Friday, June 24, 2016

Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute and former BOE policy wonk, doesn't understand BOE sets rates

First of all we know about Pete Peterson and his self-serving and subversive mission to end Social Security.

He's been known to hire lackey's who are nothing more than relentless, high paid human propaganda machines for his sick mission. Guys like David Walker, that lying SOB who I got to admit that Social Security checks would never bounce and there was no issue with insolvency.

Now here's Adam Posen. He's the head of the Peterson Institute a deep pocketed think tank that works to spread the lies and support the liars who would make Peterson's dream of ending Social Security come true.

Posen was on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, yet here's what he said back in February with respect to the possibility of Brexit.

Adam Posen is a moron

"Very high interest rates."

So there you have again, another example of a guy in a high policy post who doesn't have a fucking clue that it is the Bank of England--the very fucking institution this guy works for--that sets interest rates.

Let's hope the other morons over at the BOE don't think this way, too. I won't be holding my breath.

Winterspeak on Brexit

Nice summary — which means it reflects my sentiments. I would add, however, that this is just the beginning and the end is still far off. 

And not only for the UK and the EZ. 

The whole world has some tough slogging to do on the way to creating a new world order suitable for meeting emergent challenges humanity faces in the 21st century. 

Too many are still living in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and trying to address 21st century challenges and opportunities in outdated terms. 

The future belongs to those with the courage and creativity to birth it.

On the other hand, it not just matter of voting. Collective mindsets need changing in these countries.

 Winterspeak notes, "As Zizek would say, austerity was the German superego run amok." 

To that I would add, that the neoliberalism and ordoliberalism that spawned and justified it is a facet of the collective id underlying the mindset of the West. It is based on centuries of struggle for power among the elites that has been inculcated culturally in the various areas to motivate populations to follow elites and their interests, against the interests of those populations. 

This is not changed easily or overnight.

This conflict of hyper-intellectual righteousness (superego) and animal passion (id) has resulted in a history of war and rapine in which lust for power and greed for territorial control has been justified on the most idealistic principles, from freedom to justice. 

Building a new UK, however it is configured, a new Europe, and a new world will have to overcome this path dependence that is deep-seated culturally. 

Institutional change alone is insufficient. That was the mistake of the EU and EZ in their construction.

The West especially not only can do better, it must do better in the face of existential threats of its own creation.

These threat arose as a consequence of the Great Divergence. The technological dominance of the West led to is political and economic dominance.

Technological dominance is one thing. The twisted thinking that used it for its own aggrandizement and justified it based on "exceptionalism" is another.

Mass psychotherapy needed. And the sickos must be turned out ASAP, instead of being routinely selected and promoted.


My thoughts on the Brexit vote

The Millennials' Money : A Look at Fiat Money and Why The National Debt Is Really The National Savings Account

The diagram (video) could still do with some clearing up of points, like government I.O.U's, but it better than Diagrams &  Dollars. 

Published on 20 Jun 2016
Introduction and overview of the reality of modern fiat money: Why the millennial generation CAN afford to build a better world. An updated and expanded version of the best-selling "Diagrams & Dollars."

From New Economics Perspectives:

 By J.D. Alt

I spent the last couple days reading and contemplating “Political Aspects of Full Employment”, the transcript of a lecture―given in 1942!!―to the Marshall Society by economist Michal Kalecki. This was recommended to me by Nat Uerlich in his May 2 comment to my post “False Choice or Real Possibilities.” Many thanks to Mr. Uerlich for taking the time to make the comment. I urgently recommend Professor Kalecki’s lecture to anyone who feels a little fuzzy (as I have lately been feeling myself) about what we are up against as a collective society as we now confront, once again, how collective society itself is structured to inexorably be its own worst enemy.

As I pondered Professor Kalecki’s analysis, I was also trying to decide whether to go public with an admittedly “amateurish” video I’d put together to promote the book “The Millennials’ Money.” I was having doubts (having produced it with a miniscule budget) whether the quality of the video is good enough to be useful. Also, I was beginning to have doubts whether these ideas actually connect with, or fit into, any kind of potentially achievable future reality. Kalecki’s lecture erased any doubts about the latter―but it also makes it clear that the path to getting there is going to be overwhelmingly obstructed by the present dominance of the corporate economy over our collective governance.

In the end, I decided to go ahead and put the video out there, hoping that, in spite of its production shortcomings, it might become useful as a quick MMT introduction that is accessible enough to actually be absorbed by a lot of otherwise busy, distracted, or only peripherally engaged people. Here it is:

What It's Really Like to Fight for the Islamic State

It almost plays out like a tragic black comedy, but people are killing each other.  You don't see anything nasty, but you get to see what we are dealing with: crazed fanatics hell bent on war and fundamentalist religion.  How can people be so stupid?

Published on 27 Apr 2016

VICE News has obtained footage taken from the headcam of an Islamic State (IS) fighter who died in March while battling Kurdish peshmerga troops in northern Iraq. The clash took place about 30 miles north of Mosul.

Unlike IS propaganda, which often presents sweeping battlefield victories, the video shows chaos, panic, and the fighters retreating.

VICE News shows the grim reality of an IS foot soldier.

Brexit: The UK Voted To Leave.

The UK voted to leave by 52% to 48% to remain, but Scotland and Ireland voted to remain. People who have never voted before came out in  their millions in England to vote leave., but London and younger people tended to vote to remain.  It would seem that people with leftist or centrist views voted to remain and the Right voted to leave. People who don’t normally bother to vote tend to lean to the Right and hate people on benefits and immigration.

I’m on the Left but I voted to leave, although that was hard because I had been so pro EU all my life, and I envied its social democracy and its culture, but over the years it dawned on me how neoliberal and cold the EU had become. Then I saw the other day a good documentary put together by socialists and some trade unions telling people why they should vote to leave. The EU has become a US controlled neoliberal project designed to destroy Europe’s social democracy. And the EURO made it difficult for European governments to raise money unless they increased taxes, or privatized state owned assets as their central banks had been dissolved and so couldn't produce more currency. 

Greg Palest, a journalist, who is also a brilliant mathematician, had as a young man infiltrated, or rather became a student of, the Chicago School, Milton Friedman’s university, which had been started up by the US aristocracy to spread their right wing propaganda. Greg Palast was a virulent anti neoliberal who impressed his Chicago School Economic professors with his mathematical capabilities and so became their top student. Then he actually wrote a neoliberal paper with Milton Friedman which he deeply regretted afterwards so he removed his name from it, especially as Milton Friedman loved Greg Palast’s crazy right wing ideas which he thought wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Anyway, Greg Palast describes how the EURO was designed by Chicago School professors exactly to destroy Europe’s social democracy. Some of these same professors had also worked along side Russian gangsters and to loot the Soviet Union under Yeltsin, say’s Greg Palast, and also they had helped to install many dictatorships in Latin America. Their technique is to use the ‘Shock Doctrine’, where they see their chance to seize a country that is in turmoil, as they are doing right now in Greece, and then try to privatize everything in sight giving it to the One Percent, the 0.00001%, the ruling elite, who own most of the World except Russia and China, regimes they are now trying to bring down.

One of the reasons I voted out was to help break up NATO because with a bit of luck other countries will leave the EU too. The EU is a US vassal state, and all the politicians are clones of each other whether Left or Right, although there is no real Left in the EU anymore. They have all had their minds taken over by the US neoliberal body snatchers.

Also, Scotland voted to stay in so they are now considering running a second referendum to leave the UK. If they do leave England will be seriously weakened, and there is also talk that the City of London can’t remain as Europe’s financial center dealing with so much of its business. But the City of London is known as the crime capital of the world and so England would be better off without it, so it can go and wreck someone else's economy. With these losses, England will be seriously weakened and will have less importance as Washington’s puppet, being it’s loyal lapdog, and so some of the hawkish neoliberal menace in the world would have been tamed maybe by a little bit.

I don’t know if I did the right thing to vote out, but with Hollande of France who says he is a socialist but is helping the World go towards WW3 by acting as a Washington puppet, and also with Nicolas Sarkozy’s overthrow of Gadhafi, I have had my belief in the EU as a moderate, social democratic force for peace in the World with a model that countered the US’s militaristic one, destroyed.

And with Eastern Europe’s welcoming of US nuclear missiles on its soil to threaten Russia, along with Ukraine wanting to become part of the EU as a fascist, neo-Nazi right wing country all with the support of  Washington, and with Turkey always vying to become a EU member too, also with Washington’s support, which is now a dictatorship arming ISIS to overthrow the once peaceful, multicultural Syria, then I knew it was time to leave the EU. The EU is nothing like the soft socialist state I hoped it would be. 

Kevin. KV

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Herbert Gintis — How to Synthesize New Economics with Traditional Economics

There have been two major contributions to economic theory in my lifetime. One is behavioral economics. The other is evolutionary economics. The revolutions induced by these new approaches are by no means complete. Their ramifications are still being worked out in the professional economics journals.
Behavioral economics abandons the traditional notion that rational choice alone can explain human behavior in favor of patterns of choice that are inferred from laboratory and field studies of actual human subjects. Evolutionary economics views the economy as a dynamical evolving system that can be modeled using the combined tools of economic and biological theory. Evolutionary economics treats individuals as the product of their biological and social history, and so fits in well with behavioral economics.
Many behavioral and evolutionary economists consider themselves allies in a battle against the principles of traditional economic theory, and many supporters of traditional economic theory share this mind set—except that they are on the other side of the conflict. This oppositional mind-set is profoundly incorrect and leads to serious errors both in developing economic theory and presenting it to the general public.

The most creative behavioral and evolutionary economists remain inspired by the successes of, and consider their work as extensions of traditional economic theory. The most creative supporters of traditional economic theory, in turn, embrace behavioral and evolutionary perspectives and build on its insights.
In this article I will suggest the proper way to treat the new economic theory in relation to the old. I encourage readers to offer significant critiques of or additions to my comments.…
Useful summary.

Examines market failures, which is really the way to approach economics rather than to assume general equilibrium precludes market failures or make then irrelevant "in the long run." Market failures sufficiently large and persistent have not only economic but also social and political consequences. Therefore, understanding and reducing market failure is of the highest priority.

How to Synthesize New Economics with Traditional Economics
Herbert Gintis

The Slow Crash: When Global Economies are Run by Banks — Bonnie Faulkner interviews Michael Hudson

MH: The price decline is a result of having to pay debts. That drains income from the circular flow between production and consumption – that is, between what people are paid when they go to work, and the things that they buy. Deflation is a leakage from this circular flow, to pay banks and the real estate, called the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate. These transfer payments leave less and less of the paycheck to be spent on goods and services, so markets shrink. Some prices for some products go down when people can’t afford to buy them anymore.…
He goes out of paradigm though:
When you pay a debt to the bank, the banks use this money to lend out to somebody else or to yourself.  
Funny mistranslation.
Look at Ukraine. Its currency, the hernia, is plunging.  
(Should be hryvnia.)

The Slow Crash: When Global Economies are Run by Banks
Bonnie Faulkner interviews Michael Hudson

Voltaire Network — The Syrian army withdraws in the face of chemical weapons

ISIS/Daesh uses chemical weapons against Assad's forces.
In the province of Rakka, while the Syrian Arab army was advancing and liberating villages held by Daesh and its allies, the enemy has used sarin gas, or more precisely its most dangerous version: VX gas.
The Syrian army was forced to withdraw.
Getting nasty. Translation Roger Lagassé

The Intercept on what The Man is up to

What The Man is up to.

The Intercept
FBI and Police are Knocking on Activists’ Doors Ahead of Republican National Convention
Alice Spen

State Department Turns Blind Eye to Evidence of Honduran Military’s Activist Kill List
Alex Emmons

Alex Christoforou — The EU’s Five Unelected Presidents And Their Connection To The CIA

Based on a post by monetary economist Richard A. Werner

The Duran
The EU’s Five Unelected Presidents And Their Connection To The CIA
Alex Christoforou

Pat Lang — The Clinton Foundation - warts and al

"Crooked Hillary" and Bill.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Clinton Foundation - warts and all
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency
ht Kevin Fathi

Maximilian Seiko — Hillary Clinton Must Embrace Deficits to become President

MMT shout out.

Cult Media
Hillary Clinton Must Embrace Deficits to become President
Maximilian Seiko
ht Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism

Reuters — Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan

Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.…
The report added that robotics and artificial intelligence may result in a large part of the work now done by humans being taken over by robots, raising concerns about the future of employment and the viability of social security systems.
The draft motion, drawn up by the European parliament's committee on legal affairs also said organizations should have to declare savings they made in social security contributions by using robotics instead of people, for tax purposes.
Needless to say, capital is vehemently opposed to this.

Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan
Georgina Prodhan

David Dayen — Hillary Clinton Criticizes Donald Trump for One of the Few Things He Is Right About

DEFICIT HAWKS OFTEN raise the specter of hyperinflation to scare people who disagree with them. And that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton did on Tuesday.
Speaking in Columbus, Clinton criticized Donald Trump for saying last month that the U.S. can never default on its debt obligations “because you print the money.”
“We know what happened to countries that tried that in the past, like Germany in the ‘20s and Zimbabwe in the ‘90s,” Clinton said. “It drove inflation through the roof and crippled their economies.”
But printing money — otherwise known as increasing the money supply – is a routine occurrence for governments that control their own currency. The Federal Reserve has increased its balance sheet by over $3 trillion since the financial crisis, explicitly to support the economy. (The Fed does this by buying stocks and bonds with electronic cash that didn’t exist before.)
In fact, an increasingly influential school of economics, known as Modern Monetary Theory, argues that deficit spending, including through money printing, is critical to promote full employment.
Even Alan Greenspan, former chair of the Federal Reserve, echoed Trump’s comments almost verbatim back in 2011, when the U.S. came close to reaching the debt limit. “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that,” Greenspan told “Meet the Press.”…
Another reason not to vote for Hillary. She is a fiscal moron.

The Intercept

BBC News — IMF warns the US over high poverty


And that's the BBC, not RT.

The US needs to climb down from its high horse and sense of global entitlement it calls "American exceptionalism" before it blows all its soft power. The US has already lost the moral high ground.

BBC News — Business
IMF warns the US over high poverty

Knoema — The world’s largest economy: China or the United States?

Take the defense budget. While the actual figures are a state secret, the reported figures show the US to be greatly outspending China with the implication that the US military is larger than the PLA. That may be a false implication, however, since China has nowhere near the economic rent in military expenditure that the US does. That means bigger bang for the buck since more of the expenditure goes into production.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
The world’s largest economy: China or the United States?

Rumsfeld endorses Trump


China Steel Tariff Raised to 500%

Now up to 500%.  US ratcheting up the steel tariffs in USDs to protect US steelworkers as USD zombie China reduces USD terms for China steelworkers. Probably moved down to just 2 bowls from a previous 3 bowls daily ration of dog brain soup so the USD tariff rate had to be moved up accordingly. Can they go down to just one bowl now?

Must...have...U...S....dollars....Must.... have....US.....dollars.....

Article indicates China USD zombies freaking out so they could become even more irrational don't put anything past them!  Scary!!!!

Kristen Breitweiser — REDACTED: All The Kingdom’s Men

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article by Mark Mazzetti regarding Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks.
The article describes some important facts and circumstances surrounding the support that two Saudis gave to two 9/11 hijackers. However, there is more to the story.…
Detailed and disturbing.

The Huffington Post
REDACTED: All The Kingdom’s Men
Kristen Breitweiser | 9/11 widow and activist

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Caitlin Yilek — Michele Bachmann to advise Trump on evangelical issues

Thought you were done with her, did you?

The Hill
Michele Bachmann to advise Trump on evangelical issues
Caitlin Yilek | The Hill

Asia Times — Technology: China has fastest supercomputer, with Chinese chips

A Chinese supercomputer built using domestic chip technology has been declared the world’s fastest. The news highlights China’s recent advances in the creation of such systems, as well the country’s waning reliance on US semiconductor technology.
The Sunway TaihuLight takes the top spot from previous record-holder Tianhe-2 (also located in China), and more than triples the latter’s speed. The new number one is capable of performing some 93 quadrillion calculations per second (otherwise known as petaflops) and is roughly five times more powerful than the speediest US system, which is now ranked third worldwide.
Asia Times
Technology: China has fastest supercomputer, with Chinese chips

Pepe Escobar — Bilderberg Seen Through the Looking Glass

You need to read this. Trust me. No, it is not about conspiracy theory.

Bonus: Pepe is funny — even thought the subject matter is deadly serious.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Bilderberg Seen Through the Looking Glass
Pepe Escobar

Mads Jacobsen — Denmark cuts welfare but buys new US fighter jets

In May 2016, the Danish government decided to make the largest weapons purchase in Denmark's history by ordering 27 new, American produced, Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters at the cost of $3 billion, with the total cost for the lifespan of these fighters amounting to approximately $8,5 billion. Not even calculated in these expenses are the costs for bombs, ammunition and the aid for repairs following a bombing campaign.
The money for this purchase is, of course, covered by the tax revenue from the Danish people, meaning that instead of welfare, social services and other public goods, we get expensive military modernization. So, what do the Danes themselves think about this? Well, According to a recent poll made by Wilke, 53,3 percent of the Danish population believe that this purchase is a bad idea; 30.8 percent believe it is a good idea; and 15.9 are uncertain. Furthermore, on May 27th, nationwide demonstrations were held in Denmark with the message: "No thank you to new fighter jets!", and instead "put peace on the agenda, stop Danish war involvement and use the billions for welfare, peacemaking and useful workplaces".
Military expenditure crowding out domestic welfare.


Valentin Vasilescu — Geopolitical goal of the US in the last 70 years

In the last two decades we have witnessed the advancement of NATO up to Russia's borders, along with the challenge of real hysteria concerning the Russian menace. This is one of the measures of the plan followed step by step during the last 70 years by the White House, where the Cold War never ceased. To understand what lies behind this Washington's aggressive foreign policy, we must turn to geopolitical concepts. After the Second World War, experts in geopolitics in Washington took and adapted a geostrategic concept called Heartland Theory, published in 1904 in the Royal Geographical Society by Halford John Mackinder. American foreign policy was built on this doctrine, which resulted in planetary scale military aggression in order for him to put his hands on Russia's huge mineral reserves….
I have explained this previously here at MNE. This "World Island" and "Heartland" strategy was modified by Nicholas Spykman, who added the "Rimland" theory. These are fundamental aspects of international relations, geopolitics and geostrategy as "The Great Game." Zbigniew Brzezinski calls it "The Grand Chessboard" in his book of that title, the subtitle of which is American Primary and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.

It is not possible to grasp the hidden agenda without this knowledge and without understanding the hidden agenda, it is impossible to understand what is going on in the world, and has been not only since WWII but also post-WWI in the drive to counter the growing power of the USSR. This led to WWII as much as anything, along with the determination of the US to counter the rise of Japan in Asia.

Valentin Vasilescu provides an excellent summary explanation complete with maps. Read this and get the picture of what's really going on. It's also short. It's definitely worth reading in full and for those interested in IR, geopolitics and geostrategy, it's a keeper for the maps alone.

Why is the important economically? Because the global economy is made up of nation states that are open economies and therefore influence each other both politically and economically. The British Empire was based on control of world trade, necessary in a colonial era, through control of the sea by the British navy. The US inherited that role post WWII.

This is only the intro. There is much much more going on.

Valentin Vasilescu: Geopolitical goal of the US in the last 70 years

Paul Robinson — Not so doomed: Russia in 2018

Finally and intelligent assessment of Russia from a member of the Western intelligence community rattan the the usual wishful thinking and confirmation bias.

If this is accurate, Russia is stabilizing and overdone pessimism, as well as US economic and financial warfare, may have created some profitable opportunities.

Not so doomed: Russia in 2018
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Chuck Spinney — Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual?

Today, America’s foreign policy is a shambles. Its primary features are (1) a perpetual war on terror, and (2) the seemingly inevitable march into a new and unnecessary cold war against Russia and China. At the same time, President Obama is leaving his successor with a budget plan containing a front loaded and political engineered* procurement bow wave that guarantees steeply rising defense expenditures well into the next decade and possibly beyond. Such long term increases in the defense budget can only be justified by a new cold war. Yet the United States now spends far more on the military than any other country. Add in the expenditures of our allies, and the spending advantage over any conceivable combination of adversaries becomes overwhelming. Nevertheless, US citizens are more fearful than they were during the Cold War, and politicians and the yellow journalism of the mainstream media are hyping those fears to a greater extent than they did during the Cold War.
What is going on?
Goldman Sachs is not the only giant vampire squid. As always, follow the money.

Risking nuclear war, you say? Small potatoes given the enormous pile of $ on the table.

The Blaster
Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual?
Franklin C. "Chuck" Spinney, former Pentagon military analyst

Gov. Jerry Brown — A Stark Nuclear Warning

Jerry Brown, sitting governor of California, reviews My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by William J. Perry, with a foreword by George P. Shultz (Stanford Security Studies).
I know of no person who understands the science and politics of modern weaponry better than William J. Perry, the US Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997. When a man of such unquestioned experience and intelligence issues the stark nuclear warning that is central to his recent memoir, we should take heed. Perry is forthright when he says: “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”1 He also tells us that the nuclear danger is “growing greater every year” and that even a single nuclear detonation “could destroy our way of life.”
The New York Review of Books
A Stark Nuclear Warning
Jerry Brown

Stephen F. Cohen — Is the US Pursuing a Rogue Policy by Waging Undeclared War Against Russia?

Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at Cohen raises three “hypothetical” and heretical questions for discussion. Does the recent escalation of anti-Russian behavior by Washington, from its growing NATO military buildup on Russia’s western borders and refusal to cooperate with Moscow against the Islamic State in Syria to the Obama administration’s refusal to compel its government in Kiev to implement a negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian civil war, reflect an undeclared US war against Russia already underway? Given that many US allies are unhappy with these developments, has Washington gone “rogue”? And does the recent spate of warfare media “information” reflect these new realities?….
The Nation
 Is the US Pursuing a Rogue Policy by Waging Undeclared War Against Russia?
Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation

See also:

California Governor Jerry Brown reviews My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by William J. Perry, with a foreword by George P. Shultz, Stanford Security Studies.

The New York Review of Books (July 14, 2016 Issue)
A Stark Nuclear Warning
Jerry Brown - We will fly a fully loaded 747 into a building at 500 MPH

This guy is going to raise the money to buy a 747 and crash it on autopilot into a building that has come to the end of its life which is similar to those on 9/11 to see what actually happens. Will they free fall or not? I hope he gets the money and find a suitable building, but he might do it because it is his business to stage large events like this. He already has two major donors so he is almost there.

Crowdfunding project: Goal: to recreate 9-11 and prove or disprove, once and for all, what happened. We need a 747 with a working blackbox, a tall building as close to the WTC as we can get, many GoPro's to record the event inside the building and inside the plane. A film crew to turn this event into a documentary. Our initial funding goal is $300,000 and we will go to any country where we can get the right ingredients to faithfully recreate 9-11. Email for donation information.