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My Run-In With Paul Krugman, Again!

“The Inflation Reduction Act was our last chance to escape catastrophe.” — Paul Krugman at the World Knowledge Forum, in Seoul, Korea Paul Krugman…



“The Inflation Reduction Act was our last chance to escape catastrophe.” — Paul Krugman at the World Knowledge Forum, in Seoul, Korea

Paul Krugman got top billing, along with Ray Dalio and John Bolton, at the annual World Knowledge Forum, the Korean version of the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. He spoke twice to packed audiences.

Last week, I mentioned that Krugman’s New York Times column, “Misery Takes a Holiday,” was wrong as soon as the ink dried. He was convinced that price inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has gotten “drastically better over the past three months.”

Then the CPI came out at 8.3% in August, and the market tanked. Misery’s holiday was cut short! Not surprisingly, a week later, the Fed raised interest rates again.

I met up with Krugman in Seoul and asked him if he had received much flack about the column. “Very little, actually,” he told me. I reviewed the 333 comments in the Times, and most of them were negative and cynical, with statements like “ill timed,” “aged like milk” and “Krugman’s next piece: I was wrong: About Everything. Over and over again.”

Nobody likes to admit they’re wrong, but Krugman has written quite a few mea culpas lately.

Krugman on Climate Change and Inflation

The Nobel-Prize-winning economist was also asked about global warming. All the top speakers, including former politicians David Cameron (of the United Kingdom) and François Hollande (France), were alarmists.

Krugman was no exception. He was asked about Biden’s latest victory in Congress, “The Inflation Reduction Act.” Krugman rightly noted that the bill had nothing to do with inflation but was “our last chance to escape catastrophe.”

Like Davos, the speakers at the World Knowledge Forum were convinced that “climate change” was the number one worry — ahead of out-of-control government spending, rising inflation, nuclear war, inequality and even the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic. They fell over themselves predicting their countries would be “net neutral” of carbon emissions in 20 years.

The loss of freedom was given short shrift.

The Mask-Hysteria in Asia

What surprised me the most coming to Korea was that EVERYONE wore masks both indoors and outdoors. Ditto for China and Japan. They continue to live in fear. I had to take a COVID-19 test at the airport, where people stood in line for two hours.

What a contrast to the rest of the world.  Europeans have largely abandoned the practice, and even in the United States, President Biden announced last week that the pandemic was “over.”  He added, “If you notice, no-one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape… I think it’s changing.”

I asked my host when South Koreans would stop wearing masks. “Maybe in six months,” was the reply.

Korea: The Impossible Nation

One thing Paul Krugman and I agreed on was the Korean economic miracle.  In one generation, South Korea went from a Third World country to a First World country and from a military dictatorship to a model of democracy. Along with Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, it is one of the “Four Tigers.”

Through hard work, thrift, education, entrepreneurship and American military support, South Korea overcame all obstacles, including the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. It is ranked #1 in the world in many categories: longest working hours, most educated and largest shipbuilder, among other categories.

Of course, they are also number one in plastic surgery, lowest birth rate, an aging population and teenage suicides!

So not all is well in this land of impossibles.

The Korean Challenge Today

I was part of a session with Ed Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation, and Yaron Brook, chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute.  Jeffrey Kim, a Korean economist, moderated our panel on “Challenges of the Market Economy and Liberal Democracy.”

Jeffrey Kim, moderator of panel with Mark Skousen, Ed Feulner, and Yaron Brook.

Ed Feulner has taken a special interest in South Korea, having visited the country 140 times! He noted that South Korea now has a higher ranking (#19) in the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index than the United States (#21). What a surprise.

South Korea has been incredibly successful and has overcome overwhelming obstacles — fear of nuclear attack, natural disasters, poverty, foreign oppression, Marxist ideology and a pandemic.

To counter the threats of a rogue North Korea and the Chinese Communists, John Bolton, the former national security advisor to President Trump, told the audience that South Korea needed to form an alliance like NATO with Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and other Asian democracies. There’s also talk that South Korea will adopt nuclear weapons.

