Thursday, December 22, 2011
- Our own trained and trusted bank employees will manage our capital instead of gambling it in risky and convoluted Wall Street schemes that loose our money and then require us to bail them out to cover the losses of their irresponsible investments.
- If our bank employees try to imitate Wall Street banks fraudulent schemes then we shall be able to catch, fire and prosecute them earlier and as needed since they will not enjoy Washington’s political cover.
- With our capital at home we can self-finance our infrastructure and capital intensive improvements.
- Our bank management will receive reasonable public employee compensation which will save us a bundle in the outrageous salaries and bonuses that Wall Street bankers now give to themselves even after loosing record amounts.
- The savings in operating expenses will allow us to offer better rates to our local banks , who will in turn issue more loans for local projects adding liquidity and jobs to our economy.
- Any profits from operations will stay in California and be used for our common needs.
- After being established, our own bank can act as a clearing house to trade our manufacturers and merchants accounts receivable – this is being offered already in Uruguay and Brazil through the C3 platform – thus increasing the velocity of commerce now being handicapped with businesses having to offer ever longer terms in order to secure a sale.
Three months ago, while visiting an investment banker friend in NYC, he casually authorized the purchase of a $4 Million California Bond with a maturity date of 40 years and an interest rate of 7% compounded annually. My friend bought it for $240K, or 6% of the amount of the obligation. This is how much money is costing us now to get money from Wall Street because we do not have our own bank to borrow from.
Compare those outrageous costs of financing with the pitiful interest we receive from keeping our money in the big commercial banks. And then they loose it and asks us for more money so they can keep their incompetent and wasteful ways. I firmly believe that the crooks of Wall Street do not deserve a second chance, we must get what is left of our money home and keep it here.
By the way, $240K is not even enough to pay for one year salary and benefits of a newly hired police officer ordered to limit my constitutional right to peaceful address my grievances. It also means that in 2051 my children will have a $4 Million bond to pay for the repression of their father’s freedoms in 2011.
Any one studying how our debt service is growing understands clearly that the present system is unsustainable and any attempt to postpone the inevitable will make it harder later to rebuild. A Publicly Owned Bank will provide our State with a way to break out of Wall Street and Washington’s madness. There will be those that will always be tempted to invest in the derivatives casino and they should have the freedom to do that if they wish, but our state deserves the right to choose the more prudent alternative of keeping our money home, working for us.
The author, Sergio Lub, is an adviser to the Public Banking Institute – www.PublicBankingInstitute.org
Sergio has been in business since 1969 – His enterprise supplies over 500 retailers and supports about 30 families, most of them in Northern California – SergioLub.com
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Barter is older than money and is now experiencing a Renascence thanks to two factors: One is the increasing scarcity of money due to the global recession, the other is new software that increasingly allows people to earn and spend their barter credits as easily as they use PayPal. Our shopping carts at SergioLub.com and WearCopper.com, for example, accept barter as well as credit and debit cards for the payment of online orders.
Barter will grow even larger if it were to overcome the persistent problem members have when most of their suppliers do not belong to the same barter group as they do. Understandably, suppliers do not want to incur the time and expense of joining another system, while barter administrators need filled applications to check references, and the application fees to pay commissions to their recruiters.
This old Catch 22 problem will disappear once barter administrators allow their trusted members to make barter payment to their suppliers, even when they do not yet belong to the system.
We users will enter the needed data as we process the online transaction, so there is no typing work for the barter office.
The new account does not need extensive credit checking since it is known and recommended by a trusted member. It also does not need an initial credit line since it starts by earning barter credits and therefore with a positive balance.
A common objection from new potential barter members is: “What if I cannot find where to use my Barter Credits?”
I suggest to address this problem by allowing the inviting member to reassure the supplier somehow, for example by offering a “One Year Money Back Guarantee.”
So, instead of paying my printer cash at 30 days (and then asking for more time a month later because others are not paying me), my printer will be able to spend the trade credits right away. If my printer cannot find anywhere to spend them, then I will buy those credits with cash after a year. Even in the rare case that this happens I still would still enjoy extra free financing and my supplier gets a chance to play barter with no costs or risk.
An extra benefit of having members sponsor their suppliers is that our new members will deliver goods and services that we normally consume, thus reducing the present disproportion of luxury items and this should also help with the problem of having members “on reserve” because they cannot find where to spend their earned credits.
