Category Archives: Financial News

Economy for the Common Good in a nutshell

A very feasible model, indeed

Economy for the Common Good is far more practical and feasible than its somewhat utopian name may suggest. It is not about building castles in the air, it is a really well thought out and down-to-Earth model. Short and plain:
Do you want to produce goods and services flouting labour rights or polluting our planet? No problem: go ahead.
Do you want to sell your products or services in our market, too? All right, just do it.
Just one thing: we will tax your products 20 times higher than any other respectful products, so yours will be way more expensive on the market. Besides by means of a code (similar to a colour barcode), consumers will be able to see at a glance to what extent each product respects a series of ethical and environmental principles.
Isn’t your company transparent? Well, you can’t sell your products or services on our market. Sorry, mate!
Thus, if you want to make a profit, you will necessarily increase the common good in the process.
Result: if these are the new rules of the game, any entrepreneur, no matter how unscrupulous they are, will be willing to comply with the new legal framework so that their products and services are competitive on the market. It is a system that rewards the good businessperson and punishes predators, with the aim of benefiting the whole community. You can get rich, of course, but the only way to achieve it is by making a positive contribution. Economy for the Common Good calls for reevaluating economic relations by, for example, putting limits on financial speculation and encouraging companies to produce socially-responsible products.
So Economy of the Common Good is about changing the rules of the game, not the entire system. It is feasible because it only depends on political will.

So, at the end of the day, It is a model that juggles the legitimate aspiration to prosper and environmental awareness around to fit all human needs in. Furthermore, both liberals and left-wingers could agree upon such principles. How good can you have it?

Yanis Varoufakis on Universal Basic Income

Guaranteed Minimum Income, Universal Basic Income and Universal Basic Dividend

In the midst of the worst global pandemic since the 1918 flu — inappropriately named Spanish flu, since it didn’t originate in Spain—  some countries such as the USA are implementing economic emergency measures or, if you like, actions, to prevent millions of citizens from going bankrupt. In a sense, it could be argued that it is similar to a Guaranteed Minimum Income.

Meanwhile, the European Union, to put it mildly, doesn’t cut the mustard and is disappointing everybody once again: uncoordinated, lacking in solidarity, aimless, drifting… In one word: lame.

It is in this context that we should listen to the ones that got it right during the last financial crisis; people like Yanis Varoufakis, an eminent Greek economist, academic, philosopher and politician.

But before going into further details, we should know what we are talking about. First of all, we must distinguish between the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) and the Universal Basic Income (UBI). Afterwards we can tackle the Universal Basic Dividend brought forward by Professor Varoufakis.

Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI), also called minimum income, is a system of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by the following: citizenship, a means test, and either availability for the labor market or a willingness to perform community services. The primary goal of a guaranteed minimum income is to reduce poverty. If citizenship is the only requirement, the system turns into a universal basic income.

On the other hand, Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a model for providing all citizens with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status. The purpose of the UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens.

That said, let’s pay close attention to what Professor Varoufakis has to say:

So, according to the renowned economist, the Universal Basic Income shouldn’t come from taxation, since it might become a source of conflicts within the working class. He points out that nowadays capital is socially produced, so he brings forward the idea of a Universal Basic Dividend where a percentage of shares of all companies should go to a public equity trust that works as a wealth fund for society. The dividends should be distributed to every member of society equally, so the income comes from return of capital, not from taxation.

Contrary to what many may think, Varoufakis is for a global governance. He is not against free trade, but he stresses that it should be accompanied by binding rules in order to avoid social dumping.

One thing is for sure: something must be done, asap. Countries can’t just let their people and SMEs go bankrupt overnight. We might be about to face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and this pandemic and its consequent lockdown could take a while. Util we don’t have a vaccine, what can’t be cured, must be endured, and unprecedented economic measures must be put into effect. A more egalitarian society fits everyone, since it means a more stable, safe, human and prosperous society. For once, let’s be smart. We are in this crisis together and we will come out of it together. There is no other way.

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What impact will new coronavirus Covid-19 have on my job?

Translators, financiers, copywriters, teachers, coaches… Are they safe?

Here is an estimate of the effect the current pandemic is likely to have on your job. Many people are fearful of the economic consequences Covid-19 may bring about in the near future. Few times has a virus had such a dramatic impact on the world economy.

Even so, I’d like to emphasize that every cloud has a silver lining and that after the storm comes the calm. So… chin up!

As you may imagine, those who are already teleworking are likely to be less affected by the current situation.

On the contrary, those with a customer-oriented job are more exposed to layoffs and hiring freezes.

As for self-employed workers, as in the case of salaried employees, it depends largely on whether they have remote jobs or they need to be physically present in the place where they need to carry out their professional activity.

