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Showing posts from July 24, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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The Ideology of "The Market"

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[On sexism and cronyism in "free market capitalism" and the demand for equitable redistribution. *RON*]
Stumbling and Mumbling, 22 July 2017

One curiosity of the row over top BBC pay has been the attempts of past and present BBC bosses to defend high pay by invoking “the market”. “There is a market for Jeremy Vines, there is a market for John Humphrys” says James Purnell. “We operate in a market place.” Pay is based on a “market-based calculation” say Mark Damazer (9” in). “The BBC does not exist in a market on its own where it can set the market rates.If we are to give the public what they want, then we have to pay for those great presenters and stars" says Lord Hall.

However, the “market” here is a queer one. There aren’t many firms who want to hire someone to read the ten o’clock news, and there aren’t many who can supply the proven skills to do so. It’s a thin market. In such a market, we should understand pay as being set by a

Nicholas F. Stump: Should a healthy environment be a human right?

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[This concept, pursued in the courts, may be one of the few viable options for saving the planet, IMHO. See also Juliana v. United States and the Principle of Intergenerational Equity in Climate Change Law at Naked Capitalism. *RON*]

Nicholas F. Stump, The Herald-Dispatch, 23 July 2017


Do we have a fundamental right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food? The idea of environmental human rights is receiving growing attention worldwide, driven by our global ecological crisis. But the United States has lagged behind in codifying these rights into laws and in successfully furthering them.

While this may seem like an issue for legal scholars, it has very real importance for regions like Appalachia, where I work. Coal mining has caused widespread ecological and health damage here for more than a century, alongside other industries such as chemical manufacturing and, recently, natural gas production.

Many Americans elsewhere view A…

A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp

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[From Lesson #4: "The first thing people who have control do is tilt the playing field. Maybe the majority of wealth is accumulated because of tilted playing fields. Not because of merit." There are, in fact, only 11 lessons here; they're mis-numbered. Not a 'details' kind of guy? *RON*]

Tren Griffin, 25iq, not dated

“Edward O Thorp is the author of Beat the Dealer, which was the first book to prove mathematically that blackjack could be beaten by card counting, and Beat the Market, which showed how warrant option markets could be priced and beaten. He also was the co-inventor of the first wearable computer along with Claude Shannon. Thorp also pioneered the use of quantitative investment techniques in the financial markets (Option Arbitrage, Warrant Modeling, Convertible Arbitrage, Index Arbitrage and Statistical Arbitrage).”

Thorp speaks clearly and from the heart. He reminds me of that other ultra rational decision maker…

Court blocks $18 billion British class action against MasterCard

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[Unsurprising, since this is how capitalism works. Corporations are free to use and abuse you in any way they think will squeeze out an extra dollar, and you are free to not use their credit card. *RON*]
Kirstin Ridley, Reuters, 21 July 2017


LONDON (Reuters) - A 14 billion pound ($18 billion) class action lawsuit against MasterCard for allegedly overcharging more than 45 million people in Britain over a 16-year period was blocked by a British court on Friday.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), a newly-empowered court that oversees Britain's fledgling class action regime, ruled that it would not grant the necessary collective proceedings order for the case to proceed to trial.

Had it been allowed to proceed, the case would have been the largest and most complex in British legal history and would have tested the limits of the new Consumer Rights Act, which introduced U.S.-style "opt-out" collective class actions for breaches of UK o…

There’s a Marijuana Frenzy That Could End Very Badly in Canada

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[A ridiculous article. Capitalism = frenzy. North American medical marijuana index down 21% since April. Investor fatigue hits amid flurry of new producers: analyst. *RON*]
Jen Skerritt, Bloomberg, 17 July 2017
There’s one bummer question haunting all the marijuana businesses popping up between British Columbia and Newfoundland.

How much do Canucks like weed, eh?

A year before recreational cannabis is expected to become legal in Canada, there’s an explosion in companies cultivating the stuff. At least 10 marijuana outfits have new listings this year on the TSX Venture Exchange and Canada Securities Exchange. Some 51 enterprises have gotten the green light to grow pot, and 815 applicants are in the queue. All told, it could be enough to raise the country’s raw-weed output more than tenfold.

This is where skeptics see froth. “If you ask people today why they don’t use, it’s a small percentage who say ‘because it’s illegal,”’ said Neil Boyd, a crimino…