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Author Topic: Is Bitcoin a Pyramid or Ponzi scheme & what are the ramifications?  (Read 10656 times)
CoinCube
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November 30, 2013, 10:53:44 PM
 #141

Bitcoin is either a new currency going through a difficult birth or it is the scam of the millenia. Personally I don't think Satoshi intentioned it to be a scam. He had solved the double spend problem and was interested to see how it would evolve. Now whilst Satoshi is a brilliant problem solver and programmer he just didn't take into account human nature. This flaw has turned a fledgling currency into a Frankenstein.

If, at the outset, Satoshi intentioned for all this to happen then he has pulled off a crime of Biblical scale. A new word will enter the English dictionary, and quite possibly many other dictionaries. In years to come we won't just be talking of Pyramid selling, multi-level marketing, boiler rooms and Ponzi's. A Satoshi scam will sit head and shoulders above all other scams. People will ask 'Were you one of the people who got 'Satoshid'?

But out of the bonfire of digital currencies will emerge a new digital currency, one that does take into account the flaws and weaknesses of human nature. It just won't be Bitcoin.

November 30th 2013
The date 'Satoshid' and 'Satoshi Scam' first entered the English language

Quoted for historical relevance.

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mdude77
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December 01, 2013, 02:00:01 AM
 #142

Its planned - and therefore in Austrian terms, its not money.  Please don't debate semantics on an article that you recommended. 

If the planning part is not convincing enough for you, surely the "BITCOINS ARE NOT MONEY" in bold and in caps should do it.  Your guy does not think Bitcoin is money.  Given that he feels the same way about the dollar, its hardly a surprise!

I didn't say I agreed with him!  In fact, I gave my $.02 worth with contradicted his conclusion.  I'm not one to accept things at face value, and in the large scheme of things, I'm pretty new to libertarianism and certainly very new to Austrian economic theory.  I stumbled across libertarianism via Ron Paul.  Most things I agree with.  Some I don't understand.  That led me to Austrian economics, and I'm clearly hazy on more than some of it. Smiley

I believe I read somewhere that money has to be tangible, so in strict terms, BTC is not money.

Quote
In response to the fact that in Western countries, the biggest killers of the very poor are diseases caused by too much food and diseases caused by too much leisure, you are wittering about some weird US thing that is fuck all to do with poor people being well fed and not needing to work.  What do you propose? That we police people's diets and chase them with dogs for an hour a day?  Would that be better? 

Wow, a bit grumpy are we? 

Since you ask what I propose, I propose our leaders set a good example.  It seems a lot of people like being sheeple, which means if our leaders really want to lead and not control (I know, that rules out most of today's "leaders"), they'd do what's right instead of where they wallet leads them. 

One thing I do agree with in libertarianism is letting people live life how they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect others.  I realize the definition of "adverse" is not black and white.  I think that should be clarified then (if I'm not horribly misstating it already) as letting people live life how they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect me and mine.

M

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mdude77
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December 01, 2013, 02:15:35 AM
 #143

I was pointing to the logic in the linked article.  Personally I don't think Gary North made a fair representation of Austrian thinking but that's the article we were asked to read and discuss.

And you said you didn't read it! Smiley

Quote
I still think the fact that everyone in society has access to endless food and endless leisure means that things are "fine."  Improvements possible but lets not go nuts and ignore just how good modern life really is.

Hmmm.  Define society please?  Half of the US is living off of the other half.  Is that endless food and endless leisure?  

Not sure about you, but I personally am required to go to work 5 days a week to earn a living.  It is work, I wouldn't call it leisure.  I don't have servants at my beckon to take care of daily chores and tasks.  Nor am I am one one of those privileged to have a summer and winter home.  Nor do I have a luxurious pension and retirement plan waiting for me when I get older as the "fat cat" banksters and politicians do.

