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The Black Death Killed Feudalism. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Capitalism?

The Black Death Killed Feudalism. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Capitalism?

How will the coronavirus transform the relationship between state and market? A look at oil, food, and finance.

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You pay little attention to the systems of your body — circulatory, digestive, pulmonary — unless something goes wrong.

These automatic systems ordinarily go about their business, like unseen clockwork, while you think about a vexing problem at work, drink your morning cup of coffee, walk up and down stairs, and head out to your car to begin your morning commute. If you had to focus your attention on breathing, pushing blood through your veins, and metabolizing food, you’d have no time or energy to do anything else. The body abhors the micromanaging of the mind.

The same applies to the world’s markets. They whir away in the background of your life, providing loans to your business, coffee beans to your nearby supermarket, labor to build your house, gas to fill your car. You take all of these markets for granted. All you have to concern yourself with is earning enough money to gain access to these goods and services. That’s what it means to live in a modern economy. The days of hunting and gathering, of complete self-sufficiency, are long past.

And then, in a series of sickening shifts, the markets go haywire. As with a heart attack, you no longer can take the optimal performance of these systems for granted.

The coronavirus crisis has thrown the global economy into cardiac arrest, and now you are acutely aware of the very markets that you had previously just assumed would function as normal. The first indication was the precipitous drop in the stock market that took place in late February. Then, as the United States began to enter quarantine, the labor market collapsed and hundreds of millions of people were suddenly out of work. Shortages in a few key commodities — masks, ventilators, toilet paper — began to appear.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Xi Jinping will Save the World from Coronavirus

How Xi Jinping will Save the World from Coronavirus

In 1349, when Black Death was ravaging Europe, many of the day’s best and brightest banded together in pursuit of a common cure.  They had little choice.  Black Death was rapidly spreading across the continent.  Nothing could stop it.

Boils were lanced with precision.  Blood was let with vigor.  But there was no escape from the plague’s instant death.  It was efficient.  It was relentless.  People would go to bed at night perfectly healthy; by morning, they’d wake up perfectly dead.

Then, at the exact moment of maximum death and despair, flagellants came to the rescue.  Processions marched to and fro, seeking relief through forcefully whipping themselves in public displays of self-mutilation.  According to the History Channel:

“Some upper-class men joined processions of flagellants that traveled from town to town and engaged in public displays of penance and punishment: They would beat themselves and one another with heavy leather straps studded with sharp pieces of metal while the townspeople looked on. 

“For 33 1/2 days, the flagellants repeated this ritual three times a day. Then they would move on to the next town and begin the process over again.”

This may seem strange, weird, and, quite frankly, a bit nuts.  But something miraculous happened.  The Black Death epidemic soon exhausted itself.  The flagellants saved Europe from the mid-14th century onslaught of Black Death.

Or did they?

Probably Nothing, Possibly Everything

To be clear, flagellants had no influence on the eventual relenting of Black Death.  Remember, correlation does not imply causation.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc – “after this, therefore because of this” – or simply the post hoc fallacy, recognizes that just because one event happened to follow another, doesn’t mean the initial event caused the later event to occur.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Another Black Death on the Way?

IS ANOTHER BLACK DEATH ON THE WAY?

Plagues from the east are nothing new. The Black Death and other epidemics arrived in Europe from China during the 1300’s, killing a large percentage of its population. Much of this pestilence came from rats that stowed away on merchant ships coming from the east. 

At the end of World War I, another pandemic, wrongly called the Spanish flu, killed an estimated 18 to 50 million people in Europe and North America. 

Seventeen years after the SARS virus killed some 800 people in China and Canada and terrified the entire world, a new plague threatens the West: the Wuhan Coronavirus. 

Officially named 2019-nCoV, the new virus has so far infected over 800 people in China. This latest plague erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, population 11 million, which is located on the Yangtze River and is an important hub for national communications.

Like SARS, the Wuhan virus is believed to have come from a live animal market that specializes in exotic animals from the Himalayas or China’s remote mountain regions. Serving exotic animals at dinner parties is a big status symbol in China. Sometimes they are even served while still alive. Dog meat is a favorite in northern China.

SARS was believed to have come from civet cats. As a result, thousands of these creatures were brutally killed. But it was later determined the virus originated from bats, then spread to other captive animals. Bat soup is another Chinese delicacy.

Keeping large numbers of captive animals crammed together in cages with poor ventilation and no cleaning is an ideal vector for viral diseases. Each year, China consumes 730 million pigs. Fifty percent of China’s factory farmed pigs have so far contracted lethal swine flu. Rising living standards have boosted demand for pork.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why A Flu Outbreak In China Can Spook Global Markets

Why A Flu Outbreak In China Can Spook Global Markets

When people talk about empires of the past, they generally mean Rome and Britain. But the biggest and in some ways most interesting empire was built and run by the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries. At it’s peak it stretched from China to Eastern Europe, which is more territory than Rome ever controlled.

Across that expanse there was free trade and unrestricted movement of people via the original “Silk Road” network. For a while there was a single currency which was accepted everywhere. 

Genghis Khan — think of him as the Mongols’ (gleefully bloodthirsty) George Washington — organized his army along what we today would call colorblind lines. Instead of units based on clans and tribes, he mixed and matched soldiers of varied backgrounds and trained them to be loyal to one another regardless of origin. He also ordered his men to marry women from conquered cities, and to integrate into local cultures.

And he loved technology, collecting engineers and other people with useful skills from conquered lands and putting them to work developing new weapons and better agricultural practices.

“Pax Mongolica,” in short, had all the makings of a nascent modern system, hundreds of years before the Industrial Revolution. 

Then came the Black Death. 

Free movement of people allowed the disease to move quickly and uncontrollably. Local populations panicked and closed themselves off, frequently slaughtering their Mongol governors in the process. Trade collapsed, the Silk Road went dark and the Mongol empire expired. 

Now fast forward to today’s world, where virtually anyone can fly or drive to virtually any other country — and millions each year do so. Trade is a huge part of most major national economies. A handful of currencies are accepted pretty much everywhere, while locals mix with visitors in melting pot mega-cities of 20 million-plus inhabitants, all breathing the same air. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2019 is Breaking All Records for Cold – The Real Threat is a Global Freeze

2019 is Breaking All Records for Cold – The Real Threat is a Global Freeze 

QUESTION: Global cooling….you talk a lot about global cooling in the colder winter this year. But what effect does it have on the future summer temperatures and growing of crops?

GL

ANSWER: This type of climate change has the potential to be very profound. 2019 is already setting new records for cold and snowfall. In the center of the USA, the snowfall has risen to more than double that of 2000. There are many influences it has produced historically and the summer crop seasons grow shorter and dryer. Historically, this results in starvation in some areas but primarily malnutrition. That sets the stage for the rise of disease and plagues.

The Black Death was preceded by the Wolf Global Cooling where temperatures dropped by nearly 20% from the Medieval Warming period. As temperatures decline, the crop cycle shortens. In fact, so many people died during the 1300s that this brought an end to feudalism because there was a shortage of labor.

The Little Ice Age followed the Wolf Global Cooling. We can see that the price of wheat began to break out in 1545. Keep in mind that our model was created by pulling in everything we could get our hands on and correlating the entire world. When our model is showing Global Cooling and a pending bull market in the price of food, it is something rather important enough to put on the agenda. During the 1700s, even Thomas Jefferson and John Adams commented on how the ground froze to a depth of 2 feet. Nothing will grow under such conditions.

Officials Warn: Airborne Black Death Epidemic Could ‘Explode’

Officials Warn: Airborne Black Death Epidemic Could ‘Explode’

plague

The bubonic plague outbreak that is taking Madagascar to its knees will more than likely last another six months. But the worst news is that the epidemic could explode anytime unleashing the sickness on the globe.

At least 128 people have been killed and more than 1,300 infected by the deadlier pneumonic strain of the medieval disease. But the oncoming rainy season could see the number of those infected explode exponentially. The rainy season poses a threat to the containment of the plague because outbreaks of this magnitude often seem to be seasonal.

The Foreign Office recently warned that the deadly outbreak is entering its most dangerous phase. Its website said that “outbreaks of plague tend to be seasonal and occur mainly during the rainy season.” The African island’s wet season officially began today and will last until the end of April, meaning the downward trend the plague had seen over the past few days, will likely turn upward again.

Because the disease can be spread easily through a cough or sneeze, experts are fearful. It would take just one infected traveler who made it to Africa’s mainland or even nearby British honeymoon paradises like Mauritius, the Maldives or the Seychelles to spread the disease globally. The Seychelles is currently putting anyone traveling from Madagascar into quarantine on arrival as a precaution.

The outbreak has been fueled by performing the ancient practice of Famadihana. Famadihana is the “dancing with the dead” ritual which sees locals dig up deceased relatives and dance with them before they are reburied.  Just contact with a corpse who’s death was because they contracted the plague could sicken a person.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Plague is Starting in Africa

Panic has ensued in Madagascar where a recent outbreak of the plague has claimed the lives of at least 24 people. Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana has announced a ban on all public gatherings and demonstrations in effect until the outbreak can be contained.

The plague is a deadly disease caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. It usually begins as the bubonic plague, which is spread from small mammals (such as rats) and fleas to humans. If detected early, the bubonic plague can generally be treated and controlled with antibiotics and proper environmental measures. However, half of all reported cases in Madagascar are the pneumonic plague –- the deadliest form of the disease.

The pneumonic plague is transmitted person to person. Since this form of the plague is airborne, it spreads extremely rapidly and can have catastrophic consequences. Those who contract the pneumonic plague must be treated immediately as it can be fatal within less than 24 hours of onset.

Health officials in Madagascar are now rushing to identify anyone who has come into contact with those affected. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), those at risk will be treated with antibiotics and possibly quarantined.

Formerly known as the “Black Death,” this is the same plague that claimed the lives of 50 million Europeans during the Middle Ages. The disease first reached Europe in October 1347 and quickly turned into a contagion that destroyed nearly 1/3 of the population.

The Great “Fake News” Scare of 1530

Fake news has always been around for humor purposes, but the real “fake news” scares happen when the establishment is so used to getting away with lying, that any alternate narrative is demonized as factually false, irresponsible, and dangerous.

“The Onion” was next to “The Economist” in the newspaper stands for almost two decades. “Weekly World News”, which one-ups most British tabloids with regular Elvis sightings and vivid descriptions of two-mile fish orbiting in the rings of Jupiter, is still next to “Foreign Policy” in the same newspaper stands. This was never considered problematic in the slightest. Why, then, is a unified establishment screaming bloody murder about “fake news” all of a sudden?

To see the pattern here, it helps to know a little history – let’s look at the great “Fake News” scare of 1530. It has a lot of elements similar to ours today.

“The statements that make [established] people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. […] If Galileo had said that people in Padua were ten feet tall, he would have been regarded as a harmless eccentric. Saying the earth orbited the sun was another matter. The church knew this would set people thinking.” — Paul Graham

After the Black Death hit Europe hard around 1350, the monasteries were chronically short on manpower. The families that had used to send a child or two to become monks or nuns simply needed all their kids to work in the fields, to ensure food production, before such luxuries as manning the monasteries could even be considered. Therefore, any work that required involving monasteries became increasingly steep or scarce for the coming century.

This is relevant as those monasteries were the only places that produced books, all of which were in Latin, and all of which were in complete synchronization with the messages of the Catholic Church, the owner of the monasteries and therefore the owner of all mass media at the time.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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