Monday, 31 December 2018

The Asian Cup

We start our defence of the Asian Cup on Sunday night.
Thus far we have had four friendlies. The first and last were useless.The  two in Australia against South Korea and Lebanon were  the opposite.

We go into the cup without Mooy our most creative player and also Leckie.

On balance the squad is competent with plenty of attacking options however there are still questions.

Why pick Milligan as a holding mid-fielder when he is likely to announce his retirement in international football after the tournament is over.
Kruse is a luxury we cannot afford. since his ACL he simply does not have the acceleration needed, he is tentative in front of goal and  has never been a great crosser of the ball.
Nabbout whilst fast does not have acceleration which is the quality needed in football. The defenders treated him with contempt in the World Cup. No defender gets tired ,physically or otherwise against him.

On the other hand Boyle and Mabil have shown themselves to be attacking players. Degenek has proved to be solid as a rock. If Sainsbury is back in form as it seems then the defence looks quite solid.

I doubt if we can win the cup again but the semi-finals does look beyond us. Watching Arnie in action when the pressure is on will be interesting

I am looking forward to Sunday

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Know Your Subject

The terribly consistent Sinclair Davidson shows again he knows little what he writes about.

He makes a huge claim about John Howard. He claims Howard had a plan to become PM and a plan to be PM.
Oh dear I do remember the years after 1996 when Howard was PM. Most people thought was in over his head. He was now in a position way beyond his competency.
His government was continually criticised as a do nothing government. This eventually go to Howard after the BCA said this and he announced Australia would have a GST.

This lead to his government getting the lowest vote ever for a re-elected Government!

What a plan.
Did  he have a plan for becoming PM? Not in his last run as Opposition Leader. He was going nowhere and then Hewson lost the unlosable election and downer made a complete hash of being Opposition Leader.

you are right it is almost the New Year and there is little to write about!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Around the Traps 28/12/18 Christmas Edition

It is time for Around the Traps.

Northern America
  • on christmas holiday
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

The last word on South Africa and Sandpapergate

We had interviews with both Bancroft and Smith last night on Foxsports.

The first thing I would ask is why would anyone believe them now when the lied previously.
however the main beef I have is does anyone really believe the bowlers knew sweet bugger all about what occurred.

The most inexperienced person is attempting to do something to the cricket ball. If he does not do it correctly then ball instead of reversing ( and remember reverse swing is very sharp and late) then ball goes gunbarrel straight.

The bowlers get no swing nor swerve thus it affects both fast and slow bowlers.

Not one journalist has asked about this!!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The Third Test

The Boxing day test is almost iconic now here in OZ.
Unfortunately last year we got a terrible pitch. Indeed it was so bad I stopped watching.
We need pitched where bowlers are on top and gear innings are few and far between so they are great innings.
Thus far in Adelaide we had a test Australia should have won easily nut lost easily because of their batting. The Indian bowling was as good as the Aussies.
India lost the 2nd test comprehensive for two reasons.
1) For some inexplicable reason they picked Yadav who was a fast medium inaccurate outswing bowler.
2) Their openers failed badly again putting too much pressure on the middle order, Kholi in particular.
Australia has brought in Mitchell Marsh who is an allrounder. As Shame Warne would say he cannot bat ( except of roads) , he can't bowl and he cannot field. The Slips fieldsmen have a vulnerable look about them Not good if you have the attack we have. Just on that Starc to my mind was unimpressive in Perth. Only two decent inswingers all match.

India looks much better. The two openers are gawn.The batting looks much better or at worse as strong as in Perth but the bowling is a lot better.
If the only learn to bowl over the wicket and  and so create problems for the Aussie right handers  instead of bowling around the wicket and inviting Lyons to take more wickets they might do well.

Let us hope for a decent pitch and another enthralling match.

Comments at THIS blog

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Some things about Christmas sucks

Come Christmas time there is nothing on either the radio or TV. I usually get out books from the library to read. I annually read Lord of the rings and first among equals over the period as well.

What I loathed as a child was dressing up on the day ( which was always stinking hot) in long cloths going to a relative's place and having to endure a hot dinner. It was the worst possible meal to have in Australia.
fortunately My wife feels the same way so we have salads and antipasto for lunch and then dive into an atlantic salmon  at dinner. I have found the perfect accompaniment to wash all this down with is a  moscato. My wife rarely drinks but does like white moscatos whereas I like red ones.

The other thing that stands out are the woeful Christmas songs and carols  played at the supermakets.  Aaagh!

Have an enjoyable Christmas!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Around the Traps 21/12/18

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, 19 December 2018

The highly unimpressive Angus Taylor

Angus Taylor is the current energy minister.
He is very unimpressive. I heard him interviewed this morning on Radio National by the impressive Hamish McDonald.

