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You may be searching for a lab diamond and confused about pricing that you’re seeing in the marketplace. Lab diamonds of the same 4 C’s can be offered at wildly different retail prices, whether by e-commerce, a large retailer, a private jeweler, a wholesaler, or an independent store. The reasons for these discrepancies have less to do with the entity selling the product and more to do with complex wholesale pricing dynamics and the cost of lab diamond production.submitted by LindsayAtAdaDiamonds to Diamonds [link] [comments]
The lab diamond industry is currently experiencing a shakeout: a period of consolidation and liquidation following rapid expansion. It’s a tricky time to be a consumer of lab diamonds and more imperative than ever that you know what you’re buying.
Who Am I?
I’m the founder at a lab diamond jewelry company. I spend my days evaluating lab diamonds from around the world, documenting and analyzing changes in quality trends over years. I’ve personally inspected over 15,000 certified lab diamonds over 6+ years (and thousands more uncertified). I evaluate over 100 lab diamonds/week and regularly collaborate with grading labs like GIA to help advance consumer knowledge and education about this innovative product.
This breadth of exposure to and documentation of the lab diamond supply makes me uniquely positioned to comment on changes. After all, this is a product meant to be inspected in person. 360 videos can be manipulated (or even faked), and let’s just say the diamond industry isn’t known for its honesty.
What I’m Seeing
Before I get into market dynamics, it’s important to understand that there are characteristics of lab diamonds beyond the 4 C’s that are directly tied to production output and production cost. Two GIA-certified F VS1 treated CVD rounds can be a whopping 4x difference in cost at both wholesale and retail from one another. Significantly cheaper lab diamonds are often produced with sped up growth and catalysts that can cause defects beyond the 4 C’s like brown and gray color tinge or noticeably blurry material that doesn’t sparkle.
These defective characteristics can get so bad and so obvious that even a non-diamond expert can tell with the naked eye. This effectively means that there are now two categories of lab diamonds in the marketplace: those that look like natural diamonds and those that don’t.
I’ve been raising the alarm about this for a few years now. In some of my past Reddit posts, I posited this eminent bifurcation of lab diamond quality and that consumers would be none the wiser. Now that reality has come true. Two lab diamonds priced significantly in cost from one another likely will not look the same, and those quality characteristics beyond the 4 C’s are directly tied to the cost of production.
My organization continues to see relatively stable pricing for the absolute best quality lab diamonds that look natural, have great make and sparkle, and the cleanest, clearest material. That’s because those lab diamonds are more expensive to produce than the lower cost ones.
We have seen a decline in wholesale pricing for lab diamonds that do not pass our quality control standards, with differences as high as 4x the cost.
The number one question we get asked about lab diamonds: can you tell the difference between a lab diamond and a mined diamond with the naked eye? For years, we said no; and for some inventory out there, the answer remains no.
But with the surging prevalence of low-quality material in the marketplace, the new answer: it depends, and for a lot of the lab diamonds being produced today, yes you can tell the difference.
Is it possible to get a lab diamond that you love, that happens to be super cheap and available from e-commerce? Yes, of course.
Will it be beautiful? I don't know. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m here to talk about lab diamond quality and what is causing this phenomenon, not whether you may or may not have been happy with your own lab diamond purchase.
In this post I cover current market conditions for lab diamonds, the defects that can arise in low quality CVD and HPHT, and where the industry needs to go to satisfy consumer demand for natural-looking, nice material lab diamonds in the medium and short term.
For expediency and to make this post readable and usable by the public, I have admittedly simplified some very complex scientific topics. You will see me intentionally use qualifying language like “may,” “most,” “often,” “majority of,” etc.
For the sake and sanity of other Redditors, please refrain from corner-case combatting my post with edge cases. Recognize that I am here to provide guidance and insight on the industry at a high level, and I do not have the ability to cover every single exception in a Reddit post (nor would anyone read it).
How We Got Here
Over the last 3 years, the lab diamond industry has seen both an explosion in demand as well as a significant increase in the number of CVD growers around the world. During COVID, diamond mining and HPHT diamond growing stayed shut much longer than CVD diamond growing. This led to a number of diamond cutting facilities (mostly in India) in need of rough to cut.
In what can only be called a boom era, the number of CVD growers increased, with nascent aspirational growers purchasing re-purposed Japanese reactors of varying quality, many of which are fundamentally flawed technology that leak nitrogen into the reactor. People who had no business growing lab diamonds entered the market, and a lot of them still don’t know what they’re doing. After all, it’s not particularly hard to grow lab diamonds; but it is hard to grow them well.
The manufacturing (cutting) side of diamonds couldn’t get enough. Existing CVD growers started getting pressured (pun intended) to produce more and more with their existing equipment. They started using shortcuts: truncated growth cycles by running the machines hotter and faster; using and re-using cheap seeds; using cheaper hydrocarbon gases; and introducing catalysts like nitrogen or compensating boron to increase production to the maximum degree physically possible.
Lab diamonds got faster and cheaper to produce, but not better. The technology didn’t improve. In fact, these shortcuts came with consequences like color tinges, crystal strain, and lackluster material.
This expansion was accelerated by a sudden uptick in demand over the last 2 years due to consumer education, the lifting of COVID restrictions, a strong US economy and dollar, a war in Ukraine that brought attention to the “conflict” nature of Russian mined diamonds, and a desire for bigger, better at lower cost by the US consumer.
Indeed, lab diamonds are representing an ever-increasing percentage of fine jewelry sold by both independent and online jewelers and will continue to gain market share in the months and years ahead.
However, demand for fine jewelry and luxury goods in general has begun to dip in recent weeks as impacts of inflation, layoffs, fears of recession, crypto crashes, uncertainty around the election, and rising interest rates hamper consumer spending. CVD growers historically operate on extremely low profit margins, meaning that any reduction in demand can have immediate financial consequences.
Manufacturers who bought poor quality lab diamond rough have found themselves in a tough spot: they have a glut of cut and polished inventory with gray and brown tinge and crystal strain, and they need to get rid of it. Historically they’ve been able to offload their inventory to wholesalers in mixed parcels (literally mixed bags of good and bad lab diamonds), but wholesalers have gotten smart about gray/brown tinge and are forcing manufacturers and growers to sell them lab diamonds individually. This has left the lower quality material without a home.
To save cost, some growers have even stopped capturing 360 videos, opting instead to trade their goods entirely by the grading report. This kind of forced selling strategy is obviously concerning as it can lead to fraudulent behavior.
This confluence of events has had a sudden impact on pricing at the wholesale level, forcing some vendors to panic-sell their existing inventory at a loss. This will leave many of those vendors with little to no ability to re-invest in quality inventory in the future, compounding the use of any means necessary to reduce production costs going forward. This requirement to produce more for less can exacerbate a competitive environment in which the actions of a few growers may force higher quality growers to use shortcuts themselves.
This is a downward spiral that likely gets worse before it gets better. This will inevitably lead to the demise of some growers and may cause a reduction in lab diamond supply in the medium term. Simply put: a lot of lab diamond growers who had no business being in this business need to sell out now, or risk going out of business.
If this truly is an industry shakeout, the question remains: will the free market reward the cheapest producers of lab diamonds, or the best? Only time will tell.
Output = Quality
Understanding wide discrepancies in lab diamond pricing requires an understanding of both lab diamond growth as well as wholesale market dynamics.
On the growth side, lab diamond costs of production are associated with how quickly they can be grown. This dictates both the quantity and quality of output. Various shortcuts can alter the output of a CVD grower by 4-5x by adding catalysts and speeding up growth.
What this means:
But the real issue lies beyond the 4 C’s. Grading labs are not responsible for reporting on all subjective aspects of a diamond. Instead, reports cover a diamond’s basic quality characteristics as it relates to carat, color, clarity (and for rounds, cut). Color is graded for the presence of any color, not just yellow, culet up. Material issues like strain are not reported as part of clarity.
Below my summary I go in deeper into explanations around BGS and BGP. I could easily expand this post to be dozens of pages long with tons of examples, but for the sake of brevity I’ve kept this high level, and I've not covered every aspect of quality beyond the 4 c's. If you’d like me to expand on some of these topics, just comment. I’ll try my best to do a follow up post or DM you more information.
TL:DR Summary & Where We Go From Here
The lab diamond industry is at risk of losing consumer confidence that a lab diamond is the same, chemically, as a natural diamond. This is especially true if the products do not look the same to a lay person. This in turn can make a consumer question the purchase of a lab diamond altogether.
I was recently challenged on this by a fellow Redditor who asked me: “How can 2 different F VS1 labs look different? Isn't that the entire point of ratings/grading?” before asking if what I had said was “all BS.”
This is a reasonable question, and the answer is that I wish you could simply rely on the grading labs. The discrepancies in lab diamond quality require significant capital investment from sellers who want to guarantee quality.
What should consumers know? There are gorgeous lab diamonds out there, some that rival the world’s best natural diamonds. There are lab diamonds that look indistinguishable from natural diamonds of the same 4 C’s. And they’re available from all manner of sellers.
However, this is still a free market that puts a premium on quality. You shouldn’t be surprised to pay more to get more.
How can you ensure you make a good purchase? Trust the seller and make sure they know what they’re selling to you. If that’s your local jeweler who you have a great relationship with, great. If that’s an e-commerce site, that’s awesome.
I’m not advocating for one retailer over another. Obviously as a lab diamond retailer myself, I am not objective. However, I wouldn’t personally buy a lab diamond totally sight unseen, even with over 6 years and 15,000 lab diamonds behind me. And if you saw what I saw on a weekly basis, you wouldn’t either.
Videos are incredibly deceptive, prone to gray tones, and easy to dupe. I find 360 videos in many cases to be detrimental to in-person QC, not helpful.
Be safe, be smart, and when in doubt, listen to Warren Buffet: “If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler.”
BGS: The CVD Defects You Need to Know
A re-cap on CVD growth: CVD diamonds are grown by placing a lab grown diamond seed into a vacuum chamber, introducing hydrocarbon gas (methane), hydrogen, and using microwave energy to break apart the methane. The carbon rains down and deposits on the seed, growing vertically layer by layer in the shape of a cube.
Six main things contribute to how a CVD diamond looks: the quality of the seed used, how many growth cycles a diamond goes through, how hot/fast you try to run the machine, the quality of the methane gas used, whether or not accelerators like nitrogen are added to the reactor, and whether or not you conduct treatments to the crystal, mid or post growth.
B is for Brown
Brown tinge \"H\" color lab diamond
If you run a CVD machine too hot and too fast or if you can’t fully control your plasma, the resulting crystal has more voids at an atomic level and hence, looks brown. Growth catalysts like nitrogen can increase brown. The fastest and easiest way to reduce brown is to simply use a post-growth HPHT treatment. But the better and cleaner way is to run your machine more slowly.
Running your machine more slowly = time = lower output = less revenue.
How it appears to the naked eye: quite literally, brown. Since diamonds are graded for color by the presence of any color, culet up, a CVD diamond can yellowy, brown, or gray in tone. How a lab diamond looks table up can also be very different from culet up since the brown color is cause by voids and not necessarily nitrogen.
Here is a video showing two G colors. The diamond on the left is brown in tinge.
G is for Gray
Gray tinged \"H\" color lab diamond
Treatment of a brown lab diamond can cause a gray hue. This is a result of collapsing voids in the crystal structure as well as exposing graphite deposits in the crystal. During post growth treatment, it’s also possible that carbon atoms revert back to graphitic bonds around the vacancies, leaving microscopic bubbles of gray graphite in the diamond. The gray tone can vary from mild to severe. Even color grades as high as D can have telltale signs of post growth treatment leaving behind a gray hue.
To be clear, post growth treatment of nicer quality CVD can result in beautiful material. Treatment of low quality material can look gray. Garbage in, garbage out.
How it appears to the naked eye: not just gray tinge, but overall dark and lifeless.
Here is a video of a gray-tinged F color lab diamond (left) next to a natural looking E color lab diamond (right).