One last objection may come from the barter’s Road Reps that recruit new members for a fee, since for them, for barter administrators to allow members giving memberships for free, could be considered unfair competition.
The barter administrator should explain that the free memberships are gift certificates that members have traded for or have earned, for example one per year of membership. Furthermore, the barter administrator can gradually switch compensation for road reps to a percentage of the transaction fees, so their earnings become proportional to the volume of transactions their customer’s make. Doing this will give road reps the incentive to visit existing clients and help them become more knowledgeable and efficient in the barter economy.
As more businesses accept Barter Credits it does not take long to see a future in which we could choose to issue Barter Credits to all our vendors, to be used on a trial basis, during the time it takes for their bills to become due.
In the era of networking, tapping into our established relationships is the viral and sustainable way to go. Imagine what will happen when my suppliers will in turn earn the right to invite their suppliers, eventually closing my trading loops and making the use of money increasingly optional.
Writing this in December, with the spirit of the Holidays all around, it is quite easy to visualize barter group administrators acknowledging their senior members with free memberships to gift to their suppliers, and with a little effort I can see a few innovators empowering their barter members to recruit their suppliers year-round, thus helping unleash the huge potential of barter.
Sergio Lub – Dec 17, 2011
As most artists, Sergio Lub has been using direct trade during his entire 43-year career and presently he is active in 3 online barter systems: ITEX, BizX and UC-Universal Currency. In 2009, at the Dallas Convention of IRTA – International Reciprocal Trade Association – the late IRTA President Dave Wallach, honored Sergio as a “Legend of Barter”.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My wife and I were part of a small group of networkers that gathered last September in Santa Cruz to watch a preview of THRIVE, the documentary that took Kimberly and Foster Gamble 8 years to make and features some of the best thinkers of our generation.
Among cultural creatives, this movie has raised more expectations than any other that I remember. It has two trailers at www.ThriveMovement.com – and a vast website of documentation to support and expand on the facts mentioned in the movie. The accumulated body of evidence is so large that I heard people say “the movie is a trailer for the website.”
The expected deluge of traffic is such that a sophisticated international network of servers in the US and abroad have been enlisted to prevent crashing due to high volume or attempts to undermine the disclosure.
THRIVE was successfully launched around the world simultaneously and in many languages on 11/11/11. Its premiere was in the magnificent Craneway Pavillion by Pt. Richmond’s waterfront – www.craneway.com – This is the converted historic factory where Rosie the Riveter worked making tanks during WWII and showed a woman’s worth to the world with her iconic poster Yes We Can!
Thrive Premiere 500 tickets sold out on September 9, two hours after they went on sale.
THRIVE the Movie
Going to this private showing I had a nagging suspicion that all this secrecy and elaborate launching plans could be more hype than substance. I know Foster Gamble as a very conscious man, but how can a documentary be so interesting?
Half way into the showing I understood what was happening, and a chill ran up my spine. This movie is exposing why we have wars, famines, poisoning of our biosphere, junk foods, censorship of alternative energy sources, suppression of meaningful education and institutional attacks on effective natural remedies.
THRIVE allows us to clearly ascend the pyramid of power until reaching – and bravely naming – the few at the top who control most of the world.
It goes on to expose their detailed plan and why they are doing it. Driven by a mentality of scarcity and fear that includes culling the population of the world by reducing fertility, by covert sterilization, toxic food and water and by wars of aggression – strategies that have been applied already for decades.
Then I understood why THRIVE had to be kept secret until it needed to be launched in such a big scale that it could no longer be contained.
When you are exposing people that have already killed millions with their policies, you have to be not only very brave, but you must do it in such a massive and well documented way that attacking the messenger may no longer stop the truth.
Learning How to Thrive
The THRIVE team was committed to providing solutions that are a match to the problems we face. The first and last of THRIVE’s four chapters are an in-depth and detailed exploration of solutions, the actions we can take, as individuals and in large groups, in order to grow out of our present predicament – to not only survive, but to thrive.
These solutions are all organized on the website, so you can just enjoy the beautiful, compelling journey of the film, and after you have had a chance to digest this incredible feast of knowledge, I believe you will be tempted to work on the strategies for solutions, and thus add your shoulder to the Thrive movement – www.thrivemovement.com
Below is a link to a slideshow of Thrive Premiere in Pt. Richmond, CA from 11/11/11 :
Nov 11, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
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