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   Strategies & Market Trends2026 TeoTwawKi ... 2032 Darkest Interregnum

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To: ggersh who wrote (157941)5/16/2020 10:27:50 AM
From: Pogeu Mahone
   of 206783
Iran’s Economy In Free Fall

From the Jewish News Syndicate:

With the coronavirus pandemic sending oil prices to record lows, for Iran, which relies on oil exports as its top revenue source, the economic situation is going from bad to worse.

Oil prices have suddenly declined by 40% for two reasons. First, the Saudis started an oil price war with Russia, ramping up their own production, in order to increase their market share. That price war is over, and oil producers have agreed to share production cuts, but prices have not rebounded as producers hoped. That is because of the second reason for the oil price decline: a colossal decrease in demand. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a worldwide dampening of demand, as both car and plane travel have plummeted. Working at home cuts down on commuting, keeping children home means there is no need to take them to and from school, tourism has plummeted worldwide now that non-essential travel is forbidden, and so has plane travel that relies on those tourists. Online multi-party meetings on Zoom and Skype have replaced in-person meetings. In the second quarter of 2020, world oil demand is now nearly 24 mbd down from a year ago. As long as the pandemic continues, travel by car or plane will not rebound, and oil prices will remain at historic lows..There is nothing Iran can do about this.

Reflecting such a state of fiscal affairs, Iran’s parliament this week approved a measure to change its currency from the rial to the toman, which will be set as 10,000 rials. The move is a bid by the Islamic Republic to curb growing inflation.

The Weimar-like inflation in Iran has led to a change in currency from the rial to the toman. but this will make no difference to the reality of inflation. Each toman effectively is worth 10,000 rials. Iranian officials have emphasized the benefits of lessening the psychological pressure associated with steep-looking prices, but they have admitted that the changes will not affect inflation. Embracing the toman also, they added, should save the country money — fewer bills to print, fewer coins to mint. That’s not much of a savings. The staggering inflation remains.

Already struggling under the U.S. sanctions as part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, the energy woes will deal another blow to the Islamic regime.

“The Iranian economy has been on the skids for some time, with oil exports sharply limited by U.S. sanctions. As a result, they have already taken a lot of the hit they would otherwise have taken rather suddenly,” said Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign- and defense-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. “That said, the rewards from smuggling, especially for the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], will be lower.”

Iran has managed to smuggle some oil out to sellers, despite American sanctions. But now that the price of oil is so low – a few weeks ago we even had the spectacle of negative prices for oil, which meant that those who had bought oil, but had no place to store it, were paying others to take the oil off their hands – the profits of smuggling oil that has lost 40% of its value are much lower, and for many smugglers may not be worth it.

The United States designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization in 2019.

On April 30, the United States charged two Iranian individuals and seized more than $12.3 million used in September 2019 to acquire a petroleum tanker, the Nautic—the biggest seizure ever of funds connected to the IRGC’s elite Quds Force.

“These defendants purchased a crude oil tanker valued at over $10 million by illegally using the U.S. financial system, defiantly violating U.S. sanctions,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers. “This is yet another example of Iran brazenly using front companies and false documentation in an attempt to hide the illegal transactions that the Iranian regime desperately needs to fund its malign activities.”

Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran, said “sanctions, the sharp drop in oil prices, and the coronavirus will all contribute to Iran’s increasingly untenable economic woes.”

“Before the coronavirus, the regime attempted to bolster its non-oil sectors like agriculture and manufacturing to compensate for the losses generated by the U.S. maximum pressure campaign,” he continued.

The coronavirus lockdown in Iran affects most factories. Wearing PPE and observing social distancing are required of employees in the few places where where they are still allowed to work. Most factories in Iran, however, have shut down, just as in the U.S. Agricultural output in Iran, too, has suffered. With stay-at-home orders in place, and restaurants and schools closed, demand for nearly every agricultural product has collapsed. Restaurants have stopped buying food, purchases of cotton for consumer goods has slowed, and low oil prices have reduced demand for bioethanol, and thus from the crops it is derived from: wheat, sugar cane bagasse, rice, barely and corn. Iranian farmers are in a desperate condition.

The coronavirus will likely prove to be a blow [as well] to the services sector, upon which Iran’s economy relies heavily. That’s not to mention the border closures, which will potentially hamper trade with Iran’s neighbors,” said Brodsky. “The regime is increasingly having to make hard choices in this environment, and sadly the bill for decades of mismanagement is coming due.”

Pletka said Iran “will do with less, and as usual, and the Iranian people will be the victims, as they always are. The regime [as individuals] has plenty of money.”

The best example of the colossal corruption in the regime is the Supreme Leader himself, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who according to the U.S. government has amassed a business empire worth $200 billion, up from a mere $95 billion in 2013.

Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz told JNS that the damage to Iran’s oil sector had already been done because of U.S. sanctions.

“The collapse in oil prices has a limited short-term impact on Iran’s oil revenues because exports have already fallen sharply from 2.5 million barrels per day to a few hundred thousand as a result of the U.S. maximum pressure campaign,” he said. “It does however impact oil production since foreign investors who might be willing to take the sanctions risk when oil prices are high will be less likely to do so if profit margins are much lower.”

The oil price collapse will certainly affect investment in oil production in Iran, where American sanctions already make potential investors nervous. As long as the price of oil was high, some were willing to risk those sanctions, but no longer. Smuggling Iranian oil to buyers has suddenly become far less profitable.

“Germany, which was their primary trade partner, was taking pistachios, rugs, and some industrial metals, but it was very limited and the trade was very unbalanced,” said Jewish Policy Center senior director Shoshana Bryen. “At the same time, the mullahs are not Iranian nationalists, but Shi’ite supremacists and the single most important element of their policy, foreign and domestic, is undermining Sunni states in the Middle East and Africa, while threatening Israel and inflicting damage on American interests.”

“They have to keep the population as quiet as possible, but helping the Iranian people is not their goal,” she continued. “So look for them to take their very limited funds and continue to use them for their military.”

For the Iranian regime, the well-being of its people is not a major concern, just as long as it can intimidate the population, and when there are protests nonetheless, to crush them using force. The regime will continue to spend what money it on its own military, especially the IRGC, and on supporting fellow Shi’a troops, as the Houthis in Yemen, the Shi’a militias in Iraq, Assad’s Alawite-led forces in Syria, against their Sunni enemies and to spend money supplying advanced weaponry, especially precision-guided missiles, on Hezbollah, as the shock troops of Iran’s never-ending war on Israel.

Dubowitz noted that “Iran’s non-oil exports like petrochemicals are linked to oil prices.”

Iranian petrochemicals and their handlers have been subject to U.S. sanctions. In March, the Trump administration sanctioned companies and individuals allegedly engaged in trading or transporting Iranian petrochemicals.

In January, the United States sanctioned several companies and senior executives allegedly part of the international network supporting Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum industries.

Furthermore, Dubowitz said that “the collapse in oil prices will adversely impact these revenues which have been a major source of foreign currency earnings even under the sanctions regime.

“Iran is facing an economic depression but its sizable off-the-books assets under the control of the supreme leader and its continued trade with the UAE, Iraq, China, Turkey and others give it a lifeline. Washington needs to double down on the pressure and shut off all remaining economic and financial lifelines.”

Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Doran remarked that “despite its protestations to the contrary, the regime does not have any good alternatives to oil, and it cannot circumvent the economic laws of gravity.”

Ahead of November, said Doran, Iran’s objective is “simply to limp its way to the American presidential election. If Trump will be defeated, a Democratic president may lift the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign without Tehran having to make any intolerable concessions.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has not laid out a clear vision on Iran policy if he were to win the White House. Last year, he said that if elected, the United States would re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal when the regime “returns to compliance.”

In a conference call hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), Rapidan Energy Group founder and president Robert McNally echoed Doran, saying that Iran will be awaiting the results of the presidential election, “hoping Joe Biden will win, and then they got out of jail, if you will, by the second half of next year.”

That scenario, said McNally, would be “a world of hurt.”

Given his party’s sharp leftward turn, Joe Biden is likely to end the sanctions regime that has been so successful in damaging the Islamic Republic’s economy, and to re-enter the 2015 Iran deal that Trump had exited. But that still leaves Iran with the problem of the coronavirus, with the pandemic’s future so unpredictable. If it is still going on, then the current huge drop in demand for oil will remain, both because of the working-at-home, study-at-home rules, and because of a continued ban on all non-essential travel, which is a death knell for tourism. The price of oil will stay at historic lows. Even if the sanctions are lifted by Biden, Iran’s oil revenues will be far less than Tehran could have expected just two years ago, when the sanctions were re-imposed by Trump. And along with historically low prices for oil, Iran will have the constant threat of Saudi Arabia raising its production, and lowering its price, to take customers away from its Shi’a arch-enemy. Iran’s economy has in recent years been very bad, but the worst, inshallah, is yet to come.

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To: Pogeu Mahone who wrote (157968)5/16/2020 12:02:53 PM
From: ggersh
4 Recommendations   of 206783
May we please have our basic needs met?’“No. Can’t afford to.”

‘Hey why are you killing all those people overseas?’

“They need killing.”

‘Doesn’t it cost money to kill them though?’

