From Icarus To Humpty Dumpty – The Art & Science Of Spending Other People’s Money

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by Tyler Durden

Via MN Gordon of EconomicPrism.com,

“We have assembled a best-in-class team of policy advisors to drive President Trump’s bold plan for job creation and economic growth.” Gary Cohn, Chief Economic Advisor to President Trump

Promises of Slop

The art and science of spending other people’s money is not an occupation suited to just anyone.  Rather, it’s a skill reserved for the professional world-improver.  To be successful, one must act with a zealous devotion to uplifting the down and out, no matter the cost.

Lawyers, bankers, economists, and government philosophers with fancy resumes, whom attended fancy schools.  These are the devoted fellows who comprise President Trump’s team of economic policy advisors.  Moreover, these are the chosen associates who are charged with bringing Trump’s economic vision to fruition.  Are they up to the task?

Only time will tell.  But, already, it’s quite evident that Trump’s economic policy advisors have their work cut out for them.  During Trumps speech to Congress on Tuesday night, he called for more jobs, more education, more military, and more affordable health insurance.

By all accounts the speech sounded delightful.  Promises were made to spread the government’s slop far and wide.  Trump pledged offerings that just about anyone and everyone – with the exception of grumpy face Bernie Sanders – could standup behind and applaud.

Indeed, articulating these plans is one thing.  Using the force of government to execute them is another.  This is where the advisors come in.

From Icarus to Humpty Dumpty

According to Wall Street, President Trump said all the right things.  On Wednesday the DOW jumped up over 300 points to over 21,100.  And despite yesterday’s pullback, the DOW ended the day above 21,000.  What’s going on?

New York Fed President William Dudley says the market’s “animal spirits have been unleashed.”  He also says “the case for monetary policy tightening has become a lot more compelling.”  The case being, as noted by Dudley, “sturdy” jobs gains, inflation increases, and rising optimism for both consumers and business owners.

Hence, Dudley and the Fed may increase the price of credit at the next FOMC meeting later this month.  In fact, as of yesterday, CME Group puts the odds of a pending Fed rate hike at over 75 percent.  Bloomberg puts the odds at 90 percent.  In other words, unless the stock market crashes before March 15, it’s highly likely the Fed will raise the federal funds rate.

Maybe the market will crash before March 15.  Maybe it will crash after.  Maybe it won’t crash at all.  Who knows?

One analyst at Bank of America, with a creative metaphorical mind, has somehow penciled out a market path leading to a great fall in the second half of 2017.  But first, says Michael Hartnett, investors must finish climbing the “wall of worry.”  At that point, his “Icarus Trade” will turn into the “Humpty Dumpty Trade.”  Thus, the great fall.

A 30 Year Mess in the Making

No doubt, Trump’s economic advisors are facing a tall order.  Stocks are extremely overvalued.  The Fed’s unwittingly jawboned itself into a March rate increase.  Yet GDP, as reported for the fourth quarter 2016, slouches along at just 1.9 percent.

At the same time, it’s projected the government will hit the debt ceiling on March 16 After that, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will have to take “extraordinary measures” – shuffle money around – to keep the lights on.  By October, if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit, the lights fade to black.

Somehow Trump’s advisors have to figure out how to boost the economy without boosting spending.  So far their plan only accounts for half of the equation.  That is, to boost the economy by pumping money into defense and infrastructure.  But if spending isn’t going to also increase, where’s the money going to come from?

Earlier this week it was reported that Trump wants to increase military spending by $54 billion without increasing the deficit.  The $54 billion increase would be offset by cuts to other government departments and agencies.  While this proposal doesn’t increase the $500 billion deficit, it doesn’t decrease it either.  In short, a half trillion dollars will still be added to the debt.

In the meantime, in just under two weeks there will be an abundance of excitement emanating from Washington DC.  Specifically, a rousing Congressional debt ceiling standoff will commence.  Reagan era Budget Director, David Stockman’s calling it a fiscal bloodbath:

I think we are likely to have more of a fiscal bloodbath rather than fiscal stimulus.  Unfortunately for Donald Trump, not only did the public vote the establishment out, they left on his doorstep the inheritance of 30 years of debt build-up and a fiscal policy that’s been really reckless in the extreme.

