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Tag Archives: Personal finance

The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman October 10, 2018 A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom) What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about...

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Norbert’s gambit

I executed one of the oddest financial transactions of my life earlier this week. I did Norbert's Gambit.These days a big chunk of my income is in U.S. dollars. But since I live in Quebec, my expenses are all in Canadian dollars. To pay my bills, I need to convert this flow of U.S. dollars accumulating in my account to Canadian dollars. Outsiders may not realize how dollarized Canada is. Many of us Canadians maintain U.S. dollar bank accounts or carry around U.S. dollar credit cards....

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The secrets of the new 200 Swiss franc note

Switzerland began updating its notes starting with the 50 franc note in April 2016. It then issued the new 20 franc note in May 2017, and the new 10 in October 2017. The newest note to grace Swiss wallets, pockets and purses is the 200 franc note, which was launched on 22 August 2018. - Click to enlarge Switzerland’s ninth banknote series moves away from the depiction of well-known personalities instead depicting...

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Switzerland’s vote to change its monetary system – sensible or silly?

Sometimes Swiss voters are presented with questions that only specialists are equipped to answer. The vote on 10 June 2018 to change their monetary system appears to be one of these. © Valeriya Potapova | Dreamstime.com - Click to enlarge On the surface it appears simple. Upon closer inspection it contains much complexity and uncertainty, compounded by a widespread misunderstanding of how the financial system works –...

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Budget busting burgers – Swiss franc still the most overvalued

The Economist has just published its January 2018 Big Mac index, a light-hearted measure of whether currencies are under or overvalued. The underlying assumption is that a Big Mac is the same whether bought in Kiev or Chur, so any price difference must be due to the exchange rate. © Sergiomonti _ Dreamstime.com - Click to enlarge In January 2018, Swiss Big Macs were still the world’s most expensive, making the Swiss...

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The new 10 Swiss franc note hand mystery

The third in a series of gorgeous new Swiss franc bank notes will be released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on October 18th. The 10-franc note keeps its yellow colour, but most everything else in the design and construction is different. What’s most remarkable about the new bank note? Not the 40 centimes or so it takes to make each note, nor that each note is projected to last only about a year. Not the sophisticated...

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