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The 2020s FOMO Into Russian Tech
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You missed the Big Tech explosion because you didn’t understand what de facto monopolies wedded to economies of scale can do. You have been deplatformed by Zuck and @jack for being a racist and a white supremacist, and you don’t even have their stonks for consolation. You didn’t hop aboard the Tesla train because you thought it was going to zero. You didn’t buy and hodl Bitcoin in 2013, Ethereum in 2017, or Chainlink in 2019. You kept your savings as certificates of deposit. You listened to Peter Schiff and plowed all your money into a shiny bauble that has been devaluing for centuries because the hyperinflation was going to take off any day now. You rushed into the GME squeeze just as the music stopped. You belated bought Coinbase to get crypto exposure against my advice and were dumped on by the founders.

You are now seething, coping, and on the verge of roping. (You, visualized, see right).

But opportunities come time and time again, and crypto aside, I think that one of the best candidates for OOM-tier increases this decade is Russian tech*.

First things first. Russian nominal GDP was just 7% of the US level in 2020. Russia has had a pretty bad 7 years since 2014, in which its prior one and half decades of convergence to developed world income per capita stalled. But national economic fortunes tend to come in cycles, so there’s good reason to believe that the 2020s will be one of resumed fast growth in Russia. There has been adjustment to the negative external shocks of the 2014 oil price collapse and the Crimea sanctions, infrastructure has been upgraded, zombie banks closed down, business regulations liberalized, the threat of further sanctions downgraded thanks to lesser reliance on foreign financing and more trade shifting to China.

The current capitalization of the Russian stock market is at 55% of its GDP, which is lower than its ten year mean of 62%. Meanwhile, the US at 190% is similar to that in 1929 and 2008 and by some measures is the single most overvalued stock market in the world. This does not necessarily mean that the American stock market is in a bubble and that a collapse is imminent. Unprecedented low interest rates, the increased prominence of tech stocks with their high p/e ratios (justified by their quasi-monopoly status), and broader market participation (i.e. zoomers plowing their Bidenbux into stonks and $DOGE on Robinhood) may mean that the US has simply become permanently more “financialized”. But, whether or not a crash is on the cards, it’s hard to believe that further rapid growth in US stocks this decade is possible, at least relative to opportunities in less pumped markets.

This is not the case in Russia, which is modestly below its historic average and which is now seeing a phenomenal increase in the amount of small time traders on the Moscow stock exchange. Thanks to the spread of cheap mobile brokerage services, the number of individual investors on the Moscow stock exchange has exploded in recent years, going from 417,000 in 2008 to 1 million in 2015, 2 million in 2019, 4 million in 2020, and 9.5 million this January. It is currently increasing by close to a million per month and now stands at 11.2 million. (In per capita terms, this is now not that far off from the $10M shareholders of Germany). This is driven by what seems to be a sharp change amongst the younger segments of Russian society to investment. While the Soviet generations are financially illiterate, some pensioners even preferring the mattress over bank deposits, zoomers are using mobile apps from companies like Tinkoff and VTB to play about with stocks, ETFs, and bonds just like the Robinhood degenerates in the US.

So what we have in Russia right from the get go is a virtuous trifecta in which GDP (PPP) is on the cusp of resuming upwards convergence to developed world levels, nominal GDP is poised to rebound even harder (Russia is literally the world’s cheapest country at this moment after Lebanon, as proxied by the Big Mac Index – more so than the likes of Ukraine and Vietnam), while the stock market in turn is poised to ramp up as a share of this GDP as the fintech revolution and fading sovok mores make Russia into a stock owning society again. (Incidentally, this would not be a novelty but a return to historic normality – Russia before 1917 had one of the world’s biggest stock markets, accounting for ~10% of world capitalization). This alone has a reasonable likelihood of eking out a doubling or a tripling during this decade and one that it’s possible to gain exposure to from some ETF that tracks the MOEX.

However, I believe that the real promise lies in Russian tech stocks. In contrast to Europe, whose native attempts to set up a tech ecosystem have failed/were brain drained away to Silicon Valley (only one of note is Sweden’s Spotify), Russia has its own, significantly self-contained IT ecosystem covering the broad range of search, e-commerce, social networks, car-hailing and ride-sharing, and fintech. But unlike American Big Tech, which has seen epochal increases in market cap over the past decade, the process is only in its incipient stages in Russia. They are ridiculous undervalued – but only so long as both Russians and foreigners don’t notice it.

That said, this isn’t an absolutely guaranteed money-making play. There are structural reasons why these prices will probably remain much lower than those of their American equivalents, even if the gap narrows. Hence, I’ll provision a “FUD” (fear, uncertainty, doubt) section to each stock.

 

Yandex (YNDX) is the biggest tech company in Eastern Europe. It has consistently accounted for 60% of the Russian search market (most of the rest accrues to Google), but it has its fingers in many other pies:

  • It not only owns Yandex.Taxi (Russia’s Uber), but has a dominant stake in Uber Russia. Accounting for ~60% and ~30% of the mobile ride-hailing market, this makes it a near monopoly in the sector.
  • It is working on self-driving cars and the results have looked promising from as early as 2018.
  • Yandex.Drive carsharing service.
  • Expanding into e-commerce sector with Yandex.Market, previously the dominant price aggregator/comparison site – now developing own capabilities to compete with main rivals Ozon and Wildberries.
  • Has a broad presence in various IT services in general: Personal assistant (Alice), cloud storage (Yandex.Disk), food delivery (Yandex.Food), and seems to be actively developing a YouTube replacement of late (Yandex.Efir).
  • Has the most advanced AI labs in Russia (though it pales besides Google, which controls two of the world’s top three, DeepMind and Google AI).

Market cap: $23B (60x lower than Alphabet’s $1,360).

FUD: Google dominates not just US search but global search, whereas Yandex only dominates 60% of the Russian market (though it also has a substantial presence across the CIS and even a minor one in Turkey).

 

Ozon (OZON) is Russia’s biggest publicly listed retailer, third biggest online store, and biggest multi-category online store.

Market cap: $12B (125x lower than Amazon’s $1,540B)

Its stock prices have gone up by 50% since it IPO’ed in December 2020. (I am very happy to have jumped on that train from the start). Even so, it remains a bargain basement buy in the long run.

To find out why, I would recommend Gleb Krivosheev’s article about Ozon at Seeking Alpha. But I will recount the main points in short here. The Russian e-commerce market was only worth $30B in 2019 (or just 6% of the Russian retail market), but has increased at a rapid clip over the past few years and CAGR for the next 4-5 years is projected to be 40%. Corona has helped this sector along as has a breakdown of hangups originating from the low-trust Soviet era and 1990s about paying for a product before it’s delivered. This will put the size of the Russian e-commerce market at $100B by 2024.

But another critical consideration is that the Russian e-commerce market, being in an earlier historical stage, remains highly fragmented relative to most other countries. The competition is likely to focus around Ozon (6% of the market in 2020), Wildberries (13%), Ali Express (8%), and Yandex.Market (2%). Wildberries is run by Tatyana Bakalchuk, who at $11B net worth is Russia’s richest woman (and probably the richest self-made woman outside China). It has branched out from specializing in women’s clothing and become Russia’s leading e-commerce store, with a very good distribution network but mediocre website. Yandex.Market represents Yandex’s foray into e-commerce and enjoys access to its parent’s technical expertise, but its distribution network is close to non-existent, it is starting from a very low base, and it will find it hard to muscle in at this stage (Beru, its prior e-commerce venture with state bank Sberbank, was folded up in 2020). Ali Express is a joint venture between mail.ru and AliBaba. Ozon has a very nice website – it is explicitly modeled on Amazon – but its distribution network and volumes remain inferior to Wildberries. Still, the money from the IPO has helped it grow and in my opinion it is in the best position to become Russia’s Amazon.

FUD: Ozon will never have the global reach of Amazon, it will not account for as big a share of the (much smaller) Russian market, and it also doesn’t have Amazon’s cloud services division.

 

mail.ru (MLRYY) is mainly known for its 100% ownership of VK (Vkontakte), the largest social network in Russia (43% of people on some social network use it), as well as the more boomer/prole Odnoklassniki (31%). This is the dominant social network in Russia and, confounding some predictions, has increased market share against Facebook (9%).

VK’s user experience is often considered to be superior to Facebook’s. It runs faster and more smoothly, has fewer weird bugs (Facebook’s codebase is atrocious), and doesn’t need add ons like Facebook Purity to restore some semblance of sanity to all the clutter.

It has its fingers in some other pies as well, such as cloud services, online games, and its own email and search engine. That said, Vkontakte is without a doubt the crown jewel in its portfolio.

Market cap: $6B (120x lower than Facebook’s $730B)

FUD: However, so far as social media goes, network effects are key and Facebook dominates the social network landscape not just in the US but across most of Europe as well as India. Meanwhile, VK has a merely preeminent position within Russia and the post-Soviet countries (even in Ukraine, despite VK being ostensibly banned).

 

TCS Group (TCS), more commonly known as Tinkoff Bank, is the largest digital bank not just in Russia but in the world by number of customers, who number 10 million.

Market cap: $11B

No obvious American analogues, but it’s an very clean and user-friendly product that dominates Russian fintech. Added bonus: Neo-Tsarist aesthetics.

FUD: Has already doubled in the past half a year, so will probably take a pause in further growth.

 

Another fintech company of note is payments processor Qiwi. However, it’s quite dated and much of its recent price movements are driven by rumors over an imminent buyout by Yandex (which has failed to materialize).

 

PREDICTION. Huge #FOMO into Russian “Big Tech” in next few years driven by increasing numbers of Russian investors and cheap American money migrating to emerging market for cheaper assets. This will replicate what happened in the US during 2010s. Yandex worth $250B by 2030, Ozon worth $100B. OOM-tier increase across this sector producing gainz rarely seen outside crypto.

 

Perhaps the very best thing about this is that the two most common and obvious objections FUDs against Russian Tech should in fact turbocharge it even further.

Sanctions Risk – In the short-term, increased American sanctions – should they actually happen – could drive out American investors, who despite poor US-Russian intergovernmental relations account for a stunning 50% of all foreign ownership of Russian stocks (the Brits account for another 20%… despite high trade flows, Europeans only accounted for 26%, probably due to continental aversion to stock investment). OTOH, this also increases the risk of significant Russian restrictions on American tech within Russia. There are already moves towards this that I have covered on this blog due to American Big Tech censorship of state-affiliated Russians – and this isn’t just happening in Russia, but in some other countries concerned with American tech pushing a culturally SJW and bluntly pro-American regime geopolitical agenda. Restrictions or outright blocks on American social media will unequivocally benefit their Russian competitors by opening up their market share to them. Restrictions on Google-YouTube and Facebook/Twitter will directly benefit Yandex and Mail Group in a sector that naturally tends to winner takes all. While those Russians who really need it for work or are heavily invested into Western networks will get around them via VPNs, the normies are unlikely to bother with it. Meanwhile, those Russian companies are insulated from counter-reactions by virtue of having very little presence in Western markets in the first place. Consequently, the trend towards national fragmentation of the Internet that Balaji S. Srinivasan often talks about constitutes a major downside risk for American Big Tech but an upside one for Russian Big Tech. (While being largely irrelevant to Chinese Big Tech, which completely dominates the Chinese online ecosystem thanks to American Big Tech having been barred from there from the start).

Rule of Law – Many Russian stocks trade at a discount relative to earnings on account of the perception (not on the whole unjustified) that Russia has inferior rule of law and property rights protections. (Though this disproportionately affects state-owned companies like Gazprom and Rosneft). However, this also happens to be a “fixed” factor and as such, irrelevant – it is, after all, the dynamics that are important so far as changes in valuation are concerned. At worst, perceptions on the Russian business environment will remain constant, which will keep the p/e ratio steady – you’ll still make tons of money when Yandex and Ozon earnings increase fivefold and they start paying dividends. However, should perceptions of Russia improve to the point that it becomes perceived as a “normal” developed country to do business in, then default p/e ratios could double and you could be looking at crypto-tier returns for Russian tech during the 2020s. Moreover, this should be set against the possibility of Western and especially American corporations being hamstrung by increasing inane social justice-driven ESG requirements.

 

***

* Necessary boorish disclaimer that this is entertainment not financial advice, invest at own risk, DYOR, etc, etc.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Finance, RTS stock market, Russia, Technology 
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  2. songbird says:

    I would guess that youtube probably still does not pull in a profit, but I’ve been wondering whether the new codec AV2 (better compression, open source) might disrupt the streaming industry somehow.

  3. Great post. Growth together with increased financialization leads to massive increases in stock valuations. It’s a good opportunity even with the risk because the potential gains are huge.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Caspar von Everec
  4. Sooner or later (likely sooner), it’s inevitable that the west will pull the trigger on SWIFT to prevent money transfers involving Russian and/or Chinese banking operations.

    That means that western investors will lose access to the international banking system and thereby risk having their money stuck in a Russian or Chinese bank. Even if an investor were to personally travel to Russia or China, and cash-out, they’ll be facing an exchange rate that’ll kill any potential profit, plus they’ll need to declare the excess currency on each side of the border where there’ll be an inevitable tax applied.

    On the up-side, if someone is investing for the long term without having any intention of repatriating profits for at least 15-20 yrs, then I really think that Russian and Chinese shares will be an enormous goldmine without having to be lucky enough to get in early on Apple-like companies.

    • Agree: showmethereal
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  5. I’ll stick with my idea of investments. My kids, property, and lots and lots of high quality used tools purchased for bargain basement prices. All that plus no debt.
    I’ll never get rich, but that’s okay, I’m not looking to. At least I know I’ll never look like suicidal noose boy!

  6. Nothing wrong with putting a few eggs into the Russian basket imo.

  7. @Marshal Marlow

    CBDC will have zero problems. The Chinese digital currency.

  8. @Astuteobservor II

    Still need to convert it to something that you can use at home. In other words, you’ve got to find a private party who’ll buy your certificate using western currency.

    There’s not a chance any western bank will be allowed to buy it from you, and that means you’re left with speculators who will expect a massive discount to take the risk.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  9. This is exciting, though I’ll have to figure out a way to do it that wouldn’t involve my government blacklisting me till I’m out of the country. Any Neo-Tsarist is at the very least fun, and likely, due to morphology, very good.

    Then again, my friend has (Russian) citizenship…so that’s an idea.

    I wonder if I can use Metamask somehow for this, ha ha ha.

    Really, I’m the guy up there who knows nothing about this, though I’m far too optimistic and hopeful about cycles to every worry about “roping”.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  10. Pog Champ says:

    How does one avoid sanctions or delisting risk as a westerner?

  11. RogerL says:
    @Marshal Marlow

    Some of the stuff I’ve bought on Amazon (using dollars) has been shipped from China to the US, where I live.

    If you have profits in a currency that SWIFT has dropped, then why not use that currency to buy goods on Chinese sites similar to Amazon, and then have it shipped to the US?

    Most of the stuff we (in the US) buy has been made in China anyway. So rather than it being shipped from China to a big box store in the US, and then buying it from that store while paying for it in dollars, why not just buy it from a Chinese company using rubles, and have it shipped directly to your home from China?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  12. The Paper says:

    Only when we can buy them as tokens in the Ethereum network. Otherwise the danger of increased sanctions it too high for those living in the other side of the new Rainbow Wall.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  13. @Barbarossa

    Right. Don’t be dazzled by any opportunities up in the cloud, even if it is in somewhere less toxic in appearance – invest in what you can tangibly touch, wield and trade.

  14. You listened to Peter Schiff and plowed all your money into a shiny bauble that has been devaluing for centuries because the hyperinflation was going to take off any day now.

    Those 2 shiny baubles have existed (ok, not from time immemorial, but) since our ancestors discovered smithing. All the tech craze that has made its mark on finance is only there since the 90s, and the current crypto wave is just the latest evolution of that.

    Crypto and basically everything technologically intensive requires industrial production, power, infrastructure (including internet), and more fundamentally intelligence. These can and will go away, in a longer timescale. Meanwhile shiny baubles sit there, the way it’s meant to be, until some alien race or evolved species come upon them and marvel at their beauty, their value even. Maybe they’ll have their own shiny baubles to add into the mix.

    Cryptos and Big Tech wins this decade and the next, and there’s no harm in long hodling (however short the time with really be), but precious metals will win at the end of millennia.

    (Something more directly: our host assumes that everything in Russia, even the Corona-chan-induced boom, will stay in the decade. Not if Davos, institutional eugenicists or Neocons go really hardcore, and they’ve announced their agendas. More projection from past trend here, unsuited to the crisis and transition of the Global World-system we’re in)

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Dreadilk
  15. Iuk says:

    The IMF recently released GDP projections up to 2026. Russia’s looking a sad thing tbh…

    Selected list of countries by GDP in 2026 (millions):

    🇺🇸 USA 27,659
    🇨🇳 China 24,127
    🇪🇺 European Union 21,173
    🇯🇵 Japan 6,533
    🇮🇳 India 4,534
    🇬🇧 UK 4,027
    🇨🇦 Canada 2,466
    🇰🇷 Korea 2,220
    🇧🇷 Brazil 2,172
    🇦🇺 Australia 2,017
    🇷🇺 Russia 2,004
    🇮🇩 Indonesia 1,672
    🇲🇽 Mexico 1,494
    🇦🇷 Argentina 509
    🇮🇱 Israel 566

  16. Svevlad says:

    I wonder if the coming ultrabifurcation (iron curtain but on Dushanbe black market glow steroids) will allow us balkanoids to pull a Yugoslavia and play off both sides but actually right.

    In that case, I might be looking at a potential to get some mad gains

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  17. @Iuk

    GDP predictions like that are simplistic by design. The methodology is not much deeper than drawing a tangent line.

    • Replies: @Iuk
    , @Dmitry
  18. Godot says:

    Yandex Market cap: $23B (60x lower than Alphabet’s $1,360)

    Well, given that Alphabet serves pretty much the whole world sans China whereas Yandex serves mostly Russian customers that seems justified. And Alphabet, relative to its share price, has much better and growing earnings in comparison to Yandex. Unless Yandex manages to expand into other markets, I don’t really see the gap shrinking.

    It not only owns Yandex.Taxi (Russia’s Uber)

    Uber and its competitors don’t make profits. Maybe it’s different in Russia and autonomous driving could be a game changer.

    Boomer tier take: I think for non-Russian investors speculating on an appreciation of the Ruble, Ruble-denominated bonds or dividend stocks may be attractive. If the Ruble went back to 60 per USD, you coupon or dividend yield would rise by 25%.

  19. Iuk says:
    @Shortsword

    I would have agreed if it were a projection for the next 50 years, but this is only for the next 5. You simply don’t have enough time to make structural adjustments significant enough to alter anything. The only thing that could potentially change this is massive fiscal stimulus, but Russia is possibly the most orthodox neoliberal country in the world so that’s highly unlikely.

    • Replies: @Znzn
  20. Iuk says:
    @Iuk

    My apologies, that should have said billions, not millions, obviously.

    Also, here’s the IMF’s 2026 projections for member countries of the European Union, again in billions:

    1. 🇩🇪 Germany 5,253
    2. 🇫🇷 France 3,538
    3. 🇮🇹 Italy 2,451
    4. 🇪🇸 Spain 1,824
    5. 🇳🇱 Netherlands 1,229
    6. 🇵🇱 Poland 924
    7. 🇸🇪 Sweden 806
    8. 🇧🇪 Belgium 704
    9. 🇮🇪 Ireland 627
    10. 🇦🇹 Austria 604
    11. 🇩🇰 Denmark 490
    12. 🇷🇴 Romania 410
    13. 🇨🇿 Czechia 361
    14. 🇫🇮 Finland 360
    15. 🇵🇹 Portugal 322
    16. 🇬🇷 Greece 255
    17. 🇭🇺 Hungary 242
    18. 🇸🇰 Slovakia 157
    19. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg 108
    20. 🇧🇬 Bulgaria 106
    21. 🇭🇷 Croatia 91
    22. 🇱🇹 Lithuania 79
    23. 🇸🇮 Slovenia 77
    24. 🇱🇻 Latvia 50
    25. 🇪🇪 Estonia 48
    26. 🇨🇾 Cyprus 34
    27. 🇲🇹 Malta 23

    So Russia, with 4x Poland’s population, will only have around 2x GDP in 5 years. It’s GDP/capita will also be around 4k lower compared to that of China.

    No matter how you want to slice and dice this, it’s bad. Putin simply doesn’t know enough about a modern economy to carry through reforms.

    Putin’s been treading water ever since the great recession. And if anything, he’s becoming less interested in economic and social affairs, that is anything beyond circumventing a colour revolution.

  21. Rahan says:
    @Iuk

    So Russia, with 4x Poland’s population, will only have around 2x GDP in 5 years. It’s GDP/capita will also be around 4k lower compared to that of China.

    To be fair, Russia’s Euro-climate area, as in non-permafrost, is roughly twice that of Poland’s.
    (Hence the tragedy of losing the Ukraine which is basically half of Russia’s non-tundra territory)
    And Poland is not undergoing an economic attack by the West, but to the contrary benefits from being parts of the EU’s structure.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    , @Dreadilk
  22. china-russia-all-the-way says:

    The Russian government is experimenting with currency and blockchain-based solutions that would serve as an alternative to the SWIFT payment system, according to Russia’s deputy foreign minister Alexander Pankin.

    There is the prospect of wars in Ukraine and Taiwan in 2021. In case of war, Russia and China will not have SWIFT. While there is some planning like the experiments referred to by Pankin and trial of the Digital Yuan, an emergency plan is needed in 2021. I think there would be a chaotic scramble to use cryptocurrencies in the event of war and SWIFT cut-off because of lack of any preparation. There is still too much focus on the conventional aspects of war and not enough on the financial and information/narrative aspects. Russia is better than China in launching counter narratives and presenting its point of view, but the initiative by both China and Russia to deal with the SWIFT contingency is sluggish.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  23. @Yellowface Anon

    Those 2 shiny baubles have existed (ok, not from time immemorial, but) since our ancestors discovered smithing. All the tech craze that has made its mark on finance is only there since the 90s, and the current crypto wave is just the latest evolution of that.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  24. @Iuk

    Would the IMF be considered an unbiased and neutral source?

    • Replies: @Iuk
  25. vylepsena says:
    @Iuk

    I would disagree. There was a lot changes after 2014 in Russian economy. I do not have statistic only personal experience. Russian agricultural machinery start to appear over here. Due to low Ruble, they are really cheap. Plus people realized, it is not “Chernobyl.” Like they are quite capable and sturdy. It is not big change, but it can be in 10 years.
    Russia need to work on marketing. Maybe turn down patriotic bravado and focus more on Russian technology. People have bad perception about Russia, and Russia does not do anything to change it.
    The recent fiasco with Rosatom in Czechia should be case in point. Czech companies supply much machinery, or technological parts for Rosatom build nuclear parts. Some argue, that Czech companies are main foregain the supplier for Russian nuclear plant. Yet, nobody knows about it. So when our retarded government decided to kick off Rosatom from competition, most people not even objected. There are thousands of jobs tied to Rosatom in Czech and yet nobody knows about it.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  26. yes hello how do i buy the russian stonks thank you

  27. Rahan says:

    Slightly off topic: Russian army top brass celebrates Orthodox Easter on May 2nd 2021 in newly built military temple.
    https://ria.ru/20210502/khram-1730913487.html

    That’s some serious Warhammer 40K shit right there.

    In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this appears to be morphing into a crypto-Mithra army cult.

    “You said something about crucifying me, nigga?” (thoughtfully fingers edge of blade)

    The military Virgin Mary appears to be modeled on the vintage military versions of Mother Russia

    • LOL: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Svevlad
    , @Yellowface Anon
  28. @Daniel Chieh

    I’m not against crypto or tech development at all. But if you want value preservation, why not pick the most perennial and established one.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  29. Svevlad says:
    @Rahan

    Exactly.

    Due to the Siberian High (which screws with climate in all of Eurasia, not just Siberia) a good chunk of land is not only useless but costly to even own regardless of who owns it.

