Monday, September 28, 2020

Marxian economics for the 21st century? — David F. Ruccio

In this post, I continue the draft of sections of my forthcoming book, “Marxian Economics: An Introduction.” This, like the previous four posts (here, here, here, and here), is written to serve as the basis for chapter 1, Marxian Economics Today. The text of this post should pretty much finish up the draft of the first chapter....
Occasional Links & Commentary
Marxian economics for the 21st century?
David F. Ruccio | Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Notre Dame.

Adopting a clean gold standard — JP Koning


Not a monetary gold standard, but green way of treating gold.

Russia and China would never go for it, since they are principal gold miners and gold reserves are way to avoid being the victim of Western economic warfare led by the US.

Moneyness
Adopting a clean gold standard
JP Koning

The 'bazooka': Modern Monetary Theory in action — Peter Bofinger


Not exactly in paradigm with MMT, but positive nevertheless.

Social Europe
The 'bazooka': Modern Monetary Theory in action
Peter Bofinger

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bill Mitchell – The inner Groupthink camp is breaking up – paradigm shift continues

Last week, there were some rather significant shifts in the public discourse surrounding macroeconomic policy and challenges made to the orthodox economics taboos that have been used to prevent governments from acting in the best interest of the citizens. First, the Australian treasurer broke away from the government’s previous obsession with fiscal surplus pursuit to announce that for the foreseeable future it was only going to concentrate on jobs and growth. In his statement, he basically refuted all the mainstream macroeconomic claims about fiscal deficits – higher interest rates, lower private investment, lower growth, lower private sector confidence etc. There is really nothing left of the mainstream position now and any politician or economist that tries to resurrect the ‘debt and deficit’ narratives of the past will find it hard gaining the same politician traction that they were able to garner some years ago at the height of the neoliberal period. And, if that was not enough, a former Federal treasurer attacked the ‘high priests’ of the central bank, demanding they buy up government bonds and help the government run “Mountainous” deficits to achieve full employment. The flood gates opened just a bit more after those interventions along the way to jettisoning all the mainstream nonsense that should have been abandoned decades ago....
Traction.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The inner Groupthink camp is breaking up – paradigm shift continues
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

China needs new long tech march after US attack on SMIC — Global Times editorial


Editorial calling for a Chinese "Manhattan Project" to compete technologically with the US.

Note that Global Times is published by the People's Daily, official press organ of the CCP, but Global Time is not considered an official source.

Revenge of the Money Launderers — Matt Taibbi

The "FinCen Files" story reveals: getting caught not only doesn’t stop the world's biggest banks from moving dirty money, it may encourage them
Substack (subscription may be required)
Revenge of the Money Launderers
Matt Taibbi

Links — 28 Sep 2020

Quillette (tribalism culturally and perspectivalism epistemologically)
The Bias that Divides Us
Keith E. Stanovich

CaitlinJohnstone.com (Liberals are GOP lite — Rockefeller Republicans, but Progressives are center-left in comparison with the Left globally. The US no longer has a real left.)
Why Liberals Hate Leftists
Caitlin Johnstone

The Intercept (Democrats not immune either. Neofascism is on the rise.)
Democrats Need to Wake Up: The Trump Movement Is Shot Through With Fascism
Rich Benjamin

Strategic Culture Foundation (confirmation bias is one the strongest and most prevalent cognitive-affective biases.)
Gallup: Americans Tend to Trust Only News That Confirms Their Beliefs; Highly Educated Americans Are by Far the Most Closed-Minded Group

The Grayzone (longish and detailed)
Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media
Ben Norton

Contere (tip of the iceberg?)
How the CIA Helped Create the First Mexican Cartel: On Amazon's "The Last Narc"

Sputnik International (desperation)
'Anti-Capitalist' Material Banned From English Schools as Neo-McCarthyism Grips the West

BRICS
Trial of a Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine in Russia: 'No Side Effects'

Russia and Huawei to Create Game-Changing New Android Alternative


Gower — Time to worry less (or better not at all) about the national debt and challenge the government’s economic record instead.

Whilst those of us with a better understanding of how money works shout at the TV with incredulity that the same falsities are being repeated endlessly, many of those same journalists and presenters fail to make the very real connections between government spending, the state of the economy and the lives of its citizens.

Whilst the implication of unaffordability and a future tax burden prevails as a reason to curtail spending eventually, the real price has been and remains a human one; economic instability and uncertainty for people and the prospect of more damage to the environment. We can’t afford to improve people’s lives or even save the planet! Apparently.…
Ignorance and disinformation involve real costs imposed on people and society, including loss of opportunity.

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies

Zero Hedge — "Anything Tesla Can Do, We Can Do": Huawei Set To Become Major Competition In Electric Vehicles

Xu Zhijun, a rotating chairman of Huawei is on record in 2019 as saying: "If you look at the stock price of Tesla, you will know where the future of automobiles lies."

His comment was foreshadowing as to where Huawei's future business efforts may be directed, according to Nikkei. In April 2019, the company set up a "smart car solutions" segment of its auto business. Their auto business currently has 5 segments: smart driving, smart cockpit platform, intelligent network, smart electric and cloud services....

Huawei reportedly wants to become a "one-stop supplier of all software and hardware for smart cars and seeks a dominant say in the industry," Nikkei says. There will only be two or three such major players globally, the report predicts.

Zero Hedge (old news, but it's an indication of where the Chinese are setting up to compete.)
"Anything Tesla Can Do, We Can Do": Huawei Set To Become Major Competition In Electric Vehicles
Tyler Durden

TASS — Domestic demand to become main source of GDP growth in Russia in 2021-2023, says ministry


Russia is joining China in developing the domestic economy as the driver of GDP.

Russia and China are also increasing trade, reducing dependence on the others.

Both countries are restructuring their economies owing to sanctions and increasing their strategic alliance economically as well as militarily.

TASS
Domestic demand to become main source of GDP growth in Russia in 2021-2023, says ministry

see also

Finances improving as Russia de-dollarizes. But revenue from oil exports is also important, and GS sees the oil price rising over the next couple of years.

Sputnik International
Russian Ruble is One of Top Emerging Market Currency Picks by Goldman Sachs After Pandemic

Understanding The Non-Existence Of Financial Constraints — Brian Romanchuk

In summary, if we accept the premise that the government can wait for after a recession to worry about its finances, then we can say that it does not face a financial constraint. Given that the former appears to be a consensus view, the non-existence of financial constraints is not particularly radical.
Bond Economics
Understanding The Non-Existence Of Financial Constraints
Brian Romanchuk

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin — Gerald Holtham

The solution to a problem that is sociological and political does not lie in abstract discussions of methodology or trying to identify philosophical mistakes. It lies in being open-minded to insights from outside economics , in constructing theories that use appropriate formal methods not theories that are constructed to show off command of formal methods whether appropriate or not. It means defining the domain of theoretical propositions and accepting the verdict of empirical data relevant to that domain. In other words the answer to people doing it wrong is not to despair and retreat into philosophy; the answer is to do it right. No-one should claim that is easy.
The problem with conventional economics is assuming that economics is naturalistic like natural science rather than historical, in that participants are socially embedded in contexts that are dynamic.  The degree of complexity increases from physical systems, to biological systems, to social systems. Hence, different methodology — developing suitable methods for inquiry — is called for.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin
Gerald Holtham

See also

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What’s the use of economic models?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Keynes and Henderson Create A Qualitative Multiplier — Robert Vienneau


Some history of economics relevant to MMT and the MMT JG.

Thoughts On Economics
Keynes and Henderson Create A Qualitative Multiplier
Robert Vienneau

Friday, September 25, 2020

Zero Hedge — Chinese Container Factories Are Now Sold Out Until February


Anticipated strength in Chinese exports.

Not all China though. Shipping companies are stocking up.
A handful of producers in China build almost all of the world’s containers.
Interesting article about the shipping industry.

Zero Hedge
Chinese Container Factories Are Now Sold Out Until February
Greg Miller, senior editor at American Shipper

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate increased in August, Highest Since January 2013 — Bill McBride



Calculated Risk
Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate increased in August, Highest Since January 2013
Bill McBride

Carlos García, José Luis de la Fuente – Is it Time for a Job Guarantee Programme in Spain?

All this makes us think that in an advanced society such as ours it is no longer an illusion to defend the veracity of this statement: the only way to achieve permanent full employment is to prohibit involuntary unemployment, and therefore it is necessary to implement a program that guarantees that everyone who wants and can work has access to a decent job....
Such measures would not be impossible within the European Union and the euro if the European Union were to change its treaties. Above all, it would be necessary for the 3% public deficit limit set by the Stability and Growth Pact to be removed. If this were to happen and the European Union were to recognise that the correct level of public deficit is that which guarantees full employment without inflation thanks to job guarantees based on employment buffer stocks, the problem of mass unemployment in Spain could be solved within the European Union. However, there is no indication that the European Union will reform its treaties in this direction. Consequently, within the European Union and the single currency zone there will be no end to mass unemployment.
Brave New Europe
Carlos García, José Luis de la Fuente – Is it Time for a Job Guarantee Programme in Spain?
Carlos García Hernández, managing director of the publishing house Lola Books, and  José Luis de la Fuente O’Connor, Professor at the Polytechnical University of Madrid

In ANT We Trust: Alibaba's Ant Group Launches Major Cross-Border Blockchain Platform Amid Record IPO Demond Cureton

Hangzhou-based Ant Group will list the dual IPO amid early investor interest and is will be based on a valuation of roughly $250bn, according to Reuters....
Sputnik International
In ANT We Trust: Alibaba's Ant Group Launches Major Cross-Border Blockchain Platform Amid Record IPO
Demond Cureton

Russia Remains China’s Top Oil Supplier —Tom Kool


Russia has taken over from Saudi Arabia. For one thing, pipelines across land are more efficient than shipping by tankers. Secondly, Saudi Arabia is in the pocket of the US, which views China as an adversary in addition to a competitor.

Russia and China also settle in their own currencies in their own payments system.

This implies that Russia is far less dependent on the European market for its exports than it was previously.

Oilprice
Russia Remains China’s Top Oil Supplier
Tom Kool

Americans Who Support Status Quo Politics Are American Supremacists — Caitlin Johnstone


I would not dignify them with the title American Supremacists when it appears that they are just plain old Neofascists beating the drum of exceptionalism.

Supremacism is based on the assumption of national exceptionalism, which is similar to racial and ethnic exceptionalism and some national exceptionalists are also either racial exceptionalists or ethnic exceptionalists, or both. National exceptionalism manifesting as supremacism are categorically different from pride in one's country and patriotism, although national exceptionalism masquerades a both. This syndrome is beyond party and is characteristic of much of the establishments of both US political parties.

Nor is this syndrome limited to the US, or even to the West. There is also cultural exceptionalism and many traditional cultures are victims of it.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Americans Who Support Status Quo Politics Are American Supremacists
Caitlin Johnstone

See also

Counterpunch (non-white non-Western people)
The U.S. ‘War on Terror’ Has Displaced 37 Million People
David Vine

also

Counterpunch (aggressive behavior to provoke the adversary)
Provocation on the High Seas: U.S. Naval Adventures Near the Shores of Russia, China and Iran
Eve Ottenberg

Also

Counterpunch
Time to Put an End to the Nuclear Age (Brinksmanship)
Olivia Alperstein

Lawler: Serious Delinquency Rate on FHA-Insured SF Loans Up Again in August — Bill McBride


The US economy is beginning to recover in some respects. But is the recovery being threatened by the overhang of private debt?

A fast recovery would take care of this issue on its own, but a gradual recovery or a setback would exacerbate it. 

To some degree this is a policy choice, but it also depends on the direction of the pandemic. The past is not always predictive of the future, but judging on the basis of previous pandemics, it takes about two year to work its way through a society enough to produce herd immunity, after many deaths. 

This obviously influences the willingness of the public to carry on normal business owing to the risk of exposure. However, what's new is the Internet and online transactions, with a delivery system in place.

So it appears that politicians and policy makers really need to be looking closely at the issue of ability to service private debt in the absence of a policy remedy unless there would be significant voluntary restructuring. 

The problem is, however, that it is a systemic issue. Ad hoc patches are are not well thought out are not likely to do the job.

Making a Mark - Google's NEW Blogger interface does not work properly! The tech people at Google

 The tech people at Google may be regretting the notion of revamping Blogger.  Below I'm itemising the problems I've encountered. There may be more!


If you are an ordinary reader please excuse the VITRIOL - which is included in the hope that somebody from Google Blogger might read it!!

Below are two main faults 

  • poorly managed change process
  • very poor communication and very poor design
plus a section why the new interface is dysfunctional - which contains 
  • 10 points explaining what is wrong with the NEW BLOGGER interface

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mark Cuban, Pavlina Tcherneva, Charles Hayden on MMT and the JG


Mark Cuban, Pavlina Tcherneva, Charles Hayden on MMT and the JG

Iran Opens Navy Base At World’s Most Crucial Oil Chokepoint — Charles Kennedy


Sending a message?

Oilprice
Iran Opens Navy Base At World’s Most Crucial Oil Chokepoint
Charles Kennedy

Sabine Hossenfelder - Follow the Science? Nonsense, I say.

The climate change deniers on twitter told me that the sea isn't rising, the land is sinking.


YouTube - Sabine Hossenfelder - Follow the Science? Nonsense, I say.


Today I want to tell you why I had to stop reading news about climate science. Because it pisses me off. Every. Single. Time.

There’s all these left-wing do-gooders who think their readers are too fucking dumb to draw their own conclusions so it’s not enough to tell me what’s the correlation between hurricane intensity and air moisture, no, they also have to tell me that, therefore, I should donate to save the polar bears. There’s this implied link: Science says this, therefore you should do that. Follow the science, stop flying. Follow the science, go vegan. Follow the science and glue yourself to a bus, because certainly that’s the logical conclusion to draw from the observed weakening of the atlantic meridional circulation.

When I was your age, we learned science does not say anything about what we should do. What we should do is a matter of opinion, science is matter of fact.

Science tells us what situation we are in and what consequences our actions are likely to have, but it does not tell us what to do. Science does not say you shouldn’t pee on high voltage lines, it says urine is an excellent conductor. Science does not say you should stop smoking, science says nicotine narrows arteries, so if you smoke you’ll probably die young lacking a few toes. Science does not say we should cut carbondioxide emissions. It says if we don’t, then by the end of the century estimated damages will exceed some Trillion US $. Is that what we should go for? Well, that’s a matter of opinion.

Follow the Science is a complete rubbish idea, because science does not know the direction. We have to decide what way to go.

You’d think it’s bad enough that politicians conflate scientific fact with opinion, but the media actually make it worse. They make it worse by giving their audience the impression that it matters what someone whose job it is to execute the will of the electorate believes about scientific facts. But I couldn’t care less if Donald Trump “believes” in climate change. Look, this is a man who can’t tell herd immunity from herd mentality, he probably thinks winter’s the same as an ice age. It’s not his job to offer opinions about science he clearly doesn’t understand, so why do you keep asking him. His job is to say if the situation is this, we will do that. At least in principle, that’s what he should be doing. Then you look up what science says which situation we are in and act accordingly.

The problem, the problem, you see, is that by conflating the two things – the facts with the opinions – the media give people an excuse to hide opinions behind scientific beliefs. If you don’t give a shit that today’s teenagers will struggle their whole life cleaning up the mess that your generation left behind fine, that’s a totally valid opinion. But please just say it out loud, so we can all hear it. Don’t cover it up by telling us a story about how you weren’t able to reproduce a figure in the IPCC report even though you tried really hard for almost ten seconds, because no one gives a shit whether you have your own “theory.”

If you are more bothered by the prospect of rising gasoline prices than by rising sea levels because you don’t know anyone who lives by the sea anyway, then just say so. If you worry more about the pension for your friend the coal miner than about drought and famine in the developing world because after all there’s only poor people in the developing world, then just say so. If you don’t give a shit about a global recession caused by natural catastrophes that eat up billion after billion because you’re a rich white guy with a big house and think you’re immune to trouble, then just say so. Say it loud, so we can all hear it.

And all the rest of you stop chanting we need to “follow the science”. People who oppose action on climate change are not anti-science, they simply worry more that a wind farm might ruin the view from their summer vacation house, than they worry wild fires will burn down the house. That’s not anti-scientific, that’s just dumb. But then that’s only my opinion.

Blog

https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2020/09/follow-science-nonsense-i-say.html


Sweden shifts on no-lockdown strategy

Dr Anders Tegnell has now said that Sweden may implement localised lockdowns, but only for a maximum of two or three weeks


At least the Swedes are flexible and not dogmatic.

Sweden's state epidemiologist has said that he is now willing to recommend lockdown measures such as school closures, and strict limits to the size of gatherings - so long as they are only imposed locally and for three weeks at a time....

FT

Sweden shifts on no-lockdown strategy

  

Sweden vs the best




Vladimir Putin's Address delivered at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly


Full speech and official translation.

President of Russia
Vladimir Putin's Address delivered at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly

Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People’s Republic of China At the General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly


Full speech and official translation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Republic of China
Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People’s Republic of China At the General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly

Moon of Alabama — Lying With Headlines


Washington Post vying with the NYT for the CIA best propaganda award?

Moon of Alabama

Merics — PBOC says world’s first state-back digital currency ready for launch

China could become the world’s first country to introduce a state-backed digital currency. The People’s Bank of China on September 19 announced its digital currency was ready for launch, although the central bank did not say when the virtual money would become available. The DECP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) will be exchangeable for one renminbi (RMB) and be distributed by state-owned banks and possibly digital payments firms like Alipay and WeChat. Users will buy DCEP, store them in a digital wallet and trade them instantly for goods and services....
Merics
PBOC says world’s first state-back digital currency ready for launch

Martin Jacques - From Follower To Leader: The Story Of China’s Rise

Was covid-19 a test of governments, if so, China passed with flying colours while the West failed.

Within 40 years China has gone from an economy like rural India to one of the most advanced countries in the world. At this rate it will soon surpass all other countries. 

Martin Jacques discusses China’s raise in today’s drastically changing international environment. He navigates China’s position under the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the China-US Cold War. 

Martin Jacques - From Follower To Leader: The Story Of China’s Rise






This is how 5G is being applied in China. Yangshan Port, built in 2018, is a 24-hour unmanned intelligent automated port for loading and unloading, without workers and drivers, including trucks. Throughput of 700 million tons a year. 

This film has been speeded up. 


Watch a bridge erection machine build a viaduct in a valley in China. The self-developed machine can lift, transport, and install girders



Refurbishing a railway 


Chongqing, China.