Thursday, May 13, 2021

Cryptocurrency Short Comment — Brian Romanchuk

Although I had written a couple of theoretical articles some time ago, I have largely ignored cryptocurrencies. However, there has been enough newsflow about them that I decided I could do a drive-by comment. In case one wants an investment recommendation, all I can say is that the underlying problems they face are straightforward, I have no way of knowing the timing.

The thing I find most interesting is that attention has switched to Dogecoin, which is a meme coin. The reason why this has happened is solely based on the fact that its price rose by more than Bitcoin. This deflates much of the propaganda being emitted by Bitcoin enthusiasts, who insist that Bitcoin will replace fiat currencies and lead to a libertarian economic utopia. Instead, most people are buying it because the price went up. The doggy coin price went up? Well, buy that one.…

The greater fool strategy.

Bond Economics
Cryptocurrency Short Comment
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell — Central bank writes off government currency transfer

Someone in Mauritius has been reading up on MMT?

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Central bank writes off government currency transfer
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

America’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Security Crisis — Irina Slav

Cybersecurity.

Oilprice
America’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Security Crisis
Irina Slav

See also

Sputnik International
Biden Signs Executive Order Improving Cybersecurity After Recent Hackings

Andrew Batson — China census reveals the true scale of the Northeast’s decline

Young people moving to more hospitable places, in addition to declining birthrate.

Andrew Batson's Blog
China census reveals the true scale of the Northeast’s decline
Andrew

My new podcast episode is out.

Insider View: The Tragedy of the U.S. Deep State — Pepe Escobar

Like it says, view of a high-placed insider in the US deep state aka MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex). It confirms what you have been reading here for some time.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Insider View: The Tragedy of the U.S. Deep State
Pepe Escobar

ZH — Goldman Scrambles To Comfort Its Clients Who Are Freaking Out About China's Soaring Prices

Factors putting upward pressure on commodity prices:

1. China is switching emphasis to "dual circulation," that is, focusing on domestic consumption in addition to exports. This increases domestic demand. In addition, as decolonization proceeds globally and the emerging world begins to increase domestic consumption generally, commodities in limited supply will increase in price.

2. Dc-carbonization will involve a shift in energy sources and also affect energy prices. Coal has been a relatively inexpensive energy source and it is on the way out.

3. The increasingly precarious international situation is also increasing the military share of commodities as a new arms race develops.

4. A lot of the low hanging fruit has already been picked and more resources are increasingly required per unit of output.

The handwriting is on the wall. The culprit is consumerism amplified by manufactured wants through marketing and advertising. The whole world cannot consume at the level of the presently developed countries but that is the aspiration without drastically affecting the world system with respect to both resource availability and negative externalities. But consumerism is what contemporary capitalism is based on. Something has to give somewhere.

Although most contemporary inflation has been a result of cost-push rather than demand pull, it will be popularly attributed to "too much money chasing to few goods," with consequent calls for fiscal austerity by reducing expenditure and fiscal deficits to address it. Good luck with that.

We aren't there yet by a long shot but it is something to begin watching. GS is apparently not yet concerned, nor is the Fed. The Fed has not even begun to raise the interest rate from rock bottom. The Fed still assumes a central bank has the ability of  to address inflation by raising interest rates—as do most conventional economists—even though MMT explains otherwise. So the thinking appears to be that inflationary pressure is not a problem yet.

Anyway, while there are still many screaming about the "unsustainable" fiscal deficit, the emphasis has shifted largely to concern with "inflation," the conception of which is quite different across the board. So reactions are somewhat irrational based on these assumptions.

The major issue to be aware of now is that rising prices are due to supply shortage rather than "too much money chasing too few goods," so the measures to address this issue have to be designed accordingly. The bottom line is that eventually consumerism has to moderate or the population of the world has to decrease. Another solution proposed by some is to prevent the emerging world from emerging and creating increasing demand for scarce resources, based on "we got here first."

Cathie’s ARKK

 

Popular Tech ETF... The Fed’s CCAR regulations have the ‘big five” (JPM, C, WFC, BAC, GS) price setters somehow hedged down to a 55% equity price reduction so for this thing that’s the $72 level from its recent high of about $160... probably significant support down at that level (if it gets there) ... currently down about 35% from recent high so 20% above there now...






PFE chart

 

Left wing commie unqualified incompetent  Art degree lunatics complaining PFE gets $20 per dose and they’re making all of this munnie... meanwhile stock hasn’t gone up in over 20 years.... pays a nice dividend though...






Super WOKE CIA Commercial

Is conservatism finished in America? 

 



Americans handing out GERM WARFARE weaponry that could wipe out millions across world, Russian Security Council official claims

 The WOKE nation brings mega death too. Equality for woman, racial minorities, and the physically and mentally handicapped; a society where everyone is valued, except it comes with evil and mega death. The Military-Industrial Complex has hijacked liberalism, in the same way that the ruling elite hijacked democracy. Now they use 'democracy and liberalism' as a cover to conquer the world. 


Yuri Averyanov, the first deputy secretary of the country’s top national defense body, used an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday to warn that “lethal and dangerous microorganisms... could potentially be released into the environment, allegedly by mistake.” He added that such an attack, if used against Russia, “would lead to a massive destruction of the civilian population” both within the country and in neighboring states.


He added that Washington is currently working to increase biological weapons capabilities in a number of states around the world, including some close to Russia. These programs, he says, weaponize viruses and other pathogens “primarily for military purposes.”


WOKE Nation comes with the Kiss of Death! 







Americans handing out GERM WARFARE weaponry that could wipe out millions across world, Russian Security Council official claims



Type 2 diabetes preventive effects with a 12-months sardine-enriched diet in elderly population with prediabetes: An interventional, randomized and controlled trial

Conclusion

We conclude that a year T2D-prevention diet with sardine supplementation has a greater protective effect against developing T2D and CV events.


Type 2 diabetes preventive effects with a 12-months sardine-enriched diet in elderly population with prediabetes: An interventional, randomized and controlled trial

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The 'Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Goods' Myth — NeilW

The 'Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Goods' meme is replacing the "The Government Is Broke" meme. Both are nonsense (except in some special cases that don't apply generally) when they are viewed through the MMT lens.

New Wayland
The 'Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Goods' Myth
NeilW

Pictures of a Ukrainian Dream — Pepe Escobar

 While this is speculative, it is what Michael Hudson said would happen some time ago. It's taken some time but if this is true it is in full swing. As Pepe says, it's plausible. I would add it is also in character. This is what empires do. Hey, what is the purpose of having an empire if you can't use it?

The Vineyard of the Saker
Pictures of a Ukrainian Dream
Pepe Escobar

Class — Chris Dillow

What the ruling class does not like to talk about and does everything it can to submerge as vital to maintaining political control in a nominally democratic society.

The pretense is that the concept of class that lies at the heart of Marx's analysis no longer is true. That may be true, but the sociological reality remains even though it has morphed with the maturing of capitalism.

Chris Dillow has a message for the Labour Party. Oh, wait, the establishment of the Labour Party that controls the party (ask Jeremy Corbin about this) is part of the elite, isn't it.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Class
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Sputnik — Craig Murray Jailed for Eight Months for Contempt of Court Over Alex Salmond Trial

 First Assange and now Murray. Free speech and free press in UK no more?

Both of these cases, along with several others, are likely to prove to have been strategic blunders when the debris settles. More hemorrhaging of  soft power.

Sputnik International
Craig Murray Jailed for Eight Months for Contempt of Court Over Alex Salmond Trial

See also

Consortium News
Murray Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison
Joe Lauria

Monday, May 10, 2021

Cost of Living Versus Inflation — Brian Romanchuk

One thing I have discovered when discussing inflation is that discussions very rapidly get derailed into discussions of the “cost of living.” I take a view that is conventional within market and economic discussion: inflation is a macroeconomic concept, and the consumer price index is one way to measure it. However, many people view inflation as rising cost of living.

There is a link between these two ideas, but they are not the same thing. It is entirely possible that the reader might disagree with my views on the distinction, but if they are to get any value from this book at all, they need to understand what I am referring to....
Bond Economics
Cost of Living Versus Inflation
Brian Romanchuk

China on the horizon as ‘world’s pharmacy’ — M. K. Bhadrakumar

Scale.

India Punchline
China on the horizon as ‘world’s pharmacy’
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Michael Hudson & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove — Imagining An End to Poverty and Economic Dependence

Interview and transcript.

Yves here. We are delighted to feature another talk by Michael Hudson and Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove of the Poor People’s Campaign, hosted by Jim Vrettos of The Radical Imagination. Topics include an assessment of the Biden Administration and who really benefited from its relief to lower-wage workers. They also discuss the role of preachers in promoting economic justice, and how the business community enlisted some as early as the Great Depression to promote “free market” ideology.

Naked Capitalism
Michael Hudson & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: Imagining An End to Poverty and Economic Dependence

How America Became the Money Laundering Capital of the World — Peter Stone

Experts and former prosecutors say that such fines have essentially become the cost of doing business, and that America’s entire approach to money laundering needs radical rethinking....
"Capitalism" again.

The New Republic
Peter Stone

What are the real reasons behind the New Cold War? — William I. Robinson

The US is launching a New Cold War against Russia and China in an attempt to deflect our attention from the escalating crisis of global capitalism....

Making the world safe for democracy capitalism. 

On the systemic level, it is about Western resistance to losing the half-millennium of dominance the West enjoyed during an age of imperialism and colonization, as well as enclosure (privatization) of the commons domestically. 

When a moment expires in the historical dialectic, resistance is futile. (See link below)

Must-read.

ROAR
What are the real reasons behind the New Cold War?
William I. Robinson | professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara

See also

East Asia Forum
US Pacific Deterrence Initiative too little, too late to counter China
Hugh White | Emeritus Professor at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Matt Stolller - Why Joe Biden Punched Big Pharma in the Nose Over Covid Vaccines

 Last week, the Biden administration asked for a global waiver on vaccine intellectual property protections. What is this waiver? Why does it matter? And why did Biden stand up to big pharma? 


Unless Covid is brought under control, if could near bankrupt the rest of the world, with much of the cost falling back on the United States, but Big Pharma only cared about its bottom line. Even the Biden administration thought letting neoliberalism run amok was too much in the middle a global pandemic. But there are other reasons why Biden took the decision he did - see below. 

There are two reasons the administration then supported the waiver. The first is that the Biden administration really does not want Covid variants to return and force another lockdown. The second is, geopolitics, and ‘vaccine diplomacy.’ China’s vaccines, which use traditional methods, are not as effective as the mRNA treatments, but they exist. And China is sending its vaccines to more than 80 countries, with Russia also pushing its influence through its own effective vaccine. These countries are, rightfully, making a big deal of how the U.S. isn’t doing any exporting, and generating leverage as a reliable partner when the West is absent.


As a result, the traditional calculation within the U.S. government changed from pro-pharma to anti-pharma. The people in charge of money and guns took the progressive position, because the progressive position was a way to counter Russian and Chinese vaccine diplomacy, and to keep the economy free from a renewed pandemic threat. Treasury and State Departments, the National Security Council, and the National Economic Council, all supported the waiver. So did the United States Trade Representative Office, led by Katherine Tai, who made the final case to Biden.


(As an aside, I worked on the Hill for six years, and USTR was always the center of corporate power in government. For USTR to go against pharma is truly the world turned upside down.)


Matt Stolller - Why Joe Biden Punched Big Pharma in the Nose Over Covid Vaccines

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Two problems with Modern Monetary Theory — John Quiggin

I spend quite a bit of time (more than I should) engaged in Twitter debates with advocates of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Some are generally sensible, while others are convinced they have learned a deep secret which enables us to have whatever we want without paying for it. Unfortunately, the sensible ones (Meaningful Monetary Theory) don’t do the hard work of correcting the others (Magical Monetary Theory)….
I think MMT economists and advocates face a problem from two directions. The first is, of course, criticism of MMT that more caricature than fact. The second is MMT advocates that don't understand the nuances of MMT. Both are unqualified.

I don't think that it is reasonable to suggest, however, that MMT economists or others highly literate in MMT should spend time addressing such misunderstandings or misrepresentations, since they abound on social media.

John Quiggin's Blog
Two problems with Modern Monetary Theory
John Quiggin | Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government

Bill Mitchell — US labour market goes backwards with mixed signals – but significant slack remains

Last Friday (May 7, 2021), the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest labour market data – Employment Situation Summary – April 2021 – which showed that the recovery since the catastrophic labour market collapse in March and April 2020, has substantially slowed after signs in March that the revovery was accelerating. The change in payroll employment fell from 770 thousand in March 2021 to a miserly 266 thousand and unemployment edged up slightly to 6.1 per cent. The broader labour wastage captured by the BLS U6 measure fell by 0.4 points to 10.7 per cent. The US labour market is still 8,215 thousand jobs short from where it was at the end of February 2020 and the unemployment to job openings ratio also suggests significant slack remains....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
US labour market goes backwards with mixed signals – but significant slack remains
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

How weak US jobs data could hurt emerging markets, but boost China's exports — Wang Bozun

A bit of a mishmash economically but it mentions MMT anyway. 

The major point of the article is that a lot of the fiscal relief that the US federal government is into the economy is likely to flow to Chinese exporters in that they already have a significant share of the US market and now the pandemic has resulted in economic contraction that is not yet moving very swiftly toward recovering. 

Global Times (Chinese state-sponsored media)
How weak US jobs data could hurt emerging markets, but boost China's exports

Alex Krainer - Is The Age Of Permanent War Finally Over?

Recent events in the world have given me great hope that we might finally emerge from the century of permanent war.

The Great Reset agenda seems to be losing steam and those in charge of implementing it are losing conviction (with the exception, perhaps, of the very top echelon in power). At the same time, the ranks of people who are opposed to it and are willing to take a stand, appear to be swelling.

Russia’s build-up of an overwhelming military force on its border with Ukraine was therefore not a preparation for war. To the contrary, it was a move to prevent one from erupting. As Victor David Hanson recently wrote, “Wars often arise from uncertainty. When strong countries appear weak, truly weaker ones take risks they otherwise would not.” Thus for now, the Ukraine tensions have abated – but had Ukraine faced a weak and indecisive Russia, the leadership in Kiev and their Western backers might have made a very different gamble and today the war might already have started. 

The cabal that’s been dominating the western world for the past two centuries is rapidly running out of time and out of options. Their plans for the one world government are now in tatters and without a new world war, the best they can hope to achieve is to carve out a geopolitical block and erect a new iron curtain around it. The most likely candidate for that block is Western Europe consisting of the old colonial powers and their satellites. However, even this consolation prize will not be viable. As the Soviet experience has taught us, even with an iron fist and heavy-handed repression, the edifice can sustain itself at best for a few decades. But as populations awaken, and awakening they are, the sun will finally set on their system, hopefully for good.

Renegade Inc


Debt Ceiling July 31

 

Summer recess from end July thru after Labor Day... recent analysis projects “extraordinary measures“ can allow Treasury to function somewhat normally until October so no real problem until then...


They keep doing the same thing so you can’t expect a different result...




Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Concept of an Optimal Currency Area, and why the EU has failed to create it. — Carlos García Hernández

 In his book “Eurozone Dystopia”, Bill Mitchell quotes the three conditions that Mundell believed were necessary to achieve an OCA...

From the outset, and today more than ever, it was clear that none of these three conditions is even remotely fulfilled in Europe....

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies
The Concept of an Optimal Currency Area, and why the EU has failed to create it.
Carlos García Hernández

Washington is playing a losing game with China — Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr.

Foreign policy realism.

East Asia Forum
Washington is playing a losing game with China
Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr. | visiting fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and retired US Foreign Service



Ford on Wages — NeilW

Henry Ford quote.

New Wayland
Ford on Wages
NeilW