2:00PM Water Cooler 9/3/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

2016

The Voters

“Trump is going directly after those Republican voters who seek to protect what some scholars call ‘compositional amenities’ – the comfort of a common religion and language, mutually shared traditions, and the minimization of cultural conflict” [Op-Ed, New York Times]. “Compositional amenities…”

 

Policy

“Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on Wednesday that the government should respect the beliefs of the Kentucky county clerk who has denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that society needs to accommodate public officials who object to carrying out duties they say violate their religious beliefs” [New York Times]. Funny how those beliefs never include, say, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

The Trail

“[Brian Pagliano,] a former State Department employee who helped Hillary Rodham Clinton set up her private email server said he will assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the House committee on Benghazi” [HuffPo]. Hmm.

“Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump will sign a pledge Thursday to support the GOP nominee in next year’s general election, effectively ruling out a third-party or independent run, according to two Republicans familiar with the move” [WaPo]. Roger Stone, who isn’t working for Trump now, really: “The truth is, Trump got what he wants, he’s given up nothing and he’s a strong front-runner for the Republican nomination. I expect that he will sign the pledge today” [The Hill].

“What Hillary’s sinking poll numbers really mean, in one chart” [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. Sargent argues that Clinton’s popularity, historically, drops when she changes from being a public figure to being a candidate, which is what it’s doing now. So, move along, people, move along, there’s no story here. On the other hand, if “America is in play,” as Nooners puts it, then the usual drop could be happening, but for reasons that are not usual. Time will tell.

Pennsylvania’s regular Democrats hate Joe Sestak (that’s a plus, in my book) and so they are preparing a fraticidal primary to take him down. [Wall Street Journal, “Vigorous Senate Race Unfolds in Keystone State”].

“John Kasich, killing time between media interviews on the campaign trail Wednesday, threw a bad game of darts. But once he focused, he threw two bull’s-eyes in a row” [Wall Street Journal, “For Kasich, New Hampshire Presence Is Paying Off”]. Anecdote: When I was down in DC recently, I had a conversation about politics with two Nigerians in a Chinese restaurant. They had watched the Republican debates, taken them seriously, and wanted to know about Kasich. Tell me it’s not a great country!

Stats Watch

Chain Store Sales, August 2015: “August will be a 4th straight gain for core retail sales” [Bloomberg]. More impressive since late Labor Day pulls August sales into September.

Challenger Job-Cut Report, August 2015: “Moderate in August and far lower than July which was skewed higher by a massive Army cutback” [Bloomberg]. “August layoffs were led by the retail sector reflecting the bankruptcy of the A&P supermarket chain.”

International Trade, July 2015: “narrowed nearly as expected” [Bloomberg]. “[W]ill lift early third-quarter GDP estimates.”

Jobless Claims, week of August 29: “Initial jobless claims moved up but are still in their range and historically at rock bottom levels” [Bloomberg]. But: “Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Again Degrades Marginally” [Econintersect]. 

Gallup US Payroll to Population, August 2015: “[E]ven with the rate measured in August 2012, the highest Gallup has measured for any August since tracking began in 2010”  [Bloomberg].

PMI Services Index, August 2015: “showing no significant effect” from global turbulence [Bloomberg]. “New orders have been strong in this report and hiring has been described as robust, a reminder that the domestic economy, apart from global troubles, remains solid.”

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of August 30, 2015: “Uncertainty over the economic impact of market turbulence is nearly as strong as the turbulence itself” [Bloomberg].

ISM Non-Mfg Index, August 2015: “What global turbulence? The ISM non-manufacturing index held on to the great bulk of its historic July surge” [Bloomberg]. And: “There are two sub-indexes in the NMI which have good correlations to the economy – the Business Activity Index and the New Orders Index – both have good track records in spotting an incipient recession – both remaining in territories associated with expansion” [Econintersect].

“This month’s employment proxies are mixed and lightly skewed lower with 7 negative vs. 6 positive” [Across the Curve].

“Reality Check: U.S. Subprime Credit Grows but From a Low Base” [Market News]. ” Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist at Equifax, said the rise in different types of lending to subprime borrowers should be watched but is not an immediate cause for concern because the increases are from the very low levels that resulted from a sharp contraction of credit availability since the last recession.”

Police State

“Shooting deaths of officers are actually down 13 percent compared with the same January-to-September period in 2014. There were 30 shootings last year and 26 this year” [Associated Press].

