The repercussions of the missile attack at Kremenchuk have caused a reaction at the G7 summit. While the governmental leaders present have renewed pledges to help the Zelensky regime, that regime itself has bitten the hand that is feeding it, criticizing the amount and speed of resupply.
The latest reports are that the Kiev regime is finding it hard to resupply units armed with Soviet artillery, mainly because the stocks of suitable ammunition in Ukraine itself are running low, and because the only other substantial stocks are held by Russia and by ex-Soviet republics unwilling to anger, too much, the Russian Government.
NATO uses artillery ammunition of calibres unsuitable for use in Soviet-era artillery pieces.
Even if more NATO artillery is sent to Ukraine, together with NATO or NATO-compatible ammunition, the bulk of Ukraine’s artillery would by then be unusable for lack of suitable Soviet-type ammunition.
If Kiev-regime sources are to be believed, at present the Russians have an artillery advantage, numerically, of at least 10:1, possibly 15:1. When is added to that the fact that much of the Russian artillery has a reach further than that of the Ukrainians, the advantage is naturally even greater.
In relation to infantry, the Russians do not seem to be using it much, not on a wide scale; only for urban fighting. As for the Ukrainians, their infantry seems to be mainly dug-in, in urban areas where the Russian advantage in artillery and missiles is lessened in effect.
In any case, the Kiev-regime forces appear not to be very mobile, because of (speculating) fuel shortages and/or fear of artillery or air attack in open country.
Another feature of this war is the relative absence of air battles and even bombing. The Russians lost a great deal of air power, especially helicopters, in the early weeks, to Ukrainian missiles. The Russians seem now to be cautious in their use of air.
As to the air force of the Ukrainians, I have seen or read little of it. Presumably under hardened bunkers in the west of the country.
The Kremenchuk attack is unlikely to have been accidental, or a mistake. It made the point to the G7 leaders that Russia is raising the stakes. As I blogged yesterday, the attack is saying to the G7 and to the civilians along the Dnieper, in the cities of Zaporozhye, Dnipro, Kremenchuk and, yes, Kiev as well, that “we are coming“.
The G7 leaders must be acutely aware of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, no matter that some of it might not work. Even a single nuclear missile on London, Washington, New York or wherever would undo a lot of well-laid plans. In the UK, it would mean, very likely, the end of the country as a major military and economic power.
What a time in which to have an idiot such as “Boris” at the head of affairs.
The same was true from 2010, when Conservative Party voters —mostly elderly houseowners in the UK, esp. the south of England— in effect declared war on those who were not houseowners and/or were unemployed and/or disabled and/or poor generally.
That was not merely a difference of political opinion, it was (for the victims) a case of being subjected to a legalized form of bullying and harassment which amounted to attack.
Can you imagine? A great city such as Chicago (once touted as potential capital of the USA) being “governed” by a ridiculous monkey of that sort…
An assertion which may be true but was not, I think, on TV or in the Western msm generally (I have not seen any TV news recently).
Small children in St. Albans being fed evil (though posing as good) propaganda by migrant-invaders. Who or what, though, might be (((behind))) those invaders? What (((influence))) is organizing it all?
“All bridges to the embattled Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk have now been destroyed, the local governor says.
With the city effectively cut off, Serhiy Haidai says delivering supplies and evacuating civilians are now impossible.
“Reports suggest that about 70% of the city is now under Russian control.“
The Russians will eventually control at least a third, maybe a half, of that part of Ukraine that lies east of the Dnieper river. If so, it will have been a victory bought at a tremendous cost in human and animal suffering and death. Few if any (on any side of the conflict) will be untroubled by what has happened. It could have been accomplished quicker, and in a far less brutal way. Too late now. The Russians have no choice but to continue to the bitter end.
On the above premises, it may be possible for Russian forces to take (or besiege, until surrender) Kharkov, Zaporozhye, and Dnipro. That would leave the Kiev regime ruling over only Kiev itself, Odessa, and Lvov, together with mainly rural western Ukraine.
