Economic Articles from 2015

Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador

Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador
By Ellen Brown
Posted December 17, 2015

reinventing bankingIceland’s government is considering a revolutionary monetary proposal – removing the power of commercial banks to create money and handing it to the central bank. The proposal, which would be a turnaround in the history of modern finance, was part of a report written by a lawmaker from the ruling centrist Progress Party, Frosti Sigurjonsson, entitled “A better monetary system for Iceland.

The findings will be an important contribution to the upcoming discussion, here and elsewhere, on money creation and monetary policy,” Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said. The report, commissioned by the premier, is aimed at putting an end to a monetary system in place through a slew of financial crises, including the latest one in 2008. More…

The One Bank, Revisited

The One Bank, Revisited
by Jeff Nielson
Posted December 16, 2015

the one bankApproximately two years ago; a commentary was published entitled “The One Bank”. The empirical foundation for the article (and the paradigm) was an extensive computer model, produced by a trio of academics at a university in Switzerland, and originally reviewed in an article from Forbes.

The gist of the computer modeling was that a single “super-entity”, by itself, controlled roughly 40% of the global economy. The term “super-entity” is simply a synonym for monopoly. The research further stipulated that ¾ of the 140+ (gigantic) corporate fronts which comprised this mega-monopoly were financial intermediaries (i.e. banks), hence the title, The One Bank. More…

Benefits For Cities and Municipalities Of a Public Bank

Benefits For Cities and Municipalities Of a Public Bank
by Mike Krauss, Steve Snyder and Nancy Goldner
Posted December 13, 2015

municiapl bondThis article contains key questions and answers for elected officials, policy makers, treasury staff, bankers, taxpayers and oters. The American people in cities and communities throughout our nation need a strong local banking industry, free of the destructive practices of Wall Street. Local Banks distribute the sustainable and affordable credit our local economies need. Local banks working in partnership with public banks are able to lend additional funds and, in contrast to Wall Street, their profits
do not depend on reckless risk taking.

The result is a more democratic and prosperous local economy in which the benefits are shared by all. And it is within reach. Across the nation, in more than twenty states and a growing list of municipalities, support is growing for the creation of public, “partnership” banks, based, in part, on the model of the hugely effective Bank of North Dakota. More…

Anatomy of an Oligopoly: the Beer Industry

Anatomy of an Oligopoly: the Beer Industry
by Jeff Nielson
Posted December 10, 2015

beer controlled by oligopolyWhy has the standard of living across most of the Western world fallen by more than half over the past 40+ years? Why is Western unemployment at an all-time high, with more than 100 million permanently unemployed people who are not allowed to work? Why does most brand-name beer taste like swill?

Most readers will see no connection between these questions. Some will see a connection between the first and second, and very few will see a common link between all three. In fact, we can answer all of these questions (at least in part) the same way, and the answer is spelled O-L-I-G-O-P-O-L-Y.

Let’s take a moment for the definition of terms. An oligopoly is where a handful of corporations (or corporate fronts) have total control over a particular industry or sector. Once they have such control, these corporations inevitably engage in predatory behavior, such as price-gouging consumers and bribing public officials in order to obtain preferential treatment. More…

Why Does America Need a New Monetary System?

Why Does America Need a New Monetary System?
by Byron Dale
Posted December 8, 2015

America needs a new monetary systemOur founding fathers declared that governments are instituted to secure certain unalienable Rights. Among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Certainly in modern America, our monetary system and the principles under which it functions are fundamental to our liberty, our capacity to take care of ourselves, our families and our ability to pursue and realize our dreams and ambitions.

The question we must ask ourselves is: What are the principles under which our monetary system functions? When we think about our present money system and monetary principles, we need to ask ourselves a few questions. Would you agree with me that there is a huge governmental debt? Do you also understand that the private sector debt is over 5 times greater than the public debt? Very few have ever thought about how much debt there is in the private sector. Most people are shocked to learn there is well over 60 trillion ‘dollars’ of private and public debts (2011 year end figures). More…

America’s 20 richest people have more money than these 152 million people

America’s 20 richest people have more money than these 152 million people
By Quentin Fottrell
Posted December 3, 2015

extreme wealthThis statistic might even make the 1% feel humbled.

America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit in one Gulfstream G650 jet — are now worth $732 billion, which means they have more wealth than the 152 million people who make up the least wealthy 50% of U.S. households, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies. What’s more, the “Forbes 400” wealthiest individuals in the U.S. now have a net worth of $2.34 trillion.

“There is a growing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands,” says Josh Hoxie, who heads up the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the institute. More…

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