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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter. Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic! Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below. Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense. Part III
Squeezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Squeezes and other risks
We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.
Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem. This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week. For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.
Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity. The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class. A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone. There's a reason for the car, don't worry Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price. If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point. To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price. Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble. Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it. The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard. Incredible event Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely. This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze. For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts. A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me: Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.
Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy. Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite. A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012. The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’. They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally. Then this happened. Something that changed FX markets forever The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%. Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.
We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care? Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care. Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable. To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on. On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy. We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like. A carry trade position clear-out in action Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful. The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT"). This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market. Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy. You can find the data online for free and download it directly here. Raw format is kinda hard to work with However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”. But you can easily get visualisations You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful. Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information. As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning. For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back? A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity. For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?” In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit. If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.
Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are. Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large. Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem. Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue. Chart from TradingView So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together. The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each. There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio. A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance. But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done? For example:
You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return. The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction. It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade. Flat is a position. Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it. Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month. Be strict with yourself and walk away Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first. Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period. Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture. Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal. When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.
That's a wrap on risk management
Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback. Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results. Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below. News Trading Part I
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
Data surprise index
Using recent events to predict future reactions
Buy the rumour, sell the fact
The mysterious 'position trim' effect
Some key FX releases
*** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
Stop-Loss and the Hunger For New Capital Ever wonder why when you trade your stop gets tagged? Although you put it in a spot where "There's no way price will want to reach my stop level for sure this time" As a trader, particularly a new trader – I've always wondered why my stops were only tagged for the price of running briefly the area that I've ever so carefully researched ... hit my stop point ..... then move on in the direction of my original study and run to the point where my profit should have been taken. Everything leaving me wondering ...... In the hell for what did this do??? Obviously this is a common issue that has plagued most traders. At least, I know that I have faced this very problem for years. What I noticed was that there was a very distinctive pattern going on, and it was repeating itself again and again. I noticed that the traditional supply and demand theory, support and resistance zones, or double top / double bottom trading patterns that I have been told time and time again that price has always covered these regions, was not really a real thing. The argument had been, ..... Put me into the shoes of the major investment banks vs. the home-trading fighter who was going to conquer the markets every day. If you were a large company with an infinite supply of money and you decided to bring a massive chunk of it into the game, you can't just dump the whole lot into the game and demand all your orders to be filled out at once, then take off the price in the direction you want .... no ..... That is not exactly the way it operates.All these major organizations need to do is pair orders. And they match that order by sending the markets to areas where liquidity is high .... The stops AKA! Let 's say you 're evaluating the markets, for example, and deciding that price wants to go higher than an old regular target as it's in a bullish uptrend at the moment. And you see price for the past day, or so, not willing to go any lower. What looks like a bit of a demand shelf or support level where the demand is all in a nice tight clustered row that just doesn't seem to want to go down and you know for sure this time price won't go under that heavily protected area ..... only for the price to run down quickly and refuse to go up (in this case a long position). And I started to note that these "secure zones" or places where price is certainly not going to come up / down to be simply used by these large entities as feeding grounds for harvesting liquidity and adding more positions to include them in a larger movement. They need a lot of money to buy in and just to do so, your sell stop is great. Many traders put their stops below this tight pack range of candles a few pips / ticks / cents believing they 're secure as price obviously doesn't want to come down below them. And most traders have their positions liquidated by the hungry major capital banks to feed the whole push higher than you were originally right about. And how can you stop this pitfall happening to you is the million-dollar question? There are a few ways to handle this and keep your hard-earned money from being ripped away from you in an moment, which you have at risk in the markets. Stop-Hunting and the Hunger For New Capital I found that you would do much better in your trading career if you look at these areas (in the above example a long position) as a chance rather than a safe zone to put your stop. What I mean by that is, anticipate them coming down under those equal lows and try to get far below it instead of getting long above the area of consolidation. Yeah, that means you're going to have to go long when the competition runs against you and I know , I know, it feels really uncomfortable and wrong and goes against all you've been taught ... but believe me that this approach can give you the very best possible entries. Imagine: getting into the day 's low and riding price action all the way up to the top of everyday scale!!! Wouldn't this be terrific? Well, if your quantitative skills are timely and your business research tells you to go a long way, then all you need to do is wait for the perfect entry. Let the price build up and create "demand shelf" or support areas for that. Let the market shift sideways and bounce around like a pinball mocking all the other traders who were at the top of these stuff for a long time and put their stops just below them in hopes that the price would not come down and stop them. All the while playing with and holding their emotions on the cliff of –Will this be a winner, or a trade loser? So when price does the unimaginable and runs below the support area and scoops up all the traders stops you can then go long and take part in the glorious upside of being right – and of course make some money doing it. Notice facile? Well, that is not so. It takes patience and timing and experience to catch all those eager participants who keep their stops on a silver platter for the fat and thirsty banks to suck them up, as the markets normally send price south of the border. Stop-Loss and the Hunger For New Capital (meme) You have to define the times of the day when the wrong move is made apparent. Or when they make that low of the day – typically within the 1st 1 – 4 hours of the trading day, and I don't mean either when the banks come online at 8 a.m. NY. I mean 12 am, at the beginning of the day. So yes you 're definitely going to have to be awake if you like watching price do its thing and don't trust the process of buying into those down candles. And use a limit order like me-then go to sleep and trust your overall analysis to be right and wake up to your morning with a nice little start. But the trick is-where are you going to shop under the lows? And where does your stop then go when you buy? Those are all interesting questions that I should seek to answer clearly here – but alas, all markets are different. Yet general rule of thumb as follows:
You should predict that such stop-sweeps will occur in grades 5 and 10. The average is usually about 10, cents, pips, ticks or otherwise. The bigger the step down the more likely it is not a stop raid and potentially a reversal of the pattern. And you can prevent too much danger and keep the stop fairly secure.
Your stop will need to go low on the 1hr map below the next move. As a minimum, and yes, that may mean a greater risk level that you are usually prepared to take. However if that is the case then try to turn your power back. You don't need to make every trade worth a million dollars. This is about continuity, when dealing, not winning the draw. In your research you need to be sure the price will push higher as this is how the overall trend directions point it. I am not recommending trade in these types of trades against the trend. You need to be in full agreement with the direction of the total daily level. And bringing it in. Also, a great way to place the maximum risk reward for your take profit: Attempt to position it in places above the market where short-sellers will stop. And in a nutshell, with a bit of analysis, all the knowledge I described above can be readily found, I didn't come up with it on my own and these ideas are not unique. Yet how you adapt them to your particular trading style is up to you and relies on your interpretation of these principles for your success and/or failure. Price is fractal and would want to return to markets it has previously sold before – if you accept the basic fact you ought to be doing very well in your business career. Eva " Forex " Canares . Cheers and Profitable Trading to All. About FTMO - They fund forex traders. Just Pass their risk management rules and begin trading for their company. They'll provide you capital up to $300k USD for trading the financial markets. 70% of profits you keep and losses are covered by them. How does it work? How to Become a Funded Forex ,Stocks or CryptoCurrency Trader?
