Friday, May 25, 2018

Zero Hedge Millennials Are Now Considered The "Lost Generation"

Lost economic and financially, that is.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a new report examining the relationship between a person’s birth year, and measures of his or her family’s economic status, including income and wealth. Fed economists determined that substantial wealth declines were visible across the age spectrum around the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) but found that young families suffered the most.
Zero Hedge
Millennials Are Now Considered The "Lost Generation"
Tyler Durden

See also

Political impact?

Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation
Richard Fry

Ramesh Thakur — What Sank the Kim-Trump Summit?

Good summary with timeline.

Project Syndicate
What Sank the Kim-Trump Summit?
Ramesh Thakur, a former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, is emeritus professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and co-convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Jeremy Lent — Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.

In Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, published earlier this year, Steven Pinker argues that the human race has never had it so good as a result of values he attributes to the European Enlightenment of the 18th century. He berates those who focus on what is wrong with the world’s current condition as pessimists who only help to incite regressive reactionaries. Instead, he glorifies the dominant neoliberal, technocratic approach to solving the world’s problems as the only one that has worked in the past and will continue to lead humanity on its current triumphant path.
His book has incited strong reactions, both positive and negative. On one hand, Bill Gates has, for example, effervesced that “It’s my new favorite book of all time.” On the other hand, Pinker has been fiercely excoriated by a wide range of leading thinkers for writing a simplistic, incoherent paean to the dominant world order. John Gray, in the New Statesman, calls it “embarrassing” and “feeble”; David Bell, writing in The Nation, sees it as “a dogmatic book that offers an oversimplified, excessively optimistic vision of human history”; and George Monbiot, in The Guardian, laments the “poor scholarship” and “motivated reasoning” that “insults the Enlightenment principles he claims to defend.” (Full disclosure: Monbiot recommends my book, The Patterning Instinct, instead.)
In light of all this, you might ask, what is left to add? Having read his book carefully, I believe it’s crucially important to take Pinker to task for some dangerously erroneous arguments he makes. Pinker is, after all, an intellectual darling of the most powerful echelons of global society. He spoke to the world’s elitethis year at the World’s Economic Forum in Davos on the perils of what he calls “political correctness,” and has been named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” Since his work offers an intellectual rationale for many in the elite to continue practices that imperil humanity, it needs to be met with a detailed and rigorous response.
Besides, I agree with much of what Pinker has to say. His book is stocked with seventy-five charts and graphs that provide incontrovertible evidence for centuries of progress on many fronts that should matter to all of us: an inexorable decline in violence of all sorts along with equally impressive increases in health, longevity, education, and human rights. It’s precisely because of the validity of much of Pinker’s narrative that the flaws in his argument are so dangerous. They’re concealed under such a smooth layer of data and eloquence that they need to be carefully unraveled. That’s why my response to Pinker is to meet him on his own turf: in each section, like him, I rest my case on hard data exemplified in a graph....
The big problem with the 18th century Enlightenment as a paradigm for the 21st century is that it is, well, 18th century. Most of the assumptions are unscientific and culture-bound. Somethings can be rescued from the past, but the past cannot be prolonged beyond its expiration date without deterioration.

Patterns of Meaning
Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.
Jeremy Lent |  founder of Liology Institute, author of The Patterning Instinct and Requiem of the Human Soul, and  founder of NextCard.

See also
"It's not 1997 anymore."
Stumbling and Mumbling
Corbyn: the heir to Blair
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Matias Vernengo — Venezuela is about to explode

The Empire at work. Is history about to repeat?

Al Jazzera — Opinion
Venezuela is about to explode
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

See also

Naked Keynesianism
Lula da Silva is a political prisoner. Free Lula!
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

Pavlina Tcherneva — The Job Guarantee and the Economics of Fear: A Response to Robert Samuelson

The Job Guarantee is finally getting the public debate it deserves and criticism is expected. Building on several decades of research, the Levy Institute’s latest proposal analyzes the program’s economic impact and advances a blueprint for its implementation. Critics have taken note and are (thus far) restating the usual concerns, but with a notably alarmist tone....
The usual shills for capital contra labor.

Multiplier Effect
The Job Guarantee and the Economics of Fear: A Response to Robert Samuelson
Pavlina Tcherneva | Assistant Professor of Economics at Bard College, Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute, and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability

Brian Romanchuk — Euro Crisis (Again)

Again or still? Looks like the difference between low and high boil.

Bond Economics
Euro Crisis (Again)
Brian Romanchuk

North Korea still wants to meet with Trump

Art of the Deal:

Double triggers!!

#winning  #4Dchess

Goddess of "money"????

How (logically) could she have been "the Roman goddess of money" when the English language figure of speech word "money" is itself a transliteration of her name in the first place???

Impossible for her to be "the Roman goddess of money!"....

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tom Luongo — Petroyuan is Only the Beginning, Pop Goes the Metals Market

What China is up to.

Tom Luongo
Petroyuan is Only the Beginning, Pop Goes the Metals Market

Bloomberg — Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares

Wandering the streets of Shanghai to admire the architecture, the head of one of the largest U.S. consumer banks recently found himself surrounded by a gaggle of teenagers.
Entranced by their phones, they hardly made way for the banker. The teens were messaging, shopping and sending money back and forth, all without cash. Instead, they were using Alipay and WeChat.
The scary thing for the American: Banks never got a cut.
The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies.
That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments. Western bankers and credit-card executives who travel to China keep returning with the same anxiety: Payments can happen cheaply and easily without them.
Add crypto to that, and it's doom for the financial intermediaries.

Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares
Jennifer Surane and Christopher Cannon

J. W. Mason — The Wit and Wisdom of Trygve Haavelmo

More philosophy of economics, or foundations, if you prefer. Good read if you are into this. It runes along the lines of what amateur economist and working physicist Jason Smith has been saying about foundations.

J. W. Mason's Blog
The Wit and Wisdom of Trygve Haavelmo
JW Mason | Assistant Professor of Economics, John Jay College, City University of New York

Gareth Porter — Bolton Trying to Convince Trump to Topple Iran

It appears that Bolton was still pushing the idea within the administration earlier this month. The Washington Free Beacon reported on May 10 that a three-page paper outlining a regime-change strategy from a small far-right organisation called the Security Studies Group, with which Bolton is said to have close ties, was circulated among NSC officials. The quotes from the paper in the story make it clear that the strategy is based largely on seeking to exploit ethnic and religious conflicts in Iran.

The paper reportedly makes the point that ethnic minorities – such as Kurds, Azeris, Ahwazi Arabs and Baloch – represent one-third of Iran’s population, and argues that the Iranian regime’s “oppression of its ethnic and religious minorities has created he conditions for an effective campaign to splinter the Iranian state into component parts”.
It adds: “U.S. support for their independence movements, both overt and covert, could force the regime to focus attention on them and limit its ability to conduct other malign activities.”

Those minorities have all had organisations that have carried out violent actions, including bombings and assassinations against Iranian officials, over the past decade, and such a strategy would presumably involve supporting a step-up in such activities – in other words, U.S. support for terrorist activities against Iranian government targets.…

What could go wrong — again!

Consortium News
Bolton Trying to Convince Trump to Topple Iran
Gareth Porter

See also

Iran Responds to Plan B
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University

Elliott Gabriel — Facebook Partners With Hawkish Atlantic Council, a NATO Lobby Group, to “Protect Democracy”

The partnership between Facebook and the Atlantic Council is an attempt to ensure the grip of dominant imperialist powers – militaries, multinationals, banks, and philanthropists – who feel threatened by the unrestricted flow of information and anti-systemic narratives on social media.
It's all about who controls the narrative. The Internet and social media are threatening elite control and they are now attempting to re-consolidate control.

If you don't know know who the mark is, you are the mark.

Also when media is "free," you are the product by being enticed to give up your data for free.

Mariana Mazzucato — Capitalism's greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

In my latest book, The Value of Everything, I have argued that such critiques are important but will remain powerless – in their ability to bring about real reform of the economic system – until they become firmly grounded in a discussion about the processes by which economic value is created. It is not enough to argue for less value extraction and more value creation. First, ‘value’, a term that once lay at the heart of economic thinking, must be revived and better understood.

Value has gone from being a category at the core of economic theory, tied to the dynamics of production (the division of labour, changing costs of production), to a subjective category tied to the ‘preferences’ of economic agents. Many ills, such as stagnant real wages, are interpreted in terms of the ‘choices’ that particular agents in the system make, for example unemployment is seen as related to the choice that workers make between working and leisure. And entrepreneurship – the praised motor of capitalism – is seen as a result of such individualized choices rather than of the productive system surrounding entrepreneurs – or, to put it another way, the fruit of a collective effort. At the same time, price has become the indicator of value: as long as a good is bought and sold in the market, it must have value. So rather than a theory of value determining price, it is the theory of price that determines value...
Much more. Good article.

Mariana Mazzucato is becoming an influencer.

