The main aim of this research is to analyze and present why and how China is trying to implement a plan with which it could become an independent financial pole. What kind of sources has Beijing gathered for financing BRI? Why and how should Armenia try to be involved in the financial sector of the BRI? What will Armenia and China get if they cooperate in the aforementioned sphere? why should China be interested in conversion of Chinese Renminbi to Armenian currency and why should it be interested in establishing a branch of any Chinese bank in Armenia?
China is trying to influence the world economy through BRI, with which it is creating a financial and economic platform that can act independently from the West, so that in the event of a China-US confrontation, China would not be isolated. In turn countries which will create ties with China through BRI will get Chinese loans and investments.
In order to implement the aforementioned strategy, thanks to the work of the Chinese diplomatic corps, on October 1, 2016, Chinese currency was included in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) valuation basket by the International Monitory Fund.
From my point of view, one of the main aims of this step to strengthen the position of Chinese RENMINBI, which will provide an opportunity to Beijing to give loans and implement vast investment projects in states which are involved in the BRI, using its own national currency and in international trade grow the quantity of financial transfers with RENMINBI. Beijing also aims to reduce its dependence from the USD. As Chinese authors mention, “BRI will provide an opportunity to China to strengthen Renminbi role as a regional currency and afterwards as an international currency.
China’s investments in the framework of BRI rise the global meaning of Chinese initiative, as due to Asian Development Bank’s report, “Infrastructure needs in developing Asia and the Pacific will exceed from $1.5 to $1.7 trillion per year”.
In October 2015, China established “China International Payment Service (CIPS)”, which aims to make Chinese currency available at foreign banking systems and it will reduce also China’s dependence from “The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)”. Dozens of international banks have already joined and can use Chinese CIPS. It is worth noting also the importance of Yinilan (银联- Union Pay) payment service. It provides states which are participating in BRI with an opportunity to make interbank and international bank transfers using Chinese currency.
It is worth mentioning that already in the end of 2016 Chinese banks opened 62 branches in 26 states which participated in BRI. China officially mentioned in its “Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” document, that China must rise exchange of currencies with the BRI participants, create and develop Asian bond markets.” For implementing aforementioned aims, China creates financial system, in which joint financial structures, foundations established by Beijing and partners, several Chinese banks are playing leading and crucial roles. It is expected that China’s government will invest $ 1 trillion in total in its BRI. The research of BRI’s financial system is important, as it provides an opportunity to states which have stable financial systems to be involved in BRI’s financial-economic system and get benefits.
Silk Road Foundation
Until 2018 the main financial investments in BRI have been made by Chinese companies. It is clear that both interests, and resources of Chinese companies are limited. Thus, for continuation of Chinese investments in the framework of BRI and for financing projects of the foreign countries as well, on December 29, 2014, Beijing established Silk Road Foundation. The Main aim of this foundation is to make investments and develop infrastructure, industry and financial systems. It has $40 billion capital.It is also worth mentioning that until May 2017 it has provided $ 4 billion for investments within the framework of BRI.
Asian infrastructure Investment bank
Special importance was also ascribed to the establishment of The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in January 2016. It is worth mentioning that China was able to establish the AIIB under pressure from the US. AIIB authorized capital amounts to $ 100 billion.
According to Xi Jinping’s report, AIIB until 2017has provided $ 1.7bn for investments within the framework of BRI. From the South Caucasus, Georgia and Azerbaijan are members of AIIB. Representatives of these countries are also included in the Board of Governors. In 2016 November, Azerbaijan succeeded to receive $ 600 million from AIIB to build a trans-Anatolian gas pipeline, and Georgia received $ 114 million from the bank to build a bypass road.
On one hand, Armenia is a member of the EAEU, and on the other hand it is strengthening its cooperation with the EU. Yerevan also speaks about its commitment to strengthen cooperation with China in the field of transportation, in the framework of China’s BRI initiative. It is worth mentioning that to become a transit country in transportation corridors which unite different regions of the Eurasian continent, Armenia must at first develop and modernize its poorly developed transportation infrastructure. For this reason, Armenia is building the 556-kilometer North-South Road Corridor, which will start at the Armenian-Iranian border and stretch to the Armenian-Georgian border.In 2018 China’s lead Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is investing mainly in transportation infrastructures in BRI participant countries, published its “Transport Sector Strategy: Sustainable and Integrated Transport for Trade and Economic Growth in Asia”. The research of this strategy shows that its main aims fully coincide with Armenian North-South Road Corridor Investment Program which is being implemented by Transport Project Implementation Organization. My recommendation is that at first Armenia can try to stand Regional member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment bank and after get sovereign backed or non-sovereign backed loans for its state-owned noncommercial organizations, private organizations, and international organizations which works in the territory of Armenia, that they invest this money in Armenian North-South Transportation Corridor, which will significantly enhance Armenia’s capabilities to be involved in the Silk Road Economic Belt’s China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Belt.
I think that Armenia’s accession to AIIB will also allow to start negotiations for a possibility of getting a loan for the construction of the Armenian-Iranian railroad.
BRICS NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK
The other crucial step in this direction was the foundation of BRICS New Development Bank with the other members of BRICS. This international financial institution has its own monetary fund, and its main aim is to ensure the financial sustainability of its founders.
Within the period of 2016-2017 the Bank has approved a $ 3,4 billion credit line. The NDB aims to provide this amount for the development of communications, renewable energy, water purification, irrigation and other projects. It was confirmed that the initial capital of the NDB would be $ 50 billion, which would be shared by the Member States on a parity basis. It was also decided that the statutory capital of the bank should be raised to $ 100 billion. The NDB Center is located in Shanghai, China, with the ultimate goal of providing financial sustainability for its founders. In other words, the NDB will be financing most of the initiatives undertaken within the framework of BRI in China, Russia, India, Brazil and South African Republic.
Chinese banks financing BRI:
China Development Bank – 国家开发银行
Near the end of 2014th year the latest capital of the CDB reached the amount of 10.32 trillion Chinese Renminbi.
In 2014 the CDB has provided 1.56 trillion yuan for investments in foreign countries. The CDB declares that it serves China’s BRI and promotes the Chinese companies ‘Go Global’ policy. One of the CDB’s objectives is to deepen cooperation with foreign governments in financial institutions, industrial centers, infrastructures, finance, agriculture and energy. For example, the CDB has opened a $ 10 billion credit line for the ASEAN member states to develop their infrastructures. This line of credit can also be used by Chinese companies, which are going to build factories and develop industries in these countries.
The Export-Import Bank of China – 中国进出口银行
The Export-Import Bank of China is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank with the status of an independent legal entity. One of the main goals of this bank is to promote China’s foreign trade and the normal course of investments, the development of economic cooperation with the outside world, and the support of Chinese organizations in the framework of the “Go Global” policy.
For example, in 2013, this bank provided $ 385 million loan to Kyrgyzstan to modernize Bishkek thermal power plant.
China Bank – 中国银行
In 2014 the CB actives reached $ 2.458 trillion. The Bank has announced that the 2016-2018 China will provide $ 100 billion to Chinese companies to finance projects abroad within the framework of BRI.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – 中国工商银行 (ICBC)
The ICBC is the largest bank in the world. By the year of 2016, it has created 412 financial institutions in the world, 127 of which are located in the BRI countries. The ICBC declares that it will support the policy of Chinese organizations abroad.
In sum, China uses governmental, international and private financial resources for the successful implementation of BRI. It is worth mentioning that China combined the internationalization of the Renminbi with the globalization of the BRI initiative. For one thing, the implementation of BRI provides an added impetus and unique platform for continuation of the establishment of the Renminbi as an international currency, and for another, it fostersthe sustainable development of the financial sector of BRI outside of China, which provides an opportunity for China to turn into an independent financial pole.
Prospects for Sino-Armenian cooperation in the financial-banking sphere within the framework of the BRI
Taking into account international experience, based on which the CDB has agreed to provide Egypt’s SIBBANK funding for financing Egyptian enterprises, and financial support to Singaporean and Chinese companies should be provided to invest in the framework of BRI, I do believe, that it is possible to get a credit line from the Chinese banks for Armenian small and medium-sized businesses which are importing to Armenia Chinese high-technologies.
