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Teaching Giving Learning

Teaching Giving Learning | Money News | Scoop.it
A world created and sustained by communities of people living debt-free, creative lives with a focus on life-long learning and balanced self-development.

 

TGL promotes local production and exchange in a number of different ways

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Economy and currency: Money as a tool, not the bankers' property
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Silvio Gesell: 'Neglected Prophet' of Economics Got It Right

Silvio Gesell: 'Neglected Prophet' of Economics Got It Right | Money News | Scoop.it

In some parts of Europe, negative interest rates are creating absurd situations.

In 
France, some corporate bonds pay interest to the issuer because they were linked to a benchmark rate that has dropped below zero. In Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, banks are turning depositors away with threats of negative interest rates. 

If this goes on much longer, we'll be living in the world of "free money" imagined by the economic dreamer and adventurer Silvio Gesell in the 19th century.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Silvio Gesell was a century ahead of the times... and now we are finding he wasn't wrong after all.

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A Dutch City Will Start Experimenting with Unconditional Basic Income This Summer

A Dutch City Will Start Experimenting with Unconditional Basic Income This Summer | Money News | Scoop.it

Utrecht wants to see how basic income works in a real world setting.


  • The reason for the experiment is that people on benefits are often faced with multiple arrangements: assistance, special assistance, housing benefit, child benefit and so on. Each of these situations have their own control factors, allowing for little to no social mobility. 
     
  • For the experiment, the city has partnered with the University of Utrecht to set up an experiment to place people on welfare get different regimes. For example, a group being made of compensation and consideration for an allowance, a group with a basic income without all kinds of rules, and of course a control group that has the current rules.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Basic income ... more and more experimentation on the way. We need a basic income as jobs run out.

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Anarchist Russian Farmer to Defend His Village Currency in Court

Anarchist Russian Farmer to Defend His Village Currency in Court | Money News | Scoop.it

Mikhail Shlyapnikov, a farmer in the isolated Russian village of Kolionovo, thought he had found a way to make economic transactions in the cash-strapped settlement easier: He began printing kolions, exchange notes to be used by villagers instead of cash. 


One kolion equaled 10 kilograms of potatoes. In a village where residents would only get hard cash several times a year — during harvest and sowing — kolions would make the exchange of goods easier. Workers could plow a piece of land for a few kolions and then exchange them for vegetables, fruit or fish. 


But in his attempt to establish a self-sustaining community with its own system of cashless transactions, Shlyapnikov attracted the attention of the government.


On Wednesday, Shlyapnikov will appear in court facing prosecution for creating his own currency. The prosecutor claims that by printing his own money, Shlyapnikov aimed to subvert the economic security of the Russian state.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

It's the same all over it seems. People try to organise their lives and the government thinks it has to step in.

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The Basic Affordability of Basic Income

The Basic Affordability of Basic Income | Money News | Scoop.it
This is actually even what the richest should want, because although they would pay more in taxes for universal basic income, leaving them a slightly thinner although still very thick slice of the overall pie, the slice of the pie itself would grow, leaving even them better off as well.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Basic income ... the discussion continues. Here is how it could be funded, with the US as the example.

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Small Yet BIG: The Basic Income Guarantee

Small Yet BIG: The Basic Income Guarantee | Money News | Scoop.it

If we want to live in a world that is free from poverty and where the poor are able to become wealth creators, then by definition, everyone needs to have at least some money.


From the thirsty plains of the Namib to the seemingly impervious jungles of the Amazon and the cramped slums of Seemapuri, a revolution is quietly brewing. A small idea that appears almost self-evident has taken root in some of the world's forgotten corners.


In contrast to the convoluted development theories of structural adjustment, economic convergence, and trickle-down - all of which ultimately aim to ensure that everyone has enough money - this idea offers but a single proposal to help address the destitution of so many millions: If we want to live in a world that is free from poverty and where the poor are able to become wealth creators, then by definition, everyone needs to have at least some money. 


This once utopian vision is gaining ground, fast. A global network of academics, activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private groups are working towards the implementation of Basic Income Guarantees (BIGs) in some of the world's most impoverished regions. It is a small idea, both in terms of its simplicity and in terms of the sums of money involved. But it is having a big impact...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

There's a world wide movement starting, to cover everyone's basic expenses. Imagine what this will do to free us up to actually participate in the political process, and to learn and teach ... or to do that big project we always had to delay because we just couldn't find the time for it...

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, May 18, 2:26 AM

There's a world wide movement starting, to cover everyone's basic expenses. Imagine what this will do to free us up to actually participate in the political process, and to learn and teach ... or to do that big project we always had to delay because we just couldn't find the time for it...

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Iceland: Fundamental reform of the monetary system must be considered

Iceland: Fundamental reform of the monetary system must be considered | Money News | Scoop.it

The report, commissioned by the Prime Minister, considers the extent to which Iceland’s history of economic instability has been driven by the ability of banks to ‘create money’ in the process of lending.


The report describes how commercial banks in Iceland created far more money than was needed for economic growth. The Central Bank failed to bring the money supply under control using conventional means.


The report considers various reform proposals ...


more here: http://www.positivemoney.org/2015/04/iceland-fundamental-reform-monetary-system-must-considered/

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The prime minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Sigmundsson, said: “I am very pleased to receive this new report on monetary reform. The findings will be an important contribution to the upcoming discussion, here and elsewhere, on money creation and monetary policy.”

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Yanis Varoufakis: Presenting an agenda for Europe at AMBROSETTI (Lake Como, 14th March 2015)

Yanis Varoufakis: Presenting an agenda for Europe at AMBROSETTI (Lake Como, 14th March 2015) | Money News | Scoop.it

"It was as if, in constructing the Eurozone, we removed all shock absorbers while ensuring that the shock, when it came, would be massive.


And when that massive shock came, in the form of the Great Eurozone Crisis in 2010, following the global Crash of 2008, with my country, Greece, proving the canary in the mine, Europe decided to remain in denial of the nature of the crisis, insisting on dealing with the insolvencies caused by the bursting of bubbles (first in the banking sector and then in the realm of public debt) as if they were mere liquidity problems, lending to the deeply indebted nations through SPVs (special purpose vehicles) that resembled stacked CDOs (collateralized debt obligations).


The end result was a transfer of potential losses from the banks’ books onto Europe’s taxpayers in a manner that placed most of the burden of adjustment on the crisis countries that could least bear it."

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, on the Euro crisis...

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When the machines take over Humans need not apply - YouTube vid 15min

The video is about machines taking over more and more of our jobs. We must find other ways to have an income that doesn't involve scarce and ever scarcer employment.

There is a discussion on reddit:


http://www.reddit.com/r/CGPGrey/comments/2dfh5v/humans_need_not_apply/


http://www.CGPGrey.com/


https://twitter.com/cgpgrey ## Robots, Etc...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

We should take time to look also at the larger questions in human existence. We badly need to re-think our economic system...

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Finland: Two-third of parliament candidates favor basic income

Finland: Two-third of parliament candidates favor basic income | Money News | Scoop.it

A vast majority of candidates running the next parliamentary elections in Finland said they agree with the principle of the basic income.


As the general elections are approaching, the idea of basic income just breached an unprecedented milestone in Finland, with nearly 65.5% of all parliamentary candidates publicly supporting the policy. 


The next parliamentary elections in Finland will take place on April 19th. It seems the opportunity for introducing basic income pilots in Finland – and Europe – have never been so close.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The idea of basic income just breached an unprecedented political milestone

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The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money

The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money | Money News | Scoop.it

Between 1974 and 1979, the Canadian government tested the idea of a basic income guarantee (BIG) across an entire town, giving people enough money to survive in a way that no other place in North America has before or since.


For those four years—until the project was cancelled and its findings packed away—the town's poorest residents were given monthly checks that supplemented what modest earnings they had and rewarded them for working more. And for that time, it seemed that the effects of poverty began to melt away.


Doctor and hospital visits declined, mental health appeared to improve, and more teenagers completed high school. 


“Do we have to behave in particular ways to justify compassion and support?” Evelyn Forget, a Canadian social scientist who unearthed some of the findings of the Dauphin experiment, asked me rhetorically when I reached her by phone. “Or is simply human dignity enough?”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Here comes to light another experiment with Basic Income ... this one in Canada in the 1970's. Interesting how the data from the experiment was put away quietly, rather than being published, analysed and discussed...

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Why the Tech Elite Is Getting Behind Universal Basic Income | VICE | United States

Why the Tech Elite Is Getting Behind Universal Basic Income | VICE | United States | Money News | Scoop.it

Why not give money to people just for being alive?


"Tell me something that you think robots cannot do, and I will tell you a time frame in which they can actually do it," a young Italian entrepreneur named Federico Pistono challenged me. Among other accomplishments, Pistono has written a book called Robots Will Steal Your Job, but That's OK.


At the Singularity meeting he was the chief proponent of basic income. He cited recent experiments in India that showed promise for combating poverty among people the tech economy has left behind. Diamandis later reported having been "amazed" by the potential.


One might not expect such enthusiasm for no-strings-attached money in a room full of libertarian-leaning investors. But for entrepreneurial sorts like these, welfare doesn't necessarily require a welfare state.


Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Interesting article: how universal basic income is gaining a following in Silicon Valley investor circles. There is an important caveat at the end ... a basic income that is too low might actually be harmful to those receiving it.

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Cato Institute: Bitcoin Will Be Displaced by Cryptocurrencies with Superior Features

Cato Institute: Bitcoin Will Be Displaced by Cryptocurrencies with Superior Features | Money News | Scoop.it

The renowned Libertarian public policy think tank The Cato Institute has a review by Steve H. Hanke of the book “New Private Monies: A Bit Part Player?” by free-banking expert Kevin Dowd, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs.


Both Hanke and Dowd are persuaded that cryptocurrencies are the way of the future, with broad implications that are extremely profound.


However, they are also persuaded that the volatility of the Bitcoin price is an important problem that will force the currency Bitcoin to make way for other cryptocurrencies.


“Though the supply of Bitcoin is limited, the demand is very variable; this variability has made its price very uncertain and created a bubble-bust cycle in the Bitcoin market. Perhaps the safest prediction is that Bitcoin will eventually be displaced by alternative cryptocurrencies with superior features.”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Bitcoin has been an extremely successful experiment. But that is what it is - not a currency for the long term but a first experiment on how to make an electronic currency. 

Better ones will be coming along. They have to work on some important bugs: stability of value, ease of use and the wasteful race of "mining" coins. 

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The economics of digital currencies - an assessment by the Bank of England...

The economics of digital currencies


By Robleh Ali of the Bank’s Financial Market Infrastructure Directorate, John Barrdear of the Bank’s Monetary

Assessment and Strategy Division, and Roger Clews and James Southgate of the Bank’s Markets Directorate.


  • Although digital currencies could, in theory, serve as money for anybody with an internet-enabled

    device, at present they act as money only to a limited extent and only for relatively few people.


  • The economics of the schemes as currently designed, both in terms of individuals’ incentives and at a macroeconomic level, pose significant challenges to their widespread adoption.


  • Digital currencies do not currently pose a material risk to monetary or financial stability in the United Kingdom. The Bank continues to monitor developments in this area. 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

According to this report of the Bank of England, digital currencies, and especially Bitcoin, are not ready for widespread adoption.

They are too volatile and the fixed supply is likely to lead to macroeconomic consequences, such as deflation, which would be disruptive to a real economy.

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The U.S. and EU will collapse regardless of Greece and Economic ‘Contagion’

The U.S. and EU will collapse regardless of Greece and Economic ‘Contagion’ | Money News | Scoop.it

Why are so many economists so worried about a little country like Greece? 


It's all due to a great lie: a dishonest narrative being perpetuated by the establishment that if Greece falls, defaults or leaves the EU, this could trigger a domino effect of other nations hitting a debt wall and following suit. The lie embedded in this narrative is the claim that Greece will cause a “contagion” through the act of default.  Let's be clear - there is no contagion.


Multiple countries within the EU have developed their own debt problems in spite of Greece over the past couple of decades, not because of Greece. Each of these countries, from Italy, to Spain, to Portugal, etc. has its OWN sovereign debt disasters to deal with caused by its own fiscal irresponsibility.


The only legitimate reason for a so-called contagion is the fact that these countries have been forced into socialist interdependency through the EU structure.


Never forget this: The EU is in trouble not because of Greece, but because of forced supranational interdependency. The EU by all rights should not exist, nor should any centralized supranational single currency system.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The problem is not Greece, the problem is in how the EU set up its finance and banking system. And yes, unless we get a serious reform going, the EU is likely to see economic collapse.

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Greek debt is illegal, illegitimate, and odious - Hellenic Parliament’s Debt Truth Committee Finds

Greek debt is illegal, illegitimate, and odious - Hellenic Parliament’s Debt Truth Committee Finds | Money News | Scoop.it

All the evidence we present in this report shows that Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious. 


It has also come to the understanding of the Committee that the unsustainability of the Greek public debt was evident from the outset to the international creditors, the Greek authorities, and the corporate media. Yet, the Greek authorities, together with some other governments in the EU, conspired against the restructuring of public debt in 2010 in order to protect financial institutions. 


Bailout funds provided in both programmes of 2010 and 2012 have been externally managed through complicated schemes, preventing any fiscal autonomy. The use of the bailout money is strictly dictated by the creditors, and so, it is revealing that less than 10% of these funds have been destined to the government’s current expenditure.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The bankers want their pound of flesh, but the Greek people, even their parliamentarians, resist...

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Fast-tracking TiSA: Stealth Block to Monetary Reform

Fast-tracking TiSA: Stealth Block to Monetary Reform | Money News | Scoop.it

In March 2014, the Bank of England let the cat out of the bag: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it. So wrote David Graeber in The Guardian the same month, referring to a BOE paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.” 


The paper stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong. The result, said Graeber, was to throw the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window. 


The revelation may have done more than that. The entire basis for maintaining our private extractive banking monopoly may have been thrown out the window.

And that could help explain the desperate rush to “fast track” not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.


Read more at http://www.maxkeiser.com/2015/06/fast-tracking-tisa-stealth-block-to-monetary-reform-2/#vlIomklfMcvdTjPU.99

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Good questions: "If money is just an IOU, why are we delivering the exclusive power to create it to an unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent private banking monopoly?


Why are we buying into the notion that the government is broke – that it must sell off public assets and slash public services in order to pay off its debts?"

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Wall Street Battling Silicon Valley Over Bitcoin Says ‘Digital Gold’ Author

Wall Street Battling Silicon Valley Over Bitcoin Says ‘Digital Gold’ Author | Money News | Scoop.it

Most people think of bitcoin as digital gold in the form of an online token, but the idea of a scarce online good is only part of the story, says Nathaniel Popper, author of ‘Digital Gold.'


'The network in which bitcoin lives is also a hugely important part of bitcoin’s appeal,' says Popper. 'The network is an e-mail system for money where you can send somebody funds in Kuala Lumpur without having to go through a central service like a bank. You can simply send money anywhere.' ...


Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A good description of Bitcoin in terms people can understand...

In my view, Bitcoin is an immensely successful prototype, but not the final form this kind of currency will eventually take.  

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4 April 2015: a landmark in the search for the truth about the Greek debt as parliament tasks committee with audit

4 April 2015: a landmark in the search for the truth about the Greek debt as parliament tasks committee with audit | Money News | Scoop.it

For the first time in Europe a committee for an audit of the debt (with citizens’ participation) was set up under the auspices of a parliament.

On Saturday 4 April the president of the Hellenic parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou opened the first official session creating a debt audit committee , also called committee for the truth about the debt.


The Committee will audit the Greek debt in the coming months, aimed at finding out whether part of the Greek public debt is illegitimate, illegal, odious or unsustainable...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The Greeks want to know how their debt increased from 113% of GDP in 2009, when the banks came in to "help them out", to 175% of GDP in 2014. That should prove interesting...

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Iceland Jails Four Top Bankers For Fraud In Landmark Case

Iceland Jails Four Top Bankers For Fraud In Landmark Case | Money News | Scoop.it

Proving to the world that even bankers aren't above the law


Iceland has jailed four bankers for market manipulation in a landmark case which sets a precedent for the rest of the world. The verdict relates to corruption at the Kaupthing bank, which collapsed after the financial crisis in 2008 due to fraud at the highest levels.

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/iceland-jails-four-top-bankers-for-fraud-in-landmark-case/

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Bankers can (and should) be jailed for fraud... Iceland shows the way.

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Nineteen Economists call on European Central Bank to make ‘Quantitative Easing for the people’ - letter to the Financial Times

Nineteen Economists call on European Central Bank to make ‘Quantitative Easing for the people’ - letter to the Financial Times | Money News | Scoop.it

Nineteen economists have signed a letter to the Financial Times calling on the European Central Bank to adopt an alternative quantitative easing policy.


As a response to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) plan to inject 60 billion euros a month for the next 18 months into the financial system, 19 economists have signed a letter to the Financial Times calling on the ECB to adopt a different approach which they consider a more efficient way to boost the eurozone economy.


“The evidence suggests that conventional QE is an unreliable tool for boosting GDP or employment. Bank of England research shows that it benefits the well-off, who gain from increasing asset prices, much more than the poorest,” the letter reads.


The signatories offer an alternative:


Rather than being injected into the financial markets, the new money created by eurozone central banks could be used to finance government spending (such as investing in much needed infrastructure projects); alternatively each eurozone citizen could be given €175 per month, for 19 months, which they could use to pay down existing debts or spend as they please. By directly boosting spending and employment, either approach would be far more effective than the ECB’s plans for conventional QE.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Now that would be a good experiment... give that "quantitative easing" money directly to the people to spend.

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Economics. Banking is dead, long live banking - interview with an author of "The End of Banking"

Economics. Banking is dead, long live banking - interview with an author of "The End of Banking" | Money News | Scoop.it

An anonymous investment banker explains why the banking system is just big enough to fail, and will collapse soon, to be replaced by peer-to-peer networks.


Many people have a misconception of banking; they think that we take money from depositors and give it out for mortgages, for small business loans, for student loans. But in reality, banking is the creation of money out of credit.


So when we extend a loan, it's not that we take existing money from someone else and give it to a borrower; it's really the creation of new money from credit. And when we talk about the end of banking, we are saying that this model no longer works.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The end of banking - a great book, and here's an interview with one of the authors. 

"...if we don't disintermediate our financial system we will have financial crises over and over again and we will have further problems with rising inequality. The current status quo is totally unstable."

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Geert Lovink and Patrice Riemens: The Bitcoin Experience (part I)

Geert Lovink and Patrice Riemens: The Bitcoin Experience (part I) | Money News | Scoop.it

Bitcoin does not respond to an effective demand, but to an emotional desire. The internet crypto currency expresses a longing for liberation through the mediation of technology.


It grows out of a post-apocalyptic will to start all over again, in between financial crises of epic proportions, to put an end to the never-ending recession. This time, so do believers in Bitcoin maintain, the economy will be led by our tribe of techno-libertarians, and not by the vile, corrupted banksters and  politicians in their employ.


Amidst the rubble of the collapsing global capitalism, there is nothing left to demand—who would listen anyway? What is your blueprint for the next monetary system? After all, Bitcoin architecture is not a given.


Let’s be frank: everything is up for grabs, including the premises of the Bitcoin project itself, which is what we intend to do here.


Read more: http://networkcultures.org/geert/2015/01/28/geert-lovink-and-patrice-riemens-the-bitcoin-experience-part-i/

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Bitcoin is not going to be our next monetary system, say the authors of this piece. If anything, it can be a testing ground for what comes after it.

That would be a monetary system perhaps based on a distributed computing technology, but where parameters are carefully chosen to make it work smoothly as a currency, rather than something that encourages savings or speculative behavior.

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Institute for Leadership and Sustainability: Money and Society - Learn about money in a Massive Open Online Course

Institute for Leadership and Sustainability: Money and Society - Learn about money in a Massive Open Online Course | Money News | Scoop.it

Concerned with the banking system? Bemused or fascinated by bitcoin? Starting a local currency?


A free online course at Masters-level (February 2015) will enable you to understand the past, present and future role of money in society.


The course is therefore highly interdisciplinary, drawing upon anthropology, sociology, history and heterodox economics. It is designed by Professor Jem Bendell PhD and Matthew Slater BD, with additional tutoring by Leander Bindewald MA and Stephen DeMeulenaere.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

For those interested in understanding and experimenting with money design... there will be an open, interactive on-line course to be held in February.

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Ecuador Government Launches Smart Phone E-Money System

Ecuador Government Launches Smart Phone E-Money System | Money News | Scoop.it

Banco Central del Ecuador (BCE) announced it has officially entered into the first phase of the establishment of its own electronic cash system, asking citizens over 18 years old to open an account using their smartphones.


From mid-February 2015, the second phase will consist in processing the first transactions with the delivery of the electronic cash, the issuance of commercial receipts, and the allowance of bank transfers.


Later in 2015, users will be able to pay for utilities, tax obligations and other use cases, using the electronic money.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

This should be interesting to watch. A state sponsored electronic currency. There is very little detail yet as to how exactly that currency is going to work.

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The End of Banking - a financial reform proposal (book) | P2P Foundation

The End of Banking - a financial reform proposal (book) | P2P Foundation | Money News | Scoop.it

"The End of Banking" proposes to end money creation by banks, requiring 100% asset backing for liabilities on financial institution balance sheets.


The book addresses banking, not just banks, because banking, which the authors define as the creation of private or “inside” money, is not an activity limited to banks. Other, non-bank financial institutions are also involved in the money creation business. 


“Calling for the end of banking might sound too simplistic to solve today’s problems in the financial system. Such a notion likely stems from a vague definition of banking.


Some label all activities undertaken by banks as banking. Others think of banking as a bundle of financial services such as asset management or securities underwriting.


We adopt a macroeconomic perspective and define banking as the creation of money out of credit.”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The End of Banking is a very readable book for anyone interested in matters of finance. The authors propose a surprisingly simple step to end the creation of money by private interests, including banks.

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David Week's curator insight, November 25, 2014 7:05 PM

If I look at the impact on communities in the United States of out-of-control digitalised lending, what I see is this:

- loans were extended to people that could not repay
- the mortgages were then bundled into traceable instruments, and onsold
- this bundling and unselling created a situation in which for many houses, no-one knows any more who owns them after the borrowers default
- they sit vacant, decaying, and degrading the neighbourhood around them psychologically and economically
- the bundling and onselling also provided an incentive to the original lender to act carelessly, because they did not carry the can if the mortgage went sour
- the bundling and repetitive unselling, with poor paperwork, was facilitated by the fast flow of trade and capital flows in a digital world.

In Australia, my bank cannot sell my mortgage. I don't know whether that's through prudence or law, but I would not take a mortgage if I thought it could end up bundled with others in a globalised capital market.

I'm pre-ordering the book.