Deceleration (through 12/3)!

Weekly indicators from Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) Weekly Economic Indicators, and Baumeister, Leiva-Leon and Sims WECI, through 12/3; and Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker  through 11/26.

Figure 1: Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) Weekly Economic Index (blue), Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker (tan), Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Weekly Economic Conditions Index for US plus 2% trend (green). Source: NY Fed via FREDOECDWECI, all accessed 12/8, and author’s calculations.


The deceleration has been pretty consistent over time, and across indicators. The OECD Weekly Tracker, which shows a marked decline, is only available through 11/26. This series — based upon a big data approach — shows substantial variation over time, in my experience. Helpfully, they provide a 95% high/low numbers. In Figure 2, I plot this for the latest vintage, along with select previous vintages.

Figure 2: Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker through 11/26 (tan), high/low (light tan), through 11/12 (green), through 10/15 (pink), through 8/20 (dark blue), all year-on-year, %. Source: OECD, various releases.

Given these data, I’d want to wait before claiming negative y/y growth. However, what is clear is the US economy’s growth rate is decelerating on a year-on-year basis.



102 thoughts on “Deceleration (through 12/3)!

  1. Macroduck

    A slowdown is exactly what informed Individuals would expect, given a number of factors. Let’s begin with two – output has increased to near potential, and the Fed has been hiking rates for a little over 9 months:

    Toss in fiscal policy, and you get another reason to expect slower growth:

    And the rest-of-the-world drag was particularly large in Q1 and Q2

    The inventory problem has been discussed here repeatedly, so go get your own chart. If growth weren’t slowing, we’d be baffled.

    1. Macroduck

      In looking for FRED data to check on state income tax payments, I’ve run across a quarterly series on state income tax revenue for the U.S. There are (if memory serves) six states which don’t levie income taxes. Anyhow, as of Q2, state income taxes were up 12.2 % y/y

      So I’m still having a hard time finding evidence that income tax payments track household employment more closely than payroll employment.

    2. pgl

      ‘And the rest-of-the-world drag was particularly large in Q1 and Q2’

      The good news is that real net exports in 2022Q3 are back to where they were as of 2021Q3.

    3. pgl

      Nice to link to the Hutchins Center Fiscal Impact Measure. I tried to have Princeton Steve use this appropriate measure of fiscal impact when he kept telling us that the actual decline in the Federal deficit was a reliable measure of fiscal impact. He never listened so I asked him to read E. Cary Brown’s 1954 paper in the AER. I doubt he has.

      Then again most of the trolls here refuse to read even the most basic economics.

  2. Bruce Hall

    We should begin to see the increase in the overall CPI suppressed a little by the pullback in gasoline prices, but overall, energy prices are still high.

    However, I do appreciate my local Costco reducing gasoline prices for the holidays to about $2.70 per gallon or about 70¢ less than other nearby stations. I’ll be filling up there and then not again until Dayton where prices are about $3 per gallon. As for heating costs, setting the temp to 66º while we’re gone and letting the 6″ thick framing keep the costs low.

    Hope New Yorkers stay cozy with their all-electric space heaters, eh pgl?
    Chucked at the picture of the thermostat set at 61º. I guess that’s the “responsible” alternative to natural gas. Good way to get rid of those old people using up too much economic resources through hypothermia. Stupidity has its own rewards.

    1. pgl

      “We should begin to see the increase in the overall CPI suppressed a little by the pullback in gasoline prices”

      An increase in the price LEVEL? Oh gee – are you forecasting an INFLATION rate of 1% to 2%? Come on Brucie – we have been over this before. Inflation is the RATE OF CHANGE of the price level. Now get back to your remedial preK reading classes.

    2. pgl

      Gee I actually read that CBS “story”. Wowee Brucie boy made big discovery!!!! Heating costs may be high this winter. STOP THE PRESSES. Never mind this “news” was announced months ago. Brucie boy is a little slow after all.

      Even though Brucie boy has trouble distinguishing between price levels and rates of changes of price level, his advanced forecasting model can predict the overall inflation rate from a forecast of heating costs alone. Now that is “genius” for people who wear MAGA hats.

    3. CoRev

      Bruce correctly opines: “…but overall, energy prices are still high.” And yet the professionals here can not understand what drove INFLATION at Biden’s inauguration. Policies limiting supply and even demand of energy, perhaps the most important component of an economy, couldn’t be the cause? Right? Nah, saving the planet from model-based unicorns is far more important.


      1. pgl

        Brucie got one thing right and everything else wrong and CoRev wants to give him the Nobel Prize? CoRev – I get you want to support your fellow trolls but your little hick ups are not getting the job done.

        1. pgl

          Actually Bruce got this wrong too. I bet CoRev might be surprised that natural gas prices have fallen to the levels when Biden first took office.

          So CoRev – if energy prices are still high, then you must be saying Trump left Biden with high oil, gasoline, and natural gas prices.

          1. CoRev

            Here’s an example of what a tool Ole Bark, bark is: ” I bet CoRev might be surprised that natural gas prices have fallen to the levels when Biden first took office.” He then shows a link to a graph TOTALLY disputing his claim. end of Jan 21 $2.71 and end of Nov 2022 price shown in the graph $5.45. For the others mathematically challenged like him that’s TWICE what it was as he was inaugurated.

            Yeah, that’s how big a desperately stoopid tool he is.

          2. pgl

            December 10, 2022 at 4:08 am
            Here’s an example of what a tool Ole Bark, bark is: ” I bet CoRev might be surprised that natural gas prices have fallen to the levels when Biden first took office.” He then shows a link to a graph TOTALLY disputing his claim. end of Jan 21 $2.71 and end of Nov 2022 price shown in the graph $5.45.”

            That January 2021 observation was the average for the month not 1/31. I guess CoRev never learned to read the detailed observations. I was referring to the monthly average for Feb. 2021 which was $5.35.

            Biden may have officially become President on 1/20/2021 but we all know Trump was still taking top secret documents out of the White House and claiming he was still President.

            Hey CoRev – nice try but please learn how to read the descriptions in these FRED graphs.

          3. CoRev

            Menzie & Ole Bark, bark, regardless of your misplaced wishes, January was the month of Biden’s inauguration, and therefore the start of his administration, “when Biden first took office.” Yes that was the disingenuous claim of Ole bark, bark.

            More telling is the need to ignore the overall impact of Biden’s War on Fossil Fuel promises during the election. Their economic inflationary impacts are clear after he was elected in late November. Given Ole bark, bark’s claim that the Jan numbers are an average for the month that indicates that $2.59 price and the $5.35 SPIKE belongs solely to Biden, and YOUR PREFERRED POLICIES.

            Why the need to lie about Biden’s policy impacts? The answer is clear. They were your fondest wishes. You got them implemented. Now live with their results.

            That’s and example of how encounters with “data are typically disasterous. (sic)”

      2. pgl

        “Policies limiting supply and even demand of energy, perhaps the most important component of an economy, couldn’t be the cause?”

        Since whatever policies you may be babbling about had at most a microscopic impact on the supply of energy, this had virtually no impact on prices. But you are saying a lower demand curve for energy increases its price? Damn – you are even dumber than Barkley gives you credit for.

      3. Macroduck

        Energy prices are high globally. Inflation, too. You keep repeating, without actual evidence, that Biden is to blame for these global phenomena.

        Argument by assertion seems to be all you can manage. If that’s it, you’re just another loudmouth on a barstool.

        1. CoRev

          Awh, MD gets his panties in a bunch because a common policy, the attack on fossil fuels, also being followed by Biden raises inflation in the US also. It’s this failure to recognize and list those bad policies that allows their effect to be ignored.

          BTW, that process is call denial. At least you are successful in your defense of unicorns, and your personal emotional well being is improved. Your personal emotional well being is much more important than the economy. Wait! Could your personal emotional well being be another externality? Or is it the overall impact across the WORLD caused by the War on Fossil fuels?

          Nah, Your unicorns are still safe.

          1. Macroduck

            I point out argument by assertion. CoVd responds with argument by assertion. How clever. Let’s examine the assertion.

            The common policy that has caused energy prices to rise is cmmon opposition Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the cost of freedom for Ukranians. The drop in oil and gas investment in response to recession wasn’t policy. It was a business decision. Support for renewables provides competition for hydrocarbons – a restraint on prices. OPEC output cuts are OPEC’s policy, not “common policy”.

            There’s the substance of CoVid’s argument.

          2. CoRev

            MD, still bunching your panties and refusing to admit that the Russian gas cut off is not a common policy. “The common policy that has caused energy prices to rise is cmmon opposition Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ”

            The common policy is the War on Fossil Fuels which caused the virtue signalling European Govts shift to buying Russian natural gas instead of using their own. This map shows some of the already discovered or anticipated sources of Natural Gas. Even these potential fields are in error, probably low, as European discovery has been reduced and/or fought due to that ole War on Fossil Fuels.

            It’s intriguing watching you deflect and debate without any substance. Where’s the substance in MD’s argument. All he does is ASSERT.

        2. Ivan

          Oil prices are set by OPEC+ and global market forces. The US government has little influence on that, unless we go full socialist and nationalize everything. Or we could go partly socialist and just pick winners – subsidizing some but not other companies. Currently there are a huge number of oil exploration licenses in US that are not being used, do they suggest that big government should order the private companies to drill baby drill.

          Big oil and its useful idiots are trying to tell us that it’s all because we don’t give them freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without responsibility for cleaning up their messes, and with heavy government subsidies. The reality, as observed by anyone with even half a functioning brain, is that OPEC+ just cut 2 million bpd out of production and that is more than in its wildest wet dreams could claim US production increase no matter how much we “get government out of the way”. Even after Obama’s brilliant policies made us able to produce as much oil as we use, we are not, and never will be big in the world markets to swing it around.

          What Biden is brilliantly doing is setting us on a path to get rid of our needs for large amounts of hydrocarbons (with all its destructive political, environmental and economic side-effects), by replacing them with cheep and endless supplies of energy from renewable sources, harvested locally and at will. No matter how much our resident oil industry minions cry and tell us not to believe our own lying eyes that is the only viable solution to the energy problems, and it is moving along. Amazing what a competent President can do.

          1. pgl

            You do know CoRev has no clue what a world market is. Heck he cannot even bother to read the legends in FRED charts. End of January 2021 when FRED clearly reports monthly averages. Yea – he is that dumb.

          2. Anonymous

            the engineered/systems solutions regarding renewables to get what you claim are decades away.

            no evidence rudimentary designs….

            and filling commodity demand is challenging.

            maturing technical solutions is high risk to cost performance and schedule.

            while discouraging investment in hydrocarbons is opening up the energy countries to russian and chinese investment.

            it is dangerous to gut us petroleum w/o replacement, and inflationary too!

          3. CoRev

            What Ole Bark, bark thinks of averages is fascinating. For instance with a huge ?average? spike in Biden’s inaugural month it most likely interpreted that the low end of the policy was due to Trump’s energy policies, with the peak blamed on Biden’s. You can see how a realist translates data versus those desperate to DENY? the results of their preferred policies.

    4. pgl

      Under an earlier thread you linked to a 2 minute interview with Paul Krugman. Did you actually listen to it? Even if you did – you had no clue what Krugman was saying. If you did – you might realize how utterly stupid you sound with this inflation hysteria.

      Come on Brucie – you have no clue whether you are even coming or going. Do be careful that your incessant dizziness does not hurt you.

    5. Macroduck

      Yes, it is a responsible alternative. Good guess. Lots of people around the developed world do something like that. Throughout human history, 61 degrees was warm as an indoor temperature for much of the year. And there is very little risk even to the elderly at that temperature. Glad you brought it up.

      The sad thing is, you think you’re scoring points when you say silly stuff like this.

      Oh, and by the way, recent research suggests that temperature fluctuation is healthier than maintaining a constant indoor temperature. Apparently, something about the way we’re built.

      1. pgl

        Brucie boy has a long history of mocking the suffering of his fellow man – especially when it serves the interests of King Donald I. MAGA,

      2. Macroduck

        There’s Brucey’s snide nonsense, and then there’s what engineering professionals have to say about indoor temperature:

        “People used to put up with cold places in the winter and hot places in the summer. And we’ve gotten spoiled into saying, “No, I want a more comfortable environment.” So, the temperature ranges that are tolerable have narrowed quite considerably. In fact, the Europeans make quite a bit of fun of the North Americans on that basis. They’re saying, “What the big deal? Why don’t you just wear short-sleeve shirts in the summer and wear a cardigan in the winter?” We actually do the opposite. I don’t know about you, but in my office I actually have to wear thin shirts in the wintertime, because otherwise I sweat. And in the summertime I have to take a fleece to school, because if I wear my shorts and a T-shirt, well, I’ll freeze to death in my air-conditioned office.

        — Dr. John Straube of Building Science Corporation

        Really wish our perma-trolls would stop acting out their fantasy of doing brightbart interviews. Low-information taunts don’t serve a purpose outside the echo-chamber.

        1. CoRev

          There’s even another of those ole externalities to the War on Fossil Fuels. The ability to ignore the reason for the imposition of this discomfort is the INABILITY to provide the energy to maintain the prior comfort level.

          And yet the unicorns are still safe.

          1. Macroduck

            Ah, your going with the “war on fossil fuels” nonsense. And you claim it’s my boxers in a bunch?

            This particular bout of hyperventilation over energy “policy” started with schoolyard taunts about heating costs in New York. Let’s have a look at New York Harbor heating oil:


            Ok, let’s ignore the drop in heating oil prices in recent days, because Brucey and CoVid have ignored it and we wouldn’t want incovenient facts sneaking into the discussion. Instead, just look at the divergence between heating oil and gasoline prices. And while we’re ignoring stuff, let’s ignore that the divergence coincidences with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (which is all Biden’s fault, right?). The only thing I want to point out is that some imaginary “war on fossil fuels” doesn’t explain that price divergence. Policy doesn’t explain two products that come from the same raw material diverging in price.

            What is a good explanation? Conditions in the economy might do it – lots of demand for diesel relative to gasoline. Private business decisions might do it – adjusting oil distillery operations to favor lighter products over heavier ones. Funny how the “conservative” trolls who comment here give so little weight to markets.

            When the choice is between parsimonious explanation and partisan blather, CoVid and Brucey go for blather every time. Anybody who have an affection for facts will ignore them.

    6. pgl

      “overall, energy prices are still high”.

      Gee Brucie – this made CoRev very happy. But wait – you just said gasoline prices were back down. So are oil prices. So WTF do you mean by “energy”? US natural gas prices have recently dropped to the same level they were when Biden took office. Or are you telling us Trump gave us high natural gas prices.

      Now I may have told CoRev you got only one thing correct. I misspoke – you got this one wrong too. BTW JohnH gets everything wrong too. Are you two competing with CoRev for STUPIDEST MAN ALIVE?

      1. pgl

        ‘Let’s have a look at New York Harbor heating oil:

        Ok, let’s ignore the drop in heating oil prices in recent days, because Brucey and CoVid have ignored it and we wouldn’t want incovenient facts sneaking into the discussion.’

        Brucie started this little debate telling us heating oil prices in New York were high. Of course he and CoRev do not know the difference betwen recent daily observations v. last month’s average price. Now I got into it with them over US natural gas prices which happened to have dropped to $4.15 per million BTUs as on Dec. 5, 2022.
        Yea Brucie and CoRev have their challenges with recent market data as in that little debate over soybean prices during the Trump trade war.

  3. rsm

    Why the sudden conversion to error bars? Is it because it gives you cover for your political position on recession forecasts?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      rsm: OECD provides 95% CI’s. WEI and WECI don’t. OECD Weekly Tracker moves around a lot more between vintages than does WEI and WECI, so makes sense to plot.

  4. Macroduck

    Off topic, Putin’s war –

    There is a long tradition in the U.S. foreign affairs community of fretting over “what comes next” if a big rival is destabilized. Bush Senior once discouraged the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Maybe we learned this from the Brits; Churchill opposed assassinating Hitler because somebody worse might take his place.

    Anyhow, the director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute thinks we’re doing it again and wants us to stop it. Resisting efforts which could cause Putin (more) embarrassment through (greater) defeat is wrong-headed, says Kristi Ralk:

    Meanwhile, remember about a week ago when Latvia’s foreign minister argued that Ukraine shouldn’t be prevented from hitting targets inside Russia:

    Since then, Ukraine has commenced hitting targets inside Russia. At the same time Ukraine strikes targets inside Russia, the Lithuanian PM is urging the delivery of missiles to Ukraine that are able to strike targets inside Russia:

    The Baltics really don’t like Russia’s war on Ukraine – understandable. Perhaps not coincidentally, the U.S. is increasing its military presence in the Baltics:

    There are increasing reports that U.S. officials are urging Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, but that Ukrainian officials are resisting. Given Ukraine’s performance on the battlefield, they should resist. Marshall (Alfred, not George) taught setting the marginal this equal to the marginal that. Until the marginal Ukrainian bullet produces the same return as the marginal Russian bullet, Ukrainian generals are likely to want to keep fighting. Baltic, Polish and Moldovan strategic thinkers probably agree. It’s different for Ukraine’s big backers.

    So, it’s always the case that “something is going on”, but somethin’s goin’ on. Wild speculation on my part –

    The whole “dig in for the winter, come back stronger in the spring” story about Russia’s war plan is a bad idea for Ukraine. Even if Ukraine also comes back stronger, coming back stronger means more fighting in Ukraine. So don’t just dig in. Spend the winter striking targets inside Russia, with the aim of prevent Russia from coming back stronger. Keep making Putin look bad through the winter.

    The negotiating table is the most likely end to the war. Ukraine needs to go to the table with the strongest possible hand. Ukraine needs to come away from the table with strong prospects of a peaceful future. Putin is a big risk to a peaceful future.

    1. JohnH

      “As the West did in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, we are stumbling into another optional, open-ended military commitment. Ukrainian troops are being trained in Europe. Western defense contractors are already maintaining Ukrainian military equipment and operating the HIMAR missile systems. Active-duty American military personnel are now in Ukraine to monitor weapons deliveries. As the Russian offensive gains momentum, we expect loud voices to call for sending ever-more advanced weapons and eventually NATO boots on the ground to defend Ukraine. These voices should be unambiguously rejected for many reasons. Here are a few.”

      “Wartime is precisely when one should think most dispassionately and carefully about one’s own interests and strategies. Unfortunately, keeping a cool head is especially hard to do when the bullets are flying, innocent people are suffering, and rallying public support takes priority. A narrowing of debate is typical of most wars—at least for a long time—with governments encouraging patriotic groupthink and marginalizing dissident views. And the war in Ukraine has been no exception thus far…In the present political climate, if someone is not all-in for Ukraine, then they must be siding with Putin.

      Moral outrage is not a policy, however, and anger at Putin and Russia does not tell us what approach is best for Ukraine or the world. It’s possible that the hawks are right and that giving Ukraine whatever it thinks it needs to achieve victory is the best course of action. But this approach is hardly guaranteed to succeed; it might just prolong the war to no good purpose, increase Ukrainian suffering, and eventually lead Russia to escalate or even use a nuclear weapon. None of us can be 100 percent certain that the policies we favor will turn out as we expect and hope.”

      1. pgl

        I guess you think your solution is superior? The genocide of all Ukrainians is not an option even if that is your deepest desire.

      2. pgl

        Lessons From the U.S. Civil War Show Why Ukraine Can’t Win?

        As someone who grew up in Atlanta, I should note how General Sherman is the most despised person in our history. But I guess JohnH is just hoping Putin burns everthing Ukraine to the ground. Yes – JohnH has no soul as he begs Putin for his daily dog food.

        1. JohnH

          “ Moral outrage is not a policy, however, and anger at Putin and Russia does not tell us what approach is best for Ukraine or the world. ”

      3. Macroduck

        Johnny, you keep linking to opinions. The fact that you agree with an opinion doesn’t mean the opinion is right. The fact that your ideological bosses agree with an opinion doesn’t mean the opinion is right. You do the same thing with economics as politics.

        Now, I have to say, “none of us can be sure” is certainly true – including for you. And certainly moral outrage is not a policy, but it’s a funny view for you to copy/paste, given the emotionalism of your usual comments. We can, however, separate morality from outrage. Russia invaded Ukraine. That’s wrong and if we want to live in a world in which invasions are not common, we need to take some action to make invasion less likely.

        See? Practical and moral. No outrage needed. Now you try.

        1. pgl

          I was struck by their paragraph:

          Russia has now put its economy on a war footing, called up the reserves, and assembled hundreds of thousands of troops, including both conscripts and volunteers. This army is equipped with Russia’s most sophisticated weapons, and contrary to much Western reporting, is far from demoralized. Ukraine on the other hand has exhausted its armories and is totally dependent on Western military support to continue the war. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley noted last week, Ukraine has done about all it can.

          This account of the situation in Ukraine strikes me as divorced from all reality. But I’m sure it makes Putin happy!

          1. JohnH

            pgl thinks that the head of the JCS Mark Milley’s view is divorced from reality. Of course, pgl’s reality is what is fed to him every day by the corporate media, which is pretty much a cheerleader for any war…until it becomes impossible to ignore the facts on the ground—Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Déja vue all over again.

          2. Barkley Rosser


            There is considerable difference between the two links JohH has put here. Despite their credentials, the authors of the first one are straight out of some looney bin. The idea that Bakohmut is equivalent to Atlanta is absurd, as is their projection that Surovkin is about to oversee a renewed push “to the gates of Kyiv.” By the time Sherman got to Atlanta, Union forces had already moved forward taking a large amount of territory, going back to defeating Confederate forces in Kentucky early in the war, then a long series of battles ending in Union victories in tennessee, followed then by a considerably long push into Gerogia to get to Atlanta, which was one of the largest cities in the Confederacy and indeed a crucial rail hub.

            Bahkhmut is not even 30 km from where the line was when this particular war started nearly ten months ago, and the Wagner group has been pounding on Bakhmut itself since August 1, It is not a transportation hub at all, despite their claims to the contraty. Indeed, if Wagner group were actually to take Bakhmut it would be very hard for them to move forward towards the still-in-uncoquered-although-annexed rest of Donetsk cities of Kramatorsk and the capital of Slovyansk. The Russians would immediately run into logistical problems they have faced all theough this “special operation,” namely being unable even before HIMARS showed up of being able to supply forces more than about 10 km beyond a railhead they control. But there is not rail line from Bakhmut towards those other Donetsk cities Putin would love to conquer, given that he supposedly eternally annexed them a few months ago, But this looks seriously unlikely given this hard logistical reality. Even taking Bakhmut is highly unlikely to lead to either of those cities being in any serious danger at all, much less foreshadowing a retaking of Kherson or a move to take Kharkiv, which the Russians have also retreated from, much less a return “to the gates of Kyiv.”

            Furthermore, at Bakhmut, apparently the Russians have recently made it “to the gates of Bakhmut” and taken a garbage dump and maybe a shopping center at its souteast corner, with them throwing almost everything they have at the Ukrainian forces there, this the only location on the entire front where they have even made a few km gains at all in the last five months while retreating substantially in numerous other areas. But even if they move further into Bakhmut they are going to run into a serious problem even getting all of it. This town, not even a city really, is divided by a north-south river, with rising land on the west. The Ukrainians could easily retreat across that river to hold high ground in the western portion of Bakhmut. The idea that Russian forces, in fact seriously demoralized and running out of all kinds of military equipment that neither Iran nor North Korea can supply them with, is going easily take the western portion of Bakhmumt, much less go surgintg towards the rest of Donetsk is absurd.

            When Sherman got to Atlanta after taking huge amounts of territory he easily took it before burning it to the ground and then fairly easily moving forward against collapsing Confederate forces. In contrast, the Russians have been stuck for months “at the gares of Bahknumt,” a minor and essentially trivial location that it looks hihgly unlikely to be able to even take at all. That Newsweek is publishing this rank nonsense is a sign that indeed Newsweek has been taken over by some Trampscheiss interests, although I am not surprised that JohnH takes this garbage seriously and links to it here.

            The sencond one by Wait out of Harvard in Foreign Policy is a different kettle of fish, althogh suffering from its own less egregious flaws. Unlikel Groeller and Rundell, he at least recognizes that the Russian invasion is immoral and illegal, even as he spouts the line that we should have expected it given all that awful NATO expansionism, not to mention western support for “color revolutions,” for shame. Somehow he never notices that in fact there never was some general promise not to expand NATO, with the promise made to Gorbachev in 1990 being only limited to East Germany at the time of the reunification of Germany, a period of time when the Warsaw Pact still existed.

            While indeed elites in Russia did not like NATO expansion, there was nothing illegal about it, and it was driven by people in the joining nations, such as Poland, wanting to join, not some nefarious plot by awful neoconservatives in the US whom Walt wants to blame. Walt seems to somehow not notice that it has been Russia who has violated not only the UN Charter, but the Budepest Accords with even the 2014 invasions, much less the more recent awful events. Of course, JohH never mentions either of these.

            Wait warns of possible escalation to Russia using nuclear weapons, although it looks that Putin has reteeated in his talk on that recently, especially given the clear signals loudly sent by Xi Jinping as well as Modi in India of total opposition to any use by him of those weapons. Biden and the western powers look to be going out of their way to avoid anything that might justify such use, even with the Ukrainians have on their own, not using NATO supplied weapons apparently, taken to striking military targets inside Russia,

            Walt also seems to think their might be some return to Russia retaking lost territory, although he avoids the sort of fantastic nonsense the other link poses with is ridiculous comparison of Bakhmut to Atlanta. He poses something more like western supporters of Ukraine getting tired by a year from now in the face of something more like a long stalemate, with possibly some Russian gains, rather than Wagner group “at the gates of Kyiv.”

            But in fact it looks that the Ukrainians are on the verge of taking Kreminna in Luhansk, with this a lot more likely to happen than the Russians taking Bakhmut. The Ukrainians are on the verge of cutting off Kreminna’s last substantial logistical support route and are closign in from multiple directions. The colder weather supports them moving forward again in that region on freshly frozen ground rather than being studk in mud. The Russians near Bakhmut were crawling forward meter by meter before the mud hit, and face a river and logistical limits before they can take this almost meaningless location of Bakhmut. Ukrainians taking Kreminna pretty much makes it certain that Svatevoe is next, which they are also already “at the gates” of, with pretty much all of northern Luhansk likely to fall adter it does., and them also in position to have a good shot at retaking Lysiychansk and Severodonetsk.

            Now, I do happen to think it is unlikely the Ukrainians will be able to achieve their goal of retaking all their pre-3014 territory, and tetaking Mariuupol on the edge of that territory may also be extremely difficult. But they look quit able to also make an advance into the rest of Kherson oblast as well as most of Zaporizhzhiia, including Melitopol and maybe Berdyansk duuring the coming winter months. Ir also looks that Putin is keeping the doors open to negotiations, with this release of Griner a sign of it and some recent distancing of himself from the crazier hawks in Moscow. He can turn from them any time he wants to. They do not control him. If indeed as seems likely the Ukrainians are able to push him back pretty closr to where he started from earlier this year, then indeed the door to a negotated end of this war may look much more promising to even the Ukrainians, especially if Putin is able to halt their forward movement around there.

            It will be the appearance of a newly static line in the war that will lead to serious negotiation and an end to this conflict, at least for now. That is far more likely to happen after the Ukrainians reconquer a substantial portion of what Putin took earlier this year than after there is some highly unlikely advance by the Russians anywhere on the front, alrthough, wow, mwybe they will be able to take the eatern half of Bakhmut before they grind to a new halt at the out limits of their logistical reach there. They are not moving forward anywhere else.

          3. pgl

            December 9, 2022 at 5:10 pm
            pgl thinks that the head of the JCS Mark Milley’s view is divorced from reality.”

            Nothing wrong with Milley’s sentence put in the proper context. But your boys put it in the kind of phony context you excel at.

        2. JohnH

          MacroDucky, Ducky, Ducky wants to live in his own echo chamber, a paradise where reasonable, dissenting opinion by well informed experts gets cancelled.

          The name for MacroDucky’s paradise? Democracy. Very Orwellian. But that’s what happens every time America gets involved in a war…before people wake up and come to their senses, as they did belatedly in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq.

          1. Barkley Rosser


            You are bringing up Korea? That started with North Korea invading South Korea. Three years later the lines stalled out about where they were when the North invaded. Since then, South Korea has in fact become a fully functioning democracy with one of the strongest economies in the world , with per capita income on the level of Japan, and companies like Samsung at the cutting edge of technology, while the North staves off near famine in extreme poverty and probably the worst dictatorship on the planet.

            If Ukraine is like Korea, then we should expect the Ukrainians to move forward until a truce can be negotiated near the borders of where the Russians invaded from, namely roughly the edge of Russian control after 2014. This looks not too unilikely, even if Utkaine’s longer run economic prospects may not be as promising as South Korie’s have proven.

            Neithe Vietnam nor Iraw look remotely similar. Vietnam had been a French colony, although prior to that it was an independent nation. South Vietnam was not a location full of people speaking a different language with a different national culture. That was basically a post-colonial civil war that the US unfortunately let itself get dragged into to the tune of half a million troops on the ground there. Putin may want to pose his invasion as a civil war, but hs is simply lyging, and all but about four or five members of the UN agree he is lying.

            As for Iraq, well that was the US invading a sovereign nation, which is certainlhy not what is going on in Uktaine at all. You are on firmer ground playing your “whataboutism” story vis a vis comparing the US invasion of Iraq to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In which case, it is going to be Russian popular opinion that will undermine Putin’s war effort.

            As usual, JohnH, you are just way off here on all of this. A whole lot more gag.

          2. Barkley Rosser


            No, you the one are divorced from reallty. In Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, it was US troops on the ground doing all the fighting. In Ukraine the only US troops around are some overseeing delivery of US weapons. With the exception of one or two of us here, most of us see right through you, JohnH, to yout lying lack of any apparent soul whatsoever.

          3. pgl

            Well informed experts? You have no clue what an expert looked like even if he punched you in the nose. Of course a pet poodle likely gets punched in the nose by Jonny boy’s master a lot. Life in the basement of the Kremlin can be painful.

          4. pgl

            Macroduck has already figured out that you search the web for anyone – regardless of their credentials – who pushes your pro-Putin BS and then you declare them to be “well informed experts” even if they are nothing more than journalist for Kremlin controlled media. And of course you can find some pro Putin prostitute to take something
            Milley said totally out of context. After all – your game has been misrepresentation for over a decade.

            You have never ever had an honest conversation on a single topic – not once. Misrepresentation is your game as it is all you got. And one has to give Macroduck credit for figuring that out.

            Now you might surprise one day by honestly making a real point. But I’m not holding my breath.

    2. Ivan

      The thing that needs to be beaten is not Russia but the ideology of “Rusky Mir”. Just like in the Second World War we had to beat nazism.

      The idea that Russians living anywhere in Europe has to be under the governance of a Russian Empire, and that empire has the right to suppress all those non-Russians sharing that greater Russian area is remarkably similar to the Nazi ideology and it has to be defeated. In that context Putin is not the real enemy and may simply be a useful idiot. He has been drinking the cool aid but also been remarkably incompetent in both leadership and warfare. The only thing he seems really good at is holding on to power. If Putin was to lose power, it is unlikely to be to a more competent “Rusky Mir” adherent – most likely it would be a person who rejected that catastrophic ideology based on the damage it has done to Russia.

    3. Anonymous

      escallation or nuisance:

      ukraine targeting site is russia might cause one to recall: nva rocketing us targets in rvn, irgc targeting us facilities in iraq and syria, etc.

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Uh oh, looks like you have set your marbles rolling around the floor again. At least when he wants to pose crazy stuff, JohnH is able to dig upt some wacko other commentator to claim that Bakhmut is like Atlanta, whoop de doo.

        That Ukraine targeting military sites in Russia is supposed to make “one recall nva rocketing us targets in rvn, irgc targeting us facilities in iraq and syria, etc.” Really? As I reminded JohnH, the Vietnam war was a civil war the US got itself stupidly involved in. I also note North Vietnam won that war and conquered the south. So, if Ukrainians “rocketing” (is that a word?) targets in Russia is supposed to remind of North Vietnam doing so to South Vietnam, does that mean we should expect Ukraine to conquer Russia and absorb it as North Vietnam did to South Vietnam> Maybe your rolling marbles think so.

        As for the Iigc doing so to Iraq and Syria, well, Iran has not conquered Iraq, and it has not dislodged US troops or the Kurds from northeastern Syria, with the Turks more likely to do that than the Iranians. Indeed, the Iranians seem currently to be having more trouble with the Kurds wirhin their own borders. This part may not be quite as ridiculous as the Vietnam comparison, but again, just exactly how is this similar to the Ukrainians “rocketing” military sites in Russia? Oh, they will fail to actually either overthrow the govetrnment of Russia or conquer Russia? Gosh, I did not think anybody id expecting either of those, although Putin himself might well be replaced due to this failed invasion of Ukraine by him.


    Not useful. Deceleration already happened. Reacceleration is happening now. Wait to the deflation data comes in the first half of next year. Positive growth will surge these numbers.

    1. Macroduck

      You accuse others of “not useful”? How about some evidence, some demonstration of your claims. Your claims themselves serve no purpose. Not useful.


        The problem of the decline of useful ability of statistician led data due to seasonality issues the lockdowns created are pretty large. Jobless claims are a great example. It’s a mess.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          GREGORY BOTT: Well, for many of the series, you can download not seasonally adjusted data, and do the seasonal adjustment yourself. That’s what I do. Or is that beyond what you can do?

  6. pgl

    That Britney Griner has been allowed to return home is a wonderful thing. OK – certain Republicans have decided to criticize her release for partisan reasons, which only show how utterly soulless these pigs really are. Of course, Trump had the most disgusting comment. Sorry but I just cannot bring myself to cite any of their vile. But catch this from the UAE and Saudi Arabia:

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE took credit for mediating Brittney Griner’s release from Russia.
    Griner was freed from Russian captivity in a one-for-one prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
    UAE’s state media said the two countries were involved in negotiating the prisoner swap.

    The Biden Administration has already noted neither nation was involved. But it is interesting they want to take credit for her release whereas Trump and his fellow racist homophobes choose to insult this woman. MAGA.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Those nations may not have been involved in the core of the negotiation, with Bill Richardson having been reported to have participated in the negotiations, he an old hand at these prisoner swap negotiations. But there must have been at least some involvement of at least the UAE as the swap happened in that nation.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        BTW, the American probably wrongly imprisoned in Russia that almost nobody is talking about is Mark Fogel, in jail even longer than Paul Whelan for more or less what Griner was. While various politicians are now screaming about how Whelan did not get let out, they said nothing about him when Trump apparently rejected a deal to let him out.

        Despite the widespread silence about Fogel, I did read in WaPo that apparently the Biden admin is trying to get him out, which is good, even if almost nobodyis talking about it.

  7. pgl

    Inflation hawk Bruce Hall recently decided to tag me as an inflation hawk (not hardly) after he noticed that Elon Musk was calling for the FED to back off its tight money. Now I agree with Musk on this one issue but why would Brucie boy cite Musk as his new macroeconomic guru? Oh wait:

    Layoffs at Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of the tech company disproportionately — and illegally — targeted women, according to a new class-action lawsuit.

    Ah yes – Musk discriminates against the ladies in the workplace. Brucie boy’s kind of guy!

  8. Ulenspiegel

    “Spend the winter striking targets inside Russia, with the aim of prevent Russia from coming back stronger. Keep making Putin look bad through the winter.”

    Ukraine’s best option for weakening the Russian army is actual fighting, striking target in Russia has an additional moral effect. The Ukrainian army has enough equipment and well trained soldiers for winter operations, the Russians struggle. All the pieces of information one gets point to a high likelyhood of offensive ground operations by Ukraine. Otherwise they would throw away their current advantages.

    “Ukraine needs to come away from the table with strong prospects of a peaceful future. Putin is a big risk to a peaceful future.”

    As long as Putin is the most likely opponent at the negotiation table, one has to reach a situation that motivates Putin, military defeat is one IMHO. The other aspect is of course that a Ukraine supplied with more modern western weapons should be save from new Russian attacks in future, esp. when Russia needs more than 5 years to replace her own losses, and still would not be in a better situation than spring 2022.

    The most pressing questions for Ukraine is whether they are willing to give up some territory or not. This determines the starting point of negotiations.

    1. pgl

      Did you see JohnH’s latest link? This Putin poodle hearts the idea that a Russian general makes like General Sherman at the Battle of Atlanta. Yes JohnH wants Ukraine to be burned to the ground and all of its citizens executed. What a guy!

      1. Anonymous

        the predations of Sherman’s “bummers” are greatly overstated. the burnings were limited and only food and fodder needed for the army were appropriated.

        and federal scrap issued.

        1. pgl

          How effing dumb are you. He burned a wide area all the way from Atlanta to Savannah. This is well documented history but I guess the Kremlin does not let its favorite bot read history.

          1. Anonymous

            i suppose sherman left it out of his memoirs…..

            how wide swath can a relatively small 19 century army pillage while feeding itself and chasing an active enemy?

            do send the histories.

  9. pgl

    Hershel Walker’s big issue during his campaign for the Senate was whether Rev. Warnock owned Alving the Beagal?

    Back in August during the heat of one of the most important Senate races in the country, Herschel Walker’s campaign staffers were preoccupied with a dog. Why it matters: Walker’s scandal-plagued Georgia Senate campaign was as chaotic and troubled behind the scenes as it seemed from the outside, according to conversations with nearly a dozen campaign officials. “Alvin the Beagle” was a star of Sen. Raphael Warnock’s campaign ads, and Walker and his wife, Julie Blanchard Walker, wanted the world to know that Alvin wasn’t Warnock’s dog. Incredulous staff ultimately complied with crafting a digital ad on the subject to appease them.

    Hershel played football for the University of Georgia where the mascot is an ugly bulldog named UGA. Maybe someone should ask Hershel if he slept with UGA.

  10. pgl

    Does anyone has anyone has worse timing than Bruce Hall? Just as he commented that inflation might be taking off, the BLS releases its latest on the producer price index:

    ‘The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.3 percent in November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices also rose 0.3 percent in both October and September. (See table A.)’

    Now Brucie tried to dust this off as coming from the fall in gasoline prices. But BLS also notes this:

    ‘Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services moved up 0.3 percent in November after rising 0.2 percent in October.’

    Brucie really needs a lot of help from Kelly Anne Alternative Facts Conway. MAGA!

  11. pgl

    Marjorie Taylor Greene’s latest excuse for her racist tirades over immigration from Latin America was based on some bogus argument regarding fentanyl. Yes fentanyl is coming across the border but we can blame Trump and Bill Barr for that:

    On Oct. 15, 2020, federal prosecutors took the remarkable step of arresting former Mexican Defense Minister Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda on charges that he conspired to protect drug traffickers. Even in retirement, Cienfuegos was the most important Mexican official ever charged in a U.S. court. A month later, however, the Justice Department took the even more extraordinary step of dropping the charges.
    The U.S. attorney general, William P. Barr, said his chief goal in sending Cienfuegos home was to preserve Mexico’s collaboration with the United States in fighting the drug trade. But the general’s arrest and its aftermath had the opposite effect — all but shutting down counterdrug cooperation between the two countries. Less than two months after his return, Mexican prosecutors exonerated Cienfuegos after a cursory investigation, underscoring the impunity with which the military has operated in the drug fight. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador then began attacking the Drug Enforcement Administration for “fabricating” its charges against Cienfuegos. Last year, Mexico abandoned the Mérida Initiative, the 2007 landmark agreement by which the United States provided Mexico with more than $3.5 billion in aid and training to fight organized crime. The new pact that replaced Mérida is very much on López Obrador’s terms. Joint operations against big traffickers have been almost an afterthought. Meanwhile, fentanyl from Mexico is fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history. U.S. investigators believed that with Cienfuegos’ arrest they had finally confronted the high-level corruption that has long sustained organized crime in Mexico. Instead, they now say, the episode is likely to define the limits of U.S. security policy in Mexico for years to come.

    The utter incompetence of Team Trump will haunt us for years.

  12. New Deal democrat

    As of this week:

    The 20 day moving average of payroll tax withholding payments is only up 1.2% YoY as of Wednesday (this information can be found online at the Daily Treasury Statement).

    The American Staffing Index is up only 0.2% YoY, the worst reading since January 2021.

    Consumer Spending as measured by Redbook, which was up 20% YoY early this year, is only up 5.7% (I.e., less than YoY CPI), the worst comparison since early March 2021.

    Note also that the Weekly Economic Index measured between 0 and +1.50 during the first few months of the Great Recession.

  13. pgl

    Whatever happened to those 2018 Trump tariffs on imported aluminum and steel?

    The World Trade Organization ruled on Friday that former President Donald Trump violated global trade rules in 2018 when he invoked national security concerns to justify his tariffs on steel and aluminum products from around the world. The Biden administration strongly condemned the decision, which it said was further proof that the WTO dispute settlement system is in need of fundamental reform. It also said it would not remove the duties that Trump imposed.

    Politico provided a link to this:

  14. pgl

    So what’s the reason for certain MAGA Republicans condemning the release of Brittney Grimes. They do not want to tell us their reason is they hate black athletes who stand up for the rights of blacks especially when that athlete is woman married to another woman. But John Bolton has this for any of these racist homophobes who tell us that Paul Whelan is still in a Russian prison:

    Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has revealed that Donald Trump turned down the chance to secure Paul Whelan’s release two years ago – despite the former president claiming to be outraged over the Biden administration’s deal which freed Brittney Griner but left the US marine in Russian custody.

    The real reason Whelan is still in a Russian prison is Donald Trump – the ultimate racist homophobe.

  15. joseph

    “Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced on Friday that she would leave the Democratic Party and become an independent, unsettling the party divide anew just days after Democrats secured an expanded majority in the Senate.

    Good riddance.”

    Not quite. Democrats still need her and it seems that she will continue to caucus with the Democrats just like Independents Bernie Sanders and Angus King. The reason this is important is that there is a big difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate. In the 50-50 Senate, all committees have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans but in a 51-49 Senate, Democrats get a tie breaking seat on each committee.

    Having a committee tie breaker is important because otherwise Republicans can gum up the works by keeping issues tied up in committee, for example judicial nominations. There are complicated procedural ways around this by forcing votes to the floor, but they are very time consuming and that means fewer Biden judges.

    So Democrats are stuck with Sinema for the next two years.

    1. Macroduck

      If Sinema caucuses with Democrats, the committee balance is the same as if she calls herself a Democrat. I think that’s what you said, but I wanna be sure.

      Just a guess – Sinema is attempting to hold on to the same sort of power she had when there was a 50/50 split. Her timing suggests the change in that split triggered her decision. The House is going to be in Republcan hands, assuming Republicans can figure out how a majority works. Sinema’s “neither fish now fowl” routine may be an effort to set herself up as a bridge between the Democratic majority in the Senate and the Republcan majority (?) in the House.

      Probably toast in the next election, either way, but this way she avoids going down in the primary.

  16. Erik Poole

    MC: Thank you! Easy to understand, easy to assess.

    This has to be the best ‘live commentary on US economic growth I have ever come across.

  17. Erik Poole

    Macroduck wrote December 8, 2022 at 3:11 pm:

    “A slowdown is exactly what informed Individuals would expect, given a number of factors. ….”

    I agree with all your points (see post well above). I would add a couple of factors.

    1. The COVID-19 pandemic is still driving supply shortages and a more than a few bottlenecks. Poor policy options, see China, could be part of that mix.

    2. Westerns sanctioned levied on Russia in the wake of the February 2022 invasion have acted to curtail global supply of numerous commodities. The only Atlantic Alliance member leader talking about a post-conflict future is President Macron of France. For the moment, it seems to be a rather safe assumption that there is no appetite for peace negotiations with the Russians. Assuming this conflict drags many months or years, that could continue to add high commodity price pain.


    In passing, the only economic pressure that might work against the Russians would be to throw the entire global economy into a severe recession. Aggregate global demand for commodities would plummet. I am not in a position to say if that is something that people might consider worthwhile doing. The game is similar to how dominant cartel members can be thought of maintaining cartel discipline — through across the board punishment.

    For those who wish to pursue non-military means to pressure the Russians to withdraw or negotiate “in better faith”, and possibly both, this is the way to do it. The direct economic and financial sanctions will indeed cause significant pain but not enough to influence near-term Russian strategic and tactical decisions.

    1. Ivan

      I would say the economic pressure on the Russians is working unless you define “working” as collapsing their economy right now (forcing them out of Ukraine). It was never realistic to think sanctions alone could cause Russia so much economic pain that they would drop the war in Ukraine for that reason. The economic pain is part of a comprehensive pain package that eventually will push Putin/Russia to make a realistic peace offer.

      Russia cannot afford to equip or pay their soldiers and have made very expensive commitments to veterans for the future. Their main income source of hydrocarbon sales has been modestly reduced in the short run and substantially in the long run. By keeping oil at $80-100 per barrel we have turbocharged the switch away from oil without allowing the Russians to increase their oil income. Forcing Russia to sell its natural gas as liquified (making Russia less competitive) has substantially deprived them income, both immediately and in the long run.

      Biden has brilliantly used this crisis to deprive Russia of a sustainable world power status and move the west away from hydrocarbon energy faster and better than any “green power” legislation could have done.


      If there was a severe recession, it would have already happened and Russian commodities have been replaced. C ovid shortages are long over.

    3. Macroduck

      You raise the possibility of structurally higher inflation. We might want to think about a shift in Europe’s underlying inflation relative to the U.S. Here’s a not-very-reliable picture:

      The U.S. is energy self-sufficient, give or take. Europe is not. Europe’s energy and factory infrastructure is now badly matched to supply and in need of lots of investment. Europe may be embarking on an increase in military spending relative to GDP. Those factors may induce an upward shift in structural inflation. That, in turn, would probably mean a persistent upward shift in policy rates and interest rates in general.

      Living near Russia is expensive. This is gonna suck.

  18. Macroduck

    A picture from this week’s productivity report:

    Unit labor cost growth has lagged the rise in CPI since the end of the recession. Unit profits have climbed faster than unit labor cost and inflation since the end of the recession. So obviously, labor costs are driving inflation. That must be why Powell wants the unemployment rate to rise – but only just enough.

    I have read several times lately that arguing that excess profits are driving inflation is senseless, not because it’s untrue, but because business exists to maximize profit. Sounds so sophisticated, right? It’s in all the economics books.

    Somebody has been spending too much time near the Kool Aid bowl. The textbook also says we all attempt to maximize utility. Sure, for business, that means maximizing profit. But workers have just as much right to maximize, and for workers, that means an optimal combination of income and leisure. Sauce for the goose…

    I know profits will fall when employment does; the Fed isn’t going to take income away from workers and hand it to owners – not directly. The Fed is going to take income from both. But the Fed’s rhetoric might as well be “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers.”

  19. pgl

    I guess being able to cut sweetheart deals for Apple with Chinese manufacturers is not license to make crude jokes:

    The Apple executive in charge of trying to keep the tech giant’s costs down in China, is still hurting after he was fired in September after making a joke that was captured on TikTok. Months ago Apple confirmed Tony Blevins, 55, was departing Apple after 22 years following dozens of reports and complaints from several hundred employees over the viral video uploaded on September 5. The departure came at the same time as a chain of events that impacted Apple’s supply chain in China, due to the country’s continued harsh Covid-19 related protocols. Blevins, the company’s vice president of procurement, was referred to as ‘Tim Cook’s cost cutter.’ In a new interview, Blevins said he thinks his firing was the result of Apple bowing to ‘broader cultural pressure.’ Speaking about his firing, Blevins said: ‘They humiliated me and damaged my reputation.’

    I guess Blevins thinks he is Dudley Moore. He isn’t and maybe he should take a little responsibility for damaging his own reputation.

  20. ltr

    December 7, 2022

    COP15 Biodiversity Conference requires all hands on deck
    By Alexander Ayertey Odonkor

    The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has been delayed for over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finally commenced on December 7 in Montreal, Canada. From December 7-19, a host of scientists, activists and government officials from around the globe are expected to agree on a new set of goals for nature over the next decade, via the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process.

    The framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action, aimed at bringing about the needed transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity, a stepping stone towards the 2050 shared vision of living in harmony with nature.  By providing a strategic vision and global roadmap for the protection, restoration, conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade, the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework is crucial to the existence of the variety of living species on Earth, now and into the future.

    Known to support all life and maintain balance on the planet, biodiversity, which refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including humans, animals, plants, as well as microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria, provides life-supporting ecosystem services, which includes the provision of food and medicine, fresh water and clean air. Concurrently, biodiversity provides largely invisible services such as nutrient cycling, pollination, water filtration and flood protection – all of which are so vital to food and water security – these indispensable functions are crucial to sustainable development.

    In other words, nature underpins human well-being and all economic activities – a report * (2021) prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the G7 Presidency of the United Kingdom, shows that about $44 trillion of economic value generation – representing, more than 50 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) – is moderately or highly dependent on nature.

    Nonetheless, human activity, mainly land-use changes (primarily for large-scale food production and urban sprawl) and overexploitation is destroying natural capital at an unprecedented rate, posing considerable yet often overlooked risks to not only the global economy, but to the health and well-being of current and future generations.

    Consistently, the world has produced physical and human capital, largely at the expense of its most important asset, which is, natural capital – from 1992 to 2014, the accounting value of produced capital per head doubled and human capital per head increased by 13 percent, but, the value of natural capital stocks per head dropped by 40 percent, as a result of unsustainable rates of natural resource extraction, pollution and environmental degradation.

    As the world confronts unparalleled and accelerating rate of biodiversity loss that undermines the ecosystem services upon which humanity depends, in fact, the global leadership, spearheaded by the COP15 is at the crossroads – populations of vertebrates declined on average by 69 percent, since 1970, and 25 percent of the world’s remaining species are threatened with extinction as vast areas of marine, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems have been destroyed or degraded – with this gloomy picture, how can COP15 halt and reverse the trend? Especially, when none of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity targets set out in 2010 at the COP10 in Nagoya, Japan was met by 2020.

    To be candid, the panacea to global biodiversity loss does not rest solely on the shoulders of a few countries, neither is it characterized by singularly tackling peculiar challenges across certain fronts. It requires bold, interdependent and scaled up global, regional and national actions to transform existing social, economic and financial models that have failed to address biodiversity loss. If carried out, this integrated approach could ensure to protect, restore, conserve and ensure global sustainable management of biodiversity….


    1. ltr

      November 13, 2022

      Environmental protection boosts growth of wetland areas in China

      Wetland areas in China are flourishing thanks to efforts to reclaim and safeguard crucial habitats for endangered species. Seven Chinese cities were among 25 from 13 countries accredited as international wetland cities by the Ramsar Convention on November 10.

      Jining City in east China’s coastal Shandong Province, a newly accredited international wetland city, has 32 wetland towns, 56 wetland villages and 124 micro-wetlands. The city has made great strides in preserving its environment, particularly its lakes and wetlands, in order to achieve harmony between humans and nature.

      Jining, as one of the most important centers along the Grand Canal – a lifeline to transport grains from the south to the north in ancient China – is home to endangered bird species such as Reed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis heudei) and Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri), which is listed as a critically endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list.

      “We combine wetland protection with the improvement of people’s living environment to give full play to the service function of wetland ecosystems. Jining is now implementing a three-year action plan for ecological protection in the Nansi Lake Basin, aiming to make the water environment clean, clear to beautiful and to promote ecological protection and high-quality development of places along the Grand Canal,” said Wang Xinyou, deputy director of the Jining Municipal Bureau of Natural Resources and Planning.

      In neighboring Jiangsu Province, Yancheng City has two wetlands of international importance and is the country’s first Natural World Heritage coastal wetlands site. The city is home to China’s largest wetland nature reserve, covering 582 kilometers of coastline and 769,700 hectares of wetland.

      “Following a principle of ‘from nature, to nature’, Yancheng has carried out habitat protection for rare and endangered bird species such as the spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea) and construction of ecological islands….

  21. pgl

    Bruce Hall and his pet poodle CoRev want us to believe “energy” prices are high because of some factor known as Biden. But wait – Brucie told us gasoline prices are back down as are oil prices. So I challenged these two to talk about US natural gas prices. Now I did learn one thing about CoRev – he does not know the difference between the end of the month price v. the average price over the month. But yea – we all know his is not a very bright little poodle.

    But why are we wasting time talking about the average price in November when Henry Hub prices are quoted daily. As in the price reported for December 5, 2022 which was only $4.15 per million btu.

    I hate to tell our favorite trolls but that is not that high. I guess we can credit that factor known as Biden.

    1. CoRev

      Ole Bark, bark wants the ignoranti to believe “that December 5, 2022 which was only $4.15 per million btu” is lower than on Jan 20, 2021 when Biden was inaugurated when it was $2.454:×474.jpg

      Or you could refer to this chart: ( selection criteria 10Yr daily, by president, non-log) which clearly shows the impact of Biden’s policies after inauguration. The chart ends with Biden’s prices still 50% higher than when inaugurated.

      Is there any more stoopid commenter/er: “But why are we wasting time talking about the average price in November when Henry Hub prices are quoted daily.” Because those are the examples which you proposed.

      Remember this is the commenter who wants us to focus on (negative) externalities, a sub-sub-sub category of the overall category of cost/benefits for fossil fuel. For those who can not or will not understand the logic, the categories under discussion is 1) cost/ benefits, 2) direct/indirect cost/benefits, 3) positive/negative external costs.

      Yes, we have been discussing the overall cost & benefits for fossil fuels. Without evidence some here are ASSERTING (just for MD) that externalities, a sub-sub-sub category of the overall category, have costs exceeds that of the overall category.

      That’s so illogical to be ludicrous. Where’s the evidence?

      1. pgl

        Gee Obama left Trump with this price being only $3.68 and by Nov. 2018 Trump magically increased it to $5.45. Now what were those magical Trump policies that led to this increase.

        Yea Trump managed to get these prices to fall in large part because of weak aggregate demand. Brilliant move by Trump to let a pandemic get out of control so we could see lower natural gas prices.

  22. Macroduck

    Interesting news on China’s real estate mess – big credit lines have been opened to keep real estate firms afloat. Big as in $460 billion:

    China has loosened Covid restrictions and kicked the real estate collapse down the road, all in a couple of weeks. Time to upgrade China’s near-term growth outlook and downgrade the view of near-term credit risk. Run that through the global economy and credit markets for a modest improvement in outlook. China CDS rates have improved since late October after a sharp rise. If you count from the start of mass protests in Guangzhou, the timing doesn’t match anti-lockdown protests. Start from protests in Tibet -mostly Han Chinese – and CDS swings are arguably a response to demonstrations and then relaxing of Covid restrictions. May see a further improvement now.

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