Bribery

The Pronk Pops Show 1288, July 11, 2019, Part 2: Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — U.S. Government Bankrupt Now! — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

Posted on July 15, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Bank Fraud, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Networking, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Social Security, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1288 July 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1287 July 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1286 July 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1284 July 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1283 July 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1282 June 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1281 June 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1280 June 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Part 2: Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress

Streamed live on Jul 10, 2019

House Financial Services Committee holds hearing on “Monetary Policy & the State of the Economy.” Fed Chair Powell testifies. All eyes will be on Powell when he testifies before a House panel on monetary policy in the first of his 2-day semiannual testimony to Congress. Investors are looking to Powell for what to expect at the next policy meeting at the end of July. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is the leading business network on television, topping CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year. T he network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX, FBN has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London.

 

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Senate testimony on monetary policy – 07/11/2019

Streamed live on Jul 11, 2019

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on the monetary policy and the U.S. economy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s House testimony: The big takeaways

Economy can sustain lower jobless rate than we thought, says Fed’s Powell

Larry Kudlow: AOC ‘nailed it’ with questions to Fed chair

Cryptocurrencies rally despite Trump’s rebuke | Money Talks

Fed keeps interest rates steady, signals possible cuts in 2019

Streamed live on Jun 19, 2019

Federal Open Market Cmte announces Fed Funds Interest Rates will remain unchanged.

The Pension Bomb

10 Myths About Government Debt

What Will Cause The Next Recession – Robert Shiller On Human Behavior

Economic Collapse Warning! $222 Trillion Dollar True Size Of Government Debt & Stock Market CRASH!

Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff on the Implications of Rising National Debt

Public Choice Theory: Why Government Often Fails

Howard Marks | The Impact of Debt, Demographics, and Unfunded Liabilities

Santelli Exchange: Underfunded pension liabilities

Bill Bonner Interview: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come

Published on Sep 16, 2015

MoneyWeek’s editor in chief Merryn Somerset Webb talks to Bill Bonner about economic cycles and the ‘cashless society’. Click here to find out how it could affect you: http://pro1.moneyweek.com/434014/

The Upcoming Financial Crisis That Will Dwarf That of 2008 – Expect Civil Unrest

Best Documentary of the Housing Market Crash (of 2019?) | Inside the Meltdown | Behind the Big Short

Exodus out of high tax states with unfunded pensions?

N.J. pension crisis explained with popsicle sticks

A Misalignment of Interests: The Politics of Pension Funding (Pension Pursuit)

A Thunderhead: Pensions and Unfunded Liabilities

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Published on May 10, 2010

Huge budget deficits and record levels of national debt are getting a lot of attention, but this video explains that unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs are Americas real red-ink challenge. More important, this CF&P mini-documentary reveals that deficits and debt are symptoms of the real problem of an excessive burden of government spending. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s plan to control the global financial system

Bitcoin vs. Gold Peter Schiff debates Max Keiser

Keiser Report: #DropGold: Peter Schiff Responds (E1381)

Digital Currency’s Role in the Future of Central Banks

Christine Lagarde: ‘Central Bank digital currency is coming alive’

Digital Currency Has Real Value — Here’s Why | CNBC

Japan made bitcoin a legal currency – now it’s more popular than ever | CNBC Reports

the graduate one word plastics

There is a great future in blockchain?

Blockchain and Crypto: Past, Present, and Future | Douglas Pepe | TEDxRanneySchool

Mr Bitcoin: “I don’t want money, I don’t want fame!” BBC News

Is This Man the Inventor of Bitcoin?

Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIRED

How does a blockchain work – Simply Explained

Bitcoin: Beyond The Bubble – Full Documentary

Scott Adams’ Guide To Blockchain: The Technology That Will Change Everything

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How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

TED

Published on Sep 16, 2016

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

The Graduate and the Perpetuation of Loneliness

Understanding The Graduate 50 Years Later

What is Blockchain

Published on Jun 9, 2016

Blockchain explained. Shai Rubin, CTO of Citi Innovation Lab, explains in an easy and simple way the basics of blockchain.

Blockchains: how can they be used?

19 Industries The Blockchain Will Disrupt

How the blockchain will radically transform the economy | Bettina Warburg

Blockchain is Eating Wall Street | Alex Tapscott | TEDxSanFrancisco

How to Use Blockchain to Create a Better Future | Brian Condenanza | TEDxHautLacSchool

Our Lives in a Blockchain-Powered Smart Economy | Eddy Travia | TEDxINSEAD

Is Bitcoin the Future of Money? Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees

The Convergence of Blockchain, Machine Learning, and the Cloud | Steve Lund | TEDxBYU

The Value Revolution: How Blockchain Will Change Money & the World | Galia Benartzi | TEDxWhiteCity

Blockchain Technology Explained (2 Hour Course)

How Bitcoin Works in 5 Minutes (Technical)

How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood

Why crypto regulation is doomed to fail | Marit Hansen | TEDxKielUniversity

Bitcoin scares central banks. Here’s why

George Gilder: Forget Cloud Computing, Blockchain is the Future

Why central banks are experimenting with blockchain

GREAT SCENE – The Graduate (finale)

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Why Public Policy Always Ends in Disaster

It’s Hormeggedon! What Happens When Public Policy Passes the Point of No Return

Bill Bonner Interview: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come

Bill Bonner on the financial markets WORLD.MINDS INTERVIEW

Jim Simons on His Formula for Improving Math Education

Billionaire James Simons: Quantitative Investment Strategy, Career and Trading (2019)

Renaissance Man — Jim Simons

Billionaire Mathematician – Numberphile

The mathematician who cracked Wall Street | Jim Simons

James H. Simons: Mathematics, Common Sense and Good Luck

By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?

By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference in Washington on June 19. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

In signaling that the Federal Reserve is almost certain to cut interest rates at the end of this month, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell may have given President Trump what he wants.

But the central bank now looks more vulnerable to criticism that it is caving to political pressures that will only grow as the election cycle heats up.

Powell, in testimony to lawmakers Wednesday, essentially argued that heightened uncertainty, from trade tensions and slowing global economic growth, along with low inflation, was enough to justify a cut in interest rates.

Historically, the Fed has lowered rates to ward off recession or when it sees substantial risks of a downturn.

The U.S. economy expanded at a nearly 3% pace last year and, although it has slowed in recent months, the Fed and most private forecasters see growth continuing at a decent rate. The latest jobs report for June showed hiring remains strong, and Trump recently agreed to a ceasefire in the trade war with China, tenuous as it may be.For those reasons, Powell’s remarks Wednesday came as a pleasant surprise to financial markets. Stocks rose to record highs.

Lowering the rate by a quarter point later this month may help borrowers a little. The Fed’s main rate is a benchmark for credit cards, auto loans and other short-term consumer lending, but long-term rates such as mortgages already have dropped in anticipation of a Fed rate cut, meaning it’s unlikely to provide much of a boost to the housing market or the broader economy.

“We’ve already gotten 90% of the benefit; it’s already priced into the market,” said Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Investors are expecting at least one more quarter-point rate cut after July, and some even two. Powell and his colleagues at the Fed will have their hands full managing investors’ expectations on future rate reductions, so they don’t set themselves up for a sharp fall.

“The issue that the Fed is going to run into … is just like parenting,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “They can’t bend every time the markets throw a tantrum. At some point, you’ve got to put your foot down.”

Market expectations aside, Powell’s bigger challenge is likely to come from Trump. The president has been publicly hammering Powell to lower interest rates. Trump has criticized the Fed for raising rates four times last year, and no one thinks he will be satisfied if the Fed drops its benchmark rate by a quarter point on July 31, as it’s now expected to do.

Trump and his economic team have pressed the Fed to slash rates by a full point, and Trump isn’t likely to stop jawboning the Fed in the coming months.

Some economic experts say Trump already has succeeded in getting into the heads of Fed decision makers.

“Powell does seem to be going a little bit out of his way to reverse the rate hikes made last year,” said Chris Rupkey, managing director and chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. “The president’s like another active member of the Fed board in the room. I wouldn’t tell him no, would you?”

Rupkey and some other Fed watchers say Powell is moving a bit too early in readying rate cuts, especially with job growth still running very strong. Only a few months ago, the Fed’s stance on interest rates was to wait and see.

“Should they cut rates at this time? Absolutely not!” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook Group. “There is no economic justification to take that step now.

“For one, there is little to suggest this business cycle [is] struggling. The softness we see in some data points have little to do with economic fundamentals. The trade war with China and the havoc it has caused to global supply chain are the primary reasons those sectors have weakened.”

But other analysts argue that there’s good reason for the shift in the Fed’s posture. According to minutes from their last meeting in June, released Wednesday, Fed policymakers were feeling that the downside risks to the economy “had increased significantly over recent weeks.”

And in his testimony Wednesday to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said that since May, crosscurrents that seemed to moderate earlier in the year “have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty.” Among other concerns, he said, business spending, trade and manufacturing activity have slowed.

“The issue really is more now on the business side where we see business confidence and business investment weakening a bit,” he told lawmakers, adding that there’s rising risk as well to consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity. “Household confidence has remained high, but over time uncertainty can cause households to hold back as well.”

Powell, sensitive to the political pressures bearing on the Fed, took pains in his prepared remarks to defend the integrity of the central bank and the basis for its policymaking.

“Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data,” Powell said as he began his testimony.

Trump has reportedly considered firing Powell or demoting him, although it’s not clear whether the president has the legal authority to do so. Powell reiterated Wednesday that the law is on his side and that he intends to serve the full four-year term as Fed chair, which he assumed in February 2018.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have cautioned Trump against taking steps to remove Powell as Fed leader. And on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers sought to drive home that point.

“Mr. Chairman, if you got a call from the president today or tomorrow, and he said, ‘I’m firing you. Pack up. It’s time to go,’ what would you do?” asked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Financial Services Committee.

“Well, of course I would not do that,” Powell responded, to which Waters added, “I can’t hear you,” eliciting laughter.

But the president’s unusually persistent and heavy pressure on the Fed is anything but a laughing matter.

Alan Blinder, a Fed vice chairman in the mid-1990s, said the concern about the bank’s independence stemming from the president’s attacks was such that it could legitimately be a factor in a Fed decision not to raise rates.

Apart from the potential harm to its credibility, a more immediate risk for the Fed in cutting rates is that it could limit the central bank’s arsenal in fighting the next recession. The Fed’s main benchmark rate is less than 2.5%, low by historical standards.

In response to lawmakers’ questioning, Powell said the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China was a “constructive step” but that doesn’t really change the outlook.

“I would say that the bottom line for me is that the uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook.”

https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jerome-powell-interest-rates-20190710-story.html

July 10, 2019

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Chair Jerome H. Powell

Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

 

Chair Powell submitted identical remarks to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, on July 11, 2019.

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

Let me start by saying that my colleagues and I strongly support the goals of maximum employment and price stability that Congress has set for monetary policy. We are committed to providing clear explanations about our policies and activities. Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data. We appreciate that our independence brings with it an obligation for transparency so that you and the public can hold us accountable.

Today I will review the current economic situation and outlook before turning to monetary policy. I will also provide an update of our ongoing public review of our framework for setting monetary policy.

Current Economic Situation and Outlook 
The economy performed reasonably well over the first half of 2019, and the current expansion is now in its 11th year. However, inflation has been running below the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) symmetric 2 percent objective, and crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook.

The labor market remains healthy. Job gains averaged 172,000 per month from January through June. This number is lower than the average of 223,000 a month last year but above the pace needed to provide jobs for new workers entering the labor force. Consequently, the unemployment rate moved down from 3.9 percent in December to 3.7 percent in June, close to its lowest level in 50 years. Job openings remain plentiful, and employers are increasingly willing to hire workers with fewer skills and train them. As a result, the benefits of a strong job market have been more widely shared in recent years. Indeed, wage gains have been greater for lower-skilled workers. That said, individuals in some demographic groups and in certain parts of the country continue to face challenges. For example, unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics remain well above the rates for whites and Asians. Likewise, the share of the population with a job is higher in urban areas than in rural communities, and this gap widened over the past decade. A box in the July Monetary Policy Report provides a comparison of employment and wage gains over the current expansion for individuals with different levels of education.

Gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, similar to last year’s pace. This strong reading was driven largely by net exports and inventories—components that are not generally reliable indicators of ongoing momentum. The more reliable drivers of growth in the economy are consumer spending and business investment. While growth in consumer spending was weak in the first quarter, incoming data show that it has bounced back and is now running at a solid pace. However, growth in business investment seems to have slowed notably, and overall growth in the second quarter appears to have moderated. The slowdown in business fixed investment may reflect concerns about trade tensions and slower growth in the global economy. In addition, housing investment and manufacturing output declined in the first quarter and appear to have decreased again in the second quarter.

After running close to our 2 percent objective over much of last year, overall consumer price inflation, measured by the 12-month change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), declined earlier this year and stood at 1.5 percent in May. The 12-month change in core PCE inflation, which excludes food and energy prices and tends to be a better indicator of future inflation, has also come down this year and was 1.6 percent in May.

Our baseline outlook is for economic growth to remain solid, labor markets to stay strong, and inflation to move back up over time to the Committee’s 2 percent objective. However, uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months. In particular, economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies, and that weakness could affect the U.S. economy. Moreover, a number of government policy issues have yet to be resolved, including trade developments, the federal debt ceiling, and Brexit. And there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate. We are carefully monitoring these developments, and we will continue to assess their implications for the U.S economic outlook and inflation.

The nation also continues to confront important longer-run challenges. Labor force participation by those in their prime working years is now lower in the United States than in most other nations with comparable economies. As I mentioned, there are troubling labor market disparities across demographic groups and different parts of the country. The relative stagnation of middle and lower incomes and low levels of upward mobility for lower-income families are also ongoing concerns. In addition, finding ways to boost productivity growth, which leads to rising wages and living standards over the longer term, should remain a high national priority. And I remain concerned about the longer-term effects of high and rising federal debt, which can restrain private investment and, in turn, reduce productivity and overall economic growth. The longer-run vitality of the U.S. economy would benefit from efforts to address these issues.

Monetary Policy 
Against this backdrop, the FOMC maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 2‑1/4 to 2-1/2 percent in the first half of this year. At our January, March, and May meetings, we stated that we would be patient as we determined what future adjustments to the federal funds rate might be appropriate to support our goals of maximum employment and price stability.

At the time of our May meeting, we were mindful of the ongoing crosscurrents from global growth and trade, but there was tentative evidence that these crosscurrents were moderating. The latest data from China and Europe were encouraging, and there were reports of progress in trade negotiations with China. Our continued patient stance seemed appropriate, and the Committee saw no strong case for adjusting our policy rate.

Since our May meeting, however, these crosscurrents have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty. Apparent progress on trade turned to greater uncertainty, and our contacts in business and agriculture report heightened concerns over trade developments. Growth indicators from around the world have disappointed on net, raising concerns that weakness in the global economy will continue to affect the U.S. economy. These concerns may have contributed to the drop in business confidence in some recent surveys and may have started to show through to incoming data.

In our June meeting statement, we indicated that, in light of increased uncertainties about the economic outlook and muted inflation pressures, we would closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would act as appropriate to sustain the expansion. Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook. Inflation pressures remain muted.

The FOMC has made a number of important decisions this year about our framework for implementing monetary policy and our plans for completing the reduction of the Fed’s securities holdings. At our January meeting, we decided to continue to implement monetary policy using our current policy regime with ample reserves, and emphasized that we are prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments. At our March meeting, we communicated our intention to slow, starting in May, the decline in the Fed’s aggregate securities holdings and to end the reduction in these holdings in September. The July Monetary Policy Report provides details on these decisions.

The July Monetary Policy Report also includes an update on monetary policy rules. The FOMC routinely looks at monetary policy rules that recommend a level for the federal funds rate based on inflation and unemployment rates. I continue to find these rules helpful, although using these rules requires careful judgment.

We are conducting a public review of our monetary policy strategy, tools, and communications—the first review of its kind for the FOMC. Our motivation is to consider ways to improve the Committee’s current policy framework and to best position the Fed to achieve maximum employment and price stability. The review has started with outreach to and consultation with a broad range of people and groups through a series of Fed Listens events. The FOMC will consider questions related to the review at upcoming meetings. We will publicly report the outcome of our discussions.

Thank you. I am happy to respond to your questions.

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Last Update: July 10, 2019

Financial Stability Oversight Council

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Financial Stability Oversight Council
FSOC Meeting.jpg
3rd FSOC Meeting (January 18, 2011)
Agency overview
Formed July 21, 2010
Jurisdiction United States Government
Website Treasury.gov/FSOC

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is a United States federal government organization, established by Title I of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010.[1] The Office of Financial Research is intended to provide support to the council.

The Dodd-Frank Act provides the Council with broad authorities to identify and monitor excessive risks to the U.S. financial system arising from the distress or failure of large, interconnected bank holding companies or non-bank financial companies, or from risks that could arise outside the financial system; to eliminate expectations that any American financial firm is “too big to fail“; and to respond to emerging threats to U.S. financial stability.[2]

The Act also designates the Secretary of the Treasury as Chairperson. Inherent to the FSOC’s role as a consultative council is facilitation of communication among financial regulators. The FSOC has the authority to set aside certain financial regulations published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if those rules would threaten financial stability.

Contents

Purpose and duties

At minimum, it must meet quarterly.

Specifically, there are three purposes assigned to the Council:[3]

  1. identify the risks to the financial stability of the United States from both financial and non-financial organizations
  2. promote market discipline, by eliminating expectations that the Government will shield them from losses in the event of failure
  3. respond to emerging threats to the stability of the US financial system

Activities

On July 26, 2011, the First Annual Financial Stability Oversight Council Report [4] was issued by the Council fulfilling the Congressional mandate to report on the activities of the Council. The Report is intended to describe significant financial market and regulatory developments, analyze potential emerging threats, and make certain recommendations. The July 26, 2011 report warned that the United States faces potential losses connected with the European debt crisis.[5]

In September 2014, a group of Republican lawmakers accused U.S. regulators of “disparate treatment” of nonbank financial firms currently considered for tougher oversight. The lawmakers stated that the regulators should conduct the same level of analysis and due diligence for the insurance industry as it has for the asset management industry before formally considering whether to designate another insurance company.[6]

After much anticipation and debate about whether FSOC would and should designate individual asset managers (a nonbank financial firm) as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) which would subject them to greater oversight, FSOC announced in August, 2014, that rather than designating individual asset managers as SIFIs, it would focus on examining systemic risk posed by asset managers’ products, and activities. As a result of FSOC’s announcement the Securities and Exchange Commission is now expected and assumed to take a prudential supervisory role of individual asset managers, in addition to exercising its traditional mandate of investor protection.[7]

Since the inception of FSOC, the Council has designated select financial market utilities (FMUs) as “systemically important.” The designation of systemically important subjects the FMU to enhanced regulatory oversight. The three supervisory agencies charged with regulating systemically important FMUs are: the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.[8]

Resources

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, which limits the powers of advisory committees, does not apply to the council. The council has an almost unlimited budget in that the Council may draw on virtually any resource of any department or agency of the federal government. Any employee of the federal government may be detailed to the Council without reimbursement and without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege. Any member of the Council who is an employee of the federal government serves without additional compensation. In addition, “An employee of the Federal Government detailed to the Council shall report to and be subject to oversight by the Council during the assignment to the Council, and shall be compensated by the department or agency from which the employee was detailed.”[9] Additionally, “Any expenses of the Council shall be treated as expenses of, and paid by, the Office of Financial Research”.[10]

Authority

The Council has very broad powers to monitor, investigate and assess any risks to the US financial system. The Council has the authority to collect information from any state or federal financial regulatory agency, and may direct the Office of Financial Research, which supports the work of the Council, “to collect information from bank holding companies and nonbank financial companies”.[11] The Council monitors domestic and international regulatory proposals, including insurance and accounting issues, and advises Congress and the Federal Reserve on ways to enhance the integrity, efficiency, competitiveness and stability of the US financial markets. On a regular basis, the Council is required to make a report to Congress describing the state of the U.S. financial system. Each voting member of the Council is required to either affirm that the federal government is taking all reasonable steps to assure financial stability and mitigate systemic risk, or describe additional steps that need to be taken.[12] Under specific circumstances, the Chairman of the Council (who is also the Secretary of the Treasury), with the concurrence of 2/3 voting members, may place nonbank financial companies or domestic subsidiaries of international banks under the supervision of the Federal Reserve if it appears that these companies could pose a threat to the financial stability of the US.[13] The Federal Reserve may promulgate safe harbor regulations to exempt certain types of foreign banks from regulation, with approval of the Council.[14] Under certain circumstances, the Council may provide for more stringent regulation of a financial activity by issuing recommendations to the primary financial regulatory agency, which the primary financial agency is obliged to implement – the Council reports to Congress on the implementation or failure to implement such recommendations.[15]

Financial reporting to the Council

The Council may require any bank or non-bank financial institution with assets over $50 billion to submit certified reports as to the company’s:[16]

  • financial condition
  • systems in place to monitor and control any risks
  • transactions with subsidiaries that are regulated banks
  • the extent to which any of the company’s activities could have a potential disruptive impact on financial markets or the overall financial stability of the country

The Comptroller General of the United States may audit the Council or anyone working for the Council, and may have access to any information under the control of or used by the Council.[17]

Review 2017

On April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump signed one Executive Order13789;[18][19][20] and two Presidential memorandaOrderly Liquidation Authority Review and Financial Stability Oversight Council[21][22][23] to review the Council and parts of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Organization

Voting members

The Financial Stability Oversight Council has ten voting members:[24]

  1. Secretary of the Treasury (chairs the Council)
  2. Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  3. Comptroller of the Currency
  4. Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  5. Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  6. Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  7. Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  8. Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
  9. the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration Board
  10. an independent member (with insurance expertise), appointed by the President

Current voters[edit]

Current Voters (sortable)
Agency Currently Party Appointed Removable Notes
Treasury Steven Mnuchin Republican Directly Any time
SEC Jay Clayton Independent From 5 Board Members After 5-year term
CFTC J. Christopher Giancarlo Republican From 5 Board Members After 5-year term
Fed Jerome Powell From 7 Board Members After 4-year term
OCC Joseph Otting Directly After 5-year term
CFPB Kathleen Kraninger Directly After 5 year term
FDIC Jelena McWilliams From 3 Board Members After 5-year term
FHFA Mel Watt Democratic Directly After 5-year term
NCUA J. Mark McWatters Republican From 3 Board Members After 6-year term
Insurance Thomas E. Workman Directly After 6-year term

Non-voting Members

There are five non-voting members:

  1. Director of the Office of Financial Research (an independent agency within the Treasury Department and established by the Dodd-Frank Act): Richard Berner
  2. Director of the Federal Insurance Office (part of the Treasury Department and established in this Act): Steven E. Seitz
  3. a state insurance commissioner, to be designated by a selection process determined by the state insurance commissioners (2-year term): Maine Superintendent Eric Cioppa web|url=http://naic.org/members_bios/missouri.htm%7Ctitle=Commissioner Bio – Missouri|publisher=}}</ref> delegate to the FSOC.[25]
  4. a state banking supervisor, to be designated by a selection process determined by the state banking supervisors (2-year term): John P. Ducrest, Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions
  5. a state securities commissioner (or officer performing like function) to be designated by a selection process determined by such state security commissioners (2-year term): Melanie Senter Lubin, Maryland Securities Commissioner.

See also

References

  1. ^ “Bill Summary & Status – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – H.R.4173 – All Information – THOMAS (Library of Congress)”. Library of Congress. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Stupak, Jeffrey M. (February 12, 2018). Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC): Structure and Activities(PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ H.R. 4173, § 112(a)(1)
  4. ^ “2011 Annual Report”. U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  5. ^ The Center for Public Integrity. “U.S. Stock Market Plunge Followed Financial Stability Oversight Council Warning”. The National Law Review. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Stephenson, Emily. “U.S. Republican lawmakers say regulators treat insurers unfairly”Reuters.
  7. ^ “Asset managers: FSOC stands down, SEC stands up”(PDF). PwC Financial Services Regulatory Practice. December 2014.
  8. ^ “A closer look: Financial market utilities: Is the system safer?”(PDF). PwC Financial Services Regulatory Practice. February 2015.
  9. ^ H.R. 4173 § 111(j)
  10. ^ H.R. 4173 § 118
  11. ^ H.R. 4173 § 112(a)(2)
  12. ^ H.R. 4173 § 112(b)
  13. ^ H.R. 4173 § 113
  14. ^ H.R. 4173 § 170
  15. ^ H.R. 4173 § 120
  16. ^ H.R. 4173, § 116
  17. ^ H.R. 4173 § 122
  18. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (April 21, 2017). “Presidential Memorandum on Orderly Liquidation Authority Review”whitehouse.govWashington, D.C.White House. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  19. ^ Tausche, Kayla; Javers, Eamon (April 20, 2017). “Trump to sign ‘financial-related’ executive actions on Friday”CNBCEnglewood Cliffs, New JerseyNBCUniversal (CNBC LLC). Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  20. ^ Boyd, Brecke (April 21, 2017). “POTUS Memo on Orderly Liquidation Review May Clear Path for Legislation Amending Bankruptcy Code”Baker BottsHouston: Baker Botts L.L.P. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  21. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (April 21, 2017). “Presidential Memorandum on the Financial Stability Oversight Council”whitehouse.govWashington, D.C.White House. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  22. ^ Lane, Sylvan (April 20, 2017). “Trump to sign executive order, memoranda on financial regulation at Treasury”The HillWashington, D.C.: Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved May 3,2017.
  23. ^ Puzzanghera, Jim (April 21, 2017). “Trump targets Dodd-Frank rules designed to wall off risky banks”Los Angeles TimesTromc Inc. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  24. ^ H.R. 4173, § 111
  25. ^ “SPECIAL SECTION: Financial Stability Oversight Council”.

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_Stability_Oversight_Council

The shift away from LIBOR: implications for retail lenders

OUT-LAW ANALYSIS | 28 Mar 2019 | 9:30 am | 4 min. read

ANALYSIS: Use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a benchmark interest rate is likely to come to an end in 2021 or shortly afterwards, with implications for millions of pounds-worth of retail banking contracts.

Financial services regulators and central banks around the world have been pushing for a transition away from the use of interbank offered rates (IBORs), given the previous attempted market manipulation, false reporting and the decline in liquidity in interbank unsecured funding markets. They include the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), whose director of markets and wholesale policy made the comments above in an industry speech in January 2019.

Whilst there has been understandable focus on the impact of LIBOR transition on the wholesale banking industry and especially on the £30 trillion global derivatives market, the impact of LIBOR transition on other parts of financial markets should not be forgotten. A variety of loan products reference LIBOR, such as auto finance, personal loans and credit cards, while loans and mortgages that reference LIBOR are still being issued in some parts of the market.

Those lending to consumers will have to consider how the transition affects their legacy contracts, as well as any new business still being written that still references LIBOR. There may also be other ways in which LIBOR is referenced in retail lending contracts, for example in relation to penalty rates or default rates. Retail lenders will need to consider how LIBOR transition affects funding models and risk mitigation techniques. The transition may also give rise to regulatory conduct risk and litigation risk. It is not inconceivable that more mis-selling cases connected to LIBOR could arise in the retail space.

What practical preparations can retail lenders make?

The first step is to identify contracts which are LIBOR-linked as well as any other contractual references to LIBOR, such as penalty rates. Firms should then plan their transition, taking appropriate steps from a legal, regulatory and operational perspective to transition legacy contracts and future business not only from LIBOR, but also from other IBORs, such as Euribor and the Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (TIBOR).

Firms looking to replace LIBOR rates in legacy contracts should not underestimate the task ahead. The journey to an IBOR replacement begins with a detailed review of loan portfolios. It will be necessary to identify the relevant IBOR reference rate used and whether a fall-back position has been catered for in the contract if the reference rate ceases to be published. An assessment of whether the fall-back rate can be relied on for the remainder of the term would then need to be undertaken.

If no fall-back has been catered for, or the proposed fall-back cannot be used long term, firms are going to have to start looking to the variation terms in their contracts. Contractual variation rights will not be the end of the problem, as firms will then need to identify a risk-free rate (RFR) that is a suitable replacement (see below).

If variation terms need to be relied on, the FCA’s finalised guidance on the fairness of variation terms in financial services consumer contracts will be relevant for firms. If firms have not already done so, they should consider whether their existing variation terms are fair and if the firm has the power to unilaterally vary the contract terms in the way they need. Any suggestion of unfair variation terms and consequent unfair treatment of customers will certainly attract the attention of the regulator.

What alternative reference rates are available?

Global regulators have taken steps to adopt RFRs in place of IBORs. However, these rates do not provide an exact replacement for IBORs, while there has been little uniformity in the adoption of RFRs in relation to the different IBORs, jurisdictions and markets.

The panel banks whose submissions currently inform the LIBOR rate have voluntarily agreed to continue to support it until the end of 2021, although other IBORs are likely to continue beyond this date. The Financial Stability Board, in its November 2018 progress report, said that “it is recognised that transition to RFRs may take longer and therefore maintaining IBORs is still necessary”. This may present a challenge not only in relation to fall-back triggers or fall-back rates in legacy retail lending contracts, but also as regards the most appropriate alternative rates for these contracts.

RFRs such as SONIA, an overnight rate administered by the Bank of England, are not an exact replacement for LIBOR – particularly three-month and six-month LIBOR. This is likely to present challenges for lenders requiring a term rate going forward, and where they seek to replace three and six-month LIBOR in legacy contracts.

For firms, participation in relevant consultations issued by industry-led bodies such as the Bank of England’s Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Reference Rates to assist in shaping transition away from IBORs in a way which is beneficial to your part of the market will be important.

What positions have the UK regulators taken?

The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) set out their position on LIBOR transition in a joint ‘Dear CEO’ letter of 19 September 2018 (2-page / 277KB PDF). In that letter, to the largest UK banks and insurers, the regulators highlighted that insufficient preparation for LIBOR transition could negatively impact the safety and soundness of firms, their clients and the markets in which they operate. The letter sought assurances from those firms’ senior managers and boards that they were making suitable preparations for LIBOR transition.

Although this letter focused on the largest firms – the so-called ‘category 1’ firms – lenders outside of that group may still wish to reflect not only on their own preparations for LIBOR transition, but also any related conduct risk. Areas of focus should include risks in relation to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) and treating customers fairly, against a backdrop where mortgage debt accounts for over 80% of total UK household liabilities and the FCA has been undertaking a mortgage market review.

There is potential for consumer detriment in relation to mortgages or loans which reference LIBOR, where LIBOR transition has been handled poorly. Firm strategies for communicating their planned changes with consumers, clients, regulators and other stakeholders should be carefully considered and planned.

Charlotte Pope-Williams is a financial regulation expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/shift-away-from-libor-implications-for-retail-lenders

Blockchain

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Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain.

blockchain,[1][2][3] originally block chain,[4][5] is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.[1][6] Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.[7] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault toleranceDecentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.[8]

Blockchain was invented by a person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.[1] The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has inspired other applications,[1][3] and blockchains that are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is considered a type of payment rail.[9] Private blockchains have been proposed for business use. Sources such as Computerworld called the marketing of such blockchains without a proper security model “snake oil“.[10]

Contents

History

Bitcoin transactions (January 2009 – September 2017)

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.[6][11] They wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. In 1992, Bayer, Haber and Stornetta incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.[6][12]

The first blockchain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design in an important way using a Hashcash-like method to add blocks to the chain without requiring them to be signed by a trusted party.[6] The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.[1]

In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20 GB (gigabytes).[13] In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30 GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50 GB to 100 GB in size.

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

Smart contracts that run on a blockchain, for example ones that “creat[e] invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives or share certificates that automatically send their owners dividends if profits reach a certain level.”[1] require an off-chain oracle to access any “external data or events based on time or market conditions [that need] to interact with the blockchain.”[14]

According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase.[15] Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In May 2018, Gartner found that only 1% of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations, and only 8% of CIOs were in the short-term ‘planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain’.[16]

Structure

A blockchain is a decentralizeddistributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.[1][17] This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively.[18] A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests.[19] Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. A blockchain has been described as a value-exchange protocol.[20] A blockchain can maintain title rights because, when properly set up to detail the exchange agreement, it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree.[1] Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain.[1] This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.[21]

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[21] Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially[22] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][23]:ch. 08[24] For example, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[25]

Block time

The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. In cryptocurrency, this is practically when the transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions. The block time for Ethereum is set to between 14 and 15 seconds, while for bitcoin it is 10 minutes.[citation needed]

Hard forks

hard fork is a rule change such that the software validating according to the old rules will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid. In case of a hard fork, all nodes meant to work in accordance with the new rules need to upgrade their software.

If one group of nodes continues to use the old software while the other nodes use the new software, a split can occur. For example, Ethereum has hard-forked to “make whole” the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code. In this case, the fork resulted in a split creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic chains. In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and some of the funds were recovered after negotiations and ransom payment. Alternatively, to prevent a permanent split, a majority of nodes using the new software may return to the old rules, as was the case of bitcoin split on 12 March 2013.[26]

Decentralization

By storing data across its peer-to-peer network, the blockchain eliminates a number of risks that come with data being held centrally.[1] The decentralized blockchain may use ad-hoc message passing and distributed networking.

Peer-to-peer blockchain networks lack centralized points of vulnerability that computer crackers can exploit; likewise, it has no central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or the means to otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]

Every node in a decentralized system has a copy of the blockchain. Data quality is maintained by massive database replication[8] and computational trust. No centralized “official” copy exists and no user is “trusted” more than any other.[4] Transactions are broadcast to the network using software. Messages are delivered on a best-effort basis. Mining nodes validate transactions,[21] add them to the block they are building, and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes.[23]:ch. 08 Blockchains use various time-stamping schemes, such as proof-of-work, to serialize changes.[27] Alternative consensus methods include proof-of-stake.[21] Growth of a decentralized blockchain is accompanied by the risk of centralization because the computer resources required to process larger amounts of data become more expensive.[28]

Openness

Open blockchains are more user-friendly than some traditional ownership records, which, while open to the public, still require physical access to view. Because all early blockchains were permissionless, controversy has arisen over the blockchain definition. An issue in this ongoing debate is whether a private system with verifiers tasked and authorized (permissioned) by a central authority should be considered a blockchain.[29][30][31][32][33] Proponents of permissioned or private chains argue that the term “blockchain” may be applied to any data structure that batches data into time-stamped blocks. These blockchains serve as a distributed version of multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) in databases.[34] Just as MVCC prevents two transactions from concurrently modifying a single object in a database, blockchains prevent two transactions from spending the same single output in a blockchain.[35]:30–31 Opponents say that permissioned systems resemble traditional corporate databases, not supporting decentralized data verification, and that such systems are not hardened against operator tampering and revision.[29][31] Nikolai Hampton of Computerworld said that “many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases,” and “without a clear security model, proprietary blockchains should be eyed with suspicion.”[10][36]

Permissionless

The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed.[22] This means that applications can be added to the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.[22]

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries to include a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles. While Hashcash was designed in 1997 by Adam Back, the original idea was first proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and Eli Ponyatovski in their 1992 paper “Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail”.

Financial companies have not prioritised decentralized blockchains.[citation needed]

In 2016, venture capital investment for blockchain-related projects was weakening in the USA but increasing in China.[37] Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies use open (public) blockchains. As of April 2018, bitcoin has the highest market capitalization.

Permissioned (private) blockchain

Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[38] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[citation needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of ‘consortium’ blockchains.[39][better source needed]

Disadvantages of private blockchain

Nikolai Hampton pointed out in Computerworld that “There is also no need for a ’51 percent’ attack on a private blockchain, as the private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100 percent of all block creation resources. If you could attack or damage the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, you could effectively control 100 percent of their network and alter transactions however you wished.”[10] This has a set of particularly profound adverse implications during a financial crisis or debt crisis like the financial crisis of 2007–08, where politically powerful actors may make decisions that favor some groups at the expense of others,[40][41] and “the bitcoin blockchain is protected by the massive group mining effort. It’s unlikely that any private blockchain will try to protect records using gigawatts of computing power — it’s time consuming and expensive.”[10] He also said, “Within a private blockchain there is also no ‘race’; there’s no incentive to use more power or discover blocks faster than competitors. This means that many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases.”[10]

Blockchain analysis

The analysis of public blockchains has become increasingly important with the popularity of bitcoinEthereumlitecoin and other cryptocurrencies.[42] A blockchain, if it is public, provides anyone who wants access to observe and analyse the chain data, given one has the know-how. The process of understanding and accessing the flow of crypto has been an issue for many cryptocurrencies, crypto-exchanges and banks.[43][44] The reason for this is accusations of blockchain enabled cryptocurrencies enabling illicit dark market trade of drugs, weapons, money laundering etc.[45] A common belief has been that cryptocurrency is private and untraceable, thus leading many actors to use it for illegal purposes. This is changing and now specialised tech-companies provide blockchain tracking services, making crypto exchanges, law-enforcement and banks more aware of what is happening with crypto funds and fiat crypto exchanges. The development, some argue, has led criminals to prioritise use of new cryptos such as Monero.[46][47][48] The question is about public accessibility of blockchain data and the personal privacy of the very same data. It is a key debate in cryptocurrency and ultimately in blockchain.[49]

Uses

Blockchain technology can be integrated into multiple areas. The primary use of blockchains today is as a distributed ledger for cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin. There are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016.[37] Businesses have been thus far reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.[50]

Cryptocurrencies

Most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to record transactions. For example, the bitcoin network and Ethereum network are both based on blockchain. On 8 May 2018 Facebook confirmed that it is opening a new blockchain group[51] which will be headed by David Marcus who previously was in charge of Messenger. According to The Verge Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency for facilitating payments on the platform.[52]

Smart contracts

Blockchain-based smart contracts are proposed contracts that could be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction.[53] One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. An IMF staff discussion reported that smart contracts based on blockchain technology might reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general. But “no viable smart contract systems have yet emerged.” Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.[54]

Financial services

Major portions of the financial industry are implementing distributed ledgers for use in banking,[55][56][57] and according to a September 2016 IBM study, this is occurring faster than expected.[58]

Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.[59]

Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.[60][61]

Berenberg, a German bank, believes that blockchain is an “overhyped technology” that has had a large number of “proofs of concept”, but still has major challenges, and very few success stories.[62]

Video games

A blockchain game CryptoKitties, launched in November 2017.[63] The game made headlines in December 2017 when a cryptokitty character – an in-game virtual pet – was sold for more than US$100,000.[64] CryptoKitties illustrated scalability problems for games on Ethereum when it created significant congestion on the Ethereum network with about 30% of all Ethereum transactions being for the game.[65]

Cryptokitties also demonstrated how blockchains can be used to catalog game assets (digital assets).[66]

Supply chain

There are a number of efforts and industry organizations working to employ blockchains in supply chain logistics and supply chain management.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) works to develop open standards for supply chains.[citation needed]

Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM’s blockchain-based tracking service.[67]

Walmart and IBM are running a trial to use a blockchain-backed system for supply chain monitoring — all nodes of the blockchain are administered by Walmart and are located on the IBM cloud.[68]

Hyperledger Grid develops open components for blockchain supply chain solutions.[69][70]

Other uses

Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users[71] or musicians.[72] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[73] Imogen Heap‘s Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative “that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians.”[74][75]

New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insuranceparametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[76][77] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[78] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[79][80]

Other designs include:

  • Hyperledger is a cross-industry collaborative effort from the Linux Foundation to support blockchain-based distributed ledgers, with projects under this initiative including Hyperledger Burrow (by Monax) and Hyperledger Fabric (spearheaded by IBM)[81]
  • Quorum – a permissionable private blockchain by JPMorgan Chase with private storage, used for contract applications[82]
  • Tezos, decentralized voting.[35]:94
  • Proof of Existence is an online service that verifies the existence of computer files as of a specific time[83]

Types

Currently, there are at least four types of blockchain networks — public blockchains, private blockchains, consortium blockchains and hybrid blockchains.

Public blockchains

A public blockchain has absolutely no access restrictions. Anyone with an Internet connection can send transactions to it as well as become a validator (i.e., participate in the execution of a consensus protocol).[84][self-published source?] Usually, such networks offer economic incentives for those who secure them and utilize some type of a Proof of Stake or Proof of Work algorithm.

Some of the largest, most known public blockchains are the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain.

Private blockchains

A private blockchain is permissioned.[38] One cannot join it unless invited by the network administrators. Participant and validator access is restricted.

This type of blockchains can be considered a middle-ground for companies that are interested in the blockchain technology in general but are not comfortable with a level of control offered by public networks. Typically, they seek to incorporate blockchain into their accounting and record-keeping procedures without sacrificing autonomy and running the risk of exposing sensitive data to the public internet.[citation needed]

Hybrid blockchains

A hybrid blockchain[85] simply explained is a combination between different characteristics both public and private blockchains have by design. It allows to determine what information stays private and what information is made public. Further decentralization in relation to primarily centralized private blockchains can be achieved in various ways. Instead of keeping transactions inside their own network of community run or private nodes, the hash (with or without payload) can be posted on completely decentralized blockchains such as bitcoin. Dragonchain uses Interchain[86] to host transactions on other blockchains. This allows users to operate on different blockchains, where they can selectively share data or business logic. Other blockchains like Wanchain use interoperability mechanisms such as bridges.[87][88] By submitting the hash of a transaction (with or without the sensitive business logic) on public blockchains like bitcoin or Ethereum, some of the privacy and blockchain concerns are resolved, as no personal identifiable information is stored on a public blockchain. Depending on the hybrid blockchain its architecture, multicloud solutions allow to store data in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation and other geographical limitations while also leveraging bitcoin’s global hashpower to decentralize transactions.

Academic research

Blockchain panel discussion at the first IEEE Computer Society TechIgnite conference

In October 2014, the MIT Bitcoin Club, with funding from MIT alumni, provided undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology access to $100 of bitcoin. The adoption rates, as studied by Catalini and Tucker (2016), revealed that when people who typically adopt technologies early are given delayed access, they tend to reject the technology.[89]

Energy use of proof-of-work blockchains

External video
 Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hypeHyun Song ShinBank for International Settlements, 2:48[90]
 Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies: Burn It With Fire, Nicholas Weaver, Berkeley School of Information, 49:47, lecture begins at 3:05[91]

The Bank for International Settlements has criticized the public proof-of-work blockchains for high energy consumption.[92][90][93]

Nicholas Weaver, of the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley examines blockchain’s online security, and the energy efficiency of proof-of-work public blockchains, and in both cases finds it grossly inadequate.[91][94]

Journals

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[95] The journal covers aspects of mathematicscomputer scienceengineeringlaweconomics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[96][97]

The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which will then be timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.[98]

See also

References …

Further reading

  •  Media related to Blockchain at Wikimedia Commons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Ameer Rosic

3 years ago
Was ist Blockchain-Technologie

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

[Updated – Mar 01 2019]

Is Blockchain Technology the New Internet?

The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain?

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currencyBitcoin, (Buy Bitcoin) the tech community has now found other potential uses for the technology.

In thisguide, we are going to explain to you what the blockchain technology is, and what its properties are that make it so unique. So, we hope you enjoy this, What Is Blockchain Guide. And if you already know what blockchain is and want to become a blockchain developer please check out our in-depth blockchain tutorial and create your very first blockchain.

What is Blockchain Technology?

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016).

A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable record of data that is managed by cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

So, what is so special about it and why are we saying that it has industry disrupting capabilities?

The blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratized system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions.

Blockchain Explained

A blockchain carries no transaction cost. (An infrastructure cost yes, but no transaction cost.) The blockchain is a simple yet ingenious way of passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction initiates the process by creating a block. This block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of computers distributed around the net. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history. Falsifying a single record would mean falsifying the entire chain in millions of instances. That is virtually impossible. Bitcoin uses this model for monetary transactions, but it can be deployed in many others ways.

Blockchain is the most disruptive invention since the Internet itself

Think of a railway company. We buy tickets on an app or the web. The credit card company takes a cut for processing the transaction. With blockchain, not only can the railway operator save on credit card processing fees, it can move the entire ticketing process to the blockchain. The two parties in the transaction are the railway company and the passenger. The ticket is a block, which will be added to a ticket blockchain. Just as a monetary transaction on blockchain is a unique, independently verifiable and unfalsifiable record (like Bitcoin), so can your ticket be. Incidentally, the final ticket blockchain is also a record of all transactions for, say, a certain train route, or even the entire train network, comprising every ticket ever sold, every journey ever taken.

But the key here is this: it’s free. Not only can the blockchain transfer and store money, but it can also replace all processes and business models which rely on charging a small fee for a transaction. Or any other transaction between two parties.

Here is another example. The gig economy hub Fivver charges 0.5 dollars on a 5 transaction between individuals buying and selling services. Using blockchain technology the transaction is free. Ergo, Fivver will cease to exist. So will auction houses and any other business entity based on the market-maker principle.

Even recent entrants like Uber and AirBnB are threatened by blockchain technology. All you need to do is encode the transactional information for a car ride or an overnight stay, and again you have a perfectly safe way that disrupts the business model of the companies which have just begun to challenge the traditional economy. We are not just cutting out the fee-processing middle man, we are also eliminating the need for the match-making platform.

Because blockchain transactions are free, you can charge minuscule amounts, say 1/100 of a cent for a video view or article read. Why should I pay The Economist or National Geographic an annual subscription fee if I can pay per article on Facebook or my favorite chat app. Again, remember that blockchain transactions carry no transaction cost. You can charge for anything in any amount without worrying about third parties cutting into your profits.

Blockchain may make selling recorded music profitable again for artists by cutting out music companies and distributors like Apple or Spotify. The music you buy could even be encoded in the blockchain itself, making it a cloud archive for any song purchased. Because the amounts charged can be so small, subscription and streaming services will become irrelevant.

It goes further. Ebooks could be fitted with blockchain code. Instead of Amazon taking a cut, and the credit card company earning money on the sale, the books would circulate in encoded form and a successful blockchain transaction would transfer money to the author and unlock the book. Transfer ALL the money to the author, not just meager royalties. You could do this on a book review website like Goodreads, or on your own website. The marketplace Amazon is then unnecessary. Successful iterations could even include reviews and other third-party information about the book.

In the financial world the applications are more obvious and the revolutionary changes more imminent. Blockchains will change the way stock exchanges work, loans are bundled, and insurances contracted. They will eliminate bank accounts and practically all services offered by banks. Almost every financial institution will go bankrupt or be forced to change fundamentally, once the advantages of a safe ledger without transaction fees is widely understood and implemented. After all, the financial system is built on taking a small cut of your money for the privilege of facilitating a transaction. Bankers will become mere advisers, not gatekeepers of money. Stockbrokers will no longer be able to earn commissions and the buy/sell spread will disappear.

How Does Blockchain Work?

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.

To go in deeper with the Google spreadsheet analogy, I would like you to read this piece from a blockchain specialist.


What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The traditional way of sharing documents with collaboration is to send a Microsoft Word document to another recipient, and ask them to make revisions to it. The problem with that scenario is that you need to wait until receiving a return copy before you can see or make other changes because you are locked out of editing it until the other person is done with it. That’s how databases work today. Two owners can’t be messing with the same record at once.That’s how banks maintain money balances and transfers; they briefly lock access (or decrease the balance) while they make a transfer, then update the other side, then re-open access (or update again).With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them. It is like a shared ledger, but it is a shared document. The distributed part comes into play when sharing involves a number of people.

Imagine the number of legal documents that should be used that way. Instead of passing them to each other, losing track of versions, and not being in sync with the other version, why can’t *all* business documents become shared instead of transferred back and forth? So many types of legal contracts would be ideal for that kind of workflow. You don’t need a blockchain to share documents, but the shared documents analogy is a powerful one.” – William Mougayar, Venture advisor, 4x entrepreneur, marketer, strategist and blockchain specialist

The reason why the blockchain has gained so much admiration is that:

  • It is not owned by a single entity, hence it is decentralized
  • The data is cryptographically stored inside
  • The blockchain is immutable, so no one can tamper with the data that is inside the blockchain
  • The blockchain is transparent so one can track the data if they want to

The Three Pillars of Blockchain Technology

The three main properties of Blockchain Technology which has helped it gain widespread acclaim are as follows:

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Immutability

Pillar #1: Decentralization

Before Bitcoin and BitTorrent came along, we were more used to centralized services. The idea is very simple. You have a centralized entity which stored all the data and you’d have to interact solely with this entity to get whatever information you required.

Another example of a centralized system is banks. They store all your money, and the only way that you can pay someone is by going through the bank.

The traditional client-server model is a perfect example of this:

What is Blockchain

When you google search for something, you send a query to the server who then gets back at you with the relevant information. That is simple client-server.

Now, centralized systems have treated us well for many years, however, they have several vulnerabilities.

  • Firstly, because they are centralized, all the data is stored in one spot. This makes them easy target spots for potential hackers.
  • If the centralized system were to go through a software upgrade, it would halt the entire system
  • What if the centralized entity somehow shut down for whatever reason? That way nobody will be able to access the information that it possesses
  • Worst case scenario, what if this entity gets corrupted and malicious? If that happens then all the data that is inside the blockchain will be compromised.

So, what happens if we just take this centralized entity away?

In a decentralized system, the information is not stored by one single entity. In fact, everyone in the network owns the information.