What happens when a part-Jew clown and poseur lies and cheats and blags his unmerited way into the office of Prime Minister? What do you get? That’s right— a circus.
Britain 2022: imprisoned for a joke (in this case about a black who was never even in the UK), or for speaking in Whitehall to the effect that Britain should be cleansed of Jews (Jez Turner), or for lampooning Jewish behaviour in funny songs and animations (Alison Chabloz).
Meanwhile, serious real crimes are commonly dealt with by way of non-custodial sentences, or even by formal police caution.
Mad. The country is just going mad. Fast.
Seems that the USA is even more mad than the UK.
Eventually a complete purge of the West and East will be necessary.
This (read that report) is a trend that has been going on for 2-3 decades now. I could recount numerous examples from my own experience. One of the least egregious would be that involving a pupil in my own chambers in Exeter (in the early/mid 1990s, I was practising in London, but after working and living in various places overseas from 1996-2002, returned to the practising Bar in SW England in mid-2002).
The pupil to whom I refer (and who shall be nameless, partly out of courtesy but equally because I have actually forgotten her name), was from Northern Ireland.
Now I have to say that I find the Northern Irish accent one of the most difficult in the UK to understand easily but, in addition to that, the girl in question had a pretty bad speech impediment.
You might ask why on Earth someone with a bad speech impediment wanted to go to the Bar in the first place, or was not sidetracked into other career options at an earlier stage, but there it is. Of course, not all barristers spend much of their time in court.
Now, said girl pupil was, like many Bar pupils, far more obliging and pleasant when a pupil (and no doubt trying to get along pleasantly with members of chambers) than she was once taken on as a tenant or —as I think she was, cannot now recall exactly— squatter (a quasi-tenant but with no rights of tenure). I myself only saw her in passing, really, but did note that, once she was actually working as barrister, she seemed rather abrasive, judging admittedly by the very few times I saw her at (though not in) court. I never had any trouble with her myself, and in fact saw little of her.
Now the interesting thing was that not only did chambers (notably in the person of the main Clerk to Chambers) champion that young woman, but claimed that instructing solicitors loved her. Well, maybe. Seems strange to me that someone with both a speech impediment and an accent that was more like a gargle could be at the English Bar doing court work, but there we are.
I harbour a suspicion that people tend to bend over backwards to be nice, so to speak, to the physically-disabled, as many do also to some of the ethnic minorities. That is fine as far as it goes, but not when it amounts to a kind of lie.
Incidentally, I seem to remember that the person noted above returned, in the end, to her native Ulster, and maybe left the practising Bar.
Digressing further, I happened, out of curiosity today, to look at the website of the successor chambers to the one to which I belonged in Exeter from 2002-2008 (and which, an amalgam of two or three sets, is now the largest in the South West outside Bristol). I saw that several people that I liked are still there, and I saw that not only (as I knew already) is my old head of chambers now “His Honour” (a Circuit Judge) but that someone else I knew in chambers, a former magistrates’ clerk, with an encylopaedic knowledge of some aspects of (in particular) criminal law, is now also “His Honour”. Unless it is just someone with an identical name, but I think not.
That last was a nice little man, very polite and pleasant, who wore his considerable knowledge lightly. I seem to recall that he had written a well-received book on sentencing. Glad to see that his knowledge and diligence has been rewarded.
I was amused to see that two people who had rather more than a spat in chambers are now both members of that set. I liked both of them. One was a then-young man who was very eager to progress chambers (my wife called him a “Young Turk” for his enthusiastic diligence, but in these dumbed-down times, I suppose I shall have to explain that he was not a real Turk!). He was married to a pretty young woman whom I believe I met once at some chambers reception or other.
The other barrister, also young, was an ex-solicitor whose grandfather had founded one of the largest firms of solicitors in the South West. A very pleasant person.