As a result, Armenia’s businessmen will be able to expand their business, with additional cash flows to Armenia, and China, in its turn, will be able to put its own money into circulation and increase interest in Chinese-made equipment and products in Armenia, which is a member of Eurasian Economic Union.
Armenian business companies can also start direct negotiations with Chinese companies for starting joint investments in Armenia, after the agreements between both sides’ entities in special projects, Chinese business companies can apply to the above-mentioned Chinese banks, that they provide them finances for investing in Armenian within the framework of BRI.
One of the best arguments for this hypothesis is the message of Xi Jinping to Chinese organizations, according to which the Chinese leadership is interested in the fact that Chinese companies are increasing their role in investing within the framework of the BRI, basing on the “Go Global” policy.
Assessment of the Establishment of a Chinese Bank in RA From the viewpoint of economic persistence of RA:
Internationalization of Chinese Renminbi provides a wide range of opportunities to countries with stable banking systems included in the BRI as they have the opportunity to engage Chinese banks in their own banking system or to establish intermediary banks operating in Chinese currency to provide a conversion of their currency by renminbi.
The following question arises: why should China be interested in conversion of Chinese Renminbi to Armenian currency and why should it be interested in establishing a branch of any Chinese banks in Armenia?
China will get an opportunity to trade with Armenia with Chinese currency, due to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia bilateral, direct trade between Armenia and China is worth 490 million USD. With this step, the role of the Renminbi will be strengthened in the global financial arena. Additionally, if the Chinese side establishes a bank in Armenia, Chinese capital will be involved in the Armenian financial-banking sphere.
The following question arises as well: what will Armenia get?
If a branch of one of the leading Chinese banks is opened or if Armenia and China establish a joint bank, the result will be significant financial investments in Armenia. The financial field of the country will be diversified, and if Dram-Renminbi conversion is introduced, bilateral trade between Armenia and China will be realized in their own currencies, thanks to which Armenian and Chinese businessman will no longer lose money in currency exchange.
According to our calculations, the Armenian side loses about $ 10mln annually due to the above-mentioned function, which can be ruled out if the Armenian banks are able to transfer their Chinese counterparts directly Renminbi. Chinese and Armenians living and studying in China and in Armenian will also benefit and be able to transfer Chinese currency to Armenia and to get money in the opposite direction without any additional losses of time and money.
China and Russia announced that they will try to deepen cooperation and reduce their tensions through the harmonization of the EAEU and BRI.Membership in the EAEU provides an opportunity to Armenia to defend its interests during negotiations with Big China more productively, as Armenia can first include the projects in the agenda of the EAEU in which it is interested, and after that, in from the name of the EAEU team, already from a strengthened position, introduce its projects to the Chinese side.
And the other recommendation is that that from time to time Armenia must invite Chinese businessmen and specialists to Armenia and offer them projects, which can bring bilateral benefit.
（*）Dr. Mher D. Sahakyan, The author of the book “Belt and Road Initiative and Armenia”, 2018, from which this essay is adapted. Translated from Armenian. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Would You Like a Thirty-Hour Workweek?
Authors: Meena Miriam Yust and Arshad M. Khan
In the earliest days, foraging was key. Fruits, berries, edible plants and roots comprised a varied diet, the roots often mashed and made into meal.
Then there were days when the men — usually layabouts for foraging — would get the urge in their bellies for meat. That was when all the chatting and bonding paid off. Working together they could down a large beast and share the meat with the whole group … feasting for several days.
No nine-to-five slavery in those times, no five-day work week. That is all of recent vintage. And it leads to an unmistakable Monday morning feeling …
Millions of alarm bells sound in the wee hours of the morning, as semi-comatose individuals slide their snooze buttons hoping for a moment’s rest before the inevitable rush to the office. The weekend is over. Fun over, work beckons. Marching along like ants going to their own funeral, masses of people will soon swarm into the subway, vying for a seat in a stench-free area, surrounded shoulder to shoulder with others like them.
And for what when we know first hand that wage buying power hasn’t changed in decades while US income inequality continues to grow. Good luck to the rich who keep getting richer as the stock market booms while trends in wealth show the lower 60 percent have seen a net worth decline. Can we ever get a real wage increase? Yes, by working fewer hours for the same weekly salary when the over overtime on a few hours more would boost our financial health. More money and free time makes for a happier work and life balance. Just as raising the minimum wage, it would have an impact on pay inequality as economist Ben Zipperer made clear in his testimony before Congress last year.
For most of us, next come the Tuesday blues, that lethargic, listless feeling of no escape. Wednesdays mark the halfway point, Thursdays bring the hope of almost-Friday, and then Friday arrives with the joy of the weekend break. But soon it will be Monday morning again. The majority of our lives are spent working. The weekend leaves barely enough time for recovery, laundry, and if we’re lucky a smidgen of fun, before returning to the tedium of the five-day work week. It’s not that the powers that be are unaware of our circumstances. As long ago as 1935, the Senate Judiciary Committee held thirty-hour work week hearings but the idea failed to get traction. .
But is this weekly misery necessary? And where did it come from?
One year marks an orbit of the Earth around the sun. Months too are derived from astronomy. Five thousand years ago, the ancient Sumerian calendar had 12 months marked by the sighting of a new moon. They did not have weeks. And archaeologists have discovered a hunter gatherer calendar from Aberdeen, Scotland dating farther back from 8,000 B.C., which also appeared to mimic phases of the moon to track months.
The history of the seven-day week leads us to Babylon 4,000 years ago. With a lunar month they used seven days to represent each of the four phases of the moon, adding an intercalary day(s) to synchronize it to the actual lunar cycle. All of which worked out very well because they believed there were seven planets in the solar system and deemed the number significant. The seven-day week eventually spread to Egypt, Greece, and thence to India, China and Rome, ending up in the Gregorian calendar we use today.
The five-day work week was first introduced in a New England mill in 1908. Before this, Saturdays were a half day and Sundays a holiday.
It was not expected that humans would still be doing this a century later. John Maynard Keynes in 1930 predicted that the work week would be reduced to 15 hours, within a couple of generations, due to advancements in technology. In 2017, economist and historian Rutger Bregman put forward its feasibility by 2030 in his best seller, Utopia for Realists. A Senate subcommittee in 1965 also predicted we would be working 14-hour weeks by the year 2,000.
More recently, companies have started to study whether there are benefits to a four-day work week. Microsoft Japan recently reported the results of a four-day work week study. The company had employees work four days while receiving five-day pay. The results were striking – a whopping 40% increase in productivity. The firm also reported increased efficiency in several areas, including lower electricity and paper usage.
A New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian in 2018 experimented with a four-day work week with five-day pay. It resulted in a 20 percent increase in productivity while employees experienced a 45 percent improvement in work-life balance. The company has now made the policy permanent.
Another example is a company called Basecamp. Employees work 8 hours a day for four days. Jason Fried, the CEO, states in a New York Times op-ed that “Better work gets done in four days than in five.”
Despite the jokes about civil servants they do work, and some very hard. In a study of British civil servants, it was determined that those who worked 55 hours per week showed a comparatively greater cognitive decline some three years later than those working for 40 hours. Imagine what happens to us when we extend this to a lifetime of 40-plus-hour weeks.
The question is, do we need to work even 40 hours per week? If Keynes predicted humans would only need to work 15 hours by this point in time, and there has been an explosion of technological advancements in the last 30 years unimaginable to him — from computers to robotics to the internet and advancements in every type of engineering and medical field — then why are we still 40-hour slaves, particularly when the Basecamp example has demonstrated that 32 hours per week is equally or perhaps more productive?
Next is the question of whether even 32 hours, as at Basecamp, are necessary. David Graeber is an anthropologist at the London School of Economics. His 2018 book Bullshit Jobs: A Theory describes jobs that appear to have no useful purpose. These are far more common that one might expect. In a poll of British citizens, 37% considered their jobs meaningless. In the Netherlands, 40% of respondents believed their job had no reason to exist. Graeber defines bullshit jobs as “a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case.”
In many of these jobs, employees sit at a desk five days a week with nothing to do. In other jobs, higher management invents tasks for subordinates to complete solely to fill their time. Some jobs exist merely for appearances. He splits them into categories, encompassing jobs with which we are all too familiar. “Flunkies” serve the purpose of making others feel superior (these include doormen, assistants, etc.). “Goons” encompass those such as the public relations professional whose job is to show the public that Oxford is a top school! “Duct tapers” are people in an organization who have to deal with its incompetence. For example, the person who handles lost luggage at an airport or addresses complaints on the phone. “Box tickers” are designed to look busy and push paper work forward. “Taskmasters” are split into two types – those that assign more bullshit work to subordinates “bullshit generators”, and those who supervise people who do not need supervision.
For the 60% of people who do not have “bullshit jobs” – studies have shown that fewer work days increases productivity and efficiency, not to mention mental well being. Companies will be more efficient, workers will work better and will be rested and refreshed, and employees will be more likely to stay in their jobs. It’s a plus-sum game if the work week is cut to 30 hours/ 4 days forthwith. Anything beyond 30 hours would be overtime, at time-and-a-half rates. The proposal is still twice John Maynard Keynes’ 15-hour expectation.
There is another very good reason for this proposal: Real wages in the US have been stagnant since the 1960s while the GDP is up over four fold and the stock market Dow is up about ten times, also in real terms i.e. after allowing for inflation. It means stock and asset holders have been getting much, much richer while the working sucker is getting nowhere. Cutting the work week down is a fair way to get part way (a very small part) even. It is 25 percent less work and a one-third real increase in wages making a minor dent in the horrendous inequality in the US, which happens to be way ahead in this dubious honor among all developed countries.
It is a long time since the hunter gatherers of Scotland or the Babylonians. Their week remains ingrained, and the weekend created thousands of years later expanded from the Biblical single day of rest to one-and-a-half days in England, and then finally to two in New England at the beginning of the 20th century. A hundred years later, is it not high time we advanced to three days? Or perhaps to diminish the chances of worse Monday morning blues, it might be better to work two days, have a day off, then two more days of work before the regular weekend. Humans were not designed for undue stress, we were designed for leisure, to be gathering food as we need it, and occasionally hunting, as the Scots mentioned earlier, and others of our ancestors did happily for generations.
Authors’ Note: This article first appeared on Truthout.org in a shorter edited version.
Banks and Artificial Intelligence
“Artificial Intelligence” is a terminology specifically invented in 1956 by John McCarthy and concerns the ability to make appropriate generalizations quickly, but based on an inevitably limited set of data.
The wider the scope and the faster conclusions are drawn, and with minimal information, the smarter the machine’s behaviour can be defined.
Intelligence is the creative adaptation to quick changes in the environment. This is the now classic definition, but in this case, with machines, the speed and the increasingly narrow base of the starting data are also evaluated.
What if the starting data does not contain exactly the necessary information – which is possible? What if, again, the speed of the solution stems from the fact that the data collected is too homogeneous and does not contain the most interesting data?
Konrad Lorenz, the founder of animal ethology, was always very careful to maintain that between instinctive behaviour and learned behaviour, external environmental and genetic sources can be equally “intelligent”. The fact, however, is that greater flexibility of a behaviour – always within a reasonable time, but not as quickly as possible – generates greater intelligence of the animal.
As said by a great student of Lorenz, Nikko Tinbergen, human beings are “representational magpies”, which means that much of their genetic and informative history has no practical value.
When the collection of information becomes easy, the “adaptive” magpie has a very adaptive behaviour, but when the data collection is at the maximum, all data counts and we never know which, among this data, will really be put into action.
In other words, machine data processing is a “competence without understanding”, unless machines are given all senses – which is currently possible.
Human intelligence is defined when we are at the extreme of physically possible data acquisition, i.e. when individuals learn adaptive-innovative behaviour from direct imitation of abstract rules.
Abstract rules, not random environmental signals.
If machines could reach this level, they would need such a degree of freedom of expression that, today, no machine can reach, not least because no one knows how to reach this level; and how this behaviour is subsequently coded.
What if it cannot be encoded in any way?
The standardization of “if-then” operations that could mimic instincts, and of finalized operations (which could appear as an acquired Lorenz-style imprinting) is only a quantitative expansion of what we call “intelligence”, but it does not change its nature, which always comes after the particular human link between instinct, intelligence and learning by doing.
Which always has an accidental, statistical and unpredictable basis. Which duck will be the first to call Konrad Lorenz “dad”, thus creating a conditioning for the others? No one can predict that.
If systematized, bio-imitation could be a way to produce – in the future – sentient machines that can create their own unique and unrepeatable intelligent way to react to the environment, thus creating a one and only intelligent behaviour. Will it be unique?
However, let us go back to Artificial Intelligence machines and how they work.
In the 1980s there was the first phase of large investment in AI, with the British Alvey Program; the U.S. DARPA Program spending a billion US dollars on its Strategic Computing Initiative alone; finally the Japanese Fifth Generation Computer Project, investing a similar amount of money.
At the time there was the booming of “expert systems”, i.e. symbolic mechanisms that solved problems, but in a previously defined area.
From the beginning, expert systems were used in financial trading.
There was the hand of the expert system in the fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 508 points in 1987. In 1990, however, Artificial Intelligence also began to be used in the analysis of financial frauds, with an ad hoc program used by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), especially with the possibility to automatically review 200,000 transactions per week and to identify over 400 illegal transactions.
Machine learning, the model on which the most widely used AI financial technology relies, is based on a work by McCullogh and Pitts in 1943, in which it was discovered that the human brain produces signals that are both digital and binary.
A machine learning system is composed, in principle, by: 1) a problem; 2) a data source; 3) a model; 4) an optimization algorithm; 5) a validation and testing system.
In 2011, deep learning (DL) added to the other “expert” systems.
It is a way in which machines use algorithms operating at various separate levels, as happens in the real human brain. Hence deep learning is a statistical method to find acceptably stable paradigms in a very large data set, by imitating our brain and its structure in layers, areas and sectors.
As explained above, it is a mechanism that “mimics” the functioning of the human brain, without processing it.
DL could analyse for the first time non-linear events, such as market volatility, but its real problem was the verification of models: in 2004 Knight Capital lost 440 million US dollars in 45 minutes, because it put into action a DL and financial trading model that had not been tested before.
In 2013, during a computer block of only 13 minutes, Goldman Sachs flooded the U.S. financial market with purchase requests for 800,000 equities. The same week., again for a computer error, the Chinese Everbright Securities bought 4 billion of various shares on the Shanghai market, but without a precise reason.
Between 2012 and 2016, the United States invested 18.2 billion US dollars in Artificial Intelligence, while only 2.6 were invested by China and 850 million US dollars by the United Kingdom in the same period.
The Japanese Government Pension Savings Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund manager, thinks it can soon replace “human” managers with advanced Artificial Intelligence systems.
BlackRock has just organized an AILab.
In 2017, however, China overtook the United States in terms of AI startups, with 15.2 billion funding.
China now has 68% of AI startups throughout Asia, raising 1.345 billion US dollars on the markets for their take-off.
China has also overtaken the United States in terms of Artificial Intelligence patents over the last five years.
Nevertheless, considered together, the USA and China still account for over 50% of all AI patents worldwide.
China also dominates the market of patents on AI technology vision systems, while deep learning data processing systems are now prey to the big global companies in the sector, namely Microsoft, Google and IBM. Similar Chinese networks are rapidly processing their new “intelligent” data collection systems, also favoured by the fact that the Chinese population is about twice as much as the US population and hence the mass of starting data is huge.
The Chinese intelligence industry zone near Tianjin is already active.
In the end, however, how does Artificial Intelligence change the financial sector?
AI operates above all in the trading of securities and currencies in various fields: algorithmic trading; the composition and optimization of portfolios; validation of investment models; verification of key operations; robo-advising, namely robotic consultancy; the analysis of impact on the markets; the effectiveness of regulations and finally the standard banking evaluations and the analysis of competitors’ trading.
Algorithmic trading is a real automatic transaction system – a Machine Learning program that learns the structure of transaction data and then tries to predict what will happen.
Nowadays computers already generate 70% of transactions in financial markets, 65% of transactions in futures markets and 52% of transactions in the public debt securities market.
The issue lies in making transactions at the best possible price, with a very low probability of making mistakes and with the possibility of checking different market conditions simultaneously, as well as avoiding psychological errors or personal inclinations.
In particular, algorithmic trading concerns hedge funds operations and the operations of the most important clients of a bank or Fund.
There are other AI mathematical mechanisms that come into play here.
There is, in fact, signal processing, which operates by filtering data to eliminate disturbing elements and observe the development trends of a market.
There is also market sentiment.
The computer is left completely unaware of the operations in progress, until the specific algorithm is put to work – hence the machine immediately perceives the behaviour of supply and demand.
There is also the news reader, a program that learns to interpret the main social and political phenomena, as well as pattern recognition, an algorithm teaching the machine to learn and react when the markets show characteristics allowing immediate gains.
Another algorithm is available, developed by a private computer company in the USA, which processes millions of “data points” to discover investment models or spontaneous market trends and operates on trillions of financial scenarios, from which it processes the scenarios deemed real.
Here, in fact, 1,800 days of physical trading are reduced to seven minutes.
However, the algorithms developed from evidence work much better than human operators in predicting the future.
Artificial Intelligence works as a prediction generator even in the oldest financial market, namely real estate.
Today, for example, there is an algorithm, developed by a German company, that automatically “extracts” the most important data from the documents usually used to evaluate real estate transactions.
In Singapore, Artificial Intelligence is used to calculate the value of real estate property, with a mix of algorithms and comparative market analysis. Man is not involved at all.
As to corporate governance, there are AI programs that select executives based on their performance, which is analysed very carefully.
What is certainly at work here is the scientist and naive myth of excluding subjectivity, always seen as negative. The program, however, is extremely analytical and full of variables.
Artificial Intelligence is also used in the market of loans and mortgages, where algorithms can be processed from an infinity of data concerning clients (age, work, gender, recurrent diseases, lifestyles, etc.) and are linked to operations – always through an algorithm – which are ordered, without knowing it, from one’s own mobile phone or computer.
So far we have focused on Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
But there is also quantum computing (QC), which is currently very active already. Its speed cannot be reached by today’s “traditional” computers.
It is a more suitable technology than the others to solve problems and make financial forecasts, because QC operates with really random variables, while the old algorithms simply simulate random variables.
Quantum computing can process several procedures simultaneously, and these “coexistence states” are defined as qubits.
In a scenario analysis, QC can evaluate a potentially infinite set of solutions and results that have been randomly generated.
An extremely powerful machine which, however, cannot determine exactly – as it also happens to slower machines – whether the scenario processed corresponds to human interests (but only to the initial ones known by the machine) or whether the procedure does not change during operations.
The Reckoning: Debt, Democracy and the Future of American Power- Book Review
Authors: Junaid R.Soomro and Nadia Shaheen
The chapter is written by Michael Moran in which he discussed about the relations between the economic institutions with the other institutions of the state. A state is a combination of many institutions that work together as a single body to make the state run accordingly. Political and economic institutions are two major components of the state. Politics and economy somehow depend on each other from a very long time. The both concepts are old and influenced by each other. The major changes occurred after the industrial revolution that gave birth to new tactics and opportunities to the economy. Earliest, before the French Revolution the economy was controlled by the elites that were the political identities. This is the example that how those bourgeois controlled the economic structure of the state and how they shape or influence the economical aspect of the society. These involvements of both disciplines gave birth to a new subject that is known as the political economy of the states, that how political and economic policies influence each other because it is not possible for any institution to work separately. The economic institutions shape the economic structure of the state and it is controlled by many aspects, including the political institutions, the economic regulations, the political structure of the state that somehow effects the economic institution of the state.
