giovedì 26 novembre 2009

Crisi: Fitoussi, all'origine...

Crisi: Fitoussi, all'origine disuguaglianze e squilibri sociali

Red. , 26 novembre 2009, 17:35

Crisi: Fitoussi, all'origine disuguaglianze e squilibri sociali Lectio magistralis L'economista francese agli Stati generali della sostenibilità in corso a Firenze. "Molti economisti considerano la crisi come se fosse una parentesi, chiusa la quale si dovrebbe continuare come prima. Invece dobbiamo riconoscere che abbiamo sbagliato, che eravamo di fronte alla grande bugia di un sistema finanziario che prometteva a tutti rendimenti più alti di quelli medi e dobbiamo far crescere l'economia reale e non quella finanziaria"

«All'origine della più grave crisi dagli anni Trenta ad oggi, ci sono le disuguaglianze e gli squilibri sociali di un mondo in cui il 99% della popolazione è in grave difficoltà e l'1% sta accumulando fortune incredibili. Il Prodotto interno lordo dell'unione europea nel 2009 diminuirà del 3% rispetto al 2008 e nel 2010 se ne prevede un'ulteriore diminuzione dello 0,3%. Siamo in mezzo alla crisi e nessuno sa cosa accadrà domani. Per questo c'è grande necessità di interventi pubblici e realtà come la Toscana da sole non possono fare nulla, ma se vi metterete alla testa del gruppo di Regioni europee si potranno dare risposte in grado di incidere sulla crisi, ma se non si raggiunge un'intesa a livello europeo non sarà possibile fare nulla».
Sono questi alcuni dei passaggi chiave della lectio magistralis dal titolo "La sostenibilità è il nuovo motore dell'economia" che l'economista francese Jean Paul Fitoussi ha tenuto oggi nel corso della prima sessione degli Stati Generali della sostenibilità organizzati dalla Regione Toscana e in corso di svolgimento alla Fortezza da Basso di Firenze.

"I governi hanno fatto bene a salvare le banche, ma hanno dimenticato di fissare le condizioni. Il contribuente ha pagato per salvare le banche, ma non capisce perché. Dopo essere state salvate ora le banche fanno profitti enormi", ha proseguito il presidente dell'Osservatorio francese delle congiunture economiche.
Fitoussi ha sottolineato che le banche "distribuiscono bonus e i governi non si preoccupano più della disoccupazione. Oggi si parla di debito pubblico". Da questo punto di vista, ha poi spiegato l'economista, "pesa il deficit di governo politico dell'Ue". "L'Europa - ha aggiunto - è il Paese più grande del mondo, perché ha il Pil più grande: in confronto la Cina è piccola. L'Europa però non si vede come un grande Paese. L'Europa - ha concluso - è la sola regione del mondo che non ha un governo e stiamo pagando il costo economico dell'assenza di un governo politico".

«Molti economisti - ha aggiunto Fitoussi - considerano la crisi come se fosse una parentesi, chiusa la quale si dovrebbe continuare come prima. Invece dobbiamo riconoscere che abbiamo sbagliato, che eravamo di fronte alla grande bugia di un sistema finanziario che prometteva a tutti rendimenti più alti di quelli medi e dobbiamo far crescere l'economia reale e non quella finanziaria».

Dopo aver osservato che la crisi economica e quella ambientale hanno le stesse origini, ha sottolineato come le disuguaglianze mondiali nell'ultimo quarto di secolo si siano accentuate perché eravamo in pieno "fondamentalismo di mercato".

Fitoussi ha concluso la sua lezione ammonendo che «se cresce il malessere sociale non ci sarà sostenibilità, ma che sarà possibile raggiungerla soltanto se saremo in grado di puntare al progresso sociale».

News stories related to the World Bank and IMF

The best news stories related to the World Bank and IMF of the past week:


World Bank wants Zambia to increase power tariffs
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200911210123dowjonesdjonline000003&title=world-bank-wants-zambia-to-increase-power-tariffs-report
Nasdaq, 23 November 2009

World Bank projects collapse in Lagos
http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=160465
This Day, 23 November 2009

Bank unit to review palm oil and other carbon-intensive loans
http://www.bicusa.org/en/Article.11648.aspx
BIC, 20 November 2009

World Bank reforms: tough decisions needed on four critical issues
http://www.worldpress.org/Europe/3454.cfm
World Press, 19 November 2009

World Bank affirms support to Indigenous Peoples in designing climate change responses
http://www.guatemala-times.com/environment/1273-world-bank-affirms-support-to-indigenous-peoples-in-designing-climate-change-responses.html
Guatemala Times, 18 November 2009

US Senator Kerry: World Bank should emphasize renewable investments
http://imarketnews.com/?q=node/4905
imarketnews.com, 18 November 2009

IMF head eyes global currency change, presses on yuan
http://www.reuters.com/article/asianCurrencyNews/idUSPEK20416820091117
Reuters, 17 November 2009

Banche: Tremonti, Grandi Stanno Tornando Su Territorio

Banche: Tremonti, Grandi Stanno Tornando Su Territorio

adnkronos
- giovedì, 26 novembre 2009 - 12:02 CET

Roma, 26 nov. - (Adnkronos) - "Vi segnalo che e' in atto un processo fortissimo di ritorno sul territorio" da parte degli istituti di credito. "Anche le grandi banche si stanno ristrutturando in una logica di banca del territorio". Lo afferma il ministro dell'Economia Giulio Tremonti intervenendo in commissione Bilancio dove sono in corso i lavori sulla manovra finanziaria. "Sono stati preveggenti", sottolinea il ministro.

Tremonti osserva quindi che se una banca e' organizzata "in un sistema in cui non e' il computer a servizio dell'uomo ma l'uomo a servizio del computer e' anche difficile per le banche fare credito. Sono scelte delle banche ma e' anche effetto di scelte politiche".

mercoledì 25 novembre 2009

The Economic Crisis and What Must be Done

The Economic Crisis and What Must be Done


Global Research, November 24, 2009
richardccook.com - 2009-11-23


The United States does not control its own destiny. Rather it is controlled by an international financial elite, of which the American branch works out of big New York banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Wall Street investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, and the Federal Reserve System. They in turn control the White House, Congress, the military, the mass media, the intelligence agencies, both political parties, the universities, etc. No one can rise to the top in any of these institutions without the elite’s stamp of approval.

This elite has been around since the nation began, becoming increasingly dominant as the 19thcentury progressed. A key date was passage of the National Banking Act of 1863, when the system was put into place whereby federal government debt was used to collateralize bank lending. Since then we’ve paid the freight through our taxes for bank control of the economy. The final nails in the coffin came with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

In 1929 the bankers plunged the nation into the Great Depression by constricting the money supply. With Franklin D. Roosevelt as president, the nation struggled through the decade of the 1930s but did not pull out of the Depression until the industrial explosion during World War II.

After the war came the Golden Age of the U.S. economy, when the working man, protected by strong labor unions, became a true partner in the prosperity of the industrial age. That era lasted a full generation. The bankers were largely spectators as Americans led the world in exports, standard of living, science and space exploration, and every measure of health, longevity, and culture.

Roosevelt had kept the bankers subservient to the interests of the economy at large. The Federal Reserve was part of the New Deal team, and interest rates were held at historic lows despite a large federal deficit. One main impact was the huge increase in home ownership. After World War II, the G.I. Bill allowed home ownership to grow further and millions of veterans to attend college. The influx of educated graduates led to productivity growth and the emergence of new high-tech industries.

But the bankers were laying their plans. In the early 1950s they got the government to agree to allow the Federal Reserve to escape its subservience to the U.S. Treasury Department and set interest rates on its own. Rates rose throughout the 1950s and 1960s. By the time of the interest rate hikes of 1968, the economy was slowing down. Both federal budget and trade deficits were beginning to replace the post-war surpluses. High interest rates were the likely cause.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon removed the dollar’s gold peg, allowing the huge inflation resulting from oil price increases that the international bankers engineered through control of U.S. foreign policy when Henry Kissinger was national security adviser and secretary of state. Nixon’s opening to China resulted in early agreements, also overseen by banking interests, to begin to transfer U.S. industry to overseas producers like China which had cheap labor costs.

By the mid-1970s, the U.S. had been taken over by a behind the scenes coup-d’etat that included events in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy that could only have been instigated by the highest levels of world financial control. In the election of 1976, David Rockefeller succeeded in placing fellow Trilateral Commission member Jimmy Carter in the White House, but Carter upset the banking community, thoroughly Zionist in orientation, by working toward peace in the Middle East and elsewhere.

I was working in the Carter White House in 1979-80. Unbeknownst to the president, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, another Rockefeller protégé, suddenly raised interest rates to fight the inflation the bankers had caused by the OPEC oil price deals, and plunged the nation into recession. Carter was made to look weak and uninformed and was defeated in the election of 1980 by Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. It was through the “Reagan Revolution” that the regulatory controls over the banking industry were lifted, mainly in allowing the banks to use their fractional reserve privileges in making mortgage loans.

Volcker’s recession shattered American manufacturing and hastened the flight of jobs abroad. Under the “Reagan Doctrine,” the U.S. military embarked on an unprecedented mission of world conquest by attacking one small nation at a time, starting with Nicaragua. Global capitalism was also on the march, with the U.S. armed forces its own private police force. With the invasion of Iraq under George H.W. Bush in 1991, mainland Asia was revealed as the principle target.

The economy was floated by productivity gains through computer automation and a huge sell-off of assets through the merger-acquisition bubble of the late 1980s which ended in a recession. This resulted in the defeat of Bush by Bill Clinton in the election of 1992. Clinton was able to create another bubble through a strong dollar policy that attracted foreign capital.

The dot-com bubble that resulted lasted all the way through to the crash of December 2000. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force led the way in the destruction of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia, whereby the international bankers took over the resource wealth of the entire Balkan region, and the U.S. military gained forward bases for further incursions into Asia.

Do we need to say that none of this was ever voted on by the American electorate? But they bought into it nevertheless, both with their silence and through participation in a generally favorable job market in the emerging service occupations, particularly finance.

By the time George W. Bush was inaugurated president in January 2001, the U.S. was facing a disaster. $4 trillion in wealth had vanished when the dot.com bubble collapsed. NAFTA caused even more American manufacturing jobs to disappear abroad. The Neocons who were moving into key jobs in the Pentagon knew they would soon have new wars to fight in the Middle East, with invasion plans for Afghanistan and Iraq ready to be pulled off the shelf.

But the U.S. had no economic engine available to generate the tax revenues Bush would need for the planned wars. At this moment Chairman Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve stepped in. Over a two year period from 2001-2003 the Fed lowered interest rates by over 500 basis points. Meanwhile, the federal government removed all regulatory controls on mortgage lending, and the housing bubble was on. $4 trillion in new home loans were pumped into the economy, much of it through subprime loans borrowers could not afford.

The Fed began to put on the brakes in 2003, but the mighty work of re-floating a moribund economy had been accomplished. By late 2006 another recession loomed, but it would take two more years before the crisis of October 2008 brought the entire system down.

The impact on the job market was immediate and profound. By the time Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008, the U.S. was mired in seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the worst recession since the Great Depression was picking up speed. In order to prevent total disaster, the Bush administration ended its eight years of catastrophic misrule with a flourish, by allocating over $700 billion in financial system bailouts to cover the bad loans the banks had been making since Greenspan gave the housing bubble the green light.

It is now November 2009. Since Barack Obama was inaugurated in January, unemployment has soared from 7.9 percent to 10.2 percent. A few hundred billion dollars were allocated for “stimulus” purposes, but most of that went to pay unemployment benefits and to keep state and local governments from laying off more employees.

A fraction has been distributed for highway improvements, but largely through the bank bailouts the federal deficit has been running at an annual rate of $1.5 trillion, by far the largest in history, with the national debt now topping $12 trillion. Ironically, those Americans who still have productive jobs continue to grow in efficiency, with productivity up over five percent in the last year.

So much federal money has been spent that the Obama administration has been struggling to make its health care proposals budget-neutral through a raft of new taxes, fees, and penalties, and by announcing in recent days that the government’ first priority must now shift to deficit reduction. The word “austerity” has been mentioned for the first time since the Carter administration. Yet Congress voted $655 billion in military expenditures to continue fighting in the Middle East. A U.S. military attack on Iran, possibly in conjunction with Israel, would surprise no one.

