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In the middle of a pandemic, the World Bank wants slum dwellers to lose their water supply

August 13, 2020

From  Norbert Häring
Developing countries are trying to contain the corona pandemic under the most adverse conditions. In the middle of this, the World Bank is proposing that the water supply of slum dwellers be cut off, if their landlords do not pay the water bill. It is an inhumane philosophy of development that is behind such monstrosities.
For about two decades, the World Bank’s philosophy has been “sustainable development”; “sustainable” in the sense of profitable in the long run. Wherever possible, development work should be carried out in partnership with private companies and their foundations, because only if some corporation can earn money sustainably from development policy will enough money flow in to make a lasting difference. The derivation from this is to privatize and

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The World Economic Forum is planning the “Great Reset” to prevent it from happening

August 1, 2020

From Norbert Häring

According to its own description, the World Economic Forum is “THE international organisation for public-private cooperation” and has as its main objective “to improve the state of the world”. The foundation, founded in 1971 by German economist Klaus Schwab, lacks neither power nor self-confidence. For years now, almost all the world’s major heads of government have made the pilgrimage to the annual meeting in Davos to pay their respects to multinational corporations and billionaires.
The World Bank, a close collaborator of the Forum, has made it a strategy to only support development projects that the member companies of this club can earn money from. The United Nations (UN) have been made highly dependent on the money of the corporations and can do practically

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Rockefeller Foundation keeps working on their autocratic Lock Step scenario

July 13, 2020

From Norbert Häring
Ten years ago, the Rockefeller Foundation published the eerily prescient, autocratic Lock-Step-Scenario and, apparently, has been working to make it true. The most recent initiative in this regard is a cooperation of the Rockefeller-funded GAVI immunization alliance with Mastercard and a biometric ID company named TrustStamp.
Before getting to this cooperation, let me briefly remind you of a selection of the assumptions of the Lock Step scenario builders have made their choices 10 years ago:
A virus pandemic with high contagion and high mortality
Non-authoritarian response of US-government fails
Authoritarian Chinese approach works much better
Other nations emulate authoritarian, high surveillance Chinese approach
Endurance of more authoritarian rule after pandemic

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Economic faculties in turmoil over an editor’s alleged racism and an article’s colonial attitude

June 29, 2020

From Norbert Norbert Häring
A turmoil has engulfed the faculties of economics at the University of Chicago and Harvard. A German economist was first suspended on accusations of racism in Chicago, then rehabilitated. An article in Harvard’s flagship Quarterly Journal of Economics (QJE) is accused of a colonial attitude. The authors justify themselves.
The article describes how a German economist, Harald Uhlig,caused a vritable shitstorm, fuelled not least by Paul Krugman and Justin Wolfers, Even the former president of the US Federal Reserve and current chair of the American Economic Association, Janet Yellen, demanded publicly that Uhlig be relieved of his role as editor of the prestigious JPE, after Uhlig had made a number of callous remarks and provocative comparisons on his blog and

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World Economic Forum totalitarian surveillance fantasy will soon become reality

June 24, 2020

From Norbert Häring

From March 2021 people with an “I’ve got nothing to hide” attitude will be able to get around border and ticket controls at St Pancras International Station in London on their way to the Continent via the Eurostar, All they will have to do is upload a suitable portrait photo and a copy of their identity document to a government server. Then, instead of standing in a queue, they can walk down a camera-tagged “biometric corridor” without having to show a document. The passport and ticket will, however, be needed at the destination, at least until the brave new total surveillance world of the World Economic Forum has been implemented there, too.
The Known Traveller Program, which has been jointly developed by the World Economic Forum and US Homeland Security,

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Sudan to be used as guinea pig for cash abolition, universal basic income and total surveillance

June 15, 2020

From Norbert Häring
Sudan has a transitional government that depends on the goodwill of the USA. This is an opportunity to use the country for the largest field trial to date, to put an entire population on the digital leash through cash abolition and a universal basic income.
For several years now, the World Bank, Better Than Cash Alliance and various UN organizations have been massively promoting and advertising the purely digital transmission of financial aid for the needy in poor countries. Declared goals are cost savings and prevention of corruption and theft, as well as “financial inclusion”. The latter is the real reason, but not in the harmless meaning of giving everyone the chance to get a bank account, but in the meaning of “bringing everyone into the system”, as the head of

