Tuesday , May 17 2022
Home / Tag Archives: Free markets and their discontents

Tag Archives: Free markets and their discontents

Out of Africa: Rich Continent, Poor People

Yves here. Those of you who read Nicholas Shaxxon’s Treasure Islands may recall that one of his opening chapters discussed the extent of looting of Africa via the fact that its poor countries are capital exporters. It isn’t due solely to corrupt leaders pilfering official coffers and sending their ill-gotten gains to tax havens. It’s also due to multinational transfer pricing and tax games. A new book focuses on this topic, documenting even more of the mechanisms of wealth extraction. By...

Read More »

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Inflicted by Self-Serving Elite

Yves here. This piece is important not simply for presenting the details of how Sri Lanka went from being a development success story to a train wreck, but also for debunking the notion that Sri Lanka’s woes are the result of a Chinese debt trap. Even though the IMF’s record gives countries on the receiving end of loans reason to worry, at least so far, China has not lowered the hammer on any of its borrowers. By Anis Chowdhury, Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and University of...

Read More »

Naive Questions About Russia’s War Economy

Yves here. Helmer’s post about the competing and radically different plans for restructuring Russia’s economy so it can better cope with the impact of sanctions is timely. Not only is the legislative debate in full swing, but central bank President Elvira Nabiullina also gave an update. She depicted Russia as having weathered the initial impact of the sanctions on the financial system fairly well, but as on the verge of starting to feel the real economy effects bite. This is consistent with...

Read More »

Book Review: An Urgent Plea for Mental Health Care Reform

Yves here. I don’t know whether to be cheered or depressed to learn that there are sound and often successful approaches for treating severe mental health problems. But for the most part, we don’t do them due to how we do medicine. By Joshua C. Kendall, a Boston-based journalist and author. His reporting on psychiatry, neuroscience, and health policy has appeared in numerous publications, including BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast,...

Read More »

Financial Times Screeches at China’s “Propaganda” for Sticking to Zero Covid Policy

It’s sobering to see multiple examples every day in the press that those in the West who fancy themselves as in charge have lost their minds, drunk on arrogance and provincialism. Today’s example is a new story in the Financial Times that berates China (although as you will see “berates” is too mild a word) for daring to stick to its zero Covid policy. Worse, the pink paper depicts China’s policy as “propaganda” as opposed to “policy”. You can see I am not making this up: It’s painful to...

Read More »

Healthcare Expert Greg Travis Speaks About the Official Disappearing of COVID-19 Pandemic

Yves here. As much as I strongly prefer video presentations with transcripts, this long talk on Covid with Greg Travis, organized by WSWS, is very much worth your time (and you can listen at 1.25x time). Readers may remember Greg Travis from the Boeing 737 Max debacle. Travis, a software developer/technologist with a strong interest in public policy, was an early and accurate critic of the Max, and his posts included helpful explainers about things like how AOA sensors work. A major theme is...

Read More »

Letter to SEC: How Stock Buybacks Undermine Investment in Innovation for the Sake of Stock-Price Manipulation

Jerri-Lynn here. Grab a cup of coffee. William Lazonick’s latest on stock buybacks – which Biden promised to address during the presidential campaigning hasn’t (see for further context,  Where Did You Go, Vice President Joe? Biden Retreats from Bashing Looting, Um, Buybacks). In this  comprehensive post, Lazonick and co-author Ken Jacobsen analyse how: “ Rule 10b-18, as originally written in 1982 and revised by the Commission in 2003, has in fact undermined capital formation by business...

Read More »

No One Will Win in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Yves here. Readers rightfully often take issue with some of Gail Tverberg’s analysis, since she sometimes has to work overtime to fit her information into her energy scarcity thesis. But she generally has interesting data and her drive to reach conclusions often produces useful reactions from the commentariat. Here she turns to her big topic of the day, the resource implications of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Tverberg’s core argument is Tainter 2.0: that rising costs of energy...

Read More »

Housing Is a Human Right—Here’s How to Make It a Reality

Yves here. While I applaud the sentiment of making sure that everyone has at least adequate housing, class stratification has become so deeply embedded in America that it’s hard to see how to make it happen. There is default housing in New York City, called shelters, and most homeless avoid them due to regimentation, lack of privacy and risks to person and the little property they have. Perhaps something like the higher-end capsule hotels in Hong Kong could be a model. Oh, but we can’t allow...

Read More »

‘Their Inflation Strategy Is Working’: Corporate Profits Soared to Record High in 2021

Yves here. We’ve regularly described how the corporate profits as a share of GDP has been at close to 12% for years, which is twice the level Warren Buffet deemed to be unsustainably high in the early 2000s. These egregious profits are at the expense of low and mid level worker. We’ve seen how top executive have come to see their lofty pay as a matter of right when they are short changing their own front line staff to line their pockets. One of the most grotesque examples is hospitals, where...

Read More »