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Morning Review of the Day Before (Sept. 15, 2016)

Random Fact: September is the National Bourbon Heritage Month (and it is also the Mid-Autumn Festival across Chinese communities) Something to quench your thirst or addiction: (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/15/how-to-celebrate-national-bourbon-heritage-month.html)  Maybe down some mooncakes with bourbon (http://qz.com/781802/the-fruitcake-of-the-east-hong-kong-will-throw-out-a-million-mooncakes-this-mid-autumn-festival/)

Morning Review of the Day Before (aka What Caught My Eye)

  1. Macro WTF: Paul Romer – NYU & Chief Economist at WB: The Trouble With Macroeconomics (https://paulromer.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WP-Trouble.pdf)
    • Highlight: This Romer critique is super wonky so I will attempt ‘brevity’. In short, macroeconomists work in groups and their egos forbid them from admitting glaring errors especially when their star leaders fail after initial successes. With popular macroeconomic models, the biggest issue is “facts with unknown truth value (FWUTV)” or commonly known as “bullshit”.
      • More reading: In order to justify a model and its time series data as consistent facts, uncertain or unknown data is assumed or deduced using past probabilities of constraints and parameters, or willed away all together. This leads to bullshit data results because empirical and experimental attempts at the unknown data reveals different or incomplete conclusions. The models are consistent because of the overusage of historical parameters undergoing a mathematically sound process. The math is correct but the results do not reflect reality unless the model is a perfect image of reality. However, macroeconomic models are defended because of a near cult like desire to defend ones ego and “friend” instead of the discipline leading to real world consequences.
  2. Chinese Diaspora: EastAsia Forum: The Chinese diaspora’s role in the rise of China (http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/09/14/the-chinese-diasporas-role-in-the-rise-of-china/)
    • Highlight: “The changing nature of overseas Chinese communities and their relationship to China is a subject that deserves further exploration, not least due to the growing political attention it is attracting.”
  3. Nocturnal Clowns!?: BBC – Creepy nocturnal clown sightings leave US police baffled (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37365762)
    • Highlight: The title says it all, and holy jeebus what’s happening in those woods. Where are the clowns coming from!? — “Nocturnal clowns have been spotted in at least six states, most recently in Georgia where two young boys ran in fear of their lives while waiting for the morning school bus.”
  4. RMB again Bloomberg -China’s Yuan Faces a Rocky Road to Becoming a Truly Global Currency (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-14/china-s-redback-awaits-pride-of-place-with-dollar-rome-s-aureus)
    • Highlight: This is part of the goal since it makes economic statecraft so much easier. — “Such risks run both ways. If the yuan, also known as the renminbi, were to become a major reserve currency it could leave the world’s financial system even more vulnerable to an economic shock that’s made in China. That would add to trade linkages that already make regional neighbors vulnerable to Chinese cyclical swings and supply-chain changes.”
      • More reading: The biggest gainer is Eswar Prasad’s book being mentioned, “Gaining Currency. The Rise of the Renminbi.”
  5. Wonky Political Uncertainty University of Chicago – Elections, Policymaking, and Economic Uncertainty (https://bfi.uchicago.edu/events/elections-policymaking-and-economic-uncertainty)
    • Highlight: Again, I’ll attempt brevity. The event had a lot of high profile speakers and papers (when isn’t there). Papers presented include: political polarity  occurs more because of trade shocks to employment, political uncertainty drives economic policy uncertainty, and big data experiments find political uncertainties reflected in business jargon directly impact company business decisions and bottom line. It’s not the University of Chicago if speakers didn’t advocate for reduction of entitlements, constraint and reduce government, and double if not triple check regulatory cost-benefits.


Notes: If there are suggestions, please let me know by reply, email, or twitter. 

Morning Links (Sept. 14, 2016 – 1st Edition)

Everything is an experiment. I am trying to see what might work as a daily (periodical) habit and schedule of posts. For starters, I’ll  try to provide a morning brief (if for others, at least for myself). There can never be a shortage of lists and summaries. Never ending things to read.

Morning Review of the Day Before

  1. Pew: Hostile Neighbors: China vs. Japan – View each other as arrogant, violent; disagree on WWII legacy (http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/09/13/hostile-neighbors-china-vs-japan/)
    • Highlight: “Just 11% of Japanese express a favorable view of China today. For their part, the Chinese likewise have little regard for Japan. Today, only 14% voice a favorable opinion of their Asian neighbor, in line with the average of available data over the past decade.”
  2. IMF: ASEAN-5 Cluster Report: Evolution of Monetary Policy Frameworks (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2016/cr16176.pdf)
    • Highlight: “There is no single criterion to identify credit booms in the [economic] literature…” Initial methods to identify credit booms before the Asian Financial Crisis failed to reveal significant signs of credit market stress in subsequent corrections and crisis including the Global Financial Crisis.
  3. BBC – Making babies without eggs may be possible, say scientists (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37337215)
    • Highlight: The title says it all but here: “The findings in Nature Communications, could, in the distant future, mean women can be removed from the baby-making process, say the researchers.”
  4. Bloomberg -Why Supermarket Bacon Hides Its Glorious Fat (https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-bacon-package-product-design/)
    • Highlight: “It’s hard to think of another package that engages in such a clever sleight of hand on the front and then gives away the game on the back. One thing a package does is transform a commodity into an idea, or a bundle of desires.”
  5. New York Times – Theater’s Evolving Role in China and Taiwan (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/world/asia/china-taiwan-theater-stan-lai.html)
    • Highlight: “That is why artists in Taiwan today naturally gravitate away from dealing with political issues.”

Why Blog?

Why do people from all walks of life create blogs (or even bother to write)?

Writing, blogging, or whatever forms of communication is a platform to express ideas, random thoughts, and concerns. Blogging is the platform I like because it can be more personal and free of certain restrictions.

My goal for this blog is to create a platform for: random walks through my mind, pooling of thoughts, and experiment with nifty tools. I do not know what exact topics would populate my blog but it will definitely focus on geoeconomics, international political economy, and the Asia-Pacific (including the US). A lot of times I will also focus on how to pull these thoughts into macro investing especially as I try to figure out what works.

Long gone are the days when blogs and similar personal journals (like Livejournal) were meant to talk about random day-to-day stuff. In place, blogs saw a resurgence from being a storage of aggregated daily links to a notebook of personal thoughts and insights to fostering new services and communities [i.e. Economonitor (Roubini Global Economics), FT Alphaville (as experimentation for the FT)].

Here are also two blog posts that talk about the importance of blogging:

Mentioning Twitter, there are many thoughts out in the public sphere debating on the profitability of the platform to how it manages itself. Outside of the politically charged debates on its objectivity to financial survival, the reality is that Twitter remains a great place for journalists, experts, academics and the curious public to throw thoughts around albeit attached with cynical banter.

As a final thought, I have chosen to return to blogs after people I meet say time-over-time that I should blog even if it is talking to the wall in the beginning. Instead of contemplation, I am going to try this. The only issue is keeping this as a good habit (I somehow got myself dedicated to checking Twitter and using it daily) but it is hard. In truth, I tried blogging a few years back with amazing results surprising a lot of people (assumptions without actually asking is almost always wrong) but never got to keep the habit of writing for any blog.
Thanks for staying with my long-winded first post. Now, I hope that I can make a good habit with a consistent schedule. To end, technology for all sorts of communications has come a long way since I first saw blogging/digital media (a story for another post).

Welcome to my world!