with measures including the refusal of visas and mandatory quarantine.
• "Because the US focused on China and didn't expect the infected people's entry from Europe and the Middle East, the Maginot Line was breached from behind. And so little of credible data at the beginning made the US government to miscalculate its strategic response to the virus." — Dr. Zhang Lun, currently a visiting scholar at Harvard (economics & sociology), during the interview with ICPC on Mar 29.
Also on Jan 31, the WHO changed its tune and declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Decisions on a PHEIC always involve politics .... West African countries discouraged a declaration in 2014 after they were hit by the largest Ebola virus outbreak on record, mainly because of concern about the economic impact.
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On Feb 02, regarding the US category-I travel restrictions, Kamala Harris, the former Democratic presidential candidate, declared on Twitter:
Since 2017, Trump’s travel bans have never been rooted in national security—they’re about discriminating against people of color. They are, without a doubt, rooted in anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideologies. This travel ban is no different.
On Feb 03, criticizing Trump for his travel restrictions continues. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (华春莹), a Peking University professors James Liang (梁建章), New York Times, the Nation, OBSERVER, the Boston Globe, Yahoo, and Daily Kos were saying,
it's a "panicky" decision and "racist" or it's "cruel and callous," he's stoking fear for political gains, and the president is "inappropriately overreacting." And professors Liang even said the US ban "will hurt goodwill and cooperation [with China] in the future." [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Also on Feb 03, Mr. Tedros of the WHO said there's no need for travel ban measure that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade" trying to halt the spread of the virus.
China's delegate took the floor ... and denounced measures by "some countries" that have denied entry to people holding passports issued in Hubei province - at the centre of the outbreak - and to deny visas and cancel flights.
Also on Feb 03, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. — We'd never find out but my guess is that the fund will probably go to Shanghai clique.
On Feb 04, The FDA has given emergency authorization to a new test kit by the CDC that promises to help public health labs meet a potential surge in cases.
The speed ... pushing through a new diagnostic test shows just how seriously they’re taking the potentially pandemic threat of 2019-nCoV. It’s also a sign that the world is starting to learn how to deal with an onslaught of new pathogens.
Also on Feb 04, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS, Chief Chen Wei belongs to) have jointly applied to patent the use of Remdesivir. Scientists from both institutes said in a paper published in Nature’s Cell Research that they found both Remdesivir and Chloroquine to be an effective way to inhibit the coronavirus.
On Feb 06, Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research & analysis unit, noted that with State Council of PRC praising his performance of containing the pandemic situation, the council expanded Li Keqiang's political control over Politburo Standing Committee of CCP. (Li Keqiang = Communist Youth League = Shanghai clique)
Also, on Feb 06, as the US evacuation planes leave China, the wave of the US evacuees have arrived who are met by the CDC personnel at the quarantine sites for screening, and those who were suspected of infection will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
Also, on Feb 06, a CDC-developed lab test kit to detect the new coronavirus began shipping to qualified US laboratories and international ones. — However, on Feb 12, the CDC said some of the testing kits have flaws and do not work properly. The CDC finally ended up shipping the working test kits for mass testings on Feb 27. This was three weeks later than originally planned.
On Feb 07, China National Petroleum has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to create a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019.
On the same day, Bloomberg reported that PetroChina has directed employees in 20 countries to buy N95 face masks and send them home in China. The goal is to get 2 million masks shipped back. You can also find YouTube videos that show Overseas Chinese are scouring the masks at the Home Depot to ship them to China (the video in Korean). Also Chris Smith is pissed.
On Feb 09, Trump renews his national emergency on its southern border, and Elizabeth Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice, published an opinion article on New York Times titled "Trump Has Abused This Power. And He Will Again if He’s Not Stopped."
On Feb 10, Dr. Tedros said that an advance three-person team of the WHO arrived in Beijing for a joint mission to discuss with Chinese officials the agenda and questions. Then, the joint mission of about 10 international experts will soon follow, he said. — Those WHO experts ended up visiting Chinese epicentre for the first time on Feb 24.
On Feb 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. The US admin seemingly tried to secure leverage against Russia after noticing something suspicious was up.
On the same day, Trump told Reuters "I hope this outbreak or this event (for the US) may be over in something like April." — Dr. Zhong Nanshan (钟南山), China's top tier SARS-hero doctor, also said "the peak of the virus (for China) should come in mid to late February, followed by a plateau or decrease," adding that his forecast was based on on mathematical modelling and data from recent events and government action.
On Feb 13, Tom Frieden who is a former US CDC chief and currently the head of public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, said:
As countries are trying to develop their own control strategies, they are looking for evidence of whether the situation in China is getting worse or better. [But] We still don't have very basic information. [since the WHO just entered China] We hope that information will be coming out.
On the same day, the CDC reports that the 15th case in the US was confirmed. The patient was a part of group who were under a federal quarantine order at the JBSA-Lackland base because of a recent trip to Hubei Province, China.
By Feb 13, China hasn't accepted the US CDC's offer to send top experts, and they haven't released the "disaggregated" data (specific figures broken out from the overall numbers) even though repeatedly been asked.
On Feb 14, CCP's United Front posted an article on its official website, saying (Eng. text by Google Translation):
Fast! There is no time difference to raise urgently needed materials! Some Overseas Chinese have used their professions in the field of medicine in order to purchase relevant materials Hubei province in short of supply (to send them to China). .... Some Overseas Chinese took advantage of the connection resources, opened green transportation channels through our embassies and consulates abroad, and their related enterprises, and quickly sent large quantities of medical supplies (to China), making this love relay link and cooperation seamless.
On Feb 18, Reuters reports that 3M is on the list of firms eligible for China loans to ease coronavirus crisis.
There is no indication from the list that loans offered will necessarily be sought, or that such firms are in any financial need. The Bank of Shanghai told Reuters it will lend 5.5 billion yuan ($786 million) to 57 firms on its list.
On Feb 21, Xi Jinping writes a thank-you letter to Bill Gates for his foundation’s support to China regarding COVID-19 outbreak.
On Feb 24, China was rumoured on Twitter to delay the phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increase of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.
Also on Feb 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.9 and closed 3128.2. By the Mar 23, it dropped to 2208.9.
Also on Feb 24, China's National Health Commission says the WHO experts have visited Wuhan city for the first time, the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre, inspecting two hospitals and a makeshift one at a sports centre.
On Feb 26, IF the picture that has been circulated on Twitter were real, then chief Chen Wei and her team have developed the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine within time frame of a month.
On the same day, the CDC's latest figures displays 59 people in the US who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Also on Feb 26, the Washington Post published an article that says:
.... the WHO said it has repeatedly asked Chinese officials for "disaggregated" data — meaning specific figures broken out from the overall numbers — that could shed light on hospital transmission and help assess the level of risk front-line workers face. "We received disaggregated information at intervals, though not details about health care workers," said Tarik Jasarevic of the WHO. — The comment, in an email on Feb 22 to the Post, was one of the first instances that the WHO had directly addressed shortcomings in China's reporting or handling of the coronavirus crisis.
On Feb 27, after missteps, the CDC says its test kit is ready and the US started to expand testing.
On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others.
Also on Feb 28, the WHO published the official report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019. (PDF)
On Feb 29, quoting Caixin media's investigation published on the same day, Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper, published an article reporting the following:
Dr. Li Wenliang said in the interview with Caixin media; [in Dec 2019] another doctor (later turned out to be Dr. Ai Fen) examined and tried to treat a patient who exhibited SARS-like symptoms which akin to influenza resistant to conventional treatment methods. And "the family members who took care of her (the patient) that night also had a fever, and her other daughter also had a fever. This is obviously from person to person" Dr. Li said in the interview."
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On Mar 01, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law.
On the same day, Princelings published an propaganda called "A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020" which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus.
Starting on Mar 03, the US Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus. It's going to be no use as if a group of people with serious means are manipulating the markets to make sure MM will have liquidity concerns when they need it most.
On Mar 04, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China" which states that
If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only, the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic.
On Mar 05, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely.
On Mar 07, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. — Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & BlackRock: One common factor that connects these people is China.
On Mar 08, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has begun. The ostensible reason was simple: China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers while claiming that the outbreak forced its economy to a standstill.
On Mar 10, the Washington Post published the article saying that the trade group for manufacturers of personal protective equipment urged in 2009 "immediate action" to restock the national stockpile including N95 masks, but it hasn't been replenished since.
On Mar 11, the gentleman at the WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a "Global Pandemic." He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking "urgent and aggressive action." This was a full twelve days after the organization published the official report regarding the situation in China.
On Mar 13, the US admin declared a National Emergency and announced the plan to release $50 billion in federal resources amid COVID-19.
Also on Mar 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging.
On Mar 15, Business Insider reports that Trump tried to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine and offered cash so it would be exclusive to the US. The problem is the official CureVac (the German company) twitter account, on Mar 16, 2020, tweeted the following:
To make it clear again on coronavirus: CureVac has not received from the US government or related entities an offer before, during and since the Task Force meeting in the White House on March 2. CureVac rejects all allegations from press.
On Mar 16, the fan club of European globalists has published a piece titled, "China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity." The piece says:
The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda. ... it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
On the same day, unlike China that had one epicentre, Wuhan city, the US now overtakes China with most cases reporting multiple epicentres simultaneously.
Also on Mar 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope.
On Mar 17, according to an article on Chinese version of Quora, Zhihu, chief Chen Wei and her team with CanSino Biologics officially initiated a Phase-1 clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine at the Wuhan lab, Hubei China, which Bloomberg News confirmed. — Click HERE, then set its time period as 1 year, and see when the graph has started to move up.
Also on Mar 17, China's state media, China Global TV Network (CGTN), has produced YouTube videos for Middle Eastern audiences to spread the opinion that the US has engineered COVID-19 events.
Also on Mar 17, Al Jazeera reported that the US President has been criticized for repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus" as critics saying Trump is "fueling bigotry."
• China's Xinhua News tweeted "Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence."
• Tucker Carlson asked: "Why would America's media take China's side amid coronavirus pandemic?"
• Also, Mr. Bill Gates: "We should not call this the Chinese virus."
On Mar 19, for the first time, China reports zero local infections.
Also on Mar 19, Al Jazeera published an analysis report, titled "Coronavirus erodes Trump's re-election prospects."
On Mar 22, Bloomberg reports that China's mobile carriers lost 21 million users during this pandemic event. It's said to be the first net decline since starting to report monthly data in 2000.
On Mar 26, EURACTV reports that China cashes in off coronavirus, selling Spain $466 million in supplies. However, Spain returns 9,000 "quick result" test kits to China, because they were deemed substandard. — Especially the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent.
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On Apr 03, Germany and other governments are bolstering corporate defenses to address worries that coronavirus-weakened companies could be easy prey for bargain hunting by China's state owned businesses.
On Apr 05, New York Times says "Trump Again Promotes Use of Unproven Anti-Malaria Drug (hydroxychloroquine)."
On Apr 06, a Democratic State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit credits hydroxychloroquine and President Trump for "saving her in her battle with the coronavirus."
On Apr 07, the US CDC removed the following part from its website.
Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some U.S. clinicians have reported anecdotally different hydroxychloroquine dosing such as: 400mg BID on day one, then daily for 5 days; 400 mg BID on day one, then 200mg BID for 4 days; 600 mg BID on day one, then 400mg daily on days 2-5.
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☞ If there were ever a time for people not to be partisan and tribal, the time has come: We need to be ever vigilant and attentive to all kinds of disinformation & misinformation to see it better as well as to be sharp in our lives. — We really do need to come together.
☞ At first, I was going to draw up a conspiracy theory-oriented list focused on Team-Z, especially Mr. Gates. However, although it's nothing new tbh, recently many chats and discussions seem overflowing with disinformation & misinformation which is, in my opinion, particularly painful at a time like this. Hence, this post became a vanilla list that's just recorded the notable events. — We all are subject to misinformation, miscalculation, and misjudgment. But the clearer the picture becomes the better we can identify Funkspiel.
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Immediate Aftermath pt.2.a
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Feasible Timeline of the Operation
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☞ Go Back to the Short Story.
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submitted by vanillabluesea to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Vue d'ensemble de la finance aujourd'hui

