A Victorious Tale: The Escape of Yeonmi Park

Yeonmi Park was born in North Korea. Her father was a civil servant for the ruling party and she had a sister who was three years older. Growing up, Yeonmi’s mother told her to never question anything because the North Korean Regime was listening. She told Yeonmi that even the birds and insects were listening to her.

This type of fear was a common aspect of Yeonmi’s childhood. She was born after the fall of the Soviet Union. The fall of the communist power severely effected North Korea and its people. The Soviet Union had previously had a very forgiving import rate for importing food into North Korea. When North Korea stopped receiving discounted food from the USSR, it was swept by a famine. Yeonmi’s family, like the rest of the families in North Korea, struggled to find food. They would eat insects to survive.

During this period of time, Yeonmi’s father was arrested and sent to a prison camp. He had been caught smuggling metal in order to get food for his family. It was at this time that Yeonmi’s family decided they had to leave the country. On a cold winter evening, Yeonmi and her mother found a guide to help them sneak out of the country. The previous day, Yeonmi’s sister had quickly escaped the country.

Yeonmi and her mother spent two years in China, enslaved in a human trafficking ring. Finally Yeonmi’s father was able to join them but he died two months after his escaped from untreated colon cancer. Yeonmi and her mother managed to escape enslavement and made their way to South Korea where they reunited with Yeonmi’s older sister.

The North Korean Regime denies Yeonmi’s story on Youtube, saying that she is just a puppet for the west and its propaganda. Some North Korean defectors also question Yeonmi’s story on NK News. However, Yeonmi stands by her words and their truth. Yeonmi’s goal is shed light on the darkest country on earth so that the world can see the tragedy.

To read the full story, go here: https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story.

 

 

Why Do Nations Devalue Their Currencies?

 

In a perfect world, a national currency will be used to purchase products and services from a particular nation. Of course, with empires, certain currencies are used more readily for international trade. Here is an explanation of why nations devalue their currencies.

“Man Naturally Wants More”

Children want more Halloween candy. NFL players want to win the Super Bowl. Nations naturally want to increase the value of their currencies. Most countries tend to “overvalue their currencies by creating artificial official rates.”

International finance expert Marcio Alaor of BMG says by setting official rates for currency exchange (Forex), nations can create a more stable market. Generally, there is also a “black market” rate where the currency might be traded on more realistic terms of supply and demand. When there is a big gap between the official and black market rate, the country can lose authority.

“Encourage Exports & Re-Establish Trust”

From 2015 to 2016, many nations have been devaluing their currencies. The primary reasons for devaluation are to encourage exports, re-establish trust and build up foreign reserves. Bloomberg discussed on January 22, 2016, whether China would be forced to devalue its Yuan within six months.

Goldman Sachs Gary Cohn discussed the long-term perspective of Chinese political planners who built up the nations’ infrastructure, encouraged movement to urban areas and wanted to create a consumer-based economy. Still, the experts think that China might still need to devalue due to shrinking foreign reserves.

Can There Be Another George Soros?

George Soros is a legendary investor who we may never see the like of again. George Soros and Warren Buffet are some of the great investors to attain 30.30 records. It means they have posted more than 30% average returns for more than 30 years consecutively. It is no mean feat given how competitive the market is.In the stock market, they can be described as .400 hitters. It is a term reserved for experienced stock market traders who have made such impressive returns.

It has recently become too difficult to attain such records. The market has changed, and we have tens of thousands of Ph.D. welding graduates with market predicting software doing trading. Such software makes 50 % of the trade in the US capital market.

This fact has seen even the granddaddy of the stock market, George Soros, struggle to buy and catch up. In 2011, he retired from the trading world and left his hedge fund, George Soros Fund Management to his son. It now has up to $ 30 billion in the invested capital.

The current decreasing productivity of the stock market has been compounded by the entry of highly educated traders in the market. It is now very normal to find Ph.D. Physicists and rocket scientist trading in the market using complicated software. It is a fact that has seen profits made on wire thin market inefficacies.

George Soros is thus today regarded as the last of a breed of traders never to be seen again. It is a group that took advantage of the information gap to make it big in the market. George Soros made his money by trading in European stocks. It was at a time when Europeans were less able to trade the stock exchange and there not many traders. He was as he called himself a one-eyed king in a sea of blind men. It is a business strategy that saw him make good money.

Today, such a fairy tale is not possible thanks to the market. An ordinary person today has more access to information than Soros had in the 60s.Analysts predict a market so competitive that 2% returns are excellent. In countries like China, tens of millions trade every day. It has become so competitive that many hedge funds are closing shop. It simply is not profitable anymore.

George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930.He was brought up there but fled with his mother in 1941 to London to escape the advancing Nazis. It was a reality that has shaped him since then. He describes himself as the king of the stateless.

George is a survivor of the Holocaust. George was also a refugee for 15 years, and it has spurred him to help the downtrodden.Gerge points out in the 50s refugees were not as hated as now, and it is the right of all world citizens to help others.

Goerge spends his time helping such people. He has several funds including Open Society Fund to advocate for a free world.

Article recapped from Market Watch

George Soros Predicts Potential New Recession

According to Devesh Kumar of The Street, the latest predictions by financial expert George Soros about global markets should be taken seriously as investors and consumers head into 2016.

Soros believes that the problems with the Chinese market, including the devaluation of the yuan and the economy’s slowdown as China goes through a changing growth cycle from its previous investment-driven state to a consumer-driven one, is helping to create a unstable global economy. He sees the events taking place around the world, especially investor actions and market losses last week, as similar to 2008 when investor and consumer fears took control after a series of bad financial events. China’s current spending and borrowing decisions have created a massive amount of fear because the instability of China’s economy isn’t predicted to end for several years.

Some financial experts have argued that the global markets are much better than in 2008 and the banks and the U.S. economy are in good enough shape to counter any negatives from China’s economic destabilization. Yet, when investors start selling stock or holding onto their money instead of investing it because of fear and panic, the state of the banks and the U.S. economy do not have as positive an impact. Kumar recommends that investors continue to invest but stick with high growth sectors, such as telecommunications, utilities, pharmaceuticals and any sectors that did well in 2008, instead of being overly cautious since too much caution can actually create a crisis situation.

J.R. Ross Crooks III for Uncommon Wisdom Daily also believes Soros is right, but he believes that the global situation is far more dire than Kumar has outlined. The Asian markets caused a five percent decline in the United States last week. Debt has increased worldwide. China’s debt has actually doubled since 2008. Crooks points out that financial experts around the world agree that overall global growth will be slow in 2016. It will be so slow that the global economy will be worse this year than it was in 2008. Crooks believes that policymakers will attempt to stop the decline by pushing confidence at market level and pushing cash at the financial system level. Of course, given that many countries have suffered decades of losses and other areas of the market are not acting as expected, such as oil prices and other emerging economies, the situation might be impossible to fix this year.

Beneful offering premium dog food products that appeal to different dog owners

One of the major dog food makers, Beneful, is providing premium dog foods to customers. Beneful is offering premium dog food products that appeal to different dog owners and with strategies that are significantly different from their competition as per an article in the Daily Herald.

Beneful product offerings start from the top of their company from their parent company Nestle Purina which made a couple of notable acquisitions to expand their brand offerings. Nestle acquired Merrick Pet Care which was the first certified organic maker of dog food and this long experience and expertise in the organic dog food market is leading to higher quality organic foods being incorporated into Beneful’s products. Unlike brands that are suddenly trying to enter the organic dog food market, the newly acquired expertise and experience obtained by Beneful is likely to give them a big advantage in the premium dog food market.

Further, Beneful on beneful.com has begun to offer dog food options that appeal to dog owners that have senior dogs. The brand offering is known as Bright Minds and seeks to provide foods that are more digestible and healthier to older dogs who may be having problems with other dog food blends. Included in their Bright Minds products are medium-chain triglycerides which are derived from coconut oil and which are easier for older dogs to process and digest, therefore improving their health when they are older.

There is a lot at stake for Beneful as the market for premium dog foods has increased over 45% since 2009 and now represents a market size over $10 billion. Given that the total pet food industry is only $24 billion this is a serious market space for dog food makers to play in. Further, premium dog foods are part of an growing market space and there is a lot of potential for brands and businesses that are able to execute in the premium dog food market by offering higher quality products to dog owners who want to increasingly feel as if their dogs are part of their families and that they are providing for them as they would any loved one.

US Money Reserve’s Phil Diehl Gives a Penny For His Thoughts

In an recent interview with CNBC Squawk Box, US Money Reserve’s President Phil Diehl cites logical reasons to do away with the penny as currency. The most obvious reason he mentions is that the penny costs more to make than it’s worth. Although minted by the Federal Reserve, the actual molds are filled by private companies using zinc, not copper.
As only 25% of monetary transactions are made with cash, doing away with the penny will not cause economic problems, as some penny advocated maintain. Most of those fighting to keep the penny flowing in our currency are zinc traders and Illinois Congress Delegates, who favor keeping the penny as it displays President Abraham Lincoln’s image.
Mr. Diehl expertly addressed the interviewer’s questions about price changes that could occur as the result of doing away with the penny. Many items are sold at prices such as 2.99 or 3.99, and if the penny is abolished, won’t prices go up? The US Money Reserve President pointed out that due to our free market system, companies have always had the power to raise prices and will have the choice to mark their prices up or down with little difference. The same answer holds true for inflation, where proponents of keeping the penny suggest that taking the penny out of circulation will press inflation, which according to Mr. Diehl is not a real concern.

The cost of minting pennies adds up to big dollars, approximately 105 million dollars per year! Doing away with the penny will provide substantial savings for the government.

When asked by the interviewer if the nickel is the next target, as it also costs money to mint, Mr. Diehl advised that there are some cost effective ways to change how nickels are produced, but the penny is a lost cause at this point in time.

You can view the CNBC Squawk Box interview here.

Dating Apps Are Doorways To Romantic Adventures

No reason exists to feel lonely anymore. Online dating makes it a lot easier to connect with someone new. The development of dating apps for mobile devices has made things even easier. No one should assume, however, that no protocol nor “rules of engagement” are required. As the dating season arrives, people turning to apps for their social pursuits should be mindful of certain things.

Winter is the dating season? Yes, that is one of the points The Washington Post makes in a very helpful article. People like to do new things once the first of the year rolls around. Meeting someone new and going out on a date both rank high on the list of things to do.

And do not waste time by procrastinating. A great app such as Skout makes it real simple to browse profiles and make connections with others. The app is growing in popularity because it is easy to use and its community has a lot of members. So, why delay any dating adventures when Skout is so easy to download, install, and navigate?

With Skout, the app is designed to connect people geographically. Some join to meet a person living in a local area and others may wish to find someone in a region they are traveling. Either way, Skout remains a great app for dating or just making friends.

Meeting people in an online community always starts with the creation of a profile. Creating a profile on the any dating site should always be a careful and deliberate effort. The more the profile highlights positive points, the greater the odds the profile will do what is intended of it. A bit of advice has to be put forth here. Do not fall into the trap of creating a fake persona that is loaded with exaggerations and white lies. This might seem like a good way to boost interest, but it is not. All “phoniness” does is set everyone up for eventual disappointments. Where is the value in that?

And speaking of value, the true value of any online dating app is going to be the ability to meet someone in real life. The joy of chatting online is sometimes so much fun, people totally forget the true goal is to meet a person in the proverbial real world. Those who want to just meet people online and chat are free to do so. No harm in spending a little time conversing on a mobile device. Anyone seriously interested in meeting someone has to be proactive and set up a coffee date.

Start being proactive by taking advantage of the opportunities dating apps make available. Join the online dating crowd!

Famous YouTubers Keep Social Media Interesting

Everyone likes to follow the celebrities. It is not uncommon to see stars like Beyonce or Katy Perry with millions of followers on Twitter. There are times, however, when people want to get connected to people that are still on their way up. This is what the famous YouTubers represent. These are people that are growing in popularity every day. They have not become people with a worldwide audience, but they do have access to a fan base.

People like Wengie have become famous through YouTube because these people provided a special type of service. They have the videos that are enlightening to the masses. She has enlightened a lot of people with her makeup tips. Wengie has hundreds of thousands of views because she is funny and insightful. That is the typical way for a YouTuber to build an audience. Wengie talks about makeup and fashion around the world, but she may also have videos about her boyfriend or her proposal. All of these things provide some insight into her life, and her fans like this.

What Wengie represents is a new wave of YouTubers that fall outside of the scope of singing and dancing. There are tons of singers, rappers and dancers that are trying to get famous through online views. Only a small percentage make it. Justin Bieber was one. Tori Kelly was another. The road to fame through YouTube, however, is long and difficult. Wengie decided to take an alternate route and lure audiences with things that she actually knows about. She may have videos about hair under the armpits. In another segment she may be giving people clues about how to perfect their eyelashes. It is all part of her ability to expand on what she already knows.

Social media is changing in many ways, and people are finding things to entertain themselves when they are bored. Twitter and Facebook are popular sites, but YouTube still has a big audience because it has video content. It continues to be the spot that has a video for everything under the sun. There is even room for people like Wengie because she caters to a select viewer group. People that get online to see her makeup tips will typically check out multiple videos from her channel. If they like what they have seen they will lead more friends to this. That is what ultimately expands her YouTube brand.

HOW TO CREATE AN INVESTMENT BANK LESSONS WITH KENNETH GRIFFIN

Investment banks are some of the most mysterious investment vehicles ever created. They are a complex, demanding world where only the best survive. It’s a cutthroat world for the skilled and competent. It’s a world associated with the likes of Leman brothers and the top 1%. To many it’s a unicorn that exists on the flashy streets of charming cities around the world. But one man has demystified this notion. His name is Ken Griffin. This son of the South has built a mega financial conglomerate in Chicago despite his humble origins. He was born 46 years ago in Daytona Beach Florida. His upbringing was like any other country boy. He has managed to leverage that to create a financial conglomerate that extends all over the world and manages over $ 25 billion in assets. Investment banks are a complicated world where only the brightest survive. They earn their money through their analysis of markets and investments in those market watch conditions. One of the ways they earn money is through Prop trading. It is a way to hedge your best to make money whether the market swings up or down. It requires careful analysis and following of the market trends to trade. You should also have enough mathematical knowledge so as to bet on stocks with zero correlation. Another way they make their money is through market making. It is essentially their way of marketing themselves. They give the interested public a forum to trade on shares and make their money. It is widely speculated investment banks make very little money from these moves and are basically to market themselves. Investment banks also make money through M&A. They earn a commission by advising companies on who their best partners are. They do their due diligence and gauge the health of a corporation beforehand. The hedge funds also earn money through buying unclaimed shares in the stock market. They then claim a stake in the affected company and then seek to redress its shortcomings through aggressive marketing means. Ken Griffin has excelled at all these in his firm Citadel LLC.He is a specialist bond trader since his times at Harvard dormitory where he started trading. He started trading back in 1986 in Boston. He connected a satellite dish to his dorm room to get live feeds of the stock market. He invested $ 265000 of his friend’s money and gave them handsome returns. It was to mark a start of his journey in the hedge fund world. By the time he finished his studies, he was an experienced bond trader. He joined Frank Wood where he was given $ 1 million to trade in and gave $ 700000 at the end of 1990. He started Citadel in 1991 with helm from Frank. Kenneth is today worth $ 7 billion. He is an active philanthropist and recently gave $ 150 million. His experience at Citadel has made him a voice of reason in the financial markets.

Brazilian Stocks Hold Great Promise For Investors

If you are a long term investor looking for an investment opportunity, you should seriously take a look at investing in one of the BRIC nations. Don’t let the name confuse you, BRIC is nothing more than an acronym for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Of the four, the country that seems to hold a great deal of promise for investors right now is our neighbor to the south, Brazil. Brazil has generally been an active investment up until the financial crash of 2008 in America. Unfortunately, this crash bled into other nations too, including Brazil. Brazil’s decline has also gathered momentum over the short term, which has prompted many analysts to completely dismiss it as an investment opportunity. This is despite the fact that Brazil is home to over 200 million inhabitants and is one of the world’s top food suppliers. Of course, as the world’s population grows so will Brazil’s capacity to increase its supply of food resources to the world. In addition, as the largest South American country, Brazil is also a natural choice for increased infrastructure growth. Careful analysis of all of these facts could only lead you to one conclusion: that Brazil holds a great long term investment potential.

There are, however, some analysts that view Brazil as a very choice investment opportunity now. One of these is Igor Cornelsen, who currently works at Bainbridge Investments, Inc., an investment firm located in the Bahamas. Igor Cornelsen on findthebest presently serves as Bainbridge’s proprietor and is involved in discovering new cutting edge ways that Bainbridge’s investors can utilize the overseas markets, especially those markets found in Brazil. Brazil is his focus partly because it has the worlds eighth largest economy and because he has vast experience in the world of Brazilian banking.

One of Mr. Cornelsen’s suggestions for investing in Brazil involves the investor cultivating his Brazilian business and cultural relationships. This can be done, Igor Cornelsen says, through your individual and even network contacts in Brazil. This advice stems from his knowledge that one in four Brazilians aged 18-60 are entrepreneurs. They are also a very social group of people who genuinely welcome and accept others. He also states that most are usually more than happy to give you advice based on their own experiences on angel.co. This is a very helpful suggestion indeed.

But Igor Cornelsen also warns potential investors to come up with a plan to deal with the large amount of regulations they will find when they enter the Brazilian market. Even though they are growing and expanding, the markets there are still viewed as fragile. This is why the government has layered them with regulatory complexity, high taxes and a dense bureaucracy. While it can take a lot of work to maneuver through these obstacles, the payoff to those investors who put in the time and energy to accomplish this can be huge.