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Naked Capitalism

Hong Kong’s Economy Is Still Important to the Mainland, at Least Financially

Yves here. There’s a school of Hong Kong protestor critics that tries to depict them as sore losers over Hong Kong’s decline in status relative to mainland cities, particularly Shanghai. Some go further and charge that China doesn’t need Hong Kong. This article explains why those claims are exaggerated. By Alicia Garcia Herrero, the Chief Economist for the Asia Pacific at NATIXIS, adjunct professor at City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ) and...

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Links 8/22/19

70-Year-Old Man Wins 1,000-Kilometer Horse Race in Mongolia New York Times ComEd’s latest alternative energy: goat power Journal Standard (Chuck L) Atlantic puffins thriving on remote nesting islands off Maine Portland Press-Herald Fires Destroy Amazon Rainforest, Blanket Brazilian Cities in Smog Wall Street Journal. I happened to hear this reported on evening network news. Ohio State seeks to trademark the word ‘The’ ESPN (Chuck L). First, trademarks are images. Second, they can be filed and...

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A Brush With A Notorious Cat, My Rabies Education And The Big Bill That Followed

Yves here. In any other country, this sort of price gouging, let alone for not-expensive rabies shots, would be regarded as criminal. Here it’s just business as usual, made to see logical due to the insane and arbitrary insurance network system. I have an indemnity plan, and I can’t fathom how I’d function if I had to deal with a network or an HMO. And even then, the network hassle presupposes insurance and not-insanely-high deductibles. By Caitlin Hillyard. Originally published at Kaiser...

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Trump Never Had a Grand Strategy for China: They Were Just Tariff Tantrums

By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute President Trump has delayed the new tariffs he threatened to impose on Chinese imports in the early fall, and exempted some other Chinese imports altogether. The de-escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war is especially welcome, given the markets’ renewed concerns about impending recession. Also striking was the president’s tacit acknowledgment that the tariffs...

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Amid Recession Warnings, Trump Reportedly Considering More Tax Cuts for Rich and Corporations

Yves here. The thrust of Trump’s stimulus ideas make clear that his priority is to goose the stock market, not to do much for the broader economy. And that should come as no surprise. As we’ve pointed out a few times, small focus groups with Trump and Hillary voters found that the enthusiasm of Trump voters post election was due almost entirely to the gains in their portfolios. Of course, this is doesn’t do much for the lower-income voters who also backed him. It is also worth noting that...

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2:00PM Water Cooler 8/21/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Readers, I had a schedule debacle and so this Water Cooler is at present shockingly truncated. I’ll update in a rolling fashion section by section. I hope there’s enough here to get you going. –lambert UPDATE All done. Politics “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51 “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune I’m abandoning the RCP poll on the Democrat...

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It’s Official: Parts of California Are Too Wildfire-Prone To Insure

Yves here. We’ve had quite the run of California stories, but this particular one is of the type where California is playing one of its prototypical roles of leading the rest of the US. Expect climate-change-induced inability to buy private sector home insurance to become more common. If governments don’t step in, that kills mortgages, so what comes next? Only all cash buys? Seller financing? And if property values in these areas decline, as they ought to, bye bye local budgets. Of course,...

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Links 8/21/19

Yves here. Apologies for the heavy dose of CalPERS posts, but the bad actors are up to even more chicanery than usual. If you’ve skipped over this topic, I suggest you reconsider, since it’s an in-depth study of institutional rot. Many of our financial services industry readers recognize the behaviors. And there’s plenty of conflict and real stakes! We did have a partial win yesterday, in that the board code of conduct was deemed to be so deficient that a first reading was postponed and is...

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Crooked Conflict of Interest: CalPERS Board Member Lisa Middleton Pushed Radical Changes to Board Schedule to Solve Her Personal Schedule Conflict

CalPERS board member Lisa Middleton engaged in blatant violation of ethics by devising and actively promoting radical changes in the board’s meeting schedule and voting for them in a Tuesday Board Governance Committee meeting when she should have recused herself due to a clear conflict of interest. The entire process of pushing through the schedule change, which was approved in the Board Governance Committee on Tuesday and is set for a vote of the full Board of Administration, was corrupt to...

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CalPERS’ Secret Investigation of Hiring Practices Shows Glaring Deficiencies; Has the Board Been Kept in the Dark?

CalPERS yet again is trying to throw a veil over activities that ought to be open to the public. In the World According to CalPERS, any dirt must be swept under the rug, even when California’s strong transparency statutes say otherwise. The wee problem with CalPERS’ cover-up approach is that the rug is not just getting to be awfully lumpy but is even starting to move. The latest example is CalPERS’ blowing off the results of an unfavorable audit of its hiring practices. Whistleblowers...

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