It is amazing that this photo, taken so many years ago, actually still exists! This INCREDIBLE picture was taken in 1918.
The photo shows 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge , in Iowa .. EIGHTEEN THOUSAND MEN!!!!!
What a priceless gift from our grandfathers!
Base to Shoulder: 150 feet
Right Arm: 340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 feet
Right thumb: 35 feet
Thickest part of body: 29 feet
Left hand length: 30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800
Number of men in right arm: 1,200
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000
Total men: 18,000
The Chinese Parliament has ratified the creation of the BRICS Development Bank. The New Development Bank was conceived as an alternative to Western financial institutions such as the World Bank.
The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, that is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Each nation will have an equal say in the bank’s management, regardless of GDP size.
Each BRICS member is expected to contribute an equal share in establishing a startup capital of $50 billion, with a goal of reaching $100 billion in capitalization. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, with India presiding as president during the first year, and Russia serving as the chairman of the representatives.
China has pledged to contribute a total of $41 billion to the NDB bank, which will give it the largest voting rights, at 39.5 percent, Reuters reports.
The agreement has already been ratified in India and Russia.
In China, the creation of the NDB bank, also known as the BRICS Bank, has been approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress at its meeting that runs until July 1.
It has been agreed that an African regional center of the NDB bank will be established in South Africa.
The launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step in breaking the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions that BRICS countries have little influence within.
South Africa is expected to present ratification documents in July during a meeting of BRICS countries in the Russian city of Ufa.
BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate measure of real economic performance. Total trade between the countries amounts to $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.
The other bank being promoted by Beijng as an alternative to existing development institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, is the new Asian development bank, known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, created in October 2014. Britain and Germany are listed among its 57 member states.
The world is defenseless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS
Monetary policymakers have run out of room to fight the next crisis with interest rates unable to go lower, the BIS warns.
The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.
The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scatching critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.
These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.
Claudio Borio, head of the organisation’s monetary and economic department, said: “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties.”
G3 real interest rates have never been so low for so long
“Rather than just reflecting the current weakness, they may in part have contributed to it by fuelling costly financial booms and busts and delaying adjustment. The result is too much debt, too little growth and too low interest rates.
“In short, low rates beget lower rates.”
The BIS warned that interest rates have now been so low for so long that central banks are unequipped to fight the next crises.
“In some jurisdictions, monetary policy is already testing its outer limits, to the point of stretching the boundaries of the unthinkable,” the BIS said.
The decline of bond yields into negative territory is the “most unusual development” of the last year
Extraordinarily low interest rates are not a “new equilibrium” said Jaime Caruana, general manager of the BIS, rejecting the theory of so-called “secular stagnation” which some economists blame for the continued decline in global lending rates.
“True, there may be secular forces that put downward pressure on equilibrium interest rates … [but] we argue that the current configuration of very low rates is neither inevitable, nor does it represent a new equilibrium,” he said.
Mr. Caruana said that interest rate hikes “should be welcomed”, as global economies have started to grow at close to their historical averages, and a slump in oil prices has provided the global economy with a boost.
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- Why European banks are a buy despite potential Grexit
The BIS report described the threat of a new bust in advanced economies as a “main risk”, with many reaching the top of the economic cycle.
The economies worst hit by the last crisis are now suffering the costs of persistent ultra-low rates, the organization said, which could “inflict serious damage on the financial system”, sapping banks and weakening their balance sheets and their ability to lend.
And the continued misallocation of resources during busts prompted by central banks rock-bottom interest rates has also hammered productivity growth, the BIS said, as a prolonged reliance on debt had been used in its place.
Economic mismanagement has hampered productivity growth
This problem is compounded as the world’s populations continue to age, the organisation warned, making debt burdens harder to bear. Yet politicians have relied too much on temporary growth boosts by using debt, rather than making painful choices, said the BIS.
Mr Caruana said that during booms, workers and capital are shifted to slow-growing sectors, with a “long-lasting negative” impact on productivity growth. “Misallocated labour needs to move from these sectors to other parts of the economy,” he said.