Those people, with others in chambers, used to go shooting together, an activity of which I thoroughly disapproved. I disapprove of all hurt done to animals, particularly for sport or “fun”. I even disapprove of shooting humans, under most circumstances. Ironically, most of those I liked best in chambers were the shooters.
Anyway, one day, those two members of chambers were out shooting when a pheasant fell onto the head of the wife of the “Young Turk” and knocked her out in the field. Whether that preceded or not the affair that she apparently had with the other young barrister, I know not. It later transpired that, after much bad blood, I was the only member of chambers to be unaware of the feud that ensued, my mind being occupied by other matters (or as my wife would say, “in the clouds”) and, also, the fact that I was, by then, only spending half the month in the UK, the rest in France and some other countries.
I suppose that the two former antagonists have either buried the hatchet or (and/or) come to the realistic conclusion that that set is more or less “the only game in town” (in Exeter) now. Time heals all wounds, they say (though I remain doubtful of that, speaking generally). The events in question were after all some 15 or 16 years ago now.
“and no need to mention the War (I mean ‘the vaccines‘)”…
A pretty good writer, in my opinion, with an easy-reading style (judging by the few books of his that I have read).
More tweets seen
Interesting analysis, and I can agree with much of it, though I do not accept that neurotic bighead, Gordon Brown’s, bailout of the bank swine was right at all— better to have let them go bust, imprison the wealthy bankers, then step in to help those with say £200,000 or less on deposit; and let the affluent and wealthy go smoke.
I agree that the “austerity” nonsense of the part-Jews David Cameron-Levita and George Osborne was disastrous, causing misery to millions without in any way dealing with the real problems of the financial sector and “national debt”.
Even now, only —at most— about 10% of people in the UK have any idea what really lies behind the “Covid” scare of the past nearly 2 years.
Sometimes, the word “vulgarity” is just insufficiently hard-hitting; Gorky could have made something of this, thinking of his essay City of the Yellow Devil.
So that it can be presented as a “we’re all in this together” fake “community” campaign, rather than an outrider of the coming biosecurity police state.
The “controlled opposition” quasi-msm. As to “Omicron”, the State is trying to whip up panic again. So far, over 200,000 “cases” (test results) in the UK, but not one fatality (the “Boris” lie-machine says that there has been one; one out of two hundred thousand…).
The Jew-Zionist lobby was promoting Maajid Nawaz for years, but now that he demonstrates some independence of thought, and is no longer under (((control))), he has become an “extremist”, just like, and inter alia, David Icke….and me.
All the Jews (the prominent ones) on Twitter are gathering in a pack, a “claque” if you like, and as they often do, to demand that LBC radio sack him. (((Typical))).
The news that a piece of “digital art”, or electronic art, has been sold at auction for USD $69 million was puzzling. Apparently, such art can be copied for free, without any cost at all.
In other words, the $69,000,000 art can be replicated and used effectively without cost. This is not quite the same, or goes beyond, having a paper or other copy of, say, the Mona Lisa. Any copy of the Mona Lisa is probably subtly different from the real one, whereas (according to BBC Today Programme) the copy of the piece of “digital art” will be exactly the same as the original.
It seems that what is auctioned is not the digital art alone but the art plus an electronic key to the original, which allows the owner of that original to access the blockchain for it, blockchain being defined as follows:
“Blockchain is most simply defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger technology that records the provenance of a digital asset“; or
“In the simplest terms, Blockchain can be described as a data structure that holds transactional records and while ensuring security, transparency, and decentralization. You can also think of it as a chain or records stored in the forms of blocks which are controlled by no single authority” [and see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain].
In other words, what the purchaser has bought for his $69 million US dollars is the right to change the electronic artwork, just as the owner of the Mona Lisa or other material art has the legal right to add a moustache to the subject, or to take up an axe and chop it to pieces.