Granted, I do have some time, as I'm clearly spending some of it here typing on a electromechanical device we call a keyboard and watching electrons move across the liquid crystal display that we formally call an LCD, or just "screen" for short, forming these things called words to post on an electronic medium called the internet and my words will likely be stored here and likely be retrievable for a very very long time.  That fact alone puts me above what a huge number of the world's population will ever be able to do.  After this I'll likely sit down on my couch with my wife and read some before retiring for the evening.  Despite the fact that it's literally freezing outside, I don't have to worry about the wind blowing in the house, or my kid being cold, or wild animals dragging me off in the night.  In the morning I won't have to worry about finding enough food to feed my family.

Compare that to those who are in poverty, those who wonder where the next bite of food will come from for their kids, those who are living in a box in a corner somewhere on the street, yeah, I'm "fine".  I would argue that a good number are not fine.  Based on the predictions of those outside of government and mainstream media (neither of which can be believed), things are getting worse and the number of those not "fine" are going to increase, likely significantly.

So I stand by my argument, today's systems are not "fine".

M

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December 01, 2013, 02:21:13 AM
 #144

I was pointing to the logic in the linked article.  Personally I don't think Gary North made a fair representation of Austrian thinking but that's the article we were asked to read and discuss.

And you said you didn't read it! Smiley

Quote
I still think the fact that everyone in society has access to endless food and endless leisure means that things are "fine."  Improvements possible but lets not go nuts and ignore just how good modern life really is.

Hmmm.  Define society please?  Half of the US is living off of the other half.  Is that endless food and endless leisure?  

Not sure about you, but I personally am required to go to work 5 days a week to earn a living.  It is work, I wouldn't call it leisure.  I don't have servants at my beckon to take care of daily chores and tasks.  Nor am I am one one of those privileged to have a summer and winter home.  Nor do I have a luxurious pension and retirement plan waiting for me when I get older as the "fat cat" banksters and politicians do.


I'm pretty sure that he meant that in the context of the level of work to rest ratio that prior generations have had to endure.  On net, he's correct in this sense, although it's not 'endless'.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 01, 2013, 02:23:07 AM
 #145

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.

Arguing against the Austrian theory of the origin of money is inane.

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MoonShadow
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December 01, 2013, 02:32:17 AM
 #146

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

Today's systems are working fine.  You could argue that things might be a bit better but overall things are fine.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.


This last part is historicly false.  It's a widely held belief, mostly because of the degree of propaganda that the supporters of central banking have put out there over the past century.  There is, quite literally, no evidence that suggests that chartering of a central bank was ever an issue with any popular support, and particularly not in 1913 when it actually happened.  To be blunt, even the bill's planning and existance was a secret right up until it was introduced into congress, and passed with a flurry.  It makes Pelosi's "we have to pass it so you can see what's in it" bullshit look like high minded parlimentarly process.

Quote

Arguing against the Austrian theory of the origin of money is insane.

Maybe, but not only do many actual economists argue that the Regression Theory is flawed, but Gary North doesn't even use it (if one assumes he is a true Austrian, I don't) in the proper sense.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
Impaler
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December 01, 2013, 02:38:11 AM
 #147


Impaler: My take is that you and mint are essentially arguing the same point.
You are arguing that hard money accumulates into a few hands over time based on the natural tendency of individual actors acting in what they see as their own best interests and that no government is required for this process to occur.

Mint is arguing that once this occurs to a sufficient degree (gross income inequality) people will demand redistribution via government or if government is not responsive via a new government a la French Revolution. He is arguing that redistribution via government naturally arises as a result of your hording individuals above.

My question for you Mint is what makes you confident that starving governments via an anonymous coin would necessarily improve things. I agree with your underlying premise that we appear to be in a cycle of boom and bust based on finance/fractional banking/debt -> collectivism -> collapse -> gold standard -> restart cycle again. However at the end of each cycle so far knowledge has advanced and passive capital has declined compared to the same point in the cycle before it aka progress.

Removing the governments ability to tax will create other problems such as the inability to regulate and prevent tragedy of the commons type situations that require collective action.


