2:00PM Water Cooler 12/27/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “The Battle Over NAFTA 2.0 Has Just Begun” [Lori Wallach, The Nation]. “On the upside, NAFTA’s outrageous investor privileges and ISDS tribunals are dramatically reined in under NAFTA 2.0… For Mexico, ISDS is replaced by a new approach: Whereas ISDS allows investors to skirt domestic courts, the new process […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/26/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, I’m going to be lazy today as well. I’ll return with a full Water Cooler tomorrow. For today, here’s some of the material that’s built up in my Xmas Folder. –lambert Politics 2018 ME-02: “Poliquin drops challenge to ranked-choice voting, clearing way for Golden to take seat in Congress” […]

Two Medicare for All Plans: HR676 and S1804

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. The other day I was trying to find out why Beto O’Rourke, who claims to support Medicare for All, hasn’t signed on to HR676, the single payer bill before the House. On the Twitter, I was provided this link (from The Ringer, an affiliate site of Markos Moulitsas’ SB Nation […]

Links 12/26/18

A Courting Peacock Can Shake Its Partner’s Head From Afar The Atlantic Banks pushed to cleanse their balance sheets of climate risk FT. Let me know how that works out. Science and Culture: Imagining a climate-change future, without the dystopia PNAS US shale’s financial blanket at risk of wearing thin in 2019 FT As Market […]

Stumped by the Stock Market Slump? Start by Picturing a Used Car Dealership

Lambert here: Even I know what a lemon market is! By Steven Pressman, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University. Originally published at Alternet. Stocks have been slumping on a variety of concerns, from President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China to worries about an economic slowdown and rising interest rates. Given the many factors […]

Christmas Exegesis: A Carpenter’s Son

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Since this is Christmas Eve day, I thought I should write something serious about Christmas, and it occurred to me to ask what the Christmas story would like if the religiosity were left out, and what the material residue, as it were, would look like. (Disclosure: I was a vaguely […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/24/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, this is an open thread for those of you who are not tied up with travel, or wrapping presents, or doing last minute shopping, or whatever it is you do for the holidays. I will take Christmas Day off, and then return Wednesday, though probably not at full force; […]

Links 12/24/18

Wall Street Quietly Shelves Its Bitcoin Dreams Bloomberg Bitcoin: a digital lottery ticket for a dystopian future? Kenneth Rogoff, Asia Times Deutsche Bank cooperating in EU probe over bond price-fixing Handelsblatt Today Why It’s Hard to Escape Amazon’s Long Reach Wired Facebook has put growth ahead of governance for too long FT (DL). People fall […]

How the International Monetary Fund Imposes Its Economic Policies on Argentina

By Celina della Croce of the Independent Media Institute. Cross-posted from Alternet. In September, Argentine president Mauricio Macri accepted the 2018 Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award. In attendance were many of world’s neoliberal power players and policy makers, among them International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Facing the crowd, Macri gleefully admitted that […]

Christmas Hucksterism: The Last Mile of the Supply Chain is Safer Than You Think

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Last week, I ran a video on “package thieves,” in which YouTube personality, “ex-NASA brain,” and putatively high net-worth individual Mark Rober created a “glitter bomb revenge package,” which harmlessly exploded when a thief apparently stole a package from his porch. Here’s the video, which naturally went viral (“If you […]

Links 12/23/18

After Bloodbath, The National Zoo’s Naked Mole-Rats Finally Choose Their Queen DCist. Everything is like CalPERS…. Ivy Leagues Are Handing Out Millions in Fees to Hedge Fund Managers Dean Baker, Truthout (LT).Tim Leissner: Goldman Sachs banker at the heart of 1MDB scandal FT How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion […]

The Decline of African-American and Hispanic Wealth Since the Great Recession

Lambert here: It could be there’s a lesson here about selection criteria for Presidents in “our democracy.” Edward Wolff, Professor of Economics, New York University. Originally published at VoxEU. Unlike income inequality, wealth inequality along racial lines in the US has received relatively little attention. This column presents new evidence on the changing landscape of […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/21/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. *** Ruth Bader Ginsburg Health Update: Supreme Court Justice Has Cancerous Lung Growths Removed *** Trade They issue press releases: #China's Central Economic Work Conference news release promising on external reforms: pic.twitter.com/crz2zeKEFg — Bert Hofman (@berthofmanecon) December 21, 2018 “How to fix America’s dysfunctional trade system” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/20/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 2020 “A New Survey Finds Kamala Harris Has Big Support For A Presidential Run From Top Democratic Women Of Color” [Buzzfeed]. “Nearly a third of the 222 women from She the […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/19/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 2020 “Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “The vast majority of would-be young Bernies will still be under 35 in 2020 and won’t be legally allowed […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/18/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 2020 “How to Fix the Democratic Presidential Debates” [Politico (RH)]. “As the 2020 campaign beckons, the Democrats are facing the improbable probability that more than two dozen candidates will be pursuing […]

Links 12/18/18

Poacher Who Illegally Killed Hundreds of Deer Ordered to Repeatedly Watch Bambi Springfield News-Leader A Bad World for Migrants (and I Don’t Even Mean Human Ones) TomDispatch NOAA releases 2018 Arctic Report Card EarthSky (Furzy Mouse). Original (PDF). Huge barrier isn’t trapping plastic waste in Pacific Ocean New Zealand Herald (DL). Seven Billion-Dollar Disasters From […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/17/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, my mini-essay on the Texas case overturning ObamaCare took longer than I thought, so I’m short on the 2016 material, which includes some unusually horrid material from the DNC. So please check back. –lambert 2:55PM All done! Trade “China to Cut Tax on US Vehicles to Ease Trade Tensions” […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/14/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “The Latest Sign of a U.S.-China Trade Truce: Corn” [Bloomberg]. “Corn futures gained on Friday after Chinese officials were said to be preparing to restart purchases of American supplies as soon as January in another sign that China is working on a lasting detente with the U.S. The Asian […]

Links 12/14/18

Observation of tool use in striped skunks: how community science and social media help document rare natural phenomena Ecospjere. Note that community science is an obvious use case for a Jobs Guarantee, with data to drive a Green New Deal. As Winters Warm, Blood-Sucking Ticks Drain Moose Dry Scientific American Blankfein’s Final Days at Goldman […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/13/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Aluminum tariffs have led to a strong recovery in employment, production, and investment in primary aluminum and downstream industries” [Economic Policy Institute]. “This report demonstrates that after the Section 232 tariffs were imposed on aluminum (and steel) on March 8, 2018, the domestic producers of both primary aluminum and […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/12/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Lighthizer doesn’t think Congress will cave to NAFTA threat” [Politico]. “Lighthizer has indicated to Democratic lawmakers behind closed doors that he’s not totally behind Trump’s threat to withdraw from NAFTA as a tactic to force Congress to vote on USMCA… He made clear in one recent conversation with a […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/11/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “As Battle Over NAFTA 2.0 Heats Up, New Report Documents 25 Years of NAFTA’s Disproportionate Damage to U.S. Latino and Mexican Working People” [Eyes on Trade]. “‘While President Trump’s manipulation of grievances over trade and immigration brought him to power, absent from his worldview is the reality that NAFTA […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/10/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Why Trump’s trade war is pushing China to become smarter and stronger, faster” [Hellenic Shipping News]. “The final communiqués at these lovefests must usually be written beforehand for anything to be agreed. Trump is the exception. He likes one-on-ones. He is a professional deal maker in a way that […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/7/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “As Battle Over NAFTA 2.0 Heats Up, New Report Documents 25 Years of NAFTA’s Disproportionate Damage to U.S. Latino and Mexican Working People” [Eyes on Trade]. “‘NAFTA not only didn’t deliver on its proponents’ rosy promises of more jobs and higher wages, but its ongoing damage ended decades of […]

Links 12/7/18

‘They were so full of joy’: Video of 200 dolphins swimming beside B.C. ferry goes viral CTV News Global Carbon Budget 2018 Earth System Science Data. Important. Texas and New Mexico shale basins hold 49 years worth of oil: USGS Reuters. Let’s leave it in the ground, so we always know where to find it. […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/6/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 2020 “Bernie Sanders: Concentrated Wealth is Concentrated Power” [The Real News Network]. Sanders: ” My vision is pretty simple. My vision is that we have got to have the guts to […]

Links 12/6/18

Flaming hole in Arkansas found to be intentionally set, not the work of Satan or meteorite Japan Times Bizarre ‘dark fluid’ with negative mass could dominate the universe – what my research suggests The Conversation These ants decorate their homes with the heads of their enemies National Geographic Pistachio Wars: The Back Story Yasha Levine […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/5/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Lingering tariffs on steel and aluminum could are a huge obstacle for congressional passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement next year. Lawmakers on both sides have expressed displeasure that the duties remain in place despite a new NAFTA deal, with American industries and agriculture still taking hits from the two […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/4/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Under China’s New Rules, U.S. Recycling Suffers” [Governing]. “Until this past January, China took 40 percent of America’s gently used paper, metals and plastic. Now, it accepts hardly any of it. China won’t take recycled material from this country, or others, unless it’s 99.5 percent free of contaminants. Some […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/3/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “‘A big leap forward’: Donald Trump praises talks with Xi Jinping as China readies for trade mission” [South China Morning Post]. “A source familiar with the trade talks said China was expected to send about 30 officials to Washington for discussions next but it was not known who would […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/30/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “Xi and Trump Should Swallow Their Pride and Join the TPP” [Foreign Policy]. ‘The only way forward is to seek peaceful coexistence through piecemeal compromise. The perfect vehicle for such talks is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the multilateral free trade deal negotiated under former U.S. President Barack Obama, abandoned […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/29/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, this Water Cooler is a bit shorter than usual because I needed to plow through a lot of literature to write my BECCS post. And I’m going to take a nap, when I’m done. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, I swear! –lambert Politics “But what is government […]

Betting on BECCS: Will Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage Help the Climate?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. I’m going to take the object of inquiry for this (and other) posts as the biosphere (as opposed to “the environment,” ecology, “the planet,” Earth, or a personified Earth, Gaia; possibly even “Nature” (though aren’t the stars part of Nature?). There are probably better definitions, but Wikipedia’s will do for […]

Links 11/29/18

Strange waves rippled around the world, and nobody knows why National Geographic Rare and diverse giant viruses unexpectedly found in a forest soil ecosystem Phys.org New Zealand whale stranding: ‘I will never forget their cries’ BBC Can lab-grown human brains think? The Week Risky Corporate Debt Among Top U.S. Threats Flagged in Fed Financial Stability […]

Global Uncertainty Is Rising, and That is a Bad Omen for Growth

Lambert here: I’ve never understood this fetish for certainty. Aren’t the Captain of Industry, the animals of spirit, the colossi of capital who bestride our globalized world, supposed to thrive on risk-taking, innovation, and disruption? And aren’t these uncertainty measures ripe for gaming via cognitive capture? By Hites Ahir, Senior Research Officer, IMF, Nicholas Bloom, […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/28/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Trade “All eyes might be on Trump’s dinner meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but the U.S. leader has other high-profile meetings that could have trade consequences” [Politico]. Trump is also scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Argentinian […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/27/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 2018 MS Senate: “3 Things to Watch in the Mississippi Senate Runoff” [Roll Call]. “High African-American turnout is Espy’s best shot at winning or even keeping it close….. Major League Baseball, […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/26/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, this Water Cooler will evolve more dynamically than usual, as I complete a post on the USPS and run an errand. But at some point, we will achieve the full complement of items. –lambert Trade “The US-China Trade War: A Timeline” [China Briefing]. “Total US tariffs applied exclusively to […]

Leftist “Useful Idiots” Continue Their War on Wages via Mass Immigration (Australia)

Lambert here: Angela Nagle’s article has gotten traction in unexpected places. By Houses and Holes, who edits MacroBusiness. Originally published in Macrobusiness. Here is what Crikey’s Bernard Keane wrote last week on immigration: The same policy breakdown that has occurred in other areas of neoliberal policymaking is now occurring on immigration. It’s generating the same […]

Links 11/26/18

Mutant superbugs menace future space station expeditions – NASA RT (original). Ancient termite megapolis as large as Britain found in Brazil CNN (original). “The YouTube algorithm that I helped build in 2011 still recommends the flat earth theory by the *hundreds of millions*” Guillaume Chaslot Free Software Messiah Richard Stallman: We Can Do Better Than […]

Links 11/25/18

Vermont couple looking for family peacock that ran off with turkeys Boston Globe The little blind fish that can mend a broken heart Japan Times. Literal heart tissue. Toxic Oilfield Wastewater Used to Grow California Food, Including Organics Food and Water Watch Oilsands waste is collected in sprawling toxic ponds. To clean them up, oil […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/23/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, I should have started inventorying Sanders’ town halls earlier, but frankly, I’m still in vacation mode. So talk amongst yourselves. –lambert Here, however, is a useful Twitter thread on the most disgusting backpacker episode I’ve ever heard of. In the Andaman islands: There’s been a lot of talk about […]

Links 11/23/18

Ancient mammal cousin looked like cross between a rhino and a turtle Science Wealthy nations fall short of climate funding pledge FT Why do billions of people still lack basic sanitation? BBC Nissan to Seek Review of Renault Shareholding Structure Bloomberg Carlos Ghosn’s downfall lays bare Nissan’s board problem FT. “The company ‘had literally no […]

Wolf Richter: 438 Stocks on the NYSE Have Already Plunged 40%-94% from 52-Week Highs

By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street. It’s barely a correction, technically speaking, with the S&P 500 down 9.9% from its all-time closing high, the Dow down 9.2%, the Nasdaq down 14%, and the Russell 2000 small-caps index […]

Links Thanksgiving Day 11/22/18

Readers, I hope your Thanksgiving is convivial! Sperm whale found dead with 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach National Geographic Goldman sued by Abu Dhabi fund over 1MDB FT Danske Bank whistleblower says he was offered hush money City AM Cash Rules Everything Around the Bond Markets Bloomberg Stock-Market Margin Debt Plunges Most Since […]