40 thoughts on “Some Random Graphs and Links

  1. ltr


    June 23, 2022

    Fostering High-quality Partnership and Embarking on a New Journey of BRICS Cooperation
    Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
    President of the People’s Republic of China
    At the 14th BRICS Summit

    Dear Colleagues,

    Our world today is living through accelerating changes unseen in a century and continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. They confront humanity with unprecedented challenges and usher in a new phase of instability and transformation for global development.

    The Chinese people often say, “True gold can stand the test of fire.” Over the past 16 years, the giant ship of BRICS has sailed forward tenaciously against raging torrents and storms. Riding the wind and cleaving the waves, it has embarked on a righteous course of mutual support and win-win cooperation. Standing at the crossroads of history, we should both look back at the journey we have traveled and keep in mind why we established BRICS in the first place, and look forward to a shared future of a more comprehensive, close, practical and inclusive high-quality partnership so as to jointly embark on a new journey of BRICS cooperation.

    First, we need to uphold solidarity and safeguard world peace and tranquility. Our world today is overshadowed by the dark clouds of Cold War mentality and power politics and beset by constantly emerging traditional and non-traditional security threats. Some countries attempt to expand military alliances to seek absolute security, stoke bloc-based confrontation by coercing other countries into picking sides and pursue unilateral dominance at the expense of others’ rights and interests. If such dangerous trends are allowed to continue, the world will witness even more turbulence and insecurity.

    It is important that BRICS countries support each other on issues concerning core interests, practice true multilateralism, safeguard justice, fairness and solidarity and reject hegemony, bullying and division. This year, we have held the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the Meeting of High Representatives on National Security, deepened cooperation on counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and other issues, enhanced coordination at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, and spoke out for justice on the international stage.

    Not long ago, I put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which advocates a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, follows the philosophy that humanity is an indivisible security community, and aims to create a new path to security that features dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance and win-win over zero-sum. China would like to work with BRICS partners to operationalize the GSI and bring more stability and positive energy to the world.

    Second, we need to uphold cooperation to boost development and jointly tackle risks and challenges….

    Third, we need to uphold the pioneering spirit and innovation and unleash the potential and vitality of cooperation….

    Fourth, we need to uphold openness and inclusiveness and pool collective wisdom and strength….

  2. Moses Hersog

    It’s hard to meet your Dad’s marker/expectations. My Dad was born in the shit. Literally, Rural Iowa a bastard child. My grandfather (my Dad’s dad) resented my father (my granddad’s son) because he felt he was “forced” into marriage by my father’s mother. (My maternal grandma). Now keep in mind, I never met any of my paternal grandparents. And because my father’s family hated my mother, probably never would have met me. Why am I saying this?? Because when “your” father is “born in the shit” (MY father was born in a rural home in the late 1920’s, not a hospital) and he got his Master’s degree in Education, my Bachelor’s degree in Finance at a small state college from lower middle class, didn’t “cut it”

    1. Barkley Rosser


      So, does the fact that your father’s family hated your mother help explain why you are so fixated here on attacking older powerful women? And do you imitate your mother in your conduct here? Might that help explain why many here despise you so much?

  3. rsm

    Why not use propagation of error when combining the surveys that make up GDP? Because the uncertainty would be so great, you could tell the opposite story and be supported by the data?

    1. macroduck

      Oh wise one, please explain “propagation of error” for us. You seem to know. We sit at your feet.

      (Waiting… patiently…trusting that you know what you’re talking about…)

  4. pgl


    A story on oil and gasoline price that is all over the map:

    “Crude prices have declined more than 15% off their highs from earlier this month. But as usual, and because of market mechanics, that reduction isn’t being felt at the pumps.” So those already high refinery margins are getting even more obscene? But wait later in the story we see:

    “However, using the exchange-traded funds, United States Oil Fund LP (USO), the largest crude oil futures fund, and United States Gasoline Fund LP (UGA), the largest US gasoline futures fund, as proxies for both, we can see that crude oil and gasoline futures are caught up to each other, which should reflect cheaper pump prices in the short term.”

    Then say that upfront! And of course we have the usual Princeton Steve oil consultant babbling:

    “If the U.S. and the rest of the world goes into a recession, you can significantly impact demand,” told Houston oil consultant Andrew Lipow Reuters. High gasoline prices could be starting to slow demand, he added.

    OK! Alright – my apologies as this little story could have been written by a 2 year old.

  5. James

    Trump trade deals were a whole lot of B.S. and corruption – while U.S. consumers paid out a lot more in tariffs. Maybe – we should have just implemented Obama admin TPP. Of course – the GOP is now claiming – we should just move on – as Sen Chuck (Willing to step up if Pence can’t make it) Grassley said Let it go – God.

  6. pgl


    It is now official – the Alito draft on the states ability to tell women what to do with their own bodies got all 5 of the Federalist Five plus the Chief Justice endorsing it. State rights Trump the rights of women. But of course gun owners have the right to carry a damn gun on a NYC subways and their rights trump the right of NY State to makes sure we did not have mass murders. This is one effed up Court.

  7. pgl

    Kevin Drum on why 15 Republican Senators voted for that “little” gun law:


    Why did a bunch of Republicans suddenly decide to support a gun bill? It’s not much of a gun bill, but that’s never made a difference before. Why give Democrats a win of any size? One possibility is that after Uvalde Republicans genuinely thought they needed something to keep middle-class suburban women in the fold, and this would do it. Or maybe they were attracted by the fact that the bill deals mostly with juveniles, who aren’t exactly a big GOP constituency. Or maybe they felt like they needed a pre-election deal that proved they weren’t just a bunch of obstructionists.

  8. pgl


    Mike Pence Calls for National Abortion Ban
    “We must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land,” the former VP tweeted after the Supreme Court killed Roe v. Wade

    Just say it Mike – it is time for all you women to get back into the kitchen bare foot and pregnant and serve your master his meal. The modern Republican Party is not going to stop until it is 1850 all over again. That’s right black men – there are coming for your rights too so get ready for the restoration of slavery. MAGA

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Protestant fundamenatlists who supposedly believe the Bible is inerrant have no basis for so strongly opposing abortion, and certainly none for claiming that it is “murder.” There is zero Biblical support for this idea, zero. There is nothing about it at all in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, while there is a call for murder to be punished by death by stoning, not to mention many other things from eating the wrong food and wearing the wrong clothing to married people having sex during menstruation and even children disobeying their parents, in Exodus 21:2-4 we learn that the punishment for a man who triggers a miscarriage by physically attacking a pregnant woman is to pay a fine to the family of her husband. So, sorry, no way is abortion murder according to the most serious Bible source on the matter there is.

      Of course, Roman Catholics are not as out of it in their views as they rely on papal authority, not the Bible, for their beliefs. But even with them, the claim that ensoulment occurs at conception, the basis for calling fetuses “babies,” only continuosly dates to 1869. From 1591 to 1869 the official position of the Church was that ensoument occurred at Day 166 after conception, at the so-called “quickening.”

      This was the view of English Common Law, including that of Sir Matthew Hale, whom Justice Alito falsely claimed opposed all abortions. No, he only opposed those involving a “quickened child.” This was the de facto law in the colonies where there were no specific laws, and natural abortifacients were widely used, with Benjamin Franklin even published a book in 1748 that explained the use of these. He was also the actually first person to lay out the rigorous version of Malthus’s Principle of Population, that it grows exponentially while food supplies are lmited by limited land, doing so in a 1751 essay “On the Increase of Mankind.” As the 15th child out of 17 in his family, he was aware of how overpopulation can impoverish a family.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Barkley Rosser Yep, the Catholic church’s position on abortion is at odds with its age-old practice of “exposing” unwanted children. Apparently it’s a mortal sin to abort a fetus but leaving an infant to die in the cold is all good.

  9. pgl


    Laurence Tribe’s tweets notes the Marjorie Taylor Greene’s seeking a pardon for her attempts to overturn our Republic disqualifies her from seeking office per the 1th Amendment. This is an ongoing case in Georgia and it seem this is case closed!

  10. pgl

    RonJon is a such a bad liar:


    Johnson now says he helped coordinate effort to get false slates to Pence as Jan. 6 hearing continues

    He FINALLY admits what we have known all along. At first RonJon denied any knowledge of this crime blaming it on his staffers. Then he decided to blame it all on Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly. But Kelly pushed back at this attempt to throw Kelly under the bus.

    So poor little RonJon had to stop his denials. AWWWW!

  11. pgl

    Of course Trump is happy that his appointments to the Supreme Court have overturned Roe:


    But this comment?

    Fox News reported that when the former president was asked if he had any remarks for his supporters who may support abortion rights, he said, “I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody.”

    Is he this stupid? Is he this much of a big baby? The Court has basically told women F&&& YOU. Oh wait a second – Trump does not give a damn about women except those who serve him as their master.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I just saw something on Daily Kos claiming that Trump has “privately” said that overtunning Roe v Wade will be bad for the GOP politically. That is probably correct, that it will be that is, not whether he actually said it or not, which I do not know. I think he may have already publicly denied doing so.

  12. pgl

    What factors are driving up fertilizer prices in North America and how do they compare to the economic factors driving up fertilizer prices in Europe. I was trying to make sense of some bizarre Dutch transfer pricing case involving fertilizer (trust me – the details are boring) when I came across this informative paper:


    It turns out corn production is a major driver for the demand for nitrogen fertilizer while natural gas prices materially hit the supply side. Now we know natural gas prices in Europe are higher than they are here. But the thing about this discussion is the role played by the US giant CF Industries, which seems to be exploiting a lot of monopoly power in the US. And please catch the discussion noting how CF Industries wanted to limit foreign competition by abusing anti-dumping suits. And we thought Abbot Nutrition was evil with respect to the baby formula market. Evil has lots of cousins in lots of industries.

  13. macroduck

    Off topic (if that’s possible when the subject line includes “random”) –

    A number of countries are at risk of credit troubles due to a loss of biological diversity:


    Mostly the same countries that suffer most from every other kind of trouble, but China, India and Indonesia are hit hard, so not small potatoes.

    The credit implications of lost biological diversity are the result of the economic cost of lost diversity. The credit study relies on a new model from the World Bank which assesses the the interaction of the nature and economics:


    The credit study was intentionally conservative in scope, covering only three factors – fisheries, timber and pollinators – and leaves out effects on farmland. So the estimated cost of interst rate increases, at $53 billion per year (see? no so bad) may be low. Oh, and the study covered only 26 countries, so the number is almost certainly low.

    But that’s just the interest payment cost. The study does not address the economic losses and increased risk which are expected to lead to higher borrowing costs, nor the economic losses caused by higher interest costs. So kids, we are looking at a whopping big overall economic loss. And the period under consideration is up to 2030, just the next eight years. No “grasshopper” discounting-the-future excuses for this one.

    This follows similar work published last year on the effect of climate change on credit ratings:


    Biological diversity loss is driven in part by climate change, but I didn’t find any direct accounting for loss of diversity in the 2021 paper, so adding the two cost estimates together probably wouldn’t lead to much double-counting.

    Anyone here have kids?

  14. David O’Rear

    Re China Trade, please bear in mind that the majority of China’s trade is conducted by foreign-invested companies.
    There is no “China” trade (except the small SOE sector.

    1. pgl

      The term international tax cheats is Wholey Owned Foreign Corporations of WOOFIE (Star Wars?). They often set up some tax haven intermediary to make sure most of the profits are taxed neither by the US or the PRC. Which explains why Hong Kong’s trade sector is twice as large as its GDP.

      1. David O'Rear

        Actually, Hong Kong’s two-way trade is about four times domestic demand.
        Oh, and it owns outright (equity) some 40% of China’s exports.

  15. ltr

    Re China Trade, please bear in mind that the majority of China’s trade is conducted by foreign-invested companies.
    There is no “China” trade (except the small SOE [State Owned Enterprise] sector.

    [ This is completely and importantly incorrect. ]

    1. ltr


      June 24, 2022

      China’s Q1 current account surplus hits record high

      BEIJING — China’s current account surplus reached 88.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2022, the highest level recorded in the same period in history, official data showed Friday.

      The ratio of the current account surplus against the same quarter’s gross domestic product was 2.1 percent, said Wang Chunying, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange….

      1. ltr

        Re China Trade, please bear in mind that the majority of China’s trade is conducted by foreign-invested companies.
        There is no “China” trade (except the small SOE [State Owned Enterprise] sector.

        [ This is incorrect and importantly so. I would suggest beginning with Chinese trade conducted through the Belt and Road Initiative to begin with. Foreign-invested companies are of course not building rail lines in Indonesia or Laos or nuclear energy plants in Pakistan or communication networks in the UAE or Ethiopia and on and on. There is the port in Israel to go along with the port in Greece and the port in Pakistan…

        There is so much more.

        Tesla is in China, but which Chinese companies does Tesla count on? Which Chinese company supplies the Tesla battery, and which Chinese company has just radically improved battery performance? ]

      2. ltr


        June 23, 2022

        China delivers world’s largest 24,000 TEU container ship
        By Cao Qingqing

        The world’s largest container ship, the first of its kind made by China, was delivered on Wednesday in the coastal city of Shanghai.

        The Ever Alot has a capacity of 24,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), the measurement used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and ports and based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1-meter) standard-sized container.

        It was designed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, with complete independent intellectual property rights.

        The ship is 399.99 meters long, over 60 meters longer than the largest aircraft carrier in the world, and 61.5 meters wide, with a deck area of 24,000 square meters, equivalent to 3.5 standard football fields.

        With a cargo compartment of 33.2 meters deep, it can carry 240,000 tonnes of cargo packed in more than 24,000 standard containers at a time, a global high.

        Containers can be stacked to a maximum height equivalent to a 22-story building.

        The vessel also features energy-saving designs. The shipbuilder has adopted the latest hydrodynamic optimization technologies, allowing the vessel to carry heavy loads at high speed with low fuel consumption.

        It will serve the route from the Far East to Europe after put into operation.

        Hudong-Zhonghua has previously delivered nearly 70 container ships with a capacity of above 8,000 TEU and is working on a total of nine ultra-large container ships of 24,000 TEU, ranking first among major Chinese shipyards.

        China’s increasing shipbuilding prowess

        The delivery of Ever Alot is an example of China’s increasing shipbuilding capabilities, which has been propelled by technology breakthroughs.

        In 2021, China’s shipbuilding output, newly received orders and orders on hand – the three major indicators of shipbuilding industry – accounted for 47.2, 53.8 and 47.6 percent respectively of the global shipbuilding market share, ranking the first in the world, according to the data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

        The global competitiveness of Chinese shipbuilding companies has also further improved, with six of them climbing to the world’s top 10 in terms of the three major market share indicators….

      3. ltr


        June 23, 2022

        In 2021, China’s shipbuilding output, newly received orders and orders on hand – the three major indicators of shipbuilding industry – accounted for 47.2, 53.8 and 47.6 percent respectively of the global shipbuilding market share, ranking the first in the world, according to the data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology….

    2. pgl

      Excuse me but a lot of international trade is conducted via multinationals. Do you have contrary statistics. If so – provide your data.

    3. David O'Rear

      I rely on the National Statistics Bureau for my China data, not Xinhua or Global Times.

  16. ltr


    March, 2014

    Why China Can’t Innovate
    By Regina M. Abrami, William C. Kirby and F. Warren McFarlan

    The Chinese invented gunpowder, the compass, the waterwheel, paper money, long-distance banking, the civil service, and merit promotion. Until the early 19th century, China’s economy was more open and market driven than the economies of Europe. Today, though, many believe that the West is home to creative business thinkers and innovators, and that China is largely a land of rule-bound rote learners—a place where R&D is diligently pursued but breakthroughs are rare….

    [ This incorrect and important surmise from the Harvard Business Review. ]

    1. macroduck

      Incorrect? You know better than the authors, who have devoted their careers to the study of innovation? What evidence do you have?

      Oh, but I forgot. China’s propaganda apparatus employed the tools of “fake science” long before the U.S. fake science mafia ever existed. Denial doesn’t require evidence. It’s enough to cast doubt on facts, if facts don’t suit your masters.

      ltr, ever dishonest in the service of China’s dishonest overlords.

  17. pgl


    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday said she believes children should receive firearm training. “I think children should be trained with firearms,” she said during a House Rules Committee meeting.

    Does this ugly witch (with a B) remember high school. Kids tend to let their emotions boil over easily leading to school year fights rather often. Imagine if these kids has guns – that should work out just fine if you are interested in daily mass murders.

    I will say this however. Even the craziest kid in my high school was not as much of a nut case. as Marjorie Taylor Greene. And we know she carries a gun, knows how to use it, and has threatened other members of Congress quite a bit. So giving guns to teenagers might seem like a mild proposal to this nutty witch (with a B).

  18. pgl

    The rest of the world is literally mocking the US after the Supreme Court decided that women are 2nd class citizens:


    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Saturday that the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a constitutional right to abortion could lead to the loss of other rights and indicated his country would continue to allow Americans to get abortions in Canada. Trudeau called the court’s decision “horrific” and voiced concern that the ruling could someday allow a rollback of legal protections for gay relationships, including the right for same-sex couples to marry. “We know that this is an extremely, not just scary, but disheartening time for so many women,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Kigali, Rwanda, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. “Women for generations have fought for more rights in the United States, (only) to see this setback, to worry as well about how this can be expanded to more rights be taken away in the United States,” he said. “This is a reminder of how we need to be unequivocal in our defense of people’s rights, in not taking anything for granted, in staying vigilant, and always standing up for woman’s rights, for LBGT rights, for the rights of people who are disenfranchised and marginalized,” he added.

    Canada’s government respects the rights of American women. It is time they got that respect from their own government.

    1. ltr


      March, 2014

      Why [Ethiopians] Can’t Innovate
      Why [Nigerians] Can’t Innovate
      Why [Mexicans] Can’t Innovate
      Why [Brazilians] Can’t Innovate
      Why [Philippinos] Can’t Innovate
      Why [Indonesians] Can’t Innovate
      By Regina M. Abrami, William C. Kirby and F. Warren McFarlan

      [ Such is of course racism. ]

    2. Ulenspiegel

      “This is a pejorative stereotype of 1.4 billion people. This article is of course incorrect and definitively racist. Shameful, shameful. ”

      Ah, if somebode criticizes the Chinese government then he/she is racist? Could it be that you are not very smart but still struggle with the concept of a useful idiot?

      Hint: The authors do not write that Chinese people are unable to innovate, because they are Chinese. And the authors do not claim that other “races” would perform better in the same context.

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