An economy for the 99%

It’s time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few







becoming financially free Marketwatch  By ALESSANDRA MALITO, REPORTER

The way Cait Flanders got her financial house in order should probably come with a “Try this at your own risk” warning.

First, the Canadian blogger paid off $30,000 in student and credit card debt. A year later, Flanders threw out 75% of her belongings and put herself on a strict two-year shopping ban.

Since then, she’s learned a lot about money, budgeting, and why we spend — she even lost 30 pounds. Now she has some tips to share.

After becoming financially free, Flanders still didn’t feel satisfied with the way she was handling her money, so in 2014, she gave herself a short list of approved items she could buy outside of food, experiences and personal items, only allowing herself to replace necessities, such as a pair of ripped pants or worn out shoes. After her first year was a success, she went for a second year, this time keeping track of everything she purchased. She finished up her ban this past July.

Now Flanders, who is traveling the U.S. on a two-month road trip, is writing a book, to be published by Hay House, about her experiences and how to help others with their money. She is no longer adhering to the shopping ban, but is always aware of the lessons she learned from the past five years of debt repayment.


Non ditelo a Mario Draghi

Japan's core consumer prices fell for a fifth straight month and marked the biggest annual drop in more than three years in July, government data showed on Friday, keeping the central bank under pressure to expand an already massive stimulus program.

The gloomy data reinforces a dominant market view that premier Shinzo Abe's stimulus programs have failed to dislodge the deflationary mindset prevailing among businesses and consumers.

The nationwide core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food prices, fell 0.5 percent in July from a year earlier, more than a median market forecast for a 0.4 percent decline.

Core consumer prices in Tokyo, available a month before the nationwide data, fell 0.4 percent in August from a year earlier, more than a median market forecast for a 0.3 percent drop.

Starting from this release, the government changed the base year for the price indices to 2015 and changed the components making up the indices to better reflect consumer spending trends in an overhaul it conducts once every five years.

Japan's economic growth ground to a halt in April-June and analysts expect any rebound in the current quarter to be modest as weak global growth and the yen's 20 percent rise against the dollar so far this year hurt exports and capital expenditure.

Despite three years of heavy money printing by the BOJ, weak household spending and a strong yen pushing down import costs have kept inflation distant from the bank's 2 percent target.


naked capitalism

Satyajit Das: What If Anything Does Brexit Really Signify?

By Satyajit Das, a former banker and author whose latest book is ‘A Banquet of Consequences’ (published in North America as ‘Age of Stagnation’ to avoid confusion as a cookbook)

The Brexit debate has made unprecedented demands on vocabulary, adjectives and hyperbole. The word ‘historical’ is exhausted.

The only fact is that a majority of those who voted have elected for Great Britain to leave the European Union. All else is conjecture.

Few political analysts, super-forecasters, pollsters, betting shops and financial markets anticipated the result. Undaunted, the same people are now outlining the consequences and likely outcomes. Although close reading indicates that the trite consensus is ‘uncertainty’. Familiarity with four words – “I do not know”- is sadly lacking.

Perhaps the most interesting commentary after the vote was the gallows humour of trader: “Brexit could be followed by Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakout, Latervia and Byegium. Looks like only Remania will stay”.




Tema: Banche e giornali originale: 

Are Newspapers Captured by Banks? Evidence from Italy

Luigi Zingales


... when all of the media are in financial difficulty and the issue at stake directly concerns the banking system. When debtors are in economic or financial distress, creditors have great influence over their decisions. There is no reason why newspapers should be any different. Hence, financial institutions could–at least in principle–obtain a significant market power on the reporting of some news in the printed media, thanks to their lending. Is this just a mere academic possibility or does it have some empirical basis?

  The current Italian environment represents a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis at least1). Many Italian newspapers are losing money and/or are heavily indebted  ...





Tema: arrivano i ROBOT originale: 

Wendy’s Serves Up Big Kiosk Expansion As Wage Hikes Hit Fast Food


Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages. 

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”


It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated.






 truffe online:


‘Shanghai Accord’? Rumor has it central bankers hatched a secret deal to drive markets


La BIS (Bank for International Settlements)  è una specie di Banca Centrale delle Banche Centrali. Nel report di marzo  lancia un allarme che dovrebbe preoccupare Draghi &C.

And it may even illuminate the puzzling slowdown in productivity growth: recent BIS research finds evidence that credit booms sap productivity growth as they gather pace, largely by allocating resources to the wrong sectors. The impact of these misallocations lingers on and becomes more powerful if a financial crisis subsequently erupts. In turn, weaker productivity makes it harder to sustain debt burdens. Put differently, we may not be seeing isolated bolts from the blue, but the signs of a gathering storm that has been building for a long time. And then we have the narrowing room for policy manoeuvre. The latest turbulence has hammered home the message that central banks have been overburdened for far too long post-crisis, even as fiscal space has been dwindling and structural measures lacking. Despite exceptionally easy monetary conditions, in key jurisdictions growth has been disappointing and inflation has remained stubbornly low. Market participants have taken notice. And their confidence in central banks’ healing powers has – probably for the first time – been faltering. Policymakers too would do well to take notice.



La Cgia boccia Draghi: "La liquidità non sta raggiungendo le imprese"

Il mistero dell'inflazione che non c'é - 2

Un paio di esempi per spiegare come i tassi a zero inducono effetti contrari a quelli desiderati dai banchieri. Il caso più clamoroso è quello del prezzo del petrolio, crollato da 100 a 30 dollari in poco più di un anno. Tra i principali fattori del calo c'è quello della sovraproduzione di greggio, di gas naturale e di shale gas, dovuto al verificarsi di diverse circostanze tra cui la principale è quella dell'accesso al credito facile e generoso con cui le banche hanno finanziato il boom delle società di estrazione.

Il fraking o il trattamento delle sabbie bitumose era diventato sia negli USA che in Canada un affare sicuro, con i prestiti a tassi stracciati delle banche e il barile a80-90 dollari. Ora il sogno è diventato incubo, con le società energetiche che sono costrette a tagliare i costi, a vendere il petrolio in perdita e a dichiarare default sui crediti. La crisi si allarga alle banche che avevano concesso quei prestiti e devono dichiarare perdite di capitale.

L'esempio del petrolio si può estendere anche ai prodotti agricoli, con le quotazioni del grano più che dimezzate le grandi aziende agricole devono vendere sottoprezzo per resistere e restituire i prestiti delle banche.

I tassi negativi adottati dalla BCE e dalla Banca del Giappone esasperano queste dinamiche e provocano ulteriore deflazione, default e rischi finanziari.


L'altro esempio è dato dai buybacks delle aziende quotate in borsa, che anzichè investire in innovazione e sviluppo trovano più conveniente acquistare azioni proprie in modo da lucrare sia sulle differenze di quotazioni artefatte, sia nella divisione di dividendi che non finiscono più nel ciclo economico bensì sui conti degli azionisti.

Anche in questo caso il gioco regge fino a quando i tassi sono bassi o sottozero, perchè le aziende prendono denaro in prestito pagando zero interessi e guadagnano senza rischi di impresa.

Ecco perchè da un certo punto in poi (ad esempio con tassi sotto l'1%) il sistema si deflaziona, contrariamente alle aspettative dei banchieri centrali.


Possibile che Draghi, Yellen e C. non abbiano preso in considerazione questi effetti ?

For example, U.S. stock buybacks have reached 2007 levels and are running at around $500 billion annually. When dividends are included, companies are returning around $1 trillion annually to shareholders, close to 90% of earnings. Additional factors affecting share prices are mergers and acquisitions activity and also activist hedge funds, which have forced returns of capital or corporate restructures.

The major driver of stock prices is liquidity, in the form of zero interest rates and quantitative easing.

To be sure, stronger earnings have supported stocks. But on average, 70% to 80% of the improvement has come from cost-cutting, not revenue growth. Since mid-2014, corporate profit margins have stagnated and may even be declining.

Debt-Fueled Boom

The U.S. shale boom was fueled by junk debt. Companies spent more on drilling than they earned selling oil and gas, plugging the difference with other peoples’ money. Drillers piled up a staggering $237 billion of borrowings at the end of September, according to data compiled on the 61 companies in the Bloomberg Intelligence index of North American independent oil and gas producers. U.S. crude production soared to its highest in more than three decades.

Oil prices have now fallen more than 70 percent from a 2014 peak, and banks and bondholders are fighting for scraps. Bond prices reflect investors’ fears. U.S. high yield energy debt lost 24 percent last year, the biggest fall since 2008, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Indexes.


Banchieri ed economisti si chiedono come mai l'inflazione non c'è, nonostante i tassi a zero (o sotto) e 13mila miliardi di dollari stampati.

Nessuno finora ha trovato una risposta convincente: la discesa del prezzo del petrolio, il rallentamento dei consumi, l'eccesso di produzione, il calo demografico, le tensioni geopolitiche ecc.

Mario Draghi ha lanciato il grido d'allarme contro le "forze globali" che minacciano la crescita e quindi il sistema e quindi il modello di società ecc. ecc.

Secondo i Banchieri Centrali, la risposta a "l'inflazione che non c'è" è: "fare di più". 

Più QE, tassi di interesse ancora più sottozero, più consumi facendo ricorso ai debiti, più debiti degli Stati per finanziare opere pubbliche.

I banchieri conoscono una sola equazione, quella della linea retta: y=+ax, ma sulla base di questa funzione non riescono a spiegare perchè l'inflazione non cresce.

Il più patetico è il banchiere di Abe, il giapponese Kuroda, che ormai è diventato una barzelletta: dopo aver portato sotto zero per la prima volta i tassi giapponesi, si aspettava una forte svalutazione dello yen per avvantaggiare le esportazione e invece lo yen si è inspiegabilmente apprezzato sul dollaro vanificando le previsioni di Kuroda.

Anche gli altri Banchieri ormai sono contornati da un alone di scetticismo. Nessuno crede più alla possibilità che le loro manovre possano risollevare l'occupazione o l'economia, e sempre più ci si affida alla constatazione che "le loro medicine non servono a guarire ma sono meglio di niente".

Meglio fare qualcosa che non fare nulla, è stata la difesa di Draghi alle critiche degli scettici. 

Questa affermazione non è vera, anzi.  Se i fenomeni, sia quelli spontanei che quelli indotti, non sono lineari, allora l'affermazione di Draghi si rivela molto pericolosa.

E' sufficiente dare uno sguardo al grafico (parabola con concavità verso il basso)

Questo grafico spiega il mistero dell'inflazione che non c'è: quando i tassi scendono sotto una certa soglia (ad esempio 0,5%) la crescita dell'inflazione inizia a diminuire (ramo discendente della parabola) e diventa negativa per tassi inferiori allo zero.

Per far crescere l'inflazione sarebbe necessario alzare i tassi almeno fino alla soglia di +0,5 cioè l'opposto di quello che i banchieri stanno facendo.

Ma portare i tassi in alto in questo momento significa deludere la speculazione finanziaria e provocare crolli nei mercati, sia azionari che obbligazionari.

Perchè da un certo punto in poi, la riduzione dei tassi di interesse provoca deflazione anzichè inflazione ? Per lo stesso motivo per il quale non si può ridurre il salario dei lavoratori al di sotto di un livello ottimale per i consumi.

I tassi a zero o negativi delle Banche Centrali sono la vera causa della deflazione.