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If people write about a war on cash, even well-meaning readers will tend to think of them as doomsayers with paranoid tendencies. However, many will have second thoughts if they hear that there is indeed a Better Than Cash Alliance, which has the goal of replacing cash by digital payments on a global scale, and that this Alliance is doing this with the explicit support of the government of the 20 most powerful countries. types of electricity consumers The term “war on cash” was coined not by critics, but by key members of this Better Than Cash Alliance, as a rallying cry in their drive to increase their profits.

At a conference on payments in 2005, representatives of credit card company MasterCard talked about a new generation of card solutions, with which they wanted to “go to war”. Competitor Visa was confident, that they would “win the war on cash”. Together, they wanted to “eliminate cash from the financial system”. In a friendly report on the conference in the industry-journal European Card Review with the title War on Cash, the author says that while banks and governments have a shared desire to eliminate cash, governments prefer to let the card companies take the initiative, because they are afraid that the public would not like the war on cash.[1] A department head of the EU-Commission is quoted saying: “We agree with the war on cash” and continuing with a plea to lower prices for card payments in order to be more successful in this war. Read more…

A good starting point is the Bretton-Woods conference which took place in 1944, while the Second World War was still raging. The two World Wars had drained the treasuries of the European states, making the gold standard impossible to maintain. An entirely new system had to be created to enable global trade for the post-War era. At the Bretton-Woods conference, the most sensible proposal for the global trading system was created and advocated by John Maynard Keynes. Unfortunately, the political power of the United States enabled it to quash this proposal. Instead, gold was replaced by the dollar standard, with the proviso that dollars could be exchanged for gold.

When the Vietnam War forced the US to print an excessive amount of dollars, president Richard Nixon declared in 1971 that dollars would no longer be backed by gold, creating a brave new world of currencies without any backing. Just like a fixed exchange rate is the natural consequence of pegging currencies to dollar or gold, so too a floating exchange rate system emerges naturally when there are no pegs for any currency

Today, the dollar is at the centre of the global trading system, and is as good as gold once was. Everyone needs dollars as reserves to back up their currencies. To acquire dollars, all countries other than the US, must strive to increase exports — this is how one earns dollars. The US can increase imports just by printing dollars, while the rest of world exports goods and services to earn dollars. Because dollars are the gold of the modern financial system, the US can print money without adverse consequences. For instance, the US printed trillions of dollars to finance the Iraq war, and other trillions to bail out the financial sector from the global financial crisis that was created by it. read more

Trying to reduce the risk of having established only ‘spurious relations’ when dealing with observational data, statisticians and econometricians standardly add control variables. gas density of air The hope is that one thereby will be able to make more reliable causal inferences. But — as Keynes showed already back in the 1930s when criticizing statistical-econometric applications of regression analysis — if you do not manage to get hold of all potential confounding factors, the model risks producing estimates of the variable of interest that are even worse than models without any control variables at all. Conclusion: think twice before you simply include ‘control variables’ in your models!

The gender pay gap is a fact that, sad to say, to a non-negligible extent is the result of discrimination. And even though many women are not deliberately discriminated against, but rather self-select into lower-wage jobs, this in no way magically explains away the discrimination gap. As decades of socialization research has shown, women may be ‘structural’ victims of impersonal social mechanisms that in different ways aggrieve them. static electricity jokes Wage discrimination is unacceptable. Wage discrimination is a shame. Read more…

In most aspects of their lives humans must plan forwards. They take decisions today that affect their future in complex interactions with the decisions of others. When taking such decisions, the available information is only ever a subset of the universe of past and present information, as no individual or group of individuals can be aware of all the relevant information. Hence, views or expectations about the future, relevant for their decisions, use a partial information set, formally expressed as a conditional expectation given the available information.

Moreover, all such views are predicated on there being no un-anticipated future changes in the environment pertinent to the decision. This is formally captured in the concept of ‘stationarity’. Without stationarity, good outcomes based on conditional expectations could not be achieved consistently. Fortunately, there are periods of stability when insights into the way that past events unfolded can assist in planning for the future.

