Scotland has a long and noteworthy history of banking. Money, savings and investing is entrenched in the culture and society. Edinburgh is the fourth largest financial centre in Europe (after London, Frankfurt and Paris). Much of this reputation has arisen from its history of innovation over the last three hundred years. The Bank of Scotland, established in 1695, one year after the Bank of England by an Act of the Scottish Parliament, illustrates the prevailing attitude to the creation of money in that era. A list of banking innovations is a useful background of Scottish banking activities.
Proponents of big government, from both the left and right, share one important trait; namely, both spend their waking hours dreaming up new schemes to tax wealth. Only a blind, deaf and dumb observer of economic imbalance would deny that the massive accumulation of worldly assets into the hands of the smallest number of robber barons in all of history is at the core of most social unrest and global instability. However, adopting a Marxist outlook on the evils of the bourgeoisie simply confuses the nature of the financial magnates, while blaming the hard pressed merchant class for conducting beneficial business. Creation of tangible wealth is the greatest achievement in the uplifting and improvement of the human condition, when that stream of riches flows between and among entrepreneurs and business proprietors.
The obsession over sports, long analyzed as half-crazed, defies logical explanation. Even so, it is undeniable that organized athletics is big business. This standard certainly applies to professional leagues, but often it is overlooked just how much money is involved in “so called” amateur games at the college level. A Brief History of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Role in Regulating Intercollegiate Athletics serves as a useful primer. Regulation of intercollegiate athletics may seem a desirable and necessary function to maintain the integrity of sport. In spite of this noble objective, the supervision of the NCAA over college athletics usually comes down to the excessive administration of football and basketball.
Learning is a noble pursuit, but the ancient Greek text is one of the few places where the Socratic Method survives. Sanctioned political doctrine of required thinking is the mainstay in today’s august temples of purification. Forget about a classroom, the curriculum core of New Age studies has no room for the classics, much less instructions into the process of thinking itself. Except, of course for the need to electronically check off the loan applications and assign grants to the business office. In the end, university is big business and developing intelligent graduates happens as an afterthought, if at all.
As the yearly end of summer doldrums engulf the Hamptons, the uber-wealthy position themselves for a rocky coming storm when the robust fall trading season begins. Some of the most memorable major equity collapses happen during this time of year. Logic, fundamentals and sound business analysis has very little to do in forecasting when the actual plug will be pulled on the rocket ride in stocks. In a rigid game, the house always knows when and at what time the fleecing of the mark happens. Such timing projections do not apply to the decline in the purchasing power of the dollar. More appropriately, Federal Reserve Notes are only compulsory money because of the legal tender laws. Yet, financial instruments are gauged in terms of their worth by the dollar redemption value they produce.
When the billionaire tech jet set decides to let down their hair, what do they talk about around the campfire? According to the New Your Times, “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues — along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea.” How quaint! . . . For the real scoop, Here’s What Went On At Google’s Exclusive Conference For The Rich And Famous In Sicily.
Well, the International Monetary Fund is at it again. It looks like controlling entire economy conditions of nations is not enough for the IMF. The IMF urges higher energy taxes to fight climate change and lays out “exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuels’ overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.”
For an economy to grow and create actual wealth, innovation is a bedrock component in the development of enhanced prosperity. Prosperity is an intriguing concept. Simply making and accumulating money falls short of establishing a successful economic model. This recent report illustrates a prime example. Facebook stock soars, as company briefly passes IBM in market value. “By most measures, Facebook is dwarfed by IBM: With about 7,000 employees, ten-year-old Facebook is on track to garner $12 billion in sales this year. The 103-year-old IBM has more than 400,000 workers and sold almost $100 billion of computer hardware and software in 2013.”
The belief that calling for and instituting sanctions against Russia is a sound policy, illustrates the economic disconnect of the Obama administration. With the fervor for starting a new cold war, the propaganda machine is working overtime to paint a picture that ignores real economic synergism. Note the conflicting reports regarding the EU. Nine EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia, quotes a diplomatic source to ITAR-TASS:
The practice of a pure free market is so rare that a plausible argument can be made that a free market economy never existed. However, as the saying goes, Once Upon A Time, economic commerce did reflect a voluntary basis for business transactions. The fortunes of trade rested upon the mutual benefit of all parties, since repeated satisfaction built sustaining economies. Competition was the norm and the quality of goods and services developed that propelled expanding growth and prosperity for the largest numbers of participating producers and consumers. In the corporatist economic model, the goal is to create and protect monopolies, while stamping out any enterprises that challenge the Plutocrat system.
The global corporatist economy works differently from business transactions at your neighborhood convenience store. Ostensibly, the International Monetary Fund was set up to allow the G20 nations to umpire the ground rules to play nice in macro trade. Platitudes about promoting job growth or third world development are the realm of public relations for the central banks. The impact of the IMF on virtually all countries, vividly seen in every crisis whether real or contrived, always has a political objective that underpins the economic functions. As confidence in national currencies falter, the big sugar daddy loves to intervene, provided they pull the strings.
Financial instruments are inventions of gnomes from investment houses and exchanges. There is nothing intrinsic about profitability or guarantee that over time such transactions will be rewarding. Much like the games played at a casino, the baccarat banks that run the betting sport and wheel of fortune, are running the odds in their favor. If only the payoff was similar to the gambling den probability, the consistency of indulgence might be worth the risk. However, the systemic incentivisations within the markets themselves are designed to reflect little of economic proportion to actual trading results. Just look how the financial firms compensate their traders to substantiate that the underlying security of the “so called” investment, which bears little resemblance to quoted pricing.