Finally, The Guardian gives us the explanation for current day socialism

Why bad ideas refuse to die
They may have been disproved by science or dismissed as ridiculous, but some beliefs, such as that socialism works, endure. In theory they should wither away – but it’s not that simple

Full on state socialism and planning having been empirically disproved by that great experiment we call the 20th century. But still it persists. Odd, eh?

One clue is provided by economics. It turns out that the marketplace of economic ideas itself is infested with zombies. After the 2008 financial crisis had struck, the Australian economist John Quiggin published an illuminating work called Zombie Economics, describing theories that still somehow shambled around even though they were clearly dead, having been refuted by actual events in the world. An example is the notorious efficient markets hypothesis, which holds, in its strongest form, that “financial markets are the best possible guide to the value of economic assets and therefore to decisions about investment and production”. That, Quiggin argues, simply can’t be right. Not only was the efficient markets hypothesis refuted by the global meltdown of 2007–8, in Quiggin’s view it actually caused it in the first place: the idea “justified, and indeed demanded, financial deregulation, the removal of controls on international capital flows, and a massive expansion of the financial sector. These developments ultimately produced the global financial crisis.”

Except, of course, that’s not what the EMH does state. Quiggin takes too strong a version to refute. And interestingly since the book was published (weirdly, a book which thanks me for my contribution to it) The Nobel was awarded to three economists for the EMH. The most interesting of whom was Shiller, whose point was that yes, the EMH is true but only in certain circumstances, the most important of which is that markets must be complete. That is, the housing crisis was caused by a lack of speculation, not an excess.

Not quite a zombie idea then.

That only markets, all markets nothing but markets is the right way to run the world is obviously an incorrect idea. But then that’s not what the EMH does actually state.

Even so, an idea will have a good chance of hanging around as a zombie if it benefits some influential group of people. The efficient markets hypothesis is financially beneficial for bankers who want to make deals unencumbered by regulation. A similar point can be made about the privatisation of state-owned industry: it is seldom good for citizens, but is always a cash bonanza for those directly involved.

Nope and nope. The EMH has absolutely nothing at all to say about prudential regulation. It really just does say that markets are efficient at processing the information about what prices should be in a market. And that the very strongest statement of this (the “strong EMH”) looks to be not quite so true while the weak and the semi-strong look to be true really tells us nothing at all about whether BT is better now in the private sector than it was in the public.

That we get better service from a public sector organisation is rather one of those zombie ideas, isn’t it?

Me? I want to own all the airlines flying out of Iceland this week

Icelandic football fans react to knocking England out of Euro 2016 after a 2-1 win.

There has been a claim that some 8% of Iceland’s 330,000 population are over to watch the Euros. That was for the last match, before the knockout stages. I would expect that percentage to increase.

I would actually think it possible that we’re about to have the largest percentage of a domestic population turning up for a foreign game of anything at all.

Well, ever since the Faroe Islands last brought all 25 of their travelling supporters club to a game maybe…..

Jokes aside though, how would we work out what percentage of Iceland is over? And how would we work out whether it was a record?

I looked at the sea of blue shirts in the stadium for the last group game and my immediate thought (no, I am not interested in the game itself) was that there was actually at least a single digits percentage of Iceland’s entire population in that one stadium in France. There were definitely more than 3,300 of them….

You’ve got to wonder

Then came Mr Corbyn’s second meeting of the day, which proved, perhaps predictably, to be disastrous. His five soft-left shadow ministers, Lisa Nandy, Owen Smith, Nia Griffiths, Kate Green and John Healey had asked to see him with the intention of telling him they were going to support him, subject to certain assurances.

They were aghast when John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, “barged in” and hijacked the meeting, “lecturing” the MPs and vowing to fight on.

They wanted to ask Mr Corbyn how he would bring the party back together, but Mr McDonnell told them those who had resigned would be punished rather than brought back into the fold. The bunker mentality appalled them.