In fact, thinking about it, presumably the artwork, if copied by a third party for free, can also be changed for free (though not the accepted “original”). That means that the $69 million US dollars is buying only the notional ownership and nothing else.
The auction of of the $69 million artwork challenges our concept of value. To me, buying “digital art” for more than pennies is completely stupid, but I concede, if it is a concession, that paying out 69 million dollars for any artwork is absurd, even if that artwork were the (original) Mona Lisa or, say (a favourite of mine), Man in Armour by Rembrandt (believed by some to be a representation of Christian Rosenkreutz, said to have been modelled by Titus, son of Rembrandt).
Bitcoin can be sold back, i.e. cashed in, though its real world use is limited. “Digital art” can be sold on as well, if the owner of the art, i.e. holder of the blockchain key, can find a purchaser (in my opinion, mug) willing to take it on.
In my first blog post about Bitcoin, I examined money. Why do we value tokens of monetary value such as banknotes? It all comes down to confidence.
In the end, does Bitcoin have less “legitimacy” or “value” than paper banknotes, or electronic entries on the ledgers of known banks? Maybe not, but that is perhaps less a validation of Bitcoin than a criticism of what we call “money value”.
Has capitalism reached, with the auction of digital art (and, arguende, with the sale of “real” art for sometimes hundreds of millions), a stage of decadent absurdity which may be a predictor of worldwide economic and social collapse? For me, the crazed heights at auction (of both types of art) are a sign of poor judgment as much as anything.
It does make me wonder what kind of person would rather have a piece of digital art than USD $69 million! Does that make me a Philistine, or just not a mug?
Is there a case for artworks of designated importance, of more than a certain age (100 years plus?), and valued at more than a designated level, being held and owned only by specified museums and galleries around the world? It’s a idea (of my own), anyway, though of course that would not stop speculation in artworks of younger age (and we have seen works by many quite recent artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, even Damien Hirst, go for huge amounts). Neither, of course, would such regulation stop speculation in digital art, not for decades to come, anyway.
For me, this latest art speculation is a societal warning flag.
The odd logic of tweeter “@MenziesBj” reminds me of the similar thinking of not a few instructing solicitors when I was at the practising Bar. There is a phrase in use among barristers, “solicitors go elsewhere“, reflective of the fact that instructing solicitors often stop instructing particular Counsel for no obvious reason.
You would imagine that, if as a barrister you do well in a case, then the solicitor who instructed you would instruct you again, and if you did not do well, would not instruct you again. In fact, while that sometimes does happen, often the reverse is true. No-one knows why.
Barristers are, especially when not in the very top sets, very dependent on their own relationship with solicitors. I was once slightly acquainted with one barrister, in a friend’s chambers, who had a very good practice despite (my impression) being not particularly intelligent. 90% of his work (25 years ago) came from one solicitor (not even one firm, but one individual solicitor in one firm).
One fine day, as Kafka put it in The Trial, that solicitor stopped instructing him; according to that barrister, for no obvious reason. Result? A serious problem for the barrister, obviously. 90% of work gone means about 90% of income gone.
That (nameless) barrister was one of those men who combine a relentlessly politically-correct attitude with a certain amount of sex-pestery, as my friend in his then chambers had mentioned to me. Many years later, one of his pupils, a young woman, made an official complaint about him. I do not know all the details, but he was fined £4,000, and may have been lucky not to have been dealt with more severely.
A personal nexus between a solicitor and a barrister, though inherently precarious, can work in favour of a barrister. I knew another barrister, though not well, who was a member of another friend’s chambers. The former had a friend from university who had become a salaried lawyer in a large organization. That employed lawyer directed work to the barrister. In one year, such work totalled, in fees, some £600,000! That was nearly 30 years ago!
Not quite as good as winning the lottery (or being born into a fortune), but almost.
