The Rich Versus Poor Country Stakes at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference This Month in Abu Dhabi

Yves here. The new Global Majority is challenging the established economic powers in more and more venues. Here we see power struggle expected at the upcoming WTO. By Deborah James (, the Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research ( and facilitates the global Our World Is Not for Sale … Read more

Why don’t nations buy and sell territory more?

Egypt has agreed to a $35bn deal with the United Arab Emirates to develop the town of Ras el-Hekma town on its northwestern coast, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on Friday after weeks of speculations. Madbouly said at a news conference, which was attended by Egyptian and Emirati officials, that Egypt will receive an advance amount of $15bn … Read more

Fake: It’s only a matter of time until disinformation leads to calamity

Not long after Eric Hebborn was murdered, an off-the-record conversation with the famed artist-turned-forger was published. On tape, Hebborn made explosive claims about his time as a student at the Royal Academy of Art in the 1950s, where he had been awarded a prestigious prize. Though a gifted draughtsman, he was a surprising choice, because … Read more

David Friedman on the Contributions of Immigrants

In a recent substack post, David Friedman points out a problem with judging immigrants solely by their fiscal impact. His analysis is so clear that it’s worth reposting part of it. Here it is: What is bizarre about [Emil] Kierkegaard’s argument is that he identifies fiscal impact with contribution to society, writing, on the basis … Read more

2:00PM Water Cooler 2/23/2024 | naked capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Bird Song of the Day Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1.5 km WSW of Johnsontown, Berkeley, West Virginia, United States. “Behavior and other notes: Adult male Ruby-crowned Kinglet giving calls and subsong while foraging in the lower branches of a Virginia Pine.” * * * Politics “So many of the social reactions that … Read more

Fed funds vs. Spreads in Recession Prediction

Reader Bruce Hall notes the correlation between Fed funds rate peaks and recessions, as a counterpoint to my use of spread inversions. Let’s compare peaks to inversions: Figure 1: Fed funds (blue), and 10yr-3mo Treasury spread (tan). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: Treasury, Fed via FRED, NBER. Inversions and peaks precede recessions. … Read more

Very good sentences

Yesterday, someone asked me to elaborate on talent picking and why “narrowing the subset” matters. It’s easier to pick the best talent from a subset of 10 versus 100 or 1000. You’d think seeing 1000 candidates would mean you have a greater chance of finding a unicorn genius but it takes longer and gives more … Read more