Is it possible to find brown and gray natural diamonds? Yes. However, the reasons for the tinge is different, how it looks to the naked eye is different, and how those tinges are disclosed is different ("chocolate," "salt and pepper," vs white diamonds).
S is for Strain
Crystal strain in CVD (likely caused by low quality multi-sector seeds)
Crystal strain is blurriness in the crystal caused primarily by the using and re-using of cheap, multi-sector low quality seeds. Good quality seeds versus low quality seeds can vary up to 30-40x in cost!
Strain is due to edge dislocations, or half complete sheets of carbon during the deposit stage of CVD. This creates a warping or stretching of the carbon crystal lattice (basically an uneven carbon structure). If the layers of carbon are not evenly aligned because they’re depositing on an uneven surface, the light scatters inside of the diamond causing birefringence (inconsistent light refraction).
Strain is exacerbated by growth catalysts like nitrogen which speed up production but worsen blurriness.
How it appears to the eye: windex streaks; it looks like you cannot get the diamond clean. It’s blurry and lacks sparkle. Crystal strain does not contribute to clarity grades.
S is also for Striations
Blurry, out of focus material from several growth runs (striations) in CVD
Most CVD diamonds are not grown in one run, but rather in several runs, starting and stopping the machine several times. This iterative growth creates inconsistency in the carbon structure because a CVD reactor at start up has a completely different plasma environment than a CVD reactor running at a steady state.
The simplest analogy I can use is baking a cake, where midway through baking, you add a new layer of batter to the top. Thirty minutes later it’s still a cake, but now the consistency is wrong.
Hence, the CVD diamond can develop striations, or rings of diamond growth. These are easily seen under high-powered deep UV-C light, which requires specialized equipment. All CVD have some level of stria (plural of striation), and some of is not problematic. But extensive growth layers (5+) can make the carbon deposit incorrectly, causing light to scatter and escape in the crystal. The telltale signs are dark rings that run parallel to the table and indicate where the CVD reactor started and stopped.
The more growth cycles the diamond goes through, the cheaper it was to produce. Running your CVD reactor slow enough to reduce growth cycles is significantly more expensive.
How it appears to the eye: the diamond is quite literally out of focus with the carbon layers so misaligned that it looks like you cannot see straight into the crystal. It results in dull, lifeless material. Striations do not contribute to clarity or cut grades.
BGP: The HPHT Defects You Need to Know:
A quick re-cap on how HPHT diamonds are grown:
Blue tinged HPHT lab diamond
Because HPHT diamonds are not grown in a vacuum, they are exposed to our atmosphere which is 78% nitrogen. Hence, HPHT diamonds for decades were contaminated with nitrogen and a bright golden orange yellow color.
To grow colorless diamonds, growers must properly prepare the metal discs for those seeds and reduce gapping where nitrogen can leak into the growth cell. This is extremely time consuming and expensive. It simply faster and cheaper to add a significant amount of a ‘compensator’ that cancels out the nitrogen: boron.
If the growers add too little boron, their diamonds are still goldish brown. If the growers add too much boron, the diamonds turn a bluish hue.
Generally speaking, a bluish hue in a lab diamond can be problematic because 1. It can look noticeably different from a white diamond, and 2. It can be mistaken for another gemstone because of its blue color.
Diamonds with present boron are considered type IIb and exist in both lab grown and natural diamonds. However, Type IIb blue-tinged natural diamonds make up less than 0.1% of the gem-quality market. These are also so rare that they are often unaffordable to the public, especially in bridal sizes of 1.5ct+ where they can sell in the millions of dollars, not thousands.
Hence, when I refer to blue tinge as being “unnatural looking,” I am referring to the fact that effectively zero regular consumers could “accidentally” buy a blue natural diamond for an engagement ring. So a lab diamond with a blue hue may be different enough in appearance from a white natural diamond that someone could easily spot the color tinge and question the material.
A blue tinged lab diamond may be fine with you as a consumer, and if you know what you’re buying, that’s great! But it’s still considered a defect.
Some retailers who know very little about the product will confuse a blue tinge with strong blue fluorescence. They are not the same thing.
G is for Gray
A gray tinged HPHT diamond
Instead of using boron, some growers will use titanium or aluminum as ‘getters’ or ‘compensators’ for present nitrogen. When this happen, microscopic titanium carbide crystals can form within the grown diamond which can give the diamond a gray appearance. Gray tinge can also be from irradiating a blue nuanced HPHT stone to try and heal the blue color.
I put a video here of a grayish blue HPHT next to a natural looking HPHT.
P is for Phosphorescence (glow in the dark)
The presence of boron can also cause an HPHT diamond to have bright phosphorescence, which is an orange or blue glow seen after exposure to long wave UV light (such as sunlight), or a standard blacklight. This is problematic because it is visible in the course of everyday life and does not require jeweler’s or specialized equipment to see it. Even a few seconds in direct sunlight can activate the boron. Moving from sunlight to a dark room, an HPHT diamond can glow in the dark, with the glow lingering for several minutes or even hours. This can make the diamond look cloudy/milky in low light environments.
Phosphorescence is not the same thing as fluorescence.
I put an entire post up about this on Reddit.
On left: a handheld UV light (the same as sunlight). At right: obvious phosphorescence zoning. This did not require any sophisticated equipment to see.
The grading laboratories do not offer any information regarding phosphorescence on a certificate. It is only something you can test for in person.
Growers are always looking for ways to mask their sins or reduce their costs. One of the ways that growers may be reducing phosphorescence is by putting the HPHT diamond through an irradiation treatment. This is not the same thing as annealing and instead uses an electron beam to permanently alter the crystal. The main problem with this method is that it turns the crystal a slate blue-gray color which looks very strange in person.
You may think it's super cool that your lab diamond glows in the dark. As long as you know what you're buying, that's great! But it can have consequences. I have personally seen strong phosphorescence in an HPHT diamond affect its appearance in low light environments for hours. This is not a hypothetical academic concept; it is real.
Type IIb natural diamonds can also experience phosphorescence but the way it appears (notably via zoning) is not the same between lab grown and natural.
How to Avoid Buying a Defective Lab Diamond:
submitted by peruvian_bull to Superstonk [link] [comments]
(Hey everyone, this is the SECOND half of the Finale, you can find the first half here)
The Dollar EndgameTrue monetary collapses are hard to grasp for many in the West who have not experienced extreme inflation. The ever increasing money printing seems strange, alien even. Why must money supply grow exponentially? Why did the Reichsbank continue printing even as hyperinflation took hold in Germany?
What is not understood well are the hidden feedback loops that dwell under the surface of the economy.
The Dragon of Inflation, once awoken, is near impossible to tame.
It all begins with a country walking itself into a situation of severe fiscal mismanagement- this could be the Roman Empire of the early 300s, or the German Empire in 1916, or America in the 1980s- 2020s.
The State, fighting a war, promoting a welfare state, or combating an economic downturn, loads itself with debt burdens too heavy for it to bear.
This might even create temporary illusions of wealth and prosperity. The immediate results are not felt. But the trap is laid.
Over the next few years and even decades, the debt continues to grow. The government programs and spending set up during an emergency are almost impossible to shut down. Politicians are distracted with the issues of the day, and concerns about a borrowing binge take the backseat.
The debt loads begin to reach a critical mass, almost always just as a political upheaval unfolds. Murphy’s Law comes into effect.
Next comes a crisis.
This could be Visigoth tribesmen attacking the border posts in the North, making incursions into Roman lands. Or it could be the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, kicking off a chain of events causing the onset of World War 1.
Or it could be a global pandemic, shutting down 30% of GDP overnight.
Politicians respond as they always had- mass government mobilization, both in the real and financial sense, to address the issue. Promising that their solutions will remedy the problem, a push begins for massive government spending to “solve” economic woes.
They go to fundraise debt to finance the Treasury. But this time is different.
Very few, if any, investors bid. Now they are faced with a difficult question- how to make up for the deficit between the Treasury’s income and its massive projected expenditure. Who’s going to buy the bonds?
With few or no legitimate buyers for their debt, they turn to their only other option- the printing press. Whatever the manner, new money is created and enters the supply.
This time is different. Due to the flood of new liquidity entering the system, widespread inflation occurs. Confounded, the politicians blame everyone and everything BUT the printing as the cause.
Bonds begin to sell off, which causes interest rates to rise. With rates suppressed so low for so long, trillions of dollars of leverage has built up in the system.
No one wants to hold fixed income instruments yielding 1% when inflation is soaring above 8%. It's a guaranteed losing trade. As more and more investors run for the exits in the bond markets, liquidity dries up and volatility spikes.
The MOVE index, a measure of bond market volatility, begins climbing to levels not seen since the 2008 Financial Crisis.
Sovereign bond market liquidity begins to evaporate. Weak links in the system, overleveraged several times on government debt, such as the UK’s pension funds, begin to implode.
The banks and Treasury itself will not survive true deflation- in the US, Yellen is already getting so antsy that she just asked major banks if Treasury should buy back their bonds to “ensure liquidity”!
As yields rise, government borrowing costs spike and their ability to roll their debt becomes extremely impaired. Overleveraged speculators in housing, equity and bond markets begin to liquidate positions and a full blown deleveraging event emerges.
True deflation in a macro environment as indebted as ours would mean rates soaring well above 15-20%, and a collapse in money market funds, equities, bonds, and worst of all, a certain Treasury default as federal tax receipts decline and deficits rise.
A run on the banks would ensue. Without the Fed printing, the major banks, (which have a 0% capital reserve requirement since 3/15/20), would quickly be drained. Insolvency is not the issue here- liquidity is; and without cash reserves a freezing of the interbank credit and repo markets would quickly ensue.
For those who don’t think this is possible, Tim Geitner, NY Fed President during the 2008 Crisis, stated that in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, we were “We were a few days away from the ATMs not working” (start video at 46:07).
As inflation rips higher, the $24T Treasury market, and the $15.5T Corporate bond markets selloff hard. Soon they enter freefall as forced liquidations wipe leverage out of the system. Similar to 2008, credit markets begin to freeze up. Thousands of “zombie corporations”, firms held together only with razor thin margins and huge amounts of near zero yielding debt, begin to default. One study by a Deutsche analyst puts the figure at 25% of companies in the S&P 500.
The Central Banks respond to the crisis as they always have- coming to the rescue with the money printer, like the Bank of England did when they restarted QE, or how the Bank of Japan began “emergency bond buying operations”.
But this time is massive. They have to print more than ever before as the ENTIRE DEBT BASED FINANCIAL SYSTEM UNWINDS.
QE Infinity begins. Trillions of Treasuries, MBS, Corporate bonds, and Bond ETFs are bought up. The only manner in which to prevent the bubble from imploding is by overwhelming the system with freshly printed cash. Everything is no-limit bid.
The tsunami of new money floods into the system and a face ripping rally begins in every major asset class. This is the beginning of the melt-up phase.
The Federal Reserve, within a few months, goes from owning 30% of the Treasury market, to 70% or more. The Bank of Japan is already at 70% ownership of certain JGB issuances, and some bonds haven’t traded for a record number of days in an active market!
The Central Banks EAT the bond market. The “Lender of Last Resort” becomes “The Lender of Only Resort”.
Another step towards hyperinflation. The Dragon crawls out of his lair.
Now the majority or even entirety of the new bond issuances from the Treasury are bought with printed money. Money supply must increase in tandem with federal deficits, fueling further inflation as more new money floods into the system.
The Fed’s liquidity hose is now directly plugged into the veins of the real economy. The heroin of free money now flows in ever increasing amounts towards Main Street.
The same face-ripping rise seen in equities in 2020 and 2021 is now mirrored in the markets for goods and services.
Prices for Food, gas, housing, computers, cars, healthcare, travel, and more explode higher. This sets off several feedback loops- the first of which is the wage-price spiral. As the prices of everything rise, real disposable income falls.
