Thursday, 28 September 2017

Around the Traps 29/9/17

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

The Poms hands us the Ashes

I am utterly astounded by the selection of the Ashes squad of the Poms.

It is pretty clear the wickets here will be fast and bouncy. Yes we do have a plethora of fast bowlers but fast and bouncy wickets are the best cricket wickets.

Bowlers win matches and I just cannot see how the poms will get us out twice. Anderson and Broad are way past their best and whilst they can take wickets in England they will struggle in Australia because they are now too slow and once the ball stops swinging  will be fodder. Ali flights the ball as one has to in Australia for a finger spinner but will only tie up an end at best.
Perhaps  one of the uncapped players is a fast bowler who wil perform on our wickets but I doubt it.

Their batting looks suspect as well. Cook whilst solid does not appear to hang around like he did in past years. This leaves root. A lot of pressure on him!

Stokes could do anything. However all rounders are usually inconsistent because of the workload.

I have a pommy friend around for dinner in February. I believe I will be crowing about a our Ashes success whilst drinking red wine!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Its a gas

The Gas companies have agreed to supply Australia with much needed gas. The price will remain high though.

One thing that has not been mentioned in all this. If gas prices in Sydney are higher than in Tokyo then guess where gas produces want to sell their gas.
We now have international  parity for gas pricing. It is a whole new board game.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Trump is an idiot part 304

Why does Trump go around and threaten North Korea. EVERYONE  ( even Steve Bannon for petes sake) knows he cannot do anything militarily.
If he did North Korea would bombard Seoul with huge amounts of artillery and missiles. hundreds of thousands if not millions would be dead.
The threats make him look foolish and simply increase the bombast between the two nations

We have know since the transcripts of his conversation between him ad our PM Malcolm Turnbull Trump is an imbecile. He takes forever to understand Australia's terrible refugee policy.

We also know now he cannot make a deal as we saw with his conversation with the Mexican president.

At the  moment we live in hope the grown ups advising will lead Trump down the right path.

There is nothing other than trade restrictions you can do with North Korea, Unfortunately they will not affect the elite but most of the NK population that their elite doesn't care about.

Every President since Clinton has threatened to make NK a nuclear pancake IF they attack an ally. This won;t happen.
Only Trump foolishly threatens military strikes if NK escalates its threats. His threats are hollow. He knows it, NK knows it and everyone else knows. It merely highlights his complete lack of understanding of the issue.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Bad Election results in New Zealand and Germany

We had elections on the weekend ( as any election should be) and the same governments look set to continue.

This is bad. Parties who stay in power for too long get tired, lose energy, run out of ideas etc. you need to have a turnover of Government after two terms to rectify this.

The Christian Democrats look set to remain in power in Germany but with a different coalition. the Nationals look set to continue in New Zealand but in a coalition. What is worse Winston Peters who has a very undistinguished life in NZ politics looks set to choose the government.

Both nations have ridiculous electoral systems. They should adopt the Australian Two part preferred voting system.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Only at Catallaxy

They are advertising the Ray Evans lecture over Catallaxy.

The Speaker is one Hugh Morgan.
Man whose integrity was found wanting not by one by by two courts in two different countries. ( Australia and Canada)

Says all you need to know

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Around the Traps 22/9/18

It is time for Around the Traps again.


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

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Bigotry live on the radio

Richard Glover does the drive time show on the old 2BL for the ABC.
He is a pretty likable bloke. He is for the same same marriage but likes to hear all views.
Go hear him interview an employer who sacked a contractor for saying on facebook it is all right to say no. It starts around the 2 hour mark.
She says the contractor was a homophobe and what she said was hate speech!

Richard is non plussed at her actions. He attempts to get a rational reason out of her for her actions. He doesn't, Indeed she in the end hands up on him.

It is bigotry live on the radio!

Are Climate models running too hot?

Ed Hawkins has a short but informative article on the above topic.

Highly recommended

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Europe did way too much fiscal consolidation

Via the Marvellous Mark Thoma Brad Setser writes an article where he is highly critical of fiscal policy in Europe around 2012.

He actually uses material from Banque De France. Let us hope officials in Europe have done some reflection and learnt the lessons of poof fiscal policy!

This is very difficult for fans of classical economics. They clearly adopted contractionary fiscal policies whilst still having deficits. They always think deficits equals stimulus! Our mate Katesy and the rest of the economic geniuses at Catallaxy all thought Europe adopted expansionary fiscal policies when they were clearly contractionary!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Parking in the Suburbs

I live at Eastwood and it has a train station so we get a lot of cars parking from people who use the train. What a lot of people have done is to put in white lines to show people where they can park their cars. At least two families have been parked in by people parking in their drive ways!
I recently put in lines as cars park in our space now. The lines show that essentially only a motor bike can park there.

Despite this A large car parked in the area yesterday going well over the painted white lines. The driver blatantly ignored the white lines.

I can now understand how on walking back home I observe cars parked well over the white lines and into the driveway having flat tyres!!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Around the Traps 15/9/17

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, 13 September 2017

coal and peak power

I am constantly bemused by people who claim that only a new coal fired electricity plant can deliver lower power prices. This is of course badly wrong. coal is more expensive than either solar or wind. more over technology means solar and wind prices are continually to fall whereas coal continues to stay high and this is without a price on carbon to cover the externalties it generates.

Alan Pears writes a very informative article on all this. As a bonus the latest from the ever excellent Grattan Institute on the electricity market.

I should have said something about the government's tactics. It is very short term They hope to convince voters that coal is the answer to lower power prices. This would obviously blow up when power prices do not fall. It seems 'right wing' government MPs believe the Finkel report is incorrect and coal is the way to go. although they claim to believe in markers they reject what the markets are now saying about NEW coal plants. No-one has proposed one and no-one wants to finance one.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

What I am watching

I am sick about the policy problems confronting us here and overseas so today I think I will leave a short comment on some TV shows I am watching.

I have watched/ watching a couple of ripper pommy crime drams. Firstly there was Unforgotten and at present there is Shetland.

There are a few 'dated' series on 72 I find enjoyable. The oldest is A Touch of Frost. although dated it still holds up well.
Inspector George Gently is unique in that it could well be the only series Martin Shaw acts well in.  I have talked about Lewis before. The Murdoch Mysteries has declined in quality. The romantic lead does not work.

I think I might go back and watch The Virginian! Anyone have the series on DVD at all?

Monday, 11 September 2017

LIddell power station

The conversation concerning Liddell power is extraordinary.

The NSW government sold the power station to AGL for essentially nothing. Another VERY important inducement was the pride of coal for the plant. It is lower than the marker price and will continue to be until it ends its operating life.

The Federal Government apparently wants AGL to continue Liddell five or ten years past its operating life.It is not offering thew company extra dosh for this. It is saying it is their civic duty to do so.
One would think if AGL was making easy money from Liddell then it would continue to use the station until it didn't. In other words it can only be closing the plant because the return is not there for its shareholders.
It is extraordinary that the Liberal and National parties are now the parties of command and control, of directing companies what to do.

If the Government wants to do something about power then it could introduce a price on carbon. After all coal is subsidised at present because it does not cover externailites at all. The carbon emissions and pollutants are not covered in its costs.
At worst it should adopt a clean energy target as recompensed by the  Finkel report. This would lead to investment in the industry. Investment that is not occurring at present.
The other great thing of this is you get rid of subsidies.
It would be stupid in the extreme to get rid of subsidies to renewables whilst coals lamentable externalities are not part of their costing structure. It would NOT be a level playing field.

Ben Oquist has an interesting article. John Quiggin does not believe in baseload either.

Indeed he writes about how-to-replace-the-national-electricity-market

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Same Sex marriage

I have not written about this topic and really should.

It is not possible for same sex partners to be equal to heterosexual partners. A husband and wife and then usually father and mother are not the same and therefore not equal to a husband and husband or wife and wife.
What a homosexual couple do to have children is cheat on the partner through either normal sex or technology. It would be like saying to my wife if I was infertile for whatever reason have sex with my brother so we can have children. It matters little whether they do this in bed or via technology. It merely makes a mockery of the marriage.

And I should also state the late evil Lionel Murphy did  indeed make a mockery of marriage with his very detectable divorce laws in 1974. It doesn't take same sex marriage to do that!

Finally any person who claims to be a christian and support same sex marriage is a complete idiot. A christian supporting same sex marriage is like one supporting adultery! I have said more than once being a homosexual is not sinful. Engaging in any act outside of marriage ( and god defines marriage as between a man and a woman Jesus even quoted Genesis to this extent ) means any homosexual ACT will always be sinful as is adultery or fornication for heterosexuals

I could say more but what is the point when this brilliant essay has been written. (Thanks to the ABC of all places). Sorry but hat tip to Doverbeach for the essay. Sorry  Dover!

Here is Doverbeach

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Around the Traps 8/9/17

It is time for Around the Traps again.
Northern America
  • nuttin
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Energy Policy is a mess

Energy policy has been a mess ever since Tony Abbott made the decision to say the price on carbon was a carbon tax. This was of course a lie that his Chief of Staff has now fessed up to.

Since then we had had an investment strike purely because the Coaliton has no idea of what to do.

A price on carbon would be preferable. however it seems the 'right wing' rabble of the coalition willnever countenance that
It seems as the Clean Energy target that was announced in the Finkel Report is the nearest we may get to a bipartisan policy. Even then it seems the same 'right wing' rabble will not even cop this. As David Blowers shows this is essential.( it has heaps of links in it)

New coal plants are impossible. The market has spoken. no bank wants to finance such a plant nor are there any ideas to issue bonds to fund such a plant.
Isn't it ironic that people who claim to believe in the market then want to criticise market players when they do not do things they think they should do!

It is clear renewables are reducing in cost dramatically and will continue to do so. My guess is by 2022 when Liddell goes out of action batteries for solar electricity on rooftops will be so cheap most homes will have them but it is only a guess.
It is clear we will need a suite of different plants to ensure electricity blackouts do not occur.
I would have preferred nuclear but as John Quiggin shows this will not occur.

We will NEVER go back to ultra cheap electricity again.however as Finkel showed we can getr them to fall modestly.

Check out this oldish report from the very good Grattan Institute.

Also from Knowledge Problem on OECD articles. thanks Jim Rose