Happy Scribe

What in the world is happening on Wall Street? The economic indicators, who knows where this is going to end up?


You understand the economy. You have to understand human nature. This podcast is powered by a cost. How are you doing there? It's David's, it is podcast time, you know the drill. We're trying to learn a wee bit of economics together. We're trying to make sense of the world and the world. Smart man this week with the funny fella getting covid. Johnny Boy. What do you reckon? I love it. I love it. As a somebody on Twitter said, it's clear that or B.G. argued her first case successfully with God.


But brilliant above is fantastic. That is really good. So how are you? Are you good?


I'm good. Yeah. I've avoided the covid so far, so I'm all right. I like you're doing the deck over to Didkovsky. Yeah, like the RTA. Actually I was thinking of two. Very, very good. Very good. I tell you, I've been reading a lot this week about the origin of zero. Right. Of the number zero and how much Desh we have to the Indians. The Indians came up with the concept of zero.


Right. It's the I'm I'm using it to explain why zero was very important in money and mathematics, obviously, but also in accountancy in the medieval age. So I've been going back and I've been reading a huge amount about where it comes from and the interesting things that Aristotle. Yeah, come on. Ah, mate. Aristotle, you German Aristotle. I've always thought a great Dublin hijos name as Aristotle. If you go near. Yeah. You would go right.


But anyway, Aristotle was very afraid of 040 constitute the void and infinity. Yes. And Aristotle was trying to make sense of the world and he believed that we were at the centre of the world. Yes. Aristotle in idea of the universe and the reason, one of the reasons he hated the void or infinity was because Infinity suggested we weren't. There was something beyond. Beyond, beyond. Yeah. Yeah, of course. So the Greeks who then gave their philosophy to the Romans, Romans, who gave the philosophers, the Christians, the Christians who basically ruled the world, our world up until the Renaissance, all the thing again, zero zero was the void, right.


Infinity. Yeah. However, God lives. That's regardless. Exactly. Exactly. In the void. And that's that's the beauty of obstacle one, because if they didn't accept the void, they had to accept God created everything. Right. OK, there was no infinity. Are our friends, the Indians on the other hand. Right. Didn't have this hang up, and Indians discovered zero hour were played around with the whole notion of zero for centuries before they gave it to the Arabs, OK, because the Arabs came with the Moghul Empire is the idea.


Right. OK, I actually thought zero came from the Arabs, but no Indians. Yeah. And then they gave it to the Arabs and then the Arabs gave it to us in Sicily, right in the port of Marsala and the port of Marseille in Sicily. Yeah. Sounds very Italian. Very sweet. So the very, very top of it looking out at Libya. OK, right. Biggest port in Sicily in the old days. Yeah, right.


But Marsala sounds very Italian, but it's called Marcel along the mouth of Allah. So it was a it was a an Arab town, an Italian tradesmen and monks went down there to learn about zero. But the Vatican didn't want them to learn the Teuton secret. They brought zero back to Florence and back to the Renaissance towns. And of course, the merchants loved it because it allowed them to do double entry bookkeeping and have ledgers of pluses and minuses as values.


So that's what I've been learning. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I know it's your head is my head is different. If we could just go to McKennis and talk about Leeds and don't venture the normal shit. Yeah. No zero. So, you know, I'm not I'm going to go for a down again. I'm going to be a ridiculous hermit by the way. A mathematician by the end of it. Well, I don't know. That's that's my story.


That's my story. But all is all is good luck. What can we do.


Exactly. But that's the thing. There's nothing to look forward to apart from void. Nothingness is. No, nothing becomes of nothing. Think again, Cordelia, except the one thing that we do have to look forward to is the budget.


I hear while we Teligent listen. And I can't wait. Let's let's. I know you can't. I know you're very I know you're very low. You're very keen. You've got your you've got your taxicab. I said before we do that, my man America. Oh yes. Your mama covid. Yeah. Isn't that great. But what are we going to build back, you know, build a professor of law economics. A doctorate in criminology. You think.


