ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Nov 28 15:45

Seattle is Dying

KOMO's Eric Johnson explores the impact the drug and homelessness problem is having on our city and possible solutions in "Seattle is Dying."

Nov 28 13:19

California Plans to Hike Tax on Legal Marijuana, Threatening New Market With Rapid Extinction

Free Enterprise will always beat over-regulated,over taxed Capitalism. $3 out of every $4 spent on Cannabis in Cali go to the black market growers.

The Golden State’s marijuana tax schemes are already threatening the new market with rapid extinction, despite the promises that the revenues from the legalized pot would create a veritable Utopia.

California has long expected to be the world’s crown jewel of cannabis sales. Although estimates vary, most of Wall Street expects California to generate $10 billion to $11 billion in annual sales by 2030. Yet, in the state’s first full year of recreational marijuana sales, California’s total pot revenue declined. In 2017, when California only sold medical marijuana, sales hit roughly $3 billion. Then, in 2018, with both recreational and medical cannabis available, statewide sales plunged $500 million to $2.5 billion. A big reason for this drop is that California has been taxing the daylights out of its consumers.

Nov 28 11:33

State ignored worker death to lure Amazon business, report says

I worked at the Troutdale fulfillment center. Took 6 minutes to get to the break room. 12 minutes total for a 15 minute break. Dangerous place to work.

Spent 3 months as an Amazon delivery driver. After about 4,000 times getting out of the van on the left leg my Meniscus tore in several places. Been fighting a WC Claim ever since. The doctor wants to do surgery,Amazon's insurance company is now having me see their doctor. They want to eliminate or minimize the payout. They have been nice so far,but now it is crunch time.
The Amazon Prime delivery driver job is dangerous too.

"You don't take your lunch break. You don't use the bathroom... There were guys peeing in bottles in the van," he said, including himself in that category. "You speed. You run stop signs in a neighborhood... You start conditioning yourself to just go as fast as possible."

Nov 28 09:02

This is THE critical cycle risk.

Nov 28 08:20

Scathing Reports Document Worker Abuses At Amazon Warehouses Just In Time For Holiday Rush

Amazon has repeatedly insisted that reports about the allegedly terrible working conditions in its "fulfillment center" warehouses are overblown, and that it's workers are treated no differently than any other warehouse worker. To try and save face, Amazon announced last year that it would hike pay to at least $15 for thousands of workers in its warehouses and elsewhere.

But the abuses have apparently continued, and a series of reports released just days before the beginning of the holiday shopping season highlighted Amazon's abuses of both its workers and the public welfare system.

The report that drew the most attention was a joint project between the Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting and The Atlantic which found that Amazon warehouse workers are seriously injured on the job at twice the rate of other warehouse workers - likely a factor of Amazon's demanding conditions.

Nov 28 07:47

More shoppers plan to take out loan to finance the holidays

With 165 million people expected to shop over this five-day weekend and spend more than last year, borrowing is also on the rise.

While using credit cards is a popular go-to options around Christmas, holiday loans also are gaining traction.

One in 3 Americans have or are planning to take out a personal loan to cover holiday shopping expenses, according to survey results Experian shared with Yahoo Money. That’s double from last year’s survey, the credit bureau said.

Nov 28 06:49

US Moves Forward With Saudi Troop MissionUS negotiates cost-sharing for growing presence in Saudi Arabia

According to Pentagon officials, the US has begun negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the question of cost-sharing for the ever-growing US military presence in the Saudi kingdom. Talks began with the arrival of US radar and air defense systems.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley met with the Saudi crown prince this week and brought up this matter. Milley was presenting the US presence as aimed squarely at Iran, and deterring Iran from attacking the Saudis.

Gen. Milley also intended to give the impression that this was not a short-term mission, either, saying the US wants to maintain this presence in the region as part of America’s overall regional footprint.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The burgeoning US military presence in Saudi Arabia, is about much more than protecting the country from alleged "Iranian covert elements" destroying oil processing facilities here; it is about establishing a beachhead for the coming war against Iran, and assisting in "turning" governments in the region into governments which are far more US-centric, than is their current leadership.

The government of Iran understands this, which is why their military did a massive defense drill last week; the question here, is not if, but when.

Nov 28 06:20

ESCOBAR: THE ROAD TOWARD GREATER EURASIA

OURCE: PEPE ESCOBAR VIA THE SAKER BLOG
Kazakhstan’s first president has road map for 21st century: global alliance of leaders for nuclear-free world...

Photo: Asia Times

The Astana Club is one of the most crucial annual meetings in Eurasia, alongside the Boao forum in China and the Valdai discussions in Russia. China, Russia and Kazakhstan are all at the forefront of Eurasia integration. No wonder, then, that the 5th meeting of the Astana Club had to focus on Greater Eurasia – synonymous, it may be hoped, with a “new architecture of global cooperation.”

Astana Club congregates a fascinating mix of Eurasia-wide notables with Europeans and Americans. Virtually all relevant shades of the geopolitical spectrum are represented. Panels are very well structured (I moderated two of them). Discussions are frank and non-denial denials are heavily discouraged. Here is just a taste of what was discussed in Nur-Sultan, under the spectacular shallow dome designed by Norman Foster.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would love to attend one of these meetings; people are talking about trade, peace, and stability in an exciting global experiment, whose time has come.

Rather than the rejection of the "Belt/Road" concept we see in the bowels of power in DC, the US should be embracing the idea; unfortunately, with an American which can no longer really compete, the main concept here is smash and burn, rather than try to create a cooperative environment, where peace and trade can actually flourish, on a global scale.

Looking at this article, I'm reminded of an article shared by Paul Craig Roberts, a gentleman for whom I have a very great amount of respect, a couple of years ago. It's title is rather terrifying, but I think the guy is telling the truth when he says: Washington Plans to Nuke Russia and China The article goes on to say:

"Not everyone likes to hear about the threat of nuclear war. Some find refuge in denial and say that nuclear war is impossible because it makes no sense. Unfortunately, humankind has a long record of doing things that make no sense.

In previous posts in recent years I have pointed out both written documents and changes in US war doctrine that indicate that Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia and China. More recently, I have shown that Washington’s demonization of Russia and President Putin, the incessant lies about Russian deeds and intentions, and the refusal of Washington to cooperate with Russia on any issue have convinced the Russian government that Washington is preparing the Western populations for an attack on Russia. It is obvious that China has come to the same conclusion.

It is extremely dangerous to all of mankind for Washington to convince two nuclear powers that Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear strike against them. It is impossible to imagine a more reckless and irresponsible act. Yet this is precisely what Washington has done."

Nov 28 05:31

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND GLOBAL ARMS EXPORTS IN 2020

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
The Israeli government is aiming to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports, reported Globes, which has revealed the main points of the plan for the first time.

The project, being overseen by the Defence Ministry’s International Defence Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) led by Brigadier General (Res.) Yair Kulas, will begin to be rolled out in early 2020.

According to Globes, the plan is based on “focused seminars for senior commanders in foreign armies”, Israeli military “assistance for promoting sales of Israeli weapons”, and “subsidising small and medium-sized defence companies seeking to sell arms around the world”.

Speaking this week, Kulas said that SIBAT favours a major expansion of agreements between countries, resulting in significant deals for the large defence companies, especially Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me unsurprised at this development; but one has to wonder how Israeli weaponry really stands up to that of China or Russia, at this point?!?

Nov 28 05:18

Black Friday Deals? 48 Million Americans Still Paying Off Debt from Last Christmas

Via: Nerd Wallet:

Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) 2018 holiday shoppers incurred some credit card debt during the 2018 holiday season, and 35% of those who did say they’re still working to get it paid off, according to the survey. That’s 48 million Americans still paying off credit card debt from the 2018 holiday season. Last year, when we asked the same question, 28% of 2017 holiday shoppers were still paying off debt from the 2017 holiday season.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Those... are some pretty scary numbers.

And what gets me is, how religious holidays have been turned into "buying opportunities" in this country; does that ever get you ticked off?!?

What about baking or cooking something for friends and family?!? Is there a favorite food they love, but don't make for themselves?!?

There are some pretty bullet-proof recipes out there on line, and if you follow the directions, the end result product can be very good!!

Nov 28 04:57

TRUMP SIGNS HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS BILL, IGNORING CHINA’S WARNINGS

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation that could bring diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, brushing off multiple warnings by China against such a move.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” the White House said in a statement. “Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president's constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States.”

The legislation has provoked a backlash from the Chinese government, which on Monday summoned US ambassador to China Terry Branstad to warn that Congress’ passage of the legislation last week constituted “meddling” in the country’s internal affairs and would result in “consequences”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) Mr. President, a word, please.

While my head and heart are with the protestors, I am compelled to politely suggest, that of all the ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid things you could have done here, this signing of this bill, gets the prize, at least so far, in the history of your Administration.

And, predictably, the blowback from China has already started. I think this piece from antiwar.com, pretty much says it all:

US’ Hong Kong democracy act slanders China to a level close to madness, Foreign Minister Wang Yi saysJust great, Mr. President, congrats!!

Sarcasm aside, sir, apparently, it doesn't matter to you how this lack of a reasonable trade bill has so horrifically impacted the farmers of this country, with many losing their farms in foreclosure, or losing their lives to suicide; these people have long memories, and are going to very much remember this in the 2020 election.

So what's up next in your "to do list", Mr. President, a shooting war with China?!? Because between this, and the US military's constant maneuvering in the South China Sea, this is precisely what you may well get; congratulations, sir, are demonstrating that you and your Administration are pathologically incapable of thinking a scenario through to its logical conclusion.

And sir, just in case no one in your cabinet is capable of telling the truth, should we go to a shooting war with China, it looks like it needs to be me: we do not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing; or the money to create a successful outcome to a conventional war with China.

And unless you are able to fix this with a wave of your hand, sir, (which I seriously doubt), such a war is going to put the people of this country into a world of hurt.

a

Nov 27 11:55

How Billionaires Become Billionaires

Contrary to the propaganda pushed by the business press, between 67% and 72% percent of corporations had zero tax liabilities after credits and exemptions … while their workers and employees paid between 25 – 30% in taxes. The rate for the minority of corporations, which paid any tax, was 14%.

According to the US Internal Revenue Service, billionaire tax evasion amounts to $458 billion dollars in lost public revenues every year – almost a trillion dollars every two years by this conservative estimate.

The largest US corporations sheltered over $2.5 trillion dollars in overseas tax havens where they paid no taxes or single digit tax rates.

Meanwhile US corporations in crisis received over $14.4 trillion dollars (Bloomberg claimed 12.8 trillion) in public bailout money, split between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, mostly from US tax payers, who are overwhelmingly workers, employees and pensioners.

Nov 27 11:54

The Federal Reserve Cartel: The Eight Families

According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.[1]

So who then are the stockholders in these money center banks?

This information is guarded much more closely. My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stock ownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on “national security” grounds. This is rather ironic, since many of the bank’s stockholders reside in Europe.

Nov 27 11:47

The Impending End Of A Mania

Nov 27 11:45

A $20 Trillion Problem: More Than Half Of China's Banks Fail Central Bank Stress Test

In our latest look at the turmoil among China's small and medium banks, which included not only the recent bailouts and nationalizations of Baoshang Bank , Bank of Jinzhou, China's Heng Feng Bank, but also the two very troubling bank runs at China's Henan Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank at the start of the month, and then more recently at Yingkou Coastal Bank.

As we further explained, the reason why so many (for now) smaller Chinese banks have found themselves either getting bailed out or hit by bank runs, is that in a time when China's interbank/repo rates have surged amid growing counterparty concerns, increasingly more banks have been forced to rely almost entirely on deposits to fund themselves, forcing them to hike their deposit rates to keep their funding levels stable.

Nov 27 10:27

70% OF ALL AMERICANS ARE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY! CBS REPORTS!

70% Of All Americans Are Struggling Financially! If so, then why is Donald Trump touting a “great” economy? The situation is precipitous, and ultimately will affect everyone. Printing money (quantitative easing) doesn’t create wealth and prosperity; it creates poverty and destroys an economy and a nation! First, blame the central bankers (Federal Reserve) and Congress, and then everyone else in America who has not opposed this insanity Republicans are not exempt – only slightly less culpable.

A survey of more than 5,400 Americans shows that 70% of Americans are struggling financially and 20% of middle-class workers are spending more than they earn. Even though the U.S. economy has grown this year, 40% of Americans have difficulty paying for even basic needs such as groceries or housing.

Nov 27 09:09

The UK's banknote printer in collapse fears: Shares in De La Rue tumble 20% after it warns heavy losses and growing debts threaten its future

Shares in De La Rue tumbled more than 20 per cent after the banknote printing company cast doubts over its future, suspended its dividend and announced plans to accelerate its restructuring amid growing debts.

De La Rue - which lost the contract to print Britain's post-Brexit blue passport to a French company last year - has warned it could breach its its banking covenant with banks if trading conditions keep getting worse and it doesn't make enough money.

'We have concluded there is a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on the group's ability to continue as a going concern,' it said along its half-year results.

It comes as De La Rue slumped to a £9.2million loss in the six months to the end of September, compared to profits of £10million a year earlier, due to charges incurred as a result of the restructuring announced in May.

Nov 27 07:52

John Rubino: Banks Near The End Of Their Rope

Nov 27 07:28

Fund Manager: Netflix’s Stock Is Dead Meat

Nov 26 14:11

US Fed is a ‘mortician pumping formaldehyde’ into economy – RT’s Keiser Report

International rating agency Moody’s has issued a debt downgrade warning to the entire world due to deepening global geopolitical uncertainty and risks.
RT’s Keiser Report discusses the issue, noting that despite the rising turmoil the US Federal Reserve continues with its money-printing.

“Certainly, we do have a zombie economy thanks to the never-ending parade of free money from the Fed and the growing pile of debt,” says Stacy Herbert. She recalls the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who said recently “the debt is growing faster than the economy.”

Max Keiser says that it reminds him of “the story of a mortician who is pumping formaldehyde into the corpse saying ‘no matter how much formaldehyde I pump into this corpse the breathing does not get any better.”’

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You've got to laugh at that last analogy; but it sums up what is happening in
the US economically.

Nov 26 13:41

First Look At Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell And Very Young Girls On 'Pedo Island'

A former masseuse for Jeffrey Epstein who says he raped her on his private island, has provided photos of his secretive Caribbean compound to The Sun.

Chaunte Davies says she was raped by Epstein over the course of several years before finally parting ways with him in 2005. She told the Sun that the wealthy pedophile was arrested just five days after she gave the FBI and New Mexico Assistant Attorney General evidence against him.

Now 40, Chaunte says the ex-Wall Street banker performed a sex act on himself during their first massage session - and that she was "manipulated" into staying in their circle by Epstein's alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell. "Within weeks she was jetting round the world on his private jet and on to his island of Little Saint James," according to the report.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maxwell is not going to be talking to ANYONE, until her attorney gets her an iron-clad immunity deal, which I doubt is going to happen.

There are literally heads of both nations and companies who would might fall, if certain information about their carryings-on at Chez Epstein, and other places, becomes public knowledge.

I do not know how she is getting protection right now, but if she doesn't have it, she is going to need it like crazy, as long as she is still breathing.

Nov 26 13:33

Stay Strong, Go Long – Bulletproof Russia Becomes Contrarian Haven

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

It’s a tough road being a contrarian on Russia. This is especially true today when the entirety of the U.S. and European political system is aligned to demonize Russia at nearly every level.

And the main reason for this is that Russia under President Vladimir Putin refuses to do the West’s bidding both at home and abroad. The central tenet of U.S. foreign policy is that U.S. concerns, no matter where they are, are supreme and everyone else’s are subordinate.

Russia under Putin doesn’t play that game. He hasn’t for nearly twenty years now. This is not to say, of course, that objectively speaking Putin is a good man or even a good leader. In studying Putin for the past seven years I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Putin also has jump-started the growing of non-GMO agriculture in Russia, something European clients are going to love.

Nov 26 10:18

College Costs Skyrocket 112% Above Rate Of Inflation Over Last Four Years

Authored by Jeremiah Poff via The College Fix,

As the issue of college affordability continues to be a prominent talking point on the campaign trail ahead of the 2020 presidential election, a new study shows that the cost of a college education is still increasing at a rate that far outpaces inflation.

The study, put out by the financial technology company Self, found that on average, college costs have risen $2,835 since 2015, increasing 112 percent more than the rate of inflation during the same period.

“While it is somewhat understandable for universities to increase costs in line with inflation, especially when you consider the number of wages and resources needed to keep a university running, the price hikes we have found in some states are double (if not triple) the rate of inflation; posing the question of where is this money going,” Self CEO James Garvey said in an emailed statement to The College Fix.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is just plain nuts; but the other question which must be asked is, are these degrees transferable, in terms of real life skills, enabling that student to graduate, then work, in the 21st century?!?

That should be an issue around every dining table in all the homes where teens are very keen to get into college, and finish.

Nov 26 10:11

CIO Of $175Bn Fund Warns "A Liquidity Crisis Is All But Inevitable"

Authored by Christoph Gisiger via TheMarket.ch,

Tad Rivelle, Chief Investment Officer of the Californian bond house TCW, doubts that the Central Banks can prevent the impending economic downturn. He spots increasing signs of stress in the credit sector and recommends holding safe assets to be prepared for turmoil in the financial markets.

Mr. Rivelle, who rarely gives interviews, views the prospects on the financial markets with skepticism. In his opinion, it’s clear that the business cycle is in its final stages. He warns that the power of unconventional monetary policy is largely exhausted and nervousness in the credit sector is growing.

Against this background, he advises a defensive calibration of the portfolio and a careful approach when it comes to security selection – especially in the investment grade segment where many companies are more leveraged than their rating indicates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, I know I sound like a chipped CD on this, but please; don't have any more money in your bank account to pay your bills; look at getting some "melt" silver (silver which is not sold for numismatic value); see if you can get some gold, also, as a stabilizer for your investing.

We are headed toward some very ugly and uncertain times, and please don't get do not find yourself short.

Nov 26 09:40

Deceleration most everywhere...

Nov 26 09:18

Record net short position in the VIX

Nov 26 08:53

Gold and the Lender of Last Resort

Investopedia says, “In the United States, the Federal Reserve acts as the lender of last resort to institutions that do not have any other means of borrowing, and whose failure to obtain credit would dramatically affect the economy.”

The Fed has created $billions in the past ten weeks (more on the way) and fed those billions into troubled banks, hedge funds, foreign banks and others. Lack of Fed transparency forces us to guess which institutions the Fed helped with $billions of nearly free currency units.

The Fed “Party Line:” We don’t disclose the recipients because it might cause a run on that institution. The Fed is important because it protects the economy from massive and destabilizing failures.

This is like announcing that we ignore graft and corruption in congress because telling the truth about our “leaders” could destabilize trust in congress.

Nov 25 13:23

‘Cross our red lines & be destroyed’: Iran’s elite IRGC chief warns US, Israel and Saudi Arabia at large pro-govt rally

All external foes will be defeated if they make moves against Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander warned at a massive pro-government rally amid protests over fuel price hikes.

Major General Hossein Salami addressed people in downtown Tehran on Monday. He said that the country’s rivals are “no longer capable of anything” in their attacks against the nation.

We have shown patience towards the hostile moves of America, the Zionist regime [Israel] and Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran... but we will destroy them if they cross our red lines.

Thousands have marched on the streets of the country’s capital and gathered on the Enqelan Square (Revolution Square). Calling themselves the ‘Supporters of the Leadership’, the demonstrators waved national flags, carried placards and chanted slogans in support for the Supreme Leader Ali Khanemei and the current government. Some were also seen burning American flags.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Which nearly assures of of a cooked up false flag, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Nov 25 12:58

ATMs Spitting Back Bank Cards In Lebanon As "Dollars Have Virtually Disappeared"

Though banks reopened this week in Lebanon, with the country's financial institutions remaining front and center in massive anti-government protests amid accusations of corruption and wild mismanagement, withdrawal limits have now been made official by the country's Banks Association — previously unofficially enforced.

The formal controls now include limiting withdrawals to $1,000 per week, with transfers abroad only ambiguously defined necessary for “urgent matters”.

Yet the collective panic, driven by fears patrons won't be able to retrieve their deposits from banks, has only compounded, as now The Washington Post reports “Dollars have virtually disappeared.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, this Lebanese dollar disruption, may well be only the harbinger of the "great unravelling in the MIddle East", and other countries' currencies could start to fold,like a bad set of asthmatic accordions.

Nov 25 12:58

ATMs Spitting Back Bank Cards In Lebanon As "Dollars Have Virtually Disappeared"

Though banks reopened this week in Lebanon, with the country's financial institutions remaining front and center in massive anti-government protests amid accusations of corruption and wild mismanagement, withdrawal limits have now been made official by the country's Banks Association — previously unofficially enforced.

The formal controls now include limiting withdrawals to $1,000 per week, with transfers abroad only ambiguously defined necessary for “urgent matters”.

Yet the collective panic, driven by fears patrons won't be able to retrieve their deposits from banks, has only compounded, as now The Washington Post reports “Dollars have virtually disappeared.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, this Lebanese dollar disruption, may well be only the harbinger of the "great unravelling in the MIddle East", and other countries' currencies could start to fold,like a bad set of asthmatic accordions.

Nov 25 12:44

A Record-Breaking Dollar Bond Offering From China Could Be Imminent

China is set to expand its bond market through a record sale of sovereign bonds in dollars, according to Bloomberg sources.

The bond offering could raise up to $6 billion, would be one of the largest dollar bond offerings on record. The offering could be seen as soon as Tuesday.

Sources said the Ministry of Finance is considering tenors of three years, five years, 10 years and 20 years:

"It reaffirms China's determination to develop an orderly offshore dollar bond market for Chinese issuers," Anne Zhang, head of fixed income for JPMorgan Private Bank in Asia, told Bloomberg. "The new deal will further complete a sovereign curve," she said.

The size of the issuance would be more than double last year's size, and triple the amount from 2017.

Nov 25 10:33

China’s Yuan CRASH

Nov 25 10:14

Top US General Predicts ‘Likely’ Iranian Attacks

The impeachment of Trump didn't get serious until he refused to attack Iran over the drone shootdown.

What a War Whore this individual is. An attack on Iran will be the beginning of the end for the US,military wise and economically. The dollar will be the first casualty. Oil prices will skyrocket and a worldwide depression and world war will ensue.

Months upon months of US military buildups in the Middle East, all around Iran, combined with near-constant threats to attack Iran outright have sure been raising regional tensions, but according to US Centcom commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, it is not believed to be deterring Iran.

Nov 25 06:37

Lots of fuel if there’s a spark

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