Dans la logique de mon post sur la vulgarisation du marché monétaire, voici une vulgarisation de la finance dans sa globalité. Avant de me lancer dans le vif du sujet, je tiens à clarifier des notions importantes qui pourraient porter à confusion et que je sais que je verrai dans les commentaires. Je vais aussi vous donner un peu mon opinion personnelle pour éviter tout malentendu dans la discussion, sautez cette partie si ça ne vous intéresse pas. Si la modération trouve que c'est trop hors-sujet, libre à elle de supprimer le post.
J’ai entendu vos critiques dans les commentaires, j’avoue que j’ai vraiment trop simplifié certains passages, j’avais peur que le post soit trop long et trop technique, parfois au prix de la précision et de la rigueur, mea culpa. Cette fois-ci j’ai fait le choix de faire une synthèse des différents marchés financiers, qui régissent l’allocation des ressources financières dans notre société. Nombre d’entre vous ont dû entendre parler de certains d’entre eux, peut-être que vous participez à certains. Toutefois, comme dans mon autre post, je tiens à faire une précision importante. Les informations que je vous donne ici sont grandement insuffisantes pour que vous vous lanciez sur ces marchés, sans que cela s’apparente à une soirée au Monte Carlo pour votre portefeuille. Je ne vous incite aucunement à le faire, mon but étant uniquement d’éclairer ce qui se passe sur les marchés financiers, je n’ai aucune participation à quoi que ce soit, je ne suis pas rémunéré et je ne cherche pas à vendre ou à promouvoir quoi que ce soit. Je ne serai pas 100% exhaustif mais je ferai de mon mieux pour éclairer des sujets que vous pouvez parfois rencontrer dans la presse. Encore une fois, les questions et les remarques sont la bienvenue.
Un marché financier est une notion très abstraite somme toute, il s’agît de l’ensemble des acteurs, des informations et des outils qui font que l’offre (d’actifs) et la demande (le capital) se rencontrent. Ce n’est pas à confondre avec une bourse, qui est un lieu physique (et maintenant virtuel) où se rencontrent l’offre et la demande, ou une place financière, qui est une ville qui regroupe un grand nombre de marchés financiers et d’acteurs majeurs. Quand votre tonton vous prête 10k EUR pour que vous lanciez votre site d’e-commerce, ou que vous déposez de l’argent à la banque, vous participez à un marché financier. Au fil de l’histoire, différents outils financiers ont fait leur apparition, parfois graduellement, parfois brusquement sous l’impulsion de génies/fous (souvent des mathématiciens) et ont conféré des propriétés particulières aux marchés financiers. Il s’agît entre autres de la capacité à :
- Investitransférer le capital et les liquidités inutilisés
- Transférer le risque entre participants
- Echanger à l’international
- Eviter qu’il y ait trop de disparités entre les prix dans le marché, et qu’ils suivent (plus ou moins bien) la valeur intrinsèque.
Un marché efficace est par définition un marché qui reflète bien la valeur intrinsèque d'un investissement compte-tenu des informations disponibles. Des inefficacités peuvent surgir de coûts de transaction et/ou de frais d'agence élevés, de la faible liquidité des actifs ou encore à cause de barrières de toutes sortes. A mon humble avis, dans une économie de marché, il est dans l’intérêt public à ce que certains marchés soient efficaces pour que les inégalités économiques ne soient pas amplifiées et que toutes les classes sociales puissent y avoir accès, tant que cela ne se nuit pas indirectement à la société.
Parlons maintenant de prix et de valeur intrinsèque. La valeur intrinsèque d’un actif ou d’un instrument financier est la valeur financière (et parfois non-financière) future qu’il procurera, compte tenu de l’incertitude qu’il y a autour de la capacité de l’actif à réaliser cette valeur à l’avenir. La valeur intrinsèque est subjective car elle dépend de l’acheteur, principalement de son aversion et de sa capacité à encaisser le risque, mais pas que, comme nous allons le voir. Le prix reflète entre autres l’offre et la demande de l’actif, plus précisément les informations qu’ont les acheteurs, leurs biais et les barrières à la transaction, c’est pour cela qu’il peut dévier, parfois fortement, de la valeur intrinsèque. La valeur intrinsèque est fondamentalement impossible à connaître, mais cela ne veut pas dire qu’il n’y a pas de modèles mathématiques ou qualitatifs pour tenter de l’estimer. Ce qu’on appelle un acteur rationnel c’est un participant qui va, compte tenu de son capital, de ses besoins de liquidité, de son horizon d’investissement et de son aversion au risque (qui est une caractéristique rationnelle) acheter les actifs dont le prix est en-dessous de la valeur intrinsèque qu’il leur assigne et vendre ceux dont le prix est au-dessus de cette valeur.
Je ne crois pas qu’il y ait une façon non biaisée de présenter la finance alors je vais vous donner mon biais. Je crois personnellement en la finance comportementale et ce que je vais dire dans ce paragraphe est très controversé et mériterait toute une vie de recherche pour justifier (on peut en reparler dans les commentaires). Il faut savoir qu’il y a des paramètres anthropologiques (psychologiques, sociologiques, culturels, religieux et géographiques) qui viennent affecter les marchés, notamment leur efficacité, et les financiers et les régulateurs peuvent aborder le problème de plusieurs façons. Parfois on va trouver des intermédiaires qui vont faire fi de ces barrières, parfois on va tenter d’anonymiser les participants, parfois on va trouver un moyen de diffuser l’information à tous les participants, parfois on va réguler pour empêcher certains comportements nuisibles ou illégaux, ou bien on va créer des outils ou des stratagèmes pour contourner les barrières sans les effacer. La désintermédiation, la dérèglementation et le décloisonnement, ainsi que la volonté d’atteindre la concurrence pure et parfaite, ne sont pas toujours les meilleurs moyens d’avoir des marchés efficaces. Il faudrait que toutes les barrières socioculturelles, tous les biais psychologiques des participants des marchés disparaissent pour que cela puisse se faire, ce qui n’est évidemment ni souhaitable ni possible.
Le début est un peu technique mais est crucial pour que vous compreniez la suite. Premièrement, je vais vous parler de la notion de marché primaire et de marché secondaire, qui détermine où est transféré le capital et le risque. Deuxièmement, je vais vous parler de l’organisation et de la régulation des marchés. Troisièmement, je vais vous parler de la classification des marchés en fonction des instruments financiers qui s’y échangent et dernièrement je vais vous parler de la classification des marchés en fonction des actifs qui s’y échangent.
A – Les marchés primaires, secondaires, tertiaires et quaternaires.
Le marché primaire est le marché qui fait rencontrer ceux qui vont fournir des actions ou des obligations de leur propre entreprise, des matières premières ou autres actifs, en échange de capital. Quand une entreprise ou un Etat lèvent des fonds ils participent sur ce marché, quand une société d’exploitation de pétrole brut vend ses barils elle y participe aussi. Quand vous prêtez de l’argent à votre pote, ou que vous achetez une maison neuve à un promoteur immobilier vous participez au marché primaire. En général, il s’agît d’un marché désorganisé où des particuliers et des entreprises se rencontrent par leurs propres moyens (bouche à oreille, publicité) et qui est très peu régulé, qu’on appelle gré-à-gré, que j’expliciterai bientôt. Ce marché est relativement risqué et peu transparent, en général votre seul recours juridique est le civil et si votre contrepartie fait faillite vous n’avez aucune garantie de pouvoir récupérer votre dû. Il demande de faire confiance à votre contrepartie, d’être compétent et parfois spécialisé dans ce domaine ainsi que d’être particulièrement critique des informations que l’on vous donne. Quand il est organisé, il s’agît le plus souvent d’une vente aux enchères entre participants agréés.
