2:00PM Water Cooler 10/20/2016

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1055 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in financial realm. Please join us and participate via our Tip Jar, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our fifth goal, more original reporting.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


CETA: “Wallonia is adamantly blocking the EU’s trade deal with Canada” [The Economist].

CETA “European Council president Donald Tusk warned that Ceta, the EU-Canada deal, ‘could be our last free-trade deal’ if the EU is ‘not able to convince that free trade is in our interest.’ He said that talks were still going to secure Belgian region Wallonia’s backing for Ceta before Friday. ‘I hope that Belgium will once again prove that it is a champion in compromise-making,’ he said” [EU Observer]. I suppose “compromise” means “ka-ching,” but I don’t know enough about Belgian politics to venture a guess on whether that will work.

TPP: “CLINTON ADVISERS WALK THE KNIFE’S EDGE ON TPP: The hand wringing over Clinton’s stance on the TPP was even more evident in another batch of hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks on Wednesday. The exchange from Oct. 6, like other emails allegedly* from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is focused on the Democratic candidate’s statement following the conclusion of TPP negotiations last October and how to balance the former secretary of State’s previous support for the deal with demands from her base. ‘The goal here was to minimize our vulnerability to the authenticity attack and not piss off the WH [White House] any more than necessary,” wrote chief speechwriter Dan Schwerin when sending out a draft of the statement” [Politico]. The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made. * Politico, can we can get an asterisk on that allegedly? Something like “* Bob from Legal made us put this ‘allegedly’ in, after he got a call from John.” What say?

TPP: “El Salvador Ruling Offers a Reminder of Why the TPP Must Be Defeated” [The Nation (Re Silc)]. “Last week, the tribunal at the center of the proposed TPP ruled against a global mining firm that sued El Salvador, but only after seven years of deliberations and over $12 million spent by the government of El Salvador. Equally outrageous, legal shenanigans by the Australian-Canadian firm OceanaGold around corporate ownership will likely prevent El Salvador from ever recouping a cent…. [N]o one should be complacent about defeating the TPP. Despite Hillary Clinton’s professed opposition to the agreement, she is not picking up the phone to convince members of Congress to vote no.”

TPP: “The Case for the TPP: Responding to the Critics” [United States Chamber of Commerce]. These guys are rolling in dough. Is this really the best they can do? Claim: “The TPP Will Undermine Regulations Protecting Health, Safety and the Environment.”The COC’s answer: “ISDS has been included in approximately 3,000 investment treaties and trade agreements over the past five decades. These neutral arbitrators have no power to overturn laws or regulations; they can only order compensation.” In the billions, right? No chilling effect there!

TISA: “Meanwhile, news out of Europe cast doubt on whether negotiators will actually finish TISA this year because the EU cannot agree on how to handle cross-border data flows. The European Commission’s trade and justice departments have been squabbling for months over the issue, which Froman acknowledged is an important outstanding concern. EU trade officials want data flows included in the pact, opening up new markets for Europe’s data economy to expand, while data protection officials are more concerned about strong safeguards for privacy” [Politico].


Days until: 18.

Debate Wrapup

I can tell what how the press stories will read from the headlines and the writers, so I won’t bother to link to them. See the NC debate live blog for a rice bowl-free discussion.

“Trump had done well, delivering his best prepared and most substantive performance, but it wasn’t nearly good enough to reshape the race. He came into Las Vegas trailing big time, and surely leaves the same way” [New York Post]. “Absent an unforeseeable black swan event that tips the table in his favor, Hillary Clinton is headed to the White House.” Although I’d bet the terrain is quite different today from the terrain Clinton imagined back when she was influence peddling at Goldman in 2015.

Billmon comments:

And then there’s this, which does seem to under cut the bizarre “our electoral system is perfection itself” narrative that Democrat loyalists are pushing:

UPDATE “But the negativity in this campaign has been something else, and the debates have been very heavy on character attacks. In terms of the overall impact on the health of American democracy, I think there’s one thing that’s particularly concerning: These two candidates, whose personal conduct and character have been impugned over and over, both went through competitive primaries. There were other candidates. Clinton and Trump both won their nominations, fairly and decisively. But for people who might tune in sporadically, the conclusion that this is the best we can do might produce real dismay.” [FiveThirtyEight]. Yes, it’s called a legitimacy crisis.

“The stream posted on his Facebook wasn’t anything different than what people saw on CNN or Fox News or MSNBC, just a livestream of the debate, but more than 170,000 watched it at once. By the time the broadcast ended, more than 8.7 million had tuned in at some point. Compare that to the half a million views Time posted for its debate lifestream, or the nearly 900,000 who watched BuzzFeed News'” [Independent Journal Review]. “Welcome to the first broadcast of Trump TV.”

War Drums

“Anyone who believes the United States is not fighting enough wars in the Middle East can be happy this week. We have just plunged into another one. Twice in recent days, cruise missiles fired from an American destroyer have rained down on Yemen. The Pentagon, a practiced master of Orwellian language, calls this bombing ‘limited self-defense'” [Boston Globe]. “American forces were already involved in Yemen’s civil war. Since 2002, our drone attacks have reportedly killed more than 500 Yemenis, including at least 65 civilians. We are also supplying weapons and intelligence to Saudi Arabia, which has killed thousands of Yemenis in bombing raids over the last year and a half — including last week’s attack on a funeral in which more than 100 mourners were killed.” But I’m sure none of the mourners were women or people of color. So that’s alright, then.


“Now we have the three [Goldman] transcripts. Everyone can read them, and everyone should. What they show is Clinton’s extraordinary understanding of our world — its leaders and their politics, terrorist groups and their vulnerabilities, the interplay of global forces, and the economic well-being of Americans” [RealClearPolitics]. This is the line the Moustache of Understanding took. Which is all you need to know, really Although this writer is a little vague on just how they are “extraordinary.”

