Jun 182018
 
 June 18, 2018  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Paul Klee Pflanze und Fenster Stillleben 1927

 

The US Should Break The German Lock On The European Economy (CNBC)
Merkel Gets Extra Time To Reach Deal With EU Over Asylum Row (G.)
Eurozone Braces For Row With Greece Over Bailout Exit Terms (G.)
The Bigger Cryptocurrencies Get, The Worse They Perform: BIS (R.)
May’s NHS ‘Brexit Dividend’ Claim Draws Scepticism And Doubt (G.)
FARC Peace Deal At Risk As Conservative Duque Wins Colombia Presidency (AFP)
Bolivia’s Morales Condemns US Intervention in Venezuela, Latin America (TSur)
Russia-Syria Warnings of Coming False-Flag Attack Have Ring of Truth (MPN)
Refugee Camps Reopening On Greek Mainland (K.)
Scientists Scramble To Stop Bananas Being Killed Off (G.)
Losing The Buzz (ODT)
Where Have All Our Insects Gone? (G.)
Bringing Julian Assange Home (John Pilger)

 

 

There’s a thought.

The US Should Break The German Lock On The European Economy (CNBC)

Germany may only account for 3.4% of the world economy, but it is more than a quarter of the European Union’s demand and output. The EU, in turn, is close to 20% of the world economy, and, based on last year’s numbers, it takes $283.5 billion of U.S. exports, or 18.3% of America’s total goods sold overseas. What the U.S. sells to the EU is more than 40% of all the goods America exports to China and Japan. That shows that the damage caused to the U.S. economy transcends, by far, Germany’s surplus of $64.2 billion on American trades in 2017. Imagine, for example, what would happen to the EU economy, to the rest of the world — and to U.S. export sales in general — if Germany were not living off its fellow Europeans with a massive €164.4 billion trade surplus.

That German surplus is stifling the economic growth in the rest of Europe, because it is a deficit for countries trading with Germany. You can think of those €164.4 billion as a large wealth transfer to Germany. Indeed, it is a structural foundation of Germany’s export-driven economy, where sales to the rest of the world account for nearly a half of German GDP (compared with 14% in the U.S. case). What Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the world need here is a radical change of German economic policies. Germany should be generating more growth from domestic demand to give an opportunity to its trade partners to sell more of their goods and services on German markets. That would boost intra-European growth and create opportunities for more American sales to Europe — its largest overseas customer.

There is nothing new here. It’s a very old story Germans don’t even want to talk about. And why should they? France is meekly taking it on the chin with annual deficits of 36 to 41 billion euros on its German trades, and the rest of Europe does not dare question what it wrongly sees as a virtuously strong German economy.

Read more …

There will be no such deal. Not a comprehensive one.

Merkel Gets Extra Time To Reach Deal With EU Over Asylum Row (G.)

Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has signalled he is open to giving Angela Merkel more time to reach a deal with Germany’s EU partners over an asylum row that has threatened to bring down her government. As the German chancellor met leaders of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Sunday in an attempt to divert the collapse of her fledgling administration, Seehofer emerged from emergency talks with his Christian Social Union (CSU) saying he had no intention of toppling Merkel. Seehofer wants police stationed at borders to turn back refugees and migrants arriving from other EU countries but signalled he would give Merkel two weeks’ grace to reach migration agreements with EU partners.

“No one in the CSU is interested in bringing the chancellor down, or dissolving the CDU/CSU parliamentary partnership or destroying the coalition,” Seehofer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that he did not want the asylum row to endanger the coalition government, which is less than 100 days old. Seehofer said his party was keen to find a way to limit the number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany. “We finally want to have a solution for the return of refugees at our borders which is fit for the future,” he added. But he was quoted in the Welt am Sonntag as having voiced his scepticism about the future of the CDU/CSU alliance in a meeting of the CSU’s leadership. “I cannot work with this woman any more,” he was quoted as saying.

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A row with the IMF, you mean.

Eurozone Braces For Row With Greece Over Bailout Exit Terms (G.)

Eurozone finance ministers are braced for a row this week with the Greek government over the terms of a “golden goodbye” as the country prepares to exit its third bailout programme. Concerns that Greece will suffer a fourth financial collapse unless an agreement is signed with the EU to write off some of its debt mountain are likely to surface before a showdown in Brussels on Thursday. The IMF, which has lent Greece several billion euros and has taken part in a tripartite monitoring of reforms with the European commission and ECB, is expected to pull out of the arrangement unless Brussels reduces Greece’s debt burden. Without the IMF on board, Germany and other hardline countries such as Finland and Austria could demand stricter clauses in the reform programme due to be imposed on Greece as the price of its final bailout payoff.

“Everyone has an interest to alleviating the burden, for Greece and the rest of the creditors,” said Olivier Bailly, the chief adviser to the EU’s finance commissioner, Pierre Moscovici. “If we leave too much burden, this will slow down Greece’s recovery.” He played down the impact of the IMF pulling out of the first stage of surveillance that will last until at least 2022. “What is important is that the IMF give its view on debt measures. What the markets expect is that it says they are credible enough,” he said, admitting that the lack of involvement by the Washington-based lender of last resort puts pressure on Germany. Finance ministers from the 19-member currency bloc will meet on Thursday to agree a package of measures that will include a final loan payment of between €10bn and €12bn and a cash buffer of up to €20bn. The payments are due to be the last of the €86bn bailout agreed in 2015.

[..] Hans Vijlbrief, the top EU official advising eurogroup ministers, said: “It’s very important that Greece can stand on its own feet. If it’s not credible, we won’t come out. This is the first condition.” The Eurogroup is seeking to reduce Greek debt payments by extending loans until beyond 2040 and reducing the interest rate to near 1%, well below the rate Greece would need to pay international investors. The IMF, however, has insisted that reducing the overall debt mountain from the outset is the only way to stabilise Athens’ public finances. Vijlbrief said the EU charter prevented the Eurogroup from offering debt write-offs, but this assertion has never been tested and is still the basis for IMF involvement in the next stage of Greece’s recovery.

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The bank of banks feels threatened.

The Bigger Cryptocurrencies Get, The Worse They Perform: BIS (R.)

Cryptocurrencies are not scalable and are more likely to suffer a breakdown in trust and efficiency the greater the number of people using them, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS)said on Sunday in its latest warning about the rise of virtual currencies. For any form of money to work across large networks it requires trust in the stability of its value and in its ability to scale efficiently, the BIS, an umbrella group for the world’s central banks, said in its annual report. But trust can disappear instantly because of the fragility of the decentralized networks on which cryptocurrencies depend, the BIS said.

Those networks are also prone to congestion the bigger they become, according to the BIS, which noted the high transaction fees of the best-known digital currency, bitcoin, and the limited number of transactions per second they can handle. “Trust can evaporate at any time because of the fragility of the decentralised consensus through which transactions are recorded,” the Switzerland-based group said in its report. “Not only does this call into question the finality of individual payments, it also means that a cryptocurrency can simply stop functioning, resulting in a complete loss of value.”

The BIS’ head of research, Hyun Song Shin, said sovereign money had value because it had users, but many people holding cryptocurrencies did so often purely for speculative purposes. “Without users, it would simply be a worthless token. That’s true whether it’s a piece of paper with a face on it, or a digital token,” he said, comparing virtual coins to baseball cards or Tamagotchi. [..] Agustin Carstens, general manager of the BIS, has described bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

Read more …

The claim is so out there it’s funny.

May’s NHS ‘Brexit Dividend’ Claim Draws Scepticism And Doubt (G.)

Theresa May’s promise of £400m extra in weekly NHS spending within five years has been overshadowed by scepticism among experts and her own backbenchers over her claim it can be financed through a windfall delivered by Brexit. Ahead of a major speech by the prime minister in which she will pledge a £20bn annual real-terms NHS funding increase by 2023-24, May was ridiculed for arguing that some of the money would come from a so-called Brexit dividend. “At the moment, as a member of the European Union, every year we spend significant amounts of money on our subscription, if you like, to the EU,” she said in an interview on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show.

“When we leave we won’t be doing that. It’s right that we use that money to spend on our priorities, and the NHS is our number-one priority.” The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said, however, that even the government had accepted the idea of an immediate post-Brexit boost to coffers would not happen. The decision to announce extra spending for the NHS and to frame it specifically as a benefit of leaving the EU has been widely seen as a sop by May to hardline Brexiters in her cabinet and on the Tory backbenches ahead of some potentially crucial votes this week on the EU withdrawal bill.

Read more …

Finally there’s peace, and now this. Colombia is set to become a NATO member.

FARC Peace Deal At Risk As Conservative Duque Wins Colombia Presidency (AFP)

Conservative Ivan Duque won Colombia’s presidential election Sunday after a campaign that turned into a referendum on a landmark 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels that he pledged to overhaul. Duque, 41, polled 54 percent to his leftist rival Gustavo Petro’s 42 percent with almost all the votes counted, electoral authority figures showed. Petro, a leftist former mayor and ex-guerrilla, supports the deal. Tensions over the deal became apparent in the immediate aftermath of Duque’s victory, after the president-elect lost no time in pledging “corrections” to the peace deal. “That peace we long for — that demands corrections — will have corrections, so that the victims are the center of the process, to guarantee truth, justice and reparation,” Duque told supporters in his victory speech at his campaign headquarters.

“The time has come to build real change,” Duque said, promising a future for Colombians “of lawfulness, freedom of enterprise and equity,” after decades of conflict. His vanquished opponent Petro promised to resist any fundamental changes to the deal. “Our role is not to be impotent and watch it being destroyed,” he said. FARC, which disarmed and transformed into a political party after the peace deal but did not contest the election, immediately called on Duque to show “good sense” in dealing with the agreement. “What the country demands is an integral peace, which will lead us to the hoped-for reconciliation,” the FARC said in a statement after Duque’s presidential win. The former rebels also called for an early meeting with Duque.

Read more …

A US supported coup soon?

Bolivia’s Morales Condemns US Intervention in Venezuela, Latin America (TSur)

Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday that Latin America “is no longer the United States’ backyard” while denouncing the United States’ attempt to convince its South American allies to help it orchestrate a military intervention or coup in Venezuela. In an interview with news agency EFE, Morales explained that several Latin American leaders have confided in him that U.S. Vice president Mike Pence is “trying to convince some United States-friendly countries” help them seize control of the South American country and replace the current government led by Nicolas Maduro. The real target, Morales explained, is not the Venezuelan president but “Venezuelan oil, and Venezuelans know that.”

Drawing parallels to 2011 military intervention in Libya, Morales said the U.S. isn’t interested in helping with alleged humanitarian crisis since, despite the current political and social turmoil in Libya, the U.S. will not intervene there since “the country’s oil is now owned by the U.S. and some European oil companies,” Morales asserted. “One military intervention (in the region) would only create another armed conflict,” he added pointing to Colombia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a general sign of an escalation of “military aggression to all Latin America and the Caribbean” region. Morales explained, however, that U.S. interventionism is not only militaristic.

“When there are no military coups, they seek judicial or congressional coups” as in the case of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and the Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s imprisonment, which is barring him from running in the upcoming 2018 elections.

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They warned of the last one as well.

Russia-Syria Warnings of Coming False-Flag Attack Have Ring of Truth (MPN)

In recent days, speculation has swirled regarding whether another chemical-weapons attack will soon take place in Syria, as sources in both Syrian intelligence and the Russian military have warned that U.S.-backed forces in the U.S.-occupied region of Deir ez-Zor are planning to stage a chemical weapons attack to be blamed on the Syrian government. Concern that such an event could soon take place has only grown since the U.S. government announcement this past Thursday that the U.S. would provide $6.6 million over the next year to fund the White Helmets, the controversial “humanitarian” group that has been accused of staging “false flag” chemical weapons attacks in the past.

Notably, the White Helmets were largely responsible for staging the recent alleged chlorine gas attack in Eastern Ghouta, which led the United States, the United Kingdom and France to attack Syrian government targets. That same attack in Eastern Ghouta had been predicted weeks prior by the Russian military and Syrian government, who are warning once again that a similar event is likely to occur in coming weeks. An additional and largely overlooked indication that another staged attack could soon take place has been the recent movements of U.S. military assets to the Syrian coast, particularly the deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG). As MintPress previously reported, the deployment of the HSTCSG – which consists of some 6,500 sailors — was first announced in April prior to the U.S., France and U.K. bombing of Syria. However, the group did not arrive until after that bombing had taken place.

While the April bombing was called a “one-time shot” by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the fact that the Truman strike group’s deployment to the region was not canceled after the bombings occurred led some to suggest that the U.S. may have been anticipating more strikes against Syria’s government in the coming months. Indeed, soon after the U.S.-led bombing of Syria, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, declared the U.S. was “locked and loaded” should the Syrian government again be accused of using chemical weapons. Now, amid claims from both the Syrian and Russian governments of another chemical weapons provocation, as well as the U.S.’ renewed funding of the White Helmets, the strike group’s deployment directly off the Syrian coast has only given greater credence to those previously voiced concerns.

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12,000 refugees so far this year.

Refugee Camps Reopening On Greek Mainland (K.)

While European Union countries shut their doors to migrants – Italy and Malta last week refused to allow a rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants to dock at their ports – Greek authorities are reopening unused camps and facilities across the mainland to accommodate the swelling number of asylum seekers. Following a series of meetings last week, sources told Kathimerini, the Ministry for Migration Policy decided to reopen four camps, first set up at the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015, raising the total number of operational centers to 25. More specifically, tents have been set up again at the Malakasa camp, north of Athens, to house 300 people.

The Vagiochori camp near Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, is also expected to open in the coming days, providing accommodation for 400 individuals. The facility at Elefsina, west of the capital, has been hosting 250 refugees since late April, while another 350 migrants and refugees were transferred to the reception center at Oinofyta, north of Attica. A drop in the migrant population at the Skaramangas refugee center, meanwhile, was reversed after September last year, with the current number estimated at more than 2,000. An average 75 migrants land daily on Greece’s Aegean islands. A total of 12,065 people had entered the country until June 11 this year.

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“..the plant is heavily cloned so if you have a disease that can kill one tree, it can potentially wipe out the entire industry.”

Scientists Scramble To Stop Bananas Being Killed Off (G.)

A British company has joined the race to develop a banana variety resistant to diseases and climatic changes that threaten to disrupt the availability of the country’s favourite fruit – or even kill it off altogether. The UK alone consumes more than 5bn bananas a year, while the fruit is a staple food in many poor countries and accounts for an export industry worth $13bn (£9.8bn) a year. But the global supply chain is threatened by a virulent disease that has been attacking plantations in Australia, south-east Asia and parts of Africa and the Middle East. As experts warn the fungus known as “fusarium wilt”, or Panama disease, could spread to Latin America, from where the majority of bananas are exported, scientists are scrambling to create a more robust variety that could help sustain the crop.

A single type of banana, called the Cavendish, accounts for 99.9% of bananas traded globally. It replaced a tastier variety wiped out by disease in the 1950s. Now researchers at the Norwich-based startup Tropic Biosciences are using gene editing techniques to develop a more resilient version of the Cavendish after securing $10m from investors. The company’s CEO, Gilad Gershno, : “In the developed world we tend to take bananas for granted. A banana found in your local supermarket grown in Costa Rica and shipped to the UK probably costs less than an apple grown 20 miles away. “If you look at the broader consumption on top of exports, the banana industry is worth a massive $30bn a year. However,people have been getting increasingly worried because the plant is heavily cloned so if you have a disease that can kill one tree, it can potentially wipe out the entire industry.”

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“10,000,000,000,000,000,000. 10 quintillion. That equals more than 1500 million insects for every person.”

Losing The Buzz (ODT)

He starts at the beginning, with a black and white photocopy of a pie chart representing the animal kingdom and its various, speciated slices of pie. 80 percent of all known species of animals are insects, he says. You can tell an insect – if you can get it to hold still for long enough – by its six legs, exoskeleton divided into a head, thorax and abdomen and its two waggling antennae. By far the biggest orders of insects are the coleoptera (beetles) and the hymenoptera (wasps, bees and ants), followed by the lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), then diptera (flies and mosquitoes) and, finally, other insects, such as grasshoppers and silverfish. “The total number of individual insects alive worldwide today is …” He writes it out. 10,000,000,000,000,000,000. “… 10 quintillion. That equals more than 1500 million insects for every person.”

[..] The total biomass, that is the total weight of all organisms on earth, is estimated at 545.2 Gt C (gigatons of carbon), the researchers say. More than 80% of this, 452.5Gt C, is plants. Next comes bacteria (16%, 87.2Gt C) and fungi (2%, 10.9 Gt C). Animals make up just 0.4% of the total biomass. The globe’s 7.6 billion people account for just 0.01% of all living things. And yet our impact on the globe has been enormous – some would say catastrophic. According to the Proceedings article, humans are responsible for the possibly irreparable loss of large chunks of the animal and plant kingdoms; more than 80% of all wild animals and half of all plants.

Anthony Harris finds it deeply disturbing. “Farmed poultry now makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, with just 30% wild,” he says with a shocked tone. “The picture for mammals is worse. 60 percent of all mammals on earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are humans and just 4% of all mammals are wild.’ [..] Without insects, we face total ecological collapse and global famine. It is being called the Sixth Mass Extinction. The Fifth Mass Extinction was the one that killed off the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago. Harvard entomologist Prof E.O. Wilson has estimated that, without insects and other land-based invertebrates, humanity would only last a few months. Land-based plants and animals would be next to go. The planet would fall quiet and still. The last time the earth was like that was 440 million years ago.

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Anyone seen any initiative to stop this?

Where Have All Our Insects Gone? (G.)

Certainly, the statistics are grim. Native ladybird populations are crashing; three quarters of butterfly species – such as the painted lady and the Glanville fritillary – have dropped significantly in numbers; while bees, of which there are more than 250 species in the UK, are also suffering major plunges in populations, with great yellow bumblebees, solitary potter flower bees and other species declining steeply in recent years. Other threatened insects include the New Forest cicada, the tansy beetle and the oil beetle. As for moths, some of the most beautiful visitors to our homes and gardens, the picture is particularly alarming. Apart from the tiger moth, which was once widespread in the UK, the V-moth (Marcaria wauaria) recorded a 99% fall in numbers between 1968 and 2007 and is now threatened with extinction, a fate that has already befallen the orange upperwing, the bordered gothic and the Brighton wainscot in recent years.

An insect Armageddon is under way, say many entomologists, the result of a multiple whammy of environmental impacts: pollution, habitat changes, overuse of pesticides, and global warming. And it is a decline that could have crucial consequences. Our creepy crawlies may have unsettling looks but they lie at the foot of a wildlife food chain that makes them vitally important to the makeup and nature of the countryside. They are “the little things that run the world” according to the distinguished Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson, who once observed: “If all humankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

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Beginning and end of a speech by Pilger in Sydney. Tomorrow there are many rallies for Assange, especially in Australia. There is also a UN Human RIghts Commission meeting in Genava.

Bringing Julian Assange Home (John Pilger)

The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy. The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be. They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home. Assange does not ask for special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral obligations to protect Australian citizens abroad from gross injustice: in JulianE’s case, from a gross miscarriage of justice and the extreme danger that await him should he walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London unprotected. We know from the Chelsea Manning case what he can expect if a US extradition warrant is successful — a United Nations Special Rapporteur called it torture.

[..] Malcolm Turnbull is now the Prime Minister of Australia. Julian Assange’s father has written to Turnbull. It is a moving letter, in which he has appealed to the prime minister to bring his son home. He refers to the real possibility of a tragedy. I have watched Assange’s health deteriorate in his years of confinement without sunlight. He has had a relentless cough, but is not even allowed safe passage to and from a hospital for an X-ray . Malcolm Turnbull can remain silent. Or he can seize this opportunity and use his government’s diplomatic influence to defend the life of an Australian citizen, whose courageous public service is recognised by countless people across the world. He can bring Julian Assange home.

Read more …

Home Forums Debt Rattle June 18 2018

This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  olo530 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #41248

    Paul Klee Pflanze und Fenster Stillleben 1927   • The US Should Break The German Lock On The European Economy (CNBC) • Merkel Gets Extra Time To
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle June 18 2018]

    #41249

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I was here well more than 10 years before I saw my first cavendish banana; it was a bit of a shock. I thought I was well shut of those horrible bananas.
    In the states I avoided them as best I could; Dole had a far better type of the fruit.
    There are many, many different varieties of bananas here and they are so far superior it boggles the mind.
    The reason you don’t see them in the west is simple; they mostly don’t travel well.
    Recently, cavendish are showing up here more and more; locally grown. They are admittedly better than in the states.

    Australia? They destroyed the oldest (60,000 years) known, still existing, civilization on the planet; what more needs be said.
    I think Assange knows full well what to expect from “his” government; Britain and Australia; two peas in the same pod…fuck’em both; I am, of course, speaking about governments…

    #41250

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Don’t know where they think they’re going with this Crypto thing, but it’s technical rubbish. It may be the reporter, but I don’t think so.

    “The fragility of the decentralized networks…” Really the flagship quote here. Cryptos have a lot of drawbacks, a lot of overhead, that’s why you never use them unless, due to a complete lack of morality, trust, and ethics, you literally had no alternative. But the one thing they ARE is anti-fragile. As they expected to come under attack from the BIS and everybody else, they were designed so from the ground up. That’s why they’re decentralized. So calling them fragile is akin to saying water isn’t wet.

    Other problems, sure, but like them or hate them, most technical challenges, for monetary-oriented coins, have been solved. Bitcoin can’t handle throughput transactions, yes, but there are like 2,000 coins now. Even #2 Litecoin can do transactions in seconds for pennies. What allows that? The number of people on the network + software. So Bitcoin COULD in fact fork to add that level of speed. They simply chose not to for other reasons. Litecoin then could fork as well to double their present transactions, and so on.

    Newsflash: all credit card transactions are done on computers. These are the same computers with the same processing power used by everybody else, and in fact, the CC/bank machines are a tiny fraction of processing power on earth. Yet somehow just a few servers owned by a few people can keep up. So a network made of everyone, adding millions of computers…can’t keep up? You’re not tech’ing well here. Obviously if 1X can do a task 100X can do it.

    It’s literally suggested here that the more people who use this money, the LESS stable and valuable it is, unlike our experience of money anywhere on earth over all recorded history. Therefore if 99% of the people use a coin, then I what? …LOSE trust that it will have value to the next guy and it will drop from 99% uptake to 1% uptake in the next transaction? Have I fallen into Oppositeland again? And their argument is that it’s BECAUSE 99% of people use it that no one will use it. This is what they mean when they say “trust can disappear instantly.” No. No it can’t. That’s what “Trust” means, but being a bank you may have no familiarity with the concept. Trust is not digital but is a component of human psychology and experience; it moves in the human timescale of months, years, decades.

    Loss of trust, by the way, is probably the only way a “cryptocurrency can simply stop functioning,” and would in fact, “result… in a complete loss of value.” Yes, if 99% of people taking it turned to 1% instantly, that would happen. And in all possible universes, the earth could fall through a wormhole in space, but that’s not happening either.

    ““Without users, it would simply be a worthless token. That’s true whether it’s a piece of paper with a face on it, or a digital token.” Yes. Yes it would. But explain to me how 99% of users suddenly become no users. There’s a market for Confederate and Soviet currency, and even hyperinflating currencies running at 5-digit monthly inflations don’t have zero users, AND there is a single cause for their flight: a loss of faith in the central authority issuing the currency, an event that cannot happen in a decentralized one.

    “The dependency of users on so-called miners to record and verify crypto transactions is also flawed, according to the BIS, requiring vast and costly energy use.” We have that dependence now, in the BIS’s and world’s banks’ centralized servers who chew enormous power from the cash register through Citi and Chase to the Fed and all the way up to Switzerland. Difference is, like Europe’s ATM’s, their network can be shut off or fail in an instant. To stop the Atomic Swap/Litecoin network, the whole internet and all users have to go down. Permanently. Were that to happen, we would have other, more pressing problems. Yet the coins would still exist on ledgers, on backups, on fobs, and on paper, should the Internet ever exist again.

    While not being compared equally, the power consumption is a legacy issue. Most PCs and phones are already wasting energy doing nothing. In addition, only those transacting need to participate. But failing that, we already have “Proof of stake” and “Proof of work” basis, which are not constant-users the way Bitcoin is, but use fractions of the power. Like from basis 100x to basis 0.44x. Any of those additions, when proven and trusted, can be forked into any coin at any time.

    Since every line of this article is technical nonsense, and they’re too smart not to know that, what is the BIS really up to? And where did they find a reporter dumb enough to cooperate? Oh, Reuters, that’s right.

    #41251

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Tom Luongo has an article in RI about Trumps idiotic trade war.
    From my POV it may well prove to be the best move he could’ve made; the world may return to a balanced trade economy (I’m certain not Trumps intention[?]);
    https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russia-attacked-us-debt-because-trump-attacked-its-aluminium/ri23833

    Trump may force trade into using gold, which cannot be run with deficits;
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-17/donald-trumps-madness-new-gold-standard

    #41252

    Whatever one may feel about crypto, that BIS piece is weird. You’d think they can come up with something better. Or do they do it on purpose?

    #41253

    Trump’s ‘trade war’ is not fully idiotic. The US have financed much of the world. But it should have seen that its manufacturing would suffer bigly from that. It’s what building up German and Chinese manufacturing does. But it’s also what being the reserve currency does. Are they ready to let that status go? Perhaps they see it as unsustainable long term anyway.

    #41254

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Ilargi

    But it’s also what being the reserve currency does. Are they ready to let that status go?

    Yes, I agree it’s not completely idiotic. And I don’t know if they’re ready to let their reserve currency go.
    But, bull in the china shop Trump, has set in motion a thing even he doesn’t fully understand, IMO.
    Chaos ensues…
    And reserve currency’s days are numbered, IMO…
    Gold is coming, one way or the other.

    #41255

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    My opinion of crypto has not changed; a cult currancy of no intrinsic value.
    Fiat at best, a pyramid likely, and a fraud at worst.
    The block chain may have value, but that remains to be seen and is only a means where by.
    Gold has more than 5,000 years behind it; hard to be in denial that it’s a genuine store of value.

    #41256

    But in all fairness we should be reading this from Mish on the BIS crypto report as well: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-18/bis-blasts-cryptos-special-report-beyond-hype

    #41257

    So my earlier criticism of the BIS should have been aimed at the Reuters journalist. As Mish shows, the original report has substance. Right or wrong.

    #41258

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Ilargi
    While my knowledge of the crypto micro is limited; I’ll go with my gut, based on a fair amount of knowledge of economics. I do not trust the galoots. The galoots are the majority of the economic forecasters and commenters.
    As things get too technical for the proletariate, we’ll be disempowered to the point of mere servetude; we’re nearly there as I type this because the proletariate cannot possibly follow and understand the bullshit!.
    Things created out of thin air tend towards their origins, thin air.
    History is a pretty tangible meter of value.
    As populations increase and access to the intertubes expands, so does scams, grifting, fraud, and myriad illusions to lure us away from what is real.
    Populations lacking genuine educations and critical thinking skills, are prey for this fantasy of the new world order.

    #41259

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Edit: you’re ahead of me. Yes, it’s odd. With so many very real obstacles and drawbacks, why put in essentially false charts and false arguments?

    With trade, I was set aback by the “Germany living off their fellow Europeans” and that “the U.S. should do something about it.” Huh? Germany, who worked hard to deliver stuff on credit that will be defaulted on? Doesn’t sound like Germany won that entirely. And how about the U.S. get their nose out of it for a change?

    In any case, the minute Trump says “America First” the very next guy he meets is going to say we have a massive, unprecedented trade deficit the world will stop. So it’s literally impossible for the multi-polaring of trade and power to be an accident. A better read is that the U.S. is hollow and overextended and knows they need to re-industrialized before they’re cut off, and the Empire people vs the National people is the struggle we see daily. Some return of the gold standard is an obvious consequence, both parts written about by admin members and advisors, but obviously, you want Mnuchin out there keeping them busy until you have to pull the trigger ’cause it won’t be pretty and like an earthquake will run mostly outside of their control.

    #41260

    zerosum
    Participant

    “… the United States’ backyard…”

    is being misused, exploited, abused

    #41261

    Dr. D
    Participant

    It doesn’t end. Salinas Price exact same article here: https://plata.com.mx/enUS/More/353?idioma=2

    What he calls “unexpected” or “unintended” we’ve been talking about on our side for 20-40 years, since it began, and there is a readership of 500K-1 million in the Alt-Ec space.

    Yes, if you stop this trade deficit, you create a US$ shortage that will more or less collapse the world. The world will then HAVE to get off the US$ reserve system, the one that has been de-industrializing and unemploying the U.S., like it or not. By force if necessary, and if they are adequately coordinated, the administration can dictate the exact time, which they seem to be doing. Rate hikes + US$ liquidity + Trade wars + attacking DeutscheBank.

    I’m sure the U.S. doesn’t WANT to go back to a gold standard and will lie and cheat about it, but if you get off Triffin, it basically WILL happen and the alternative is Ayn Rand’s vignette where former Detroit factory workers in bark huts hunt rabbits with sticks and stones. (P.S. this is long since actually happening. Viz. “Roger and Me”, 1989) When it becomes a national security issue, which it long since has, the Generals put a stop to it to salvage the very existence of the nation, which appears to be what happened. …And it’s all in 500 words of Hugo!

    #41262

    tabarnick
    Participant

    The UK was a net contributor to the European Union budget. This should be a surprise to no one. No, the UK was not being subsidized by Poland, Estonia or Portugal. It was pouring about 10 billion pounds per year net to the EU coffers, 12.5 billion US$. As the UK exits the EU, this is money that will be available for spending wherever its government sees fit, and NHS could be it. The Guardian wailing as a banshee that there can be no such thing as a Brexit dividend is just casuistry, hairsplitting, smokescreen from the very same technocratico-mediatic class that was so adamantly opposed to it and is now so bitter about it. Yes there will be fresh money in the UK government coffers as soon as it disentangles itself from the EU, and yes it could go to the NHS.

    #41263

    Patricia
    Participant

    I can’t see how a return to the gold standard would solve anything. Saying that I realise that Russia and China are buying up gold as if there is no tomorrow. In the past Countries went off the gold standard to print a lot of money, usually to wage wars, and then back on it when that was done. The introduction of the fiat system of money in 1971 stopped that nonsense and made political activity more transparent. However we have an economics profession which was brought up on the gold standard and just can’t let go of it. The mental gymnastics they have to do to merely justify their existence is beyond belief. Certainly it is true that it is very difficult to change someone’s mind if their salary depends on them not doing so but creating a structure that depends on gobbledygook that nobody understands is a sure way of maintaining power- until it doesn’t. The fiat system of money is, in my view, an elegant system but it is the politicians and the economic profession that stop us from realising its full potential.

    #41264

    olo530
    Participant

    https://www.bis.org/publ/arpdf/ar2018e5.pdf
    Dr. D, I disagree with you on pretty much every point you made.
    1. When BIS talks about fragility they don’t define what they mean by that. And they admit that our current monetary system is fragile as well – see endnote 10.
    2. Litecoin didn’t solve the problem of transaction throughput. It’s capable of 56 transactions per second. A big improvement over 7 tps of Bitcoin. VisaNet (Visa backbone) tested to 56,000+ tps and it actually ran at 1,600 tps in 2016. And before you bring up Raiden let’s agree to talk about “on the chain” transactions.
    3. Credit card transactions are done on a trusted network. Bitcoin (and probably 1999 out of 2000 coins) run on trustless networks. That’s why credit cards require a tiny fraction of energy and computing power on the Bitcoin network – different tasks.
    4. Most PC and phones are NOT wasting energy when doing nothing. Compare standby (doing nothing) time of your phone and movie playback (doing something) time. “Proof of stake” is still ways away. So, it’s not a legacy issue.
    5. This BIS report was mentioned by all major news agencies, not just Reuters.

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