Where finance and media intersect with reality


In the Blind Spot (Nocoiners, Google’s Jigsaw, Game of Thrones)


Commemorating the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

Econ, Finance & Markets etc:

Crypto News:

Do read Ben Munster’s hilariously well-written piece on Decrypt.

American Made:

This article goes into allegations that Jigsaw not only shared data with the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, but that it also partook in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and Viktor Yanukovich’s regimes.

Geopolitical Pivots:

War for Dummies:

From the “Fake News” Zone:

Game of Thrones:

  • The Pope dissolves the Knights of Malta and issues a new constitution. And the Catholic Pillar asks if the order is still sovereign?
  • The Blind Spot recommends two documentaries to reflect upon the end of the Elizabethan era.First, to understand where the UK is heading, we must understand where it has come from.

    An Ocean Apart, produced by Adam Curtis and presented by a David Dimbleby, tracks the beginnings of the UK’s special relationship with the United States to the transfer of empire that occurred in the post war period from Britain to America. This is a story about how a country like Britain maintained its influence on the global stage by convincing Washington that it still needed the British and their know-how to effectively govern the imperial assets that had de facto come under American protection.

    To understand where we are going, however, we must understand how things may or may not have changed since then.

    Panorama’s 1975 documentary about the elite military training school Sandhurst (predisposed to processing sovereigns and aristos of all sorts) offers some amazing insights into how the British army traditionally saw its role in any Cromwellian breakdown of cohesive civil order in the Britain. From 30 mins in, the cadets run through an exercise that sees the UK factionally split between revolutionary anti royalist forces led by “Eric the Red” and a neo-fascist opposition force led by an elected member of Parliament backed by rural farming groups. The confrontation occurs amid a general economic breakdown in the country. The cadets’ post-exercise reflections conclude that in Britain, the multi-faceted make-up of its armed forces, which pledge ultimate allegiance to the monarch not the state, plus the country’s entrenched democratic heritage, make any prospective takeover of the country by the military for the purposes of reasserting order and control entirely unrealistic.

    “If you are defending democracy you accept certain limitations about the way you go about defending them. “You have to, by definition,” says one cadet.  “Otherwise you change what you are defending from a democracy to a totalitarian state.”

    Historically, the Royalty’s ability to raise and maintain the loyalty of armies has been key to its staying power but also to its potential abuse of the people. That’s why in Britain that power was checked in the aftermath of the Cromwellian Civil War by a Parliamentary system underpinned by a new Bill of Rights. This banned the raising of standing armies in peacetime. Over the years, this fact has helped the Royalty cement its reputation as a political neutral entity focused on operating as a genuine stabilising agent in the British system rather than anything resembling a true power authority.

    Let’s hope it won’t take the death of the immensely popular Elizabeth II and a transfer of power to a potentially less neutral and experienced monarch for us to understand the critical role the Royalty has played thus far in maintaining balance and order in Britain — but also (via its special relationship with the United States) the world. Even today, the decentralised structure of the British Armed forces underpins that neutrality on a domestic level by tapping into the even more ancient concept of the monarch being first among equals — i.e. kept in check by its own aristocracy (and increasingly over time the City of London too).

    King Charles III (Navy), Princes William (RAF), Harry (Army), Andrew (Navy) and Edward (Navy) have all actively served in the armed forces. William and Harry both attended Sandhurst. They come to their new post-Elizabethan roles with well established military links reflective of entrenched rivalries between their respective divisions.

    Why does any of that matter to investors? Because finance is increasingly being politicised.

    In that context, any prospect of constitutional change amid economic weakness, weak Parliamentary authority and a growing external threat introduces the not insignificant threat of a new “Game of thrones” being played again with potentially meaningful secondary effects for markets, assets and property laws. Keeping in mind which aristos still have influence over which industries, media or forces might, as a result, prove timely.

    Those with the capacity to assert a rightful claim to raise armies matter more than most in uncertain times. Given what happened last time monarchic power was transferred from a ruling Elizabeth to a Charles that’s worth bearing in mind. – IK

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