BRIC+ News & comments

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Billy T, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member


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    "... Photo taken on May 7, 2011 shows the "V750" pilotless helicopter during a test flight in Weifang of east China's Shandong Province. The 757-kilogramme helicopter has a maximum load capacity of 80 kilogramme. The V750 helicopter, with a max speed of 161 kilometers per hour and max range of 500 kilometers, can be remotely controlled as well as self-controlled by stored program within a range of 150 kilometers in radius and 3000 meters in ceiling. ..." {Original caption under photo}


    BT comment Note four short cylinders under tail and ball under the front and absence of any obvious weapons attachment points. Thus, I suspect it is intended for domestic crowd control. Ball probably allows a compact camera controlled views and perhaps the tail cylinders can dispense tear gas, or water with hard to remove dyes for later ID of protestors.

    I don't know if the US has a similar unit, but its RPVs & drones are not as useful for crowd control as they must fly / move and can not hover.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... China, the biggest buyer of US treasury bonds, trimmed its holdings for a fourth straight month in February to $1.15 trillion, according to data released by the US Treasury Department, while total foreign holdings increased by 0.5 percent to $4.47 trillion over the same period.

    "Since the financial crisis, China has been trying to adjust the investment structure of its foreign reserves to control risks," said Wang Jun, economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. ...

    Zhang Monan, a researcher with the State Information Center, said that the net selling is a natural move as the US' monetary-easing policy will dilute the value of the dollar and China's dollar assets in the longer term, so China will seek to control risks and by continuing to diversify its investments.

    Zhang suggests that somewhere between $800 billion to $1 trillion would be an "appropriate" level of US debt for China. ..."


    BT comment:China is so disparate to reduce dollar holding that, to quote more from the article:

    "... in April that it was ready to buy more debt from the eurozone's weaker states, in a move to help stabilize the bloc's fragile finances and protect its business interests. After investing billions of euros in Portuguese and Greek bonds, China is considering buying more European bonds to diversity its foreign reserves, said Song Zhe, China's ambassador to the European Union. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier in Beijing that the country was also in talks with Spain. ..."
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Whirlpool Corp. recently announced a 30% hike in its investments in Brazil for 2011. The company’s total investment in the Latin American country amounted to about $180 million last year. ...

    The prices of metals and plastics have shot up significantly, thereby forcing Whirlpool and many of its peers to increase the prices of their products. Hence, demand for products in the already established markets is expected to fall. Therefore, Whirlpool has strategically targeted the emerging economies of Asia and Latin America, particularly China, India and Brazil, as these regions possess huge growth opportunities. These countries are expected to witness strong demand for appliances in the near future. {BT adds: Especially Brazil where "bolsa familia" has lifted many from about 1/4 of the population which was in deep poverty 10 years ago, into the lower middle class.}

    The appliance maker is highly keen to capitalize on the growing opportunities in these regions to strengthen its business and at the same time to maintain its leadership position and improve its market share. Whirlpool expects shipments to grow by 5% to 10% in Latin America and 6% to 8% in Asia compared with the guidance of 2% to 3% growth in the U.S. and a 2% to 4% growth in Europe. ..."

    From: to Invest More in Brazil
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Today, May 12, the People’s Bank raised the reserve requirement by another 0.5 percentage points, to a record 21%.

    This is the fifth time this year, and the eighth time since October, that China’s central bank has raised the percentage of assets its banks need to keep on hand. (Money held in reserves is money that can’t be lent out. In theory, raising the reserve requirement should slow the economy and help control inflation.) Unless my {Jim Jubak} math is off, that’s one increase a month since October 2010. ..."


    BT comment: Both China and the US are serious about inflation: China trying to control it and the US trying to increase it!
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    In the running for "stranger than fiction" award or the "who would have guessed it" prize:

    "... Shandong Nanshan Aluminum Co Ltd, China's second-largest aluminum products maker, said it will invest $161 million to build an extrusion plant in the United States to further tap into the overseas market.

    The Nanshan facility in Lafayette, Indiana, will make high-end aluminum extrusions used in sectors such as mass transportation, automotive, distribution, and electrical industries, with annual production of 40,000 tons, said the Shanghai-listed company on Wednesday.

    The plant in the US will also make materials for train bodies for the upcoming high-speed rail industry. The plant is expected to start production by June 2012, and will employ 150 staff within two years, Song Jianbo, Nanshan's board chairman, told China Daily. ..."

  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "I want my children to go to the university in China because this is where the future is." - Jim Rogers (His children are completely fluent in Mandrin, not even an accent!) Read reasons why he moved there etc. At:

    Here are some US's BLS facts supporting his decision, but not mentioned by him:

    Hourly wages of manufacturing employees in China:
    Year ... Yuan ... Dollars
    2002 ... 4.74 ... 0.57
    2003 ... 5.17 ... 0.62
    2004 ... 5.50 ... 0.66
    2005 ... 5.95 ... 0.73
    2006 ... 6.44 ... 0.81
    2007 ... 8.06 ... 1.06
    2008 ... 9.48 ... 1.36

    BT comment: Note that in 6 years, Yuan wages have exactly doubled*, but more than doubled in dollar terms as dollar has been losing value. $1.36/hour is still far below US hourly wage, but point is that workers in China are very happy with their gains, and prices for goods and services are much lower in China than the US. Also important point is that China is no longer Asia’s low labor cost center. China now imports from other Asian nations its low value added goods, some minerals and food stocks, etc. and exports the higher value added goods China now makes increasingly back to them and to other suppliers, like Brazil, (iron ore & soy beans, etc.) which now buys more cars from China than the US.

    China is switching to an economy with internal sales a growing percentage of GDP, due to rapidly rising real wages, and reduced medical costs for the population. (Now out of pocket cost is 1/3, not 2/3 of the cost as it was only three years ago and many more local clinics exist now.) I.e. as I predicted, China is every year less of an export economy. Also to whom China exports is rapidly changing, due in large part to China’s rapid increase in trade with its Asian neighbors. (They now have Yuan to buy Chinese goods.) This true because of reasons mentioned in paragraph above. I.e. its mutual Asian trade is rapidly growing,** especially if compared to growth in trade with US and EU, but of course the developed world is still China’s main customer, just growing relatively less important.

    * A simple and amazingly accurate relationship exists between common interest rates, R, and capital doubling time. I.e. Years to double = 72/R, or in this case, 6 = 72/R implies that wages in China have been increasing at 12% annual rate for the last 6 years! During that period China’s published inflation rate, which unlike the US’s core rate, includes food and fuel has been ~4% (but is slightly above 5% now***). So wages there have increased three times as fast as inflation while health care costs have been cut in half. No wonder domestic sales are rapidly growing, especially for luxury goods where China is now the world’s largest market. In the US there has been no (or slightly negative?) net increase in real wages during these 6 years.

    ** For example, last year, China became S. Korean’s main trading partner, dropping the US to number two despite all the Korean cars you see on US streets.

    *** Mainly due to the housing price rate of rise (a bubble?). In US of course story is very different; more than 1/3 of home value has been lost in last few years from the bubble peak.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2011
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... {Brazil financed & built in 1984} Itaipu - {still} the world's largest dam in terms of energy generation - is owned equally by Brazil and Paraguay. {Itaipu is on the boundary river and flooded more of Paraguay than Brazil. Paraguay uses only 5% of its 50% share of power produced, and until now sold 45% to Brazil cheaply as repayment of construction costs.} ...

    A 31-point document, signed by Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva from Brazil and Fernando Lugo from Paraguay, was signed in Asuncion, Paraguay {a few years ago, but just last week was approved by Brazilian congress}. It concedes to Paraguay the possibility of selling its share of the electricity directly to the Brazilian {free} market {or to other nations, who may pay more} and triples Brazilian compensation payments for the use of its energy. {Already, the earnings Paraguay was receiving were the main source of foreign exchange for Paraguay - This new deal is a huge victory for Paraguay, and means my electric bill will increase. Congress passed the new agreement just in time - Brazil's president is visiting Paraguay today, Sunday. She will be very warmly received.}
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member


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    Photo & text below is from CNN's web site.
    "... The Beijing-Shanghai bullet train line is part of China’s increased investment in its high-speed rail network, which is expected to exceed 16,000 kilometers by 2020. The Shanghai-Beijing high-speed train began its one-month trial yesterday, testing the 1,318-kilometer route for the official late June opening, according to state media reports. ...

    The line is opening ahead of schedule; it was originally set to begin operations in early 2012. The train will connect two of China’s economic powerhouses with only one stop between them in Nanjing.

    The whole trip will take just under five hours ... with average speeds of 300 kilometers per hour. The average train trip between the two cities is currently about 10 hours. Currently the fastest train line in China connects Beijing with Tianjin, running at 350 kilometers per hour.*

    "The initially planned operation speed was 350 kilometers per hour but we decided to reduce it due to safety concerns and prices," said Wang Yongping, spokesman for the Ministry of Railways, to state media reporters. ..."

    Read more: Shanghai-Beijing high-speed train trial begins |

    * Billy T comment: China is reducing the cost of construction of road beds for 350Km/hour trains and accelerating the introduction into service of 300Km/hour trains. Perhaps this is as was planned long ago - just pay a little more initially to claim the title as operator of world's fastest trains, both for pride and to boost exports of the very modern trains. I think Turkey's order is firm, and China (with local partners) is strong contender for the high speed link between Sao Paulo & Rio as well as the only one planned now for the US (in California, LA to ? - I forget). Neither of these two is funded now - only studies, but there may be others I don't know of.
    PS Modern technology advanced China has not forgotten the arts: See video of modern dance and the company's director's discussion of how the arts in China are changing at:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2011
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Wu Xiaoqiu, senior finance professor of Renmin University of China, said it is possible for China to achieve full convertibility of the yuan by 2015. "The yuan could become familiar to global investors very soon and become a global reserve currency," he said. ...

    The dollar, the predominant global reserve currency, has had its credibility dented as the loose monetary policies of the United States damaged the interests of other countries, including China, analysts said. The euro, on the other hand, is suffering setbacks as Europe encounters financial turbulence.

    Currently, the Chinese currency is not freely convertible for foreign direct investment and securities transactions, as the country is fearful of possible financial turbulence caused by abnormal capital flows. ... China has been trying to improve the yuan's global clout by encouraging its use in foreign trade and investment.

    ... China launched a pilot program in 2009 to allow banks to conduct trade settlements using the yuan in four cities. The scheme has been expanded to 20 provincial regions, with the volume of cross-border settlements reaching 530 billion yuan ($81.5 billion) in the first four months of this year, Li Bo, a senior central bank official, told the Shanghai forum. Li added the practice of cross-border yuan-denominated trade settlement will be extended throughout China this year. Li said the central bank is also working on rules to allow yuan-denominated foreign direct investment.

    China's foreign trade volume could hit $3.9 trillion this year, with yuan-denominated trade settlements reaching $200 billion - 5.1 percent of the total trade - up from about 2.6 percent in 2010, said Anthony Lin, Shanghai general manager of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Ltd on Friday. ... "


    Billy T has suggested more than a year ago in several posts that China, as world's largest producer of gold for several years and also now a large buyer of it too, could back the Yuan with gold for central banks only (not individuals or corporations). Central banks would rarely turn bonds in for the gold backing, as they prefer to hold interest paying bonds, not metal. That would immediately make the Yuan bonds highly desirable for central banks to hold instead of dollar bonds, which are declining in value and may indeed collapse. (The yuan has been slowly, but steadily growing in value, in PPP.) This might destroy the dollar as the reserve currency and trigger a run to get out of dollars, but China does not want that to happen, not now, perhaps in a few years more to remove the US as a competing bidder for oil, etc.
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... The remains of Chile's former President Salvador Allende have been exhumed in a bid to determine whether the former leader killed himself or was murdered. {on 9/11/73 - the CIA's "original 9/11" was more deadly than the later 9/11 in the US}

    His death was never formally investigated, some believe the military killed him and covered up the crime. The coup led to 17 years of military rule under Gen Pinochet. More than 3,000 political opponents were killed or "disappeared" * by the military. ..." From:

    BT comments: All the democracies in South America were destroyed by right-wing forces supported by the CIA during the cold war era, as democratic governments were moving to the left and US feared the USSR could get control of some. Allende was a self declared communist, elected as President of Chile on his fourth try when the right wing presented two equally strong candidates.

    South America only returned to democracy when the US and CIA were mainly occupied by the Vietnam war. The military dictators did not trust each other much but all worked with the CIA in "operation condor" which keep taps on liberals who struggled for return to democracy and often fled across borders to save their lives. The US computer based Operation Condor informed the local governments of their presence, and by many estimates the total killed or disappeared by all the South American dictators during their nearly two decades long reign of terror reached 50,000.

    * "disappeared" refers to being drugged, placed in the US supplied helicopters and dropped into the sea a few miles off the coast - quicker and cheaper (if done 15 to 20 each trip) than burying them plus no bodies to dig up later.

    Young and attractive women were repeatedly raped in jail, and allowed to live until a child was born. It was given to childless couples who supported the dictatorship. Because of blood type tests. etc. at least 100 now middle aged adults have learned their "parents" had nothing to do with their births. Many mothers of the disappeared have given DNA samples and at least a dozen of these adults now know who their real mother was. The father of Chile's prior president was tortured to death in jail under Pinochet's rule.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    “… Beijing is aiming to steer its economy away from exports toward domestic consumption -- and, in doing so, will inevitably supplant the U.S. as the top market destination for consumer goods. {already has for cars, beer, many luxury goods, gold, silver, cell phones and some other electronics like desk computers} "We expect China will overtake the U.S. as the largest consumer market in 2020," Fan Cheuk Wan, head of research for Credit Suisse Asia Pacific, told CNN.
    If so, China will reach its goal of having half its GDP generated by domestic consumption in the next 10 years; currently about 33 percent of China's economy comes from domestic spending, Wan said.
    "China cannot rely on the indebted consumers in the developed economies {BT notes: Ref to US & EU}* any more as a key growth engine in the next decade," Wan said. From:

    * BT comment: As I have long noted, China understands the US & EU are broke and can only buy when China finances the purchases, so had no choice but to decrease exports to them and increase local living standards / economic freedoms {dangerous to the CCP as that may be} but I was surprised to learn the following:

    “…China holds about 8 percent of US government debt, roughly a third of that held by foreign entities, while 70 percent is held US by domestic investors, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington May 26, 2011. …”
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2011
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    More on the East mets West changes in China:
    {Image of shapely Chinese ladies in bikinis no longer displays but see at link below}* "Liu is thrilled by the current swimwear options. Liu is one of a rising number of young Chinese women abandoning the conservative one-piece swimsuit in favor of the bikini. ..." from:

    BT comment: One IMHO sad aspect of "East mets West", which appears to be true of Liu, is thousands of Chinese ladies and even preteens of the wealthy Chinese are having eye lid surgery to "Westernize" their eyes.

    * In a new policy, ChinaDaily now seems to allow display of photos for a few days, then block links to them. (Sort of an unstated copyright law for photos?)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2011
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    The signing of the 13 agreements, including a memorandum of understanding for bilateral economic relations over the next five years, was presided over by visiting Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping and Cuban President Raul Castro.

    Under the agreements, China will provide interest-free loans, economic aid and equipment to repair irrigation projects and cooperation in digital television and telecommunications, banking supervision and financing for public health projects, as well as an oil refinery expansion project and a liquefied natural gas project. ..." from:

    Billy T adds: A Chinese deep drilling rig is just now starting to drill, in Cuban waters near Florida. It is being operate by Norway's Statoil (with PetroBras as minor partner, as I recall.) Statoil says they will observe US safety rules. China has nearly 100 billion dollars invested in Cuba + Venezuela and will get repaid mainly by decades of delivered* oil (including ~12% of the oil the US now imports). Venezuela has world’s largest known deposit of oil, but it is shale oil. China is building two heavy oil refiners there (and Brazil is building one which PetroBras will own 40% of as re-payment. I think Brazil, already with oil to sell, will just sell to China its 40% share of the refinery production.)

    Too bad the hostility of US to & with socialistic Cuba + Venezuela will send all this oil to China. IMHO, US made a big long term mistake in funding and arming local right-wing force’s efforts to topple both governments by bullets instead of ballots. That never got Castro out of power even a day and Hugo was back in power, due to massive support demonstrations by the people, after only three days.

    * A good 30+ year investment for a multi-billionaire is to buy and build small oil tankers, which can take this oil to the Pacific side of the Panama Cannel for transfer to the big tankers of today to haul it to China. I think the old tiny ones must be cheap to buy now although some are still being used for the last few miles in harbors too shallow for the larger ocean tankers to enter with full load of oil.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2011
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    First Chinese to win a "Grand Slam" tennis contest is Li Na - a national hero but I don't know her well so will call her Lithium Sodium.

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    Quite remarkable as she could not drink water (Fire risk too dangerous).
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member


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    China's first aricraft carrier as of yet has no fixed wing planes but may carry 50 helicopters.

    The Russian designed "ski-jump" deck front clearly reflect the intent to put fixed wing planes on it. 4 to 6 more are to be built in coming decade.
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Ollanta Humala's victory will add Peru to the varied and growing bunch of left-leaning countries in the region, including neighbouring Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil along with Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and, of course, Venezuela and Cuba.
    While the US has welcomed Mr Humala's victory, some analysts say it will shift Peru further from its sphere of influence and more towards that of its neighbours, in particular the main regional power, Brazil. ...

    Mr Humala told the BBC that in emulating Brazil's market-friendly economics with social programmes that {he will} benefit the poor,... "I don't believe in turning the problems of Latin America into ideological battles. We've been through that and it ended in bloody civil wars," Mr Humala said. "What we need to do is solve the problems of inequality, illiteracy and malnutrition in Latin America. ..." From:

    Billy T comment: I hope and expect he will introduce Peru's version of Brazil's "bolsa familia" to help the poor and not much change the taxes etc. on the miners, despite speaking of a new 40% "wind fall profits" tax during the elections.

    When Lula was running for President of Brazil has spoke of repudiating debts, etc. but turned out to be part of the reason why Brazil is now flooded with dollars wanting to be part of Brazil's growth.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2011
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    For a negative POV on China:

    “… “China is now relying increasingly not just on net exports but on fixed investment” which has climbed to about 50 percent of gross domestic product, Roubini said in Singapore yesterday. “Down the line, you are going to have two problems: a massive non-performing loan problem in the banking system and a massive amount of overcapacity is going to lead to a hard landing.” …” From:

    Billy T counters:Certainly some of the fixed investment will not pay back, but much of it is things like wind and solar cell farms, new rail lines and rolling stock, new dams and nuclear power plants, etc. - all things that collect fees which can be raised as needed to pay off. True, some "just made" ghost towns do exist etc. and it will be long time before they "break even" but most of China's GDP is making something that will last, not rock concerts, NFL games, latest style dresses or hair doos, vacation trips with hotel stays, etc. - Things that have no value even a month later, but are significant part of US GDP.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2011
  21. Workaholic Registered Senior Member

    Honestly, the recent news on China from the major media networks reads like a bad case of China envy.

    It's like they are praying for an economic collapse in China so they feel better about their own failing economies. :shrug:
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    It is not only the FED’s dollar printing presses that will make inflation:

    “… {For} 30 years manufacturers in China helped to keep global inflation in check. But that era is now over, says Mr Rockowitz.* Chinese wages are rising fast. A wave of new demand, especially from China itself, is feeding a surge in commodity prices. Manufacturers can find some relief by moving production to new areas, such as western China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. But none of these new places will curb inflation the way southern China once did, he predicts. All rely on the same increasingly expensive pool of commodities.**

    Nothing can replace the Chinese miracle. says Mr Rockowitz. Prices {of low value added goods} will now start to rise by 5% or more each year, with no end in sight. And that may be optimistic. So far this year, Mr Rockowitz says, Li & Fung’s sourcing operation has seen price increases of 15% on average. Other sourcers of Asian toys, clothes and basic household products tell similarly ominous tales.

    Yet manufacturers in some other fields {China’s new products are higher value added goods, like electronics. See graph below.} see things differently. …”

    *Chief executive of Li & Fung, a company that sources more clothes and common household products from Asia than perhaps any other. In the low-tech areas in which Li & Fung specialises, the firm handles an estimated 4% of China’s exports to America and a sizeable chunk of its exports to Europe, too.

    **Billy T comment; Especially oil. Production of it is ever more coming from deep ocean and other expensive sources. Cost of oil, on which modern societies are based, will rise faster than inflation, and drag almost everything (again, information based electronic products may deflate) to higher real prices also. I had it good - most of my life was in the cheap energy era, It will be tougher for today's young, but many will escape into a "virtual world" built on the still cheap electronics.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2011
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Lending Slows in China

    "... Credit growth has finally slowed in China. Chinese banks lent 551.6 billion yuan in May, which was below the expectations for loans totaling 610 billion yuan. In addition, China’s M2 (a measure of money supply) growth rate slipped to 15.1% in May, down from 15.3% in April.

    Chinese officials have had been trying to limit the amount of loans made by Chinese banks in order to rein in inflation and a potential bubble in real estate. ..." From:

    BT comment: China does not need to steadily weaken it currency to pay off its bond holders. The US does and is. Greece's problem is that it does not have a currency to weaken, so will some day default on its bonds, unless The EU keeps giving it Euro to pay off maturing bonds with. The US can just print dollars, and is, to pay off maturing bonds.

    Many US states also have "Greece's problem" (cannot pay debts by printing money) so their "bond defaults have exploded from just $348 million in 2007 to $6.4 billion in 2009 – that's an increase of more than 18 times over. All totaled, the U.S. could see up to $117 billion in bond defaults before the end of summer." - Facts and quoted text from: daily email from

    Guess who is ultimately going to be charged to keep states from collapsing? I think you know the answer to that easy question, but a tougher one is: "Who is going to be charged to keep the US from collapsing?"
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2011

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