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Tag: banker

The Conjuring of Intangible Values

Conjure valueMy prior post “The Tale of Two Cities” demonstrates that the intangible social value conjured into existence by the bridge that connects two fair cities far exceeds the ‘tangible’ value of that bridge.  Yet, only the tangible value of the bridge is accounted for on a balance sheet such as GDP.

The Conjuring of Intangible Values

This may seem trivial until you observe that people are paid for their intangible assets (knowledge, creativity, and engineering calculations) as a percentage of the far lower number while the bankers, government, and corporate interests compensate themselves as a percentage of the far higher number.  The difference appears to be unaccounted for.

The Tail of Two Cities article concludes that the value that is conjured into existence by both the bridge and the fractional reserve system must be equal, by definition; otherwise the metaphorical breezeway that connects the two worlds would fall.

Bitcoin suffers from a similar curse as The Tail of Two Cities.  The prevailing argument against the crypto-currency is that it has no intrinsic value.  I have personally argued that a currency must represent human productivity intrinsically or else no other human would be willing to work (be productive) in exchange for it.  An article by Paul Bohm “The Value Of Bitcoin is Decentralization” makes a good point that the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is based on the value conjured into existence by increased productivity to society by what can be accomplished with Bitcoin that otherwise would be impossible without Bitcoin.

So if the valuation of a bridge crossing the river and the valuation of Bitcoin crossing the broker both suffer the same curse that there is no accounting system for intangibles, wouldn’t it make sense to solve that problem first  – i.e., measure into existence the intangible value of the Ingenesist – and then release those millions of human intentions (bridges and Crypto-currencies, not withstanding), into the system of trade?  This is the problem that Curiosumé proposes to resolve.

I believe that we first need to solve the under-mining problem that there is no accounting system for intangible assets.  Only then can there be intrinsic value in the conservation of those assets

… then maybe none of this would seem so mysterious.

Don’t Blame The Bankers

There are two sets of values in an economy. Financial value and social value. The value that is required to make something is financial value. The value that a product provides to a community of people is called social value.

Financial Currency

In order to make something, money is used to purchase raw materials and labor. After these ingredients are integrated, the product is then marketed, transported and sold for more money that the input costs. This is called financial profit in a system called market capitalism. The degree to which financial profits are gained or lost is the degree to which a financial value system is functional or dysfunctional.

Social Currency

When the product enters a community, it helps people to occupy their limited time on Earth in a more peaceful and productive manner. The product unites families and communities around human attributes such as happiness, joy, comfort, security, and wellbeing. This is called social profit in a system of social capitalism. The degree to which social profits are gained or lost is the degree to which the social value system is functional or dysfunctional.

Domination

In market capitalism, no enterprise is allowed to make less money than they consume for very long without being punished. Yet, in social capitalism there is no common means to even account for social profits or losses. There are no formal inventory of raw social materials, social value added labor, social marketing, transport, storage or exchange of social capital – the social value system is largely irrational.  The profit accounting and structural mechanisms are what make market capitalism dominant over social capitalism.

Bankers should be studied

For better or worse, the financial system works exactly as it is supposed to. Bankers do exactly what they were designed to do. They will do the same thing tomorrow as they did yesterday. Bankers are extremely predictable.  The problem lies in our irresponsible design for social capitalism and our dependency on anything but ourselves for economic outcomes.  All of the means and methods that we call an “unfair advantage” are available to each and every one of us if we simply copy bankers.

Look beyond the symptoms and you’ll find the cure

By virtue of the range, complexity, and scope of problems that surround our species it should be somewhat obvious that social capitalism is poorly executed. It does not represent a system of human attributes and values. Social Capitalism is unorganized, unaccounted, and unworthy to act in the interest of the participants. That is where the problem lies and that is where the solutions need to be applied.

Must admit that WE have a problem

Anyone can point their finger at the bankers and blame them for all the bad things in the world.  It is a completely different matter to exert the mental discipline to fully understand what makes a banker rational and what makes a banking system accountable, then to generalize this genius for applicability to ALL forms of Value, including but not limited to social value.  If the bankers accept or reject any value system, they will do it rationally.

Be a Banker

Social media provides an extraordinary set of tools for social capitalists.  Specifications that mimic the banking system in social media are readily available.  Important awakening projects are arising that take responsibility for the future rather than lay blame on the past.  It’s time that we all become bankers.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

The Ingenesist Project prides itself in making certain predictions that often seem to manifest in some small way every day.  One of our most enduring suggestions is that social media will begin to replace failing institutions of government and industry.

OK, that’s pretty far out, or is it?

The Wall street Journal reported recently that new bond issues – sort of like collateralized debt obligations – are being developed without consideration for the credit rating of the assets forming the bond.  The justification is that credit rating did not predict or help avoid the last crisis, so what good are they?

Now here is the twist – a surprisingly “Social Media” style solution is proposed – and accepted by the market.  The bankers put their personal and corporate reputations on the line.  If you trust the banker, you can trust their bond.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

This sets up an interesting new game now that many bad banks are gone and public sentiment is turned against them. The new game is playing out in interesting ways.

  • The bank does not want to put their reputation in the hands of a 3rd party credit rating agency.
  • Investor wants to put their money into the hands of the person who actually hangs if the deal goes bad.
  • “Inside Information” has become so systematized; the banker knows things long before the rating agency.
  • A system had been built to “game” the credit agencies…lose the game and lose the risk?
  • Avoid government vetting regulation in favor of “social network” vetting.
  • Tactical advantage over corrupt competitors
  • It’s easier for everyone to understand – including the banker, investor, and bond asset.

This is a profound shift in thinking from only a few years ago and almost seems like a return to a bygone era; remember the old days when the banker was actually a member of the community where the bank invested their money?

There are some lessons to take home.  If don’t need credit ratings for corporate bond issues, do they need credit ratings for people?  What if all of these institutions adopt a social network based credit score?  What would that look like?  Social media by and large rewards high integrity and punishes low integrity.  The value of social media includes a component of risk reduction.  You would think that Banks, Insurance, and even homeland security would be all over this game.

Innovating Disruption:

What happens if your credit rating is divorced from your finances?  What good is your social security number?  How does this effect all the downstream users of credit ratings like insurance, employers, credit card companies, social security payments – if any? Much of what we’ll associate with the innovation economy is the disruption, if not outright destruction, of an impossibly unstable system of finance.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

Community Currency; Ithaca Hours

Ithica DollarsEditor’s note: I found this copyrighted piece from all the way back in 1995.  I find such history enlightening.  As a researcher it allows me to eliminate certain variables such as Social Media, 9/11, TARP, GWB, BHO, Global Warming, and a host of other firebrand influences on public opinion and action.  That said, the clarity is remarkable. Take strong note of the intention of fulfilling social priorities.  Today, as our corporations and government (federal, state, and local) continue to cut social programs in order to service interest on debt, the void on social programs will induce an inevitable condition; Community Conversational Currency.

by Paul Glover

Originally published in IN CONTEXT #41, Summer 1995, Page 30
Copyright (c)1995, 1997 by Context Institute

Many communities are giving up waiting on large corporations or government to invest or provide jobs, and are instead building on their own strengths and resources.

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 5: The Entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in this world.

6 Billion of them wander the Earth looking for assets that exists at a low state of productivity waiting to be elevated to a higher state of productivity.

The entrepreneur must first be able to identify an asset as an asset.  Next they need to identify the lower level of productivity and they need to be able to imagine the higher potential level of productivity.  The entrepreneur must identify and manage some risk, perform leadership tasks; and as a result, elevate the asset to the higher state of productivity.  Profit is the difference between the lower and the higher state – minus expenses.

Unfortunately, today this process starts at the forest and ends at the junkyard.

This is how our economic system is organized.  The next economic paradigm flips that idea over.  Instead of accounting for natural resources as the tangible element and human knowledge as the intangibles element; the next economic paradigm must account for the natural resource as the intangible element and the human knowledge as the tangible element.

The current problem is not that knowledge is intangible; rather, knowledge is simply invisible.

The Ingenesist Project will make knowledge assets visible by provisioning all of the information that an entrepreneur now needs to identify the knowledge asset and the associated states of productivity.  Entrepreneurs can then increase human productivity using knowledge assets applied to natural resources, instead of natural resources applied to consumption.  The implications are vast.

Returning to the financial analogy:

With a financial bank, the entrepreneur assumes that they have the knowledge required to execute a business plan and the go to the Financial Institution to borrow the money.

With an “Innovation Bank” the entrepreneur assumes that they have the money to execute the business plan, and they go to the innovation institution to borrow the knowledge.

While this may sound trivial, the implications are vast:

1. A virtuous circle now exists between society and the financial system
2. Profit is derived from increasing human productivity not natural resource exploitation.

Economics is the science of incentives:

A financial Bank seeks to match a surplus of money with a deficit of money.  It is in the best interest of the bank to find rich people who will not need their money for a while, and poor people have the best likelihood of paying the money back in time.  The process assumes that the borrower has the knowledge required to execute a business plan when they seek to borrow money.  However, that FICO score does not measure knowledge explicitly, so little incentive exists to make it tangible.  All of the top ten reasons why businesses fail are due to failures of knowledge.  The financial system is collapsing under the weight of failed knowledge.

By contrast, the Innovation Bank seeks to find people who have a surplus of knowledge and people who have a deficit of knowledge about what they intend to produce. The innovation bank then uses a series of statistical calculus (the same calculus as the credit/insurance/risk management professions) to match most worthy surplus of knowledge assets to most worthy deficit of knowledge assets.  Here, the opposite assumption is made; everyone assumes that the borrower has the money required to execute the business plan and they go to the innovation bank to borrow the knowledge.  People have an incentive to accumulate knowledge.

Simplicity that defies comprehension:

The business plan for the new entrepreneur is deceptively simple to do and nearly impossible to monopolize; anyone can do it not just the wealthy and their chosen few.  The next 3 modules will outline how new enterprises will be constructed from the virtuous circle created between the financial bank and the innovation bank.  This changes everything …. and did I mention that the implications are vast?

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 4: Institutions

In part 1, we introduced a new paradigm of economic growth; the innovation economy. In part 2, we identified information as the currency of trade for an innovation economy and we defined that currency’s relationship to knowledge and innovation.  In part 3 we demonstrated a structure for a knowledge Inventory that would enable an Innovation Economy.  In this module, we will discuss the institutions in social media that could keep an Innovation Economy, free, fair, and equitable.

In civil society, there are laws and regulations that protect our constitutional rights; these are essential institutions.

The legal system of the United States is extremely expensive, however, the expenditure is necessary to keep the society upright, productive and prevent it from falling into chaos.  Where a country’s legal system fails, so does its economy.  Entrepreneurs do not invest in places without a good legal system and where property rights are not protected. It is that important.  Investment abhors risk.

Arguably, the most important element of the Innovation Economy will be the vetting mechanism.

Fortunately, social media has the potential to serve this function; in fact in many cases it already does.  A feedback system supports Ebay ($35B Cap), community flagging supports Craigslist (40M ads/mo), peer review supports Linkedin (150M users).  These are not small numbers.  All markets must have a vetting mechanism in order to operate efficiently and if done correctly, social vetting has vast economic implications for an Innovation Economy.

First, let’s return to our financial analogy.

In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town.  But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized; now a Saudi Billionaire can lend money to a young couple in Boise to buy their first home – and neither is aware of the other.  The credit score is responsible for the creation of great wealth because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money to invest in enterprise.

The credit score is statistical in nature; it isolates about 30 or so indicators of your financial activity and puts them on a bell curve relative to everyone else.  These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc.  These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score.  Anyone can now predict the likelihood that you will default on your obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from because these same organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

We are competing with ourselves.

It is interesting that you and I do not compete for our credit score because it is not a ranking system. On the other hand, with no credit, we are invisible and the system shuts us out.  With bad credit, the system shuts us out. We lose some freedom and privacy, but we accept these terms well because they provides us with tremendous benefit to finance a business, automobile, or a home without needing to save cash.

Now we will draw the comparable analogy from the social media.

In the old days, the hiring manager was the person to know if you wanted to get a job.  They would read your resume and compare it with “bell curve” in their experience about what has worked or not worked in their past.  This worked great in the industrial economy, but it falls far short in the innovation economy.  Innovation favors strategic combination of diverse knowledge where the Industrial economy favored identical packets of similar knowledge.

Not unlike the FICO score, the knowledge inventory is a collection of statistical variables and the social network is the reporting agencies who have a vested interest in a system of correct values.  Unlike FICO however, the variables are infinite and it responds to positive event input.
Social networks are by far among the most exciting and important new technology for an Innovation Economy.

Social networks must now evolve to become the vetting institutions for knowledge assets.

All the pieces are almost in place; now we need to develop a new type of search engine.

The Percentile Search Engine is generic term for the ability to make statistical predictions about all types and combinations of knowledge Assets in a network. Conceptually, the percentile search engine is where all of the equations that we use to analyze financial assets are now applied to knowledge assets.  The main characteristic is that the search engine returns probabilities for the entrepreneur to test scenarios.

For example; an entrepreneur may want to know if her team has enough knowledge to execute a business plan.  Perhaps the team has too much knowledge and they should try something more valuable.  Maybe the team does not have enough knowledge and they should attempt another opportunity or accumulate training.

The search engine can look into a network and identify the supply and demand of a knowledge asset. If it is unavailable or too expensive, the search engine can adjust for price, risk, or options that may emerge at a later date.

Talent will bid up to their productivity value, and brokers will bid down to their productivity value.

Competitors can scan each other’s knowledge inventory to compete, cooperate, acquire, or evade. If a key person retires, the entrepreneur would simulate the knowledge that is lost and reassign people strategically. All of these scenarios can be examines prior to spending money. They can be made during the project cycle, or after the project is completed.  Lessons learned can be used to adjust the algorithm perfecting it over time.

For example: companies such as Disney and Boeing both use Engineers, each would have proprietary algorithm of knowledge that represents their “secret sauce” of success. These recipes can be adjusted and improved to reflect and preserve the wisdom of an organization.

When the innovation economy will catches fire….

Over time, these algorithms will far more valuable then the Patents and Trade Secrets created by them – this will allow technologies to be open sourced much more profitably and shared across more industries.

In the next module, we will talk about the entrepreneurs.

The Credit Score Analogy; Part 2

Now we look for a similar situation for Knowledge Markets.

In the cuurent times, the hiring manager is the person to know if you want to get a job. The manager would read your resume and compare it with “bell curve” in their brain about what has worked or not worked in their past. This was a great system for the industrial economy, but it falls far short in the innovation economy.

The world is evolving so fast with new technology, new disciplines, and global cultures that what worked in the past may not work in the future. Innovation favors different combinations of knowledge where the Industrial economy favored similar knowledge. A hiring manager may not accumulate sufficient experience in a lifetime to make a proper assessment in the complexities of a diverse, global, and technical future market.

If we look in society, there are many vetting mechanism in place. Social networks are by far among the most exciting and important new technology that can serve this purpose. Social networks must now evolve to become a local vetting mechanism for knowledge assets.

Just like the reporting agencies in the credit system, Social Networks can serve an extremely valuable function in permitting human knowledge to emulate a financial instrument by acting as the “Recording Agencies” who have verified the asset in terms of quality and quantity. The knolwedge Inventory acts as the independent variables that are used to calculate the probability of market success. The difference is that the credit score measures mostly negative events while the new system will seek only positive events and can be designed to give the participants much greater influence on how they appear to the market.

One thing is missing. The credit score uses the FICO equation; Innovation Economics will use something called the Percentile Search Engine.

The Credit Score Analogy; Part 1

We have defined the currency, the factors of production, and the inventory of the Innovation Economy; we destroyed the old resume system and turned it into a computer language that makes knowledge appear like money in the eyes of the entrepreneur.

Now, we need a system that keeps the game free and fair. For example; EBay does little more than protect the feedback system, Craigslist uses community flagging, Linkedin keeps track of comments and contacts, etc. All markets must have a vetting mechanism in order to operate efficiently. Entrepreneurs do not invest in places without a good legal system and where property rights are not protected. When vetting fails, investors leave – It is that important.

In the Innovation Economy, the knowledge market is analogous to the credit market.

In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town. If you needed to borrow money to start a business or buy a house, the banker would review your work history and financial records as well as your reputation in the community where you both live. If you were deemed an acceptable risk, the banker would lend you money from the deposits of local companies and individuals.

Then an engineer named Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac created the first behavior scoring system to predict credit risk. They formed the Fair Isaac Corporation FICO and their invention came to be known as the FICO credit score. With the credit score, the local banker is almost irrelevant; now a Saudi Billionaire can lend money to a young couple in Boise to buy their first home – and neither of them are aware of the other. The credit score is responsible for the creation of a lot of wealth because it made many more entrepreneurs who invested borrowed money in business. The credit score even allows you to recover if you hit hard times – you just pay more a little interest until you prove yourself solvent again.

The credit score isolates about 22 or so measurements of financial activity and puts them on a bell curve relative to everyone else. These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc. These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score. Anyone can now predict the likelihood that you will default on your obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from – all of these organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

It is interesting that you and I do not compete for our credit score because it is not a ranking system. The old saying “No credit is worse than bad credit”, although inaccurate, is cited often because with bad credit, you are visible to the system and it can adjust to find a suitable interest rate. With no credit, you are simply invisible.

We lose some privacy with FICO, but we accept these terms well because they provides us with tremendous benefit to finance a business, automobile, or a home without needing to save cash. Likewise, we lose some privacy engaging each other on the Internet and in our community, however, the benefit of Social Networks far exceed many perceived privacy issues.

My personal complaint with credit scores is that they track largely negative events and seem to predict failure. What if we had a system that tracks success and used that data topredict varying degrees of success.

In the next section, we will identify the institutions that exist in society and how Social Networks can act to duplicate the benefits of the credit score without the downsides….watch

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