Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New York AG: Black protesters were disproportionately charged with felonies — Zack Budryk


More systemic racism? Isn't that what the protests were about? 

The irony of it all.

How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to US intelligence agencies — Gareth Porter


NYT with egg on its face, and many others that ran away with the story, too.

The Grayzone
How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to US intelligence agencies
Gareth Porter

RT — Christopher Steele to pay damages to Russian bankers for ‘inaccurate and misleading’ claims in his infamous dossier


Ha ha.

RT
Christopher Steele to pay damages to Russian bankers for ‘inaccurate and misleading’ claims in his infamous dossier

Big Oil Should Focus On The World’s Cleanest Energy — Irina Slav


Geothermal.

Oilprice
Big Oil Should Focus On The World’s Cleanest Energy
Irina Slav

The Tremendous but ‘Secret’ Success of Socialist Vietnam — Andre Vltchek


Backgrounder on the development of Vietnam under a Communist government. Are Cuba and Vietnam development models for other small countries.

NEO
The Tremendous but ‘Secret’ Success of Socialist Vietnam
Andre Vltchek

Russia, China keep the ‘dragon in the fog’ — M. K. Bhadrakumar


Backgrounder on Hong Kong, Russian constitutional amendment, and more.

India Punchline
Russia, China keep the ‘dragon in the fog’
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

See also

Gold, Goats 'N Guns
Trump Reaps the Whirlwind With China/Iran Mega Deal
Tom Luongo

Modern monetary theory gets to Westminster — Richard Murphy


More high level exposure for MMT thanks to The Deficit Myth.

Tax Research UK
Modern monetary theory gets to Westminster
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

‘Either you are fighting to eliminate exploitation or not’: A leftist critique of the Green New Deal — James Wilt interviews Max Ajl

But there has been growing criticism from some parts of the left of the proposed Green New Deal, particularly relating to its potential impacts on the Global South and undefined relationship with capitalism. There is no singular Green New Deal that exists–with plenty of debate among supporters of it–but it is possible to speak about the most popular version of it as proposed by the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.
It’s a vision that scholar and author Max Ajl is deeply concerned about. Ajl is an associated researcher at the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment and writes on rural development, especially in the Arab region. His book, A People’s Green New Deal, is forthcoming from Pluto Press in 2021.
His critiques of the Green New Deal are careful and productive, grounded in disciplines of agro-ecology and food sovereignty, seeking to leverage existing interest in the proposal into something far more liberatory and internationalist....
Canadian Dimension
‘Either you are fighting to eliminate exploitation or not’: A leftist critique of the Green New Deal
James Wilt interviews Max Ajl

Complex Ideas — Peter Radford


Important post on the philosophy (foundations) of economics as a discipline. Short for the amount of information it contains. Should read even though it is not directly relevant to MMT.

In it indirectly relevant to MMT, however, in that it recognizes that the social world is complex, as is the biological world and to a lesser degree the physical world. MMT economists get this by taking an open-ended approach that assumes reflexivity (learning) and emergence (synergism) in complex adaptive systems.

Conventional economists complain that MMT lack formal expression. Peter Radford explains why that is a distraction from the task at hand of explaining real world economies.

Basic to this is the systems approach, but not through formal systems. Social science is more akin to biology than physics as a category of science, and it is different from biology owing to the difference in intelligence, which gets expressed as information. Human intelligence is a highly developed complex system using the physical and biological as apparatus but not limited to them.

The Radford Free Press
Complex Ideas
Peter Radford

MMTed Q&A – Episode 6 — Bill Mitchell

Here is Episode 6 in our weekly MMTed Q&A series. This is the second-part of my discussion on the Job Guarantee with Dr Pavlina Tcherneva and in this episode we discuss the central role that employment buffer stocks play in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a point that is often missed by those who think it is just a job creation program and of secondary (and dispensable) importance to the ‘banking’ aspects of MMT. As you will hear (and see), the Job Guarantee is an integral part of MMT and that status is derived from the elemental insights that MMT offers about the way a currency works. If a person thinks the Job Guarantee is an unnecessary add-on to MMT, then they haven’t understood the basics of MMT. It is as simple as that.
Point of clarification: Bill writes, "If a person thinks the Job Guarantee is an unnecessary add-on to MMT, then they haven’t understood the basics of MMT." 