People would like to think he’s the second coming of Ronald Reagan and we are going to have morning in America.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it looks that promising because Trump is inheriting a mess that pales into insignificance what we had to deal with in January of 1981 when I joined the Reagan White House as Budget Director.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-03/icarus-humpty-dumpty-art-science-spending-other-peoples-money

 

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In praise of cash

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Cash might be grungy, unfashionable and corruptible, but it is still a great public good, important for rich and poor alike

Brett Scott writes about financial activism and social and environmental finance. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance (2013).

I recently found myself facing a vending machine in a quiet corridor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. I was due to speak at a conference called ‘Reinvent Money’ but, suffering from jetlag and exhaustion, I was on a search for Coca-Cola. The vending machine had a small digital interface built by a Dutch company called Payter. Printed on it was a sentence: ‘Contactless payment only.’ I touched down my bank card, but rather than dispensing Coke, it beeped a message: ‘Card invalid.’ Not all cards are created equal, even if you can get one – and not everyone can.

In the economist’s imagining of an idealised free market, rational individuals enter into monetary-exchange contracts with each other for their mutual benefit. One party – called the ‘buyer’ – passes money tokens to another party – called the ‘seller’ – who in turn gives real goods or services. So here I am, the tired individual rationally seeking sugar. The market is before me, fizzy drinks stacked on a shelf, presided over by a vending machine acting on behalf of the cola seller. It’s an obedient mechanical apparatus that is supposed to abide by a simple market contract: If you give money to my owner, I will give you a Coke. So why won’t this goddamn machine enter into this contract with me? This is market failure.

To understand this failure, we must first understand that we live with two modes of money. ‘Cash’ is the name given to our system of physical tokens that are manually passed on to complete transactions. This first mode of money is public. We might call it ‘state money’. Indeed, we experience cash like a public utility that is ‘just there’. Like other public utilities, it might feel grungy and unsexy – with inefficiencies and avenues for corruption – but it is in principle open-access. It can be passed directly by the richest of society to the poorest of society, or vice versa.

Alongside this, we have a separate system of digital fiat money, in which our money tokens take the form of ‘data objects’ recorded on a database by an authority – a bank – granted power to ‘keep score’ of them for us. We refer to this as our bank account and, rather than physically transporting this money, we ‘move’ it by sending messages to our banks – for example, via mobile phones or the internet – asking them to edit the data. Money ‘moves’ to your landlord if your two respective banks can agree to edit your accounts, reducing your score and increasing your landlord’s score.

This second mode of money is essentially private, running off an infrastructure collectively controlled by profit-seeking commercial banks and a host of private payment intermediaries – like Visa and Mastercard – that work with them. The data inscriptions in your bank account are not state money. Rather, your bank account records private promises issued to you by your bank, promising you access to state money should you wish. Having ‘£500’ in your Barclays account actually means ‘Barclays PLC promises you access to £500’. The ATM network is the main way by which you convert these private bank promises – ‘deposits’ – into the state cash that has been promised to you. The digital payments system, on the other hand, is a way to transfer – or reassign – those bank promises between ourselves.

This dual system allows us the option to use private digital bank money when buying pizza at a restaurant, but we can always resort to public state money drawn out of an ATM if the proprietor’s debit card system crashes. This choice seems fair. At different times, we might find either form more or less useful. As you read this, though, architects of a ‘cashless society’ are working to remove the option of resorting to state cash. They wish to completely privatise the movement of money tokens, pushing banks and private-payments intermediaries between all interactions of buyers and sellers.

The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge.

The first is the banking industry, which controls the core digital fiat money system that our public system of cash currently competes with. It irritates banks that people do indeed act upon their right to convert their bank deposits into state money. It forces them to keep the ATM network running. The cashless society, in their eyes, is a utopia where money cannot leave – or even exist – outside the banking system, but can only be transferred from bank to bank.

The second is the private payments industry – the likes of Mastercard – that profits from running the infrastructure that services that bank system, streamlining the process via which we transfer digital money between bank accounts. They have self-serving reasons to push for the removal of the cash option. Cash transactions are peer-to-peer, requiring no intermediary, and are thus transactions that Visa cannot skim a cut off.

The third – perhaps ironically – is the state, and quasi-state entities such as central banks. They are united with the financial industry in forcing everyone to buy into this privatised bank-payments society for reasons of monitoring and control. The bank-money system forms a panopticon that enables – in theory – all transactions to be recorded, watched and analysed, good or bad. Furthermore, cash’s ‘offline’ nature means it cannot be remotely altered or frozen. This hampers central banks in implementing ‘innovative’ monetary policies, such as setting negative interest rates that slowly edit away bank deposits in order to coerce people into spending…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/if-plastic-replaces-cash-much-that-is-good-will-be-lost

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A Secret History of Money Power

by Dr. KR Bolton, New DawnWaking Times

“The most hated sort [of moneymaking], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural use of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term usury which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money, because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of making money this is the most unnatural.” ~Aristotle (384-322 BCE)1

Aristotle’s definition of usury is perhaps the most cogent ever made. Usury, as originally defined, is any money made from a loan. The Christian and particularly Catholic opposition to usury was founded on the dictum in the Gospel of Luke about giving without expecting anything in return, and on the Old Testament precepts against charging interest.

Opposition to usury seems to have been instinctive in many diverse civilisations and cultures, with an intuition it is something unnatural, parasitic and outright sinful. When a civilisation accepts usury as normal business practice, as does Western civilisation, it is symptomatic of an advanced cycle of decay.

The Vedic scripts of ancient India (2000-1400 BCE) call the “usurer” kusidin, a lender charging interest. Brâhmanas (priests) and Kshatriyas (warriors) were prohibited from practicing usury. The Sacred Laws of the Aryas states:

God weighed in the scales the crime of killing a learned Brâhmana against the crime of charging interest; the slayer of the Brâhmana remained at the top, the charger of interest sank downwards.2

As in the Western and Classical civilisations, the definition of usury was compromised over time. By the second century CE the Laws of Manu defined usury as beyond a “legal” interest rate, after which the interest cannot be recovered. The fact there is now a legal rate of interest, rather than an outright prohibition, indicates compromise of the type that arose in Western Christendom and Classical Greece and Rome. Additionally, like the exemption of the Jews from laws on usury under Mediaeval Christendom, the Hindu merchant caste were permitted trade in usury:

To invest money on interest, to be a jeweller, to tend cattle, tillage and trade – these are declared as occupations for the Vaisya caste.3

Siddharta Gautama Buddha offered a more unequivocal stance:

One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, and charging interest. This is wrong livelihood.4

Plutarch (46–127 CE), in his essay “Against Running In Debt, Or Taking Up Money Upon Usury,” described usurers as “wretched,” “vulture-like,” and “barbarous.” Cato the Elder (234–149 BCE) compared usury to murder. Cicero (106–43 BCE) stated, “these profits are despicable which incur the hatred of men, such as those of… lenders of money on usury.”

Contemporary financial analysts Sidney Homer, who worked for Salomon Bros., and Professor Richard Sylla, in their historical study of interest rates, state that the first known law on the issue was that of Hammurabi, 1800 BCE, during first dynasty Babylonia, who set the maximum rate of interest at 33⅓% per annum “for loans of grain, repayable in kind, and at 20% per annum for loans of silver by weight.”5Sumerian documents, circa 3000 BCE, “show the systematic use of credit based on loans of grain by volume and loans of metal by weight. Often these loans carried interest.”

As early as 5000 BCE in the Middle East, dates, olives, figs, nuts, or seeds of grain were probably lent to serfs, poor farmers, or dependants, and an increased portion of the harvest was expected to be returned in kind…. Earliest historic rates were reported in the range of 20–50% per annum for loans of grain and metal.6

In Greece, 600 BCE, Solon established laws on interest when excessive debt caused economic crisis. Likewise, in Rome the “Twelve Tables” of 450 BCE, establishing the foundations of Roman law, after pervasive debt was causing servitude and crisis, established a maximum interest rate of 8⅓% per annum. When Brutus tried to charge the City of Salmais 48% for a loan, Cicero reminded him that the legal maximum was 12%. The interest rate was often 4%. Some Greek “loan sharks” charged 25% per annum, and even 25% per day.7

In the Old Testament, Jews were prohibited from usury: “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money; usury of victuals; usury of anything that is lent upon usury” (Deut. 23:19). Critically, for history, the Jews were allowed to charge usury to non-Jews: “Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury, that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it” (Deut. 23:20)…

more…

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/23/secret-history-money-power/

 

 

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End of a golden age

Resultado de imagem para Newly built Volkswagen Beetles ready for shipping from Hamburg in 1972. Photo by Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

Newly built Volkswagen Beetles ready for shipping from Hamburg in 1972. Photo by Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

Unprecedented growth marked the era from 1948 to 1973. Economists might study it forever, but it can never be repeated. Why?

