Is China Fudging Its GDP Figures? Evidence from Trading Partner Data

Mostly Economics

John G. Fernald, Eric Hsu, and Mark M. Spiegel in this FRBSF paper:

We propose using imports, measured as reported exports of trading partners, as an alternative benchmark to gauge the accuracy of alternative Chinese indicators (including GDP) of fluctuations in economic activity. Externally-reported imports are likely to be relatively well measured, as well as free from domestic manipulation. Using principal components, we derive activity indices from a wide range of indicators and examine their fit to (trading-partner reported) imports. We choose a preferred index of eight non-GDP indicators (which we call the China Cyclical Activity Tracker, or C-CAT). Comparison with that index and others indicate that Chinese statistics have broadly become more reliable in measuring cyclical fluctuations over time. However, GDP adds little information relative to combinations of other indicators. Moreover, since 2013, Chinese GDP growth has shown little volatility around a gradually slowing trend. Other measures, including…

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Anyone this fragile should not be making long-term decisions

From http://www.transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/usts/USTS%20Full%20Report%20-%20FINAL%201.6.17.pdf

@uklabour is using a Communist to promote voting! Difference between a communist and a socialist is communists shoot their political opponents. That is the only difference.


Been There, Done That. Doesn’t Work!

American Elephants

https://americanelephant.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/xivanpah-plant-575x383-pagespeed-ic-p4ozkp2she.jpg

Environmentalists have long been sure that if we could just eliminate things that are not “natural” from our lives, live in harmony with nature, then the world would be a better place. Relying on the Sun and the Wind were right at the top of the list. We should eliminate chemicals from our diet, stop cutting down trees, save endangered species but stop putting animals in cages, and just quit eating meat. The very word “natural” moved right to the top of the advertising buzz-word list.

So it is no surprise that in the panic about Global Warming, which was the next big thing after we stopped panicking about a new ice age in the 1970s, and the threat of a nuclear winter receded, we turned to trying to harness the power of the sun. Sensible people pointed out that the power of the sun was very diffuse, the sun…

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The solution to the #ClimateEmergency is at hand but is ignored because it might work @jamespeshaw @greenpeace

@sandeepvaheesan misrepresents Robert Bork on merger policy @ProMarket_org @openmarkets

Louis C.K. – Being White

More on economists didn’t write on poverty and inequality prior to Piketty

More First-Amendment shenanigans: Federal court rules that a Christian cross on a county emblem is not religious

Why Evolution Is True

In late June, the Supreme Court made a portentously bad decision, ruling that the “Bladensburg Cross”, a giant cross on public land in Maryland, did not violate the First Amendment’s stipulation of freedom of (and from) religion. (The vote was lopsided: 7-2.) The reasons was the usual one: that by merely existing for a long time, the cross had shed its religious significance—just like the National Motto, “In God We Trust”, is seen to be cultural rather than religious, ergo it gets to stay on U.S. currency. As I wrote at the time:

As usual, the pretense is that the cross is no longer a wholly religious symbol. Here are the words of Justice Alito, who wrote for the majority:

The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent . . .  For some…

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CNN Held a Big “Climate Forum” So the Remaining Democrat Candidates Could Show Off Their Ignorance

American Elephants

CNN had a big “Climate Forum.” Seven hours of the remaining Democrat candidates for the presidency, trying desperately to find the magic key to the votes of everyone who is worried about the end of the earth and Climate Change. Marc Morano, proprietor of Climate Depot watched all seven hours so you didn’t have to. (He is also the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change which you can order at the website.) Journal Nature has named Morano as the Number One contrarian in the media (#1 out of 386 skeptics) You can watch his appearance on Fox and Friends with the link at Climate Depot. It’s pretty clear that not only have the Democrat candidates never read any of the science of climate, but neither have the reporters at CNN.

The remaining Democrat candidates want desperately to appeal to everyone concerned about Climate Change and the…

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