Politics, Policy, Economics - Since 2010

This is a big one, and it is all about the LIBOR scandal....Just synced a 10mil loan for a client, and LIBOR was of course used. It'...

RE: LIBOR Infographic: A step-by-step on what is the Libor scandal



This is a big one, and it is all about the LIBOR scandal....Just synced a 10mil loan for a client, and LIBOR was of course used. It's a massive basis for the financial industry. LIBOR plus is used in everything. This is serious stuff, especially when you have naughty bankers meddling and conspiring against the system. 

This was a very serious matter. 

To quote from HM Customs Office:

"For example, suppose that a company takes out a loan at a rate of interest equal to, say, LIBOR plus 0.1%, and suppose that LIBOR is 4.1% at the start of the loan. The rate is to be reset each quarter by reference to current 3-month LIBOR. Clearly the company runs the risk of increased funding costs if commercial interest rates rise. The company may want to ensure that its funding costs do not rise above a certain level, or it may want to pay in effect a fixed rate of interest.
Suppose on the other hand the company borrows at a fixed rate of 4.5% for two years. If LIBOR rises to 4.5% or above, it will be better off than if it had the floating rate loan. But if interest rates remain static or even fall, it risks being locked into borrowing at above market rates. It may want to hedge that possibility by entering into a derivative contract which will pay out if interest rates fall."



From Pando Daily: "On Monday the JOBS Act finally goes into effect, and startups as well as venture capital and private equity funds ...

On Monday General Solicitation Opens Up



From Pando Daily:


"On Monday the JOBS Act finally goes into effect, and startups as well as venture capital and private equity funds can advertise their fundraising efforts to the world. However, they still can’t sell stock to the world. The onus is on the companies to prove that their investors are “sophisticated.” They are simply allowed to talk publicly about it now.

With the new rules, startups must file an advanced Form D with the SEC fifteen days before they plan to solicit investors. That is a challenge for many startups, because the forms are very detailed and these companies are often so early stage that they can’t answer all the questions. If they have to update anything, they must re-file with the SEC. And every time they so much as publicly talk about fundraising, they have to include the same sort of legal jargon that public company CEOs are required to include. If mess up, they’ll be placed in a penalty box of sorts, where they can’t raise new funds for a full year."


Reach out to pros on the paperwork, guys like me have tons of experience with labor intensive regulatory filings, but many don't and you do not want to be sidelined from mistakes made by lack of experience. However, if you are at this point you should already be "there" in theory. - C


Full Article Here

To quote the Economist: Man does not live by GDP alone. And new research is turning up all around the world suggesting that statistically ev...

Measuring What Matters (GDP & The Good Life)


To quote the Economist: Man does not live by GDP alone.

And new research is turning up all around the world suggesting that statistically evaluating other factors leads to a better rounded measurement of a citizens life - other than the standard GDP per person. 

"The Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress has been created at the beginning of 2008 on French government's initiative. 
Increasing concerns have been raised since a long time about the adequacy of current measures of economic performance, in particular those based on GDP figures. Moreover, there are broader concerns about the relevance of these figures as measures of societal well-being, as well as measures of economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Reflecting these concerns, President Sarkozy has decided to create this Commission, to look at the entire range of issues. Its aim was to identify the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social progress, to consider additional information required for the production of a more relevant picture, to discuss how to present this information in the most appropriate way, and to check the feasibility of measurement tools proposed by the Commission. Commission's work is not focused on France, nor on developed countries. The output of the Commission has been made public, providing a template for every interested country or group of countries.

The Commission was chaired by Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University. Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University, was Chair Adviser. Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, President of the Observatoire Fran├žais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE), was Coordinator of the Commission. Members of the Commission are renowned experts from universities, governmental and intergovernmental organisations, in several countries (USA, France, United Kingdom, India). Rapporteurs and secretariat have been provided by the French national statistical institute (Insee), OFCE, and OECD. 
The Commission held its first plenary meeting on 22 - 23 April 2008 in Paris. Its final report has been made public on 14 September 2009."

Excerpt: GDP shortcomings, as an index for measuring socio-economic progress, feature again prominently in the public debate, following years of benign neglect. Such criticisms are almost as old as the concept itself and national accountants have repeatedly warned about limitations of GDP as a welfare indicator. At the end of the day, it is essentially a measure of economic activity, and more specifically of economic activities leading to monetary transactions. As a result, GDP suffers from two major weaknesses: (a) being a monetary aggregate, it pays little or no attention to distributional issues and to elements of human activity or well-being for which no direct or indirect market valuation is available; (b) it is measuring productive flows and, as such, ignores the impact of productive activities on stocks, including stocks of natural resources.

Committee Link:
Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress 

Here is a bit of news on the port of Savannah. Finally we're talking about it. This needs to happen,...

Vice President vows Savannah dredging will happen ‘come hell or high water’


















Here is a bit of news on the port of Savannah.
Finally we're talking about it. This needs to happen, and I do not find it odd that Biden is supporting this. He is gearing up for a presidential race.


Regardless, this is a good thing. The port needs to be developed, and with that will bring more industry and jobs, stevedoring and warehousing. Honestly, shouldn't shipping come to Savannah verses Miami or Baltimore? Hopefully this will bring incentive to build a high speed rail between Atlanta and Savannah. Maybe I should evernote some notes about forming a shipping company...

Article:

By Greg Bluestein

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GARDEN CITY, Ga. —

Vice President Joe Biden gave his unequivocal support Monday for the $662 million project to dredge Savannah’s port, saying that the deepening would happen “come hell or high water.”

“What are we doing? We’re arguing about whether or not to deepen this port?” said Biden. “It’s time we get moving. I’m sick of this. Folks, this isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an economic issue.”

He didn’t promise any federal funding to the project, viewed as Georgia’s top economic development priority. But state officials, who already set aside more than $200 million for their share, were overjoyed by the vice president’s unabashed backing.

The push to carve another 5 feet in depth along a 38-mile channel of the Savannah River and harbor is one of the rare issues that has united Georgia politicians of all stripes. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a prominent Democrat, shared the stage with Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.

The port and its cousin in Brunswick support 100,000 metro Atlanta jobs and, according to a University of Georgia study, constitute a $39 billion economic boost for the state. Deepening the waterway from 42 feet to 47 feet would allow bigger ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal to dock in Savannah and keep the port competitive with rivals.

“(Those ships) can’t operate with consistency in ports that are 42 feet deep,” said Biden. “What are we talking about? What don’t we understand? What more do we have to know to generate the kind of economy that this nation deserves?”

The deepening project has been in political limbo almost since Georgia officials first asked the federal government to study the deepening of the Savannah River and harbor in 1996. Environmental complaints, political infighting and bureaucratic delays held up the project for years.


Why so many (inaudibles)? ____ John Kerry Secretary of State Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vilnius, Lithuania September 7, 201 FORE...

Remarks With Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkvicius Following Their Meeting

Why so many (inaudibles)?

____

John KerrySecretary of StateMinistry of Foreign AffairsVilnius, Lithuania

September 7, 201
FOREIGN MINISTER LINKEVICIUS: We really appreciate very much (inaudible) partnership with United States, and recently to Vilnius (inaudible), and now visit of Secretary to Vilnius, it’s really proved that we (inaudible) on very good foundation and we will continue. We share the same values and democratic principles, and we have the same issues. So we try to do our parts in the agenda (inaudible) in nuclear nonproliferation, in energy security, cyber security, all issues where we really can continue contribute, not maybe with big quantities, but we will try to do that (inaudible).
Also appreciate very much support of Secretary for Eastern Partnership Program, which is really crucial, and (inaudible) November we will be hosting here the presidency summit of Eastern Partnership. Not every country happy with that choice, choice for our partners to choose this European path, but we do appreciate the support of Secretary of United States in this endeavor.
Also, as the presidency of the Council of European Union, we also play our role, we do our part in order to strengthen EU and U.S. dialogue in a lot of issues to be done on the table – just to mention (inaudible) trade agreement which would be very important both – for both sides. For European Union and for United States, we can say that it would boost our economies, which we can grow 4 or 5 percent from both sides. And really it can help condition to set new rules for world trade even.
So perspectives are good and we will do our part to make it really to possible and move forward. But I won’t take more time because I have no doubt you would like to listen to the Secretary. Welcome again.

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh no, no. Thank you. (Laughter.)
Well, thank you very much, Linas. It’s a great privilege and a pleasure for me to be able to be here in Vilnius, although for a very, very short time. It’s an amazingly beautiful day, and I was just commenting to my friend Linas how much this weather right now in the early part of fall reminds me of Boston, Massachusetts. Makes me feel a little homesick.
But I’m very, very grateful to the Foreign Minister for his friendship. He and I have met previously. We had the privilege of signing an important agreement between our countries with respect to nuclear smuggling. We have an enormously cooperative relationship.
And the story of the journey of Lithuania is a really amazing story. Back in 1992 when the United States first began to work together with our friends here, the banking system didn’t exist. It was very difficult to even pay people. It was an enormous transformation into democracy and freedom and a free economic set of choices. And the journey of Lithuania through that has been really quite remarkable. Now a major NATO partner, now the presidency of the EU is being filled by the Foreign Minister and Lithuania. They did a terrific job today of hosting European ministers here in Vilnius.
We are very grateful for the statement that came out of the meeting today with respect to Syria, a strong statement about the need for accountability, and I’m particularly grateful for the President’s comments to me earlier this morning and the Foreign Minister’s support for the efforts to hold the Assad regime accountable for what it has done.
Now, there are other big issues that we are working on together. The European Eastern Partnership is a very important economic plan that will raise the standards of doing business, increase the trade and most importantly increase jobs. It’s good for the economic development. And we talked about how that can continue to expand, and we are committed to working with Lithuania in an effort to help and move that forward. And I will have conversations with Foreign Minister Hague in England about ways in which we can all join together to try to do that.
We also want to thank our Lithuanian friends for their extraordinary support in global challenges – climate change, energy independence, sustainability, and also something as important as what we’ve been doing in Afghanistan. Lithuania was the smallest country to lead a reconstruction team, a provincial reconstruction team, and it did so with great distinction. We worked with them. They just recently turned that over to the Afghans, and today I was able to present a flag of the United States, which your commander gave us, that flew over that reconstruction forward operating base. We’re grateful for that kind of cooperation.
So it’s nice for me to be able to be here and share a moment with you to talk about these things.


Full Release Here

Currency is for commerce and profit In "De Moneta by Nicholas Oresme" constructive arguments were made at how currency is ultim...

In Support of Bitcoins & Altcoins


Currency is for commerce and profit

In "De Moneta by Nicholas Oresme" constructive arguments were made at how currency is ultimately 
for the people. The text was written during the days of physical debasement, and that at the time was considered immoral. 

That brings us to the issues of today. Now we have inflation and fiat money, and a slew of markets in which to invest in, all regulated to a degree - and regulation should regulate to a degree - but yet there is some impeding intervention going on around digital currencies.  


Why are we going after alternative and secondary currencies when we should be going after the individuals and banks who designed investments that devalued their clients savings from hidden fee's?  
Moreover, how on earth is this notion ultimately unique? Look at ETF's and mortgage backed securities. You could create a fund that trades bloodstock and take it public - how screwy is that? We could have a weed fund, that holds bushels of weed and take it on the markets...Why would any politician wish to derail a new economics movement based on secondary currencies, when they were all the rage during the Holy Roman Empire?

Another asset class


Regardless, altcoins are here. Over the new few years we'll weed out the scoundrels and settle on a few decent, strong crypto's like btc, ltc and ftc.  


To be very short in the name of making a strong point, the truth is if drug dealers didn't use the drugs, or approached the operation differently, or came from better backgrounds, they could easily hide sales and take credit cards transactions for illicit products sales. They are not using bitcoin as the main hidden secret. Laundering happens daily in all sorts of businesses. 


I fail to see the issue being imposed by the US Gov to any hard set degree, and do not forecast a proper crackdown. 

There is not a 20 trillion dollar black market that the US need's to penetrate in oder to boost the economy. There is a hole in Obama's head. He simply read too many Marx books while high in college.  


Governments should not completely control currencies. Since they do, they should only lightly regulate and tax secondary currencies. 


In any event, Bitcoin is based on an algorithm developed by the NSA.