Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 17, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: July 12, 2019: "the Fed has recognized that its hope of normalizing the Fed Funds rate in the foreseeable future is vain, and has now recognized that its confidence over the past six years that we were close to full employment was simply wrong...

  • For the Weekend: Paul Celan: Todesfugue: "Death is a master from German his eye it is blue/he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true/a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete/he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air /he plays with his vipers and daydreams/Death is a master from Germany/your golden hair Margarete/your ashen hair Shulamith...

  • Weekend Reading: Thomas Wyatt the Younger: "Great12-grandfather...

  • Weekend Reading: Titus Livius: The Latin War: The History of Rome: "An order was issued that the treaty should be renewed with the Laurentians; and it is renewed every year since, on the tenth day after the Latin festival. The rights of citizenship were granted to the Campanian horsemen; and that it might serve as a memorial, they hung up a brazen tablet in the temple of Castor at Rome. The Campanian state was also enjoined to pay them a yearly stipend of four hundred and fifty denarii each; their number amounted to one thousand six hundred...

  • Weekend Reading: Jo Walton: The Spearpoint Theory: The Dyer of Lorbanery: "It’s very small and sharp but because it’s backed by the length and weight of a whole spear and a whole strong person pushing it, it’s a point that goes in a long way. Spearpoints need all that behind them, or they don’t pack their punch in the same way. Examples are difficult to give because spear-points by their nature require their context, and spoilers. They tend to be moments of poignancy and realization. When Duncan picks the branches when passing through trees, he’s just getting a disguise, but we the audience suddenly understand how Birnam Wood shall come to Dunsinane...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 19, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: Here is the website for Zucman, Wier, and Torslavon's work on missing profits from tax avoidance and tax evasion...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 12, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: Cory Doctorow: I Was Naive: "I've been thinking of all those 'progressive' Senators who said that... Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent—just someone whose ideas they disagreed with. They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Laurentius and St. Peter: "Then Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and severely chastised him, because he would so desert the flock of God. And he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he did so; and the king returned to the right belief...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Prophecy of Augustine: "So was fulfilled the prophecy of Augustine, wherein he saith 'If the Welsh will not have peace with us, they shall perish at the hands of the Saxons'...


  1. Bruce Springsteen: YouTube Channel

  2. Paul Campos: ITMFA?: "Wilentz’s case for impeachment is plausible... but... Pelosi’s go-slow approach is also plausible.... Wilentz takes what seems like a somewhat cavalier attitude toward the massive differences in the political ecosystems of America in 1974 and 2019.... All the options look very fraught at best and potentially disastrous at worst, because our political system is in the midst of a long not-so-slow decline. The extraordinary difficulty of trying to figure out the best path toward removing a completely unfit proto-fascist cult leader from the office of the presidency is Exhibit A of that decline...

  3. Nora Eckert: Tennessee Governor Criticized for Honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest : NPR: "Tennessee's Republican governor, Bill Lee, is facing public backlash after he declared Saturday 'Nathan Bedford Forrest Day', continuing a decades-old tradition honoring the Confederate general, slave trader and onetime leader of the Ku Klux Klan.... Some of the outcry came from members of Lee's own party. On Friday, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas took to Twitter to condemn the governor's move, calling Forrest 'a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK'...

  4. Lenny Mendonca: Business and Public Policy Perspectives on US Inequality: "Inequality in the United States–Definition and Facts.... Housing and Transportation . Place-Based Policies. Race and Inequality. Opportunity and Early Education. Higher Education. Immigration (and Effects on Other American Workers). Low-wage Workers. Tax Policy–The 1%. Work in the Future and Universal Basic Income...

  5. Suresh Naidu et al.: Political Polarization and the Dynamics of Political Language: Evidence from 130 Years of Partisan Speech

  6. Vanessa Williamson, Theda Skocpol, and John Coggin: The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism

  7. Types of "General Gluts": Fisher, Wicksell, Bagehot

  8. How Does the Economy Choose Which Equilibrium to Settle at?: Praying for the Confidence Fairy to Rescue Italy Edition

  9. Musings on Thomas Malthus, the Hellenistic Age, the Loyal-Spirit Great Kings of Iran 550-330 BCE, and Other Topics: The Honest Broker for the Week of August 17, 2015


  1. Mak-'amham: Nonwentemak—blog: "The seasons are changing yet again! We are leaving the time of huuyi tiwši warép, the time of blossoming on us, and entering herwe makiš, the time it’s warm on us—the Chochenyo [Ohlone] way of saying it’s summertime.... Prepare for the foods served at Café Ohlone to represent the seasonality and warmth.... We will be serving iced Indian teas, manzanita cider, and hazelnut milk horchata, as well as native blackberry and wild strawberry fruit salads with fresh coyote mint. The warm months and longer days allow us to spend more time smoking traditional meats of salmon, quail and venison—all of which will be on our menu for summertime. We are experimenting with icy sorbets from gathered bay laurel and minty yerba buena and we are adding late mushrooms like porcini and morels to our plates as well.... We are grateful for the continued outpouring of support and well wishes we are receiving from both our community and the public for the work we are doing at Café Ohlone. We were recently featured in a piece written by John Birdsall in the Los Angeles Times, and just this morning, we were listed as one of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants by the SF Chronicle...

  2. Charles II Stuart: Wikiquote: "Mrs. Lane and I took our journey towards Bristol, resolving to lie at a place called Long Marson, in the vale of Esham. But we had not gone two hours on our way but the mare I rode on cast a shoe; so we were forced to ride to get another shoe at a scattering village, whose name begins with something like Long—. And as I was holding my horse's foot, I asked the smith what news? He told me that there was no news that he knew of, since the good news of the beating of the rogues the Scots. I asked him whether there was none of the English taken that joined with the Scots? He answered, that he did not hear that that rogue Charles Stewart was taken; but some of the others, he said, were taken, but not Charles Stewart. I told him, that if that rogue were taken he deserved to be hanged, more than all the rest, for bringing in the Scots. Upon which he said, that I spoke like an honest man, and so we parted...

  3. Victory in the Latin War of 340-38 as the big sign that things had changed, and that Rome was now a very special and unusual power and social formation?: Gary Forsythe: A Critical History of Early Rome   : "The smaller Latin states, such as Lanuvium, Aricia, Pedum, and Nomentum, were directly incorporated into the Roman state, as had happened with Tusculum in 381 B.C.... retain[ing] their traditional political institutions and... govern[ing] their own local affairs. The two largest Latin states, Tibur and Praeneste, which in the past had rivaled Rome in Latium... were left nominally independent as Latin allies... bound to Rome by bilateral treaties.... Sutrium, Nepet, Ardea, Circeii, Signia, and Setia retained their status as Latin colonies on the confines of the Ager Romanus. But Roman territory was further increased by annexing Antium and Velitrae. A small Roman maritime colony was established at Antium to guard the coast.... The censors... created two new tribes, the Maecia and the Scaptia...

  4. We here in the US still have one largely-sane political party. Britain has zero: Martin Wolf: Brexit Means Goodbye to Britain as We Know It: "What is happening now is not worthy of a serious country.... The UK the world thought it knew—stable, pragmatic and respected — is gone, probably forever. Lost reputations are not readily regained.... Political leadership[:] Boris Johnson, a serial fantasist at best, is very likely to become prime minister. The leader of the opposition is Jeremy Corbyn, a man whose lifetime passion has been leftwing, anti-American politics. The country’s dominant force is Nigel Farage—a talented demagogue consumed by dislike of the EU. This is not a cast of leading characters for a country with a stable and mature democracy. Then there is the risk of a no-deal Brexit.... There are also constitutional threats.... Brexit—quite probably a no-deal Brexit—is now inevitable. An additional reason for this is the horror many Europeans now feel.... Mr Johnson described the French as 'turds'.... Brexit party members of the European Parliament turned their backs when Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was played. Why would Europeans tolerate such people if they have the choice?... What might be the future of England on its own, at open loggerheads with the EU?... Can a country dithering between Ayn Rand and Leon Trotsky truly count in the world? What justification can there be for its staying on as a permanent member of the UN Security Council? What is happening is not worthy of a serious country. The conclusion is that the UK is no longer such a country...

  5. Gregory Clark: The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209–2004: "Real wages were trendless before 1800, as would be predicted for the Malthusian era. Comparing wages with population, however, suggests that the break from the technological stagnation of the Malthusian era came around 1640, long before the classic Industrial Revolution...

