Man skates on money laundering charge when Florida judge rules that Bitcoin is not real money.

Aside:

One more time, all currency is fiat currency. No currency or specie, real or virtual, including gold or silver, has value unless persons believe it has value.

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I haven’t mentioned Brexit much because I don’t know enough about it; I know only what I’ve read in the papers.

It’s not that I fear displaying my ignorance; it’s that I don’t even have enough ignorance to display. (I will say that my gut instinct is that, in a globalizing world, promoting parochialism is not a propitious proposition.)

I will commend to your attention to the latest episode of the Bad Voltage podcast, which opens with a fascinating discussion about Brexit amongst one Brit living in Britain, one expat Brit, and one American, all of them accomplished and none of them political professionals. The Brexit discussion takes up the first half-hour or so of the show.

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14 July 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still holding steady.

Jobless claims were unchanged at 254,000 in the week ended July 9, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims declined to 259,000, the lowest since the end of April, from 264,750 in the prior period.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 32,000 to 2.15 million in the week ended July 2. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits increased to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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10 July 2016 · Comments Off on Trickle-On Economics Trickle on Wisconsin · Categories: Political Economy

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07 July 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do. Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still holding.

Jobless claims dropped by 16,000 to 254,000 in the week ended July 2, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, declined to 264,750 from 267,250 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 44,000 to 2.12 million in the week ended June 25. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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Bonddad muses on the resurgence of right-wing politics and isolationism:

All over the developed world there has been an erupting surge of both left-wing (Sanders, Corbyn, Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain) and right-wing (Trump, UKIP, France’s LePen) populism. The global elites recoil in horror. According to most tellings of mainstream economic theory, aren’t free trade and globalization supposed to benefit everybody?

At the link, he offers a theory as to why persons might be willing to vote against what appears to be their obvious economic self-interest as described in aforesaid “mainstream economic theory.” His theory is worth a read.

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02 July 2016 · Comments Off on Ryan’s Derp · Categories: Political Economy

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01 July 2016 · Comments Off on Brexit and the Privatization Scam · Categories: Political Economy, Politics of Hate

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30 June 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still under 300k for the 69th straight week.

Jobless claims increased by 10,000 to 268,000 in the week ended June 25, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, held at 266,750.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 20,000 to 2.12 million in the week ended June 18. The four-week average declined to 2.13 million, the lowest since November 2000.

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23 June 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

A little better.

Jobless claims dropped by 18,000 to 259,000 in the period ended June 18, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 267,000 from 269,250 in the prior week. Last week included the 12th of the month, which coincides with the period the Labor Department surveys employers to calculate monthly payroll data. The average is lower than the 278,000 during the comparable period in May.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 20,000 to 2.14 million in the week ended June 11.

In their headline, Bloomberg is all a-flutter because

Jobless Claims in U.S. Declined More Than Forecast Last Week.

I suggest a more appropriate headline might have been

Our Experts Blew It Again.

Snark aside, tying economic success or failure to exceeding or failing to meet “forecasts” is a mug’s game. It serves only to feed Wall Street’s betting pools and to maintain sinecures for self-styled pseudo-savants; it has no other purpose.

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23 June 2016 · Comments Off on A Picture Is Worth, Trickle-On Economics Dept. · Categories: Political Economy

Plutocrat in limo to regular guy in compact car:  To make up for your higher gas tax, they're getting rid of my estate tax.


Click for the original image.

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16 June 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not bad.

Initial applications for unemployment benefits climbed 13,000 to a one-month high of 277,000 in the week ended June 11, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, eased to 269,250 from 269,500.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 45,000 to 2.16 million in the week ended June 4. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits rose to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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03 June 2016 · Comments Off on Alice Cooper Moves to Kansas · Categories: Political Economy, Republican Hypocrisy

(He also has a second home in Illinois.)

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02 June 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

A little better.

Jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 267,000 in the week ended May 28, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, decreased to 276,750 from 278,500 in the prior week. Filings have been below 300,000 for 65 consecutive weeks — the longest stretch since 1973 and a level economists say is typically consistent with a healthy labor market.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 12,000 to 2.17 million in the week ended May 21.

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At MarketWatch, M. I. T. Professor Simon Johnson considers the three main components of Donald Trump’s popular appeal and finds them all disturbing and–here’s why this article was carried on MarketWatch–economically destructive. Here’s a bit of what he says about one: the anti-immigrant position:

. . . Trump is the most anti-immigrant presidential candidate the U.S. has seen in modern times. His first idea and overriding catchphrase is to “build a wall” along the country’s southern border, which would supposedly keep out Mexican and other Latin immigrants. He also wants to deport 11 million people and keep out all Muslims.

This is a recipe for a police state — checking identities, raiding people’s houses, and encouraging neighbors to inform on one another. It is also fundamentally anti-American, in the sense of undermining everything that the country has achieved. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants — the best in the world at integrating new arrivals. After one generation in the country, no one cares where your family came from.

Trump — and those who bring him to power — would throw all of this out of the window. The associated social disruption would by itself cause not just an economic slowdown, but a sustained decline in GDP and incomes.

Trump is repugnant on many levels, including an economic one.

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