I remember seeing that pub in the 1980s, when travelling down the Old Kent Road in Southwark. So now it is apparently a restaurant?Vietnamese, not Chinese, according to the Internet. Sign of the times.
That Forest Hill (South London) street scene from ?1900 looks far better than the same scene today (or when I last saw it, about 35 years ago).
“Heather Burns, policy manager for the digital rights organisation Open Rights Group, said: ‘It’s needles in haystacks, and this is collecting the entire haystack.
‘We should have the right to not have every single click of what we do online hoovered up into a surveillance net on the assumption that there might be criminal activity taking place.’
Privacy International’s advocacy director, Edin Omanovic, echoed a similar sentiment and said: ‘Make no mistake, as warned, the Investigatory Powers Act (2016) gives authorities across the UK some of the most far-reaching and draconian surveillance powers found anywhere in the world.
‘When the Bill was proposed, we were promised the most transparent surveillance regime in the world. Yet, here we have a secret experiment where two secret internet companies have reportedly been collecting internet browsing data about individuals’ online activities.” [Daily Mail]
I missed this latest piece of crazed nonsense, which was being reported upon yesterday, it seems.
So she was an office bod for a number of years, became a mature student and then studied carbonized plant remains for a decade…oh, and she was a member of the pathetic London Assembly for 4 years, and failed to become an MP twice (in different London constituencies, coming 4th in both elections, getting 6.5% of the vote in one, then 2.9% in the other). She also tried to become Mayor of London, but only received about 4% of the overall vote.
Not a stellar political record, but hey!…this is the UK, where serial failure is rewarded so long as the idiot is “anti-racist” and/or (stand up, Boris-idiot!) pro-Israel. So she was elevated to the House of Lords!
Sometimes, I think that this country is terminally screwed.
Her previous utterances? Let’s see…”She was outspoken about numerous issues including what she called mayor Boris Johnson‘s demonisation of youth through the use of “baseless” rhetoric on “soaring gang-membership and rising knife-crime”, suggesting the mayor created an unhelpful climate of fear. ” [Wikipedia].
As for her curfew idea…look at her!
Jesus H. Christ! If I saw that walking towards me after dark, I would go home at once, lock and bolt my door, and impose a curfew on myself!
Late tweets seen
A nice-seeming young woman having her dreams crushed by the usual Jew-Zionist “claque” and clique, aided and abetted by their “antifa” idiot-serfs.
British social-national revolution! We know in our hearts what has to happen.
Novichuk would be cheaper.
“Feminazis” is a silly term, but his main point is right.
Who would have thought it? Robin Hood filmed by an American Jewess closely connected with the American Communist Party?
Even I am amazed that the contamination of (in) UK-based TV was so blatant as long ago as 1956.
Maybe the theme song was a clue, using the Scottish word “glen” for a location in England. I noted also, today, that the Script Supervisor was one “Ruben”…
From 1939. When I set foot on the Charles Bridge, in 1988, there were even fewer people than in that 1939 photograph.
It occurs to me, not for the first time, that a major difference between the UK and most of Europe is that, by reason of the Second World War and other upheavals, those other countries have had to look at and revalue their societies and institutions in a way that Britain has not. Not to anything like the same extent. Which is perhaps why Britain has institutions of various sorts that really are running on empty, that are just shells, without much real substance.
What do I mean by the above? Look at, inter alia, Parliament (the Commons and, even more so, the House of Lords), the Monarchy, the FPTP voting system, the Bar, the overall educational system, and the devalued Honours system.
It's happening everywhere lots of coastal areas are becoming 'enriched' I've heard that even near where I grew up which was very rural the surrounding areas are becoming more diversified with each passing year. Just look at the schools!
Transpiscine? This is a clear indicator of lockdown neurosis.. sufferers often exhibit symptoms transient leftosis or 'wokeness' and display a range of abnormal behaviours including a hatred of truth, embracing insanity, rejection of wholesomeness and a hatred of white people😉🤍
The path (part of the now-called “Thames Path”) by the River Thames between Pangbourne and Goring, an area I myself know well, both in a childhood of the early/mid 1960s and early 1970s, and later, when I walked that same path in 1998. It was pretty overgrown in places at that time.
An area of England that has not changed much, superficially, in the past decades.
After that, Farming Today had an interview with a farmer who, starting several years ago, realized that his arable farm, farmed using modern chemicals etc, was losing all soil vitality. As a result, he has turned more to the once-common, but now rather rare, mixed farm model (decried by industrial farmers as inefficient).
Wise move. Rudolf Steiner said that the best model for farming was the mixed farm. Long term view, not short term. Environmentally-friendly.
I think that 1 Bitcoin was valued around £10,000 at time of blogging. Between then and now, the price has varied between about £2,600 at lowest and today’s recordbreaking peak.
As of today, 20th February 2021, 1 Bitcoin is valued at not far short of £40,000!
I expected a Bitcoin crash three years ago. Never happened, though the value did plummet before recovering and climbing further. Now, though, a crash is surely (?) inevitable.
I notice that Alison Chabloz accepts Bitcoin donations; I hope that she got some before the price rocketed, and still has them. If so, she may have a windfall. https://alisonchabloz.com/how-to-donate/.
Strange to think that an early investor or speculator in Bitcoin, who might have bought 100 Bitcoin for as little as £200 in 2011 (or only £20 at start of trading in early 2011, i.e. at about 20p each), would now be sitting on £4 million.
On the other hand, any value held in Bitcoin is like value held in chips at a casino. Until cashed in, they are only of notional value. The man or woman who bought 100 Bitcoin for £20 or £200 in 2011, and who is now sitting on £4M, may soon be sitting on £40M, or £400,000, or £4,000, or 4p…
I suppose that anyone who is in the fortunate position of owning £4M in Bitcoin today would be well advised to buy a decent country house for £2M or £3M and retain the rest in Bitcoin while the price travels ever(?) higher.
There will be a crash in the end. This is fool’s gold spun out of straw.
Worrying for sure that so many young British people are so brainwashed, but not an unexpected piece of news. After all, that is what the System aimed at and is aiming at, namely an unthinking, easily manipulated, cultureless, and eventually raceless population. The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan. White Genocide.
This is happening widely. My own mother-in-law, aged about 95, was recently in hospital with a non-Covid problem. After about 2-3 weeks in hospital, her routine test was positive. She had, like so many, picked up “the virus” in hospital. She had no (and never developed any) symptoms at all (and is now back at her home), but had she died in hospital from her pre-existing problem, she would have been marked down as having died “with Coronavirus” or “within 28 days of having had a positive Coronavirus test”.
This is abuse of statistics (and hoodwinking of the public) taken to an absurd level.
I have recently blogged, though only briefly, about my experiences of Prague in 1988 and 1999.
Well, this week I scored the same poor score as John Rentoul (4/10). I only knew the answers to questions 1, 2, 7, and 9 (and hit the post on number 4, being out about 2 inches).
I am not an economist; neither am I, at least in terms of occupation and/or formal training, an historian. I say that from the outset simply because it may be objected that, especially in terms of economics, I have no intellectual locus standi, despite the fact that most predictions made by economists turn out to be inaccurate. Also, “two economists, three opinions”…
So, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was invented in 2008, possibly in Japan, by someone (or a group) whose provenance and even real name or names remain unknown:
Money is an almost metaphysical thing. Different societies have used seashells, precious metals etc as money, the key characteristic being the relative rarity of the commodity used. In China (in the 7th Century under the Tang dynasty), paper currency was invented, and later more widely introduced in the 11th Century (Song Dynasty), where it was encountered by Marco Polo and others, who introduced the idea to Europe.
Paper currency was, at first and for a long time, backed or notionally backed by precious metals, notably gold. Paper money only became generally acceptable in Europe a thousand years after its invention in China. The natural scepticism of the people was overcome both by its convenience and by its credibility, that credibility not only bolstered by its supposed convertability into gold or silver but also by the draconian penalties visited upon those who counterfeited the notes.
These factors underpin all money, credibility or popular belief in its value being the core.
One could go wider and say that credibility and belief underpin all valuation of assets, whether money assets, real property or other property in which the population is impelled to invest. Time and again there have been speculative bubbles: in currencies, in shares, in housing, in undeveloped land, in metals and even in such things as tulip bulbs (17thC Holland).
A good history of these bubbles and other mass events of the sort was penned in 1841 after the South Sea Bubble and was reprinted after the Wall Street Crash of 1929: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (and reprinted since, eg in the early 1980s)..
and also many and various real property bubbles across the world.
Bitcoin Goes Viral
At first, back in 2008, Bitcoin was valueless, worth nothing at all. It was just electrical impulses on a machine, effectively. It was still of small value three years later:
“The price of bitcoins has gone through various cycles of appreciation and depreciation referred to by some as bubbles and busts. In 2011, the value of one bitcoin rapidly rose from about US$0.30 to US$32 before returning to US$2. In the latter half of 2012 and during the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis, the bitcoin price began to rise,reaching a high of US$266 on 10 April 2013, before crashing to around US$50. On 29 November 2013, the cost of one bitcoin rose to a peak of US$1,242. In 2014, the price fell sharply, and as of April remained depressed at little more than half 2013 prices. As of August 2014 it was under US$600.” [Wikipedia]
“Ponzi scheme and pyramid scheme concerns
Various journalists, economists, and the central bank of Estonia have voiced concerns that bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. In 2013, Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, stated that “a real Ponzi scheme takes fraud; bitcoin, by contrast, seems more like a collective delusion.” A 2014 report by the World Bank concluded that bitcoin was not a ‘deliberate’ Ponzi scheme, but that it did thus far meet the “standard definition of a speculative bubble”.:7 The Swiss Federal Council:21 examined the concerns that bitcoin might be a pyramid scheme; it concluded that “Since in the case of bitcoin the typical promises of profits are lacking, it cannot be assumed that bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.” In July 2017, billionaire Howard Marks referred to bitcoin as a pyramid scheme.
On 12 September 2017, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, called bitcoin a “fraud” and said he would fire anyone in his firm caught trading it. Zero Hedge claimed that the same day Dimon made his statement, JP Morgan also purchased a large amount of bitcoins for its clients.
Speculative bubble dispute
Bitcoin has been labelled a speculative bubble by many including former Fed ChairmanAlan Greenspan and economist John Quiggin.Nobel Memorial Prize laureate Robert Shiller said that bitcoin “exhibited many of the characteristics of a speculative bubble”. Journalist Matthew Boesler in 2013 rejected the speculative bubble label and saw bitcoin’s quick rise in price as nothing more than normal economic forces at work. Timothy B. Lee, in a 2013 piece for The Washington Post pointed out that the observed cycles of appreciation and depreciation don’t correspond to the definition of speculative bubble. On 14 March 2014, the American business magnate Warren Buffett said, “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.”
Two lead software developers of bitcoin, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, have warned that bubbles may occur. David Andolfatto, a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, stated, “Is bitcoin a bubble? Yes, if bubble is defined as a liquidity premium.” According to Andolfatto, the price of bitcoin “consists purely of a bubble,” but he concedes that many assets “have bubble component to their price”.:21 Speculation in bitcoin has been compared to the tulip mania of seventeenth-century Holland. Comparisons have been made by the vice-president of the European Central Bank, Vítor Constâncio, by JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon, by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel, and by former president of the Dutch Central Bank, Nout Wellink. In 2013, Wellink remarked, “This is worse than the tulip mania […] At least then you got a tulip [at the end], now you get nothing.” On 13 September 2017, Jamie Dimon compared bitcoin to a bubble, saying it was only useful for drug dealers and countries like North Korea. On 22 September 2017, a hedge fund named Blockswater subsequently accused JP Morgan of market manipulation and filed a market abuse complaint with Financial Supervisory Authority (Sweden).
