Thursday, April 18, 2019

Luke Harding - Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme

Exclusive: in confidential internal report seen by the Guardian, bank says scandal has hurt global brand




Luke Harding its trying to link Russian laundered money through Deutsche Bank back to the Kremlin, and Bill Browder is saying that there is lots of Russian money being laundered in Europe.

The Russian Mafia flourished during the Soviet Union era and it is noted for its brutality, and a lot of the murdered Russian exiles and businessmen in London have been linked to it. The U.K. has always tried to link these murders to Putin and the Kremlin.

The Russian Mafia have links to Western organised crime and Deutsche Bank was involved too, along with Ukrainian gangsters. It's a pretty murky underworld.

Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says.
The bank admits there is a high risk that regulators in the US and UK will take “significant disciplinary action” against it. Deutsche concedes that the scandal has hurt its “global brand” – and is likely to cause “client attrition”, loss of investor confidence and a decline in its market value.
Deutsche Bank was embroiled in a vast money-laundering operation, dubbed the Global Laundromat. Russian criminals with links to the Kremlin, the old KGB and its main successor, the FSB, used the scheme between 2010 and 2014 to move money into the western financial system. The cash involved could total $80bn, detectives believe.
The Guardian


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Is Russian ‘Meddling’ an Attack on America? — Paul Jay interviews Stephen Cohen

“The claim that Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election is both exceedingly dangerous and a complete falsehood,” says Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay…

TRNN
Is Russian ‘Meddling’ an Attack on America?
Paul Jay interviews Stephen Cohen

See also

The arrest of Julian Assange was an act of revenge by the US government that strikes at the heart of journalism….

Asia Times
You have the right to always remain silent
Pepe Escobar
A recently declassified CIA document has revealed that members of the intelligence agencies of France, the United Kingdom and West Germany discussed how to establish “an anti-subversive organization similar to [the CIA’s Operation] Condor” in their own countries. Described by the CIA as “a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion,” Operation Condor was a campaign of state terrorism originally planned by the CIA that targeted leftists, suspected leftists and their “sympathizers” and resulted in the forced disappearances, torture and brutal murders of an estimated 60,000 people, as well as the political imprisonment of around half a million people. Around half of the estimated murders occurred in Argentina.
Mint Press News
Whitney Webb

Christian Stöcker — The Kids Aren't Nearly Angry Enough

The school children who have been protesting to stop climate change every Friday have understood a basic truth: They are being betrayed. By politicians. By business leaders. And by an entire generation of denialists.
I would add "yet" to "the kids aren't nearly angry enough." It's coming. It took a long time for the growing rage about the Vietnam to surface in the media.

Spiegel Online
The Kids Aren't Nearly Angry Enough
A Commentary By Christian Stöcker

Dylan Matthews — Modern Monetary Theory, explained—A very detailed walkthrough of the big new left economic idea.

Modern Monetary Theory is having a moment.
The theory, in brief, argues that countries that issue their own currencies can never “run out of money” the way people or businesses can. But what was once an obscure “heterodox” branch of economics has now become a major topic of debate among Democrats and economists with astonishing speed.

For that, we can thank Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who told Business Insider in January that MMT “absolutely” needs to be “a larger part of our conversation.” That was the most vocal mainstream support MMT had gotten, which for years had been championed by economists like Stephanie Kelton (a former adviser to Bernie Sanders), L. Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell (who coined the name Modern Monetary Theory), and Warren Mosler — as well as a growing number of economists at Wall Street institutions.
With AOC on board, a wave of denunciations from mainstream economists and others followed. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Bill Gates, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff all attacked the theory.
Or, more accurately, they attacked what they thought the theory to be. MMT is more nuanced than the “governments never have to pay for stuff” caricature it’s earned among other economists, and MMT advocates are famously (and often understandably) ornery when they sense they’re being misrepresented.
At the same, that caricature gets at what may ultimately be the most important effect of MMT as an idea: It could convince some Democrats to break away from the view that spending always has to be “paid for” with tax increases. How many Democrats buy that conclusion, and how far they’re willing to take it, remains to be seen. But some are already moving in that direction: While emphasizing that “debt matters,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently noted, “we need to rethink our system in a way that is genuinely about investments that pay off over time.”
The rise of MMT could allow Democrats to embrace the de facto fiscal policy of Republican presidents, who tend to explode the deficit to finance pet initiatives like tax cuts and defense spending, leaving Democrats to clean up afterward. MMT could be Democrats’ way of saying, “We don’t want to be suckers anymore.”

