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

Bullshit to cash ratio

Dan here…Yves Smith reminds us on the announcement of a reported ‘biggest fine ever’ on Bank America that the deals, fines, and reporting on mortgage misconduct need careful interpretation. And a skeptical attitude. (partially re-posted…worth the trip over) by Yves Smith Bank Settlement Grade Inflation: High Bullshit to Cash Ratio in $17 Billion Bank of […]

Understanding Piketty, part 3

Part 3 of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the longest section of the book (230 pages out of 577), providing his analysis of inequality at the level of individuals. Notably, Piketty largely avoids the use of the familiar Gini index because, in his view, it obscures the issue by combining the effects […]

SWAT

From Tom Dispatch author Matthew Harwood points out the rapid growth in the use of SWAT teams for regular police functions: In 1984, according to Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop, about 26% of towns with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 had SWAT teams. By 2005, that number had soared to 80% and it’s […]

Understanding Piketty, part 1

Thomas Piketty’s (CV) Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the most important book on economics published in this century. The book has made a huge splash, and drawn the ire of conservatives, for its straightforward argument that recent increases in inequality in numerous countries are likely to rise to unprecedented heights unless governments can reach […]

Gerrymandering Michigan

I have been somewhat of a thorn in the Michigan Republican’s side as I know about the PPACA, can explain how it will benefit Michigan, can show by the Governor’s own report it will not cost Michigan anything up to 2027/28, and I can refute the arguments using economic data on other topics. I have […]

Tesla wants $500 million for its Gigafactory

Leigh McIlvaine (@Leigh M.) of Good Jobs First alerted me to this article on what Tesla Motors wants in incentives to land its $5 billion Gigafactory: $500 million. This massive 6500 worker facility will produce the next generation of batteries in order to introduce a less expensive line of cars in 2017, the Tesla Model […]

Illinois’ next governor may make Romney look like a saint

Does the name Bruce Rauner ring a bell? No, me neither. It turns out he’s the Republican nominee for governor in Illinois, which under normal circumstances would mean he’s a nobody. But he’s been leading incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn in polls all summer, and could actually end up as the state’s next governor. This is […]

More drought?

Is there more drought in store for California and the Southwest?  The Kelvin Wave that preceded an El Nino has dissapated and the  El Nino not not expected to develop. That’s because the largest surge of heat ever recorded moving west to east in the Pacific Ocean, often referred to as a Kelvin Wave, which was supposed […]