Archive for The Economy

Bitcoin is tricky to combat – good!

Bitcoin – what is it? Think of it as a video game. It has rules but, unlike video games, Bitcoin is “distributed”. This means that the rules cannot be changed without every participant of Bitcoin agreeing. This means that the rules won’t change – ever. If there are better rules then a new Bitcoin will develop.

The rules say that Bitcoins can be exchanged, can be created and have a limit – they cannot exceed 21 million. They can be created by “hard work”, called “mining”. Basically anyone who has the funds can invest in computer hardware to create Bitcoins. The more that are created, the more difficult it is to create new Bitcoins. The return on investment, i.e. the return on investing time and money in “mining” Bitcoins, is high at the beginning and lower towards the end (on the basis of today’s technology).

What is great about Bitcoins is that they can be exchanged without banks, Governments and regulators. It is akin to barter and brings power to the people not to the institutions.

Note that should you buy Bitcoins then changing them back to “country currencies” is under attack by Governments. This is Bitcoins vulnerability but also it’s strength – if Bitcoin takes off, why would you ever want to exchange it for another currency!

 

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Recalling a conversation about stagflation

Having lunch with a banker friend of mine I suggested that we were heading for a period of stagflation – inflation with no or limited growth. This was 2005.

Students learn that inflation comes from excess demand over supply and that this cannot happen when an economy is not growing. We now have 3% inflation and zero or negative growth. Oh dearĀ  – can anyone explain?

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Greece in Chapter 11

The only way to bring a country or corporation back from the dead is to halt all payments to creditors – the Greek Government is spending only slightly more than it earns (3% of GDP) if interest and loan repayments are ignored and with military spending at over 3% (double the NATO average) this is easy to address.

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Why tax the masses?

The simple answer is because the Government can!

Since the beginning of time, taxing income or spending has been easy. Taxing wealth or corporations is tricky, the two are linked, both have vast resources that they bring to bear behind their lobbying and both pay huge amounts to tax accountants to reduce their tax bills and hide their wealth.

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Update on financial crisis

Growth in an economy is measured as the rate of increase of private and government spending. If government spending increases then the economy will grow.

We have today a situation where the only thing driving growth is increased government expenditure due to unemployment pushing up benefit costs and at the same time reducing government tax receipts.

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Rise up O men of Greece!

I will not rest in my pleas to the Greek people to refuse categorically the pernicious austerity measures being implemented by their Government. Do not allow them to destroy generations of Greeks to save the bankers.

Some figures:

Greece joined the EU in 1981 and has spent at least $250 billion in defence spending since then. There debt is around $450bn. Remember that the German and French armament industry have done very well out of this as have their bankers who have lent Greece the money to gorge itself on missiles and such like. Greece is number 23 in the defence spending league!

I urge you to default on this debt! Say no to your Government now and make the Governments and bankers of the EU, the UK and the US face up to the consequences of their greed. Let’s cleanse ourselves and them in the process!

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Well-dressed lemmings driving fast cars just go over the cliff faster and looking better!

Markets have started to work out that debt can’t drive consumerism forever. The developed world is over-indebted, disparities between developed and developing countries and between rich and poor within those countries are more extreme than ever. When the poor have more debt than they can handle and the rich rely upon the masses to drive the economy then there is a problem!

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