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Monopoly money? Nope, just local currency

Monopoly money? Nope, just local currency | Money News | Scoop.it
Local or alternative currencies have found a new life since the global financial crisis.

 

Local or alternative currencies are almost as old as trade itself, but the movement has found new life amid the global financial crisis, as parallel economies outside the traditional monetary system have emerged in countries such as Spain, Mexico and Brazil. These systems are flourishing because the unemployed can either trade skills for local currency or swap their time for other services.

 

Supporters of local currency in the United States say they are founding these systems here because they believe in the “buy local” movement and want to strengthen their neighborhoods and reduce reliance on large corporate banks.

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Economy and currency: Money as a tool for the people, not the bankers' property
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What Kenyan Community Currencies Reveal is Possible for Financing Development

What Kenyan Community Currencies Reveal is Possible for Financing Development | Money News | Scoop.it

This paper argues that it is important to understand the nature of money and its impacts to be able to engage better with currency innovations for sustainable development. The paper focuses on the case of Bangla-Pesa, an alternative currency used in poor urban areas in Kenya, to demonstrate how currency innovation can work for poor people.


The Kenyan non-governmental organization, Grassroots Economics, in a context of a community of micro-entrepreneurs, uses a Collaborative Credit System (CCS) in which members issue interest free credit to each other. This is similar to how most national currencies are created, yet it is done peer-to-peer, without the involvement of banks.


The authors feel this is particularly important in a time of declining official development assistance. Creative insight into the nature of money could enable a new era in development cooperation through promotion of collaborative credit systems. 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A paper describing an alternative view on money for a UN initiative...

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The Blue Economy.mov - YouTube (3min)

Do you want to live healthy, and have joy in life? 


Do you want to be an entrepreneur, and figure out how you can make a difference? 


This is not about the good and the bad, this is about how you can do it better.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Better than a "green" economy...

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How to save Europe and the USA: Print money like the economic superpower China

How to save Europe and the USA: Print money like the economic superpower China | Money News | Scoop.it

China’s rise to economic superpower is largely due to the fact that it prints money without creating debt  as explained by Vienna Economics University Professor Franz Hörmann in an interview in Der Standard newspaper called “Banks create money out of air.” 


The Chinese government creates money  without having to pay interest, and it also give loans to entrepreneurs without charging interest. As a result of using this money system, China has experienced phenomenal economic growth, rising standards of living and huge modernization programmes. Inflation can be easily controlled, as Hörmann explains, so that money creation need not mean a devaluation through inflation.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

An interesting view on how money should be created - although 5 years have passed since the article was written it is remarkably timely.

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Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Could Be Annulled

Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Could Be Annulled | Money News | Scoop.it

The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made – by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.


Greece’s creditors have finally brought the country to its knees, forcing President Alexis Tsipras to agree to austerity and privatization measures more severe than those overwhelmingly rejected by popular vote a week earlier. No write-down of Greece’s debt was included in the deal, although the IMF has warned that the current debt is unsustainable. 


Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis calls the deal “a new Versailles Treaty” and “the politics of humiliation.” Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos calls it a “coup d’état” done by “blackmailing the Greek prime minister with collapse of the banks and a complete haircut on deposits.”


Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Some interesting solutions to the financial crisis, which Greece could apply ... by "Web of Debt" author Ellen Brown.

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​Russian national payment system and Japan’s JCB to issue co-badged cards

​Russian national payment system and Japan’s JCB to issue co-badged cards | Money News | Scoop.it

Russian Natioanl Payment Card System (NPCS) and Japan’s largest payment system Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) have agreed to cooperate and issue co-badged cards, says a statement from the Russian company. The new card will be called Mir-JCB. 


“The partnership with the Japanese payment system will provide Mir-JCB bank cards access to the infrastructure of JCB worldwide, including Asia, where JCB has traditionally been strong and had wide network of card acceptance. Co-badging the Mir-JCB card will work in the infrastructure of the Mir payment system as a Mir bank card; in the JCB infrastructure, outside of Russia, as a JCB card”said the statement published Tuesday.


JCB is one of the largest payment systems in the world. JCB cards are issued in 19 countries with 190 countries accepting the cards. JCB has more than 89 million clients, 20 million of whom live outside of Japan. 



Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Financial pressure (the sanctions imposed by Western nations) seems to be backfiring...

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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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Why ‘unconditional basic income for all’ fails the ‘splutter test’ but would liberate the world

Why ‘unconditional basic income for all’ fails the ‘splutter test’ but would liberate the world | Money News | Scoop.it

With the Citizen’s Income, also known as the Basic or Universal Income, everybody in the country gets given enough money to meet their basic needs every week, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, employed or unemployed. It replaces the complicated bureaucracy of much of the welfare state and would be funded through progressive taxation, or possibly a Land Value Tax. 


Hearing the idea for the first time can cause many to splutter, especially those for whom the idea of something for nothing sends them into a blind rage.


Thanks to the tabloid obsession with ‘scroungers’ and the idea that taxing the rich will trigger Armageddon, there are many who will splutter quite profoundly at the Citizen’s Income.


Its arrival in the mainstream would have a similar impact to the first appearance of the Sex Pistols on British television in the 1970s...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

An idea whose time has come ... and it will.

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Don't teach a man to fish. Just give him the goddamn fish.

Giving cash to poor people is just good policy.


I write a lot about the benefits of fighting poverty by giving poor people cash. It's supported by good evidence, it's relatively easy, it respects the decisions of poor people as to how to spend it, and it avoids the central planning challenges of some other anti-poverty policies. 


The most common response is something along the lines of "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." 


I've always hated that saying, not least because a healthy diet requires eating more than just fish, but it's actually sort of helpful in this context. The main reason I prefer just giving someone a fish is that we really don't know, especially in international development, how to teach people to fish.

We haven't figured out how to make poor countries grow...
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

It's so obvious, but evidently we have a collective block on looking at this and recognising the solution... something about everyone having to work.

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Naomie Mullins's comment, August 8, 8:06 AM
How do we release the fish from the coffers of the off-shore accounts that the elites have hidden??? Instead they would prefer that we all share the money of the commoners and level the living standard lower.
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Because You're Worthless - Challenging The Current Economic System in 3 Minutes

Because You're Worthless - Challenging The Current Economic System in 3 Minutes | Money News | Scoop.it

3 minutes | Poem by Agnes Török on the news of a new Conservative budget. Based on experiences of living in Britain under austerity as a young, queer, unemployed, female immigrant student - and not taking it any more.


More info on:
www.agnestorok.org

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

What's the economy all about ... is it people, or finance?

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Yanis Varoufakis interview on his time as Greek Finance Minister: our battle to save Greece

Yanis Varoufakis interview on his time as Greek Finance Minister: our battle to save Greece | Money News | Scoop.it

The full transcript of the former Greek Finance Minister's first interview since resigning. 


"... there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. … You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on – to make sure it’s logically coherent – and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply. And that’s startling, for somebody who’s used to academic debate. … The other side always engages. Well there was no engagement at all. It was not even annoyance, it was as if one had not spoken."


http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/yanis-varoufakis-full-transcript-our-battle-save-greece

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

An interesting interview with Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister.

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This Is Why The Euro Is Finished

This Is Why The Euro Is Finished | Money News | Scoop.it

It’s simple, the euro is finished. It won’t survive the unmitigated scandal that Greece has become. Greece is not the victim of its own profligacy, it’s the victim of a structure that makes it possible to unload the losses of the big countries’ failing financial systems onto the shoulders of the smaller. There’s no way Greece could win.


The damned lies and liars and statistics that come with all this are merely the cherry on the euro cake. It’s done. Stick a fork in it.


The smaller, poorer, countries in the eurozone need to get out while they can, and as fast as they can, or they will find themselves saddled with ever more losses of the richer nations as the euro falls apart. The structure guarantees it.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Provocative piece on the Euro financial powers and the smaller countries that can't survive under the Euro straitjacket ... Greece is only the first one to fall. 

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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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