“Walmart, Wendy Clark, Target and Apple: More WikiLeaked Clinton Campaign Messaging Secrets” [Advertising Age].

The Trail

“Trump Holds On To 1-Point Lead As Debate Sparks Fly — IBD/TIPP Poll” [Investors Business Daily]. Incidentally, IBD sounds like the sort of publication Trump would read.

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, September 2016: “September was a respectable month for the economy based on the index of leading economic indicators,” which rose within consensus [Econoday]. “September’s gain aside, this report has been up and down all year pointing on net to slow growth for the economy.” But: “The rate of growth is slowing on this index – similar to most other leading indices. I just cannot get over the Federal Reserve thinking the economy is accelerating – there is just no evidence” [Econintersect].

Jobless Claims, week of October 15, 2016: “Initial jobless claims moved higher in the October 15 week but the rise, up a tangible 13,000 to 260,000, is not due to the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew” [Econoday]. “Today’s results will not raise expectations for strength in October employment but the sample-week gap is far from monstrous and levels for initial claims remain near historic lows.” And: “[A]bove than the consensus forecast of 250,000. The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs” [Calculated Risk]. But: “The trend of the 4 week moving average is continuing to marginally worsened. The trend of year-over-year improvement of initial unemployment claims is moderating – and this trend historically indicates a weakening GDP” [Econintersect]. And: “Weekly jobless claims have not been market-moving for quite some time now. They have reached a low level and will probably only garner media attention if they continue to rise or if we start to get larger pops here and there that become harder to explain other than from seasonal issues” [247 Wall Street]. Mission accomplished!

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, October 2016: “Solid strength finally appears in the details of the Philly Fed manufacturing report where new orders and shipments are both stand outs this month” [Econoday]. “[T]he strength in new orders points to wider strength ahead for the Mid-Atlantic manufacturing sector. These results, however, do contrast with weakness in the Empire State report earlier this week, setting up what should be an especially interesting run of anecdotal reports this month.” And: “[S]ignificant strength in this survey from new orders – and stands in stark contrast to the New York Fed’s survey which fell further into contraction. But the trend in both surveys was improvement” [Econintersect].

Existing Home Sales, September 2016: “[S]urged 3.2 percent” [Econoday]. “The key single-family component leads the report…. The new home market has been accelerating strongly and may now be lifting the resale market.” And: “above consensus expectations” [Calculated Risk].

Housing Starts: “September housing starts were weak, continuing their trend. They are one facet of secular stagnation, best seen as annual housing starts per 1000 people. After 7 years of economic expansion, they remain less than half of the previous peak (Jan 2006), and two-thirds of the average during the previous two expansions. They rose to the 1963-2007 lows – and stalled” [Seeking Alpha]. And: “Starts very weak, but permits up. It’s about permits, so we’ll see if they level off or continue to rise” [Mosler Economics].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of October 16, 2016: Down [Econoday]. ” [T]he weakness in October readings does hint at slowing in consumer spending as well perhaps as the jobs market.”

Garbage Index: And then there’s this [Mosler Economics].


Rail: “Union Pacific’s total freight volume declined 5.8%, led by a 14% drop in coal volume. Shipments in its intermodal business, which moves freight using a combination of trains and trucks, declined 6.7% and industrial products volume dropped 11%. Agricultural volume, which rose 11%, was the only exception” [Wall Street Journal, “Union Pacific Profit Falls 13% on Demand Woes”].

Rail: “Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. reported another steep decline in revenue and lower-than-expected earnings on Wednesday as a delayed grain harvest and a slump in commodity prices hampered shipping volumes” [Wall Street Journal, “Canadian Pacific Railway Results Miss Expectations”]. “Unusually wet and cold weather conditions have affected crop harvesting in western Canada, which CP said caused delays in exporting Canada’s grain harvest to the U.S. and coastal ports.” And: ” Railroads have also been hit hard by the lengthy slump in commodity prices, which have curbed shipments of bulk commodities such as grain and potash that figure heavily in CP’s product mix” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “As the economic downturn’s impact on global shipping becomes increasingly severe, more shipping companies are getting into financial difficulties and more vessels and crews are being abandoned deliberately by owners” [Splash 247]. “Splash will continue to report on the plight of abandoned crews around the world and is in discussions to create a high profile campaign to shame owners who have a track record of neglecting their crews.”

Shipping: “The International Labour Organisation has promised to look into the reasons why more than two dozen cases of vessel abandonment reported in the media worldwide have not been included on its database, after Lloyd’s List highlighted the apparent discrepancy” [Lloyd’s List].

Honey for the Bears: “The U.S. material handling sector could be impacted by a moderate economic recession in 2017, but firms can withstand the pressure if they focus on providing long-term solutions to warehouse automation challenges, according to an economist who specializes in the industry” [DC Velocity]. “[Jason Schenker, president and chief economist at Austin, Texas-based Prestige Economics LLC] maintains that the material handling sector is nearing the end of a six-year up-cycle, an unusually long period, and that the next 15 months will be tough sledding as the U.S. tries to dig out from a 14-month-long industrial recession and China transitions from an investment to a consumption economy…. Macroeconomic warning signs include lingering low oil prices; a stubbornly strong U.S. dollar, which has dampened demand for exports of material handling equipment; uncertainty about the presidential election; weakening new auto sales; and the rise of subprime auto loans, he told the group. ‘Things are slowing up. [Capital expenditure] decisions will have to show a high [return on investment] to be justified. Industries are being very careful with their spend,’ Schenker said.”

Fodder for the Bulls: “A major player in the world commodities business says the worst in markets may be over—at least for producers. The chief executive of BHP Billiton Ltd. , the world’s biggest miner by market value, says there are early indications the glut in some sectors is easing, the WSJ’s Rhiannon Hoyle reports. The upbeat outlook from BHP’s Andrew Mackenzie comes as production restraints are taking hold. The price of iron ore is up 35% this year, while metallurgical coal prices have tripled because of curbs to production in China and prices for oil and metals also have grown. Shipping providers have also regained some financial stability as they’ve pared back capacity: the Baltic Dry Index, which measures bulk shipping prices, has tripled since hitting a historic low in February” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “It Pays to Set the Menu: Mutual Fund Investment Options in 401(k) Plans” [It Pays to Set the Menu: Mutual Fund Investment Options in 401(k) Plans]. “We focus on the conflicting incentives mutual fund families face as service providers of 401(k) plans. While these families work with plan sponsors to create menus that serve the interests of participants, they also have an interest in promoting their own proprietary funds…. We document significant favoritism in 401(k) menu decisions. We show that affiliated mutual funds are less likely to be removed from a 401(k) menu and that the sensitivity of fund deletions to prior performance is less pronounced for these proprietary funds.”

The Bezzle: “Through the Kleptocracy Initiative, the U.S. also seizes the assets of corrupt officials and, where appropriate, repatriates these corrupt proceeds. In early 2016, for example, the DOJ filed civil complaints seeking close to a billion dollars in forfeitures related to assets alleged to be those of a corrupt official” [The FCPA Blog]. The Kleptocracy Initiative… Sounds like it only applies to other countries? Odd.

The Bezzle: “Tesla Motors Inc., preparing for a future of self-driving cars, has begun equipping all its new vehicles with the hardware required to make them entirely capable of driving themselves” [Wall Street Journal, “Tesla Expects to Demonstrate Self-Driven Cross-Country Trip Next Year”]. It’s not the hardware that’s the problem…

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 35 Fear (previous close: 38, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 36 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 20 at 11:39am. Stop flirting. Try for 29, at least!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Watts, Lowndes County, Oakland: The Founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense” [Verso Books]. Excellent overview, lots of good detail.

“U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities” [WaPo]. “[Terrence M. Cunningham, the chief of police in Wellesley, Mass,] president of America’s largest police management organization on Monday issued a formal apology to the nation’s minority population ‘for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.'”

“In the recording, the teacher asks: “Am I racist? And I say yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised. ‘To be white is to be racist, period,’ the teacher says” [WaPo]. Well, at least that’s a more nuanced statement than “irredeemable.”

“66-Year-Old Woman Shot, Killed by Police in Bronx Home: NYPD” [NBC New York].

Health Care

“Some names floated as likely contenders for HHS secretary [in a Clinton administration], CMS administrator and other posts include former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Neera Tanden, Chris Jennings, Ann O’Leary, Dr. Atul Gawande and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. While some hope Sylvia Mathews Burwell will continue on as HHS secretary, that’s seen as unlikely” [Modern Health Care]. Neera Tanden?! I’m torn between dread at the outcomes and glee at the clusterf*cks to come…

Class Warfare

“In [‘William Darity, Jr.’s] his view, the capacity of parents and grandparents to invest in their children is contingent on their wealth position” [iNet]. “The real driver of inequality, then, is not an individual’s level of education and productivity, but the resources that parents and grandparents are able to transmit.” Hence: “[S]tratification economics.” Might go down easier than “class warfare,” I dunno.

“What drives white-collar criminals? Often, these are successful people who possess great wealth, have impeccable education, and hold much influence within their respective industries, yet they risk it all by breaking the law” [ProMarket]. “Incentives specifically play a big role in fostering white-collar crime, according to Soltes, especially when financial managers are pressured to succeed and have to make rapid decisions one after the other, their potential victims far from view. ‘I was doing exactly what I was incentivized to do. We wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble if we just wanted to cheat,’ says Enron CFO Andrew Fastow in the book.'”

“Mike Konczal has an interesting piece on how the progressives are unlikely to win over Trump’s base of white, male, working class voters – even if they take their concerns to heart and propose policies that will help them… Konczal might well be right, but I want to entertain the possibility that he is wrong” [Dani Rodrik]. I will say that Konczal knows how to generate buzz. More:

“Konczal might well be right, but I want to entertain the possibility that he is wrong…. If left-liberals take for granted that the white middle class is essentially racist, hate the federal government, oppose progressive taxation, don’t think big banks and dark money are a problem … and so on, then indeed many of the remedies that progressives have to offer will fail to resonate and there is little that can be done. But why should we assume that these are the givens of political life?

A large literature in social psychology and political economy suggests that identities are malleable as are voters’ perceptions of how the world works and therefore which policies serve their interests. A large part of the right’s success derives from their having convinced lower and middle class voters that the government is corrupt and inept. Can’t progressives alter that perception?

Note that Rodrik has exactly the same conflation of “progressive,” “left,” and “liberal” that Konczal does. Je repete: Liberals (and conservatives) want to divide the working class, and they use their distinctive flavors of identity politics to do so. The left wishes to unite them. And both liberals and conservatives will deny that identity is malleable (Clinton’s “irredeemables”) not only because to admit that would smash any number of rice bowls, but because it would smash their social functions as factions. What should give the left hope in Rodrik’s rejoinder — hope that Konczal is, quite naturally, attempting to strangle in its cradle — is the notion that identity is malleable; Occupy, with the 99% concept, proved that. Thomas Frank, with his 10%, takes the same approach. Of course, 99 and 10 don’t add to 100, so there’s some analytical work to be done, but the way forward beyond identity politics is clear.

News of the Wired

“Between 1959 and 1989, leading Soviet men of science and state repeatedly ventured to construct a national computer network for broadly prosocial purposes” [Aeon]. “Consonant with Glushkov’s greater life-work commitments, the network plans reflected a deliberately decentralised design. This meant that, while Moscow could specify who received which authorisations, any authorised user could contact any other user across the pyramid network – without direct permission from the mother node.” Well worth a read; reminds me of Project Cybersyn, Allende’s project destroyed in the coup Henry Kissiner thought so much of.

“Your dynamic IP address is now protected personal data under EU law” [Ars Technica]. “Europe’s top court has ruled that dynamic IP addresses can constitute ‘personal data,’ just like static IP addresses, affording them some protection under EU law against being collected and stored by websites.”

“Iceland’s Pirate Party (‘Píratar’) has issued an up-front refusal to work with either of the two current governing parties after the next elections – in a move unprecedented in Icelandic political history” [Iceland Monitor]. “”These early elections have come about as a result of the corruption revealed to the world by the Panama Papers,” explains Pirate MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir. “Five ministers have been exposed as corrupt since the current government took power.” And: “Iceland’s Left-Greens in last-minute election surge” [Iceland Monitor]. “According to this new poll, if the Pirates and Left-Greens could reach an agreement they could together capture 39.9% of the vote – just 10% away from a parliamentary majority and significantly healthier than the current government score of 32.2%.”

* * *

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 (PR):


PR writes: “‘STOP TTIP’ modified roadsign spotted in Wallonia (part of Belgium, currenty blocking CETA). I have seen others of these in the last few days.”

I guess I’ll have to declare modified roadsigns honorary plants!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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.


  1. hemeantwell

    Twice in recent days, cruise missiles fired from an American destroyer have rained down on Yemen.

    Whoaaa. There may still be doubts about this. After all, what do the Houthis gain, especially right after the Saudis have outdone themselves in atrocities.


    Officials Saturday night were uncertain about what exactly happened, if there were multiple incoming missiles or if there was a malfunction with the radar detection system on the destroyer.

    1. Harry

      I thought we were pretty sure that the US had attacked Yemen, we’re just not sure that Yemen had attacked the US ship.

      1. Plenue

        Even if the Yemenis did, I fail to see why this is considered shocking and unacceptable. I get that decades of kowtowing to Israel has conditioned the United States to not understand that a blockade is inherently an act of war, but quite aside from starving the people of Yemen we’ve been directly supporting the Saudi bombing. We’ve been belligerents in this conflict from the start.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Russian FM, Lavrov put it best when he described the U.S. as only desiring vassals.

  2. frosty zoom

    money used to be tethered to finite supplies of gold, thus putting a damper on how fast humans could chew up the planet.

    however, as the chart above indicates, money isn’t even tethered to garbage anymore.

    1. jgordon

      Yeah but if you ask a Keynesians or MMTers infinite, frenetic growth is good just because. Never mind that the closest thing in nature their ideal economic models resemble is cancer.

      We need hard limits, sacrifice and discipline for long term survival. Note, this doesn’t mean austerity and deprivations since those guys are wrong too; it means arranging the energy and materials in our world into stable, circular patterns.

      The first reform to that end I’d suggest is to eliminate all interest on money and make usury, the practice of lending money at interest, a hanging offense.

        1. jgordon

          Sorry for the above typos.

          Any currency system that has an interest component requires continual exponential economic growth, or it will collapse. That isn’t specific to MMT which is merely a subset of the current bad economic idealogy in vogue, but a more general principle of all such systems.

          Another way of saying the above is that any system that requires a constantly expanding money supply, such as all the fiat systems currently in existence, will eventually experience collapse. Depending on the size of the collapse the political and social systems are likely to go down with them.

          1. Plenue

            “Another way of saying the above is that any system that requires a constantly expanding money supply, such as all the fiat systems currently in existence, will eventually experience collapse.”

            Says who?

            1. JacobiteInTraining

              “…Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell…”

              — Edward Abbey

      1. hunkerdown

        Sure, blame the supply of currency, not the price system.

        ALL systems of original debt cause cancer. Whether it’s Yahweh whining about insubordination and proving himself “not-agreement-capable”, or liberals wheedling about their “food group” clients’ progress, or financiers bloviating about the numbers they’re owed and how other humans must do more pet tricks and consume more nature so said financiers can collect points, or goldbugs looking for some idol or relic to hide the heavy, humans, in particular Western ones, seem to believe that ideals are entitled to service — a belief which, were it not useful in maintaining the order in which APA members find themselves nicely privileged, would be diagnostic of a psychotic break.

    2. Plenue

      Used to be where? By whom? In the ‘New World’ money was scraps of linen and cocoa beans while gold was a pretty trinket, and in feudal Japan currency was backed by rice. Goldbugs really need to grasp that their shiny rock has never been some kind of universally, inherently valued substance.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Why do you think money needs to be “backed”?

          Money has value because the state accepts tax payments only in the money for which it is the issuer. If you wish to think of that as being “backed,” fine.

          1. frosty zoom

            money needs a constraint. otherwise, humans tear apart the planet too quickly. too much money, too much destruction.

            1. Larry Y

              Money needs sinks. Currently the sink is asset bubbles, multi-national corporations, and the global financial elite.

    3. hunkerdown

      Go reread Debt: The First 5000 Years. Money used to be tethered to specie, but chiefly for external trade, with exchange playing the role of recourse. Internal trade was, as often as not, enabled by service providers in communities extending credit without interest among themselves, like unto cups of sugar at scale. Due to the lack of individual mobility back in those days, recourse was simple, easy and effective.