“California Agrees To Restrict Use of Long-Term Solitary Confinement” [Shadowproof]. Several years after a hunger strike by thousands of prisoners. 

“Problem: Male Operators Use Surveillance Cameras For Ogling Women; Mayor’s Solution: Employ Only Female Operators” [Tech Dirt]. In Chile.

Dear Old Blighty

When I wrote “If you want to see an example of an entire press corps and most of the political class clutching their pearls and heading for the fainting couch, search on “Corbyn” in Google News,” readers, you may have thought I was exaggerating. If anything, I was too mild [@jpublik].

Gaia

Obama on climate: “On this issue, of all issues, there is such a thing as being too late. That moment is almost upon us” [Salon].

“The key to meaningful climate action is not to haphazardly reject oil projects in the vain hope that people elsewhere will decline to produce oil, too. It is to reduce demand for fossil fuels” [WaPo]. So drill, baby, drill?

“Warm Arctic Brews Severe Winters From U.S. to Asia, Study Says” [Bloomberg]. Oh well. At least the winters improve our soil.

“What Happened to a Govt Scientist Whose Findings Stood in the Way of Big Oil’s Plans for Arctic Drilling” [Alternet].

“The paradox of soil” [The Economist, “Land, the centre of the pre-industrial economy, has returned as a constraint on growth”]. So maybe this permaculture stuff isn’t so nutty after all?

“How Giving Up Refined Sugar Changed My Brain” [Fast Company].

Our Famously Free Press

“[I]f we start with huge profits and ‘scale’ not being the goal in the first place, the conversation about local news starts to take an optimistic turn” [Medium]. For example: “Instead of having an audience furious about paywalls, popup ads and subscription rate increases, Berkeleyside is getting 20 percent of its revenue from readers who are voluntarily donating money because they appreciate the site’s journalism that much. And Berkeleyside, mind you, is a for-profit news site.”

“Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer calls beauty makeover ads with her photo ‘hurtful,’ ‘wrong’” [Arizona Republic].

Corruption

“And Now I Have to Say Something About Kim Davis” [The Stranger]. All an audition for the Christianist medicine show circuit. Ka-ching.

Rahmn chased off the stage by school closing protesters at a budget hearing [Chicago Reader]. Then again, the hearing was going to be about how Rahm plans to “jack up up property taxes by about $500 million to deal with the debt and obligations he’d ignored in his first four years in office,” so maybe the protesters did him a favor. 

“Former Silk Road Task Force member pleads guilty to stealing “$820,000 worth of digital currency” while a USSS agent” [@chrisgeidner]. Prosecution futures. For everybody!

Class Warfare

“Here are 11 mindsets of the wealthy you could adopt today” [Business Insider]. “Hey, if you think really hard, maybe we can stop this rain!” –Wavy Gravy, Woodstock

“In Hewlett-Packard’s latest round of layoffs, some employees have been given a layoff ultimatum: Take a new job at another company where HP has a contract-work agreement, or be fired with no layoff package severance” [Business Insider]. Stay classy, HP!

“Transportation costs and commute times have become an important factor in how income inequality plays out around the Puget Sound region, as those priced out of living close to job centers in Seattle and the Eastside pay, instead, with their time” [Seattle Times].

News of the Wired

Design experts debate new Google logo [Think Progress]. And now that they’re done tinkering, maybe they can make search work again.

“NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding” [The Onion]. If NASA were seeking to fund a program for, say, personal fry cooks to come to your door, Silicon Valley would toss ’em a squillion, no questions asked.

“The mysterious origins of punctuation” [BBC]. Silly Beeb. Punctuation was invented by Tim Berners-Lee when he was at CERN.

“Free & Interactive Online Introduction to LaTeX” [Overleaf]. With online previewer!

“UK sperm bank has just nine registered donors, boss reveals” [Guardian].

“NFL plans to appeal judge’s decision to lift Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ suspension” [Los Angeles Times].

“Lawmakers deny park ranger’s ‘making out’ report” [KARE]. Republican get to have the thrill of the forbidden so much more than Democrats, precisely because so many more thrilling things are forbidden to them ….

