Have you ever wondered why things could change so easily, but don’t? So has one man, who has set out with a very specific mission to change the way things are.
Travis Purrington is on a mission to re-design the dollar as part of his master’s degree.
Purrington wrote his 2011 master’s thesis for the Basel School of Design, presenting the proposal therein.
Stacy Summary: I know it’s unfashionable to discuss; and that all the tweeting hipsters look and talk the same (i.e. rouble) but in the meantime, carnage continues elsewhere in the world . . . .
— Bloomberg Business (@business) December 16, 2014
Hear how mafia is corrupting democracy at the heart of Europe in Italy’s capital city of Rome. Also: the #LuxLeaks whistleblower is arrested and makes his first public statements on why he did it, the UK Chancellor’s new ‘Google Tax’, is the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker backing away from making a register of real owners of companies and trusts public? And more scandal and unique analysis.
Featuring: The Tax Justice Network’s John Christensen, Celia Ferrara of the Investigative Reporting Project Italy, Vittorio Agnoletto of Libera International and Criminologist Professor Vincenzo Ruggiero of Middlesex University. Click on the logo to listen or click play below:
Produced and presented by @Naomi_Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.
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After reading about a new poll that shows 59% of Americans support post 9/11 torture, I’ve spent the entire morning thinking about what it means. Does this confirm the total degeneration of American culture into a collective of chicken-hawk, unthinking, statist war-mongering automatons? Alternatively, does it merely reflect the effectiveness of corporate-government propaganda? Is it a combination of both? How does the poll spilt by age group?
These are all important questions to which I do not have definitive answers, but I have some thoughts I’d like to share…
Read the rest here.
We discuss the blood-bathing in the oil related markets – from the Dubai stock exchange to the West Australian fracking company gone bust to some of the highest paid jobs in America being laid off. In the second half Max interviews former banker turned independent media star, Brian Rose of London Real TV and Silicon Real. They discuss whether or not London can ever be a new Silicon Valley.
Stacy Summary: Despite what mainstream bloggers are tweeting (they claim RT is not talking about the rouble), almost every other video posted by RT today is actually about the rouble (check out their YouTube page and their Twitter feed for more updates). But, whatever. Patriots will shriek. In meantime, some rouble content for you below. As we said in a recent episode of Keiser Report, currency crises happen during balance of payments crises (i.e. Russia 1998) or periods of deglobalization (i.e. 1914-1945). As Russia does NOT have a balance of payments crisis and has only $4 billion of external debt rolling over in the next 12 months (so no imminent sovereign debt crisis), this, imo, must be part of the deglobalization meets the new paradigm of algorithmic trading (the Norwegian krone was selling off heavily and dropped below parity with the Swedish krona for first time since 1992). The other thing to note is that when we discussed the crashing rouble a few episodes ago, we mentioned that the Baltic Dry Index was down 57% ytd, it is now down 63% . . . global trade is at a standstill but this time not due to ‘credit crunch’ (recall that shippers were unable to get Letters of Credit in 2008 when the BDI collapsed by 80+%) but sanctions / deglobalization (or ‘regionalisation’ as Constantin Gurdgiev calls it).
Russian ruble collapse, higher interest rates not helping http://t.co/N3A8C1WHXz
— RT (@RT_com) December 16, 2014
And this is how bad the tumble is today:
RUBLE TESTS ABOVE 80 LEVEL AGAINST USD FOR FRESH RECORD LOWS (off 19% in session, largest 1-day drop since 1998 sovereign default) #FT71
— FuturesTrader71 (@FuturesTrader71) December 16, 2014
Unlike 1998, however, today there is no balance of payments crisis, nor chance of imminent sovereign default (as per above, though non-financial corporates may likely default on some of their debts). Recall my story of trade deal with a Russian company during 1998 rouble crisis; we had a deal for $80,000 USD. We ended up receiving I believe about $30,000. We lost on this end; i.e. the film distributor defaulted on part of their debt to us. We took the hit.
To put the rouble into currency context; about $85 billion / day in rouble is traded in a global forex market of $5.3 trillion per day. So it’s a tiny portion of the whole forex game – like silver in the precious metals market. Most forex trade is USD, EUR and YEN. Then Swiss Franc, GBP and CAD.
Some believe capital controls will be the next step:
When annual capital outflows reach 18% of total external debt, capital controls are just around the corner.
— Constantin Gurdgiev (@GTCost) December 16, 2014
Iceland did the same and, in fact, still have controls in place, but they are a tiny $13 billion economy compared to Russia’s $2 trillion economy. Many shriek with giggles and laughter, but deglobalization benefits nobody. Remember 1914-1945?
Stacy Summary: Holy moly! Rate rises are better than throwing away your foreign exchange reserves; wonder if it will force the currency speculators away?
Whopper: Russia Central Bank Raises Key Interest Rate to 17% From 10.5% After Ruble Hits Another Record Low – @DowJones
— Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta) December 15, 2014
At the same time, part of the same story in the High Yield Energy Sector:
The US HY energy sector officially became distressed (trades at >1000bps yield over USTs) as of today pic.twitter.com/rzYfJUF4HY
— Toby Nangle (@toby_n) December 15, 2014
The plunge in the price of oil that began in July acts like a tax cut, it is said, and will boost spending by consumers and businesses, and thus goose the US economy. Among the voices propagating this view is the UBS macro strategy team. It found that if the current prices persists on average in 2015, you can expect a boost to US GDP of 0.5%, which would be big for the otherwise crummy US “recovery.”
I don’t know what these good folks have been smoking, but I want some of it too.