Saturday, July 4, 2020

Welcome to my channel - Richard Murphy - Looking for the new normal

Richard Murphy now has a YouTube channel. Impressive credentials! From the quality is his tweets and blog posts it should be good.

Welcome to my channel video where I am going to tell you about my channel is all about.

We will be covering the economy, Tax, The Green New Deal and Accountancy plus other topics that will come from your interaction with my channel.

I have been a chartered accountant and professor for over 40 years and frequently appear in national publications and newspapers.

You can find me on Twitter and always writing for my blog.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Links — 3 July 2020

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan
Caitlin Johnstone

Sputnik International
‘A Lever to Harass China’: US Protests Security Law Because it Lost Access to Hong Kong ‘Sore Spot’Radio Sputnik Political Misfits interviews KJ Noh, Scholar of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and correspondent for Flashpoints, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch and other outlets

Sputnik International
S-500 Will Be Capable of Destroying Hypersonic Weapons in Space, Russian Aerospace Forces Say

Red Flag
COINTELPRO: how the US state dealt with the last radicalisation
Savannah Behrmann

In the Name of Anti-Trumpism, Media Elevate a Lying Warmonger
Bryce Greene

Astute News
What Is the United States Plotting in Kashmir and Balochistan? The Destabilization of Pakistan?
Germán Gorraiz López
Source: Global Research

Fort Russ
MERKEL: ‘We Reject Exterritorial Sanctions on Nord Stream 2’
Drago Bosnic

India – a Hindu State with anti-minorities policies
Sheikh Moazzam Khan

Moon of Alabama
On Its Way Into Poverty Lebanon Is At The Crossroads

Is Washington Provoking India to a War With China?
William Engdahl

Textbook foreign meddling? US govt payouts to Hong Kong ‘civil society groups’ revealed after funding freeze

The Unz Review
The Malign Russians and Chinese Are Coming
Pepe Escobar

A top economist says the $4 trillion federal deficit isn't the problem — it's how we're spending the money — Paul Constant interviews Stephanie Kelton

A budget is a values statement.
Business Insider
A top economist says the $4 trillion federal deficit isn't the problem — it's how we're spending the money
Paul Constant interviews Stephanie Kelton

How Will We Pay for It? Modern Monetary Theory and the Deficit Myth — Ashok Vaish

Positive review.

India West
How Will We Pay for It? Modern Monetary Theory and the Deficit Myth
Ashok Vaish

Conspiracy Theories Malign And Benign – Face Masks And Israeli Training Of US Police

Criticising the Israeli police force for it brutal tactics against Palestinians not anti-Semitic, anymore than criticising China about its supposed treatment of the Uighurs is racism against the Chinese people.

This a superb article which looks at conspiracy theories in general, including the Off-Guardian's bizarre but very dangerous anti-mask campaign. The Off-Guardian have now found a leading European pathologist who says no one has died from Covid-19.

Media Lens

Conspiracy Theories Malign And Benign – Face Masks And Israeli Training Of US Police

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Sputnik — Germany Disbands Elite Army Unit With ‘Toxic Leadership Culture’ Amid Far-Right Sympathy Uptick

Sputnik International (Germany?)
Germany Disbands Elite Army Unit With ‘Toxic Leadership Culture’ Amid Far-Right Sympathy Uptick

Fast Company (You decide.)
New Trump campaign tee says America First, but Nazi symbol is front and center
Lily Smith

OpEdNews (The founding fathers also cautioned about keeping a standing army in peace time.)
Hong Kong Reminds Us of Ike's Warning
Jacob Hornberger

Activist Post
SWAT Team Blows Up Family’s Home in Search of a SHOPLIFTER—Supreme Court Says So What
Matt Agorist

Sputnik — Banning 59 Apps 'A Digital Strike' on China, India's Information and Technology Minister Says

On the digital war front.

With globalism collapsing the digital world is splintering.

Sputnik International
Banning 59 Apps 'A Digital Strike' on China, India's Information and Technology Minister Says

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

A very powerful Greyzone video.

This world is getting crazier. I was going to do a commentary on this, but I've decided to look for some tweets I did the other day which shows how crazy things have become, you know, like the way they managed to depict one of the gentlelest people in politics, Jeremy Corbyn, as an anti-Semitic, racist Nazi.

Multiple US outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan and that President Trump has taken no action. The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal breaks down the story's flaws and how it continues a Russiagate-era push of the Democratic Party to the right. 

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says. 

