ON APRIL 6 this year, about 61% of Nigerians were surviving on $1 (R10.50) a day. On April 7, the Nigerian economy was revalued to reflect present-day economic realities.
On April 8, as a result of this so-called rebasing, the Nigerian economy — as measured by GDP — was estimated to be worth $510-billion. That’s almost twice the $264-billion it had been valued at two days earlier. This boosted GDP per capita to $3 000, which is equivalent to just more than $8 a day for all 170 million Nigerians.
That’s what the economists told us.
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The economies of the developing world will feel the earliest and greatest impact from bitcoin. Not only are bitcoin’s enormous benefits very personal, they are also contextual depending on your political geography.
Individuals residing in high-inflation countries with relatively sufficient Internet access as a percentage of population do seek refuge in bitcoin.
The worst offenders depriving their subjects of monetary stability or a reasonable – albeit ‘coerced’ – store of value are the dictatorial regimes in politically tumultuous countries like Belarus, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Ethiopia, Malawi, Venezuela, Burundi, Yemen, and Tanzania.
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By Michael Lalor/Business Day
THIS week’s news that Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) is higher than South Africa’s has generated significant debate locally, with some commentators inferring that the news will have a negative effect on investor sentiment and that it is further evidence that South Africa’s economy is sliding backwards.
As the rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP has been signalled for a long time, the result is not surprising; however, the statistical recalculation of the size of the Nigerian economy must be looked at in context. Read More ....
By Tim Harris/Business Day
SOUTH Africans might be tempted simply to shrug and accept the new reality that Nigeria’s economy is actually 60% larger than ours following last week’s rebasing of the former’s gross domestic product (GDP). That would be a mistake.
Yes, we must agree that, given long-run economic convergence, countries with larger populations will become bigger economies. We should admit that the largest countries have more diplomatic influence, regardless of the individual wealth of their citizens. Further, we should acknowledge the anecdotal evidence that bigger countries have tended to grow faster in recent years. Read More ....
By Dianna Games/Business Day
AFTER the announcement of Nigeria’s statistical triumph, I expected a chest-thumping, jubilant response in the country. Instead, news that Nigeria had become the biggest economy in Africa, with gross domestic product of an astonishing $510bn, was greeted with a sober, even dismissive, response by the media, professionals and ordinary people.
"It’s too soon to exhale," a banking professional last week. "We have too much to do. Our macroeconomic fundamentals are not in place. Things are just not where we need them to be. There is no reason for celebration." Read More.....
By Zeenat Patel/Business Day
SO Nigeria is now Africa’s biggest economy following the rebasing of its GDP, but does this actually mean anything?
In the past few days, much has been said about the fact that the rebasing has placed Nigeria above South Africa as the continent’s largest economy. This has shifted the focus among global investors to Nigeria’s potential and raised the question whether South Africa, which has hogged the limelight as Africa’s biggest economy, has had its moment in the sun.
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By Nicholas J. Davies
Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?" The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C." This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.
Ukraine's former security chief, Aleksandr Yakimenko, has reported that the coup-plotters who overthrew the elected government in Ukraine, " basically lived in the (U.S.) Embassy. They were there every day." We also know from a leaked Russian intercept that they were in close contact with Ambassador Pyatt and the senior U.S. official in charge of the coup, former Dick Cheney aide Victoria Nuland, officially the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. And we can assume that many of their days in the Embassy were spent in strategy and training sessions with their individual CIA case officers.
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Book: The Ethics of Money Production
By: Jörg Guido Hülsmann
This pioneering work, in hardback, by Jorg Guido Hulsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France and the author of Mises: The Last knight of Liberalism, is the first full study of a critically important issue today: the ethics of money production.
He is speaking not in the colloquial sense of the phrase "making money," but rather the actual production of money as a commodity in the whole economic life. The choice of the money we use in exchange is not something that needs to be established and fixed by government.
In fact, his thesis is that a government monopoly on money production and management has no ethical or economic grounding at all. Legal tender laws, bailout guarantees, tax-backed deposit insurance, and the entire apparatus that sustains national monetary systems, has been wholly unjustified. Money, he argues, should be a privately produced good like any other, such as clothing or food.
