Category Archives: Economic Viewpoints

01/31/2015 Bitcoin is not enough – we need a new real asset backed Digital Currency

After many years of a long sabbatical leave, I am slowly back on my blog. First, the TARELV supercharged digital currency as a Bitcoins alternative that may bring FARJHO back to into action.

Within the past few years since 2006 I have been working on the new concept and the business method to quantify and create a tradable liquid market for home equity. For those who remembers that product is called FARJHO (Flexible And Reversible Joint Home Ownership). Basically we were trying to build a stock exchange for every single house and condo with each home being a stock that minority shareholders could trade in and out like they would buy and sell Google’s or Facebook’s shares on the stock exchange. Some of my previous work, which is on hold now, could be seen at http://farjho.com, http://wehomeowners.com or http://investorsally.com.

Following that new capability to extract the liquidity out of home equity, academically, I have also followed up to develop a concept and business method in 2009 to create a real estate value backed currency exchange rate pegging system called TARELV (Total Aggregate Real Estate and Land Value). Some of the previous research and blogs could be seen at http://tarelv.com.

TARELV was designed not as a new currency but rather a new foreign exchange backing or pegging system to provide fiat currencies a new life by backing each country’s currency through the value of their real estate via the FARJHO solution.

The problem with Bitcoin is that no matter what advantages they may provide in payment efficiency, it is in itself still a fiat currency with no real value to back it up.

That is where FARJHO and hence TARELV could help. Imagine a new block chain technology backed digital currency (say t-coin for now) that was mined and created since day one by an equivalent amount of partial home equity extracted via a FARJHO contract? Hence this new t-coin will always have a minimum floor value of that original partial home equity amount and could be exchanged back (convertible) into the home equity any time. This could be done in any country in due course so that means t-coins could be mined and created in many parts of the world and utilized universally.

These new real asset backed digital currencies will therefore have both the advantages of the block chain technology that Bitcoin has and the real value backing that the current fiat currencies in circulation do not have. There is a very simple way that we could mine these new types of asset backed digital currency and make it work through FARJHO.

More to come later.

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06/11/2011 Weekly round-up of TARELV discussions from various Linkedin Groups

Here below is a weekly round-up of some more useful discussions from questions on TARELV that I would like to share with the readers.

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On distancing TARELV from Wall Street’s hands:

….. While I sympathize with your political views (see our own web site at http://www.peoplesally.org) but that is a different subject. TARELV is purely an academic and grassroots intellectual proposal for a fresh start to try to build a financial system under capitalism in the right direction. Our value is to break the intellectual hostage Wall Street has held on Main Street and bring the economic benefits directly to the working class people and let them have their fair shares in the system so that they would not turn our country into a socialist state.

Wall Street will not be able to swindle you again because of TARELV. They don’t own it. In fact, a new type of currency pegged on and backed by real financial asset value may stop the government cronies from printing money irresponsibly to bail out their Wall Street buddies to continue to swindle you. It will serve as a handcuff on the politicians not to steal more money from the future taxpayers to dish out to their cronies today. TARELV is your friend …

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On TARELV being a new exchange rate system between national TARELV currencies:

….. Thanks for the comments. Tarelv is actually intended to be a national currency as an extension of the present free market capitalism. So you will have American Tarelv, Japanese Tarelv, European Tarelv etc. and you can still trade them based on their exchange rate, say long US-T against JN-T in the open market. That is where a JN-T would be worth a lot more vs. a DN-T, Danish Tarelv due to the different state of economic activities in each country.

So Tarelvs represent really a new national exchange rate pegging system rather than a new universal currency on its own. It has individual nationalities.

It will provide an automatic self-healing effect when strong Tarelvs are exchanged into weak Tarelvs to produce goods at a cheaper cost for multi-national corporations. This will help create more economic activities in the country facing economic problems. The reason why people are reluctant to help countries in trouble now is simply due to the fact that few people see there would be economic productivity for them to repay. With no fresh money pumped into the country there would indeed be no productivity. So if the national Tarelv is pegged and backed by the value of a portion of the real estate and land value then the foreigners would feel more secure in investing in that country again. So the capital flow will automatically level the playing fields among countries.

The “total aggregate real estate and land value” is the national asset that is much more fair and equitable, unlike gold, silver or any other commodities that only bless those who were born with them or those were strong enough to rob them. They are limited in nature and therefore unsuitable to serve as widely distributed currencies. That universal scarcity nature could only promote more crimes and oftentimes, more wars.

I never fully understood the fuss or hype about Bitcoin or those digital Linden dollars stuff. To me they are no more than the beads they give you when you are at a Club Med resort facility. Once you are out of the circles they have zero value (I still have some of them at home as souvenir.) but for those party animals at the resorts they mean everything to them then and there in order to get the next beer.

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On TARELV vs. Rentenmarks:

….. Well, to my great relief, the Tarelv idea wasn’t totally off the mark after all, Renten Mark that is.

I am not an economic historian and the Tarelv idea was organically developed solely on the back of my last 10-year’s research work on real estate derivatives and a new form of home ownership structure. Please see my other two discussions on SwapRent and FARJHO posted in your group.

One question I still have is that why the Rentenmark had such a short life span even though it did the job that it was originally created for? Some economic historians could really offer some help here.

The modern derivatives or quantitative finance techniques such as SwapRent and FARJHO may help create a sounder foundation for implementing the real estate money idea. It may give the policy makers and economists more alternatives to consider rather than beating the dead horse between the only two choices of fiat money and commodity money again.

Wouldn’t a new Greek Tarelv currency may help Greece with a chance to attract more fresh foreign capital to revitalize their own domestic economic prosperity again? If they failed, at least the foreigners could be left with a few pieces of Greek Islands to call home to!

In my humble view, fiat money based on Chartalism theory seems to be a total illusionary bubble in the global financial marketplace waiting to burst. It seems that we are not too far away of that awakening point now.

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On TARELV being an exchange rate pegging system vs. simply a new oddity currency:

….. “Convertibility” is the word to distinguish what a currency is vs. what an exchange rate mechanism is that makes a particular currency viable.

I like very much and respect the open mind attitude towards free market competition. The spirit of Tarelv is exactly that, finding the most competitive financial asset to back up the currency claims so that citizens of not just one country but around the globe may have confidence in holding and using them.

That is more and more important these days since in a flat world we are economically getting closer and closer through technologies and improved transportation means. One sovereign entity’s desire to make some Fiat money “legal tender” under Chartalism for its own citizens in one country may no longer serve the purposes anymore if foreigners do not agree. You got to put your own sovereign land on the line in order to gain the confidence of the foreigners to hold your otherwise worthless paper notes or electronic digits.

Otherwise a national currency “without convertibility” could indeed become beads in a Club Med resort, BitCoins for online techies or AnarchoJesse Labor Notes for that small New Hampshire neighborhood, etc.

04/02/2011 Dispelling harmful myths about the need of a weaker currency

No other economic topic is more confusing and has been least properly understood by the public than the exchange rate system. Politicians love to use it for the opportunistic advantage it offers to blame foreigners for their fellow countrymen’s failure to economically compete. Academics love to use it to make a point for a half baked truth.

They may all have a point. The problem is that the points will all have only half of the truth. The politicians’ opponents and the academic’s rivals could all be right at the same time since there are always two sides to an exchange rate’s impact on the economy more like there are always two sides of a coin. More often than not it is completely futile to make an argument on what is better to have, a stronger exchange rate or a weaker exchange rate, for a specific short term purpose.

For short term purposes, when a country’s currency is stronger it is good for the assets and when it is weaker it is good for the country’s liabilities. A weaker exchange rate may help stimulate the domestic economy by creating more foreign demands for its commodities and goods but it will cause a permanent wholesale destruction of the country’s aggregate wealth in the global market place. A stronger currency may serve to slow down its domestic economic activities and hence lower inflationary pressure by reducing foreign demand but it may create permanent wholesale advantage and sudden increased wealth for every one of its citizens.

Over the long run, a country with a stronger currency commands confidence and respect of every human being on earth, could easily afford to develop more leading edge scientific discoveries and engineering monuments, let alone a much stronger military defence force. It also naturally speaks much louder in global politics, attracts top talents to migrate and work for it to further enhance its competitiveness. Therefore the strength of a country’s exchange rate is really a report card of its government’s performance, as fully discussed in my prior blog post on

10/15/2010, “Foreign exchange rate is the competency report card of a government’s ability to manage a country’s economy “. (http://swaprent.com/blog/2010/10/15/10152010-foreign-exchange-rate-is-the-competency-report-card-of-a-governments-ability-to-manage-a-countrys-economy/)

So next time you read an op-ed commentary, hear a comment by a guest speaker on TV, or study an academic paper arguing for weaker currency, perhaps you would like to find out whether the person has a political agenda trying to spin a story to confuse the public or perhaps he/she is simply a complete moron.

Hoping to gain short term export advantage to create temporary transient job opportunities instead of focusing the collective efforts on increasing longer term productivity or economic competitiveness by promoting diligence, hard working ethics and/or innovations will simply continue the wholesale destruction of our country’s wealth and eventually reduce us from a major league super power to a little league wienie power.

10/15/2010 Foreign exchange rate is the competency report card of a government’s ability to manage a country’s economy

It is quite a amazing how the current Administration of our government has tried and almost accomplished the goal of brainwashing or duping the American public into believing a lower US Dollar value is good for us. They even got many financially illiterate politicians (Congressmen) to sing their tunes with them. 

Try to imagine that your kid comes home back from school with a D on his report card, argues with you and tries to brainwash you that an F should be better so that he would be able to compete with other more diligent and industrious kids? Furthermore he complains that the rules need to be changed so that the other kids should not study hard and instead should be playing more like he does? He calls the bad grades on his report card a “manipulation” by those hard working kids. He even labels those industrious kids “Grade Manipulators”.

The simple truth is that a lower exchange rate would produce the immediate wholesale sell-off of a country’s wealth in the global marketplace, not increasing any genuine economic competitiveness. Economic competitiveness is produced through productivity and innovations, not by artificially altering exchange rate so that incompetent politicians could cosmetically buy some more time to hang on to their jobs a bit longer.

Competent governments in managing the country’s economy will be rewarded with a stronger currency and hence increased national wealth. Responsible and hardworking citizens under an incompetent government, on the other hand, will lose their personal wealth instantly in the global marketplace when their national currency is devaluated, no matter how hard they may have worked individually. 

There is no quicker way to make the US lose its position as the No. 1 economy of the world and its associated super power status than de-valuating the US dollars. Foreigners with a stronger currency would then be able to buy our treasured assets in a fire sale. In addition, with a weak currency, the US would not be able to compete in the global marketplace to buy commodities such as crude oils, rare earth materials, gold, silver, platinum, food, crops, other raw materials etc. The cost to produce manufactured goods in America will be getting harder and harder as well as more and more costly. It will make the US lose even more economic competitiveness and get our country in a downward spinning vicious cycle. The list of the potential problems and disasters goes on and on …

Perhaps it is time that the parents sit down with their kids for a serious talk? 

P.S. I made a keynote speech for ISDA’s Annual General Meeting held in Singapore back in March 2006 regarding the China’s role in the global financial market. In that speech I spoke about the exchange rate issues. The points are still quite valid. Here are the links to the presentation and the speech video.

http://www.slideshare.net/SwapRent/aeft-isda-2006-agm-keynote-speech-in-singapore

http://www.slideshare.net/SwapRent/day-1-3-web-custom

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