Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: CDO

We Got It Backwards

The History of Financial Innovation

The invention of the wheel, wedge, and pulley came long before the invention of credit scores, CDO’s, and International Trade Agreements.

Technological Change must always precede economic growth – economic growth cannot sustainably precede technological change. If you throw money at a problem, you are not guaranteed technological change.  If you throw technological change at a problem, you are guaranteed money.

The Tiny Flaw of Market Capitalism

We are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change.  This is the tiny flaw of market capitalism and it is unsustainable.  In short, we’ve gotten it backwards and continuing on this course prevents us from seeing the future.

The flaw is easy to correct. The Ingenesist Project has specified two for-profit business methods, “The Value Game” and “” which if deployed today in Social Media could accomplish this.  These business methods are committed to the public domain.  The only thing standing in the way is a social agreement.

Let me know if you agree

You Can’t Eat Gold

goose1The following is a question and answer that I responded to on a Linkedin economics forum.  This question still occurs in so many forms when it is also abundantly obvious that Social Media is driving so much value in so many directions.  The irony is that the question is asked within the currency that it fails to recognize.

Art credit


Fiat money is the cause or always the main cause of financial crisis. Reverting back to gold standard can give stability. How can this be implemented?


It cannot.  Everyone agrees that money needs to be backed by something tangible. However, gold has a host of problems as well that are discussed extensively on-line and cannot be ignored.

A successful and stable currency must be backed by the productivity of the [citizens of a country] users.  So these two words should be interchangeable; i.e., a country spends productivity to fight a war.  A country spends productivity to fund universal health care, etc.

The cause of financial crisis is when the money becomes divorced from the productivity.  Debt is a transaction that exchanges current productivity for future productivity – assuming that productivity will increase at least by the so-called ‘risk’.  CDOs and other exotic financial instruments further obscure true productivity until money becomes driven irrationality and emotions completely separated from productivity.

If people lose trust in the currency, they will no longer trade it – they will find something else. Your hope is that they will find Gold.

Note clearly that innovation is also a transaction that exchanges current productivity with future productivity (due to the innovation).  As such, a currency backed by innovation is of the same species as a currency backed by debt.  Therefore, the entire financial system does not need to be torn down and rebuilt to serve a new non-debt backed currency.

The answer to your question is to look toward the places where extraordinary innovation is occurring today, right now.  It is clear that social media is developing this new currency.   The problem now is fairly simple; making human knowledge tangible.  This is where the innovation is. Here are some resources of people working on this problem:

Our deepest concern should be to feed the Goose what’s been so good to the Gander all these years. Of course one argument in favor of gold is it’s scarcity.  However, it is difficult to imagine that in an era of scarcity of so many resources, the basis of a currency ought to be more scarcity.  Knowledge, conversation, and innovation are scarce relative to the problems that they must be deployed to solve.  We’re in this together.

The US Financial System – Tail Wagging Dog

The financial system is not the problem.  The Innovation System is the problem – or did you notice that we do not have an “innovation system”?  Finance and Innovation in the US has engaged in the dangerous dance of tail wagging dog.  Innovation is as Wall Street does; not the other way around.  This is wrong, this is very wrong.

Doers, not shakers

[Our economic strength is derived from the doers, the makers of things, the innovators who create and expand enterprises, the workers who provide life to companies and, with their earnings, support families and invest in their future… This is what drives economic growth.] – Barack Obama

These are sobering words.  It make one wonder how everyone else makes a living; the brokers, the agents, the middlemen, the gatekeepers, the spinners, the flippers, the money managers, and everyone else in the game with their hands “in the flow of money” dragging the system into a tailspin.  Many of these people publicly criticize the working class, who have finally run out of steam, for gumming up their game.

It is also amazing that the engineers, educators, technologists, medical professionals, and public servants could produce so much for so long; enough to feed everyone else – except, as of recently, themselves.

[The financial system is central to this process, transforming the earnings and savings of American workers into the loans that finance a first home, a new car or a college education, the credit necessary to build a company around a new idea.] – Tim Geithner

Meet the Master:

The financial system is supposed to be the servant, not the master.  Innovation takes time, effort and resources before the payback can be realized.  For this reason only, the financial system bridges that time gap to allow for increased future productivity to generate new wealth for use by all.  That is the only reason why the financial system should exists.  But somehow we have gotten it backwards.

We got it backwards:

Technological change must precede economic growth.  We are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change.  The invention of the wheel, wedge and the pulley came before the invention of the Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) – there is no excuse for this oversight. This is clearly unsustainable and the process must be reversed.

An easy fix, almost:

The Ingenesist project specifies 3 web applications that will allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible outside of the bloated and failing financial system.  These applications will make innovation success predictable.  If success is predictable, then cash flows are predictable.  Using the same calculus as Wall Street, the cash flows can be combined, diversified, and split up into innovation bonds with superior returns that can be issued to fund new and sustainable innovation enterprise. Problem solved.

3 steps away from a quantum leap:

This can be done today playing by the rules and using existing technology – 3 simple applications.  That is how close we are to achieving the most important evolutionary step in human history.  The Government needs to empower the people to release themselves from the shackles of debt created by those who create little else.  For this reason, Obama is on the only correct path – buying time so that this important social media technology can mature.

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