Bitcoin started to reach escape velocity in late 2016, going from hundreds of U.S. dollars to thousands. At time of writing (December 2017), a single Bitcoin is valued at over $14,000 [USD], or £10,500 [Pounds Sterling]. People who “invested” less than £100 several years ago have seen their stock suddenly rise to be “worth” as much as £100,000. Those who have risked more (in some cases a million pounds or more) now find themselves in theory able to buy small or even medium-size nation-states lock, stock and barrel.
What Do We Know About Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s origins are obscure, to the extent that journalists and others have researched, investigated and written about the names of possible founders and organizers without having come to a definite conclusion;
Bitcoin is almost useless as a popular currency: its explosion in “value” has made it unusable for any transaction not involving, at the least, tens of thousands of pounds;
Bitcoin, though supposedly limited in overall amount or number, has seen security breaches which, at the push of a button (putting it simply), have at least briefly increased the supply of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a classic speculative bubble or, alternatively and perhaps even better put, pyramid scheme. The people who got in early and stayed in are sitting on mirage-fortunes; those who have “invested” more recently will probably lose everything they put in. At the moment of writing, Bitcoin is probably nearing its peak. When it starts to fall rapidly, the panic will probably wipe it out entirely.
The surely inevitable collapse of Bitcoin will take down more than just Bitcoin itself. It may affect the stability of the economy more generally. Beyond that, if (as Bitcoin proponents and/or “investors” say–and their anger at any criticism is perhaps born of subconscious desperation), Bitcoin is as “credible” as any “ordinary” currency (and that is Bitcoin’s strongest point), then the upcoming crash of Bitcoin could take with it much public confidence in the value of the world’s major currencies too. Our major currencies are no longer backed by gold or silver and have only the value we put upon them. We exchange stones for bread. Our currencies are themselves castles in the air and “such things as dreams are made on”.
We recall the hyperinflation of early 1920s Germany, and I myself saw, on several visits to 1980s Poland, how the slide of the zloty affected that country politically and socially. The fate of Bitcoin is not just about Bitcoin.
At the time of writing of my own 2017 blog article, a single Bitcoin was “worth”, i.e, valued at, about £10,500 pounds sterling. At time of writing today, 1 Bitcoin is worth just over £2,853 pounds sterling, somewhat above a quarter of the former figure, and only about a sixth of the 2017 peak.
Update, 19 November 2020
I update my post purely because, in the uncertain conditions of 2020, I see that the article is receiving more hits. Sign of the times?
I have nothing to add to the article itself, but as of today, Bitcoin is trading at just under £13,398 (pound sterling) and at USD $17,730.
Update, 26 November 2020
Update, 20 February 2021
Radio 4 Today interviewed an expert in cryptocurrencies, who himself has made tens of millions of pounds from them. He expects a crash. I expected one three years ago. Never happened, though the value did plummet before recovering and climbing further.
As of today, 20th February 2021, 1 Bitcoin is valued at not far short of £40,000!
I notice that Alison Chabloz accepts Bitcoin donations; I hope that she got some before the price rocketed, and still has them. If so, she may have a windfall. https://alisonchabloz.com/how-to-donate/
Update, 8 September 2021
Today, Bitcoin recovered from USD $44,000 to USD $46,000 after having fallen from USD $52,500. An indication of the underlying volatility.
All the same, I am wondering whether, so far from being somehow “anti” the international money system, Bitcoin might not in reality be controlled by it…
Certainly, the genesis of Bitcoin has the feeling of “legend” (in either sense) about it (supposedly created by a Japanese whose identity has never been confirmed. Perhaps…).