Big Pharma Wants to Pocket the Profits From a COVID Treatment You Already Paid For

Yves here. Even though the proposed remdevisir price gouging, particularly in light of its underwhelming Covid-19 treatment benefit, has already gotten ample bad press, this post explains why the picture is even worse than you thought. Generally speaking, the government funds roughly 30% of Big Pharma R&D. The authors estimate that for remdevisir, the Federal […]

Links 7/9/2020

Spreading rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2 from air Guardian (David L) Earth’s magnetic field changes 10 times faster than once thought LiveScience (Kevin W) Why Is Glass Rigid? Signs of Its Secret Structure Emerge. Quanta (David L) The Best Veterinary Telemedicine Services Wired. Gah. From floating guts to ‘sticky’ blood […]

Private Equity and the Pandemic: Brace for Impact…Investing (Part II)

Yves here. Yesterday, Sebastien Canderle described the social-welfare-destroying actions of private equity in their operation of health care industry acquisitions. Even though readers may recall some of the details from the original news stories, having so many aggregated in one article shows how much damage they have done to patients and communities. Today’s offering focuses […]

Will the E-Money Boom Make the UK a Hub of Money Laundering?

Yves here. Our one-time frequent writer Richard Smith, who has devoted a great deal of energy over the years to pursuing international fraudsters, has been getting more and more notice as an expert on some of the tools they use. It may seem rhetorical to question whether the UK will continue to be a major […]

“Warren’s Eviction Bill Is Economically and Politically Savvy”

Yves here. I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a good answer to the question of what to do about the problem of millions of tenants and homeowners being unable to keep up their housing payments and facing eviction. But Warren’s unduly simple-minded eviction bill, which provides for a one-year eviction freeze, is […]

Private Equity and the Pandemic: Brace for Impact…Investing

Yves here. This short series shows why private equity’s efforts to jump on yet another investment fad bandwagon, that of “environmental, social, and governance” driven investing, is all optics, no substance. Sebastien Canderle starts by documenting at length how private equity has done great harm though its rent-extraction practices in the health care industry. By […]

Brexit: Running Down the Clock?

The Brexit front has seemed positively dull compared to the horrors of Covid-19 (the disease proper, the spectacularly bad responses in the US and UK, and the economic fallout), and US protests and rising social tensions. However, the lack of much apparent action, aside from the Groundhog Day sort, is a bit misleading, since letting […]

Links 7/7/2020

Scientists Discover Extremely Tiny Dinosaur Ancestor in Madagascar ScienceAlert (Kevin W) A Surprise Comet Is Coming to Put on a Spectacular Sky Show — and It Won’t Be Visible Again for Over 6,000 Years Travel and Leisure Marine Life Found in Ancient Antarctica Ice Helps Solve a Carbon Dioxide Puzzle From the Ice Age Gizmodo […]

Key CIA-Backed Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

Yves here. This recap of a sordid bit of history, of the US, and specifically, CIA support of the brutal Kosovo Liberation Army during the civil war in what had been Yugoslavia, may seem wide of our usual beats. However, this detailed account is important not simply because it describes US sponsorship of an accused […]

Time for the West to Embrace Chinese Industrial Policy, Not Eliminate it

Yves here. We’ve pointed out that the US does have an industrial policy, even if it comes out by default through which groups manage to extract the most subsidies. Favored sectors include housing, the defense-surveillance complex, financial services, higher education, oil and gas, and niche interests like sugar. So the umbrage about China (and Japan […]

Risking Nuclear War for Dollars

Yves here. I am a big fan of Paul Jay and his new initiative, theAnalysis.com, which is currently primarily podcasts. And it is particularly exciting to learn that Paul is working with Daniel Ellsberg on a documentary based on Ellsberg’s recent book, The Doomsday Machine, on how close the world has been and is to […]

Links 7/4/2020

Dead fish are popping up all along the Hudson River New York Post (David L). Eeew. Nagaland dog meat: Animal rights groups hail ban as ‘major turning point’ BBC (David L) Take a Flight Over Korolev Crater on Mars Universe Today (Kevin W) After Fighting Plastic in ‘Paradise Lost,’ Sisters Take On Climate Change New […]

How Largely Hidden Trends Are Shattering the Global Trade System

Yves here. We’ve been pointing out since virtually the inception of this website, that for many and perhaps most companies, the case for outsourcing and offshoring was weak, particularly if you took risks seriously, assuming the goal was profit. However, the most important effect of moving important activities to areas where labor is cheaper is […]

Is Donald Trump Likely to Resign?

By Thomas Neuburger. Produced by DownWithTyranny! Thanks to Trump’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 outbreak, the U.S. is on the verge of becoming the Typhoid Mary of major industrial nations Donald Trump’s resignation is a topic on many lips these days. Chris Hayes, in a dramatic moment at MSNBC, called for Trump’s to resign over his […]

Links 7/3/2020

Yves here. We are on a holiday schedule through Monday. I nevertheless am busy with eldercare matters (interviewing new agencies, gah) which is why no original posts today. Hope your holiday is fun or at least restful. A ‘Viral’ New Bird Song in Canada Is Causing Sparrows to Change Their Tune Gizmodo (David L) Elk […]

Some New Climate Models Are Projecting Extreme Warming. Are They Correct?

Yves here. Readers may be surprised to learn that independent science groups review major climate models on a regular basis. Nevertheless, and I hate to seem like such a naysayer, but between Covid-19 and greater social divisions, the ability of many advanced economies to change course on climate change seems very much diminished. By Jeff […]

How Much More Cash Can Uber Burn?

Yves here. Although this post does not answer the headline question, about how deep the Uber money pit will prove to be, it is gratifying to see more commentators taking up Hubert Horan’s skepticism about the local transportation company and focusing its continuing-to-be-Gawdawful cash flow prospects. I’m still amazed after extension gimmicks like scooters proved […]

New Complaint With California Watchdog Charges CalPERS Board Member Theresa Taylor With Perjury for Filing False Declarations That Hid Over $30,000 of Income; Follows Fines of Board President Jones for Campaign Violations

People in glass houses should not throw stones. We’ve reported on how CalPERS is engaged in what Pulitzer Prize winner Mike Hiltzik called a “witch hunt” against board member Margaret Brown by restricting her ability to perform her duties on fabricated grounds.1 Yet it has ignored an apparent felony among its own board members, in […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About the Fed’s New Credit Allocation Policy

Yves here. This article by Ed Kane addresses a long-standing pet peeve in the context of the coronacrisis: how credit is an inefficient way to encourage economic activity. Look at how student loans served almost entirely to foster higher educational adminisphere bloat and facilities gold-plating, while doing squat to improve the caliber of teaching. And […]

Links 7/1/2020

Yves here. Lotta eldercare time sinks this week. Some get into regulatory issues so you may hear about them once I get things under control. Russia’s famous corgi cop calls it a career Asia Times (J-LS) SAN FRANCISCO POLICE INTERRUPTS SEX PARTY INVOLVING MIDGETS, EMUS AND A FOUNTAIN OF SPERM, 71 ARRESTS World Daily News […]

Beneath the Bluster, Boris Johnson’s ‘New Deal’ Offers Nothing New

Yves here. Boris Johnson’s paltry “New Deal” gimmick has been thumbs down outside his hard core fanbase. For instance: Forensic, understated, devastating from @BBCRealityCheck https://t.co/COoYGkChDO — Emma Dixon (@EmmaDixon_EU) July 1, 2020 Forensic, understated, devastating from @BBCRealityCheck https://t.co/COoYGkChDO — Emma Dixon (@EmmaDixon_EU) July 1, 2020 Johnson and Trump now share the same covid policy: Pretend […]

Los Angeles Hit Hard by Implosion of Freelance Work

Those long enough in tooth to have been working in the later 1990s may remember the hyping of going freelance. The growth of the gig economy precariat has tarnished that allure, but there was a large contingent of high-end, high-skill workers who either went from project to project or had their own clientele and now […]

The Federal Government Always Money-Finances Its Spending: A Restatement

Yves here. This Nathan Tankus post is a bit technical at points, but demonstrates a basic issue for fiat currency issuers like the Federal government: their spending is always the result of creating new money, even when other transactions like Treasury bond issuance appear to be responsible. By Nathan Tankus. Originally published at Notes on […]

Links 6/30/2020

Florida manatee deaths up 20 percent as Covid-19 threatens recovery Guardian (resilc) 🙁 South Pole warming three times faster than rest of Earth: study PhysOrg (Bob H) How green sand could capture billions of tons of carbon dioxide MIT Technology Review (David L) Fueled by High Temperatures and Ample Land, Locusts Swarm Italy LinkTV (Bob […]

New Investment Gimmickry: Covid-19 Bonds

When the Financial Times decides to diss a new investment scheme, you know it’s bad. The headline of interest: Rise in Covid-19 bond issuance fans fears over ‘social washing’. The short version is that opportunists, um, issuers, are taking advantage of the fad among big investors for “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) oriented investing with […]

We Won’t Have a Truly Global Economy Until We Tax It That Way

Yves here. I left the original headline on this post because it would drive readers crazy and a better one would be very Daily-Mailish. However, the subhead gives a better idea of the focus of the piece: Reconstructing our tax system is an integral part of future national industrial policy as we restart the economy. […]

Wall Street Journal’s Apologia for Private Equity Letting Companies Go Bust

As more and more private equity-owned companies are failing, the great unwashed public is starting to take notice and wonder why. Even before the coronacrisis arrived, the mainstream media was documenting the outsized role of private equity in the bankruptcies of retailers, restaurants, and even stores like Fairway. Sometimes, as with Toys’R’Us, it was too […]

Pentagon Porks Up as Covid-19 Bleeds Economy

Yves here. Official America is doubling down on what it has become, a country where redistribution of income to protected interests and industries is a top priority. Despite the fact that the US hasn’t won a war since World War II (and even then, Russia deserves more credit), we keep throwing money at the Pentagon. […]

Links 6/27/2020

Dolphins Are So Smart They’re Learning Tool-Use From Their Friends ScienceAlert (Kevin W) 7 Things in Our Universe That Have Astronomers Scratching Their Heads Interesting Engineering Mystery of Earth’s Vanishing Crust Solved by MagLab Geochemists – Prevailing Theories Contradicted SciTechDaily (Kevin W) #COVID-19 Hump!, the online porn fest that wouldn’t have happened without quarantine ars […]

Michael Hudson on Coronavirus and Debt Winners and Losers

Yves here. Michael Hudson discusses the deflationary impact of the coronacrisis and how modern, misguided approaches to unsustainable debt loads are making matters worse. Remarks given at the 1st ASECU Teleconference ‘Systematic Crises Triggered the Current Pandemic & Progressive Way-Outs,’ May 8, 2020 <Michael Hudson> Well, I think you’re quite right in organizing the conference […]

The Best Law Capital Can Buy

Yves here. Professor Katharina Pistor has written an important, potentially a landmark, book on the role of law in creating and increasing capital at the expense of labor. We’ve written about many aspects of this issue over the years, from the way what used to be the commons (starting with pastureland) has been seized by […]

LA Times’ Michael Hiltzik Shellacks CalPERS for Trumped-Up Attacks on Board Member Margaret Brown, Toadying to Staff Instead of Providing Oversight

Pulitzer Prize winner Mike Hiltzik, the most prominent business commentator in California, roused himself to engage in an extended spanking of the CalPERS board for “acting like a group of kindergarteners” in harassing board member Margaret Brown. But the bigger sins in Hiltzik’s eyes are that the board is devoting energy to petty antics like […]

Minnesota, Ellison Announces Climate Lawsuit Against Exxon, Koch, and API

Yves here. It is over my pay grade to assess the legal merits of Keith Ellison’s climate lawsuit. Having said that, my layperson’s understanding is that advertising fraud is a well-settled area of law, and advertisers are liable for false claims. So I would anticipate that this suit ought to survive a motion to dismiss […]

Links 6/24/2020

Thanks so much for your generous donations to CalPERS board member Margaret Brown’s litigation fund! She very much appreciates your support. And if you haven’t yet chipped in to help in this David versus Goliath fight, please take a short detour here. Watch a String Quartet Perform for an Audience of 2,300 Plants Rolling Stone […]

Saharan Dust Storm Expected To Cause Dangerous Air Pollution in U.S. This Week

Yves here. This article is a bit of a public service announcement, but the detail on the dust storm’s impact is also technically intriguing. Plus some of you may be suffering from Wunderground withdrawal. By Jeff Masters, Ph.D. Originally published at Yale Climate Connections The famed Pitons on St. Lucia in the Caribbean, shrouded by […]