Where finance and media intersect with reality


Stuff I’ve been reading



  • The World Socialist Website is a feed available on Bloomberg.
  • Are Pfizer’s lawyers getting a bit twitchy? (Q4 release adds some potentially concerning language: “…or further information regarding the quality of pre-clinical, clinical or safety data, including by audit or inspection…”)
  • Used cars are still doing nicely.
  • Big avocado news.
  • Algos don’t do war humour.
  • There’s been an NFT seizure by HMRC.
  • Block trading at Morgan Stanley and Goldman is being probed by US regulators.
  • Inflation is everywhere.
  • US economic freedom at all-time low after Biden’s first year, says Conservative Heritage Foundation. (The index launched in 1995 and grades countries based on government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets.)
  • Dominic Raab rips up solar contract linked to Uighur slavery. (But what’s going to happen to solar module prices then? For background on how Chinese cheap labour and dirty energy drove down panel costs see my old FT piece on the topic here.)




WW3 Watch:

  • Philip Pilkington with a different take on the Kobayashi Maru in the Ukraine situation.
  • Bellingcat has a new open source tool to locate active military radar systems.
  • Russian spies may be running about Ukraine attempting to engineer false flag flashpoints, says Reuters.
  • Finland’s chief of defence intelligence warns of likely biological weapons use in any future war.
  • Belarus potash is not gonna find a route out via Lithuania.
  • Azov is training 79-year old women to prepare for a Russian invasion. (Alternatively, it’s an excellent Wag the Dog-style photo op.)
  • Did the West promise Moscow that NATO would not expand?
  • How the Olympics backfired on China. (Weibo deleted over 41,000 posts for creating trouble during the Olympics. It also banned 850 accounts from posting. The Olympic app, meanwhile, spied on the Olympians but also included a huge amount of blocked words. And viewership was massively down.)


From the “Fake News” zone:

  • Doctor who helped to discover Omicron says she was pressured not to reveal it’s mild. (But by who??).
  • There’s something in the latest UK Covid surveillance data that implies the vaccinated are getting VAIDS.
  • That time Bill Hamilton, the Nobel winner, questioned the official narrative about the origins of AIDS.
  • Dr. John Campbell on the increased risk of myocardities after vaccines.
  • WW2 had copypasta too.
  • The British company making Chinese fake news videos.
  • Tear gas and Barry Manilow to control the antivaxxers.
  • The world’s leaders have forgotten how to govern, says Matt Taibbi.
  • Chrystia takes the Free out of Freeland by calling to broaden emergency power rules on “terrorist financing” to be able to confiscate funds (including cryptocurrency and crowdfunding) from people donating to the Truckers convoy. (My take is here and invokes Herodotus.)


From the “Truth” zone:

  • It is not accurate to describe Trudeau inacting the Emergencies Act to deal with protestors as Trudeau initiating martial law.
  • Virologists, Kristian Andersen and Peter Daszak are pushing back against the Antarctica narrative.
  • Olympians should not take photos of their falling apart rooms. Or moan about China’s isolation protocols. Or complain about the food.
  • Trump’s accounting firm cuts ties with the family amid ongoing criminal and civil investigations.


From the Black-out zone:

  • Jared Kushner has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Abraham Accords between Israel and Middle Eastern neighbours.
  • There’s been some sort of bombshell report, according to American conservatives. (Supposedly reveals Clinton’s camp hacked Trump’s White House servers to link him to Russia.)
  • Here’s the Durham report source material. (The Indictment alleges that the defendant lied in that meeting, falsely stating to the General Counsel that he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client. In fact, the defendant had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including (i) a technology executive (“Tech Executive-1”) at a U.S.-based Internet company (“Internet Company- 1”), and (ii) the Clinton Campaign.)
  • Eric Weinstein, MD at Thiel Capital, ponders whether stigma has been purposefully weaponised to obscure truth? (He also ponders whether science — specifically physics — has been strateically derailed to mask or hoard technological supermacy. The conversation features Hal Puthoff, a former CIA, NSA and AATIP guy who oversaw the Stargate programme.)


Longer reads:

  • What went wrong with Horizon: learning from the Post Office trial. (The whole story is shocking. And we should probably be asking questions about other entities that used the system too.)


Not on the internet:

  • From Goldman’s Feb 11 commodities report, which notes recent physical premia in crude markets are at record highs and it’s backwardation all over the commodity complex:

    “It is precisely this mismatch in the responsiveness of the supply of money and physical goods that leads to persistent commodity inflation, and the outperformance of supply constrained real assets versus unconstrained financial assets.”


Comedians with unacceptable views:



  • Louis Theroux on “forbidden America” and the alt-right. (I have to say I really enjoyed this documentary. Which is usually the case with Theroux’s work. Not sure about access from outside of the UK, but it’s worth your time and effort to try and watch it. The highlight is the moment self-described right winger “Baked Alaska” is walking the streets of Florida (I think it is) while live-streaming to his superchat audience on YouTube, which is simultanouesly throwing digital dollars at him to say ridiculously provocative things at passersby. It’s like some sort of weird medieval shaming ritual or outrage peep show. Very of the moment. The doc is a strong recommend from me. But there is a Blind Spot caveat. While I think Theroux is right to take a scornful approach to his subjects, and shines an important light on a concerning and hard-to-condone-by-anyone development in America, documentaries like this are also responsible for creating an impression among a lot of the middle class elite that this sort of behaviour is typical of all right-wing or conservative movements or all anti-authoritarian protestors. It’s what allows the likes of Canada’s Trudeau to conflate (and smear) all protesters he doesn’t like with mere association with the group. I think it’s really wrong to walk away from this thinking that every Trump supporter operates on this level, just as it’s wrong to assume every Democrat is pro cancel culture or tearing down statues.)

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