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tv   Asia Edge  Bloomberg  March 22, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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>> having a look at the other main stories, the regional benchmark rising for a sixth straight day. the top anchor surprising the imf for -- with a direct repeal for the yuan to become a global currency. more to come on this leadership of "asia edge"." >> the run continues for five days for the asia-pacific benchmark. we back to the levels of early september last year. if you put these five days together that's the biggest five-day jump, going back to february of 2014. it may have happened too
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quickly. we did just enter overbought terrain. last time we reached these levels it fell 3%. for the afternoon session taking a look at the dollar index. what are we looking at? futures are up by three and a half points. the dollar is recovering. it is up against the euro, up against sterling, flat against the yen. i was looking at crude prices as well. we are back at 46 for crude. gold is down by about three dollars. back to you. haslinda: singapore is beginning
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a day of national mourning for lee kuan yew. he guided singapore from colonial trading post. pinch of you to the man who built a nation. -- paying tribute to the man who built a nation. >> in morning. i'm deeply saddened to tell you mr. lee kuan yew passed away peacefully this morning at a singapore hospital. let me say a few words. the first of our founding fathers is no more. he inspired, give us courage and brought us here. he fought for our independent.
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this is a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be singaporeans. we won't see another man like him. too many up orients -- singaporeans and to others, lee kuan yew was singapore. it is hard to do the impossible. after he stepped down he guided with wisdom and tact. he continued to keep a watchful eye on singapore. singapore was his abiding passion. he gave of himself in full measure to singapore. as he himself put it towards the end of his life, "i have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country.
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there is nothing more that i need to do. at the end of the day, what have i got? a successful singapore. what have i given up? my life. i am grieved beyond words at the passing of mr. lee kuan yew. i know we all feel the same way, but even as we mourn his passing let us also honor his spirit. let us dedicate ourselves as one people to build on his foundations, strive on his ideals, and keep singapore successful for many years to come. may mr. lee kuan yew rest in peace. >> and assessment of the passing of lee kuan yew.
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kenneth, thank you for joining us. the challenge is to build on what he left behind? >> absolutely. i think he left strong foundations. singapore is a global city with nationbuilding, community, multiracial society. all of these are pillars of singapore society. i think these are strong foundations on which the next generation can build new life and improve life for singapore. >> is the right foundation for the next 50 years? >> and may not in its entirety. we have not only an improved city and economy but also a more mature political system.
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there is a lot of diversity but i think having a strong system of government that works, that is able to contain diverse positions and for spec ifs, is the right kind of thing to have four of flourishing of a more plural political culture. haslinda: the authoritarian rule will no longer be the case? >> a strong government is at the heart of what is making singapore successful. institutions can deliver results but the system in which ideas are generated, in which choices are made, will have to include a wider array drawn from a different society. a strong system of government
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can now accommodate a variety of views. haslinda: do you expect to see a stronger opposition? kenneth: i would expect the opposition to make many inroads. in part this is to be expected. i would hope they do become a stronger opposition so we can go back to being the kind of place that experiments with alternative ideas. in many ways opposition can play a role in forcing us to revisit some of the views. we become very reliant on methods of the past. having a strong opposition will help us to look again at the ways we do things and perhaps come up with better ways to do things. >> the outside world has often seen singapore as a
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straightlaced society with a caning, death penalties. will the perception people hold of singapore change? >> in an interesting way singapore has never been as one-dimensional. we might see this vision of a straightlaced society but there has always been current of diversity, of color, of transgression. sometimes they are pushed underground. singapore even in colonial days was a wild place. i think the type of singapore we want to see as we become more vibrant is one in which the energy is harnessed but at the same time living in a society that is safe secure, peaceful
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and successful. >> we thank you for your insight. you can get more on our website. you'll find in-depth articles and a guide to how he transformed singapore. we will have more reaction to the death of mr. lee kuan yew throughout the day, including a special show at midday hong kong. also a special screening of one of mr. lee kuan yew's last interviews. that was with charlie rose. you can see that at 3:30 in sydney. rishaad: a quick look at some of the other stories. and legal action against a group called iceberg research. they called the report
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misleading. they are counting irregularities. the shares something about 27%. a new report was issued over the weekend. and the excitement about china's internet boom appears to be fading. half of those they viewed are trading below the initial share price. on average the companies are down just over 3% compared to a 6% gain for the nasdaq itself. u.s. regulators are investigating whether nissan failed to fix airbag defect despite a massive recall. it 124 complaints after repairs were made by the carmaker. the software would classify the
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seat as empty. that could lead to a failure of the airbag to deploy in a crash. even after multiple repairs some drivers still complain. morgan stanley raising doubts about four to skew possibility to pay debt with iron or below $70 a ton. -- fortescue's ability to pay debt with iron or below $70 a ton. china's central bank governor making a case for the yuan becoming a global reserve currency. this is "asia edge"." ♪
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>> the united nations says yemen is being pushed into civil war. the warning coming as rebels is the third-largest city in the latest blow to embattled residents -- president. he fled the capital and set up an interim base.
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a protracted conflict. the united states has withdrawn all forces from the country. and the first major republican to formally join the race. the houston chronicle says he raised $50 million for the primaries. ted cruz is likely to face jeb bush and chris christie. they are expected to run but have not declared yet. foreign ministers said the countries worked to repair relations. what they see as japan's attempts to obscure its military history from the first half of the 20th century. china is campaigning hard for the you want to become a reserve currency.
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the central bank governor put the case before christine lagarde. christine has got more from beijing. he wasn't scheduled to talk about this, was he? christine: he was supposed to talk about monetary policy and the new normal, but he successfully steered the discussion to what he wanted to talk about. he wants the imf to include the one, which makes it a reserve currency. currently it has four currencies. remember, back in 2010 the imf said the one was not a good candidate because it was not usable. he says china plans to make the one convertible.
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there is a reason this fits into china's plan. she said the yuan completely belongs, but the timing is an issue. it looks like there is a possibility we may see the you want included without china opening its capital account, if not this year perhaps soon. >> why now? china is very busy performing its economy and seeing growth slowdown. it seems out of kilter. >> it does actually fit in with china.
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a lot of governments hold reserve currencies over a longer time frame, so it could stabilize the yuan at a time china is trying to make the country more market oriented. like i said, it makes the yuan a little cheaper because of the borrowing costs. the other criteria is how big an economy becomes. china is trying to up its influence on the global stage. the yuan could be very useful as a reserve currency. take a listen. >> the asia infrastructure investment bank and the silk road fund are very important. they will follow internationally accepted rules in the way they operate.
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these initiatives will provide strong support to the development of major projects such as infrastructure and connectivity in countries along the route. >> there are risks to this. one of the risks is making currency cheaper to borrow 10 to leave to asset bubbles. there are many questions remaining about the strength of the financial and the two shins. a lot of work ahead, but it looks like it's a matter of time rather than if at the moment. rishaad: we're going to have a look at another story we have in keeping tabs on the collapse of commodity prices to specifically oil. why profits are plunging at the biggest refiner in this part of the world, and plunging they are. >> they are down 30%.
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this year it could be even worse. an 80% profit plunge is what analysts are forecasting. rishaad: is it comparable question or we are talking about oil at around $100 a barrel. said: -- zeb: that's true. let's take a look at where oil is trading. the london benchmark used by about half the world doing a little better. it's about $54.85 a barrel. opec continues to maintain its production target. the u.s. producing more oil. inventories remain high, and prices continue to fall. >> thanks for that. let's take a look briefly at what is going on. up next nissan facing complaints over airbag recalls. next.
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rishaad: a new investigation into nissan. craig, what is the problem this time? craig: the most prominent airbag recalls last year had to do with
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how airbags were deploying and problems with the airbag inflator. this is related to a recall by nissan last year of almost one million cars. it has to do with the software flaw where the software detects a lack of an occupant where someone is in that seat. nissan told us there were three instances where airbags did not go off when someone is in the passenger seat. this investigation relates to that recall and whether or not the fix nissan has deployed is really doing enough. rishaad: why have american regulators said they have started the investigation and singled craig: them out? the recall was --craig: the
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recall was last year. there have been 124 clients -- complaints from owners who have said they have gone into have their vehicles fixed and the remedy has not been sufficient that they are still having problems with the sensors and a software glitch in the vehicles. that has prompted nhtsa to say they are going to investigate whether it was up to snuff for them going forward. rishaad: the thing is, how is nissan reacting to this? what has been the official response? craig: they have been on the defensive. the company came out to say they believe the remedy was sufficient and that they fixed the problem.
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they say they have gone a next her step to make sure the owners concerns are answered. at this point it's up to them to convince the regulator that is indeed the case and will be something we will have to watch for over the next few weeks for nhtsa to complete this investigation. rishaad: thanks very much indeed. we're looking at the business. we have the latest of japan's company. we saw the nikkei 225 put in a good showing this morning. we will see if they are going to build on that when "asia edge" returns. we will also talk more about the passing of lee kuan yew. we will head back to the city state. we are going to do that after a short break. he died overnight at the age of
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91. the men regarded as being the founding father of singapore it sells -- it's self, running the country from 1959 until 1990. a look back at the man who turned it from a small coastal port into a thriving global metropolis. do that is up on the world wide web. do check it out -- do look us up on the world wide web. ♪
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rishaad: founding father. singapore begins a week of national mourning for its father. asian stocks rising for us it straight day, extending a six-month high. protest in hong kong, where locals are accused of pushing up prices. like to our main news story. singapore beginning a week of mourning for the founding father lee kuan yew.
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he was guiding singapore to a global success story. let's get to singapore. haslinda: tributes pouring in from all over the world as the country observes seven days of mourning. many say he single-handedly built singapore into one of the most prosperous nations in asia. he led the country through relations with neighbors the likes of indonesia and malaysia. not surprisingly, lee kuan yew's death has been the top of the agenda. >> the way he redefined quality governance and the second thing would be the way he spoke to us about relations with china and the way the world is revolving and globalization and so on particularly for me as an
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american journalist and college professor, he was a tutor to me. our professional relationship went through 2010 when the book came out. i'm very grateful to him for all the time he spent with me. haslinda: we also spoke to the executive chairman who used to be a student activist. he told us about his experience with lee kuan yew. >> i had disagreements with lee kuan yew. the one thing you can never be in doubt about is his total selfless devotion to singapore. that devotion can result in policies one may disagree with but that passion he has -- people talk about pragmatism of lee kuan yew but i think that
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would be giving insufficient praise to the man as if he was just pragmatic. i think this man is incredibly idealistic, passionate, and incredibly emotional. haslinda: an independent economist told us what singapore can expect after lee kuan yew. >> singapore is going to be more demanding about how they hold their future in their hand. you are going to see a government which is not just thinking with a hothead but with a warm heart. i think that's what we have seen from the government. the success of the past can be maintained. haslinda: there is consensus.
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it's a huge loss for singapore. >> thanks a lot. let's get to the latest on the markets. >> let's start in hong kong. a big drop in profit. it was down 30%. the lowest annual profit since the global financial crisis. it missed earnings estimates. i think the story today is this update on when they will finally release this model for sale at the shanghai auto show in april. cathay pacific, race to buy. it is a price target. japan, look at that. the biggest one-day pop since we have been keeping record.
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some positive results. jeffries is saying they may share equally with biogen. they are targeting 20% shareholder return from the next fiscal year. remember those in talks back in 2012. the stock basically collapsed to the level we're at right now. report this morning they may hold investments. a spokesperson commenting on the
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issue. she is basically saying if foxconn does want to restart talks at ¥550 and share then sharp is prepared to talk. the other big movers. the fourth day of gains. we are looking at a price target of 362 taiwan dollars. i will leave it there. back to you. rishaad: i am joined by zeb. i can't start without mentioning lee kuan yew and the towering hero he was. >> absolutely.
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among the chinese population worldwide i think when somebody dies at an old age it's not just a cause to be sad but to celebrate. there is a lot to celebrate. rishaad: he does have this legacy. what a legacy to have. >> there are two independent nations that have become modern nations. that's his legacy. it's amazing. it's astonishing. if you look back to 1966, that would have not been the thing you would have addicted. >> a lot of people were talking not only about his legacy but his iron grip. >> it sometimes takes an iron grip. zeb: it is an interesting
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argument. we see that in countries pakistan for instance. you have to get the basics before you can indulge in conversation about democracy. singapore is a marvel. aviation, its port, electronics, pharmaceuticals. it is a powerhouse here. >> no natural resources. >> that's one thing. he himself said to the end of his life singapore has become toob boring, that people should go out a little more. they need emotional intelligence. i think he's right about that. there is this sense in which this nanny state became oppressive. i think his own concern was this could bode ill for the future. i think not only did he build the place, but he also warned about what needs to be done. rishaad: let's talk about what is grabbing your attention.
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you're looking at the aiib. there is a whole gamut of things that should be taking our attention the next few days. >> by the 31st of march is the deadline for the founding members to declare they want to be part of the aib. the u.k. made a big splash saying so against the will of the u.s. rishaad: the asia infrastructure investment bank. >> it is seen by many as china's soft power. it is. >> how big is $50 billion as a starting point? >> it's fine. it's not going to stay there. it can easily double. >> it is 160 billion. with the u.k. joining this group, is there concern the u.s. still has regarding worldwide standards? can it follow suit with what we
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have seen in the asian development a? >> it's not just the u.k. now. italy has joined and estoril you probably will join. they have been sitting on the fence at the moment -- australia probably will join. they have been sitting on the fence at the moment. in a new bank founded for a very definitive purpose by some of the major economic nations of the world -- i don't see any concern. that is not the concern. the u.s. is like that. rishaad: link at the world bank. they have got the imf. you could argue -- they have got the world bank. >> china wants the want to be recognized as a major currency. it definitely is one of the three major trading currencies of the world, so again --
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>> the obama administration seems to be changing its stance. it is saying it's ok if we cooperate with the other by national institutions. >> over the weekend there was a lot of chatter about the major miscalculation. i wonder to what extent they are saying, we messed up here. >> the course they messed up. there is no point in making a point like that and losing. they should have known before they would lose the argument. why even bother? instead of embracing it and saying, let's work together great idea. why not? rishaad: let's talk about what we have got this week. quite a lot of economic data coming out of the u.s., but you are not convinced by the recovery. the other data, jobs data deceives when it comes to the
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rest of the economy. >> that's my favorite bloomberg chart. we had surprises to the downside. then anytime since 2009. rishaad: you could argue expectations have been ratcheted up too much. are we still on a firm footing? >> firm. there are some people who said the u.s. would be at a firm 3% growth course. the first quarter may have been 0.6%, so i think firm is a little bit of an exaggeration. i think the fed also recognized this. looking at inflation is an indicator, especially core inflation when core inflation goes down, you cannot ignore it and write off oil prices by definition. >> you say a june liftoff is
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nearly impossible. what about next year? what you have always said next year. it will evolve. rishaad: thank you very much for joining us today. up next, plunging prices. "asia edge" is back in the couple minutes. ♪
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rishaad: let's have a look at some of the stories making headlines. a decisive week. a deal is achievable. secretary of state john kerry said cannot at the finish line yet, but they have the opportunity to get there. the atomic -- they will discuss
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how quickly sanctions should be lifted. that should be part of any deal and not decided after. nicolas sarkozy has set the stage for a possible run at the lycée. exit polls suggest his allies push the far right national front into second place. a recent survey put sarkozy ahead of francois hollande. the regional event will be held on sunday. the greek permit us to has reportedly warned it will be impossible to service his country's debt unless the eu provides more aid. alexis tsipras made the comment to angela merkel. -- in response to angela merkel. tsipras will meet merkel in berlin later today for more talks.
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hong kong is hosting the might and money conference, bringing together the leading players and top investors from across the region. china continuing to slow. joining us is fortescue metals representative. how would you describe the mood at this conference compared to previous ones? >> the conference has been a little at the start. all of us recognize it is cyclical business. when prices are down it's an opportunity to make sure we are ready for the upturns. rishaad: iron ore's collapse has worsened. it has been one of the biggest stories.
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why are some of the players flooding the market? are they cutting their noses to spite their faces? nev: it certainly would seem so. i think the dynamics of all the commodity industries are the same. if we see overinvestment resulting in overproduction that's not in the best interest of anyone in the industry. we have completed all are capital, and we are just spending maintenance capital now. i think that's the prudent thing to do in the market we see going into oversupply. i think the other point to make is the market has been in supply deficit over the last couple months, but it's the apprehension of oversupply in the future keeping futures prices down and that's weighing on today's iron ore price. if what we have seen has been not good for anybody in the industry. rishaad: not good for
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yourselves. what price would you consider the line in the sand? >> we continued to take our costs down ahead of the market. we are cash positive and will continue to be cash positive. we have a strong business. it's not about having woken up one morning and decided to take the cost down. we have been on this jury for some years. we progressively improved efficiency and reduce costs across the business. we will continue to drive our costs down and position ourselves strongly on the cost curve. i think it's a matter of how long before demand overtakes supply and observes the supply and we will see recovery in the price. rishaad: do see that happening?
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your cfo says you are pretty much bulletproof when it comes to the cost down to $41. do we see demand taking over from supply in the near future? nev: in the last few months we saw a supply deficit and iron or, and that saw the iron or stockpiles come down. this is an industry where you can see quickly the supply demand balance. the price is not necessarily driven by demand but rather by the expectations of future supply affecting the futures market. just recently in the last week or so have seen softening demand as steel production has cut back to assist with pollution control measures. that's often demand over the last peewee, but over the last puma we have seen the market -- over the last few weeks we have
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seen the market decline. we need to see the stock market reduce and we will see upward motion. rishaad: let's talk about the business. are you looking at other companies? you have been so beaten down with the falling prices. are you seeing bargains? the flipside would be are you looking to sell off as well? nev: i think this market is going to produce a number of distressed sales. we have a large portfolio of assets ahead of us. we have the largest proportion of iron or tenements of any country. we have a pipeline of projects going into the future. we are in this business for the
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long term. unless there was an opportunity that represented a better value than our own projects, then we wouldn't be interested in that. in terms of sale of assets we have kept the market informed decided we are interested in selling minority stakes. that has to be for long-term value and on terms that are not workable for us. we're always open to that sort of discussion, but we have not been able to conclude any deals. rishaad: great talking to you. up next, cross borders tensions. rising anger in hong kong over so-called parallel trading. we have a special report. "asia edge" returns in a couple minutes. ♪
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>> near railway station close to the mainland. feelings have been running high about the people who come to hong kong to stock up on supplies such as baby formula, bringing up prices. stephen engle went to figure out about the issues behind these disputes. >> is the umbrella revolution morphing into milk powder mayhem? young residents are lashing out at mainland shoppers and parallel importers who zip back and forth across the border on multi-entry passes, snapping up in demand items like infant formula. protesters say it is another example of overwhelming infrastructure driving up the cost of living in hong kong. they claim the local government
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gives a blind eye. >> they have come to the point of explosion at a critical point. >> even our quick streetcorner interview sparked a heated exchange. >> they are so worried they got beaten. >> the economic influx turns into a chinese reflux. >> and economic survey shows how conflicted the people are about mainland visitors. 50% of responders said they are against the protests. 60% said mainland visitors cause
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inconvenience to their lives. another 66% or two thirds of respondents said they would like to see the individuals scheme reduced. >> i am against protests. hong kong's economy relies on tourism. visitors are afraid to come. >> the responsibility goes to the government. if the hong kong government is not doing anything they will take to the streets, but they shouldn't be targeting tourists. >> many believe the hong kong government is not looking out for their interests, and that they are carrying out the long-term agenda from beijing. >> they don't want the revolution to happen again. we feel if we don't do something now it is going to be doomed. >> nearly 18 years after the handover immigration appears to be the stiffest challenge still.
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rishaad: up next, a special program to mark the death of lee kuan yew. then we have a special screening of one of his last major interv
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>> yew will lie in state. the very latest from singapore. has linda. >> he implemented policy that attracted investors. he often said his priority was the survival and welfare of his people and then comes democracy. as far as he was concerned democracy


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