Bank executive pushes personal carbon wallets that allocate “emission rights” to citizens

A senior executive at the multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank has called for personalized carbon wallets that give individual citizens “emission rights” and allow wealthier citizens to buy emission rights from those who can’t afford to fly.

Barbara Baarsma, who is the CEO of Rabo Carbon Bank, a division of Rabobank that allows its customers to buy and sell CO2 credits, announced her proposal for personalized carbon wallets during an appearance on the Dutch radio station BNR Newsradio.

“What if we now have all the remaining rights we still have when it comes to the emission of CO2 equivalents, greenhouse gases?” Baarsma said. “If we just let everyone start the Netherlands distributing emission rights and that every household or every citizen and amount get emission rights until we have money.”

Baarsma continued by proposing that these emission rights could be managed via a personalized “carbon wallet” and noted that wealthier citizens who want to fly can buy emissions rights from citizens that don’t have the money to fly.

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A BANK OF AMERICA executive stated that “we hope” working Americans will lose leverage in the labor market in a recent private memo obtained by The Intercept. Making predictions for clients about the U.S. economy over the next several years, the memo also noted that changes in the percentage of Americans seeking jobs “should help push up the unemployment rate.”

The memo, a “Mid-year review” from June 17, was written by Ethan Harris, the head of global economics research for the corporation’s investment banking arm, Bank of America Securities. Its specific aspiration: “By the end of next year, we hope the ratio of job openings to unemployed is down to the more normal highs of the last business cycle.”

The memo comes amid a push by the Federal Reserve to “cool down” the economy, informed by much of the same rationale — that high wages are driving inflation. This year, the Fed has increased interest rates for the first time since 2018. Historically, this has often caused recessions, and that is exactly what appears to be happening now: The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the gross domestic product has fallen for the second quarter in a row, indicating that a recession may have already begun.

Parts of the mid-year review, in particular its emphasis on a looming recession, received press coverage at the time of the memo’s release to clients. This is the first publication of the document in full.

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What Is the FBI Trying To Hide About Its Raid on Innocent Americans’ Safe Deposit Boxes?

First, the FBI raided a private business to seize safe deposit boxes and assets belonging to hundreds of people who were not suspected of having committed any crimes.

Now, prosecutors are trying to keep the public in the dark about why the brazen forfeiture effort was undertaken in the first place—and are offering little justification for why such secrecy is necessary.

Four depositions that could be crucial to understanding the motivations and intentions behind the FBI’s March 2021 raid of U.S. Private Vaults, a Beverly Hills–based safe deposit box storage business, are being kept confidential at the request of federal prosecutors. Attorneys representing some victims of the raid say the depositions could contain important information about how and why the FBI decided to seize and catalog the private belongings of U.S. Private Vault’s customers. They have asked the federal judge handling the case to allow the transcripts of those depositions—including one interview with Lynn Zellhart, the FBI’s lead agent in the case—to be filed in their entirety.

Unless Judge R. Gary Klausner allows the depositions to be made public, attorneys for the plaintiffs will have to continue heavily redacting their filings in the case. That might be sufficient to address the acute legal issues in the lawsuit, but it obviously harms the general public’s right to be informed about the bigger issues at stake.

(Reason, which has been covering this case since the beginning, plans to file a brief requesting that the depositions be unsealed.)

If the government is successful, it means that the public will have only an incomplete window on what happened here,” Robert Johnson, an attorney at the Institute for Justice who is representing some of U.S. Private Vault’s customers, tells Reason. “That flips the public’s right of access on its head.”

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WEF pushes for restricting “certain types of actors and transactions” from using decentralized finance

Like the response to trucker protests in Canada demonstrated earlier in the year, a centralized and tightly controlled financial system makes it very easy to punish those participating.

On a much bigger scale, the same is true of entire countries – if they are dependent solely on centralized international systems, they can be cut off at any point, and those in control of the systems can use them as very effective weapons.

But the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) is throwing a wrench into all this, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has noted in an article posted on its site. The WEF is calling the technology behind DeFi “something of a double-edged sword.” The case of Russia is being used as an example and perhaps a smokescreen, from which emerges the old push to regulate decentralized finances as such.

From the point of view of those developing and using DeFi, things are much more simple: the goal is to remove third parties and ensure financial sovereignty.

However, that also means the decentralized system can be used as protection against various forms of punishment – at the level of a single individual, all the way to the highest-stakes geopolitics. And the decentralized system seems to scale well across this huge playing field.

This is what the WEF is worried about: how to make sanctions designed to cripple economies of adversaries effective again, in the era of DeFi?

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Oops! Our Bad! IMF Director Admits “We Printed Too Much Money”

Mostly we get lies, spin and obfuscation from central bankers, politicians and bureaucrats. But every once in a while, one of these people accidentally wanders into the truth.

IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva did just that during a recent panel discussion hosted by CNBC. She conceded that central banks globally “printed too much money and didn’t think of unintended consequences.”

I think we are not paying sufficient attention to the law of unintended consequences. We take decisions with an objective in mind and rarely think through what may happen that is not our objective. And then we wrestle with the impact of it.

“Take any decision that is a massive decision, like the decision that we need to spend to support the economy. At that time, we did recognize that maybe too much money in circulation and too few goods, but didn’t really quite think through the consequence in a way that upfront would have informed better what we do.

How this economic brain trust missed failed to consider that injecting trillions into the economy would cause prices to rise is a bit of a head-scratcher. This is economics 101. Expanding the money supply pushes prices higher than they otherwise would be. I knew this would happen. Peter Schiff knew this would happen. Heck, you probably knew this would happen. But the people charged with running the global economy didn’t?

These people are either wildly incompetent, or they are lying to you.

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