Economically, the South Koreans need to cut taxes (the income rate is now 45%), open their borders to more immigrants, have more children and develop a better balance between work and play.

EconoPower Here We Come

Will the latest generation be as good as the greatest generation of yesteryear?

It’s possible if they adopt the policies recommended in my book, “EconoPower: How a New Generation of Economists is Transforming the World.”

A Korean publisher paid an unbelievable $100,000 to translate my book into Korean:

The original edition in English was published in 2008 by Wiley & Sons. You can order the book as a hardback, paperback or audiobook on Amazon for as little as $6 plus shipping and handling, or a $20 autographed version at

John Mackey, the co-founder of Whole Foods Market, says, “Imagine, economists solving the world’s problems! Skousen’s breakthrough book bring us up to date on this fascinating development. Visionary economists are showing us creative ways to reduce world poverty, eliminate traffic jams, solve the health care crisis, save more and invest better, make business and labor more productive, improve education, cut crime, and even reduce tensions and establish peace in war-torn regions of the world. Read this book and discover a new brand of economics!”

Upcoming Conferences:

New Orleans Investment Conference, Oct. 12-15, Hilton Hotel. Join me along with Jim Rickards, Jon Najarian, Rick Rule, Jim Grant, Doug Casey, Brien Lundin, Robert Prechter, the Aden Sisters and Adrian Day. Be sure to mention you are a Skousen Cafe subscriber. Sign up here.

Join me at the Orlando MoneyShow, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, Omni Hotel Champions Gate, Florida. Other guests include: Steve Forbes, Ed Yardeni, Bob Carlson, Bryan Perry, Bruce Johnstone, Terry Savage and Keith Fitz-Gerald. For more information, go to and use the code 057734 for special subscriber pricing.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We are having our first Eagle Virtual Trading Event on Thursday, September 29.  If you haven’t signed up for this yet, there’s still time. Just click here now to sign up for free. Believe me, you won’t want to miss this LIVE online event — as we bring together all five of Eagle’s investment experts at the same time (plus one special guest speaker) to reveal our 6 Ways to Create 4th Quarter Fortunes.  Reserve your seat now by clicking here.

Good investing, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

You Nailed It!

Look to the Heavens and Live!

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” — Psalms 19:1

We often get caught up in the daily routine of work that we fail to see the beauty of our surroundings and our place in the universe.

Whenever I come to Hawaii, I can’t help but look into the Heavens. The stars and the planets are so brilliant, and there’s nothing like it.

One morning, I got up at 5 a.m., when it was still dark, and walked about the BYU-Hawaii campus in Laie, and saw a half moon in the sky sandwiched between Orion and the Pleiades.

There is also a bright star in the sky, which may be Sirius, or perhaps Venus. And I’m still searching for Cassiopedia!

Have you been following the incredible photographs taken from the new James Webb Telescope? If not, you can find them here (

Image credit to NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

I thank my brother Royal, a brilliant professor of linguistics, for instilling in me an interest in astronomy and star gazing as a young man.

The post My Run-In With Paul Krugman, Again! appeared first on Stock Investor.

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I’m headed to London soon for #EUBIO22. Care to join me?

Adrian Rawcliffe
It was great getting back to a live ESMO conference/webinar in Paris followed by a live pop-up event for the Endpoints 11 in Boston. We’re…



Adrian Rawcliffe

It was great getting back to a live ESMO conference/webinar in Paris followed by a live pop-up event for the Endpoints 11 in Boston. We’re staying on the road in October with our return for a live/streaming EUBIO22 in London.

Kate Bingham

Silicon Valley Bank’s Nooman Haque and I are once again jumping back into the thick of it with a slate of virtual and live events on October 12. I’ll get the ball rolling with a virtual fireside chat with Novo Nordisk R&D chief Marcus Schindler, covering their pipeline plans and BD work.

After that I’ve teed up two webinars on mRNA research — with some of the top experts in Europe — and the oncology scene, building better CARs in Europe.

