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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