Truth About Global Economic Crisis: Book Review

You want to read The Global Economic Crisis The Great Depression of the XXI Century, edited by Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, if you meet these criteria: you welcome information and analysis about critically important issues that come from great thinkers outside the mainstream media and publishing world; you can handle brain pain from detailed and brutally honest revelations; you are willing and able to challenge your own biases and preconceptions to let in new explanations of how the world really functions.

If millions of Americans read this book, we would probably see a far stronger uprising against the political establishment that has refused to severely punish the countless guilty people in the financial, banking and mortgage sectors that brought down the US and global economic system.

This book ties together a large number of factors in twenty chapters that reveal just how corrupt the world has become because of the power of plutocratic, wealthy and corporate interests. From Wall Street corporate boardrooms to the Federal Reserve and other central banks to the US military and NATO, a multitude of threads get woven into a disturbing tapestry of crimes against society that still have not been prosecuted.

This book is truly an instrument of anti-brainwashing. If you are willing to spend serious time reading it, then you surely will become much angrier about the dismal state of the economy that is causing so much pain and suffering to ordinary people worldwide. If you personally have escaped the worst ravages of the economic meltdown, then you will have much more compassion for those severely affected.

In all honesty, if the current global economic crisis has made you angry, pessimistic, fearful, paranoid, despairing and worse, then this book will most likely exacerbate all such feelings. By revealing still more connections, implications and causes, this book will motivate you to do anything you can to fight the corporate, plutocratic forces devastating the lives of ordinary people. If you already have little confidence in government, it will only make things worse. Does all this mean you should avoid reading it? Absolutely not.

Here are a few statements from the book that resonated with me and that you can use to decide whether the general philosophic orientation of it is compatible with your views:

“Wall Street’s Ponzi scheme was used to manipulate the market and transfer billions of dollars into the pockets of banksters.”

“Government rescue packages around the world are corporatist in their very nature, as they save the capitalists at the expense of the people.”

“The global political economy is being transformed into a global government structure at the crossroads of a major financial crisis.”

Just gin up the courage to read it, get out several color markers to highlight passages and expand your knowledge to overcome all the propaganda constantly being hurled at you. We need more citizen unrest to energize more public protests to overthrow the powers that have corrupted and perverted our government. A key voice in the mainstream media that is in sync with the painful messages in this book is Dylan Ratigan who has a terrific daily show on MSNBC. He too should read this timely book.

Relationship Economics by David Nour – Book Review

Title and Author: Relationship Economics by David Nour

Synopsis of Content:

David Nour revisits a common subject of books these days but with a different twist. He identifies the most important resource of a business (and arguably of a person) to be their relationships – who they know and the quality of their relationship with those they know.

Nour divides relationships into three categories: personal, functional and strategic. He suggests each type of relationship serves different functions and require different approaches to establish and to nourish.

He argues that relationships are the centric goals for business development whether we realize it or not. He also discusses how our relationships guide us in developing our leadership ability.

Nour applies Social Network Analysis (SNA) and several other scientific measurement approaches to identify the significance of relationships and to plan for them strategically. The book discusses how to develop relationships, such as those with customers, and how not to. Nour even provides a 30-60-90 day personal relationship plan to build and nurture relationships.

Nour’s book offers some unique and creative approaches to understanding the significance and power of relationships in our business and in our lives. While he protests that his book is not about using or exploiting people and relationships it is difficult to see how the business application aspects of his book and the strategic applications do not in fact teach one how to utilize relationships and their development to your advantage – a glossy way of saying he shows you how best to use them.

This book is worth the read. You will undoubtedly learn some valuable ideas about how to establish and grow relationships in the business world. It should be read however with a bit of caution – taken too far the ideas here could be exploitive and contrary to one’s personal integrity. In fairness to Nour, many people use far less strategic thinking to exploit their relationships – he does not advocate exploitation but the tools he teaches would seem to make it far easier to accomplish.

Readability/Writing Quality:

The book is quite readable. It is organized like most modern business books with many chapters, sub sections and application or example boxes. While the book has a logical flow it is sometimes difficult to remember what section you are in based on the content.

Notes on Author:

David Nour describes himself as a “social networking strategist”. He heads up his own consulting company called BeOne Now.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. The main reason networking does not work is that it lacks purpose, goals, is haphazard and reactive. Learning to plan networking with a definite purpose, a set of goals and a strategic plan makes it far more effective.

2. Teams should be selected and trained along the “relationship-centric” model; that is, using team members who possess and demonstrate the most relationship functional attributes.

3. To attract the most influential relationships you must build your relationship currency, what you have to offer to attract the relationships you seek; this currency includes: becoming more interesting by deepening your own horizons and interests, building a personal brand, and becoming known for your high value content.

Publication Information:

Relationship Economics by David Nour

Copyright 2008 by David Nour. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Overall Rating for Book: Good

Economics Book Review – The Ascent of Money, a Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset used mainly as a medium of transaction to secure financial transactions, control creation of additional assets and verification of any asset transfers with the help of a strong cryptographic technology. It is also known as a form of digital currency or virtual currency. Unlike central banking systems, it is a decentralized control and financial transaction system that works through a blockchain used mainly for financial transactions.

The first decentralized virtual currency to be developed in 2009 is Bitcoin known as a virtual monetary unit and it works independently without the assistance of any central bank or administrator. Since then, around 4000 altcoins of diverse variants of bitcoin have been developed. Bitcoin is considered as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system where users perform transactions directly without any intermediates.

Blockchain is a data file consisting of numerous blocks that keeps records of all the previous bitcoin transactions and also creation of new ones. The normal average time between each block is around 10 minutes. The most frequent use of bitcoin, is supported by an external software named Bitcoin wallet. By using this software, one can easily store, receive and manage the transaction of bitcoin units. In order to perform transactions using bitcoin, one needs to have an account in any one of the bitcoin exchanges across the globe and has to transfer fiat currency into that account. Thus the account holder can perform future transactions by using these funds. Apart from the bitcoin, some of the other sources of cryptocurrency is petro which is mainly used for oil and mineral reserves.

There are some pros and cons associated with the usage of digital currency. The main benefits of using a virtual currency are as follows:-

• Provides a quick transparency layer:-

The Bitcoin usually operates with the help of a ledger called Blockchain that records & monitors each and every transaction. Once when a transaction is made and is recorded in this ledger it is considered to be as static. These transactions can be further verified at any time in the future and hence in addition to this, it also ensures security and privacy regarding all the transactions made through a particular account.

• Fast Processing and Portable Usage:-

Billions of dollars of bitcoin can be easily transferred from one location to another without any detection with the help of a single memory drive. While performing any kind of transactions, involvement of any third party can be eliminated by using this bitcoin technology. This will result in an easy and rapid transaction without any approval from a third party,

• Low transaction costs involved:-

Transaction costs involved in the exchanging of these digital currencies is very less which makes it more affordable than the real currency for the population across the world. Hence, cost of any kind of transaction made is very less which turns out to be an advantageous feature for the population whenever they are performing any transactions.

• Combats & eradicates poverty:-

Often the banking systems and financial institutions do not provide help or assistance especially to backward classes in rural areas. Bitcoin serves as an alternative in such cases where it extends its robust financial services to anyone with internet access. It often serves as a support for poor and oppressed classes who are in most cases not given any viable alternative.

As and when a new or latest technology arrives, there are some negative factors also associated with its usage which are as follows:-

• Lack of knowledge and mistrustful approach of the population:-

Due to lack of knowledge regarding digital currency people are more likely to become mistrustful of its widespread use. Hence, there are only very few number of business systems that accept these sources of cryptocurrency therefore limiting the business systems who prefer to use the virtual currency in their daily transactions.

• Non-traceable transactions:-

Since, transactions made by bitcoin are untraceable it provides a room for criminal transactions. In such cases, drug dealers and scrupulous persons are the ones who make use of such virtual currency so that their illegal activities are not detected easily.

• Volatile and Uncertainty nature:-

The cryptocurrency is at times volatile and keeps on changing frequently on a large scale. Sometimes people make quite a amount of money when the market rates of these virtual currencies are skyrocketed and at times they also face great loss when the price crashes.

Cryptocurrency is an innovative but amateur concept that can potentially disrupt the whole financial market. It is true that this digital currency has grabbed the world’s attention in a short span of time. There are always benefits and drawbacks to every new technology that arises in the market. In order to make the best use of it, one needs to look into both sides before making any decisions.