Where finance and media intersect with reality

In the Blind Spot today (Trident, WAGMI, famine)

TBS Blog

Finance, markets, business etc:

  • Zoltan Pozsar worries Russian sanctions might spell the end of dollar hegemony.
  • Sanctions have shown that currency reserves accumulated by central banks can be taken away. (IMHO this is the biggest risk emerging from the Russian sanction issue — though many informed money-market experts disagree. If the integrity of the dollar as a neutral and liquid monetary tool for powering international commerce is questioned, the West potentially loses control of the levers of finance. Arguably, this became a risk the day Biden floated the idea of redistributing the Afghan central bank’s reserves. The confiscation threats directed at Canadian truckers exacerbated the issue. But now we have this.) 
  • India may be facing sanctions from Biden.
  • The weather is not cooperating with the gas situation.
  • Could much of Africa be facing famine?
  • Crypto “Airdrops” are becoming a thing just in time to help resistance efforts.
  • How Putin’s allies took over the London financial centre.

From the “Fake News” zone:

  • A Swedish study by authors at the Lund Univeristy concludes that the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 mRNA vaccine enters into the cells and subsequently reverse transcribes intracellularly into DNA.
  • Randi Zuckerberg — sister of Mark — breaks the internet with WAGMI pro-crypto wonder musical, and the haters are still hating. Randi, btw, sits on a number of crypto advisory firms. (This seems signifciant in the Aesopian Fable sense.)
  • Craig Murray on the Cult of Cadwalldr and a third narrative on the Ukraine conflict.
  • Are central banks using ‘oligarch cash’ as an excuse to cripple bitcoin?
  • Cloth marks allow 90 per cent of particles to filter through.
  • A gracious correction from Matt Taibbi.
  • Has the Kyiv US embassy gone rogue?

From the “Truth Zone”:

  • False claims of US Biowarfare labs in Ukraine grip QAnon. (I emailed bioweapon expert, KCL academic, Filippa Lentzos about the story and she agreed it’s all Putin propaganda. As she noted to me: “The Biolabs are ‘health labs’ — but there are aspects of the labs that have misuse potential, e.g. they work with dangerous pathogens. So Russia is talking up that potential way more than it deserves. If Russia takes over the labs, they would have access to pathogen collections. But these are not like blueprints for weapons. They are just bacteria and virus stocks. Russia has lots of pathogens in its own labs so I don’t really see the tactical advantage here.”
  • Russia is planning public executions in Ukrainian cities.

From “No Man’s Land”:

  • How China secretly helped Russia invade Ukraine. (Laowhy86, a Chinese propaganda expert, gets hit by Russian propaganda bots and notes how they emulate Chinese tecnhiques. )
  • The FT’s Tom Burgis wins his day in court.

WW3 Watch:

The Cassandra list:

  • Michael Shellenberger, a former green lobbyist turned nuclear energy advocate, is the man who very publicly voiced his concerns about the West charging into renewables and net zero policy pre-maturely. He was demonised, sidelined and trolled to high heaven. But as he points out today Europe’s energy picture could have been very different if people had just listened.

Spotlight on:

John Manzoni is the former BP man who, after a medium-term spell as the chief executive of the Major Projects Authority under the remit of the Cabinet Office, was last reported in July 2021 by Intelligence Online to be taking up a position as chairman of the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). What is AWE? Well as the website says: “Our role in keeping the nation safe is to manufacture, maintain and develop the warheads for Trident, the UK’s ultimate deterrent, and use our unique skills and expertise to support nuclear threat reduction.”

Until June 2021, AWE Management was part owned and operated by a private consortium made up of Serco, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineer, after which time it was transferred as a non-departmental public body to be wholly owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The move broke a 25-year private contract early. A fascinating aside is that in November 2021, ethical “ESG” investors persuaded Serco, also involved in the rollout of the NHS’ Test and Trace app, to drop out of a race to work on nuclear weapons.

Manzoni always struck me as a very competent executive while at BP, an era when relations with Russia were on the up and the oil producer had been optimistic about its stake in Russia’s TNK. Manzoni oversaw fallout the Texas Refinery crisis, so knows how to keep a calm head. Not a bad man for the job, whatever his cabinet experience.

A nice tidbit from the AWE website includes news about their new supercomputer called Vulcan.

Food for thought:

Izzy’s whereabouts:

  • I will be moderating a panel hosted by RUSI touching on the human rights vulnerabilities at the heart of the Financial Action Task Force system on Monday at noon.

Memes to rally the troops:

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2 Responses

  1. Just now read the Cult of Cadwalladr piece – woah, that’s a gigantic story. Yet another blow to trust in the media and establishment authorities.

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