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

Links — 2 July 2020

Consortium News
New York Times Deploys Heavy Gun to Back ‘Intel’ on Russian Bounties
Ray McGovern, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and retired 27-year career CIA whose tasks included preparing and briefing The President’s Daily Brief and leading the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch

Valdai Analytics
Illiberal World Order
Timofei Bordachev | Valdai Club Programme Director 

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
America’s Two Right-Wing Parties Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left
Caitlin Johnstone

Mint Press News
Lee Camp: How the Media Used the Bounty Scandal to Stop the ‘Threat’ of Peace in Afghanistan

Oriental Review
US Begins Active Militarisation Of Space
Leonid Savin

UK court recognizes Juan Guaido as ‘unequivocally’ Venezuela’s president in legal fight for tons of gold

Landslide Approval Of Constitutional Amendments Following Russian Referendum

Sputnik International (Five eyes)
'Dirty Work': New Zealand Spies Broke Into Foreign Embassies for MI6 and CIA

Sputnik International
Julian Assange's 'Torture' Has 'Intensified' and Must Be Stopped, Clinical Psychologist Says

Sputnik International
US Media Date 'Russian Bounties' 5 Years Back, Name 'Key Middleman' in 'Money Transfers'

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Bounties for Taliban? The New Big Russia Lie
Larry C. Johnson | CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm with expertise combating terrorism and investigating money laundering, formerly Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (1989-1993), and CIA operations (1984-1989)

Strategic Culture Foundation
Beyond the Toppling of Colonial Monuments, a Rethinking of History and Accountability Is Vital
Ramona Wadi

Strategic Culture Foundation
The Growing Police Union-White Supremacist Alliance
Wayne Madsen, Investigative Reporter

Strategic Culture Foundation
How ‘News’-Media Lie and Get Away With It
Eric Zuesse, Investigative Reporter

TASS (Should read: US troubled by Russia's constitutional changes giving Putin the option of staying in office until 2036)
US troubled by reports of possible irregularities in Russia’s constitutional vote

Aging vision significantly improved by ‘recharging’ daily with red light

The blue light emitted by tablets and smart phones can damage the eyes leading to blindness in older age. I use the blue light filter on my phone all the time.

Staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a new UCL-led study, the first of its kind in humans.

Medical Express 

Declining eyesight improved by looking at deep red light

Brittany A Roston

Aging vision significantly improved by ‘recharging’ daily with red light

Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite

It looks like wine and olive oil in moderation are good for you after all. Although, grapes may be healthier. A dangerous  substance called TMAO is made from animal products by your gut flora.

The good news is that TMAO levels may be controllable either through dietary modifications or drugs that disrupt the production of the metabolites in the first place. Backing up prior research findings, the study affirmed dimethyl butanol, a compound found in olive oils and red wine, blocked the gut bacteria production of TMA.

Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite

Is SA's IMF loan about economics or politics? — Duma Gqubule

According to Fadel Kaboub, a modern monetary theory economist, a monetary sovereign country is one that issues its own currency, taxes the people in its own currency, issues debt in its own currency and has a floating exchange rate that is not fixed against another currency. Technically, such a country cannot default on its debt. It can also pursue its economic development objectives without worrying too much about the reactions of international investors. Modern monetary theory is an increasingly popular school of economic thought that has been embraced by many democratic socialists in the United States.
South Africa comes close to meeting all four conditions. It has the unique privilege among developing countries of having 90% of its sovereign debt denominated in rands. It also has deep capital markets that were worth R20.7 trillion – four times the size of its R5.1 trillion economy – at the end of December 2019, according to the Reserve Bank. The shares on the JSE stock exchange were worth R17.4 trillion. The government and corporate debt instruments that trade on the bond market were worth R3.3 trillion.
New Frame (South Africa)
Is SA's IMF loan about economics or politics?
Duma Gqubule

Modern Monetary Muddle — Michael Edesess

This is an excellent review and critique of Stephanie Kelton's The Deficit Myth. Michael Edesess lowers the boom in the first paragraph and then proceeds to explain it. Short and to the point, with quotes from many prominent MMT critics.
The debate over the much-touted and much-criticized modern monetary theory (MMT) is the murkiest I have ever been involved with, short of secondary school debates about the existence of God. But I finally see it clearly. Incredible as it may sound to nearly all observers - once they learn what MMT says - its basic economic tenets are agreed to by most knowledgeable economists. The dispute is not really over its core economic model; it is over fears of its perceived political implications.
Exactly, and this generates the perceived need for a "noble lie."

It's basically a distrust of democracy that has nothing to do with money & banking, finance or economics. 

Modern Monetary Muddle
Michael Edesess,

See also

The criticism that David Glasner makes applies to a popularized version of MMT such as is presented in The Deficit Myth. Spending and taxation are not a binary as seem to be claimed, nor are inflation rate and employment rate. He is right that it is more complicated than this. 

However, his critique betrays ignorance of the body of MMT literature where the issues he raised are addressed in detail. 

I don't see this as a weakness in The Deficit Myth as a popular introduction to MMT. It does not pretend to be a sequel The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. And even the later has been criticized for being too informal and "popular."

But some MMT economist(s) should address this in terms of translating theory into fiscal policy as a guideline for government spending relative to balancing available real resource, and employment in particular, with price stability. 

This could be done in an academic paper or popular book based on simply providing documentation to existing literature that has addressed it, pulling it all together for reference. 

How should the US Congress conduct fiscal policy to optimize the trifecta of growth, employment and price stability using tools available to it? What would the role of the central bank and monetary policy be? Many such questions suggest themselves. They are also implicit in the post by Michael Edesess linked to above.

There is legitimate concern on over how to handle the purse strings once the deficit myth is debunked. One answer would be in terms of fiscal rules, which MMT economists eshew. Another is a "theory of inflation" complete with model. One doesn't exist yet, not for lack of trying.

The MMT answer is heavily dependent on automatic stabilization such as is already in place. The MMT JG would need to be added to this.

But inflation results from many different factors, both from the demand and supply sides. MMT economists have examined these factors, too.

Uneasy Money
What’s Right and not so Right with Modern Monetary Theory
David Glasner | Economist at the Federal Trade Commission



The Sydney Morning Herald
What is Modern Monetary Theory and is it THE answer?
Jessica Irvine

Governments sharing bank details uncover $11 trillion in offshore assets

(Reuters) - Tax authorities in nearly 100 countries saw 10 trillion euros ($11.2 trillion) in offshore assets come to light last year due to the automatic exchange of details for 84 million bank accounts, the OECD said on Tuesday.

That marked a sharp increase from 2018 when tax authorities began sharing on an annual basis information like balances and transactions on offshore accounts, uncovering 5 trillion euros in assets previously hidden in 47 million accounts.


Governments sharing bank details uncover $11 trillion in offshore assets

KV - It all makes sense now

The trillion and billionaire communists that want to control the world 

US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests

The little-known but powerful US Agency for Global Media has financed protesters in the city and helped them with technical support

About US$2 million was earmarked for the protest movement in Hong Kong, but has now been frozen as part of a general overhaul and restructuring by a new agency boss. An ally of President Donald Trump, CEO Michael Pack didn’t specifically target the Hong Kong funding, which was apparently caught up in his management overhaul. The restructuring, though, has inadvertently exposed the US funding long denied by local protesters and pan-democrats.

According to Time magazine, the held-up funds were to have been distributed by the Washington-based Open Technology Fund (OTF), supposedly an independent non-profit, but financed by the US Congress. One cancelled project was to set up “a cybersecurity incident response team” to provide protesters with “secure communications apps” after analysing “Chinese surveillance techniques”.

Coronavirus can spread through air very fast

Airborne transmission could be the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19.

LOS ANGELES: Airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus is highly virulent, and could be the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19, according to a study which assessed the progression of the pandemic in three major epicentres across the world. Scientists, including Mario J. Molina -- the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry -- assessed the transmission pathways of COVID-19 by analysing the trend and mitigation measures used in the three epicentres of the disease -- Wuhan in China, New York City in the US, and Italy.

The researchers, including those from the University of California San Diego in the US, expressed concern that the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a long time only emphasised the prevention of contact transmission, and largely ignored the importance of the airborne transmission route for the novel coronavirus.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Abby Martin - Afghanistan War Exposed: An Imperial Conspiracy

Abby Martin covers the whole truth about the Afghanistan War, from the CIA construct of the 80's through today's senseless stalemate. Two decades, three administrations, tens of thousands of lives; it's time to #EndTheForeverWar.

Public Outcry Follows Gilead Decision to Charge $3000 for COVID Drug that Costs Pennies to Produce

California-based pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences has announced that a five-day course of its antiviral drug Remdesivir — shown in tests to effectively fight COVID-19 — will cost $3,120 to Americans with health insurance and $2,340 to those on Medicaid. Yet research published in April calculated that the drug could be produced at a profit for as little as $0.93 per day.

The study, led by Dr. Andrew Hill from the Department of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, U.K., and published in the Journal of Virus Eradication, found that a five-day course of lifesaving Remdesivir could be mass-produced for less than the cost of a Subway sandwich. So cheap is the drug that the saline solution and the syringe needed to administer it would be more costly. MintPress spoke with Dr. Hill, who was dismayed by the company’s announcement.

Mint Press

Public Outcry Follows Gilead Decision to Charge $3000 for COVID Drug that Costs Pennies to Produce

COVID-19 Accelerates China’s Political Economic Transformation – Analysis — Christopher A McNally

The economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic is often conceived of as a pivotal moment ushering in major shifts in political economies across the globe.
The most profound shift taking place in China’s political economy is a move away from the export-led growth strategy adopted in the 1990s to a new economic model based on domestic consumption, indigenous technology development and urbanisation....
Eurasia Review
COVID-19 Accelerates China’s Political Economic Transformation – Analysis
Christopher A McNally is Professor of Political Economy at Chaminade University of Honolulu and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center

NAIRU, And Other Will-O'-The-Wisps — Brian Romanchuk

The discussion of the role in unemployment is a key theoretical divide between Modern Monetary Theory and mainstream approaches. Theoretical conclusions determine the suggested policy response of governments to unemployment. The structural changes to the labour market made by policymakers in the 1990s were based on following a theory....
One of the objections that conventional economists make to MMT is that it is "nothing new" and can be stated in terms of their models. One of the sharpest distinctions is between the MMT approach to employment and inflation based on fiscal policy and the conventional approach through monetary policy, which is based on NAIRU, an acronym for Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. The MMT approach is based on the MMT JG and a buffer stock of employed, whereas NAIRU is based on a theoretical (unobservable) "natural rate of employment" and a buffer stock of unemployed

A key difference between conventional economics and MMT lies in this distinction between a buffer stock of employed and a buffer stock of unemployed. Any discussion that does not acknowledge this is simply wrong. The gap between MMT and conventional approaches is stark and involves millions of people in the US.

While this is not the only distinction between MMT and conventional economics that cannot be reduced to a conventional model based on conventional theory, it is an important one and proponents of MMT should understand its basics of NAIRU and MMT criticism of it. Brian simplifies this in the post. But knowing that the key difference is a between a buffer stock of employed and a buffer stock of unemployed is sufficient for most purposes. 

Bond Economics

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 3 — Straight Bat

Final installment in the series.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 3
Straight Bat

Links — 1 July 2020

Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Mint Press News
Afghan Bounty Scandal Comes at Suspiciously Important Time for US Military Industrial Complex

Public Outcry Follows Gilead Decision to Charge $3000 for COVID Drug that Costs Pennies to Produce
Alan Macleod

India Punchline
Russian bounty killing forces Trump’s hands on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Internationalist 360º
Afghanistan War Exposed: An Imperial Conspiracy
Abby Martin

Internationalist 360º
The Bloody Horrors of Pinochet Showed How Capitalism Will Respond When It’s Threatened

Moon of Alabama
New Law Liberates Hong Kong From U.S. Interference

US sanctions move for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline spells end of Transatlantic bond – German ex-Chancellor Schroeder

Beijing orders AP, CBS & other US outlets to submit information on China operations in tit-for-tat media war with US

First Results Of Russian Vote On Historic Amendments: Turnout Is About 63%. ‘YES’ – Over 70%

Sputnik International
Russia Working With Taliban, But Not in Way NYT’s ‘Anonymous Sources’ Claim, Pentagon Report Finds

Sputnik International
CHOP No More: Police Clear Seattle's 'Protest Zone' After Emergency Order - Photo, Video

Sputnik International
Indian Alternative to Chinese App TikTok, 'Chingari' Hits 5 Million Downloads

Sputnik International (How dumb is that?)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Symbolically’ Quits Chinese App Weibo Amid Tensions

Sputnik International
Hong Kong: Boris Johnson Promises BNO Passport Holders a Route to Citizenship

Sputnik International
Huawei Beats Samsung in Global Smartphone Sales, Named 6th Most Innovative Tech Firm Amid Trade War

Middle East Eye (Told ya)
US Secretary of State urges Turkey not to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque

Sputnik International
RussiaGate 3.0 & Afghan Peace Talks: Who Benefits From Pushing "Russia Bounty" Narrative?

Strategic Culture Foundation
Russia Bounty-Hunter Story Another Pulp Fiction Release
Finnian Cunningham

TASS (Didn't realize that the Russian Federation had one.)
Over 77% of voters support constitutional amendments in Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region

The Unz Review
Bill Browder, a Billionaire Accused of Being a Fraud and Liar
John Ryan

Zero Hedge
WaPo Admits 'Russian Bounties' Info "Deemed Sketchy" After Pentagon Says "No Corroborating Evidence"
Tyler Durden

The U.S. is now home to nearly 800 billionaires, worth a combined $3.4 trillion — Adele Peters

Sign of success and competitiveness, or .…?
The number of billionaires in the world is at a record high, and the U.S. is home to more than any other country.
Fast Company
The U.S. is now home to nearly 800 billionaires, worth a combined $3.4 trillion
Adele Peters

Mike Norman MMT podcast episode #5

Vitamin K found in some cheeses could help fight Covid-19, study suggests

Scientists in Netherlands explore possible link between deficiency and Covid-19 deaths

“My advice would be to take those vitamin K supplements. Even if it does not help against severe Covid-19, it is good for your blood vessels, bones and probably also for the lungs.”

Janssen added: “We have [vitamin] K1 and K2. K1 is in spinach, broccoli, green vegetables, blueberries, all types of fruit and vegetables. K2 is better absorbed by the body. It is in Dutch cheese, I have to say, and French cheese as well.”

The Guardian 

US-China rivalry, CIA and NED support for terrorist groups and proxies — Shane Quinn

The “loss” of China in 1949 was perhaps the biggest blow to strike American hegemony in the post-World War II era, and it is felt increasingly to this day. During the past 70 years, Washington's strategy towards China has been to destabilise and fracture one of the world's oldest and largest nations. These imperialist policies have clearly failed to attain their objectives.
Nevertheless US efforts to undermine Chinese power have been steadily growing over the past 30 years, in part spurred on by the Soviet Union's demise in 1991, partially also due to China's increasing clout.
The danger now is that the American elite became overconfident after the collapse of the USSR and now believes that China under the Chinese Communist Party will inevitably be next, only given some nudging. The outcome of this will turn out to be either one of the greatest strategic triumphs of history, cementing US semi-permanent hegemony, or else the most disastrous strategic blunder, leading to the collapse of the American empire and Western global dominance.


US Aggression Pushes Turkey and Iran Closer Together — Jim Carey

Backgrounder. Long but important for understanding the ME and the Islamic world.

I would not take any one analyst's take as definitive, but this seems to be a pretty good summary of a complex area both historically, complicated by the insertion of Israel, and geographically, because of the hydrocarbons in the ground. While it is considered a relative backwater now, it is the home of civilizational states and former empires — Assyrian, Persian and Ottoman. 

These were superseded successively in the region, and most recently by the British, French and Russian empires, and now the American. Add to this tribal loyalties in the region and the complicated tradition of Islam pitting Sunnis and Shi'ites against each other, and the mix becomes even more volatile and unpredictable.

I would not say "aggression," but rather "policy." Aggression is one aspect of policy, but there is much more to foreign policy, as the analysis shows.

Also, the author focuses mostly on US influence, which is overt, but British and French influence is also present owing to their former status in the area, which is difficult for them to let go. British intel has been very active in the region, for instance. And it was largely France under Nicholas Sarkozy that led the push for Libyan leader Gaddafi's removal, leaving a vacuum into which Turkey and Iran are cooperatively moving.

The Federal Government Always Money-Finances Its Spending: A Restatement — Nathan Tankus

On this substack I rely on Modern Monetary Theory (among other bodies of knowledge) to inform my analysis. Yet, I rarely explicitly write about MMT (for my own introduction to MMT and an overview of what it has to say about the current crisis, see my written remarks from a speech I gave to a Federal Credit Union). Today though, I’m going to tackle a recurring issue that comes up in discussions of MMT that I think will benefit my substack audience. One of the claims Modern Monetary Theory makes that critics have the most trouble with is the idea that the Federal Government already finances itself through money creation. Today, I’m going to restate this thesis step by step as simply as I can, while using T accounts. Incidentally, Professor Stephanie Kelton already substantiated this thesis in the United States 20 years ago in an article (aptly) entitled “Do Taxes and Bonds Finance Government Spending?”
Naked Capitalism
The Federal Government Always Money-Finances Its Spending: A Restatement
Nathan Tankus

Bill Mitchell — MMTed Q&A – Episode 5 — Bill interviews Pavlina Tcherneva

This is Episode 5 in the MMTed Q&A series.
This week I had a Zoom conversation with Dr Pavlina Tcherneva and we answered three questions about the Job Guarantee. The answers will be spread out over three episodes to keep each episode relatively short....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
MMTed Q&A – Episode 5
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia