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by LEAP/EUROPE 2020 (com-courtema [at]
Thursday Apr 20th, 2006 10:36 AM
USA-Dollar-Iran/ Confirmation of Global Systemic Crisis end of March 2006
Nine indicators developed in this month’s GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin - coordinated by Franck Biancheri, out of which 5 are presented in this public communication, enabble LEAP/E2020 to confirm the release of a global systemic crisis by the end of March 2006
EUROPE 2020 ALARM / Global Systemic Rupture
March 20-26, 2006:
Iran/USA - Release of global world crisis

The Laboratoire européen d’Anticipation Politique Europe 2020 (LEAP/E2020) now estimates to over 80% the probability that the week of March 20-26, 2006 will be the beginning of the most significant political crisis the world has known since the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, together with an economic and financial crisis of a scope comparable with that of 1929. This last week of March 2006 will be the turning-point of a number of critical developments, resulting in an acceleration of all the factors leading to a major crisis, disregard any American or Israeli military intervention against Iran. In case such an intervention is conducted, the probability of a major crisis to start rises up to 100%, according to LEAP/E2020.

An Alarm based on 2 verifiable events
The announcement of this crisis results from the analysis of decisions taken by the two key-actors of the main on-going international crisis, i.e. the United States and Iran:

--> on the one hand there is the Iranian decision of opening the first oil bourse priced in Euros on March 20th, 2006 in Teheran, available to all oil producers of the region ;

--> on the other hand, there is the decision of the American Federal Reserve to stop publishing M3 figures (the most reliable indicator on the amount of dollars circulating in the world) from March 23, 2006 onward [1].

These two decisions constitute altogether the indicators, the causes and the consequences of the historical transition in progress between the order created after World War II and the new international equilibrium in gestation since the collapse of the USSR. Their magnitude as much as their simultaneity will catalyse all the tensions, weaknesses and imbalances accumulated since more than a decade throughout the international system.

A world crisis declined in 7 sector-based crises
LEAP/E2020's researchers and analysts thus identified 7 convergent crises that the American and Iranian decisions coming into effect during the last week of March 2006, will catalyse and turn into a total crisis, affecting the whole planet in the political, economic and financial fields, as well as in the military field most probably too:

1. Crisis of confidence in the Dollar
2. Crisis of US financial imbalances
3. Oil crisis
4. Crisis of the American leadership
5. Crisis of the Arabo-Muslim world
6. Global governance crisis
7. European governance crisis

The entire process of anticipation of this crisis will be described in detail in the coming issues of LEAP/E2020’s confidential letter – the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, and in particular in the 2nd issue to be released on February 16, 2006. These coming issues will present the detailed analysis of each of the 7 crises, together with a large set of recommendations intended for various categories of players (governments and companies, namely), as well as with a number of operational and strategic advices for the European Union.

Decoding of the event "Creation of the Iranian Oil Bourse priced in Euros”
However, and in order not to limit this information to decision makers solely, LEAP/E2020 has decided to circulate widely this official statement together with the following series of arguments resulting from work conducted.

Iran's opening of an Oil Bourse priced in Euros at the end of March 2006 will be the end of the monopoly of the Dollar on the global oil market. The immediate result is likely to upset the international currency market as producing countries will be able to charge their production in Euros also. In parallel, European countries in particular will be able to buy oil directly in their own currency without going though the Dollar. Concretely speaking, in both cases this means that a lesser number of economic actors will need a lesser number of Dollars [2]. This double development will thus head to the same direction, i.e. a very significant reduction of the importance of the Dollar as the international reserve currency, and therefore a significant and sustainable weakening of the American currency, in particular compared to the Euro. The most conservative evaluations give € 1 to $1,30 US Dollar by the end of 2006. But if the crisis reaches the scope anticipated by LEAP/E2020, estimates of € 1 for $1,70 in 2007 are no longer unrealistic.

Decoding of the event "End of publication of the M3 macro-economic indicator”
The end of the publication by the American Federal Reserve of the M3 monetary aggregate (and that of other components) [3] , a decision vehemently criticized by the community of economists and financial analysts, will have as a consequence to lose transparency on the evolution of the amount of Dollars in circulation worldwide. For some months already, M3 has significantly increased (indicating that « money printing » has already speeded up in Washington), knowing that the new President of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is a self-acknowledged fan of « money printing » [4]. Considering that a strong fall of the Dollar would probably result in a massive sale of the US Treasury Bonds held in Asia, in Europe and in the oil-producing countries, LEAP/E2020 estimates that the American decision to stop publishing M3 aims at hiding as long as possible two US decisions, partly imposed by the political and economic choices made these last years [5]:

. the ‘monetarisation’ of the US debt
. the launch of a monetary policy to support US economic activity.
… two policies to be implemented until at least the October 2006 « mid-term » elections, in order to prevent the Republican Party from being sent in reeling.
This M3-related decision also illustrates the incapacity of the US and international monetary and financial authorities put in a situation where they will in the end prefer to remove the indicator rather than try to act on the reality.

Decoding of the aggravating factor "The military intervention against Iran”
Iran holds some significant geo-strategic assets in the current crisis, such as its ability to intervene easily and with a major impact on the oil provisioning of Asia and Europe (by blocking the Strait of Ormuz), on the conflicts in progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the possible recourse to international terrorism. But besides these aspects, the growing distrust towards Washington creates a particularly problematic situation. Far from calming both Asian and European fears concerning the accession of Iran to the statute of nuclear power, a military intervention against Iran would result in an quasi-immediate dissociation of the European public opinions [6] which, in a context where Washington has lost its credibility in handling properly this type of case since the invasion of Iraq, will prevent the European governments from making any thing else than follow their public opinions. In parallel, the rising cost of oil which would follow such an intervention will lead Asian countries, China first and foremost, to oppose this option, thus forcing the United States (or Israel) to intervene on their own, without UN guarantee, therefore adding a severe military and diplomatic crisis to the economic and financial crisis.

Relevant factors of the American economic crisis
LEAP/E2020 anticipate that these two non-official decisions will involve the United States and the world in a monetary, financial, and soon economic crisis without precedent on a planetary scale. The ‘monetarisation’ of the US debt is indeed a very technical term describing a catastrophically simple reality: the United States undertake not to refund their debt, or more exactly to refund it in "monkey currency". LEAP/E2020 also anticipate that the process will accelerate at the end of March, in coincidence with the launching of the Iranian Oil Bourse, which can only precipitate the sales of US Treasury Bonds by their non-American holders.

In this perspective, it is useful to contemplate the following information 7: the share of the debt of the US government owned by US banks fell down to 1,7% in 2004, as opposed to 18% in 1982. In parallel, the share of this same debt owned by foreign operators went from 17% in 1982 up to 49% in 2004.
--> Question: How comes that US banks got rid of almost all their share of the US national debt over the last years?

Moreover, in order to try to avoid the explosion of the "real-estate bubble" on which rests the US household consumption, and at a time when the US saving rate has become negative for the first time since 1932 and 1933 (in the middle of the "Great Depression"), the Bush administration, in partnership with the new owner of the US Federal Reserve and a follower of this monetary approach, will flood the US market of liquidities.

Some anticipated effects of this systemic rupture
According to LEAP/E2020, the non-accidental conjunction of the Iranian and American decisions, is a decisive stage in the release of a systemic crisis marking the end of the international order set up after World War II, and will be characterised between the end of March and the end of the year 2006 by a plunge in the dollar (possibly down to 1 Euro = 1,70 US Dollars in 2007) putting an immense upward pressure on the Euro, a significant rise of the oil price (over 100$ per barrel), an aggravation of the American and British military situations in the Middle East, a US budgetary, financial and economic crisis comparable in scope with the 1929 crisis, very serious economic and financial consequences for Asia in particular (namely China) but also for the United Kingdom [8], a sudden stop in the economic process of globalisation, a collapse of the transatlantic axis leading to a general increase of all the domestic and external political dangers all over the world.

For individual dollar-holders, as for trans-national corporations or political and administrative decision makers, the consequences of this last week of March 2006 will be crucial. These consequences require some difficult decisions to be made as soon as possible (crisis anticipation is always a complex process since it relies on a bet) because once the crisis begins, the stampede starts and all those who chose to wait lose.
For private individuals, the choice is clear: the US Dollar no longer is a "refuge” currency. The rising-cost of gold over the last year shows that many people have already anticipated this trend of the US currency.

Anticipating… or being swept away by the winds of history
For companies and governments - European ones in particular - LEAP/E2020 has developed in its confidential letter – the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin -, and in particular in the next issue, a series of strategic and operational recommendations which, if integrated in today's decision-making processes, can contribute to soften significantly the "monetary, financial and economic tsunami" which will break on the planet at the end of next month. To use a simple image – by the way, one used in the political anticipation scenario « USA 2010 » [9] -, the impact of the events of the last week of March 2006 on the "Western World” we have known since 1945 will be comparable to the impact of the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 on the "Soviet Block”.

If this Alarm is so precise, it is that LEAP/E2020’s analyses concluded that all possible scenarios now lead to one single result: we collectively approach a "historical node" which is henceforth inevitable whatever the action of international or national actors. At this stage, only a direct and immediate action on the part of the US administration aimed at preventing a military confrontation with Iran on the one hand, and at giving up the idea to monetarise the US foreign debt on the other hand, could change the course of events. For LEAP/E2020 it is obvious that not only such actions will not be initiated by the current leaders in Washington, but that on the contrary they have already chosen "to force the destiny" by shirking their economic and financial problems at the expense of the rest of the world. European governments in particular should draw very quickly all the conclusions from this fact.

For information, LEAP/E2020's original method of political anticipation has allowed several of its experts to anticipate (and publish) in particular : in 1988, the pproaching end of the Iron Curtain; in 1997, the progressive collapse in capacity of action and democratic legitimacy of the European institutional system; in 2002, the US being stuck in Iraq’s quagmire and above all the sustainable collapse of US international credibility; in 2003, the failure of the referenda on the European Constitution. Its methodology of anticipation of "systemic ruptures" now being well established, it is our duty as researchers and citizens to share it with the citizens and the European decision makers; especially because for individual or collective, private or public players, it is still time to undertake measures in order to reduce significantly the impact of this crisis on their positions whether these are economic, political or financial.

LEAP/E2020's complete analysis, as well as its strategic and operational recommendations intended for the private and public actors, will be detailed in the next issues of the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, and more particularly in the econd one (issued February 16th, 2006).

1. These decisions were made a few months ago already:
. the information on the creation by the Iranian government of an oil bourse priced in Euros ( ) first appeared in Summer 2004 in the specialised press.
. the Federal Reserve announced on November 10, 2005 that it would cease publisging the information concerning M3 from March 23, 2006 onward :

2. By examining Table 13B of the December 2005 Securities Statistics of the Bank for International Settlements entitled International Bonds and Notes (in billions of US dollars), by currency ), one can notice that at the end of 2004 (China not-included), 37.0% of the international financial assets were labelled in USD vs 46,8% in Euros ; while in 2000, the proportion was contrary with 49,6% labelled in USD for 30,1% only in Euros. It indicates that the March 2006 decisions will most probably accelerate the trend of exit-strategy from the dollar.

3. Monetary aggregates (M1, M2, M3, M4) are statistical economic indicators. M0 is the value of all currency - here the dollar - that exists in actual bank notes and coins. M1 is M0 + checking accounts of this currency. M2 is M1 + money market accounts and Certificates of Deposits (CD) under $100,000. M3 is M2 + all larger holdings in the dollar (Eurodollar reserves, larger instruments and most non-European nations' reserve holdings) of $100,000 and more. The key point here is that when the Fed stops reporting M3, the entire world will lose transparency on the value of reserve holdings in dollars by other nations and major financial institutions.

4. See his eloquent speech on these aspects before the National Economists Club, Washington DC, November 21, 2002

5. It should be noticed that the upward trend of the Dollar in 2005 was mostly the result of an interest rate differential which was favourable for the US Dollar, and of the "tax break on foreign earnings” Law (only valid for 1 year) which brought back to the US over $200 billion in the course of 2005.
(source : /

6. As regards Europe, LEAP/E2020 wishes to underline that European governments are no longer in line with their opinions concerning the major topics, and in particular concerning the European collective interest. The January 2006 GlobalEurometre clearly highlighted the situation with a Tide-Legitimacy Indicator of 8% (showing that 92% of the panel consider that EU leaders no longer represent their collective interests) and a Tide-Action Indicator of 24% (showing that less than a quarter of the panel thinks EU leaders are capable of translating their own decisions into concrete actions). According to LEAP/E2020, public declarations of support to Washington coming from Paris, Berlin or London, should not hide the fact that the Europeans will quickly dissociate from the US in case of military attack (the GlobalEurometre is a monthly European opinion indicator publishing in the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin 3 figures out of which 2 are public).

7. (source : Bond Market Association, Holders of Treasury Securities: Estimated Ownership of U.S. Public Debt Securities; )

8. The United Kingdom indeed owns close to 3,000 billion $ of credits, that is almost three times what countries such as France or Japan hold. (source Bank of International Settlements, Table 9A, Consolidated Claims of Reporting Banks on Individual Countries )

9. Cf. GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin N°1 (January 2006)
Original website :

Global systemic rupture / Part II

Original website:

March 15, 2006

USA-Dollar-Iran / Confirmation of Global Systemic Crisis end of March 2006

Nine indicators prove that the crisis is unfolding

Nine indicators enable LEAP/E2020 to confirm the beginning of a global systemic crisis by the end of March 2006. These indicators are described in this month’s GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin- coordinated by Franck Biancheri – and 5 of them are presented in this public communication. Recent international trends affecting the international financial system in particular, as well as preoccupying trends in the US, namely as concerns the reliability of statistics on the US economy[1], have brought our research team to conclude that this global systemic crisis is already unfolding.

M3 [2] is really the decisive indicator…

As illustrated by most of the 5 indicators described in the present communication, the past weeks have confirmed how decisive the US Federal Reserve’s decision is to stop reporting M3 [3] on March 23, 2006. LEAP/E2020 is now convinced that this decision portends a period of accelerated money-printing by the Fed, concealed behind public statements that inflation in inder control, that will result in the collapse of the US Dollar and the monetarisation of US debt (public and private), which a growing number of US experts now feel will never be repaid [4] given the constantly growing gigantic amount (the US public debt now represents more than 8,000 [5] billions dollars, i.e., approximately four times the federal budget in 2006 [6]) ). According to the very conservative Heritage Foundation, if we also take in consideration the budgetary consequences of recent decisions by the Bush Administration regarding health and pensions, the real debt is USD 42,000 billions, or 18 times this year’s federal budget, and 3 1/2 times the US GDP in 2005 [7].

… as well as Iran

While confirming the catalytic role of the opening of an Oil Bourse priced in Euros in Iran (recent Iranian allegations [8] suggest that if the crisis worsens, Iranian authorities might simply decide to switch all foreign transactions to euros, following the example set by Syria [9] a few weeks ago) and/or that of a US and/or Israeli attack on Iran – probably a « surprise-attack » conducted without the support of the UN Security Council [10]-, the scope of the reaction to the publication of last month’s LEAP/E2020 Alert has revealed a deeply-rooted anxiety among a significant part of the financial system’s players, among individual actors mostly. This impact was particularly important in the US from where we received comments mainly focused on M3, real-estate bubble, US deficits and US economic statistics reliability issues. Considering these reactions, LEAP/E2020 has decided to concentrate this second communication on these aspects of the global systemic crisis, all the more since a number of very preoccupying facts appeared in the past weeks.

The real-estate bubble starts collapsing …

Some of the predictions made by LEAP/E2020 have already become true, including the bursting of the housing bubble in the US (new home sales were down 5% in January 2006 compared to January 2005, the first time in 5 years this has happened; and the inventory of homes available for sale represents a 6-month supply since 1998 [11]). The end of the housing bubble will progressively impact US household consumption, which is highly dependent on growing mortgage-mortgage based household debt [12]. . In parallel, the slowdown in the housing sector will directly affect employment, since this sector alone has accounted for 40% of private jobs created over the past five years in the United States.

… currencies of emerging countries first ones affected by the unfolding crisis…

During the week of February 20, 2006, Iceland’s Krona was downgraded by a credit rating agency, which called Iceland’s credit deficit unsustainable. The Krona instantly plummeted 10%, dragging emerging market currencies such as those of Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Indonesia [13] , down due to the speculative positions taken by currency speculators. During the week of March 6, 2006, it was the turn of Central and Eastern European currencies [14] to plummet as a result of excessive deficits and the implementation of new policies (increased interest rates and/or removal of liquidities) by the European and Japanese central banks.
Finally, since March 14, 2006, including those in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have begun a nose-dive (a 15% loss in just 24 hours, and local experts expect a 50 to 60% drop in the coming weeks).

… and the crisis of confidence in the US economy is playing a key-role in triggering a global crisis

Among the factors suggesting that the crisis is beginning, is the extraordinary impact of LEAP/E2020’s February 2006 Alert itself, which, in and of itself, is an indicator of a high level of concern worldwide. In our opinion, the international financial system, and in particular its "dollar-base” [15], now rely mainly on two interconnected pillars: on the one hand, the confidence placed in the system itself and on the other, the statistics describing the evolution of the systems. In terms of the second pillar, the worldwide impact of the LEAP/E2020 Alert is a significant indicator, worth analysing [16] , given the dozens of millions of pages viewed, the hundreds of thousands of individual visitors to our website, the spontaneous translations of the Alert into some twenty languages, the posting of the Alert on hundreds of websites, reporting by the media and comments on blogs worldwide; and in particular, the popularity of the Alert in the US. All this reflects a growing concern about the trends in the international financial system. This concern is an integral part of the global systemic crisis given that psychological factors, such as confidence, have become central in the system.

Five out of nine indicators that the systemic crisis has already begun

These are five out of the nine indicators proving, according to LEAP/E2020, that the system crisis is unfolding:

1. the US government has been in technical default since mid-February 2006, , because the debt ceiling authorized by the Congress has been breached. The US government has suspended sales of "State and Local Government series (SLGS) non-marketable Treasury Securities” [17]. US Treasury Secretary John Snow announced that, if Congress has not approved an increase in the statutory debt ceiling by USD 800 billion by mid-March (i.e., 10% of the current ceiling of USD 8,200 billion, which has already been raised twice in the past three years), the technical default will become very problematic.

2. Fed’s Vice-Chairman in charge of crisis management Roger Ferguson unexpectedly resigned, one one week after the publication of our February Alert, despite the fact that he still had eight years to serve [18]. Roger Ferguson won high marks for his handling of the Fed’s initial response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, while Greenspan was in Europe. His opposition to the strategic choices by new Fed’s chairman, was notorious.

3. The Bank of China, the country’s top foreign exchange lender, has decided to allow depositors to buy and sell gold using their USD in order to diversify its holdings, today mostly in USDs [19].

4. US public and trade deficits continue to increase (USD 119 billion in February and USD 68,5 billion in January), indicating that non one is in control of the current trends which are only worsening. The monthly deficits the highest ever recorded. Washington no longer tries to talk about improvements, but prefers to say that these deficits do not mean anything because "the economy has changed”. This explanation was also used on the eve of the collapse of the « Internet » bubble, couched in terms of the "new economy”. [20] As a point of interest, over the past five years, the US borrowed more money from the rest of the world than it did in its entire history from 1776 to 2000 [21].

5. Doubts grow even in the US on the reliability of US economic statistics [22], leading to counter-analyses showing that, in the last three years, US GDP has in fact decreased and not increased [23] , and that current real inflation rates are between 6% and 12% (with direct consequences of course on the real profitability of the various types of investments).

Here should be a graphic with a short text that I can't upload, sorry, you need to check it at the website

Anticipation is therefore really required in order to limit the damage

A systemic crisis expands like a tsunami progressing through an ocean and hitting different coasts at different moments. When the wave hits a coast, the tsunami has been formed already long ago. An early information is clearly the only way to take some safety measures. In any event, considering the nine indicators developed in GEAB 3, it is now clear for LEAP/E2020 that the crisis is entering its triggering phase. The GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin N°3 details all these analyses and points at some tracks of solution in order to help private and public operators get prepared to make proper decisions.

Considering the importance and convergence of the trends confirming the portended systemic crisis, only trends as powerful could reverse the evolution described by LEAP/E2020. Until today, LEAP/E2020 was not able to identify the least of such reverse trends. Contrary to what some may say, « crises happen even when they are not of collective interest » (WWI or the 1929 crack already proved that). The Iran crisis, the Iraq civil war, or the deterioration of US deficits prove that our international leaders have no hand over the events. It is vain to hope that they will in the last minute appear as « deux ex machina » and solve problems that they contributed to develop over the past decades. Lastly, in the event a crisis occurs, and contrary to what happened in the past decades, the Dollar will not be the reserve currency it used to be, due to the fact that the loss of confidence in the US and in their currency (including by the Americans themselves) is precisely one of the components of the new crisis.


Apart from the analyses detailed in GEAB 3, LEAP/E2020 would like to give two clear advices to the readers of this public communication:

during the unfolding of a global systemic crisis, the main strategy to adopt consists in diversifying as much as possible one’s holdings, because given the unpredictability of the unfolding, only a diversification can limit the loss. It is important to bear in mind the following aspect: in a context of general crisis, the aim is no longer to gain more but to avoid losing too much.

as regards currencies, LEAP/E2020 noticed that its strategic analyses and advices concerning the Euro were largely read and commented at the highest level of the Eurozone governance system. This reinforces our feeling that Euroland will be in the coming months the only monetary area capable of resisting a Dollar crisis. Decision-makers have grown aware in the proper timing of the measures to take on D-Day.

1. Source MSN Money, 6/03/2006

2. Source Communiqué LEAP/E2020 Février 2006

3. Source US Federal Reserve

4. Declaration by Brian Riedl, the Heritage Foundation’s lead budget analyst.

5. Source US National Debt Clock

6. Source Budget Explorer

7. Source Heritage Foundation

8. Source AFP, Vienna – March 9, 2006: Iran "will not use the oil weapon for the time being because we are not seeking confrontation with other countries. But if the situation changes, we will be compelled to change our attitude and policy », declared Javad Vaïdi, vice chairman of the Supreme national security council, in an addresse to AFP.

9. Source Al Jazeera 14/02/2006

10. Russia and China confirm their opposition to economic sanctions as well of course as to any military action against Iran (source AP/Nouvel Observateur, 13/03/2006). The CDU/SPD coalition in power in Berlin would explode in case Berlin would support a military operation against Tehran. In France, the public opinion being overwhelmingly against such intervention, the government would in the end be compelled to clear itself from this option, being in no position to take part unless running the risk of a major political crisis in the country. Time therefore plays in favour of Tehran which maintains its oil and monetary (euro) threat.

11. Source USA Today, 28/02/2006

12. Source GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin N°2

13. Source Forex, 26/02/2006

14. Sources : Warsaw Business Journal & Budapest Times

15. International rating agency Standard & Poor’s, has just informed that 2006 conveyed a serious risk of collapse of the dollar-value compared to European currencies. Source Standard & Poor’s European Economist Forecast 2006

16. A few factual informations may help to take the full measure of this impact over a month - an impact which was a surprise for our team itself:

* rocketed to the top 1000,000 worldwide websites ranked by since the publication of the Alert

* over 10 million page-views on (source

* similar traffics recorded on, a website which published at an early stage the LEAP/E2020 Alert paper (source

* free translations of the Alert available from the net in more than 20 languages (including Russia, Arabic, Chinese…)

* posting of the Alert in English or French on hundreds of websites and blogs

* over 4,000 susbcription to the free Europe 2020 newsletter, of which about one half came from the US

* comments (80% positive ones), 2/3 of which came from the financial community or from private investors, including major investment banks.

17. Source

18. Source

19. Source China View – Xinhua – 03/03/2006

20. Between 2002 and 2005, the estimation of the net wealth of US households increased by 13,000 billion dollars, i.e. by 33% over three years, a figure surpassing by far the 11,000 billion USD increase previous record of this same wealth between 1997 and 1999… i.e. on the eve of the collapse of the Internet bubble – Source : US Federal Reserve – Z1

21. Source SFGate – San Francisco Chronicle – 27/11/2005

22. Source Gillespie Research

23. Source JWSGS February 2006 Edition

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