Jason Hartman hosts in-house economist Thomas as they look back at the top events of the decade. They run down the stories that impacted investors the most. These include the War on Terror, Obamacare, and the Great Recession. They end with some optimism for the 2020s.
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Welcome to the young wealth show where you’ll truly learn how to make, spend and invest money for an awesome life. Get the real life stuff that wasn’t part of your school curriculum. Young wealth gives you innovative new ways of dealing with your finances, as well as the skills and tools you’re going to need to survive and be successful out on your own. Let the young wealth show be your GPS to take you from clueless to clued in. here’s your host, Jason Hartman. Young well.
Jason Hartman 0:49
Thanks for joining us. Thomas. our in house economist is here with us and he has so thoughtfully put together a list of the Top 10 things For the last decade, yes, we’re in a new year. And we’re seeing all these year end reviews in the news, media and decade reviews because we are in a new decade, of course, of course, we had a lot of unrest in the Middle East Iran, just thanks to Twitter for exposing that if Twitter wasn’t there, that would have been a lot less apparent as to what was really going on in the news. Of course, the Arab Spring. That happened, just as I had cancelled my cable TV subscription. And I was going on plugged, I figured, I’m just going to have internet only there was a lot to see on TV after that. I missed a lot of that. Because it’s not the same as when you you log in nowadays, almost 10 years later. Now you can see most of that stuff online, but back then you couldn’t Ireland and Greece. We know those economies suffered some big things. the BP oil spill, remember Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Osama bin Laden was killed If you’re conspiracy theories, maybe he wasn’t, there was Japan’s terrible tsunami and the Fukushima disaster. There was Occupy Wall Street movement, Steve Jobs passed away. Facebook had their IPO. And that was widely criticized as to how they how they did that. We talked about it on the show. It’s nice when you have a show that’s been running for almost 15 years, right? Because we, we covered most of these issues. Obama was reelected Putin as well and pay Putin’s election. I don’t know about that Obama’s probably much more legit. Hurricane Sandy Syrian civil war, Sandy Hook, Boston Marathon bombing, Black Lives Matter. Xi Jinping elected Edward Snowden. We had a lot of sort of whistleblower people in the past decade, right. We had Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. We had another one. Maybe we’ll get to him now her Chelsea Manning In a moment, Bitcoin was a big deal over the last decade, Twitter, cannabis legalization in many states and probably soon to come nationally. That’s attitudes on that have certainly changed. North Korea. Oh was in the news, ISIS, Michael Brown, gay marriage, Charlie Hebdo attack in France. Alibaba is IPO. Volkswagen emissions scandal remember how they were lying about their emissions? Charleston church attack Brexit? We’re still you know, we’re still talking about that one. The Tesla Model three, the NFL players kneeling or not kneeling. And then there’s Elizabeth Holmes and theranos right, the iPhone x. Trump was elected the Las Vegas shooting which I sadly had to witness the me to movement, Brett Kavanaugh and all of that controversy surrounding his appointment to the Supreme Court. The Trump impeachment Notre Dame Cathedral fire, the black hole first black hole in space ever was actually photographed photographs of quantum entanglement. If you’re into physics and quantum physics, the trade war or as I say trade negotiations via impeachment attempt still going on the Hong Kong protests which broke out right after I visited Hong Kong. I couldn’t believe that it’s like we got out of there a week before that all started the stock market collapse, the housing market, massive expansion in central bank, monetary printing, you know, we thought that would lead to more inflation than it did. But hey, inflation isn’t counted in any fair or legitimate means. So that’s a big, big debate, obviously, Thomas. Let’s go through the list number 10. The cost of the war on terror massively increases. US debt levels, your thoughts?
Yeah, started with the 911 attack, then the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And by the end of the 2010s data associated with the war on terror surpassed 10 trillion. It’s a big issue, bro. trillion with a T. Just amazing how much it costs to deal with. Yeah,
Jason Hartman 5:20
yeah, that type of stuff. War is a bad deal for everybody but defense contractors and central bankers, they get rich by war and as long as war as profitable. As I’ve said many times there will never be peace. So if you want to end war, and you want to end government corruption, you’re probably never going to do it. But just decrease the size of the government. decrease the size of the military industrial complex, decrease the power and size of central banks, and you will decrease all these bad motivations and all this various corruption that takes place Number nine, Hurricane Harvey, the bill for that was 100 and $80 billion. And what does that mean to real estate investors? Well, you’re investing in as I call packaged commodities. Every time there is a war, a natural disaster, those packaged commodities have upward price pressure. And hey, by virtue of the supply chain itself that increases the value of your real estate investments. Thomas thoughts on hurricane Harvey
Oh, the largest natural disaster in US history with the exception of Hurricane Katrina estimates. Texas Governor Greg Abbott went out and asked for 120 5 billion in federal relief affected 13 million people.
Jason Hartman 6:46
That’s that’s a big that’s very, very big and in the rebuilding is quite a chore and a very expensive bill. Number eight, a lot of us are forgetting about a lot of this stuff. That’s why It’s important to talk about it. But the Greek debt disaster, you know, you have basically a country where they have these big social programs where people get to retire at age 50, give or take. That’s completely ridiculous. Austerity measures, protests and riots still going on all around the world in so many places. But we really kind of saw the first of that related to, I guess, the debt issue in Greece. Talk to us about the Greek debt problem. And, hey, thanks to Germany, they still have a country. You know, that could be argued, but that’s
the German banks had the largest exposure to Greece debt. So it’s no surprise to me that the Germans were able to save Greece, their banks definitely wanted Greece to be saved. You know, I think this is something that will come up in 2022. When a lot of the European debt issues come to the fore again,
Jason Hartman 7:59
why are they going to come to the forefront in 2022
reissue reissuing of debt. Yeah, they’re good through 2022. That will come up again.
Jason Hartman 8:08
Okay. So that’s when the bill is due for Greece in 2022. I mean, this was a 2015. You know, depending on how you look at it, you can say that’s when the debt crisis was. And then there’s going to be a whole nother problem. Now, you’ve got other countries in Europe on the verge of insolvency, when it’s country, it’s kind of different, right? You can’t say, bankruptcy insolvency the same way you can with a company or an individual. But of course, Portugal, Italy, Spain, big problems there. I mean, a big problems with many countries, of course, but particularly those
Yeah, all these countries have debt that needs to be reissued in early 2020s. Well, how the ECB and the European Union’s gonna deal with that, and I don’t know maybe what we need is a day of Jubilee where all debt is canceled, you know?
Jason Hartman 8:58
Yeah, a debt Jubilee. I don’t know, I’ve just I don’t see how that could be possible. Because I mean, it’s it’s not fair to the lenders obviously. Right? But it’s a very complex issue for sure, no question about it. But the point is that eventually, as the old sayings go, that chickens come home to roost, you got to pay the piper, whatever cliche you want to use, you can have a bunch of slacker populations. And, you know, they can’t just keep taking from the public Treasury forever, without paying the bill at some point. And then riot, like spoiled little teenagers, you know, spoiled children, asking for more and more and more because they didn’t get their handouts. It’s like, what makes you think you deserve to retire around age 50? That’s absurd. Okay, I mean, that’s just absurd. You got to work country’s wealth is determined by the productivity of its people. It’s just ridiculous the way they are in some of these European countries is absurd. I mean, I remember and I reported on it on the show on one of my trips where I had just returned from Spain maybe five years ago or so. And I reported a lot breaking up some of the unemployment issues and how, you know, youth unemployment among Spanish males under 30 is like 56% or something. It’s just absolutely insane. I mean, folks to make an economy work, the people have to work. Okay, that’s just the reality of the situation. Okay. Number seven 2015. China emerges as the world’s largest economy. Why would you say that? The US is still the world’s largest economy.
Yeah, the the IMF came out and said that, obviously, it’s not true. When you use current exchange rates. The IMF said, Well, if you use purchasing power parity, which is to say that you can get a Big Mac in China for cheaper than you can In the United States, but there are problems with purchasing power parity, if you back out, you know, if you use just current exchange rates, the United States is still 10 trillion larger than China.
Jason Hartman 11:09
Right, right. Okay. Okay. So that’s, that’s interesting. So purchasing power parity means relative to the Chinese people. Their economy is the largest in the world, according to what the International Monetary Fund, the IMF said, Okay. But relative to the rest of the world, the US has still got the largest economy by a longshot, China’s growing though, but you really got to do that on a per capita basis to I mean, I remember posting something on my personal Facebook about the disaster known as the Socialist Republic of California and one of my friends who lives in San Diego, you know, started arguing about it and everybody jumped in and you know, here goes another internet debate right ridiculousness, but it’s such a large state with with almost 40 million people, even if you have a poorly run economy, you’re going to have a large economy just by virtue of having a lot of players in it. Right? So that’s the first thing, when you compare us to China that you need to consider isn’t a per capita basis, but speak more about the purchasing power parity. And the IMF is comparison there, Thomas?
Well, the idea is just to account for what a person can buy in their local currency compared to what a similarly situated person can buy in their currency. The most common example is the Big Mac, how much you want what it costs to get a Big Mac in China versus how many dollars it costs to get a Big Mac in the US. We don’t have real good estimates on what these numbers are. That’s why I prefer to use the current exchange rate because that’s known. You can look it up every day.
Jason Hartman 12:44
But don’t you have to get into the discussion of the Trump administration’s constant claim which you know, has validity By the way, that China is a currency manipulator, right. Well, first of all, everybody’s a currency manipulator, right? There’s no country that doesn’t manipulate its currency. China might be extra guilty if he will in suppressing the value of its currency to increase its exports. Don’t you have to get into that discussion?
Yeah. So the the actual market exchange rate doesn’t reflect what the true or natural exchange rate would be, you know, but for meddling, that’s true. China’s exchange rate should at least be 20%. Higher than what it is now. You know, what can you do about it? They did a test run on selling us securities. I think, Chinese policymakers, this was back in 2017. When they did the trial. It didn’t have a large effect on us interest rates. And I think that kind of spooked Chinese policymakers where there, they thought they’d have more influence than what they did.
Jason Hartman 13:49
This is the problem folks with just doing the math. And this is the problem with all the doomsayers who are super interesting to listen to, by the way, like Jim Rickards Peter Schiff, Who’s been on the show? All of them who are just doing the math, they don’t get it. They’re not looking at the macro picture. There are so many other influences, as I’ve talked about many times how the US since it’s got the reserve currency status, the biggest brand, the biggest military, etc, etc. It can justify gravity. You can’t just do the math and figure out what’s going to happen. Like how China wanted to influence us rates more by doing that. They couldn’t, because it’s not just about the math, right, of how you would logically think that you can influence rates by tampering with the Treasury market. Right?
Yeah. It’s a dangerous thing for Chinese policymakers to be looking at that. Yeah. But yeah, it’s not as simple as just saying well, supply went up and demand went down so rates ought to go up. There are other players and the market also takes a look at who is buying and who is selling and it that Cause, you know, market investors to shift more money to treasuries. So China selling means other buyers around the world want to buy more treasuries because they’re spooked about what China is doing.
Jason Hartman 15:13
Okay. And so the basic macro premise just in a, I mean, it’s way more complicated. But is that the more buyers for treasuries there are, the more the US can have lower rates, and the fewer buyers there are, the more it would likely push our rates up or interest rates up, because people aren’t buying the debt. Right? It’s just like a bond. Okay, a bond on the other side of is a loan. And so, Thomas, do you have anything quick to add to that?
No, that that’s the way it works in theory, in practice there. It doesn’t say exactly, yeah, yeah.
Jason Hartman 15:48
Right. Right. Good stuff. Okay. Let’s go to number six. Big talk of a decade. And it was past what 2am on Sunday morning or something, Obamacare. All right, this health insurance disaster. I mean, this country is just it’s crazy how we do things. Sometimes, you know, if you wanted to fix health insurance, the first thing you could have done is simply let insurance companies sell insurance across state lines. So the market gets bigger, there’s more competition. First thing to do, because I’ve moved around to a couple of different states as I’m trying to figure out where I want to ultimately live. And I think it’s going to be Florida. I think I’m going to stay here. But every time I do that, I got to change my insurance. You know, I lived in Arizona, Nevada, California, Florida, right, four states. Got to change my insurance every time huge hassle. Why do I have to do that? That’s absurd, right. And the idea that health insurance is attached to employment is totally silly. I do like that about the Obamacare concept is that it shouldn’t be attached to employment. Health insurance should just be health insurance, and employment should be employment, but it kind of grew up that way. Because employers were trying to attract better employees many, many decades ago. And so they attached health coverage to employment like, Well, why don’t we just attach our car insurance and our homeowners insurance to employment? I mean, it’s absolutely stupid idea. But Obamacare, ultimately I think we can all see now was a complete disaster, especially if you lived in places like Arizona and a few other states. I was paying at one point like $900 a month. I couldn’t believe it. And I’m generally pretty healthy. I just couldn’t believe it. It was absolutely shocking. Your that talked about when Romney was running for president. That was a big topic. But talk to us about Obamacare for a moment.
Although in theory, it added 20 million people to the healthcare rolls. Obviously, when you when you require people to have health insurance, it’s sort of easy to get new customers do what the law says by law. Yeah. Yeah, obviously the debates still out on whether the cost of Obamacare is worth it and states are grappling with whether to expand Medicaid. I don’t know there’s a case that’s coming up this year on whether the Affordable Care Act is constitutional or not. So I think that that will be an issue of 2020.
Jason Hartman 18:11
Yeah. And by the way, when john roberts when that went to the Supreme Court, and it was I think it was john roberts, right. He said that the government has the power to tax and viewed Obamacare as a tax. But that was completely wrong. I mean, what he did was absolutely weird. Because this is the government telling you how to spend your money after you’ve already paid taxes. That’s the first time that I’m aware of that that’s ever been done in the history of the country. It’s not the same. If you just wanted to say okay, well increase taxes and give everybody free health care. That’s one thing, right? And we can all argue about the fairness of taxation, but to say you’re required to spend money on this After you pay your taxes, that’s gotta be completely unconstitutional. But hey, the Supreme Court, thanks to Roberts upheld it. So whatever We’ll see, we’ll see. So when is that coming up again, Thomas?
Oh, I’ll have to check the docket, but I’ll let you know. Yeah, I’m not sure.
Jason Hartman 19:14
Okay. So number five. We talked about it in the intro to this segment. Fukushima, the terrible tsunami, an earthquake that rocked Japan. I gotta tell you, I don’t know if you all remember, but I was so impressed with the Japanese people. I’ve been to Japan just one time. And that has got to be one of the lightest countries on the planet in the face of that disaster. They were so organized and civilized. I was just totally impressed watching the news reports about that. Having been there years earlier. It did not surprise me. You compare that to what happened, say in Katrina, for example, in the US, oh my God, what a massive difference. Right. But we’re still we still have pardon the very morbid pun fallout from the Fukushima disaster don’t
wait. I’m with you. And it’s amazing that Japan recovered so quickly. I don’t know if there’s a reason why the economy of Japan is one of the most advanced in the world. They definitely know how to run things. They have a good technological base that competes with anyone in the world.
Jason Hartman 20:28
I gotta take issue with what you just said, though. The economy of Japan. I mean, definitely, obviously an advanced country, super impressive country with virtually no natural resources except brainpower and hard work and ambition of its people. But I mean, Japan has massive
Jason Hartman 20:46
I believe the highest debt levels in the developed world. How has that not been a problem yet? Are they escaping that? I mean, their economy is just a debt bubble waiting to burst, isn’t it?
It could An issue of the 2020s. You know, how how are they going to get out of that? I don’t know, I think the next Nobel Prize winner is going to be someone who figures out how countries can deal with the debt issues that many advanced countries are facing.
Jason Hartman 21:17
But Japan especially so more than that is their debt to GDP ratio is crazy bad. I mean, it’s the worst in the developed world. So far. As I know, last time I checked,
I think one of the answers that people gave is the day of Jubilee, like, like we talked about earlier. And I think that’s a bad solution. Since terrible incentives to the market. Yeah, that long liked it.
Jason Hartman 21:40
Yeah, yeah, that would be a moral crisis. I mean, we already had enough of one in the Great Recession, when all the people with the biggest debt got all the bailouts, including me, by the way, and that’s why I recommend that you have all that debt, because it’s great deal. I philosophically hate the whole thing, but our philosophy has always Been a practical one here on the show. That is, look, you can argue about all this bad stuff, governments and central banks do all you want. But at the end of the day, you better align your interest with theirs. And because they’re they’re just too powerful and you’re not gonna you’re not gonna change it. Now this is outside of the decade we’re talking about but 2008 all of the bailouts really, trillions of dollars in bailouts, almost 3 trillion I believe. Thomas, what say you about? That’s really what was, you know, right on the post financial crisis.