“They got a lecture from John McDonnell with Corbyn doing his best woodwork teacher impression,” a Labour source told The Telegraph.

“They came out and thought ‘Oh my God. Your plan is to carry on and change nothing?’. They had a chat and agreed to resign’.”

All five later quit, removing one of Mr Corbyn’s last support bases within the shadow cabinet.

Is this some Downfall problem, where they simply don’t understand? Or is McDonnell playing a blinder which gets him into the Leader’s office?

Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic! Restaurant will be restocked by Friday!

The boss of the disgraced Kids Charity has come under fire once again – for dining at one of the world’s best restaurants.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder of the now-defunct Kids Charity, was seen on a jaunt to the upmarket, Michellin-starred Pied a Terre restaurant in Fitzrovia, London.

Former Director of the charity Kids Company, Camila Batmanghelidjh seen at the highly priced celebrity restaurant Pied a Terre in London. Camila spent 2 hours in the posh eaterie after she left in her chauffeur driven £32,000 toyota hibrid car. The chauffeur was the same man as she used to have when she was at the helm of the failed charity Kids Company. Only one month ago the restaurant hosted the 101st birthday of american multi billionairre David Rockefeller who chose the very same place for his celebrations.

Former Director of the charity Kids Company, Camila Batmanghelidjh seen at the highly priced celebrity restaurant Pied a Terre in London. Camila spent 2 hours in the posh eaterie after she left in her chauffeur driven £32,000 toyota hibrid car. The chauffeur was the same man as she used to have when she was at the helm of the failed charity Kids Company. Only one month ago the restaurant hosted the 101st birthday of american multi billionairre David Rockefeller who chose the very same place for his celebrations.

But we were told this couldn’t possibly happen!

German manufacturers last night demanded that Britain be allowed to continue trading with the EU without any barriers.
The car-making industry said punishing Britain makes no sense – and it called on the German chancellor to give the UK a favourable trade deal.
Eurosceptics have repeatedly argued it is not in the EU’s interests to bring in tariffs as the UK imports more from Europe than it exports, and any weakening of the British economy would also have a ripple effect on Europe.

Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI:

Our word, a week really is a long time in politics isn’t it? For George Osborne comes out of his post-referendum funk induced purdah to tell us all that he was just kidding. No, really, you didn’t actually take the Chancellor of the Exchequer seriously did you? Ha, ha, gotcha!

David Lammy is a tosser, isn’t he?

We need to get real, quickly: $2tn was wiped off global markets on Friday; the pound has plummeted; and Moody’s has already downgraded our credit rating from “stable” to “negative”. A Brexit would be self-immolation.

An ignorant fucking tosser too. They donwgraded the outlook, not the credit rating. They actually affirmed the rating itself.

It is also within parliament’s powers to call a second referendum, now that the dust has begun to settle and the reality of a post-Brexit nation is coming into view. We need a second referendum at the very least, on the basis of a plan that is yet to even be drawn up.

Fuck off tosser.

Madness, complete madness

Mr Garnier, a Conservative member of the Parliament’s Treasury Committee, says that a so-called Brexit might make it worthwhile for Scots to go it alone to usurp London’s position.

“If I was Nicola Sturgeon trying to find an alternative purpose and role for Scotland, you could do an awful lot by trying to snaffle that financial services hub from London,” Mr Garnier, a former banker, said in an interview.

“That’s exactly what I would be trying to do in terms of trying to build a financial services hub that would be the natural successor to London by leaving the union of the United Kingdom and staying within the European Union.”

There is no possible manner in which Scotland’s economy could backstop a global finance centre.

And Edinburgh’s a nice place and all that but the total population is about the same as just the workforce of The City.

Think about it for a bit. A place reliant on the Scottish pound backstopping global banks? Or if they’re in the euro then what’s the point? Why not Frankfurt?

Isn’t this lovely?

LONDON — BREAKING up is never easy. But how do you break up with a country?

That’s the question that I — along with many fellow Britons — am asking now that the country has voted to leave the European Union.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve grudgingly accepted that 52 percent of my fellow citizens wanted to leave the European Union, a 70-year-old project that has united much of Europe into a somewhat unwieldy economic and social colossus, allowing roughly 500 million people to travel and work unhindered from Ireland to Greece.

But for me, those benefits — particularly as a reporter who has lived and worked across the Continent — are worth holding on to. And that’s why, with a heavy heart, I’m applying to become an Irish citizen, saying goodbye to Britain just as it wants to say goodbye to Europe.

Absolutely super I say. Isn’t this competing nation states thing lovely? Those who want one lifestyle can go somewhere and have that. Spiffing I call that. The only thing that would be non-spiffing is insisting that everywhere must be as you like it, denying other exactly that same choice.

The problem with Michael Jackson’s ranch

Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch has been reduced to a dry and dusty shadow of its former glory, seven years after the singer’s death.
New photographs, taken earlier this week, show that the property in Los Olivos, California now looks more like an unloved ghost town than the sprawling theme park it once was.
Jackson bought the ranch in 1987 for $19.5 million and lived there until authorities raided the property in 2003, when Jackson faced accusations of child molestation.

It’s simply in the wrong place. Wrong valley, wrong side of the mountains, 50 miles from where people would happily pay $100 million and up for it. Used to live just up the coast and know the area vaguely. Where it actually is is as close to redneck country as coastal (and it’s not even very coastal) California ever gets.

That Moldovan Radioactive Uranium

We actually have a picture of how much it was:

Moldovan intelligence officials say they have seized an ‘imposing quantity’ of radioactive uranium from a criminal group and detained several people.
The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service said the uranium was due to be sold for £154,000 but did not say how big the haul was.
In a statement, it said ‘a criminal group specializing in smuggling radioactive substances was uncovered’, adding that ‘members of the group were found to be Moldovan citizens’.

That picture:


Eyeballing it, I dunno. Half a kg? So you’ve only got to do that 50 more times and you too could have enough for a bomb. Assuming that it is HEU rather than LEU of course.

And I really do tend to think that you could do more damage in other ways for that sort of amount of money.

There was actually a big report a few years back about the radioactive smuggling stuff. I found it all most interesting myself for I have smuggled nuclear materials (that is, things that can be used in nuclear, not radioactive things. 40 tonnes of nuclear grade zirconium out of Russia and into being made into AlMag car wheels for boy racers was a particular favourite. My actual trade in radioactive things has all been entirely, even scrupulously, legal. Including police car outriders with sirens whooping and all the rest ). As far as I recall absolutely every buyer was the security services of one country or another. There just is no private market for this shit.

Tee Hee

Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted to ‘protect Scotland’s place in the EU’
But Brussels civil servants snubbed her, saying whole of UK must exit
Sturgeon called for another Scotland referendum during negotiations
But Brussels said if it voted to leave, it would have to re-apply for EU

And they wouldn’t pass the economic tests if they did apply either.

Budget deficit is way too large, by some 5 or 6% of GDP. Actually, would love to see them selling some real austerity as part of a bid to rejoin. Would be fun to see the squealing, wouldn’t it?

I don’t think so really, no

“Today’s a good day to say I’m in a happy same-sex relationship, I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you’re better off out! #Pride2016,” Greening, 47, said on her official Twitter account @JustineGreening.

She is the first openly gay woman, and second openly gay Conservative, to hold cabinet office after Scottish secretary David Mundell came out in January.

Pretty sure that Labour has had a lesbian cabinet minister. Angela Eagle? Ah, maybe no,t junior minister and now Shadow cabinet.

Ho hum, so much for memory.

Sven Giegold’s plans for Europe

Looks like we got out just in time. Via email, Sven Giegold:

Now we have to realize Hill?s idea of a capital markets union without
him. The Euro needs a deeper integrated capital market so that the
costs of economic shocks are distributed more widely. To this end we
need to harmonize insolvency, civil proceedings, contract and tax law.