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If you choose to follow me please send me a message telling me which article got your attention Love the trill of the hunt. Finding that little gem which is set to take off. I check daily and will trade partial position to accumulate shares for the longer haul. I have been trading for a while,... More
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  • #SOTU, #Markets, #ISIS, #SocialMedia, #Volatility:What The Markets Teach Us About Conflict Resolution.

    First off, I am expecting some violent responses in the comment section. That is pretty much par for the course in the modern world of social media. No matter the topic, the comments will contain some polarized position and slurs. If the topic is political, you may get one or two thought out reasoned responses before the whole thing degenerates into denigration and name calling to discount the views of others. Republi-cunt and Lib-tard are good examples. We generally do not talk to each other like this in the real world, so why do it online?

    I believe it is the lack of physical engagement, the lack of perceived personal risk. In the good old days of dueling and gun fights at noon, you would have thought long and hard before issuing such insults. I feel that the thinking part is important. The branding of people who do not share your view point allows you to discount them. The lack of physical presence allows them to be stripped of their humanity. They are no longer a person, they are a Libtard or Troll or Spammer! We would do well to remember the lesson of history, particularly from teachers like Adolf Hitler.

    The jump to extremism should be easy to understand. If they are placed in an environment of continual positive affirmation of their views and opinions; people will assert those opinions more openly, more frequently and with more conviction: this is the gravitation to extremism. Now, was I talking about Nazi Germany, an Isis training camp, Boko Haram in Nigeria or perhaps your social media friends list? You may not be ready to strap on a suicide bomb and blow up a market, but your actions can be equally destructive. Recently, in a cover story for The Atlantic magazine, James Fallows explored the cost of our actions to the American military. You may not initially see the parallel, but our lack of engagement and polarized reactionary view point makes it easier to send them off to war. Our ability to "like" the VA or champion our troops in some comment thread, to trot them out at half time allows us to feel better about ourselves. It allows us to feel better about sending them off to assume our personnel risk, the risk associated with our collective decisions. It allows us to send them off to die, for decisions formed in an increasingly polarized and reactionary environment. Shouldn't we have talked about this first, at least considered it a little? Had a real debate? After 9/11 that would have been seen as weakness, Dis-loyal or just UN-American. There we go with the brands again, discounting the other side of the argument.

    Okay, so it is the politician's job to have that debate. The current political landscape is a reflection of our actions. It is polarized, not just between the parties, but also within them. Members of the same party are so diametrically opposed they cannot even come to a consensus. This has led to brinkmanship and an extremist style of politics exercised on an increasing frequent basis. In a world of extremes do you have to be more extreme just to get attention? You don't like that court decision, just get a few of your friends together on twitter and have a riot. That should help, they will all pay attention them.

    It is MLK week, and that is particularly relevant to this topic. His was a life defined with conflict, struggle and resolution. Was he engaged, did he assume the personnel risk of his actions and beliefs or were they passed on to others? That equality, that vote that he was fighting for is squandered if we give no more thought to a candidate than the brand on the ballot. It is squandered if we give no consideration to our opposition or their view, if we discount them with a label.

    As a student studying politics, I used to read the Financial Times. Investors need the facts to be able to form a position. There were plenty of other rags I could have chosen if I had just wanted affirmation of my political views but I was interested in the truth. In the Markets there are three main positions, Buy, Hold and Sell. We form these position based on the facts, we transition through them by listening to the arguments of the other side. The price is the resolution of conflict and risk is always immanent. The volatility in recent times is a failure of that function. The markets are becoming more irrational, more prone to extremes, reactionary and volatile. Could it be because we have changed; because we get so much of our fact from social media; because reaction is amplified by things like high frequency trading and instant news; because we no longer take the time to consider our position or the other side? We react and sort it out later in case we are wrong. Is that why we occasionally halt trading in some security or another?

    Seeking Alpha and other financial sites should market themselves as the bastions of truth: not only in financial matters but in all reporting. Give us the opportunity to form a position based on fact. Let us hold ourselves to a higher standard. I have nothing against social media in fact I am a big fan. I have nothing against guns until someone uses them to shoot up a school. It is the actions I have a problem with.

    It may feel like I am lecturing to you. I am not; in a lecture you learn something. I am simply trying to remind you of some things you may have forgotten. Are there some values that may have become obscured in a reactionary, extremist, society that allows us to spend so much of our time with our head in the Cloud?

    If there was one main take away from the State of the Union Speech last night, it should have been stop and think. Ask yourself what you want, what you believe in. Do not just react to the headlines is the same predictable way. Hold yourself accountable for your own opinions; don't make thinking someone else's job.

    Jan 21 10:47 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Military Power Around The Black Sea

    This data is provided as an adjunct to my recent article

    "The Markets Will Sink in Titanic Fashion." the map is a compilation of the data provided by Bonn International Center for Conversion. BICC produce the Global Militarization Index (GMI). BICC is able to objectively depict worldwide militarization for the first time. The GMI compares, for example, a country's military expenditure with its Gross Domestic Product (NYSE:GDP) and its health expenditure. I have labeled the countries with thier rank from memory, so appologies is I got anyone wrong.

    (click to enlarge)

    As you can see I have only focused on the area surrounding the Mediteranian and Black Sea as that is the focus of my article. Some other countries have been labeled for reference. The USA is ranked 31st. Below is a table of rankings, from most militarized to least, covering 151 countries world wide. For full details visit the BICC website.

    Israel    1
    Singapore    2
    Armenia    3
    Syria    4
    Russia    5
    Cyprus    6
    Korea, Republic of    7
    Jordan    8
    Greece    9
    Azerbaijan    10
    Belarus    11
    Kuwait    12
    Ukraine    13
    Brunei    14
    Mongolia    15
    Oman    16
    Finland    17
    Algeria    18
    Bahrain    19
    Saudi Arabia    20
    Estonia    21
    Vietnam    22
    Belize    23
    Turkey    24
    Lebanon    25
    Egypt    26
    Bulgaria    27
    Portugal    28
    Morocco    29
    Iran    30
    United States of America    31
    United Arab Emirates    32
    Serbia    33
    Norway    34
    Romania    35
    Denmark    36
    Chile    37
    Iraq    38
    Switzerland    39
    Macedonia    40
    Peru    41
    Thailand    42
    Ecuador    43
    South Sudan    44
    Angola    45
    Sri Lanka    46
    Georgia    47
    Yemen    48
    France    49
    Malaysia    50
    Botswana    51
    Montenegro    52
    Slovenia    53
    Kyrgyzstan    54
    Australia    55
    Paraguay    56
    United Kingdom    57
    Lithuania    58
    Colombia    59
    Croatia    60
    Namibia    61
    Hungary    62
    Qatar    63
    Austria    64
    Cambodia    65
    Pakistan    66
    Italy    67
    Uruguay    68
    Afghanistan    69
    Mauritania    70
    Bosnia and Herzegovina    71
    Kazakhstan    72
    Brazil    73
    Poland    74
    Moldova    75
    Tunisia    76
    El Salvador    77
    Latvia    78
    Guinea-Bissau    79
    Bolivia    80
    India    81
    Gabon    82
    Venezuela    83
    Spain    84
    Belgium    85
    Canada    86
    Germany    87
    Honduras    88
    China    89
    Slovakia    90
    Sweden    91
    Czech Republic    92
    Congo, Republic of    93
    Central African Republic    94
    Chad    95
    Japan    96
    Netherlands    97
    Indonesia    98
    New Zealand    99
    South Africa    100
    Luxembourg    101
    Burundi    102
    Nepal    103
    Nicaragua    104
    Argentina    105
    Guatemala    106
    Philippines    107
    Ireland    108
    Laos    109
    Uganda    110
    Libya    111
    Albania    112
    Cape Verde    113
    Zambia    114
    Guyana    115
    Mexico    116
    Rwanda    117
    Congo, Democratic Republic of the    118
    Togo    119
    Tanzania    120
    Fiji    121
    Dominican Republic    122
    Ethiopia    123
    Bangladesh    124
    Cameroon    125
    Cote D'Ivoire    126
    Senegal    127
    Kenya    128
    Mali    129
    Benin    130
    Mozambique    131
    Zimbabwe    132
    Nigeria    133
    Mauritius    134
    Jamaica    135
    Lesotho    136
    Burkina Faso    137
    Ghana    138
    Madagascar    139
    Malta    140
    Seychelles    141
    Niger    142
    Malawi    143
    Sierra Leone    144
    Timor-Leste    145
    Liberia    146
    Papua New Guinea    147
    Iceland    148
    Panama    149
    Costa Rica    150
    Haiti    151

    Dec 20 10:55 AM | Link | Comment!
  • It's The GOD Complex

    (click to enlarge)

    So today I started a new project on Kickstarter. This idea has been floating around my head for a while and I final put it out there. Perhaps the whole world will just think I am insane, perhaps no one will care. I thought I should at least ask.

    It's The GOD Complex is an online game. The players all pay a monthly subscription of $5. The total of the monthly subscriptions minus the cost of running the games goes into the in game revenue pool.

    The players then use their influence in the game to try and determine how the money is spent. Each player having one single vote on every item under discussion. The goal of the game is to open as many real world small businesses and create as many jobs as possible. Kind of like playing the Sims only in real life.

    This is an attempt to revitalize some of the poorest neighborhoods in America. The types of businesses opened should be fitting a demographic need in a depressed area. Creating jobs where there are none.

    The players vote and decide what business it is, who to hire, product ranges and all manner of other things. One neighborhood might need a bar, another needs a day care. Regardless of the type of business once it is profitable and making some money, excess revenues will be funneled back into the in game revenue pool. The process continues and repeats.

    The Beta version of the game will operate in a console mode, not too dissimilar from Seekingalpha, Facebook or many other online social networks and communities. Conferencing features will be available to allow the players to interact and collaborate on projects. To allow them to create submissions for all to consider and vote on.

    Eventually much of this conferencing would be replaced by a full 3D virtual world where all players appear as avatars and are able to interact freely.

    I guess you could think of it like a Corporation where the shareholders get to vote on everything in real time.

    Anyway take a look, provide feedback positive or otherwise. Send it out on twitter and like the page on Facebook.


    All support greatly apreciated. I have been a part of this comunity for a few years now and I do really value your opinion.



    Dec 01 7:33 PM | Link | Comment!
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