Le marché secondaire est le marché où les actifs sont revendus entre investisseurs, ici le capital et le risque sont transférés d’un investisseur à un autre. Ce marché a plusieurs fonctions, il permet entre autres aux investisseurs de sortir du marché quand ils en ont envie, de standardiser et regrouper les actifs, d’actualiser le prix des actifs en fonction des événements et de permettre à un plus grand nombre d’investisseurs de détenir certains actifs qui leur serait parfois impossible d’obtenir faute de contacts ou de moyens. Si une action ou une obligation est échangée sur le marché secondaire, cela veut dire que l’entreprise sous-jacente a donné son accord à ce qu’elle renonce à choisir qui détient ses parts ou sa dette (à quelques exceptions près), elle n’est pas affectée directement par la transaction. Le marché secondaire est le plus souvent organisé et régulé, moyennant commission. Il est le plus souvent organisé dans un type d’enchère très particulier qu’on appelle bourse, ou bien d’un marché organisé par un courtier.
Je parle brièvement du marché tertiaire et du marché quaternaire car vous pourrez peut-être en entendre parler, le marché tertiaire est le marché où les courtiers interagissent avec les grosses institutions (souvent des banques) et le marché quaternaire est le marché entre grosses institutions uniquement. Ce sont des marchés gré-à-gré.
B – L’organisation et la régulation des marchés
Le marché le plus basique est le marché gré-à-gré ou over the counter (OTC) en anglais. Comme je l’ai dit plus haut, ce marché n’est pas organisé, il est sans intermédiaires. Pour y participer il faut trouver des contreparties par ses propres moyens, chercher les informations par soi-même et surtout faire confiance à la personne en face, chose qui n’est pas toujours facile. C’est surtout sur ce marché que se manifestent les barrières anthropologiques et les biais psychologiques car il y a peu de moyens de réguler ce qui s’y passe ou d’être sûr des informations que l’on a. Bien évidemment il existe des lois et des garde-fous juridiques ou médiatiques, mais vous êtes libres de rédiger n’importe quel contrat légal sur ce marché. C’est d’ailleurs ici que vous verrez les instruments financiers les plus complexes comme les options exotiques ou les swaps. Sur le marché gré-à-gré on dit que la liquidité est faible, comme vous avez souvent affaire à des actifs uniques (startups, œuvres d’art, options exotiques) que très peu de personnes convoitent, ce qui fait qu’il est coûteux et long de trouver des acheteurs, et ce qui pousse les prix à la hausse.
Je ne vais pas m’attarder dessus car il y a énormément à dire dessus, mais la vente aux enchères est une forme d’organisation des marchés. Vous y trouverez par exemple les obligations souveraines, les œuvres d’art ou bien, lors d’une introduction en bourse d’une entreprise, des actions sont attribuées aux premiers actionnaires via une enchère, ce qui permet de déterminer le prix initial de l’action en bourse. Si cela vous intéresse, regardez les différents types de vente aux enchères comme l’enchère anglaise ou l’enchère néerlandaise. Ici vous avez quelques intermédiaires qui rentrent en jeux comme le commissaire-priseur ou la banque d’investissement pour l’introduction en bourse, qui vont prendre leur commission en échange de la publicité qu’ils fournissent à votre actif et de la facilitation de la transaction – autrement dit de la liquidité. Il est à noter qu’un commissaire-priseur qui tient à sa réputation va exiger certaines contraintes et garanties sur l’actif, ce qui donne un début de régulation au marché financier. Dans le cas d’une introduction en bourse (Initial Public Offering ou IPO), les exigences sont draconiennes, les comptes financiers, les cadres dirigeants de l’entreprise et les actionnaires actuels sont scrutés à la fois par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) en France, et les analystes financiers.
La bourse est une forme d’enchère très spécifique. Elle rassemble des traders qui travaillent pour des courtiers ou des sociétés de gestion d’actifs et fonctionne avec une enchère dite continue/dirigée par ordres et est chapeautée par l’AMF en France. Les traders donnent des ordres de vente et d’achat – soit ils donnent un prix et achètent ou vendent tout ce qui est à un prix meilleur ou égal, soit ils spécifient une quantité et achètent ou vendent peu importe le prix, il existe aussi des ordres plus complexes où l’on spécifie un prix, une quantité et une date limite, entre autres. La bourse génère des profits en prenant une commission sur chaque ordre et à chaque fois qu’une nouvelle entreprise rentre sur le marché s’il s’agît d’une bouse d’actions. Ici il n’y a pas un prix unique pour un actif, il y a le prix de la demande (ask) et le prix de l’offre (bid) – il faut proposer un prix égal ou supérieur à l’ask pour pouvoir acheter l’actif et un prix inférieur ou égal au bid pour pouvoir le vendre. Un des effets de cette structure de marché (qui peut paraître contre-intuitif pour ceux habitués au marché gré-à-gré) est que plus on veut acheter une grande quantité de l’actif, plus il va falloir proposer un prix élevé, et inversement plus l’on veut en vendre, plus il va falloir baisser son prix. La bourse crée un peu plus de symétrie entre les acheteurs et les vendeurs, ce qui n’existe pas dans le marché gré-à-gré où l’avantage est déterminé largement par le contrôle qu’ont les acheteurs et les vendeurs sur le marché et l’information en circulation. Le rapport de force ne disparaît pas entièrement mais est artificiellement atténué. Cela fait aussi que si beaucoup d’acheteurs et vendeurs sont intéressés par un actif et que beaucoup d’ordres circulent, statistiquement la différence entre le bid et l’ask sera plus faible, c’est pour cela qu’on mesure traditionnellement la liquidité d’un actif en bourse par la différence entre le bid et l’ask, qu’on appelle le « bid-ask spread », par la moyenne du bid et de l’ask. En exigeant une forte transparence, en attirant des analystes financiers, les autorités des marchés et les médias, la bourse est un peu moins risquée que le marché gré-à-gré, permet d’avoir une meilleure idée de la valeur intrinsèque et surtout une bien meilleure liquidité, bien sûr à un prix. Bien sûr, le risque propre aux rendements futurs de l’investissement n’est pas vraiment affecté et jouer en bourse reste relativement risqué, voir même à espérance négative dans le cas du marché des changes. Sans rentrer sans les détails, la bourse permet parfois d’effectuer la vente à découvert (short-selling), c’est quand vous empruntez un actif à quelqu’un qui le détient, moyennant commission, pour le vendre immédiatement, le racheter plus tard (en espérant que les prix ont fortement baissé) et le rendre à son propriétaire après – cette pratique permet dans de nombreux cas d’ajuster des prix trop élevés lorsque pour x ou y raison les détenteurs ne les vendent pas alors que le prix est surélevé. Traditionnellement une bourse se tient dans un lieu physique mais maintenant c’est largement effectué virtuellement.
La dernière structure de marché majeure est le marché organisé par un courtier – souvent une banque d’investissement. Ici le courtier achète une grosse quantité d’actifs sur la bourse en tant que broker et la revend au détail à ses clients en tant que dealer, ses traders sont là pour répondre à la demande des clients au meilleur prix possible et à liquider le surplus. Le courtier peut prendre une commission sur les ordres, fixer son propre bid-ask en fonction de ses stocks disponibles et empocher la différence. Dans certains cas il peut prêter de l’argent à ses clients pour qu’ils achètent ses produits et encaisser les intérêts du prêt ou encore proposer les services d’analystes financiers qui vont faire des recommandations aux clients (a.k.a full service). Ces marchés restent contrôlés par l’AMF en France vu le contrôle qu’a le courtier sur son marché, le but étant que ses prix suivent ceux de la bourse. Le courtier gère son propre risque et met des limites (comme le margin call) pour éviter que ses clients ne fassent faillite – il est perdant si cela se produit, surtout s’il a prêté de l’argent à son client, il a surtout intérêt à ce que son client continue d’effectuer des ordres car c’est comme cela qu’il se rémunère, parfois au détriment du client.
C – marché au comptant, marché à terme et marché dérivé