The BIS said that the current turmoil in Greece typified the kind of “toxic mix” of private and public debt being used as a solution to economic problems, rather than making the proper commitment “to badly needed” structural reforms.
Mr Caruana said that policymakers must now focus on the supply side of the economy, introducing the right reforms, rather than continue to lean on debt which will inevitably undermine growth.
What makes someone a Canadian?
It’s the willingness to come together and show the world just how proud of a country we really are.
June 29, 2015
Fifty countries on Monday signed the articles of agreement for the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the first major global financial instrument independent from the Bretton Woods system.
Seven remaining countries out of the 57 that have applied to be founding members, Denmark, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Holland, South Africa and Thailand, are awaiting domestic approval.
“This will be a significant event. The constitution will lay a solid foundation for the establishment and operation of the AIIB,” said Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei.
The AIIB will have an authorized capital of $100 billion, divided into shares that have a value of $100,000.
BRICS members China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, with a voting share of 26.06 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 5.92 per cent, respectively.
Following the signing of the bank’s charter, the agreement on the $100 billion AIIB will now have to be ratified by the parliaments of the founding members.
Asian countries will contribute up to 75 per cent of the total capital and be allocated a share of the quota based on their economic size.
Chinese Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said China’s initial stake and voting share are “natural results” of current rules, and may be diluted as more members join.
Australia was first to sign the agreement in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, state media reports said.
The Bank will base its headquarters in Beijing.
The Chinese Finance Ministry said the new lender will start operations by the end of 2015 under two preconditions: At least 10 prospective members ratify the agreement, and the initial subscribed capital is no less than 50 per cent of the authorized capital.
The AIIB will extend China’s financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan.
China and other emerging economies, including BRICS, have long protested against their limited voice at other multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
China is grouped in the ‘Category II’ voting bloc at the World Bank while at the Asian Development Bank, China with a 5.5 per cent share is far outdone by America’s 15.7 per cent and Japan’s 15.6 per cent share.
The ADB has estimated that in the next decade Asian countries will need $8 trillion in infrastructure investments to maintain the current economic growth rate.
China scholar Asit Biswas at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, says Washington’s criticism of the China-led Bank is “childish”.
“Some critics argue that the AIIB will reduce the environmental, social and procurement standards in a race to the bottom. This is a childish criticism, especially because China has invited other governments to help with funding and governance,” he writes.
The US and Japan have not applied for the membership in the AIIB.
However, despite US pressures on its allies not to join the bank, Britain, France, Germany, Italy among others have signed on as founding members of the China-led Bank.
The new lender will finance infrastructure projects like the construction of roads, railways, and airports in the Asia-Pacific Region.
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me i got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Economist Dr. Richard Wolff, Democracy At Work joins Thom. Years of austerity has turned Greece and it’s economy into a disaster zone with unemployment at record highs. So why are countries like Germany pushing for Greece to make even MORE cuts in exchange for a new bailout?
For more information on the stories we’ve covered visit our websites at thomhartmann.com – freespeech.org – and RT.com.
Andrew Gause may just be the top man anywhere for the highest quality analysis into the world of money we all live in. Andrew is a currency historian, an internationally recognized expert on the United States monetary system.
He’s written two books, “The Secret World of Money” and “Uncle Sam Cooks the Books”. You can order these books as well as speak to Andrew personally. As a One Radio Network listener, you’ll have highest priority in his phone time. His # is 800.468.2646
Radio Hour #1
Radio Hour #2
-Andrew Jackson and American monetary history; how he killed the 2nd bank of the United States
-Andrew explains the Greek default, caused by a bunch of raging Socialists; the only good deal for Greece is ‘no deal’
-Big Pharma may be in trouble; Andrew explains competing currency, supplements vs. drugs
-Andrew tells us why he thinks this is the worst time in history to be invested in stocks
-Patrick plays a tape of Jim Rogers talking about the top of the stock market; the problem with margin debt; 3% of GDP is in margin debt
-Andy explains why it’s not a good idea to participate in the derivatives market with more than 10% of your portfolio
-“If you can’t see it, you can’t seize it.” Andrew tells us why the Rothschilds put 1/3 of their wealth is personal property like art, coin collections, etc
-A listener’s financial advisor wants her to “rent” bonds instead of buying them; is this a good idea?
