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Idol-Rapper Analysis #1 - 4th Gen Boy Groups 1: ATEEZ, Oneus, A.C.E

Hello!
i thought it would be fun to start trying to do some technical analyses of kpop idol-rappers and enough other ppl seemed to enjoy the idea so here i am! Very self centered of me to think you care about my opinion but if you don't care about it you don't have to read this! It costs zero dollars to click away from here!

Ranking system:
I will give a tier ranking using the S / A / B / C / D / F tier system.
Here is a full breakdown of what i consider each tier to represent generally. If you care about how I rank these folks I highly recommend checking it out
I give tiers based on the following aspects technical abilities like speed/breath control/enunciation/dynamics/and complexity of flow, cohesion with the group, creativity/originality, emotional delivery and versatility.
Note: I consider an AVERAGE idol rapper to be around a D or C tier. If you think my ranking is harsh that's what i'm comparing against.

Some Disclaimers:
This post is fxckin long
This post will cover both technical aspects of rapping and some more critical analyses including my own personal opinion. I will try and justify my opinion as best possible but in the end, the opinion belongs to me and only me, if you enjoy a rapper I don't, or if you don't enjoy a rapper I do, that is all ok! Additionally if you are uncomfortable seeing your faves criticized this might not be the post for you! All of our faves have flaws and room for growth and pointing them out does not diminish their talents or hard work.
If you disagree with my analysis I'd love to hear your thoughts! If i get something incorrect please feel free to correct me in the comments! I am open to criticism and correction!
!!!!!! I will do my best to point out both an idols strengths and weaknesses, but I will not water down my opinion to do so. !!!!!!
My preparation for this post was listening to ALL the tracks the group had available on streaming, if the rappers have their own subunit or solo work i looked at that too. I didn't watch all of their live performances, but if there was a track i was referencing and it had a live version i tried to watch that for reference.
Many of these rappers are very limited in the amount of long-form work they've put out. All my analysis should be taken with a grain of salt because of this.

Today's analysis will break down:

ATEEZ: Hongjoong + Mingi

About ATEEZ: Their music is highly dramatic, heavy emphasis on drops and a real "world music" feel with sounds derived from Australia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean all with strong trap beats and more recently industrial style beats as a pillar of production. Their songs are usually composed with the focus on the performance and so have longer instrumental sections. Lyrically the majority of ATEEZ songs center around reaching their dreams and one day being the best. Standard stuff for an idol group.
The two rappers of the group are also known for their "tom and jerry" style delivery meaning they often trade off verses one after the other and have two radically different sounds.
Hongjoong: High C/Low B tier
Hongjoong is the leader of ATEEZ and has been involved in writing every song they've released and had a growing production role throughout ATEEZ's time as a group. He has a pretty high timbre and usually prefers well defined stacatto deliveries mixed with a lot of well defined melodic movement in his verses.
Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Mingi: Mid E tier
Mingi is credited as a writer on all the ATEEZ tracks on which he appears. He is considered the lead rapper and leans heavily on his distinctive low vocal timbre.
Mingi's delivery is very centered on a focused and continuous amount of power, occasionally he uses melodic lines but usually he prefers straight delivery with some higher inflections thrown in. He has a very low and throaty tone to his voice and sometimes ranges into an almost spoken delivery.
Strengths:
Weaknesses (this is gonna be a little brutal... Atinys proceed with caution) :

ONEUS: Ravn + Leedo

About Oneus: Before writing this I had not listened to a full Oneus album but i'd really enjoyed their title tracks and was pretty stunned by their RTK performances. I had heard a lot about member involvement in a lot of the elements of their work, overall I was really excited for this post as a prompt for me to go and fully listen to their B-sides. Anyways all that said I am about to trash on Oneus' music a little so ToMoons I'm sorry. I have a lot of good things to say about them too, I promise.
........ ok I know I'm here to review rapping but I promise this is relevant..... the beats to the vast majority of Oneus b-side songs are quite boring and same-y like that vaguely trop-house/dancehall/electro-house sounds with a trap breakdown occasionally thrown in (there are a few exceptions obviously). Looking at the track producers it starts to make sense since most of them are RBW inhouse producers and they stay the same on most of the non-title tracks.
Again I know I'm not here to do a music review but I think a big takeaway from Oneus is how much a good or great beat can elevate even a mediocre rap performance, or really pull the best possible material from its performers, and how, on the flipside boring generic beats can turn what could be a fine rap performance into something totally unremarkable. Oneus tends to have much stronger production on their title tracks but the b-sides keep almost none of that energy and it really hurts their overall ranking and ability.
By FAR the most interesting officially released song they've had from and beat/rapping perspective is Crazy & Crazy which is produced by the Onewe member Cya who honestly impressed a lot, he definitely outdid the other two on that track. But this isn't about Onewe so i'll get on to actually talk about the Oneus members.

Ravn: High C tier
Ravn is the lead rapper for Oneus and has participated as a writer on every single song they've released thus far and participated as a producer on Hero from their debut album. He released a number of songs and projects on Soundcloud under his tag pls9ravn starting in 2017 Some of them are rap tracks, some of them are vocal covers, some instrumentals, and a lot of the originals are alongside the aforementioned CyA of Onewe. The songs tend to be lofi or related genres with a big emphasis on vibe and more laidback delivery.
Ravn's voice is midtone and fairly husky. He often incorporates intentional vocal fry and melody as notable parts of his style.
(On a non-rap not i'm also huge fan of the production on his instrumental SC tracks, i hope Oneus releases a whole track in that vein at some point i feel like it would really fit their vibe)
Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Leedo: High D tier
Leedo is ... apparently the Main Rapper (i assumed that was Ravn but idk) apparently NOT a lead dancer, and also can sing like this!!! Basically the man is full of surprises. He has written lyrics for every Oneus track on which he has appeared and also featured on some predebut soundcloud releases with Ravn and Cya.
He is a deep voiced rapper with about half and half melodic and straight delivery and a powerful but more restrained style.
Strengths:
Weaknesses:

A.C.E: Wow + Byeongkwan

About ACE: First of all this is one of my favorite groups, so if you were wondering whether I'm willing to talk smack on my faves hopefully this section answers that question. ACE has a much smaller discography than others but they also tend to be much less keyed into one particular concept and have gone all over the place in both title and bside tracks
Additionally with only a few exceptions, members have not yet expressed much interest for lyric writing or production. The only song where I saw any writing credit to the members is Wow on Take Me Higher.

Wow: Mid/High D tier
Wow's official position besides main rapper is main performer and that is where much of his strength as an idol lies, he is a really dynamic and talented performer. As a rapper he has a mid to low tone and a pretty straightforward style of delivery usually not melodically driven and usually fairly lowkey.
Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Byeongkwan: E tier
Byeongkwan is perhaps the best representation this post has of "dancer who they made a rapper because they needed a second rapper", he's not outwardly awful... sometimes???, but rapping is clearly not his passion. Byeongkwan is an EXCEPTIONALLY good dancer (put him in your 4th gen top 10 cowards!!!) and he's also a really skilled vocalist, so the rapper role feels especially secondary for him. Still, he's rapped enough times on enough tracks that it deserves comment
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
submitted by franetics to kpopthoughts [link] [comments]

Hedging for Autists

Hedging for Autists

Listen up autists because you are about to get your ass saved by this knowledge I'm about to drop on you. Because today we're going to learn about hedging strategies. I've noticed that some of us may be confused on how to limit downside risk.
For those of you lazy bananas just waiting for the TLDR, well here it is: 3/27 270c; 3/27 200p; 3/27 230c, 3/27 210p [Edit: better range]. You're going to have to read to figure out why buying both is useful.
First, let's get clear on what a hedge refers to. According to Investopedia:

A hedge is an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in an asset. Normally, a hedge consists of taking an offsetting position in a related security.
In plain-speak, a hedge is placing the opposite or comparable bet to make sure your ass is saved if everything goes tits up.1

Believe it or not, but options are not just for playing the market like casino chips.
In fact, they can be used in combination with regular stock, or along with other assets, to reduce risk and maximize returns.
Options accomplish 2 primary things:

  • They allow us to control for downside risk,
    • similar to buying car insurance for your speed demon of a wife.
    • When you buy puts you are protecting yourself from losses if your long position goes tits up.

  • They allow us to leverage our existing assets for greater returns.
    • Similar to renting out your condo to buy more rental condos, you can "rent out" stocks that you own by selling covered calls or puts, a concept we will discuss further down.
    • This is where Theta gang get their tendies.

Shit happens quickly, as we saw Friday. Unless you fart magic you're not going to predict when it will shift. Luckily, you don't need to with these simple tricks.

Trick #1: The Straddle
It is not just what your wife does to the neighbor while you film. It is also what you can use when you don't know whether witches will appear as promised, or if stone cold warlocks will grab your balls and squeeze them for max pain.

A long straddle is a combination of buying a call and buying a put, both with the same strike price and expiration. Together, they produce a position that should profit if the stock makes a bigly move either up or down.[2]

As you can see, the the above scenario may come in handy for days like Monday where we are all basically 50/50 whether it will be upsies or downsies.
It is the Schrodinger's cat of options plays. Except, either of the two states will result is an alive portfolio.
Literally can't go tits up, unless you suffer from IV crush, or it goes sideways..
Which leads us to:

A short straddle is an options strategy comprised of selling both a call option and a put option with the same strike price and expiration date. It is used when the trader believes the underlying asset will not move significantly higher or lower over the lives of the options contracts.

Use the above scenario when the underlying asset is trading inside a defined range.
Be careful, because any escape up or down will mean certain doom.
You should be aware that selling a call and a put implies that you own shares of the underlying security, otherwise you will be on the hook to purchase if it goes the wrong direction.
When it comes to buying straddles you need a decent amount of cash to buy both a call and put for the same strike price.
Also, what if you are certain that the stonk will go up but still want some downside protection?
That leads us to:

Trick #2: The Strangle
  • A strangle is a more cost-effective way to hedge while still maintaining a position on a direction of a security.
  • It involves purchasing an opposite position with a different strike price.
  • The strike price can be OTM or NTM depending on how much you would like to control for downside risk.
More info:
A strangle is an options strategy where the investor holds a position in both a call and a put option with different strike prices, but with the same expiration date and underlying asset. A strangle is a good strategy if you think the underlying security will experience a large price movement in the near future but are unsure of the direction. However, it is profitable mainly if the asset does swing sharply in price.3
Example:
Say Friday you decided to hedge on witches and bought an SPY 3/20 $280c like a retard.
Had you also purchased an SPY 3/20 210p you may have come out ahead, or at least retained your principal.

Long Strangle
The long strangle, also known as buy strangle or simply \"strangle\", is a neutral strategy in options trading that involve the simultaneous buying of a slightly out-of-the-money put and a slightly out-of-the-money call of the same underlying stock and expiration date. Long Strangle Construction.
Just as with straddles, strangles can go long or short. To retain a position on a security that you expect to trade sideways you can use the short strangle.
Short Strangle

The short strangle, also known as sell strangle, is a neutral strategy in options trading that involve the simultaneous selling of a slightly out-of-the-money put and a slightly out-of-the-money call of the same underlying stock and expiration date.
Maximum profit for the short strangle occurs when the underlying stock price on expiration date is trading between the strike prices of the options sold.
At this price, both options expire worthless and the options trader gets to keep the entire initial credit taken as profit.4

Trick #3: Selling Call Options
  • You may hear a lot of people throw around Theta gang.
  • They are referring to the type of options play where you sell a call option via 'sell to open' on a security that they own.
  • If they do not own the security they are selling a 'naked call' which can be risky if the play goes the wrong way.

A covered call is an options strategy involving trades in both the underlying stock and an option contract. The trader buys (or already owns) the underlying stock. They will then sell call options for the same number (or less) of shares held and then wait for the option contract to be exercised or to expire.
This is the most basic way to profit from your portfolio in a situation where the stock may not move up in price. That way you can keep your shitty JNUG shares and earn money while they slowly move down to $1. Just sell an OTM call, but make sure that you have at least 100 shares of JNUG for each contract sold otherwise you'll have a margin call if it goes up beyond your strike price.

Trick #4: Credit Spread
  • In finance, a credit spread, or net credit spread is an options strategy that involves a purchase of one option and a sale of another option in the same class and expiration but different strike prices.
  • It is designed to make a profit when the spreads between the two options narrows.

The call credit spread is a bearish to neutral options trading strategy that capitalizes on theta decay and downward price moves in the underlying asset. It is comprised of a short call and a long call, and is sometimes also referred to as a “bear call spread.”
The call credit spread option strategy also works in minimally rising markets, as the trade will be entirely profitable if the underlying asset closes below short call strike price at option expiration.5
Example:

Stock XYZ is trading at $50 a share.
Sell 53 call for $0.50
Buy 55 call for $0.20
The net credit received for this trade is $0.30 ($30).
The best case scenario for a call credit spread is for the underlying instrument, stock XYZ in this case, to move down or stay the same. If stock XYZ is anywhere below $53 at expiration (the price of the short strike), this trade would be a full winer.

Take care to review the below resources and watch some YouTube to fully understand these plays before partaking. It is important that you understand how to properly leverage and control for risk to avoid a massive GUH when you fuck up.
Implied Volatility on SPY and Other Assets - Important Info
One of the most practical applications of the above strategies is to hedge against the leverage the decline in VIX to control for IV decay. bigd0g111 does an excellent job of explaining this in their post on how to avoid IV Crush:

Hedge vega (the quantifiable proxy for IV on option pricing). Vega represents the change in an option value for a 1% change in IV.
The hedge is by going long $SPY calls, and hedging the vega by shorting the $VIX with puts. All you need to do is match up the vega of the $SPY call with the delta of the $VIX put.
The Hypothetical Trade:
Long $SPY 4/17 240c - trading at 9.65 a piece with a vega of 0.2404
Long $VIX 4/15 52.5p - trading at 7.90 a piece with a delta of -0.2463

If you autists aren't taking the bare minimum protections to hedge against downside risk, especially for VIX then you have no-one to blame but yourself if you get pinched.
Take a read of the post(s) I mention above and be sure to ask any silly questions below if you get stuck. Remember, there are no silly questions, just silly people. Thanks and goodnight.
Edits:
  • 3/22 - a lot of you autists smart people mentioned that we heed the danger of the IV crush that is happening to all of our calls/puts. Implied Volatility is a fucker that kills and cannot be killed. IV personified is scarier than covid-19 and Umbrella corp tyrant virus all in one. Don't fuck with IV it will come out from behind a counter and bite your ass and then game over, son!
  • IV crush is a risk when using long strangles and long straddles, so be aware that you may lose a ton to IV if you hold a long time.
  • ^ Also, puts on VIX futures may not ameliorate the risk of IV crush.
  • I just hedged to some other sexy subreddits and busted and it was great.

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hedge.asp
  2. https://www.theoptionsguide.com/short-strangle.aspx
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/strangle.asp
  4. https://www.theoptionsguide.com/short-strangle.aspx
  5. https://www.optionsbro.com/call-credit-spread-option-strategy-example/
submitted by IsNullOrEmptyTrue to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Leveraging current assets/cash to go long on index ETFs?

Hi. Disclaimer: I am new to investing, and may use wrong terminology. Apologies for that.
I am looking for a way to leverage current assets (in the six figures), partially liquid and partially already invested, in order to make some longer term bets on macro ETFs + S&P/FTSE (Etc). I know there are various margin/loan products that would allow me to, e.g., “borrow” at a low fee and then make gains on whatever profit I can make on the principle, but I don’t know how these work. I believe I want to avoid more risky products that’d require me to trade daily and be really on top of things (I simply don’t have the time or knowledge).
Since I’m very very new to this all, as a current non-home-owner, I was considering getting a mortgage instead of buying a home outright (which I am liquid enough to do, fortunately) so that I could use my existing cash and investments to produce a yield that’d “beat” the lower mortgage rate and thus leave me better off. Does that sound absurd? Funnily enough I’m unable to do that anyway as I don’t have a sufficient “income”. I am currently unemployed due in part to a recent brain injury. So mortgages are seemingly off the table, but I really wish there was a financial instrument/product that’d allow me to borrow using my current holdings/cash as collateral.
I feel quite lost but I know that there is a way for me to leverage my assets better. I’m just not sure what. Any advice whatsoever would be amazing. Even something to the tune of “you’re in over your head, go and read these ten books” would be ok.
Thanks so much!
submitted by macchiatte to UKInvesting [link] [comments]

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submitted by RiseExpert to u/RiseExpert [link] [comments]

Do you have a trading strategy? Why not?

I think this is a discussion that needs to be had. I am a reasonably long time lurker of the sub and have definitely seen my share of profits from some of the tickers posted here (PLEASE always do your own DD, no matter how hype a post may seem, if its all positive, it isn't real DD).
As some background I will admit that I am in a lucky position compared to most, I recently sold one of my houses and ended up with a bit over $100k in liquid capital to play around with, so, I quit my job and took up trading full time after spending several months full-time teaching myself the ins and outs.
I by no means claim to be an expert and as far as investing goes I am still pretty green, but in my 6 months~of active trading I am up over 20% and consistently trading a profit each week.
The biggest issue I see on this sub is that most people have jumped right into this about as recently as me but with little to no research or practice, little to no understanding of the market or terminology and most importantly, NO TRADING STRATEGY!
This is the big one and what I want to talk about, because I am curious what % of this sub actually have a trading strategy they adhere too? Do you have profit margins? Stop losses? Risk margins? How long do you hold your trades?
They say 90% of day traders lose money and can you be surprised when it seems nobody wants to spend any time developing a working strategy for themselves and instead just want to blindly gamble on stocks or follow the latest trend. If trading purely on trend and credit post tickers was a way to consistently make money, don't you think EVERYONE would do it? Have some sense and think for yourself, if you want to make money, you need to figure out what works for YOU and implement consistently.

YOU THERE! HOLDING ALL THOSE BAGS AND TRYING TO SLINK AWAY I SEE YOU, DONT IGNORE ME!

DEVELOPING A PERSONALISED STRATEGY: I think the most important thing to any trading strategy is personalisation, your strategy needs to suit YOU and your own mentality / capital. What trading strategy works for me, will almost definitely not be the same for you, there will likely be similarities, but that's the trick to ensuring you stick to your strategies. Having a touch of personalisation will make it feel like its YOURS, your idea, your strategy and as such you will be more inclined to stick to it (psychology 101).
Make sure when developing a trading strategy that you WRITE IT DOWN (on paper preferably) then stick it somewhere you can see it constantly. Whenever you are about to open/close a trade, look at your strategy and ask yourself "Am I following my strategy or am I acting emotionally?" if you are about to lock in a trade and it doesn't match your trading strategy, its probably a bad trade and your past self is trying to warn you, listen to these warnings to be profitable long term.
MY PERSONAL TIPS: -Dont't be greedy with your strategy, set a reasonable and achievable goal to start with and make sure you can hit that goal consistently for several weeks/months before altering a trading plan.
-Make sure your strategy has stop losses and profit targets in place (THIS IS MASSIVE) give yourself a profit target, be it 5%, 10%, 20% or more and STICK to it. If you are in a position and you hit your target, take the profit and move on. If you really want to continue with that stock, wait for a dip and REAPPLY your strategy, with stop loss and profit target from your new entry point. DO NOT START IGNORING YOUR TRADING STRATEGY FOR ANY REASON, AS SOON AS YOU BREAK THE RULE ONCE, YOU WILL DO IT AGAIN AND YOUR STRATEGY IS WORTHLESS.
MY BASIC PERSONAL STRATEGY: (Take with a grain of salt, develop your own it will be better) RISK: no more than 1% total capital per trade (e.g your total capital is $1000, if you buy 200 shares @ $1, stop loss would be -$10.) P/L target: 2:1 profit loss target (e.g total capital $1000, for each -$10 stop loss, have a profit target of $20) Time stop: If a position fails to meet P/L target exit one week. Entry points: -0.05% below MKT for buy, 0.04% above for sell VOLUME: Min 200,000/day What works for me may not work for you, but one thins is for sure, you need something that works for you, and you need to STICK TO IT.
What's your trading strategy long term? All in on GNUS and wait til the 15th? Sorry that isn't a strategy.
submitted by SurvivorCashGames to pennystocks [link] [comments]

Reviewing Voltage Recommendations for Zen 2

There have been one or two reports of degradation on Zen 2 at surprisingly low voltages. We need to review this and figure out if the advice needs to change, and if so what to. But first, let’s cover how ‘safe voltages’ work, why 1.325V was recommended, and why these reports are very surprising.

Part 1: What makes voltage “safe” or “unsafe”

There are two (and a half) main types of failure related to voltage: electromigration, and oxide breakdown (or dielectric breakdown). Electromigration is most commonly considered, but with how aggressive Zen 2’s Precision Boost is it’s important to understand oxide breakdown in order to understand what can make voltage safe or unsafe on Zen 2. There are of course many other failure mechanisms for silicon chips, some of which do relate to voltage, but these two should be enough to understand for a sensible discussion.

1: Electromigration

Electromigration is a process where an electric current leads to physical damage to the conductor. This is described as being due to moving electrons physically hitting atoms – I don’t know if this is a theory or proven, but it’s a good way to understand it. You can see the physical effect of electromigration under an electron microscope here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/In_situ_electromigration.gif
Electromigration is described by Black’s Equation, which doesn’t include voltage as a parameter but does include current and temperature. As far as I know there isn’t a way to figure out the exact relationships between voltage and lifetime or temperature and lifetime without either experimentation or more information than is publicly available, but in general;
Note that this is about speed of damage, not ‘damage or no damage’. Unless you’re running at absolute zero, electromigration will always be taking place. More on this later.
Electromigration could in principle occur anywhere on a chip – ranging from a weak spot in a specific part of a chip, to a big power plane, or even parts of the package not on the silicon itself. Voltage affects electromigration directly because current is typically directly proportional to voltage. However, as long as the specific parts active aren’t too delicate, it’s possible that a lighter load that draws less current could be run at a much much higher voltage before electromigration would become a concern. Taking a simplified view, if the cores are robust but the internal power plane is delicate then you could run a very high voltage through one or two cores as this still wouldn’t be pulling too much current through the power plane, but an all-core load would need reduced voltage to keep the current under control.

1.5: Dielectric Breakdown

Dielectric breakdown, also known as oxide breakdown when applied to semiconductors, happens when the voltage across an insulator is enough to forcibly turn it into a conductor. For example, we can see air being subjected to a form of dielectric breakdown when a spark happens. Immediate dielectric breakdown shouldn’t occur in normal overclocking, but when a high enough voltage instantly kills a CPU, this is why.

2: Time-dependent Gate Oxide Breakdown

Time-dependent gate oxide breakdown happens as a result of a transistor being subjected to high voltage that isn’t enough for immediate dielectric breakdown, regardless of current. The mechanism doesn’t seem to be well understood, but the practical result is that random damage adds up over time. The main consideration for time-dependent gate oxide breakdown seems to be voltage, it seems probably that temperature would have an effect as well.
There are physics mechanisms by which voltage leads to oxide damage like hot-carrier injection, I would characterise time-dependent gate oxide breakdown as the observed effect of all the various mechanisms.
Because voltage affects time-dependent gate oxide breakdown directly, it doesn’t seem to me that how heavy the load is would affect it directly. However, any parts that are completely power gated would not be subject to time-dependent gate oxide breakdown while power gated. A single-core load would not intrinsically be any less at risk of time-dependent gate oxide breakdown, it could be mitigated by hopping the load between cores, but only to a fairly limited extent.

“Safe” vs “Unsafe”

Both electromigration and time-dependent gate oxide breakdown are processes that are always happening to a certain extent, as long as the chip is powered on. Reducing voltage reduces their rate, and increasing voltage increases their rate. Electromigration is also slowed down by reducing temperature, and both are reduced by lighter workload since as well as the reduced current drawn you can power gate more of the chip.
In a way this means there is no such thing as a “safe” voltage. Simply running a chip damages it, even at stock, regardless of voltage. So what we mean when we say “safe voltage” is effectively something like;
“The voltage at which it’s expected that the chip will not be damaged or destroyed so fast that we regret overclocking it”
“Safe voltage”, unless you’re undervolting, does not mean and has never meant that the lifespan of the chip is unaffected nor that degradation will never take place. However the expectation is that degradation should take many years to appear. “Safe voltage” is also, and I cannot stress this enough, not a magic value where there’s no value below it and loads above it. It’s just an arbitrary line in the sand.
This terminology and the concept of “safe” is in itself something that may need to be revisited at some point. In the past the tradeoff when overclocking was mainly increased power consumption above an arbitrary TDP, or eating into voltage margins. We now live in an era where turbo at stock takes chips well beyond their arbitrary TDPs anyway, and platform design is getting better at narrowing the voltage margins with Intel’s tightly regulated IVFIVR on some platforms and AMD’s clock stretching to deal with transients on a cycle-by-cycle basis.

LLC digression or “playing lawyer against the laws of physics”

In relation to “safe voltage” it’s also worth pointing out that there’s always an assumption that a sensibly low LLC level with a decent bit of Vdroop will be used. Some people will set the “safe” voltage then start pushing up LLC to get more and more load voltage. The chip is of course affected by the voltage and current actually going through it, not the bios settings, and will take damage just as it would at a higher set voltage with more Vdroop. When people think there’s somehow a loophole that lets them raise voltage without it being “unsafe voltage”, they can tell the chip that all they want, but it won’t listen to them and un-degrade itself. This isn’t directly relevant but is worth noting when talking about “safe voltage”. Similarly if you go the other way and have very high droop but tune to hit precisely the “safe voltage” according to monitoring software under load, with a set voltage well in excess, you’re running higher voltage at both idle and load than someone saying “X volts is safe” intends. Anyway…

Part 2: Where voltage recommendations come from

Traditionally there are three ways for the community to find out what voltage is “safe” for a particular chip;
Recently two more methods have been employed;
Variance between chips happens – different leakage means different current draw and therefore different electromigration at the same voltage, oxide layers will vary in thickness, and so on – and is rarely explicitly addressed, but when a manufacturer has had a hand in recommendations you can bet that it’s accounted for and the number given is close to being a lower bound. When numbers come from the community, ultimately there’s information about degradation that has been fed back, so that’s also reacting to the more delicate chips.

Part 3: Where 1.325V for Matisse comes from

I’m going to use more active voice for this part, as I’m talking about my personal thinking and choices.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of The Stilt’s excellent “strictly technical” articles. The immediate reason for the 1.325V recommendation will seem obvious – The Stilt quoted 1.325V as the average value that a Matisse chip’s own firmware will allow for intensive loads. A subreddit user (I can’t remember the spelling of their name but they have a strong history of good contributions) also linked to this with a title along the lines of “Maximum all-core voltage for ryzen 3rd gen is 1.325V”. I also pinned this post for a while. The obvious reading is that this was seen out of context, taken as gospel, and the nuance discarded.
In fact, some information had already made its way to me already from very credible sources. This was very limited and what I can responsibly share is even more limited, because for some reason this is treated as super duper secret, and while I disagree with that it’s not my choice. I’ll also say now that I won’t be answering any questions at all about this, or engaging in conversation about it, nor will I be blinking a set amount of times or anything else. I understand that’s frustrating but I’m lucky to be able to even mention this.
The information I have indicated that the 1.325V value that was getting popular was if anything conservative. To be clear, this related to values given as friendly advice by people in the know – certainly assuming long-term use, but also assuming high-end cooling. And definitely not something anyone should be held to (I suspect not being held to anything is why this is so locked down). However this gave me an indication of what not to be alarmed by, that placed 1.325V squarely in the “not alarmed” box. I’m talking about this because it’s the truth behind what happened, and it does not take precedence over actual experiences.
It’s also worth nothing that many credible media outlets had shown overclocking results with much higher voltages, such as techpowerup who tested their 3700X with 1.4V.
The choice was therefore, rather than declaring a higher voltage than 1.325V or looking further into it, to accept and endorse the value that was getting popular on the basis that, as well as not going against the tide, it should be on the safe side. This was also supported by the public information – after all, The Stilt didn’t talk about messing with “reliability scalars” for Matisse. 1.325V average for Matisse appeared, in terms of safety, equivalent to 1.33V for Pinnacle Ridge – and short-term degradation for Pinnacle Ridge was only reported, to my knowledge, above 1.38V.

Part 4: Why 1.325V might not be a good recommendation for Matisse

There have been multiple reports of chips degrading in surprising ways. For example;
Now, these chips will all limit themselves to different voltages at stock when governed by SenseMI – different “FIT voltages” as they’re called – and it certainly seems likely for them to be less than 1.325V. However, as explored above, it’s not in itself unexpected that 1.325V would be above what’s practically a stock voltage. Again, even setting aside any whispers from any sources, even a chip with a very low 1.275V “FIT voltage” would be expected to last well at 1.325V based on how Pinnacle Ridge behaved. This means one way or another there’s something unexpected happening.
What it doesn't seem to be is user error. There are too many reports for that at this point, and while some may be a little above 1.325V the effects still wouldn't be expected this soon.

