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Daily Digest 1/28 - B.C. Is Becoming A 'Banana Republic', Killing Off A Success

Chris Martenson - January 28, 2014 - 08:56
  • Gold Price Exploding In Emerging Markets
  • 'Eating grass to survive' in besieged Homs
  • Why There's No Outcry
  • Derek Corrigan: B.C. Is Becoming A 'Banana Republic'
  • Start-ups challenge big banks' technology
  • Banking apps on Android phones most at risk of cyber attack, Kapersky says
  • Why the Olympics Are a Lot Like ‘The Hunger Games’
  • Killing Off a Success
  • German cows cause methane blast in Rasdorf
  • 'Ethical Oil' Launches Neil Young Attack Site
  • TransCanada Pipeline Explodes Leaving 4,000 Canadians without Natural Gas

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Categories: Economics

SolidarityNYC: Transforming Our City through Economic Democracy

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 13:42

SolidarityNYC connects, supports, and promotes New York City’s solidarity economy. I wanted to interview SolidarityNYC after I heard how astonishingly far they'd come in organizing their city.  I was co-conspirator of a similar group that for several years called itself Just Alternative Sustainable Economics - a regional grassroots economic network for the Bay Area area, emerging in part out of the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives.

Categories: Economics

How to Control Mites and Lice on Chickens

Chris Martenson - January 27, 2014 - 13:31

Chickens love to take dust baths. This helps to keep their feathers clean and in good shape, but more importantly it helps to keep them free of mites and lice. Mites and lice can be serious pests of your flock. If chickens are left untreated in an outbreak, the results can be a general weakening, lower egg production, loss of appetite, lethargy, and possibly death. Your chickens should be active all day. If they are not moving much, there may be something wrong.

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Categories: Economics

What's the Best Thing About Being an Open Source Community Manager?

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 12:15 community manager Jason Hibbets collects and shares the wisdom of 14 great leaders from a variety of open source communities to find out: What is the best thing about being a community manager?

Categories: Economics

Cooperatives May Increase Worker Life Expectancy

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 09:45

The Handmade Bakery, a cooperative business in the UK. Source: UK Coops

Dave Boyle, a UK-based cooperatives expert, wrote in Economia last March on “the strange re-birth of co-operatives in Britain.” 

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/27 - Trouble In The Arctic For Shell, Strategic Africa

Chris Martenson - January 27, 2014 - 09:34
  • Stock Sell-Off Continues as Markets Falter on Wall Street
  • 3 Enemas Later, Still No Drugs
  • The Influential Minister Behind Argentina’s Economic Shift
  • A visit to Toulouse’s last remaining public showers
  • Strategic Africa: Why the U.S. and Europe are sending in the troops
  • Keystone resistance sparks 700% spike in cash offers for land
  • Let there be light: A hand-made solar lamp from Uganda
  • More Trouble in the Arctic for Shell

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Categories: Economics

Coworking Heats up in Detroit Despite Arctic Vortex

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 09:31

As temperatures hovered near zero, seven of Detroit’s new co-working spaces offered warmth, coffee and conviviality to shivering freelancers during Detroit Coworking Week, which ran from January 20th through January 24th.

The event featured a week of workshops, open houses and receptions culminating in a free coworking day on Friday.

Categories: Economics

Bikenomics: How Bikes Can Revitalize Our Cities

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 08:56

Elly Blue is no stranger to bicycling issues. A longtime cyclist, zinester and blogger, Blue has established herself as a leading voice of the urban cycling movement. In her new book Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy, she dispels some of the myths surrounding the cycling movement and provides numerous examples of how making streets bicycle-friendly is good for business.

Categories: Economics

How To Set Up Google Alerts

Chris Martenson - January 27, 2014 - 08:54

A great way to help keep tabs on news and keyword trends as they happen.  Stay on top of specific interests and events with a little help from Google.

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Categories: Economics

Watch as Woman Gets Real-time Dating Tips Secretly from the Crowd

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 08:49

Top image photo credit: starbuck77.

