Wednesday , April 8 2020
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Mike Norman

Mike Norman

Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

Articles by Mike Norman

Bill Mitchell — Flattening the curve–the Phillips curve that is

23 hours ago

I did an extended interview over the weekend and during that interchange it became obvious that when a newcomer encounters the concept of the – Job Guarantee – for the first time, they may only see it in a narrow way, as a job creation program and fail to see it the way that the concept was developed as an integral part of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). When I started talking about the era in which I had first started thinking about using buffer stocks to maintain full employment, it became obvious that the sort of considerations that went into the concept of the buffer stock employment model (the Job Guarantee) had not been fully appreciated by the interviewer. That is no criticism. It is just an observation and a reflection of how long we have been pushing this MMT barrow. At the

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The Electric Light Orchestra – The making of the 10538 Overture

23 hours ago

I loved the ELO’s 10538 when I was young and I still play it occasionally today. For some of us, it’s an amazing racket, a stunning cacophony, and an incredible song, but sadly they never made anything else quite like it.One guy on YouTube said it has one of the best intos ever, but I said it also has one of the best endings ever, which sounds like some massive grandfather clock grinding to a halt.The first video is the song itself, which is even crazier than the song, but the second video is about how they made it. Jeff Lynne, the guitarist and singer, wrote the song, but Roy Wood, a multi-instrumentalist, added the cellos, violins, and French Horn, as well as  recording and producing it. In that way, it’s the creation of both of them.When they first made 10538 they were known as The

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Doctor Shares The Biggest Lie About COVID-19 | UK Data

1 day ago

Up to last Friday I had been battling with the climate change deniers for weeks on twitter, but this week I’m battling with the Covid-19 conspiracy theorists instead. That includes Richard Werner, The Off-Guardian, Eva Bartlett, Vennessa Beely,  Peter Hitchens, and Piers Robinson, amongst others. I’ve posted a lot of articles by these people here in the past but now I wonder about their judgement.

I saw more disturbing video footage today on twitter. It was from The Islamic Funeral Service in Brooklyn, New York, where Muslims in masks filmed the street, the name of the building, the front door, and then they took you inside. Everywhere it was littered with corpses in body bags but some were just covered with a small piece of cloth. The Muslims spoke in Arab so I had no idea what they

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Coronavirus patients in areas with high air pollution more likely to die: research

1 day ago

As a keen cyclist I thought I might be better protected, but maybe that’s not the case. I’ve had a mild cough for six weeks too.Coronavirus patients who live in cities with higher levels of air pollution may be at significantly higher risk of death from the disease, a new study finds.
Coronavirus patients in areas with high air pollution more likely to die: research://t.co/xS0ONz5Pun

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Charity

1 day ago

So far charity is doing the heavy lifting… there has yet been ZERO fiscal response…Food Banks:Miles-long row of cars waits near Florida food bank as demand surges https://t.co/2yxlpN78cI via @MailOnline— Patrice Boivin (@PatriceBoivin) April 7, 2020 Apple Computer donating all the face shields:Tech giant Apple will reportedly produce 1 million face shields per week for medical workers, according to CEO Tim Cook. https://t.co/jmOVw8cYgA— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 7, 2020
Facebook donating the masks, Oracle providing free web data services, Salesforce providing analytics…Who needs the government? This is textbook Laffer libertarianism 101 in action:
Art Laffer reacts to 6.6 million unemployment claims: Stimulus will "make the economy worse, not better"

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India’s Poorest Now Have Access to Basic Bank Accounts, and Many Already Received their First Cash Stimulus Payment By Last Saturday; Meanwhile the IRS May Get You Your $1200 Check in Five Months — Jerri-Lynn Scofield

2 days ago

I immediately called one of my oldest friends in Kolkata, Tushar Roy, who is a chief manager for the Central Bank of India, one of India’s state-owed banks. He has worked as lead district manager for three years, coordinating among the central government, the West Bengal state government, and all the banks of the district, both private and state-owned, in setting up bank accounts for the unbanked. The holder of the account can access the DBT the government has made either through a branch, by banking correspondents – where there is no bank branch – or via ATMs.

 “At this time, nearly every adult in India has a basic bank account, as there is no minimum balance requirement,” said Roy. “In fact, it would be extremely difficult to find an adult who does not hold an account. Even many

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Why Do Economists Have Such a Hard Time Imagining Open Source Biomedical Research? — Dean Baker

2 days ago

Why do most economists do anything? Because most economists do it. It’s a club.

The fundamental assumption of conventional economics in a capitalist society is that prices equal value, that markets are the most effective and efficient means of creating and distributing economic value through price discovery, and that monetary incentives are necessary for innovation through competition. Using this framework, most economy believe that the natural operation and spontaneous ordering of markets can be modeled "scientifically," meaning in the same way as the natural sciences. Giving this framework up would involve admitting that economics is a social science or "moral science" (Keynes) rather than a natural science that describes operations of laws of nature using formal modeling.

Veblen

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COVID 19: Is the virus airborne and do masks and hand sanitisers work?

2 days ago

You can wash your mask, in fact, it’s best to because there isn’t enough masks to go around. Dr Jo Barnes recommends water and bleach.The virus may be airborne in aerosol droplets for at least for an hour or so. I’ve read elsewhere that scientists are not certain about this yet.Wash fridge and door handles, she says, and soap is better than sanitizer for killing the virus.She says that a paper medical mask is better than a cloth one because it stays drier.Dr Jo Barnes, an epidemiologist and semi-retired senior lecturer from the Department of Global Health at the University of Stellenbosch, gives a detailed explanation of the airborne nature of COVID-19, what types of masks to wear and their effectiveness, and how to disinfect your home.
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Modern Monetary Theory After The Crisis (Part II) — Brian Romanchuk

2 days ago

The uncertainty about the medical containment of the pandemic remains high, and forecasting at this point is largely an exercise in wild guesses. However, it seems likely that we will be in a environment of high unemployment even after a vaccine tames the virus. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) will be highly relevant in that environment….
Must-read. Very comprehensive analysis of options and likely outcomes.Bond Economics Modern Monetary Theory After The Crisis (Part II)
Brian Romanchuk

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Bill Mitchell —Tip of the iceberg – the US labour market catastrophe now playing out

2 days ago

On April 3, 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest labour market data – Employment Situation Summary – March 2020 – which shows a deteriorating labour market situation due to the coronavirus crisis. However, as I explain below, the data released was drawn from samples that went up to March 12 (establishment survey) and March 14 (household survey), and so doesn’t fully capture the extent of the unfolding catastrophe. More recent data released by the US Department of Labor (unemployment insurance claimant data) doesn’t leave anything to doubt. In the last two weeks of March 2020, 9.955 million workers registered unemployment insurance claims (6.6 million in the last week). If we consider that shift, then the US unemployment rate would be around 9.8 per cent by

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MAJOR: Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 Condition Deteriorates – will undergo ventilation

2 days ago

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 condition has become worse, and he was taken to the hospital, according to an official representative of the head of the British government. But RIA Novosti reports that they are preparing to connect Johnson to mechanical ventilation – all a very serious situation.
According to RIA Novosti, Johnson was hospitalized urgently, he will undergo mechanical ventilation.
MAJOR: Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 Condition Deteriorates – will undergo ventilation

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Jamie Ralph Tweet – NHS: Covid-19

2 days ago

Jamie Ralph, a Welsh paramedic, tweeted this earlier.
708 DEAD in the last 24 hours.  

The 13 year old boy was buried with NO immediate family there. 

A 5 year old has DIED. 

NHS staff are DYING. 

I’m scared, my family are scared, my colleagues are scared.

YOU can help stop this by STAYING the F*CK at HOME! 

This in NOT a bank holiday!

https://t.co/LhbIOePwGl

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Spanish Government Aims to Roll Out Basic Income ‘Soon’

2 days ago

And they hope to keep it in place forever once it is up and running.The Spanish government is working to roll out a universal basic income as soon as possible, as part of a battery of actions aimed at countering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Economy Minister Nadia Calvino.
Spanish Government Aims to Roll Out Basic Income ‘Soon’

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Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses

3 days ago

I’d have to think copper is going to be part of any post virus corrective adjustments…  maybe say goodbye to all the brushed stainless steel and chrome tactile fixtures and hello to copper…the third in line of the so-called "noble metals"… column 11 of the PTE… atomic number 29…

Wow. This article is from nearly five years ago! Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses https://t.co/vpzgSyVJHu
— Alice Evans (@AliceEvansGruff) April 1, 2020

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Pneumonia Deaths

3 days ago

Hmmmmmmmm…..What’s going on with pneumonia deaths? pic.twitter.com/QQKynUyWum— robert michaels (@rmsgeek) April 3, 2020

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Italy man wear dinosaur dress Coronavirus lockdown in but was police quickly sent back home

3 days ago

I wrote in a previous post how I went to the shops wearing goggles, a bike mask with a medical mask underneath, plus with my gloves on and my coat, it felt like I was in a deep sea diving suit, and totally safe inside my cocoon, except with so much clobber on I could hardly breathe, or see where I was going. Plus the goggles kept misting up and the masks kept slipping off because one is better than two, as I found out. But this guy beats me. Well, if it’s all you have at hand.
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Harry Green – Safety nets have holes – the need for a Universal Basic Income…

3 days ago

The last paragraph from the excerpt below describes how people who are in jobs they hate would be able to leave if they had a Basic Income.I hated my job, but I couldn’t leave because of my huge mortgage. I had also been there a long time so I was on top whack too. My work was specialised, so I would have had to travel for two hours or more each way if I wanted to leave, plus it would have been the same horrible job, just somewhere else.I had a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in electronics, so I knew quite a bit about computers, but the course was mainly theoretical (technical), not practical. With the Basic Income I could have done a practical course too, and maybe something else as well.I had a terrific HNC with awards, but no one would give me a job as I lacked experience. I was an

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Why is Coronavirus so successful? How to defeat COVID-19 & SARS-CoV-2

4 days ago

A really interesting video about the virus, and why it’s so effective.
[embedded content]
I went shopping yesterday and felt my medical mask was a bit flimsy so I put my bike mask over the top as well. I also put my DIY eye protection glasses on, so I felt pretty safe, like I was in a deep a sea diving suit, except my glasses kept misting up because as I breathed out my breath came right out of the top of the mask straight up into them.Also, the double mask idea wasn’t such a great idea either because they kept falling down, so I had to keep adjusting them. Then, when you add that I had to keep lifting my glasses up to see properly, it turned out that I was touching my face quite a lot, which I only realised when I got outside the store and took everything off.I had gloves on, but

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FT editorial: “Radical reforms are required to forge a society that will work for all” Prakash Loungani

4 days ago

An editorial in the Financial Times headlined “Virus lays bare the frailty of the social contract” says that recent developments “shine a glaring light on existing inequalities” and that “to demand collective sacrifice you must offer a social contract that benefits everyone.” The FT states: “Radical reforms — reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades — will need to be put on the table. Governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy. They must see public services as investments rather than liabilities, and look for ways to make labour markets less insecure. Redistribution will again be on the agenda; the privileges of the elderly and wealthy in question. Policies until recently considered eccentric, such as basic income and wealth taxes, will

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Dirk Ehnts – The Eurozone is Fully Committed to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

4 days ago

In my book “Geld und Kredit: Eine €-päische Perspektive” (3rd edition, 2020) I gave the following recommendation on p. 243 (English version available here):
“This [stabilizing employment in the eurozone with fiscal measures] can be done by the ECB declaring that, in case of doubt, it will buy up all the government bonds of eurozone countries. This would make national government bonds risk-free. It must then be clarified which deficit limits are reasonable in times of upswing and recession. This would leave (or re-establish) the responsibility of national governments for full employment.”
This is exactly what has happened now: deficit limits are lifted, government bonds are risk-free. This was already implied. The previous ECB President Mario Draghi said in September 2019 that the ECB

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What MMT Is, and Why We Should Not Wait for the Next Crisis to Live Up to Our Means — Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray

4 days ago

As MMT has been thrust into the spotlight, misrepresentations and misunderstanding have followed. MMT supposedly calls for cranking up the printing press, engaging in helicopter drops of cash or having the Fed finance government spending by engaging in Quantitative Easing.

None of this is MMT.

Instead, MMT provides an analysis of fiscal and monetary policy applicable to national governments with sovereign, non-convertible currencies. It concludes that the sovereign currency issuer: i) does not face a “budget constraint” (as conventionally defined); ii) cannot “run out of money”; iii) meets its obligations by paying in its own currency; iv) can set the interest rate on any obligations it issues.

Current procedures adopted by the Treasury, the central bank, and private banks allow

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Macro Models Aren’t Useful Now, And That Is Perfectly Fine Brian Romanchuk

4 days ago

There has been a small flurry of publications by neoclassical economists attempting to fit a pandemic into standard frameworks. This is what to be expected, as neoclassical models are frameworks designed to maximise the amount of publications over time. However, aggregated models are not particularly useful right now. This is true both for neoclassical as well as traditional heterodox macro models. The reason is that they do not offer much insight into either forecasting, nor are they useful for policymakers. That will change, but we are not there yet.

I will quickly discuss the two main justifications for looking at macro models….
Bond Economics
Macro Models Aren’t Useful Now, And That Is Perfectly Fine

Brian Romanchuk

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Savages in the box!

4 days ago

Starting to miss baseball a bit…Great highlight from last season where Aaron Boone speaks truth to incompetent power…We need a lot more of this type of thing out there in general… A LOT more…Epic rant from Boone… Great video…[embedded content]

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The thinking error at the root of science denial, by Jeremy P. Shapiro

4 days ago

How the denier mind works.I’ve been debating with deniers for weeks on Twitter and it can be soul destroying, but I’m sure some are sockpuppets, that is, they are professional, paid deniers.It got interesting the other day when we got onto politics where I agreed with deniers about Hillary Clinton, but after that the liberals went mad at me. It was strange because now the conservatives were on my side about Putin, Hillary, and Russia, although it didn’t last long.The liberals also started to attack China and as I don’t like the demonisation of China I defended them, but after that, both the conservatives and the liberals were at my throat. It’s a strange world because one conservative supported me about China. He was very anti-war and quite thoughtful.The liberals were hot-blooded and

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