Massive strikes and turnover ensues. Workers refuse to labor for wages that are not keeping up with their expenses. After much consternation, firms are forced to raise wages or see large scale work stoppages.
These higher wages now mean the firm has higher costs, and thus must charge higher prices for goods. This repeats ad infinitum.
The next feedback loop is monetary velocity- the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy.
The faster the dollar turns over, the more items it can bid for- and thus the more prices rise. Money velocity increasing is a key feature of a currency beginning to inflate away. In nations experiencing hyperinflation like Venezuela, where money velocity was purported to be over 7,000 annually- or more than 20 times a DAY.
As prices rise steadily, people begin to increase their inflation expectations, which leads to them going out and preemptively buying before the goods become even more expensive. This leads to hoarding and shortages as select items get bought out quickly, and whatever is left is marked up even more. ANOTHER feedback loop.
Inflation now soars to 25%. Treasury deficits increase further as the government is forced to spend more to hire and retain workers, and government subsidies are demanded by every corner of the populace as a way to alleviate the price pressures.
The government budget increases. Any hope of worker’s pensions or banks buying the new debt is dashed as the interest rates remain well below the rate of inflation, and real wages continue to fall. They thus must borrow more as the entire system unwinds.
The Hyperinflationary Feedback loop kicks in, with exponentially increasing borrowing from the Treasury matched by new money supply as the Printer whirrs away.
The Dragon begins his fiery assault.
Hyperinflationary Feedback Loop
As the dollar devalues, other central banks continue printing furiously. This phenomenon of being trapped in a debt spiral is not unique to the United States- virtually every major economy is drowning under excessive credit loads, as the average G7 debt load is 135% of GDP.
As the central banks print at different speeds, massive dislocations begin to occur in currency markets. Nations who print faster and with greater debt monetization fall faster than others, but all fiats fall together in unison in real terms.
Global trade becomes extremely difficult. Trade invoices, which usually can take several weeks or even months to settle as the item is shipped across the world, go haywire as currencies move 20% or more against each other in short timeframes. Hedging becomes extremely difficult, as vol premiums rise and illiquidity is widespread.
Amidst the chaos, a group of nations comes together to decide to use a new monetary media- this could be the Special Drawing Right (SDR), a neutral global reserve currency created by the IMF.
It could be a new commodity based money, similar to the old US Dollar pegged to Gold.
Or it could be a peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency with a hard supply limit and secure payment channels.
Whatever the case- it doesn't really matter. The dollar will begin to lose dominance as the World Reserve Currency as the new one arises.
As the old system begins to die, ironically the dollar soars higher on foreign exchange- as there is a $20T global short position on the USD, in the form of leveraged loans, sovereign debt, corporate bonds, and interbank repo agreements.
All this dollar debt creates dollar DEMAND, and if the US is not printing fast enough or importing enough to push dollars out to satisfy demand, banks and institutions will rush to the Forex market to dump their local currency in exchange for dollars.
This drives DXY up even higher, and then forces more firms to dump local currency to cover dollar debt as the debt becomes more expensive, in a vicious feedback loop. This is called the Dollar Milkshake Theory, posited by Brent Johnson of Santiago Capital.
The global Eurodollar Market IS leverage- and as all leverage works, it must be fed with new dollars or risk bankrupting those who owe the debt. The fundamental issue is that this time, it is not banks, hedge funds, or even insurance giants- this is entire countries like Argentina, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The Dollar Milkshake
If the Fed does not print to satisfy the demand needed for this Eurodollar market, the Dollar Milkshake will suck almost all global liquidity and capital into the United States, which is a net importer and has largely lost it’s manufacturing base- meanwhile dozens of developing countries and manufacturing firms will go bankrupt and be liquidated, causing a collapse in global supply chains not seen since the Second World War.
This would force inflation to rip above 50% as supply of goods collapses.
Worse yet, what will the Fed do? ALL their choices now make the situation worse.
The Fed's Triple Dilemma
Many pundits will retort- “Even if we have to print the entire unfunded liability of the US, $160T, that’s 8 times current M2 Money Supply. So we’d see 700% inflation over two years and then it would be over!”
This is a grave misunderstanding of the problem; as the Fed expands money supply and finances Treasury spending, inflation rips higher, forcing the AMOUNT THE TREASURY BORROWS, AND THUS THE AMOUNT THE FED PRINTS in the next fiscal quarter to INCREASE. Thus a 100% increase in money supply can cause a 150% increase in inflation, and on again, and again, ad infinitum.
M2 Money Supply increased 41% since March 5th, 2020 and we saw an 18% realized increase in inflation (not CPI, which is manipulated) and a 58% increase in SPY (at the top). This was with the majority of printed money really going into the financial markets, and only stimulus checks and transfer payments flowing into the real economy.
Now Federal Deficits are increasing, and in the next easing cycle, the Fed will be buying the majority of Treasury bonds.
The next $10T they print, therefore, could cause additional inflation requiring another $15T of printing. This could cause another $25T in money printing; this cycle continues forever, like Weimar Germany discovered.
The $200T or so they need to print can easily multiply into the quadrillions by the time we get there.
The Inflation Dragon consumes all in his path.
Federal Net Outlays are currently around 30% of GDP. Of course, the government has tax receipts that it could use to pay for services, but as prices roar higher, the real value of government tax revenue falls. At the end of the Weimar hyperinflation, tax receipts represented less than 1% of all government spending.
This means that without Treasury spending, literally a third of all economic output would cease.
The holders of dollar debt begin dumping them en masse for assets with real world utility and value- even simple things such as food and gas.
People will be forced to ask themselves- what matters more; the amount of Apple shares they hold or their ability to buy food next month? The option will be clear- and as they sell, massive flows of money will move out of the financial economy and into the real.
This begins the final cascade of money into the marketplace which causes the prices of everything to soar higher. The demand for money grows even larger as prices spike, which causes more Treasury spending, which must be financed by new borrowing, which is printed by the Fed. The final doom loop begins, and money supply explodes exponentially.
Monetary velocity rips higher and eventually pushes inflation into the thousands of percent. Goods begin being re-priced by the day, and then by the hour, as the value of the currency becomes meaningless.
A new money, most likely a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, gains widespread adoption- becoming the preferred method and eventually the default payment mechanism. The State continues attempting to force the citizens to use their currency- but by now all trust in the money has broken down. The only thing that works is force, but even the police, military and legal system by now have completely lost confidence.
The Simulacrum breaks down as the masses begin to realize that the entire financial system, and the very currency that underpins it is a lie- an illusion, propped up via complex derivatives, unsustainable debt loads, and easy money financed by the Central Banks.
Similar to Weimar Germany, confidence in the currency finally collapses as the public awakens to a long forgotten truth-
There is no supply cap on fiat currency.
When asked in 1982 what was the one word that could be used to define the Dollar, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker responded with one word-
All fiat money systems, unmoored from the tethers of hard money, are now adrift in a sea of illusion, of make-believe. The only fundamental props to support it are the trust and network effects of the participants.
These are powerful forces, no doubt- and have made it so no fiat currency dies without severe pain inflicted on the masses, most of which are uneducated about the true nature of economics and money.
But the Ships of State have wandered into a maelstrom from which there is no return. Currently, total worldwide debt stands at a gargantuan $300 Trillion, equivalent to 356% of global GDP.
This means that even at low interest rates, interest expense will be higher than GDP- we can never grow our way out of this trap, as many economists hope.
Fiat systems demand ever increasing debt, and ever increasing money printing, until the illusion breaks and the flood of liquidity is finally released into the real economy. Financial and Real economies merge in one final crescendo that dooms the currency to die, as all fiats must.
Day by day, hour by hour, the interest accrues.
The Debt grows larger.
And the Dollar Endgame Approaches.
Nothing on this Post constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any security, portfolio of securities, investment product, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. From reading my Post I cannot assess anything about your personal circumstances, your finances, or your goals and objectives, all of which are unique to you, so any opinions or information contained on this Post are just that – an opinion or information. Please consult a financial professional if you seek advice.
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Thank you ALL, and POWER TO THE PLAYERS. GME FOREVER
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As the Fed begins their journey into a deflationary blizzard, they are beginning to break markets across the globe. As the World Reserve Currency, over 60% of all international trade is done in Dollars, and USDs are the largest Foreign Exchange (Forex) holdings by far for global central banks. Now all foreign currencies are crashing against the Dollar as the vicious feedback loops of Triffin’s Dilemma come home to roost. The Dollar Milkshake has begun.submitted by peruvian_bull to Superstonk [link] [comments]
The Fed, knowingly or unknowingly, has walked into this trap- and now they find themselves caught underneath the Sword of Damocles, with no way out…
Sword Of Damocles
“The famed “sword of Damocles” dates back to an ancient moral parable popularized by the Roman philosopher Cicero in his 45 B.C. book “Tusculan Disputations.” Cicero’s version of the tale centers on Dionysius II, a tyrannical king who once ruled over the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the fourth and fifth centuries B.C.
Though rich and powerful, Dionysius was supremely unhappy. His iron-fisted rule had made him many enemies, and he was tormented by fears of assassination—so much so that he slept in a bedchamber surrounded by a moat and only trusted his daughters to shave his beard with a razor.
As Cicero tells it, the king’s dissatisfaction came to a head one day after a court flatterer named Damocles showered him with compliments and remarked how blissful his life must be. “Since this life delights you,” an annoyed Dionysius replied, “do you wish to taste it yourself and make a trial of my good fortune?” When Damocles agreed, Dionysius seated him on a golden couch and ordered a host of servants wait on him. He was treated to succulent cuts of meat and lavished with scented perfumes and ointments.
Damocles couldn’t believe his luck, but just as he was starting to enjoy the life of a king, he noticed that Dionysius had also hung a razor-sharp sword from the ceiling. It was positioned over Damocles’ head, suspended only by a single strand of horsehair.
From then on, the courtier’s fear for his life made it impossible for him to savor the opulence of the feast or enjoy the servants. After casting several nervous glances at the blade dangling above him, he asked to be excused, saying he no longer wished to be so fortunate.”
Damocles’ story is a cautionary tale of being careful of what you wish for- Those who strive for power often unknowingly create the very systems that lead to their own eventual downfall. The Sword is often used as a metaphor for a looming danger; a hidden trap that can obliterate those unaware of the great risk that hegemony brings.
Heavy lies the head which wears the crown.
There are several Swords of Damocles hanging over the world today, but the one least understood and least believed until now is Triffin’s Dilemma, which lays the bedrock for the Dollar Milkshake Theory. I’ve already written extensively about Triffin’s Dilemma around a year ago in Part 1.5 and Part 4.3 of my Dollar Endgame Series, but let’s recap again.
Here’s a great summary- read both sides of the dilemma:
Triffin's Dilemma Summarized
(Seriously, stop here and go back and read Part 1.5 and Part 4.3 Do it!)
Essentially, Triffin noted that there was a fundamental flaw in the system: by virtue of the fact that the United States is a World Reserve Currency holder, the global financial system has built in GLOBAL demand for Dollars. No other fiat currency has this.
How is this demand remedied? With supply of course! The United States thus is forced to run current account deficits - meaning it must send more dollars out into the world than it receives on a net basis. This has several implications, which again, I already outlined- but I will list in summary format below:
Essentially, they print their own currency to buy Dollars. Wanting to earn interest on this massive cash hoard when it isn’t being used, they buy Treasuries and other US debt securities to get a yield.
As their domestic economy grows, their need and dependence on the Dollar grows as well. Their Central Bank builds up larger and larger hoards of Treasuries and Dollars. The entire thesis is that during times of crisis, they can sell the Treasuries for USD, and use the USDs to buy back their own currency on the market- supporting its value and therefore defending the peg.
This buying pressure on USDs and Treasuries confers a massive benefit to the United States-
The Exorbitant Privilege
This buildup of excess dollars ends up circulating overseas in banks, trade brokers, central banks, governments and companies. These overseas dollars are called the Eurodollar system- a 2016 research paper estimated the size to be around $13.8 Trillion USD. This system is not under official Federal Reserve jurisdiction so it is difficult to get accurate numbers on its size.
