Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Links — 31 July 2019

Optimizing for Human Well-Being
Douglas Rushkoff | Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY Queens College, and host of the Team Human podcast and author of Team Human

Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
‘This Shit is Killing Me’: Dalit rights and Mumbai’s sewers
Monica Moses

Judge dismisses DNC suit against Trump campaign, Russia over email hack
Josh Gernstein

Management Today
What is modern monetary theory - and what does it mean for business?
Paul Simpson

Reminiscence of the Future
Didn't Take Long
Andrei Martyanov

Checkpoint Asia
Carried by Patriotism Huawei’s Market Share Hits Record 38% in China
Finance Twitter

Elijah J. Magnier — Middle East Politics
Why did the UK commander of HM Montrose refrain from firing on the IRGC? Who in Iran gave orders to capture the “Stena Impero”?
Elijah J. Magnier

India Punchline
Ruminations on the ‘Vimochana Samaram’
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Moon of Alabama
Violent 'Color Revolution' In Hong Kong Fails Despite Strong NYT Support

China and The Conclusion of American Power
Christopher Black

Sputnik International
Butina’s Lawyer Says Prosecutors Withheld Exculpatory Evidence During Trial

Mint Press News
How a Small Group of Pro-Israel Activists Blacklisted MintPress on Wikipedia

Twitter suspends Russian embassy in Syria after it criticized White Helmets

Renegade Inc: Follow the Money How The World Really Works

Another really good one from It's like The Quickening, where they said people were about to realise that the West was a massive con. We are run by psychopaths, says Charlie Robinson.

I never thought I would see anything like RussiaGate, where night after night all the politicians and the journalists within the MSM would be lying on our screens, and now they are doing the same thing to the British Labour Party saying it has a serious antisemitic problem.

The Guardian had an article recently painting Russia as a corrupt country with a huge military industrial complex that has been starting war after war around the world for profit and domination.  They did not have the comments section open underneath, but they would have removed my comment anyway. Surely they were talking about the US, I would have said.

It was the Scottish author Charles Mackay who spotted that human beings go mad in crowds and come to their senses slowly and individually. One place to see this madness in action is in financial markets - especially when those markets have been juiced with cheap money.
But manias’ never last, and in fact, daily, more and more people have stopped drinking the Kool Aid and have started joining the dots the reality of how the world really works.
Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by the author Charlie Robinson to discuss how far the tentacles of vested interests really reach to maintain the status quo.

Apocalypse economics and economic apocalypse — Richard Westra

What cutting edge economic anthropology and economic history shows is that prior to the dawn of the capitalist era it would have been nonsensical to refer to such a thing as an “economy” and no one ever did. The reason for this, quite simply, is that while economic reproduction is an existential facet of all existing human societies it had always been intermeshed with other social practices–culture, religion, ideology, politics, and so on–and indistinguishable from them. Only under capitalism does economic life emerge transparently, as a separate sphere, permitting systematic study of “the economy” in economic theory.
Mainstream economics in the neoclassical tradition which gained hegemonic status across much of the world by the early 20th century never problematizes the above important ontological fact. Rather, it blithely advances precepts that draw on select economic practices of capitalism as universal principles of human economic life per se.
Unfortunately for humanity, the naturalizing of capitalism by dominant mainstream neoclassical economics establishes a bulwark against the posing of vital economic questions which challenge capitalist rationality....
Societies involving human relationships are complex adaptive systems, comprised of subsystems and "elements," that is, individual members. In human society as a whole, the elements or members are not the unit of society but rather the family is the social unit. Traditionally, this was the relationship of subsystems interrelated by kinship — individuals, families, clans, tribes, and nations.

Each society is characterized by its culture, which includes its traditions, customs, institutions, capabilities and potential, and shared aspirations. This includes overlapping factors that are often characterized as social, political and economic. It is not possible to disentangle the factors comprising the society other than conceptually.

Such conceptualization necessitates drawing lines that involve making assumptions that hang on on factual evidence as well as on abstractions that are based on fuzzy sets. Moreover, identification of key factors and their measurement, as well as prioritizing relevance, is extremely difficult in the scientific sense. Thus, arriving at causal explanation that is scientific sense is riff with issues. These issues are generally debated ideologically rather than scientifically, making the outcome speculative and rhetorical, infected with cognitive-affective bias.

Human knowledge is relative since there are no absolute criteria. For example, in science, all measurement categories are anchor to a real basis as a standard. Scientists are continually trying to refine the exactitude of such standards, as well also ensuring that the standards are adhered to in practice.

A further complicating factor is that human knowledge is based on conceptual structures that are not fully systematized. That is, they are not algorithms. Rather, the basis of human known is narrative, a world view that is embedded in the cultural narrative. For example, the history of thought can be divided into three periods so far, with a fourth period emerging.

The first period was mythological explanation, which still persists, e.g., in religions. "Mythos" means English "story" in Greek. The Greeks distinguished mythos and ethos. Mythos is the cultural story while ethos signifies the cultural values and character. Generally, the cultural ethos is the context for the cultural story that determines and transmits fundamental values and orientation. Logos or reason is distinguished from pathos or feeling. There is also topos, or cultural theme — what a culture is primarily concerned with. Topos relates to telos or purpose. For example, the topos of America is liberty as an end-in-itself or highest good. Finally, there is kairos or opportune time. Cultures are subject to the process of historical dialectic, waxing and waning with a Zeigeist. The mythic age began to wane during the Axial Age (c. 600-300 BCE) and began to be replaced by the conceptual age as mythos as mythological explanation gave way to logos as rational explanation. This was particularly visible in the West with the rise of Greek philosophy as the foundation for what would develop into the Western intellectual tradition.