    However, in due time, this air current will break – hopefully during the mid-century

    In one forecast, most of Siberia will have the climate of Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Then it will get fun.

  30. Svevlad says:
    @Rahan

    Huh, Jesus with a sword – based off the one in Visoki Dečani – which means there are now only two such frescoes on the planet

    • Agree: Rahan
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  31. @Rahan

    Are the icons even theologically sound?

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  32. @Yellowface Anon

    What’s physical can be removed from you with surprising ease. Digital obscurity holds a lot of advantages, and digital money has advantages(not the least, its value on an open market) that gold doesn’t have without even considering its immensely manipulated market.

    This is kind of like the argument, if taken to an ancient era, that one should only use raw gold and avoid processed coins. Charming as it might seem, taking oneself out of the economy is a sure way to reduce opportunities to oneself and is extreme non-adaptive.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @Dreadilk
  33. Rahan says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Are the icons even theologically sound?

    I think it very likely that the Russian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Church would say “yes”, whereas the Ukrainian Church and the Georgian Church would say “no”.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
  34. @Boomthorkell

    I mean, apart from my big Russian companies being listed on the London and New York stock exchanges, many US brokers (e.g. Interactive Brokers) AFAIK offer products directly from the Moscow Exchange.

    Relations between the West and Russia will have to become Iran-tier bad before one can expect laws forcing Westerners to disinvest. I don’t think it will go that far.

    It is also not necessarily the case that even this will result in a collapse of the Russian stock market. Chart of market cap of Iran vs. Ukraine is amusing:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/CM.MKT.LCAP.CD?locations=IR-UA

    • Thanks: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
    , @jnc6
  35. @Daniel Chieh

    The points sound right, but the root of my argument is the fragility of complexity underlying technology-intensive forms of money. Sure, there are lots of attractive points, but it must be in competition with precious metals to see which one is preferrable. If crypto works for more people, then all good. Otherwise precious metals are better than the current fiat monetary regime.

    Charming as it might seem, taking oneself out of the economy is a sure way to reduce opportunities to oneself and is extreme non-adaptive.

    There’s not just a national economy control by moneyed interests. There are exits, and people out of the pale who are willing to produce and trade. Welcome to economic localism and agorism.

    The coming age is the age of economic fragmentation.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  36. @Iuk

    I don’t intend to shill anything.

    But as a general point, I think basing one’s investment decisions on economic projections (i.e. consensus driven economist forecast averages who draw from already priced in narratives) is a good way to stay poor.

    No matter how you want to slice and dice this, it’s bad. Putin simply doesn’t know enough about a modern economy to carry through reforms.

    Factually incorrect. More has been done in the past 5 years than in the decade preceding it. Statistical summary: https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/russia

    But nowadays I am quite happy this isn’t widely recognized, since it allows me to accumulate cheaper.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Not Raul
  37. @The Paper

    Unironically happening:

    https://synthetix.io/synths

    We’ll probably get an sMOEX and sYNDX within the next couple of years.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  38. Iuk says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Would the IMF be considered an unbiased and neutral source?

    Yes, in this case it’s essentially just bean counting and analysis, not a reform recommendation (which would indeed demand more scepticism).

  39. Znzn says:
    @Iuk

    The IMF is forecasting that Russia will grow at 4 percent in 2021 and 2022, which is what China’s growth rate is if it is accounting it properly. And the coming increase in commodity prices means that Russian GDP growth will trend to the upside, rather than downside. 4 percent or 5 percent is quite good for an economy with Russia’s per capita GDP level, plus its economy is not overly leverage unlike its southern neighbor.

  40. dbreen says:

    Can one get a residency visa in russia by investing 10 million rubles in publicly traded stocks?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  41. Passer by says:
    @Marshal Marlow

    No one is going to block SWIFT for China (there are trillions of dollars involved in transations between China and the West, not to mention the rest of the world) and even for Russia it is dubious, as it will harm Europe a lot.

    • Agree: Lot
  42. Passer by says:
    @Iuk

    The IMF does not think that MER GDP alone is a proper way of measuring economic size. Its quotas represent a combination of 60 % MER GDP and 40 % PPP GDP.

    Under such estimation, the russian economy is larger, and bigger than Italy. Add 20-30 % gray economy and it does not look too bad, considering that it is under sanctions. Its as big as the UK or France.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  43. @Passer by

    In fairness, stock valuations are one area where MER GDP is much more valid than PPP GDP. But that just vastly increases Russia’s upside.

  44. @Godot

    “autonomous driving could be a game changer”

    True, but so could Stuxnet-style attacks to weaken Tesla/Uber competition. After all, the US state and corporations are almost one and the same at the moment.

    Any Russian tech funds out there? Don’t think a small retail punt would be welcome here.

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/27/investment-house-targets-600m-fund-for-russian-tech-elbrus-a72755

  45. @Svevlad

    In case you forgot how well it went for Yugoslavia to play both camps against each other, check out today’s Armenia or Moldova.

  46. @Godot

    Both Uber and Lyft sold out of autonomous cars. There as no need for better CPUs to make cars autonomous; you could have done it even in the nineties. But any automated system will have its share of errors. Even if it is lower than that of human drivers, no sane CEO will accept that liability, unless they can also fix the courts.

    There is no money to be made in autonomous cars. Maybe there is something in trucks for private roads, or tractors on the field.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  47. One notes that Calvey is not longer under threat of prosecution and has decided to stay in Russia. He was the founding VC behind a number of these companies. That said, locking up your biggest foriegn investor because of a disgruntled former business partner, now himself facing criminal charges, is not a good more. 3 years or more of litigation is a distraction from business at least. For another take, consider Bill Browder. Chose your fund manager wisely.

  48. @RogerL

    Private companie in China do not, on the whole, take rubles. The few transactions that are in rubles are imposed on state owned companies by the government. If I remember, I will try and look at the data for 2019. I don’t have 2020 yet.

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  49. Generally speaking, it is worse for a market to have small investors involved, because small investors have little influence over prices in normal times and most screwed during crises.

    Also, per Joe Kennedy Sr., it is a sign of an impending crash when the shoeshine boy gives you stock tips.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  50. @dbreen

    Ten year bonds I think.

  51. Russia can indeed grow faster than Poland in the 2020s, but only on the condition of physical removal of Vlad and his buddies.

    Russia saw no structural changes to the economy since 2014. An economy with no rule of law, a predatory kleptocratic law enforcement system, extreme market concentration and fiscal crowding out will NOT grow.
    Russia isn’t at the cusp of a growth cycle, because market cycles hardly apply to an isolated predominantly state-controlled economy.
    All of the words about growth are wishful thinking. Why now? Why not in 2018 or 2019? Deleveraging of state-controlled banks and other enterprises was over by then, but all we got was more stagnation, because deleveraging isn’t a reason for economic growth in and of itself.

    P.S. the doing business rating does not take into account the occasions when “counter-sanctions” shut down your import business or when you are blackmailed by state security on bogus charges or when your real estate firm has to spend more on bribes than on construction.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @mal
  52. songbird says:

    Now that Bill and Melinda are divorcing, maybe, Bill will throw some money into HBD research. He used to be a big believer in IQ, but I suppose that it was not as politically incorrect back then.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  53. mal says:
    @Concerned citizen

    Russia saw no structural changes to the economy since 2014.

    1. Pension reform.
    2. Tax digitization reform.
    3. VAT hike.

    The only thing Russia doesn’t do is print money by the $trillions but thats easy to do. Once Russia starts spending down budget surpluses and lowering interest rates, GDP growth will accelerate by definition.

    Russian economy is more resilient and has greater potential compared to the West – it can handle budget surpluses and positive real rates without going into a recession. Neither US nor EU economies can handle even one of those conditions without total collapse.

    P.S. the doing business rating does not take into account the occasions when “counter-sanctions” shut down your import business

    Good riddance, and complain to US and EU trade policy representatives.

  54. @china-russia-all-the-way

    If the Real Evil Empire blocked SWIFT to Russia and China, I’d just take SWIFT down with a cyber-attack, and see how they like their own medicine.

  55. @Anatoly Karlin

    God, gotta love those Persians.

    “Neither East, nor West, but Investments.” (Though much of that investment is from the East these days, admittedly and fortunately.)

    Would it be foolish to try $5,000 in a couple of the Russian companies, with more for later, or is that not enough for reasonable scale for an initial investment? Though I’ll still take some time looking them over. Anyhow, thanks for the advice, really.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @RadicalCenter
  56. @songbird

    Is he still on the eugenics/population control agenda?

    • Replies: @songbird
  57. Dmitry says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    Amateur investor are also easily manipulated and herded, and with the internet nowadays we can suspect that even something as simple as the use of bots seemed to be able to herd them.

    A combination of amateur investors (which are gullible as a herd that follows anyone that promises them wealth) and the internet (which is easy to manipulate with such promises), is probably quite a dangerous combination for the world; although another avenue of “free money” or “shooting fish in a barrel” for Wall Street.

    For example, earlier this year (most people know this story) with the help of bots, gullible amateur investors were herded via the internet, onto a particular GameStop stock, and the herding and the resulting stampede of amateurs, has earned $2,6 billion for BlackRock and $3,9 billion for Fidelity Investments.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  58. Dmitry says:
    @Boomthorkell

    Would it be foolish to try $5,00

    If the money is important for you, then it should be in the most low risk place – needless to say, I’m sure everyone knows that.

    If you have extra money that you don’t need to be secure for your future, then obviously more higher risk investments are not such a bad idea, if someone else will do the boring work of following the investment.

    I wouldn’t play the lottery of choosing a particular stock in Russia, but you could add the money to a diversified emerging market fund that has positions in Russia, as well as in other emerging markets like China.

    Emerging market fund might not be such a bad spin of the wheel. This kind of emerging market fund will likely fall when the economy is in downturn, but the long-term trend of the fund should be upwards over a 5-10 years or so (and has bounced with crazy numbers in the last year).

    Moreover, I guess you don’t want to invest in a way so that you will have to waste time worrying about it, unless you find that entertaining (which is not likely for most people who want to not add extra waste of time).

    • Thanks: Boomthorkell
  59. Irishman says:
    @Iuk

    If the UK economy is an eighth bigger than France’s 10 years after the Brexit referendum and nearly twice the size of Italy’s(which was larger than the UK’s in 1987) the EU is done. I say this as a supporter of the EU.

    The Irish figure is hilarious.

    • Replies: @Iuk
  60. Max Payne says:
    @Philip Owen

    It’s why USD is king. No where in the world will anyone refuse USD.

    Nothing makes transactions ANYWHERE easier than USD. From your local shady taxi driver in wherever-istan to international businesses.

    As long as I can get USD in the end I’m okay with anything that generates dollars.

    I don’t care if its gold to USD or BitCoin to USD or stocks to USD or drugs to USD or property/rent to USD.

    Everything else is a hassle to use. Even BitCoin. Pouring money into an exchange or broker to buy BitCoin for your wallet is one thing but trying to cash out (to normal human-use USD) without revenue agencies catching on…. well…. let’s just say it’s getting harder and harder. Especially large sums (which is more common now with how fast cryptos are climbing). The ability to subvert taxes was a nice feature of cryptos. If that goes away it’s gonna take a hit but such is life.

    • LOL: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  61. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    It seems to me that their drawing line style of predictions often over-estimate the future GDP levels.

    Seneca would say it would have been better to our psychological health, if they had employed less optimistic people.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  62. songbird says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    I believe so.

    I wonder if there are any Russian tech moguls who have mentioned demographics, or if the ones who have mentioned it are all from America and South Africa.

    Yuri Milner has Israeli citizenship, and I think he lives in America. I bet he is thinking about it, on some level.

  63. I dont think Russias economy will grow very fast under Putin since he seems to be committed to neo liberal strategy no matters what. His government has already said that next year the expenses of the budget will be diminished and that there will be a return towards budget austerity. This means that the potential economic growth for the next 3-4 years will be no more than 2% of growth per year.

    Nominal GDP won’t grow much either, since the budget rule that keeps the Russian currency undervalued will still be in place to boost exports.

