Monday, 10 December 2018

The break up of Electricity Companies

Been a bit crook and even missed some of the test cricket.

Tony wood of the admirable Grattan Institute makes a number of good points in THIS article.

He neglects the issue of sovereign risk, He also does not discuss whether the private sector should be involved in the electricity industry. given it is an essential industry it is a textbook case of an industry should have NEVER been privatised and has been text book case of a complete and utter failure.

The only reason why the industry is not nationalised is because the States cannot afford it.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Around the Traps 7/12/18

It is time for Around The Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The First Test Cometh

It really is not summer until the first test of cricket.

Why is the first test at Adelaide which has a just reputation for roads,

Why is it not in Brisbane which is the best cricket wicket in Australia. If you want to boost test cricket then use the best pitches!!
Moreover batsmen from overseas would find batting on the Brisbane pitch quite hard. It hopefully would have a greenish tinge in it, the ball should swing around and because of its wonderful bounce spinners get a go as well.

Let us go back o Adelaide. If it is the dreaded road then viewers will turn off in droves. The only positive vibe I can get is scores in the Sheffield Shield have not been that high. My problem with that is batting is not of a high quality though. Temperatures of 39 degrees C means a pitch that will spin on the last day

Looking at both sides and IF we get a contest between bat and ball then we have proven batsmen of the Indians against the best bowling lineup at test level.We also get a soso bowling lineup against a poor batting lineup. Two things here. Starc has not been the bowler he was of late. We need to see him bowl fast and swing the ball. I am also wary of Starc and Cummins breaking down more so if we bowl first when it is so hot.

If the pitch is a road then the toss will decide the test like in India. The teams that bats first get such a large total the team batting second because they are mentally gone. If India bat second they might draw it if Kholi is on fire and makes a double ton.

If it is a good pitch that is we get a contest between bat and ball the test could be a beauty. We should remember Pakistan beat us merely because Abbas bowled within the corridors of uncertainty alah glen McGrath. Ashwin has never had a good tour here because he bowls too quickly and does not use flight enough.He will spin it on the last day if he is bowling however.As we saw in England the Indian fast bowlers can swing the ball late so if the ball swings look out.

I am not as pessimistic as others for Australia. We are playing in our backyard. The pitches are unlikely to help bowlers unfortunately and we have a great attack.

In the end the series will be determined by which group performs better the Indian bowlers or the Aussie batsmen.
At least Mitchell Marsh is not playing in Adelaide although as my youngest son said he will still get a duck as 12th man!

Go to aftergrogblog.blogs.comcricket for some strong views on the match.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Very Fast Trains in Australia are a pipe dream.

We had yet another announcement yesterday from the NSW government of a VFT essentially for country and regional services.

It aint gonna work.

Why not. Well let me go back a long time when I did work for Cityrail as it was known then.
The XPT can only get to half it highest speed when in use at BEST. Why. Because of the track.

So any sort of very fast train would need brand spanking new tracks that go straight. That means buying up a lot of land for a start.
Next let us go to the customer base. Guess who use the XPT services by far the most? Pensioners who essential pay diddly squat for using the service. They visit their children in the bid smoke and then go back home.
It is highly ironic that a luxury bus service would cost less and get there faster than the XPT.

If you are going to create a newer customer base you would need much better track and varied times as the logical new base are people who live outside Sydney but work there.

This would create further pressures on housing prices in the Western suburbs as they would fall and people buy up in areas where they could catch the VFT.

Another problem is you could not have many stations for the said train to stop at otherwise it simply would not be fast.

In essence the NSW government would be subsiding people who live out of Sydney to work in Sydney as this service would never cover its costs.

Now I have only touched the surface but you can see a lot of problems. This explains why we have had so many announcements on such a project in NSW before anyone has looked at its viability.


Monday, 3 December 2018

Why is the fiscal policy being shown the wrong way.

We are in debt again to Ross Gittins. He is again on the case of examining fiscal policy on the basis of accrual accounting not cash accounting. This is probably because he is a former charted Accountant.

The PBO has done the legwork for us. They have to as you will only find cash accounting in commonwealth budget documents.
It is entirely misleading.
As the PBO shows us the future is looking good.
so why are officials not giving us the Budget in accrual accounting terms.

My guess is because they think their political masters will think there is no more work to do. Keeping cash accounting enables Treasury to say to Ministers they have to do more.

The Liberals adopt a bad rule.

Michele Grattan tells us of the Liberals essentially adopting ALP policy making almost impossible to topple a Prime Minister.
Why is this bad policy?

The Liberals under Tony Abbott and the ALP under Julia Gillard were heading for political oblivion. not getting rid of either would have been a disaster for either party.
It is stupidity of the highest order to maintain a leader who is heading for a disaster.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Around the Traps 30/11/18

It is time again for Around the traps

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
 General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Great Recession revisited

Laurence Kotlikoff has a quite controversial article on the origins on the GFC.

