Bitcoins, deflation and the slightly silly impact of loss

I think Bitcoins and the Blockchain are amazingly cool.  I still don’t think Bitcoins are a useful currency and I worry that many of Bitcoin’s biggests fans also like the gold standard, Austrian economics and some other crazy stuff. What impact will the loss of Bitcoins over time have on the economy?

Claims analysis, inflation and discounting (part 2)

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Part 1 is here. Non-life claims reserves are regularly not discounted, for bad reasons and good. This part of the series looks at the related issue of inflation in claims reserving. (You’ll have to wait for part 3 for me to talk about the analysis that […]

Claims analysis, inflation and discounting (part 1)

I’ve had the privilege to straddle life insurance and non-life insurance (P&C, general, short term insurance, take your pick of terms) in my career.  On balance, I think having significant exposure to both has increased my knowledge in each rather than lessened the depth of my knowledge in either.  I’ve been able to transport concepts […]

Economic growth during and after Apartheid and the real problem with 1%

I read a letter from Pali Lehohla on news24 this weekend. Lehohla, the head of StatsSA, disagreed with a report by DaMina Advisors on economic growth in South Africa during and post the apartheid era. To paraphrase Lehohla, he disagreed with their methodology, their data and their values and ethics: First, I need to engage the […]

European deflation risks not deflating

The UK Telegraph (and other sources) are highlighting the rising panic about Euro area deflation. For those Austrian / hard money / gold standard / bitcoin / generally poorly informed amongst you, it’s not that deflation is itself a problem, but that it creates scenarios of debt spirals increasing the real value of debt obligations and […]

Argentina in default for second time in 13 years

S&P declares Argentina to be in default for the second time in 13 years and the third in 25. Inflation is likely to hit 40% this year and the Peso has already lost a quarter of its value this year, measured against the US Dollar. Messages? This time isn’t different, sovereign debt crises happen all […]

Is credit extension in SA out of control?

Unsecured credit explosion? Sure. Concerns about abuses and sustainability in this sector? Absolutely. But is overall domestic credit extension out of control? Are real interest rates negative? Is the global economy strong and steaming ahead? The answer to all these questions is “no”. Here is a graph produced from public reservebank data.

Eskom, inflation and early onset dementia

Everyone has totally lost the plot. The proportion of people who speak sense has declined to the lowest level recorded since ever. “If Eskom puts up its prices too high we’ll have higher inflation. Inflation is bad therefore Eskom shouldn’t put up electricity prices so much.” Oh really? What happens to the cost of producing […]