  6. Paul Krugman: Goldbugs for Trump: "Stephen Moore and now Judy Shelton have long records of supporting the gold standard or something like it. This should put them at odds with his efforts to politicize the Fed.... With gold prices rising lately, gold standard advocates should be calling for the Fed to raise rates, not lower them. But of course both Moore and Shelton have endorsed Trump’s demand for rate cuts. This creates a dual puzzle: Why does Trump want these people, and why are they so willing to cater to his wishes?... I think there’s a simple answer.... Becom[ing] goldbugs... usually has less to do with conviction than with cynical careerism. And this in turn means that goldbugs are, in general, the kind of people who can be counted on to do Trump’s bidding, never mind what they may have said in the past...

  7. A charitable reading of Heidegger here might be: "You ask how I could have supported Hitler—seen him as the better road of those open. I ask how you can—as your are—still support Stalin as the better road of those open". But I see no reason to read Heidegger charitably: he is best classified as one of the most awesome examples of puerile and destructive whataboutism anywhere or anywhen: Robert Kaufman: Poetry's Ethics? Theodor W. Adorno and Robert Duncan on Aesthetic Illusion and Sociopolitical Delusion: "On August 28, 1947, Marcuse writes Heidegger to say that he is sending a care package to his former teacher in war-ravaged Germany, although 'my friends have recommended strongly against it and have accused me of helping a man who identified with a regime that sent millions of my co-religionists to the gas chambers.... I excuse myself in the eyes of my own conscience, by saying I am sending a package to a man from whom I learned philosophy from 1928 to 1932.' Marcuse's letter at several points renews earlier requests that Heidegger dissociate himself more clearly from (if well after the fact of his involvement with) the Nazi regime, and that Heidegger "expres[s his] current attitude about the events that have occurred...

  8. I confess that the normal thing to do would be to give the 737MAX a de novo safety review, which it would flunk, and then shut down the value chain. Let Airbus have the business. But there is a large margin of safety in commercial aviation. And with the value chain setup, more planes can now be made cheap. Plus there are those planes already made now on the ground. I do not know what I would do if I were king of the world: David Fickling: Boeing's 737 Max Defense Is Poor Crisis Management: "We can expect Boeing Co.’s treatment of its two 737 Max crashes to join the syllabus–as an example of what not to do. Engineers at the planemaker discovered problems with the aircraft’s angle-of-attack sensors within months of the model’s first delivery, but didn’t share its findings with airlines, regulators or even senior management until much later, the company said Sunday. That we’re still getting incomplete details of the situation–almost two years after the problems were first found, and six months after the Lion Air crash last October that brought it to wider attention–is an almost perfect inversion of the Tylenol lesson...

  9. Ben Thompson: Shopify and the Power of Platforms: "More and more attention is being paid to the power wielded by Aggregators like Google and Facebook, but to my mind the language is all wrong.... Facebook and Google want to do things for you; Microsoft and Apple were about helping you do things better.... The more that network effects were internalized the more suppliers were commoditized, and the more that network effects were externalized the more suppliers were differentiated.... The difference between Aggregators and Platforms[:]... platforms... facilitate a relationship between 3rd-party suppliers and end users; Aggregators, on the other hand, intermediate and control it. It follows, then, that debates around companies like Google that use the word 'platform' and, unsurprisingly, draw comparisons to Microsoft twenty years ago, misunderstand what is happening.... There is, though, another reason to understand the difference between platforms and Aggregators: platforms are Aggregators’ most effective competition...

  10. Disruption in Dingolfing. The network of knowledge and machinery that has developed and built the world-class internal-combustion engines of BMW over the past three-quarters of a century has been a tremendously valuable economic asset. But its societal value will be zero in a very few short years, if it is not already zero: Elisabeth Behrmann: Twilight of Combustion Engine Comes for Germany: "The completed combustion engine fitted into a BMW M5 is a 1,200-piece puzzle that weighs more than 181 kg (400 pounds). There are about 150 moving parts whose interlocking precision can catapult a six-figure sports car to 97 kph (60 mph) in 3.3 seconds. The engine... has come together from a web of hundreds of suppliers and many, many hands. The electric-vehicle motor... is... light enough for a single person to lift... just two dozen parts... lacking an exhaust, transmission, or fuel tank. The battery cells themselves are mostly an industrial commodity.... No one brags about the unique power of BMW's electric drivetrain. Yet, this slight battery-driven motor can outgun the combustion engine in BMW's fastest performance car from a standstill at a traffic light. The fact that both combustion engines and electric motors find themselves inside the same 18,000-person complex in Dingolfing, BMW's largest in Europe, makes it a microcosm of a shift overtaking automakers the world over...

  11. From one and a half years ago, a primer on what tax distribution tables are good for from Equitable Growth's newly-anointed chief economist: Greg Leiserson: If U.S. Tax Reform Delivers Equitable Growth, a Distribution Table Will Show It: "Distribution tables—estimates of who wins and who loses from changes in tax law—are central to any debate about tax reform. Such analyses frequently show the plans put forward by Republican politicians to be severely regressive, delivering large income gains for high-income families and little for the overwhelming majority of families. The blueprint for tax reform released by House Republicans in 2016, for example, would increase after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent of families by 13 percent in the first year after enactment but would increase incomes for the bottom 95 percent of families by less than half of 1 percent...

  12. Paul Krugman: After Draghi: "Europe’s overall performance since the 2008 crisis has been better than I believe most U.S. observers realize. The big problem now, I’d say, is the extreme fragility of Europe with respect to any future shocks. In the years since Draghi came in, the euro area has done surprisingly well in restoring growth and regaining employment losses. But this success rests on extremely low interest rates and an undervalued euro. What this means is that Europe has essentially no “monetary space”–there is nothing more it can do if something goes wrong. If there’s a Chinese recession, or Trump slaps tariffs on German cars, or whatever, what can Europe do? The ECB can’t significantly ease monetary policy. Fiscal expansion could help, but it would have to be led by Germany, which seems implausible...

  13. If you missed Alyssa Fisher here on automatic stabilizers last May, go back and reread it: Alyssa Fisher: Planning for the Next Recession by Reforming U.S. Macroeconomic Policy Automatic Stabilizers: "Six big idea... to be triggered when the economy shows clear, proven signs of heading into a recession...... Gabriel Chodorow-Reich... and... John Coglianese... propose to expand eligibility for Unemployment Insurance and encourage take-up.... Jason Furman and Wilson Powell III... aim to reduce state budget shortfalls during recessions... by increasing the federal matching rate for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.... Hilary Hoynes... and... Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach... propose to limit or eliminate work requirements for supplemental nutrition assistance during recessions.... Indivar Dutta-Gupta... proposes a countercyclical stabilization program through... Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.... Andrew Haughwout... proposes an automatic infrastructure investment program.... Claudia Sahm... proposes to boost consumer spending during recessions by creating a system of direct stimulus payments to individuals...

  14. I am swinging around to the position that private pharmaceutical companies have no role in a well-functioning health-care system. The efficiency losses from private property in what is a public good plus a few cents' worth of ingredients are enormous. And the efficiency loss from behavioral grifts on patients by drug companies appear to me to be likely to be even greater. So I am on the point of condemning Michael Kades's aggressive pharmaceutical competition agenda as an inadequate halfway house: Michael Kades: To Combat Rising U.S. Prescription Drug Prices, Let’s Try Competition: "Let’s look at the variety of problems with anti-competitive practices engaged in by U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Take ViroPharma Inc. When faced with the possibility that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would approve generic versions of its Vancocin product (a drug to treat a potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal infection), the company filed 43 petitions to delay or prevent generic approval. Although none were successful on the merits, it took years before the FDA approved any generic competitors. The Federal Trade Commission alleged the strategy increased costs by hundreds of millions of dollars...

  15. Gideon Rachman: Boris Johnson, ‘Cakeism’ and the Blitz Spirit : "If Boris Johnson’s name is ever linked to a political idea, it is likely to be “cakeism” — the notion that it is possible to govern without making hard choices. Mr Johnson’s famous remark that, when it comes to cake, he is 'pro having it and pro eating it too' has defined his approach to Brexit.... It feels, at times, as if Britain is preparing psychologically for adversity. Certainly, in casual conversations I have heard older Leavers suggest that self-indulgent millennials could benefit from the shock of learning to live without avocados and just-in-time deliveries.... If the cake hits the fan after a Johnson government had forced through a bitterly contested no-deal Brexit, the new prime minister will not be leading a united nation.... He would risk ending up as a British version of Marie Antoinette — a French queen, infamous for an ill-advised remark about cake, who met a sticky end...

17.Scott Lemieux: The Real Victims: "I’m not sure it’s scientifically possible to build a violin small enough to accompany this story: 'Jacqueline Sackler was fed up. HBO’s John Oliver would soon use his TV show to pillory her family, the clan that owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In a nearly 15-minute Sunday-night segment, he joined a long line of people who blamed the Sacklers in part for the nation’s opioid crisis. Before the show aired, Ms. Sackler, who is married to a son of a company co-founder, emailed her in-laws, lawyers and advisers. “This situation is destroying our work, our friendships, our reputation and our ability to function in society,” she wrote. “And worse, it dooms my children. How is my son supposed to apply to high school in September?”'...

  1. Note that even if gentrification were to raise housing demand by as much as housing supply—which is not the case—note that the general-equilibrium effects are enormously beneficial: much less pressure on non-gentrifying neighborhoods, and much larger increase in the tax base to support urban services: Brian James Asquith, Evan Mast, and Davin Reed: Does Luxury Housing Construction Increase Nearby Rents?: "There are many plausible mechanisms by which an increased concentration of wealthy households could make a neighborhood more attractive.... We study induced demand near new apartment complexes in gentrifying areas using listing-level data on rental prices from Zillow and exact household migration data from Infutor... difference-in-differences.... In neighborhoods where new apartment complexes were completed between 2014-2016, rents in existing units near the new apartments declined relative to neighborhoods that did not see new construction until 2018. Changes in in-migration appear to drive this result. Although the total number of migrants from high-income neighborhoods to the new construction neighborhoods increases after the new units are completed, the number of high-income arrivals to previously existing units actually decreases, as the new units absorb a substantial portion of these households. On the whole, our results suggest that—on average and in the short-run—new construction lowers rents in gentrifying neighborhoods...

  2. Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone: This Is How You Lose the Time War...

  3. Robert Bork and his ilk managed to set antitrust on a destructive path, and we badly need to recover somehow: Jonathan B. Baker: The Antitrust Paradigm: "At a time when tech giants have amassed vast market power, Jonathan Baker shows how laws and regulations can be updated to ensure more competition. The sooner courts and antitrust enforcement agencies stop listening to the Chicago school and start paying attention to modern economics, the sooner Americans will reap the benefits of competition...

  4. This paper seems to rest on a distinction between "removing inefficiencies" and "transformational growth" that they do not theorize, yet should. That very few of those countries that have grown faster than the North Atlantic economies over the past two decades are on anything like Korea's trajectory is surely true. But why not? Why doesn't the removal of one inefficiency lead to a chain-reaction removal of others?: Paul Johnson and Chris Papageorgiou: It’s too Soon for Optimism about Convergence : "The recent wave of growth in several developing economies has led to many analysts to claim that poorer countries are catching up with advanced economies. This column argues that, with the exception of a few countries in Asia which exhibited transformational growth, most of the economic achievements in developing economies have been the result of removing inefficiencies which are merely one-off level effects. While these effects are not unimportant and are necessary in the process of development, they do not imply ongoing economic growth...

  5. Sean Gallagher: The Fourth Industrial Revolution Emerges from AI and the Internet of Things: "IoT has arrived on the factory floor with the force of Kool-Aid Man exploding through walls.... Smart, cheap, sensor-laden devices paired with powerful analytics and algorithms have been changing the industrial world.... Companies are seeing more precise, higher quality manufacturing with lowered operational costs; less downtime because of predictive maintenance and intelligence in the supply chain; and fewer injuries on factory floors because of more adaptable equipment. And outside of the factory, other industries could benefit from having a nervous system of sensors, analytics to process 'lakes' of data, and just-in-time responses to emergent issues—aviation, energy, logistics, and many other businesses that rely on reliable, predictable things could also get a boost. But the new way comes with significant challenges, not the least of which are the security and resilience of the networked nervous systems stitching all this new magic together.... And then there's always that whole 'robots are stealing our jobs' thing. (The truth is much more complicated—and we'll touch on it later this week)...

  6. Kevin Drum: Liberals Need to Be Lincolnesque In Our Latest Race War: "The entire Republican Party is now all-in on this strategy. They mostly stay quiet themselves and let Trump himself do the dirty work, but that’s enough. Nobody talks anymore about reaching out to the black community with a spirit of caring or any other spirit. Nor is there anything the rest of us can do about this. Republicans believe that wrecking the fabric of the country is their only hope of staying in power, and they’re right. If working-class whites abandon them even a little bit, they’re toast. So all we can do is try to crush them. What other options are there?... Liberals need to be as Lincolnesque as possible in this endeavor—we don’t have to win the votes of unrepentent bigots, just the fretful fence-sitters—but we also need to be Lincolnesque in our commitment to winning America’s latest race war...

  7. Martin Wolf: China Vattles the US in the Artificial Intelligence Arms Race: "What counts is implementation not innovation, and here the Chinese have big advantages.... Kai-Fu Lee.... China has scale... more internet users than the US and Europe combined... a supportive government... [with] ambitious goals... build complementary infrastructure.... Lee distinguishes four aspects of AI: 'internet AI'—the AI that tracks what you do on the internet; 'business AI'—the AI that allows businesses to exploit their data better; 'perception AI'—the AI that sees the world around it; and 'autonomous AI'—the AI that interacts with us in the real world. At present, he thinks China is equal to the US in the first, vastly behind in the second, a little ahead in the third, and, again, far behind in the fourth. But five years from now, he thinks, China might be a little ahead in the first, less far behind in the second, well ahead in the third and equal in the last...

  8. Few people today want to say "Uber is a bad investment". But its track record of no signs of convergence to profitability gives nobody any reason to believe that it is a good investment. And its prospectus and other documents gives nobody any reason to believe that it is a good investment either. Surely if it were to be a good investment, there would be something you could point to suggesting that it is? I find myself puzzled it has gotten this far—not that ridesharing does not promise to be a sustainable productive activity, but that is a very different question from whether ridesharing will be a wildly profitable activity for the first mover. I think Uber is probably a societal plus: a little creative destruction in taxis and a little destruction of monopoly medallion value is a good thing, plus there is a transfer from rich investors to middle-class riders and working-class drivers. But a good investment going forward? What is the road to pumping value equivalent to a flow of 3.5 billion a year starting now out of the system through control of the hailing-and-billing website?: Ben Thompson: Uber’s Rocky IPO, What Went Wrong, The Perils of Private: "I think the private funding model that Uber pioneered, which puts off going public for years, is terrible for nearly all of the relevant stakeholders.... The private investment market is bad for private investors... dramatically less oversight and accountability.... Most importantly, I think that these private investment rounds are bad for the companies themselves. Being able to attract investors on a vision is a wonderful thing when a company is small, and something that makes Silicon Valley great. Being able to do so when a company is large is a recipe for a lack of discipline and a dismissal of economic realities.... The only way to use the proceeds of such a large round is to take on massive operating losses. Historically, as a company neared an IPO level of revenues (say $50-$100mm), investors would expect convergence toward profitability. As these late-stage private companies digest these large fund raises, they are pushing profitability further and further into the future, as well as the proof that their business model actually works. Let me be clear: I am not saying that Uber is a bad investment. I am reiterating the fact that I don’t know, and that I believe that extremely large late-stage rounds not only denied me that knowledge, but very well may have denied that knowledge to Uber itself...

  9. Kim England and Kate Boyer: Women's Work: The Feminization and Shifting Meanings of Clerical Work: "Up to about the 1940s clerical work illustrated a story of women's expansion into the wage-labor market, and the coding of office work as a good respectable job for (certain kinds of) women: notably young, white, educated women prior to marriage. By the middle third of the twentieth century clerical work became an increasingly important source of income for married women. By this time clerical work was emblematic of women's waged work, and provided a primary source of income for women who were single as well married, including a small but growing number of women of color...

  10. Economist: Britain’s Brexit Debate Regresses to 2016: The Tory Time Warp: "Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson make much of their Trump-like dealmaking ability.... Red lines of leaving the single market, customs union and European Court of Justice... threatening to walk away with no deal is the best way to extract further concessions from Brussels... adamant that they can get Brexit done by October 31st.... The list of implausible Tory claims is long, including old assertions that Britain holds all the cards in the negotiation, that what is needed is simply more determination, that the EU is desperate for Britain’s money and that a new prime minister can bypass Brussels and deal directly with Berlin and Paris. Equally unbelievable arguments are made about trade. German carmakers and Italian vintners need the British market, it is claimed. Because Britain runs a trade deficit in goods, no-deal would do more damage to the eu. A fall in the pound would offset any tariffs. Most of the world trades on WTO terms, so Britain would be fine doing the same. As for Ireland, the two governments can agree bilaterally not to impose a hard border with customs controls.... The truth about power and red lines is less forgiving.... A shift of Brexit talk towards the extreme, epitomised by the two candidates’ embrace of no-deal. The linguistic changes are telling. Mrs May’s deal used to be termed a 'hard' Brexit, as it would take Britain out of the single market and customs union. Now it is widely derided as 'Brexit in name only'.... Although most Tory party members like the sound of a no-deal Brexit, a majority of mps and voters are firmly against it. Manoeuvring round all these obstacles would test any prime minister, never mind one who still believes old myths from 2016.

  11. Olivier Blanchard and Jeromin Zettelmeyer believe that Italy right now is one of those rare cases in which fiscal expansion is likely to be contractionary: Olivier Blanchard and Jeromin Zettelmeyer: The Italian Budget: A Case of Contractionary Fiscal Expansion?: "Putting fiscal multiplier effects and contractionary interest rate effects together—and being generous about the size of the multiplier and conservative about the effect of the interest rate increase—arithmetic suggests that the total effect on growth will be 0.8 * 1.5 – 0.8 * 1.6 ≈ –0.1... [with] risks are skewed to the downside. This means that the planned fiscal expansion will probably fail to increase growth—and may even reduce it. The deficit will come in larger than predicted. Supporters of the government will be disappointed. The government may double down, and investors may flee, leading to a serious crisis. It is possible that Italy will suffer a debt run before it even gets a chance to implement its expansionary budget...

  12. Desmond Lachlan: Trump's bizarre Federal Reserve nomination | TheHill: "Among President Trump’s more bizarre nominations for office has to be his nomination of Judy Shelton to fill one of the Federal Reserve Board governor vacancies.... Shelton manages to hold two contradictory views of monetary policy at the same time... strident advocacy of the return to the gold standard is totally inconsistent with the Trump administration’s economic policy approach.... Normally a person would be in favor of either an easy monetary policy to stimulate the economy or a hard monetary policy to exert discipline on the government. Either way, one would not expect her to hold both views at the same time. Yet Ms. Shelton does exactly that...

  13. Jamie Powell: The best of Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas: "Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas is a renowned Tesla bull... until yesterday.... [He] proceeded to lay into the future prospects of Elon Musk's company, holding nothing back.... To pick one, of many possible, quotes from the call is hard. But this is a standout: '[Tesla's]... seen more as a distressed credit story and a restructuring story. So from a growth story to a distressed credit and restructuring story [in a quarter]. At the heart of this though, is demand'. Jonas' change of heart comes as a surprise to Alphaville, as for many years he's been a vocal bull.... So to commemorate the mood swing, here are five of our favourite Adam Jonas quotes from Tesla's various quarterly conference calls over the years...

  14. Why have the more polite modern-day neo-Nazis picked transgender people as the Jews they seek to demonize?: Zack Beauchamp: Trump and the Dead End Of Conservative Nationalism: "Their vision of social conservatism... is not focused on classic issues like abortion and same-sex marriage—two issues little mentioned at the conference (although there were multiple cruel attacks on trans people in major speeches)... [but on] bucking libertarians to use the power of the state at home to address problems like the opioid crisis, the use of pornography by teenagers, and the overweening influence of Silicon Valley... going against neoconservatives in limiting the United States’ role abroad.... It’s... arguing that liberalism (in the political philosophy sense, not the partisan one) is too focused on the 'atomized' individual and not focused enough on building social ties.... chipping away at the separation of church and state and the philosophical framework underpinning liberal rights... end[s] up justifying excluding groups of individuals from those rights—transgender people, for example. This new 'national conservatism' is no exception. And nowhere is this clearer than its discussion of immigration and race.... Wax, the Penn professor, made this subtext the text during her address—even positively citing Trump’s 'shithole [countries]' comments. She argued for what she called a 'cultural distance' approach to immigration... that... 'preserves the United States as a Western and First World nation'.... She favorably quoted John Derbyshire, a writer who once penned a piece telling his white children to avoid going places where black people hang out in groups and was fired from his job at National Review as a result... VDARE... Taki... an outright argument for white supremacy—exactly the sort of thing that Brog claimed to abhor and reject.... He is trying to do something impossible.... That is most obvious on immigration, where politicians and intellectuals can speak openly about banning certain types of people from entering the country entirely. But it inevitably rebounds on citizens as well. Just ask Ilhan Omar.... It was striking to be at this conference as Trump’s assault on the Squad unfolded. The self-identified nationalist president was telling nonwhite citizens that they do not belong on the basis of their skin color. If there was ever a golden opportunity to distance national conservatism from racism, this was it. And yet no one took it... not... a single attempt to tackle Trump’s comments or to distance the conference organizers from the president’s racist assault. When Hazony mentioned Trump’s racist tweets, in the very last speech of the conference, it was only to mock reporters who kept asking him about them.... There is no non-racist explanation for telling four American congresswomen of color to 'go back' to their countries, as if the United States does not truly belong to them. There is no non-racist explanation for making up claims that a black Muslim congresswoman, Omar, is an al-Qaeda sympathizer. Yet it is this rhetoric that attracts people to Trump’s brand of nationalism.... 'National conservative' conference attendees may dream of a better conservatism, but they already have what they’re trying to create. And it’s much uglier than they can admit...

  15. Geoffrey Parker: Emperor: A New Life of Charles V: "In 1504, Charles’s father paid £15 to a bookbinder for ‘making wooden covers for five large books, and for repairing and re-gilding several other works’; and £36 to ‘Jeronymus van Aeken, called Bosch’ for ‘a very large painting measuring nine feet high and eleven feet wide which will show the Last Judgement, that is to say Heaven and Hell, which My Lord has ordered him to paint’. The following year, Philip paid £23 to ‘a man who played a strange Spanish instrument, and to a young girl from Lombardy’ who ‘played several songs and performed acrobatics for him while he dined’, as well as £25 to a painter who presented him with ‘a picture of a naked woman’ (payments that put the gift of £10 to Brother Erasmus of Rotterdam in perspective)...

  16. A sensible model conveying useful and understandable information about the state of American productivity growth. Why we have speedups and slowdowns, and why it seems to be a matter of regimes rather than a randomly walking parameter, remain mysteries on which this approach sheds no light But other else has shed light here either: James A. Kahn and Robert W. Rich: Trend Productivity Growth: "Through 2019Q1... with probability 0.93 productivity remains in a low-growth (1.33% annual rate) regime.... Productivity growth in 2019Q1 in the nonfarm business sector was 3.6% (annual rate), the highest rate in more than four years. The four-quarter change was 2.4%, the highest year-over-year reading since 2015Q1. The near-term forecast profile, however, is little changed, with... a predicted 5-year trend of 1.9%... | James A.Kahn and Robert W.Rich (2007): _Tracking the New Economy: Using Growth Theory to Detect Changes in Trend Productivity...

  17. Jérémie Cohen-Setton, Egor Gornostay, and Colombe Ladreit de Lacharrière: Aggregate Effects of Budget Stimulus: Evidence from the Large Fiscal Expansions Database: "This paper estimates the effects of fiscal stimulus on economic activity using a novel database on large fiscal expansions for 17 OECD countries for the period 1960–2006. The database is constructed by combining the statistical approach to identifying large shifts in fiscal policy with narrative evidence from contemporaneous policy documents. When correctly identified, large fiscal stimulus packages are found to have strong and persistent expansionary effects on economic activity, with a multiplier of 1 or above. The effects of stimulus are largest in slumps and smallest in booms https://delong.typepad.com/lfe_database.zip...


  1. thorn: þ.
    eth: ð.
    wynn: ƿ.
    ash: æ.
    yogh: Ȝ.
    and: &.
    that: ꝥ.
    ethel: œ.

  2. Wikipedia: Anglo-Saxon Runes

  3. Theodore Adorno: Poetry After Auschwitz: "Kulturkritik findet sich der letzten Stufe der Dialektik von Kultur und Barberei gegenüber: nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schrieben, ist barbarisch; und das frisst auch die Erkenntnis an, die ausspricht, warum es unmöglich ward, heute Gedichte zu schreiben...

  4. John Farrell Anderson: Memoir


#noted #weblogs

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