Friday, November 30, 2018

Daniel Little — Modeling the social

Brief review of Scott Page, The Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You.

Understanding Society
Modeling the social
Daniel Little | Chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Professor of Philosophy at UM-Dearborn and Professor of Sociology at UM-Ann Arbor


Artists view of the current real terms (Rivers Cuomo):

Half of one company’s applicants flunk drug tests

Real terms....

Japan latest...

This one from Mike's latest:

 "Industrial production in Japan jumped 2.9%, more than twice what economists expected and the largest rise in more than three years. 
Industrial output had fallen in the past six months, but the rise in October lifts the year-over-year rate to 4.2%, the best since the middle of last year. 
Separately, for the fourth consecutive month, the Bank of Japan has made a minor adjustment to its bond-buying program. It announced that it will only buy bonds 10-years and longer four times in December after entering the market five times this month."

 Gee whiz OMG less "pumping of the money supply!" for all the morons out there!!!! Who is going to buy them now?????   Where will the pumping come from?!?!??! oh no!!!!

Links — 30 Nov 2018

Moon of Alabama
Seeing Social Decline As A National Security Threat May Change Conservative Policies

Sic Semper Tyrannis — Editorial
Trump's foreign policy is run by neocons. (Editorial)
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.)

Sputnik International
In Trade War, Beijing Has Staying Power Washington Lacks

Mint Press News
At Elite Gala With Ex-Bush Official, Obama Implores Wall Street to Thank Him for Making Them so Much Money
Ben Norton

Mint Press News
US Sanctions Have Become Little More Than Medieval-Style Siege Warfare
Thierry Meyssan

Oriental Review
Why Is The West Keeping Silent About The Chemical Attack In Syria?

Putin brings his wheels: Aurus motorcade meets top man in Buenos Aires (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

RT? In my Google? Russophobes outraged by seeing Russian media in Kerch search results

Those in US who call for detente with Russia are branded Putin’s puppets – The Nation’s chief-editor

Sputnik International
Russia a Dangerous Place to Intervene in – British Ex-PM David Lloyd George

Sputnik International
Foreign Warships May Use Northeast Passage Only After Notifying Russia - MoD

Fast Company
Russia’s largest bank just launched a state-of-the-art coding school to ease dependence on Western Tech
Daria Solovieva

Russian Defense Ministry: NATO deploys troops along Russian border under drills' guise

Zero Hedge
US Manufacturers Warn Trump Tariffs Will Bring Higher Prices, Not More Jobs: Survey
Tyler Durden

Jimmy Dore - Hillary Says Russia Controls Most Of The World

Jimmy Dore doesn't mince his words about Hilary Clinton. A really horrible person!

Zhang Jun — China Deserves its Economic Success

In 1995, the late economist Gustav Ranis wrote that, “If there is one key to developmental success, it is avoiding the encrustation of ideas,” which is achieved through policymakers' “ever-increasing reliance on the responsiveness of large numbers of dispersed decision-makers.” That description suits China perfectly.
Zhang Jun | Dean of the School of Economics at Fudan University and Director of the China Center for Economic Studies, a Shanghai-based think-tank

PERI — Economic Analysis of Medicare for All

This study by PERI researchers Robert Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Michael Ash presents a comprehensive analysis of the prospects for a Medicare for All health care system in the United States. The most fundamental goals of Medicare for All are to significantly improve health care outcomes for everyone living in the United States while also establishing effective cost controls throughout the health care system. These two purposes are both achievable. As of 2017, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care—about 17 percent of total U.S. GDP.
Meanwhile, 9 percent of U.S. residents have no insurance and 26 percent are underinsured—they are unable to access needed care because of prohibitively high costs. Other high-income countries spend an average of about 40 percent less per person and produce better health outcomes. Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, to $2.93 trillion, while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.
PERI — Political Economy Research Institute – UMASS Amherst
Economic Analysis of Medicare for All
Robert Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, Michael Ash
November 30, 2018 |
Research Report

See also

Common Dreams
'Easy to Pay for Something That Costs Less': New Study Shows Medicare for All Would Save US $5.1 Trillion Over Ten Years
Jake Johnson

New Issue of Economic Thought

Economic ThoughtHistory, Philosophy and MethodologyVol. 7, No. 2
Free download.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
new issue of Economic Thought

Jerry Andersen — A free, teacher-less university in France is schooling thousands of future-proof programmers

“We don’t teach anything,” says Nicolas Sadirac, head of École 42. “The students create what they need all the time.”...
Who cares about another coding school?
Schools around the world, from kindergarten up, are scrambling to figure out what skills kids need to thrive in the future. Disagreement abounds about which skills should be prioritized, and how they should be taught, but opinions coalesce around some mix of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and initiative (or agency)....
When Sadirac describes École 42, it is easy to forget it is a school he is talking about.
“I would mainly say it’s not about learning.”
“We think we are an art school.”
“Knowledge is un-useful, dangerous, and removes your freedom.”
All of this must be put in the context of programming, and how information technology has changed. École 42 is not about learning because learning has traditionally been about mastering a body of content, or set of skills.
“We should not try to learn and memorize stuff,” Sadirac says. “It’s dangerous, it makes you less agile.”
Getting information to stick in your brain is complicated and hard. Getting it out, to make way for new way things, can be even harder. Sadirac’s previous job, as it happens, involved retraining adults. The biggest impediment to them learning new things was often unlearning what they already knew. Case in point: around 30% of the students in the swimming pool come with coding experience. After one month, those with experience perform no better than those without it.
Around 30% of the students come with coding experience. After one month, they perform no better than those without it.
He considers École 42 an art school because programming is more art than science, he says. Two myths that persist about coding is that you have to be good at math and that it is a solitary endeavor.…
Knowledge is “dangerous,” Sadirac says, because of the way technology has changed. Companies first applied digital technology to transform existing processes, which required high levels of organization and knowledge, but not a lot of creativity. Today, as companies reinvent themselves around everything digital, it is programming that reinvents processes. That requires people to work together and think broadly about how to solve real-world problems

