Friday, 25 October 2013

What every young person should know about banking and the economy

By Karolina Rudaś

Banking and the economy are equally important in our lives. I would fairly say that there are ten useful things about banking each young person should be familiar with.

1. Have a current account. In the past we used to keep money at home in a sock. Nowadays it’s not very practical to keep large sums of cash at home.  At time of writing, keeping your savings account in a credit union is recommended.

2. Know how to use a debit card. Both a current account and debit card help you to learn how to use your own funds and economize. If your parents give you pocket money on a monthly basis, just like a salary, by the time you are earning your own salary, you will have learned by trial and error if by no other means, how to plan your monthly expenses.

3. Know how powerful credit is –you can borrow funds to help you to buy things earlier than you could otherwise. Be careful however, interest accumulates. You should understand that owning on credit reduces your monthly costs at the expense of overall costs.

4. Be aware of the interest trap –it’s easy to borrow money but you borrow somebody’s money and repay your own. Before you take another loan ensure you have a reasonable expectation of sufficient future revenue to cover your debt.

5. When you borrow money you have to pay back the capital, interest and fee. Lenders never give money for free. Financial institutions, not banks, tend to charge more but present the offer in disguise.

6. Always read carefully before you sign. If the document states there are general terms as an integral part of the documentation always ask for it and read it. If you don’t understand, ask the clerk, it’s his duty to explain. If you don’t understand, don’t sign.

7. Remember that a credit card is another form of loan. It’s easier to use but you have to repay it just like any other loan. Always be aware of deadlines for repayment and know what your limits are.

8. Know your basic customer rights. It’s always helpful.

9. Security – in the modern world you must have online access to your account. Be sure that your ID and password are safe.

10. Safety of your credit card and debit card – never keep the card in your wallet and never keep your PIN code with your card. The best way is to keep your card is in a Faraday cage– a simple business card case. And remember that three numbers at the back of your card are the most sensitive information (e-payment), so cover them.

With regard to the economy I think that there are many important issues that young people should be aware of. At least they should have basic understanding of the following concepts.

1) Understand what economic growth means for the country.

2) Understand the basic connection between politics and the economy. In general they should be aware that such connections exist.

3) Understand the influence of the global economy on the Polish market. Poland is not an island. Our country has commercial relations with the global economy and therefor is prone to economic austerity.

4) Understand how the Warsaw Stock Exchange works.

5) Understand the foreign exchange market in Poland. Nowadays we are more accustomed to using foreign currencies therefore young people should know how this market works.

6) Understand that inflation can be useful, provided it’s really low (almost crawling).

7) Understand the banking system in Poland.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Rough notes.

Economics phrases

Somebody gets all the benefits, then they make all the costs, now they want somebody else to pay for the costs while they keep all the benefits.

Systemic moral hazard

democracy is asset insurance for the rich - stop skimping on the payments


Tax cuts - reduction in taxes. The immediate effects of a tax cut are a decrease in the real income of the government and an increase in the real income of those whose tax rate has been lowered.

tax revenue - tax based gov income

caught in a slump - in bessa


A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with a maturity of less than one year. T-bills are sold in denominations of $1,000 up to a maximum purchase of $5 million and commonly have maturities of one month (four weeks), three months (13 weeks) or six months (26 weeks).
T-bills are issued through a competitive bidding process at a discount from par, which means that rather than paying fixed interest payments like conventional bonds, the appreciation of the bond provides the return to the holder.

debt to gdt  - debt to the Gross Domestic Product (a measure of economic power)

repo collateral market - repurchase (repo)

buying and shorting securities.

 In the fixed income market, these transactions are accomplished with the use of the repo market.

 A repurchase agreement, or repo, is a sale of securities for cash with a commitment to repurchase them at a specified price at a future date.

 Practically, the repurchase agreement by itself is simply a collateralized loan.

AAA mortge - The highest possible rating assigned to the bonds of an issuer by credit rating agencies + A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security

liquidity crunch -A time when cash resources are in short supply and demand is high. During a liquidity crunch, businesses and consumers are charged high interest rates on loans which are more difficult to obtain. Also known as liquidity crisis and credit crunch.

oecd countries - c. belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

orgy of public spending - borrowing money. spending. No balance to the budget, No sacrifices. galactic scale.

politically unpalatable - not pleasant to taste politically

surplus - excess supply of a produc (nadwyżka)

lax public financing - not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful financing

variable inflation  logical set of inflation assets

soverign - the quality of having independent authority (suwerenność)

lever up - podnosić się

volume/levverage - refers to debt or to the borrowing of funds to finance the purchase of a company's assets.

GDP equivalent - the market value (of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time) equal to smth

GNP - gross national product (GNP) which allocates production based on ownership.

LTROs - Long-term refinancing operations (LTROs); they involve the central bank lending money at a very low interest rate to euro zone banks, which has led to the term “free money.”


Liberalism Emetic Economics - u need the state, but u are afraid of it

Nullify - to deprive (something) of value

parsimony - extreme unwillingness to spend money or use resources.

myopic - short-sighted.

emetic responce -  causing vomiting.

liquidity trap

curtail spending - reduce in extent spending

asset footprint

zero sum against itself - If I lose, you lose so for you to win, I must win but if I win you lose so you must lose.

Housing Crisis - plunging real estate market value of residential properties. Burst housing market bubble.
Federal debt. the amount of debt held by the United States government.
Doomsday device. a device designed to usher in armageddon, apocalypse, total destruction of the world.
What about in the context of the european union?
Fallacy of composition - what's good for any one agent is not good if every agent does it all at the same time.

Link to our Prezi

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Charlatans and Frauds: The never-ending supply of popular credulousness

According to science, what is homeopathy?

Pseudo-medicine, a placebo, ineffective.

Homeopathy is very expensive water. (full marks on the mid-term, any other materially different answer gets zero).

Homework: go to

Report on what you find there.

What is the purpose of the organization?

Who is James Randi?

What is Avogadro's limit?

Leave your answers in the comments to this post.

The Hole in the Wall

01. What is the "hole in the wall" project?

It's a project where children in remote areas have access to a computer which allows them to teach themselves without a teacher.

Sugata Mitra

Meg Ray homework

:Homework for Monday, complete the exam questions with model answers. Add a tl;dr. The first one has been done for you.

Define the following terms as they are used by Psychologist Meg Ray.

Extended adolescence
Adolescence is commonly understood as beginning at birth and ending with the end of puberty. Extended adolescence is the detrimental prolongation of adolescent behaviours beyond puberty and the deferment of adult roles and adult responsibility. Some consequences named in the video include not being able to have the career you want, not being able to marry the person you want, not being able to have the children you want.


Extended adolescence is a continuation of pubescent behaviour post-puberty. Biological adulthood without social or mental adulthood.


Neologism describing a new generation of young adults trapped between adolescence and adulthood. They are mostly people who still live with their parents. They don't have jobs; or their jobs are part-time and often paid. Twixters tend to marry later and defer other important life decisions until later as well. synonym: kidults, peter-pan, young-at-heart, empty of wallet.

Polish equivalent: gniazdowniki (people who won't leave the nest)

Being intentional and making mindful choices.
Doing something on purpose. Thinking out your actions and acting on them.

To infantalize is to treat an adult person like a child or reduce their status to that of an infant or child.

Trivialized defining decade
Deprecating the value of your twenties.

Underestimating the most flexible time of our lives.

Benign neglect
Ignoring or dismissing as unimportant some issue immediately which manifests adverse consequences much later.

Blowing it
Failing to take advantage of an opportunity, when you are messing up, or screwing up, or doing something wrong

Robbed of urgency and ambition
Society's attitude towards twentysomethings encourages them to waste time, delay important life decisions, slack off. This is epitomized in the phrase "Your 30s are your new 20s"

The perception that twentysomethings have the option of  'do over,' ie. they can defer indefinitely important life decisions again and again.

Identity capital
An investment in who you want to be and what you want your life to look like. Identity capital is achieved by exploring work opportunities and engaging in meaningful relationship.

Investment in your adulthood and creating a social network to make a proper foundation for the future. It's about adding value to who you andwho you want to be.


What was the purpose of school in the British Empire?


If Sugata Mitra's vision is fullfilled, how would this affect the ability for future employers to verify whether job applicants have aquired the necessary standard of education?

homework: write a short paragraph answer to this question and leave it in the comments to this post.

Short Answer Questions


What does S.O.L.E. stand for and how does it work?

It stands for Self Organised Learning Environment. SOLE's purpose is to give people a chance to organize the process of learning for themselves by providing broadband internet access, collaboration, encouragement and praise. (2 marks)

Question 02
Compare and contrast the national Polish educational system to SOLE learning.