Sunday, October 24, 2021

@jack: “hyperinflation will soon change everything”


Jack thinks we’re going “hyperinflation!”… “hahper!”…  if we don’t get it, this could turn out to be another Trump Curse situation… he’s already dressed for it… wouldn’t have to change clothes…

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Kay and Peele - Das Negros

 American comedy this week. 

I don't look for comedy, it just turns up in my YouTube app, but not so much has turned up lately.



Trump SPAC


This thing had a good 2 days Thursday and Friday… and it appeared to be in “liquidation only” on Friday my broker would not accept a market order to buy….  I don’t know if an ipo was ever treated like that before…

This is interesting from the Zero Hedge people here I don’t know if this is accurate or not:

Finally, we note that DWAC would have to reach $1,739 to be as large as Twitter... food for thought for analyst price targets.

And if Pinterest is supposed to be worth $50b I have to think the Trump thing would be worth at least as much as that…

Germany on the brink of legalizing cannabis | DW News

One topic in the coalition talks to form a new government in Germany is the legalization of cannabis products. All three parties are in favour of a regulated system for cultivation, trade, and sale. German pharmaceutical companies are also hoping for a boost from this.

When cannabis was legalized in Canada three years ago, many customers were eager to make the first legal purchase of marijuana. Today, the legal cannabis industry in Canada posts more than two billion euros in sales annually. The government there closely monitors cultivation and sales.

Germany on the brink of legalizing cannabis | DW News

But Nick Wright's negative experience is not uncommon. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Biden's China Ambassador Pick Says Beijing Is "Greatest Threat" To US & The "Democratic World" — Dave DeCamp

 How to scuttle relations right out of the box in choosing diplomats.

First, the Biden administration sends Victoria Nuland to negotiate with Russia, and now is proposing an outspoken China hawk as ambassador to China. Beyond dumb unless you want to program the outcome to fail, where in your own mind failure of better relations is success. A similar situation is unfolding in negotiations with Iran that guarantee no deal.

The US is sounding more and more like the British Empire before its dissolution as a result of WWI, engineered by Britain to preserve its empire, and then WWII, which was a direct result of WWI. Let hope that is not a precedent. The US and NATO have not fought a war where the other side could actually fight back since the stalemate in the Korean War after China entered it even though China then was only a shadow of what it is now.

But ka-ching for the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex) and maybe some points in the toxic environment of US domestic politics.

Biden's China Ambassador Pick Says Beijing Is "Greatest Threat" To US & The "Democratic World"
Dave DeCamp

Is There a Method Behind China’s Tech Crackdown Madness? — Ruihan Huang

The method is revealed by the numbers. China is tightening ship.

Is There a Method Behind China’s Tech Crackdown Madness?
Ruihan Huang

Links — 22 Oct 2021

All the clickable links were correct and checked. The URLs are provided separately as back up.

Moon of Alabama (traditionalism, which includes most of the world, vs. Western liberalism)
Putin's Musings On 'Wokeness'

How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed

The Vineyard of the Saker
From Russia, With (Taliban) Love
Pepe Escobar

Asia Times
The world according to Vladimir Putin
Pepe Escobar

Sputnik International
Why Putin's 'Conservatism of Optimists' Approach Resonating With Traditionalists in US and EU

The Intercept (she is only the tip of the iceberg)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Is the Dying Scream of the Corporate Democratic Party
Ryan Grim

Sen. Joe Manchin Has Been Fighting to Keep Billions in Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Industry
Aileen Brown

The US Empire: Coercion and Consent
Supid Bhattacharya

New intelligence report warns of 'destabilizing effects' from climate change and its national security risks
Meaghan Ellis

The American Prospect
Amazon Warns Sellers: Marketplace Could Shut Down If Congress Tries to Regulate It
David Dayan

Gas under long-term contracts 4 times cheaper for EU than spot contracts - Putin

U.S. government agency in charge of financial stability weighs in on climate change risks
Emma Newburger

The Week
How the 'economics of global warming' are unfolding differently in Russia
Brigid Kennedy

International Policy Digest
Richard Carroll

Julia Corliss - "Flu shot linked to lower heart attack, stroke risk - Harvard Health"

A study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association finds that getting the influenza vaccine lowers a person’s odds of a having heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or other major cardiac event—including death—by about a third over the following year.

What’s the connection between flu and cardiovascular problems? “When you get the flu, your body mounts an impressive immune response, which causes a lot of inflammation. As a result, the plaque inside your blood vessels can become unstable, which can lead to blockage and a possible heart attack or stroke,” says study leader Jacob Udell, MD, a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and a clinician-scientist at the University of Toronto.

  Julia Corliss - "Flu shot linked to lower heart attack, stroke risk - Harvard Health"

Black Rock’s Larry Fink blames gig economy for stoking inflation

BlackRock’s Larry Fink is less upbeat on the economy than Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan.

 BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink shared a cloudier view on climate change efforts and inflation than Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan at a virtual industry gathering on Tuesday.

Fink said the U.S.’s long-term shift toward a gig economy has left workers without traditional pensions and other benefits, and is feeding a drive toward sharper wage increases nowadays.

“You have more flexibility, but we lost the connection between our workers and many companies,” Fink said in his remarks at the Institute for International Finance (IIF) annual meeting. “The fragmentation and polarization of society is because of these issues.”

Market Watch

Black Rock’s Larry Fink blames gig economy for stoking inflation

BlackRock - The company that owns the world?

#BlackRock. There’s a good chance you have never heard of them. 

In less than 30 years, this American financial firm has grown from nothing to becoming the world’s largest and most trusted manager of other people’s money. The assets left in their care are worth a staggering 6.3 trillion US dollars – a figure with 12 zeroes.

The Confusing State of Inflation Inputs — Barry L. Ritholtz

Looks about right.

The Big Picture
The Confusing State of Inflation Inputs
Barry L. Ritholtz is co-founder, chairman, and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC.


Naked Capitalism
Supply Chain Shortages and Inflation: How Bad Will the Disruption Become?
Yves Smith

Trump curse


Now it got Alec Baldwin…. They continue to drop like flies….

Why Some White Evangelicals Are Rethinking Their Politics l FiveThirtyEight

 Plus a bit about my early childhood 

Although my parents weren't religious they still sent my brother and me to Sunday school because they thought that we would pick up some good values there. A big black van would turn up outside people's houses every Sunday and all the kids would be bundled into the back. There were no seats or windows inside the back part of the van where they put us. 

Most of the time what they taught us at Sunday school just went right over my head, especially as I had never seen a miracle before, and most of the teaching was about the miracles, like walking on water, and turning water into wine, etc, but none of it seemed to relate all that much to the world that I lived in which was a council estate in South London (see below). I don't think I really believed the stories all that much either, or rather, I didn't know quite what to make of it all. 

They taught us the teachings of Jesus and he seemed to be a very nice person, who was very compassionate and considerate. They also told us about the parables: The Eye of the Needle and the Rich Man, Turn the other cheek, Forgive your enemies, etc.


Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”


Also they also told us what Heaven and Hell was like: 

In Hell, they said, there were tables full of food, but everyone was hungry, because the spoons were really long, so they were unable to feed themselves. But in Heaven, everything was exactly the same, except no one was hungry because they fed each other with the long spoons. 

Would Jesus recognise right-wing evangelical Christianity today ? I doubt it very much somehow. 

White evangelicals are often seen as a solidly Republican voting bloc. In the 2020 election, 84 percent of them voted for Donald Trump. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, many of Trump’s supporters began identifying as evangelical during his presidency.

But white evangelicals aren’t a monolith. In our first episode of Political Outliers, meet two devout evangelicals who were raised in conservative households, but are now self-proclaimed “progressives.” They both say that their political views became more liberal as they immersed themselves deeper into their faith

Why Some White Evangelicals Are Rethinking Their Politics l FiveThirtyEight

I went bit off the beaten track here last night when I added this part, but I decided I might as well post it now. The above article really got me into thinking about that early part of my life. 

The Brandon Estate 

I lived right next to the Branden Estate in Southwark, South London, between the ages of 6 to 8 years old and had many friends there who I would play on the estate with. I was amazed to find this old footage of the Branden Estate recently which was shot in 1961, although I live there between 1964 and 1966. The estate had a bad reputation although I don't remember there being any problems, but it might have got this reputation later. The kids were quite friendly too and I was never bullied by anyone here. 

There’s no sound, and it may not be riveting, but it's exactly how it was, so it was fascinating to find it, but black and white makes it look more gloomy than it was.

