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Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 15:46 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert

Brexit!

[verb | BR-icks-shiat]

"Big choice today, people; are you an ignorant foaming-at-the-mouth racist xenophobic bigot ready to start World War Three, or a blinkered foaming-at-the-mouth self-loathing Europhile snob ready to usher in a thousand-year Fourth Reich?"

- as seen on r/worldnews



OUT, OUT, OUT!
(Original source: Youtube)


And here we have it. After months of hand-wringing, months in which establishment toffs - incumbent politicians, Brussels bureaucrats, fat cat financiers, ivory tower economists, the Archbishop of Canterbury, David Beckham and Singapore's Minister for Trade - all warned of "dire consequences" if the sovereign British peoples dared to leave the European Union, the fateful referendum opened on a typically cold, wet, British morning. Otherwise, the signs looked good for those in charge - the eve-of-vote polls suggested a four-point Remain edge, the bookies' odds agreed, common logic had the undecided breaking towards safety and the status quo, stock markets were on the up and up, and a member of the liberal globalist Reddit demographic was so sure of Brexit failing, that he promised to eat a sock if it went through. Champange was on ice, as all the above prepared to celebrate the denouncement of those racists and xenophobes in their midst...

They would wake up - those that had slept - admonished.

Brexit was on, by 52% to 48%.

Oh, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth all over the Internet, as Brexit opponents wept into their organic kale shakes while decrying the stupidity of the move - don't these uneducated, crude, low-information voters know that Brexit would play merry hell with the British economy and currency? Just look at the pounding they have already received! Banks will abandon the City of London! Merkel will cut the UK off as a warning to others! Why, oh why, did the great unwashed vote them off the delectable European gravy train? No, we don't believe that they care about - or even really understand - those arcane EU regulations, or can count up to a "billion". They're simply against immigration; yes, that must be it.

As far as I can tell, this is indeed mostly true.

However, this narrative is incomplete - it was always about immigration, and jobs. While some projections have upwards of half a million jobs evaporating, one senses that there's an increasing realisation among the middle and working classes, that scary statistics are often not as they seem - in particular, have the bulk of those jobs gone to migrant workers anyway? Having grudgingly signed on with promises that "competition is swell" for the past few decades, only to watch as their relative share of wages crumbled, is it any wonder that - in the words of Count De Monet and The Telegraph - the peasants are revolting? The rich wanted things to stay as they were, and defaulted to the leftist John Oliveresque tactic of smearing those who disagreed as dumb racists. Unfortunately for them, they didn't count on the workers having little left to lose.


A Donald TRUMP impersonator savours victory in London
[N.B. HuffPo reveals their homophobic hypocrisy, after they flocked to TRUMP]
(Source: vox.com)


The immediate impact was Cameron resigning in defeat, having lost his mandate, as a stocky, wild-haired, heavy-jowled nationalist iconoclast saw his vision validated - yes, THE DONALD had backed Brexit all along, and for much the same reasons as his fraternal British nativist supporters - nations have the right to do the best for themselves, they were not winning any more, migration has been a horrible thing for Europe, they can't be the stupid people any longer. As the GOD-EMPEROR said to applause after landing in Scotland, the UK took back their country, and it was a great thing; a simple statement, simply told - Make England Great Again!

Oh, and a certain former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is now a heavy favourite to be the next British Prime Minister.

While increasingly-nervous Reddit liberals are downplaying the significance of Brexit to TRUMP's Presidential campaign, it is difficult to think of a better proof-of-concept for a TRUMP win come November - Great Britain and soon-to-be-great-too America have always shared a special, if complicated, relationship, that has arguably been the most defining global alliance of the past half-century. Culturally and politically, they have often mirrored each other - think Reagan and Thatcher - and it is hardly a stretch to imagine that Britain's withdrawal from Europe would draw them to the USA... and vice-versa.

Yes, a spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of TRUMPISM, and they had it coming (thanks, Merkel). Really, did the UK leaders expect the common working man to just take it, when the EU requirement for completely free movement of labour meant a one-sided flow to their shores? "The elite" then trying to shame them into submission has finally lost effectiveness, as evidenced for example by the petition for Emma Watson to spend a week alone in a Calais migrant camp to prove how nice and feminist they were, and by TRUMP haters unhappy with his Mexican wall threatening to move... to Canada.

The well-known jibe about pure socialism, as is playing out in Venezuela, is that you eventually run out of other people's money. However, it is sinking in that anti-TRUMPISTs are in the main sating their own conscience with others' livelihoods. As the previous examples illustrate, it's easy to play the good guy, when one is not paying the price on the ground. Well, the high-minded writers over at The New Yorker could soon come to realise that as goes York, so goes New York, what more with Obama's latest undocumented migrant anti-deportation plan coincidentally getting blocked by the Supreme Court.

A word to the wise.


Furthermore, strategically speaking, it is not even clear if Britain needs Europe more than Europe needs them. They may take the short-term bump, but once the dust settles, it'll become obvious that the UK has left Germany and France carrying the debt baby, with both now all but locked in since either bailing would leave the other to dominate the Union. And that's if the EU even lasts for much longer, with the Netherlands seriously considering their own referendum, almost before the ink on Brexit dried. Here we go, it'll be a rough ride...

Mr. Ham: The repurcussions will be far-reaching, human, if only as a signal that relying on "expert authority" to ram through unpopular policies is likely to be more risky than ever. It bears mentioning again that almost anybody who was anybody in the United Kingdom rallied against Brexit, and their fearmongering still got rejected by the masses... which might be something your incumbent party might be taking note of.

Me: Actually, British newspapers have exhibited a surprising diversity of views on the referendum, with The Sun for one coming out heavily for Brexit; for our part, I don't see the powers that be relinquishing their iron grip on The State's Times etc anytime soon... which is a problem of its own. Notably, an astonishing 99.92% of votes cast were valid, which means that sneaky stipulations like counting blank votes as the preferred establishment option - as we did back in 1962 - would have been mostly pointless. Oh well. Too bad for Gibraltar, but if it's any consolation, they secured their spot in Overwatch.

Mr. Ham: If there's one place where Brexit has made its presence felt, it would have to be the markets; apparently, traders and their clients had mostly expected Remain to be the outcome, which meant a massive realignment once they realised that it wouldn't be so. This claimed many victims all over, with equities getting hammered globally, as suicide hotlines were posted on investing forums.

Commodities such as gold surged in contrast, though, and this included our favourite cryptocommodity. That said, Bitcoin was on a roller-coaster well before Brexit was declared, as it dropped from its high of US$790 after making a double top, to lows around US$550 to form a double bottom in a matter of days, before recovering to about US$680 as of now, or more or less where it began the previous weekend... precisely in line with the firm of H.L. Ham's range suggestion of US$350 to US$800; If I may say so, I amaze even myself sometimes:


妈的, 真的有这么邪门吗??!
(Source: bitcoinwisdom.com)


Mr. Robo: *modestly* We strive to be accurate...

Mr. Ham: *kicks Mr. Robo in his nether regions* Silence! Had you sold it all off at just under US$800, as agreed upon, we would've made a real killing! Instead, we're stuck with partial profits, just 'cause yer balls weren't big enough! *looks down* Well, at least they're bigger now.

Me: Now, now, don't be too hard on him, I'd have hesitated to pull the trigger myself. Although most of the stuff we had considered back in January arguably went as anticipated, there remained a few events that were unreasonable to account properly for, such as The DAO hack. In fact, there were two just this week, with Bitfinex's long outage due to complications from moving to a new data centre precipitating a flash crash, before Brexit hauled the price back up.

From the many angry reactions, the outage has ruined more than a few traders operating on leverage, as they were unable to adjust their positions on Bitfinex whilst the price crashed elsewhere; this is why speculating on margin makes the entire enterprise feel like YOLO-ing it at a casino, given that trading Bitcoin normally has already been described as "playing poker, except the table is bigger and there are no cards". Given that the swings have been as violent as 20% each way, plenty of positions at 5x leverage and above - in both directions - likely got called. If I were you, I'd just be happy at having gotten out of this still in one piece, and be cautious going forward.

Mr. Ham: Meh, straight and narrow as always, how boring.

Me: These are painful times everywhere, Mr. Ham. No need for unnecessary suffering, and I daresay we haven't even truly begun to experience the fallout from Brexit yet. A pity, though, Europe brought some good in its prime. Might as well remember it by the happier moments that it brought...


Great Britain sails against the current!
[Official video]




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