I think in terms of personality. The one thing I think of about that period is boy, Hank Paulson, he is a bowl and Ben Bernanke, he kind of just went along with what hank paulson wanted, you know, personalities matter. And his footprint is felt along this bailout line. You’re talking about former treasury secretary Hank Paulson now right? Yeah, thank you. Right. Yeah, no, I’m talking about Paulson. Yeah,
Jason Hartman 23:04
yeah. There’s an interesting documentary about Paulson on Netflix. It’s called Hank, I think. Watch it if you want to know about that guy. He’s a he’s an interesting character for sure. Former Goldman Sachs, I believe CEO. And you know, of course, you got to work for Goldman Sachs to get a big job in government. How does that happen? No, there’s there’s no
conflict of interest. By the way. Yeah. One of the I mean, if you could think of some of the worst charts ever from the decade, this is 2008. Well, started in 2008. And a went through 2010. That’s why I included it. But, you know, Christine Romer, then Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers came out and said the bailout package would save millions she said 2.3 million jobs, and that the unemployment would avoid surpassing 6%. And that clearly turned out to be wrong,
Jason Hartman 23:56
that didn’t work. Tell us you know, something interesting and I reported this on the show years ago, but I was a lobbyist for one day. And I went with a group of real estate investors to Capitol Hill. And I you know, I talked about this on a prior episode, of course, and I went with this group, we spent a day on Capitol Hill. We went to Arlen specter’s office, we went to Dianne Feinstein’s office, we went to Nancy Pelosi ‘s office, you know, I ran into a bunch of famous politicians that we all know, you know, it was interesting, we, we would pitch them on things. And I was thinking, you know, if I was a real lobbyist, I probably have like a bag of money or season tickets to the best seats at some sporting events or the opera opening night or whatever with me to handle them. But I just had an idea, I just pitched my ideas and, you know, those don’t get much played but obviously somehow these politicians They’ll enter government being just normal middle class people it seems like and then they get fabulously rich over the course of a decade or two in office. That’s all we need term limits, folks. We need term limits. But yeah, there’s so much malinvestment, and so much corruption and crony capitalism. It’s absolutely pathetic. But it is the way it is. If you want to less than that make government smaller. That’s the first thing you do. Go ahead, Thomas.
No, I wish I had been with you. I bet. I bet that was fascinating. It was. It was really interesting to be a lobbyist for a day. Yeah. But anything more on the bailouts. And then let’s move on. No, it’s it didn’t do what it was intended to do, which was lower the unemployment rate.
Jason Hartman 25:43
Here’s the thing I meant to say about being a lobbyist. This was actually my point in saying that is that I remember, I think it was in Ireland, specters office. We were all sitting around the table. And one of specters aides said this and it was very quotable. I set it on my show at the time. If you go back and find that old episode said that the reason we don’t give the money to the people, like in a tax refund to stimulate the economy is that it doesn’t have the multiplier effect that it does if we give it to the banks. I mean, that comment was so irritating. I couldn’t believe it corporate socialism too big to fail cookery at its worst, you know, it’s the people’s money yet they’re giving it to these institutions who all gave themselves giant bonuses, and they should have fired themselves because they caused the problem in the first place. But you know, we’re not going to give it to the people like remember when when bush was president everybody got like that 600 and something dollar tax refund. You got a check in the mail the whole country did right? You know, but this was let’s let’s not give it to them. People let’s not give the money to people let’s print money and give it to the big banks. Yeah, right. That didn’t work either. Obviously, I don’t know what to say. Yeah, well, I’m not expecting you to have a scissor. We’re just commenting on this disgustingness. Okay, number three. Of course, this didn’t happen in the 2010s. But it’s we certainly felt the hangover of it for a long time into the 2010s. The stock market crash in 2008, where we saw the Dow Jones falls 777 points, largest point drop in any single day. Of course, really, point drops are kind of silly, they should be percentages, always. It’s all it’s all about a ratio. But overall, in terms of ratio, between 2007 2009 we saw a 50%, approximately 50% decline. Haven’t seen that big of a decline since the Great Depression, like seven decades earlier. That was really the start of the Great Recession right?
Yeah, I think it’s amazing how one day the market can have such a positive view. And then on the flip of a dime, it flips directions. Yeah. 2020 we’ll probably see this is just my opinion. But I guess
Jason Hartman 28:15
that’s all I expect as European
guests and we will have a big drop in 2020 in the stock market, the Fed. It has a third view of itself now where it views financial stability as one of its central tenants.
Jason Hartman 28:32
Yeah, its new mandate, right, not just employment and inflation. Now it’s stability all together, right. It’s increasing its role.
And some point the feds gonna say no, we’re gonna let risk be there in the market. And the market won’t like it right now. The I bet the market drops at least has at least 15% drop in 2020. corporate earnings can’t keep up growing the way the P e ratio says. It will.
Jason Hartman 29:01
So to compare that to real estate, the P e ratio, the price earnings ratio for stocks is equivalent to my RV ratio for real estate investments, which means rent to value ratio. And when those rent to value ratios get really out of whack. Just like when the P e ratios get really out of whack, you can expect a correction. And that has held true. Since I’ve been talking about it for the last 15 years. We’ve definitely seen that come true. Okay, we got to wrap it up here. But course number two, the whole banking system of the entire planet just seized up. And this was in 2008. But it really went right into the 2010s. What say you, you know, we saw Lehman collapse, etc, etc, etc. There’s a lot to this obviously,
the one thing I remember from that period is I wish Secretary Paulson would come out and just say he hated Lehman Brothers. He had bad blood between the leaders because Yeah, one day after Paulson comes out and says no more bailouts, Lehman Brothers announced his bankruptcy. And it could have bailed him out, obviously, right. But when there’s bad lead, there’s bad blood. And yeah, I think he used it. He helped everybody else except Lehman. So
Jason Hartman 30:15
listen, I don’t believe in any bailouts. But hey, if you’re going to be if you’re going to do bailouts, stop picking winners and losers, the government should never have that kind of power. It’s absolutely scary. Okay, so 2007, of course, well with us long into the 2010s, even with us now, I’d argue is we saw the subprime mortgage meltdown. And that was really the first wave or the first domino of the Great Recession. The second one was the Wall Street Domino, about a year later that we just talked about, what do you say about the subprime crisis, which by the way, I want to again, take credit for predicting Okay, I predicted that one I didn’t know about the Wall Street stuff, but I knew about the mortgage stuff because that was
that was pretty obvious. Did you have Back in 2006 collapsing,
Jason Hartman 31:02
oh, I was talking about this in 2003 2004. I mean, I was showing emails, I took screenshots of emails, put them into my PowerPoint slides. And at my creating wealth one day seminar, I would show these emails from countrywide from all these different lenders with these ridiculous subprime loans they were giving out, you know, I remember showing one email that it was from countrywide That said, the requirements for this loan Are you have to be one day out of bankruptcy. You know, you can have a foreclosure as long as it’s more than a day old. You could go into foreclosure yesterday, get a loan today, basically what this said, your minimum credit score, get this your minimum FICO score was ready, drumroll 540. If you had a 540 or above FICO score, keep in mind the ideal is 720 or above, okay, if you had a 540 or above FICO score You could get a nothing down loan from countrywide. It’s just, of course, there was gonna be a mortgage crisis like, you know, I don’t take any credit for being any kind of genius predicting that one. It was so obvious that a six year old could have predicted it. I mean, it was it was just totally obvious. Anyway, what do you say about it? I sure hope that that once in a century event never happens again. I do think in the 2020s we’ll have something that probably won’t have as deep as an effect but something similar will have a student loan crisis will have and consumer debt auto loans EU Yeah, maybe Japan, maybe Japan was gonna come You know, chickens have come home to roost eventually, right?
Yeah, they’re the 2020s that I think it’s gonna be fascinating watching this thing as long as I survive it.
Jason Hartman 32:47
Yeah, well, you’ll survive. Hey, listen, I think the 2020s are overall going to be amazing. And we’ll be here to guide you through the best way to invest both defensively and offensively because As the old saying goes, the best defense says good offense. Thomas. Thanks for joining me on this good to be with you.
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