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To: Julius Wong who wrote (157958)5/16/2020 1:03:17 PM
From: Follies
   of 206783
I got in to sorrento at $4.41

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To: TobagoJack who wrote (157963)5/16/2020 1:13:51 PM
From: Follies
   of 206783
Silver is so cheap relative to gold it is unbelievable. 100 to 1 is just crazy. It makes no sense unless sovereigns and big money banks believe they will need gold and not silver to back a new currency when the time comes.

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To: Follies who wrote (157970)5/16/2020 5:17:13 PM
From: Julius Wong
   of 206783
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

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To: ggersh who wrote (157969)5/16/2020 9:02:27 PM
From: Pogeu Mahone
1 Recommendation   of 206783
Of course we cannot have basic needs met as long as we reward every citizen in the world before we take care of our own. Priorities are way out of wack.

Supporting "Boss" machine politics and you arguing peace Is always a WTF moment.

Terrorist Soleimani dead now that is money well spent.

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To: ggersh who wrote (157969)5/16/2020 9:05:41 PM
From: Pogeu Mahone
1 Recommendation   of 206783
Could she please clean up her home town?


Clean Living standards not enforced for her neighbors

and she wants to clean up the world. Larry David material:O)

What an embarrassment to intelligence.

Parts of San Francisco dirtier than foreign slums, UC Berkeley infectious disease expert says

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To: TobagoJack who wrote (157962)5/17/2020 1:01:42 AM
From: bull_dozer
1 Recommendation   of 206783
Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
MAY 15, 2020

Even so, it’s not gold but bonds that investors crave. They are grateful to purchase, for instance, the brand new tripleB-plus-rated PayPal 3¼s of 2050. How will the online money-transfer pioneer fare in the next 30 years? Could it be disrupted? What will become of the dollar, and interest rates, along the way? Is today’s buyer being compensated for these risks? Good questions, but, to yield famished fiduciaries, not the most relevant ones. They need basis points, not monetary theory, and they draw confidence, rightly or wrongly, from the long-running decline of interest rates. Gold may boast a multi-millennial record of honorable monetary service, but bond prices have been rallying for 39 years.

For all that gold is the epitome of money, and for all that Wall Street worships money, gold is unrespectable. Mention it in most any institutional setting, and people wince, though perhaps we overanalyze. Asset managers want the prices of their assets to rise, and QE answers that need. The kind of money the beneficiaries of radical monetary policy want is the kind you mine on a keypad.

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To: carranza2 who wrote (157966)5/17/2020 2:47:39 AM
From: TobagoJack
   of 206783
(0) Listened to the Podcast. Yeup, difficult to see the solution of the simultaneous equations, and more difficult to avoid the subject of gold, for the better outcome for the masses, and paper gold may not be enough, which then leads to the more plentiful silver and cryptos, but of course not all roads lead to salvation.

Those w/ debt are phucked, and those without are plucked.

(1) Finally and not bum-rushed, downloaded both(!) Twitter as well as Pod Bean apps. There is much we need to think about, and most if not all questions we must ask that have been asked somewhere at some point by somebodies

(2) The game we are in is likely for all-the-marbles, and if so, we should engage w/ more useful help than we have ever done so, to firstly listen, then ruminate, and try to puzzle out w/ others wanting to do same.

(3) Several jingos come to mind, and I think enough are still in operation, possibly more ferocious than ever, meaning faster, accelerating, more directional, and backed by more than ever, towards what we have never known.

(3-i) Inflation of everything we need, and deflation of all that we have

(3-ii) Planetary equalization of cost, and therefore of revenue

(3-iii) Bifurcation of universe, cleaver-ing galaxy

(3-iv) Chaos is a gift, crisis a partner, volatility friend, lonely path right way, survive to survive another day

(3-v) A game all must play, rules unclear, always changed against us, at the least convenient times. No place to run towards and fewer to hide in. No null position. No respite. Few allowed to win. Fewer allowed to keep winnings. Then we die. Ready or not, players, play on 3, 2, ...

(3-vi) GetGold, an adjective, verb, and a noun.

(4) The considerations that lead to ostensible action plan Message 32737826 , even as I understand gold is useless, and so is parachute.

(5) The wet-work has been awful, and the leaders did it knowing full well what they were doing, but at each juncture tried to make the best decision that be apparent.

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To: bull_dozer who wrote (157975)5/17/2020 3:02:01 AM
From: TobagoJack
   of 206783
Gold is amazingly cheap, silver more so, and we are common-sensical participants in a great game, or we are total absolute cretins. There is no room for in-between designations as am unwilling to self-proclaim genius title.

Time shall tell.

My intention remains to try and get hold of some lovely Krugerands circa 2020 edition, as commemorative keepsake to remember an otherwise already unforgettable year ... so beautiful and has gone unobtainium at the moment at its point of origin ... amazing ... which tells us everything we need to know about the fix we find ourselves

This year we have spent 60 days in HK and 78 days in Cape Town. We are slightly off plan :0)

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