Funny Economics

Some wry observations from me  on the world on economics-

1) 150 years after humiliating their country in the Opium Wars, Chinese mandarins have somehow convinced their leaders and military to park 2 trillion assets in Anglo Saxon debt. If Greece geting a 50% discount on its loan is the new precedent, when will the USA force its lendors to the negotiation table.

2) Income inequality and protests are something the Arabs and Israelis have in common. Besides being the sons of Abraham of course. Note the Persians are not considered the same as Arabs.

3) Advance knowledge of geo-political events can and ensures Western financial dealers have an edge on the sovereign funds in the other hemisphere.  What used to be the playgrounds of Eton has now shifted to the pubs of Boston and So Cal.

4) After spending 1 trillion USD on arms in the past one decade (funded by guys in item 1), the United States military forces is in a much better more advanced position to wage simultaneous war.

5) Can a war in Korean peninsula affect war in the Persian sphere of influence. Just follow the money , baby.

6) Saudi Wahabis continue to fund terror despite losing a lot of money in the economic meltdown in past few years. For every 1 $ increase in Saudi oil revenue, western oil companies ,traders, financiers make more, much more.

7) Demographics is an important key to economics. An aging Japan, and stagnant West is one cause to shift from manpower intensive warfare to cyber warfare. Plus Cyber warfare is good business . Underpopulated Russia and Arabs continue to lack true economic potential.

8) There are new economic incentives to develop tools to disseminate as well as distort information flow in real time in a hyper connected digital world.

 

Julian Assange Dear Chap

Julian Assange a very Dear Chap
couldnt control his pecker
got caught in a honey trap
Should have kept that rubber on, Jules
Nordic Scandinavians may be easy but even they have rules

meanwhile Dear Chap’s Website the eponymous Wikileaks
is leaking revolution and democracy like  Vegas casino magic tricks
The Arabs read his website before Sentor Joe crashed it down
And now  Anglo Saxon allies in Egypy, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain are wearing a frown

Viva La Website Revolution Wikileaks
Merde to the Dear Chap\s pecker squeaks
Time up, time for all dictators to go and hide,
rulers Arabian, or Aussi hackers on a funny ride.

Book Reviews- Hindu Myths- Mere Christianity

A statue of Hindu deity Shiva in a temple in B...
Image via Wikipedia

Over the month long break I took, I was helping firm up my ideas for R for Analytics , I also took a break and read some books. Here are brief reviews of two, three of them-

1) Hindu Myths

This is a classical book translated from original Sanskrit written by Professor Wendy O Flaherty of University of Chicago. I found some of the older myths very interesting in terms of contradictions, retelling the same story in a modified way by another classic, the beautiful poetic and fantastic imagery evoked by Hindu myths. Some stories are as relevant in prayers, fasts and religious ceremonies as they were around 11000 years while most have morphed , edited or even distorted.

It should help the non Indian reader understand why hundreds of millions of conservative Indians worship Shiv Ling ( or literally an idol of the Phallus of Shiva), the Hindu two cents of creation of the universe, and the somewhat fantastic stories on super heroes /gods/ in the ancient world.

The book suffers from a few drawbacks in my opinion-

1) Sanskrit is a bit like Latin- you can lose not just the flavor but original meaning of words and situational context. Some of the stories made better sense when i read a more recent Hindi translation.

2) An excessive emphasis on sexual imagery rather than emotional imagery. The author seems wonder struck to read and translate ancient indians were so matter of fact about physical relationships. However the words were always written in discrete poetic than crass soft pornography.

3) Almost no drawings or figures. This makes the book a bit dense to read at 300 pages.

I liked another book on Hindu Myths (Myth= Mithya which I read in 2009) and you can see if you can read it if you find the topic interesting.

A Handbook of Hindu Mythology

Hindus have one God.
They also have 330 million gods: male gods, female gods, personal gods, family gods, household gods, village gods, gods of space and time, gods for specific castes and particular professions, gods who reside in trees, in animals, in minerals, in geometrical patterns and in man-made objects.
Then there are a whole host of demons.
But no Devil.


Mere Christianity by C S Lewis is a classic book on reinterpreting Christianity in modern times. However the author wrote this when World War 2 was on and it seems more like a British or Anglo Saxon interpretation of beliefs of Christ Jesus– who was actually a Jewish teacher born in Middle East Asia.

While the language and reading makes it much easier to read- it is recommended more at Western audiences, than Eastern ones, as it seems some of the parables are a more palatable re interpretation of the New Testament. The Bible is a deceptively easy book to read, the language is short and beautiful-and the original parables in the Gospels remain powerful easy to understand.

C S Lewis tends to emphasize morality than religiosity or faith, and there is not much comparison with any other faith or alternative morality. Dumbing down the Bible so as to market it better to reluctant consumers seems to be Mr Lewis intention and it is not as scholarly a work as an exercise in pure prose.

However it is quite good as a self improvement book and is quite better than the “You Can Win” kind of books or even business concept books.

Note- I find reading books on religion as good exercises in reading the fountain source of philosophies. As a polytheist- I tend to read more than one faith.

China -United States -The Third Opium War

U.S.troops in China during the Boxer Rebellion...
Image via Wikipedia

A brief glance through http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt

shows that while US added 600 billion of debt during the past one year, the Chinese actually reduced their exposure by 50 billion Dollars.

so who has been financing the debt for the US for the past one year- It is Japan- eager to keep its currency down and United Kingdom which has pumped in an extra 300 billion of T Bills.

See the whole table at official link above or at goo.gl/qMugp

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China still remembers the Opium Wars in which the then ruling Anglo Saxon superpower used naval superiority to enforce trade and eventual political dependency. Is China unsure of the United States brotherly nice  intentions? They certainly seem to be putting their money that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars

Britain forced the Chinese government into signing theTreaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tianjin, also known as the Unequal Treaties, which included provisions for the opening of additional ports to unrestricted foreign trade, for fixed tariffs; for the recognition of both countries as equal in correspondence; and for the cession of Hong Kong to Britain. The British also gained extraterritorial rights. Several countries followed Britain and sought similar agreements with China. Many Chinese found these agreements humiliating and these sentiments contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, putting an end to dynastic China.

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The Koreans can always be depended on provide the first shot in any conflict- and though Anglo-US-Chinese conflict would be expensive- I guess as long as the cost of outstanding debt with China is less than cost of a brief -techno-war , we would see interesting games in this neighborhood. Note China restricts major trade with United States particularly in software, internet services (like Web Advertising, Facebook, Twitter ) and represents a lucrative market for big pharma (especially in psychiatric drugs) and big tech once it reforms its intellectual property rights. Software would be the opium of the 21st Century- if Chinese resist the Treasury Bills as their poppy flowers. The widespread Western media coverage of school kids murders by pyschopaths is also a trade tactic to encourage flow of more US made medicine in the Chinese market.

It would also help create an economic revival in the United States to exaggerate the Chinese threat (remember Sputnik) and build up its own cyber spending. Any military or cyber humiliation for the ruling party in China can help create a political vacuum for more malleable and agreeable alternatives to emerge.

(to be continued)