This means the Dollar is always artificially stronger than it should be- and during financial calamity, the dollar is a safe haven as there are guaranteed bidders.
All this dollar denominated debt paired with the global need for dollars in trade creates strong and persistent dollar demand. Demand that MUST be satisfied.
This creates systemic risk on a worldwide scale- an unforeseen Sword of Damocles that hangs above the global financial system. I’ve been trying to foreshadow this in my Dollar Endgame Series.
Triffin’s Dilemma is the basis for the Dollar Milkshake Theory posited by Brent Johnson.
The Dollar Milkshake
Milkshake of Liquidity
In 2021, Brent worked with RealVision to create a short summary of his thesis- the video can be found here. I should note that Brent has had this theory for years, dating back to 2018, when he first came on podcasts and interviews and laid out his theory (like this video, for example).
Here’s the summary below:
“A giant milkshake of liquidity has been created by global central banks with the dollar as its key ingredient - but if the dollar moves higher this milkshake will be sucked into the US creating a vicious spiral that could quickly destabilize financial markets.
The US dollar is the bedrock of the world's financial system. It greases the wheels of global commerce and exchange- the availability of dollars, cost of dollars, and the level of the dollar itself each can have an outsized impact on economies and investment opportunities.
But more important than the absolute level or availability of dollars is the rate of change in the level of the dollar. If the level of the dollar moves too quickly and particularly if the level rises too fast then problems start popping up all over the place (foreign countries begin defaulting).
Today however many people are convinced that both the role of the Dollar is diminishing and the level of the dollar will only decline. People think that the US is printing so many dollars that the world will be awash with the greenback causing the value of the dollar to fall.
Now it's true that the US is printing a lot of dollars – but other countries are also printing their own currencies in similar amounts so in theory it should even out in terms of value.
But the hidden issue is the difference in demand. Remember the global financial system is built on the US dollar which means even if they don't want them everybody still needs them and if you need something you don't really have much choice. (See DXY Index):
Although many countries like China are trying to reduce their reliance on dollar transactions this will be a very slow transition. In the meantime the risks of a currency or sovereign debt crisis continue to rise.
But now countries like China and Japan need dollars to buy copper from Australia so the Chinese and the Japanese owe dollars and Australia is getting paid in dollars.
Europe and Asia currently doing very limited amount of non-dollar transactions for oil so they still need dollars to buy oil from saudi and again dollars get hoovered up on both sides
Asia and Europe need dollars to buy soybeans from Brazil. This pulls in yet more dollars - everybody needs dollars for trade invoices, central bank currency reserves and servicing massive cross-border dollar denominated debts of governments and corporations outside the USA.
And the dollar-denominated debt is key- if they don't service their debts or walk away from their dollar debts their funding costs rise putting great financial pressure on their domestic economies. Not only that, it can lead to a credit contraction and a rapid tightening of dollar supply.
The US is happy with the reliance on the greenback they own the settlement system which benefits the US banks who process all the dollars and act as gatekeepers to the Dollar system they police and control the access to the system which benefits the US military machine where defense spending is in excess of any other country so naturally the US benefits from the massive volumes of dollar usage.
Other countries have naturally been grumbling about being held hostage to the situation but the choices are limited. What it does mean is that dollars need to be constantly sucked out of the USA because other countries all over the world need them to do business and of course the more people there are who need and want those dollars the more is the pressure on the price of dollars to go up.
In fact, global demand is so high that the supply of dollars is just not enough to keep up, even with the US continually printing money. This is why we haven't seen consistently rising US inflation despite so many QE and stimulus programs since the global financial crisis in 2008.
But, the real risk comes when other economies start to slow down or when the US starts to grow relative to the other economies. If there is relatively less economic activity elsewhere in the world then there are fewer dollars in global circulation for others to use in their daily business and of course if there are fewer in circulation then the price goes up as people chase that dwindling source of dollars.
Which is terrible for countries that are slowing down because just when they are suffering economically they still need to pay for many goods in dollars and they still need to service their debts which of course are often in dollars too.
So the vortex begins or as we like to say the dollar milkshake- As the level of the dollar rises the rest of the world needs to print more and more of its own currency to then convert to dollars to pay for goods and to service its dollar debt this means the dollar just keeps on rising in response many countries will be forced to devalue their own currencies so of course the dollar rises again and this puts a huge strain on the global system.
(see the charts below:)
To make matters worse in this environment the US looks like an attractive safe haven so the US ends up sucking in the capital from the rest of the world-the dollar rises again. Pretty soon you have a full-scale sovereign bond and currency crisis.
We're now into that final napalm run that sees the dollar and dollar assets accelerate even higher and this completely undermines global markets. Central banks try to prevent disorderly moves, but the global markets are bigger and the momentum unstoppable once it takes hold.
And that is the risk that very few people see coming but that everyone should have a hedge against - when the US sucks up the dollar milkshake, bad things are going to happen.
Worst of all there's no alternatives- what are you going to use-- Chinese Yuan? Japanese Yen? the Euro??
Now, like it or not we're stuck with a dollar underpinning the global financial system.”
Why is it playing out now, in real time?? It all leads back to a tweet I made in a thread on September 16th.
Tweet Thread about the Yuan
The Fed, rushing to avoid a financial crisis in March 2020, printed trillions. This spurred inflation, which they then swore to fight. Thus they began hiking interest rates on March 16th, and began Quantitative Tightening this summer.
QE had stopped- No new dollars were flowing out into a system which has a constant demand for them. Worse yet, they were hiking completely blind-
Although the Fed is very far behind the curve, (meaning they are hiking far too late to really combat inflation)- other countries are even farther behind!
Japan has rates currently at 0.00- 0.25%, and the Eurozone is at 1.25%. These central banks have barely begun hiking, and some even swear to keep them at the zero-bound. By hiking domestic interest rates above foreign ones, the Fed is incentivizing what are called carry trades.
Since there is a spread between the Yen and the Dollar in terms of interest rates, it thus is profitable for traders to borrow in Yen (shorting it essentially) and buy Dollars, which can earn 2.25% interest. The spread would be around 2%.
DXY rises, and the Yen falls, in a vicious feedback loop.
Thus capital flows out of Japan, and into the US. The US sucks up the Dollar Milkshake, draining global liquidity. As I’ve stated before, this has seriously dangerous implications for the global financial system.
For those of you who don’t believe this could be foreseen, check out the ending paragraphs of Dollar Endgame Part 4.3 - “Economic Warfare and the End of Bretton Woods” published February 16, 2022:
Triffin's Dilemma is the Final Nail
What I’ve been attempting to do in my work is restate Triffins’ Dilemma, and by extension the Dollar Milkshake, in other terms- to come at the issue from different angles.
Currently the Fed is not printing money. Which is thus causing havoc in global trade (seen in the currency markets) because not enough dollars are flowing out to satisfy demand.
The Fed must therefore restart QE unless it wants to spur a collapse on a global scale. Remember, all these foreign countries NEED to buy, borrow and trade in a currency that THEY CANNOT PRINT!
We do not have enough time here to go in depth on the Yen, Yuan, Pound or the Euro- all these currencies have different macro factors and trade factors which affect their currencies to a large degree. But the largest factor by FAR is Triffin’s Dilemma + the Dollar Milkshake, and their desperate need for dollars. That is why basically every fiat currency is collapsing versus the Dollar.
The Fed, knowingly or not, is basically in charge of the global financial system. They may shout, “We raise rates in the US to fight inflation, global consequences be damned!!” - But that’s a hell of a lot more difficult to follow when large G7 countries are in the early stages of a full blown currency crisis.
The most serious implication is that the Fed is responsible for supplying dollars to everyone. When they raise rates, they trigger a margin call on the entire world. They need to bail them out by supplying them with fresh dollars to stabilize their currencies.
In other words, the Fed has to run the loosest and most accommodative monetary policy worldwide- they must keep rates as low as possible, and print as much as possible, in order to keep the global financial system running. If they don’t do that, sovereigns begin to blow up, like Japan did last week and like England did on Wednesday.
And if the world’s financial system implodes, they must bail out not only the United States, but virtually every global central bank. This is the Sword of Damocles. The money needed for this would be well in the dozens of trillions.
The Dollar Endgame Approaches…
(Many of you have been messaging me with questions, rebuttals or comments. I’ll do my best to answer some of the more poignant ones here.)—-----
Q: I’ve been reading your work, you keep saying the dollar is going to fall in value, and be inflated away. Now you’re switching sides and joining the dollar bull faction. Seems like you don’t know what you’re talking about!
A: You’re mixing up my statements. When I discuss the dollar losing value, I am referring to it falling in ABSOLUTE value, against goods and services produced in the real economy. This is what is called inflation. I made this call in 2021, and so far, it has proven right as inflation has accelerated.
The dollar gaining strength ONLY applies to foreign currency exchange markets (Forex)- remember, DXY, JPYUSD, and other currency pairs are RELATIVE indicators of value. Therefore, both JPY and USD can be falling in real terms (inflation) but if one is falling faster, then that one will lose value relative to the other. Also, Forex markets are correlated with, but not an exact match, for inflation.
I attempted to foreshadow the entire dollar bull thesis in the conclusion of Part 1 of the Dollar Endgame, posted well over a year ago-
Unraveling of the Currency Markets
I did not give an estimate on when this would happen, or how long DXY would be whipsawed upwards, because I truly do not know.
I do know that eventually the Fed will likely open up swap lines, flooding the Eurodollar market with fresh greenbacks and easing the dollar short squeeze. Then selling pressure will resume on the dollar. They would only likely do this when things get truly calamitous- and we are on our way towards getting there.
The US bond market is currently in dire straits, which matches the prediction of spiking interest rates. The 2yr Treasury is at 4.1%, it was at 3.9% just a few days ago. Only a matter of time until the selloff gets worse.
Q: Foreign Central banks can find a way out. They can just use their reserves to buy back their own currency.
Sure, they can try that. It’ll work for a while- but what happens once they run out of reserves, which basically always happens? I can’t think of a time in financial history that a country has been able to defend a currency peg against a sustained attack.
Global Forex Reserves
They’ll run out of bullets, like they always do, and basically the only option left will be to hike interest rates, to attract capital to flow back into their country. But how will they do that with global debt to GDP at 356%? If all these countries do that, they will cause a global depression on a scale never seen before.
Britain, for example, has a bit over $100B of reserves. That provides maybe a few months of cover in the Forex markets until they’re done.
Furthermore, you are ignoring another vicious feedback loop. When the foreign banks sell US Treasuries, this drives up yields in the US, which makes even more capital flow to the US! This weakens their currency even further.
FX Feedback Loop
To add insult to injury, this increases US Treasury borrowing costs, which means even if the Fed completely ignores the global economy imploding, the US will pay much more in interest. We will reach insolvency even faster than anyone believes.
The 2yr Treasury bond is above 4%- with $31T of debt, that means when we refinance we will pay $1.24 Trillion in interest alone. Who's going to buy that debt? The only entity with a balance sheet large enough to absorb that is the Fed. Restarting QE in 3...2…1…
Q: I live in England. With the Pound collapsing, what can I do? What will happen from here? How will the governments respond?
England, and Europe in general, is in serious trouble. You guys are currently facing a severe energy crisis stemming from Russia cutting off Nord Stream 1 in early September and now with Nord Stream 2 offline due to a mysterious leak, energy supplies will be even more tight.
Not to mention, you have a pretty high debt to GDP at 95%. Britain is a net importer, and is still running government deficits of £15.8 billion (recorded in Q1 2022). Basically, you guys are the United States without your own large scale energy and defense sector, and without Empire status and a World Reserve Currency that you once had.
The Pound will almost certainly continue falling against the Dollar. The Bank of England panicked on Wednesday in reaction to a $100M margin call on British pension funds, and now has begun buying long dated (10yr) gilts, or government bonds.
They’re doing this as inflation is spiking there even worse than the US, and the nation faces a currency crisis as the Pound is nearing parity with the Dollar.
BOE announces bond-buying scheme (9/28/22)
I will not sugarcoat it, things will get rough. You need to hold cash, make sure your job, business, or investments are secure (ie you have cashflow) and hunker down. Eliminate any unnecessary purchases. If you can, buy USDs as they will likely continue to rise and will hold value better than your own currency.
If Parliament goes through with more tax cuts, that will only make the fiscal situation worse and result in more borrowing, and thus more money printing in the end.
Q: What does this mean for Gamestop? For the domestic US economy?
Gamestop will continue to operate as I am sure they have been- investing in growth and expanding their Web3 platform.
Fiat is fundamentally broken. This much is clear- we need a new financial system not based on flawed 16th fractional banking principles or “trust me bro” financial intermediaries.
My hope is that they are at the forefront of a new financial system which does not require centralized authorities or custodians- one where you truly own your assets, and debasement is impossible.
I haven’t really written about GME extensively because it’s been covered so well by others, and I don’t feel I have that much to add.
As for the US economy, we are still in a deep recession, no matter what the politicians say- and it will get worse. But our economic troubles, at least in the short term (6 months) will not be as severe as the rest of the world due to the aforementioned Dollar Milkshake.
The debt crisis is still looming, midterms are approaching, and the government continues to deficit spend as if there’s no tomorrow.
As the global monetary system unravels, yields will spike, the deleveraging will get worse, and our dollar will get stronger. The fundamental factors continue to deteriorate.
I’ve covered the US enough so I'll leave it there.
Q: Did you know about the Dollar Milkshake Theory before recently? What did you think of it?
Of course I knew about it, I’ve been following Brent Johnson since he appeared on RealVision and Macrovoices. He laid out the entire theory in 2018 in a long form interview here. I listened to it maybe a couple times, and at the time I thought he was right- I just didn’t know how right he was.
Brent and I have followed each other and been chatting a little on Twitter- his handle is SantiagoAuFund, I highly recommend you give him a follow.
I’ve never met him in person, but from what I can see, his predictions are more accurate than almost anyone else in finance. Again, all credit to him- he truly understands the global monetary system on a fundamental level.
I believed him when he said the dollar would rally- but the speed and strength of the rally has surprised me. I’ve heard him predict DXY could go to 150, mirroring the massive DXY squeeze post the 1970s stagflation. He could very easily be right- and the absolute chaos this would mean for global trade and finance are unfathomable.
History of DXY
Q: The Pound and Euro are falling just because of the energy crisis there. That's it!
Why is the Yen falling then? How about the Yuan? Those countries are not currently undergoing an energy crisis. Let’s review the year to date performance of most fiat currencies vs the dollar:
Japanese Yen: -20.31%
Chinese Yuan: -10.79%
South African Rand: -10.95%
English Pound: -18.18%
Swiss Franc: -6.89%
South Korean Won: -16.73%
Indian Rupee: -8.60%
Turkish Lira: -27.95%
There are only a handful of currencies positive against the dollar, the most notable being the Russian Ruble and the Brazilian Real- two countries which have massive commodity resources and are strong exporters. In an inflationary environment, hard assets do best, so this is no surprise.
Q: What can the average person do to prepare? What are you doing?
Obligatory this is NOT financial advice
This is an extremely difficult question, as there are so many factors. You need to ask yourself, what is your financial situation like? How much disposable income do you have? What things could you cut back on? I can’t give you specific ideas without knowing your situation.
Personally, I am building up savings and cutting down on expenses. I’m getting ready for a severe recession/depression in the US and trying to find ways to increase my income, maybe a side hustle or switching jobs.
I am holding my GME and not selling- I still have some shares in Fidelity that I need to DRS (I know, sorry, I was procrastinating).
For the next few months, I believe there will be accelerating deflation as interest rates spike and the debt cycle begins to unwind. But like I’ve stated before, this will lead us towards a second Great Depression very rapidly, and to avoid the deflationary blizzard the Fed will restart QE on a scale never seen before.
QE Infinity. This will be the impetus for even worse inflation- 25%+ by this time next year.
It’s hard to prepare for this, and easy to feel hopeless. It’s important to know that we have been through monetary crises before, and society did not devolve into a zombie apocalypse. You are not alone, and we will get through this together.
It’s also important to note that we are holding the most lopsided investment opportunity of a generation. Any money you put in there can be grown by orders of magnitude.
We are at the end of the Central Bankers game- and although it will be painful, we will rid the world of them, I believe, and build a new financial system based on blockchains which will disintermediate the institutions. They have everything to lose.
Q: I want to learn more, where can I do? What can I do to keep up to date with everything?
You can start by reading books, listening to podcasts, and checking the news to stay abreast of developments. I have a book list linked at the end of the Dollar Endgame posts.
I’ll be covering the central bank clown show on Twitter, you can follow me there if you like. I’ll also include links to some of my favorite macro people below:
Nothing on this Post constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any security, portfolio of securities, investment product, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.
submitted by forex111 to forexzone [link] [comments]
Prepare to take a leap of faith, Guardians. In partnership with @Ubisoft, worlds are about to collide with brand new cosmetics.Even better? That “hidden order” love works both ways with Valhalla players enjoying some Destiny 2-themed gear themselves inspired by some of the greatest warriors fighting against the Darkness with new armor sets and unique weapons inspired by some of the most iconic weaponry in the world of Destiny. Oh! And a new mount, because you can’t fight crime if you ain’t cute.
📅 Dec. 6 pic.twitter.com/Os2bmPi4mJ
— Destiny 2 (@DestinyTheGame) December 1, 2022
Chris: First up, if you haven't looked at a weapons TWAB since the Season 18 one, you may want to catch up on the Festival of the Lost mid-Season (6.2.5) Weapons Balance update, which can be found here, which has important info for what’s coming next. Additionally, several hotfixes landed over the course of the current Season, one of which included the following balance changes:
- Reduced aim assist on Special ammo Linear Fusion Rifles.
- Applied previous sniper flinch changes to Linear Fusion Rifles.
GlobalWe've seen very positive player responses to the Full Auto Retrofit weapon mod over the past several Seasons. Because of that, we have added a Full Auto toggle to the Gameplay section of the Settings menu that will be going live with the launch of Season 19. This setting will allow for all weapons to become fully automatic.
We'll be watching how players end up using this and are looking into additional ways for players to pick which types of weapons this setting applies to sometime after Lightfall. For now, we have this new toggle. On a related note, we're also aware that certain melees also require speedy clicking and are looking at something similar for a subset.
- For example: Glaive, Sword, and roaming Super melees (though currently, not regularly charged and uncharged melees).
Weapon ArchetypesWe pulled quite a few weapons archetype changes from Season 19 into the previously referenced 6.2.5 update, so this section is smaller than it would otherwise have been. That said, we have some substantial changes here, particularly to Shotguns and Glaives, so it’s worth diving into if weapon theory is your thing.
Shotguns were previously able to one-hit kill (OHK) from too far away and needed adjustment. Once that was addressed, the weaknesses of random pellet spread became clear: they've become less reliable, even at close ranges. This gave us a solid starting point to do something we have been looking into for a while: Giving each Shotgun subfamily a custom, fixed spread pattern, and a matching custom reticle. Each of these spread patterns is intended to give a subfamily a unique style of gameplay and predictable effectiveness at specific ranges.
The reticles are tuned to match the size of the actual spread pattern at the default field of view (FOV) but note that this is not the case as FOV changes, or as spread angle changes (like if you are jumping, for example). We'll update reticles to react dynamically to spread angle in Lightfall and FOV in a later release, though this first step was crucial for getting that prepped for implementation in the future.
The changes listed evolve the experience of using a Shotgun so much that we expect to revisit tuning on these over the next few Seasons. That’s OK. Tailoring to different playstyles while maintaining a balance takes time, but we’re on a good path. Also, note that we have held off on adjusting Fusion Rifles because the balance between Shotguns and Fusion Rifles depends a lot on how these changes work out after Season 19 launches. “The numbers, Mason, what do they mean?"
Here are the spread patterns for each Shotgun subfamily:
Aggressive: fixed, evenly distributed cone
Precision (includes Duality hip-fire): vertical oval
Slug: updated reticle to properly show precision
- Fixed several Shotguns that were using the incorrect intrinsic Aggressive perk. All Aggressive Shotguns will now increase rate of fire after a kill, as intended.
- Increased PvE damage by 5%.
- The reload speed benefit for the Rapid-Fire Shotgun Frame now always applies instead of only when reloading from an empty magazine.
SidearmSidearms are now much more viable in PvP since the 6.2.5 buff to this weapon type’s auto-aim falloff distance, but this caused a notable over-buff to Drang, allowing it to compete too far outside Sidearm range.
- Reduced zoom stat on Drang and Drang (Baroque) from 14 to 13.
Fusion RifleNow onto Fusion Rifles. Main Ingredient is still wildly effective as a range-y Fusion Rifle due to being able to roll with stability perks in both columns. We've adjusted some of those perks, but we don't want to poke at them further if it isn't needed, so we're just hitting the (slightly out of band) stats of this weapon directly:
Fusion Rifle reticules don't react much to changing accuracy due to firing or jumping, even when on mouse and keyboard and at a high FOV.
- Reduced stability from 49 to 35.
- Reduced aim assist stat from 59 to 45.
- Rebuilt the Fusion Rifle hip-fire reticle so that it reacts more obviously to changes in the accuracy cone.
GlaiveGlaive projectiles have not hit our quality bar for hit registration yet, so we have reworked them. We're also loosening the restrictions on some melee damage Exotics and have adjusted base melee damage and some PvE damage scalars to avoid degenerate damage multipliers.
- Glaive projectiles have been adjusted for more reliable hit detection over the network.
- Glaive melee attacks can now benefit from the Exotic armor perks on Synthoceps, Wormgod Caress, and Winter's Guile.
- Glaive melee damage multipliers reduced by 25-30% against Champions, mini-bosses, bosses, and vehicles.
- Damage against major and minor enemies is unchanged.
- Glaive melee base damage reduced from 75 to 67.
Hand CannonWhen we updated stats for Hand Cannons that used to be Lightweights (now Adaptives), we didn't touch Rose. Now that Rose is returning, we’ve adjusted its stats for smoother re-integration.
- Updated Rose's stats to work for an Adaptive Hand Cannon.
- Increased range from 38 to 43.
- Reduced stability from 45 to 40.
- Reduced handling from 68 to 60.
- Airborne effectiveness is 20.
Grenade Launchers, The Queenbreaker, and Grand Overture all previously used the older blinding screen effect, which players have reported could feel jarring and pose some photosensitivity concerns.
- Switched these to the new Arc blind effect, which has significantly reduced screen effect brightness and is overall less intrusive.
Weapon mods that increase the effects of weapon perks do not make for interesting decisions, so we’ve made a long-awaited (and long-requested) change to them:
- The Dragonfly, Rampage, and Surrounded perks now have their spec mod behaviors enabled by default.
We're not happy with how the prior redesign of Air Assault turned out, so we've taken a second pass at it. It now directly rewards success and is much more dependable for players.
Headseeker has been a boring and questionably useful perk on most Pulse Rifles for quite a while, so we've redesigned it, as well:
- Air Assault now grants a stacking bonus to airborne effectiveness.
- Maximum two stacks: one per final blow, two per airborne final, each stack is +30 AE.
Encore's initial implementation was a little complex and fiddly to use, so we've redesigned that one too:
- Body shots now increase your precision multiplier and increase aim assist. Additional body shots reset the timer.1
- It has a 0.55s base timer. Body shots while Headseeker is active reset the timer.
Seraph Rounds will be appearing on more weapons next Season, but in its current form, it's the strongest magazine perk by a large margin, so we've pulled it back a little and made it more of a tradeoff:
- Final blows now grant stacks of Encore and stacks grant increased stability, range, and accuracy.