This article will breakdown the top 16 trading tips you should consider , ranging from how you should trade, the risks you need to be aware of, how learning about trading can improve your trading performance, and much more! https://preview.redd.it/5mtfgzf58u951.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d03de717ed7528061472e763cfcb4cf34771fbef 1. Create Your Own Strategy No list of currency trading tips is complete if it doesn't mention strategies. One of the most common mistakes beginner traders make is not creating an action plan. Figure out what you want to get out of trading. Having a clear end goal in mind will help with your trading discipline. 2. Learn Step-by-Step As with every new practical learning activity, trading requires you to start with the basics, and move slowly until you understand the playing field. Start by investing small sums of money, and keep in mind the old adage 'slow but steady wins the race'. 3. Take Control of Your Emotions Don't let your emotions carry you away. It can be very difficult at times, especially after you've experienced a losing streak. But keeping a level head will help you stay rational, so you can make competent choices. Whenever you let your emotions get the better of you, you expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Exercising risk management within your trading will help you to minimise the risks. 4. Stress Less This is one Forex tip that sounds really obvious – because it really is. But guess what? Trading under stress generally leads to irrational decisions, and in live trading, that will cost you money. Therefore, identify the source of your stress and try to eliminate it, or at least limit its influence on you. Take a deep breath and focus on something else. Every person has their own way of overcoming stress – some listen to classical music, while others exercise. Listen to your mental health and learn what works best for you. 5. Practice Makes Perfect Of all the Forex tricks and tips for beginners, this is the most important. You are unlikely to succeed at anything on your first try. Only constant trading practice can yield consistently top results. But you probably don't want to lose money while learning the basics, right? 6. Psychology is Key Every trader is a psychologist at heart. When you're planning your next move, you have to analyse market movements and review your own psychology. You need to ask yourself questions such as:
Did I show signs of confirmation bias?
Did I make a trade out of frustration?
What made me choose that particular currency pair?
Mastering your psychology will protect you from many losses along the trading development path. 7. No Risk, No Success Not even Forex trading tips and tricks can guarantee you success. When you decide to become a trader, you should have already accepted the possibility of failure. In case you didn't – here's a reality check. You won't make profitable trades 100% of the time. Don't let false advertisements get in your head, either. Instead, be realistic about your Forex trading methods and goals. 8. Patience is a Virtue When it comes to trading, this old saying is not just a cliché. True success is never instantaneous. It's the result of consistent work and planning. Many beginner traders look for an easy, fast path to profit. Don't bother – it doesn't exist! 9. Continuous Education Each day you trade, there's a new lesson to be learned. Look closely at the Forex market and keep all the tips you have learnt in mind. Start analysing news, trends, and financial processes, and don't neglect the Forex basics. Most importantly, study, then practise and then study some more. Repeat this process often, and you will be well on your way to fully understanding the markets. Studying will require a lot of time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run. For starters, Admiral Markets offers the opportunity for traders to benefit from a free education centre that offers Forex tips, as well as, a range of articles and tutorials offering tips, tricks, strategies, and more, for all kinds of trading. 10. Trends are Good for You One particularly important Forex market tip to follow is to learn about trends. The ability to spot trends is a valuable one. While we don't recommend jumping on the trend bandwagon every time, but outright ignoring the trend is a recipe for disaster. Trends can show you what is coming, so you can pro-actively adjust your trading, rather than reacting when it's too late. 11. Seek Competitive Conditions It's important to choose top-notch service conditions and get favourable spreads. If you're considering trading with Admiral Markets, there are a range of different options available. Why not read more about them in our account types section? 12. Plan in Advance Forex trading is not a gamble – it's a strategic game. Carefully calculate your next move before you act. You can begin formulating a plan by asking yourself some challenging questions such as:
Have I accounted for the possibility that I may lose?
What's my plan B for the different types of scenarios that may arise?
To be successful at Forex trading, you have to expect the unexpected. 13. Know the Charts You will be trading on many different markets and will need to quickly understand the information you analyse for each trade. There are numerous tools available to traders that make trading easier, but nothing is more time-efficient than charts. Charts provide you with fast access to numerically-heavy data in the form of a simple visual, so you don't have to scroll through it. 14. Don't Run out of Chances Eagerness is good, but there is a limit to everything. If you trade too much, you are probably harming your chances of achieving success. Why? Because overtrading usually leads to weakened focus and careless trades. As you develop your trading plan, indicate the maximum amount of trades you will make per day or week. 15. Greediness Leads to Risks Greediness can make you take unnecessary risks as well. Set the maximum loss and desired profit within your trading plan. When you hit this level, stop and don't go for another trade. When it comes to fund management, this is one of the most important Forex tips and tricks to follow. 16. Use Stop-Losses Our Forex daily tips don't just focus on general recommendations. We also want to mention valuable tools, such as the highly rated stop-loss. Not setting a stop-loss is basically giving you an excuse to keep a bad position open (because you're hoping that the situation improves). But bad situations rarely improve, and neither will your capital if you don't wise up fast. A correctly placed stop-loss eliminates the risk of losing all of your money on a single bad trade. The stop-loss is especially beneficial when you don't have the ability to close positions manually.
