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Mike Norman Economics

Awara — Doing business is getting easier: Russia climbed 5 positions in World Bank’s ranking

Russia continues its efforts to improve its business climate: this year the country has advanced to 35th position of 190 countries in ‘Doing Business’ ranking by the World Bank (note that only six years ago Russia was ranked 120th). This position can be considered rather decent: Russia’s nearest competitors are Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France. More detailed look. Russia is not just a "gas station" (McCain) any more. Awara Doing business is getting easier: Russia climbed 5...

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Anatol Lieven — Here is What I Saw at the Valdai Club Conference

As a number of participants (including myself) pointed out, compared with these existential threats to existing states, the issues currently dividing Russia and the West are likely to seem to the historians of the future (if there are any) so minor as to be almost insignificant. One hundred years from now, our descendants are likely to look back on disputes over Crimea, the Donbas and Syria with the same combination of incomprehension and contempt with which we regard the European elites...

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Clint Ballinger — OMFG, MMT & Positive Money Get Along

The crucial fact about the vertical side is that the fact that a nation is not like a household is evident regardless of the operational details. Positive Money is wrong in their belief the current system must be changed to achieve the type of government spending they want.However, this does not mean that Positive Money is flat out wrong. Key MMT people would be perfectly happy to spend vertically in the way Positive Money wants, which is just PQE/OMF by another name. This is especially so...

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Brad DeLong — Martin Wolf: THE CHALLENGE OF XI JINPING’S LENINIST AUTOCRACY

What Western liberals assume is that the natural state of human being is defined by liberalism. That is an unsubstantiated assumption. Liberalism developed in the UK and was exported to the US and later to Western Europe. It is a cultural phenomenon that is historically and geographically based. The Western view at present is that China under Xi Jinping has de-emphasized Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' focus on class struggle, while emphasizing Lenin's focus on the party as revolutionary...

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David F. Ruccio — Global rentier capitalism

… as the authors of the new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development have explained, there is a growing concern that increasing market concentration in leading sectors of the global economy and the growing market and lobbying powers of dominant corporations are creating a new form of global rentier capitalism to the detriment of balanced and inclusive growth for the many. And they’re not just talking about financial rentier incomes, which has been the focus of...

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Noah Smith — Why ‘Statistical Significance’ Is Often Insignificant

The knives are out for the p-value. This statistical quantity is the Holy Grail for empirical researchers across the world -- if your study finds the right p-value, you can get published in a credible journal, and possibly get a good university tenure-track job and research funding. Now a growing chorus of voices wants to de-emphasize or even ban this magic number. But the crusade against p-values is likely to be a distraction from the real problems afflicting scientific inquiry.... The...

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John Mauldin — This Republican says it’s time to think about the unthinkable

Make it universal basic employment, not universal basic income Just as Roosevelt put men to work during the Depression, maybe we need to think about finding jobs around our communities that need to be done. Guaranteed basic employment. Mull that over…. Yes, that offends every Hayekian neuron in my brain, but in a world of an unimaginable and unmanageable future, we are going to have start thinking the unthinkable. Market WatchOpinion: This Republican says it’s time to think about the...

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Tom Rees — Bank of England hikes interest rates for first time in a decade

Bank of England increases interest rates for the first time in a decade in order curb high inflation squeezing UK households Base rate lifted from 0.25pc to 0.5pc; Mark Carney will give a press conference at 12.45pm to explain the central bank's decision Bank of England last hiked interest rates in July 2007; interest rates fell to historic lows to help the UK economy recover from the financial crisis Pound plunges on currency markets on dovish commentary from the central bank The...

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John T. Harvey — Jobs Program: A Darn Good Idea From The Trump White House

I am accustomed to criticizing government economic policy in this blog so please forgive me if I fumble about a bit with this one. Kevin Hassett, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has suggested that in order to address our deep-seated economic stagnation, "government programs that directly hire people might be part of the solution" (Should government hire the long-term jobless?). Oh my God, yes! This is a fantastic idea and precisely the sort of thing I expected President...

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