The intellectual, philosophical or conceptual age is the second stage. It would be characterized by logos or rationality. Pathos or feeling was acknowledged as important but relegated to rhetoric by Aristotle.The cultural narrative began to change as mythological explanation gave way to causal explanation based on logos or reasoning. Plato and Aristotle in particular laid the its foundation based on the teaching and example of Socrates, who wrote nothing.

The Greeks also distinguished episteme or conceptual knowledge from praxis or practice, e.g., the practical application of conceptual knowledge. This, coupled with Aristotle's emphasis on observation, resulted in a cultural transition when Aristotle's thought became dominant over Plato's in the Middle Ages, largely to the influence of Aquinas.

 The second stage developed into the third state when philosophical method began to be replaced by scientific method. Then observation, which Aristotle had emphasized counter to Plato, became key as instrumentation and measurement were improved through technological innovation. Gradually, the scientific age became dominant in the cultural narrative owing to the success in its application to technology and the transformation of society that it wrought, not as if by "magic" but based on understanding "the laws of nature." With Newton the initial stage of the this transformation was completed.

It was assumed that the success of the scientific method was due largely to the assumption of naturalism, which involved rejecting mythological explanation like religious dogma and theology, and also philosophical explanation based on abstract reasoning. This led to the conceptual distinctions among fields of knowledge and the "vivisection" of the organic life of society into conceptual mechanisms.

Modern economics is a result of this. It is the attempt to explain the "economic life" of society in terms of mechanistic and naturalistic principles that are based on equating naturalism as a methodological assumption with materialism as an ontological assumption. The units of society are viewed as individuals functioning like atoms in physics, so that economics is assumed to be based on laws of nature which do not differ materially from the laws of nature discovered in physics. Thus the assumption that the methodological debate is decided, with methodological individualism and microfoundations established as key assumptions along with equilibrium and rational maximization of economic benefit for the agent.

This results in mechanistic explanation over organic, and the normalization of "naturalized economics" as a definitive explanation without relation to society as a system, that is, a whole with a structural aspect and also a functional one. The result is caricature rather than science. Since economic is a policy science used in policy formulation, this has consequences for the whole of society.

The fourth period may now be waxing. This can be characterized as the age of the algorithm. It will depend on develops in computer science and technology, in particular AI. This would mark passage from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age, but probably still within the third period dominated by science.

Whether this will be apocalyptical remains to be seen. It well could be with several swords of Damocles hanging over the body of humanity. But it could also mark a transition to a new humanity.

MR Online
Apocalypse economics and economic apocalypse

Lars P. Syll — MMT– the key insights

Lars quotes Knut Wicksell and William ("Bill") Vickery.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
MMT — the key insights
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Bill Mitchell —The British government can avoid a recession from a No-Deal Brexit

A shorter blog post today (Wednesday). On Monday (July 29, 2019), the British Social Metrics Commission published their – 2019 Report – which reveals (staggeringly) “that 4.5 million people are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 7 million people are living in persistent poverty” in Britain. So around 22 per cent of people in the UK are living in poverty. In this day and age, poverty is like polio – it is completely avoidable if governments adopt the right policy mix. Persistent poverty means that a people “are in poverty now and have also been in poverty for at least two of the previous three years.” In other words, the policy failure is persistent....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The British government can avoid a recession from a No-Deal Brexit
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

US Treasury Announces New Securities Issuance Estimates

New UST issuance estimates for July/Aug/Sept quarter now assuming an imminent suspension of the 'debt ceiling':   $271b increase.

TGA target balance for end of this quarter is also increased to $350b almost $200b higher than recent.  Close to a $200b decrease in Reserve Assets at the Depositories in about 2 months time...

Fed still planning on lowering reserves at the system level by another $35b per month for those same two months so another $70b reduction there over the same August-September time interval.

Latest H.4.1 reported Reserves at Depositories at $1,525T so balances of these non-risk assets at the banks may fall well below $1.5T in the next two months .. towards $1.2T.

Danielle Ryan - ‘Russia doesn’t have a good side’: More xenophobic bile spewing forth from Western ‘experts’

Many Labour Party members are being accused of being antisemitic, but what about the blatant the anti-Russianism that is rampant in the West. Why doesn't the liberal and anti-racist Guardian call this out? 

Pretending to ‘understand’ Russia has become quite the lucrative business for Western media professionals in recent years – and “leading” Russia expert extraordinaire Keir Giles is the latest to believe he has cracked the code.
Generous Giles has published a list of 10 “ground rules” for befuddled Westerners seeking to unravel the enigma that is Russia – but before we delve into the finer details, let’s add some important context. This Russia whisperer is a “senior consulting fellow”at Chatham House – a British think tank receiving funding from the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), the UK Ministry of Defence, the British Army and the US embassy, as well as an impressive array of arms manufacturers. 

4. Bluster and bravado (a Russian thing)

We’re back to unintended irony for ground rule number four, where Giles explains that Russia “defaults to threats and feigned outrage” to “improve its negotiating position.” 
Threats and feigned outrage does sound familiar alright, but that couldn’t be right. Western politicians would never threaten to obliterate other countries or wipe them“off the face of the earth.”They’d probably also never invade and destroy multiple countries and then play the victim of the century when someone posts divisive memes on Facebook. They would never engineer military coups or cripple struggling populations with deadly economic sanctions, either. That would just be totally repugnant, wouldn’t it?

5. Russian ‘beliefs’ are a problem (always)

Giles reminds us in ground rule number five that Russia does “not consist of just one man” – an astute point from our new Russia guru. Unfortunately, however, he does not take this opportunity to point out how wrong it would be to tar all Russians with one brush. Instead he offers that it doesn’t matter which Russian occupies the Kremlin, because if they are being “driven by persistent Russian beliefs and imperatives” they will still cause problems. Presumably, Guru Giles would like the Russian president to be driven by Western beliefs and imperatives?

Debate: Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism

Despite all the propaganda, the British people do not believe that anti-Zionisism is anti-semitism. It's interesting because the Guardian and Owen Jones often bash Russia, but is that not anti-Russianism? 

US’ Bernie Sanders would ‘absolutely’ use military aid to force Israel to change

Bernie seems to be getting better, but I hope that he, and Jeremy Corbyn for that matter, are fully aware of what these people are capable of. They have no conscious and any diabolical crime is fine by them. They are like the mafia. For instance, coming in and trying to change how the City of London works could be very dangerous.

It's been reported that Jeffrey Epstein tried to commit suicide, but his lawyer doesn't seem to think so, he says a lot of very poweful people want to see him dead. He knows too much.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has said he would consider cutting military aid to Israel.
In an interview Sanders was asked whether he would consider using the billions of dollars in military aid from the US to change Israel’s behaviour, to which he replied “absolutely”.
Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel pro-Israel pro-Israel. It has got to be pro-region working with all of the people, all of the countries in that area.
Sanders also expressed a wish to end the US’ hawkish approach to foreign policy.
He said: “We have spent trillions of dollars on the war on terror, and I, as president, would like to sit down in a room with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, with the leadership of Iran, with the leadership of the Palestinians, with the leadership of Israel, and hammer out some damn agreements, which will try to end the conflicts that exist there forever.”
Sanders is a fierce critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and previously referred to his government as right-wing and racist, earning him condemnation from Israeli lawmakers.
The presidential hopeful has previously opposed increasing military aid to Israel, and slammed Israeli policy as “apartheid-like”.
Other left-wing Democrat allies such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have also signalled they would push for military aid cuts, saying it was “on the table”.

Middle East Monitor 

US’ Bernie Sanders would ‘absolutely’ use military aid to force Israel to change

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Liber

Just where in the hell do these moron liber-tarians come from?  Apparently, there is a whole history of these people... again not much has changed...  some excerpts from the wiki on this pagan faction/cult of people:

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Liber /ˈlaɪbər/ (Latin: Līber [ˈliːbɛr], "the free one"), also known as Liber Pater ("the free Father"), was a god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom. He was a patron deity of Rome's plebeians and was part of their Aventine Triad. His festival of Liberalia (March 17) became associated with free speech and the rights attached to coming of age. His cult and functions were increasingly associated with Romanised forms of the Greek Dionysus/Bacchus, whose mythology he came to share. 
Latin liber means "free", or the "free one": when coupled with "pater", it means "The Free Father", who personifies freedom and champions its attendant rights, as opposed to dependent servitude. 
Liber's patronage of Rome's largest, least powerful class of citizens (the plebs, or plebeian commoners) associates him with particular forms of plebeian disobedience to the civil and religious authority claimed by Rome's Republican patrician elite. The Aventine Triad has been described as parallel to the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus on the Capitoline Hill, within the city's sacred boundary (pomerium): and as its "copy and antithesis". 
Very little is known of Liber's official and unofficial cults during the early to middle Republican era. Their Dionysiac or Bacchic elements seem to have been regarded as tolerably ancient, home-grown and manageable by Roman authorities until 186 BC, shortly after the end of the Second Punic War. Livy, writing 200 years after the event, gives a highly theatrical account of the Bacchanalia's introduction by a foreign soothsayer, a "Greek of mean condition... a low operator of sacrifices". The cult spreads in secret, "like a plague". The lower classes, plebeians, women, the young, morally weak and effeminate males ("men most like women") are particularly susceptible: all such persons have leuitas animi (fickle or uneducated minds) but even Rome's elite are not immune. 
The cult was officially represented as the workings of a secret, illicit state within the Roman state, a conspiracy of priestesses and misfits, capable of anything. Bacchus himself was not the problem; like any deity, he had a right to cult. Rather than risk his divine offense, the Bacchanalia were not banned outright. They were made to submit to official regulation, under threat of ferocious penalties: some 6,000 persons are thought to have been put to death. 
Augustus successfully courted the plebs, supported their patron deities and began the restoration of the Aventine Triad's temple; it was re-dedicated by his successor, Tiberius.

And here we are today... complete liber-tarian utopia... government allegedly (to them) has no numismatic authority and they think government is borrowing its own munnie... or government is "out of money!"....  etc...  pure pagan cultists from thousands of years ago...  "capable of A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G"... 


Links — 30 July 2019

Reminiscence of the Future
Too Late, Too Little.
Andrei Martyanov

India Punchline
Russia wades into oily waters of East Mediterranean
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Fort Russ News
MAJOR: Russian 5th generation Su-57 fighter launches serial production
Paul Antonopoulos

MIT Press Journals
Mary Elise Sarotte: How to Enlarge NATO: The Debate inside the Clinton Administration, 1993–95

Armstrong Economics
Macron’s French Police Openly Attacking the People Seriously Injuring if not Trying to Kill Them
Martin Armstrong

5G’s Waveform Is a Battery Vampire
Tom O'Connor

Checkpoint Asia
Jack Ma’s $290 Billion Loan Machine Is Revolutionizing Chinese Banking

Consortium News
The War Party Is in Control
David Lazare

Bill Mitchell — When the Left disgraces itself

In Monte Python’s Life of Brian we were introduced to the “People’s Front of Judea”, which was “one of many fractious and bickering independence movements, who spend more time fighting each other than the Romans”. The segments featuring the Front were very amusing. It was humour but redolent of the sort of historical struggles that have divided the Left over the centuries. In Australia, the history of the Communist Party, for example, is one of many factions, splintering into new parties and leaderships after disputes about Bolshevism, then the Communist International and Stalinism, then the so-called “imperialist” war by the Allies against Nazism, then Krushchev’s revelations about the crimes of Stalin, then the Soviet invasion of Hungary, then the split between the Soviet Union and China and the rise of Mao, then the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and so on. This sort of division is mirrored around the world on the Left side of politics and struggle. I have been reminded of this history in recent weeks as the ‘war’ against Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been ramped up from so-called progressives. However, this ‘war’ seems different to the sort of internicine struggles that have historically bedevilled the Left. We now have all manner of strategies emerging, ranging from classic Association fallacies to ridiculous claims that MMTers perpetuate ‘anti semitic tropes’, and on to plain invention, a.k.a. straight out fabrications or lying. There is no real attempt to embrace the body of work we have created over the last 25 years. Quite the opposite – the ‘critics’ haven’t an original thing to say about the substance of MMT. They have instead decided to smear us with increasingly hysterical assertions. Which raises the interesting question for me – what is driving this aberrant behaviour? Fear, a sense of irrelevance, jealousy, Brexit, spite, … what? I have conjectures but no real answers....
I would agree that criticism of MMT is mostly memes and tropes with very little substance, as if the developers and proponents of MMT were simpletons that had not thought things through and were just spouting bromides or selling snake oil. The number of serious critiques of MMT are few and far between and well-informed one are even rarer. In fact, I can't recall even one that demonstrated familiarity with the body of MMT literature. Sad state of affairs.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When the Left disgraces itself
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tulsi: "Audit the Fed"

Here you go moron..... dumb libertarians...

Origin of the 2 Percent Inflation Target — J. Barkley Rosser

So it was 1990 that the New Zealand central bank became the first in the world to impose an inflation target of 0-0.002....
Origin of the 2 Percent Inflation Target
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University

Bringing science into economics must necessarily entail measurements in the scientific units. Ikonoclast

...Bringing science into economics must necessarily entail measurements in the scientific units above (plus the utilization of taxonomic schemes for biota). Thus if we assess by scientific studies and measurements that we are causing the 6th mass extinction and forcing dangerous climate change by releasing CO2 from our fossil fuels, then we have assessed that we should stop using fossil fuels. How we stop is the next matter for consideration and then we must examine energy transitions, energy saving and consumption curtailment, all in scientific and technological feasibility terms. Only real resource considerations are meaningful. Money considerations are completely meaningless. This is if we are being entirely logical and scientific.
MMT begins with availability of real resources. 

I have been arguing that the challenge presented by climate change is not so much economic issue as a matter of science and engineering. First the design problem has to be delineated based on scientific research involving measurement that conform to best practice in science. Then, a design solution, or alternatives with tradeoffs, must be proposed in engineering terms. Some of those tradeoffs may involve nominal cost, but in design problems that are regarded as existential challenges, like war, nominal cost is mostly irrelevant to purpose. 

Real-World Economics Review Blog
Bringing science into economics must necessarily entail measurements in the scientific units.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett - RussiaGate as Organized Distraction

Oliver Boyd-Barrett looks at who benefits from having the corporate media suffocate their public with a puerile narrative for over two years. 

An excellent article on the RussiaGate conspiracy theory. It goes over quite a lot.

Those of us that knew RussiaGate was fake news were unable to believe the level of audacity of the establishment and the media. Every night on TV we watched politicians and journalists outright lying. 

For over two years RussiaGate has accounted for a substantial proportion of all mainstream U.S. media political journalism and, because U.S. media have significant agenda-setting propulsion, of global media coverage as well. The timing has been catastrophic. The Trump administration has shredded environmental protections, jettisoned nuclear agreements, exacerbated tensions with U.S. rivals and pandered to the rich.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett - RussiaGate as Organized Distraction


Critics of the Saudi regime seem to be dissappearing, but MBS is still getting the red carpet in the West.

This article gives a climpse of how dangerous the world really is.

The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi was no aberration. A Vanity Fair investigation reveals how Saudi Arabia attempts to abduct, repatriate—and sometimes murder—citizens it regards as enemies of the state.

In April, Iyad el-Baghdadi, an exiled Arab activist living in Oslo, was surprised when Norwegian security officials came to his apartment. According to el-Baghdadi, they told him they had received intelligence, passed along from a Western country, that suggested he was in danger. El-Baghdadi, who is Palestinian, had been a close associate of Khashoggi’s. In the months before Khashoggi’s murder, the two men, along with an American colleague, were developing a watchdog group to track false or manipulated messages being pushed out across social media and press outlets by Saudi authorities and their proxies. El-Baghdadi had been warned that M.B.S.’s leadership considered him an enemy of the state. In fact, according to el-Baghdadi, just weeks before the Norwegian officials paid him a visit, he had been helping Amazon determine that its CEO, Jeff Bezos, had been the subject of a Saudi hack-and-extortion plot. The Norwegians were not taking any chances, as el-Baghdadi recalled; they whisked him and his family to a safe house.

Turkey’s War In The West — Cyprus Is Now Surrounded By Drill-Ships And Warships; Cannon Ready To Fire At Europe – 150,000 People Per Month — John Helmer

Under cover of its Russian S-400 air defence batteries, and ignoring US and European sanctions, Turkey is going on the offensive at sea, surrounding Cyprus, and by land, launching a weapon against the European Union against which there is no defence: a Turkish cannon firing 150,000 people at Europe’s borders each month. They are the refugees from the wars the US and NATO launched in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
A Russian analysis entitled “Turkey will open the door to Europe for millions of refugees”, written by Vladimir Dobrinin, was published in Vzglyad (“View”) on July 24. An English translation follows below....
Dances with Bears
John Helmer

Quietly, Russia Is Inaugurating a New Economic Order to Transform Where Its Wealth Comes From — Chris Weafer

We are today half-way through the first year of the latest transition in Russia. In fact, this is the third major transition, or change of direction and priorities, sincethe emergence of modern Russia in 1991.
This particular stage in the evolution is when, if handled correctly, Russia should start to see the emergence of a new economic order and the start of more sustainable and steady growth with lifestyle and social improvements to match. It is of course far too early to be able to say that this process is successful, or will be successful, or is a failure. Focusing on short-term indicators and political headlines in the midst of what has already been a very significant process is both pedantic and wrong.
It is better to look at how the major parts of the process, the big picture as it were, are working, or not, and to then be able to assess the probability of eventual success and in which direction the economy and investment climate are heading....
Counterpoint Asia
Quietly, Russia Is Inaugurating a New Economic Order to Transform Where Its Wealth Comes From
Chris Weafer, bne IntelliNews

Lars P. Syll — Everything you want to now about MMT

Randy Wray video and Lars's comment about MMT's implications for the eurozone.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Everything you want to now about MMT
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Craig Murray - BBC cuts reporter after he mentions MI6 involvement in torture.

Take a look at this, fellas.

To be fair, the reporter said afterwards that his phone was cutting out and Jo Coburn was in dismay about this.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Bill Mitchell — Modest (insipid) Green New Deal proposals miss the point – Part 2

This is the second and final part of my recent discussion on the what a Green New Deal requires. All manner of proposals seem to have become part of the GND. The problem is that many of these proposals sell the idea short and will fail to achieve what is really required – a massive transformation of society and the role the government plays within it. The imprecision is exacerbated by progressives who are afraid to go too far outside the neoliberal mould for fear of being shut out of the debate. So we get ‘modest’ proposals, hunkered down in neoliberal framing as if to step up to the plate confidently is a step too far. In Part 1, I argued that the progressive side of the climate debate became entrapped, early on, by ‘free market’ framing, in the sense that the political response to climate action has typically emphasised using the ‘price system’ to create disincentives for polluting activities. In Part 2, I argue that we have to abandon our notion that the role of government in meeting the climate challenge is to make capitalism work better via price incentives. Rather, we have to accept and promote the imperative that governments take a central role in infrastructure provision, rules-based regulation (telling carbon producers to cease operation) and introducing new technologies....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Modest (insipid) Green New Deal proposals miss the point – Part 2
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Mark Blyth - So can we have it all?

Mark Blyth severely criticises MMT at around the 24 minute mark. It lasts about 5 minutes. He says it could work for America but would mess up the rest of the world which needs dollars to buy oil. What do you think?

Rep Jim Jordan On FBI Spying On Americans and How Impotent The Muller Investigation Was

Muller is put on the spot by Jim Jordan. Watch him wriggle! He says how the Dems want to carry on investigating even after three years of finding nothing. But he has a better idea, why not investigate who started this conspiracy theory?

Finance, Class, and the Birth of Neoclassical Economics: The Marginalist Revolution Revisited — Yair Kaldor

Value theory in economics.

Economic Sociology and Political Economy
Finance, Class, and the Birth of Neoclassical Economics: The Marginalist Revolution Revisited
Yair Kaldor | PhD candidate in the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a member of Koah LaOvdim (“Power to the Workers”), an Israeli labor union.

Michael Hudson— The Coming Savings Meltdown

Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. That point inevitably arrives on the liabilities side of the economy’s balance sheet.
But what of the asset side? One person’s debt is a creditor’s claim for payment. This is defined as “savings,” even though banks simply create credit endogenously on their own computers without needing any prior savings. When debts can’t be paid and debtors default, what happens to these creditors? 
Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
The Coming Savings Meltdown
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Debt Worries Yet Again — Brian Romanchuk

J.W. Mason posted an interesting list of arguments to not worry about government debt levels in "A Baker's Dozen of Reasons not to Worry About Government Debt." On reading it, I realised that one could cut through the whole thing by arguing as follows: the reason why we should not worry about government debt in a country like the United State is that nobody can come up with a (not highly disputable*) reason why that the stock of debt matters.

I will largely leave that assertion for the reader to chew on. However, I would note that I chose my wording carefully....
Bond Economics
Debt Worries Yet Again
Brian Romanchuk

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Links — 27 July 2019

Fort Russ News
Czech military expert: Russia was to be dismembered in the ’90s

Craig Murray Blog
Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

Hunter Biden's Ukraine job raises conflict of interest questions
David Nather

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
The Economist does Mister P
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

The National Interest
RIP F-35: Russia Could Turn Su-57 Into 6th Generation Super Stealth Fighter
Dario Leone

The National Interest
World War III? How Russia, China, Japan and South Korea Nearly Started a War
Sebastien Roblin

Marko Marjanovic

Checkpoint Asia
China Readiess $29 Billion to Fuel Rise of Chip Industry
Sarah Dai, South China Sea Post

China, Russia should strengthen cooperation in technologies, energy — [Chinese] foreign minister

Bloomberg - Everything You Want To Know About Modern Money Theory

Bard College Economics Professor L. Randall Wray explains the controversial idea that’s gaining acceptance with Bloomberg's Cristina Lindblad and Peter Coy.

But the right-wing doomsters are going full pelt underneath.

From the comments section -

It is amazing that someone calls himself economist after ignoring economic history. ALL nations who printed/coined/digitalised money at will went broke. It takes an hour or two to study cases like Greece, Rome, Byzantine Empire, Brazil, Venezuela, Congo, to point the places I can recall. Keep printing money, America, like there's no tomorrow. Live the fake life a little longer. Hangover is coming.


Exactly. The British tally stick system lasted 8 centuries before their holders were paid off in gold. Any day now...the collapse. The Roman empire only lasted 1000 years...any day now.

Robert Elliott - How Russia spreads disinformation via RT is more nuanced than we realise

Some guy called Robert Elliott has put out in the Guardian some of the most blatant misinformation I've ever come across. What is so diabolical about the article is that Elliott says he's the CEO of a company that he set up to counter disinformation, especially from Russia.

If you read the article you will see that Elliott's company gets some funding from the British government.

Elliott says Maduro was behind a coup in Venezuela, but Jimmy Carter observed the elections and said they were the fairest he had ever seen. Also, Europe and America was asked to come and observe the elections too, but they turned it down. Venezuela use some of the best voting machines available so the right can't hack them to fix the elections. Why doesn't Elliott mention any of this in his article if he is trying to put out the real news?

Elliot also says RT has spread conspiracy theories about the Skripal poisoning. Well, I never saw any.

A Jewish professor of intelligence recently described how intelegence agencies would carry out such an assassination. In the Skripal case, two agents would have flown from Russia to a neutral country using fake passports, and then they would have flown to Britain using different fake passports. Once in Britain they would stayed overnight in a safe house and then the next day they would travel to where they are going to do the murder. And then, and only then, would someone hand them the murder weapon. But chances are they would do it the old fashioned way and make it look like a suicide or an accident. Why didn't the Guardian or the BBC report this analysis by a Jewish expert on intelligence operations?

Instead we are told the Russian agents came to Britain using their real passports, went sightseeing for a day (I posted photos here once of them looking into windows of shops), and then tried to do the murder with a chemical 'of a type originally developed in Russia'. Come on! Also, and I don't think the Western media reported this, but they didn't have much money so they had to share a single bed together at the British hotel.

The Guardian

New Study Predicts Millions of Americans May Become Exposed to “Off the Charts” Heat — Dimitri Lascaris interviews Michael Mann

I use a simple rule. If you want to have an idea of what we will be facing by the middle of this century absent concerted action on climate change, then what we think of today, what we perceive, what we describe as record heat or a record heat wave— in a few decades, we will simply call that summer. The typical summer day will be like the most extreme day that we have seen in our lifetimes at this point. And what unusual heat, record heat, will look like at that point, we don’t even have an analog for that. And so, clearly if we continue on that path, we’re venturing into dangerous territory where a substantially large part of the planet basically becomes uninhabitable to human beings. And obviously, when you take a growing global population, less land, less food and water because of the aggravating impacts of climate change on those as well. You’re talking about unprecedented levels of conflict. It’s a future that we don’t want to see. The good news is there’s still time to make sure that that is not our future....
New Study Predicts Millions of Americans May Become Exposed to “Off the Charts” Heat
Dimitri Lascaris interviews Michael Mann | Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth Science Systems Service Center at Penn State Univerity
ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

Friday, July 26, 2019

Links — 26 July 2019

Real-World Economics Review Blog
Understanding global inequality in the 21st century
Jayati Ghosh | Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi

Goats, Guns N Gold
Gabbard Going After Google is Double Plus Good
Tom Luongo

Sputnik International
Venezuela Diversifying Economy to Step Out of Oil Revenue Dependency - Maduro

US Approves Sale of F-16 Program Support to Pakistan in Wake of Trump-Khan Talks

China Tells US to ‘Stop Its Random and Illegal Sanctions’ Amid Iranian Oil Trade Row

Venezuelan president thanks Russia and China for help in restructuring economy

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Patrick Armstrong

Pew Research Center
Trust and Distrust in America

U.S. Reinstates Capital Punishment

"Save munnie!!!" :p

Tucker: What should happen to those who lied about Russian collusion?

Tucker Carlson nails it!

The Dems kept saying they had evidence, but have never been able to produce any, and nor has anyone else.

Stagflation and it's prevalence in Pakistan — Omer Javed

This policy inclination – both local and one suggested in IMF programs towards over-relying on policy rate on curtailing aggregate demand, is indeed a disproportionate response to correctly and effectively addressing inflation and low growth challenge. Pakistan, therefore, needs a balanced monetary and fiscal policy response to tackle the issues of stagflation. The policy should focus on both the aggregate – demand and supply sides. This will also help bring a much-needed boost in the employment levels.
It would make sense, at the same time, to borrow from the unconventional economic policy of the type of modern monetary theory, and political-economic and heterodox institutional and behavioral economics. Overall as well, global prevalence of stagflation requires a policy response on similar lines as indicated above. Monetary policy alone, or when given a disproportionate role in tackling stagflationary concerns, will not work as has been indicated the time and again over the last four decades or so.
Global Village Space
Stagflation and it's prevalence in Pakistan
Dr. Omer Javed | institutional political economist

How economics can raise its game — Tim Harford

Another one on methodology.

I, my view, Tim Harford is basically correct in thinking that the optimal methodological approach in economics, as in the social sciences, is to "let a hundred flowers bloom," to borrow a metaphor from Chairman Mao. But from the POV of the "hard" sciences, "soft science" is not "real" science. That is drawing lines arbitrarily. It basically says that the other "sciences" are not physics or chemistry. Well, doh.

Anyway, the post is worth a read. It takes off from a recent paper by George Akerlof.

Tim Harford — The Undercover Economist
How economics can raise its game
Tim Harford, FT columinst

Andre Vltchek - March of the Uyghurs. Again, The West Tries to Destroy China, Using Religion and Terror.

Andre Vltchek looks into the terrifying world of the Uyghur extremists. It's a very long article which shows a whole network of terrorist activity across the Middle East, Asia, and Russia, all of it backed by Western intelligence agencies. They are charged up with Wahhabism and want to turn the world into an Islamic state.

The majority of Uyghurs are peaceful Muslims, but there's enough of a minority to cause havoc throughout the world. Lots of them are in Syria fighting Assad's government.

The BBC put out another video on the Chinese government treatment of the Uyghur Muslims, but it never mentioned that Uyghur extremists have killed 1200 Chinese civilians to date. In fact, it never mentioned anything about Uyghur extremists at all.

Andre Vltchek - March of the Uyghurs. Again, The West Tries to Destroy China, Using Religion and Terror.

Some humour to lighten the gloom — Duncan Green

Don’t know about you, but watching the daily news isn’t much fun these days (nor is the weather/climate), and this week in particular, I am sorely in need of light relief. There was even a riot at my local swimming pool yesterday.

So back to the abandoned series of ‘Friday funnies’: here’s a few previous FP2P posts that might just qualify. Coincidentally, they are the ones that the people I talk to often remember best. Hope they are acceptable – I once received a complaint because the refugees on the cover of a newsletter I had just edited were laughing, ‘so they can’t possibly be refugees’. Sigh....
Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
Some humour to lighten the gloom
Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB

Michael Roberts — The world’s scariest economist?

Mariana Mazzucato is one of the world’s most influential economists, according to Quartz magazine. She has won many awards for her work. She is an adviser to the UK Labour Party on economic policy; she “has the ear” of radical Congress representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she advises Democratic presidential hopeful, Senator Elizabeth Warren and also Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon. And she has written two key books: The Entrepreneurial State (2013) and the The Value of Everything (2018).

Mazzucato is considered radical, even ‘scary,’ by many mainstream economists and conservative politicians. This is because she has highlighted the important role that the state and governments have played in delivering innovation in technology and in advancing productive investment. The idea that the state can be a leading force in innovation and investment in useful activity is anathema to the right-wing neo-liberal ‘free market’ views of the majority of mainstream economists and politicians.…

Mariana Mazzucato is a fellow traveler with the MMT economists and has collaborated with Randy Wray.

Michael Roberts Blog — blogging from a marxist economist
The world’s scariest economist?
Michael Roberts

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Must be a libertarian bad dream...

This must be like a libertarian nightmare:

hahahahahahahaha! suck it up cupcakes!!!!

Got thru the House today; probably the whole libertarian House Freakdom Caucus voted "NO!"... libertarian assholes...:

The declining labour share of income: Accounting for the main factors — Jan Mischke, Hans‐Helmut Kotz, Jacques Bughin

Since the 1980s, labour compensation relative to aggregate output has been on an inexorable downward trend across major developed economies. This column deploys a simple accounting technology to tease out the driving factors behind this, focusing on the US. The findings highlight the key role of under-appreciated factors, including supercycles and boom-bust effects and rising depreciation. The analysis suggests that while the effect of some factors may dampen or reverse, others will likely continue at an uncertain pace.…
More factors to consider. The most provocative claim is that commonly accepted major factors turn out not to be the major factors in the causal mix.

The declining labour share of income: Accounting for the main factors
Jan Mischke, Hans‐Helmut Kotz, Jacques Bughin

Zero Hedge — Entire Swiss Curve Goes Sub-Zero - Global Negative-Yielding Debt Spikes To New Record High

 How low can it go?
WTF is going on!!
Zero Hedge
Entire Swiss Curve Goes Sub-Zero - Global Negative-Yielding Debt Spikes To New Record High
Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge — Barr And State AGs Discuss Big Tech Monopolies As 'Flipped' Facebook Co-Founder Helps Devise Antitrust Action

More anti-trust talk.

Zero Hedge
Barr And State AGs Discuss Big Tech Monopolies As 'Flipped' Facebook Co-Founder Helps Devise Antitrust Action
Tyler Durden

Keiser Report: 5G, Why is the US so far behind? (E1414)

This goes well with the Andre Vltchek article I just put out.

Max Keiser says the US fell behind the rest of the world with 5G for three reasons.

1. US CEO's sold off the technology to increase short-term profits.

2. The US government set no standard for 5G which meant US companies were too scared to invest incase their version didn't win out in the market.

3. The US military uses part of the 5G spectrum for spying and didn't want to give it up.

Max says how China plans for the long term future while US companies engage in stock buy-backs and asset stripping.

Look what happened to Britain’s ICI? It was one of the biggest chemical companies in the world. And Ever Ready had a brilliant brand name but more money could be made by running the company down.

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy ask why the US is so far behind on 5G? Chinese companies own the most patents on crucial elements of the technology, while there are no major US companies building and developing 5G telecom equipment.

Andre Vltchek - Reason Why West Is Determined to Ignore China's Success

Tourists go to China and can't believe what they are seeing, says Andre Vltchek, as they were expecting to see a third world and backward communist country, but they find it looks more modern than anything they have back home. China has superb museums, beautiful public parks, and very clean cities, and the countryside has been developed now too.

Andre Vltchek says China is still at heart a communist country and its capitalist part is there to serve the community.

Everything in China changed. Its cities became clean, green, ecological, full of public parks, exercise machines for adults and children. Urban centers are now overflowing with a first class public transportation (all ecological), with impressive museums, concert halls, excellent universities and medical centers. Subsidized super-high trains are connecting all major cities of the country. In Communist China, everything is planned by the government and by the Communist Party, and the private sector is there to serve the nation, not vice versa. It works. It works remarkably well. Citizens have much more say about how their country is governed, than those in the West.

Cities are clean, efficient, built for the people. No beggars and no slums. No misery. Things are getting better and better.
Foreigners who come to China for the first time are shocked: China looks much wealthier than the US or UK. Its streets, its airports, its metro systems, high-speed trains, theatres, sidewalks, parks, easily put those in New York of Paris to shame.
But, it is not rich. Far from it! China’s GDP per capita is still relatively low, but that is precisely what makes “socialism with Chinese characteristics” so impressive and superior to the Western capitalism fueled by imperialism. China does not need to have average incomes of some $50,000+ per capita to prosper, to give its people an increasingly great life, to protect the environment, and to promote great culture.
Could it be, that this is precisely why the West is shaking in fear?
The West, where economic growth is everything, where people live in constant fear, instead of optimistic hope for the future. The West, where trillions of dollars and euros are wasted annually, so the elites can live in bizarre luxury and preside over irrational, unnecessary over-production and arms accumulation, which bring no well-being to the majority.
China and its central planning are offering a much better and logical system, for its citizens and for the world.
Most of its science is geared to the improvement of life on this planet, not for cold profits.
President Xi’s brainchild – BRI – is designed to lift up billions of people world-wide out of poverty, and to connect the world, instead of fragmenting it.
So why is President Xi so much disliked in Europe?
Could it be, that it is precisely because of the gigantic success of China?

“Across-the-Board Tariffs on China with Retaliation and Federal Spending Create Over 1 Million Jobs in Five Years” — Menzie Chinn

I’ve read the “working paper” (and the preceding paper) a couple of times, and am not clear what happens — the results are based on splicing two models (REMI and BCG data) and running out the results.
Alarm bells went off in my head when I read this:
You decide.

“Across-the-Board Tariffs on China with Retaliation and Federal Spending Create Over 1 Million Jobs in Five Years”
Menzie Chinn | Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison, co-editor of the Journal of International Money and Finance, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research International Finance and Macroeconomics

ECRI — Predicting the ISM and Markit PMIs

Is the trade war beginning to bite the global economy, to which most countries are coupled? A leading indicator suggests that this may be developing.

Climate Watch

Global warming skeptics sometimes say rising temperatures are just another naturally occurring shift in Earth’s climate, like the Medieval Warm Period of the years 800 to 1200 or the Little Ice Age, a period of cooling that spanned from roughly 1300 to 1850.
But a pair of studies published Wednesday provides stark evidence that the rise in global temperatures over the past 150 years has been far more rapid and widespread than any warming period in the past 2,000 years — a finding that undercuts claims that today’s global warming isn’t necessarily the result of human activity.
NBC News
Climate scientists drive stake through heart of skeptics' argument
Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky
Research argues that deadly Candida auris "may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change."…
Fungal diseases are relatively uncommon in humans because of body temperature—but if they adapt to rising temperatures, and aren't easily treatable with medications, they could increasingly endanger human health on a global scale. Casadevall warned that while C. auris may be the first fungal disease whose emergence scientists have tied to rising temperatures, it potentially won't be the last.
"Global warming may lead to new fungal diseases that we don't even know about right now," he said. "What this study suggests is this is the beginning of fungi adapting to higher temperatures, and we are going to have more and more problems as the century goes on." …
Common Dreams
'This Is the Beginning': New Study Warns Climate Crisis May Have Been Pivotal in Rise of Drug-Resistant Superbug
Jessica Corbett

An opposing view

Armstrong Economics
Climate Change is about Overthrowing Capitalism
Martin Armstrong

Reuters — Treasury's Mnuchin says Amazon 'destroyed' U.S. retail sector

“If you look at Amazon, although they’re certain benefits to it, they’ve destroyed the retail industry across the United States,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “I don’t have an opinion other than I think it’s absolutely right the attorney general is looking into these issues and I look forward to listening to his recommendations to the president.”
Are we finally going to start talking about anti-trust, which. incidentally, was at the heart of US progressivism historically.

Treasury's Mnuchin says Amazon 'destroyed' U.S. retail sector

CFRB having a bad week



ChiComms have put another bank in trouble:

Developers having their credit lines pulled:

Not looking good....

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Bill Mitchell — Modest (insipid) Green New Deal proposals miss the point

All over the globe now there are cries for a Green New Deal. What constitutes the GND is another matter. Like the concept of the Job Guarantee, there are now countless versions springing out of various groups, some that only seem to offer a short-term, short-week job or other arrangements that fall short of the way Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) constructs the concept. There is only one Job Guarantee in the modern parlance and that is the MMT concept. Other job creation programs are fine but they should stop using the term Job Guarantee, which is a comprehensive macroeconomic stability framework rather than a job creation program per se. In the same vein, all manner of proposals seem to have become part of the GND. The problem is that many of these proposals sell the idea short and will fail to achieve what is really required – a massive transformation of society and the role the government plays within it. The imprecision is exacerbated by progressives who are afraid to go too far outside the neoliberal mould for fear of being shut out of the debate. So we get ‘modest’ proposals, hunkered down in neoliberal framing as if to step up to the plate confidently is a step too far. This is Part 1 of a two-part blog post series on my thoughts on the failure of the environmental Left and climate action activists to frame their ambitions adequately....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Modest (insipid) Green New Deal proposals miss the point
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

See also

Bond Economics
Some Comments On Economic Climate Change Models
Brian Romanchuk