Visar inlägg från november, 2020

Martin Wolf selects his must-read titles for the second half of 2020

“The whole idea behind [flying boats] was passenger comfort Stratocruiser

Hagwall, Svegfors och Mats Johansson

Svenska Dagbladets ledarsida var under Hagwalls chefsperiod starkt engagerad för svenskt EU-medlemskap, men intog en kritisk hållning gentemot EMU.projektet.  Detta ledde till en växande kritik gentemot Hagwall och chefredaktören Mats Svegfors från den moderata partiledningens sida.  Svegfors lämnade tidningen i februari 2000 och Hagwall i september samma år. ( Wikipedia ) Omsvängningsledaren -  Mats Johanssons första dag som politisk chefredaktör  SvD-ledare 2000-02-16

In his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes talked of the euthanasia of the rentier

where investors relying on interest income would struggle to survive as rates fall.  In today’s world of low and negative interest rates we are witnessing both the euthanasia of the rentier and of the bond vigilante. This accumulation of debt appears to have a diminishing ability to generate growth.  This is worrying because the complementary monetary policy toolbox is close to bare.  John Plender FT 28 November 2020

No weather event affects the power system more than heatwaves. The biggest impact on electricity demand, by far, is from air conditioners.

In Adelaide and Melbourne, demand could double in a heatwave due to air conditioning, Mr Skinner said. "At about 7:00pm or 8:00pm on a typical Victorian weekday, the demand would be about 5,000 megawatts; on an absolute extreme stinker of a day, maybe 43 degrees or something, it would be around 9,500 megawatts. In 2050, as much energy will be used for world air conditioning as the whole of China uses today to produce all its electricity. 2050 kommer lika mycket energi att användas till världens luftkonditionering som hela Kina använder i dag för att producera all sin elektricitet Sydney records hottest November night on record

Extremt låga räntor leder ofta till stigande priser på aktier, fastigheter och andra tillgångar

  Här kan man se hotet att Riksbanken medverkar till blåsa upp finansiella bubblor som förr eller senare spricker, med påföljd att det kan uppstå finanskriser. Johan Schück 26 november 2020

I Stockholm, Göteborg och Malmö har 40-talister tjänat mellan 3 och 6 Mkr på att bo i småhus

Inflationen var hög under 70- och 80-talen så lånen krympte snabbt, samtidigt som villapriserna steg. Det stora lyftet var att ränteavdragen var mycket gynnsamma, ekonomerna döpte effekten till att ”villaägare fick betalt för att bo”. Ett nytt lyft kom efter 90-talskrisen då kreditmarknaden avreglerades, amorteringsfria lån introducerades och storstadsregionerna växte snabbt vilket ledda till ökande villapriser. Dessutom ombildades cirka 200.000 hyresrätter till bostadsrätter med förmånliga villkor. Här kunde många hushåll lägga grunden till en bostadskarriär. DI 21 november 2020

The Dollar Is Weak. Investors Bet It Will Slide Even More.

The U.S. dollar hit its lowest levels against a basket of currencies in more than two years this week. The consensus view of a falling dollar is based on a big assumption:  Covid-19 will be more or less conquered in the months ahead. Vaccines will allow economies around the world to return to normal within the next year, encouraging investors to step back from the relative safety of U.S. assets and invest in stocks, bonds and currencies outside the U.S.

The Great Reset

What Do We Do with All That Debt? But that still doesn’t answer the question that is on our minds: What happens when we come to the place where we have to deal with all that debt? Fortunately, my favorite central banker, Canadian Bill White who was the BIS chief economist, did a brilliant interview with my friend Mark Dittli in Switzerland this week which gives us some answers. … my point is: Central banks create the instabilities, then they have to save the system during the crisis, and by that they create even more instabilities. They keep shooting themselves in the foot. Bill White world’s central banks were making a mistake with their single-minded focus on monetary policy, Mauldin

More remarkable still was the lack of any kind of programme to close the yawning gap between government revenue and spending

After the 2010 crisis, George Osborne came up with the programme to achieve a surplus within six years. He never achieved it, and kept pushing the date back, but at least there was an intention to balance the books.  Sunak foresees borrowing levelling off at £100 billion a year after 2023/24.  No UK government has balanced the books since 2003; now, we’re not even going to try.

George Soros discusses his theory of reflexivity and how the economics discipline has gone astray

Cramer calls this stock market environment ‘the most speculative’ he’s ever seen

Why financial policymakers are still fighting the last war

Central bankers and finance ministers are still faced with a triple threat of secular stagnation, liquidity trap and a growth model centred on leverage.   Stubbornly low interest rates have failed to generate significant aggregate demand. That suggests the world has been stuck in a prolonged liquidity trap — where companies and consumers hold cash rather than spend. Any economist will tell you one remedy could address all three battles: fiscal policy.  Megan Greene FT 23 november 2020 The writer is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School Jag tycker det är skriande uppenbart att räntan världen över är för låg och att en större del av stimulanserna borde ske via finanspolitiken. Rolf Englund blog 5 december 2009

Håkan Hagwall är inte längre bland oss. Det är verkligen ledsamt.

  Håkan Hagwall var talskrivare  åt den dåvarande moderatledaren Gösta Bohman innan han började på SvD:s ledarredaktion 1975, där han var chef 1991-2000. Under den perioden drev ledarsidan på för att Sverige skulle gå med i EU, men var mer kritisk mot europrojektet EMU, vilket ledde till kritik från Moderaterna. SvD 23 november 2020 med bra bild på honom.

China’s debt market roiled after high-profile state-owned groups miss payments

The recent missed payments have shattered the widely held belief among Chinese bond investors that state-backed companies enjoyed an implicit guarantee from the local government, regardless of their financial health. FT 23 November 2020

The U.S. government stands to lose more than $400 billion from the federal student loans

After decades of no-questions-asked lending, the government is realizing that it has a pile of toxic debt on its books. By comparison, private lenders lost $535 billion on subprime-mortgages during the 2008 financial crisis, The effect this time is different.  The government, unlike private lenders, can borrow trillions of dollars at low rates to absorb the losses, without causing a panic. But taxpayers will end up paying a price because Congress will have to raise taxes, cut services or increase the deficit to cover the losses. WSJ 21 November 2020 The Financial Crisis: 10 Years Later

FED alphabetti spagetti

  The US Treasury has decided not to extend several emergency lending facilities set up by the Federal Reserve at the start of the coronavirus pandemic FT 20 November 2020 Mnuchin’s Fed move is like stripping Titanic of its lifeboats, economist says

What the South Sea Company can teach us

Financial bubbles are a perennially fascinating phenomenon. Some modern economists, notably of the Chicago variety, deny their very existence, arguing that investors are rational and markets are efficient in the sense that prices accurately reflect all known, relevant information.  Others offer refined versions of the irrationality thesis advanced by Charles Mackay in 1841 in his celebrated book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. John Plender FT 4  November  2020

Dow could hit the 40,000-point level next year, analyst says

Why inflation could be on the way back

A book just out is crying wolf insistently. Notably, it states that, as a result of today’s fiscal and monetary largesse, “as in the aftermath of many wars, there will be a surge in inflation, quite likely more than 5 per cent, or even on the order of 10 per cent in 2021”.  That would change everything. The prediction comes from The Great Demographic Reversal by Charles Goodhart, a respected academic, and Manoj Pradhan, formerly at Morgan Stanley Martin Wolf 17 November 2020 Ten ways coronavirus crisis will shape world in long term Intervention by the fiscal and monetary authorities has been unprecedented in peacetime, especially in countries with internationally accepted currencies.   Some countries have shown effective responses to the crisis, while others have not. Whether a country is democratic or not has not determined this difference. Part of what does is whether the go

The Fed is currently buying Treasury securities at a pace of $80bn a month

Democracies that failed the Covid test will struggle on climate change

The cumulative Covid-19 death rate per million of the population is nearly 740 in the US, and 760 in the UK,  compared with 3 in China and 15 in Japan, according to Johns Hopkins University. Infectious diseases in their initial stages tend to grow at exponential rates. For example, if they double every three days, they will increase 1,000-fold within a month, unless slowed down by social distancing or herd immunity.  But human beings struggle to grasp that idea, and instead tend to assume that the number of cases will grow by the same absolute number each day, leading them to underestimate the danger. The effects of climate change also increase exponentially, albeit over a much longer period than a pandemic. Time lags between cause and effect are very lengthy, making interpretation obscure to the public.  Externalities are unavoidable, and apply across international borders, making them even harder to address. Human biases leave us systematically underprepared to address serious but re

Socialists at the Gate /Timbro och dess föregångare/

Swedish Business and the Defense of Free Enterprise, 1940–1985  Rikard Westerberg  Dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., in Business Administration. Stockholm School of Economics, 2020 Just as Eskilsson had been absolutely essential for creating a new infrastructure for the opinion formation of the business community in the late 1970s, he was also the principal administrator of the campaigns against the wage-earner funds.  He was, moreover, surrounded both at the higher and lower lever in the SAF hierarchy by like-minded individuals with a strong ideological commitment to free market ideas, such as Curt Nicolin, Olof Ljunggren, Carl-Johan Westholm, Danne Nordling and Rolf Englund.  s 290 TV om Hayek, Sture Eskilsson och Rolf Englund m fl Mont Pelerin 1981 Lars Tobisson, Lönta

We just won’t get there in time to prevent ruinous climate change

I drew the best life available: a white son of university graduates living in northern Europe, the most tranquil region in the most prosperous era in history.  My children, by contrast, now spend their days masked in a school that’s occasionally guarded by police officers because Paris is a terrorist target.  This is just a warm-up for their adulthood, when the world’s population will peak at 10 billion, while rising sea waters, heat and hurricanes make many of today’s biggest cities unliveable. We will eventually get to net-zero emissions. Solar and wind energy, as well as storage batteries, keep getting cheaper.  We just won’t get there in time to prevent ruinous climate change. Simon Kuper FT 12 November 2020 Klimatkrisen och vårt framtida liv.

Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisi

VICE on HBO looks at factors that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the efforts made by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner, and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke to save the United States from an economic collapse.  The feature-length documentary explores the challenges these men faced, as well as the consequences of their decisions. The Council on Foreign Relations

“You have a situation now where there are many more elites fighting for the same position, and some portion of them will convert to counter-elites,”

 Peter Turchin The fundamental problems, he says, are a dark triad of social maladies: a bloated elite class, with too few elite jobs to go around; declining living standards among the general population; and a government that can’t cover its financial positions.  The problems begin when money and Harvard degrees become like royal titles in Saudi Arabia. If lots of people have them, but only some have real power, the ones who don’t have power eventually turn on the ones who do. The Atlantic December 2020

TV om Hayek, Sture Eskilsson och Rolf Englund m fl Mont Pelerin 1981

 Jag skymtar där, liksom bl a Peter Stein, Henrik Andersson och Danne Nordling. Själv är jag vid 44, typ.


Since it adopted a zero-rate policy two decades ago, Japan’s central bank has gone on to snap up over 40% of the country’s government bond market, blowing its balance sheet out to more than 138% of gross domestic product. The BOJ’s counterparts are determined to prevent any perception that they become little more than financing agencies for fiscal authorities. Bloomberg 12 November 2020 How the Covid Crisis Calls for a Makeover at the Fed and ECB Stephanie Flanders Bloomberg  10 november 2020

New York’s hotel crisis puts pressure on $4bn mortgage bond sector

 FT 12 November 2020

Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?

Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives. So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilisations. He was right in some respects: civilisations are often responsible for their own decline. However, their self-destruction is usually assisted.   The Roman Empire, for example,  BBC 19 February 2019

The intriguing maps that reveal alternate historie

Such a scenario, exploring what if the United States had lost the American Revolution.  Or, as this textbook from an alternate 1970s might put it, if the Rebellion had been crushed by the British Empire. Another amateur map enthusiast online has explored the “1,000 Week Reich,” which they describe as a “realistic” Nazi victory scenario : “In basic terms, Germany signs an armistice with Britain in early 1941, wins the war against the USSR at great cost, and continues having to fight a guerrilla insurgency in Eastern Europe for years as Britain and America build a close alliance in opposition to them.  BBC 9 November 2020 Virtual History: Alternatives And Counterfactuals by Niall Ferguson

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, Niall Ferguson

Drawing from multiple disciplines, including history, economics, public health, and network science, Doom is a global postmortem for a plague year.  In books going back nearly twenty years, including Colossus, The Great Degeneration, and The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson has studied the pathologies that afflict modern America, from imperial hubris to bureaucratic sclerosis and online schism.  Doom is the lesson of history that this country--indeed the West as a whole--urgently needs to learn--if we want to avoid the doom of irreversible decline. Amazon

I ”F – en färd” fortsätter Katarina Frostenson försvarstalet som inleddes med förra årets ”K”. 

Victor Malm läser den vanhedrade poetens försök att försvara maken Jean-Claude Arnault. Andra delar består precis som i ”K” av försök att sno tillbaka verklighetsbeskrivningen från fienden, de som utdelat straffen: medierna, kulturjournalisterna (”stundom värre hyenor än kriminalreportrarna”), folkdomstolen, den svekfulla Svenska Akademien, Sara Danius, metoorörelsen, konspirationen som vill göra revolution, uppfostra och omskapa människan, försänka den stora konsten i glömskans grav. Expressen 8 november 2020 Jag anser det vara justitiemord att döma Jean-Claude Arnault till fängelse (tre

How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart?

Meet the scholars who study civilizational collapse. Tainter seemed calm. He walked me through the arguments of the book that made his reputation, “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” which has for years been the seminal text in the study of societal collapse, an academic subdiscipline that arguably was born with its publication in 1988.  “Civilizations are fragile, impermanent things,” Tainter writes. Nearly every one that has ever existed has also ceased to exist, yet “understanding disintegration has remained a distinctly minor concern in the social sciences.”   Princeton has a research program in Global Systemic Risk, Cambridge a Center for the Study of Existential Risk. For nearly as long as human beings have gathered in sufficient numbers to form cities and states — about 6,000 years, a flash in the 300,000-odd-year history of the species — we have been coming up with theories to explain the downfall of those polities.  Eric H.

Stockholms blodbad - Då var släkten Bildt dansk adel.

Nathan Shachar DN 8 november 2020 Hösten 1515 hade Sverige, Danmark och Norge varit ett rike i över hundra år.  Drottning Margarethes unionstanke var klok men resultatet en besvikelse.  Förbundet blev snart en källa till konflikt, intriger och våld.  Hon var dotter till Valdemar Atterdag, han som brandskattade Visby.

Klimatkrisen och vårt framtida liv. Erika Bjerström och Jonathan Jeppsson

Erika Bjerström ("Klimatkrisens Sverige") och Jonathan Jeppsson ("Åtta steg mot avgrunden") pratar om klimatkrisens förödande effekter under ledning av Johan Åsard. Erika Bjerström Klimatkrisens Sverige : så förändras vårt land från norr till söder Faktum är att uppvärmningen går dubbelt så snabbt här jämfört med det globala genomsnittet eftersom vi är ett arktiskt land. Jonathan Jeppsson Åtta steg mot avgrunden : vårt framtida liv på planeten I åtta delar, en för varje årtionde, beskriver han med hjälp av en stor mängd vetenskapliga rapporter och intervjuer med forskare vad som kommer att hända med jorden och dess invånare under detta århundrade. Det är kört. Så kan man h

Can the West Still Lead?

For decades, the U.S. and Europe showed the world that freedom and prosperity went hand in hand.  Now Western democracies are struggling against a new wave of internal and external challenges. WSJ 6 November 2020

Norra Djurgårdsstaden

  Norra Djurgårdsstaden är ett av Europas mest omfattande stadsutvecklingsområden.

Caveat Emptor

Jag hade planer, numera skrinlagda, på att skriva en bok till. Jag visste vad den skulle heta och hur omslaget skulle se ut. Det fick i stället bli en längre, med mitt mått mätt, artikel Guldet, euron och budgetunderskottet Läs den här

For all the Bank’s supposed independence, it is in fact just an arm of the state

There is a world of a difference, the Bank has always insisted, between primary financing of government deficits, where the central bank simply prints the money the government needs to finance itself, and so-called QE, where it buys up the debt in secondary markets after it has first been bought by investors.  If you think the distinction is academic, you’d be right. In truth, the two explanations – the official one and the never-to-be-admitted one – are just two sides of the same coin. If demand is depressed because the private sector isn’t borrowing to spend, the public sector must borrow to support that demand instead.  And if in so doing it ends up borrowing from itself, then at least it can’t go bankrupt. Do not believe, however, that all this monetary financing is somehow costless. It won’t be this year, or next, but the stars seem ever more well aligned for an eventual upsurge in inflation. Jeremy Warner Telegraph 6 November 2020

The coming decades will determine whether the threat of damaging and irreversible change is averted, or not.

As a result of rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global average temperatures are already about 1C above pre-industrial levels.  On present trends, this could reach around 1.5C in a decade /2030/ and 2C half a decade later /2035/.  At that point, warn climate scientists, dangerous and irreversible tipping points in the climate are likely to be passed. As the IMF notes: “Sizeable and rapid reductions in carbon emissions are needed for this goal to be met; specifically, net carbon emissions need to decline to zero by mid-century /2050/. Martin Wolf FT 3 November 2020