The chapter tells us that how economic institution and other institutions are interconnected.
Firstly, the focus is on the political institutions. The recognitions of an economic institution as a political act. The “politics” and “market” are somehow interconnected. It’s not because the political institutions shape the fate of economy, but the economy shapes it as well. From the start of the history these two aspects are there and depend on each other. We can see it through the examination of the history that how the political elites dominated the society because they were also superior financially. The political institutions somehow legitimize the economic institutions. According to “Godin” different preoccupations drive inquiry in different disciplines: for instance, choice in economy and the power in the politics.
Secondly the focus is the connection between institutionalism and the economic institutions.
The institutions are constructs of human mind, we cannot see or feel them. The regulations and the market grew up together. The current world politics is an example that how the regulations affect the economy and shape it as different stats can be taken as a model who are following the regulations. The institutions determine the opportunities of the society and in result the organizations are made in order or take benefit of those opportunities. There are several parallels that shape the behavior of the institutions that later affects the other institutions including the economic institution.
Thirdly, the connection between the economic institutions and the regulations.
The regulations are made to control the behavior of the institutions. This faced major change after the industrial revolution when many regulations were made that were supposed to control the outcomes of the institutions. We cannot run from globalization, this is the reason that the concept is not the same as it was in the past, but it came up with the new characteristics. Mainly the evolution in the middle of the twentieth century created a paradigmatic shift in the relationship of economic and political institutions. There are agencies with in the states that regulates the working on an institution and on the international level there are multinational corporations. This gives us two basic concepts. The first is uncertainty about the boundaries between the politics and economy, and the second is the importance of the agencies that fills the space and regulates the institutions.
Fourthly, the connection between the economic institutions and the capitalism.
Capitalism and the economy are directly connected with each other because the industrial revolution triggered the economy. Industries were made after the revolution and the world faced a new era of progress and economic change. The modern organizations are the basics that can be taken as the source of understanding the modern political economy. Industries were made after the industrial revolution that mainly works on the productivity, the more the productions are the more it will benefit. This era was a game changer for the economic aspect of the society and later it the economic institutions modified themselves.
Fifthly, the economic institutions and the democratic government.
The connection between democratic political institutions and the economic institution is complex. It depends that how far democratic government can try to constrain the operations of the economic institutions or how far the economic institutions can try the constrain the operation of the democratic government. the basic aspect of the relation is the relationship between the democracy and the market order. The control of the trade union and the control of the business. There are several problems such as the tussle between the capitalist institution and the democratic institution. There are several measures that can make both sides work together. The democratic governments usually believe on large economic interests and they also shape it according to their interests. There come the institutional regulations that regulates the behavior of these institutions in the particular manner.
State is made of many institutions. All the institutions work together this is the reason they depend on each other to work properly. The economic institution is the important institution of the state that makes it stand on its own. Today the examples are in front of us, those states th at has the best economic structures are now ruling the world. USA is the major power but with the passage of time new economic powers are competing with each other. The institutions regulate the behaviors but there are negative aspects when people use the institutions for their benefits. After the industrial revolutions there were merits and demerits. It depends on how one regulates the authority. If the institutions work properly the whole structure can be run perfectly but the interference that affects the institutions negatively can damage the structure. Today in the world where the concept of politics and economy is so dominant it is very important to regulate the bodies properly.
About the Author
Michael E. Moran (born May 1962 in Kearny, New Jersey) is an American author and analyst of international affairs he is also a digital documentarian who has held senior positions at a host of media, financial services, and consulting organizations. A foreign policy journalist and former partner at the global consultancy Control Risks, he is author of The Reckoning: Debt, Democracy and the Future of American Power, published in 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan. He is co-author of ‘The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Economic Revolution’. Moran served as Editor – in-Chief at the investment bank Renaissance Capital and has been a collaborator of renowned economist Nouriel Roubini as well commentator for Slate, the BBC and NBC News. He is also an adjunct professor of journalism at Bard College, a Visiting Fellow in Peace and Security at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and conceived of and served as executive producer of the award-winning Crisis Guides documentary series for the Council on Foreign Relations.
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