Below is our prefab where we lived from 1964 to 1966, which was tempory home that was supplied by the council. They called these ones Mobile Homes to distinguish them from prefabs, but like the prefabs, they were made in a factory and then transported on a lorry, afterwhich a crane would put them into place. It was quite nice really, a detached bungalow, in fact, but there was one big problem - the whole thing was made of asbestos!

You can see the Brandon Estate in the background in the photo below. 

The large flower pot is a barrow my dad cut in half. He was a butcher and he would get them from where he used to work. It was a popular idea where he worked. 

This is my brother, Mark, (the blonde one at the back) playing with his friends, Christopher (I've forgotten his second name) and Robert Gateson, who were neighbours. It looks like my dad must have given my neighbour half a barrow to be used as a flowerpot. 

My mum with me in the front garden. Apparently, that toy bus is worth a fortune now. I think my mum gave it away when I was very young after I hadn't played with it for years. 

We went to St John's The Devine School, which was Protestant and very strict. In the background of the above photo you can see the steeple of St John's The Devine Church. 

At school one day they got us into the assembly room to tell us about the school rules, and that if we broke them we would be severely punished, which might mean even getting the cane. I was only 6 years old and was very new at the school, and I had no idea what rules were, so I thought they must be 10 inch long glass rods that they kept in a locked glass cabinet in the headmasters room. They must be very special, I thought, but I couldn't figure out what the hell they would be used for. 

My mum made the Batman and Superman suits. She was a seemstress and she made us a lot of clothes. In the photo I have the Batman the suit on. 

The steeple was jaw dropping and seemed to go right up into the sky beyond the clouds, well, that's how it looked to me when I was a very young boy. The church was beautiful, but quite menacing and severe, a bit like the teachers. Neither my brother or I liked St John's School. It was definitely something out of a Charles Dickens novel - very dark and foreboding. I think the teachers there considered children to be the Devil. 

The church is regarded as a fine example of Victorian Gothic. The general construction is of red brick, but all parapets, window openings, doorways, etc. are dressed with stone. The upper part of the spire is entirely of stone. At over 260 feet, it is the tallest spire in south London and can be seen for miles around. The poet John Betjeman remarked that St John the Divine was "the most magnificent church in South London."

Bitcoin vending machines at Walmart

 Bitcoin is here to stay, folks.

US retail giant Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, has launched a program to allow customers to buy bitcoin at 200 of its stores via Coinstar ATMs.

Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin. There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot,” Walmart communications director Molly Blakeman told CoinDesk on Friday.

Read full story here.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Nation moves to curb disorderly investment — China Daily

China fell behind the curve and now it is rushing to get ahead of it.

Nation moves to curb disorderly investment
China Daily

'Thielism': Beyond The Dogmas Of Reaganism — The Thielist

 Somewhat short on substance but a heads-up — Peter Thiel is on the move.

Zero Hedge
'Thielism': Beyond The Dogmas Of Reaganism
The Thielist via The Thielist Dispatch

Wealth is leisure. Leisure, wealth. — Sandwichman

The three quotes above are from, respectively: 1. William Godwin 2. Charles Wentworth Dilke 3. Karl Marx. There was a very pronounced influence of Godwin on Dilke and of Dilke on Marx (hence indirectly of Godwin on Marx). My research suggests that viewing Marx's work from the perspective of Dilke's major influence reveals both hidden strengths and weaknesses in Marx's critique of political economy....
Leisure is freedom. "Capitalism" has greatly increased freedom, although unequally. But it's only a start in comparison with the potential that technological innovation makes possible. Marx viewed this as leading in the direction of socialism as a socio-economic system as developments in the mode of production make this possible. The mode of production is shifting radically in the digital age toward surplus and away from scarcity of socially necessary goods, but the relations of production have not caught up yet, as productivity increases have mostly increased the wealth of the uppermost rungs of class structure. This is resulting in systemic stress that threatens the continuation of "business as usual."

Wealth is leisure. Leisure, wealth.
Sandwichman (Tom Walker)

Joel Baden: The Bible Doesn't Say What You Think it Does

 There are two different creation stories in the Bible, and they are quite different to each other. Joel Baden believes that the people that put the Bible together deliberately wanted it to be ambiguous, so that meaning could be a matter of interpretation. I've come across the term in the past, The Living Bible, which means it can be reinterpreted for the modern age. Which does not mean altered, it means that as the world changes and our understanding of it changes too, the Bible can still be pertinent and meaningful for many people. 

Joel Baden (Professor of Hebrew Bible Yale University) spoke at the 2013 Nantucket Project. 

Nearly 80 percent of all Americans think the Bible is either literally true or is the inspired word of God. And yet, most Americans have no idea what is actually in the Bible. So we have the paradoxical situation in which we as a culture "have invested the words of this book with amazing authority even when we don't know what these words are and what they mean."

Sorelle Amore - This company owns the world, (and it's our fault) - BlackRock


Sorelle Amore - This company owns the world, (and it's our fault) - BlackRock

Analysis News - Michael Hudson: Biden Between BlackRock and a Hard Place

 The Democrats won the election with a number of popular policies, but the corporations don't like them, so they have been watering them down. The US is run by an oligarchy, says Michael Hudson, and is probably a failed state. Now we have people from the coal industry designing climate change policies. 

The Biden Administration is intertwined with Wall Street but must deliver some election promises to workers. Michael Hudson joins Paul Jay on

Channel 4 News - Climate change deniers host conference in Sin City

 Climate change deniers are pushing 'Climate Lockdown' conspiracy theories - a term they invented. 

They know the lockdowns have been unpopular, so they are tagging their conspiracy theories onto them, hoping people will reject proposals to combat climate change. 

I've noticed some people on the populist left talking about climate lockdowns too. 

Today US Vice-President Kamala Harris is travelling to Lake Mead in Nevada to talk up the President’s climate agenda. It’s the biggest reservoir in the US, but it’s drying up because of the twin effects of the heat and the drought, both of which are exacerbated by climate change.

Channel 4 News - Climate change deniers host conference in Sin City

Below is a look inside the climate change denial industry. 

Why Climate Change Denial Still Exists In The U.S.

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, some American politicians continue to deny that climate change exists, while others question the severity of its impact. But public opinion is shifting, and today even oil and gas companies publicly admit that climate change demands action. So why does climate denialism continue to influence U.S. politics? Here's a look into who is funding the movement, and why denial is mainly a U.S. problem.

Links — 21 OCT 2021

India Punchline (US preparing for a three-front war with China, Russia, and Iran, ie., a suicide mission. But, hey, ka-ching for the MICIMATT/Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex.)
Biden gets predictability in Russia ties
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

TASS (Stating the obvious — except to the oblivious)
The existing model of capitalism has run its course — Putin

RT (arms race on as China and Russia go asymmetric, US cries unfair.)
Washington must be going MAD: Nuclear-era logic of Mutually Assured Destruction will make America safe, Chinese media boss jibes

Washington’s hysteria about Chinese hypersonic missile threat is just an excuse for its own military expansion, says Beijing

Open Culture (FB relevant )
How Neal Stephenson’s Sci-Fi Novel Snow Crash Invented the “Metaverse,” Which Facebook Now Plans to Build (1992)
Colin Marshall

Sputnik International (calling "dibs" doesn't count in the grown-up world)
Pyongyang Points to US ‘Double Standards’ in Wake of Sub-launched Ballistic Missile Test
Ilya Tsukanov

China remains world's second-largest importer for 11 years: MOC
Xinhua (Chinese state media)

Chinese cultural tide sweeps young consumers
China Daily (Chinese state-sponsored media)

China seen as well positioned to lead global shipping industry
China Daily

Marx and MMT – Remarks on Long-Term Policy and Social Implications — Peter Cooper

In recent exchanges on Marx and MMT, one question has concerned the capacity of government spending to encourage private investment and promote employment. Some Marxists appear to regard MMT as incompatible with Marx on this question. My own view is that Marx and MMT are compatible, both in general and on this particular question, and that the contributions of both, when viewed together, hold an important long-term social implication. What follows is a set of remarks outlining my position. Remark 1 is intended to provide context and to identify what I regard as the main social implication following from a joint reading of Marx and MMT. Remark 2 notes the critical significance of Marx’s ‘law’ of the tendential fall in the profit rate when interpreting the long-term implications of MMT from a Marxist perspective. Remarks 3 to 10 concern private investment under capitalist conditions, its likely responsiveness to government spending, but also its crisis prone nature. Remark 11 questions the appropriateness of society pinning its future aspirations on private investment behavior. It is suggested that a transition to socialism is both preferable and, on the basis of MMT, already technically feasible for societies with their own currencies.
The definitive statement to date, between a blog post and an article.

Marx and MMT – Remarks on Long-Term Policy and Social Implications
Peter Cooper

Zero Hedge — "We Could Not Ignore It Anymore" - Houston Firefighters Pension Fund Piles Into Crypto

This is permitted? What could go wrong? 

Zero Hedge
"We Could Not Ignore It Anymore" - Houston Firefighters Pension Fund Piles Into Crypto
Tyler Durden

Middle East Eye — Turkey's Central Bank stuns markets with strong rate cut amid soaring inflation

 Erdogan gets it. Rate hikes are inflationary since raising rates raises prices, according to MMT.

Middle East Eye
Turkey's Central Bank stuns markets with strong rate cut amid soaring inflation

I like Steven Pinker’s new book. Here’s why: — Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman reviews Steven Pinker's Rationality. Trenchant criticism along with the praise.  A bit longish and rather detailed for a blog review, but definitely worth a read. Many other reviewers would likely not pick this stuff up and a lot of it will get passed lay readers that are the target readership. Applicable to all but also specifically to understanding economics and finance, where "rationality" is a thing (key assumption).

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
I like Steven Pinker’s new book. Here’s why:
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

China Must Restore Growth — Yu Yongding

It is imperative that China’s leaders address financial-system vulnerabilities, especially the corporate sector’s high leverage ratio. But it is even more important that they take action to counter a persistent slowdown in economic growth.
Posted on account of the author, one of the few genuine experts on the Chinese economy writing in English. Numbers.

Project Syndicate
China Must Restore Growth
Yu Yongding, a former president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006

How Sen. Manchin just Positioned Chinese Firms to dominate the Green Energy Markets of the 21st Century, Leaving the US in the Dust — Juan Cole

By 2025, unsubsidized solar power with battery storage everywhere in China will be cheaper than coal. Indeed, solar plus battery is already cheaper than coal in 3/4s of the country. Especially given drops in the cost of battery storage, the paper concludes that China can get 43% of its total power from solar at less than 2.5 cents a kilowatt hour by 2060, making the Communist Party’s current plans for decarbonization by then plausible. Coal is usually figured at 5 cents a kilowatt hour, and solar plus battery is already less than that.

Informed Comment
How Sen. Manchin just Positioned Chinese Firms to dominate the Green Energy Markets of the 21st Century, Leaving the US in the Dust
Juan Cole

See also

Biden accepts shredding of his social welfare/climate bill
Barry Grey

Money Printing (Sigh) — Brian Romanchuk

In a lot of financial market commentary – and even in the output of some academics – one might often see discussion of “money printing” in the context of inflation. Although this section explains why the concept is not meaningful, these references do serve a purpose: they are a signal that the reader can stop taking the person invoking “money printing” seriously..…

I hope Stephanie Kelton is working on a sequel called "The Inflation Myth." "Inflation" has been reduced to a meaningless concept that is dominated by connotation rather than denotation. The connotation has become loaded, and most of the stuff on denotation is just wrong.

Bond Economics
Money Printing (Sigh)
Brian Romanchuk

See also for an example of bonkers "analysis" in midst of a global pandemic with clogged supply chains along with rising energy prices resulting from addressing climate change, as well as distortions introduced by economic warfare.

Stephanie Kelton recently tweeted, asking why if US government spending is the cause of inflation, the global economy is also experiencing inflation. (Search on "global inflation.")

The Hill
Progressive economic theories run into some inconvenient truths
Marc Joffe, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation, former senior director at Moody's Analytics

Bill Mitchell — Video of presentation for Wattle Partners – October 15, 2021

Last week, I did a seminar with a Melbourne financial market group (Wattle Partners), who I regularly help in their education programs. It took the form of an informal (somewhat structured) conversation about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and more practical applications of the MMT understanding. There were several questions from the audience that we didn’t get time to answer in the allotted time so today I am honouring my agreement to provide answers, which might be of interest to the broader readership, if only to reinforce knowledge. The video of the interaction is also available now and you can watch it here.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Video of presentation for Wattle Partners – October 15, 2021
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Fund Manager Survey on bonds


This survey at all time low by a significant margin… the GOP “stagflation!” thesis is absolutely crushing it…