Big brain. Big brain. Let's go and see what he makes of recent events in the States. Great. Now, this week, unfortunately, we had to admit defeat when it comes to economics. We just couldn't go ahead with it. And you know what the funny thing is? Economics is not Zombo. It is not something we can do online. It is basically if you've been, you know, the drill. If you haven't been, it is an intimate, friendly, social, chatty, witty, funny get together in pubs and theaters, the Packer restaurants and churches.


Frankly, economics would not do social distancing, number one. And number two, we couldn't put it online, so we decided to cancel it for this year, which was a real with a heavy heart. But on the line from the States is a man who's been to every single economics professor, Bill Black, the man who single handedly or at least some would say single handedly and not him. His fans on the far side brought the savings and loans debacle into some sort of closure.


And as prosecutor put many white collar criminals behind bars, he has been an intellectual. How would I describe them, actually? Let me describe let's just say how are you, Bill? Good to talk to you. Good to talk to you. And everybody that hasn't done kill economics should please come when it resumes and you'll see that Kilkenny is a critical part of the effort. And one of the reasons you can't. Sumant Kulkarni is wonderful. The settings the venues are intimate would be impossible to have social distancing.


And they're critical to the whole fun of the event. For whatever group you put together, come and see us.


We'll be down in the Marble City, hopefully the fifth to the 9th of November. Twenty twenty one. There you go. Anyway, Bill, listen, talk to me about the United States. I want to talk to you first about President Trump getting covid. How do you think this will affect the election or at least the next couple of weeks?


Well, it'll affect the election process in dramatic ways. It's it's actually quite unclear whether it will move things very much in terms of the electorate. So what I mean is, of course, that he can't do his thing and his thing is going in front of very large groups with no social distancing inside events that are perfect to spread covid. And and that's just not going to work in these circumstances. And he is a quasi evolutionary guy and he's not a conventional thinker.


So what he does at these events is say something outrageous. And if he gets positive feedback, he says something more outrageous along the same lines. And if that leads to even stronger, positive stimulus response, he then triples and then he quadruples down and he works on these sticks basically, and they become essentially a script of what works best with his base. And they give him positive feedback, which he almost never gets except from the sink events in his cabinet.


Who do a dear leader beginning. Oh, thank you, President. You are the most brilliant person and you have transformed the world, you know, type of stuff. And even Trump gets that. That has no sincerity, but his base has sincerity. And so for somebody who is just getting pummeled by everybody, senior who worked for him is writing a book about what an awful human being he is. A massive amounts of Republican elites are coming out and the old elites are coming out and attacking him.


So this is also super good for his psyche and he won't get that. And he's somebody that gets very depressed. And then he lashes out in those tweet storms that are infamous and they always get him in trouble except with the base. So the base won't change very much. However, American elections in key states and you have to remember, our process is not a national vote, it's an individual state vote. And then you get typically all of the electoral votes from that state.


So tiny margins can make an enormous difference between potentially, for example, losing and losing so badly, you lose the Senate. So the Democrats could could quite possibly end up in charge of all three branches. And so the more there's a focus on the pandemic and of course, the US has, with the possible exception of Spain, the absolute worst response to covid, the highest death per capita of any major nation. So the Trump campaign desperately doesn't want to be talking about the pandemic.


This, of course, puts focus for at least a week on the pandemic, and we only have a few weeks left before the election. So in that sense, it could move people in two percent of the folks in what we call the key battleground states. And and that's really bad for Trump in terms of his electoral prospects.


But it's interesting to say it's it's kind of it's personal for him. It's psychological. It is his he needs the affirmation to keep the momentum of his whole campaign going. And this robs him of 10 days, 14 days of that. And that's significant. And it puts the focus on the worst possible issue if people are thinking about the pandemic and the US response to it, the Trump response to it, he's losing, but it's broader than the campaign.


Yet people have to remember Trump sold himself as supposedly incredible businessperson. Incredibly wealthy, incredibly successful, and as everybody has seen with the release of the tax returns, he's among the world's worst business people. He's unbelievably terrible and he just blows through other people's money. He defrauded people left, right and center. And so it isn't just the campaign. He was never accepted by New York elites, by the New York wealthy as one of them. And that has always grated on him.


And so the release of these returns, again, doesn't hurt him very much with the base, but the very few undecided, which is probably in the range of five to seven percent of the US electorate, if if they move even slightly against him, he has the danger of not only losing but losing very badly. And he's obviously mounting a campaign that if he doesn't lose by very much, he's going to try to throw the election in disrepute and contest everything and literally launch not a thousand ships, but ten thousand lawsuits.


Bill, you see, if you took there. But he's rejected by the New York elites. I've always been very intrigued by this because he's a man who understands rejection. Very, very much so. And therefore, he connects with people who have been rejected and he speaks the language of people who have been rejected, and he therefore, let's talk about economics, speaks to an enormous constituency in the United States who have been rejected, who actually have felt rejection in their personal life, in their business life, in their daily working life.


So it's it's an advantage almost to Trump. It's one of the intriguing mysteries of Trump, this understanding of rejection. Yeah, it isn't almost it, in fact, is an important part of his advantage that everybody, you know, obviously in quotes that matters, holds him in almost total disdain, unless basically they're using him to get rich and he's the easiest person in the world to con.


You would love him in a poker game, but he's got an expression. You've got two minutes in a poker game to figure out who the who the idiot is. And if you haven't figured out who the loser is, the football fool is out for two minutes. The fool is you.


The fool is you. And he'll never figure out that he is the fool. You could never take that. But you're right. I grew up in Michigan. These are my people. Michigan is one of those key battleground states that went very narrowly for Trump. Michigan never went it always went for Democrats. Huge union population historically been devastated, of course, by what's happened to the US car industry and particularly to extend the US car industry continues. Jobs have moved overwhelmingly to what we call right to work states that essentially eliminate unions.


And these are all in the south and the southwest or the. Yeah, the border states and the south. That's correct. So there are enormous number of people who have lost some degree economically, but also in terms of social status, the thing they have left is this feeling of being screwed, being screwed all the time, being disrespected. Tom. Frank, you should have on a new book about this, but he's done a whole series of books.


So this is what he writes about. And I can tell you, I was I came of age when George Wallace, a deeply, openly segregationist Southern governor, won the Michigan primary. Wow. Right. Under the Law and order nomination for the presidency. Well, on Law and order, where I mean, that's not going to happen. That's a complete euphemism for race, right? Precisely. Again, these are my people. It's not that they are simply racists.


It's that racism is one of the components. And if that gets teed up as the the thing that's really energizing, then they go to the polls in record numbers where typically they're actually among the least likely to vote. And so you get that's when you get tremendous swings in the United States, when you get groups that typically don't participate. And then suddenly due to a much greater extent, that was, of course, a large part of Obama's success.


Black Americans are notoriously have relatively low voting rates over time. Now, again, huge reasons of racism and deliberate exclusion have produced this. But, you know, that was what Obama was able to turn around and that's what Trump is able to do. So you're quite right. And to put it in, you know, only slightly vulgar terms it is. And you have to understand that the base support is overwhelmingly a giant if you vote. To whoever happened to two of those 12 years old is quote unquote, powerful people that they perceive as looking down on them.


OK, so you were talking there about the culture war, the few folks that Trump is depending on, that's his base, the rejected people. Can you explain to me why he's so invested in the Supreme Court right now on this this new woman that he's appointed, Amy Parachini, Tony Burris hasn't appointed?


Of course, you can't appoint you can only do so with the advice and consent of the Senate. So you're up our upper house, as you might call it. But why is he so exercised right now about this?


Because two things. One, his greatest opponent on the Supreme Court died and can no longer vote against him and issue these blistering dissents. But to you said the base was the few. That's half his base. The other part of the base and there's an overlap is evangelicals and evangelicals. This is if you attend church more than once a week, basically this vote goes 80 percent to Trump. And their most fervent goal is to outlaw all abortion and overturn what we call the Roe vs.


Wade Supreme Court decision. So Republican appointees to the Supreme Court over the last twenty five years have never said I will vote to overturn Roe versus Wade. Professor Barrett is a professor of law at Notre Dame, and she, as an academic, has been quite a movement activist as well. And so she's signed on to statements in which he's pledged and hammered the court for failing to overturn Roe versus Wade. So there's no question and it's a it's a perfect opportunity just before the election to not just signal, but to deliver to the evangelical base their greatest dream.


And Trump is in deep trouble in the polls. So this is like a miracle from his perspective, the death of the notorious herpes type of thing. And that's why they're rushing forward, even though, of course, they promised promised they would never do this.


But they're going to do a film finally on this on this the issue of America over the next three or four weeks, can you call it?


No, because you don't know. Turnout and turnout varies enormously. You don't know voter suppression. And we have a terrible I don't think in any modern Irish elections there is anything remotely like it. You have to understand, we're in a country where many of our states you can have it's got to be semi-automatic, but that just means it takes a quarter of a second to pump around downrange at supersonic speed. Guys with long guns that are literally what we give our soldiers to fight in Iraq and Syria.


There they are. There are 15s. They're simply semiautomatic as opposed to automatic. You can have extended clips. You can have silencers. So you can kill people silent relatively silently and such. And you can carry these openly. You can carry these openly with rounds chambered right at the polls, at the election, at anywhere. Right now, they won't let you into the actual polling building, but who's going to keep you out? Also, if you have this kind of armament and such.


So what they do and there's a huge 100 plus year history of this in the United States is this is aimed overwhelmingly at blacks. Now, they'll extend it to other folks that they think will likely be Democratic voters. And then they feed all kinds of false information that if you vote, we'll send you to prison and things like that. And so until this year, there was actually a consent decree because the Republican Party had been caught so many times doing this witness intimidation, but that has expired.


So there used to be a judge sitting on this consent decree that you could go to and say, look, they're up to it again. It violates your order. And that judge would instantly enjoin. Now you're going to have to start a lawsuit in front of judges to ward off and be hostile, you know, very pro Trump, hostile to blacks and such. And it's just going to be an utter nightmare. Plus, Trump promising to saying he's going to unleash an army of these lawsuits.


And again, his infamous statement at the debate about the proud boys. Should stand by as if they were part of law enforcement, they're a right wing terrorist organization that has killed people that stomp on people in large numbers and they're huge numbers of them are ex cops and ex military. That's their primary background. So this is Trump's private militia. And they instantly, while he was the debate was still continuing, tweeted out. And the doctor is their new slogan.


We're standing by. We're standing by.


We are ready to go. So there are you can see videos of them going after Nancy Pelosi, big burly guys bursting into doors, going up, trying to intimidate her. Again, I don't think you've seen anything like this in the republic in a very long time. Wow.


I mean, you're painting quite a dramatic picture for what could happen on the day. Do you understand it? In America, somebody can walk into a Wal-Mart carrying an AR 15 in which they have actually chambered around. And have a massive over clip so that you know, that they can actually put one hundred and fifty rounds and you can't do anything to these people now and that the president of the United States, when one of these folks who, by the way, was illegally in possession of such a gun because he was 17, decided to go from Illinois to Wisconsin and then killed two protesters and wounded a third.


And the president of the United States not only praised him, but issued a directive to our goodness, our Homeland Security Department, that they were to issue positive comments. About him, about him. This, if you want to be generous vigilante, if you want to be less generous, you would say murderer and terrorist. And do you know that there are videos from earlier in the day in which the police come to him and other people like him and give them free water bottles and say, we really appreciate you?