In a decentralized network, if you wanted to interact with your friend then you can do so directly without going through a third party. That was the main ideology behind Bitcoins. You and only you alone are in charge of your money. You can send your money to anyone you want without having to go through a bank.

blockchain

Pillar #2: Transparency

One of the most interesting and misunderstood concepts in blockchain technology is “transparency.” Some people say that blockchain gives you privacy while some say that it is transparent. Why do you think that happens?

Well… a person’s identity is hidden via complex cryptography and represented only by their public address. So, if you were to look up a person’s transaction history, you will not see “Bob sent 1 BTC” instead you will see “1MF1bhsFLkBzzz9vpFYEmvwT2TbyCt7NZJ sent 1 BTC”.

The following snapshot of Ethereum transactions will show you what we mean:

Ethereum transactions

So, while the person’s real identity is secure, you will still see all the transactions that were done by their public address. This level of transparency has never existed before within a financial system. It adds that extra, and much needed, level of accountability which is required by some of these biggest institutions.

Speaking purely from the point of view of cryptocurrency, if you know the public address of one of these big companies, you can simply pop it in an explorer and look at all the transactions that they have engaged in. This forces them to be honest, something that they have never had to deal with before.

However, that’s not the best use-case. We are pretty sure that most of these companies won’t transact using cryptocurrencies, and even if they do, they won’t do ALL their transactions using cryptocurrencies. However, what if the blockchain technology was integrated…say in their supply chain?

You can see why something like this can be very helpful for the finance industry right?

Pillar #3: Immutability

Immutability, in the context of the blockchain, means that once something has been entered into the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with.

Can you imagine how valuable this will be for financial institutes?

Imagine how many embezzlement cases can be nipped in the bud if people know that they can’t “work the books” and fiddle around with company accounts.

The reason why the blockchain gets this property is that of cryptographic hash function.

In simple terms, hashing means taking an input string of any length and giving out an output of a fixed length. In the context of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the transactions are taken as an input and run through a hashing algorithm (bitcoin uses SHA-256) which gives an output of a fixed length.

Let’s see how the hashing process works. We are going to put in certain inputs. For this exercise, we are going to use the SHA-256 (Secure Hashing Algorithm 256).

hashing

As you can see, in the case of SHA-256, no matter how big or small your input is, the output will always have a fixed 256-bits length. This becomes critical when you are dealing with a huge amount of data and transactions. So basically, instead of remembering the input data which could be huge, you can just remember the hash and keep track.

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash functions which has various properties making it ideal for cryptography. There are certain properties that a cryptographic hash function needs to have in order to be considered secure. You can read about those in detail in our guide on hashing.

There is just one property that we want you to focus on today. It is called the “Avalanche Effect.”

What does that mean?

Even if you make a small change in your input, the changes that will be reflected in the hash will be huge. Let’s test it out using SHA-256:

blockchain hashing

You see that? Even though you just changed the case of the first alphabet of the input, look at how much that has affected the output hash. Now, let’s go back to our previous point when we were looking at blockchain architecture. What we said was:

The blockchain is a linked list which contains data and a hash pointer which points to its previous block, hence creating the chain. What is a hash pointer? A hash pointer is similar to a pointer, but instead of just containing the address of the previous block it also contains the hash of the data inside the previous block.

This one small tweak is what makes blockchains so amazingly reliable and trailblazing.

Imagine this for a second, a hacker attacks block 3 and tries to change the data. Because of the properties of hash functions, a slight change in data will change the hash drastically. This means that any slight changes made in block 3, will change the hash which is stored in block 2, now that in turn will change the data and the hash of block 2 which will result in changes in block 1 and so on and so forth. This will completely change the chain, which is impossible. This is exactly how blockchains attain immutability.

Maintaining the Blockchain – Network and Nodes

The blockchain is maintained by a peer-to-peer network. The network is a collection of nodes which are interconnected to one another. Nodes are individual computers which take in input and performs a function on them and gives an output. The blockchain uses a special kind of network called “peer-to-peer network” which partitions its entire workload between participants, who are all equally privileged, called “peers”. There is no longer one central server, now there are several distributed and decentralized peers.

Why do people use the peer-to-peer network?

One of the main uses of the peer-to-peer network is file sharing, also called torrenting. If you are to use a client-server model for downloading, then it is usually extremely slow and entirely dependent on the health of the server. Plus, like we said, it is prone to censorship.

However, in a peer-to-peer system, there is no central authority, and hence if even one of the peers in the network goes out of the race, you still have more peers to download from. Plus, it is not subject to the idealistic standards of a central system, hence it is not prone to censorship.

If we were to compare the two:

Image courtesy: Quora

The decentralized nature of a peer-to-peer system becomes critical as we move on to the next section. How critical? Well, the simple (at least on paper) idea of combining this peer-to-peer network with a payment system has completely revolutionized the finance industry by giving birth to cryptocurrency.

The use of networks and nodes in cryptocurrencies.

The peer-to-peer network structure in cryptocurrencies is structured according to the consensus mechanism that they are utilizing. For cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum which uses a normal proof-of-work consensus mechanism (Ethereum will eventually move on to Proof of Stake), all the nodes have the same privilege. The idea is to create an egalitarian network. The nodes are not given any special privileges, however, their functions and degree of participation may differ. There is no centralized server/entity, nor is there any hierarchy. It is a flat topology.

These decentralized cryptocurrencies are structured like that is because of a simple reason, to stay true to their philosophy. The idea is to have a currency system, where everyone is treated as an equal and there is no governing body, which can determine the value of the currency based on a whim. This is true for both bitcoin and Ethereum.

Now, if there is no central system, how would everyone in the system get to know that a certain transaction has happened? The network follows the gossip protocol. Think of how gossip spreads. Suppose Alice sent 3 ETH to Bob. The nodes nearest to her will get to know of this, and then they will tell the nodes closest to them, and then they will tell their neighbors, and this will keep on spreading out until everyone knows. Nodes are basically your nosy, annoying relatives.

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand
So, what is a node in the context of Ethereum? A node is simply a computer that participates in the Ethereum network. This participation can be in three ways

  • By keeping a shallow-copy of the blockchain aka a Light Client
  • By keeping a full-copy of the blockchain aka a Full Node
  • By verifying the transactions aka Mining

 

However, the problem with this design is that it is not really that scalable. Which is why, a lot of new generation cryptocurrencies adopt a leader-based consensus mechanism. In EOS, Cardano, Neo etc. the nodes elect leader nodes or “super nodes” who are in charge of the consensus and overall network health. These cryptos are a lot faster but they are not the most decentralized of systems.

So, in a way, cryptos have to make the trade-off between speed and decentralization.

Who Will Use The Blockchain?

As web infrastructure, you don’t need to know about the blockchain for it to be useful in your life.

Currently, finance offers the strongest use cases for the technology. International remittances, for instance. The World Bank estimates that over $430 billion US in money transfers were sent in 2015. And at the moment there is a high demand for blockchain developers.

The blockchain potentially cuts out the middleman for these types of transactions. Personal computing became accessible to the general public with the invention of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which took the form of a “desktop”. Similarly, the most common GUI devised for the blockchain are the so-called “wallet” applications, which people use to buy things with Bitcoin, and store it along with other cryptocurrencies.

Transactions online are closely connected to the processes of identity verification. It is easy to imagine that wallet apps will transform in the coming years to include other types of identity management.

What is Blockchain? And What New Applications Will It Bring Us?

The blockchain gives internet users the ability to create value and authenticates digital information. What new business applications will result from this?

#1 Smart contracts

Distributed ledgers enable the coding of simple contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met. Ethereum is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize this possibility. Still, in its early stages, Ethereum has the potential to leverage the usefulness of blockchains on a truly world-changing scale.

At the technology’s current level of development, smart contracts can be programmed to perform simple functions. For instance, a derivative could be paid out when a financial instrument meets certain benchmark, with the use of blockchain technology and Bitcoin enabling the payout to be automated.

#2 The sharing economy

With companies like Uber and Airbnb flourishing, the sharing economy is already a proven success. Currently, however, users who want to hail a ride-sharing service have to rely on an intermediary like Uber. By enabling peer-to-peer payments, the blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between parties — a truly decentralized sharing economy results.

An early example, OpenBazaar uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer eBay. Download the app onto your computing device, and you can transact with OpenBazzar vendors without paying transaction fees. The “no rules” ethos of the protocol means that personal reputation will be even more important to business interactions than it currently is on eBay.

#3 Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding initiatives like Kickstarter and Gofundme are doing the advance work for the emerging peer-to-peer economy. The popularity of these sites suggests people want to have a direct say in product development. Blockchains take this interest to the next level, potentially creating crowd-sourced venture capital funds.

In 2016, one such experiment, the Ethereum-based DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), raised an astonishing $200 million USD in just over two months. Participants purchased “DAO tokens” allowing them to vote on smart contract venture capital investments (voting power was proportionate to the number of DAO they were holding). A subsequent hack of project funds proved that the project was launched without proper due diligence, with disastrous consequences. Regardless, the DAO experiment suggests the blockchain has the potential to usher in “a new paradigm of economic cooperation.”

#4 Governance

By making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking. Ethereum-based smart contracts help to automate the process.

The app, Boardroom, enables organizational decision-making to happen on the blockchain. In practice, this means company governance becomes fully transparent and verifiable when managing digital assets, equity or information.

#5 Supply chain auditing

Consumers increasingly want to know that the ethical claims companies make about their products are real. Distributed ledgers provide an easy way to certify that the backstories of the things we buy are genuine. Transparency comes with blockchain-based timestamping of a date and location — on ethical diamonds, for instance — that corresponds to a product number.

The UK-based Provenance offers supply chain auditing for a range of consumer goods. Making use of the Ethereum blockchain, a Provenance pilot project ensures that fish sold in Sushi restaurants in Japan has been sustainably harvested by its suppliers in Indonesia.

#6 File storage

Decentralizing file storage on the internet brings clear benefits. Distributing data throughout the network protects files from getting hacked or lost.

Inter Planetary File System (IPFS) makes it easy to conceptualize how a distributed web might operate. Similar to the way a BitTorrent moves data around the internet, IPFS gets rid of the need for centralized client-server relationships (i.e., the current web). An internet made up of completely decentralized websites has the potential to speed up file transfer and streaming times. Such an improvement is not only convenient. It’s a necessary upgrade to the web’s currently overloaded content-delivery systems.

#7 Prediction markets

The crowdsourcing of predictions on event probability is proven to have a high degree of accuracy. Averaging opinions cancels out the unexamined biases that distort judgment. Prediction markets that payout according to event outcomes are already active. Blockchains are a “wisdom of the crowd” technology that will no doubt find other applications in the years to come.

The prediction market application Augur makes share offerings on the outcome of real-world events. Participants can earn money by buying into the correct prediction. The more shares purchased in the correct outcome, the higher the payout will be. With a small commitment of funds (less than a dollar), anyone can ask a question, create a market based on a predicted outcome, and collect half of all transaction fees the market generates.

#8 Protection of intellectual property

As is well known, digital information can be infinitely reproduced — and distributed widely thanks to the internet. This has given web users globally a goldmine of free content. However, copyright holders have not been so lucky, losing control over their intellectual property and suffering financially as a consequence. Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative works online, eliminating the risk of file copying and redistribution.

Mycelia uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer music distribution system. Founded by the UK singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, Mycelia enables musicians to sell songs directly to audiences, as well as license samples to producers and divvy up royalties to songwriters and musicians — all of these functions being automated by smart contracts. The capacity of blockchains to issue payments in fractional cryptocurrency amounts (micropayments) suggests this use case for the blockchain has a strong chance of success.

#9 Internet of Things (IoT)

What is the IoT? The network-controlled management of certain types of electronic devices — for instance, the monitoring of air temperature in a storage facility. Smart contracts make the automation of remote systems management possible. A combination of software, sensors, and the network facilitates an exchange of data between objects and mechanisms. The result increases system efficiency and improves cost monitoring.

The biggest players in manufacturing, tech and telecommunications are all vying for IoT dominance. Think Samsung, IBM and AT&T. A natural extension of existing infrastructure controlled by incumbents, IoT applications will run the gamut from predictive maintenance of mechanical parts to data analytics, and mass-scale automated systems management.

#10 Neighbourhood Microgrids

Blockchain technology enables the buying and selling of the renewable energy generated by neighborhood microgrids. When solar panels make excess energy, Ethereum-based smart contracts automatically redistribute it. Similar types of smart contract automation will have many other applications as the IoT becomes a reality.

Located in Brooklyn, Consensys is one of the foremost companies globally that is developing a range of applications for Ethereum. One project they are partnering on is Transactive Grid, working with the distributed energy outfit, LO3. A prototype project currently up and running uses Ethereum smart contracts to automate the monitoring and redistribution of microgrid energy. This so-called “intelligent grid” is an early example of IoT functionality.

#11 Identity management

There is a definite need for better identity management on the web. The ability to verify your identity is the lynchpin of financial transactions that happen online. However, remedies for the security risks that come with web commerce are imperfect at best. Distributed ledgers offer enhanced methods for proving who you are, along with the possibility to digitize personal documents. Having a secure identity will also be important for online interactions — for instance, in the sharing economy. A good reputation, after all, is the most important condition for conducting transactions online.

Developing digital identity standards is proving to be a highly complex process. Technical challenges aside, a universal online identity solution requires cooperation between private entities and government. Add to that the need to navigate legal systems in different countries and the problem becomes exponentially difficult. E-Commerce on the internet currently relies on the SSL certificate (the little green lock) for secure transactions on the web. Netki is a startup that aspires to create an SSL standard for the blockchain. Having recently announced a $3.5 million seed round, Netki expects a product launch in early 2017.

#12 AML and KYC

Anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) practices have a strong potential for being adapted to the blockchain. Currently, financial institutions must perform a labour intensive multi-step process for each new customer. KYC costs could be reduced through cross-institution client verification, and at the same time increase monitoring and analysis effectiveness.

Startup Polycoin has an AML/KYC solution that involves analysing transactions. Those transactions identified as being suspicious are forwarded on to compliance officers. Another startup Tradle is developing an application called Trust in Motion (TiM). Characterized as an “Instagram for KYC”, TiM allows customers to take a snapshot of key documents (passport, utility bill, etc.). Once verified by the bank, this data is cryptographically stored on the blockchain.

#13 Data management

Today, in exchange for their personal data people can use social media platforms like Facebook for free. In future, users will have the ability to manage and sell the data their online activity generates. Because it can be easily distributed in small fractional amounts, Bitcoin — or something like it — will most likely be the currency that gets used for this type of transaction.

The MIT project Enigma understands that user privacy is the key precondition for creating of a personal data marketplace. Enigma uses cryptographic techniques to allow individual data sets to be split between nodes, and at the same time run bulk computations over the data group as a whole. Fragmenting the data also makes Enigma scalable (unlike those blockchain solutions where data gets replicated on every node). A Beta launch is promised within the next six months.

#14 Land title registration

As Publicly-accessible ledgers, blockchains can make all kinds of record-keeping more efficient. Property titles are a case in point. They tend to be susceptible to fraud, as well as costly and labour intensive to administer.

A number of countries are undertaking blockchain-based land registry projects. Honduras was the first government to announce such an initiative in 2015, although the current status of that project is unclear. This year, the Republic of Georgia cemented a deal with the Bitfury Group to develop a blockchain system for property titles. Reportedly, Hernando de Soto, the high-profile economist and property rights advocate, will be advising on the project. Most recently, Sweden announced it was experimenting with a blockchain application for property titles.

#15 Stock trading

The potential for added efficiency in share settlement makes a strong use case for blockchains in stock trading. When executed peer-to-peer, trade confirmations become almost instantaneous (as opposed to taking three days for clearance). Potentially, this means intermediaries — such as the clearing house, auditors and custodians — get removed from the process.

Numerous stock and commodities exchanges are prototyping blockchain applications for the services they offer, including the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange), the Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt’s stock exchange) and the JPX (Japan Exchange Group). Most high profile because the acknowledged first mover in the area, is the Nasdaq’s Linq, a platform for private market trading (typically between pre-IPO startups and investors). A partnership with the blockchain tech company Chain, Linq announced the completion of it its first share trade in 2015. More recently, Nasdaq announced the development of a trial blockchain project for proxy voting on the Estonian Stock Market.

Ian Khan, TEDx SpeakerAs revolutionary as it sounds, Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved. Above anything else, the most critical area where Blockchain helps is to guarantee the validity of a transaction by recording it not only on a main register but a connected distributed system of registers, all of which are connected through a secure validation mechanism.” – Ian Khan, TEDx Speaker | Author | Technology Futurist

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/

Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain… So what does it all mean?

Some of the noise is hype, but some of it points to important forces in the financial services industry. To help you make sense of it, we’ve pulled together content explaining why a lot of industry observers are paying close attention.

Let’s start with some quick definitions. Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.

A look at blockchain technology

What is it?

The blockchain is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority. Potential applications can include fund transfers, settling trades, voting and many other issues.

blockchain how it works
blockchain cyrptocurrency
blockchain benefits

 

Blockchain also has potential applications far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is, quite simply, a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the internet without the need for a centralized third party.

From a business perspective, it’s helpful to think of blockchain technology as a type of next-generation business process improvement software. Collaborative technology, such as blockchain, promises the ability to improve the business processes that occur between companies, radically lowering the “cost of trust.” For this reason, it may offer significantly higher returns for each investment dollar spent than most traditional internal investments.

Financial institutions are exploring how they could also use blockchain technology to upend everything from clearing and settlement to insurance.

For an overview of cryptocurrency, start with “Money is no object.” This paper, from PwC’s Financial Services Institute, focuses on cryptocurrency. We explain where it came from, how much consumers know about it and use it, what it will take for the market to grow and what the regulators think. We also look at how market participants, such as investors, technology providers and financial institutions, will be affected.

For some quick background on blockchain, take a look at our Top Trends in Financial Services page on Blockchain, where we discuss some of the ways FS firms are using blockchain, and how we expect the blockchain technology to develop in the future.

For a deeper dive into blockchain’s implications, read “A strategist’s guide to blockchain.” This article, from strategy+business, examines the potential benefits of this important innovation—and also suggests a way forward for financial institutions. Put simply, proceed deliberately. Explore how others might try to disrupt your business with blockchain technology and how your company could use it to leap ahead instead. In all cases, link your investments to your value proposition and give your business partners and your customers what they want most: speed, convenience and control over their transactions.

For a peek into the application of blockchains for smart contracts, check out “Blockchain and smart contract automation”. This short series of articles explore how blockchains, both public and private, have triggered a global hunt for ways to remove friction from transaction-related processes, including the process of reaching contractual agreements. Learn about the precursors, challenges and future outlook of implementing smart contracts. We also chat with Gideon Greenspan of Coin Sciences to learn about his views on the legal ramifications of public blockchains and why companies are seeking alternatives.

When a technology moves so quickly, it’s dangerous to sit on the sidelines. We’re watching blockchain move from a startup idea to an established technology in a tiny fraction of the time it took for the internet or even the PC to be accepted as a standard tool. Blockchain technology could result in a radically different competitive future for the financial services industry. These articles will help you understand these changes—and what you should do about them.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/fintech/bitcoin-blockchain-cryptocurrency.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1287, July 10, 2019, Part 1: Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — U.S. Government Bankrupt Now! — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

Posted on July 12, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, Bank Fraud, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, City, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diet, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Exercise, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, Movies, National Interest, News, Obesity, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Senate, Social Security, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress

Streamed live on Jul 10, 2019

House Financial Services Committee holds hearing on “Monetary Policy & the State of the Economy.” Fed Chair Powell testifies. All eyes will be on Powell when he testifies before a House panel on monetary policy in the first of his 2-day semiannual testimony to Congress. Investors are looking to Powell for what to expect at the next policy meeting at the end of July. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is the leading business network on television, topping CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year. T he network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX, FBN has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London.

 

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Senate testimony on monetary policy – 07/11/2019

Streamed live on Jul 11, 2019

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Published on Sep 16, 2015

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Published on May 10, 2010

Huge budget deficits and record levels of national debt are getting a lot of attention, but this video explains that unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs are Americas real red-ink challenge. More important, this CF&P mini-documentary reveals that deficits and debt are symptoms of the real problem of an excessive burden of government spending. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

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Scott Adams’ Guide To Blockchain: The Technology That Will Change Everything

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How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

TED

Published on Sep 16, 2016

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

What is Blockchain

Published on Jun 9, 2016

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Blockchains: how can they be used?

19 Industries The Blockchain Will Disrupt

How the blockchain will radically transform the economy | Bettina Warburg

Blockchain is Eating Wall Street | Alex Tapscott | TEDxSanFrancisco

How to Use Blockchain to Create a Better Future | Brian Condenanza | TEDxHautLacSchool

Our Lives in a Blockchain-Powered Smart Economy | Eddy Travia | TEDxINSEAD

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The Value Revolution: How Blockchain Will Change Money & the World | Galia Benartzi | TEDxWhiteCity

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Why crypto regulation is doomed to fail | Marit Hansen | TEDxKielUniversity

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George Gilder: Forget Cloud Computing, Blockchain is the Future

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By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?

By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference in Washington on June 19. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

In signaling that the Federal Reserve is almost certain to cut interest rates at the end of this month, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell may have given President Trump what he wants.

But the central bank now looks more vulnerable to criticism that it is caving to political pressures that will only grow as the election cycle heats up.

Powell, in testimony to lawmakers Wednesday, essentially argued that heightened uncertainty, from trade tensions and slowing global economic growth, along with low inflation, was enough to justify a cut in interest rates.

Historically, the Fed has lowered rates to ward off recession or when it sees substantial risks of a downturn.

The U.S. economy expanded at a nearly 3% pace last year and, although it has slowed in recent months, the Fed and most private forecasters see growth continuing at a decent rate. The latest jobs report for June showed hiring remains strong, and Trump recently agreed to a ceasefire in the trade war with China, tenuous as it may be.For those reasons, Powell’s remarks Wednesday came as a pleasant surprise to financial markets. Stocks rose to record highs.

Lowering the rate by a quarter point later this month may help borrowers a little. The Fed’s main rate is a benchmark for credit cards, auto loans and other short-term consumer lending, but long-term rates such as mortgages already have dropped in anticipation of a Fed rate cut, meaning it’s unlikely to provide much of a boost to the housing market or the broader economy.

“We’ve already gotten 90% of the benefit; it’s already priced into the market,” said Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Investors are expecting at least one more quarter-point rate cut after July, and some even two. Powell and his colleagues at the Fed will have their hands full managing investors’ expectations on future rate reductions, so they don’t set themselves up for a sharp fall.

“The issue that the Fed is going to run into … is just like parenting,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “They can’t bend every time the markets throw a tantrum. At some point, you’ve got to put your foot down.”

Market expectations aside, Powell’s bigger challenge is likely to come from Trump. The president has been publicly hammering Powell to lower interest rates. Trump has criticized the Fed for raising rates four times last year, and no one thinks he will be satisfied if the Fed drops its benchmark rate by a quarter point on July 31, as it’s now expected to do.

Trump and his economic team have pressed the Fed to slash rates by a full point, and Trump isn’t likely to stop jawboning the Fed in the coming months.

Some economic experts say Trump already has succeeded in getting into the heads of Fed decision makers.

“Powell does seem to be going a little bit out of his way to reverse the rate hikes made last year,” said Chris Rupkey, managing director and chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. “The president’s like another active member of the Fed board in the room. I wouldn’t tell him no, would you?”

Rupkey and some other Fed watchers say Powell is moving a bit too early in readying rate cuts, especially with job growth still running very strong. Only a few months ago, the Fed’s stance on interest rates was to wait and see.

“Should they cut rates at this time? Absolutely not!” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook Group. “There is no economic justification to take that step now.

“For one, there is little to suggest this business cycle [is] struggling. The softness we see in some data points have little to do with economic fundamentals. The trade war with China and the havoc it has caused to global supply chain are the primary reasons those sectors have weakened.”

But other analysts argue that there’s good reason for the shift in the Fed’s posture. According to minutes from their last meeting in June, released Wednesday, Fed policymakers were feeling that the downside risks to the economy “had increased significantly over recent weeks.”

And in his testimony Wednesday to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said that since May, crosscurrents that seemed to moderate earlier in the year “have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty.” Among other concerns, he said, business spending, trade and manufacturing activity have slowed.

“The issue really is more now on the business side where we see business confidence and business investment weakening a bit,” he told lawmakers, adding that there’s rising risk as well to consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity. “Household confidence has remained high, but over time uncertainty can cause households to hold back as well.”

Powell, sensitive to the political pressures bearing on the Fed, took pains in his prepared remarks to defend the integrity of the central bank and the basis for its policymaking.

“Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data,” Powell said as he began his testimony.

Trump has reportedly considered firing Powell or demoting him, although it’s not clear whether the president has the legal authority to do so. Powell reiterated Wednesday that the law is on his side and that he intends to serve the full four-year term as Fed chair, which he assumed in February 2018.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have cautioned Trump against taking steps to remove Powell as Fed leader. And on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers sought to drive home that point.

“Mr. Chairman, if you got a call from the president today or tomorrow, and he said, ‘I’m firing you. Pack up. It’s time to go,’ what would you do?” asked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Financial Services Committee.

“Well, of course I would not do that,” Powell responded, to which Waters added, “I can’t hear you,” eliciting laughter.

But the president’s unusually persistent and heavy pressure on the Fed is anything but a laughing matter.

Alan Blinder, a Fed vice chairman in the mid-1990s, said the concern about the bank’s independence stemming from the president’s attacks was such that it could legitimately be a factor in a Fed decision not to raise rates.

Apart from the potential harm to its credibility, a more immediate risk for the Fed in cutting rates is that it could limit the central bank’s arsenal in fighting the next recession. The Fed’s main benchmark rate is less than 2.5%, low by historical standards.

In response to lawmakers’ questioning, Powell said the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China was a “constructive step” but that doesn’t really change the outlook.

“I would say that the bottom line for me is that the uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook.”

https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jerome-powell-interest-rates-20190710-story.html

July 10, 2019

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Chair Jerome H. Powell

Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

 

Chair Powell submitted identical remarks to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, on July 11, 2019.

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

Let me start by saying that my colleagues and I strongly support the goals of maximum employment and price stability that Congress has set for monetary policy. We are committed to providing clear explanations about our policies and activities. Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data. We appreciate that our independence brings with it an obligation for transparency so that you and the public can hold us accountable.

Today I will review the current economic situation and outlook before turning to monetary policy. I will also provide an update of our ongoing public review of our framework for setting monetary policy.

Current Economic Situation and Outlook 
The economy performed reasonably well over the first half of 2019, and the current expansion is now in its 11th year. However, inflation has been running below the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) symmetric 2 percent objective, and crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook.

The labor market remains healthy. Job gains averaged 172,000 per month from January through June. This number is lower than the average of 223,000 a month last year but above the pace needed to provide jobs for new workers entering the labor force. Consequently, the unemployment rate moved down from 3.9 percent in December to 3.7 percent in June, close to its lowest level in 50 years. Job openings remain plentiful, and employers are increasingly willing to hire workers with fewer skills and train them. As a result, the benefits of a strong job market have been more widely shared in recent years. Indeed, wage gains have been greater for lower-skilled workers. That said, individuals in some demographic groups and in certain parts of the country continue to face challenges. For example, unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics remain well above the rates for whites and Asians. Likewise, the share of the population with a job is higher in urban areas than in rural communities, and this gap widened over the past decade. A box in the July Monetary Policy Report provides a comparison of employment and wage gains over the current expansion for individuals with different levels of education.

Gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, similar to last year’s pace. This strong reading was driven largely by net exports and inventories—components that are not generally reliable indicators of ongoing momentum. The more reliable drivers of growth in the economy are consumer spending and business investment. While growth in consumer spending was weak in the first quarter, incoming data show that it has bounced back and is now running at a solid pace. However, growth in business investment seems to have slowed notably, and overall growth in the second quarter appears to have moderated. The slowdown in business fixed investment may reflect concerns about trade tensions and slower growth in the global economy. In addition, housing investment and manufacturing output declined in the first quarter and appear to have decreased again in the second quarter.

After running close to our 2 percent objective over much of last year, overall consumer price inflation, measured by the 12-month change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), declined earlier this year and stood at 1.5 percent in May. The 12-month change in core PCE inflation, which excludes food and energy prices and tends to be a better indicator of future inflation, has also come down this year and was 1.6 percent in May.

Our baseline outlook is for economic growth to remain solid, labor markets to stay strong, and inflation to move back up over time to the Committee’s 2 percent objective. However, uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months. In particular, economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies, and that weakness could affect the U.S. economy. Moreover, a number of government policy issues have yet to be resolved, including trade developments, the federal debt ceiling, and Brexit. And there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate. We are carefully monitoring these developments, and we will continue to assess their implications for the U.S economic outlook and inflation.

The nation also continues to confront important longer-run challenges. Labor force participation by those in their prime working years is now lower in the United States than in most other nations with comparable economies. As I mentioned, there are troubling labor market disparities across demographic groups and different parts of the country. The relative stagnation of middle and lower incomes and low levels of upward mobility for lower-income families are also ongoing concerns. In addition, finding ways to boost productivity growth, which leads to rising wages and living standards over the longer term, should remain a high national priority. And I remain concerned about the longer-term effects of high and rising federal debt, which can restrain private investment and, in turn, reduce productivity and overall economic growth. The longer-run vitality of the U.S. economy would benefit from efforts to address these issues.

Monetary Policy 
Against this backdrop, the FOMC maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 2‑1/4 to 2-1/2 percent in the first half of this year. At our January, March, and May meetings, we stated that we would be patient as we determined what future adjustments to the federal funds rate might be appropriate to support our goals of maximum employment and price stability.

At the time of our May meeting, we were mindful of the ongoing crosscurrents from global growth and trade, but there was tentative evidence that these crosscurrents were moderating. The latest data from China and Europe were encouraging, and there were reports of progress in trade negotiations with China. Our continued patient stance seemed appropriate, and the Committee saw no strong case for adjusting our policy rate.

Since our May meeting, however, these crosscurrents have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty. Apparent progress on trade turned to greater uncertainty, and our contacts in business and agriculture report heightened concerns over trade developments. Growth indicators from around the world have disappointed on net, raising concerns that weakness in the global economy will continue to affect the U.S. economy. These concerns may have contributed to the drop in business confidence in some recent surveys and may have started to show through to incoming data.

In our June meeting statement, we indicated that, in light of increased uncertainties about the economic outlook and muted inflation pressures, we would closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would act as appropriate to sustain the expansion. Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook. Inflation pressures remain muted.

The FOMC has made a number of important decisions this year about our framework for implementing monetary policy and our plans for completing the reduction of the Fed’s securities holdings. At our January meeting, we decided to continue to implement monetary policy using our current policy regime with ample reserves, and emphasized that we are prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments. At our March meeting, we communicated our intention to slow, starting in May, the decline in the Fed’s aggregate securities holdings and to end the reduction in these holdings in September. The July Monetary Policy Report provides details on these decisions.

The July Monetary Policy Report also includes an update on monetary policy rules. The FOMC routinely looks at monetary policy rules that recommend a level for the federal funds rate based on inflation and unemployment rates. I continue to find these rules helpful, although using these rules requires careful judgment.

We are conducting a public review of our monetary policy strategy, tools, and communications—the first review of its kind for the FOMC. Our motivation is to consider ways to improve the Committee’s current policy framework and to best position the Fed to achieve maximum employment and price stability. The review has started with outreach to and consultation with a broad range of people and groups through a series of Fed Listens events. The FOMC will consider questions related to the review at upcoming meetings. We will publicly report the outcome of our discussions.

Thank you. I am happy to respond to your questions.

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Last Update: July 10, 2019

Blockchain

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Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain.

blockchain,[1][2][3] originally block chain,[4][5] is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.[1][6] Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.[7] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault toleranceDecentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.[8]

Blockchain was invented by a person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.[1] The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has inspired other applications,[1][3] and blockchains that are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is considered a type of payment rail.[9] Private blockchains have been proposed for business use. Sources such as Computerworld called the marketing of such blockchains without a proper security model “snake oil“.[10]

Contents

History

Bitcoin transactions (January 2009 – September 2017)

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.[6][11] They wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. In 1992, Bayer, Haber and Stornetta incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.[6][12]

The first blockchain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design in an important way using a Hashcash-like method to add blocks to the chain without requiring them to be signed by a trusted party.[6] The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.[1]

In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20 GB (gigabytes).[13] In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30 GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50 GB to 100 GB in size.

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

Smart contracts that run on a blockchain, for example ones that “creat[e] invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives or share certificates that automatically send their owners dividends if profits reach a certain level.”[1] require an off-chain oracle to access any “external data or events based on time or market conditions [that need] to interact with the blockchain.”[14]

According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase.[15] Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In May 2018, Gartner found that only 1% of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations, and only 8% of CIOs were in the short-term ‘planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain’.[16]

Structure

A blockchain is a decentralizeddistributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.[1][17] This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively.[18] A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests.[19] Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. A blockchain has been described as a value-exchange protocol.[20] A blockchain can maintain title rights because, when properly set up to detail the exchange agreement, it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree.[1] Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain.[1] This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.[21]

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[21] Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially[22] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][23]:ch. 08[24] For example, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[25]

Block time

The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. In cryptocurrency, this is practically when the transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions. The block time for Ethereum is set to between 14 and 15 seconds, while for bitcoin it is 10 minutes.[citation needed]

Hard forks

hard fork is a rule change such that the software validating according to the old rules will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid. In case of a hard fork, all nodes meant to work in accordance with the new rules need to upgrade their software.

If one group of nodes continues to use the old software while the other nodes use the new software, a split can occur. For example, Ethereum has hard-forked to “make whole” the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code. In this case, the fork resulted in a split creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic chains. In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and some of the funds were recovered after negotiations and ransom payment. Alternatively, to prevent a permanent split, a majority of nodes using the new software may return to the old rules, as was the case of bitcoin split on 12 March 2013.[26]

Decentralization

By storing data across its peer-to-peer network, the blockchain eliminates a number of risks that come with data being held centrally.[1] The decentralized blockchain may use ad-hoc message passing and distributed networking.

Peer-to-peer blockchain networks lack centralized points of vulnerability that computer crackers can exploit; likewise, it has no central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or the means to otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]

Every node in a decentralized system has a copy of the blockchain. Data quality is maintained by massive database replication[8] and computational trust. No centralized “official” copy exists and no user is “trusted” more than any other.[4] Transactions are broadcast to the network using software. Messages are delivered on a best-effort basis. Mining nodes validate transactions,[21] add them to the block they are building, and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes.[23]:ch. 08 Blockchains use various time-stamping schemes, such as proof-of-work, to serialize changes.[27] Alternative consensus methods include proof-of-stake.[21] Growth of a decentralized blockchain is accompanied by the risk of centralization because the computer resources required to process larger amounts of data become more expensive.[28]

Openness

Open blockchains are more user-friendly than some traditional ownership records, which, while open to the public, still require physical access to view. Because all early blockchains were permissionless, controversy has arisen over the blockchain definition. An issue in this ongoing debate is whether a private system with verifiers tasked and authorized (permissioned) by a central authority should be considered a blockchain.[29][30][31][32][33] Proponents of permissioned or private chains argue that the term “blockchain” may be applied to any data structure that batches data into time-stamped blocks. These blockchains serve as a distributed version of multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) in databases.[34] Just as MVCC prevents two transactions from concurrently modifying a single object in a database, blockchains prevent two transactions from spending the same single output in a blockchain.[35]:30–31 Opponents say that permissioned systems resemble traditional corporate databases, not supporting decentralized data verification, and that such systems are not hardened against operator tampering and revision.[29][31] Nikolai Hampton of Computerworld said that “many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases,” and “without a clear security model, proprietary blockchains should be eyed with suspicion.”[10][36]

Permissionless

The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed.[22] This means that applications can be added to the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.[22]

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries to include a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles. While Hashcash was designed in 1997 by Adam Back, the original idea was first proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and Eli Ponyatovski in their 1992 paper “Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail”.

Financial companies have not prioritised decentralized blockchains.[citation needed]

In 2016, venture capital investment for blockchain-related projects was weakening in the USA but increasing in China.[37] Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies use open (public) blockchains. As of April 2018, bitcoin has the highest market capitalization.

Permissioned (private) blockchain

Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[38] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[citation needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of ‘consortium’ blockchains.[39][better source needed]

Disadvantages of private blockchain

Nikolai Hampton pointed out in Computerworld that “There is also no need for a ’51 percent’ attack on a private blockchain, as the private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100 percent of all block creation resources. If you could attack or damage the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, you could effectively control 100 percent of their network and alter transactions however you wished.”[10] This has a set of particularly profound adverse implications during a financial crisis or debt crisis like the financial crisis of 2007–08, where politically powerful actors may make decisions that favor some groups at the expense of others,[40][41] and “the bitcoin blockchain is protected by the massive group mining effort. It’s unlikely that any private blockchain will try to protect records using gigawatts of computing power — it’s time consuming and expensive.”[10] He also said, “Within a private blockchain there is also no ‘race’; there’s no incentive to use more power or discover blocks faster than competitors. This means that many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases.”[10]

Blockchain analysis

The analysis of public blockchains has become increasingly important with the popularity of bitcoinEthereumlitecoin and other cryptocurrencies.[42] A blockchain, if it is public, provides anyone who wants access to observe and analyse the chain data, given one has the know-how. The process of understanding and accessing the flow of crypto has been an issue for many cryptocurrencies, crypto-exchanges and banks.[43][44] The reason for this is accusations of blockchain enabled cryptocurrencies enabling illicit dark market trade of drugs, weapons, money laundering etc.[45] A common belief has been that cryptocurrency is private and untraceable, thus leading many actors to use it for illegal purposes. This is changing and now specialised tech-companies provide blockchain tracking services, making crypto exchanges, law-enforcement and banks more aware of what is happening with crypto funds and fiat crypto exchanges. The development, some argue, has led criminals to prioritise use of new cryptos such as Monero.[46][47][48] The question is about public accessibility of blockchain data and the personal privacy of the very same data. It is a key debate in cryptocurrency and ultimately in blockchain.[49]

Uses

Blockchain technology can be integrated into multiple areas. The primary use of blockchains today is as a distributed ledger for cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin. There are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016.[37] Businesses have been thus far reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.[50]

Cryptocurrencies

Most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to record transactions. For example, the bitcoin network and Ethereum network are both based on blockchain. On 8 May 2018 Facebook confirmed that it is opening a new blockchain group[51] which will be headed by David Marcus who previously was in charge of Messenger. According to The Verge Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency for facilitating payments on the platform.[52]

Smart contracts

Blockchain-based smart contracts are proposed contracts that could be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction.[53] One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. An IMF staff discussion reported that smart contracts based on blockchain technology might reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general. But “no viable smart contract systems have yet emerged.” Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.[54]

Financial services

Major portions of the financial industry are implementing distributed ledgers for use in banking,[55][56][57] and according to a September 2016 IBM study, this is occurring faster than expected.[58]

Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.[59]

Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.[60][61]

Berenberg, a German bank, believes that blockchain is an “overhyped technology” that has had a large number of “proofs of concept”, but still has major challenges, and very few success stories.[62]

Video games

A blockchain game CryptoKitties, launched in November 2017.[63] The game made headlines in December 2017 when a cryptokitty character – an in-game virtual pet – was sold for more than US$100,000.[64] CryptoKitties illustrated scalability problems for games on Ethereum when it created significant congestion on the Ethereum network with about 30% of all Ethereum transactions being for the game.[65]

Cryptokitties also demonstrated how blockchains can be used to catalog game assets (digital assets).[66]

Supply chain

There are a number of efforts and industry organizations working to employ blockchains in supply chain logistics and supply chain management.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) works to develop open standards for supply chains.[citation needed]

Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM’s blockchain-based tracking service.[67]

Walmart and IBM are running a trial to use a blockchain-backed system for supply chain monitoring — all nodes of the blockchain are administered by Walmart and are located on the IBM cloud.[68]

Hyperledger Grid develops open components for blockchain supply chain solutions.[69][70]

Other uses

Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users[71] or musicians.[72] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[73] Imogen Heap‘s Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative “that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians.”[74][75]

New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insuranceparametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[76][77] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[78] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[79][80]

Other designs include:

  • Hyperledger is a cross-industry collaborative effort from the Linux Foundation to support blockchain-based distributed ledgers, with projects under this initiative including Hyperledger Burrow (by Monax) and Hyperledger Fabric (spearheaded by IBM)[81]
  • Quorum – a permissionable private blockchain by JPMorgan Chase with private storage, used for contract applications[82]
  • Tezos, decentralized voting.[35]:94
  • Proof of Existence is an online service that verifies the existence of computer files as of a specific time[83]

Types

Currently, there are at least four types of blockchain networks — public blockchains, private blockchains, consortium blockchains and hybrid blockchains.

Public blockchains

A public blockchain has absolutely no access restrictions. Anyone with an Internet connection can send transactions to it as well as become a validator (i.e., participate in the execution of a consensus protocol).[84][self-published source?] Usually, such networks offer economic incentives for those who secure them and utilize some type of a Proof of Stake or Proof of Work algorithm.

Some of the largest, most known public blockchains are the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain.

Private blockchains

A private blockchain is permissioned.[38] One cannot join it unless invited by the network administrators. Participant and validator access is restricted.

This type of blockchains can be considered a middle-ground for companies that are interested in the blockchain technology in general but are not comfortable with a level of control offered by public networks. Typically, they seek to incorporate blockchain into their accounting and record-keeping procedures without sacrificing autonomy and running the risk of exposing sensitive data to the public internet.[citation needed]

Hybrid blockchains

A hybrid blockchain[85] simply explained is a combination between different characteristics both public and private blockchains have by design. It allows to determine what information stays private and what information is made public. Further decentralization in relation to primarily centralized private blockchains can be achieved in various ways. Instead of keeping transactions inside their own network of community run or private nodes, the hash (with or without payload) can be posted on completely decentralized blockchains such as bitcoin. Dragonchain uses Interchain[86] to host transactions on other blockchains. This allows users to operate on different blockchains, where they can selectively share data or business logic. Other blockchains like Wanchain use interoperability mechanisms such as bridges.[87][88] By submitting the hash of a transaction (with or without the sensitive business logic) on public blockchains like bitcoin or Ethereum, some of the privacy and blockchain concerns are resolved, as no personal identifiable information is stored on a public blockchain. Depending on the hybrid blockchain its architecture, multicloud solutions allow to store data in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation and other geographical limitations while also leveraging bitcoin’s global hashpower to decentralize transactions.

Academic research

Blockchain panel discussion at the first IEEE Computer Society TechIgnite conference

In October 2014, the MIT Bitcoin Club, with funding from MIT alumni, provided undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology access to $100 of bitcoin. The adoption rates, as studied by Catalini and Tucker (2016), revealed that when people who typically adopt technologies early are given delayed access, they tend to reject the technology.[89]

Energy use of proof-of-work blockchains

External video
 Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hypeHyun Song ShinBank for International Settlements, 2:48[90]
 Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies: Burn It With Fire, Nicholas Weaver, Berkeley School of Information, 49:47, lecture begins at 3:05[91]

The Bank for International Settlements has criticized the public proof-of-work blockchains for high energy consumption.[92][90][93]

Nicholas Weaver, of the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley examines blockchain’s online security, and the energy efficiency of proof-of-work public blockchains, and in both cases finds it grossly inadequate.[91][94]

Journals

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[95] The journal covers aspects of mathematicscomputer scienceengineeringlaweconomics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[96][97]

The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which will then be timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.[98]

See also

References …

Further reading

  •  Media related to Blockchain at Wikimedia Commons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Ameer Rosic

3 years ago
Was ist Blockchain-Technologie

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

[Updated – Mar 01 2019]

Is Blockchain Technology the New Internet?

The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain?

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currencyBitcoin, (Buy Bitcoin) the tech community has now found other potential uses for the technology.

In thisguide, we are going to explain to you what the blockchain technology is, and what its properties are that make it so unique. So, we hope you enjoy this, What Is Blockchain Guide. And if you already know what blockchain is and want to become a blockchain developer please check out our in-depth blockchain tutorial and create your very first blockchain.

What is Blockchain Technology?

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016).

A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable record of data that is managed by cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

So, what is so special about it and why are we saying that it has industry disrupting capabilities?

The blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratized system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions.

Blockchain Explained

A blockchain carries no transaction cost. (An infrastructure cost yes, but no transaction cost.) The blockchain is a simple yet ingenious way of passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction initiates the process by creating a block. This block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of computers distributed around the net. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history. Falsifying a single record would mean falsifying the entire chain in millions of instances. That is virtually impossible. Bitcoin uses this model for monetary transactions, but it can be deployed in many others ways.

Blockchain is the most disruptive invention since the Internet itself

Think of a railway company. We buy tickets on an app or the web. The credit card company takes a cut for processing the transaction. With blockchain, not only can the railway operator save on credit card processing fees, it can move the entire ticketing process to the blockchain. The two parties in the transaction are the railway company and the passenger. The ticket is a block, which will be added to a ticket blockchain. Just as a monetary transaction on blockchain is a unique, independently verifiable and unfalsifiable record (like Bitcoin), so can your ticket be. Incidentally, the final ticket blockchain is also a record of all transactions for, say, a certain train route, or even the entire train network, comprising every ticket ever sold, every journey ever taken.

But the key here is this: it’s free. Not only can the blockchain transfer and store money, but it can also replace all processes and business models which rely on charging a small fee for a transaction. Or any other transaction between two parties.

Here is another example. The gig economy hub Fivver charges 0.5 dollars on a 5 transaction between individuals buying and selling services. Using blockchain technology the transaction is free. Ergo, Fivver will cease to exist. So will auction houses and any other business entity based on the market-maker principle.

Even recent entrants like Uber and AirBnB are threatened by blockchain technology. All you need to do is encode the transactional information for a car ride or an overnight stay, and again you have a perfectly safe way that disrupts the business model of the companies which have just begun to challenge the traditional economy. We are not just cutting out the fee-processing middle man, we are also eliminating the need for the match-making platform.

Because blockchain transactions are free, you can charge minuscule amounts, say 1/100 of a cent for a video view or article read. Why should I pay The Economist or National Geographic an annual subscription fee if I can pay per article on Facebook or my favorite chat app. Again, remember that blockchain transactions carry no transaction cost. You can charge for anything in any amount without worrying about third parties cutting into your profits.

Blockchain may make selling recorded music profitable again for artists by cutting out music companies and distributors like Apple or Spotify. The music you buy could even be encoded in the blockchain itself, making it a cloud archive for any song purchased. Because the amounts charged can be so small, subscription and streaming services will become irrelevant.

It goes further. Ebooks could be fitted with blockchain code. Instead of Amazon taking a cut, and the credit card company earning money on the sale, the books would circulate in encoded form and a successful blockchain transaction would transfer money to the author and unlock the book. Transfer ALL the money to the author, not just meager royalties. You could do this on a book review website like Goodreads, or on your own website. The marketplace Amazon is then unnecessary. Successful iterations could even include reviews and other third-party information about the book.

In the financial world the applications are more obvious and the revolutionary changes more imminent. Blockchains will change the way stock exchanges work, loans are bundled, and insurances contracted. They will eliminate bank accounts and practically all services offered by banks. Almost every financial institution will go bankrupt or be forced to change fundamentally, once the advantages of a safe ledger without transaction fees is widely understood and implemented. After all, the financial system is built on taking a small cut of your money for the privilege of facilitating a transaction. Bankers will become mere advisers, not gatekeepers of money. Stockbrokers will no longer be able to earn commissions and the buy/sell spread will disappear.

How Does Blockchain Work?

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.

To go in deeper with the Google spreadsheet analogy, I would like you to read this piece from a blockchain specialist.


What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The traditional way of sharing documents with collaboration is to send a Microsoft Word document to another recipient, and ask them to make revisions to it. The problem with that scenario is that you need to wait until receiving a return copy before you can see or make other changes because you are locked out of editing it until the other person is done with it. That’s how databases work today. Two owners can’t be messing with the same record at once.That’s how banks maintain money balances and transfers; they briefly lock access (or decrease the balance) while they make a transfer, then update the other side, then re-open access (or update again).With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them. It is like a shared ledger, but it is a shared document. The distributed part comes into play when sharing involves a number of people.

Imagine the number of legal documents that should be used that way. Instead of passing them to each other, losing track of versions, and not being in sync with the other version, why can’t *all* business documents become shared instead of transferred back and forth? So many types of legal contracts would be ideal for that kind of workflow. You don’t need a blockchain to share documents, but the shared documents analogy is a powerful one.” – William Mougayar, Venture advisor, 4x entrepreneur, marketer, strategist and blockchain specialist

The reason why the blockchain has gained so much admiration is that:

  • It is not owned by a single entity, hence it is decentralized
  • The data is cryptographically stored inside
  • The blockchain is immutable, so no one can tamper with the data that is inside the blockchain
  • The blockchain is transparent so one can track the data if they want to

The Three Pillars of Blockchain Technology

The three main properties of Blockchain Technology which has helped it gain widespread acclaim are as follows:

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Immutability

Pillar #1: Decentralization

Before Bitcoin and BitTorrent came along, we were more used to centralized services. The idea is very simple. You have a centralized entity which stored all the data and you’d have to interact solely with this entity to get whatever information you required.

Another example of a centralized system is banks. They store all your money, and the only way that you can pay someone is by going through the bank.

The traditional client-server model is a perfect example of this:

What is Blockchain

When you google search for something, you send a query to the server who then gets back at you with the relevant information. That is simple client-server.

Now, centralized systems have treated us well for many years, however, they have several vulnerabilities.

  • Firstly, because they are centralized, all the data is stored in one spot. This makes them easy target spots for potential hackers.
  • If the centralized system were to go through a software upgrade, it would halt the entire system
  • What if the centralized entity somehow shut down for whatever reason? That way nobody will be able to access the information that it possesses
  • Worst case scenario, what if this entity gets corrupted and malicious? If that happens then all the data that is inside the blockchain will be compromised.

So, what happens if we just take this centralized entity away?

In a decentralized system, the information is not stored by one single entity. In fact, everyone in the network owns the information.

In a decentralized network, if you wanted to interact with your friend then you can do so directly without going through a third party. That was the main ideology behind Bitcoins. You and only you alone are in charge of your money. You can send your money to anyone you want without having to go through a bank.

blockchain

Pillar #2: Transparency

One of the most interesting and misunderstood concepts in blockchain technology is “transparency.” Some people say that blockchain gives you privacy while some say that it is transparent. Why do you think that happens?

Well… a person’s identity is hidden via complex cryptography and represented only by their public address. So, if you were to look up a person’s transaction history, you will not see “Bob sent 1 BTC” instead you will see “1MF1bhsFLkBzzz9vpFYEmvwT2TbyCt7NZJ sent 1 BTC”.

The following snapshot of Ethereum transactions will show you what we mean:

Ethereum transactions

So, while the person’s real identity is secure, you will still see all the transactions that were done by their public address. This level of transparency has never existed before within a financial system. It adds that extra, and much needed, level of accountability which is required by some of these biggest institutions.

Speaking purely from the point of view of cryptocurrency, if you know the public address of one of these big companies, you can simply pop it in an explorer and look at all the transactions that they have engaged in. This forces them to be honest, something that they have never had to deal with before.

However, that’s not the best use-case. We are pretty sure that most of these companies won’t transact using cryptocurrencies, and even if they do, they won’t do ALL their transactions using cryptocurrencies. However, what if the blockchain technology was integrated…say in their supply chain?

You can see why something like this can be very helpful for the finance industry right?

Pillar #3: Immutability

Immutability, in the context of the blockchain, means that once something has been entered into the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with.

Can you imagine how valuable this will be for financial institutes?

Imagine how many embezzlement cases can be nipped in the bud if people know that they can’t “work the books” and fiddle around with company accounts.

The reason why the blockchain gets this property is that of cryptographic hash function.

In simple terms, hashing means taking an input string of any length and giving out an output of a fixed length. In the context of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the transactions are taken as an input and run through a hashing algorithm (bitcoin uses SHA-256) which gives an output of a fixed length.

Let’s see how the hashing process works. We are going to put in certain inputs. For this exercise, we are going to use the SHA-256 (Secure Hashing Algorithm 256).

hashing

As you can see, in the case of SHA-256, no matter how big or small your input is, the output will always have a fixed 256-bits length. This becomes critical when you are dealing with a huge amount of data and transactions. So basically, instead of remembering the input data which could be huge, you can just remember the hash and keep track.

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash functions which has various properties making it ideal for cryptography. There are certain properties that a cryptographic hash function needs to have in order to be considered secure. You can read about those in detail in our guide on hashing.

There is just one property that we want you to focus on today. It is called the “Avalanche Effect.”

What does that mean?

Even if you make a small change in your input, the changes that will be reflected in the hash will be huge. Let’s test it out using SHA-256:

blockchain hashing

You see that? Even though you just changed the case of the first alphabet of the input, look at how much that has affected the output hash. Now, let’s go back to our previous point when we were looking at blockchain architecture. What we said was:

The blockchain is a linked list which contains data and a hash pointer which points to its previous block, hence creating the chain. What is a hash pointer? A hash pointer is similar to a pointer, but instead of just containing the address of the previous block it also contains the hash of the data inside the previous block.

This one small tweak is what makes blockchains so amazingly reliable and trailblazing.

Imagine this for a second, a hacker attacks block 3 and tries to change the data. Because of the properties of hash functions, a slight change in data will change the hash drastically. This means that any slight changes made in block 3, will change the hash which is stored in block 2, now that in turn will change the data and the hash of block 2 which will result in changes in block 1 and so on and so forth. This will completely change the chain, which is impossible. This is exactly how blockchains attain immutability.

Maintaining the Blockchain – Network and Nodes

The blockchain is maintained by a peer-to-peer network. The network is a collection of nodes which are interconnected to one another. Nodes are individual computers which take in input and performs a function on them and gives an output. The blockchain uses a special kind of network called “peer-to-peer network” which partitions its entire workload between participants, who are all equally privileged, called “peers”. There is no longer one central server, now there are several distributed and decentralized peers.

Why do people use the peer-to-peer network?

One of the main uses of the peer-to-peer network is file sharing, also called torrenting. If you are to use a client-server model for downloading, then it is usually extremely slow and entirely dependent on the health of the server. Plus, like we said, it is prone to censorship.

However, in a peer-to-peer system, there is no central authority, and hence if even one of the peers in the network goes out of the race, you still have more peers to download from. Plus, it is not subject to the idealistic standards of a central system, hence it is not prone to censorship.

If we were to compare the two:

Image courtesy: Quora

The decentralized nature of a peer-to-peer system becomes critical as we move on to the next section. How critical? Well, the simple (at least on paper) idea of combining this peer-to-peer network with a payment system has completely revolutionized the finance industry by giving birth to cryptocurrency.

The use of networks and nodes in cryptocurrencies.

The peer-to-peer network structure in cryptocurrencies is structured according to the consensus mechanism that they are utilizing. For cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum which uses a normal proof-of-work consensus mechanism (Ethereum will eventually move on to Proof of Stake), all the nodes have the same privilege. The idea is to create an egalitarian network. The nodes are not given any special privileges, however, their functions and degree of participation may differ. There is no centralized server/entity, nor is there any hierarchy. It is a flat topology.

These decentralized cryptocurrencies are structured like that is because of a simple reason, to stay true to their philosophy. The idea is to have a currency system, where everyone is treated as an equal and there is no governing body, which can determine the value of the currency based on a whim. This is true for both bitcoin and Ethereum.

Now, if there is no central system, how would everyone in the system get to know that a certain transaction has happened? The network follows the gossip protocol. Think of how gossip spreads. Suppose Alice sent 3 ETH to Bob. The nodes nearest to her will get to know of this, and then they will tell the nodes closest to them, and then they will tell their neighbors, and this will keep on spreading out until everyone knows. Nodes are basically your nosy, annoying relatives.

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand
So, what is a node in the context of Ethereum? A node is simply a computer that participates in the Ethereum network. This participation can be in three ways

  • By keeping a shallow-copy of the blockchain aka a Light Client
  • By keeping a full-copy of the blockchain aka a Full Node
  • By verifying the transactions aka Mining

 

However, the problem with this design is that it is not really that scalable. Which is why, a lot of new generation cryptocurrencies adopt a leader-based consensus mechanism. In EOS, Cardano, Neo etc. the nodes elect leader nodes or “super nodes” who are in charge of the consensus and overall network health. These cryptos are a lot faster but they are not the most decentralized of systems.

So, in a way, cryptos have to make the trade-off between speed and decentralization.

Who Will Use The Blockchain?

As web infrastructure, you don’t need to know about the blockchain for it to be useful in your life.

Currently, finance offers the strongest use cases for the technology. International remittances, for instance. The World Bank estimates that over $430 billion US in money transfers were sent in 2015. And at the moment there is a high demand for blockchain developers.

The blockchain potentially cuts out the middleman for these types of transactions. Personal computing became accessible to the general public with the invention of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which took the form of a “desktop”. Similarly, the most common GUI devised for the blockchain are the so-called “wallet” applications, which people use to buy things with Bitcoin, and store it along with other cryptocurrencies.

Transactions online are closely connected to the processes of identity verification. It is easy to imagine that wallet apps will transform in the coming years to include other types of identity management.

What is Blockchain? And What New Applications Will It Bring Us?

The blockchain gives internet users the ability to create value and authenticates digital information. What new business applications will result from this?

#1 Smart contracts

Distributed ledgers enable the coding of simple contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met. Ethereum is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize this possibility. Still, in its early stages, Ethereum has the potential to leverage the usefulness of blockchains on a truly world-changing scale.

At the technology’s current level of development, smart contracts can be programmed to perform simple functions. For instance, a derivative could be paid out when a financial instrument meets certain benchmark, with the use of blockchain technology and Bitcoin enabling the payout to be automated.

#2 The sharing economy

With companies like Uber and Airbnb flourishing, the sharing economy is already a proven success. Currently, however, users who want to hail a ride-sharing service have to rely on an intermediary like Uber. By enabling peer-to-peer payments, the blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between parties — a truly decentralized sharing economy results.

An early example, OpenBazaar uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer eBay. Download the app onto your computing device, and you can transact with OpenBazzar vendors without paying transaction fees. The “no rules” ethos of the protocol means that personal reputation will be even more important to business interactions than it currently is on eBay.

#3 Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding initiatives like Kickstarter and Gofundme are doing the advance work for the emerging peer-to-peer economy. The popularity of these sites suggests people want to have a direct say in product development. Blockchains take this interest to the next level, potentially creating crowd-sourced venture capital funds.

In 2016, one such experiment, the Ethereum-based DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), raised an astonishing $200 million USD in just over two months. Participants purchased “DAO tokens” allowing them to vote on smart contract venture capital investments (voting power was proportionate to the number of DAO they were holding). A subsequent hack of project funds proved that the project was launched without proper due diligence, with disastrous consequences. Regardless, the DAO experiment suggests the blockchain has the potential to usher in “a new paradigm of economic cooperation.”

#4 Governance

By making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking. Ethereum-based smart contracts help to automate the process.

The app, Boardroom, enables organizational decision-making to happen on the blockchain. In practice, this means company governance becomes fully transparent and verifiable when managing digital assets, equity or information.

#5 Supply chain auditing

Consumers increasingly want to know that the ethical claims companies make about their products are real. Distributed ledgers provide an easy way to certify that the backstories of the things we buy are genuine. Transparency comes with blockchain-based timestamping of a date and location — on ethical diamonds, for instance — that corresponds to a product number.

The UK-based Provenance offers supply chain auditing for a range of consumer goods. Making use of the Ethereum blockchain, a Provenance pilot project ensures that fish sold in Sushi restaurants in Japan has been sustainably harvested by its suppliers in Indonesia.

#6 File storage

Decentralizing file storage on the internet brings clear benefits. Distributing data throughout the network protects files from getting hacked or lost.

Inter Planetary File System (IPFS) makes it easy to conceptualize how a distributed web might operate. Similar to the way a BitTorrent moves data around the internet, IPFS gets rid of the need for centralized client-server relationships (i.e., the current web). An internet made up of completely decentralized websites has the potential to speed up file transfer and streaming times. Such an improvement is not only convenient. It’s a necessary upgrade to the web’s currently overloaded content-delivery systems.

#7 Prediction markets

The crowdsourcing of predictions on event probability is proven to have a high degree of accuracy. Averaging opinions cancels out the unexamined biases that distort judgment. Prediction markets that payout according to event outcomes are already active. Blockchains are a “wisdom of the crowd” technology that will no doubt find other applications in the years to come.

The prediction market application Augur makes share offerings on the outcome of real-world events. Participants can earn money by buying into the correct prediction. The more shares purchased in the correct outcome, the higher the payout will be. With a small commitment of funds (less than a dollar), anyone can ask a question, create a market based on a predicted outcome, and collect half of all transaction fees the market generates.

#8 Protection of intellectual property

As is well known, digital information can be infinitely reproduced — and distributed widely thanks to the internet. This has given web users globally a goldmine of free content. However, copyright holders have not been so lucky, losing control over their intellectual property and suffering financially as a consequence. Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative works online, eliminating the risk of file copying and redistribution.

Mycelia uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer music distribution system. Founded by the UK singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, Mycelia enables musicians to sell songs directly to audiences, as well as license samples to producers and divvy up royalties to songwriters and musicians — all of these functions being automated by smart contracts. The capacity of blockchains to issue payments in fractional cryptocurrency amounts (micropayments) suggests this use case for the blockchain has a strong chance of success.

#9 Internet of Things (IoT)

What is the IoT? The network-controlled management of certain types of electronic devices — for instance, the monitoring of air temperature in a storage facility. Smart contracts make the automation of remote systems management possible. A combination of software, sensors, and the network facilitates an exchange of data between objects and mechanisms. The result increases system efficiency and improves cost monitoring.

The biggest players in manufacturing, tech and telecommunications are all vying for IoT dominance. Think Samsung, IBM and AT&T. A natural extension of existing infrastructure controlled by incumbents, IoT applications will run the gamut from predictive maintenance of mechanical parts to data analytics, and mass-scale automated systems management.

#10 Neighbourhood Microgrids

Blockchain technology enables the buying and selling of the renewable energy generated by neighborhood microgrids. When solar panels make excess energy, Ethereum-based smart contracts automatically redistribute it. Similar types of smart contract automation will have many other applications as the IoT becomes a reality.

Located in Brooklyn, Consensys is one of the foremost companies globally that is developing a range of applications for Ethereum. One project they are partnering on is Transactive Grid, working with the distributed energy outfit, LO3. A prototype project currently up and running uses Ethereum smart contracts to automate the monitoring and redistribution of microgrid energy. This so-called “intelligent grid” is an early example of IoT functionality.

#11 Identity management

There is a definite need for better identity management on the web. The ability to verify your identity is the lynchpin of financial transactions that happen online. However, remedies for the security risks that come with web commerce are imperfect at best. Distributed ledgers offer enhanced methods for proving who you are, along with the possibility to digitize personal documents. Having a secure identity will also be important for online interactions — for instance, in the sharing economy. A good reputation, after all, is the most important condition for conducting transactions online.

Developing digital identity standards is proving to be a highly complex process. Technical challenges aside, a universal online identity solution requires cooperation between private entities and government. Add to that the need to navigate legal systems in different countries and the problem becomes exponentially difficult. E-Commerce on the internet currently relies on the SSL certificate (the little green lock) for secure transactions on the web. Netki is a startup that aspires to create an SSL standard for the blockchain. Having recently announced a $3.5 million seed round, Netki expects a product launch in early 2017.

#12 AML and KYC

Anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) practices have a strong potential for being adapted to the blockchain. Currently, financial institutions must perform a labour intensive multi-step process for each new customer. KYC costs could be reduced through cross-institution client verification, and at the same time increase monitoring and analysis effectiveness.

Startup Polycoin has an AML/KYC solution that involves analysing transactions. Those transactions identified as being suspicious are forwarded on to compliance officers. Another startup Tradle is developing an application called Trust in Motion (TiM). Characterized as an “Instagram for KYC”, TiM allows customers to take a snapshot of key documents (passport, utility bill, etc.). Once verified by the bank, this data is cryptographically stored on the blockchain.

#13 Data management

Today, in exchange for their personal data people can use social media platforms like Facebook for free. In future, users will have the ability to manage and sell the data their online activity generates. Because it can be easily distributed in small fractional amounts, Bitcoin — or something like it — will most likely be the currency that gets used for this type of transaction.

The MIT project Enigma understands that user privacy is the key precondition for creating of a personal data marketplace. Enigma uses cryptographic techniques to allow individual data sets to be split between nodes, and at the same time run bulk computations over the data group as a whole. Fragmenting the data also makes Enigma scalable (unlike those blockchain solutions where data gets replicated on every node). A Beta launch is promised within the next six months.

#14 Land title registration

As Publicly-accessible ledgers, blockchains can make all kinds of record-keeping more efficient. Property titles are a case in point. They tend to be susceptible to fraud, as well as costly and labour intensive to administer.

A number of countries are undertaking blockchain-based land registry projects. Honduras was the first government to announce such an initiative in 2015, although the current status of that project is unclear. This year, the Republic of Georgia cemented a deal with the Bitfury Group to develop a blockchain system for property titles. Reportedly, Hernando de Soto, the high-profile economist and property rights advocate, will be advising on the project. Most recently, Sweden announced it was experimenting with a blockchain application for property titles.

#15 Stock trading

The potential for added efficiency in share settlement makes a strong use case for blockchains in stock trading. When executed peer-to-peer, trade confirmations become almost instantaneous (as opposed to taking three days for clearance). Potentially, this means intermediaries — such as the clearing house, auditors and custodians — get removed from the process.

Numerous stock and commodities exchanges are prototyping blockchain applications for the services they offer, including the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange), the Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt’s stock exchange) and the JPX (Japan Exchange Group). Most high profile because the acknowledged first mover in the area, is the Nasdaq’s Linq, a platform for private market trading (typically between pre-IPO startups and investors). A partnership with the blockchain tech company Chain, Linq announced the completion of it its first share trade in 2015. More recently, Nasdaq announced the development of a trial blockchain project for proxy voting on the Estonian Stock Market.

Ian Khan, TEDx SpeakerAs revolutionary as it sounds, Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved. Above anything else, the most critical area where Blockchain helps is to guarantee the validity of a transaction by recording it not only on a main register but a connected distributed system of registers, all of which are connected through a secure validation mechanism.” – Ian Khan, TEDx Speaker | Author | Technology Futurist

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/

Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain… So what does it all mean?

Some of the noise is hype, but some of it points to important forces in the financial services industry. To help you make sense of it, we’ve pulled together content explaining why a lot of industry observers are paying close attention.

Let’s start with some quick definitions. Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.

A look at blockchain technology

What is it?

The blockchain is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority. Potential applications can include fund transfers, settling trades, voting and many other issues.

blockchain how it works
blockchain cyrptocurrency
blockchain benefits

 

Blockchain also has potential applications far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is, quite simply, a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the internet without the need for a centralized third party.

From a business perspective, it’s helpful to think of blockchain technology as a type of next-generation business process improvement software. Collaborative technology, such as blockchain, promises the ability to improve the business processes that occur between companies, radically lowering the “cost of trust.” For this reason, it may offer significantly higher returns for each investment dollar spent than most traditional internal investments.

Financial institutions are exploring how they could also use blockchain technology to upend everything from clearing and settlement to insurance.

For an overview of cryptocurrency, start with “Money is no object.” This paper, from PwC’s Financial Services Institute, focuses on cryptocurrency. We explain where it came from, how much consumers know about it and use it, what it will take for the market to grow and what the regulators think. We also look at how market participants, such as investors, technology providers and financial institutions, will be affected.

For some quick background on blockchain, take a look at our Top Trends in Financial Services page on Blockchain, where we discuss some of the ways FS firms are using blockchain, and how we expect the blockchain technology to develop in the future.

For a deeper dive into blockchain’s implications, read “A strategist’s guide to blockchain.” This article, from strategy+business, examines the potential benefits of this important innovation—and also suggests a way forward for financial institutions. Put simply, proceed deliberately. Explore how others might try to disrupt your business with blockchain technology and how your company could use it to leap ahead instead. In all cases, link your investments to your value proposition and give your business partners and your customers what they want most: speed, convenience and control over their transactions.

For a peek into the application of blockchains for smart contracts, check out “Blockchain and smart contract automation”. This short series of articles explore how blockchains, both public and private, have triggered a global hunt for ways to remove friction from transaction-related processes, including the process of reaching contractual agreements. Learn about the precursors, challenges and future outlook of implementing smart contracts. We also chat with Gideon Greenspan of Coin Sciences to learn about his views on the legal ramifications of public blockchains and why companies are seeking alternatives.

When a technology moves so quickly, it’s dangerous to sit on the sidelines. We’re watching blockchain move from a startup idea to an established technology in a tiny fraction of the time it took for the internet or even the PC to be accepted as a standard tool. Blockchain technology could result in a radically different competitive future for the financial services industry. These articles will help you understand these changes—and what you should do about them.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/fintech/bitcoin-blockchain-cryptocurrency.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1282, June 27, 2019, Story 1: Radical Extremist Socialist Democrats (REDS) Pass The Torch — Burn Baby Burn Burn Biden Burn — Democrat Demolition Disco Debate — REDS Party Line: Government Single Payer Medicare (Socialized Medicine) For All Including 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Given Citizenship To Vote For Democrats! — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losing REDS Line — Never Vote For REDS If You Like Your Employer Provided Health Care,Want To Keep Your Babies Alive, Want A Job, Raise Your Standard of Living and Love Your Country — Staying Alive —  Born to Be Alive — Videos

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Story 1: Radical Extremist Socialist Democrats (REDS) Pass The Torch — Burn Baby Burn Burn  Biden Burn — Democrat Demolition Disco Debate — REDS Party Line: Government Single Payer Medicare (Socialized Medicine) For All Including 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Given Citizenship To Vote For Democrats! — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losing REDS Line — Never Vote For REDS If You Like Your Employer Provided Health Care,Want To Keep Your Babies Alive, Want A Job, Raise Your Standard of Living and Love Your Country — Staying Alive —  Born to Be Alive — Videos

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The Trammps – Disco Inferno

Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno

The Trammps

To my surprise, one hundred stories high
People getting loose y’all, getting down on the roof
Folks are screaming, out of control
It was so entertaining when the boogie started to explode
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
(Burnin’)
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down y’all
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
Up above my head
I hear music in the air
That makes me know
There’s a party somewhere
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
(Burnin’)
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
When my spark gets hot
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn)
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Leroy Green / Tyrone Kersey
Disco Inferno lyrics © Reservoir Media Management Inc

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Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive [Version 1] (Video)

Stayin’ Alive

Bee Gees

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
Since I was born
And now it’s alright, it’s okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either, I really try
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose
You know it’s alright, it’s okay
I’ll live to see another day
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm
I’ve been kicked around since I was born
And now it’s all right, it’s okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
Stayin’ Alive lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Bee Gees Stayin Alive (Extended Remaster)

Patrick Hernandez – Born to Be Alive – Official Video (Clip Officiel)

Patrick Hernandez Born to be alive

Born to Be Alive

Patrick Hernandez

We were born to be alive
We were born to be alive
Born, born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
People ask me why
I never find a place to stop
And settle down
Down
Down
But I never wanted all those things
People need to justify
Their lives
Lives
Lives
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
It’s good to be alive
To be alive
To be alive
It’s good to be alive
To be alive
To be alive
IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE!
Time was on my side
When I was running down the street
It was so fine
fine
fine
A suitcase and an old guitar
It’s all I need to occupy
A mind like mine
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Born born to be alive
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: P. HERNANDEZ
 Former Vice President Joe Biden
Some Joe Biden loyalists said they thought it was misleading of Sen. Kamala Harris to attack him on civil rights. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

2020 ELECTIONS

‘Her ambition got it wrong about Joe’: Harris faces debate backlash

Biden supporters lash out against Kamala Harris.

SAN FRANCISCO — Kamala Harris might be reveling in her sudden burst of attention after roasting Joe Biden over racial issues on the debate stage last week, but a backlash is already brewing.

Biden supporters and Democrats who have attended the former vice president’s events in the days after the first nationally televised debate, are describing Harris’ assault on Biden as an all-too-calculated overreach after she knocked him on his heels in a grilling over busing and his remarks on segregationist senators.

One major Biden supporter from California who declined to be named for publication said Harris’ direct attack on Biden was a mistake that would haunt her.

“It’s going to bite her in the ass,” the supporter noted. “Very early on there was buzz … Biden-Kamala is the dream ticket, the best of both worlds.’’

After this week, “That shit ain’t happening.”

The criticism of Harris over her rough treatment of Biden is among the first signs of backlash — including in her home state — against the California Democrat who had a breakout moment in the first presidential debate. It’s also a sign of the goodwill and loyalty that many still feel toward that the vice president, who has managed to keep many of his backers in his camp, even amid criticism of what was roundly viewed as a subpar debate performance. Indeed, sources say Biden walked away with a $1 million haul after two fundraisers in San Francisco alone this weekend.

“We can be proud of her nonetheless, but her ambition got it wrong about Joe,” said former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman to serve in the Senate who has endorsed Biden in the 2020 primary. “He is about the best there is; for her to take that tack is sad.”

Harris stunned Biden in the debate, knocking him back on his heels by noting his past “hurtful” efforts to work with segregationists and what she defined as his opposition to school busing. Harris’ emotional recounting of her own experience in the Berkeley school district as a child who was bused to more segregated schools — “that girl was me,’’ she said — became a defining debate moment, and bruised Biden’s status as the Democratic front-runner.

But one of Biden’s supporters called the attack by Harris “too cute by half” after her campaign tweeted out — and quickly began merchandising — a photo of Harris as a young girl. “Couldn’t they at least pretend that it was semi-organic?” the Biden supporter asked, referring to the planned nature of Harris’ debate night ambush.

Some Biden loyalists said they thought it was misleading of Harris to attack Biden on civil rights, given what they said was his lifelong advocacy on that front.