Those who work from home or remote, such as translators, copywriters, transcriptionists, writers, web developers, social media managers, community managers, designers, virtual assistants, online brokers, bloggers, youtubers, online marketers, remote customer service representatives, online coaches… can breathe a sigh of relief. Their jobs are not particularly at risk. Needless to say, since we operate in an interconnected global economy, remote workers could suffer some collateral damage, but, at the end of the day, they are in an advantageous position.

On the other end, those who have a customer-oriented job and can’t work remote, such as hotel clerks, receptionists, bank tellers, front desk managers, waiters, flight attendants, liaison interpreters or conference interpreters who need to be in situ, account coordinators, client relation specialists, teachers, coaches, event managers, event planners… could go through hard times, specially if they are freelancers.

coronavirus covid-19 impact on jobs influence in jobs affect jobs consequences work unemployed unemployment
Examples
Safe zone: remote web developers on the payroll
Relatively safe: translators working for a number of agencies and companies
Uncertainty zone: waiters
Danger zone: Event organizers

So the most vulnerable part of the spectrum are self-employed freelancers working in customer-oriented jobs, whereas the safest part are those who work remote for companies which service or activity doesn’t involve a good deal of personal attention or contact.

Manufacturing and construction may wait to make decisions on layoffs. On the other hand, many employees in the tourism industry could be laid off since many countries are closing borders and advising citizens not no travel to avoid catching the virus and spreading it. It may have a dramatic impact on certain countries where tourism is a substantial share of the GDP such as Spain, Greece, Dominican Republic…

For better or worse, health professionals can count themselves “lucky”, at least in the foreseeable future. We can’t thank them enough and I can’t stress enough how important it is to protect our public health care. This virus has been a frightening wake-up call. All developed countries must provide a universal health care coverage, otherwise it is not only unethical and utterly immoral, but also extremely dangerous for both the rich and the poor.

In spite of everything, as Victor Hugo put it, Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. So fingers crossed and best of luck to you all!

Take care.

Sources:

New York Times
The Economist
Forbes
Entrepreneur
The Financial Times
Le Monde
Die Zeit
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Kreatings, an ingenious new way of raising money for your ideas

Kreatings, an amazing crowdfunding platform

Do you have an idea? Would you like to see it become a reality? Oh, yes, come to think of it, you need to raise money first to take it forward… But don’t worry, I have some great news. There is a ground-breaking new platform called kreatings.com that may come in really handy!

100% Free for fundraisers

It is a new and different crowdfunding platform where you can raise money to make your ideas a reality. Kreatings is a donation and reward based crowdfunding platform. It is a Keep it all platform, meaning that funds can be raised without fees and penalties —as opposed to other platforms— even if the campaign goal is not reached. It charges 0% fees for fundraisers and has the lowest transaction fees on the market. In addition, Kreating is a good way of launching a project, so that you can test a new idea and connect with a community that wants to see it succeed. So it helps you get started not only with funding, but also with your first users or followers. Just imagine having a community even before your idea becomes a reality!

Launch your project with Kreatings!

go to Kreatings

As you may know, I have written about the blockchain on this blog, so one thing that really blows my mind about this platform is that you can operate with cryptocurrencies. You can receive contributions in various cryptocurrencies immediately from around the world with no fees or fraud problems. However, you can still contribute to the projects you like in fiat money, which gives the platform more flexibility and renders it more user-friendly.

Afterwards you can share your campaign through social networks in a simple way to receive more contributions.

All you need to do is fill in a form provided by kreatings and submit your idea to allow contributors to have a more precise view of the project. It doesn’t take much time.

Last but not least, the icing of the cake: you have access to campaign statistics and technical support, which is crucial to take your fundraising action forward.

I strongly recommend Kreatings because it is not only a Keep it all platform, but also because it is innovative, based on the blockchain and user-friendly.

As Steve Jobs once said: have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

So… what are you waiting for? Visit Kreatings.com and get the ball rolling!

How can we avoid the next financial meltdown?

How the rich get richer – money in the world economy

I strongly recommend this excellent and thorough TV report produced by Germany’s public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

The starting point is the map of the current situation: exploding real estate prices, zero interest rate and a rising stock market – the rich are getting richer. What danger lies in wait for average citizens? The fiscal policies of the central banks are causing an uncontrolled global deluge of money. For years, the world’s central banks have been pursuing a policy of cheap money. The first and foremost is the ECB (European Central Bank), which buys bad stocks and bonds to save banks, tries to fuel economic growth and props up states that are in debt. But what relieves state budgets to the tune of hundreds of billions annoys savers: interest rates are close to zero.

This substantial piece of work goes beyond the surface and makes concrete and logical suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

The bottom line is that the interests of the financial industry have determined developments in politics and society for far too long and it’s high time we did something about it.

Two things are for certain:

  • The sick financial system is going to cost us a lot of money.
  • The current deregulated financial system is very likely to lead to the next disaster.

As the report states, we need a different system, but it would be enough if we just returned to what we had: highly regulated financial markets and a banking sector under control and whose purpose was to serve people and companies.

It reminds us that we have to reign in the world’s financial system, but exactly the opposite is happening in the United States under Donald Trump.

To make the system safer for people like that envisaged by the Swiss initiative —the report you can watch below provides further details about it— could be one building block.

It moots that states have to reduce their massive debts since it’s the only way we can curb this deluge of money and break through the spiral of loans. The presenter goes on saying that we need international debt conferences where states mutually waive their debts. At the end of the day, It’s us, the people, who foot the bill.

The report also puts new ideas forward, namely, that big banks must cover their loans with more of their own capital than they do today, that we need to have a global tax on financial transactions and that money needs to go to places where it benefits society… for our future’s sake.

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IOTA (MIOTA)

IOTA, the next boom?

Many think that 2018 will be the year of IOTA and its currency MIOTA. To be honest, It blew my mind when I first learned about IOTA: a crypto which in spite of not being based on blockchain, increases transaction speed and does not need either miners or fees? WOW!!!! Can it be real?… Is MIOTA silently eating other cryptos’ lunch?

iotacoin

IOTA is focused on providing secure communications and payments between machines on the Internet of Things. It has a market cap of roughly $14 billion. I first heard about this coin when Bosch corporation acquired a large number of MIOTA tokens in 2017.

miota
                The Internet of things

Iota makes use of distributed ledgers. As I said before, unlike most cryptos, it does not use blockchain. Instead, it uses a technology its developers call the tangle, wich is based on a mathematical concept known as DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). This design is what distinguishes MIOTA from other cryptos.

IOTA TANGLE
IOTA TANGLE

IOTA does not need miners, so there are no fees either. IOTA is 100% free to use, but it is still decentralised. Everybody plays an equal role in the network. Any time a transaction is made, the issuer must help authenticate to prevuious and also random transactions. It uses a series of cryptographic algorithms along with many other sophisticated techniques to do this work. Any device can manage it without too much effort.

A network like IOTA supports and facilitates a machine to machine economy and allows for two important features: microtransactions and speed (TSS, Transactions per Second). The more people that use the network the faster it becomes. That’s why, in the near future,  I dare say IOTA has good chances to become the underlying protocol behind the next revolution: the internet of things.

Proz webinar

If you are interested in getting some MIOTA you can get them on  Binance. Please note that you must buy MIOTA with ETH or BTC, so you will need to transfer them from another exchange or wallet.

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Get free bitcoin worth $10 

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The European Debt Crisis: Fiscal Union or Breakup

The European Debt Crisis

EU: Fiscal Union or Breakup

my opinion

Creating a monetary union without a fiscal union was certainly getting off on the wrong foot. We have recently seen how the UK’s left the EU in the lurch after a surprising outcome of the referendum (arguably against their own interests). But there’s no use crying over spilled milk. At this point, rather than focusing on blaming one another and letting the sparks fly, we should consider the most urgent measures to be taken.

The crux of the matter is that there is no system in place to prevent the European debt crisis from breaking out again. As things look at the moment, it is highly likely that in the next few years we fall into the same debt trap, with all the suffering, sacrifice and cutbacks it entails. Amazingly, such tax harmonisation is still up in the air.

One thing is for sure: the euro area requires a fiscal union to match its monetary union. There must be an entity with the ability to implement fiscal policy throughout the European Union, raising taxes and setting laws when necessary. That would be the way of preventing excessive borrowing and spending.

As one may expect, in some member states of the EU it would be a very unpopular step to take, because it would mean to hand over more national sovereignty to a supranational entity. As we have seen, it is common among the extreme right to blame the EU —and, of course, immigrants— for the nation’s ills, even when it has little or no connection at all. Nevertheless, It is an easy way to capture the gut reaction votes from an often uninformed society.

On the other hand, further redistributive polices are required to ensure social justice. As a matter of fact, these are precisely the sort of measures which can project a more sympathetic image of the European institutions. As I see it, MEPs should take this consideration on board and start racking their brains to design a sound fiscal union if they don’t want to face disaster. We cannot push the issue onto the back burner any longer.

While the future of the Union is at stake, the lack of leadership is a troubling indicator of the big gap between institutions and citizens. Whether the EU will do what it takes to create a centralized fiscal policy or the monetary union will break up, remains to be seen.

financial translation

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How can we avoid the next financial meltdown?