Thinks 628

Perry Mehrling: “The hierarchy of money is a good place to start because it emphasizes the qualitative difference between money and credit. That credit is a promise to pay money, and money is a way to cancel credit or to cancel debt. So, money is better than credit. So the second piece of that is to appreciate that what you and I experience as money is actually the debt of banks, in typical. So it’s promises to pay other banks, but we use it as money to cancel our own debts. So there’s the hierarchy in practice. Whereas banks use the debt of central banks to cancel debt to other banks. So there’s three layers of the hierarchy, already. And you asked about the global system. There is international version of this at all as well, which is that the global system is basically a dollar system. So, the dollar is hierarchically superior in this system to other currencies. And there are various layers of that as well.”

NYT: “Over the last four decades, the financial circumstances into which children have been born have increasingly determined where they have ended up as adults. But an expansive new study, based on billions of social media connections, has uncovered a powerful exception to that pattern that helps explain why certain places offer a path out of poverty. For poor children, living in an area where people have more friendships that cut across class lines significantly increases how much they earn in adulthood, the new research found…“Growing up in a community connected across class lines improves kids’ outcomes and gives them a better shot at rising out of poverty,” said Raj Chetty, an economist at Harvard and the director of Opportunity Insights, which studies the roots of inequality and the contributors to economic mobility. He was one of the study’s four principal authors, with Johannes Stroebel and Theresa Kuchler of N.Y.U. and Matthew O. Jackson of Stanford and the Santa Fe Institute.”

Micah Goodman: “Because of the digital revolution, our lives are being transformed by three grand bargains. The intellectual bargain: we have more knowledge but less capacity to concentrate and focus. The social bargain: we are much more available but much less attentive. And most importantly, the emotional bargain: we are much more connected, but much less empathetic. When we trade away skills for power, attention for availability, empathy for connectivity, and quality for quantity of relationships, we sign up to a Faustian pact that we do not even know exists—one that gives us more control over the outside world, but less control over our inner world. What then is to be done? What shifts in thinking and behavior will help us reverse course?”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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