That would be a big deal. Getting comfortable with new deficit-financed programs would help Democrats overcome the single biggest impediment to their agenda: raising taxes to fund their programs. MMT could offer a way to justify passing big priorities like single-payer health care or free college without resorting to major middle-class tax hikes.
And if the idea behind MMT is wrong, that shift could be a false promise, one that offers short-term political benefits at the expense of hard to foresee economic costs.
So let’s dive into the wonky details of MMT. And I do mean wonky — this is a pretty technical article that gets into the nitty-gritty of why MMT is different from mainstream economics. But I think those details are important, and they’re easy for even very smart, very informed people to get wrong....
VOX
Modern Monetary Theory, explained—A very detailed walkthrough of the big new left economic idea.
Dylan Matthews

Richard Murphy — It’s time for accountancy to put climate change at the core of financial reporting


Socializing negative externality doesn't eliminate the actual cost. That needs to be accounted for.

Tax Research UK

Bill Mitchell — Madame Lagarde basically says MMT is correct – not that she knew she was saying

On April 11, 2019, IMF boss Madame Lagarde gave a press conference to open the 2019 Spring Meetings. The Transcript – includes the Madame waxing lyrical about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). And you might have confused the press conference for a stand-up comedy routine except you would have to be ‘in the know’ to laugh. But the significant aspect of the conference came when a question from Japan focused on MMT. In attempting to put down our work, Madame Lagarde actually admitted that a situation where the government runs big fiscal deficits, has a large-scale and on-going public debt-issuance program, where the central bank buys substantial proportions of that issuance, apparently ‘works’ under conditions that the currency-issuing government can always control. MMT 101. QED. Have a laugh....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Madame Lagarde basically says MMT is correct – not that she knew she was saying
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Houses and Holes — The pros and cons of MMT


Worthwhile article on MMT owing to the questions it poses. Not that MMT economists haven't addressed some of these questions. But I believe that some are still hanging.

It also observes that an MMT-based world run on functional finance would look quite different from the conventional world of "sound money," especially with a Green New Deal in the offing to address the emerging challenges of global inequality of distribution and the threat of climate change. What does this imply socially, politically, and economically?

It is also significant in that it attempts a systematic and comprehensive view of the challenges of making the switch from "business as usual," which is not working as people like Ray Dalio are point out, to something that is sustainable and suitable for emerging opportunities and challenges.

This is what a critique should look like. And being systematic, it's a good start for a comprehensive debate based on relatively neutral framing.

Macrobusiness
The pros and cons of MMT
Houses and Holes in Global Macro

Peter Bofinger — Modern monetary theory: the dose makes the poison


This article explains the ISLM view of MMT in some detail without being overly wonkish for general accessibility. While it is sympathetic to MMT, it is still wrong, but instructively so. Assumptions die hard.

Notice the assumptions about the effect of changes in "money supply" based on money supply being settlement balances in the payments system ("bank reserves balances", abbreviated as "rb").

The effect of such changes in conventional economics is based upon assuming that changes in the amount of rb in the payments system (base money) are determinative of changes in the amount of "money" available for spending in the economy that affects "purchasing power" and therefore price level (inflation).  This assumes a "money multiplier" that controls bank lending through the amount of bank reserves. The notion of the money multiplier has been debunked, but many conventional economists have not yet picked up on this.

The concept of "crowding out" of investment assumes that government borrowing competes with private sector borrowing for investment. This assumes a fixed amount of "loanable funds" available for borrowing. This, too, has been debunked. In the first place, loans create deposits rather than deposits being necessary to extend credit. Secondly, government spending adds the precise amount that government injects into the economy after netting for taxes, which withdraw "money" from the economy (reduce deposits). The balance of the funds injected get transferred in the payments system from government liabilities of zero maturity (rb) to government liabilities of non-zero maturity (government securities usually lumped together as "bonds"). This drains the fiscal deficit from the payments system (monetary base) into government securities.

Conventional economics assumes that issuance of government securities "neutralizes" the purchasing power of the net government injection from deficit spending, that is assumed to be otherwise potentially inflationary. But government securities do not prevent spending other their basis since they are highly negotiable and also prime collateral. So there is essentially no difference between issuing government securities to drain the monetary base and not doing so, other than the interest. It is done operationally in order to facilitate the central bank hitting its target rate when setting the interest rate and not setting to zero, or not paying interest on reserves. In short, issuance of government securities does not neutralize deficit spending as conventional economists assume it does.

Conventional economists have monetary and fiscal operations and their effects wrong, so their analysis is without basis. But it is interesting to see how their analysis goes and this article may be useful in doing so.

Hopefully, one of the MMT economists will pick up on this article and "fisk" it point by point.

Social Europe
Modern monetary theory: the dose makes the poison
Peter Bofinger | professor of economics at Würzburg University and a former member of the German Council of Economic Experts.

Bill Mitchell — When the MMT critics jump the shark

I was sent two papers by Thomas Palley the other day. I have known him for decades. He continually disappoints. He has become one of those self-styled Post Keynesians who are trying to destroy the credibility of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) for reasons that are not entirely clear although I know things I won’t write here. He thinks that if he drops a reference to Michał Kalecki, the Polish Marxist economist, into a paper, it qualifies one as being Post Keynesian. But, the reality is that his work (what limited academic work that he has published) sits squarely in the Neoclassical IS-LM synthesis tradition, which is not Post Keynesian nor heterodox at all. It is the antithesis of Post Keynesian. So I have never understood how he wants to appear Post Keynesian. Anyway whatever the answer to that little puzzle is, he definitely has a set on MMT and regularly recycles the same sorts of attacks, which, continue to have the same problems. In other words, he does not seem to (or does not want to) learn. He also accuses those who respond of dishonesty – playing the pure is me card – although his own work on MMT fails, in part, because he deliberately (or not) refuses to acknowledge the extant MMT literature, which addresses the issues he claims are missing in the MMT approach. Go figure!...
I'm actually surprised that Bill chose to respond given the quality of Palley's criticism. Wake me up when critic offers constructive critique that has not already been dealt with or is obvious from even popular MMT literature. There is an excuse for being unaware of the whole body of MMT literature and such points are worthy of addressing. But most of the criticism coming out now is not at that level and I am not bothering to cite it anymore.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When the MMT critics jump the shark
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, April 15, 2019

Bill Binney (former NSA) on the Arrest of Julian Assange

Bill Binney knows quite a lot about the Deep State having worked for them. He says there is no democracy in the West as the Deep State controls everything from behind the scenes. They also feed presidents and Western leaders only what they want them to know.

Who are the Deep State, they are the agents of the ruling class? Many are gangsters.

I was naively hoping that the trail of Assange would actually put the U.S. on trail about its crimes against humanity. I wondered if the Chelsea Manning drone footage would come to light about how US personnel shooting up Innocent people in Iraq where they even bombed a civilian van with children in. Of course, I knew it was unlikely but I still hoped it might. But Bill Binney says that Assange's trail will be done in secret where they will say this is for national security. It will be a kangaroo court.

Bill Binney and many other ex intelligence agents has done a lot of research on Russiagate but their findings have always been ignored. Instead it is repeated stated that Russia did try to hack the U.S. Presidential election even though they have absolutely no evidence for this whatsoever.

Jimmy Dore says the West is 1984/ Big Brother. We ate totality surveiled and our mainstream media is just propaganda. If you are a journalist and you step outside of the official narrative you are likely to lose your job. Money makes the world go round and well paid journalists don't want to risk losing their livelihood. So there's no need for a secret police force, or the SS, or the Gestapo, as it can be all be controlled by money. And most of us have huge mortgages that need to be paid.

What I find disturbing is how the BBC and other mainstream news outlets cover up for criminals and psychopaths. Seemingly very nice middle-class journalists will tell us how evil Russia and China are while their own governments go on the rampage around the world murdering millions of people. Have China and Russia blanket bombed whole continents with napalm and white phosphorous? The U.S. even burnt to the ground innocent Cambodia because they thought the Vietnamese troops were hiding there.



Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London today for failing to show up in court in London in 2012, and pursuant to a previously sealed, March 2018 indictment from the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. That indictment charges him with conspiracy with respect to Chelsea Manning’s leak of secret and sensitive information to WikiLeaks, which published Manning's material, later covered and republished by the Guardian, the New York Times, Der Speigel, and El Pais. Assange announced through his attorneys that he would fight extradition on the indictment. There are a handful of uncompromised people who know something about the leak of the DNC and John Podesta emails to WikiLeaks. That leak is at the center of the Russiagate hoax the British have conducted against Donald Trump, the United States, and Russia. Those people are Assange, who insists the materials did not result from a Russian hack, former Ambassador Craig Murray, who says he received a USB stick from an insider source in the United States and got it to Wikileaks, and former NSA Technical Directory Bill Binney, who has performed independent forensic studies of the DNC files and found them consistent with a leak but completely inconsistent with a hack conducted by Russian military intelligence over the internet, as claimed by Robert Mueller. Do you think that if Robert Mueller could prove Binney wrong, he would have hesitated to indicting Assange for conspiracy? More likely, this is a late move to limit what Attorney General Bill Barr will be allowed to investigate and it should be called out for what it is: a coverup. Watch this.


SouthFront — The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Qods Force


President Trump recently declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. Here is a backgrounder on the Guard, Quds (Quds), the leadership, and the religious philosophy behind it. Could this become a very big deal? Yes. So you may wish to catch up on it.

SouthFront
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Qods Force

Antony C Black — Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance … Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia [Book Review]


What your "deep state" has been up to. No good.

Can Paul L. Williams be believed? On one hand, he has academic credentials. On the other hand, he has been criticized as a conspiracy theorist for alarmist writings on the threat of Islamic terrorism in the US. His book is available for download at Internet Archive here. He provides documentation for his claims, but I have not checked out the sources.

Off Guardian
Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance …… Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia (2015)Overview of Paul L Williams” book
Antony C Black

Related

Peter Radford reviews Walter Scheidel’s “The Great Leveler”, "which gives us a very long period perspective on inequality."

This is a good article on the limitations that academic economics imposes on itself that limit its scope to idealizations about the operation of markets based on stylized facts rather than investigating the actual facts, which extend beyond this scope and are determinative of outcomes that cannot be understood without investigation of the influence of politics and power. Perhaps I am influence by confirmation bias, since I have saying this for a long time here at MNE and it bears me out.

The Radford Free Press
Power: Take Two
Peter Radford

Jimmy Dore - Assange Exposes Democrat Fascists, Torturers & Warmongers

Jimmy Dore shows his anger here. The West is run by mega rich psychopaths and the media goes along with it. Western populations have no idea of the lies they are told.

Neera Tanden says the US has a large deficit because of the wars it has fought to 'liberate' countries around the world and so the US should take their resources to pay for it. But that deficit money went straight into the pockets of the military-industrial complex which made a killing out of it. US companies take the resources anyway, but I guess they would like to get much more.

Almost everything has been privatised in the U.K but the elite saliva over the National Health Service because they think they haven't got enough money. And they always tried to get their hands on everything of value in Russia  and China as well, two continents they have never been able to conquer.  They tell us these countries are evil.


Andrei Kolesnikov — Putin’s Art of the Purge


Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. The cries about rampant corruption in Russia have been going on the West since the collapse of the USSR. A couple of years ago, President Putin appointed a special investigator prosecutor to put an end to it. Now that officials are being held to account, the West is crying, "purge."

Same with China and President Xi.

Look at the credentials of the author and go figure.

Project Syndicate
Putin’s Art of the Purge
Andrei Kolesnikov | senior fellow and the chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center


Tyler Cowen — New results on the China shock, furthermore the China shock is largely over


Is the US trying to lock the barn door after the horse is gone left over offshoring jobs to China? A new paper suggests so.

Marginal Revolution
New results on the China shock, furthermore the China shock is largely over
Tyler Cowen | Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center

Alan Longbon — U.S. Private Domestic Sector Balance Books A $147 Billion Surplus Through March 2019

Summary
  • The US budget deficit is $147 billion in March 2019; this is a net add to private domestic sector income.
  • Dollars added to the economy by the federal government allow the private sector to post a $147 billion surplus and add to its stock of net financial assets.
  • Private credit growth was again flat and added less than $1.8 billion to the money supply. A big drop from the January contribution of over $70B.
  • Further, income flows from the national government impact investment markets with a one-month lag, and so, can be a useful predictive tool. April is looking good up until the 15th when Federal income tax is paid and markets will fall into May 2019.
Seeking Alpha
U.S. Private Domestic Sector Balance Books A $147 Billion Surplus Through March 2019
Alan Longbon

Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng — China's accountability system unique

Not every decision will turn out to be the right one. But in China, when mistakes are made, adjustments follow. While this form of accountability is not perfect, it has produced a track record that is exceptional by any standard.
Interesting article coming from Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng, who are not considered government mouthpieces and have often been critical of China's policies. Chinese people seem to understand Chinese behavior, whereas most Westerners transpose their own cultural bias on their analysis of the rest of the world.

China Daily
China's accountability system unique
Andrew Sheng, distinguished fellow at the Asia Global Institute, the University of Hong Kong, and a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance; and Xiao Geng, president of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, a professor at Peking University HSBC Business School and the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Business and Economics

Bill Mitchell — The Europhile dreamers are out in force

It appears that the Brexit process in Britain will now stall. My understanding of the Referendum was the majority of British people who voted wanted to leave the EU and that the politicians from all sides of politics unambiguously stated they would honour the outcome, whichever way the vote fell. That is what democracies are about. A lot of people are disappointed by vote outcomes. They have to grin and bear it. But in the case of the Brexit vote, the Remainers have never accepted the outcome and have used various means – foul or otherwise – to undermine the choice of the majority. There have been regional strains involved and social class strains (cosmopolitans and the rest) involved. There have been nasty imputations that those who voted to Leave were ignorant, racist or otherwise not entitled to cast an opinion. The Europhile Left had conniptions because their dream looked like evaporating. I use the term ‘dream’ deliberately – as in, not ground in reality. As the incompetence of the Tory government in managing the exit process reaches new heights – embarrassing heights – the Europhile Left has become emboldened and are now reasserting their claims that the British Labour Party should articulate a clear Remain position and push to reform the prevailing European treaties, which embed neoliberalism in their core. Talk about dreaming....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The Europhile dreamers are out in force
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Investment Perspectives — Modern Monetary Theory, and why you're about to hear a lot more about it


Most of the financial "professionals" writing on (against) MMT are clueless about both MMT and also the basics of finance in institutional arrangments. They think that the world is still on the gold standard, for example, likely because they strongly believe that it ought to be. But beyond that, also clueless about how the accounting works at the macro level.

A very few do understand MMT, however. Paul McCulley of Pimco and James Montier of GMO, for example.

Here is another voice to add to the list of those that actually get MMT and therefore finance.

Pass it on. There is also a link to download a PDF of the article.

QuayGlobal Investments
Investment Perspectives: Modern Monetary Theory, and why you're about to hear a lot more about it
Chris Bedingfield
Reposted at Live Wire

Here is an alternative viewpoint by an economist that is also a financial professional who actually cites MMT literature — but gets it wrong anyway.

Warren's Page
Modern Monetary Theory—A Critique
Warren L. Coats


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Diane Coyle — Economics and philosophy


Some books on philosophy of economics.

The Enlightened Economist
Economics and philosophy
Diane Coyle | freelance economist and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. She is a member of the UK Competition Commission and is acting Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation

Lars P. Syll — Functional​ finance — how to cope with inflation


Abba Lerner quote.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Functional​ finance — how to cope with inflation
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Robert Paul Wolff — "The Future of Socialism" (article)


I  (Tom Hickey) recommend reading this paper now that "socialism" is the new buzz word. You may recall Professor Wolff from The Poverty of Liberalism, In Defense of Anarchy, and A Critique of Pure Tolerance (with Herbert Marcuse and Barrington Moore, Jr.), which were popular at the time of the "countercultural revolution" in the Sixties and Seventies. He also published scholarly works on Emmanuel Kant and Karl Marx. He blogs at The Philosopher's Stone, which I follow and occasionally offer comment.

In what follows, I propose to take as my text a famous statement from Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy—a sort of preliminary sketch of Das Kapital—and see what it can tell us about the capitalism of our day. I shall try to show you that Marx was fundamentally right about the direction in which capitalism would devel- op, but that because of his failure to anticipate three important features of the mature capitalist world, his optimism concerning the outcome of that development was misplaced. Along the way, I shall take a fruitful detour through the arid desert of financial accounting theory.
Here is the famous passage, from the preface of the Contribution, published in 1859:
"No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed, and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society."
"The Future of Socialism"
Robert Paul Wolff | Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Published in Seattle University Law Review [Vol. 35:1403-1428]

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Peter Dorman — Economics, the Realm of Money and the Significance of GDP Growth, with an Application to Child Labor


Peter Dorman reflects broadly on what economics is about. Worth considering, although it is only tangentially relevant to MMT as a school of monetary economics. But it does bring up key questions that extend from philosophy to sociology, anthropology, history, and political science, as well as economics. Economies are embedded in societies as their material provisioning mechanism. In doing economics the way it is usually done, it is easy to loose a lot of this, especially in focusing on economic theory.

Econospeak
Economics, the Realm of Money and the Significance of GDP Growth, with an Application to Child Labor
Peter Dorman | Professor of Political Economy, The Evergreen State College

Robert Paul Wolff — A WORD OF CLARIFICATION


On the historical meanings of "socialism."

See my comment there.

The Philosopher's Stone
A WORD OF CLARIFICATION
Robert Paul Wolff | Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ricardo Martin — Monetary Sovereignty

The main lesson I want to draw from this post is (excluding being autarkic/poor or being in a monetary union): 
If a country wants to maintain a fixed exchange rate, the country must accumulate a lot of foreign reserves to be sovereign (or maybe some capital controls?) 
If a country wants to have floating exchange rates, it must convince its trading partners (or its trading partners’ trading partners) to hold its national currency as foreign reserves.
losinterest
Monetary Sovereignty
Ricardo Martin

Lars P. Syll — Does MMT — really — ignore expectations?


See my comment there.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Does MMT — really — ignore expectations?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Alina Shrourou - Children born into poorer backgrounds show key differences in early brain function, finds study



Our brains are neuroplastic and change according to the environment. Poor children are often negatively affected by poverty which makes its difficult for them to learn or do well at school. A viscous circle can set up where these children will grow up into adults who continue to under achieve and live in poverty, and so their children will under achieve as well.

Some of these people live in the underclass and can be an enormous burden on society as many get involved in crime, drugs, and violence. It makes our society less pleasant and cost us a fortune in policing and prisons. But welfare when applied correctly could bring enormous benefits and could be seen as an investment. In the end we end up with happier, more productive people in work lowering the tax burden on the rest of us, as well as having less costly police, remand, social and prison services.

The Job Guarantee would really help too. They say how can we afford it, but how can we not do?

Fortunately, neuroplasticity remains functional throughout life and adults can change as well. 

Children born into poverty show key differences in early brain function - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Researchers studied the brain function of children aged between four months and four years in rural India.
They found that children from lower-income backgrounds, where mothers also had a low level of education, had weaker brain activity and were more likely to be distracted.
Lead researcher Prof John Spencer, from UEA's School of Psychology, said: "Each year, 250 million children in low and middle income countries fail to reach their developmental potential.
There is therefore a growing need to understand the global impact of poverty on early brain and behavioural development.
"Although the impact of adversity on brain development can trap children in an intergenerational cycle of poverty, the massive potential for brain plasticity is also a source of hope.
News, Medical, and Life Sciences

Friday, April 12, 2019

TRNN - Assange Arrested for Exposing U.S. War Crimes - Paul Jay

Exposing horrendous crimes against humanity is a crime, according the Washington. It's shocking to see this. As a teen I thought mankind was becoming enlightened, and I was optimistic. I believed it when they said that good always wins in the end, but now I know it is the winners who get to write history. 

They complain that Wikileaks doesn't go after authoritarian states, but the US supports most of these states. There is no democracy in the US.




PAUL JAY: Well, I think it was deliberate, obviously. He’s known that he was going to be arrested for quite some time, and certainly in the last couple of days it was just a question of when. So I mean, I’ve never met or talked to Julian. But I’m assuming he did it with some intent. And I think it’s to send the message that this is the national security state that has come for him, and that the national security state is a dangerous thing for people and they should be aware of it.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind here is just what he’s been arrested for; this alleged collusion, if you want to use the word, with Chelsea Manning to leak the various reams of information that Chelsea Manning leaked. They’re claiming he crossed the line in helping to create a password–crack a password–which a journalist is only supposed to receive the information, not in any way collaborate. I have no idea whether Julian did or didn’t do what they’re alleging. But I think a far more important thing is being lost in, so far, most of the media coverage I’ve seen of this arrest, which is they exposed war crimes; they being Julian, Chelsea Manning. They exposed American war crimes in Iraq. And of course there’s this famous footage of a helicopter essentially murdering people as they walk across a square in–I guess it’s Baghdad. But we know in that story that not only did they kill the people in the original video, but they go ahead and strafe a van where there were children in it. And that was just a tip of the iceberg of the kind of war crimes being committed by the United States in Iraq.
And most importantly, what should be discussed again at this moment is that the war itself was a war crime. It was an illegal war. It was not sanctioned by the United Nations. The United States did not face a threat of imminent attack by Iraq, which is the only justification for war. These types of wars of aggression–and it’s clear it was a war of aggression. There was no weapons of mass destruction, and the UN inspectors were all saying so. The Nuremberg trials, they put the Nazis on trial. And it was said at the time and it’s been said since it’s the highest form of war crime, an aggressive war.
So what did WikiLeaks, what did Julian Assange, what did Chelsea Manning do? They exposed war crimes. So whether it may have technically broken an American law or not, if there’s ever going to be democracy, there better be whistleblowers. And the fact that the Obama administration and now the Trump administration, the deep state is going after whistleblowers–and particularly the most well known other than Snowden, Assange–is to send a message. And it comes at a very critical time when I think the Trump administration is planning for some kind of attack on Iran; certainly massive economic destabilization. And who knows what other nefarious things they are planning.
So it’s not just an attack on press freedom, which it is. It’s not just a way to intimidate journalists and news organizations from accepting leaked material, which it is. But it’s saying even if you’re exposing war crimes, we’re coming after you. And the corporate media is ignoring the whole substance of what was done by Chelsea and Julian.


Ramanan — Alan Shipman: Wynne Godley, A Biography

Alan Shipman has written a biography of Wynne Godley! Palgrave Macmillan site for the book, or Google Books
I dind't know this was even in the pipeline.

The Case for Concerted Action
Alan Shipman: Wynne Godley, A Biography
V. Ramanan

Lars P. Syl — Thomas Palley claims MMT fails to provide plausible macroeconomics​

Much of the critique that Palley delivers was also waged against Abba Lerner’s ‘functional finance’ approach — on which much of MMT is based — back in the 1940s and 1950s. Even if some of today’s ‘Keynesian’ economists do not understand Lerner, there once was one who certainly did:
I recently read an interesting article on deficit budgeting … His argument is impeccable.
John Maynard Keynes (CW XXVII:320)
Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Thomas Palley claims MMT fails to provide plausible macroeconomics​
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University