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Showing posts from January, 2013

Updated: Mobile Airtime As Currency

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The scene is a crowded Nairobi marketplace. A customer is buying goods from a shopkeeper. When the shopkeeper gives the customer change, it is on a mobile minutes card. 

In developing countries people like shopkeepers and crime syndicates trade in airtime minutes. In fact the world at large is witnessing a plethora of new, high-tech value transfer systems that can be abused to launder money and finance terror. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering policy making body, calls them “new payment methods” or NPMs
"Thousands of street-corner shops in Kenya sell mobile-phone airtime, usually in the form of scratch cards. More than 60,000 of them have also registered as M-Pesa agents, far outnumbering Kenya’s 840 bank branches. Annual transactions on M-Pesa are equivalent to over 20% of the country’s GDP. Customers exchange cash for virtual value that goes into their phone, which becomes an electronic wallet or stored value card. They can then pay bills, buy…

Yellowtail's Woes

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YT counts on the US market for 75% of sales...
That's crazy.

Read about the debacle here - http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/01/14/yellow-tail-has-a-currency-problem-aussie-wine-has-a-yellow-tail-problem/

FTT - Europe's Financial Transaction Tax

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All Hail Mighty Europe!!

As the EU strengthens ties and moves towards an even closer union, recent talk about a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) has been heralded as the all new EU revenue generator. And while taxation of financial transactions seems logical, where does all the activity take place? Most in the City of London, The Square Mile. Is the City being punished? Most of Europe's opinion is that the City allows little regulation, but close to 80pc of Europe's financial services are based there. As you can image the UK opposes the proposal, which was passed by EU Parliament in December 2012.

To a degree there's financial tax on most transactions....but this is unique.
Regardless, so far 11 countries have pushed forward with the small tax.

(from wikipedia) The European Commission itself expects the EU FTT to have the following impact on financial markets and the real economy:
- Up to a 90 per cent reduction in derivatives transactions (based on the Swedish experienc…

Where To Be Born 2013

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Business Insider
Here is an infographic from The Economist showing `where to be born in 2013.` It takes into effect different variables like GDP, divorce rates and life expectancy. The US doesn't even crack the top ten.