Friday, September 19, 2014
World Bank Pays $500 Million to Ukraine Central Bank Despite Warnings of World Bank Board and IMF Staff
Yves here. We are pleased to introduce Naked Capitalism readers to John Helmer, a Moscow-based analyst and journalist who, in the words of Mark Ames, “writes about the murky convoluted world of the extraction industry, its politics, and its oligarchs.” Given that the extraction industry is increasingly driving geopolitics, his beat overlaps with our “follow the big money” orientation. For instance, Helmer did original reporting on the IMF-Ukraine relationship which provided crucial to a recent Michael Hudson post on Ukraine that was first published at NC. Today he continues his look at how the US is funneling money into Ukraine, this time via a sus World Bank loan.
Does New Zealand’s Intelligence Service spy indiscriminately on New Zealanders? High-profile, high-stakes claims and counterclaims, just ahead of the NZ elections.
You cannot make stuff like this up. New Jersey, in its attempt to diffuse a pension fund scandal that implicates Chris Christie (it roused him to respond in public), looks to have committed the classic crisis management blunder of a cover-up worse than the original crime.
Yves here. While the impetus for Steve Keen’s post is the ECB’s latest pretense that it can and is doing something to combat deflation, he provides an excellent and short debunking of two widespread misconceptions about money and banking. The first myth is the money multiplier and the second is that reserves are the basis for bank lending.
Today’s Water Cooler: Elite factions getting cold feet on Obama’s ISIS war, Ferguson and Amnesty International (and debate?), Steven Salaita, and robot bartenders.
Economists occasionally point out that societies generally move to the right during periods of sustained low growth and economic stress. Yet left-leaning advocates of low or even no growth policies rarely acknowledge the conflict between their antipathy towards growth and the sort of social values they like to see prevail. While some “the end of growth is nigh” types are simply expressing doubt that 20th century rates of increase can be attained in an era of resource scarcity, others see a low-growth future as attractive, even virtuous, with smaller, more autonomous, more cohesive communities.
Home sales have been declining since last fall and in some cases steeply, with memories of bidding wars early last year triggering wistful sighs. The sales decline continued into the summer, and indications are that they’re dragging into September as well. But the median sale price continued to rise, if at a slower rate, and in many areas has moved out of reach for the median-income household.
The IEA dropped a little bombshell yesterday by ‘fessing up that the economic prospects for Europe and China are so crappy that the outlook for oil prices is less than robust, even with the US bristling to go after its new favorite Middle Eastern nemesis, ISIS.
All in the Family: How the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Other Billionaires Are Undermining America
Yves here. Even though monied dynasties have long had outsized influence in the US, Steve Fraser contends that billionaires and their scions like the Koch brothers, the Walton heirs, and Sheldon Adelson wield far more power than their predecessors and are in the process of remaking America.
War news in clickbait headlines, social capital in Ferguson, the Apple Watch, and wholesale trade stats. And I remember where I was on 9/11.
The Fed routinely makes decisions and pursues policies which result in it achieving the opposite of its stated goals and forecasted outcomes.