    But yeah Russian tech is an undervalued potential. We have the best minds and the best programmers in the world. If given money, they will do anything. If Yandex, Ozon and Mail.Ru spend enough money on R&D, they can compete with Gafas especially now that everybody is pissed off with their SJW agenda . Telegram already enjoyed huge success since all this scandal around Trump’s ban erupted .

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  64. @Maïkl Makfaïl

    It’s not enough for Russia to just develop software. That’s the easy part (relatively speaking). Russia has fabs, it should pour huge amounts of money to start to develop its own semiconductor industry (and compete with the likes of TMIC eventually) if it wants to have any control over its tech future, rather than forever be a place where China/West outsources IT software.

    Russia can never be technologically independent until it starts developing at least competitive fabs.

    • Agree: Aedib
  65. jnc6 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I’m actually tempted to put a little bit of money in some of those companies. I’m not an American citizen or resident, but I do have an account at Interactive Brokers so I could buy the stock directly in the Moscow Exchange. However, while looking up some information I noticed that all the companies Anatoly listed also trade in the Nasdaq or the London Stock Exchange (and the companies themselves are based in Cyprus or the Netherlands).

    Is there are any advantage or risk in buying the stock of companies like this in the Nasdaq/LSE vs Moscow?

  66. @Yellowface Anon

    “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” – Matthew 10-34

  67. Iuk says:
    @Irishman

    In fairness to the French, they do seem to want to do more, their support for the issuance of common Euro bonds is proof of this. But Germans will never agree to doing more than the bare minimum. Their electorate is to old and risk adverse.

    Euros talk a big game but they’re terrified of actually attempting anything. And it’s a shame because when they do come together they can actually pull off great things. The best example of this is in civil aviation with Airbus. France, Germany, Italy and (to an extent) Britain merged their national industries and made a genuine competitor to Boeing.

    European members of NATO spend something like 300-400 billion on defense every year. Imagine if only they managed to do the same thing in defense that they did in civil aviation. Oh, the Americans wouldn’t like that at all.

    I don’t know if there’s ever going to be an Airbus in defense, or IT, or semiconductors. Looking back, it’s even a miracle that Airbus became Airbus.

    As for Italy (and southern Europe), yes it’s just heartbreaking to behold. Low growth, low birthrates, and so many of the young that they do have are looking to bail out…

    • Replies: @mal
  68. mal says:
    @Iuk

    I don’t know if there’s ever going to be an Airbus in defense, or IT, or semiconductors. Looking back, it’s even a miracle that Airbus became Airbus.

    You are in luck because there is such thing as Airbus Defense.

    Airbus Defense and Space plans to launch a future Earth observation satellite on Isar Aerospace’s Spectrum rocket, a two-stage rocket designed to deliver up to 700 kilograms of payload to sun-synchronous orbit.

    https://spacenews.com/german-startup-isar-aerospace-signs-first-launch-contract/

    You will be hearing a lot about sun synchronous orbit in the near future because that’s what will control the battlefield over Arctic in WW3 vs Russia. Northern Sea Route and all that.

    Anyway, European problem isn’t that Airbus Defense doesn’t exist, the main problem is its operating in US interest and not EU. Look at that “German startup” – the very first “advisor” on the board of Isar is Bulent Altan. He is a Starlink architect at SpaceX, and Starlink is a US military command and control network.

    Basically, yes, Airbus Defense exists, but they are merely a front for the Pentagon to deploy rebadged US military assets. And this game is silly because Russians will fry Europe with nukes all the same, those brand names are not hiding that much all that well.

    EU assets in key industries already exist. It would be wise for them to be deployed in European interests and not US interests.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  69. Never knew Karlin landed a job in Russian equity sales.

  70. LondonBob says:

    Petropavlovsk and Polymetal have been better investments and will continue to be so, both London listed on the FTSE 250 and 100 respectively, Polymetal is huge dividend payer and will continue to be so, Petropavlovsk will be also initiate dividends by the end of this financial year. Thank you Atlantic Council for your work, Russia stocks are super cheap, I still get the same return from the rise in the share price, just I get a much larger dividend than I would with other miners.

  71. @Shortsword

    My opinion is that if Russia can simply solve the problem of raising white birth rates to replacement rate or beyond and solve Russia’s technological backwardness, Russia will be a quasi-superpower for centuries to come.

    Russia has vast reserves of water, is the world’s largest grain exporter and largest reserves of natural gas. It has 30% of the entire world’s natural resources.

    These advantages will be especially pertinent as the world fast apporaches a water and food crisis due to overpopulation and reckless industrialism.Having petroleum helps too due to the rapid economic expansion of the developing world.

    Don’t believe the conmen of silicon valley and Tesla. Aside from hydroelectricity and Nuclear, coal, gas and oil are only viable energy source for an industrial society. The green lobby is waging jihad on nuclear and fissile material is limited as it is. Hydroelectricity is the best form of energy but it has a hard upper limit and is close to maxxing out already.

    Wind is inefficeint and doesn’t work a lot of times, it doesn’t work during winter period, solar is a joke and biofuels are way too land intensive. Its unlikely that biofuels will be able to grow in the face of mounting food demands spurred by the population explosion in Africa.

    Having a treasure trove of resources will mean Russia will remain a commanding force in global supply chains in the coming century. All it needs is to get the white birth rate up and clean up the corruption and lethargy in its R&D sector.

    If Russia manages to add Eastern Ukraine and Belarus to its domain, it means another 30 million or so East Slavs. Add all of Ukraine and the number goes up to 45 million.

    With about 170 million whites, Russia will eventually become the de facto leader of the white world as America self immolates under the messianic zeal of negrolatry.

    If it can sovle these two issues and get back Belarus and at least Eastern Ukraine, Europe will bow to her in the very near future.

  72. Dreadilk says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Not enough replies to leave one of those tags but strong agree.

  73. Dreadilk says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Depends. If you have stock in a company that can easily be seized. You can’t pick up and move a factory. If you have a coin in a pocket even if they know you have it they can’t easily get it. When people use gold to hedge they hedge by taking possession of physical or keep it offshore. That heavily depends on where in life you find your self. If you are rich or older you will keep a lot of it in physical form. Anyways we are all in danger of seizures no matter what asset we own. Crypto is no better. In the end if you have to take possession of physical good you will be paying for it in taxes.

    If you are young you may own stock in miners to take advantage of income the stock generates. So no need to take one self out of economy. Gold it self performed well since 2015. No reason why it will not perform well when inflation ramps up.

  74. Dreadilk says:
    @Rahan

    I wonder what criteria they use for that. Looking at longitude alone all of Russia is to North of US. So temperature wise shouldn’t it break down north south for suitability to live. I see they give more points to coastal areas makes sense.

    Edit: Nvm other reply covered it.

  75. @Max Payne

    Usually, in the Eastern bloc, dollars were forcibly exchanged with dollar-pegged coupons that were usable only within a country. It may be the same in China. Moreover, even if possession is legal, it may be impossible to exchange significant sums, due to limits.

    There may be another billion in India and Africa for whom there is no use for dollar, due to lack of exchanges. Someone in the heart of sub-Sahara may have an easier time with their local paper money than with American paper.

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  76. Max Payne says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    Well first off those are places that don’t have money so who cares?

    And Secondly even in those remote nowhere-lands there are local individuals (let’s call them entrepreneurs) who understand the value of USD (in cities and abroad) who will trade local currency for it.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  77. CM says:

    The deputy CEO of Yandex is Tigran Khudaverdyan, a 39-year-old Armenian with 5 kids. Incredibly based.

  78. Sort of off topic, interesting sequence of news posts on Disclose.tv

    https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-us-agree-prisoner-swap-release-frozen-funds-says-lebanese-pro-iranian-2021-05-02/

    Followed by this a day later

    High-ranking Swiss embassy employee (51), who represents US diplomatic interests in Iran, plunged to her death from the 17th floor of a high-rise building in northern #Tehran.

  79. @Barbarossa

    Pinkie-rope is the best meme I have seen since NPC day zero. Did Anatoly do this one by himself? Definitely should be on the upper left main page box at Unz.

    1. I know a guy who suffered terrible from fear of missing out who moved 80% of his retirement fund into small cap mutual funds in the fall 0f 1999. When his wife was telling me about this a couple years later she thought it was funny. They keep their money separate. They are still married.

    2. George Soros knew that the tech bubble was going to burst any day now back then but he lost what he described (in Alchemy of Finance) as a sizable fortune because he assembled his position just a couple of months too soon. He might be the most successful trader ever but even he can get smashed trying to out-maneuver a few thousand less successful traders.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  80. @Marshal Marlow

    The whole point of CBDC is for it to work without the conversion. And if there is a conversion, it will be that destination country’s own version of CBDC.

    You either do business in CBDC without the need of having trillions in reserve ( about 16 trillion out in the world atm) or have your own country’s CBDC for the conversion, no more middle man, the USD as a reserve.

    That is why CBDC is scary and deadly for the US, it will kill off USD as reserve, not meant to replace it.

    Check this out, explains it way better than I do. https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/chinas-digital-yuan-displaces-the-dollar/

  81. @Dmitry

    The point of forecasts like this is that they’re simplistic and non-controversial. It’s plugging the numbers into the formula rather than case-by-case analysis. It’s not a bad thing, you get a simple overview without any speculative predictions.

  82. nickels says:

    My ‘tech lead’ is slav and all he does it check in broken sh*t and go on and on about how he learned to code in kindergarten and everything is easy why is it taking so long for everyone else to fix his broken garbage?
    The 5 lines out of his 50 that actually do work are often brilliant tho.

    I wouldn’t get too excited about slavish tech.

    I’d rather buy into Chinese tech. Those guys can copy stuff quite innovatively.

  83. And Arconis which plays world wide.They had a new round of funding from CVC Capital last week which values them at $250m. They have moved themselves from disk image backup for pirates to a value added player in the online storage space. An office suite next I suspect. Maybe they can buy the shattered remnants of Lotus Smart Suite from the Indian software firm that has it now. It still has a user base worth launching from.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  84. @Svevlad

    Jesus with a sword is on the cover of this book. It was carved at an unknown date but presumed 12th C.

  85. @Dacian Julien Soros

    Maybe there is something in trucks for private roads

    Some cities are going to get rid of private driver licenses. If the only humans allowed to drive on the road are police / fire/ ambulance / army then robot cars will work. How much does a driver’s license cost in Singapore now?

  86. @Morton's toes

    Pinky wojak isn’t my meme LOL, but it is a good one.

    I know a guy who suffered terrible from fear of missing out who moved 80% of his retirement fund into small cap mutual funds in the fall 0f 1999.

    There is no tech bubble. I know I speculated otherwise a couple of years ago, but that was when I was ignorant. It is pointless to FOMO into American Big Tech now, because valuations have caught up with reality (decades of locked in monopoly profits amplified by network effects inherent to Big Tech). These considerations very likely don’t apply to Yandex, which has barely pumped in the past decade, or to Ozon.

    Anyhow, even if you had invested into quality companies at the height of the tech bubble, you’d still be massively wealthy if you held to today. There’s currently a similar situation in DeFi.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    , @LondonBob
    , @Pericles
  87. Great idea. I had been meaning to throw some money into Russia, more likely in the form of real estate, but stocks certainly are way less of a pain. I did not know you could get Yandex on the NYSE.

    The matter of rule of law is the foremost sub-topic here. In Russia, ROL is headed up, in the USA…well where do you think it’s headed?

    There will be consequences for stealing the election so blatantly. A thumb on the scale, 1960 style is one thing, 2020 was third-world tier. You do that once, and tell yourself you won’t do it again, but that’s never how it works. The line has been crossed, bigly, and now other anti-law lines are easier to cross. Look at the political persecutions of various right wing, Trump associated people, they’re disregarding the law much more than usual, it’s the new normal. It’s not possible to run an illegal political persecution regime, and not have it spill over into property rights. Not to mention that crime is now legal in many blue areas, or areas with lots of congoids.

    In any case, the USA is suffering from long term, generalized loss of social capital, as we all know. As the boomers die and the lingering coherence and inertia of the society evaporates, the obviousness of the USA as the default choice to dump global savings goes with it. Good for crypto, and good for Russian (and Czech and Japanese &c. &c.) asset prices. On the margin, more money will flow into Russia (and less domestic wealth, out). Russia is a strong, ‘buy’ for assets you plan to hold for 10+ years, for assets you want to leave your kids.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  88. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    Japanese assets??? I suppose Japan will be the 2nd domino to fall due to massive central bank fiddling after the bursting of its economic bubble in 1990.

  89. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Have you been following what the Stellar Network has been cooking?

    https://www.dstoq.com/

  90. Not Raul says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Supposedly that was on purpose.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  91. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Which DiFi players look good to you now?

  92. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The GDP growth rate in Russia is even lower than it was in the late Brezhnev era.

    • Replies: @mal
  93. LondonBob says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There is a tech bubble and it looks like it is ready to pop.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  94. Pericles says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anyhow, even if you had invested into quality companies at the height of the tech bubble, you’d still be massively wealthy if you held to today. There’s currently a similar situation in DeFi.

    The problem is ‘quality’ in this respect is 20/20 hindsight and some survivorship bias. How is the portfolio of Enron, Nortel, Yahoo, Palm, Compaq, Webvan doing?

    Did anyone invest seriously in the many weird ICOs that were advertised everywhere a couple of years ago? How is that portfolio doing these days? For a while it looked like most of the issuers were going to prison.

  95. Interesting analysis in that other piece on why Europe doesn’t do internet tech well… One note on Spotify… For all intents and purposes it has become a New York run company now…

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  96. @Astuteobservor II

    Yes but it wouldn’t be surprising if the US gov tries to ban that too at some point. The only people who will miss out are US investors

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  97. @Dmitry

    Absolutely correct. The laws in “financial economy” are also geared towards herding people too. But no question that is true of bots. It is completely a gambling game and not real investing. No economy should want to be as financialized as the US one.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    , @Dmitry
  98. @Philip Owen

    “And Arconis which plays world wide.They had a new round of funding from CVC Capital last week which values them at $250m.”

    Do you mean Acronis? How do you invest in a private company without being CVC Partners?

    https://www.acronis.com/en-gb/

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  99. @Xi-jinping

    I actually asked about that on another thread but didn’t get much help. I remember reading something from Pepe Escobar that noted that from what he was hearing was that Russian and Chinese and South Korean companies (but Japanese companies apparently were “scared”) were working together to try to establish semiconductor supply chains. I don’t read Russian and I don’t find western media to be trustworthy enough to be unbiased. But it would make sense… Russia alone is not a big enough market – but it would make sense if Russian companies would invest in the semiconductor supply chain to sell to Chinese fabs as they seek to break out from under US attempts to blockade the most advanced tech.
    Russians are good at physics… so I am surprised they aren’t more prominent in semiconductor tools. Maybe there are but they just haven’t had the market access… But again – I don’t read Russian.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  100. @Xi-jinping

    It’s not enough for Russia to just develop software. That’s the easy part (relatively speaking).

    Software is vastly more important than scraping out another nm improvement – using machine tools sourced from the Netherlands to do so at that (i.e. what TSMC does).

    Russia has Mikron producing 65nm chips as a strategic backup, wasting tens of billions (what top end chip fabs cost these days) to compete for scraps with Korea and Taiwan would be colossally inefficient.

    • Agree: mal
  101. @Not Raul

    As in Trilateral Commission scheming or what?

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  102. @showmethereal

    The South Korean partners will be cut out when targeted US sanctions hit – don’t forget the substantial American military presence.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  103. @showmethereal

    Don’t know about the absolutely but I agree with the rest. The thing about the Gamestop story which is sad is the consensus view that the shenanigans was in any way worth doing. This is real smart ambitious humans putting all their precious energy into that stupid s— full time for however long it took to get that together. Some of the guys put personal man years into it. The prime working years of their precious life. Pathetic. And people applaud.

    At least nobody was hurting anybody but what else can be said for it? Karl Marx and Osama bin Laden might find it hilarious.

  104. @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia has Mikron producing 65nm chips as a strategic backup

    It would be interesting to read about, what I read about it was actually something like hundred-something nanometer technology, but it was perhaps a few years ago? Certainly not much is available in English about the Russian semiconductor industry.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  105. Not Raul says:
    @LondonBob

    Unfortunately, pretty much everything else looks overvalued, too.

  106. Not Raul says:
    @showmethereal

    Skype, ARM, and SAP are European, too.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  107. Not Raul says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Supposedly there was a rivalry between MITI and the BOJ that got ugly.

  108. I just checked and you can buy Yandex, Ozon, and even Qiwi (though apparently not mail group) on Robinhood, which is what casual investors seem to all now be using in the US.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  109. @Anatoly Karlin

    On Interactive it’s possible to buy the German depository rights for mail.ru. It doesn’t trade continuously, but there’s some auction a couple times a day I think. Anyway for long term owners that’s more than enough.

  110. Znzn says:
    @Not Raul

    Olivetti, Leonardo, Alenia, Fincatierri, and Magnati Marelli are all Italian.

  111. @Yellowface Anon

    The central bank sets the rate of nominal income growth. The BoJ moved from a 3% inflation target in the 80s, to a 1% or 0% inflation target (de facto) in the 90s. Stock prices fell to account for the associated slower rate of nominal spending, no mystery. Economies are far more robust to central bank errors than the Austrians tell you, just about the only thing they can’t work with is sustained deflation.

    Japan is a great place to put money. Sure you won’t get a big return, or possibly any return, but you’ll probably be able to keep 90% of your investment. In most of human history, keeping 90% of your passive investment was a win. People think because interest rates on low risk Anglosphere investments were high circa 1870-1995 that there’s some sort of human right to a 5% real return.

    • Agree: mal
  112. @YetAnotherAnon

    Acronis. True. My eyesight is not great nor my dyspraxia. It was mor a comment on the Russian IT industry. I will throw in Infowatch too. All part of the separate ecology.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  113. @Not Raul

    By origin, most of the mobile phone industry up to and including the early iPhone was European. However, the various Cambridge design consultancies (for Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, Philips, HTC, LG, Apple, Huawei initially, Samsung initially) sold their IP. That said, a lot of base station design IP is still held there. A lot of it is now with Qualcom. The tech was there. The European brands in particular failed to make it to the 2nd wave. Neither did Microsoft. Google Android had the added value anyway.

    Although in regulatory terms the EU is more of a single market than the US, the cultural barriers to addressing such a large market remain. Thus the US market allows faster scale up in more goods more of the time. And now there will be China and India. Russia is a common dolphin surrounded by Orcas.

    In many professional services, individual US states are still quite protectionist. UK might beat them on a lot of Fintech.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  114. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    Which company are you talking about? “Mikron” are MIPS processors, which are produced under license of MIPS Technologies in Taiwan, but they were recently began local foundry for them (the only producer of integrated circuits in Russia). “Baikal” has licenses for ARM and MIPS chips, that are produced in fab in Taiwan.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  115. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    they were recently began local foundry for them

    Actually they don’t produce processors there. But things like RFID chips (which is used in passports), PMIC (power management) and microcontrollers for bank cards. So processors are still not being produced in Russia at the moment.

    • Replies: @utu
  116. Dmitry says:
    @showmethereal

    Amateur investors in that “Gamestop” story, were also apparently following the advice they read on Reddit, which is the website where they were carefully herded to stampede on the pre-selected stock.

    But Reddit has almost no security features, and you can teach a 12 year old child how to add hundreds of fake upvotes to a post they wished to promote there. Of all websites, it’s one of the easiest ones for fake voting.

    So it’s probably never been more easy for professional investors to manipulate herds of amateur investors, into such kinds of stampedes, almost risklessly generating profits for themselves. Here is obviously a need for much more strict government regulation, while currently manipulating those almost securityless venues, must be like access to a free cash printing machine for less ethical speculators of professional Wall Street.

    • Agree: utu
    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
  117. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    According to this article (Dec 2020) China is also fabless

    China’s Drive to Make Semiconductor Chips Is Failing
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/14/china-technology-sanctions-huawei-chips-semiconductors/

    The only serious Chinese rival to these advanced U.S. chips is the HiSilicon Kirin 9000, designed by Huawei’s own in-house “fabless” chip-design subsidiary. In the arcane lingo of semiconductor manufacturing, a fabless chipmaker is one that lacks its own fabrication facilities, known as “fabs” or “foundries.” Until this year, Huawei’s HiSilicon chips were actually made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, but tightening U.S. sanctions put an end to that.

  118. mal says:
    @Not Raul

    Not if you account for government budget surplus (subtracts from GDP) and demographics, not to mention interest rate policy.

    All Russia needs to do to raise GDP growth is for Putin to buy everybody a pizza until budget surplus is spent. GDP growth rate will increase. It’s literally that easy but Russia has other priorities that are more difficult to achieve.

  119. @showmethereal

    It is just an online retailer. These Russian etailers aren’t out competing the American big techs like Huawei was and is.

    De listing them might be the real threat. If I can invest in Chinese AAA stocks, I can do the same with Russian stocks. It is even a lower risk vs my Chinese investments.

  120. @utu

    https://wccftech.com/chinese-semiconductor-manufacturer-smic-to-introduce-7nm-node/

    You are pretty logical when it comes to other topics besides China. Why so much negativity? Where is your logic on the Chinese topics?

    I personally think it will take SMIC 8+ years to reach 5nm performance levels. But once they got it down, the rest of the world would be eating dust.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
    , @utu
  121. @Yellowface Anon

    Yes but they are hedging their bets. The Chinese market is 1/3 of the global semiconductor market. It’s not a difficult calculus. South Korea said “no more THAAD”… So don’t underestimate their resolve.
    Even dealing with North Korea… It’s actually Kim who is resistant. If Moon had it his way they would revive fully the “sunshine policy” of linking the two Koreas back together. The US isn’t happy about it. South Korea also refuses to follow US lead and become BFF’s with Japan. Don’t underestimate them.

    If the Kim’s got their act together – economic links between Russia/China/Korean peninsula would be hugely important to the global supply chain. Japan and the US of course would not be happy – but even Japan would be thoroughly enticed by that.

    I mean Japan attends the Eastern Economic Forum hosted by Russia in Vladivostok… Well imagine how that would transform the economy of that Russian city. I understand much of the Russian talent in the field is in Moscow (and maybe St. Pete) – but it is a much shorter flight to the rest of east asia from Vladivostok… And I know there is talk of freight and high speed rail connecting China-Russia-Korean peninsula. So we shall see.

    I don’t know who Pepe’s sources and he didn’t give were but it sounded plausible based on the factors I listed above.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/north-korea-south-korea-plan-railway-peace-declaration-2018-5

    https://tass.com/economy/1076481

    • Replies: @joniel
  122. @Not Raul

    Yeah but I specified “internet tech”. SAP you could make somewhat of an argument for but is mainly enterprise software. ARM is semiconductor design. I guess Skype would fit. I admit I don’t know much about their operations – but I do know they were bought by Microsoft now. Where is most of their development now? In Europe or the US?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  123. @Astuteobservor II

    The issue isn’t really SMIC. The guys leading them led R&D at TSMC. The issue are the manufacturing tools They noted the only thing stopping them is the lack of EUV machines to get below 7nm. I’d say it would take maybe 5 years for Chinese firms to get around the EUV lithography. In 8+ years silicon might be replaced at the most advanced nodes. So called 3rd gen semiconductors.

    https://www.trendforce.com/presscenter/news/20180326-9973.html

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  124. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @utu

    China is also fabless

    Read the article again, Huawei doesn’t equate to China.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  125. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Blinky Bill

    SMIC will begin small-scale 7nm FinFET production at the end of this year.

    The new generation of ICs being readied at SMIC won’t be manufactured using EUV lithography – that was never the plan. The Chinese foundry doesn’t yet have an EUV scanner and it obtaining one has become troublesome now that the US is trying to slow down China’s advances in semiconductor technology.

    [MORE]

    • Thanks: showmethereal
  126. utu says:
    @Blinky Bill

    https://technode.com/2021/03/04/where-china-is-investing-in-semiconductors-in-charts/

    China consumed $143.4 billion worth of wafers in 2020, and just 5.9% of them were produced by companies headquartered in China.

    China falls far short of 70% chip self-sufficiency target. It is 9% in 2020 and expected to be 19% in 2024.

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Znzn
  127. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @utu

    companies headquartered in China.

    Therefore China is fabless!

    Shifting goalposts is fun 😂

  128. utu says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    You, the Chinese influencers pushing the good news from China and the Chinese shit does not stink meme are very thin skinned. It is kind of endearing because it shows you are honest and genuine except that too often you come across as extremely naive to the point of stupidity. You are on the opposite end to the Soviet and Russian propaganda that comes across as savvy and unscrupulously mendacious.

    • Agree: Brás Cubas
    • Disagree: songbird
    • Thanks: reiner Tor
    • Troll: Anatoly Karlin
  129. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @utu

    [MORE]

    Chinese shit does not stink meme

    And China is also fabless.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  130. @utu

    Can someone please press the agree and the disagree buttons? Only two volunteers are needed to make this comment perfectly decorated.

  131. @Anatoly Karlin

    Good primer, just published, on why it would be lunacy for a country like Russia to try to compete in cutting-edge chip manufacturing:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-chip-production-why-hard-to-make-semiconductors/

    The costs are prohibitive even for the US.

    Three companies—Intel, Samsung and TSMC—account for most of this investment. Their factories are more advanced and cost over $20 billion each. This year, TSMC will spend as much as $28 billion on new plants and equipment. Compare that to the U.S. government’s attempt to pass a bill supporting domestic chip production. This legislation would offer just $50 billion over five years.

    Once you spend all that money building giant facilities, they become obsolete in five years or less. To avoid losing money, chipmakers must generate $3 billion in profit from each plant. But now only the biggest companies, in particular the top three that combined generated $188 billion in revenue last year, can afford to build multiple plants.

    The only country with the economies of scale to justify that kind of spending to build up chip fab capacity at the technological frontier is China.

  132. @Anatoly Karlin

    Thanks to all posters, even – perhaps especially – those who disagree, from argument/debate hopefully truth emerges.

    How important is it (from a defence perspective) to have chip plants at the cutting edge? I appreciate that such chips will use less power and can maybe run faster – how important is that in military terms?

    I’m thinking that in terms of things that fly and go bang (drones/missiles/aircraft), maybe not very much, in terms of say processing power in satellites maybe more so – but even then you can just up the launch power for a heavier satellite. But I’m no expert.

    Small autonomous drone swarms maybe?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  133. Pericles says:
    @Philip Owen

    The European brands in particular failed to make it to the 2nd wave. Neither did Microsoft. Google Android had the added value anyway.

    Nokia could have made it, but they picked the altogether wrong CEO, Stephen Elop, who promptly ran the company into the ground (cf. the infamous “burning platform”). Too bad, but good for America.

  134. @Anatoly Karlin

    So basically they would spend the equivalent of two thirds of their defense budget to be at the cutting edge. Yeah, it’s not worth it.

  135. Znzn says:
    @utu

    So they are 2 generations behind, assuming everything goes well.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  136. @Blinky Bill

    I thought utu once shared a story about China having figured out jet engine production, but perhaps I’m mistaken. (Those stories were kinda half premature. The Chinese can now build engines with a performance similar to that of the Al-31 engine, it’s unclear if service life is similar or worse, but since using your own engines will give you production experience, and it’s also a matter of pride, I’d imagine that it’s still inferior in that respect. Also it’s just low bypass turbofan engines, in terms of high bypass turbofans they are probably further behind. Also the Al-31 is not fully the cutting edge even for Russia, since the Al-41F is significantly better, and they are just about to replace both with a version with the performance of the Al-41F but with cheaper maintenance. As is well known, they are also about to replace the Al-41F in the Su-57 with the Izdeliye 30 engine.)

  137. @Znzn

    Which is a lot in terms of competitiveness, but not that much in an industry where generations only take a couple years.

  138. @utu

    When you say “savvy and unscrupulously mendacious”, three writers in this very website come immediately to mind:

    (1) Mike Whitney – this is a very interesting case. He is the most popular writer here, as per the site’s score, which speaks tons about the average IQ of this site’s readership.

    (2) Israel Shamir – the funniest one, no doubt about that.

    (3) Paul Craig Roberts – I really don’t read him anymore, so can’t say much except he fits the bill nicely.

    There are other pro-Russia writers here whom I’d be reluctant in calling “mendacious”, though they probably could be called “savvy” in some sense of the word:

    (1) The Saker

    (2) Anatoly Karlin

    There is also Pepe Escobar, which is pro-Russia apparently as an extension of his being pro-China. The same possibly applies to Ron Unz and Michael Hudson, to some extent.

    Among the rest of them, I can’t think of anyone who could be properly called anti-Russia.

    • Replies: @utu
  139. The Russian economy doesn’t need to return to vigorous or even modest growth for these companies to do very well for their owners, though a tailwind will definitely help as Russian household income has been stagnant in Dollar terms since the annexation of Crimea: https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/russia/annual-household-income-per-capita

    The Ruble picture is somewhat better: https://economy.com/russian-federation/personal-income

    The Ruble is also one of the most undervalued currencies in the world, at least according to The Economist’s famous Big Mac index: https://www.economist.com/big-mac-index

    This is unlikely to change given Russia’s credible commitment to fight inflation with both high interest rates and central government fiscal surpluses. That said the Ruble could go even lower due to sanctions escalation or if major commodity prices again collapse.

    Enough macro.

    Yandex has the following 5-year CAGR:

    Earnings per share: 19.3%
    Revenue: 29.6%
    Cashflow: 20.8%

    These figures were achieved despite COVID.

    The balance sheet is very strong, with a quick ratio of 3.4. Total long term debt less cash & cash equivalents is only $1.6bn, and if one also considers short term investments then the company has $600m more in cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments than all of its long term debt. Cash is also piling up rapidly, having gone from $93m at the end of 2016 to $811m at the end of 2020.

    I can’t assess the quality of Yandex’s Russian-language search, Yandex taxi, or the quality of its ad-targeting. I can however report that Yandex is the best search engine for finding memes, and it’s not even close.

    Unlike Uber, Yandex Taxi is actually profitable.

    Yandex has an excellent investor relations page in English: https://ir.yandex

    It has about half of the Russian online advertising market, and Russian online advertising spending is growing at something like 20% annually–despite the lack of growth in Russian incomes or retail sales.

    If this were an American company, it would currently be selling for 3x its current price. It’s a superb company which is well worth owning on all its own merits, and if Russian growth resumes and/or the Ruble appreciates then it’s a possible ten-bagger.

    Blockbuster Q1 results released a week ago: https://ir.yandex/financial-releases?year=2021&report=q1

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill, Morton's toes
    • Replies: @joniel
  140. @Blinky Bill

    Call me an autist but it bothers the hell out of me that the location for Tianjin does not point anywhere close to Tianjin (in reality it is due east of that on the coast).
    The line for Beijing points to somewhere near Chengde.
    There is also no Ganzu, it’s called Gansu

    It’s sad that even in apparently well researched and interesting graphics about China there are such basic and embarrassing mistakes.
    Pretty emblematic of China scholarship in the West.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  141. joniel says:
    @showmethereal

    The Korean conflict is getting to the point where it blows up in either the US’s or South Korea’s faces. S. Korea needs those N. Korean babies badly, and they will never get to them with Uncle Sam permanently colonizing them. No one is going to be stupid like Gorbachev this time.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  142. joniel says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Russian social media sites have regained ground since 2016:

    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-facebook-path-social-network-domination/

    Latvia has swapped FB for VK.

  143. @Karlin, your map is pretty out of date. IWIW (the Hungarian native social network) ceased to exist almost a decade ago. It was dominant until maybe 2010.

  144. utu says:
    @Brás Cubas

    When I wrote my comment I had other commenters from Team China and Team Russia on my mind.
    But since you jumped to the content providers at the UR here is my take: The content providers like Mike Whitney, Israel Shamir, The Saker and Pepe Escobar are clearly blatant propagandists registering very high on the dishonesty and demagogy scales while each having his own angle, his own axis to grind and his own method. Who does benefit from the crap they produce? Unfortunately there are very few content providers at the UR who can be taken seriously.

    Anatoly Karlin is nowhere near their level. In fact Karlin comes across as a paragon of honesty, objectivity and cold detachment. Karlin is realistic and mostly data based. That he is playing for the Team Russia is understandable; he can be respected for it.

    • Agree: Philip Owen, reiner Tor, AP
    • LOL: showmethereal
    • Troll: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
    , @Dmitry
  145. Rdm says:

    Hey Anatoly,

    I’m seeing lots of porks from Russia in Indonesia.

    Are there any Russian pork companies that I can invest in from IBKR?

    Thanks !

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @songbird
  146. @utu

    I disagree with you about Karlin, and in fact I think you contradict yourself. No one who plays for Team Russia, or any team for that matter, can be regarded as being a “paragon of honesty, objectivity and cold detachment”. Of course he is on a higher level of seriousness than the rest, and my comment acknowledged that, though not perhaps explicitly enough.

    As for The Saker, maybe I am not paying enough attention to what he writes, but I cannot really notice much difference between him and Karlin in Russian-related matters. Of course, they are on opposite teams on the HBD issue, but I was not considering that angle.

    I am reluctant to classify any of them as crap, because the mainstream media is also extremely biased.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  147. @showmethereal

    Estonia, deliberately so because Estonia is perhaps the leading country in providing all government services to its citizens electronically. It’s a good environment in which to see opportunities first. Russia is also doing very well on this score partly by copying Estonia. Russia has the world’s leading VAT collection software system.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  148. @Rdm

    Most large Russsian meat companies are private. However, three of the biggest, Cherkizovo, Miratorg and RosAgro are in principle quoted on the Moscow Exchange MOEX. All are closely held so the price can be easily manipulated. Miratorg is so closely held it has never traded shares although it qualified for a listing. Cherikizovo was quated in London but has delisted there. Read their reports for an updated and reasonable accurate view of the volume end of the Russian meat market. If trade with China gets going, these are the firms which will make the money. They are all suffering from an over provided market and although they have the world’s latest technology, the severe lack of experienced farm managers in Russia means that they struggle to maximise their efficiency. That said, they have better fundamentals than cryptocurrency 🙂 . All 3 are so big that they may be forced to take non commercial actions by the government (a legal requirement of the Russian consitution – very Mussolini). That said, the Russian government tneds to generously reward companies for complying with national policy initiatives.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill, Rdm
  149. songbird says:
    @Rdm

    I’m seeing lots of porks from Russia in Indonesia.

    Is that in Bali? An interesting place, I wonder what explains how the Hindus there seem to eat a lot of pork.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Blinky Bill
  150. @Brás Cubas

    As for The Saker, maybe I am not paying enough attention to what he writes, but I cannot really notice much difference between him and Karlin in Russian-related matters.

    They are very different. I never regularly read the Saker, and haven’t read anything from him for a couple of years, but it was enough to figure out that the Saker lives in a world where Russia could easily beat the US or even NATO in a conventional war. It’s a world of fantasy.

  151. @songbird

    They don’t eat beef.

    • Replies: @songbird
  152. @Max Payne

    This goalpost shifting is typical for US supremacists.

    They say Eastern Europe sucks for driving. I reply Romania has fewer road deaths per million people than US. They say “but per million kilometers, US is better”.

    They say Eastern Europe is dangerous. I reply that even Kosovo murder rate is half of US rate per million, which is a third of Los Angeles rate. They reply “next, sports and weather”.

    In early 1990’s, you wouldn’t be able to exchange dollars in Romania unless they were flat as if newly printed. This was people’s and bank cashiers’ rule for preventing counterfeits. You would place used dollar notes in a thick book and wait for them to flatten.

    I am certain billions of people would not take dollars but will accept whatever they are accustomed to, including local money, goats or flattened dollars.

    I doubt you saw many people who weren’t using dollars for payments on a daily basis. But there is no need to claim they don’t exist. Other things are more special about America.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Thorfinnsson
  153. @utu

    ahhh, the thin-skinned attack.

