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2019-12-31

Quid pro quo

Mr Zelensky received his aid without having to open the Biden probe, which was more like quid pro nihilo, or “something for nothing”.


Edward Luce FT 31 December 2019

Edward Luce is the US national editor and columnist at the Financial Times. Before that he was the FT's Washington Bureau chief. Other roles have included  speechwriter for the US Treasury Secretary, Lawrence H. Summers, in the Clinton administration.


2019-12-30

Sometime in the middle to late 2020s

we will see a Great Reset that profoundly changes everything you know about money and investing.

The Fed began cutting rates in July. Funding pressures emerged weeks later. Coincidence? I suspect not. 

Many factors are at work here, but it sure looks like, through QE4 and other activities, the Fed is taking the first steps toward monetizing our debt.
As you can see from the Gavekal chart below, the Fed is well on its way to reversing that 2018 “quantitative tightening.”


Aftershocks and fragility: 10 years in financial markets

How the crisis of 2008 continued to reverberate through the following decade


FT 30 December 2019

2019-12-29

How social media, the Great Recession and Donald Trump combined

Mr. Trump’s improbable rise benefited from a perfect storm of larger economic, social and demographic changes, and the profoundly disruptive effects of new technology.

The event that turned people’s sense of dislocation and disillusionment into populist anger on both the right (the Tea Party) and the left (Occupy Wall Street and, later, Bernie Sanders’s candidacy) was the 2008 financial crisis.

While the banks were bailed out and the fortunate 1 percent soon made back its losses (and more), working- and middle-class voters struggled to make up lost ground. 

Many students realized they were looking at jobs in the gig economy and years of crippling debt, while workers in the manufacturing sector found themselves downsized or out of work. 

Michiko Kakutani NYT 27 December 2019





Macron: Europe is not just a market. It is a project.

The nationalists are misguided when they claim to defend our identity by withdrawing from Europe, because it is the European civilization that unites, frees and protects us. 

But those who would change nothing are also misguided, because they deny the fears felt by our peoples, the doubts that undermine our democracies.

Emmanuel Macron Project Syndicate 4 March 2019


2019-12-28

Did winning the war make such a difference for the UK?

Waldegrave: The French diplomat Jean Monnet allegedly once said: "Britain's misfortune is having won the war." He meant that we were unable to put our past behind us. France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy: They have all been brave enough to put their defeats behind them, in a sense. But perhaps it is more difficult to escape from an honourable past than from a dishonourable past.

We pro-Europeans in the Conservative Party and in the social-democratic wing of the Labour Party were too feeble when it came to arguing in favour of the European ideal – of producing a new kind of political entity where loyalty would ultimately be to European institutions first and to national institutions second. 

That is not a dishonourable idea, but the British never acknowledged the political dimension of the EU. If we had been saying – as Helmut Kohl did – that we want to anchor the UK in a broader European entity, then we would have had ground to stand on. But we never even tried.

Lord William Arthur Waldegrave is a member of the Conservative Party in Britain and served in the cabinet from 1990 until 1997. He is now a life peer in the House of Lords. His latest book is titled "Three Circles into One: Brexit Britain: How Did We Get Here and What Happens Next?"

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2019-11/william-waldegrave-brexit-grossbritannien-nordirland


2019-12-27

I don’t mean to single out Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, but


but an earlier this week, How to reform today’s rigged capitalism, was like Hamlet without the Prince. It followed up on an earlier article, which focused on what he saw as the causes of rising inequality: falling productivity growth, stagnating innovation, rising debt levels and finanicization, concentrated corporate power, which in turn fosters rentierism and tax evasion.

The officialdom has been shaken out of its Versailles 1788-level complacency by much-derided “populist” revolts, and more recently, 1848-like revolts, including a general strike in France.

Yves Smith 10 December 2019


The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History Stiglitz


September 24, 1599. In a timbered building off Moorgate Fields, not far from where Shakespeare was struggling to complete Hamlet, a new type of company was founded. Its ownership of the new firm, called the East India Company, was sliced into tiny pieces to be bought and sold freely.

Imagining a World Without Capitalism
Vi befinner oss fortfarande nära toppen av bostadsprisbubblan.

Vi har fortfarande svenska löner och kinesiska priser.

Men vänta bara.






Eurozone reform deadlock reflects deep malaise over integration

The fiscal stalemate derives in part from the frictions in Franco-German relations

Tony Barber FT 26 


2019-12-24

The Crisis of 2020

Central banks’ balance-sheet expansion is essentially a failed policy experiment. 

Yes, it was successful in putting a floor under collapsing markets over a decade ago, in the depths of the crisis in late 2008 and early 2009. But it failed to achieve traction in sparking vigorous economic recovery.

The problem lies, in part, with the price-stability mandate itself – a longstanding, but now inappropriate, anchor for monetary policy. 

The mandate is woefully out of sync with chronically below-target inflation and growing risks to financial stability.

Stephen S. Roach Project Syndicate 23 December 2019




2019-12-23

The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History Stiglitz

The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. 

Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years.

As wages stagnated and the stock market soared, income and wealth flowed up, rather than trickling down.

The reality is that, despite its name, the era of neoliberalism was far from liberal. It imposed an intellectual orthodoxy whose guardians were utterly intolerant of dissent.

Joseph  Stiglitz Project Syndicate 4 November 2019


Joseph E. Stiglitz

Austerity, not the populists, destroyed Europe’s centre ground

We have come to judge austerity mainly in terms of its economic impact. But it is the political fallout from public spending cuts that is most likely to persist.

Austerity as a policy is the consequence of a poor understanding of economics coupled with a self-righteous mind and a tendency to spend too much time with your chums at places like Davos. 

Centre ground politicians are also not good at admitting mistakes or changing strategy0

Wolfgang Münchau FT 22 December 2019


Göran Persson om 90-talet: Vi gjorde mycket fel, naturligtvis. Kanske borde vi ha sparat lite mindre.
SvD 7 maj 2017

Den hemska sanningen om John Hassler, Göran Persson och kronkursförsvaret


2019-12-21

Sverigedemokraternas livsnerv är a/en misskött invandringspolitik och b/förnekelsen av en misskött invandringspolitik.

Det skriver Wiodar Andersson, 

citerad av Janerik Larsson i SvD 20 december 2019



Den svenska utrikespolitikens eviga fråga. Skall vi följa Tyskland eller skall vi följa England.

Under Första Världskriget var det nära att vi följde Tyskland, Under Andra Världskriget uppträdde vi skamligt tyskvänligt, men bytte fot efter Stalingrad.

Om EU och dess utveckling mot en ny stat, Neues Deutschland skulle man kunna kalla den, vacklar fortfarande den svenska statsledningen.

Läs mer här




2019-12-20

De spred myten att FNL-gerillan representerade ett uppror i Sydvietnam, medan den i själva verket bestod till 90-95 procent av reguljär nordvietnamesisk trupp.

Professorn i militärhistoria vid Försvarshögskolan, Gunnar Åselius, dokumenterar ett exempel i ”Vietnamkriget och de svenska diplomaterna” (2019). 

En liten grupp vänsterradikala UD-tjänstemän och ett par ministrar, av vilka Palme är den mest kände, förde okritiskt vidare vad vi nu vet var nordvietnamesisk propaganda.

SvD 19 december 2019



2019-12-19

Nu ska jag säga som det är: Gubbar är också människor.

Äldre män har känslor och tankar precis som alla vi andra. Det kan vara synd om äldre män. De kan ångra sina livsval. 

De kan ha mobbats när de var barn, de kan ha kämpat med osäkerhet hela livet. De kan ha förlorat sina närmaste och käraste. Ibland kan de sätta ord på allmänmänskliga känslor. De kan ha fantastisk humor. 

De kan vara rädda för exakt samma saker som jag är rädd för. De kan ha uträttat stordåd för mänskligheten, riskerat livet, eller använt sin genialitet till att lindra mänskligt lidande. 

Susanna Birgersson Expressen 8 december 2019

Mrs Thatcher Sep 19, 1992

There is a growing sense of remoteness, an alienation of people from their institutions of government and their political leaders. There is a fear that the European train will thunder forward, laden with its customary cargo of gravy, towards a destination neither wished nor understood by electorates. 

But the train can be stopped.

Mish 18 december 2019

Mrs Thatcher




2019-12-17

Tänk på ett tal. Multiplicera det med 10 miljarder - jordens befolkning 2050

Allting blir mycket när man multiplicerar det med 10 miljarder.

Resursförbrukningen till exempel.

Gör tankeexperimentet att alla människor på jorden förbrukade lika mycket som vi gör i västvärlden i dag.

Africa to propel world’s population towards 10bn by 2050

2019-12-16

The Peso Problem, Mexico and Junk Bonds

Back in the 1970s, the country had hitched its peso to the dollar, but Mexican banks offered much higher interest rates than US banks. It seemed a no-brainer to simply borrow money in America and deposit it south of the border and bank the proceeds. Yet few did.

It soon became apparent why. In August 1976 the peg snapped and the Mexican currency promptly lost more than half its value against the greenback.

But the data Mr Milken used was based on relatively solid junk bonds in an era of faster inflation that made defaults rarer, not the low-quality trash that became the norm in the 1980s

Robin Wigglesworth FT 16 December 2019


Prelude to Disaster
José López Portillo and the Crash of 1976


Latin American debt crisis









2019-12-15

Målet stod klart: Sverige borde bli medlem i EU.

I mars 2011 gjorde Reinfeldtregeringen upp med Miljöpartiet och sade sig ”ta ett gemensamt ansvar för asyl- och migrationspolitiken under hela mandatperioden”.
David Camerons Brexitfolkomröstning och Reinfeldts uppgörelse med MP var uttryck för en arrogans som kommit att bestraffa sig.
Målet stod klart: Sverige borde bli medlem i EU.
I arbetet sållades de talespersoner fram som uppfattades som lyhörda och självständigt tänkande: Marit Paulsen, Odd Engström och många andra.







2019-12-14

The Dream of Rome by Boris Johnson

Focussing on how the Romans made Europe work as a homogenous civilisation and looking at why we are failing to make the EU work in modern times

Amazon


The Lessons of History
IN THE FIRST CENTURY AD, a merchant setting off from Rome on a journey to Cologne was able to pay his bills with the same coin, the denarius, over his entire journey.

Initially, Rome safeguarded cohesion of its large empire by fire and sword, then increasingly by placing even the most remote provinces under the legal system and administration of Rome.

The precise lessons to be drawn from such historical episodes may not be entirely clear.

Professor Otmar Issing, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, Paper for the Conference 2001 of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought


Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 2.0


At its height, in the year A.D. 177, the Roman Empire seemed all but invincible. It was the most expansive political and social structure in Western civilization. Then it fell, in a manner so spectacular and swift as to belie its greatness.

Could the same fate be in store for America?

The Atlantic 








2019-12-10

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 2.0

Det stora felet med EU är dess federalistisk ambitioner. Sakta men säkert, steg för steg som Gunnar Sträng skulle ha sagt, är EU på väg att bli en stat - ett nytt Romerskt Rike.

Detta genomförs tyvärr utan att medborgarna i den nya staten har givit sitt medgivande härtill.

Därför kommer den nya staten att haverera efter stora konvulsioner. Som Jugoslavien, som också var en ekonomisk, politisk och monetär union.


Det blir Romerska Rikets nedgång och fall 2.0.

Till likheterna hör också Climate Change.

The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome's power--a story of nature's triumph over human ambition.

Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria.

Kyle Harper The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire 

Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?

Pandemics

 OBS etikett 2050






2019-12-09

Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?

Our deep past is marked by recurring failure. As part of my research at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, I am attempting to find out why collapse occurs through a historical autopsy. 

What can the rise and fall of historic civilisations tell us about our own? What are the forces that precipitate or delay a collapse? And do we see similar patterns today?

Luke Kemp BBC 19th February 2019

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge,



Det är ju uppenbart att det är så det ligger till

Vad är det egentligen som händer? Det korta svaret är att alltfler väljare har dragit slutsatsen att SD hade rätt om invandringen. Många söker frenetiskt efter mer aptitliga förklaringar, men det är ju uppenbart att det är så det ligger till.

Anna Dahlberg Expressen 7 december 2019

2019-12-06

The European Union always was a CIA project

For British eurosceptics, Jean Monnet looms large in the federalist pantheon, the emminence grise of supranational villainy. Few are aware that he spent much of his life in America, and served as war-time eyes and ears of Franklin Roosevelt. 

Charles de Gaulle thought him an American agent,  as indeed he was in a loose sense. 

A memo dated June 11, 1965, instructs the vice-president of the European Community to pursue monetary union by stealth, suppressing debate until the "adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable"

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 27 APRIL 2016




Robert Schuman och EU:s symboler







2019-11-28

I tidskriften Nature en sammanfattning av det vetenskapliga läget när det gäller risken för tröskeleffekter ("tipping points")

där biofysiska system ofrånkomligt tippar över och kickar igång en självförstärkande global uppvärmning med extrema konsekvenser.

Johan Rockström SvD 2019-11-27



2019-11-27

Europe’s banks will have to raise up to €400bn of fresh capital or slash lending

to meet the draconian demands of Basel III regulations, risking an investment crunch across the region and a second decade of economic stagnation.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  25 NOVEMBER 2019



History is the most powerful guide to the present, because it speaks to what is permanent in our humanity

The 1930s are an abiding lesson in the possibility of democratic collapse once elites fail.

Events evoke not the 1930s but the period before the first world war

Martin Wolf 26 November 2019




High stakes in Hong Kong

President Xi faces the greatest test of ‘one China’ sovereignty — four books look at Beijing’s dilemma


The "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" is sailing through the US Congress. The legislation cocks the trigger on a US sanctions regime covering trade, finance, and technology. 

Its potent wording threatens the long-term survival of the enclave as a global financial and trading hub.


Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 19 November 2019






2019-11-25

Eurokrisen, fisksoppan och elitens olidliga dumhet

Har ett land sagt ja och gått med i EMU-klubben finns det ingen återvändo. Det är ett beslut av den typ som under tusentals år figurerat i heliga skrifter, sägner och folkliga urkunder. 

Paradiset förlorades, när Adam efter inrådan av Eva tog den första tuggan av det förbjudna äpplet. När Aladdin släppte ut anden ur flaskan kunde den inte tyglas längre. Kort sagt, en rad beslut är oåterkalleliga. Detta kan gälla allt från vardagliga beslut som att göra fisksoppa av sjötungan. Fisken är för evigt förlorad som Sole Meunière. 

Likadant är det med EMU. Har man gått med på att avskaffa den egna centralbanken och det egna myntslaget, det må heta krona, schilling eller pund, går det inte att ångra sig i efterhand. Centralbanken och kronan hör till det förgångna. 

Naturligtvis kan man börja om helt från början och skapa något helt nytt och okänt. Men kostnaderna, inte bara de ekonomiska utan även de sociala och politiska, skulle troligen bli oerhört höga.

Margit Gennser EMU - en kritisk analys, Fischer & Co 1997
http://www.nejtillemu.com/mg/emusomekonomiskt.htm

http://www.nejtillemu.com/mg/gensinh.htm

Margit Gennser var ordförande i styrelsen för Medborgare mot EMU - den borgerliga Nej-organisationen i folkomröstningen om EMU
http://www.nejtillemu.com/mg/gensemu.htm

Eurokrisen, fisksoppan och elitens olidliga dumhet
Rolf Englund 28 november 2011
https://englundmacro.blogspot.com/2011/11/eurokrisen-fisksoppan-och-elitens.html


2019-11-22

Best books of 2019: Economics

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies and the Fate of Liberty,
by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson

Martin Wolf FT 22 November 2019



Donald has declined to embrace the War Party's Russian boogeyman and demonization of Putin. He thereby threatens the Empire's raison d'etre

Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade, and yesterday's testimony before Adam's Schiff Show by former NSC official Tim Morrison is just such an occasion. In spades!
In his opening statement, this paranoid moron uttered the following lunacy, and it's all you need to know about what is really going on down in the Imperial City.
“I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin’s revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.

To wit, whether out of naiveté, contrariness or just plain common sense, the Donald has declined to embrace the War Party's Russian boogeyman and demonization of Putin. He thereby threatens the Empire's raison d'etre to the very core.

David Stockman. Posted On Wednesday, November 20th, 2019


2019-11-20

I /John Mauldin/ agree with Ray Dalio that we are almost certainly going to monetize it.

We are not going to get out of this debt trap by cutting benefits or raising taxes. I agree with Ray Dalio that we are almost certainly going to monetize it. 

I highly suggest that you read his latest piece titled 

“The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken.”

It is the shortest and best summary of his views that he has put out in a long time.

think we will spend the latter part of the 2020s going through a kind of worldwide bankruptcy. We will collectively realize the situation can’t go on and find a way to end it. I’ve taken to calling this “the Great Reset.”

Ray Dalio is the thoughtful, somewhat controversial founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, which he started in 1975. 


2019-11-19

Pierre Schori, U-båtarna och Amalia

Försvarsmaktens slutsats efter ubåtsjakten 2014 är att det är ställt ”utom allt rimligt tvivel” att Sverige utsattes för en kränkning.

Samtidigt meddelade man redan 2015 att det enskilt tyngsta beviset hade fallit bort och hade en ”annan förklaring” utan att gå in på vilken.

Vid Horsfjärdenincidenten 1982 var en viktig omständighet för utpekandet av Sovjet en 3,47 minuter lång ljudinspelning. I ubåtsutredningen 2001 beskrevs ljudet fortfarande som ”det tydligaste beviset på ubåt som framkom under hela Horsfjärdenjakten”.

2008 visade en förnyad analys från Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI, att hydrofonträffen kom från taxibåten Amalia

Jonas Gummesson SvD 19 November 2019

Bildt, U-båtarna och Amalia



2019-11-15

Mainstream economists considered the great 2008 financial crisis an unforeseen – and indeed unforeseeable – shock.

This interpretation was useful, because it protected those who held it from the charge that they should have seen the crisis coming and acted to prevent it. 

But one cannot really fault mainstream economists for taking this position. To do otherwise would have been to cast doubt on the intellectual primacy of their creed. 

It was necessary, therefore, that those who actually did foresee the crisis – and there were many, some on the academic fringes and others in finance – should be ignored.




Fundamental questions about the future of the world’s dominant economic model




2019-11-08

Jag har slutat oroa mig för klimatet. Det är säkert ingen fara.

Våra politiker och media, som verkligen vet hur det är, fortsätter ju som vanligt. Debatten rullar på. Är moderaterna liberalkonservativa? Kan blockpolitiken överleva? Varningar utfärdas regelbundet från moderaterna och försvarsindustrin för hotet från Ryssland och misstänkta,  för att inte säga konstaterade, u-nätar. Regeringen vill bygga höghastighetståg och i likhet med Tyskland fortsätta avvecklingen av kärnkraften. Vår tid är nu sägs det och man kan fortsätta att titta på Hem till gården, Downton Abbey och The Big Bang Theory.

Den enda som är uppriktig är Trump, som bestämt att USA skall lämna Paris-avtalet. Detta kan bara göra folk oroliga. Bäst är att fortsätta att hylla Paris-avtalet, vad det nu innebär, det är väl ingen som vet, och fortsätta som vanligt. Det är ju snart val igen.

Och Värdegrunden, tänk på den.

2019-11-05

How and why economics forgot Keynes’ warnings on panics - Akerlof

The real world is hideously complex. So too are people. If economists are going to tell us anything about either, then they must resort to abstraction.

The trouble is what happens when what you choose to leave out one of the things that ends up mattering the most?

Nobel Prize winning economist George Akerlof does a brilliant job of explaining how and why, in the decades before the financial crash, macroeconomists failed to include any meaningful role of the financial system in their economic models.

Claire Jones FT Alphaville 5 November 2015


What They Were Thinking Then: The Consequences for Macroeconomics

Five years before the financial meltdown of 2008, Robert Lucas famously declared that “the central problem of depression-prevention has been solved . . . and it has been for many decades”.


2019-11-04

We need to admit the euro was a mistake - Hungarian central bank governor calls for an exit mechanism

Two decades after the euro’s launch, most of the necessary pillars of a successful global currency — a common state, a budget covering at least 15-20 per cent of the eurozone’s total gross domestic product, a eurozone finance minister and a ministry to go with the post — are still missing.

We rarely admit the real roots of the ill-advised decision to create the common currency: 

it was a French snare. As Germany unified, François Mitterrand, then French president, feared growing German power and believed convincing the country to give up its Deutschemark would be enough to avoid a German Europe. 

The chancellor of the time, Helmut Kohl, gave in and considered the euro the ultimate price for a unified Germany.

Gyorgy Matolcsy FT 3 November 2019

The euro was not a German project. Quite the reverse. German voters wanted to hold on to their currency. The euro was the price Helmut Kohl paid to Mitterrand to win his blessing for reunification.
Philip Stephens, Financial Times 18 April 2013

In Strasbourg on Dec. 9, 1989, after the Berlin Wall fell, Germany agreed to monetary union in order to get President Mitterand to agree to German reunification





2019-11-03

It was Angela Merkel who “saved the euro” in the summer of 2012

and she did so because the Italian and Spanish bond markets were by then imploding. 

At that point, she agreed to let the ECB act as lender-of-last resort 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 30 October 2019


- Den stora risken var att Grekland skulle utlösa en kris i italienska, franska och tyska banker. 
Nu finns i praktiken en EU-garanti för de utestående grekiska statsobligationerna.

Anders Borg, TT, SvD papper 22 februari 2012






2019-11-02

Inflation-Phobic Germans Misunderstand Their History, Study Says

Most Germans believe their country’s interwar period was shaped by only one crisis that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler -- hyperinflation during the Weimar Republic,

In reality though, the Nazis took power after a period of deflation, more than a decade after runaway inflation had ended.

According to the Jacques Delors Institute in Berlin, that criticism stems from the fact that many Germans don’t quite understand their own history.




2019-10-31

Anders Borgs självbiografiska bok ”Finansministern”

är i stort sett renons på klickbeten och skvaller, men mumma för alla som intresserar sig för politisk dramatik och ekonomisk krishantering. 

Niklas Ekdal DN 30 oktober 2019


2019-10-30

Martin Wolf: I feared that the euro would end up dividing the EU politically when it was launched some three decades ago.

But there is no easy way back. It has to work.

How the euro helped Germany avoid becoming Japan

FT 29 October 2019


Bryt tystnaden om 1968 – året som medierna glömde

Finns det verkligen inga nu levande vittnen, verksamma inom kulturen eller journalistiken, som var med och som kan lägga ut texten om vad 1968 betydde för deras politiska utveckling? 

Som kan berätta om Vietnamkrig, demonstrationståg, radikalisering, rödvin, långt hår och en oförstående borgerlig föräldrageneration?

Varför har till exempel ingen under de senaste decennierna frågat författaren och debattören Jan Guillou vad han har att har att säga om 1968?

Erik Helmerson DN 28 oktober 2019



Många 68-or försöker skratta bort sina felsteg. Alla har väl varit unga och radikala, ha, ha, ha. I Kambodja skrattar man inte åt sådana skämt. Inte heller i Kina, där man upplevt Kulturrevolutionen. Inte heller i Östeuropa.



2019-10-29

Almost 70pc rejected the two great parties of the German post-War era.

The vote is arguably a displaced revolt against the hegemony of Germany’s export elites and against an Ordoliberal economic regime that has pauperised a fifth of the population and led to the country’s worst inequality in modern times.

The Social Democrats (SPD) collapsed to 8.2pc. Call it delayed revenge for the SPD’s embrace of austerity, its complicity in 15 years of wage compression, and its role in the Hartz IV reforms that have left a Lumpenproletariat of 7.8 million people on “mini-jobs” of €450 a month.

What is clear is that Germany has reached an economic and political dead end under the perennial Merkel coalition. 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 29 October 2019



Mario Draghi leaves Europe near recession, in a deflation trap – and out of ammunition

The cut in interest rates to minus 0.5pc takes monetary union into treacherous waters. Academic literature suggests this may already be hitting the "reversal rate" where it does more harm than good. 

It is harder for insurers to match their liabilities. It erodes the net interest margin for banks and is slowly destroying the business model of the small German savings banks that provide 90pc of credit to the Mittelstand family firms.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 24 October 2019

The IMF’s second chance in Argentina

Last year, Mr Macri went to the IMF. The two parties contracted to lock in the very policies that had caused the crisis in the first place, under a $57bn rescue package, the largest in the IMF’s history.

The IMF should take more seriously its own research on the role of fiscal policy and the management of capital flows.

It shows that austerity policies have a negative impact on economic growth and employment, as admitted by Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s then chief economist, and consequently on the fiscal accounts.

FT 28 October 2019





2019-10-28

Britain and Russia

Both countries will continue to worry about the EU’s collective power. 

As nations on the periphery, they have traditionally feared the rise of a single power dominating the European landmass — which partly explains why they ended up as allies in the Napoleonic wars and the two world wars. 

Each country has built its modern identity around the memory of victory in 1945. 

And both are shaped by nostalgia for imperial power.

Gideon Rachman FT 28 October 2019

S&P 500 hits record as earnings reports signal a recession is nowhere near

Noted bear Albert Edwars earns our chart of the day

Graph showing how earnings have diverged from the S&P 500 to a degree not seen since, yes, 2000.

What does this mean? “Carnage awaits,” Edwards wrote

There is no “carnage” yet, as investors appear to be in the buying mood.

MarketWatch 28 October 2019


More about Albert Edwards at IntCom

US Federal Reserve stopped its quantitative easing

After a full decade of providing “emergency stimulus measures” the US Federal Reserve stopped its quantitative easing program (aka, printing money) a few years back.

But that cessation was meaningless. Because the European Central Bank (ECB) stepped right in to take over the Fed’s stimulus baton and started aggressively growing its own balance sheet — keeping the global pool of new money growing.

Chris Martenson October 18, 2019


The defense of the euro gave us negative interest rates




Germany’s constitutional balanced budget rule

- I would classify it as the single most stupid economic policy decision taken by a G7 country in my lifetime. 

It artificially constrains the ability of fiscal policy to stabilise the economy at a time when monetary policy has hit the limits. 

Wolfgang Münchau FT 27 October 2019



2019-10-27

Det LitterärIndustriella komplext

Jag inmutar nu detta begrepp.

Det skrivs en massa romaner och andra böcker som det skall skrivas och kommenteras om.

Detta skapar jobb och inkomster och social status åt många människor som hade kunnat göra något mer samhällsnyttigt.

Ofta försörjs de av skattepengar.

Flaggskeppet är givetvis Babel.

Se även
Det Militärindustriella komplexet


2019-10-25

Margaret Thatcher biography by Charles Moore

She articulated very widespread national feelings. She articulated them harshly, but she represented the zeitgeist when she said there was no alternative to confrontation with politicised trade unions.

These were her strengths: the capacity instinctively to understand what a great swath of the British people wanted done, and then the courage to do it when others didn’t dare.

William Waldegrave FT 25 October 2019

Mrs. Thatcher