. . .

Highlights from The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous

The book’s basic message is that the world’s current financial system is damaged beyond repair, and bitcoin represents one of the best available methods to fix it.

These are the iPhone 7-ready Lightning headphones you can buy right now if you have no chill
Wednesday July 24, 2019

Life’s challenges force us to harden up. Relationships, work, children, family and finances all combine to put us under a lot of pressure and the way we are expected to deal with these is to develop resilience and to some extent indifference. We are required to be tough. To teach our kids to be tough […]

The post These are the iPhone 7-ready Lightning headphones you can buy right now if you have no chill appeared first on Celadon Saigon.

It’s a fast read [Amazon link], relatively light on statistics and academic research, somewhat heavier on prescription and generalizations. I would break down the book contents this way: 30% an introduction to macroeconomics and the history of money, 20% what is bitcoin, 25% what are the big problems in global monetary policy and international finance today, and 25% bitcoin cheerleading.

Thiết bị giám sát hành trình cho xe du lịch
Thursday June 27, 2019

Hiện nay, du lịch đang là lĩnh vực có nhiều tiềm năng phát triển trong tương lai và đem lại một nguồn thu lớn cho đất nước. Cùng với những cơ hội phát triển, du lịch Việt Nam cũng gặp phải không ít khó khăn và nhược điểm. Và có lẽ thiết bị định vị cho xe du […]

The post Thiết bị giám sát hành trình cho xe du lịch appeared first on Celadon Saigon.

Below are some of my favorite highlights:

Contrary to what O’Keefe expected, the villagers were not keen on receiving his stones, and the village chief banned his townsfolk from working for the stones, decreeing that O’Keefe’s stones were not of value, because they were gathered too easily. Only the stones quarried traditionally, with the sweat and blood of the Yapese, were to be accepted in Yap. Others on the island disagreed, and they did supply O’Keefe with the coconuts he sought. This resulted in conflict on the island, and in time the demise of Rai stones as money. Back in the late 1970s, the very affluent Hunt brothers decided to bring about the remonetization of silver and started buying enormous quantities of silver, driving the price up. Their rationale was that as the price rose, more people would want to buy, which would keep the price rising, which in turn would lead to people wanting to be paid in silver. Yet, no matter how much the Hunt brothers bought, their wealth was no match for the ability of miners and holders of silver to keep selling silver onto the market. The price of silver eventually crashed and the Hunt brothers lost over $ 1bn, probably the highest price ever paid for learning the importance of the stock‐to‐flow ratio, and why not all that glitters is gold. Hanke and Bushnell have been able to verify 57 episodes of hyperinflation in history, only one of which occurred before the era of monetary nationalism, and that was the inflation in France in 1795, in the wake of the Mississippi Bubble, which was also produced through government money and engineered by the honorary father of modern government money, John Law. In 2003, when the United States invaded Iraq, aerial bombardment destroyed the Iraqi central bank and with it the capability of the Iraqi government to print new Iraqi dinars. This led to the dinar drastically appreciating overnight as Iraqis became more confident in the currency given that no central bank could print it anymore. A similar story happened to Somali shillings after their central bank was destroyed. …some countries started trying to repatriate their gold reserves from the United States as they started to recognize the diminishing purchasing power of their paper money. French president Charles de Gaulle even sent a French military carrier to New York to get his nation’s gold back, but when the Germans attempted to repatriate their gold, the United States had decided it had had enough. Gold reserves were running low, and on August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced the end of dollar convertibility to gold, thus letting the gold price float in the market freely. In effect, the United States had defaulted on its commitment to redeem its dollars in gold. The fixed exchange rates between the world’s currencies, which the IMF was tasked with maintaining, had now been let loose to be determined by the movement of goods and capital across borders and in ever‐more‐sophisticated foreign exchange markets. The total U.S. M2 measure of the money supply in 1971 was around $600 billion, while today it is in excess of $12 trillion, growing at an average annual rate of 6.7%. Correspondingly, in 1971, 1 ounce of gold was worth $35, and today it is worth more than $1,200. The oldest recorded example of fiat money was jiaozi, a paper currency issued by the Song dynasty in China in the tenth century. Initially, jiaozi was a receipt for gold or silver, but then government controlled its issuance and suspended redeemability, increasing the amount of currency printed until it collapsed.President Roosevelt issued an executive order banning the private ownership of gold, forcing Americans to sell their gold to the U.S. Treasury at a rate of $20.67 per ounce. With the population deprived of sound money, and forced to deal with dollars, Roosevelt then revalued the dollar on the international market from $20.67 per ounce to $35 per ounce, a 41% devaluation of the dollar in real terms (gold).Scarcity is the starting point of all economicsWhen European explorers and traders visited West Africa in the sixteenth century, they noticed the high value given to these beads and so started importing them in mass quantities from Europe. What followed was similar to the story of O’Keefe, but given the tiny size of the beads and the much larger size of the population, it was a slower, more covert process with bigger and more tragic consequences. Slowly but surely, Europeans were able to purchase a lot of the precious resources of Africa for the beads they acquired back home for very little. The aggry beads later came to be known as slave beads for the role they played in fueling the slave trade of Africans to Europeans and North Americans. A one‐time collapse in the value of a monetary medium is tragic, but at least it is over quickly and its holders can begin trading, saving, and calculating with a new one. But a slow drain of its monetary value over time will slowly transfer the wealth of its holders to those who can produce the medium at a low cost. …the central bank can engage in expansionary monetary policy by (1) reducing interest rates, which stimulates lending and increases money creation; (2) lowering the required reserve ratio, allowing banks to increase their lending, increasing money creation; (3) purchasing treasuries or financial assets, which also leads to money creation; and (4) relaxing lending eligibility criteria, allowing banks to increase lending and thus money creation. The Bank of International Settlements estimates the size of the foreign exchange market to be $5.1 trillion per day for April 2016, which would come out to around $1,860 trillion per year. The World Bank estimates the GDP of all the world’s countries combined at around $75 trillion for the year 2016. This means that the foreign exchange market is around 25 times as large as all the economic production that takes place in the entire planet. More nations began to switch to a monetary standard of paper fully backed by, and instantly redeemable into, precious metals held in vaults. Some nations would choose gold, and others would choose silver, in a fateful decision that was to have enormous consequences. Britain was the first to adopt a modern gold standard in 1717, under the direction of physicist Isaac Newton, who was the warden of the Royal Mint, and the gold standard would play a great role in it advancing its trade across its empire worldwide. Britain would remain under a gold standard until 1914, although it would suspend it during the Napoleonic wars from 1797 to 1821. By the time India shifted the backing of its rupee to the gold‐backed pound sterling in 1898, the silver backing its rupee had lost 56% of its value in the 27 years since the end of the Franco‐ Prussian War. For China, which stayed on the silver standard until 1935, its silver (in various names and forms) lost 78% of its value over the period. It is the author’s opinion that the history of China and India, and their failure to catch up to the West during the twentieth century, is inextricably linked to this massive destruction of wealth and capital brought about by the demonetization of the monetary metal these countries utilized. The demonetization of silver in effect left the Chinese and Indians in a situation similar to west Africans holding aggri beads as Europeans arrived: domestic hard money was easy money for foreigners, and was being driven out by foreign hard money, which allowed foreigners to control and own increasing quantities of the capital and resources of China and India during the period. This is a historical lesson of immense significance, and should be kept in mind by anyone who thinks his refusal of Bitcoin means he doesn’t have to deal with it. History shows it is not possible to insulate yourself from the consequences of others holding money that is harder than yours.Any person who owns Bitcoin achieves a degree of economic freedom which was not possible before its invention. Bitcoin holders can send large amounts of value across the planet without having to ask for the permission of anyone. Bitcoin’s value is not reliant on anything physical anywhere in the world and thus can never be completely impeded, destroyed, or confiscated by any of the physical forces of the political or criminal worlds. Bitcoin can also serve as a useful reserve asset for central banks facing international restrictions on their banking operations, or unhappy at the dollar‐centric global monetary system. The possibility of adopting Bitcoin reserves might itself prove a valuable bargaining chip for these central banks with U.S. monetary authorities, who would probably prefer not to see any central banks defect to Bitcoin as a method of settlement, because that would then entice others to join.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.