Saturday, April 25, 2015

Varoufakis and Stiglitz


If you've been pondering the "Greece Crisis" and/or proffering opinions on teh ebil Sociamalists, you might want to first watch this:






Some weekend reading


Here's some stuff:


Equitable Growth - monopsony and market power in the labour market. And that's yet another contributor to secular stagnation: the constant erosion of labour power until consumer demand enters a final death spiral.

WSJ Real Time Economics - strong religious beliefs stifle innovation. No shit, eh? You idiots just figure this out now? Or have you finally decided, after 30 years of inroads by loony fundamentalist idiots, that it's finally time to quit indulging them and start fighting back?

Mining.com - Barrick faces fresh opposition to executive pay plan. Hmm. Any idea why that might be, Johnny boy? I mean, just look at all the value you and your board have added to this company!:


I mean, your $13 million compensation last year was only 0.1% of ABX's market cap! That's awfully fair considering the value they're getting from you, right? Eh, John-boy?


And because the Frank Giustra/Hillary thing is now a thing, I've condensed the entire story down to this:

Talking Points - NYT sheds light on its deal with conservative author. So basically, the Giustra-Clinton story is only being rehashed by the New York Times because they signed a deal to promote a smear book full of lies and distortions by Peter Schweizer, a Republican propagandist and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large. There's your paper of record, America!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

And yet again, some evening news


I bought a fancy 10" tablet for extra-cheap today, for reading.

And I'm finally getting registered to start my economics degree this summer. One year for a BA, a second year for the Honours BA, and then I'll start my investment newsletter. Ha! That'll be fun.

Til then, here's yet more news:


Bespoke - little sentiment change despite A GODDAMN ALLTIME NEW HIGH. Do you think these AAII numbers will change now?


New Deal Demoncrat - it really was the weather and the oil patch. In case you've been reading some clueless blogger who's been sarcastically mocking the idea that Q1 weakness was due to the oil patch and the weather, NDD provides you with actual hard data. You can go with the smarmy idiot blogger, or you can go with real data: it's up to you.


Vox EU - secular stagnation in the US. Quote:
Causes of US secular supply stagnation

Four factors account for the stagnation of purchasing power in the US economy: 1) declining labour share; 2) depleted capital; 3) reduced productivity growth; and 4) declining labour-force participation. I will discuss indexes that capture each of these factors in turn using indices that all start at unity in 1989. An index of total purchasing power from earnings is the result of multiplying the four indexes together.
I'll take (1), Alex. (2) is merely caused by (1), (4) is a result of (1) signalling to workers that they may as well not bother working because nobody's going to be paying them a living wage, and (3) is the result of the victory of the kleptocrats generally - which is also the main cause of (1).


Rortybomb - short-termism in the market. And short-termism is also caused by the victory of Republican kleptocrats.

Y'know, maybe someday Summers and K-dog and all them will fucking realize that this SecStag story is just another word for the economic destruction wrought by idiot Republican policy and kleptocratic rentierism. Then maybe those fucking bourgeois pretenders can join me on the real left wing.


There's your US market breakout, now buy it!


There.

 QQQ breaks out to a new all-time high. Now buy it, Whitey. Unless maybe you don't like making a 10% profit in 2 months? Is that it?


SPY breaks out to a new all-time high. So quit whining about Q1 growth, you white-ass honky cracker who wouldn't know economics if it punched you in your tiny white-boy dick.

Meanwhile:


Transports were quite weak end of March, for no particular reason. I had actually taken the bottoming out in early April as a possible signal that the rest of the markets would break out. Kind of a reverse Dow Theory signal.


Because I'm better than those white-ass honky crackers you be givin' your money to, yo.


Why I'm hopeful on miners: a chart


One reason I was so hopeful about gold and GDX on my previous post is this:


Instead of breaking down, Barfight CEO Gold is instead threatening to break above the SMA(50).

Which means nothing til it means something. But for a crappy miner like this, with a crappy chart like this, the fact that it's not behaving crappily on the past 2 days' shenanigans in the gold price is positive. Hopefully sellers will eventually tire out and this stock can start going up. I mean, it's not as if they're losing money, right?

In fact, on the US chart above, this is a great place to average down: add to your position today, and use $1.50 as a point where you can stop out if the stock ends up turning down. On the Canadian chart, it's even better: buy below $1.94 and use $1.86 as a stop point, there's a really solid line of support there.

Which is probably why the chart is looking so good to me. So maybe it's not good after all, you never know. Maybe it's just dummies doubling down on BTO that's holding it up.

Now all I need is for MUX to stop sucking too. Their chart sucks more than BTO's.

Oh and Dalradian, which looks okay, just a consolidation, but even still it'd be nice to see these asshats move up for a change.

At least I didn't do something boneheaded like shorting Royal Bank. Eh, Verdmont?


Looks like you shoulda gone long, not short, Verdmont!

Verdmont?

Hey, Verdmont!


Gold and miners status report


Some charts.

I think I'll just repost stuff from IKN from now on


Bronte Capital - on Narinder Singh Sarao being small fry. Via IKN.

I'd just like to point out that anyone who's ever even watched the L2 of a junior miner knows for a fact that we're being spoofed constantly.

I've personally made a lot of (small-fry intraday) trade money on this with a few stocks. IIRC, Mag Silver used to be like this; DPM still is like this today.

I met a guy at PDAC a few years ago who was a pro-level trader (i.e. not some dick like me with a discount broker account and ooh wow L2 access) who could explain the details of how it was done. And he was just some schmo, so it's damn well common knowledge.

Basically any junior that moves >5% in a day is being pushed around by market manipulators, and any exploreco whose ask book dries up and walks away from you the minute you place a limit buy order is being pushed around by market manipulators.

The OSC and BCSC regularly read my blog, so I'm sure absolutely fuck-all will ever be done about this.


Yawn, Frank Giustra, yawn


IKN - OMG I just found out Frank Giustra hangs out with the Clintons! You're a little late to the frickin' party, dude! Check out the following:


NYT Jan 2008 - after mining deal, financier donated to Clinton. And its rebuttal:

Forbes Jan 2009 - Clinton commits no foul in Kazakhstan uranium deal.


The real news story here is that because Sarah McLachlan, via her bf Geoff Courtnall, is now hanging out with all these junior mining people:


and because Hitlary (ha ha! Was I the first to use that? Oh I'm so clever!) really faces no competition for the presidency, certainly not from the gene-pool rejects on the loony right wing, this means that Sarah, via Frank, will soon be in a position to influence American policy regarding abused puppies.

Hooray!


Here, let me quote Rosengren in detail


Since you didn't read it, you lazy-ass white honky cracker, here's the relevant bits:

WSJ Real Time Economics - you're still not listening to Rosengren you dumb-ass cracker. Quote:

WSJ: Maybe the Fed shouldn’t be talking about an exit, because it is making it harder to achieve one.

ROSENGREN: Our goal is not to surprise anyone. We shouldn’t be specific about timing. We should be specific about what we need in order to actually be doing something. The last statement highlighted that we needed further improvement in labor markets and we need to be reasonably confident that inflation is moving back to 2%. If we start getting economic data consistent with those conditions then I would expect market conditions to move. We don’t want to surprise people. We want to make it pretty clear that we are getting closer to the conditions where it makes sense to do that.

Economic data have come in much weaker in the first quarter than we might have expected. The employment report was weak. Most private-sector forecasts for first quarter [gross domestic product] indicate that it will be even slower than the 2.2% [growth] we saw in the previous quarter. That wasn’t anticipated in most forecasts. Economic data has a tendency to sometimes surprise us. We’ll have to see if these factors are temporary or whether it is a broader reflection of what is happening globally. That is why we can’t be specific on dates. We can only be specific about the kinds of economic conditions where a tighter policy would be appropriate.

[..]

WSJ: Given the developments that we’ve been talking about, the slowdown in the first quarter, the jobs numbers, the risk of slow growth overseas, has the probability of the first interest-rate move occurring in 2016 rather than 2015 increased in your view?

ROSENGREN: If we get an outcome that is consistent with the forecast of a pickup in the next three quarters, that would be an environment where it may be consistent with raising rates later this year. It is in the forecast. It is not in the data. If we continue to have data that look like less than 2% growth, that would not be an environment that you would expect to produce a tightening in labor markets. That wouldn’t be an environment where you would necessarily see inflation moving to 2%. Then that would be the condition that we would have to defer any monetary-policy tightening. That is a different outcome than most baseline forecasts, including my own.

WSJ: So it would take more forecast revisions?

ROSENGREN: Most of the economic forecasts that you see from the private sector are expecting inflation to move towards 2% and the labor market to continue to tighten. We actually have to see those forecasts being realized. Those forecasts by and large, the last several years, have had that same component, and they haven’t actually been realized.

My God, he's handing it to you people.

Seriously, he's given Whitey the fucking essay questions for the final exam and still Whitey is too damn stupid to figure out what he's supposed to do.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yet more newsbits


And even more reading:

Calculated Risk - chemical activity barometer rises for fourth straight month. A minor leading indicator for manufacturing, and it's still going up.


WSJ Real Time Economics - Fed's Rosengren explains everything, not that anyone will bother to listen. Seriously. Fucking read this. Then stand amazed at how fucking idiotic THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES IS for failing to pay attention to his exact and clear explanation of when rates are going to rise.


The Krugginator - airbrushing austerity. K-dog holds the right-wing wackaloons' feet to the fire again:
Sorry, but no — that’s not how it happened. When I wrote about fear of invisible bond vigilantes and belief in the confidence fairy, I wasn’t inventing stuff out of thin air.

David Cameron didn’t say “Hey, we think recovery is well in hand, so it’s time to start a modest program of fiscal consolidation.” He said “Greece stands as a warning of what happens to countries that lose their credibility.” Jean-Claude Trichet didn’t say “Yes, we understand that fiscal consolidation is negative, but we believe that by the time it bites economies will be nearing full employment”. He said "As regards the economy, the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect … confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery, because confidence is the key factor today."

I can understand why a lot of people would like to pretend, perhaps even to themselves, that they didn’t think and say the things they thought and said. But they did.
You have to keep publicly reminding stupid people that they are stupid, or else they might forget how stupid they are.


Bloomberg View - the IMF's big Greek mistake. Quote:
Greece's onerous obligations to the IMF, the European Central Bank and European governments can be traced back to April 2010, when they made a fateful mistake. Instead of allowing Greece to default on its insurmountable debts to private creditors, they chose to lend it the money to pay in full.

At the time, many called for immediately restructuring privately held debt, thus imposing losses on the banks and investors who had lent money to Greece. Among them were several members of the IMF’s board and Karl Otto Pohl, a former president of the Bundesbank and a key architect of the euro. The IMF and European authorities responded that restructuring would cause global financial mayhem. As Pohl candidly noted, that was merely a cover for bailing out German and French banks, which had been among the largest enablers of Greek profligacy.
and
Almost everyone now agrees that pushing Greece to pay its private creditors was a bad idea. The required fiscal austerity was simply too great, causing the economy to collapse. The IMF acknowledged the error in a 2013 report on Greece. In a recent staff paper, the fund said that when a crisis threatens to spread, it should seek a collective global solution rather than forcing the distressed economy to bear the entire burden. The IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, has warned that more austerity will crush growth.
Now, with that, read this next article:


Simon Wren-Lewis - Greece: of parents and children. This about sums it up:
Chris Giles has a recent FT article where he describes how non-Greek policymakers (lets still call them the Troika) see themselves like parents trying to deal with the “antics” of the problem child, Syriza in Greece. He splits these parents into different types: those that want to act as if the child is grown up (though they believe they are not), those who want to be disciplinarians etc. As a description of how the Troika view themselves, and present themselves to the public, the analogy rings true. It certainly accords with the constant stream of articles in the press predicting an impending crisis because the Greeks ‘refuse to be reasonable’.

[...]

So why do the Troika insist on continuing with brinkmanship? Can it be that this is really about ensuring that an elected government that challenges the dominant Eurozone political and economic ideology must be forced to fail?
I think you answered your own question there, dude.


Reuters - 2015 monsoon expected to be below average. Oh poop. Quote:
Rains are expected to be 93 percent of a long-term average
Oh, okay. 93% isn't a big deal. Past data suggests you've got to drop quite a bit below that before agricultural yield is negatively impacted.


Question about Batman The Dark Knight Rises: WHAT THE FUCK?


Okay, this has been bugging me.

I've been getting older. There's no Alzheimer's in my family whatsoever, but my dad had an old age Parkinsonism or pseudo-Parkinsonism caused by old age diabetes. And I did do a lot of drugs in my youth.

So imagine my concern when I watched Batman: The Dark Knight Rises a couple days ago, and found myself utterly fucking unable to follow the movie.

I mean I'm being honest here.

I had to remind myself that I was only drinking diet Dr. Pepper, no booze. I had enough sleep that day. I've been eating healthy. So why is it I couldn't even follow the fucking plot, or even figure out if there was one?

There were characters suddenly appearing and disappearing, and I had no clue who they were.

Other characters were instantly disappearing from one place and then reappearing somewhere else.

The motivations of all the characters were utterly indecipherable to me.

OK, I found the Roger Ebert review, and this makes me feel better:
All of these characters and their activities produce stretches in the first half of the film during which, frankly, I was not entirely sure who was doing what and with which and to whom. The movie settles in for its sensational second half, however, although not everybody will be able to precisely explain the deep stone well where Bane imprisons Bruce Wayne.
Yeah, I mean it's nice and all for the blatantly homosexual bad guy to dump Batman in a deep well that only one person ever got out of, specifically to taunt him with his helplessness as Gotham is destroyed, but...

The fuck, why? Why bother? Is your little Shadows club really so fucking important that you can't just kill the people who piss you off?

I mean come on, gay gimp-mask dude! You had to tunnel under the city for months on end, attack a stock exchange, blow up every bridge and tunnel out of town, blow up a stadium, steal some sort of Bruce Wayne infinite power device, turn that into a neutron bomb, stick it in some gay futuristic car that never stops driving, steal all of Bruce Wayne's other stuff... for what?

So for this entire clusterfuck of a movie, I was asking myself one of the following questions at every minute:

1. Who the fuck is this person here? Seriously, where did they just come from?
2. Why is this guy doing this? I don't recognize this as any sort of human motivation, either real or fantastical.
3. Wait, why is this thing happening? Why when you have a neutron bomb do you stick it on a truck that's always driving around town?
4. Who am I supposed to root for? Everyone seems evil - vacuously evil, clueless nobodies.

Oh and of course

5. Oh isn't it just a big coinkydink that the muscular gay face-mask evil villain guy decides to go all Occupy Wall Street? I mean, so the rich billionaires and their cop lackeys are all heroes, but every average joe in NYC Gotham is a slavering Maoist who's just waiting for the opportunity to turn his city into some sort of class-war version of a failed state? Really?

Batman: Dark Knight Rises is so insufferably fucking incompetent, stupid and ponderous that I'm going to have to watch Inception again tonight, just to make sure I still can follow a complex story and I'm not going fucking senile.



Some evening news


Some longer political-economics pieces for your edumacation:


Jared Bernstein - faster productivity growth won't raise middle-class incomes. Or lower class incomes either, Jared you bourgeois scum. But yes, there's no mechanism handing any particular share of productivity growth to the workers - I mean, we used to have that to some extent with unions, but then the Republicans banned them - so why should any of us care about boosting productivity? It'll just end up being yet more dollars stuffed into numbered Guernsey accounts.



Conversable Economist - what EU single market? It's not a single market but a goddamn kludge serving the kleptocratic elite:
On one side, EU countries make strong statements about their commitment to the European project, and at some level they mean it. But when push comes to shove in domestic politics, there remains a strong desire for national control over all sorts of regulations, prodded by national-level interest groups that like limited competition and public monopolies and also play a large role in the electoral fortunes of national politicians.

But as the EU economy staggers along with barely positive economic growth and an unemployment rate that has been above 10% for the last three years (and of course is much worse in certain countries), it's time to recognize that Europe's productivity problems are about more than government debt and managing the euro-zone. Indeed, even if the gains to European productivity are small in the short-term and only emerge over time, there is good reason to believe that moving toward a single market could help to ease some of the macroeconomic stresses created by having such different economies sharing the single euro currency.
Yeah good luck with that. It reminds me of this book I'm reading right now, Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law. The central thesis is that "globalization" is only globalization of capital: global workers have utterly no right to freely cross borders looking for the best deal for labour, it's all about capital crossing borders to look for the best deal for capital. Well, similarly the EU is a capital globalization zone that refuses to allow workers to cross borders. How the hell can such a grafted-together monstrosity possibly see growth?


Bloomberg View - China will keep growing because it has to. This fellow seems to be someone who actually knows something about China:
As the U.S. and the U.K. grew into industrial powers in the 19th century, they were tripped up every 10 to 20 years by financial crises and economic depressions. Measuring from December 1978, when the Chinese Communist Party “shifted its center of gravity from propagandizing class struggle and organizing political campaigns to economic construction,” China is now in its 37th straight year of economic expansion.
That's a good reminder - China hasn't been screwing anything up, have they? So why do you think they're about to this year, Whitey?



Glenn Chan - about the skill of mining CEOs. Damn, he don't mince words:
Investment banks sometimes hire analysts with mining backgrounds. However, every single investment bank missed the Bre-X fraud (whereas the senior miner Freeport McMoran didn’t). Investment banking analysts typically have conflicts of interests with their clients that cause the analysts to overlook how crappy the bank’s secondary offerings and IPOs are. I would not take any of the investment banking analysts seriously.

In general, almost all senior miners have the right technical expertise to value assets because they have mining professionals on staff. However, for political reasons, they sometimes make really dumb investment decisions and chase projects that they know are uneconomic. The CEO may surround himself with “yes men” who bend the numbers to make a project seem economic.
Dayum! And:
Some CEOs like Nolan Watson do not have formal (or informal) training in mine exploration or mine engineering. Despite the lack of mining expertise, they do not hire mining professionals onto their staff. These are the people who make really dumb investments. So far, every single Nolan Watson investment in Sandstorm Metals and Energy has turned out to be a disaster.
Double dayum!



JAPANESE STOCKS HIT 15 YEAR HIGH: here's what you need to ignore


BI - Japanese stocks hit a 15-year high. And as we already saw a couple years ago with the S&P 500, when an index prints a higher high, it keeps going up.

It's likely we could see this upward trend continue in Japan because:

1. Whitey still isn't participating in the Nikkei run-up;

2. China and Japan are both easing, which should drive Asian markets higher.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wondering a little about India and RSIs


India chart, a bit squished up because I wanted a whole year of candles:


On the one hand, the daily chart has the price at -2SD at RSI(20) at 33. That seems, over the past year, to have been a good point to buy India. You usually seem to get rewarded with at least a 10% pop.

Also, $18.25-$18.50 was a pivot back in Nov-Dec, so that might be a support line.


On the other hand, why do I want to buy an India ETF?

Well, Shaoul seems to suggest it might be a good idea.

I wonder if I'll take a position today.


Michael Shaoul on Bloomberg two times


Bloomberg TV - Michael Shaoul TV interview. I tend to discount everything he ever has to say about the Fed, since if Shaoul actually knew so damn much about monetary policy he'd already be working there.

But then he gets into Asia and makes an interesting point: Western hemisphere economies are tossed about by US Fed policy, but in Asia the big fish has now become Chinese policy, and they've just started a loosening cycle.

Add in that Rajan is also looking forward to loosening over the next 2 years, and it might just be that EM and DM Asia together produce a big bull move.

That'd be neat, since I doubt anyone's really paying attention anymore.

Wonder what that would mean for gold demand btw.

Speaking of which,

Bloomberg - Michael Shaoul print interview. And by the way, he says Hong Kong shares are still quite reasonably priced, and he actually pays attention to this stuff unlike the idiot talking heads on CNBC.


Some Tuesday morning news


Here's some stuff:


Real Time Economics - the economy has slowed because the Fed has already tightened. The Krugginator would love this, if only he ever read the WSJ: the Fed has tightened by shifting forward expectations, and the US dollar rise has also produced some tightening.

FT Alphaville - low number of defaults. This bit I found interesting:
Taking defaults by borrowers rated single B as a proxy for high yield, Deutsche finds high yield default rates have been below the long term average for 12 of the last 13 years. Between 1983 to 2002 the average default rate was 6.9 per cent. Since then it has averaged 1.5 per cent a year, and falls below 1 per cent if you exclude the upward blip in 2009.

Or to put it another way, modern risky borrowers haven’t been very risky.
So in other words, there's a perfectly good reason for HY yields to be so low: no risk premium is required. As for the rest of the article, you can ignore it: it's attempting to predict the future based on what's probably a flawed conception of the market cycle. After all, what is going to make HY defaults rise in 2017-2018? Oh, a stock market crash? Aren't we a bit too early in this cycle, growth-wise, to expect a crash? Fed hasn't even started raising rates yet.

Gavyn Davies - the oil shock is a global monetary shock. Good chart in here that shows deflation concerns were at a maximum in January 2015, and have dwindled since, while inflation expectations are finally threatening to pick up again after dwindling since 2012. Wonder if that'll mean anything for gold....

Real Time Economics - India's central bank chief looks for more accommodation. He lays out his longer-term (2 years) path for interest rate cuts. It'd be interesting if India manages to grow strongly in the next few years, what with me being all EM secular bear and all.

Chronicles of Brodrick - gold miners look good here. He thinks gold miners have put in a convincing double bottom and it's all up from here.


gold ex-US is going somewhere soon


Here's a chart of gold ex-US:


The last three days saw the chart settle on the Bollinger mean. Maybe it's a breakdown in the making, or maybe it's just working off the overbought condition that arose a couple Fridays ago.

Dunno which way it's going, but I'd expect it doesn't recover. Physical buying doesn't boost the price of gold til June or so; we're a bit early.

Which reminds me, the first official Indian monsoon forecast should be coming out soonish.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Some Sunday news


Here's some stuff to read:


New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Consumer spending is finally up. Personally I've started spending a lot more money these past couple weeks - bought a pile of new clothes, and am possibly buying a cheap-as-possible tablet for reading this week. It's a good time to go shopping when it's not fucking -20 outside. And I'm a Canadian; those wimp yanks were probably much more beaten down by the cold than I was.


Calculated Risk - existing home sales, Lawler versus consensus. Apparently Tom Lawler is such a good predictor of homes sales figures that the herd tends to revise their predictions whenever his come out; right now he's calling for a large beat in existing home sales. on Wednesday. Personally, I don't see why anyone gets worked up about existing home sales when it's not as if they have any direct impact on the economy. The houses were built a long time ago, remember. But, at least it sets us up for an upside data surprise on Wednesday.


Mark Thoma - are we kidding ourselves about competition? I can't wait to use this in my intro macro class:
Consider a situation where there are 10 firms in a market and they compete with one another. Now suppose that all shareholders — say because they are following the dicta of diversification — allocate their wealth in equal proportion across those 10 firms. That means that each owner of the firm — even if there are thousands of these — cares equally about each firm’s profits.

So ask yourself: when those shareholders vote on the composition of boards or the management of the firm, or, importantly how the management of the firm is compensated, are they going to vote for managers who will care only about the profits of the firm they manage or about the profits more broadly? The answer is obvious: they will look to managers who manage in the interest of shareholders and so that means they care about all firm profits and not just the one of their own firm.

In a world where shareholders can get what they want, we won’t have competition in this outcome but, more likely, a collusive outcome. What is more, the firms won’t have to go to all the difficulty of violating antitrust laws to obtain this outcome, they will do it unilaterally.
Thoma says "this seems implausible to me", but I'd like to know why he thinks so. Personally, I think the authors are mistaken with the mechanism: nobody fucking votes for BoDs! But the company strategy certainly must be informed by a desire to not piss off their shareholders and see them jump ship to the competition. And thus you'd end up with the same collusive outcome anyway.


Mark Thoma - NBER abstracts. Re Barnichon & Figura's paper on declining labour force participation, I'm going to read it tonight and see if they say anything at all about declining real wages. See, I'm one of those leaving the labour force, because it seems capital doesn't want to pay a living wage for a fifteen-year specialist technologist to work in Mississauga or Markham.


Economist - Chinese growth coming down to earth? Weasel question mark added by me, because that's all you get from shitty rags like the Economist. Bill Bishop at Sinocism liked this bit:
When “60 Minutes”, an American television news programme, visited a new district in the metropolis of Zhengzhou in 2013, it made it the poster-child for China’s property bubble. “We found what they call a ghost city,” said Lesley Stahl, the host. “Uninhabited for miles and miles and miles and miles.” Two years on, she would not be able to say the same. The empty streets where she stood have a steady stream of cars. Workers saunter out of offices at lunchtime. Laundry hangs in the windows of the subdivisions.

The new district (pictured), on the eastern side of Zhengzhou, a city of 9m in central China, took off when the provincial and city governments relocated many of their offices there. Then, high schools with university-sized campuses began admitting students, drawing families to the area. Last autumn one of the world’s biggest children’s hospitals opened, a gleaming facility with cheery colours and 1,100 beds. Chen Jinbo, one of the area’s earlier residents, bemoans the lost quiet of a few years ago. “Rush hour is a hassle now.”
And indeed it is quite inconvenient for Whitey to admit that his bullshit hyperbole of a couple years ago was completely wrong, and that Whitey is supremely ignorant of China and should be ignored from now on.


BBC - Australian PM filmed downing a beer in 7 seconds. Here's a quote:
Some may say it is behaviour unbecoming of a prime minister. Others have applauded it.
Here's what they really meant:
Bloody foreigners may say it is behaviour unbecoming of a prime minister. Australians have applauded it.