Since the financial meltdown of 2008, banks now have been incentivized to become even bigger, knowing that the larger they are and the more they have their tentacles into every tiny aspect of everyone’s lives, the more they fall into the “too big to fail” category, making them immune from prosecution and ensuring a steady stream of government subsidies to keep them profitable and healthy.
After years of out of control hyperinflation, at the end of last month, the nation of Zimbabwe announced it only had $217 to its name. By this point, what with salaries and normal expenditures, that’s probably more like negative a billion Zimbabwe dollars.
Even though the US government has tried and tried for decades to get people to accept a $1 coin, it’s never caught on. But the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that by permanently replacing the paper dollar with a coin, the government could save $4.4 billion over 30 years.
Almost every nation on Earth measures itself and against each other by wealth and by gross domestic product (GDP). Except for Bhutan. The tiny Himalayan hamlet only opened its borders in 1970 and in 1971, the Buddhist nation started a system where it measures its own success not by dollars in the bank, but by the smiles on people’s faces. As goofy as that may seem, it’s a program that has done wonders for the country, and now the UN wants to try and duplicate the model around the world where possible.
In a number that’s going to be wildly spun by both sides, new economic reports indicate that US unemployment fell to 8.1%, but that seems to be mainly due to hundreds of thousands of people having dropped out of the job hunt. Oops.
Sure, the economy’s still bad, and a lot of people in Europe and America are pinching pennies and watching purchases, but corporations have tried and tried and tried and failed to market cars, houses and credit cards to the young adults sometimes called the Millennials, between 18 and 25. But they just aren’t buying it.
When you’re super rich, it’s good to stay as super rich as possible by stashing all your cash in offshore tax havens. Who wants to pay taxes that are just going to go towards building bridges and schools for poor people, when you have more yachts to buy? The Tax Justice Network’s Estimating the Price of Offshore Revisted report says that over $21 trillion has been squirrelled away in offshore tax-havens by 90,000 super-rich tax-cheats (0.001% of the world’s population)
Lately, the news news and internet news have picked up on LIBOR, the international banking interest rates standard and how’s it’s set by a group of chaps in London to suit their own whims. There is in fact an international banking conspiracy, but it’s not run by Bond villains or Lex Luthor, trying to build some gigantic sun laser… it’s run by a small group of old tweed jacket lunch buddies in London who are just trying to be cool around each other.
With Greek economy in collapse and looking like it might have to remove itself from the Euro, some are seeing this as the first domino to fall in the single European currency. After Greece could come Spain and Italy and eventually the whole thing. And if it happens, it will be bad, and the UK, which is not a Eurozone country, could bear the weight of the whole thing falling— riots, markets dropping, huge waves of immigration etc. So in case that happens, Britain is drawing up plans for the possibility.