#Lenileaks Saga: “Doesn’t have to be true. Just needs to look like that.”

Below is a screenshot of a publicly set email from a billionaire based in the US to her circle about the Philippines and its President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. This screenshot has been posted and reposted in many pages on Facebook.

After the picture, below, is the entire transcript of the email of Loida Nicolas Lewis.

lenileaks yahoogroups convo.jpg

As written by Loida Nicolas Lewis: “TAKE TIME to READ: Just arrived San Francisco. Still Sunday night. The money, equity and commodity markets are closed. In 3 hours, investors, fund managers and traders will open their newspapers. And read about a Philippine Presidential candidate who is starting to look completely inept at an ability called Uniting the Country.

They will think, oh shit, which country is this?? Philippines? Maybe this country MIGHT lose investor confidence this week?? (Doesn’t have to be true. Just needs to LOOK like that.)

Because they are stewards of millions of dollars of other people’s money — retirees’ life savings, pension funds — these fund managers are sensitive to any news that MIGHT affect their clients’ investments. So they check their exposure. They have bought a lot of Philippine stocks, a lot of Philippine pesos. It was a growing economy, after all, second highest GDP growth in tiger Asia.

Nobody really thought about this country recently. As they Google it, they learn more about the Presidential candidate who has angered the Australian, Mexican, American and Chinese authorities, and the Philippine military, all in a matter of a few days. Parang malabo yata itong bayan na ito. (Doesn’t have to be TRUE, just needs to LOOK like that.)

So the nervous fund managers start selling their Pesos. Other fund managers notice. “They sold sixty million Philippine Pesos? Oh yeah, that crazy country where people laughed along with this rapist candidate.” (Doesn’t have to be TRUE, just needs to LOOK like that.)

In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality. Hindi naman sila taga Pilipinas, so kung ano ‘yung nasa CNN, ‘yun ang totoo.

By Tuesday, traders everywhere are selling Pesos for Dollars or Euro. All they know about the Philippines, they got from the news. By Wednesday nobody wants Pesos, for the moment. You can no longer buy a dollar for 46 Pesos. You have to tempt them by offering more — 47, 48 or 49 Pesos to the dollar.

At close on Wednesday the exchange rate is 49:1, or even north of that. I know, that’s just a 6% devaluation, nothing really bad.

In the Philippines it is Thursday morning. You need more Pesos to buy a barrel of oil, a liter of milk, a tanker of aviation fuel, all imported. Power companies, gas stations, ice cream makers and airlines need to increase their Peso prices by 6% just to buy the same raw materials.

Your P46,000 savings can’t buy $1,000 anymore. You have to postpone that vacation. That car, that house. That baby.

Your Dad was hoping to retire this year with a P460,000 pension. On Thursday that isn’t worth $10,000 anymore. He has to work another 2-3 years. He thinks about the recent pain in his chest.

Everything imported goes up by 6%. Millions and tens of millions of pesos of needless costs.

That worldwide BBC article will do us damage. The Sydney Morning Herald, Le Monde and the Straits Times picked it up too, but BBC is worldwide. Which came from an original wire story like, “Perverted Philippine Presidential hopeful wanted first slot in a prison gangbang, entertains laughing crowd at rally.”

More traders Google “Philippines Duterte” pa more. They see the pictures… . Cringing women getting kissed, sitting on his lap, YouTube clips studded with words like ‘putang ina ka Pope.’ Geez, they think, this guy talks like that in public?!

In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality.

Nobody likes RISK. Other fund managers look at Peso-based equities. Philippine stocks, if valued in dollars, are now worth lower. They own a lot of PHILIPPINE Long Distance Tele… . Hey, isn’t that the country where this candidate regretted missing out on a gang rape?? Look, Microsoft shares are going up, why don’t we dump PLDT for now and buy Microsoft? It’s just prudence. They short 2 million shares… . You know, “just for a while,” until they can see whether the Filipinos can elect a ‘REAL’ President.

In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality.

So maybe PLDT has to postpone that internet upgrade.

That’s the impact of ‘statesmanship.’ Or the lack of it. Shit doesn’t have to happen, it just needs to LOOK like it will. And there will be consequences.

Guess who made it look like that? A clueless supporter who guffawed and posted a 2-minute video on YouTube. A crowd laughing along with an unthinking Mayor who stuffed his entire foot into his mouth. A day after he inadvertently signalled to China that he can give up claims to 100,000 square kilometers of Economic Exclusion Zone in exchange for trains. A week after he told people that Mexico was a stupid country to visit, in the presence of the Mexican ambassador.

It’s a global economy. A President also REPRESENTS the country in the eyes of the world. Obama is the US, Putin is Russia, Trudeau is Canada.

The Philippines? For now to the world, the Philippines is those people laughing about a dead woman missionary that their Presidential candidate wished he could have raped first.

Can we see now how AWFUL that was?”

God’s blessings,

Posted on January 11, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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