Last active
1 week, 1 day ago
  • Knut commented on the blog post No Bribery Equals No Corruption

    2014-11-24 06:52:53View | Delete

    On ‘no bribery no corruption’, Bernanke was up here in Montreal where he gave an anodyne speech to a bunch of businessmen and journalists for the princely sum of $200,000, less whatever goes to his booking agent. Five talks a year at that rate and we are starting to talk big money. Now, as mainstream economists go, Bernanke was and is not particularly corrupt, unlike men like Rogoff or Andrei Schleifer, but it’s hard to turn down that kind of money even when you don’t need it, and it is certainly no work to have your assistant put out a PowerPoint of economic nostrums, none of which are novel and few if any are right. It doesn’t mean he was bribed, just that he did the right things to be part of the club.

    It’s insidious and testifies to the vanishing of what was once called ‘civic virtue.’ Along with the allied concept of ‘public service’ it is something that no longer exists at the Feferal level. RIP.

  • Follow the money. The prospective IPO will be huge, there will be billions to spread around, and at that rate, it costs nothing to contract a hit on little people who get in the way. Ruining a reputation is just the first step, like GM (or was it Ford?) tried to do with Nader back in the 60s. Physical elimination cannot be counted out. There is just too much money involved, and these people are essentially Mafioso. This is what happens when the Government stops enforcing its law. We are fast becoming a lawless society, certainly one (of several) definitions of fascism.

  • Knut commented on the blog post The Roundup for November 19th, 2014

    2014-11-20 06:19:48View | Delete

    I don’t dispute your assessment of Stiglitz, but you ought to give him some slack. He’s my age and we are both in our 70s, and bathed in the feel-good ethos of the 50s and 60s. He is from a modest family in Gary, IN (his dad was a pharmacist). When he entered college in1960, Joe was the top-rated merit scholar in the US and every school wanted him. Samuelson personally recruited him into grad school at MIT and by the time he started teaching at Yale in 1968 he must have had at least a dozen published papers plus editting Samuelson’s collected works. In short, he was the fastest of the fast track at a time when economics was still half-way respectable. Fast forward a dozen years and the same type becomes a Ken Rogoff, for whom the money, not the real work mattered. Fast forward another dozen years and you get Jonathan Gruber. The point is that he absorbed the zeitgeist (like Krugman did in the mid-70s) and was the darling of conventional mainstream economics, as the next Samuelson. It takes time and a real capacity for rethinking one’s basic assumptions to get off that ledge. I have friends who never forgavehim for his book fingering the flaws of the World Bank. Not that they thought he was wrong, but they disn’t like the dirty laundry exposed.

    He’s like a number of socially committed economists of my generation who have come to the realization that much of what we thought was right turned out to be wrong. Joe was a great economist; too gifted to be a mere careerist.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Burying My Father Who Was One of My Biggest Fans

    2014-11-19 06:38:43View | Delete

    My condoleances. Be strong.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Jonathan Cohn Rewrites History for Jonathan Gruber

    2014-11-18 12:15:38View | Delete

    Quakonomics indeed. A perfect description for what has happened to the profession in the last 40 years. There were always quacks, but they tended to lay low in out of the way places. Now they control the heartland. I’m curious to know what Uwe Reinhart thinks about all this. He fingered the HMO scam 30 years ago, and altough he was surely consulted, he doesn’t seem to have played any role in the unfolding catastrophe. He and Krugman are friends and colleagues at Princeton, which makes me think he wasn’t totally opposed to it, given Krugman’s belated support. The main point, though, is that the engineering types who have successfully colonized economics are a walking disaster. They can’t think.

  • Knut commented on the diary post Russia’s Vulnerability to EU – US Sanctions and Military Encroachments by GREYDOG.

    2014-11-12 12:33:15View | Delete

    Interesting post, partly correct and partly not. On Desider’s point, he is correct about the Gorbachev coup (an acquaintance of mine who was vice mayor of Moscow) and was playing both sides fingered the conspirators in time to save Gorbachev), but this was not the time that Yeltsin shelled the White House (the Russian Duma), [...]

  • That’s my take, too. Reichstag Fire all over again.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Can the US Seize Would-Be Jihadis’ Passports?

    2014-10-15 13:26:12View | Delete

    That ime you speak of ended in the late 60s precisely because so many zio-americans did join the IDF. I believe the Supreme Court ruled on it.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Can the US Seize Would-Be Jihadis’ Passports?

    2014-10-15 13:24:17View | Delete

    I have believed for about ten years that it is only a matter of time before the US government imposes exit visas on all Americans. I have warned my nieces and nephews to start thinking about safe havens, because whrn it happens it will be too late to get out.

