Beads and Washers For Barter

Beads and washers for barter; a ruling class behaviour for wealth and power.

Listen to what I say, don't look at what I do!

I think that the above phrase could be a quote come from the mouth of any ruler of a country, corporate owner, religious leader, or industrial magnate. But they would say that to their inferiors, their subjects and employees, those who represent their personal means of production, not what they would say to their sons and daughters who will one day inherit "the throne" whatever form it happens to be.

It could also be the business plan for a conman.

Let's go back in history 400 years or more. The explorers from Europe bartered, or traded, glass beads which the Native Americans valued highly, in exchange for real goods which were shipped back home can sold for cash. The Native Americans had beads for a long time before, but the manufacture and colours of the glass beads from the traders were from a different technology. You see in Venice, bead making went back thousands of years, and they were very good at it. Also, glass can be used to make a greater variety of shapes and colours than, for instance, bone, antler, wood, copper, or stone. History shows that the Vikings, Christopher Columbus, Spanish explorers, Jesuit priests traded glass beads for commodities in various times and places.

I think that with hindsight we can say which society got the greater wealth out of the deal.

The natives in these places valued what they could not get locally and liked to have. It was scarce and desirable. They traded what they had in abundance in exchange for it. The explorer traders arbitraged for value what they could get cheaply and was desired by "the other side". They ended up with money in staggering amounts, and they got it with cheap glass made from sand.

Who funded those exploration and trading voyages? They were joint ventures, between the ruler and the sea captain, and the proceeds were split 90:10 to the crown, or similar. These were massively profitable ventures, and they lead to the creation of The Hudson Bay Trading Co for one.

Fast forward to today.

I go to the shop, and take cash out of my pocket to buy stuff with. I had to work hard for that cash, and somebody got my intellectual ability and my limited man hours in exchange for their paper. It has writing printed on it, and the paper is manufactured in a special way that I and my friends can not manufacture locally, or at least we could not make them so well. The ruler of my country (Ireland) prints the notes out with happy ease, at the permission of the ECB which is the agent of the ruler of another country or federation of countries depending on your perspective.

So I am in the shop and I buy my newspaper, groceries, and items and I hand  over my hard earned paper cash in exchange, and the sales clerk gives me my change. My change is paper, and coins. The small coins are not copper, but copper coloured steel alloy, the larger one and two euro coins are bimetallic. Basically a washer made of nickel-copper with the centre hole filled in with a different alloy of nickel-brass. In other words, a washer nicer in appearance than either I or my friends can make locally.

Though I would make the observation that the new washers down at the hardware store, in boxes of 1000, are shinier, and do have a hole in the middle. If I hold a magnet over my legal tender coins, they stick to magnets the same as the hardware washers. My gold and silver coins don't stick to my magnet, no steel there.

I feel like I'm being paid the same as 16th century Native American/Polynesian-African by the rulers of society - with coloured paper and washers instead of coloured beads though. Not much change!

So the people who trade these paper and steel coins often have their logo on the back. So I checked it out on the internet which is handy for looking up stuff like that.

Here's a nice picture of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth in her Bank of England vault:

Those shelves might be made of steel.

Let me just try that search again .....

No steel or paper there ..... President Putin's got gold .... the guy behind looks pleased .....

I tried to find a nice US picture ... all I found was news reports about President Roosevelt taking the gold off the people and giving them  ... legal tender which was as good as gold. I found a story about President Nixon ending the gold exchange window at a later date. I guess that US Presidents like to keep their gold away from their people too, I'm impressed that their own congressmen can't even look at it. No idea why. It's a strange thing. Mind you - most people see a strange thing and move on. I see a strange thing and my trading experience has thought me to stop right there and look into it, because I have learned that unfixed "strange things" often seem to have a habit of being somehow involved when something goes wrong later.

I notice that the President of France took his gold out of the US, and Nixon didn't like that much. He closed that gold window a little after. So these people don't like giving it out all that much. Come to think of it, Germany didn't get theirs when they wanted it.

I looked up the price of gold in 1913, 100 years ago. It was $18.92. Today it costs $1328 in non-gold dollars. This clarifies a lot. Gold goes up in the long term. The conman says: Listen to what I say, don't look at what I do!  But my father used to say it different to me. He said "Watch what I do and how I do it!" I guess my Dad was looking out for my best interests and giving me good advice.

These washer-coins and coloured paper legal tender money .... I accept them and pass them on as quick as I can to someone who values them, and I trade them for real stuff, just like those 16th century traders did. If a dollar went from 1333.23 to 18.92 against gold in 100 years, that's ....1.4% left, a decrease of 98.6% in it's value at buying real stuff.

If gold is good enough for Queen Elizabeth, and President Putin, and President Roosevelt, and they all give legal tender paper and washer-coins out and take gold in just like their ancestors did 400 years before them, then I think that should be good advice for me too. You have to study what the top people do, not what they say.

Best regards

Argentus Maximus

26 Comments

sierra skier's picture

1st

Oh boy, I finally did it. Thanks Turd for all you do, your blog keeps me up to date.

Edit in:

Very nice parable about the value of trade items compared to real money, gold and silver, which has been accepted for eons as a true store of value or wealth. Currently central banks and governments are accumulating gold and we should be as well.

sierra skier's picture

Is there a Power Outage?

I wonder if the power and internet is down everywhere but here at home. Claiming first was too easy this morning.

RationalMind's picture

3rd, and on a thread by a fav poster of mine

Great work, Argentus.

Love the story. Makes me consider how many  estate liquidations struggle with all the artefacts that accummulate over a lifetime.

ReachWest's picture

Change Washers into Silver

Thanks Argentus - Good article. It is amazing how the so-called leaders seem to like the real stuff, - yet, encourage the masses to have faith in the paper and steel slugs.

I like to take the bits of coloured paper and washers that I gather and trade them in for Gold and Silver coins. It amazes me how few of those washers it 'still' takes to get an ounce of Silver.

Biochar's picture

gardening

Great posts by guest contributors today, kudos all around. Inserted a pic of one our hives, the honey is to die for... been stung a few times, badges of honor... they reside next to the blueberries, which are rocking this summer. The peaches (Reliance do well in the Pacific Northwest) are also coming along nicely here by the shores of Lake Washington. For those considering gardens, but have yet to take the plunge, I highly recommend the effort... extremely fulfilling and rewarding, though somewhat costly at first. In my region I've had big success with the following:

Full sun ~ peaches, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, pear, raspberries, broccoli, corn, beets, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, snow peas, sugar snap peas, pole beans.

Partial sun ~ spinach, basil, all lettuces, onions, garlic, carrots, asparagus, cabbage

Try amending your soil with biochar... visit biocharm.com, it will extend the life of your soils

sengfarmer's picture

Pretty easy

The top ten has lost its lustre by too many new topics :).

Missiondweller's picture

@Argentus

This is a great post. I look forward to you continued future contributions on this site.

Any discussion anywhere about JPM ending its physical commodity business? This is a really big deal and perhaps deserves its own forum.

Could Bart Chilton have actually finished the CFTC silver manipulation investigation and came to an "agreement" to settle the manipulation by having JPM exit the market in physical? Of course this would not end the paper manipulation.

Maybe though, its part of a wider agreement for JPM to "quietly" leave the market without acknowledging that silver was manipulated. That way the price of silver doesn't surge higher (along with gold) and signal that our fiat currencies are becoming worthless compared to metal currencies.

Its a lot to ponder, but very important I think.

argentus maximus's picture

My initial understanding is

My initial understanding is that they are leaving base metals, and not bullion metals. Somebody will be able to elaborate on this.

The sale of the London Metal Exchange (LME)  last year, and far eastern mine acquisitions might eventually come to be connected to JPM's decision to change metal trading strategy.

erewenguy's picture

Cultural perception of value

Cultural perception of value is prone to degenerating into the appearance of wealth, versus true wealth.

When abundant lands were traded for scarce glass beads who could have foreseen a time when the value the finest Venetian glass beads are mostly ignored since cheaply produced beads are available by the bagful at a dollar store. Few people even care if beads are made of glass anymore, colorful translucent plastic is just fine.

Silverware became debased when electroplating could transform the appearance of a lesser value metal into something that appeared to have greater value. As the appreciation for the value of real silverware gradually faded, people eventually could not justify the additional cost of silverplate and substitution by any shiny white metal was fine.

Coinage debasement has served the Treasury well. We are in the second generation following replacement of 90% silver coins with cupronickel clad. Most now do not comprehend that there is a value difference between silver and cupronickel coins, since the appearance of wealth remains. The lack of understanding about silver as a precious metal usually accompanies an equal ignorance about gold.

If gold and silver are barbaric relics of accounting, why do governments to to such great lengths to give us the trappings of wealth in order to steal our wealth? Silver-colored and gold-colored coins circulate, and many people are truly not aware that there is no silver or gold in these coins but there remains a cultural affinity to these appearances. In reality, the value of these tokens differ little from multicolored Mardi Gras tokens.  Technology exists to mint multicolored coins, but that would strip away the appearance of wealth.

SaratogaPrepper's picture

A nice find

in my change from the Ace Hardware store this morning!

I'll take that over a washer anytime.

Pablo's picture

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

You touch on a good point that most people don't realize - income tax, forced military conscription, overreaching government regulations, even forced labor in some instances - these are a direct afront to the sovereignty of the individual, attempting to replace it with the statist sovereignty of the government or ruling class. They do this by taking what you have of value, your labor, and replacing it with naught.

Let me explain in the instance of income tax.

Your labor, your efforts both physical and intellectual, are your life, the product thereof. You chose to spend your life in labor for the reward of money, a handy exhange medium that allows you to trade hours of your life and intellectual effort for goods or services produced by another person doing the same. That is the essence of a free market - you have the Liberty to determine for yourself how much of your Life is spent in which Pursuit of Happiness.

Income tax is a forced confiscation of a portion of your money, money which directly represents the hours of your life you worked to obtain that money. Thus income tax is a confiscation of your life. It is a form of slavery and debt-serfdom and a direct attack on the individual's rights, and a direct attack on the concept of personal property.

You could have used those hours of your life you spent laboring to pay taxes in any number of different ways, i.e., your own Pursuit of Happiness. But due to the forcible confiscation of a portion of your life, you no longer enjoy the Liberty to make that decision for yourself. Voluntary contributions of the individual, are a choice made by the sovereign individual what to do with their money and labor. That's a different story. When the government demands something from you, they are demanding a portion of your life - you are no longer an independent individual, you no longer lay whole claim to your own identify and future.

murphy's picture

TED Talk

Kinda  puts things into perspective.

Tania Luna: How a penny made me feel like a millionaire

As a young child, Tania Luna left her home in post-Chernobyl Ukraine to take asylum in the US. And one day, on the floor of the New York homeless shelter where she and her family lived, she found a penny. She has never again felt so rich. A meditation on the bittersweet joys of childhood -- and how to hold them in mind.

Tania Luna co-founded Surprise Industries, a company devoted to designing surprise experiences. Full bio »

http://www.ted.com/talks/tania_luna_how_a_penny_made_me_feel_like_a_millionaire.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2013-07-27&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=talk_of_the_week_button

realitybiter's picture

tin foil hat club

I know, I know.  I am going to post this interview and then all of the talk will devolve into CT mud slinging....but....this is an amazing interview.  This guy is the father of one of the navy seals killed last August 6 in that bizarre incident.  Bizarre because it was highly unusual to have so many in one spot, flying so low, so exposed....the cremation afterwards was always a head scratcher....and there is more in the interview.  Listen to it.  Their cremation was as weird as the supposed Bin Laden traditional burial at sea (this is nonsense -look it up- they have strict rules about being buried in dirt and facing Mecca)...

We will force down a Bolivian plane in Europe because we suspect Snowden might be on it, but we somehow couldn't scramble fighter jets in 2001 to stop off course airliners....right......

from fixed markets, to outright brazen customer theft ( you can look at my MF Global post in December of 2011 -  I stated exactly what would and has happened - all stolen money returned, yet no crime.....), assassinations, overthrow of foreign govts.......believing anything anyone in the US govt says is at this point beyond naive.  Simply stupid, willful ignorance.  They lie, lie, lie.

I feel for this man.  His son, a bona fide hero, apparently was simple political currency.  As "Hil" says, "we came, we saw, he died!  hahahahaha!"

(at best this was insanely unprofessional, at worst, sociopathic (likely))

Good luck to all, wake up, and trust no one but yourself and those that you have thoroughly vetted.  We exist in a cesspool of sociopathic deceit. I'm truly sorry. But us ignoring the lies, calling conspiracy theory crazy, is at this point, negligent.

My point is simple.  Do not discount conspiracy "theories" just because they seem unbelievable.  If our leadership will allow its own heroes to get murdered what won't they do?  Nothing.  They will do anything and everything....at everyone else's expesne.  Rob savers.  Protect bankers.  Kill civilians "modern day pearl harbor" is what the PNAC paper called it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

and who is PNAC?  Bill Kristol, whose Father Irving, started the necon movement, is the leader....if you distil their American DOD policy down, it is basically, Israel first.  Period.  Read it yourself.  Look who ran W's foreign policy.  All neo cons.  Look at who runs it now.  Not democrat, nor republican, or even jewish, though all jewish decision makers are effectively neocons....and yet they are underrepresented in the armed forces by 400% (0.5% of the military, 2% of the population-  it was not always that way, folks...).  

I digress.

wake up.  Love our troops, despise our war mongering politicians.  Don't let the murder of men like Strange occur with your silence.  You can despise your government and love your Country.  

murphy's picture

only slightly off topic

But it actually deals with trading money for freedom. Also apropos since the US/Korean Police action anniversary was yesterday. One of a the most moving TED Talks.

Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was “the best on the planet.” It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope -- and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.

Born in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee left for China in 1997. Now living in South Korea, she has become an activist for fellow refugees. Full bio »

http://www.ted.com/talks/hyeonseo_lee_my_escape_from_north_korea.html

Strongsidejedi's picture

@Argentus -

@ArGentus - great pic of the queen in the Bank of England vault.

It's interesting that the Bank of England vault was mentioned in the GLD ETF inventory document I posted yesterday.  HSBC is custodian of the GLD ETF.  HSBC states that they store at Bank of England and at LBMA.

I, therefore, conclude that some of the gold bars HRH Elizabeth is gazing upon is actually NOT hers but belonging to the investors of GLD. 

Since GLD has a difference of 12 to 13 million ounces in the last 90 days, I can only conclude that indeed, HRH "reacquired" those bars from GLD. 

How much is 12 million ounces of gold?

GLD claims to have "good delivery bars" in "London" at "Bank of England" and "LBMA".

see: http://www.lbma.org.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=27

and

see: http://www.goldbarsworldwide.com/PDF/BI_6_LondonGoldBars.pdf

Good delivery bars are (quoting):

Minimum gold content
350 troy ounces (approximately 10.9 kilograms)
Maximum gold content
430 troy ounces (approximately 13.4 kilograms)

Recommended dimensions (approximately)
Top surface 255 x 81 mm
Bottom Surface 236 x 57 mm
Thickness 37 mm

________________________

Those dimensions are roughly top (10" x 3.2") x bottom (9.3" x 2.25") x thickness (1.5")

Bollocks's picture

Great post Maximus!

I think that reminding people what they are being paid for their hard work with and what tptb don't want you to understand about REAL money can never be said enough times, where we're at now.

It took me 2 years, from 2008 to 2010, for it to really sink in that fiat currency really was fiat currency and was doomed and so in 2010 I went nearly all-in with pm's. It took that long because I never really believed the truth behind fiat - there was always in the back of my mind a thought that governments and banks, "in this day and age",  would never really do what they were being accused of by all the whistleblowers, and that corruption wasn't really right at the core of the system - something would save the day if things started to go wrong. I believed that, and it's clear that the majority of people still do.

Well, when the fiat-penny eventually dropped (so to speakwink) I realised the system truly IS utterly corrupt and fiat currency will inevitably lose it's pretend-value. It is inevitable. And it's been planned - so the bulk of the world's wealth is then transferred into the hands of the minority. It's theft on a MASSIVE scale.

So, yes, great post AM. Everyone who hasn't got it yet needs this reminder wink.

Strongsidejedi's picture

GLD lost more gold in the last six months than...

GLD lost more gold in the last six months than all the gold in the photo with the queen.

HRM Elizabeth drained GLD of the investors gold and reacquired total rights in the last six months.

The pallets around the queen are composed of four flats.

Each wooden flat has 8 bars per row, each row is stacked four high.  There are two rows per flat.

As Turd posted many months ago, the gold leaving the GLD is tremendous. But, I contend that the GLD never had a vault.  HSBC is the custodian for GLD and merely had rights to the gold in the Bank of England vaults.  Other stories state that there are nine vaults scattered throughout London.

In this video, you can get a better perspective on the vault visited by HRH Elizabeth.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVl2o5Zc7Y4

It clearly shows the stacking pattern, the bar size, and the line of pallets.

In the photo posted by Argentus, the same people are in the photo.  The angle of the photo appears different but you can see the same tables and displays set up.

If the photo was not photoshopped, there appear to be 17 pallets on each side of the queen.

How many pallets would be needed to equate to 13,000,000 ounces?

13,000,000 / 400 ounces per bar = 32,500 bars

32,500 / 64 bars per flat = about 500 flats

500/4 flats per pallet = 126 pallets.

Therefore, with only 17 per side, the total gold moved from GLD is equivalent to more than 7 of these rooms.

Remember 32,150 ounces per metric ton.

GLD has lost 400 metric tonnes.

You don't actually think that some Brinks truck pulled up to that London vault and moved the bar do you?

Blue Sky's picture

Euros are yo-yos

As you no doubt know Ireland was not the first country in Europe to take on the euro. I am from Ireland and of course my family still lives there so when I went back several years ago I stayed with my sister and when I went to get a supermarket cart  she said, "you'll need a yo-yo for that".  A somewhat prophetic comment in light of the content of this article don't you think.

Although initially the euro brought with it a real boost to the Irish economy in the end the tiger economy turned on its own tail and now things are very sad there.

TD's picture

Very nice.

Thank you for sharing this perspective with us Argentus. Well written and thought provoking.

argentus maximus's picture

Thanks for your comments.

Thanks for your comments.

Gold Dog's picture

It's all relative.

If you had the plague how much would you pay for a dollars worth of antibiotics?

I agree that the fiats are all being debased but I still do my best to get more of them, they represent my wealth in numeric form.

As was said above, I am busy exchanging them for things that cannot be debased but must admit that many of us here watch the value of our PM's relative to our respective currencies....even if our fiat is being devalued we all* use it for keeping score.

Your friend,

Dog

*Some are better at measuring things in ounces. A skill I will try to develop as time goes by.

Thanks for the thought provoking post AM!

treefrog's picture

what is money? a parable

money is a social construct - like language or dancing, it is a collection of interrelated behaviors that human groups develop when presented with certain circumstances.
 

not all societies have much use for money.  primitive societies such as hunter/gatherer nomads have very simple economic units.  each family group produces most or all of its own goods and services.  think pre-contact plains indians,  sioux or cheyenne for example.  each family unit or group of family units produced its own food, shelter, clothing, weapons, whatever.
 

division of labor cultures, on the other hand, always develop money systems.  division of labor cultures are much more effective at producing goods and services.  specialization leads to higher skill levels, accumulation of tools and other capital goods, etc.  all of this leads to higher output of goods and services, thus a higher level of material prosperity.  all at a cost, however.  the family units are no longer self-sufficient.  they have to find a way to share the bounty of their new productivity.
 

here comes the parable:  lets pretend that through some strange and perverse miracle, a hunter/gatherer culture was transformed overnight into a division of labor culture - - - but without any system of trade.  the culture (lets posit a town of a few thousand souls) wakes up with all the neccessary skills and specializations.  butcher, baker, candlestick maker, rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief, doctor, lawyer, intian chief      ...but no experience with trade or money.
 

they soon learn to get along by bartering with each other. the baker gives the doctor some sweet rolls for some aspirin to soothe his headache.  the candlestick maker trades a handful of candles to the butcher for some sausages.  etc, etc, ...
 

...but barter has some serious problems.  what happens if the person you want to trade with doesn't want or need your product?  if the barber is a vegetarian, how does the butcher get a haircut?
 

there is a solution.  the butcher, after getting a little shaggy, realizes  that if he trades a few pork chops to the gardener for a sack of tomatoes (though he himself can't stand tomatoes) he can take the tomatoes to the barber and get a trim.
 

the butcher, a clever fellow, has just invented money - on the tomato standard.  tomatoes here are an intermediate good facilitating trade; a medium of exchange
 

but wait, there's more.  money is more than a medium of exchange. 
 

the exchange (pork chop>tomato>haircut) worked so well, the butcher continues using it every few weeks, until fall and the first frost, which puts the gardener out of the tomato business.  the butcher starts getting shaggy again, (which his wife doesn't like).  as the butcher gets the cold shoulder at home, he thinks up another scheme. he goes to the barber and promises to give him half a dozen tomatoes next spring for each haircut throughout the winter.  after some thought, the barber agrees.
 

i told you the butcher was a clever fellow.  he has now invented money as a unit of account and the concept of credit.
 

the next fall, determined not to get in the same bind,  he stocks up on several hundred tomatoes to see him through the winter.  ...and when they spoil, finds out that tomatoes as a store of value  don't work very well.  when he puts the second winter's haircuts on credit and pays his bill the next spring with cherry tomatoes rather than the full sized "bigboys"  the barber had expected, it becomes plain that tomatoes aren't a very good unit of account.
 

meanwhile, the gardener gets wind of this and plants a huge crop of tomatoes, hoping to get rich quick.  the butcher wasn't the only clever fellow.  the gardener invented inflation
 

throughout the parable village, other trading pairs are taking place.  some work well, some not so much, but it beats barter.
 

of course, in the real world, hunter gatherer cultures yielded to division of labor cultures over time spans measured in centuries and millennia.  in culture after culture, people tried many different things as money.  seashells, livestock, beads, feathers, giant stone discs, cacao beans... etc.   in the fullness of time, culture after culture settled on metals as money.  in particular gold and silver with copper and brass for small change.
 

not because they are special, but because they fulfill the functions of money better than anything else.
they are a high value to weight/size

they do not rot/deteriorate

they are, by nature, scarce

they are easily recognizable and hard to fake

they can be accurately measured (weight)

they are easily divisible and can be re-joined (melted)
 

if anything else comes along that can do all this, then precious metals may have some real competition, but don't hold your breath.

 
JY896's picture

Great post, Argentus

I have just recently explained this very parable of the glass beads to my own kids. Thanks for sharing, very well written.

This reminds me of a very poignant, intriguing, and funny (or would be, if it weren't so true) 'manual' which seems to be written for US presidents entering office, Stefan Molyneux sums up everything you ever wanted to know about the oligarchy, methods of control and historical evolution of the ruling class and its subjects:

http://board.freedomainradio.com/blogs/freedomain/archive/2011/06/13/the-handbook-of-human-ownership-a-manual-for-new-tax-farmers.aspx

Hagarth's picture

Secrets of Value

What comes to mind is the history of the glass works of the Italian coastal cities.  For centuries the secrets of manufacturing the differing colours of glass were state secrets and the trade routes for the raw products were equal in value.  Maps were valued more than any other commodity, hidden and secreted away in vaults with the elite of gaurds.

Now we have hidden gold, we dig it and then bury it to keep prying eyes from attaining the secret numbers of gold grains held by states and private individuals.  We are told to keep our holdings secret from one another for safety sake, secreting away all information detailing the inventory.  The real secret is "Value" not price, many have lost all meaning of value. 

Consider all the information you have about value, validate what is most useful and secret it away for the future.

SteveW's picture

@ Bollocks: Fiat currency

I thought you resided in the UK?

If you look carefully at your currency you will see the inscription "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of  .... pounds". That's the description of a promissory note.

Let me tell you a secret. The promise is no longer valid.

¤'s picture

That was a nice read...

I enjoyed that AM, thanks!

Watching the watchers and developing foresight based on logic (their logic) is never bad advice.

Putin is a living, breathing example or roadmap of how some of this all plays out. He's not shy about flashing his cards or talking loudly at the global poker table...unlike China who holds things dear and close to the vest.

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