So where do we now stand?

At present, the Federal Reserve is trying to prevent a total economic collapse. Interest rates are near-zero, to the chagrin of foreign investors in U.S. Treasury securities, and close to half of new Treasury debt instruments have been bought by the Federal Reserve itself as a way of providing free money for federal government expenditures.

But the U.S. economy shows no signs of coming back, with no economic driver emerging that could bring it back. For all the talk about alternative energy, there has been no significant growth of any home-grown industry that could possibly make up so much lost ground in either the short or the long-term.

The industries in the U.S. that are holding up are the military, including arms exports, universities that are attracting large numbers of students from abroad, especially China, and health care, especially for the aging baby boomer population. But the war industry produces nothing with a long-term economic benefit, and health care exists mainly to treat sick people, not produce anything new.

None of this provides a foundation that can bring about a restoration of prosperity to 300 million people when the jobs of making articles of consumption are increasingly scarce. On top of everything else, since government inevitably looks to its own requirements first, the total tax burden continues to increase to the point where the average employee now pays close to 50 percent of his or her income on taxes of all types, including federal and state income taxes, real estate taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, government fees, etc. Plus the cost of utilities continues to rise steadily and threatens to skyrocket if cap-and-trade legislation is passed.

The Obama administration has no plans to deal with any of this. They have projected a budget for 15 years hence that shows the budget deficit decreasing and tax revenues going way up, but it is all lies. They have no roadmap for getting us there and no plans for following the roadmap if it portrayed a realistic goal. And yet the U.S. military is still trying to conquer Asia. It is madness.

And it is madness because the big decisions are not made by the U.S., by Congress, or by the Obama administration. The U.S. has, for half-a-century, been marching to the tune played by the international financial elite, and this fact did not change with the election of 2008. The financiers have put the people of this nation $57 trillion in debt, according to the latest reports, counting debt at the federal, state, business, and household levels. Interest alone on this debt is over $3 trillion of a GDP of $14 trillion. Failure of our political leadership to deal with this tragedy over the past three decades is nothing less than treason.

But then again, at some point the decision was made that the U.S. and its population would be discarded by history, the economic status of the nation reduced to a shadow of what it once was, but that its military machine would be used for the financial elite’s takeover of the world until it is replaced by that of some other nation. All indications are that the next country up to bat as military enforcer for the financiers is China.

There you have it. That, in my opinion, is the past, present, and future of this nation in a nutshell. Great evils have been done in the world in the last century, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Except…. and that’s what each person caught up in these travesties must decide. What are you going to do about it?

In mulling over this question, it would be wise to recognize that the dominance of the financial elite has largely been exercised through their control of the international monetary system based on bank lending and government debt. Therefore it’s through the monetary system that change can and must be made.

The progressives are wrong to think the government should go deeper in debt to create more jobs. This will just create an even deeper hole of debt future generations will have to crawl out of.

Rather the key is monetary reform, whether at the local or national levels. People have lost control of their ability to earn a living. But change could be accomplished through sovereign control by people and nations of the monetary means of exchange.

This control has been stolen. It is time to take it back. One way would be for the federal government to make a relief payment to each adult of $1,000 a month until the crisis lifted. This money could be earmarked for goods and services produced within the U.S. and used to capitalize a new series of community development banks. I have called this the “Cook Plan.”

The plan could be funded through direct payment from a Treasury relief account without new taxes or government borrowing. The payments would be balanced on the credit side by GDP growth or be used by individuals to pay off debt. It would be direct government spending as was done with Greenbacks before and after the Civil War without significant inflation.

Another method increasingly being used within the U.S. today is local and regional credit clearing exchanges and the use of local currencies or “scrip.” Use of such currencies could be enhanced by legislation at the state and federal levels allowing these currencies to be used for payment of taxes and government fees as well as payment of mortgages and other forms of bank debt. The credit clearing exchanges could be organized as private non-profit regional currency co-operatives similar to credit unions.

These would be immediate emergency measures. In the longer run, sovereign control of money and credit must be returned to the public commons and treated as public utilities. This does not mean exclusive government control to replace bank control. As stated previously, it would be done in partnership between government and private trade exchanges. Nor does it mean government takeover of business, industry, or the banking system, though all should be regulated for the common good and fairly taxed.

This program would lead to a new monetary paradigm where money and credit would be available by, as, when, and where needed, to facilitate trade between and among legitimate producers of goods and services. In this way trade and commerce will come to serve human freedom, not diminish it as is done with today’s dysfunctional partnership between big government trillions of dollars in debt and big finance with the entire world in hock.

Such a change would be a true populist revolution.


Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst who writes on public policy issues. He is an advisor to the American Monetary Institute on its model monetary reform legislation soon to be introduced in Congress. His latest book is We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. His website iswww.richardccook.com.

US 'Continental Congress' abolishes income tax

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

'Continental Congress' abolishes income tax

Citizens mobilize in spirit of '76 to help return U.S. to its roots


Posted: November 23, 2009
11:01 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily


'New Continental Congress' session in St. Charles, Ill.
Modeled after the assembly of colonial leaders that formed the original governing body of the U.S., a grass-roots organization has concluded a "new Continental Congress" it hopes will be a catalyst for citizen action that will help return the nation to its roots.

Meeting Nov. 11-21 in St. Charles, Ill., delegates from across the nation gathered to publicly debate the government's "abuses of the Constitution and to consider practical strategies which can bring about compliance with our Freedom documents, not only in our government at all levels, but in our individual lives."

The delegates produced Articles of Freedom which assert "the time has come to reassert our God-given natural rights and cast off tyranny."

"Let the facts reveal – the Federal Government of the United States of America, which was instituted to protect the rights of individual citizens, instead – threatens our life, liberty and property through usurpations of the Constitution; and emboldened by our own lack of responsibility and due diligence in these matters, has exceeded its mandate, and abandoned those founding principles which have made our nation exceptional," the document declares.

The organizers emphasized their "grass-roots proceedings" are not a Constitutional Convention, which the delegates strongly oppose, because it would "only serve to limit our unalienable rights."

The Congress passed a number of resolutions, including measures against the income tax – recognizing it as unconstitutional – and against federal gun-control legislation.

The president of the session was Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's candidate for president in 2004. Dan Gonzales, the Constitution Party's Florida chairman, was the session's vice president.

Robert Schulz Sr., chairman of the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education, was a chief organizer.

The organizers, who state they seek to "legally end certain violations of the federal Constitution," said their next step is a 14-year process by citizens to hold their state and federal elected officials accountable to the federal Constitution.

They say they have "exhausted their administrative and judicial remedies" and now wish to "exhaust their constitutional remedies, as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Accountability Clause of the First Amendment."

"When the People are up against unjust and uncivil government and laws and they are entitled to reform they will achieve it if they are pro-active, non-violent and have a mass-movement," they declare.


'New Continental Congress' delegates meeting in St. Charles, Ill.

Charging the government has violated the Constitution's tax, money, war, general welfare, privacy and other clauses, the organizers have posted petitions for redress regarding the war powers clauses, gun control laws, federal income tax, federal reserve, USA Patriot Act and illegal immigration and a North American Union.

The organizers emphasize the Constitution affords citizens much more than the right to merely send "complaints" to the government, which are usually ignored.

"The Right of Petition embodies the profound Right to enforce the Right to Petition by withdrawing support from the Government until Redress is secured," they state.

The Continental Congress 2009 sought to "take the process of holding Government accountable and restoring the Constitution to the next level by first creating a formal record of the vast violations of the Constitution and Individual Rights now suffered by the People."

The members debated and decided on a series of practical "Civic Actions" citizens can undertake to restore their liberty.

The assembly adopted, for example, formal "Remedial Instructions" to be served on federal and state officials, ordering them to cease and desist their official abuses and giving them formal notice as to the "Civic Actions" of peaceful resistance the people can carry out if their petitions are ignored.

The Income Tax Instruction to the United States Congress adopted by the assembly cites "irrefutable documentation" establishing that the 16th Amendment is void because it was not properly ratified and arguing any direct, unapportioned tax on the labor of any American is unconstitutional.

The resolution cites the U.S. Supreme Court holding that labor and its fruits are "the most sacred and inviolable" property of the citizens of the nation.

The tax resolution also calls for Congress to immediately stop imposition of the withholding of earnings from citizens' paychecks.

The "Complete Idiot's Guide To Barter & Trade Exchanges"

The “Complete Idiot’s Guide To Barter & Trade Exchanges” Hits Bookstores!

Jerry Howell, Founder & President of the Midwest Business Exchange, has written a book which will be released December 1 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other independent book sellers nationwide.

It’s titled the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barter & Trade Exchanges and is published by Penguin Books. The book is aimed at businesses that are either members of trade exchanges, or considering joining one.

Topics include a history of barter, alternative currencies, and how trade exchanges work. The book challenges the reader to learn strategies, both basic and advanced, as they make their memberships work for them. In doing so, it also offers valuable insight to brokers of trade exchanges.

Howell is an excellent writer with a well-known sense of humor. Given these attributes, along with having a major publisher and national distribution, should provide significant exposure and opportunities for the commercial barter industry.

.............

How many haircuts is that tune-up worth?

With money tight, bartering is growing in popularity. Over 70,000 businesses make cashless transactions throughout America. Here is the only complete, step- by-step guide to how this potentially lucrative process works, including: the advantages of direct versus national barter networks; how to save and increase profitability; how to increase sales and revenue; and how to start a trade exchange.

•From a national expert and barter entrepreneur

•Detailed resource section exchanges and business associations

http://www.mbebarter.com/Portals/0/CompleteIdiotsGuideBarterCover.jpg

Bets rise on rich country bond defaults

Bets rise on rich country bond defaults

By David Oakley in London

Financial Times, November 22 2009

The mounting level of debt in the industrialised world is prompting a growing number of investors to use the derivatives market to bet on the chance of rich governments defaulting on bonds.

Public debt and CDS volumesThe volume of activity in sovereign credit default swaps – which measure the cost to insure against bond defaults – linked to the US, UK and Japan have doubled in the past year because of concerns about their public finances.

CDS volumes for Italy, which has one of the highest debt burdens of the developed economies, are now the highest for an individual country, according to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

In contrast, the outstanding volume of CDS linked to emerging nations such as Russia, Brazil, Ukraine and Indonesia have been flat or fallen in the past 12 months as investors have become less interested in trading the risks of those countries.

In the past, the CDS market for developed countries was sluggish, because few investors saw the need to buy or sell protection against a risk of default that seemed exceedingly remote.

However, rising debt levels and growing political and economic uncertainty have created a more active market, with more investors now seeking insurance. Meanwhile, many banks are prepared to offer protection in exchange for a fee.

This fee has recently jumped, since the cost to insure the debt of developed countries has increased since the summer of last year, while the cost of insuring emerging market debt has fallen.

Gary Jenkins, head of fixed income research at Evolution, said: “The biggest single risk hanging over the bond markets is the rapid rise in public debt in the industrialised world.

“If we get to a point where the market thinks the levels of debt are unsustainable, then we will see an almighty sell-off in the government bond markets, with yields soaring. Governments need to take action to cut deficits and debt.”

Fitch Solutions, the data arm of the Fitch Group, said that there was almost as much uncertainty in the CDS market about the outlook for the developed economies and their bond markets as there was for emerging economies.

Comparisons between Italy and Brazil are often used by strategists as an example of the contrasting fortunes of the developed and emerging world.

Italy’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product is forecast to rise to 127.3 per cent in 2010.

On the other hand, Brazil’s debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to stabilise at 65.4 per cent in 2010.

Nigel Rendell, senior emerging markets strategist at RBC Capital Markets, said: “It is not surprising that investors are increasingly worried about debt in the industrialised world. Debt to GDP of more than 100 per cent is difficult to sustain.”

martedì 24 novembre 2009

Time to Stop Borrowing Money and Start Printing It

Lessons From the Japanese: Time to Stop Borrowing Money and Start Printing It

by: Ellen Hodgson Brown J.D., t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

photo
(Photo: Richard-G / Flickr)

"We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system.When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon."

- Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1934


Miners used to keep canaries in coal mines as an early warning device. If the air was so bad that it killed the canary, the miners would soon be next. Japan may be the canary for the out-of-control deficit spending policies now being pursued in the United States and the United Kingdom. In a November 1 article in the Daily Telegraph called "It Is Japan We Should Be Worrying About, Not America," international business editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:

"Japan is drifting helplessly towards a dramatic fiscal crisis. For 20 years the world's second-largest economy has been ... feeding its addiction to Keynesian deficit spending - and allowing it to push public debt beyond the point of no return. The rocketing cost of insuring against the bankruptcy of the Japanese state is telling us that the model has smashed into the buffers.
". . . Tokyo’s price index fell 2.4 percent in October, the deepest deflation in modern Japanese history. . . . The government could stop this . . . . It could print money à l'outrance to stave off deflation. Yet it sits frozen, like a rabbit in the headlamps.

"Japan’s terrible errors are by now well known. . . . QE was too little, too late, and this is the lesson for the West. We must cut borrowing drastically over the next decade, and offset this with ultra-easy monetary policy. Does Downing Street understand this? Does the White House? . . . Clearly not."

In case you too have forgotten your high school French, "a l'outrance" means "to the uttermost." "QE" is "quantitative easing" - printing money. Evans-Pritchard's proposed solution to the mounting fiscal crisis is that the government needs to quit borrowing money and start printing it.

More Funny Money? Please!

Your response is liable to be that we are doing that already, in spades; and it does not seem to be working. The Federal Reserve is madly printing money (or writing it into electronic accounts), increasing the money supply to the point that pundits are screaming about hyperinflation. Yet the nation is just plunging further into debt, while the credit crunch continues to get worse.

And that is true, but it is only half the picture. M1 is shooting up, but M3 and bank lending are both shrinking. (M1 is readily spendable money - coins and dollar bills, or M0, plus checkbook money. M3 is the broadest measure of the money supply, including savings deposits, money market funds, and other forms of liquid assets that are traded as money.) The Fed is creating money as fast as it can find federal and bank borrowers to take the money off its hands, yet it can't keep up with the rampant deflation in the real economy. Bank lending has dropped by 17 percent since October 2008, when the credit crisis was already in full swing. "There has been nothing like this in the USA since the 1930's," says Professor Tim Congdon of International Monetary Research. "The rapid destruction of money balances is madness."

The reason the level of bank lending is so important is that virtually all our money today originates as loans created by private banks. Most people think money is issued by the government, but the only money the government creates are coins, which compose less than one ten-thousandth of the money supply - about $1 billion out of $13.8 trillion (M3). Dollar bills are issued by the Federal Reserve, a privately owned banking corporation, and lent to the government and to other banks. And coins and dollar bills together make up only about 7 percent of the money supply. All of the rest is simply written into accounts on computer screens by bankers when they make loans.

Contrary to popular belief, banks do not lend their own money or their depositors' money. Every time a bank makes a loan, it is brand new money, simply written into the account of the borrower. As explained on Wikipedia:

"The different forms of money in government money supply statistics arise from the practice of fractional-reserve banking. Whenever a bank gives out a loan in a fractional-reserve banking system, a new sum of money is created. This new type of money is what makes up the non-M0 components in the M1-M3 statistics. In short, there are two types of money in a fractional-reserve banking system: (1) central bank money (physical currency, government money); and (2) commercial bank money (money created through loans) - sometimes referred to as private money, or checkbook money. In the money supply statistics, central bank money is M0 while the commercial bank money is divided up into the M1-M3 components."

If there were no banks, we would have no money except pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Money created as bank loans does not stick around, since loans eventually get paid back. When old loans get paid off and new ones aren't taken out to replace them, the money supply shrinks; and lately, new loans have fallen off dramatically.

Why? Banks insist that they are lending as much as they are prudently allowed to. The problem is that they have reached the lending limits imposed by the capital requirements set by the Bank for International Settlements. In the years of the credit boom, banks were able to leverage their capital into far more loans than are being created now. This was because loans were taken off the banks' books by investors, allowing the same capital to be used many times over to generate new loans. These investors, called "shadow lenders," have now exited the market, and they are not expected to return any time soon. They left after it became clear that the credit default swaps allegedly protecting their investments were only as good as the solvency of the counterparties (typically AIG or hedge funds), which had a bad habit of going bankrupt rather than paying up. An estimated $10 trillion disappeared from the money supply along with the shadow lenders, and the Fed has managed to get only a few trillion back into the market as replacement money.

"Shadow Money": Another Blow to the Quantity Theory of Money

Along with the disappearance of the "shadow lenders," there has been a dramatic decline in something called "shadow money." The concept of shadow money was presented by two economists from Credit Suisse, James Sweeney and Carl Lantz, in a Bloomberg interview in May. As explained on DemandSideBlog, shadow money is money the market itself creates in order to finance a boom - "money" in the sense of a medium of exchange. In a boom, there is not enough cash to go around, so collateral is used as near money or shadow money. Shadow money can include government bonds, private bonds, asset-backed securities, credit card debt (which can be incurred and paid off without drawing on the M1 money stock), and even real estate (when it is highly liquid and easily tradeable).

In a fuller explanation on Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden quotes from Prices and Production (1935) by Friedrich Hayek, who said:

"There can be no doubt that besides the regular types of the circulating medium, such as coin, notes and bank deposits, which are generally recognized to be money or currency, and the quantity of which is regulated by some central authority or can at least be imagined to be so regulated, there exist still other forms of media of exchange which occasionally or permanently do the service of money.

... [I]t is clear that, other things equal, any increase or decrease of these money substitutes will have exactly the same effects as an increase or decrease of the quantity of money proper, and should therefore, for the purposes of theoretical analysis, be counted as money."

Lantz and Sweeney calculate that at the peak of the boom there were $6 trillion in the traditionally defined money stock (or money supply). The private shadow stock accounted for $9.5 trillion, and government-based shadow money accounted for another $11 trillion. Thus, the shadow money stock dwarfed the traditionally defined money stock. This can be seen in the chart below provided by Tyler Durden. The blue strips at the bottom, called "outside money," are dollars printed by the Federal Reserve. The red sections, called "inside money," are money created as loans by the banks themselves. The green sections, called "public shadow money," are money created by the government and the Fed as debt (or loans). The purple sections, called "private shadow money," are the money created as private debt securities by the shadow lenders.

Lantz and Sweeney estimate the total drop in private shadow money (the purple blocks) during the current credit crisis at $3.6 trillion. This has been offset by an increase in public shadow money, both from the massive borrowing needed to finance the federal deficit and from the aggressive liquidity measures taken by the Fed in converting private securities into loans. Those measures helped prevent an even worse deflation than actually occurred, but they were not sufficient to eliminate the credit squeeze, which continues to act as a tourniquet on the productive economy.

Moreover, the lending situation is slated to get worse. At the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September, deadlines were set for increasing the amount of capital that financial institutions must set aside to cover their loans. That means that credit could get even tighter, further shrinking the global money supply and precipitating an even deeper depression.

Helicopter Money: Not Such a Bad Idea After All?

Ironically, it was in Japan in 2002 that Ben Bernanke gave the speech for which he has been much derided, in which he maintained that deflation could be reversed simply by dropping money from helicopters. He said, "The US government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.... A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous 'helicopter drop' of money."

But the Japanese froze in the headlights, as Evans-Pritchard writes. Instead of merely issuing the money it needed, the government borrowed from banks that issued it and lent it at compound interest.

Chairman Bernanke could not even implement his own plan in the US, because the Federal Reserve is not actually the government. The Fed chairman is not authorized to print money and simply hand it over to the government or to spend it directly into the economy. The Fed has to lend it to the government and other financial institutions, which means finding willing and able borrowers, and today, creditworthy borrowers are in short supply. Moreover, when they do borrow, they eventually pay the money back, shrinking the money supply once again. Only the government is in a position to simply roll its debt over from year to year. But when Chairman Bernanke announced last spring that the Fed would be funding $300 billion in long-term government debt, the Chinese expressed grave concern. He then backed off from this form of quantitative easing, evidently to keep the creditors happy.

How to Save $400 Billion Yearly in Interest: Monetize the Debt

Although the Federal Reserve cannot create money and simply spend it into the economy, Congress can. The Constitution authorizes Congress "to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof." A former chairman of the House Coinage Subcommittee once observed that Congress could solve its financial problems just by minting some very large-denomination coins and paying off its debts. This solution is invariably rejected as dangerously inflationary; but when the "shadow money" is factored in, it actually wouldn't be. Government bonds already serve as a medium of exchange, trading in massive quantities around the world just as if they were money. Paying off government bonds with newly-printed dollars and then ripping up the bonds (or voiding them out on a computer screen) would not significantly affect the size of the overall money supply, since "shadow money" would just be replaced with dollar bills (paper or electronic). In the chart above, green money (public shadow money) would become blue money (dollar bills and checkbook money), leaving the total money stock unchanged.

It might be argued that the money borrowed by the government has already been spent into the economy, and that if the bonds are now turned into dollars, the money will be out there twice. And that is true; but on the shadow-money model, the inflation has already occurred and cannot now be reversed. It occurred when the government printed the bonds. The bonds are already out there serving as money. Whether the money stock takes the form of dollars or bonds, it will be used as a medium of exchange in the real economy.

Another argument often raised is that the money created as government securities and Federal Reserve loans has been "sterilized" by lodging it with central banks and commercial banks. When this money hits Main Street as dollars competing for goods and services, the floodgates will open and hyperinflation will be upon us. That is the alleged justification for keeping the stimulus money in the banks instead of in the marketplace. But then what was the point of the stimulus? If the money is only stimulating the banks, it is not doing anything for the real economy. We want money out there in the marketplace generating demand for products, which generates jobs. Price inflation results only when "demand" (money) exceeds "supply" (goods and services). If the money is used to create goods and services, prices will remain stable. We have workers out of work and factories sitting idle. They need some "demand" (money) stimulating them to create supply, in order to make the economy productive again.

Other critics point to gold's recent rise as an indicator of inflation already being upon us. But the more likely explanation for gold's rise is that foreign central banks are looking for something besides US government bonds in which to park their money. They no longer want our bonds, so fine. We should tell them that no more are for sale. We will in the future sell our bonds to our own central bank, which will rebate the interest to the government after deducting its costs, making its credit the best deal in town. And we will use the money, not to feed a parasitic private banking empire by building up bank reserves, but for direct expenditures on infrastructure and other public projects that will put people back to work, add to the productive economy, and increase the collective well-being of the American people.

Diritto tributario: TRASFERIMENTO DI PROMISSORY NOTE ALL'ESTERO

Da: Filodiritto, Numero 315 - 23 novembre 2009
- Diritto tributario:
CASSAZIONE TRIBUTARIA:
TRASFERIMENTO DI PROMISSORY NOTE ALL'ESTERO

"La promissory note non è esclusa dal novero dei titoli e valori mobiliari e valute estere che unitamente al denaro contante - ove di importo superiore a euro 12.500 - vanno dichiarati all'Ufficio italiano cambi (sotto pena di sanzione) [oggi all’Unità di Informazione Finanziaria, ndr] in caso di trasferimenti da o verso l'estero al seguito di residenti e non residenti".

"La promissory note è uno strumento di pagamento internazionale che contiene una promessa incondizionata fatta dal debitore emittente di pagare una determinata somma di denaro ad una data stabilita all'ordine di un operatore estero beneficiario e dunque rappresenta - a tutti gli effetti - un titolo di credito all'ordine di natura astratta che risponde ai requisiti prescritti dalla Convenzione di Ginevra del 1930 ed incorpora il diritto del legittimo possessore di farsi pagare una certa somma alla scadenza prestabilita prescindendo dal rapporto giuridico sottostante.

Si tratta dunque di un vaglia cambiario (e come esso va bollato nelle percentuali di legge) e la sua inclusione tra i titoli e valori mobiliari cui fa riferimento la norma si ricava anche dalla disposizione che istituisce l'eccezione (art.3 bis) allorché esclude l'applicazione dell'obbligo dichiarativo per i trasferimenti - appunto - di vaglia postali o cambiari tratti su od emessi da intermediari creditizi o poste italiane che rechino l'indicazione del nome del beneficiario e la clausola dell'intrasferibilità. Né dal testo normativo si ricava una volontà legislativa di assoggettare all'obbligo dichiarativo solo ipotesi di possesso correlato a cessioni di denaro o titoli da un soggetto all'altro, in altre parole a "fenomeni traslativi".

L'ampia e generica formula adottata prescinde da rapporti creditori e debitori in essere od in fieri all'evidente scopo di assoggettare all'obbligo il mero passaggio della linea doganale di denaro, titoli e valori diversi da quelli espressamente esclusi - con tassativa elencazione - da tale adempimento avente precipua funzione di "rilevazione globale" dei movimenti di capitale alle frontiere".

La Corte ha infine ricordato il proprio orientamento, secondo cui "l'adempimento prescritto non è volto ad evitare illeciti trasferimenti di somme ma solo preordinato a fini di '"monitoraggio valutario" che prescrive l'obbligo di specifica informativa senza imporre alcun onere finanziario a carico di chi la rende". Resta pertanto irrilevante al fine configurare, la circostanza che il trasferimento del titolo non sia idoneo a dare luogo a movimenti di capitali da uno Stato ad un altro (Cass.5248/08). Aggiungasi che questo tipo di infrazione valutaria che postula, sotto il profilo soggettivo, un comportamento cosciente e volontario, ancorché non preordinato a fini illeciti, o non consapevole dell'illiceità del fatto, richiede, sotto il profilo oggettivo, la sola l'idoneità di titoli siffatti alla successiva costituzione di rapporti obbligatori con i non residenti nello Stato: idoneità che è stata ravvisata persino in titoli mancanti della data, del luogo di emissione o della firma di girata ovvero in assegni postdatati o con data falsa, privi di copertura o non onorabili dalla banca".

(Corte di Cassazione - Sezione Tributaria Civile, Sentenza 18 novembre 2009, n.24315: Trasferimento di promissory note all'estero).

sabato 21 novembre 2009

OCSE: Debito pubblico o errore contabile madornale?

Debito pubblico o errore contabile madornale?

Dopo la Banca Mondiale, il Fondo Monetario Internazionale e Tremonti,
abbiamo deciso di notificare il falso in bilancio anche...

A: OCSE
- l'intera delegazione italiana

p.c. Vari Ministeri del Governo italiano


Egregi/Egregie,

Vi invitiamo ad esprimere un breve commento sul seguente documento.
Le opinioni più divertenti verranno pubblicate su internet.

Cordialità,

Marco Saba
Centro Studi Monetari
---------------------
Un modo appropriato per contabilizzare la moneta nel bilancio della banca
centrale

Thomas Colignatus, 31 dicembre 2005
http://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpgt/0512014.html
note a cura di Marco Saba, traduzione di Nicoletta Forcheri
http://www.scribd.com/doc/22833622

Ecco la formula che tiene Israele fuori dalla crisi

IL FOGLIO, 21/11/2009

" Ecco la formula che tiene Israele fuori dalla crisi economica "


Stanley Fischer

Gerusalemme. “Masà” in ebraico significa viaggio, ma è anche il nome di un’organizzazione che aiuta giovani ebrei di tutto il mondo a passare alcuni mesi in Israele per fare volontariato, studiare o lavorare. Da quando c’è la crisi economica, Masà rappresenta un forte richiamo. Quest’anno molti dei 160 programmi hanno visto il numero di partecipanti raddoppiare. Il piccolo paese mediorientale, privo di petrolio e altre risorse naturali, sembra aver trovato la via della ripresa più rapidamente di tanti altri paesi occidentali. Tra la fine del 2008 e il primo trimestre del 2009, una leggera recessione ha colpito il paese; poi però l’economia si è ripresa e ora la Banca d’Israele prevede una crescita zero per quest’anno e almeno un +2,5 per cento per il 2010. In ottobre la bilancia commerciale è tornata in positivo per la prima volta in 14 anni; l’inflazione e la disoccupazione sono cresciute, al 3,2 e al 7,5 per cento rispettivamente, ma meno delle previsioni. Gli analisti plaudono ai principali attori economici, il premier Benjamin Netanyahu e il governatore della Banca d’Israele Stanley Fischer, per aver superato la cattiva congiuntura con poche e leggere iniziative, anche grazie a un sistema bancario solido e ben regolamentato. Ma il paese deve la sua fortuna a uno sviluppo basato su ricerca e alta tecnologia. In totale, gli investimenti in ricerca e sviluppo arrivano al 5 per cento del pil, il livello più alto del mondo. “Israele ha deciso di usare la ricerca e lo sviluppo per far fronte ai suoi problemi più grandi, come la sicurezza o la scarsità d’acqua – dice Ricardo Hausmann, direttore del Centro per lo Sviluppo Internazionale presso l’Università di Harvard – Così ha trovato idee che sono valide a livello globale e si è specializzata nell’esportazione di soluzioni ai propri problemi”. Sono lontani i tempi in cui il pompelmo Jaffadel giovane stato, nato con un’economia largamente socialista incentrata sull’egualitarismo del kibbutz. Oggi le scoperte e i prodotti israeliani sono ovunque: nella tecnologia militare, ma soprattutto nell’informatica, nelle energie alternative, nella desalinizzazione dell’acqua e nella medicina. Il motore dell’economia è nelle tante piccole imprese, spesso create da giovani sulla base di invenzioni o idee creative, scrivono Dan Senor e Saul Singer in “Start-Up Nation”, un libro da poco pubblicato. Hausmann, autore di uno studio sullo sviluppo israeliano, afferma che Israele ha creato una filiera perfetta per l’innovazione, coltivando tramite la scuola, l’esercito, gli interventi statali e privati i talenti di una popolazione costituita in buona parte da immigrati Secondo gli esperti, la vera chiave si trova negli anni del servizio militare obbligatorio: tre per i ragazzi e due per le ragazze. Quello che per molti è una dura e rischiosa imposizione è anche il momento in cui i giovani imparano a trovare soluzioni con poche risorse. “Molti acquisiscono competenze di ingegneria elettronica e software – dice Asher Tishler, preside della Business School dell’Università di Tel Aviv – Così imparano a pensare, risolvere i problemi, prendere decisioni e non avere paura di contraddire i superiori”. Da poco ha aperto a Gerusalemme un impianto della Intel per la fabbricazione di matrici, passo fondamentale nella produzione dei microchip. Nel 2006, Warren Buffett ha preso il controllo di un’importante azienda metallurgica; Nissan Renault collabora alla creazione della prima rete capillare per ricaricare automobili elettriche. Per contenere il crollo delle esportazioni, calate del 25 per cento nei primi mesi della crisi, il governatore Fischer ha lanciato un programma di acquisti di valuta estera per abbassare il valore dello sheqel, la moneta israeliana, che continuava a rafforzarsi sul dollaro. L’anno scorso Fischer fu tra i primi ad abbassare i tassi d’interesse, mentre ad agosto fu il primo governatore a rialzarli dopo i primi segnali di ripresa. “La sua reputazione e la sua freddezza sono state essenziali per mantenerci in buona forma”, dice Tishler. L’impatto economico del nucleare iraniano Nel 2004 il governo ha approvato una riforma del sistema finanziario separando le banche da fondi di investimento e altre forme di gestione del risparmio. All’epoca Netanyahu era ministro delle Finanze nel governo Sharon. Neoliberista e sostenitore di uno “small government”, l’attuale premier rimane una figura controversa. Per i suoi sostenitori, ha rivoluzionato l’economia israeliana con tagli alle tasse, privatizzazioni e liberalizzazioni. Per i critici, ha tagliato troppo sul welfare, contribuendo ad accrescere lo squilibrio nella distribuzione della ricchezza. “Netanyahu è un thatcheriano, e il suo sogno è portare questa politica in Israele”, sostiene Ariel Arnon, professore di Economia dell’Università Ben Gurion. Netanyahu continua a tenere le fila della politica economica, controllando l’azione del ministro delle Finanze Yuval Steinitz, un professore di filosofia. Ora il premier ha dovuto moderare le sue posizioni per non perdere l’appoggio dei laburisti, compagni di governo. Secondo Arnon, l’equilibrio mantenuto da Netanyahu emerge anche dai consiglieri economici più influenti: Uri Yogev, convinto neoliberista ex capo del Bilancio del ministero delle Finanze poi entrato nel settore privato, e Ofer Eini, il presidente della Federazione dei sindacati. Gli economisti ora avvertono che le sfide non mancheranno. La preoccupazione maggiore è data dal programma nucleare iraniano. A Teheran basterebbe solo possedere l’arma atomica per far fuggire da Israele i migliori cervelli. “E’ un aspetto di cui non si parla, ma molti ne discutono a casa e con gli amici – dice Arnon – Pensano di avere ancora tempo, ma non c’è grande fiducia nel lungo periodo. Non è piacevole pensare di dover crescere i propri figli all’ombra di un fungo atomico”.

China quietly introduces new financial system

China quietly introduces new financial system
by Benjamin Fulford

China has stealthily introduced a new financial system based on the renminbi which is well on its way to becoming fully convertible, according to a high-level Chinese source. In addition, China is purchasing 10,000 tons of gold to back up a new fund designed to develop and market heretofore forbidden and suppressed technologies. The fund will be based outside of China and will be controlled by prominent members of the Chinese overseas community. The gold purchase will take some time because of the logistics of transporting it and the Chinese wish to test it thoroughly. Both the Chinese government and MI6 now confirm reports that much of the gold sold by the Federal Reserve Board over the past decade is in fact gold plated tungsten.

For its part, the renminbi is now convertible with South American currencies, the rouble, Middle-Eastern currencies, the yen, South East Asian currencies and African currencies. “We will slowly introduce our new financial system in parallel with the old one and hope that people steadily migrate towards it,” the Chinese official says.

Meanwhile, the latest G20 meeting ended in acrimony and chaos. The leadership of the West is in total disarray and will remain so until the Federal Reserve Board’s bankruptcy becomes visible even to brainwashed section of the Western public. This is now expected by January or February. Both MI6 and a senior Chinese government source now predict the collapse of the Federal Reserve dollar by that time.

We are also hearing various reports that many Pentagon and other US alphabet suit agency figures with both US and Israeli citizenship have recently fled to Israel. Things are coming to a head.

Banche: l’autodifesa per cittadini e imprese

Quindici
Banche: io me la cavo. L’autodifesa per cittadini e imprese
Domenica mattina alle 9.30 all’Hotel Excelsior di Bari la casa editrice “la Città” promuove un seminario formativo aperto alla cittadinanza per orientarsi nel mondo del credito

BARI - Avere un conto corrente in banca da gestire, o un mutuo da accendere o da rinegoziare oggi possono essere operazioni a rischio. Da una parte, infatti, ci sono i risparmiatori dall’altra le banche. E anche il semplice conto corrente, il prodotto per eccellenza che dovrebbe semplificare la gestione del risparmio, grazie alle mille condizioni cui è sottoposto non dà sufficienti garanzie.
La casa editrice “la Città” che promuove periodicamente appuntamenti formativi con illustri professionisti di fama nazionale ha invitato domenica 22 novembre alle ore 9.30 all’Hotel Excelsior di Bari tre illustri professionisti: Antonio Miclavez, Marco Della Luna e Argo Fedrigo. Lo scopo è quello di mettere in chiaro alcuni lati oscuri nella gestione del credito e spiegare come orientarsi nei rivoli dei servizi ai clienti offerti dalle banche. Questo è già esplicito sin dal titolo dell’evento: “Banche: io me la cavo. L’autodifesa per cittadini e imprese”.

Ma nell’incontro si proverà a lanciare anche lo sguardo oltre le semplici operazioni allo sportello, per capire se nel mondo delle banche affonda l’ombra del signoraggio. Ovvero una "truffa" colossale da tempo praticata grazie a ignoranza, censura, disinformazione. Si tratta quindi di un’utile occasione in cui liberamente studenti, imprenditori, risparmiatori potranno capire di più e per scegliere meglio, in banca.

Ron Paul Defends His Plan for Fed Oversight

Ron Paul Defends His Plan for Fed Oversight

NYTimes, November 20, 2009, 6:26 pm

Defending himself against critics, Representative Ron Paul of Texas played down continuing concerns on Friday that his amendment to give Congress sweeping new oversight powers over the Federal Reserve would compromise the central bank’s political independence. He asserted that the Fed was not truly as independent as it would like the public to believe.

“There is already a tremendous amount of political pressure on the Fed,” Mr. Paul, a libertarian Republican, told DealBook. “The Federal Reserve Board chairmen have notoriously been sympathetic to the presidents who might be reappointing them and there has been evidence to show that.”

Mr. Paul also asserted that the Fed was beholden to pressures beyond the government from special interests, including Wall Street.

“It’s not like the banks and Goldman Sachs doesn’t have influence over the Fed,” Mr. Paul said. “Every time the Fed says it wants its independence, what they are really saying is we want to keep our secrets.”

The renewed attacks on Mr. Paul’s controversial amendment to provide audits of the Fed comes after the House Financial Services Committee voted Thursday night to insert the amendment into its version of the financial overhaul bill.

The amendment would allow the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to have access to a vast array of information on the nation’s monetary policy currently out of their reach, including information on the Fed’s emergency lending programs, information on the financial bailouts, the Fed’s dealings with foreign central banks and the Fed’s decisions to drive down interest rates by intervening in bond markets.

Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told DealBook that he voted against the amendment because he said he felt “it went a little bit too far.” But he noted that he could support it going forward if it did not dispel the “perception” that the Fed is independent.

“The problems with monetary policy is that perception plays a real role and I did worry that that could lead people inside America and also outside to be worried about the integrity of the monetary policy function,” Mr. Frank said. “If it turns out that the amendment does not cause these kind of concerns, then I would be fine with that.”

Meanwhile, other critics of Mr. Paul’s amendment contend that Congress is “pandering to public anger” and fear that the Fed would lose its ability to set interest rates, putting Congress in charge of this very important subset of monetary policy.

“Yesterday’s passage of the Paul amendment by the House Financial Services Committee is a dangerous move by this Congress to pander to the populist anger currently directed against our central bank, the Federal Reserve,” Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said in a statement. “Congress has demonstrated time and again its inability to manage the nation’s fiscal policy, illustrated by our staggering national debt in excess of $12 trillion, so how can anyone think that its involvement in monetary policy would be good for the country?”

Mr. Paul shot back at Mr. Gregg. “It’s not pandering, it’s listening,” Mr. Paul said. “The people are angry because they are finding out what the Fed is doing.”

One of the more controversial things the Fed has done during the crisis was to buy up billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities from banks and government-sponsored entities. Since the Fed is shielded from oversight, Congress has little idea what the Fed bought or exactly how much it paid for the potentially toxic securities. Mr. Paul said he feared that the government could be paying full price for the securities, which could end up being worthless.

Mr. Paul also said the amendment specifically barred Congress from intervening in any aspect of monetary policy and that any audits of the Federal Reserve’s decisions to raise or lower interests rates would be made available to Congress on a six-month time lag.

The bill will be voted on by the committee at the end of the month and it will then go to the House floor for debate and a vote. The Senate, meanwhile, is considering its own financial overhaul bill. If those bills are approved, they would then have to be reconciled by both houses of Congress before going to the president.

– Cyrus Sanati

Debito pubblico o errore contabile madornale?

Debito pubblico o errore contabile madornale?

A: Banca Mondiale
Massimiliano Paolucci
Julia Barrera
Maria Teresa Pugliese

CC: Fondo Monetario Internazionale
Arrigo Sadun
Miranda Xafa
- MEF Italia
Giulio Tremonti
- Presidenza della Repubblica
Giorgio Napolitano
- Corte de' Conti
- Presidente Onorario Corte Costituzionale
Avv. A. Baldassarre

Egregi/Egregie,

Vi invitiamo ad esprimere un breve commento sul seguente documento.

Cordialità,

Marco Saba
Centro Studi Monetari
---------------------
Un modo appropriato per contabilizzare la moneta nel bilancio della banca
centrale

Thomas Colignatus, 31 dicembre 2005
http://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpgt/0512014.html
note a cura di Marco Saba, traduzione di Nicoletta Forcheri
http://www.scribd.com/doc/22833622

USBIG NEWSLETTER Vol. 10, No. 54

USBIG NEWSLETTER Vol. 10, No. 54 Fall 2009

This is the Newsletter of the USBIG Network (www.usbig.net), which promotes the discussion of the basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a policy that would unconditionally guarantee at least a subsistence-level income for everyone. If you would like to be added to or removed from this list please email: Karl@Widerquist.com.

Table of Contents

1. Call for Papers: USBIG/BIEN Canada
2. Call for Papers: Thirteenth International Congress of BIEN
3. Editorial: Small Victories
4. Mongolia Expected to Introduce the First National Basic Income in the World
5. Alaska Permanent Fund Distributes a BIG of $1305
6. Other BIG News from around the World
7. Upcoming events
8. Recent Events
9. Recent Publications
10. New Members
11. New Links
12. Links and Other Info

1. CALL FOR PAPERS: Joint Conference of the USBIG Network and BIEN Canada
Basic Income at a Time of Economic Upheaval: A Path to Justice and Stability?
A joint conference of the USBIG Network and BIEN Canada
Hosted by Centre de recherche en ethique de l’Universite de Montreal (CREUM)
University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Thursday, Friday, April 15-16, 2010

This two-day event will be the first joint conference of the two North American affiliates of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)—the US Basic Income Guarantee network (USBIG) and BIEN Canada.

Prof. Guy Standing, of University of Bath, and Louise Haagh, of the University of York (UK), will give keynote addresses. Standing is a leading expert on basic income, economic development and the labor market. His presentation will be based on his new book, Work after Globalisation: Building Occupational Citizenship. Haagh is a world poverty, labour studies and social policy specialist working in the field of comparative labour market institutions, welfare regimes and the political economy of development.

The conference will also include a special roundtable with political experts and policy activists, including Senator Hugh Segal (Canada), Senator Art Eggleton (Canada), Sheila Regehr, Al Sheahen and Rob Rainer. A closing statement on the conference will be delivered by Senator Eduardo Suplicy (Brazil).

The conference will examine whether instituting an unconditional Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) as an economic floor, aimed at preventing those affected by the current economic upheavals from falling below what any modern democracy would consider a decent standard of living, constitutes a desirable and feasible option in Canada or the United States. The conference aims to compare the prospects and challenges faced by the BIG proposal in the context of both Canada and the US, two countries that share many similarities and yet are profoundly different in terms of their economic, social and political background.

The organizers invite panel presentations from academic scholars, practitioners and policy activists on a wide variety of topics dealing with the challenges of designing, promoting or instituting a BIG in the current economic climate in Canada or the US. Priority will be given to papers that explicitly discuss BIG in the context of either Canada or the US, or that compare the distinct prospects in both countries.

The Centre de recherche en ethique de l’Universite de Montreal (CREUM—The Center for Research in Ethics at the University of Montreal) will host the conference. The main language of the conference is English, but the organizers will try to accommodate French speakers as much as possible.

To submit a proposal, email a title and short abstract to
bigmontreal2010@gmail.com by Friday 15 January.

The official call for papers and further information are posted on the BIGMontreal website at http://bigmontreal.wordpress.com/, which can also be reached by link for the USBIG website http://www.usbig.net.

Admission is free. Everyone is welcome to attend, but pre-registration is required. Details about registration and other aspects of the conference will be announced on the conference website. If you have any additional questions, please contact the conference organizer: Jurgen De Wispelaere at bigmontreal2010@gmail.com.

2. CALL FOR PAPERS: 13th BIEN Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 30 – July 2, 2010
The 13th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network: Basic Income – an Instrument for Justice and Peace will take place at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 30, July 1-2, 2010. The Congress will explore the basic income option from the standpoint of its contribution to social justice and peace. This includes basic income as a means of reducing inequality and poverty, guaranteeing economic security in an increasingly insecure world and addressing citizenship rights directly.

Prospective paper authors are welcome to examine these issues from various standpoints – conceptual, philosophical, theoretical, empirical, political – taking into account local, global or comparative perspectives. The organizers invite paper and panel proposals on topics such as:
• BI and the global financial crisis: challenges to and opportunities
• Feasibility and financing issues at the local, national, regional, and global level (including political economy of financing, concrete experiments, and alternative revenue sources)
• BI in comparative focus (Employment Guarantees, Stakeholding, Earned Income Tax Credit, Revenue Minimum d’Insertion, Bolsa Família, FTC, Solidariedad, Oportunidad. etc.)
• BI and work (ethical, political, & empirical issues of the formal & informal labor markets)
• BI and informal communities (migrant and immigrant communities, shanty towns, slums, “quilombos”, and rural villages)
• Urban or rural issues and BI (violence, economic security, etc.)
• BI and welfare (care, family policies, pensions, social services and the transition from conditional to universal programs)
• BI and the contemporary discussions on development
• BI: Left or right politics?
• BI and democracy and justice (political, social, economic, and international issues)
• BI as emancipation policy: breaking racial or ethnic prejudices and transforming gender relations?
• BI and culture
• BI in particular countries and regions, and regional integration

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:
Scholars and practitioners are invited to propose panels and individual paper presentations for the Congress; different perspectives are welcome. Civil society organizations are encouraged to participate. Proposals for papers (by individuals or as part of a panel) should include the following information:
1. Name
2. Affiliation (if applicable) including job title and organization
3. Address
4. Telephone number (including international access code)
5. Email address
6. Title of the presentation/contribution
7. Selected topic (either one of those listed above or the topic proposed for the respective panel)
8. Abstract (summary of 800 to 1000 words)

Proposals should be emailed to
bien2010.callforpapers@gmail.com.

Panel proposals must provide all of the above information for each paper, plus a definite title for the panel, and a brief formulation of questions to be discussed (300-500 words). Papers may be written in any language but the abstract must be submitted in English. The working language of the Congress will be English. The keynote sessions will be in English or Portuguese with simultaneous translation.

The deadline for submission of papers and panel proposals is February 25th 2010. Acceptance of proposals will be communicated by March 25th, 2010 at the latest. This confirmation of acceptance will be provided earlier to those who submit proposals earlier. Details concerning registration, accommodation, etc. will be available at the Congress website, which can be accessed through the BIEN website:
www.basicincome.org.

3. EDITORIAL: Small Victories
The political barriers between the current situation in the United States and the implementation of a full basic income are daunting. On an international basis, the outlook is much brighter. As far as I can tell, there are more basic income projects underway or under discussion worldwide now than ever before. There are small, privately funded pilot projects going on in Namibia and Brazil. Thirty basic income supporters were elected to the German Bundestag in recent elections. The Nigerian government is considering a regional basic income in the Niger Delta area. The Mongolian government has recently pledged to introduce the world’s first national basic income. (See stories below.)

Just last week, October 29, 2009, I had the honor to be present when the city council of Santo Antonio do Pinhal, Brazil (a city of about 7,000 people in the State of Sao Paulo) voted unanimously to create a small basic income from local tourist revenue. What will come of this small, locally based income remains to be seen. But remember that the Alaska oil dividend was inspired by a local basic income introduced in a small town. And the Alaska dividend may prove to be an inspiration for similar programs in places as far away as Mongolia and Nigeria.
So, progress is happening worldwide. In America, however, it is important to focus on small victories. Politics is full of opportunities to change minds toward the ways of thinking that support basic income.

Two of the most compelling reasons to support basic income are the belief that people have an equal right to the world’s resources and the belief that everyone should have the right to meet their needs. Any policy that helps establish these norms moves us (however gradually) in the direction of basic income.

People don’t discover oil every day, but some kind of new government giveaway of natural resources does happen just about every day. Every new mine, well, or beach front hotel is an opportunity to establish the norm that people have a shared right to natural resources, and that they should be compensated if private firms want to privatize it.

Two years ago we missed an opportunity when the U.S. government gave away a substantial portion of the broadcast spectrum to a few corporations at no charge; and then allowed those companies to sell it back to us. But the issue isn’t settled. A recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association found that reallocating broadcast spectrum could yield cost savings of more than 1 trillion dollars. If and when that reallocation happens, we have the opportunity to press for auctioning off that spectrum and sharing the proceeds.

Several BIG-related campaigns are under way right now. The refundable child tax credit was won a few years ago. It is essentially a very small basic income for children, but only a portion of the federal government’s child tax credits are refundable. Several groups are pushing for a larger refundable credit. The cap-and-dividend approach to greenhouse gas reduction would establish a small basic income out of taxes designed to discourage the behavior that causes global warming www.capanddividend.org. Cap-and-Dividend is a live issue on Capitol Hill, and several Members of Congress have signed on.