  • Knut commented on the diary post Pranking the CIA: The New Get-Rich-Quick Story by David Swanson.

    2014-10-14 16:38:05View | Delete

    Risen is a brave man. I think he’s got the business model down pat. It’s the NRA on steroids.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Riots Hit Kiev, Neofascists Hold Torch-Lit March In Ukraine

    2014-10-14 16:29:11View | Delete

    The good news is that unlike the German nazis in 1933 the Ukrainian version is not taking commans of the world’s second largest economy. They can do a lot of damage to their own, but not much to anybody else. I would not like to be a Ukrainian Jew at this point in time.

  • I’ve never heard of this Kocken character. What’s he done to deserve anybody’s attention. I suspect that economists (using the term generously) like him are pre-selected by the PTB for their opinions. The whole profession is terribly corrupted, and he’s just another example of that corruption. It’s just another shill.

  • The Communists are only replicating the procedures used by the British when they ruled the colony. On the whole the colony has done quite well without paricipatory democracy, which in its modern poll-driven version is vastly overrated as a mode of self-government.

  • They are operating on their own, a little llke ISIS, who also got out of hand. The real question is whether they have enough force to terrorize the whole population. The commentariat on this question seem to think not. The real question is whether the military has enough power to mount a coup. At this point I would guess that a coup is the US preferred option, as it was in Egypt. The US needs clients who can impose their will on areas the US wants or needs to control. This requires strong authoritarian government, but that government has to be inthe ‘right’ hands, and the clients have to remember who their patron is or they will end up like Quadagfi and Saddam Hussein, both of whom wandered of the reservation, as did Assad, who is currently on the receiving end of the standard treatment or those who stray.

  • Knut commented on the diary post Engelhardt: The Great Concentration or the Great Fragmentation by Tom Engelhardt.

    2014-09-17 04:53:47View | Delete

    A good index of the change you describe is the geographical distribution of wealth in the United States. The richest counties are now in Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs of Washington. This was not true 20 years ago. Empire pays. (for some at least).

  • Knut commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: Pay2Play

    2014-09-08 17:26:48View | Delete

    I think the key to the issue is why negative advertising is so effective. It really works, and it costs. The polling behind it must run into hundreds of millions of dollars. That Americans allow themselves to be moved by it is collective suicide. I don’t know what the solution, but it strikes me that trying to control campaign spending when it works is about as effective as the War on Drugs. Looking forward to viewing the film. Thanks for being here.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Foreign Governments Using US Think Tanks To Lobby For Them

    2014-09-08 13:59:39View | Delete

    Not any more, but down to the mid-80s Brookings was the go to place for good applied macro. The political science section went down first. I don’t know when the econ section went down, but it was before Bush Ii? The same thing happened to Fred Bergsten’s International Economics Institute (now the Petersen Institute, which was doing first rate stuff untl Fred took his retirement and essentially sols the outfit to Petersen. It’s the academic version of what Yves Smith calls ‘crappification.’ It’s not just for toasters anymore.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Right Wing Militias In Ukraine Say They’ll March On Kiev Next

    2014-09-08 13:52:34View | Delete

    We’ll see. There is a lot of huffing and puffing going on, and the fascists are trying to put a good face on their ignominious defeat. Proshenko’s days are surely numbered, and he has no doubt squirreled away his fortune in safe places and can retreat to Israel where he holds dual citizenship. There’s bo loot left in the country, so he might as well take the money and run. He and the other oligarchs have squeezed that lemon of a country dry. What’s the point of staying on? As to the fascists, they have no place to go, but there aren’t enough of them to coerce a whole country.

  • Mr. Dean, Thanks so much for being with us today (I missed your earlier appearances). The whole Watergate business seems so long ago (40 years and counting), and in some respects almost quaint in view of what has gone on in the Executive Branch since then. We look for branching points in our history, and Nixon’s resignation for a long time seemed like one. I wonder now if that is so. The Election of 2000 seems a bigger one in retrospect. Nixon’s near impeachment was the last time anything like informed ‘public opinion’ had any effect on American political life. We are now so propagandized that there isn’t any public opinion anymore. I suppose this is a bit off-topic on a book devoted to Nixon’s defense, but there was a time when a public defense mattered. That doesn’t seem to be the case today.

    I guess this comes down to the question: do you think Nixon could just have brazened it out,or was the legal case against him too tight?

  • Knut commented on the blog post The Roundup for August 28th, 2014

    2014-08-29 05:02:39View | Delete

    He is Mitterrand history repeated as farce. Mitterrand was a snake, but the most gifted snake of the 5th Republic. He drove his Finance Minister to suicide. Hollande is a piker compared with him.

  • Load More