#landmines

A gem on how to work our way out of the coming economic crisis

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Jonathan Rochford of Narrow Road Capital has written a gem on the role of central banks in spawning this current crisis. An excerpt here:

The rapid and widespread sell-off over the last four weeks is a textbook systemic deleveraging. Whilst the culprits are many; hedge funds, risk parity strategies and investors using margin loans have all been caught out, the underlying cause is excessive leverage across the economy and particularly the financial system. The timing of the unwind and the economic damage from the Coronavirus wasn’t predictable, but such a highly leveraged system was like a truck loaded with nitroglycerin driving down a road dotted with landmines.

Frustratingly, this inevitable deleveraging was clearly predicted. Rather than act to reduce systemic risks central banks encouraged governments, businesses and investors to increase their risk tolerances and debt levels.

Naturally, it fits our own long-held view on central banks.

Jonathan adds some sensible actions which are contained in this link. The question remains whether governments will put principle ahead of expediency in the cleanup?

Land Mine removal technology

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Princess Diana was a big advocate of removing land mines. An Israeli company called Geomine has made a system that can detect where mines are from the air by using a hyperspectral camera which captures the unique nitrogen oxide signature in the soil emitted by the explosive device. Video can be seen here. The next development soon to come out is to do this by drone and send another drone to take the mines out.

Some $450m was allocated to mine removal in 2017 which is usually done using very inefficient techniques.  In 2016, more than 232,000 antipersonnel mines and some 29,000 antivehicle mines were destroyed Geomine believes the speed of its system creates massive efficiencies in terms of cost, safety and lives saved.

There were 8,605 land mine casualties caused in 2016, up from 3,450 in 2014. 42% were children. 84% male. 110,000 casualties since 1999. Casualties were recorded in Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and four other areas Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.

Wishing Geomine every success.