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Bitcoin’s Velvet Revolution: The overthrow of crony capitalism

Today, the revolutionaries are gathering again. But this time, they have the most powerful economic weapon citizens have ever had: Bitcoin.

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Today, the revolutionaries are gathering again. But this time, they have the most powerful economic weapon citizens have ever had: Bitcoin.

If Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were somehow transported to the present day and given a newspaper, the apparent lack of class conflict would probably make the revolutionaries think they’d won. They would see a society split on all manner of subjects — from identity politics to the correct COVID-19 strategy — but virtually silent on the eternal struggle between labor and capital, the oppressors and the exploited.

How different it would be if they’d returned just 10 years ago when the Occupy movement was in full swing, with tent cities springing up in protest against crony capitalism, corporate greed and a reckless, out-of-control financial sector. A decade on, the same problems persist, but they’ve become a barely discernible background hum amid the roiling, raging culture wars.

The 1% may sleep easier these days, but any complacency they feel is profoundly misplaced. The rage never actually went away, and as inequality has grown even more pronounced, capitalism’s discontents are no longer limited to the Left. Crucially, these proto-revolutionaries now have access to the most powerful economic weapon that ordinary citizens have ever had.

Related: The world doesn’t need banks, policymakers or NGOs — It needs DeFi

Welfare for the rich

Why is revolution brewing? Because people aren’t stupid. They see governments spending trillions of dollars on propping up the too-big-to-fail while the poor continue to struggle from paycheck to paycheck. What most don’t realize, however, is that governments know that welfare for the rich hits the poor hardest. Indeed, they’ve known it for the better part of 300 years.

First described in the early 18th century, the Cantillon Effect describes how money-printing makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. When significant amounts of new money are pumped into an economy, the first recipients get to spend the cash before prices have increased. If they’re prudent — as the rich tend to be — they’ll invest in assets such as real estate, precious metals, art or fine wine.

By the time this money “trickles down” to the poor (if it ever does), it becomes massively devalued by the inflationary effects of printing it in the first place. As prices rise, the rich double their winnings as they see the value of their assets increase, while the poor lose twice as the cost of living soars.

You don’t have to be a socialist to rage against an economic machine that makes life harder for the poorest in society while rewarding reckless corporate behavior. What’s rarely understood, however, is that this isn’t a bug of our supposedly capitalist economic system — it’s a feature.

Related: How can third-world countries counter inflation using Bitcoin?

Crony capitalism and “soft socialism”

It’s common to blame “capitalism” for the economic and societal issues the world is facing today. In fact, were Marx alive today, he’d find a lot to love about our financial system — including concepts that come straight out of The Communist Manifesto. For example, Marx’s fifth tenet of communism argues for the “centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” Sound familiar?

The truth is that we, in many ways, actually live in a “soft socialist” utopia, where regulations, subsidies and other state interventions are geared around protecting corporate behemoths and those whose wealth resides in assets rather than savings accounts. It’s difficult to see how a further lurch to the left will solve the structural failings of an economic system that already sees printing money as the solution to every problem. Then again, short of a proper, blood-and-thunder revolution, it’s difficult to see what we can do against such powerful vested interests and their political backers. To borrow a favorite phrase of Vladimir Lenin’s: What is to be done?

Related: How a crypto revolution could have saved the Roman Empire

Whether you’re on the Left or the Right, the answer is to avoid fighting the rich on their own terms. There is only one way for the poorest in society to seize power from the hands of the 1%, and that is by removing their ability to manipulate fiat currency.

A bloodless revolution

Can Bitcoin (BTC) really challenge the millennia-long hegemony of the asset-owning class (and without shedding any blood)? You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Just ask Salvadorans.

Before Bitcoin, Salvadorans receiving remittances from abroad had to pay a sizable fee to money transfer businesses like Western Union or MoneyGram — cash that would be far better spent on food or medicine. With Bitcoin now adopted as legal tender, these businesses are estimated to lose $400 million per year. That’s money going straight back into the pockets of the world’s poorest.

This is how the revolution will happen — not via violence but through choice. Show people how the fiat system makes them poorer, give them the ability to grow their wealth in uninflatable Bitcoin, and they’ll vote with their feet. Rather than being overthrown in a lightning coup, fiat money will simply dwindle in importance as more people use Bitcoin to inoculate themselves from inflation. This will gather pace as the “squeezed middle” find themselves harder hit, with history conferring countless proofs that revolutions only happen once the middle classes and political moderates embrace the radical ideas of the revolution.

Related: Blockchain is as revolutionary as electricity: Big Ideas with Jason Potts

That same whiff of rebellion is in the air today. People long ago lost faith in their politicians, but now they’re beginning to question long-established economic and monetary narratives. What’s so compelling about Bitcoin is that it doesn’t have to preach its own gospel or attack the other side: The more people learn about Bitcoin, the more they understand how they’re being cheated under the current system.

Bitcoin’s critics like to claim that it’s too complex for mass adoption. But which is harder to grasp, a digital currency with a hard cap of 21 million coins or the bewildering sleights of hand employed by central banks and finance ministers to cloak inflationary policies that reward the rich while hurting the poor?

While revolutionary France had the guillotine and Soviet Russia the gulag, we don’t need to use terror to fight the tyranny of unsound money. Ours is a truly Velvet Revolution: Our sole weapon is an alternative currency that cannot be inflated, censored or otherwise manipulated, and the only “victims” are those who make a killing from a system that hurts everybody else.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Nik Oraevskiy is a co-founder of Bitcoin Reserve. Nik has been in Bitcoin since 2012 and has worked with wallet and exchange startups in North America, helping to develop and lead their strategic visions. He was also involved with international finance and fund management in Liechtenstein before starting down the brokerage path with Bitcoin Reserve, with the goal of bringing smart Bitcoin-buying to the whole of Europe.

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Spread & Containment

A Slowdown in Showings

Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: A Slowdown in ShowingsA brief excerpt: The following data is courtesy of David Arbit, Director of Research at the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and NorthstarMLS (posted with permission). Here is a lin…

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Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: A Slowdown in Showings

A brief excerpt:
The following data is courtesy of David Arbit, Director of Research at the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and NorthstarMLS (posted with permission). Here is a link to their data.

The first graph shows the 7-day average showings for the Twin Cities area for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

There was a huge dip in showings in 2020 (black) at the start of the pandemic, and then showing were well above 2019 (blue) levels for the rest of the year. And showings in 2021 (gold) were very strong in the first half of the year, and then were closer to 2019 in the 2nd half.

Click on graph for larger image.

Note that there were dips in showings during holidays (July 4th, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas), and also dips related to protests and curfews related to the deaths of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.

2022 (red) started off solid but is now below the previous three years.
There is much more in the article. You can subscribe at https://calculatedrisk.substack.com/

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Stocks

Top 10 Long-Term Stocks For Investors To Buy and Hold

Building a portfolio with the top 10 long-term stocks can help investors build long-term wealth over time.
The post Top 10 Long-Term Stocks For Investors…

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Building a portfolio with the top 10 long-term stocks can help investors build wealth over time. The key to long-term wealth-building prospects and managing risk is having a good foundation.

New investors should look for stocks that offer the best combination of potential and risk aversion. So, the best long-term stocks listed below should serve as good starting points.

What is a Long-Term Stock?

Day trading stocks should not get confused with the best long-term investments. In contrast to traders that seek to profit from intraday volatility and low-priced stocks, long-term investors are more concerned with the long-term performance of companies.

In other words, the best long-term stocks are not necessarily the best performers today, but those that have the most potential to capitalize on secular trends in the long run. With that said, here are the top 10 long-term stocks to buy and hold.

Top 10 Long-Term Stocks To Buy and Hold

Coca-Cola (Nasdaq: COKE)

Coca-Cola is one of America’s most popular beverage companies, providing more than 4,100 drinks under 500 well-known brands. This includes…

  • Coca-Cola
  • Diet Coke
  • Coca-Cola Zero
  • Sprite
  • Fanta
  • Minute Maid
  • Powerade

Even outside of America, it has a strong brand. Coca-Cola is a globally recognized company known by consumers around the world, including Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. With 250 bottling companies, 900 manufacturing plants and 27 million retail outlets, the company has a massive global scale. Moreover, Coca-Cola stock has been a part of Warren Buffett’s portfolio for decades. And it pays a respectable dividend of 2.8%.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson is one of the biggest consumer healthcare product companies in the world. In every drugstore, Johnson & Johnson products can be found on the shelves. With its consumer health, pharmaceuticals and medical device products leading the way in sales, Johnson & Johnson is a mainstay in the economy. Some of its popular consumer health product brands include…

  • Band-Aid
  • Listerine
  • Visine
  • Aveeno
  • Neutrogena
  • Neosporin
  • Benadryl
  • Sudafed

Moreover, the company offers more than over-the-counter products. Johnson & Johnson sells surgical tools, hip and knee replacements, blood glucose monitoring equipment and catheters in its medical devices segment. Investing in healthcare is a safe bet because people will always need healthcare products. And the essential nature of Johnson & Johnson’s products enables the company to maintain its scale as an industry leader. Furthermore, the stock pays a healthy dividend yield of 2.3%.

Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL)

With the help of Google and YouTube, Alphabet dominates the search engine universe and online video. The company became the fourth company to reach a market cap of over $1 trillion on January 16, 2020. Moreover, you probably use Alphabet’s services every day. The company’s products and services include…

  • Google Chrome
  • Android
  • Nest
  • Fitbit
  • Waze
  • Google Search
  • Google Maps
  • Gmail
  • YouTube

Moreover, the company doesn’t stop there. It provides many other apps and services as well. Its three business divisions are Google Services, Google Cloud and Other Bets. If you aren’t familiar with Other Bets, it’s Alphabet’s venture capital and private equity division. This division is home to emerging companies at various stages of development.

Alphabet has announced that its stock will be split 20-for-1 on July 15. By splitting its stock, the tech giant could gain entry into the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Following the split, GOOGL stock might become more accessible to retail investors.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A)

Investing in Berkshire stock is like betting on Warren Buffett, the world’s fifth-richest person with a net worth of $112 billion as of May 13, 2022. Furthermore, it means owning a slice of both renowned and obscure companies. Berkshire owns a wide variety of businesses, some in their entirety, others in part. The second group consists mostly of common stocks of major American companies. Its four major holdings account for a big part of Berkshire’s value, consisting of…

  • Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)
  • Bank of America (BYSE: BAC)
  • American Express (NYSE: AXP)
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)

Buffett took control of the company in 1965. Had you invested $1,000 then, your investment would have been worth millions of dollars by 2022. So, it’s no surprise this company made the list of top 10 long-term stocks.

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP)

Globally, Shopify is one of the top e-commerce stocks. Shopify allows online retailers of all sizes and experience levels to create their online presence or “Shopify” websites. The company makes it easy for any business to maintain an online presence in today’s increasingly competitive online market.

New investors still have time to add Shopify to their portfolios even though it’s seen a large run-up in recent years. Although the transition from retail to online e-commerce was already well underway, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for businesses to operate online. Almost every business needs an online presence today, and Shopify provides the perfect solution.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)

It’s no surprise that this company made the list. Apple’s product offerings and services consistently drive record financials for this tech giant. Moreover, Apple became the first U.S. company to land a market capitalization of $1 trillion in 2018.

Moreover, a global brand like Apple hasn’t escaped Warren Buffett’s attention. That’s why Berkshire Hathaway is one of Apple’s largest shareholders. As of May 2022, Apple is the largest holding in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. The company owns 887.1 million shares with a market value of $157.5 billion.

This company dominates other tech stocks. As of the third quarter of 2021, Apple held a 47% share of the U.S. smartphone market. As of the fourth quarter, it had a market share of 29.2% in the tablet industry. Furthermore, this company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It continues to be a key player in its industry, giving long-term investors of AAPL stock a unique opportunity.

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)

Internationally and domestically, Netflix is recognized as one of the leading video streaming services. However, the company has a reasonable price tag, given its position as an industry leader.

Additionally, Netflix stock has already turned ordinary investors into millionaires, and the momentum is still going. In the years to come, Netflix hopes to make new highs, and there’s nothing that suggests it won’t be a market leader for the foreseeable future.

With traditional cable companies losing market share and the rest of the world becoming more internet-accessible, Netflix will benefit most from the growing addressable market. Investing in Netflix now will most likely make investors happy ten years down the road, even after the incredible run.

Keep Reading This Article and Find Out the Final 3 Long Term Stocks to Buy and Hold!

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Economics

How to Invest in a Bear Market: 5 Tips to Boost Returns

Keep reading for a few tips to help you learn how to invest in a bear market and still make money. Let’s get started.
The post How to Invest in a Bear…

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Investors are bracing for the worst as the market continues selling off, and talks of a recession are rising. If you wish to boost your returns this year, learning the ins and outs of how to invest in a bear market is a good place to start.

Stocks are in a bear market when major indexes fall over 20%. For example, the pandemic was the last time it happened, causing the SPDR S&P500 Trust (NYSE: SPY) to fall over 35% from its ATH.

The fallout was short-lived as the Federal Reserve (Fed) eased policies to support the economy. Will this time be different?

With inflation up 8.3% in the past year, the Fed is changing its pro-growth policy stance to focus on calming the overheated economy. Furthermore, the tension in Ukraine is heating up as nations continue proposing sanctions to dampen Russia’s ability to raise war funds.

Analysts are predicting a global economic slowdown as a result. There has never been a better time to get defensive between slowing economic conditions and the rising price of goods. Keep reading to learn how to invest in a bear market and get your portfolio back in the green this year.

How To Invest in a Bear Market and Still Make Money

Bear markets are a natural part of the financial system and can happen anytime. Although they are typically short-lived compared to bull markets, they can wreak havoc on your portfolio. Learning how to invest in a bear market can help protect your account from significant drawdowns while boosting returns over time.

In bull markets, growth opportunities are abundant. But, in a bear market, the chances of finding quality growth stocks are much more difficult. Therefore, it’s important to follow a set of rules to keep you focused and grounded during the panic. Below are a few tips to help you learn how to invest in a bear market and still make money.

No. 5 Reassess Your Conviction

With many stocks already down 30, 40 and 50% from their highs, it may be a good time to rethink your investments. Go through your portfolio and consider if you still feel the same way about the company now as when you bought it. Ask yourself…

  • Why did you invest in the company in the first place?
  • Do you feel the same as when you first invested?

If you do, the stock is likely worth holding. Bear markets are not forever. Then again, it would be best if you also consider your investment goals and time horizon. If you are a long-term investor, giving the market time to bounce back will help multiply returns in the long run.

If you bought the company on a whim or heard it was “going to the moon,” now may be the best time to reconsider. Does the company still have the ability to grow and generate earnings?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself when learning how to invest in a bear market. Focus on companies with strong free cash flow and a history of paying dividends.

No. 4 Buy Leaders

In the stock market, leaders tend to lead. In other words, companies with solid cash flow, bulletproof balance sheets and the ability to generate earnings.

More important, market leaders with pricing power (the ability to raise prices without significant loss of demand) are best positioned for long-term growth. A few questions to ask yourself…

  • Is there a better substitute?
  • With less income to spend, will consumers still buy it?

If there are better or cheaper alternatives people will buy instead, you might want to avoid it. Otherwise, if there are no better alternatives and consumers will continue spending, it sounds like a long-term leader.

Keep reading to learn more about how to invest in a bear market.

No. 3 Cash Is King

In a bear market, if you answered “Yes” to either question above, you may want to park your money somewhere else. For instance, holding cash allows you to purchase when the time is right. Furthermore, you can set price targets and average down if you plan to do so.

Holding cash in a bear market is better than owning a company with no solid plans for future growth. Otherwise, setting price targets for buying leaders can help create maximum long-term returns. Other than the obvious holding cash, looking for companies that generate earnings with strong cash flow can also help in a bear market.

No. 2 Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

The old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” comes from an ancient proverb, suggesting you risk dropping it and losing everything if you do. You can apply the same meaning to the stock market.

Investing all your money in one stock or asset risks losing everything if something goes wrong. Instead, buying leaders in different markets can help cushion downfalls and provide even greater upside. For example, if your portfolio heavily favors tech stocks, investing in consumer defensive stocks such as Walmart (NYSE: WMT) will diversify your account.

No. 1 How to Invest in a Bear Market: Be Patient, Stay Calm

The first rule for investing in a bear market is to stay calm. With this in mind, the last thing you want to do is panic sell and miss out on long-term returns.

Learning how to invest in a bear market is no easy task. In particular, every bear market is different. These markets can appear out of nowhere, lasting days to years, and can produce significant losses.

However, if you go into it with a plan, it can be an opportunity to accelerate long-term returns. If you stay patient, wait for good entry points and buy leaders, history has shown us the market is in your favor in the long run.

Lastly, bear markets are not known to be long-lasting. According to recent research, the average bear market lasts 9.6 months while bull markets last 2.7 years. In other words, if you are a long-term investor, keep your sights set on more significant returns in the long run. Now is the chance for you to adjust your portfolio for optimal growth going forward.

Keep Reading This Article and Find Out the Top 2 Tips on How to Invest in a Bear Market


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