Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Universe Is Just Trying To See Itself — Caitlin Johnstone

The Universe Is Just Trying To See Itself
Caitlin Johnstone

Only Fools and Horses - Del Shows Off His Shooting Skills

They are wheelers and dealers who live on a council estate. Rodney, the younger brother, has met a nice girl and has been invited to her father's dinner party. Del Boy, the older one, sees an opportunity to meet some of the top brass and make contacts. 

Why You Should Stop Using Your Android Messages App

 I'm quite into Delta Chat now, although it's basic, like you can only send one picture at a time, but it's still in development, so hopefully it will improve.

There’s a serious issue that impacts hundreds of millions of Android users worldwide—one that should have been flagged by the huge backlash that suddenly hit WhatsApp in January. But it wasn’t, it gets surprisingly little attention, even though it puts you and your private information at risk. Here’s what you need to know.


Why You Should Stop Using Your Android Messages 

Why UK Pensions are Worst in the Developed World

 As a percentage of average earnings, the UK government pays out 29 per cent, putting it at the bottom of a table which is led by the Netherlands, which pays 100.6 per cent, Portugal, which offers 94 per cent, and Italy, which gives 93.2 per cent.

The UK is joined at the bottom of the list by Japan, Poland and Mexico, but all these countries still pay better state pensions, the report by the group of developed nations showed.


Why UK Pensions are Worst in the Developed World

Saudi Arabia is medieval, cruel and an absolute tyranny — Pat Lang

"Our guys."

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Saudi Arabia is medieval, cruel and an absolute tyranny.
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.)

At the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lang was the Defense Intelligence Officer (DIO) for the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism, and later, the first Director of the Defense Humint Service. At the DIA, he was a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service. He participated in the drafting of National Intelligence Estimates. From 1992 to 1994, all the U.S. military attachés worldwide reported to him. During that period, he also briefed President George H. W. Bush at the White House, as he had during Operation Desert Storm.

He was also the head of intelligence analysis for the Middle East for seven or eight years at that institution. He was the head of all the Middle East and South Asia analysis in DIA for counter-terrorism for seven years. For his service in the DIA, Lang received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. — Wikipedia

See also

The Hill
See also

Another wrist-slap.

Zero Hedge
Biden Admits He Won't Sanction MbS Simply Because Saudis Remain "Our Allies"
Tyler Durden

Bitcoin cannot replace the banks

 Cryptocurrency hopes are based on a misunderstanding of how money is created

The bitcoiners think that the government creates all the money, but it is the regulated commercial banks which make most of our money.

Holding any asset in the hope that it becomes money is, to be sure, a long-term investment strategy. But it also shows a flawed understanding of how dollars work, and who creates them now. Most of what currently functions as money in the US and any developed economy does not come from the government. It comes from commercial banks. Banks do not just hold money, or transfer it. They create it.

Bitcoin is turning out to be a good way to reinforce the system we already have. There’s a lot about this system that functions poorly. The supply of credit money can be unstable, as banks stop making loans in a downturn, right when people need them the most. There is little incentive to extend cheap credit to people who need small loans. But there isn’t much, so far, that Bitcoin seems to have done to fix these things, and it’s not at all clear how it will.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Putin, crusaders and barbarians — Pepe Escobar


The Vineyard of the Saker
Putin, crusaders and barbarians
Pepe Escobar

See also

In my view, Amnesty rightly denied to recognize Navalny as a "prisoner of conscience" since his past behavior and previous statements reveal that the man has no conscience. He is an opportunist rather than a defender of rights.

But more significantly from the political standpoint, polling backed by a record of  poor performance in elections in which he participated show that he has very little support in Russia, while Putin has approval numbers that Western leaders can only dream about. The West is betting on the wrong horse.

Amnesty, and the Failure of the Navalny Revolution
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa


Biden’s First Foreign Policy Speech Vows Forever Wars
Brian Berletic

Disclosure: "My name is Brian Berletic and for several years I have run the alternative news blog, "Land Destroyer" under the pen name 'Tony Cartalucci.'" 

Berletic is an anti-imperialist.



Art Degree Summers digging in.... as he should....

Treasury plan


This is what they last said they are going to do:

Next quarter they are estimating $393B of additional USD savings but are only planning on providing an additional $95b of UST securities accounts ..... and zombie morons are currently thinking “hey! what if China doesn’t lend us the money!?!?”..... FTR.

How does one learn from people one disagrees with?


LOL how about you don’t use the dialogic method in the first place that’s how.... you use the scientific method...  

Friday, February 26, 2021

Biden To Let Trump-Era Rule Severely Regulating China Tech "Threats" Take Effect — Tyler Durden

Addressing the feared deep and lasting negative impact on the US economy itself, WSJ explains:
The rule could affect millions of American businesses, according to a Commerce Department estimate, potentially requiring them to get government clearance for purchases and deals involving sophisticated technology with what the regulation calls a "foreign adversary," or face potential unwinding of the deals or other enforcement.
Everything from sophisticated electronics, most especially computer components and iPhones, to camera equipment to vehicles, could potentially be impacted by a web of confusing regulations that could ensue.

Leading the charge against implementing the rule includes IBM, which was quoted in Bloomberg as saying, "By the Commerce Department’s own estimate, this rule would impose many billions of dollars in new compliance costs on millions of U.S. firms, including countless small businesses."...

Outcompeting China? 

Why Joe Biden will continue the US war on Nord Stream 2 till the bitter end — Johanna Ross

As Johanna Ross observes, this is geopolitics and geo-strategy in the style of the grand chessboard on which great powers contend for control of territory. 

What she doesn't point out is the that real objective of the US/UK is first forcing Russia to submit to US/UK imperial rule so that it can use this leverage on China's Western border, along with the Seventh Fleet and bases surrounding China to the east to force China into submission, thereby cement permanent US/UK hegemony as the first truly global empire. 

Why US/UK ? The US is the next iteration of the British Empire, which initiated this global strategy long ago and has been pursuing it since, now as a shadow of the US as a result of the power shift post-WWII.

This grand strategy, of which Russia and China are well aware, is leading inexorably to a new arms race, another cold war, and a high likelihood of WWIII.

In this, the US is taking the lead and bears most of the responsibility. Actions since WWII reveal that the US has little to no sense of responsibility. (Putin: "Do you realize what you have done?")

Why Joe Biden will continue the US war on Nord Stream 2 till the bitter end
Johanna Ross, journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

See also

Backgrounder on geo-strategy.

See also

Consortium News (August 29, 2018)
Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers
Pepe Escobar

Bond Market Panic — Brian Romanchuk

Zombie attack.

Bond Economics
Bond Market Panic
Brian Romanchuk

The EU will choke off Europe's recovery — Thomas Fazi

Popular explanation of currency sovereignty and its implications for the EZ. Plus a Wynne Godley quote.

Thomas Fazi and Bill Mitchell wrote Reclaiming the State together. Fazi is an Italian journalist.

The EU will choke off Europe's recovery
Thomas Fazi



Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched..... 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Andrew Batson — The definitive book on China’s industrial policy is also free

Once an obscure topic, China’s industrial policy now gets attention from heads of state. The entire US-China trade war waged by the Trump administration was, in formal legal terms any way, justified as a response to distorting industrial policy. Understanding industrial policy seems to be a requirement for participating in current intellectual debates about China.

Thankfully, Barry Naughton has written a short and highly readable book, The Rise of China’s Industrial Policy, 1978 to 2020, that explains its history and functioning. Even better, it is available as a free PDF download from the Centro de Estudios China-México at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Based on a series of lectures, the book has a conversational tone and jargon-free style that is rare for this subject matter, a topic both highly technical and highly politicized....
Andrew Batson's Blog

The Revival Of Russia And The Way Forward — Zamir Awan

Mostly focused on Russian relations with the Muslim world. Russia has good relations with both the Muslim world and Israel even though it is backing Syria and, more modestly, Iran. This is a difficult balancing act that he credits Putin with managing well. It also helps that the Russian Federation is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state with good domestic relations and respect for different peoples and traditions.

Under President Putin’s outstanding leadership, Russia has successfully reached out the Muslim World to restore its international influence. The mutual exchange visits by leaders of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Egypt and exponentially growing economic and defense collaboration have the potential to shape a new regional and global order.

The Muslim World is enormous, with an estimated population of around two billion; almost every fourth person is a Muslim. There are 57 Muslim countries as sovereign members of the United Nations. They possess a large vote bank and political weightage. The Muslim World is rich in natural resources, with vast reserves of oil, gas, and minerals.

Although possessing colossal potential, but politically divided and yet poor and weak, often coerced by Western World and victimized frequently. It is an excellent opportunity for Russia to avail anti-America sentiments in the Muslim World in the best interest and build deep friendships with the Muslim World....

Wired — China Hijacked an NSA Hacking Tool in 2014—and Used It for Years

Reading the article, it is not known that "China hijacked an NSA hacking tool." While it seems to be the case that a China-based group obtained the tool, it is not known conclusively who originated it or how it was obtained, eg., directly or through another source.

The author of the article is not necessarily responsible for the title. That is an editorial choice. But this seems to be a piece in the pattern of attributing loss of information to Russian and Chinese government hackers based on inconclusive evidence.

How many people either just read the headlines and title, or else buy into sloppy reasoning based on cognitive-affective bias, one wonders.

China Hijacked an NSA Hacking Tool in 2014—and Used It for Years
Andy Greenberg, senior writer for WIRED, covering security, privacy, and information freedom

Economic Civil War — Joel Kotkin

Our national divide is usually cast in terms of ideology, race, climate, and gender. But it might be more accurate to see our national conflict as regional and riven by economic function. The schism is between two ways of making a living, one based in the incorporeal world of media and digital transactions, the other in the tangible world of making, growing, and using real things.
Birth pangs of the transition from the chiefly industrial age, when even agriculture was industrialized, to the digital age, where as many functions as possible are being digitized. In the transition from the agricultural age to the industrial age, agricultural workers were marginalized and replaced by machines. In the digital age, industrial workers are being marginalized and displaced.

This dynamic has become focused on energy and climate change in US policy and politics.

The American Mind
Economic Civil War
Joel Kotkin | Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute

Why the US Should Pursue Cooperation with China Jeffrey D. Sachs

Cooperation is not cowardice, as American conservatives repeatedly claim. Both the US and China have much to gain from it: peace, expanded markets, accelerated technological progress, the avoidance of a new arms race, progress against COVID-19, a robust global jobs recovery, and a shared effort against climate change.
Like no-brainer. Except the US would have to forego "full-spectrum dominance," which is a step too far, it seems.

And Jeffrey Sachs appears to be under some illusions about President Biden in this regard. It seems to me that he is looking too much at what is said and ignoring what is being done.

Project Syndicate
Why the US Should Pursue Cooperation with China
Jeffrey D. Sachs | Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development, and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

When throwing evidence and facts is not enough. How Change Happens in the Humanitarian System — Duncan Green

Got an evidence-based argument? Maybe forget about it. Decision making is rational but there are more factors than evidence-based argument. This is an issue in the dialectic between liberalism and traditionalism. The liberal view of economics is that rationality trumps and rationality is based on economic maximization. Traditionalists may see it otherwise — which is a reason that many votes against their economic interests in favor of other factors they value more.
The panels supported research by ALNAP and others, which has strongly suggested that the use of evidence in humanitarian decision-making is limited, either because consideration of evidence is not an explicit part of the decision-making process, or because decisions are affected by a number of other considerations: politics, resource availability, or security. And, if we think back to the models of change presented in this paper, we should not be surprised if decision-makers are not entirely rational, or if decisions are strongly influenced by politics.

This is not to say that evidence is never used to support change. The meeting also considered a number of examples where the provision of evidence was an important part of the change process and some participants went as far as to suggest that evidence is a necessary, if not a sufficient, condition of change....
Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
When throwing evidence and facts is not enough. How Change Happens in the Humanitarian System
Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB

This Obscure Energy Treaty Is the Greatest Threat to the Planet You’ve Never Heard Of — Fabian Flues et al

The road to corporate totalitarianism.

Naked Capitalism
This Obscure Energy Treaty Is the Greatest Threat to the Planet You’ve Never Heard Of
Fabian Flues, an adviser on trade and investment policy at Berlin-based PowerShift, Cecilia Olivet, project coordinator with the Economic Justice Programme at the Transnational Institute, and Pia Eberhardt, a researcher and campaigner with the Brussels-based campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory. 
Originally published at openDemocracy

Human nature is no barrier to socialism — Louise O'Shea

Advocates of capitalism would argue that this analysis overlooks the role of individual incentive in socio-economic motivation, productivity, innovation, and risk-taking. On the other hand, there are also good arguments for creating socio-economic systems that integrate individual and social, and competition and cooperation. In addition, "human nature" tends to ignore or deny diversity, among individuals, groups, and societies and their cultures.

The former communist countries are now forced to grapple with these issues in arriving at a new development model that integrates seeming opposites. The present capitalist models are unattractive as exemplars owing to the socio-economic dysfunctionality that is associated with them, e.g., inequality, oligarchy, plutonomy, imperialism, and other asymmetries, as well as socializing negative externality.

That said, the post does raise some important questions and makes some good points.

What is the most successful model presently and what are its pros and cons and how could it be improved. The Scandinavian model was held up in this regard but there has been some retrenchment toward the failed neoliberal model.

Red Flag — a publication of Socialist Alternative
Human nature is no barrier to socialism
Louise O'Shea

Bill Mitchell — Some historical thinking about the Job Guarantee

I noted yesterday that I was appearing at a Seminar via Zoom with my MMT colleague, Pavlina Tcherneva, where we will discuss the concept of a social contract and where Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) fits into that, especially in the context of our idea of employment guarantees. The seminar – MMT and the new social contract: Lessons from Covid-19 – will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021, from 10:00 Australian Eastern Daylight time and you can find details of how you can participate – HERE. I was thinking about what I would contribute to this workshop and rather than just rehearse the standard discussion about the Job Guarantee I have thought going back to square one would be a good place to start. This is especially a good thing to do, given that I increasingly see progressive people embrace the concept but try to do ‘too much’ with it. That is, place too much emphasis on it, especially in the context of Green Transitions. Pouring all our activist and political energy into getting a Job Guarantee up is not a sensible strategy for reasons I will explain. Second, a lot of critics, especially those who talk big on Twitter about ‘Bill Mitchell wanting people to starve’, clearly haven’t gone back to understand the roots of the concept and where it fits in. So today, I want to further clarify some significant issues that arise when both sides – pro and con – come in contact with the concept of employment buffer stocks for the first time and think they know all about.

As a matter of fact, I always applaud initiatives that propose to introduce a buffer stock of jobs and use it to replace the current unemployment buffer stock approach that devastates the lives of people and wastes human potential.

But I caution against making these initiatives out to be ‘game changers’....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Some historical thinking about the Job Guarantee
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Modern Monetary Theory and the Recovery: "Soon" Brian Romanchuk

Modern Monetary Theory and the Recovery is in its final formatting stages. It is an introduction to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), but directed at a particular subject: why has growth been sub-par in recent decades, and what could be done differently?

In addition to covering policy discussions, there is an overview of what MMT says, and what it does not. It also discusses many good faith critiques of MMT. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around with respect to MMT, and so the objective is to return to what the theory actually says....
Bond Economics
Modern Monetary Theory and the Recovery: "Soon"
Brian Romanchuk

History of Money (Part I) | From cowries to cryptocurrency — Amol Agrawal

This year has started with another frenzy in cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin prices crossing $50,000. Some countries such as China are close to starting their central bank digital currencies (CBDC). In India, the government is planning to issue a Bill that defines digital cryptocurrencies more clearly and the Reserve Bank of India is studying the scope of a CBDC.

To better understand these developments, a look back at history and the evolution of money is warranted — ideas, they say, go around in circles. What is seen as a novel idea today, usually has a past, and is often just packaged differently.

In the first of a three-part series, we trace how the concept of money evolved down the ages....
In 1835, the Coinage Act was passed which unified coinage across India. In 1861, the British crown decided to unify and monopolise the banknotes as well. The Paper Currency Act was passed which took away issuance of banknote powers from both private and presidency banks. However, unlike their home country, the British neither gave this function to an existing bank nor set up a new entity. They managed the issuance within the government.
Money Control | Opinion
History of Money (Part I) | From cowries to cryptocurrency
Amol Agrawal, Assistant Professor of Economics, Ahmedabad University

Future Monetary Theory — Trevor Jackson

 A professor of economic history critiques MMT. 

MMT doesn't go far enough. It remains embedded in the present system, which itself is the root of the socio-economic problem the world faces. While Trevor Jackson agrees that MMT is descriptive of the present system, it remains too faithful to it to address emergent challenges. 

I have been saying this for some time but for other reasons having to do with the world system. It's past time to start thinking seriously about economic and political economy on the basis of the world system and changing world order, e.g., resulting from the growth of inequality, decolonization, and the increasing importance of systemic integration that comes along with globalization through technological innovation, the pace of which is increasing.

Future Monetary Theory
Trevor Jackson | assistant professor of economic history at George Washington University

Renate Pore — Deficit is not democracy's 'Achilles' heel' (Opinion)

Articulate defense of MMT against debt phobia and deficit hysteria based on The Deficit Myth.

Charleston Gazette-Mail | Opinion
Renate Pore: Deficit is not democracy's 'Achilles' heel' (Opinion)

Watch "As leaks expose UK op to 'weaken' Russia, suppression of Grayzone reporting backfires"

 After The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported on newly leaked documents exposing a massive UK government propaganda campaign against Russia, Twitter added an unprecedented warning label that the material "may have been obtained through hacking." Although Twitter may have intended to restrict the article, the warning had the opposite effect: it quickly went viral. 

Max Blumenthal and Aaron Maté discuss the suppression effort and the damning UK government leaks at the heart of it. After years of fear-mongering about Russian interference in Western democracies, these UK government files expose a sprawling propaganda effort that explicitly aims to "weaken" Russia. The documents reveal that this propaganda campaign has also enlisted major media outlets Reuters and the BBC, as well as the NATO member state-funded website Bellingcat.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed

The protection racket continues.

But over 20 years of R&D, that lightweight replacement fighter got heavier and more expensive as the Air Force and lead contractor Lockheed Martin packed it with more and more new technology.

Yes, we’re talking about the F-35. The 25-ton stealth warplane has become the very problem it was supposed to solve. And now America needs a new fighter to solve that F-35 problem, officials said.


The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed

Fed systems down


Says it was an “operational problem”... ie not a technical problem.....  

Nobody wants to receive reserve assets?  Hmmmmmmm...  

$70B reserves to depositories yesterday:

Perhaps destabilization starting.... 

My new podcast episode is out.

War Watch

MintPress News
What Planet Is NATO Living On?
Medea Benjamin

“We want a regime change in Russia”
Maurizio Blondet

Putin says Russia thwarted the activity of hundreds of foreign agents nationwide

Sputnik International
Putin: Information Campaign Exists Abroad to Undermine Russia's Achievements in Medicine

Sputnik International
US Vows 'Mix of Tools Seen and Unseen' Against Russia for Its Alleged Involvement in SolarWinds Hack

Sputnik International
US B-1 Bombers Arrive in Norway for First Time

Global Research

Sputnik International
Russia's Lavrov Calls on US to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Sites Abroad, Says They Violate NPT

Intel Today
Salisbury Incident — Was ‘Novichok Killer’ Driving License Photoshopped by Bellingcat? [UPDATE — Bellingcat paid by UK FCO to post Russia Fake News]
Ludwig De Braeckeleer
Nahia Sanzo,

Spiegel Online
Russia: The Architect of Putin's Purported Palace Comments on Alexei Navalny's Film
Christian Esch

France, Canada, UK Send Warships To South China Sea To Assist U.S., Not Spread Influence In Former Colonies

The American Conservative
Writing Our Own Foreign Policy Destiny
Daniel Larison

Researchers identify mechanism by which exercise strengthens bones and immunity

 Scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified the specialized environment, known as a niche, in the bone marrow where new bone and immune cells are produced. The study, published in Nature, also shows that movement-induced stimulation is required for the maintenance of this niche, as well as the bone and immune-forming cells that it contains. Together, these findings identify a new way that exercise strengthens bones and immune function.

Medical Press

Researchers identify mechanism by which exercise strengthens bones and immunity

Zero Hedge — Hong Kong Market Tumbles After "Shock" Transaction Tax Hike To Pay For Government Handouts

While Hong Kong has been an outlier when it comes to taxing stock transactions, with major markets such as the U.S. and regional rival Singapore refraining, HK's action may prompt more politicians into acting to transfer some capital from the financial sector to the people. Indeed, talk of implementing a tax on financial transactions has recently been rekindled by some Democrats in the U.S. after the recent trading frenzy in GameStop Corp. shares.

Sameness is Just Wrong — Peter Radford

Nothing new but it's worth restating from time to time. Ergodicity for one thing, simplicity for another.
There is something truly odd about any economist who lives wholly in the world of equilibrium. Truly odd. Just think of what they have to assume to get there
The Radford Free Press
Sameness is Just Wrong
Peter Radford


Lars P. Syll’s Blog
The leap of generalization
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Nikkei — US And Allies To Build ‘China-free’ Tech Supply Chain

The economic and military pressure on China and Russia is leading to a military alliance and technology sharing. "Competition." Exactly the result anticipated and looked forward to by the military-industrial complex that feeds off hostility.

US And Allies To Build ‘China-free’ Tech Supply Chain
Taisei Hoyama and Yu Nakamura, Nikkei staff writers

See also
With his plan to build a concert of democracies to contain China, US President Joe Biden is making a grave mistake. The US and China should each be doing their part to protect the global commons, not competing for global dominance.
This is all about preserving Western imperial hegemony when the current dynamic is decolonization and integrating liberalism and traditionalism. 

As always, follow the power and money. 

Project Syndicate
How to Cooperate with China
Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong, a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance, and a former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; and Xiao Geng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, and professor and Director of the Research Institute of Maritime Silk-Road at Peking University HSBC Business School


Sputnik International
India OKs $1Bn Scheme to Attract IT Hardware Manufacturers From China, US & Other Nations

Michael Hudson Discusses the Economic Winds of [Non] Change Under Biden on Radical Imagination — Interview

 Michael Hudson interview with transcript.

Naked Capitalism
Michael Hudson Discusses the Economic Winds of [Non] Change Under Biden on Radical Imagination
Yves Smith

Bill Mitchell — Enforced poverty and torture for the victims of government policy failure – welcome to modern Australia

My Wednesday blog post with a few snippets. Don’t forget to enrol in our MOOC which begins next week. Also, some news from Britain that shows once again the British Labour Party has the gun aimed straight at its foot. And some comments on yesterday’s Australian government decision to increase the unemployment benefit by $25 per week and claiming this was appropriate – when it still means the recipients are $163 per week below the accepted poverty line. Enforced poverty by a government that refuses to create enough jobs and then punishes the victims of the policy failure. This all amounts to War and we can sing along to that after getting angry about the rest.
Webinar – MMT and the new social contract: Lessons from Covid-19 – Coming this Weekend!

I will be sharing the stage with my good friend Dr Pavlina Tcherneva and talking about how MMT economists talk about the social contract.

We will be considering the role of the Job Guarantee and lots of other things.

Go – HERE – for details about enrolment and participation.

It will run on Saturday, February 27, 2021, from 10:00 Australian Eastern Daylight time.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Enforced poverty and torture for the victims of government policy failure – welcome to modern Australia
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Only Bonds We Need Are Granny Bonds — NeilW

We are likely to need National Savings annuities, where an individual can build up an annual additional pension by purchasing ‘Granny Bonds’ directly. They would have limited residual capital value and no capital uplift, but they would give a secure additional income in retirement for ordinary people who decide to be thrifty and save. The precise level and nature of the instruments is open to debate....
Lots of other interesting MMT-related stuff.

New Wayland
The Only Bonds We Need Are Granny Bonds

Jason Hickel — Is the world poor, or unjust?

 “Our economic system is not designed to meet human needs; it is designed to facilitate capital accumulation.”

No surprise, since capitalism is an economic system —socioeconomic system, actually — that favors capital (ownership) over labor (workers) and land (the environment) because capital formation and accumulation lead to growth and therefore lift all boats through trickledown. 

Neither distribution nor social concerns are material to capitalism. It is only about accumulation on the assumption that capital accumulation optimizes life by raising the living standard most efficiently in allocating scarce resources.

But is this the only criterion, or the best criterion available? That is to say, is economics the final arbiter as some claim.

Jason Hickel
Is the world poor, or unjust?

Currency Value Interpreted as the Reciprocal of the MELT — Peter Cooper

An implementation of MMT’s proposed job guarantee would, in effect, formalize a ‘labor-power standard’ in which labor-power serves as the ‘money commodity’. The policy-administered job-guarantee wage would define a fixed (though policy-adjustable) rate at which simple labor-power is convertible into the currency, on demand. In the absence of a job guarantee – the norm today – the currency lacks a nominal anchor, as Modern Monetary Theorists repeatedly emphasize. This leads to the highly unsatisfactory (and usually tacit) resort by policymakers to a buffer stock of the unemployed (or ‘reserve army of labor’). In a fiat monetary system permitting market exchange, either a buffer stock of the unemployed or a buffer stock of the employed (made possible by the job guarantee) is necessary to contain variations in the value of the currency within tolerable limits....
Currency Value Interpreted as the Reciprocal of the MELT
Peter Cooper

See also at heteconomist

The Core Significance of Taxation and Currency Sovereignty in a Nutshell

Automatic vending machines in Shanghai now accepting digital renminbi — Global Times


Automatic vending machines in some metro stations in Shanghai can now accept digital renminbi, as part of the offline application scenarios for digital currency being promoted across the city.

As a critical link in the pilot use of digital currency, offline application scenarios for digital renminbi have been piloted in a variety of situations including in shops and at hospitals across the city, according to media reports.

Users can pay through mobile phones apps or bank cards at venues that accept digital currency check-out functions or digital wallets.

At the moment, only clients who are invited can try the digital currency. Banks issued "red envelopes" of digital renminbi to users in a test before the Spring Festival holidays.
Global Times

ECNS — First China-Europe freight train from Chengdu to St. Petersburg starts off

The first China-Europe freight train from Chengdu in Sichuan Province to Russia's St. Petersburg started off on Sunday.

This is the 59th overseas destination of Chengdu's international freight trains....
First China-Europe freight train from Chengdu to St. Petersburg starts off

Sputnik — Climate Change’s Latest Warning Sign: A Cargo Ship Just Used Russia’s Northern Sea Route in February

 Mostly without icebreaker assist. Video clip of the ship cutting through the thin ice easily.

Sputnik International
Climate Change’s Latest Warning Sign: A Cargo Ship Just Used Russia’s Northern Sea Route in February

Capital inflow up, outflow down.
The capital outflows from China that prompted the country to engage in a shock devaluation are a distant memory, at least according to Goldman's preferred gauge of FX flows....

Yet for all the FX inflows, perhaps the real story is what that "other" currency is doing. As Bloomberg Ye Xie notes, the latest yuan settlement data showed that China’s efforts to push for more use of yuan in cross-border trade and services -- and reduce its reliance on the dollar --has set another milestone: "The percentage of the payments and receipts denominated in yuan in total FX transactions by banks for their clients surged to a record 44% in January, from 16% four years ago." Meanwhile, in a mirror image, the usage of the dollar declined to 51% from 74%.

On the other hand, global usage of the yuan still remains stubbornly low: while yuan payments have jumped, they accounted for 2.4% of the global market share, compared with the dollar’s 38%, according to an analysis from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications....
Headline should be "dollar balances" instead of "dollars." The flows are accounting flows.

Bill Mitchell — Have mainstream economists really embraced large deficits and central bank bond purchases?

When John Maynard Keynes wrote his essay – Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren – which was published in 1930 he considered that workers would be able to work just 15 hours a week because of the likely technological shifts over the 100 years from the date of his publication. He was right about the productivity gains that have been created but wrong about the benefits workers would gain from them. He thought the productivity would be more evenly shared out. He underestimated the capacity of capital to extract the gains for profits and capture the state to ensure it used its legislative and regulative capacity to suppress wages growth. Mainstream economists have aided and abetted the rising inequality and the reconfiguration of the state as a agent for capital. This bears on how we understand some of the apparent shifts in views by mainstream economists about fiscal deficits and central bank debt purchases. Yesterday, it was all bad. Today, all good. History warns us to be cautious in how we appraise these shifts. There is something to be said for consistency....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Have mainstream economists really embraced large deficits and central bank bond purchases?
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, February 22, 2021

Reconsideration of Fiscal Policy: A Comment — James K. Galbraith

The question is why? To answer, FS rely on a textbook-standard theory of interest rates, known as the “loanable funds” theory….
No surprise. Jason Furman and Larry Summers are New Keynesians. NK economist Paul Krugman holds a loanable funds theory, too.

James K. Galbraith | Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin


The Debt Ratio and Sustainable Macroeconomic Policy
Scott T. Fullwiler | Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Missouri - Kansas City

People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests

Cambridge University team say their findings could be used to spot people at risk from radicalisation

 I tend to like anything new or novel, which is a hallmark of a Liberal. 

Our brains hold clues for the ideologies we choose to live by, according to research, which has suggested that people who espouse extremist attitudes tend to perform poorly on complex mental tasks.

“It’s fascinating, because conservatism is almost a synonym for caution,” she said. “We’re seeing that – at the very basic neuropsychological level – individuals who are politically conservative … simply treat every stimuli that they encounter with caution.”

The “psychological signature” for extremism across the board was a blend of conservative and dogmatic psychologies, the researchers said.

The Guardian. 

People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests

The Dependence of US Higher Education on International Students — Timothy Taylor

This pattern of rising international enrolments in US higher ed was not likely to continue on its pre-pandemic trajectory. Other countries have been building up their higher education options. In addition, if you were a young entrepreneur or professional from China or India, the possibilities for building your career in your home country look a lot better now than they did, say, back in about 1990. But the pandemic has taken what would have been a slower-motion squeeze on international students coming to US higher education and turned it into an immediate bite....
Conversable Economist
The Dependence of US Higher Education on International Students
Timothy Taylor | Managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Michael Hudson — The Democrats Role in Distracting with Identity Politics

I don’t see how there can be real progress unless the Democratic Party is replaced, at least with the DNC leadership that has turned its politics into demagogy. Its identity politics is based on every identity except being a wage-earner.…
Michael Hudson explains how the Democrats abandoned workers, became the party of the rich, and retained a sufficient voter base to be competitive using identity politics. 

Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
The Democrats Role in Distracting with Identity Politics
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

Electricity Options — Brian Romanchuk

The recent power failures in Texas led me to think about a topic I had not thought much about since my electrical engineering undergraduate days -- electricity transmission and generation. In this article, I discuss big picture options for electricity, both from a technology and electricity markets/regulation point of view....
Bond Economics
Electricity Options
Brian Romanchuk

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bill Mitchell — The ‘disciplining role of markets’ should be replaced by the disciplining role of democracy

When we elect governments we should expect that they will do what they promised and represent our best interests. We don’t expect them to represent a small, privileged sector of the economy at the expense of the rest of it. The problem is that we overlay these aspirations onto an economic ownership system which has a different logic to our understanding of the operations of a democratic state. And mainstream economics gives reverence and priority to the logic of capitalism rather than ensuring that the quality of democracy is maintained. Which reflects its origins – as an apologist for the unequal ownership of the material means of production and the consequences that arise from that inequality. We keep seeing a restatement of that priority from prominent policy makers and while that generation is in charge it will be hard to really shift the paradigm.…
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The ‘disciplining role of markets’ should be replaced by the disciplining role of democracy
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Climate change, covid and global inequality — Branko Milanovic

High global inequality, otherwise a scourge, can here be used to our advantage. We know that the top decile of world population (call them “the rich”) receives about 45-47% of global income. We also know that the elasticity of carbon emissions with respect to income is about 1 which is a fancy way of saying that as real income goes up by 10%, we generate 10% more emissions. This then implies that the top global decile is responsible for 45-47% of all emissions. That percentage can be calculated with even more precision because we have detailed consumption data (by a number of categories, running into hundreds) and we can assign to each consumption category its precise carbon footprint. It is not unlikely that we could find that the carbon emissions of the top decile are even above one-half of total emissions.

The question thus gets simplified. Suppose that we draw a list of goods and services such that are (a) carbon intensive and (b) consumed predominantly by the rich. We could then in a concerted international action try to curb consumption of such goods and services while leaving entirely free other decisions: no limits to growth, no degrowth in either poor or rich countries.

The entire onus of the adjustment falls on the rich. Who are the rich, viz. the global top decile? About 450 million people from Western countries, or the entire upper half of Western countries’ income distributions; some 30-35 million people from both Eastern Europe and Latin America, that is respectively about 10% and 5% their total populations; about 160 million people from Asia or 5% of its population; and a very small number of people from Africa.

Curbing consumption can be done either through rationing or draconian taxation. Both are feasible technically although their political acceptability may not be the same.
These are the people that control everything. Therefore, the political feasibility is about zero.

Global Inequality
Climate change, covid and global inequality
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, 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

UK Government Spending - The Gory Details — NeilW

Precisely how Parliamentary authority to spend ends up as a payment in somebody’s bank account, including the banking transactions that occur across the Government Banking Service to make that happen....
New Wayland
UK Government Spending - The Gory Details

The “Thing” with Job Guarantee Programs… — Martha Tepepa

In a February 18th front page article in the business section of the New York Times, Eduardo Porter surveys the potential for a job guarantee program. After starting with the caveat issued by Republican politicians—why trust your life choices to bureaucrats?—the piece goes on to present opinions of various experts on employment programs.

It is noteworthy that even among the specialists, not one has ever been involved in actual fieldwork or research in the various experiments with job guarantee programs. In an era in which we are asked to respond to facts, none of those consulted on the implementation of job programs has ever provided statistical analysis of results, nor studied the communities where the programs were actually successful in achieving their stated goals—which in general are much wider than the suggestions that the programs have not contributed significantly to lessen economic recessions, or that they are too expensive and that they might produce “useless make-work.” Indeed, there are no references to the many existing experiments....
Multiplier Effect
The “Thing” with Job Guarantee Programs…
Martha Tepepa

Consensus view


100% current consensus view right here:


Sputnik International — Biden Faces Dilemma Over Nord Stream 2, German Media Says

 Driving a wedge between the US and Germany. Very foolish of the US. The developing axis is now China, Russia — and Germany. The economics are simple. This is the future.

Sputnik International
Biden Faces Dilemma Over Nord Stream 2, German Media Says

See also

Sputnik International
China Topples US as EU's Largest Trade Partner in Goods & Will Stay on Top, Author Says

Sitrep: How Democratic is China? — Godfree Roberts

Why China will win. They get both the systems approach and scientific method as the basis for good governance. This is a fascinating article about replacing "politics" with information, incentive, and innovation using grassroots surveys and trials. 

Venture capitalist Robin Daverman describes the process at the national level:
China is a giant trial portfolio with millions of trials going on everywhere. Today, innovations in everything from healthcare to poverty reduction, education, energy, trade and transportation are being trialled in different communities. Every one of China’s 662 cities is experimenting: Shanghai with free trade zones, Guizhou with poverty reduction, twenty-three cities with education reforms, Northeastern provinces with SOE reform: pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything. Mayors and governors, the Primary Investigators, share their ‘lab results’ at the Central Party School and publish them in their ‘scientific journals,’ the State-owned newspapers.

Beginning in small towns, major policies undergo ‘clinical trials’ that generate and analyze test data. If the stats look good, they’ll add test sites and do long-term follow-ups. They test and tweak for 10-30 years then ask the 3,000-member People’s Congress to review the data and authorize national trials in three major provinces. If a national trial is successful the State Council [the Brains Trust] polishes the plan and takes it back to Congress for a final vote. It’s very transparent and, if your data is better than mine, your bill gets passed and mine doesn’t.
Congress’ votes are nearly unanimous because the legislation is backed by reams of data. This allows China to accomplish a great deal in a short time, because your winning solution will be quickly propagated throughout the country, you’ll be a front page hero, invited to high-level meetings in Beijing and promoted. As you can imagine, the competition to solve problems is intense. Local government has a great deal of freedom to try their own things as long as they have the support of the local people. Everything from bare-knuckled liberalism to straight communism has been tried by various villages and small towns.…
Harvard’s Tony Saich, who conducts his own surveys, concludes that ninety per cent of people are satisfied with the government and surveys found that eighty-three percent think it runs the country for everyone’s benefit rather than for special groups.…

Taking Lisbon's Tram 28 At Night - Like A Roller Coaster - Pure Excitement!

 Such tiny streets - with such fast trams. Crikey! 

Paul Jay - Google Bans from Advertising on YouTube.

 YouTube has censored and suppressed my report on the events of January 6th. I'd like to know why, but Google doesn't owe me an answer. They can promote or suppress whatever they please

Saturday, February 20, 2021

How to write a Flintstones history of money — Brett Scott

How projecting the present onto the past to explain history is misleading.

Altered States of Money
How to write a Flintstones history of money
Brett Scott

Column: Biden’s $1.9-trillion big spend is a big bet on modern economic theory — Virgnia Heffernan

"We are bankrupt" is out, "inflation" in. Good to see that the debate has shifted.

This turn shifts the debate to being about something that is an actual constraint rather than something that is imaginary and erroneous. 

There is an inflation constraint, and one of the problems is the lack of a theory of inflation beyond a conceptual model, that is, that the constraint on increasing purchasing power is the ability to meet increased demand for real goods. 

More technically, it's about measuring the output gap. But this is not an observable and needs to be estimated. There is no agreement on how to do that accurately enough to formulate policy with precision.

The cautious solution is to err on the "safe" side, which is also an estimate. 

The MMT solution is to meet real needs for real resources and to take action on the financial side as the need arises to address incipient inflation. The level of employment is a good gauge.

Presently, the US needs relief rather than stimulus. But that relief has also to be targeted to where it is needed to be relief. Trickle down won't cut it.

Treasury issuance


You can see how Treasury issuance has been exceeding non-govt savings (ofc unqualified call this “the debt!”) starting last year after shutdown policy was implemented and still being maintained at > $1T...

And it has largely been accomplished by increasing issuance of bills...

So govt has been forcing the non-govt to save in an additional  $1T + balance of short-term Treasury Bills that the non-govt neither wants or needs... hence longer dated US bond prices are suffering...

Uber Under a Job Guarantee — NeilW

Six years in court to get the minimum wage isn’t acceptable. People need a guarantee of a living wage job. Here’s how Uber would fare againt a Job Guarantee.
New Wayland
Uber Under a Job Guarantee

How The Texas Electricity System Produced Low-Cost Power But Left Residents Out In The Cold — Theodore J. Kury,

Balancing efficiency and resilience from the systems point of view. From the economic point of view, efficiency wins owing to cost saving. 

Both New Orleans and Texas can be viewed in this light. There are stark examples, where people died. There are many others.
How The Texas Electricity System Produced Low-Cost Power But Left Residents Out In The Cold
Theodore J. Kury, University of Florida
Originally at The Conversation

See also

Common Dreams
Cold Truth: The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market | By James K. Galbraith


Sputnik International
Texas Houses Destroyed Due to Power Outages Amid Snow Storms, While Bills Are Record-High - Videos

Three New Kingdoms (V2) — Frank Li

The "Three Kingdoms" is one of the best documented, most exciting, and best filmed stories in human history (Three Kingdoms, with English Subtitle)....
After WWII, the world was divided into two major parts: The West led by the U.S. and the East led by the USSR, with the Cold War between them. Furthermore, China’s Mao was just too big to be truly a member of the East. So, China was actually on its own as a third part.

These three new "kingdoms" have been competing against one another since then, with America being the big guy for much, if not all, of the time.
Three New Kingdoms (V2)
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

Not related but interesting, maybe. Boys will be boys. Video.

Chinese And Indian Units In Contested Border Area 

Neoclassical Economists Being Wrong — Robert Vienneau

What is neoclassical economics? (This post draws on something I wrote on Usenet more than a decade ago.) I believe I might have introduced this list of three key assumptions, as noted by Roy Weintraub, into the wikipedia article on the topic:

People have rational preferences between outcomes that can be identified and associated with values.
Individuals maximize utility and firms maximize profits.
People act independently on the basis of full and relevant information.
One should recognize that neoclassical economics is associated with mathematical formalism. So neoclassical economists speaking among the clergy would prefer the language of topology and the algebra of relations for stating their assumptions.

The point of neoclassical economics is to build a theory on those assumptions which emphasizes equilibrium, characterizes economics as the allocation of scarce resources, and justifies supply and demand reasoning. Neoclassical economists wanted to argue:

Equilibrium prices are scarcity indices
Marshall's principle of substitution is generally applicable
Neoclassical economists are unable to state assumptions that justify such reasoning....
Thoughts On Economics
Neoclassical Economists Being Wrong
Robert Vienneau

10 Ways Delta Chat is Better than WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram

With everyone deleting WhatsApp and switching to Telegram or Signal, maybe there’s something better that you haven’t heard of yet. Here are 10 ways Delta Chat is better than the others.

 I couldn't get anyone to swap over to Signal as they couldn't be bothered, and even my girlfriend said her phone had run out of memory so she could not put it on. But the other day I came across an article about a messenger app called Delta Chat, which said it was very secure. But it's so new that I was nervous about using it for a while, so I checked it out on the Internet and it seemed to be okay. Anyway, it only uses your email address and does not require a phone number, in fact, it is email but in a messenger format. What this means is that you can use it even if other people don't, so I guess to them it just comes as an email.

What I like about SMS and WhatsApp was how fast they were, so you could have a conversation on the fly, so I sent several messages to myself using Delta Chat and it was instant, but then emails can be instant too, so I will have to see how well it performs in the long run. Anyway, it's just like using SMS but you can send photos, etc, without being charged because its really an email. Delta Chat is available for all platforms, even Kindle Fire. If I can get people to use it, it might be fairly fast, well I'm hoping anyway. 

I'm going to use this for close friends and family, and keep everything else for email. See what you think. 


Delta Chat review - it includes a link. 

10 Ways Delta Chat is Better than WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram

Friday, February 19, 2021

Six months after lockdown lifted, no let-up in MNREGS demand — Harikishan Sharma

Job guarantee in India.
Six months after the easing of restrictions and phase-wise opening of the economy in view of the dip in coronavirus cases, the demand for work under the MNREGS continues to remain high, with nearly two crore* or more households availing the rural job guarantee scheme every month.
In fact, the number of households availing the MNREGS in the last two months, December and January, is at the same level as in August and September last year, when coronavirus cases were at their peak.

In all, 7.17 crore households (10.51 crore individuals) had already availed the MNREGS till February 17 in the current financial year (April 1, 2020 onwards) — an all-time high for a financial year since the inception of the scheme in 2006....
* 1 crore = 10M

Demanding 'Dignified Work and a Living Wage' as Legal Rights, Ayanna Pressley Unveils Jobs Guarantee Resolution — Jake Johnson,

"It's time to establish a legal right to a job for all people in America," said the Massachusetts Democrat. "A federal job guarantee is an important investment in the American people, our communities, and an equitable economy that works for all. It affirms the right to meaningful, dignified work and a living wage."

The 16-page resolution (pdf), introduced amid widespread economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, invokes as inspiration the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which placed the right to employment and decent pay at the heart of the civil rights struggle. 

Great news. Now there's a legal document as an actual proposal spelling it out.

Yet Another Strawman Attack On MMT — Brian Romanchuk

The number of bad takes on MMT have slowed down, but they are still arriving. I have a section on MMT critiques in my manuscript (the formatting of which I am supposed to be finishing off instead of ranting), but we have yet another data point to back my assertion that it is not worth responding to most MMT critiques, since they are terrible.

Yesterday on Twitter I was "entertained" by a thread which contained the following assertion*:
* "But MMT ran with it: central banks could "print money" to pay for any amount of spending. At the limit, they had a motto: there is no constraint on how much the government can spend. This is an absurd limit, wrong and backwards: CB reserves are just another form of borrowing."…
Bond Economics
Yet Another Strawman Attack On MMT
Brian Romanchuk

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Decoupling with China to significantly hurt U.S. businesses, innovation: report — Xinhua

US Chamber of Commerce report

Decoupling with China to significantly hurt U.S. businesses, innovation: report

Flying Car Stocks Are Going Viral In 2021 — Alex Kimani

Flying cars, also known as electric air taxis, have been around us for a long time thanks to sci-fi staples such as "Back to the Future" and "The Jetsons." But with major brands like Boeing (NYSE:BA), Airbus (OTCPK:EADSF), Hyundai and Toyota (NYSE:TM) now promising to whisk riders through the skies in flying taxis and receiving a heady dose of Wall Street endorsement, the dream is increasingly getting closer to reality….
Flying Car Stocks Are Going Viral In 2021
Alex Kimani

RT — ‘Only the strong will survive’: Texas city mayor resigns for lashing out at residents asking for help during deadly storm



See also

Houston Chronicle
Tough-guy Texas mayor tells residents 'fend for themselves' and resigns

Matt Young

Also at the Houston Chronicle

Perry says Texans willing to suffer blackouts to keep feds out of power market 
James Osborne

See also

Higher prices during periods of scarcity to fund cap ex was the plan. Here is the paper.

William W. Hogan Center for Business and Government John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts

See also

Texas Governor Bans Natural Gas Exports
Charles Kennedy

See also

Zero Hedge
Texas Failed To Winterize Nuclear Plant Leading To Reactor Shut Down
Tyler Durden

See also

Kremlin urges US to focus more on power collapse in Texas and less on Nord Stream 2

Complexity, Institutions and Firms — Peter Radford

Peter Radford explores some contributions of institutional economist Douglass North.

The Radford Free Press
Complexity, Institutions and Firms
Peter Radford

CB Assets


The time domain characteristics of the establishment of these CB assets is important... 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

MMT economist Stephanie Kelton: “Donald Trump changed the terms of economic debate” — George Eaton

I asked Kelton whether she believes Donald Trump has changed the terms of economic debate. “Absolutely. When he passed the $1.9trn tax cuts in 2018, which everybody knew were going to increase the deficit, I saw Senator Sanders, and he said to me, ‘Is this you? Did you do this?’ And I replied, ‘It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing in that it’s going to show you can make use of the budget when you have power to carry out your agenda.’”...
Credit where credit is due. 

Of course, DJT had a compliant legislature, whereas when Democrats occupy the White House, congressional Republicans become fiscal conservatives.

New Statesman (UK)
MMT economist Stephanie Kelton: “Donald Trump changed the terms of economic debate”
George Eaton

My new podcast episode is out.

Russia holds the key to German sovereignty — Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar emphasizes correctly power (soveriegnty) but de-emphasizes money. The adage is to follow the power and the money. 

European business in particular those of "old Europe" (France and Germany) are very much committed to not loosing the Eurasian and Asian markets. 

Through economic warfare, chiefly sanctions, the US is presenting the choice as "us or them." 

While the EU and NATO bureaucracies are chiefly interested in power and are committed Atlanticists, the money is looking both east and west. The Russian and Chinese leadership know this, of course.

This presents a more complex picture than Pepe Escobar paints in this post.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Russia holds the key to German sovereignty
Pepe Escobar

Andrew Batson — Is China experiencing an advance of the state sector?

"Yes and no." The answer is nuanced.

Andrew Batson's Blog
Is China experiencing an advance of the state sector?

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Debunking Denialism - Preventing Cranks from Benefiting from Your Skeptical Activism

The typical crank or quack website does not just contain pseudoscientific claims in plaintext. Instead, it is filled with dozens of advertisements, scripts that create and store cookies, analytics, beacons, and other kinds of trackers of all kinds. They collect information about you, your browser and Internet activities. Some of these provide the crank website with money from ad impressions and the information gathered by trackers. It can also violate your privacy and disrupt your Internet experience. Even worse, they can plant malware on your computer, steal credit card information or forcibly encrypt all of your personal files such as documents and photos and blackmail you for large sums of money in order to get them back.

Debunking Denialism

Debunking Denialism - Preventing Cranks from Benefiting from Your Skeptical Activism

Bill Mitchell — Britain banking regulation to tighten as a consequence of leaving the neoliberal EU

But the future of Britain will actually be determined by a range of factors now in the control of the authorities and how they handle the transition away from EU law will be a significant element in that ensuring that future works for the people rather than just isolates Britain as a neoliberal hell-hole. We received our first sign of how things might work out last week when the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority released their latest Consultation Paper (CP5/21, (February 12, 2021) – Implementation of Basel standards – which marked a sharp shift away from the lax EU banking standards. The Remainers were silent on this.

This was the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority’s first major post-Brexit statement and upon reading it you will learn that it seeks to impose much tougher capital adequacy rules on British banks than operated within the European Union....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Britain banking regulation to tighten as a consequence of leaving the neoliberal EU
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Rafa Euba Blog - You Are Not Meant to Be Happy

 So Stop Trying

Our brain doesn’t know how to be happy, or even content. It simply lacks the genetic instructions to carry out that task. It knows how to do a million other less important things, from writing a letter to maintaining our balance; from appreciating the music of Bach to smelling a rose, but if you ask the brain to be happy, it simply doesn’t know how to respond.

Psychology Today