Posts

Showing posts with the label money

Do the Money Men Really Run the World?

Image
Can't have a war without moneyIn Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City that Made the World, Boris Johnson writes that NM Rothchild's "role in financing governments was so crucial that it was said that a war could not be begun without the consent of the Rothschilds."  It is an obvious fact of our time that the world runs on money.  No war can be declared, no university inaugurated, no church established, no hospital or bridge or building or monument built without money.  Nothing can be imported or exported, bought or sold without money.  Charities, volunteer organizations, political parties, families and individuals require money.  The health of your offspring and the attractiveness of your spouse will be affected by money.  It has never been more true than it is today:  if you want to understand the world, "follow the money."





Just because it's a conspiracy theory  . . .The pursuit of this question led me to Henry Makow who, as it h…

Central Banks and the Bitcoin Experiment

Image
Money has gone digitalMoney has gone digital.  Less than 3% of currency these days is in the form of cash (coins or paper bills).  I still struggle to understand bitcoin, but I have slowly come to realize that what I don't fully understand are the technological aspects of bitcoin.  To understand bitcoin, you must first understand blockchain. To understand blockchain, you need to know about open-source coding, algorithms and cryptography, then you need to know about hashing and CPUs in order to understand what "mining for bitcoins" means (although I get that "mining" means solving a math puzzle and allowing transactions to use your computer).  However, these lacunae in our technological knowledge notwithstanding, bitcoin is just like any other digital currency (keeping in mind that the US dollar, for example, is already 97% digital) with only one truly significant difference.  Every example of money that we accept without much thought is managed and manipulated…

Petrodollar Warfare: Understanding the US Obsession with Iran

Image
First invasion of Iraq 1991When the USA was planning its first invasion of Iraq, a young Kuwaiti nurse testified before Congress  describing Iraqi soldiers pulling infants out of their incubators and tossing them on the floor.  The "nurse" turned out to be a princess of the Kuwaiti royal family, and her testimony pure fiction. However, her story created the needed public support for the invasion.

Second invasion of Iraq 2003As the USA was preparing its second invasion of Iraq, Colin Powell was tasked with presenting "irrefutable" evidence that Saddam Hussein was producing weapons of mass destruction.  Powell's presentation together with the totally fatuous belief, held by some Americans, that Hussein was responsible for 9/11 were sufficient to once again garner support for a war against Iraq.  As is well known at this point, the proclaimed purpose of the war was baseless--no WMDs or facilities were found.

USA preparing for war in IranAs the USA once again prep…

How Is Money Created?

Image
Money isn't just pixel dust!
In an earlier post I described money as “pixel dust.” I was being cute—way too cute! Sometimes an analogy can hide much more than it reveals. Money is not created by Tinker Bell, though I did feel a bit smug upon realizing that the writers of the Zeitgeist film series repeated my observation that when you take out a bank loan you create that debt out of nothing.



Banks have the right to create money, but they need your help
The bank does not have the money it is lending you. Stop and think about that for a moment, because it is the answer to the question “how is money created?” As more and more people struggle to understand bitcoin, the fact that money is just a way of recording debt is starting to sink in. When I googled the question “how is money created?” I was surprised by the number of sites covering the question—the number of people who knew the answer. I found myself asking, as I often do, how could I not know this? Shouldn’t every ten-year-…

Saint Mathew Pray for Us! Bank Deregulation Is Back!

Image
Shock and awe and bank deregulationAmid the boom and flash of the spectacular political theatre going on right now, you may not have noticed the announcements in a single utterance on television or in columns in the back pages of your local newspaper—“banks need to start lending money again,” (Trump on CNN), “President Donald Trump promised a meeting of community bankers to strip away some Dodd-Frank financial regulations” (B3 Globe and Mail 10 March 2017) and White House fires Preet Bharara “the high-profile Manhattan prosecutor known for his pursuit of public corruption and Wall Street crime” (A18 Globe and Mail 11 March 2017)—bank deregulation is back! “Bank deregulation” was the precursor to the financial collapse of 2008 causing banks and financial institutions to go bankrupt, individuals to lose homes, jobs and pensions, and triggering the government bailouts of the banks costing taxpayers what is now estimated to be a trillion dollars.  (Historically the British and Americans d…

Money Can Buy Happiness. The Question Is: “How Much Happiness Is Enough?”

Image
How much money buys happiness?Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell we can now say that increased wealth correlates with an increase in happiness up to an annual salary of $75,000 USD—that’s $100,000 Canadian  (See Good Teachers Are Always Underdogs).  After $100,000 CAD, more money produces less and less happiness, until wealth eventually causes more problems than pleasures.  
= < $100,000 CAD


We are left with the question: “How much happiness is enough?”  Strange question?  I hope so.  


Being unhappy is not a mental illnessListening to a lecture given by Thomas Szasz, the psychiatrist who denied the existence of anything that could be called a “mental illness” (see also Terrorism and Madness:  Between Sympathy and Understanding), I was struck by his description of people who came to him thinking that they were mentally ill because they were not happy.  As Szasz reported, being unhappy is a perfectly reasonable, sane response to some of life’s events and circumstances.  


The pressure to be happy…