Thx for the reply CoinCube, I would generally agree with the scenario your proposing.  That their is a big stealthy wealth-pumping effect caused by hard-money, and that Socialism and in particular wealth-redistribution urgings from the Poor are an attempt to pump the wealth back down to them.  Sadly the socialists have been misled by Marxist ideology for the last century.  Marx is completely ignorant of wealth transfer by interest and was completely silent on this subject.  It instead focused on Free-market which were never the problem, such markets are such an engine of wealth creation that people living under interest AND Free-markets ended up materially wealthier even with the vast 'sucking up' of their productivity to elites.  Meanwhile the political elite in a Centrally planned economies skim wealth in a much more obvious fashion and were soon seen to be parasitic with less wealth creating potential.  In the 'Capitalist' nations the Free-markets benefits are never distinguished from the parasitic interest system, so most people think of the Capitalist economy as one monolithic system and defend parasitic interest payments as a necessary part of free-markets, indeed if Hard-money is a hidden axiom (which it is for most people) then interest IS indeed necessary for any investment and growth.

And while I consider myself a Socialist in the broader sense, I have always preferred Taxation for the creation of public-good available without means testing to all members of society over crude wealth-redistribution.  Redistribution tends to be favored by the financial elites for acts to reinforce class distinction between 'net tax payers' and 'net recipients', where as public goods erase class distinctions.

I believe that if we eliminated the hidden wealth pumping of interest then we would no longer even entertain wealth-redistribution as a solution to the remaining wealth disparities.  But we would sill desire Public-goods and hopefully create them in optimum amounts.

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December 01, 2013, 02:52:08 AM
 #148

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

Today's systems are working fine.  You could argue that things might be a bit better but overall things are fine.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.


This last part is historicly false.  ...  There is, quite literally, no evidence that suggests that chartering of a central bank was ever an issue with any popular support, and particularly not in 1913 when it actually happened...

Note you did not refute my statement that the dollar derived from a long bottom-up process of people preferring gold and silver as money. The Constitution stipulates the money is to be gold and silver, because that is what was seen by most people as the truest money of the time.

So your argument that we can sustainably top-down create currency in a very short people of time, without getting people to use it bottom-up spontaneously and in large scale doesn't have any basis in history nor theory. Hitler created money top-down, Lincoln created the continental currency. Those both failed horrifically.

The central bank of the usa was originally given powers only to buy corporate paper on a regional basis, i.e. to be a very short-term moderating influence on regional volatility in credit markets. Yet you see how it morphed over time.

The people were very much tired of the frequent bank runs and depressions. Even JP Morgan had to bail out the USA.

The people were not fighting any more for what Andrew Jackson did. They were tired already of the rollercoaster hamster wheel of unregulated fractional reserve banking.

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AnonyMint
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December 01, 2013, 03:36:19 AM
 #149

I am in agreement with the progress of the dissection of the issues by Impaler and CoinCube. I will add my thoughts to hopefully attain a higher-level agreement.

Mint:  If your arguing that hard money will be rejected by the people and can only be forcefully imposed by government that is indeed a more nuanced position then I had originally though you had.  But I would still disagree.

I believe that individuals DO crave hard money, everyone knows that if they possess a harder form of money then everyone else they will be advantaged.  It's like the classic prisoners-dilemma where you win by betraying your partner, hard money is when everyone is betraying everyone.  This is why people (particularly 'libertarian' types who view other people only as means to their own ends) are attracted to things like BTC, their is a natural greedy response to acquire hard money like a 'sweet tooth' that makes us eat too much sugar, the systemic effects are terrible but most people do not think systemically so we end up stuck in a sub-optimal situation.  Basically I see a logical bottom-up explanation for how we got here so I don't attribute it to a top-down cabal, I always turn to the conspiratorial theories LAST.

Please consider that the truth is neither either or. There is a symbiosis of bottom-up and top-down which is operating in waves cascading effects from one to the other throughout history.

Indeed the people individually want the hard money advantage for themself, yet they hate the collective outcome and since they don't see that the source of the problem is their individual desires, they have only one possible way to cash in on their grievances-- government redistribution. So the bottom-up is driving the top-down, yet the top-down is also driving the bottom-up as I will explain below. There is no conspiracy theory, it is just the way it works systemically.

It is really a sad state-of-humanity at this point.

Their are certainly instances in history were central authority forces hard money onto the populous (usually by taking away soft-money) but we can see from the rabid BTC zealots that exist that the imposition of hard money will be meet with Cheers and Applause by large swaths of the masses.  Thus is it not JUST a problem of government, and particularly now that so much inertia is built up behind it.  Most people only know our current money system which is harder then it should be (BTC is hyper-hard by comparison).  Given the existence of gold as an easily mined, easily traded commodity it is very easy to see how it became money all over the world, no central authority is necessary to do that.  Most negative government action has been in the form of suppression of alternatives to hard money (or the softening of the money standard ) rather then to create the norm of hard money in the first place.

Very insightful how you've noticed that the top-down controllers would at times prefer the money to be harder not softer. And they do this not only by limiting the expansion of the money supply at times, but also by overexpanding it when they are concentrating into their own pockets as with the current QE.

There is no mathematical correlation of expansion of the money supply and inflation in the Quantity Theory of Money. That recently popular notion appears to be propaganda fed to the hard-on money bugs in order to encourage them to destroy themselves and foster the hamster wheel for society.

...

It instead focused on Free-market which were never the problem, such markets are such an engine of wealth creation that people living under interest AND Free-markets ended up materially wealthier even with the vast 'sucking up' of their productivity to elites.  Meanwhile the political elite in a Centrally planned economies skim wealth in a much more obvious fashion and were soon seen to be parasitic with no benefits.  In the 'Capitalist' nations the Free-markets benefits are never distinguished from the parasitic interest system, so most people think of the Capitalist economy as one monolithic system and defend parasitic interest payments as a necessary part of free-markets, indeed if Hard-money is a hidden axiom then interest IS indeed necessary for any investment and growth.

Indeed the masses conflate everything. IQ is a bell curve, and even high IQ doesn't distribute uniformly on each issue. So as one of the elite said, "only one in a million can" see the truth.

And the top-control profiteers have every incentive to continue feeding them propaganda and educating them in state-schools where they can form their minds.

And while I consider myself a Socialist in the broader sense, I have always preferred Taxation for the creation of public-good available without means testing to all members of society over crude wealth-redistribution.  Redistribution tends to be favored by the financial elites for acts to reinforce class distinction between 'net tax payers' and 'net recipients', where as public goods erase class distinctions.

But taxation can never be fair because as you see above, the bottom-up demands a top-down. And Mancur Olsen's The Logic Of Collective Action explains that the top-down will always privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

I believe that if we eliminated the hidden wealth pumping of interest then we would no longer even entertain wealth-redistribution as a solution to the remaining wealth disparities.  But we would sill desire Public-goods and hopefully create them in optimum amounts.

But surely you must realize that human nature will never allow this to be true, because as you've identified upthread, the masses will always love hard money and they don't correlate this with the negative collective (systemic) effects. And you never teach them otherwise because IQ is not uniform and not even uniform on each issue for the high IQ.

Thus government will always fill that power vacuum of the incapability of the masses to comprehend.

The only possible solution would be a technological one that eliminates the ability of the masses to harm themselves with their own ignorance.

My question for you Mint is what makes you confident that starving governments via an anonymous coin would necessarily improve things. I agree with your underlying premise that we appear to be in a cycle of boom and bust based on finance/fractional banking/debt -> collectivism -> collapse -> gold standard -> restart cycle again. However at the end of each cycle so far knowledge has advanced and passive capital has declined compared to the same point in the cycle before it aka progress.

Removing the governments ability to tax will create other problems such as the inability to regulate and prevent tragedy of the commons type situations that require collective action.

It is impossible for an anonymous coin to make brick and mortal transactions anonymous. The government will always be able to tax the industrial age economy.

My effort is targeted at the new virtual economy I see coming, wherein a recent Oxford study predicts 47% of all existing jobs will be replaced with computerization automation by 2033 (the year Martin Armstrong's Pi model and thus I expect the sovereign debt crisis to have ended).

I see we the hitech knowledge workers taking over the world over the next 20 years. That is sufficient time to ramp up the new currency.

So let the government and the masses have their old world economy. They will have plenty of time to fade away slowly and/or adjust and migrate to the new economy.

Government can become privatized. We don't need government for anything, not for roads, not for schools, nothing. I am a minanarchist.

Give me an example of something we need government for and I will explain why I think it can be done better by private enterprise and competition.

Impaler pointed out that the masses conflate the free market with the failure that the masses causes on themselves with hard money and government. The free market is not the problem, rather it is the solution.

Edit: see the new flying car that already has a working prototype.

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December 01, 2013, 05:12:20 AM
 #150

I see we the hitech knowledge workers taking over the world over the next 20 years. That is sufficient time to ramp up the new currency.

So let the government and the masses have their old world economy. They will have plenty of time to fade away slowly and/or adjust and migrate to the new economy.

Government can become privatized. We don't need government for anything, not for roads, not for schools, nothing. I am a minanarchist.

Give me an example of something we need government for and I will explain why I think it can be done better by private enterprise and competition.

Impaler pointed out that the masses conflate the free market with the failure that the masses causes on themselves with hard money and government. The free market is not the problem, rather it is the solution.

Edit: see the new flying car that already has a working prototype.

Link to further discussion that continued on from the above post:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=342848.msg3789022#msg3789022

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December 01, 2013, 08:54:15 AM
 #151

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.

Arguing against the Austrian theory of the origin of money is inane.

The origin of money is debt. The origin of debt is collectivism. The origin of collectivism is organized violence. The origin of organized violence is disease.
Otherwise, stateless and self-sufficient communities in the rain forest would have money and markets as well. But they don't. They don't need it, because they are not taxed (indebted) by the state mafia. It's that simple.
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December 01, 2013, 09:08:42 AM
 #152

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.

Arguing against the Austrian theory of the origin of money is inane.

The origin of money is debt. The origin of debt is collectivism. The origin of collectivism is organized violence. The origin of organized violence is disease.
Otherwise, stateless and self-sufficient communities in the rain forest would have money and markets as well. But they don't. They don't need it, because they are not taxed (indebted) by the state mafia. It's that simple.

We were talking about base money, one step above barter.

Debt is a derivative of base money.

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December 01, 2013, 09:49:52 AM
 #153

"Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of an unplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time."

Thats both the dollar and Bitcoin ruled out.

The dollar was derived from a long process derived from a commodity money system that was originally fractionally debased by private banks ultimately leading to the public to support the notion of a central bank to back stop some of the frequent bank runs and depressions.

Arguing against the Austrian theory of the origin of money is inane.

The origin of money is debt. The origin of debt is collectivism. The origin of collectivism is organized violence. The origin of organized violence is disease.
Otherwise, stateless and self-sufficient communities in the rain forest would have money and markets as well. But they don't. They don't need it, because they are not taxed (indebted) by the state mafia. It's that simple.

We were talking about base money, one step above barter.

Debt is a derivative of base money.

No, base money is a derivative of debt. No debt - no base money. No organized violence - no debt.
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December 01, 2013, 05:37:32 PM
 #154

Money breeds debt
Equities breed derivatives
Confidence breeds speculation

Money, Equities and Confidence live in the present

debt, derivatives and speculation live in the future

Just my 2 cents
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December 03, 2013, 01:38:00 AM
 #155

Indeed the people individually want the hard money advantage for themself, yet they hate the collective outcome and since they don't see that the source of the problem is their individual desires, they have only one possible way to cash in on their grievances-- government redistribution. So the bottom-up is driving the top-down, yet the top-down is also driving the bottom-up as I will explain below. There is no conspiracy theory, it is just the way it works systemically.

It is really a sad state-of-humanity at this point.

The part I emphasized is the root of it.  Doesn't matter what configuration, government, lack of government, organization, money, non money, virtual, or not, et al, as long as humans are driven by their not self and focus on greed and material wants (not needs), you'll always get the same thing: disaster.

M


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