The world, however, is far from completely stationary. gas 0095 Unanticipated events occur, and they cannot be dealt with using standard data-transformation techniques such as differencing, or by taking linear combinations, or ratios. In particular, ‘extrinsic unpredictability’ – unpredicted shifts of the distributions of economic variables at unanticipated times – is common. As we shall illustrate, extrinsic unpredictability has dramatic consequences for the standard macroeconomic forecasting models used by governments around the world – models known as ‘dynamic stochastic general equilibrium’ models – or DSGE models … Read more…

What do Keynesian Democrats think about the movement for post-growth and de-growth economics? Dean Baker, a senior economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington, DC, has given us some insight into this question. In a recent blog post, republished by Counterpunch, he takes aim at two articles that I wrote for Foreign Policy in which I argue that it is not feasible to reduce our emissions and resource use in line with planetary boundaries while at the same time pursuing exponential GDP growth.

Let’s imagine, he says, that a new government imposes massive taxes on greenhouse gas emissions and resource extraction while at the same time increasing spending on clean technologies, with subsidies for electric vehicles and mass transit systems. Baker believes that this will shift patterns of consumption toward goods that are less emissions and resource intensive. People will spend their money on movies and plays, for example, or on gyms and nice restaurants and new computer software. So GDP will continue growing forever while emissions and resource use declines. Read more…

But the root of our problem goes much deeper. It ultimately goes back to how we look upon the data we are handling. In ‘modern’ macroeconomics — Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium, New Synthesis, New Classical and New ‘Keynesian’ — variables are treated as if drawn from a known ‘data-generating process’ that unfolds over time and on which we, therefore, have access to heaps of historical time-series. If we do not assume that we know the ‘data-generating process’ – if we do not have the ‘true’ model – the whole edifice collapses. And of course, it has to. I mean, who really honestly believes that we should have access to this mythical Holy Grail, the data-generating process?

‘Modern’ macroeconomics obviously did not anticipate the enormity of the problems that unregulated ‘efficient’ financial markets created. electricity nightcore lyrics Why? Because it builds on the myth of us knowing the ‘data-generating process’ and that we can describe the variables of our evolving economies as drawn from an urn containing stochastic probability functions with known means and variances. Read more…

Global warming and global CO2 emissions are interconnected. In 2018, heatwaves were observed in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa, while the extent of Arctic sea ice has been continuously dropping. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the last four years (2015-2018) have been the warmest years on record. electricity journal In particular, between January and October 2018, global average temperature increased 0.98 degrees Celsius above the levels of 1850-1900. If this trend continues, temperatures may rise by 3-5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Global CO2 emissions have also been increasing in the last years. China and the US together account for more than 40% of the global total CO2 emissions, according to 2017 data from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. After the withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, the US’s environmental policy shifted to a pro-fossil fuels agenda on behalf of the need to overcome the disadvantage of American businesses and workers. Trump called climate change a “very, very expensive form of tax”. Fossil fuel lobbies in Saudi Arabia, Russia and Canada are powerful forces against government climate policies. read more

Nicola Acocella (Italy, University of Rome) Robert Costanza (USA, Portland State University) Wolfgang Drechsler ( Estonia, Tallinn University of Technology) Kevin Gallagher (USA, Boston University) Jo Marie Griesgraber (USA, New Rules for Global Finance Coalition) Bernard Guerrien (France, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) Michael Hudson (USA, University of Missouri at Kansas City) Frederic S. Lee (USA, University of Missouri at Kansas City) Anne Mayhew (USA, University of Tennessee) Gustavo Marqués (Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires) Julie A. Nelson (USA, University of Massachusetts, Boston) Paul Ormerod (UK, Volterra Consulting) Richard Parker (USA, Harvard University) Ann Pettifor (UK, Policy Research in Macroeconomics) Alicia Puyana (Mexico, Latin American School of Social Sciences) Jacques Sapir (France, École des hautes études en sciences socials) Peter Söderbaum (Sweden, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology) Peter Radford (USA, The Radford Free Press) David Ruccio (USA, Notre Dame University) Immanuel Wallerstein (USA, Yale University)