Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire?

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According to Wikipedia, this phrase is used to describe the process of moving or getting from a bad situation into a worse one.                                     Maybe Europe should take note.  Recently, the European Union (EU) announced that solar power was destined to be the kingpin of their effort to become independent of Russian energy imports by 2027. … Continued

Guts and Gold

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Investors, quite naturally, are very interested in the possible course of events in Ukraine.  History suggests that in the case of perceived mismatches in military strength, courage and a robust, external supply chain, food, medical and armaments, can be surprisingly helpful to the smaller combatant.  At this time, it is clear that the people of … Continued

Land Grabbing

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Wikipedia defines land grabbing as the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying or leasing of large pieces of land by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals.  Russia appears to be taking this concept a step further by using military force. Prior to Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has not been all that visible in … Continued

Is Ukraine the Next DMZ?

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Readers may recall the establishment of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea as part of the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement.  You might also recall the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, in which Russia sought to deploy ballistic missiles in Cuba.  These two events suggest that a buffer zone can be helpful and, … Continued

Has Putin Led Russia Into a Quagmire?

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No one really knows how the current conflict in Ukraine is going to end.  However, in the interim, it might be helpful to consider some of the possibilities.  The war is clearly going very badly for Ukraine’s civilians, as Russia appears to have embarked on a ruthless, scorched earth strategy.  Based on limited reports from … Continued

War In Ukraine

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The horrors of war can never be understated.  Loss of life, grave injury, and the trauma of mortal threats never leaves ones soul.  We pray for the well-being of all Ukrainians. While sobering, as investment professionals we are called at all times to weigh the investment climate with an eye towards our fiduciary obligation to … Continued

Bullying Big Banks and Big Oil

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There has been a noticeable increase in efforts to bully big oil into reducing fossil fuel assets and to apply similar pressure on big banks to not finance fossil fuel projects.  We discussed this issue in our blog of June 2, 2021 “Fossil Fuels: Big Companies Divest, Small Companies Invest.” Now we have an article … Continued

Beijing is Pursuing the Solomon Islands

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Over the last several years we have posted a number of blogs, most recently on September 22, 2021, “Sea Power”, relating to the importance of freedom of the seas, particularly with regard to the risks surrounding the critical Malacca Strait and the increasing adventurism of China in the South China Sea.  Apparently the Chinese have … Continued

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

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This idiom is often associated with damaging or impeding one’s own plans, progress, actions or best interests through foolish actions or words.  Germany may be exhibit A.  It would seem that a major developed country facing a generational energy crunch would be trying everything possible to expand supply while doing as little environmental damage as … Continued

Sea Power

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The Wall Street Journal recently published a review of a new book by Gregg Easterbrook, “The Blue Age: How the U.S. Navy Created Global Prosperity—And Why We’re in Danger of Losing It”, that highlights the relative peace and tranquility on the seas, courtesy of the U. S. Navy.  The importance of ocean shipping has been … Continued

Competing With China

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Recently, two articles crossed my desk that provide some insight into the extent and complexity of attempting to compete with China. The first article addressed the issue of labor and introduced, at least to me, the number 996.  Apparently, this is shorthand for the schedule that has become the workplace norm at many Chinese companies: … Continued

Coin of the Realm-China Weighs In

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Investing in cryptocurrency has always been controversial.  In that regard, we have previously posted several blogs that suggest that legal tender is what the government says it is.  Recently, China has made it clear that it does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender and the banking system does not accept cryptocurrencies or provide relevant services. … Continued