Thursday, 28 November 2013

Around the Traps 29/11/13

It is time for Around the Traps.

No cricket on sunday so updating then.

Northern America
nuttin agin

Andrew Gelman ( King (President?) of the p Values)
Dave Giles ( The genial Econometric genius)
only one article Dave!!!!!  Dave was late!

Dianne Coyle +  Frances Woolley ( Quirky + Book Reviews)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Kristallnacht 75 years on

My attention was drawn that it is now 75 years since Kristallnacht occurred.
Sinclair Davidson attempts to write about it but naturally is inaccurate.
He quotes Scott Ryan "Never before had an allegedly civilised nation attempted an elimination of an entire people. Never before had all the gains of the renaissance, enlightenment and industrial revolution been put to such evil use. But these were only the means; the driving force behind the Holocaust was not new, it was thousands of years old, it is the oldest of hatreds."

 Whoopsy. Armenian genocide anyone. It only occurred in 1915!
( In what could only be described vas IRONY the Israeli Government has it as official policy to deny this atrocity! Maybe that is why it slipped the memory).
(Postscript. I was asked whether this is an example of denial. I very much doubt it. Indeed He probably didn't even know of the Armenian holocaust)

Why did Kristallnacht occur?
Adam Tooze in his book The Wages of Destruction makes the hypothesis that it was mostly due the the feeling of the SS Leadership  that war was imminent and Jews were seen as a fifth column that would undermine any war effort.

This is borne out by the fact that until Kristallnacht Jews were not put into prison or camps simply for being Jews but for being  influential members of trade Unions, the social Democrats, Communists etc.

We also had the absurd job given to Schacht. He would meet International Jewry and they would finance all German Jews to move to Palestine. ( In another irony Nazi Germany fully supported the setting up of a Jewish state in Palestine!).
Of course this never happened because International Jewry never existed. It only existed in the minds of the Nazi hierarchy who now believed their own propaganda.

Kristallnacht did show how much the German population had changed. When Goebbels tried to stop Germans from buying goods in Jewish retail stores he failed miserably and Hitler stopped it after only a day.  Germans continued to buy goods despite SA bully boys at the entrance of most Jewish stores,

By 1938 a lot of Germans had turned and blamed the Jews for the war they thought was certain. They also disgracefully joined in the pogrom against the Jews at this time.

We can only hope such an event never eventuates again.

I forgot to mention Robert Gellately mentioned two things of note in his excellent book Backing_Hitler. Consent_and _Coercion _in Nazi_Germany

1) By 1934 there was a recommendation to get rid of all concentration camps for political prisoners as they were no longer needed.
The Nazis being bureaucrats didn't do this.   ( Gellately has two distinct chapters on concentration camps. Before 1938 and after b1938 because their reason for being in Nazi Germany changed drastically.)

2) The Gestapo could not have functioned without support from the broad public as their numbers were far too small.

Further update on a related topic
Tooze and Gellately are at opposite ends of the terror debate. Tooze believes the population were terrorised to support Hitler whereas Gellately believes terror was invoked only on a small proportion of the population.
I think their writing on 1934 shows how accurate both of them were. Tooze merely notes the German population was more worried about inflation than the night of the long knives whereas Gellately explicitly says Germans supported Hitler's action and it boosted his popularity ( which was always much  higher than that of the Nazi party.)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Polls

There has been conjecture that the two major polls ,Neilsen and Newspoll, are showing different results and thus one is a rogue.

Is this correct?

First let us go to the pollbudger for Neilsen and for Newspoll. and also Mumble for Newspoll.

Now a bit of history is needed. In the 2004 election the polls which did better in 2PP terms were the ones who used the preference flows from the previous election. Hence ever since then this is what all polling organisations do now EXCEPT at present they do not have preference flows from the last election. Thus they have used preference flows from the 20120 election.

Some people have done a rough and ready preference flow from the last election.
When they do that they get a 2PP vote thus:
Neilsen       49:51
Newspoll   51: 49
Reachtel     51:49

After taking into account the margin of error the polls are saying basically the same thing.
Kevin Bonham is still correct!

Special Bonus. Kevin Bonham on Essential polling ( historical but useful and of course was in Around the Traps)

Special bonus update. Philip Lowe The RBA Deputy Governor made an important speech recently.
If you read it carefully then it means nominal GDP growth will be quite limited UNLESS...
This is bad news if you rabbitted on about how easy it was to get the budget into the black!
Interesting times.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Spirit of Cricket

The spirit of cricket is laid out in the preamble to the laws of cricket.

It is thus.

Preamble to the Laws

Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game.
Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.
1. There are two Laws which place the responsibility for the team's conduct firmly on the captain.

Responsibility of captains

The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.

Player's conduct

In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decisions of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player's captain, and instruct the latter to take action.
2. Fair and unfair play
According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
3. The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
  • Time wasting
  • Damaging the pitch
  • Dangerous or unfair bowling
  • Tampering with the ball
  • Any other action that they consider to be unfair
4. The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:
  • Your opponents  ( My emphasis)
  • Your own captain and team
  • The role of the umpires
  • The game and its traditional values
5. It is against the Spirit of the Game:
  • To dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture
  • To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
  • To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
    (a) to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
    (b) to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
    (c) to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one's own side
6. Violence
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
7. Players
Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.
The players, umpires and scorers in a game of cricket may be of either gender and the Laws apply equally to both.
The use, throughout the text, of pronouns indicating the male gender is purely for brevity. Except where specifically stated otherwise, every provision of the Laws is to be read as applying to women and girls equally as to men and boys.

It can be very easily seen that the spirit of cricket was not entered into by the Australian team in particular. Indeed it seems as that they have no idea of what the spirit of cricket entails.

Certainly Michael Clarke, nor comments made by Alastair Cook, show that the Captains are there to uphold the spirit of cricket. This did NOT occur.

It is my hope the Umpires intervene next time to ensure the spirit of cricket is  understood by both teams and they uphold those values!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Indonesian fiasco

A number of people have written about the Indonesian fiasco.

John Quiggin for one , Brian Banisch for another.

Thus it is hard to be original in any analysis.

It is quite easy to say the Government's handling has been very inept.

It could have done a number of things.

  • This problem occurred under the previous Government. Hence things have changed since the election.
  • They could have copied the reaction of the US administration.
  • They could have reacted much much quicker.

My guess is this is one of the main reasons for this poll. UPDATE more polling and explanation ( which means once both organisations get the 2013 election preferences their polls will be about the same given the margin of error!)

This amplifies what I said here

Further Update
The Government was aware of what the ABC had yet still reacted as they did. Amazing

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Around the Traps 22/11/13

It is time for Around the Traps again.
Great stuff again. David Glasner, Nick rowe, Simon Wren-Lewis, Edward Lambert, Kruggers, Chris Dillow,
Robert Waldeman, Antonio Fatas etal. wonderful reading and highly thoughtful stuff. Climate is highly interesting as well.
Will update over the week-end depending on cricket( coaching, umpiring, watching)

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( King of the p Values)
Dave Giles ( The bespectacled Econometric Genius)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The ALP government. What was their record like?

There are some people saying the previous government was the worst in Federation.
Naturally people who make this accusation never put up any evidence to back up their statement so let us look at their record.

GDP Growth
GDP growth was 2.6% which was clearly below trend. Moreover Nominal GDP has been clearly below trend for some time. This is mainly because of the fall in the terms of trade. Contractionary fiscal policy did not help here either.


The government ended up with a budget deficit of 1.2% of GDP. Outlays were 24.3% and Receipts were 23.2% of GDP.
Clearly  the below trend growth rates of Nominal GDP have had a huge impact.This is the main reason why the budget is still in the red and it is no bad thing.

Labour market

Unemployment is 5.7% and labour costs are rising at 2.7%. Clearly we see no sign of a rigid labour market here. Wages are now rising at a lower rate than when the GFC hit us.


the RBA preferred measure is at 2.3%.

Thus looking at these various measures of the economy any person who claims the previous Government was the worst Government in Federation is either a moron, an imbecile or simply stark raving mad!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Ashes

As any educated person knows you can tell how cultural a nation is by whether they play cricket. Thus Australia is a highly cultural nation and France has no culture at all!!

The Ashes start tomorrow in Brisbane. Go here and read comments from Tony and the boys if you like cricket. Mind their language though.

I think the Poms will win.

the 3-0 win in England was a lot closer than it looked. This was for two reasons.
1) Alastair Cook was very loose outside the offstump and thus never got a ton.English wicket seam a lot more than Australian ones so I expect Cook to score more runs out here
2) The English attack was under-performed in England. They did have bowlers who won tests ( Anderson, Broad and Swann) but overall I thought they were well off their game.

Hence we come to Australia.

I actually think England will do better under our conditions than theirs.

Their paceman can swing the ball ( both new and old) whereas ours struggle to do this.Their spinners can back up their pacemen.

Although we have competent pace bowlers our spinners are lacking. Moreover I have no confidence in Johnson being one of the pace bowlers in the first test.

I think the English batsmen will appreciate Australian wickets, Petersen and Cook in particular.

Thus I believe the Poms will win and keep the Ashes.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

How is the New government travelling?

There has been speculation on how the new government is travelling in terms of polling.
Fortunately for us Kevin Bonham has looked at the numbers.

As he says there appears to be lack of any 'honeymoon' bounce for the present Government.

why is this?

Well the government doesn't appear to be in a hurry to do anything. This is contrary to what they were saying before the election.
The main issue they want to talk about is the repeal of the ETS yet it is a big yawn to most people.
Despite any talk of a double dissolution this won't happen.

It is still early days of this Government.
The Opposition has performed better than I would have expected.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Around the Traps 15/11/13

It is time for Around the Traps.
Andrew Gelman looks to have won the longest title for an Article!
Noah Smith is back!
There is a Cochrane generated debate in General on Old Keynesian and New Keynesian models as well.

I am supposed to be coaching and umpiring on cricket on the Weekend but RAIN is forecast so wilwill probably update then.

USA and some country North of that
nuttin agin!!!
Andrew Gelman ( king of the P values)
Dave Giles( the geniual  genial econometric genius!)
Dianne Coyle + Frances Woolley (Quirky + Book Reviews)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Global Warming since 1997 has been underestimated by half

This is

Yowser Yowser Yowser.
Take a look at the comments. The data is weak in areas where it has been very hot!

Wages, Parliament and a bit more


The Wage Price Index came out yesterday and showed labour costs rising at a slower pace just as the RBA anticipated.
So much for a more regulated labour market.  If one examines labour costs, strikes or employment statistics there is NO evidence of a more regulated labour market indeed quite the opposite!

Gerry Henderson needs to read this. His fears that on-costs have climbed substantially in recent years because of a more regulated labour market are without foundation. It seems the Hendersons are exceptionally poor at reading statistics!


John Quiggin has beaten to it. ( Well blogging is part of his job isn't it!) Parliament started yesterday and it was a fiasco.
I might claim the Paul Atreides prescient award as I said Bronwyn Bishop would be an embarrassment, Scott Morrison would look foolish and Joe Hockey look ordinary.It was all rather easy to predict.
Just on Joe he apparently doesn't know the only changes to MYEFO and PEFO are to economic parameters and  new government programs. We all know the true state of the books. Perhaps someone hasn't told him!

It was a pretty ordinary start for the new Government, easily the worst i have ever seen or heard but it early days and all this doesn't count in the electorate..

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Anne Henderson's bad biography of joseph Lyons

A friend of mine had Anne Henderson's biography of Joseph Lyons so I asked him if I could read it.

It is really bad  Sinclair Davidson bad.

I would just write on some of the errors. inconsistencies or blatant propaganda the book involves.

  • In the preface she talks about why there should be more books on the man. He was the first prime minister to win 3 elections in a row. This was a remarkable achievement. Whoa there. The Opposition was split badly  ( the Big Fellah anybody) until one John Curtin was able to unify the party. A drover's dog could have won the elections for the UAP under those conditions! Indeed why was there an election in 1931 anyway. Oh that's right Langites voted against the Government!
  • She says Amity Shales has reevaluated what people think about the New Deal. I have dealt with Shales before. She is one strange lady .She considers people on jobs unemployed. Shales is considered a joke in the USA. Her favourite president had 3 recessions in 7 years during the roaring twenties, Say no more!
  • She compares unemployment in Australia with unemployment in the USA in 1937. Only problem is in the USA you had the largest change in fiscal policy. From a structural deficit to a small structural surplus. This meant GDP actually fell after averaging nearly double digits during the new deal time. Unemployment rose in the USA because of policies Joseph Lyons advocated.
  • Unemployment only fell to 8% at best in Australia. This is the level they were in a recession before the great Depression hit Australia. so in her own words Australia went from a depression to a recession. some recovery
  • She hides the fact the economy fell in 1932 ( it had marginally risen in 1930) after the disastrous 1931 budget and then only rose after that because of the massive devaluation that occurred. This devaluation meant inflation ( something that Joseph Lyons foolishly feared) . This meant monetary policy suddenly worked.( No liquidity trap) Real wages fell drastically and of course economic growth occurred. She missed that. Funny about that!
  • She claims Enid Lyons was quite an attractive lady but all the photographs show a largish plain looking woman!
  • Joseph Lyons was in love with her when Enid Lyons was only 15 and he was over twice her age. This was be scandalous now but in the early 1900s it would be an outrage but nothing is said. 
I will leave it at that. Joseph Lyons is an interesting subject but deserves better than this rubbish!

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Cost of Living in Australia has flatlined

Peter Martin reports on an ABS study on the cost of living.

The Kouk  was onto this a long time before this. ( This is but one of his articles on the myth of rising costs of living badly affecting Australian families.)

I remember Sinclair Davidson at the time wrote at Catallaxy chiding the Kouk. He offered no evidence that the Kouk was wrong. He said the Kouk should tell those families in Western Sydney they were doing all right.

As it is The Kouk was correct and Sinclair was wrong AGAIN.
This is understandable as the Kouk is an economist and Sinclair is a mere propagandist.

Will Sinclair now offer an apology to the Kouk and admit he was wrong, badly wrong?

Don't hold your breath!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Rolling Bones

Here is Midnight Rambler. Compare this to the live 1969 version.

One thing for sure they did not get better. Mick Taylor was the best guitarist they ever had. Why did they get rid of him?  Much much better than Ronnie Wood

Don't believe me then cop this!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Around the Traps 8/11/13

It is time again for Around the Traps.

I am coaching and Umpiring over the weekend however if the forecast rain appears then updating should occur on Sunday.

Aussie,Aussie, Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America

Andrew Gelman
Dave Giles
Dianne Coyle & Frances Woolley (Quirky + Book Reviews)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

ICAC is doing its Job!

Before the hearings about Eddie Obeid and Ian McDonald started the only thing said about those two people was that as politicians they couldn't cut the mustard and they had far too much influence in Government.

The Hearings has shown these two politicians and others to  have very little moral fibre.
The scale of corruption has been t on a large scale and but it has been quite surprising as no-one but no-one was even whispering about anything like this.

This is why ICAC was set up. To delve in things that are 'smelly' and find out the truth.

NSW is a much better State because of the hearings. Government will be improved as will the ALP.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The OECD and Carbon Pricing

The OECD released a report entitled Climate and Carbon, Aligning Prices and Policies.

As anyone would know if they have studied economics they support a policy of either a Carbon Tax
( joining the Pigou club as Greg Mankiw would say) or some sort of Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce  carbon emissions.

Thus the externalities have a price put on them and then the market directly or indirectly changes consumer's buying habits.There are other policies that are needed as well but a country must adopt one or the other of the above.

If a country does not do that then that country is either not serious about climate change or simply doesn't believe that AGW is occurring.

Monday, 4 November 2013


The Germans are creating problems
See Simon Wren-Lewis  and then David Glasner on this.

They are two of the more thoughtful people that write in the blogosphere. Simon directly and David indirectly talk about the stupidity of German macroeconomic policy.

Both have links to Kruggers writing about Germany as well although they possibly miss this one.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Typepad has declared war on Nick Rowe

Sometime ago I wrote declaring wordpress-has-declared-war-on-me.

Lo and behold something similar has occurred to Canadian academic and brainiac Nick Rowe.  

So now I know this just doesn't occur to me because of my superb taste in music.

Nick Rowe features regularly on Around the Traps usually in Northern America or the wonk section.

He is first class so if this event is occurring to him  and to me it must be affecting other people BUT how to overcome it?

Any ideas?


Nick has solved his problem!!  Typical brainiac!  I have to rowe a different boat!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Deep Purple

Only Deep Purple could make a Neil Diamond song sound good!