Le marché au comptant, en anglais « spot » est le marché où les échanges ont lieu en temps direct – si accord il y a, l’actif et le capital sont échangés au moment de la transaction. Sans aucun autre instrument il n’offre pas beaucoup de flexibilité, il ne permet pas de manipuler facilement le risque auquel on s’expose, car en achetant un actif on prend à 100% le risque du sous-jacent et on est totalement soumis aux aléas des prix.
Le marché à terme est un peu différent. Ici on s’engage dans des contrats spécifiques où l’on se met d’accord sur un prix et où l’échange de capital et d’actif s’effectue à une date postérieure, peu importe le prix du marché à ce moment. Le terme utilisé pour dire qu’on rentre dans un contrat à terme est prendre une position. Ici on a un transfert d’une partie du risque de l’acheteur de l’actif (on dit qu’il est en position longue) au vendeur (on dit qu’il est en position courte). En effet, celui en position longue préfère fixer le prix futur et ne pas prendre le risque que les prix baissent et celui en position courte prend le risque d’acheter quelque chose qui en vaudra moins à la date de l’échange. Cela permet à certains investisseurs de couvrir, par exemple, leur risque de change s’ils savent qu’à une certaine date ils voudront échanger une certaine somme de monnaie contre une autre et à d’autres qui ont une plus grande capacité à encaisser le risque de spéculer. Ces contrats ont d’autant plus de valeur que le sous-jacent est volatile. Vu qu’on a vu le marché gré-à-gré et la bourse, je vais parler des différences entre les deux sur le marché à terme. Sur le marché à terme gré-à-gré, les contrats à terme sont appelés « forwards », vous pouvez les personnaliser comme vous voulez, avec vos prix, vos quantités, vous négociez ça. Cependant, si votre contrepartie fait faillite avant l’exécution du contrat, vous n’avez aucun moyen d’effectuer la transaction et vous n’avez aucun moyen de sortir de ce contrat si vous-mêmes vous avez des difficultés à remplir vos obligations. Si vous êtes un agriculteur qui vend sa récolte de l’année prochaine avec ce type de contrat, vous avez intérêt à faire en sorte que vous produisez assez pour l’exécuter ou que vous pouvez acheter ce qui vous manque si vous n’y parvenez pas le jour de la livraison. Sur le marché à terme en bourse c’est un peu différent, ici les prix, les quantités, les obligations contractuelles et modalités de livraison sont fixés à l’avance par l’offre et la demande et ne sont pas négociables, avec ce qu’on appelle les contrats « futures ». L’avantage des futures est que si vous pensez qu’il y a un risque que vous ne puissiez apporter votre partie du contrat (le capital ou l’actif), vous pouvez vous dégager de votre obligation contractuelle en cédant votre position à quelqu’un en capacité de le faire – si vous avez de la chance, plus de participants pourront exécuter votre position maintenant, ce qui normalement devrait rendre votre position attirante et on vous achètera votre contrat. Si au contraire, nombre comme vous ne peuvent exécuter ce contrat (mauvaises récoltes à cause de la météo par exemple), vous aurez du mal à le céder et vous serez peut-être obligé de payer quelqu’un pour qu’il l’exécute à votre place. Par ailleurs, les participants sont obligés d’avoir un apport en capital pour rentrer dans un future et si par hasard votre contrepartie fait faillite, la chambre de compensation (ou clearing house) vous remboursera, ce qui élimine le risque de contrepartie. Autre particularité du contrat à terme, vous pouvez conserver la rente de votre actif tant que la date d’exécution n’est pas venue, mais vous devez toujours payer les frais de stockage, livraison ou autres, ce qui est bien sûr pris en compte dans le prix.
Le marché des dérivés est vraiment là où le risque est transféré et manipulé. Ici on échange ce qu’on appelle des options/warrants, des contrats d’échange (swaps), des pensions livrées (repurchase agreements ou « repo »), les couvertures de défaillance (credit default swaps, CDS) entre autres. N’ayez crainte on va attaquer chacun de ces termes. D’abord, sur le marché des dérivés en bourse on a les options dite « vanilla ». Une option, contrairement à un contrat à terme, donne le droit et non l’obligation, d’acheter ou de vendre un actif à un moment donné à un prix donné et on effectue une transaction financière pour rentrer dans ce contrat, proportionnelle au risque que transféré d’une partie à l’autre. Le droit d’acheter l’actif est appelé « call » et le droit de le vendre est appelé « put », le prix convenu est appelé « strike price ». Si le jour venu votre strike price est plus intéressante que le prix de l’actif à ce moment-là, on dit que votre option est « in the money » (ITM), si votre option est moins intéressante on dit qu’elle est « out of the money » (OTM) et si elle est aussi intéressante que le prix actuel, on dit qu’elle est « at the money » (ATM). Si votre option vous donne seulement la possibilité d’exercer votre droit à une date donnée, on dit qu’elle est de style européen, si vous pouvez l’exercer à n’importe quel moment jusqu’à la date convenue on dit qu’elle est de style américain. Plus le prix de l’actif sous-jacent est volatile, et plus il est facile d’exercer l’option (par exemple si elle est de style américain), plus il y a de fortes chances que l’option soit in-the-money, plus la valeur de l’option augmente, car le détenteur transmet beaucoup de risque à sa contrepartie. Vous trouverez aussi en bourse de commerce des options sur la météo, pour vous protéger en cas de mauvaises récoltes par exemple. L’intérêt de ces options est qu’elles peuvent facilement créer de gros effets de levier étant donné qu’une option vaut typiquement 2-10% de l’actif sous-jacent, puis comme c’est échangé en bourse on peut s’en débarrasser rapidement si on ne peut pas les exercer faute de moyens ou d’actif. Pour les matheux intrigués je conseille en introduction le modèle de Black-Scholes. Sur le marché gré-à-gré on va retrouver tous les contrats divers et variés susmentionnés. Une warrant est une option non-échangeable émise par une banque en série limitée. Ensuite on a les options exotiques, qui sont tout un tas d’options avec des règles particulières. Pour vous donner des exemples on a des options pour échanger des actifs (pourquoi pas du blé contre une action Google ?), les options style asiatique qui vous donnent le droit d’acheter un actif à son prix moyen sur une période donnée (pour vous protéger de la volatilité) ou les options style parisiennes qu’on ne peut exercer que si le prix du sous-jacent est dans certains clous pendant une certaine période (pour vous protéger de la manipulation des cours). Le swap ou contrat d’échange est quand deux parties se mettent d’accord pour faire plusieurs contrats à terme à répétition, nous allons en voir des exemples plus tard. Je m'attarde un peu sur le repo car c'est très discuté dans les actualités récemment. J'y ai fait référence dans mon post sur la monnaie. Un repo est une transaction spot (actif contre capital) plus un contrat forward pour que l'actif soit racheté à une période future. C'est une façon pour une institution financière d'emprunter de l'argent à une autre (souvent pour une très courte période, parfois 24h), comme la banque centrale, sans que l'autre partie ne prenne quelconque risque, tant est que l'actif échangé soit fiable, comme un bon du trésor. La banque centrale injecte des liquidités temporairement, elles reviennent dans ses coffres le jour suivant. Ce n'est pas comme le Quantitative Easing où l'actif est définitivement acheté par la banque centrale et l'argent est injecté durablement dans le système. La banque centrale fait des repo pour imposer pratiquement par la force les taux qu'elle veut transmettre au reste de l'économie, surtout lorsque les banques commerciales ne se font plus confiance et font grimper leurs taux au-delà des limites définies par la banque centrale. Les couvertures de défaillance servent à rembourser les détenteurs d'obligations lorsque l'entreprise sous-jacente fait défaut (c'est un contrat d'assurance).
Synthèse de l'organisation et de la classification des marchés
D – Les marchés selon les types d’actifs
Le marché monétaire (que j’ai couvert en détail dans mon post précédent) est le marché où les liquidités excédentaires sont prêtées pour une période courte aux entreprises, particuliers ou Etats qui en ont besoin, moyennant une rente nommée intérêt. je vous renvoie à mon post sur le sujet
Le marché de la dette long-terme est là où se financent les participants qui veulent des fonds pour une période supérieure à deux ans, moyennant intérêts. On appelle le marché où s’échange entre investisseurs la dette long-terme le marché obligataire. On a des obligations de différents types en fonction des intérêts versés ou des options attachées à l'obligation. Une obligation a un principal et un coupon (l'intérêt versé périodiquement). Une obligation sans coupon est un zéro-coupon et au lieu de verser un intérêt, on prête initialement une somme au débiteur qui est inférieure au principal qu'il doit rendre à la fin du contrat. Le principal peut être remboursé progressivement comme pour une dette immobilière (amortissement) ou en totalité d'un coup à la fin du contrat (bullet bond). Le coupon peut être à taux fixe ou variable. Si c'est variable ce sera en général le LIBOR + une petite prime de risque/liquidité ou bien une grosse prime - le LIBOR. Comme on peut revendre des obligations sur le marché secondaire, leur prix va varier en fonction du risque que le débiteur fasse défaut et des taux. Si les taux en vigueur aujourd'hui sont meilleurs que celui de votre obligation, sa valeur relative décroît. C'est pour cela que les obligations d'Etat ont un risque de prix sur le marché secondaire et ne sont pas sans risque, le risque de défaut n'est pas le seul risque d'une obligation. Une des propriétés vertueuses des obligations est la convexité, en termes simples, une obligation peut plus facilement prendre de la valeur si les taux baissent, qu'elle ne peut en perdre si les taux augmentent. On trouvera sur le marché des dérivés des couvertures de défaillance (CDS), des repo et des swaps pour échanger des taux fixes contre des taux variables, ainsi que des mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) qui regroupent de nombreux crédits immobiliers d'une banque régionale ou des collateralized-debt-obligations (CDO) qui regroupent des crédits et d'autres instruments financiers pour produire un actif complexe avec un risque personnalisé (souvent très élevé). Ce sont les CDO, les MBS et les CDS qui ont causé la crise de 2008 comme les agences de notation n'ont pas fait leur rôle et ont sous-estimé le risque de ces produits.
Le marché action est le marché où s’échangent les parts des entreprises. Une action représente la valeur résiduelle des profits (ou de la liquidation) d’une entreprise une fois que tous les créanciers (l’Etat compris) sont payés. Certaines actions ont des droits de votes, d’autres non. Elles versent une rente appelée dividendes, qui sont variables en fonction des résultats de l’entreprise ainsi que de ses besoins en capital. Une définition alternative d’une action est une dette à durée indéterminée/illimitée. En bourse on va calculer la valeur intrinsèque de l'action en faisant la somme des dividendes futurs qu'on espère plus le prix de cession espéré divisisés par un taux qui représente le risque de l'investissement et le retour minimum qu'on attend en échange. Alternativement on calcule la valeur liquidative des actifs de l'entreprise moins sa dette si on pense qu'elle va faire faillite. Plus un dividende est éloigné dans le temps, moins il comptera dans la valeur intrinsèque, puis si l'on estime que le risque est élevé, les dividendes lointains ne comptent quasiment pas. Si on pense que le marché est efficace, deux autres méthodes populaires existent, la première est appelée les multiples. En gros on regarde les entreprises comparables et on calcule ler prix divisés par leurs revenus par exemple, puis on multiplie les revenus de l'entreprise qu'on analyse par ces multiples pour avoir une idée de sa valorisation relative. Sinon, on regarde à quel point l'action varie en même temps que le restedu marché. Si l'action varie moins fortement que le marché, on lui donne une valeur plus grande, inversement si elle varie plus fortement on baisse sa valeur car on considère que c'est une action risquée. Hors bourse, il y a plusieurs méthodes. Si l'entreprise est toute nouvelle on va surtout valoriser la compétence des entrepreneurs pour estimer le risque, si l'entreprise gagne déjà de l'argent mais ne verse pas de dividendes on va regarder ses flux de trésorerie et son EBITDA. On classifie les actions en fonction des secteurs industriels, du prix par rapport aux revenus nets, flux de trésorerie et aux dividendes (Value et Growth) ainsi qu'en fonction de leur capitalisation boursière. On trouvera ici nos options, mais aussi des indices boursiers qui font la moyenne des rendements (en terme de prix et de dividendes) d'un groupe d'actions, soit à part égale pour chaque entreprise, soit pondérée par leur capitalisation boursière ou leurs prix par action individuelle. Ces indices sont suivis par des fonds indiciels, qui peuvent être soit des fonds mutuels (achetés en gré-à-gré) ou des ETF (achetés en bourse/courtiers). On trouvera ici nos options, nos warrants, des equity swaps (échange de dividendes par exemple) ou des total return swaps (pour les ETF synthétiques, voir mon post sur le sujet).
On notera que le marché action et le marché obligataire forment le marché dit des capitaux.
Le marché des changes (Foreign Exchange ou tout simplement ForEx en anglais) est le marché qui fait jonction entre les différentes économies et permet de convertir une monnaie en une autre – la monnaie ne verse pas de rente mais est sujette à l’inflation/déflation de l’économie qu’elle représente. L’offre et la demande d’une monnaie est déterminée par l’attractivité de l’économie – si beaucoup d’investisseurs étrangers veulent y investir, la demande pour la monnaie va croître et sa valeur relative va s’apprécier, ou bien si des ressortissants d'un pays veulent renvoyer des liquidités chez eux. Alternativement certaines monnaies sont fixées à d’autres monnaies ou, rarement aujourd’hui, fluctuent en fonction du prix de certaines matières premières et de la quantité d'icelles possédée par la banque centrale par rapport à la demande de la monnaie. Dans le cas des cryptomonnaies, en plus de la demande et l'offre de monnaie, on valorise aussi la qualité des services, la capacité de calcul allouée et coût pour effectuer les transactions. Ici on peut faire des swaps de monnaie, en gros simuler le coût d'un échange de monnaie sans s'échanger réellement la monnaie. Ca permet de couvrir le risque de change sans passer par le marché classique.
Le marché alternatif est composé de plusieurs marchés comme le marché des matières premières (représenté par les bourses de commerce) où s’échangent métaux précieux, l'énergie, le pétrole et blé entre autres, le marché des fonds d’investissement à stratégies alternatives type private equity/venture capital/hedge fund avec des stratégies impossibles à réaliser pour des particuliers seuls, le marché de l’immobilier – où la rente est appelée loyer, le marché des œuvres d’art, du vin et j’en passe et des meilleurs. Sur les matières premières on va aussi trouver des indices de prix (commodity indexes), des futures sur l'or, des options sur la météo et des forwards sur des matières exotiques. L'immobilier est classé en plusieurs catégories comme le résidentiel, le commercial et les bureaux, les actifs peuvent être détenus en direct ou à travers des fonds privés ou cotés.
En résumé
Voilà une synthèse de la finance aujourd'hui. J'ai omis des sujets comme la FinTech car cela sort du propos, mais, tant est que la modération l'accepte, je vais publier une brève histoire de la finance qui comprendra cela. J'ai fait exprès d'aborder certains sujets sans trop les creuser, notamment les bulles financières, car je préfère répondre à des questions précises plutôt que de me lancer dans une explication qui va perdre tout le monde. Je n'ai pas eu le temps de faire tous les graphiques et schémas que je voulais mais si vous en voulez en particulier ce sera avec plaisir. Si vous voulez des sources pour des éléments particuliers hésitez pas, j'ai toute une bibliographie d'articles et de livres. Merci à ceux qui m'ont encouragé à écrire ce post.
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

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

Ask yourself:

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

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

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

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

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

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

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

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

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

US CIA Coup Playbook:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is Forex?

A New Era

Although it might seem easy to invest in Forex nowadays, by just logging into an account with a broker, deposit some money and start actively trading; it has not always been like this, as forex industry has rapidly changed in the past three decades.
Before technology and free-floating currencies took over the industry, world currency exchanges were operating under the Bretton Woods System of Money Management. This agreement established rules for commercial and financial relations among top economies, tying their currencies to gold. Hence, a currency note issued by any world government represented a real amount of gold held in a vault by that nation. When in July 1944 delegates from all over the world sign off the pact, the main goal was to reduce lack of cooperation between countries and therefore avoiding currency wars. This process of regulating the foreign exchange brought to the foundation of the international money fund (IMF) and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), today part of World bank Group.
However, in the early 70s the real-world economics outpaced the system, dollar suffered from severe inflation cutting its value by half. At that time unemployment rate was 6.1% and inflation 5.84%. Finally, in August 1971, U.S. government led by Richard Nixon took away gold standard, creating the first fiat currency and replacing Bretton Woods System with De Facto. Together with this there were other important measures taken by the USA president to combat that high inflation regime:
  1. This decision was driven by many European nations asking to redeem their dollars for gold, till leaving Bretton Woods System. This had an enormous impact on USD which plunged against European currencies. Consequently, USA congress release a report suggesting USD devaluation to protect the currency from foreign gougers. However, dollar dropped again, and Treasury Secretary was directed to suspend the USD convertibility with gold; hence foreign governments could no longer exchange their USD with gold.
  2. The inflation level was skyrocketing and one more action taken by Nixon was to freeze all wages and prices for 90 days, this was the first time since WWII.
  3. Import surcharge of 10% was set up to safeguard American products ensuring no disadvantage in trades.
Today, USD dominates financial markets, accounting together with the EURO, for approximately 50% of all currency exchange transactions in the world.
1971 represents the beginning of a new forex trading era, bringing this market to be the largest and most liquid in the world, with an average of daily trading volume exceeding $5trn. All the world’s combined stock markets don t even come close to this, what does this mean to you?
In an environment which is controlled by free-floating currencies moving constantly, following principles of supply and demand, there are constant and exciting trading opportunities, unavailable when investing in different markets.
In this article are shared main features of what is forex trading today and how can be an incredible new source of income for everyone who is into financial markets.