Michel Heijdra, et al — A more stable EMU does not require a central fiscal capacity

A central fiscal capacity is a recurring topic in discussions on reform of the Economic and Monetary Union, but no consensus on the usefulness and necessity of a such a capacity has been reached. This column, part of the Vox debate on euro area reform, argues that the potential stability benefits of a central fiscal capacity can be achieved through stronger financial market risk sharing and more effective use of fiscal stabilisers, without any additional fiscal risk sharing....
To conclude, the euro area should focus on completing Banking Union, developing a capital market union, and ensuring that its members have the fiscal space to use automatic stabilisers in a downturn. Doing so would strengthen both financial and fiscal stabilization mechanisms and obviate the need for a central fiscal capacity.
Longish and detailed. Compares EZ rules with US federalism.

A more stable EMU does not require a central fiscal capacity
Michel Heijdra, Tjalle Aarden, Jesper Hanson, Toep van Dijk

Lars P. Syll — Polanyi and Keynes on the idea of ‘self-adjusting’ markets

Paul Krugman still wrong. The mainstream model of an economy based on general equilibrium, rational utility maximization, and money neutrality is one of a possible world that doesn't exist and can't exist in a monetary production economy.

There is nothing wrong with constructing models of possible worlds, and, in fact, all models exist in possibility space, not real space. But it is wrong to claim or imply that such models of possible worlds apply to the real world when there is evidence that they do not. This is what science is about, and it is the difference between doing science and doing mathematics.

Conventional economic theory is largely mathematical with an impeccable logic pedigree from axioms, but it not scientific in that it lacks an empirical warrant. The models are attractive but vacant.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Polanyi and Keynes on the idea of ‘self-adjusting’ markets
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Stephen Williams — A response to MMT criticism

Taking down lazy back-of-the-hand critiques of MMT that don't actually address MMT but just belittle a caricature of it.

Independent Australia
A response to MMT criticism
Stephen Williams

"Pump it up!"

No; Art Degree morons they are not referring to the "money supply!" here  ha ha ha ... good one there but no.... nice try though....

Fed may tweak the excess reserves rate again

May portend an acceptance of the Manuchin deal to put rates on hold and instead increase rate of portfolio roll off.... they need to guarantee positive carry between portfolio yield and IOR or they will think they are "out of money!"...

PBOC has held off on its regular liquidity injections for a record 26th straight session

Fortunately for the rest of us still sitting on their hands since the recent October 7th 750B CNY debacle (Art Degree people alert: figurative language here means "not adding non-risk reserve assets to balance sheet of regulated depositories")  ....  keep your fingers crossed for the rest of the year and post end of ECB asset purchases... then maybe we can turn back up..

Richard Werner and Michael Oswald - Princes of the Yen: Central Bank Truth Documentary

After the war the U.S. turned Japan's war economy over to domestic production. The capitalist competitive environment ment that Japanese companies fought for market share to stay alive but profits tended towards zero. Japanese companies were destroying each other.

From what I've read, economists consider this to be the ideal market where profits tend towards zero, but the Japanese were suffering. So the Japanese government allowed companies to form into cartels which ensured sufficient profits and everyone gained including the Japanese workers who got jobs for life with good wages, benefits, and pensions. The Japanese economic miracle then took place.

But behind the scenes a few individuals at the Bank of Japan wrecked the Japanese economy by pumping the money supply and telling banks to lend more money. The economy boomed and everyone loved it, including the house owners who saw the value of their property rise in the resulting bubble. When the bubble burst the BoJ could apply 'shock therapy' to bring in market reforms and neoliberal changes. The Japanese workers suffered losing their perks and jobs for life while the suicide rate soared, but rich western financiers picked up companies for pennies on the dollar. It was all engineered.

Then the western financiers went on to cause the Asian bubble cleaning up there as well and now they are in Europe doing the same. When you add in how they looted Russia, you can see the name of the game. They've been trying to loot China for centuries.

“Princes of the Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy” 『円の支配者』reveals how Japanese society was transformed to suit the agenda and desire of powerful interest groups, and how citizens were kept entirely in the dark about this. Based on a book by Professor Richard Werner, a visiting researcher at the Bank of Japan during the 90s crash, during which the stock market dropped by 80% and house prices by up to 84%. The film uncovers the real cause of this extraordinary period in recent Japanese history. Making extensive use of archival footage and TV appearances of Richard Werner from the time, the viewer is guided to a new understanding of what makes the world tick. And discovers that what happened in Japan almost 25 years ago is again repeating itself in Europe. To understand how, why and by whom, watch this film. “Princes of the Yen” is an unprecedented challenge to today’s dominant ideological belief system, and the control levers that underpin it. Piece by piece, reality is deconstructed to reveal the world as it is, not as those in power would like us to believe that it is. “Because only power that is hidden is power that endures.” A film by Michael Oswald You can follow Richard Werner (Author of the Book) on Twitter at @ProfessorWerner

In case you missed it, this is powerful too.

At the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions and Britain and its dependencies are the largest global players in the world of international finance.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Links — 29 Nov 2018

Business Insider
Deutsche Bank's headquarters are being raided by police as part of a Panama Papers probe (DB)
Callum Burroughs

Project Syndicate
Progressive Europeanism in Action
Yanis Varoufakis

The Greanville Press
Tyler Durden

Ray McGovern
Assange Never Met Manafort

Ray McGovern (video)
The Guardian et al.: Making Up Stuff to Get Assange for “Espionage”

Moon of Alabama
This Intentional Guardian Fake News Story Proves That The Media Can't Be Trusted

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
The Real Red Pill
Caitlin Johnstone
Zero Hedge
China PMI Plunges To 29-Month Lows, Nears Economic Contraction

Fort Russ News
ATLANTIC COUNCIL: U.S Tool in Achieving Geopolitical Goals
Tom Winter

The Principles of Socialism
Charles McKelvey | Professor Emeritus, Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina

Craig Murray Blog
The Murky Sea of Azov
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

Dances with Bears

Fort Russ News
Where to Seek Asylum in the Event of World War III? Here’s a List of Safest Countries
Paul Antonopoulos

RT - Ocasio-Cortez is a Progressive Fraud

Anya Parampil puts incoming Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in question, explaining how as a candidate for the democratic nomination, she billed herself as a “socialist” and “progressive” which represented the next generation of the party—only to sell out upon winning office. Anya documents how Ocasio-Cortez has been embraced by corporate democrats, like DNC Chair Tom Perez, offered glowing praise for war-mongering Senator John McCain, and more recently, endorsed Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. Daniel Haiphong, author of the upcoming book “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence”, joins Anya to discuss his recent contribution to the Black Agenda Report which accuses Ocasio-Cortez running a PR stunt to help Pelosi.

Everything is a slight of hand. The Democrats are owned by the banks and the military-industrial-complex and politicians who want to get anywhere have to work along with that, says Daniel Haiphong. KV.

Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, Davide Furceri — Global uncertainty is rising, and that is a bad omen for growth

The global economy is growing, but so is uncertainty. This column presents a new quarterly index of uncertainty for 143 countries. The World Uncertainty Index reveals how uncertainty in the world has evolved over time, whether it is synchronised across countries, and how it compares across income groups and political regimes.
Global uncertainty is rising, and that is a bad omen for growth
Hites Ahir, Senior Research Officer, IMF; Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and Davide Furceri, Senior Economist in the Research Department, IMF

Jerome H. Powell — The Federal Reserve's Framework for Monitoring Financial Stability

It is a pleasure to be back at the Economic Club of New York. I will begin by briefly reviewing the outlook for the economy, and then turn to a discussion of financial stability. My main subject today will be the profound transformation since the Global Financial Crisis in the Federal Reserve's approach to monitoring and addressing financial stability. Today marks the publication of the Board of Governors' first Financial Stability Report. Earlier this month, we published our first Supervision and Regulation Report. Together, these reports contain a wealth of information on our approach to financial stability and to financial regulation...
Mentions Hyman Minsky's view on financial instability.

Board of Governors, Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve's Framework for Monitoring Financial Stability
Jerome H. Powell, Chairman

See also
To our thinking, Chair Powell’s speech was a stroke of genius. By easing the Fed’s public stance on rates, he puts all the responsibility for near term market direction on President Trump’s shoulders as he prepares to meet Chinese President Xi at the G20….
Nicholas Colas, DataTrek

Dirk Ehnts — 1st International European Modern Monetary Theory conference, Berlin 2019

I’m helping to organize a conference on MMT with the topic “Why money matters”. It takes place in Berlin on February 1-2, 2019 at EBC Hochschule. The Call for Papers is open until December 31, 2018 and registration opens on December 1st. Find more information on
econoblog 101
1st International European Modern Monetary Theory conference, Berlin 2019
Dirk Ehnts | Lecturer at Bard College Berlin

Bill Mitchell — Franco-German ‘agreement’ is another European dead-end

The latest ‘reform’ proposals from Europe might be taken as a sick joke if the players were not serious. On Sunday, November 18, 2018, the French President gave a speech at the traditional commemorative ceremony in the German Bundestag to mark the Volkstrauertag (National Day of Mourning), which has been part of German life since 1922 (originally to mark those who died during World War 1). His speech (Jacques Chirac was the last French president to address the Bundestag on June 27, 2000). His speech was two days after the respective finance ministers signed an ‘agreement’ to establish a “Eurozone budget”, which the French finance minister hailed as being a “major political breakthrough”. While that summation is questionable, it certainly is not a major economic breakthrough. It is a dud. As dud as all the reform proposals that have come before it. Just like the fake window dressing in Eniskillen in preparation for the G8 Summit in June 2013. Macron might have felt he was a big player on the world stage but the Germans have his measure as they have had of all French Presidents over the last several decades. The French really were the drivers of the Eurozone and they thought they were destined to restore their prominence in Europe. The Germans knew otherwise. And so it goes with the latest ‘agreement’. There is nothing in it that will save the Eurozone from crisis or restore sustained prosperity. Another European dead end....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Franco-German ‘agreement’ is another European dead-end
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Germany Unemployment all-time low

German economy doing ok...

Their big bank still in chaos though still:

RT - Guardian Pushes Fake News on Assange

RT Correspondent Caleb Maupin explains why Wikileaks is preparing to sue The Guardian after the newspaper published claims that Julian Assange secretly met with Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort in London’s Ecuadorean Embassy in the years 2013, 2015, and 2016. Former UK MP George Galloway, and Investigative Journalist Gareth Porter, join host Anya Parampil to discuss the paper, specifically reporter Luke Harding’s, questionable record when it comes to reporting on Wikileaks, as well the UK and Ecuador’s conspiracy to “deliver Assange to US authorities” according to reporting by Gareth.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Links 28 Nov 2018

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
MSM Is Like Big Pharma: The Rewards Of Malpractice Outweigh The Penalties
Caitlin Johnstone

WCEG — The Equitablog
U.S. income growth has been stagnant. To what degree depends on how you measure it.
Austin Clemens

Strategic Culture Foundation
As Time Runs Out, Poroshenko and the West Poison the Sea of Azov

Farah Master, Orathai Sriring and Anne Marie Roantree

Zero Hedge
Putin: "We Aren't Aiming To Ditch The Dollar, The Dollar Is Ditching Us"
David Edwards

'US Authorities Wants to Break Her' - Butina's Father Asks Putin for Help

Crooks and Liars
Sean Spicer Calls Khashoggi Murder Tape A Bunch Of 'Yelling And Squealing'
John Amato

Sic Semper Tyrannis
His "gut," and not his brain is how he runs everything?
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.)

Government Use of Tear Gas Is Illegal in War. It Should Be Illegal Here, Too
Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program

RT - Is Ukraine dangerously baiting Russia?

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council took place on Monday in response to a flare-up between Ukrainian and Russian vessels near the coast of Crimea. Three Ukrainian ships were captured and impounded. Ukraine and Russia offer us widely disparate explanations for the incident. RT America’s Rick Sanchez sets out to examine both sides and to ask who has most to gain from such a provocation, with ANSWER coalition’s Brian Becker.

Brian Romanchuk — Representative Agent Macro And Recessions

J.W. Mason kicked off the latest skirmish in the never-ending macro wars with his Jacobin article "A Demystifying Decade for Economics." (Note: at the time of writing, the article was taken down until its publication in Jacobin.) This prompted a Twitter debate about representative agent macro, which eventually led to this Beatrice Cherrier article on heterogeneous agent models. In my view, the debate about representative agent models is a red herring. Mainstream macroeconomists main skill is in framing debates in a fashion that is congenial to the mainstream; however, the preferred framing leads to dead ends. My current research focus is on recessions, and although I have not gone too far in refreshing my survey of mainstream macro, the value of mainstream macro theory in this debate is limited....
Bond Economics
Representative Agent Macro And Recessions
Brian Romanchuk

John Hellevig — AN AWARA ACCOUNTING ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Russia’s Economy Strong and Stable – Cold War, Arms Race, Liberals, and Other Challenges

Jon Hellevig is the best analyst of the Russian economy, who makes his views freely available anyway. This is a comprehensive report.
We are into the fifth year of the US initiated trade war on Russia. Cold War 2.0. is an established reality, trade wars are flaring and Trump raves about an arms race. But Russia is strong and stable with outstanding military power and a reindustrialized modern economy, lean and mean, ready to deliver a knockout blow to the US regime in its ghastly arms race challenge. This study on the Russian economy will demonstrate why so.…
While there is certainly a trade war in progress, initiated by the US, I would call this a hybrid war, since it is being conducted on many levels, with economics and finance only one, along with information war, NATO expansion, Ukraine coup, etc. The Russian leadership realizes that it is under attack, although Putin and Lavrov's so-far conciliatory tone masks that, to the degree that some think Russia is therefore in the dark about it.

An advantage of Russia in this conflict is that it is fighting a defensive battle with the US and NATO, while the US and its allies are prosecuting a war of choice. For Russia this is an existential threat. Those poking sticks into the bear's liar don't seem to get this.

Awara Group
AN AWARA ACCOUNTING ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Russia’s Economy Strong and Stable – Cold War, Arms Race, Liberals, and Other Challenges
Jon Hellevig, founder

See also
The West is complaining about Russian 'aggression' but the incident looks more like a cheap ploy by a desperate Ukrainian president and US conservatives keen to undermine Trump's next pow-wow with Putin
Asia Times
Drama in the Kerch Strait: teasing the Russian bear
Pepe Escobar

See also

Moon of Alabama
Ukraine – Poroshenko Initiated Clash With Russia To Gain Dictatorial Powers – He Failed 

Andrei Martyanov — He Still Thinks That It Is A TV Show.

The Kremlin is keenly aware that there could be no sensible dialogue with the United States anymore.…
American geopolitical "strategies" are as primitive as people who devise and implement them and Putin is also keenly aware of that--he knows that the US is at war with Russia....
Reminiscence of the Future
He Still Thinks That It Is A TV Show.
Andrei Martyanov, Russian ex-pat and former Soviet military officer

See also
Steve Bannon Is a Fraud, Totally!
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

Bill Mitchell — Britain should reject the Brexit ‘agreement’ but proceed with the exit

It is Wednesday, and only a short blog post beckons today. I have restrained myself from commenting on Theresa May’s unbelievable Brexit deal, which has the dirty paws of the European Commission all over it. Regular readers will know that if I had have been a voter in Britain in June 2016, I would have resolutely and happily voted in favour of Brexit. And if I was a British Parliamentarian now I would vote to reject the ‘deal’ and force the Brexit on British terms. I will write a little more about that in a further post. But today, I just want to pass comment on the extraordinary UK Guardian article from Phillip Inman – A leftwing UK post-Brexit is as likely as a socialist Rees-Mogg(November 24 2018) – which summarises the problem quite well. I say ‘well’ because it illustrates the progressive surrender that has allowed the neoliberal era and monstrosities like the European Union to persist. You can see it all over the place – surrender that is. The Democratic obsession with Paygo in the US. The British Labour fiscal rule in Britain. The ‘we will have a bigger surplus’ boast from the Australian Labor Party, when there is around 15 per cent underutilised productive labour. Inman’s article is encouraging the Left in Britain to lie down and surrender to the dictates of the neoliberal, corporatist machine that is the EU. It presents an impoverished vision of the future and a disgustingly vapid depiction of the possibilities that a truly progressive British Labor government could achieve once it jettisons the neoliberal frames....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Britain should reject the Brexit ‘agreement’ but proceed with the exit
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Fed Option That Could Avoid Rate Hikes

I f-ing knew it:

Dog that didn't bark:  Fed has completely eliminated all reference to the rate of their asset reductions in ALL of their communications when they used to discuss this issue ALL THE TIME, they now only talk about the policy interest rate.... hmmmmm.....


Buffett is bonkers for bank stocks

Mike's been reporting on this from Buffett at BRK....

Also this out this week; I interpret this as banks are pricing their risk-asset loans at prices below liquidation value... hmmm why would they have to do that I wonder????  What are bank risk-assets really worth at this time????

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ECB Asset Purchase Program already being reduced

Already down to just 15B per month for the final 3 months of the program; page here; graph below:

Monthly net purchases of public and private sector securities currently amount to €15 billion on average. On 25 October 2018, the Governing Council stated that it “will continue to make net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the new monthly pace of €15 billion until the end of December 2018. The Governing Council anticipates that, subject to incoming data confirming the medium-term inflation outlook, net purchases will then end.

15B/month although a lesser rate than previous still damaging policy imo; but I'd at least take this as a sign that they wont renege and will indeed stop the asset purchases at the end of December... then we'll see what happens...

Links — 27 Nov 2018

Tests ‘enough’ to support theory on Magnitsky’s poisoning, Russian prosecutors say

Sputnik International
Europe Losing Most Amid Chinese-US Trade Conflict - German Foreign Minister

Stumbling and Mumbling
Strategic vs parametric thinking
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

U.S. Car Makers Ditch Sedans as Consumers Favor SUVs, Crossovers, and Light Trucks
Erik Sherman

5 reasons why GM is cutting jobs, closing plants in a healthy economy

Bill Mitchell — The ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie lives on – now playing in Italy – Part 2

This is the second and final part in my discussion about the latest attempts by the IMF and notable New Keynesian macroeconomists to keep the ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie alive. The crisis in Italy is once again giving these characters a ‘playing field’ to rehearse their destructive ideas that rose to prominence during the worst days of the GFC, when the European Commission and the IMF (along with the OECD and other groups) touted the idea of ‘growth friendly’ austerity. Nations were told that if they savagely cut public spending their economies would grow because interest rates would be lower and private investment would more than fill the gap left by the spending cuts. History tells us that the application of this nonsense caused devastation throughout, with Greece being the showcase nation. The damage and carnage left by the application of these mainstream New Keynesian ideas are still reverberating in elevated unemployment rates, high poverty rates, broken communities and increased suicide rates, to name a few of the pathologies it engendered. In their article – The Italian Budget: A Case of Contractionary Fiscal Expansion? – Olivier Blanchard and Jeromin Zettlemeyer, from the Peter Peterson Institute for International Economics continue to argue the case for austerity in Italy as the only way to engender growth. In this second part of my analysis of their argument I show that there is little evidential basis for concluding that Italy is a special case. I argue that imposing fiscal austerity on Italy will turn out badly. The broader conclusion is that the mainstream economics profession has learned very little from the GFC. For them the story stays the same. It is one that we should reject in every circle it arises.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie lives on – now playing in Italy – Part 2
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Gilad (Atzmon) Needs Additional Support

Gilad Atzmon is under fire, and so is free speech.

Dear friends

In March I was sued for libel by the chairman of the Campaign Against Anti Semitism (CAA), Gideon Falter, for suggesting that ‘Antisemitism is a business plan.’ As CAA has explained its objective, the lawsuit was intended both to silence me and to wreck my career.   Campaign Against Anti Semitism’s web site states that renowned media lawyer Mark Lewis  “devised a strategy for bringing libel actions which he and Campaign Against Antisemitism have begun to use to force antisemites into either apologising in court, or paying substantial damages.”  And as CAA boasts in its promotional video, “We ensure antisemites face criminal, professional and reputational consequences.”   

And of course, the libel suit didn’t manage to silence me. I am at least as prolific and focused as I was before the lawsuit. I am still performing and giving talks around the world, I still publish my writings on a daily basis. In fact, Mark Lewis, the man who ‘devised the strategy’ intended to silence me, is now defending himself in the disciplinary tribunal for solicitors (  for sending “offensive and profane communications.”  Instead of managing to obliterate my career, Mark Lewis has left his law firm (Seddons) and is moving to Israel. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Reuters — Alibaba's Jack Ma is a Communist Party member, China state paper reveals

Jack Ma, the head of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and China’s best-known capitalist, is a Communist Party member, the official Party newspaper said on Monday, debunking a public assumption the billionaire was politically unattached.
Cue sound of heads exploding.

Alibaba's Jack Ma is a Communist Party member, China state paper reveals

Tim Worstall — The End Game Of Modern Monetary Theory

This passes for serious criticism now?

In addition, Tim Worstall doesn't seem to realize that MMT is not a policy proposal but rather based on how the existing monetary system operates currently. Understanding this and using this knowledge opens up policy space by correctly describing existing fiscal space. Nothing needs to change with respect to the actual potential of the existing monetary system. This misunderstood by most economists, politicians and the public, with the result that voters and their representatives remain unaware of the potential of a sovereign currency issuer and accept "expert" advice that is not based on reality, thereby limiting the range of options considered to be available.

The argument seems to be, Let's not use what we have because we might abuse it. "Venezuela!" "Zimbabwe!" Notice how Venezuela has replaced Weimar, as Weimar recedes further from memory and becomes less useful in persuasion.

Continental Telegraph
The End Game Of Modern Monetary Theory
Tim Worstall | Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute and founder of the Continental Telegraph

Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng — China’s Four Traps

An issue with this analysis as I see it is that it is based on a Western approach to economics and finance that is not applicable to China as a socialists country with its own development path.

The first point they make is this:
The first is the middle-income trap. With a per capitaannual income of around $9,000, China remains significantly below the threshold for high-income status, set at around $12,000-$13,000 by the World Bank. Only a few countries in history have managed this leap during the last half-century....
The problem with this approach is, one, using aggregates where value is expressed in terms of USD rather than real value. The analysis should include standard of living and distribution, as well as purchasing power parity, to be meaningful.

The second point is:
Second, China may become ensnared in the so-called Thucydides Trap…
Reverse logic. The US is becoming ensnared in the Thucydides Trap by its own choice to pursue global hegemony, which makes China not only a competitor but also a threat. China will have to deal with this reality and it is doing so. This will entail greater military spending which is stimulative economically, increases attention in R&D and innovation, and encourages dual-use development of technology.

The third point they mention is:
The third potential trap is what Joseph Nye calls the Kindleberger Trap. Charles Kindleberger, an architect of the Marshall Plan, blamed the breakdown of the international order in the 1930s on America’s failure to match its provision of global public goods to its new geopolitical status as the world’s dominant power. If China does the same, according to Nye, chaos could erupt again, especially at a time when the US is withdrawing from global leadership.
As a socialist country, China is committed to public investment both domestically and abroad and its record so far is somewhat spectacular. China is also proposing a socialist socio-economic and political system that is capable of surpassing the capitalist West and is also suggesting its adoption to other developing countries in place of the neoliberal, neo-imperialist and neocolonialist alternative the West is offering.

Their fourth and final point is:
Finally, there is the climate-change trap. High-income countries in general, and great powers in particular, consume a disproportionately large share of resources.
The Chinese leadership is already committed to this, while the US elite is opposed to it.

So I would say that the article is misdirected. The US and West should be paying attention to these points. China already is.

Project Syndicate
China’s Four Traps
Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong, a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance, former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, and currently an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing; and Xiao Geng, President of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, and professor at Peking University HSBC Business School and at the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Business and Economics

See also
A blue-collar wave is rising in China — and buoying Xi Jinping.
In most countries, a slowing economy and a sinking stock market would put some heat on politicians. Not in China. A working class that numbers more than 400 million has President Xi’s back.
Under his presidency, China’s economic policies are favoring workers more than at any other time in recent decades....
China Blue-Collar Wave Strengthens Xi’s G-20 Hand
Shuli Ren | Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder

Links — 26 Nov 2018

Andre Vltchek

The National Interest
Introducing the 1 Problem the F-22 and F-35 Can't Seem to Shake
Sébastien Roblin

Productive versus financial uses of credit
John Balder

Detained Ukrainian Servicemen Confirm They Provoked Black Sea Incident With Russia Upon Order From Their Command

Zero Hedge
Captured Ukrainian Sailors Admit To "Provoking" Russian Navy, Interrogation Video Shows
Tim Daiss

Quantum Gravity Research - Hacking Reality (Oficial Video)

Hacking Reality is the follow up to What Is Reality? Gareth Lisi completed his PhD in theatrical physics and felt that string theory wasn't on the right track.  He tried to get a job at a university where he could study E-8 mathematics, which is an 8th dimensional object which theoretically, he says, could be creating our universe.  Theorists and mathematicians derived the E-8 lattice mathematics back in the 1930's and found it to be beautiful, but dropped it when they were unable to verify it or do anything with it.

Gareth says how E-8 maths describes almost perfectly how our 3-dimensional universes comes into existence. Every object in our universe down to every particle, like electrons, protons, quarks, are just part of a 8-dimensional object that is moving through our 3-dimensional space. Laboratory experiments are needed to complete the research but that's expensive and all the money goes into string theory. But not one string theory experiment has ever verified any prediction made by string theory.

This might turn out not to be the theory of everything, but Gareth Lisi and Irwin Klee has developed a passion for studying it, which they say is more viable than string theory. What do other scientists think of Gareth Lisi and Irwin Klee's research? They ignore it, all the money is on string theory.

Is there an 8-dimensional "engine" behind our universe? Join Marion Kerr on a fun, visually exciting journey as she explores a mysterious, highly complex structure known simply as 'E8'--a weird, 8-dimensional mathematical object that for some, strange reason, appears to encode all of the particles and forces of our 3-dimensional universe. Meet surfer and renowned theoretical physicist Garrett Lisi as he rides the waves and paraglides over the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui and talks about his groundbreaking discovery about E8 relates deeply to our reality; and learn why Los Angeles based Klee Irwin and his group of research scientists believe that the universe is essentially a 3-dimensional "shadow" of this enigmatic... thing... that may exist behind the curtain of our reality.

Bob Bryan — Trump is suddenly obsessed with the ballooning federal deficit after his signature legislative victories caused it to explode

Apparently the president doesn't get the connection between deficit spending and stimulus.

Business Insider
Trump is suddenly obsessed with the ballooning federal deficit after his signature legislative victories caused it to explode
Bob Bryan

More on Kerch

Fort Russ News
Russia Began Fighting Openly – Not Hiding Behind Volunteers, says Tymoshenko
Joaquin Flores

Fort Russ News
‘THIS COULD MEAN WAR’: Analysts Comment on Situation in Kerch Strait
Paul Antonopoulos

Russia-Ukraine Maritime Incident In Black Sea. Chain Of Events And International Reaction

Ripple effects: How the Kerch Strait provocation went down


What Private Eye has failed to investigate is how Chernukhin has been able to import and invest a fortune in the UK, with the imprimatur of the British Government, financial regulators, and banks – a fortune whose origin when he was a state official in Moscow Chernukhin declines to explain....
On the say-so of Kasyanov and Kudrin, Chernukhin supervised VEB’s takeover of most Russian pension fund contributions; management of Soviet-era debts owed to Moscow by states like Czechoslovakia and Vietnam; and bail-out loans for companies designated by Kasyanov, Kudrin, or Putin as politically valuable; these included state media companies. When Kasyanov began to threaten Putin with political competition, he was dismissed from the prime ministry in 2004. At the same time Chernukhin was fired from the chairmanship of VEB. He then moved to London.
The High Court papers and media reports indicate that he took with him and then spent at least £150 million acquiring personal and commercial assets. As he did that, Chernukhin was sheltered by the British Government which granted him British citizenship. In 2006 Moscow reporters were asking in print where Chernukhin’s money had come from. “Why”, wrote Semyon Goncharov of, “don’t the British authorities ask the Russian oligarchs the question: where, thanks to what, and at the expense of whom did they get their fortunes?… As for Vladimir Chernukhin, the British authorities may have been embarrassed to ask him where the former deputy Minister got 135 million dollars to buy the office building of Midland Bank, because his official salary is clearly not enough to collect such money.”
Chernukhin was asked last month to clarify the appearance of this discrepancy and to account for the origin of his wealth in line with the current British statutes. He refused to reply....
Dances with Bears
John Helmer

Andrew Korybko — China’s “Social Credit” System: Dystopia By Design Or Successful Social Engineering?

The game-changer, however, is that China’s “social credit” system will introduce so-called “algorithmic governance” that sees complex AI programs replacing human decision makers when it comes to enforcing the country’s socio-legal standards. This necessitates that that the government eventually obtains full video and digital control over every aspect of the country and integrates these two systems into a holistic one that also doles out the privileges and penalties associated with citizen and company behavior in real time. Accordingly, this massive endeavor also requires gargantuan amounts of electricity to power the computer processors responsible for running this system and retaining all its data, meaning that it’s probably still many years away from nationwide implementation.
Oriental Review
China’s “Social Credit” System: Dystopia By Design Or Successful Social Engineering?
Andrew Korybko

James Pethokoukis — Republicans have a big new economic idea. It's terrible.

James Pethokoukis is has a master's degree in journalism and no credentials in economics. Perhaps this explains at least part of his failure to understand that globalization under neoliberal doctrine — "free markets, free trade, and free capital flows" results in the great leveling as capital flows where resources, including labor, as least expensive in order to be be competitive. This implies that wages and capital investment in developed countries, where resources are most costly, will fall as the emerging world rises. This will continue under such a system until an equilibrium level is reached.

Obviously, domestic workers in developed countries are disadvantaged by this policy and will continue to be unless government step in to soften the blow, or neoliberal globalization is ended.

The policy of the present administration is the latter.

But it is not the only policy available for addressing the issues that neoliberal globalization entails.

MMT economists recommend recognizing that receiving real resources from abroad is a real benefit domestically. Moreover, a currency sovereign has the ability to purchase the use of real resources to prevent their being idled. Such a government also has the capacity for improving the value of real resource use through public investment in education, health care, infrastructure, R & D, etc. while addressing temporary problems with welfare provision and an employer of last resort program funded by the currency issuer.

The Week
Republicans have a big new economic idea. It's terrible.
James Pethokoukis |Dewitt Wallace Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor of the AEIdeas blog

More illogic from The Week.

The author admits that this is no historical basis for Zionism but we should just pretend there is anyway, since Israel is already a nation state and failure to do so will encourage anti-Zionists to attack Israeli statehood, and that would be a bad thing. Huh?

Why Zionism should be untouchable
Damon Linker

The Saker — About the latest Ukronazi provocation in the Kerch strait

Considering the current single-digit popularity rating of Poroshenko and the fact that he has no chance in hell to be re-elected (at least not in minimally credible elections) it is pretty darn obvious of why the Ukronazi regime in Kiev decided to trigger yet another crisis and then blame Russia for it. The very last thing Russia needs is yet another crisis, especially not before a possible Putin-Trump meeting at the G20 Buenos Aires summit later this month. In fact, Ukrainian bloggers immediately saw this latest provocation as an attempt to scrap upcoming elections.
So what’s next?...
The Vineyard of the Saker
About the latest Ukronazi provocation in the Kerch strait
The Saker

See also

Reminiscence of the Future
Poroshenko's Gambit.
Andrei Martyanov

Jacobin — Introducing The ABCs of Capitalism

Political organizing is hard — political education shouldn’t have to be. In the best tradition of socialist pedagogy, Catalyst and Jacobin are partnering up for a new series of pamphlets, called The ABCs of Capitalism. Each one is self-contained, and can be read on its own. But the series as a whole will be internally coherent and later pamphlets will build on the earlier ones....
  • Pamphlet one: “Understanding Capitalism.” A forty-page text explaining clearly why capitalism isn’t just a collection of individuals, but individuals grouped in social classes with very different interests. Capitalists aren’t necessarily “greedy,” but motivated by market pressures and those pressures create enormous wealth but also great misery for the majority. Because of the nature of the system workers can only advance if they act collectively.
  • Pamphlet two: “Capitalism and the State.” We are living in a new Gilded Age, in which an immense concentration of wealth has grown together with the concentration of political power. This pamphlet analyzes the sources of state bias. We need to understand why, far from counteracting the power of capital, states tend to reinforce it. We need to recognize the structural forces that bind it to capitalist interests, even though capitalists’ small numbers should be a disadvantage in a democratic system.
  • Pamphlet three: “Capitalism and Class Struggle.” The reason working-class struggles are central to Left politics is that they are the enabling condition for everything else. They create the power and the political leverage that enables us to act on our morals and ideological beliefs — whereas the morals and values without the leverage remain little more than pipedreams. In this third pamphlet, we develop the classic rationale for a class-based political strategy. We examine how it works and also why, even though it deserves to be at the heart of progressive politics, it is so hard to organize and sustain....
Introducing The ABCs of Capitalism
The Editors

Graham Barnes — Ideologies of credit creation

The Individual
Anyone can create their own credit notes – it’s getting them accepted that is the problem. As individuals we can only back credit issued with our own personal capabilities to create. So a note from an artisan baker who lives nearby is probably a good bet. But in late stage capitalism most of our personal contributions to value-added are selected/ combined/ subsumed into the capitalist value-creation function. In fact this selection and combination is the core rationale for capitalism – the ability to create something bigger than the sum of its parts and cash in the resulting surplus value [extraction of economic rent].
The appeal of this person-as-primary-credit-creator ideology derives to a large extent from the cult of the heroic individual. It represents an atomistic view of society informed by the rampant competition/ evolutionary school of economic thought. It is interesting only in the sense that all value creation is grounded in individual contributions and that recognising those contributions in some way is important.
Community/ Mutual Credit
Here the ideology is one of communal support. No man is an island ; we all need support at different stages of our lives and careers. So the community manages in some way its collective resources in order to smooth the path. Note that this may be more or less socialist in its nature; and the community may be of individuals or of businesses or both.
We can characterise this approach as a credit commons [3]. And for a sustainable commons a key success factor is to specify boundaries – who is in and who is out (and thus under what circumstances a party can join or be asked to leave). This turns out to be a non-trivial governance task and leads into consideration of wider ‘digital democracy’ issues.
Much of the thinking behind mutual credit dates back centuries but more recent instantiations have been reinvigorated by emerging seductive digital ‘solutions’. At their best they can facilitate information and experience sharing; at their worst they relegate decision making to algorithms with no room for flexibility or judgement as circumstances change.
Mutual credit however remains the purest form of credit creation because it satisfies the core test set out by Douthwaite in The Ecology of Money – that a currency should be controlled by its users [4]

Bill Mitchell — The ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie lives on – now playing in Italy – Part 1

Pathetic was the first word that came to mind when I read this article – The Italian Budget: A Case of Contractionary Fiscal Expansion? – written by Olivier Blanchard and Jeromin Zettlemeyer, from the Peter Peterson Institute for International Economics. Here is a former IMF chief economist and a former German economic bureaucrat continuing to rehearse the failed ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie that rose to prominence during the worst days of the GFC, when the European Commission and the IMF (along with the OECD and other groups) touted the idea of ‘growth friendly’ austerity. Nations were told that if they savagely cut public spending their economies would grow because interest rates would be lower and private investment would more than fill the gap left by the spending cuts. History tells us that the application of this nonsense caused devastation throughout, with Greece being the showcase nation. The damage and carnage left by the application of these mainstream New Keynesian ideas are still reverberating in elevated unemployment rates, high poverty rates, broken communities and increased suicide rates, to name a few of the pathologies it engendered. But the ‘boys are back in town’ (sorry Thin Lizzy) and Blanchard and Zettlemeyer are falling in behind the IMF and the European Commission against the current Italian government by demanding fiscal cutbacks. It will turn out badly for Italy if the government buckles under this sort of pressure. It once again shows that the mainstream economics profession has learned very little from the GFC. For them the story stays the same. It is one that we should reject in every circle it arises. This is Part 1 of a two-part analysis of the latest incarnation of this ruse my profession inflicts on societies....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The ‘fiscal contraction expansion’ lie lives on – now playing in Italy – Part 1
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

"Deciphering the Gospels"

This is from the Overview of the book pop cognitive "scientist!" Pinker is endorsing here:

It is shown that the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, as well as the relationship between Jesus and his “disciples”, are all derived from the letters of Paul.

This is interesting because in all of Paul's letters he never once mentions the word "disciple" or the "discipling"  method of cognitive development used by Jesus with His "disciples" as depicted in the "gospels"...

Paul rather refers exclusively to his own didactic cognitive development methodology.... so its hard to see how Jesus using His "discipling" methodology could be derived from Paul's letters; as Paul never uses that word or refers to himself employing that methodology...

Pinker the pop so-called "cognitive scientist!"  here apparently ignorant of different cognitive development methodologies... this is interesting...

I've just started to follow "scientist" Pinker waiting for him to endorse the "out of money!" meme which I will post up here FTR as soon as he himself exhibits this very common cognitive deficiency of objectification or reification... so stand by for that...

The academe of cognitive "science" has no small culpability in all of this "out of money!" cognitive deficiency we witness everyday... I wonder if one weekend, the NFL would actually come out and say they were "out of points!" if the academe's cognitive "scientists" would even say anything corrective to the NFL...  you have to think they really might not say anything..