“Star Spangled Scapegoat”

Cherokee Gothic

I just read a great op-ed by Tim Padgett called “Without The U.S. To Scapegoat, Latin America Discovers Its Inner Godzillas.” Padgett argues that President Maduro is running out of scapegoats to blame for the debacle that is currently the Venezuelan economy:

“When a U.S. president is eating ropa vieja in Havana and dancing tango in Buenos Aires, Latin American leaders can’t seem to find their handy Star-Spangled Scapegoat anywhere in their desk drawers. Instead, from the Río Grande to the Río de la Plata, Washington’s new and less imperialista engagement with Latin America has helped expose the region’s inner Godzillas.”

As for the region’s “inner Godzillas,” Padgett is referring to a recent meme about Venezuela’s electricity crisis.  Here is his description:

“A new Internet meme offers him a culprit: Godzilla! It shows the slimy monster destroying Venezuela’s power lines under a caption that reads: “Government Finds Out…

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Leland Yeager wrote the best monetarist (text)book

The Market Monetarist

In my recent post about Keynes’ “A Tract on Monetary Reform” I quoted Brad Delong for saying that Tract is the best monetarist book ever written. I also wrote that I disagreed with Brad on this.

That led Brad to respond to me by asking: “What do you think is a better monetarist book than the Tract?”

I think that is a very fair question, which I tried to answer in the comment section of my post, but I want to repeat the answer here. So here we go (the answer has been slightly edited):

One could of course think I would pick something by Friedman and I certainly would recommend reading anything he wrote on monetary matters, but in fact my pick for the best monetarist book would probably be Leland Yeager’s “Fluttering Veil”.

In terms of something that is very readable I would clearly choose Friedman’s

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Long and variable leads and lags

The Market Monetarist

Scott Sumner yesterday posted a excellent overview of some key Market Monetarist positions. I initially thought I would also write a comment on what I think is the main positions of Market Monetarism but then realised that I already done that in my Working Paper on Market Monetarism from last year – “Market  Monetarism – The  Second  Monetarist  Counter-­revolution”

My fundamental view is that I personally do not mind being called an monetarist rather than a Market Monetarist even though I certainly think that Market Monetarism have some qualities that we do not find in traditional monetarism, but I fundamentally think Market Monetarism is a modern restatement of Monetarism rather than something fundamentally new.

I think the most important development in Market Monetarism is exactly that we as Market Monetarists stress the importance of expectations and how expectations of monetary policy can be read directly from market pricing. At…

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The Economics of Building That Wall

azizonomics

wall_coronado_by_matt_clark Photo by: Matt Clark.

First things first: the U.S. already has a border wall with Mexico. This is a widely-documented fact, illustrated in detail by National Geographic. If Trump supporters had bothered to do so much as a Google search, they would realize that — whatever one might think of illegal immigration — it isn’t going to be stopped by a border wall. A border wall already exists, and illegal immigration continues.

But what about replacing the current border wall with a bigger one? Surely that will stop migrants from coming across the border? Well, not really. Israel has some pretty high and deep barriers with Gaza, and that hasn’t prevented Gazan militants from burrowing under them and getting in. What is going to stop Mexicans — including and perhaps especially the extremely well-financed drug gangs who surely could gain access to advanced tunnelling equipment — from doing the…

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Krugman finally acknowledges that it is all about monetary policy

The Market Monetarist

Paul Krugman has a very interesting blog post on the relative economic performance of the US and the euro zone.

Krugman starts out with this graph.

043016krugman1-blog480

Krugman then goes on to give a complete (Market) Monetarist explanation for this development:

Things really go off track only in 2011-2012, when the U.S. recovery continues but Europe slides into a second recession…

…What was happening in 2011-2012? Europe was doing a lot of austerity. But so, actually, was the U.S., between the expiration of stimulus and cutbacks at the state and local level. The big difference was monetary: the ECB’s utterly wrong-headed interest rate hikes in 2011, and its refusal to do its job as lender of last resort as the debt crisis turned into a liquidity panic, even as the Fed was pursuing aggressive easing.

This is of course what Market Monetarists have been saying forever – we even have a…

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Merv Hughes and Kerry O’Keeffe – Bloopers reel during the making of their recent TV Ad for West Indies Tour

Denmark Slashes Wind Power Subsidies to Curb Runaway Power Costs

STOP THESE THINGS

europe power prices 2

When the wind industry and its worshippers start chanting their mantras about the ‘wonders’ of wind, it isn’t long before they start preaching about the examples purportedly set by the Europeans; and, in particular, the Nordic nations.

That the great wind power fraud was driven by Denmark’s struggling turbine maker, Vestas probably has a fair bit to do with the worshippers’ fanatic-cult-like veneration of Scandinavia.

But, hold the phone?

It seems that economics works in precisely the same fashion in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, as just about everywhere else (save Cuba and North Korea, say?).

When you’re trying to sell a ‘product’ with NO commercial value, the ‘business’ – for want of a better word – can only be about what you can extract from gullible/compliant governments (and unwitting power consumers), in the form of massive and endless subsidies.

Now, in the wind industry’s heartland, the Danes…

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Review: Prime Suspect, Series 3

This Was Television

by Les Chappell

Prime Suspect
Series 3, Parts 1 & 2
Original airdates: Dec. 15 and 16, 1992

When I started doing this project to review the entire run of Prime Suspect, one of my major objectives was to understand the series’ impact on other cop shows. And after three installments, it’s impossible not to see its fingerprints on the two decades worth of police procedurals, its commitment to the realism and mechanics of an investigation offering an alternative to the more populist, cowboy style of poolice work. The recently concluded The Closer has been the most frequent comparison made with both shows having a tough female investigator at the center of the show, but most any show that has such a character owes something to the force with which Jane Tennison puts herself at the center of an investigation. It’s also easy to see its fingerprints on David…

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322 killed by US police by threat level, January – April 2016: updated

Again, surprisingly few people who are unarmed and not attacking police end up being shot by police.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

I reworked the data published by the Washington Post because as usual it does not put it in a form that illustrates how many people were armed or attacking police when shot.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

This is what the Washington Post and The Guardian said on the 12 the Washington Post classified as unarmed and not attacking police:

“Ciara Meyer, an unarmed 12-year-old white female, was shot on Jan. 11, 2016, in an apartment in Penn Township, Pa. A Pennsylvania constable was serving Meyer’s father with an eviction notice. Meyer’s father pointed a rifle at the constable, who opened fire. The bullet travelled through the father’s arm, striking Ciara.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Kelsey Rose Hauser, an unarmed 25-year-old white woman, was shot on Jan. 16, 2016, in El Cajon, Calif. Hauser was a passenger in a stolen car that El Cajon police were pursuing. After a high-speed chase, the driver of the car drove toward an officer, who opened fire.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Daniel Shaver, an unarmed 26-year-old white man, was shot on Jan. 17, 2016, in a hotel in Mesa, Ariz. Mesa police were called to the hotel to investigate reports that a man pointed a rifle from a window. When police questioned Shaver in a hallway, he reached toward his back and didn’t cooperate with the officer’s orders.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Antronie Scott, an unarmed 36-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 4, 2016, in San Antonio, Tex. Undercover San Antonio police officers were monitoring Scott, who had outstanding arrest warrants. When a uniformed officer approached Scott, he spun around with something in his hand. Police later determined that Scott was holding a cellphone.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“David Joseph, an unarmed 17-year-old black male, was shot on Feb. 8, 2016, in Austin, Tex. Austin police were responding to reports of an erratic, aggressive person. Joseph, who was naked, rushed toward the officer.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Calin Roquemore, an unarmed 24-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 13, 2016, in Beckville, Tex. Roquemore fled a traffic stop by a Texas state trooper. Roquemore refused the trooper’s orders to show his hands. No weapon was found at the scene.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Marquintan Sandlin, an unarmed 32-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 21, 2016, in Inglewood, Calif. The man was a passenger in a car stopped at an intersection. Inglewood police approached the car and noticed that the woman who was driving had a gun. Officers shot and killed Sandlin and the woman, Kisha Michael.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Travis Boyd Bradley, an unarmed 36-year-old white man, was shot on March 2, 2016, in Bel Air, Md. Harford County deputies responded to a report of a person who was suicidal. After a standoff, Bradley came out of the residence and charged toward a deputy.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Peter Gaines, an unarmed 37-year-old black man, was shocked with a stun gun and shot on March 12, 2016, in Houston, Tex. A Houston police officer approached Gaines after he vandalized a traffic sign. Gaines lunged at the officer.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Joshua Grubb, an unarmed 30-year-old white man, was shot on March 13, 2016, in Lenoir City, Tenn. Lenoir City police were investigating the report of a drunken driver. Grubb attempted to flee with an officer in the back of his pickup truck.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Cristian Rene Medina, an unarmed 23-year-old Hispanic man, was shot on March 16, 2016, in Florence, Calif. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were responding to a report of a robbery. When they encountered Medina, who matched the description of the robbery suspect, he held his hands together as if he was holding a gun and pointed toward deputies. His family said he suffered from depression.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Eric John Wilson, an unarmed 22-year-old man, was shot on April 17, 2016, in El Paso, Tex. El Paso police responded to a call about a suicidal person. Wilson told officers that he had two handguns and an assault rifle. He reached behind his back and pulled out a dark object, which turned out

to be a cellphone.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

Queenstown airport night flights another blow to the @WLGAirport runway extension? @JordNZ

Queenstown airport has been upgraded to allow for night flights and more international flights. Yet another airport to compete for traffic with the Wellington airport and its $300 million runway extension.

Little wonder the New Zealand-based airlines see this extension is no more than gold plating of the Wellington airport where landing fees will go up to cover this over-capitalisation for little return in value. Over-capitalisation or gold plating is a common way of getting around rate of return regulation of monopolies.

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