2:00PM Water Cooler 8/22/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune I’m abandoning the RCP poll on the Democrat Presidential nomination race, despite the fancy presentation, because I don’t […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/21/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Readers, I had a schedule debacle and so this Water Cooler is at present shockingly truncated. I’ll update in a rolling fashion section by section. I hope there’s enough here to get you going. –lambert UPDATE All done. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/20/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “Trump’s Trade War Is Keeping the Dollar Strong, Not the Fed” [Bloomberg]. “Donald Trump has blamed the stubbornly strong dollar on the Federal Reserve’s reluctance to slash interest rates further. But real yields suggest investors fearful of the president’s trade war are what’s keeping the greenback strong.” Politics “But […]

Links 8/20/19

The quest to unlock the secrets of the baby Universe Nature The Thick Gray Line: Forest Elephants Defend Against Climate Change NYT America’s agriculture is 48 times more toxic than 25 years ago. Blame neonics Guardian (original). Coal industry stakes survival on carbon capture plan FT Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to […]

Is the So-Called “Manufacturing Renaissance” a Mirage?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente As readers may know, I was a model railroader when young, and I still buy Model Railroader. The picture of America I have is very much like the sort of town that one might model in the steam-to-diesel era, and much like the town I grew up in. My model […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/19/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Readers, this Water Cooler is a bit light because I’m finishing up a post. –lambert Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune I’m abandoning the […]

Externalities – And Cheating – in the Financial Crisis

Lambert here. Pretty dry language: “Perhaps one must go beyond simply comparing economic models by considering legal and political factors?” Then for example, in the US, Trump would be one “externality” of the Crash. In the UK, Brexit would be another. “Perhaps.” Marcus Miller, Research Associate, ESRC Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, […]

Links 8/19/19

This bat-friendly town turned the night red MNN Give Your Yard Back to Nature Popular Mechanics. Once-fringe idea goes mainstream. It’s a good idea, too. Scam Alert: Using Voice Search? Use Caution When Asking for Auto Dial from Your Smart Device Better Business Bureau. If there can be fraud, there has already been fraud… Wells […]

Phishing Equilibria in E-Commerce: Shopping Sites and Dark Patterns

By Lambert Strether of Corrente We have called attention to the use of “dark patterns” on websites before (2013), but until now the literature has been confined to definitions, examples, and classifications from website developers and User Interface/User Experience designers. Now we have a full-fledged academic study (“Dark Patterns at Scale“) that quantifies the number […]

Links 8/18/19

Scientists have discovered how memories are inherited World Economic Forum (original). Epigenetics, albeit in flatworms. Countries most exposed to climate change face higher costs of capital The Economist America’s mega-emitters are starting to close E&E News “Kochland” Examines the Koch Brothers’ Early, Crucial Role in Climate-Change Denial The New Yorker ‘The Devil We Know:’ How […]

China’s Ultimate Play For Global Oil Market Control

Lambert here: “Both MBS and MBZ consider the last-minute cancellation of the US retaliatory strike [for Iran shooting down a US drone] a personal affront and humiliation because Trump did not accept and follow their positions and demands for action. Both MBS and MBZ are now convinced that not only the US demonstrated weakness and […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/16/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of six five four polls). As of August 15: Biden flat at […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/15/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five four polls). As of August 15: Biden flat at 30.4% […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/14/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “China Sticking to September US Trade Talks After Tariff Delay” [Bloomberg]. “Chinese officials are sticking to their plan to visit Washington in September for face-to-face trade meetings, people familiar with the matter said, signaling that talks remain on track for now despite an abrupt escalation in tariff threats this […]

Phishing Equilibria in Silicon Valley: Google Maps and Fraud

By Lambert Strether of Corrente I’ve always been a big fan of Akerlof and Shiller’s concept of a “phishing equilibrium,” which they developed in Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception. Since 2015, when they published the book, the concept hasn’t really caught on, perhaps because it was a foundational assault on mainstream […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/13/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “‘Very Painful’ Trade War Has Tech Suppliers Moving Out of China” [Bloomberg]. “From Inventec to Apple-assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Taiwanese companies that make most of the world’s electronics are reconsidering their reliance on the world’s No. 2 economy as Washington-Beijing tensions simmer. Rising tariffs on Chinese-made products […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/12/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “Key Moments of the Week Trump’s Trade War Turned Currency Feud” [Bloomberg]. “As China matched President Donald Trump’s higher tariffs and name-calling with painful moves of its own, the arguments from [Peter] Navarro were heard over those of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow. The result was another […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/9/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade The Japanese-Korean trade war seems serious. Thread: Another report that says Samsung Electronics is cutting all Japanese components from all of its product lines. Not just semiconductors, but smartphones and home appliances as well. | [단독] 삼성, 日소재 부품 빼기 ‘반도체,스마트폰, 가전’ 모두 추진 https://t.co/AcB1UxSrk0 — T.K. of AAK! […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/8/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of August 7: Biden down to 31.0% (31.6), […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/7/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “U.S. agricultural exports to China plummeted more than 50% last year to $9.1 billion as tariffs raised the cost of American soybeans, pork and other farm products. The exports dropped another 20% in the first six months of this year. The pain is rippling through agricultural supply chains. One […]

Links 8/7/19

Animal friendships change with the weather in African savanna Science The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing Forbes Big Money Starts to Dump Stocks That Pose Climate Risks Bloomberg New Models Point to More Global Warming Than We Expected Weather Underground Challenges to natural and human communities from surprising […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/6/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Patient readers, this is a wildly out-of-whack Water Cooler that I will shortly rebalance. I needed to do a pantry clear-out on the Politics section, which I did not complete because I got a late start. I also need to add the material about the feral hogs (you’ll find out). […]

Links 8/6/19

Give A Dam About This Beaver Spotted Swimming In The Hudson River Gothamist Cashless Stores Alienate Customers in the Name of Efficiency WIRED The Fed is getting into the real-time payments business CNN Robots Are Solving Banks’ Very Expensive Research Problem Bloomberg. The deck: “Banks can’t always afford to put analysts on the ground in […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/5/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “Trade Wars Escalate” [Tim Duy’s Fed Watch]. “The big news everyone will wake up to is the latest escalation in the trade wars between the U.S. and China. The situation is obviously a clear net negative for the economy that will keep the Fed biased toward easing again in […]

Links 8/5/19

Forget “hygge.” The most useful Danish word is “pyt” Quartzy The Global Economy Lives in Wonderland Now Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy. Well worth a read. Imperialism in the Anthropocene Monthly Review (AL). Thought provoking! A Deluge of Batteries Is About to Rewire the Power Grid Bloomberg Sites using Facebook ‘Like’ button liable for data, EU […]

Michael Hudson: Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is “and forgive them their debts”: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy Control […]

Links 8/4/19

The Secret Life of Kudzu Scientific American How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis The Atlantic. Are we likely to see a climate Minsky moment? Temperature impact on GDP growth is overestimated vs. Reply to Rosen: Temperature–growth relationship is robust PNAS Arctic wildfires: How bad are they and what caused them? BBC […]

Neoliberalism: Political Success, Economic Failure

Lambert here: Well, except for those who can build bunkers in New Zealand or escape to Mars. By Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect. Reposted from Alternet. Since the late 1970s, we’ve had a grand experiment to test the claim that free markets really do work best. This resurrection occurred despite the practical failure of laissez-faire […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/2/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “5 Smart Reasons to Tax Foreign Capital” [Michael Pettis, Bloomberg]. “Senators Tammy Baldwin and Josh Hawley have introduced a bill that would require the Federal Reserve to manage the foreign-exchange value of the U.S. dollar to achieve balance in the U.S. capital account…. The bill would task the Fed […]

Links 8/2/19

Curving – Dog Body Language Silent Conversations Just 10% of fossil fuel subsidy cash ‘could pay for green transition’ Guardian (original). Greenland Is Melting Away Before Our Eyes Rolling Stone The Bizarre, Peaty Science of Arctic Wildfires Wired (Re Silc). Hawaii Extends Thirty Meter Telescope Permit Amid Protests NPR Syraqistan U.S. preparing to withdraw thousands […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/1/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Patient readers, I’ll have more on politics after I throw in a laundry! –lambert UPDATE All done! Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 […]

Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #4 in Detroit (Second Night)

The fourth Democrat Presidential debate starts in one-half hour, at 8:00PM ET. Again, CNN says, the debate will be hosted exclusively on CNN.com’s homepage, and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. (Readers may come up with alternative […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/31/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “Trump’s Bid to Dismantle Global Trading System Poised for a Win” [Industry Week]. “Thanks to a U.S. veto on new appeals judges, the WTO’s dispute arm is expected to start slipping into the institutional equivalent of a coma at the end of this year. That has set off a […]

Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #3 in Detroit (First Night)

The third Democrat Presidential debate starts in one-half hour, at 8:00PM ET. CNN says, one hopes not entirely truthfully, that the debates “will air exclusively on CNN and will stream live in their entirety, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, exclusively to CNN.com’s homepage, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/30/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “How Trump Is Sabotaging Trade’s Ultimate Tribunal” [Bloomberg]. “As the U.S. wages its global trade war, companies and governments alike are taking notice of a little-known unit of the World Trade Organization that, if President Donald Trump’s administration has its way, will soon cease to function. The WTO’s appellate […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/29/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of July 25: Biden up at 29.3% (28.6), […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/26/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Patient readers, I had a household event and got a late start. I’ll return with more shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done! Trade “Trump Says Apple Won’t Get China Tariff Relief” [Industry Week]. “The president tweeted on Friday, ‘Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts […]

Links 7/26/19

Bear Tries To Steal Entire Dumpster From Marijuana Dispensary CBS Denver. Legend. Giant ticks which hunt their prey confirmed in the Netherlands Dutch News Songbirds are being snatched from Miami’s forests National Geographic It’s So Hot That Pigs Are Getting Skinnier, Boosting U.S. Prices Bloomberg Don’t let vegetarian environmentalists shame you for eating meat. Science […]

The World’s Biggest Lawsuit: Juliana v. United States

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Juliana v. United States is a big and complicated case that has now advanced through two administrations. The original complaint was filed in September 2015; Judge Ann Aiken of Oregon district court rejected the government’s motion to dismiss the case in November 2016. At right is a timeline of the […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/25/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of July 24: Biden flat at 28.6% (28.6), […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/24/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “U.S. lawmakers are moving to eliminate a supply chain that has become an important source of transportation equipment for American public transit systems. Congress is preparing to bar the use of federal funds to buy Chinese buses and railcars” [Wall Street Journal]. “Backers say the ban is needed to […]

Links 7/24/19

For Wolves, Grooming Helps Strengthen Family Bonds Wolf Conservation Center Study suggests much more water on the moon than thought Phys.org. Great! Maybe now we won’t have to invade Canada! IMF lowers global growth forecasts amid trade, Brexit uncertainties Reuters Eurozone manufacturing activity worst in almost seven years — PMI FT Nissan to post 90% […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/23/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Trade “U.S. farmers look past trade fears to cash in on China’s hog crisis” [Reuters]. “The U.S. trade war with China initially forced U.S. pork exporters to scour the world for new markets but as the swine fever crisis deepens they’re gearing up for new opportunities to supply the Chinese […]

Robert O. Paxton’s “The Five Stages of Fascism”

By Lambert Strether of Corrente The word “fascism” has been much in the news of late. Here is a chart of the year 2019 from Google Trends: Interestingly, usage is more or less flat until the first spike, when President Trump put tanks on the National Mall for July 4, and then a second, larger […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/22/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Patient readers, this is a temporarily shortened Water Cooler until I finish a post on fascism. Then I will return with more. –lambert UPDATE All done! Trade “China’s war chest of rare earth patents give an insight into total domination of the industry” [South China Morning Post]. “China is strengthening […]

Links 7/22/19

The Washington Monument displayed a mesmerising tribute for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing Business Insider (KW). Hawaii telescope protest shuts down 13 observatories on Mauna Kea Nature NASA’s Lunar Space Station Is a Great/Terrible Idea IEEE Spectrum The Black Hole Engulfing the World’s Bond Markets Bloomberg Investing in the age of […]

Links 7/21/19

Wildfires above the Arctic Circle in Greenland and Alaska Wildfire Today US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here’s why it matters and how you can stop it CNN. I know somebody who just plants them in public spaces. Why Central Banks Need to Step Up on Global Warming Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy […]

The Cost of Climate Change: Steve Keen Dismantles William Nordhaus

Lambert here: Some of you may remember an exchange between Keen and Nordhaus on the Twitter linked to here. Keen covers the same ground in depth here, with the same result. By Steve Keen, Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Economics, Politics and History at Kingston University London, author of Debunking Economics, […]