Thursday, 31 December 2015

Around the Traps 1/1/16 New Year Edition

It is time for Around the Traps in the New Year!

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox Wonk

  •  on holidays

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Fiscal consolidation.

I have written about fiscal consolidation quite a lot.

This is possibly the best.  This is earlier but still pretty good.

Let us go back to basics.

If you introduce austerity too quickly you will make the economy weaker.

Wayne Swan did this in the last budget he ever had responsibility for. He cut NOMINAL spending and detracted 0.7 percentage points from GDP.
Did this help strengthen the economy? No of course not.

So only a complete imbecile would advocate right! yes and that can only mean they have no knowledge of fiscal policy nor of history. Nasty stuff that peroxide!

I didn't think I had any need to say this but part of the problem is fiscal policy is far more powerful then we previously thought although Adam Posen showed this with Japan in the 90s a long time ago.

Also monetary policy loses a lot of potency as interest rates get to very low levels as Glen Stevens has ponted out and Wayne Swan found out to his chagrin!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Star Wars

I saw Star Wars yesterday with my two sons ( who have not seen the previous three movies.

I quite liked it. I thought it very similar to the original movie but not quite as good.

Hans Solo dying was off-putting.

Hasn't Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford aged wheres Mark Hamill looked strange with a beard!

Recommended to watch.

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Replacement of the PM

The biggest thing that occurred in domestic politics was the replacement of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull.

Even though we all knew it would occur because we knew the Liberals did not have a political death wish we were caught by surprise. I was as I thought it might happen AFTER the by-election.

The Turnbull ascendancy immediately showed most people agreed. the Liberals went from being favourite to lose the next election to being favourites to winning the next election as first term Government normally do.

Bill Shorten went from being the next PM to being a normal Opposition leader after losing the last election i.e. always going to lose the next election. the zingers were no longer hitting home.
Despite some ( only some) impressive policy advances The Opposition is making no headway in the polls.
IMHO the major reason here is Tony Abbott putting his head up at regular intervals. The punters are simply sighing with relief this embarrassment is no longer PM and want to keep it that way.

Turnbull would have to do an 'Abbott' to lose the next election and unlike Rudd and Abbott he appears to have learnt from his previous mistakes.  He is certainly creating a lot of angst amongst the right wing brigade who can no longer pretend they speak for the masses!

2016 no longer appears interesting


Okay I should have said Abbott won a victory in the party room against no-one in January but was put on notice. Please note Turnbull had nought to do with this. Just very unhappy back-benchers. He did not improve if anything got worse and got replaced and he didn't know why!!  No self awareness either. i wonder if he is related to Katesy!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Drugs and Test Cricket

In the midst of a dreadful test series against a very poor West Indies side I hear the Pakistani leg spinner Shah has failed a drug test.

How does taking any drug help any bowler or batsman ion cricket. Sure it makes a difference in athletics, cycling but cricket?

Pray tell me how it works?  Please tell me how any drug can 'enhance' performance!

Don't any of these officials and administrators have any common sense?

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Around the Traps 25/12/15 Christmas Day Edition

Around the Traps on Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all!!

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky +  Book Reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Calculated Risk at its best

Calculated risk is a must read blog.

I got onto to it around 2007 and thus had the benefit of knowing what was av=bout to happen but not expecting the depth of such a collapse to erupt right around the world.
Here is Tanta  explaining to all the problems of sub-prime.

Please note it rarely included poor people who couldn't afford the mortgage. Research by the Fed and all  Regional Feds have backed up this eerily prescient article.

I should add the head of credit research at Colonial First State was very impressed with the blog once I introduced him to it. When he resigned to holiday around Australia he asked me again for it.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Driving Miss Daisy

I had to drive My mother back to Port Macquarie yesterday in the blinding rain.
I ( and my son) merely drove at 90 kilometres an hour because of the conditions.

Two things stood out.

We saw at least four bad accidents on dual carriage way. Very strange except most of the drivers drove as if it were NOT raining.

The economy our car did ( Hyundai I30) was about 4.2-4.4 as opposed to around 5.5 when driving at 110 kilometres an hour we usually do.

It is a bloody long drive though.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Budgetary Blues

When the Coalition won office they claimed they had inherited a deficit and debt disaster. The Deficit was according to PEFO 1.9% of GDP.
Through some decision they managed to increase this to 2.1% of GDP. We found out in MYEFO the deficit marginally has increased to 2.3% of GDP.
so in office they have managed to allow the deficit to get worse.

Amazing what occurs when the Terms of trade go the wrong way!

No sign of the Liberals wanting to match Wayne Swan and take 0.7 percentage points off GDP with the most austere budget on record, Thank the Lord for that.

Classical economics was always a complete crock

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Around the Traps 18/12/15

It is time for Around the Traps again

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)

  • nutting as yet.

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Islamic Terrorism and assimilation

There is a wonderful article at Vox wonk as I call it on the above topic.

It is well worth reading.

One of the findings is that terror attacks may well be calculated to reduce assimilation of muslins into Western society.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


well MYEFO was released yesterday.
There are opinions on it
Whoopsy HERE
Good  grief I forgot THE KOUK

I can't help thinking Wayne Swan is laughing in the background as the Liberals have been singing from his hymnal ever since they have been in Government.

In essence there has been no change in the deficit as a % of GDP since a change of government. Wow way to go given the deficit 'disaster' they inherited.

This all started when  income tax were given with the deletion of the petrol excise . see HERE.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Trump , Will the primaries change things

Up to this stage Trump popularity with Republican voters has stood still no matter how many stupid statements he makes.
He is clearly the non-politician they like.

However once the primary season comes before us they then have to vote for a Republican candidate whom they hope can beat Hillary Clinton.

Once this dose of realism hits the voters will they change and then vote for an electable candidate?

I had thought that as candidates drop out their 'votes' would go to other candidates and Trump's would stay still.

This has not occurred.

Indeed at this stage many ore now writing of a Republican convention where no candidate has enough votes to become the Presidential candidate.

Who knows but I have a sneaking suspicion when republican voters cast their votes in the primaries Trump will get less votes than anticipated and he will at some stage drop out.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Around the Traps 11/12/15

It is time for Around the Traps again

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A Reformation for Islam?

Former PM ( and catholic) Tony Abbott has called on Islam to have a reformation. He sees it as one the the big answers to terrorism.

First of all it is very ironical a catholic would call for a reformation when they do not recognise anything of the Reformation itself!

Roughly the reformation started when Erasmas ( who remained a catholic) showed how Catholic dogma was completely different to that in the original documents.  It was Luther and then of course Calvin who showed how catholic dogma was incompatible with the scriptures.

Islam have no original manuscripts. They were burnt.Islam actually had their enlightenment ( related to the reformation but not the same) period before the Western world and then retreated from it.
The Reformation actually caused more deaths in its early stages as mainly Catholic but also Protestant rulers put heretics to death.This could be called terrorism!
Among those targeted were people who translated the manuscripts into language everyone understood so it would not be the monopoly of the Catholic denomination!

Imagine for a moment that a reformation did occur. would people who support ISIL and their version of Islam change their views? Of course not.

Yet again Abbott has strayed into territory he does not understand .

The only person applauding would be Malcolm Turnbull. The reason being he gains stronger support each time Abbott opens his mouth not Bill Shorten as people are gladdened that Turnbull is PM now and not Abbott.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


The Government announced its innovation policy as did the Opposition.

It was a great shame I do not hear either talk about getting greater competition within Australia.

It is competition that drives innovation as it is the main driver that makes companies different to others. It makes sense to innovate as this will drive greater profits. It differentiates itself from other companies.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Why are we stopping people fighting ISIL?

Police interviewed a young man and who went and fought against ISIL.

Why in the hell would it be a crime to fight ISIL?

ISIL is one of the most evil organisations the Earth has known. The sooner it is gone the better.I have no trouble at all in punishing people who have gone and helped them ( although disillusioned supporters are sometimes the best propaganda weapons against ISIL) however leave people who go and fight ISIL well alone.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Ian McFarlane

Ian McFarlane has been a liberal member of parliament from Queensland. It is a safe seat. He has been a rather nondescript cabinet member for a while.

Now it appears he is about to switch to the National party because in essence he lost his cabinet position.

Two things stand out in this.

Why would a person merely switching sides make any difference to a coalition agreement. No electorate vote is involved.

If I was an ambitious younger national MP then I would be pretty unhappy that a political has been will get into cabinet and I didn't.
I can think of least two national mps who should be Ministers now but are not. ( I should state I went to the wedding of one MP and have known him for a while since he worked in the financial markets. i have known his wife longer.)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Around the Traps 4/12/15

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk