India - Economic Indicators - TRADING ECONOMICS

India should take this opportunity to hedge it's oil supply

The current oil price war is a once in a generation event. In terms of the COVID caused demand shock and the Saudi-Russian supply shock, it's a once in a lifetime event.

The time to hedge is now. To guarantee low oil prices for India for the coming year (s) and heal our current account deficit.

What is hedging?
A 'hedge' is a financial contract whereby you agree to purchase oil at a pre-determined price. Hedges are used to reduce price risk and they are a popular strategy used by some large oil users (particularly airlines) to ensure that fuel price volatility doesn't affect their plans.
Typically, under the contract, a user will offer to purchase oil at a fixed price at a later date. (say for eg. Jan 2021). The supplier will purchase oil today and will store it for delivery at that later date.

If oil prices are so low, why should we hedge?
Neither Saudi or Russia can afford to engage in this oil price war for too long. Their economies and forex reserves are too intertwined to be able to afford to fight this war for too long. They are going to cave sooner or later.
Furthermore, the main target of the oil price war is the US Shale oil Industry. This industry is a 400 pound gorilla in the oil world which has transformed energy markets and made US a net oil exporter, a feat unimaginable a few years ago. Essentially, clever American entrepreneurs learnt to extract oil from shale rock using advanced technology and caused the largest net increase in production in the shortest span of time. Between 2005 and 2020, the US has MORE THAN TRIPLED it's oil production. However, shale oil requires prices of over 40-50$ a barrel to be economical.
https://in.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil-shale-costs-analysis/few-u-s-shale-firms-can-withstand-prolonged-oil-price-war-idINKBN2130HL
Once the shale producers are destroyed we will once again be at the mercy of OPEC and the Arabs.
Have we seen such an oil price war before?
Yes. In the late 1980s, late 90s and between 2014-2016. Each time Saudi blinked and reduced oil production to shore up prices.
https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/articles/why-saudi-arabia-s-oil-price-war-is-doomed-to-fail-fuel-for-thought
Do countries use hedges to hedge their oil supply?
Sort of. While typical consumers who hedge are usually airlines. Suppliers often hedge as well. Mexico (which is a large oil exporter) annually hedges almost all of it's production in what is called a 'Hacienda Hedge'. This year's hedge has saved the Mexican Economy
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Mexicos-Oil-Hedge-Just-Saved-Its-Economy.html

When is it a right time to hedge?
This one is tricky. The ideal time to hedge is when oil prices are near their bottom.
Just like there is talk of 'flattening the curve' with Covid, for traded commodities the best time to hedge is the 'bottom of the curve'
This chart shows the price of 1 barrel of Brent Crude oil up to 80 months into the future. That's almost 5 years!
https://www.erce.energy/graph/brent-futures-curve
The price of oil 5 years from now is shown to be currently at 54 dollars a barrel. That is much lower than what we were paying just last year in September when Saudi oil facilities were attacked.
What are the risks?
The risks are mainly three fold.

  1. Hedges work essentially by storing cheap oil today and having it delivered at a later date. As India is a large oil importer, any attempt to hedge oil consumption will immediately cause oil prices to rise. Therefore, while it may not be possible to hedge all of India's oil consumption, it is certainly possible to hedge a significant part of it.
  2. India will not be able to take advantage of lower oil prices if prices CONTINUE to stay low. However, past history shows this is unlikely.
  3. Indian Oil PSUs also export large amounts of their products overseas due to surplus refining capacity. However, if oil prices continue to be low, the relative cost of their products increases and export become uneconomical.
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Economic growth under Modi government

DISCLAIMER- THIS IS NOT A POST BY ME. I AM MERELY SHARING THE POST BY COPY PASTING IT HERE.

SOURCE OF THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE Quora Article by SAKET KUMAR

Original Article has all pictures and graphs for you to refer to. This post only has the text. The text in Bold are hyperlinks in the original article which not here.

I am trained as a Scientist so first I have to present credible relevant data before I can convince anyone. First I will answer the question with 1 picture and explain 3 parameters.
The below image is not fake. They are NASA satellite images of India taken during night time.

As you can see one on the left is from 2012 and on the right is from 2016. The research paper written by Luis R. Martinez from University of Chicago shows that increased use of electricity at night is parallel to country’s economic growth. Further he states in that paper authoritarian countries like China and Russia are fudging their GDP anywhere from 15 to 30% every year. You can read the research paper here How Much Should We Trust the Dictator's GDP Growth Estimates? or you can read Washington Post article .
Now the 3 Parameters
Modi became PM on May 26th 2014. In October 2014 IMF came out with a report which said** India set to become $2 trillion economy in 2014: IMF** . India’s GDP was ~$1.9 Trillion when Modi became PM. Fast forward now the same IMF says India’s GDP is $3.2 Trillion . Here is the snap shot directly from IMF website.

**Note: IMF always slightly understates GDP to account for any observational bias and inaccuracies. This is GDP estimate from a totally neutral source so you can’t say this is BJP propaganda or call it as fake.
→Conclusion from GDP data: Modi government added $1.2 Trillion to GDP in 5 years. India reached $1 Trillion GDP in 2007 India had joined trillion-dollar club in 2007 so even after 7 years of being in power UPA couldn’t even make India $2 Trillion economy. When Atalji left office in 2004 India had $700 billion GDP according to World bank report . So UPA in 10 years added $1.2 Trillion in GDP but Modiji did the same in 5 years.
Inflation: Inflation in Economic terms is general increase in prices and fall in purchasing power parity. As you know when there is increase in inflation prices rise on many goods and services and your purchasing power decreases. Just because prices increased on goods and services doesn’t mean your boss is going to increase your salary unless you are a Central government employee where you get Dearness allowance - Wikipedia to compensate for high inflation. Let’s look at inflation from 1998 :

Inflation directly affects the common man. When Atalji came to power in 1998 inflation was through the roof at 13.5%. He cracked down on inflation and brought it down to ~4% and maintained the same through out his Premiership. This is a PM who cared for the common man. Now look at the graph after 2004. UPA always maintained high inflation which on average was above 8%+ which emptied people’s pockets faster than they could spend. Just see how the graph dips when Modi became PM in 2014. Keeping inflation down is one of the paramount tasks of any BJP Prime Minister.
Important Note: GDP growth in some ways is tied to inflation. If you have a GDP growth rate of 10% with 10% inflation then it’s no use. It’s better to have GDP growth of 5% with low inflation rate of below 2%. Lower the inflation the better for the economy as long as it is not in negative. UPA always boasts about high GDP but never ever mention inflation rate during their term because they know they will be caught with pants down. Some people can see through the BS of UPA’s high GDP growth. GDP surged under UPA because it purchased growth at a high price .
→Conclusion from Inflation data: Inflation was always low under Atalji and Modiji. No Economist can deny that. No amount of propaganda from Congress can deny this brutal truth. In between all the lies even the scammer, fraud and corrupt Chiddu accepts it** High inflation was a big red in the UPA-2 report card: P Chidambaram**
Forex Reserves: When Atalji became PM in 1998 India’s forex reserves was ~$30 billion . When he left office in 2004 it had jumped to $114 billion . When Modi became PM on May 26th 2014 the forex reserves was $303 billion . Now as of March 13th 2020 forex reserves is** Forex reserves surge by $5.69 billion to reach record $487.23 bn** .
***Note: It is exactly because of our lower forex reserves we had to approach IMF in 1991. In return for IMF bail out India had to open up it’s markets for outside investment. If India doesn’t have enough forex then Economy comes to a standstill as India will lack the capability to pay for external goods and services which it imports. We import 90% of our Oil from abroad. If there is no oil then there is no economy.
→Conclusion from Forex data: Atalji as PM increased forex from $30 billion to $114 billion in 6 years during Pokran sanctions and unfavorable economic climate. Atalji’s government added $114B - $30B = $84 billion into forex. At the end of UPA tenure forex was $303 billion. So UPA in 10 years added $303B - $114B = $189 billion. Now how much did Modi Sarkar added in 5 years? $487B - $303B = $184 billion. As you can see just like GDP what UPA did in 10 years Modiji government has done the same for forex in 5 years. And we still have 4 more years to go. I hope India reaches $1 Trillion in forex which can help India project power. None of the countries who are barking on CAA will bark again when you have a war chest of Trillion dollars.
Final Conclusion: I have only added 3 parameters to my answer since the question is asking everything to be in 1 picture which is not possible. But anyone can tell you simple truth if Modiji hasn’t done anything since he became PM then all the above parameters would be worse off than how UPA left them in 2014. Those 3 are very very important parameters for India. If India is performing worse like some morons who are predicting apocalypse for Indian economy are saying then the data is not backing them up.
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.

When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
Suggested Reading:
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.
Suggested Reading:
When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
submitted by roy_batty3000 to Communist [link] [comments]

ELI5ed version of India's Currency Crisis.

Alright people, here it is, I am now going to try and explain the whole rupee fall phenomenon as simply as I can. We're going to first try and discuss the concepts involved here and then look at what our policy makers have done. Here's hoping that you last till the end cause it was quite a lot of effort.
Why am I doing this?
I am tired of all the lame rupee fall jokes that flooded my WhatsApp last week. I am tired of all the people telling the government to 'Make it stop!' (Spoiler: It's not that simple). Also, I am going to get out in the job market soon and am too lazy to brush up my basics in a formal way. The prospect of educating fellow redditors makes it worth the effort.
Why should you read all of this?
Because you care and by the end of this, hopefully, you'll be able to talk about this in a smarter way which will potentially improve your chances with that girl.
It is likely that you may already know the answers to some of the questions here. Go right ahead and skip them because I am trying to do an ELI5 here.
Let's take it from the top.
What is a foreign exchange rate?
It is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged with another.
Why do foreign exchange rates exist?
Simply because the currency of one country will not be accepted in another. We have a lot of countries and we have a lot of currencies and judging by the feeds on facebook, people travel a lot.
Fun fact#1: The US dollar and the Euro account for approximately 50 percent of all currency exchange transactions in the world. Adding British pounds, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, and Japanese yen to the list accounts for over 80 percent of currency exchanges altogether.
Who or what decides the exchange rate between two currencies?
On a fundamental level, The value of currency, like the price of any other good or service, depends on its demand and supply. And demand for a currency, say, the US dollar, typically comes from Indian importers, people or institutions that invest in the US and travellers to the US. All these agents require dollars for transacting in the US.
Analogously, exporters to the US, travellers to India and investor inflows supply US dollars in return for rupees to transact in India. If the demand for the rupee decreases compared to, say, the US dollar, the value of the rupee goes down, and vice-versa
So, it's all driven by market (buyers and sellers) forces?
No, There are other factors too. But we'll take them up when we're discussing the Indian context.
What role does something like RBI do in all this?
To understand this, we're going to dive into a little bit of theory. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of handling your currency's exchange rate:
A. The Floating Exchange Rate: The market determines a floating exchange rate. In other words, a currency is worth whatever buyers are willing to pay for it. This is determined by supply and demand, which is in turn driven by foreign investment, import/export ratios, inflation, and a host of other economic factors. Generally, countries with mature, stable economic markets will use a floating system. Virtually every major nation uses this system. Floating exchange rates are considered more efficient, because the market will automatically correct the rate to reflect inflation and other economic forces.
The floating system isn't perfect, though. If a country's economy suffers from instability, a floating system will discourage investment. Investors could fall victim to wild swings in the exchange rates, as well as disastrous inflation.
Did that previous paragraph ring a bell? Interestingly though, we don't follow a floating rate system.
Fun fact#2: Canada is the only country whose currency's value is determined absolutely and entirely by the foreign exchange market or as we just learned, by means of a 'floating exchange rate'. Their Central Bank has never intervened in years.
B. The Fixed or Pegged Exchange Rate: A pegged, or fixed system, is one in which the exchange rate is set and artificially maintained by the government. The rate will be pegged to some other country's dollar, usually the U.S. dollar. The rate will not fluctuate from day to day. You decree that 1 US Dollar will always be equal to 35 Rupees and that is it. Countries that have potentially unstable economies usually use a pegged system. Developing nations can use this system to prevent out-of control-inflation.
And now your thinking:
Holy shit! We can do that? Why aren't we doing that? Why don't we get our currency pegged as seen in the Fixed or Pegged Exchange Rate system?
For starters, the system can backfire. If the real world market value of the currency is not reflected by the pegged rate, a black market may spring up, where the currency will be traded at its market value, disregarding the government's peg. When people realize that their currency isn't worth as much as the pegged rate indicates, they may rush to exchange their money for other, more stable currencies. This can lead to economic disaster, since the sudden flood of currency in world markets drives the exchange rate very low. So if a country doesn't take good care of their pegged rate, they may find themselves with worthless currency.
To further explain, assume that the demand for US dollar increases. Consequently, its value increases, such that each dollar can now buy 10 rupees instead of 4 previously. To offset such an increase, the RBI pumps in sufficient amount of dollars into the market to meet the increased demand. This process ensures that the value of the dollar is restored to its original one. The central bank can supply and draw dollars from forex reserves, which is its official kitty.
Well, the problem is, we ain't got much forex reserves.
India’s forex reserves, which stand at $270 billion(As of the end of August, 2013) approximately, cannot defend the falling rupee eternally. To make sense out of that figure, let us assume that one bad day, all foreign investors in our country decide to take back their money (which is extremely unlikely). In that dire situation, the RBI would have to borrow to a tune of $215 million to pay them all back.
To make matters worse, the increasing oil imports and falling export share in the recent months have contributed significantly towards draining (the already concerning levels of) our forex reserves. The arguments above indicate that the RBI does not have sufficient cushion to strictly adhere to a fixed rate regime.
In fact, forex reserves are the only major 'reactionary tool' we have to prevent any speculation based downfall in the value of rupee.
So if Forex reserves are so damn important, why haven't we been building them up?
Actually, we have been trying to. Refer this graph. If you do a simple forex reserves News based search on Google, you'll find that the last month has seen a lot of ups and downs in it implying that the RBI is scrambling to plug the hole by raising and spending these reserves. But it's still not good enough.
But but...that is a good graph, why is it not good enough?
Enter Mr. CAD, the media's favourite buzzword
At the end of 2007, the Current Account Deficit(Mr. CAD) of India stood at $8 billion. If you refer the above graph, you'll notice that we had a forex reserve of around 300 billion by that time. That means our forex reserves were 37.5 times the CAD. For 2013, the current account deficit is at $90 billion whereas the foreign exchange reserves are down to around $270 billion. That's just around 3 times that of the CAD. That is an alarming fall.
What is a Current Account Deficit?
Occurs when a country's total imports of goods, services and transfers is greater than the country's total export of goods, services and transfers. This situation makes a country a net debtor to the rest of the world. So, evidently, it has an impact with your foreign exchange rates. A substantial current account deficit is not necessarily a bad thing for certain countries. Developing countries may run a current account deficit in the short term to increase local productivity and exports in the future.
Why is our Current Account Deficit so bad?
Simply because we get a lot of our stuff from the outside. The most significantly burdensome items that we import are Gold and Oil. The two of them together constitute almost 50% of our total imports!
Gold
No kidding, we Indians love the yellow metal. We are in fact the largest consumer of Gold in the world. No seriously, our country is single handedly responsible for upto 20% consumption of the worldwide gold consumption. It makes sense to us because not only can we show it off at social events, we can also readily sell it later. In effect, it's like a Saving from the perspective of the mango people. Most Indians are blithely unaware that gold is not locally sourced but actually imported from countries such as Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Which is why we had Mr. Chidambaram 'appealing' to us. But nobody's going to listen to your appeals, Sir. My own financial security will always be more important than your CAD-MAD bullshit. Which is why we have steadily increased the import tariffs on Gold imports in an attempt to discourage gold consumption. Not very effective but it's something.
Make no mistake though, although it will be 'nice' to have people buy less gold this season, in the long run, it will save yo ass.
Fun Fact#3: "I have never bought gold at any point of time in my life. I don’t wear any jewelry — be it a ring or a chain, For me gold is just another metal, it just shines a little bit more.” - P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India - A country which is the largest consumer of Gold.
Contd as Comment Below Due to Character Restrictions. Continue Reading at 'Oil'
submitted by PlsDontBraidMyBeard to IndiaInvestments [link] [comments]

Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Feature: U.S. dignitaries say U.S., China must keep good relations to benefit world
  2. 'Serious' hack attacks from China targeting UK firms: The gang behind the attacks has compromised technology service firms and plans to use them as a proxy for attacks, security firms have said
  3. Americans' concerns about China: ranked
  4. China donated 12,173 tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe to assist vulnerable people that were affected by drought which wreaked havoc last year. In 2016, China already donated 19,000 tonnes of rice which had been distributed to the needy throughout the country
  5. China, South Korea discuss more sanctions on North Korea amid talk of Trump action
  6. Freight train to leave Britain on long haul for China
  7. Blackwater founder Erik Prince eyes opportunities with China
  8. China’s National Space Administration Secretary-General Yulong Tian says that China is contemplating developing cooperation with Russia with respect to space debris
  9. American-Chinese Lady's Dream of Attending Tsinghua: Those who were born in America should know their roots and identify themselves as Chinese because they will not get lost, feel ashamed or reject their motherland's culture in the crisis of identity of American society, Tan concluded
  10. Racist United Airline Overbooked Flight, Forcibly Removes Asian Doctor and His Wife For No Reason Other Than to Free up Seats (United - has acknowledged that the man's only apparent crime was that the flight was overbooked and he refused to leave voluntarily)
  11. Boy, two, and parents suffer burns after acid attack in north London
  12. Russia may abandon International Space Station to join forces with China
  13. A consortium of Chinese and Indonesian firms on Tuesday signed a contract with KCIC, a firm tasked with monitoring the high-speed train project linking Jakarta to Bandung, unveiling the construction phase of the project
  14. China warns against using military force in Syria
  15. United Passenger's Violent Removal Sparks Outrage In China: Images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago drew widespread condemnation in China following a witnesses' report that the man said he was targeted because he was Chinese
  16. Chinese Lives Matter Petition Becoming Viral in the Overseas Chinese Community
  17. China and Norway resume free trade negotiations after diplomatic freeze: The memorandum of understanding was one of six pacts covering cooperation on economic development, technology, health, science and sport
  18. Russia and China Finding Ways to Avoid the U.S. Dollar: The Central Bank of Russia opened its first overseas office in Beijing. ICBC established a clearing bank in Moscow to handle transactions in Chinese currency. Russia is preparing to issue its first federal loan bonds in Chinese currency
  19. Many in China think doctor was dragged off because he was Asian. 'United Airlines just randomly chose an Asian? It’s blatant racial discrimination' 'a perfect illustration' of human rights in the US. 'I am going to tell you a joke: America is the country with the best human rights'
  20. Chinese social media continues to rage at United, and the airline may face real fallout
  21. China tells US to resolve Korea tensions peacefully
  22. China commits US$60bn to Africa
  23. China warns India over Dalai's visit to disputed area
  24. China Might Bomb North Korea If It Crosses Beijing’s ‘Bottom Line’
  25. Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, appeared to acknowledge that China hasn’t been intervening to weaken its currency recently. “They’re not currency manipulators," he said. (finally we can move on from this made up/outdated fight)
  26. Trump says he told Xi how he bombed Syria over ‘most beautiful piece of cake’: says that he was faced with a dilemma – whether to inform Xi. “What does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?” Trump mused
  27. Trump claims China has turned back N. Korean coal ships, lauds it as 'big step': "The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they've turned back the boats. That's a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about."
  28. Chinese premier holds talks with Sao Tome and Principe counterpart on cooperation
  29. Lukashenko: Belarus is ready to increase food supplies to China's Hunan Province
  30. China publicly criticises US missile strike on Syria
  31. China, Sri Lanka vow to deepen cooperation to further develop strategic cooperative partnership
  32. Russian-Chinese Joint Ventures in Russia’s Far East, Arctic: An integral element in increasing bilateral trade will be the increased maritime transit of goods and hydrocarbon resources by developing Russia’s merchant marine infrastructure
  33. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his plans to visit China in May to take part in the "One Belt, One Road" forum in Beijing
  34. White House: China Abstained From UN Vote on Syria Thanks to Trump-Xi
  35. The 10 minutes with Xi Jinping that changed Donald Trump’s mind on North Korea
  36. First rail freight service to China departs UK: British goods including soft drinks, vitamins and baby products are in the 30 containers carried by the train, which will be a regular service. The train will pass through 7 other countries before arriving on 27 April
  37. Chinese FM: Political settlement is only reliable and right way to solve crisis in Syria
  38. Belarus' cooperation with Hunan Province hailed as example to follow
  39. "There can be no winners in an armed conflict between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday [14 April 2017], while pledging China's support for any attempts at dialogue between the sides."
  40. In the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, China ranked 15 among 136 countries in 14 dimensions, up two spots
  41. China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' N. Korea situation
  42. China says deal reached at last with Myanmar on oil pipeline
  43. Foreign Minister statement on Korea situation. Check out the comments.
In Domestic news
  1. China anti-graft body investigating chief insurance regulator
  2. Beijing to reward informants on spying
  3. Luxembourg Consulate Staff tries to physically assault old Chinese man in Shanghai
  4. China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law
  5. President Xi meets incoming HKSAR chief executive
  6. JD.com to build 150 airports in China for drone delivery: Drone delivery would help reduce the freight costs by 70 percent. It said its drones, which can carry 50 kilograms of parcels, have been put into use and drones that can carry 500 kilograms are in the pipeline
  7. Graph: Finding China's missing girls who show up in the census years -- sometimes decades -- after birth
  8. China raises pensions amid pressure from slowing economy, aging population
  9. China Focus: Xiongan's key role is to receive Beijing's non-capital functions: vice premier
In SciTech news
  1. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in China
  2. Self-charging robots sorting system helps Chinese delivery firm finish at least 200k packages a day in the warehouse
  3. Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor. Yang, currently at Qingdao University, worked with colleagues at Qingdao University and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. to make porous carbon nanofibers from seaweed extract
  4. Squishy robotic manta ray flaps its wings to spy in the ocean: The goal is to use the robot to explore underwater areas, says Tiefeng Li at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. “The soft body will make it easy for the robot to sneak through reefs without damaging them,”
  5. Geek Culture Could Teach Americans About Chinese Technology, Says Technopreneur: According to Zhang, being called a geek is a compliment in China as someone who is "super cool" and knowledgeable about technology, and doesn't mean being weird or socially awkward
  6. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent advance China’s AI development goals, says Microsoft research head. The mainland may be closing in on the US in developing AI, led by its three main internet firms, says Harry Shum Heung-yeung, executive vice-president for the artificial intelligence and research group
  7. China Emerges as Powerhouse for Biotech Drugs
  8. China launches 1st high-throughput communications satellite
  9. Legion Y520 Review - Lenovo's Best Laptop For $850 (Dave Lee review)
  10. Researchers in China and US made a new viral tracking tool by encapsulating HIV-1 in fluorescent quantum dots to observe how the virus enters macrophages at the single particle level in live cells. Technique may help in development of inhibitors that stop HIV from entering macrophages altogether.
  11. Chuwi Hi13: First Look at the Windows 10 2-in-1 with Surface Book Display
  12. SpaceX doesn’t scare Asia’s space players
  13. Google AI's AlphaGo to face Chinese teen in May - Science & Tech
  14. China’s Desert Hamsters on Medicine’s Front Line: The humble Chinese hamster has played a vital role in medical advances for more than a century, thanks to its biological makeup
In Economic news
  1. The bulls are back after China kicks off 2017 with strength: "There's been this cyclical recovery — China's in an easing mode … It shows up in the economic numbers, and it shows up in many company earnings reports," said Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer at Krane Funds Advisors
  2. America owes China $1tn. That's a problem for Beijing, and Trump knows it
  3. U.S. and European regulators have cleared ChemChina's proposed $43 billion acquisition of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta on condition it sells some businesses to satisfy anti-monopoly objections
  4. Ballpoint pens and the danger of China’s ‘one-dragon’ policy
  5. The Next Time Americans Want To Believe They Have Free Markets, Remind Them of United Airlines
  6. The surprising rise of China as IP powerhouse
  7. US firms cashing in on China's shift to consumer economy
  8. China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says
  9. WhatsApp looks to copy China's Tencent-owned WeChat
  10. Why Trump won't be branding China a currency cheater
  11. China Focus: China's consumer inflation steady amid firming economy
  12. China Focus: Chinese companies come, hiring more locals in U.S.: Chinese investment in the U.S. outstripped U.S. investment in China for the first time in 2015, according to the Rhodium Group. Chinese investment has supported about 104,000 jobs in the United States
  13. China's forex reserves rise for second month in a row: concerns about capital outflows have receded lately, with the Chinese economy on a firmer footing, supported by a string of upbeat data including industrial profits, factory activity and fixed asset investment
  14. Trump won't label China a currency manipulator
  15. U.S. business leaders see benefits from strong trade ties with China
  16. China’s top maker of air conditioners breezes into Brazil’s economy and society
  17. Beijing thinking big on switch to a big data economy: Ministry pushes five-year plan to develop big data into a trillion-yuan industry. The target is for the big data industry, including related goods and services, to exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$144 billion) in revenue by 2020
  18. How Oppo, Vivo and xiaomi conquered India (OPPO、vivo和小米们如何夺取印度半壁江山?)
  19. Korea, China, Japan to hold new round of free trade talks
  20. U.S. Treasury says China does not manipulate its currency
  21. China’s Global Solar Business Shakes Foreign Competitors: China’s relentless pursuit to become self-dependent on sophisticated industries, such as solar panel systems, have left foreign competitors and even smaller-scale Chinese businesses in the dust
In Military news
  1. Thailand to buy more Chinese tanks, reportedly for $58M: According to Thai government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the cabinet has approved the acquisition of 10 more VT4 main battle tanks designed and built by China’s Norinco
  2. China and US agree to top military talks to head off close armed encounters: New mechanism between Chinese and US armed forces could ease Beijing’s suspicions about US moves, analyst says
  3. China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military: America’s enemies are rapidly catching up and in some cases exceeding the United States in terms of military technology, according to senior U.S. Navy official Rear Adm. Mark Darrah
  4. US racing China to develop hypersonic attack drones by 2040
  5. China is testing its new PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile (LRAAM) designed to shoot down defenseless U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) from as far away as 300 kilometers
  6. China Takes Wraps Off National Hypersonic Plan
  7. Chinese armed police hold anti-terror drill in Xinjiang
  8. SOUTHCOM Tidd: Russia, Iran and China Expanding Influence in Central, South America. Russia, China and Iran are increasing interest in Central and South America, especially Moscow’s renewed focus on Nicaragua, the head of U.S. Southern Command told the Senate
  9. China Coast Guard vessels patrol Diaoyu Islands on Fri, the 10th time this year
Other Notables
  1. Demolishing Dalian: China's 'Russian' city is erasing its heritage – in pictures
  2. DJI - M200 – Search and Rescue in Extreme Environments
  3. Driving under the rainbow! Watch China's first and only rainbow tunnel
