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New Guide Explores History and Evolution of Participatory Budgeting

Shareable Magazine - April 24, 2017 - 14:12

Participatory budgeting is a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources. Such a process can engage taxpayers to work closely with their government to make budget decisions.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/22 - Economic Pluralism And Science, Mosquito Menace Will Only Get Worse

Chris Martenson - April 22, 2017 - 07:45
  • Economic Pluralism And Science
  • FI Special: The British General Election And A First Round French Presidential Election Forecast
  • America’s Health Care Costs Are Crushing the Economy
  • 17 Reasons Why You Should Own Gold
  • A Guide to the French Vote (and How It Relates to ‘Brexit’ and Trump)
  • What’s the Maker of Post-it Notes Doing in the Ankle Monitor Business? Struggling
  • Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse
  • U.S. Farmers, Who Once Fed the World, Are Overtaken by New Powers 

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Categories: Economics

The Coming Conflagration

Chris Martenson - April 21, 2017 - 17:26
Executive Summary
  • Have overt central bank propping efforts created a bubble in asset prices?
  • Will these overinflated markets EVER collapse?
  • What to expect when today's smoke turns into tomorrow's conflagration
  • Which assets are most sensitive to a price correction if the central banks' efforts fail?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Where there’s smoke... available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Question #2: How much does overt central bank propping have to do with their elevated prices?

Overt propping of the stock and bond markets also happens with some regularity.  First, at the macro level, dumping hundreds of billions of freshly printed currency units into the financial markets each month without any question whatsoever, plays a huge role in keeping them elevated.

One the one hand you have the central banks talking at every turn about how they are confident in the economy, that they feel the data is good, if not solid, and yet you have them dumping money into the financial “”markets”” (double quote marks because one is no longer sufficient to convey how unreal they’ve become) at the fastest pace in all of recorded history through the first 4 months of 2017; $1 trillion dollars(!!).

(Source)

If you were wondering why these markets are having such a difficult time going down, $250 billion a month goes a long way towards helping you appreciate why that’s the case.

It’s an astonishing number, and I want you to appreciate the fact that central banks would not be dumping record amounts of thin-air money into the ““markets””

The next point is that...

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Categories: Economics

Where There’s Smoke...

Chris Martenson - April 21, 2017 - 17:26

Many questions surround the elevated financial asset prices we are faced with today.

I'm talking not just about the sky-high prices of stocks and bonds, but also of the trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives that are linked to them.  All are intricately linked together. For instance, stocks are elevated, in part, because bond yields are so low. 

These questions are important to consider because -- if central banks have been too involved and gotten themselves mixed up in trying to ‘wag the dog’ by using elevated financial asset prices as a means to drive economic expansion -- then the risk is a big implosion in financial asset prices if their efforts fail.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/21 - Good News Friday: Staying In Fighting Shape, Enjoy National Park Week

Chris Martenson - April 21, 2017 - 07:13
  • Lawmakers Pass Major Statewide Reforms Of Public Defense System 
  • This group plans to bail moms out of jail for Mother's Day
  • Like disappearing ink, but cooler: Laser-powered invisible images demonstrated
  • This super fit 80-year-old personal trainer is teaching his aging clients how to stay in fighting shape
  • Apple wants to stop mining and start making everything from recycled materials
  • Get Outside: Visit a National Park for Free During National Park Week

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: How to Grow Sustainable, Local Food Systems

Shareable Magazine - April 20, 2017 - 21:47

LIFT Economy partner and worker-owner Kevin Bayuk interviews Jessica Prentice, inventor of the term "Locavore" and founder of Three Stone Hearth — a cutting edge community-financed, worker-owned cooperative enterprise in Berkeley, California. Prentice takes a pragmatic view, seeing local eating as an educational exercise in "consciousness raising" rather than a necessary or sufficient solution to problems of modern food production and consumption.

Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Era Of Easy Money Is Over

Chris Martenson - April 20, 2017 - 17:44

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Sovereign Sabre-Rattling
    • Suddenly, the world became a lot less safe
  • Market Misdirection
    • The central planners are doing their utmost to paint a positive picture
  • The Era Of Easy Money is Over
    • Debt-funded stimulus no longer results in an increase of GDP
  • How This All Will End
    • Exploring the likely pins that will pop this "mother of all bubbles"

Chris and John look at the disconnect between world events and stock prices and urge folks not to misled: risk is high, and getting higher. There is *no* rational reason for the current price levels in financial markets -- only gobs and gobs of liquidity being force-fed into the system by the world's central banks.

But the data is increasingly showing that the era of "easy money" we've lived under since the Great Recession has reached its inevitable terminus. Shoving more debt into the system is no longer boosting GDP. We are now simply blowing bigger asset bubbles that will monumentally destructive when they burst -- as they must.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/20 - Democracy to Pathocracy, The Detroit Of Tomorrow?

Chris Martenson - April 20, 2017 - 06:39
  • Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath
  • Trump still hasn't given the U.S. economy a reason to pick up
  • The Fall of Journalism Ethics and Standards in the Corporate Press
  • When Will They Ever Learn?
  • The Detroit Of Tomorrow?
  • A Silver Price Seasonality Chart
  • Oil Industry Worried About Trump’s “Buy American”
  • Startup Profile: Enviro Power Is Bringing Microcogeneration to the U.S.

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Categories: Economics

6 Ideas on How Millions of Users Can Own and Govern Twitter

Shareable Magazine - April 19, 2017 - 16:15

Next month, Twitter's shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore the possibility of the company turning into a partial or full user-owned platform cooperative. A platform cooperative is a website or mobile app, which provides a service or sells a product, that is collectively owned and governed by the users and members who depend on the platform — instead of shareholders.

