cashless society

How Close Are We To A Cashless Society?

The move to a cashless society is being implemented slowly in a series of incremental steps. Global governments are starting to place restrictions on the use of cash for what they say are security reasons.  But in reality it is to restrict individual privacy and independence.  After all, cash is anonymous. You leave no digital…

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James Rickards gold bars

James Rickards: Do You Have Wealth or Electrons?

Do you have wealth or electrons? When James Rickards talks to extremely wealthy individuals about where they have invested their money, they typically answer that they own an array of stocks and bonds. Rickards response is always the same: “You don’t have wealth. You have electrons.” James Rickards is an American lawyer, economist, investment banker,…

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bank deposits secrets

Bank Deposits: 3 Secrets Your Banker Won’t Tell You

In 2014 former Harvard economics professor and Goldman Sachs employee, Terry Burnham was concerned about his bank deposits and withdrew over $1 million from his checking account at the Bank of America (BoA). Why? In addition to no interest being earned in his account, BoA (as with most large banks) had loaned out the vast…

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financial derivatives

Is Your Bank Trading in Financial Derivatives?

Financial derivatives are contracts between two parties whose value is determined by changes in the value of an underlying asset. Those assets could be stocks, bonds, currencies or commodities (such as oil, wheat, precious metals). Most of these contracts are traded over the counter, where details about pricing and risk measurement are not available to…

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Fractional Reserve Banking Infographic

Fractional Reserve Banking is the banking system most countries use today. It requires banks to hold only a fraction of the money their customers deposit. That amount is called the reserve requirement, and in most countries the central bank decides the percentage or ratio.   Banks can then loan the rest of the deposits they…

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u.s. economy - student loan debt

Student Loans, Part I: 10 Things to Consider Before Getting One

Americans now owe a record $1.3 trillion in student loans – yes, trillion! How did this happen? It started with the Higher Education Act of 1965 which allowed students to take out big loans for college. As a result of students’ ability to pay, colleges increased their tuition. This became a vicious cycle where schools…

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student loan debt

Student Loan Debt, Part II: 10 Ways to Avoid It

This is the second of a 2-part series on student loan debt. Read Student Loans Part I: 10 Things to Consider Before Getting One. College students often accept student loans without thinking about the financial responsibility that comes with them. Ask yourself, “Will I be able to afford these payments after I graduate? What if…

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U.S. economy facts

U.S. Economy: 15 Eye-Opening Facts From 2015

2015 wasn’t a breakout year for the U.S. economy. While the Federal Reserve stated they found enough signs of a growing economy to warrant a small increase in interest rates, many economists looked to other facts and said, “Not so fast.” Blogger Michael Synder compiled a list of 58 economic facts from 2015 that he…

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How Inflation Affects Your Cost of Living

Many people think of inflation as rising prices. Well, not exactly. Inflation is not goods and services becoming more expensive. It’s really the money that we use to buy those goods is losing value. When more money is printed, the dollars we already hold become less valuable because there are not enough goods and services…

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national debt

U.S. National Debt: Visualizing $18 Trillion

For most of us, it’s hard to conceptualize the U.S. national debt of $18 trillion in debt  (and an additional $80+ trillion for unfunded liabilities such as Social Security, Medicare). We hear economists and politicians throwing these numbers around with such ease that we become lulled into complacency about the magnitude of that number.  It…

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