  4. Ancient Chinese tomb-sweeping festival goes hi-tech: If you can't get to the grave yourself, staff at the Yuhuatai Gongdeyuan cemetery will clean tombs and place bouquets for paying clients, who watch the ritual via a livestream on the Wechat app instead
  5. Shanghai past and present
  6. High Profile Korean-Chinese Movie coproduction is a scifi set to release June 30th in China - Starring Yang Mi, Wallace Huo, Produced by Jackie Chan
  7. Westerners oughtn’t to criticize China for its ‘fake cities’: hypocrisy in the way Western media approaches "duplitecture". Core neighborhoods within Manhattan Island owe their architecture to Mannheim, Germany. Try and tell apart the central districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina from Madrid, Spain
  8. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life in Hibbing: In 1914 Wen Ping Pan became the first Chinese student at UofM. Met his wife Mae Humm, who was half-Irish like his mother. She retained an Irish temper and a talent for gab. As a result, she did most of the talking in their 63 yr marriage
  9. 3-part online low-key documentary series looking at different lives in China. First part features Wuhan and punk band SMZB.
  10. Is Hong Kong less free now than under British colonial rule?
  11. Goddess Ivanka continues to win the hearts of Chinese people as she began teaching Mandarin Chinese to Theodore, her youngest son. The boy began his Mandarin lessons just a week following his first birthday
  12. The Mercury Rivers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
  13. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life on Minnesota's Iron Range
  14. Parcel sorting facility in China
  15. China and The Troubling Idealization of Ivanka
  16. Xiongan New Area to be Shenzhen of the north
  17. China's New World Order - the new Silk Road
  18. Why The NY Time’s Title of ‘Goddess Ivanka’ Is Misleading
  19. The Lionsgate movie “Power Rangers” got the approval of China’s censor for theatrical release on May 12 even if it has a gay character
  20. A Chinese bank employee is being hailed as a hero after risking his life to save a female customer from a robber who put a knife to her neck
  21. Unfettered online hate speech fuels Islamophobia in China.
  22. 汉服音乐微电影 汉家衣裳 超清
  23. Xiongan construction expected to drive up China steel market
  24. China's Xiongan New Area: Protecting environments a major task
  25. White Mainstream Media Goes On The Offensive Against Critics of United Airlines
  26. Success of China behind the growing allure of authoritarianism: the economic successes of China and some other countries may have helped create an underlying crisis of confidence in liberal ideas and values
  27. What does the Hong Kong Sevens have to do with Hongkongers?
  28. Thoughts on article about British Colonialism holding India Back? How did China overcome the Century of Humiliation while the British Raj's legacy still looms over India?
  29. Taiwanese music festival
  30. Foreign girls and their Chinese Mr. Right: Confronted with failure in College Entrance Examination Mei Aisi went to Ukraine for study
  31. What Would Have Happened If China Didn't Develop Nuclear Weapons?
  32. Child prodigy from Sale scores highest possible IQ score, beating Einstein and Hawking (From Messenger Newspapers)
  33. Discussion: Do you think the current escalation in the Korean Peninsula could possibly end up becoming a big boon to China?
  34. Chinese explorer's incredible arctic journey: This is the Arctic Circle, and Zhanjiang-born Wu Yu has just become the first person to ever drive here from China, some 8,000 kilometers away
  35. Reviving traditional Chinese archery: As one of the traditional Six Arts that have their roots in Confucian philosophy and formed the basis of education in ancient Chinese culture, archery has a long history in China
  36. The Results Are In: 2016 Is a Record-Breaking Year for Tall Buildings
  37. Pictures: Apricot flowers in blossom at Jinshanling Great Wall
  38. Something I noticed about chinese-canadians in canada
  39. TIL that the first king of the first muslim kingdom in indonesia was chinese indonesian
  40. Getting paid to do nothing: why the idea of China’s dibao is catching on
  41. Five thousand years of Chinese civilisation through 108 million relics - Four year survey finds that is just what is in the hands of the state. The number grows even more when considering overseas museums and private collectors
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भारत ने रच ङाला सबसे बङा इतिहास, India Forex Reserves Half ...

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