Ukraine dramatically reduces Russia gas flow to Europe

In a surprising turn in the present conflict, it appears Ukraine has shut off a pipeline carrying about one third of the gas flowing into Europe from Russia in an attempt to impose a blockade on a region that is now mostly under the control of Russian military forces.

According to Russia Today:

Ukraine suspended the flow of Russian natural gas to Europe on Wednesday, while blaming Moscow for the disruption. Russian gas had so far been flowing uninterrupted through pipelines across Ukraine despite the military activities.

In a statement late Tuesday, the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator said it had decided to suspend operations at a major transit point, Sokhranovka, because of “interference by the occupying forces.” The station handles up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day, or about a third of the Russian gas that flows via Ukraine to Europe, according to the operator.

Reuters reports a dramatic fall in gas flow as of this morning, May 11:

Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine fell by a quarter on Wednesday after Kyiv halted use of a major transit route blaming interference by occupying Russian forces, the first time exports via Ukraine have been disrupted since the invasion.

Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Moscow launched what it calls a “special military operation” in the country on Feb. 24.

The transit point Ukraine shut usually handles about 8% of Russian gas flows to Europe, although European states said they were still receiving supplies. The Ukraine corridor mostly sends gas to Austria, Italy, Slovakia and other east European states.

It is unclear at this point how the United States and its NATO vassals are going to respond to this interruption, which likely will cripple economic activity across Europe.

This interruption comes on top of disruptions caused by Russia government demands that all countries imposing sanctions on it must begin paying for its energy products in rubles.

Rate versus Mass…

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Bloomberg is pretty giddy over the fantastic share of GDP falling to the coffers of the US national capital:

“U.S. corporations pulled in more profits in the three months ended in September than ever before. Not just in dollar terms—something that happens frequently—but as a share of the economy. According to initial estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, third-quarter after-tax corporate profits from current production amounted to 11% of gross domestic product. The previous record of 10.7% was set in the second quarter of this year; before that the all-time high was 10.6%, in the first quarter of 2012.”

Awesome, right?

I mean, just look at this chart porn:

RoP_BEA_(rate)

By historical standards the rate of profit is … well, almost off the chart.

RoP_BEA_(current)

And the mass of profits — literally obscene:

*****

You would think that with all of this surplus value streaming to the bottom line, it might be time for the fascists to ease up a bit on all the fiscal and monetary stimulus they have been pouring on the so-called economy.

Continue reading “Rate versus Mass…”

More on how Moseley’s MELT blew it on stagflation

In the last post I made a preposterous claim that Fred Moseley could have explained the post-1971 economic malady of stagflation, instead of wasting his time trying to prove that inconvertible currency can fulfill the function assigned by Marx’s Labor Theory of Value to commodity money in the circulation of commodities.

Let me extend that discussion.

Continue reading “More on how Moseley’s MELT blew it on stagflation”

Moseley’s MELT, Marx’s theory and the dreaded S-word

Stagflation, stagflation, stagflation …

I suspect we will be hearing that term a lot given the dismal Q3 GDP number reported yesterday.

Stagflation, a term coined in the 70s, is one of those bizarre, post-1971 maladies of “late capitalism” — come on, isn’t that term itself hilarious? — that no one quite seems able to explain.

According to the Wikipedia:

“In economics, stagflation or recession-inflation is a situation in which the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high”

The world’s greatest collection of arcane digitized political-economic info-fact-oids tells us that stagflation presents something of a challenge for fascist state management policy, because interventions designed to mitigate the depreciating purchasing power of inconvertible currency also tends to expand the surplus population of workers.

Continue reading “Moseley’s MELT, Marx’s theory and the dreaded S-word”

Visualizing the collapse of Keynesian policy in real time…

At the end of fiscal year 1970, in nominal dollars, the post-war US debt outstanding (blue line) hit the amazing sum of $370 billion and was beginning a parabolic climb, as the crisis of the 1970s led to an implosion of economic activity.

By today’s standard, that sum might seem a mere pittance, but for its time it was rather unthinkable.

Which makes this story sort of weird, because, in terms of value (proxied here in constant 1929 dollars), 1970 was also the year when the post-war US debt outstanding (red line) hit its high point and began plunging due to devaluation of capital resulting from the crisis of the 1970s. Continue reading “Visualizing the collapse of Keynesian policy in real time…”

The Rate of Profit, 1929-2007 (R.I.P.)

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Okay, so this is totally speculative so you don’t have to take it seriously.

Of course, no one takes anything I write seriously, so no change, right?

Great, let’s continue.

I have been looking at the data Andrew Kliman’s relies on to make his argument that Marx’s Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall at least contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.

For those who don’t know, Kliman was nice enough to show us much of his work on this subject. You still can find and download the original material here.

I do have a lot of questions about his conclusions, although I have long tended to agree with his argument. My questions have only increased once I began to dig into his data — and, I should add, it may not so much apply to his work as it does to my own approach.

However, if my approach is valid, Kliman’s conclusions are deeply flawed.

Continue reading “The Rate of Profit, 1929-2007 (R.I.P.)”

Just reducing the workweek to 4 days would cut UK’s carbon footprint as much as if all cars were eliminated

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How much is wage slavery killing not only you, but the planet too?

Scientists have an idea, according to a recent article from the Guardian:

The introduction of a four-day working week with no loss of pay would dramatically reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and help the country meet its binding climate targets, according to a report.

The study found that moving to a four-day week by 2025 would shrink the UK’s emissions by 127m tonnes, a reduction of more than 20% and equivalent to taking the country’s entire private car fleet off the road.

That’s right. As world wide lockdowns to contain the pandemic suggested last year, reducing the work-week world-wide by just one day could basically end global warming immediately.

Wage slavery is killing you and the planet.

2020 reduction of labor hours led to 6% fall in carbon emissions

Carbon emissions fell at the fastest rate in the last 30 years, driven entirely by the reduction of hours of labor forced on countries by the emergency measures necessary to contain the pandemic.

The data shows that only an immediate and radical reduction of hours of labor has any hope of avoiding a catastrophic climate crisis.

Wage slavery has outlived its welcome.

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The entire German yield curve goes negative … again

Excess capital frantically scrambling for a way to avoid the abyss…

From Reuters:

Germany’s 30-year government borrowing costs fell below 0% on Monday, taking the entire yield curve back into negative territory for the first time since early February as euro debt markets tracked another leg lower in U.S. Treasury yields.

From one analyst on Bloomberg:

“There has been a loss of hope.”