Sunday, August 16, 2020

Prescient Paul 😉

Eight weeks ago today, I published Article 136, Carpe Opportunitas. Therein, I was happy to nail my cryptocurrency colours to be investment mast, confident that four of them in particular – namely Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink (LINK) and Tezos (XTZ) – were on the verge of major gains.

You have already guessed that my prediction was a good one. Why, otherwise, would I refer to it now?

To summarize:

Cryptocurrency      Price (US$)      Price (US$)       % gain
    token           21 Jun 2020      16 Aug 2020      (8 weeks)
Bitcoin (BTC)        9,360            11,860             26.7
Ethereum (ETH)         230               426             85.2
Chainlink (LINK)         4.17             19.09         357.8
Tezos (XTZ)              2.60              4.11          58.1

As is clear, all four have moon-rocketed since I mentioned them. LINK, in particular, has gone on an absolute tear, more than quadrupling its unit value in that eight-week period. Therefore, x pounds/dollars, split equally between the four tokens on 21st June, would have yielded a return of 2.3x today.

Compare these returns to the paltry 0.1% – per annum – offered by high street banks. Furthermore, (UK) bank deposits are insured up to a mere £85,000 per authorized firm. In contrast, crypto exchange Coinbase holds 98% of its deposits in secure offline wallets and insures the first 250,000 US$ (£191,000 at the time of writing).

Most excitingly of all, the crypto bull market is only just beginning. Other personal favourites include Cardano (ADA), Kyber Network (KNC) and, what I like to call my ‘underdog coin’, Orchid Protocol (OXT), a decentralized VPN, which has doubled its value in the last 24 hours.

As the world loses faith in the age-old scam that is paper currency, substantial fortunes will be made in crypto between now and the end of 2021. Miss out at your peril!

Copyright © 2020 Paul Spradbery

Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser, and this is not financial advice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Tyrant’s Alibi

In the UK, there have, to date, been approximately 46,000 deaths related to COVID-19, out of a population of 65 million. However, recent research at the Universities of Loughborough and Sheffield (Williams, Crookes, Glass & Glass, 2020) has provided a more statistically robust method of calculating the number of deaths actually caused by COVID-19, excluding those individuals that died with it or were merely suspected of having died with it.

The research paper is thirty pages long and utilizes complex mathematics and statistical techniques to secure accurate results. The main conclusion is shocking but  to me, at least not surprising. It turns out that actual deaths caused by COVID-19 are between 54 and 63% lower than the governments published data. Therefore, the true number of COVID-19 deaths lies somewhere between 17,020 and 21,160, and hence official figures are grossly inflated. To apply some degree of perspective: approximately 10,000 individuals die of seasonal flu each winter. In 2014/5, there were as many as 28,330 flu deaths, and yet, mainstream media coverage was nil, so no one knew.

We are, therefore, witnessing a low-risk pandemic, if that. COVID-19 has the mortality equivalent of a slightly worse than average flu season. Moreover, given that the (median) average age of COVID-19 death ranges from 79 to 85 years  this is similar in other countries  the threat to (healthy) under-60s is miniscule. In under-40s, it is statistically zero.

Another conclusion assiduously derived by Williams et al. is that the national lockdown has actually increased mortality rather than reduced it. Approximately 16,000 have already died as a result of postponed medical care. This is outrageous. (Conversely, lockdown does not save lives from COVID-19, but merely redistributes cases along a timeline. The graphs spikes appear different, perhaps because of lockdown, but the total number of cases  the area under the curve  remains the same.)

In terms of mass deaths alone, then, lockdown has given rise to, at best, a preventable national disaster, or, at worst, mass manslaughter. There are, of course, many other catastrophic effects. The economy has been destroyed like never in recent history. Mass unemployment is set to skyrocket. Entrepreneurs are understandably fearful of starting businesses, in case subsequent lockdowns are imposed. A large section of the public is terrified of what has proved to be a mere phantom plague’ and will remain so. Widespread mental health problems are rapidly emerging. There will be an estimated 20,000 additional cancer deaths next year, purely as a consequence of delayed diagnosis and treatment. The main part of the disaster has yet to occur, but it is on the horizon, and the prospect of it disgusts me.

All this prompts the following: are politicians (Figure 138.1) really so stupidly short-sighted not to have realized that (a) COVID-19 was/is not especially deadly; and (b) by treating and publicizing it as such, there would be horrific economic, social and medical consequences?

If they are culpable merely of brainlessness, then all we can do is pick up the broken pieces of our national fabric and vote these charlatans out of office. I do wonder, though, whether the whole COVID saga has instead been a deliberate and convenient pretext for a social and economic revolution after which human liberty is restricted irreversibly. Regardless, lockdown stands to be remembered as the costliest overreaction in British history. It has been nothing short of criminal.

Figure 138.1: Perhaps the closest I have come to putting my size 12 boot through the television screen. This is Mr Matt Hancock, UK Secretary of State for Health, whose basic scientific education, I would guess, ended before it even began. I do not know whether he has links to Big Pharma, but he has, after all, been trumpeting the need for a (lucrative) vaccine. As we scientists say, If you think you are too cynical about politicians, then you are probably not cynical enough.

Time and time again, in recent months, government mouthpieces have used the phrase, for the good of the people. The great French philosopher Albert Camus (1913-60) pointed out, many years ago, that this has always been the tyrants alibi.

Copyright © 2020 Paul Spradbery

Williams, S., Crookes, A., Glass, K., & Glass, A. (2020). An Improved Measure of Deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales. Retrieved from