Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism’

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…

 

 

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

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.

This past week, the London School of Economics, hosted an event on the Nature of Money, see details here.

One of the speakers was Dr Waltraud Schelkle, part of the LSE, an Associate Professor of Political Economy.

Please play the audio from time stamp 52.05 for a question put to the panel regarding the fraudulent aspects of the system. Dr Schelkle answers that she disagrees that the system is indeed based on deceit and she points to the ‘success’ of the Capitalist nations….

I think Susan Steed, another panellist, does an excellent job of refuting her shallow argument, without mentioning by name what I think is most key when understanding how the rich became rich…the Transatlantic Slave Trade…

I would also point the Dr to the numerous posts examining this on this blog, and will make an effort to highlight other key counterarguments in future

Fortuitously, this week I received a post from MoneyWeek entitled…”A 92bn Scam

It went on to state;

The $92 billion was income generated on the Federal Reserve’s portfolio of US government bonds. It bought vast numbers of these bonds by expanding its balance sheet and printing money. The government then paid interest on those bonds. That interest is the Federal Reserve’s return. That return is then passed back to the government as an important source of income.

To be clear, this is the state creating money from nothing… to lend to itself… to then pay interest on… and then use that interest as another source of revenue. That’s Deep State financial policy.

Misrepresenting transactions, making it seem as though the government is solvent when it is using a glorified Ponzi scheme…..that’s Fraud in my book.

Imaging rights? Monetising the right to use your likeness…even when you are dead….they say money never sleeps, well it doesn’t much die either

Muhammed Ali sold his rights while he was alive….but now he has passed, it will continue to be used. Much like the rights of Elvis Presley which have financially benefitted his estate long after his death.

The ability to recreate an actors image from CGI…most recently seen by the reimaging of Peter Cushing’s Star Wars character is also not a new thing, but something which is becoming increasingly believable and sophisticated, and therefore a potential market exists which can only become more lucrative for the living celebrities who have distinctly popular images.

This allows people to ‘trade’ on their own image, in life and increasingly, in death. Creating revenue streams beyond your physical presence, or even your own labour, in this life.

In an earlier blog, I mentioned how money defies the some of the basic laws of the created realm, notably the way it is created…out of nothing

It seems it can cheat death now too

 

As the new calendar year opens and the prior year draws to a close, many media slots are filled with both reviews of the past 12 months and predictions for the coming period.

In a year which has shattered any pretence, if there was indeed any in the first place, that certain qualified professionals have an innate ability to understand and predict future events and trends more so than those not so versed, I find it bewildering how the routine of setting predications continues apace.

Yet, nothings changes with the time and space given to these commentators. Does this suggest that we are simply suffering the fall out of the media’s own making?

Does it become a necessary exercise in futility that cannot be undone. People are paid to ply their trade, plenty of investors hoping to be the early bird yearn for such opinion, however what fundamentals change with the ticking of the clock past midnight on the 31st of December….none. Events occur at various moments, they may be game changers, or just another part of an ongoing trend, but until such time, why do many of us become caught up, entangled, in the futility of reviewing for only the sake of review? Until material events take place, should the consensus be the same from one small moment to the next?

With the amount of opinions available, getting the right outcome then becomes a sure fire way to earn a name for yourself…and then ensure others listen to you the next time. It will also set yourself apart from others and thus raise your status even further, allowing one to earn a greater share of the pie.

But the emphasis seems to be to write for the sake of writing, to pick winners or make new observations, not because anything has changed, but because of the need to make a statement, an observation or raise an issue not already discussed. Because the machine is too bloated and it needs more junk to feed on, many are only too pleased to oblige, and before we know it, we don’t have quality research on the market, we have noise. Distracting garbage probably not worth the paper its written on, something to separate the herd from the those with an eagle eye.

No-one can be right all the time, and no-one can rightly claim to know more than their peers. And yet in a year such as 2016 when eggs have been freely spread over the faces of our esteemed experts no such change is thought to be appropriate this time around.

Sometimes, less is needed, not more. Sometimes no comments are more insightful than the need to fill a void, to sell more observations to the detriment of the ordinary investor. I find a great connection here to the fact that even in an information age, with so much growing information at the tips of our fingers, we are arguably becoming ever more ignorant, being drowned in distraction not clarity. Look at the clamour of reporters trying to decipher from the tiniest inferences from Central Bank Governors as to the perceived direction of rates and the economy….there is just too much at stake not to be overzealous in this regard.

Will we think back to the remarkable number of events throughout modern history when the herd were quite disastrously wrong (EU Single Currency argument ?), or is this too just many people buying the trash up for sale. Perhaps we have never been accurate at all but the blurred reality shown to us is one that most experts get it right… mostly, but who’s really keeping check?

I wonder how the future will pan out…..let me see what those in the know are saying….?