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The Bitcoin/Virtual Currency Bubble – Beware of the Alchemy of “Abundance Economics” – Part 2 The Code War SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-06-04 11:58
Bubbles happen because people ignore economics and assume away reality in their excitement over a new idea. “Virtual currencies” could be the latest tech “economics of abundance” bubble in the making. Fans of abundance economics imagine that the free and open Internet’s near zero marginal cost of borderless transactions will ultimately slay traditional economics of scarcity.
Cyber-utopians imagine that currency, or money, is a simple function, like any other product or service that they have made openly available to everyone in the world at virtually no cost on the Internet. They imagine the only thing that matters with the business of money is how money is transmitted.
They assume creating money is just a coding and crowd-sourcing task. How hard could that be? What possibly could go wrong? It’s only money.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-10-13 11:36
Google announced it is working on an economy-wide Google Price Index, but has not decided whether to make it public, per Google Chief Economist, Hal Varian, who spoke at the National Association of Business Economists conference this week.
I. Insider Trading
In March, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said: "One day we had a conversation where we figured out we could just try and predict the stock market... and then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that."
Now any hedge fund (or market regulator not born yesterday) understands that if Google is actively working on a Google Price Index, Google has not stopped trying to use its uniquely comprehensive and timely, repository of sensitive market information to predict information highly useful to predicting the stock market.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-10-04 16:48
The SEC/CFTC report on the May 6th "Flash Crash" helps confirm that automated index trading technology was a contributing cause of the 2008 Financial Crisis and why recent financial reforms are not enough to address the ongoing destructive systemic vulnerability that automated index trading technology increasingly poses for financial markets going forward.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2010-01-21 16:03
To discern the real “root” causes of the financial crisis of 2008, one must probe beneath the surface and examine the health of the “root system” of our capital markets “forest.” The roots of the capital markets forest are sound economics; the natural market function of automatically equilibrating supply and demand and risk and reward, that is commonly appreciated as Adam’s Smith’s “invisible hand.” We generally assume that the natural market strength of the capital market forest’s root system ensures that all the trees are not in danger of being blown over in the crisis of a storm.
In the fall of 2008, we all were shocked to learn that the root system of our capital markets, that we had always assumed was healthy and strong, was actually frighteningly weak and brittle requiring the slapdash reinforcement of multi-trillion dollar emergency scaffolding of whatever material was close at hand, a TARP, bailout lifelines, capital sandbags, etc. -- to buttress the main market “trees” from toppling over, trees that the Government judged to big to be allowed to fall.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2009-09-08 10:27
How could American taxpayers get stuck with a multi-trillion dollar tab that they weren’t even aware that they were running up? How could that huge tab still be allowed to run up unchecked today? For the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the sad answer is one of the biggest root causes of last fall’s devastating financial crisis and one of the biggest continuing systemic risks to the financial system and the economic recovery.
A decade ago, in what may prove to be the most expensive bipartisan legislative mistake in U.S. history, a bipartisan policy became law that effectively ensured that no Federal regulator had oversight or enforcement jurisdiction over derivative financial instruments. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) created “legal certainty for excluded derivative transactions.” That law allowed a shadow derivative overlay system to be built literally on top of the public financial system, with none of the inherent accountability of the underlying financial system. In other words, a deliberate bipartisan U.S. government policy change a decade ago unwittingly created an unaccountable “black hole” market that sucked enormous value out of public markets, (Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, securitized sub-prime mortgages, etc.) while laundering the risk to the U.S. taxpayer.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-06-11 17:43
Despite the widely held view that indexing is the safest way to invest, indexing helped recklessly drive our financial system and economy into the ditch last fall.
A major reason the system has become so unstable and dangerous to financial security is that over ten percent of money management vehicles on the road today are indexers, which by design drive the wrong way against the oncoming traffic of a market economy that allocates capital based on economic merit.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-06-11 17:43
This is an introduction and background for my new multi-part research series on diagnosing the root causes of the Financial Crisis.