Lauren McCarthy isn't the only person who is terrified of dating. However, she seems to be the only person to develop a real-time, crowdsourced feedback system for it. Her Social Turkers dating experiment began when she asked a few simple questions:

Categories: Economics

How to Write Your Book Using Linux

Shareable Magazine - January 27, 2014 - 08:47

Cross-posted from Written by Steven Ovadia.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/26 - How the Coal Industry Impoverishes West Virginia, The Big Reset

Chris Martenson - January 26, 2014 - 09:02
  • Can Doctors Fix Poverty?
  • School ditches rules and loses bullies
  • The Big Reset, Part 2
  • Doctors Abusing Medicare Face Fines and Expulsion
  • On Children’s Website, N.S.A. Puts a Furry, Smiley Face on Its Mission
  • Economic Shifts in U.S. and China Batter Markets
  • How the Coal Industry Impoverishes West Virginia
  • The Hidden Environmental and Human Costs of the Sochi Olympics

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Categories: Economics

James Turk: We're Living Within A Money Bubble of Epic Proportion

Chris Martenson - January 25, 2014 - 14:46

James Turk believes the time we live in now will be studied by future historians for generations to come. Just as we today marvel at the collective madness that resulted in the South Sea and Dutch tulip manias, our age will be known as the era when society lost sight of what money really is.

And as result, the wrong kinds of wealth -- today, that's mostly financial assets -- are valued and pursued. And just like those bubbles from centuries ago, when the current asset boom goes bust, the value of paper wealth will vaporize. 

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/25 - The Elders of Organic Farming, B.C.'s Gas Towns

Chris Martenson - January 25, 2014 - 11:11
  • Bailout Architect Runs For California Governor; World Laughs
  • Bank of America Head Technician: "Our Bullish View Is Invalidated, Going Neutral; Below 1806 Spells Trouble"
  • JPMorgan's Gold Vault Has Biggest One-Day Withdrawal Ever
  • HSBC imposes restrictions on large cash withdrawals
  • The FT Goes There: "Demand Physical Gold" As One Day Paper Price Manipulation Will End "Catastrophically"
  • Advertising Standards Canada: No Sanctions For False Government Ads
  • The Elders of Organic Farming
  • B.C.'s Gas Towns and Projects

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Categories: Economics

11 Low-Tech & Simple Methods for Washing Clothes More Sustainably

Chris Martenson - January 24, 2014 - 16:41

Some interesting ideas and tips to make sure the laundry gets clean while reducing costs, water use, and chemical exposures.

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Categories: Economics

Is This It?

Chris Martenson - January 24, 2014 - 08:59

Is this it?  Are we seeing signs that after a very long period of Fed inspired insanity, et al. (courtesy of folks who lack any imagination beyond sustaining the unsustainable), are we finally entering a long-awaited financial correction?

Using our ‘outside in’ methodology, there’s lots to suggest we are entering such a phase.

All is not well on the periphery, with weaker economies now flashing serious warning signs in their bond and currency markets. It's enough that it’s time to...

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/24 - AK and WA Fish Tested For Radiation, The Arctic Apple

Chris Martenson - January 24, 2014 - 07:53
  • Developer finds Chrome eavesdropping bug
  • Is This the Beginning of the End for the Dollar?
  • Hospital Chain Said to Scheme to Inflate Bills
  • The Arctic Apple
  • Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet
  • Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change
  • All Eyes on Implementation of Mexican Oil Reform
  • Alaska & Washington Salmon Tested For Radiation

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Categories: Economics

Newsletter – January 2014

Beyond Money - January 24, 2014 - 02:03

Hi, This is my first newsletter since mid-October. An excuse, if I need one, is that I’ve been traveling. To be truthful, I’ve been lacking in motivation and I’ve felt the need to reassess both the scope and the methods of my work. Pondering the question, “What makes an old man grumpy,?” I think I’ve begun to figure it out—

Despite a half a lifetime of work and dedication, the world has yet to heed my advice and conform itself to my view of how it ought to be.

So there it is. There’s the root of my late-life discontent. My muse tells me that I ought to lighten up and enjoy whatever time I might have left; the world will muddle through, with or without me. Maybe I’ll take up the challenge to become a stand-up (or sit-down) comedian. In the meantime, while I try to hone that skill, I offer below a few bits of hopeful (and not so hopeful) news and an overview of my recent travels, including links to my photos which you can browse at your leisure.


Bangla-Pesa officially relaunched in partnership with the Kenyan Government.

You may recall earlier reports about the Bangla-Pesa community currency project that launched in Kenya last May. One of the most promising community currency projects on the current scene, Bangla-Pesa quickly ran into a major roadblock in the form of government interference that included unfounded criminal charges against the organizer and five board members. We are extremely pleased to learn that all of that nonsense has been sorted out and the Bangla-Pesa project is now back on track. According to project founder, Will Ruddick, Bangla-Pesa has just been relaunched, this time with official government support. Ruddick states that the relaunch celebration included several government representatives who have unanimously requested that the program be replicated in other areas in the county as a means of reducing poverty. You can read the details at


Ending the Growth Imperative

Richard Heinberg, in his recent article, Shutdown and default: the worst-case scenario ( ), stated that, “Almost nobody in the commentariat mentions that the US economy is currently being held together by deficit spending and quantitative easing. Rapid economic growth as experienced during the mid-20th century is over and done with.”

Heinberg is surely right about that, but how are we to get out of the predicament we are in? I have said repeatedly that our financial system is set up to require continuous and accelerating growth, that creating money based on banks’ lending at interest results in exponential growth of debt, which, in turn, forces exponential growth in economic activity to justify further growth in debt to prevent financial collapse. All of the major central banks, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, The Bank of Japan, and the European Central Bank, have been buying government bonds to keep the system going and avoid the inevitable shift to a steady-state, resource efficient, non-polluting economy.

How long can the monetary authorities continue to inflate their currencies under the euphemistic rubric of “quantitative easing” (QE), without causing prices to spin out of control? If they were to stop, however, that would cause a cascade of defaults, financial market chaos, and major global economic depression. They are between a rock and a hard place.

Heinberg goes on to say, “In 2008 it became clear that, as limits to growth are encountered, the inherent instability of financial systems can precipitate a much faster crash than would otherwise be the case. It also became clear that governments and central banks will undertake extraordinary measures to avert a fast-crash scenario. The rapid expansion of household debt, which had kept the growth balloon inflated since 1980, effectively ceased with the advent of the Great Recession. The balance sheet of the Fed stretched dramatically, and the Federal Government’s debt levels soared, as policy makers strove to keep the economy from imploding.”

He concludes with this advice: “Pass a new debt limit and re-open the government, no conditions attached. Then get to work designing a post-growth, post-fossil fuel economy that protects people and planet. Do it in that order. Simple.”

Well, not quite so simple. The debt limit has been raised and the government shutdown ended as everyone knew it would be, but there is still no sign that the powers-that-be have any interest in promoting a “post-growth, post-fossil fuel economy.” To undertake such a mission would require that they give up the “usury game” and the central banking system that has enabled them for so long to centralize power and concentrate wealth in their own hands, and that they surrender power to the people in a government that is truly democratic. No, the massive changes required must come from the bottom, from creative efforts that result in new structures, especially of exchange, finance, and cooperative enterprise, that reduce our dependence upon the dominant systems and make them irrelevant.

The prescription I’ve provided in my books and presentations for creating a new world order in which the people govern instead of a global elite oligarchy is to Share, Cooperate, and Restructure. We must recognize that the seat of sovereignty is the individual, not in isolation, but as a free moral agent within a convivial community, we must assert our independence from the dominant political, economic, and financial power structures, and we must organize new structures, under local control, that empower people and provide for the basic needs of all.

Our urgent need is to transcend the global interest-based debt money system, but digital commodities like Bitcoin are not the answer any more than a return to using gold, silver or other real commodities as payment media. The better and more complete answer to the money problem in the one I’ve been proposing in my books and presentations for many years. What I foresee is a global network of small credit clearing exchanges that proved a means of payment that is locally and cooperatively controlled, yet globally useful.

_____________________________________________________ website redesign and relaunch

Thanks to the good graces and enormous efforts of Matthew Slater, my website has been redesigned and relocated to WordPress. The url remains the same, is mainly an archival site for researchers that was compiled several years ago. If you are aware of any useful material, such as case studies, correspondence, or academic treatises that are particularly important, please send us a description and the link or file. Also, I’d be grateful to have a volunteer willing to help maintain that site. My active site is



My current odyssey began on Nov 13 when I boarded a plane for Istanbul where I gave a presentation at the Green Economy and Commons conference. After spending a few more days exploring the city, I flew on to Kuala Lumpur, then a couple days later went by bus to Georgetown on the island of Penang, a world heritage city and my favorite place in Malaysia. On December 5, I began my month-long Cambodia adventure, making stops in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Otres Beach, Kampot, Kep, and Siem Reap where I visited the amazing ruins of Angkor Wat. Since January 3, I’ve been in Thailand. Chiang Mai is one of my old haunts and a good place to get my teeth cared for at very reasonable prices.

My Cambodia visit got off to an inauspicious start. After checking into my hotel, I decided to take a stroll down by the river. While crossing the street through relentless traffic, I got sideswiped by a motorbike that went roaring past in the far lane. I managed to get to the other side and sat down on a convenient bench where I almost passed out. My left shin was skinned and bruised in a couple places, but needed no stitches. I got some aid from a British friend I had been traveling with for some days, and a Polish couple who happened to be passing by. My wounds have fortunately healed well by now and I seem to be none the worse for it.

Siem Reap and Angkor

One should not miss an opportunity to visit Siem Reap and Angkor. The ruins of Angkor are numerous and cover a vast expanse. Angkor Wat is only part of it. Exploring them requires a lot of walking and climbing, though, as vehicles can take you only so close.

Cambodia is certainly a third world country with much inferior infrastructure but it is rapidly developing with help from outside and gearing up to be a major tourist destination. The people are friendly and helpful, and you can find accommodations at every level from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. In Kampot I had a nice clean room with private bath, hot shower, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV for $8 per night.

No coins in Cambodia

One thing that is noticeably strange about Cambodia is the fact that I had no coins jingling in my pocket. Strange, too, is the fact that market transactions are conducted mostly in U.S. currency. Yes, Cambodia has its own currency, called the Riel, with an exchange rate of about 4,000 riels to the dollar, but ATMs dispense dollars, and riel notes are used only as small change. Prices are typically stated in whole dollars and quarter dollars. So, if I buy a restaurant meal for $3.75 (not an uncommon price there) and I tender a five dollar bill to pay, I’ll generally get back in change a one dollar bill and a 1,000 riel bill. The smallest denomination note I saw, though not a very common one, is 100 riel, which is considered to be worth one fortieth of a dollar or two and half cents (and we in North America quibble about keeping the penny).

If you want to see images from the places I have visited, my photos can be viewed at the following links:






By the way, I’m keeping my Verizon wireless account active. The number is 520-820-0575.  I don’t keep that phone turned on while I’m abroad so you won’t reach me directly that way, but you can leave a voice message (I cannot retrieve text messages) and I will get it when I check messages every few days.

I do have another mobile phone with me and as long as I’m in Thailand, you can reach me at +66 93 170 2910.


Events Upcoming

The New Economy Coalition is convening a gathering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA from June 6-8, 2014. You can get more information and signup here:

Wishing you a happy and productive New Year,


Categories: Blogs

Off the Cuff: 'Bizarre' Capitalism

Chris Martenson - January 23, 2014 - 15:13

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • 'Bizarre' Capitalism
    • Speculation, not productive work, is now the driver of gain
  • China's Future
    • Scary signs that cronyism and capital flight are big risks
  • Eroding Public Trust
    • Dangerous when your money system is trust-based
  • Canary Candidates
    • Which country will be the first to keel over?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/23 - Trouble for the 'Brazilian Miracle', New Investor Warnings

Chris Martenson - January 23, 2014 - 09:18
  • Kelly McParland: I don’t worry about Edward Snowden. It’s Google that scares me
  • Presenting James G. Rickards; economist, lawyer. entrepreneur.
  • Argentina restricts online shopping as foreign reserves drop
  • Trouble for the 'Brazilian Miracle'
  • China injects fresh cash into banks
  • US to shrink size of its army by using remote-controlled robots
  • Invasion of Spanish Builders Angers France Struggling to Compete
  • New Warnings From an Investing Pioneer
  • Naked Gold Shorts: The Inside Story of Gold Price Manipulation
  • HSBC won't give me more than £1k over the counter even after I warned them I needed it – can they block me from my own cash?
  • UK House Prices vs Earnings, Immigration, Public Spending, Unemployment and Housing Market Affordability
  • Where We Are At In the Global Precious Metals Markets - A Framework
  • Mexican Citizens Topple Cartels And Are Rewarded With Government Retaliation
  • Surveillance and Scandal: Time-Tested Weapons for US Global Power

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Categories: Economics