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Who left the currency printer on?

CBs

This chart shows how fast he printing presses have been flying to boost the “asset” line of the Bank of Japan (blue), the US Federal Reserve (red) and the ECB (green).

The BoJ has grown its “assets” from ¥100 trillion in 2008 to ¥585 trillion today. Yes, that is right the Japanese central bank has printed so much money that the assets on the book are the equivalent of 100% of GDP, 5x that of 12 years ago.

Does MMT predicate that it is ok to print another 100%? After all the existing Japanese national debt pile is ¥1000 trillion. So who is counting?

We note that the shares in Japan’s biggest currency printing press maker Komori (6349) quadrupled during the boom and only tapered off as the BoJ slowed the rate in early 2018. Maybe coronavirus will get the BoJ back to its wicked ways as it buys up even more of the stock market??? It already owns 58% of outstanding ETFs and by stealth has become a top 10 shareholder in almost 50% of listed stocks. In a sense, we have a trend which threatens to turn Japan’s largest businesses into quasi-state-owned enterprises (SoE) by the back door.

The US Fed has grown “assets” from just shy of US$1 trillion at the time of GFC when the economy was worth US$15.7 trillion or around 6%. There was a nice breathing period between 2014 and 2018 before tapering started.

However, in October 2019 we noted that the Fed was getting a LOT more active in the repo market. Now with coronavirus upon us and the volatility in capital markets at the start of 2020 we can see that another $1.6 trillion has been added to the asset line to a record $5.8 trillion or around 30% of current GDP.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has powered up its balance sheet too from around Eur 1.4 trillion to Eur 4.7 trillion. or 40% of Europe 19’s Eur 10.7 trillion GDP. At the time of the GFC, Europe 19’s combined GDP was Eur 9.3 trillion meaning ECB assets were only 15% of the total. Note the ECB has discontinued reporting its assets.

The point is with the world economy about to hit a brick wall, will markets just face more central bank distortion? Surely no one honestly believes that central banks have got this under control with such an appalling record.

To be honest, if modern monetary theory (MMT) was truly working to date, there should be no unemployment, no poverty, no taxes and we could have easily funded all that renewable energy without even having a debate. Just print and spend.

Therein lies its fatal flaw of MMT. Eventually, conjuring money out of thin air hits terminal velocity. Truth be told the tales above show that each asset that the central banks have bought has created less and less impact in the real economy. Velocity has been sliding for decades.

It is a bit like taking morphine to kill the pain. Take too much and the side effects are:

  1. nausea and vomiting
  2. constipation
  3. itching
  4. loss of appetite
  5. lower body temperature
  6. difficulty urinating
  7. slow breathing
  8. sleepiness
  9. changes in heart rate
  10. weakness
  11. dizziness upon standing up
  12. confusion
  13. nervousness
  14. erectile dysfunction
  15. osteoporosis and risk of fractures

Not unlike the symptoms being shown by the global economy today.

Uncomfortable truths about Hate Crime in America

Total HC by race

The FBI has a treasure trove of data on hate crimes, broken down by race, type of crime, city or state it occurred, motive and so on. The positive out of all of it is the overall trend of hate crimes has fallen dramatically since 1996 in absolute and relative terms. As always, we present the data without emotion. The figures published here are reported by the FBI. The Census Bureau is used for any population data.

As we reported in the previous post, the mainstream media is desperate to paint a narrative that anti-Asian hate crimes are about to go through the roof. Who might be behind it?

Race

The FBI data would suggest that a likely culprit of anti-Asian hate crimes might be whites, who make up c.75% of the population and totalled around 54% of hate crime offenders in 2018. Black Americans make up 13% of the US population but in 2018 were responsible for 24% of all hate crimes. Unknown races made up 12.9% and mixed races made up 6.9%. Asian-Americans are responsible for only 1.3% of offenders of hate crime, below their 5.8% representative population.

Offenders by Race

Over time, if we boil down hate crimes by race as a percentage of the overall representative populations, which doesn’t take into account repeat offenders, we can see clearly that not only has hate crime fallen in absolute terms it has plummeted in percentage terms too.

The FBI stats would tell us that Black Americans are twice as likely to commit hate crimes as White Americans as a percentage of their respective representative populations. That would be a narrative inducing headline, wouldn’t it? In absolute terms, whites still commit hate crimes at over 2x the rate of blacks and 42x that of Asians. However, the more important way to look at the data would be to say that as a % of hate crimes, over 99.98% of Black, White and Asian Americans are not in this cohort. Period.

Where does racially based hate crime usually occur? One could easily twist the data on that too.

HC Cities

One could argue that Elloree, South Carolina has 511x the race-based hate crimes of the national average. Springfield and Calhoun Falls, South Carolina would seem to support the data that South Carolinians are unhinged. Or do they? If we look at South Carolina as a state, hate crimes are more or less the same as the national average. What we did note from the stats is that the populations of Elloree, Springfield and Calhoun Falls were 652, 488 and 1,925 respectively vs a state population of 5.08 million.

We might say that a more densely populated area like Seattle (3.4mn residents) is 20x more racist than the national average. Or Washington DC at 10x. Decatur, Texas is 13x more racist per head of population but the State of Texas is below the national average. Is it a fair reflection? Probably not. The data can tell whichever story one wanted to paint. Would the media tread carefully here?

By state, the FBI data suggests the District of Columbia would seem to home to the highest percentage of all hate crimes for a state/district in America, even though as a % of the resident population, 99.96% of the citizens there are not. We can see how easy it is to paint narratives.

Republican

For the sake of comparison, we coloured the states by 2016 presidential election results. It would seem there were more Democratic-held states (blue) than Republican-held states (red) that were above the national average for hate crimes as a % of the resident population. It is not a very valid comparison but we often only hear that only Republicans are unabashed racists. Although one might argue that DC hate crimes are still committed by Republicans, even though party affiliation is not taken by the FBI. Perhaps it should!?

Race

The places where race-based hate crimes were committed threw up some interesting statistics. 25% were committed at or around the home. 20% on a highway, alley or street. 8% were unknown. Most other cases were reported at public venues such as schools, supermarkets, convenience stores or gas stations. Race hate crimes are even reported in prisons.

Religion

When religious hate crimes are committed, most are unknown. Not surprisingly, 15% occur outside a place of worship.

Sexual

Most sexual orientation hate crimes occur at or around home or alleys and streets. Bars and nightclubs account for 5%.

Although hate crimes are naturally better borne out by motives. As we can see in this chart below, c.70% of hate crimes are driven by actual offences – assault, vandalism, robbery, burglary, car theft, larceny, murder or rape. 30% is based on intimidation which could range from name-calling, racist bill posters to threats of violence.

Yet does a white carjacking a black or vice versa have the primary motive of race or theft? Is race sometimes not a factor but happenstance? Is the motive to steal a Ferrari or take the car because of the occupant’s skin? Yet the victim may point to the race of the perpetrator when filing the report.

Type

It is too easy to twist the data on hate crimes.

Is it possible COVID19 hate crimes will get a separate section in the 2020 FBI data series? Will there be a tidal wave of anti-Asian crimes as a result of Trump calling it the “China virus“?

We don’t think it is lost on most people where the virus originated but at the same time, we would also imagine that racists didn’t need any assistance to form bigoted views. Their narratives had plenty of ammunition to work with before Trump or the mainstream media mentioned it.

The better way to look at hate crimes is that they have fallen since 1996 when FBI data collection began. Whites now commit 48% fewer hate crimes as a proportion of their population cohort on a relative basis and 43% on an absolute basis. There has been a 37% relative and 18% absolute drop in hate crimes caused by blacks and 77% and 49% respective decline in Asian perpetrated hate crimes.

In aggregate there has been a 43% relative and 30% absolute decline in all hate crime offenders since 1996. Yet the media would have it that hate crimes are surging to unprecedented levels. Simply not true.

No wonder Jussie Smollett needed to stage a hate crime hoax.

Let us not forget when claims of racist hate crimes backfire.  An issue over alleged racism started when a student from Oberlin College was caught shoplifting two bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery while trying to buy another with a fake ID. Allyn Gibson, son of the owner chased down the shoplifter but was attacked by his accomplices. The perpetrators claimed racial profiling by the store. Oberlin College’s Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo, joined in student protests calling Gibsons a “racist establishment.” It was then that Oberlin ended all business with the bakery (which had been an ongoing supplier to the college since 1885). Flyers were printed and the store attacked.

Oberlin College in Ohio was sued for defamation and charged $44.2m in damages. It was awarded by the court to Gibson’s Bakery for unsubstantiated claims of racism.

Which begs the question, just how severe were the hate crimes reported by the FBI, were they prosecuted and how many were thrown out for the lack of evidence or being unsubstantiated? That is not contained in the published FBI data.

Anti-Asian hate crime stats to date. A COVID19 surge ahead?

As with almost everything, the mainstream media want to whip up a story that anti-Asian hate crimes could surge during the current pandemic due to Trump calling it the “Chinese virus“. Never mind that the mainstream media used the term itself until it became more fashionable to turn it into a dog whistle to attack the president. Forget context and perspective when chasing clickbait.

Hate crime in America has fallen from 9,861 incidents in 1997 to 7,120 in 2018. These are official FBI stats. We’ll have to wait till November 2021 to get the official 2020 aggregated hate crime statistics unless the FBI release an interim statement.

The Hill noted,

“The FBI is assuring the public that investigating hate crimes remains a top concern amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The agency updated its guidance on COVID-19 to note that “protecting civil rights and investigating hate crimes remain a high priority for the FBI.” The update comes amid growing warnings about hate crimes targeting Asian Americans over the coronavirus.

The bureau added in an intelligence report obtained by ABC News this week that “hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease … endangering Asian American communities.”

According to the FBI, anti-Asian hate crime has fallen from a peak of 527 in 1996 to 148 incidents in 2018. In 2018, Asians were 0.00071% likely to suffer a hate crime relative to the Asian American population. Technically, one could argue there was a 13% surge on the 2017 figure. Why didn’t the media drum up a story on that?

After the 9/11 terrorist attack, anti-Islamic hate crimes surged from a trough of 22 before the incident to 481 in 2002. At last count, there were 188 hate crimes against the Muslim community in 2018, or 0.0076% of the representative population in America, a 31% fall on 2017.

Anti-Native American hate crimes trended at a very low level out to 2010. Since then they’ve surged from a low of 44 cases to 154 under Obama and at last count under Trump sit at 194 in 2018.

Anti Hispanic hate crime has fallen from a peak of 636 in 1997 to a trough of 299 in 2015 to 485 at last count.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes remain the highest among all religions in America. They have drifted down to a low of 609 in 2014 from the peak of 1,182 in 1996 but in 2018 saw a resurgence to 838 or 0.0147% of the representative population.

As a % of the black population, Anti-Black hate crimes have fallen from 0.0131% to 0.0046% of their racial background. In 2018 hate crimes fell 4% on 2017 to 1,943 incidents. In 1996 this figure was 4,469.

Why didn’t the media run the narrative of Zika or Ebola causing a surge in anti-African American crimes given those viruses were named after places in Africa? Surely any old excuse will do for foaming at the mouth racists.

As a % of the total population, anti-white hate crimes have slid from 0.00052% in 1996 to 0.00024% in 2018, up from 0.00016% in 2011. The media would never run a narrative that hate crimes against whites have jumped since 51% since 2011.

However, what would a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes entail in the media’s mind? With the law of small numbers, any surge won’t require much in absolute terms.

As of 2018, statistically one was 8x more likely to suffer an anti-LGBT attack than an anti-Asian hate crime in America.

In a world where smartphones are everywhere (aka amateur news reporters), it is surprising that despite this, the mainstream media hasn’t unearthed one grainy picture of a racist wailing at Asians over COVID19. Could it be the media might have to stage a Jussie Smollett hoax to drum up the narrative?

Death from consuming fish tank products is apparently Trump’s fault

Chloroquine

Trump Derangement Syndrome knows no bounds. One man has died and his wife put in ICU after ingesting fish tank products that include the ingredient Chloroquine Phosphate thinking it would save them from coronavirus.

Trump said that chloroquine has shown “very, very encouraging early results,” in treating COVID-19. He went on to say that chloroquine taken in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin could be “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.”

Chloroquine has been used since the 1930s to treat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine sulphate, often sold as Plaquenil, was developed from chloroquine because it has lower side effects. Plaquenil is also an antirheumatic medicine and is used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Never mind that the instructions clearly state “fish only” and “aquarium use only“. Frankly, if anyone consumes something that clearly states not to do so has only themselves to blame.

Dettol clearly displays its products kill human coronavirus yet we haven’t seen a rush of deaths related to improper use of the product. If PM Scott Morrison said that Dettol has ingredients that can help kill coronavirus, would you drink it before checking the label?

Image result for dettol coronavirus

You have to wonder at what point Trump won’t be responsible for something in the eyes of the mainstream media.

We are aware that identity politics is poisonous. We never imagined that people would identify as fish.