Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Walter Bagehot Explains to the Fed What They Should Have Done on Thursday

The day before yesterday, the Fed made a somewhat unusual announcement of $500,000,000,000 of REPO offers a day for three days in a row. The idea was to let banks unload risky assets before they panicked nipping a financial crisis in the bud. This move was controversial. Unfortunately many critics act as if the Fed […]

Life in Rome

I am in a city with a curfew (enforced ?) where only pharmacies, supermarkets and those stores where someone from China sells all sorts of household stuff are open. Rome hasn’t reached the dread levels of Wuhan and Milan, but the Italian government is trying to get ahead of the curve. It is strange and […]

Novel Coronavirus and Better Unsafe than Sorry

It is possible that a known pharmaceutical called remdesivir inhibits the reproduction of the Covid-19 coronavirus. It inhibits (some) RNA dependendent RNA Polymerases — the type of enzyme the virus uses to replicated its genome and express its genes. It is known that it is a potent inhibitor of the RNA dependendent RNA Polymerases used […]

The Economic Anxiety Hypothesis has Become Absurd(er)

I am old enough to remember when many very serious people ascribed the rise of Donald Trump to economic anxiety. The hypthesis never fit the facts (his supporters had higher incomes on average than Clinton’s) but it has become absurd. The level of self reported economic anxiety is extraordinarily low Gallup reports “Record High optimism […]

Andrew McCabe is not a Ham Sandwich

I am not a lawyer, but I think lawyers agree that grand juries are a pointless relic of the middle ages. There’s nothing to be done, because they are mentioned in the 5th amendment, but they are silly. Over here east of the English Channel they don’t exist. Decisions about possible indictments are made by […]

Three Cheers for Aigerim Toleukhanova

She’s the reporter who asked Secretary Pompeo “Did you retaliate against NPR?” and what sort of message that sends to countries “whose governments routinely suppress press freedoms?”. I was already impressed that the US secretary of state was getting a lesson on respect for the free Press in Kazakhstan whose dictator used to be the […]

Ballance in The Washington Post All Time Silver Medalist

Senate to emerge from impeachment trial guilty of extreme partisanship, Paul Kane The absolute need to balance blame for Republican partisanship with false claims about Democrats overcame Mr Kane’s interest in elementary logical consistency. He wrote none of the rank-and-file senators made a single real effort to negotiate their own compromise on witnesses. “Nope. I’ve […]

Two Chears for Nicholas Fandos

The standard rule that reporters cover both sides of a debate and find some source to contest lies rather than doing it in their own name (and the name of the newspaper) has not survived Mitch McConnell’s office. In the New York Times, Nicholas Fandos notes that “A senior Republican aide in the Senate” lied […]

John Lewis should read this

American hero John Lewis has Pancreatic Cancer. He should look at these two studies of the only treatment that has actually worked and a similar treatment. Also read this article in The Lancet. and in particular “Of the 18 patients given the maximum tolerated dose, 11 (61%) achieved an objective (complete or partial) response.” American […]

Methane Fuel Cells

OK so I don’t really have a post to go with the title. I just googled methane fuel cells. As usual, some engineers promise that they have solved the problem. The claim is that, with a new catalyst, methane (and oxygen of course) can be used to generate electricity at the temperature of an auto […]