Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pepe Escobar — «America Has Lost» in the Philippines

The Asian pivot isn't working so well.

Strategic Culture Foundation
«America Has Lost» in the Philippines
Pepe Escobar

Dilbert Now Down for Trump

Because bullying.

Bill Black — Debt Derangement Syndrome: Saving Our Grandkids from Wall Street

Pete Person again with "The Grandchild Guilt Gambit (G3)."

New Economic Perspectives
Debt Derangement Syndrome: Saving Our Grandkids from Wall Street
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Bill Mitchell — The Eurozone ‘house of cards’ to collapse – doomed from the start

There was an interesting interview published in the financial market journal Central Banking this week with Otmar Issing, who was the ECBs first chief economist and a former European Central Bank executive board member. He predicted that as a result of the political corruption of the monetary union ideal, “the house of cards will collapse.” He was referring to the claim that the ECB has become captured by politicians and technocrats in the IMF and the European Commission such that it is now violating essential central banking principles, in addition, to Treaty obligations that were designed to safeguard the financial stability of the system. I have some agreement with his overall view that a federal solution to the Eurozone ills is not viable. But I do not agree that the ills of the Eurozone stem from recent political decisions – to pressure the ECB to engage in QE or other interventions. The reality is that the flawed design of the Eurozone, which reflected the ideological hold of neo-liberalism on the integration discussions in the 1980s and beyond, meant that the only effective fiscal capacity in the currency union was held by the ECB. If the ECB had not started buying up government bonds in May 2010, the monetary union would have collapsed about then. The whole problem is that neo-liberalism brought these Member States together into a monetary architecture that was doomed from the start…
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The Eurozone ‘house of cards’ to collapse – doomed from the start
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Dean Baker — Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

Download an ebook of Rigged free, or purchase a printed copy.

Dean Baker
Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

James Petras — Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding

The real story unfolding is the Philippines. The US overreached.

Petras mentions but doesn't emphasize that something similar is happening in Thailand.

Asian countries realize that the economic future lies with China rather than the US, which is chiefly an Atlantic power allied with Europe, and doesn't have non-white peoples interests at heart. They are getting tired of being used as pawns in the global game, and now face the possibility of getting shut out of China while being treated as US colonies.

James Petras Website
Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding
James Petras | Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sputnik — China Surpasses US in Total Foreign Investment

For the first time in history, China has surpassed the United States in total foreign investment. Moreover, Chinese companies' interests have expanded beyond energy and other natural resources. Analysts explain that this may be an indication that the country's economy is shifting from export-oriented growth to a focus on domestic demand.…
Sputnik International
Drooping Eagle, Soaring Dragon? China Surpasses US in Total Foreign Investment

The gov't PAID BACK $94 TRILLION. Last year!

Mariana Mazzucato — An Entrepreneurial Society Needs an Entrepreneurial State

Innovation-led growth can square a circle that is challenging modern capitalism: how to generate sustained and sustainable economic growth, built on high-value, well-paying jobs. This is at the core of entrepreneurial societies, and it is a good objective. The problem is how to get there. Although many countries have set the goal, few have achieved it.
The reason for this elusiveness lies in widespread misunderstandings about how innovation-led growth has been achieved in the past. These misunderstandings have allowed the wrong narratives to drive policy making, with individual entrepreneurs and companies as the central characters of the story. Left unchallenged, this narrative leads to counterproductive policy making and a distribution of rewards from growth that doesn’t reflect the actual distribution of risks.
An entrepreneurial society needs an entrepreneurial state, one that through visionary and strategic public investments, distributed across the innovation chain, can create animal spiritsin private businesses. Entrepreneurs then see growth opportunities, and business investment follows.
Harvard Business Review
An Entrepreneurial Society Needs an Entrepreneurial State
Mariana Mazzucato | R.M. Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU University of Sussex, UK

Paul McCulley — The deficit is too small, not too big

Paul McCulley packs a lot of MMT-friendly information in a small space.

The Hill
The deficit is too small, not too big
Paul McCulley, The Hill contributor and senior fellow in Financial Macroeconomics and Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School

CNBC — Building the city of the future — at a $41 trillion price tag

Cities around the world could spend as much as $41 trillion on smart tech over the next 20 years.
"But, but, where will the money come from?"

That's going to take a whole lot of electricity, too.

Building the city of the future — at a $41 trillion price tag
Aneri Pattani, special to CNBC.com

Bill Mitchell — Rising inequality and underconsumptionRising inequality and underconsumption

John Atkinson Hobson was an English economist in the second-half of the C19th and worked well into the C20th, dying at the age of 81 in 1940. I have been reflecting on his work in the context of wage and other labour market developments in recent years. Hobson, individually and with co-authors, provided some excellent insights into how rising income inequality, mass unemployment and increased poverty destabilises the economic system through its impacts on consumption spending. He argued that government should engender what he called a ‘high-wage economy’ which would provide the best basis for prosperity. He was writing as an antagonist to the trends of the day, which considered wage suppression to be good for business and society. In this blog, we consider some of those issues. This is a further instalment to the manuscript I am currently finalising with co-author, Italian journalist Thomas Fazi. The book, which will hopefully be out soon, traces the way the Left fell prey to what we call the globalisation myth and formed the view that the state has become powerless (or severely constrained) in the face of the transnational movements of goods and services and capital flows. This segment fits into Part 3 which focuses on ‘what is to be done’.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Rising inequality and underconsumption
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

CNBC — Fmr CIA official: Biggest threat facing our nation right now is an election-night hack

"Just about anybody with decent computer literacy could pull something off like that," said [Carmen] Medina [former CIA deputy director of intelligence] who has 32 years in the intelligence field. She added: "The attacks last week could very well have been disaffected gamers."
Well, now, that's reassuring. It's not just "the Russians" we have to be concerned about.

Fmr CIA official: Biggest threat facing our nation right now is an election-night hack
Barbara Booth

US Energy Production Increasing

They have the price of their own products in their costs.
First, the relationship between well costs (finding and development costs plus operating costs) and the producer’s breakeven price (price necessary to achieve a zero rate of return) is essentially linear. That means if costs drop by 50%––as they have––then the producer’s breakeven price drops by 50%, all other things being equal. So if a producer’s rate of return was $80/bbl two years ago, now it would probably be closer to $40/Bbl.
So therefore non-cartel sector  production should keep steadily increasing until it displaces all cartel sector imports.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Zero Hedge — This Is The Chinese Firm Whose Cameras Took Down The Internet On Friday

Now, while the origin of the attack is still unknown (even though we're sure that Hillary's "17 intelligence agencies" have their suspicions), we're getting a better idea of how the attack was executed. According to Bloomberg, Internet-connected CCTV cameras made by a Chinese firm, Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co., were infected with malware that allowed hackers to takeover "tens of millions" of devices to launch the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Hijacking. Unknown who the hijacker is.

Zero Hedge
This Is The Chinese Firm Whose Cameras Took Down The Internet On Friday
Tyler Durden

Brad DeLong — Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"?

History of economics lesson.
Keynes is discussing how to use the quantity theory of money as an analytical tool.
What he is saying is that you cannot assume that you can analyze the consequences of an altered time path of the quantity of cash in the economy--n, in Keynes's notation--without considering whether the public's demand for real cash balances k, the public's demand for real checking-account balances k', and banks' desired reserves-to-deposits ratio r will also change. This is a principle that today's economists call the "Lucas Critique". (No, it is not clear to me why they do not call it the "Keynes Critique".) And this critique is correct: assume that those three other variables are not themselves altered when you consider an altered path for the money stock is, as Keynes says in the sentence after "in the long run…", for economists to set themselves too easy a task--it sweeps all the problems of analysis under the rug--and too useless a task--it generates predictions that are simply wrong.
In this extended discussion of how to use the quantity theory of money, the sentence "In the long run we are all dead" performs an important rhetorical role. It wakes up the reader, and gets him or her to reset an attention that may well be flagging. But it has nothing to do with attitudes toward the future, or with rates of time discount, or with a heedless pursuit of present pleasure.
So why do people think it does?
Note that we are speaking not just of Ferguson here, but of Mankiw and Hayek and Schumpeter and Himmelfarb and Peter Drucker and McCraw and even Heilbronner--along with many others.….
Grasping Reality with the Invisible Hand
Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"?
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

Alex Christoforou — Prime Minister Viktor Orban says Hungary must stand up to Europe’s “Sovietization” and defend its borders

How some in formally USSR states see the EU.
At a commemoration of a 1956 anti-Communist uprising, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary must stand up to defend its borders against mass migration.
The Duran
Prime Minister Viktor Orban says Hungary must stand up to Europe’s “Sovietization” and defend its borders
Alex Christoforou

See also
On the website of the Employers’ Association he estimated that the refugees are getting roughly 360,000 Euro per year. There is no official confirmation on the numbers yet.
Syrian refugee in Germany with 4 wives, 22 kids sparks social media fuss over welfare

Diane Coyle — Not the smartest animals

Natura non facit saltus. (Nature does not make jumps.)

The current trend in liberalism is to extend rights to animals as in "animal rights. Most liberal jurisdictions have humane laws. Kosher and halal injunctions also relate to prohibition of animal cruelty. Buddhists include all beings. So do so-called primitive peoples.

The idea that reason can be separated from biology and ontology is a Western notion that arose in ancient Greece with the assumption that the rational principle distinguishes humans from non-humans. This was expressed philosophically and theologically through the concept of the human soul. In Christian doctrine, only humans had souls. This gave rise to the René Descartes assuming a separation of mind and body, as well as that animals were machines without souls.

This led to the Western liberal concept of the person as distinct from the individual. While human individuals are unique and unequal "accidentally," human "personhood" makes all humans equal as persons, meaning that there is no innate privilege through birth, so all are equal before the law and all enjoy equal rights as human beings, although under bourgeois liberalism, "all" was initially defined to exclude women and those to of European ethnicity.

This concept and its associated assumptions was questioned by science, which could find no material basis for it. Humans came to be viewed as machines without souls, like other animals. This became the basis for behaviorism in psychology, which was imported into economics as a fundamental assumption called "rationality"as "maximizing utility." Think Pavlov's dogs, Skinner's pigeons and lab rats. This was not lost on marketing & advertising, and PR.

Psychology and the social sciences are moving beyond that view based on discoveries in biology and neurology. Evolutionary theory is also refuting the Cartesian assumptions as well. See, for example, Antonio Damasio, Descartes' Error.

The Enlightened Economist
Not the smartest animals
Diane Coyle | freelance economist and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. She is a member of the UK Competition Commission and is acting Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation

William K. Black — Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages”

Champion of the people, or slave driver? Sheriff Bill is on Hillary's case.
The general media has been treating the WikiLeaks disclosures of the Clinton campaign documents, particularly the transcripts of her lucrative talks with Goldman Sachs as much ado about nothing. I have not found any article about the disclosures, however, that reported on the extraordinary statements she made in her talk with Goldman Sachs on June 4, 2013.
Hillary told the Vampire Squid that the “good news” was that China was removing workers’ (meager) legal protections so that their employers could “forc[e] down wages” in order to increase corporate profits. She used China’s (pathetically weak) legal protections for workers as her exemplar of China’s “structural economic problems.”
Thirdly, they seem to — and you all are the experts on this. They seem to be coming to grips with some of the structural economic problems that they are now facing. And look, they have them. There are limits to what enterprises can do, limits to forcing down wages to be competitive, all of which is coming to the forefront…
Clinton’s support for “forcing down wages” by removing China’s meager protections for workers reveals that her (leaked) admission that she is increasingly “far removed from the struggles of” the working and middle-class is a grave understatement. She is not simply “far removed” from their “struggles” – she continues when speaking secretly to Wall Street to attack workers’ interests.
New Economic Perspectives
Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages”William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Trevor Louis — Classical Liberalism: How Small Government Can Regain Its Voice

The principles and values of classical liberalism are enshrined in American culture because they are what the nation was founded upon, unlike any other country on Earth.
Three of America’s mainstream ideologies have stemmed from a classical liberal culture: conservatism, libertarianism, and liberalism. Their own spin on the ideology of their roots follows as a result of the primary goal of each - preserving the social order, preserving liberty, and solving social problems, respectively. While these goals have put the competing ideologies at odds with each other over the past several decades, they must unite lest they let the fascists and Marxists gaining in power bring about the end of the “liberal consensus” (in the classical sense) these three ideologies have forged, which Ross Douthat identifies as a possibility.
A coalition of conservatives, libertarians, and reasonable liberals can emerge by returning to the classical liberal tradition of their roots. Conservatives would have to drop their tendency to bring religion into politics. Libertarians would have to drop their tendency to see no legitimate role for government at all. Liberals would have to drop their tendency to use the government as a vehicle for social change. If done properly, this could create a governing majority that wants to reduce the size and power of government in a secularized America.…
Some paradoxes of liberalism. Can liberals unite and create a political coalition in spite of them? I doubt it. The differences are too great to bridge based on "freedom" alone.

It's a pretty good post for a high school student though.

The American Thinker
Classical Liberalism: How Small Government Can Regain Its Voice
Trevor Louis, student at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC

Michele Antaki — A [Christian] Syrian Doctor’s Testimonial from [Western] Aleppo

Blowing the whistle on Western propaganda.

American Thinker
A [Christian] Syrian Doctor’s Testimonial from [Western] Aleppo
Michele Antaki

Zero Hedge — Watergate's Bob Woodward: "Clinton Foundation Is Corrupt, It's A Scandal"

It's one thing for the right-wing press to accuse the Clinton foundation of cronyism, corruption, and scandal (especially if the facts, and internal admissions by affiliated employees, confirm as much) - it tends to be generally ignored by the broader, if left-leaning, media. But when the Watergate scandal's Bob Woodward, associate editor at the liberal Washington Post, says very much the same, Hillary Clinton's campaign has no choice but to notice. This is precisely what happened today when journalist Bob Woodward told a Fox News Sunday panel that the Clinton Foundation is "corrupt" and that Hillary Clinton has not answered for it.
Here, courtesy of RealClearPolitics, is the transcript of today's exchange:
Zero Hedge
Watergate's Bob Woodward: "Clinton Foundation Is Corrupt, It's A Scandal"
Tyler Durden

Peter Turchin — Our Growing Political Dysfunction – What’s to Be Done?

Must-read. Peter Turchin views the US at a turning point.

Cliodynamica — A Blog about the Evolution of Civilizations
Peter Turchin | Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Research Associate in the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford, and Vice-President of the Evolution Institute

Maher v. Morello

Revealing back and forth between Tom Morello and Bill Maher on Maher's show.

Morello imo exemplifies the general outrage of the alt-left in the face of much socio-economic injustice and Maher (probably playing devil's advocate a bit) points out that it takes more than just the outrage to deliver.  Morello doesn't put up much argument.

Illustrates pretty well perhaps what is going on in the current contrasting between the alt-left and alt-right positions.

Video of some of Morello and new band's recent work here; think like an open nerve ending sending a message:

Prediction Markets and Daily Polling Update

Prediction Markets

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Polls updated daily

The USC Dornsife / LA Times Presidential Election "Daybreak" Poll


Kristol vs.Zbig's Daughter

Looks like trouble brewing in neo-con paradise...

Rick Sterling — The ‘White Helmets’ Controversy

Rick Sterling documents various takedowns that have been link to here at MNE previously. 
Rick Sterling

See also

Off Guardian
via Simon Wood, originally Vanessa Beeley

‘We don’t hide it’: White Helmets openly admit being funded by Western govts

Pat Lang — The Turks want Mosul and Aleppo "back."

This statement makes clear what Erdogan's ultimate ambition is….

Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Turks want Mosul and Aleppo "back."
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Ryan Gallagher — The Little-Known Company That Enables Worldwide Mass Surveillance

Big Brother watch. Going way beyond George Orwell's 1984 by transforming the Internet into a panopticon

Moon of Alabama — Renewed Jihadi Attack On Aleppo Supported By "Western" Propaganda Fakes

More news from the snake pit.

Erdogan claims Aleppo and Mosul for Turkey under revanchism.
We have maintained here for some time that the Turkish President Erdogan has designs for Aleppo as well as Mosul. He wants to incorporate both cities and all areas north of them into Turkey. Erdogan now publicly announced these aims:
Speaking during an opening ceremony for an educational institution in Bursa on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared the way that Syrians and Iraqis have been driven away from homes because of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; ISIS/ISIL), to how Turkish people were once forced out from the same cities.
Erdogan added that the cities of Mosul and Aleppo belong to the Turkish people.
This is a serious misinterpretation of teh areas population history and of Turkey's international agreements and borders as delineated after the first world war.
Erdogan also lamented that Turkeys national leaders were born outside of Turkey's current borders. Something he implied he will strive to correct. The Greek will not be happy to hear that. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born in Thessaloniki…
Much more in the post, but this is the game-changer. Neo-Ottomanism openly declared.

Moon of Alabama
Renewed Jihadi Attack On Aleppo Supported By "Western" Propaganda Fakes