Monday , February 24 2020
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Jp Koning
Working in the bowels of the finance industry. Blogging about monetary phenomena is my side gig.

JP Koning: Moneyness

Moneyness is an economics blog by JP Koning about economics, money and finance. He adds an unique perspective to money-related issues, and explains everything very clearly, this combination sets him apart.

Cutting Martin Sellner off from the payments system

I few weeks back I learned who Martin Sellner is. If you haven't heard of him, Sellner is a prominent Austrian populizer of remigration, the idea that non-whites living in Western nations should be sent back to where they come from.In a recent tweet from his wife, Brittany Sellner, we find out that Sellner has been kicked off of by a long list of banks and payments platforms. List of all the banks/platforms Martin has been banned from. pic.twitter.com/FDNqjp7J21 — Brittany Sellner...

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What happens when a 96 bitcoin ransom payment ends up on Bitfinex?

"Hello, to get your data back you have to pay for the decryption tool, the price is $1,200,000... You have to make the payment in Bitcoins."This is a snippet from a recent court case concerning ransomware that just crossed my desk. Companies that fall victim to ransom attacks fear the publicity it might attract, so the details of these attacks are usually swept under the table. But in this case, the ransom payer—a British insurer that traced the bitcoins to Bitfinex, a major bitcoin...

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Monetary policy is not a tightrope

[This is a guest post by Mike Sproul. Mike has posted a few times before to the Moneyess blog.]Here is a summary of the Federal Reserve’s Principles for the Conduct of Monetary Policy, which aims at “walking the tightrope” between inflation and unemployment: …the central bank should provide monetary policy stimulus when economic activity is below the level associated with full resource utilization and inflation is below its stated goal. Conversely, the central bank should implement...

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Flooding or marijuana? Two theories for falling cash demand

When Canada legalized marijuana in October 2018, the amount of banknotes in circulation took a sudden plunge. In a 2019 paper available here, economists Charles Goodhart & Jonathan Ashworth theorized that because the marijuana trade has always been conducted using anonymity-providing cash, legalization meant that Canadians could now buy pot with debit and credit cards. Thus the big drop in cash held that October.Here is one of the charts that the pair used:Source: Goodhart &...

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Cryptocurrency in a land of strict gambling laws

Kim Jin-Woo, K-pop star jailed for online gambling [source] I recently read that South Korea will not be taxing capital gains on cryptocurrencies next year. Young Koreans who became paper multi-millionaires when XRP or some other cryptocurrency skyrocketed from 0.1 cents to 25 cents have reason to celebrate. They can sell without having to give up a single won of their winnings to the Korean tax authority. Letting off the crypto-rich may sound like a bad tax policy. In this post I'll make...

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The Watergate banknotes

Cash isn't quite anonymous, it's anonymous-ish. To illustrate this, a few years ago I wrote about the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping case. The ransom was paid in gold certificates, not Federal Reserve notes. By coincidence, the U.S. went off the gold standard the next year, and all gold certificates were called in. So when the kidnapper spent some of his gold certificates in 1934 to buy gas, his purchase was odd enough to out him to the authorities. I recently stumbled on a more recent example...

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Buying coffee with Tesla shares

It's fascinating to see how brokerages these days are offering no-commission trades, fractional share ownership, and debit card-linked accounts. With this combination of features, maybe we're getting closer to the day when we can buy a $2.50 coffee with 0.007 Tesla shares. Right now, a debit card purchase can only proceed if there are uninvested cash balances in the linked-to account. But what if the securities held in your brokerage account could also be debit-cardized?Imagine going to...

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Bitcoin and sanctions

I recently watched a video with Alex Gladstein on the importance of financial privacy. In general I agree. We should be working on expanding the scope for transacting privately, although I am conscious of the tradeoffs. Anonymity helps good people evade bad rules, but we need to be wary of how it abets bad people evading good rules. (See for instance my recent post on the good & bad of using prepaid debit cards to donate anonymously). In the above list, Gladstein intimates that...

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A way to make anonymous online donations

Paying for things online usually means giving up plenty of privacy. But this needn't always be the case. Last night I donated to a local charity via their website and didn't have to give up any of my personal information. The trick for achieving a degree of online payments anonymity? Not bitcoin, Zcash, or Monero. I used a product created by old fashioned bankers: a non-reloadable prepaid debit card. (I wrote about these cards here and here). Had I used a credit card or PayPal, all sorts...

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Mooning over daylight overdrafts

Every few days for the last month or so I've been refreshing a Federal Reserve page that shows data about daylight overdrafts. For some reason the Fed only updates it every few months. I had been getting quite curious to see what happened during the great September interest rate spike. Well, finally the Fed has uploaded the data. If you don't know about the September rate spike, I'd suggest reading Nathan Tankus's tweet, listening to David Beckworth's podcast with Bill Nelson, or picking...

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