-Isn’t it interesting how President’s go into the Presidency poor and come out rich? Andrew talks about Donald Trump as a candidate; he’s already rich
-When good symbols go bad; Andrew talks about the Confederate flag and the swastika
-Getting the truth on Civil War history; it wasn’t about slavery
-Andrew talks about a film he was involved with called “An Affirmative Act” ; his daughter is gay and getting married in Texas next month; he tells how to do the paperwork to protect your partner
-Andy comments on a quote from Paul Craig Roberts: “A country without its own money is not, and cannot be, an independent country.” And he asks, “Do we have our own money? Or is it the bankers money?”
-Comment and question from a listener: I’ve heard someone suggest that to get the economy producing again, the government could simply give one million dollars to every citizen, with the stipulation that each recipient must first use the money to pay off all their debts. Soon it would be hard to find a big screen TV or truck to buy in America, and the economy would take off with lots of jobs and production created. Do you and Andy agree? It would only cost a couple hundred million dollars, a relatively small amount compared to most government programs.
-How long will interest rates stay low?
-Who would Andy suggest listening to other than himself ?
-Can Greece play hardball and threaten to walk away from EU and NATO and instead embrace China ( and Russia) as primary bankers and trading partners?
-A listener want so know why Andrew hasn’t moved to Texas
and so much more!
During his lifetime, Andrew Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men on the planet. Before he began giving away his wealth, his net worth was valued at $475 million — the equivalent of about $75 billion in today’s dollars.
It’s been almost 100 years since Carnegie died. Today, he is remembered most for building Carnegie Hall in New York City and establishing the modern U.S. library system. Both are still in existence today, a remarkable testament to Carnegie’s legacy.
But did you know Carnegie created something else before he died that’s helped tens of thousands of people to secure their retirements?
Carnegie had a soft spot for American educators. He wanted to help provide professors at schools like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia with financial security in their old age. So in 1905, he gave $10 million to set up America’s very first variable annuity.
From $10 Million to $279 Billion…
Carnegie’s fledgling variable annuity started with $10 million. Today it is worth an astounding $279 billion. It is now called the Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, or TIAA-CREF for short.
Think about that. The TIAA-CREF was started in the year 1905 and it still exists today.
That means it survived the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. It survived Black Monday in 1987. And it survived the more recent financial meltdown of 2008 and 2009.
In fact, it has survived all the booms and busts of the last 110 years! That’s an amazing track record.
The only reason Carnegie’s annuity has survived so long is because annuities make conservative investments in order to fulfill promises to its investors. Therefore, annuities don’t gamble or make risky investments. They play it safe so they can continue paying out guaranteed payments every single year.
Ben Bernanke’s Shocking Retirement Secret
Before Ben Bernanke became the chairman of the Federal Reserve, he taught economics at Princeton University. While there, he set up two annuities through the annuity company Carnegie founded.
Apparently, Bernanke’s retirement strategy didn’t change a bit when he took over at the Fed because his two largest assets are still the annuities he set up while working at Princeton. Each of these annuities are currently valued between $500,001 and $1 million.
While other experts have criticized Bernanke’s conservative approach to retirement investing, maybe the better approach is to ask a question: Why would the man who was head of the most powerful financial institution in the world choose to invest in annuities?
The answer to this question will become clear when you compare average retirement savings to one particular group of people.
The Surprising Reason Why College Professors Have More Saved for Retirement than You
Ben Bernanke isn’t the only one who is benefiting from annuity investments. Many college professors and other higher education professionals have invested in the same annuity fund originally set up by Andrew Carnegie.
And the proof is in the pudding.
In a recent study conducted by TIAA-CREF, they discovered that “83 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty felt very or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, compared to 55 percent of workers overall.”
And there’s a good reason for their confidence. According to surveys, higher education employees who participate in retirement plans have average account balances that are 43% to 46% higher than average Americans.
The 8th Wonder of the World
Famous academic Albert Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.”
Einstein put his money where his mouth was by investing in annuities way back in 1933 when they were still a relatively new investment vehicle.
Annuities exist to provide people with safe and predictable investment returns every single year during retirement. Many of them come with guaranteed rates of return.
Just one year bad year in the stock market can take years to recover from. But safe and predictable compound growth — like that provided by annuity funds — can provide investors with a stable retirement and peace of mind.
That’s why Einstein invested in annuities. It’s why Ben Bernanke is invested in annuities. And it’s why thousands of higher education professionals invest in annuities every year. Maybe annuities are worth a closer look after all.
An Apology Letter to Future Generations.
What’s Life without Moments? Vacations should be a time to go away and come together. From now on lets take our #WholeVacation
Are You Working to Live, or Living to Work?
SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN !
You may remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who
painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.. SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN !
Oh, there’s MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe !
Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the CountySupervisors said okay.
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who’d like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million.
The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.
I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system and copy some of his ideas. He
has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand.
He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Chris tmas tree for $6 – $8 for the holidays and plant it later.
Yup, he was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he’s in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural that has a special hotline phone number
painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn’t doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He’s kind of a ‘Git-R-Dun’ kind of Sheriff.
TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO. HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER. HERE ARE SOME IS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the ‘TentCity
- He has jail meals down to 40 cents
a serving and charges the inmates for them.
- He stopped smoking and porno magazines in
- Took away their weights.
- Cut off all but ‘G’ movies.
- He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on
county and city projects.
- Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn’t get sued
- He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal
court order that required cable TV for jails, so he hooked up the cable TV again… BUT only let in the Disney channel and the Weather channel.
- When asked why the weather channel, he replied, “So they will know how hot it’s gonna be while they are working on my chain
- He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.
- When the inmates complained, he told them: “This isn’t the Ritz/Carlton… If you don’t like it, don’t come back.”
More On The Arizona Sheriff:
With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record), the Associated Press reports:
About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent
encampment at the Maricopa County jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.
On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before.
Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their PINK SOCKS.
“It feels like we are in a furnace,” said James Zanzot, an inmate who
has lived in the TENTS for 1 year. “It’s inhumane.”
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!”
Way to go, Sheriff !
Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers’ money and enjoy things taxpayers can’t afford to have for themselves.
Gottta love this guy! Maybe he should be encouraged to run as an independent thinker candidate for higher office?
Genius Child Kicked Out Of School For “Not Being Able To Learn” Could Win Nobel Peace Prize
They said he would never learn, now he’ll teach them a thing or two…
A genius boy whose IQ is higher than Albert Einstein is on his way to possibly winning a Nobel Prize after being set free of special education programs in public schools.
His mother made the decision to take him out of the programs, even after having doctors diagnose him with Aspergers and say that her son Jacob Barnett would never even learn to tie his shoes.
She describes in her book “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius” that she was afraid of trying to pull him out of school. “For a parent, it’s terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals. But I knew in my heart that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away.” Jacob was not thriving in special ed classes. He kept turning deeper into himself and was uncommunicative with other people.
His doctors prescribed medical treatment for the boy. When he wasn’t in therapy though, his mother noticed him doing amazing things. “He would create maps all over our floor using Q-tips. They would be maps of places we’ve visited and he would memorize every street.” Jake dropped out of elementary school in the 5th grade. His incredible memory allowed him to attend university classes after he learned all of high school math in two weeks. Now he’s on track to graduate from college at age 14 and working on theories to build on Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Morley Safer asks the talented teen if he wants to be an astronaut, he quickly defers to his brother, saying he’d rather run things from the ground. Safer’s profile of the young math and science prodigy will be broadcast on “60 Minutes” Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
60 minutes did a special on Jacob below:
Sir Ken Robinson did a talk for TED (google or youtube it) and shared how decades ago schools were set up to teach for the industrial age, which basically produces little humanoids that work in factories. However, today our society needs more creative minds. Sir Robinson provides very similar examples to the one posted about kids who would have been lost were it not for someone recognizing their creative potential. When Ken Robinson speaks of creative potential he doesn’t just mean the artists and musicians of the world, but instead those individuals with creative thinking abilities…the inventors, the problem solvers. His advice? To reintroduce creative activities in public schools.
