Monday, April 19, 2021

Jack Ma, Izabella Kaminska and a Cast of Millions Walk Into a Bar: Who Pays the Tab? (also, Captain Kirk CHEATED!)

But first:

The point of showing that tweet is not to focus on Climate Czar John Kerry but rather to raise the question of what this, and the Alaska talks rudeness and the anal swabs for President Biden's diplomats is all about.
I am beginning to wonder if it is all play-acting. I mean to not greet the President's climate envoy with higher level officials, and then to cart him around on a bus, and to put Mr. Kerry in the back of the bus all seems a little—as they say in Hollywood—a little too on-the-nose. Know what I'm sayin'?
Someone in Beijing may just want to create the appearance of conflict.
What I have learned watching Comrade Xi and his henchmen is: They do things for their own reasons and often those reasons are not those which a surface analysis would reveal.
The writer of this piece seems to get that.

From FT Alphaville: 
Is the central bank panic about the PBOC coin justified?
The Bank of England has united with the Treasury to explore the basis for a UK central bank digital currency, but will it also fairly address the downsides?
In further reactionary panic to China’s hugely-hyped digital currency advances, the Bank of England announced on Monday that it would be creating a joint taskforce with the UK Treasury to explore the potential of issuing a British equivalent. 
 As their press release stated: 
A CBDC would be a new form of digital money issued by the Bank of England and for use by households and businesses. It would exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them.
The move is likely to magnify perceptions that the West can only meet the challenge emerging from China’s e-currency advances, and the greater efficiencies it is likely to offer users, by following a similar path. 
And yet, this is hardly the case. The lack of critical commentary about the setbacks China faces in making its e-yuan system a proper challenger to the dollar are glaring. As too is the lack of proper critical commentary about the huge disadvantages that accompany any system that opts to go full CDBC (or unite with its domestic Treasury on any such action). 
In the interests of dispelling some of these myths and balancing the narratives out there, we thought we would cite a few comments from Martin Chorzempa, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who recently testified on this “threat” before the US-China Economic Security Review Commission
Here’s the key extract (our emphasis):....
And Captain James T. Kirk?
Later in the essay the writer draws out some similarities between the situation faced by western central bankers and the Kobayashi Maru test, which test has become universal shorthand (among Trek fans) for an unwinnable scenario.
On his third attempt at the test Kirk cheated by messing about with the test simulator.
See? Easy-peasy, problemo solved Mr. Central Bank Governor.