Categories: Economics

These 5 Lending Libraries Are Redefining the Meaning of Ownership

Shareable Magazine - April 19, 2017 - 08:22
Libraries are no longer just places to borrow books. In recent years, libraries across the world have undergone a seismic transformation to better serve the needs of local communities. In fact, the very notion of what constitutes a "library" is being re-imagined.  
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/19 - Tax Angeles, Don't Count On That Gov't Pension

Chris Martenson - April 19, 2017 - 06:35
  • Tax Angeles (Los Angeles)
  • Don't count on that government pension
  • Op-Ed Why tax day is a nightmare for freelancers
  • What Default Rates on Subprime Auto Loans Are Telling Us
  • IMF raises China growth outlook but warns of risk of 'disruptive adjustments'
  • Is the ‘real number’ for the national debt $70 trillion?
  • Shinzo Abe eradicates last hawks from the Bank of Japan
  • Spanish treasury places 1.55 bln euros on market at negative interest rates
  • Struggling Aussies taking on negatively geared properties
  • Housing Speculation An Addiction Canada's Economy Can't Kick

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Categories: Economics

Let’s Help Trump Keep His Promises

Has Trump served us all in breaking things open? Only if we use the moment for serious rethinking of policy.
Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Residents of an English Town Took Governance and the Local Economy Into Their Own Hands

Shareable Magazine - April 18, 2017 - 12:27

The stories in this series come from a small town in the United Kingdom called Frome, but the themes and topics explored are global in scale, ranging from the Americas to the Himalayas. Despite its unique setting, nestled in the sleepy countryside of southeast England, Frome is a microcosm of much of what is taking place in towns and cities around the world. The voices of Frome tell stories that will sound familiar all across the globe, and if you listen closely, you just might hear your own story in there as well.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/18 - America's Disappearing Pensions, Thermonuclear War May Break Out 'At Any Minute'

Chris Martenson - April 18, 2017 - 06:06
  • North Korea: ‘Thermonuclear war may break out at any minute' 
  • How Western civilisation could collapse 
  • Hotel industry details plans to fight Airbnb
  • Trump orders agencies to re-think H-1B visa program 
  • Angst In America - Disappearing Pensions
  • Children as young as 13 attending 'smartphone rehab' as concerns grow over screen time
  • The Inside Story Of The Kushner-Bannon Civil War
  • Researchers find glyphosate in pregnant women, worry about impact on infants

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Categories: Economics

Robert Reich: Do Not Pretend Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Inconsistent, Arbitrary, or Without Principle

The first principle of the Trump Doctrine: People from Muslim countries may enter the U.S. if their country contains a building with Trump’s name on it.
Categories: Economics

Bay Area Nonprofit Project Equity Transforms Businesses Into Worker-Owned Cooperatives

Shareable Magazine - April 17, 2017 - 12:22
There's been a lot of talk about where the Baby Boomer generation will live as they age. Several interesting, sharing-based housing alternatives such cohousing and senior villages have emerged as potential options. But what about all the businesses that Baby Boomers own? What happens to those companies when they retire? 
Categories: Economics

How Crowdfunding and Collaboration Helped Create a Vibrant Cultural Space in Buenos Aires

Shareable Magazine - April 17, 2017 - 10:32

On Dec. 2, 2016, a fire tore through an artists' warehouse in Oakland, California, claiming the lives of 36 people. Dubbed the "Ghost Ship," the communal space was not only a concert venue, but also a refuge for artists, in a city mired by a housing affordability crisis. A little more than a decade ago, a similar tragedy struck Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Dec. 30, 2004, a fire broke out at the República Cromañón club during a concert, killing 194 people. Following the devastating fire, upcoming artists' spaces and cultural centers were met with stiff bureaucratic resistance.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/17 - Examining North Korea's Missiles, Prepare For The Next Crisis

Chris Martenson - April 17, 2017 - 08:16
  • Millions of Americans Still Haven’t Filed Their Taxes
  • Examining North Korea's Missiles
  • 100 Years Ago, the United States Entered World War I
  • Prepare For The Next Crisis
  • Americans are swamped in $1 trillion of credit card debt
  • Oil Prices Rally Amid Rising Rig Count
  • Ooho Makes 'Eating' Water Possible! Edible Water Bottle Ball Aims To Replace Plastic Bottles
  • Above Canada and Greenland With NASA's Operation IceBridge

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Categories: Economics

Brad Birkenfeld: Lucifer's Banker

Chris Martenson - April 16, 2017 - 10:14

Just how bad is the ongoing fraud in the banking system? Get ready for a mind-bowing expose by a former insider at UBS.

Brad Birkenfield, author of Lucifer's Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy, recounts the efforts he uncovered by his employer to help its clients cheat the US government out of tens of $billions in taxes.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/15 - Income Tax Then And Now, When Does A Company Decide You Are Human?

Chris Martenson - April 15, 2017 - 09:01
  • Tim Geithner Admits Banks Bailed Out With Rigged Libor, Costing Taxpayers Huge Amount 
  • 104 Years of the Income Tax: Then and Now
  • Tax Hero
  • The Booming Business Of Private Prisons
  • When Does a Company Decide You Are Human? 
  • Titanic Parallel to the Federal Reserve
  • China Ready To Cut Oil Supplies To North Korea
  • Wind-powered device can produce 11 gallons per day of clean drinking water from the air

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Categories: Economics