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funny to see that subject pop up again. it was what drove me insane enough to find this sub in the first place. at any rate, the problem is not the bots. I thought it was, but those are just part of the parasitic ecosystem. but to get that, first we need to take a few steps back on web history, ad serving, UX, tracking technology and media advertising. too lazy to gather links, but you know, do your googlin'. I assume that most of you are fairly web literate here, but I'll try to go down into the bare bones as much as possible for those who aren't. so let's start with a basic question - what is a web visitor anyway? from the standpoint of a normal person, that would be a person browsing a given website or piece of content. from the standpoint of technology however all you know is that some device has downloaded content from your server using the http protocol. thanks to the wonderful technology of web browsers, you can plant browser cookies on a visitor - stuff that's used to remember if they logged in, what their preferences are, stuff that your service can read from the device. it also serves usually very basic telemetry like last visit time, session time, and so on. this, over time has evolved in what we call browser fingerprinting, a convoluted bunch of technology that allows websites and web services to uniquely identify you. it still doesn't know if you're a human or not, but from the standpoint of the web technology, you're a visitor. now back in ye old days of the web, when the first banner ads were springing up, these were important questions. most consumers were still to be reached on traditional media channels, and ad spend would have to be justified somehow on the risky ventures of online business. so beyond traditional polls that would infer the value of visitors, websites would start tracking number of visitors, time on page and so on. these were used to milk the advertising cow so to speak, and it gave in to some funny developments like the creation of the popup ad - if I recon correctly on geocities, where they would just but the ads everywhere until some big auto company noticed that they're appearing on porn sites. so - put the ad in the popup, and you can claim it's not in the context of porn! around this point in time the online ad business is still pretty low tech. you actually have to call a physical human being, they send you ppts and pdfs, you send back image files and excel sheets, you wire money, the ads run, and so on. this is called direct sales, and it's tracked again by counting a bunch of visitors, and telling you how much impressions and clicks your marvelous creatives and ad budget generated. now enter google - or more precisely, a technology firm called doubleclick that was to be acquired by google. they developed a tool for automatic ad serving, later to be called programmatic advertising, that keeps the pesky sales dude out of the loop and achieves reasonable amounts of scale for a more hefty price - after all, if the sales are automated, you get a bidding war for attention between different advertisers, and you're paying for clicks. so you can see how this was a strategic move for google - they already had the most valuable data available in this situation. they were seeing in real time what people were searching for, and using the programmatic ad serving system, you could effectively bid not just for general attention - but for attention with an intent to buy. ...and the way that google got this data is because they indexed the web, using bots. at least GoogleBot would identify itself as a site visitor, but in the meantime they developed a service for websites to comprehensively track their own visitors and where they were coming from and what they were doing on your website. incidentally, you could also put on google's ads on your webpage to earn quite a bit of money, as content relevant ads would be shown through the doubleclick system. this kicked off two things: one, the ability to classify your website visitors into different clusters and segments allowed businesses to start tailoring the appearance of the website or service to fit that specific audience segment, starting off the great fracture - segmentation of the web (in the sense that two people viewing the same website at the same time were not seeing the same thing) two, it created a very strong financial incentive for people to trick google into thinking they were having actual human visitors that would click on ads, when in fact they were bots. in an even funnier twist, some of them were from browser hijackers, commonly known as malware at the time, which google cross-financed. look up download valley and crossrider. at the cross section of the above two, you had one interesting twist: websites that would appear differently to the security bots or the compliance officers of Google as they would to fake visitors or malware jacked human beings. the former would get a benign looking website, while the latter would get bombarded with auto clicking ads. this kicked off the billion dollar arms race called online advertising fraud. I'm not here to shed a tear for big money corps bleeding money. the real fallout lay somewhere else, but for that you have to understand that you never really saw the real internet, you only saw your corner and the one that was personalized for you. but if you ever had the pleasure of watching daytime TVs or off channels and witnessing the ads, you could kind of infer what kind of audience must be watching these shows generally. from quite clear rip offs to magic number lotteries and television fortune telling, these sorts of programming was aimed at the most gullible, bought for pennies, where the smallest audience portion had to be converted into a money making operation. ...and with audience segmentation and data gathering, that was now possible at unprecedented scale, automatically. so big was the scale in fact, that it gave birth to an entire new beast of an industry called affiliate marketing, where instead of a regular payroll, you'd get a cut of the sale should you figure out an angle on where to push whatever fucking bullshit the vendors were offering to whoever the fuck would be dumb enough to click on an ad and buy. (the funniest story I recall was someone pulling five figures a month because he figured out that if you buy ads on anime-hentai pages and sell PUA shit courses and e-books you'd make a killing) at any rate, affiliate marketing brought with it the killer landing page, the thing that's supposed to hammer the nail in the coffin once you get through the banner ad. the earliest form of deceptiveness in memory comes from various pirate sites, that had fake download buttons as banner ads and virus alerts as the landing pages. but then at some point, some schmuck realized that for certain type of products, like diet pills or forex trading or whatever, the best lander is in fact a fake news page that comes packed with comments and all. that would convert like crazy, because it had the appearance of social proof. until at least the lawsuits came raining down, and these sorts of landing pages and campaigns for being banned left right and centre on all platforms. which just launched a new arms race as the campaigns would be disguised for the bots doing the checkups, and aged facebook profiles would start selling for like 5K USD - these people were making 30-40k a day, they could afford to spend that much to continue running the shop. speaking of facebook - it came just about the right time for the shit to brew max total. first they were unprecedented in the amount of data they were getting off of their users, and they came just in time to catch the full swing of what we call the 'responsive web' - that no user at the same time would see the same thing on their page, it was all allocated through an intricate web of recommendations, running real time, based on previously gathered and forecast behavioral data. it also ran on one simple premise: take over the starting page position from google for most people, then they do not have to justify, ever, any ad spend that takes place on their platform, as long as it performs. furthermore, it was completely lacking any revenue share sort of scheme (save for the short period of facebook gaming, see Zynga), thus there was no incentive for the amount of bot traffic that the previous internet era had bred. instead, it came with an entirely different one - bots that would offer social proof in the way of shares and likes, but would not directly risk the business model, thus giving no incentive for facebook to fight them. (note that google didn't do much jack shit either besides indiscriminately penalizing websites it deemed suspicious when they reached critical payout thresholds) the rest of the story you kind of sort of know. how the obama campaign was brilliant in using the new social media to inspire hope and blah blah blah, kicking the door open for big money politics who could hire the best snake oil salesmen in the market, who had the data and as you can see from the above, had the ethical standards of a shoe. at around 2014-2015 the press (the mainstream media) started to raise question about the duopoly, the buzzword of filter bubbles started appearing, not entirely unrelated to the fact that facebook by this time cannibalized their traffic with a fucking embedded share / like button and started charging money for them to reach their own audience. after 2016 the cries of fake news were everywhere, because there was no online space left which everyone was viewing the same way, and you had no way to verify what the person next to you was looking at. since then, we've all become grandpa yelling at the television set, with nobody around us seeing what we're seeing on the screen, so we're being accused as bots and looking for bots under the carpet. but it's been a long way coming, and the bots are honestly the least of our worries. trust me, I went bankrupt over that one. truth or fake doesn't even begin to describe the magnitude of the problem: more like we entered the phase where every word, event or picture is defined by who ever the fuck wins the auction over it, as the marketers of human attention grind the gears of the money mill without even understanding how fast they're digging towards hell. don't believe me? look around the marketing and advertising related subs these days. the priests are eating the indulgences, and we're only now entering the period of deep fakes, good algo generated audio and good enough NLP. and in the meantime, the shadowrunners running up between two corp headquarter-highrises are skinning your belief systems. so the best you can do is really, not litter the remnants of cyberspace which are not being mined, astroturfed or being pulled apart by the algos. no human connections on a nuclear trash heap mate.
https://preview.redd.it/gp18bjnlabr41.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6054e7f52e8d52da403016139ae43e0e799abf15 Download PDF of this article here:https://docdro.id/6eLgUPo In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company. Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound. In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it! Stock code: 5199.KL Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199 Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/
Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as: · looking for oil, · drawing it out of the ground, and · selling it on global oil markets. This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020). https://preview.redd.it/3dqc4jraabr41.png?width=641&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ba0e8614c4e9d781edfc670016a874b90560684 https://preview.redd.it/lvdkrf0cabr41.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f250a713887b06986932fa475dc59c7c28582e While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields. Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices. At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.
Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)
To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production. In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below: As defined by the SPE PRMS,Reservesare “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.) Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:) - A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria;- A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development;- Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and- Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated. Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below: -Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and)-Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes. In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes: - Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate;- Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and- High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded. Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”. However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation: https://preview.redd.it/o8qejdyc8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=b3ab9be8f83badf0206adc982feda3a558d43e78 Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022). Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl. In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources. https://preview.redd.it/gk54qplf8br41.png?width=489&format=png&auto=webp&s=c905b7a6328432218b5b9dfd53cc9ef1390bd604 The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl). This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million). However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus. To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. North Sabah oil field https://preview.redd.it/62nssexj8br41.png?width=1003&format=png&auto=webp&s=cd78f86d51165fb9a93015e49496f7f98dad64dd Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field. For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are: · Average uptime · Total oil sold · Average realized oil price · Average OPEX per bbl With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields. Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime. As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross. We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl. Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl. Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures: · Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl · Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl · Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl Anasuria oil field https://preview.redd.it/586u4kfo8br41.png?width=1038&format=png&auto=webp&s=7580fc7f7df7e948754d025745a5cf47d4393c0f Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field: · Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl · Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl · Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.
Valuation (Method 1)
Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data: https://preview.redd.it/7y6064dq8br41.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a4120563a011cf61fc6090e1cd5932602599dc2 Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x. Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant: https://preview.redd.it/xixge5sr8br41.png?width=433&format=png&auto=webp&s=288a00f6e5088d01936f0217ae7798d2cfcf11f2 From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices. Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).
Valuation (Method 2)
Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another. As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it. https://preview.redd.it/o2eiss6u8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=03960cce698d9cedb076f3d5f571b3c59d908fa8 From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet). Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit: https://preview.redd.it/h8hubrmw8br41.png?width=450&format=png&auto=webp&s=6d23f0f9c3dafda89e758b815072ba335467f33e Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves ofRM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price. However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that. Intangible Assets I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet. As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion). https://preview.redd.it/hse8ttb09br41.png?width=881&format=png&auto=webp&s=82e48b5961c905fe9273cb6346368de60202ebec Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all? To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs: E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets. E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.) Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment. On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following: Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).) So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate. Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required. So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following: Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116)) Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation? Fortunately, we find just that on page 185: 17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED) (a Anasuria Cluster) The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.) The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows: (i Discount rate of 10%;) (ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;) (iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,) (iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.) Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount. (b North Sabah) The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements. The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year. Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field. How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billionapproximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves. To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves
RM 1.452 billion
RM 1.468 billion
By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis. For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business. https://preview.redd.it/h689bss79br41.png?width=810&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed47fce6a5c3815dd3d4f819e31f1ce39ccf4a0b Income Statement First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m. Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32). https://preview.redd.it/4omjptbe9br41.png?width=1019&format=png&auto=webp&s=eaabfc824134063100afa62edfd36a34a680fb60 This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m). Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later. Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis. Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment. Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense. https://preview.redd.it/1xrnwzm89br41.png?width=732&format=png&auto=webp&s=c078bc3e18d9c79d9a6fbe1187803612753f69d8 Balance Sheet The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity. We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again. Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations. Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes. Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020) Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m. Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes. The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large. We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m. Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices. Cash Flow Statement There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern. Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI. Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).
There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are: · Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time · Fluctuation of exchange rates · Customer concentration risk · 2P Reserves being less than estimated · Significant current and non-current liabilities · Potential issuance of equity Oil prices remaining subdued Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing. Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates https://preview.redd.it/gxnekd6h9br41.png?width=670&format=png&auto=webp&s=edbfb9621a43480d11e3b49de79f61a6337b3d51 The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36. Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green). Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing. Customer Concentration Risk With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished. 2P Reserves being less than estimated 2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’). Significant non-current and current liabilities The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern. Potential issuance of equity Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years. Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out. However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.
As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below: · Increased Daily Oil Production Rate · Inclusion of 2C Resources · Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating Increased Daily Oil Production Rate The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production. The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward. By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day). Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day). This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet. Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day. While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations. Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates: Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159 The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates. The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day. Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above. 2C Resources Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates. To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil. https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil. Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY21 (incl. 2C)
Daily oil production (bbl/day)
Average oil price (USD/bbl)
Average OPEX/bbl (USD)
EBITDA (RM ‘m)
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20. For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby. Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented). Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years. When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.
Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
Starting a workgroup to tackle shady MLMs and "scam" courses
Hi all Besiege here. After seeing a couple of reddit posts on shady MLM, pyramid schemes and "scam" courses, I was wondering if any of the sg redditors here would be interested to start a workgroup to better address these issues (it can be online!). There has been a sizable movement by the government to catch outright scams ( https://www.scamalert.sg/ ), but the same cannot be said for shady MLMs/"scam" courses. If there is one which I am not aware of, let me know and I will delete this post. Personally, I feel indignant whenever I hear of individuals/groups taking advantage of vulnerable populations in order to make a quick buck off them. Worse, I shudder when I hear these scummy people justify their actions by arguing they are providing opportunities for others to become a better version of themselves. Just a few quick points to get terminologies out of the way:
Multilevel/Network Marketing companies are not illegal. In fact, I think using personal networks to sell products is a perfectly legitimate marketing strategy. The company is illegal if the payment structure for the distributors is like a pyramid. The basic idea of a pyramid scheme is that money is made primarily through recruiting more people to market/distribute the products, where there is often an upfront payment fee to join as a distributor. This joining fee then goes up the pyramid to pay whoever suckered the recruit in and then to whoever suckered the recruiter in, all the way to the top of the pyramid.