Alan Watts was one of the first from the west to bring the wisdom of the east back into the consciousness of the modern era. The label-less master often referred to himself as a “spiritual entertainer” that is exhibited in the fluidity of his humor mixed with wisdom.
For more information on the great man please visit http://www.alanwatts.org
Lily is the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera. It lets anyone create cinematic footage previously reserved for professional filmmakers. Lily is waterproof, ultra-portable, and shoots stunning HD pictures and videos. Pre-order now at https://www.lily.camera/
3DR Solo – The Smart Drone
India announces first BRICS Bank President
May 11, 2015, 10:12 am
Ahead of the 7th BRICS Summit in Russia, the Indian government on Monday announced the appointment of Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath as president of the $100 billion New Development Bank being set up by the BRICS. Kamath has earlier worked with the Asian Development Bank and was the FORBES ASIA’s 2007 Businessman of the Year.
The BRICS Bank launched last year will fund infrastructure projects in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and challenge the dominance of the Western-led World Bank and the IMF.
The bank is likely to be operationalised within one year, Indian Finance Ministry official Rajiv Mehrishi said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov will become the bank’s first Chairman of the Board of Governors, while the first chairperson of the Board of Directors will be Brazilian. South Africa will establish an African regional center for the bank.
Leaders of of BRICS had in 2014 reached an agreement to establish the New Development Bank, with its headquarters in Shanghai. Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters after the Summit in Brazil that the BRICS decided in favor of Shanghai because the city offers better infrastructure, opportunities to capture private funding, and is home to more investors than the competitors.
South African Trade and Industry Rob Davies said last year that although the capital of the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement had been set at $100 billion each, this did not mean that this capital would necessarily be held in US dollars.
“We want to move away from the same old, same old way of doing things. What currencies the capital will be held in is something that will be part of the Sherpa process with the pace set by Brazil, but we expect substantive progress by the time of the next BRICS summit in Russia in June 2015,” he said.
The BRICS combined GDP grew 300 per cent in the last decade as opposed to 60 per cent growth registered by the developed world.
The launch of the bank and the $100 billion currency reserve pool in July is their first concrete step toward reshaping the Western-dominated international financial system.
“For the past 15 years, the BRICS have been seen as the world’s best hope for sustainable growth. These five countries, representing 40 per cent of the world’s population and 25 per cent of its GDP in 2013, recorded growth rates 4 to 5 times greater than those of the US, Europe and Japan, and threatened to displace them as the world’s most important economic powers in another 20 years or so,”
say Prof. Ingo Walter and Prof. Roy C. Smith of the New York University, writing for The BRICS Post.
Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank.
The Dollar Joins the Currency Wars
NEW YORK – In a world of weak domestic demand in many advanced economies and emerging markets, policymakers have been tempted to boost economic growth and employment by going for export led-growth. This requires a weak currency and conventional and unconventional monetary policies to bring about the required depreciation.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 20 central banks around the world have eased monetary policy, following the lead of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan. In the eurozone, countries on the periphery needed currency weakness to reduce their external deficits and jump-start growth. But the euro weakness triggered by quantitative easing has further boosted Germany’s current-account surplus, which was already a whopping 8% of GDP last year. With external surpluses also rising in other countries of the eurozone core, the monetary union’s overall imbalance is large and growing.
The upward pressure on the US dollar from the embrace of quantitative easing by the ECB and the BOJ has been sharp. The dollar has also strengthened against the currencies of advanced-country commodity exporters, like Australia and Canada, and those of many emerging markets. For these countries, falling oil and commodity prices have triggered currency depreciations that are helping to shield growth and jobs from the effects of lower exports.
The dollar has also risen relative to currencies of emerging markets with economic and financial fragilities: twin fiscal and current-account deficits, rising inflation and slowing growth, large stocks of domestic and foreign debt, and political instability. Even China briefly allowed its currency to weaken against the dollar last year, and slowing output growth may tempt the government to let the renminbi weaken even more. Meanwhile, the trade surplus is rising again, in part because China is dumping its excess supply of goods – such as steel – in global markets.
Until recently, US policymakers were not overly concerned about the dollar’s strength, because America’s growth prospects were stronger than in Europe and Japan. Indeed, at the beginning of the year, there was hope that US domestic demand would be strong enough this year to support GDP growth of close to 3%, despite the stronger dollar. Lower oil prices and job creation, it was thought, would boost disposable income and consumption. Capital spending (outside the energy sector) and residential investment would strengthen as growth accelerated.
But things look different today, and US officials’ exchange-rate jitters are becoming increasingly pronounced. The dollar appreciated much faster than anyone expected; and, as data for the first quarter of 2015 suggest, the impact on net exports, inflation, and growth has been larger and more rapid than that implied by policymakers’ statistical models. Moreover, strong domestic demand has failed to materialize; consumption growth was weak in the first quarter, and capital spending and residential investment were even weaker.
As a result, the US has effectively joined the “currency war” to prevent further dollar appreciation. Fed officials have started to speak explicitly about the dollar as a factor that affects net exports, inflation, and growth. And the US authorities have become increasingly critical of Germany and the eurozone for adopting policies that weaken the euro while avoiding those – for example, temporary fiscal stimulus and faster wage growth – that boost domestic demand.
Moreover, verbal intervention will be followed by policy action, because slower growth and low inflation – partly triggered by a strong dollar – will induce the Fed to exit zero policy rates later and more slowly than expected. That will reverse some of the dollar’s recent gains and shield growth and inflation from downside risks.
Currency frictions can lead eventually to trade frictions, and currency wars can lead to trade wars. And that could spell trouble for the US as it tries to conclude the mega-regional Trans-Pacific Partnership. Uncertainty about whether the Obama administration can marshal enough votes in Congress to ratify the TPP has now been compounded by proposed legislation that would impose tariff duties on countries that engage in “currency manipulation.” If such a link between trade and currency policy were forced into the TPP, the Asian participants would refuse to join.
The world would be better off if most governments pursued policies that boosted growth through domestic demand, rather than beggar-thy-neighbor export measures. But that would require them to rely less on monetary policy and more on appropriate fiscal policies (such as higher spending on productive infrastructure). Even income policies that lift wages, and hence labor income and consumption, are a better source of domestic growth than currency depreciations (which depress real wages).
The sum of all trade balances in the world is equal to zero, which means that not all countries can be net exporters – and that currency wars end up being zero-sum games. That is why America’s entry into the fray was only a matter of time.
How much inequality is too much? To find out more and get teaching resources linked to the film, go to www.whypoverty.net
740 Park Ave, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed. In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the US — the American Dream only applies to those with money to lobby politicians for friendly bills on Capitol Hill.
Director Alex Gibney
Producer Blair Foster
Produced by Jigsaw Productions & Steps International
Why Poverty? http://www.whypoverty.net/en/video/29/
Not all entrepreneurs are in it for the money, but gaining wealth is certainly among the top motivators for company building. Not surprisingly, having great wealth brings it’s own unique responsibilities and circumstances that few get to experience first hand.
Based on an interview with billionaire Ken Fisher, founder, chairman, and CEO of Fisher Investments, best-selling author, Forbes magazine columnist, and No. 225 on the Forbes 400, Fisher provided a candid, no-holds-barred look at the perspective of the self-made super wealthy.
Here are his insights:
1. It isn’t pursuit of wealth, but pursuit of passion that creates wealth.
Focusing on money won’t likely get you to the Forbes list like Fisher. He aptly states: “Most people don’t get super wealthy by accumulating money. They get super wealthy by following some dream they are passionate about, whether its starting and running a business, or being a rock star musician or a visual entertainer.” He points out that most of the super wealthy overshoot their personal goals, and yet they are still driven by their passion. The super wealthy know that if you pursue your passion, the money will come.
2. After a certain monetary threshold, the desire isn’t for more wealth, but more time.
There is very little that the super wealthy cannot buy. As the wealth keeps accumulating, spending becomes less of a joy or ambition. “After a certain point,” Fisher explains, “there isn’t much more you can think of that you want.” What becomes more desirable is time to enjoy life. “The vacation homes, cars, boats, and wardrobes are just more stuff to deal with.” Fisher observes. “All that stuff clutters your time usage, so at a certain point, the wealthier you get the more you covet time.”
3. Everyone you’ve known forever (except your spouse) will think you’ve changed.
There is a common belief that wealth changes everyone, and not always for the better. Fisher says, “Only you will know that you haven’t changed; that passionate drive to follow dreams does not change.” Fisher explains it this way: “Everyone’s perceptions of change are as though they are seeing the clock at a few different hour points in your evolution, as opposed to seeing it as a continuous sweeping minute hand that doesn’t change.”
4. The super wealthy are guarded even with their closest acquaintances.
It’s hard for the super wealthy to know who their real friends are. Fisher describes the situation in clear detail. “All kinds of folks hit on you for money and deliver false pretenses on a regular basis. Charities hit you up like you were the prettiest girl at a ball otherwise filled with horny young males. ‘Relatives’ you never had approach you from nowhere. Old school non-chums want to reacquaint. You see an ugly side of our human existence, which is the world of false pretenses seeking your money. So you guard against it and what you’re really guarding is your time and the time of the few people you really value. And you get good at it. And as you do, you will seem cold to all those people. Of course, you’re just simply as cold as the relationship would have been had you no money at all.”
5. Most of your broader family will come to hate you.
There is an old saying that the rich person in any family is despised. Fisher claims this is true, pointing out that many relatives don’t understand why the wealth of one family member can’t easily be shared to solve all their problems. Fisher explains the issue further: “It doesn’t matter how much you do or don’t give people, it won’t be enough.” Often Fisher hears others grumbling that they would handle wealth differently, but he points out that if their approach worked they would already be wealthy, and says they are simply looking for the easy path. Fisher states, “They will wonder why you don’t simply relieve them of their suffering with money, yet won’t seek your time or advice in how to remove the core cause of that suffering.” If they did seek his advice, Fisher would happily help them understand how to solve their money issues by seeking a productive passion.
6. Wealth doesn’t spoil your children, but it may destroy your grandchildren.
I know many successful entrepreneurs who worry whether their own children will have ambition and drive after growing up with affluence. Fisher observes that the kids of self-made wealthy parents grow up solidified with values that were taught to them before their parents became wealthy, so wealth doesn’t negatively influence their values. “But your grandkids never knew anything else,” says Fisher, now 64. “And that wealth zaps the drive out of them–it is too easy for the young to spend for fun instead of seeking the real passion, as previously mentioned.”
7. The older you get, the less money means.
As super wealthy people age, material needs become normalized. According to Fisher, “The so-called golden years bring a simplicity and focusing of desires in all wealth classes. While the non-super wealthy won’t recognize it, the super wealthy have long lost their material urges beyond the basics. They spend less on themselves and likely less on others because they know it doesn’t create happiness either for them, for their offspring, or for their grandkids.” Quality time is once again what is most coveted. It is surely more important to offer time to loved ones, and time delivered in that regard is valued on both ends more than money.
8. Wealth can free your brain.
Of all Fisher’s insights, this was the most powerful. For all the challenges wealth can bring, Fisher says it’s worth the mental freedom it also brings. He makes this point: “You will think broader and more creatively because you don’t have the limits the people of lesser means suffer. Why? Because you can. You will contemplate things like: Could my wealth if donated solve this problem? Could I create (you name it) by trying? What if I did this unimaginable thing (because you can if you want in so many realms)? The reality is that few of these will you ever pursue for all the reasons above, but they will enter your mind to ponder because most of your limits are now only self-imposed.”
The Reverend Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945) is the author of this wonderful song, not Son House, not Depeche Mode(please….), not Robt. Johnson, not Blind Willie McTell, not Warren Haynes.
Also, Beautifully Broken: