David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Crypto Platform Bitso to Service El Salvador's Bitcoin Wallet

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Bitso will work with the U.S. federally regulated Silvergate Bank to facilitate transactions in U.S. dollars, according to a statement from the company. Bitso bills itself as Latin America’s fastest growing crypto platform with over 2.75 million users.  

    Chivo -- a vernacular local term for “cool” -- is intended to serve like a mobile payments app, enabling payments in Bitcoin or dollars between individuals and businesses. Bitso said it will offer custody and exchange services to Chivo, and provide back-end technology. 

    “We’re committed to making crypto useful for the country’s citizens,” Santiago Alvarado, vice president of Bitso for Business, said in emailed comments, adding it wants to help “transform payment structures that can increase financial inclusion.”

    El Salvador’s passage of the Bitcoin law has been a subject of fascination, praise and criticism. A recent local poll found a majority of people preferred to use U.S. dollars. Observers will be watching to see if many people start using Bitcoin, and whether that brings benefits to the violent, impoverished nation.

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    Johnson Hands Workers, Firms $17 Billion Annual Health Bill

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    Johnson made a statement to a hushed House of Commons on Tuesday, ahead of a joint press conference with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

    As he begins his third year in office, 57-year-old Johnson is looking to move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic by delivering on a policy promise that he set out in his first speech as prime minister to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” -- as well as ensure the NHS can keep functioning under extreme

    But by attempting to meet this pledge, he is tearing up another one: the Conservatives vowed in their manifesto not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT. He’s gambling that voters will reward him for finding a solution to social care, a problem that eluded his predecessors.        

    The government broke another pledge on Tuesday, saying it will scrap its “triple lock” commitment to pensioners, albeit for one year only. Pensions will now rise by the greater of inflation or 2.5%, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said. Suspended is an average earnings component after distortions caused by the pandemic caused wages to soar almost 9% over the past year.

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    RBA Sticks With Cautious Taper Plan as Delta Sweeps Economy

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    Lowe’s decision to proceed with the taper, while extending its duration, showed his desire to maximize flexibility to respond to the economic fallout from delta, which is proving far more difficult to contain than expected.

    The RBA’s gentle shift from ultra-accommodative settings also fits in with more nuanced recent signaling from global policy makers. The Bank of Canada has taken the lead on tapering, the European Central Bank may follow this week and the Federal Reserve is likely to do so later this year, but all are highlighting the gradual and flexible nature of their moves.

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    BRIC By Brick: The Demographic Dream Unravels

    This article by Shankkar Aiyar for Bloomberg may be of interest. Here is a section:

    The arc of electoral expediency demands a saleable alibi, a villain, and a promise of prosperity at the end of the rainbow. The rash of legislation and the promise to expand the enclave of reservations may at best serve as a placebo. The spectre which could come to haunt India is up ahead. What is important to recognise is the scale of the challenge. India’s 2020 population is estimated at over 1.39 billion of which 67% or nearly 925 million are of working age. By 2050 India’s population will touch 1.63 billion – and the working-age population is expected to touch 1.11 billion.

    Demography is not destiny. India’s politicians are right to fear the looming spectre of rising working-age population and unemployment but both the cause and consequence are of their making. India needs structural reforms to propel growth. Effectively the demographic dream rests on the hope that India’s rulers would tune policy to empower the willing millions. Without growth, politicians will only be left with poverty and promises to redistribute.

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