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"A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion."

(Allan Watts.)

MONEY: BASICS:

Money is a medium of exchange dinero, shaped in coins, notes and electronic money, accepted by a certain group to honour services, payments and obligations.
Its 3 main characteristics are:
1) Is a medium of exchange, easy to transport and store;
2) Is a unit of account,alows to measure and compare product and services values that are very diferent to each other;
3) Is used to save, and serves as value recourse.

Primitive societies sociedades use barter as the basic exchange system. A chicker in exchange of a fish, a fur in exchange of a jewel...but bartering has 3 constrains:
- Expiry ( the owner of the chicken has to find to the one that has the fish just in time when needed)
- Rating (both have to agree that the exchange is fair),therefore, it works very well is small societies, where everybody knows each other and share the same perception of the value of goods and servicess.
- Supply ( options are limited).

Para ampliar y facilitar las transacciones, estas sociedades empiezan a utilizar algunos objetos considerados valiosos por todos ( conchas marinas, cacao, puntas de flecha...) que sirven como puente entre personas que desean comerciar ( A da una concha a B a cambio de la gallina; B intercambia la concha con C, que le entrega un pescado.) Aparece un nuevo concepto: la unidad de intercambio, una medida abstracta que permite una fácil evaluación de todas las otras mercancías, que es fácil de transportar y almacenar y que
tiene un valor por si misma ( me puedo adornar con la concha marina, comer la semilla de cacao, o utilizar la punta de flecha para cazar).

Sencillo, verdad?. El dinero es la versión moderna de aquellas conchas...excepto que...efectivamente...carece de la última cualidad: no tiene valor por si mismo, es solo una convención , un vale, una letra de cambio, la promesa de que alguien honrará aquello que simboliza. El dinero, por si mismo, no es más que la plasmación de un código ético acordado por el grupo, la materialización de un pacto social, aceptado por todos los integrantes de ese grupo.

shell money

MONEY IS NOT WEALTH:

An allegory by the English philosopher Alan Watts :

'On the morning after the beginning of the Depression, a carpenter came to work, and the foreman said to him, 'Sorry, chum, you can't work today. There ain't no inches.'
The carpenter said, 'What do you mean, there ain't no inches?'
'Yeah,' the foreman said. 'We got lumber, we got metal, but we ain't got no inches.'
'You're crazy,' the carpenter said.
And the foreman replied, 'The trouble with you is you don't understand business.'
What happened in the Great Depression was that human beings confused money with wealth. And they didn't realize that money is a measure of wealth, in exactly the same way that inches are a measure of length. They think it is something that is valuable in and of itself. And as a result of that they get into unbelievable trouble."



(Img: //marcfrankmontoya.com)

Money

FROM GOLD STANDARD TO CURRENCY:

Therefore, tha main objective of money was to facilitate economy, to ease exchange flow.People accepted the gold, silver and copper coins because they continue to have value on its ows: in case of scarcity, travel or war, they could be molten and transformed into a jewel, a tool or a lingott.

Very soon the rulers discovered that it was not necessary that the distributed wealth in form of precious metals matched the money in circulation: they simply could assign more value to the coin that its real value as metal: a silver ounce did not need to weight an ounce, but less, therefore, it could not be exchanged anymore based on its weight, but to the aleatory value assigned by the national mint.
People learned that after some scraping on the coins, some gold, silver or copper could be recovered, molten and sold. ( For that reason, coins includen thereafter a dented edge, to guarantee that the weight of the coin had not been altered.)



Ver Euro

Money

FROM COINS TO NOTES:


The next step was to reduce the amount of coins in circulation by the use of paper money. Here the real value of the exchange unit has totally dessapeared, and the paper is just a symbol.Germans learned that on the hard way with the galopping inflation that followed UU World War: a dozen eggs could cost one million marcs, and citizens were forced to carry absurd wads of notes whose value diminished by the hour....

More recently. in Argentina, people entered racing into the supermarkets, since prices could rise in between the moment the moment the shopping cart was loaded and the checkout. People would draw out the money in armoured trucks until the government blocked the bank accounts: the so-called "Corralito".

( Img: www.51allout.co.uk)

Money

MONEY AS DEBT:

It is the most difficult concept to understand: with the derogation of the gold standard ( each note was backed by its equivalent in gold, at the central bank), the only limit to the creation of money "by the promise of honour it" was the preexisting money. For example, USA is currently the most indebted word in the world (16.4 trillion) Only China is owed $1.28 trillion. Other debtors are Japan, Brasil, Taiwan, Switzerland, Australia, carribbean bancs, oil exporters...

Everytime that a bank lends money creates money out of thin air, usually with a tableboard click. And charges an interest, that in turn contributes that the total debt be greater than the loans. Therefore, with the current monetary system, it is impossible that the totality of debts will ever be honoured.

PRODUCTIVE ECONOMY Vs FINANCIAL ECONOMY:

La economía productiva o real es la que generan los sectores económicos ( primario, secundario, terciario...) mientras que la financiera o especulativa es la creada por bancos y la bolsa, que realizan transacciones electrónicas sin correspondencia con la economía real. Por ejemplo, por cada transacción económica en el mundo real ( vender un barco lleno de maíz) se generan una media de 14 operaciones financieras, cada una de ellas aplicando un mordisco real al valor real del cargamento. .
Estas transacciones monetarias se realizan incluso varias veces al día, comprando barato cuando el precio baja y vendiendo caro cuando el precio sube.El sistema permite comprar maiz por valor de 1 millón de dólares a primera hora de la mañana , venderlo al mediodía si el precio del maiz subió (obteniendo 1,050.000 $) y recomprarlo por la tarde ( por 950.000 $) por que volvió a bajar. En total es posible embolsarse 100.000$ sin haber aportado ningun valor añadido al cargamento de maiz. Pero alguien ha perdido 100.000 dolares que tendrán que venir de la economía real o generarán una deuda que alguien tendrá que pagar.

( Img: asclepiades57.blogspot.com)

Money = Debt

MONEY ANS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY:

El sistema económico actual muestra los típicos signos de agotamiento de un final de ciclo y necesita ser rediseñado. Tomemos por ejemplo los ingresos de un gerente de sucursal bancaria. Estos dependen del número de productos financieros que venda, las hipotécas, los préstamos...es decir, está más interesado en "colocar" productos, como un vendedor, que de decidir estratégicamente ( y moralmente) a quien apoyar en función de su propuesta económica, social o regenerativa para la comunidad ( lo que es bueno para todos, es bueno para el banco). Valora más la ganancia a corto plazo que seleccionar y apoyar a clientes fiables que le reportarán beneficios menores a corto pero continuados en el tiempo, a el y al banco y que, además, aportarán un valor añadido para toda la sociedad: la llamada banca ética.
El mundo al revés, como si la industria farmaceutica y la clase médica estuvieran ḿás centrados en recetar medicamentos que en prevenir enfermedades ( no se gana si la gente está sana), es decir, que a más enfermos, más ganancias.(2) O como si el abogado estuviera más interesado en cobrar de su cliente independientemente de si es o no culpable...mmmm....vaya, pero si esto también sucede....

- Si un banco dá 3 hipotecas a 3 empresarios para que abran 3 bares en el mismo barrio los está condenando a malvivir o a cerrar porque no hay tantos parroquianos como para llenar los 3 establecimientos de una manera sostenida.
- Si la industria farmaceutica está centrada en vender medicamentos los laboratorios se centrarán en remediar, y no en prevenir. Y a más trabajadores enfermos, menos productividad global, más costes sociales ( bajas, rehabilitacion, hospitalización, operaciones cirúrgicas, muertes...)
- Si los mejores abogados rechazaran trabajar para banqueros, empresarios y políticos corruptos, mafiosos y multinacionales, estos no tendrían la mejor defensa que el dinero puede comprar, y por tanto, perderían los juicios...

El dinero no es malo en si mismo. El problema radica en la falta de visión de conjunto y nula conciencia social. El dinero como fin y no como medio. El dinero es a la economía como la sangre al cuerpo. Pero el fin del cuerpo no es generar sangre sino aprender a vivir, compartir y soñar, a darle un sentido a la vida.
Masquiavelo dijo que "El fin justifica los medios" pero el enunciado solo es válido si el fin es bueno. Necesitamos integrar la ética y la sostenibilidad en las decisiones económicas. .



(Img: www.csc.com)

Responsabilidad Social Corporativa


Notas:

1)"I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people, and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.
Allan Watts.

2) In ancient China, people paid the doctors to keep them healthy. When somebody falled ill, ceased to pay the doctor, who had to supply medicines and care to heal them. It is so evident that it is amazing in its simplicity: an ill person cannot work, thus, cannot make a living, much less pay bills. Our public health system works apparently in a similar way, but with a big difference: not being centered on prevention and having all expences covered, there is no pressure to return the patient to their jobs. In the case of private insurance companies, they may even reject to make an insurance to elderly, sick or sick-prone people since a bad medical case history may lower their profit ratio.


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