And that after he shot three people. With an AR 15. He then walked past the police and they did not arrest him or detain him even or question him, and he fled back to Illinois, which is a neighboring state, but is still a couple of hours drive Bill. What can I say after that, take care of yourself and I'll talk to you soon.


Well, I am in Minnesota as we speak, the place that probably was one of the vectors in terms of Trump and his group spreading covid and attacking one of our local members of the US House of Representatives for how dare she tell us how to run our country because she is a young girl, was a refugee from Somalia, and therefore, of course, it can't be her country, even though she's a U.S. citizen, a U.S. congresswoman, not just a citizen, a congresswoman just reelected by a super majority.


Let's leave it there. We will talk to you soon.


Thank you. Just like Bill's been killed economics before and an all every year, every year, every year, and he's fantastic. The Jaysus user, he was getting angry at the end. He was really exercise there, wasn't he? Well, no. I think if you look at, you know, Bill was saying that he came of age in 1968. Yeah. That was when he was about 18. Right. And he thought that the politics of 1967, 68 was a very severe year in the United States.


Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Yeah. You know, Richard Nixon wins the election against the backer of the Vietnam War. Yeah, I think for people like Bill who've lived their lives on the liberal end of the American spectrum, it must be kind of terrifying. To see what's happening there now, because he's lived a long time, is seen things, he's probably of the view that, you know what, democracy is kind of precious and it's not as secure as you think.


Yeah, and that's, I think, what he's trying to tell us that really interesting think I mentioned to you before a brilliant documentary on Netflix is from that period. And it's the story of Tricky Dick and the man in black, Richard Nixon and Johnny Cash. Check it out is brilliant. I definitely I will watch this. And it all comes down to a single song at the end and it's brilliant. OK, well, let's watch that. What else have we got, Mama?


So let's go back. Let's talk about the budget. Where are we going with this? What can the government do in the budget to no longer help us out of the covid pandemic and get the economy back open and running and humming again? What can they do in this particular budget? Well, John, the thing is that what they could do is signal to us that they actually understand what the dilemmas are. There was a great quote about leadership, political leadership.


It's to understand the anxieties of the people and do something about that's what the budget should allow the state to do. So we have a vision. I fear this week we're not going to get this right. My sense is that budgets should be all about vision and that it's a statement of intent as to how you intend to run the country. Yeah, what actually happens is it's a big fight between people with no real vision and they screw up over how much was spent here and what was spent there, rather than saying, you know what, there is no budget constraint anymore because we're in this pandemic.


Right. And the ECB has said money is at zero. What do you want to do to the country now? I think part of the budget for a second, I think the most interesting statistic published this week in Ireland was the statistic that confirms that Ireland has by far and away the youngest population in the European Union by far and away. Right. And this comes at a time when kids in Galway who went out on a session because if nothing else to do, the college is closed.


Think about it right there first. The college is closed. Bars are closed, cafes are closed. Yeah, I've three really sorry for the first course. And then you got something to say. Bring in the army. So rather than vilifying are you. We've got to remember the youth are the future. They are the people are going to pay our pensions, Johnny Boy right there. The people are going to build the country. They're the people who are going to have to deal with the United Ireland on the way towards us.


Unmanageable. After thinking about the challenge this generation have our kids, all countries should be down on bended knee to have the sort of statistics we have. So in Ireland, 38 percent of the population is between zero and 29. That's the highest in the European Union. That means that going forward we will have this expanding population. Right? These are the people who are going to run the country. Yeah. And our budget should say we are not going to have as our budgetary constraints a figure, which is how much money have we borrowed, rather, we're going to use as our main budgetary constraint, our population.


Right. And say, how are we going to deal with this? What are we going to build infrastructure? We're going to build the houses.


Yeah, it's the potential income and productivity that the youth can can bring to the future. I mean, it's just kind of setting them up to do that. Exactly. So, yeah, you know, think of a country like Italy. Italy is running out of people, running out of young people. Germany is running out of young people. If it wasn't for immigrants, the German population, the native German population peaked 1972. Right. Think about this.


Our population continues to grow. That this should be a cause of enormous celebration, right, all the creativity, the music, the art startups, everything is going to be created by that. Right. And what are we doing? Vilifying them, you know, accusing them of being told spreaders when in actual fact, a lot of their milestones have been taken away from them. Yeah. You know, but at the moment in Ireland, the way in which we frame budgets is on a revenue versus spending constraint.


Yeah. And at the end of the day, all economists are talking about this idea of, oh, my God, we borrowed too much money. Right. Rather than looking at accountancy, national accountancy, which is only a snapshot of the economy at any one time of the year. Yeah, we should be looking at the demographics and saying, OK, there's two things going on. One is we have this incredibly young population, so we've got to provide for them because our job is to leave our kids a better society than the one that our mothers fathers left us.


That's a job was always. So what we should do is rather than take the budget deficit when interest rates are zero, we should take the structure of the economy, the structure of the population. And also we should say that youth unemployment now is 30 percent plus. That is an enormous amount of idle capacity in the economy. That means you can rev up the economy much, much greater than at any time in the past. And you should be aiming to get that figure down to five percent, down from thirty.


How do you do that? You begin the process of including the youth. Now, if you're in a pandemic and you can't open up shops and pubs and bars where lots of young people get part time jobs, you've got to give them some other stake. So if you decided to close them down the camp of jobs, what would the state do? You have houses. This is what your daughter talks about and my kids talk about. Right. So use the budget to fund closed house building.


And the reason you got to do that is Irish kids, if they're not happy with Ireland, the immigrants. Yeah, like we did in much greater numbers than kids from other countries. OK, because of tradition. And we speak English and we tend to be much more mobile. Now, the only downside to having a huge youth population is not creating society and the economy, giving them a stake in it, which pushes them out the door because we lose twice then when we lose their abilities.


Yeah. Second, we lose the tax income that we need to tax them in the future in order to pay for it. And then you think about losing the look of those kids in those first year students in Galway. Right. That were attacked in the media. Right. Think about the following. Think about how much it costs to educate somebody in this country, how much? Well, one way you can do it is you can take the cost per year of the Department of Education.


Yeah, 11 billion. A lot of money. And you divide that by your estimate of how many people are in the education system. OK, so your input is 11, your output. Are the students that you're that's your education, right? Yeah. Now, if you do that, OK, let's take the 60000 people born here per year. So when those kids get to three or four years old, they start going to school. They do about 15 years in second primary and secondary school.


Yeah. And then they do, let's say, another four or five years in college, unless they repeat like you and me, because I always said I love live in such a much to do it twice anyway. But but think about, think about the education system. But let's say there's 60000 people, maybe 50000 people in the education system for 20 years. Yeah. That's not a very generous amount of people. Right. So you take that figure.


So multiply John in your head. Yeah, I'm working on it. 60000 by twenty. Yeah. Which is. What do you reckon. Sorry. Are you asking me to do that. So that's one point two million. OK, that's the apple. You divide that by the actual budget. It's 11 billion a year. Talking about 800 grand preschool. Yeah, a lot of friends. Yeah, it's a lot of bread and I know obviously the Department of Education, so you can't do it that way.


But you got to start with some basics. Yeah. Faction, right? Yeah. Even if it was less than that, even if it was 70 percent. That's right. Still a lot of money. You're talking about 600 grand costs, the state to educate an Irish person from low babies. Yeah, OK. Yeah, all the way up to the Leave University. Yeah. If you lose those people if those people emigrate, the cost is nominal to you.


Right. But if you create a society that allows young people to stay and you import other people's graduates, you're getting this huge investment that we've made and other countries have made. And it's free. Yeah. For us. Yeah. And then they become Irish. They're in the workforce. So you can see the huge dramatic the stakes are so high. And if those kids can't get a job now because of the pandemic part time job, what are the stakes they have?


They have housing so really beholds us to create a budget that is entirely and almost exclusively based on building housing for young people.