Tag: Dubious statistics

Low-Cost Ventilators Could Be Available Next Year. But Will It Happen?

Yves here. In a bit of synchroniticy, at a press conference on Thursday, Trump fielded questions about the shortage of critical medical supplies, with ventilators at the top of the list. Trump blew off the notion that this was his problem. From New York Magazine: Trump [at the Thursday press conference] argued the pandemic was […]

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COVID-19 Math Explained, With Data

Yves here. Even though experts voice doubts about whether COVID-19 is as well contained as their data suggests, it is still true the the R0, or the basic reproduction rate rate, of an infectious disease is not etched in stone and is estimated by modeling. From a 2019 paper posted at the CDC: The basic […]

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CalPERS Legacy Assets: How Much in Overvaluation Has CalPERS Been Hiding?

In finance, except for bequests, “legacy” means old and rotten. In banks, “legacy code” is ancient, creaky, customized software, often in Cobol which no one but codgers can coddle, but the bank can’t retire because it runs core operations.1 In investing, it’s even worse. A “legacy asset” means a holding with a loss that has […]

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Is the U.S. Fracking Boom Based on Fraud?

Yves here. It really is remarkable how super low interest rates have led investors on a widespread basis to pour money down ratholes. Unicorns is one. Another has been fracking, which despite being another widespread cash sink, remarkably has kept sucking in funding. As we pointed out in 2014: John Dizard at the Financial Times […]

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‘Biological Clocks’, Import Competition, and the Gender Gap in Earnings: The China Effect

Yves here. Wowsers, the uncommon article that upends conventional wisdom. Many armchair pundits have argued that the reason women in the US stopped postponing motherhood was concern about their famed biological clock and/or more women coming to believe that “having it all” was a myth and motherhood was therefore given more weight than doggedly sticking […]

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According to the WHO, Coronavirus Is WORSE Than the Spanish Flu … Which Killed Tens of Millions of People

Yves here. I don’t like seeming like a scaremonger, but I see way too much evidence that people are not taking coronavirus risk seriously enough. For instance, I have been e-mailing the service that employs my mother’s home health care aides about handwashing every time they come in the door.  I’ve had to send the […]

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Porkfest! Tallying How Much the Pentagon Really Costs

Yves here. While Mandy Smithberger does a great job of aggregating all the different buckets of spending by the Pentagon and its friends, it’s even worse than this picture suggests. In addition to the official black budget, the Overseas Contingency Operations account, my understanding is there are are also truly hidden funds. By Mandy Smithberger, […]

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Housing Insecurity, Homelessness, and Populism: Evidence from the UK

Yves here. When citizens have trouble paying for basic needs like housing, it should come as no surprise that they get unhappy and correctly blame the people in charge. But even worse, look at the spending impact. The Conservative policy largely failed even by its own warped standards. However, one might argue vote suppression of […]

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The Candidate’s Dilemma: “I Call on My Opponents To Stop Calling on Me To Drop Out.”

Yves here. A useful discussion of a flawed but widespread take on Dem candidate viability. By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny! If you put all of the crowds that flock to watch Warren, Buttigieg, Bloomberg and Biden into this arena, would they fill even half of it? The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a game often […]

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Foreign Exchange Swaps: Hidden Debt, Lurking Vulnerability

Yves here. Anyone who remembers the crisis will recall that one of the critical elements that turned what should merely have been a housing crisis into a global financial crisis was that accounting rules allowed banks to record certain types of assets at zero risk weights, such as AAA rated CDOs with some additional insurance […]

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400 Million Locked Down in China To Fight Coronavirus

Yves here. One consideration that slightly ameliorates the downside scenario in this post is that China really has no other way of contending with a serious contagion like the coronavirus, whether it rises to a pandemic level or not, than quarantine and other methods to enforce greatly increased social distance. China has a woefully tiny […]

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Hubert Horan: Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part Twenty-Two: Profits and Cash Flow Keep Deteriorating as Uber’s GAAP Losses Hit $8.5 Billion

By Hubert Horan, who has 40 years of experience in the management and regulation of transportation companies (primarily airlines). Horan has no financial links with any urban car service industry competitors, investors or regulators, or any firms that work on behalf of industry participants Uber’s profit performance and cash burn had ben dismal for years […]

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Do Davos Billionaires and Bankers Really Believe Booms and Busts Are Over Because They’ve Trained the Fed?

By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute Can runaway booms descend into busts absent monetary tightening by the world’s central banks? I pose this question in the wake of an extraordinary exchange on January 22 at Davos between Bloomberg editor-at-large Tom Keene […]

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US Loses Nearly 4 Million Jobs to China Since WTO Entry

A newly released study by the Economic Policy Institute reaches a devastating but not surprising conclusion: globalization has screwed American workers. However, putting numbers on how much sustained trade deficits with China translate into lost American jobs, and those numbers turning out to be large, gives free trade cheerleaders a lot less wriggle room. EPI […]

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Secular Stagnation: Demand Is Indeed the Culprit

Yves here. This post describes how much of the economics discipline has settled on a neat, plausible, and wrong explanation of secular stagnation. The only good news is at least pretty much no one buys Larry Summers’ theory. By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Delft University of Technology. Originally published at the Institute for New […]

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Coronavirus: Not Looking Good

The aggressive and increasingly stringent measures taken in China to contain the “novel coronavirus” sure look like the officialdom is worried, if not panicked about the disease. Although we and they are suffering from bad data (for instance, shortages of tests and even in places personnel to confirm that suspected cases are the coronavirus and […]

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Another Great Depression or Tax Justice and Transparency? The Tax Justice Network January 2020 Podcast

Yver here. Lots of meaty topics this time at the TaxCast….like whether Brexit will usher in a buccaneer tax/finance regime, is depression just around the corner, and the looting of Angola. By Naomi Fowler. Originally published at Tax Justice Network The Taxcast kicks off the new decade with: the French strikes – tax justice and […]

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Precarity: A Political Problem

Yves here. The basic premises of this post are sound: that precarity is the result of the shift in the last couple of generations of business revenues away from workers and towards profits, or capital, if you prefer. And that most people are far too complacent about that because they have deeply internalized prevailing market/neoliberal […]

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The Impact of CEOs in the Public Sector: Evidence from the English NHS

Yves here. This study supports our hypothesis that CalPERS’ Marcie Frost, who has managed to greatly increase her compensation since she joined the public pension fund, is overpaid. In general, in public pension funds, CEOs engage in administrative oversight and politicking, neither of which have much impact on performance. I wonder if these findings can […]

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