Part 4.5: Things about Matisse that might complicate the situation

Fair warning, there’s going to be speculation in this section.
I want to try and enumerate the possibilities to figure out what’s going on, and specifically avoid jumping to any conclusions. Frankly, I don’t think there is a single obvious conclusion. But first I want to talk about what we know.
What we know about how Matisse differs from past CPUs:

Part 5: Where do we go from here?

What we won’t do is say “don’t overclock”. There are always ways to tune performance – trading away power, eating into voltage margins by using a better than baseline motherboard, or improving cooling. But we need to look at the options.

Option 1: Reduce the suggestion for a “safe” fixed voltage

We could drop the blanket recommendation, say to 1.3v or 1.25V. If we go low enough it has to be safe – but it would probably make a fixed OC worse even all-core than stock on many chips. This does retain the benefit of giving users a single straightforward value.

Option 2: Tell people to determine their own safe voltage

This is the option that seems to be gaining mass popularity, and I guess would be the ‘path of least resistance’ now in the way 1.325V was previously. The idea is to still treat every chip as having its own concrete “safe voltage”, just per individual chip rather than per family as was done in the past and with option 1.
The way this works is having assumed there’s a specific “safe voltage” per individual sample, we then assume that an end user can experimentally determine this for themselves with reliable results. The recommend method I’ve seen is to enable PBO (thus lifting off power and current limits), run the heaviest possible all-core workload, and then use software voltage monitoring to see what voltage the chip is getting.
There are a couple of problems with this. Firstly, user error exists. Someone might pick the wrong prime95 setting, not assign enough threads, or have a background load that reduces the overall stress on the CPU. Secondly, if temperatures have an effect then someone might be testing at lower temperatures than they see under real load and still end up with an excessive voltage number. I also worry about this option because I already see some users arguing an obviously excessive voltage like 1.4V is fine because their chip runs it with PBO, and I can forsee some of the “Prime95 is overkill” crowd wilfully deciding to base their fixed voltage on a load that leads to a higher voltage.
Reasons temperatures could change include change of room temperature, increases in dust affecting the cooling, and extra GPU load dumping heat into the case. It’s also possible an impatient user would just not let the system reach equilibrium.
It’s my belief that this method is valid in many cases, but for the reasons above is not for everyone.

Option 3: Recommend PBO tweaking over fixed overclocks

Matisse chips seem to have a lot of room for tweaking without setting a fixed clock and voltage, and this also lets the chips boost higher for light loads compared to a fixed voltage as well as helping with idle behaviour. This also doesn’t mean we’d be banning discussion of fixed overclocks, just that it wouldn’t be the immediate recommendation for people with Matisse-based daily systems.
The safe voltage FAQ entry for Matisse would say something like;
For Matisse it is recommended NOT to use a manual overclock in most cases. The technologies AMD collectively refers to as SenseMI, including Precision Boost 2, provide a very aggressive boost in lighter workloads while maintaining safety in heavier workloads in a way that a fixed manual voltage cannot compete with.
You can of course still overclock Matisse chips but this is best achieved with Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), which expands Precision Boost 2 power limits to trade power for performance (manual PBO limits can also trade performance to restrict power below stock).
It's my belief that this method would be the best to recommend. However I'd appreciate any and all constructive feedback people have.
submitted by HowDoIMathThough to overclocking [link] [comments]

High West Capital Partners Scam

High West Capital Partners Scam

FBI is on the way against High West Capital Partners
Most of us have probably worked jobs that weren’t quite what they seemed on the outside, but my time at High West Capital Partners is in a category of its own; they owe me $275k and have vanished with my money.
If you’ve ever seen the Tom Cruise movie The Firm, where a hotshot lawyer takes a well-paid role without asking too many questions and soon realizes he is working for the mob, you’ll recognize some of my experiences at High West - without the Hollywood ending.
I lost my job in 2008 after serving my time in Wall Street and for the next decade bounced around a couple of small brokerage firms. I still don’t know how they found me, but I was headhunted on LinkedIn in spring 2019 by an assistant for someone called Jim Locke, the apparent MD of High West Capital Partners, LLC. They promised me 10% commission and would cover all expenses. I agreed almost immediately, and a memo (not a contract) was sent over with the terms of the agreement.
I never spoke to or heard from James Locke during my time at High West Capital Partners, LLC. Does this supposed MD of a supposed investment vehicle that “reaches around the globe twenty-four-seven” even exist? I’ve asked myself this plenty of times over the last year. Most of my research, and that of the investigators I hired to help peel back some of the layers, would indicate no.
Who are High West Capital Partners?
With zero money and no contact from the firm for several months now I have tried to go as deep as possible into the company who were meant to be employing me, and found most of the roads leading to High West Capital Partners went nowhere.
The website promotes offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Nevis, but for some reason visitors are greeted with an image of Paris, France. High West Capital Partners boasts of its financial intelligence but strange details and the strapline “custom goods made to order” which is not any kind of financial terminology I have heard in 20+ years make the site look more like an amateurish scam.
The Hong Kong address listed on the High West Capital Partners website, 15 Queen's Road, 75J5+65 Central Hong Kong, is in the centre of the fashion district.
It is home to many law firms, and is the location of choice for at least eight offshore funds, all shell companies registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) between December 2006 and September 2007. It is not home to High West Capital Partners as there is no record of a company of that name ever existing at that Hong Kong address.
During a trip to Hong Kong to meet a potential client in winter 2019 I swung by the building unannounced, out of curiosity. There was no trace of High West Capital Partners on any of the signage and the reception desk also could not find any data indicating the firm operated out of the building.
Hong Kong’s business register has no record of High West Capital Partners, and neither does the Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong’s finance regulator.
A six-minute walk away from 15 Queens Road is the Hong Kong Chinese Bank Building. Here, High West Capital Limited was registered in July 2020 by three foreigners; a German, Dr Thomas Robert Wetzer; and two Austrians, Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, and Alexander Spitzy.
All three are senior executives at Jebsen Group, a legitimate and longstanding investment management group. Mensdorff-Pouilly and Spitzy are senior managers at Jebsen, while Wetzer is a general manager of equity portfolio at the offshoot Jebson Capital.
High West Capital Limited has no website or any other identifying information, is registered at Suite 603, 6/F The Chinese Bank Bldg Nos 61-65 Des Voeux Rd Central, Hong Kong.
The trio make no mention of High West Capital Limited on their social media profiles, and there is no other financial paperwork lodged. They paid HK $1,000.00 to incorporate it, and the company secretary, which tends to be a law firm, is listed at the same address. It is called Kompliance Limited, a private company formed May 2017.
Look’s Securities was incorporated in August 2016, the same year Spanier and McClain were convicted and around the same time period where all the other bits of the puzzle fit together.
Looks Securities is a sister to Look’s Asset Management, which is listed with Hong Kong’s securities regulator as offering securities advice since 2016 and has much the same management, including the same complaints officer who is the point of contact for regulatory issues.
The first iteration of High West Capital Partners LTD was incorporated in St Kitts and Nevis, which has one of the most obscure and secretive company register databases in the developed world, in 2016. High West’s financials are firewalled by Southpac Trust.
On 21 August 2017, High West Capital Partners LTD registered at Kingston Chambers, Town Road, VG1110, British Virgin Islands (BVI) with the Legal Entity Identifier 549300J8JHMPPSYSI103. It has no operations and no collateral at that site. That address is used by at least 10 other shell companies using the tax haven to obscure trails of wealth.
High West Capital Partners PTE. LTD was registered in August 2018, in Singapore. The address is 8 Marina View, #43-01, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore 018960 in the local business registry. A “management consultancy” this time, High West Capital Partners PTE. LTD is listed as having five owner-shareholders who paid a cash sum of $5,000 to register.
Registering as a management consultancy means they can circumvent Singapore’s requirements to file annual reports of their income and they do not have to declare other financial information or make other documents publicly available.
Other registries covering Singapore have them at numbers #07-04 Asia Square Tower 1, and the have moved around the building, presumably to help muddy the waters even more.
In March 2017, High West Capital Partners, LLC was incorporated by the process agent Allison Zeledon in New York in 2017, at 91 Pantigo Road in East Hampton. The residential address, unlike the others around it, is blurred on Google Maps street view.

High West Capital's alleged processing agent's address
In cross-border financing transactions, the parties to the agreement must decide on a choice of law clause specifying that any disputes will be determined in accordance with the law of a particular jurisdiction. It varies, but New York, Hong Kong and the UK are usually chosen.
The process agent is basically the main point of contact for all legal documentation. Allison Zeledon performs this role for a couple of the 10 very similar companies she is linked with around the Hamptons area. Like Jim Locke, if Allison exists, she never responded when I was trying everything to get the money they owe me.
Also registered to that residential address is Hampton Global Invest, L.P. to the names Davis Zeledon, Margarete Seidler (born 1926), and Hans H. Seidler.
Davis Zeledon is a Costa Rican who opened a short-lived fund called Satori Capital Management Ltd in London in 2015 with a German equities trader residing in Spain. Satori was registered to a notorious central London address with 107 other shell companies.
Satori filed no accounts or other financial data and was struck off the British business register in March 2017, the same month High West Capital Partners, LLC was opened in New York. It exited the UK market just before two new sets of corporate anti-corruption laws entered force that would require greater disclosure on sources of funds.
For the sake of completion, Hampton Global Invest was also incorporated in December 2016 as a foreign limited partnership under the jurisdiction of Delaware. Like so many other players in all of this, it appears to be a shell vehicle; there’s no investing and little evidence of any global footprint.
The New York address is the only link High West Capital Partners, LLC has to the US, and I understand it has been raided by the feds.
There is no real US office, but seemingly a presence in Florida and Miami, where I first met the one and only person I know for a fact exists, a young man called Chasen Nevett.
Here’s Chasen’s WhatsApp contact picture, as you can see, his face is obscured, and for good reason, he will be the scapegoat when the High West Capital Partners’ house of cards falls down.
Every time I traveled, expecting to meet Jim Locke, or Allison Zeledon, or one of the other agents, Chasen would call, make excuses for why the others were missing, and then direct my business.

Chasen Navett's social media profile picture.
I first met Chasen in a coffee shop in downtown Miami, where he let slip he was in town to meet two other High West Capital Partners agents. They went by the names Eric Disbrow, a realtor who is for some reason called “Joe” in his online reviews, and Daniel Giancola, who has sadly removed his LinkedIn profile picture since I started hitting it every day. Whether these are their real names, I have no idea.
I do know that Chasen also goes by the names Robert Klein and Gabriel Messorow. Those are the names he has on two passports (one British, one US) stashed in his drawer in the Singapore office that were found by an office representative of 8 Marina View, #43-01, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore who had been spooked by a call from US federal prosecutors. I had to try and calm the man after turning up at the offices unannounced, as he began to shove paperwork at me; indictments, arrest warrants, asset seizure notices.

Federal Indictment issued for the two primary suspected ring leaders of the High West Capital Partners shell company
When I confronted Chasen, or Robert, or Gabriel, he got extremely nervous, and started mumbling about a guy called James Miceli, who I’ll come to shortly, Chasen did the classic move of excusing himself to go to the bathroom and ghosting.

United States Federal Indictment Warrant for the ringleaders of the High West Capital Partners scam
I never saw Chasen in person again, but we exchanged messages where necessary. Clients have told me he refuses to meet them too.
So, in summary, High West Capital Partners shares addresses in BVI, Singapore, Nevis, and Hong Kong with multiple shell companies because it is also in fact a shell company.
It does not have any employees and it is not traded on any exchange. It doesn’t make money nor provide customers with any kind of services. It exists purely to obscure the identity of the people behind the money and shields them from the eyes of US tax officials.
Taking High West Capital Partners to court won’t help; your money has been funnelled through one of their many tax haven offices and is long gone. That is if you even get a response when taking legal action, as High West Capital Partners’ US operation is just as much of a sham.
The stock loan fraud
Not too long after I began work it soon became clear the links to Asia that High West Capital Partners gassed about really only extended to using Look’s Securities Limited in Hong Kong to sell the pledged stock that clients were putting up as collateral. The problem, the borrower didn’t know this, as they had been promised their stocks wouldn’t be sold unless there was a default.
Look’s Securities was incorporated in August 2016, around the same time period where all the other bits of the puzzle fit together. Looks Securities is a sister to Look’s Asset Management, which is listed with Hong Kong’s securities regulator as offering securities advice since 2016 and has much the same management, including the same complaints officer who is the point of contact for regulatory issues.
It was set up to obscure the trail of sold stocks, which would be dumped on the Hong Kong or Singapore markets in Chinese.
Our clients were told High West Capital Partners may hedge some transactions in connection to minimize the risk of an increase or decrease in collateral value of the loan, but that was all lies. High West Capital Partners, via Look’s, sold the collateral, almost immediately, to fund the loan.
I would notify Chasen of a potential lead, and once the paperwork was signed, he would take over the handling of the collateral and bring Look’s into the picture. He said those were his “orders from above”, but I have no idea who was above him.
A borrower later shared that these loans were generally fixed, usually around three years. They had “lockout” provisions that stops the borrower from prepaying the loan until a specified period elapsed, usually twelve or eighteen months after the date of the agreement.
Borrowing against stock is a totally legitimate way for businesses to get operating capital or a boost of cash to grow - but when the company legitimately can’t get the stock back, especially when they’ve been promised it, a federal crime has been committed.
Hunting payments and the trail through the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges proved near impossible for anyone who tried, and I did for a while.
The excuses from Look’s and Chasen as to what the hell happened were never-ending; Coronavirus, market volatility, the shorting of virus-hit stocks and the freezing of exchanges, riots in Hong Kong making it unsafe for staff, it was something new every day.
Two things happen when the transaction goes like that. One, a business makes interest payments every quarter to service the loan, only to find out after the debt is repaid that the stock is gone. Two, more likely, as I saw during my short time at High West Capital Partners, is this huge dumping of shares sparks a stock price collapse which triggers the ‘Margin Clauses’ buried in the contract, causing the borrower to default, crystalizing the fraud.
After a couple of, I presume now provisional, commissions on the back of deals I’d made, the money stopped coming, emails weren’t returned, and things turned really strange.
High West Capital Partners did not encourage me to visit any of their offices, and instead kept a shared Google drive of scripts and other sales documents. I saw a couple of names on the edits that overlapped with some stories I heard back in the day and started to do some digging.
It got to the point I had no contact with the company for four days, which is when I started poking around a bit more. They owed me $275,000 for a couple of trades, and they had gone quiet when it was time to pay. Calls and emails to Singapore, Nevis and Hong Kong went unanswered.
At this point, some clients were calling me in a rage, but there wasn’t much I could do; the truth is it had been dumped almost in order to fund the loans. I tried to direct some of them to Southpac and the High West Capital Partners LTD BVI office at Kingston Chambers, Town Road, VG1110, but then started getting emails from Chasen– who had been ignoring me until this point - warning me off. Did they have access to my email or something?
Argyll Equities, LLC., and Amerifund Capital Finance, LLC.
In typical half-assed High West Capital Partners fashion, some of the sales scripts and contracts on the share drive were not edited properly, and occasionally had the names Argyll Equities, LLC., and Amerifund Capital Finance, LLC inside the copy where High West or Look’s should have sat.
This was the clearest indicator the loan fraud scheme wasn’t just being executed in the exact same manner as the Argyll and Amerifund cases - it was being run by the same people.
Way back when, James T Miceli and Douglas McClain, Jr, operated Argyll Equities, and Jeffrey Spanier operated Amerifund Capital Finance LLC, the loan brokerage business which was often represented as the retail arm of Argyll.
Argyll was an institutional lender with big cash reserves that could be lent to corporate executives and other individuals. The shareholders would pressure Miceli, McClain and Spanier to push the loaned stock they had bought from clients towards Argyll, who sold it.
The FBI and SEC took the trio to court and secured convictions, despite some shaky evidence and
When the Argyll Equities thing blew up, Miceli killed himself protesting his innocence, unable to take what was happening. Jeffrey Spanier and Doug McClain had always said they were answering to people above them at Argyll and Amerifund Capital Finance, LLC. Spanier helped out the authorities from the start, his lawyers said, because he’d been acting on orders.
Everything pointed to the bosses of Argyll and Amerifund fleeing to Asia in late 2015 where they started the scam all over again. High West Capital Partners has no collateral, no cash reserves and no independent source of funding.
For Spanier and McClain, read Chasen, Giancola and Disbrow, whose name are on most of the contracts and will take the fall, whether they deserve it or not. For Argyll, read Look’s, which is dumping the stock in the Asian markets to ensure there is no trace of it.
High West Capital Partners activity
If you look at the performance of some companies today where High West Capital Partners are involved with stock loans, you’ll see the same patterns.
In July 2019, the CEO of tech firm ClearStar transferred 1,613,000 ordinary shares to High West as collateral for a loan in an off-market transaction. The announcement and press notices have no extra information or contact details for High West Capital Partners, and does not reference whether it is the New York, BV, or Singapore arm of the firm involved. Unlike the other players there are no contact details for High West Capital Partners or detail about their side of the transaction.

ClearStar INC, transfer of 1,613,000 shares to High West Capital Partners for Stock Loan.
ClearStar’s value has halved in that time and is still plummeting.

ClearStar price since entering into loan agreement with High West Capital Partners
In September 2017, a month after opening, High West Capital Partners, LLC entered into a share pledge agreement with Hattan Land Limited whereby 26,666,700 ordinary shares were transferred to an agent of High West.

Rule 728, Catalist Rules
Hattan Land’s share price is down 36% this year alone, and the company has lost 70% of its value since entering into an agreement with High West.

Hattan Land price since entering into agreement with High West Capital Partners
Note that this transaction took place in Singapore, but not through High West Capital Partners PTE. LTD of 8 Marina View #43-01, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore but was handled by High West Capital Partners, LLC, of New York, the shell company with no assets.
High West boasts on its website of how its investment team “specializes in bespoke financing to achieve our clients objectives”, but there cannot be many companies out there who have the aim of losing millions and having their values slashed.
What do we know?
The exact same fraud perpetrated at Argyll Equities and Amerifund Capital Finance is being played out again by High West Capital Partners and Look’s Securities, by the individuals who were not jailed for the original crimes.
The High West Capital Partners executives Jim Locke, Daniel Ginacola, Eric Disbrow and Chasen Nevett are the subject of federal investigations over their fraudulent activities.
No client I spoke with, nor anyone else involved remotely has ever met anyone other than Chasen Nevett. Chasen himself has several identities, and it would not be a stretch to assume the others do too. The firm’s US process agent Allison Zeledon also has questions to answer, if she exists.
High West Capital Partners LTD, registered at Kingston Chambers, Town Road, VG1110, British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a shell company used to funnell ill-gotten gains from other ventures.
High West Capital Partners PTE. LTD of 8 Marina View, #43-01, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore 018960 is another shell company used to route money out of Singapore in a manner that obscures the identities of the individuals behind the businesses.
High West Capital Partners, LLC of New York in 2017, at 91 Pantigo Road in East Hampton, is a shell company used to facilitate cross-border transactions and hide the identities of the individuals behind the scam.
These last few months, with the bills racking up and work slowing, have been brutal. Trying to get information out of High West is like nailing jello to the wall; I cannot do this by myself. I want the money they owe me $275,000, and I want the world to know what kind of company they are.
submitted by Ok-One9373 to u/Ok-One9373 [link] [comments]

Book Review: Lee Kuan Yew's From Third World to First [Part One]

Hey, /singapore! I'm not Singaporean, but awhile back, I started taking interest in your country and particularly Lee Kuan Yew, and ended up writing a comprehensive review of his work From Third World to First. I've hesitated to post it here since I expect much of what was so striking to me is old news to you all, but in the wake of the fifth anniversary of his death, my thoughts have drifted back towards him and curiosity got the best of me. With that in mind, perhaps some of you will enjoy an American's look at Singapore's ah gong, one of the most remarkable leaders the world has seen.
Since I have no personal experience with Singapore and only his word to go on for much of the detail provided, I'd be particularly interested to hear where I oversimplified things or got something wrong. If there's interest, I'll post the other portions of the review here; otherwise, you can find them in my userpage if you're curious.
Cheers!

Intro

We believed in socialism, in fair shares for all. Later, we learned that personal motivation and personal rewards were essential for a productive economy. However, because people are unequal in their abilities, if performance and rewards are determined by the marketplace, there will be a few big winners, many medium winners, and a considerable number of losers. That would make for social tensions because a society's sense of fairness is offended. ...Our difficulty was to strike the right balance. (95) (Page numbers listed throughout for reference)
What happens when you give an honest, capable person absolute power?
In From Third World to First, Lee Kuan Yew, in characteristically blunt style, does his best to answer that question.
Lee Kuan Yew's politics--and by extension Singapore's, because he really did define the country--are often, I feel, mischaracterized. In We Sail Tonight For Singapore, for example, writer Scott Alexander characterizes it as reactionary. This is agreeable to the American left, because it's run so differently to Western liberal ideals, and agreeable to reactionaries, because Singapore is preternaturally successful by almost any metric you care to use.
The only problem is that the claim reflects almost nothing about how Lee Kuan Yew actually ran the country or who he was.
[EDIT: piotrgravey, below, reasonably points out that my terminology here relies on somewhat US-centric definitions. When I refer to the left, I'm thinking of those promoting policies that angle heavily towards equality, government welfare, redistribution, and social justice. Liberals blur together with the US left a bit, but I use it in addition to focus on people who prioritize things like an unrestricted press and permissive social policies (drug use, LGBT, etc.). The reactionaries I refer to are people who prioritize tradition and social conservatism and are prone to focus on (and aim to undo) perceived damage from modern liberalism.]
I get the impression it's a mistake to frame Singapore alongside a partisan political axis at all, because the second you do, half of what the country does will seem bizarre. Lee, personally, is open about his party's aim to claim the middle ground, opposed by "only the extreme left and right." (111) With that in mind, what works best to predict Lee's choices? In his telling, he is guided continually by a sort of ruthless pragmatism. Will a policy increase the standard of living in the country? Will it make the citizens more self-sufficient, more capable, or safer? Ultimately, does it work? Oh, and does it make everybody furious?
Great, do that.
From Third World to First is the single most compelling political work I've read, and I'd like to capture as much of Lee's style and ideology as possible. He divides the book (or at least the half I'm reviewing; I'll leave his thoughts on world affairs alone because there's so much to cover as is) into sections based on specific policy problems and how he approached them. I'll focus my attention on a few:
At the end, I will link to my notes in full, and those who are interested are welcome to ask for more details. Note especially that LKY spends huge chunks of the book praising the politicians working alongside him and emphasizing their role. Ultimately, though, the decisions for the country flowed through him and so I am comfortable approaching all these as his policies.
LKY's writing is thoroughly readable and often hilarious, so I will quote it extensively throughout.

Citizen welfare & development

I.
To even out the extreme results of free-market competition, we had to redistribute the national income through subsidies on things that improved the earning power of citizens, such as education. Housing and public health were also obviously desirable. But finding the correct solutions... was not easy. We decided each matter in a pragmatic way, always mindful of possible abuse and waste. If we over-re-distributed by higher taxation, the high performers would cease to strive. (95)
There are two major questions LKY had to answer when it came to developing Singapore. First, how could the country develop a strong economy? Having achieved that, how could they ensure the welfare of all citizens? Or, as he put it, he wanted to leapfrog the region and then create a "First World oasis" (58).
LKY's strategy for the first was simple: provide goods and services "cheaper and better than anyone else, or perish." (56) He was proudly adamant about his country's refusal to beg, describing on every other page how he would go to his citizens and say things like "The world does not owe us a living." (53) or "If we were a soft society then we would already have perished. A soft people will vote for those who promised a soft way out, when in truth there is none. There is nothing Singapore gets for free." (53)
This is one of many areas where he was adamant about rejecting conventional wisdom. In his telling, development economists and other third world leaders of the 60s described multinational corporations as "[neocolonialist] exploiters of cheap land, labor, and raw materials... but... we had a real-life problem to solve and could not afford to be conscribed by any theory or dogma." (58)
So, instead, he threw his country's arms open and said, "Exploit us!" Image was everything. To attract tourism, they invented the merlion symbol and scattered it through the country. Places were renamed. My favorite--"Blakang Mati" (behind death), an island formerly used by a British battalion, was reinvented as "Sentosa" (tranquillity), a tourist resort. (54) To inspire confidence and demonstrate his country's discipline and reliability, LKY focused on planting trees and developing parkland in the center of the city and between the airport, his office, and hotels. For one Hewlett-Packard visit, when an elevator wasn't yet powered to take them to the sixth floor of their planned headquarters, Singaporean officials extended a cable from a nearby building to power it day-of. (62)
In the 70s, as the country's economy stabilized, that confidence manifested in other ways, as with this interaction:
When our... officer asked how much longer we had to maintain protective tariffs for the car assembly plant owned by a local company, the finance director of Mercedes-Benz said brusquely, "Forever," because our workers were not as efficient as Germans. We did not hesitate to remove the tariffs and allow the plant to close down. Soon afterward we also phased out [other protections]. (63)
The whole thing, at least from a distance, follows a pattern of initial tight control, caution, and centralized planning, followed by a slow move towards a freer economy as long as everything seemed to be working. Worried about government starting industries and running them at a loss, LKY insisted that state-run corporations stay in the black or shut down. As they succeeded, they privatized--telecommunications, the port, and public utilities all started within the government and became independent profitable companies over time. (67)
II.
From a Labour Party meeting in June 1966: "Lee Kuan Yew [is] as good a left-wing and democratic socialist as any in this room." (34)
I could go on for a while longer outlining Singapore's growth, and part of me wants to, because the story is fascinating. It's hardly unique, though, just the story of a well-managed economy. Everyone already knows about the growth of Singapore's economy. The work it took is worth noting, but much more compelling for me is what they did with all that new wealth. The United States had a hundred years or more to manage a jump Singapore went through in a couple decades. Growth brings all sorts of questions: How do you shift people to a new way of life? How do you get people invested in their country's success? How do you handle welfare, health care, transport? This is where Singapore excels.
Not without controversy, though, aided and abetted by Lee Kuan Yew himself. As much as I tend to appreciate his approach, his bluntness sometimes gives me pause. Here's a sampling of his thoughts on welfare:
We noted by the 1970s that when governments undertook primary responsibility for the basic duties of the head of a family, the drive in people weakened. Welfare undermined self-reliance. People did not have to work for their families' well-being. The handout became a way of life. The downward spiral was relentless as motivation and productivity went down. People lost the drive to achieve because they paid too much in taxes. They became dependent on the state for their basic needs. (104)
And:
There will always be the irresponsible or the incapable, some 5 percent of our population. They will run through any asset, whether a house or shares. We try hard to make them as independent as possible and not end up in welfare homes. More important, we try to rescue their children from repeating the feckless ways of their parents. We have arranged help but in such a way that only those who have no other choice will seek it. This is the opposite of attitudes in the West, where liberals actively encourage people to demand their entitlements with no sense of shame, causing an explosion of welfare costs. (106)
So--welfare bad. Got it. What's his alternative?
Funding Prosperity
The foundation for his strategy was laid before Singapore left colonial rule: an compulsory 5% pension fund (the CPF) with employers matching 5%. This fund became a major tool to support LKY's value of self-sufficiency. As he says, he "was determined to avoid placing the burden of the present generation's welfare costs onto the next generation" (97). So how did he fund welfare plans?
As Singapore's economy grew year by year, workers' wages went up. As wages rose, knowing that people would "resist any increase in their CPF contribution that would reduce their spendable money", he increased mandatory CPF contribution rates with part, but never all, of that increase. At its peak in 1984, mandatory contribution increased to 25% with full matching. Every working citizen was automatically saving at a 50% rate. This decreased to 40% over time. (97)
Every aspect of citizen welfare becomes easier when every worker has that large a guaranteed savings account.
Following the pattern of initial strictness, followed by expanding rights, the government expanded CPF investment options over time. One illustrative example: when they privatized bus services, they allowed citizens to spend up to S$5,000 to buy initial shares in the new transport company so "profits would go back to the workers, the regular users of public transport" ...and, as LKY adds in the same tone a moment later, to reduce incentive to demand cheap fares and government subsidies. (103)
This strategy repeated when they privatized Singapore Telecom, as they sold shares at half price to all adult citizens, with bonus shares every few years provided people held onto initial shares. Again, LKY describes this desire to redistribute surpluses and provide people a tangible stake in their country's success. He reports that 90% of the workforce owned Singapore Telecom shares. (103)
Neither the CPF fund nor HDB housing, incidentally, can be taken by creditors.
Sense of Ownership
Aside from pensions, LKY's initial major vision for the fund was a way to allow citizens to buy their own houses. He talks a lot about the value of people having a stake in their country, how a "sense of ownership [is] vital for [a] society [with] no deep roots in a common historical experience," (96) the ways home ownership increases civic pride and a sense of belonging. So the government constantly bought land up, built high-rise public "HDB" housing (up to 50 stories!), and then sold apartments to citizens. At its peak, 87% of Singaporeans lived in this public housing.
Some design decisions of HDB housing are worth examining. In some, LKY asked developers "to set aside land... for clean industries which could then tap the large pool of young women and housewives whose children were already schooling" (98). When older housing started decaying, the government created a program to upgrade and refurbish older apartments at the cost of S$58,000 per home, charging owners S$4,500 of that cost (100).
It's easy to get lost in policy details: decisions, reasoning, numbers. What about the humanity behind those policies, though? What was life like on the ground for the farmers and market vendors who abruptly found themselves moving from wooden huts to modern high-rises in the middle of a rapidly developing city? There was exciting progress, yes, but much of the time it was tragic, hilarious, and absurd.
LKY highlights some of these moments. Pig farmers, nudging their pigs up staircases to raise them in high-rise apartments. A family, gating off their kitchen for a dozen chickens and ducks. People walking up long flights of stairs because they were afraid of using elevators, using kerosene instead of electric bulbs, selling miscellaneous goods from ground-floor flats. (99) He grows somber as he talks about resettling older farmers, how even generous compensation money didn't matter next to losing "their pigs, ducks, chickens, fruit trees, and vegetable plots," and how many of the older farmers never really stopped resenting the change. (180)
He's quick to point out other changes, though: In riots in the 1950s and early 60s, he recalls, people joined in, breaking cars, lighting fires, reveling in chaos. Later in the decade, after home ownership started to spread, he mentions seeing people carrying scooters to safety into their HDB apartments. In his words, "I was strengthened in my resolve to give every family solid assets which I was confident they would protect and defend, especially their home."
"I was not wrong." (103)
I laughed when I got to that line, because I'm pretty sure this picture holds pride of place in LKY's mind. He presents this blithe sense of self-assurance throughout the book, with every controversial policy and scornful dismissal.
Health care
Speaking of blithe self-assurance and scornful dismissal, he dismisses the British National Health Service as idealistic but impractical and destined to cause ballooning costs, then takes a shot at the American system with its "wasteful and extravagant diagnostic tests paid for out of insurance." He reports that at least in Singapore, the ideal of free health care clashes with human behavior. Doctors prescribe free antibiotics, patients take them for a few days, don't feel better, and toss them out. Then they go to private doctors, pay, and take the medicine properly. (100)
The first solution was a token 50-cent fee to attend outpatient dispensaries. The full solution, and part of the reason Singapore's per capita health care costs are half the UK's and less than a quarter of the US's, once again went through the CPF pensions: 1% set aside into "Medisave" for health care costs at first, gradually increasing to 6%, capped at S$15,000. "To reinforce family solidarity and responsibility", LKY reports, accounts could be used for immediate family members as well. (101)
That's not to say he wanted no subsidies. At government hospitals, patients chose wards subsidized up to 80%, moving to more comfortable and less subsidized wards as they desire. Medisave funds could be used for private hospital fees in order to compete with government hospitals and pressure them to improve, but not for outpatient clinics or private general practitioners. Why? LKY didn't want to encourage people to see doctors unnecessarily for minor ailments. (102) This constant tinkering and fine-tuning around incentive systems is core to LKY's planning.
From there, Singapore added optional insurance for catastrophic cases, then added a fund from government revenue to provide total waivers for those who lacked Medisave, insurance, and immediate family. Per LKY's reporting, "no one is deprived of essential medical care, we do not have a massive drain on resources, nor long queues waiting for operations." (102)
Pragmatism.
Taxes
So how does this welfare structure reflect in taxes?
Every few pages in The Singapore Story, Lee Kuan Yew makes some grandiose statement about Singapore's successes, and so every few pages I would rush online to see what was exaggerated or cherry-picked and what has faded in the years since LKY's time. The tax structure was the point where this yielded the most fruit--not because of any cherry-picking, but because almost everything has gotten better in the 19 years since LKY wrote his book.
Here are some details on Singapore's tax structure, both as LKY reported and at present, in pursuit of an overall goal to shift from taxing income to taxing consumption:
In addition, they collect nontax revenue from a range of charges, aiming for "partial or total cost recovery for goods and services provided by the state" to "check over-consumption of subsidized public services and reduce distortions in the allocation of resources." (107)
How has this reflected on overall government expenditures?
At the time of LKY's book in 2000, annual budget surpluses had been recorded every year but the 1985-1987 recession. Since then, 2002-2004, 2009, 2015 also recorded deficits, but the government is still running at a comfortable surplus overall.
Here's what the budget looked like in 2016.
Ultimately, as LKY points out, his strategy relied heavily on a unique set of circumstances leading to steady growth, but they capitalized on that growth, made long-term decisions early, and set themselves up well for the foreseeable future as a result. I don't share a ton of his skepticism towards Nordic-style welfare states, particularly since they remain comfortable and successful twenty years later, but I'll admit to more than a twinge of envy when I compare Singapore's approach to welfare with that of the US.

Interlude

Having made the claim that Singapore really isn't reactionary, I'm left to defend it after a string of quotes and choices that, if not reactionary, at least seem tailor-made to pick fights with leftist thought. This is one reason I quoted the British Labour Party members at the start of section II. Lee Kuan Yew started the PAP as a socialist party, driven by trade unions, opposed to British colonialism, aligned with British progressives. Again and again throughout the book, you see LKY pause to note potential unintended consequences of a choice, to approach major decisions with caution, and to change his approach when presented with sufficient evidence, but threads of progressive ideals are persistent throughout and essential to his decision-making.
Those threads should become more apparent as I progress through more of the review, fitting naturally with Lee's overall bluntly pragmatic approach.
Part two: You are free to agree
Part three: Race, language, and uncomfortable questions
Part four: The pathway to power
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May/25/2020 News: (1) Qajaran mayor implicated in kidnapping and torture (2) Part 2: How Azeri officials collaborated with Nazis (3) Institutional police reform; Big salary & quality jump (4) Arthur Vanetsyan (5) COVID restriction & Latest (6) Competition (7) Wages & Economy (8) NBA in Armenia (9)..

Part 2: How Azeri officials collaborated with Adolf Hitler

Part 1 is here. It's about how Azeri 1st republic's founding father collaborated with Nazis.
 
Abdurahman Fatalibeyli is one of the co-founders of Azeri Legion, which was part of Wehrmacht.
1939: Fatalibeyli is a Soviet army officer. He fights against Finland. Becomes the leader of the 6th Division in Leningrad.
1940-41: he is captured by Nazis.
1941-October: he writes a letter to Adolf Hitler (pic inside the article), in which he pledges allegiance to "powerful German nation's powerful leader Adolf Hitler", and asks for permission to create an Azeri Legion.
This is where he meets Mammad Rasulzahed, the subject of PART 1 story. Together they form the Azeri Legion.
1942: While Mammad was tasked with political work, Fatalibeyli was the boots on the ground in Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland. Fatalibeyli co-lead the Azeri 804th Battalion that participated in the massive 800 kilometer Nazi advancement from Taganrog to Psebayskaya.
1943: 804th Battalion "shines" in Starokorsunskaya battles. They destroy parts of Soviet 153rd Division. Later they get a nickname "Aslan" (lion?). Nazi Lt. General Greiffenberg praises the Azeri battalion.
1943: Fatalibeyli creates the Azeri Nazi Party.
1944: Fatalibeyli calls for the extermination of non-Turkic ethnicities such as Armenians, in the Caucasus. He prohibits Azeris from marrying non-Turkic to preserve the "racial purity".
1945: Fatalibeyli fought for Nazis until the end, moving the Azeri Legion from one place to another.
1945 defeat: Fatalibeyli admits that Hitler used Azeris as disposable meat, but he doesn't regret serving the 3rd Reich.
1953: Fatalibeyli moves around and settles in Germany. He becomes Azadliq Radio host and criticizes CCCP.
1954: Soviet spy assassinates Fatalibeyli in his Munich house.
Modern era: Azeri youth are told about heroic battles fought by Fatalibeyli [presumably as soviet soldier]. To this day, many positive books and articles are written about him. The glorification of the Nazi collaborator is also done on the government-level.
by Anna Chichyan https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1016325.html

Relatives of Armenian axed to death by Azeri officer call for justice

European Court for Human Rights is examining the actions of Hungary and Azerbaijan over the release of killer Ramil Safarov.
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2020/may/25/relatives-armenian-axed-death-by-azeri-officer-call-justice-ramil-safarov

update: Qajaran mayor is implicated in kidnapping and assault case / Police brutality

Yesterday we learned that Kapan police arrested 4 men. Police were accused of using excessive force during the arrests. Suspects' friends, led by Qajaran mayor, organized a protest.
 
The authorities give details behind the arrests:
The 3 men, who are friends with Qajaran mayor, kidnapped and beat someone at the presence of Qajaran mayor. During the arrest the police found lots of narcotics possessed by one of the suspects.
April 26**: several men had an argument. Qajaran mayor organized razborka to settle the dispute. The mayor and 20 men gathered near the mayor's gas station to settle things; it turned into a fight.
April 29: several suspects kidnapped a man, drove him to a business area, and beat him up for half an hour. Then they drove him to one of the suspect's dacha and beat him up more, before being stopped by suspects' friends.
May 24: the suspects were arrested in Kapan and charged with a felony. The 4th man was arrested by mistake and later released.
 
Today the court found that arresting 3 of the suspects [at this stage] was against the law, and ordered police to release them. The kidnapping and assault charges are not dropped, however.
 
The SIS is investigating whether policemen applied unreasonable force during the arrests.
 
QP MP and former police official Khachatryan: the scratches, as seen on images, do happen sometimes during apprehension if there is resistance. Police isn't a "charity" organization. The police did its job by arresting the suspects. Those who gathered in Kapan to protest were a narrow interest group. The police cannot cave to their personal demands about not investigating the suspects in Yerevan.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188665
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188672
https://factor.am/252894.html
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188723
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188721

Massive police reform discussions begin

PM's office earlier approved the bill for institutional police reforms that will create a brand new service, new recruitment requirements, etc. Today the bill reached the Parliamentary Committee for a preliminary discussion. If it's cleared, the MPs will debate on the floor.
Committee discussed parts of the reform:
We need police with new uniform, intellect, weapons, cars, priorities, and public image. Georgia did this with the help of international organizations who helped to write the reforms and implement it.
Currently only under-30yo can join police patrol. We'll raise this to 35 to authorize many qualified candidates to join. The recruits will be given Russian and English lessons.
The minimum wage for new police will be 320k/mo or $650 plus family benefits (not bad?). It'll be significantly higher than in other divisions (<210k).
Male candidates must serve in the army first. Females can join the lower echelons at age 18 but higher education could be required for promotions.
https://factor.am/252824.html
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/f2ej5feb112020_daily_news_collection_anticorruption/
https://factor.am/252827.html
https://factor.am/252868.html
https://factor.am/252871.html

ex-NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan...

...was allegedly fired in 2019 for refusing to investigate certain HHK officials. He told Pashinyan "it's time to stop". Later, he got money from Russia and created his political group. A HHK official, who is suspected of helping to forge Constitutional Court documents in 2018, has joined Vanetsyan's party.
Some believe Vanetsyan has been colluding with Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan.
 
As part of "reconciliation and forgiveness" for old embezzlement, Pashinyan publicly urged former oligarchs to voluntarily donate money to special accounts that will be used for purchasing weapons for Artsakh army. (Serj's brother agreed)
Recently Mikael Minasyan claimed that Vanetsyan (while still NSS chief) approached him with what could be a similar repayment offer, but Minasyan describes it as an extortion attempt. Vanetsyan was questioned by SIS about the extortion allegations. (Vanetsyan was separately accused of extorting company shares from Minasyan, as a side-hustle for himself)
Some in QP circles believe that Minasyan and Vanetsyan, in reality, are close, and they don't rule out that the two could join to fabricate a story.
 
Q: How do you explain the fact that your recent message for QP to replace Pashinyan as PM, is mirroring Minasyan's similar message?
Vanetsyan: I said it first, months before Minasyan did.
Q: Why does your car have Russian license plates?
Vanetsyan: we bought it from Russia. I can't change plates due to COVID.
Q: Minasyan claims Nikol sent you to urge Minasyan to stop political activities.
Vanetsyan: there is a felony investigation. I can't comment.
https://factor.am/253110.html
https://factor.am/253107.html
https://factor.am/253104.html

COVID update

+1300 tested. +452 infected. +81 healed. +12 deaths (includes deaths not directly from COVID but the patient was confirmed to have COVID at the time of death).
3842 active. 3145 healed.
 
Artsakh currently has 21 infected, 11 healed, 0 deaths, 72 quarantined.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188673
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188675
##Sevan city is on lockdown for 1 week...
at the orders of Emergency Taskforce. Only essential products can travel. Police roadblocks will be placed.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188666

enforcement

Since the lifting of public transport ban, Police have ticketed 50 buses and 240 taxis for violating the overcrowding and mask requirement.
https://youtu.be/r70eLDiTIqE

drunk ambulance driver...

got into a car accident on his way to transporting a COVID patient from Yerevan to Kapan. The patient had to be unloaded and transported with another vehicle.
https://shamshyan.com/hy/article/2020/05/24/1155561/

Kocharyan trial delayed over COVID detection

Robik and co-defendants have many lawyers. One of them was diagnosed with COVID. The trial is delayed.
https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2020/05/25/Kocharyan/2298009

April YoY / Wages up, Economic Activity down

Monthly Nominal Wages were the only thing that grew: +9.8%
Economic Activity Index:-17.2%
Inflation +0.9%
Construction -51%
Trade -33%, Foreign trade -28%
Exports -30%, Imports -17%
Services (minus trade) -16%
Industrial output -9%
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188681

mask prices / vending machines for masks

BHK Naira: I've never seen a mask below ֏210 in Yerevan Center.
Economic Competition Protection chief: We studied pricing in 7 major chains, dating back to December. They paid 10x more to import masks. We studied their profit margins during import and sales.
It's a huge task that involves entire Armenia. We need more time to get it right because penalties for violators are also big.
The most expensive basic mask we found was ֏220. The problem is, sometimes middle-men buy it in large quantities then resell to pharmacies, thus adding overhead.
If we install vending machines to sell masks directly to consumers, it could reduce the price by ֏100.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188679
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188692

what about butter?

BHK Naira: we should give Economic Competition Agency more powers to punish businesses that gauge prices because the Agency always complains about not having legal powers to punish. It's not just about masks. You said butter prices are down but the one I buy has gone up significantly.
Economic Competition chief: I stand behind the claim that butter prices are down. You buy "Presidential" brand butter which did get more expensive, but it only has 4% of market share. It's the most premium butter... This year Armenia produced 46% more butter.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188704
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188709

Price fixing and monopoly stats

Economic Competition chief gave stats about various forms of anti-competitive investigations in 2017/2018/2019:
Price fixing investigations: 0/0/2 (most serious type)
Abusing dominant market power: 5/3/20
Unfair business practice: 55/35/57
Anti-competitive practices by govt-run organizations: 0/0/6 (it shows that one govt agency monitors the other)
Chief cited various international indexes saying that Armenia has improved its competition score.
Full: https://factor.am/252919.html

Fuel prices / Russian importers / Middle-men

QP MP Tunyan asks Economic Competition chief:
You mentioned how Rosneft-Armenia company plays a middle-man between Rosneft (supplier in Russia) and Armenian consumers. Parliament will hold a meeting with fuel sellers to understand which companies are "artificially injected" into the market, who pockets the money, and who contributes to artificially raised prices.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188700

LHK ends the ragequit

LHK has been boycotting Parliament sessions due to the recent fight between MPs. They are still dissatisfied with the the govt's response. Today they blasted the govt once again, then agreed to return to resume their work.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1016347.html

Raging winds...

caused damage across Armenia 3rd day in a row. Houses in 11 settlements were damaged. Trees, roofs, windows, cars.
Video: https://youtu.be/YHDf2sSyOfc
Pic: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188707

court frees 9 suspects from March 1st case

Pashinyan administration believes many March 1st, 2008 protesters were unfairly arrested. In some cases, the European Court for Human Rights agreed.
In Armenia, prosecutors have been trying to overturn some past convictions by petitioning the Cassations Court.
Today the Cassations Court agreed with prosecutors that the previous court trials of protester Masis Ayvazyan were deeply flawed, and decided to acquit him. "I expected it because a lot has changed in Armenia," said Ayvazyan.
9 people were acquitted today.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188688
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188698
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188705

series of corruption busts

Dilijan musical school's director hired a non-existent worker and stole 4mln from state budget since 2016, say investigators.
 
Zeytun district library director is charged with felony corruption for registering 2 non-existent employees and stealing 1.6mln since 2018, say prosecutors.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188696
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188693

You like Lake Sevan? No beaches for you

Journalists circled Sevan and took some photos. One thing they noticed is that most beaches were "privatized". In the past, some people were given 99-year permits to occupy beaches and do whatever they wish.
CivilNet will produce a documentary, but for now, enjoy the pics and the full story:
https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/05/25/Սևան-Հայաստանի-զավթված-գեղեցկուհին/385601

you like patriotic songs?

"Aparan" by Sofi Mkheyan. It's about Aparan battles led by Drastamat Kanayan that took place 102 years ago today.
https://youtu.be/REoL6LhJUYA

Armenian NBA

In 2017 the U.S. NBA Basketball League create a global championship for under-14 players. 60 countries have joined. Each country holds an NBA-style tournament under the NBA trademark.
Armenia has negotiated to join the initiative. World experts will meet young Armenian players to give tips. The youth teams in Armenia will be named after U.S. teams to mimic the NBA.
No big stadiums are necessary. Sports centers are sufficient. Some rural teams will need govt's financial help to get equipment.
Govt-run sports centers aren't ready to join the initiative due to insufficient financing, but many private schools, where kids pay more, have expressed interest.
NBA will finance their experts' travel and kids' uniforms, but no cash for Armenian teams unless they capture a wide audience and sponsors. Money isn't the priority; it's done to boost interest in sports. Kids will learn English, while coaches will be retrained.
30 teams will be split into divisions. For example, Gyumri and Vanadzor could be in Northern Division, while Goris and Kapan Southern.
The only thing left is to convince the Education Ministry to give enough cash for more teams to join. (պապը մեռնելուց առաջ $1,000,000 կտակումա թոռներին հետո մտածումա բա որտեղից էտ $1,000,000-ե գտնի որ կտակի)
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188739
https://www.nba.com/article/2017/12/18/jr-nba-world-championship-official-release

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
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What is Margin Trading Crux of Margin trading , Inherent Risks , and Curse of ... Day TradingHow to margin Buy Sell sharesSell shares ... Tutorial: How to Margin Trade on Binance 👨‍🏫 - YouTube Trading 101: What is a Margin Account? - YouTube

Margin rate is the interest charged by brokers when traders purchase financial instruments like stock on margin and hold it overnight. It may also refer to a fee charged above and beyond the broker’s call rate. In trading, it is common for a trader purchase shares of stock on margin which means they are borrowing money from the broker to purchase more shares than they normally would have A margin account is a brokerage account in which the broker lends the customer cash to purchase assets. When trading on margin, gains and losses are magnified. more. Debit Balance. The margin stop out level is calculated using the following formula: Margin level = equity / used margin x 100%. Worked example: The margin on a $10,000 USD (equity) trading account with 1 standard lot open position on USD/JPY and 100 times leverage would be calculated as follows: = Equity/Margin x 100% = 10,000 / 1,000 x 100% = 1000% margin level Chapter 2: Margin Trading Terminology Make yourself familiar with the terms below because they are used often in the margin trading world. Margin Account The investor will need a margin account to carry out these kinds of investments. A cash account with a broker where you can only use your own money to buy stocks in the traditional way cannot Margin Account is a type of brokerage account that allows you to buy stock on margin by borrowing money through your broker. Generally there is an application process that has to be approved by the broker to ensure you are eligible for a margin account.

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What is Margin Trading

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