We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Resistance to sending bad news up the chain is typical of any authoritarian regime.

Stephen Green

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • So far as I’ve seen, it’s typical of any regime.

  • Ferox

    In the market between reality and policy, uncensored reports are the price.

    And since central planners see prices as the cause rather than the effect, censoring the reports they hear from below makes everything work as “planned”.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Check this out:

    While the world struggles to cope, China in the past few weeks has been more active than ever on the global stock markets, taking advantage of depressed prices, and aggressively taking positions in global companies. Stock markets around the world should be asked urgently to disclose this activity as a matter of global interest and indeed security. Between 8 February and 20 March, China has also been aggressively stock-piling reserves of crude oil, having hoarded over 50 per cent of the inventory at low prices during this period. This is nothing but profiteering at a colossal level.

    Each nation has its own pride, and a power like China has the added confidence that its own state apparatus can deal with its own internal issues. I have nothing to argue or to doubt about this. But what I have grave concerns about are the lack of transparency and clandestine approach of the Chinese state. This is not the behaviour of responsible countries or world powers.

    It again calls acutely into question whether the world can ever trust an undemocratic and belligerent China, especially when so many global supply chains have Chinese dependency. The past few months just go to prove that it can’t be business as usual when the world picks itself up from this deadly virus.

    Manoj Ladwa, an India-based publisher and entrepreneur.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “This is nothing but profiteering at a colossal level.”

    The price drops when markets predict *less* profit from a company or product, not more.

    Everyone knows that when the crisis is over, prices will rise. So given this common expectation, why have markets dropped? Because they project the future gains to be made in 6 months or a year’s time don’t make up for the cost of keeping that money tied up in a product giving no return for 6 months or a year. They can make more money by investing in other stuff – medical, internet shopping, internet and comms, so everyone else has shifted to where the biggest profits are, which is where society has unmet demands. Near-optimal resource allocation results from supply tracking demand.

    If everyone was selling, the price would fall even further. If China is willing to buy, that props the price up, keeps the oil industry afloat, and hands more money to all those former oil investors who would otherwise have lost their shirts, which can now be invested in more profitable ventures. That’s totally fine by us. Possibly not so great for the Chinese. The Communists never did understand how markets work.

    We currently need money more than we need oil. The Chinese are giving us money in exchange for oil. Later, we will have to return it, with interest. But the market is theoretically priced so as to make that worth it. Of course, the market might have got it wrong. They can’t foresee the future, and they often overreact to bad news while the information loop catches up. If so, then the Chinese may indeed make a profit. But that’s how capitalism is supposed to work. We can hardly complain when the Communists adopt our greedy capitalist ways – that’s what we’ve been trying to get them to do for decades.

    Personally, I think use of the word “profiteering” for the practice of making a big profit reveals the ideological influences behind the complaint. It’s the same complaint as when the price of essential goods rises during a disaster, which I think we’ve discussed before? Or am I misremembering?

  • bobby b

    “This is nothing but profiteering at a colossal level.”

    Sort of confused here. I’d love to profiteer at a colossal level – in fact, it’s my investment goal. I cashed out a month or more ago, and now I’m buying in at the lowest dips.

    So, China is doing better at the capitalism thing than we are?

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    Also, this, which expands upon the damage done to its own competence by China’s tyrannical system of government.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Also, this.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Epoch Times figures for cases of and deaths from Covid-19 in U.S. and world-wide as of today:


    (Not reformatted; check source for comprehensibility)

    World Chart —
    United States

    Also table showing cases and deaths by (U.S.) state and also by country, as of 6:18 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, March 30 (U.S. date).

    More info there and in subsequent reports.

  • lucklucky

    Mortality in Europe in last years. Currently less than in other winters.

    This shows the value of the “news” , “journalists” and the “government”.


  • Henry Cybulski

    Lucklucky, there is a proviso at the bottom that says numbers from the past few weeks haven’t been incorporated yet.


    Typical of any hierarchy. I’ve seen it happen several times in my old University. Deans are especially prone to burying bad news.

  • lucklucky

    Henry Cybulski

    it goes to 12 week of 2020

  • Henry Cybulski

    Euromomo’s own words:

    Furthermore, there is always a few weeks of delay in death registration and reporting. Hence, the EuroMOMO mortality figures for the most recent weeks must be interpreted with some caution.