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Stokes's Bristol Nightclub incident in detail (From: The Comeback Summer by Geoff Lemon)

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a place where misadventure could begin, you can’t go past Mbargo. The nightclub’s streetfront is painted a purple so bright you’ll see it in your dreams. Strings of giant sequins shimmer in the breeze. Its phonically inventive name is spelt in silver letters that climb its three-storey terrace facade. Inside are strips of burning neon, a few booths, floorboards so marinated in drink that they have an ingredients list. Bristol is a student city on England’s south coast crowded with music and nightlife and street art. This is Banksy’s home town, and the tourism board suggests in rather strong terms that ‘you would be a fool not to see his amazing work firsthand’. The same organisation describes Mbargo as ‘intimate’, which is fair for a place where you can catch an STI standing up. Students cram into its modest dimensions while people with names like DJ Klaud battle for billing with £1.50 drink deals over seven sloppy nights a week. To get a sense of the story about to come, consider that it’s the kind of place open until two o’clock on a Monday morning, and that at two o’clock on a Monday morning, Ben Stokes still thought it had closed too early.
The Ashes of 2017–18 had disciplinary bookends. It was after that series that Australia’s two leaders went off the rails in South Africa. It was a few weeks before that Ashes tour that England’s biggest star windmilled his way into his own disaster.
In the early hours of 25 September 2017, Stokes and teammate Alex Hales were barred from re-entering Mbargo after a night out on the piss. A Sunday thrashing of an abject West Indies in an ignored series at the fag-end of the season apparently required ample celebration. After arguing with the bouncer and hanging about at the door for a while, they wandered off to find a casino in the hope of more drinking. They’d barely made it around the corner before getting in the middle of a conflict between four locals. As is said on the internet, it escalated quickly.
The 26 September reporting was bloodless. Withholding names, police stated that a man ‘was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm’ while another went to hospital with facial injuries. England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss separately confirmed that Stokes was the arrestee, adding that he had been released without charge and that Hales had gamely offered to ‘help police with their enquiries’. Administrators had a good chance of hiding behind that investigation, and the next day Stokes was named in the upcoming Ashes squad as expected. But that night the video emerged.
Bristol student Max Wilson had shot it on his phone, then offered it to The Sun. What he thought was playing hardball was actually lowball: his opening price of £3000 was snapped up by a tabloid that would have paid ten times that. The Sun went on to make a mint by syndicating the rights worldwide. From a window above the fray, the vision showed six men on the street below performing the muddled choreography of a melee. One was right at the centre of it. One was waving a bottle, one dipped in and out, one tried to calm it. Two others floated around the edges. The central figure was unmistakable: red hair burning even in the streetlight as he launched into a series of blows against two of the men, falling to grapple with them on the ground, then following both across the street, swinging punches the whole way. Hales trailed behind, repeatedly and impotently shouting ‘Stokes! Stop! Stokes! Enough!’ The ECB could fudge issues that existed only in thickets of legalese, but not those captured in moving colour. Stokes was stood down from the next West Indies match, then suspended indefinitely. It emerged that he had broken his hand during the fight, something he’d done twice before while punching objects in dressing rooms.
The response in Australia was fierce: Stokes was a thug, a lowlife, a selection that would disgrace England. It was not entirely coincidental that a ban for England’s best player would be handy for the Aussie team, but there was also a cultural split. In England, plenty of people still minimise pub fights as lads letting off steam. In Australia, heavy media coverage as a succession of young men were killed had inverted that tolerance. The discourse now saw any punch as potentially deadly and accordingly reckless. This was more poignant in a cricket context given that David Hookes, the dashing Test batsman and state coach, was killed in 2004 by a pub bouncer’s fist.
The PR situation was bad for Stokes as details emerged of the injuries to the men he’d hit, and that one was a young war veteran and father. Stokes wasn’t officially removed from the Ashes squad through October but stayed behind when his teammates left, hoping for police to dismiss the matter in time for a late dash to Australia. His annual contract was renewed on the due date in case that came to pass. Then 29 October brought a twist in the tale.
‘Ben Stokes praised by gay couple after defending them from homophobic thugs,’ ran the headline. Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell had emerged. Not entirely out of nowhere: while Stokes had made no public comment, this story in his defence had initially been leaked to TV host Piers Morgan after the fight, as soon as the video appeared. Police body-camera footage played in court would later show that Stokes had given the same story to the arresting officer on the night. But no-one knew the identities of the fifth and sixth men in the video, and police appeals had turned up nothing.
It was The Sun again with the breakthrough. Kai and Billy were perfect for a readership not keen on nuance. ‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out they were famous cricketers. I just thought Ben and Alex were quite hot, fit guys,’ said Kai, who was memorably described as a ‘former House of Fraser sales assistant’. The paper had the pair do a full photo shoot: layering the fake tan, showing off chest waxes, mixing Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton into a range of outfits. Their best shot had them standing back to back, heads turned to the camera, in a mirror-image Zoolander moment.
Suddenly The Sun was the England team’s best friend. ‘Their claims could lead to the all-rounder being cleared over the punch-up and freed to play in the First Test in Australia next month,’ it gushed, then gave a tasting platter of quotes: ‘We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero.’ ‘If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.’ ‘We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.’ Would it be known forever as Kai and Billy’s Ashes? No. While the Bristol boys provided spin for Stokes’ reputation they didn’t influence the police. With charges still pending there was little choice – not given Strauss had previously sacked Kevin Pietersen for being annoying. Stokes remained suspended through the Ashes and a one-day series in Australia, and lost the vice-captaincy. It was January 2018 before the Crown Prosecution Service laid a charge.
That charge surprisingly came in as affray, a crime that can carry prison time but is classified as ‘a breach of the peace as a result of disorderly conduct’. The men he had punched, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, faced the same count, charged as equal participants in a fight rather than Stokes being charged with assaulting them. Alex Hales was not charged, despite being seen in the video to aim several kicks when Ryan Ali was lying on the ground. Given the underwhelming standing of the offence, Stokes was cleared by the ECB to tour New Zealand, and kept playing until his trial in August 2018, which he missed a Test to attend. None of the three defendants would be convicted.
The reasoning behind the charges was never released and was attributed vaguely to ‘CPS lawyers’. The service gave the case to Alison Morgan, a prosecutor of a class known as Treasury Counsel who usually handle serious criminal matters. Morgan had a scheduling clash and never ended up court for the case, but in 2018 and 2019 she would go on to win damages and admissions of libel from The Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph variously for incorrectly reporting that she had been responsible for the inadequate and inconsistent charging decisions.
Morgan’s successor on the case was Nicholas Corsellis QC, who on the first day of trial was permitted by the CPS to request two assault charges be added against Stokes. ‘Upon further review,’ claimed a CPS statement, ‘we considered that additional assault charges would also be appropriate.’ This was patent nonsense from the service that eight months earlier had chosen the lesser charge. Any lawyer knows that no judge will allow new charges once a trial has begun, because the defence hasn’t had time to prepare. But such a request could deflect criticism of the prosecution service by technically making the judge the one who disallows the charge.
Working through the story from the trial and the tape is complicated. You had a Ryan and a Ryan, a Hale and a Hales, a Billy and a Barry and a Ben. You had several versions of events as to who knew whom, who was drinking with whom, who had insulted whom and who had merely engaged in ‘banter’, a word that in modern Britain has to do an unconscionable amount of lifting. The reporting had constantly mixed up the Ryans as to who had which injury, who was in hospital, who had played which part in the fight, and whose mum had which stern words to say about it.
Let’s agree that from now Ryan Ali is Ryan One, the firefighter who ended up with a fractured eye socket and a cracked tooth. Ryan Two can be Ryan Hale, the soldier who scored concussion and facial lacerations. Mr Barry and Mr O’Connell are best known per The Sun as Kai and Billy. In scorecard parlance we’ll leave the cricketers as Stokes and Hales.
Amid the confusion, Stokes and his lawyers built his case in a straightforward way. The UK legal definition of affray is ‘if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety’. That means it doesn’t account for violence that harms a target, but violence that might frighten a theoretical bystander. The wiggle room for Stokes was with ‘unlawful’, because the charge excuses violence in defending oneself or others.
This interpretation hinged on the beginning of the video, where Ryan One waves a beer bottle about and takes a swing at Kai. The version from Stokes was that he was minding his own business walking down the street when he heard homophobic abuse. He intervened verbally and was threatened verbally by Ryan One – something that Ryan One denied but that couldn’t be proved or disproved. In fear for his safety Stokes had to nullify that threat by bashing Ryan One before it went the other way. He registered Ryan Two in his peripheral vision as another possible threat, and again had only one recourse.
Stokes also had to convince the jury to disregard testimony from Mbargo’s bouncer that he had been looking for a fight. A solid lump of a man, Andrew Cunningham had not enjoyed his patron’s attempts to get back into the club after the bouncer declined an offer of a bribe. ‘He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a cunt and I replied, “Thank you very much.” He just looked at me and told me my tattoos were shit and to look at my job.’ Cunningham described these words as coming in ‘a spiteful tone, quite an angry tone’, and said that Stokes still seemed angry as he walked away.
These were details the doorman had nothing to gain by inventing, but each of them Stokes denied. By his own accounting he had drunk a beer at the game and three pints at his hotel, then ‘potentially had some Jägerbombs’ along with half a dozen vodkas at the club. He insisted that after all of this he was not drunk.
If I may take a moment here to call upon the wisdom of experience – a person who cannot definitively say whether they have had any Jägerbombs has definitely had some Jägerbombs. A Jägerbomb is an experience that does not pass one by. Further to that, a person who says they have ‘potentially’ done something has definitely done that thing and doesn’t want to admit it. A person who has had between 15 and 24 standard drinks in one evening is shitfaced. A person who tries to bribe a bouncer £300 – three hundred quid! – to get into Mbargo – Mbargo! – is beyond shitfaced.
If Stokes admitted that he was drunk then the prosecution could say he was out of control. He claimed clear recall of assessing a threat, feeling fear and deciding to protect himself with force. He confidently denied details from the bouncer’s testimony, like using the word ‘cunt’ or mentioning gold teeth. Yet on other details he claimed a ‘significant memory blackout’. He didn’t remember the punch that saw Ryan One taken away by ambulance. He didn’t remember what the Ryans had said to Kai and Billy, only that those words were homophobic. With no head injury, as one of the few people who hadn’t been hit, he had supposedly suffered this memory loss despite being sober.
The version from Kai and Billy was compatible but vague: they had been walking along, they ‘heard … shouts’ of abuse from an unspecified source, then Stokes ‘stepped in’ and thus they avoided possible harm. They claimed to have been bought a drink by Stokes at Mbargo, although CCTV showed them meeting outside. The overall implication from both accounts was that the cricketers had been pals with Kai and Billy, while the Ryans as per The Sun’s headline were a roving band of thugs.
The reality though is that the Ryans were the ones hanging out with Kai and Billy at Mbargo. Police discussed CCTV from inside the club in questioning and at trial. On that footage the four Bristolians bought drinks for one another, danced together, and Kai was noted to have variously touched Ryan Two’s crotch and Ryan One’s buttock. Ryan One told police that all of this was taken lightheartedly and wasn’t a problem. Indeed, when the Ryans called it a night the other two left with them.
This much is clear from footage out the front of Mbargo, which shows Kai and Billy exit the club and start talking with a subdued Hales and a demonstrative Stokes, who are stuck outside. The vision was played in court to determine whether Stokes was antagonistic towards Kai and Billy, as he appears to impersonate them and to throw a lit cigarette their way. More interesting is that after a few minutes the Ryans emerge, and all six actors in the fight video briefly form a prequel in the one frame.
Ryan Two pats Billy on the chest in friendly fashion with his right hand before clapping him on the back with his left. He moves past and does the same to Kai before leaving the shot. Ryan One stops to speak to Kai. They lean in for a moment, talking, then Kai turns and they walk out of frame together. Billy hangs around for a few seconds at the door and then looks after them and races to catch up. Stokes and Hales remain outside the club to remonstrate further with the bouncers. Whatever discord develops around the corner is between four men who left amicably together minutes earlier.
There’s no way to know what caused that friction. If Ryan One did use homophobic slurs, he might have been drunkenly obnoxious for no reason. He might have had an insecure macho response to some extra flirtation. He might have thought unkindness was funny – ‘banter’ once again. Or he might have said something that was misunderstood, as both Ryans insisted in court that they had not used nor had the impulse to use any abusive language.
What clearly didn’t happen was an attack by bigots on random passers-by. This kind of crime is regular enough that an audience understands the horror of it, and this is what was evoked by the public accounts of Stokes, Billy and Kai. All we know is that there was some verbal dispute among the Bristol locals, and that Stokes came along behind them and put himself in the middle of it. Ryan One responded to the interference aggressively and away they went. There are plenty of reasons to look sideways at the idea that Stokes was a saviour. Foremost, neither Kai nor Billy was called upon as witnesses in court. You’d think it would be ideal to have Stokes’ story backed up by those who benefited from his selflessness. But his defence team had developed the impression that the pair had shown a changeable recall of events amid a hard-partying lifestyle, and would be dismantled by the prosecution on the stand.
That raises the question of whether The Sun coached their quotes for the 2017 interview. Despite missing court, Kai and Billy clearly enjoyed the attention. In 2018 after the trial they did a follow-up spread in the same paper about how poor Ben had been mistreated. They got a television spot on Good Morning Britain and glowed about his heroism. In 2019 The Sun wheeled them out once more to say that Stokes should get a knighthood. In 2017 they had ‘never watched cricket’ but by 2019 were supposedly volunteering sentences like, ‘He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes.’ Whether they were paid for these appearances is not known, but the chance to be famous for a day can be lure enough.
If you find this cynical, consider that on the night in question, the Bristol boys were so deeply moved and thankful for Ben’s intervention that they left him to be arrested and never attempted to find out who he was. Seconds after the video ended, an off-duty policeman reached the scene. You might think that someone grateful to a saviour would speak on his behalf. Instead, said Kai, ‘it all got a bit scary so we walked off. It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.’ They didn’t give their hero a thought for over a month while police issued multiple appeals for witnesses.
As for Stokes, he told his arresting officer that ‘his friends’ had been attacked. After three minutes of chat outside a nightclub, these friends were so dear to him that he has never contacted them again: not after the newspaper piece, not after the verdict. He didn’t want to see how they were or thank them for their support. He didn’t mention them by name in his solicitor’s statement after the trial.
The Stokes defence rested on Ryan One’s bottle, which he had carried out of Mbargo to finish a beer, not to use in a Sharks versus Jets amateur production. But once he turned it over to hold it by the neck it became a weapon. Intent and interpretation can change the material nature of things. Part of Stokes’ justification in court was that the bottle implied that the two Ryans might have ‘other weapons’ hidden away. You can understand how a jury could decide that created doubt.
Not being convicted, though, doesn’t give the contents of the video a big green tick. It does not, as his lawyer claimed, vindicate Stokes. Looking in detail, Ryan One is belligerent but his movements telegraph a bluff. Hales is the person he’s gesturing at, but they’re several metres apart when Ryan One cocks his arm ostentatiously, showing off the bottle rather than bracing to swing. He skips forward but Hales skips back and Ryan One doesn’t follow. Kai stretches out an arm to impede Ryan One, who has a drunken stumble, nearly eats pavement, then staggers towards Kai and hits him in the back. That hand is still holding the bottle, but his strike is a side-arm cuff on a soft part of the body. It’s all pretty tame.
This is where Stokes gets involved. Having moved across to protect Hales, he now takes three large steps to run around Kai and booms his first punch at Ryan One. They fall to the ground and the bottle clinks away. Stokes gets to his feet to punch down at the fallen man, while Hales arrives to kick him ineffectively then runs off across the street for some unknown reason. Ice-cream van? Stokes is soon back in the grapple having his shirt pulled up to show off his Durham tan. Ryan Two steps in for the first time to pull Stokes away, prompting a couple more random punches at this new target, then Stokes trips backwards over Ryan One and sprawls in the street. Hales chooses this moment to return and aim some solid kicks at the head of the man on the ground. Nothing so far is a triumph of moral philosophy or the pugilistic arts. But if it all stopped here, perhaps you could say it was somewhere approaching fair. Ryan One has behaved like a turnip and it’s not an entirely unjust world that would give him a whack across the chops. The antagonists have disentangled, Stokes has some distance, it’s time to dust off and go home. Ryan Two steps forward for this purpose with his palm raised in conciliatory style and says, ‘Settle down, stop.’
So Stokes punches him.
It’s roughly his fifth punch overall, and he really winds up into this one. He misses so hard that he stumbles away into the shadows of the shop awnings along the road.
Hales starts shouting for him to stop. Ryan Two backs into the street, still holding his palm up. Stokes closes on him from about five metres away, six large steps, to where Ryan Two is standing on his own. Stokes pushes him a couple of times, as Ryan Two keeps trying to placate him and saying ‘Stop.’ Stokes throws his sixth punch, largely missing as his target ducks.
Ryan Two keeps pulling away and reversing, into the middle of the street now. Stokes follows him, grabbing his sleeve to drag him back. By this point Ryan One has found his feet and walked around behind his friend. Both of them are in the same line of sight for Stokes, and both are backing away. Stokes aims his seventh and his eighth punches, which Ryan Two tries to deflect, as Hales walks up behind Stokes to grab him.
Stokes yanks away from his friend and switches to Ryan One instead, taking seven paces to grab him before throwing his ninth punch of the night. He grabs again; Ryan One blocks that arm and pushes himself back away from Stokes. Ryan Two again intercedes, putting himself between the two with his palms up and his arm extended.
Stokes throws his tenth punch, a right-hander at the face of Ryan Two, then shoves him backwards. Ryan Two backs away once more, four paces. Stokes follows, steadies, lines up, then launches his strongest punch yet, his eleventh, a proper right hook from a solid base, one that cracks across the man’s head and gives him concussion. Ryan Two ends up flat on his back in the middle of the street, his hands still outstretched for a moment in useless protest until they twitch and drop to the blacktop.
Stokes isn’t done. He once more shoves away the restraining Hales and follows Ryan One, who keeps backing away saying, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ Five more paces from Stokes before another blow at the man’s head. Kai and Billy are now standing over the poleaxed Ryan Two. The video ends, but seconds later Stokes will punch Ryan One hard enough to knock him out too, before off-duty cop Andrew Spure arrives on the scene to bring down the curtain. When the body-camera footage kicks in some minutes later, Stokes is in handcuffs but Ryan One is still laid out in the street. Ryan Two has regained consciousness, folded his shirt under his friend’s head and is asking police for an ambulance.
‘At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others.’ This was how Stokes described that sequence to the court. An elite athlete with years of gym work and training to snap a bat through the line of a ball with astounding power and precision, swinging fists as hard as he can at men with none of those advantages. Punching so hard that he breaks his hand, and repeatedly shoving away a friend so he can punch some more. Frightened and threatened by two targets shouting ‘Get back!’ and ‘Stop!’
The off-duty officer testified that Stokes ‘seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to’ Ryan One, who was ‘trying to back away or get away from the situation’. The student who filmed the video can be heard on the tape at one stage exclaiming ‘Fuck!’ and testified that it was because ‘I felt a little bit sorry about the lad that had been punched and it looked like he had his hands up’. That tallied with the prosecutor’s depiction of ‘a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place’.
The defendant stuck to his strategy. ‘No, my sole focus was to protect myself.’ All up, in the 33 seconds of footage after he falls over, Stokes takes 35 steps forward to keep hitting two men who keep trying to get away. Not once is he hit back.
After the verdict, Stokes’ solicitor positioned him as the victim. It had been ‘an eleven-month ordeal for Ben … The jury’s decision fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night … He was minding his own business … It was only when others came under threat that Ben became physically engaged. The steps that he took were solely aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and the others present …’ The statement was impossibly self-righteous and self-absorbed.
If there was anyone to feel sorry for it was Ryan Hale, the second of our two Ryans. He’s the one who emerged from the club with a friendly arm around the shoulder for Kai and Billy. He’s the one who interposed himself to end the fight, then kept putting himself back in the firing line, trying to calm an intimidating stranger while dodging blows. For his show of restraint he got laid out regardless, concussed in the street, then was issued a criminal charge equal to that of the man who hit him, and described in national media as a violent bigot in an untested story to support that man’s defence.
Lawyers for Ryan Two made a more convincing post-trial statement, noting that Kai and Billy, ‘neither of whom were relied upon by the prosecution or the defence team for Mr Stokes, have taken the opportunity to speak with various media outlets about the alleged homophobic abuse that they received in the early hours of September 25. Mr Hale has passionately denied this allegation throughout the course of this case,’ it continued.
‘It is upsetting to Mr Hale that although he was acquitted, the accusation that he was the author of such abuse remains. Both Mr Hale and Mr Ali were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes, and although Mr Stokes has been acquitted of an affray, Mr Hale struggles with the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service did not treat him as a victim of an unlawful assault.’Good question. Avon and Somerset police were the investigating force, and they were frustrated by the decision. Ryan Two was filmed clearly not hurting anyone, but police were instructed by the CPS to proceed with a charge. Hales (the cricketer) was filmed fighting but ‘a decision was made at a senior level of the CPS’ not to proceed. Police expected Stokes to be charged with assault but the CPS declined. It doesn’t take a wild cynic to think that placing the same lukewarm charge on three men for vastly divergent behaviour might ensure that none would be convicted, even as the trial would maintain the pretence that a defendant of influential standing had not been given a free pass.
A couple of years down the line, the original interview with Kai and Billy has disappeared. All traces have been scrubbed from The Sun website, its social media history, and even from the Wayback Machine internet archive. Given its headline of ‘homophobic thugs’ and text that names Ryan Two but not Ryan One, the libel liability isn’t hard to spot. Later interviews with Kai and Billy take the passive voice – they ‘suffered homophobic slurs outside a Bristol nightclub’.
The article that was once claimed to exonerate brave Ben Stokes now links only to a missing content page, with a picture of a dropped ice-cream cone and the phrase ‘legal removal’ inserted into the web URL. In terms of consequences, Stokes missed one tour. When he resumed his career in January 2018, the Australians hadn’t yet ruined theirs. Their year-long bans looked much more stringent. But the Stokes case dragged on in other ways. With no criminal liability, the Australians confessed promptly enough for the sporting world to give them the full length of the lash. Their situation was ugly but there was closure. Stokes got stuck in legal stasis, unable to be fully backed or condemned. Instead his issue was always present, a browser full of open tabs that the ECB swore they would read any day now.
Through 2018 Stokes was back but he wasn’t back, in the sunglasses and finger-guns sense. In his return one-day series he nearly cost England a match with 39 from 73 balls in Wellington. His first Test hit was a duck as England got rolled in Auckland for 58. At Trent Bridge while Stokes was injured, England posted a world record 481 against Australia. With Stokes three weeks later at the same ground they made 268. He crawled to 50 from 103, the second-slowest any Englishman had reached that milestone in 20 years. That span covered Alastair Cook’s whole career. It was apologetic batting, acting out responsibility via the scorecard. Stokes was creeping back into the team like he’d been kicked out in a blazing row and was hoping to tip-toe to the sofa.
It was December 2018 before the ECB disciplinary committee ruled on him and Hales. In a ‘remarkable coincidence’, wrote Simon Heffer in The Telegraph, ‘the punishment both players faced in terms of bans from playing at international level was covered by the amount of games they had already missed when dropped by England’s selectors, in the furore that followed the incident’. The verdict compounded the omissions around the case by not addressing the violence at its heart. Nor did Stokes, apologising only ‘to my team-mates, coaches and support staff’, and then ‘to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute’.
The implicit next step was to rebuild that reputation. It might have been easier had his court defence not meant that he wasn’t game to admit any fault at all. It might have been easier if he or his advisers had been willing to change tack once the trial was done. Imagine a world where Stokes had stood outside court and apologised for overreacting, for the injuries he’d caused, and for the time and energy he had sucked out of other people’s lives. That would have been a show of responsibility beyond a scorecard. When the time came around to assess forgiveness, it might have meant forgiveness was deserved.
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The problems with PvP and why planned 5th age probably won't solve them

I have been very into the PvP-style of this game starting from 2011, although I haven't been playing the game since 2014 until last month, but the execution has always been way off. There has been some progress and some tweaks here and there, but PvP will never be even remotely balanced or populated unless the following key points are addressed:

  1. Crowns-only equipment from packs
- It is unbelievable that this game has been able to continue with its marketing, especially to kids, with such blatant gambling elements for so long, while some other larger game companies (like EA) have finally been called out for their practices. Wizard101's casino lootboxes are literally the worst thing about the game, and it seems like they are just going more and more into that direction. And unlike many other game companies nowadays thanks to the new laws, Wizard101 doesn't even disclose the odds of receiving a certain item (I bet they are so small that people would be too de-incentivized from buying).
Anyway, if this all was just cosmetics and stuff it wouldn't be such an enormous issue, while still being blatant gambling. The problem really shows in PvP, as basically everyone who wants to do well, especially in the low end PvP, NEEDS to have the OP PvP-gear, at least if they haven't already previously got the warlord gear, which they will never get without the crowns gear.
The plans for the 5th age are to remove the OP PvP-gear which you can get from tickets, but in that case the crowns-only gear will just become even more dominant, only moving the problem and not solving it in the slightest.
Even if the crowns-only gear would be sold for a hefty price-point in the crowns shop it would be annoying, but still better than literally having no guaranteed way of ever getting it, as the lootboxes could just drain infinite amount of money without ever giving you what you want. Unless of course, there are some hidden "pity-timers" which guarantee certain loot after a certain amount of rolls, but that information is not disclosed to us. (of course it isn't..)
This point is made far worse by the additional RNG-added to the crowns-only equipment, like may-cast wands, which completely ruin any kind of semblance of a competitive experience the moment they go off. You cannot strategise against random attacks.
Solution possibilities:
Remove the crowns-only equipment, nerf it to be in par with the normally attainable gear, give everyone easier access to the crowns-gear, or just limit it to be non-PvP.
  1. Ranked PvP costs to attend (to non-subscribers)
- I have played hundreds, if not thousands of games during my short life, as I think games, video games especially, are one of the greatest man-made things ever created. I also have a Master's degree in game design, and I'm currently studying a PhD-related to the topic, and I have NEVER, I mean NEVER EVER, come across another game which would charge their players for attending the competitive scene, and not offer a permanent way of unlocking it somehow (this does not include games which are completely pay-to-play, with the paying including everything, as well as PvP, like World of Warcarft). It not only does not make any sense, as you really want to have people growing a PvP-community around any kind of online-game which wants to stay active when the main PvE content runs stale, which always happens between expansions in MMOs, but paywalling a game mode will cause even the players who do play to get a sub-bar experience due to lack of players, especially new players.
I completely understand that the point is and always have been to attract people to the subscription-method of paying. Well, I have to say that I personally hate subscription method as a customer, but I know that a lot of people think that's alright. To me it just feels like I have to rush and play as much as I can during a subscription, even when I don't really even want to, causing the time spent to be less enjoyable than if there was no fixed time. This is one of the main reasons WoW never attracted me, as I can't stand subscriptions.
Thankfully, wizard101 has another option, paying by area. The cost of the areas is so high, and there is more added after every world, that the game would not actually make any less money by attracting people more towards the area-buying option. It would also truly incentivize developers to create new worlds more often, as the payout would be more clear. For subscription-players, adding Karamelle did not really cause a reason to spend more, as they already had access to it, so creating worlds more frequently only serves to lure back players who have stopped playing completely after their memberships ended and they maxed out the content, as the game didn't offer enough to do as a "temporarily f2p-player".
This could be solved by letting everyone compete in the ranked PvP (and why not derby too) even when they are not members. This would give players a reason to login to the game when they are not subscribing, and to players who seek to mostly play PvP, it would provide more opponents. I mean seriously, what game which has this many players online for the PvE has such a ridiculously small PvP-community? Even back in 2011-2013 when the game was fairly young and I played in the UK server (had to migrate to the US this year as the server there is dead), it was basically impossible to find 3v3 or 4v4 ranked games, and even the practice games weren't that common. While I really enjoy 1v1, I think the strategic difference in other modes is something players cannot and have never been able to explore due to the lack of players. And that is a very sad thing for a game that is already 12 years old.
So basically, the ranked PvP needs to either be completely free, OR there needs to be a way to permanently unlock it (preferably with gold, or at least with a reasonable crowns fee). This way players who are not members, or who (like myself) don't want to be members can still participate and bring more players to the table. You can see this change already in the tournaments being free: during the time I played ages ago and tournaments came, I never got to play a single tournament despite trying many times, as there were never enough players willing to pay the crowns fee. Now, nearly all of the tournaments start, at least for some level players and that is great. I fear though, that KI has learned nothing and will switch the cost back up with the start of the 5th Age.
What some larger game companies for some reason don't understand, is that f2p-players are not worthless, they are the reason why most online-games stay online: they create the incentives for people to spend in the first place, and if you manage to keep the f2p-players happy, you will get a lot more paying players just through word-of-mouth, than if you only try to keep paying players. (We can see a terrible example of how not to do this already by how limited the new f2p experience is, still after 12 years.)
  1. Spellments and unobtainable spells
- I'm sure no one reading this was surprised about this next topic, but as well as basically unobtainable gear, unobtainable spells and spells which are stronger than the normal versions of those and can basically only be upgraded through packs also break the "harmony" of a competitive experience. There are currently some spells which cannot be learnt other than through packs, and while not all of them are game-breaking, they can still in certain circumstances offer an unfair advantage, or even if they would not now, they certainly will in the future with the direction we are going towards. The solution for this is simple, but KI won't do it, as they are too invested in milking children for that undisclosed chance of getting some of those spells. (I won't buy a single pack personally and I will attempt to estimate how much disadvantaged I will be now and in the future for as long as I remain interested.)
For the unobtainable, another part is the spells which can only be got through luck while farming. That sure is a lot better, as technically the farming doesn't cost anything as long as you have access to the area and you will get other useful rewards while doing that. The problem arises though, if those spells, especially the infamous Headless Horseman, are so strong, that you NEED to have them in the PvP to stay competitive. And to make matters worse, of course the intended way to get these spells as well is to buy packs instead of farming. (I have been testing the lorefarm, got one spell which isn't useful to me after around 100 tries. I think that's a bit much just to get prepared to be on even footing on PvP, talk about new player PvP experience.)
Now then, spellments, are another kind of monster added to the game. I naturally enjoy the concept of upgrading spells, and making low-level spells more useful in the late game is not a bad design choice, it's just that it revolves around the same problem that everything I've been talking about this far, lootboxes.
I know that there are some ways of farming spellments technically for free, but apart from a specific few, those are barred behind skeleton key doors, and there are no other ways to get those than farming, and.. yes you guessed it, randomly from packs! You see the theme here? And even though some of those only give minor damage enchants which won't matter too much on the average eye, the utility buffs (namely the myth's troll minion summon upgrade) are just blatant forms of p2w gambling.
Solution, make spellments available to everyone more easily, not just randomly to select few whales. If KI would actually do this, despite all odds, then their purpose would actually come to reality and they would enhance the game experience, letting people experiment with different kind of combinations in the late game. Also there needs to me many more paths, only two kinda makes the whole combination idea pretty pointless.
Alternatively, restrict spellments to PvE only.
SUMMARY JUDGEMENT:
I liked the changes to the crit system, restricting more previously necessary cards and enchanted TCs outside of PvP , and turn-based system, those are a good start, but won't make a difference if the above three points stand unchanged. The main problem in the monetization is the gambling in the form of lootboxes, which is like the worst kind of cheap mobile game experience. The game has beautiful world and animations and the basic idea behind the combat is simple, yet interesting, and it can lead to very interesting situations. Nerffing and buffing spells/items won't make a difference while the OP-items/spells from lootboxes remain as KI's main interest.
Also for anyone to be able to experience something other than 1v1 ranked PvP, the first step needs to be removing the barrier of entry, or creating an option for permanent unlocking at least.
I have very little hope for them suddenly changing their 12-year course and giving up lootbox-p2w from PvP, but this has been quite a year so I guess nothing is impossible. Here's for hoping.
Signing off.
submitted by Viikable to Wizard101 [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to Money [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds - A Rational Overview

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
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Morning Market Synopsis - Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

US equities higher: Dow +0.73%, S&P 500 +0.82%, Nasdaq +0.80%, Russell 2000 +0.80%
Notable Gainers:
Notable Decliners:
09:23:37 AM CDT on 20 Oct '20
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The Rothschilds

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?

Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.

Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.

Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.

Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)

Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"

Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
submitted by financeoptimum to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 4, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
NOTE: I mentioned it in the first post of 2002 but a lot of y'all are aware that a few months ago, SaintRidley picked up the Observer Rewind reins after I stopped and started doing his own recaps from the 1980s. Well, he's been doing great work with it and he just finished posting the year of 1987. I went ahead and added it the Previously" section up there. ↑↑↑ Just wanted to make sure to bring it to everyone's attention.
  • It's been awhile since we've had major PPVs going head-to-head with each other, but it happened this week when WWA aired it's 2nd ever PPV live from Las Vegas, going head-to-head with PRIDE. Dave recaps the history of head-to-head PPV battles, specifically the WWF vs. Crockett war in the late-80s. How Vince McMahon created Survivor Series specifically to run it in direct competition with Crockett's first ever PPV, Starrcade 87. The resulting loss of needed revenue was a huge reason why Crockett eventually had to sell the company to Ted Turner and, in retrospect, set into motion everything that led to WCW's eventual death last year. He goes on to recap how Royal Rumble was created and aired on free TV to go head-to-head with Crockett's next PPV attempt, Bunkhouse Stampede. Then Crockett responded by creating the first Clash of the Champions and airing it against Wrestlemania IV. Not sure PRIDE vs. WWA is up there in the same league as that PPV battle. Which, to be fair, Dave admits it's not the same thing.
  • Anyway, the PRIDE show was among the greatest events of all time, one of the very few times in the history of the Observer that a show got a unanimous 100% thumbs up vote on the reader poll. It aired in Japan live and in the U.S. on a bit of a delay, with the matches edited in a different order. In Japan, the card was headlined by Vanderlei Silva vs. former UWFI wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, which was an excellent fight that Silva won. In the U.S., the show was built around Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye in the main event (in Japan, it aired 3rd from last) and the 2 men had an absolute war that should shut up critics who say both are too old. Shamrock lost a split-decision in a fight that Dave thinks should have legitimately been a draw. (This fight is considered to this day one of the all-time wars in MMA history. An utter slobberknocker. Neither fighter was the same again afterward and Frye has said that the damage Shamrock did to his legs in this fight led to him later getting addicted to painkillers). After the fight, Shamrock went over to ringside and hugged his girlfriend Alicia Webb, who you may remember as Ryan Shamrock. The girl that played his sister in WWF.
WATCH: Don Frye vs. Ken Shamrock - PRIDE 19: Bad Blood (2002)
  • And then there was WWA. A low-budget, amateur-ish event, marred by bad production and no-shows. Not that the crowd would even know, because most of the lineup was never even announced ahead of time anyway. The scheduled main event of Jeff Jarrett vs. Randy Savage didn't happen because Savage held promoter Andrew McManus up for more money at the last minute. Savage originally had agreed to work the show in exchange for a 30% ownership stake in the company, which was agreed upon. But three days before the show, Savage upped the ante, saying he wanted the 30%, plus an extra $50,000 in cash. At that point, they started haggling back and forth to try to strike some kind of deal. Ownership got pulled off the table and then Savage asked for a flat $250,000 fee to work the show. WWA turned that down and came back with a flat $150,000 offer instead. Savage turned that down and at that point, everything broke down. For what it's worth, a lot of the lower card wrestlers on the show worked for $300. Last second attempts to bring in Sting to save the show didn't work either. Road Dogg was also supposed to appear on the show but couldn't because of legal issues. Word is he got arrested 2 days before the show in Florida on a probation violation. As a result, the PPV was headlined by Jeff Jarrett defending the WWA championship against Brian Christopher.
  • The whole show was simply an embarrassment. The production was completely minor league and the crowd was totally dead for all these long matches with guys nobody cares about. The in-ring work was fine, but the booking often made no sense, with overbooked three-ways and 6-way undercard matches that ended up being more clusterfuck than match. It was also one of those Russo-type things where the commentary team made endless inside-references that only the hardcore internet fans would get. But then again, this show only drew hardcore internet fans anyway, so why not? They also constantly made reference to WWF, which came across as desperate and sad. In particular, Larry Zbyszko was given the chance to cut a meandering promo, challenging Vince McMahon to a fight over some unspecified grievance from 20 years ago and criticized them for having Chris Jericho as their world champion. Dave thinks Zbyszko was actually angling for a job from WWF by trying to start his own angle and says this promo was basically his job application. And he thinks it was pretty pathetic. Backstage, the disorganization was apparent and most even within the company saw what a mess it was and have already given up on the promotion as a lost cause. Dave said this PPV made it clear that nobody will be challenging WWF anytime soon.
  • Other notes from the WWA Revolution PPV: yes, in case you're wondering, that Japanese man sitting behind the commentary table all night who very briefly (literally blink and miss it) got involved in the Scott SteineDisco Inferno tussle was indeed NJPW star Hiroyoshi Tenzan and yes, they flew him all the way from Japan (and had him bring his ring gear just in case), only to have him do almost nothing and never be acknowledged on camera. Eric Bischoff was backstage, as a guest of Ernest Miller. Bischoff laughed off any questions about going to WWF but said the ol' "never say never" shtick. The crowd was about 2,800, most of them freebies and they were desperately giving away tickets in the casino before the show. During the first match, the building looked practically empty so they quietly began moving everyone closer to ringside to pack the area around the ring to make it look presentable for TV. Opening 6-way match featuring all the hottest indie stars was a sloppy mess, with too people flying everywhere trying to get their shit in and the cameras missing most of it. Bret Hart came out and cut a long, rambling promo before announcing Brian Christopher was replacing Randy Savage in the main event, to zero crowd response. By the 5th match, people in the crowd could be seen leaving, never to return. Jerry Lynn showed up, interrupting an Eddie Guerrero interview, at which point Dave mentions, oh yeah by the way, the WWF released Jerry Lynn 2 days before the PPV. Considering WWF has been talking about reviving the cruiserweight division after Wrestlemania, Dave doesn't know why they'd get rid of a guy who could be one of the best in the division. Anyway, yeah, this show sucked. Here ya go, enjoy.
WATCH: WWA: The Revolution PPV - 2002
  • WWF's latest investor conference call took place and wasn't particularly newsworthy, but there's some stuff to note. The new agreement with DirecTV is until August of 2003 and is under the exact same terms they were operating under last year, which means WWF gained nothing while losing an estimated $4.4 million in revenue over the last few PPVs. Following the brand split, WWF plans to run 16 PPVs per year, and increasing the price by an extra $5. Linda McMahon said Wrestlemania 18 has sold 58,000 tickets as of the time of the call, for a record gate of $3.96 million, breaking the record set by last year's WM. Dave goes through all the numbers and for the most part, in comparison to previous quarters, almost everything is down. Which is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention because WWF is clearly on the downswing. Linda also said they're currently interviewing new writers and are hoping to double their writing staff, which Dave thinks is a terrible idea (and time has damn sure proven him correct). Finally, Linda was also asked how the purchase of the WCW library has benefited the company, which Dave thinks is an interesting question since revenues have declined since then and the Invasion angle flopped so hard that it killed any brand value the name "WCW" may have had. Linda talked about the value of the tape library but Dave points out that it's been a year and WWF has done practically nothing with that library (of course, in the end, they found ways to monetize that WCW library and it more than paid for itself).
  • In his first match as an official member of the AJPW roster, Keiji Muto lost the Triple Crown championship to Toshiaki Kawada in a match nearly a year in the making, before a sold out crowd at Budokan Hall. He hasn't seen it yet, but the match was reported to Dave as a near-classic (he ends up giving it 4.5 stars). The other 2 NJPW stars who jumped ship, Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima, also worked their first official AJPW matches. Kaz Hayashi, formerly a member of Jung Dragons in WCW and who worked in WWF's developmental until asking for his release a few weeks ago, also debuted on the show and will be part of Muto's faction.
WATCH: Keiji Muto vs. Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW 2-24-2002
  • Obituary time for Swede Hanson, who worked primarily in the Carolinas and had a brief run in the WWF as a cult favorite babyface in the early 80s. Sadly, he passed away in a mental hospital because he had advanced Alzheimer's disease which made it impossible for his family to handle him and they had him put away. Jeez, that's rough. He also had a litany of other health problems. Dave gives an in-depth history of his career in the 60s and 70s as a heel in the Carolinas before talking about the WWF run. Vince Sr. brought him in as a monster heel to challenge Bob Backlund, and Dave thinks someone else must have backed out at the last moment or something. By this time (in 1979), Hanson was well past his prime and hadn't been a major star anywhere in years but he was a big dude and so they brought him in to face Backlund and they actually sold out Madison Square Garden with Backlund vs. Hanson in the main event (though Dave says Bruno Sammartino working the undercard sure didn't hurt). The match sucked and almost immediately after, he became a jobber in the WWF, but Vince Jr, on commentary, just loved to call him "Rawboned Swede Hanson" and the "Rawboned" nickname caught on. Vince said it with such gusto that Hanson briefly became a cult favorite jobber from it and the crowd turned him babyface at damn near 50 years old. It led to a brief career resurgence and him having a small role in the Backlund/Billy Graham feud for the title before he finally faded into oblivion.
  • Mark Henry won the "world's strongest man" competition at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding and fitness event. Henry has been out of WWF for the past 2 months training for this competition and the training paid off, with Henry capturing first place and making a legitimate viable claim to his "strongest man in the world" moniker. During the event, Henry became the first man in 50 years to cleanly press the 366 pound Apollon wheel weight above his head. In another event, he carried an 800 pound block of bolted together railroad ties up a 40-foot ramp faster than the other competitors. For his victory, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee and some other cash prizes. Over the same weekend, he also won another $1,000 in a contest where he was able to lift an inch dumbbell (which weighs 172 pounds) to his shoulder with one arm. There's a bunch of other weightlifting stuff here, but you might be surprised to find out....I dunno shit about any of this. I got winded lifting pizza to my mouth earlier. Mark Henry strong.
WATCH: Mark Henry at the Arnold Classic 2002
  • Another obit for former wrestler, promoter, and father of 80s valet Baby Doll, Nick Roberts who died of pancreatic cancer. Once again, a bunch of details and stories about someone I've never heard of in wrestling history that Dave somehow knows everything about. I know I've said it before, but these obituary pieces are some of the greatest reasons for subscribing to the Observer.
  • Masahiro Chono says he wants to take NJPW in a more serious, realistic direction. No sports entertainment gaga nonsense, they want it to be like a real sports product. So much so that, in his own match with Manabu Nakanishi at the last big NJPW show, Chono wouldn't even bounce off the ropes, saying that it's not credible and no one would do that in a real fight. Ah yes, Inoki's gonna love this.
  • FMW wrestler Kodo Fuyuki has said he plans to try to keep the promotion running after it was announced it was folding last week. FMW still has 8 shows scheduled for this month and Fuyuki said he plans to try to run them himself and keep the company going (no such luck buddy).
  • Japan Today, an American newspaper that covers Japanese news daily, had a story on Antonio Inoki battling diabetes. It says he was first diagnosed in 1982, which Dave says is right around the time Inoki's in-ring work dropped off considerably when he lost his stamina. The story said for the last 20 years, Inoki has eaten a ridiculously healthy diet and is in better health now at 59 than he was then at 39.
  • Dave said he got tons of positive feedback on the debut of RF Video's Ring of Honor promotion in Philadelphia. The show was sold out in advance, was well organized, and had several really good matches. They limited a lot of the mistakes that most indie companies fall victim to, such as too many matches, too many run-ins, too much mic work, too many guys trying to do too much stuff, etc. Steve Corino and CZW announcer Eric Gargiulo did commentary. Eddie Guerrero faced Super Crazy in an excellent match and the main event was a three-way featuring Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and American Dragon that Dave has heard rave reviews for. And thus, ROH was born.
