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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bit of Wednesday reading


Still not finished my essay, but I have about 4 of 10 pages written, so the rest should fall in line today. It's due at 11:59PM, and late papers are only docked 2%/day in this modern world because nobody wants to hurt the precious snowflakes.

I only really settled on the thesis last night: it's a comparison of cultural realist and post-structuralist interpretations of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis as an explanatory tool for the Russia-Ukraine conflict. I was originally going to write it about the US-Islam conflict instead, but a) recent events and b) I had too many notes on the Islamic bit, while the Ukraine bit is more interesting and c) the Islam slant is too damn easy.

Anyway, here's some news:


New Deal Demoncrat - industrial production only sucks in oil and mining. More invaluable commentary from NDD.


FT Alphaville - if you can be short dollar when all men doubt you. Good god damn, that's going to be a heck of a monster when it unwinds. Now hey, long USD-short EM equity/short commodity/short EM FX is certainly a brainless trade, but that doesn't mean it's so simple that it could accommodate every hedge fund cokehead with a psychosis about how clever he is.

And then they remind us that Fed minutes are coming today at 2PM. Yay!


NYT - which socialist philosopher said government must tax the indolent rich and spend on roads? Well, no other than Adam Smith!


FT Alphaville - the world has a multi-trillion dollar accumulated current account deficit. And the only explanation is that the world's ultra-rich, from the Russian mafia and Latin American politicians to the wealthiest corporations, has accumulated a multi trillion dollar current account surplus, which they've now squirreled away in every private bank in the world.

And guess what? Since that money hasn't been invested in private capital, and since these paleoconservative robber barons demand that governments don't spend the money on public capital, there is thus no possibility for long-run world economic growth in the aggregate. Sorry, neocon criminals, but Y = aF(K,L,[...]).

That is why you need to tax the rich and spend the money on highways and education, assholes. The alternative is to slip into a new millenium-long dark age.


Tim Taylor - why more humanitarian aid should be given in cash. This is actually a well-understood principle within the humanitarian movement already; it's just that the idea leaves the bureaucrats out in the cold.

And since it's Xmas coming up and some people actually care about this charity kind of stuff, I'll let you know that you yourself can give directly to the poor just by going through something like givedirectly.org. It feels more like an Xmas present, and given the insane difference in price levels between our world and the poor world it packs a huge bang for the buck. That $50 you were going to spend on a tie for some asshole would go really, really far in Burkina Faso.



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