Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Absurd: Inflation was too low

Amusing - if it would not be sad - to read that 'prominent' 'star' economists like Barry Eichengreen  still regurgitate the fable of  'too low inflation'. So what is the right level of inflation for these confused thinkers? One shudders to think how many young students get indoctrinated by his kind.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Trusts: mostly avoidance vehicle for the 1%

Trusts may have some justification to ensure the continuance of a fortune (as when knights left for an extended period during the Crusades). But that does not meam that they should not be subject to the same tax regime as any other taxpayer or business. In this case the wealth piled up by Ross (mostly by financial speculation) may escape inheritance taxes - so close to a billion passes to a group of beneficiaries while working income is heavily taxed.
New York Post via MarketWatch

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Rich Get Richer: The Mathematics of Inequality

This Model hits the nail on its head! And if you add a myriad of other poor policies you have to wonder when the top 100 own the world! Just take copyright, corporate structures, weak inheritance laws, lack of antitrust enforcement to name the most blatant abuses. The rich and their media control politics and there is no end in sight to the tendency to rising inequality.
Tufts University

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

How to price an EBO (Employee Buyout)?

To continue with the case of Uber, in my opinion a perfect candidate for an EBO, one should ask how and on what terms an EBO should be executed. It makes no sense to start with the 'market' valuation as it will be as good a reflection of the real value as the price of bitcoins is for a digital entry on some computer. The only sensible starting point is the net asset value, i.e. the cumulative value of REAL investment that supports the business. As the firm cannot function without employees they should be able to drive a hard bargain.  While not being a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's extreme views he may have a point with regard to re-nationalising the key utilities. Again, the baseline scenario for any compensation should be what the underlying assets are worth, not necessarily some number that 'Mister Market' arrives at during his random walk from manic depression to euphoria.

Business Schools would be well advised to work on how to make Wider Share Ownership and Employee-owned business work rather than how to squeeze the last dollar out of customers and into the pockets of a few top executives, - and at the same time charging students fees that bear no relationship to the value provided. Most of what they perpetrate any astute person could learn by delving into the top 10 or 20 business/economics text books.

Softbank to invest in Uber?

What is the purpose of this muted investment? Uber hardly needs any cash - except to pay exorbitant 'compensation' to top executives and the existing investors. But basically the drivers ARE all there is to Uber, without them the firm is nothing except a bit of software (which can easily be put in place for a fraction of its valuation, i.e. net asset value of fixtures). All Softbank and its backers want to do is get hold of the stake and sell it to someone else at a later stage - probably the great unwashed public and it agents, the fund management community that will lap up any IPO however inflated the price may be.
People sniggered when MBO's and LBO's came into fashion during the 1980s. Now it is time for the EBO - the Employee Buyout. Unions and Investment Bankers have to team up and take control of business. Let capitalists (lenders, Share owners) control the underlying hard assets but wrest ultimate control from them. As the saying goes: all wheels come to a standstill if the workers don't participate.
BBC


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Half Million Dollar Drug - Spiral of Greed?

One has to wonder who checks the costing that Novartis uses to justify the price of its Kymriah Cancer Drug. What would Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur or Alexander Fleming make of this behaviour?

https://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2017-08-30/cancer-breakthrough-heralds-new-era-of-cures-costs-and-choices

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Insane Economics? Nomen est Omen?

Fullest employment potential reached with more immigration? How does that work Mr. Insana? So by inviting millions you boost 'growth', but per capital income is what counts!
Ron Insana: Tax reform is a great idea, but tax cuts just might be a waste of money

Friday, 18 August 2017

Gary Cohn's teacher once told his parents he'd be lucky to be a truck driver

So money piled up is the main measure of the man? Maybe a truck driver does work that is more valuable? The world could well get on without the Gary Cohn's of the world, but without truck drivers, hospital nurses, street cleaners it would be a bad place.
Time to review the system that distributes rewards in the Economy.
Gary Cohn's teacher once told his parents he'd be lucky to be a truck driver — and now the Trump adviser and Goldman boss is worth $266 million

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Google is paying Apple to remain on the iPhone

And the regulators and anti-trust people are asleep on the watch. When do payments become a bribe?
Google is paying Apple billions per year to remain on the iPhone, Bernstein says

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Nobody cares if Bill Gates gets richer because of tax cuts?

Forbes is a card-carrying member of the 1%. His arguments are ludicrous. Of course, Joe Six pack does not care, because he does not know or better - the numbers involved are so absurd and beyond the comprehension of the average citizens that he CANNOT care! But the Billionaires' wealth is not 'created', it is redistributed, like the wealth of feudal lords was not 'created', they took their lands and the majority had to put up with it. In those days it was just brute force, now it is ideology supported by media that is basically controlled by the 1% (remember: free speech means that 200 rich people are allowed to say what they want you to hear, think Murdoch, Barclay Brothers etc).
This ideology perpetuates the 'trickle down' effect, so if Louis XIV builds his Versailles the workers benefit from the expenditure. Now of course the capitalist (better: free market) system needs free interplay to generate a growing and productive economy. But with the wrong signals and rules of the game we get absurd results. People who make billions playing the markets, benefiting from market failure and rigged rules that preserve them (copyright, corporate law, tax subsidies for financial gambling casinos).
All these are the result of a lack of democratic control where the lobbies of the (Super)Rich control the state and prevent full and public discussion. Paying the multitudes off with 'Welfare' and driving them into ever-larger indebtedness (to the Haves, as every debt is the asset of someone else) has led us to the present situation where a public revolt is becoming increasingly likely. Populism will become more and more 'popular'.
Steve Forbes says nobody cares if Bill Gates gets richer because of tax cuts - MarketWatch

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Pension fallacies (cont'd)

UK pension system is fatally flawed, subsidies go to the better off, administration is hugely expensive (all the intermediaries in the pension 'industry' take hefty cuts, up to 2 per cent PER ANNUM (!!). State pension for all, no admin, one computer, payment kicks in when pension age is reached, total estimated cost 0.01 per cent! No surprise that providers do not want to hear this! But they still would have their place, people could and will save on their own to provide a better retirement - if they wish to do so.
http://www.cityam.com/269694/robbing-grandson-peter-pay-grandpa-pauls-pension-unfair

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

US sanctions have taken a big bite out of Russia's economy

US Sanction Mania should not really have too big an impact if the economy is managed correctly. So what if a part of the world is becoming a white space on the world map? Before America was discovered Europe did perfectly well, and same can be said of time before China entered the World economy. What is dangerous is the fact that nobody seems to be man (or woman) enough to put a stop to this encroachment promoted by sinister lobbies and 'think tanks' in the United States.
US sanctions have taken a big bite out of Russia's economy

Friday, 14 July 2017

Obsession with Corporate Tax

Not sure about your obsession to lower corporate taxes, it just creates a massive loophole for the 1%. Tax rate should be on a level with income tax, double tax can be avoided with other measures, eg low income shareholders get rebate etc. Investment is sheltered as depreciation reduces tax rates, dishing out money on repurchasing shares is made less attractive. And the foreign cash? just change the tax code, there is no reason to keep the exemption!
Fiscal Policy Dreaming - Scott Grannis Blog

Friday, 7 July 2017

Patents abused - entrenches established players, One Percent

There are lots of patents floating around that don’t represent bona fide inventions.
One Thing You Don't Need Is Stronger Patents - Bloomberg

Monday, 3 July 2017

Should We Fear Jeff Bezos's Growing Empire?