Newly built Volkswagen Beetles ready for shipping from Hamburg in 1972. Photo by Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

Marc Levinson is an economist, historian and journalist whose work has appeared in The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.com, among others. His latest book is An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Rise of the Ordinary Economy (2016). He lives in Washington, DC.

The second half of the 20th century divides neatly in two. The divide did not come with the rise of Ronald Reagan or the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is not discernible in a particular event, but rather in a shift in the world economy, and the change continues to shape politics and society in much of the world today.

The shift came at the end of 1973. The quarter-century before then, starting around 1948, saw the most remarkable period of economic growth in human history. In the Golden Age between the end of the Second World War and 1973, people in what was then known as the ‘industrialised world’ – Western Europe, North America, and Japan – saw their living standards improve year after year. They looked forward to even greater prosperity for their children. Culturally, the first half of the Golden Age was a time of conformity, dominated by hard work to recover from the disaster of the war. The second half of the age was culturally very different, marked by protest and artistic and political experimentation. Behind that fermentation lay the confidence of people raised in a white-hot economy: if their adventures turned out badly, they knew, they could still find a job.

The year 1973 changed everything. High unemployment and a deep recession made experimentation and protest much riskier, effectively putting an end to much of it. A far more conservative age came with the economic changes, shaped by fears of failing and concerns that one’s children might have it worse, not better. Across the industrialised world, politics moved to the Right – a turn that did not avert wage stagnation, the loss of social benefits such as employer-sponsored pensions and health insurance, and the secure, stable employment that had proved instrumental to the rise of a new middle class and which workers had come to take for granted. At the time, an oil crisis took the blame for what seemed to be a sharp but temporary downturn. Only gradually did it become clear that the underlying cause was not costly oil but rather lagging productivity growth – a problem that would defeat a wide variety of government policies put forth to correct it.

The great boom began in the aftermath of the Second World War. The peace treaties of 1945 did not bring prosperity; on the contrary, the post-war world was an economic basket case. Tens of millions of people had been killed, and in some countries a large proportion of productive capacity had been laid to waste. Across Europe and Asia, tens of millions of refugees wandered the roads. Many countries lacked the foreign currency to import food and fuel to keep people alive, much less to buy equipment and raw material for reconstruction. Railroads barely ran; farm tractors stood still for want of fuel. Everywhere, producing enough coal to provide heat through the winter was a challenge. As shoppers mobbed stores seeking basic foodstuffs, much less luxuries such as coffee and cotton underwear, prices soared. Inflation set off waves of strikes in the United States and Canada as workers demanded higher pay to keep up with rising prices. The world’s economic outlook seemed dim. It did not look like the beginning of a golden age.

As late as 1948, incomes per person in much of Europe and Asia were lower than they had been 10 or even 20 years earlier. But 1948 brought a change for the better. In January, the US military government in Japan announced it would seek to rebuild the economy rather than exacting reparations from a country on the verge of starvation. In April, the US Congress approved the economic aid programme that would be known as the Marshall Plan, providing Western Europe with desperately needed dollars to import machinery, transport equipment, fertiliser and food. In June, the three occupying powers – France, the United Kingdom and the US – rolled out the deutsche mark, a new currency for the western zones of Germany. A new central bank committed to keeping inflation low and the exchange rate steady would oversee the deutsche mark.

Postwar chaos gave way to stability, and the war-torn economies began to grow. In many countries, they grew so fast for so long that people began to speak of the ‘economic miracle’ (West Germany), the ‘era of high economic growth’ (Japan) and the 30 glorious years (France). In the English-speaking world, this extraordinary period became known as the Golden Age…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/how-economic-boom-times-in-the-west-came-to-an-end

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Another Brick In The Wall – Modern Education and the System of Deception

by Paul Philips, Guest, Waking Times

Like many things — the food industry, the medical-pharmaceutical establishment, the mainstream media – the hidden corporate/bankers who control our governments have also standardized the education system through funding.

Many years ago in the USA, for example, much money was poured into education by the Rockefeller-created National Education Association, with the help of the Carnegie Foundation and later on the Ford Foundation. The result of the efforts of such organisations can be seen worldwide today in the real purpose of the education system which is to teach children and young people: 1) Reward comes from accurate memory recall from heavy repetition. 2) Non-compliance will be punished. 3) Acceptance that ‘truth’ and what is ‘real’ comes from authority.

Thus, the real purpose of the education system is to cultivate conformity and prohibit critical thinking about anything of real importance.

Starting at 4 years old (and what could be a better age to start a mass indoctrination?) and finishing by the time an individual comes out of the education system, some 12 years plus on, children have had more than their fair share of programming and brainwashing, and as a result are unable to really think for themselves. Moreover, any genuine outside-of-the-box thinking with significant potential humanitarian or Mother Earth-friendly benefit is ignored, quashed, ridiculed or suppressed by the influence of those hidden controllers if it is perceived as a threat to any of their businesses.

But, as Einstein said, ‘real thinking is to think the unthinkable…’

Introducing the ‘Unsung Heroes’

The following is a list of just some of history’s truly great humanitarian outside-of-the-box thinkers, with their innovative ideas/products that have never been able to see the light of day (due to the above reasons.)

Raymond Rife

Raymond Rife (1888-1971) and his Universal Microscope for curing cancer.

After successfully curing a number of cancer patients the Rockefeller owned American Medical Association (AMA) later had this work laid down to rest by closing down Rife’s set ups and seizing his equipment:

Essentially Rife refused to hand over the rights of his work to the AMA because he saw moneyed interests as hidden ulterior motives – that his the cancer curing machine would not be allowed to the world at large because the AMA and the medical/pharmaceutical establishment did not want patients’ cured.

That would mean customers lost and no more revenue for the cancer industry, so instead they push out real cures, and keep coming up with toxic treatments that never cure, instead create further symptoms (side effects) guaranteeing the cancer returns and thus repeat business until the patient eventually dies an unnecessarily harsh death.

After years of ensuing court cases with the ‘big boys’ of the cancer establishment, with little money to exist on, Rife exiled in Mexico to avoid imprisonment in the USA. He later died of alcoholism, a brilliant, but defeated man. The pressures of harassment related to the legal battles and constant threat of imprisonment had been too much for him.

The Associated Press: Apparatus of San Diegan Seen as Boon to Medical World

Linus Pauling

Pauling had worked with Matthias Rath and they came up with a unified approach to curing heart disease. (1901-1994) – ‘Unified Theory’ cure for heart disease.

Essentially, they found that heart disease is the result of a long-term vitamin C deficiency. The solution is to treat patients with frequent high doses (e.g. 6g/day) of vitamin C while using the amino acids lysine and proline to remove the atherosclerotic plaque lining the inner walls of the blood vessels that cause a narrowing or blocking of the lumen (space) of the blood vessels which is responsible for restricting blood flow and cardiovascular disease.

However, due to greater interests in corporate profitability and perceived financial threat, this highly successful cheap alternative therapy has not been allowed that much attention.

 

 

Nikola Tesla

Multi-talented Tesla cut across many disciplinary boundaries. His genius gave rise to a number of world-changing inventions. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) – Wardenclyffe Tower Project free energy.

One of his most famous experiments /inventions was the Wardenclyffe Tower Project. It was Tesla’s attempt to provide everyone on the globe with free energy through harnessing electricity from the Earth’s ionosphere by means of the towers. Without wires the towers could transmit the harnessed electricity to ground-level areas requiring it…

However, Tesla’s funding was stopped. His equipment and lab was burned down together with the related intellectual property because it posed a threat to undercutting the cost of the conventional electricity grid system. If Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower Project had been allowed to flourish and not be destroyed then today we could well be living in a utopia.  Tesla died a poverty-stricken lonely and forgotten man in New York City.

TIME Magazine Cover: Nikola Tesla – July 20, 1931

Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) – Drought-breaking weather control.

Wilhelm Reich built an instrument he called the cloudbuster which successfully induced weather change. It has been used to break many droughts by producing clouds that make rain.

This workable mechanism for making rainclouds for crop irrigation in drought areas was stopped by those ever watchful lackeys for the ruling elite.

 

Allowing something like this could lead to food abundance and greatly contribute to ending world hunger. However, the controllers don’t want world hunger to end. If this happened it would make it more difficult to control people in what would no longer be third world countries. .. Don’t forget, their hidden enslavement agenda

Consequentially Reich was hounded by the likes of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) having accused him of fraud and deception with his cloudbuster instrument. His equipment was seized and destroyed. His last days were spent in prison where it was claimed that he died of a heart attack

more…

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/16/another-brick-wall-modern-education-system-deception/

 

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The great cryptocurrency heist

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Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There’s just one problem: trust

E J Spode writes on topics at the intersection of science, politics and popular culture. He has been published by 3:AM Magazine, which is currently serialising his novel The Oddity.

On 20 July 2016, something happened that was arguably the most philosophically interesting event to take place in your lifetime or mine. On that day, after much deliberation and hand-wringing, in the aftermath of a multimillion-dollar swindle from his automated, algorithm-driven, supposedly foolproof corporation, Vitalik Buterin, then 22 years old, announced the ‘hard fork’ of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. By making that announcement, Buterin shattered certain tightly held assumptions about the future of trust and the nature of many vital institutions that make modern life possible. He also really pissed off a lot of people.

How? Well, to understand all that, first we need to talk about trust and its place in the fabric of our lives. Trust seems to be in short supply these days, although we have no choice but to rely on it. We trust schools and babysitters to look after our children. We trust banks to hold our money and to transfer it safely for us. We trust insurance companies to pay us should we meet with some disaster. When we make a large purchase – such as a house – we trust our solicitors or an escrow company to hold the funds until the transaction is complete. We trust regulators and governments to make sure these institutions are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Sometimes, however, our system of trust fails us. There are runs on banks. People lose faith in currencies issued by nation-states. People stop trusting their political institutions because of the chicanery, short-sightedness and general incompetence of the self-interested clowns running the show. The response to this widespread erosion of trust has been varied, ranging from Donald Trump’s (hypocritical) pledge to ‘drain the swamp’, to the promise of so-called ‘blockchain technology’ and its associated cryptocurrencies.

The blockchain is the key to understanding Buterin’s project. A good way to wrap our minds around the concept is to think of its most famous application: Bitcoin. And the best way to think about Bitcoin is not in terms of coins at all but rather as a giant ledger.

Imagine a world in which we didn’t exchange currency, but kept track of who had what on a huge public spreadsheet, distributed across the internet. Every 10 minutes, all the transactions that took place in that slice of time are fused together into a single block. Each block includes a chain linking it to previous blocks, hence the term ‘blockchain’. The end result is a universal record book that reliably logs everything that’s ever happened via a (theoretically) tamper-proof algorithm. We don’t need to trust human bankers to tell us who owns what, because we can all see what’s written in the mathematically verified blockchain.

But Bitcoin is just one version of the blockchain. The fundamental technology has the potential to replace a much wider range of human institutions in which we use trust to reach a consensus about a state of affairs. It could provide a definitive record for property transfers, from diamonds to Porsches to original Picassos. It could be used to record contracts, to certify the authenticity of valuable goods, or to securely store your health records (and keep track of anyone who’s ever accessed them).

But there’s a catch: what about the faithful ‘execution’ of a contract? Doesn’t that require trust as well? What good is an agreement, after all, if the text is there but people don’t respect it, and don’t follow through on their obligations? Which brings us back to the crucial matter of how Buterin managed to piss off so many people.

In the beginning, Buterin was a hero to the crusaders against trust. In late 2013, at the age of 19, he wrote a document, known as the ‘Ethereum White Paper’. In it, he observed that you could hypothetically use the blockchain to store and execute computer programs – hypothetically, any computer program. This gave rise to Ethereum: a blockchain-based platform that supported self-executing contracts. The commands to execute the contract were built into the contract itself, and the contract was sealed into the (supposedly) immutable and universally visible blockchain. No trust necessary. Or so the story went.

This had extraordinary implications – one of which was that entire corporations could be encoded in the blockchain in the form of ‘decentralised autonomous organisations’ (DAOs). None of the usual trusted business partners would be required: employees, managers, human resources officers, CFOs and CEOs would be rendered otiose. No longer would shareholders need to pay massive bonuses to hedge-fund executives ‘trusted’ to make decisions about our money. In theory, at least, those executives could be replaced by a bundle of transparent, pre-set instructions stored in the blockchain.

About 11,000 people ponied up a total of $150 million to take part. What had they purchased, exactly?

