Students of Austrian business cycle theory are familiar with the term malinvestment. A malinvestment is any poor use of resources or capital, commonly made in response to bad policy (usually artificially low interest rates and/or unsustainable increases in the monetary supply). Here, we introduce a related term: malincentive. While not part of the official economic lexicon, I consider a 'malincentive' a useful word to describe any promise of short-term gain whose long-term costs outweigh any immediate benefits enjoyed. Malincetives and malinvestment go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, the former causes the latter. As humans, we respond remarkably well to incentives. And dumb incentives encourage us to make dumb investments.
Please help me to trust government. Show me the math, and I may throw away my tinfoil hat.
- Shares fall with oil prices, yen in demand (Reuters)
- Trump's third straight win has rivals looking for answers (Reuters)
- How Marco Rubio Blunted Ted Cruz—and Boosted Donald Trump (BBG)
- Donald Trump Seals GOP Front-Runner Status With Nevada Win (WSJ)
- Fischer says no Fed plan to move to negative interest rates (Reuters)
- Lew Says Don't Expect `Crisis Response' From Group of 20 Meeting (BBG)
Escape velocity has failed...
There may be shallow lulls in the asset markets, nothing ever only falls down in a straight line in the real world, but the debt will and must come down and be deleveraged. The process will in all likelihood lead to warfare, and to refugee movements the likes of which the world has never seen just because of the sheer humbers of people added in the past 50 years. When your children reach your age, they will not live in a world that you ever thought was possible. But they will still have to live in it, and deal with it. They will no longer have the facade you’ve been staring at for so long now, to lull them into a complacent sleep. And the Kardashians will no longer be looking so attractive either.
We are lost in raptures of techno-narcissism. We’re convinced that all the unanticipated consequences of our brief techno-industrial orgy can be solved by… more and better technology! Notice that this narrative is being served up to a society now held hostage to the images on little screens, by skilled people who, more and more, act as though these screens have become the new dwelling place of reality.
In a bipartisan bid to encourage commercial exploitation of outer space, the U.S. Senate this week unanimously passed the Space Act of 2015. The Extraterrestrial ‘Finders Keepers’ law allows US citizens and companies to legally claim ‘abiotic’ natural resources including water and minerals. However, the bill could be a direct affront to an international treaty that bars nations from owning property in space.
Don't think the Status Quo will save you, or make good on its vast multitude of promises. Naive faith in promises and fantasies isn't helpful in the real world.
It’s election time in Canada, and as usual ad campaigns on TV, radio, print, and even Facebook are urging “everyone” to vote. But is that such a good thing? If politics is serious business, shouldn’t people have more than causal understanding law, economics, and political science before voting? How are people supposed to judge platforms otherwise–by what “feels right”?
Germany has long been a pioneer in the field of renewable energy, generating a record 78 percent of its power consumption from renewables in July of this year. In fact, Germany is one of the very few countries in the world that is actually struggling with too much renewable energy. The latest testimony to this fact is the new issue of decommissioning its old wind farms... and that is a growing problem (for The US too).
- Asia shares rally, but on track for worst quarterly loss in four years (Reuters)
- Global Rally Shows Relief at End of $11 Trillion Stocks Meltdown (BBG)
- Glencore Extends Rebound as Turmoil Shows Signs of Easing (BBG)
- Putin wins parliamentary backing for air strikes in Syria (Reuters)
- China Cuts Minimum Home Down Payment for First-Time Buyers (BBG)
- German Unemployment Unexpectedly Rises in Sign of Economic Risks (BBG)
- Japan Industrial Output Slide Hints at Recession (WSJ)
"The story that (Aylan's father) told is untrue. I don't know what made him lie, maybe fear. He was the one driving the boat right from the start. When they set off five minutes in he was looking left and right, worried, then he was speeding. Even his wife was screaming at him to slow down." Iraq-based Zainab Abbas, via her Sydney-based cousin Lara Tahseen, told Ten News she paid $10,000 for the voyage.
Internet goes batshit...
As Marc Faber said at SocGen's January conference, if he could short central banks directly he would do so, but gold is the next best thing; and despite it being sucked into the general commodity malaise, Albert Edwards says "Gold is a must-have holding in this world."
This is how democracy has died in America. The formula is simple: billionaires + their (and their many clergy’s) suckers = aristocracy. The result is, in any case, an aristocratic dictatorship, no sort of authentic democracy whatsoever. And, when even the Democratic candidate has gotten there by a string of lies and no substantive record on which voters can know that his assertions don’t match his real beliefs or commitments, the voters are trapped by the aristocracy: they’ve got nothing else to go on but the aristocracy’s lies, and the aristocratically owned ‘news’ media’s stenographic transmissions of their politicians’ lies to the public. The American Revolution (1765-83) overthrew Britain’s aristocracy here. But now, the American people need to overthrow America’s own aristocracy, or else simply accept fascism (rule by an aristocracy).