One phrase he uses as does his dear leader is what is the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow?

This must be one of the most stupid statements made in modern polity.

Solar and wind farms exist or will exist in every state that is connected with the inter-connector.

Do these men actually believe on a certain days or various days the sun does not shine in every state? Are they wanting us to believe on a certain day or various days the wind isn't blowing in every state?

Moreover demand for electricity is highest on very hot days. These are the days we see units in coal powered power stations break down and solar power is at its peak.

Angus Taylor either does not know this which means he is ignorant or he does ( which is more likely given his body language and replies to questions) and therefore is misleading at best or lying at worst.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Poll roundup

Kevin Bonham writes on poll-roundup-2018-year-in-review.

It is a great  read as usual.

I would like to make one point.

It seems the Liberals are using gullible and  numerate journalists just like the ALP machine men did when they got rid of Rudd.

If the polls are saying 55-45 but 'in house' polling has the liberals  in much better terms in the 'marginal seats' then quite a lot of safe seats are vulnerable.

'Marginal seat' polling if it exists occurs in both parties by the parties surveying say 4 seats. each marginal seats would be surveyed for 400 people. If it is a random sample you could get a fair idea of what is going on overall.
You would not have a clue what is occurring in each seat.

I doubt very much if any polling took place.

Monday, 17 December 2018


The MYEFO was released yesterday.
I don't disagree with any a lot

A few comments. 

This Government came into Office and promptly put spending at levels not seen since the GFC. The ALP had succeeded in lowering spending after the GFC troubles. Keeping spending at high levels for no good reasons and then boasting about spending constraint seems quite catallaxian.

The improvement has all come from cyclical improvement in the budget. There have been few structural improvements.
Indeed they have mapped out tax cuts which they have not yet announced. This worsens the structural budget. As does the new spending measures.
We do not yet have the ALP policy measures but we do know they have structural measures to offset their spending measures.

A final note on the structural budget. Prior to the GFC the Irish budget documents had their structural budget deficit at 0.5% of GDP or a balanced budget. Once hit by the GFC this deficit rose quite significant. A rising tide increases the structural deficit. We saw this here as well!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Around the Traps 14/12/18

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, 12 December 2018

The Second Test

After a test that India won easily but should have lost easily we come to Perth with promises of a fast bouncy pitch.

Firstly what did we learn from Adelaide apart it was a bad cricket pitch. The Indian bowlers performed better than the highly rated Aussie bowlers.
Bumrah was easily the most consistently fastest bowler. Both bowling Sharma and Ashwin were far better bowlers than in previous visits.
On the Aussie side Starc ( who was actually a wicket-keeper for Berala in the Junior comp I coached in ) was bad again. He has not bowled well or been quick since the first test in Durban. his inswinger ( his most deadly weapon) is not looking good. On the other hand Hazelwood, Cummins and Lyons are all bowling well.

Secondly will India bat as extravagantly again in both innings? you would have to say there is a lot more potential in the Indian batting lineup that the Aussie one.

Back on the Indian bowlers. Why oh why do they bowl over the wicket? They essentially bowl a straight ball then. none has significant swing or  cut which makes lefthanders squirn when facing. They also cut up the pitch for Lyons to bowl at their righthanders. bowling over the wicket means a better angle and thus more possible slip catches as well as cutting up the pitch for Ashwin!  If you can swing the ball in to lefthanders as Shami clearly can you swing it more and later if you bowl over the wicket . This almost dissipates when you bowl around the wicket!

Assuming the hype is correct then it becomes a battle of the pace attacks. Which attack has recovered from the high temperatures of Adelaide?
Also important here is this might suit some batsman. I can't get batting Sharma out of my head here despite thinking it should be Kholi,

Remember too He knows three more draws and India win the series in Australia for the first time.

The worst thing about Perth.
Cricket Australia who put no money into the new stadium has determined in Australia of all places people cannot sit in the shade

Sorry but I forgot the link to After Grog blog Cricket

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Macron is not looking good.

Macron came in a reform minded President.
Nothing wrong with that indeed France needs that HOWEVER he made two mistakes.

  • The first is we saw way back in 2012 you move on labour market de-regulation when the economy is strong not weak.
  • The second is a very french mistake. You know the best solution but you do not explain the policy and certainly not the benefits of the policy. The people must simply comply with the policy. Politicians of every colour and hue in France do this and demonstrations are the result, often quite violent and sometimes some politicians no longer have their jobs. It is bad for democracy.
Macron won because of his opponent . He is like Trump very vulnerable at the next Presidential election.

Here is Tyler Cowen.

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.

Northern America
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.