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Mideast Brokerage Firms – The Way Forward
Hardly a month goes by these days without news of a new IPO on a Middle East stock market. Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to garner the lion’s share of these, but other countries are not far behind. New economic and political visions supported by high oil prices are reshaping the region’s capital markets for the better. The Middle East capital markets can be viewed through different prisms, and the “hub and spokes” model is one appropriate vantage point. At the core, the center, are the three capital market institutions, forming the hub: the regulator, tasked with enforcement, reform, and development of the market; the stock exchange, where trading in listed securities, mostly shares, takes place; and the depository, where ownership of securities is registered and where financial obligations of brokerage firms are settled. Three main spokes are attached to this hub: issuers of securities – companies listed on stock markets; investors – both retail and institutional; and, financial service providers – mainly brokerage firms executing buy and sell orders for clients, the investors. Documenting the evolution of the brokerage industry in the MENA region is yet to be undertaken in a meaningful scale by academics and financial historians but when such efforts commence they will undoubtedly highlight the varied stages of development that the region’s capital markets went through, impacting the emergence, operation, and success of brokerage firms. As was the case in many frontier and emerging markets, the Middle East capital markets developed as part of the efforts of governments to catalyze economic growth. As such, stock markets emerged as government owned entities and not the result of private sector initiatives, as in Western economies. This has influenced the frames of reference of capital market stakeholders in the region. The fact that a financial service provider, a brokerage firm, is transacting listed shares for its clients on a government owned financial space in the Middle East imbues brokerage behavior with certain beliefs, some of which may not stand the test of time – permanency of financial good times is one of them. Broadly speaking, the Middle East capital markets witnessed three peaks, as reflected in the rise and fall in market capitalizations and trading values on the region’s exchanges. The first wave was in the mid-to-late 1990s and ended with the bursting the global IT bubble around 2000. International investment funds were trading listed shares in the region, on the stock markets that existed at that time. The second wave gathered pace in early 2000s and culminated with the global financial crisis in 2008/9. Most of the region’s exchanges were up and running during this period, and prime brokers and global custodians substantially increased their coverage of the region’s capital markets, serving international investment funds. The third wave began a few years after 2008/9 and went into hiatus with the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new global geopolitical realities, high oil prices, and new economic and political visions in several Middle Eastern countries are all contributing to a fourth wave of capital market activity that promises to surpass, in investment volumes and market and product development, the previous three. This fourth wave will not impact all economies in the region equally. Some countries have neglected their capital markets and some have not fully developed them. These will not enjoy the same fruits of economic prosperity as others that have learned to utilize stock exchanges as engines for economic growth. So, where do brokerage firms stand in all of this? As the saying goes, rising tides lift all boats, and brokerage firms in the Middle East, large and small, all witnessed the blessings of the first three capital market waves that impacted the region since the mid 1990s. And many of them today expect to partake in this fourth one. But this fourth wave heralds a paradigm shift in the region’s capital markets, not the mere onset of another phase in a financial cycle. Another unreasonable assumption that some brokerage firms in the region have is that their respective governments will come in to save the economic day. This is no longer a fiscally feasible proposition. Indeed, astute governments in the region are focusing their efforts on increasing private sector competitiveness, regionally and internationally, rather than acting as spenders and investors of last resort. Will there be enough local trading activity to sustain the old brokerage business model of relying solely on the buying and selling of local shares for local retail clients? This is doubtful, for more than one reason. Astute brokerage firms in the region are redefining themselves as financial service providers, with diverse service offerings, diverse client segments, and varied geographic coverings under their corporate umbrella. The three-pronged strategy of an expanded brokerage service, asset management, and corporate finance advisory may not be appropriate for each and every brokerage firm, given financial resources, but diversifying revenue streams should be a guiding light going forward. Brokerage services can be offered to local, regional and international retail and institutional clients. Some of these clients require the brokerage firm to have, or have access to, equity research capabilities. For example, fiduciary responsibilities and insider trading regulations make it difficult for international investment funds, and increasingly regional funds, to take positions in listed securities without research support. In addition to going after clients in other countries, local brokerage firms may wish to consider offering the world to their local clients, be they retail or institutional – a development the region’s capital markets have been witnessing for several years now. However, the more of a gatekeeper the local broker is, the smaller their bite size will be. And with the increasing ability of regional and international trading platforms and applications to offer services directly to local investors, the more gatekeeping becomes a moot service. To diversify revenue streams, a brokerage firm may offer clients asset management services. Capitalizing on its client base, a broker may offer discretionary or non-discretionary asset management services, and look into setting up investment funds to attract AUMs from existing and new clients, both retail and institutional. Investment funds can also be set up by the firm itself or in partnership with other players in the region, and can be open-ended or closed, and listed on one or more of the region’s exchanges. Examples include mutual funds, REITs, and ETFs. As brokerage and asset management services in the Middle East get commoditized over time, their fee structures and revenue streams will follow suit, becoming less flexible, and with size of assets under management playing a major role in the success of the business. Corporate finance advisory services complement brokerage and asset management. The client networks offered by the asset management and brokerage business lines allow the advisory practice to tap into both deal flow as well as funding sources. Advisory services may include intermediating funding for startup and SMEs for expansion or restructuring situations; advising companies on raising growth capital via private equity investments, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, sukuks, and syndicated loans; advisory on IPOs to private or family companies, as well as depository receipt issuances for the regional and international listings of public shareholding companies; corporate restructurings and turnaround services; and supporting M&A transactions by providing alternative scenarios for capital structures. As the current inventory of IPO-able private firms and state enterprises in the region begins to shrink, and as the need to come up with new and innovative ways to securitize revenue streams in listable and tradable equity and debt products increases, brokerage firms in the Middle East may wish to consider how to disaggregate increasingly obsolete business models and re-aggregate them, on their own or with expanded partnerships and alliances, in ways that better serve the economic growth and prosperity of brokerage firms, investors, and listed firms.
Nov 28, 2022 · 7 min read
Middle East Banks and Custody
For those of us old enough to remember, owning shares in a Middle Eastern public shareholding company meant having a piece of paper, a share certificate, stating the company’s name, the shareholder’s name, and the number of shares owned. The share certificate was usually issued by the company, which maintained a shareholders’ registry to document who owned what of its shares. The safekeeping of share certificates was primarily done by investors themselves – the papers were deposited in old fashioned iron and steel safes, or under mattresses. Middle East capital markets came a long way since then. Many markets in the region now require all public shareholding companies be listed on stock markets. Ownership of shares is no longer proofed via nice, glossy cardboard certificates – dematerialization came to town. Citing a scholarly work by Rachel Muigai in 2018 on the concrete industry, ScienceDirect defines dematerialization as “…the reduction of the quantities of materials needed to serve an economic function, […].” For capital markets, dematerialization meant moving from physical, paper certificates of share ownership to electronically recording such ownership. This electronic registration of share ownership is meant to be more secure, and more accommodating to the speed of trading that takes place on stock markets everywhere. In our dematerialized world, ownerships of shares in listed companies are shown as “statements of accounts” similar to one’s bank statement which shows one’s cash held at a bank. The investor, or shareholder, is issued a statement indicating the names of listed companies she or he owns shares in, and how many shares are owned in each company. The question that arises is: who is authorized to issue such a legally binding ownership statement? And this is where Central Securities Depositories, or CSDs, come in. CSDs are legally empowered to register ownership of shares of listed companies, and reflect changes in such ownerships resulting from the buying and selling (trading) of shares that takes place on stock markets. CSDs also issue official statements of share ownerships. One of the implications of the fact that shares are no longer physical pieces of paper but are electronic records of ownership is that shareholders, or owners of shares, can no longer deposit (keep) the shares they own in iron and steel safes or under mattresses to safekeep this form of wealth (as they may do with cash). Shareholders, be they individual retail investors, or investment funds, have three options as to where they can safe keep the now dematerialized shares they own in listed companies. And the choice between these three locations depends on investor needs, and risk appetites. It is a reasonable assumption, since the local CSD is where share ownership is legally documented, to keep one’s shares deposited for safekeeping there. As a matter of fact, this is the default setting, so to speak, in many Middle East capital markets. The shareholder can also choose to keep their shares with their broker. This second option is appealing to some investors who are active traders. Keeping the shares with their broker means that investors can execute sell orders faster than having to transfer the shares from the local CSD to the local broker before selling. Transferring shares from the CSD to the broker can take 24 hours and this waiting time may cause a loss of an attractive sell opportunity. The third option is to keep one’s shares with a custody service provider. Custody is the service of safekeeping shares, and other securities, on behalf of investors. Custody is a service typically offered by banks. And it is not difficult to see the connection here – when share ownership was manifested in physical paper certificates, investors who did not have iron and steel safes used the safe vaults of banks to safekeep these “certificates of value.” Overtime, as shares got dematerialized, the custody service provided by banks was no longer related to the safekeeping of physical share certificates but the electronic safekeeping of the the dematerialized shares themselves – as a bank client electronically transfers money to their bank for deposit in their account, they can also transfer and deposit their dematerialized shares with their bank for safekeeping. The custody service offered by local banks is important to international investment funds investing in frontier and emerging markets, such as those of the Middle East. These funds have fiduciary responsibility towards the pension funds and family offices who give them monies to invest. Investopedia provides a good summary of what fiduciary responsibility is all about: fiduciary responsibility “…involves actions taken in the best interests of another person or entity.” “The fiduciary accepts legal responsibility for duties of care, loyalty, good faith, confidentiality, and more when serving the best interests of a beneficiary.” “A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a fiduciary fails to act responsibly in the best interests of a client.” Duty of prudence is part of fiduciary responsibility. “Fiduciaries must administer matters and make decisions concerning the interests of beneficiaries with the highest degree of professional skill, caution, and critical awareness of risk.” A breach of fiduciary responsibility can lead to legal action in courts of law that put penalties on those who breach and award all sorts damages to those that suffer a breach of fiduciary responsibility. Loss of reputation to those who breach is also major blow. International investment funds trading the region typically have two main relationships: one with a prime broker, and the other with a global custodian. The prime broker is there to execute buy and sell orders for the fund, buying and selling listed shares, as per the decision of the fund management. The prime broker also at times provides research on listed companies as well as margin financing to the fund. The prime broker may be able to execute directly on a local exchange, if it is licensed locally to do so, or it can use the services of a local broker to serve its investment fund clients. The global custodian, typically an international bank, chooses a local custodian bank to serve the custody needs of its clients, the investment funds. The local custodian bank safekeeps the shares owned by the investment fund, and acts as part of a checks and balances system that the fund puts in place to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility towards the pension funds and others that give the fund monies to manage and invest on their behalf. Unless the fund is actively trading certain shares, it will not keep shares with the local broker, for reasons of fiduciary responsibility. The broker may go bankrupt, or fraud may be committed at the local brokerage house. Investment funds need to guard against such scenarios and usually do this by keeping the shares they own at the local custodian bank. Investment funds can certainly choose to keep shares they own at the local CSD, but most do not opt for this option, even though Middle East CSDs are primarily owned by local governments, either directly or indirectly. This is because investment funds require additional services when investing in frontier and emerging markets, services that Middle East CSDs are not fully able to offer yet. In addition to the safekeeping of shares (custody), international investment funds require services such as the collection and remitting of company dividends (the profits that listed companies distribute at the end of each year to shareholders) and interest payments on debt instruments (such as those paid to the holders of government or corporate bonds). Implementing company corporate actions, such as the distribution of free shares to existing shareholders, a common practice in the region, is also a service that international investment funds need someone on the ground to undertake on their behalf. Voting at shareholders’ meetings by proxy is another service in increasing demand that local custodian banks can do for international investment funds. By and large, CSDs in the Middle East are not yet fully able to offer international investment funds the complete suite of these corporate action services. To their credit, some CSDs in the region have started on the dividend distribution service offering but, from an international investor’s perspective, it makes more sense to have all the needed services offered by one service provider – a local custodian bank that is vouched for by the investor’s global custodian. The custody service industry in the Middle East has ample room for growth. On the supply side, some countries have both global and local custodians offering custody services to international, regional, and local investors. On the demand side, clients of custody services in most Middle East markets tend to be international investment funds. Growth of custody service provision is increasing as more local banks start offering this service. Growth of demand for this service is increasing as more local retail and institutional investors start seeing the added value of using the services of local custodians. Regulatory changes that would require all investors, local or international, to have custody accounts, be they at the local CSD or with a local custodian, will also increase demand for custody services in the region. It is not easy for a local bank in the Middle East to equip itself with the infrastructure needed to offer custody services to global custodians. Investments in technology in addition to, more importantly, personnel are needed to offer custody services according to international best practices and in manners that enable the underlying investors, the international investment funds, fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. For global custodians to board local custodians, a long due diligence process is involved. And the relationship, once established, is only revisited once every three years or so – unless there are compelling reasons to do. The relationship that an international investment fund has with a local custodian is different from the one it has with a local broker. The latter is more short term - the risk element is basically based on a trading cycle of T+2 and as a result buy and sell orders can be executed with a local broker of choice, monitored by the fund’s local custodian. Choosing a local custodian, on the other hand, is normally the decision of the global custodian bank serving the investment fund – not of the investment fund itself. This is all part of fiduciary responsibility issues. Custody service fees in the region fall under what banks call off-balance sheet revenue streams – these are revenue generated without lending and, as such, this type of service provision does not normally impact banks’ capital adequacy ratios. Off balance sheet revenues actually increase a bank’s return on equity – a bone of contention between shareholders of some banks in the Middle East and the management of those banks. If your bank is returning around 10 on equity and other banks in the region or internationally enjoy ROEs of 20 or more, then, as a bank CEO, you may wish to consider increasing your off-balance sheet revenues by offering new services to new and existing clients – custody is certainly one of those services you should consider. The business model of universal banking has been undergoing revision since before Covid. As international banks continue to resize their global presence, local and regional banks in the Middle East are enjoying new room to expand service offerings to local and international investors, and custody services are ripe for the picking.
Nov 13, 2022 · 10 min read
An 18 Month Action Plan to Boost the Amman Stock Exchange
For listed companies, intermediaries, and investors to view the Amman Stock Exchange as an anachronism these days - well, they can hardly be blamed. The ASE ranked 6 out of the top 10 best performing stock markets in the world in 2001 and again 8 out of the top 10 best performing in 2008 – please see table below. The ASE used to trade around $ 120 million a day compared to today's average daily of around $ 8 million. The Jordanian exchange lost its emerging market status in late 2008 which caused a large amount of international passive funds to leave, most of which have not returned. The progression of its index since then (below) is indicative. Developments in stock markets worldwide enable Jordanian companies to list on exchanges outside Jordan, in their pursuit of growth capital and higher liquidity for their listed shares - which translates into higher valuations. The ASE did not have any new listings since 2009. A disclosure shy culture continues to dominate and corporate governance best practices still have some ways to go. Equity research on listed companies is in short supply. Advances in technology have enabled Jordanian investors to trade regional and international markets, taking liquidity away from the ASE. The ASE has not undertaken any investor roadshows for years. So, is the Amman Stock Exchange a dud ? Au contraire, mon frère. It is not that every country should have a stock market - that business model is no longer valid. The ASE has important roles to play, locally and in the region. The Amman Stock Exchange's importance emanates from Jordan's regional role - an anchor of stability in an increasingly turbulent part of the world. Having a strong capital market with a vibrant stock exchange at its core is part and parcel of Jordan's armor, which serves both regional and international interests. SME access to finance is fast becoming a critical issue for Jordan. SMEs account for more than half of GDP and a similarly large percentage of job creation. With official unemployment figures in the 20s%, and youth unemployment nearing 50%, the ASE has an important role to play in supporting the country's SMEs - by enabling them to list securities to raise growth capital; and to be there as an exit option, facilitating venture capital and private equity investments into Jordanian SMEs. Jordan's infrastructure needs are multiplying and the country's debt and budget deficit levels are limiting the ability of successive governments to deploy public funds in infrastructure development. Setting up a Jordan Infrastructure Development Fund and listing it on the ASE, open to local, regional, and international investors, would go a long way in helping meet infrastructure capital needs. Such a Fund would also allow Jordanian citizens to have a vested interest in the economic development of their country, thus supporting democratic processes and decreasing a sense of economic alienation that some feel. Listed companies on the Amman Stock Exchange present good investment opportunities. Some sectors are ripe for consolidation - such as banking and insurance. Jordan is endowed with some of the world's largest reserves of phosphate and potash. The Free Trade Agreement with the United States opened up a vast market for Jordanian manufacturers. If the closing days of 2008 marked an end of an era for the ASE, 2023 can certainly mark the beginning of a new one – but how to go about this? Investor protection and liquidity are the two pillars upon which successful capital markets rest. Investor protection is typically the responsibility of the securities commission (the regulator) while liquidity is the raison d'être of a stock market. The Jordan Securities Commission (JSC) is the regulator and flag carrier of Jordan’s capital market. The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) is the market where wealth is stored, growth capital is raised, and financial assets are bought and sold. The Securities Depository Center (SDC) is where securities ownership is documented and transferred and where clearing and settlement between brokerage firms take place – important risk management functions. What follows is a series of recommended short, medium, and long-term actions that could be fashioned over an 18-month period to be undertaken by both the JSC and the ASE, with support from the Government of Jordan. The aim is to further develop Jordan’s capital market by making it, to borrow the words of Mark Mobius, more Fair, Efficient, Liquid, and Transparent – FELT. Recommended Actions: 1) Strict enforcement of disclosure and corporate governance requirements for ASE listed companies with a new emphasis on ESG, gender, and climate best practices. 2) Procure and utilize a world class trade surveillance system to monitor trading violations and ensure investor confidence. 3) Review the Securities Law, bylaws, and regulations and iron out inconsistencies and parts not in accordance with international best practices - including Jordan’s Sukuk Law. 4) Catalyze the emergence of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) – capitalize on the launch of the ASE 20 index and incentivize commercial banks to offer this product to clients. 5) Set up a Jordan Chapter for the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) so that listed companies upgrade communications skills needed to communicate with investors. 6) Organize International Investor Roadshows to investment hubs like London, New York City, and the GCC - go to where the investors are and present the equity growth stories of ASE listed companies. 7) Launch a local investor education program to make retail investors partners in developing the capital market. 8) Facilitate the publication of equity research reports on ASE listed companies so that investor decisions are less based on sentiment and word of mouth. 9) Incentivize family companies, private shareholding companies, and government owned enterprises to list on the ASE - explain the benefits of listing and provide corporate income tax incentives for a limited time to encourage companies to list. 10) Set up a Sharia compliant investment window at the ASE. 11) Introduce market makers - set up a light framework for market makers appropriate to a screen-based trading environment to increase liquidity of listed shares and allow for more market depth (less price fluctuations). 12) Remote access regional and international brokers - allow select brokers from outside Jordan to remote access the ASE via sponsorship arrangements with Jordanian brokers. 13) Catalyze the emergence of a professional class of asset managers – encourage the Social Security Investment Fund to request proposals (RFP) and award four asset management contracts, each JD 5 million, to select asset managers to invest the funds in ASE listed companies and regional exchanges, with performance measured against benchmarks. 14) Facilitate the issuance, listing, and trading of corporate bonds and municipal bonds – provide issuers with tax incentives. 15) Encourage ASE listed companies to issue global depository receipts to be listed on international exchanges to raise capital and attract international investors. 16) Regain Jordan’s MSCI Emerging Markets Status to attract international portfolio investments. 17) Set up an SME and Entrepreneurs Stock Market segment – establish a strategic partnership with a regional or an international exchange to obtain the business model, technology, and brand to launch this specialized market segment to facilitate SME and entrepreneurs’ access to finance and growth capital. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone would be an ideal location for this specialized market, helping turn Aqaba into a vibrant regional financial hub. 18) Establish a Jordan Infrastructure Development Fund and list it on the ASE to address Jordan’s infrastructure finance needs and create investment opportunities for Jordanian citizens in support of Public Private Partnerships. 19) List ASE shares on its own platform, opening the door for Jordanians to own shares in their national exchange, and work to attract a regional or international stock market as a strategic partner for the ASE. Of late, Jordan’s capital market has been underutilized by Jordanian companies and the Government when it comes to raising funds. By undertaking needed actions, the ASE will be able to function as an effective node, connecting Jordan’s fund seekers to local, regional, and international fund providers, serving the interests of citizens, corporates and public entities. The author is a Board Member of the Amman Stock Exchange representing the Government Investments Management Company, owner of the Exchange.
Oct 23, 2022 · 7 min read
Transparency in the Middle East
Last week, The World Bank published a report entitled “A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa.” A main premise of the report, the link for which is at the end of this article, is that “poor governance, and, in particular, the lack of government transparency and accountability, is at the root of the region’s development failings—including low growth, exclusion of the most disadvantaged and women, and overuse of such precious natural resources as land and water.” When put in a legal context, “transparency” becomes “disclosure.” And, depending on which context disclosure is being applied in, we get different manifestations of it. For public shareholding companies listed on stock markets, there are rules and regulations that require accurate, timely, and complete disclosures. Nowadays, capital markets cannot function and thrive without this. External auditors play a critical role in safeguarding proper disclosure of listed companies. To paraphrase Captain Ramsey in the movie Crimson Tide, external auditors constitute the front line and the last line of defense as far as investors and shareholders are concerned. How external auditors are licensed, accredited, and monitored is critical to safeguarding shareholder interests and maintaining investor confidence, particularly in markets where legal recourse is not readily available - which is the case in many Middle East and North Africa markets. Listed companies typically engage in two types of legally required disclosures: routine regular disclosures, such as those pertaining to quarterly, semi-annual and annual results; and, immediate disclosures of information related to events that may have a material impact on the share price, such as a fire in a production facility or the gain or loss of a major contract to sell products, or an acquisition. An area that receives little attention in the Middle East and North Africa markets is related to “related party transactions.” A listed company may have legitimate reasons to, say, purchase goods and services from another company that happens to be related to a board member, a major shareholder, or a member of its senior management. However, such transactions need to be conducted on an “arm’s length” basis, making sure of the quality of goods purchased and that the price paid is a fair market price, without unfair markups. A related party transaction should also be disclosed to the market, along with the rationale for entering into it. Several international organizations, including the OECD, have issued recommended best practices that can be followed in such circumstances. An acquisition of a related company by a listed company at a price that includes a high markup of goodwill needs also to be fully explained and disclosed to shareholders. Monitoring proper disclosure by listed companies is the responsibility of the capital market regulator. The capital market regulator has three main functions: enforcement of the securities law and related regulations; market reform - updating existing rules and addressing market deformities; and, market development - introducing new financial products, for example. The ability of the capital market regulator to enforce disclosure is paramount. Otherwise, investor confidence in listed companies will be lost, leading to dwindling liquidity and a migration away by investors and companies from the afflicted stock market to greener pastures. The days of investor and company “capture” by national exchanges are gone. This “ability” of the regulator has two main aspects to it: top notch knowhow of the intricacies of capital markets, and freedom from political interference. The ability of the capital market regulator to recruit, retain, and remunerate qualified talent is critical. Political freedom for the regulator means financial independence, with its allocations enshrined in successive government budgets, and a reporting line to the highest political authority in the land - not to cabinet minister, for example. The regulator cannot take part of the trading or depository fees that accrue to exchanges and depositories to finance its operations - a clear regulatory conflict of interest that will lead to a loss of investor confidence. It may seem, at first sight, a forgone conclusion that taking care of one’s capital market is good for on’e economy. After all, the national capital market, with the stock market at its core, plays an important role in facilitating access to finance for small, medium, and large enterprises and corporations, which use funds raised to undertake capital investments that lead to economic growth and create jobs - much relevant points for the fast growing populations of the Middle East and North Africa region. But that is now always the case. And, as The World Bank report implies, the ability of the capital market regulator in some countries of this region to enforce proper disclosure rules and regulations requires a shift in the enforcement matrix. And in such circumstances, the “state” has to provide the political cover and support to the entities undertaking enforcement actions. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/38065
Oct 10, 2022 · 4 min read
Bertrand Russell and Freedom
I don’t usually quote other people but the state of affairs in the world these days necessitates a reminder of Bertrand Russell’s thinking. "...freedom is not the panacea of all things. I think there are a good many matters in which freedom should be restrained. Some of them things in which it is not sufficiently restrained at present. In the relations between nations; there ought to be less freedom than there is, I think." "...I think that freedom must have very definite limitations, where you come to things that are definitely harmful to other people or things that prevent you yourself from being useful, such as lack of knowledge." "...I do like clarity and exact thinking and I believe that very important to mankind. Because when you allow yourself to think inexactly, your prejudices, your bias, your self interest comes in in ways you don't notice, and you do bad things without knowing that you are doing them. Self deception is very easy. So that I do think clear thinking immensely important.." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL_sMXfzzyA
Sep 27, 2022 · 1 min read