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Posted On July 19, 2017By HoudiniIn Articles

China’s Cashless Revolution

In the developing world, a new payment model is emerging. On a recent trip to Shenzhen, in southern China, I came across a subway busker with two tip jars. The first was a cardboard box filled with coins and bills; the second was a small QR code taped to the box that allowed passersby to leave a tip by smartphone. On one level, this was simply smart business: Chinese made around $5.5 trillion in e-payment transactions last year. But it also offered a glimpse of the future. Around the developing world, QRRead More
The global dollar-based monetary system is in serious jeopardy, according to former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. And contrary to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s assurances that there won’t be another major crisis in our lifetime, the next economy-cratering fiat-currency crash could happen as soon as next month, Paul said during an interview with Josh Sigurdson of World Alternative media. Paul and Sigurdson also discussed false flag attacks, the dawn of a cashless society and the dangers of monetizing national debt. Paul started by saying Yellen’s attitude scares him because “central bankers are alwaysRead More
After Donald Trump was elected president, a lot of the fears and concerns that were once so common among conservatives and libertarians, seemed to fade. That state of relief was proven to be temporary, but fears of financial collapse and social disintegration still aren’t as prevalent now as they used to be. A lot of people have let their guard down, because they think things will be alright since “their guy” is in office. But they should be concerned, because while they’ve been breathing a sigh of relief, wealthy elites and celebritiesRead More
The West could learn a thing or two 20 years after the region plunged into turmoil. Twenty years ago, I was working at the International Monetary Fund in Washington that would scramble — like almost everyone else — to understand and respond to cascading financial disruptions that would throw Asia into a deep recession. Important lessons were to emerge from an Asian miracle that was taking an unexpected turn for the worse, with frightening systemic implications. Asia painfully learned, and adapted well, and what it taught us remains valid todayRead More
Twenty years ago, Malaysia was caught up in the turmoil of a currency crisis that began in Thailand and swept across Asia, battering economies, pushing millions into poverty and forcing governments to seek emergency bailouts. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was chief economist of Malaysia’s central bank at the time — later becoming governor — recalls her experience of the crisis, including having to implement policies that went against the conventional economic wisdom of the time, such as pegging the currency and imposing capital controls on foreign investors. This is an abridgedRead More
THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century. – At the beginning of 1988Read More
It appears a trend is taking shape. Following a former Goldman HFT trader’s massive initial coin offering, another Wall Street-er has come to the dark side of virtual currencies. A former senior manager at consulting firm Bain & Company, is launching a Bitcoin fund, providing access to the cryptocurrency to some of the wealthiest families in Latin America. Announced today, the newly formed Crypto Assets Fund, co-founded by former senior manager at Bain, Roberto Ponce Romay, is helping to raise $50m with the purpose of buying cryptocurrencies for family offices. Revealed exclusively toRead More

Posted On July 6, 2017By HoudiniIn Articles

Nasi Goreng Bonds, Anyone?

Indonesia considers selling local-currency debt on global markets. The Chinese made a full meal of offshore dim sum debt, and Indians have started nibbling into masala securities. Now Indonesians are contemplating nasi goreng bonds. Will investors step up to the plate? Like the other two, this would also be local-currency corporate borrowing, but in global debt markets. Creditors, rather than debtors, will bear the risk of rupiah depreciation. Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, president director of PT Bank Mandiri, the country’s largest lender by assets, told me he’s exploring the option for PT JasaRead More
As the Asian financial crisis raged on two decades ago, then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad committed economic heresy by rejecting an International Monetary Fund bailout and slapping capital controls on global investors. Mahathir blasted currency traders as “unscrupulous profiteers” in an “immoral” line of work. Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, who bet big and won big against the British pound in 1992, returned fire, predicting that Mahathir’s policies would be a “recipe for disaster.” Not so it turned out. Malaysia’s economy contracted but quickly snapped back from the crisis. Mahathir’s controls were defended earlyRead More
Japan’s demographic timebomb is hardly new, although over the past year it has encountered several notable milestones. Last December, we wrote that for the first time on record, Japan’s births dropped below a million. This is what we said at the time: While the US is finally starting to feel the social, political and economic hit from an aging population, nowhere is the demographic impact more visible than in what is the epicenter of the developed world’s demographic problems: Japan. It is here that according to the latest government data, theRead More