In arguing this way, he is disputing centuries of assumptions about money for which an argument is rarely offered. People just assume that government or central banks operating under government control should manage money. Hulsmann explores monetary thought from the ancient world through the middle ages to modern times to show that the monopolists are wrong. There is a strong case in both economic and ethical terms for the idea that money production should be wholly private.
He takes on the "stabilization" advocates to show that government management doesn't lead to stability but to inflation and instability. He goes further to argue against even the theoretical case for stabilization, to say that money's value should be governed by the market, and that that the costs associated with private production are actually an advantage. He chronicles the decline of money once nationalized, from legally sanctioned counterfeiting to the creation of paper money all the way to hyperinflation. </p.
In his normative analysis, the author depends heavily on the monetary writings of 14th century Bishop Nicole Oresme, whose monetary writings have been overlooked even by historians of economic thought. He makes a strong case that "paper money has never been introduced through voluntary cooperation. In all known cases it has been introduced through coercion and compulsion, sometimes with the threat of the death penalty. ... Paper money by its very nature involves the violation of property rights through monopoly and legal-tender privileges."
The book is also eerily prophetic of our times:
Consider the current U.S. real-estate boom. Many Americans are utterly convinced that American real estate is the one sure bet in economic life. No matter what happens on the stock market or in other strata of the economy, real estate will rise. They believe themselves to have found a bonanza, and the historical figures confirm this. Of course this belief is an illusion, but the characteristic feature of a boom is precisely that people throw any critical considerations overboard. They do not realize that their money producer the Fed has possibly already entered the early stages of hyperinflation, and that the only reason why this has been largely invisible was that most of the new money has been exported outside of the U.S... Because a paper-money producer can bail out virtually anybody, the citizens become reckless in their speculations; they count on him to bail them out, especially when many other people do the same thing. To fight such behavior effectively, one must abolish paper money. Regulations merely drive the reckless behavior into new channels.
Hulsmann has provided not only a primer in understanding our times, but a dramatic extension of the work of Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and others to map out an economically radical and ethically challenging case for the complete separation of money and state, and a case for the privatization of money production. It is a sweeping and learned treatise that is rigorous, scholarly, and radical.
The United States fought the American Revolution primarily over King George III's Currency act, which forced the colonists to conduct their business only using printed bank notes borrowed from the Bank of England at interest.
After the revolution, the new United States adopted a radically different economic system in which the government issued its own value-based money, so that private banks like the Bank of England were not siphoning off the wealth of the people through interest-bearing bank notes.
But bankers are nothing if not dedicated to their schemes to acquire your wealth, and know full well how easy it is to corrupt a nation's leaders.
Just one year after Mayer Amschel Rothschild had uttered his infamous "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws", the bankers succeeded in setting up a new Private Central Bank called the First Bank of the United States, largely through the efforts of the Rothschild's chief US supporter, Alexander Hamilton.
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Book: Money, Sound and Unsound
By: Joseph T. Salerno
This book might be considered an intermediate text on the topic. If you have read Menger, Rothbard, Mises, or Hayek on the topic of money and you want to know what is next, this is your answer. Joseph Salerno is the master of the subject, and he demonstrates absolute virtuosity in these pages.
Salerno’s yardstick concerns the soundness of money. He is speaking of a subject too rarely raised: the quality of the money itself. Money originated as a commodity out of market exchange. The further the government and central bank drive money from its original soundness, toward a paper money and finally toward digits that government can manufacture out of nothing, the less sound the money becomes, and the more instability, inflation, false signalling, and economic chaos that results.
As he makes clear, money is either absolutely sound (meaning, part of the market order) or it is headed on that slide toward destruction. In the final commentary section, Salerno directly addresses modern monetary madness and speculates on the future.
Money: Sound and Unsound is an indispensable collection of 26 essays on that subject, written over the years by a brilliant American economist of the Austrian school, Joseph Salerno. In defending gold as the alternative to the government's fiat money, Salerno effectively takes on all comers, including Milton Friedman.
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