Thursday, 19 July 2018

Around the Traps 20/7/18

It is time yet again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Thank you Timmy Cahill

Timmy Cahill has retired from international football. although there have ben more talented people play for Asutralia , Harry Kewell or Mark Viduja for a staqrt, that has not been a better servant to the Ssocceroos.

Here is his best ever goal and possibly the best ever seen in a world cup.  Listen to Robbie Savage!

There has been no 'Trump' effect on the US economy

A group of economists has examined whether the election of Trump has had any effect on the US economy,
The answer is a resounding no!  Who would have thunked it!

Monday, 16 July 2018

The World Cup - A reflection

In a world where it seems everyone is going mad as I showed yesterday we need a good world cup and we got one.  It is a shame it is over

France won as I though they would BUT they never got out of 2nd gear. This was a deliberate strategy by the coach. Playing joga bonito is what they should have done. They had the players and showed on rare occasions they were more than capable of  it. BUT the coach thought it involved risk.
Yes it dies but the Brazilian way is we score more goals than you. France could have easily won the cup that way and the team been compared to the greats but no. we say Pogba play in a defensive way. Of the Euro defeat was not understood well.

The final was not a good match despite the goals. The French gave away far too much possession when never under pressure. Pogba was a stand out here.
However there were good goals, poor goalkeeping ( indeed this was a world cup where world class keepers gave away soft goals) an own goal and then a VAR  penalty. Yep I thought it was a penalty and his hand was certainly 'guiding' the ball.

It also showed that third world football nations like Australia are not very far away from the first world ones.

We now must look forward to the Travesty of Qatar in November/December four years hence.

I predict well in advance it will be the worst ever.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

John Quiggin aping Sinclair Davidson

Unfortunately John Quiggin is now aping Sinclair Davidson.
In this article he accuses Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute of being a denialist.

The accusation is spurious and based on a statement from Tony Wood
All Wood is saying is please ignore the  extremists on both sides. You know the people who say stop all coal now or on the other hand say the government should only fund coal powered stations.
Apparently this is all beyond John.

Let us take this a bit further.
What does a denialist do?

  • They deny a warming world. Does Wood do this? NO!
  • They do not see any reason for a carbon tax, ETS or any other policy which involves curbing carbon emissions. Does Wood do this ? NO!
  • They offer estimates of the cost of power of new coal power stations which are absurdly low and much less than renewables. Does Wood do this? NO!
  • They will claim renewables are the main reason for the higher price of electricity these days. does wood do this? NO!
In all cases he does quite the opposite

Indeed the statement John quotes of Wood completely contradicts John's claim. If Wood was a denialist he would not have talked about a deep fear to protect the role of coal for base load power.

Renewables are now cheaper than coal for electricity generation. The reason Wood is advocating a NEG now and not say an ETS is because of the toxic political arena we have.

Whilst John wants to be clean and pure Wood wants something to be done. A NEG will mean coal declining and it can be implemented under the present government. An ETS is simply out of the question until the nest election at the earliest.

If John cannot  see that then he simply simply following a Trumpian path!

HERE is their view on the new AEMO report. It is nothing like a denialist would write.
Apologise now John and rescue your formerly good reputation

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Around the Traps 13/7/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The ACCC and the electricity market

The ACCC released their report on the electricity market yesterday.

I am totally with John Quiggin on this.
It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to understand the electricity market would not be a competitive market where consumer sovereignty reigns.

Where was the ACCC when all these worthless privatisaons were occurring?

I should have added can some-one tell the innumerates that coal fired power stations are the highest cost alternative please. See HERE

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Two TV shows that have had its day

Tonight on Channel 10 two shows will follow each other. Unfortunately They have to go/

Instinct is in its first season. The actors and actresses are fine. ( the lieutenant is an absolute babe), the characters not too bad, the scripts reasonable however when you team up a female detective who obviously needs to find another boyfriend with an expert on weird murder and who has no social skills you assume this is a romance in the making. No. He is homosexual so we are denied that romantic tension the yanks can do so well.

Thus we end up with a show that just does not gel at all.

Madam Secretary started out well. It is the poor mans West Wing however it has run off the rails.
Change of characters that do not work as well as writing that simply does not understand the subject are among the reasons for its demise.

The main actress was stunning when the show started but even she gas gone downhill for some reason.

I can live with scripts that leave a lot to the  imagination such as the Secretary's husband going from being a ace jet pilot to completing a PhD in theology. It is assumed he is catholic however the frustrating thing is we simply do not know if the household and he in particular believe in God or perhaps does so in a very liberal manner or even is an atheist.

An example shows this. Their youngest boy has a girlfriend so they think it is an appropriate time to talk about safe sex???   Wouldn't they talk about no sex until married? It is though the PhD in theology was simply thought up in a thought bubble and no consideration was given to what it exactly meant to the characters.

The other large problem which the West wing dealt with is that Elizabeth always comes through. nothing ever goes wrong.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Privatising the ABC is both stupid and lazy thinking

The idea of privatising the ABC is both extremely stupid and sloppy lazy thinking.
Here is Sinclair Davidson latest apologia for his and Chris Berg latest 'work' on the topic.

Let us get to basics. What do you privatise? Commercial activities that are NOT essential industries.
The ABC does not even get close to this. Let us be specific. as I showed HERE when examining Sydney Radio  Radio National only does programs that attracts a very selected audience.
Indeed if the ABC did any commercial work there would be a hue and cry from the commercial media because it would be eating into their profits. There has been no outcry from the commercial media not even a whimper.

So what is the point of the Davidson and Berg 'paper' then given it is both stupid and lazy.

They want to get rid of the ABC but do not want to say this. 

No ABC employee would become an 'owner' of part of the current ABC as they do not have the capital to continue funding it. Why is this? Because it doe not have commercial activities!!!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Fama puzzle.

THIS article is a beauty from Vox Wonk. 
Ordinarily we should expect ex-post depreciation and interest rate differentials to be positively correlated. The various authors found the opposite.

Fascinating as Mr Spock used to say

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Around the Traps 6/7/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman  ( mainly statistics)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Who will win the World Cup

Now we have had the all the games of the final 16 we should make a prediction of which country will win the country.

Quite clearly no team stood up and said we can win it however you look for teams that can improve on their showings.

Only two teams cam improve. Brazil can but only a bit.
France on the other hand cam improve a lot indeed they could win the world cup in a canter if they got out of first gear. They did marginally get into 2nd gear against Argentina and looked ominous.

The major question is can they get to full gear.
They face three problems

  1. They have a hopeless coach
  2. They have yet to gel as a team
  3. Related to this is the problem stated above of getting out of 1st gear
So my prediction is France however I think their quarter final and most certainly their semi-final will be a better match than the final

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Hansen and liars

30 years ago James Hansen made a famous testimony to the US Congress.
Probably because of his eerily accurate predictions on world temperature there have been at least two attempts to discredit his testimony.
Both have failed.
The Wall Street Journal gave us the first attempt. See HERE for a demolition of it.
Next was two  more people who tried a different way. See HERE for its demolition.

Why do such people resort to such blatant lies. moreover lies that are easily shown.

My guess is that the people they are writing to are not all that smart and will accept such material holus bolus even when shown it is complete crap. come on down our own Andrew Bolt.

This is par for the course. This is the usual  par for the course at Watts up with That for example.

In essence denialists will always be denialists despite what the evidence says. Indeed the more the evidence turns against them the more they resort to outright lies as we have seen here.

Market V Government

I don't know how many times I get bored by lazy propagandists either saying free markets are the only solution or neo-liberalism has failed.

Now we have Mark Fabian and Robert Bruenig writing an article entitled market-v-government-in-fact-hybrid-policy-is-the-best-fit-for-the-21st-century 

Countries such as Australia, Denmark and Canada fared much better than the UK or the USA. Why? The former counties compensated losers whilst the .latter countries did not.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The ALP needs to spell out its economic policy

It is clear the ALP will have a massive war chest given all the new taxes it has announced. Most are pretty sensible.

However it has not spelled out in any detail what it will do with that extra revenue. 
It can :

  1. Increase spending
  2. reduce the budget deficit
  3. reduce taxes
  4. a combination of all three
What we need to know is exactly what they will do. 

I see no reason to either increase spending or reduce taxes. Nominal GDP growth is back to reasonable levels so budget consolidation seems to me the obvious thing to do.

Whilst there is no reason to increase spending the ALP could change spending levels within different areas.
Reducing taxes whilst the budget is still in deficit is lubricious and shows the government has given up on budget consolidation.

Political considerations means they will choose 4 however I do hope most of the extra revenue goes toward budget consolidation.

My feeling is we are in unique territory where this could benefit the ALP  in both economic and political terms.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Higher energy prices are here to stay

The Grattan Institute, IMHO the best think tank around here, has put out a report on the energy industry.
An article from Lucy Percival out;lines its main points.
The Report is here written by Tony Wood and David Blowers.

It outlines the reasons why costs have risen over the last few years.
The largest is caused by changes in supply.
Almost as bad is caused by increases in prices of  inputs mainly gas and coal prices.
Lastly and on a very small basis is companies gaming the system.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

World Cup lessons

I have always been consistent. I thought both ex-ante and ex-post Australia should have gone through to the final 16. Last nights results showed anything can occur after that.

We should have drawn against France and beaten Denmark. We did not. Why?

It is clear former "Aussie" Bert did not understand the personnel he had or they way Australia plays.Nor can  he change his thinking.

He has said he underestimated the playing group,. hoe can this be? It can only be because of the limited time he had with them.
He relied only a small number of  players. Nabbout is a clear example of not thinking through on his tactics. Nabbout could only harass defenders which he did well however harassing defenders does not take a lot out of them. Attacking them does and McClaren was much better in doing this than Nabbout. Also Nabbout showed he was well out of his depth.
moreover this would have helped when Cahill was brought on.
Rogic is a fine player when he has space. He was never going to have space against France. Irvine was easily the better selection to start .Rogic can score a goal from nothing so unless he is completely buggered he should always stay on.
We had few attacking options. He could have chosen McClaren, Leckie or Rogic. Nabbout was a strange selection against Denmark when we had to win. He was never going to score. He never was in position when a cross came over.

Very few teams cam back from losing a goal yet sitting back and attacking later simply was asking for a goal to be scored.

Arnie is now in charge and hopefully will still be there when the world cup is in Qatar ( what a disgraceful decision).

Our aim should be getting into the final 16 as a minimum. Getting there is not good enough

I should end by saying if Ange was still in charge we would have had two glorious losses and one bad one

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Around the Traps 29/6/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Denial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The US Supreme Court woeful decision.

I outsource an opinion on the Supreme courts on Muslims to David Glasner who relies equally on Noah Feldman.
What can be said. Roberts tangles himself on the Korematsu decision.
If only Republicans had followed the constitution and had allowed Obama to nominate a supreme court judge as he was entitled to.

The decision itself is an absolute disgrace for the reasons outlined and in line with two other disgraceful decisions   namely  the Dred Scott and the Korematsu decisions.

I should have added this decision shows hoe political the US Supreme court really is.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

We simply were not good enough

I have to admit I did not think we would win last night. Yet again 'Aussie' Bert was cautious in selecting his team.

As with Denmark we had to win but his tactics seem to be again cautious instead of attack. Avoiding a goal is much easier if you are attacking then if you are absorbing pressure.

Juric for example is a poor mans Viduka , He keeps the ball until his team mates are there to pass to. He is not the man if your tactics are a fast counter-attack.This showed up in the way he played. He seemed confused on what his actual role was.  I would have gone to McClaren ( how we missed him against Denmark. He tires out defenders as they have to stop and start a lot and match his pace. Naboutt for example simply harasses defenders.
Azarni is our X factor. Again he cause defenders to tire quickly because of the effort to contain him. We needs goals early yet he only came on as a substitute.
Irvine has a high work rate buzzing around the field, harassing midfielders for the ball and giving it to Mooy or Rogic. He is not a substitute. He either plays or he doesn't.
Rogic was substituted again as with the Denmark match yet he is one of the few players who can score a goal out of nothing.

We had most of the ball against Peru yet could not contain the pressure into goals. We did the same against Denmark. We only scored TWO goals and they were penalties. This is simply not good enough at international level.

It did not help Ange resigned before the World Cup. 'Aussie' Bert simply did not have enough time with the team.

Going forward Graham Arnold needs to find a centre back to replace Milligan, A midfielder to replace Jedinak, both Kruse and Leckie wil be too old at the next world cup.

There are some replacements on the horizon.

Damn, Damn , Damn

I should add SBS should always have the world cup if only for Lucy Zelic even beating the late Les Murray in her pronunciation of names however we need a decent commentator. David Basheer does not cut the mustard.  Optus used pommy commentators and they were great. Why not simply use them and save money. Australia has only one decent commentator and that is Simon Hill and he is a pom. Say no more

Monday, 25 June 2018

Hyping the Cost of Regulation

That is the title of a must read  article by Richard Parker.
Yes I am looking at you Soony!
It is vitally important to know how accurate the costs of regulation are ( as well as the benefits) before embarking on any policy of reducing regulation.

No-one will be surprised that Trump was outlining costs of regulation that were highly dubious.
Moreover having a policy that takes no account of benefits takes moronic policy to new heights.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Aussie Bert, plusses and minuses

'Aussie' Bert is a very good coach.
We used to leak goals under Anger. We no longer do that. Aaron Mooy and Trent Sainsbury are showing that same form for Australia they do for their clubs.

Unfortunately Aussie Bert has not had enough time with the Socceroos.
This showed in the game against France. He selected Tom Rogic. He was never going to get the space and time with the ball against France. He does not have the defensive technique to help out Mooy and Jedinek in the mid field either. B No surprise they were knackered in the last 10 minutes, Irvine should have played!
Against Denmark he selected both Naboutt and Kruse. Naboutt is not a striker and was never in a position to score in the ever number of crosses that occurred.
Kruse should never been selected, We had to win. Arzani was a much better bet. He would not have missed the shots that Kruse had. His workrate would have been higher and he is the X factor we need.
Also when Naboutt was injured Cahill should have come on. With crosses coming all the time he would have scored.

I do not think he will pick the right side against Peru where we must win by 2 goals.

There is no point in saying we should have 4 points now. We have only 1 point and that is down to Aussie Bert.

We should end in saying if Ange was still coach we would not have any points!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Around the Traps 22/6/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles(econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk