13 thoughts on “The True Role Of The Central Bank”

  1. I can’t locate it now, but I recall coming across a study that indicated most US Fed Reserve quantitative easing went to a few large, international banks (on the order of 18 such) – aside from virtual purchases with the US Department of the Treasury. Even if somehow the linked article were incorrect about the roles/goals of the Fed and other central banks, it remains that the easy/lazy way to implement a policy in the private world is through a few large banks.

  2. Off topic but an old topic: Now that 737 MAX is in the news again,

    “The cockpit door apparently is designed to open during rapid decompression, however NTSB says even the flight crew didn’t know this. NTSB says Boeing will make changes to its manual to reflect this.”


    I have no words for this. Apparently Boeing’s technical writers do not either.

    1. I imagine it wouldn’t have to be designed to do so if the leak was aft of the cockpit door. But to keep the door opening to be anything but catastrophic, such a feature makes sense. So would a vent valve too small for a terrorist to crawl through.

    2. Although the captain has turned off the “Fasten Seat-Belt Sign” we recommend that while you remain seated that you keep it securely fastened across your waist at all times. For those of you on a sprint to the bathroom, the manufacturer of this aircraft recommends a secure grip on the seats as you traverse the aisle.

      1. Please take the time to examine the aircraft exit guide in the seat back pocket in front of you. Also take a moment to look around the cabin for your nearest exit. Note that exit may be behind you. And, as a special feature this model aircraft, it may actually be what once was the window nearest you.

  3. SpaceX targets February for third Starship test flight
    Jeff Foust January 10, 2024
    –“Ten-ish” refueling launches

    Propellant transfer is a critical technology for the version of Starship that will be used for NASA’s Human Landing System program starting with the Artemis 3 mission, now scheduled for no earlier than September 2026. SpaceX plans to create a propellant depot in low Earth orbit, filled by a series of Starship “tanker” launches, that would then be used to fuel the lunar lander Starship for its trip to the moon.

    The number of tanker launches needed for a Starship lunar lander mission has been a topic of controversy. Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of SpaceX, once stated that no more than eight, and perhaps as few as four, tanker launches would be needed. But at an advisory committee meeting in November, Lakiesha Hawkins, assistant deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Moon to Mars Program, said the number of tanker launches was in “the high teens.”

    Asked about that issue at the briefing, both NASA and SpaceX initially declined to give a number. “So much of this is just going to have to come from flight tests,” said Amit Kshatriya, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Moon to Mars Program. “Probably the reason why you’re hearing different numbers is because we have a lot of different modeling and analysis iterations that are going on.”

    Jensen described an iterative process of flight and ground tests. “That will wind up determining how many missions we need,” she said.

    NASA Administrator Bill Nelson then stepped in. “The question was, how many fuel transfers?”

    “I will say it will roughly be ten-ish,” Jensen responded. “It could be lower, depending on how well the first flight tests go, or it could be a little bit higher.”

    She downplayed the risks of SpaceX’s approach. “Propellant transfer in orbit sounds complex and scary, and it seems like this big nebulous thing,” she said. “But when you really break it down into the various pieces, we’ve actually achieved almost all of the complex parts already on our operational programs.”

    Jensen noted that SpaceX has demonstrated rendezvous and docking through Dragon missions to the International Space Station, and rapid launch through its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles, which have launched hours apart from different pad and days apart from the same pad. “We’re going to leverage those capabilities that we’ve learned on to Starship.”

    The key technology, she acknowledged, is the actual in-space transfer of cryogenic propellants, which has not yet been demonstrated in orbit. That is where the iteration and ground and space tests come in. She noted the company did not have a minimum number of flight tests currently planned for demonstrating propellant transfer.–

    1. NASA just recently announced a slip upcoming Artemis missions by about a year.

      In an un-related random story:
      NASA announces in a newly signed contract with the PowerBall Commission, it will soon be using the multi-state PowerBall Lottery machine to determine future Artemis milestone target dates.

      I have no comment on the truthiness of said story….

    2. It seems after first transfer in orbit, they can start selling rocket fuel in orbit. It might take more than year for any other party to use it for some kind mission, but I am saying one could start offering it as a product you will sell for some dollar amount.
      Meanwhile, could SpaceX, use LOX in orbit in regards to any Falcon launches?

  4. 1000 kg per million dollar or 1 kg for 1000 dollars
    x 2 is 10 tons of LOX for 20 million.
    If Falcon second stage could add 10 tons of LOX to it
    in orbit, what could it do?
    Second stage LOX can hold: “Second stage : 75,200 kg” vs Kerosene: “Second stage : 32,300 kg”
    So if had +5 tons kerosene it could add about 10 tons of LOX. Or to do anything significant have buy more than 10 tons of LOX but bring less than 10 tons of kerosene.
    So, it seems, Falcon Heavy for orbits higher than LEO, and brings about 20 tons of Kerosene and buying in orbit about 40 tons of LOX.
    It seems it could used to lift cargo to Gateway, water and/or LOX. Or maybe want to get dragon capsule to Gateway.
    Without refueling does Heavy Falcon get Dragon to Gateway? Apparently:
    “SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has the capacity to lift Crew Dragon and a “return stage” into lunar orbit. ”
    But maybe it has to expend it’s first stages.
    So, if have private crew going to Gateway and using Falcon Heavy and refueling in LEO?

  5. It is a bit more complicated than that but there is something that fits lots of theories when you dig into it.

  6. In Defense of Billionaires

    ““Billionaires should not exist,” argues Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long described himself as a democratic socialist. Indeed, “every billionaire is a policy failure” is a relatively common slogan among American progressives.

    According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth $170 billion. Extrapolating from Nordhaus’s findings, one could conclude that Bezos has created over $8 trillion – more than one-third of the United States’ annual GDP – in value for society. For example, Amazon has reduced the price of many consumer goods and freed up an enormous amount of time for millions of Americans by eliminating the need to visit brick-and-mortar retailers. Bezos, meanwhile, has received only a tiny slice of those social benefits.

    Take a look at the top ten billionaires on Bloomberg’s index. They are largely self-made innovators who have changed the way we live: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer revolutionized personal computing; Jeff Bezos upended retail; Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison elevated web search and database software; and Elon Musk disrupted the automotive industry and space commerce.”


    1. By that logic, there shouldn’t be millionaires either. But wait, Bernie’s a millionaire. Funny that for someone that’s never held an honest job and spent his life as a humble servant of the people, somehow scraping by on the miserable stipend we pay our public servants. Not to mention his loyal helpmate that managed to drive a college into bankruptcy while leading it into a new century.

      Look in China, where the police, busting the latest CCP muckety-muck to earn Xi’s displeasure, have to tread lightly as they search their humble thousands of square meter dwellings for fear the accumulated weight of the currency secreted in them will cause them to collapse.

      Somebody’s doing socialism wrong.

      1. If we were to ever do socialism right, then we wouldn’t have any more pretexts to do it wrong. Right?

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