Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yet more newsbits

And even more reading:

Calculated Risk - chemical activity barometer rises for fourth straight month. A minor leading indicator for manufacturing, and it's still going up.

WSJ Real Time Economics - Fed's Rosengren explains everything, not that anyone will bother to listen. Seriously. Fucking read this. Then stand amazed at how fucking idiotic THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES IS for failing to pay attention to his exact and clear explanation of when rates are going to rise.

The Krugginator - airbrushing austerity. K-dog holds the right-wing wackaloons' feet to the fire again:
Sorry, but no — that’s not how it happened. When I wrote about fear of invisible bond vigilantes and belief in the confidence fairy, I wasn’t inventing stuff out of thin air.

David Cameron didn’t say “Hey, we think recovery is well in hand, so it’s time to start a modest program of fiscal consolidation.” He said “Greece stands as a warning of what happens to countries that lose their credibility.” Jean-Claude Trichet didn’t say “Yes, we understand that fiscal consolidation is negative, but we believe that by the time it bites economies will be nearing full employment”. He said "As regards the economy, the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect … confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery, because confidence is the key factor today."

I can understand why a lot of people would like to pretend, perhaps even to themselves, that they didn’t think and say the things they thought and said. But they did.
You have to keep publicly reminding stupid people that they are stupid, or else they might forget how stupid they are.

Bloomberg View - the IMF's big Greek mistake. Quote:
Greece's onerous obligations to the IMF, the European Central Bank and European governments can be traced back to April 2010, when they made a fateful mistake. Instead of allowing Greece to default on its insurmountable debts to private creditors, they chose to lend it the money to pay in full.

At the time, many called for immediately restructuring privately held debt, thus imposing losses on the banks and investors who had lent money to Greece. Among them were several members of the IMF’s board and Karl Otto Pohl, a former president of the Bundesbank and a key architect of the euro. The IMF and European authorities responded that restructuring would cause global financial mayhem. As Pohl candidly noted, that was merely a cover for bailing out German and French banks, which had been among the largest enablers of Greek profligacy.
Almost everyone now agrees that pushing Greece to pay its private creditors was a bad idea. The required fiscal austerity was simply too great, causing the economy to collapse. The IMF acknowledged the error in a 2013 report on Greece. In a recent staff paper, the fund said that when a crisis threatens to spread, it should seek a collective global solution rather than forcing the distressed economy to bear the entire burden. The IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, has warned that more austerity will crush growth.
Now, with that, read this next article:

Simon Wren-Lewis - Greece: of parents and children. This about sums it up:
Chris Giles has a recent FT article where he describes how non-Greek policymakers (lets still call them the Troika) see themselves like parents trying to deal with the “antics” of the problem child, Syriza in Greece. He splits these parents into different types: those that want to act as if the child is grown up (though they believe they are not), those who want to be disciplinarians etc. As a description of how the Troika view themselves, and present themselves to the public, the analogy rings true. It certainly accords with the constant stream of articles in the press predicting an impending crisis because the Greeks ‘refuse to be reasonable’.


So why do the Troika insist on continuing with brinkmanship? Can it be that this is really about ensuring that an elected government that challenges the dominant Eurozone political and economic ideology must be forced to fail?
I think you answered your own question there, dude.

Reuters - 2015 monsoon expected to be below average. Oh poop. Quote:
Rains are expected to be 93 percent of a long-term average
Oh, okay. 93% isn't a big deal. Past data suggests you've got to drop quite a bit below that before agricultural yield is negatively impacted.

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