World Economic Forum
Capitalism's greatest weakness? It confuses price with value
Mariana Mazzucato | Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London

Bill Mitchell — Timor – challenges for the new government — Part 1-3 of 3

This is Part 3 (and final) of my mini-series analysing some of the challenges that the newly elected majority government in Timor-Leste faces. In Part 2, I discussed the progress of the Strategic Development Plan and the challenges ahead in terms of poverty, unemployment, and other indicators relating to the development process. In Part 2, I focused more on the currency debate – documenting how the IMF and World Bank had infused its ideological stance into the currency arrangements that Timor-Leste set out with as a new nation. I made the case for currency sovereignty which would require Timor-Leste to scrap the US dollar, convert the Petroleum Fund into its stock of foreign exchange reserves, and to run an independent monetary policy with flexible exchange rates, mediated with the capacity to use capital controls where appropriate. In this final discussion I consider specific policy options that are required to exploit what is known as the ‘demographic dividend’ where the age-structure of the nation generates a plunging dependency ratio. To exploit that dividend, which historically delivers massive development boosts to nations, the shifting demographics have to be accompanied by high levels of employment. That should be policy priority No.1.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Timor – challenges for the new government – Part 1

Timor-Leste – challenges for the new government – Part 3Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Fed modifying IOR policy

Fixing their potential (to them) bankruptcy problem due to having to potentially pay an IOR amount that would be higher than their portfolio income amount.  Looks like they are going to actually codify a new Fed policy whereby they must run the IOR at ALWAYS a rate somewhat below their FFR; insuring they will always have enough net portfolio income to both pay the IOR and operate their Federal Reserve System:

Separately, Fed policy makers backed potentially making a “small technical adjustment” of setting the interest on excess reserves, or IOER, rate “modestly below” the top of the federal funds target range to help keep the effective fed funds rate “well within” range.

Yeah "well within range" of them always having "money!" ...  LOL!

This potential (to them) bankruptcy was a big potential problem that has been eliminated from the realm of possibility (for us)... will green light any future rapid rate increases without jeopardizing (to them) their solvency due to a lack of net income during any period.

Deutsche Bank says it will cut at least 7,000 jobs

Oh those crafty "banksters!" really killing here they are... the "neoliberal conspiracy!" looks ready to hatch its greatest success any day now!

Checkmate.... again....

So what?

Correlation is not causation, inverse or otherwise:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Global Links — 23 May 2018

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has accused the US-led international coalition of deliberately bombing Syrian oil wells so that the government loses crucial energy infrastructure.
“They did it so that we have to pay tens of millions of dollars to restart work in these fields,” the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad stated....
Meanwhile, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation and the Syrian military have found in the eastern part of Homs province warehouses with armaments manufactured in NATO countries that were held by terrorist forces. 
Fort Russ
Paul Antonopoulos


“Uniquely Russian technology? My ass!” — Professor [of organic chemistry] Dave Collum — Cornell University

Intel Today

I had been planning to write a post today about the latest report on Russia by the British House of Commons, but something came my way which is so out of the ordinary that it has to take precedence. The item in question is an article by University of Rhode Island professor Nicolai Petro entitled ‘Are We Reading Russia Right?’ and published in The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. I urge you all to read the full text online here, and to spread it as far and wide as you can. But in case some of you only have time for a condensed version, below is a summary of what Nicolai has to say....
Reading Russia Right
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

… Russian trade is moving in an eastward direction and Russia could quite possibly see trade with Asia on par with the EU by 2022. If so, Russia will have made impressive steps towards balancing trade relations between East and West and undergone a clear change in trade flows in under 20 years. Most importantly, the change in direction cannot be viewed solely as a knee-jerk reaction to Russia’s geopolitical tensions with the West during the last five years. Rather, it is the fruition of a policy effort to improve relationships in order to significantly increase trade with Asia over the last decade and a half.
Kennan Institute
Michael Corbin

The legal basis is now established, and the Russian government has a legislatively approved mandate. Now we wait and see what counter sanctions will be specifically taken against the US and other nations considered unfriendly by Russia, and restricting the principles of free and open trade. This should be interesting, and moreover it was undertaken with thought, restraint and due process.
Russia Feed
Russia slaps US, Europe with counter-sanctions

Russia strikes back, levels counter-sanctions on US and unfriendly nations (Part II)
Paul Goncharoff 




Ramanan — Contrasting Joan Robinson And Paul Krugman’s Views On The Global Rules Of Trade

Interesting quote from Joan Robinson.

The Case for Concerted Action
Contrasting Joan Robinson And Paul Krugman’s Views On The Global Rules Of Trade
V. Ramanan


Bill Mitchell competed on the Joan Robinson quote.

While Bill is obviously correct, the world continues to operate as if still on Bretton Woods, with the resulting being neo-mercantilism.

John Helmer — Alexei Kudrin Makes Prostration Speech for Parliament Vote -– the Arch-Capitulationist Capitulates

Kudrin’s reversal reveals the degree to which the balance of power in Russian politics has changed decisively against the party of capitulation, and in favour of the Stavka, the combined forces of the Defence Ministry, General Staff, the intelligence services, and the military-industrial complex.…
The Atlantic integrationists are out and Eurasian nationalists in. (While JH doesn't mention it, China is the big beneficiary.)

Chris Dillow — Rationalism, rationality & reasonableness

Chris Dillow is writing bout the dialectical approach in contrast to the categorical approach and apparently doesn't realize it even though he is a Marxian economist. What is is saying is to adopt the principle of rational inquiry in one's own thinking by critiquing oneself and becoming one's own interlocutor and devil's advocate. This is fundamental to critical thinking, in contrast to dogmatic thinking, for example.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Rationalism, rationality & reasonableness
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Bill Mitchell — A surplus of trade discussions

Bill clarifies the MMT position on trade for those who haven't gotten it yet. It is very clear and concise. Anyone that still doesn't get it after reading this doesn't want to get it.

Must-read — and study. It's the MMT elevator speech on trade.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
A surplus of trade discussions
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

See also

Bond Economics
On The "Everyone Cannot Run Trades Deficits" ArgumentBrian Romanchuk

Banks convince lawmakers to pass massive bank deregulation, despite record earnings

Well yeah but look at LAST quarter... revealing chart.  That Trump tax INCREASE of Janurary 1 was not well thought out.  Might have well screwed up this entire year...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Eric Zuesse — Stephen Cohen’s Misrepresentations About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

If Dr. Cohen has any objections to the factuality of any of the allegations that I have made here, or to any of the documentation that I have linked to as the sources for these allegations, then I publicly welcome him to state what those objections are. Otherwise, I shall continue to take strong exception to Dr. Cohen’s account of these matters.
Fair enough.

Washington's Blog
Stephen Cohen’s Misrepresentations About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine
Eric Zuesse

Alex Gorka — President Trump to Unveil New Middle East Peace Plan

Another map to nowhere if what's being floated in anywhere close to what's planned.

DJT's major flaw in dealmaking at this level is assuming that economic interests are paramount when they are not. He is out of his league here since his understanding of interest is limited at best, and his the advisors he has chosen are incompetent ideologues.
Donald Trump likes to make “deals.” Perhaps he views the Palestinian problem as essentially an economic issue, not a political one. Because of this perspective he has adopted a “you make concessions to get economic benefits in return” approach. The problem is with the PA’s leadership, which is headed by Mahmoud Abbas, its people, and also the Arab leaders who want a real political settlement instead of a trade deal, because they aren’t going anywhere. It’s really hard to imagine the Palestinians taking any offer of “limited sovereignty” seriously.

Strategic Culture Foundation
President Trump to Unveil New Middle East Peace Plan
Alex Gorka

'The U.S. President Is Destroying the American World Order' — Mathieu von Rohr and Christoph Schult interview Joschka Fischer

In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer talks about the danger of war against Iran, the deterioration of trans-Atlantic relations under U.S. President Donald Trump and the serious need for Germany to invest massively in the European Union's future. 
Spiegel Online
'The U.S. President Is Destroying the American World Order'
Interview former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer conducted by Mathieu von Rohr and Christoph Schult

Alexander Mercouris — Russia’s new government: here’s why Putin chose to stick with his team

This is a long article, but it is a must-read for those interested in Russia's direction after the recent reelect of President Putin.

Russia Feed
Russia’s new government: here’s why Putin chose to stick with his team
Alexander Mercouris

See also

Also longish but an important backgrounder.

Russian and Eurasian Politics
Russia, America, and the Biases Within UsGordon M. Hahn, analyst and Advisory Board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, member of the Executive Advisory Board at the American Institute of Geostrategy, a contributing expert for Russia Direct, a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, and; and an analyst and consultant for Russia – Other Points of View

Tehran eyes path ahead after US withdrawal from nuclear pact — Pepe Escobar interviews Ahmad Bahmani,

The insider scoop.

Asia Times
Tehran eyes path ahead after US withdrawal from nuclear pact
Pepe Escobar interviews Ahmad Bahmani, Europe and Americas adviser to Ali Akbar Velayati, the top foreign policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

More on Wikipedia, Philip Cross and Wikispooks — 22 May 2018

Intel Today
Wikipedia & the Spooks — The Remake? [The Philip Cross Affair]
L (Ludwig De Braeckeleer)

Craig Murray Blog
Philip Cross Madness Part IV
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee