Should we be “Scared of Capitalism?”

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum  –  The Acting Man Blog

Physicists Should Stick to Physics

We know already since Einstein that renowned physicists would do better to avoid straying into the field of economics. In 1949 Einstein published an essay on economics and education that is brimming with ignorance. According to Einstein, “The economic anarchy of capitalist society [is] the real source of evil”. Any old Marxist could have written that of course – the “capitalist anarchy of production” was routinely mentioned as an alleged drawback by Marxists, one that their “scientific” central economic planning would overcome.

einstein-big-idea-merlAlbert Einstein: great physicist, terrible economist.

Photo credit: Steffen Kugler / Getty Images

This conviction eventually cost the lives of hundreds of millions of people and utterly bankrupted half of the world for good measure. A representative quote from Einstein’s article:

“I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child.”

We have no idea what possessed Einstein to write this clap-trap. Was he not aware, in 1949, of the evils perpetrated by Stalin and the planners of the Soviet Union? Had he not heard of the purges, the famines and the Gulag? Continue reading

It Took Three Decades, But Fears of Turning Japanese Are Closer Than Ever

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider  –  Alhambra Investment Partners

It may be unexpected to economists, but the sudden and uniform economic downside that is either appearing or strengthening almost everywhere in the world is closely tracking the wholesale “dollar.” In many cases, that flows through China and so is given that gloss, but there can be little doubt now about either cause or effect. In Japan, machine orders (a highly-used proxy for capex) tumbled “unexpectedly” in August after a mixed view from July (to put it kindly).

Machine orders – a proxy for private capital expenditures – fell 3.5 per cent in August from a year earlier, with the drop catching economists off guard.
They had predicted a 3.5 per cent increase for the month, building upon a 2.8 per cent year-on-year gain in July.

Worse than that, the measure of private “non-volatile” (read: core) machine orders fell 5.7% year-over-year in August after declining 3.6% in July and 7.9% in June. The fact that there is apparent downside gathering two and a half years into QQE without any actual upside to date is perfectly ruinous. As noted discussing Japan’s lack of progress for industrial production, there has been no such upside to QE in any of the channels and pathways that economists were absolutely sure would result. Instead, without any gains, there has only been engineered a massive economic hole that is “unexpectedly” widening and deepening again.

ABOOK Oct 2015 Global Econ Japan Machine OrdersABOOK Oct 2015 Global Econ Japan IP

The Bank of Japan mercifully held off from expanding QQE again this week, which only allows some minor reprieve for Japan’s beleaguered households. Real wages were up just 0.2% Y/Y in August only because “inflation” was calculated as close to zero. Total hours worked was once more flat, suggesting that the best that the Japanese can hope is “scraping along the bottom” before any renewed contraction. Continue reading

A Decisive Shift In The Power Balance Has Occurred

Submitted by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Institute for Public Economy

The world is beginning to realize that a seachange in world affairs occured on September 28 when President Putin of Russia stated in his UN speech that Russia can no longer tolerate Washington’s vicious, stupid, and failed policies that have unleashed chaos, which is engulfing the Middle East and now Europe. Two days later, Russia took over the military situation in Syria and began the destruction of the Islamic State forces.

Perhaps among Obama’s advisors there are a few who are not drowning in hubris and can
understand this seachange. Sputnik news reports that some high-level security advisors to Obama have advised him to withdraw US military forces from Syria and give up his plan to overthrow Assad. They advised Obama to cooperate with Russia in order to stop the refugee flow that is overwhelming Washington’s vassals in Europe. The influx of unwanted peoples is making Europeans aware of the high cost of enabling US foreign policy. Advisors have told Obama that the idiocy of the neoconservatives’ policies threaten Washington’s empire in Europe.

Several commentators, such as Mike Whitney and Stephen Lendman, have concluded, correctly, that there is nothing that Washington can do about Russian actions against the Islamic State. The neoconservatives’ plan for a UN no-fly zone over Syria in order to push out the Russians is a pipedream. No such resolution will come out of the UN. Indeed, the Russians have already established a de facto no-fly zone.

Putin, without issuing any verbal threats or engaging in any name-calling, has decisively shifted
the power balance, and the world knows it.

Washington’s response consists of name-calling, bluster and more lies, some of which is echoed by some of Washington’s ever more doubtful vassals. The only effect is to demonstrate Washington’s impotence.

If Obama has any sense, he will dismiss from his government the neoconservative morons who have squandered Washington’s power, and he will focus instead on holding on to Europe by working with Russia to destroy, rather than to sponsor, the terrorism in the Middle East that is overwhelming Europe with refugees.

If Obama cannot admit a mistake, the United States will continue to lose credibility and prestige around the world.

The Daily Debt Rattle

Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer  –  The Automatic Earth

The World Economic Order Is Collapsing And There Seems No Way Out (Observer)
Central Bank Cavalry Can No Longer Save The World (Reuters)
Quantitative Frightening (Economist)
Beijing’s Market Rescue Leaves China Stocks Stuck in the Doldrums (WSJ)
Fed Officials Seem Ready To Deploy Negative Rates In Next Crisis (MarketWatch)
IMF: Keep Interest Rates Low Or Risk Another Crash (Guardian)
Last Time This Ratio Soared Like This Was After Lehman Moment (WolfStreet)
Why We Shouldn’t Borrow Money From The Future (John Kay)
Euro Superstate Won’t Save Dysfunctional Single Currency: Ex-IMF Chief (Telegraph)
The Real Fight To Win The International Currency Wars (Telegraph)
When Pension Funds Go Empty, All Bets Are Off (NY Post)
US Probes Second VW Emissions Control Device It Has Failed To Disclose (BBG)
Germany Readies For More Woe As Scandal And Slowdown Hit Economy (Observer)
Ex-CEO Of Anglo Irish Bank In US Custody Facing Extradition (Guardian)
China’s Monetary-Policy Choice (Zhang Jun)
Hundreds Of Thousands Protest EU-US TTiP Trade Deal in Berlin (Reuters)
Tepco Expects To Begin Freezing Ice Wall At Fukushima No. 1 By Year-End (BBG)
UK Home Office Bans ‘Luxury’ Goods For Syrian Refugees (Observer)
World Will Pass Crucial 2ºC Global Warming Limit (Observer)

Read more here: Debt Rattle October 11 2015 – TheAutomaticEarth.com