Friday, May 31, 2019

Dialectic Method

Its a good idea to pay attention to the Methodology one is using... the Methodology itself may not be properly suited to the discipline one is trying to master...

Backgrounder on one 'Dialectic Method' here.

Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ; related to dialogue), also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Dialectic resembles debate, but the concept excludes subjective elements such as emotional appeal and the modern pejorative sense of rhetoric.[1][2] 
Dialectic may be contrasted with the didactic method, wherein one side of the conversation teaches the other. Dialectic is alternatively known as minor logic, as opposed to major logic or critique. 
Within Hegelianism, the word dialectic has the specialised meaning of a contradiction between ideas that serves as the determining factor in their relationship. 
Dialectic comprises three stages of development: first, a thesis or statement of an idea, which gives rise to a second step, a reaction or antithesis that contradicts or negates the thesis, and third, the synthesis, a statement through which the differences between the two points are resolved. 
Dialectical materialism, a theory or set of theories produced mainly by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, adapted the Hegelian dialectic into arguments regarding traditional materialism.

The Dialectic Method, perhaps better translated into the contemporary "Fisking" for us today; is properly suited to Artistic (non--material) disciplines only (music, literature, theater, haute couture, painting, sculpture, etc) ... for if you try to synthesize with a false or perhaps even just simply ignorant anti-thesis in material disciplines and you will end up blowing yourself up...

Probably 99.99% of the Economics discipline is operating under the Dialectic Method and accordingly the material result is the manifest shit-show we are watching every day ... a moron-fest goat rodeo...

Its NOT the discipline of Economics that is the problem, we often can see the discipline taking a lot of heat.. imo its unfair criticism of a discipline ... its rather the dominant dialectic methodology commonly used within that discipline that is fucking everything all up...

Magpie — Getting all Tied Up (4)

Mag[ie continues to fisk Paul Mason on Marxism and MMT.

Magpie's Asymmetric Warfare
Getting all Tied Up (4)

Richard Wolff: Empire Files - Debunking Jordan Peterson’s “Cultural Marxism” with Richard Wolff

When I first came across the term "cultural marxism" I thought, what a load of nonsense! There it's no marxism in identity politics, so it's just a smear.

BTW, Peter Jordon suffers from chronic depression and is on two different antidepressants. In a video I watched, he described how he has suffered terribly in the past. On that level I feel sorry for him. But I'm surprised it hasn't given him more empathy.

China prepares to strike back at US as Huawei suffers another loss

The trade tension between the United States and China looks set to intensify soon, as the latter country is taking steps to respond to the American ban on doing business with Huawei. Bloomberg reports that China has put preparations in place to restrict exports of rare earth minerals to the US, while also setting up its own “unreliable entities” blacklist for unfavorable foreign companies. At the same time, Japan’s SoftBank has announced it’ll be building its 5G network with equipment from Nokia and Ericsson, snubbing Huawei, which had been a 4G supplier for the large mobile carrier.
The rare earths export restriction looks to be an act of saber rattling for now. The leadership in Beijing is signaling that it’s ready and willing to deploy this severe measure, but, according to Bloomberg, that’s only in the event that the trade war between China and the US deepens. Neodymium is one of the most recognizable rare earths, as it’s widely used in magnets. You’ll have seen it advertised on the spec sheet of your headphones, most likely, and there’s a broad consensus among economists and international trade observers that US companies have no good alternative sources for it outside of China.
The Verge 

Frank Li — Is President Trump Losing It?

Yes, he is losing it - the ability to govern as the President! The most recent example: he lost his temperament, totally, in response to the Mueller TV appearance, on top of having lost all the four games in the major league (President Trump's Major League Score: 0:4). He will continue to lose in the coming weeks and months.
No, he is not losing it, because he has never had it!...
Frank Li is out of paradigm with MMT, but he is an interesting social and political analyst even though his understanding of economics is off, displaying deficit and debt phobia.
Is President Trump Losing It?
Frank Li | Chinese ex-pat, Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company, B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering

See also
While Prime Minister Abe has refused to clarify his reasoning for the nomination, a February 17 article in Japan’s Asahi newspaper reported that the U.S. asked Japan to put Trump’s name forward. Trump has confirmed that Abe nominated him in a “beautiful” five-page letter.
Other world leaders might have turned down that request. But Abe needs U.S. support to achieve many economic, political and foreign policy goals. From my perspective as a Kyoto-based scholar of Japanese politics, nominating Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize is, for Abe, more sensible than it might seem....
The Conversation
Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize? Japan’s nomination is part of a strategic plan
Chris G. Pope | Researcher, Kyoto Women's University

Should have listened to the bank lobbyists

They should have got this done last week (story from May 22) as recommended now comes the real chaos they were trying to avoid by getting it done...

Science:  Instability creates instability.

(Morons:  Stability creates instability.)

Inversion going on 7 days:


You've heard of Ali's  "Rope-a-Dope!" now we have "Pump-a-Chump!"...

Trump triggered hacker China still "pumping!"

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong — For all the hubbub about the US-China trade war, trade is a fraction of China's economy

As recently as 2008, China’s net trade surplus accounted for 8% of GDP; by 2018, that figure was only about 1.3%—less than either Germany or South Korea, where net trade surpluses generate between 5% and 8% of GDP. The US isn’t far behind its Eastern neighbor: In 2018, US had a trade deficit of about 3% of GDP, down from 5% in 2006....
Instead, China’s economy today is driven by domestic consumption. In 11 of the 16 quarters since 2015, consumption has contributed more than 60% of GDP growth. In addition to becoming the world’s biggest market for online retail, the country now represents more than 30% of global market in luxury goods, automotive, consumer appliances, mobile phones, and spirits....
Quartz (May 6)
For all the hubbub about the US-China trade war, trade is a fraction of China's economy

Andrew Batson — Is state ownership turning into a core interest for China?

Is the Trump administration's policy toward China having the opposite effect and strengthening the hardline opposition and increasing populist nationalism, as well as preventing a mutually satisfactory solution in that any solution acceptable to the US would be seen in China as an unthinkable humiliation and loss of face? How not to negotiate 101?
Which is unfortunately why it is now seems hard to be optimistic about the politics on either side.
What seems to be happening is not only a decoupling of Chimerica, but also a bifurcation between the East and West-Global North and South, effectively ending neoliberal globalization without war. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that war has already commenced although kinetic warfare is as yet limited.