MMT is often taken to be only or chiefly the operational description of monetary systems based on institutional arrangements. including legal. But MMT means Modern Monetary Theory or, alternatively, Modern Money Theory (Wray), with the emphasis here on "theory." MMT purports to be an explanation of macroeconomics based on a new way of seeing, or "new lens." This lies in the assumptions, including methodological assumptions, and how they are developed into a systematic explanation, which is what a theory is. 

MMT is not a formal axiomatic theory in emulation of physics but rather recognizes that the sciences — natural or physical, biological, and social — are similar but difference, hence, the different categories that affect not only subject matter but differences in subject matter that result in the necessity for difference in approach. 

There are three fundamental categories of being — physical, life, and intelligent. The three categories of science investigate these ontological categories using methods appropriate to them to generate representative models, conceptual and mathematical. Conceptual models can also be formal since they follow the rules of logic including  those of abstraction, e.g., set theory. Since social science is concerned with not only the physical and biological but also the intelligent, its methods must incorporate more than the previous two, e.g., different scales of complexity.

The theoretical part is the macroeconomic theory built the foundation of operational and institutional analysis of "the money system." MMT is a macro economic theory. The "holy grail" of macro is resolving the trifecta of optimal growth, full employment, and price-level stability. Economists is generally assume that this is impossible:  only two of the three can be achieved simultaneously over time. MMT says no, it is possible.

MMT claims that the apparent contradiction between actual full employment and acceptable price-level fluctuation can be resolved using the MMT JG as a price anchor along with the other tools in the MMT toolbox. 

The currency issuer uses its monopoly power to set the price of a single real good — a unit of unskilled labor. The government does this by offering a universal job guarantee at a fixed compensation, presumably a living wage.

According to Warren Mosler's White Paper:
  • The price level is necessarily a function of prices paid by the government’s agents when it spends, or collateral demanded when it lends.
  • In what’s called a market economy, the government needs to set only one price, as market forces continuously determine all other prices as expressions of relative value, as further influenced by institutional structure.
This implies that if the currency issuing government sets the price level of any real good, this acts as a price anchor since the rest of prices adjust automatically to this benchmark through market adjustments, given the overall framework adopted.

The MMT JG is therefore one of the lynchpins of MMT as a macroeconomic theory, along with stock-flow consistent accounting based on double-entry bookkeeping and functional finance as opposed to so-called sound finance.

Ignoring this misses the contribution of MMT economists in drawing on the past and synthesizing previous knowledge into a new approach to macroeconomics by innovating. This is an aspect of the dialectics at the basis of free inquiry and informed debate. MMT did not fall from heaven. MMT economists hammered it out over close collaboration.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
MMTed Q&A – Episode 6
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Opinion: Iain Macwhirter: There is method to the madness of spend, spend, spend — Iain Macwhirter


Grudgingly positive about MMT. Worth a read to gauge direction.

The Herald (Scotland) — Editorial Opinion
Opinion: Iain Macwhirter: There is method to the madness of spend, spend, spend
Iain Macwhirter, Political Editor

New MSc Degree program from BOE in Central Banking and Regulation


Looks pretty popular and has nothing to do with MMT... Monetarist..link here.......







Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A universal jobs guarantee is the bold new solution for how to bring back all the workers sidelined — Allana Akhtar

  • Pavlina Tcherneva, a Bard professor and one of the economists pioneering research into Modern Monetary Theory, said federally guaranteed jobs may address poverty and help communities better than universal basic incomes.
  • The coronavirus pandemic wiped out millions of jobs, and one report estimated that 17.6 million unemployed Americans may not return to their pre-pandemic jobs.
  • Tcherneva said guaranteeing a public service job could lead to improvements on community-wide issues like public health and access to food — while eradicating unemployment completely. 
Business Insider

US lobbyists set the Indian narrative on China border — M. K. Bhadrakumar


Foreign meddling.

India Punchline
US lobbyists set the Indian narrative on China border
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Zero Hedge — Wal-Mart Plans To Launch Its "Amazon Prime Killer" Later This Month


"Capitalist competition."

Zero Hedge

China's yuan policy has made Hong Kong redundant — Paola Subacchi


Hong Kong no longer plays the same financial role for China as it once did. Most of the rest of the world hasn't realized this yet. Hong Kong will continue as a financial hub of Asia, but it won't be the top dog anymore, and it is not now. Shanghai aims to be the major competitor of New York and London in a world in which the renminbi (RMB) plays a major role.

The renminbi is the Chinese currency, and the yuan (CNY) is the unit of account. "Renminbi" means "the people's currency" in Chinese.

Nikkei Asian Review
China's yuan policy has made Hong Kong redundant
Paola Subacchi
(h/t Automatic Earth)

Mariana Mazzucato — Public Policy for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth


Public policy for public purpose, taking into consideration changed conditions.

MARIANA MAZZUCATO — Economics - Innovation - Inclusive Growth
No More Free-Lunch Bailouts

The coronavirus recovery is an opportunity to do everything differently, not go back to normal
Mariana Mazzucato | RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU in the University of Sussex

Modern monetary theory: the rise of economists who say huge government debt is not a problem — John Whittaker


Another economist offers a weak criticism of MMT.

The lack of affordability argument based on government as a big firm or household has been tossed in the trashing. The rebuttal is so obvious not one wants to touch it anymore.

The pivot is to eventual inflation looming — some day. Like MMT economists have ignored that.

The Conversation John Whittaker | Senior Teaching Fellow in Economics, Lancaster University

A Pair Of Weaker MMT Critiqiues... — Brian Romanchuk

I ran into a pair of MMT critiques recently. Since I am writing a chapter on MMT criticism, I want to see whether I can use them as material. Unfortunately, I am not sure whether either qualifies as being of enough interest to qualify for inclusion into my book. This is slightly surprising, since one of the articles was the John H. Cochrane review of The Deficit Myth that free marketeers were gushing about. I am noting these articles and making a quick response as a placeholder.... 
Bond Economics
A Pair Of Weaker MMT Critiqiues...
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell – We can have full employment again in a green world

Must-read.
Last Saturday, the Weekend Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s daily national newspaper, had a relative Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) avalanche, with two core MMT-style articles published and two that were supportive rather than hostile. That tells you something about the way the world is shifting. I have received a bit of flack for publishing an Op-Ed piece in that newspaper from those who style themselves as Leftists. It is the same old argument – dealing with the devil. And the same old reply – if you want to influence policy then you have to talk to those who make policy. It is easy plotting revolutions over lunch. There has been a lot of groundwork laid over the last several months to bring people into the conversation. It is quiet stuff. Discreet. And as things unfold I will make some of the developments public. At present, all I can say is that I have a document before the Prime Minister today and there is a lot of behind-the-scenes workshops/briefings going on at state-level. And, while activists spend a lot of time ‘pressuring’ this person and that person on social media, the big shifts that are going on at present, including the publication of Noel Pearson’s piece and my article, are not being helped by aggressive social media confrontations. Sometimes it is better to work in a subtle way and exploit networks where they are available. That is not to say that activism to promote MMT is not appreciated and helpful. But we do need to pick our path. Anyway, a number of people asked me to publish my article here because they cannot get behind The Australian’s paywall. So here is the penultimate version which is a few hundred words longer than the actual article, which I cannot provide due to copyright restrictions. I also cannot provide Noel Pearson’s accompanying and complementary article but it was magnificent.
I think we can safely say that this behind the scenes maneuvering is going on elsewhere, too. In fact, likely for some time in the US given Stephanie Kelton's high profile position.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
We can have full employment again in a green world
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Robert Kuttner - Neoliberalism: Political Success, Economic Failure

The invisible hand is more like a thumb on the scale for the world’s elites. That’s why market fundamentalism has been unmasked as bogus economics but keeps winning politically.





A long read, but excellent. 

Absolute freedom brings the opposite: oppression and control by the few. Libertarians and free market fundamentalists will give their blogs and sites names like, Liberty Radio, Liberty News, Learn Liberty, Freedom Radio, etc, but it's not freedom they offer, but enslavement: a harsh boss, long hours at work, poor pensions, low quality health care, anxiety and fear. 

The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society’s most powerful people—as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab. The British political economist Colin Crouch captured this anomaly in a book nicely titled The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism. Why did neoliberalism not die? As Crouch observed, neoliberalism failed both as theory and as policy, but succeeded superbly as power politics for economic elites.

The neoliberal ascendance has had another calamitous cost—to democratic legitimacy. As government ceased to buffer market forces, daily life has become more of a struggle for ordinary people. The elements of a decent middle-class life are elusive—reliable jobs and careers, adequate pensions, secure medical care, affordable housing, and college that doesn't require a lifetime of debt. Meanwhile, life has become ever sweeter for economic elites, whose income and wealth have pulled away and whose loyalty to place, neighbor, and nation has become more contingent and less reliable.

The failed neoliberal experiment also makes the case not just for better-regulated capitalism but for direct public alternatives as well. Banking, done properly, especially the provision of mortgage finance, is close to a public utility. Much of it could be public. A great deal of research is done more honestly and more cost-effectively in public, peer-reviewed institutions such as the NIHthan by a substantially corrupt private pharmaceutical industry. Social housing often is more cost-effective than so-called public-private partnerships. Public power is more efficient to generate, less prone to monopolistic price-gouging, and friendlier to the needed green transition than private power. The public option in health care is far more efficient than the current crazy quilt in which each layer of complexity adds opacity and cost. Public provision does require public oversight, but that is more straightforward and transparent than the byzantine dance of regulation and counter-regulation.

The American Prospect

TGA balance still being maintained at 1.7T


Treasury still doing these pop up issues of Cash Management Bills to increase TGA and draining reserves ie “unprinting money!” this week.... to Kudlow and the other Monetarists there this should be a (to them) a bearish policy as it is reducing their “high powered money!”... also is in direct conflict with their own quarterly funding plan which said they wanted TGA at 800b by end of JUNE... missed their target by $1T.... hard to understand...





Nathan Rich - Hong Kong Security Laws Analyzed



US Security Law is more strict than Hong Kong's.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Andrew Batson' — China’s security fears and the Cold War economy


Historical backgrounder.

Andrew Batson's Blog
China’s security fears and the Cold War economy

Kazakhstan may hold the secret for Greater Eurasia — Pepe Escobar


Backgrounder on an increasingly important area.

The US is not hanging on in Afghanistan (Central Asia) to spread "freedom and democracy" or protect human rights. The interest there is strategic, as it must to justify the cost in blood and treasure.

Indeed, the US is lot more active in Eurasia than most people realize, since most of what they hear about is Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, and the Middle East.

For example, the recent kerfuffle in the "news" over Russian "bounties" is directed not only at Russia but also to undercut the president's determination to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Withdrawal is not in the strategic interest of the shadow government that maintains policy across administrations and feeds the institutions on which it it based. The "shadow government" well characterizes the bureaucracy that maintains the trajectory of government and policy through changing administrations. There has been  little change in this trajectory since the end of WWII, despite President Eisenhower's warning about it as he left office.

"Shadow government" is in my view a better term to characterize this phenomenon than the "deep state." However, this term has already been undermined by association with conspiracy theory that is tagged with that name. (Donald Trump calls it the "swamp," and Steve Bannon characterizes it as the "administrative state.")

They are correct in holding that the swamp must be drained for meaningful policy change not only to happen but also to persist. Bannon's term in government was short, and the president has faced an onslaught of opposition seeking to either remove him or neuter him. While I don't think either were suitable for the task, at least they recognized the problem and sought to address it, so far unsuccessfully. There is no one else doing so in any kind of meaningful way, nor is there either a vision to actualize or a plan to proceed.

Based on the "Red Scare," the shadow government has managed to preserve the policy since the Truman administration " Even today.

Notice, for example, how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regularly refers to "Chinese Communist Party" as the enemy, and Vladimir Putin is typically referred to as "ex-KGB." See for example, the book review in Foreign Policy, How Putin and the KGB Took Control of Russia—and Duped the West: An important new book details the carefully calculated rise of a modern-day tsar (June 2020). It appears that this is not being offered  for its informational content as its persuasive value in demonizing the Russian "regime."

Eurasia is now the battleground from the vantage of the US ruling elite and the shadow government that maintains policy that it suits it. The opposition from the shadow government's vantage is "KGB Russia," "Communist China," and "Islamic terrorism."

This is all zeroed in on Eurasia and Central Asia as a pivot point in the unfolding historical dialectic of who is going to control the Eurasian land mass, Halford Mackinder's "world island" as the "geographical pivot of history."

This is the turf of Russia and China, traditional land powers. To control this pivot, the US, a sea power, has to submit Russia and China to regime change favorable to the US or attempt to prevent them from gaining control by sewing conflict in the region and creating chaos, since getting involved in a land war in Asia with peer adversaries would risk defeat.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Kazakhstan may hold the secret for Greater Eurasia
Pepe Escobar

Time for China to decouple the yuan from US dollar, former diplomat urges — Orange Wang

US will pose ‘increasingly severe threat’ to future Chinese development through dollar’s global monopoly

Preparations for gradual decoupling and internationalisation of the yuan should begin ‘now’

I have been been saying this for some time. It's even more essential now that Chinese policy is shifting from export-led to consumption-driven.

SCMP
Time for China to decouple the yuan from US dollar, former diplomat urges
Orange Wang

The United States needs a new Works Progress Administration to overcome the coronavirus recession — Delaney Crampton

This program would provide a needed boost for our economy. Analysis shows young and low-income workers have been particularly hit hard by layoffs. Workers earning less than $20 per hour were 115 percent more likely to be laid off than those earning $30 per hour or more. And workers under age 25 were 93 percent more likely to have been laid off than those who are 35 and older.
A WPA-like program in 2020 would create openings for safe job opportunities for the hardest-hit workers, particularly low-income and younger workers. Ideally, workers in these jobs would learn new skills and be able to transition into nursing and home healthcare jobs during the post-pandemic economic recovery should they choose to do so....

Why Isn’t Modern Monetary Theory Common Knowledge? — Blair Fix

I’m hardly the first to connect money creation with power. It’s been done countless times before. And yet many (most?) people still misunderstand money. Why? A good theory of money should explain this misunderstanding. Why — despite it being plainly true — do we recoil at the idea that anyone can create money, and as much of it as they want?
My suspicion is that accepting this fact is difficult because it means accepting that our existing social order is arbitrary. Those who create money do so not out of any natural right, but because of power that has been arbitrarily given to them. Nothing makes the human mind recoil like learning that the things we hold dear — the patterns and behaviors that dominate our lives — are arbitrary.
This points to a deep truth about human behavior. Our social conventions are, by definition, arbitrary. And yet the existence of these conventions is predicated on us believing that they are not arbitrary. One of the worst things you can say about a law is that it is ‘arbitrary’. Convince enough people of this fact and the law will soon change. Similarly, one of the worst things you can say about money creation is that it is ‘arbitrary’. Our social order depends on us forgetting (or refusing to see) this fact. The flip side is that changing the social order means remembering this arbitrariness.
Economics from the Top Down
Why Isn’t Modern Monetary Theory Common Knowledge?
Blair Fix 

US labour market reverses direction but for how long? — Bill Mitchell

How far the recovery can go depends on two factors, both of which are biased negatively: (a) How many firms have gone broke in the lockdown? (b) Whether the US states will have to reverse their lockdown easing in the face of a rapid escalation of the virus in some of the more populace states. But I do not see appropriate policy responses in place. The US government should have guaranteed all incomes and introduced large-scale job creation programs and a Job Guarantee as an on-going safety net....
There should also be a debt moratorium or restructuring of some sort in place.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
US labour market reverses direction but for how long?
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sunday, July 5, 2020

White Paper: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) — Warren Mosler

The purpose of this white paper is to publicly present the fundamentals of MMT.
The Gower Institute
White Paper: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)
Warren Mosler

Coronavirus: more than 200 scientists accuse WHO of ignoring aerosol transmission risk

The conspiracists say WHO is exaggerating how deadly Covid-19 is so the public will want Bill Gates' vaccines. They say it's less fatal than flu. But 200 scientists believe WHO is doing the opposite.

Six months into a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people, more than 200 scientists from around the world are challenging the official view of how the coronavirus spreads

Coronavirus: more than 200 scientists accuse WHO of ignoring aerosol transmission risk

Blair Fix - Why Isn’t Modern Monetary Theory Common Knowledge?

I still think my definition of what money is is the easiest one to understand, even if it's only me that can understand it. Blair Fix goes all around the houses, but the interesting thing for me is that he's on board for MMT.

I’ve always been baffled why ‘modern monetary theory’ is called a theory. I don’t mean this in a disparaging way. As far as theories of money go, I think modern monetary theory (MMT for short) is the correct one. But having a correct theory of money is a bit like having a correct theory of traffic lights.


Blair Fix - Why Isn’t Modern Monetary Theory Common Knowledge?


Bloomberg Profile and My Plans — Nathan Tankus


Congratulations to Nathan for going viral.

Bloomberg Profile and My Plans
Nathan Tankus

Social democracy and freedom — Steve Randy Waldman

This is an interesting read, but I would frame the question differently. The question, after all, is what's wrong now and how to fix it. I would say that major problem is excessive extraction of economic rents — land rent, natural resource rent, monopoly and monopsony rent, and financial rent. The trend is toward debt servitude for much of the population. Only the very top and the immiserated bottom 

Rent extraction depends on the political power to influence institutional arrangements. The extreme liberal solution (Libertarianism) is to get rid of government through maximum privatization, while the extreme collectivist solution (Communism) is to mandate social, political and economic equality. Neither is practical in my view. The way to proceed is by tacking economic rent.

The question, really, is how to get from here to there. Here is relatively simple to describe in terms of existing statistics. Inequality of wealth, incomes, and class power are off the charts. 

Getting "there" necessitates articulating "there." This requires visualizing and actualizing. There is no shared vision at present and therefore no plan for actualizing it. In fact, division of opinion based on conflicting world views runs deep in the US now.

This is going to take a while.

If a chiefly capitalist economic system is desired, then to make it efficient, economic rent must be eliminated by either ex ante, or clawing it away ex post. Preempting it ex ante would be preferable from the systems point of view. Perfect competition in perfect markets would eliminate almost all economic rent ex ante and the rest could be addressed ex post (some unearned gain might result from economies of scale). 

This analysis is economic and avoids other issues regarding governance that are social and political. But without addressing economic rent, a good solution cannot be implemented.

I view social democracy as a compromise between capitalism and socialism as economic infrastructure of society. It might be the best we can hope for to resolve the current impasse, but the bipartisan political elite is opposed to it. This is off the table in the coming general election.

Interfluidity
Social democracy and freedom
Steve Randy Waldman

Theories on inflation will soon be tested — Richard Strozinsky

Prices went up (inflation) because the local currency lost purchasing power. As the economy continued to contract, the currency continued to lose purchasing power and prices moved higher.

In 1970, the dollar index was 120 and fell to 85 by 1979. One could rationally argue that the loss of purchasing power in the dollar was the root cause of the inflation in the 1970s (We went off the gold standard coincidentally in 1971.).

If the current recession drags on, the dollar could precipitously fall, and the U.S. would face its own fiat-currency event, causing inflation due to the loss of purchasing power in the dollar.
Actually, the inflation of the 1970's was only indirectly related to the US going off the gold standard in international trade. The direct factor was the increase in the price of oil, then set by Saudi Arabia as swing producer. (US oil production dried up in the early 70's.) Thus, the ensuing inflation was from the side of supply and not of demand.

But going off gold was an indirect factor. The oil producers were fearful that removing the currency anchor to a real resources would lead to inflation. So they demand a higher price for their oil, which itself was inflationary.

However, there is another aspect to supply-side inflation, which is increasing demand with contracting supply. While the world awash with oil right now, it is unlikely that the 1970s would repeat.

However, if the government continues to increase money flows in the face of contracting supply, theoretically higher prices could follow as demand outpaced supply.

MMT economists have already cautioned  about this possibility and recommended that spending be targeted to where it is vital instead of showering the economy with money in the hope of stimulating investment.

Pandemics are new territory. Policy needs to be developed for addressing the economic shift they produce. The toilet paper shortage followed by the PPE shortage and then a shortage of medical personnel and equipment were a warning. Things can get progessively worse fast.

Union-Bulletin — Letters to the Editor
Theories on inflation will soon be tested
Richard Strozinsky

The "Noble Lie" Critique Of MMT — Brian Romanchuk


Yeah, I know this is a holiday in the US, but this is should-read. Mark as read-later if you can't get to it now.

Brian examines the last-ditch objection to MMT based on using it as policy tool. This is a fair objection, since MMT is now being presented as just that and some people are listening. That is of concern to apologists for the status quo. This is their big gun. Again, the inflation boogeyman, based on the popular truism,"You can't trust politicians."

It's really about governance and using policy tools available.

What the objectors fail to mention is that this policy tool is already in place and being used to overtly money finance all spending. The spending that is deemed needed by the ruling class, that is, tax cuts and military spending that supports US and Western interests globally, is liberally funded with a tax offset. But social  spending is regarded as "wasteful" and economically "distorting" from this vantage, so the degree to which it is admissible it is to be based on pay-go or spending cuts elsewhere, tax increases being impermissible as "stunting growth." Of course, military spending cannot be cut in this view, since it is necessary for "national security."

Bond Economics
The "Noble Lie" Critique Of MMT
Brian Romanchuk

Frances Coppulla - ‘Money Printer Go Brrr’ Is How the Dollar Retains Reserve Statu

I wonder what Max Keiser would make of this, he's become more outspoken against fiat money and MMT recently? He says fiat money causes inflation.


Fiat currency always fails. The Fed’s ever-increasing balance sheet is a sign that we are in the end times for the U.S. dollar. Eventually, all that money printing will cause runaway inflation. The dollar will go up in flames, and with it, the U.S. economy. 

I have heard this line of argument many times over the last decade. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, it was usually advanced by people who wanted the return of the gold standard – “goldbugs,” as they are often known. More recently, Bitcoin hardliners have joined the chorus. Now, in these extraordinary times, even some conventional money managers are predicting hyperinflation. “Money printer go brrr,” they say, and mutter about wheelbarrows and currency wars. 

CoinDesk

Frances Coppulla - ‘Money Printer Go Brrr’ Is How the Dollar Retains Reserve Statu

Light drinking may protect brain function



I stopped drinking a few years back, but I used to love real ale. I always felt a bit guilty, though, as I would do what doctors would describe as binge drinking. I would have two pints of beer within an hour or two and really feel it, and if you do that you are apparently drinking dangerously and are binge drinking. Inebriated, I would sit and love playing my piano for the next hour or so. A grand evening.


In a BCC /Radio 4 documentary about alcohol years ago, a journalist went and visited a professor who studied the effects of alcohol. Alcohol, he said, effected us differently at different times of the day, so two pints of beer at lunchtime would be twice as strong as two drunk in the evening. She, the journalist, asked him if he drank at all, and he said he had two glasses of wine with his evening meal each evening, and then he would go to the pub to play a game of pool with his friends and have two pints of beer. She said to him, did he know this was binge drinking? He retorted, 'Frankly, that's ridiculous'. I agree. I've done more than that, and it can hardly be called binge drinking.


Summary: Light to moderate weekly alcohol consumption during middle age could help preserve brain function as we get older. Compared to non-drinkers, those who had a drink or two a day tended to have better performance on cognitive tests over time.

Neuroscience News

Light drinking may protect brain function


Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Deleted Clause of the Declaration of Independence — Kevin Kallmes

The removal of the anti-slavery clause of the declaration was not the only time Jefferson’s efforts might have led to the premature end of the “peculiar institution.” Economist and cultural historian Thomas Sowell notes that Jefferson’s 1784 anti-slavery bill, which had the votes to pass but did not because of a single ill legislator’s absence from the floor, would have ended the expansion of slavery to any newly admitted states to the Union years before the Constitution’s infamous three-fifths compromise. One wonders if America would have seen a secessionist movement or Civil War, and how the economies of states from Alabama and Florida to Texas would have developed without slave labor, which in some states and counties constituted the majority.
Perhaps most interesting is that slave-owing founding fathers are still held up as epitomes of character, when slave-ownership is an obvious character flaw. Of course, the temptation in the South was enormous since slaves constituted a major capital stock of the region, especially for plantation owners like Washing and Jefferson. Northern business people were also tempted owing to gains that were derived indirectly. They, too, share in some of the blame. 

But resisting temptation is what good character is about.

Notes on Liberty
The Deleted Clause of the Declaration of Independence
Kevin Kallmes
h/t Alex Tabarrok, Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and Professor of Economics at George Mason University, and a research fellow with the Mercatus Center, at Marginal Revolution

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

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


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

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

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

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




Friday, July 3, 2020

Links — 3 July 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Positive review.

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

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



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

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

Media Lens

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

Thursday, July 2, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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


On the digital war front.

With globalism collapsing the digital world is splintering.

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

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

A very powerful Greyzone video.

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


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

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

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



Links — 2 July 2020

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

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

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

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

Oriental Review
US Begins Active Militarisation Of Space
Leonid Savin

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

SouthFront
Landslide Approval Of Constitutional Amendments Following Russian Referendum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




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

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


Medical Express 

Declining eyesight improved by looking at deep red light

Brittany A Roston

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


Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite



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


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

Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite

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

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

Modern Monetary Muddle — Michael Edesess


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

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

econointersect
Modern Monetary Muddle
Michael Edesess, AdvisorPerspectives.com

See also

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also

Weak.

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

Governments sharing bank details uncover $11 trillion in offshore assets

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

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

Reuters 

Governments sharing bank details uncover $11 trillion in offshore assets

KV - It all makes sense now

The trillion and billionaire communists that want to control the world 



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

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


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

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

Coronavirus can spread through air very fast

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




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

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


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Abby Martin - Afghanistan War Exposed: An Imperial Conspiracy

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



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

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

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

Mint Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bond Economics

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


Final installment in the series.

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

Links — 1 July 2020

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

Mike Norman MMT podcast episode #5



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

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



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

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

The Guardian 

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

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

Geopolitika

US Aggression Pushes Turkey and Iran Closer Together — Jim Carey


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia


"Patriotism" as pretext, "truth" as falsity, "law" as convenience, "national security" as excuse.

One could substitute "China," Iran" or "Assad" for "Russia" in the post without changing it materially.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia
Caitlin Johnstone

An economist explains the biggest myths about the national deficit — and how we can save the economy — Cody Fenwick


Cody Fenwick interviews Stephanie Kelton about The Deficit Myth.

AlterNet
An economist explains the biggest myths about the national deficit — and how we can save the economy
Cody Fenwick

Exclusive from Gen. Flynn: If We Don't Act, 2% of the People Are About To Control the Other 98%

 
Where some see protest, others see revolution in the works.


The Western Journal
Exclusive from Gen. Flynn: If We Don't Act, 2% of the People Are About To Control the Other 98%
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , U. S. Army (retired) served as national security advisor to President Donald Trump.

Saudi Arabia Eyes Total Dominance In Oil And Gas — Julianne Geiger

Abdulaziz added that Saudi Arabia “will be the last and biggest producer of hydrocarbon even then,” referring to 2050.
But is Saudi Arabia’s the world’s leading hydrocarbon producer now? And what is its legitimate prospect for being the largest hydrocarbon producer in 2050?...
Oilprice
Saudi Arabia Eyes Total Dominance In Oil And Gas
Julianne Geiger

It’s official: This was the best quarter for stocks since 1998 — Lee Clifford

“It’s the first time you’ve had back-to-back (quarters) like this since the 1930s,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “It’s pretty unprecedented.”
…The quarter’s gains were ignited by promises of massive amounts of aid from the Federal Reserve and Congress. 
Fortune
It’s official: This was the best quarter for stocks since 1998
Lee Clifford

Things you might have missed seeing in US and UK corporate media

Things you might have missed seeing in US and UK corporate media.

(BTW, I am not saying what happened or what didn't happen regarding the allegations. I have no insider track on what the facts may be or not be. I am just saying that the allegations are unsubstantiated and officially controversial. The media is going off on this as if it were established fact when it is far from it. It is a unproven allegation by the president's enemies that is so far without corroboration and moreover it is contested. This appears to be a disinformation campaign driven by intense propaganda when viewed from this angle).
The real bounty hunters in this high-risk game are not Russian operatives allegedly directing militant assassins. Rather, it is domestic political enemies of Donald Trump directing US media outlets to hobble his presidency or chances of re-election.
Sputnik
Deep State bounty hunters' real target is Trump
Finian Cunningham

••••
One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate’s origins.
Consortium News
Russiagate’s Last Gasp
Ray McGovern, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and retired 27-year career CIA whose tasks included preparing and briefing The President’s Daily Brief and leading the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch

••••
Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Ray McGovern, who works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, DC. During his 27 years as a CIA analyst, he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for US Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

••••
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman claimed that the US Department of Defense has no facts to recognize the alleged Russian actions as credible.

••••
An assertion made by spooks is as far from evidence as you can possibly get. Really dumb that this needs to be said.
Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Only Idiots Believe The CIA, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile
Caitlin Johnstone 

••••

And don't forget

Mint Press News
Every American Should Watch Abby Martin’s New Afghanistan War Documentary

••••

Meanwhile, on the faux "left," fevered imagination based on unidentified (anonymous) sources with no evidence provided for the allegation.

Alternet
‘Owned by Putin’: Trump accused of ‘literal treason’ after bombshell NYT report on Russian assassination unit
David Badash

••••

The reality.
The WSJ points out that it was primarily the NSA's firm dissent that kept the Russian bounties allegation out of the president's daily briefing — which both further confirms the White House's denials of the initial Friday Times reporting, as well as contradicts the NYT "revelation" itself.

"Because of that [NSA dissent], President Trump was never personally briefed on the threat, the White House said, although a key lawmaker said the information apparently was included in written intelligence materials prepared for Mr. Trump," WSJ underscores.
No details were given as to precisely how the NSA differed in its assessment of the Russian bounty allegations. For those keeping score, this marks the third major formal distancing from the substance of the NYT reporting by US intelligence agencies and intel community leadership.
Also recall this isn't the first instance of significant NSA pushback concerning explosive charges aimed at Russia.…
Zero Hedge
Tyler Durden


Oh, and James Clapper is back at it with an ethnic slur.

Observer
James Clapper Tells NBC’s Chuck Todd That Russians Are ‘Genetically Driven’ to Co-opt
Ebony Bowden