However, some pyramid companies have been really good at disguising as legal MLM companies. Take Herbalife for example, one of the world's most successful MLM companies, with a presence in Singapore as well. It was found by the US Federal Trade Commission to be complicit in unfair practices (having pyramid-like features) and was fined 200 million dollars.
By "scam" courses, I refer to courses where people are sold false promises of earning some $$$$ by learning some secret tips/skills, but instead, find themselves paying more and more to unlock knowledge that ends up going nowhere. Such "scam" courses over promise, under deliver. They can take many forms: be it internet marketing, platform-based selling, property investment, forex trading, wealth generation, etc. I use "scam" for a lack of a better word, since I believe they are mostly operating within legal limits. But just because it is legal, doesn't mean it is good!
The main point of "scam" courses is not to teach and get you up and running (it would be great advertising for them if you somehow managed to do it), but to tease you enough to sign up for level 2, level 3... Or in some cases paying a premium for special extras, such as 1 to 1 coaching, this special chat group where you get more advanced knowledge. Maybe even get a cut for referring others to join future courses. This can get insidious because some of the courses actually teach you a few tricks (although they are very basic), and the feel-good from learning can make it feel like it is worth the cost.
Some ideas right off the top of my head:
Maintaining a list of potentially shady companies/courses/individuals to avoid (on a website/gdoc/ singapore wiki page)
Creating a checklist for people to suss out shady schemes (e.g. no mention of the company's name, constant avoidance of business model, no mention of the product being sold, some mentor figure who changed lives)
Written articles to detail modus operandi of various pyramid/"scam" course schemes (e.g. like the rice media article on ICS)
Have an open channel for people to talk about any potential illegal MLM experiences; We will listen and ask guiding questions to suss out if the experience was indeed MLM (by notafairylight)
If you are interested to join this workgroup or have better ideas, do pm me or post it in the comments. I am looking at maybe 5-6 people for a start, who are willing to carve out some of their personal time for this initiative. Also, if you have knowledge and skills you think which can be useful for this initiative, do sound out! E.g. writing, legal, content creation, intimate knowledge of various pyramid schemes, programming, etc. I am currently working as a data-analyst btw!
EDIT: Thanks for the awesome response guys! I will create a separate chat group for all those who have indicated interest to help; I will send u the chat group link via PM by tomorrow. It would be great if someone could think of a catchy group name.
EDIT2: Hi, I have sent out the group links. If I missed out anyone, please sound out via pm!
So you wanna trade Forex? - tips and tricks inside
Let me just sum some stuff up for you newbies out there. Ive been trading for years, last couple of years more seriously and i turned my strategies into algorithms and i am currently up to 18 algorithms thats trading for me 24/7. Ive learned alot, listened to hundreds of podcasts and read tons of books + research papers and heres some tips and tricks for any newbie out there.
Strategy - How to... When people say "you need a trading strategy!!" Its because trading is very hard and emotional. You need to stick to your rules at all times. Dont panic and move your stop loss or target unless your rules tell you to. Now how do you make these rules? Well this is the part that takes alot of time. If your rules are very simple (for example: "Buy if Last candles low was the lowest low of the past 10 candles." Lets make this a rule. You can backtest it manually by looking at a chart and going back in time and check every candle. or you can code it using super simple software like prorealtime, MT4 ++ Alot of software is basicly "click and drag" and press a button and it gives you backtest from 10-20-30 years ago in 5 seconds. This is the absolute easiest way to backtest rules and systems. If your trading "pure price action" with your drawn lines and shit, the only way to truly backtest that kind of trading is going in a random forex pair to a random point in time, could be 1 year ago, 1 month ago, 5 years ago.. and then you just trade! Move chart 1 candle at a time, draw your lines and do some "actual trading" and look at your results after moving forward in the chart. If you do not test your strategy your just going in blind, which could be disaster.. Maybe someone told u "this is the correct way to trade" or "this strategy is 90% sure to win every trade!!!" If you think you can do trading without a strategy, then your most likely going to look back at an empty account and wonder why you moved that stop loss or why you didnt take profit etc.. and then your gonna give up. People on youtube, forums, interwebz are not going to give you/sell you a working strategy thats gonna make you rich. If they had a working strategy, they would not give it away/sell it to you.
Money management - How to.... Gonna keep this one short. Risk a small % of your capital on each trade. Dont risk 10%, dont risk 20%. You are going to see loosing trades, your probably gonna see 5-10 loss in a row!! If your trading a 1000$ account and your risking 100$ on each trade (10%) and you loose 5 in a row, your down -50% and probably you cant even trade cus of margin req. Game over.. Now how does one get super rich, super fast, from risking 1-3% of your account on each trade?? Well heres the shocking message: YOU CANT GET RICH FAST FROM TRADING UNLESS YOUR WILLING TO GO ALL IN! You can of course go all in on each trade and if you get em all right, you might get 1000%, then you go all in 1 more time and loose it all... The whole point of trading is NOT going bust. Not loosing everything, cus if you loose it all its game over and no more trading for you.
Find your own trading style.... Everyone is different. You can have an average holding period of 1 month or you could be looking at a 1 min chart and average holding time = 10 minutes. For some, less volatility helps them sleep at night. For others, more volatility gives them a rush and some people crave this. There is no "correct" timeframes, or holding periods, or how much to profit or how much to loose. We are all individuals with different taste in risk. Some dont like risk, others wanna go all in to get rich over night. The smart approach is somewhere in the middle. If you dont risk anything, your not gonna get anything. If you risk everything, your most likely going to loose everything. When people are talking about trading style, this is kinda what that means.
There are mainly 2 ways to trade: Divergence and Convergence. Or in other words: Mean reversion or trend following. Lets talk about them both: Trend following is trying to find a trend and stay with the trend until its over. Mean reversion is the belief that price is too far away from the average XX of price, and sooner or later, price will have to return to its average/mean (hence the name: MEAN reversion). Trend following systems usually see a lower winrate (30-40% winrate with no money management is not uncommon to see when backtesting trend following systems.. You can add good money management to get the winrate % higher. Why is the % winrate so low? Well a market, whatever that market is, tend to get real choppy and nasty right after a huge trend. So your gonna see alot of choppy fake signals that might kill 5-6 trades in a row, until the next huge trend starts which is going to cover all the losses from the small losses before the trend took off. Then you gotta hold that trade until trade is done. How do you define "when trend starts and stops"? Well thats back to point 1, find a strategy. Try defining rules for an entry and exit and see how it goes when you backtest it. For mean reversion the win % is usually high, like 70-90% winrate, but the average winning trade is alot smaller than the average loosing trade. this happens because you are basicly trying to catch a falling knife, or catch a booming rocket. Usually when trading mean reversion, waiting for price to actually reverse can very often leave you with being "too late", so you kinda have to find "the bottom" or "the top" before it actually has bottomed/ topped out and reversed. How can you do this you ask? Well your never going to hit every top or every bottom, but you can find ways to find "the bottom-ish" or "the top-ish", thens ell as soon as price reverts back to the mean. Sometimes your gonna wish you held on to the trade for longer, but again, back to point 1: Backtest your rules and figure that shit out.
Read these 4 points and try to follow them and you are at least 4 steps closer to being a profitable trader. Some might disagree with me on some points but i think for the majority, people are going to agree that these 4 points are pretty much universal. Most traders have done or are doing these things every day, in every trade. Here is some GREAT material to read: Kevin Davey has won trading championship multiple times and he has written multiple great books, from beginner to advanced level. Recommend these books 100%, for example: Building winning algorithmic trading systems" will give you alot to work with when it comes to all 4 of the above points. Market wizards, Reminiscences of a stock operator are 2 books that are a great read but wont give you much "trading knowledge" that you can directly use for your trading. Books on "The turtles" are great reading. Then you have podcasts and youtube. I would stay away from youtube as much as possible when it comes to "Heres how to use the rsi!!!" or "this strategy will make you rich!!". Most youtube videoes are made by people who wanna sell you a course or a book. Most of this is just pure bullshit. Youtube can very harmfull and i would honestly advice about going there for "strategy adivce" and such. Podcasts tho are amazing, i highly recommend: Better systems trader, Chat with traders, Top traders unplugged, We study billionairs, to name a few :) Also, on a less funny note.. Please realize that you are, and i am, real fucking stupid and lazy compared to the actual pro's out there. This is why you should not go "all in" on some blind stupid strategy youve heard about. This is why this is indeed VERY FUCKING HARD and most, if not everyone has busted an account or two before realizing just this. Your dumb.. your not going to be super rich within 1 year.. You can not start with 500$ account and make millions! (some might have been able to do this, but know that for every winner, theres 999 loosers behind him that failed... Might work fine first 5 trades, then 1 fuckup tho and ur gone.. And lastly: Try using a backtesting software. Its often FREE!!! (on a demo account) and often so simple a baby could use it. If your trading lines and such there exists web broweser "games" and softwares that lets you go "1 and 1 candle ahead" in random forex pairs and that lets you trade as if its "real" as it goes. A big backtesting trap however is backtesting "losely" by just drawing lines and looking at chart going "oh i would have taken this trade FOR SURE!! I would have made so much money!!" however this is not actually backtesting, its cherry picking and its biased beyond the grave, and its going to hurt you. Try going 1 candle at a time doing "real and live" trades and see how it goes. Bonus point!! many people misunderstands what indicators like the RSI is telling you. Indeed something is "overbought" or "oversold" but only compared to the last average of xx amounts of bars/candles. It doesn't tell you that RIGHT NOW is a great time to sell or buy. It only tells you that the math formula that is RSI, gives you a number between 1-100, and when its above 70 its telling you that momentum is up compared to the last average 14 candles. This is not a complete buy/sell signal. Its more like a filter if anything. This is true for MOST indicators. They INDICATE stuff. Dont use them as pure buy/sell signals.. At least backtest that shit first! Your probably gonna be shocked at the shitty results if you "buy wehn rsi is undeer 30 and sell when RSI is above 70". Editedit: Huge post already, why not copy paste my comment with an example showing the difference in trend following vs mean reversion: The thing about trend following is that we never know when a trade starts and when it ends. So what often happens is that you have to buy every breakout going up, but not every breakout is a new trend. Lets do an example. Check out the photo i included here: https://imageshost.eu/image/image.RcC THE PHOTO IS JUST AN EXAMPLE THAT SHOWS WHY A TYPICAL TREND FOLLOWING STRATEGY HAVE A "LOW" WINRATE. THE PHOTO IS NOT SHOWING AN EXAMPLE OF MY STRATEGIES OR TRADING.
We identify the big orange trend up.
We see the big break down (marked with the vertical red line) this is telling us we are not going higher just yet. Our upwards trend is broken. However we might continue going up in a new trend, but when will that trend come?
We can draw the blue trend very earyly using highs and lows, lines up and down. Then we begin to look for breakouts of the upper blue line. So every time price breaks upper blue line we have to buy (cus how else are we going to "catch the next trend going up?)
As you can see we get 5 false breakouts before the real breakout happens! Now if you could tell fake breakouts from real breakouts, your gonna be rich hehe. For everyone else: Take every signal you can get, put a "tight" stop loss so in case its a fake signal you only loose a little bit. Then when breakout happens as you can clearly see in chart, your going to make back all the small losses. So in this example we fail 5 times, but get 1 HUGE new trend going further up. This 1 huge trade, unless we fuck it up and take profits too early or shit like that, is going to win back all those small losses + more. This is why trend following has a low winrate. You get 5 small loss and 1 big win. Now lets flip this! Imagine if your trading Mean reversion on all the same red arrows! So every time price hits the blue line, we go short back to the bottom (or middle) again! You would have won 5 trades with small profits, but on that last one you would get stopped out so hard. Meaning 5 small wins, 1 big loss (as some have pointed out in comments, if you where trading mean reverting you would wanna buy the lows as well as short the tops - photo was suppose to show why trend following strategies have a lower % winrate.) Final edit: sorry this looks like a wall of text on ur phones.
If you have ever traveled abroad or have been gifted foreign currency from friends or family, then you must be quite familiar with exchanging the currency for your local currency. Forex Trading, also known as foreign exchange, is the process of transferring currency between two interested parties at an agreed price. Currency exchange is important for conducting foreign trading and business. Forex Education is important for investors interested in Forex Trading. Before Forex Trading, it is important to understand the core concepts and knowledge area to understand how forex trading works. It also helps to apply knowledge to focus areas to carry out important trading activities. Forex Education provides helpful information for traders to apply optimal solutions. With solid information about Forex Trading, traders can easily apply the knowledge as well as tips and tricks received from Forex Education.
Basic Terms to Know in Forex Trading
In the world of forex trading, PIP stands for ‘Percentage in Point’ which stands for measure of exchange rate movement. A PIP is a single float value that measures the profit and loss. A single PiP value equals 0.0001.
A spread is the difference between the pip value of the asking price of an asset. It is important for a forex trader to understand what a spread is. To calculate the spread value, calculate the difference between the buying and selling price.
Leverage is the amount of loan allowed to traders to access larger sums of trading capitals. This loan amount is also called margins. Leverage is very important as it can increase or decrease the profits and losses therefore, leverage should be considered wisely.
Margin is referred to as minimum amount of collateral or deposit that a trader has while trading. It is a required amount that is needed for trading. The leverage ratio determines the amount of margin that is needed for a trade.
There are two types of volume values used in forex trading. First is the volume with respect to order which refers to the volumes of buying and selling. The second volume refers to the tick volumes where it counts the times the volume has changed over a specific period.
Slippage refers to a slight difference in the price you expect and the execution price. This can occur through market volatility and execution speeds. There are a number of courses, MOOCs and masterclasses available over the internet to understand how Forex Trading works and which allows the traders to learn the tips and tricks of forex trading. One of the best platform for forex education is
In conclusion, there are lots of other forex education material available over the internet for aspiring traders to study and understand the meaning of forex education and what are the best practices to apply when stepping into the world of trading.
The Bitcoin Evolution System Review – How to Sign Up
Robotized and Manual Trading One of the most testing parts of exchanging for the two amateurs and experienced merchants is managing one's own feelings which could make numerous brokers overcompensate to advertise vacillations. This can at last lead to noteworthy misfortunes and in numerous occasions, bring about losing the entirety of one's contributed capital. Be that as it may, BitcoinEvolution's robotized exchanging signals removes one's feelings from the condition which means going great for predictable and beneficial exchanging choices. After actualizing an exchange signal, the BitcoinEvolution programming will start settling on choices to purchase and sell cryptographic forms of money dependent on exchanging parameters which have been introduced into the client's exchanging account. This implies financial specialists don't need to sit before the PC screen watching outlines for a considerable length of time. 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Precise Trading Signals During client tests, BitcoinEvolution's different mechanized exchanging signals were reliably gainful in all cases. This implies financial specialists can rest serenely knowing their danger of misfortune has been limited. Maybe the best piece of BitcoinEvolution's precise mechanized exchanging signals is that speculators can, not just rest soundly having a sense of security about their cash, they can have confidence they are truly bringing in cash while they rest. Then again, there might be times whenever a merchant sees a particular chance and needs to hop on it. This is the reason BitcoinEvolution permits clients to change to manual exchanging mode whenever. With this sort of adaptability and precision, speculators utilizing exchange signals from BitcoinEvolution will make certain to never pass up on a chance to make a gainful exchange. At the point when we contrasted the BitcoinEvolution with the Bitcoin Evolution System, we promptly saw that the Bitcoin Evolution System has a much lower level of fruitful exchanges. Truth be told, in the wake of utilizing this product for 4 days, we had lost the entirety of our exchanging capital and couldn't keep exchanging. In view of this, we suggest checking out the BitcoinEvolution programming before making a store with the Bitcoin Evolution System. Incredible Trading Experience BitcoinEvolution's foundation comes outfitted with everything a dealer should be fruitful in benefitting from the vacillations in the digital money markets. The stage offers an astounding cluster of specialized markers and simple to-peruse value graphs. This guarantees merchants will have the option to recognize all significant outline designs which could be utilized as productive signs to purchase or sell cryptographic forms of money. This product additionally permits a merchant to set their own exchanging parameters which incorporate which resources for exchange, the amount to contribute per exchange, the hazard level, the procedures to utilize and significantly more. In correlation, the Bitcoin Evolution System doesn't permit you to modify all the exchanging parameters. This product offers less adaptability when contrasted with the BitcoinEvolution framework. Additionally, BitcoinEvolution has a wide cluster of digital forms of money accessible for exchanging. These decisions are effectively open in an instinctively structured interface which makes it simple for merchants to execute exchanges. It is very clear that BitcoinEvolution has gone the additional mile to ensure the interface configuration is as instinctive and viable as could be expected under the circumstances. Moreover, during the client tests, the BitcoinEvolution stage end up being very responsive with no glitches at all. There was negligible slippage, even with progressively uncommon money sets which will in general have less liquidity. In any event, during top market hours and with numerous positions open simultaneously, the stage worked strikingly well. This assists with guaranteeing that dealers will have the option to benefit from speedy market moves all the more viably. This can be particularly basic for those exchanging on the littler time spans where part second choices are routinely required. As we have referenced previously, the Bitcoin Evolution System frequently has delays, keeping brokers from entering or leaving exchanges at the ideal resource cost. Responsive and Professional Customer Support Not exclusively is BitcoinEvolution's exchanging stage responsive, its client care group is likewise responsive and will make a special effort to support the stage's clients. The help group can be reached whenever by means of email. Upon a client trial of the client assistance reaction, the group end up being proficient of the money related markets just as the organization's administrations and items. Interestingly, client care for the Bitcoin Evolution System was very unhelpful in giving answers for basic issues identified with their product. They made some troublesome memories noting even the most fundamental inquiries during the client test directed for this audit. One client care specialist was even discourteous on the telephone. This can be a genuine worry since the Bitcoin Evolution System exchange calculations were filled with glitches and moderate responsiveness. Luckily, there is no compelling reason to manage this sort of poor client support when speculators can simply change to BitcoinEvolution, which has a far predominant stage and exchange signals. Be that as it may, it appears the Bitcoin Evolution System wouldn't like to make it simple for speculators to change to another exchange signal supplier. Sadly, the withdrawal procedure for the Bitcoin Evolution System is lumbering and confounding and a long way from clear. Is the Bitcoin Evolution System for All Traders? Is the Bitcoin Evolution System for All Traders? In principle the Bitcoin Evolution System can be utilized by all brokers, anyway because of the various glitches and specialized variations from the norm during the client test for this survey, it's anything but a smart thought for unpracticed dealers to utilize the stage. Unpracticed dealers will make some troublesome memories disclosing to the client assistance group the issues they experience while utilizing the stage's exchange signals. Actually, even experienced brokers may have issues, since the client care for the Bitcoin Evolution System is very unacceptable. At the point when you pursue an exchanging programming, the objective is to make your exchanging exercises simpler. In correlation, the BitcoinEvolution programming is anything but difficult to use, in addition to it is planned so that even new dealers can utilize the product even with no related knowledge or a comprehension of the business sectors. What's more, experienced merchants can utilize the BitcoinEvolution programming to test their market investigation and exchanging systems, so it is a success win for both new and experienced dealers. Demo Trading Account Both BitcoinEvolution and the Bitcoin Evolution System offers clients the choice of beginning with a demo exchanging account. This can help ensure clients know about how the entirety of the stage capacities work before contributing genuine capital. The BitcoinEvolution demo walkthrough is thorough and gives one an away from of how the dashboard functions. This is a major in addition to as it gives a merchant genuine feelings of serenity before they put away their well deserved cash. Tributes There are a few tributes from people guaranteeing that they have had the option to make benefits from the Bitcoin Evolution System, anyway these are far and not many in the middle. Not exclusively did these tributes not state for to what extent they stayed productive, there are ordinarily more tributes and online audits asserting that the Bitcoin Evolution System brought about them losing critical cash. At times, merchants lost their whole exchanging account balance. There were a few analysts who ventured to guarantee the Bitcoin Evolution System is a trick. Despite the fact that this might be a touch of a misrepresentation, it is reasonable that a few speculators were flummoxed by the poor working of the stage. This can be especially baffling when joined with the misfortune consequences of the greater part of the Bitcoin Evolution System exchange signals. Then again, a straightforward inquiry online will uncover numerous positive surveys about the BitcoinEvolution programming, and it is obvious that its clients are winning over $1,000 consistently utilizing this instinctive and amazing programming arrangement. Pursuing the Bitcoin Evolution System is genuinely direct. Clients will have the chance to fire the sign-up process directly from the site's landing page. On the correct side of the page, there is a sign-up structure which requests that clients enter their own data. A client's first name, last name and email will be required. Subsequent to rounding this data out, a client will press the "Get Access Now" button. On the subsequent page, clients will be required to give another arrangement of individual data. The client will enter their telephone number and demonstrate which nation the person in question is enlisting from. There are a few wards which are not upheld by the Bitcoin Evolution System. For example, those living in the United States are not permitted to enroll for a record with the Bitcoin Evolution System. BitcoinEvolution has a comparative sign-up process and requires the equivalent definite individual data. The procedure to enlist with BitcoinEvolution is likewise generally straight forward, actually, it may even be somewhat simpler than the Bitcoin Evolution System. Set aside the effort to survey both programming arrangements and pick one that meets your exchanging abilities, needs and inclinations. Exchanging Accounts – BitcoinEvolution Exchanging Accounts – Bitcoin Evolution BitcoinEvolution offers different approaches to tweak one's record. The interface is direct and simple to utilize and permits certain highlights to be altered to fit every individual merchant's style and inclination. BitcoinEvolution sees customization as fundamental on the grounds that only one out of every odd speculator contemplates monetary markets. Likewise, few out of every odd merchant has a similar expansiveness of information, aptitude and experience. This is a major in addition to and contrasts from the Bitcoin Evolution System which doesn't take into account such inside and out customisation. The base store to enroll for a record with BitcoinEvolution is just $250 which makes it available to financial specialists of all pay levels. In this manner, everyone gets the opportunity to use BitcoinEvolution's algorithmic exchange signals request to profit by developments in the cryptographic money markets. Regardless of whether a client is exchanging a little record or a large number of dollars, the person in question can have confidence that BitcoinEvolution calculations will reliably include benefits, while additionally downplaying hazard. Additionally, Bitcoin Evolution Price, have made it simple for financial specialists to pull back their benefits from their records. The withdrawal procedure is simple and without problems. Endless supply of the vital structures, the agent will process the withdrawal demand inside the following 24 to 48 hours. The assets will be moved by means of the first technique used to store the cash in any case. Also, there are no expenses charged for preparing a withdrawal demand. Truth be told, BitcoinEvolution doesn't charge any expenses whatsoever. It is for these numerous reasons that we put the BitcoinEvolution programming in the lead position, and we felt that in our trial of the two programming arrangements, the presentation and achievement of the BitcoinEvolution far surpassed that of the Bitcoin Evolution System. The Bitcoin Evolution System Review – The Bottom Line – Is This the Real Deal? The Bitcoin Evolution Reviews – The Bottom Line – Is This the Real Deal? Clearly the Bitcoin Evolution System is a genuine exchanging stage which permits clients to exchange digital forms of money and Forex utilizing algorithmic exchange signals. In any case, it is likewise self-evident, after client testing, that the exchange signals are shoddy and ought to most likely be kept away from, particularly for amateurs. Truly, the stage capacities by and large, in spite of various glitches and issues with responsiveness, yet that is a quite low bar for those hoping to make genuine benefits from the money related markets. There truly is no motivation behind why anyone should consider enrolling with the Bitcoin Evolution System when BitcoinEvolution can really convey on what the Bitcoin Evolution System needs. BitcoinEvolution offers reliably productive exchange flags on a simple to-utilize exchanging stage. It likewise offers an exchanging situation that is responsive, even in unpredictable economic situations. Moreover, the stage stays responsive in any event, when a record has an enormous number of open positions. What's more, to finish everything off, BitcoinEvolution's client care group appears to be fundamentally increasingly skillful and equipped for tending to client worries than the client assistance at the Bitcoin Evolution System. Plainly BitcoinEvolution is the better decision of exchanging stage. https://www.bitcoinevolutionpro.com/
The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels. While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”. Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro. Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.
Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?
While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor). After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro. Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month. A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.
Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?
Answer: US oligarchy
The US dollar is central to US world economic domination. Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value. In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”: "After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes. The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia “The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile
US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy
Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts. US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite. This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.
US CIA Coup Playbook:
How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
Find a country with resources you want.
Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process. 3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies. 4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet. 5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos. 6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy. 7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused). 8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”. 9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8. 10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion. 11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade. 12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country. 13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.” What Can I Do? Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela. https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/ Please share this message with others. Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T
ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019 A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19). Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated. Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.” TheWall Street Journal(1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.” In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16). More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whomless than 20 percentof Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.” This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19). Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods. For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18). Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country. Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation. The LondonDaily Express(2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic. Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19). “Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused. President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18). The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.
Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda
Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected PresidentJoe Emersberger Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen. Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci. The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail. What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government. It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02). And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown. But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez. Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by nowwell over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced. The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions. Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
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