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What happened to our supermarkets: negative consequences of errors of scale and financialization

What happened to our supermarkets: negative consequences of errors of scale and financialization | Money News | Scoop.it

Excess scale, fed by rents and a financial system decoupled from production is the origin of the current crisis.

 

We feed back into the system every time we buy at a big chain distributor, or pay an oligarchical provider of energy, telecommunications, or basic goods.

 

Maybe, currently, it works out to be a little cheaper to buy from them, but have they really improved our quality of life?”

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Economy and currency: Money as a tool for the people, not the bankers' property
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Bank of England states central bank-issued digital currency will compete with commercial banks » Brave New Coin

Bank of England states central bank-issued digital currency will compete with commercial banks » Brave New Coin | Money News | Scoop.it

Bank of England (BoE) Chief Cashier and Director for Notes, Victoria Cleland, recently gave a speech highlighting the Bank's work on central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC).

 

Clelands keynote presentation was given at the second international workshop for P2P Financial Systems in London on Sept. 8 and 9.

 

The BoE co-sponsored the event with Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bundesbank, House of Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and UCL Research Centre, bringing together scholars, regulators, and practitioners. 

 

“We are undertaking more fundamental long-term research on the wide range of questions posed by the potential of a central bank-issued digital currency [...] We need to understand the potential economic impact of extending access to central bank money.”

 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Bank of England is thinking about electronic money put directly into circulation, bypassing the banks...

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A Deutsche Bank whistleblower just pulled a gutsy move to highlight what's wrong with Wall Street - Business Insider

A Deutsche Bank whistleblower just pulled a gutsy move to highlight what's wrong with Wall Street - Business Insider | Money News | Scoop.it

Eric Ben-Artzi is a brave man. 

 

The former Deutsche Bank risk officer was one of three whistleblowers who reported improper accounting at the German bank to regulators in 2010 and 2011. 

 

In 2015, the SEC imposed a $55 million fine against the bank over the issue. 

 

Ben-Artzi is due 15% of this sum, or $16.5 million. In an opinion piece in The Financial Times on Thursday, he revealed that he had rejected the payout.... 


Read more at http://www.businessinsider.sg/eric-ben-artzi-deutsche-bank-rejects-payouts-from-sec-2016-8/#h3hGcmXfHEbL2l2X.99

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Improper accounting practices. That seems to be a euphemism for what was once called fraud! 

 

Improper accounting practices are starting to catch up with the banks. Deutsche Bank got outed by a whistleblower who refuses to accept his part in the settlement...

The article leads to the story of why he refused and how he would like that things procede from here.

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Alan Watts on Socially Responsible Automation and an Unconditional Basic Income Guarantee

It's like he knew what the main problems of work-cultist capitalism and its socially irresponsible job automation were going to be before the whole mess even got started.

This video is a piece selected from watercourseway1's longer version called "Alan Watts - Money and Guilt"

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A very cogent argument by Alan Watts on why, when automation takes over much of production, we need to make sure that people will be able to buy what's produced...

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There is no cure for unemployment...

The RICH Economy
by Robert Anton Wilson 
from The Illuminati Papers 

 

I don't think there is, or ever again can be, a cure for unemployment. I propose that unemployment is not a disease, but the natural, healthy functioning of an advanced technological society. 

 

The inevitable direction of any technology, and of any rational species such as Homo sap., is toward what Buckminster Fuller calls ephemeralization, or doing-more-with-less.

 

For instance, a modern computer does more (handles more bits of information) with less hardware than the proto-computers of the late '40's and '50's. One worker with a modern teletype machine does more in an hour than a thousand medieval monks painstakingly copying scrolls for a century. Atomic fission does more with a cubic centimeter of matter than all the engineers of the 19th Century could do with a million tons, and fusion does even more. 

 

Unemployment is not a disease; so it has no "cure." 

 

Read more here: 

https://www.whywork.org/rethinking/whywork/rawilson.html

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Robert Anton Wilson puts into words what our politicians refuse to consider ... we have to re-think that economy of ours!

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Naomie Mullins's comment, June 22, 9:12 AM
Illuminati papers...hmmm
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The Milton Friedman Doctrine Is Wrong. Here's How to Rethink the Corporation

The Milton Friedman Doctrine Is Wrong. Here's How to Rethink the Corporation | Money News | Scoop.it

We won’t fix the problem until we address the nature of the corporation.

 

Imagine what becomes possible when we start to understand that executives and managers are not strictly beholden to shareholders—who hold their shares for an average of four months—and share prices.

 

When executives and directors are free to consider a range of stakeholders—workers, suppliers, creditors, customers, shareholders, and the community in which they’re based—in managing a company, it inherently changes their time horizon from the next quarter to the next decade or quarter-century and beyond, because most of these stakeholders have deeper investments in the company...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

This is an important conversation to have. Most corporations follow a purely short-term financial path to increasing "shareholder value", but that is a highly destructive path.

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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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Universal basic income wouldn’t make people lazy – it would change the nature of work

Universal basic income wouldn’t make people lazy – it would change the nature of work | Money News | Scoop.it

Americans believe in the importance of a good day’s work. And so it’s understandable that the prospect of a universal basic income (UBI), in which the government would issue checks to cover the basic costs of living, rubs some people the wrong way. 

 

But even if some people did stop working, they might wind up contributing to society in other meaningful ways. People who perform the unpaid labor of taking care of children or elderly family members, for example, are certainly doing important work. UBI would simply provide a means of compensating this type of labor efficiently.

 

And historically, many of mankind’s most groundbreaking achievements have come from people with the luxury of plentiful leisure time. As economist Forget notes in an interview with Freakonomics: “If you look at the 18th and at the 19th century, some of the great scientific breakthroughs and some of the great cultural breakthroughs were made by people who did not work.”

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A universal basic income would certainly be a step in the right direction ... it would free immense creativity that today is absorbed in doing jobs that, when you really look at it, make little sense.

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Understanding Economics: 1 - Asking the (four) right questions

We survey a long list of economic problems, and identify four basic questions that a course in political economy must address:

1. Why is there poverty, amid progress?

2. Why are there Boom/Bust cycles?

3. Must society trade between efficiency and equity?

4. Must society trade between prosperity and environmental sustainability?

Sorry for the black pic. Apparently YouTube doesn't properly link with this medium.

Anyway, click on the title to get to the video!

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Sounds like there are some good questions to ask about economics!

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Ex-Google engineers have spent 2 years secretly trying to solve 'the hardest problem in banking'

Ex-Google engineers have spent 2 years secretly trying to solve 'the hardest problem in banking' | Money News | Scoop.it

A startup led by two former Google engineers on Wednesday unveiled a cloud-based "operating system" for banks meant to bring the infrastructure at the heart of finance into the 21st century. 

 

London-based Thought Machine has been working on its VaultOS platform behind closed doors for two years, with over 50 engineers dedicated to the project. 

 

The project is one of the first bottom-up attempts to built a modern computer system for banks, which can be used out of the box by any bank and then tailored as necessary. The platform draws on the latest technology such as cloud infrastructure and blockchain.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Will banks make the jump from 1970's computer tech to the 21st century? Someone's working out a new operating system for them ...

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The Basic Income Will Make Sense When People Learn to Value Their Unpaid Work

The Basic Income Will Make Sense When People Learn to Value Their Unpaid Work | Money News | Scoop.it

A well-executed basic income policy fixes so many socio-economic issues - both present and looming - that it’s tempting to think not if, but when.

 

The main barrier may not be demonstrating effectiveness, or even affordability, but overcoming public perception. People are rightly wary of “something for nothing” offers, including the idea that people should be ‘paid’ without committing to ‘work’. 

 

Such perceptions matter, which is why ‘paid’ and ‘work’ are in inverted commas in the previous sentence. We assume that work comes first: once performed, it is valued and remunerated accordingly. In reality, however, money comes first: access to work is filtered through employers, who have the necessary money to invest in a workforce. This is why political rhetoric focuses so obsessively on businesses ‘creating’ jobs and people ‘looking for’ work. 

 

This need to ‘find work’, however, creates an artificial bottleneck that limits people’s productive capacity. Like a litter of piglets crawling over each other to get hold of a nipple, people are only enabled to contribute economically if they can find a point of access to the money system...

 

 
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Do we deserve a basic income? We do, considering how much work we do every day without being remunerated in a monetary way...

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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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