      And there are those who would have us starve because we couldn’t get cyanide with which to leach more shiny metal from sparse ore. Those people should eat the cyanide and leave the rest of us alone.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Actually, if you read through the “Code of Hammurabi,” the original Commercial Code (plus criminal law and a lot of puffing by the monarch), one has to wonder whether recourse was either simple, easy or effective. One has to imagine that there was a lot of “slack” in even that ancient commercial mercantile whatever system, which at least has implicit in it the presumed bedrock of the US Commercial Code in all its parts, “fair dealing.” That thing that is so clearly missing from everything that makes up our Global Free Trade Bullsh!t Thingie…

        Anyone wanting to take a walk down to the Wayback Machine might spend a little while reading through the Code attributed to “I’m the Greatest! and I Fear God!” Hammurabi — here’s one compilation and translation that I happen to like: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/hamframe.asp I really like the remedies and penalties ol’ Hammurabi came up with, and notice how complex “trade” was even way back then…

        Clay tablets: more, or less, trustworthy and stable than “code”?

      2. frosty zoom

        i advocate not for gold; the environmental toll of its extraction, as you mentioned, is horrific (you forgot to throw in the arsenic).

        having monetary supplies tied to the availability of any finite good serves this planet well as it puts limit on how fast the once-ler can produce thneeds.

        1. Plenue

          “having monetary supplies tied to the availability of any finite good serves this planet well as it puts limit on how fast the once-ler can produce thneeds.”

          I don’t think there’s any evidence to support this claim. What you would actually do with such a system is subject a lot of people to misery and suffering because “welp, we just don’t have the money to do anything, sorry”.

          The entire core point of MMT is that “we don’t have the cash” isn’t a valid argument when you create the cash. MMT writers regularly emphasis that the restrictions would then be a. inflation, and b. real resources. Either a lack of resources, or because the further extraction of resources wouldn’t be advisable because of the environmental damage.

          1. frosty zoom

            very nice if the system isn’t used by people.

            however, there are always some greedy humans who will game the system until the last drop.

            you can see how wage arbitrage has enabled us to hide our inflation, shipping it off to be borne upon the backs and lungs of humble people worldwide.

            it’s true finite money creates misery; unfortunately it seems that infinite money creates more.

            just ask the icecaps of greenland.

            1. craazyboy

              There is a preponderance of evidence that humans shouldn’t be allowed to handle money. They just screw everything up with it!

      1. Vatch

        I still get this in both Chrome and Firefox:

        Access Denied

        You don’t have permission to access “http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2009a/08/127830.htm” on this server.


        1. Jake

          That’s a problem on the server itself, not a problem with the url or your browser. It might be temporary. You might also just go to http://www.state.gov, see if you can find a “contact us” page or link, and write a note describing the issue, directing it to the webmaster.

            1. Vatch

              LOL! Nope. But now that I’m back to using the first computer on the first network, I’ve lost access again. Apparently this part of the Comcast network is considered hostile to the US State Department.


  3. John k

    Did you know?
    Vegas 1k bet on Clinton nets 181 if you win.
    1k bet on trump nets 3750.

    Elites are all in…

    1. John k

      And for comparison, punters betting leave on Brexit (L40mil total) could get 9/2 a week or so before the referendum because a smaller number of large remain bets swamped the larger number of small leave bets (probably L10mil total). The odds did tighten as the date approached.

      The 3750 trump gain shown in the earlier post Could be expressed as 9.5/2, pretty close…
      I might take a flyer.

  4. alex morfesis

    what drives white collar criminals…prof soltes ?? not enuf monets on the wall…andrew fastow…how cute…so the fact he married into texas money, and then while laundering the FDIC money with the oil patch loans of Continental/Penn Square…selling the loans at pennies on the dollar to some company in texas…

    wait for it…
    oh yeah…
    they eventually become some outfit named…

    run forest run…no…

    end run…no…oh yeah…


    but that is how the game is played…

    you get some guvmynt type to say what you were doing was bad bad bad…then the media eats up some story about some italian guy no one ever mentioned until the world started freaking out about having an Italian..Lee Iacocca, be
    in charge of a multi billion dollar corporation in america, then we
    suddenly had this carlo ponzi guy all over the place…

    ponzi…whose investors actually got back over 75% of their money despite the “trustee/receiver” milking it for over a decade and making the final payout after he lost some money in something called the great depression…

    folks just accept the story…just like Bennett Funding…

    the bad bad bad guy raised about 600 million dollars from people and since he was a ponzi scheme…after the trustee/receiver milked it for 13 years they were only able to give back to the investors 750 million dollars…because…according to the SEC the investors only got 45 to 55% of their money back…SEC ponzi math…because 750 million is 55% of 600 million…yes…in some press releases…the number goes up to a billion dollars he raised…so maybe 750 million on a billion dollars is 55% according to SEC math…

    and so…like everyone on the globe…the boogey man did it…

    Fastow and company were just following orders…TINA…

    and there was still room on the walls for another monet…

    money 4 monet…

  5. allan

    Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed [WaPo]

    There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

    The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House. …

    This consensus is driven by broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the limits of American power, especially in the Middle East. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” said Philip Gordon, a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.” …

    Smart investors will go long producers of canned food and manufacturers of fallout shelter materials.

    1. allan

      Even the liberal* Center for American Progress:

      … A similar sentiment animates the left-leaning** Center for American Progress’s report that was released Wednesday and calls for more military action to counter Iranian aggression, more dialogue with America’s Arab allies and more support for economic and human rights reform in the region.

      “The dynamic is totally different from what I saw a decade ago” when Democratic and Republican elites were feuding over the invasion of Iraq, said Brian Katulis, a senior Middle East analyst at the Center for American Progress. Today, the focus among the foreign policy elite is on rebuilding a more muscular and more “centrist internationalism,” he said. …

      * Not really.

      ** Really not really.

      1. a different chris

        >when Democratic and Republican elites were feuding over the invasion of Iraq,

        Cause back then, the thought was if you get into a Vietnam quagmire you were f’d. But then they managed to do it anyway, and discovered that it was only the soldiers that were f’d. The “elites” regardless of party made out like bandits.

        Thus the new attitude.

        1. JTMcPhee

          One wonders if the Soldiers, or enough of them, will figure out that they are being f’d, and then do that thing called “fragging” again, bearing in mind that a lot of Soldiers have been trained up in cyber and drone warfare and other exotica, and might start lobbing munitions and code directed at the SOBs who put the Troops in harm’s way so they can order more Troops into harm’s way and award themselves nice quarterly bonuses…

  6. diptherio

    So sad that we don’t even have to wonder if the amount of waste being produced is because we got more efficient with our resource use….

  7. Roger Smith

    “Clinton and Trump both won their nominations, fairly and decisively.”

    … Well that is half true, according to my forecasting and data flow charts.

    1. nippersmom

      Does FiveThirtyEight have even the smallest shred of credibility left after that statement? (Of course, that suggests it had any even before that latest foray into fantasy.)

      1. ProNewerDeal

        It seems the HClinton “Public Relations” Firms (c) H A Goodman like 538, C”N”N; are saying the HClinton is definitely going to win the election.

        OK, if this is the case, let’s encourage all Sanders & other anti-neoliberal voters to vote for Dr. Jill Stein, even in swing states. If Stein gets 5%, the Greens will get Federal election funding in the next election.

    2. Carolinian

      Just because Clinton cheated doesn’t mean Sanders would have won otherwise. Not enough of his young supporters came out to vote. Given how terrible Clinton is, a truly viable candidate would have beaten her easily. Some of us here have always thought of Sanders as a message candidate who didn’t himself think he had a chance.

      The truth is that HRC perfectly exemplifies the current Democratic Party. It’s the Dems, and their supporting social class, who are the real enemy. Reform has always been a chimera.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Not enough of his young supporters came out to vote.

        Many who have expertise in election fraud mechanisms and data analysis would disagree with you. The evidence is visible from multiple perspectives. There is ongoing litigation, but unfortunately no remedy. (Particularly since the candidate himself wasn’t looking for one. Familiar story.)

  8. gizzardboy

    The garbage index chart is 4 years out of date. What does it tell us about recent and current conditions?

    1. TheCatSaid

      Great question.

      I hope Lambert finds a way to continue tracking garbage stats.

      We have to find a way to evaluate society’s economic well-being other than pure consumerism. If we were to bring forward the environmental disaster costs created by our lifestyle–as one would do when estimating net present value in a startup situation–the economic picture would change quite a bit.

  9. Adam Eran

    Pre-judging (AKA “prejudice”) is part of human perception. No one is not prejudiced. That said, not everyone takes their own prejudice as seriously as the worst bigots. See Shankar Vedantam’s The Hidden Brain

    1. Steve C

      Polls repeatedly have shown support for leftist agenda items across the spectrum when presented individually, such as expanding Social Security, but support declines when they are presented as a “liberal” agenda.

      Bernie won support across racial groups, as well as among women. That’s why it was critical he be strangled in the cradle. A strange metaphor for a 74-year-old man, I know.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’m not sure what you’re trying to say with that first sentence, other than that liberalism is a sham and people want leftism when the liberal bourgeoisie doesn’t fill the air with aspirational counterfactuals telling people what they really should want.

      2. LifelongLib

        40+ years ago, George Wallace supported expanding social security and Medicare. He knew very well that the people who would vote for him would also benefit from those things. Of course except for his racist rhetoric, Wallace was basically a populist, a type of politician that seems to have vanished from the scene.

  10. Greg

    “What drives white-collar criminals?
    Answer: Testosterone which increases risk taking.

    Remedy: chemical castration

    By reducing the influence of testosterone society can move forward while appreciating the effects of lowered IQ’s due to fluoride, Type 2 diabetes, SSRIs and big Pharm.

    1. hunkerdown

      Why chemical? I’d rather have some trophies and public humiliation. These people don’t deserve the dignity of quiet justice.

  11. Paul Taylor

    There is moss, grass, ivy and some sort of opportunistic deciduous trees in the Wallonian STOP TTIP plant pic.

    1. ambrit

      Actually, this being an economics blog, I feel compelled to mention that the plant matter to the right of the STOP sign is a hedge. Supply your own jokes.

  12. Bunk McNulty

    Who Are All These Trump Supporters? (New Yorker)

    George Saunders strives mightily to have us believe our economic situation has nothing to do with the attractiveness of The Donald to certain constituencies. But even he has to acknowledge what people are angry about (emphasis added):

    “All along the fertile interstate-highway corridor, our corporations, those new and powerful nation-states, had set up shop parasitically, so as to skim off the drive-past money, and what those outposts had to offer was a blur of sugar, bright color, and crassness that seemed causally related to more serious addictions. Standing in line at the pharmacy in an Amarillo Walmart superstore, I imagined some kid who had moved only, or mostly, through such bland, bright spaces, spaces constructed to suit the purposes of distant profit, and it occurred to me how easy it would be, in that life, to feel powerless, to feel that the local was lame, the abstract extraneous, to feel that the only valid words were those of materialism (“get” and “rise”)—words that are perfectly embodied by the candidate of the moment.

    Something is wrong, the common person feels, correctly: she works too hard and gets too little; a dulling disconnect exists between her actual day-to-day interests and (1) the way her leaders act and speak, and (2) the way our mass media mistell or fail entirely to tell her story. What does she want? Someone to notice her over here, having her troubles.

  13. Jim

    The Konczal/Rodrik debate on the nature of identity and how it is formed is of key importance in the development of an alternative political vision.

    Issues of mind/brain/symbols/culture/nationalism and even the future role of religion are key to formulating a new politics–an outmoded focus on the purely economic will no longer cut it–just ask/trace how neoliberalism actually gained hegemony.

    1. Jeff Doyler

      Sorry to be retro, but I don’t agree. Radical political economy, including a thorough knowledge of Marxism and its left critiques, and actual organizing in real working class communities are more important. The working class rarely sees the left at all. As Yves has pointed out, a lot of the left’s conceit about its economic knowledge is hubris.

  14. Pavel

    I blissfully ignored the televised “debate” last night though I followed the comments here at NC and on Twitter for a while. Not sure my blood pressure would survive 90 mins of Hillary’s voice and smug smile or anything about Trump.

    It is amusing to note the OUTRAGE that Trump might dare question the election results. Jesus H Christ the media are just taking us all for amnesiac idiots, aren’t they?

    I think this debate especially was “priced in” — any Trump supporter at this stage has lost the capacity for changing minds, especially as so much of it is anti-Hillary. It is astounding that with all her money and MSM support/collusion HRC is only a few digits ahead in the polls. I still see a slim chance that Trump will win, if his hidden and shy voters go out and some of Hillary’s stay home (lazy and complacent). Having said that, the establishment is terrified of a Trump win, and so many of those voting machines don’t leave an audit trail…

    1. Anne

      But he’s happy to accept the results if he wins…can you make sense of that in light of all of his comments about rigging?

    2. flora

      “It is amusing to note the OUTRAGE that Trump might dare question the election results. Jesus H Christ the media are just taking us all for amnesiac idiots, aren’t they?”

      Amnesiatic idiots? I’ve already forgotten the media declared Hillary the winner of the California primary on the day *before* the actual California primary vote.

  15. Skippy

    “America has lost now,” Mr Duterte told Chinese and Philippine businesspeople in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, in a forum attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

    “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to [President Vladimir] Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia.

    “It’s the only way.”

    Mr Duterte spoke to at least 200 businesspeople as part of a push for what he called a new commercial alliance as relations with long-time ally the United States deteriorates.

    Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
    Video: How serious is Rodrigo Duterte? (The World)

    His Trade Secretary, Ramon Lopez, said $US13.5 billion ($17.6 billion) in deals would be signed.

    “With that, in this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Mr Duterte said to applause.

    “I have separated from them. So I will be dependent on you for all time.

    “But do not worry. We will also help as you help us.”

    Mr Duterte’s efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal ruling in The Hague over South China Sea disputes in favour of the Philippines, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.

    US State Department spokesman John Kirby said Mr Duterte’s remarks were “inexplicably at odds with the very close relationship” between the two countries.

    “We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from us,” Mr Kirby said.

    “It’s not clear to us exactly what that means and all its ramifications.


    Disheveled Marsupial…. Britext and now this…

    1. VietnamVet


      Catholic Philippines embrace of Communist China is verification that American hegemony has been splintered. One Belt One Road is the alternative. Neither presidential candidate is equipped to deal with it. The military and financial industries are based on more war and looting the lower classes at will. Identity politics assures that one or another ethnic group will be scapegoated. Even if World War III is avoided in Ukraine or Syria, a revolt by the West’s Midlanders is pretty much assured. Perhaps this could be why the May ministry is intent on making UK a sovereign nation once again that can protect its citizens even at the risk of economic dislocation.

    2. Alex Morfesis

      DUTERTE/TITO…josip broz tito…Duterte is doing his best Tito…or maybe the mouse that roared(duchess gloriana)…when you have nothing, act like you have nothing to lose…Duterte is simply looking for some (ad)venture(us) capital…wall street is not ringing the register in the philippines…so he is looking for money and negotiation power…

  16. Elizabeth Burton

    What I find entertaining is that despite the clear contempt revealed for the media in the Wikileaks emails, said media are still falling all over themselves to downplay and de-legitimize those emails. Week after week, its been shown how reporters have been manipulated and utilized, and they’re like subs in a BDSM relationship—begging for more as if they really believe it will stop if they just yell out their safe word.

    If I needed anything else to substantiate my observation there is no longer any integrity in the media, that alone would suffice.

    On the other hand, I do think Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Klein have a serious point that’s not being addressed: https://theintercept.com/2016/10/19/is-disclosure-of-podestas-emails-a-step-too-far-a-conversation-with-naomi-klein/

    1. Jim


      My guess is that our country, for the first time since the early 1930s, is on the cusp of some serious politics.

      The old gate-keepers no longer seem capable of keeping the deplorables in check (defining what are the acceptable parameters of debate and action).

      Can we trust our new potential o gate-keepers (Greenwald, Klein etc.) to protect the public good?

      Are they in the process of creating the same logic and pursuing the same private benefits as the old gate-keepers?

      1. uncle tungsten

        There is an overwhelming public right to know what people in pinnacles of power think and what their networks are. Regardless of any formal regulation, transparency regulates the activities of people who possess great power to do harm. Where they are less than transparent and perhaps suspiciously malign then their communications should be in the public domain. So should the Secretary of States emails be in the public domain where they do not endanger the national security of the public interest. Clinton and her family foundation are clearly opposed to that public right to know.

        People like Podesta and the Trumps and the Clintons have a private life that I do not advocate invading. They have a professional/political life that is very much entitled to be open to examination especially when they seek to attain high offices of public trust. Podesta and his campaign emails ARE our business because of the nature of his business.

  17. Vatch

    This is relevant to Water Cooler’s Health Care category:


    According to the data from the European Medicines Agency, medicines classified as “critically important in human medicine” by the World Health Organisation appear to be in frequent use on farm animals across the major countries of the EU, including the UK. This comes in spite of WHO advice that, because of their importance, these drugs should be used only in the most extreme cases, if at all, in treating animals.

    One would think that by now people would realize that this is a bad thing to do.

    1. craazyboy

      Yup. Wouldn’t even make a tough game show question anymore.

      Wonder if we’ll have to wait for the “War on Super Bugs” to become a plank in someone’s campaign platform?

  18. clarky90


    Hillary said the following in the debate last night:

    “But here’s the deal. The bottom line on nuclear weapons is that when the president gives the order, it must be followed. There’s about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so.”

    Karl Denninger says; “Hillary probably knows exactly what those timing constraints are because as Secretary of State she had to know. But such information is extremely sensitive and thus highly classified, almost-certainly at an SAP level (that is, “beyond top secret” as is claimed in the referenced article) because it would give an adversary critical data on our response to a potential attack and allow them to know what they must achieve to get inside our “OODA” loop. If an adversary gets inside that loop in a fight for your life you usually die.

    “OODA” stands for “observe”, “orient”, “decide” and “act”. It is the basic principle on which essentially all combat decisions rest. In order to make wise decisions in combat you must perform all four steps, in order, for each offensive or defensive act you take.

    All of these steps take time.”

    1. a different chris

      > it would give an adversary critical data on our response

      Oh Jesus. With all due respect, this is the USA being talked about. I can (in theory I guess) get in a grizzly bears “OODA” loop and it ain’t gonna make a difference of more than a few seconds.

      If your objective is to point out Hillary is crass and self-centered, agreed. “I am the State” seems to fit her pretty well.

  19. Benedict@Large

    I’ll agree with Billmon that it wasn’t a blowout, but Trump was the clear winner. Go to the second half hour for when this happened. The moderator has just said the word, “WikiLeaks.”

    There’s some back and forth, but the segment is dominated by two Clinton monologues. Listen to them, and then tell me what she said. You can’t. She’s literally babbling. Taking up the time she is handed until the segment is over, but saying nothing. There are sentences and paragraphs strung together, but there is no theme, and no meaning. Without the intro, you wouldn’t even know what topic she is addressing.

    She recovers somewhat when the segment is over, but never completely regains her stride. She’s worried that Trump might come back at her with more from the e-mails. He does toss a barb at her from time to time, and she has no answer to these. Her coaching is showing: Don’t engage anything from the e-mails. And she doesn’t.

    The debate moves on, and it’s spirited, but Trump keeps on with these unanswered barbs. The audience knows the material. Sometimes you even hear them wince as Hillary takes another punch.

    And that’s how it ends. As I said, it’s not a blow out, but Trump wasn’t supposed to be able to do this to her. Except that, with a well-timed leak as an assist, Trump came loaded for bear. And this time, he pulled the trigger.

    1. Skippy

      The thing – is – due to the debates there might be an advantage gained by one proponent vs the other on the day – but – American “brand” ™ image as the “bright light” guiding the path of humanity to some idealistic ethical and moral high ground…. loses significant credibility…

      Disheveled Marsupial…. sorta like a wealthy family spilling out into the street having a protracted domestic, where once one could only hear the shouting from in side their compound. Leaving the locals to wonder if and when violence comes into play or will they be forced to picks sides out of necessity and not ethical nor moral concerns….

      1. Vatch

        Did “Jeb!” return any of the money that billionaires and hecto-millionaires gave to him? Caveat donor!

  20. LT

    Re: Boston Globe ME Wars

    “Anyone who believes the USA isn’t fighting enough wars in the Middle East should be happy…”

    Wars? The civilians who cheerlead the bombs don’t think of it that way. They consider them “humanitarian interventions” to spread the USA’s incredible awesomeness!

    Get with the program…:)

  21. lt

    “Mike Konczal has an interesting piece on how the progressives are unlikely to win over Trump’s base of white, male, working class voters – even if they take their concerns to heart and propose policies that will help them… Konczal might well be right, but I want to entertain the possibility that he is wrong”

    Here’s a piece I remember that addresses that. This is the disconnect.
    The author uses the changes coming to transportation as one main example


    “… it seems to me that neither candidate is talking about the same 21st century economy in which Wall Street is investing.

    Candidates across the political spectrum keep referring to fair trade deals as a common scapegoat as a prelude to their myriad promises to “bring jobs back” to America. This is already a fallacy, pretending that we can reverse globalization through tax policy alone, or without a specific plan for investments—either public or private—that might actually grow domestic jobs. Meanwhile, VCs, Wall Street, and the tech firms are placing big bets on a more generally automated future; and nobody seems to want to talk about the jobs we are, therefore, poised to eliminate over the next decade or two. Not outsource through trade. Just eliminate right here at home….”

    “…Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and now the Obama administration are all projecting a future in which the transportation sector simultaneously sheds millions of jobs and centralizes control of the lifeline of the entire nation—and not one candidate from any party thinks this is significant enough to talk about. Instead, they’re campaigning on traditional, and at times absurd, promises that they know best how to bring 20th century jobs “back.” In this one regard, maybe the future is already here because it doesn’t seem to me like anybody’s driving the bus.

    1. hunkerdown

      lt, the connection between laborer and labor power was first broken with Jacquard’s looms and continues asunder with office and industrial automation. In affluent Protestant cultures, where labor is unnecessary for or even counter to material welfare yet serves as a central measure of cultural value, a “job” is on the common hand a measure of community acceptance and claim on community resources, and on the lordly hand a means to quantify and capture time rents and “excess” labor, that is, labor time or effort that might otherwise be deployed against the interests and designs of the idol rich.

  22. JCC

    RE: Garbage Index. My first “career” was the small owner-run restaurant industry (sadly long gone) and the wisest businessman I ever worked for told me, “Ignore what your competition says when they tell you how busy they are and look at their garbage cans instead. If the cans are full, they’re telling you the truth, if the cans are empty, the owners are bullshitting you.”.

Comments are closed.