White, who is African American, said of the underlying segregationist issues Harris attacked: “I thought it was old news.”

Sam Johnson, a Columbia, S.C.-based public affairs consultant who represents many minority clients, accused Harris of “desperately overreaching.”

“I don’t think a lot of folks are saying, ‘well, there’s a lot of credibility of her going after Biden,’” said Johnson, who has not backed a 2020 candidate. “I don’t think it was received by the majority of folks as an attack that is going to move the needle. Most folks aren’t looking at that as something where, hey, ‘Biden was against civil rights carte blanche.’”

“It was planned, and it was staged and it was rehearsed — and they were ready to raise money on it,’’ another Bay Area Biden supporter said of Harris’ roundhouse punch.

But former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown — whose patronage of Harris helped put the then-Alameda County assistant district attorney on the political map in her early years — bridled at the suggestion that Harris may have muddled her political future with her attack on Biden. He told POLITICO that the vice president has no one to blame but himself for a lackluster and unprepared performance.

“They better hope she would accept [a VP nomination],’’ he said. “Otherwise, he’s a guaranteed loser.”

“At this point, she may be the only life raft he has,’’ he added, “because, as of this moment, he’s on the Titanic.”

Biden, in comments to supporters this weekend, appeared to acknowledge the possibility that his quest may not end in success — an unusual departure from the script of most presidential candidates who confidently toss off phrases like “as your next president.”

Speaking to about 150 backers in the bay-side Marin County community of Belvedere, Biden dismissed the idea that he was making a sacrifice to run for president, but said that he felt an obligation at a time when the country is at a crisis point with the Trump presidency.

“My family and I believe very strongly that you kind of have certain things fall in your wheelhouse,” he said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to win, doesn’t mean I’m the only person who can be a good president, I’m not saying that.”

He told two different audiences that civil rights is a lifelong “passion’’ and also made reference to his Democratic competitors. While never mentioning Harris by name, he appeared to address her sharp criticism about working with segregationists, pushing back at the notion that reaching across the aisle is an outdated notion.

“I know I’m criticized heavily by my qualified contenders who are running,” he said, “when I say, ‘folks, we’ve got to bring the country together.’”

“Some will say, ‘well, that’s old Joe, they’re the old days,’’ he said. “[But] if that’s the old days,’’ he told supporters, “we’re dead … that’s not hyperbole.”

Former San Francisco Supervisor Leslie Katz, who has known the former San Francisco district attorney for years and is a member of Harris’ finance committee, defended the senator’s approach.

“She was giving him a chance to address the issues that would plague him. … She was gracious, and she personalized it: She said she didn’t think he was a racist,’’ Katz said. “What stunned me was that he wasn’t prepared for that topic, and he needs to figure that out, sooner rather than later.”

Debbie Mesloh, a longtime Harris adviser, also defended Harris’ question to Biden as on the mark — and entirely fair. “She was ready, and she was bold, and she delivered,’’ she said. “She really showed what she can do.”

Harris, meanwhile, was met in her hometown of San Francisco like a conquering hero post-debate, facing a sea of ebullient supporters at a packed #LGBTQ fundraiser during San Francisco’s PRIDE weekend.

But after reveling in the moment, Harris also delivered a reality check about the long campaign still ahead.

“It will be tough. It will be excruciating. It’s going to be a long haul,’’ she told them.

“We’re going to have good weeks. We’re going to have bad weeks. It’s not going to be given to us … but we are going to be joyful about this,’’ she said. “As much success as we’ve had — there’s still much to do.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/30/kamala-harris-joe-biden-2020-1391212

Who Won the Democratic Debate, Night 2? Experts Weigh In

Senator Kamala Harris impressed campaign veterans across the board with her confrontation with Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
Senator Kamala Harris impressed campaign veterans across the board with her confrontation with Joseph R. Biden Jr.
CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

When the candidates took the stage in Miami on Thursday for the second night of Democratic primary debates, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders were the stars. By the time they walked off, all eyes were on Senator Kamala Harris.

Twitter is a bad gauge for public opinion, but a decent source for the assessments of professional observers, including some who know the stakes of debates best: veteran campaign strategists and consultants from both parties. Here is a sampling of responses from them, and from some activists and writers.

From beginning to end, Ms. Harris dominated the debate, starting with a pithy applause line — “America does not want a food fight; they want to know how we are going to put food on the table,” she said, as her rivals shouted over one another — and culminating with a deeply personal exchange in which she confronted Mr. Biden over his record on race and desegregation.

“She proved that she can go after a male opponent without suffering the gender stereotype of appearing overly aggressive or overly ambitious. She looked like a winner, plain & simple.” — Patti Solis Doyle, adviser to the 2008 Obama campaign

“Hell of an exchange on race between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If Kamala Harris becomes president, it will be because of this moment.” — Frank Luntz, Republican consultant and pollster

“Harris directly confronting Biden on busing/segregationists was historic, powerful, and unimaginable on a presidential stage until very recently, which is itself symptomatic of a world Biden is struggling to defend.” — Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York magazine

“Here are my #demdebate2 rankings: 1. Kamala.” — Zerlina Maxwell, senior director of progressive programming at SiriusXM

A debate watch party in Manhattan.
CreditSarah Blesener for The New York Times

[Mr. Biden is a fragile frontrunner, Ms. Harris has a chance to build momentum: What we learned from watching the debates.]

 

Pete Buttigieg received some tough questions, including one about a police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man in South Bend, Ind., where Mr. Buttigieg is mayor. He has been off the campaign trail for much of the week dealing with the crisis. But his response at the debate, when asked why the South Bend Police Department has not added more black officers during his time in office, impressed some strategists and activists.

“Because I couldn’t get it done,” he said, before adding: “I could walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community, all of the steps that we took, from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother’s eyes, I have to face the fact that nothing that I say will bring him back.”

“I can’t stop thinking about Pete Buttigieg’s answer to that question. It was completely unexpected. Vulnerable, honest, heartfelt, and not one bit of cowardice in it. It was a leader’s answer.” — Charlotte Clymer, spokeswoman for Human Rights Campaign

“Once again, he took responsibility for his failure as mayor to fully address the underlying issues. But he also spoke of the incident in very human terms; of the man who was killed, his family and the impact on his community.” — David Axelrod, former senior adviser to Barack Obama

“If anyone is teaching media training classes for how to speak in English about complicated topics on television—@PeteButtigieg is masterful at it. Never mentions bills, never mentions DC garbely gook.” — Jen Psaki, former spokeswoman for Mr. Obama

Early in the debate, Mr. Biden got some praise from analysts.

“Very smart for @JoeBiden to stick to who he is, what he stands for and not back away from it.” — Jen Psaki

But once he started tangling with Ms. Harris, things went downhill fast. There was little dispute that she came out of their exchanges victorious, and Mr. Biden bruised.

“There are very few candidates who are able to connect on an emotional and personal level with voters the way Joe Biden typically does. But in that exchange with Harris, when she looked at him and gave an intensely personal anecdote, he fell far short of doing so.” — Mo Elleithee, executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service

Pete Buttigieg, Mr. Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders during a commercial break on Thursday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesI
Pete Buttigieg, Mr. Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders during a commercial break on Thursday.
CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“If you are the Biden folks tonight, you have two hopes: 1. The poor reviews convince your principal he needs to listen and come to next debate better prepared. 2. Next round of polls don’t register a huge drop, and you can try to act like Harris’s knock-out was a Twitter phenomenon.” — Brian Fallon, former aide to Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer

“Later debates could be more important. But this debate won’t help Biden.” — Laura Belin, Iowa political commentator

[Read more about Mr. Biden’s night.]

Mr. Sanders is one of the highest-polling candidates in the race, with one of the most committed followings. But on Thursday, he struggled to command attention.

“It’s amazing to me how little a factor (outside of the first few minutes) Bernie has been in this debate.” — Mo Elleithee

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand didn’t make as much of a mark as Ms. Harris or Mr. Buttigieg, but she did get good reviews.

“@SenGillibrand is excellent at explaining her evolution from her previous positions — she says she was wrong, she listened, she learned, she changed. That’s what we need to hear from Joe Biden tonight.” — Jess McIntosh, executive editor of Shareblue Media

“Kirsten at her best. Prepared. Committed. Clear.” — Ilyse Hogue, president of Naral

Representative Eric Swalwell was not as well received.

“Good God. I thought nobody could attempt more irritating interruptions than De Blasio last night. But Swalwell is giving him a run for his money.” — Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, Republican strategist

 

Democratic Debate Night 2 Viewership Hits All-Time Debate High For Party Of FDR, JFK & HRC – Update

The 2nd & last of the 1st face-off between the men & women who want Donald Trump’s job was much more punchy, on stage & in the numbersAP

UPDATE, 12:01 PM: Looks like the viewership estimations for the second Democratic debate were as conservative as frontrunner Joe Biden.

With 18.1 million tuning in to see Sen. Kamala Harris school the former VP, the simulcast across NBCMSNBC and Telemundo is officially the most watched debate that the party of FDR, JKF, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has ever had.

Topping the previous high of the CNN-hosted and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders-led yakfest of October 2015 by 2.6 million, last night’s debate also had 9 million viewers and 14 million video views across all platforms such as NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, Telemundo.com, NBC News NOW on OTT devices, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Democratic Debate Night 2 Review: Joe Biden Takes A Beating But Keeps On Tickin’, Kamala Harris Comes Out Swinging On NBC Stage

Which means, CNN better get its engines roaring for the next set of Dems debates that it is hosting in Motor City next month

PREVIOUSLY, 8:39 AM: The second night of the first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential election season was certainly punchier and snappy than the previous evening.

Kamala Harris came out of her corner Thursday intending to belt and bruise frontrunner Joe Biden, and California’s junior senator did just that – which means the NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo simulcast was also much better TV than Night 1.

Building off the night before, the dust-up was also more of a magnet to viewers in comparison to Wednesday’s rather decorous affair with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and nine other candidates you’ve already forgotten, with the scrimmage scoring a 14.2/26 in metered markets across the trio of outlets. Remarkably steady with the Donald Trump jet-fueled Fox News Channel-hosted first GOP debate of the 2016 campaign, last night’s 9-11 PM ET event jumped 16.4% over Night 1 in the early metrics.

In fact, if the audience of 15.3 million that the 10 candidates drew Wednesday with moderators Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balar is a fair indication, it’s reasonable to predict that last night’s hootenanny could snare just over 17 million viewers.

Still far behind the 24 million that tuned in for the former Celebrity Apprentice host and his fellow Republicans’ first debate almost four years ago, last night would exceed the 16 million that Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders (who was on stage in Miami with Harris, Biden and seven other contenders last night) and a trio of other hopefuls got in the first Dems debate of the last POTUS campaign back in October 2015.

Right now, in the unadjusted fast affiliates, Night 2 is looking at around 8.83 million viewers on NBC alone. That number will of course change as is the case with all live events like debates, sports and award shows. We’ll update with the final numbers and more of what else was on the small screen last night when they come in.

By then, there may likely be another swipe from the current POTUS against some of his would-be successors:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie. One is exhausted, the other is nuts – so what’s the big deal?

56.5K people are talking about this

In the meantime, the metered market breakdown for last night is an 8.1/15 on NBC itself, 5.3/10 for MSNBC and a 0.8/1 for Telemundo. It’s worth noting that Night 2 saw far fewer Spanish speaking candidates on stage in contrast to Night 1 with ex-cabinet secretary Julian Castro, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Garden State Sen. Cory Booker.

The debate dominated the night to give NBC a victory overall in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic. ABC’s Holey Moley (0.9, 4.26M) at 8 PM was the night’s top-rated entertainment program, though it was edged by a Young Sheldon rerun on CBS in total viewers. CBS finished the night with the series finale of Life In Pieces(0.6, 3.77M) and a new Elementary (0.4, 3.13M).

Fox was second overall in the demo for the night thanks to MasterChef (0.7, 2.89M), even with last week, and Spin the Wheel (0.6, 2.54M), off two tenths from its series premiere. Still, the latter edged ABC’s Family Food Fight (0.5, 2.53M) at 9 PM. ABC’s Reef Break (0.3, 1.99M) at 10 also dipped two tenths from a week ago.

The CW aired the season finale of In the Dark (0.2, 610,000), which followed an original iZombie (0.2, 670K). Both were flat compared with a week ago.

‘Girlfriend, you are so on’: Marianne Williamson stuns with bizarre performance at Democratic presidential debate as she vows to ‘harness love’ to defeat Donald Trump

  • Self-help author Marianne Williamson stunned onlookers during Dem debate
  • Spiritual guru promised to ‘harness love’ to defeat President Donald Trump 
  • Declared that ‘chemicals’ are to blame for many health issues in the US 
  • Vowed first act as president would be to call the Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • Said she’d say: ‘Girlfriend, you are so on’, after PM Arden said NZ is best for kids
  • Some fans declared her a ‘Wine Aunt’ whom they’d enjoy drinking with

Author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson has confused viewers as well as attracted new fans with her bizarre performance at the Democratic presidential primary debate.

In a memorable moment, Williamson declared that her first act as president would be to call the Prime Minister of New Zealand and declare the United States a better country to raise children.

‘Girlfriend, you are so on,’ Williamson said she would tell Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, who has said that New Zealand is the best place in the world to raise a child. 

Relegated to the outside left podium, Williamson didn’t speak for the first 30 minutes of the debate, until jumping into an argument about healthcare policy.

Democratic presidential hopeful US author Marianne Williamson speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season

Democratic presidential hopeful US author Marianne Williamson speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season

Williamson was relegated to the far-left podium, polling the lowest of the field along with Congressman Eric Swalwell at the far-right podium

Williamson was relegated to the far-left podium, polling the lowest of the field along with Congressman Eric Swalwell at the far-right podium

Williamson confusingly dismissed the other candidates’ health policy positions as ‘superficial fixes’ and said that President Donald Trump won without a plan just by repeating ‘Make America Great Again.’

She went on to say that Democrats need to ‘go deeper’ and that ‘chemicals’ are to blame for many health problems in the U.S.

In her concluding statement, Williamson declared that she was going to ‘harness love for political purposes’ to defeat Trump.

Her unusual performance drew did however draw praise on social media, where many compared her to a ‘Wine Aunt’ with ‘healing crystal energy.’

‘If the standard for the candidate is who you would want to split box wine with, Marianne Williamson won,’ one Twitter user wrote.

 

Williamson speaks as former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on in Miami

Williamson speaks as former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on in Miami

‘Marianne Williamson is all of my mom’s friends when the wine kicks in,’ wrote another.’

‘When asked why they voted for President Marianne Williamson, more than 30% of Americans said that she was the kind of woman they could go to a wine bar with,’ another quipped.

Singer Katy Perry felt a kindred spirit in Williamson, writing: ‘not gonna lie i sound like Marianne Williamson after a few glasses of red.’

Williamson’s signature campaign proposal is a call for $100 billion in reparations for slavery to be distributed over 10 years, though she has also thrown out $200 and $500 billion as possible reparations figures.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7191021/Marianne-Williamson-stuns-bizarre-performance-Democratic-presidential-debate.html

 

Marianne Williamson

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Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson - 33252886458 (cropped).jpg

Williamson in February 2019
Personal details
Born
Marianne Deborah Williamson

July 8, 1952 (age 66)
HoustonTexas, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Independent (2014)
Children 1
Education Pomona College
Signature

Marianne Deborah Williamson (born July 8, 1952)[1] is an American author, lecturer, and activist. She has written 13 books,[2] including four New York Times number one bestsellers within the “Advice, How To and Miscellaneous” category.[3][4][5][6] She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people with AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.[7] She is also the co-founder of the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects.[8]

In 2014, as an independent, Williamson ran unsuccessfully for the seat of California’s 33rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives elections in California. On January 29, 2019, she announced her campaign to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election.[9]

Contents

Early life and education

Williamson was born in Houston, Texas, in 1952.[10][11][12] She is the youngest of three children of Samuel “Sam” Williamson, an immigration lawyer,[12][13] and Sophie Ann (Kaplan), a homemaker.[14][15] Her family is Jewish, and she was raised in Conservative Judaism.[13][16] Her father’s original surname was Vishnevetsky.[17] After graduating from Houston’s Bellaire High School, Williamson spent two years studying theater and philosophy at Pomona College in Claremont, California.[14]

Writing and speaking career

Williamson dropped out of college her junior year in 1973 and moved to New York City, intending to pursue a career as a cabaret singer.[14][13]

In 1979, after delving into A Course in Miracles, she returned to Houston, where she ran a combination metaphysical bookstore and coffeeshop.[14][18]

In 1983 she moved to Los Angeles. She began regularly lecturing on A Course in Miracles in Los Angeles and New York City, and eventually in other cities in the U.S. and Europe as well.[18][19]

She published her first book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, in 1992.

Books

Williamson’s first book, A Return to Love, was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992 and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 39 weeks in the ‘Advice, How To and Miscellaneous’ category.[20] She has published 12 other books, seven of which have been on the same New York Times bestseller list and four of which have been #1.[3][4][5][6] She has sold more than 3 million copies of her books.[21] In 2018, she published a 20th anniversary revised edition of Healing the Soul of America.[22]

Healing the Soul of America

In 1997 Williamson published her book Healing the Soul of America (hardcover originally titled The Healing of America) and began a more robust political engagement. In this book, she laid out plans to “transform the American political consciousness and encourage powerful citizen involvement to heal our society”.[23]

She wrote in the book,

It is a task of our generation to recreate the American politeia, to awaken from our culture of distraction and re-engage the process of democracy with soulfulness and hope. Yes, we see there are problems in the world. But we believe in a universal force that, when activated by the human heart, has the power to make all things right. Such is the divine authority of love: to renew the heart, renew the nations, and ultimately, renew the world.[24]

Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “A huge and wondrous surprise…. The Healing of America somehow makes us proud to be Americans, because every hope for democracy seems newly within our grasp.”[25]

Television and media appearances

She has been a guest on television programs such as The Oprah Winfrey ShowGood Morning America, and Real Time with Bill Maher. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the 50 most influential baby boomers. She bases her teaching and writing on A Course in Miracles, a nonreligious self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy.[26]

Social activism

HIV/AIDS advocacy

Centers for Living

In response to the HIV/AIDS crises in the 1980s, Williamson founded the Los Angeles and Manhattan Centers for Living, which served as a refuge and non-medical support for people with HIV/AIDS. There they could connect with a variety of psychological and emotional resources, as well as community of support. She has said of that time that “there was so much love, because there was nothing to hold onto but love.”[27]

Project Angel Food

In 1989, she launched Project Angel Food to build off the work of the Centers for Living. Originally launched to support HIV/AIDS patients, Project Angel Food expanded its outreach and currently cooks and delivers more than 12,000 meals each week, free of charge, to the homes of men, women and children affected by various life-threatening illnesses.[28] The organization’s food and nutrition services, including medically tailored meals and nutritional counseling, help under-served people throughout Los Angeles County who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. In 2017, Project Angel Food served its 11 millionth meal.[29]

Women’s advocacy

She has worked on behalf of women’s empowerment issues for decades. In 1993 she published her #1 NYT bestseller, A Woman’s Worth.[30] Publishers Weekly said of the book: “Williamson gives sound, empowering advice on relationships, work, love, sex and childrearing.”[31]

In 2010, she launched a series of Sister Giant conferences, trainings, and events to support individuals – particularly women – who want to increase their efficacy as activists and/or run for office. On the initiative she has said, “I want to be a cheerleader for women who have never even considered running for office or being involved in a campaign, but who in the quietness of their hearts might think, ‘Why not me?’” The events have focused on how to better address many social issues, including: child poverty, low levels of female representation in office, campaign finance reform, high levels of mass incarceration, among other issues.[32][33]

Peace-building

In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization focused on increasing U.S. governmental support of peace-building approaches to domestic and international conflicts. She has said of the need for this work: “You don’t just wait until there is a violent eruption and then just try to throw people in jail or just wait until there is a violent eruption and then try to bomb an entire country, there’s just a limit past which this is not workable. Rather, you proactively seek to cultivate the conditions of peace…so we can have a much more sophisticated analysis of what it will take to create a more peaceful world.”[34]

Poverty alleviation

For years Williamson was a member of the Board of Directors and remains a public supporter of RESULTS, an organization aiming to create the political will to end hunger and poverty around the world. It lobbies public officials, does research, and works with the media and the public to addresses the causal issues of poverty. RESULTS has 100 U.S. local chapters and works in six other countries.[35][32]

Love America Tour

Starting in the winter of 2018, she began touring the United States as part of her Love America Tour, discussing how she believes “a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal.” Of the tour she said: “Our own disconnection from the political process, lack of knowledge of how our system operates, lack of understanding of our history, and confusion about many of the issues that confront us now, have led in too many cases to a dangerous emotional disconnection between our country and ourselves.”[36][37]

Political career

2014 U.S. House of Representatives campaign

Williamson campaigning in 2014

In 2014 Williamson ran, as an Independent, for the seat of California’s 33rd congressional district (in westernmost Los Angeles County) in the United States House of Representatives elections. Regarding her motivation for running, she has said, “America has gone off the democratic rails. A toxic brew of shrinking civil liberties and expanded corporate influence are poisoning our democracy.” Her core message was that “humanitarian values should replace economic values as the ordering principle of our civilization.”[38]

Prominent elected and public officials endorsed her campaign, including former governors Jennifer Granholm and Jesse Ventura; former representatives Dennis Kucinich and Alan Grayson; and Van Jones, among others.[39] Alanis Morissette wrote and performed Williamson’s campaign song, “Today”.[40]

She campaigned on a broad array of progressive issues, including: greater access to high-quality education and free college; child poverty; economic justice; climate change & renewable energy; campaign finance reform; universal health care; criminal justice reform; ending perpetual war and increasing investments in peacebuilding; women’s reproductive rights; and LGBTQ equality among others.[41][42][43]

She finished fourth out of 16 candidates,[44] with 14,335 votes for 13.2% of the vote. Williamson said of the process and its outcome: “This conversation of a politics of conscience, a politics of the heart, is much bigger than any one woman winning a congressional seat. And if that woman loses, the conversation goes on. My losing the congressional seat is small; what’s big is the larger conversation … you impact the ethers, and that energy goes somewhere.”[45]

2020 presidential campaign

Williamson in New Hampshire in January 2019

On November 15, 2018, Williamson announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in a video in which she acclaimed that there was a “miracle in this country in 1776 and we need another one” which would require “a co-creative effort, an effort of love and a gift of love, to our country and hopefully to our world”.[46] Visiting New Hampshire in early January, she said that she “received enough positive energy to make me feel I should take the next step”,[47] and subsequently hired Brent Roske to lead her operation in Iowa.[48]

Roske, a film producer who also contested the same 2014 primary for the seat now represented by Ted Lieu,[49][50] maintained a wide network of connections in Iowa due in part to his previous involvement in the state, working on a political television show about the 2016 caucuses.[50] In response to the Iowa Democratic Party‘s proposed creation of “virtual caucuses” in the 2020 race, Williamson’s campaign announced that it would appoint 99 “Virtual Iowa Caucus Captains” (each assigned to a single county) to turn out supporters in both the virtual and in-person caucuses.[51]

Williamson officially launched her presidential campaign in Los Angeles on January 28, 2019,[52] in front of an audience of 2,000 attendees, and appointed Maurice Daniel, who served alongside Donna Brazile in Dick Gephardt‘s campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1988, as her national campaign manager,[49] with her campaign committee, “Marianne Williamson for President”, officially filed on February 4.[53] Following her Los Angeles announcement, she held her Iowa kickoff in Des Moines on January 31.[54]

On February 16, in addition to scheduling another trip to New Hampshire, Williamson’s campaign announced the appointment of former Congressman Paul Hodes, who represented New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district from 2007 to 2011, as New Hampshire state director and senior campaign advisor.[55] Former Georgia state assemblywoman Gloria Bromell Tinubu, who returned to South Carolina in 2011 to run for Congress in the state’s 7th districtand later joined Phil Noble‘s bid for governor in 2018 as his running mate, served as South Carolina state director and national senior advisor to the Williamson campaign,[56] but later ceased working with the campaign.[57]

On May 9, Williamson’s campaign announced that she had received enough contributions from unique donors to enter the official primary debates,[58] having raised $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, during which the campaign received donations from 46,663 unique individuals.[59] She subsequently met the polling criteria, with three unique polls at 1% from qualifying pollsters, on May 23.[60] In June, Williamson confirmed that she moved to Des Moines, Iowa in advance of the 2020 caucuses.[61]

Political positions

Williamson claims to be a “pretty straight-line progressive Democrat”, supporting an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, reducing income inequality, addressing climate change, and tackling student loan debt.[62] She backs a “Medicare for All model”, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants without a “serious criminal background”, and says that the U.S. needs to be an “honest broker” in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[63]

She ranks climate change as “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” and backs the Green New Deal.[64] She has called for the establishment of a Department of Peace to expand global diplomacy, mediation, and educational and economic development.[65] She also voices support for stricter gun control, criminal justice reform, improving public education, free college tuition, raising the top marginal tax rate to a point where high earners pay “their fair share of taxes”, describing her policies as a “renovation” of a “sociopathiceconomic system” focused on “short-term profit maximization”.[49] She appeared to oppose mandatory vaccinations when she described them as “Orwellian” and stating “To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate.”[66] She later stated that she misspoke, and “I support vaccines. Public safety must be carefully balanced with the right of individuals to make their own decisions.”[67] According to the Los Angeles Times, she “has a history of skeptical comments about vaccinations.”[67][68]

Her signature campaign promise is a call for $100 billion in reparations for slavery to be distributed over 10 years by a group of black leaders for selected “economic and education projects”,[49][69] and later suggested distributing $200 to $500 billion on The Breakfast Club,[70] a sum far greater than any other primary contenders support. In doing so, Williamson became the only candidate in the Democratic field to submit a detailed plan for reparations for black Americans, though fellow Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris later pledged support for reparations in late February 2019.[71]

Personal life

Williamson was briefly married.[13] In 1990, she gave birth to a daughter, India Emma.[72]

Bibliography

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1281, June 26, 2019, Story 1: When The Circus Came To Town and Nobody Came — Send In The Socialist Clowns — Walk Like A Man — Santa Claus Socialist: Vote For Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff Paid For By Higher Taxes and More Debt — Democrat Demolition Derby — Videos — Story 2: Hacking An Election: Google Whistle Blower Reveals Google Progressive Propaganda Programming To Defeat Trump in 2020 — Big Tech Censorship — Algorithmic Fairness With Biased Results and Lies! — Holding Big Tech Accountable — Intellectual Dark Web — Videos — Story 3: Presidential Harassment — More Mueller Madness — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Move On To Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Blows Up — Videos — Story 4: Israel Aerial Global Position Systems (GPS) Disrupted — Russian Interfering With GPS — Videos —

Posted on June 27, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Amy Klobuchar, Applications, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corey Booker, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Cyber Warfare, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Employment, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Hardware, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Servers, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: When The Circus Came To Town and Nobody Came — Send In The Socialist Clowns — Walk Like A Man — Santa Claus Socialist: Vote For Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff Paid For By Higher Taxes and More Debt — Democrat Demolition Derby — Videos —

Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

JUDY COLLINS – SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Send in the Clowns
Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim
Send in the Clowns lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 145th Clown Alley Mash Up

Clown Car

Divine – Walk Like A Man (1985) HQ

DIVINE – YOU THINK YOU’RE A MAN (Extended Video Edit)

Watch Highlights From Round 1 Of The First Democratic Debate | NBC News

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Biggest moments from 1st Democratic debate

CBSN full coverage and analysis of the first Democratic debate night

Democratic Debate: Every Candidate Names The Country’s Biggest Threat | NBC New York

Gutfeld on Wednesday’s debate

Jimmy Recaps Night One of the First Democratic Debate

How candidates are prepping for first round of Democratic debates

All Eyes On Elizabeth Warren At First Democrats Debate | Morning Joe | MSNBC

2020 Democratic hopefuls set to take the stage in first debate

Victor Davis Hanson on “The Case For Trump”

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS

MEMO TO TRUMP: TRADE BOLTON FOR TULSI

Pat Buchanan: Congresswoman would deliver foreign policy Trump has not

“For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime-change war after the next, leading us into a new cold war and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end.”

Donald Trump, circa 2016?

Nope. That denunciation of John Bolton interventionism came from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. At 38, she was the youngest candidate on stage.

Gabbard proceeded to rip both the “president and his chickenhawk cabinet (who) have led us to the brink of war with Iran.”

In a fiery exchange, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio countered that America cannot disengage from Afghanistan: “When we weren’t in there they started flying planes into our buildings.”

“The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11,” Gabbard replied, “Al-Qaida attacked us on 9/11. That’s why I and so many other people joined the military, to go after al-Qaida, not the Taliban.”

When Ryan insisted we must stay engaged, Gabbard shot back:

“Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? ‘Well, we just have to be engaged.’ As a solider, I will tell you, that answer is unacceptable. … We are no better off in Afghanistan that we were when this war began.”

 https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/memo-to-trump-trade-bolton-for-tulsi/#OlLdH6QsdwFi2UFE.99

 

 

Breakouts, burns and zingers: What to watch in Dem debates

today

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., holds a town hall on the Florida International University campus on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Miami. (Jennifer King/Miami Herald via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty seconds for answers, a television audience of millions and, for some candidates, a first chance to introduce themselves to voters.

The back-to-back Democratic presidential debates beginning Wednesday are exercises in competitive sound bites featuring 20 candidates hoping to oust President Donald Trump in 2020. The participants range widely in age, sex and backgrounds and include a former vice president, six women and a pair of mayors.

The challenge: Convey their plans for the nation, throw a few elbows and sharpen what’s been a blur of a race so far for many Americans.

What to watch Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo:

___

WHAT’S HER PLAN?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s task is to harness her campaign’s momentum to convince voters that she has what it takes to defeat Trump. As the sole top-tier candidate on stage Wednesday, she could have the most to lose.

The Massachusetts senator and former Harvard professor is known for her many policy plans and a mastery of classical, orderly debate. But presidential showdowns can be more “Gladiator”-style than the high-minded “Great Debaters.”

This is no time for a wonky multipoint case for “Medicare for All,” student debt relief or the Green New Deal.

So, one challenge for Warren, 70, is stylistic. Look for her to try to champion her progressive ideas — and fend off attacks from lesser-known candidates — with gravitas, warmth and the brevity required by the format.

“Preparing for the debates is trying to learn to speak in 60 seconds or less,” she said in Miami, ahead of a visit she live-streamed to a migrant detention center in Homestead, Florida.

Another obstacle is to do so without alienating the moderate voters any Democrat would need in a general election to beat Trump.

Being the front-runner on stage conveys a possible advantage: If the others pile on Warren, she gets more time to speak because the candidates are allowed 30 extra seconds for responses.

___

WHO’S THAT?

There may be some familiar faces across the rest of the stage, such as New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, 50, or former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, 46. But a few names probably won’t ring any bells at all.

These virtual strangers to most Americans may be enjoying their first — and maybe last — turn on the national stage, so they have the least to lose.

Take John Delaney, 56, a former member of the House from Maryland. Look for him to try to make an impression by keeping up his criticism of Warren’s plans.

Or Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, 45, who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He has likened the Democratic primary to “speed dating with the American people.”

 

For several of the candidates onstage Wednesday, the forum is about finding the breakout moment — a zinger, a burn — that stays in viewers’ minds, is built for social media and generates donations, the lifeblood of campaigns.

In 2015, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina won applause and a short surge for her response to Trump, who had been quoted in Rolling Stone as criticizing Fiorina’s face.

“Look at that face,” Trump was quoted as saying. “Would anyone vote for that?”

Asked on CNN to respond, Fiorina evenly replied: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

For candidates such as O’Rourke, a breakthrough moment on Wednesday is critical to revitalizing a campaign that has faded. The 10 White House contenders have two hours on stage that night and up until the curtain rises on the star-studded second debate the next day to make their mark. Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 77, headline Thursday’s debate and are certain to take up much of the spotlight.

___

BREAKING OUT BADLY

An “oops” moment can be politically crippling to any presidential campaign.

Just ask Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who, in a 2011 debate, blanked on the third agency of government he had said would be “gone” if he became president.

“Commerce, Education and the, uh, what’s the third one there?” Perry said.

“EPA?” fellow Republican Ron Paul offered. Yep, Perry said, the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Oops,” he finished. Perry’s campaign, already struggling, never recovered.

___

WHAT ISSUES?

There’s simply no time for an in-depth discussion of issues. But the migrant crisis would be an apt topic, even in shorthand. Dominating the news in the hours before the showdown were vivid news reports and images of the toll of the administration’s policy on children, especially.

Expect at least a mention, or perhaps the appearance, of a bracing photo of the bodies of a migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter face-down along the Rio Grande.

In addition to Warren, other candidates were visiting the migrant center in Homestead, Florida, while they were in Miami for the debates.

___

TRUMP

This is the Democrats’ night.

But Trump has dominated the political conversation since that escalator ride four years ago, and he loathes being upstaged. It’s worth asking: Will he tweet during the debates? And if he does, will NBC and the moderators ignore him or respond in real time?

NBC News executive Rashida Jones said the focus will be on the candidates and the issues.

“Beyond that, it has to rise to a certain level,” she said.

During Wednesday’s debate, Trump will be on Air Force One on his way to the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The plane’s cable televisions are usually turned to Fox News, which is not hosting the debates. For the second debate, Trump will be beginning meetings at the G-20.

Trump told Fox Business Network on Wednesday that he’d watch because “it’s part of my life” but that “It just seems very boring. … That’s a very unexciting group of people.”

https://www.apnews.com/4527965e38334543978e6dcbf0c31d72

Julian Castro

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Julián Castro
Julián Castro's Official HUD Portrait.jpg
16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
In office
July 28, 2014 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Deputy Nani A. Coloretti
Preceded by Shaun Donovan
Succeeded by Ben Carson
Mayor of San Antonio
In office
June 1, 2009 – July 22, 2014
Preceded by Phil Hardberger
Succeeded by Ivy Taylor
Member of the San Antonio City Council
from the 7th district
In office
July 1, 2001 – July 1, 2005
Preceded by Ed Garza
Succeeded by Elena Guajardo
Personal details
Born September 16, 1974 (age 44)
San AntonioTexas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Erica Lira (m. 2007)
Children 2
Relatives Joaquin (twin brother)
Education Stanford University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Julián Castro (/ˌhliˈɑːn/ HOO-lee-AHN,[1] Spanish: [xuˈljan]; born September 16, 1974) is an American Democratic politician who was the youngest member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017.

Castro served as the mayor of his native San AntonioTexas from 2009 until he joined Obama’s cabinet in 2014. He was mentioned as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.[2][3]Castro is the twin brother of Congressman Joaquin Castro.

On January 12, 2019, Castro launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 in San Antonio.[4]

Contents

Early life and family

Castro[5] was born in San AntonioTexas, the son of Maria “Rosie” Castro and Jessie Guzman.[6] He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquin Castro;[5] Julián is one minute older than Joaquin: they were born at 2:40 and 2:41 am, respectively.[7]

Their mother was a Chicana political activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida,[8] and who ran unsuccessfully for the San Antonio City Council in 1971.[5] Castro once stated, “My mother is probably the biggest reason that my brother and I are in public service. Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that are very boring for an 8-, 9-, 10-year-old”.[9] His father, Jessie Guzman, is a retired mathematics teacher and political activist. Never married, Rosie and Jessie separated when Castro and his brother were eight years old.[8] Castro’s Texan roots trace back to 1920, when his grandmother Victoria Castro joined extended family members there as a six-year-old orphan from northern Mexico.[5]

Education

Castro attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, where he played football, basketball and tennis; he also collected trading cards.[10] He skipped his sophomore year[11] and graduated in 1992,[12] ranking ninth in his class.[8] He had received an offer to play tennis at Trinity University, an NCAA Division III school in his hometown, but chose to attend Stanford University.[13]

Castro graduated from Stanford in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications. He said he began thinking about entering politics while at Stanford,[8] where he and his brother launched their first campaigns and won student senate seats, tying for the highest number of votes.[5] Castro has credited affirmative action for his admission into Stanford, telling The New York Times, “Joaquin and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquin. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”.[14] Between his sophomore and junior years, Castro worked as an intern at the White House during the presidency of Bill Clinton.[15]

Castro entered Harvard Law School in 1997 and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2000.[16][17] His brother graduated from both schools with him.[8] After law school, the two brothers worked for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.[18]

In 2018, Castro was named as the Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.[19]

Political career

San Antonio city council and mayor

Julian Castro and his twin brother Representative Joaquin Castro at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Castro meets with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on July 7, 2014

In 2001, Castro was elected to the San Antonio City Council, winning 61 percent of the vote against five challengers. At age 26 he was the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history, surpassing Henry Cisneros, who won his council seat in 1975 at age 27. Castro represented District 7, a precinct on the city’s west side with 115,000 residents. The population was 70 percent Hispanic and included a large number of senior citizens.[20] As a councilman from 2001 to 2005, he opposed a PGA-approved golf course and large-scale real estate development on the city’s outer rim.[21]

Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio in 2005 and was widely viewed as the front runner in a field that also included retired judge Phil Hardberger and conservative city councilman Carroll Schubert. He was defeated by approximately 4000 votes when Hardberger received 51.5% of the votes in the runoff.[22][23] Following his election defeat, Castro established his own law practice.[15]

Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio again in 2009. Castro hired Christian Archer, who had run Hardberger’s campaign in 2005, to run his own 2009 campaign.[15] Castro won the election on May 9, 2009 with 56.23% of the vote, his closest opponent being Trish DeBerry-Mejia.[24] He became the fifth Latino mayor in the history of San Antonio. He was the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city.[25] Castro easily won re-election in 2011 and 2013, receiving 82.9% of the vote in 2011[26] and 67% of the vote in 2013.[27]

In 2010, Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort. It generated a list of goals created by the people of San Antonio based on their collective vision for San Antonio in the year 2020. SA2020 then became a nonprofit organization tasked with turning that vision into a reality.[28] Castro also established Cafe College in 2010, offering college guidance to San Antonio-area students. In 2012 he led a voter referendum to expand pre-kindergarten education.[25] Castro persuaded two of the most prominent businessmen in San Antonio, Charles Butt and Joe Robles, to lead an effort to pass a $30 million sales tax to fund the pre-kindergarten education program.[15]

In March 2010, Castro was named to the World Economic Forum‘s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics.[29]

Castro gained national attention in 2012 when he was the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[30][31] Following the 2012 elections, Castro declined the position of United States Secretary of Transportation, partly with an eye on running for governor of Texas after 2017.[15] However, in 2014, Castro accepted President Barack Obama‘s offer of the position of United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[15] Castro resigned as mayor effective July 22, 2014, so that he could take up his duties in Washington. The San Antonio City Council elected councilmember Ivy Taylor to replace him.[32]

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

On May 22, 2014 the White House announced Castro as the nominee to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 9, 2014 by a vote of 71-26 and replaced Shaun Donovan, who was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.[33] He took office on July 28, 2014.[34] Following the announcement, Castro was discussed as a potential nominee for vice president for the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election.[35][36]

On July 28, 2014, his first day in office, Castro was honored at a reception called “Celebrating Latino Cabinet Members” hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.[37]

Upon exiting office in 2017, Castro’s final memo outlined various accomplishments of the department under his leadership.[38] These areas included HUD’s work to stabilize the housing market, rebuild communities struck by natural disasters through a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, expansion of lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule to “finally fulfill the full obligation of the Fair Housing Act.[39]

2016 presidential election

Secretary Castro introducing President Obama at an event on the recovering housing sector in Phoenix, Arizona in January 2015.

On October 15, 2015, Castro endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. When Clinton was asked if Castro could be her pick for vice president, she said, “I am going to look really hard at him for anything because that’s how good he is.”[40] Discussion of Castro as a candidate to run on the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton increased markedly in January 2016, as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries approached.[41][42] In late January, Castro began to campaign for Clinton in Iowa, a move interpreted as a test of his appeal to the electorate.[43] In July 2016, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel issued a finding that Castro had violated the Hatch Act by commenting on the 2016 campaign while giving an interview in an official capacity; Castro admitted the error and ordered his team to improve training on the Hatch Act.[44]

Memoir

In October 2018, Castro published his memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream through Little, Brown and Company.[45]

2020 presidential campaign

Castro has already visited the first in the nation New Hampshire primary state in 2018 and delivered the commencement address at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, on May 12, 2018. Castro stated that he would make his decision on whether to run in 2020 after the November 2018 mid-term elections.[46] On December 12, 2018, Castro announced the formation of an exploratory committee.[47] The next day, during an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Julián’s brother Joaquin (during a joint appearance by both brothers) stated that he confidently believes that Julián will be running for president.[48]

Castro formally announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on January 12, 2019. Castro would be the first Democratic presidential nominee since 1924 to not serve as vice president, governor or senator.[49] He is the first Texan in the 2020 race, and would be third-youngest president if elected. In his announcement, Castro emphasized Medicare-for-all, universal pre-K and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of comprehensive immigration reform.[50]

Political positions

Economy

Castro “believes in balanced budgets”.[51]

Trade

Castro is a supporter of free trade. He has been a strong supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement while serving as mayor of San Antonio, but has also said that the agreement should be renegotiated to “strengthen worker and environmental protections”.[52][51]

Education

Castro has voiced support for making the first two years of higher education free. He supports universal pre-kindergarten, and managed to institute a pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, funded by higher local taxes, while serving as mayor of San Antonio.[52][53]

Healthcare

Castro has called for universal health care and Medicare for All, and indicated he would consider funding such a program by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.[52] He has supported the Affordable Care Act.[54]

Environment

Castro supports the Paris climate accord, and has criticized President Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement. While in office, Castro worked with companies to promote their transition to renewable energy.[52] He has voiced support for a Green New Deal.[55]

In the past, Castro has advocated for an “energy policy that includes fossil fuels”[51] while also “pointing out the benefits of fossil fuel jobs”.[56]

Foreign policy

Syria

Castro has endorsed a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria while also criticizing Trump’s approach to the issue.[52]

Campaign finance

Castro has stated that he is “not going to take any PAC money” as a presidential candidate, and has encouraged others to do the same. He had however formed a PAC (Opportunity First) in 2017 which mostly covered his running expenses while also donating to several dozen “young, progressive” Democratic politicians.[57]

Social issues and civil rights

Abortion

Despite his Catholic background, Castro is pro-choice, and has “vigorously” opposed state laws limiting abortion access after the 20th week of pregnancy and other restrictions.[52]

LGBT rights

Castro has been an advocate for LGBT rights and, as mayor, opposed the law in Texas (later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) that denied legal recognition to same-sex marriages.[58] He is also a member of Washington D.C. based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue.[59] Castro was the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city’s Pride Parade in 2009 and in 2011 led a push to offer domestic partner benefits in the city. In 2012, he joined mayors across the country in signing the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” petition for same-sex marriage equality.[60][52]

Castro said in a tweet that transgender persons should be allowed to serve in the armed forces.[52]

Gun rights

Castro supports tighter gun control, and has supported the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, limiting access to high-capacity magazines, and closing the “gun show loophole”.[52]

Affirmative action

Castro has backed affirmative action.[54]

Immigration

Castro supports a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented residents of the US, has opposed President Trump’s “border wall” plan, and has said that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to be “reconstituted”. Additionally, he asserted in the first Democratic primary candidate debates on June 26, 2019[61] that he would repeal Section 1325[62] [52] of Title 8 of the U.S. criminal code, which would decriminalize illegal entry into the U.S., rendering unlawful entry a civil offense instead of a criminal one.

Personal life

In 2007, Castro married Erica Lira, an elementary school teacher. They had a daughter in 2009 and a son in December 2014.[8][63] He is Catholic.[64] He speaks Spanish, but it is reported that he is not fluent, and studied Latin and Japanese in school.[60][65]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Castro

 

John Delaney (Maryland politician)

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John Delaney
John Delaney 113th Congress official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland‘s 6th district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Roscoe Bartlett
Succeeded by David Trone
Personal details
Born
John Kevin Delaney

April 16, 1963 (age 56)
Wood-RidgeNew Jersey, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
April McClain (m. 1990)
Children 4
Education Columbia University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)

John Kevin Delaney (born April 16, 1963) is an American politician and businessman who is running for President of the United States in 2020. He was the United States Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

On July 28, 2017, Delaney became the first Democrat to announce he is running for president in 2020.[2] Delaney did not run for re-election to Congress in 2018, preferring to focus on his presidential campaign, and David Trone was elected to succeed him.

 

Early life and education

Delaney grew up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, the son of Elaine (Rowe) and Jack Delaney, an electrician. He has Irish ancestry.[3] Delaney claims to be of Catholic faith, and has said that his “social justice orientation” was influenced by his faith “to some extent”.[4] Delaney spent part of his youth working at his father’s construction site.[5]

Scholarships helped him attend college thanks to his father’s labor union (IBEW Local 164) as well as the American LegionVFW, and the Lions Club. He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School,[6] and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, in 1985, and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, in 1988.[7][8] In February 2015, Delaney received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.[9]

Business career

Delaney co-founded two companies that were publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004.[10]

In 1993, he co-founded Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP), to make loans available to smaller-sized health care service providers purportedly ignored by larger banks.[11] HCFP went public in 1996, and its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1998.[12] Health Care Financial Partners was acquired by Heller Financial in 1999.[13]

In 2000, Delaney co-founded CapitalSource, a commercial lender headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland; the company provided capital to roughly 5,000 small and mid-size businesses before his departure.[14] In 2010, during Delaney’s tenure as CEO, CapitalSource was awarded a Bank Enterprise Award from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund by the U.S. Treasury Department for its investment in low-income and economically distressed communities.[15] In 2005, CapitalSource was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s best places to work for its company culture and employee benefits.[16]

CapitalSource continued to be publicly traded on the NYSE after Delaney’s election, making him the only former CEO of a publicly traded company serving in the 113th United States Congress.[17] In 2014, the lender was absorbed by PacWest Bancorp.[18]

U.S. House of Representatives

2012 election

After redistricting, Delaney decided to run for the newly redrawn 6th District against 10-term Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett. The district had long been a Republican stronghold, but it had been significantly reconfigured. The Maryland General Assembly shifted heavily Republican Carroll County and a mostly Republican section of Frederick County to the heavily Democratic 8th district. It shifted Republican-tilting sections of Harford and Baltimore counties into the already heavily Republican 1st district. Taking their place was a heavily Democratic spur of western Montgomery County, which ended just two blocks from Delaney’s home in Potomac. The redrawn district, the state’s second-largest, thus includes nearly the entire western portion of the state, but the bulk of its vote is cast in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C.

On paper, this dramatically altered the district’s demographics, turning it from a heavily Republican district into a Democratic-leaning district. While John McCain carried the 6th with 57 percent of the vote in 2008,[19] Barack Obama would have carried the new 6th with 56 percent.[20] The Montgomery County share of the district has three times as many people as the rest of the district combined.

The shifts were quite controversial, as Republicans accused Democrats of shifting district boundaries in their favor, and former Governor Martin O’Malley later admitted the redrawn districts would favor Democrats. “That was my hope,” O’Malley told attorneys in a deposition. “It was also my intent to create … a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican.”[21]

During the primary, Delaney was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Comptroller Peter Franchot, the Washington Post, and the Gazette.[22][23][24]

On April 3, 2012, Delaney won the five-candidate Democratic primary field with 54% of the vote. The next closest opponent, State Senator Robert J. Garagiola, received 29% of the vote, 25 points behind Delaney.[25][26]

In the November 6, 2012 general election, Delaney defeated Bartlett by 59%–38%, a 21-point margin. He won the Montgomery County share of the district by almost 56,000 votes, accounting for almost all of the overall 58,900 margin of votes.[27]

2014 election

Delaney faced a closer-than-expected contest for reelection against Republican Dan Bongino, the Republican candidate for Senate in 2012. He ultimately won by just over 2,200 votes, due mainly to swamping Bongino in the Montgomery County portion of the district by over 20,500 votes.[28] Larry Hogan carried the district in his successful run for governor.

2016 election

Delaney won a third term in 2016, taking 56 percent of the vote to Republican Amie Hoeber’s 40 percent.

Tenure

Since his election to Congress, Delaney introduced legislation to end partisan gerrymandering. The Open Our Democracy Act of 2017 would appoint independent redistricting commissions nationwide to end partisan gerrymandering, make Election Day a federal holiday and create an open top-two primary system.[29]

Delaney was ranked as the 53rd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member’s bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member’s co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[30] In 2015, a similar ranking by the nonpartisan site GovTrack ranked Delaney third highest for bipartisanship among all House Democrats.[31]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Legislation sponsored

Key legislation which Delaney has sponsored:

  • Medical Leave for Disabled Veterans Act (H.R. 5165; 114th Congress) – a bill that would relax the criteria for eligible veterans to qualify for FMLA to seek medical treatment for their service-connected disabilities.[37]
  • Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2011; 113th Congress) – a bill that would extend through the end of 2015 the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education and change its membership.[38]
  • Partnership to Build America Act of 2013 (H.R. 2084; 113th Congress) – a bill that would establish the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF).[39]
  • Infrastructure 2.0 Act (H.R. 1670; 115th Congress) – a bill that uses revenue from international tax reform to fund an infrastructure bank and the Highway Trust Fund.[40]
  • Medical Foods Equity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3665; 113th Congress) – a bill that would extend coverage of medical foods, vitamins, and amino acids to those with metabolic disorders.[41]
  • Open Our Democracy Act (H.R. 2981; 115th Congress) – a bill proposed to make election day a federal holiday, make all congressional primary elections open elections so all eligible voters can participate in them, and to end gerrymandering by requiring independent commissions to draw the districts in each state.[29][42]

2020 presidential bid

Logo for Delaney’s presidential campaign

Despite a rumored bid to run against governor Larry Hogan in 2018, Delaney bypassed the 2018 elections altogether. On July 28, 2017, Delaney announced his run for president in 2020 in a Washington Post op-ed.[2]

Political views

Delaney has been frequently referred to as a “moderate”. However, he does not entirely identify as such.[43] Delaney has remarked,

People have a hard time labeling me. Some of the things they hear me talking about are on the total progressive or liberal end of the spectrum, and in other ways I’m kind of a solutions-oriented moderate who wants to get things done.[43]

He has received the top score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his support of equality-related legislation, with him stating “No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love” in response to this recognition.[44][45]

Delaney has stated he would support increasing the corporate tax rate to 23 percent “to raise about $200 billion for infrastructure”.[46]

Personal life

Delaney and his wife April (née McClain) met at Georgetown University Law Center and have four daughters. His wife is the Washington, D.C. Director for Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating families on social media. Two of his daughters attend Northwestern University.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations: St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School (Chairman), Georgetown UniversityNational Symphony Orchestra, and the International Center for Research on Women.[17]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Delaney_(Maryland_politician)

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KVII’s Coverage of Sen. Cruz’s Q&A with Google Representative on Censorship & Bias

Dan Crenshaw Interrogates Social Media Execs on Silencing Conservatives

In a house hearing today, Representative Dan Crenshaw interrogated social media execs on conservative censorship. Crenshaw brought up the recent Project Veritas expose which allegedly uncovered google employees labeling Ben Shapiro and other prominent conservatives as Nazis.

Controlling the Narrative – Google Censorship and Project Veritas

WATERSHED EVENT! More Google Whistleblowers To Go Public!

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Steven Crowder & Big Tech Influence on Free Speech | Bret Weinstein

Published on Jun 19, 2019

Bret Weinstein discusses the controversy surrounding Steven Crowder’s remarks on Carlos Maza and the deeper implications the fallout has on big tech’s influence over censorship and free speech.

Campus Argument Goes Viral As Evergreen State Is Caught In Racial Turmoil (HBO)

Professor objects to no white people on campus demand

Bret Weinstein Testifies to Congress on The Evergreen State College riots, Free Speech & Safe Spaces

Published on Jun 8, 2018

Bret Weinstein’s testimony to the House of Representatives about the free speech crisis on U.S. college campuses. The testimony delivered by Dr. Weinstein to the members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform explained that the crisis isn’t primarily about free speech, and won’t be limited to college campuses for long. Help support my work on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bretweinstein/ Twitter: @BretWeinstein https://twitter.com/BretWeinstein Excerpt from Dr. Weinstein’s testimony: Oppression Disguised as Equity Testimony of Bret S. Weinstein United States House of Representatives May 22, 2018 Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the day that 50 Evergreen students–students that I had never met–disrupted my class, accusing me of racism and demanding my resignation. I tried to reason with them. I felt no fear because I knew that, whatever my failings might be, bigotry was not among them. At that moment. I felt sure I could reach these students. I also felt a moral obligation to try. Racism, which squanders human potential, and erodes human dignity, offends me. I am also well versed in the evolutionary logic that makes racism durable. I should have had no trouble establishing common ground. Their response surprised me, and it would take months for me to fully understand what had happened. The protestors had no apparent interest in the very dialog they seemed to invite. I was even more surprised by the protestor’s fervor in shouting down my actual students–some of whom had known me for years. The cruelty and derision reserved for students of color who spoke in my defense was particularly chilling. If not discussion, what did they want? I was one of Evergreen’s most popular professors. I had Evergreen’s version of tenure. Did they really think they could force my resignation based on a meritless accusation? They did think that. And they were right. What I had not counted on was their alliance with Evergreen’s new president. Though the protestors openly humiliated him, the president of the college partnered with the mob in private, handing them concession after concession. We know this because the rioters filmed everything and proudly uploaded it. In one particularly telling video, President Bridges calmly discusses with the leaders of the protest a demand to target STEM faculty based on the empty assertion that scientists are particularly prone to bias. In that same video the president speaks of his plan for those who resist the new order: “Bring ’em in. Train ’em. And if they don’t get it, sanction ’em.” He invites his partners to hold him to it. On the second day of unrest, the police chief called me. Rioters were stopping traffic and searching for someone, car to car. The chief believed it was me. She was worried for my safety and helpless to protect me as the president had ordered her force to “stand down.” What would have transpired if the rioters had found me? I still don’t know, and I strongly suspect they don’t either. The protest at my class did not emerge out of the blue in May, 2017. One year earlier I stood up and spoke in opposition to a dangerous proposal, one that threatened to establish a racial hierarchy amongst faculty. To those who have not faced something similar, this likely sounds hyperbolic. But one can now advance such policies, and almost certainly succeed in passing them, if they are properly draped in weaponized terminology. “Equity”, for example, has taken on special properties. If a person opposes an “equity” proposal, those advancing the proposal are secure in asserting that their opponent is motivated by opposition to racial equity itself: In other words, that they are racist. My opposition to that first “equity” proposal was voiced to my colleagues, with no students present. Demands for my resignation one year later, were not the result of organic student confusion. They were payback for violating a de facto code of faculty conduct in which one’s right to speak is now dictated by adherence to an ascendant orthodoxy in which one’s race, gender and sexual orientation are paramount. The students were on a mission. They were unwitting tools of a witting movement. This committee should take my tale as cautionary. Is there a free speech crisis on college campuses? One can certainly make that argument, but that portrayal is at least as misleading as it is informative. What is occurring on college campuses is about power and control–speech is impeded as a last resort, used when people fail to self-censor in response to a threat of crippling stigma and the destruction of their capacity to earn. Full Hearing: https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/c…

PART ONE: Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying & the Evergreen Equity Council

Bret Weinstein on Life After Evergreen and Being Progressive (Pt. 1)

Heather Heying on Evergreen State, Trumps Election, and Consciousness (Full Interview)

Why the “Intellectual Dark Web” has such a crazy name.

Joe Rogan & Jordan Peterson on the Intellectual Dark Web

Full Jordan Peterson Interview: “Sam Harris, the Intellectual Dark Web & the crisis of the left”

Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Eric Weinstein, and Dave Rubin LIVE! | Rubin Report

The Mathematical Mind, Peter Thiel and Trump (Eric Weinstein Pt. 1)

Eric Weinstein on paradigm change in Economics

Eric Weinstein: Revolutionary Ideas in Science, Math, and Society | Artificial Intelligence Podcast

Making Sense with Sam Harris #112 — The Intellectual Dark Web (with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro)

The 4 Kinds of Fake News (Eric Weinstein pt. 2)

Tits’ Freudenthal Magic Square and Other Mathematical Theories (Eric Weinstein pt. 3)

Pursuit Of Longevity: Fear Of Death Or Love Of Life? | Michael Hebb & Eric Weinstein

Niall Ferguson on the Intellectual Dark Web and the Culture War (Pt. 1)

Niall Ferguson on Understanding Brexit and Donald Trump (Pt. 2)

Niall Ferguson (historian and author) joins Dave to discuss the ongoing culture war that he and his wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali are fighting and the security and safety concerns that they have as a result, the importance of history, his views on Brexit, Donald Trump, and more.

Tim Pool, Dave Rubin, PragerU CENSORED Youtube Insider Says

We always suspected it, but James O’Keefe has given us the proof of what Google is doing.

Google YouTube Whistleblower Video EXPOSED _FULL Project Veritas

Google Exposed: Dave Rubin Responds

Google Censorship: Taking the Football And Going Home

PINTEREST BANS LIVE ACTION: Lila Rose hits back on Tucker Carlson

Pinterest Whistleblower Tells Tucker About Pinterest Censorship, Termination

Machine Learning: Making Sense of a Messy World

Machine Learning and Human Bias

Finding Solutions for Algorithmic Fairness

Algorithmic Fairness | CRP

Algorithmic Decision Making and the Cost of Fairness

Inherent Trade-Offs in Algorithmic Fairness

Algorithmic fairness and algorithmic discrimination

PragerU: Google, YouTube censors conservative videos

Google’s congressional hearing highlights in 11 minutes

Tucker: Why YouTube’s alleged censorship matters

Google Grilled Over It’s Anti Conservative Bias

Leaked Video Shows Google’s Political Bias

What it’s like to be a conservative in Silicon Valley

Pro-life activist says she’s being censored online

Professor accuses Google, Youtube of censorship

Talk show host accuses YouTube of financial censorship

Fired Google Engineer James Damore: I Was Pointing Out Problems At Google | CNBC

Fired Engineer James Damore: I Feel Google Betrayed Me

Fired Google employee speaks out

Tucker: Google must be regulated

Tech Censorship Hearings Are A Colossal Waste of Time — Lionel

Why Patreon banned Jihad Watch

Patreon: Problem & Solution: Dave Rubin & Dr Jordan B Peterson

Published on Dec 16, 2018

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report and I have been discussing the problems that have emerged with Patreon intensely over the last two weeks (most particularly, the banning of Sargon of Akkad [Carl Benjamin]) with all the relevant people in our networks. We talk here about what we have been doing over the last few months, and what steps we are planning to take next. Rubin also posted this video on his channel: http://www.youtube.com/rubinreport

Joe Rogan – The Issue with Patreon Banning Sargon of Akkad

Mastercard Overrules Patreon Now Purging WrongThinkers Too!

We Are Leaving Patreon: Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson Announcement

Patreon, MasterCard, and Jihad (Discussion with Robert Spencer)

Streamed live on Dec 26, 2018

I’ll be LIVE with Robert Spencer tonight at 6:00pm, discussing the Sharia-compliance of Patreon and MasterCard, and the useful idiots who protect jihad from criticism.

 

BIG UPDATE: YouTube has REMOVED the video from their platform. The video is still available on this website page.
UPDATE 1: Congressman Louie Gohmert issued a statement, saying “Google should not be deciding whether content is important or trivial and they most assuredly should not be meddling in our election process. They need their immunity stripped…”
UPDATE 2: Google executive Jen Gennai RESPONDED to the video, saying, “I was having a casual chat with someone at a restaurant and used some imprecise language. Project Veritas got me. Well done.” 
 Insider: Google “is bent on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.”
 Google Head of Responsible Innovation Says Elizabeth Warren “misguided” on “breaking up Google”
 Google Exec Says Don’t Break Us Up: “smaller companies don’t have the resources” to “prevent next Trump situation”
 Insider Says PragerU And Dave Rubin Content Suppressed, Targeted As “Right-Wing”
 LEAKED Documents Highlight “Machine Learning Fairness” and Google’s Practices to Make Search Results “fair and equitable”
 Documents Appear to Show “Editorial” Policies That Determine How Google Publishes News
 Insider: Google Violates “letter of the law” and “spirit of the law” on Section 230

(New York City) — Project Veritas has released a new report on Google which includes undercover video of a Senior Google Executive, leaked documents, and testimony from a Google insider.  The report appears to show Google’s plans to affect the outcome of the 2020 elections and “prevent” the next “Trump situation.”

The report includes undercover footage of longtime Google employee and Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai saying:

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”

Jen Gennai

Said Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe:

“This is the third tech insider who has bravely stepped forward to expose the secrets of Silicon Valley.  These new documents, supported by undercover video, raise questions of Google’s neutrality and the role they see themselves fulfilling in the 2020 elections.”

Jen Gennai is the head of “Responsible Innovation” for Google, a sector that monitors and evaluates the responsible implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.  In the video, Gennai says Google has been working diligently to “prevent” the results of the 2016 election from repeating in 2020:

“We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.”

“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”

Google: Artificial Intelligence Is For A “fair and equitable” State

According to the insider, Machine Learning Fairness is one of the many tools Google uses to promote a political agenda.  Documents leaked by a Google informant elaborate on Machine Learning Fairness and the “algorithmic unfairness” that AI product intervention aims to solve:

Google Exposed

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Google Exposed

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The insider showed Google search examples that show Machine Learning Fairness in action.

Google Machine Learning Fairness

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“The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it.” – Jen Gennai, Head Of Responsible Innovation, Google

The Google insider explained the impact of artificial intelligence and Machine Learning Fairness:

“They’re going to redefine a reality based on what they think is fair and based upon what they want, and what and is part of their agenda.”

Determining credible news and an editorial agenda. . .

Additional leaked documents detail how Google defines and prioritizes content from different news publishers and how its products feature that content.  One document, called the “Fake News-letter” explains Google’s goal to have a “single point of truth” across their products.

 

Google Exposed

Another document received by Project Veritas explains the “News Ecosystem” which mentions “editorial guidelines” that appear to be determined and administered internally by Google.  These guidelines control how content is distributed and displayed on their site.

Google Exposed

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The leaked documents appear to show that Google makes news decisions about what news they promote and distribute on their site.

Comments made by Gennai raise similar questions.  In a conversation with Veritas journalists, Gennai explains that “conservative sources” and “credible sources” don’t always coincide according to Google’s editorial practices.

“We have gotten accusations of around fairness is that we’re unfair to conservatives because we’re choosing what we find as credible news sources and those sources don’t necessarily overlap with conservative sources …” 

The insider shed additional light on how YouTube demotes content from influencers like Dave Rubin and Tim Pool:

“What YouTube did is they changed the results of the recommendation engine. And so what the recommendation engine is it tries to do, is it tries to say, well, if you like A, then you’re probably going to like B. So content that is similar to Dave Rubin or Tim Pool, instead of listing Dave Rubin or Tim Pool as people that you might like, what they’re doing is that they’re trying to suggest different, different news outlets, for example, like CNN, or MSNBC, or these left leaning political outlets.”

 

Internal Google Document: “People Like Us Are Programmed” 

An additional document Project Veritas obtained, titled “Fair is Not the Default” says “People (like us) are programmed” after the results of machine learning fairness.  The document describes how “unconscious bias” and algorithms interact.

Click to enlarge

Veritas is the “Only Way”

Said the insider:

“The reason why I came to Project Veritas is that you’re the only one I trust to be able to be a real investigative journalist.  Investigative journalist is a dead career option, but somehow, you’ve been able to make it work.  And because of that I came to Project Veritas because I knew that this was the only way that this story would be able to get out to the public.”

“I mean, this is a behemoth, this is a Goliath, I am but a David trying to say that the emperor has no clothes. And, um, being a small little ant I can be crushed, and I am aware of that. But, this is something that is bigger than me, this is something that needs to be said to the American public.”

Project Veritas intends to continue investigating abuses in big tech companies and encourages more Silicon Valley insiders to share their stories through their Be Brave campaign.

As of publishing, Google did not respond to Project Veritas’ request for comment.  Additional leaked Google documents can be viewed HERE.

Other insider investigations can be viewed here:

 (Big tech insiders can reach out to Project Veritas here to help expose similar newsworthy wrongdoing.)

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam

Streisand effect in action: YouTube censors video exposing Google’s anti-conservative censorship

On Monday, Project Veritas released another video exposing leftist media bias with an undercover interview and leaked internal documents from Google. In an act of censorship that could not possibly be an accident, YouTube, which is owned by Google, took the video down within a day of its posting.

Segments of the Project Veritas video, which can still be viewed on the group’s website, include undercover footage of Google executive Jen Gennai sharing her thoughts on the 2016 election, saying, “We all got screwed over in 2016 … so we’ve rapidly been like what happened there, and how do we prevent it from happening again?”

She continued to say that Google altered its algorithms to promote its own political idea of “fairness,” adding, “The same people who voted for the current president … do not agree with our definition of fairness.”

The defector Google employee explained Gennai’s comments from his perspective: “What they’re really saying about fairness is that they have to manipulate their search results so that it gives them the political agenda that they want. … What she’s trying to do is she’s trying to sell a product that’s not objective, that doesn’t represent the will of its users, but instead represents the will of a group of people making decisions behind the shadows.”

Gennai responded to the video, admitting it was authentic and that she was tricked, but stating the spliced segments promoted “debunked conspiracies” and that “Google has no notion of political ideology in its rankings.” I’m authentically searching for the truth, so I’d happily hear Gennai out on this matter. But Gennai, and Silicon Valley as a whole, have not provided convincing evidence to defend themselves. And the evidence against them is quite damning.

Later in the Project Veritas video, the Google leaker provided an example of leftist bias that anyone can see for themselves. If you type the words “men can” into Google, the auto-complete function creates ridiculous phrases such as “men can have babies,” “men can get pregnant,” and “men can have periods.”

The leaker also said many conservative content creators, such as Dave Rubin, Steven Crowder, and PragerU are being censored, demonetized, and hidden from normal YouTube search functions to decrease their popularity.

“YouTube is targeting what they consider to be right-wing news commentators,” he said. “They’re deciding they don’t want these opinions to have wide appeal … they’re coming in and they’re putting their thumb down, and they’re deciding what content the users are allowed to see.”

These are the highlights of the 25-minute video, but the full video is worth watching if you have the time. Evidently, it was important enough for YouTube to take it down within a day, an action that ironically seems to give the allegations even more credibility. (See the Streisand effect.)

As Dave Rubin said yesterday, “Censoring a video about censorship seems very censorshippy to me.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/streisand-effect-in-action-youtube-censors-video-exposing-googles-anti-conservative-censorship

DailyMail: 50% Drop In Traffic After Google June 2019 Core Update

Jun 6, 2019 • 8:02 am | comments (122)by twitter| Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Jesus Mendez, the SEO Director at MailOnline, which operators DailyMail.co.uk, has admitted publicly that the site took a massive hit by the June 2019 Google core updatewhich began rolling out June 3rd. He said the site “lost 50% of daily traffic” because of this Google update.

It is very rare for a publishing site that large to admit they were hit by a Google update – extremely rare to see a post about it in a public forum. But the transparency is clear and honest, which I do love. It launched in 2003, and according to Wikipedia it is/was “the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world, with over 11.34m visitors daily in August 2014.” Heck, I even wrote how smart they were when they hid an easter egg in their robots.txt file to hire a savvy SEO for their publication.

But now, the site lost 50% of its traffic, with an additional 90% drop in their Google Discover traffic – which can hurt big time for a publication that size.

Jesus Mendez wrote in as Google Webmaster Help thread “The day after the broad core algorithm update (June 3rd) we saw a massive drop in Search traffic from Google (lost 50% of daily traffic). This was a drop over the course of 24-hours and we have not made any changes to the site. Further, we saw our Discover traffic drop by 90% and has not improved. This is across all verticals, devices, AMP and Non-AMP. ”

Here is a screen shot of the full post (click to enlarge):

click for full size

There are no responses to this post – but wowza. We know this update can be big for some sites but the DailyMail really felt it!

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Update: The Press Gazette confirmed with The Mall Online that Jesus Mendez did post in the Google forums.

https://www.seroundtable.com/dailymail-hit-google-core-update-27690.html

 

Trump is right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google threatens democracy, online freedom

Google, YouTube and other tech giants filter, suppress and even directly attack conservatives. This must stop to protect our free and open society.

Americans must be wary of powerful institutions that seek to control what we see and hear.

As the internet has become an increasingly central part of modern life, Big Tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have increasingly sought to become the gatekeepers of the internet and political discourse. Without any sort of democratic mandate, these companies have appointed themselves the arbiters of acceptable thought, discussion and searches online.

These companies’ pervasive command of the internet — and blatant desire to control how we interact with it — is a direct threat to a free society. And arguably the worst offender is Google.

Google claims to value free expression and a free and open internet, but there is overwhelming evidence that the Big Tech giant wants the internet to be free and open only to political and social ideas of which it approves.

“Google & others are suppressing voices of conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” President Trump tweeted last month.

Google has directly targeted Republicans

The president is absolutely right.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Google was accused of manipulating search results to favor Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Also, research at Harvard University found that Google’s search rankings are not objective, and in 2017, the company was fined billions of dollars by the European Union for manipulating search results.

Google also maintains at least nine shadowy blacklists that affect what the public sees when using its search engine.

Sometimes, the tech giant just attacks conservatives directly. In one infamous example, a Google search result listed “Nazism” as an official ideology of the California GOP. North Carolina Sen. Trudy Wade, a Republican, was shocked to discover that the top search result for her name returned a photo labeling her as a bigot.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/09/10/trump-google-youtube-search-results-biased-against-republicans-conservatives-column/1248099002/

PragerU Takes Legal Action Against Google and YouTube for Discrimination

VIEW FULL LAWSUIT COMPLAINT HERE

“This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker”  – 36th Governor of California Pete Wilson  Browne, George, Ross LLP

LOS ANGELES — Prager University (PragerU) has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to stop Google and YouTube from unlawfully censoring its educational videos and discriminating against its right to freedom of speech. 

The lawsuit cites more than 50 PragerU videos which have either been “restricted” or “demonetized” by Google/YouTube. The PragerU videos range on various subjects presenting a conservative point of view, and include a video by noted Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz on the founding of Israel. PragerU previously compiled a complete list of their restricted videos here, which includes: “Why America Must Lead,” “The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder,” “Why Did America Fight the Korean War,” and “The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians.” 

In correspondence cited in the filing, Google/YouTube made it clear that the censorship of certain videos was because they were deemed “inappropriate” for younger audiences.

“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America,” stated PragerU founder Dennis Prager.

Prager added, “They are engaging in an arbitrary and capricious use of their ‘restricted mode’ and ‘demonetization’ to restrict non-left political thought. Their censorship is profoundly damaging because Google and YouTube own and control the largest forum for public participation in video-based speech in not only California, but the United States, and the world.”

The total number of people who currently use YouTube exceeds 1.3 billion people. Google and YouTube advertise YouTube to the public as a forum intended to defend and protect free speech where members of the general public may express and exchange their ideas. They have represented that their platforms and services are intended to effectuate the exercise of free speech among the public. According to Google and YouTube: “voices matter.” YouTube states that it is “committed to fostering a community where everyone’s voice can be heard.”

“However,” said Eric George of Browne George Ross, the firm representing PragerU, “Google and YouTube use restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU. Google and YouTube do this not because they have identified video content that violates their guidelines or is otherwise inappropriate for younger viewers, but because PragerU is a conservative nonprofit organization that is associated with and espouses the views of leading conservative speakers and scholars.”  

“This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker,” said former California Governor Pete Wilson of Browne George Ross. “Google and YouTube’s use of restricted mode filtering to silence PragerU violates its fundamental First Amendment rights under both the California and United States Constitutions. It constitutes unlawful discrimination under California law, is a misleading and unfair business practice, and breaches the warranty of good faith and fair dealing implied in Google and YouTube’s own Terms of Use and ‘Community Guidelines.’”

“There is absolutely nothing ‘inappropriate’ about the content of the PragerU videos censored by Google and YouTube; the videos do not contain any profanity, nudity or otherwise inappropriate ‘mature’ content and they fully comply with the letter of YouTube’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines,” said Marissa Streit, PragerU’s chief executive officer who has engaged in a year-long-effort to try and persuade Google to stop censoring PragerU content. Streit continues, “It’s clear that someone doesn’t like what we teach and so they intend on stopping us from teaching it. Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with?”

“This is not a left/right issue. It is a free speech issue, which is why prominent liberals, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, are supporting our lawsuit,” Prager concluded.

The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California is available here.

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PRESS INQUIRES CONTACT: The KAIROS Company for Prager University | Johnnie@theKcompany.co | 434-426-5310

Advisory Legal Council: Former Governor Pete Wilson’s Law Firm, Browne, George and Ross; Eric George; Alan Dershowitz; Barak Lurie, Kelly Shackelford, Mat Staver;  and additional prominent attorneys.

PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.

https://www.prageru.com/press-release/prageru-takes-legal-action-against-google-and-youtube-for-discrimination/

WHY BITCOIN? PATREON PUSHED BY MASTERCARD TO BAN ACCOUNTS IN ‘TERRIBLE PRECEDENT’

ESTHER KIM | DEC 25, 2018 | 12:00

Crowdfunding platform Patreon is grappling with fiat currency centralization after MasterCard demanded it must block the account of a prominent US author and several others.


SPENCER: PATREON ‘AXED’ ME

Citing an email from the company in August, Robert Spencer, who penned multiple books about countering Jihad and advised law enforcement agencies, said it had “axed” him and he could no longer put contributed funds to any use.

“I’ve been axed from Patreon, without explanation, warning or notice – no doubt as part of the ongoing efforts of the Left to deny all platforms to those who reject its agenda,” he wrote on Twitter. “To those who supported me there, thank you, and I’m sorry we couldn’t follow through on plans.”

Responding publicly, Patreon denied it had chosen to ban Spencer, alleging that “unfortunately Mastercard required” it to “remove” his account.