Best Of The Web
“You shouldn’t worry too much about the big U.S. stock market sell-off. You should worry about China’s instead.
Indeed, while it might not have gotten as much attention, China’s benchmark stock index was, with its 25 percent drop, the world’s worst-performing in 2018. Part of this was because of the fear that President Trump’s nascent trade war might turn into something even more serious, but only a part. More significant than what Washington was doing, you see, was what Beijing was. That’s because, in what has seemingly become an every-other-year tradition in recent years, China’s government has stepped on the economic brakes pretty hard in an attempt to put an end to what looks like some bubbly behavior.
The important thing to understand here is that, in the depths of the Great Recession, Beijing unleashed a stimulus the likes of which the world hadn’t seen since World War II. It amounted to some 19 percent of its gross domestic product, according to Columbia University historian Adam Tooze. By point of comparison, President Barack Obama’s stimulus was only about 5 or 6 percent of U.S. GDP. Aside from its size, what made China’s stimulus unique was the way it was administered. The central government didn’t borrow a lot of money itself to use on infrastructure, but rather pushed local governments and state-owned companies to do so. The result was a web of debt that’s been even harder to clean up than it might have been because of all the money that unregulated lenders — so-called shadow banks — were frantically handing out above and beyond what Beijing had been hoping for.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"