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Xerxes

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  1. I have said some pages ago, that negotication with him at this point are unlikely to yield any results. So I dont disagree with your comment. But I do know that at the very least, he needs to do something to offset the Ukrainian advance in summer, to regain leverage. The worse thing the West can do is to give in into his nuclear blackmail. All I am saying is that what he says today is more consequential than what he was saying six months ago.
  2. Stalin and Mao, while did not have the overwheling nuclear superiorty that Russia has today, were at the helm of nuclear-armed nations. And they both have their hands tainted by tens of millions of death. So in other words, genocidal characters armed with nukes. Yet, West was happy to talk and negotiate with them and to dine and wine with them. There is no morality involved here (i.e. the Hitler comment, whose name gets thrown alongside Munich everything we take the moral highground; yet, we never talk about Stalin and Mao, because they do not fit our current narrative). Kissinger and Nixon had no problem dumping Repulic of China (Taiwan) out of UN, and recognizing PRC as "China" because it made sense at the time as a counter-weight against the Soviet Union. We didnt seem to have a problem of working with Stalin, eventhough Stalin just two years earlier participitated in the rape of Poland hand in hand with the Nazi (the famed Molotov-Ribberntrop pact). It is just business of geopolitics and deciding to which direction we think the world should go. And once we decide, we built narrative around it. Everyone loves a 1938 Munich comment. Posturing and positioning of both sides tell you all you need to know: West has positioned themselves as "this is our chance to ruin Russia". Russia has positioned itself as "we will not back down; we told you not get close to us; now we will scorch earth ("Ukraine") if we have to". Poor Ukrainian are stuck in between, neither here nor there. Obvisouly, with such huge gap in terms of "posturing" on the two side, are we really surprised. Both sides have dug their heels.
  3. Putin may have been 'shocked' by West's reaction function as well as his own military's deficienies in the early months of the war and the weeks leading to it, so whatever came out of his mouth (output) was based on very faulty inputs (wrong presumptions and faulty chain of command). Now, whatever is coming out of his month (output) is based on relatively more correct inputs. Just to say that if what he said back in early weeks/months of the war didn't matter that much and dismissed, today they do matter, so we should at least take note.
  4. I have the US Dollars that came out of David Sokol's privatization attempt of Atlas ready for re-deployment. I have GOOG, AMZN, BRK, RTX, DIS, SBUX -- all current holdings as potential "add on targets", but the more the market goes down, the more difficult it is for me to chose which ones to add. Some of these aerospace names do not follow the normal business cycle, others like Starbucks are more cyclical but even then they probably benefit from so called "lipstick effect" I also have Transdigm and Lockheed as new additions, but not really a price target. The higher rate seem to bite Transdigm stock price faster it seems.
  5. War on the Rocks Not sure who recommended to me this Podcast. As it is the only non-investing podcast I listen to. The recent episode (there is a part 2 to it) was fun to listen to as it delves into 1990s. There are not much books written on the Chechen conflicts. The podcast also recommends a recent book called "Command" written by one of the guests on that episodes. Command: The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine: Freedman, Lawrence: 9780197540671: Books - Amazon.ca Here is a review from The Guardian and The Economist: Command by Lawrence Freedman review – inside the war room | Politics books | The Guardian In war, the key tussles are often between generals and leaders | The Economist The book boast a 600 page and looks to be a great addition for my (anybody else's) unread pile of books.
  6. @Parsad You forgot one thing: President Biden beaming in pride as he runs for a second term on the back of presiding over the humiliation of Russia and the return of the Internationalist/Globalist as a specie. On nukes, Russia is indeed bluffing. I am of that view as well. But I would add that we also thought they were bluffing in Feb 2022, where they mounted a full scale invasion that made absolutely no sense. Our current point of views are shaped on what we know and what we think we know, steeped in analysis. Not what we dont know. For whatever reason, there was tripwire that went off in Kremlin in second half 2021 early 2022. Even Lavrov probably did not know the extent of Russia involvement on the eve of the invasion & certainly not us. Of course, we in the West can look back and build a narrative around it, in terms of why/what and write essays about it etc. But that is after the fact, when we do our analysis, establish new biases etc. On China, you are correct on everying except the assumption that Bejing can CTRL-Z an already exploded Russian tactical nuke. If it were to happen it will be a fair accompli based on some nonsense about terrirtoral integrity of newly annexed region .... there would be no posturing. But like it said, my biases tells me that were are not there and wont be there, but certainly the pathway is being created via annexation to bring those newly "minted" territories under its nuclear umbrella. With Russia, it is all about grey zones and ambiguities and hybrid wars and plausible deniability. That is how they ran the 2014-2021 war in the Donbas region. Hybrid war. They were there but not there but still there but really not there but kind of there.
  7. Babylon Berlin Season IV It is all in German. I didn’t understand a word. But looks sick !! @Spekulatius let me know if you were able to figure out who is Sauron in the “Rings of Power” !!
  8. @Pelagic I agree. I said earlier that it is low risk, (even lower than six months ago) given the framework that has been established in the past six months. My comment was about NATO response to a hypothetical tactical nuclear strike somewhere in Ukraine. Even a NATO direct conventional strike against Russian forces only in Ukraine has no tangible benefit given the shamble position of the Russian military forces already there BUT has all the downside of whatever we are not thinking about it.
  9. and what would President Biden say exactly as he address the nation that we are blowing things up inside Russia proper. That is for all intent and purpose a declaration of war. You may think it is limited strikes and what not. But the other side doesn’t see that. If Russia couldn’t hide its full scale military invasion behind “special ops bs”, the West cannot hide its open declaration of war behind some “proportional NATO response mumbo jumbo”
  10. People can say what they want, but there is nothing Western powers can do if Russia goes nuclear tactically. But at this point I would think the chances are low, as they have not exhausted the landmass for its resources. And Motherland is not at risk. Nuclear wasn’t that taboo, when Mcarthur was planning to drop 50 of them on Manchuria. Even the mighty President Bush (‘41) considered it using against Iraq in 1991 as a threat. A threat is not a threat if you are not willing to pull the trigger. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1991-03-10-9103090421-story.html
  11. If a democratically elected leader (LBJ) of a major Western power couldn’t come down his high horses and find a way to end Vietnam, I don’t understand why people in this thread think that the gangsters running Kremlin are not going to double down. There can be no strategic pause for Kiev. As they can re-arm at a much faster than Moscow can, thanks to the Western inflow of war material. Russian Motherland and the regime are not at any existential risk thanks to the nukes and the internal controls and incentives built over decades and the Rubicon has already been crossed on Western sanctions. So no incremental gain there for Kremlin to play nice. Zelensky is no fool. He already know all this. That said countries like Turkey can play a role here as mediator over time. But a mediator cannot see things in a “cartoonish” ways of bad guys vs good guys. here is a good interview from yesterday with president of Turkey. I must admit I found his answer on Crimea very confusing. Not sure what design Turkey has on the ancestral land of the Tartar khans.
  12. Viking, During the 2018 AGM, Prem specifically said that FIH and FAH were built as independent vehicle and FFH wants them as far as away from us (FFH). I suscinctly recall, he contrasting them with the "explorer ships", so that if they go down they dont take mothership. I dont know how much 'salesmanship' was in those statement, and how that perceived risk and/or regulatory landscape changed, but this is very different than Brookfield Properties where it was created purely to have a currency, just like Brookfield is doing it again now with the "Manager" of BAM. For FFH, the creation of FIH was primiarlly for risk-management tool (and as currency tool as secondary objective) whereas for Brookfield it was primiarlly to have it as a M&A currency (which in turn made total sense to buy it back since that currency undervalues the NAV and was no longer doing its prime objective). Naturally the question would be, if with the deep discount that FIH is trading at, is that 'perceived' risk less so for FFH. And I think that is a fair question.
  13. i wouldnt call that chickening out, they would be doing their jobs by pivoting away if the real economy falls over. Right now, they got to raise rate as much as they can since the economy can handle it, but the caveat is that what you see in financial market has a lag to the real economy. The big question is how high too high and that no one knows.
  14. ^^ Thanks "Terror" is based also on the real story as well but has survival-monster-horror tilt to it. It looks very chilling. It is i think really seen from the eyes of the men on the expedition, slowly losing it. AMC's 'The Terror' Is More Than a Chilling Monster Show - The Atlantic The novel from which it is based was written in 2007. Dan Simmons - Wikipedia The Terror: A Novel : Simmons, Dan: Amazon.ca: Books
  15. House of Dragon last night :: WowooooW RIngs of Power on Friday: very enjoyable; makes you want to watch the old LOTR on a different note, Shetland Season 7 is out. But dont be fooled (like i was). I immediatly signed-up for BritBox on Prime for it, only to realize that it is dropping 1 episode per week. Instead watching Terror on prime, about the famous Franklin's expedition to the Arctic Franklin's lost expedition - Wikipedia
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