- Body shot final blows grant one stack, precision final blows grant two stacks, with a maximum of four stacks.
- Lasts 7s, enhanced lasts 7.5s. Final blows refresh timer.
- +8 stability, +5 range, and +1.25% accuracy per stack.
Tunnel Vision plus Kill Clip not being refreshable while active has always been counterintuitive, so we've now set them up to allow that. That being said, this makes Kill Clip too strong compared to other damage perks, so we've pulled it back a little:
- Removed +10% range scalar.
- Now offers +7 stability, +3 range.
Redirection didn't use our standard method of checking for weak versus strong enemies, so we've changed it to be consistent with other perks since it'll be appearing on more weapons.
- The duration of these buffs can now be refreshed if activated while already active.
- Reduced Kill Clip damage bonus from 33% to 25%.
- Now builds stacks against red bar enemies and consumes them on everything else (i.e., matches minor spec and other perks that use similar language).
We want players to be able to use the Hakke Breach Armaments origin trait to bring down Ward of Dawn, Well of Radiance, and Stasis crystals in PvP.
Gutshot Straight shipped a little weak on Auto Rifles, so we've bumped it up a little:
- Now increases damage vs. Ward of Dawn and Well of Radiance sword by 30% (60% with the artifact mod).
- Damage bonus against Stasis crystals has been increased by 15% (both base and with artifact mod).
Compulsive Reloader's reload speed benefit is enjoyable, but on certain weapon types, it doesn't remain active deep enough into a magazine:
- Increased bonus Auto Rifle body shot damage 10% to 20%.
The High-Impact Frame intrinsic perk can be hard to use since it switches off with little movement. We've tweaked this so that that slow movement (e.g., crouching and strafing) doesn't deactivate the perk.
- Now remains active down to half ammo.
Ambitious Assassin's recent adjustment gives it a remarkably high potential for overflowing a magazine, but in areas with sparse enemies, it can be hard to chain kills quickly enough:
- Now allows a small amount of movement instead of turning off with any movement.
- Increased allowed time between kills from 5s to 7s.
Recombination had some reliability issues, so we made some tweaks and adjusted the damage. This was important since this is now available on new weapons:
- Duration increased from 10s to 15s.
- Stacking the effect still resets the timer.
Zen Moment provides an extraordinarily strong (if not well understood) reduction to recoil angle, but missing would reset the perk completely, making it difficult to sustain:
- Tweaks to make this function in PvP as intended.
- Now grants up to 100% bonus damage at max stacks in PvE.
- 50% in PvP.
As part of the work on Divinity this Season, we looked at other related hiccups, including Rewind Rounds:
- No longer deactivates on a miss. Now has a 1s timer.
Genesis has always refilled weapon ammo on breaking shields in PvE, but that hasn't been the case in PvP. We’ve determined that it was a safe call to make to remove this restriction entirely:
- Rewind Rounds now work as intended when hitting the cage created by Divinity.
One Quiet Moment wasn’t really doing the job of providing fast reloads out of combat in cases where a player has dealt with all nearby threats, so we've made the following change:
- Now triggers on breaking player shields.
Gun and Run was hard to trigger in PvP or encounters with few enemies, so we also decided to half the number of final blows needed to activate this when going up against most enemy types.
- Faster reactivation after a final blow.
Box Breathing has been providing too strong of a benefit for too little investment on Scout Rifles, so we've pulled it back a smidge to avoid crossing time to kill (TTK) thresholds:
Unstoppable Force's damage was a little too high for the level of investment, surpassing other damage perks for strength and uptime. We're keeping the uptime but adjusting the damage:
- Reduced damage bonus on Scout Rifles by 5%.
One-Two Punch is one part of several combos that allow stacking melee damage buffs to get far higher than intended. Here's what One-Two Punch will look like:
- Reduced damage bonus from 30% to 20%.
- Reduced bonus melee damage as follows:
- From 3x to 2x vs most enemies with unpowered melees.
- From 1.8x to 1.4x vs most enemies with charged melees.
- Reduced the additional bonus vs bosses from 0.5 to 0.25.
To Excess (Opulent weapon origin trait)
- Triggering this perk across multiple weapons no longer displays a stacking counter on the UI.This perk never stacked its effects, so this change does not change its behavior.
Enhanced PerksWe've taken a pass over several enhanced perks to bring their functionality more in line with the base perks:
- Enhanced Unrelenting
- Shifted to +5 health regen; removed +5 handling.
- Enhanced Perpetual Motion
- Removed .1s faster activation and removed the .1s grace period upon ending.
- Added 1s faster activation of x2 stacks.
- Enhanced Timed Payload
- Shifted from range to +5 stability.
- Enhanced Explosive Payload
- Shifted from range to +5 reload.
- Enhanced Firing Line
- Added additional 10 handling when in proximity.
- Removed increased neutral range.
- Enhanced Grave Robber
- Swapped +5 reload to +5 handling.
- Enhanced Explosive Light
- Added one more charge (stack caps at 7).
- Enhanced Cornered
- Added +10 stability when active.
- Enhanced Cold Steel
- Weapon energy and weapon magazine capacity now add +10 to be consistent with other ammo capacity-increasing Perks.
- Enhanced Vorpal Weapon
- Changed from +5 reload to +5 stability.
- This will apply to the guard resistance stat on Swords.
- Enhanced Genesis
- Removed Primary ammo overflow.
- Added additional handling.
- Enhanced Flash Counter
- Increased ammo capacity.
- Enhanced Chain Reaction
- Updated the description as this provides a different benefit to Swords.
- Enhanced Ambitious Assassin
- Increased allowed time between final blows from 6s to 8s.
We identified a handful of weapons that we felt needed a substantial change to really hit the level of “exoticness” that we expect from Destiny 2 Exotics.
The Fundamentals perk (which can be seen on the damage-type switching Exotics: Borealis, Hard Light, and Dead Messenger), while functional, felt like it could do more to grant the modes some identity based on selected damage type, so each damage type now grants different weapon stats (think Elemental Capacitor, if that perk checked the damage type on the weapon instead of the player's subclass).
Even with the above change to The Fundamentals, we felt like Borealis needed a more substantial change:
- Added stats to each element
- Arc: +25 handling and +5 range.
- Solar: +35 reload speed and +20 airborne effectiveness.
- Void: +20 stability and +10 aim assist.
Jade Rabbit is a strong Scout Rifle, but its Exotic perk was lackluster, so we've redesigned it to be more of a gameplay loop:
- Breaking a matched shield now refills the magazine from reserves and allows your next 5 shots to deal bonus damage. Not deactivated by reloading.
- Quickly landing 3 crits returns a round to the magazine and increases the damage of your next body shot.
- Stacks up to 3 increased damage body shots.
- Resets if you reload.
Three weapons dominate raid Exotic weapon usage, largely because of their effectiveness and ammo efficiency.
Raid Exotic weapon usage, November 15
For example, looking at raid Exotic weapon usage back on November 15 (this chart shows each weapon’s share of all Exotic weapon usage in raids), it's clear that Arbalest, Divinity, and Witherhoard are extremely popular. Divinity coming right behind Arbalest is no accident, but an entire team of six players in a raid only needs a single Divinity, so it’s even more popular than it looks when simply looking at numbers. Another interesting aspect of this data is that Divinity ownership is roughly half the number of those who own Arbalest and Witherhoard. If that number were to go up, popularity of this weapon would also increase.
PvP Exotic Special weapon usage, November 15
Witherhoard is extremely strong in both PvE and PvP, dealing high damage quickly, and for an extended duration. We aren’t making changes to direct hits, and we’re leaving the damage and ammo capacity alone, but since this weapon in its current iteration is too strong in PvE (not to mention that the Taken portal is difficult to deal with in PvP), we’ve made the following change:
Regarding Divinity, this is a must-have weapon in endgame PvE. That said, the combination of the strongest possible weaken effect, the cage making critical hits trivial, and intrinsic Overload being too strong (as is evident in looking at how this weapon is used in instances like raids), it was time for a change. We looked at several options, including making the weapon harder to use or reducing its uptime by bringing its ammo down, but ultimately felt that its identity is all about making damage phases more enjoyable. Cage uptime remains the same, but we’ve brought the weaken strength down to match other standard weakens in-game. It’s also important to call out that you can still apply a 30% weaken debuff with the cage by combining Divinity with Tether or Tractor Cannon.
- Reduced Taken portal duration from 7.5s to 4.5s.
Arbalest missed out on the body damage reduction that Lorentz Driver received, making it too easy to get one-hit body shots in a PvP while also not requiring enough precision in PvE:
- Reduced Divinity's weaken from 30% to 15% (still self-buffs to 30%).
Gjallarhorn is the highest DPS Rocket Launcher and a great support weapon for Legendary Rocket Launchers, so we picked one of those two roles and opted to lean into its support power:
- Reduced body shot damage to match Lorentz Driver.
Forerunner received an unintended (and relatively small) damage buff in Season 18's balance update that made it a little too easy to use. After the change, all it took for a final blow was 1-crit and 3-body shots, or 5-body shots in PvP. Here’s what we’ve changed for Season 19:
- Reduced primary rocket's impact and detonation damage by 25% (Wolfpack Rounds are unaffected).
- This just brings it into the desired band without nerfing it past other Rocket Launchers.
- Reduced Forerunner base damage from 40 to 37, and crit damage from 72 to 67.
We track Exotic weapon popularity when deciding what Exotic weapons to buff by looking at how many active players own a weapon and how much they use it in-game.
Lowest 20 Exotic usage by owners, with ownership percent, November 15
Typically, we choose from the 20 or so of the least popular weapons for a potential buff, either directly or via a Catalyst addition. In this case, we've adjusted some that have languished for years and others we simply felt strongly about. We have more of these types of changes coming in Lightfall, though we’ll share those in a later update.
With the addition of the Full Auto setting, we're replacing the Full Auto Trigger System perk on each Exotic that had it.
We’ve fixed an issue where crits from Dead Man's Tale were landing inconsistently depending on whether your aim was above or below the target. We've also made some small changes to its base damage, which will apply to all 120 RPM Scout Rifles:
- No Time to Explain: replaced with Feeding Frenzy.
- Traveler's Chosen: catalyst perk replaced with Surplus (it still has Osmosis).
- Vigilance Wing: catalyst perk replaced with Ensemble.
We've also been looking for a way to help D.A.R.C.I. players. We know many Guardians would like it to move to the Energy slot, but there's plenty of competition for Sniper Rifles there, even Exotics. With the below change, it's a more interesting choice in the Heavy slot:
- Now prefers critical hits over body hits in hip-fire if both types of targets are inside the precision aim cone.
- Increased body shot damage from 46 to 54, and reduced crit damage from 81 to 80.
Wish-Ender has always had a hidden damage bonus vs. targets affected by Witherhoard due to its identity as a Taken hunter's weapon:
- Now applies Jolt when damaging targets affected by Personal Assistant.
- Increased base airborne effectiveness to 80.
While we don’t want Special ammo Snipers to be perfectly accurate from the air without significant investment, we don’t have the same concerns with their Heavy ammo counterparts. That’s where this Whisper of the Worm change comes in:
- Increased bonus vs. Witherhoard-blighted targets from 10% to 25%.
The Prospector has surprisingly high burst damage, but ultimately doesn't excel enough at add clear or DPS for it to have a secure place. With the below change, it is substantially more effective at add clear, though we will continue to monitor when it’s live in-game:
- Increased base airborne effectiveness to 80.
The Fourth Horseman has some niche uses, but ultimately suffers from extremely hard-to-control recoil, which we've pulled back:
- Added Chain Reaction to the intrinsic perk.
Forerunner is a fun weapon in PvE, but it's never been a top pick. Changes to the weapon and its grenade should make it a lot more viable:
- Decreased recoil by 50%.
Merciless is extraordinarily strong when ramped up, but it's hard to keep it in that state:
- Increased crit damage by 30% and The Rock's damage by 60% in PvE.
- Reduced ammo cost to activate The Rock from 6 to 4.
- Increased damage at the outer edge of The Rock's damage radius from 0% to 20%.
Rat King is a lot of fun to use, but the allowed distance from allies feels a little too strict as it stands:
- Merciless' decreased charge time on hit now resets on a 5s timer. This timer is refreshed when you land hits.
Legend of Acrius has some movement penalties to make it feel weightier. We think that the feel of using the weapon does that sufficiently though, so this is what Acrius users can look forward to:
- Radius required to activate its perk increased from 15m to 20m.
Bastion's Season-14 nerf was a little more than it needed, so we've halved it:
- Removed movement penalties.
Quicksilver Storm's grenade intentionally shipped on the weak side. We wanted to see what the uptime of grenades was like in the wild rather than ship them too strong, but we believe it’s safe to increase the damage and the radius a fair bit. We've also fixed a bug with the rockets: they weren't intended to be Arc, and this bug—unchanged—would interfere with the catalyst coming in Lightfall:
- Reduced spread angle by 6%.
Coldheart's Arc 3.0 rework wasn’t generous enough with Ionic Traces, so:
- Increased PvP maximum grenade damage from 80 to 120, and increased the explosion radius from 3m to 4m.
- Switched rocket damage from Arc to Kinetic.
Grand Overture's loop doesn't feel rewarding enough in its current form, so we've dramatically increased the reward:
- Reduced cooldown on Ionic Trace generation from 3.5s to 2s.
- Now maxes out stability and reload speed when at maximum damage.
- Picking up an Ionic Trace now reduces the time it takes to get to max damage.
Xenophage only deals Area of Effect (AoE) damage currently, which causes issues against some enemies in PvE. We’re not changing the overall weapon much, but we are addressing that pesky PvE issue. Despite benefiting from solid ease of use, we felt that its damage could be a little higher:
- Increased missile damage by 50%.
When adjusting Divinity, we also looked at some bugs relating to it, including Cloudstrike:
- Now deals roughly half of its damage as impact damage, and the rest as detonation.
- Overall damage increased by 5%.
- The lightning storm will now correctly activate when hitting Divinity's cage.
Some Exotic armor pieces were part of combinations allowing extremely high damage output from melee attacks in PvE, so we've brought a couple of these down versus altering enemy health:
Note on Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk: We have a change coming in 18.104.22.168. Here’s a sneak preview of the changes that we believe will address balance concerns in PvP while maintaining a clear identity in the Void space:
- Wormgod's Caress: Reduced maximum damage multiplier from 7.5x to 3.5x.
- Winter's Guile: Reduced maximum damage multiplier from 7.5x to 3.5x.
Things players can look forward to in the future:
- Gain Volatile Rounds when exiting invisibility.
- When executing a finisher while invisible, this Exotic now gives nearby allies a reserve overshield and give the wearer a temporary bonus to weapon damage.
- A Heavy weapon damage rebalance:
- Tinkering with bringing some less effective options up while bringing some damage outliers down.
- What's the Lightfall DPS meta? Mysterious.
- A large rebalance of the airborne effectiveness stat, making Primary ammo weapons significantly more accurate while airborne without any investment in the stat. Think Icarus-level accuracy from before Season 17. Specifics are still in development.
- Some tweaks to the new Shotgun reticles.
- A pass at adding Subclass 3.0 verbs to several Exotic weapons:
- There are currently seven.
Mike: Hey everyone! With update 22.214.171.124 scheduled to be released the week of December 13, we’re moving up a change to Void invisibility to help reduce its power in high-level Crucible activities. For full context, we feel it’s necessary to provide some background information on how the radar in Destiny 2 works:
The radar in Destiny 2 is divided into three range-defined sections:
After update 126.96.36.199, when a player is invisible, their maximum radar range will be reduced to 24m, and they won’t have access to the information in the gutter range until they are visible again.
- A close-range core, which covers a range of 0 - 6m that pings anytime an enemy – invisible or not – is within its range.
- The mid-range pie wedges, covering the 6 – 24-m range.
- The gutter, or the outer ring of the radar, which starts at 24m and has a maximum search range of 64m.
While 24m sounds like a long range on paper, our playtests show this reduction in information availability has a significant impact on how invisible players approach engagements and allows potential targets more chances to get the drop on an invisible aggressor. It also offers a way to reposition when they hear the audio cue for invisibility. We’ve found this change has minimal impact on invisibility’s role in PvE.
As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on this as it drops and monitoring feedback and adjust further, if needed.
Rodney: Each Season’s artifact has focused on one of the Light subclasses, reinforcing and enhancing the 3.0 updates that players have been tinkering with throughout 2022. In Season 19, it’s time to give a little love to Stasis . As we've always done in the final Season of the year, you’ll see some reprisals, some reimaginings, and some more experimentation.
The Season 19 artifact will have anti-Champion mods for Hand Cannons, Scout Rifles, Bows, Pulse Rifles, Auto Rifles, and Submachine Guns, as well as the return of the Unstoppable Grenade Launcher mod. The Lucent Finisher mod returns to help you generate some Heavy ammo. We’ve also got some new twists on a few old favorites, including a version of Passive Guard that works with Glaives and a reprisal of Breach and Clear designed to interact with the Void 3.0 rework.
We’re also trying out some experimental mods that don’t follow our usual patterns. Be on the lookout for artifact mods for the chest and leg slots that grant bonuses to resilience and mobility, respectively. We also have a helmet mod that grants additional airborne effectiveness to the weapons you are wielding. The Monochromatic Maestro mod in the class item slot rewards you generously for using weapons and subclasses that match their damage types. We’ve even included a mod aimed specifically at solo players, which should be very useful in tackling those Legend Lost Sectors to get just the right roll on that Exotic you’re looking for!
Warning: Very lengthy information-packed post plus some Princess Mononoke spoilers -- I thoroughly researched from a nonbiased perspective as much as my tired brain can handle from this debacle so pardon my poor grammar. Also this post has finally been finalized, so please take a read again. Much has changed. Note I am on neither side of this debate -- I compiled feedback from indigenous people, non-indigenous people, those affected by colonialism, those that have not. All opinions matter. But I will preface that this cancellation was made by a very vocal, yet very small population of the fanbase who spoke for others, including for a large portion of the indigenous players, without much research done.submitted by chocobabana to ProjectSekai [link] [comments]
I'll extremely appreciate if you take the time to read about the repercussions of SNS's feedback loop of misinformation, the culture of real Japanese indigenous people, and a monumental film in Japanese cinematic history. Yes, all related to an event in a rhythm game. Crazy right?
So before you post OH MY GOD WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT PIXELS SO MUCH? Well, guess what: 1, Wonderlands Showtime is my least favorite group (I keep calling them Wonderland x Showtimes cause I simply do not care), 2, I hate when people lie on social media to make themselves look good especially when they're smearing one of my favorite movies and the beautiful cultures and themes related to said movie.
ALSO I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT: THIS EVENT IS ACTUALLY PART OF A SERIES OF FILM HOMAGES, SO OF COURSE THIS EVENT IS INSPIRED BY PRINCESS MONONOKE. UGH. [We had the Little Mermaid, then Snow White, and then...Princess Mononoke...]
>>> PS: I have updated this post multiple times based on further research and discussion, the last points in this post sum up my current thoughts about this subject. (Also I tried to remove my inane rambling where I either repeated myself or went off tangent.)>>> Also I am not defending either side, this is an attempt to provide a non-bias analysis of the situation without throwing slurs/death threats around. I'm literally trying to prevent this from happening. We can have a discussion without adding ad hominem attacks, without bullying people out of discussion. There is no right answer.
In fact, the more I look into this issue, the more I realize each side really does have a point.
>>> There is a HUGE problem amongst SNS users creating claims/problems out of nothing, constructing fallacies to "support" their claims, and denying any sense of doubt -- evidence from the opposing side. You see this prevalent EVERYWHERE, like in the anti-vaxxer community. I can't just stand around doing nothing when this keeps happening, this is why the problem exists in the first place. "OMG it's just a rhythm game." Yeah, but the problem is more with people just accepting misinformation without doubt or looking for proof. And well...it can actually accidentally be racist in a way that's rarely discussed in the first place. I don't care about the event, but by stating this event is "clearly racist" and about Native Americans is well, potentially...
CULTURAL ERASUREI can't stand it anymore how people are just blindly believing this event is based off of Native American culture. It's actually hurting my brain, and also is incredibly racist to Native American people as well since people are weirdly attributing "savage tribal people" in the story to them. Especially when the outfits do not resemble at ALL the garb of Native American people, or any other indigenous people I know of off the top of my head. Except...well, it's very, very, very similar to one of my favorite Studio Ghibli films, Princess Mononoke (with added steampunk elements). It's Princess Mononoke for children.
But it being a monumental film partially about the injustices faced by an indigenous population of Japan, being portrayed by WxS, feels…weird tonally. And I think this is where the problem stems: when the connections to a film were “lost in translation” and done in a distasteful manner.
Princess Mononoke is a movie about the struggle of those connected with nature versus the spread of technology. Ashitaka, the lead male protagonist, is the last member of the Emishi people, an ethnic group once known to peacefully live in nature yet were slandered as "savage barbarians" by the rest of the Japanese people. The name Emishi literally means "shrimp barbarians."
San, the lead female protagonist, struggles throughout the movie to protect her wolf family and her land by an invasion of technologically-advanced outsiders. A fighter, wolf-like in spirit and tied deeply to nature.
Lady Eboshi, one of the main antagonists, both wishes the best for her people and to use technological advancements to better their livelihood -- even when it means the overall destruction of the forest, potentially unleashing a devastating curse among the land. She's curious, impulsive, and loyal. Neither wholly friend or foe, she represents humanity's aggressive advancements, laying waste to nature in her path. In the end, she starts to abolish her prejudice of these "forest people," committing to leaving the forest alone from hereon out. She also becomes quite acquainted with Ashitaka, which almost develops into a friendship. All in all,
Also the main villain is Rui by the way, a "town-dweller." In Princess Mononoke, this character is Jiko-Bou. They both wish to invade a relatively peaceful land, destroying nature and the land's people along the way, for greed. People keep throwing around that the "forest-dwellers" are portrayed as the villains, but it's literally the opposite. Purposely misleading imagery and verbiage was created by Rui's character caused Tsukasa's character to believe the "forest-dwellers" are simply "barbarians." Then the event ends with both the "forest-dwellers" and "town-dwellers" finding peace and understanding amongst one-another, with the "town-dwellers" no longer thinking they're just "barbarians," overcoming their stereotypes. Overall, it's a children's play, with a very common moral. Simply put, "Don't judge others before you really learn about them."
Or you can think "town-dweller" is "colonizer," if you think the "town-dwellers" and "forest-dwellers" represent the "colonizers vs. indigenous people" rhetoric. These ideas are further supported the event’s ties to Princess Mononoke: themes prevalent in the movie were about anti-colonialism (literal “towns people” invading into native lands), the genocide of the Emishi people, and pro-naturalism.
If you had read the story, you can see Revival My Dream follows a very similar, yet extremely simplified plotline (since the play is for children). Furthermore, in the RMD event, we see the "town-dwellers" portrayed as the more insidious folks, wanting to disturb the lives of the "forest-dwellers" by invading their lands for oil. Jiko-Bou wishes to kill the forest god and sell his head to the Emperor for money. The event is not Pocahontas, it's Princess Mononoke. They just feel similar.
But wait, it could just be a coincidence...right? Well, the outfits people are griping about are unbelievably similar to Princess Mononoke's design.
Case in point:
It highly upsets me this misinformation has been spreading around so rapidly throughout Twitter that even trying to interject some, well, factual counterpoints gets immediately shut down. While the developers have done some dubious things (cough, Leo/need short 2), there is no reason to jump to conclusions. Furthermore, the design of Nene's outfit takes motifs from traditional Ainu garb. The geometric shapes, the colors, plus -- once again -- the headband. San didn't have exactly a headband, she wore a mask which covered her entire head. The headband resembles the Ainu's matanpushi.
Also, if people want to talk about Rui's outfit and the "cowboy hat," let me say this little piece of history: during the Meiji era, a period of rapid Westernization occurred. The government believed this was the path to modernity, and subsequently rejected signs of primitivity. The Meiji government obstructed the Ainu people, reducing them to non-citizens. This COULD be a stretch but as the story relays about "tradition vs. modernity," I don't think it's TOO off base. But remember, the ending of the story is "forest dwellers and town dwellers live in harmony side-by-side." Unlike the circumstances happened during the Meiji Era, the ending is one of hope that two different populations of people could live happily alongside each other. And when you think that the play Wonderlands Showtime put on is for actual babies, the simplified plot and easy-to-digest morals are understandable.
Lastly, and I will say this again, Americans don't even know about Native American culture well, why would the Japanese?
TL;DR: The event is not based at all on Native American culture but on a movie about indigenous Japanese people and the industrialization of Japan. And the movie that depicted the "forest people" in the right. By removing the event, we will be removing a homage to a popular film in a way, Western-washing the cultural significance of Japanese cinema and their indigenous people. Yes, films are cultural artifacts. It's racist, plain and simple. It's scrubbing their history, and history is not always kind. While the term "barbarians" may have been used in the event story, people used to (and sadly, do) refer to indigenous people as such. It SHOULD make you angry, but not at the entire event, but at how humanity can be.
Yet, the tone set by the actors of the Wonderlands Showtime troupe and the messages presented in Princess Mononoke are so dissonant, it’s causing grief and misunderstanding. Genocide of indigenous populations is no laughing matter, and while Ashitaka represents a strong hero of the Emishi people, Wonderlands Showtime doesn’t show exactly the same strength. Emu does accomplish teaching Tsukasa her people are not the stereotypes perpetuated, but she is no San and her character in the play doesn't demonstrate the same amount of depth. Again, makes sense -- it's a play for children in a rhythm where they truncated it to 5 minutes in a single chapter.
But most importantly, stop going on emotional rampages without factual evidence. If you want to go on your soapbox, make sure you're in the right or you may be harming the people that you purported to defend. Not everyone is in agrees or not because they’re “indigenous,” but we really needed to look into this story pragmatically as to why it could be a problem, and how to prevent this misinformation in the future. Because I feel it’s just a giant misunderstanding, and people’s vitriol or unthinking acceptance on SNS led to this spiraling out of control.
ALSO WATCH PRINCESS MONONOKE ALREADY!!!! I love this movie a whole lot, it's why I wrote this post.
Edit 1: The phrases in quotes are not my own words, the lingo was borrowed from this event (whatever was translated from JP) and does not constitute my own opinion. If you call indigenous people savages, you need help.
Except the phrase cowboy hat, that was from my friend. It's not a cowboy hat, it's a steampunk abomination.
Edit 2: And also stop referring to indigenous people as one homogeneous culture smoothie. This was actually the thing that irked me the most. Doesn't anyone see how dangerous it is to refer to all these cultures as one, when they are so uniquely different? Each population has their own stories, their own aesthetic, their own traditions, and even their own languages. Take the time to learn about them, appreciate them. Not to just smother them out of existence to support your ego and to feel right. :/ (Like, have you seen the traditional Ainu clothes? Actually gorgeous.)
And stop this American-centric view, not all indigenous people are the same, not all experience similar things, and having one entirely different group speak primarily for another is not right. We need input from actual Japanese indigenous people as well. I do, however, think having viewpoints from other indigenous groups do matter -- and I very much appreciate the input they've provided so far -- but we should prioritize the group that's being affected primarily. It's accidentally drowning out their voices. Native Americans and the Ainu are vastly different populations of people. Again, I see "indigenous Twitter" (and people that I know in real-life) being split on this subject (and it also doesn't help when they also don't know Princess Mononoke). Why? Cause each person has different experiences and different understandings. And the outfits are primarily borrowed from the movie.
Yet I STILL have not seen consensus from any Ainu people (the Emishi people are extinct). While the populations have gone through similar atrocities, they are completely different cultures. We need to stop referring indigenous people as just a collective hodge-podge of cultures, but as individual identities. We might be accidentally referring to something as problematic when, in fact, it's just a part of a different culture. Like in this case, believing it's based on Pocahontas and not Princess Mononoke is erasure. It's accidentally erasing actual Japanese indigenous people from the discussion. And also from...existence. I've been thinking about this a lot in the past few days. I would love to know if it is actually problematic from the Ainu people, because I simply do not know nor do I want to speak for them.
While I'm in the belief it's mostly inoffensive, I can see how some portions of the event could be seen as harmful by being based on negative biases of indigenous people as a whole. However I do believe the "forest-dwellers"/indigenous people are being portrayed here in a mostly positive light (sans some phrases) as to mimic the themes in Princess Mononoke (and again, actual indigenous people like these themes). And by using terminology expressively used in the film without the same context, to show a similar anti-stereotyping sentiment, does not provide the same impact and understanding.
Edit 3: Yikes, I would love to sleep right now but I had to re-watch chapter 2 just in case. I kept seeing snarky comments about the plot being about “colonizers” so I had to quadruple-check the story just in case I missed anything. ->
Okay. I was slightly wrong with some things, and I am not afraid to admit it. There was one instance each of the words “barbarians” and “savages.” HOWEVER, I am now thinking the "forest dwellers" don't even represent a specific group of indigenous people but most likely alludes to the Emishi, the Ainu, and the Asaro Mudmen. Like San, they are humans that prefer ties with nature rather than having technology dilute it. Two groups of people with different ways of living could appreciate one another and live in harmony. Neither group's lifestyle ended up being the correct one.
>>> When the cards depict scenes, outfits from Princess Mononoke, even when there's barely any influence from a specific real-life indigenous group or from the only proven representation of indigenous people (Ashitaka), it's hinted at when Rui's character mentioned to massacre the "forest-dwellers." And when the story ends with the "forest-dwellers" being wronged all along, it again shows multiple plot similarities from the movie. Miyazaki, during the time of the movie, was also a staunch environmentalist. The plot shows partly the egregious atrocities done to indigenous people by colonizers, especially with Ashitaka’s story, but the event does not show this exact story provided by Princess Mononoke. It's a story meant for children. The topics discussed in the film were handled with more maturity, but the event is entirely a simplified retelling of the movie with steampunk aesthetics. There are no other direct comparisons to other cultures that could be made without corroborated proof.>>> Yet I will note indigenous groups around the world may have suffered similar atrocities and these themes could remind them of this. But these themes were not racist, in fact very much anti-racist. Unbelievably so. Princess Mononoke took the leap to tackle an extremely controversial topic, especially in 1997, and the film was widely successful. The fallacies being spread online are inadvertently being destructive to the cultural impact of this film, smearing its name.
I will, however, say this: is the story still based on the original intention of the film? And why do Emu and Nene have to be “forest dwellers” when all other connections to indigenous culture have been gutted, leaving San whose outfit fits in a hodgepodge of indigenous cultures? I am a bit under the assumption that the pro-environmentalism themes of the movie has more precedence in Japan than the anti-colonialism message seen here in the West. Two themes entangled in one another so deeply, yet appreciated in different capacities.
So could the event handle this subject more maturely? Yes. Is it Princess Mononoke’s plot for babies? Also yes.
And San was raised by wolves, so I don't know, maybe this is more likely to be offensive to people raised by wolves?
Let me know if I missed anything!
------------------------ If you're going to read anything, Twitter friends --------------------
Apologies for my "boring-ass essay," but if people want to make radical opinions (either completely denying the event is not racist or declaring the event is incredibly racist), you better back up your claims. And the problem is, this is such a complicated situation. And in light of recent news with RMD's cancellation, I do think these radicalized opinions are doing more harm than good. It leads to a slippery slope where people might "cancel" things that were completely innocence in the first place -- or even canceling a culture's own culture for the sake of "protecting" that culture -- or even completely denying instances of racism/xenophobia/etc. when they do happen. Could the RMD event be seen as problematic? Definitely! But the event is also a homage to a film, and the cards really do show this. The issue is Wonderlands Showtime's adaptation doesn’t match the original intent of the movie. The language usage of chapter 2 can be seen as harsh and derogatory, but the language itself could be modified to change this. There are so many different avenues that could've resolved this issue, rather than canceling it. It just feels a bit like a cop-out on Sega's part, especially since if it is extremely problematic, why does the event still exist on JP? It's because it's 99.9% a homage to Princess Mononoke, and they know that. They changed the Leo/Need short because it was truly a problem, but here people are interpreting the intention of this event out of control.
So let's mull on a few questions: Why did the cancellation occur? What could have been done to prevent this? Why did things spiral out of control? How could the developers and the majority of their player base communicate with each other in a more clear manner?
And reminder, I am 50/50 on this. I see both sides of the debate, but we didn't get both sides, we just got drowned out voices -- snuffing out the indigenous voices Twitter was trying to defend and from Japanese people whose culture just got erased from a global presence. If you don't see what's wrong here, you really need to take a deep breath, step back, and look at the entire situation. This decision is probably permanent -- an impact that could lead to the possible zealous sanitization of cultural appreciation in games.
Also please stop sending literal death threats to the devs, yikes. There are real people with real emotions behind the screen of anominity. Also I'm not indigenous, but I am apart of a marginalized people -- people that were slaughtered for decades. Why am I bringing this up now? Cause some stupid kids said I shouldn't speak on a subject due to the fact I'm not from a marginalized group. Why I didn't bring it up in the first place? It's cause the EVENT CAN BE SEEN DEROGATORY TO SPECIFIC GROUPS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, THEREFORE I USED TALKING POINTS FROM REAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. Me talking about MY culture -- not related to indigenous groups -- will only dilute the discussion further.
My input was primarily all research and fact-checking :)
Okay, I think I got everything. I'm done updating this damn monstrosity. I need to work on my actual thesis than this headache. Goes to show how actually complex this entire issue is, yeesh. It's not just Princess Mononoke, it's not just racism, it's the consequences of a plot shifting tone and being watered-down for a fictional children's play when the developers wanted to create a homage to a movie with themes extremely complicated and well thought-out.
But if you're going to make aggressive, and possibly hurtful statements, that it's racist while cherry-picking a selection of images without knowing the whole context, blasting on SNS without understanding the repercussions, I want to remind you all how easy it is to jump to conclusions without being educated about a subject thoroughly. The manga Golden Kamuy depicts several Ainu people throughout its story, and some women happen to have large dark lip tattoos. People immediately jumped to the conclusion it was blackface, when it's actually a tradition of the Ainu people -- a tradition that has lasted for hundreds, possible thousands, of years for Ainu women.
I wanted this to serve as an educational measure for SNS users (even Reddit) that you simply cannot shovel these anthropological issues into neat, little boxes when you don't source any of your claims. Really, where are the sources? You can't just use your own experience to speak for an entire population. It's frankly narcissistic, and also terrible academia. It's different when a collective group of the same people directly affected by the issue speaks up, together. But opinions are ALL over the place here, so we can't just pick and choose. We have to find a logical foundation to support these irregularities in the discussion. All of these arguments begin on the belief it is one way or another, and build their positions from there. It's not healthy. It supports radicalized thought, rampant misinformation, and eliminates discussion on a platform meant for it.
(omg reddit mobile is such a pain, I had to fix the post structure again for this last edit yikes)
Have a nice day people!
Very very last edit (cause people think I really love pixels): I wrote this post as I really, really, really, really, really love Princess Mononoke even though Wonderlands Showtime is my least favorite group and I forgot this event even existed. Yeah you heard me, MMJ and VBS supremacy all the way baby (Niigo close to my heart as well). But don't you dare tell lies about Princess Mononoke!!!! >:(
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