Sunday, May 24, 2020

Caitlin Johnstone — China Derangement Syndrome: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Friendly reminder that we’ve invented weapons which can end all life on earth and we’re in steadily increasing danger of setting them all off because some guys in a think tank wrote some words....
Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
China Derangement Syndrome: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Caitlin Johnstone

Zero Hedge "The Comments Are Highly Important" [Goldman]: China's Xi Reportedly Indicated Desire To Avoid Strong Stimulus

Overnight, Goldman confirmed as much, writing that President Xi participated at group discussions at the Two Sessions on Friday, with some of his comments reported on Saturday. Notably he said if it were not because of the pandemic, the growth target would be set at around 6%. He added that a global recession is guaranteed, and given this, if a numerical target (implicitly at a relatively high level) was set, it would require a strong stimulus and the focus of the government would be on the growth rate. He said the focus should instead be on the "six stabilities" and "six guarantees" in six areas — the pursuit of these goals will indirectly contribute to GDP growth but the latter should not be the focus of the government, according to the report....
Zero Hedge
"The Comments Are Highly Important": China's Xi Reportedly Indicated Desire To Avoid Strong Stimulus
Tyler Durden

The science behind human irrationality just passed a huge test — Cathleen O'Grady


Behavioral economics vindicated.

This 1979 Kahneman-Tversky study and its contemporary replication is about loss aversion. There are many, many more cognitive-affective biases affecting rationality. There is also illogic, since most people are not trained in either critical thinking or rigorous scientific method, and mathematical innumeracy is high, especially when the long term is included, as it is in many economists' assumptions about rationality and maximization.

Then there is connotation of terms in addition to denotation, where the connotation carries an emotional charge. Persuasion — real advertising, PR and propaganda — are based on this.

People also often choose and act against their own assumed "better" interests eg., economic interests, since interest is determined by values and people often hold a value system that subordinates one set of interests, e.g., economic, to another, e.g., social, political, cultural or religious.

The assumption that humans are "rational agents" in the sense that economists understand the term, which focuses exclusively on economic interest, is not a truism as supposed. The evidence shows this.

Ars Technica
The science behind human irrationality just passed a huge test
Cathleen O'Grady

Related

Fuzzy logic and fuzzy sets  address this issue.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
“Banishing ‘Black/White Thinking’: A Trio of Teaching Tricks”
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

See also

Evonomics
Evidence for Tribalism in Economics
Blair Fix /

"Dr. Doom" At IT Again: Predicts 10-Year Depression — J. Barkley Rosser


Barkeley Rosser says to take Roubini with a grain of salt, but only a grain, since he makes some important points. I am in agreement with that. Both optimism and pessimism need to be tempered with realism, and reality is fraught with uncertainty owing to human decisions that affect conditions. And just as the weather is relatively uncertain other than short term, reality has a way of delivering "exogenous shocks." So the watchword should be "caution." That is not a meme or mantra of this administration. Forking paths ahead?

Econospeak
"Dr. Doom" At IT Again: Predicts 10-Year Depression
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University

Pamela Yellon - Death by Investing: How a 10 Percent Loss Raises Mortality Levels

Stock market declines are linked to early death, illness, and fatal accidents. Are you at risk?




This is what bothers me about the Lockdown, could it kill more people than Covid-19 in the long run?

Losing money in the stock market can cost you your life, and I'm not just talking about the old cliché of people jumping out of skyscraper windows when markets crash.


In fact, people with as little as 10 percent of their wealth in the stock market who experience a 10 percent loss stand an increased risk of dying early or suffering health problems such as high blood pressure and depression.

That’s according to a study published in the American Economic Journal, which looked at booms and busts in the U.S. stock market between 1998 and 2011. In the study, Hannes Schwandt, assistant economics professor at the University of Zurich Department of Economics, determined that what he called “wealth shocks” strongly affect health outcomes.

Entrepreneur

Pamela Yellon - Death by Investing: How a 10 Percent Loss Raises Mortality Levels

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Zero Hedge — Bankruptcy Tsunami Begins: Thousands Of Default Notices Are "Flying Out The Door"


Risk of debt-deflation taking hold?

Zero Hedge
Bankruptcy Tsunami Begins: Thousands Of Default Notices Are "Flying Out The Door"
Tyler Durden

See also

Zero Hedge
Tracking The Recovery: What Real-Time Data Says About The State Of The Global Economy
Tyler Durden

VIPS MEMO: To the President—Avoid Hostilities Over Iranian Fuel Shipment to Venezuela

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) urges Donald Trump to avoid the slippery slope toward armed conflict as an Iranian oil tanker nears Venezuela on Sunday....
Consortium News
VIPS MEMO: To the President—Avoid Hostilities Over Iranian Fuel Shipment to Venezuela
May 22, 2020

If the rich knew what tax was for they might actually appreciate it… — Peter May


Worth a read in full, so no spoilers.

Progressive Pulse
If the rich knew what tax was for they might actually appreciate it…
Peter May

Bitcoin’s Shocking Energy Consumption — Haley Zaremba

When it comes to thinking about which economic sectors and industry niches that consume the most energy, cryptocurrencies may not immediately come to mind. But for some of these crypto companies, their energy and carbon footprints are not just considerable, they’re massive. The most famous example, Bitcoin, has an annual energy footprint slightly larger than the entire nation of Switzerland. The company’s current energy consumption can be tracked here.
Last year, the University of Cambridge created an online tool that allows users to compare the boggling energy consumption of Bitcoin to other entities. At the time that this platform debuted, the tool estimated that “Bitcoin is using around seven gigawatts of electricity, equal to 0.21% of the world's supply,” according to a BBC report. This shocking figure translates to “as much power as would be generated by seven Dungeness nuclear power plants at once.”...

China: one country, two sessions, three threats — Pepe Escobar

It’s absolutely essential to position the Two Sessions [of the 13th National People’s Congress] within the larger, incandescent geopolitical and geoeconomic context of the de facto new Cold War – hybrid war included – between the US and China....
The great game is still about who controls the Eurasian land mass as the center of the "world island," set forth by British strategist Halford Mackinder, and the "rimland," proposed by Nicholas J. Spykman. These doctrines were the basis of the strategies respectively put forward by Republican Henry Kissinger and Democrat Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The contest pits the great land powers, Russia and China, against the great sea powers, the US and UK,  as traditional enemies. To win this contest, the US and its allies would need to pry Russia and China apart, which is highly unlikely at this point. In order to prevail as undisputed hegemon, the must defeat both Russia and China either separately or together.

While Brzezinski was implacably anti-Russian, Kissinger realized that the US was betting the farm on defeating a Sino-Russian alliance. As result, he convinced Nixon to reach out to Mao. (Secretary of the Treasury John Connally convinced Nixon to shut the gold window for international trade). Trump was acting on Kissinger's advice in his approach to Russia, but the deep state and Democratic Party turned that into Russiagate.

Asia Times
China: one country, two sessions, three threats
Pepe Escobar

Also

Oriental Review
The 13th National People’s Congress of China
Zamir AWAN

also

Like China doesn't realize this. This is what the "Uyghur concentration camps in Xi'an" and "Hong Kong dissent suppression" propaganda memes are all about. Does China have entirely clean hands in this? Hard to tell what is really going on there, but regardless, the memes are being exploited.

Bill Totten's Weblog

The US is Trying to Dismember China by Promoting Separatism in Its Regions

Russia, China won’t accept US nuclear superiority — M. K. Bhadrakumar


The arms race is on. And further reason for Russia and China to enter into a closer military alliance to counter the US and its allies. The world is splitting economically, politically and militarily into opposing camps again, which is doubly dangerous in difficult economic times. Liberal globalization is on hold for the foreseeable future, as the rivalry between liberalism and traditionalism heats up.

India Punchline
Russia, China won’t accept US nuclear superiority
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

See also

Moon of Alabama
U.S. Threatens New Nuclear Tests To Push China Into A Treaty It Does Not Want



Blog: Chinese Economists Clash Over Monetization of Fiscal Deficit, Special Treasury Bonds — Zhang Qizhi and Gavin Cross


Strongly suggests that Chinese policy makers are not on board with the MMT approach and are resistant to it because (neoliberal) "fiscal discipline." So much the worse for China.

Caixan
Blog: Chinese Economists Clash Over Monetization of Fiscal Deficit, Special Treasury Bonds

Joan Robinson On Michal Kalecki’s Claim To Priority— Ramanan


Kalecki made the mistake of writing in Polish. Otherwise, we would be talking about Kaleckianism rather than Keynesianism.

The Case for Concerted Action
Joan Robinson On Michal Kalecki’s Claim To Priority
V. Ramanan

Car rental giant Hertz files for bankruptcy as its vehicles remain idled by pandemic — John Solomon

Car giant was already saddled with debt before COVID-19 struck.
Anomaly, or indication of systemic risk owing to debt?

Just the News
Car rental giant Hertz files for bankruptcy as its vehicles remain idled by pandemic
John Solomon

See also

It's not just a matter of reopening. Will the customers be there?

BBC
Coronavirus: Leading economist warns of 10 years of depression and debt
Karishma Vaswani interview with Nouriel Roubini

John Quiggin — MWW on MMT (from Twitter via Spooler)

Mitchell, Wray and Watts Macroeconomics p 323, give a the correct version of the #MMT position on budget aggregates ....
John Quiggin's Blog
MWW on MMT (from Twitter via Spooler)
John Quiggin | Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Incoherence Of Yield Curve Control Brian Romanchuk

Yield curve control -- setting bond yields by the central bank -- has returned to discussion. Mainstream economics over-emphasises the role of interest rates in guiding the economy, and based on previous experience, it seems entirely likely that some form of new policy will be attempted to counter-act economic weakness. The main options appear to be negative interest rates and yield curve control, and it seems clear that Fed officials prefer yield curve control to negative rates, Yield curve control will either accomplish very little, or be viewed as a mistake in retrospect. That said, it is still a more sensible policy that large scale purchases of Treasurys by the Fed (Quantitative Easing)....
Important post on MMT, monetary policy and conventional beliefs, attitudes and expectations.
Barring a miracle cure for COVID-19, the United States is drifting into a multi-year period of extremely depressed activity. There does not appear to be capacity to eradicate the virus, nor are older consumers or office workers willing to take meaningful health risks to benefit capitalism. Unless there is a magical transformation in the attitudes of the ruling elites, the fiscal policy response will remain reactive, and ineffectual. The Fed is the only entity in the United States that takes any responsibility for the effectiveness of policy, and so we should expect to see greater leaps in its policy framework.
Although yield curve control is the most likely next step, negative interest rates cannot be ruled out. Health worries might strengthen the hand of those advocating the abolishing of paper money, removing one institutional barrier to negative interest rates.
Bond Economics

Asian century began in May 2020 — David P. Goldman

Economic historians may date the start of the Asian century to May 2020, when most Asian economies bounced back to full employment while the West languished in coronavirus lockdown. Asia has emerged as an economic zone as closely integrated as the European Union, increasingly insulated from economic shocks from the United States or Europe.... 
Asia Times
Asian century began in May 2020
David P. Goldman

Thursday, May 21, 2020

RT — ‘We’ll spend you into oblivion’: US nuclear envoy reveals ‘negotiating’ tactic for New START, last arms control deal with Russia


Trump goes full Reagan.

Apparently the US doesn't realize that the real cost is in terms of real resources rather than units of account for countries that issue their own currencies. Or maybe it does and wants to force China to drop its dollar peg like Russia.

Whatever, it's nutty. Kind of like declaring that the US is staying in Syria to create a quagmire for Russia.

Where are the grownups?

Oh, and did I mention that the latest talking point is the Social Security is running out of funding soon so that the program needs to be cut.

RT
‘We’ll spend you into oblivion’: US nuclear envoy reveals ‘negotiating’ tactic for New START, last arms control deal with Russia

See also

Sputnik International
US Militarizing Space, Exiting Treaties in ‘Historical Miscalculation’ to Stay Hegemon

Also

Ray Dalio concerned.

Zero Hedge
"Revolutions And Wars": What According To Ray Dalio Comes After "Printing Money"
Tyler Durden

THE AUSTRALIAN CHEWING-GUM IS NOW ON THE RUSSIAN SHOE – AUSTRALIAN MINISTER ASKS LAVROV TO SAVE EXPORTS FROM CHINESE SANCTIONS; LAVROV ASKS FOR AUSTRALIAN SUPPORT TO STOP FAKE MH17 EVIDENCE IN DUTCH SHOW TRIAL — John Helmer

One day after Australia was defeated at the World Health Assembly in a joint effort with the Trump Administration to attack China, and after Beijing retaliated, calling the Australian Government a US puppet, a joke, and chewing-gum on China’s shoe, Australia has telephoned Moscow for help. In a call initiated by Foreign Minister Marise Payne (lead image, left), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked to boost Russian imports from Australia and send more Russian tourists to the country.
Lavrov replied that Australia should stop fabricating evidence of Russian involvement in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and withdraw from the Dutch show trial which is scheduled to resume hearings in Amsterdam next month....
Dances with Bears
THE AUSTRALIAN CHEWING-GUM IS NOW ON THE RUSSIAN SHOE – AUSTRALIAN MINISTER ASKS LAVROV TO SAVE EXPORTS FROM CHINESE SANCTIONS; LAVROV ASKS FOR AUSTRALIAN SUPPORT TO STOP FAKE MH17 EVIDENCE IN DUTCH SHOW TRIAL
John Helmer

As debt soars, the cost of servicing it keeps falling

Good news for the British government’s finances


An awful lot has changed since Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, unveiled his budget in March. Britain’s economy looks set to experience an unprecedentedly rapid and deep recession. What is more, the government, through actions such as the furlough scheme to support employment, is choosing to bear an unusually large share of the initial costs. The result will be much higher government debt than previously anticipated. And yet the actual cost of servicing that higher debt may well turn out to be lower than was expected back in March.

There is now so much uncertainty that the official government forecasters—the Office for Budget Responsibility (obr) and the Bank of England—have declined to issue their usual forecasts, instead presenting what they call “scenarios”. More detailed modelling by the Resolution Foundation shows what may be to come. According to the think-tank’s three-month lockdown estimate, the debt-to-gdp ratio will soon head back to the 100% mark—a level not seen since the 1950s, when Britain was still burdened with the costs of fighting the second world war.

The Economist

8 logical fallacies that are hard to spot — Steven Johnson


Recognize any of these in economic discourse?

Big Think
8 logical fallacies that are hard to spot
Steven Johnson
ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

Bill Mitchell – Britain confounding the macroeconomic textbooks – except one!

Remember back just a few months ago. We are in Britain. All the Remainers are jumping up and down about Brexit. We hardly see anything about it now as the UK moves towards a no deal with the EU. Times have overtaken all that non-event stuff. Now the developments are confounding the mainstream economists – again. There will be all sorts of reinventing history and ad hoc reasoning going on, but the latest data demonstrates quite clearly that what students are taught in mainstream macroeconomics provides no basis for an understanding of how the monetary system operates. All the predictions that a mainstream program would generate about the likely effects of current treasury and central bank behaviour would be wrong. Only MMT provides the body of knowledge that is requisite for understanding these trends....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Britain confounding the macroeconomic textbooks – except one!
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Definitions and Debate — Definitions and Debate Regan Ferrell interviews Jeffrey Miron and Michael Hudson

Regan: Hello everyone, thank you for tuning into this episode of the Knowledge Problem Podcast. I’m your host Regan Ferrell [and I’m Alex Pilkington] on today’s episode we explore the merits and shortcomings of capitalism. [1:00] We have Dr. Jeffrey Miron speaking first, followed by rebuttals from Dr. Michael Hudson....
Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
Definitions and Debate
Regan Ferrell interviews Jeffrey Miron, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in the department of economics at Harvard University as well as a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and Michael Hudson, President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Muslim Chinese Street Food Tour in Xi'an, China | BEST

C J Werleman is putting out anti-China propaganda on Twitter, and Nafeez Ahmed sometimes does this too. Both are excellent journalists in every other way.

CJ Werleman says the Chinese government is forcing Xinjiang Muslims to eat pork and drink alcohol. This is total rubbish as it would greatly backfire. They would have a revolution on their hands.

Uyghur students forced to eat pork, Muslims required to drink before entering mosques, C J Werleman 

A Chinese person sent me this video.

Tweet

This video exposing "extreme oppression of Muslim food culture" has received over 1 mil views on youtube! It's just terrible!

Muslim Chinese Street Food Tour in Xi'an, China | BEST Muslim Chinese Cuisine in China





Muslim Chinese Street Food Xi'an - Chinese Street Food - Best Muslim Street Food China
Muslim Chinese street food and Chinese Food is delicious in China! I flew to Xi'an, China and have been eating street food and dumplings non stop. Best Street Food I've tasted in China, maybe even best street food in Asia! The Chinese food is so good in Xi'an! I've eaten street food in Bejing, street food in Shanghai,, and street food in Chengdui, all of which has been amazing, but I have to say that the chinese street food in Xi'an has been some of the best!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

TASS — Putin: Russia is now fully self-sufficient in basic food products


National self-sufficiency is the new target. Russia was able to achieve this owing to sanctions. According to Putin, without sanctions it would have been impossible politically.

TASS
Putin: Russia is now fully self-sufficient in basic food products

TRUTH VACCINE KILLS AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHINA IN WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION DEBATE — John Helmer


Longish, but interesting if following this.

Dances with Bears
TRUTH VACCINE KILLS AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHINA IN WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION DEBATE
John Helmer

May 20 COVID-19 Test Results, AND Great News on the Next Step — Bill McBride


With testing ramped up, some numbers are coming in.

CR
May 20 COVID-19 Test Results, AND Great News on the Next Step
Bill McBride

Update: The World's Simplest Bond Model — Brian Romanchuk

I ran across a comment to the effect that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) somehow is missing a theory of interest rates....
Bond Economics
Update: The World's Simplest Bond Model
Brian Romanchuk

South America Won the U.S.-China Trade War

Two economists calculate that U.S. farms lost $14 billion because of retaliatory tariffs, while South American countries boosted their exports by $13 billion to fill the gap.


The trade war may not have turned out to be "good and easy to win" for the United States, but some other countries have benefited from how higher tariffs have warped the global flow of agricultural goods. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile were the "primary beneficiaries of the retaliatory tariff increases," Carter and Steinbach write, because they "were able to substantially expand their trade with retaliatory countries at the cost of the United States."

Reason.com

Poetic truths from a leading economist: 'from crisis stems great renewal' — James Nason

In a keynote address to the Alltech One virtual global conference last night Australian-time, Mr McWilliams, an internationally renowned speaker and one of the world’s most influential economists, drew from the work of his countryman WB Yeats to illustrate how previous periods of crisis have historically led to great renewal.

“When I worked in the Central Bank in Ireland, if you’d told me that the Federal Reserve was going to buy government bonds directly, was then going to buy corporate bonds directly, and then last Thursday, it says we’re going to buy junk bonds and we’re going to take those off the balance sheets of the banking system and we’re going to give the banking system cash and the banks can lend out that, I would have said, that ‘ain’t going to happen’.
“And the funniest thing is it’s happened in the last two weeks and nobody said a word.
“Why? Because everybody realises that this shift is coming.”
– ‘Modern monetary theory’ gaining momentum: Faced with a choice between abandoning their dogma or moving into another Great Depression, monetary authorities in the United States and Europe were choosing to spend their way out by underwriting incomes and bailing out industries, and electing to worry about potential inflationary consequences in the future.
The US and Europe were in “a sort of a deflationary death spiral” that could potentially “drag us all into a depression” which could go on for a long time if monetary authorities don’t actually step up to the plate. However Mr McWilliams said he believed they are stepping up.
In the United States which has full monetary autonomy and its own currency and is facing a Presidential election later this year, the Democratic side of politics is coalescing around support for modern monetary theory, the notion of printing money to solve a country’s problem (a concept that many traditional economists have issues with).
2020 opened with the expectation the US would experience a presidential election against a backdrop of lowest level of unemployment ever. It will now be held against a backdrop of the highest unemployment ever, currently standing at 28 percent.
“That is the only story” Mr McWilliams said. “Once your unemployment goes to that level, then all bets are off. All ideology’s out the window, and you’ve got to get folk back to work.”
Mr McWilliams said it would be critical for the US under this approach to protect its “productive capacity” to avoid hyperinflation, such as that which beset Germany after World War I and Zimbabwe when productive farming land was taken from farmers under the Mugabe regime.
In order to achieve aim that he said key MMT proponents such as economist Stephanie Kelton, a senior Democratic economic advisor, are promoting the idea of using Government money now to build and expand the capacity of the US economy to reduce the chances of having inflation.
“I would agree with that, simply because I think we’re moving into a deflationary world. If rates of unemployment in certain states are as high as they seem to be ticking up every day, that’s not an environment where prices rise. That’s an environment where prices fall.”
Beef Central (Australia)
Poetic truths from a leading economist: 'from crisis stems great renewal'
James Nason

Bill Mitchell — MMTed

MMTed Q&A
The questions are rolling in – thanks – and we will begin our program next Wednesday (May 27, 2020).

As part of the on-going development of our MMTed project, we are introducing – MMTed Q&A – which will be a weekly live program screening on Wednesday nights starting at 20:00 Australian EST.

This will be at:

10:00 Dakar
11:00 London
12:00 Paris
13:00 Helsinki
19:00 Tokyo, Kyoto and Dili
03:00 San Francisco
06:00 New York

The program will run for 30 minutes each week and the format will be around 5 questions will be answered with discussion.

Each week, we plan to bring in some of the MMT experts who can help answer your questions.

If you want to ask a question the process, as a trial, will be to submit your enquiry via the – MMTed Q&A – page.

We do not guarantee that your question will be answered but we will do our best.

Only submissions will valid E-mail addresses will be accepted.

The links to the live stream each week will be published in advance on the site and via Twitter and on this blog site.

Call for MMTed Support
We are making progress in developing the program that will become – MMTed.

But we still need significant sponsors for this venture to ensure that we can run the educational program with negligible fees.

If you are able to help on an ongoing basis that would be great. But we will also appreciate of once-off and small donations as your circumstances permit.

You can contribute in one of two ways:

1. Via PayPal – which is our preferred vehicle for receiving donations.

The PayPal donation button is available via the MMTed Home Page or via the – Donation button – on the right-hand menu of this page (below the calendar).

2. Direct to MMTed’s Bank Account.

Please write to me to request account details.

Please help if you can.

We cannot make the MMTed project viable on a sustainable basis without funding support.

We will always maintain strict anonymity with respect to donations received, except if the donor desires to be publicly associated with the venture and gives their permission in writing to appear on the Donors Page.

Bill Mitchell – Progressives still speak the language of the neoliberals but then dream of change

Its Wednesday, so a collection of snippets, ads and music. One of the things I am working on as part of my book venture with Thomas Fazi, our followup to – Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, September 2017) – is the way the Left and Right are responding to the current crisis. It is clear to me that the Right are seeing it as a way to really entrench new beach head gains on their long term agenda to divert public spending away from general welfare towards the top-end-of-town and to use the legislative/regulative structures of government to further their aims to divert more of the national income produced towards capital, particularly financial capital. Meanwhile, it looks as if the Left has gone to asleep – or better – they haven’t really woken from their long-term slumber as they dream their standard narrative that global capital has made the state unable to pursue independent fiscal agendas that will improve the lot of all humanity. So I am looking into that sort of narrative and collecting evidence as one does to compile into a coherent argument.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Progressives still speak the language of the neoliberals but then dream of change
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Trump New Press Secretary


Trump locking in the Evangelical vote (BIG!):





DTs:






Powell Sees Little Reason to Fret Over Fed Balance-Sheet Growth


LOL well not anymore he doesn't.. or not at least until March 2021...




Tuesday, May 19, 2020

KV - Oh, to be young again!

Only kidding, I don't think I would have ever been up for this. I can only think these guys are from an elite crack military unit.


US Threatens to Prevent Iranian-Venezuelan Mutual Assistance — William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills, Danny Shaw

As Carmen Parejo Rendón observes “what the US does not realize is that it keeps creating more enemies for itself and with this it is reinforcing multilateralism.”
Internationalist 360º
US Threatens to Prevent Iranian-Venezuelan Mutual Assistance
William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills, Danny Shaw

Merrill: "Most of the slowdown occurred due to voluntary social distancing rather than lockdown policies" — Bill McBride

This is an important note and suggests the economy is dependent on the course of the pandemic.
Expectations.


Related at CR

May 19 Update: US COVID-19 Test Results

Sputnik — Nokia Says Broke 5G World Speed Record

Nokia has set a new world record for the 5G speed, registering 4.7 billions of bits per second (Gbps) on a US operator's network in Dallas, the Finnish telecommunications company said on Tuesday.
Latest from the technology wars.

RT — Study Trump cited in his latest attack on WHO does NOT EXIST, says editor-in-chief of prestigious medical journal

“This statement is factually incorrect,” the Lancet said in a statement referring to Trump’s claims and allegations, which the journal described as “damaging to the efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control the pandemic.”
Oops.

RT
Study Trump cited in his latest attack on WHO does NOT EXIST, says editor-in-chief of prestigious medical journal

U.S. Overtakes China As Most Attractive Destination For Renewables — Tsvetana Paraskova

The United States beat China to become the world’s most attractive country for investments in renewable energy, and the prospects for the U.S. renewables sector after the pandemic are bright despite the current setbacks, E.Y. said in a new report on Tuesday.

The latest edition of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) developed by E.Y. showed the U.S. snatching the top spot away from China for the first time since 2016. The shift in attractiveness in the United States was largely due to the short-term extension to the production tax credit (PTC) for wind power and long-term growth in offshore wind plans, which envisage investments of US$57 billion for the installation of up to 30 gigawatts (G.W.) by 2030, E.Y. said.

At the same time, growth in China’s renewables market has slowed down because the authorities want to wean the renewables market off subsidies, the consultancy noted. The slashed subsidies and lower demand from the coronavirus pandemic bumped China off its first-place seat, according to E.Y....
Oilprice
U.S. Overtakes China As Most Attractive Destination For Renewables
Tsvetana Paraskova

Achieving a Sustainable Chinese Recovery — Adair Turner


Mainly interesting because of the numbers. China is unlikely to pay much attention to Adair Turner's advise, considering the state the UK is in.

Project Syndicate
Achieving a Sustainable Chinese Recovery
Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, was Chair of the UK Financial Services Authority from 2008 to 2012

Jonathan Turley — The Perpetual Impeachment: House Democrats Tell The Supreme Court That They Are Preparing For A New Impeachment


Campaign season in America.

Jonathan Turley
The Perpetual Impeachment: House Democrats Tell The Supreme Court That They Are Preparing For A New Impeachment

also

Zero Hedge
Senate GOP Compile Massive Subpoena List For FBI Abuse Probe; Demand Unredacted Susan Rice Letter
Tyler Durden

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’ — Pepe Escobar


It's on.

Asia Times
China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’
Pepe Escobar

‘We print money digitally’ – so says the Fed — Peter May

The current Chairman of the Federal Reserve bank of the USA – otherwise known as the US Central Bank, says that Central Banks have have the ability to create money digitally … and also print actual currency.
This really could be not more obvious that this is THE MAGIC MONEY TREE that we have always been told does not exist…
Progressive Pulse
‘We print money digitally’ – so says the Fed
Peter May

The next Silicon Valley exodus: Over 25% of tech sector wants permanent work from home — Laura Wronski and Jon Cohen

  • Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and Square have both said employees can work from home “forever.”
  • Google and Facebook have told employees they can work from home until the end of 2020.
  • A new CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey shows that over 25% of tech sector workers prefer permanent remote work.
  • If this happens, it could cause a brain drain from other industries, a consolidation of talent at a few top tech companies, and a decrease in average salaries....
CNBC
The next Silicon Valley exodus: Over 25% of tech sector wants permanent work from home
Laura Wronski, research science manager, and Jon Cohen, chief research officer, SurveyMonkey

The Primary Dealer Credit Facility — Antoine Martin and Susan McLaughlin

The PDCF is one of many facilities introduced by the Federal Reserve to support the U.S. economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The PDCF helps primary dealers support smooth market functioning and facilitate the availability of credit to businesses and households in their capacity as market makers for corporate, consumer, and municipal obligations....
FRBNY — Liberty Street Economics
The Primary Dealer Credit Facility
Antoine Martin and Susan McLaughlin

Exclusive: Countries to face a ‘wave’ of corporate lawsuits challenging emergency COVID-19 measures

Research claims top law firms are preparing to ‘cash in’ on the pandemic by helping corporations sue states for measures that have impaired profits.




Neoliberalism turns morality around on its head. How much longer are we going to have to put have with this?


Countries could soon face a ‘wave’ of multi-million dollar lawsuits from multinational corporations claiming compensation for measures introduced to protect people from COVID-19 and its economic fallout, according to a new report.

Open Democracy 

Angel Soft exec explains why toilet paper supply couldn’t keep up with demand when COVID-19 hit — Michael Grothaus


In case you were wondering.
Toilet paper is a business where we run all of our assets 24/7…, so it wasn’t like there was an opportunity to just say, ‘Oh, just run more hours.’ All the hours were already accounted for.
Shows that retail is based on administrative pricing rather than market pricing. Under market pricing with quantity limited, the price would have risen to ration available supply based on price. Would that have prevented hoarding? Would this have been a better solution? An alternative would have been to ration the quantity of product per customer, which some firms eventually did.

Michael Grothaus

Caitlin Johnstone — Friendly Reminder That This Photo Happened, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


It will never stop being fall-to-the-floor laughcry hilarious that the US has an evil idiot president who can’t form a coherent sentence and exacerbated a deadly pandemic, and the only answer has been a fake Russia scandal, a fake impeachment, and a candidate with holes in his brain....
Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Friendly Reminder That This Photo Happened, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Caitlin Johnstone

also

Dissident Circles Too Often Become Another Nerdy Hobby Group

“I Take That as a Threat”: Big Pharma Is Meddling in the Race for a COVID-19 Treatment

A Yale researcher poised to start a crucial clinical trial received an ominous email from a pharmaceutical company. “There is undoubtedly a financial motivation,” he said—and there could be millions on the line.


A look into how the system works.

In New Haven, meanwhile, Dr. Joseph Vinetz, an infectious disease doctor at Yale School of Medicine, is seeking to launch a clinical study of the drug camostat mesylate, a generic medication approved in Japan to treat chronic pancreatitis that he hopes can be approved and marketed to treat COVID-19. If the trial succeeds, he said, this could be ”a total game changer.” But the process is proving fraught. Within hours of registering his trial on a National Institutes of Health website on April 20, he received an email from a large U.S. pharmaceutical company. “They are trying to take my project and engulf it for their proprietary [financial] gain,” Vinetz told me. “I take that email as a threat.”

“I Take That as a Threat”: Big Pharma Is Meddling in the Race for a COVID-19 Treatment

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Fable of the Chinese Whistleblower Stephen S. Roach and Weijian Shan

The more the United States struggles with the ravages of COVID-19, the more President Donald Trump and his Republican Party will blame China. The facts hardly matter, as their exploitation of the tragic case of Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang shows: If Trump and the GOP think a conspiracy theory will win votes, they will run with it.
Of course, it's not only the GOP that will run with a conspiracy theory and this is not the first time, either. Recall the run up to the invasion of Iraq because "WMD." Similarly, the Democratic Party aka "The Resistance" has run with the "Russiagate" hoax for years and is still hanging on to it after being discredited.

Project Syndicate
The Fable of the Chinese Whistleblower
Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, and Weijian Shan, CEO of PAG

Bill Mitchell — US labour market in peril as a result of political choices made by the US government

I went on a data excursion for part of today to update the flows data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They published the latest JOLTs data last Friday (May 15, 2020) – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary – which reveals data up to March 2020. So in a sense it is the calm before the storm. I also reconstructed some of the indicators I compile from that data set which give me a broader impression of what is happening in the US labour market. Clearly, things are going to get worse when the April data is released. We can see that by examining the Department of Labor’s weekly unemployment claimants data, which was updated last Thursday (May 9, 2020). I also updated my state table and map today. Things are looking very bleak. To me, the data tells me that the US is a failed state – incapable of using the capacity the government possesses to advance the well-being, or, in this case, protect the well-being of its people. I am also working on an extended piece on the way the Right and the Left are behaving in this crisis. As usual, the Right are organised and forward-looking putting assets into strategies that will take their agenda to another (pernicious) level. Under the smokescreen of the crisis, they are working to cement changes that will make it even harder for government to advance general prosperity. Meanwhile, the Left appear to be asleep as usual – tweeting their heads off about Biden or Sanders and have taken their eyes off the main game. We have been there before. Even though the US labour market has probably never been here before!...
Most of the American "left" (NOT)) is clueless and the rest are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Plus, much of the political elite on the so-called left is compromised if not actually corrupt. The neoliberal right believes that the government is the enemy if it is not suborned to capital, that there is no such thing as society, only and aggregate of competing  individuals in which the deserving are justly rewarded, and that the state is a business owned and controlled by the wealthy. Not difficult to see where this is leading.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
US labour market in peril as a result of political choices made by the US government
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Naomi Klein: How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each day, tech companies are seizing the opportunity to extend their reach and power. 




China zooms ahead with its big tech private public partnerships, where its private sector receives an enormous amount of public money from the government. But the US is falling behind, say the industrial military complex and the Silicon Valley, who are asking for massive amounts of public money to catch up.

But big tech are putting everyone into low paids jobs - maybe driverless vans and drones delivering packages soon - where even teachers and doctors may be affected some day, in other words, all of us, one way or another.

Millions of people work in very low paid jobs in warehouses and call centres who never ever get to see a customer. And they are tagged and monitored so that interaction with other colleagues is very low, which isn't healthy as we are social creatures.

And can big tech companies be allowed to keep so much information on us, which they would like to share with other companies? Big Data is worth a fortune. What if companies end up with access to your health records or Internet history?

With so much public money going into Big Tech, there won't be anything left for public services, says Naomi Klein.

The Guardian


Naomi Klein: How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Bank Of Canada: Repo Printer Go Brrr! — Brian Romanchuk


Short intro to the Bank of Canada, which most people probably don't have a lot a familiarity with.

Bond Economics
Bank Of Canada: Repo Printer Go Brrr!
Brian Romanchuk

Re-Opening Narratives Too Short-Term — Brian Romanchuk

As expected, the internet and media is being flooded with re-opening stories, contrasting and comparing the situation in different countries or American states....
From the economic debate perspective, it is way too early to draw any conclusions....
Observed cases will follow with a considerable lag after the essentially random spreading incidents. We will not be able to draw any conclusions about the effects of policy changes (which only have a limited relationship to actual behaviour), given this uncertainty....
When freedom intersects with responsibility.

It doesn't take too many irresponsible people to have a magnified effect under pandemic conditions given a high reproduction rate of a contagious disease, as reflected in the colloquial expression, "going viral."

As I said from the outset, liberal cultures are going to have a more difficult time controlling the epidemic than traditional cultures.

Bond Economics
Re-Opening Narratives Too Short-Term
Brian Romanchuk

Regulators temporarily change the supplementary leverage ratio to increase banking organizations' ability to support credit to households and businesses in light of the coronavirus response


This dropped late after the close yesterday... in the PR business, if you want something to be overlooked in the news cycle, it is well known you release it late on a Friday after COB...

They don't want to address this question:  "Under very similar conditions, why didn't you do this same regulatory modification in September 2008?".... this is what they are trying to avoid hence the Friday evening news dump... because 1. they would have no answer and 2. it would demonstrate that they themselves caused the GFC in 2008 by rapidly increasing Reserve Assets at the Depositories...

Which is what they are trying to avoid doing again hence this regulatory modification...

In any event, putting aside the absent lessons-learned for now, this time it looks like they finally got the FDIC and OCC on board, so if the systemically important banks adopt this regulatory modification, then looks like no GFC2 redux until March 2021 at least...

We will have to see some statements out of the big banks as to whether they are going to employ this regulatory modification to be sure... the new regulation seems to establish a new approval authority for dividend payments which may be considered restrictive... we'll have to see for sure... but I'd have to think it was probably greased with the banks...






From the .pdf explainer you can see that they have finally figured it out:


The ability of depository institutions to hold certain assets, most notably deposits at a Federal Reserve Bank and Treasuries, is essential to market functioning, financial intermediation, and funding d funding market activity, particularly in periods of financial uncertainty. 
In response to volatility and market strains, the Federal Reserve has taken a number of actions to support market functioning and the flow of credit to the economy. The response to COVID-19 has notably increased the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and resulted in a large increase in the amount of reserves in the banking system. 
The agencies anticipate that the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet may continue to expand in the near term, as customer deposits continue to expand, and recently announced facilities to support the flow of credit to households and businesses begin or continue operations. In addition, market participants have liquidated a high volume of assets, and customers have drawn down credit lines and deposited the cash proceeds with depository institutions in recent weeks, further increasing the size of depository institutions’ balance sheets. 
Absent any adjustments to the supplementary leverage ratio, the resulting increase in the size of depository institutions’ balance sheets may cause a sudden and significant increase in the regulatory capital needed to meet a depository institution’s leverage ratio requirement.4 
This is particularly the case for many of the depository institutions subject to the supplementary leverage ratio, which are significant participants in financial intermediation services, including as clearing banks for dealers in the open market operations of the Federal Open Market Committee and as major custodians of securities.  
In order to facilitate depository institutions’ significant increase in reserve balances resulting from the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases and the establishment of various programs to support the flow of credit to the economy, as well as the need to continue to accept exceptionally high levels of customer deposits, the agencies are issuing this interim final rule to provide depository institutions subject to the supplementary leverage ratio (qualifying depository institutions) the ability to exclude temporarily Treasuries and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks from total leverage exposure through March 31, 2021.




At least I will be sleeping a bit better now knowing that at least they know what NOT to do this time....  this is at last a positive development imo...

Not a recommendation in any way, shape or form.

Friday, May 15, 2020

China

The Hindu (India)

Caitlin Johnstone — Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


Amen.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Caitlin Johnstone

James Anderson — The era of modern monetary theory has arrived


Getting used to MMT.

Investment Week
James Anderson: The era of modern monetary theory has arrived

Modern Monetary Theory: The little-known consequence of the massive coronavirus bills — JD Rucker

The real existential threat to the United States isn’t what’s in the bill or anything else we’ve discussed. The real threat arises if we DO NOT crumble as a result. If the American spirit, our drive to recover, and the Grace of God allows us to make it through all of these bailouts without tangible repercussions, then Modern Monetary Theory will have been falsely proven to be effective. At that point, the end of America will begin.
Say what?

NOQ Report
Modern Monetary Theory: The little-known consequence of the massive coronavirus bills
JD Rucker

The Economics and Politics of Social Democracy: A Reconsideration — Servaas Storm


Weekend reading.

Brave New Europe
The Economics and Politics of Social Democracy: A Reconsideration
Servaas Storm

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Party of Science


Alleges via the figurative language of sarcasm the Artist James Woods....



Same thing here:




Both f-ing platonist Art Degree morons...

Is China still a communist country?


Zero Hedge — World's Largest Shipper Warns Of Collapsing Volumes, Dashes Hope For V-Shaped Recovery

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's largest container line, warned Wednesday that global trade will continue to falter with volumes declining by at least a quarter in 2Q20.
Zero Hedge
World's Largest Shipper Warns Of Collapsing Volumes, Dashes Hope For V-Shaped Recovery
Tyler Durden

70% of Russians Have Savings, while 70% of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck — Jon Hellevig,

70% of Russians have savings, that will see them through 1- 2 months without other income. In the US, on the contrary, 70% have virtually no savings.
 In America, the bottom 55% have zero savings, while the following 24% – the core of the former middle class – have only $1,000 stashed away. A 2016 report, two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford even a $500 emergency cost of any sort. A staggering 78% of full-time workers are reported to be living from paycheck to paycheck. – However, the US has a very developed corporate welfare system, with most large corporations receiving regular IV injections of bailout money....
And very importantly, in addition to that, Russians have very little personal debt, negligible amounts compared with US households....
Precarity ratio.

Russian Faith
70% of Russians Have Savings, while 70% of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck
Jon Hellevig, Founder of Awara Group

RT — Beijing signals harsh counter-sanctions for US lawmakers & STATES targeting China over Covid-19 outbreak


The gloves are coming off.

RT
Beijing signals harsh counter-sanctions for US lawmakers & STATES targeting China over Covid-19 outbreak

Also

Sputnik International
Trump Warns US Could Cut Off Relations With China Completely Amid Coronavirus Spat

also

Zero Hedge
"We Could Cut Off The Whole Relationship" - War Of Words Between Trump And Beijing Is Heating Up
Tyler Durden
also

Sputnik International
5G is OFF: Trump Extends US Telecom Supply Chain Ban on Huawei Amid Calls to Wind Down Trade War

also

The Unz Review
China Mulls Nuclear Parity

Wikipedia : A Disinformation Operation? [UPDATE: Virgil Griffith, Aaron Swartz & Lockerbie] — Ludwig De Braeckeleer


Interesting.

Intel Today
Wikipedia : A Disinformation Operation? [UPDATE: Virgil Griffith, Aaron Swartz & Lockerbie]
Ludwig De Braeckeleer

Caitlin Johnstone — Biden Can’t Return Things To Normal, Because Trump Is A Normal US President. That’s The Problem.


Yep again. Trump's "sin" is his being upfront about what's going done.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Biden Can’t Return Things To Normal, Because Trump Is A Normal US President. That’s The Problem.
Caitlin Johnstone

Rutger Bregman - The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next?



The best article I've read for a long while. It lifted my spirits in these gloomy times.


In a crisis, what was once unthinkable can suddenly become inevitable. We’re in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war. And neoliberalism is gasping its last breath. So from higher taxes for the wealthy to more robust government, the time has come for ideas that seemed impossible just months ago.


Within a couple of years, Zucman became one of the world’s leading tax experts. In his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), he worked out that $7.6tn of the world’s wealth is hidden in tax havens. And in a book co-authored with Emmanuel Saez, Zucman calculated that the 400 richest US Americans pay a lower tax rate than every single other income group, from plumbers to cleaners to nurses to retirees.

The young economist doesn’t need many words to make his point. His mentor Piketty released another doorstopper in 2020 (coming in at 1,088 pages), but Zucman and Saez’s book can be read in a day. Concisely subtitled “How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” it reads like a to-do list for the next US president.

The Correspondent


https://thecorrespondent.com/466/the-neoliberal-era-is-ending-what-comes-next?

[BEWARE] London Real's Digital Freedom Platform SCAM - Brian Rose EXPOSED

Max Keiser is retweeting London Real tweets, so he obviously approves of them. He has interviewed Brian Rose, of London Real, on his show, but is he running a scam, and could much of fake news movement be a scam too - i. e, the anti-vax, 5g, Bill Gates depopulation conspiracists?






Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Caitlin Johnstone — Why “Obamagate” Will Never Lead To Anything Of Significance


Yep.

Although I would not say it will not lead to anything of significance. It will continue the "divide and conquer" approach that elites take to keep the voters from understanding their own interests and voting for them.

The result is an increasingly divided America that is becoming paralyzed politically. This bodes ill in the face of emerging challenges — epidemics, ecological collapse, and war.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Why “Obamagate” Will Never Lead To Anything Of Significance
Caitlin Johnstone

Roger Farmer — Monetary Finance in the Age of Corona Virus: MMT and the Green New Deal


It will be interesting to see the record when it becomes available.

Roger Farmer's Economic Window
Monetary Finance in the Age of Corona Virus: MMT and the Green New Deal
Roger Farmer | Distinguished Professor of Economics at UCLA

Joe Biden Wants to Hear From Sanders' Policy Wonks. Will It Be Enough to Win Over Bernie's Fans? — Kara Voght


Coalition-building.

Mother Jones
Joe Biden Wants to Hear From Sanders' Policy Wonks. Will It Be Enough to Win Over Bernie's Fans?
Kara Voght

Whistleblower: US could face virus rebound 'darkest winter'

WASHINGTON (AP) — America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job for warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.

Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Whistleblower: US could face virus rebound 'darkest winter'

Spanish antibody study points to 5% of population affected by coronavirus

Another IFR datapoint: with serology testing estimating that 5% of Spains population was exposed, 27,104 deaths, and a population of 46.9 million gives an infection fatality rate of ~1.2%.

Spanish antibody study points to 5% of population affected by coronavirus

But the fatality rate could be even higher.

Hidden figures: Spain's official COVID-19 numbers raise questions


Yves Smith - Foreign Affairs Runs Propaganda from Swedish Employers on Sweden’s Covid-19 Fiasco, Failing to Disclose Sponsorship and Misrepresenting Results

I'm surprised at this, Sweden is considered a very social democratic country, but it looks like big business hijacked its public health policy.

Foreign Affairs just published an article that attempts to depict the failed Swedish approach to Covid-19 as not just a success, but even the way of the future. I suppose if you regard failed state in the making like the US as a harbinger, you could view this description as accurate. But nations that aspire to better like South Korea, New Zealand, Germany, and the Czech Republic, would beg to differ. As reader juno mas put it earlier this week, “For a relatively rural, isolated nation, Sweden is a train wreck.”

Naked Capitalism 

Yves Smith - Foreign Affairs Runs Propaganda from Swedish Employers on Sweden’s Covid-19 Fiasco

New Zealand vs Britain Covid Response

How New Zealand responded to Covid-19 compared to the UK. New Zealand said it was paramount to save lives.


Wuhan orders fresh coronavirus tests for all residents as new cluster fans fears of second wave



Wuhan has ordered fresh Covid-19 tests for all 14 million residents after six new infections were reported over the weekend

Wuhan orders fresh coronavirus tests for all residents as new cluster fans fears of second wave

Covid-19: How Has China Been Dealing with It? Frank Li


Frank Li presents an alternative picture.

econintesect.com
Covid-19: How Has China Been Dealing with It?
Frank Li | Chinese ex-pat, Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company, B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering

Messages from “Fiscal Space” — Jayati Ghosh

While many advanced economies increase government spending to unprecedented levels to mitigate the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, most developing countries have struggled to marshal even relatively small rescue packages. These differences reflect a systemic flaw in the global economy....
The Post-Colonial Era is really the neocolonial era.

Project Syndicate
Messages from “Fiscal Space”
Jayati Ghosh | Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi

Also at PS
The economic crisis that has befallen emerging and developing economies is being treated as temporary, with a moratorium on interest payments and a promise of commercial credits remaining valid only through the end of the year. In other words, the policy response is woefully inadequate to these countries' situation....
Managing the Coming Global Debt Crisis
Barry Eichengreen

Here’s what academic social, behavioral, and economic scientists should be working on right now. — Andrew Gelman


And all this needs to be integrated into a systems approach. This is very difficult since solutions must be implemented in an ideologically diverse and oppositional political environment in which the general level of education is not high.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
Here’s what academic social, behavioral, and economic scientists should be working on right now.
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis — James K. Galbraith

Disaster capitalism is being tried, and the worst case is now the likely case. But there is a scale beyond which disaster capitalism cannot go. At a certain point, the carnage becomes too great to neglect, impossible to avoid and lethal to overlook. At a certain point, ordinary people will stand up and refuse to be bullied any more. That point has not quite arrived; we are still in the mind-set of “getting back to normal,” even as the pandemic continues. The contradiction between normality and public health is on people’s minds; the impossibility of returning to the previous abnormal-normal has not yet settled in. It will, in due course. At that point, the question of alternatives will have to be faced....
Let's hope. But with the political prospects we have before us, hope seems scant.

Defend Democracy Press
We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis
James K. Galbraith | Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin

Five ways to have better data after COVID-19 — Claire Melamed

Data is useless unless it’s used. Everything above is pointless unless governments actually want to use all this data to make decisions. And the last few years have been, ahem, challenging ones for those who think big decisions are best made using good evidence.

So better data after COVID-19 isn’t about any one thing. It’s a slow incremental process of creating a system, based on good law and respect for rights, fully embedded into political cultures and expectations, attuned to market realities, and trusted by the public.
Two levers can help to build those systems: effective advocacy (governments have to want to do it) and good examples of how to do it (they need to know how). That’s what the Global Partnership was created for, and that’s what we’re doing, little by little, around the world...
Facts (data processed into information) are the raw material of critical and creative thinking. Logic and mathematics are the methods. Modeling combines facts and thinking about them. Establishing causation is based on theory and hypothesis testing.

This pandemic is showing up the need for rigorous thinking based on observation.

But then this arsenal needs to be deployed effectively. Since this involves politics, it's a challenge.

Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
Five ways to have better data after COVID-19
Guest post by Dr. Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

Resurrection [of Marx] — Ernesto Estévez Rams

I suppose some people wonder why I keep coming back to Marx. Here is the reason.
  This is how very influential - and not at all communist - Jacques Attali once described him, "He was the first to grasp the world as a whole, which is at once political, scientific and philosophical. From that point of view, he is, as the communist historian Eric Hosbawm said, “the recognized founding father of modern thinking about society.”...
There is also a return that implies greater practical persistence. Marx sought a different, rational way of seeing the world as a whole, and for that purpose created tools of analysis to reassess, not only the legacy of philosophical, economic and humanist thought before his time, but also that of the future. So much so that Nobel Laureate in Economics – and no communist at all – Sir John Hicks, admitted, “Most of those who wish to design a general history course would use Marxist categories, or a modified version of them, since there are few alternative versions available.”
Marx is a member of that sparsely populated Parnassus along with Newton, Darwin and Einstein, who have been so uncommon as to create frameworks which have been universally useful in human intellectual action....
Marx was a comprehensive thinker, the first person to combine the major disciplines that were becoming scientific in the 19th century. The 17th century had seen the enormous rise of natural science under Newton, but it was still largely under the sway of the theological and philosophical approach that had dominated Western thought since the ancient Greeks.

However, the 19th century saw the rise of chemistry, biology, and social science to complement the advances in physics made in the 18th century and physics made its own strides in the 19th century as well. Mathematics correspondingly grew to meet the challenges of quantitative expression.

As result, the work of not only Newton is regard as seminal but also Darwin in biology, Freud in psychology, and Marx in social science. Marx was solidly in the tradition of Aristotle in attempting to make philosophy "scientific" in the sense of observational and quantitative as much as possible.

Just as all the other disciplines have come a long way since their founders; so too with Marx. However, physics is still physics, chemistry is still chemistry, etc. But the social sciences split into different disciplines — anthropology, sociology, economics, behavioral psychology, social psychology, etc. Moreover, much more sophisticated mathematical and statistical capabilities were developed to express these disciplines scientifically.

But no single person has come along to match Marx in the scope and depth of his approach. One reason for this is that until the 19th century it was possible to know all about everything, so to speak, because the knowledge base was still rather limited. Owing to the explosion of knowledge and information, that is no longer possible.

The result is a knowledge based that is fragmented based on disciplines and specialties. The consequence is that overarching views tend to be ideological rather than integrated. The result is alternative world views that can clash with each other, with no way to decide objectively, since criteria are hidden assumptions in implicit models of reality.

Thus, Marx can still teach us how to see the world scientifically in a way that integrates the scientific approach based on many disciplines in a "meta" way. A problem now is with modeling this tractably. General systems theory, complexity theory, chaos theory, fuzzy logic, etc. are attempts to synthesize knowledge based on "consilience," that is, a view that integrates the findings of all the sciences. But the big picture still eludes us.

The economics profession has not yet awoken to this challenge, at least for the most part, and so most approaches to economics are intellectually and scientifically puny, while many are pseudoscientific, adopting the veneer of "science" without actually doing science in a way that is consilient, or even exhibiting awareness of other sciences.

Marx made a valiant attempt and whether one agrees with his analysis wholly or partially, one can profits by understanding how it went about doing what he did.

Three "economists" stand out in this regard and significantly none of them was an economist by training. Adam Smith was a philosophy professor. Karl Marx was a philosopher chose to pursue philosophy as a game-changer, and John Maynard Keynes was a polymath trained as a mathematician. They are all still worth reading.

Th only other philosopher-economists that have approached the big picture and deserve recognition for it are the "Libertarians," broadly speaking for want of a better word — Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and Nozick, for example. Interestingly, both Marx and the Libertarians were anti-statist, from different angle, left and right. Both strive to be scientific as well. But that is another subject.

A third big picture approach that is not given its due, in my view, is Catholic social teaching. That this teaching is more traditionalist than liberal probably accounts for this.

But these are schools. I don't think there is a single individual that was as comprehensive in approach as Marx, although I would argue that Marx really is properly viewed as Marx-Engels.

MR Online
Resurrection
Originally published: Granma English by Ernesto Estévez Rams

If the Treasury view prevails we will be back in the 1930s – which is precisely why their ‘balanced budget’ demands must be rejected Richard Murphy


"The Treasury view" that fiscal  responsibility requires balancing the budget led to the second leg down in the US during the Great Depression when FDR listened to the fiscal disciplinarians at the outset of his second term. Note that Keynes had published the General Theory in 1936, and FDR was already quite aware of Keynes. When FDR adopted the Treasury view in 1937, the recovery began to tank, and and he reversed his position in 1938. See, How FDR Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Keynesian Economics.

Tax Research UK
If the Treasury view prevails we will be back in the 1930s – which is precisely why their ‘balanced budget’ demands must be rejected
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 — Never trust a NAIRU estimate

It is Wednesday, so only some snippets today as I have deadlines and some travel to deal with. We have been finalising a Report on our latest estimates of the investment required to introduce a full-scale Job Guarantee in Australia. As part of that work, I have been going back through my NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment) estimates and updating data. I am also going to talk about that a bit in my presentation to the Economic Society of Australia tonight. That talk is about ultimately aimed at explaining the inflation fighting mechanisms inherent in the Job Guarantee, which is a centrepiece of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). But to understand why that option is superior in efficiency terms, one has to know what the alternative buffer stock mechanism is. And that, of course, is the NAIRU orthodoxy. Also today, I am announcing some more detail about our plans to launch MMTed Q&A, as a weekly live program that will help people interested in our work to achieve better understandings. And some RIP style music with a suprising inflation result! Who could ask for more on a Wednesday. Tomorrow, the ABS release the Labour Force data and we will see how bad things have become in the Australian labour market over the month (more or less) just gone....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Never trust a NAIRU estimate
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Trump pushing Fed for negative rates


Sees negative rates as a defense against all  "teh deficit!" criticisms he's been getting from his right libertarian flank...  at negative rates its "free money!" so "teh deficit!" doesn't matter, etc...

And he's eventually been getting everything he wants from the Fed...











A Doctor Reacts to Plandemic

Dr Zubin Damania says you have got to be freaking stupid to take this garbage seriously.




US is `printing' money to help save the economy from the COVID-19 crisis, but some wonder how far it can go, by BRENT SCHROTENBOER

Tcherneva is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Paul. She is a proponent of "Modern Monetary Theory," which argues that the government can always pay its bills by creating more money, minimizing the importance of deficits and debt.

Does 'creating' money create an inflation risk?

Paul, the former Texas congressman and author of "End the Fed," predicts such money creation will lead to disaster. He says it will cause overheated financial bubbles fueled by too much easy money in the system – a bubble that could burst with painful fallout. Creating too much money that chases too few goods also leads to price inflation, decreasing the purchasing power of the dollar.

But high inflation didn’t materialize the last time the Fed created money on a similar scale as part of its efforts to revive the economy during and after the Great Recession. To the contrary, an arguably bigger concern – then and now – has been persistently low inflation, which eventually could lead to deflation, or falling prices, that prompt consumers to put off spending and hurt the economy.

"With the economy so down, and inflation so low, the fears that these kinds of operations will lead to high inflation in the United States seem very farfetched," Blinder said

US is `printing' money to help save the economy from the COVID-19 crisis, but some wonder how far it can go