The International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to advocate for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), despite growing skepticism and resistance. The IMF’s Managing Director, Kirstalina Georgieva, highlighted potential use cases of CBDCs, such as replacing cash in island economies and improving financial inclusion. However, the launch of Nigeria’s CBDC, the eNaira, has been met with low adoption rates and public distrust. Singapore’s central bank is advising the public to carry cash as a contingency for further outages, following a disruptive bank outage in the country.
In a recent conversation with Mathew Crawford, topics such as the history of gain-of-functions, artificial intelligence, and tactics used by intel operatives on social media were discussed. The conversation also touched on uncovering fraud in pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing.
A recent podcast episode discussed the concept of ‘gaslighting’, a psychological manipulation technique. The episode explored how common gaslighting is, how to defend oneself from it, and how it is used on a societal level by those in power.
In an effort to restore trust in the government, over 40,000 hours of Jan. 6 Capitol Police security video will be made public on a dedicated website. House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasized the importance of transparency in this decision. However, the decision to blur faces and concerns about the authenticity of the files posted online have been met with criticism.
Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program has expanded to include euthanasia for infants and toddlers. The Quebec College of Physicians defends the practice by claiming that some babies are suffering from unbearable pain that can only be alleviated through assisted suicide. However, there are questions about how consent is determined in cases where both parents may not agree on the necessity of assisted suicide.
In Argentina, far-right economist and former television pundit, Javier Milei, has won the presidential runoff against Economy Minister Sergio Massa. Milei, who has no governing experience, secured nearly 56 percent of the vote. His victory represents a significant shift for Argentina, which has been grappling with hyperinflation and rising poverty rates.
The transportation and logistics industries have experienced a severe recession, with overcapacity and a lack of freight leading to a drop in rates. This downturn has affected not only U.S. trucking fleets and freight brokerages, but also ocean carriers, railroads, air cargo carriers, and freight forwarders worldwide.
China’s economy has been a major player in ocean shipping for the past two decades, but now the era of rapid economic growth and government intervention is over. Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book, believes that shipping owners, investors, and analysts need to adjust their thinking on China. He also predicts that relations between China and the US will continue to deteriorate.