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Economy and currency: Money as a tool for the people, not the bankers' property
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Yanis Varoufakis: "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?" | Talks at Google

A titanic battle is being waged for Europe’s integrity and soul, with the forces of reason and humanism losing out to growing irrationality.

In this "Talks at Google" lecture, Yanis Varoufakis delivers a fresh look at the history of Europe’s crisis and America’s central role in it.

 

He presents the ultimate case against austerity, proposing concrete policies for Europe necessary to address its crisis and avert contagion to America, China, and the rest of the world. With passionate, informative, and at times humorous prose, he warns that the implosion of an admittedly crisis–ridden and deeply irrational European monetary union should, and can, be avoided at all cost.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A very interesting talk of Yanis Varoufakis about the Greek and European crises and the effects

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Why Free Money Beats Bullshit Jobs

Why Free Money Beats Bullshit Jobs | Money News | Scoop.it

The universal basic income is an idea whose time has comeAnd, slowly but surely, it is converting members of the tech elite. 

 

It’s a radical idea: everyone should get an unconditional, monthly allowance, whether you’re rich or poor, old or young, overworked or out of work. An allowance that should be enough to live on, and how you spend it is up to you. The only condition, as such, it that you have a pulse. 

 

The influential startup fund Y Combinator is already rolling out a study on basic income. Netscape founder Marc Andreessen calls it “a very interesting idea.” And Business for Basic Income offers a brand-new web platform where business owners worldwide can express their support for the idea...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Eliminate the bullshit jobs and we'll finally get some real, useful work done...

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New Zealand is Considering Giving Everyone a Universal Basic Income

New Zealand is Considering Giving Everyone a Universal Basic Income | Money News | Scoop.it

New Zealand's Labour Party has openly expressed interest in the concept of universal basic income for the country, and they may be doing away with benefits.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

One more country where a basic income is being taken into serious consideration...

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socioeco-fr's curator insight, March 16, 4:39 AM

One more country where a basic income is being taken into serious consideration...

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Money For Everyone? Ontario To Launch Basic Income Pilot Project

Money For Everyone? Ontario To Launch Basic Income Pilot Project | Money News | Scoop.it

The government of Ontario is planning to launch a pilot project to test out a guaranteed basic income. 


What that pilot project will look like, and what it will cost, is not yet known. In its budget documents, unveiled Thursday, the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne said it would “work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.” 


The idea of replacing numerous government benefits with a single cheque sent to all households, regardless of income, has been gaining steam in recent years...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The Canadian state of Ontario will pilot a basic income for its citizens.

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Can the ECB create money for a universal basic income?

Can the ECB create money for a universal basic income? | Money News | Scoop.it

Having a pan-European basic income paid by the European Central Bank makes sense. Here is why. 


Funding basic income through taxation is costly. At the same time, low consumer demand is a major worry. The European Central Bank could kill two birds with one stone by giving money directly to citizens.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The idea of a basic income given unconditionally to every resident - or was it citizen? - that idea is definitely making the rounds...

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Why a bunch of Silicon Valley investors are suddenly interested in universal basic income

Why a bunch of Silicon Valley investors are suddenly interested in universal basic income | Money News | Scoop.it

Hint: It's about robots. 


Basic income is having a moment. First Finland announced it would launch an ambitious experiment to see if it would work to give everyone in a given area is given a set amount of cash every year from the government, no strings attached. Now the Silicon Valley seed investment firm Y Combinator has announced it wants to fund a basic income experiment in the US. 


YC's president, Sam Altman, announced on the YC blog that the company wants to hire a researcher to "work full-time on this project for 5 years," and supervise an experiment wherein Y Combinator will "give a basic income to a group of people in the US for a 5 year period, though we’re flexible on that and all aspects of the project." 


Altman writes that he wants to know, "Do people sit around and play video games, or do they create new things? Are people happy and fulfilled? Do people, without the fear of not being able to eat, accomplish far more and benefit society far more? And do recipients, on the whole, create more economic value than they receive? "

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Basic Income is getting more and more serious consideration. Can't have a society where work is the passport to life and then there is no work to be found...

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Switzerland to vote on banning banks from creating money

Switzerland to vote on banning banks from creating money | Money News | Scoop.it

Switzerland will hold a referendum to decide whether to ban commercial banks from creating money. 


The Swiss federal government confirmed on Thursday that it would hold the plebiscite, after more than 110,000 people signed a petition calling for the central bank to be given sole power to create money in the financial system. 


The campaign - led by the Swiss Sovereign Money movement and known as the Vollgeld initiative - is designed to limit financial speculation by requiring private banks to hold 100pc reserves against their deposits. 


"Banks won’t be able to create money for themselves any more, they’ll only be able to lend money that they have from savers or other banks," said the campaign group.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The Swiss are thinking about how their money is made and they want to change it by referendum...

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The innovators: the Bristol pound is giving sterling a run for its money

The innovators: the Bristol pound is giving sterling a run for its money | Money News | Scoop.it

The success of the Bristol pound – with the equivalent of £700,000 in circulation in the area – has put the spotlight on attempts to keep money in local economies 


“The practical vision was to get something which would connect local communities with their businesses in a way which kept money building up in their local communities,”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The Bristol Pound is an attempt to keep money circulating locally - and it seems to work. 

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PETITION: IT IS TIME FOR A MONEY COMMISSION

PETITION: IT IS TIME FOR A MONEY COMMISSION | Money News | Scoop.it

Adrian Byrne, coordinator of Manchester Positive Money, says: "The time has come to ask if the current mechanism for money creation is best serving society’s interests - or could we do better?"


The problem of the financial system relates to the ability of banks to create money in the form of deposits through issuing loans - and this problem has not been addressed.  


Please show your support for this money commission and let the politicians know that this issue is of vital importance to the public by signing the petition. 


Will you join Adrian and sign the petition?

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Positive Money in the UK is putting pressure on the banks and their ability to create money and pretend it's theirs...

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What is GameCredits v2 - YouTube

What is and how to use GameCredits.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Game credits - money for gamers ... using the block chain.

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Why Not Just Print More Money?

Why Not Just Print More Money? | Money News | Scoop.it

A prominent economist has a radical proposal for stimulating the economy: just add money to everyone’s bank account. It is crazy enough to work? 


Adair Turner, an academic, policymaker, and member of the House of Lords, has another idea. In his new book, “Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance” (Princeton), Lord Turner argues that countries facing the predicament of onerous debts, low interest rates, and slow growth should consider a radical but alluringly simple option: create more money and hand it out to people. 


“A government could, for instance, pay $1000 to all citizens by electronic transfer to their commercial bank deposit accounts,” Turner writes. People could spend the money as they saw fit: on food, clothes, household goods, vacations, drinking binges—anything they liked. Demand across the economy would get a boost, Turner notes, “and the extent of that stimulus would be broadly proportional to the value of new money created.” 


The figure of a thousand dollars is meant to be strictly illustrative. It could just as easily be five thousand dollars or ten thousand dollars—however much was needed to drag the economy out of the doldrums

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

We are a bit slow to realise it, but what is the use of money or an economy if the majority of people are excluded from participation because they have no or too little money?

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Basic income: how Finland plans to implement the first nation-wide project in the EU

Basic income: how Finland plans to implement the first nation-wide project in the EU | Money News | Scoop.it

The Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA) has given some preliminary elements concerning Finland’s plan to experiment and then generalize the implementation of a basic income in the country.


In its final version, the basic income would replace other benefits people currently receive, and would therefore be rather high, as indicated by Kela’s Research Department Director Olli Kangas. It is considered that all Finnish citizens would be paid an untaxed benefit sum free of charge by the government, 800 euros a month in the final version, 550 euros monthly in the model’s pilot phase.


Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Finland is undertaking a serious experiment on a basic income for all. There are political discussions and a pilot project is being prepared...

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Star Trek Economics Is Just True Communism Arriving

Star Trek Economics Is Just True Communism Arriving | Money News | Scoop.it

There’s an interest in the economics of Star Trek. Not just on the grounds that the economics of such a world are interesting but because there’s a book just about to come out on the subject. And there’s really two things that we can say about that Trekonomics, that economics of Star Trek.


The first being that you can’t, on logical grounds, actually have an economics in such a world. And the second being that you can, but it will be the sort that Karl Marx was talking about. For the basic premise of the Star Trek universe is that we’ve conquered scarcity.


And as Marx was most insistent about pointing out, communism couldn’t arrive until the absence of scarcity.


"There is also the problem of the dignity of work — people enjoy feeling needed. But human values change over time, and there seems no obvious reason why people couldn’t get their self-worth from artistic self-expression, or from hobbies. 


This is the basic Star Trek future. But actually, I think that the future has a far more radical transformation in store for us. I predict that technological advances will actually end economics as we know it, and destroy scarcity, by changing the nature of human desire..."

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Radically re-thinking money and economics. I like that!

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Iceland Plans To Create Its Own Money

Iceland Plans To Create Its Own Money | Money News | Scoop.it

Iceland was certainly up for jailing their bankers, will they now get away with creating their own money? 

 

Iceland’s government is considering a revolutionary monetary proposal – removing the power of commercial banks to create money and handing it to the central bank. 

 

The proposal, which would be a turnaround in the history of modern finance, was part of a report written by a lawmaker from the ruling centrist Progress Party, Frosti Sigurjonsson, entitled “A better monetary system for Iceland”. 

 

The report, commissioned by the premier, is aimed at putting an end to a monetary system in place through a slew of financial crises, including the latest one in 2008. 

 

“The findings will be an important contribution to the upcoming discussion, here and elsewhere, on money creation and monetary policy,” Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said. 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Iceland is starting an important discussion... how should money be created?

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Scottish National Party Conference calls for universal income

Scottish National Party Conference calls for universal income | Money News | Scoop.it

The Scottish National Party (SNP), Scotland’s largest party and the UK’s third largest party, agreed to a motion supporting the introduction of a basic income in Scotland at its spring conference, held on 12-13 March 2016. 

 

The motion, which was submitted for agreement by the Cumbernauld SNP branch, explicitly opposes the UK government’s approach to social security and proposes an alternative formed around the introduction of a basic income.

 

The motion states that the “conference believes that a basic or universal income can potentially provide a foundation to eradicate poverty, make work pay and ensure all our citizens can live in dignity.”

 

Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP) argued that a basic income could “be the flagship policy for a socially just independent country.”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Basic income in Scotland?

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Game ON: the end of the old economic system is in sight

Game ON:  the end of the old economic system is in sight | Money News | Scoop.it

Google is a pioneer in limited artificial general intelligence (aka computers that can learn w/o preprogramming them).

One successful example is AlphaGo. It just beat this Go Grandmaster three times in a row. What makes this win interesting...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A computer program designed to learn a skill from scratch ... and to excel at it. Potentially quite disruptive to our economy ... jobs are not going to be plentiful.

 

Some form of basic income seems to be almost unavoidable ...

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, March 14, 6:59 PM

A computer program designed to learn a skill from scratch ... and to excel at it. Potentially quite disruptive to our economy ... jobs are not going to be plentiful. What to do? Perhaps some form of basic income ...

ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 14, 7:47 PM

A computer program designed to learn a skill from scratch ... and to excel at it. Potentially quite disruptive to our economy ... jobs are not going to be plentiful. What to do? Perhaps some form of basic income ...

johnsonrobin12's curator insight, March 17, 8:34 AM

A computer program designed to learn a skill from scratch ... and to excel at it. Potentially quite disruptive to our economy ... jobs are not going to be plentiful. What to do? Perhaps some form of basic income ...

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Fed President and Assistant Treasury Secretary Says What Everyone Knows: We Need to Break Up the Big Banks

Fed President and Assistant Treasury Secretary Says What Everyone Knows: We Need to Break Up the Big Banks | Money News | Scoop.it

The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis – who oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability (Neel Kashkari) – says that the nation’s biggest banks remain too big to fail and pose significant risk to the economy. 



Kashkari joins the following top economists and financial experts who believe that the failure to rein in the “too big to fail” banks is unacceptable...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Many of the top economists say the big banks are still too big to fail, that they are a big risk that needs to be eliminated... will we get action?

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Naomie Mullins's comment, March 20, 1:46 PM
The Fed is the main cause of too big to fail banksters.
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Institute for Leadership and Sustainability: Money and Society MOOC - starts again Feb 21st 2016!

Institute for Leadership and Sustainability: Money and Society MOOC - starts again Feb 21st 2016! | Money News | Scoop.it
A free online course at Masters-level will enable you to understand the past, present and future role of money in society. The 3rd cohort starts 21st February 2016 and lasts 4 weeks. 

Are you concerned with the banking system?

Bemused or fascinated by bitcoin?

Starting a local currency?

Whereas most courses on money are intended for people with an economics background or banking future, this course is for people who are interested in understanding money from a social innovation perspective – it prepares the ground for answering how to create a better future by reshaping money and currency.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Problems with the money system ... learn how to change it.

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A Loophole Allows Banks - But Not Other Companies - to Create Money Out of Thin Air

A Loophole Allows Banks - But Not Other Companies - to Create Money Out of Thin Air | Money News | Scoop.it

The central banks of the United States, England, and German – as well as 2 Nobel-prize winning economists – have all shown that banks create money out of thin air … even if they have no deposits on hand. 


The failure of most governments and most mainstream economists to understand this fact – they instead believe the myth that people make deposits at their bank, and these deposits are then lent out to new borrowers – is the main cause of our rampant inequality and economic problems. 


But how do banks actually make loans before they have sufficient deposits on hand?


To read the rest of the article, click on the headline...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A fundamental flaw in our financial/banking system? Who would have thought...

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If you were handed $1,100 a month, would you amount to anything?

If you were handed $1,100 a month, would you amount to anything? | Money News | Scoop.it

Would Germany be a better place if each citizen received a no-strings-attached government check for $1,100 a month? 


Would people still get out of bed each day and go to work or do something else productive even with that unconditional basic income of 1,000 euros, less than half the average German monthly wage, but more than twice what those on welfare receive?

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A basic income - imagine all the stress that could relieve...

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Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador a different kind of economy is being envisioned

Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador a different kind of economy is being envisioned | Money News | Scoop.it

Global developments in finance and geopolitics are prompting a rethinking of the structure of banking and of the nature of money itself.


Among other interesting news items: 


-- In Russia, vulnerability to Western sanctions has led to proposals for a banking system that is not only independent of the West but is based on different design principles. 


-- In Iceland, the booms and busts culminating in the banking crisis of 2008-09 have prompted lawmakers to consider a plan to remove the power to create money from private banks. 


-- In Ireland, Iceland and the UK, a recession-induced shortage of local credit has prompted proposals for a system of public interest banks on the model of the Sparkassen of Germany. 


-- In Ecuador, the central bank is responding to a shortage of US dollars (the official Ecuadorian currency) by issuing digital dollars through accounts to which everyone has access, effectively making it a bank of the people.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

It is good to see countries making efforts to re-think money, its design and proper use...

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Bitwalking dollars: Digital currency pays people to walk - BBC News

Bitwalking dollars: Digital currency pays people to walk - BBC News | Money News | Scoop.it

A new digital crypto-currency has been launched that is generated by human movement. 


Bitwalking dollars will be earned by walking, unlike other digital currencies such as Bitcoins that are "mined" by computers. 


A phone application counts and verifies users' steps, with walkers earning approximately 1 BW$ for about 10,000 steps (about five miles). 


In developed nations the average person would earn around 15 BW$ a month, but it is hoped that in poorer countries where people have to walk further for work, school, or simply to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme could help transform lives...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A currency that gets created by documenting, with the use of a smart phone app or a specially configured fitness tracker. The more you walk, the more you earn. Spend in shops that accept the currency, or use in direct trade with other users.

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Community Credit: The Next Generation of Financial Architecture – Biomimicry Institute

Community Credit: The Next Generation of Financial Architecture – Biomimicry Institute | Money News | Scoop.it

Like the natural world itself, the community credit landscape is diverse and dynamic and will never be fixed in a single pattern. That said, it is possible to recognize three distinct cultures that have emerged among these systems so far.  


They are LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems), Business-to-Business (B2B) trading systems, and TimeBanks.  


Each of these groups organizes somewhat differently and uses different systems, but they’re all premised on the same basic principle of mutual credit exchange.  


A community credit facility results any time a group of people or organizations comes together and agrees to directly issue credit to each other for their own goods and services. (Some groups have a different way of describing this, but the result is the same.)  


This is usually called mutual credit, and it’s the most democratic form of credit creation: we issue credit ourselves backed by our own promises to redeem it in the future.  Organize these promises together, and you’ve got a bottom-up credit facility...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Credit is just as good as money. We can give each other credit. That means we can use our own money, no longer depending on the banks and the speculators...

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Swiss citizens’ initiative collects 105,000 signatures, triggers referendum on Money Creation

Swiss citizens’ initiative collects 105,000 signatures, triggers referendum on Money Creation | Money News | Scoop.it

Under the Swiss Federal Constitution, if a petition gathers at least 100,000 signatures within 18 months, a referendum is held on the issue a few years later. 


In a nutshell, the proposal extends the Swiss Federation’s existing exclusive right to create coins and notes, to also include deposits.With the full power of new money creation exclusively in the hands of the Swiss National Bank, the commercial banks would no longer have the power to create money through lending.


The Swiss National Bank’s primary role becomes the management of the money supply relative to the productive economy, while the decision concerning how new money is introduced debt free into the economy would reside with the government”, reads the official website of the initiative


In Switzerland, referendums are usually organised 3 to 5 years after a popular initiative succeeds. The proposals first have to be debated by the Federal government and Parliament. In case the Parliament decides to adopt a proposal into law immediately, the organisers of the initiative have the right to renounce the referendum, hence speeding up the implementation of the proposal. However, this is very rare case, as most initiatives are ultimately submitted to a nationwide referendum.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Citizens' initiative in Switzerland to take money creation away from commercial banks. Next step is debate and then a referendum of all Swiss citizens.

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Barcelona Officials Plan Alternative Currency

Barcelona Officials Plan Alternative Currency | Money News | Scoop.it

Officials in Barcelona, Spain announced plans to try a local currency in order to stimulate business in the city and surrounding areas. 


According to news reports and statements from local officials, the alternative currency will be entirely digital — or a cashless currency. The name will be chosen in a “participatory process,” officials said. Apparently users will trade in their euros, the embattled single European currency, at a rate of one to one. The units of local currency will then be credited to a card, mobile phone, or some other device, so they can be used among participating local merchants — probably with a small discount over the standard price in euros.


Taxes, public transportation fees, and more might also be payable in the new currency, according to officials. Government workers, welfare recipients, and others might also be paid in the currency, if they agree.  


Users will also be able to trade the local currency back into euros if they so choose. And every element of the project will be voluntary, officials said, noting that no business would be forced to accept the local currency against its will.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A local currency for Barcelona, or rather the region of Catalunia in Spain ... it is one of many experiments to try and learn how a currency should be properly configured, and what it can do to isolate the real local economy from the instability of the financial markets that have co-opted the official currencies for their gambling...

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