Yves here. I’ve refrained from saying much about the announcement of the plan to establish a $100 billion development bank by the BRICs nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) because the hype is ahead of the reality. Yes, it is true that the US has been abusing its role as steward of the reserve currency. QE has been a huge bone of contention in all emerging markets, since hot money has flooded in, while the Fed has, in an insult to the collective intelligence of the leaders of these countries, tried claiming that it has nothing to do with the influx. And they are bracing themselves for the tidal retreat when the Fed starts tightening. The US’ efforts to use sanctions to punish Russia have also focused the minds of these countries.
However, the formation of a development banks falls vastly short of the infrastructure needed for any country’s currency (or a basket of currencies) to displace the dollar.
When Lambert sent me the link to a New Republic article, “The Onion Has Become America’s Finest Marxist News Source,” I first assumed that TNR was engaging in a bit of humorous flattery, as in taking a page from The Onion’s own book in highlighting its success. But on further inspection, I could be wrong. Readers, please help!
Yves here. I must admit to being mystified and intrigued by Eve Online, which I have to confess I’d never heard of before today. First of course is the large number of people who find it appealing to spend significant amounts of leisure time in a realm designed to be ruthless and savage. Don’t they get enough of that at their day jobs? It used to be the most common narrative of entertainment was the hero’s journey. We now see rising popularity of amusements that celebrate ruthlessness and a breakdown or lack of social norms (such as the Game of Thrones)
The second curiosity is that 500,000 people have spent real money in meaningful amounts and invested time in a pseudo-economy where the funds are stranded. And now to add insult to injury, some have taken really big losses.
Naked Capitalism notes that Carbon Neutral Investments, subject of a consumer warning by the UK’s FCA, has deals with Formula 1 teams McLaren and Sauber, Lord Heseltine’s publishing firm Haymarket, Newcastle United Football Club, and a host of PR and events companies, and wonders what the hell is going on.