Posts tagged with "currency"

Lebanon illustration by Rita Azar

Lebanon Currency Crisis

By Rita Azar

The Lebanese currency has severely depleted in value during the last few months. Although many politicians claim that the lira will stabilize at 3000 to a dollar, the currency crisis continues to rock the finances of Lebanon. Ever since 1990, 1500 liras have always equaled a dollar. Although this is a far cry from 1980 when three liras equaled one dollar, the instability of the lira from 1990 on is treacherous to the economy. The worst the conversion rate has ever been was when the dollar reached a staggering 12000 liras.

One must grasp the country’s financial decisions to understand what led to the economic collapse. Lebanon’s broken electricity, water, and waste collection systems has cost the country billions of liras of debt. Before the early 2000s, most of Lebanon’s debt was local; this means that, theoretically, the debt could be paid off by simply printing more lira, which the central bank has the power to do. But after the former prime minister, Fouad Siniora, took billions of dollars worth of foreign loans in 2007, Lebanon needed to collect foreign currency to pay for the debt debt. On top of this, Lebanon’s economy damaged by an immense decrease in tourism and foreign investments. Due to this, Lebanon has used the little foreign money that still exists in the central bank to pay off its foreign debts which leaves the citizens and companies of Lebanon unable to withdraw dollars from their bank accounts.

Due to foreign currencies being rare to find in Lebanon’s economy, they have become far more expensive. In addition, because of the abundance of Lebanese liras, the lira has fallen dramatically in value. This has led to massive gouging by all types of businesses that need to import with foreign currencies that are no longer accessible. In response, the government and central bank have taken measures to stop the massive inflation of the lira. One method is keeping the official rate, 1500 lira to one dollar, from small scale transactions and being a little more lenient with larger transactions by offering a rate of about 4000 lira to a dollar.

But, this means that the Lebanese people are losing money when exchanging foreign currency into lira. This has led many people living in the country to go to the black market to exchange money with rates other than the governmental regulations. While the black market approach has allowed many Lebanese people to get their money’s worth, it has caused the government to enforce stricter exchange rates to control inflation and ban the black market. 

 

https://www.france24.com/en/20200612-lebanon-pound-economic-crisis-protests-imf-aid-bailout-hassan-diab

https://aawsat.com/home/article/2356311/ذعر-في-لبنان-بسبب-تدهور-الليرة

https://www.alhurra.com/lebanon/2020/04/23/يسقط-حكم-المصرف-تدهور-الليرة-اللبنانية-يشعل-الاحتجاجات-مستقبل-مجهول

https://www.tayyar.org/News/Lebanon/358134/دياب–سلامة-مسؤول-عن-أزمة-الدولار

 

5 Reasons Why You Need Coin Tubes

Coin collection is a significant way to preserve history. The safety of your coins is essential if you want to avoid damage. A coin tube is one of the most simple and effective ways in which you can protect your collection.

Coin tubes are available in different styles. You can get round, clear plastic tubes or opaque square plastic tubes. If you’re still wondering why you should get one, check out the following benefits.

Protect Against Acid

Acid can come from several different sources. As time passes, acid can penetrate the cardboard papers and paper coin sleeves, causing toning and tarnish, particularly to copper and silver coins.

You’re also likely to get acid from adhesives that are mostly utilized in packaging. Wood furniture and daily household materials, such as cleaning solutions and vapors, are other acid sources.

Protect from Air Pollution

Air pollution is not only harmful to human health but also coins. It is common in urban areas where smog from vehicles and industries penetrates through the buildings. Although specific measures have been taken to limit the dangerous gases emitted by cars, they still exist in sufficient quantity for coin damage.

In that case, an openly stored coin will not be spared. Fortunately, with coin tubes, you can avoid this damage.

Keep Off the Human Touches

You may think that this is absurd, but touching your coins with bare hands is enough to cause damage. High-grade rare coins are most susceptible to this kind of problem.

The damage takes place once your fingers come into contact with mint state or proof coins. Once this happens, the oil on your hands will stick to the coin surfaces, which can cause discoloring and microscopic scratching on your coins.

All in all, this can be avoided by storing your collection in a durable and airtight coin tube. Consequently, you will no longer have to worry about contamination that can result from your hands.

Protect the Coins from a fall

Dropping your coin on a hard surface is another way in which it can be damaged. The impact can cause an irreversible effect that can lower the quality of your piece. A corroded, dented, scratched or gouged coin is a damaged one.

Fortunately, with the right environment, you will not have to worry about this. Coin tubes can protect your coins against any potential harm. That will, in return, preserve the quality of your pieces.

Humidity

Humidity is a dangerous enemy of a coin. That is because silver and copper are the common materials used during production. The two metals tend to react immediately when they come into contact with water. However airtight coin tubes can protect your coins.

Coin tubes are an excellent way to store and organize your coins and keep them safe from
contamination. If you need one, places like Hobbymaster are here to help you.

Can Facebook’s Libra Make Cryptocurrency Mainstream?

When Facebook announced plans for a stablecoin called Libra, the reaction from the cryptocurrency world ranged somewhere between skeptical and cautiously optimistic.

But, regardless of any specific merits of Facebook’s version of a digital coin, the social-media giant’s move could help speed the adoption of cryptocurrency to a larger audience, says Kirill Bensonoff, a serial entrepreneur and an expert in blockchain.

The biggest issue now is that most people are not familiar with crypto; they think it’s difficult to use, and they may not trust it,” Bensonoff says. “Facebook will put a digital wallet on many phones and computers, and sending payments with crypto will become commonplace.”

Facebook’s Libra is proposed as a stablecoin, which is a form of cryptocurrency. Using Libra, people would be able to buy things or send money to others while paying, at most, minor fees. Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as , the value of stablecoins is tied to an asset such as gold, the U.S. dollar, the Euro or other currencies.

Facebook won’t have complete control of Libra. It’s just part of a bigger group of partners that’s creating the stablecoin.

What might all this mean for the future of cryptocurrencies – and for the average person who still knows little about them? Bensonoff says a few things worth knowing about Libra in particular and stablecoins in general include:

Bringing stability to cryptocurrency. As the name implies, the idea of stablecoins is to bring more stability – and more peace of mind for wary investors – to the world of cryptocurrency. “I don’t think Facebook will bring stability immediately,” Bensonoff says. “I believe it’s going to take a lot more in terms of mass adoption, but Libra could be a step in the right direction.”

The SEC’s view. Regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission have been eyeing stablecoins with the possibility that some of them could be classified as securities. “That could put stablecoins in the same category as stocks, subject to the registration, disclosures, and accreditation of investors that demands,” Bensonoff says.

Will Libra replace PayPal? Maybe not, considering that PayPay is one of the founding members of Libra, Bensonoff says. “I think they will have some influence on the direction,” he says. “However, crypto in general is a threat to all existing payment processors, including PayPal. I believe PayPal is smart and will adopt and accept crypto payments, and they will figure out a way to monetize it. The downside for them is they won’t be able to charge nearly as much as they do now.”

“I believe Libra is going to have a positive impact in terms of awareness, adoption and interest in cryptocurrency from both businesses and consumers,” Bensonoff says. “But at the same time, with that could come more regulatory scrutiny.”

About Kirill Bensonoff

Kirill Bensonoff has over 20 years experience in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation as a founder, advisor and investor in over 30 companies. He’s the CEO of OpenLTV, which gives investors across the world access to passive income, collateralized by real estate, powered by blockchain. In the information technology and cloud services space, Kirill founded U.S. Web Hosting while still in college, was co-founder of ComputerSupport in 2006, and launched Unigma in 2015. All three companies had a successful exit. As an innovator in the blockchain and DLT space, Kirill launched the crypto startup Caviar in 2017 and has worked to build the blockchain community in Boston by hosting the Boston Blockchain, Fintech and Innovation Meetup. He is also the producer and host of The Exchange with KB podcast and leads the Blockchain + AI Rising Angel.co syndicate. Kirill earned a B.S. degree from Connecticut State University, is a graduate of the EO Entrepreneurial Masters at MIT, and holds a number of technical certifications. He has been published or quoted in Inc., Hacker Noon, The Street, Forbes, Huffington Post, Bitcoin Magazine and Cointelegraph and many others.

Neurotriggers

In the early to mid-1970’s, a million dollars was a great deal of money, and thinking about becoming a millionaire was thinking very big indeed. A million dollars was a fortune to be amassed. Today it is a yearly income, or, at best, a couple years’ income needed by anybody attempting to amass a real fortune.

In a documentary on Ted Turner, he was bemoaning the loss of much of his wealth thanks to AOL/Time Warner, and worrying about being “down to a billion” while still in his 70’s — he said he hopes to have enough left to retire on someday. You can, he pointed out, get by on a billion if you’re careful and don’t buy too many planes or yachts. He was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but not totally. Just as 80 is the new 60 and we hope 100 will soon be the new 80, a billion is the new 25-million.

The first arsenal of skills and strategies one should master are those of survival. How to be broke but live well. How to pay one credit card with another. How to look the part and act as if. Some of these skills have lasting value, but most become an impediment, standing in the way of developing the different set of skills one needs next. I think overall, one of the hardest things we do in life is shed the thoughts, attitudes, skills, habits, associations that worked for us when doing “A” but hold us back and get in the way of doing “B”. We shed skin easily and automatically. We do not shed thoughts and behaviours so easily.

The second arsenal one should master are those for making money. Lots of it. In chunks and surges. These days, to be a millionaire is not all that complicated. If you happen to be young, 20 or 30, you can very, very easily reach and surpass that benchmark purely with an intelligent retirement plan (or other tax protected savings plan) by saving and contributing the maximum amount allowed every year. Or by buying a few good homes and owning them for the long haul. That will get you a million dollars someday.

To take it one step further, earning a million dollars per year – even though that certainly puts you at the 1% pinnacle of society – is also actually not all that difficult. A great many businesses or combinations of businesses provide such opportunity. It is, for example, nothing more than 1,000 transactions of $2,000.00 each with 50% net. Or 100 at $20,000.00 each. Or 1,000 customers giving you $100.00 a month. Or 2,000, giving you $50.00. I just read a report of a Gourmet Bacon Of The Month Club providing its owner with such income. Bacon.

Making lesser but still significant income, $100,000.00, $200,000.00 a year, even easier. A good handyman with nothing but a cellphone could have a ‘concierge practice’, with, say, 25 clients each paying him $300.00 a month…$7,500.00 a month, $100,000.00 a year. Just not that tough. More mental barriers than anything.

But if you start to think in terms of creating and keeping a small fortune in the 10-million to 50-million-dollar neighbourhoods, rather than just a million or two, the arsenal of required once again changes substantially. The knowledge needed, different. The mind-set needed, different. Here, in this space, an odd combination of daring, speed, grabbing of opportunities must be counter-balanced with a concern for preservation of capital, a diligent management of the money, not just making it.

I spent time the other day with one of my long-time clients who personally earns about 5-million a year and is worth about 4 million. He is busily involved in dozens of high-pressure projects. He said, “I often fall into shit. Sometimes I come up with gold. Other times I come up with shit. My success rate does not distinguish me. Being willing to dive into shit, that distinguishes me.” Different mindset.

We’ve talked about speed. To become a millionaire, you can do things slowly, methodically, logically, sequentially, neatly and cautiously. To be a multi, multi-millionaire, you cannot.

To stay a millionaire once there, you need to conserve. To buy carefully, spend reluctantly, invest wisely. Never paying more than is necessary. To stay a multi, multi-millionaire you need to be more aggressive. You often cannot afford to get the very best buy, as your time and lost opportunity is far more valuable than the deal available across town.

There is a hierarchy of sorts for independent business. It is: shopkeeper; business owner, entrepreneur; entrepreneur-investor; investor-entrepreneur. One of the painful aspects of moving through these stages is doing less of something you’ve mastered (and can do easily), in favour of doing other things you’re clumsy and uncertain at; the constant setting aside of old tools with which you’re expert in and picking up new tools you are profoundly inexpert with; of climbing Maslow’s step again and again and again.

Questions: What skills do you have that are useful not just at present but for where you want to go? What present skills are holding you back? What skills do you lack currently, but will be needed for the spot just ahead on your chosen road? Do you even have a Personal Skills List each ranked 1-10, and a list of New Skills In Development?

For additional information visit http://neurotriggers.com/

Winning Loyalty Programs

Research shows increasing your customer retention rate by five percent has the potential to increase your profit by up to 95 percent. With the potential for a payoff like that out there, it’s absolutely imperative to consider as many ways as possible to hold on to your existing customer base. A proven method of accomplishing this is rewarding repeat customers with special offers in an effort to strengthen your relationship with them. Here are a few examples of winning loyalty programs to consider.

Make Points of Purchases
Perhaps the most common loyalty program, point systems entice customers to make a set number of purchases to earn a valuable reward. The key here is to make it easy as possible. Southwest Airlines had one of the simplest point programs ever devised by an airline. For every 10 flights you took with the airline during a calendar year, you got one free. Take 20 you got two, take 30 you got three, 40 got you four and so on. Easy to understand and easy to redeem it was one of the all time great frequent flyer programs. You can follow the airline’s lead for your ebook store. For every 10 books a customer buys in a year, they get one free. The key is simplicity. People got very upset when Southwest switched to a more complicated program.

No Fears of Tiers
As you’re strategizing ideas for how to sell an ebook online, consider instituting a program in which rewards become more valuable as your customers move farther up the food chain. Let 10 purchases get a customer a relatively inexpensive gift, while 30 garners them a better gift and 50 earns an even more valuable one. You can assign level designations as they make more purchases too. Purchasing 10 items within a certain time period qualifies them for “Silver Status”. Buying 30 makes them “Gold” while 50 turns them “Platinum”. Along with gifts can come ever more desirable perks as customers reach the upper tiers. These can include benefits such as chats with authors, sneak previews of new titles and opportunities to purchase new ebooks before they’re published.

It Pays to Play
Subscriptions and memberships are excellent ways to reward loyalty and get customers to make purchases in advance. Plus, they get a feeling of importance because they belong to your site’s VIP group. Wineries have been doing this with wine clubs for years. Similarly, the Amazon Prime strategy rewards users with fee two-day shipping; free streaming videos and a host of other benefits non-members don’t get. Remarkably, providing Prime benefits costs Amazon more than it makes in fees for them, but it serves as a loss leader. The company loses money on Prime memberships, but more than makes up on the purchases its Prime members make.

A Coalition of the Willing
By partnering with other merchants, you can allow your customers to earn discounts on other products and vice versa. This gives them the ability to turn their book purchases into currency on sites offering other things in which they have interests. Getting to know your clientele will serve you well as you determine what partnerships will be most beneficial. If your site caters primarily to a female shopper, then teaming with other sites offering products in which women are most likely to have an interest can be quite successful. The key is building a willing coalition of partners to which your customer base can relate.

These are the four examples of winning loyalty programs are the most common you’ll find. Of course, there are a number of ways within each category to incorporate your own nuances. This will make it uniquely your own and ideally make participating even more attractive to your ideal customer.