Harry Potter and the Magic Bubble.

Today, kids, let me tell you a fairy tale that repeats itself every decade. The story is colorful, but scary and with a sad ending. Make tea/coffee, take out cookies and sit back comfortably. Today the story will be really long, but, as always, exciting ☕️

Perhaps many of you remember the end of the 90s of the last century for the fact that a series of books about the young wizard Harry Potter appeared on the bookshelves.

 "Never tickle a sleeping Dragon!" 🐲

 This is the motto of the school for wizards and sorcerers Hogwarts.

But older readers should keep another story in mind. Story from the world of finance. However, judging by its details - the case was not without magic, at least without tricks.

So, by the end of the 1990s, energy company Enron was trading at $80-$90 a share, and few people seemed to worry about the opacity of the company's financial disclosures. In mid-July 2001, Enron reported $50.1 billion in revenue, tripling in a year, but despite this, Enron's margins remained subdued.

Over time, Enron ran into several problems: logistical difficulties in operating a new broadband division and losses from building the Dabhol Power project, a large gas-fired power plant in India that was controversial from the outset due to its high cost and top-level bribery. There was also growing criticism of the company for the role its subsidiary Enron Energy Services played in the California energy crisis of 2000-2001.

The crash began in September 2000 with a short article on the evils of market value accounting in the gas industry, written by a thoughtful journalist in the Texas edition of The WSJ. It was noticed by trader Jim Chanos, studied the "raw" statements and in November 2000 decided to "short" Enron. In March 2001, the legendary article "Is Enron Overpriced?" Bethany McLean (whom Chanos advised to take a closer look at the reports), and Enron's capitalization fell irreversibly.

At its peak in the summer of 2000, Enron was the seventh largest US company by capitalization (about $70 billion). A year later, just before bankruptcy, it was not even worth $300 million. Investors lost tens of billions of dollars, and Enron's 20,000 employees lost their jobs and pension savings.

Much of the blame for Enron's reputation as America's best innovator until its collapse lies with the lavishly paid (and nearly fused) auditor Arthur Andersen. The once-fifth auditor of the United States did not long survive the main client: in 2002, PwC absorbed the rest.

Why did I suddenly remember this incident? Here we briefly digress to a certain specialist with the beautiful name of John Ray III.

From 1998 to 2002, Ray was Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Fruit of the Loom after the company filed for Chapter 11* bankruptcy in 1999 shortly after reporting a net loss of $576.2 million. The 66 million shares outstanding fell from about $44 a share in early 1997 to just over $1 by the spring of 2000. (By the way, this company is still alive, Buffett bought it in 2002).

*According to chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, any business organized as a corporation or private property, as well as individuals can declare bankruptcy (although it is mainly used for corporate organizations).

And after Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, Ray was appointed chairman of a reorganized company that returned the money to creditors. He held this position from 2004 to 2009.

Remember, in the last article, I said that I would not specifically talk about the collapse of FTX? So today, when the dust has settled, it's time to fix it 😈

It was John Ray III who became the new CEO of the FTX crypto exchange, once included in the TOP-3 crypto exchanges in the world (does it remind you of anything? It will definitely start in a few paragraphs).

In a filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware against FTX, Ray said that in his 40 years of experience, he had never experienced "such a complete failure of corporate control and such a complete lack of reliable financial information."

"The concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals" was unprecedented, John Ray III reported. Management practices included using the group's insecure email account to access the FTX group's private keys and critical data worldwide. There was no daily reconciliation of positions on the blockchain. Special software was used to hide the misuse of customer funds.

A "significant portion" of the assets may be "missing or stolen".

For those who were still waiting for the analysis of the collapse of FTX from me - a brief summary of what happened. Let's start as usual from afar.

Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ) was born in the late 70s in the Land of the Sleeping Dragon, China (remember this fact). At the age of 12, he moved to Canada with his family. And what is Canada famous for besides hockey and the Terrence & Phillip show? That's right, Vitalik. In 2013, CZ met Buterin at one of the conferences. The meeting did not go unnoticed. Zhao was amazed at the prospects of the crypto industry and immediately decided to quit his job, sell his house and plunge headlong into the world of blockchain.

Zhao returned to Shanghai back in 2005, together with two Americans, two Britons and one Japanese, where he created various IT start-ups over the years. And in 2017, he launches the Binance crypto exchange, which quickly became the largest in the world. True, after the ban on cryptocurrencies in China, he again had to leave the country. Since then, CZ in all interviews emphasizes that he is Canadian and in every possible way denies his ties with Tianxia. Despite the fact that Changpeng is the richest “cryptan” in the world (his property worth is estimated at $18 billion on average depending on the bull/bear cycle 😅 ), he does not really like loud statements and is a kind of “gray crypto-eminence”.

But Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) is a typical son of his mother's friend (here we will remember about mother and about her friends), who by the age of 30 managed to earn more than $ 15 billion of personal capital (how and for how long - more on that later). He started his career in traditional trading, and after the crypto hype in 2017 he switched to blockchain. Due to Sam's speculative past, the FTX crypto exchange he created in 2019 has become a leader in the field of trading various derivatives.  Unlike CZ, Sam used typical “Hollywood” methods to promote his company: he held public performances all day long, named entire stadiums after FTX, and did not hesitate to spend money on advertising involving celebrities (who, by the way, were already sued with Sam  for $11 billion).

On November 2, 2022, the CoinDesk news portal published material that raised serious doubts about the stability of the FTX crypto exchange (does it remind you of anything?) Referring to a non-public document that fell into their hands, the guys reported that about 40% of the assets of Sam Bankman-Freed's personal hedge fund  Alameda Research accounts for FTT tokens issued by the FTX exchange itself. And this is a share of Alameda's total assets ($14.6 billion) - if compared with the company's net assets (minus $8 billion in loans), FTT reserves on the balance sheet are already almost 90%.

An important nuance here is that such a huge amount of FTT tokens (over $5.8 billion) is extremely illiquid: at the time of publication of the CoinDesk material, only $5 billion of these tokens were in circulation. So, in case of any significant need for money at Alameda Research, an attempt to sell such a large package of FTT tokens would lead to a sharp drop in their quotes and, most likely, to the bankruptcy of the Alameda fund itself.

For three days, the FTT rate sank by almost 7%. But it got even more fun when Changpeng Zhao tweeted on Nov. 6, (2 days before the US midterm elections), that Binance was going to get rid of its existing FTT package worth about $500 million.

Also, Lucas Nuzzi (Head of Research at Coin Metrics) determined from open blockchain data that FTX provided Alameda with $4 billion in emergency funding using FTT tokens. Thus, the bankruptcy of Alameda will lead to the non-repayment of loans issued by the FTX exchange.

Not surprisingly, there was a panic among FTX clients: by November 8, the volume of withdrawals from the crypto exchange reached $6 billion, and the FTT token had already dipped by 80% since the beginning of the month.  At some point, the exchange limited the amount of withdrawals, and then completely stopped this process.

And now back to Alameda! If you're wondering who's been so successful in trading into the frantic losses, then let me introduce you to the CEO of Alameda Research, 28-year-old Caroline Ellison. According to Ellison herself, she is very fond of books about Harry Potter, but judging by her actions, books on economics and trading are not very much. From the investment experience, she had only a year and a half internship as a junior trader right after college.

In one of the video interviews, the young "sorceress", (in one of the tweets talking about her positive experience with substances), says something like this:

“To be honest, I don’t understand at all what is happening and where we are investing – we are pouring huge sums into the most stupid ideas that I don’t understand.  Oh yes, and our risk management does not include stop losses to limit possible losses!”

In the material from the already mentioned CoinDesk, insiders claim that the Bankman-Freed crypto empire was ruled by a dozen young "wizards" who cohabited together in the Bahamas (and in addition to corporate relationships, they were also connected, let's say, romantically).

By the way, about the state of Sam Bankman-Fried himself: if earlier it was reported that it had decreased by 94% and he still had about a billion left, now Bloomberg boldly uses the word “zeroed out”.

As is the $100 million Canadian Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan previously invested in FTX.

The mess in the crypt also lured the Winklevoss billionaire twins into a trap (yes, the very ones from whom Mark stole Facebook in his time). Their project is suspending repayments and issuing new loans after it encounters withdrawal requests. The Gemini Trust, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has announced that its investor product will stop paying out.

Recently it became known that the collapse of FTX is even going to shoot a documentary!  (On my own, I would add that personally I would love to see the artistic version from PlanB, who gave us "Big Short").  Here is what the authors say, describing the filming process:

“Unprecedented access to key FTX players and the crypto community.  The film is about a corporate drama that has upended markets, triggered government investigations, and caused shock."

By the way, about government investigations, Facebook, finance (and their shock) and even a little bit about cinema. On November 17, the New York Times mouthpiece of the Democrats, in partnership with Accenture, was supposed to host a live event with Sam Bankman-Fried, who at the moment has already become suspected of laundering budget money for the Democratic Party through Ukraine (! More on that later). Along with him were comedian Vladimir Zelensky, comedian metahuman Zuckerberg and comedian US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

It became known that the Head of the SEC (yes, the same one who SUDDENLY congratulated the White Paper of Bitcoin this year on its 14th anniversary) met with Sam on the eve of the collapse of FTX.  Gary Gensler, having re-examined the activities of FTX, could not notice any problems in the activities of the crypto company.

However, this particular case should not confuse us, the full history of their relationship will begin to confuse us, where just a meeting no longer seems so strange.

While studying at MIT, Sam's management, finance and blockchain teachers were the same Gary Gensler (a talented person is talented in everything) and a certain Glenn Ellison (a familiar surname 🤔).

It just so happened that Glenn Ellison, in addition to being the head of the SEC (while he held the position of Professor of Management at MIT), is also the father of that very young "sorceress" Caroline Ellison!

But that's not all. Remember when I said that we will remember about our Sam's mother (and her friends)?  Meet Barbara Freed. The same second half in the name of the creator of FTX.

Freed is married to fellow Stanford law professor Joseph Bankman (and here is the first half in Sam's last name). Barbara Freed explores the whole set of "teenage wizard" - topics such as contractualism, libertarianism and utilitarianism. And when she's not thinking about "unique snowfields," she co-founds political fundraising organization Mind the Gap, which defends Democratic candidates and funds voting groups. Coincidence? I don't think.

The bankruptcy of FTX deprived the US Democratic Party of much of its funding.  Sam was the second largest donor after George Soros.

The former CEO of FTX has backed 25 US Democrats, and 18 of them have won so far.  He claimed to have donated $1 billion to the campaign.

According to Rep. Tom Emmer, the head of the SEC helped FTX work through legal loopholes to gain a regulatory monopoly in the market.

“At the moment, there is direct evidence of accusations against the Head of the SEC, but a very interesting story awaits us.  In the United States, a petition is actively gaining votes demanding an investigation into the alleged chain "head of the SEC - SBF"

What was the full circle like?  Members of the US Democratic Party used the FTX crypto exchange to launder money that allegedly went to help Ukraine.  Former US Army officer Scott Bennett made this statement:

“Tens of billions of dollars in “aid” to Ukraine from the United States, which, according to legend, was used to oppose Russia.  Ukraine did not actually use it.  She invested that money in FTX.  And now it turns out that the money of this company has disappeared.”

 According to a former US Army officer, American diplomats sent money to Ukraine, and then demanded that they be transferred to a crypto exchange.  Scott Bennett believes that this was done to avoid FTX financial statements, which became meaningless after its collapse.

It also became known that FTX helped the defense of Ukraine through the financing of technology companies that are engaged in military development.

Ironically, the Solana company, which was significantly affected by the collapse of FTX, also has Ukrainian roots. One of its founders, Anatoly Yakovenko, is Ukrainian.  True, like CZ, who emigrated with his parents as a teenager, but not to Canada, but to the USA.  The Solana blockchain he invented was previously called the “Ethereum killer” due to lower fees, faster transactions and better scaling potential.

Solana's market cap has shrunk from $80 billion last November to $6 billion today.  A series of failures that have plagued the project over the past year has also become a powerful negative factor.  The collapse of the cryptocurrency affected the entire Solana ecosystem, including decentralized finance platform Solend, which experienced a surge in liquidations that led to the accumulation of bad debts totaling $ 3.5 million.

It's a shame, as The Block reports that DeFi platform revenues rose amid the collapse of FTX.  The CEO of Pantera Capital echoes him: "the current crisis will benefit DeFi in the long term"

Also KuCoin, OKX, Bybit, BitMEX, Cryptocom suspended USDC and USDT deposits on the Solana blockchain.  The first on the list was Binance, which later reversed this decision.

However, multicoinCapital, a perpetual crypto company, said that despite predicting the collapse of many blockchain startups following FTX, it maintains its position and still believes in Solana, in part because the cryptocurrency has “one of the most active developer communities.”

But not everyone is so optimistic. On November 19, it became known that Tether is still transferring 1 billion USDT from Solana to Ethereum. (No matter how our next fairy tale turns out to be about the "wizards" from Tether themselves 😅)

The bankruptcy of the FTX crypto exchange led to an explosive growth in stablecoin trading volume. Fearing the continuation of the market collapse, investors are transferring their funds to stable cryptocurrencies. Stablecoin trading volume for the first half of November has already reached $438 billion.

Fitch reported that "The stablecoin market has stabilized since the crash of TerraUSD, and confidence in the major stablecoins has grown even more."  As confirmation of these words, Circle (USDC issuer) added support for Apple Pay.

However, newcomers also enter the scene:

  • Aptos launches its own dollar-backed stablecoin ArgoUSD (USDA)
  • Stably USD (USDS) Stablecoin Launched - First Stablecoin on XRP Ledger
  •  Cardano to release USDA stablecoin (how will the name be split?) pegged to USD in 2023

In 2023, a lot of interesting things await us in general:

  • Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis may legalize Bitcoin Cash as legal tender by March 2023
  • Anonymous coins such as XMR, ZEC and DASH may be banned in Europe
  • The bill regulating in the Russian Federation the procedure for mining digital currencies and its subsequent sale was adopted by the State Duma.  According to the document, from January 1, 2023, miners will be able to sell the mined digital currency both on foreign platforms and in the Russian Federation - within the framework of the law on experimental digital modes.
“Staking on an individual basis, it follows from the text, will be possible. But organizing a staking pool and offering it as a service is not”

Direct P2P exchange of cryptocurrencies with friends or in private groups is allowed, but the public offer of an exchange should be prohibited. Thus, almost all currently operating crypto exchangers are banned.

According to Glassnode: miners are now selling BTC on the market at a rate of 135% of the mined.  Those.  sell a third more than they produce.

The influx of stablecoins to exchanges continues, and at the same time, there are outflows of BTC and ETH.  The purchasing power of stablecoins on exchanges is growing (already at about $4 billion per month).

Coin Metrics clarifies: at least 120 thousand BTC and 1.4 million ETH have been withdrawn from exchanges in the last week!

CryptoQuant celebrates record stablecoin inflows to spot crypto exchanges.  Important: It is for spot, i.e.  not to finance derivatives transactions.

The head of Binance, who made a mess with FTX, is optimistic about the future:

“The growing supply of stablecoins is clearly a bullish trend for crypto in the long term. This is money waiting on the side and is a potential gunpowder for buying crypto in the future, fuel for a future rally”

It also became known that CZ will cooperate with Vitalik Buterin to launch a new method of confirming the reserves of platforms, and Binance will act as a pilot project.

By the way, the ability to refuel gas tanks with Binance Pay in Bahrain became available this week!

Meanwhile, the President of El Salvador said that against the backdrop of a decline in the price of Bitcoin, he is going to buy 1 BTC every day.

The initiative of President Bukele was supported by the founder of the Tron Foundation Justin Sun:

  "We will also be buying one bitcoin daily, starting tomorrow."

However, who he meant by "we" remains a mystery.  After all, Sun now holds the position of Ambassador of Granada to the WTO and is an adviser to “as if not his own” Huobi crypto exchange.

JPMorgan makes another important point: staking today brings the crypto industry about $9 billion in revenue per year.  Ethereum’s transition to PoS after the launch of the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 will drive the adoption of an alternative consensus mechanism and could lead to an increase in industry staking revenue to $20B/Q and $40B/Q by 2025!

But Michael Barr, the Fed’s chief banking regulator (and, by the way, a former Ripple adviser in the past) is alarmed by the state of affairs and states that “private cryptocurrencies can create huge risks for financial stability. The crypto industry is now a priority for regulators.  It is necessary to make secure crypto-custodial services at banks.  Special attention should be paid to stablecoins, their issuers should be regulated by Congress!

And Michael is not in vain worried. Indeed, in addition to studying the profits from staking, JPMorgan also notes a significant deterioration in the liquidity situation in the US bond market, which has become much larger over the years.

Let's follow a little chronology:

  • September 9: BofA notes a significant decrease in liquidity in the US government bond market. He believes that if something happens, this can become a serious systemic risk for the markets. More serious than during the 2007 crisis
  • October 13: Comedian Janet Yellen: I'm concerned about the loss of adequate liquidity in the government bond market
  • October 14: The US Treasury asked major banks about the possibility of buying US government bonds to increase market liquidity.

After the announcement of a decrease in inflation last week, the yield on 10-year bonds fell sharply, dropping to 3.8%, but on 3-month bills, the yield remained at about the same level of about 4.2%.  Thus, the spread between the yield on 10-year and 3-month US government bonds has gone deep into the negative area. If in October it was about 0, now it is equal to minus 40 bp!

This phenomenon has always been observed before all the recessions that have occurred in the US economy over the past 45 years. So the likelihood of a recession in the US economy next year is at a very high level.  And here it is very interesting at what level inflation will be at this point.  Now it is at the level of 7.7% in annual terms.  If it drops to 2-3%, then the Fed will have room to cut the rate to fight the recession.

But if inflation does not fall much below 5%, which is very likely, then the Fed will hardly be able to make a significant rate cut to support the economy.  And then all the conditions for the perfect storm will be formed.

The comments of the head of the Reserve Bank of St. Louis (part of the Fed) are the best way to say that the regulator will be forced to adhere to a tough monetary policy next year as well.  His main message is that the mistakes of the 70s of the last century should not be allowed, when inflation soared to double digits, and as a result, 10 years later, it had to be "cured" by raising the rate to 20%.

And if in the USA the conditions for an ideal storm are just being formed, in Europe they have already formed.  In the European Union, the historical inflation record is 11.5%.  In 18 EU countries, double-digit inflation, and in the Baltic countries and Hungary, inflation is about 22%.

German Deutsche bank:

Despite declining inflation in recent months, markets are seriously underestimating the risks of a return to 70s-style stagflation.  If the experience of the 1970s is repeated, investors will face a long period of negative real returns on both bonds and equities.

Swiss Credit Suisse continues to sell off assets - it will sell part of its securitized products division to the Apollo fund.

And Great Britain gave way to France, the largest stock market in Europe.

Meanwhile, inequality in the world is worsening: the debts of poor countries are increasing.

“Income gaps between rich and poor countries continue to widen, the debt of the least developed countries is growing, and attempts to change these trends have not yet yielded results,” said World Bank (WB) President David Malpas.

According to IFNEWS analysts, poor countries are having a very difficult time right now.  For example, Egypt's external debt in the first quarter of 2022 rose to a maximum of $157,801 million.

In 2021, the book "Bad Samaritans" by Ha-Joon Chang was published. In it, a well-known economist debunks the myth of free trade and argues with neoliberalism.  The current leading countries did not become rich thanks to the principles of free trade, and now they are actively imposing them on poor countries.

“Globalization is not something inevitable at all, since it is more the result of politics (that is, human will and decisions) than technology.”

Ha-Joon Chang is an economist from South Korea who graduated from the University of Cambridge and teaches economics at the relevant faculty there.  At one time, he advised the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and a number of UN agencies.  His writings had a significant impact on Rafael Correa, an economist and current president of Ecuador.

And I won't argue with Chang.

The global economy is "drown in a sea of debts" that have exceeded $300 trillion - a critical level that, according to economists Luke Gromain and Brent Johnson, threatens to collapse the global financial system, writes the Hong Kong Asia Times - Unlike paper money, gold has no risk of default.  In the words of the legendary J.P. Morgan, "Gold is money, everything else is credit."

The large public debt of developed countries is a factor in the growth of distrust in world reserve currencies.  And this explains why central banks around the world are aggressively buying up gold.  This year, a record purchase of gold since 1967 was made with a total weight of 673 metric tons, which I described in a little more detail in previous issues.

The G7 countries have accumulated a public debt that exceeds 100% in relation to GDP - 2 times the sustainable level.  In the United States, after the abolition of the gold backing of the dollar in 1971, the public debt increased from $371 billion (35% of GDP) to $31 trillion (126% of GDP).

At the same time, at the beginning of 2022, the capitalization of the entire US stock market was twice the country's GDP, which is an extremely overestimated indicator.  This is the same notorious "Buffett indicator". Such a high assessment of the market was due to only one factor - the Fed printed about $100 billion a month like crazy, and in total about $5 trillion was created out of thin air in 2 years.

Buffett bought more than $4 billion worth of shares in Taiwanese chip maker TSMC last week.

The largest share in its portfolio is still occupied by the IT sector (45.16%), followed by finance (24.01%), energy (12.05%), consumer goods (12%), communication services (3.7%) and healthcare (1.4%).

But Michael “BigShort” Burry has always said and continues to say that he is still "mega-shorting the markets."

‘You have no idea how short I am’ is how “Cassandra” himself describes the situation.

Despite the statements, his fund Scion Asset Management reported new longs in the 3rd quarter. The volume of the portfolio grew 12 times - again relied on private prisons, and also bought securities of companies from the aerospace and defense industries and communications.

IT, energy, aerospace, defense industry and communications 😅 What are the old “oracles” preparing for, unlike the young “wizards”?

I think to something that another old visionary, Ray Dalio, wrote a whole book about.  About the changing world order. The founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, believes that US-China relations are heading towards a military conflict over Taiwan.

“The US and China are now in a trade war, a technology war, a war of geopolitical influence, an economic war, and are now perilously close to a full-fledged war,” the billionaire wrote on his LinkedIn page.  Dalio also noted that the mere understanding that armed conflict is possible has a negative impact on markets and economic activity.  Obviously, "in reality, it would be a disaster," he said.

According to him, the two superpowers are dangerously close to a full-scale armed conflict. And I personally understand Ray's concerns.

Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa make up 42% of the world's population and these countries are already looking for ways to get around the dollar system, using currency swaps. The next step could be a new settlement currency of the alliance. This will protect the BRICS countries from sanctions and the collapse of the Western system, burdened with unsustainable debt of $300 trillion, most of which is denominated in dollars and G7 currencies.

Saudi Arabia has already announced its intention to join the BRICS group - this will unite the world's largest energy importers and exporters.  In addition, BRICS will dominate not only the world oil market, but also other commodity markets - wheat, fertilizers, metals, uranium and gold.

Meanwhile, Russia and China are already switching to paying for energy supplies in national currencies, and energy trade in monetary terms has grown by 64% since the beginning of 2022.

India (which successfully launched Skyroot Aerospace's first Vikram-S private space rocket this week) is poised to double its trade with Russia soon, the Indian Express reported.  Sources of the publication indicate that at the September meeting of the top leaders of the countries, the government called for doubling trade with Russia.  This will be facilitated by "the use of the Indian rupee for trade settlements."

Russia ships record volumes of oil to Asian states.  If before Western sanctions less than ⅖ of the total volume of Russian raw materials were exported to Asian countries, now more than ⅔ of Russian oil is supplied to the region, Bloomberg states.

Already on December 5, a partial Western embargo on Russian oil will come into force.  Against this background, the supply of Russian raw materials to Europe fell, and to Asian countries rose to a record 2.39 million barrels per day.  The main buyers of Russian oil are India, Turkey and China.  Sri Lanka and the UAE also get their share

The liberal world order in the interests of the United States, which was finally established on the planet after the end of the Cold War, is disintegrating before our eyes, states an expert in the field of international relations and defense, Andrew Latham. According to the author, it will soon be replaced by a new system of international relations, which will take into account the interests of other great powers such as China, India or Russia. And although the new order has not yet been born, the old one is definitely doomed to death, the specialist is sure.

Ray Dalio, in the book mentioned earlier, identifies eight factors, the optimal combination of which turns a country into a world power:

 1) share in world trade;

 2) competitiveness;

 3) economic production;

 4) military power;

 5) financial stability;

 6) possession of a reserve currency;

 7) the level of education in the country;

 8) technology.

And if the dynamics of world trade are described above, then it is worth talking about technologies in more detail.

For example, blockchain technology could revolutionize how the World Wide Web will look like in the future. Although the industry is in its early stages of development, more companies and investors are beginning to recognize the innovative value that Web 3.0 represents.

However, if the news that Adidas has unveiled its first Virtual Gear NFT clothing collection, and Emirates Airlines is hiring 4,000 flight attendants to work in the metaverses, is currently smiling, then innovations from the 24th China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF 2022), amaze.

It showcases numerous future-oriented technologies in various fields: IT, sophisticated medical equipment, new energy, aviation and aerospace.

Ahead of our entire society is waiting for the battle for the 6th technological order. According to the definitions of futurologists, it is a convergence of nano-, bio-, info- and cognitive technologies (the so-called NBICS convergence).

Key elements of the way: nanotechnologies, cellular technologies, molecular computers.

The advantage of the technological mode, in comparison with the previous one, according to the forecast, will be a sharp decrease in the energy intensity and material intensity of production, in the design of materials and organisms with predetermined properties.

It's time to remember Arthur Clarke's Third Law, which states: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

However, as sad as it may sound, since a new technological order awaits us, another story of a young "wizard" who once again conjures up wealth right out of thin air is inevitably in store. Although there is a possibility that this time it could literally happen 😅

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