On the back of a wave of excitement, Ethereum’s currency, known as ‘ethers’, went up for pre-sale in the summer of 2014. Ethers would serve a dual function as both the ‘fuel’ that powered the computations on the network, and as a medium of exchange, like bitcoins. In short order, the value of ethers started to climb, and the platform reached a ‘market capitalisation’ of around $1 billion after the pre-sale. (Full disclosure: I participated as an investor at this initial stage but have since liquidated my holdings.)…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/trust-the-inside-story-of-the-rise-and-fall-of-ethereum

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New World Order Pushing Cashless Agenda in India and Around the World

by Makia Freeman, Contributor, Waking Times

The cashless agenda has taken a giant leap forward worldwide in the last 2 months, mainly due to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi took the bold, detested and despised step of banning the 2 highest denomination notes in India (the 500 and 1000 rupee notes, worth around US$7.50 and $15 respectively). This wiped out around 80% of the value of circulating cash widely used by many segments of society for trade. His reason was to cut down on the black money circulating in India upon which tax is not paid. However, from the broader perspective of the worldwide New World Order (NWO) conspiracy, converting the entire world economy to solely digital transactions is not just about extracting more tax revenue from the ruled populations; it’s about knowledge and power. It’s about surveillance on an extraordinary scale. The cashless agenda is about acquiring the capacity to monitor literally every single financial transaction that takes place on the planet.

Unsurprisingly, the new cash ban hurt many poor Indians who either don’t have a bank account or who rarely use one. Also unsurprisingly, the idea for the ban did not originate from Modi. The truth is that India is being used as the latest guinea pig to push forth the NWO cashless agenda, and a particular US Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) was instrumental in the rollout.

American NGO USAID Behind India Cash Ban

In an earlier article NGOs: Choice Tool of Subversion for the New World Order, I described how NGOs have become tools of infiltration and subversion to conduct soft coups or soft overthrows of democratically elected foreign governments. NGOs are the perfect way to destroy an enemy nation from within. By gaining inside access to that nation, an NGO can disseminate all sorts of lies and propaganda to weaken people’s faith in their leaders or their political system. NGOs can also fund “people’s” revolutions (i.e. color revolutions) to make it look like a foreign-orchestrated overthrow is a domestic grassroots uprising – just ask George Soros about that one. For this reason, some nations such as Russia, China and Israel have restricted or banned foreign NGOs from operating on their shores.

In the case of India, there are clear signs that the cash ban was planned in advance by the nefarious United States NGO USAID (instrumental in the bloody Ukraine Maidan coup of 2014). I give a hat tip to Norbert Häring, author of the recent article A well-kept open secret: Washington is behind India’s brutal experiment of abolishing most cash, who outlines how USAID was actively conspiring with the Indian Ministry of Finance to push forward the cashless agenda. He writes:

USAID had announced the establishment of „Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership“, with the goal of effecting a quantum leap in cashless payment in India. The press statement of October 14 says that Catalyst “marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to facilitate universal financial inclusion”. The statement does not show up in the list of press statements on the website of USAID (anymore?). Not even filtering statements with the word “India” would bring it up. To find it, you seem to have to know it exists, or stumble upon it in a web search. Indeed, this and other statements, which seemed rather boring before, have become a lot more interesting and revealing after November 8.”

So on top of actively pushing India into the cashless agenda, looks like USAID is also covering their tracks and trying to hide it.

Catalyst is the Catalyst …

So basically the New World Order, via the US Government and USAID, had decided that India would be the next country in which it would roll out the cashless agenda, so it set up this new organization Catalyst to disguise the non-Indian interests behind the scheme. Häring points out the big NWO players behind Catalyst:

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? Upon the presentation of the Beyond-Cash-report, USAID declared: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.” On the website catalyst.org one can see that they are mostly IT- and payment service providers who want to make money from digital payments or from the associated data generation on users. Many are veterans of what a high-ranking official of Deutsche Bundesbank called the “war of interested financial institutions on cash” … They include the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Gates Foundation (Microsoft), Omidyar Network (eBay), the Dell Foundation Mastercard, Visa, Metlife Foundation.”

Häring also points at some other key people and groups behind the war on cash in India:

“Raghuram Rajan at the helm of Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016 … had been, and is now again, economics professor at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2006 he had been Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. (This is a cv-item he shares with another important warrior against cash, Ken Rogoff.) He is a member of the Group of Thirty, a rather shady organization, where high ranking representatives of the world major commercial financial institutions share their thoughts and plans with the presidents of the most important central banks, behind closed doors and with no minutes taken. It becomes increasingly clear that the Group of Thirty is one of the major coordination centers of the worldwide war on cash. Its membership includes other key warriers like Rogoff, Larry Summers and others.”

Astute readers will see a familiar theme here cropping up once again. In my recent article International Fact-Checking Network: New Worldwide Ministry of Truth?, I discussed how Bill Gates (the Gates Foundation) crops up seemingly everywhere in NWO agendas such as censorship, vaccines, GMOs, Common Core education, transhumanism, eugenics, depopulation and now in the cashless agenda too. Pierre Omidyar (Omidyar Network) also got a mention in the same article as being one of the funders of the new organization IFCN poised to become a sort of Ministry of Truth. The IMF is a Rothschild tool and a harbinger of NWO One World Bank. Larry Summers was one of the guys under Obama who oversaw the “bailout”, “stimulus” or daylight robbery of the American people that took place in 2009 – but he was apparently much more worried about what Goldman Sachs would think. The Group of Thirty is a think tank of international bankers funded by – guess who – the Rockefeller Foundation.

Everywhere you look in the worldwide conspiracy, it’s the same players, the same themes and the same one agenda (through its many facets) for total domination.

Venezuela, Sweden, Australia, Greece – Everyone Joining In On the Cashless Agenda

It’s not just India. The cashless agenda is being pushed worldwide. Recently President Maduro of Venezuela announced he was going to ban the 100 bolivar note, the nation’s largest currency denomination. The pretext is essentially the same each time: to supposedly stop crime and make it harder for criminals who deal only in cash. Maduro said:

“There has been a scam and smuggling of the one hundred bills on the border with Colombia, we have tried the diplomatic way to deal with this problem with Colombia’s government; there are huge mafias.”

However as Jeff Berwick (Dollar Vigilante) points out, this is a false argument. There is no true correlation between high crime rates and high demonization bills in circulation:

“The trouble here is that removing bills doesn’t fight crime. At least one recent study shows countries with the largest currency denominations actually have the lowest crime rates. Take for instance a country like Japan which is praised for its low crime rates and has a 10,000 yen note worth around $85 as of today.

Switzerland is a prime example of the opposite end of the spectrum because not only does it have a 1,000 Swiss franc note worth roughly $1,000 USD and one of the lowest crime rates in the world, but unlike Venezuela where guns are outlawed and violence is rampant, 1 in 2 Swiss people are gun owners.”

Meanwhile Sweden has completely jumped on board the cashless agenda. The Nordic nation is on the fast track to become the first totally cashless society, as the Guardian reports:

“According to central bank the Riksbank, cash transactions made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden last year – a figure some see dropping to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is now used for barely 20% of transactions, half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%.

And astonishingly, about 900 of Sweden’s 1,600 bank branches no longer keep cash on hand or take cash deposits – and many, especially in rural areas, no longer have ATMs. Circulation of Swedish krona has fallen from around 106bn in 2009 to 80bn last year.”

Australia has also joined the cashless bandwagon with some recent and shameless propaganda. Check this video of a supposedly cool, unshaven guy throwing stats at you and trying to convince you that you don’t need the $100 note any more. X22 Report has also just reported that Greece is initiating a soft cash ban. They are mandating that you spend 10% of your expenditures in digital currency! So the government is telling you in what format you must spend your money – and Greeks are getting penalized for not spending in this manner. Wow. The tyranny is just so blatant.

2017 is the Year when the War on Cash Will Accelerate

You don’t need to be an oracle to see that the war on cash is intensifying and accelerating rapidly across the world. It is a key part of the New World Order agenda, because it removes some of the last vestiges of privacy and anonymity that we still have in today’s world. Without the ability to freely transact anonymously with cash, our freedom is greatly restricted, because so much of our life revolves around the use of money: spending habits, income, expenditures, amount of tax paid, etc. To know someones’ complete financial history and current position is to have great power over them.

It seems the NWO manipulators are attempting to cement the cashless agenda in place before the world becomes too much more awake, aware and conscious. Will they succeed? Only time will tell, but there is still time to stop this agenda in its tracks if we spread enough awareness about it.

 

About the Author

Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance

**Sources embedded throughout article.

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This article (New World Order Pushing Cashless Agenda in India and Around the World) was originally created and published by The Freedom Articles and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/01/10/new-world-order-pushing-cashless-agenda-india-around-world/

 

 

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