What Is Forex?

Forex is the acronym for foreign exchange which intends to be a decentralized or over the counter (OTC) marketplace, where currencies from all over the world are traded 24 hours, five days a week. Main financial centres include New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Frankfurt for Eurozone. It is by far the largest market in the world in terms of volume, followed by the credit market. Being highly liquid is an important feature that allows traders to be able to enter and exit their positions very quickly. Nevertheless, while trading forex, an investor should be aware of several components:
Dynamicity – forex is an extremely fast environment, this means that currency rates can move very fast, influenced by price action signals and fundamental factors. Therefore, going into forex trading, one needs to be aware of adopting serious risk and money management strategies in order to be effective, limiting losses.
Zero Sum Game – trading forex is not like investing in the stock market but is known to be a zero-sum game. For example, going into the equity market buying some tech shares, they could both rise or decrease in value. In forex is different because currencies work in pairs; for instance, an investor decides Euro will go up he or she is doing it against another currency. Thus, in this specific marketplace one currency will rise while the other will fall, meaning an investor is buying the currency hoping it will appreciate to the other, or selling the one that will depreciate.
See image below:
Figure 1: Main traded currency pairs
https://preview.redd.it/vu77ziuoyle31.png?width=574&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b1693bf27508fcb142705c309de1fc5b3e8fa19
Currency pairs are composed by a base and a price currency. Main forex trading principle is how much price currency an investor can buy using 1 unit of the base, thus, the base currency, which is the first one in line within the quotation, is always equal to 1.
Because like every financial instrument currency pairs are driven by fundamentals of supply and demand, forex is intensively influenced by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors.
Capital Markets – these are the most visible indicators of a country economic health, where usually the healthier the economy the stronger the currency. For example, a rapid sell-off from a country will show that nation is not economically stable, subsequently investors will think negatively of it depreciating its currency.
Moreover, many countries are sector driven, this means that their currencies are strictly correlated with certain resources. For instance, Canada which is a commodity-based market, CAD is strictly linked to price of Brent and metals, a swing in those will affect the Canadian currency.
Finally, credit market is also connected to forex since also relies heavily on interest rate so, a change in bond yield will have major impact on currency prices. like increase in yield will favour bullish market for USD
International Trade – Trade levels serve as a proxy for relative demand of goods from a nation, a country which goods and services that are in high demand internationally, will experience an appreciation to its currency. This is an effect driven by all other countries converting their currencies into the one of that state to purchase its goods and services. Let’s say a product from USA is in high demand globally, all the other countries must sell their currencies to buy dollars to then see their goods shipped, thus USD will appreciate.
Trade surplus and deficit also indicate a nation competitive standing in international trade. Countries with a large trade deficit are usually importers resulting in more of their currencies being sold to buy goods worldwide, thus they will see their currencies devaluate.
Geopolitics – The political landscape of a nation places a major role in the economic outlook for that country and consequently, the perceived value of its own currency. Beside building up price action strategies, based purely on price levels, forex traders constantly look at economic calendars and news to gauge what could move currencies. A geopolitical event which is having a great impact on GBP, is the election of Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, driving the local currency to 2 years low, yesterday 29th of July 2019. Therefore, when investors observe instability from a nation political environment, there are high chances that the currency of that country will depreciate.

Why Trading Forex

Beside swapping from a gold standard to free-floating, which change the whole forex trading game, technology is another crucial factor that helped this financial sector to spread globally. With the introduction of internet in the 90s forex opened to retail investors giving access to various trading platforms. The introduction of online platforms and retail investments have increased forex market volume by 5%, up to $250bn of its daily turnover. Different traders may have different reasons for selecting forex, however, mostly is because this is a fertile market plenty of daily opportunities to gauge price action and profit from it.

Volatility

How traders profit from trading forex? Basics of trading are rather simple to understand. An investor buys an asset at a certain price hoping to get rid of it for a higher price. The more volatile is the market for that specific financial instrument, the more revenue is possible to make. Therefore, a trader is looking for long up and down moves rather than market fluctuating sideways.
Volatility is great in forex and a trader can expect to regularly see prices oscillating 50-100 pips on major currency pairs almost any day of the week. Yet again, due to this enormous constant fluctuation, potential losses or gains can be very high thus, rigours money management must be applied to avoid major damages and become a profitable trader. To conclude, volatility is the main characteristic investors are looking at and that is why it is one of the main feature traders can take advantage.
See image below:

Figure 2: FDAX Volatility, H4 (30th May 2019, 16:00, 30th July 2019, 16:00)

Accessibility & Technology

While volatility is the most important element out in the market that tell us why forex is the best market to trade, accessibility comes straight after. This market is more accessible than all the others, trading forex requires an online desk position and as little as $100 to start off an account.
In comparison with the other financial markets, forex requires a rather low trading capital. Moreover, trading forex can be easily accessible from your PC, tablet or mobile since most of retail broker firms operate online. Although, accessibility cannot tell the quality of the market by itself, it definitely shows a reason why many investors try their first trading experience on forex.
Also, the rapid introduction of technology since the 90s, made trading much easier. There are every year more advanced online platforms to trade on with many possible updates and that is why trading forex is edging for many global investors.

Forex Players

Before the introduction of free-floating currency and more importantly cutting hedge technology, forex was a market that could have been traded only by institutional investors. Nowadays however, even retail and individual investor can take advantage of the huge volume forex offers every day.
Banks
Interbank market is the major responsible for the high volume registered daily in forex. This is the place where banks exchange currency among each other, facilitating forex transactions for customers and speculate for their trading desks.
  • Clients transactions: in this case banks of all size act as dealer for clients, where the bid-ask spread represents the profit for the institutions.
  • Speculation: currencies are traded to profit from their price fluctuations as well as to increase diversification on their portfolio
Because banking institutions are the biggest players in foreign exchange market, they are able to push up and down the price of currencies giving an extreme advantage and higher volatility to individual traders who are trying to gauge price moves.
Central Banks
Central banks representing their nation’s government, are crucial in forex. They oversee monetary and fiscal policies having massive influence on currency rates. A central bank is responsible for fixing the price level of its native currency on the market, in other words they take care of the regime currencies will float in the open market.
  • Floating: these are the currencies which price floats on the open market based on principles of supply and demand relative to other currencies
  • Pegged (fixed exchange rate): opposite to floating currencies pegged ones are not free-floating in the open market however, their government rather tie them to the value of a stronger foreign currency. Pegged currencies are more seen in developing countries (CYN to USD).
Because central banks manage interest rates in order to increase the competitiveness of their native nation to another.
  • Dovish: these policies will be lowering down interest rates. A central bank which applies dovish conditions aims to give economic stimulus and guard against deflation. Usually a policy intended to give economy stimulus will weakening the currency value.
  • Hawkish: on the other hand, hawkish policies lead to an increase in interest rate. A central bank that uses hawkish measures aims to reduce inflation. Typically, this kind of policies will reinforce the country currency value.
Investment Managers & Hedge Funds
Portfolio managers and hedge funds are the second investors in forex after central and investment banks. They are hired by huge institutions such as pension to manage their assets. However while portfolio managers of pool funds will buy currency to speculate on foreign securities, hedge funds execute speculative trades as part of their strategies.
Corporations
Also international corporation play a big role in forex. Those firms operating globally, buying and selling goods and services are involved in forex transactions daily. Imagine an American company producing pipes that imports Japanese components and sell the finished product to China. After the sale is closed the CYN must be converted back to USD, while the American company must exchange USD into JPY to repay for the components supply.
Moreover, company involved in international trade have an interest in forex in order to hedge the risk associated with currencies fluctuations making several foreign exchange transactions. For instance, the same American company might buy JPY at spot rate, or enter a swap agreement to obtain JPY in advance, overtaking the risk of the Japanese currency to rise in the future. Therefore, forex become crucial to run companies with many subsidiaries and suppliers all over the word.
Individual & Retail Investors
Even though this investor cluster brings to forex a very limited volume compared to financial institutions and corporations, it is rapidly growing in numbers and popularity. These base their trades on a mixture of fundamentals and technical analysis.
Bottom line, main reason why forex is the most traded market in the world is because gives everyone, from top financial institutions to retail and individual trades, opportunities to make returns on capital invested from currencies price fluctuations related to global economy.
submitted by Horizon_Trading to u/Horizon_Trading [link] [comments]

New Beginner info / FAQ section for futures

I feel like with all the cheating and drama going on with spot fx we should at the very least have a dedicated section on the right for guidance on futures contracts.
The shady Cypriot brokers and ones on other random islands are lying and selling a dream so let's take a look at the reality of spot fx...
Currency markets are the most liquid and active markets of any sector. However, there is also a great deal of misinformation, slick advertising, and even outright deception regarding this $2 Trillion Dollar a Day marketplace. For starters, a large percentage of that $2 Trillion is traded through what is referred to as the interbank market. The interbank market is the top-level foreign exchange market where banks exchange different currencies. This trading between banks is not accessible to retail traders and is estimated to account for the vast majority of the Trillion Dollar liquidity factor that attracts so many retail traders in the first place.
Here are a few of the reasons to trade futures:
-Level playing field for all participants
-Deep liquidity on major currency contracts
-Safety and security of central clearing
If your Forex brokerage firm uses a dealing desk, your buy and sell orders never actually reach the true Forex market. In other words, you do not have access to the inter-bank market. Instead you are buying and selling at prices set, and potentially manipulated by the dealing desk. This is known as conflict of interest.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange guarantees each transaction. Futures contracts are legally binding! This means that if you go long a currency futures contract and your speculation was correct, you will walk away from the trade with your profit even if the person that took the other side of the trade fails to pay. This is what we call counterparty risk.
Take a moment, have a break and take a look at all the horror stories on forex factory, for instance.
Whether you are a large institution or an individual trader, everyone is on equal footing when it comes to pricing currency futures. EVERYBODY gets the same price regardless of who you are (individual or mega bank). Best price wins, it is as simple as that — something that is not always the case in the fragmented OTC FX market. The spreads are also very tight if you trade liquid future contracts.
Spot fx brokers also control their price feeds. They can widen the spreads as they see fit and they can really screw you over if they want to. Believe me when I say that most fx brokers don't want you to win! Even the ones that claim to have liquidity providers... Those are nothing but price feeds. Quotes. Nothing more....
And Forex firms offering a "fixed" 3-5 point spread may not be charging traders commission outright, or even in a form that shows up on an account statement, but there are significant costs built into the synthetic market that they provide to you.
No middle man, no market maker. Yes, Forex is an electronic market, but your order still ends up on a "dealing desk" where a human handles your order. Or an algorithm... Basically, a Market Maker. He could make you or break you. With E-mini Futures you have a level playing field. You trade on a centralised and CFTC regulated exchange. Whether you're Goldman Sachs or Joe from Idaho, you get equal treatment!
If you're worried about Liquidity - 1.5-3m contracts trade hands everyday on the S&P 500 E-mini Futures Contract. If you want in or out of a position, there is almost always someone waiting and willing to take the other side of your trade (24/5) just 1 tick away. This simply isn't true for all Forex Pairs.
Low Cost of Doing Business - Commissions on a self directed SP500 E-mini Trade (ES) should be no more than $3.00 per side or $6.00 per round turn. While many Forex Brokers tout "Zero Commission", we all know there's no free lunch. Forex Brokers don't need to charge a commission because they make money off of the bid/ask spread "they create" and then take the other side of your trade. Run the numbers... for every $100 in profits or loss, you will spend a larger % in "cost of doing business" in the Forex Market than you will in the S&P E-mini Market. Don't take my word for it... go take some real trades and you'll quickly see the truth.
Zero Interest - If you you trade the ES intraday, expect to put up $500 per contract as a "bond" for lack of a better term. That's it. No hidden cost. Forex however, has a "cost of carry" associated which means interest may be charged or paid on positions taken.
Fiduciary Responsibility - Even regulated US Forex firms are not required to segregate customer funds. If a regulated firm goes under, you do not have the protection of the CFTC and the NFA as you do in the Futures Markets.
Turn ON The Volume Please - In Forex, since there is no centralised exchange, it is impossible to get a true read on volume. Not so with the S&P 500 "ES" E-mini. Simply turn on the volume indicator and you have exact numbers for Volume Analysis. GS and CITI have huge research departments with hundreds of employees, but they know nothing about volume that you don't know via a free indicator on your direct access trading platform. Just one more example of the level playing field we constantly speak of.
Centralised Clearing - All trades are cleared via the CME - Chicago Mercantile Exchange. All trades, including time and sales, are public information and posted in real time.
Edit: By the way, if you're worried about discrepancies, currency futures charts look almost exactly the same as their spot fx siblings! So you can easily apply your current strategy to this market, too!
A great example would be "M6E" vs "EUUSD"
SO GUYS, LET'S ACCEPT REALITY AND LET'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. DO YOU AGREE?
Source: cfrn.net
submitted by Fighterboy89 to Forex [link] [comments]

A few basic questions regarding Forex.

Hi, I've just started to dabble a bit with forex trading on Forex.com's demo account. I have experience with leverage trading crypto (Bitmex) so I know my way around charts/indicators/leverage etc, but one thing I don't understand completely is WHY is there a spread?
As far as I understood the spread is basically the broker taking fees on your trade. With Bitcoin trading for example when I sell I fill another person's order directly, but here it seems that I send my money to the broker and then he does his magic and fills person B's order, and takes a fee for that (thus the spread). Is this correct?
And the second questions, on Forex.com my chart has 3 settings (bid/ask/mid). Which is best to use and chart on? Because of the bid/ask spread it's a bit confusing when charting and the candles don't really reflect the price. What exactly is the "MID" option on the chart? Is it just a middle ground between the bid and ask charts?
My profitability has been around 1% a day but I don't really think much about it because it could be beginner's luck. What do full-time forex traders make per week in terms of % profit?
Thanks.
submitted by CIA_Bane to Forex [link] [comments]

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

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

Ask yourself:

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

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

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

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

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

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

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

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

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

US CIA Coup Playbook:

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

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

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

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

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