Posts tagged economic

Yuan Rise Harmful for Chinese Economy

Yi Xiaozhun says the currency has been turned into a political issue

BBC News: News Article 1, News Article 2

According to BBC News, allowing the yuan to strengthen against the dollar would hurt the Chinese economy in the short-term.

If yuan strengthens against the dollar, the Chinese firms or international firms in China will have difficult time exporting their products to foreign markets. Because Chinese economy and growth is heavily depended on its exports to foreign markets, especially US market, it is resentful toward the appreciation of yuan against US dollar.

The minister Yi Xiaozhun argued that if yuan value rises, the Chinese economy would suffer short-term economic depression. China has already experienced its first ever trade deficit of $7.2bn and if the appreciation of yuan takes place, this trade deficit would be aggravated. Some experts say that this could be a short-term phenomenon due to unplanned importing, however, it could be a serious problem for Chinese economy if yuan appreciates.

In sum, China will suffer economic depression if its currency, yuan, rises against US dollar. Thus, even if United States politically, diplomatically pressures China, China will never give up due to this its pivotal role in Chinese economy.

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Intro to Macroeconomics

Today in the class, we have learned simple diagrams about the economic transactions between firms and households. As you see in the diagram, the households provide factors of production (FoP) to the firms. Firms gives wages or rent for the factors of production provided by the households. The firm then provides the service or good by using these factors of production to the households. The households in reture gives payment to the firms for the service or the good.

We have learned about several economic terms such as GDP. GDP means Gross Domestic Product and it is the Total Value of all Spending in an Economy. It is the Total Value of all final Goods and Services in an Economy regardless of who owns the productive assets.

Unlike GDP, GNP encounters for the total income earned by a nation’s factors of production regardless of where the assets are located. For example, lets say that there is one British businessperson doing business in Japan. His buisness is part of Japan’s GDP, but it is not part of Japan’s GNP. It is the part of UK’s GNP.

GDP per capita is GDP divided by population of that country. It is often used to show how much wealth each person has. However, there is one flaw with this index. If there is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor, like in United States, this value means less compared to when there is less disparity between rich and poor. According to Ms. Q in the class, only 1% of United State’s population owns 49% of financial wealth. So, GDP per capita is not always accurate.

GDP per capita is often used to evaluate one country’s standard of living, however, as it was stated, it is not always accurate. For example, there could be several trillionares and billions of poor in a country. As an alternative, many scholars use HDI to evalute standar of living of countries. It encounters for life expectancy, literacy rate, education, public health system, and etc. It looks at the different point of view compared to GDP per capita. According to the lecture today, Cuba has less thant 5000$ per capita, however, it has almost 100% literacy rate, which shows that it has high standard of living.

Extra Info: GDP can vary according to the country’s currency exchange rate to USD. As GDP is in US dollar, other foreign countries have to convert their currency to USD. For example, if the exchange rate goes down (value: Foreign currency<USD) the total GDP of the nation decreases. On contrary, if the exchange rate goes up, the total GDP of the nation increases dramatically. So this is one drawback to GDP.

There is an economic index called PPP that covers up the problem of GDP. “Purchasing power parity exchange rate is the exchange rate based on the purchasing power parity (PPP) of a currency relative to a selected standard (usually the United States dollar)” (wikipedia.org) So it gets rid of the exchange rate drawback of GDP and gives more reliable data. However, there is one problem with this also. It is very difficult to measure the differences in quality of goods.

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Currency Wars by Song Hongbing

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<Picture: Chinese Book & Korean Translated Book>

Recently I have read a book called Currency Wars written by a Chinese economist Song Hongbing. I first want to say that this book is filled with conspiracy theories and nationalistic ideas. However, the writer has given specific data and reasoning to support his ‘conspiracies’. Therefore I think the book should be called a ‘faction’ book as it is based on truth, however, dramatized too much.

This book overall ‘reveals’ the conspiracy of colossal finance corporations and how they use currency as an instrument of exploiting wealth of people. The book has some of the shocking comments such as ‘Bill Gates isn’t the richest man in the world’ and ‘huge finance corporations are responsible for wars around the world.’ Also, the book raised one’s consciousness about how currency as a weapon can be more destructive than physical weapons.

