Bill Holter’s Commentary
Are you surprised? There is a whole list of “labels” specially for you if you do not agree with them…you should personally consider their labels as badges of honor because you are still thinking for yourself!
The Google-Facebook Duopoly Threatens Diversity of Thought
December 18, 2017
‘A monopoly on the means of communication,” Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson wrote in “Leviathan,” their 1975 novel, “may define a ruling elite more precisely than the celebrated Marxian formula of ‘monopoly in the means of production.’ ” Bear that in mind when you hear this next statistic: In 2017 Google and Facebook have accounted for 84% of all digital advertising outside China, including 96% of its growth, according to an industry forecast this month from Zenith, Magna and GroupM.
Those figures should create more than the typical economic concerns about market concentration. Specifically, the tech duopoly’s dominance threatens the marketplace of ideas. Beyond advertising, Google and Facebook control how millions of people find their news. Americans are far likelier, collectively, to encounter articles via search engines and social media than on a news site’s home page.
Google is used for nearly 90% of online searches in the U.S. A Pew survey this summer found that the four most popular social-media sites for getting news are Facebook, YouTube (owned by Google), Twitter (which has a Google partnership), and Instagram (owned by Facebook). No more than 5% of Americans use another social-media platform to get news.
In a November speech, Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, argued that “edge providers” like social-media websites and search engines “routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.” Mr. Pai cited YouTube’s decision to place age restrictions on and pull ads from videos by conservative commentator Dennis Prager’s Prager University, including a video by Alan Dershowitz on Israel’s founding.
Bill Holter’s Commentary
Add Pakistan to a growing list…
Pakistan Considers Dumping Dollar For Yuan In Trade With China
December 19, 2017
he government of Pakistan is considering a proposal to start using the Chinese yuan in trade with China, according to the Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, as quoted by Pakistan’s English-language daily Dawn.
“We are examining the use of yuan instead of the US dollar for trade between the two countries,” the minister told the media after the official launch of the Long Term Plan (LTP) for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Bilateral trade between Pakistan and China was worth $13.8 billion in 2015 to 2016, a decade after the countries signed a free trade agreement. Pakistan will continue to use the rupee domestically, according to Iqbal.
The LTP includes cooperation between the countries in energy, information network infrastructure, road and rail connections, trade and industrial parks, tourism, agriculture, and poverty alleviation. The plan will be implemented in three phases, the first ending in 2020, followed by another in 2025, with completion in 2030.
Under the plan, the countries intend to develop multi-level cooperation and strengthen policy coordination, as well as establish and improve the cross-border credit system and financial services. Karachi and Beijing are also planning to enhance currency swap arrangements and create a bilateral payment and settlement system.