Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Keynesian-Monetarist debates and reverse causation (or how Keynesians destroyed monetarism using only logic) — circuit


Some history.

Fictional Reserve Barking
The Keynesian-Monetarist debates and reverse causation (or how Keynesians destroyed monetarism using only logic)
circuit

More history

Roger Farmer's Economic Window
Jack Hirshleifer: A Memory
Roger Farmer

Piketty on the Covid-19 Crisis: “It Is High Time to Use This Opportunity to Counter the Dominant Ideology and Significantly Reduce Inequality” — ProMarket interviews Thomas Piketty

“Inequality is neither economic nor technological; it is ideological and political.” Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology, is a 1200-page tome chock-full of facts, figures, policy proposals, and digressions that defies easy categorization, but its main argument can be best summed up by its opening line....
Ideology is the lens through which one views reality. The angle of vision or "spin," so to speak, shapes how one perceives and conceives reality as an individual in a cultural and social situation that influences one's way of seeing. 

Economic liberalism is learned as being compatible with the other aspects of liberalism, social and political, and, indeed, a prerequisite for them. Economic liberalism pretends to be a way of seeing through the lens of science, therefore, "naturally," just setting forth things that are objectively.

Inequality is a function of choices that affect distribution and these choices are largely a matter of policy that is expressed through institutional arrangements and attitudes. A lens based on economic liberalism is ground so that profit and rent flow to the top, because growth, the chief priority of society, is based on capital accumulation. The rationale is that growth leads to a higher standard of living as a tide hat "lifts all boats." The name for this assumption is trickle down.

While this is true to a degree, absolute numbers do not tell the whole story. The relative numbers that result lead to social dysfunctionality. Why? Because economic liberalism is in the final analysis incompatible with social and political liberalism owing to the increase in asymmetric wealth and the power to which it leads.

Those at the top lose the vision of the whole and the consequences reverberate through the entire society. They are not so noticeable during good times, but they stand out in bad times.

Worth a read.
I think it’s a much better book. My previous book was too centered in Western Europe and North America. It was not entirely my fault, due to lack of access to proper data, but it was also a limitation in my thinking. I was very centered on how World War I and World War II reduced inequality in Europe, and to a lesser extent in the US.
But from the point of view of inequality in Brazil, or India, or South Africa, or China, World War I and World War II are not so important, or at least they don’t have the same critical importance as in Western Europe.
In this new book, I take a much broader comparative perspective of what I call inequality regimes, which in my view are systems of justification of inequality—a system of institutions that try to organize a certain level of equality or inequality between social groups....
ProMarket — The blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Piketty on the Covid-19 Crisis: “It Is High Time to Use This Opportunity to Counter the Dominant Ideology and Significantly Reduce Inequality”
ProMarket interviews Thomas Piketty

Is There a “6th Column” Trying to Subvert Russia? — The Saker


Quite a bit on how economics figures into this.

The Unz Review
Is There a “6th Column” Trying to Subvert Russia?
The Saker

The Christian Right Becomes A Suicide Cult, by CJ Werleman



The US is now officially the global ground zero of the Coronavirus outbreak, with approximately 50,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths recorded daily – numbers that are growing exponentially each day. It was a reality painted in stark detail by the White House on Tuesday when it revealed a graph showing that it expects there to be a minimum of 100,000 to 240,000 American deaths from the virus within the coming months.

Shanghai Gold Exchange President — World Needs New Kind of Currency as Alternative to Dollar

The president of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) believes that a new hard currency independent of any state is needed to develop international trade when the world enters the post-pandemic period....
According to Wang Zhenying, quoted by Reuters, the dollar, as a weapon of US pressure and a source of vulnerability for other countries, can no longer be the standard global currency. He admits that gold is also not an ideal means of exchange, as its quantity is limited and it cannot meet the needs of growing international trade. Therefore, a supranational currency for settlements independent of any country is needed.

This idea is not something new and was already promoted by China during the last financial crisis of 2008-2009. Then Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan proposed to reform the system of international settlements through special drawing rights (SDR)....
Sputnik International
Shanghai Gold Exchange: World Needs New Kind of Currency as Alternative to Dollar

The Deepfake iPhone Apps Are Here — Jacob Schulz


"Photoshopping" video.

Lawfare
The Deepfake iPhone Apps Are Here
Jacob Schulz

Bill Mitchell – A Job Guarantee would require $A26.5 billion net to reduce the unemployment rate by 6 percentage points

When Kevin Rudd was faced with the threat posed by the unfolding GFC in late 2008 his government became very pragmatic and immediately ditched the narrative they had been pushing out throughout that year about inflation being a threat and the need for tighter fiscal policy and surpluses. They introduced, in two rounds, a fairly significant fiscal stimulus (around 4.2 per cent of GDP) which effectively saved the Australian economy from entering a recession. A significant part of that intervention was that it had various temporal properties – a cash handout in December 2008 designed to get spending power into the hands of consumers just before Xmas (the famous ‘flat screen’ payment – there were a lot of TVs purchased), which obviously was an immediate focus, and, a longer term component, which included their plan to put insulation into every home. This was aimed at job creation clearly, to address the cyclical needs, but, it was also intended to address the longer term climate crisis, that were beyond the GFC cycle. When appraising what government’s should be doing now – to deal with the socio-economic consequences of the medical crisis – that style of thinking is essential. The questions that need to be asked are: 1. What can be done now to avert an economic collapse? 2. What do we want to change about the pre-structure of the economy into the future? 3. How can we use the stimulus intervention to make those changes, while addressing Question 1. In this blog post, I go through some of that style of thinking. I also provide some specific estimates of the investment needed to introduce a Job Guarantee in Australia....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
A Job Guarantee would require $A26.5 billion net to reduce the unemployment rate by 6 percentage points
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

'Utter disaster': Manaus fills mass graves as Covid-19 hits the Amazon

Emergency measures pile pain on to mourning families as coronavirus tears through the ill-prepared jungle-flanked city


The city’s mayor, Arthur Virgรญlio, pleaded for urgent international help.

“We aren’t in a state of emergency – we’re well beyond that. We are in a state of utter disaster … like a country that is at war – and has lost,” he said.

The Guardian 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Greta Thunberg launches campaign to fight coronavirus


LOL all you lefty climate nutters here I guess are going to have to convert over to virus nutters now instead!

Can't even make it up!

ok you guys lets hear it where you now start to believe this uneducated 16 year old about epidemiology and virology instead of climate.... #letsgo





Jonathan Cook - Welcome to the era of the Great Disillusionment

A really good article by Jonathan Cook going into why many people believe conspiracy theories. After being lied to about Iraq and WMD, 9/11 - where the government wouldn't listen to people's concerns and extend the enquiry - and where we were told that neoliberalism would bring about a better, brighter future but we ended with something far worse instead, people just don't believe anything the establishment says anymore.

In the past, science has sometimes been distorted by commercial interests, and so 5g remains distrusted, despite the research saying it's okay.

Whenever a new technology comes along, conspiracy theories and fears go along with it, says Jonathan Cook.

I remember when it became fashionable for British pubs to have books in, not that anyone read them, and most were uninteresting second hand junk, picked up in bulk cheap somewhere. But my girlfriend and I once found one really great book which we would often read, while I got slowly inebriated. It was hundreds of years old, and in one chapter the doctor who wrote the book complained about tea.

Tea had just been approved for general use in the UK, but he said it contained caffeine, a powerful alkaloid drug, and he said that Britain had become a lawless place because it of it with crime skyrocketing among the youth. Society was breaking down, he bemoaned. His book was full of interesting stuff like that.

Jonathan Cook - Welcome to the era of the Great Disillusionment


COVID-19 debt crisis: Is Modern Monetary Theory a solution? — Neville Spencer


At least some on the left are taking cognizance of MMT, but if this author is any indication, more study is required to understand what MMT is and what it is not. But at least it is a try.

Green Left
COVID-19 debt crisis: Is Modern Monetary Theory a solution?
Neville Spencer

Can coronavirus bring economics back down to reality? — Jeff Spross

The coronavirus is going to teach — or, to be more precise, reteach — some hard economic lessons. One of them is probably going to be the need for policymakers to focus on money a bit less and real resources a bit more.
It's called coming back down to earth. Hopefully, without crashing. But when you have been flying up in the clouds for so long..…
In purely practical and material terms, all of these problems are entirely solvable. The problem is the abstraction of money: For the people who wield and deploy financial capital, it is not profitable to solve these problems....
The Week
Can coronavirus bring economics back down to reality?
Jeff Spross

Op-ed: Pandemic moves Modern Monetary Theory from the fringes to actual US policy — Robert Greifeld

  • The total amount of government economic aid in response to the coronavirus downturn is expected to exceed $10 trillion.
  • Our actions today resemble Modern Monetary Theory, a belief that sovereign governments with sovereign currencies can “print” or “coin” money to support full employment or essentially any government program.
  • As we enter the post-pandemic world, do we stay with the MMT-based philosophy of spending, or do we transition to a philosophy that deficits are dangerous?
CNBC
Op-ed: Pandemic moves Modern Monetary Theory from the fringes to actual US policy
Robert Greifeld

Bill Mitchell – JobKeeper wage subsidy – some strange arithmetic is afoot

It is Wednesday so music and some snippets. I have updated the US unemployment claims data with a new map and state table. Shocking. We are working on updated estimates of what the Australian government would need to invest to run a Job Guarantee. We haven’t done that for a while because I didn’t want the press to get obsessed with dollar amounts. But as I am currently talking a lot about the Job Guarantee in the media, I thought some numbers would be useful as a comparative exercise against the JobKeeper wage subsidy, which is the central stimulus plank of the Australian government. The current estimates suggest that to create around 685 thousand jobs might require an outlay of $34 billion over the course of a year. That got me thinking. The main response of the Australian government is the $A133 billion over 6 months JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. The Treasury claims it will be the difference between an unemployment rate of 10 per cent and 15 per cent. That difference is 685 thousand jobs. Then start doing some division and multiplication and you start to see that this doesn’t make sense as I explain below....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
JobKeeper wage subsidy – some strange arithmetic is afoot
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Death Rate


This will be the only thing that will matter... in the end... anything else will be too complicated...





Is the official COVID-19 death count too low? Funeral directors, EMS workers say yes

We're fixated on the official data, which is bad enough. But we may be missing a bigger and more lethal picture


The anti-vax, covid-19 conspiracists on twitter are saying that the government is lying about the amount of Covid-19 deaths. They say the government is mixing flu deaths into the figures, and that if people die of something else, like heart disease, but have COVID-19, then it is counted as a Covid-19 death. They say the amount is deaths is no higher than average.

KV tweet

We believe the government is massaging the figures. 
The undertakers know there is something fishy going on. The funeral business is booming. 
Is the official COVID-19 death count too low? Funeral directors, EMS workers say yes


Is the official COVID-19 death count too low? Funeral directors, EMS workers say yes

Tim Schwab- Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox

A Nation investigation illustrates the moral hazards surrounding the Gates Foundation’s $50 billion charitable enterprise.



A good article on billionaire philanthropy. The wealthy can avoid paying taxes by giving away some of their wealth, but then invest this money into companies that greatly increase their wealth.

Pharmaceutical companies looking for new markets in the third world will promote their drugs under the guise of philanthropy, when there maybe better solutions to public health problems.


When the Gates foundation has faced criticism in regard to its endowment—including investments in prisons, fast food, the arms industry, pharmaceutical companies, and fossil fuels—conflicting with its charitable mission to improve health and well-being, Gates has pushed back in black-and-white terms, calling divestment a “false solution” that will have “zero” impact.

 Linsey McGoey says, “They’ve defined their charitable mission so broadly and loosely that literally any for-profit company could be said to be meeting the Gates Foundation’s general goal of improving social and global well-being.”


Tim Schwab- Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quoting Michael Hudson. — Andrei Martyanov

You all know my attitude towards Michael Hudson as one the brightest economic minds of our time. Here is a quote from one of his latest interviews, as always, loaded with insights and food for thought....
Reminiscence of the Future
Quoting Michael Hudson.
Andrei Martyanov

Amartya Sen: Economics needs a moral awakening — Yannis Palaiologos interviews Amartya Sen

“Let us not forget that economics is a moral science,” Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times in a recent interview. This is one of the central thoughts animating the work of Amartya Sen, a Nobel prize winner in the dismal science but also a renowned political philosopher. Kathimerini contacted the great Indian thinker at his home in Boston and asked him about that quote from the French president and about whether, in the age of Covid-19, it is finally time for economics to widen its view of human behavior and of the ends of economic policy by reconnecting with moral philosophy....
Ekathimerini (Greece)
Amartya Sen: Economics needs a moral awakening
Yannis Palaiologos interviews Amartya Sen

Why MMT? A discussion with Warren Mosler — Richard Murphy


Warren is amazing in his ability to cut to the quick in a sentence or two.

Tax Research UK
Why MMT? A discussion with Warren Mosler
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

Bill Mitchell – Bank of England official blows the cover on mainstream macroeconomics

It is quite amusing really watching the way orthodox economists who know the game is up work like gymnasts to avoid actually spelling out directly what the facts are but spill the beans anyway. Last week (April 23, 2020), an ‘external member’ of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, one – Gertjan Vlieghe – gave a speech – Monetary policy and the Bank of England’s balance sheet. If the message was taken seriously, then the way monetary economics and macroeconomics is taught in our universities should change dramatically. At present, there is only one textbook that seriously caters for the message that is inherent in the speech – Macroeconomics (Mitchell, Wray and Watts). The speech leaves out important insights but essentially allows the reader to appreciate what Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been on about, in part, for 25 years.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Bank of England official blows the cover on mainstream macroeconomics
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Michael Moore, filmmakers respond to criticism of new bombshell environmental film

I've been in debate with the climate change deniers for weeks on twitter, and they love to say how green energy is wrecking the environment, which in some cases it is.

The Green movement are pretty angry at Michael Moore and his director, Andy Gibbs, about their film, Planet of the Humans, because it shows how renewable energy has also been harmful to the environment. The Green movement say the film uses out of date data as renewable energy is so much better now, for instance, China is building space station solar farms.

Anyway, in this video Michael Moore defends his film, which I tend to agree with him about. We need to slow down, but will human nature ever allow it, as we evolved to always want more, and in fact, this is one is the reasons for our success as a species.

The Buddha, though, said desire was suffering, and it often can be as wanting what you can't afford can be a real pain.




The Planet of the Humans 



Fiscal Response


Slow to develop:



State unemployment offices incompetent:




IRS incompetent:




I'm sure the Trump admin did not expect this much incompetence from the govt bureaucracy which is SNAFU as usual...

So its still hard to determine if the Treasury's current TGA policy (short term $600B increase)  is intentional or not... it could be that Treasury has increased the rate of issuance in anticipation of a withdrawal rate in excess of what the bureaucracy could deliver...

The recent record high TGA balance in excess of $1T could just be coincident to an unanticipated delay in the authorized increases in fiscal transfers... we don't really know what the policy is...

And the Art Degree journos in the fake news are too stupid to know what questions to ask... so no help there...

If withdrawal rate starts to finally increase one of these weeks....  and this is not matched by Treasury increase in rate of issuance and TGA really collapses by $100Bs...we're gonna want to observe what happens to risk asset prices in response...



Conspiracy Theories in the COVID-19 Pandemic - The British Foreign Policy Group



An interesting discussion on conspiracy theories.

To these academics there are no conspiracies, which I'm in not certain about. These academics seem like centrists to me, so they probably believe the Russians hacked the presidential election, and anyone who doesn’t think so is a conspiracy theorist. They don't mention that, but they do say the widely held belief that the CIA assassinated JFK is a conspiracy theory. Anyway, it's an interesting video just the same.

Video

Conspiracy Theories in the COVID-19 Pandemic - The British Foreign Policy Group


Written article.

Conspiracy Theories in the COVID-19 Crisis and their Social & Geopolitical Consequences

Panorama Have the UK Government failed the NHS. 27th April 2020

Boris Johnson’s government is doing well in the polls - for no good reason.

George Galloway says this Tory government is so incompetent that the elite are starting to soften us up for the return of Tony Blair to take care of things for them again.



The Sun - ABSOLUTELY FOWL ‘Wet markets’ with HUNDREDS of birds stuffed in cages to be slaughtered still open in NEW YORK despite outcry

WET markets are still operating in New York City amid the coronavirus outbreak.


Video filmed this month at facilities in Queens and the Bronx – deemed essential businesses during the shutdown – show filthy spaces where workers slaughter live animals and sell their meat.


Blood and innards can be seen splattered all over the spaces, where carcasses of chicken and cattle hang from hooks or are piled in shopping carts.

At one facility, a dump truck arrived to collect buckets of red and brown muck.

Some chickens resorted to cannibalism, feasting on one of their own who had died in a cramped cage.

The coronavirus is believed to have emerged from such a market in the city of Wuhan, China late last year, leading the World Health Organization to urge countries across the world to close "dangerous" wet markets


The Sun

The Sun - ABSOLUTELY FOWL ‘Wet markets’ with HUNDREDS of birds stuffed in cages to be slaughtered still open in NEW YORK despite outcry

Monday, April 27, 2020

In China, Unlike Trump’s America, Political Legitimacy Is Built On Competence And Experience

China’s experience may usher in a paradigm shift from “democracy versus autocracy” to “good governance versus bad governance.”


A positive article about the Chinese political system. The ancient rulers felt the need for good governance is they were to retain their positions, so they rule for the people. The disasterous communist experiment has faded and China returned to its traditional system of governance but with some democratic elements. In its meritocracy, where only the best and most talented politicians rise to the top, who will then go on to provide good governance.

In our system, we have the wealthy elites running the show who have never had to serve society, only themselves. It's these wealthy oligarchs who control our politicians.

Mark Curtis Tweet

UK elite society is a big revolving door, between media & govt, military & corporations, corporations & state. UK functions more as a private club than a country. It's an oligarchy. With democratic elements but which are largely a facade. Pretence of "democracy" keeps us in line.


These two points help us better understand why the Chinese sense of legitimacy is vastly different from the Western one. China is not a typical nation-state but rather a deeply historical and civilizational state. It is an amalgam of the world’s oldest continuous civilization and a huge modern state with its sense of legitimacy rooted deeply in its history. An apt analogy would be to something like the Roman Empire, if it had endured into the 21st century ― with regional and cultural diversities, a modern economy, a centralized government and a population nearly equal to that of 100 average-size European nations combined, speaking thousands of different dialects while sharing one written language.

Huffington Post

In China, Unlike Trump’s America, Political Legitimacy Is Built On Competence And Experience

John Weeks - Coronavirus will drive public debt far higher than expected – but that doesn't mean a return to austerity

After C-19 the right will try to bring in more austerity, says John Weeks, which isn't necessary, and will harm the economy. We need to fight this, he says.

Even if the economy quickly returns to 2.5% annual growth, I calculate that public debt will rise to a peak of around 150% of GDP. This is around 50% more debt than the OBR expects, which seems to assume a return to near 2% growth in 2021 without any further recovery spending beyond the initial £70 billion – not tenable in my view.

No doubt some will call for balanced budgets aka more austerity, but I think those favouring increased public spending will probably win out. The UK’s experience after the second world war suggests that such high public deficit and debt levels do not in themselves prevent strong recovery or put an intolerable burden on the state.

Even if the economy quickly returns to 2.5% annual growth, I calculate that public debt will rise to a peak of around 150% of GDP. This is around 50% more debt than the OBR expects, which seems to assume a return to near 2% growth in 2021 without any further recovery spending beyond the initial £70 billion – not tenable in my view.

No doubt some will call for balanced budgets aka more austerity, but I think those favouring increased public spending will probably win out. The UK’s experience after the second world war suggests that such high public deficit and debt levels do not in themselves prevent strong recovery or put an intolerable burden on the state.

The Conversation 

John Weeks - Coronavirus will drive public debt far higher than expected – but that doesn't mean a return to austerity

The End of the US-China Relationship — Stephen S. Roach

From an unnecessary trade war to an increasingly desperate coronavirus war, two angry countries are trapped in a blame game with no easy way out. Now more than ever, both sides need to contemplate the economic and geopolitical consequences of a full rupture.
Steve Bannon is getting his way.

Project Syndicate
Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia

In conversation with Stephanie Kelton on Money and Progressive Politics, on DiEM-TV’s ANOTHER NOW – Ep.3, 27 APR 2020 — Yanis Varoufakis

Welcome to DiEM-TV’s ANOTHER NOW. The program that owes its existence to a mindless virus that placed capitalism in suspended animation, something not even WW2 managed to do. The one-hour discussion every Monday where, together with a weird and wonderful guest, we rant and rave with one ambition in our souls: To prevent a return to normality once the pandemic passes. This week I have the honour and the privilege to be joined by Stephanie Kelton – an academic economist who felt the need to throw her lot in with Bernie Sanders, become his chief economic adviser and use her economic knowledge to fight the good fight not just in academia but wherever economic mystification is utilised against the many.
In conversation with Stephanie Kelton on Money and Progressive Politics, on DiEM-TV’s ANOTHER NOW – Ep.3, 27 APR 2020
Yanis Varoufakis

Monetary policy and the Bank of England’s balance sheet-Gertjan Vlieghe


See especially,  "7. Monetary Financing?"

Monetary policy and the Bank of England’s balance sheet 
Speech given by Gertjan Vlieghe, External Member of the Monetary Policy Committee Bank of England
23 April 2020

Bill Mitchell – The European Commission non-stimulus is a waiting game before new austerity is imposed

Things are a little odd when a Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform of a nation (Ireland) informs the press that if his government isn’t cautious in its fiscal response to the largest medical and economic crisis in a century then the “bond vigilantes” will turn on them. And this is in the context of governments around the world issuing long-term debt at negative interest rates and the relevant central bank is buying billions of government bonds with its currency-issuing capacity. But that is what the Irish Finance Minister did last week ((Source). Fear of God strategy Number 1. That still works in god-fearing places. He referred to the “the fiscal architecture we are anchored in within the euro area” which will ultimately impose Excessive Deficit Procedures as the medical crisis eases (see his April 23, 2020, Speech on Stability Programme Update). Code for a renewed bout of austerity once people have stopped dying. A wonderful prospect. And while currency-issuing governments around the world are introducing variously large direct fiscal stimulus packages (that is, spending going into the economy immediately), the European Union is once again demonstrating their inability to respond to crisis. Nothing has been learned from the GFC....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The European Commission non-stimulus is a waiting game before new austerity is imposed
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Hard Fist of American Imperialism — Michael Hudson

Moderate Rebels Part 2 Super Imperialism, April 2020

TRANSCRIPT – HOW THE US MAKES COUNTRIES PAY FOR ITS WARS: ECONOMICS OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM WITH MICHAEL HUDSON
| MODERATE REBELS, 24 APRIL 2020

Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
The Hard Fist of American Imperialism
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Sen. Cotton on China responsibility


I would say this represents the extreme view on the right wrt corona virus wrt China policy response:






Treasury Account Balance > $1T


Treasury account now over $1T for first time in history...  and this is even with Mike having  withdrawals up by about $450B in the last month...

However this is still not quite enough of an increase in issuance to overcome the Fed's addition of reserve assets at the Depositories and banks ability to provide additional credit is remaining a bit impaired...






Treasury should increase their balance by another $1T and that would be very helpful...





Pepe Escobar - Ground Control to Planet Lockdown: This Is Only a Test

Is Pepe Escobar another conspiracy theorist, or is this true?

China and countries outside of the Western block have handled Covid-19 very differently, without completely locking down their economies, or for long, although some of their methods are more authoritarian. 

Pepe Escobar thinks there is another reason for the complete destruction of the Western economy, which is to bring in a new authoritarian world order, with a new banking system, with a paltry basic income, and with corporations in total control. 

People will be so scared of virus, says Pepe Escobar, that they will eagerly accept all the changes the elites want, plus the chipped vaccines that will be able to track their every move.

Boris Johnson caught the virus, which could have killed him, and also, his government initially went for herd immunity to try to save the economy. In this way, the British government doesn't seem to have been part of this conspiracy. 

I could handle the conspiracies about 9/11, the neoliberal banking scam, and war is a money making racket, but not this. Would the elites really destroy their economy for total control? What would they gain, and surely China would just zoom ahead?  



Mark Curtis Tweet - The Revolving Door

I thought this was so accurate and concise; it just about sums things up.

UK elite society is a big revolving door, between media & govt, military & corporations, corporations & state. UK functions more as a private club than a country. It's an oligarchy. With democratic elements but which are largely a facade. Pretence of "democracy" keeps us in line.

Trump: Reports on N Korea's Kim Jong Un illness are 'fake' news

US president says news reports suggesting North Korean leader Kim is 'gravely ill' were based on old documents.


Two days old, but I thought this was interesting. Trump isn't in on the propaganda about Kim Jong Un.

United States President Donald Trump earlier this week threw more cold water on news reports suggesting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was gravely ill, calling it "fake" news.

Trump: Reports on N Korea's Kim Jong Un illness are 'fake' news

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ricardo, Marx and interpersonal inequality — Branko Milanovic

It is a question often asked: what do Ricardo and Marx have to say about interpersonal inequality of income? The answer is, strictly speaking, very little. In writings of neither Ricardo nor Marx does inequality in personal incomes feature at all, and I even think that the concept of what we call “interpersonal inequality” or “size distribution of incomes” does not appear.
The reason why this is the case is both simple and revealing. Ricardo and Marx were concerned with functional (between factors of production) distribution of income, that is with the distribution of net product between workers, capitalists and landlords (the three big classes introduced by Adam Smith). In Ricardo, this concern was such that he wrote on page 1 of The Principles, the famous sentence that the principal problem of political economy is to study the distribution between “proprietors of land, the owners…of capital and the labourers”. Actually, the entire book is organized around that idea. Marx likewise (with a few exceptions) dealt with functional distribution only....
Global Inequality
Ricardo, Marx and interpersonal inequality
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

We Need a Shadow Government — Peter Dorman


Both parties in the US are out to lunch.

Econospeak
We Need a Shadow Government
Peter Dorman | Professor of Political Economy, The Evergreen State College

Fractional Reserve Banking Debate - Question

I've been in debate with an ex CEO of a bank. He says banks lend out deposits and called me a conspiracy theorist.

Anyway, two interesting articles

Banks do not create money out of thin air, by Pontus Rendahl, Lukas B. Freund


In recent years, some have claimed that banks create money ‘ex nihilo’. This column explains that banks do not create money out of thin air. From an economic viewpoint, commercial banks create private money by transforming an illiquid asset (the borrower’s future ability to repay) into a liquid one (bank deposits); they would quickly be insolvent otherwise. In addition to bank solvency representing a constraint on private money creation, banks require access to liquid reserves in order to be able to engage in money creation.

Banks do not create money out of thin air



Pontus Rendhl and Lucas B. Friund debunked.



What answer can I give to this tweet below? Does anyone have a good article I can read on it.


Its a daft idea that banks lend out of reserves, because reserves are what retail banks lend to the central bank.
Banks lend out of deposits. If you don't agree then explain why deferred spending in the form of deposits is always slightly greater than loans granted.

"Recessions: Volume I" Kindle Edition Published — Brian Romanchuk

The Kindle edition of Recessions: Volume I has been published on Amazon (affiliate link). This book is longer than my previous ones (59,000 words).
Bond Economics

The UK has now entered its ‘worst-case scenario’

The UK has entered its worst-case scenario as the coronavirus death toll is now rising beyond the highest figure predicted by government scientists


Study challenges reports of low fatality rate for COVID-19

The low fatality figures for COVID-19 are meaningless. If a city has lots of young people then the fatality rate is low, but if a city has a lot of older people then the fatality rate is high.

Study challenges reports of low fatality rate for COVID-19


Maher presses Pelosi on coronavirus spending: "Funny money" may collapse economy into depression


LOL!  Loonie lefty losers fellow TDS deranged hero Maher busting Nervous Nancy on all the "funny money!"....  can't make it up!

Yeah fiscal transfers are going to reduce consumption component!  LOL!!!


















New round of direct cash payments to U.S. households and smallest businesses


Wow:

Democrats are considering proposing a new round of direct cash payments to U.S. households and extending a similar benefit to the smallest businesses, as they struggle to get federal loans. 
Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wants to extend those cash payments to what he calls “the smallest of the small businesses.” 
Wyden’s plan, and a similar proposal in the House, would give small businesses up to $75,000 as they struggle with closures and drop-offs in economic activity. Those payments would be limited to companies with $1 million or less in revenue and up to 50 employees. The payment would be capped at 30% of the business’s gross receipts.

Nice....moving away from policy of  "loans!"... which is btw FAILING... Democrats shrewdly getting around the GOP small business right flank ... Trump better go for this one instead....




Although incompetent government financial institutions can't even get direct transfers done in a timely manner; there is still most of existing fiscal support that has not been transferred:





Real crisis as usual identifying the incompetence of the government institutions... making the case for more privatization...




Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity' in weeks

This is good news, although some older people have died because it spread through care homes. But shutting down the economy risks lives too in the long run.

The impose a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The strategy — aimed at building a broad-base of immunity while protecting at-risk groups like the elderly — has proved controversial.

But Sweden's chief epidemiologist has said "herd immunity" could be reached in Stockholm within weeks.

Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity' in weeks

BBC - Coronavirus: Has Sweden got its science right?

Sweden's strategy to keep large parts of society open is widely backed by the public. It has been devised by scientists and backed by government, and yet not all the country's virologists are convinced.


What I’ve Learned Treating Patients Suffering From COVID-19

This disease is like nothing I have ever seen in my career


As a critical care medicine specialist, I am used to seeing the sickest of the sick. I am used to seeing patients with respiratory failure. I am used to seeing patients in shock. I am used to seeing patients gasping for air, with dangerously low oxygen levels. I am used to seeing patients in kidney failure. Never, however, have I seen patients as sick as those with COVID-19.

Friday, April 24, 2020

A Refutation of Academic Agent’s “Debunking Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)” — Lord Keynes

Academic Agent – a YouTube libertarian and unusually ignorant advocate of Austrian economics – tries to refute Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in this video:
Let us run through this video and refute Academic Agent’s arguments point by point:
Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
A Refutation of Academic Agent’s “Debunking Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)”
Lord Keynes

New York coronavirus antibody study: Why I had nothing to say to the press on this one. — Andrew Gelman

Do I want to be quoted as saying this estimate is pretty good? Or that it’s flawed? I don’t know. There’s no data, no report. Based on the news report, the study seems to have been conducted by the state health department, and that sounds like a good sign. In general I’ll have more trust in a study from the state health department than from some Stanford professors. I’m not joking here: the health department are professionals and they don’t have the same incentives that academics have to hype their research. But, still, I have no idea what’s going on....
Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
New York coronavirus antibody study: Why I had nothing to say to the press on this one.
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

Black Knight: More than 3.4 Million Homeowners Now in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans — Bill McBride

From Black Knight: More than 3.4 Million Homeowners – 6.4% of All Mortgages – Now in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans According to Black Knight’s McDash Flash Data Set
Calculated Risk
Black Knight: More than 3.4 Million Homeowners Now in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans
Bill McBride

Risk in capitalism — Chris Dillow

One thing this crisis is demonstrating is that in modern capitalism it is workers and small businesses that bear risk to a greater extent that does larger capital...
Defenders of "capitalism" will argue that the present system in not really capitalism since presently governments privilege capital and in a genuine liberal economics as the basis of ,capitalism, this would not be allowed.

The retort is that, while this may be true theoretically (which is arguable, but that is beyond the scope of this comment), it is hard to argue that the present system is not a form of capitalism when the means of production are privately owned.

There are many forms of capitalism and they manifest historically and geographically.

While neoliberalism may be a distortion of the ideal of economic liberalism, it is the present form of capitalism in most of the West and where the West can impose it.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Risk in capitalism
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Pre and post Covid-19 economies reveal the massive con across the planet by establishment politicians…

For the last 40 years or so the world has been subjected to an economic model that rips the heart out of humanity and turns everyone against each other. This model is known as neo liberalism.

However, there is a new model in town which seeks to replace it with a much more long term and kinder approach.

Pre and post Covid-19 economies reveal the massive con across the planet by establishment politicians…

Lab-made? CoV2 genealogy through the lens of gain-of-function research


Deep dive into it..

Translated from science-speak, what this means is that if we analyze the entire RBD of the three strains, ignoring the obvious differences (i.e. non-synonymous substitutions) among them, which are mainly found in the RBM (which, recall, is identical between CoV2 and Pangolin), and construct a phylogenetic tree for synonymous substitutions, CoV2 is still closer to RaTG13 than to the pangolin strain. Which is rather strange in light of the fact that the pangolin strain and CoV2 have identical RBMs (which are segments inside RBD). 
The authors go on to put forth a conjecture that this may be the result of convergent evolution, in other words, that CoV2 and the pangolin strain came to possess identical RBMs each in their own way, rather than through recombination between common ancestors. Because it would have required a rather unique recombination event — as if someone cut out a precise RBM segment from a pangolin strain and used it to replace the RBM in RaTG13. Talk about Intelligent Design!





Thursday, April 23, 2020

Links — 23 April 2020

The National Interest
How J.R.R. Tolkien’s Personal Experience With World War I Impacted Lord of the Rings
Warfare History Network

Independent Media Institute
How the Chinese Authorities and the World Health Organization Handled the Coronavirus, and Why the WHO Didn’t Declare a Pandemic Until March
Jenny Pierson

The Vineyard of the Saker
The AngloZionists are launching a strategic PSYOP against China
The Saker

The American Conservative
Please Tell The Establishment That U.S. Hegemony Is Over
Daniel Larison

Reminiscence of the Future
Geoeconomics As The Derivative Of Power.
Andrei Martyanov

Fast Company
American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
Kristin Toussaint

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
The Russians And The Chinese Are Your Enemy
Caitlin Johnstone

Defend Democracy
Nuclear war still on the cards, Moscow warns, as Covid-19 only worsens battle for global dominance

India Punchline
Trump’s threat to Iran has a hollow ring. It betrays angst.
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Venezuelanalysis
Venezuela: Guaido to Use Funds Frozen in US to Pay Loyalists $5000 Monthly Salaries

RT
US warships will be DESTROYED if they threaten ANY Iranian vessel – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief

SouthFront
KH-47M2 Kinzhal Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Ballistic Missile (Infographics)

Asia Times
Why U.S. Outsourced Bat Virus Research to Wuhan
Christina Lin










Iran responds to Trump warning


Might be  looked at as a good opportunity to demonstrate military effectiveness under these conditions just to show adversaries you are still operationally effective militarily.... don't be surprised if an incident occurs over there...




The Pandemic Normal: Whither Income Flows? — Brian Romanchuk

I see very few reasons to expect a return to pre-COVID normal in most countries any time soon. Countries will need to adapt to the "pandemic normal," where activities will have to in line with preventing super-spreading incidents. Right now, the economic concern is cascading business/household failures. Fiscal deficits will put a floor under that process. What will the new steady state look like? The main interesting question is how income flows are re-shaped....
I have a couple of observations.

1. What about debt-servicing? When the majority leader of the Senate talks about US states filing for bankruptcy instead of being bailed out by the federal government, one wonders.
2. We know from the Great Depression that the elite pressured FDR to tighten the fiscal stance, which he did prematurely, short-circuiting the recovery. The recovery did not take place owing to "Keynesianism." It resulted from the massive deficit spending to fund WWII, which no patriotic person would question as necessary. We we facing anything similar?

Bond Economics

Michael Hudson — Another Giveaway

TRANSCRIPT: US CORONAVIRUS ‘BAILOUT’ SCAM IS $6 TRILLION GIVEAWAY TO WALL ST – ECONOMIST MICHAEL HUDSON EXPLAINS21 APRIL 2020
BY MODERATE REBELS
Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Congress rammed through the CARES Act — which economist Michael Hudson explains is not a “bailout” but a massive, $6 trillion giveaway to Wall Street, banks, large corporations, and stockholders.

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the enormous financial scam with Hudson, who reveals how the economy actually works, with the Federal Reserve printing money so rich elites don’t lose their investments....
Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
Another Giveaway
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

America confidence in the Fed at 15 year high


Mnuchin bailed their asses out by increasing TGA by $600B last 30 days... they're lucky...





Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Very Introductory Lecture on Epidemic Models — Three-Toed Sloth

I'm teaching data mining this semester, but The Kids were understandably interested in epidemic modeling, so I gave a lecture on it for the special-topics day in the syllabus. They liked the slides, and some people who saw them did to, so if you want a basic introduction the classic susceptible-infectious-removed model of epidemics, and how it plays with network structure, here you go.
A Very Introductory Lecture on Epidemic Models
Three-Toed Sloth

Zero Hedge — Mitch McConnell Says Struggling States Should File For Bankruptcy


Debt-deflationary depression in the works?

Zero Hedge
Mitch McConnell Says Struggling States Should File For Bankruptcy
Tyler Durden

also

Vox
Poll: 53 percent of lower-income US households won’t be able to pay all of April’s bills
Katelyn Burns

Nice Rant






Links — 22 April 2020

Reminiscence of the Future (Why the US is delusional. It's about "tangibles" (real resources rather than financial).


Fort Russ (declaring a red line)
China Warns Any Attempt to Deny its Sovereignty in South China Sea is Doomed
Drago Bosnic

FAIR
Julie Hollar

Fast Company (next flu season)
CDC director says we should prepare for a deadlier ‘second wave’ of coronavirus
Connie Lin

Zero Hedge
Air Force Preparing For 'Cyclical' Coronavirus, Top General Warns
Tyler Durden

Graham E. Fuller
Capitalism Is Not a Moral Virtue, It’s Like Fire
Graham E. Fuller | adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University, formerly vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, and a former senior political scientist at RAND

India Punchline
Covid-19 has a grandma, grandpa and great grandpa. Where are they?
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

TASS
Kremlin says unfounded accusations of man-made origin of COVID-19 unacceptable

Bill Mitchell – Why does anyone read the New York Times?

It is Wednesday and I offer a few snippets for readers today. I have a number of projects on the go at present and time is short today. Apart from introducing a stunning guitar player (now long dead) that very few people have ever heard of but is one of my favourites (what does that say?), I ask the question: Why does anyone read the New York Times? I also announce the development and publication of our latest Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) now in its third iteration. You can look at colourful maps as a result of this work! And tomorrow I will be trawling through employment losses around the world. All along the path to releasing my 10-point plan later next week....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Why does anyone read the New York Times?
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Did the Democrats Get Rolled on the New Rescue Plan?


This is BS... Trump and Mnuchin have said the next phase of fiscal support is going to start to be developed starting today...



Here:



Can I get some double triggers all around!!!!





I knew that you could!!!!

The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer

It's 8 hours long, but Bob Altemeyer's sense of humour makes up for it, although you can download his free eBook instead if you want.

Bob Altemeyer has studied right-wing authoritarians all his academic life and has never got to like them much.

RWA's are very pro the establishment, and believe in strong law and order. Bob Altemeyer has given RWA's tests describing a group of people that are very extreme in their views. He then lists all the RWA traits and asks the RWA's whether the government should put these people in prison. Most don't realise that they are reading about themselves, and say, yes, the government should lock them up.

But, today, much of the establishment have become neoliberal, and are social liberals with extreme right-wing economic views along with a hawkish war stance, so many of the right-wing authoritarians now hate the establishment.




CLAIM THAT CORONAVIRUS CAME FROM A LAB IN CHINA COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED, SCIENTISTS SAY

Adam Lauring, an associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and an expert in the evolution of viruses, told Newsweek: "This claim is a conspiracy theory and it is not supported at all by the available data."

Citing a study on the origins of the virus published in the journal Nature Medicine, Lauring said: "this analysis of coronavirus genome sequences from patients and from various animals suggests that the virus likely arose in an animal host and then may have undergone further changes once it transmitted and circulated in people.

Newsweek 

Wuhan Institute of Virology: Man-made coronavirus beyond human intelligence

The Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is working on an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19. It houses the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory. As China's first level-four biosafety lab, it has been the focus of suspicion and conspiracy theories since the outbreak began in the city. CGTN's reporter talked to the director of the lab about its work.


CRISPR And Spit Might Be Keys To Faster, Cheaper, Easier Tests For The Coronavirus

I did read somewhere that these kits were 50 times more sensitive, but I can't find that now. The article also said the kits were made from cheap everyday materials. It might be a different kit I was reading about. Ugandan scientists have developed a kit which costs a dollar, and in India they have a $3 version.

Being able to test for coronavirus infections is a critical component to reopening society — even a little bit — after the initial wave of COVID-19. So there is an urgent need for faster, cheaper tests than the ones available at present.

One approach to the next generation of tests is being developed by the University of California, San Francisco Medical School and Mammoth Biosciences. In a paper released Thursday in the journal Nature Biotechnology, researchers describe a test based on a new technology known as CRISPR.

CRISPR And Spit Might Be Keys To Faster, Cheaper, Easier Tests For The Coronavirusrus

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Potholer54 - Coronavirus: Science vs. politics



The Duran is very conservative blog/ YouTube site. I watched a video of theirs today where they were complaining, saying that scientists had been elevated to level of gods and rock stars, and were getting too much air time. It seemed they didn't like scientists, who they felt were constantly messing up our lives. I suppose we should listen to people like James Corbett and the guys at the Duran about science matters then, and not the experts in their fields?

Man who discovered HIV says Coronavirus contains HIV DNA fragments and is lab created


French AIDS researcher says its man-made:





A debt jubilee is the only way to avoid a depression — Michael Hudson


This op/ed is reposed from the Washington Post. When Michael Hudson, a professed Marxist economist, makes the WaPo you know that the times are a-changin'.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
A debt jubilee is the only way to avoid a depression
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Progressives should never work within the mainstream macroeconomics straitjacket — Bill Mitchell

There was an interesting article posted on Alternet (April 12, 2020) – Leftist policy didn’t lose. Marxist electoral theory did – in response to the dismal showing by Bernie Sanders in the current Democratic Primaries. I think it summarises the confusion that is now abundant on the progressive side of the political struggle. The arguments presented highlight the dilemma facing the progressive side of politics. Should Leftists compromise with centrists to get more traction? Compromise with what? If you read between the lines, there is no argument being made for Leftists to challenge the basic macroeconomic myths of neoliberalism that social democratic politicians around the world have adopted and straitjacket by. Rather, Leftists should accept these constraints and work at local levels to make small gains for better housing etc. It is a defeatist agenda – a surrender to the main game. I reject it....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Progressives should never work within the mainstream macroeconomics straitjacket
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, April 20, 2020

Zero Hedge It's Not Just Toilet Paper, Seed Shortages Spread As Locked-Down Americans Turn To Growing Their Own Food

Americans started buying 3M N95masks in mid-January, then non-perishables in February, followed by toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and guns.

Now apparently, plant seeds are the next big thing…
Zero Hedge
It's Not Just Toilet Paper, Seed Shortages Spread As Locked-Down Americans Turn To Growing Their Own Food
Tyler Durden

How a Trump media dump mainstreamed Chinese lab coronavirus conspiracy theory Max Blumenthal and Ajit Singh

A conspiracy theory about Covid-19 escaping from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the Trump administration’s Iraqi WMD. And the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin is playing the role of Judith Miller.
Here we go again.
Toward the end of his article, Rogin admitted, “We don’t know whether the novel coronavirus originated in the Wuhan lab.” Up until that point, however, he offered every possible insinuation that the virus had indeed emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. His article appeared to be an intelligence plant that depended heavily on documents dumped by US officials eager to turn up the heat on China.
That's what the New York Times and the Washington Post are for. (Judith Miller, a key promotor of the Iraq WMD hoax, was an employee of the Times. Miller left the Times for Fox News in 2008.)

And in case you haven't noticed, the blame is now being placed on the "Chinese Communist Party" instead of "China." The Next Cold War is hotting up.

The Grayzone
How a Trump media dump mainstreamed Chinese lab coronavirus conspiracy theory
Max Blumenthal and Ajit Singh

See also
Dr. Yuan Zhiming, the veteran director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the P4 biolab that’s at the centre of the back and forth accusations between China and the US regarding the origins of the novel coronavirus, has debunked Western media claims suggesting that the virus may have escaped from his laboratory.
“As people who carry out virus studies, we clearly know what kind of virus research is going on in the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. As we said early on, there’s no way this virus came out from us. We have a strict regulatory regime, we have a code of conduct for research, so we are confident of that,” Yuan insisted, speaking to China’s CGTN on Saturday.
Saying the rumours about his institute’s possible involvement were not unexpected, given its location in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, Yuan said it’s unfortunate that some institutions have attempted to turn these rumours into a weapon to deliberately misinform people....
Sputnik International
Chief of Wuhan’s P4 Lab D.ebunks US Claims About Coronavirus’s ‘Artificial’ Origins

The Myth of “Helicopter Money” Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray


More free publicity for MMT.

Project Syndicate
The Myth of “Helicopter Money”
Yeva Nersisyan and  L. Randall Wray

Sputnik — Trial Program for China’s Digital Currency Set to Begin in Four Cities


Looks like its about ready for a trial before rollout.

All the efficiency of digital "currency," but real currency ("central bank money") and less anonymity.

Sputnik International
Trial Program for China’s Digital Currency Set to Begin in Four Cities

Road to a Vaccine


JNJ producing a weekly series every Tuesday:






Long-Term Consequences of Coronavirus — Peter Turchin

I very much hope that this pessimistic forecast is wrong.
It's bad but not horrible. The effect depends more on the response than to the disease. The effect of the disease will be minimal overall and most of the those that die were on the way out anyway (over 60).

The demographic effect is not dire but the social effect could become dire since many of the issues leading to currency dysfunctionality may be amplified by the response.

Cliodynamica — A Blog about the Evolution of Civilizations
Long-Term Consequences of Coronavirus
Peter Turchin | professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Mathematics, and the vice president of the Evolution Institute.

Health Care Headed for One-Fifth of US Economy — Timothy Taylor


The US is a global anomaly. This is the kind of "exceptionalism" one wants, other than those that are profiting from it.

Conversable Economist
Health Care Headed for One-Fifth of US Economy
Timothy Taylor | Managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Negative Oil (Futures) Prices! — Brian Romanchuk


When we think of a "squeeze" we usually assume "short squeeze." However, the collapse in WTF price is apparently due to a long squeeze.
The main lesson to be taken away is for financial speculators. If you are incapable of taking delivery of a futures contract, you should be asking yourself exactly why you are trading the product. One of the standard trade strategies I saw in sell side research back in the day was hedging breakeven trades with oil futures. Although that looked cute, there was no way to deal with delivery, so I didn't pay much attention. Thanks to modern technology, it is possible to pretend that you are a hedge fund trading futures at home. However, just because a thing is possible, it does not mean that it is a good idea.
Bond Economics
Negative Oil (Futures) Prices!
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell — The provenance of the Job Guarantee concept in MMT

As the public scrutiny of the body of work we now refer to as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) widens there is a lot of misinformation abroad that distorts or otherwise undermines what has been done to date. Most, but not all the misinformation or emphasis comes from those who attack our work. Their criticisms usually disclose an incomplete understanding of where MMT came from and what the core propositions and logic are. They stylise, usually using terms and constructs that are present in mainstream thinking, but inapplicable to an MMT way of thinking, and end up spitting out things like ‘printing money’ etc, which they think represents a devastating rejection of our work. As part of my own work, and I do this in liaison with Warren Mosler, I am interested in documenting the train of events that led to what we now call MMT. I love history and think it is very important in helping us understand things. So today I am continuing to examine archives to trace the provenance of key MMT concepts. And I am continuing to document the idea of a Job Guarantee, which is central to the MMT framework, despite many who claim to be MMTers thinking otherwise. I have noted in the recent press, claims that the origins of the buffer stock employment approach that became the Job Guarantee was the work of Hyman Minsky. Nothing could be further from the truth as you will see. It is important, in my view, to make the provenance very clear and that is what this blog post is about....
Essential reading (higher category than "must-read"). The MMT JG is probably the most misunderstood aspect of MMT. Hence, it is also the most mischaracterized.

It is a BUFFER STOCK (Bill Mitchell) based on an EMPLOYER OF LAST RESORT (Warren Mosler).

It is not Keynes. It is not Minsky. It did not come from Post Keynesianism. 

The BDE/ELR concept is original to MMT, being attributable initially to Mitchell and Mosler independently of each other. They worked out the together to put flesh on the bare bones. 

Randy Wray subsequently pointed out the similarity with Minsky, but the concept of a JG that Minsky proposed and the concept of the MMT JG are different.
The point is that:
1. The concept of a Job Guarantee that is now core MMT was entered into the discussion at that time by Warren Mosler (ELR) and myself (BSE). This was the provenance of the concept within MMT.
2. Minsky was never mentioned. Only his former PhD student, Randy Wray, once exposed to the BSE/ELR ideas, noted some overlap between the BSE/ELR approach and Minsky’s own, earlier ideas. But that was well into the PKT debate about the concept.
3. Anyone with knowledge of the history and the beginnings of the MMT work would not reasonably say that the reason that MMT considers a Job Guarantee to be an essential part of the body of work was due to anything that Hyman Minsky had written or said.
It is important to render history as accurately as we can.
This blog post is a key document of MMT on this matter. Bill is in the process of documenting the history of MMT, and I think it is safe to assume that this will eventually result in a formal document as an article or book. In the scholarly world, provenance is of the highest importance, and Bill documenting MMT history will be valuable in establishing priority. In the meanwhile, here it is.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The provenance of the Job Guarantee concept in MMT
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

The Canary - Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms

New research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fuelling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than originally feared.

Based on known cases, health officials have said the virus usually causes mild or moderate flu-like illness.

How China learned about SARS-CoV-2 in the weeks before the global pandemic

In the early weeks when the virus emerged in Wuhan, the Chinese government neither suppressed evidence nor did their warning systems fail.


Kaiser Kuo - Why do Chinese people like their government?

A balanced look at China and why the Chinese rejected liberalism, at least for now. It goes into all that is wrong with China, but explains why the Chinese people still prefer it to what they had before.

After the British wrecked China, which left it run amok with warlords, causing great hardship and famines, the Chinese wanted law and order and a strong government. They are happy with the government because of the peace and prosperity it has brought so far.

Why do so many people feel that the Chinese can’t possibly be OK with their government or society? It seems that many in West deem the current Chinese government/society as wrong and that any “right-thinking” person would agree and join in the fight.


Why do Chinese people like their government?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

COVID-19: How Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy Consume the World, by MICHAEL BARKER

For a month I argued with the climate change deniers and I learnt an incredible amount about the subject. I lost interest in the climate change deniers when I realised they were sockpuppets who knew that climate change science was right, but they just loved being contrarians.

Now it seems I'm at war with the anti-vaxxers, covid-19 conspiracy theorists, who say it's nothing, and the Bill Gates conspiracy theorists. Many of these people are on the left, like Whitney Webb, who has done a couple of YouTube videos spreading conspiracy theories about Bill Gates. She said how he wanted to use vaccines to depopulate the world, so I tweeted correcting her and also left comments on YouTube.


Bill Gates said that vaccines could help reduce population growth, not the population. There is no welfare in the third world, so people rely on their children to look after them in old age. Because many children may die due to diseases, lots of people will have big families as a safeguard. What Bill Gates was saying is that as vaccines save lives, people may opt for smaller families instead.

Population growth is said to be very high in Africa, and Bill Gates has spoken of his concern that they might outstrip their food supply, which could lead to problems for the rest of the world. He doesn't say what, but immigration could be one, plus wars could that could spill out into the rest of the world.

I agree with Bill Gates about this worry, and I'm certain he's genuinely trying to help people with his vaccination programme, but this doesn't mean I approve of his neoliberalism which he tries to influence third world countries with. Below is an excellent article criticising neoliberalism and some of Bill Gates' pro-corporate policies, which are not in the interest of people in the third world.

In one of her latest articles, McGoey highlights how the Gates Foundation has “aggressively pursued vaccination campaigns at the expense of initiatives championed by health experts in poor nations, who often call for universal healthcare strengthening, rather than what’s called ‘vertical’ disease targeting (campaigns focused on eradicating single diseases).” Although she acknowledges that not everything his foundation does is bad, and that Gates and other elites have stepped in improve diagnostic testing for coronavirus, McGoey correctly concludes that “billionaires won’t save us”. This is because billionaire philanthropists like Bill Gates are the very same people who created and profited from the problems that led us to the current impasse, where global health systems are in crisis, and where 26 billionaires’ control as much as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.

Counterpunch 

COVID-19: How Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy Consume the World, by MICHAEL BARKER