Even as the Greek default process moves towards completion, the wider problem in the developed world is the size of the debt overhang. How to solve it? …
It is no mean feat to achieve this. You needed capital controls, so people could not easily move their money from one country to another. You also needed further rules to force pension funds to hold a certain amount of home government debt. In this way you create and encourage a “national pool” of capital, from which savers can’t escape.
Then you unleash inflation, preferably in one surprise spike at the start of the process. If then the real value of deposits is shrinking at 4% a year, then compounded over 10 years, you are soon well into double digit falls in the national debt (not to mention also corporate and consumer debt).
Now given we live in a globalised financial market, with free-floating exchange rates and no capital controls, how would you “do” financial repression?…
However “repressed” interest rates and therefore savings returns feel, it would take much more of this to wipe out the debts in the graph at the top. And much more inflation. In fact what you would need was something close to double-digit inflation for a couple of years: an inflation “shock” that really gets you started.
There is only one sure-fire way to provoke an inflation shock and that is to close the Straits of Hormuz, or otherwise cause Middle Eastern oil to cease, temporarily. Diplomacy anyone?
I hope he is not prescient and that I am paranoid.
A year ago, Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, filed suit against the F.E.C., saying its 2007 regulation violated the intention of Congress when it passed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act in 2002. That law makes it clear that donations greater than $1,000 to advocacy groups have to be disclosed.
On Friday, District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington agreed. She ruled that the F.E.C. overstepped its boundaries in requiring disclosure only of explicit political donations. “Congress spoke plainly” in requiring full disclosure, she wrote, and even the Citizens United decision called for disclosure of the unlimited corporate and union donations it permitted.
Judge Jackson’s clearsighted opinion is a win for clean elections. But it will probably be appealed, which could delay a final decision by months or years. If it were a functioning body, the F.E.C. would change its regulations to comply with the court ruling, but its three Republican commissioners have repeatedly blocked attempts to require disclosure.
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). In fact, it was caught strong-arming its suppliers into supporting the act, which has since been stalled by massive online protests. In an email, NBC asked those suppliers to sign on to the CreativeAmerica movement in defense of the bill:
We are writing to ask you for help on an issue that is one our top business priorities – content theft on the Internet, which is a major threat to the strength of our business. Our major guilds and unions are joining us in the fight to keep our businesses strong so that the tidal wave of content theft does not kill jobs. But if the current trend continues, it’s not too strong to say that this threat could adversely affect our business relationship with you.
NBC plays the sympathy card, saying that ‘theft’ is a major threat to its business and the jobs that it supports. But the moment that it is more expedient for it to just swipe a graphic from the internet to use on a public facing page that may be seen my many thousands of applicants and visitors, all of that goes out of the window.
The thing is, there is likely nothing malicious about NBC using the Xcode icon. It’s probably a casual thing that isn’t representative of its overall web design policies. But it is being used in a context where it is aiding NBC in making money for itself by starting up a new property.
This kind of casual copyright infringement, with no malicious intent, is exactly the kind of thing that SOPA was after. If people are outright stealing from content providers and selling their wares elsewhere, hey, that’s wrong. But SOPA covered so many cases of fair use, remixing, commentary and satire that it would have made a good number of the websites in the world immediately vulnerable to being taken down at the whim of ‘content creators’ like NBC.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs, but also public health and information about gang affiliations.
Dear Justice Kennedy. If the Supreme Court is in no position to do that, who is? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Justice Kennedy responded that “people detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals.”
Not only that, but people who haven’t been arrested can turn out to be the most dangerious criminals of all!
In fact, think about it: how much violent crime has been committed by people who were already in police custody? almost none! Clearly, what we need is for the police to have the right to strip-search anyone at any time.
If you think you can’t make a difference, you are wrong. If you think you are too old or too young to make change happen, you are wrong. If you think that somebody else will do it first, you are wrong.