Highest Margin Brokers In India - Full Comparison - Best
Highest Margin Brokers In India - Full Comparison - Best
Sebi relaxes upfront margin framework - The Economic Times
Margin Account: Learn How to Open Margin Account | Angel
Retail investors to lose as Sebi, brokers tussle over new
Margin Trading Fund | Relitrade | Stock Broking Company in
Singapore is a Meritocracy* [EXTRA LONG POST]
Edit: Thank you for all the comments and chat messages! I'm trying to go through each one. Writing thoughtful comments in the midst of having a full-time job is HARD WORK. I think I've missed a few questions, drop me a message if you're interested in continuing a discussion, I'm open to listening! There has been a lot of good comments, a few with great perspectives, and now I have a whole lot of things to read up on. --- Now that the 2020 General Election is firmly in our rear-view mirror, there is something that I have been meaning to write about: institutionalized racism affecting the minorities, especially the Malays, in Singapore. If you are groaning at this thinking you have been misled by this post’s title, I assure you that by the end of this post you will understand the caveat behind the above-mentioned title. I plead for a little of your time and patience. We have seen many discussions online about majority privilege and systemic racism impacting the minorities. Many of you may have even participated in some of these discussions. I will not try to explain those terms for they have already been repeatedly debated to death. What this post aims to achieve is to bring to light Singapore’s history and government policies that have either benefited the majority race or kneecapped the minority race. Or both. Why am I doing this? It is frustrating to see some Singaporeans fully buying into the narrative that Singapore is a truly meritocratic society; that the government’s policies do not discriminate against minorities, or if a Singaporean worked hard enough he or she will succeed (whatever the definition of success is), or that we have anti-discriminatory laws that protect the minorities. Some even claim that the Malays enjoy special privileges due to Section 152 of the Constitution describing the special position of Malays, and that the Malays are blessed with free education in Singapore. Section 152, “Special Position”, free education for all Malays?
Minorities and special position of Malays 152.—(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore. (2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognise the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.
"The aim of the government is not to turn out a few well-educated youths, nor a number of less well-educated boys; rather it is to improve the bulk of the people, and to make the son of a fisherman or a peasant a more intelligent fisherman or peasant than his father had been, and a man whose education will enable him to understand how his lot in life fits in with the scheme of life around him".
"The great object of education is to train a man to make a living.... you can teach Malays so that they do not lose their skill and craft in fishing and jungle work. Teach them the dignity of manual labour, so that they do not all become krannies (clerks) and I am sure you will not have the trouble which has arisen in India through over education"
IPO Filings/DRHP’s are some of the best places to learn from when you are trying to understand the company and industry it operates in. In this letter, we will delve into the IPO filing of CAMS (the largest RTA in the country)
Founded in 1998, CAMS ( Computer Age Management Services Pvt. Ltd ) is India’s largest registrar and transfer agent of mutual funds with an aggregate market share of 69.4% based on mutual fund AUM managed by its clients (Asset Management Companies) during November 2019
This IPO is an offer of sale .i.e. the proceeds from the IPO will be going only to the existing shareholders selling their shares.
Shareholding pattern is available here. The subreddit does not let us post pictures.
Growth in the mutual fund industry on back of increasing savings moving towards financial assets: See chart here. Company has shown 17.4% CAGR from 2000-2019.
India’s mutual fund AUM as a % of GDP is significantly lower than the world average: See chart here. India is at 11%, compared to 103% for USA, 75% for France, 68% for Canada
The number of mutual fund houses have been largely stable over the last few years, hence, the growth in the revenues will be largely on back of growth of AUM managed by the fund houses.
Mutual fund industry comprises of 41 AMCs (excluding Infrastructure Debt Funds) and a majority of the total mutual fund AUM is managed by the top five AMCs which have approximately 60% of the total market share as of March 2019. (Market share of top five AMCs has risen in the last few years from 54% in financial year 2015 to 58% in financial year 2019)
Services provided by RTA’s to AMC’s:
Knowledge partner of AMC’s: Given the history of RTA’s association with AMC’s, they apply analytics to accumulated data and help AMCs in the development of innovative products
Service aggregator: RTA’s bring cost efficiency to the table due to having similar scope of work across major AMC’s (e.g. sending notifications to the customer)
Revenue is derived from fees charged for servicing the AAUM (average assets under management ) of the funds serviced by CAMS
Charge higher fees for equity mutual funds v/s debt funds
Contracts with Mutual fund and AIF clients are typically perpetual in nature, unless terminated by either party while it is 3-5 years for other clients
Major part of the revenue earned (estimated to be over 80%) is by means of tiered fees charged on the AUMs managed for which the MF RTAs provide service. These tend to decrease as a proportion of total AUMs once the AUMs surpass the tiers for which the fees are agreed on.
With the increase in AUM managed, the fees charged as proportion of AUM has been falling, but the extent of decline in pricing despite the strong growth in AUM (i.e. approximately a 30% CAGR) indicates the reasonably strong bargaining power enjoyed by MF RTAs
In FY 2020, MF RTAs witnessed some pricing pressure, as the SEBI reduced the total expense mutual funds were allowed to charge.
According to CRISIL, a moderate reduction in fees charged by RTAs as a proportion of AUM as the size of industry AUM increases is expected. However, RTAs will benefit from an expected increase in the share of equity and hybrid funds in industry AUM.
There is no impact of direct plans growth on RTA’s as RTAs as these are charged based on AUM, irrespective of which plan is opted for by investors
RTA’s also offer similar services to Alternate Investment Funds (AIF)
In addition, RTA’s also have offer similar services to insurance companies for policy servicing of e-insurance policies. There are 4 insurance repositories in India :
CAMS Insurance Repository Services Limited;
Central Insurance Repository Limited;
KARVY Insurance Repository Limited; and
NSDL Database Management Limited.
Following are the are the mutual fund registrar and transfer agents operating in India:
Computer Age Management Services Limited (“CAMS”),
Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services (acquired by Karvy in October 2019)
Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Private Limited
See market share and total AUM of top fund houses here. CAMS services the 4 out of the top 5 AMC’s and 9 of the 15 largest AMC’s. It has been able to manage and hold on to its market share in the last few years: See chart here. CAMS is the clear leader vs/ peers in profitability with RoE of 29.5% , PAT margin of 19% and witnessed the revenue CAGR of 20% over 2016-19: See chart here. CAMS also has a 3X higher business per branch despite having only 22% higher number of branches than Karvy: See chart here. There are multiple reasons for the oligopolistic nature of the RTA industry leading to significant entry barriers:
High client stickiness due to humongous hassles involved in migration ,business disruption , customer and regulatory hassles . New players have not gain traction, only consolidation or building in-house RTA have led to switching of RTA’s - this is evidenced by the CAM’s number of clients being the same over the last 5 years: See chart here.
The average term of CAM’s relationship with its ten largest mutual fund clients is 18 years as of September 30, 2019
High Technology intensity requiring continuous up gradation of systems due to changes in regulations
Need of extensive branch network to address service needs of customers
High operating leverage: RTA helps in addressing investor and distributor needs which are not addressed online
CAMS also has a significant presence in insurance repository market: Given the miniscule penetration of e-policies, there is a significant headroom for growth in this market.
Regulatory Risk : SEBI in its press release in September and October 2018 had provided a maximum cap on the Total Expense Ratio (TER) which can be charged by mutual fund companies on the various type of products . This capping can potentially impact the revenues of service providers like CAMS since the AMC’s can renegotiate their fee contracts with CAMS
Client concentration Risk: Top 5 clients have contributed to 65-67% of revenues in last 4 years. Given the Oligopolistic nature of the market, the client concentration doesn’t seem to be reducing soon.
Consolidation in Industry: M&A in AMC’s can reduce the number of clients and grant more bargaining power to the AMC. In the past, they lost one of mutual fund clients’ due to their merger with another mutual fund that was serviced by a competitor
Provides portfolio of technology-based services, such as transaction origination interface, transaction execution,payment, settlement and reconciliation, dividend processing, investor interface, record keeping, report generation, intermediary empanelment , brokerage computation and compliance related service
Also provide certain services to alternative investment funds, insurance companies, banks and non-banking finance companies.
Managed mandated transactions (collections , reconciliations) for AMC,s NBFC’s etc
For Insurance companies - processing of new applications, holding policies in demat form, servicing and support for policies
Digitization of account opening, back office processing for banks and NBFC’s
Number of folios serviced by CAMS are 38.3 million as of September 30, 2019
Has 278 service centers, four call centers, four back offices of which three are in Chennai
See chart here. CAMS operates in 7 business verticals namely: Mutual Funds Services Business, Electronic Payment Collection Services Business, Insurance Services Business, Alternative Investment Fund Services Business, Banking and Non-Banking Services Business, KYC Registration Agency Business and Software Solutions Business Mutual Fund vertical services
Transfer services like transaction origination , managing KYC , execution of transaction processing from investors and payments, calculation & payment of brokerage commission fees to distributors, risk management services like reporting to SEBI, anti money laundering services, Customer care services through service branches for customer and distributors and call centre.
Distributor services like record and maintenance of brokerage structures , computation of payable /clawback brokerage/ distributor queries
Also has developed a bunch of applications including mobile apps and solutions for investor, corporate and AMC needs
Electronic Payment Collection services: Manage end-to-end automated clearing house transaction and electronic clearance services and service mutual funds, non-banking financial companies and insurance for automated payments Insurance services: Scrutinizing and processing of applications, training and onboarding of new insurance agents, submission of proposals, scanning, indexing and data entry, reminding policyholders of payment receipts Alternative Investment Fund Services: Similar to MF Banking and Non Banking Services Customer interface and back office processing KYC Registration Agency Business: Maintain KYC records on behalf of capital market intermediaries registered with SEBI, eliminating the need to repeat KYC procedure. Software Solutions Business: Software solutions business through subsidiary, SSPL which owns, develops and maintains the technology solutions for mutual fund clients, with a team of 362 people .
As of September 30, 2019, CAMS employed 4,314 full time and 2,136 contractual employees.
Given the high operational intensity of the business, employee expenses is the major cost at ~38% of the revenues.
Dividend Distribution Policy:
Company adopted a formal dividend policy on February 20, 2018 which was further amended on January 2, 2020.
Company aims to distribute a minimum dividend of 65% of the consolidated profit, net of tax, for relevant financial year
Notes on financial information:
Nearly 254 Cr investments in mutual funds , 45 Cr of trade receivables, 157 Cr of cash & cash equivalents as of HYFY19
No debt on the books, just long term lease liabilites of 105 Cr as of HYFY19
Bulk of the revenues is from data processing
Data processing comprises of core AAUM based revenue, revenue from services to insurance companies, banking and non-banking financial services companies and services to alternative investment funds and our KYC registration agency business.
Customer care services primarily comprise paper transaction volume-based fees and NACH volume based fee from electronic payment collection services business.
Recoverables comprise out of pocket expenses incurred on clients
Miscellaneous services comprises revenue from call centre services and fees for applications made available to clients. Software license fee, development and support services comprises fee earned by Subsidiary, SSPL for providing services to external clients.
Major part (~50%) of the operating expenses is the service expenses
Service expenses: Out of pocket expenses incurred for communication services to investors or distributors, stationary and postage on behalf of clients
Data entry expenses: primarily incurred to process paper applications in mutual fund services business
Customer service centre charges: Expenses primarily associated with management of service centres and payment of fees to centre heads
Claims: Incurred on account of claims raised against CAMS as well as funds set aside by CAMS to provide for future claims
There is no debt on the books of the company or its subsidiaries
At current share capital of 48,760,000 shares, this translates to a price of 1230/- , meaning a current P/E of 36x on FY20E
Other comments: Given that the growth in the CAM’s business with be primarily driven by the clients’ AUM growth , unless CAMS acquire more clients (which looks difficult to high entry barriers) and low pricing power, the earnings growth in the future will be largely in line with industry AUM growth. Note: All the notes are based onthe filed CAMS IPO prospectus, please consult your financial advisor for advice before investing in any product. P.S - Apologies. A lot of the charts are images that cannot be posted on this subreddit. However, all of these are available on the source article - https://www.thegalacticadvisors.com/post/computer-age-management-services-decoded.
Occasionally people ask how these loans work. With that in mind: from the Canadian prairie on a beautiful day in July, to you: First, if you're from the U.S.: I'm doing this from a Canadian perspective which means I'm ignoring the Regulation T, special memorandum account, overnight maintenance requirement, and initial margin, because all of those are concepts that have no equivalent or application in Canada. But the basics are the same. You can ignore all of those concepts because they have no bearing on how margin actually works. Those concepts are simply restrictions in how you can use margin and as a practical matter they're not onorous restrictions. I'm also ignoring U.S. risk-based "portfolio margin" because that's a specialized, alternative margin system some brokers offer in the U.S., that we don't have in Canada. We have traditional, rules-based margin that hasn't changed in Canada in 100+ years. Note: If you are a Canadian resident buying U.S. stock in Canada you still fall under the Canadian rules for margin. Margin in Canada hasn't really changed since the 1900's, except you have to put up at least 30% nowadays instead of 10% as it was back before the crash of 1929. Basically that's the only thing that's changed. In Canada you can borrow up to 70% of a position at once for most stocks. This means that if you want to buy $10,000 worth of RBC or Apple, you only have to put up $3,000 and your broker lends you the rest. Margin was first developed in the Netherlands which basically invented the modern financial system we have today in the West, back in the 1600s. The Dutch East India corporation (ticker VOC) was at one point 20% of the world's total commerce. That would be like a company in 2020 grossing about 16 trillion US a year. By comparison Apple brings in about one half of one percent of that. The Amsterdam stock market developed just to trade VOC and other shares and related securities. Seein the success of their Continental rivals, the British copied the Dutch and for a long time, until after the Battle of Waterloo, the western world had two rival financial capitals, London, and Amsterdam. For various historical reasons, Amsterdam got pushed out of the picture and for about 100 years the City of London (which is what the financial district in London is called) was the financial capital of the west. They of course now share that crown with New York City. But it's really the Dutch who started it all, around the time of Vermeer. *** The concept is that the bank (or broker) will lend against some of your stock, but not all of it. They want a "haircut." The haircut is the amount they won't lend against. In Canada the haircut is usually 30% but can be 50% and there are some stocks the banks won't lend against at all, like most of the stuff on the TSX-V or on the U.S. pink sheets. Every bank is different, so BMO InvestorLine might want 50% on one company and Interactive Brokers Canada might want 30% or vice versa for another. But most things are 30%, some are 50% and some are 100% (meaning no loan). The maximum available leverage is 1/haircut. If the haircut is 30% as is typical in Canada, the bank will let you buy up to 1/0.3 = 3 1/3 as much as your cash, meaning, you can borrow up to 2 1/3 dollars for every dollar you put up. That's the limit. But: So say you have $3,000 and you want to buy on margin. As the bank haircut (margin rate) is 30%, you can buy $3,000/0.3 = $10,000 worth of stock. Obviously you then have a loan of $7,000. You now have $10,000 worth of stock, but remember, the bank won't let you borrow against 30%*$10,000 = $3,000. So your collateral is only $7,000. So you now have a $7,000 loan collateralized by $7,000 worth of stock. In the above example, you put up 30% margin, the same as the haircut. It's easy to see that if your total position slides so much as a dollar, you will have less collateral than $7,000 and therefore get what's called a "margin call" where they will tell you that you have to put up more money in a few hours or sell stock (which automatically pays down the loan to the extent of the sale) so that you have enough collateral to cover your loan, otherwise they will automatically sell a stock of their choosing at an amount of their choosing. They are also allowed to sell whichever stock they choose automatically without calling you first, in the event of a margin call. That is explicitly set out in your margin agreement. There have been at least two challenges to that in the Ontario courts in the last 20 years or so, where the former client argued that the bank sold their shares out without first advising them, or, in one of the court cases, after promising to hold off so that the client could put up money, and then reneging on that and selling the client's stock anyway. The court in both cases sided with the bank. The margin is for real, not negotiable, it is there to protect the bank and the other client's capital, and the words "the bank can sell at any time and without prior notice" mean what they say they mean. If you get sold out at a loss, don't expect the courts to give you redress. So obviously you need some "buffer" because of volatility, but how much do you borrow? Now you have to understand some more math. target margin = 1-(1-x)*(1-haircut) x is the price drawdown target margin is how much margin you have to put up. Say Apple is marginable at 30% (the haircut) by your bank. You decide you want to borrow on margin. But you decide, "I will allow Apple to slide 40% from what I buy it at before I get a margin call." So how much margin should you put up? target margin = 1-(1-0.4)*(1-0.3) = 1-0.6*0.7 = 1-0.42 = 0.58. So you have to put up 58% margin. That means if you have $3,000 to invest, you would buy $3,000/0.58 = $5,172 worth of Apple. If Apple is trading at $350 that means it can slide to $210 before you get a margin call. At which point you will have lost 0.4/0.58 = 68.9% of your money. (Remember, leverage is simply 1/margin.) You can convince yourself by working through it as a check. In the example, as you had $3,000 and you margined that at 58%, you bought $3,000/0.58 = $,5172 worth of stock. Obviously your equity at the time of purchase was be $3,000 because you owned $5,172 worth of stock and owed the bank $2,172. Because of the haircut, 0.3*$5,172 = $1,551 could not be used as collateral. Then the stock slid 40%, from $350 to $210, so your total stock position was then (1-0.4)*$5,172 = $3,103. Of course, you still owed the bank $2,172. But remember, not all of the $3,103 was available be used as collateral, only 70% (meaning, 1-haircut) of that. So at $210 your collateral was (1-0.3)*$3,103 = $2,172, exactly the same as the loan amount. $210 was, therefore, the lowest price at which you still have sufficient collateral. Anything less and you would have received a margin call or the bank would simply have automatically sold stock, depending on how they saw the risk. Key takeaway here is that the haircut is 30%, meaning that 30% of your stock cannot be used as collateral, which mathematically also means that your account equity/total amount of stock = (total amount of stock-loan)/(total amount of stock) has to stay at or above 30%. You're putting up 58%, meaning you're borrowing 1/0.58 - 1 = 72 cents from the bank for every dollar of your own money that you put up. The formula above is simply a rearrangement using basic algebra, of the basic margin equation which is: price at margin call = initial price of stock*(1-target margin)/(1-haircut) Whatever you do, make sure you are maxing out your TFSA or possibly RRSP or possibly both before you use margin, or only contribute a small amount of capital to a margin account and make sure your TFSA or RRSP is your main stock investment vehicle. Do not put up your TFSA as collateral on a margin account. You could end up getting a margin call, then the broker transfers the TFSA over to the margin account, but then the stock market slides again and now your TFSA is wiped out along with your margin account. Questrade offers this and I think it's an absolutely terrible idea. Frankly I think the CRA should disallow it. Notice how none of the banks offer this. Also have a plan for a margin call. You will get a margin call at some point. One good plan is simply to sell enough stock to pay off the margin loan and then re-enter margin when conditions warrant. It makes absolutely no sense to have cash lying around to meet a margin call. Why not just invest the cash and not use margin. The old adage is, "Never meet a margin call" and I think that's good advice. If the bank gives you to choice of either putting in more money in or selling, then sell. To me there are only 3 reasons you would use a margin account:
You have a large account in a diversified stock portfolio and you want to borrow against say 5% of that to go and buy a car, renovate your house, pursue an investment other than securities;
You are consistently good at beating the stock market by a significant amount, and you have maxed out or at least significantly contributed to a TFSA or RRSP or have other wealth-generating property, you have a well-thought out plan that you commit to, that governs your trading decisions, how much you will borrow, and what you will do in the event of a margin call;
You are executing certain trades that require a margin account; for example, options spreads, short selling stocks or commodity futures trades.
To me the following are bad reasons to trade on margin:
It looks like a way to make even more money in stocks, even though you don't know how to make money in stocks;
You are a diversified "Canadian Couch Potato" -style investor getting more or less average returns and you realize that you can buy stock get a 5% dividend yield and pay 4% pre-tax on margin money, so you decide to be a margined "couch potato."
Margined investing = active investing = checking your positions at least daily and following a trading plan. Finally, the average investor working with average capital should always, always, make the TFSA their #1 priority. The TFSA is truly a gem. When I was in my 20's back in the 90's, the only tax shelters for the average Canadian were the sale of their primary residence and the RRSP, the latter which is a deferral and a deduction but not an outright break the way the TFSA is. The TFSA offers leverage effectively equal to the capital gains inclusion rate * your average taxation rate, and yet without a margin call and at zero percent and it doesn't even magnify your losses. No margin account can match that. Some investors don't believe in margin at all. Like Warren Buffett, who said in a 2018 CNBC interview, "It's crazy to borrow against securities." (Note he said borrowing against stocks, not borrowing to buy stocks.) But he is right in saying that the bad thing about margin is that it gives you limited additional potential upside but at the cost of great potential downside. Understand the risks. Read your margin agreement. Consider even meeting with a securities lawyer who can explain the agreement to you. Consider this statement from an article posted on a popular stock investing website (Fair dealing exception), posted March 15th, 2020: " https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/15/5-ugly-lessons-from-a-nasty-margin-call.aspx From its close on Feb. 19 to its close on March 12, theS&P 500fell more than 26%, a huge decline in less than a month. Like many investors who had been using options in a margin account, I faced a margin call during that precipitous decline and was forced to liquidate positions to satisfy that call. Note that despite facing that margin call, I never actually borrowed money from my broker. I just had margin available and usable from a purchasing power perspective in the event some of my options got exercised against me. It didn't matter to my broker, though, who only saw the margin math, rather than the cash and investment-grade bonds that were also in that account and hadn't seen their values evaporate. Unfortunately, my experience during that margin call revealed some very ugly realities about how Wall Street really works, particularly when it comes to retail investors. " He goes on set out "lessons learned." None of those lessons learned is "read your margin agreement before you trade." So he didn't really learn his lesson. Anyway, it's up to each person to do what is right for them, bearing in mind the risks. But know the risks. Trading with margin doesn't mean you'll be wiped out, but if you trade anything you need to know what you're doing and that is even more important if you've agreed to borrow money. The post here was to explain how to do the calculations for this popular and important financial tool as there is a lot of misinformation out there on the subject, make some suggestions on how you can use it as a part of your overall portfolio, and give my opinions on how one might do that. Whichever road or roads you take, good investing. For more details on the TFSA and its contribution rules, see https://www.reddit.com/CanadianInvestocomments/hcy9r9/how_the_tfsa_works/
There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. - Lenin
I saw a couple of posts on this in the sub, but I think the agriculture reforms that the FM announced yesterday are not getting their due appreciation/discussion/critique here. So, here I give a summary of the reforms and some relevant good quality data links. As mentioned in one of the links:
I would dare say that the regulatory reform needle for Indian agriculture moved more yesterday (15 May) than it did during the last seven decades
There are three major reforms:
Amendment to Essential Commodities Act - ECA was brought in during agri production shortage of 1950s socialist era; would be amended now to deregulate cereal, pulses, edible oils, onion, potato, etc. with no restrictions on export, stocking.
This means farmers and traders will be free to enter into export commitments without the fear that the government may turn the tap on or off based on domestic prices or production.
In simple words, say there is sudden increase in onion prices due to heavy rains and the prices of onions rise from 30->100. Now ECA kicks in and farmers have to sell at 30, not 100(though the final consumer is still paying 100). Also, they can no longer export their produce. But there is a lag period b/w the farmers being forced to sell at 30 and the price dropping back to 30 and the price diff in this lag period is pocketed by the middlemen.
It will also make India a reliable supplier in the agri-produce export markets. Nobody(let alone importers) like unreliability.
APMC Reforms - Central law to give farmers choice to sell, enable interstate trade, e-trade of produce.
Currently, Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) laws force farmers to sell only to government-licensed agents at these demarcated mandis, thus denying them fair prices
Now think at a micro level: a farmer may rush to the mandi based on a certain price expectation, but when lots of farmers arrive at the same mandi with their produce, the excess arrivals end up strengthening the buying power of the agents and prices crash. The farmer can, of course, take his produce back home, but this means incurring additional transport and storage costs
Once e-trading is allowed and deliveries can be made outside one’s own state, farmers can sell at an acceptable price and deliver wherever it is advantageous to them
Contract Framing - It tackles all the problems of Indian agriculture:
Think from the perspective of Reliance. Reliance wants to sell potato chips. Currently it has to source the potatoes from some middleman(most probably an APMC agent) who aggregates it from some small level farmers. Now Reliance knows that it needs to sell potato chips for the next 2 years. So, instead of sourcing it form middle men, Reliance will enter into contract with a large number of small farmers to get a large area of land, provide them with best seeds, technology etc. This will deal with the problems of lack of scale; lack of tech. as now Reliance has incentive to enhance production; crop diversification as earlier maybe most of the contract farmers would have grown rice/wheat(as the govt. guarantees to buy these at a fixed price, no matter the amount of production); provide an implicit insurance to the farmers as they now know the big company has promised(legally) to pay them at least Rs x/quintal.
Cut out the middleman: allow buyers and sellers to divide that middleman’s margin between themselves, thus benefiting both producers of food and consumers
This is data about growth in share of India's GDP as a percentage of World GDP (it's normalised data - so you cannot cry about external conditions). [Data is in US Billion Dollars] India's GDP 1999 - 466.841 2004 - 721.589 2009 - 1365.373 2014 - 2039.127 2018 - 2848.231 World GDP 1999 - 32782.879 2004 - 43919.510 2009 - 60337.197 2014 - 78663.165 2018 - 87504.567 India's share of World GDP 1999 - 1.42% 2004 - 1.64% 2009 - 2.26% 2014 - 2.59% 2018 - 3.25% Growth in India's GDP as a percentage of World GDP 1999 - 2004 ==> 2.9% YoY 2004 - 2009 ==> 6.6% YoY 2009 - 2014 ==> 2.8% YoY 2014 - 2018 ==> 5.8% YoY All figures are from here
the years from 2003-04 to 2011-12, when the Manmohan Singh government had been in power in two terms since assuming office in 2004, had been the golden phase of manufacturing employment growth in Independent India.
The Next Pandemic: Confronting Emerging Disease and Antibiotic Resistance
Two problems not commonly discussed prior to the novel Coronavirus outbreak are the emergence of infectious disease and the related increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. Here, I will explain the science behind these problems and some solutions that can be driven by legislation. My background is more squarely rooted in the science, so I apologize if I lean too heavily in this area as opposed to the economics and policy focus of this subreddit. I frequent this sub and enjoy the discourse here, and in my area this is one topic that overlaps with public health policy that I am passionate about. To understand emerging disease and antimicrobial resistance, it’s important to understand evolution The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2, is an example of an emerging infectious disease. SARS-CoV2 is a disease that, prior to 2019, had not to the best of our knowledge infected a human being. The genetic makeup of the virus indicates that the virus is natural, originating likely as a bat or pangolin Coronavirus that acquired the ability to infect humans, and that it is not man-made (1). Why do new diseases come into existence? Why haven’t humans encountered all the diseases capable of infecting us? Furthermore, why do diseases that we had previously thought conquered have the newfound ability to harm us again, in spite of our advancements in antibiotic development? The answer to these questions is partially answered by evolution. Several novel viruses, like SARS-CoV1, MERS, and SARS-CoV2, began as zoonosis: infection by a pathogen with an animal source. Viruses, though generally considered non-living, contain nucleic acid genomes (either RNA or DNA) similar to every other organism in the tree of life. This genome is subject to selective pressures, just as with every other nucleic-acid containing being, and mutates non-specifically (that is, an organism develops a mutation, then selective pressures have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on retaining or discarding the mutation). An animal coronavirus that recognizes surface molecules on animal cells that have some similarity to human cell surface molecules may only be a few small genome changes away from being capable of infecting humans. It is likely that SARS-CoV2 emerged in one of two ways: as either an animal virus that mutated within an animal that gained the ability to infect humans, or as an animal virus that jumped to humans, and within the human host was selected for the ability to infect humans (1). The advent of novel viruses is also facilitated by the horizontal transfer of genetic material between distinct viral lineages. In Influenza viruses, this can take the form of segments of genome being transferred wholesale between viruses. Influenza viruses contain a genome composed entirely of RNA in multiple segments of sequence. Segments “re-assort” when flu viruses of distinct lineage infect the same cell, and viral genomes are mixed during the process of producing new viruses. Alternatively, as would be the case in coronaviruses, recombination occurs through a mechanism not fully understood, where whole portions of genome are exchanged between viruses (2). The problem of antimicrobial resistance is also best understood through evolution. To explain this phenomenon, I will describe mainly how resistance manifests in bacteria, but similar processes drive resistance to anti-virals, anti-fungals, and anti-parasitics. Antibiotics are largely derived from natural sources: as microbes compete for resources, there is a drive to reduce competitors numbers by killing them or inhibiting their growth. Antibiotics are typically small molecules that target essential processes for bacterial growth; commonly cell wall biosynthesis (preventing growth and division of the cell, an example being penicillin), protein synthesis (blocks the process of translation, an example being erythromycin), production of RNA (blocks the process of transcription, an example being rifampin) or production of DNA (blocks the process of replication, an example being fluoroquinolone). These antibiotics arose through selective pressures, and in response bacteria have developed systems to circumvent the deleterious effects of antibiotics. These include: rapidly excreting the antibiotic before it is capable of inhibiting growth (efflux pumps, a notable offender being Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis), degrading the antibiotic (beta-lactamases are a class of enzyme that degrade beta-lactam family antibiotics, such as penicillin), modifying the antibiotic (the most common mechanism for aminoglycoside resistance is to chemically modify the antibiotic so it doesn’t work), or simply modifying the target (Streptococcus pneumoniae is a microbe that causes multiple diseases that is naturally resistant to beta-lactams by modification of the drug target, the aptly-named Penicilin-binding protein) (3). As humans, it has been beneficial to identify these natural compounds and use them medically to treat infection. Bacteria have incredible genome plasticity, engaging in a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT; sometimes referred to as lateral gene transfer) that increases the prevalence of resistant microbes. Not all bacteria are capable of this set of processes, but importantly several medically important pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Yersinia pestis, Acinetobacter baumannii engage in processes that facilitate the transfer of genetic material between bacteria. There are several molecular mechanisms for HGT: bacteria-infecting viruses can transmit pieces of genetic material between similar bacteria (transduction), bacteria can form a bridge that transfers plasmids (conjugation; plasmids are typically circular pieces of DNA, and are typically maintained independently of the bacterial chromosome and commonly encode antibiotic resistance genes), or bacteria can simply pick up naked DNA in the environment and integrate that DNA into their chromosomes (natural transformation) (3). The effect of these processes is that, when a gene that imparts resistance to a particular antibiotic is introduced into a population, it may spread between members of the population, not just within the progeny of the cells that encode the resistance gene. This is especially true when a gene that imparts resistance is on a plasmid or is otherwise mobilizable (transposons, or jumping genes, are also common perpetrators of transmission in that they move somewhat readily and often encode drug resistance). The key point to understand here is that while genes are present in bacteria, either on a chromosome or on a mobilizable element, these genes are capable of moving to many other members of the same population. To understand this in more practical terms, many people have undergone a course of antibiotics and experienced gastrointestinal distress or stomach pains. This can be attributed to disturbing your normal intestinal microbiome, as you kill off non-resistant bacteria. Now assume you have an infection of some sort, it could be anywhere in your body accessible to an orally administered antibiotic, and your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic. It is possible, and possibly probable, that within your gut are bacteria that harbor resistance genes. In the absence of the antibiotic, these are likely to have a neutral or possibly deleterious effect; think of this like a welder that is unable to remove his welding mask: it certainly helps when he is welding, but is cumbersome at other times of the day. Taking the antibiotic results in high selection for resistant microbes to grow and prosper. This allows the resistant bugs to soon outnumber the non-resistant bugs. Ultimately, this increases the concentration of the resistance genes in the population of microbes in your gut. Subsequent to this, you may encounter an infection of a gastrointestinal pathogen that, in infecting your gut, acquires the resistance genes that you selected for. In disseminating this pathogen, you are also disseminating this resistance gene. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, in taking antibiotics you select for drug resistance in the opportunistic pathogens of your body, notably Clostridium dificile and Staphylococcus epidermidis. These microbes are capable of causing disease, but reside in you or on you and cause infection when conditions are optimal for their growth. The problem of antimicrobial resistance is convergent with emerging pathogens, as many pathogens “re-emerge” as they develop resistance to antimicrobials. While TB cannot be said to be an emerging pathogen as the world has been experiencing a TB pandemic since at least the early 1800’s, TB is re-emerging in the since that increased drug resistance has led to strains of TB that are not treatable via the traditional course of antibiotics (4). Similarly, common pathogens such as E. coli, Klebsiella, and Clostridium dificile are bugs that have become increasingly resistant to the antibitoics used to treat them (5). Acinetobacter baumanii, a soil microbe with resistance to a spectrum of antibiotics, became a common Gulf and Iraq War wound infection. Many of these pathogens find a home in hospitals, where the use of antibiotics is prevalent and potential hosts are abundant. Furthermore, the recently emerged pathogen HIV, the causal agent of AIDS, is intersectional with that of antibiotic resistance, as infection with HIV increases susceptibility to bacterial infections due to reduced immune cell numbers; increased infection rates of Both issues, antibiotic resistance and emerging pathogens, pose a threat to human health the world over, and I will attempt to address both of these issues in this post. The problem of emerging disease and antibiotic resistance is exacerbated by humans To what extent do emerging diseases and antibiotic resistance affect humans? SARS-CoV2 has had an extensive impact on human health and living, and the response to shut down to stop the spread of the virus has had a large economic impact. It is impossible to accurately predict the threat posed by non-discovered viruses, so the next threat could be relatively benign, or truly horrific. This is not to fearmonger, there is no reason to suspect that such a virus is bound to steamroll us soon, but to say that the next plague may be brewing inside a pig in a Chinese farm or outside our homes in the bodies of ticks, and we would not know it. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published two Antibiotic Resistance Threat reports on the subject, in 2013 and 2019. In the 2013 edition, it was reported that 2 million people in the United States will acquire an antibiotic resistant infection, and that 23,000 will die as a direct result of that infection (5). While by 2019 this was realized to be an underestimation of the drug-resistant cases, new approaches had determined that the true value had lowered from 2013 to 2019, with an updated estimate of 2.8 million cases and 35,000 fatalities in 2019 (6). An excellent illustration of the problem can be found on page 28 of the 2013 report, which reports the introduction date (left) and the date at which resistance was observed on the right for crucial antibiotic groups. Commonly, within a decade of the introduction of an antibiotic, resistance emerges. This problem cannot be expected to go away on its own, and more than likely pathogens commonly thought vanquished will re-emerge with drug-resistant characteristics. There are human processes that contribute to the emergence of disease and spread of antibiotic resistance. In China, Wet Markets bring together livestock from all over the country, creating an environment that is diverse in the microbial life that live commensally and parasitically in and on these animals. The proximity of these animals allows for the exchange of these microbes; these microbes are then capable of exchanging genetic material. As I described for Flu and Coronaviruses, viruses that come into contact within cells are capable of genetic recombination, a process that can result in viruses that are capable of infecting humans. This is not to say this is a common phenomenon, just that 1) the process is accelerated by live animal markets and 2) this practice and resulting genetic recombination of zoonotic viruses is thought to have contributed to both the original and novel SARS-CoV outbreaks. In the United States, a textbook example of an emerging disease is Lyme Disease (7). Named for the town of Lyme, Connecticut, Lyme Disease is caused by the peculiar bacterium known as Borellia burgdorferi. Borellia is a corkscrew-shaped bacteria that is interesting for its ability to grow without iron (a key component of the immune response is the sequestration of iron away from pathogens). Lyme Disease is spread through ticks, and the number of infectious cases is exacerbated by reforestation and settlement close to wooded areas in suburban environments. As building projects move closer to forested areas, exposure to arthropod-borne illnesses will be expected to rise. Beyond settlement and the wet market practice, the emergence of new infectious disease is complicated by global warming and healthcare practices. Global warming is hypothesized to drive heat resistance in fungi, potentially improving their capacity to grow within the human body (8). The pathogenic potential of fungi is hypothesized to be limited by the heat of the human body, and there is some speculation that global warming is a contributing factor to the emergence of the notorious fungal pathogen Candida auris (8). These claims should be taken with a grain of salt and evaluated critically, but it is possible that human-caused climate change will disturb the ecology of our planet with as of yet unforeseen consequences, among them the generation novel and resurgent diseases. In healthcare, over-prescription of and a lack of regulation on antibiotics has caused the problem to worsen (5,6). When a patient receives an antibiotic, the drug has an effect on all microbes where the drug is bioavailable. This includes the intestines, which contain a resident population of microbes, and the skin, which contains Staphylococci resident species that prevent colonization by pathogenic strains of similar bacteria. These residents are then selected for their ability to resist the drug, causing an increase in resistance among the healthy microbiota. These resistance genes, as I have described, can then move between dissimilar bacteria in the same environment. If a harmful strain of E. coli is introduced into such an environment, for example, it has a higher likelihood of encountering and assimilating the genetic potential to resist antibiotics than in an environment that is naïve to the antibiotic. Patients are commonly prescribed antibiotics for infections that are more likely to be caused by a virus, or in instances where an infection is likely to run course without medical intervention. The increased exposure to antibiotics causes the microbiota to increase the concentration of resistance genes. Additionally, in places like India, the regulations on antibiotics are much more laxed than even the United States, where one is able to purchase over-the-counter antibiotics. This allows anyone to give themselves an incomplete course of antibiotics for any condition, even if the symptoms are not caused by an infection of any kind. Additionally, prescription antibiotics that have deteriorated with time, or are manufactured with subpar quality control resulting in lower concentrations, that remain in circulation exacerbate the problem by establishing sub-inhibitory concentrations of the antibiotic in the body and resulting in selection for resistance. Furthermore, environmental pollution of antibiotics into natural water sources and sewage results in increased environmental concentrations of resistance genes. These genes can spill into humans by exposure to microbes in these environments (9). Agriculture provides another increase in the concentration of resistance genes (10). Livestock are fed antibiotics, which increase the weight of animals in an as-of-yet not understood mechanism. A deleterious consequence of this increase in yield with antibiotic usage is the increase in resistance in response to this widespread antibiotic usage. These resistance genes then find their way into humans, whether through ingestion of food contaminated with resistant microbes. Science and technology can solve the problem, but face institutional and biological challenges There are both institutional and scientific challenges to combating emerging disease and antibiotic resistance. Some of these problems are easily apparent as I have described above: countries with laxed restrictions on who can obtain antibiotics, countries where the drugs are used often over-prescribed, suburbanization, and global warming all contribute to the problem. Scientifically, there are challenges in that novel diseases are difficult to combat. The novel Coronavirus had the precedent of other coronaviruses (i.e. SARS and MERS) that had been studied and their virology dissected, but that won’t necessarily be the case everytime a novel pathogen infects a human. A technological benefit to this problem is the use of meta-genomics, which allows for DNA/RNA sequencing without prior knowledge of the nucleic acid sequence of the genome. Within weeks of the first identification of the virus, its sequence was available to researchers. This was not the case during the outbreak of SARS-CoV1, when meta-genomics approaches such as Illumina Sequencing, NanoPore Sequencing, and Pacific Biosciences Sequencing were not available. In the event of a novel disease emergence, this information would be vital to combating the pathogen. Despite not knowing necessarily what the next threat will be, expanding the human knowledge base on microbes is an essential component of any plan to fight emerging diseases. Any emerging disease is likely to be similar to other microbes that we have encountered, and knowledge of the physiology of these organisms helps to understand weaknesses, transmission, and potential therapeutic targets. The study of all microorganisms therefore benefits the effort to combat the next pandemic, as any one piece of information could be critical. Surveillance is perhaps the most important tool to fight emerging infectious disease; knowing the problem exists is a crucial step to curbing spread. A recent example of successful surveillance can be seen in a recent PNAS publication regarding the presence of potential pandemic influenza in hogs, and the presence of antibodies against this particular class of flu viruses in swine workers (11). While at present it does not appear that the virus has acquired the ability to cause a pandemic, this knowledge allows for immunologists to potentially include viral antigens specific to this particular viral class in seasonal vaccines. Surveillance is critical in controlling both emerging diseases and antibiotic resistance: knowledge of what potential pathogens emerge where, and what microbes are exhibiting resistance to what drugs, can drive containment and treatment efforts. To combat antibiotic resistance, new drugs must be developed, but there are hurdles in identification, validation, and production of new antibiotics. First, potential new antibiotics have to be either identified or designed. This often involves looking through filtered environmental samples to determine the presence of small molecules that inhibit bacterial growth, or chemically altering known drugs to circumvent drug resistance. This is not necessarily difficult, as there are microbes in the soil and water that produce potential therapeutics, but this does require both time and money, as well as the consideration that it is likely that resistance to that novel therapeutic exists in the environment from which it was pulled. New drugs must be safe, but due to the abundance of antibiotics presently in use and their historic efficacy, the standard for antibiotics to pass safety regulations is extremely high. As drug resistance becomes more common, it will become apparent that more and more side effects may have to be tolerated to prevent death due to bacterial infection. Finally, and the most important challenge to developing antibiotics is that the profit margin on antibiotics is low for drug companies in the present market, disincentivizing research and production of novel drugs. In addition to stand-alone antibiotics, new inhibitors of resistance must be developed as well. Clavulanic acid is one such inhibitor, and is administered with the beta-lactam drug amoxicillin to improve its ability to kill bacteria. Bacteria that are resistant beta-lactams often encode enzymes called beta-lactamases. Beta-lactamases break open the active portion of the beta-lactam molecule, rendering it ineffective in attacking its target. Clavulanic acid is a beta-lactam itself, and is a target for the beta-lactamase enzyme; however, when the enzyme begins to degrade clavulanic acid, the enzyme becomes stuck at an intermediate step in the reaction, rendering the beta-lactamase enzyme useless. These drugs must also be explored and screened for in environmental samples, as well as developed. It is possible to take a rational approach to drug design, with increasing knowledge of how resistance mechanisms work. This means that scientists specifically look at, say, a beta-lactamase enzyme at the molecular level, and design a small molecule that will fit into the enzyme and block its function. Chemists then design the molecule to test its efficacy. Ultimately, scientists either know how to solve the problem, or know how to get the tools they need to solve the problem. It is the institutional challenges that make the problem more difficult to solve. How legislation can improve the ability of scientists to combat emerging disease and drug resistance In discussing emerging diseases and antibiotic resistance, I try to draw parallels to the problem of global warming: a global problem with global solutions. I don’t have a novel solution to climate change to discuss here, other than to parrot this subreddit’s typical ideas, so I will omit that discussion here. That is to say, global warming is a driver for emerging infectious disease, and fighting global warming is important to combat the potential rise of fungal pathogens. I will, however, discuss some ideas for combating emerging disease and drug resistance. These ideas are mostly derived from scientists familiar with the problem, Funding for research, basic and applied, is crucial. No bit of knowledge hurts in the fight against human disease. Learning how Alphaviruses replicate, determining the structure of E. coli outer membrane proteins, and examining the life cycle of the non-pathogen Caulobacter crescentus all contribute to the fight against the next disease. The more we know, the more powerful our vision is in understanding the inner machinations of disease. Every immune response, every molecular mechanism, and every aspect of microbial physiology is potentially a drug or vaccine target, a clue into pathogenesis, or an indication of how a bug is likely to spread. The Trump administration has not been kind to science funding (12). Science that does not appear to have benefit at first glance often does in the long run, and for this reason I will stress the importance of funding research of this sort, as well as funding applied research. Knowing is half the battle. In combating emerging diseases, it is important to know they exist. As I have mentioned the example of recent viral surveillance with regard to the novel reassortment influenza viruses, I would like to stress the importance of funding surveillance programs in fighting emerging disease and drug resistance. There are currently US governmental surveillance programs that provide valuable information about the spread of drug resistance, such as NARMS in the United States (13). In the United States, there is a need for greater accountability in using antibiotics. Resistance is unlikely to completely go away, even when the use of an antibiotic is discontinued, but the levels of resistant bacteria dwindle when the selective pressure is reduced. For this reason, several medical practitioners have proposed a rotating schedule of prescription antibiotics, that includes the retention of some new antibiotics from use. The reasoning for this is that, in the years following the halted use of a particular antibiotic, it is expected that the concentration of resistant bacteria will decrease. As I discussed with the example of always wearing a welding helmet, carrying resistance genes often imparts some form of growth defect on the resistant bacteria (for example, altering an essential gene targeted by an antibiotic may render the bacteria resistant, but there is a reason such a gene is essential, in that it’s required for growth; changing the gene in a substantive way may negatively impact its performance and by extension make these resistant bacteria less fit). A rotating cycle of what antibiotics are allowed to be prescribed, informed by surveillance data, would buy time for the development of new antibiotics as well. Additionally, higher standards should be required for the prescription of antibiotics, to increase accountability of physicians; these standards could involve clinically verifying the presence of susceptible bacteria prior to administering a drug in situations where the disease in not life-threatening. There is a need to reduce the environmental pollution of drugs into sewage and natural bodies of water as well. This will require research into cost-effective methods for reducing the population of resistant bugs and drugs in these environments. In the case of natural bodies of water, a source of contamination is often factories where drugs are produced. Often, waters near these factories have high levels of antibiotics that select for resistance to develop and spread. This may require legislation to improve environmental outcomes, as well as surveillance of drug resistance gene levels and the levels of antibiotics in these waters to ensure compliance. There is also a need to halt the use of antibiotics in treating livestock (14). Halting the use of antibiotics typically results in reductions of antibiotic resistant bug populations within a year or two (10). I don’t know of studies that estimate the economic cost of halting use of antibiotics in American meat, but in the case of Denmark, livestock production does not appear to have been significantly impacted. I think that the most challenging problem will be for drug companies to develop new antibiotics when there is not presently a financial incentive to do so. Because antibiotics are still largely effective, and the financial benefit to adding an antibiotic to the market does not outweigh the cost to put a drug to market, there is not currently a large incentive to produce new drugs (15). To address this negative externality, it is necessary to generate financial incentives of some form for the production of new antibiotics. This may take the form of subsidizing antibiotic discovery efforts and drug safety trials; additionally, applied research with the goal of specifically finding new antibiotics should see increased funding. To combat the problem overseas, it is obvious that obtaining an antibiotic course must occur through a doctor. This eliminates false self-diagnoses of bacterial infections. The problem of wet markets may be partially resolved by preventing animals that do not regularly contact each other from being traded and stored in the same vicinity as animals that are not typically encountered. This may involve limiting a particular wet market to the trade of animals that come from a particular geographic area, preventing geographically diverse microbes from encountering each other. It's on all of us to stop the next pandemic: If you made it this far, thank you reading this post and I hope that I have convinced you of the importance of this issue! There are simple steps that we can all take as consumers to reduce antimicrobial resistance: don’t take antibiotics unless prescribed by a doctor and buy meat that was produced without antibiotics. I welcome any and all criticism, and would love to hear people's ideas! Please let me know of any errors as well, or any missed concepts that I glossed over. I've been excited to give my two cents to this sub, and I don't want to mislead in any way. Sources: 1: Andersen, KG, et al. 2020. The Proximal Origin of Sars-CoV-2. Nature Medicine 26: 450-452. 2: Su, Shou, et al. 2016. Epidemiology, Genetic Recombination, and Pathogenesis of Coronaviruses. Cell Trends in Microbiology 24(6): 490-502. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2016.03.003 3: Munita, JM; Arias, CA. 2016. Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance. Microbiology Spectrum VMBF-0016-2015. doi:10.1128 /microbiolspec.VMBF-0016-2015. 4: Shah, NS; et al. 2007. Worldwide Emergence of Extensively Drug-resistant Tuberculosis. Emerging Infectious Diseases 13(3): 380-387. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2725916/ 5: CDC Antibiotic Threats Report, 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/ar-threats-2013-508.pdf 6: CDC Antibiotic Threats Report, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/threats-report/2019-ar-threats-report-508.pdf 7: Barbour, AG; Fish, D. 1993. The Biological and Social Phenomenon of Lyme Disease. Science 260(5114):1610-1616. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8503006/ 8: Casadevall, A; Kontoyiannis, DP; Robert, V. 2019. On the Emergence of Candida auris: Climate Change, Azoles, Swamps, and Birds. mBio 10.1128/mBio.01397-19. https://mbio.asm.org/content/10/4/e01397-19 9: Kraemer, SA; Ramachandran, A; Perron, GG. 2019. Antibiotic Pollution in the Environment: From Microbial Ecology to Public Policy. Microorgansims 7(6): 180. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6616856/ 10: Levy, S. 2014. Reduced Antibiotic Use in Livestock: How Denmark Tackled Resistance. Environmental Health Perspectives 122(6): A160-A165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4050507/ 11: Sun, H, et al. 2020. Prevalent Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus with 2009 pandemic viral genes facilitating human infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencehttps://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1921186117. 12: Kaiser, J. 2020. National Institutes of Health would see 7% cut in 2021 under White House plan. Science Magazine. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/national-institutes-health-would-see-7-cut-2021-under-white-house-plan 13: About NARMS: National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria. https://www.cdc.gov/narms/about/index.html 14: Khachatourians, GG. 1998. Agricultural use of antibiotics and the evolution and transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. CMAJ 159(9):1129-1136 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1229782/ 15: Jacobs, Andrew. 2019. Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt. The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/366f7it
Hello everyone. Following the reveal of some arguably disappointing sequels to hotly awaited products, I wanted to give my take on how Samsung could avoid another lame year with their flagships. I believe overpricing their products, having a muddled and confusing product line and skipping out on some of the products users actually want as well as skimping on some specs on their devices, for whatever reason, probably did not help their case. Also, COVID-19 probably didn’t help either, but it’s no excuse for them not to reflect and improve. So, I have devised a refined product lineup that makes more sense, is easier to understand, accommodates more users and helps add obvious definition to their products and the type of user they are aimed at. For those saying it’s impossible, just stop. It isn’t. A multi-billion dollar corporation can pull this off, assuming they’re more interested in brand image, reputation and keeping their users happy rather than just money. At this point, the entire industry is suffering because Samsung is not kept on edge, so I think that should change. Also, to those saying Samsung won’t read it, save your breath: I don’t care. I enjoy writing. Product Line: For the sake of keeping the naming scheme inline and exciting sounding, I’d replace the possible S21 name with S30, upgrade the Fold 3 and Flip 3 to 30, and the Tab S8 to S30 accordingly. "The 30 Series"
Galaxy S30 Compact
$700 USD; 4,000 mAh battery; 5.4 inch screen
$800 USD; 4,500 mAh battery; 5.8 inch screen
Galaxy S30 Ultra
$900 USD; 5,000 mAh battery; 6.2 inch screen
Galaxy Note 30 Compact (same size as the S30)
$900 USD; 4,000 mAh battery; 5.8 inch screen
Galaxy Note 30 Ultra
$1,000 USD; 5,000 mAh battery; 6.4 inch screen
Galaxy Fold 30 (included S-pen)
$1,500 USD; 5,000 mAh battery
Galaxy Flip 30
$1,200 USD; 4,000 mAh battery
Galaxy Tab S30 (Tab S7 successor)
$750 USD; 7,500 mAh battery; 9 inch screen at 16:10 aspect ratio; instead of making a watered down “medium” size, make a small flagship tablet that people have actually been asking for. People who need more tablet will go with the larger model, but those who want a powerful but small tablet get this one.
Dual 12 MP primary rear cameras and dual 12MP front facing cameras, one wide and one ultra-wide (identical cameras on the front and back); this will keep the manufacturing price down and will avoid adding unnecessary features like a full rear-facing camera suite better reserved for the phone prospective buyers already have or will buy. The two rear cameras will be used for document scanning and AR applications while the two front cameras will be used for video calls, either alone or with a group such as friends, family or business associates.
Make an Apple Magic Keyboard competitor and don't charge any more than $150 USD for it. Android doesn’t have enough developer support for the tablet UI or serious applications that take advantage of the screen size and power that this device has, so just be happy that people buy this device at all. Since it’s only ever good for office work, streaming and mild gaming, don’t punish people for buying the keyboard with such lofty prices when it honestly should have been included.
3D Face Unlock instead of a Fingerprint Scanner. This is a no brainer. You don't pull tablets out of your pocket. Having it scan your face when you plop it open rather than having to angle your finger on a slanted screen makes a lot more sense.
Add 2 more USB-C ports. If you’re going to keep up the guise that the Tab S is designed for any modicum of work, it needs more than one port.
Galaxy Tab S30 Ultra (Tab S7+ successor)
$1,000 USD; 10,000 mAh battery; 12.4 inch screen at 16:10 aspect ratio
Otherwise identical to the its smaller counterpart
Specifications for all devices:
18.5:9 aspect-ratio 2960 x 1440p 120hz AMOLED (both running simultaneously, not a trade off like the S20) with HDR10+ support; basically the S9/Note 9 Series screens without the bezels; only exception is for the Tab S30 and S30 Ultra with their 16:10 screens
Improved earpiece and bottom-firing speaker system
Snapdragon 875+ with 5G for ALL REGIONS, OR a new, more powerful Exynos SoC for ALL REGIONS; pick a lane and stick to it!
If Samsung goes with the later, make this Exynos chipset more powerful and power efficient than its Snapdragon counterpart; help spur on competition and give people some hope that Exynos isn't just a cheap imitation.
12GB of RAM; no more 6GB or 8GB nonsense on flagship devices
256GB of UFS 3.1 base storage with micro-sd card expansion
45 Watt Wired Charging (INCLUDED IN THE BOX, don’t get cheap)
USB-PD 4.0 and Qualcomm Quick Charge 5.0 compliant
15 Watt or higher Qi Wireless Charging
IP65 and IP68 Water and Dust Resistance (they aren't the same)
Mil Spec 810G Drop Resistance (like LG devices)
Upgraded 3D Sonic Max fingerprint sensor: it needs to be quicker and more reliable
Make sure the minimum focusing distance is very low to allow for macro-photography
34MP or higher Tertiary 5x Optical Telephoto Periscope Lens
34MP is the lowest resolution a camera can have for 8k video, which can be used as a marketing ploy
VGA Time of Flight Depth sensor
Two 12MP Under-screen Front-facing cameras with optical image stabilization, F1.8 and 1.4 micron pixels like the Galaxy S10’s primary wide angle camera and the S20’s ultra-wide angle camera; this idea works well on the OnePlus Nord and would be a great selling feature for large group selfies and selfie video
Not a fan of the holepunch (don’t know ANYONE who is), but if it comes down to one camera under the screen or two in a whole punch, go with the latter. More is better. If the under the screen route is somehow impossible, use a small bezel on the top. Users don't mind.
DUAL-TONE LED FLASH. Stop being cheap and only including a single LED. Dual-tone LEDs have better color reproduction. Heck, Apple uses a QUAD LED.
An LG-style headphone jack with Quad-DAC tuned by AKG, and powerful AMP at least capable of powering headphones with 300 Ohms of resistance
People who use wireless earbuds and headphones aren’t going to skip out on buying new ones because the headphone jack returns. It’s a flagship feature for audiophiles, content creators on the go and people who just have a really nice pair of wired headphones kicking around that they’d like to use with Tidal. Instead of ousting them as potential buyers, add something they would like.
3 OS Updates (Android 12, 13 and 14)
4 Years of Monthly Security Updates
A Final 5th year of Quarterly Security Patches
Samsung can market this as a reason to switch from iPhone: an Android device with “5 years of updates”
Retroactively apply this schedule for ALL FLAGSHIP devices starting with 2017’s S8 and Note 8 Series. If the Tab S4 can have Android 10 One UI 2.1, there is no reason they cannot. It's as simple a port job as they come.
Add more grid-sizing options to the One UI launchehomescreen. I personally use Nova, but for those who don’t, they shouldn’t have to switch launchers to get more icons on screen.
Integrate Good Lock features into the Android 11, One UI 3.0 OS rather than as region-locked downloads. I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to region lock some software customization but it’s time that nonsense stopped.
Allow all 3 camera sensors to be used in Pro Photo and Pro Video Mode, 60 FPS capture and Slow-motion Capture. Also allow the highest resolution possible in Pro-mode. As a professional videographer, I still haven’t found the Pro-modes on my S20+ all that professional or liberating when you tell me what lens I can use and at what resolution.
Disable the obnoxious selfie-crop that pretends that using the whole sensor is somehow an ultra-wide mode. It isn’t, and rather it’s annoying and causes issues in other applications like Snapchat. Instead of causing unnecessary cropping and complications, just have one "angle" for the SINGLE front facing camera.
For pairing a phone to a tablet via “Call and text on other devices”, allow other text applications, like Google Messages or Textra, to sync up rather than just Samsung Messages. Link to Windows doesn’t care which app you use, so nor should this function either. It’s such an unnecessary requirement either way.
For all unlocked North American devices, indicated by the suffix U1 instead of U, release the updates DIRECTLY to the phone. It's absolutely insane that the current policy is to wait for every carrier to "approve" security patches before allowing a device, that by design is supposed to be free of carrier influence, to actually receive the updates. When the carrier models get the updates before the unlocked model, there is a problem. I remember some patches, say a June security patch, coming in late July on my unlocked S9+ because T-Mobile withheld it out of spite. Seeing as neither Apple nor Google do this with their devices, Samsung shouldn't either.
Work with software developers like Adobe to get feature-rich and fleshed out versions of PC software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere, After-Effects, etc, onto Android. Android tablets are a hardsell to begin with, but if you're gonna make a powerful flagship tablet, it needs some serious software to go with it. Otherwise, if people want an HDR AMOLED screen for watching content, they can just pick up a cheap S6 and call it a day, thus leaving the Tab S30 dead on arrival. I agree, it should have been Google's job, but they aren't doing it, so it's up to Samsung to rectify this situation.
Questions and Answers
Why change the 20:9 aspect ratio back down to 18.5:9?
The taller aspect ratio is too tall. One handed use is actually impossible unless you are a basketball player. I had no problem reaching all 4 corners of the Galaxy S9+ but cannot do so with my Galaxy S20+, and I am willing to bet that is the case with most users, regardless of which variant they buy. There’s always the Ultra variants for users who want the most phone and enjoy the 2 handed experience, but for the rest of us, it would be nice to reach the whole UI with one hand.
Why have compact models of the S30 and Note 30?
There is a surprisingly large number of users who would prefer a smaller device, including those who like using the s-pen. Instead of ostracizing them from the Samsung community or forcing them to purchase devices they find too large and cumbersome, I think it would be a better idea to make a product that caters to them. This rings especially true for the Note 30 compact, that unlike the Note 10 and Note 20, is actually reasonably compact for the user who wants that form factor rather than a device that sits somewhere between the S10/S20 and S10+/S20+ in size, respectively.
Why include an S-Pen with the Fold 30?
Because it’s a tablet and should be treated as one. A stylus is invaluable for drawing, document signing, certain types of games and most importantly note taking. It makes perfect sense that the star feature of the productivity focused Note and Tab S lineups joins the folding phablet that acts as a step in between the two.
Why push for a headphone jack now?
Firstly, because I can, but more importantly, because it has a purpose. Ever since the Snapdragon 835, Android phone processors have been powerful to actually get some professional work done on the go, such as photo, audio and video editing, if you can find the right app. For the latter two, Bluetooth audio is not the solution. When exact timing and auditory clarity is key, a powerful headphone jack system is essential. Whether the user is doing this sort of work on their Note, Fold or Tab S, they shouldn’t be denied the tools to get the job done. Also, these are flagship devices, and if LG taught the industry anything, it’s that serious headphone jack systems are a flagship feature that can justify a large price tag. A dongle is easy to misplace, can break with little effort and doesn’t have the power to drive nicer headphones. Instead of having a moving piece outside of the device, it makes more sense to have it integrated into it. One the whole, I think people are getting sick of paying more and getting less, so why not change that moving forward, eh? I think it’s worth noting that a powerful headphone jack would not cannibalize Samsung earbud sales since they’re not made for the same user. Well before the headphone jack’s unceremonious removal, which Samsung had the gaul to make fun of just a couple years back, people still bought and used wireless earbuds and headphones simply because they’re more convenient for exercising or while on the go. The people who could afford it weren’t holding out and only using wired connections to spite Samsung. If removing it was a power-play to force users to buy Bluetooth buds, then that really shows a great deal of contempt Samsung has for its users. I encourage Samsung to prove me wrong.
Why improve the update schedule? “Most users don’t care about that stuff…"
Most people don’t care about sewer maintenance until sludge starts showing up in waterways. Most people don’t care about dental health until that cavity they’ve been ignoring starts to really hurt. Most people generally don’t care about a lot of things that aren’t immediately apparent or are maintenance related. THAT IS NOT A REASON FOR SAMSUNG NOT TO CARE. In the world of Android, things break, exploits are found and features added now aren’t finished or perfected until later. I see no reason why Samsung shouldn’t apply those patches, especially for the money people pay for these devices and since these devices have the hardware to survive a good half a decade of normal use. Shame on Google for not setting the standard or maintaining one to follow, but Android devices, like Windows computers or Apple devices, should be receiving updates as long as they are usable. It’s incredibly wasteful to have to cast aside a device because it’s vulnerable to hacking attempts, or the broken features it has that don’t work properly never receive a fix. Time and time again, I read about users switching to different brands because of the lack of updates. It is well within Samsung’s power to prevent this from happening and it really wouldn’t take that much work. Google’s implementation of Project Treble has done a lot in terms of making updating phones easier for OEMs, separating the security patches from the main underlying operating system, and making it easy to flash newer versions of Android with fewer compatibility issues. The ball is entirely in Samsung’s court on this one, and I think it’s time they went for a basket rather than dribble the whole match. The moment we as consumers demand that of them and cheer them on for doing so is the moment we all score.
"There is no economic incentive for Samsung to update their devices…"
Nor is there one for Apple or Google, unless of course you advertise it as a feature or benefit of buying a certain brand device. I think the $1000+ price tags Samsung demands are incentive enough.
You want more in your flagship and you want it for less money?
You better believe it. With phones like the $350 Pixel 4a, the $400 iPhone SE or $500ish OnePlus Nord, as well as previous gen flagships like the S10e, giving people what they want at a completely reasonable price, making the argument for flagship devices is a lot harder. The people who do buy flagships outright, namely tech enthusiasts, fanboys and people with a lot of disposable income, are a minority. Samsung is free to continue raising prices (take a look at this article on the Note series price increase), but then they shouldn’t be surprised that they are losing market share. I don’t see losing business as a winning strategy. Considering the margins they make on each device, perhaps giving people what they want and charging a more reasonable price to make the sale may be a step in the right direction.
Aren’t you being a hypocrite Mr. S20+ and S9+ owner?
No. I got my S20+ for $7/month for 18 months with a Sprint Lease, with a $300 buyout. Since Sprint is now T-Mobile and I get both benefits, I’m the winner here. $426 for a $1200 device and now good service too. My S9+ was $200 off on Black Friday 2018. I never pay MSRP and looking at the sales numbers for each successive S Series generation, I don’t think a lot of people do either.
How do you justify the tablets being so cheap when they’re bigger?
I don’t think there’s anything cheap about $750-$1000 when there are more capable iPads and Windows machines; the tablets are a hard-sell to begin with. Samsung should be trying to impress users at the prospect of an Android tablet by wowing them with a lot of specs for a decent price. The tablets also don’t have some of the features that the phones do, such as wireless charging and newer and better cameras.
Do you really expect Samsung to do all that stuff?
Eh. There’s always a ghost of a chance, but I’d be at least happier or more content that Samsung adopted some of these concepts rather than none. I would prefer they took ALL these ideas and ran with them but I don’t control them, do I? I also wanted to get all my ideas out there and in a place that I can easily reference or allow someone else to reference as to what people want and a better way of doing things.
Last Word to Samsung:
Do not price gouge in developing parts of the world. Something that costs $1000 USD in the USA should cost roughly $1000 USD by conversion in another country, not almost double. It’s bizarre hearing about Apple products being cheaper than Android and Windows-based machines because of OEMs mispricing their devices.
If you think anything should be added to this list, leave a comment! If you dislike this post, feel free to share why in the comments!
World's Largest Drug Cartel: THe British Empire; Details on 2 opium wars fought in China, FORCING DRUGS into China, creating tens of millions of addicts. Forcing China to CEDE 6 cities after losing the opium war. By Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn
This is one of the better articles I have found on the Opium Wars: -Hong Kong remained under British control until 1997 because of the opium wars and the Opium trade. -2,000 tonnes of Opium per year imported into China by 1840, 6,500 tonnes imported by 1880 +20,000 tonnes of domestic production -Hundreds of thousands killed by British soldiers to protect the opium trade -Starvation in India caused by opium production taking all of the farm land. (Excerpt) For the full article click the link https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/01/the-us-opium-wars-china-burma-and-the-cia/ (....) The opium poppy was not native to Southeast Asia but was introduced by Arab traders in the seventh century AD. The habit of opium smoking didn’t take hold till the seventeenth century, when it was spread by the Spanish and Dutch, who used opium as a treatment for malaria. The Portuguese became the first to profit from the importing of opium into China from the poppy fields in its colonies in India. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the British East India Company took over the opium monopoly and soon found it to be an irresistible source of profit. By 1772 the new British governor, Warren Hastings, was auctioning off opium-trading concessions and encouraging opium exports to China. Such exports were already generating £500,000 a year despite the strenuous objections of the Chinese imperial government. As early as 1729 the Chinese emperor Yung Cheng had issued an edict outlawing opium smoking. The sanctions for repeat offenders were stern: many had their lips slit. In 1789 the Chinese outlawed both the import and domestic cultivation of opium, and invoked the death penalty for violators. It did little good. Inside China these prohibitions merely drove the opium trade underground, making it a target of opportunity for Chinese secret societies such as the powerful Green Circles Gang, from whose ranks Chiang Kai-shek was later to emerge. These bans did not deter the British, who continued shipping opium by the ton into the ports of Canton and Shanghai, using what was to become a well-worn rationale: “It is evident that the Chinese could not exist without the use of opium, and if we do not supply their necessary wants, foreigners will.” Between 1800 and 1840 British opium exports to China increased from 350 tons to more than 2,000 tons a year. In 1839 the Chinese Emperor Tao Kwang sent his trade commissioner Lin Tze-su to Canton to close the port to British opium ships. Lin took his assignment seriously, destroying tons of British opium on the docks in Canton, thus igniting the Opium Wars of 1839–42 and 1856. In these bloody 📷campaigns the British forced China open to the opium trade, meanwhile slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Chinese, a slaughter assisted by the fact by 1840 there were 15 million opium addicts in China, 27 percent of the adult male population, including much of the Chinese military. After the first Opium War, as part of the treaty of Nanking China had to pay the British government £6 million in compensation for the opium destroyed by Lin in Canton. In all essential respects Shanghai thereafter became a western colony. In 1858 China officially legalized sales and consumption of opium. The British hiked their Indian opium exports to China, which by 1880 reached 6,500 tons, an immensely profitable business that established the fortunes of such famous Hong Kong trading houses as Jardine, Matheson. Meanwhile, the Chinese gangs embarked on a program of import substitution, growing their poppy crops particularly in Szechwan and Hunan provinces. Labor was plentiful and the poppies were easy to grow and cheap to transport – and the flowers were also three times more valuable as a cash crop than rice or wheat. The British did not take kindly to this homegrown challenge to their Indian shipments, and after the crushing of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 they forced the Chinese government to start a program to eradicate the domestic crop, a program that by 1906 had finished off opium cultivation in the whole of Hunan province. It was at this point that the Chinese gangs shifted their opium cultivation southward into the Shan States of Burma and into Indochina, making the necessary arrangements with the French colonial administration, which held the monopoly on opium growing there. Hill tribes in Indochina and Burma were conscripted to the task of cultivation, with the gangs handling trafficking and distribution. The suppression campaign run by the Chinese government had the effect of increasing the demand for processed opium products such as morphine and heroin. Morphine had recently been introduced to the Chinese mainland by Christian missionaries, who used the drug to win converts and gratefully referred to their morphine as Jesus opium. There was also a distinct economic advantage to be realized from the sale of heroin and morphine, which were cheap to produce and thus had much higher profit margins than opium. Despite mounting international outrage, the British government continued to dump opium into China well into the first two decades of the twentieth century. Defenders of the traffic argued that opium smoking was “less deleterious” to the health of Chinese addicts than morphine, which was being pressed on China, the officials noted pointedly, by German and Japanese drug firms. The British opium magnates also recruited scientific studies to back up their claims. One paper, written by Dr. H. Moissan and Dr. F. Browne, purported to show that opium smoking produced “only a trifling amount of morphia” and was no more injurious than the inhalation of tobacco smoke. After the opium wars reached their bloody conclusion and China was pried fully open to European trade, the coastal city of Shanghai rapidly became the import/export capital of China and its most westernized city. A municipal opium monopoly had been established in 1842, allowing the city’s dozens of opium-smoking dens to be leased out to British merchants. This situation prevailed until 1918, when the British finally bowed to pressure from the government of Sun Yat-sen and relinquished their leases. This concession did little to quell the Shanghai drug market, which duly fell into the hands of Chinese secret societies such as the notorious Green Circles Gang, which, under the leadership of Tu Yueh-shing, came to dominate the narcotics trade in Shanghai for the next thirty years, earning the gang lord the title of King of Opium. Tu acquired a taste for the appurtenances of American gangsters, eventually purchasing Al Capone’s limousine, which he proudly drove around the streets of Nanking and Hong Kong. Tu was extraordinarily skilled both as a muscle man and an entrepreneur. When the authorities made one of their periodic crackdowns on opium smoking in Shanghai, Tu responded by mass-marketing “anti-opium pills,” red tablets laced with heroin. When the government took action to restrict the import of heroin, Tu seized the opportunity to build his own heroin factories. By 1934, heroin use in Shanghai had outpaced opium smoking as the most popular form of narcotics use. Tu’s labs were so efficient and so productive that he began exporting his Green Circles Gang heroin to Chinese users in San Francisco and Seattle. Tu’s climb to the top of the Chinese underworld was closely linked to the rise to political power of the Chinese nationalist warlord General Chiang Kai-shek. Indeed, both men were initiates into the so-called “21st Generation” of the Green Circles Gang. These ties proved useful in 1926, when Chiang’s northern expeditionary forces were attempting to sweep across central and northern China. As Chiang’s troops approached Shanghai, the city’s labor unions and Communist organizers rose up in a series of strikes and demonstrations designed to make it easier for Chiang to take control of the city. But Chiang stopped his march outside Shanghai, where he conferred with envoys from the city’s business leaders and from Tu’s gang. This coalition asked the Generalissimo to keep his forces stationed outside Shanghai until the city’s criminal gangs, acting in concert with the police force maintained by foreign businesses, could crush the left. When Chiang finally entered Shanghai, he stepped over the bodies of Communist workers. He soon solemnized his alliance with Tu by making him a general in the KMT. As the Chinese historian Y. C. Wang concludes, Tu’s promotion to general was testimony to the gangsterism endemic to Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT: “Perhaps for the first time in Chinese history, the underworld gained formal recognition in national politics.” The Green Circles Gang became the KMT’s internal security force, known officially as the Statistical and Investigation Office. This unit was headed by one of Tu’s sidekicks, Tai Li. Under the guidance of Tu and Tai Li, opium sales soon became a major source of revenue for the KMT. In that same year of 1926 Chiang Kai-shek legalized the opium trade for a period of twelve months; taxes on the trade netted the KMT enormous sums of money. After the year was over Chiang pretended to acknowledge the protests against legalization and set up the Opium Suppression Bureau, which duly went about the business of shutting down all competitors to the KMT in the drug trade. In 1933 the Japanese invaded China’s northern provinces and soon forged an accord with the KMT, buying large amounts of opium from Generals Tu and Tai Li, refining it into heroin and dispensing it to the Chinese through 2,000 pharmacies across northern China, exercising imperial supervision by the addiction of the Chinese population. General Tu’s opium partnership with the occupying Japanese enjoyed the official sanction of Chiang Kai-shek, according to a contemporary report by US Army Intelligence, which also noted that it had the backing of five major Chinese banks “to the tune of $150 million Chinese dollars.” The leadership of the KMT justified this relationship as an excellent opportunity for espionage, since Tu’s men were able to move freely through the northern provinces on their opium runs. In 1937 the Generalissimo’s wife, Madam Chiang, went to Washington, where she recruited a US Army Air Corps general named Claire Chennault to assume control of the KMT’s makeshift air force, then overseen by a group of Italian pilots on loan from Mussolini. Chennault was a Louisiana Cajun with unconventional ideas about air combat that had been soundly rejected by the top army brass, but his fanatic anti-Communism had won him friends among the far right in Congress and in US intelligence circles. (....) article continues More articles by:JEFFREY ST. CLAIR - ALEXANDER COCKBURN Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch For more info: China lost Hong kong and 5 other cities for 150 years, until 1997 because of the Opium wars. The forced importation into china of tens of millions of pounds of opium a month: This created tens of millions of addicts and caused the partial collapse of the government. It went on for hundreds of years. The chinese emperor wanted to know why they were selling opium in China, but not in England where it was illegal! OPIUM WARS - The Original NARCO-COLONIALISM - The Original State Sponsored Drug Traffic…Starting in in the mid-1700s, the British began trading opium grown in India in exchange for silver from Chinese merchants. Opium — an addictive drug that today is refined into heroin — was illegal in England, but was used in Chinese traditional medicine. 1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Opium_War 2 This war with China . . . really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men's minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force; and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority. — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840 http://www.victorianweb.org/history/empire/opiumwars/opiumwars1.html 3 https://web.archive.org/web/20180311121505/https://sacu.org/opium2.html See also Opium in China In 1997 the colony of Hong Kong was returned to China. Hong Kong Island became a British possession as a direct result of the Opium War, the opening shots of which were fired 150 years ago. All Chinese, regardless of political ideology, have condemned this armed confrontation as an unjust and immoral contest. As far as they are concerned, Britian's waging a war for the sake of selling a poisonous drug constitutes the most shameful leaf of human history. In the hindsight provided by subsequent events in China, it is, perhaps, easy to condemn this act of British aggression, but it is less certain that the event was seen in the same condemnatory light by Chinese and foreign observers a century and a half ago. 4 Article on opium trade in 1920s Shanghai http://streetsofshanghai.pbworks.com/w/page/18638691/Opium Opium (yapian 鸦片) Shanghai was built on the opium trade. Before the 1850s, Shanghai was the terminal port for coastal opium traffic. Shanghai was opened to foreign trade on November 11th 1843 and very soon afterwards, Jardine’s (the biggest British company in China at the time) set up a branch there and hired Chinese compradors, one of whom was solely concerned with the supervision of opium. By 1845, the opium moving through Shanghai constituted almost half of all the opium imported into China. In 1880, nearly 13,000,000 pounds of opium came into China, mainly from India. By 1900, imports declined, because China was now producing an average of 45,000,000 pounds of opium per annum itself. There were at least 15,000,000 Chinese opium addicts – in Chengdu, there was one opium den for every 67 inhabitants of the city. In Shanghai, some foreign missionaries began to complain that their homes were almost entirely surrounded by opium dens behind bamboo fences. The city had more than eighty shops where the drug was sold openly in its crude form, and there were over 1,500 opium houses.The owners of these establishments bought their supplies from three major opium firms in the International Settlement – the Zhengxia, Guoyu and Liwei. All three were owned by Swatow (Chaozhou) merchants who formed a consortium. This consortium obtained its opium from four foreign merchant houses: David Sassoon & Co., E.D. Sassoon, S.J. David, and Edward Ezra. 5' Opium financed British rule in India' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7460682.stm What did you discover in the course of your research? How big was the trade? Opium steadily accounted for about 17-20% of Indian revenues. If you think in those terms, [the fact that] one single commodity accounted for such an enormous part of your economy is unbelievable, extraordinary. How and when did opium exports out of India to China begin? The idea of exporting opium to China started with Warren Hastings (the first governor general of British India) in 1780. The situation was eerily similar to [what is happening] today. There was a huge balance of payments problem in relation to China. China was exporting enormous amounts, but wasn't interested in importing any European goods. That was when Hastings came up with idea that the only way of balancing trade was to export opium to China.
Progress Report 51: Yes, Prime Minister (UK Pt. 1)
Hello, and welcome to Progress Report 51 for Calm Before the Storm. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the United Kingdom’s Peacetime Political Content. The PR schedule for the UK will be as follows:
Pt. 1 (This PR): Peacetime Politics
Pt. 2: Other Peacetime Content (re-armament, foreign, and colonial policy)
Pt. 3: Wartime Content
The UK in 1933 starts under the eyes of King George V and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald’s (National Labour Organization) Second National Government: Though the PM is from the Social Democrat party (NLO), the government was largely dominated by members of the Conservative and Unionist Party, commonly known to us as the Conservatives. The UK starts with the following national spirits: Pacifism: The terror of the First World War caused anti-war sentiments and pacifism to skyrocket in popularity, leading to a strong lack of support for intervention in Europe: The Great Depression: As you may know, the collapse of the American stock market had a similarly devastating effect on the British Economy, leading to the fall of the Second MacDonald Ministry (Labour Government) and the abandonment of the gold standard. However, by 1933, the economy had troughed and was slowly on its way back up. Subsequent governments had engaged on a rough austerity program that continues into the game’s start. The Sun Never Sets: Britain in 1933 boasts the largest colonial empire in history. As such, profits from the colonies are represented by making more consumer goods available for you, and the ability to conscript natives are represented as recruitable population. However, as the UK found out post-war, maintaining such a large empire is expensive. Welfare Spending: This is the first of the three parliamentary modifiers, which you may recognize from Progress Report 49. The UK uses the same parliamentary mechanics as Weimar Germany, meaning that changes in policy can be represented as a change in these dynamic modifiers. In 1933, the austerity program meant that relatively little was being spent on welfare. Revenue and Stimulus: This modifier represents combined revenue (taxes and tariffs) and stimulus spending. Thus, the modifier starts with a positive value as relatively little is being spent on output due to austerity, but the government is taking in much more from taxes and tariffs. Defense Spending: Like welfare, relatively little is being spent on defense at this moment. Let’s meet the parties!
Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB): The CPGB is a stalinist party, and as you might expect, it is significantly influenced by Moscow. Their electoral goals are to transform the UK into a USSR-style Vanguard Party State. However, a distinction must be made between the more dogmatic party leadership and the more flexible party activists. The latter segment of the party puts significant emphasis on anti-fascist activism and cooperation.
Independent Labour Party (ILP): confusingly, the Independent Labour Party precedes the Labour Party itself, and is not a splinter group. Instead, the ILP was formed to allow for the representation of labour interests independent from the Liberal party. Though they have the same philosophical roots, the ILP is noticeably to the left of Labour. Their platform demands the immediate institution of minimum wage laws, workday reform, and nationalization of key industries.
Labour Party (DemSoc LP): Labour was not initially formed as a political party, but more of a coordinative umbrella group for organizing leftist parliamentary candidates. Up to 1932, when the ILP broke ties with Labour, it was common to see candidates as members of Labour and the ILP simultaneously. Labour’s 1934 program, which is used in-game, demands the establishment of a National Health Service, the nationalization of some industries, and other pro-working class positions.
National Labour Organization (NLO): The NLO is a splinter party from Labour, formed by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to join the National Government. NLO policy is more loosely defined, but it is generally worker-oriented and definitely protectionist.
Liberal Party (SocLib LP): The Liberals and Labour are not one party. Their initials are just the same. The Liberal Party used to be one of the strongest parties in the UK until Labour and the ILP usurped them as the primary party of the working class. The Liberals are pro-welfare and pro-worker, though to a more moderate level than the other leftist organizations. They joined the National Government in 1931, but quickly left over policy disagreements.
Independent Liberals (IL): The Independent Liberals are not really a party, but rather an informal grouping around David Lloyd George and his family. Though they are also technically socially liberal as well, they left the Liberal Party over the Liberals’ joining of the National Government, which was decidedly protectionist where Lloyd George famously advocated for free trade, and have thus been given the market liberal slot.
Liberal National Party (LNP): The Liberal Nationals -- to become the national liberals after the war -- are another split from the Liberal Party. Unlike the Independent Liberals, the Liberal Nationalists are in favor of protectionism, and thus continue to support the National Government.
Conservative and Unionist Party (CUP): The Conservatives, sometimes known as Tories, start the game with an overwhelming majority in parliament. The CUP has several factions within it, including the semi-progressive One-Nation Tories, a more Liberal Faction, and the infamous High Tories. The High Tories and any Ultra-Royalists (neither of whom have seats, or at least any worth mentioning) have been abstracted in Authoritarian and Autocratic Despotism respectively. These wings cannot rise to any prominence. The dominant wing in 1933 by far is Baldwin and Chamberlain’s liberal wing, who support democracy, liberal economics (though with protectionism), and cautious welfare measures.
British Fascists: The British Fascists claim to be a fascist party, though are more accurately described as an Ultra-Royalist Anti-Communist group. They peaked with a few thousand members in 1926 when their leader, Rotha Lintorn-Orman predicted that the General Strike of that year would lead to a violent Bolshevik revolution, only to be met with peaceful actions. By 1933, the organization was all but defunct, as much of its money was spent on parties. It dissolved in 1934, and Lintorn-Orman died the following year.
British Union of Fascists (BUF): In 1930, an influential member of the Labour Party, Oswald Mosley, published his “Mosley Memorandum” and pressured Labour to adopt it as their platform. The memorandum included significant public works projects and the adoption of a form of economic corporatism. When Labour refused to accept it, Mosley left and formed a new party called the New Party. Though it did not win any seats in 1931, it did garner a surprising amount of vote share in some constituencies. After meeting with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists on the Italian model.
Parliament: Instead of starting with the focuses, we will be starting with the House of Commons: The House is programmed to show only those parties who have seats, so if, for example, the Communists gain seats (which they are programmed to in 1935), they will show up as having them. However, if they lose those seats, they will disappear. As you can see, the National Government has such an overwhelming coalition that for the first couple of years in the game, you cannot fail to pass any laws. Please seeearlierprogressreports to learn about Parliaments. Finance Acts are only available for the given year. Unlike in other nations, British laws cost less and take less time to complete, as there is a very high volume of them. Other acts will become visible as you take the focuses in the tree. The Trees: We will start with the National Government Tree which should last you until the 1935 election. Now, very little happens in the UK in terms of parliamentary policy until the Government of India act (which will be handled by the colonial policy tree), so these might seem like filler, though there are important acts that lay the groundwork for further reforms. Unlike in Weimar Germany, multiple laws can be tied to a single focus. For example, the Legal Reform focus offers six focuses that bleed into the post-election period These laws will become available about 1-2 months before they were enacted (as written on the documents themselves). You can take the focuses at any time, though the laws will not necessarily show up immediately. The AI will only take the focuses at an appropriate time. Reforms in Scotland is a vital focus to take here, as it allows you to enact other laws relating to Scotland There are other smaller focuses, such as “Prevent Animal Abuse” and “The Petroleum Production Act”. All these focuses except for the header unlock laws rather than directly affecting your country. This includes those focuses with a single law, such as “Married Women’s Rights” or “Amend the British Nationality Act”. These should take you up to the 1935 election. This is the only election event, and will be used for all elections. Note that the text and results are dynamic. You do not get to directly choose the results of the election. Instead, the game will automatically reallocate seats in the House of Commons, and the winner is chosen from there. If the Conservatives have more seats, then they will declare victory. If Labour has more seats, then they will have won. Only the CUP and Labour can win elections. The UK’s voting system, first-past-the-post, strongly favors large parties as it gives the constituency to the candidate with the most votes regardless of vote share. As such, to properly model the UK’s electoral system, the algorithm in-game is heavily biased towards Labour and the CUP.These are the seats reallocated using the popularities at start. Note that in 1935, and 1935 only, the CPGB, ILP, and IL are scripted to get their historical amount of seats at minimum regardless of popularity. As the Conservatives won the election, the Conservative Tree is opened up. The Conservatives will try to enact their historical legislation between 1935 and the start of the war in 1939, as well as three fictional laws at the bottom. The laws, like in the National Government tree, are roughly arranged in order of year, but are grouped together when it is appropriate. The Conservatives are interested in democratic and pro-worker reforms, but at a far more cautious rate than Labour. As you can see, major pieces of legislation receive their own focuses. At the bottom, you have the three fictional focuses. Here are three examples of laws. Here is an [example of an effect]https://i.imgur.com/unpvda8.png. National spirits are a rare consequence of an act. This is a more common set of effects. If Labour is elected, they will of course have their own tree. You might notice that some of these focuses overlap with the Conservative tree. Said focuses either include more laws or will be automatically bypassed if the Conservative version of the focus is already complete. Labour will largely attempt to enact legislation from their victory in 1945 to 1950. This is allowable because the actions of the two Attlee Ministries largely match their 1934 program. However, what if Labour is elected early? In this case, the game will record when Labour is first elected, and use that as a starting point for all the laws. Therefore, if Labour is elected 10 years early, the laws will be scheduled for 10 years earlier. If Labour is elected 5 years early, the laws will be scheduled for 5 years earlier, etc. Labour will want to reverse Conservative restrictions on strike actions and improve education. However, their primary goal is the nationalization of resources and utilities. This includes the nationalization of Coal, Electricity, Transport, Water (which was actually done by the Caretaker government in 1945 but is included here if it is not done earlier), hospitals (the NHS), communications, and the Bank of England. You might notice that labour has far more laws than the Conservatives do. This is accurate to what happened historically. Whereas the House of Commons may have enacted 14 laws on average between 1933 and 1938 (inclusive), Labour enacted 22 between 1946 and 1950 (inclusive). However, after Labour takes both nationalization focuses, and are still in power six years later, they will get this event. In short, it is a proposal to introduce elements of democratic management into state-owned workplaces. An act will be slated to unlock for seven years after Labour is first elected to this effect. Of course, refusing it might be better if you’re starved for political power… Event Chains The UK has received several event chains to provide a sense of political development as a supplement to the focus tree. We’ll go over them now. We’ll start with the Labour Party chain. In a gameplay sense, since you cannot directly choose a Labour victory, this chain is one of the mechanisms used to allow a player to go down the Labour path. As a result, a player who wishes to remain Conservative now has greater impetus to complete the National Government tree. The chain starts with the 1934 London City Council election, in which the Conservatives lost control for the first time in thirty years. The LCC will immediately get to work improving infrastructure and services. However, these projects will cost money, and Labour will soon run out the 2M pounds in the treasury. Concurrently, Labour will adopt a new platform at their 1934 conference. This platform would be the basis of the policies of the Attlee Ministries, and thus the Labour path in-game. If fascism continues to expand into Europe, then Labour will to pressure their leader, the arch pacifist George Lansbury to resign. If fascism does not continue to expand into Europe, then he will remain. Otherwise, Labour will want to take the party in an actively anti-fascist direction, which forces them to abandon pacifism (though they officially maintained an anti-war position in opposition to Conservative policy). Labour will then soon hold its leadership election. There are three possible Labour Leaders: Clement Attlee, deputy party leader; Herbert Morrison, leader of the LCC; and Arthur Greenwood, the former minister of health. The winner is determined randomly. Related to the Labour Chain, the Pacifism sub-chain will begin in February 1933 with the King and Country Debate. A few years later, this will be followed up by the Peace Ballot, a poll conducted by the League of Nations Union. The Socialist League subchain details the story of the eponymous Socialist League, a left-wing faction within Labour. The League wanted to bring Labour into cooperation with the ILP and the CPGB, which was rejected by the party at large. Note that this happens in 1937, and Labour will have the opportunity to entertain this proposal, though nothing will come of it. The Socialist League dissolved soon after. The British Union of Fascists chain begins in early 1934, when the Daily Mail prints a headline declaring “Hurrah for the Blackshirts!” Lord Rothermere was a personal friend of Mussolini and Hitler, and was thus enthusiastic at a properly fascist party in the UK. However, this is where the BUF peaks, as support will steadily decline as the Blackshirts engage in thuggery and violence at events, culminating at the Olympia Rally. The chain will pick back up again in 1936, as Mosley announces a march through the East End. Stepney residents appealed to higher authorities, both inside and outside the government, but ultimately, they had to organize themselves. These efforts were led by the Jewish People’s Council and Communist Party MP Phil Piratin. Right before the march, local officials and activists will pressure the Home Office to prevent the march, which was historically ignored. However, the player and the AI have the choice of following through. It is thus entirely possible to avoid the Battle of Cable Street entirely. However, if the march is allowed to continue, there are three possible outcomes. The historical outcome has the highest chance of happening, and will always happen if historical focus mode is on. Historically, Anti-Fascist groups including Communists, Anarchists, Socialists, Jewish Groups, and Irish Dock Workers managed to establish a blockade blocking the march, which the police tried to reroute to Cable Street. They were likewise unable to go past the blockade at Cable Street, after which the march was called off. Should the police manage to clear out some of the first blockade, the Blackshirts will attempt to go through their planned route. This will trigger an all-out brawl with the anti-fascists, who outnumber the police and Blackshirts by over two to one. They will force the Fascists out by force, which is deemed a “full anti-fascist victory” (as opposed to the historical anti-fascist victory), though the BUF will use this opportunity to victimize themselves. Now, the logical third outcome would be a fascist “victory”. In this rare scenario, East End activists are unable to convince the CPGB leadership not to hold an unrelated anti-fascist event at Hyde Park at the same time in support of Spain, while they were historically able to convince the Party Leadership to divert resources into helping the East End instead. The police will try and clear out the first blockade as in the ahistorical far-left victory scenario, but the anti-fascists will no longer outnumber the fascists by a large margin, and thus will create a standoff. This will be perceived to be a failure of the CPGB (within local and leftist circles) and thus cause a rise in support for the ILP instead. Should either anti-fascist victory scenario occur, the chain will end with a retaliatory Pogrom. The British Fascists event chain only has three events. First, the BF dissolves in late 1934. As written in the event, the BF was very much on the decline since 1926, and much of their budget was being spent on parties. It went bankrupt in 1934, and consequently dissolved. Rotha Lintorn-Orman will die the following year. However, in 1939, the Far-Right Authoritarian slot will be filled once more, this time by the British People’s Party. A splinter faction of the BUF, they are technically fascist, but they also adopted Social Credit policies. Finally, we have the Abdication Crisis Chain. It will really start in January 1936, when King George V dies. This will, of course, put Edward VIII on the throne. Edward VIII was popular among the people for his good looks and fashion sense, but was not trusted by the political establishment to properly fill his role as King. The monarch is meant to be politically neutral; they are not meant to give opinions on policy or try and influence legislation in any way. However, some of Edward’s remarks (in public!) made the establishment very worried that he was trying to influence public opinion and thus policy. In addition, whereas the King is meant to show a more measured middle-class personality in public, Edward wasn’t very discreet about his affair with Wallis Simpson, an American who in 1936 was separating from her second husband. When Mrs. Simpson divorced her second husband in October 1936, everyone assumed that Edward was going to marry her as soon as possible. The proposed marriage was opposed on moral, religious, political, and nationalist grounds. Faced with this proposition, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (though it could be a Labour PM, the chain is unchanged) offered him three choices. First, Edward could simply marry Mrs. Simpson, granting her the title of Queen Consort. Second, he could marry her Morganatically, which would deny her any titles. Thirdly, he could abdicate. The government and the Prime Ministers of the dominions were strongly against the standard Royal Marriage, stressing that option two and three are preferable. However, Edward proposed that he make a broadcast in which he would publically accept the Morganatic Marriage. Baldwin saw this as an attempt to influence public opinion, and blocked the speech. Faced with no other option, Edward chose to abdicate. His brother Albert will then take the throne as King George VI! The chain does not end here. First, Stanley Baldwin will resign in 1937 (even if the Conservatives are not in power) for health reasons. Secondly, Edward and Wallis, now the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, will tour either Nazi Germany or, if there is no Nazi Germany, he will tour Fascist Italy. And finally, Ireland will become a de facto republic. This will be moved to the Irish focus tree, but it is here for now to provide a mechanism for Ireland to break free. Full Tree So Far Frequently Asked Questions: Will it be possible to Keep Edward VIII, either through a morganatic marriage or other methods? Not in 0.1. We will look into options in future versions, but a morganatic marriage will not be possible. Edward can only have the throne or the marriage, not both. Will the Conservatives and Labour have unique interactions with Edward VIII, or will those events be the same? They will be the same for the time being. Can we CPGB/Liberal/BUF participation in government? The CPGB and BUF had very little popular support, and it is implausible that they would get sufficient support from either the people or another party. Both Leninism/Stalinism and Fascism never really caught on in the United Kingdom. Though the Liberals have seats unlike the other two, they a) still have insufficient support to form a government and b) disagree too much with Labour and the Conservatives to join a coalition with them. Can the BUF’s ideology change if the international situation is different? Not at present, though this will be looked into in the future. However, it will not allow for a BUF path unless the UK is occupied by a fascist country. Is there a Republican path? Republicanism is a dead movement by the 1930’s, specifically because of actions taken by the Conservatives in the two decades prior to present the Monarchy as an inter-class institution rather than a symbol of the upper class. Will Labour be able to enter into a coalition with the ILP and/or CPGB? Labour, the ILP, and the CPGB largely wanted nothing to do with each other, especially between Labour and the Communists. Is the old parliament system (as shown in PR 26) gone? Yes, the UK will now use the same system as shown in Spain and Germany. Can Irish or Welsh Nationalist Parties gain Representation in Parliament? Not in this time period. The SNP first gained representation in 1970, and Plaid Cymru first gained representation in 1974. Closing Thoughts: We are still in need of developers, primarily coders at this point. If you have an interest in coding - regardless of nation or other aspect - please see Progress Report 8.5 or message me directly for details. If you have an interest in coding but don’t know how to code, the Hoi4 Wiki contains a great amount of information! We are not just looking for country developers, we are also looking for people to do some generic work. If you do not have much coding experience, this could work well for you! About the Position: As a coder you will work with our planners to create content for countries in the game. This includes, but is not limited to focus trees, decisions, events and national spirits. You will get the chance to develop programming and teamwork skills. You will also be working with artists and writers to implement our top-quality graphics and writing. Commitment: Our system of management ideally expects that each modder make a meaningful contribution every month, with a limit of three months of inactivity. However, we understand that sometimes, life just gets in the way, so such situations will not count as inactivity, so long as the team is notified beforehand (and if you don't know what counts and what doesn't, just ask!). Positions available: Lots! Qualifications:
Experience with Hoi4 code OR strong experience with other PDX games' code (such as CK2 or EU4)
Ability to work well in a team
A tolerant and open mind
About the Team: The CBtS team (which at present includes upwards of 50 developers) is intercontinental and multicultural, and we offer a welcoming and friendly environment. We're happy to help each other with our code, learning how to make gfx, Aside from modding, we enjoy memes, video games, and learning more about history.Where do I sign up?If you're interested in joining the team, please see Progress Report 8.5 OR message me for details. Where can I go to learn how to mod? The Hoi4 Wiki contains extensive documentation on how game mechanics can be scripted and how to use most commands. There are also many tutorials on YouTube. Other Credits:
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