Randy Wray — How to Pay for the Green New Deal

How to Pay for the Green New DealWORKING PAPER NO. 931 | May 2019 
This paper follows the methodology developed by J. M. Keynes in his How to Pay for the War pamphlet to estimate the “costs” of the Green New Deal (GND) in terms of resource requirements. Instead of simply adding up estimates of the government spending that would be required, we assess resource availability that can be devoted to implementing GND projects. This includes mobilizing unutilized and underutilized resources, as well as shifting resources from current destructive and inefficient uses to GND projects. We argue that financial affordability cannot be an issue for the sovereign US government. Rather, the problem will be inflation if sufficient resources cannot be diverted to the GND. And if inflation is likely, we need to put in place anti-inflationary measures, such as well-targeted taxes, wage and price controls, rationing, and voluntary saving. Following Keynes, we recommend deferred consumption as our first choice should inflation pressures arise. We conclude that it is likely that the GND can be phased in without inflation, but if price pressures do appear, deferring a small amount of consumption will be sufficient to attenuate them.
New Economic Perspectives
How to Pay for the Green New Deal – Levy Institute
L. Randall Wray | Professor of Economics, Bard College

Links — 30 May 2013

Why Barr’s investigation is important and should be encouraged.
The Nation
How Did Russiagate Begin?
Stephen F. Cohen | Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University

I don't buy for a second all those Russian-China economic "integrationism" arguments, despite obvious attempts by China and Russia to form some sort of common Eurasian market. Russia and China are neighbors and economic... competitors. But, right now many Russian-Chinese broad economic, social, scientific and military contacts make total sense in a face of unruly and ungovernable United States. In fact, those are only natural. Yet, there is one item on Russian-Chinese agenda which sets Russia apart from everyone else for China....
China is yet to make a full claim to real superpowerdom and for that she needs Russia and her immense military potential, capable to defend most of Eurasia against any attempt. China doesn't have such capability and so the dance between comrades Putin and Xi continues....
The video clip at the end is the entry of the SU-57 into serial production.

Reminiscence of the Future

Humorous but not satire.

Russia Observer
Patrick Lawrence

Not satire either. Eye-roller.

Ars Technica
US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas”

Megan Geuss
Move over "freedom fries" of failed Iraq War fame — this isn't even "Not the Onion" territory.

All roads lead to John Brennan.

Intel Today
Spygate — Former CIA Station Chief Explains Resignations From 6 Deputy Directors of Italian Intelligence Agencies
Ludwig DeBraecheleer
As predicted, Putin’s popularity takes a nosedive.
This fact is not often discussed in the West, but the popularity of Vladimir Putin is in decline and has been so ever since, following his reelection, he kept more or less the same (already unpopular) government while that government very clumsily attempted to “sneak by” undetected a pension reform. Now the latest numbers are in, and they are not good: only 31.7% of Russians trust Vladimir Putin, that is his worst score in 13 years! His score last year was 47.4% (by the way, Shoigu got only 14.8%, Lavrov got 13%, and Medvedev got 7.6%. These are terrible scores by any measure!)
I have been warning about this for a while now (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and we now can try to understand what happened....
The Unz Review
Prospects for the Emergence of a Real Opposition in Russia
The Saker

Stephanie Kelton — Modern Monetary Theory Is Not a Recipe for Doom

In this post, Stephanie Kelton takes on Paul Krugman. She appears to agree with Paul Krugman's assumption that monetary policy that is built on raising interest rates to address inflation is not backwards. Actually, central bank interest rate setting is a form of price setting, the policy rate being a variable that sets the cost of borrowing (price of money). Higher interest rates are also inflationary to the degree that increase the income of holders of securities, as Warren Mosler has observed.

Instead she addresses the interest rate simply as a policy variable under central bank control, so the central bank can always insure that "r" is less than "g" to prevent interest on government debt from growing faster than the economy. While that is true, wouldn't it be preferable to show how Krugman's assumption about monetary is more fundamentally mistaken.  This is especially germane since it is not just Krugman's mistake. It is the most commonly held assumption.

Note that Stephanie Kelton does mentions the expansionary impact of higher interest rates directly to Krugman in Paul Krugman Asked Me About Modern Monetary Theory. Here Are 4 Answers. However, it is mentioned in passing rather than being elaborated, as it really need to be in order to finally bury monetarism in any form, strong or weak.

Stephanie Kelton finally addresses this point in another response to Krugman, The Clock Runs Down on Mainstream Keynesianism.

My suggestion is for the MMT economists to put together an elevator speech on this, along with a more complete explanation that is accessible to non-economists and a tightly argued paper for economist and financial types. It's all there in the MMT literature but it needs to be more tightly co-ordinated.
Stephanie Kelton | Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, formerly Democrats' chief economist on the staff of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and an economic adviser to the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders

Tomonews - Leaked OPCW report finds Douma chemical attack likely staged -

Articles in the mainstream media had described how helicopters probably dropped the chemical weapons, but a leaked OPCW document said they were brought in by hand.

The mainstream media has said nothing about this document. I would have thought that it was news, wouldn't you?

DOUMA, SYRIA — A leaked document is casting doubt on the official narrative of the 2018 Douma gas attacks which were later used to justify American, British and French airstrikes on Syria.

Alexei Kupriyanov — Towards Strategic Autonomy of India: Narendra Modi Continues His Economic and Social Reforms

The national elections in India have brought victory to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The NDA has won a stable majority in the lower house of parliament. This means that the right-wing coalition will remain in power for at least another five years, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be able to continue his economic and social reforms, as well as be able to operate with a free hand in the international arena.
India takes a hyper-nationalist (Hindutva dominated), neoliberal (neo-fascist*) turn to catch up in the global race in order to assume its rightful place as one of the largest and most advanced countries. 

Absolute GDP as a measure of development in addition to growth is largely determined by population size and productivity. India, with a billion plus population, now aims to increase its productivity to rival China and eventually overtake the US, which has high productivity but a less numerous population than India and China. 

In fact, it is this dynamic that is driving the historical dialectic on the grand scale, with Europe desperately trying to unite as a social, political and economic bloc to prevent being eaten by larger predators.

I would look at this as late-stage capitalism economically as the emerging world seeks to mirror the success of the developed world using developed world ideas. This creates a dialectic as an oppositional interplay between traditionalism, which is country or region specific, and liberalism, which is Western, in an environment in which the West assumes that domination is its natural place in the order of things and that liberalism is the only way to progress. 

Getting interesting watching the internal oppositions/contradictions (Widersprüche for Marx) manifest, often as antagonisms.

Valdai Analytics
Towards Strategic Autonomy of India: Narendra Modi Continues His Economic and Social Reforms
Alexei Kupriyanov

*What do I mean by "neo-fascist"? 

Neoliberalism is a political theory that views government as an ally of capital with labor (people) and land (the environment, the commons) considered as means to that end, progress being measured by economic growth. 

Alexander Dugin has pointed out that there are four political theories that have been contending for the past century — liberalism, fascism, communism and traditionalism. He views fascism and communism as declining, and liberalism and traditionalism rising.  The only purely communist country left is North Korea, China and Cuba both having introduced liberal reforms if not liberalism itself. He believes that fascism died out as a result of WWII. 

I think it is premature to write of either fascism or communism. One can instead view China as modernizing Marxism-Leninism rather than giving it up. Neither Marx nor Lenin were static thinkers and they would probably agree that their ideas should not be treated as dogma but in terms of their being representative of "moments" in the historical dialectic. China is rising and its system in competing quick well in a hostile world, thank you.

I am increasingly convinced that neoliberalism is combination of liberalism and fascism, similar to the way China is combining communism and liberalism. Neoliberalism is a political theory that views economic liberalism ("capitalism") as the driver of social and political liberalism ("liberal democracy"). Social and political liberalism as liberal democracy follow from economic liberalism that delivers prosperity. Classical economic liberalism (laissez-faire) was about terminating the dominant role of government under feudalism. This was complete by the end of WWI and the displacement of monarchy and aristocracy as the dominant form of governance in Europe.

But then the ruling elites realized that since capitalism meant favoring capital (property ownership) over the other factors of production, labor (people) and land (the environment and the commons), "progress" could be fostered and promoted by allying capital with governance. 

Mussolini and Gentile viewed fascism as the merger of state and corporate power. This is what neoliberalism aims at, with the state captured by the ruling elite as the most qualified to govern, and under neoliberal globalization not only the nation but also the world. The reality is that neoliberal globalization has been advanced by international organizations and technocrats at the expense of liberal democracy nationally since there is no accountability.

Joseph Stiglitz - Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next?

For decades the US and others have pursued a free-market agenda which has failed spectacularly

Joseph Stiglitz described how horrible neoliberalism is, which is about rent seeking, monopoly power, and corporate control of governments.

By contrast, the third camp advocates what I call progressive capitalism, which prescribes a radically different economic agenda, based on four priorities. The first is to restore the balance between markets, the state and civil society. Slow economic growth, rising inequality, financial instability and environmental degradation are problems born of the market, and thus cannot and will not be overcome by the market on its own. Governments have a duty to limit and shape markets through environmental, health, occupational safety and other types of regulation. It is also the government’s job to do what the market cannot or will not do, such as actively investing in basic research, technology, education and the health of its constituents.

The Guardian

FDIC Quarterly Banking Review Q1

Solid report out link to .pdf here.

The aggregate net income for the 5,362 FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions totaled $60.7 billion in first quarter 2019, an increase of $4.9 billion (8.7 percent) from a year ago. 
During the three months ended March 31, equity capital of $2.1 trillion rose by $36.9 billion (1.8 percent). 
Retained earnings in first quarter 2019 totaled $22.1 billion and dividends paid rose to $38.6 billion, an increase of $7.9 billion (25.9 percent). 
Total assets increased by $147 billion (0.8 percent) during the first quarter.

They are increasing retained earnings by about a $85b annual rate which will enable an increase in risk assets (loans) of about $600b. ($85b/0.14 Risk-based Capital Ratio)

Mike has the leading Treasury net withdrawals up $219.5 bln over last year and growing at 6.97% YoY creating necessary growth in incomes to enable this pretty decent growth in credit.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bill Mitchell — Talking of elephants–plain old, garden variety fiscal policy

If there were two lessons that can be taken from the GFC among others then we should know, once and for all, that, first, monetary policy (in all its glorious forms these days) is not a very effective tool for influencing the level of economic activity nor the price level, and, second, that fiscal policy is very effective in manipulating total spending and activity. Of course, those lessons provided the evidence that turned macroeconomics on its head because for several decades, as the Monetarist surge morphed into all manner of variants, tried to eulogise the primacy of monetary policy and rejected the use of fiscal policy. There were all sorts of justifications – time invariance, lags, politicians cannot be trusted, etc – but at the heart of the shift towards supposedly independent central banks was the political desire to neuter the capacity of governments to use their currency capacity to advance the well-being of the many, while at the same time, using that same capacity to advance the interests and real income shares of the few. Depoliticisation worked a treat for the top-end-of-town. The problem is that the lessons have not been learned and all manner of commentators still think that monetary policy is the king. Eventually, we will move beyond that but the pain of holding on to the myth is damaging for people, especially those who are without work, are underemployed or have been forced into early retirement by the poor economic performance in this austerity-biased era.…
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Talking of elephants – plain old, garden variety fiscal policy
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Links — 29 May 2013

Expanding on his recent threads discussing the somewhat ominous endgame of the US-China tensions, Bridgewater CEO Ray Dalio explains in his latest note that this conflict is much more extensive than a “trade war.”
Zero Hedge
Dalio Warns Of "Risky Time As US-China Conflict Is "Much More Than A Trade War"
Tyler Durden

Meanwhile, in China, President Xi was busy exhorting the rest of the world (presumably excluding the US) to cooperate with Beijing in developing new Internet, big data and artificial intelligence resources in a letter to the China International Big Data Industry Expo, which kicked off Sunday in the southwestern city of Guiyang, according to state-run business newswire Xinhua.
Zero Hedge
President Xi Invites World To Join China In Building New Internet
Tyler Durden 
Provoking trade disputes is “naked economic terrorism”, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday, ramping up the rhetoric against the United States amid a bitter trade war that is showing no signs of ending soon.
Taking aim at U.S., China says provoking trade disputes is 'naked economic terrorism'
Ben Blanchard
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo kept up U.S. pressure on Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Wednesday, saying the Chinese tech giant takes orders from Beijing.
U.S.'s Pompeo says Huawei is an 'instrument of Chinese government'
Indeed, with the constant chatter nowadays about the forces and impact of globalisation, one might have imagined that armchair analysts would have caught up and noticed the extent to which their cherished models of China might need to change, too. Yet when the West examines China, there seems to be a failure to note the obvious – that our understanding of China is shaped not just by the nature of China today, but by the nature of the West, too.

A confident and purposeful West, for instance, will see China in a very different way to a West that is insecure, confused or directionless. It might see China as a source of opportunities rather than a constant threat. The truth – as in many things – will lie somewhere in between. Before looking at China, then, it is essential to understand how much has changed in our own Western backyards over recent decades.
Bill Durodié
More US sanctions in the works as Beijing defies Trump by ramping up subsidies — this war is only just getting started.
Washington Preparing to Throw the Kitchen Sink at China
Kenneth Rapoza
Huawei should roll out a Google-free Android fork the EU is hoping for
Bloomberg Opinion
US Huawei Ban May Force It to Challenge Google’s Control of the Android Universe
Leonid Bershidsky
The US Army’s general staff has paid the RAND think-tank in California to devise a brand new plan of attack against Russia. The plan was released a month ago, on April 24. The new idea is Operation SWARM – that means throwing everything the US can think of at Russia.
Dances with Bears
John Helmer
Referring to China’s steady economic development and international influence the media outlet [Global Times ] claimed that “no country, including the US, can revamp the world order without China,” and suggested that it was far more probable that Washington would finally isolate itself while trying to crack down on Beijing.
Defend Democracy Press
Kissinger’s ‘Secret Ploy’: Why Russia Won’t Become US’ ‘Hammer’ Against China

Andrei Martyanov — You Can Not Fix Stupid (In Terminal Stage)

Andrei Martyanov fisks the latest "competitiveness" ratings and adds his own. (Quotes Michael Hudson, too.)

Reminiscence of the Future
You Can Not Fix Stupid (In Terminal Stage)
Andrei Martyanov

Fiona Scott Morton — Modern U.S. antitrust theory and evidence amid rising concerns of market power and its effects

The experiment of enforcing the antitrust laws a little bit less each year has run for 40 years, and scholars are now in a position to assess the evidence. The accompanying interactive database of research papers for the first time assembles in one place the most recent economic literature bearing on antitrust enforcement in the United States. The review is restricted to work published since the year 2000 in order to limit its size and emphasize work using the most recent data-driven empirical techniques. The papers in the interactive database are organized by enforcement topic, with each of these topics addressed in a short overview of what the literature demonstrates over the past 19 years....
Literature review.

Richard Murphy — Fisking Martin Wolf on modern monetary theory

I suspect Wolf chose to get this wrong, deliberately. His narrative does not work if he noted correctly what MMT said.
But his real disagreement is that whilst MMT is correct (subject to his own misconceptions) he thinks the policy implications are wrong.
Nice smackdown, if a smackdown can be considered nice.

Richard Murphy concludes:
Wolf has conceded MMT is right. Now he needs to accept the consequences. Including that democracy by and for the people should prevail.
To this I would add that representative democracy can only work if the electorate and the those they elect to represent them are properly informed. In a society in which wealth, influence, power and knowledge are unevenly distributed, with the top enjoying a disproportionate share of these, political outcomes will be biased in that direction.

Those at the top will therefore do what is in their considerable power to maintain the status quo by controlling the narrative. The narrative is now shifting with understanding of MMT proliferating to the extent that VSPs can no longer retain their credibility by denying the evident. Therefore, the narrative is beginning to shift away from attacking MMT. after having failed with ignoring it, toward blunting it. This can be read as the social and political subtext of Martin Wolf's piece, which is ostensibly chiefly economic and financial.

Tax Research UK
Fisking Martin Wolf on modern monetary theory
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

Fall Guys

Looks like the fall guys for the current interest rate chaos... nothing they could do about it... major systemic regulatory policy changes needed pronto... everybody there unqualified...

China still pumping!

Hacker USD zombie China still "pumping in money!" producing their best knockoff of Japan ... and nice description of this continuing central bank reification error via metaphor from these unqualified journos... "pump in the cash!"...

This in contrast to the US Fed at least starting to examine Reserve levels as they think it relates to maintenance of their interest rate policy while the curve is inverting; baby steps...

Once the US figures it out then Japan and China can hack it... may take a while though...

In the mean time, pump it up!!!!

Chunky Mark - ‪Jeremy Corbyn is 45 minutes from No.10 Downing Street 😱‬

Chunky Mark (The Artist Taxi Driver) may seem crude but he asking for what millions of people want, perhaps the majority. How can we afford it people will ask, but MMT shows a way.

I don't know why more people don't vote for this, and it can only down to the propaganda? The bad press that Jeremy Cornyn has had an effect, so now many people think he is an anti -semitic, like Hitler was. What a joke?

The anti-war Jeremy Corbyn is now the bad guy because he is not the  man of the ruling elit. But he is the man of the people and they are Britain, not the few psychopaths that rule over us, who are traitors to the British people.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Patrick Lawrence: The US-China Decoupling

Smoot-Hawley redux? Markets may already be discounting this.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Patrick Lawrence: The US-China Decoupling
Patrick Lawrence

Jeff Cox — The next downturn could see a 'radicalization' of the policies used during the financial crisis

In the next iteration of the financial crisis, there will be a more widely distributed response than the first, where only the wealth and well-connected were served. That produced a backlash that is still operative.

The next downturn could see a 'radicalization' of the policies used during the financial crisis
Jeff Cox

Martin Wolf — States create useful money, but abuse it

Useful critique of MMT. Martin Wolf at least took the time to read Randy Wary's Modern Money Theory. His areas of agreement with MMT are mostly factual, whereas his criticisms appear to be mostly opinion. In addition, he is unaware of what some of the other MMT economists have written about his areas of concern.

Most seriously, his solution is more technocracy, which ignores the agency problem.

But worth a read.

Financial Times
States create useful money, but abuse it
Martin Wolf

Antony P. Mueller — The Neo-Marxist Roots of Modern Monetary Theory

The post is interesting from the POV of history of economics. Antony P. Mueller points out how MMT owes more to Kalecki than to Keynes. His criticism of MMT goes astray in assuming the conventional economic view of debt-financed fiscal deficits crowding out private sector productive investment. MMT shows how this assumption is erroneous in that the net spending after taxes injects the exact amount of bond issuance in offset. It's the spending that funds Treasury security issuance. 

In central bank auctions of  government bonds the primary dealers act as the designated market makers, and their purchases drain the reserve add that was created by deficit spending from bank reserve balances at the Fed into security accounts at the Fed, much the same as deposit accounts in banks are drained into CD's. The total amount of the reserve add is used to settle the auction, draining the mnetary base of the reserves in injected by the deficit spending. All that changes is the maturity. MZM (money of zero maturity) becomes money of non-zero maturity.

There is no crowding out of private investment. The assumption that bond sales are funded by a stock of loanable funds for which government competes with the private sector is wrong. That is not the why the existing system works.

Nevertheless, the post is still a worthwhile read from the POV of history of economics, although one should not assume that the summary of Keyes, Kalecki and their use by MMT economics is entirely correct, for example, whether Kalecki held a labor theory of value is controversial.

Mises Wire
The Neo-Marxist Roots of Modern Monetary Theory
Antony P. Mueller

Robert Heilbroner — The Embarrassment of Economics: Weekend Reading

Robert Heilbroner hits it out of the park in this short article, originally a speech. It's a fun read, too.

Grasping Reality
Robert Heilbroner (1996): The Embarrassment of Economics: Weekend Reading
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

Richard Wolff - Huawei no longer ‘national security threat’

Richard Wolff says that China's capitalist system of state control of many leading undustries, with a tremendous amount of central planning and regulation, has given them 10% growth rate each year for 25 years and that's why they will never give it up.

Trump may eventually negotiate a new trade deal and Huawei and will no longer be considered a threat, which will make him look good to his base.

Nikkei Asian Review Growing — Modern Monetary Theory debate rattles Japan officials

MMT gone viral.
Untested economic model has big implication on country's planned tax hike and debt policy
Nikkei Asian Review
Growing Modern Monetary Theory debate rattles Japan officials

Darren Williams — «How Populism Affects Our Business»

Most important, after a 40-year period in which capital has won out decisively over labor, there is much likelihood that global economic policy is to shift back in a much less business-friendly direction. Not only will that weigh on economic growth, but it’s also likely to push inflation higher. And that’s something markets are not currently prepared for.
Darren Williams: «How Populism Affects Our Business»
Darren Williams | Global Economic Research Group for Fixed Income

Crispin B. Hollinshead — Another Voice: Escaping the black hole of debt

Another positive article. (Ukiah was my home town for awhile.)

The Ukiah Daily Journal — Opinion
Another Voice: Escaping the black hole of debt
Crispin B. Hollinshead, Ukiah resident

Rajrishi Singhal — Opinion | India's ailing economy needs a green pill for revival

GND and MMT make it to India.

LiveMint (India)
Opinion | India's ailing economy needs a green pill for revival
Rajrishi Singhal | consulting editor of Mint

Critical article on MMT but well-researched and worth reading.
Modern monetary theory has provided hope that the current economic problems can be solved if we look at things in a "new" light. Blinded by this hope, the fact that this theory is not "new" and has failed in the past has remained hidden.
Business Today (India)
Ravi Saraogi, CFA | Member, CPD Committee, CFA Society India

RT — MMT–Letters from America

RT runs a Renegade piece featuring MMT and Stephanie Kelton. I guess MMT can now be blamed on Putin and the Russians.

MMT – Letters from America

Robert H. Dugger — Modern Monetary Inevitabilities

For all the talk of Modern Monetary Theory representing a brave new frontier, it is easy to forget that the United States has gone down this road before, when the US Federal Reserve financed the war effort in the 1940s. Then, as now, the question is not about government debt, but about the debt's purpose and justification.
Lays out basic questions about implementing MMT politically in a politically divisive environment like the contemporary US.
Robert H. Dugger | Managing Partner at Hanover Provident Capital, LLC.

Milton Ezrati — What Is Modern Monetary Theory?

Positive and accurate. The scope is brief but Milton Ezrati uses it his limited space to show how most negative criticism of MMT fails to take into consideration what Stephanie Kelton, the public face of MMT in the US, actually says.

What Is Modern Monetary Theory?
Milton Ezrati |senior economist for the NY communications firm, Vested

Jack Tuck - Artificial Intelligence: it will kill us

Those science fiction movies aren't so mad after all and we could end up in a war with artificial intelligence which would wipe us out in a jiffy. Destroy one part of it, and rather like Medusa, millions of new parts would spring into action everywhere. It has no central brain, because it's artificial intelligence would have spread itself all over the world, designed that way by itself to preserve itself from attack. But it was all originally programmed to do this by us.

People think that when they see a security camera that someone maybe be looking at them, but what if one satellite could see every person and car in the world? What if algorithms could spot who you were by the way you walk with 100% accuracy.

Google is the leading company in A.I. and is buying up all the A.I companies around the world. Google say is just harmless information that can help us to improve our lives, but the Pentagon is their biggest investor.

Recently, at a private military show, one A.I. robot went out of control and started to behave very oddly eventually pointing its gun towards a group of terrified military onlookers. Fortunately, a brave marine jumped onto the robot and pulled its plug out, otherwise over 200 people would have died that day.

A.I. is millions of times smarter than us, and can redesign itself millions of times quicker than we can redesign it. It's so complicated that no one knows what it is doing, or thinking, anymore. Inside its computers, it's doing its own thing, all set up by us many years ago. We thought we were being smart.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Dr Cameron K. Murray - Three Economic Myths about Ageing: Participation, Immigration and Infrastructure

Cameron K. Murray is a left leaning economist who says excessive immigration is not good for societies. It is often said by liberals, that in western societies where there is a growing, aging population that isn't fully replacing itself they will need immigrants to do the work, and especially the care work. Not so, says David Cameron, in fact, countries with shrinking populations and aging populations are more productive. You can read his research below.


Population ageing due to longevity is one of the greatest successes of the modern era. However, it is widely thought to dramatically reduce workforce participation and overall output resulting in significant economic costs.
This widely held view is wrong. Ageing countries have higher economic growth and the improved health and longevity of older people increases their economic contribution.

High immigration is also thought to combat population ageing and be a remedy for these non-existent costs of ageing.

This is wrong. Low immigration can affect the age structure by helping to stabilise the population, but high immigration has almost no long-run effect besides increasing the total population level. This creates bigger problems in the future.

It is also widely thought that simply investing in infrastructure will accommodate high immigration and population growth at little cost.

This too is wrong.

Fresh Economic Thinking

Dr Cameron K. Murray - Three Economic Myths about Ageing: Participation, Immigration and Infrastructure

China isn't too concerned with Huawei's ban in America, says ACME Capital's Hany Nada

China says if you don't buy our technology we won't buy your soya beans. Well, that says something about U.S. technology. Also, China is developing space age new green technology and energy systems, while the U.S. says it's going to re-invest in its coal mines. I guess we will see those steam trains going across the U.S. again soon - the new frontier!

Chris Hedges - On Contact: War with Russia? w/Stephen F. Cohen

Russia felt betrayed when NATO expanded along its borders and the installed its nuclear defence shield, says Stephen Cohen. Russia responded by developing missiles that can never be detected to beat the shield. Now that MAD was back on the table, Putin asked for new nuclear arms agreements to reduce the very dangerous tensions, but the U.S. responded with Russia-Gate instead. Stephen Cohen says this is the America's worst crisis since the Revolution.

Stephen Cohen says how the CIA has interfered in U.S. elections smearing a president and also when he was a presidential candidate. This is completely unacceptable and needs to be addressed, says Cohen. Trump spoke about having peaceful relations with Russia, and the so the elite establishment invented Russia-Gate to discredit him. They have when branded Trump as a traitor, but the real traitors are the military industrial complex and its elite backers.

To endanger the world with WW3 is a crime that needs to be severely punished. These people need to be put behind bars forever, including members of the media who went along with the lie, and that includes those at the Guardian.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

AOC Discovers Garbage Disposal

Unqualified climate nutter discovers garbage disposal.  I wouldn't trust her to check the oil in my car and she says we need to get rid of petroleum or we're all dead... scary!!!!!

Here for others unqualified out there; some intro information on maceration in solid waste processing systems, enjoy.

Tony Shaffer - Why a war with Iran is unlikely: Donald Trump calls the shots and he doesn't want one

I checked on the internet today about Trump and one site said the Republican Party has had many honourable and good leaders but Trump is not one of them, said the commentator . He said Trump was a complete joke, a crook,  and an a**hole with no integrity. Phew!

I certainly was disappointed in Trump because of the hawkish people he appointed to power and his aggressive posturing, but it has been mentioned here before that some of those appointments were forced on him by rich Republican donors. As for the aggressive posturing, Tony Shaffer says this is more like a gorilla making a big display and beating his chest to frighten off an adversary rather than start a fight (this is my interpretation of his article). Trump definitely doesn't want war, says Tony Shaffer. Phew! Let's hope that's true, but it does seem it might be.

The truth is, a war with Iran is unlikely for one simple reason — President Trump detests unnecessary military interventions. His entire foreign policy is based on the belief that economic pressure can bring bad actors to the negotiating table and that diplomacy, through his unparalleled negotiating skills, can solve even the most complex geopolitical challenges and achieve more than a military conflict ever could.

Tony Shaffer: USA Today

Tony Shaffer - Why a war with Iran is unlikely: Donald Trump calls the shots and he doesn't want one

Richard Wolff responds to Trump's Huawei ban

Richard Wolff says that Trump may have seriously damaged the United States long term prosperity by banning Huawei as many non U.S companies may now want to protect themselves from similar action by reducing their business and involvement with the U.S.

Huawei will now reduce its reliance on U.S manufactured parts and many other companies are likely to do the same, says Richard Wolff.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

FT - Modern monetary theory offers insights into the eurozone

The article is behind a paywall, but I have found that the FT let's you read an article once before the paywall comes up. Whether this is intentional or a quirk in the system, I don't know?

The article was saying that MMT had got the ECB chiefs thinking about how they could print money to help failing states without giving a free ride to the bond markets. They said that printing money would not cause inflation in an economy that is in deflation.

So, MMT is now being taken seriously by the ECB chiefs, well, at least some of it's theories.

The FT article said that MMT is associated with the left.

Anyway, try the link and see if you are able to get in the first time like I did this morning, unless I was just lucky again.

FT - Modern monetary theory offers insights into the eurozone

Friday, May 24, 2019

Andrei Martyanov — Douglas Macgregor Hits It Out Of The Ball Park

Douglas Macgregor is a military policy realist. He analyzes the US military and its operational strategy (in contrast with grand strategy as implementation of policy).

Reminiscence of the Future
Douglas Macgregor Hits It Out Of The Ball Park
Andrei Martyanov

Alexander Losev — Finance as an Operational Theater in US-China Trade War

How a global economic crisis could break out if the Sino-American trade war gets out of hand.

While the analysis is not in paradigm with MMT, it is the way many if not most approach the issues and this cognitive bias gives a spin to behavior based on it.

Valdai Analytics
Finance as an Operational Theater in US-China Trade War
Alexander Losev

Tyler Cowen — *Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World*

I sometimes say that generalists are the most specialized people of them all, so specialized they can’t in fact do anything. Except make observations of that nature. Excerpt:
In an impressively insightful image, Tetlock described the very best forecasters as foxes with dragonfly eyes. Dragonfly eyes are composed of tens of thousands of lenses, each with a different perspective, which are then synthesized in the dragonfly’s brain.
I am not sure Epstein figures out what a generalist really is (and how does a generalist differ from a polymath, by the way?), but this book is the best place to start for thinking about the relevant issues.
Generalists are a subset of polymaths, since one must be a polymath to be a decent generalist. One definition of philosophy is the study of the whole. Plato and Aristotle were such generalists that they were able to establish the foundational structure of the Western intellectual tradition.

Keynes was a generalist whose training was in mathematics. Adam Smith and Karl Marx were also generalists trained in philosophy. Marx was responding to Hegel who was an über-generalist. Economist Kenneth Boulding was also a generalist and a co-founder of general systems theory. He also contributed to the study of conflict and conflict resolution.

Marginal Revolution
*Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World*
Tyler Cowen | Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center

Branko Milanovic — “We had everything before us, we had nothing before us”.

Some philosophy in the broad sense that is neither MMT nor economics-related but important owing to its contemporary relevance in determining the social, political and economic dialectic that the world is experiencing at this point in time and which is shaping the future for some time to come.

Are we in another Gramsci interregnum?
The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying but the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. — A. Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 3
Global Inequality
“We had everything before us, we had nothing before us”.
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
A quick search on the Internet shows that, in the past few years, a spike occurred in the frequency of references to Gramsci’s famous quote about “morbid symptoms”: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
I myself have contributed to this spike by borrowing the phrase “morbid symptoms” for the title of my 2016 book on the counterrevolutionary phase that followed the Arab Spring, and by quoting the whole sentence as epigraph to the book.
The obvious reason for this spike in uses of the quote is that it provides a clue to the emergence on the global scale, in recent years, of various phenomena that are unmistakably “morbid” from a progressive perspective: from the sad fate of the Arab Spring to the so-called Islamic State, to the reinvigoration of the European far right, to Donald Trump, and so on and so forth. However, before dwelling on the relevance of the above sentence to our present condition, it is appropriate to start by making sure that we correctly understand what Gramsci meant when he wrote it. For this, we need to reinsert the quotation in the text from which it was lifted and replace this text in its own historical context in order to grasp Gramsci’s intention, which may be different from what we instinctively attribute to him in retrospect....
ISR — International Socialist Review
Morbid Symptoms?
Gilbert Achcar

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fed Minutes

Interesting reveal in latest Fed minutes where we can now see the FOMC exhibiting some understanding of the Accounting relationship between the Treasury General Account fluctuation and Reserve composition here; excerpt:

The deputy manager reviewed developments in domestic money markets. Reserve balances declined by $150 billion over the intermeeting period and reached a low point of just below $1.5 trillion on April 23. The decline in reserves stemmed from a reduction in the SOMA’s agency MBS and Treasury holdings of $46 billion, reducing the SOMA portfolio to $3.92 trillion, and from a shift in the composition of liabilities, predominantly related to the increase in the Treasury General Account (TGA).
The TGA was volatile during the intermeeting period. In early April, the Treasury reduced bill issuance and allowed the TGA balance to fall in anticipation of individual tax receipts. As tax receipts arrived after the tax date, the TGA rose to more than $400 billion, resulting in a sharp decline in reserves over the last two weeks of April. Against this backdrop, the distribution of rates on traded volumes in overnight unsecured markets shifted higher. The effective federal funds rate (EFFR) moved up to 2.45 percent by the end of the intermeeting period, 5 basis points above the interest on excess reserves (IOER) rate.

And btw last year same issues with TGA and Reserve composition and seasonality effects on these balances around Tax Day BUT..... no mention of TGA in last year's minutes here ... hmmmm why include this now but not then????  Evolved from the apes by random chance mutation????  I don't think so...

Well I'll tell you why and its because someone over there is getting a hold of Mike's scientific work over the last year where he has been including these effects of wild TGA fluctuations in his financial analysis that is why...  either in his subscription service or his V-logs... GUARANTEED.... lock... it.....  noooooooobody else talking about this before... noooooooobody... and then all of a sudden voila here it is in the Fed minutes... coincidence? I think NOT...

Based on these minutes, you can see Fed using Mike's analysis to try to assess the effect of these account fluctuations on their managment of their FFR but still not making the connection between these balances and the various bank regulatory ratios so still making the same error of omission as the MMT people.

Fed making (at least) TWO errors; one (BIG) error of reification where they continue to think "banks lend out the reserves!" and one error of omission where they don't exhibit understanding of the subject variation in Reserve composition effects on bank regulatory ratios and stress testing.

MMT just making the ONE error of omission, MMT of course not making the error of reification; asserting (correctly) the abstract property of Reserve Balances via analogy ("it like points on a scoreboard!") always being a big part of the MMT dialectic thesis.

But Mike gets credit for this at least small step forward for the Fed imo...

Links — 23 May 2019

Bloomberg View
The New Assange Indictment Endangers Journalism
Eli Lake

'Modern fascism is breaking cover': Journalists react to Assange Espionage Act charges

Legal experts say the new indictment against Assange is the first time the Justice Department has used the Espionage Act to charge a third party — not the government leaker — with publishing classified information.
Press Freedom Groups Say The New Charges Against Julian Assange Are A Threat To Journalists
Zoe Tillman

The Hill
Democratic senator warns of threat to press freedom in new Assange charges
Zack Budryk

Boston Review
The Anti-Defamation League Is Not What It SeemsUnder the guise of fighting hate speech, the ADL has a long history of wielding its moral authority to attack Arabs, blacks, and queers.

McKinsey — A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States

Labor’s share of national income—that is, the amount of GDP paid out in wages, salaries, and benefits—has been declining in developed and, to a lesser extent, emerging economies since the 1980s. This has raised concerns about slowing income growth, inequality, and loss of the consumer purchasing power that is needed to fuel demand in the economy. The decline has been much discussed and the rising power of companies vis-à-vis workers—whether from new technology, globalization, the hollowing out of labor unions, or market consolidation—has shaped much of that discussion.
The labor share of income in 35 advanced economies fell from around 54 percent in 1980 to 50.5 percent in 2014.
In A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States (PDF–849KB) we examine the relative importance of different factors in the United States through a focus on the complement of the labor share decline—that is, the rise in capital share of income. We decompose this into the role of depreciation, capital-to-output ratios, and returns on invested capital. Linking this decomposition with a microanalysis of 12 key sectors allows us to identify the relative importance of the factors that have contributed to the labor share decline. While our findings confirm the relevance of the most commonly cited factors, including globalization and technology adoption, they also suggest that additional trends often absent from the current debate—including boom and bust effects from commodity and real estate cycles and rising depreciation, including from a shift to more intangible capital such as intellectual property—played an even more central role.
A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States

See also

Jason Hickel

Tyler Durden — iPhones Are Now "Embarrassing" In China As Trade War Deepens

Tim Cook's worst nightmare. But not just Apple. American products used to cool. Now, the coolness factor is disappearing.

China had already completed its export-dependent phase of the economic plan, and was already embarking on increasing consumption-share of GDP. This just hastens the transition as the government is forced to increase domestic demand through stimulus to maintain employment.

Zero Hedge
iPhones Are Now "Embarrassing" In China As Trade War Deepens
Tyler Durden

Matthew Ehret — Trump Attacks Military Industrial Complex and Calls for Infrastructure Investments in the Middle East

While Trump has too often accommodated this hive of neocons, his recent statements and repeated calls for cooperation with Russia and China demonstrate a sound push back which should be taken very seriously. In that Fox interview Trump said:

“With all of everything that’s going on, and I’m not one that believes—you know, I’m not somebody that wants to go in to war, because war hurts economies, war kills people, most importantly—by far most importantly.”You know, in Syria, with the caliphate, so I wipe out 100 percent of the caliphate. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to have these crazy people who run around blowing up stores and blowing up things—these are seriously ill people. I don’t want to say, ‘Oh, they’re wiped,’ you know, ISIS. But, I wiped out 100 percent of the caliphate. I say, ‘I want to bring our troops back home.’ The place went crazy. You have people here in Washington, they never want to leave.”‘You know what I’ll do, I’ll leave a couple hundred soldiers behind,’ but if it was up to them, they’d bring thousands of soldiers in. Someday people will explain it, but you do have a group, and they call it the military-industrial complex. They never want to leave. They always want to fight.”
Trump continued to explain his preference for economic over military solutions which is certainly in alignment with the Russia and Chinese approach in the Middle East....
Strategic Culture Foundation
Trump Attacks Military Industrial Complex and Calls for Infrastructure Investments in the Middle East
Matthew Ehret

See also
President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not think additional U.S. troops are needed in the Middle East to counter Iran, casting doubt on a Pentagon plan to bolster forces in the region.
Trump doubts U.S. needs to send more troops to Middle East
Phil Stewart, Jeff Mason

Manlio Dinucci — Rand Corp: how to destroy Russia

The conclusions of the latest confidential report by the Rand Corporation were recently made public in a « Brief ». They explain how to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Certain recommendations have already been implemented, but this systemic exposure enables us to understand their true objective.…
What America's best and brightest are up to these days.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Rand Corp: how to destroy Russia
Manlio Dinucci

Okwonkwo — Before the US started harassing Huawei, there was Toshiba of Japan and Alstom of France in the same boat

Brook no competitors. Huawei is nothing new. But taking a country the size of China is. The US did not need the Japanese or French markets. The Chinese market is quite a different matter.

Before the US started harassing Huawei, there was Toshiba of Japan and Alstom of France in the same boat

See also
The consequence of the the 737 MAX accidents give China a tool to exert pressure of its own. The credibility of the U.S. regulator FAA is damaged as it was the last one to ground the planes. It is China that will decide when those planes are allowed back into its air. What if it does not do that. What if it buys less planes:
No other country has greater demand for aircraft: In the 20 years through 2037, Boeing estimates Chinese purchases at 7,690 new planes worth $1.2 trillion.
Airbus will be happy to sell all those planes. Unless of course Trump makes a deal and lets Huawei off the hook.
Forget Airbus. After having enormous success in military export, Russia is gearing up for the civilian market, which it will soon begin to take a piece of in any case.

Moon of Alabama
Why Trump's Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

Andrei Martyanov — Hm, Something Is Missing....

How the West rewrites history. Andrei Martyanov sets the record straight.

Reminiscence of the Future
Hm, Something Is Missing....
Andrei Martyanov

Vasily Kashin — The West and Russian-Chinese Relations: Stages of Denial

A look at the view of Sino-Russian relations in contrast to the reality of their mutually supportive alignment that is not hierarchical and doesn't involve dependence. In other words, a solid relationship that is mutually beneficial.

Analytics Valdai
The West and Russian-Chinese Relations: Stages of Denial
Vasily Kashin

Bill Mitchell — Being anti-European Union and pro-Brexit does not make one a nationalist

The European Parliament elections start today and finish at the weekend (May 23-26). The Europe Elects site provides updated information about the opinion polls and seat projections, although given the disastrous showing of the polls in last Saturday’s Australian federal election, one should not take the polling results too seriously. But it is clear that there is an upsurge in the so-called populist parties of the Right at the expense of the traditional core political movements (centre-right and centre-left). It is also easy to dismiss this as a revival of ‘nationalism’ based around concepts of ethnicity and exclusivity and dismiss the legitimacy of these movements along those lines. However, that strategy is failing because the ‘populist’ parties have become more sophisticated and extended their remit to appeal more broadly and make it difficult to relate them to fascist ideologies. The fact that the progressive (particularly Europhile variety) continue to invoke the pejorative ‘nationalist’ whenever anyone begs to differ on Europe and question why they would support a cabal which has embedded neoliberalism and corporatism in its very legal existence (the Treaties) is testament to why the traditional Left parties are showing up so badly in the polls these days. The British Labour Party, for example, should be light years ahead of the Tories, given how appalling the latter have become. But they are not a certainty if a general election was called and the reason is they have not understood the anxieties of the British people and too many of their politicians are happy to dismiss dissent as being motivated by racism. The Brexit outcome so far is a good case study in that folly....
Since MMT focuses on monetary systems, in particular the existing floating rate regime, and currencies are national units of account, nationalism versus internationalism becomes relevant, especially in democracies. 

Limitation of sovereignty, including currency sovereignty limit the scope of democracy by transferring control of previously national matters to international bodies and entities that are not accountable to national electorates and cannot be addressed through the political process.

In this, there is nothing intrinsically xenophobic or ethnic involved. It is simply preserving the power of the people to require accountability from elected representatives.

This was the original idea of Populism, Prarie Populism, and the Populist movement in the US and Canada, as well as Progressivism historically. The basic idea is the people taking sovereignty back from the elite that had hijacked popular sovereignty as the basis of liberalism and liberal democracy, and turned the country into a plutonomous oligarchy.

Very often, international arrangements benefit national elites but not the people at large. Therefore, international institutional arrangements can be viewed as anti-democratic by design. Actual outcomes seem to support this view.

Historically, such issues were discussed in detail at the time of the formulation of the US founding documents, which involved states ceding a great deal of the sovereignty to the federal government, specifically in The Federalist Papers

The discussion there is informed by the founding fathers knowledge of the Western intellectual tradition that was formed in ancient Greece, where Athens was the incubator of Western democracy and the Western liberal tradition. Although centrists led by Alexander Hamilton prevailed at the time, the controversy over federal prerogatives and states' rights remains lively today. America fought the Civil War over it.

My background is in philosophy and while not my primary focus, social and political theory is a sub-specialty. Like Karl Marx, I came to realize that social and political thought and practice cannot be approached comprehensively independently of economic and financial thought and practice. While Marx is often viewed as an economist, his training was in philosophy and whose work is chiefly about social and political theory, not economics per se. Adam Smith also. I regard Smith, Marx and Keynes as the big three in economic thought, and none of them were trained in economics. Keynes was a mathematician, as Michael Emmett Brady has attempted to show, which he contends, is why economists fail to understand what Keynes actually wrote.

The following quotation sums up why currency sovereignty and who controls it are crucial. 
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes its laws" — attributed to Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild (likely a false attribution)
Even though this quote appears to be spurious, the idea behind it is sound. Thus, the importance of currency sovereignty to democratic governance, and the relevance of MMT to social theory and practice.

Of course, the same can be said of the press, the commanding heights of the economy, and the political process. However, in a plutocracy, which is what representative democracies (republics) are, wealth is determinative. In a plutonomy everything comes back to money, who has it and who doesn't have it.

Neoliberalism can be viewed as a political theory that serves plutonomy. And the neo-imperialism and neocolonialism that follow from it can be viewed as the attempt to extend Western dominance and achieve global hegemony with the assistance of comprador governments run by local elites as minions of the Western elite.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Being anti-European Union and pro-Brexit does not make one a nationalist
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia