Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records too. In June, our screens were covered with surreal images of flooding in Paris, the Seine bursting its banks and flowing into the streets. In London, floods sent water pouring into the tube system right in the heart of Covent Garden.
And what about the money? On September 15, 2008, six years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed. Despite a “tsunami” of reforms, the financial system has not been transformed. To change finance, there might be a need to change our basic understanding of the financial system. This come-back to fundamentals has led reformers as well as central bankers to focus on money itself. How It Fits Together——QE, Deflation And Malinvestment Recently we have come across a very interesting article by Lee Adler, which discusses the connection between the Fed’s money printing activities and the shale oil boom. In this context the possibility is mentioned that QE may actually contribute to “creating deflation”. Obviously, we agree with many, in fact with the vast majority of the points made by Lee Adler in his article. Money printing always diverts investment into lines that later on turn out to be unprofitable, precisely because it distorts relative prices in the economy.
More on the European Bank Bailout Cross-posted from Credit Writedowns Overnight, a group of us were exchanging e-mails on the recent coordinated central bank action to provide European banks the funding being denied them by the markets. I haven’t been active on the e-mail chain, but I did find some of the commentary interesting. Is the Library of Things an answer to our peak stuff problem? The carpet is filthy. Guests are about to arrive. You have several choices: buy a carpet cleaning machine (around £130 upwards), pay for a professional cleaning company (about £40), or rent a machine from a private hire firm (around £29 for two days). Or, if you live in West Norwood, just pop down the road and borrow one for £9. How Uber and the Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulators - Sarah Cannon, and Lawrence H. Summers Sharing economy firms are disrupting traditional industries across the globe. For proof, look no further than Airbnb which, at $10 billion, can boast a higher valuation than the Hyatt hotel chain. Uber is currently valued at $18.2 billion relative to Hertz at $12.5 billion and Avis at $5.2 billion.
The ECB should further ease monetary policy. Inflation at 0.8% across the Eurozone is below the target of ‘close to 2%’, and unemployment in most countries is still high. Under the current conditions, it is hard for the periphery countries to bring their costs the rest of the way back down to internationally competitive levels as they need to do. If the Bank of England is going to do more QE, it should get ultra adventur The Bank of England. As regular readers will know, I'm not in favour of a new programme of "quantitative easing" for the UK in current circumstances. Not until there is an extreme deflationary threat does it strike me as warranted. That moment may come soon enough, but we are not yet there. Yet perhaps I've been a little too dogmatic here, for I have assumed that any fresh programme of QE from the Bank of England would, as before, target mainly UK government bonds (gilt edged stock), where yields are already at record lows and where adding yet another source of demand to markets where investors seem unprepared to invest in anything else other than gilts would seem to be close to insane. If the rate of interest on bonds is already close to zero, it's not clear that pushing it marginally lower still would persuade investors to put their money in higher risk assets.
Radical new economic system will emerge from collapse of capitalism At the very moment of its ultimate triumph, capitalism will experience the most exquisite of deaths. This is the belief of political adviser and author Jeremy Rifkin, who argues the current economic system has become so successful at lowering the costs of production that it has created the very conditions for the destruction of the traditional vertically integrated corporation. Rifkin, who has advised the European Commission, the European Parliament and heads of state, including German chancellor Angela Merkel, says: No one in their wildest imagination, including economists and business people, ever imagined the possibility of a technology revolution so extreme in its productivity that it could actually reduce marginal costs to near zero, making products nearly free, abundant and absolutely no longer subject to market forces.
Can companies do better by doing less? In mainstream economics and politics, “growth” is a largely unquestioned good, generally associated with positive attributes like “progress” or “innovation”. “Degrowth”, on the other hand, connotes negative trends like recession, decline, unemployment and social disruption. Viewed from this angle, the idea of voluntary degrowth seems bizarre. This basic economic principle that private savings finance public deficit and current account surpluses is of crucial importance for understanding the euro crisis and the drivers of government bond yields. In the introductory chapter we said: Trade balances reflect the ability of local private and public companies to make higher profits compared to the international competition.
Bank Runs: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics A run on a bank occurs when a large number of depositors, fearing that their bank will be unable to repay their deposits in full and on time, simultaneously try to withdraw their funds immediately. This may create a problem because banks keep only a small fraction of deposits on hand in cash; they lend out the majority of deposits to borrowers or use the funds to purchase other interest-bearing assets such as government securities. When a run comes, a bank must quickly increase its cash to meet depositors’ demands.