Rothschild Family:

First of all, the book reveals that the Rothschild family is the richest family with $5 trillion dollars whereas Bill Gates “only” have $40 billion dollars. The Rothschild family’s wealth is 100times the Bill Gate’s wealth. How has this family earned exponential amount of money, and how hasn’t no one noticed about it? This is the mysterious question the author asks. The author then answers that the family’s strict control, accumulated experience in markets, and their endless desire in making ‘financial empire’ across the world made it possible for them to be the richest family in the world. Actually, this family has accumulated its wealth well before 200 years ago starting from England.

The rise of Rothschild family begins in 1815 when the Battle of Waterloo between England and France ignited. At the time, Rothschild family was devoting to bank management. They had international banks around Europe such as Germany, France, and England. The family had vast network of industrial spying agency. Therefore, the Rothschilds had an efficient network for market informations.

<Battle of Waterloo>

When the Battle of Waterloo began, the Rothschilds instantaneously realized that they will earn tremendous amount of money. Many people were betting their whole wealth by buying national bonds of either England or France. If England loses the battle, the national bonds will be worthless. Conversely, if France loses this battle, the price of French national bonds will fall dramatically. Therefore many people were betting their fortunes on the Battle of Waterloo.

At the time, it took days for troops to either report a victory or defeat to the government simply because there weren’t any cars or other efficient means of transportation. The Rothschilds family, using their vast spy network, succeeded in finding out the result of the battle, one day faster than the government. When the Rothschilds family found out that the British has won the battle, Nathan Rothschild (the family’s third son) immediately headed to the stock exchange of England.

Everyone was nervous in the appearance of Nathan Rothschild in the stock exchange. Nathan ordered his agents to sell tremendous amount of British stocks. He ordered one of his agents to shout out false information, “Rothschilds found it out! The British has lost to the French.” People, terrified, struggled to sell their stocks before the price got any lower. The stocks exchange was in chaos. In a minute, the price of national stocks fell to 5% of their original value. The stocks became a worthless piece of paper in a minute. Nathan Rothschild then immediately told his agents to buy all of the stocks.

This was a victory for Rothschild’s family. British government was also victorious in the Battle of Waterloo, however, in a long run they were losers. As Rothschild family seized all of the stocks in England, they seized the right of Bank of England. The family then forced the British government to pay their loan (for a long battle) by tax. So the family was successful in seizing the rights of imposition of taxes.

<The Bank of England>

By seizing the Bank of England, the family of Rothschild exercised power and dominance by controlling the supply of currency. Here are the quotes relating to the dominance of currency.

  • “Money is Power”, or shall we say, “The Monopoly to Create Credit Money and charge interest is Absolute Power”. (Alex James)
  • “Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws”. (Amsel Rothschild)

Like Amsel Rothschild what said, Rothschilds used currency as a mean of exploiting wealth from people with out being noticed.

In the past, gold was used as a mean of currency. Gold has a limited amount of money, and it was perfect in serving as a currency. However, as ‘paper’ currencies came out, it was possible to make infinite amount of money. If you know the common sense of finance, the infinite supplying of currency will cause an inflation. For example, if a person named John has one dollar, it would not worth a dollar after the inflation. As a result, Jon will lose sums of his wealth. Rothschilds used this method in order to exploit wealth from people. They increased the supply of money in order to decrease the wealth of people. Once it has decreased its price, Rothschilds bought the wealth away from people. After they have bought such things as stocks from people, the Rothschilds limited the supply of money. This caused deflation and increased in value or worth of currency. As a result, Rothschilds increased their wealth to tremendous amount.

  • Satirical cartoon protesting against the introduction of paper money, by James Gillray, 1797.

Later on, the Rothschilds used these kinds of methods to manipulate the stocks and gained wealth. They also stirred wars around the world to make profit.

In conclusion, Rothschilds expanded their financial empire by dominating national banks around the world such as Federal Reserves of United States, and etc. Rothschilds with other huge financial corporations caused many economic depressions such as the Japan’s lost decades and 1997 Asian Financial Crisis that affected Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and etc.

On its rest of the pages, the book illustrated about how finance and currencies operate. Also, it deals with the problem of paper notes as a currency. It also deals with the problem that paper currencies creates problem such as debt being larger than the actual amount of money due to debenture of ‘money earned in the future’.

Through out the book, I did not (or tried not to) believe the claims stated in the book. I knew that some of the stories have been too much dramatized. However, I feared in a sense that this could be a reality because the writer Song Hongbing has given out specific data through out the book, which supporting his claims strongly.

In sum, it was too complicated for a high school student to understand the functionality of currency and finance in the book, however, I think I understood most of the important aspects of currency.

Related Resources:

Article: “Chinese buy into currency war plot”

Wikipedia: Rothschild Family

Wikipedia: Currency Wars

Wikipedia: Fiat Money

2010.5.21 Writer’s Comment

I think that we should not ‘mindlessly’ believe what is written in this book. It’s full of conspiracies, however, the author has given us different point of view and perspectives to how some people think of economics. Majority of the people used to think of economics as a subject of ‘how to earn money.’ But, Song Hongbing introduced us the new perspective of how the economy can be dominated in the way it is described in the book. Remember, it is not entirely comprised of ‘facts.’ Many of the ‘theories’ are based on the ‘reasonable’ assumptions.

2010.10.4 Writer’s Comment

I must admit that comparing the wealth of a family (multiple individuals) and the wealth of ‘an’ individual is somewhat awkward. There could be hundreds of individuals in one family. Therefore, it could be possible that the book was wrong about how Bill Gates is not the richest man in the world. However, doing simple math it could be easily known that there are individuals within the Rothschild family that has more wealth than Bill Gates. For example, 5000billion divided by 100 would equal to 50billion. This would mean that 100 individuals have more wealth than what Bill Gates has (40billion). However, the wealth would not be distributed equally like equal slices of pizzas. The distribution of the wealth within the family will be concentrated in the middle and it disperses to other individuals. So there will be about 10 individuals with 50% of the $4 trillion.

However, I really don’t believe in what the book is saying. I still believe that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. I’ve just done some calculations to see if it is ‘legitimate’ to compare a group of people to an individual.

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Glossary

I have wrote down the economics terms that I know:

  • Economics – is a social science of how humans make choice with limited amount of resources.
  • Micro-economics – looks at individual economic relationships. The scale is usually small.
  • Macro-economics – looks at overall economic structure of the society. It looks at the big picture.
  • Economic growth – is a potential productive growth. The increase in real GDP indicates this growth well.
  • Economic development – does not concerns much with the growth in potential productive strength, however, looks at the improvement of human standard of living.
  • Ceteris paribus – is a concept that everything affect another. So this concept is very important in economics because even minor factor could effect economic assumptions.
  • Scarcity – is the key reason why there is a study called economics. Due to the lack of resources, humans have to make choices.
  • Different rationing systems – societies have various kinds of economic structures such as free market system, socialistic system, and mixed system.

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Lehman Brothers’ Collapse

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“Lehman Brothers Holdings is closing its doors with more than $600 billion of debt — the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history.” – Market Watch.

Lehman Brothers was one of the biggest global financial-services firms. The collaspe and its bankruptcy has shocked invester from around the world, provoking fluctuating stock market.

How has Lehman Brothers owed debt of $600 billion in the first place?

“This crisis is clearly deeper than anybody had imagined only a short time ago,” says Peter Stein, an associate editor at the Wall Street Journal in a CNN article.

During the attacks in September 11, 2001, it had its offices destroyed leaving them with great loss. Also, Lehman brothers were exposed to unsecured mortgages, and they had terrible debt caused by credit-crunch.

So these critical problems piled on until there was an economic crisis in 2008 to 2009 which exploded Lehman Brothers. So Lehman Brothers had problems that pervaded so deeply it eventually collapsed when there was an economic crisis which had ‘exploded’ Lehman Brothers.

Resources:

Watch Market: Lehman folds with record $613 billion debt

CNN: Lehman Brothers collapse stuns global markets

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