Saturday, June 15, 2019

How Brazil's Elite Conspired to Put Lula in Jail

This new is a few days old now, but this is short and to the point. So much for democracy!

Pompeo says Venezuela has a choice between being democracy or a dictatorship, and if the choice is the latter the U.S will intervene.

Peoples Dispatch looks into the recent exposé published by The Intercept which reveals the bias and political motivation of the Brazilian judiciary during the prosecution of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The prosecution team of Operation Car Wash had close links to the Judge overseeing the case, Sérgio Moro, who gave them tips and advice. The exposé also reveals how one of the driving forces of the Car Wash task force was to prevent a return of Lula's Workers' Party (PT) to power.

Ellen Brown - The American Dream is Alive and Well - in China

90% of the Chinese are home owners, says Ellen Brown, and by the time they are 35 years old most own their own homes. Okay, they are smaller and not as well built, but Chinese debt is a lot lower as the government subsidizes health care, education, transport, and its industries. The Chinese have lower wages but their cost of living is a lot less.

Bannon says these subsidies are unfair, and that the Chinese use their vast army of slaves to economically take over the world. A trade war is not about trade, says Bannon, it's about warfare. But the West once had a system of state subsidies and free university education, which made us strong and helped our economies, so why don't we go back to that to level the playing field?

Labour would like to improve the NHS, renationalise the railways, improve regulations on the energy supply to lower costs, etc, but this could give British companies a competitive edge in the global market which could be deemed unfair. And I would like to see more trains all over the U.K. taking much of the lorries off the roads too. So, perhaps the answer is for economists and mathematicians to work out the correct tarrifs, or for all countries to abandon the destructive neoliberal system and adopt a mixed economy instead.

The neoliberal globalisation destroys democracy because the British people support the NHS and some renationalisation. And who sets the international neoliberal free trade system and what say do we have in it?

Below is very MMT.

All this was done with the help of China’s federal government, which in recent decades has pumped massive amounts of economic stimulus into the economy. Unlike the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, which went straight into big bank reserve accounts, the Chinese stimulus has generated new money for productive purposes, including local business development and infrastructure. Sometimes called “qualitative easing,” this “quantitative easing with Chinese characteristics” has meant more jobs, more GDP and more money available to spend, which in turn improves quality of life.
The Chinese government has done this without amassing a crippling federal debt or triggering runaway inflation. In the last 20 years, its M2 money supply has grown from just over 10 trillion yuan to 80 trillion yuan ($11.6T), a nearly 800% increase. Yet the inflation rate of its Consumer Price Index (CPI) has remained low. In February of this year, it was just 1.5%. In May it rose to 2.7% due to an outbreak of swine fever, which drove pork prices up; but this was a response to shortages, not to an increase in the money supply. Radically increasing the money supply has not driven consumer prices up because GDP has increased at an even faster rate. Supply and demand have risen together, keeping consumer prices low.

Below are Bannon and Spalding twisting everything, making their own reality. And Bannon even pretends to care about American workers. These guys are said to be very intelligent, but they have no insight into how their minds work. It's like the school bully who says his victims deserved it, it was their fault. In other words, these two guys are as thick as a plank of wood.

Steve Bannon on the trade war.

Gen. Robert Spalding on the trade war.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sputnik — China to Ship 225 Million Devices with HongMeng and Ark OS Before End of Year – Reports

Chinese tech titan Huawei, is reportedly gearing up to ship almost 225 million devices already running on HongMeng or Ark OS by October 2019 after the Android ban due to the sanctions imposed by the US administration....
This is occurring as the smartphone market tips away from luxury phones like the iPhone and Galaxy toward less expensive products.
One of its sources claimed that the Ark OS performed 60 percent faster than Google’s Android....
Sputnik International
China to Ship 225 Million Devices with HongMeng and Ark OS Before End of Year – Reports

TASS — Russian embassy alarmed by London’s plans to shift focus of UK special forces

Russian embassy alarmed by London’s plans to shift focus of UK special forces.The embassy said the plan, if implemented, is likely to constitute a breach of the UN Charter.
The Russian embassy in London said it was alarmed by media reports about the Defense Ministry’s plans to shift the focus of its special forces to " dangerous international behavior" by other states, including Russia.
"Such reports are alarming. Of course, it’s hard for us to say how reliable this information is and how it corresponds with real tasks of the UK armed forces. However, if it is true, this decision appears to be, firstly, erroneous and, secondly, questionable as far as London’s compliance with its international obligations is concerned," the embassy said, calling upon the Foreign Office and the Defense Ministry to clarify those reports publicly and officially.
"In fact, this would mean that UK defense agencies are paving the way for removing the existing restrictions imposed by the international law and to claim the right to carry out military operations beyond the limits of self-defense, which constitutes a direct breach of the UN Charter," the embassy said. "This would not just become a yet another step towards deliberately destroying the world order based on the international law, but also create major risks of those ‘hybrid’ operations evolving into full-fledged armed conflicts as a result of various coincidences and misunderstandings."
Imperialists will be imperialists. Can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Russian embassy alarmed by London’s plans to shift focus of UK special forces

Human development in the age of globalisation — Leandro de la Escosura

The concept of human development views wellbeing as being affected by a wide range of factors including health and education. This column examines worldwide long-term wellbeing from 1870-2015 with an augmented historical human development index (AHHDI) that combines new measures of achievements in health, education, material living standards, and political freedom. It shows that world human development has steadily improved over time, although advances have been unevenly distributed across world regions.

VOX- CEPR Policy Portal
Human development in the age of globalisation
Leandro de la Escosura | Professor of Economic History, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid; Research Associate, CAGE; Honorary Maddison Chair, University of Groningen; and CEPR Research Fellow

How Climate Change Could Lead To A Global Economic Crisis — Nick Cunningham

A top U.S. financial regulator is worried that climate change could threaten global financial markets.

Rostin Behnam, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), said that the financial system was at risk from the growing frequency and severity of storms. “The impacts of climate change affect every aspect of the American economy – from production agriculture to commercial manufacturing and the financing of every step in each process,” Behnam said at the meeting of the CFTC’s market risk advisory committee on Wednesday.
As most of the world’s markets and market regulators are taking steps towards assessing and mitigating the current and potential threats of climate change, we in the U.S. must also demand action from all segments of the public and private sectors, including this agency.”

He added: “Our commodity markets and the financial markets that support them will suffer if we do not take action to mitigate the risk of contagion.”
The message is not necessarily a new one, but it is significant since it comes from the CFTC, which is not exactly a hippy enclave. Also of significance is the fact that Behnam was appointed to the CFTC by President Trump, although by law the vacancy that he filled had to be a Democrat.….
How Climate Change Could Lead To A Global Economic Crisis
Nick Cunningham

China Removes its Ambassador from Canada — Matthew Ehret

With the total rejection of these peace offerings, Lu Shaye has induced Canada to demonstrate where its true allegiance lay. Once Canada’s true colors were exposed, Ambassador Lu himself, breaking with the typical protocols of subtle and polite diplomatic conduct for which the Chinese are well known, called out the “racist, Five Eyes Intelligence network” which is really trying to run the world. In January 2019 Ambassador Lu described the hypocrisy of the western technocratic elite who attack China saying:

“the reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy – in such a context, the rule of law is nothing but a tool for their political ends and a fig leaf for their practising hegemony in the international arena”
Fort Russ News
China Removes its Ambassador from Canada
Matthew Ehret

So, Michael Hudson Calls It — Andrei Martyanov

Hudson, who, by my primitive criteria, is one of the best (true) economics and economic history brains of our time doesn't mince the words and calls it as he sees it (correctly): Trump’s Trade Threats Are Really Cold War 2.0. Hudson correctly identifies the issue….
Reminiscence of the Future
So, Michael Hudson Calls It.
Andrei Martyanov

Andrew Korybko — Russia Warned That America’s “Golden Age” Might Lead To “Energy Colonialism”

Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft and one of the most powerful people in Russia, isn’t jumping on the Alt-Media bandwagon of speculating about America’s supposedly imminent demise but is instead warning that it might actually be about to enter a “golden age”, albeit one that could very easily lead to “energy colonialism” all across the world....
And this is what is now happening. Exhibit #1 is "freedom gas." More expensive, but, hey, "freedom" doesn't come without cost.

Philip Geraldi - Pence Goes to War: America Will Be Fighting Forever

According to the trails at Nuremburg, Mike Pence, Mike Pomoeo, and Lindsey Graham are all initiating in war crimes by urging wars when there is no threat to the U.S.

And these guys reckon they are Christians as well! With Christians like that, who needs the Devil!

This is From Mike Pence' speech, where the bit I have highlighted made me laugh. The U.S. thinks that when it runs its gunboats near China's waters, it is they who are being aggressive.

“It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of you will join the fight on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, where North Korea continues to threaten the peace, and an increasingly militarized China challenges our presence in the region. Some of you will join the fight in Europe, where an aggressive Russia seeks to redraw international boundaries by force. And some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere. And when that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns and do your duty, and you will fight, and you will win. The American people expect nothing less. So, wherever you’re called, I urge you to take what you learned here and put it into practice. Put your armor on, so that when — not if — that day comes, you’ll be able to stand your ground.”

Philip Geraldi says -

If Mike Pence is seriously interested in looking around to see who has been most interested in starting new wars, he should look to gentlemen named Bush and Obama, not to mention his own colleagues John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. And then there are Washington’s feckless allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are keen to advance their own interests by means of piles of dead American soldiers.

Strategic Culture

Philip Geraldi - Pence Goes to War: America Will Be Fighting Forever

Whitney Webb - How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

Bring the jobs back home, said Trump.

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers.

WASHINGTON — With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media attention or concern from even “America first” politicians. The fact that this massive transfer of investment and jobs has been so overlooked is particularly striking given that it is largely the work of a single leading neoconservative Republican donor who has given millions of dollars to President Donald Trump.
To make matters worse, many of these top tech companies shifting investment and jobs to Israel at record rates continue to collect sizable U.S. government subsidies for their operations while they move critical aspects of their business abroad, continue to layoff thousands of American workers, and struggle to house their growing company branches in Israel. This is particularly troubling in light of the importance of the tech sector to the overall U.S. economy, as it accounts for 7.1 percent of total GDP and 11.6 percent of total private-sector payroll.
Furthermore, many of these companies are hiring members of controversial Israeli companies — known to have spied on Americans, American companies, and U.S. federal agencies — as well as numerous members of Israeli military intelligence as top managers and executives.
Mint Press

Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor — Max Blumenthal

This is part one in an investigation into government-funded, opposition-linked NGOs that pose as impartial monitors and investigators of the Syrian conflict.
More on propaganda, disinformation, and the information wars as tools in hybrid warfare.

The Gray Zone
Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor
Max Blumenthal

Sputnik — Huawei Trademarks Its Own Mobile OS Around World After US Ban

The cat's now out of the bag. Secret no longer.

Sputnik International
Huawei Trademarks Its Own Mobile OS Around World After US Ban

See also

Elijah J. Magnier — Iran’s Leader of the Revolution recommends four steps for confronting the US


Here is a bit of background for the backgrounder provided by Elijah J. Magnier. Iran's Leader of the Revolution is Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Born in 1939, he was President of Iran from 1981until 1989, when succeeded Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini. 

In addition to being the supreme theocrat, the Grand Ayatollah is also a good strategist, with a comprehensive vision for Iran

Most Iranians are Shi'ite, a sect that comprises about 10% of the worldwide Islamic population. Iran is the center of Shi'a, with the Grand Ayatollah occupying a position that may be compared to the medieval Popes.

There has been tension between the majority Sunnis and the Shi'ites since the disagreements that arose among the Prophet's followers after his passing. This has been a running feud, comparable to the historical conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Western Christendom. 

 Islamic leaders in general, along with Christian leaders, are traditionalists and they have a much narrower view of liberalism than prevails socially and politically in the West, which they view as libertinism. They view the Western concept of freedom as license. This sets traditionalists, even liberal traditionalists, at odds with the prevailing Western liberalism driven by consumerism, with economic utility being interpreted as gratification.

Christendom, like Islam, is not only a religion of many sects and schools of thought, but also a cultural and institutional phenomenon that is social, political and economic. Without understand the historical dynamic, it is impossible to understand the historical dialectic. When Israel is added to the mix the situation becomes even more complicated, since Judaism, like Christendom and Islam, as not only a religion but also a cultural and institutional phenomenon. These world views are traditionalist and in opposition to much of Western liberalism, especially its contemporary form.

Thus, the attempt to impose "Western values" on traditional societies is viewed as not only contradictory in that it is illiberal, but also immoral. Unfortunately, modern ideological conflict is reminiscent of medieval religious wars.


For those [journalists] who want to keep their jobs, police raids and prosecutions are reminders when self-censorship isn’t enough to prevent their investigating abuses of the law, war crimes, fraud and corruption. The first home truth is that truth is loss-making for an enterprise; pauperizing for its reporter. The second home truth is that in wartime – that’s now – truth-telling may be a criminal offence which will get the reporter time in jail.
Dances with Bears
John Helmer

Craig Murray — The Gulf of Credibility

Another false flag? Maybe we are getting close to the boy that cried wolf.

Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

See also

Fort Russ News
BREAKING: Pompeo’s FALSE FLAG REFUTED by Japanese Media Authority – Tanker hit by flying object, not mine – confirms onsite worker
Joaquin Flores


Germany: U.S video not enough to attribute blame over oil tanker attacks

See also

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Seven Reasons To Be Highly Skeptical Of The Gulf Of Oman Incident
Caitlin Johnstone

See also

Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Tanker Attacks In the Gulf of Oman: Cui Bono?
Willy B.

Capitalism Versus Democracy — Robert Urie

It was always just a matter of time before the reemergence of establishment Democrats reminded people why they were booted from power in 2016. As ugly as Donald Trump is and as not constructive as his tenure in the White House has been, the Democratic establishment would rather lose with establishment candidates and retrograde policies than loosen its grip on its service to the oligarchs.
Phrased differently, if Democrats cared about ‘defeating Trump,’ they would offer programs that people want. But they are so firmly in the grip of corporate interests and the oligarchs that they won’t do so. The Republicans are just as beholden, but they offer fewer (manufactured) illusions. They represent the interests of capital. This transparency provides political clarity for those who oppose their policies....
Economic liberalism as capitalism is not compatible with political liberalism as democracy. Economic liberalism leads to plutonomy, a form of oligarchy, while democracy is the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. The economic interests of capital as the owners and the interests of workers are mutually exclusive.

This has precedent.
While confusion has been sown around the meaning of ‘corporatism’ that stood at the center of (Benito) Mussolini’s vision of the good life, a defining characteristic of both Italian and German fascism was capitalist-state alliances where state power was used for the benefit of select capitalists and select state actors. Labor unions were systematically disempowered, and the interests of powerful economic and state actors were put forward as those of the polity.
The difference between Mussolini (and Gentile)'s fascist "corporatism" and contemporary neoliberal capitalism is under Mussolini, corporations were in the aid of the state and aided by the state, whereas in neoliberal corporatism, corporations control the state and use the levels of the state to extend their reach and deepen it. In both, the military and intelligence services are instruments of state control with the state in service to corporations. This results in imperialism and colonialism internationally.

Both are state corporatism (fascism) and corporate statism (neoliberalism) are "unholy alliances" from the POV of political liberalism; for they lead to oligarchy and authoritarianism.

This is what one would expect when capital is viewed as the primary factor of production, to be prioritized over labor (people) and land (environment) because growth is the higher priority and growth depends on capital formation. This is justified by marginalism, that "shows" all receive their "just deserts" and "trickle down," the assumption that "a rising tide lifts all boats." Margaret Thatcher went so far as claiming that there is no alternative to progress (TINA).

Consortium News
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Robert Urie

Also interesting if you were around in the 60s or early 70s and were politically active or at least aware. Most where then because Vietnam.

Consortium News
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Nick Licata


Another 100B CNY of system reserve asset increase...

Pepe Escobar - Say hello to the Russia-China operating system

The US ban on Huawei is pushing it to develop alternative systems that may rival Google and Android

Huawei is developing its own operating system for its phones (and any other company's phones) and it can be adapted to the Russian - Finnish  operating  system, named Aurora. But what made this article interesting to me, was that Google was concerned that this new OS could be bullet proof and can't be hacked. 

So, the U.S. government is concerned about the Chinese government hacking Huawei phones, so Huawei make them hack proof, but some sections of the U.S. are not happy with that either. 

The HongMeng system may also harbor functions dedicated to security and protection of users’ data. That’s what’s scaring Google the most; Huawei developing a software impenetrable to hacking attempts. Google is actively lobbying the Trump administration to add another reprieve – or even abandon the Huawei ban altogether.
Asian Times

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Trump’s Trade Threats are really Cold War 2.0 Michael Hudson

At stake is whether China will agree to do what Russia did in the 1990s: put a Yeltsin-like puppet of neoliberal planners in place to shift control of its economy from its government to the U.S. financial sector and its planners. So the fight really is over what kind of planning China and the rest of the world should have: by governments to raise prosperity, or by the financial sector to extract revenue and impose austerity.
U.S. diplomacy aims to make other countries dependent on its agricultural exports, its oil (or oil in countries that U.S. majors and allies control), information and military technology. This trade dependency will enable U.S. strategists to impose sanctions that would deprive economies of basic food, energy, communications and replacement parts if they resist U.S. demands.
The objective is to gain financial control of global resources and make trade “partners” pay interest, licensing fees and high prices for products in which the United States enjoys monopoly pricing “rights” for intellectual property. A trade war thus aims to make other countries dependent on U.S.-controlled food, oil, banking and finance, or high-technology goods whose disruption will cause austerity and suffering until the trade “partner” surrenders....
A good diplomat does not make demands to which the only answer can be “No.” There is no way that China will dismantle its mixed economy and turn it over to U.S. and other global investors....
Cold War 2 or WWIII?

Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
Trump’s Trade Threats are really Cold War 2.0
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

TASS — Russia, China to develop military cooperation as strategic partners


Russia, China to develop military cooperation as strategic partners

Report: Prepare for the Climatic Collapse of Civilization — Andrey Areshev

Two authoritative Australian experts, backed up by a retired admiral of the Royal Australian Navy, recently issued a dire report that warns of an impending collapse of civilization from human-caused climate change. The report, titled “Existential climate-related security risk:
A scenario approach,” is not the product of alarmists, but of two authors with expertise in their professional areas. Only one of the authors is an environmental expert. He is David Spratt, a Research Director at the Australian National Center for Climate Restoration in Melbourne. The other, Ian Dunlop. Is an unlikely harbinger of environmental doom.
Dunlop comes out of the executive ranks of the coal, oil, and gas industries – the usual opponents of climate science. Dunlop is a member of the Club of Rome and the former chairman of the Australian Coal Association, not places where one would normally discover climate change proponents....
Civilizational collapse? Hey, we are too busy with WWIII for that.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Report: Prepare for the Climatic Collapse of Civilization
Wayne Madsen

See also

Trump Thinks US Oil Is His Strength When It’s His Achilles’ Heel
Tom Luongo

Sputnik — Trump Says He's Considering Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2

Losing Germany?

When will it take for the Europeans figure out that the US is using Russia as a ploy to maintain Europe's occupied status since WWII?
The US president said the United States was "protecting" Germany from becoming over-reliant on Russia by opposing the project.
Selling "protection" like  the Mafia?

Sputnik International
Trump Says He's Considering Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2

Sputnik — China’s Ambassador Warns UK of Threat to Trade, Investment Ties Over Attempts to Block Huawei

"You are either with us or against us," works in more ways than one. the UK is discovering. "Want access to the Chinese market much?"

International relations isn't beanbag.

Sputnik International
China’s Ambassador Warns UK of Threat to Trade, Investment Ties Over Attempts to Block Huawei

RT — Russia bringing back the gold standard may kill US dollar & solve main problem of cryptocurrencies

The headline is a bit sensational (clickbait) but the head of the Central Bank of Russia is positive about considering it, although she doesn't see it as the priority.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is studying a proposal to create a gold-backed cryptocurrency, which could be used for cross-border settlements with other countries.

The bold proposal was made by Russia’s State Duma member Vladimir Gutenev. He has suggested initiating discussion to set up national cryptocurrency, denominated in gold.
Commenting on Gutenev’s proposal, the head of CBR Elvira Nabiullina said: “As for mutual settlements, we will consider, of course, a proposal on a cryptocurrency that is tied to gold. But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies.”
Russia bringing back the gold standard may kill US dollar & solve main problem of cryptocurrencies

Atheists & Agnostics Also Frequently Believe in the Supernatural, a New Study Shows — Josh Jones

Being an atheist or agnostic doesn't necessarily imply that one is a naturalist.

Open Culture
Atheists & Agnostics Also Frequently Believe in the Supernatural, a New Study Shows
Josh Jones

Is Trump Capable of Launching an All-Out Cyberwar? — Jean Perier

Backgrounder on cyberwarfare, a step up from economic warfare and internal subversion in the arsenal of hybrid warfare.

In this endeavor, the US has merged the State Department, the Pentagon, the intel services, and the private technological companies, along with allies, chiefly "five eyes" – the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ together with the US as leader.

The basic idea is to avoid kinetic warfare insofar as possible owing to the high likelihood that kinetic warfare will quickly go nuclear, bring the Great Game to a final end in nuclear winter. The added feature is that hybrid warfare is much less costly economically and also less politically volatile.

For those that have not yet noticed, WWIII is already on.

Is Trump Capable of Launching an All-Out Cyberwar?
Jean Perier

American Gov’t, NGOs Fuel and Fund Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Protests — Alexander Rubenstein

Understanding the Hong Kong kerfuffle.

Trying to split Hong Kong away from China?

Mint Press News
American Gov’t, NGOs Fuel and Fund Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Protests
Alexander Rubenstein

See also

Oriental Review
Hong Kong’s Caught In A Color Revolution Crisis
Andrew Korybko

China Seeks Indian and Russian Backing for ‘New’ Trading System — Lee Jeong-ho

China hopes to win Indian and Russian support in establishing a “new type” of “rules-based” and “multilateral” trade initiative.

Multiple Indian media reports suggest the country’s recently re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join forces with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan this week to express their concerns about US President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach....
Checkpoint Asia
China Seeks Indian and Russian Backing for ‘New’ Trading System
Lee Jeong-ho, South China Morning Post

See also at Checkpoint Asia

1854-1949 US Navy Patroled China’s Yangtze River as Enforcers for US Corporations (VIDEO)
Carlton Meyer

Huawei’s US Suppliers Want out of the Ban

Myth Watch

Picked up two more mythology employment incidents here yesterday:

Here from the Carillo article down-thread:

The Dangerous Myth of 'Taxpayer Money' 
For over 40 years, Republicans have controlled the conventional wisdom around budgets, successfully using the “taxpayer money” myth...

Here from Brian R's article down-thread:

...essentially the same thing as Quantitative Easing (QE), which has had no measurable effect on any macro variables in places like Japan. (There is certainly a feverish mythology about QE in some corners of the markets,...

This method of the employment of more of the figurative continues apace to continuing no real effect...

Pump Watch

More "pumping!" at the PBoC; last "pump!" was June 6th.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), China's central bank, on Thursday pumped 100 billion yuan (about 14.51 billion US dollars) into the financial system through open market operations. 
To maintain stable liquidity in the middle of the year, the central bank conducted the operations with 28-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.85 per cent. 
Net liquidity injection was 90 billion yuan on Thursday, as previous reverse repos worth 10 billion yuan matured, reports Xinhua.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems — Caitlin Johnstone


By "propaganda" Caitlin Johnstone means "narrative control."

Maintaining narrative control was relatively easy prior to the Internet and social media. Now, the process has turned to access and exclusion as the means of censorship through control of the media and social media in particular. Access and exclusion have always been a reality in the case of print media. Now this is being extended to digital platforms.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems
Caitlin Johnstone

The Dangerous Myth of 'Taxpayer Money' — Raúl Carrillo & Jesse Myerson

“There is no such thing as public money, only taxpayer money.” — Margaret Thatcher, 1983
Not only is the “taxpayer money” frame damaging, it doesn’t reflect how public spending actually works.…
Margaret Thatcher’s mantra was backwards: There is no such thing as “taxpayer money,” only public money....
The Dangerous Myth of 'Taxpayer Money'
Raúl Carrillo & Jesse Myerson

Why it’s important to pay attention to distributional consequences of economic policies — Somin Park

In the decades following the 1980s, free market policies dominated policy agendas across the world. The gains from growth, however, were not broadly shared within countries, as evidenced by the high levels of economic inequality in the United States and most other advanced economies. In a recent paper, a group of economists at the International Monetary Fund argue for a rethinking of the rules—actual or perceived—that guide economic policies, so that the distributional consequences are considered and addressed by policymakers.
In their paper, IMF economists Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri argue there are four primary reasons why it is critical to pay greater attention to how economic gains are shared up and down the income ladder. First, their research shows that economic inequality leads to lower and less durable growth. Even when growth is the primary goal, attention to inequality is necessary. Second, they find that economic inequality may lead to social tension and ultimately political backlash against free market policies, including globalization. Third, redistributive policies to curb excessive inequality tend to support, not slow, economic growth. And fourth, many aspects of economic inequality are the result of policy choices made by governments, meaning policymakers should factor in the distributional consequences when designing and evaluating policies.

A disproportionate focus on growth over distribution was solidified among economists during the 1980s with the consensus view that the benefits of growth would trickle down the income ladder. Governments and institutions such as the IMF dismissed questions of distribution as secondary to growth, based on their confidence in markets to reward everyone fairly and their belief that redistributive policies hurt growth.

Ostry, Loungani, and Furceri question this conventional wisdom by showing that high inequality is bad not only for social reasons but also for growth....
Based on their findings about fiscal consolidation and capital account liberalization, the authors ask “why support them if there are scarce efficiency benefits for them but palpable equity costs?” The answer is important because fiscal consolidation and capital account liberalization are two policies that have historically been at the center of the IMF’s economic reform agenda. This paper is one illustration of a shift in policy priorities at the IMF, where leaders increasingly recognize that liberalization and tight fiscal policy are not always suited for sustainable economic growth....
A cardinal rule in conventional economics is to consider only production and consumption and to ignore distribution on the assumption that the "market forces" as "the magic of the market" lead to Pareto optimal distribution (through "trickle down").  That's magical thinking. Turns out to be "black magic," too.

WCEG — The Equitablog
Why it’s important to pay attention to distributional consequences of economic policies
Somin Park | Research Assistant to the Executive Director

Lars P. Syll — Wren-Lewis vs MMT

Simon Wren-Lewis is obviously upset because some MMTers have called his economic policy proposals (providing the theoretical foundation for Labour’s Fiscal Credibility Rule) “neoliberal”. Neoliberal or not, what he does have to say about MMT and his own mainstream economics makes it clear what the debate really comes down to:
Monetary policy, except at the lower bound (to which Labour affixes a rule), versus fiscal policy in accordance with functional finance.

What this boils down to is "market forces" dictating to government (neoliberal) or political discretion in fiscal policy using government appropriations in a representative democracy to achieve public purpose (social democracy).

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Wren-Lewis vs MMT
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

See also

Progressive Pulse
Sticking to Neoliberaslism
Peter May

MMT And "Printing Money" — Brian Romanchuk

Yet again, the question of "printing money" and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has come up on Twitter. In my view, these debates are confusing because critics of MMT tend to mash multiple concepts into a pile of textual sludge. Unfortunately, MMTers are forced to respond to those attacks, and the end result is that everyone is confused.
One of the advantages of mathematical training is that you are forced to take definitions seriously, and step cautiously from premise to premise. This enforces clarity in logic.
The whole "MMT is pr1Nting M0N3y$!!!" online debate is a classic example of the logical mish-mash we run into. By my count, there are at least three concepts being pushed together.
  1. The MMT description of monetary operations in the real world, which involve the government "writing cheques" (or using electronic transfers) to pay for expenditures. I.e., "everything is paid for by printing money."
  2. MMT proposals about abolishing the government bond market.
  3. MMT criticisms of how "mainstream" economists employ the "governmental financial constraint" logic.*
I will focus only on the second argument here, for very good reasons. ...
Bond Economics
MMT And "Printing Money"
Brian Romanchuk

More Myth

Here we go again with the employment of mythology; from Bill's part 2 Tom posted down-thread:

If the reader finds all this perplexing, it is because for the past forty or so years policymakers and mainstream economists and commentators have peddled a series of false myths about how modern monetary systems work....
To be clear, politicians and central bankers know full well how the system works.

Uh.. they don't know full well how the system works; that is why they are making the reification errors all the time in the first place.... hellloooo...

What is the deal with all of this mythology from all these dialectic people all the time???? hard to understand...

Employment of mythology is not going to work; if what you are doing is trying to teach/correct the other people which maybe is not the goal I guess... well that is my goal anyway..

Try doing it without resorting to employment of even more figurative language; or you're as bad as they are and are never going to get anywhere..

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Does Capitalism Have a PR Problem? — Erika Fry

Still clueless. Caught in the bubble and out of touch.
“For every one positive article about capitalism, there are 11 negative ones,” said Nathan Rosenberg, founding partner of Insigniam, a management consulting firm. “CEOs should seize their job. Capitalism has created more elevation of [the] human condition than any religion or government ever has. We don’t tell our story. We don’t talk about the benefits. We have to get out and tell our story.”...
Does Capitalism Have a PR Problem?
Erika Fry

Zero Hedge — Trump's Feud With China Is A Carbon Copy Of Reagan's Trade War With Japan: Is A New Plaza Accord Imminent?

No way this is comparable to Japan. It amounts to adding apples and oranges. The differences outweigh the similarities. 

China is not Japan, just as Iran is not Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Libya. There's a big difference in opening a can of worms and opening Pandora's box.

The result so far has been to drive China and Russia closer together, which is a strategic nightmare for the US since this is the only existential military threat the US faces. That was a strategic blunder that Henry Kissinger had warned Trump against.

Zero Hedge
Trump's Feud With China Is A Carbon Copy Of Reagan's Trade War With Japan: Is A New Plaza Accord Imminent?
Tyler Durden

Bill Mitchell — Seize the Means of Production of Currency – Part 2

Last week, Thomas Fazi and I had a response to a recent British attack on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) published in The Tribune magazine (June 5, 2019) – For MMT. The article were were responding to – Against MMT – written by a former Labour Party advisor. In – Part 1 – we considered how the MMT critique was not really about MMT at all. We provided a more accurate summary of what MMT is and what it is not. In this second Part we consider the way the former advisor’s article misrepresented MMT authors on issues such as taxes, inflation and democracy. Not that this three-part series is not just a point-by-point response to the attack on MMT noted above. In part, that article was not really about MMT but some concoction the author created to make his argument easier to sustain.

In – Seize the Means of Production of Currency – Part 1 (June 11, 2019) – we provided a coherent summary of what MMT is rather than what the critics claim it is.
It is impossible to tell whether their misrepresentations are deliberate to set up the ‘straw person’, a product of ignorance and lack of research, or plain stupidity – or a combination of all three.
In Part 1, we got up to the question of taxes. And so we resume …
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Seize the Means of Production of Currency – Part 2
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sputnik International — Expert on Huawei: US Hopes to Maintain Its Monopoly in IT Field, but This Attitude Is Short-Sighted

The elephant in the room now is that the tech market is global and the rising demand is in non-Western emerging economies, where price point can be determinative. Huawei is succeeding because it can produce highly competitive products not so much because they are superior technologically but because they are adequate and less expensive than the competition. Apple has chosen to position itself as a luxury product and so it is not chiefly threatened. But the bulk of tech market is price-sensitive and will go with the lowest price products that adequate rather than products that are either "optimal" or "bling."

LINUX is a open source operating system based on a Unix-like kernel that is already available. Steve Jobs built OS X on a descendant of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) that was based on Research UNIX. It's not like Huawei with its enormous resources would have to pioneer something entirely innovative to be competitive. It would even be possible to develop an Android alternative.

What about chips, you say. Well, it's not like the budding Russian-Chinese alliance can't or won't develop a competing chip industry. No doubt this has already been in the works for some time, since both Russia and China know their tech vulnerabilities.

Google knows that and is concerned enough to lobby the Trump administration against attempting to isolate Huawei and by implication other Chinese technology companies. Google is using an argument based on national security in this regard, but but the subtext is that trying to use anti-competitive policy against China is likely instead to increase the threat of Chinese competition by forcing China to become self-sufficient and independent of the West, just as US sanctions have forced Russia to adopt import substitution.

It doesn't look like POTUS has sufficiently thought this through, especially knowing that China is a long hauler whereas Wall Street is quarter to quarter.

What happened to the public economy in economics? — June Sekera

Important. Demonstrates the need for a return to political economy" to right the balance, which has swung too far in the direction of economic liberalism.

The problem is that the assumptions on which economic liberalism is based are ideological and not empirical, seeming to contradict what actually happens institutionally especially in democratic societies regarding "public goods." Economic liberalism assumes that public goods are only needed as a result of "market failure," so the solution is not to provide public goods but rather to correct the underlying market failure by allowing "free market" to work it magic through liberating natural "market forces" from government interference.

"Socialism" as managed fiscal policy is the target. Neoliberalism want to limit the role of government in economics to monetary policy set by a politically independent central bank. For neoliberals the government's fiscal position should be dictated by "expansionary fiscal austerity" and "sound money," instead of the fiscal stance targeting welfare and distributed prosperity, e.g., through a full employment policy and the provision of public goods by using the power of the government as currency issuer as needed. Thus the preference for rules and the rejection of discretion as interference.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
What happened to the public economy in economics?
June Sekera

Political Calculations — California's "Staggering" Homeless Count

Putting some numbers on it.

Political Calculations
California's "Staggering" Homeless Count


Cyberwar — it's on. But still low grade.

Sputnik International
Most Cyber Attacks in 2018 Came from US, Chinese Report Warns

Sputnik International
Bolton Says US Engaging in Offensive Cyber Ops to Show Russia, Others 'Price' of Interference

Sputnik International
US-China Trade War Only Part of Larger Global Conflict – Cyber Security Analyst

‘They will pay a price’: Bolton says US has expanded ‘offensive cyber operations’ against Russia

Sputnik International — Chinese Flotilla Sails Between Okinawan Islands of Japan - Reports

Two can play that game.

Cold War on. US military-industrial complex elated.

Sputnik International
Chinese Flotilla Sails Between Okinawan Islands of Japan - Reports

Southfront — Huawei In Discussions To Install Rostelecom’s Aurora OS On Its Devices: Media

Chinese tech giant Huawei is allegedly in discussions with Russia to implement the Russian Aurora operation system (OS) on its devices, the Bell reported on June 10th.
Huawei In Discussions To Install Rostelecom’s Aurora OS On Its Devices: Media

See also

Hopefully, all this will lead to more competition in the field of operating systems down the line. Once the Chinese, Russians and Indians gear up it is going to be a new game. And we are beginning to see that.
Huawei's OS, which remains Android-compatible, is reportedly based on a lightweight microkernel which "can react quickly to adjustments and batches," with engineers creating the system after closely studying both Android and Apple's iOS, its nearest competitor. Presently, the pair of operating systems account for nearly 100 percent of current smartphone operating systems.

Last week, a company source toldGlobal Times that the new OS, named 'HongMeng' OS in China and 'Oak OS' for the overseas clients, would likely launch by the third quarter of 2019, and definitely no later than next spring.
Sputnik International
Huawei Predicted Trump's Tech Crunch Years in Advance, Building Own OS in Secret - Report

See also
Russia has offered Huawei to consider an option of using a Russian software ecosystem at various devices of the Chinese corporation, a source familiar of details of the meeting between Russian Telecom Minister Konstantin Noskov and Deputy Chairman of Huawei Board Guo Ping told TASS on Tuesday.
Further to the domestic Aurora Operating System (OS), social media, search engine and antiviruses were also discussed, according to the source.
"Aurora was not the only item for discussion. An ecosystem of Russian software was offered to Huawei at large: social media, search engine, antiviruses, and so on," the source said.
Russia offers software ecosystem for smartphones to Huawei — source

‘In Gold We Trust’: Waning confidence in US sends world’s central banks on buying spree — Darius Shahtahmasebi

I think this is partly correct. Probably more significant is the weaponizing of the USD in the economic aspect of hybrid warfare that the US is now carrying out against a number of countries a
d sending a message that "you are either with us or against us" (ht G. W. Bush). Wars run two ways.

Historically, gold has been the most secure reserve asset — the ultimate in safety, if one can protect one's gold holdings. Powerful nations are betting that they can do do in the event of loss of trust in the USD as "fair coin."

‘In Gold We Trust’: Waning confidence in US sends world’s central banks on buying spree
Tyler Durden

Not just government buying.

Zero Hedge
Indian Gold Demand Surged In April And May
Tyler Durden

Moon of Alabama — Cuban Doctors Provide Healthcare To Those In Need-The U.S. Wants To Stop Them

The Trump administration likes the steps Bolsonaro took. It wants to starve Cuba of access to hard currencies that the body leasing of doctors provides. It is also one of the reasons why it targets Venezuela:
Around 50,000 Cuban health professionals work in 66 countries worldwide, although around half of those work in Venezuela, with an additional 11,456 in Brazil.
The Cuban doctors in Brazil are gone and the U.S. is pressing for those in Venezuela to leave. Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton falsely claims that the Cuban doctors in Venezuela are military personal that should leave the country. The Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces have in total only 39,000 regular troops. To suggest that more than half of them are in Venezuela, even though none are ever seen there, borders on lunacy.
The Trump administration is looking for additional ways to destroy Cuba's doctor leasing program:
Why would the US want to do this? Because the leasing of Cuban doctors, who were trained for free in Cuba, earns Cuba hard currency. This is a piece of the economic war.

Moon of Alabama
Cuban Doctors Provide Healthcare To Those In Need - The U.S. Wants To Stop Them

Another reason to know where money comes from — Peter May

Good pro-MMT article from Peter May contra the neoliberal left.

So I agree that distribution of power is important but I do think that knowing exactly where money comes can be mighty helpful in torpedoing that actual power, by better exposing its bogus ‘justification’.
That is why I imagine many consider MMT to be progressive; not because its understandings are inherently so in themselves. But simply because, in order to avoid a fair and logical left of centre conclusion, you have to lie about your intentions.
MMT helps to draw attention to the John Maynard Keynes dictum that, for a nation, it is wrong to say ‘we cannot spend more than we earn’. By contrast, as a nation ‘we cannot earn more than we spend’....
I have also criticized MMT for not addressing the power issue as key to political economy. But this criticism is quite different from that of the neoliberal left, including "neoliberal Marxists." A dominant position on this side is that the wealthy should be taxed both to "pay for" increased spending on welfare and also to redistribute wealth more equally. MMT denies the first is applicable, since it is based on a conflation of a currency issuer with users of the currency. At least some MMT economists agree with the second point, which is not inconsistent with MMT. However, it is a political issue. The MMT economists (in the US anyway) have made strategic choices about how to approach this.

The way economic science is now conceived in conventional thought, power lies beyond the scope of economics other than insofar as it involves economic power, aka "market power," and government intervention in "natural" economic processes, which it is assumed, will lead to optimal results if these forces are allowed to work "naturally."

My point is that from the systems POV economics deals with the material life-support system of a society as a larger social system. The society as social system, being overarching, is the whole in this case. The social system is an integral whole in which the social, political and economic factors cannot be disentangled without oversimplification in the sense of leaving out relevant matters. 

Presently, the unit in the global system is the nation state and only nation states are sovereign issuers of currency is the MMT sense based on institutional analysis and description. MMT institutional analysis reveals this in the chartalist assumption that the state is the key institution involved in the creation of "modern money." The currency issuer therefore bears responsibility for the entire range of outcomes that follow from use of currency sovereignty as a policy instrument. Excessively skewed distribution cannot occur absent the participation of the state as currency sovereign.

Progressive Pulse
Another reason to know where money comes from
Peter May

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel — Whitney Webb

These are not the low-skilled jobs outsourced to China and soon to be transferred to Vietnam, Indonesia, etc., as wages rise in China and China becomes a pariah in the US owing to the media campaign. Add to that DJT's twist on immigration to expand HB-1 visas by offering a path to citizenship, basically poaching on other countries.

Mint Press News
How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel
Whitney Webb

Labour's fiscal credibility rule isn't neoliberal–whatever MMTers say — Simon Wren-Lewis

Simon Wren-Lewis's response to Bill Mitchell proves Bill's point. I can't wait to see Bill's smackdown, if he bothers to respond. I don't have the time to waste. SWL is out of his league here.

SWL doesn't get that the conventional approach is neoliberal. Reiterating it and saying it is not neoliberal doesn't cut it. I have little hope that SWL or the rest of the left neoliberals will ever get it. They will have to be replaced.
Simon Wren-Lewis | Emeritus Professor of Economics, Oxford University

See also

Olivier Blanchard shows his neoliberal colors.

Market Watch
Greg Robb

How Americans Are Losers In The US-China Trade War

Not any of the parts that go into iPhones are made in China, they are all sourced from countries within the western system, Japan, Korea, and also the USA (as well as Taiwan). The phones are only assembled in China for a few dollars each, and so the import tariffs will hurt the U.S. more than they do China, it says in this video.

It says under the video that it is sponsored by the Singaporean government, but Americans are interviewed who say the tariffs will hurt their business.

Everything is so interconnected now.

M. K. Bhadrakumar — SCO summit: Inflection point for Indian diplomacy

When India applied for SCO membership or when observers like myself felt elated when India was finally admitted into the grouping in 2017, no one could have foreseen that the grouping held such potential in the very near term itself as a platform for the reset of regional politics — in particular, the India-Pakistan-China triangle.
New possibilities are opening up for Indian diplomacy at the two-day summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Bishkek on June 13-14....
India Punchline
SCO summit: Inflection point for Indian diplomacy
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

More Myth

From Bill's dialectic latest Tom links to down-thread; more myth introduced here as if on cue:

MMT not only threatens vested neoliberal interests in politics but also challenges the hegemony of mainstream macroeconomists who have been able to dominate the policy debate for decades using a series of linked myths about how the fiat monetary system operates and the capacities of currency-issuing governments within such a system. MMT exposes these myths.

What he appears to be doing is instead of using literal language to try to correct these UK Labor morons, he is introducing more of the figurative i.e. describing the reification error as instead a complex system of Myths/Mythology.

Trying to simply re-designate what are pretty serious reification errors being made by these Labor morons as a "series of myths!"... like that is going to correct the situation...

Employing more of the figurative to try to correct somebody not understanding the figurative doesn't work.

Then he has to throw in the obligatory MMT figurative "point on a scoreboard!" analogy of course:

Saying otherwise is as stupid as saying that a football game has to stop 3 minutes into the second-half because the scoreboard has run out of points to post!

Which hasn't worked for 20 years and won't work here either...

He will not be successful in correcting these people; though I guess that may not be his goal.. in any case those people are not going to be corrected by any of this...

China's evolving "toolkit" for Monetary Policy

More figurative language "toolkit" here from Bloomberg journos... not good...

Alex Tiffin - Mike Pompeo Threatens To Intervene In British Democracy To Stop Corbyn Becoming Prime Minister

The 'Russian meddling' in the U.S. presidential election was said to be an act of War, U.S politicians said, but Pompeo says he will stop Jeremy Corbyn from being elected prime minister. Apparently, the mainstream media has not picked up on this hypocrisy.

The off the record meeting was from when The Secretary for State met Jewish leaders to discuss Donald Trump’s proposed Peace Deal between Palestine and Israel.
Apart from appearing un-optimistic about the Peace Deal, he found time to comment on UK politics. When asked by an attendee;
if Corbyn “is elected, would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the U.K.?”
Pompeo gives a very clear response. Considering the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections, the irony here is inescapable. The top US diplomat told those in attendance;
“It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gantlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best,
“It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”
This response received a voracious round of applause from those in the meeting.
These remarks raise serious questions about US interference in UK Politics. It has been alleged by many, that Russia played a part in the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). Now a top US official wants to influence a General Election or perhaps have Corbyn removed as Labour Party leader.

Cramer: Trump sees China’s Xi as more of a friend than US Fed chief Powell, whom he actually appointed

Trump talks all aggression one moment, and then gets all friendly the next. But one thing for sure, he doesn't like the Fed chief.

President Donald Trump sees Chinese President Xi Jinpingas more of a friend than the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday.

Among Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Powell and Xi, Cramer said Trump suggests, by his words, that he believes “Powell is probably the worst for the country” and “Powell is not a friend.”
Trump on CNBC on Monday criticized the Fed for raising interest rates too quickly, calling the four hikes last year “very, very disruptive.”

On Monday, the president also told CNBC that said Xi is “actually an incredible guy ” and they have “a great relationship,” despite the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Disruption in the World of Trade — C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

World trade is in deceleration mode.
Real-World Economics Review Blog
Disruption in the World of Trade
C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
This article was originally published in the Business Line on June 3, 2019

Bill Mitchell — Seize the Means of Production of Currency – Part 1

Last week, Thomas Fazi and I had a response to a recent British attack on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) published in The Tribune magazine (June 5, 2019) – For MMT. The article were were responding to – Against MMT – written by a former British Labour Party advisor, was not really about MMT at all, as you will see. Instead, it appeared to be an attempt to defend the Labour Party’s Fiscal Credibility Rule, that has been criticised for being a neoliberal concoction. Whenever, progressives use neoliberal frames, language or concepts, it turns out badly for them. In effect, there were two quite separate topics that needed to be discussed: (a) the misrepresentation of MMT; and (b) the issues pertaining to British Labour Party policy proposals. And, the Tribune only allowed 3,000 words, which made it difficult to cover the two topics in any depth. In this three-part series, you can read a longer version of our reply to the ‘Against MMT’ article, and, criticisms from the elements on the Left, generally, who think it is a smart tactic to talk like neoliberals and express fear of global capital markets. I split the parts up into more or less (but not quite) three equal chunks and will publish the remaining parts over the rest of this week....
Give up the framing, cede the argument.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Seize the Means of Production of Currency – Part 1
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

PEPE ESCOBAR: The Unipolar Moment is Over

The most important is a bombshell: a commitment to develop bilateral trade and cross-border payments using the ruble and the yuan, bypassing the U.S. dollar.
This implies that the USD will play no role in Eurasian integration.

Consortium News
PEPE ESCOBAR: The Unipolar Moment is Over
Pepe Escobar

Revealed: Americans care more about social needs than deficits — John Duda

A recent poll from the Democracy Collaborative and YouGov reveals that most Americans are ready to spend more for social needs, even if it raises the deficit. 
The debate around modern monetary theory (“MMT”) is picking up steam – with its partisans pushing the model further into the public sphere than one might expect, and the old guard of establishment economics, together with some more interesting critical voices, pushing back.
The questions at stake can make the average person’s head spin: can a government with sovereign control over its currency create money at will to meet social needs, or would this create out of control inflationary spirals? Does tax income precede government spending, or does spending create the money that’s then taxed back to tweak the distribution of incomes and rein in inflation?
To most Americans, this is all probably a bit opaque and abstract – the inner workings of our money supply and its deep connections to the banking sector are, after all, as Bill Greider memorably put it, “the secrets of the temple.” But when we look at the core issue, we find that more Americans than not agree with the basic political judgement that MMT tries to justify theoretically – namely, that deficits shouldn’t matter if social needs are not being met....

Michael Hamilton - Julian Assange moved to hospital wing of Belmarsh prison after losing dangerous amount of weight

I've read many times now how Julian Assange is in a state of total panic and can't calm down at all. In this article it says that Jillian Assange can't even eat properly and has become gravely ill.

Just imagine if Julian Assange had been a Putin critic and was being treated like this in Russia? Imagine the outcry in the media? Imagine what our politicians would be saying?

When under extreme stress the front cortex can become disconnected from the amydala, a primitive part of the brain which controls our emotions and fear. When this becomes disconnected, its fear response goes to maximum and sufferers may developed severe anxiety, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Trauma and prolonged stress can cause this disconnection, and for many people this may have occurred during their childhood. Fortunately, it can reconnected when the stress is removed, or when the trauma gets processed, and then the person heals. But there is another way to heal this disconnection which a number of pioneering  doctors and scientists are researching right now, which may be a lot faster than psychotherapy, and a lot simpler to administer. More on this in another post.


And a prison source said: “Assange is unwell generally but has recently been struggling to eat which has made it worse.
“He looked near to collapse, gaunt and frail so they have got him in as a precaution.
“He will be looked after in the healthcare wing and given supplements and plenty of liquid if he is struggling with food.
“Some staff feared he was on hunger strike although that is not the case.
“Some of his health problems seem to stem from being cooped up in the embassy for so long.


“And his state of mind is not great, either.”
The hospital move comes after footage of Assange, 47 – looking pale and emaciated – was leaked by a con said to be a supporter.
It showed him wearing a blue prison-issue sweater and jeans in an untidy single cell. A fellow inmate points out that half-eaten food is lying around.