LT #8 - Top Links - Dec 2022
LeftTimes is now on Substack! Long-covid impacts by demographic. The African debt crisis, solutions, or lack thereof. Monetary policy, inflation, rents, and signs of recession.
LeftTimes is now on Substack!
With LeftTimes sourcing more and more from Substack writers, it only made sense to move this newsletter over as well. This should make it easier for you to follow and, over time, enable me to enrich the content and experience. For now, this will remain a free monthly newsletter featuring top articles.
How the debt crisis is hitting Africa:
“The situation in Ghana is bad, but it is by no means alone. Whereas in 2008 the African continent was largely insulated from the shock of the global banking crisis, it is now, as a result of being more integrated into the global economy, feeling the pinch from global movements in prices and interest rates. Since 2020, Zambia, Chad, Mali and Ethiopia have either defaulted or entered talk to restructure their debt. Tanzania, Mozambique and Benin have attracted emergency support from the IMF.”
“Ghana’s government, however, didn’t decide to inflate the debt away; instead it just defaulted. This was a wise move. 58% of Ghana’s government debt is owed to foreigners, so defaulting on this drastically lowers the country’s overall government debt burden even as it also makes the government less vulnerable to further downward currency movements. The default will hurt, for sure, but it will also restore confidence and make it much easier to get a bailout from the IMF — which Ghana is currently doing.”
How a land value tax could be a solution to SA’s problems:
Signs of economic trouble in both the US and the UK:
Monetary policy at this time:
“The Gordian knot we find ourselves in now is that good economic news is bad financial news. A strong economy means that the Fed will keep hiking rates which is bad for financial assets. Such was the case with the recent strong jobs report, which caused markets to crash. If we had an actual recession now, stocks would paradoxically explode upward because the Fed would have to revert back to cheap money. This alone says everything about how the circuits of value within finance capital have grown disconnected from the economic base.”
The extent and demographics of long Covid
CEPR provides some great data summarizing the extent of long covid. Spoiler: there’s significant differences by age, gender, race, income, and geography….
And (just one!) political article to kick off 2023:
“Indeed, one of the things that’s so striking about the 2022 crossover vote data is that it’s extremely rare to have a situation like the one we saw in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania where Democrats won swing voters while doing badly on turnout.
In a normal year, you either get great turnout and do well with independents (like in 2018) or you get crappy turnout and tank with independents (2014). But in 2022, Democrats did badly on turnout — admittedly not nearly as bad as in 2014 — while nevertheless winning a bunch of key races thanks to crossover voters.”
The usual infographic…
And finally, the podcast of the month on AI:
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