China’s Digital Yuan will Change the World | Real Talk China Ep6

0:00– Video Introduction
1:21 – Richard’s Book “Cashless”
3:52 – Why is Digital Currency Important for Us?
4:55 – What is Digital Currency?
6:08 – How is WeChat and Alipay Different?
7:24 – Is Digital Currency a Cryptocurrency?
8:37 – How will Digital Currency Affect WeChat/Alipay?
12:33 – Can China’s new digital RMB replace the USD as the reserve currency?
16:50 – How the Digital RMB will help China become less dependent on USD
19:23 – Isn’t the Digital RMB just another currency? NO! Here is Why
23:07 – What is the future of SWIFT and our banking system?
26:49 – America’s Digital Currency Future
29:09 – How Digital Currency Can Help America’s Low Income Families
31:27 – How China built their Digital Currency
31:56 – What the Federal Reserve Needs to Do
33:24 – Do you need internet access to use China’s digital currency?
34:15 – How will the digital RMB impact China’s elderly population?
35:25 – What is the difference between CBDC and Crypto Currency?
36:17 – Will Foreigners and tourists be able to use China’s Digital Currency?
36:56 – What other countries are developing a digital currency?
39:05 – Is there an international standard for digital currencies?
40:00 – How can China gain the trust of the world to use it’s Digital Currency?
42:53 – Why the world owes a debt of gratitude to China 📖 Purchase Richard’s Book
“Cashless” Here: Want a simplified version of this video? Watch China Digital Currency Explained in 10 Minutes

What separates a great tactician from a great strategist?


“An army marches on its stomach.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte

“Amateurs study tactics. Professionals study logistics.”
— Omar Bradley

Erwin Rommel was a great tactician but a poor strategist.

During the invasion of France, his 7th Panzer Division was one of the most effective units in the field: he and Heinz Guderian were able to slip their army through a narrow gap in the Ardennes that had been left poorly defended by the Allies. They broke a bridgehead across the Meuse River at Sedan and then smashed into the French rear areas, encircling hundreds of thousands of Allied troops to the north, leading to the Dunkirk evacuation and the conquest of France and the Low Countries.

But he got lucky several times in a row to pull that off. Rommel moved so quickly that the “Ghost Division” outraced its own supply train and lost contact with headquarters, putting him beyond the reach of timely support in the event the French and British managed to rally. Had the Allied commanders been more on the ball, they could have easily cut him off and destroyed him. This same tendency to move too quickly is partly what ultimately led to the defeat of the Afrika Korps.

George Washington was a mediocre tactician, but a brilliant strategist.

George Washington fought around a dozen major battles in his military career, and lost half of them. He wasn’t a bad front-line battlefield commander (in his defense, he was almost always outnumbered), but he was far from the best even in his own time.

However, he excelled at seeing the larger strategic picture. Despite being outnumbered and out-supplied by his first French, then British opponents, he was a genius at maintaining the morale and cohesion of his army and conserving his own meager resources, as well as being very good at picking out which battles he actually needed to fight. He also understood the British Army very well, having fought alongside it during the French and Indian War. In this he epitomized Sun Tzu’s admonition that “If you know your enemy, and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Most importantly, he understood how to translate his bird’s eye strategic perspective down to ground-level tactics and vice versa. He knew he didn’t need to defeat the British Army in a straight fight. The British Army had to defeat him to win. All he had to do was not lose: to keep his army in one piece and make the retention of the colonies too costly to continue the war.

What Happened to the Great American Logistics Machine?

It started with silence, or something close to silence, or perhaps it was simply the absence of a low-level hum that nobody knew was humming until it stopped. In the quiet we realized that, until the pandemic arrived, we had lived in a vast, elaborate, whirring contraption that delivered culture and commerce at spectacular speeds, with astonishing efficiency.

Logistics — the science of making Thing A and delivering it to Point B — had become a national art form, the corporate answer to jazz, stand-up comedy and end-zone dances. America was like an operating system that upgraded itself so regularly that its design and endless enhancements were taken for granted.

Now, the heart of the great American logistics machine is beating slowly and erratically, and in some places it has gone into full-on cardiac arrest. Inevitably, one of our many reactions is pure bewilderment.


Wait. Us?

Rationing meat. Scrambling for masks. Running low on crucial drugs. The early shortages for the pandemic — swabs, toilet paper, ventilators — were a foreshadowing, not an aberration. We still don’t have enough good tests. Our national pantry, long bursting, lacks essentials. Come to think of it, it’s also missing some nonessentials. Just try to buy a bicycle.

Let us acknowledge the obvious: The country is flunking a curriculum that it basically wrote. Which is baffling. American supremacy in logistics has been a calling card for decades, even among people unfamiliar with the L-word.

Logistics enticed millions of immigrants to move here. Opportunity is an idea. Logistics is a job. Actually, it’s an entire ecosystem of jobs, one that starts in factories and ends in showrooms; or starts on drafting tables and ends at building sites; or starts at farms, rumbles through packaging plants, heads to kitchens and lands on plates.

When this country wasn’t enticing labor from overseas, it was hoovering up foreign ideas, then improving them. The industrial revolution started in England, but it was refined to a planet-altering effect by Henry Ford and his car factories. The smartphone was popularized by BlackBerry of Canada. Apple of Silicon Valley crushed the company with the iPhone, which it confects from parts made in China, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the list goes on. The coordination of all these far-flung manufacturers — one imagines an air traffic control room, buzzing day and night — and their harmony in a finished product are a marvel of logistics.

Walmart moves 200 million customers a year through 11,000 stores, a feat it performs through innovations to a supply chain that by the late 1980s included the largest private satellite network in the world. Amazon fine-tuned delivery from its warehouses to your doorstep from one week to two days, to one day, to two hours in certain markets. And the trucks and vans transporting all those boxes navigate to their destinations with rarely a wrong turn. That’s because another American company, Google, mapped the world, street by street, an epochal moment in the history of logistics and an end to the centuries-old, uniquely human affliction known as being lost.

One company, UPS, so mastered logistics that nine years ago it turned the word into the centerpiece of an ad campaign. In a “We Love Logistics” television spot, a woman sang these lyrics to the tune of “That’s Amore,” a love song that invokes both pizza and the moon: “When it’s planes in the sky for a chain of supply, that’s logistics / When the parts for the line come precisely on time, that’s logistics.”

This ditty may have tormented fans of the Dean Martin version, but the overall idea was within the bounds of self-promotion. Today, that ad would sound like satire. Supply chains have fallen apart. Production, we hear time and again, has not “ramped up.” Especially for items needed most, like N-95 masks and Lysol wipes.

It’s a lot easier to buy a pizza.

There’s no point in tagging this as a problem endemic to the U.S. government. It can handle logistics, and for proof look no further than the Postal Service. Ignore the current domestic attacks on the system. Elsewhere, it is the envy of the world, delivering far more letters per employee (269,000) than any other in the Group of 20according to a 2012 study by England’s Oxford Strategic Consulting.

Many parts of the private sector, meantime, remain hobbled.

It was reassuring to watch leaders of Walmart, CVS, Target and others gather in the Rose Garden with President Trump in mid-March to announce that the companies would chip in to rapidly expand Covid-19 testing, working in tandem with the administration. Today, Target has exactly one testing site, in the parking lot of its store in Chula Vista, Calif. After a stumbling start, Walmart announced that it had beaten its goal of opening 100 sites by May 31. CVS had opened 50 sites as of mid-May, and promised to have 1,000 open by the end of the month.

You’d never know it from the halting pace of this rollout, but the United States is a pioneer in public-private partnerships. Spectacularly ambitious ones, in fact. Like the moon landing. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration hired 20,000 companies across all 50 states to produce and assemble the roughly six million parts needed for each of the Apollo missions. They included Playtex, best known as the maker of the Cross Your Heart bra, which was hired to build the spacesuits worn by the astronauts. (We know about comfortable, flexible garments, Playtex said in its pitch.)

“In some ways, NASA had to invent large-project management for the modern era,” Charles Fishman wrote in “One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon,” “while supervising the invention and perfection of the technology to do something that had never been done before.”

Back in the present, and back on earth, the coronavirus is offering a real-time demonstration of how to hopscotch the globe, with ease and speed. Exactly how it gets around is, to some degree, a mystery we are still solving. (Cats can give it to cats, a study published this month concluded.) But starting from an unknown patient zero, it has infected nearly five million people around the world in a matter of months, enlisting victims in its supply chain and deploying them as vehicles to get around.

It is beating us at the logistics game and won’t wait for us to get our mojo back.

ICE Agents Are Losing Patience with Trump’s Chaotic Immigration Policy

Last Monday, when President Trump tweeted that his Administration would stage nationwide immigration raids the following week, with the goal of deporting “millions of illegal aliens,” agents at Immigration and Customs Enforcement were suddenly forced to scramble. The agency was not ready to carry out such a large operation. Preparations that would typically take field officers six to eight weeks were compressed into a few days, and, because of Trump’s tweet, the officers would be entering communities that now knew they were coming. “It was a dumb-shit political move that will only hurt the agents,” John Amaya, a former deputy chief of staff at ice, told me. On Saturday, hours before the operation was supposed to start in ten major cities across the country, the President changed course, delaying it for another two weeks.

On Sunday, I spoke to an ice officer about the week’s events. “Almost nobody was looking forward to this operation,” the officer said. “It was a boondoggle, a nightmare.” Even on the eve of the operation, many of the most important details remained unresolved. “This was a family op. So where are we going to put the families? There’s no room to detain them, so are we going to put them in hotels?” the officer said. On Friday, an answer came down from ice leadership: the families would be placed in hotels while ice figured out what to do with them. That, in turn, raised other questions. “So the families are in hotels, but who’s going to watch them?” the officer continued. “What happens if the person we arrest has a U.S.-citizen child? What do we do with the children? Do we need to get booster seats for the vans? Should we get the kids toys to play with?” Trump’s tweet broadcasting the operation had also created a safety issue for the officers involved. “No police agency goes out and says, ‘Tomorrow, between four and eight, we’re going to be in these neighborhoods,’ ” the officer said.

The idea for the operation took hold in the White House last September, two months after a federal judge had ordered the government to stop separating parents and children at the border. At the time, the number of families seeking asylum was rising steadily, and Administration officials were determined to toughen enforcement. A D.H.S. official told me that, in the months before the operation was proposed, “a major focus” of department meetings “was concern about the fact that people on the non-detained docket”—asylum seekers released into the U.S. with a future court date—“are almost never deported.” By January, a tentative plan had materialized. The Department of Justice developed a “rocket docket” to prioritize the cases of asylum seekers who’d just arrived in the country and missed a court date—in their absence, the government could swiftly secure deportation orders against them. D.H.S. then created a “target list” of roughly twenty-five hundred immigrant family members across the country for deportation; eventually, the Administration aimed to arrest ten thousand people using these methods.

From the start, however, the plan faced resistance. The Secretary of D.H.S., Kirstjen Nielsen, argued that the arrests would be complicated to carry out, in part because American children would be involved. (Many were born in the U.S. to parents on the “target list.”) Resources were already limited, and an operation on this scale would divert attention from the border, where a humanitarian crisis was worsening by the day. The acting head of ice, Ron Vitiello, a tough-minded former Border Patrol officer, shared Nielsen’s concerns. According to the Washington Post, these reservations weren’t “ethical” so much as logistical: executing such a vast operation would be extremely difficult, with multiple moving pieces, and the optics could be devastating. Four months later, Trump effectively fired them. Vitiello’s replacement at ice, an official named Mark Morgan—who’s already been fired once by Trump and regained the President’s support after making a series of appearances on Fox News—subsequently announced that ice would proceed with the operation.

Late last week, factions within the Administration clashed over what to do. The acting secretary of D.H.S., Kevin McAleenan, urged caution, claiming that the operation was a distraction and a waste of manpower. Among other things, a $4.5 billion funding bill to supply further humanitarian aid at the border has been held up because Democrats worried that the Administration would use the money for enforcement operations. McAleenan had been meeting with members of both parties on the Hill, and there appeared to be signs of progress, before the President announced the ice crackdown. According to an Administration official, McAleenan argued that the operation would also threaten a string of recent gains made by the President. The Trump Administration had just secured a deal with the Mexican government to increase enforcement at the Guatemalan border, and it expanded a massive new program called Remain in Mexico, which has forced some ten thousand asylum seekers to wait indefinitely in northern Mexico. “Momentum was moving in the right direction,” the official said.

On the other side of the argument were Stephen Miller, at the White House, and Mark Morgan, at ice. In the days before and after Trump’s Twitter announcement, Morgan spoke regularly with the President, who was circumventing McAleenan, Morgan’s boss. In meetings with staff, Morgan boasted that he had a direct line to the President, according to the ice officer, who told me it was highly unusual for there to be such direct contact between the agency head and the White House. “It should be going to the Secretary, which I find hilarious, actually, because Morgan was already fired once by this Administration,” the officer said.

Over the weekend, the President agreed to halt the operation. But it’s far from certain whether McAleenan actually got the upper hand. Officials in the White House authorized ice to issue a press release insinuating that someone had leaked important details about the operation and therefore compromised it. “Any leak telegraphing sensitive law-enforcement operations is egregious and puts our officers’ safety in danger,” an ice spokesperson said late Saturday afternoon. This was a puzzling statement given that it was Trump who first publicized the information about the operation. But the White House’s line followed a different script: some members of the Administration, as well as the former head of ice, Thomas Homan, were publicly accusing McAleenan of sharing information with reporters in an attempt to undermine the operation.

For Homan, his involvement in the Administration’s internal fight marked an unexpected return to the main stage. Last year, he resigned as acting head of ice after the Senate refused to confirm him to the post. Earlier this month, Trump announced, on Fox News, that Homan would be returning to the Administration as the President’s new border tsar, but Homan, who hadn’t been informed of the decision, has remained noncommittal. Still, according to the Administration official, Homan and the President talk by phone regularly. Over the weekend, Homan, who has since become an on-air contributor to Fox News, appeared on television to attack McAleenan personally. “You’ve got the acting Secretary of Homeland Security resisting what ice is trying to do,” he said.



Meanwhile, the President spent the weekend trying to leverage the delayed operation to pressure congressional Democrats. If they did not agree to a complete overhaul of the asylum system at the border, Trump said, he’d greenlight the ice operation once more. “Two weeks,” he tweeted, “and big Deportation begins.” At the same time, his Administration was under fire for holding immigrant children at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas. Two hundred and fifty infants, children, and teen-agers have spent weeks in squalid conditions; they have been denied food, water, soap, and toothbrushes, and there’s limited access to medicine in the wake of flu and lice outbreaks. “If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes,” Trump said, “everything would be solved immediately.” And yet, last week, when an Administration lawyer appeared before the Ninth Circuit to answer for the conditions at the facility, which were in clear violation of a federal agreement on the treatment of children in detention, she said that addressing them was not the government’s responsibility. Michelle Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission, told me, “The Administration is intentionally creating chaos at the border and detaining children in abusive conditions for political gain.” (On Monday, Customs and Border Protection transferred all but thirty children from the Clint facility; it isn’t yet clear where, exactly, they’ll go.)

President Obama was never popular among ice’s rank and file, but the detailed list of enforcement priorities he instituted, in 2014, which many in the agency initially resented as micromanagement, now seemed more sensible—and even preferable to the current state of affairs. The ice officer said, “One person told me, ‘I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Obama rules. We removed more people with the rules we had in place than with all this. It was much easier when we had the priorities. It was cleaner.’ ” Since the creation of ice, in 2003, enforcement was premised on the idea that officers would primarily go after criminals for deportation; Trump, who views ice as a political tool to showcase his toughness, has abandoned that framework entirely. “I don’t even know what we’re doing now,” the officer said. “A lot of us see the photos of the kids at the border, and we’re wondering, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” The influx of Central American migrants, the officer noted, has been an issue for more than a decade now, spanning three Presidential administrations. “No one built up the infrastructure to handle this, and now people are suffering at the border for it. They keep saying they were caught flat footed. That’s a bald-faced fucking lie.”

The US Marines’ Love Affair with 3D Printing

The US Military is a logistics organization that happens to fight wars.

.. This is a great story about disruption. The Marines seem to be on top of trying to continue thinking outside the box. That turns out to be very difficult to do in any large, old organization. I heard an interview with the Commandant last week. They asked him what kind of tech he wanted most.

“Better batteries”

Bingo. Better batteries would change everything, not just the Marine Corps. There are few technologies like batteries. Cost-to-orbit tech is one of them. If we change those technologies, we change the entire rest of the economy. I believe the service used to call things like that “force multipliers”. It’s neat to see 3D printing _perhaps_ becoming a force multiplier in many areas.