Thursday, July 29, 2021

Analysis News - Christian Nationalists in Military See Trump as Vehicle for Authoritarian Religious State - TRAILER

The Jesus I was taught about when I was a boy said, "Love thy neighbour, turn the other cheek, and he who has not sinned cast the first stone." This Jesus was gentle. He also cared for the poor and destitute. 

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says quite possibly as much as a third of the U.S. military have been recruited to extreme Christian Nationalism, including at the highest levels. They were heavily involved in the events of Jan 6th. The full interview will be available on Friday at with Paul Jay.

Gilead is a strict, totalitarian regime that bases its laws and customs around only a very literal, fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian Bible. ... All citizens must follow only Gilead's own official version of Christianity.

From Twitter 

Can G7 Countries Compete With China’s Belt And Road Initiative? — Oxford Business Group

Won't work unless the Western governments back their private companies that are supposed to put risk capital into it in order to make a profit. And it won't work for the West either if the West doesn't ties strings to the investment, which will mean it won't work for the target countries.

Moreover, the third world is out of the natural reach of the capitalist countries other than as colonies.

This is overreach.

For China (and Russia) it is an entirely different story. This is their region of operations.

But also count on the countries targeted by the US and China for absorption into their respective systems to play both sides against each other.

Oxford Business Group

See also

Why Russia Warns India Against the US’ Indo-Pacific Plans
Andrew Korybko 

Eye-Witness Account of US Attempts to Destabilize Cuba — Katherine Guerrera

What US economic warfare looks like in Cuba.
As a Canadian with family members that live in Cuba, who was in Cuba during the anti-government protests that occurred on July 11, I found myself in a unique and disturbing position where I could see and feel the disconnect between what was being reported by the mainstream media back home and what was really happening on the ground in Cuba.
International 360º
Eye-Witness Account of US Attempts to Destabilize Cuba
Katheryne Guerrera

*guerrera means woman warrior.

Emma Graham-Harrison - China’s talks with Taliban could be a positive thing, US says

Delegation from militants meets Chinese foreign minister as Beijing seeks to extend influence in Afghanistan

Although the US might once have fiercely resisted Chinese attempts to increase their influence inside Afghanistan, now Washington’s priority appears to be staving off a collapse into full civil war.

Beijing is especially concerned about the prospect of Afghanistan becoming a base for Uyghur militants from China’s western Xinjiang province, where authorities maintain vast networks of internment camps for mostly Muslim minorities.

The Guardian

Moon of Alabama — China Cracks Down On Tech - Its People Benefit

Moon of Alabama attacks an article by Stephen Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and chief economist at Morgan Stanley. Roach is looking through a US-centric lens and as a result gets the bigger picture wrong.

There is a further reason that is not mentioned. Big Tech, while a driver of profit, is not only economically unproductive but also undermining of a culture. TV was supposedly the cause of turning Western culture into a wasteland. Social media and gaming do that on steroids. The Chinese leadership gets this and has no intention of letting Chinese culture go the way of the West so that rent seekers can make money.

Moon of Alabama
China Cracks Down On Tech - Its People Benefit

Putin is broke? Biden the latest American leader to publicly expose the dangerous lack of genuine Russia expertise in Washington — Paul Robinson

US elite wildly wrong on the Russian economy? Paul Robinson provides some numbers.

Putin is broke? Biden the latest American leader to publicly expose the dangerous lack of genuine Russia expertise in Washington
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa


Why won’t America’s 1 percent—such as the six Walmart heirs, whose wealth equals that of the entire bottom 30 percent—be a bit more . . . selfish? As the widening financial divide cripples the U.S. economy, even those at the top will pay a steep price.

Why excessive income Inequality harms society. 

Put sentiment aside. There are good reasons why plutocrats should care about inequality anyway—even if they’re thinking only about themselves. The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position. Widely unequal societies do not function efficiently and their economies are neither stable nor sustainable. The evidence from history and from around the modern world is unequivocal: there comes a point when inequality spirals into economic dysfunction for the whole society, and when it does, even the rich pay a steep price.

Let me run through a few reasons why.

The Consumption Problem

Vanity Fair

The Consolidation of Dollar Hegemony after the Collapse of Bretton Woods: Bringing power back in — Matias Vernengo

New IDEAS Working Paper on the alternative views of the collapse of Bretton Woods. From the abstract:

Contrary to conventional views which suggest that the collapse of Bretton Woods represented the beginning of the end of the global hegemonic position of the dollar, the collapse of the system liberated American policy from convertibility to gold, and imposed a global fiat system still dominated by the floating dollar. The end of Bretton Woods and the set of regulations that imposed capital controls were part of the agenda of many powerful groups within the US, and led to the creation of a more dollarized world. The challenge to the dollar might arise, eventually, from the decline in the United States’power to determine the pricing of key commodities in global markets; but it is premature to think about the demise of the dollar. The limitations of the dominant views about Bretton Woods are ultimately tied to mainstream economics.
Naked Keynesianism — Hemlock for economics students
The Consolidation of Dollar Hegemony after the Collapse of Bretton Woods: Bringing power back in
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

Bill Mitchell — Booming growth in Britain (Brexit?) but child poverty rises (austerity)

Some setting the record straight on MMT.
MMT is an economic framework for understanding how the macroeconomy works and the role of the currency-issuer in the monetary economy.

It has a rich history and provides a novel way of generating that understanding.

Its predictive capacity is excellent over 25 or more years. Many economists and observers keep saying they knew all this stuff but if you go back through the historical record, they were not rehearsing these ideas or conclusions until recently.

But MMT is not a ‘movement’, nor, is it a progressive agenda.

I keep reading things like “MMT advocates taxing the rich”.

It doesn’t.

What an understanding of MMT will allow one to conclude is that there is no contingency between the provision of public services or infrastructure by government and tax revenue it might receive from high income or wealth individuals.

MMT also provides a coherent aggregate explanation about the role of taxation in fiscal policy, which excludes any causal association between the government receiving tax revenue and spending.

That is it.
MMT is agnostic about where the tax revenue comes from....
MMT is not a policy framework. That is a different issue. 
The body of knowledge does not cover questions of incidence, progression or regression and all the other facets of taxation policy and structure that experts in that field are interested in.

When I talk about the need to ‘tax the rich’, I am expressing a value system, which is quite separate from when I am teaching the principles of MMT.

I want to tax the rich to ensure they have less financial resources so they can spend less on things like lobbying governments, influencing elections, dominating the media etc....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Booming growth in Britain (Brexit?) but child poverty rises (austerity)
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Lars P. Syll — Why MMT rejects the loanable funds theory

The loanable funds theory is in many regards nothing but an approach where the ruling rate of interest in society is — pure and simple — conceived as nothing else than the price of loans or credit, determined by supply and demand — as Bertil Ohlin put it — “in the same way as the price of eggs and strawberries on a village market.”

In the traditional loanable funds theory — as presented in mainstream macroeconomics textbooks — the amount of loans and credit available for financing investment is constrained by how much saving is available. Saving is the supply of loanable funds, investment is the demand for loanable funds and assumed to be negatively related to the interest rate.

As argued by Kelton, there are many problems with the standard presentation and formalization of the loanable funds theory. And more can be added to the list:
Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Why MMT rejects the loanable funds theory
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

UK Government to face climate activists in court over North Sea oil and gas

 AN SNP activist, a medical student and a retiree are to challenge the legality of UK Government subsidies for oil and gas in a landmark court case.

The UK is an oligarchy run by the few for the benefit of themselves only. 

I live in a very Conservative area. I spoke to one of my neighbours recently, and she said the Tories look after the British more, while Labour panders to the immigrants. She said the Tories were strong on law and order, and on defence, standing up to our enemies like, Xi, Putin, and Kim Jong-un.  She also sees the Tories as the bosses party, who know how to run a country. She's a pensioner who relies on the NHS, and doesn't seem to realise how she is being done over. 

Van Sweeden, whose father was an oil worker, said: "The UK Government repeatedly puts the interests of oil industry capital above the labour that creates it and, in fact, above all of our collective wellbeing as residents of the planet.

"Serious, committed environmental stewardship would see public money spent on a just transition right now, including funding for retraining and re-skilling towards new, green, stable jobs. The funnelling of public money into the big polluters’ pockets must be fiercely rejected by us all."

Westminster has paid £3.2 billion in public funds to North Sea oil and gas firms since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015

The National 

Dr Mike Hanson - COVID Vaccine Mandates Coming. Masks are back.

 The Delta variant. It now makes up more than 80% of COVID cases in the US. Overall COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are going up. According to the data from the US Department of Health and Human services, hospitalizations have been increasing for about three weeks, rising about 37% over the past week. This is what happens when we don’t have enough people getting vaccinated, we fail to reach herd immunity. Now we have the more contagious, and scarier delta variant going around

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Fortifier of RMB as a global currency — China Daily

In a document on the future development of Pudong the central authorities issued on July 15, the Shanghai district is required to improve its financial market, financial products, financial agencies and financial infrastructure, and take full advantage of the central authorities' support, to develop offshore renminbi trading, cross-border trade settlement and overseas financing services.

Judging from the development process of more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, Pudong has not only become a domestic financial center, but also a new financial star in Asia. Now the main direction for Pudong's development is to continue to promote the renminbi's use as a settlement currency and its cross-border use through the opening of onshore international business and the innovation and cultivation of offshore business. It should also establish itself as a global asset management center to increase the renminbi's position as a reserve asset in the international financial market.

It is necessary to increase the renminbi's role as a reserve currency by improving its ability to serve offshore businesses, as well as its pricing status of global currencies and assets. The crux is to consolidate renminbi's status as an international currency. The business related to renminbi should be expanded to overseas markets to not only diversify but also increase the amount of the offshore businesses of renminbi. To make Pudong an international financial center, it has to improve the financial infrastructure facilities for the internationalization of the renminbi....
Fortifier of RMB as a global currency
China Daily

See also

New Shanghai Pudong cluster unveiled to draw international economic entities

Shrinking Global Populations Poses An Existential Threat To Oil — Alex Kimani

Not just oil. Everything, and that has vast economic implications. Climate change — think water shortage affecting agricultural production leading to mass migration — coupled with declining population rate will be game-changer. The first thing to be affected, however, is the standard of living. And that is not taking pandemic into account either. Not only is the population rate declining, but also a culling is underway. Those concerned at this point are mostly scientists, military and intel. At what point do markets discount these developments. 

Then there is this.

The arms race is on.

Global Times (Chinese state media)
US triggers China’s urgency to strengthen nuclear deterrent: Global Times editorial

Also at China Daily
Chinese, Russian defense ministers vow solidarity

Neoliberalism Has Always Been a Threat to Democracy — Aldo Madariaga

Neoliberalism, then, is much more than just a set of ideas about free markets. It’s a political project that aims not only to reduce the power of the state but, more concretely, to undermine the efforts of any collective actor — be it states, labor unions, political parties — to interfere with the decisions of private enterprises. This project to alter the balance of power is the key to its resilience.…
Defend Democracy Press
Neoliberalism Has Always Been a Threat to Democracy
Aldo Madariaga, assistant professor of political science at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile and associate researcher of the Center for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies

China’s Xiaomi Passes US’ Apple Despite DC’s Dirty Games — Ullson Gunnar

Xiaomi went from a startup smartphone company competing in China’s domestic markets in 2010, to entering global markets between 2014 and 2015, to this year surpassing Apple in global smartphone sales, with only Samsung selling more....

Bill Mitchell — Inflation rises in Australia – but transitory factors and natural disasters are the reason

Today, my on-going inflation watch turns to Australia, given the release today (July 28, 2021) of the latest – Consumer Price Index, Australia – for the June-quarter 2021. The data is consistent with what we are seeing across many nations as supply chains are disrupted by the pandemic. Energy prices are adjusting back upwards and because the base from which we are judging these quarterly rises was lower as a result of price suppression during the downturn, the recovery in the pre-pandemic price levels deliver larger than usual price increases (when the base is higher). In Australia’s case, a major recent flood and a long drought before that have also complicated matters by driving up food prices. All these impacts are transitory. The CPI rose by 0.8 per cent in the June-quarter 2021 and over the 12-months to June 2021 it rose 3.8 per cent. But the key to understanding the trends in the data is to appreciate that the less volatile series were still rising at rates below the RBAs inflation targetting range – the Trimmed Mean rose just 0.5 per cent and the Weighted Median rose 0.5 per cent. So nothing to see here. The most reliable measure of inflationary expectations are flat and below the RBA’s target policy range.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Inflation rises in Australia – but transitory factors and natural disasters are the reason
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

George Monbiot on Brexit: Capitalism's Civil War

 I did change my mind about Europe. I know from an MMT POV its terrible, but I thought it was better than what the Brexit crowd had to offer. It's best to stay in and try to reform it, and dump the Euro, so countries can deficit spend again. Although Europeans have a lot in common, they are also too different to become one country at this present time.

George Monbiot is superb here. It's hard to figure him out: the left hate him because he supported the Syrian war, and I bet he's xenophobic about China and Russia too, but I found this video to be inspiring. 

I'm not dogmatic, but his stance on Syria infuriated me too. How could he support another Western backed war in the Middle East? 

Farage and his ilk are just tools of something much bigger & much deeper than they are”

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tesla Smashes Expectations With Q2 Earnings — Charles Kennedy

Elon Muck on a roll.

Tesla Smashes Expectations With Q2 Earnings
Charles Kennedy

McKinsey — COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning

As this most disrupted of school years draws to a close, it is time to take stock of the impact of the pandemic on student learning and well-being. Although the 2020–21 academic year ended on a high note—with rising vaccination rates, outdoor in-person graduations, and access to at least some in-person learning for 98 percent of students—it was as a whole perhaps one of the most challenging for educators and students in our nation’s history.1

Our analysis shows that the impact of the pandemic on K–12 student learning was significant, leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the school year. The pandemic widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest. In math, students in majority Black schools ended the year with six months of unfinished learning, students in low-income schools with seven. High schoolers have become more likely to drop out of school, and high school seniors, especially those from low-income families, are less likely to go on to postsecondary education. And the crisis had an impact on not just academics but also the broader health and well-being of students, with more than 35 percent of parents very or extremely concerned about their children’s mental health.

The fallout from the pandemic threatens to depress this generation’s prospects and constrict their opportunities far into adulthood. The ripple effects may undermine their chances of attending college and ultimately finding a fulfilling job that enables them to support a family. Our analysis suggests that, unless steps are taken to address unfinished learning, today’s students may earn $49,000 to $61,000 less over their lifetime owing to the impact of the pandemic on their schooling. The impact on the US economy could amount to $128 billion to $188 billion every year as this cohort enters the workforce.

Federal funds are in place to help states and districts respond, though funding is only part of the answer. The deep-rooted challenges in our school systems predate the pandemic and have resisted many reform efforts. States and districts have a critical role to play in marshaling that funding into sustainable programs that improve student outcomes. They can ensure rigorous implementation of evidence-based initiatives, while also piloting and tracking the impact of innovative new approaches. Although it is too early to fully assess the effectiveness of postpandemic solutions to unfinished learning, the scope of action is already clear. The immediate imperative is to not only reopen schools and recover unfinished learning but also reimagine education systems for the long term. Across all of these priorities it will be critical to take a holistic approach, listening to students and parents and designing programs that meet academic and nonacademic needs alike....
Generational setback?

COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning
Emma Dorn, Bryan Hancock, Jimmy Sarakatsannis, and Ellen Viruleg

Bill Mitchell — And the winner is Brisbane … well kind of … or maybe not

The Olympics have become just another commercialization of sport. If something can be capitalized, it will be, even war, or maybe especially war.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
And the winner is Brisbane … well kind of … or maybe not
Scott Baum, Professor of Urban and Regional Analysis, School of Environment and the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University

China moves to reassure rattled investors after US$574 billion rout

LOL commies worried about their stock portfolio... strange days... notice how they price it in USDs… USD zombies…

ARK exits China


Cathie must have got a tip-off on the commie crackdowns…

Debt Ceiling MAGA breakdown


Bannon, Navarro and a gold dude provide a breakdown on the current debt ceiling situation… I think this segment identifies pretty well the current populist libertarian MAGA GOP wing position on “debt ceiling”… MMT gets a disparaging mention…

If it is re-suspended they think it’s bearish USD, if US defaults they think it’s bearish USD, if it is re-suspended -they think it is bearish bonds and if US defaults they provide no opinion on bonds…

Monday, July 26, 2021

Sputnik — Chinese Tech Regulator Clamps Down on Anticompetitive Practices, Breaks Tencent’s Music Deals

 China is cracking down on Big Tech.

Sputnik International
Chinese Tech Regulator Clamps Down on Anticompetitive Practices, Breaks Tencent’s Music Deals

Washington Relocating from the Middle East to Southeast Asia — Salman Rafi Sheikh

The US shifts emphasis from bases of chaos to the perceived renewal of "great power competition between the "free world" and "authoritarian dictatorships" China and Russia. Back to the Cold War and vastly increased military spending by the US and allies. China and Russia snicker as the "allies" stretch themselves thin.

Washington Relocating from the Middle East to Southeast Asia
Salman Rafi Sheikh

Projection And Deflection: Russia’s Infrastructure — Patrick Armstrong

When you see a Western piece saying that Russia is deficient in this or that, it’s wise to see it as just a projection of the West’s shortcomings.
About Russia's economy and infrastructure (versus the US).

US projection is hardly limited to Russia. In fact, in many cases the so-called deficiencies of other countries that the US points to were caused directly by US foreign policy.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Projection And Deflection: Russia’s Infrastructure
Patrick Armstrong

For Bond Bears, Patience Is A Virtue — Brian Romanchuk

Most discussion of the Treasury market coming from people who are not rates strategists involves hoping for or predicting the collapse of the bond market. Nobody likes rates to be this low, and they are an insult to those people who studied Economics 101 and are certain that bond investors have the constitutional right to demand a particular real rate of return.

It may very well be that the bond bears will be ultimately vindicated. However, the rule of thumb from previous cycles is that you do not want to be sitting in short positions too far in advance of the rate hike cycle. Negative carry adds up if you are stuck in a position for three years or more….
Bond Economics
For Bond Bears, Patience Is A Virtue
Brian Romanchuk

BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan’s Coming Boom — Pepe Escobar

You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

The Unz Review
BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan’s Coming Boom
Pepe Escobar

Lars P. Syll — Cherry-picking economic models

A big reason that economics is not like a natural science. 

It's the subject matter, stupid. Economics is a social science, with all the limitations that come with it.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Cherry-picking economic models
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University