    Now it makes sense, you are a Zionist jew. I thought you were a whitey. My mistake. Now your twisted multiple personalities coming through your comments makes perfect sense.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  154. @reiner Tor

    In a war on Russian soil after a NATO attack, NATO would be obliterated. Merkan ‘warriors’ only enjoy massive superiority as they slaughter defenceless victims, like their apotheosis-the ‘turkey-shoot’ on the Kuwait-Basra Highway in 91.

    • Replies: @AP
  155. @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes that makes sense…. But my question is why do Russian companies not have a bigger presence in the manufacturing tools for the semiconductor industry. It’s less capital intensive than building fabs – but it puts Russia “in the mix”. I mean Russia obviously is good at math and science… So why do you think it doesn’t make tools for the international market? Or for China going forward? If they cooperate on defense and space – why not semiconductors?

  156. AP says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    They say Eastern Europe sucks for driving. I reply Romania has fewer road deaths per million people than US. They say “but per million kilometers, US is better”.

    This is correct. I suspect there are fewer road deaths per capita in a place like Yemen than in Romania.

    They say Eastern Europe is dangerous. I reply that even Kosovo murder rate is half of US rate per million, which is a third of Los Angeles rate. They reply “next, sports and weather”.

    I’m sure they didn’t mean that the Eastern European homicide rate is worse than in a place like Detroit but in places like where they live.

    US homicide rate varies widely by race and to a lesser extent by region. White America is more dangerous than western Europe but about as dangerous as eastern Europe. Specifically, the southern US states have a homicide rate similar to that of post-Soviet places like Latvia or Lithuania (around 4/100,000), while the safer northern ones have a homicide rate similar to that of Hungary, Kosovo or Montenegro (around 2-2.5/100,000). All of these places are safer than Russia (around 5/100,000) which is probably what many Americans think of when they think of eastern Europe. Furthermore, the Russian homicide rate has been dropping. In the 1990s it was in the 20s and up to 30/100,000, like modern Mexico and was still above 10/100,000 as recently as 2012. Impressions do not always keep up with reality ands are a little behind.

  157. AP says:
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    A Russian officer I spoke to was impressed by the swift military destruction of Iraq in 2003. Of course Americans are dismal failures at successful occupation.

    • Replies: @mal
  158. @joniel

    Well I won’t try to predict… But yeah you have some in South Korea that are like those in Taiwan (in relation to Mainland China) that are westernized and indoctrinated that “democracy is the only way”. Then you have some who are ambivalent. Then you have some who are hardcore in terms of “the family” and don’t care what system the other has but just feels it’s the right thing to reunite with their ethnic brothers. Moon is hamstrung and wishes he could go further. Joint Olympic teams was a big step. It was symbolic but it was a distinct desire to see better relations among Korean brothers.

    But what happens on the Peninsula has outside influence for sure. The US and Japan want to get rid of Kim – but they also want their to be pressure on China’s border. Russia and China on the other hand – don’t really care about Japan – but neither want US troops nor US radars or spying equipment near their own respective borders.
    But Russia and China and South Korea all want further economic integration.

    Again I won’t try to predict – but you are correct it will eventually come to a head. This type of tension can’t go on forever.

  159. @Philip Owen

    Not sure exactly which part of my comment you were making the comment about Estonia… Did you mean that is where most of the development for Skype happens now???
    In any event – yes I did hear that Estonia was very strong in IT. I did hear they punch above their weight in terms of “new economy” startups. Curious to why you say Russia is copying them though?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  160. mal says:
    @AP

    Iraqi military withdrew and reconstituted itself first as an insurgency and then ISIS core.

    Their main problem wasn’t the Americans but rather Shia, both Sadrist (nationalist) and Badr Corps (pro-Iran) varieties.

    Iraqi tribes were rather divided, so US military had easy initial time while they were settling scores – there was absolutely no way Shia conscripts would fight for Sunni Baath generals when Americans would hand the power to the Shia.

    In any country that manages to maintain national cohesion and keep their tribes united, the outcome is more like Vietnam or current Afghanistan mess (Taliban keeps Pashtuns together).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Aedib
  161. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @songbird

    I was very disappointed Putin didn’t realise that 14% of 270 million people was indeed a large export market.

    [MORE]

    There are also untold millions of Chinese in Indonesia, my estimate 6 million. Who consume copious amounts of pork.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Rdm
    , @songbird
  162. @mal

    Iraqi military withdrew and reconstituted itself first as an insurgency and then ISIS core.

    That’s a bit like saying that the Soviets didn’t defeat the Wehrmacht because it later reconstituted itself as the Bundeswehr.

    there was absolutely no way Shia conscripts would fight for Sunni Baath generals when Americans would hand the power to the Shia.

    Well they did fight against Shia Iran, so I wouldn’t say there was absolutely no way they would fight for Sunni Baathist generals.

    • Replies: @mal
  163. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

    Jews and Chinese food, when pork is OK.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  164. @Blinky Bill

    Chinese food – like a few Turks buying pork from Greek and Armenian shops (and pork would be expensive among red meat in Islamic countries if not banned)

    The dominant Islamic national culture, even after secularization, still retains a distaste for pork. Only minorities get to enjoy what their cultures have.

  165. @reiner Tor

    Thanks for the correction. It’s established that I don’t read either author with enough attention or frequency.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  166. @Astuteobservor II

    Isn’t this discussion about Russia and China? What do Zionism or jewishness have to do with those topics?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  167. Aedib says:
    @mal

    In the current Afghan mess, in practical terms, Taliban defeated NATO. Even the Soviets achieved more than NATO was able to achieve.

    • Replies: @AP
  168. @Dacian Julien Soros

    Who is they?

    Most Americans don’t think about Eastern Europe at all. America is an insular country and relatively few foreign countries are thought much about at all. Other Anglosphere countries, France, Germany, Italy, China, and Japan. And, of course, that exceptional state which is such a wonderful ally.

    To the extent that they do you’re probably correct in that the perceptions people have about foreign countries is typically out of date.

    Or did you mean locals who incorrectly believe the USA is the land of milk and honey?

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  169. This is a great post. I still think you should include SBER, it wants to rebrand as a tech company and has a reasonable shot at doing so afaik. It’s market cap is very high but it’s still a very good dividend stock. Good for a respectable 10% return: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio?s=y&timePeriod=4&startYear=2000&firstMonth=1&endYear=2021&lastMonth=12&calendarAligned=true&includeYTD=false&initialAmount=10000&annualOperation=0&annualAdjustment=0&inflationAdjusted=true&annualPercentage=0.0&frequency=4&rebalanceType=1&absoluteDeviation=5.0&relativeDeviation=25.0&reinvestDividends=true&showYield=false&showFactors=false&factorModel=3&portfolioNames=false&portfolioName1=Portfolio+1&portfolioName2=Portfolio+2&portfolioName3=Portfolio+3&symbol1=SBRCY&allocation1_1=100

    As for me, I have Tinkoff and Yandex. Tinkoff, because digital banking imo is the future (who the hell visits their banks anyways?); its 20 p/e is also very very reasonable for a company doubling its revenues in 4 years. Yandex seems a good choice because it seems to be the best candidate at eating up all of the competition. Even Tinkoff, but if Yandex absorbs Tinkoff it is so succesful that I still win. I don’t have SBER but I might end up buying some just because it’s easy to imagine a scenario where these three rule the banking roost.

    Indeed, Oleg Tinkov himself said in the 2018 strategy meeting that he wasn’t worried about any competition besides SBER and… Yandex, if they ever got into banking. Which they are now doing.

    I’d love to see you do a crypto appraisal, by the way. I found your arguments for ETH very convincing, they got me to finally buy some. Much too late, I know, but it keeps me from roping.

    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  170. AP says:
    @Aedib

    That’s like saying that Banderists ultimately defeated the USSR.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  171. mal says:
    @reiner Tor

    That’s a bit like saying that the Soviets didn’t defeat the Wehrmacht because it later reconstituted itself as the Bundeswehr.

    That’s true – Soviets didn’t defeat West German parts of the country and if there was WW3, Bundswehr would be fighting alongside the Americans. You are absolutely right, Soviet victory was incomplete, and reconstituted West German Army would fight them again.

    This is an important point because in the end, German Nazis became important people in Western policy making institutions, and USSR ended up being kicked out of Germany.

    Well they did fight against Shia Iran, so I wouldn’t say there was absolutely no way they would fight for Sunni Baathist generals.

    They had no choice there – tribal balance of power was against them, Saddam’s generals were too powerful. And supported by US lol. Even after first Gulf War Saddam Hussein Army was powerful – see what happened to the Kurds.

    By 2003, US sanctions (‘500,000 dead children worth it as per Madeline Albright) equalized tribes enough so that Shia power was at hand. And even then Shia had bring in death squads to cleanse Baghdad etc.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Morton's toes
  172. AP says:
    @mal

    So you disagree that that the USSR really defeated Nazi Germany? Well, your approach is at least consistent.

    • Replies: @mal
  173. @Brás Cubas

    You should read the comment chain before you asked that question. It is a basic requirement. You would also need to understand why zionists hate China and their attack points.

    I am being courteous right now.

  174. mal says:
    @AP

    USSR defeated large parts of Wehrmacht and stormed Berlin. However, they did not achieve total victory, as large part of the political and military apparatus was preserved in the West as part of the Cold War.

    Foot soldiers died, battlefields shifted, but struggle continued.

    Just like when you say “Banderists won against USSR”.

    Well, I see Banderists are still around but where is the USSR? And wasn’t nationalism at least partly responsible for Soviet collapse as Baltics, Ukraine, and Russia wanted to form their own countries?

    So… Banderists are doing better than USSR at this point.

    You know how I like to joke – World War 1 never ended. 🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  175. Rdm says:
    @Blinky Bill

    My post is meant to be cheeky on the video. But thanks anyone who suggested Russian pork. We can easily discerned the insight of Putin’s leadership.

    Just by looking at the 30 second clip, we can see that Putin sees the world clinically. His minister just blurted out about “pork” and “Indonesia”, Putin instantly laughed. He’s not looking at the percentage, which is secondary in the international relationship. The real issue here is the country religion, Muslim being 87% and some are really religious. If you’re trying to get the market share down under, no matter how small or large the percentage is, from all the Serbia sea or BRI road, you’re not going to make it to Jakarta.

    If we remove the MSM layers, Putin is the most revered Leader in Russia, just like Xi when we compared to Biden.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  176. @Brás Cubas

    What he failed to tell you is that shaker mainly focuses on the area near Russia. Where it will have homefield advantage.

    After the recent Russian troop placement near it’s eastern border, forcing down NATO, USA, and Ukrainian forces, shaker has more credibility.

    • Agree: Brás Cubas
  177. AP says:
    @mal

    Yes, you indeed have a consistent POV. You can’t be accused of hypocrisy.

    Militarily the USSR crushed Germany in 1945 and Banderists in the early 1950s. The USA militarily demolished the Iraqi state and military. in about 1 month in 2003.

    But in all of these cases the military loser won the overall struggle. The Nazis no longer rule (though most of them and their descendants have prospered) but Germany emerged as the dominant power in Europe, far wealthier than the USSR which disappeared. Banderists don’t rule Ukraine, but their dream of the USSR’s destruction and Ukrainian independence came true, Lenin has fallen but Bandera is celebrated. And of course Americans have largely lost Iraq.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @mal
  178. @Thorfinnsson

    I was debating the US supremacist theory that the dollar works everywhere.

    When I pointed out that billions of people don’t know what a dollar is, or may have a hard time using dollars, I was told that maybe somebody else, within a radius of 1000 km, could exchange those dollars.

    That was shifting the goalposts.

    Yes, an American Black can have sex with as many German or Romanian women as he wants, but he won’t score as well in India or China. Just because Germany is the way it is, there is no need to assume the whole planet is the same. Dollars are good in most of the colonies, but there are other countries as well.

    • Thanks: Thorfinnsson
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  179. mal says:
    @AP

    I agree. To me, military victory without political victory is no victory at all. Actually, best victories are the ones where not even single shot is fired.

    • Agree: AP
  180. @mal

    This is an important point because in the end, German Nazis became important people in Western policy making institutions, and USSR ended up being kicked out of Germany.

    There is a vocal and influential minority view that:

    1. Allen Dulles modeled CIA after Nazi playbook with a bunch of actual Nazi participants until they retired;
    2. European Union finance management even today goes by 1940’s Nazi blueprint with a bunch of actual Nazi participants until they retired.

    Oscar Skorzeny, Reinhardt Galen, Hjalmar Schacht, Werner von Braun did not look like they lost WWII after to me.

  181. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    I wonder how many Hindu Indians regularly eat pork. My perception is that it is not many, and that they would look down on Hindus that did consume it, even though it is not beef. Vegetarianism being a kind of general theme among them, and if pigs are not sacred, it still seems as though they are generally verboten.

  182. songbird says:
    @Blinky Bill

    I guess Hindus are a pretty minor religion there, overall, despite the history. I was thinking that there would be fewer Christians, in relative terms.

    I’d probably be too scared to eat at a restaurant specializing in pork in a Muslim country.

    But I would like to see pigs promoted more in the West. I think it is great to see the enthusiasm that Chinese have for them, I believe, even making a pigman into a kind of superhero in some movie adaption of Journey into the West.

    • Disagree: Anatoly Karlin, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  183. @songbird

    http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins.html

    EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS, ΦΒΚ
    (human origin as pig-chimpanzee hybrid)

    : )

    • LOL: songbird
    • Replies: @AP
  184. @HenryBaker

    Thanks. I do want to develop this thread into a post sometime this soonish: https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1359676548777918464

  185. @Boomthorkell

    My wife and I own shares in large, stable Russian companies that pay consistently high dividends, and we plan to buy more. This includes Norilsk Nickel, Gazprom, Lukoil, and Mobilny Telesystemy. These are not speculative or unduly risky picks relative to major US or European stocks.

    You may also want to buy some PhosAgro, one of the biggest fertilizer companies in the world (use the symbol PHOJY for global depository receipts if you’re not in Russia). They consistently pay dividends, sometimes a few percent but over six percent in the last quarter. Billionaire investor Jim Rogers sits on their board; we followed his recommendation to buy less than 4 years ago and the stock has appreciated 23% and paid decent to very good dividends.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jim-rogers-invests-russias-return-230644624.html

    https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2021-02-19/4q-and-fy-2020-financial-results-free-cash-flow-increases-1-5x-year-on-year-to-a-historical-record-rub-42-5-billion

    Nothing wrong with starting by investing just one or two thousand dollars, as we did, especially with commission-free online trades.

    The tax-favored retirement investment plan offered by my employer does not buy Russian or Chinese stocks in their mutual funds. So we have other accounts, retirement and nonretirement, where we regularly invest small amounts in Russian and Chinese companies. Mostly a play for dividend income with the Russian stocks.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Thanks: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  186. AP says:
    @Morton's toes

    When I was an undergraduate, a professor spent 2 days lecturing about the aquatic ape theory.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/apr/27/aquatic-ape-theory-primate-evolution

    It was time much better spent than what they are teaching students today.

  187. @showmethereal

    1) Skype development still happens in Estonia.

    2) Russia is building a strong position as the leading e-government in the relatively democractic world amongst big countries. Estonia is perhaps the leader amongst (sm)all countries.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  188. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Las time I checked the news, NATO troops were running away from Afghanistan and Taliban was taking new territories.

    • Replies: @AP
  189. AP says:
    @Aedib

    Last time I checked Soviets left Ukraine and there are streets named after Bandera in Kiev.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  190. @Dacian Julien Soros

    I’m not sure that billions of people don’t know what the Dollar is. In fact I’d be surprised to learn that there are even one hundred million. It’s the world’s best known currency.

    But scrolling up, certainly your point that in many areas the local currency would be more valuable to locals is obviously true. I have some foreign currency in my home which has been accumulated over years of traveling. The currency obviously has value, but it has no particular value where I live except as a souvenir. In fact I put some of it in a piggy bank I gave to a couple as a gift to congratulate them on the birth of a newborn. There’s nowhere near me where I could exchange this currency. Maybe there’s somewhere I could mail it to, but that’s a hassle and also incurs some risk.

    That said, one demonstration of the Dollar’s value is that in countries where the local currency collapses, often the Dollar ends up informally replacing it. Most infamously this was the case in Russia at the lowest ebb of the wild ’90s.

    This doesn’t only happen with the Dollar of course. In ’90s Yugoslavia the Deutsche Mark got that honor.

    Reiner Tor brought up an interesting idea. As you may or may not know, the woke lunatics in the USA wish to replace the portrait of American President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with some hideous negress. He has suggested that this could in fact augur the beginning of the end for the Dollar’s dominance, especially if they go onto replace the portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill. He noted that as long as he remembers, that $100 bill has been a symbol of American power. Since currency’s value depends on people being willing to accept it, removing Benjamin Franklin in favor of some BIPOC Shakur lunacy could destroy the memetic value of the Dollar.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  191. @YetAnotherAnon

    How important is it (from a defence perspective) to have chip plants at the cutting edge? I appreciate that such chips will use less power and can maybe run faster – how important is that in military terms?

    I don’t think it’s important. (Yet?). Small autonomous drone swarms may be the one relevant application, as you say but they’re not yet prevalent as a weapons system.

    Military electronics needs to be hardened, so as I understand it that alone often means you can’t use the (highest performance) industry standard chips anyway.

    Second, these high end chip fabs (as per above) are incredibly fragile. Hack the electricity grid, launch a couple of cruise missiles at them, etc., and they’re out of action for weeks or months. I recall there was one case where a microsecond electricity disruption at a TSMC plant resulted in millions USD of costs.

    In a total war between the US and allies, and China, those advanced chip fabs in Taiwan (and perhaps Korea) are going out of action pretty fast.

  192. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Probably it looks like more “weak sauce” in Russia, is not as much to be fabless, but to be designless for microchips, and to have the lost the ability in the last two decades to design them.

    Most of the various industries which would be categorized today under the terminology “hi tech”, are comparatively very small and underfunded in Russia today, especially when you see the crazy hi-tech boom in countries like the United Kingdom, where it can seem like someone is raining money from the sky.

    This can be rational response to how industries are not set to be very profitable in the economic mix in Russia (and also country’s relatively not integrated for complex industries financial and trading situation), in comparison to industries like oil, gas, chemicals and minerals, that are successfully generating wealth for the country.

    What has been a mismatch, has been how the government was promising young people for 10 or 20 years, about a prosperous future career they would have in hi tech, which has not exactly emerged too much, and as an oversupply of graduates for those fields are competing for low salary/high hour jobs, without a very impressive longterm career progresion.

    In countries like Great Britain, you see the crazy overfunding of high tech industries, with oversupply of high-salary jobs relative to undersupply of graduates that can apply for these jobs; and when you see the difference, it is like they are eating whole baguettes of bread in the UK, while in Russia by comparison it is fighting for some of the breadcrumbs under the table.

    But then in the oil or minerals industry, the roles are reversed. What is the equivalent of hi-tech in the UK (i.e. profitable boom industries), in Russia there is traditional industry, minerals, metallurgy, chemicals industry.

    The reality of the situation is masked a lot by the regional distribution of the profits, as a lot of the money created by the country’s hardworking cities and traditional industry, ended up being expended in cities like Moscow. And this regional imbalance of where money is generated, and where it is expended, is confusing some of the observers.

    RadicalCentrist has written above about how invests (I think he said from America) into Nornikel. Nornikel is an example of internationally successful Russian industries – but most of the profits which the hardworking residents in Norilsk are generating, is being expended in Moscow, rather than Norilsk.

    Whereas, if you are in high-tech industry, the profits are more likely visible in the place where they were generated, and retained to a higher proportion in the hardworkers’ whose labour has created the value.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Morton's toes
  193. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    country’s relatively not integrated for complex industries financial and trading situation), in comparison to industries like oil, gas,

    An example of this is with the financial services app “Revolut” . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolut

    It’s founded by the son of an executive of Gazprom’s infrastructure. But for the adequate conditions for the success of such a business idea, it has to be positioned in London.

  194. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    “Dissident politics” is also a filter setting that attracts many anti-social personalities, who want to use politics as a more “objective appearing” outlet for expressing a hatred they feel for their neighbors and fellow citizens.

    When Karlin has grown up in London, he might have been able to use a pro-Russian government politics in such a way, but by emigrating to Moscow, he has forced himself to cut off the anti-social function of politics, as he now can’t be pro-Russian and a dissident from his neighbours.

    But politics in Russia is such a narrow path, whereas to not dissent from the official positions, is to be a total “cuck” to your rulers, who are sipping Cristal in Monaco and Florida; whereas the dissident politics became a freakshow of professional anti-social personalities, who in some cases (e.g. Navalny) are motivated only by frustrated middle class jealously of not being able to afford sipping Moet in London and Nice.

    To some extent, making the dissidents become a visible zoo full of anti-social freaks, can be a good pro-authorities policy, that has been partially even cultivated by the rulers. I’m not sure American rulers are subtle enough for this kind of strategy however. American rulers have famously openly managed their country’s politics for many years, by dividing it into two mirroring ideologies.

    • Replies: @utu
  195. @Dmitry

    What is the equivalent of hi-tech in the UK (i.e. profitable boom industries), in Russia there is traditional industry, minerals, metallurgy, chemicals industry.

    The oil industry is a high tech industry.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  196. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    “To some extent, making the dissidents become a visible zoo full of anti-social freaks”. – This might be a role of sites like this one.

  197. @Morton's toes

    There’s a distinction between the application of technology and the production of technology.

    The oil industry is a consumer of very advanced technology, but it produces oil and products made from oil.

    Now, to be fair, the producers of highly advanced capital goods for the oil industry are also not classified as “technology” companies, as that moniker has come to be reserved for producers of software and semiconductors for various reasons.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  198. Icy Blast says:

    The dollar is a “shiny bauble”? I did not know that. And it has been “…devaluing for centuries”? What has it been devaluing? Or do we not know the difference between a transitive and intransitive verb? What garbage.

  199. @Thorfinnsson

    If you want to get detailed, fine. But it depends on your perspective. Warren Buffet’s is one. Vladimir Putin’s is another.

    If you are in your 20’s and coming out of a tech university program and you get a degree in Engineering or Programming or Science or Mathematics and you go to the recruitment center to peddle your shiny new credentials to the employers you are very likely to get your best job offer from an oil company.

    In Moscow or in Boston. The vernacular here is same difference which is weird terminology because the meaning is no difference!

    So from my perspective the oil industry is a high tech industry. I don’t have tens millions dollars capital. All I have is one of those shiny diploma thingies.

  200. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Rdm

    “Russian” pork sausages are very popular in Israel.

  201. @Philip Owen

    Understood… Thanks for the clarification.

  202. @RadicalCenter

    Do you mean Jim Rogers the Texan who moved his family to Singapore?? If so he’s a wise man. He always encourages people to invest in precious metals and agriculture commodities. That is in my blood (and works well) – so I always like hearing him.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  203. @AP

    Last time I checked there’s an active insurgency ongoing in Afghanistan, were Banderites ambushing Soviet convoys in 1990? Did NSDAP win when East Germany fell? Your logic is surreal.

  204. @showmethereal

    Yep, that’s him. We also followed his example by having most of our children learn Mandarin from an early age.

  205. Alright everyone…I have another crazy question.

    Let’s say I’m genuinely terrified of having any foreign Russian investments being locked away. Is it possible to create a fictitious account (of some sort) to hold my stocks for me, on the off chance I one day need to flee the country and also want to have my account abroad safe and not traced back to me until I claim it? My friend has pitched this idea to me, and I’m just trying to figure out the staggering logistics of it. I mean, it’s one thing obviously to open a bank account or possibly even some kind of stock-holding entity, or make a company designed solely for this purpose…but I’m not even sure where to start in this case, and especially with the level of cover desired.

    Really, it’s damn silly to be asking this online, but searching it online isn’t going to be any better I suppose.

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