Wednesday, September 30, 2020

France to ban wild animals in travelling circuses



France said on Tuesday it planned to "gradually" ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, the farming of mink for fur and the breeding of dolphins and orcas in captivity.

Animals rights group PETA hailed the decision as "an historic victory".

France to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

Amanda D'Ambrosio: Does Virus Dose or Load Predict How Sick You Get With COVID-19?

— Initial exposure, strength of virus infection both seen as contributors to illness severity







Cruise ship passengers who embarked from the coast of Argentina in mid-March were unaware that they were living in a COVID-19 hotspot for more than a week after the ship departed.

The reason why these passengers were oblivious? Because a majority of the cruise ship's cases were asymptomatic.

Researchers are now pointing to this cruise ship outbreak, in which all passengers were provided surgical masks, as evidence that universal masking may result in a higher proportion of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. Other outbreaks of mostly asymptomatic cases where widespread masking was implemented, in places like jails and meatpacking plants, provide epidemiological data that masks could reduce viral inoculum -- and as a result, decrease the severity of illness.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Monica Gandhi, MD, and George Rutherford, MD, of the University of California in San Francisco, hypothesized that widespread population masking may act as a sort of "variolation," exposing individuals to a smaller amount of viral particles and producing an immune response.

Gandhi told MedPage Today that the viral inoculum, or the initial dose of virus that a patient takes in, is one likely determinant of ultimate illness severity. That's separate from patients' subsequent viral load, the level of replicating virus as measured by copies per mL.

The "variolation" hypothesis holds that, at some level, the inoculum overwhelms the immune system, leading to serious illness. With less than that (and the threshold may vary from one person to the next), the individual successfully fights off the infection, with mild or no clinical illness.

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Degrowth and the ‘assistance’ of Modern Monetary Theory — Peter May

So when Jason Hickell says that “MMT provides an opportunity for us to create a post-growth, post-capitalist economy” he is saying no more than it is possible now with our current monetary system.
So money is decidedly not the problem, nor even capitalism.
Political will is the problem.
It appears to me that Peter May misses an important point about "capitalism" based on economic liberalism. Right from the start of the industrial age, the rallying cry of private enterprise was "laissez-faire," which means freeing business and commerce from government intrusion. This is based on the assumption that left to itself the "free market" is the most efficient and effective form of economic organization owing to the operation of market forces operating through the law of supply and demand.

This is still a strong argument accepted by much of the liberal world aka "capitalist" world, since "capitalism" is equated with economic liberalism and economic liberalism and political liberalism, that is, liberal democracy, are assumed to go hand in hand.

So advocates of economic liberalism would argue that imputing to them the motive of reducing the public footprint in the economy is not a matter of tilting the scales in favor of private enterprise.

The objection still has to be met that any motion in the direction of more "socialism" leads to greater inefficiency and reduced effectiveness.

Progressive Pulse
Degrowth and the ‘assistance’ of Modern Monetary Theory
Peter May

China deploys Sun Tzu to prevail in the Chip War — Pepe Escobar


Leapfrogging.

The Vineyard of the Saker
China deploys Sun Tzu to prevail in the Chip War
Pepe Escobar

See also

Strategic Culture Foundation
The United States’ Miscalculation in South Asia
Sabria Chowdhury Balland

Decoding China’s “Dual Circulation” Strategy — Yu Yongding

Since May, when China's central leadership started referring to a "new development pattern," there has been much speculation about whether the country is embracing an entirely new economic model. In fact, the government is merely describing changes that have already happened.
Yu Yongding is considered an authority on Chinese policy that is worth listening to.

Project Syndicate
Decoding China’s “Dual Circulation” Strategy
Yu Yongding, a former president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, served on the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006.

See also

SCMP
China and world at risk of financial turmoil greater than 2008 crisis, ex-finance minister warns
Orange Wang, SCMP corespondent

Charlie Chaplin and Karl Marx in Conversation: On Working and Being in Modern Times — Steven Stoll


Interesting if you remember the film, Modern Times.

Public Seminar
Charlie Chaplin and Karl Marx in Conversation: On Working and Being in Modern Times
Steven Stoll | Professor of history at Fordham University and author of Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia

Should bankers or Australians get RBA “monopoly money”? David Llewellyn-Smith


What the bankers and politicians are not telling people.

Same story in the US at the time of the GFC and aftermath. Grifting aka "pretend and extend."

Macrobusiness
Should bankers or Australians get RBA “monopoly money”?
David Llewellyn-Smith

See also

Stumbling and Mumbling
Savers, capitalism & self-interest
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Bill Mitchell – Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 6

This is Part 6 of my on-going examination of the concept of ‘duty to work’ and how it was associated with the related idea of a ‘right to work’. Neoliberalism has broken the nexus between the ‘right to work’ responsibilities that the state assumed in the social democratic period and the ‘duty to work’ responsibilities that are imposed on workers in return for income support. That break abandons the binding reciprocity that enriched our societies and has spawned a solid argument for a basic income. But the solution to the problem is to reinstate the link between opportunity to work and the societal benefits of work, especially as it enhances the material well-being of the least advantaged. In this part, I explore that theme.

The earlier parts in this series are:
1. Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 1 (August 4, 2020).
2. Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 2 (August 11, 2020).
3. Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 3 (August 20, 2020).
4. Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 4 (September 1, 2020).
5. Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 5 (September 8, 2020).
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Tracing the roots of progressive views on the duty to work – Part 6
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Weiner Brodsky Kidder, PC — 2nd Circuit Holds Loan from Federal Reserve Bank Covered by False Claims Act


Appeals Court decision on legal status of Federal Reserve with respect to government and the private sector.

Weiner Brodsky Kidder, PC
2nd Circuit Holds Loan from Federal Reserve Bank Covered by False Claims Act
h/t Rohan Grey | Assistant Professor of Law, Willamette University

Here is Rohan's comments on Twitter. Not new but I just pick it up and thought to pass it on.

Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
Level 1:
1. A tweet thread on a recent court case of relevance to monetary theorists: U.S. v Wells Fargo (2d Cir. 2019) (https://jdsupra.com/legalnews/2nd-circuit-holds-loan-from-federal-93164/
) H/t @sam_a_bell
 & @PeterContiBrown
. 1/n
2nd Circuit Holds Loan from Federal Reserve Bank Covered by False Claims Act
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that, under certain circumstances, an entity which borrows money from a Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) has made a claim to the...
jdsupra.com
5:26 PM · Jan 6, 2020·Twitter Web App
·
Jan 6
Level 2:
2. US v Wells Fargo was a dispute over whether a fraudulent loan request presented to the emergency lending facilities of a Federal Reserve Bank (“FRB”) constituted a claim under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) (31 USC 3729 et seq.). 2/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 3:
3. The district court concluded that it didn’t, but the 2nd Circuit disagreed and vacated/remanded. Wells Fargo and the US Govt were named parties, but the Fed Board of Governors (BoG), and the FRBs of New York and Richmond also submitted amici briefs. 3/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 4:
3. The district court concluded that it didn’t, but the 2nd Circuit disagreed and vacated/remanded. Wells Fargo and the US Govt were named parties, but the Fed Board of Governors (BoG), and the FRBs of New York and Richmond also submitted amici briefs. 3/n
Show replies
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 5:
5. To qualify under the latter category, the money requested from a contractor/grantee/other recipient must be i) “spent or used on the Govt’s behalf or to advance a Govt program or interest; and ii) provided for or reimbursed, at least in part, by the US Govt. 5/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 6:
6. Additionally, the FCA clearly states that it does not matter whether the US Govt has “title” to the money it “provides” to the contractor/grantee/other recipient (this distinction will prove relevant). 6/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 7:
7. The decision offers many insights, but ill focus on the three core issues that the Court considered: 1) the “officer/employee” issue; 2) the “agent” issue; and 3) the “money” issue. 7/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 8:
8. FIRST, the 2nd Circuit held that FRB personnel were not officers or employees of the US Govt. 8/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 9:
9. This holding is consistent with longstanding caselaw, including a SCOTUS decision from 1928 (275 US 415) concluding that FRBs were not “departments of the Government.” 9/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 10:
10. It’s also consistent with the amici briefs of the FRBs of New York and Richmond, which argued that FRBs were established to ‘serve the interests of, but stand apart from, the sovereign.’ 10/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 11:
11. Critically, however, the Court distinguished the FRBs from the BoG, which it called “an independent agency within the executive branch” 11/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 12:
12. Additionally, the Court noted that since the founding of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, Congress had “transferred functional ownership and control of the FRBs to the Treasury and to the BoG.” 12/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 13:
13. SECOND, the Court held that although FRB personnel were not direct employees/officers of the US, FRBs were nevertheless “agents” of the US *when operating emergency lending facilities.* 13/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 14:
14. Notably, the Court declined to extend its finding beyond the narrow scope of the emergency lending program, leaving open the question of whether other FRB activities constitute the actions of an agent of the US Govt. 14/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 15:
15. This finding refuted the view expressed in the FRBs’s amici briefs, that FRBs were “federal instrumentalities,” but nevertheless were not agents of the US Govt when conducting emergency lending. 15/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 16:
16. In particular, the Court held that the US created the FRBs to “act on its behalf in extending emergency credit to banks,” and that FRBs did so in compliance with Congressional strictures and BoG rules. 16/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 17:
17. Importantly, the Court held that the FCA did not require “agents of the US” to be “agents of a US agency,” only that FRBs “act, and be empowered by law to act, on behalf of the US.” 17/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 18:
18. Additionally, the Court clarified that its holding that FRBs were agents of the US Govt did not imply FRBs were acting on behalf of the BoG in particular. 18/n

Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 38:
38. The Court rejected the FRBs’ argument that the money lent in the emergency credit programs was not provided by the US Govt because it did not come from the US Treasury, but was instead created “ex nihilo, at a keystroke,” by FRBs 38/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 39:
39. Instead, the Court held that the FCA “nowhere limit[ed] liability to requests involving ‘Treasury Funds,’” and instead adopted a “deliberately broad” framework that applies “whether or not the US Govt has title to the money” in question 39/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 40:
40. Thus, the Court agreed with the US and BoG’s view that the word “provides” in the FCA is “properly read to reach some circumstances in which the Govt makes money available through an exercise of its legal authority outside the appropriations process” 40/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 41:
41. This conclusion is consistent with an earlier decision, US ex rel. Health v Wisconsin Bell, Inc., (E.D. Wis. 2015), which held that “[t]he fact that [Universal Service] Fund money does not pass through the Treasury does not make the Gvt any less its source” 41/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 42:
42. Additionally, the Court noted that when banks who received emergency lending “withdr[ew]” the process of those loans in the form of Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), they “quite literally receive money ‘provided’ by the BoG,” 42/n
Show replies
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 43:
43. The Court noted that FRNs are one of two types of legal tender in the US, along with coins, and while the Treasury (Mint) determined the supply of coins (31 USC 5111(a)(1)), the BoG controlled the supply of notes (12 USC 411). 43/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 44:
44. This authority, the Court concluded, was a delegation of Congress’s exclusive power to create money under Art. I, S. 8 of the US Constitution, building on the Mixt Money case from 1605, and reaffirmed in Knox v. Lee, 49 US 457 (1871) 44/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 45:
45. The Court saw “no reason why Congress’s decision to separate the FRBs from the Board and the Board from the Treasury” should “alter [its] conclusion that the US is the source of the purchasing power” extended via emergency lending facilities 45/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 46:
46. Thus, the Court found that the BoG, like the Mint, was an agency of the US, and the fact that the BoG “unlike the Mint, is not also a bureau of the Treasury Department is of no legal significance here” 46/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 47:
47. Instead, the Court determined that Congress “empowered” the BoG and FRBs to act “in conjunction” to issue legal tender, and “[h]ad Congress not delegated this power to the Fed, the FRBs would be unable to extend the loans at issue in this case” 47/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 48:
48. Consequently, the Court found that in extending reserves the FRBs were acting as “issuers of base money” on behalf of the US Govt as “federal instrumentalities” 48/n
Show replies
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 49:
49. Additionally, the Court rejected as irrelevant 12 USC 244, which provides that the “funds derived” by the BoG through assessments on FRBs “shall not be construed to be govt funds or appropriated monies” 49/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 50:
50. In the Court’s view, the purpose of 12 USC 244 was to distinguish the money used to fund the BoG’s operating budget from Congressionally appropriated money, and had nothing to do with the creation of reserves by FRBs 50/n
Rohan Grey
@rohangrey
·
Jan 6
Level 51:
51. Overall, this case is, in my view, a validation of the merits of the ‘consolidation’ approach to Tsy-Fed analysis, as well as a direct refutation to the conspiracy theorish claims that the Fed is merely a “private entity owned by banks”. 51/n

Monday, September 28, 2020

Michael Roberts — Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?

The latest Trade and Development report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the economic research agency to help ‘developing countries’, is a must read. Not only is it packed with data and statistics about trends and developments in global production, trade and investment, but this 2020 issue takes a very radical position on how to get the world economy out of what the IMF calls the ‘lockdown’ slump.
From the Marxian perspective, the problem is falling profit rate. Michael Roberts observes that Keynes called this "the marginal efficiency of capital."
Indeed, on occasion even Keynes recognised that profitability (which he called the ‘marginal efficiency of capital’) was an important factor in causing slumps. As he said: “Unemployment, I must repeat, exists because employers have been deprived of profit. The loss of profit may be due to all sorts of causes. But, short of going over to Communism, there is no possible means of curing unemployment except by restoring to employers a proper margin of profit.” If the marginal efficiency of capital fell below the interest cost of borrowing capital, then capitalists would have a loss of ‘animal spirits’ and stop investing and instead hoard money. But this aspect of Keynesian theory is ignored by modern Keynesians (as it was by Keynes himself).
The problem is the structure of capitalism based on the relationship of profit and firm investment and and the profit rate depends on the capital/labor share. This and the following posts explore this relationship.

Michael Roberts Blog
Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?

Marxian economics for the 21st century? — David F. Ruccio

In this post, I continue the draft of sections of my forthcoming book, “Marxian Economics: An Introduction.” This, like the previous four posts (here, here, here, and here), is written to serve as the basis for chapter 1, Marxian Economics Today. The text of this post should pretty much finish up the draft of the first chapter....
Occasional Links & Commentary
Marxian economics for the 21st century?
David F. Ruccio | Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Notre Dame.

Adopting a clean gold standard — JP Koning


Not a monetary gold standard, but green way of treating gold.

Russia and China would never go for it, since they are principal gold miners and gold reserves are way to avoid being the victim of Western economic warfare led by the US.

Moneyness
Adopting a clean gold standard
JP Koning

The 'bazooka': Modern Monetary Theory in action — Peter Bofinger


Not exactly in paradigm with MMT, but positive nevertheless.

Social Europe
The 'bazooka': Modern Monetary Theory in action
Peter Bofinger

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bill Mitchell – The inner Groupthink camp is breaking up – paradigm shift continues

Last week, there were some rather significant shifts in the public discourse surrounding macroeconomic policy and challenges made to the orthodox economics taboos that have been used to prevent governments from acting in the best interest of the citizens. First, the Australian treasurer broke away from the government’s previous obsession with fiscal surplus pursuit to announce that for the foreseeable future it was only going to concentrate on jobs and growth. In his statement, he basically refuted all the mainstream macroeconomic claims about fiscal deficits – higher interest rates, lower private investment, lower growth, lower private sector confidence etc. There is really nothing left of the mainstream position now and any politician or economist that tries to resurrect the ‘debt and deficit’ narratives of the past will find it hard gaining the same politician traction that they were able to garner some years ago at the height of the neoliberal period. And, if that was not enough, a former Federal treasurer attacked the ‘high priests’ of the central bank, demanding they buy up government bonds and help the government run “Mountainous” deficits to achieve full employment. The flood gates opened just a bit more after those interventions along the way to jettisoning all the mainstream nonsense that should have been abandoned decades ago....
Traction.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The inner Groupthink camp is breaking up – paradigm shift continues
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

China needs new long tech march after US attack on SMIC — Global Times editorial


Editorial calling for a Chinese "Manhattan Project" to compete technologically with the US.

Note that Global Times is published by the People's Daily, official press organ of the CCP, but Global Time is not considered an official source.

Revenge of the Money Launderers — Matt Taibbi

The "FinCen Files" story reveals: getting caught not only doesn’t stop the world's biggest banks from moving dirty money, it may encourage them
Substack (subscription may be required)
Revenge of the Money Launderers
Matt Taibbi

Links — 28 Sep 2020

Quillette (tribalism culturally and perspectivalism epistemologically)
The Bias that Divides Us
Keith E. Stanovich

CaitlinJohnstone.com (Liberals are GOP lite — Rockefeller Republicans, but Progressives are center-left in comparison with the Left globally. The US no longer has a real left.)
Why Liberals Hate Leftists
Caitlin Johnstone

The Intercept (Democrats not immune either. Neofascism is on the rise.)
Democrats Need to Wake Up: The Trump Movement Is Shot Through With Fascism
Rich Benjamin

Strategic Culture Foundation (confirmation bias is one the strongest and most prevalent cognitive-affective biases.)
Gallup: Americans Tend to Trust Only News That Confirms Their Beliefs; Highly Educated Americans Are by Far the Most Closed-Minded Group

The Grayzone (longish and detailed)
Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media
Ben Norton

Contere (tip of the iceberg?)
How the CIA Helped Create the First Mexican Cartel: On Amazon's "The Last Narc"

Sputnik International (desperation)
'Anti-Capitalist' Material Banned From English Schools as Neo-McCarthyism Grips the West

BRICS
Trial of a Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine in Russia: 'No Side Effects'

Russia and Huawei to Create Game-Changing New Android Alternative


Gower — Time to worry less (or better not at all) about the national debt and challenge the government’s economic record instead.

Whilst those of us with a better understanding of how money works shout at the TV with incredulity that the same falsities are being repeated endlessly, many of those same journalists and presenters fail to make the very real connections between government spending, the state of the economy and the lives of its citizens.

Whilst the implication of unaffordability and a future tax burden prevails as a reason to curtail spending eventually, the real price has been and remains a human one; economic instability and uncertainty for people and the prospect of more damage to the environment. We can’t afford to improve people’s lives or even save the planet! Apparently.…
Ignorance and disinformation involve real costs imposed on people and society, including loss of opportunity.

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies

Zero Hedge — "Anything Tesla Can Do, We Can Do": Huawei Set To Become Major Competition In Electric Vehicles

Xu Zhijun, a rotating chairman of Huawei is on record in 2019 as saying: "If you look at the stock price of Tesla, you will know where the future of automobiles lies."

His comment was foreshadowing as to where Huawei's future business efforts may be directed, according to Nikkei. In April 2019, the company set up a "smart car solutions" segment of its auto business. Their auto business currently has 5 segments: smart driving, smart cockpit platform, intelligent network, smart electric and cloud services....

Huawei reportedly wants to become a "one-stop supplier of all software and hardware for smart cars and seeks a dominant say in the industry," Nikkei says. There will only be two or three such major players globally, the report predicts.

Zero Hedge (old news, but it's an indication of where the Chinese are setting up to compete.)
"Anything Tesla Can Do, We Can Do": Huawei Set To Become Major Competition In Electric Vehicles
Tyler Durden

TASS — Domestic demand to become main source of GDP growth in Russia in 2021-2023, says ministry


Russia is joining China in developing the domestic economy as the driver of GDP.

Russia and China are also increasing trade, reducing dependence on the others.

Both countries are restructuring their economies owing to sanctions and increasing their strategic alliance economically as well as militarily.

TASS
Domestic demand to become main source of GDP growth in Russia in 2021-2023, says ministry

see also

Finances improving as Russia de-dollarizes. But revenue from oil exports is also important, and GS sees the oil price rising over the next couple of years.

Sputnik International
Russian Ruble is One of Top Emerging Market Currency Picks by Goldman Sachs After Pandemic

Understanding The Non-Existence Of Financial Constraints — Brian Romanchuk

In summary, if we accept the premise that the government can wait for after a recession to worry about its finances, then we can say that it does not face a financial constraint. Given that the former appears to be a consensus view, the non-existence of financial constraints is not particularly radical.
Bond Economics
Understanding The Non-Existence Of Financial Constraints
Brian Romanchuk

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin — Gerald Holtham

The solution to a problem that is sociological and political does not lie in abstract discussions of methodology or trying to identify philosophical mistakes. It lies in being open-minded to insights from outside economics , in constructing theories that use appropriate formal methods not theories that are constructed to show off command of formal methods whether appropriate or not. It means defining the domain of theoretical propositions and accepting the verdict of empirical data relevant to that domain. In other words the answer to people doing it wrong is not to despair and retreat into philosophy; the answer is to do it right. No-one should claim that is easy.
The problem with conventional economics is assuming that economics is naturalistic like natural science rather than historical, in that participants are socially embedded in contexts that are dynamic.  The degree of complexity increases from physical systems, to biological systems, to social systems. Hence, different methodology — developing suitable methods for inquiry — is called for.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin
Gerald Holtham

See also

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What’s the use of economic models?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Keynes and Henderson Create A Qualitative Multiplier — Robert Vienneau


Some history of economics relevant to MMT and the MMT JG.

Thoughts On Economics
Keynes and Henderson Create A Qualitative Multiplier
Robert Vienneau

Friday, September 25, 2020

Zero Hedge — Chinese Container Factories Are Now Sold Out Until February


Anticipated strength in Chinese exports.

Not all China though. Shipping companies are stocking up.
A handful of producers in China build almost all of the world’s containers.
Interesting article about the shipping industry.

Zero Hedge
Chinese Container Factories Are Now Sold Out Until February
Greg Miller, senior editor at American Shipper

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate increased in August, Highest Since January 2013 — Bill McBride



Calculated Risk
Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate increased in August, Highest Since January 2013
Bill McBride

Carlos García, José Luis de la Fuente – Is it Time for a Job Guarantee Programme in Spain?

All this makes us think that in an advanced society such as ours it is no longer an illusion to defend the veracity of this statement: the only way to achieve permanent full employment is to prohibit involuntary unemployment, and therefore it is necessary to implement a program that guarantees that everyone who wants and can work has access to a decent job....
Such measures would not be impossible within the European Union and the euro if the European Union were to change its treaties. Above all, it would be necessary for the 3% public deficit limit set by the Stability and Growth Pact to be removed. If this were to happen and the European Union were to recognise that the correct level of public deficit is that which guarantees full employment without inflation thanks to job guarantees based on employment buffer stocks, the problem of mass unemployment in Spain could be solved within the European Union. However, there is no indication that the European Union will reform its treaties in this direction. Consequently, within the European Union and the single currency zone there will be no end to mass unemployment.
Brave New Europe
Carlos García, José Luis de la Fuente – Is it Time for a Job Guarantee Programme in Spain?
Carlos García Hernández, managing director of the publishing house Lola Books, and  José Luis de la Fuente O’Connor, Professor at the Polytechnical University of Madrid

In ANT We Trust: Alibaba's Ant Group Launches Major Cross-Border Blockchain Platform Amid Record IPO Demond Cureton

Hangzhou-based Ant Group will list the dual IPO amid early investor interest and is will be based on a valuation of roughly $250bn, according to Reuters....
Sputnik International
In ANT We Trust: Alibaba's Ant Group Launches Major Cross-Border Blockchain Platform Amid Record IPO
Demond Cureton

Russia Remains China’s Top Oil Supplier —Tom Kool


Russia has taken over from Saudi Arabia. For one thing, pipelines across land are more efficient than shipping by tankers. Secondly, Saudi Arabia is in the pocket of the US, which views China as an adversary in addition to a competitor.

Russia and China also settle in their own currencies in their own payments system.

This implies that Russia is far less dependent on the European market for its exports than it was previously.

Oilprice
Russia Remains China’s Top Oil Supplier
Tom Kool

Americans Who Support Status Quo Politics Are American Supremacists — Caitlin Johnstone


I would not dignify them with the title American Supremacists when it appears that they are just plain old Neofascists beating the drum of exceptionalism.

Supremacism is based on the assumption of national exceptionalism, which is similar to racial and ethnic exceptionalism and some national exceptionalists are also either racial exceptionalists or ethnic exceptionalists, or both. National exceptionalism manifesting as supremacism are categorically different from pride in one's country and patriotism, although national exceptionalism masquerades a both. This syndrome is beyond party and is characteristic of much of the establishments of both US political parties.

Nor is this syndrome limited to the US, or even to the West. There is also cultural exceptionalism and many traditional cultures are victims of it.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Americans Who Support Status Quo Politics Are American Supremacists
Caitlin Johnstone

See also

Counterpunch (non-white non-Western people)
The U.S. ‘War on Terror’ Has Displaced 37 Million People
David Vine

also

Counterpunch (aggressive behavior to provoke the adversary)
Provocation on the High Seas: U.S. Naval Adventures Near the Shores of Russia, China and Iran
Eve Ottenberg

Also

Counterpunch
Time to Put an End to the Nuclear Age (Brinksmanship)
Olivia Alperstein

Lawler: Serious Delinquency Rate on FHA-Insured SF Loans Up Again in August — Bill McBride


The US economy is beginning to recover in some respects. But is the recovery being threatened by the overhang of private debt?

A fast recovery would take care of this issue on its own, but a gradual recovery or a setback would exacerbate it. 

To some degree this is a policy choice, but it also depends on the direction of the pandemic. The past is not always predictive of the future, but judging on the basis of previous pandemics, it takes about two year to work its way through a society enough to produce herd immunity, after many deaths. 

This obviously influences the willingness of the public to carry on normal business owing to the risk of exposure. However, what's new is the Internet and online transactions, with a delivery system in place.

So it appears that politicians and policy makers really need to be looking closely at the issue of ability to service private debt in the absence of a policy remedy unless there would be significant voluntary restructuring. 

The problem is, however, that it is a systemic issue. Ad hoc patches are are not well thought out are not likely to do the job.