He says the main reason was a bad banking system that was built to fail.

Hmm it did not fail down under nor in Canada.  Regulation works??

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Government is in chaos

Is it a bit premature to think the Liberal party may disintegrate as the 'right wing' and the 'centre' cannot seem to agree on anything.
Mainstream parties are broad churches and if one side is not accommodated a split occurs.
It happened in the mid 50s to the ALP however Evatt was quite clearly not the full  quid. However this kept the ALP out of power for over a decade and Australia did not need that.

At present the Liberal party seems to be on that course. What I  find mystifying is why climate change has become part of the culture wars. Perhaps some believe what happens in the USA should occur here as well. however as we saw yesterday renewables is the way to the future as solar now has the same cost as EXISTING coal stations.
It seems to me only two sorts of people would be spruiking coal. Idiots like Craig Kelly for example or those on the coal payroll. 
With both the loss of Wenworth and now Julia Banks the government has given up on any thought of a legislative program.

No-one appears to know where to go in the government. They are desperate that Dutton is not referresd to the Court of Disputed Returns because they can only feel He will lose.

MP's who may lose pre-selection are threatening to go to the cross-bench.

It is a complete mess.

Australia cannot afford a split in the Liberal party just as it could not in the ALP. We also need a federal election as soon as possible.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Solar energy now the same in cost as existing coal stations.

I came to via Frank Josko who was critiquing ALP policy.
Solar energy now is now the cheapest option. for bulk energy. In Australia  according to Origin Energy solar power id as cheap as EXISTING coal stations. wind energy is marginally more expensive.
The cost of existing coal power is $40 MWh  which solar power has now reached except solar power has NO negative externalities.Wind power is at $50 MWh.
If we add in NEW coal powered power  stations costs are about $80 MWh and the fact units in coal powered power stations break down regularly on very hot days the future is looking one-way.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Victorian Election

Well that was a surprise.

No-one but no-one was expecting a landslide in Victoria.

Why did it happen?
The one thing I do know is the ALP very heavily advertised the fact Morrison was aligned with both Abbott and Dutton and it appears this strategy worked very well.

You cannot run a scare campaign on law and order if people believe those whom are doing so have little credibility.

It means the ALP should be in Government for at least two more terms.

This is a bad thing.
The Government thus far has shown itself to be the very worst of a secular humanist government. Its support of euthanasia, the safe school campaign, abortion rights etc shows a government that has well and truly gotten rid of any of the social conservatism that was the bastion of the ALP when it started.
Indeed It is the type of an ALP government I could not possibly support.

I said before the previous election they should not win it after being in Opposition for only one term and they governed like that. The behaviour towards the CFA was disgraceful and I was quite amazes and the admittedly small corruption that a loot of MPS and their staff were found to indulged in was ignored by the public.

Victoria needs a Liberal government so the sooner they clean up their act the better

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Around the Traps 23/11/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (ecnometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Sinclair Davidson at it again.

Oh dear. Sinclair Davidson has been caught out again goebbelsising again.
Let us go through shall we.
The Grattan Institute is ALP funded. Any evidence? Of course not. HERE is their latest Annual Report.
If the ALP funded the Grattan Institute you would see it in two areas.
1) donations in income
2) the directors would represent the ALP.
no sign of that anywhere. Funny about that. They say this " We receive no ongoing government funding and reject commissioned work to ensure this independence."
Clearly they would be put under the microscope if not prosecuted if this statement was wrong.

The Grattan Institute supports the measure in question cause it improves the structural position of the budget. Davidson does not go anywhere near this. Presumably because he has supported in the past measures that created a structural deficit. He has NEVER recanted on this so like his mate Kates he in theory always wants a budget surplus but in practice heartily endorses measures that increase the structural deficit.

Next he alleges the people of whom would no longer gain tax credits under ALP policy do not pat income tax implying their income is very low.

The reason why these people do not pay income tax is because Peter Costello got rid of tax on superannuation benefits in his last budget. the worst policy measure they ever made.
Then he has the hide to call it an anti-robin hood tax
The only people who could have shares in companies together with a substantial superannuation benefit are the rich! The PBO shows this HERE

The question is does Davidson actually understand this. If so then he is simply plain out lying his head off.
Or is he so lazy he simply does not know.

As Harry Callaghan says


Please note the ignorant comments made

Added bonus.
Greg Barton plus more. Sinkers again.

Yep second option

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A carbon tax that leaves most households better off

Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon have a very interesting article on a variant of a carbon tax.
There is both a tax on miscreants and a carbon dividend to most households. It is also a progressive dividend.

A really interesting article where policy is made reasonably  simpler.
Me thinks the ALP should adopt this.

Monday, 19 November 2018

It is strange how some things affect you

Some time ago I went to my regular cricket association monthly meeting.
for some time our Association (NDCA) and the NSCA had a combined turf competition over two grades. I was until last year on the executive committee for that competition. This season given falling teams it was decided to have 4 divisions incorporating artificial turf with trams from the two associations.
Thus there were 6 grades of the NCU competition.
Whereas previously the two umpiring associations provided umpires to matches it had been decided, without any input from me, that the NCU would have its own umpiring association.

After 150 years of tradition the Northern Districts Umpiring Association was no more. given its demise I could see no further use for me being a member of the executive committee of the NDCA.

Hence for the first time in some 18 years I had no cricketing responsibilities. I would simply umpire in Shires competition.

I went home and had a drink and felt very sad. 150 years down the drain was to me a bad thing. I had enjoyed myself as head of the Umpiring Association. Allocating umpires for each round, attempting to find umpires for or all semi-final and final  matches, finding guest speakers each year to address the local umpires to help them etc.

It left a gap in my life I was not expecting. The well-wishes from the local umpires for the work I had done was nice
Nevertheless life goes on.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Moving our Embassy in Israel would be madness

During the last week of the Wentworth by-election  Scott Morrison said he was looking at moving our embassy to Jerusalem.
This was never thought out. Neither the heads of DFAT nor Defence knew anything about it.

Why would this proposed change be such a poor decision.
1) If you believe in a two nation existence in the area then this blows that out of the water. The reason being if Israel moves first it claims all of Jerusalem not West Jerusalem.
2) Terrorists who have enough cause celebres would be given a gift to mobilise their resources as well as targeting Australia.
3) It would hamper our relation both foreign and economic with our near neighbours as well as other nations.

This has not only shown up Scott Morrison's political judgement , he is now in a lose/lose situation, it also shows him up as comically stupid. Very McMahonish actually.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Around the Traps 16/11/18

It is time again for Around the Traps

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,OyOy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly statistics)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Woeful TV Writing

Time off from serious stuff and i am finding as I graduate into being a grumpy old man I am needing more escapism thus needing more enjoyable TV shows.

What makes this impossible is very poor writing. I initially thought this the province of the USA. In this I was influenced by CASTLE. What should have been the greatest series of all time turned into a complete joke.
Just a few things to highlight very poor and lazy writing.

  • A mere detective is promoted to Captain. She leapfrogs every Sergeant and Lieutenant in New York
  • This detective resigned from the NYPD to pursue a career in a National Security agency ( which was given not one but THREE different names ). 
  • She was given a hefty suspension for going rogue only three years hence. She was sacked by the same national security agency.
  • On her first day as Captain she does not turn up to work but no-one does a thing.
  • A hit squad who has killed all of the people Beckett worked with at the said Agency fall for the oldest trick in the game broken glass!
however to my horror I have recently found a few british series where the writing are equally poor.

Bancroft. Here we have a detective murdering people tampering with evidence. Even when her story constantly changes ( always a problem) her Boss still does nothing.I could not help but compare with Line of Duty  ( season 4) where there are some similarities but done very well.

The Split was simply terrible. Here a woman rails against her father who left the family. Yet this woman had sex with a man on the night BEFORE her wedding. It ends with her continuing this adulterous affair despite her waxing lyrical against her  husband who had done the same. Indeed the only consistent theme of this series was that everyone lied.

What is the common denominator here.
Firstly the writing needs to be as accurate as possible and thus true to life. When poetic licence is used it must be made explicit.
Secondly in a series the writers must be cognisant of what has occurred in previous programs.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Poll Roundup

The inimitable Kevin Bonham has his first poll round up since the coup and it aint pretty.

What I find interesting is that most people expect the LNP coalition to get a thumping.


  • Scott Morrison does. He is campaigning as an Opposition Leader and each strategy gets shot down in flames. The moving of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem is merely an example of a government attempting to do anything to try and get a lift in the polls
  • Bill Shorten does and he earnestly ties to show a confident but not smug face.
  • 'Conservative' commentators believe a landslide is on and are saying hyperbolic things about Shorten and the ALP
And there is two state elections before the Federal election.

Monday, 12 November 2018

What can Muslim leaders do?

Every time I have a great idea about something to write something much better does it.
Greg Barton who had made a reputation on terrorism amongst other matters has a very good article on morrison-wants-muslim-leaders-to-do-more-to-prevent-terrorism-but-what-more-can-they-do.

Let's face it when politicians say things like the above it is for political reasons usually gross political reasons.

That they never think they maybe putting in danger the relationships various intelligence and security organisations have with the Islamic community never enters their heads or they simply do not care!!

Rodger Shanahan on a related issue.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Around the Traps 9/11/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk