Sunday, August 25, 2019

So Are We All MMTists Now? — Brian Romanchuk

Larry Summers attracted a great deal of attention with arguments that post-Keynesian theories ought to be taken into account, and the ability of central banks to stimulate the economy are limited. One could argue that the zeitgeist is shifting in the direction of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): the role of fiscal policy may be increasingly important. However, I am unsure how far actual economics debates will shift.

One may note that Summers dodged discussing MMT in his initial tweets; in fact, he referred to Thomas Palley, whose main contributions in recent years has been his sectarian attacks on MMT. My guess is that this will be a fairly standard approach...,

I have said previous, this is about control of the Democratic Party going forward — the Democratic Establishment (the Clinton-Obama camp) versus the progressives (the Bernie-Squad camp). Stephanie Kelton has put MMT at the center of it owning to her association with Bernie and AOC's endorsement of MMT.

The former is backing way from New Keynesian but is not willing to throw in the towel and support MMT. Now the battle is engaged. So far the victories are going in the right direction if one is an MMT supporter. Monetarism is effectively dead and New Keynesian is becoming untenable as a policy position.

There has been an ongoing battle between one faction of Post Keynesians and others that support MMT. Larry Summers just cast his hat with the former.

Bond Economics
So Are We All MMTists Now?
Brian Romanchuk

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Sputnik — Trump Says He Has ‘Absolute Right' to Order US Companies Out of China Based on 1977 Law

When leaving the White House for the G7 summit in France, Trump told reporters that he has "the absolute right to do that, but we'll see how it goes." He later explained that he was referring to the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) ….
Sputnik International
Trump Says He Has ‘Absolute Right' to Order US Companies Out of China Based on 1977 Law

What does Putin’s staffing decision vis-à-vis Glazyev mean — The Saker


This is important. But if you have not been following Russia, then its level of detail may obscure the key point. Sergei Glazyev is the closest to MMT of all the Russian economists of influence, and he was in Putin's inner circle of advisors until this announcement.

The Saker unpacks its implications for Russia. He views it as good move by Putin, since it is simply not possible to implement a Glazyev program in Russia. Neither is Putin that powerful if he wanted to do so, but other conditions supervene even if he did want to.

Note: "Liberal" in the Russian context means neoliberal, and the neoliberals see their future in alliance with Europe and the US. Russia is basically a conservative traditionalist country and the stavka (military general staff) and siloviki (deep state) are very conservative, so that is not going to happen on their watch, especially after neoliberalism almost destroyed Russian society in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR.


The Vineyard of the Saker
What does Putin’s staffing decision vis-à-vis Glazyev mean
The Saker

Moon of Alabama — Moon of Alabama U.S. Decoupling From China Forces Others To Decouple From U.S.


The now not-so-hidden agenda is to take Chimerica apart, although I haven't seen it in the Western media yet, and this is decidedly not where American business and finance want to go.

Moon of Alabama
U.S. Decoupling From China Forces Others To Decouple From U.S.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Links — 23 Aug 2019

RT
Epstein: The Maxwell Connection (by George Galloway)

Consortium News
The Missing Howls of Denunciation Over Major Sex Trafficking

Mint Press News
From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship
Whitney Webb
Drago Victorien

RT
Putin orders ‘exhaustive’ response to US missile test, says it shows Washington worked to breach INF

Free West Media
The Hipster ‘revolution’ in Hong Kong
Manuel Ochsenreiter

SouthFront
Google, Twitter And Facebook Corodinate Efforts To Supress Non-Mainstream Coverage On Hong Kong Protests

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

Lobe Log
The Trump Administration Has Criminalized the Iranian Economy
Tyler Cullis

Moon of Alabama
U.S. Says Israel Bombed Iraq

SouthFront
Netanyahu Loosely Confirms Israel Carried Out Strikes In Iraq

RT
Israel preparing to bomb Houthis in Yemen to warn them away from Iran – reports

The Unz Review
The Saker Interviews Professor Marandi

Zero Hedge
Ex-Overstock CEO Byrne Reveals FBI's Peter Strzok Manipulated Him For 'Political Espionage'
Tyler Durden








Reuters — World needs to end risky reliance on U.S. dollar: BoE's Carney

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney took aim at the U.S. dollar's "destabilizing" role in the world economy on Friday and said central banks might need to join together to create their own replacement reserve currency.…
Boom!!! (Sound of heads exploding.)

Reuters
World needs to end risky reliance on U.S. dollar: BoE's Carney
Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by David Milliken

Whither Central Banking? Lawrence H. Summers

In an environment of secular stagnation in the developed economies, central bankers’ ingenuity in loosening monetary policy is exactly what is not needed. What is needed are admissions of impotence, in order to spur efforts by governments to promote demand through fiscal policies and other means.
Throwing in the towel (but not endorsing MMT). Politically, this is about control of the Democratic Party after the transition from Clinton-Obama-Third Way. Summers is on the side of the Establishment, while Stephanie Kelton is Bernie's advisor and in league with The Squad.

Project Syndicate
Whither Central Banking?
Lawrence H. Summers & Anna Stansbury

Top 1% Up $21 Trillion. Bottom 50% Down $900 Billion. — Matt Bruenig

The insights of this new data series are many, but for this post here I want to highlight a single eye-popping statistic. Between 1989 and 2018, the top 1 percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion. The bottom 50 percent actually saw its net worth decrease by $900 billion over the same period.…
People's Policy Project
Top 1% Up $21 Trillion. Bottom 50% Down $900 Billion.
Matt Bruenig

Manufacturers Want to Quit China for Vietnam. They’re Finding It Impossible. Nobody has China's scale, infrastructure, experience, and supply chains — Niharika Mandhana

“China has a 15-year head start—whatever you want, someone’s doing it,” said Wing Xu, the operations director for Omnidex Group, which helps make large pumps for Pennsylvania-based industrial equipment manufacturer McLanahan Corp....
Checkpoint Asia
Manufacturers Want to Quit China for Vietnam. They’re Finding It Impossible. Nobody has China's scale, infrastructure, experience, and supply chains



Niharika Mandhana, The Wall Street Journal

Axios — In tweets, Trump tells American businesses to leave China

"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA."
The bottom line: It should go without saying that Trump doesn't have the authority to order U.S. companies to look for alternatives to China....
Axios
In tweets, Trump tells American businesses to leave China

See also at Axios

With deficit rising, worries grow the U.S. may be out of tools if recession hits


Nice figurative language metaphor here "out of tools!" like "out of money!" blah, blah, blah... no adjustment being made...  or no one "changing their minds!" either... above the fold Washington Post...



Thursday, August 22, 2019

Three Reasons To Be In Favor Of A Payroll Tax Cut — John T. Harvey

For at least a few moments this week, President Trump suggested a payroll tax cut to stimulate the stalling macroeconomy. Although it appears that he has already changed his mind, it’s worth taking a look at the strategy...just in case.
Let’s say for sake of argument that the negative signals we have received of late are accurate. What should we do if we slip into full-fledged recession? Cut interest rates? Lower the budget deficit? Decrease payroll taxes? It turns out that the last one is the clear and easy winner. Why?
Forbes — Pragmatic Economics
Three Reasons To Be In Favor Of A Payroll Tax Cut
John T. Harvey | Professor of Economics, Texas Christian University

The Federal Reserve’s new Distributional Financial Accounts provide telling data on growing U.S. wealth and income inequality — Raksha Kopparam

Wealth disparities between the rich and the poor in the United States have broadened over the past 30 years, according to a new dataset released earlier this month by researchers at the Federal Reserve Board. Their Distributional Financial Accounts is the new dataset that provides quarterly estimates of wealth distribution in the country from 1989 to 2019. 2 The new dataset was created by integrating the Federal Reserve Board’s Financial Accounts with the Survey of Consumer Finances. Together, they contain reliable measures of the distribution of household-sector assets and liabilities from 1989, which gives policymakers and economists alike new insight into how the distribution of wealth has changed since the 1990s.

The new Federal Reserve Board dataset confirms that wealth concentration has been growing, consistent with other data series such as the World Inequality Database assembled by academics worldwide. Indeed, the Fed’s new Distributional Financial Accounts open up new opportunities to study close to real-time changes in the U.S. wealth distribution. It provides the necessary data to study fluctuations in the wealth distribution over short time periods, while accounting for changes that occur between times of survey measurement for less frequently collected datasets....
WCEG — The Equitablog
The Federal Reserve’s new Distributional Financial Accounts provide telling data on growing U.S. wealth and income inequality
Raksha Kopparam, Research Assistant at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth

On Demagogues and Democracy — Eric Schliesser


Some social & political theory. Focuses on Walter Lippmann, The Good Society.

Although Eric Schliesser doesn't mention it in this post, Aristotle discussed these issues in detail in his Politics.

Digressions&Impressions
On Demagogues and Democracy
Eric Schliesser | Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Our Money: Modern Monetary Theory Must Dominate Democratic Debate — PR Newsletter

This Labor Day, Our Money will gather 500 participants to host a march for Full Employment and Economic Justice in commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement legacy of advocacy for a Federal Job Guarantee. The march will begin at the MLK Memorial in Washington DC at 11 am and end at the Marriner Eccles Building of the Federal Reserve around 2 pm. 
Our Money founder, Rev. Dr. Delman Coates, will use this opportunity to draw the connection for lay audiences between the Civil Rights struggle for Full Employment and Economic Justice, and the importance of understanding our public power of money creation, as illuminated by insurgent school of economic thought, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Dr. Coates will call on Congress to pass a Federal Job Guarantee, as well as hold hearings on MMT in order to allow the public to formally interrogate the implications of our public power....
Grassroots MMT.

Yahoo Finance
Our Money: Modern Monetary Theory Must Dominate Democratic Debate
PR Newsletter

Just do nothing...


Kashkari going to State Fair... Fed in Jackson Hole... these people not doing much work these days... kicking back here in August this month...

Pretty good indicator that they wont be doing anything before September meeting... good sign...

 #JustDoNothing



Powell: “Treasury is responsible for exchange rate policy -- full stop"


Looks like a political impasse between these 2 Monetarist morons:





Bill Mitchell — The EU pronouncement of a Greek success ignores the reality

I keep reading ridiculous articles about Brexit in the UK Guardian. The latest was comparing it to pre-WWI Britain and suggesting there were no signs of a “Damascene moment remainers hoped for”. I thought that reference was apposite – given the reference invokes St Paul’s conversion after he was struck blind. Good analogy – blind and remainer. The Brexit imbroglio is all the more puzzling because it seems to be a massive mismatch of scale – a currency-issuing nation and an organisation with no currency and no democratic legitimacy. And that is before one even contemplates the nature of that organisation. On August 20. 2019, the European Union provided us with a perfect example of why no responsible government would want to be part of it. In its – Daily News 20/08/2019 – there were three items. The last item told us that construction output in the EU28 had declined by 0.3 per cent in June 2019. The first item was a sort of cock-a-hoop boast about how great Greece is after the EU saved it from disaster. Parallel universe sort of stuff. Britain will thank its lucky stars after October 31, 2019 when it goes free from that madness. Even though the remainers remain ‘blind’ without their Damascene moment”….
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The EU pronouncement of a Greek success ignores the reality
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Links — 21 Aug 2019

The Vineyard of the Saker
U.S.-UK Deep State Tries to Grab Hong Kong
Eric Zuesse

NEO
Roots of Chaos in Hong Kong were Planted in Washington
Salman Rafi Sheikh

CGTN
179 officers injured, Hong Kong police urge public to stay rational

The Unblanced Evolution of Homo Sapiens
John Pilger: Breaking up the Russian Federation is an American objective

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Joseph Mifsud, British "Joe", Not Russia's Boy by Larry C Johnson
Larry C. Johnson | CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm with expertise combating terrorism and investigating money laundering, formerly Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (1989-1993, and CIA operations (1984-1989)

Moon of Alabama
Anti-China Cult Gets U.S. Government Money - Runs Large Pro-Trump Ad Campaign

Reminiscence of the Future
As Was Totally Expected.


AlterNet
This passage was deleted from the Declaration of Independence — here’s what it reveals about motivation for the American Revolution
Cody Fenwick


Trump HAMMERING the Fed


He mutilated them today:







Helicopter presser:



Planetary Thinking — Eric Berglöf

As policymakers, academics, and activists prepare for next month's United Nations climate summit in New York, they should consider precisely what it will take to build a truly sustainable global economy. First and foremost, the world needs a new multidisciplinary approach that is broad enough to tackle the challenge....
Project Syndicate
Planetary Thinking
Eric Berglöf

‘Was Goebbels unavailable?’: ABC blasted for ‘normalizing fascism’ by putting Sean Spicer on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — David Badash

I am purposefully avoiding overtly political stuff now that we are in the throes of another campaign.

However, when one faction of the country sees the other faction as fascist and names it, political discourse has descended about as far as it can go in that direction other than upping the amps.

The opposite extreme when one side sees the others a socialist and even communist, political discourse has descended about as far as it can go in that direction other than upping the amps.

This is a political issue that is being reflected in societal problems that have wide-ranging impact on social, political and economic life.

At the extreme, this will surface as the campaign being represented as between Hitler and Stalin.

AlterNet
‘Was Goebbels unavailable?’: ABC blasted for ‘normalizing fascism’ by putting Sean Spicer on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
David Badash | The New Civil Rights Movement

It’s official: Parts of California are too wildfire-prone to insure — Nathanael Johnson

California is facing yet another real estate-related crisis, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state.
Last winter when we wrote about home insurance rates possibly going up in the wake of California’s massive, deadly fires, the insurance industry representatives we interviewed were skeptical. They noted that the stories circulating in the media about people in forested areas losing their homeowners’ insurance was based on anecdotes, not data. But now, the data is in and it’s really happening: Insurance companies aren’t renewing policies areas climate scientists say are likely to burn in giant wildfires in coming years....
I had friends burned out in the recent fires and insurance paid for it. With insurance it was still a disaster, not only materially but also psychologically. Without insurance?

The Midwest is affected by the opposite issue — flooding. And the coasts are being threatened by sea level rise.

Big changes coming economically and financially.

Grist
It’s official: Parts of California are too wildfire-prone to insure
Nathanael Johnson

The Gold Standard Fell As All Currency Pegs Do — Martin Armstrong

The fate of pegs is always the same because there is this thing we call the business cycle.
Armstrong Economics
The Gold Standard Fell As All Currency Pegs Do
Martin Armstrong

Completing The Euro: The Euro Treasury And The Job Guarantee — Esteban Cruz-Hidalgo, Dirk H. Ehnts, Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Abstract
The problems with the design of the Eurozone came into focus when, late in 2009, several member nations– notably Greece – failed to refinance their government debt. The crisis that followed was not entirely asurprise. When the Euro was launched in 1999, many economists warned that the single currency was unworkable. Even Eurozone optimists argued that the Euro project would eventually need to be completed. More than 10 years after the crisis, unemployment rates remain elevated and continue to threaten the social, political and economic stability of the Eurozone. The institutional constraints of the single currency however preclude bold action to address these challenges. In this paper, we suggest that tackling the twin problems of the Eurozone – its institutional flaws and mass unemployment – could be addressed by creating a Euro Treasury that would finance a Job Guarantee program, which would eliminate mass unemployment, enhance price stability, and foster social and economic integration across Europe.
COMPLETING THE EURO: THE EURO TREASURY AND THE JOB GUARANTEE
Esteban Cruz-Hidalgo, Universidad de Extremadura, Dirk H. Ehnts European University of Flensburg, Pavlina R. Tcherneva Bard College

Solar Power Is Now As Inexpensive As Grid Electricity In China Charles Q. Choi

Researchers found that PV systems could produce electricity at a lower price than the grid in 344 cities.
Good news for air quality and climate. China has been relying on coal-fired plants (72% in 2016).

Two anecdotes. I have a friend that teaches for six-weeks in Beijing on occasion. I once said to him that it must be a great experience. He answered that it was terrible, the pollution was so bad. I have another acquaintance that is Chinese, now living in the US. He's been here about 20 years. I asked him if he thought ever of returning to China. He shook his head and pointed upward. I asked him what he meant, and he said, "blue sky." 

China is not alone in this in the developing world. Electrification is a big deal, and cost is a major consideration.

China Could Overwhelm US Military In Asia In Hours — Brad Lendon


Arms race watch. It's on.

CNN
China Could Overwhelm US Military In Asia In Hours
Brad Lendon

Research finds the domestic outsourcing of jobs leads to declining U.S. job quality and lower wages — Kate Bahn

The domestic outsourcing of jobs in the United States is fast becoming a dominant explanation for the destruction of the social contract of work, a historic concept in which norms of fairness and solidarity between firms and their employees played a major role in wage setting and workplace standards for some U.S. workers—though of course many others such as African American workers were consistently more marginalized. The destruction of this social contract, detailed in Brandeis University economist David Weil’s book The Fissured Workplace, describes a labor market structure in which workers are employed at firms with core competencies and then those firms subcontract out all other duties or specific functions in the production process.
Within daily work activities, U.S. workers may directly interact with other workers across a variety of firms with different levels of job quality. One prototypical example is janitorial work, where most office cleaners today are employed by a janitorial services company that is contracted by the building owner where individual office places lease their space. These kinds of fissured employment patterns have led economists and other social science researchers to examine a variety of empirical research questions about what has caused domestic outsourcing, what the impacts have been and for whom, and what the future of the firm will be.

This body of research lays the groundwork for U.S. policymakers to understand the impact of this domestic outsourcing phenomenon and what sort of policy solutions can ensure that economic prosperity is broadly shared as workers and firms alike consider “the future of work” in the United States....
The bottom line is that "the American dream" was based on a significant portion of the population being employed in relatively secure and well-compensated in manufacturing. Foreign outsourcing changed that and the US economy has been in flux ever since. The trend is toward concentration at and near the top, that is, the upper quintile, while the rest of the population available for work either stagnates or sinks. Another trend is domestic outsourcing, which has disrupted the previous concept of a secure job, essentially for life.

These are obvious trends in a liberal economic model ("capitalism") since they reduce costs and increase efficiency. However, they are also having a profound social impact, and therefore a political one as well, as life for many becomes more precarious. 

WCEG — The Equitablog
Research finds the domestic outsourcing of jobs leads to declining U.S. job quality and lower wages
Kate Bahn

Econometrics and the problem of unjustified assumptions — Lars P. Syll


This is important but may be too wonkish for those who are not intimately familiar with econometrics. So let me try to simplify it and universalize it.

The basic idea in logical reasoning is that an argument is sound if and only if the premises are true and the logical form is valid.  Then the conclusion follows as necessarily true.

This is the basis of scientific reasoning.

In modeling, a set of assumptions, both substantive and procedural, is stipulated, that is, assumed to be true. In a well-founded model all the assumptions that make substantive claims are known to be true empirically on the basis of evidence. This is called semantic truth. The logical truth of logical form is formal proof. This is called syntactical truth. Only the former contains substance. The latter is purely procedural.

A key methodological assumption of the scientific method is naturalism. Being "scientific" signifies being based on observation, rather than say, intuition or "common sense," that is, self-evidence. No self-evident first principles — that's doing philosophy, not science. Not that such speculation is not useful. It's just not science and should not be conflated with science. There is often a tendency to do so.

This presents two major difficulties with scientific modeling versus philosophical speculation. The first is the empirical warrant of the starting points, the stipulations that are assumed to be true and serve as the premises of the argument. The second is knowing that all relevant information is included in the assumptions. This is called identification.

Paraphrasing Richard Feynman, we do science in order to avoid fooling ourselves and we are the easiest ones to fool (owing to confirmation bias, for example). This requires following scientific method scrupulously when substantial claims are made.

Keynes pointed out to Roy Harrod that econometrics did not conform to this strict procedure and that owing to the nature of the subject matter, economics was "moral science," which at the time signified what we would now call "philosophy." The social sciences and much of psychology fall into this category. They are basically speculative exercises that employ some formal methods that may be scientific, or not. 

Accounting is a formal method that is proto-scientific in the sense that double entry it is made up of tautologies. But the entries can be checked for substance against journals and inventories. It is a method to prevent fooling ourselves on one hand, and to prevent cheating on the other.

When accounting tautologies (identities) are interpreted causally, then causal explanation demands empirical corroboration through data, e.g., measurable changes in stocks and flows.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Econometrics and the problem of unjustified assumptions
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

See also

Bond Economics
Comments On "Business Cycle Anatomy"
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell — The rich are getting richer in Australia while the rest of us mark time

Only a short blog post today – in terms of actual researched content. Plenty of announcements and news though, a cartoon, and some great music. I have been meaning to write about the household income and wealth data that the ABS released in July, which showed that real income and wealth growth over a significant period for low income families has been close to zero, while the top 20 per cent have enjoyed rather massive gains. These trends are unsustainable. A nation cannot continually be distributing income to the top earners who spend less overall while starving the lower income cohorts of income growth. A nation cannot also continually create wealth accumulation opportunities for the richest while the rest go backwards. These trends generate spending crises, asset bubbles and social instability. That is what is emerging in Australia at present.
While Bill's analysis in this post is Aussie-centric, the rationale is applicable to the whole neoliberal world. It's basically what neoliberalism is about. The contemporary difference is that now the domestic populations of the neoliberal nations are being colonized as well. Even some of the top tier that are receiving most of the benefits are getting squeamish, realizing that an unsustainable process cannot go on forever and that eventually the bill will come due.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The rich are getting richer in Australia while the rest of us mark time
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

The Grayzone - Obama official and Venezuelan coup lobbyist wrecked by Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is so direct here. An official says that Obama considered Venezuela to be a security threat to the US, but Max asks for evidence, for which there is none. A Guaido official says Venezuela supports terrorists, like Al Quada, but Max asks again for the evidence, and then says that we know that the US arms ISIS in Syria.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Trump says White House looking at payroll tax cut — Brett Samuels


Another reversal of position, but this time definitive, coming from the Oval Office.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Establishment will probably paint this as 1) an attack on Social Security, which is "funded" by the payroll tax, and 2) a further "blowing out" of the deficit, both of which are nonsense in terms of MMT.

Actually, a payroll tax cut would be redistributive, which would bolster the president's support among the middle class, and it would increase the purchasing power of all working people that pay the tax, likely leading to consumer spending that would be stimulative. 

The later is the expectation of the Trump administration to ward off the onset of a recession that isn't coming anyway. Trump is correct in claiming that the media is wrong in predicting an immanent recession. Data do not support this, government spending liberally, increasing the deficit year over year, and bank credit increasing, also adding to purchasing power. Inflation remains low, and the labor bill is not increasing markedly.

The threat of recession for the US comes mostly from coupling to the global economy, which the president's own policies are affecting negatively, and there is evidence that the global economy is sluggish, as the Chinese economy consolidates and Chinese resource appetite reduces. However, there is enough uncertainty about the global economy, e.g., owing to exogenous shock (war) and the emerging challenge of climate change, that markets are skittish and the media is doing well selling fear.

The president is also encouraging the Fed to cut the interest rate by 100 bp and restart QE, which he believes would be stimulative, failing to grasp that cutting interest rates lowers government spending on interest payments. The reason he want a resumption of QE is to stimulate asset prices in the face of a stock market sell-off.

MMT economists have been recommending reduction or abolition of the payroll tax as a matter of principle, since it doesn't actually fund Social Security, only appearing that way for those who don't understand the actual operations and accounting. But the Trump administration is not proceeding on that basis.

The GOP has pretty consistently acted in terms of MMT principles when it suits their agenda, while espousing fiscal responsibility and discipline when it comes to funding social welfare.

The Hill
Trump says White House looking at payroll tax cut
Brett Samuels

Modern Money and the War Treasury — Sam Levey

Abstract: Using historical sources, we attempt to unravel and elucidate the economic worldview held by the United States Treasury Department during World War II. We analyze the Treasury’s view of taxation, bond sales, and interest rates. We consider whether and in what ways this worldview is compatible with Modern Monetary Theory, finding that, in most regards, the two align closely, the differences being primarily attributable to the peculiarities of war finance. Finding a less clear view of national debt, an interpretation is offered based on Treasury’s statements. We also offer evidence that this view had a foothold in the era’s news outlets.
Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
Modern Money and the War Treasury
Sam Levey | Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity Graduate Student, University of Missouri – Kansas City

The magic money does exist - but can we trust politicians to use it? — Paddy Dear

In 2017 when a nurse pointed out that her wages had not increased for several years, then-prime minister Theresa May quipped: “There is no magic money tree.” Well, maybe Mrs May was wrong. I believe there is a magic money tree and it is coming to western economies very soon. I am talking about MMT. And strangely, MMT doesn’t stand for “magic money tree”; it’s Modern Monetary Theory....
The question, "Can we trust politicians," is really a question about the viability of democracy. The answer of the liberal faction is, yes. The response of the conservative faction is a resounding, no. Safeguards are required to protect from the excesses of democracy, e.g., descent into "rabble rule."

So after the economic/financial issues are settled, the political questions emerge. This boils down to different worldviews with different value systems and ideologies.

The Telegraph is a Tory paper.
So MMT is flawed, not by economics but by human nature. They say central bankers should take away the punch bowl just as the party gets going. While we may trust central bankers to do so, I haven’t been to a party yet where the party goers themselves elected to remove the punch bowl.
Democracy needs grownup supervision, you see.

The Telegraph (Registration required)
The magic money does exist - but can we trust politicians to use it?
Paddy Dear | co-founder of Tetragon, a closed-end investment company where he serves on the board of directors and investment committee

The Economist Who Believes the Government Should Just Print More Money — Zach Helfand

I’d been stewing for a few months in the melange of blogs and YouTube videos and white papers that make up much of the M.M.T. world. Some intricacies lay beyond me—a hazy blur of literature about floating exchange rates and reserve currencies addled my brain. But the basic principle of M.M.T. is seductively simple: governments don’t have to budget like households, worrying about debt, because, unlike households, they can simply print their own money....
This illustrates a major difficulty in public education about MMT. On one hand, the financial and economic concepts are beyond many laypersons, while on the other, the body of literature with which one must be familiar is daunting to non-specialists. So the commonly held view is that MMT is about "printing money," which sounds irresponsible to much of the public.
I asked Ann whether she found Kelton convincing. “I mean, kind of!” she said. “I know what she said was brilliant, I just can’t believe her. She’s gotta be wrong.”
It's not just the public either.
Still, most mainstream economists view M.M.T. as the Cult of the Magic Money Tree, deriding what they see as its theorists’ preference for analogy over mathematical modelling or empirical evidence. “What most concerns me is I can’t actually quite figure out what it is,” Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and Times columnist, told me. Krugman is a political progressive, and he agrees with many of the spending programs that M.M.T. proponents support. But, he said, “I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it is exactly that they think.”
But this is a whole article on MMT that focuses on Stephanie Kelton as MMT's chief media spokesperson, and "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Free publicity is always a gift, especially in an environment in which the media tends toward marginalization of politically incorrect ideas and people that espouse them.

Zach Helfand concludes on a hopeful note:
I asked Kelton if she worries at all about these fights, further over the horizon. “At the end of the day, what I really hope for is just a better debate,” she told me. “Let both sides put forward their best ideas.”
This is the ultimate dream of M.M.T.: freed from false financial shackles, we could debate, on honest terms, the most fundamental political questions. If money weren’t an issue, would we want to scrub carbon from the atmosphere? Pay for reparations? Expand ice? Maybe we just want to be left alone, with our tax money in our pockets and some Social Security checks when we age. M.M.T.’s architects describe their vision as encompassing not just a better economy but a better, healthier body politic—a goal that is, given the state of things, almost certainly doomed, but is admirable nonetheless. Deficits do matter—not just the financial ones.
The critique is "fair and balanced," with the proviso that the author admits limited knowledge of MMT as a macroeconomic theory. Actually, not a surprising limitation when Paul Krugman admits that he can't figure it out either, based on conventional economic training.

The hurdle seems to be MMT's simplicity:  A currency sovereign funds itself through issuance; the real constraint is availability of real resource, and the financial constraint is price and exchange rate stability. Simple, but it seems to boggle minds. But it is not as simple as it may look, either. It contains the most salient features of macroeconomics as a policy science when unpacked through the theory.

Zach Helfand, New Yorker editorial staff member

Bill Mitchell — Inverted yield curves signalling a total failure of the dominant mainstream macroeconomics

At different times, the manias spread through the world’s financial and economic commentariat. We have had regular predictions that Japan was about to collapse, with a mix of hyperinflation, government insolvency, Bank of Japan negative capital and more. During the GFC, the mainstream economists were out in force predicting accelerating inflation (because of QE and rising fiscal deficits), rising bond yields and government insolvency issues (because of rising deficits and debt ratios) and more. And policy makers have often acted on these manias and reneged on taking responsible fiscal decisions – for example, they have terminated stimulus initiatives too early because the financial markets screamed blue murder (after they had been adequately bailed out that is). In the last week, we have had the ‘inverted yield curve’ mania spreading and predictions of impending recession. This has allowed all sorts of special interest groups (the anti-Brexit crowd, the anti-fiscal policy crowd, the gold bug crowd, anti-trade sanctions crowd) to jump up and down with various versions of ‘I told you so’. The problem is that the ‘inverted yield curve’ is not signalling a future recession but a total failure of the dominant mainstream macroeconomics. The policy world has shifted, slowly but surely, away from a dependence on monetary policy towards a new era of fiscal dominance. We are on the cusp of that shift and bond yields are reflecting, in part, the sentiment that is driving that shift....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Inverted yield curves signalling a total failure of the dominant mainstream macroeconomics
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Treasury settlements today


Probably first big post debt ceiling suspension new issues day....

Net 20b here 4 week securities:

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/press/preanre/2019/A_20190813_2.pdf 

 40b here new issues 8 week securities:

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/press/preanre/2019/A_20190813_1.pdf 

 60b total reserve reduction... from these Treasury operations today...



"When the facts change, I change my mind."


Self descriptive quote from Keynes who I assume was Liberal Art/dialectic trained... this is an interesting way,  as usual via figurative language from these people, to describe how the liberal art trained brain works... probably revealing...

They actually think as though they are "changing their mind!" (when they synthesize?); rather than simply making a proper corrective adjustment... weird-o-rama!!!





Monday, August 19, 2019

Zero Hedge — White House Denies It Is Considering Payroll Tax Cut To Boost Economy


That was quick.

Zero Hedge
White House Denies It Is Considering Payroll Tax Cut To Boost Economy
Tyler Durden

Links — 19 Aug 2019

Moon of Alabama

NEO
Kim Dong Chul’s New Testimony: More Unpleasant Truth on Espionage in North Korea
Constanin Asmolov

People's Dispatch
Incident at Hong Kong airport comes as a rude awakening

Strategic Culture Foundation
The Deeper Meaning in a Lost War
Alastair Crooke | founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, and former British diplomat and senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy


Trump admin discussing temporary payroll tax cut


Can't wait to see the political left  $50k/year tuition student loan funded liberal art trained morons come out against this... can hear them now:  "deficit too big!!!"

It is doubtful the Democratic-controlled House would even pass a payroll tax. The 6.2% tax helps to fund Medicare and Social Security, two massive programs Democrats have repeatedly warned against altering. 
Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., has proposed a plan to raise the payroll tax to keep Social Security solvent.



Double triggers...





Alfred Marshall in 1885: "The Present Position of Economics" —Timothy Taylor


This is a key observation of Alfred Marshall that predicts the development of post-classical economics, which came to be dominated by neoclassical economics, although it was overshadowed for a time by Keynesianism, owing to the pressures of the time (war, depression, and another war).

The key observation is this:
Marshall notes that when people think about the main intellectual contribution of Adam Smith, they often point to what we now refer to as the "invisible hand" idea--that when people act in their own self-interest--though hard work, innovation, shopping for desired goods and services–they will often benefit the social welfare. However, Marshall argues that in fact, Smith's key insight was something quite different: "His work was to indicate the manner in which value measures human motive." In other words, Smith started the process of drawing linkages between the ways that people act and the monetary incentives they face in terms of prices and wages--which is what makes human motives into something measurable. Marshall thought this idea was the true core of economic thinking:
Subsequently, this key assumption about measurable value being chiefly economic morphed into the assumption that the whole of value is reducible to economic value. The life sciences and the other social sciences, as well as the humanities, and even business, especially where demand is based on marketing and advertising, shows that this broader assumption is incorrect.

However, conventional economists used this erroneous assumption to develop the further assumption of a supposed law of supply and demand based on an "invisible hand" that guides economic behavior toward maximum efficiency in use of the factors, similar to conservation in physics.

This point of view became the basis for concluding that a market state would provide optimal social and political organization through the spontaneous arising of natural order based on the dominance of economics through free markets (inclusive of free trade and free capital flow), that is, laissez-faire. And everyone would live happily ever after.

Even though that has never been the case, those committed to theses assumptions ideologically argue that the market is not free enough from government intervention and further pruning back of government is required for social and political optimality based on economic optimality.

While Marshall was not totally on board with this point of view about value and he qualified it, subsequent economists soon took it to its extreme. Keynes famously criticized it based on radical uncertainty and irrationality ("animal spirits").

These are still the dominant trends of thought in the Anglo-American world, which the Anglo-American elite are now trying to impose on the rest of the world through neoliberal globalization and liberal interventionism. The current administration cannot make up its mind between the Jacksonianism that Donald Trump ran on and Wilsonianism as the dominant view of US foreign policy.

Conversable Economist
Alfred Marshall in 1885: "The Present Position of Economics"
Timothy Taylor | Managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

See also

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Marginal productivity theory — a dangerous thought virus
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

"Boot Edge Edge!!! Boot Edge Edge!!!"


Typical dumb Democrat:




Double triggers...




Deficit is $930 bln. Why are all the prominent MMTers silent on this? They should be cheering, no?

The deficit as of August 15, was $931 bln. That's the highest in 7 years. And as a percentage of GDP it's now at 4.4%, the highest in 6 years.




So why are all the prominent MMTers silent about this?

Nothing from Kelton. Mosler continues to put out bearish forecasts. (Going on 5 years now!)

They only talk about deficits when it's convenient for them?

They say they're not political, but it seems to me that not mentioning the deficit is a way of not giving credit to Trump, even obliquely.

Their information and analysis is discredited in my opinion. If you want to play objective you have to be objective.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Bill Mitchell – German external investment model a failure

I read an interesting research report recently – Exportweltmeister: The Low Returns on Germany’s Capital Exports – published by the London-based Centre of Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in July 2019. It tells us a lot about the dysfunctional nature of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and Germany’s role within it, in particular. Germany has been running persistent and very large external surpluses for some years now in violation of EU rules. It also suppresses domestic demand by its punitive labour market policies and persistent fiscal surpluses. At the same time as these strategies have resulted in the massive degradation of essential infrastructure (roads, buildings, bridges etc), Germany has been exporting its massive savings in the form of international investments (FDI, equity, etc). The evidence is now in that the returns on those investments have been poor, which amounts to a comprehensive rejection of many of the shibboleths that German politicians and their industrialists hold and use as frames to bully other nations….
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
German external investment model a failure
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

All along the watchtower: The follies of history —Pepe Escobar

Everything that happens geopolitically and geoeconomically in our turbulent times has to do with the US’ do-or-die imperial struggle against the Russia-China strategic partnership. Only total “victory,” by any means necessary, would assure the continuation of what could be defined as the New American Century.
And that brings us to the necessity of reconstructing Clausewitz’s axiom, according to which, originally, war is a continuation of politics by other means.
Clausewitz argued that war is a real political instrument. Now, Clausewitz remixed should read: Hybrid War is Politics by Other Means....

Links — 18 Aug 2019

Bill Totten's Weblog
How do Mainland Chinese Feel … about the Protests in Hong Kong on the Extradition Law Amendment?
Janus Dongye Qimeng at Quora

Brazil Wire
Lula: “US hand” on everything that’s happened in Brazil

Zero Hedge
British Colonialism Laid The Ground For The Crises In Hong Kong & Kashmir
John Wight

Strategic Culture Foundation
The Anglo-American Origins of Color Revolutions & NED
Matthew Ehret

Xinhua
China's fight against U.S. bullying bears global significance

Gold, Goats 'n Guns
The Saudis Learn the Term “Asymmetric Response”
Tom Luongo

TRNN
Epstein May Be Just One Part of an Intricate Network of Sex and Power
Mark Steiner interviews Whitney Webb

China Daily
Air hub seen as key target to harm HK



"Pump!" Watch


ECB getting ready to "pump!":




Saturday, August 17, 2019

Link — 17 Aug 2019

Consortium News
PATRICK LAWRENCE: Hong Kong’s Inevitable Showdown

The Vineyard of the Saker
China Daily investigation: Who is behind Hong Kong protests?

Zero Hedge
Portland Braces For Violent Clashes Between Antifa And Proud Boys; Trump Puts Mayor On Notice
Tyler Durden

Evolve Politics
Police open investigation after left-wing journalist Owen Jones ‘attacked and kicked in skull’ in ‘pre-meditated assault’
Tom D. Rogers

The Grayzone
Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence
Dan Cohen

Moon of Alabama
Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen


Brian Mere - Media Blackout on Brazil’s Anti-Bolsonaro Protests

Why are New York Times and Guardian downplaying resistance to Brazil’s far-right president?


The media is covering the Hong Kong riots but has virtually completely ignored the riots in Brazil.

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system. It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions affiliated with the Central Ùnica de Trabalhadores (Unified Workers Central/CUT)—the second-largest labor union confederation in the Americas.

Fair.org

Rick Sanchez - Ousted Honduran president calls Hillary Clinton a ‘mafia boss’

The second part of the interview with Manuel Zelaya. Rick Sanchez says thay Manuel Zelaya wasn't even a progressive, and that he was just helping his country to become more prosperous. But he had teamed to with other progressive countries in Latin America and so the US took him out. Now Honduras is steeped in poverty and crime.

In the second half Rick Sanchez interviews Max Blumenthal.

Rick Sanchez interviews Honduras’s former President Manuel Zelaya about the reportedly US-orchestrated coup that dismantled his government to further the interests of transnational corporate power.




Shawn Wooler - GET YOUR DIB-DABS OFF

Sherbet lemons and liquorice allsorts among classic sweets that could be banned in nanny state blitz on sugar




Kids absolutely love sweets, and they are an amazing part of childhood. I remember going to the sweet shop and buying all sorts of fabulous sweets, where in those days they were stored in glass jars up on shelfs. You would normally ask for a quarter of a pound of sweets, and then you would see the shopkeeper stretch for the right jar, after which he would use a scoop to get a quantity, weigh them in a scale, and put them in a paper bag for you, while all the time you were in a state of delight about the sweets. After that, all morning you would be in a state of rapture sucking on the boiled sweets: Winter Warmers, Rhubarb and Custard, Pineapple Chunks, Barley Sugars, Aniseed Twists, Army and Navy, etc.



Anyway, by the time I was 14 years old virtually all my back teeth had been filled, and it was the same for all my friends, which can't be right. And in my age group today everyone has a mouth full of fillings, but younger people fair better because of the flouride in toothpaste.

Therefore, in my opinion, I don't think it is 'nanny state' at all for the government to impose regulations to limit the amount of sugar in confectionery. The Sun article is just seems to be pro-business, which has never cared about anyone's health anyway, only profits. It's a sensible regulation, and parents like it. They will manage to make sweets taste great, just the same.

The 'Nanny State' idea is nonsense, which is propaganda so the elite can have the freedom to do as they please, even if it harms other people.

I remember when the government made wearing a safety belt in a car mandatory and there were a lot of people complaining, but no one nowadays would feel safe in a car without one, and the same goes for crash helmets.

Duncan Selbie, PHE chief exec, said: “Taking calories, salt and sugar out of  food we eat is part of the Government’s child obesity plan and  strongly supported by parents.”


The Sun

Shawn Wooler - GET YOUR DIB-DABS OFF

Ben Weich - After dropping Chris Williamson event, Quakers 'take time to reflect' on hosting speakers accused of antisemitism

Group says Jew-hate 'contravenes our fundamental belief that all people are equal and precious' - but has a history of accommodating controversial speakers


I wished I had kept the tweet where a Labour Party member listed the threats the Holiday Inn staff received after their management agreed to rent a room to Chris Williamson for a talk. Members of the staff got emails threatening violence, and eventually two men turned up at the hotel who threatened the management. After this, they cancelled the event saying that they were concerned for the safety of their staff.

I was once a Quaker so I was saddened when I heard they had cancelled an event that Chris Williamson had booked as I know the Quakers are very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. I was also concerned that they may have fallen for the 'Antisemitism in the Labour Party' myth.

This is from the Jewish Chronicle.

Chris Williamson, the suspended Labour MP, held a rally in a Brighton park last week after three city centre venues pulled out of hosting him.
The third, the local Friends’ Meeting House, run by the Brighton Quakers, accepted the booking after a hotel and a community centre both cancelled.
It has also been claimed by pro-Williamson journalist Greg Hadfield that the Quakers group cancelled out of concerns for “the safety of Mr Williamson, venue staff and the building”, rather than due to opposition to the speaker.
But in an email to a member of the public, Jane Dawson, Quakers in Britain’s head of external communications, wrote: “Brighton [Friends’ Meeting House] were forced to cancel the event due to threats of violence.”
Jackie Walker, who has since been expelled from Labour for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental” comments against Jews, spoke at the venue in 2016 and 2017 about “false allegations of antisemitism” and a supposed witch-hunt against figures on the left of the party
The Brighton Friends’ Meeting House was also the venue where, during a fringe event for the 2017 Labour conference, Miko Peled, an Israeli-American activist, infamously suggested the Holocaust was up for historical debate.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Links — 16 Aug 2019

Michael Roberts Blog — blogging from a marxist economist
The political economy of Peterloo
Michael Roberts

Sputnik International
UK Historians and Politicians Still Arguing About Peterloo 200 Years After ‘Massacre’

Stumbling and Mumbling
The Peterloo paradox
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle
Macromon

General Electric whistleblower: 'I think I have a few smoking guns' Harry Markopolos reveals fraud

Forensic Accountant and Bernie Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos discusses his 175 page report claiming General Electric committed $38 billion in accounting fraud.




The Last Vagabond - As Hong Kong Protests Diminish After Extradition Law Retracted, US-Funded Protests Rage On

The Last Vagabond (I don't know his name) gives his take on the Hong Kong riots. He says that most of the rioters have stopped protesting now as the Chinese government has retracted it demands to extradite criminals to the mainland, but a few thousand rioters are carrying on with their violent demonstration hoping the Chinese government will bring in the army, which they then hope will get the US involved.

There is a clip showing the violent protestors beating up a policeman who eventually pulls a gun to save his life, but he doesn't fire it. The Last Vagabond says how in the US a police officer in a similar situation would have used his gun. US policemen shoot dead almost a 1,000 people every year.



The Independent 


Rick Sanchev - Exclusive: President ousted by US-led coup tells all

The US accused the former President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, of being a communist when he sided the Bolivarian's of other Central American countries. But really, says Manuel Zelaya, it was that US corporations didn't want any competition, and prefer their rent seeking monopolies. 

Since the US backed coup, the economy has struggled and the country's crime rate has doubled.



Thursday, August 15, 2019

Links — 15 Aug 2019

Fresh Economic Thinking
Microeconomic success, macroeconomic failure
Cameron Murray

Oilprice.com
China’s Ultimate Play For Global Oil Market Control
Yossef Bodansky

Edward Curtin
Jeffrey Epstein and the Spectacle of Secrecy

Zero Hedge
China Paper Slams "Dumped Dog" Steve Bannon For Orchestrating Anti-China Sentiment
Tyler Durden

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Former MSNBC Reporter Spills Details On Pro-Establishment Bias In Media
Caitlin Johnstone

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







Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies. — Jeff J. Brown


Part of the reason that Westerners find Chinese "inscrutable, and part of the reason that Chinese view Westerners as immature.

There are other reasons, too.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies.
Jeff J. Brown

See also

The Saker goes full antifa on the Uko-Nazies.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Ukie nationalism vs Otto von Bismarck
The Saker

Sputnik — Great Piece of Kit! Huawei to Launch Google Maps Rival by October

Map Kit will be available in forty languages, Huawei has announced, and despite being a ‘latecomer’ to the mapping industry, the Chinese tech giant owns telecom base stations across 160 countries and regions, which it can use to implement the new service globally, Xiang Ligang, Director-General for the Information Consumption Alliance said.
The Chinese tech giant has also partnered with Russian tech heavyweight Yandex and US travel company Booking Holdings to build the mapping service, a source familiar with the matter told China Daily....
Sputnik International
Great Piece of Kit! Huawei to Launch Google Maps Rival by October

The return of populism or Argentina on the verge of collapse — Matias Vernengo


The Left rises again after the neoliberal president blows it.

Naked Keynesianism — Hemlock for economics students
The return of populism or Argentina on the verge of collapse
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

Rick sanchez - Revealed: How China is quietly ending Hong Kong protests

If the Hong Kong riots were happening in the US, with rioters petrol bombing the police and closing down an airport while smashing the place up, Washington would crack down on them pretty harshly. It would be said the rioters were hoodlums and anachists, and along with footage on TV showing the violence, the public would wholeheartedly support the crackdown.

But China doesn't really have this option, except as a very last resort, as it could get the US involved, who many believe are behind the riots anyway. So, the Chinese government is trying a different tactic, which is to boycott Hong Kong companies that allow its employees to riot. In this way, these companies could fail and the rioters loose their jobs. It's harsh, but better than WW3.

I saw a video recently where the rioters said that everyday boxes full of helmets, goggles, and gas masks turn up, but no one knows who supplies them. 


The Trillion-Dollar Grift: The Long-Term Plan for US-China Decoupling — Peter Lee

Keeping the negotiations creeping along while encouraging the decoupling dynamic through tariffs & sanctions allowed the China hawks to dodge the onus of hurting the US economy for the sake of US hegemonic goals.

Now, as we're entering a phase of pretty much open economic warfare, maybe that mask is ready to drop....
Preparing for the showdown.

As I have been saying,  the sine qua non for permanent US global hegemony is dividing Russia and China into smaller states that can never challenge the US. Then, the US can effectively manage them through the neoliberal economic/financial/political world order based on an empire and its vassals. Although in his later years Zbig withdrew from the grand chessboard geostrategy based on Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman that he made famous, it remains very much alive in US strategic circles owing to its compelling logic and US elite commitment to the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

China Matters
The Trillion-Dollar Grift: The Long-Term Plan for US-China Decoupling
Peter Lee aka "China Hand"

See also

The purpose of the protest is to force a Chinese invasion of Hong Kong,giving the West ammunition for its own invasion, overt or covert. This is a color revolution.

So far, the Chinese leadership is not falling for the bait. So the protestors are upping the ante to force it.

Whatever the outcome, the fate of Hong Kong is now sealed. The rise of Shanghai as the Chinese financial capital will make Hong Kong redundant and it will eventually become an outlying province with little to no significance for the center. In fact, it will become a reminder of The Humiliation that the Chinese will isolate and attempt to forget.
Dominic Green

See also

Longish and detailed.

Foreign Affairs
Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System
Chad P. Bown And Douglas A. Irwin

Also

RT
Beijing: US ‘insanely involved in anti-Chinese criminal cases in Hong Kong’