It has been oft repeated that in our democratic, liberal societies, the few have greater power over the many

Is it the top 1% that owns a greater share of the capital and wealth than the remaining 99%? It is interesting to think of how many of these ‘many verses few’ statistics genuinely exist when analysing our reality

Given the freedom to own property and generate capital, which can indeed be a positive thing, to what extent is this so open to abuse that the rules of the game were never really meant to create fairness and a degree of equality? Is human nature, which is left unchecked, too prone to avarice that such freedoms will always result in a small elite hungry to capture ever more resources than required?

This is not another post looking to promote controlled economies,  however its purpose is to illustrate that, with the best of intensions, will some freedoms, when applied to a population shaped and conformed to behave in a certain manner, always result in a pyramidical structure taking shape where these conditions exist? Is this shape the overriding effect of all the freedoms at our disposal? Consider the following;

Top Asset Management firms by total value of assets under management

Think about what this data is actually telling us; when asset managers acquire equity, or interest in another business enterprise, they take a degree of ownership in that firm. Thereby, over time and because of the funds that flow to these giant institutions, the few in combination, have ended up in a position of ‘owning’ in part or in full, the many corporations that they have a share in – allowing them to ascend to the top of the pyramid; the few owning much greater proportion combined than the many. It also follows that this leads to a common source of control and influence across an economy/region given this limited pool of effective ownership.

Another perspective on this could be that much of this capital originates from the mass population who are the ultimate owners, through their long term savings and pension provisions invested with these providers. Therefore, is this an attempt to invert the structure, allowing the many to benefit? I would argue not, the masses, when considered individually, on average, do not financially benefit as much as the managers who take material cuts from the pool of funds at their disposal. Often their reward incentives are not adequately aligned with the retail investors at large, allowing the elite to become disproportionally better off than the investors who are searching for gains. The small investor is also not the party which excercises the controlling power.

In addition to this asset ownership, consider more generally, how much land the few own in comparison to the larger population, the size of GDP of the few regions compared to the many, the distribution of resources, the access to what is classed as the best quality of education, the trend continues and the structure that we can continually see forming is that of a top down, hierarchical pyramid – it should be clear from such insights what the ultimate power structure of the contemporary world is and what the fruits of everybody’s efforts are really delivering.

 

 

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For anyone not familiar with the work of Ann Pettifor – one of the few to correctly call the coming of the financial crisis a number of years prior to it arriving, and one of the main proponents of the Jubilee 2000 campaign which cancelled a portion of third world debt – please search for her various articles, lectures and opinions online.

Associated with Keynesian economics and the Labour party, her views may be dismissed by some, however upon closer inspection, I was interested in her view on the creation of money, and what this meant for resolving the debt and economic problems facing the developing world.

She is principally part of the PRIME think tank/research group, which has a number of papers on its site proving an alternative voice on economic issues

The above lecture at the LSE discusses her latest book, ‘The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers’, and gives an insight into her theories.

What I wish to highlight, are the following;

  • The issue of commodity money, and how scarce resources should not be used as a basis of any monetary system
  • The recognition that a fiat monetary system, can and should be used for the benefit of the population – outside the control of private banks, but in the knowledge that an entirely man-made system should be used to achieve a level of prosperity in all societies
  • There are certainly many socialist aspects to these beliefs, such as exerting capital controls and spending money into existence in terms of health, education and social expenditure thus increasing national debt, however interest ideally should not be necessary when such a system is implemented
  • There are some similarities with what Positive Money are advocating, but it seems there are specific differences, as this discussion points out…

 

 

The findings imply that Islamic banks are not different from conventional banks, except for different branding to cater for a different category of clients

(INCEIF 2016)

A 2016 study in Malaysia, one of the most prominent centres for Islamic Finance, compared the two kinds of institution in order to ascertain if the difference between the two are genuine or merely superficial. It lends weight to the latter judgement.

What does this say about the industry from a body set up to proliferate the understanding of it? Learn more about the ICEIF here

By following the money trail it is possible to  discover how intertwined British Imperialism was with its emergence as an economic power and the prosperity created for the nation.

Please read the following eight short pieces by James Walvin, on the monuments and show pieces across Britain and the people behind them, all connected to various trades directly linked to Slavery.

I will continue to explore this topic in a number of posts in future under a similar title

Depending on when you want to mark the start of what has become known as the Financial Crisis or even the Great Recession..(take your pick, or make one up), or as I would refer to it, the shit storm created from the exuberance of one generation thinking they can out do the folly of previous generations and become gods amoung men, see point 25 in the link below

I guess they’re not really the Masters of the Universe, they’re maybe not even smart people, perhaps closer to the opposite despite their highly valued creditials

This month marks a particular 10 year anniversary of one such start date of the crisis…we’ll get another 10 year anniversary next year if you miss this one, that one being the big one – when Lehmans went down.

This link is similar to a number of articles circulating over this period around what went wrong and what has changed since then that will probably make it impossible to happen again….I won’t hold my breath

Whatever has happened, the most fundamental fact that should be lamented is that the world is more indebted than ever…national debts have ballooned, fiat currencies are more debased than ever and emergency interest rates are still prevalent.

This danger is ever present, waiting to fuel the next severe economic breakdown, because the greatest lesson from the fallout is that crashes of this extent will always happen, constantly…it’s just a matter of time and behaviour

VIEW: Banking on Bitcoin

Posted: September 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

Banking on Bitcoin Poster

Set before the 2017 hyper boom in all things cryptocurrency related and the continued emergence of crypto’s as a mainstream asset, in which nation states and renowned private institutions announcing various block chain initiatives and giving their approval for greater adoption, this documentary gives a good life to date overview of this particular crypto coin and all the developments to do with exchanges, regulation and scandals that have thus far taken place.

Worth a watch – I find the following items interesting;

  • Why is there still so much mystery in terms of the founder of this technology. A potential unmasking of the founder has not quelled this speculation, much is still unknown about his identity. Do not ask what is Bitcoin, but rather, who is Bitcoin

 

  • Its worthwhile noting that even at the accelerated pace of online evolution these days, that a number of large scandals have already taken place….yet this has not permanently damaged the lure of Bitcoin or any other crypto….yet it does clearly show that these can be highly speculative and abused just like any other asset.

 

Assuming one can get around the root of the matter (which you can’t since these are facts which have not been questioned, rather they have been accepted by the practitioners themselves throughout history), which is; Money is fictitious, no intrinsic value, it is fiat, it is always loaned into existence – all money is interest bearing, furthermore, money is of (created from) interest itself, consider the following points which I would like to highlight in order to put the concept of these debt products into perspective;

  • These creations are based/modelled on debt products. The conventional guise of this instrument is an interest bearing debt, the sharia equivalent must mimic all of these qualities, and perform for the same uses ie. it is the same product by a different name (= DECEIT)
  • All cash flows, or rather ‘Rent’/’Profit Share’ must be benchmarked against the prevailing risk free rate, or the yield must meet a company’s cost of capital requirements and therefore all cash flows, whatever their innocent sounding names, are embedded with interest. Remember, an interest rate is itself is comprised of the risk free rate, a risk premium and a profit margin. Without this, the whole reason behind ‘Islamic Finance’ goes out the window – it must meet a clients required return in comparison to other assets/products that can match yield available
  • These are still IOUs, adding to the proliferation of debt based financing  – in a system/world which is created of and from Debt. Again, remember that one of the needs which spurred creation of this product was the need to raise/take advantage of, surplus capital in a particular demographic/region considering that which was already available elsewhere, or not easily available rather. The status quo of building ever higher mountains of obligations still stands true.

I hope to be able to build upon this argument in future posts…..