That afternoon, we’ll switch to a live/streaming hybrid event, with a chance to gather once again now that the pandemic has faded. I’ve recruited a panel of top biotech execs to look at surviving the crazy public market, with Adrian Rawcliffe, the CEO of Adaptimmune, SV’s Kate Bingham, Mereo CEO Denise Scots-Knight and Andrew Hopkins, chief of Exscientia.

Andrew Hopkins
Denise Scots-Knight

That will be followed by my special, live fireside chat with Susan Galbraith, the oncology R&D chief at AstraZeneca. And then we’ll turn to Nooman’s panel, where he’ll be talking with Katya Smirnyagina with Oxford Science Enterprises, Maina Bhaman with Sofinnova Partners and Rosetta Capital’s Jonathan Hepple about navigating the severe capital headwinds.

You can review the full schedule and buy tickets here and review everything we have planned. It will be a packed day. I hope to see you there. It’s been several years now since I’ve had a chance to meet people in the Golden Triangle. I’m very much looking forward to it.

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We can turn to popular culture for lessons about how to live with COVID-19 as endemic

As COVID-19 transitions from a pandemic to an endemic, apocalyptic science-fiction and zombie movies contain examples of how to adjust to the new norm…




An endemic means that COVID-19 is still around, but it no longer disrupts everyday life. (Shutterstock)

In 2021, conversations began on whether the COVID-19 pandemic will, or even can, end. As a literary and cultural theorist, I started looking for shifts in stories about pandemics and contagion. It turns out that several stories also question how and when a pandemic becomes endemic.

Read more: COVID will likely shift from pandemic to endemic — but what does that mean?

The 2020 film Peninsula, a sequel to the Korean zombie film, Train to Busan, ends with a group of survivors rescued and transported to a zombie-free Hong Kong. In it, Jooni (played by Re Lee) spent her formative years living through the zombie epidemic. When she is rescued, she responds to being informed that she’s “going to a better place” by admitting that “this place wasn’t bad either.”

Jooni’s response points toward the shift in contagion narratives that has emerged since the spread of COVID-19. This shift marks a rejection of the push-for-survival narratives in favour of something more indicative of an endemic.

Found within

Contagion follows a general cycle: outbreak, epidemic, pandemic and endemic. The determinants of each stage rely upon the rate of spread within a specified geographic region.

Etymologically, the word “endemic” has its origins with the Greek words én and dēmos, meaning “in the people.” Thus, it refers to something that is regularly found within a population.

Infectious disease physician Stephen Parodi asserts that an endemic just means that a disease, while still prevalent within a population, no longer disrupts our daily lives.

Similarly, genomics and viral evolution researcher Aris Katzourakis argues that endemics occur when infection rates are static — neither rising nor falling. Because this stasis occurs differently with each situation, there is no set threshold at which a pandemic becomes endemic.

Not all diseases reach endemic status. And, if endemic status is reached, it does not mean the virus is gone, but rather that things have become “normal.”

Survival narratives

We’re most likely familiar with contagion narratives. After all, Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion, was the most watched film on Canadian Netflix in March 2020. Conveniently, this was when most Canadian provinces went into lockdown during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A clip from the film Contagion showing the disease spreading throughout the world.

In survival-based contagion narratives, characters often discuss methods for survival and generally refer to themselves as survivors. Contagion chronicles the transmission of a deadly virus that is brought from Hong Kong to the United States. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is tasked with tracing its origins and finding a cure. The film follows Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon), who is immune, as he tries to keep his daughter safe in a crumbling Minneapolis.

Ultimately, a vaccine is successfully synthesized, but only after millions have succumbed to the virus.

Like many science fiction and horror films that envision some sort of apocalyptic end, Contagion focuses on the basic requirements for survival: shelter, food, water and medicine.

However, it also deals with the breakdown of government systems and the violence that accompanies it.

A “new” normal

In contrast, contagion narratives that have turned endemic take place many years after the initial outbreak. In these stories, the infected population is regularly present, but the remaining uninfected population isn’t regularly infected.

A spin-off to the zombie series The Walking Dead takes place a decade after the initial outbreak. In the two seasons of The Walking Dead: World Beyond (2020-2021) four young protagonists — Hope (Alexa Mansour), Iris (Aliyah Royale), Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Elton (Nicolas Cantu) — represent the first generation to come of age within the zombie-infested world.

The four youth spent their formative years in an infected world — similar to Jooni in Peninsula. For these characters, zombies are part of their daily lives, and their constant presence is normalized.

The trailer for the second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

The setting in World Beyond has electricity, helicopters and modern medicine. Characters in endemic narratives have regular access to shelter, food, water and medicine, so they don’t need to resort to violence over limited resources. And notably, they also don’t often refer to themselves as survivors.

Endemic narratives acknowledge that existing within an infected space alongside a virus is not necessarily a bad thing, and that not all inhabitants within infected spaces desire to leave. It is rare in endemic narratives for a character to become infected.

Instead of going out on zombie-killing expeditions in the manner that occurs frequently in the other Walking Dead stories, the characters in World Beyond generally leave the zombies alone. They mark the zombies with different colours of spray-paint to chronicle what they call “migration patterns.”

The zombies have therefore just become another species for the characters to live alongside — something more endemic.

The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead (2015-), Z Nation (2014-18), and many other survival-based stories seem to return to the past. In contrast, endemic narratives maintain a present and sometimes even future-looking approach.

Learning from stories

According to film producer and media professor Mick Broderick, survival stories maintain a status quo. They seek a “nostalgically yearned-for less-complex existence.” It provides solace to imagine an earlier, simpler time when living through a pandemic.

However, the shift from survival to endemic in contagion narratives provides us with many important possibilities. The one I think is quite relevant right now is that it presents us with a way of living with contagion. After all, watching these characters survive a pandemic helps us imagine that we can too.

Krista Collier-Jarvis does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Xi Reemerges In 1st Public Appearance After ‘Coup’ Rumors

Xi Reemerges In 1st Public Appearance After ‘Coup’ Rumors

So much for the "coup in China" and "Xi is missing" rumor mill of the past week,…



Xi Reemerges In 1st Public Appearance After 'Coup' Rumors

So much for the "coup in China" and "Xi is missing" rumor mill of the past week, which at one point saw Chinese President Xi Jinping's name trending high on Twitter...

"Chinese President Xi Jinping visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday, according to state television, in his first public appearance since returning to China from an official trip to Central Asia in mid-September – dispelling unverified rumours that he was under house arrest."

He had arrived in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15 - and attended the days-long Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit - where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others.

Xi is "back"...image via state media screenshot

Importantly, it had been his first foreign trip in two years. Xi had not traveled outside of the country since before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

But upon returning the Beijing, he hadn't been seen in the public eye since that mid-September trip, fueling speculation and rumors in the West and on social media. Some pundits floated the idea that he had been under "house arrest" amid political instability and a possible coup attempt.

According to a Tuesday Bloomberg description of the Chinese leader's "re-emergence" in the public eye, which has effectively ended the bizarre rumors

Xi, wearing a mask, visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday about China's achievements over the past decade, state-run news outlet Xinhua reported. The Chinese leader was accompanied by the other six members of the Politburo Standing Committee, a sign of unity after rumors circulated on Twitter about a challenge to his power.

He'll likely cinch his third five-year term as leader at the major Chinese Communist party’s (CCP) meeting on October 16. The CCP meeting comes only once every half-decade.

What had added to prior rumors was the fact that the 69-year old Xi recently undertook a purge of key senior security officials. This included arrests on corruption charges of the former police chiefs of Shanghai, Chongqing and Shanxi.

More importantly, former vice minister of public security Sun Lijun and former justice minister Fu Zhenghua were also sacked and faced severe charges.

Concerning Sun Lijun, state media made this shocking announcement a week ago: "Sun Lijun, former Chinese vice minister of public security, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking more than 646 million yuan of bribes, manipulating the stock market, and illegally possessing firearms, according to the Intermediate People's Court of Changchun in Northeast China's Jilin Province on Friday." The suspended death sentence means he'll spend life in prison.

Tyler Durden Wed, 09/28/2022 - 14:05

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