Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ Istanbul, Turkey, Ataturk International Airport Terrorist Attack ALERT™ :: Event Summary
The overview, by Anthony Skinner, Director of Political Risk at Maplecroft, is useful, but I’d add a number of crucial geopolitical observations.
Erdogan is working on a deal with Israel to allow Turkey to aid the Gazans. The aid would still flow through Israel. Israel would inspect it before any of it being allowed to enter Gaza. Israel has expressed what some consider an apology for the death of Turks on the Mavi Marmara, a ship in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was boarded by the Israeli military during which the Turks were killed.
Erdogan has openly expressed his understanding of the deeply held feeling of the Russians concerning the downing of the Russian’s military jet flying over Northern Syria, which the Turks said at the time briefly crossed over Turkish airspace, which Russia disputes. Erdogan has also expressed his desire to mend Turkey’s relationship with Russia. Turkey’s economy has suffered due to Russian sanctions against Turkey.
I believe Erdogan is greatly concerned with the instability of the EU at the moment and with the ramping up of IS against Turkey.
He knows that the US is working with the YPG in Syria to fight IS and that the US is not going to stop doing that until IS is destroyed. The YPG is closely aligned with the PKK, which Erdogan has mistakenly hardened for the sake of Erdogan’s political ambitions.
Let me also correct the analysis by stating that the TAK ought not be labeled an extension. That term does not make clear that the PKK has denounced the TAK, which is an offshoot because the PKK leadership’s positions were not extreme enough to suit the TAK. If anyone has recent, substantiated information with a credible link or links on this, I’d appreciate a comment in the comment section on it.
⇧ Statement from members of Labour’s Economic Advisory Commitee — Prime Economics
… we all share the view that the EU referendum result is a major disaster for the UK, and we have felt unhappy that the Labour leadership has not campaigned more strongly to avoid this outcome.
Well, the problem with your statement is that the analysis I saw against leaving was primarily, if not entirely, technocratic and, frankly, anti-democratic.
I agree that Jeremy Corbyn should have spoken out loudly and often but for democratizing the EU on a crash-course basis (a continental emergency requiring immediate, urgent action).
I need to inform you all that Yanis Varoufakis has it all over you, both politically and economically.
⇧ The Daily Shot; June 29 – Global Macro Currents
Turkey’s tourism industry is in trouble as the number of foreign arrivals collapses. Stores, restaurants are going under in large numbers. That’s why Turkey moved to restore ties with Russia. However, the terrible events at Istanbul Airport on Tuesday will likely further curtail foreign arrivals.
1. Merkel, Hollande, Renzi are telling the UK “no negotiation until UK’s PM triggers Article 50.”
Source: Goldman Sachs
4. Loan-to-Deposit Ratios have declined globally. The longest decline has taken place in Japan. Note that QE increases deposits without raising loan balances.
Source: Morgan Stanley, ?@joshdigga
2. Falling treasury yields increase mortgage-backed securities (MBS) prepayment speed expectations. That, in turn, lowers the duration of these securities (mortgages get refi’d earlier) forcing portfolio managers to reduce hedges. Reducing hedges means buying back treasuries (or swaps) which pushes treasury yields lower. There has been a significant duration reduction over past few weeks.
⇧ The Real Lesson From Brexit –
Fault does not lie with the people mistrusting us. We need to rebuild that trust. It is not sufficient that most doctors, intellectuals, and journalists do a very fine job. We should have transparency rules in place to ensure that they all [are] free from conflict of interest. We should have admission rules that favor not just ethnic diversity, but also economic and social diversity. We should have campaign financing rules that free our representatives from the yoke of vested interests.
In sum, we need to create the conditions to undermine this mistrust of experts. This is the most important lesson from Brexit.
Ah, he used the term “transparency.” Good.
The required term he didn’t use, however, is “democracy.”
It is becoming extremely self-evident that not only is laissez-faire capitalism the enemy of the People, the enemy of grassroots democracy, but that the intelligentsia is also.
Intelligentsia connotes acceptance by the very elite that the intelligentsia ought honestly to be critiquing.
In other words, we don’t just have regulatory capture or governmental capture. We have intelligentsia capture (inherently so).
We are never going to really get anywhere sustainable without real democracy where the People decide who is and who isn’t the intelligentsia.
I commend Luigi Zingales for using the term “transparency.” Now I ask him to become a deeper thinker, to see where real transparency leads and why the elites stand opposed to it: democracy.
If he comes to that correct conclusion and wishes to publish that fact, he may find that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is part of the problem (so far).
As for singling out Trump supporters, I believe it is a miscarriage of justice not to include Bernie Sanders supporters too. While we’re at it, let’s be more transparent and include Jill Stein of the Green Party. I’d include the Libertarian Party’s candidate; but, as I said, laissez-faire is the enemy of democracy.
⇧ In ‘Brexit’ and Trump, a Populist Farewell to Laissez-Faire Capitalism – The New York Times
I’m going to keep rubbing it in until we force the intelligentsia to use the term: democracy!
Eduardo Porter does everything but.
There are less catastrophic ways to put an end to an era.
Notice that, as with Luigi Zingales above, Eduardo Porter fails to mention the Left. Now why would that be?
It would be because the Left is vastly more focused upon democracy, which would undermine the technocracy created by and for the plutocrats.
In other words, you see here what I meant by capture. Luigi Zingales had the courage to state that journalists (and of course widely published pundits) are largely captured by those they should honestly be critiquing.
Come on, Ed. Get with the program. If they fire you, go work with a democratic outfit. Ask your fellow writers to finally brave it too. Stop crafting around the term democracy, avoiding it out of fear or mental blockage or cognitive dissonance, etc.
⇧ Which Thinkers Will Define Our Future?
Brad DeLong with my commentary interspersed:
Several years ago, it occurred to me that social scientists today are all standing on the shoulders of giants like Niccolo Machiavelli ….
Yikes! Niccolo Machiavelli was a moral pigmy.
Keynes … thought deeply about the technocratic problems of economic management — and about the social, moral, and political disasters that would follow from failing to address them.
Ah, “technocratic problems,” not the lack of democracy. Telling.
Polanyi warned that if the modern bourgeois order failed[…], authoritarian and totalitarian political movements would benefit.
Not the democratic Left but authoritarian and totalitarian political movements would benefit. Telling again.
Tocqueville saw this strictly ordered world being replaced by democracy and formal social equality, in which everyone would be equally free, but would also be equally at the mercy of society. In this new setting, no privileges or liberties would protect you if you failed to find a counterparty in the market, or ran afoul of the tyranny of the majority[…].
“The tyranny of the majority” is nothing more than a lack of democracy, a lack of transparency, a lack of equality to be heard, to have access, etc. Telling, telling, telling.
In our own time, the destruction of caste and caste privilege is taking another step forward. The period of white males’ political dominion in Western democracies is coming to an end. And it is coming to an end at a time when economic populism is replacing technocratic management, often with white males turning to nativism in response to the destruction of their jobs and livelihoods by the impersonal forces of globalization.
Economic populism is replacing technocratic management. That’s a good thing. The issue isn’t whether that should happen but whether it will be real populism or the fake (non-transparent). Unfortunately, Brad is aiding and abetting the very forces he seems to want to stand against. He is doing so by being more than insufficiently democratic and transparent.
As we can see in one country after another, the old order won’t give up without a fight. No old order does. But the caste-like privilege of white males is doomed. The challenge now before us is how best to realize newly available opportunities for human betterment, for the benefit of all. I can think of few more useful guides to that challenge than Keynes, Polanyi, and Tocqueville.
Let’s get something really, really clear. The elitists don’t really give a damn about the color of their own skin or whether they are male or female. The caste of what Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called the “Billionaire class” is what’s doomed. There are billionaires around the planet of all different colors, though admittedly not nearly as many females. They are full-fledged members of the “caste” and have been ever since Reagan and Thatcher.
⇧ Ms. Independent: Top 10 Cities Where Millennials Are Living Alone – Zillow Porchlight
⇧ Detroit Crews Fight String of 17 Suspected Arson Fires
… fires burned mix of occupied and vacant homes.
⇧ PCI: Most Walkable Cities May Be Most Dangerous for Pedestrians
Frankly, we should be discussing addiction.
… put the phone down and pay attention.
⇧ Draghi Wishes for a World Order Populists Will Love to Hate – Bloomberg
…groundswell of nationalism and populism sweeping developed economies….
Okay, it’s time to define some terms.
First, just to be clear, populism is not nationalism. The article doesn’t suggest that it is; however, seeing them together so much lately and seeing them again here, I wanted to state it.
Nationalism is typically ethnic-based and also racist, but it can also be cultural and even exclusively so.
Populism is the People struggling against the elitists.
Globalization is not of, by, and for those elitists. Globalization is a term of many connotations. For one, globalization can be a democratic, populist endeavor, which it is for me.
⇧ ClubOrlov: Firing the Elites
Okay, remember my simple definitions above.
You’ll see in this article nationalism as culture more than ethnic.
A somewhat thoughtful question that is sometimes asked (after people are done making spurious claims that Donald Trump is insane, a misogynist, a racist, a fascist, a bad businessman, generally not very nice or whatever else) is whether he is qualified to govern. To my mind, this question reduces to a much simpler question: Is he qualified to fire people? And the answer is, Yes, he most certainly is qualified to fire people. In fact “You’re fired!” is one of his trademark utterances. In fact, he just recently fired his very own campaign manager. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, heads up the entire cohort of people that need to be fired. And that is why I think there is a good chance that the “little people” will finally rise up and vote for somebody who will do just that.
I don’t know the degree to which Donald Trump is “insane, a misogynist, a racist, a fascist, a bad businessman, generally not very nice.”
There is no doubt whatsoever that people who oppose him from the Democratic Party typically dumb down the issues for the sake of creating belittling sound bites. The right is also guilty of it. I find that whole aspect very off-putting.
There are insane acts done by politicians in high places. There are clearly sociopathic acts. However, we must discuss the substantive issues and not simply fall on often deliberately misleading/distracting sound bites.
As for the second part of the quoted paragraph, Donald Trump is certainly not the only opportunity for the People to elect someone who will work for firing “the entire cohort of people that need to be fired.”
There are populist leftists, democrats, ready to do that. In addition, I’m not sure Donald Trump is truly ready. Why? Part of “the entire cohort of people that need to be fired” includes people he has advising him on economic matters still. He does seem to be able to select only those parts of what they suggest though. Unfortunately, he’s running with the ridiculous tax-cuts-for-the-rich mantra, the trickledown nonsense, the austerity pitch, which always fails to deliver sustainable growth lifting all boats. I could go on, but I’ve made the main point I wanted to make here.
⇧ Bernie Sanders: Democrats Need to Wake Up – NYTimes.com
We need a president who will vigorously support international cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together, reduces hypernationalism and decreases the possibility of war. We also need a president who respects the democratic rights of the people, and who will fight for an economy that protects the interests of working people, not just Wall Street, the drug companies and other powerful special interests.
We need to fundamentally reject our “free trade” policies and move to fair trade.
You see in Bernie’s article that he is not opposed to globalization, per se, but unfair globalization, undemocratic globalization.
He does understand the definitions. He needs to speak clearly about them so he is not misunderstood and so that the neoliberals and ordoliberals of the world do not define the democratic Left out of the picture by deliberately only discussing Trump as what constitutes populism.
Is Bernie saying these things to promote Hillary Clinton? No, he’s still running for the office of President. He’s running against Donald Trump.
“… demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment ….” He needs to be careful not to trap himself, as Donald Trump will definitely state that he is not opposed to people on account of their race, color, creed, or national origin but is solely concerned with the law and with properly vetting people before they are granted visas, etc.
Plenty of people are justifiably worried about terrorists entering the US to do IS’s bidding or in people who are here being swayed by IS calls for such. It is irrelevant that American citizens who are white and who call themselves Christians also engage in horrific acts of mass violence and whether they do so to terrorize people. I bring up “white” and “Christian” because so many are attempting to convince others via illogical argumentation that such things are somehow reason enough not to do the things Trump is saying must be done to preserve the United States as a nation. What I’m saying is that if you are going to defeat Trumps calls for a wall at the border with Mexico for instance, you’re going to have to give global solutions that will have dramatic, massive, and nearly instant positive impacts. Sanders appears to be doing that, but he’s not tying them together enough in the public mind.
⇧ Quicken Loans now offering 1% down mortgages | HousingWire
… Quicken’s 1% down loans are only available for purchase mortgages. No refinances are permitted. Second, the program can only be used on a single-family home or condo, not a second home, investment property or co-op.
Additionally, borrowers must have a FICO score of 680 or above, must earn less than the median income for their county, and must carry a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or less.
Also, as part of the program, Quicken Loans makes a free online course on homeownership available to all eligible borrowers. First-time buyers are required to take the online course to be eligible for the program.
⇧ D.C. enacting $15 minimum wage indexed for inflation, in huge victory for labor rights – Salon.com
The new legislation will incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 in 2020. The minimum wage for tipped workers will rise from $2.77 now to $5 per hour before tips, although employers must pay the difference if the worker does not make more than $15 per hour with tips.
In an even bigger victory for labor rights, the new law will also increase the minimum wage annually based on an inflation index, so the real wage of workers will not diminish over time.
Rep. Ellison stressed that, if the minimum wage in 1968 had been indexed for inflation, it would be at least $22 today.
“We are going through one of the worst periods of wage stagnation in our nation’s history,” he said. Ellison pointed out that Americans who are working full-time on the federal minimum wage are eligible for food stamps, section 8 housing and Medicaid.
“One of the problems in our economy, and the reason we’ve had slow growth, is because the average working American doesn’t have any money,” he continued. “You can’t spend money that you don’t have.”
Even small business owners are hurt by the low minimum wage, Ellison added, “because their customer base is broke.”
Indexed to inflation (not the chained CPI) is the right way to go.
⇧ Not All Baby Boomers Can Work to 70 | Squared Away Blog
Many factors go into this truth.
Higher education leads to healthier lifestyles. Higher education leads to less taxing work on the body. Higher education leads to work in less risky environments, such as industrial pollutions.
Should we reward people who failed to get a higher education? Some people can’t do the hard academic work. Others couldn’t afford to go to college for all sorts of reasons beyond their control.
⇧ 6 Steps to protect your home while traveling
Then, keep it up to date and your schedule with your carrier up to date too.
Easy? Yes and no. Worth it? You don’t want to find out.
It’s not hard to find European politicians disaffected with the EU. They might not want to quit the bloc, but they do want it to do some things differently and now they are finding public support.
Earlier this month, an anti-establishment party founded by a comic triumphed in Italian mayoral runoff elections, upending the established order of municipal politics in Rome and Turin. The 5-Star Movement candidates trounced Italian Premier Matteo Renzi’s mainstream rivals.
“We want a Europe that is more a ‘community’ and not a union of banks and lobbies,” the 5-Star Movement’s founder, comic Beppe Grillo, wrote on his blog after the British vote.
“The European Union must change, otherwise it dies,” he wrote. “There are millions and millions of European citizens ever more critical, who don’t recognize themselves in this union, made of banks and economic blackmail.”
Grillo was apparently referring to the deeply unpopular austerity measures designed to cut government debt in Europe after the continent’s financial crisis. Although the immediate threat of a disintegration of the 19-nation eurozone that uses the euro currency has eased, the budget cuts have stayed.
So has the resentment of them.
Since a general election in Portugal last year, an anti-austerity Socialist government has been kept in power by an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc. While Portugal has won too many benefits to want to leave the EU, the government’s reversal of austerity measures is a clear act of defiance against Brussels.
Do you see what I mean yet?
The only one in the article mentioning democracy is Marine Le Pen. It’s as if no Leftists want democracy. Democracy must be turned into a bad word. It must always be tied to right-wing nationalism, which must be incorrectly labeled populism (as if anything right-wing isn’t of, by, and for the elitists, the plutocrats), though just how truly right-wing Marine Le Pen is remains to be seen.
Neoliberal economics is inherently right-wing, as is the German version: ordoliberalism.
The technocracy of the EU is inherently authoritarian: anti-democratic. It’s the tyranny of the technocrats. That’s a fact by definition.
⇧ NYC Mayor: Brexit Is About ‘Elites That Have Failed Working People’ | | Observer
… de Blasio said it was Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary challenger, who was “right on the money” in a New York Times op-ed on Brexit that cited the struggles of workers in a globalized society and warned Democrats to take notice.
De Blasio said there were local issues and xenophobic influences—much of the debate surrounding the vote focused on immigration into Britain under the EU, with the free movement of workers being a condition of a single market—but said that was not the only issue driving the movement.
“A lot of that was about income inequality,” he said. “A lot of that was about elites continuing to benefit and everyday people suffering.”
The mayor pointed to the European Union’s “austerity regime” in Europe and said the body had become “thoroughly out of touch with the reality of income inequality.”
Good for him, but where’s democracy? You aren’t going to get to anything remotely like income equality without democracy. You aren’t going to get a viable income equality without democracy either. It can’t be dictated from on high. The People must make the decisions; and to make intelligent choices, they need transparency.
⇧ New Times SLO – Publishing Local News and Entertainment for over 29 years in San Luis Obispo County, CA
… “public” utilities should really be publicly owned and run democratically, cooperatively, and transparently by and in the interests of consumers, not investors and fat-cat executives. This is the only way that renewable energy, alternative energy, energy storage, and all other possibilities can be developed and provided in a socially responsible way.
Hallelujah to that. Can I get an amen? By the way, amen means truth.
⇧ Billionaire Paul Allen donates $1M to build housing for homeless in Columbia City | The Seattle Times
Janet Pope, executive director of Compass, which is a 94-year-old nonprofit, on Wednesday said the model is worth testing because the steel-modules will be cheaper than traditional construction but more comfortable than tents and tiny wooden houses, which are now being used in three homeless encampments sanctioned and supported by the city.
Why can’t we give everyone a real home? It’s not because we can’t afford it. It’s because of vested interests who’d make less money relative to everyone else.
⇧ 1031 Buyers Compete for Replacement Properties
Apartment owners in particular have been selling assets to take advantage of the run-up in prices in recent years.
⇧ Wealth & Inequality: Back to the Future – YouTube
The economic statistics simply don’t support any of the Libertarian-capitalist ideology.
Gabriel Zucman, Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley
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