The role of payment card networks and the dangers of imposing price controls

Electronic payments in general and payment cards in particular are rapidly replacing cash and checks as the preferred means of making consumer as well as many business purchases. By enabling faster, more secure, traceable transactions, payment cards have been a key element in promoting greater integration of the world economy. 

 

 

The Technology of Money

Nairobi – Some years ago, DFID – the UK Department for International Development – partnered with Vodafone to develop a secure software platform for performing a number of basic payment functions on mobile phones.

Why gold?

In 1971 President Nixon delinked the dollar from gold, putting an end to the Bretton Woods System that had ruled the world’s monetary systems since the end of World War II.

Towards an alternative global currency

As 2012 approaches, the prospects of the US dollar as the dominant international reserve currency and as a store of value are a matter for concern. Yet when rumours of instability and crisis roil global financial markets the ensuing “flight to safety” still manifests as a headlong rush into USD-denominated deposits and securities.

Reading money

One starting point for thinking about the future of money is to consider its past. For those interested in the history of money, there is no better place to start than the works of economist Barry Eichengreen (University of California at Berkeley).

Government debt to be monetised?

Almost certainly the “unlegislated tax”1 of inflation will be the consequence of the debts that the governments of Europe, Japan and the US have accumulated. Inflation is a very regressive tax and it is dishonest and divisive, but it usually is more politically popular than the alternatives of cutting spending or raising explicit taxes.

UK immigration policy and the economics of migration

During the 2010 U.K. general election, the campaign rhetoric promised to continue to “bring down net migration to levels observed in the 1990s, while ensuring that only economic migrants who bring the most value to the economy would be admitted.” 

 

Towards a global asset-backed currency

There is an urgent need to rethink the basis of the world’s monetary arrangements. The end of the dollar standard is in sight. Its end will be hastened if the deadlock in Congress on US fiscal policy continues. Also, the dollar’s reserve currency role is already dangerously over-extended.

The Rise of Private Money

The internet has a funny way of producing outcomes that disrupt traditional businesses, a fact widely seen in fields as diverse as communications, retail, journalism, supply chain management and increasingly finance.

 

Rethinking central banking in the 21st century:

From “behind the scene” secretive rulers of the world (Plaza accord in 1985), to the period of great moderation, attributed to monetary policy, when central banking was called “boring” (until 2007), to the recent almost celebrity status of some central banks and governors.