Problem with Amazon is similar to Google - it offers a product but at the same time is a platform, so they should only be allowed to be one or the other. Otherwise they have an inbuilt advantage.
Should We Fear Jeff Bezos's Growing Empire?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Pension Liabilities - serious problem but overhyped

No one will deny that with an aging population and dropping birth rates the pension systems in many - if not most - countries is in serious trouble sooner or later. But dramatic talk of tens of billions of 'unfunded' liabilities is off the mark. Of course one can look at the spending side, add up the expected numbers and discount them to the present. All very well, but then you have to do the same for the other side of the equation. No individual would say he has 'unfunded' liabilities by adding up his expected lifetime spending, at age 35 for example. Doing this would find nearly all citizens are technically bankrupt. So please listen, economists, politicians, journalists and assorted 'experts'. Try to solve the REAL pension problems rather than engage in scaremongering for political purposes. Prevent early retirement (esp in the public sector), prevent abuses in the corporate sector (huge pensions for a few fat cats), prevent costly subsidies on pension saving by the well-off, prevent expensive private pension schemes that can charge high fees while being treated to lavish tax and regulatory support that only benefits providers.
Illinois victim of dysfunctional public pension system

Friday, 16 June 2017

8 billionaires have the combined wealth of half the world's population

Just another reason why it is pathetic that the economics tribe - Universities, Think Tanks - fiddles around with tiny changes in GDP, employment or interest rates while missing the elephant in the (political economy) room!
These 8 billionaires have the combined wealth of half the world's population

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Millionaires own a record 45% of the world's wealth

The really frightening thing is that this trend is continuing! We don't need explanations but solutions! Maybe Economists and Policy Makers should not focus on the next tiny shift in GDP growth but on the BIG picture - how to reverse this trend to ever-more concentration in the world's wealth! What do all the talking heads on CNBC and Bloomberg etc have to say? Or tenured professors sit in sheltered glasshouses and flit from conference to conference - pocketing handsome fees - while neglecting their students.
Millionaires own a record 45% of the world's wealth — and their share is growing

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Growing Employer Abuse of the Non-Compete Clause

These clauses are just a tool to prevent competition, are not only hurting the workers concerned but as a consequence also the consumers. In addition they build a moat that allows the 1% to prosper at the expense of the many. Blanket abolishment is the only solution to this abuse of power.
Growing Employer Abuse of the Non-Compete Clause

The 11 most expensive yachts in the world

Thank God for Tax and Copyright laws that favor the 0.01%!
The 11 most expensive yachts in the world

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Corporate Mergers - positive or negative for Economy?

The near-permanent dealmaking has reached frenetic proportions during the past 20 years. Are all these mergers really necessary to sustain a growing economy that benefits employers and workers alike? Is Anti-Trust really up to the challenge of assessing all transactions? Should there be higher tax burdens imposed?
CITI: 'One of the scariest charts to look at' could create major concerns about the market

Monday, 5 June 2017

Universal Basic Income - logical mistake

If one makes the extreme assumption that all work will be done by machines, - who is going to be able to buy their services? So there is something missing in all the talk of automation taking over all the work.
niversal Basic Income Is Neither Universal Nor Basic - Bloomberg

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Most respected companies or oligopolies?

Google, Amazon, Apple, respected by whom? It is time the trust-busters look at these business 'models' - selling privacy, combining third-party sales with your own sales effort and tied products.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

By Leaving Paris Accord, Trump Will Do Economy a Huge Favor

Maybe rest of the world should hit back by charging a penalty tariff on exports to and from the USA?

By Leaving Paris Accord, Trump Will Do Economy a Huge Favor

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Ivanka Trump's art collection worth millions

It pays to have rich parents, even better to marry rich!
Ivanka Trump's Instagram put her at the center of a controversy over her lavish art collection worth millions — here's what she owns

Gimmick: Billionaires pledging to give away their money

No solution to root causes of Inequality. Also pervers as the Charitable donations loophole effectively allows them to decide how their assumed tax payments are spent, away from the needs/preferences of wider society.
14 more billionaires just joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in pledging to give away most of their money

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Public image of Billionaires

As long as dominant ideology and fawning media worship on the altar of crass wealth nothing will change Inequality in our societies.
The Russian Billionaire Who Became a Social Media Star

Monday, 29 May 2017

Football - how Capitalism has been bastardised

No criticism about how the 15 made their fortunes - that is a story for another posting. But the developments in professional football have two lessons about how Capitalism has been taking the wrong turn - not because the system is inherently flawed but thanks to poor political and governance decisions.
Football is pretending to be a sport based on a Club system, not a business. So it should be up to club members to control the organization. Limiting individual votes would cut out rich oligarchs out of the scene in an instant.
Similarly, opening up television rights to proper competition and maybe limiting copyright would result in a drastic cut of revenues that could be splashed out on absurd compensation packages.
The 15 richest billionaire football club owners in England — and how they made their fortune

Monday, 22 May 2017

Where are Jobs going to come from?

In the case of the UK a simple example would be the unsatisfied demand for nurses - if there are too many people in retail maybe they can diverted into these kind of roles?
Driverless Cars Could Lead To Job Losses Of 300k A Year, But Fear Not The Robot Apocalypse: Goldman

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Apple thwarts Right to Repair - bring in Antitrust!

Time to break up Internet Oligopolies - in Apple's case force separation of hardware and content (App Store etc)
Apple Spends Big to Thwart Right to Repair in New York and Elsewhere

Friday, 19 May 2017

Media fawn on Billionaires

They should rather analyse why it has come to this sorry state! Giving the population at large the impression that everyone can be a billionaire is pretty unrealistic, if not dangerous! Their wealth did not fall from the sky nor did feudal lords find undiscovered lands - they took it from the rest of the population .
These 10 American colleges have minted almost 400 billionaires

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Carried Interest: pathetic defense of the indefensible

Carried Interest Loophole defended

Mark Zuckerberg's plan to create non-voting Facebook shares

The (Ultra) Rich build a moat around their wealth, make mockery of notion of Shareholder Democracy! Corporate Governance Crowd and Politicians complicit!
Mark Zuckerberg's plan to create non-voting Facebook shares is going to trial in September (FB)

Jeff Bezos just sold nearly $1 billion of Amazon stock (AMZN)

That is the problem with Shareholder Capitalism: The insiders/promoters get rich while the great unwashed public gets in when the (wealth) train has departed, acquires its chips are elevated levels of valuations. The trend towards ever-increasing inequality is also reinforced.
Jeff Bezos just sold nearly $1 billion of Amazon stock (AMZN)

Ban Non-Compete Clauses

Non-compete clauses are a tool that should not have a place in a free-market society. It may help the company/employer but restricts competition. The more suppliers there are for any given product the better for the majority, i.e. the consumers. Why are unions not taking a clear stand on this issue?
noncompete-agreements

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Corporation Tax - even larger loophole advocated

Another study purporting that lower corporation tax leads to higher tax revenues. Problematic as 'other things' are not equal. Cause and effect also not proven. And above all - if author favors even lower (17%?) rate, why should working people be taxed at much higher rates? The lower Corp Tax gets the more it becomes a tax shelter for the Rich. Capital Gains are not taxed on a current basis - no wonder the trend to ever-increasing inequality is intact.
WhyCorporationTaxCutsWork.pdf

Monday, 1 May 2017

Steven Mnuchin: On the components for creating economic growth

Guess Inequality would not be high on his list of arguments?
Steven Mnuchin: On the components for creating economic growth

Steve Wynn: Becoming a Real Estate and Casino Mogul

Hero Worship at the Altar of Capitalism! Readers should think they all can become another 'Mogul' - problem is the model does not work for everybody, the system basically is a feudal model where the many serve the few at the top. Capitalism is the right system, but it needs a basic rethink!
Steve Wynn: Becoming a Real Estate and Casino Mogul

Harvard Business School: positively dangerous!

Harvard promotes a sort of bastardised Capitalism. It takes the existing system for gospel truth and basically just teaches students how to press the last drop of blood out of consumers and employees - all for the greater good of a tiny (and shrinking) minority of Super Rich. No new ideas apart from the relentless drill in search of more 'efficiencies' (profits to you and me).
lHow Harvard Business School Has Reshaped American Capitalism - The New York Times

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Piketty theory not only explanation of Inequality

False triumphalism implied by headline! As the Rich own or control most if not all the media they are hanging on to any bit of 'evidence' that might justify extremes of income and wealth inequality. Of course, Piketty's theory is not the only explanation of inequality, it might not be scientific truth but it is one strand of thought that helps to explain inequality - among many others, such as legal structure of corporations, inheritance tax levels, copyright laws etc.
Sunday Times Rich List 2017: Richest people in Britain data vs Piketty theory - Business Insider

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Alphabet's chairman charged Co. $1.9 million for use of private planes

Gravediggers of Capitalism and Democracy are at work, the true "Deplorables". Anti-trust is asleep while Net Quasi Monopolies are free to harvest our cash.
Alphabet's chairman charged the company $1.9 million for use of private planes last year

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

City of London Execs: Read my Blog!

No need to panic about Brexit! I gave the verdict more than one year ago!
Brexit may not stop the EU having control over the City

Canada is launching an experiment that will give 4,000 people free money until 2020

Experiment is meaningless, participants may well be super-motivated to show that it works (for them) and try to be good members of society by pursuing paid work.
Canada is launching an experiment that will give 4,000 people free money until 2020

Friday, 21 April 2017

Population Growth - main Challenge to Future of Mankind

There may be some truth to it - Greece could probably grow out of its debt problem if population growth accelerates. But all-too-often analysts and commentators (and the politicians all over the world) see population growth as a positive. But stopping and reversing it would be the best way to stop environmental degradation!
Greeks Need To Start Having Babies Again Or Face Financial Oblivion

Population Growth often overlooked factor

The country had a population of 22 Million in 1945, latest estimate is for 2015 is 121 Million (!!), is it any surprise that many/most Developing countries are in a mess, and it is getting worse? All economic plans, reforms etc are fruitless endeavors if face of this human flood. Just imagine Switzerland with 30 Million people, of France with 210 Million!
Mexico’s Economy Is Being Plundered Dry | naked capitalism

Thursday, 20 April 2017

SURVEY: 82% of investors think more firms will set up in Europe because of Brexit

Nothing to worry about, if anything positive for UK as its firms will have to set their eyes on export markets in a more pro-active manner. Free of the cost of EU membership (mostly socialist redistribution to the unworthy) and regulation Britain should do well. Being ruled by one government rather than a committee of 27 should speed up decision making.
SURVEY: 82% of investors think more firms will set up in Europe because of Brexit

Monday, 10 April 2017

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater on human infrastructure

Well, it is ironic, but he is part of the problem, maybe even the solution. He and the like of him are sucking up the energy and the resources of the country, $1.4 billion, nice piece of change, and what did he do for it? Use the rules of the game to his advantage.
Ray Dalio of Bridgewater on human infrastructure - Business Insider

Friday, 7 April 2017

Time to ignore ridiculous #USA sanctions

Let the corrupt US politicians play their little sanction games, but the restt of the World should have the backbone to call their bluff, ignore them!

Clipping Iran's Wings - Winners & Losers From Congress' New Sanctions

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Friday, 31 March 2017

Amazon's Bezos on way to richest Man on Earth?

No surprise if AntiTrust regulators are asleep at the wheel. Separation of own-account trading and platform for third parties or you create a Monster Monopoly!
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B5550BF6C-154E-11E7-BCC7-456FC1EDA05D%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1

Apple sends warning to banks with Australian mobile payments decision

Time to get tough with the (mostly) American Oligopolies (that try to become de-facto monopolies). If Apple sells a phone it should not be allowed to control the content. In the case of payment systems there should in any case a requirement to make them open to all. There is only one telephone network for landlines, imagine the Telcos could tell you who you would be allowed to call!
So break up Apple, the USA  trustbusters of the early 19th century knew what they had to do!
Same for Google, Yahoo, Facebook - not control of search history or mixing search function with other lines of business.
Amazon should only be allowed to sell for other businesses or on its own account. Running a platform as well as a business is clearly stifling competition.
Apple sends warning to banks with Australian mobile payments decision

Monday, 27 March 2017

Pension at Center of next Crisis

The idea that the average person should be wholly/predominately responsible to save for his/her retirement is laughable. It may appeal to doctrinaire free market advocates and it certainly appeals to the providers of the many 'products' that are supposed to provide for a care-free retirement.

But much better for the state to provide a sufficient pension. Longevity and investment risks are truly shared, between all citizens and all generations. Costs are very low - no pass the parcel investment games, no expensive admin (everyone gets the same pension, higher rate taxpayers give back more than those in a low tax bracket or not liable to any income tax). This is to some extent akin to the currently debated 'Guaranteed basic income', but only applied to those already retired.

Anyone who has tried to manage his own investment portfolio will understand how difficult investing is. Even so-called professionals time and again mess up, highly acclaimed 'Masters of the Universe' in the Hedge Fund industry often produce lamentable investment returns. So pushing the masses into the investment game means they are supposed to do the equivalent of Brain Surgery on themselves.

By all means encourage people to save, but this part of their retirement provision should not benefit from overly generous tax benefits (that mostly flow to those already enjoying high incomes) and also be free from all other regulatory and bureaucratic restrictions. These additional nest-eggs can help to provide a more comfortable old age than the universal state pension will be able to provide.

48% of Americans saving for retirement are pretty sure they have no idea what they are doing (Business Insider)
Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015 (Federal Reserve)
Your Pension Will Be At The Center Of America's Next Financial Crisis

EU recommends suspending drugs tested by Indian firm

The shady side of Globalization! And why are call centres located abroad permitted by regulators?
EU recommends suspending hundreds of drugs tested by Indian firm

China: Great Internet Firewall Is a Trade Barrier

Why do we pussy-foot with Communist China? Protectionist policy eats our lunch, hollows out technical advantage, pushes ordinary workers into penury.
The Great Firewall Is a Trade Barrier - Bloomberg View

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Real Inflation out of control!

You cannot eat your mobile phone or laptop! Inept Central Banks and Politicians bleed us dry!
Cost of living data on essential household items, property, fuel, insurance - Business Insider

Friday, 24 March 2017

Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore

The idea that the average person should be wholly/predominately responsible to save for his/her retirement is laughable. It may appeal to doctrinaire free market advocates and it certainly appeals to the providers of the many 'products' that are supposed to provide for a care-free retirement.
But much better for the state to provide a sufficient pension. Longevity and investment risks are truly shared, between all citizens and all generations. Costs are very low - no pass the parcel investment games, no expensive admin (everyone gets the same pension, higher rate taxpayers give back more than those in a low tax bracket or not liable to any income tax). This is to some extent akin to the currently debated 'Guaranteed basic income', but only applied to those already retired.

Anyone who has tried to manage his own investment portfolio will understand how difficult investing is. Even so-called professionals time and again mess up, highly acclaimed 'Masters of the Universe' in the Hedge Fund industry often produce lamentable investment returns. So pushing the masses into the investment game means they are supposed to do the equivalent of Brain Surgery on themselves.

By all means encourage people to save, but this part of their retirement provision should not benefit from overly generous tax benefits (that mostly flow to those already enjoying high incomes) and also be free from all other regulatory and bureaucratic restrictions. These additional nest-eggs can help to provide a more comfortable old age than the universal state pension will be able to provide.

48% of Americans saving for retirement are pretty sure they have no idea what they are doing (Business Insider)

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015
(Federal Reserve)

Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Frankfurt is in 'pole position' in the Brexit jobs race

Been there dozens of times for business, nice people, but if anyone believes it will take over as THE major financial center I have a bridge to sell....

Frankfurt is in 'pole position' in the Brexit jobs race

How to Protect Yourself from the Looming Pension Crisis

This crisis is man-made, due to poor policies adopted on the basis of flawed ideologies. Private provision may fulfill a useful purpose allowing savers to have a more comfortable retirement. The basic pension, however, should be provided by a simple-to-run State Pension. Not means-tested, identical for all, ending all tax subsidies (only helping the better-off) for private pensions can finance a sufficient basic protection.
How to Protect Yourself from the Looming Pension Crisis

Using The Chai Latte As Replacement For The Big Mac Index

These indices are for amusement only! Most people in the less-affluent countries can only dream of buying a Big Mac or visiting Starbucks which sells 5 cents of coffee for 4 or 5 dollars

Using The Chai Latte As Replacement For The Big Mac Index

Monday, 20 March 2017

Governments Have Put the ECB in a Bind

Wrong way round! ECB allows Governments to delay or abandon any structural reforms by bailing them out, keeping rates at absurd levels and effectively stealing from Savers - most of them low or middle income citizens that benefit little from the asset bubble the Central Banks create.
Governments Have Put the ECB in a Bind

Lobster-crazy China sets record for US crustacean imports

Given the size of population they might vacuum clean the World's oceans, there needs to be a limit on fishing in the 'open oceans', 3, 10, 200 mile limits are just not enough
Lobster-crazy China sets record for US crustacean imports

Tax burden on the wealthy has trebled since the 1970s

Meaningless statistic, the wealthy also increased their share of wealth, income, so only logical their share 'burden' goes up, how about Philip Green's Monaco shifting of wealth?
Tax burden on the wealthy has trebled since the 1970s, Telegraph analysis shows

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Dystopian Future of Price Discrimination

Time for our Solons to stamp out any incipient abuses. Start with Google - ban collecting search history, ban selling slots on search results, then Amazon - break up the business, own sales and agency sales, Apple - divest from content sales
The Dystopian Future of Price Discrimination - Bloomberg ViewThe Dystopian Future of Price Discrimination - Bloomberg View

Janet Yellen: Micromanagement taken to extreme

Maybe the next step is - weekly data and adjusting Fed action accordingly? O tempora! where has intellectual honesty gone?
Janet Yellen says economic data hasn't notably strengthened - Business Insider

Friday, 10 March 2017

Calafia Beach Pundit: Richer than ever

These stats are for entertainment more than serious discourse. Say we trade all shares suddenly at twice their present worth? and do the same with Real Estate? Are we really twice as 'rich'? It is all hot air, some win at the expense of others

Calafia Beach Pundit: Richer than ever

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Confused Thinking on Pensions

Who wants to argue with mighty Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg? These Media giants dominate public discourse but I still want to put pen to paper with my five cents of wisdom:

Quo usque tandem?

The (endless) debate about pension reform would benefit if one aspect would get sufficient consideration: which of the three possible methods (DB,DC or State Pension) is CHEAPER to run? While DB providers are usually financially astute corporations - at least in most cases - and able to select providers that give decent value and performance the great unwashed public that gets shunted into Defined Contribution Schemes is easy prey for expensive providers that often do not give good performance to add insult to injury.

If you expect ordinary citizens that are not trained in financial matters to select providers and/or decide matters of asset allocation they have as much chance to get it right as if they are expected to do brain surgery on themselves..

State Pension systems should be simple to run. One large computer, a few details about each individual. No difference in benefits - the better off or those more thrifty can make additional savings to pay for the lifestyle they desire to have in retirement. When the day arrives the system will start sending out the pension, no need for lengthy and expensive verification. 0.01% should be enough to run the system - compared to fees on fees on fees for DC, and only marginally less for DB schemes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-03/the-401-k-problem-we-refuse-to-solve