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.

 

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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…..

The IIBI (Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance) hosted a lecture by Iqbal Asaria recently, for which I received this IIBI promotional mail.

I would like to draw your attention to the doubt cast upon the basis of the entire industry highlighted below;

Islamic finance has often been promoted as inherently ethical and therefore aligned with responsible finance. However, this claim rings hollow once one examines the actual workings of Islamic financial institutions.  The ethical content in their operations is very marginal and the claims look hollow.

From an established industry insider, this opinion carries some weight and once again is evidence of the reality being far from the projected image of this sector

Iqbal adds his concern to those of a number of others who have also exposed the underlying workings of Islamic Finance

https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/macroeconomics/monetary-system-topic/fractional-reserve-banking-tut/v/overview-of-fractional-reserve-banking

This praiseworthy organisation is known for providing free, all accessible learning for everyone on a range of core topics.

It does a sterling job of condensing hard to understand subjects, into bite size, digestible knowledge

Few areas have escaped its coverage, and I was fascinated to discover a number of sessions on Banking and Money.

The attached video is one of a three part series explaining how money is created by the private banks, something most people still know little about. This touches many key areas such explaining what Money is, how it actually works and raising valid questions about alternatives.

It doesn’t stop there, you can search for further tutorials on more how banks work, and again how they create money, as well as other technical aspects of the money supply, to name one example.

Its always good to see those of understanding laying bare these facts in a plain manner demonstrating just how easy it is to lift the veil which seems to cover these elements of a modern economy.

What do we mean by Progress?

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Geo Politics
Tags: ,

I read a piece published by MoneyWeek which made me ponder about how many of us understanding the term ‘Progress’

It was Isaac Newton who is quoted as saying; “If I have seen further , it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, itself a paraphrase of an older quote by John of Salisbury….

This made me think that progress can never be the achievement of one people at any one time or era. We are all in this race, progress is attributable to many of us, each taking our own steps, making our mark and then either explicitly or implicitly passing on our achievements to those who come after us.

Can we really attribute ALL prosperity to a single people(s) or even a single idea, or system, unless, this starting point was fully formed from the beginning?

When economic and intellectual progress is considered, let us not simply reward modern day Europe in all its guises. What of the ancient Indus Valley, Mesopotamian and Nile River civilisations who gained from their respective predecessors. What of Ancient China and the Far East, what of the Ancient Africans, of which their accomplishments are unsung, for did they not make great strides in their own right before handing over to Ancient Greece or Rome. Did the Muslims not preserve this knowledge before adding to it for the ‘Enlightened’ Europeans to take hold of everything that came before?

The baton will continue to be passed, for we all participate in this race. Yet for some, this rac(e)ial identity will be used to define our place and our achievements. 

Realise the lens with which we view our collective place in this world and our progress.

Too good not to share….you would think the public at large would notice something that big….guess not

There is only us people here…

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Monetary System
Tags: , ,

There are no such things as ‘Corporations’. These entities only exist on paper in legal form, in reality, companies are just people some of whom fulfill multiple functions; employees, customers, shareholders. Some customers are employees. Some are both that and shareholders….where are the incentives and who are the ultimate beneficiaries therefore? If you fine a company, or tax it, the customers and the employees are the ones that foot the bill.

There are no such things as ‘The State’. They are just legal entities, sometimes, not always, bound together by another legally binding piece of paper, called a constitution, but who are the governments, the police and the army…they are same people who pay taxes, vote and follow the law? If a government takes on debt, it’s the citizens who pay it off.

Any institution is made up of only people. Behind the logo, behind the image and the advertisements and the facade…there are only people

And what of ‘The Market’….no it is not some miraculous spirit, beyond the flaws of human behaviour….it is made up of irrational humans itself, subject to whims like anything else, sometimes herd mentality will run supreme, other times we may get genuine independent movement, however let us not be fooled that it is not subject to manipulation and power plays, just like any other area of human activity.

But here’s a preview: it comes down to the fact that the people “in charge” of the economy fundamentally misunderstand it. We call it the machine metaphor: thinking of the economy as a machine with levers and pedals and gauges that can be operated to make it run faster. Of course the economy isn’t. It’s much closer to a natural ecosystem, made up of the free decision-making of millions of people.

In the machine economy, you become a cog. The state becomes the operator. It’ll pull whatever levers it can to try and make the machine run the way it wants. If that destroys a cog, so be it – the machine itself is more important.

Nick O’Connor, MoneyWeek

Prices change expectations (or perhaps “beliefs” is a better word), which change behaviour. Behaviour changes prices, which change expectations/beliefs. On and on it goes.

John Stepek, MoneyWeek

These are all examples of constructs; created structures that man builds and then becomes oppressed by. Invisible to the eye yet all encompassing, let us not be fooled in believing in apparitions….. some people think that is what ‘religion’ is for.

Who are the clergy, the establishment, the monarchs…..they are just people too. The consume, defecate, procreate and expire

Do not fear that which we create and build with out own hands and minds.