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Taxpayers bailing out capitalists

June 11, 2020

From Norbert Häring

In Germany and beyond, public policy in response to the Corona crisis operates with
an unspoken basic assumption: the claims of capital are sacred.
This is unfair and economically unreasonable.
German economists largely agreed on how not to deal with the corona crisis. Sending a cheque to all taxpayers, as the US government did, is considered an unsuitable anti-crisis measure. After all, the 1200 dollars were too little for 30 million who lost their jobs within a few weeks, and unnecessary for the others who were supposed to stay at home anyway and not go shopping.
Instead, the German government, to roaring support of German economist, decided to lower the value added tax for half a year, starting in July. Few of the arguments against Trumps consumption checks

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Lock Step: How the Rockefeller Foundation wants to implement its autocratic pandemic scenario

May 28, 2020

From Norbert Häring
Ten years ago, the rich and powerful Rockefeller Foundation played through and favorably described a scenario in which a pandemic would lead to autocratic forms of government with total surveillance and control of citizens. Now it has published a pandemic plan to make this scenario a reality.
According to the preamble by the President of the Foundation, it took two weeks to set up and edit this plan, implicating a large number of “experts and decision-makers from academia, business, politics and government – across industries and political ideologies” and publish it in glossy on April 21, 2020, under the title “National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan: Pragmatic steps to reopen our workplaces and our communities”.
I became aware of this plan through a German

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How to drop helicopter money correctly

May 27, 2020

From Norbert Häring
Distributing additional money to stimulate demand is seen by economists as a recipe for boosting demand in a crisis. But you have to do it right, not like Donald Trump did it.
In response to the corona crisis, US President Donald Trump had consumption cheques with his signature worth 1200 dollars sent to all citizens. This bears a strong resemblance to an anti-crisis recipe of economists, which has been known as helicopter money since Milton Friedman coined this term. You just let money rain down, and demand will automatically pick up again.
According to the basic concept of helicopter money, it would be the central bank which puts the additional money into circulation. In the current case, however, the money does not come straight from the central bank Federal

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The totalitarian dystopia of the World Economic Forum is becoming reality

April 17, 2020

From Norbert Häring
In January  2018, a pilot project for the surveillance of air travelers, commissioned by the World Economic Forum, was agreed upon in Davos. At the time, I presented the Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) project as a “totalitarian dystopa”. A follow-up report shows that the multinational corporations are successfully involving governments and the EU in their plans. Covid-19 is speeding up implementation tremdendously and Bill Gates inadvertently lets us know how.
Like the 2018 report called „”The Known Traveller: Unlocking the potential of digital identity for secure and seamless travel“ this more technical KTDI White Paper that goes by the title “Known Traveller Digital Identity Specifications Guidance” was published without any fanfare on the Internet  in

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Problems of index fund capitalism

February 9, 2020

Fro Norbert Häring
If the trend of the last two decades continues, index funds could control 40 percent of the voting rights in the largest corporations by 2040.The share is already up to 25 percent in the US. There a two perspectives on this. Some scholars say it threatens shareholder value, others fear it will lead to too much of it. I side with the latter. …
Law-and-economics professors Lucian Bebchuk and Scott Hirst from the Universities of Harvard and Boston make the extrapolation of the index funds share in votes in their paper “The Specter of the Giant Three”.
The concentration of shares in an ever smaller number of fund companies is a trend that has started roughly 70 years ago. In 1960 only about six percent of US shares were held by capital management companies. This share

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Anti-Cash-Alliance suffers setback in their home-town New York

January 27, 2020

From Norbert Häring
The Better Than Cash Alliance (Visa, Mastercard, Citibank, Bill Gates, USAID) coordinates the global war against cash from New York. Now, the city council of the headquarters of the Alliance has decided to oblige all brick and mortar stores and restaurants to accept cash. The justification of the regulation is a low blow for the alliance’s financial inclusion propaganda.
According to a USA-Today report, retail stores, restaurants, and bars will have to accept cash in the future. The new regulation gets in the way of a program of credit card company Visa, which is paying restaurants for going completely cashless.
Visa is one of the founding members of the Better Than Cash Alliance, which aims to eliminate cash worldwide. The alliance is based in New York. With

