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The idea of the union was to take peoples that had long and complicated histories, and to place them in a situation where they must work together and shed their differences in order to achieve success. From the political angle, it can be argued that this objective has been achieved. War and conflict within Western and Central Europe has mostly been stymied. The problem is simple: countries maintain certain political and fiscal responsibilities, but do not control the fate of their common currency.

Some countries are trying to spend their way out of trouble, while others are maintaining strict austerity. Either way, the European Central Bank ECB controls the plight of the currency and can make unilateral decisions that have a big impact on every country.

High-profile exits

There has been an array of other problems plaguing the eurozone as well. The most notable of these was that Greece was admitted into the monetary union in the first place after fudging numbers on the Greek economy. For a primer on this, read The Origin of the Greek Crisis. Meanwhile, the Refugee Crisis has created another political distraction that has its own challenges for the people of Europe.

Will the shrinking euro be able to revert its course, or is Europe doomed to become the next Japan?

The Mighty And Their Fall

Original graphic by: Coupofy. What is decentralized finance? Learn how technology is changing the rules of the game, creating the potential for a new financial system to emerge. The global financial system has created massive wealth, but its centralized nature means the spoils have gone to the people who are best connected to the financial centers of the world.

As global inequality continues to rise, how can wealth building tools become more accessible to the rest of the global population? Luckily, technological developments and their rapid adoption make this the right time for a new decentralized financial system to emerge:. Decentralized finance describes a new decentralized financial system that is built on public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. There are six primary features that differentiate public blockchains from the private networks used by governments and traditional financial institutions:.

In such a financial system, users will have access to apps that use public blockchains to participate in new open global markets — but how would this shape the global financial system for the better? With decentralized finance, anyone with an internet connection and a smartphone could access financial services. There are a variety of barriers that prevent access in the current system:. In a decentralized financial system, a top trader at a financial firm would have the same level of access as a farmer in a remote region of India.

Decentralized finance removes costly intermediaries to make remittance services more affordable for the global population. In decentralized finance, users have custody of their wealth and can transact securely without validation from a central party.

How the mighty fall | SIS Leadership

In places with poor governance and authoritarianism, users can divest to the decentralized financial system to protect their wealth. For example, Venezuelans are already adopting Bitcoin to protect their wealth from government manipulation and hyperinflation. Plug and play apps will allow people to intuitively use decentralized financial services without the complexity of the centralized system.

With a decentralized system, a woman in the Philippines could receive a loan from the U.

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Public blockchains can interact with the traditional financial system to create a new hybrid model:. Like the internet with knowledge, decentralized finance could help democratize the financial system. Get your mind blown on a daily basis:. Since the invention of banking, the global financial system has increasingly become more centralized. Here are the big flaws it has, as a result.

In the modern system, central banks now control everything from interest rates to the issuance of currency, while government regulators, corporations, and intergovernmental organizations wield unparalleled influence at the top of this crucial food chain. There is no doubt that this centralization has led to the creation of massive amounts of wealth, especially to those properly connected to the financial system. However, the same centralization has also arguably contributed to many global challenges and risks we face today.

However, 1. Global financial literacy remains low For people to successfully use financial services and markets, they must have some degree of financial literacy. According to a recent global survey, just 1-in-3 people show an understanding of basic financial concepts, with most of these people living in high income economies.

The Mighty and Their Fall

Without an understanding of key concepts in finance, it makes it difficult for the majority of the population to make the right decisions — and to build wealth. High intermediary costs and slow transactions Once a person has access to financial services, sending and storing money should be inexpensive and fast. However, just the opposite is true. Around the globe, the average cost of a remittance is 7. Rising global inequality In a centralized system, financial markets tend to be dominated by those who are best connected to them. On the other end of the spectrum, the vast majority of people have little to no financial assets to even start building wealth.

Currency manipulation and censorship In a centralized system, countries have the power to manipulate and devalue fiat currencies, and this can have a devastating effect on markets and the lives of citizens. In Venezuela, for example, the government has continually devalued its currency, creating runaway hyperinflation as a result. He spoke with TIME about finding lessons amid the corporate wreckage, his choice for "entrepreneur of the decade" and why the rocky business climate may be here to stay.


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See the top 10 bankruptcies. What did you learn about corporate mortality? There are three things worth keeping in mind about any great enterprise that eventually falls. But we found there's often tremendous change and innovation leading right up to the point of fall. It's overreaching: undisciplined growth, undisciplined risk-taking. The tendency for many of us might be to give up too early. See pictures of retailers that have gone out of business. Some of the fallen companies you analyze, like Circuit City and Fannie Mae, are companies whose strengths you'd previously praised. What happened?


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That seems out of step with the anger flowing toward corporate America these days. Are there villains in executive suites, too? In the companies we've studied we did not find villains. I think that's very important. These were smart, well-intentioned people trying to make the right call. To me, that's even more sobering: hardworking people who are often full of tremendous imagination and energy can still bring enterprises down. I know villains are more fun to write about, but it's not what we found. Most of your readers aren't executives running large corporations.

What do your books offer ordinary workers? I've never really seen our work as being about business. Why do some people become great in a world that's full of tremendous volatility, uncertainty and rapid change? That's a human question that we happen to address by looking through business, which we can do because of the rigor of the data. This is one of the most treacherous and unpredictable economic climates we've ever seen.

Are we headed out of it any time soon? The period of time from to was a combination of prosperity and relative stability.