Sunday, October 18, 2020


 The day the international tax authorities came knocking

Excellent interview with Eugene Fama. The usual stuff on efficient markets but also

It’s not just the Fed, around the globe central banks are flooding the system with liquidity like never before. Is this a reason for concern?

Frankly, I think this is just posturing. Actually, the central banks don’t do anything real. They are issuing one form of debt to buy another form of debt. If you are an old Modigliani–Miller person the way I am, you think that’s a neutral activity: You’re issuing short-term debt to buy long-term debt or vice-versa. That’s not something that should have any real effects.

Then again, the financial markets sure seem to love it. At least it looks like that the S&P 500 is moving upwards in tandem with the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet.

Every day we hear a story about the movement of stock prices. But the story is different each day. So basically, these stories are made up after the fact. But when we look at it systematically, we don’t see a big effect of Fed actions on real activity or on stock prices or on anything else. That’s why I use to say that the business of central banks is like pornography: In essence, it’s just entertainment and it doesn’t have any real effects.


From my piece for Bomb Magazine's Web site on the 40th birthday of Octobriana and the Russian Underground:

In 1970, Petr Sadecký slipped across the border of Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia with a cache of illegal comic books and the fantastic story of the dissident Russian artists who risked everything to create them. A year later, the publication of Octobriana and the Russian Underground, with its lurid illustrations and the suggestion of secret organizations staging drug-fueled orgies behind the Iron Curtain, was just the thing to send the anxious Western imagination over the edge.