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Freedom & Fascism: Political, Tech, Health, Finance, Energy, China

From Germany’s political climate to America’s freedom of speech, pesticide woes in public health to Bitcoin ETFs, and China’s economic uncertainty – we’re serving you a global platter of hot-button issues.

user profile picture Ivor Feb 18, 2024
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DISCLAIMER: The following content does not reflect the opinions of Peak Prosperity, but is rather a summarization of content that has caught the interest of members of the community.

Discussion is welcome in the comments section!

In the realm of global politics, Germany’s current political climate is under scrutiny as measures are being taken to suppress opposition, particularly the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is proposing policies that treat right-wing extremist networks like organized crime, use regulatory authorities to target political opponents, and uncover financial links to deprive them of income. These measures, coupled with plans for internet censorship and security checks for elected officials, have raised concerns about the potential for a pseudodemocracy in Germany.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the United States is grappling with its own issues of freedom of speech. The transition from internet freedom to censorship, manipulation by intelligence agencies, and the role of social media in geopolitical conflicts are all under the microscope. The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security are noted for their roles in censoring dissent, particularly during the 2020 election, with institutions like the Atlantic Council, CIA, and DHS shaping censorship tactics.

In the field of public health, a recent study by EWG has found chlormequat, a pesticide linked to reproductive and developmental issues, in 80% of people tested in the U.S. The chemical was detected in urine samples from 77 out of 96 individuals, with higher levels in 2023 compared to previous years. Chlormequat was also found in 92% of oat-based foods, raising concerns about public health. The Biden EPA has proposed allowing its use on certain crops, a move opposed by EWG.

In the financial sector, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink has been discussing Bitcoin ETFs, blockchain technology, and the company’s potential fines for violations. Tokenization trends are expanding to natural assets, with major players investing in stablecoins. This shift is anticipated to transform financial markets. BlackRock is exploring infrastructure investment and supporting the UN’s sustainable development goals. The text also touches on digital IDs, biometrics, and the potential for cashless systems.

On the energy front, Morningstar researchers have stated that crude oil supply will decline rapidly without more investment. They forecast oil demand to decrease to 88 million barrels a day by 2050, down from the 99 million barrels a day seen in 2019 — about an 11% decline. They argue that without sufficient investment in the sector, supply and dynamics could turn severely lopsided.

Finally, in China, the heavily-indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande has been ordered to liquidate by a Hong Kong judge. This comes after a year of disappointing growth, high youth unemployment, and various surveys and media reports that show a lack of confidence amongst China’s entrepreneurs and consumers. This has led to predictions of an economic collapse or stagnation in China, raising questions about what the Year of the Dragon has in store for consumers, companies, and markets.

Sources

China’s Economy Faces Uncertainty Amid Evergrande Liquidation and Economic Challenges

At the end of January, a Hong Kong judge ordered the liquidation of the heavily-indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande.

Source | Submitted by sandy-loam

Morningstar: Reports of Oil Demand’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The death of oil demand has been exaggerated, Morningstar says.

Source | Submitted by sandy-loam

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s Views on Bitcoin, Asset Tokenization, and Sustainable Development Goals Spark Debate

Tokenized, Inc: BlackRock’s Plan To Own The Fractionalized World

Source | Submitted by pnwdefector

Study Finds Chlormequat Pesticide in 80% of People Tested, Raises Health Concerns

Chlormequat, a little-known pesticide, was found in four out of five people tested, raising concerns about its potential impact on public health.

Source | Submitted by pnwdefector

Government and Defense Industry Censorship Threatens Freedom of Speech in the US and Europe

YouTube video

Source | Submitted by ursel-doran

German Interior Minister Unveils Controversial Measures to Combat “Right-Wing Extremism”

The truth is much more mundane: Germany has one of the oldest party systems in Europe. As has already happened in many other countries, this post-war establishment is coming apart.

Source | Submitted by richcabot

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