WATCH: Highlights from ROH's debut show in 2002
  • Vic Grimes took the most insane bump of all time at an XPW event before 1,500 fans in Los Angeles. Grimes was facing New Jack in a scaffold match said to be at least twice as high up as the fall Mick Foley took off the Hell in a Cell. The ring below had tables stacked 4-high to break his fall, but Grimes ended up missing most of the tables when New Jack overshot him. Perhaps on purpose. Grimes missed all but the corner tables at the edge of the ring before coming down on the corner turnbuckles. After the bump, they tried to rush fans out of the arena since it was almost 1am and gave many the impression Grimes life was in danger. But he was surprisingly okay and was walking around backstage after, although he was definitely banged up. Grimes was really nervous about the bump earlier in the day, as you might expect and Dave says he's pretty damn lucky he didn't miss the ring because he almost certainly would have died if he took that bump straight to the floor. Elsewhere on the show, there was a match where porn star Lizzy Borden (wife of XPW promoter Rob Black) faced another porn star, Veronica Caine, in a match that was supposed to end only when someone was stripped totally naked. But right before it happened, the lights went out and the women were rushed out of the ring and when fans realized they'd been ripped off, they were so pissed the arena feared a riot. (Anyway, here's the bump and yeah....Grimes very easily could have died from this. No mention from Dave on the fact that New Jack also tazed him before this)
WATCH: Air Grimes goes long
  • Shane Douglas is expected to take over as XPW booker when his WCW contract with Time Warner expires next month.
  • Former WCW journeyman wrestler Chip Minton's primary career was bobsledding. He only wrestled in WCW occasionally while doing that, primarily as a jobber on the C-shows. Minton was part of the US bobsledding team in both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics and was planning to compete this year, but failed to make the team. Soon after that, he failed a steroid test and has been suspended from the sport for 2 years.
  • Remember a couple weeks ago, it was mentioned that Roddy Piper was in a car accident but he was playing down how serious it was? Turns out....very serious. Piper suffered 4 broken ribs, one of which punctured his liver and nearly killed him. He also suffered severe back injuries and shattered his ankle. Piper was taken to the hospital and was near death but obviously, he managed to pull through and has still been making all his appearances for XWF in recent days. (Yeah I think in Piper's autobiography, he dedicates the book to the guy who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital and even says he was clinically dead for a few moments. Then again, Piper was like a lot of those old time guys and was prone to exaggeration, so who knows).
  • Eric Bischoff is teaming up with Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit show Survivor, to produce a MMA reality show called Skien. From Dave's understanding, it will basically be a reality show with K-1 kickboxers leading up to a PPV event. (Here's an article about it from Variety at the time, but this ends up going nowhere).
WATCH: Variety article on Eric Bischoff's new reality show
  • Notes from Raw: only one thing really notable, they filmed a segment at referee Tim White's bar The Friendly Tap. The bar really is owned by White and WWF pretty much always films angles there when they're in town (Providence, RI). This time, the skit featured the APA going into the bar to drink and the bar was filled by a bunch of gay men and drag queens (played by a bunch of wrestlers from indie promotion Chaotic Wrestling) while the APA guys acted all grossed out by it all. Then Billy and Chuck attacked them. Dave thinks this played on all the typical homophobic stereotypes and he seems pretty irritated by it. Anyway, among the wrestlers from Chaotic were Todd Sinclair (better known now as ROH's senior official), Rich Palladino (ring announcer for Beyond now) and John Walters (indie wrestler and former ROH Pure champion).
  • Next week's Smackdown hasn't aired yet but it was taped and Dave has details. Notably, this is the episode where Austin chases down the NWO and tries to shoot them with a net gun. Dave says this was a mess, with the gun going off but no net being fired from it and they'll have to fix the whole thing in post-production. It went horribly when they filmed it and it aired for the live crowd and it killed the crowd and basically forced them to improvise on the spot (on one of the Something To Wrestle podcasts, Bruce Prichard tells this story and how frustrated they were with this net gun being a piece of shit). This episode also featured Stephanie yelling at Chris Jericho for getting her the wrong hand lotion and Booker T and Edge feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial. (Rock/Hogan was great, but man, the build for everything else at Wrestlemania 18 suuuuuucked.)
  • Prototype won the OVW title from Leviathan at the latest OVW tapings. After the match, they did an angle to set up David Flair as the #1 contender for the title. Prototype's only singles loss in OVW came last week, when Flair beat him, so there ya go (this video covers ALL of that. The FlaiCena match, the Leviathan match, the post-match angle, etc).
WATCH: Prototype vs. Leviathan for OVW title - 2002
  • Wall Street Journal did an article talking about the decline in Smackdown's ratings, saying they were down 28% from last year and down 42% from the year before that. The article blamed it on Smackdown changing networks. Here's the thing though....it hasn't. Raw changed networks in 2000. Smackdown has been on UPN since its debut. Also, UPN has grown overall in ratings while Smackdown has declined. So....no. It's just because the show sucks now.
  • Charlie Haas, fresh off returning to the ring and winning the HWA title after the death of his brother, tore his ACL this week. He just had surgery and will be out 4-6 months. Rough few months for that dude.
  • A Washington newspaper did a story on James Dudley, who you may know as....WWF Hall of Famer James Dudley and little else. On-screen, he's never really done much. But Dave says Dudley started working for Vince Sr. back in the 1940s, when Sr. was a boxing promoter, and was essentially his Vince Sr.'s driver and assistant. Dudley did a lot of odd jobs for the company during those early years, working ticket booths and stuff like that, but to most people, he was just kinda known as Vince Sr.'s limo driver. So when he was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame a few years ago, it was a pretty controversial decision among a lot of people, given that someone like Bruno Sammartino isn't in, by the company's limo driver is. Anyway, before his death, Vince Sr. made Vince Jr. promise to take care of Dudley and keep him on the payroll. So for the last 18 years or so, even though he doesn't work for the company, Vince McMahon has continued to pay him a salary. He also bought him a new car as a gift some years back.
  • Billy and Chuck's recent tag team title win makes Billy Gunn the most decorated tag team wrestler in WWF history, as he's now held the tag titles 9 times (3 as part of the Smoking Gunns, 5 as part of New Age Outlaws, and now once with he and Chuck). The previous record was Mick Foley, with 8. (to the best of my research, if we're only talking WWF/WWE tag title reigns, that record is now held by Edge).
  • USA Network CEO Barry Diller took part in a lecture at Syracuse University and talked about losing the WWF to TNN. When asked why it happened, he responded, "Because I'm a dope." He said he didn't fight hard enough to keep the WWF and admitted the loss hurt, but also said it may have been the best thing for them in the long-run because pro wrestling doesn't really fit the direction they're planning to take the network. He said wrestling fans came for wrestling and left immediately after it was over and there was never any cross-over fans who stuck around to watch the next show or anything like that. He said they could never figure out what to connect wrestling to within the rest of their properties.
  • WWF held a try out camp in Cincinnati and reportedly, nobody was particularly impressive, including AJ Styles. The knock on Styles was that he's average looking and too small. Wrestler Sonny Siaki was said to be the most impressive, but he also rubbed people the wrong way with his attitude so probably not gonna make the cut this time. Matt Morgan, who was on the Tough Enough casting special last season got a tryout and since he has no formal training, he was pretty awful but he's big so Dave seems to think he'll get a chance anyway. The other one they were impressed by was a woman named Erin Bray, who was one of the final 25 picked for the original Tough Enough. But then some other contestants spotted her out on a date with one of the show's judges and they threw a fit, which resulted in Bray not making the final 13. Another wrestler, Travis Tomko, is a guy who has worked some indies and is a former bodyguard for Limp Bizkit ("Tomko, gimme a beat." "No.")
  • Rock was a presenter at the NAACP Awards and Dave thinks he looked pretty great for a guy who was almost murdered in an ambulance by the NWO a few days earlier. Cheeky Dave is just the best.
  • Speaking of, Dave throws in a random paragraph to backhandedly shit on Kevin Nash. For years, people in the business joked that Lex Luger made the most money with the least ability or drawing power of anyone ever in wrestling. Dave says it's gotta be Nash. For example, Nash is not wrestling and is only going to be in Hall's corner for the match at Wrestlemania (his knees really are giving him problems), but he has been promised that he's going to get the same type of payoff as if he was the guy in the match working with Austin in the semi-main event. Not to mention all the huge contracts he signed in WCW, or how he got a huge-by-WWF-standards deal here, plus got Vince to cave to almost all his other demands regarding schedule and bringing back Scott Hall, among other things. (I mean, while Dave is being kind of a dick here, I don't think he's really wrong either. When it comes to top draws in the history of the business, Nash isn't anywhere near even the top 10 or 20. And he's never exactly been a great wrestler. But since the 90s, Nash always managed to make sure he gets PAID like he's in that upper echelon. Nash is one of those very few wrestlers who isn't entranced by the fame or the fake accolades. He treats wrestling for what it is: a business. It's the way they pay their mortgages and buy groceries, just like you and me at our jobs. I love it. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "Brock Lesnar signed a huge new contract to only work 6 matches a year." Good for him. I hope he gets even more money for less dates next year. You should always know your worth and never let your employer take you for anything less. Nash has always been one of the guys to do that and he's probably going to die comfortably in a nice house while these other guys from his era are still clinging to fame at 60 years old doing $300 indie shows on crippled knees. Anyway, that's my soapbox). Dave seems to feel the same way and admits, love him or hate him, you gotta give Nash credit for being one of the smartest guys in the biz.
  • Fear Factor featuring the Hardyz, Lita, Test, Molly Holly, and Jacquelyn aired this week. First they had to climb up a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter over the river and they all made it up except Jeff Hardy who slipped near the top and fell (knowing Jeff, he probably purposely let go so he could take the big fall for fun). Lita also got eliminated for being the slowest one up the ladder. Next they had to chug a gross drink that included bile, rooster testicals, spleen, and some animal brains all blended together. Molly Holly almost vomited after one sip and was out. Jackie and Matt succeeded. Test refused to even try. So then it came down to Matt vs. Jackie and they had to walk across the tops of high poles and move flags around. Matt Hardy ended up winning the whole thing and won $50,000 for charity.
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 1
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 2
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 3
  • Sunday Night Heat is being converted into one of the B-shows like Metal and Jakked. Awhile back, they started airing Heat from the WWF New York restaurant but the production costs of that were high. So in a cost-cutting move, they're just gonna tape dark matches and throw them on Heat the same way they do those other shows, featuring all the nobodies that can't ever get TV time on the main shows.
  • As mentioned last week, Scott Hall has been taking a drug called Antabuse, which makes him violently sick when he drinks or even smells alcohol. It caused him to get sick after Raw last week when Austin poured beer all over him in a bit after the cameras were off. Hall has said he is clean and has been clean for awhile, except for the incident a couple weeks ago where he fell off the wagon. Others are skeptical and question if Hall only takes his medication on TV days and needless to say, there's some doubt here.
  • Everywhere he goes, Brian Christopher has been telling people he's coming back to WWF after Wrestlemania, but contrary to what he's saying, Dave says there are zero plans for that (indeed, it does not happen).
FRIDAY: More on WWA's PPV disaster, the landscape for any new promotion attempting to start up, WWF huge show in Japan, WWF loses appeal over "WWF" initials, Bret Hart given offer for Wrestlemania 18, and tons more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Australia Goes Back to the 1980s With Its Economy Closed to World

Australia’s success in curbing Covid-19 infections is allowing it to slowly ease some restrictions even as it remains largely closed off from the rest of the world, taking its economy back to the pre-globalization era.
Mining and agriculture continue to support exports and a government-sponsored group is looking at ways to revive manufacturing. But the flow of foreign tourists, students and immigrants has been frozen, pinning hopes for a rebound on local consumption.
The closed borders and domestic reliance has the economy harking back to the 1980s, before the lifting of tariffs opened up trade and Paul Hogan offered to put another shrimp on the Barbie for international visitors.
Services Driven Nearly two-thirds of economic output from service industries
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Nominal gross value added, 2018-19
The capacity of services to quickly turnaround and the fact Aussies aren’t blowing savings on holidays abroad could help the nation fare better than many developed-world peers. Much will depend on the mood of households as unemployment rises, with a poor construction outlook adding to headwinds.
What Bloomberg’s Economists Say “Close to 1 million Australians per month traveled overseas in 2019. They will now be looking for a change of destination, heading to Noosa instead of Nusa Dua; Port Douglas, not Penang; and catching up with friends at bars in Melbourne Laneways, instead of Hong Kong’s mid levels. Containment measures change the economics of international travel.”
James McIntyre, economist
Household consumption, which makes up around 55% of the economy, has been boosted on the one hand by people stocking up on essentials during the lockdown, but hammered on the other as they couldn’t eat out or go to the movies. Shops and restaurants are gradually reopening but, for consumption to drive any rebound, households must put aside concerns over job security and debt to drive spending. That may be tough.
Wesfarmers Ltd. is seeing shift in consumer behavior across its retail portfolio. Home improvement and office products stores, Bunnings and Officeworks, have seen significant uplift in sales, while general merchandise stores, Target and Kmart, have seen sales slow.
Pessimistic households have consumption outlook seeming bleak Even before Covid-19, Australian households were among the most indebted in the developed world, with debt almost double disposable income. The threat of unemployment to people’s ability to meet their debts is now key, and the Reserve Bank of Australia has long acknowledged it as a major risk facing the economy.
The unemployment rate is currently 6.2%, with the central bank expecting it to peak at around 10%. Banks are offering repayment holidays to help tide homeowners over and have quadrupled provisions for an expected surge in bad debts.
Australia Passes Massive Stimulus Measures as Virus Spreads People wait in line outside a Centrelink office in the Bondi Junction suburb of Sydney, March 2020.Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg The absence of skilled migration due to closed national borders will also hit pause on what had been steady stream of profitable mortgage lending for the banks. That could flow through to housing prices if sustained.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia said its base case is for an 11% fall in home prices, though in a prolonged downturn a cumulative 32% slump is possible. National Australia Bank Ltd. said in a severe downturn, prices could plummet 21% this year.
Uncertainty and job insecurity impacting property market Residential construction typically closely follows house price movements, and the sector was already scaling back activity following the previous flood of new stock still working its way into the market.
The RBA earlier this month said that indications from the initial stages of the development process suggests demand for new housing “has deteriorated significantly.” It expects dwelling investment to plunge 17% in the 12 months through June and remain a drag on growth until 2021.
Property investors have been hit by the six month moratorium on tenancy evictions during coronavirus. Without renewed interest from investors, it’s challenging to get a new apartment development, particularly of any size, into construction.
The same holds for business investment. Unless the project was already underway, or is related to creating a covid-safe environment, capital expenditure plans have been parked until demand returns.
Natural Endowment Things look brighter as you leave the cities. Internationally, Australia is known as a commodity powerhouse. While it accounts for just 10% of output, it is a key source of export income and prosperity in the country.
Iron ore shipments from Port Hedland, a key export hub, hit a record for April, while gold sales from Perth Mint -- the main refiner -- also surged. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. lifted its projected annual iron ore shipments in a wager on China’s recovery. “We are selling everything we can possibly produce,” Chairman Andrew Forrest says.
Net exports important source of economic growth It’s less rosy for the liquefied natural gas producers. Just as the coronavirus sent the global economy into lockdown, Russia and Saudi Arabia began a standoff that sent oil prices tumbling below zero.
Top producers Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and Santos Ltd. have slashed spending plans and deferred flagship growth projects -- worth over $15 billion -- in line with drastic steps by energy majors worldwide to hunker down during the pandemic.
On The Sheep’s Back Virus Fears Grow In Sydney As Growing GDP Expected To Be Hit Rolls of toilet papers sit in an empty section of a supermarket in Sydney, March 2020..Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg As supermarket shelves were stripped bare, a panicked nation was reminded of the sheer mass of food the country’s farmers produce. Domestic food production services more than 90% of fresh produce sold in supermarkets and still is able to more than match that amount in exports.
The industry could also become an unexpected source of employment. Backpackers and workers from Pacific Islands flock to rural areas to pick up work with seasonal tasks, but with borders shut and jobs being lost across the economy, farmers are likely turn to the local community for the extra labor.
Other producers have greater worries. Barley and meat exporters have been caught in China’s crosshairs in retaliation for Australia’s public call for an independent investigation of the coronavirus outbreak, while the wine industry is looking on nervously.
It’s been a tough year for wine, even before the virus. Clonakilla winery in New South Wales, north of Canberra, decided against producing a 2020 vintage after analysis showed unacceptably high levels of smoke taint from wildfires over the summer.
Exploring Our Own Backyard Australia's China Reliance Backfires as Virus Fallout Spreads Students sit on the grass at the University of Sydney, Feb. 2020.Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg The education industry was one of the first to feel the pinch from coronavirus restrictions. When the government imposed travel bans on flights from China in February, around 100,000 international students were unable to enter Australia to begin the academic year and left universities bracing for a costly fallout.
The University of Sydney, where students from China represented nearly one-quarter of the total student body, projected a A$470 million loss this year. Other institutions, including the University of Melbourne and Monash University, are bracing for similar hits. Even smaller regional institutions that don’t attract nearly the same level of international students have been affected.
With a lot of money at stake, there could be a relaxation of international border restrictions for students to study in Australia, before leisure travelers are allowed. But for businesses catering toward an offshore audience, demand is unlikely to snap back.
Qantas Airways Ltd. is currently operating just 1% of its network and has canceled overseas fights until at least the end of July. Its main competitor, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., collapsed into administration in April.
Virgin Australia Collapses After Pandemic Halts Air Travel Virgin Australia check-in kiosks inside a deserted Sydney Airport, April 2020. Photographer Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg Crown Resorts Ltd. and Star Entertainment Group Ltd., which both target big-spending visitors from Asia, were forced to close their casinos in Australia as the country locked down. Crown is just months away from completing a A$2.2 billion luxury gaming resort in Sydney.
The tourism industry was already reeling from the wave of cancellations following the December and January wildfires. The silver lining is that Australians will have no option but to spend holidays on home soil once inter-state travel is allowed again.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/australia-goes-back-to-the-1980s-with-economy-closed-to-world?sref=s0L1qQ1H
submitted by HugeCanoe to AusFinance [link] [comments]

The Rothschilds

No discussion of Upper Class Billionaires would be complete without the Rothschilds.
A family dynasty synonymous with wealth.
But what is the true extent of this wealth?
Just how powerful is this relatively secretive family?
With various theories circulating on the Internet, can we reach a rational consensus?
Part 1/6 - The Architect?
Mayer Amschel is often cited as the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
In 1770, he married Guttle Schnapper. This boosted Mayer's wealth, as he received a generous dowry of 2,400 gulden from her father (who worked as a court agent).
Mayer wouldn't forget this and, in his will, outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages.
Mayer was concerned that the family's fortune would be diluted as it grew through marriages. As such, his will "barred female descendants from any direct inheritance" and, in effect, provided incentives for intermarriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle.
Now, is this really a tale of Started from the Bottom?
Or, much like Drake, is there a rich Uncle involved?
To answer that, we need to ask: who came before Mayer Amschel?
Well, his father, Amschel Moses had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange.
He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
We'll come back to that shortly...
We know little about Mayer Amschel's grandparents and more remote ancestors.
The family did previously use the name "Bauer" - in fact the name Rothschild didn't really stick until Mayer Amschel's generation came along.
Benjamin Franklin once observed that in life only death and taxes are inevitable; they are also virtually the only things about which records survive for the earliest Rothschilds.
The most we can say about the early Rothschilds is that they were relatively successful small businessmen dealing in, among other things, cloth.
Five years before his death in 1585, Isak zum roten Schild had a taxable income of 2,700 gulden.
A century later his great-grandson Kalman, a moneychanger who also dealt in wool and silk, had a taxable income more than twice as large.
It seems that his son (Mayer Amschel's grandfather Moses) successfully developed his father's business, continuing the process of steady social ascent by marrying, successively, the daughters of a tax collector and of a doctor.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763.
He became a dealer in rare coins and, just as his father had done previously, won the patronage of the Prince of Hesse.
His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to the Prince of Hesse.
In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Prince of Hesse who in 1785 became William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and inherited one of the largest fortunes in Europe at the time.
Part 2/6 - The Five Arrows
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer's five sons.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
The release of the "Five Arrows" symbolises strength through unity, and marks the beginning of the Rothschild's global banking dynasty.
Part 3/6 - Nathan Mayer
Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and William gave his fortune to Mayer Amschel to protect it from being seized by Napoleon.
Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London.
The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British Crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War.
These savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client (the nest-egg client who had inherited the largest fortune in Europe remember).
This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Historian Niall Ferguson outlines the sheer scale of the Rothschild family's operations:
"For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too — as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."
Nathan pioneered the ingenious strategy of lending to governments during wartime.
This tactic, used when Nathan funded Wellington's army in 1814, is the primary cause of the explosion in the family's wealth during what proved to be 150 years of nearly chronic warfare.
Of course, the Rothschilds played no role in instigating said conflicts...
Continual war in Europe created excellent opportunities to profit from smuggling scarce consumer goods past military blockades. Since the Rothschilds often financed both sides in a conflict and were known to have great political influence, the mere sight of the red shield on a leather pouch, a carriage, or a ship's flag was sufficient to insure that the messenger or his cargo could pass through check points in either direction. This immunity allowed them to deal in a thriving black market for cotton goods, yarn, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and indigo; and they moved freely through the borders of Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, England, and France.
This government protection was one of those indirect benefits that generated commercial profits - of course they were also getting interest on the underlying government loans.
Even the friendliest of biographers admit that, for more than two centuries, the House of Rothschild profited handsomely from wars and economic collapses, the very occasions on which others sustained the greatest losses.
Part 4/6 - Nat
The Rothschilds tend to keep tend to keep out of the limelight.
One of the family’s grande dames said you should only appear in the newspapers on three occasions: hatch (aka birth), match (aka marriage) and dispatch (aka death).
Therefore, this makes the odd flamboyant Rothschild stand out even more.
One that springs to mind is Nat Rothschild (Jacob Rothschild's son) and ex Bullingdon Club member who in 2016 married former Page 3 model Loretta Basey.
According to Forbes, Nat's net worth was $1 billion in 2012, but he lost his official billionaire status the next year.
However, according to an article in the Observer in 2000, Nat's actual inheritance is hidden in a series of trusts in Switzerland and rumoured to be worth £40BN (i.e. $60 billion.)
Part 5/6 - Ghislaine Maxwell?
Alan Dershoiwtz, who once defended Jeffrey Epstein in court, writes:
"My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild..."
Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife Lynn were introduced by none other than Henry Kissinger at the 1998 Bilderberg Group conference in Scotland. They married two years later, and were invited to spend their honeymoon at the White House by the Clintons.
I have an idea!
Let's type Rothschild into the WikiLeaks Hilary Clinton Email Archive.
Nice. 69 results. Let's check out the intercourse between Hilary and Lynn.
How about this one - Info For You on the 25th of September 2010?
In that email chain, we have the following message from Hilary to Lynne.
"Lynn,
I was trying to reach you to tell you and Teddy that I asked Tony Blair to go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going. He told me that he had a commitment in Aspen with you two and the conference, but after we talked, he decided to go and asked me to tell you. He is very sorry, obviously, but I'm grateful that he accepted my request. I hope you all understand and give him a raincheck...Let me know what penance I owe you. And please explain to Teddy. As ever, H"
Part 6/6 - True Extent
We come to the kicker: what is true extent of the Rothschild's wealth?
Of course, it is impossible to pin down an exact number because of the level of diversification of their wealth and the secrecy with which the offshore infrastructure operates.
After all, we know what happens to those that try to expose this shady world.
Worryingly, Panama is only one of more than 90 financial secrecy jurisdictions around the world today, compared with just a dozen or so in the early 1970s.
Together, as of 2015, they hold at least $24 trillion to $36 trillion in anonymous private financial wealth, most of which belong to the top 0.1 percent of the planet’s wealthiest.
Of course, none of this offshore wealth belongs to the Rothschilds...
In 2003, the Sunday Times identified Jacob Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company's chairman.
The size of this stake? £8 billion.
In 2003, the pound dollar exchange rate was 1.63 - therefore the dollar value of the stake was around $13 billion.
In 2017, Jacob's net worth was pegged at under one billion dollars.
No comment...
According to the Forbes List, the richest individual Rothschild is Benjamin de Rothschild, from the French branch of the family, with a net worth of $1.5BN.
This is despite the fact that Benjamin presides over the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which manages over $175 billion in assets. In August 2019, de Rothschild's family bought out the group's public shareholders.
But yes, of course Benjamin, supposedly the richest Rothschild, is worth 2/3 of Donald Trump.
Speaking of Donald Trump...
Trump at one time owned a quarter of Atlantic City’s casino market.
However, Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City’s — largest casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1990.
Wilbur Ross, then an investment banker working for...you guessed it, Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling. The final deal reduced Trump’s ownership stake in the Taj but left him in charge, and bondholders were unhappy when Ross presented the plan.
“Why did we make a deal with him?” one bondholder asked.
Ross insisted that Trump was worth saving.
“The Trump name is still very much an asset,” he said.
In 2017, Ross became Secretary of Commerce.
Remember folks: Presidents are selected... not elected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wbIGFgxJd0
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Flashback Retro Cover Band Live at Groove Bar Crown Casino

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