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How international corporations could be taxed, and why the US is working to prevent it

January 10, 2020

From Norbert Häring
The OECD and the EU want to change international tax principles to curb tax evasion. The United States is opposed to the plans as they would affect its internet companies and other US multinationals.
The US has stepped up its fight against taxes on digital corporations. Shortly after President Donald Trump’s threat of special tariffs on French goods, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked all countries in early December to abandon similar plans for taxes that would hit US internet corporations in particular. In a letter to the industrialized country organization OECD, Mnuchin stated that an agreement should instead be reached at the OECD level. At the same time, however, he warned of changes to the taxation right, which this same OECD has been planning to

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What the German government must do now to turn around an unsustainable economy

August 18, 2019

From Norbert Häring
Germany’s economic output contracted in the second quarter and most indications point to a worsening in the third quarter, which is just halfway through. The culprit is only superficially Donald Trump with his trade wars. The German economy has been on an unsustainable path in several respects. Now the government is called upon to act courageously and intelligently to ensure that a deep restructuring crisis is avoided.
The German success model was not sustainable because it ignored the limits of the rest of the world’s ability to borrow money to pay for German exports and because it omits the fact that we are already very close to the limits of the ecological resilience of our planet.
As far as economic limits are concerned: In the long run it is not feasible that,

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European Court of Justice to decide if public institutions have a right to refuse cash

March 30, 2019

From Norbert Häring
On 27 March, the highest administrative court in Germany, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht, has referred my case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. I have insisted to pay my legally required contributions to public radio and TV with the legal tender, euro cash. This is not possible according to their regulations. The Bundesverwaltungsgericht has ruled that there is indeed a requirement for all public institutions to accept cash based on §14 of the Bundesbank Act, which makes euro-banknotes legal tender. However, they will ask the ECJ to clarify, if this law is in agreement with higher ranking European law.
§14 Paragraph 1 Sentence 2 of the Bundesbank Act says:
“Banknotes denominated in euro shall be the sole unrestricted legal tender.”
Article 128

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How monetary union is sacrificed on the altar of competitiveness

January 25, 2019

From Norbert Häring
European Economic & Monetary Union (EMU) is in permanent crisis. The economic strengths of the participating nations are drifting apart instead of converging. This creates great frustration among the governments of countries being left behind and fierce disputes between them and Brussels and governments of core countries.
The currency union was based on the premise that the economic structures and levels of prosperity among the members of the union would converge. The poorer countries would catch up. That didn’t happen. On the contrary. Philipp Heimberger from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) warned in his analysis of October 2018:
“The most significant long-term risk of disintegration for the euro area is the existing polarisation in

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A leading economist who took Uber’s money and delivered favorable results sees his reputation tarnished

November 15, 2018

From Norbert Häring
A year ago, I described how the controversial and well-financed ride-hauling platform Uber pays economists with data and money to do Uber-related research. This research invariably leads to favourable results, which can be used to fend off criticism and regulation. One such study has now been ripped apart in the Industrial & Labor Relations Review (ILR), a top journal in labor-economics.
Two fearless economists, Janine Berg, senior-economist at the International Labor Organisation (ILO), and doctoral candidate Hannah Johnston submitted an extremely critical comment on a paper by Uber’s chief economist Jonathan Hall and Princeton economist Alan Krueger, which portrayed Uber as a good company to work for and its “driver-partners” as very satisfied and earning good

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Demonetisation in India was a great success – for the Better Than Cash Alliance

November 10, 2018

From Norbert Häring
Two years ago, on 8 November 2016 at 8 pm, prime minister Narendra Modi declared most cash in India demonetised, starting a period of several months of severe cash shortage, which imposed a lot of hardship and suffering on the people. The National Herald India invited me to write a guest-comment on the occasion.
I have been invited to write a comment on the ‘failure’ of the Demonetisation exercise of Prime Minister Modi. True, it was an obvious failure if you judge it by its declared objective of fighting corruption, terrorism funding and tax dodging. Almost all the demonetised banknotes were deposited in banks and thus re-inserted into the legal economy. It was a failure also if judged by the secondary goal of promoting financial inclusion. Rather than helping the

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Brave New Money: The trend toward a digital world currency – part 2

August 27, 2018

From Norbert Häring                                                                                              part 1
The winner takes all is a basic rule of the digital economy. Whoever is ahead has a large advantage, just from being ahead, and has a good chance to end up as a quasi-monopolist. This has two main reasons, called network effects and economies of scale. Network effects make digital services more attractive, if more people use them. This is true for social media or trading platforms as well as for computer programs like Word or Windows. Economies of scale arise, because once a digital service or a programme has been developed, it often costs next to nothing to provide it to more customers. Thus, the leader, who has the most customers, can offer the most attractive

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Brave new money: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go – A totalitarian world currency in the making – Part I

August 23, 2018

From Norbert Häring
My book in German with the translated title: “Brave New Money: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go – A Totalitarian World Currency in the Making” has just been published by Campus. I have tanslated the “Introduction and Overview” and part of Chapter 1. I will publish this translation in two parts over the next few days. This is part 1.
The future of payments has arrived in early 2018, when the first Amazon Go store opened its gates for the general public in Seattle. If you shop there, you will not have to queue at the cash register. There is none, thanks to – as Amazon calls it – the most modern shopping technology. You just download an app and sign on before entering the store. Then you freely take everything you want from the shelves and put it into your shopping bag – or

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CEPR vs. NBER: Two approaches for dealing with false research in favor of tuition fees

February 23, 2018

From Norbert Häring
For international readers, I would like to summarize a piece on false economic research supporting tuition fees, which appeared in German in Handelsblatt on 19 February. As interesting as the fake research itself is the differing reactions of the two main channels, which had been used to publicize it: One was the prestigious Working Paper series of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US The other was the well-read platform Vox ( of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Britain started to impose tuition fees starting in 1998. From 1000 GBP, at first just for the wealthier students, the fees went up steeply to 9250 GBP for all students today. On average, graduates leave university with about 50.000 GBP in debt. With Jeremy Corbyn

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George Soros’ INET, the Trojan horse of the financial oligarchy

February 7, 2018

From Norbert Häring
Four years ago, I framed it as a question: “George Soros‘ INET: An institute to improve the world or a Trojan horse of the financial oligarchy?” Today I would not use a question mark any more.Frances Coppola came to a similiar conclusion after attending the big INET gathering in Edingburgh in October.
On her blog Coppola reports about the conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, bankrolled initially by George Soros. He was joined by other hedge fund managers to provide this institute with extremely lavish funds. Do read Coppola’s entertaining conference review in the original, if you have time.
She reports of “panel after panel of old white men discussing economic theories developed by old white men, many of them dead. Economic beliefs that I thought

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The curious silence of the British media regarding Mark Carney and the secretive G30

January 25, 2018

From Norbert Häring
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has at least two things in common with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB): He worked for Goldman Sachs before becoming a central banker, and he is a member of the Group of Thirty. The EU-Ombudsman has just called it maladministration on the part of the ECB to let Mario Draghi be a member of that secretive bankers’ club. This should invite the question: What about Mark Carney and the Bank of England? The British press, apparently, couldn’t care less.
The Financial Times dutifully reports that “An EU watchdog wants the European Central Bank to ban Mario Draghi, its president, and other senior officials from an exclusive club of global financiers, saying the links could erode belief in the

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The curious silence of the British media regarding Mark Carney and the secretive G30

January 22, 2018

From Norbert Häring
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has at least two things in common with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB): He worked for Goldman Sachs before becoming a central banker, and he is a member of the Group of Thirty. The EU-Ombudsman has just called it maladministration on the part of the ECB to let Mario Draghi be a member of that secretive bankers’ club. This should invite the question: What about Mark Carney and the Bank of England? The British press, apparently, couldn’t care less.
The Financial Times dutifully reports that “An EU watchdog wants the European Central Bank to ban Mario Draghi, its president, and other senior officials from an exclusive club of global financiers, saying the links could erode belief in the

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How Uber money dominates and distorts economic research on ride-hailing platforms

December 9, 2017

From Norbert Häring
Ride-hailing platform operator Uber is often accused of undermining labor market regulations and of overpricing in times of peak demand by “surge prcies”. Uber counters such accusations not only with high-profile lobbyists, but also with the help of top-notch economists, who cooperate in exchange for exclusive data and lucrative consultancy assignments. Even reputable journals publish such sponsored analyisis as if it was science.
A recent paper by renowned MIT professor Joshua Angrist with Sydnee Caldwell and Uber Research Director Jonathan V. Hall  comes to the favorable conclusion that drivers benefit greatly from the fact that Uber exists. Also Princeton economist Alan B. Krueger, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors of the US president, wrote a

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How does Germany’s Monopolies Commission combat market concentration? By making sure that no good data is available.

November 23, 2017

From Norbert Häring
How many companies have merged into corporate groups in Germany? We don’t know. The official figures are completely unconvincing. We have a Monopolies Commission which, together with the German Federal Statistical Office, has the legal mandate to monitor market concentration. Germany’s parliament wanted to ensure that the necessary information about the possible emergence of problematic market power is available, only to discover this no longer fits in with the neoliberal ideology inspired by the Chicago School, which has apparently become the ruling ideology at Germany’s Monopolies Commission.
The figures presented by the Monopolies Commission and the Federal Statistical Office appear unreliable. According to the Commission’s main 2008 report, more than 500,000

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Bundesbank rejects 100%-money based on sophistry and false claims

May 16, 2017

From Norbert Häring
In its April monthly report, Deutsche Bundesbank explains that banks create money ex-nihilo and rejects the proposal of 100%-money. The full English version is now online. The arguments employed to discredit 100%-money are a mix of sophistry and misleading or false statements.
With some delay, Bundesbank has joined the Bank of England in explicitly stating that the treatment of banks and money creation in most textbooks is wrong and that banks are not intermediaries, transferring money from savers to investors, but rather creators of money.
A key statement is this:
Sight deposits are created when a bank grants a credit or purchases an asset and credits the corresponding amount to the customer’s bank account in return. This means that banks can create book money just

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Bundesbank corrects textbook mistakes on money creation, rejects 100%-money

May 11, 2017

From Norbert Häring
In the April-edition of their monthly report, the Bundesbank has belatedly joined the Bank of England in explicitly stating that the treatment of banks and money creation in most textbooks is wrong: banks are not intermediaries; they create money ex-nihilo. This helps the Bundesbank to reject criticism that central banks are currently “printing” too much money. At the same time, the Bundesbank rejects the proposal of 100%-money, i.e. bank deposits fully backed by central bank money.
So far, the Bundesbank has only published an English summary of the article “How money is created”, originally written in German (and a French summary). Once the article is available in full translation, I will write a bit more about the (mostly faulty) arguments of the Bundesbank

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IMF tells governments how to subvert public resistance against elimination of cash

April 7, 2017

From Norbert Häring
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington has published a Working Paper on “de-cashing”. It gives advice to governments who want to abolish cash against the will of their citizenry. Move slowly, start with harmless seeming measures, is part of that advice.
In “The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing”, IMF-Analyst Alexei Kireyev recommends in his conclusions:
Although some countries most likely will de-cash in a few years, going completely cashless should be phased in steps. The de-cashing process could build on the initial and largely uncontested steps, such as the phasing out of large denomination bills, the placement of ceilings on cash transactions, and the reporting of cash moves across the borders. Further steps could include creating economic incentives to reduce the use of cash in transactions, simplifying the opening and use of transferrable deposits, and further computerizing the financial system. 
The private sector led de-cashing seems preferable to the public sector led decashing. The former seems almost entirely benign (e.g., more use of mobile phones to pay for coffee), but still needs policy adaptation. The latter seems more questionable, and people may have valid objections to it. De-cashing of either kind leaves both individuals and states more vulnerable to disruptions, ranging from power outages to hacks to cyberwarfare.

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