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Towering debts, rapidly rising taxes, constant and expensive wars, a debt burden surpassing 200% of GDP. What are the chances that a country with such characteristics would grow rapidly? Almost anyone would probably say ‘none’.

And yet, these are exactly the conditions under which the Industrial Revolution took place in Britain. Britain’s government debt went from 5% of GDP in 1700 to over 200% in 1820, it fought a war in one year out of three … and taxes increased rapidly but not enough to keep pace with the rise in spending …

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Until now, scholars mostly thought of the effect of government borrowing on growth as either neutral or negative…

In a recent paper, we argue that Britain’s borrowing binge was actually good for growth (Ventura and Voth 2015). To understand why massive debt accumulation may have accelerated the Industrial Revolution, we first consider what should have happened in an economy where entrepreneurs suddenly start to exploit a new technology with high returns. Typically, we would expect capital to chase these investment opportunities – anyone with money should have tried to put their savings into new cotton factories, iron foundries and ceramics manufacturers. Where they didn’t have the expertise to invest directly, banks and stock companies should have recycled funds to direct savings to where returns where highest.

This is not what happened. Financial intermediation was woefully inadequate – it failed to send the money where it should have gone …

By issuing bonds on a massive scale, the government effectively pioneered a way – unintentionally – to put money in the pockets of entrepreneurs in the new sectors …

The shift from investing in liming, marling, draining, and enclosure into government debt liberated resources – labour that could no longer be profitably employed in the countryside had to look for employment elsewhere. Because so much of English agricultural labour was provided by wage labourers, the switch to government debt pushed workers off the land. Unsurprisingly, wages failed to keep pace with output; real wages, adjusted for urban disamenities, probably fell over the period 1750-1830. What made life miserable for the workers, as eloquently described by Engels amongst others, was a boon to the capitalists. Their profit rates continued to rise as capital received an ever-larger share of the pie – while the share of national income going to labour and land contracted. Higher profits spelled more investment in new industries, and Britain’s industrial growth accelerated.

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A Chinese government investigation has revealed that more than 80 percent of the data used in clinical trials of new pharmaceutical drugs have been “fabricated“.

The report uncovered fraudulent behaviour at almost every level, and showed that some pharmaceutical companies had hidden or deleted records of potentially adverse side effects, and tampered with data that didn’t meet their desired outcomes.

In light of the findings, 80 percent of current drug applications, which were awaiting approval for mass production, have now been cancelled.

The investigation, led by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), looked at data from 1,622 clinical trials for new pharmaceutical drugs currently awaiting approval. The applications in question were all for Western medicine, not traditional Chinese medicine.

The SFDA found that the more than 80 percent of the data failed to meet analysis requirements, were incomplete, or totally non-existent.

Not only did the report find that many of the ‘new’ drugs awaiting approval were actually a combination of existing drugs, they also showed that many clinical trial outcomes were written before the trials had actually taken place, and the data had been simply manipulated to match what companies wanted to find.

Worst of all, it wasn’t just a few scientists or pharma companies doing the dirty work. The report found that pretty much everyone involved was guilty of some kind of malpractice of fraud.

Perhaps most worryingly, even third party independent investigators tasked with inspecting clinical trial facilities are mentioned in the report as being “accomplices in data fabrication due to cut-throat competition and economic motivation”.

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We are currently on the mid-semester break. However, we also have 3 major assignments to complete, which, will negate much, if not all of the break.

Currently I am working on 2 out of the 3: Commercial Transactions and International Environmental Law. Both are 5000 word efforts. The issue isn’t getting to 5000 words, the issue is staying within the word count.

Commercial Transactions is already sitting at 3000 words and I’m not even fully 50% through the assignment. That doesn’t even include footnotes. At the moment I feel somewhat burnt out with it, hence the moan.

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Donald Trump just took the lead in a major national poll for the first time in roughly six weeks.

In a Rasmussen poll released Thursday, Trump held a 4-point lead over presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed, the presumptive Republican nominee won over 43% of support compared to Clinton’s 39%.

The margin of error was plus or minus 3 points.

The poll is the first Trump has lead over Clinton since mid-May, when Trump held a 2-point lead in an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The Rasmussen poll breaks a streak of 22 consecutive polls Clinton has topped Trump in.

After the Rasmussen survey, Clinton’s lead in the RealClearPolitics average of several polls is now 4.9%.

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Coming into the end of semester 1.

Two major assignments due. Exams start in 2 weeks. 2 case conferences, 1 set of submissions, 1 Brief of Evidence and still working full-time.

Nice.

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Donald Trump entered into general-election mode Tuesday night, seeking a pivot to unite the Republican Party against a common foe as it declared him its presumptive nominee.

“We’re going after Hillary Clinton,” Trump said during a victory speech at Trump Tower in New York.

“She will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor” president, he said of the Democratic frontrunner, his likely opponent in the general election.

After winning the Indiana primary and delivering Ted Cruz a knockout punch out of the Republican race, Trump and the party he is now set to lead prepared for the road ahead.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called him the “presumptive nominee” and called for party unity on Tuesday.

“@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton,” he tweeted shortly after Cruz announced he was leaving the race.

In a nod to the anti-Trump movement that branded itself as “#NeverTrump,” Priebus added a hashtag: “#NeverClinton.”

For his part, Trump dropped the insults trademark to his campaign, congratulating Cruz on a race well run and calling him a “hell of a competitor.” And he keyed in on Clinton in the victory speech from Trump Tower in New York. He

“We’re going to win big, and it’s going to be America first,” Trump said.

“This country, which is very, very divided in so many different ways is going to become one beautiful and loving country,” he later added.

Trump now needs fewer than 200 delegates to secure the nomination ahead of the July convention after securing all of the 57 delegates up for grabs in Indiana. John Kasich, the Ohio governor, is the lone remaining candidate facing Trump in the Republican race, but he is currently running fourth in the delegate count.

Clinton’s campaign has already taken notice of Trump’s now-imminent grasp on the Republican nomination.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, delivered the campaign’s first direct general-election shot at Trump. Podesta said Trump isn’t prepared to keep the country safe and improve conditions for middle America.

“Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he’s too divisive and lacks the temperament to lead our nation and the free world,” Podesta wrote in a statement. “With so much at stake, Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk.”

“While Donald Trump seeks to bully and divide Americans, Hillary Clinton will unite us to create an economy that works for everyone,” he later wrote.

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Just having a look through some potential earnings plays for next week and KORS looks to be a possibility.

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I’m going to keep an eye on this one after I close out the trade in V. If V works out, then KORS could be my next trade. If V blows up…back to the drawing board.

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