“French prosecutors have said they believe ‘with certainty’ that a wing part found on Reunion Island in July came from missing flight MH370.” [BBC].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:

pines

Abies procrera “Glauca Prostrata” Prostrate Noble fir, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Such attention to color and texture…

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. This is turning into a tough month, and I need to keep my server up!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

51 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    Proof that serving on the FOMC causes irreversible brain damage:

    Donald Kohn, who served at the Fed for 40 years and ended up as its vice chairman, said two things would make him hesitate to hike rates if he were voting at the September meeting: very low inflation and low market expectations of a September move due to recent market volatility.

    Kohn said he would want the Fed statement after its September meeting to stress that rates will rise before the end of the year. “That will help build in the expectation of higher rates later this year and put that in the markets, so when I finally did move it wouldn’t be such a surprise,” he said.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/panel-of-ex-fed-officials-say-no-rate-hike-will-come-at-september-meeting-2015-09-03

    Fed to economy: ‘Surprise, you’re dead!’

    1. tegnost

      Not surprisingly I don’t understand this, aren’t the data lambert has provided sort of good, certainly not bad? As I understand it the data is “massaged” for better optics but still why the hand wringing, is it really just to give more free money away before xmas?

      1. craazyboy

        Other than the current low inflation number – if you believe we have low medical and education inflation – our current numbers would normally have the Fed at around 4%.

        I think the PCE is about somewhere between 1.3 – 1.8 average over the past year. The Fed seems to be a stickler for 2% – otherwise dire things may happen in mysterious ways.

        Ok, so make Fed rates 3.5%.

        In reality, economists just pulled the 2% number for “optimal” inflation outta der butts 80 or a hundred years ago. No more scientific or precise than that.

        It has everything to do with Wall Street wanting cheap money for leverage in the casino.

      1. Synoia

        Oh Bullshit

        The lithium ion batteries in the cargo hold start to react, flooding the plane with noxious gases

        You get a FIRE – complete with alarms, and oxygen masks for the flight crew, and an instant report to ATC. There is no such thing as a slow metal-oxygen fire. The are very hot.

        Complete and utter bullshit.

        As the plane is blind to the world, the plane flies in a very large radius left turn, the exponential spiral path first proposed in March 2014.

        That is NOT how autopilots work. The perform great circle or way point to way point paths.

        Oh right

        co-pilot, Fariq, turns the plane back to the west and begins a descent with the intent of landing

        Complete with NO notification to ATC or airline flight control about the deviation from flight path?

        If Fariq believed he needed to land because of fire he would ask ATC for the nearest available airport, and also state he had a fire on board to prepare the airprot for the emergency landing.

        Flight crew do not remain silent in emergencies.

        I was on an MD 11 from Phoenix to Dallas and we had a pressurization failure. When we landed there were all those pretty yellow vehicles with beautiful flashing lights each side of the runway.

        1. low_integer

          The oxygen that initially triggers a Li-ion fire is a result of the cathode breaking down inside the battery, the last stage of thermal runaway in a Li-ion battery. You are assuming that there is an unlimited supply of oxygen to fuel the fire, which would not be the case if the batteries were wrapped in packaging and/or underneath other luggage/cargo. Also, the narrative accounts for the lack of notification to the ATC. I do concede that I know next to nothing about the autopilot behaviour of Boeing planes, so you may be right on this point.

          This is certainly the most plausible account of what may have happened that I have come across.

  2. craazyboy

    “That will help build in the expectation of higher rates later this year and put that in the markets, so when I finally did move it wouldn’t be such a surprise,” he said.

    Kohn has Alzheimer’s. The Fed did that last year, and sorta did that the year before last. Jellen said 1, maybe two Fed meetin’s last December. Has Kohn forgotten the Taper Tantrum too?

    Does Kohn know that the Fed actually asks Wall Street, via the NYFed, what Wall Street thinks their cost of money should be???? Seriously. Could one expect any answer besides zero, now that Wall Street knows zero is one of the choices????

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Life was vastly different before the invention of the number zero.

      Now, zero will always be with us.

      1. craazyman

        There was nothing before there was zero.

        Even a 10-bagger was a 1-bagger.

        it was very hard to get rich quick.

        1. craazyman

          the plant pics are getting a little better

          somebody is making progress!

          really the best thing is to look at still life paintings by masters and see how they organized their compositions and colors. it’s pretty fkking complicated but it rubs off slowly. It”s like working out. you don’t go into the gym and lift weights for 30 minutes and get pumped up like Hans and Frans. You have to work at it. You have to pump the iron and eventually the girly man pictures turn into manly man pictures. There will still be lots of girlyman pictures but they’ll have facial hair and a deep voice. hahahahaha Nobody except somebody like Rembrandt is a manly man all the time. Most photographers take about 12 good pictures a year, and they take thousands per year and they take them every day! It makes you wonder why they even do it at all. It’s as bad as trying for a 10 bagger. That’s for sure. Why is it so hard to take a good picture? It’s really really hard. I think maybe I”’ve taken 3 or 4 but I’m only a hobbyist. Most are horrible. i admit that readily. But I don’t care, since I can pay the rent. That’s really the bottom line.

        2. Jim Haygood

          In search of a ten-bagger on the streets of Harlem:

          Mr. Morgan, who sleeps on 125th Street, talked about plans to make some money, a scheme that involved distribution of K2. He had recently discovered he could buy a pack of the drug for $5, roll seven joints, and sell each for a dollar to the other homeless people there. The profit was $2 per bag.

          “And if you invest some money, $50, imagine how much more you could get,” he said. “Imagine what you could do with that.”

          Mr. Morgan started to trail off again. He had taken the drug and it was starting to kick in.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/nyregion/k2-a-potent-drug-casts-a-shadow-over-an-east-harlem-block.html

          Well, he has a rich inner life … off to Xanadu!

  3. Brindle

    re: Hillary / WaPo / Greg Sargent

    Perhaps Clinton’s disapproval numbers rising when she runs for office is a result of voters seeing she stands for little other than identity politics and destabilizing other countries militarily (Libya, Syria, Iraq etc.). Sargent’s tone has a ‘whistling past the graveyard’ quality to it.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s not just her stances but her lack of accomplishments. The narrative is “Hillary is a foreign policy expert and knows how to get things done plus she’ll bring women out to vote,” but there is no there there. Ultimately, her foreign policy accomplishments matched the White House. She pretty much gave up Healthcare from 95 until Obama and even Edwards started climbing. She didn’t rock the vote. She used her celebrity to win a safe seat. Hillary has been omnipresent in American political life, but she’s nothing a but a climber at the same time.

  4. DJG

    Punctuation: The most important factor was that people read aloud. This may seem odd to us, now that we almost always read to ourselves and the ability to read aloud has declined (other than reading children’s books to children). Reading aloud means scanning a document in a way that differs from how we now read silently. Yet St. Ambrose was considered something of a phenom in 300 or so CE because he could read a text well and silently. Just one of the reasons he became bishop of Milan (before he was ordained a priest, if I recall correctly).

  5. Clive

    What the right wing press here in Blighty fails to appreciate is, in such blatant misrepresentation of Corbyn, it ends up making itself look ridiculous rather than making Corbyn look ridiculous.

    For those who are willing to give Corbyn a try because they are fed up with the “nothing can be done” neoliberal consensus which has domainated U.K. politics for at least a generation, it is Our Famously Free Press which seems a relic, out-of-touch and living in some bizarre-o throwback land from yesteryear — not Corbyn.

    Blimey, the political classes must be really afraid of how much a Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party will — as a minimum — shift the Overton window just by being there and asking awkward questions to be carrying on like this.

    In the well-known parable, the Emporer knew he had no clothes as he was testing how far his flunky courtiers would go to sustain a pretence. For the British press, they don’t realise that it’s a great swathe of the population which knows the right wing (and even some Vichy left wing) media has no clothes and is seeing how ridiculous a spectacle it can make of itself until someone takes it to one side for a quiet chat over a cuppa.

    1. Synoia

      Expecting the Daily Mail to be anything but opposed to any new Labor is delusional. If Corbin were a pork sandwich, the Mail would accuse him of being anti-Semitic.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I can’t wait until the Jay walking video is released and Corbyn is accused of being in favor of traffic jams.

    2. low_integer

      The right wing press aka murdoch owned media has also been looking pretty ridiculous in Australia lately too, supporting the crazy Abbott govt. from one disaster to the next and wholly misrepresenting anyone with sane perspectives.

      With regards to murdoch, there has recently been a large police investigation into the high school he attended, Geelong Grammar, after it was revealed that they have been systematically covering up sexual abuse by teachers, chaplains, and even students, on the more vulnerable students. The investigation is covering the last 50 years I think.

      I cannot decide which group of students I think rupert would have been in, however it has given me some insight into what has made him the (cough) man he is.

  6. optimader

    lambert..
    Very good indie documentary from your neck of the woods..

    http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/downeast
    In Downeast, filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have the thankless task of turning the drabness of town-hall meetings, itemized bills read aloud, and florescent office lighting into a cogent documentary about the perverse impossibility of the American dream. The film is a look into the small-town politics of a fishing village in Maine as Antonio Bussone, an Italian immigrant, tries to resurrect a recently shutdown sardine canning factory into a lobster business that would bring back hundreds of jobs to the region. It’s also an exposé of how the financial structures that make businesses possible in America seem to conspire against genuine good will and non-self-serving ambition, annihilating them not in a single blow, but in a series of Kafkaesque bureaucratic labyrinths.

  7. optimader

    The Secret Story Of How Bubonic Plague Nearly Broke Out In New York City

    search the title, interesting bit of history

  8. jgordon

    Probably the best know computer security expert in the world has recently made some comments about the Hillary email scandal, saying that Clinton is certainly aware that her private email server exposed sensitive national security material. He also stated that almost any government employee would be fire and prosecuted for this kind of activity (an area of the law that he has special familiarity with), but that for some reason Hillary wasn’t.

    I’m just finding it ironic that while Hillary apparently didn’t mind the Chinese and Russians getting ahold of her sensitive communications, she was deathly afraid that congress or the American people would. Her close personal aide pleading the 5th over the email scandal is a nice touch!

    1. craazyboy

      The Clintons are allies with China. Russia is more complicated. Bill was enemies with Russia, but perhaps Hillery was undecided yet?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        She compared Vlad to Hitler, but given Hillary’s support of mass slaughter, maybe she didn’t mean it as an insult?

      1. RUKidding

        Snort – made me laugh. HRC has either had a very very tight face lift and/or lotsa botox or someone just dropped an ice cube down her back. Yipes.

        1. Jay M

          She’d be cute if she could relax and not have to lap in 100K per hour or whatever the dog race is this cycle. I think she would be bitchin’ in a finger lakes old school compound, sitting in an adirondack chair with Beefeater martini (ICBM) being a Goldwater babe.

  9. optimader

    “French prosecutors have said they believe ‘with certainty’ that a wing part found on Reunion Island in July came from missing flight MH370.” [BBC].

    Had to wait for someone in Spain to get beck from vacation! (seriously).

  10. NotTimothyGeithner

    I watched Trump for a few minutes today on CNN (besides the Asian man walking out when Trump emphasized Chinese, maybe he came back?) Trump has improved from what I saw versus what I had seen before the debate. I don’t think he is going to quit any time soon anymore. I’m astonished, but now I see a candidate Trump rather than stunt Trump.

    He’s still clearly having fun which I believe matters to Trump. He even found time to give a shout out to Tommy B. The electoral map and the outrageous immigration remarks put 270 out of reach, but I don’t think he will disappear for the next 6 months. Again, I’m astonished.

      1. RUKidding

        For such a big attention-whore and ham-bone, I think it’s already just “gravy” for Trump. I think he’s really loving all the adulation from his fans.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      The coveted Redneck voting block is huge. He’s got a lock on it. And they are Dumb enuff to think Trump is on their side. I agree, Trump ain’t leaving anytime soon.

      1. allan

        Ditto. The pledge he’s just sworn to the RNC is worth about as much as his various loan agreements and marriage vows.

        1. RUKidding

          And various business deals which appear to have mostly ended in bankruptcy. Doesn’t that mean, more or less, that The Donald walks away without paying back outrageous loans? But probably sta$hed away the ca$h somewhere, etc.?

          The yokels love Trump bc he’s fearless in shouting out loud all the nasty stuff that’s mostly been covered up by “dog whistles.” Now it’s all shouted out. Hooray.

          Very sad, but I agree. I thought Trump was a one-trick pony, but I think he’ll stick around for a while. After all, the “media” appears to love him. At least, when I’m at the gym anymore most of the stations seem to have him on, like, most of the time, including so-called “liberal” MSNBC & Fox, which is supposed to be mad at him now or something. I guess a certain contingency of the 1% has decided that Trump’s doing something they like.

          Unclear on the end game, but I’m sure money is changing hands… and I’m sure The Donald’s coffers are growing. CHA CHING!!!

  11. ewmayer

    I was disappointed to see comments nixed for Michael Pettis’s latest piece, If We Don’t Understand Both Sides of China’s Balance Sheet, We Understand Neither, so will briefly post a question for the NC readership and a comment here:

    1. Isn’t Pettis’ discussion of “why rebalancing is often harder than expected” essentially a description of a classic credit-fueled boom/bust cycle? It strikes me as such, thus the really important aspect of the article relates to predicting the form of the denouement, which Pettis does by invoking a Japan-style bust: No overt world-shaking banking-sector crisis, rather zombification of the bad-debt-stuffed banking sector and a decade or more of sclerotic growth, if not outright coontraction.

    2. With regard to fellow China expert Nicholas Lardy’s response to Pettis’s critique of Lardy’s downplaying of the debt overhang, I was astonished to see (as Pettis notes, albeit more politely) that Lardy is apparently blind to the fact that his entire argument based on ‘record high household savings rate’, the country’s debt ‘being overwhelmingly in its own currency’, yada, yada, yada, is *exactly* what one could have said of Japan circa 1990. How’s that worked out for them?

    1. craazyboy

      The Chinese economy was 50% “investment” spending for a very long time. That was either internal construction projects, or building way too many factories to support construction materials and the “export driven” economy strategy. The secret sauce was $2/hr labor. Now the $2 people are supposed to become consumers and re-balance the economy. Sounds hard to me.

      Savings rate has a numerator and denominator.[$2]. They don’t have social security either, which often gets cited as the reason for the “high” savings rate. No unemployment either. You can go to work and find a shuttered up factory and you are on your own.

      As far as financial contagion, it will probably go like Japan, altho I’m curious to see what shenanigans go on in Honk Kong and possibly Singapore. Also the currency wars part could bring on a 1998 style Asian currency/lending crisis. But that could take a couple years to develop yet.

      Then we can’t forget China is the #2 world economy now – so that is the part that is really linked many places.

  12. allan

    Shorter Mario Draghi: to QE ∞ and beyond!

    ECB president Mario Draghi opens door to expanding bond buy-back scheme

    European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has opened the door to an increase in the “size, composition and duration” of the bank’s €1.1 trillion bond-buying programme.

    As the ECB eased its growth and inflation forecasts, Mr Draghi noted upheavals in China and said quantitative easing will continue until the projected end of the programme in September 2016 “or beyond, if necessary”.

  13. JCC

    Great LaTeX link. Thanks. Although I’ve been using it for years and baffle my work compatriots with it often through software and administrative documentation output to html, rtf, postscript and pdf files (all at the same time :), my instructional/review docs are a little difficult for the MS Word users to comprehend. Maybe this will make it easier fr them to “get”.

  14. Oregoncharles

    “maybe they can make search work again”

    Yeah, the Google-ers in my family have been complaining bitterly. Personally, I use Goodsearch, which is really Yahoo, only they make a small donation to the charity of your choice when you use it. They’re selling my information, fo course, but at least they’re paying me for it.

    Works about like Google used to. Caveat: I’m not a heavy search user, and never use “advanced” search. Not sure how sophisticated it is.

    Of course, there are also privacy search engines. I had no luck with the one I tried (duckduckgo), but probably we should all be using them.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Might work for shopping. I put in “Syriza” and the first news story that came up was from CNN in January 2015. To be fair, I got more interesting hits by shifting to the past day…

  15. Oregoncharles

    “How Jeremy Corbyn is being misquoted by the Tory press”

    I was fairly unimpressed with the examples. Yes, they’re misleading; headlines very often are. (It’s called “clickbait.”) And yes, they’re hostile; but most of them struck me as cynical but plausible interpretations. A couple of them filled in the blanks he left, adding information.

    the other side’s hostile and misleading always look much worse than one’s own.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t agree. I’ve tried to find some coverage of Corbyn that isn’t screaming hysteria or outright lies. Across the board, it’s extremely difficult. Most of the Brit political class seems to have gone starkers. Makes our own press look sober and responsible.

      Adding… Equating QE for the people with Zimbabwe (top right) as also just an outright lie, beyond cynicism. And there are others.

      1. windsock

        I agree with what you say Lambert, but a heads up on how the English use the word “starkers”.

        You can have “stark raving bonkers” = bonkers = mad OR
        “stark naked” = starkers = naked.

        If you mean our press are nude, I suppose they are in showing their naked contempt for Corbyn, but mostly I think they are bonkers, which is what I think you meant.

  16. Eric Patton

    UK sperm bank has just nine registered donors, boss reveals

    Actually, no. I just took a couple trips to London.

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