My top 10 tweets of the year

A thread ๐Ÿ‘‡
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The Mother of All Squeezes

How Volkswagen went from being on the brink of bankruptcy to the most valuable company in the world in two days


1/ At the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, Volkswagen was considered a very likely candidate for bankruptcy.

Heavily indebted and already financially struggling before 2008, with car sales expected to plummet due to the ongoing global crisis.

2/ With GM and Chrysler filing for bankruptcy in 2009, shorting the VW stock would seem a safe bet.

If you are not familiar with stock shorts and short squeezes check my thread

3/ On October 26, 2008, Porsche announced it had increased its stake at VW from 30% to 74%.

This was a surprise to many who were led to believe that Porsche wasn't planning a takeover of VW, based on the company's announcements.

4/ Before the announcement, the short interest was approximately 13% of the outstanding shares, a number considered relatively low.

Porsche had a 30% stake, the Lower Saxony government fund held 20% of the shares, and another 5% was held by index funds.

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(1) Kushner is worth $324 million.
(2) Since 2016, Kushner has connived, with Saudi help, to force the Qataris (literally at a ship's gunpoint) to "loan" him $900 million.
(3) This is consistent with the Steele dossier.
(4) Kushner is unlikely to ever have to pay the "loan" back.

2/ So as you read about his tax practices, you should take from it that it's practices of this sort that ensure that he's able to extort money from foreign governments while Trump is POTUS without ever having to pay the money back. It also explains why he's in the Saudis' pocket.

3/ It's why the Saudis *say* he's in their pocket. It's why emoluments and federal bribery statutes matter. It's why Kushner was talking to the Saudi Crown Prince the day before the murdered Washington Post journalist was taken. It's why the Trump administration now does nothing.
I'm going to do two history threads on Ethiopia, one on its ancient history, one on its modern story (1800 to today). ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น

I'll begin with the ancient history ... and it goes way back. Because modern humans - and before that, the ancestors of humans - almost certainly originated in Ethiopia. ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น (sub-thread):

The first likely historical reference to Ethiopia is ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to the "Land of Punt" in search of gold, ebony, ivory, incense, and wild animals, starting in c 2500 BC ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น

Ethiopians themselves believe that the Queen of Sheba, who visited Israel's King Solomon in the Bible (c 950 BC), came from Ethiopia (not Yemen, as others believe). Here she is meeting Solomon in a stain-glassed window in Addis Ababa's Holy Trinity Church. ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น

References to the Queen of Sheba are everywhere in Ethiopia. The national airline's frequent flier miles are even called "ShebaMiles". ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น