Probably the biggest issue in U.S. politics right now is healthcare reform. The current debate is largely a debate over whether there should be a universal right of access to healthcare. Almost every other country has established that right in law, and the United States might finally join them this year. The versions of healthcare reform on the table right now are not as close to true universality as the healthcare systems exist in most other countries, but they clearly help to establish the norm that healthcare ought to be universal.

Once norms like this are established in law, they tend to become more popular. Although the creation of national health was controversial in many countries, I don’t believe that there is any country in the world that has the universal right to healthcare in which a majority of people would like to go back to a system in which some have health insurance and some don’t. Public education is far from equal, but few people today want to deny a basic education to the children of the poor as most countries did a hundred years ago.

Establishing a universal right to healthcare is not the same as establishing the norm that all people should have an unconditional right to other necessities, but it certainly brings us closer to that objective. The fight for universal healthcare is our fight.

-Karl Widerquist, editor
Begun in Santo Antonio do Pinhal, Brazil, October 29, 2009
Completed in Doha, Qatar, November 4, 2009

4. MONGOLIA TO INTRODUCE THE FIRST NATIONAL BASIC INCOME IN THE WORLD
The Mongolian government has taken the initial steps to create a basic income in the form of an Alaskan-style resource dividend. That would make it only the second regular basic income in the world and the first on a national level. This action has received very little attention in the international media, probably because Mongolia is a small and isolated country. However, the resource dividend has the potential to become extremely significant for Mongolians.

Bloomberg News reports that the Mongolian government has pledged to set up a “sovereign wealth fund” using mining royalties from new gold and copper mines, which are expected to begin generating large tax revenues within the next three to five years. The fund is expected to distribute part of its revenue as an annual income to every Mongolian.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Mongolian Finance Minister Sangajav Bayartsogt, said that the government studied examples like the Alaska Permanent Fund when drafting the proposal.
Although the government has not yet published estimates of how large the annual income might turn out to be, this program could eventually make a large impact on Mongolians, because Mongolia is a small, poor country with a large amount of newly discovered resource wealth. During the elections this year, both parties discussed distributing as much as $1000US to each citizen. Although the government might not follow through with such a large grant, the size of the new mines brings this size of a dividend into the realm of possibility.

A $1000 dividend might not seem terribly significant in comparison to the Alaska dividend, which will be $1305 this year and reached a high of $3269 last year. But the potential impact of the dividend has to be looked at in relation to how wealthy the citizens already are. According to Bloomberg, per capita income in Mongolia is only $1,680US. According to the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, per capita income in Alaska is $44,039US. That means, the average Alaskan is twenty-six times wealthier (at current exchange rates) than the average Mongolian. A dividend of only $50 per year would have the same relative impact on the average Mongolian’s budget as Alaska’s $1300 dividend has on the average Alaskan’s budget. The impact of a dividend of $500 or $1000 could be astounding, but we should be cautious about expecting anything like this in the short run.

Even if the size of the dividend is uncertain, Eugene Tang of Bloomberg argues that there will be some dividend. The fund has been created, and the government has talked so much about distributing a dividend out of the fund that they can no longer afford the political cost of going back on their pledge to introduce it at some level.

Whatever happens, basic income supporters will probably want to keep an eye on developments in Mongolia.

For more information, see “Mongolia Fund to Manage $30 Billion Mining Jackpot,” by Bloomberg News, online at:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aWm8u8kb0R5E
The Bloomberg reporter is: Eugene Tang
eugenetang@bloomberg.net

5. ALASKA PERMANENT FUND DISTRIBUTES A BIG OF $1305
The Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) began distributing this year’s APF dividend on October 8. This year’s amount, $1305, is considerably less than last year’s bolstered dividend of $3200, but it is still a healthy size, thanks in part to the recovery of the stock market in the last six months.

According to SIT News, 628,499 Alaskans will receive the dividend this year.
The fund from which dividends are drawn has recovered to more than 33 billion dollars, after sinking to a low of 28 billion dollars earlier this year. This amount is quite a bit less than the $40 billion high the fund reached last year, but it is a healthy amount when looked at in the perspective of the entire history of the fund.

Despite the comeback of the fund’s investments, and despite a movement to a slightly more conservative investment strategy earlier this year, Alaskan lawmakers continue to question whether the investment strategy is conservative enough.

For stories on the permanent fund go to:
http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=11280950
“Legislators skeptical of 'leading edge' model for asset allocation” by Pat Forgey of the Juneau Empire: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/092909/sta_498790071.shtml
For an article on how Alaskans will spend their dividends. See: “Annual dividend for Alaskans will be $1,305” Cordova Times: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/news/show/7515
“2009 Permanent Fund Dividend is $1,305.00,”
http://www.sitnews.us/0909news/092409/092409_pfd.html
“State prepares to distribute dividend checks,: by Pat Forgey of the Juneau Empire:
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/092409/loc_496920032.shtml
“Increase in PFD recipients has officials guessing why,” by Elizabeth Bluemink for the Alaska Daily News: http://www.adn.com/news/government/story/950923.html

6. OTHER BIG NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD NIGERIA: Federal government considers a regional oil dividend
Several sources are reporting that the Nigeria federal government is planning to introduce a local basic income in the Niger Delta region. The plan is supposed to distribute 10% of the country’s oil revenue to the people of that region. The plan is at least partly a response to militant attacks on oil installations. Emmanuel Egbogah, the president’s special adviser on oil, told the Financial Times, “every citizen will say: ‘I own a part of this business.’” However, the BBC reports that the plan is likely to receive opposition from other regions, which will receive a smaller share of the benefits of the oil revenue if 10% of it goes to individuals in the Niger Delta region.

For more information see:
“Nigeria 'to give 10% of oil cash'” on BBC News (Oct 19):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8315312.stm
“Nigeria Offers ‘Revolutionary’ Oil Deal to Niger Delta Region” on Chariman King: http://www.chairmanking.com/nigeria-offers-revolutionary-oil-deal-niger-delta-region-20091021/
“Nigeria offers ‘revolutionary’ delta deal,” by Tom Burgis:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6e85dd6a-bc04-11de-9426-00144feab49a.html

SOUTH AFRICA: Basic income unlikely in KwaZulu-Natal
The Sowetan reports that a group called the South African Unemployed People’s Movement was threatening to “wreak havoc” unless the Province of KawZulu-Natal started distributing a BIG of 1500 Rand. However, according to South Africa’s Mail & Guardian (July 23, 2009), the Prime Minister of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, M. Zweli Mkhize, shrugged off suggestions of introducing a basic income grant, saying this would bankrupt government as it did not have available funds. "It is not affordable, it is not something that we are considering implementing as it would bankrupt government," he told the media.

See: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-07-23-basic-income-grant-will-bankrupt-govt-says-kzn-premier.
See: “Give us a basic grant of R1500 or we’ll wreak havoc,”
http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1035297

CANADA: Christian organization calls for a basic income for all
Each year, the Canadian House of Commons Finance Committee asks Canadians to share their priorities and concerns for the federal budget. This year, the Christian organization Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) responded “by reflecting on the Biblical values of justice, love for neighbor and care for creation.” It argued that the Canadian economy should be “an economy of care.” In its submission entitled “Building an Economy of Care” (August 2009), CPJ argues in favor of a basic income for all Canadians: “Fairness is a fundamental Canadian value. Extreme income inequality means that some have all the wealth and opportunity, while others are barely subsisting. A Guaranteed Livable Income for all Canadians would ensure that all Canadians had enough income security to meet their basic needs, while offering the opportunity for a better life.”
See http://www.cpj.ca/en/building-economy-care
-From BIEN

FRANCE: Capital grant for the youth discussed in official report
The idea of a “capital grant” is discussed in an official green paper entitled “Reconnaitre la valeur de la jeunesse” (“To acknowledge the importance of youth”), which was published by the office of the French Prime Minister on July 6, 2009. Currently, the French minimum income scheme is only paid to individuals who are more than 25 years old, hence the idea to launch a new program of financial support for young adults. Among the options available, the idea of giving a capital grant that could be used for various purposes is considered attractive, because it would ensure equal opportunities and autonomy. This universal cash grant could be complemented with a targeted scheme for the poorest.

The report (PDF) is available at:
http://www.lagenerationactive.fr/files/LivreVertJeunesse_web0907.pdf
See also:
http://www.gouvernement.fr/gouvernement/martin-hirsch
-From BIEN

GERMANY: Campaign to vote for Basic Income at Federal elections
More than one hundred candidates for the Federal elections of September 27, 2009 supported the idea of a basic income. The German Netzwerk Grundeinkommen promoted these candidates in a number of constituencies with the slogan “Grundeinkommen ist wählbar” (You can vote for basic income). Most of the candidates (59) belonged to the Green party “Bündnis 90/Die Grünen”, followed by 34 candidates with no party affiliation and 28 of the left wing party “Die Linke”. Among the candidates were Katja Kipping, who is the vice-chairwoman of the party “Die Linke,” and Susanne Wiest, who collected 50,000 signatures on a petition in favor of basic income submitted to the Bundestag in early 2009. She was standing in Vorpommern (the most Northern Land of former East Germany) and can be seen campaigning on
http://vimeo.com/6184109. She was not elected.

Thirty Basic Income-supporters got elected and are becoming members of the German Bundestag: 15 from the Greens, nine from the conservative party, five from "Die Linke" and one from the Social Democratic Party. None of the candidates with no party affiliation got elected. Among the elected candidates are the poverty researcher Dr. Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn of the Green party and the vice-chairwoman of the party “Die Linke” Katja Kipping. If the direct votes for all candidates are counted together 2,133,083 people voted for a basic income supporter in the German elections.

For further information:
http://www.grundeinkommen-ist-waehlbar.de/
and http://du-kannst-grundeinkommen-waehlen.de/
-From BIEN

IRELAND: Late tribute to Maire Mullarney
On August 7, 2008, Irish activist Maire Mullarney died in Dublin, Ireland. A founding member of the Green Party, and a member of South Dublin County Council (1991-1999), she was also an early BIEN stalwart, and was involved in various campaigns in favor of basic income in Ireland and Europe. She wrote several papers on the topic, including one in Esperanto (1996).
See http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0819/1218868120714.html
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/greens-in-mourning-for-founder-1458657.html
-From BIEN

IRELAND: Social Justice Ireland
A new organization called Social Justice Ireland was launched on Monday September 7, 2009. Led by Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds, Social Justice Ireland will take over the programs and projects run in recent decades by CORI (Council of the Religious of Ireland) Justice including its role in the Irish basic income discussion. The website http://www.socialjustice.ie will provide up-to-date material on the range of issues addressed previously on the CORI Justice website. You will find all the papers and related material from BIEN Congress 2008 on the new website. The work of CORI Justice has developed in recent years to involve many local groups and individuals throughout Ireland. The establishment of Social Justice Ireland is a logical step to reflect this broader involvement beyond the members of religious congregations. The new structure will reflect this development and will consolidate the work across the various categories of activity into the future.

The new organization has the support of religious and lay people throughout Ireland. It describes itself as “working to build a just society where human rights are respected, human dignity is protected, human development is facilitated and the environment is respected and protected.” Membership of Social Justice Ireland is open to individuals (religious and lay) and to groups (organisations and congregations etc.) who support the basic thrust of the values and work that form the core of Social Justice Ireland.
For further information : Social Justice Ireland, Arena House, Arena Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland, Website: http://www.socialjustice.ie, Email: secretary@socialjustice.ie, Brigid Reynolds: brigid.reynolds@socialjustice.ie, Sean Healy: sean.healy@socialjustice.ie.
-From BIEN

EUROPEAN UNION: EAPN launches adequate minimum income campaign
On May 25, 2009, The European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) launched a website http://www.adequateincome.eu as part of the second stage of its Adequate Minimum Income Campaign. EAPN calls on all people who believe in providing everyone with the opportunity to live a dignified life to join the campaign by signing the appeal on the website. According to Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN, “Minimum Income schemes are a lifeline for many people experiencing poverty, providing money for essentials and support to be active in society, as well as being essential tools to stabilize the economy and ensure a social response to the current economic crisis” As a key part of this campaign EAPN calls on the Member Sates and the EU Institutions to respect the commitment made in December 2008 Recommendation on Active Inclusion to recognize “the individual’s basic right to resources and social assistance sufficient to live a life that is compatible with human dignity”.
-From BIEN

JAPAN: Small party puts basic income in its electoral platform
On August 30, 2009, general elections were held in Japan. According to Alex Martin from the Japan Times (August 8, 2009), the small New Party Nippon had included basic income in its campaign platform. It promised “several major policies, including the enactment of a monthly "basic income" allowance for all citizens”
See: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090808a5.html
Party’s website: http://www.love-nippon.com/12jyunbi_chu.htm
-From BIEN

SWITZERLAND: Basic income to be included in the Geneva Constitution?
On October 19, 2008, a Constituent Assembly was elected in the Geneva district (canton) of Switzerland. Its main task consists in discussing a new cantonal constitution, which is aimed at replacing the 1847 Constitution. According to the Newspaper Le Courrier (Geneva, July 29, 2009), BIEN Switzerland managed to collect 1,900 signatures for a petition in favor of the inclusion of the right to a basic income into the new constitution.
See: http://www.lecourrier.ch/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=443059.
-From BIEN

NAMIBIA: Basic income pilot project discussed in major German magazine
On August 10, 2009, Der Spiegel, one of Germany major news magazines, published a long and favorable article on the Namibian basic income pilot project entitled “How a Basic Income Program Saved a Namibian Village”. “[I]t sounds like a communist utopia, but a basic income program pioneered by German aid workers has helped alleviate poverty in a Namibian village. Crime is down and children can finally attend school. Only the local white farmers are unhappy”, the author argues. The English version is online at:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,642310,00.html
BIEN reports that the German television channel ZDF aired a special 9-minute documentary on the basic income pilot project in Otjivero-Omitara. You can watch the clip at:
http://www.heute.de under: BIG money für alle or try the following direct link:
http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/content/BIG-Money_fuer_alle/821928

According to BIEN, the BIG pilot project also got good press coverage in the Stabroeknews, a newspaper from the Republic of Guyana. In its August 29, 2009 editorial, the Stabroeknews staff wrote the following: “What makes the Otjivero precedent so important is the very hopelessness of the village’s initial situation. In terms of developmental challenges, Otjivero is the New York of the developmental world. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. With a small tax increase, the government of Namibia could easily guarantee a monthly stipend for all its citizens, opening up a promising and almost completely new prospect for grassroots development, not just for Namibia but for every underdeveloped country in the world. While there are still, undeniably, very large problems which remain to be solved across the continent, the Otjivero project also offers a glimmer of hope that Africa’s future may not be irretrievably lost after all. ”
See: http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/editorial/08/29/rethinking-development-in-africa/.

The BIG Coalition itself published a brief report on the project in The Namibian (August 7, 2009), focusing in particular on the situation of children. The authors conclude that “the pilot project in Otjivero-Omitara has proven the potential enormous positive developmental impact of a national BIG and the good news is that independent research has clearly shown that such a grant is affordable for Namibia.” See:
http://www.namibian.com.na/letters/full-story/archive/2009/august/article/a-big-grant-for-little-people/

According to the New Era (Windhoek, August 19, 2009), Namibian trade union leaders under the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), threw their support behind the Basic Income Grant (BIG) concept in the framework of their Central utive Committee. They resolved to “establish a high-level committee to initiate dialogue on BIG and related efforts with the Government and all social partners involved and relevant in this noble fight”.
See: http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=6260

The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) endorsed the Basic Income Grant at a recent Central utive Committee. But the Prime Minister spoke against it during a meeting with the National Youth Council. These developments reflect the trend in both Namibia and South Africa in recent years. Ruling party governments have consistently opposed BIG, although it receives strong support from labor unions, churches, and the public.
See: http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=6260
If you would like to donate to the project, please contact Claudia, Dirk Haarmann cd.haarmann@gmx.net.

NEW ZEALAND: Opposition Party Renews Endorsement of BIG
Democrats for Social Credit, a small party in New Zealand renewed their commitment to BIG at their party conference in September 2009. Point 6 of their 7 point plan to reform the financial system proposes to make debt free money available by a government run monetary authority, “in the form of a national dividend to every resident New Zealander.
For the party’s report on its conference, go to:
http://www.democrats.org.nz/OurNews/MediaReleases/tabid/111/selectedmoduleid/545/ArticleID/337/reftab/36/Default.aspx

BRAZIL: Pilot Project completes its first year.
Last year, a small neighborhood of Mogi das Cruzes in the state of Sao Paulo became the first place in Brazil to implement a Basic Income of Citizenship (BIC). The project is the initiative of the two founders of a group called ReCivitas, Bruna Augusto Pereira and Marcus Vinicius Brancaglione dos Santos.

Brancaglione originally financed the project with his own money. Today, generous donations from individuals inside and outside of Brazil have enabled the project to expand considerable. It began with 27 recipients in October 2008. Today 65 residents receive BIC of R$30.00 (about $17.50US) per month. The size of the grant is small by U.S. standards, but it is significant in comparison to income of the recipients.

The BIC is distributed as an unconditional right; recipients do with it as they please. The six-month report on the project finds that the BIC has enabled recipients to consume better food, to discharge debt, to increase their savings, and to make use of transportation to search for employment.

Videos of meetings about the project are online at:
http://www.tvong.com.
For more information, or instructions on how to donate, contact:
recivitas@recivitas.org.br.

7. UPCOMING EVENTS
CALL FOR PAPERS: Basic Income Session at The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Conference
SSSP, an organization of applied sociologists/social scientists, will hold its annual conference in Atlanta in 2010. It will take place from August 13-15 and will be held at the Sheraton Hotel located at 165 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA. One of the sessions is being organized by Michael A. Lewis of the Hunter College School of Social Work. The session is entitled "Contested Paths to Good Policy: Assets, Income, Jobs" and will focus on comparing and contrasting social policies intended to promote the right to work, the right to income, or asset development. Those interested in submitting an abstract should send it to michael.a.lewis@hunter.cuny.edu by January 10, 2010.

8. RECENT EVENTS
NEW YORK CITY: Film, “The End of Poverty” by Cinema Libre
November 13, 2009, Village East Cinema, New York
A new documentary film, “The End of Poverty?,” produced by Cinema Libre and the Schalkenbach Foundation, premiered in New York on November 13 at the Village East Cinema. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this film is a documentary that asks why poverty still exists when there is so much wealth in the world. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last summer, the film has been invited to over 25 international film festivals. It illustrates the origins of poverty, not from the failures of poor people, but from an economic system that cherishes profits over life. Through interviews with internationally recognized experts including Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, as well as authors and activists such as Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins and Chalmers Johnson, the film shows how poverty is linked to colonialism, neo-colonialism and globalization while providing insight into current economic crises.

For more information contact: Cinema Libre Studio to hgsphila@gmail.com Cinema Libre Studio, 8328 De Soto Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91304.

NAMUR, BELGIUM: Debate on basic income: October 22, 2009
Philippe Defeyt, an economist and prominent figure of Belgium's francophone green party, debated the idea of a "universal grant" with Paul Palsterman from the Christian Trade Union confederation. Whereas Defeyt is a long-standing advocate of basic income, Palsterman has always been one of its most consistent opponents in the Belgian context. The debate took place at the University of Namur, Auditoire E1, Rue Rempart de la Vierge 8, at 7:30 PM. For further information: namaotte-patrick@skynet.be.

TORONTO: Andrea Fumagalli speaks on Basic Income and the Crisis, October 14, 2009
Basic Income and the Crisis
A Presentation by Andrea Fumagalli
A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event
Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 7:00-9:00 pm
Andrea Fumagalli is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pavia (Italy). He also teaches political economy at Corso di laurea interdisciplinare in scienze multimediali, University of Pavia and advanced macroeconomics at Bocconi University. Professor Fumagalli is member of UniNomade Network, Vice-President of Bin-Italy (Basic Income Network, Italy), and a member of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network). In his presentation, he discussed basic income security as a policy response to the inequalities inherent in contemporary cognitive capitalism. For more information contact: tscinquiry@gmail.com

OTTAWA, ONTARIO: BIEN Canada Symposium: October 1-2
Income Security for All Canadians: the Potential for a Guaranteed Income Framework for Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
BIEN Canada reports that their symposium, held in Ottawa on October 1 & 2 was a success. The Research Forum featured presentations by Jurgen DeWispelaere of CREUM (Centre de Recheerche en Ethique de l’Universite de Montreal), Michelle Lasota of Informetrica, Andy Mitchell of the University of Toronto, and many others. Speakers at the conference addressed a variety of aspects of how to ensure economic security for everyone in Canada and move the Guaranteed Income agenda forward. More information can be found on the BIEN Canada website. Photos of and a report on the conference are online at:
http://www.cpj.ca/en/blog/chandra/photos-bien-canada-ottawa-conference
http://www.cpj.ca/en/bien-canada-ottawa-conference. For additional information contact Mike McCracken at mccracken@informetrica.com or Jim Mulvale at Jim.Mulvale@uregina.ca.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: American Monetary Institute Conference: September 24-27, 2009
Richard Cook was a policy analyst for the U.S. government from 1970 until 2007, his career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His presentation at the AMI conference focused on an overview of the monetary reform movement, including Social Credit and the National Dividend.
Conference website:
http://leconomistamascherato.blogspot.com/2009/08/ami-conference-sept-24-27-2009-in.html

KYIV (KIEV) UKRAINE: Symposium: September 16, 2009
Basic Income Guarantee: History, present and future
September 16, 2009, Hotel Ukraine, Instytutska Street 4, Kyiv, Ukraine
On the 16th September 2009 the first international symposium about the topic “Basic Income” took place in Kyiv in two languages: Ukrainian and Russian. This event was enabled by a donation from Germany within the international “Week of Basic Income”, which took place from 14. – 20. September 2009. Guests included Manfred Fuellsack (University of Vienna), Nazip Khamitov (National Academy of Science in Ukraine) and Joerg Drescher (Project Jovialism), as well as Olesya Storozhuk and Yulia Samus, who bridged the different languages and contributed to the discussion themselves. Texts of the speeches from the symposium can be found on the web in four languages (English, German, Ukrainian and Russian):
http://bod.in.ua/en/symposium.

9. RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Possibilities and Prospects: The Debate Over a Guaranteed Income
Margot Young and James P Mulvale
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 30, 2009
ABSTRACT: The idea of a guaranteed income has a long and respectable history in Canadian political and economic thought. Recently, in the face of both wide criticism of the Canadian income security system and growing recognition of the unacceptability of current poverty rates, there has been a resurgence in calls for implementation of a Canadian guaranteed income. But the idea is a controversial one; progressive activists, academics, and politicians disagree about the desirability and the practicality of a guaranteed income. This report traces the history of guaranteed income proposals in Canada, reviews the arguments in favour and against, and suggests a number of other social welfare measures that should be central elements of any reform program, but that guaranteed income debates often ignore.
This paper can be read or downloaded at:
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/reports/2009/10/guaranteedincome

Saving Ghana from Its Oil: The Case for Direct Cash Distribution
Todd Moss and Lauren Young
Center for Global Development Working Paper 186, October 2009
ABSTRACT: Ghana can be considered a relative success story in Africa. We cite six variables—peace and stability, democracy and governance, control of corruption, macroeconomic management, poverty reduction, and signs of an emerging social contract—to suggest the country’s admirable political and economic progress. The expected arrival of sizeable oil revenues beginning in 2011–13, however, threatens to undermine that progress. In fact, numerous studies have linked natural resources to negative outcomes such as conflict, authoritarianism, high corruption, economic instability, increased poverty, and the destruction of the social contract. The oil curse thus threatens the very outcomes that we consider signs of Ghana’s success. This paper draws lessons from the experiences of Norway, Botswana, Alaska, Chad, and Nigeria to consider Ghana’s policy options. One common characteristic of the successful models appears to be their ability to encourage an influential constituency with an interest in responsible resource management and the means to hold government accountable. The Alaska model in particular, which was designed explicitly to manufacture citizen oversight and contain oil-induced patronage, seems relevant to Ghana’s current predicament. We propose a modified version of Alaska’s dividend program. Direct cash distribution of oil revenues to citizens is a potentially powerful approach to protect and accelerate Ghana’s political and economic gains, and a way to strengthen the country’s social contract. We show why Ghana is an ideal country to take advantage of this option, and why the timing is fortuitous. We conclude by confronting some of the common objections to this approach and suggest that new technology such as biometric ID cards or private mobile phone networks could be utilized to implement the scheme.

Progressive step or recipe for disaster?
Julia Ley
Sunday, November 1, 2009, the London Student
This article gives an overview of recent basic income movements in Europe

Why Austrian socialism?
Theodore Burczak
The Review of Austrian Economics, Volume 22, Number 3 (September, 2009)
Abstract: Socialist objectives can be achieved in a market context with the rule of law if market socialism were to take the form of competitive worker-owned and self-managed enterprises, supplemented by universally available welfare redistributions, which could include a basic income, universal capital grants, or education and health insurance vouchers.

Cut the roots of poverty with a living wage
Janice Harvey
The Telegraph-Journal, Wednesday October 21st, 2009
Janice Harvey, president of the New Brunswick Green Party, wrote a column for the Telegraph-Journal in which she called for a guaranteed income. She discussed the results of the Canadian negative income tax experiment conducted primarily in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s. According to Harvey, researchers found that the negative income tax improved community health and education indicators, and therefore reduced the cost of social programs. She concludes, “A guaranteed annual income, sometimes called a negative income tax, replaces all the piecemeal, ineffective measures now administered by provincial agencies …. It treats people with dignity and provides a basic level of well-being across the community without discrimination.”
The article is online at: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/830851
Janice Harvey’s email address is: waweig@xplornet.ca

“The Northern Territory In(ter)vasion”
Online Opinion October 14th, 2009
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9558
This article looks at the Australian Federal Government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, the quarantining of half of Aboriginal people’s welfare payments for approved purposes, and a school attendance requirement. It compares these policies with the Namibian Basic Income Grant.

A Common Sense Approach to Poverty
An interview with Canadian Senator Hugh Segal
By Michael Enright for CBC Radio One's The Sunday Edition
Monday, October 19, 2009
Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is one of the few voices speaking out on poverty issues at a national level in Canada. He is a strong supporter of basic income. A full transcript of that interview (made by the “Prairie Preacher”) is online at:
http://westmanpreacher.blogspot.com/2009/10/common-sense-approach-to-poverty.html

Why not just give cash to the poor?
Stephen Gordon
The National Post (Canada), August 24, 2009
Stephen Gordon, begins this comment writing “Here is what I would like some staffer to ask next time NDP strategists are kicking around ideas for goods to subsidise or services that governments provide at a discount in order to advance their agenda of reducing poverty and inequality: "Why don't we just give low-income households money and let them spend it on what they need most?"” The article is not so much about why basic income is a good idea, but why it is better than subsidizing target commodities so that low-income people can afford them.
Stephen Gordon is a professor of economics at l'Universite Laval in Quebec City, Canada.
This article is online at:
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/08/24/stephen-gordon-why-not-just-give-cash-to-the-poor.aspx

Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship, 2009
Guy Standing, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath
Edward Elgar, Publisher
In this new book, Guy Standing has refined ideas he has been making since the inception of BIEN, in which he has seen basic income as part of a progressive strategy to replace social democracy. This book emphasizes that in a globalized society tertiary work styles are becoming the norm, in which forms of work other than labor are taking up an increasing proportion of time, conventional forms of social security are woefully inappropriate. A result of globalization and labor flexibility policies has been the growth of a new class, the global precariat. That is, people who are not necessarily in immediate economic distress but who are in precarious economic situations. Unless their insecurities, needs and aspirations are addressed, they will opt for political extremism. Yet, even since the financial crisis, chronic inequality is not being addressed. To combat this, and growing work-for-labor, and to give security to the precariat, a basic income is essential. Besides, Standing argues that a worrying feature of modern consumerism, with its squeeze on time, is that it has resulted in a loss of leisure, as defined by public participation in society. He concludes that the one form of ‘conditionality’ that could be a way of legitimizing basic income is that people as citizens agree to vote and to participate in political activity. In this, he is closer to Bruce Ackerman than to Tony Atkinson, since community labor would have distortionary effects in the labor market.

A Fair Economy: Beyond the Basic Income
Yoland Bresson
Published by “l’Esprit Frappeur” 2008
No abstract available. An Abridgement of this book as available for free online at:
http://www.vivanteurope.org/doc/Uneclementeeconomie_en.pdf

CITIZEN’S INCOME TRUST (2009), The Citizen's Income Newsletter, Issue 3, 2009.
This issue of 20 pages contains a report on the seminar series that was coordinated by the CIT, and delivered in March this year. It also contains a major article that addresses the challenge of using ‘The Minimum Income Standards’ published by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2008 as a benchmark for a Full Citizen’s Income http://www.minimumincomestandard.org. The MIS values enable one to adopt much more generous levels of CI than previously, for elderly people, those with disabilities, parents-with-care and carers-of-last-resort. The article proposes that able-bodied people of working age, without major caring responsibilities, or any obvious impaired ability to earn, would receive a Partial CI. It is claimed that this scheme is economically feasible. This issue of the Newsletter ends with two ‘Viewpoints.’
The CI Newsletter is online at: http://www.citizensincome.org/index.html
-From BIEN

RAVENTOS, Daniel & LO VUOLO, Ruben (2009), ‘Basic Income: good in the boom, essential in the crisis’, On Line Opinion. Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, July 16, 2009, http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9172

Today’s economic crisis invites reflection on the role a basic income might play as an effective way of combating some of its worst effects, especially in protecting some of the hardest-hit groups, Daniel Raventos (Red Renta Basica, Spain) and Ruben Lo Vuolo (REDAIC, Argentina) argue.
Available at: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9172
-From BIEN

A BIG Idea: A Minimum Income Guarantee: An Interview with Karl Widerquist
The Multinational Monitor, MAY/JUN 2009. VOL 30 NO. 3
Multinational Monitor (MM) is a monthly magazine (in print and online) devoted primarily to examining the activities of multinational companies. The magazine also covers issues involving labor, the environment, corporate crime, multilateral banks and development. In this lengthy interview, Widerquist answers the following questions:
What is a basic income guarantee?
MM: What are the origins of the BIG concept?
MM: Is it a concept designed for rich or poor countries?
MM: How does it compare in terms of benefits and disadvantages to the idea of providing individuals, at birth or adulthood, with a lump sum endowment?
MM: How does it compare to the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit?
MM: Are there examples of BIG policies being enacted? How have they turned out?
MM: In rough terms, what levels of BIG payments do you propose for a rich country like the United States? For poor countries? Is the aim to provide a subsistence-level income from the BIG payment alone?
MM: Should BIG payments be means tested? Does this consideration vary between rich and poor countries?
MM: From experience and modeling, what impact would BIG policies have on poverty — taking into account that the answer necessarily depends on the details, including size of payment — in rich and poor countries? Are there particular gender components to such impacts?
MM: From experience and modeling, what impact would BIG policies have on economic growth, and economic performance more generally?
MM: How does society make a judgment that a relatively high level of payment for BIG is worth it? What mechanisms do you favor to raise funds for BIG policies?
MM: Given the size of the financial commitment, is there inherently some trade off between adopting BIG policies, and investing in health, education, clean water, etc.? Or, stated differently, why should a country spend significant sums on BIG payments rather than investing in health, education, clean water, etc.?
MM: An obvious criticism of BIG is that it provides payments to people without any test of “deservingness.” How do you respond to that critique?
MM: Are there legitimate concerns that regular cash transfers will be spent in socially undesirable ways, for example on alcohol?
MM: What is the level of political interest in BIG? In which countries is there interest in taking up or experimenting with the idea?
The interview is online at:
http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2009/052009/interview-widerquist.html

10. NEW MEMBERS
Seven new members have joined the USBIG Network in the last three months. The USBIG Network now has 189 members from 32 U.S. states and 256 foreign countries. Membership in USBIG is free and open to anyone who shares its goals. To become a member of USBIG go to http://www.usbig.net, and click on “membership.”
The seven new members of the USBIG Network are: Claudia Alejandra Mazorra Otero, Bogota, Colombia; Arjun Banker, San Francisco, CA; M. Radh Achuthan, Southampton, NY; Faith Van Horne, Columbus, OH; Karl Howeth, Lawton, OK; Jennifer "Jenni" Mays, Brisbane, Australia; Tamara Trout Samassekou, Louisa, KY.

11. NEW LINKS
RECIVITAS
The Brazilian group ReCivitas has a website with several videos on basic income. Most of the site is in Portuguese, but it includes a lecture in English by Karl Widerquist, entitled “Freedom as the Power to Say No.”
The Lecture is online at: http://atvong.ning.com/video/karl-widerquist-freedom-as.

UKRAINIAN WEBSITE ON BIG
A Ukrainian group has created a website on basic income with articles, news, and multimedia presentations on BIG in several languages including English. The site is managed by Joerg Drescher joerg.drescher@iovialis.org, and it is online at: http://bod.in.ua/.

BASIC INCOME FOR CHILDREN IN NEW YORK STATE
New York State currently spends roughly 20,000 US dollars per schooled child per year to support the public school system. An essay by Paul Fernhout suggests that the same amount of money be given directly to the family of each homeschooled child.
See: http://www.pdfernhout.net/towards-a-post-scarcity-new-york-state-of-mind.html.
-From BIEN

OXFAM BLOG ON A CITIZEN’S INCOME
Oxfam is hosting a Blog Debate on basic income, with respect to its role in combating poverty. Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT) Director, Dr Malcolm Torry has prepared a paper, “A Citizen’s Income: part of the answer to poverty”. Another blogger will prepare an article on the case against basic income.
The debate is online at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/ukpovertypost

OIL RESOURCE RENTS
In a paper entitled ‘Citizen dividends and oil resource rents, a focus on Alaska, Norway and Nigeria’, Alanna Hartzok (Co-Founder and Co-Director of Earth Rights Institute, Vice President of the Council of Georgist Organizations, and UN NGO Representative for the International Union for Land Value Taxation) explores the oil rent institutions of Alaska, Norway and Nigeria with a focus on these questions: Are citizen dividends from oil rent funds currently or potentially a source of substantial basic income? Are oil rent funds the best source for citizen dividends or should CDs be based on other types of resource rents?
http://www.vanguardngr.com/2009/08/13/citizen-dividends-and-oil-resource-rents-a-focus-on-alaska-norway-and-nigeria/

KATJA KIPPING ON BASIC INCOME
Katja Kipping, the Vice-Chairwoman of the German political party “Die Linke”, has published an online article on basic income in the framework of Znet’s series “Reimagining Society Project”. “The most logical answer to the insecurity caused by the precariousness and transformation of the world of work is an unconditional basic income.”, Kipping argues.
See: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22226

OXFAM UK WEBSITE BLOGGING ABOUT BIG
Moussa Haddadm of UK Poverty Post (an Oxfam website) began blogging on Citizen’s Income August 26th, 2009. The conversation includes articles by Colin Williams and Jan Windebank Dan Paskins, and Dr Malcolm Torry. It’s online at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/ukpovertypost/2009/08/citizens-income-week-on-uk-poverty-post/

12. LINKS AND OTHER INFO
For links to dozens of BIG websites around the world, go to http://www.usbig.net/links.html. These links are to any website with information about BIG, but USBIG does not necessarily endorse their content or their agendas.

The USBIG Network Newsletter
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Copyeditor: Mike Murray and the USBIG Committee
Research: Paul Nollen; and Yannick Vanderborght of the BIEN NewsFlash
Special help on this issue was provided by Jeff Smith, Jurgen de Wispeleare, Guy Standing, Jim Mulvale, Alanna Hartzok

The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network publishes this newsletter. The Network is a discussion group on basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a generic name for any proposal to create a minimum income level, below which no citizen's income can fall. Information on BIG and USBIG can be found on the web at: http://www.usbig.net.

You may copy and circulate articles from this newsletter, but please mention the source and include a link to http://www.usbig.net. If you know any BIG news; if you know anyone who would like to be added to this list; or if you would like to be removed from this list; please send me an email: Karl@Widerquist.com.

As always, your comments on this newsletter and the USBIG website are gladly welcomed.

Thank you,
-Karl Widerquist, editor
Karl@Widerquist.com
===========================================
KARL WIDERQUIST
Associate Professor in Residence, Philosophy
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
Mailing address:
3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Suite 2100, Harris Building
Washington, D.C. 20007-2401
US cell phone: +1 504-261-0891
Qatar cell phone: +974 508-9323
Qatar fax: +974 457-8231
EMAIL: Karl@widerquist.com
PERSONAL WEBSITE: http://www.widerquist.com/