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The BitCoin: 'In no one we trust'

Last year I wrote a few articles discussing the origins of money and how its development arose from the need to have some sort of commonly accepted medium for storing and exchanging value, led by governments who could enforce and guarantee the value of currency.  More generally, this is the case for the vast majority of assets as there must be some guarantee of value before a counterparty would be willing to make a trade: a stake in a company for shares, the right to collateral for debt and a government backing for fiat currencies. Rationally it doesn’t make much sense for people to use something without any form of intrinsic value or guarantee as a medium for exchange.
One of my interests is exploring these anomalies in the economy and it just so happens that such a currency has emerged: it is called the BitCoin, a virtual currency which can be created and used by running a program on your average home PC.

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Small country, so what’s the big deal?

This past Tuesday (March 19th), the German-led Eurozone finance ministers and International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered Cyprus a €10 billion bail-out package. The catch is, this plan requires Cyprus to raise approximately €5.8 billion (almost one-third of Cyprus’ GDP) as its share of the bailout, by Monday (March 25th). Cyprus is a small player in the Eurozone, and in a lot of trouble – could the costs of keeping Cyprus in the Eurozone outweigh the benefits?

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Debunking of Iceland’s Economic Recovery

If we remember back to the days of the global financial crisis, one of the earliest and hardest hit countries in the European area was Iceland. Iceland was also the only country which made the fateful decision to not bailout the three largest banks in their country. This was not because they simply said ‘no’ like they did afterwards to the demands of the creditors of these banks in the UK and the Netherlands, but they simply could not afford to bailout these banks which held 10 times GDP worth of assets. By choosing not to bailout the banks it didn’t mean the domestic financial payments system collapsed as well, and without good reason detailed further in the article.

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Eurozone Problems Intensify as Italy Rejects 'Austerity Cage'

2013-03-06T210851Z_4_CBRE92513IS00_RTROPTP_2_ITALY-VOTEThe recent Italian elections saw the majority lower house vote go to Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the centre-left bloc.
The lack of the requisite majority in the upper house has left the election outcome uncertain. However it is clear that Bersani’s promise to end the crush of austerity in Italy in order to get the Italian economy back on track has resonated with the Italian voter.[1]  Should Bersani emerge as Prime Minister, Italy will be set for a collision course with Germany and the European Central Bank. 

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The Euro Crisis (Continued): Time to make a choice?

It is now July 2012, almost three years since the chain of events that set in motion what is now called the Euro Crisis and surprisingly enough, the world is still waist deep in the middle of it. In my previous article I attempted to diagnose what was causing the breakup and why there was so little action taken, and regardless of whether it was for those reasons, just from looking at the EUR/AUD exchange rate it’s easy to see that the situation has been deteriorating continuously ever since the end of the global financial crisis and despite several attempts to change things, it has not really improved.

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Achilles and Cheiron

The Greek Epic

The Greek tragedy began with its declining competitiveness in the early 2000’s. Simply put, they were producing far less than they were consuming. Many factors lead to this including their adoption of the Euro (see Hungy’s article here). Some have pointed out the irony of too much Democracy from the people who invented it: pensions rose, retirement age lowered, and public sector salaries increased. This explanation has formed the view of the Greek people as lazy and unproductive, a label which is misinformed.

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The Euro Crisis: Why Greece is broke but Germany won't do anything about it

Source: Dirk Vorderstraße

Anyone reading the news lately would’ve surely caught on that something is amiss in Europe: The so called ‘PIGS’ (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain), and especially the Greeks have been on the edge of default for months, causing  rumours that the Euro may be headed to the scrap heap.  If any of you still remember, the Euro was introduced with great fanfare nearly ten years ago which was supposed to promote closer ties both politically and economically for the EU members in the Euro-zone (The sub-group in the EU that uses the Euro as their currency).  So why then, has the Euro’s health deteriorated to such a sickly state?

Read moreThe Euro Crisis: Why Greece is broke but Germany won't do anything about it