Monday, 30 September 2019

Monetary policy

As we wait here in Australia for the RBA to cut rates to a totally useless new low two different views on monetary policy from vox wonk as I call it.

Really interesting

Sunday, 29 September 2019

The climate acceleration

In a somewhat amusing aside David Appel tells us of the acceleration in world temperature over the last 14 years.
Will all those innumerate clowns who incessantly talked about an alleged pause now recant and begin to worry about this. Of course they won't.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Around the Traps 30/9/19

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, 25 September 2019

Cricket Season starts

You thought I would talk about Trump and his immoral ways? Not yet.

Back in the good old days the local park completion started on the second Saturday in September. I had One and a half cricket on artificial wickets before the Shires competition started.

Alas These days the combined NCU completion does not start until the Saturday after the log weekend in October!

Although football is my favourite sport cricket is a close second but umpiring is way more enjoyable that refereeing.
not sure why but certainly the behaviour is much better. It seems sometimes the threat of a red card only makes some football players worse.

I am starting with a 5th grade match in Burwood and thus all on my lonesome. Hopefully both captains will embrace the spirit of cricket more importantly respecting the oppositions.

Hers hoping

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Morrison shows poor judgement.

Scott Morrison has shown very poor political judgement.

We all want a close relationship with the US HOWEVER we do not want a PM essentially being part of political rally for a incoherent and intellectually  challenged President.

We also do not want a PM essentially echoing the same message as the US President about whether China is a developing or developed economy in the USA.( In itself this is a debatable issue)
Morrison has made himself look like a Trump lickspittle

All in all a very poor look..

Monday, 23 September 2019

Building new dams

There is a hue and cry That Australia needs  more dams in regional Australia to 'drought proof' the land.

Now I googled up filling dams and found THIS.

It is short but instructive.
In all the talk about building dams in Regional Australia I have not heard where the original water is to come from to initially fill the dam.

In short it can only come from diverting water from rivers or river. This is bad for river quality as it will increase the salinity in the water.

You then have to hope you get rain after the dam's construction  so the dam starts to fill up. Of course diverting river water is part of filling a dam as well.

Herein lies two problems. Will there be enough rain over the long term to ensure the dam has enough water and how much river water will be diverted into the dam. We have seen enough of the problems with the Murray/Darling rivers.

It does seem there little thinking has gone into the subject of building more dams.
The assumption is we can keep on increasing the population and there will be sufficient water to cater for them.
It is ironic that recycled water has been ruled out when it could well be one of the solutions.

John Williams weighs in

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Will there be war in the Middle East?

In short I doubt it but do not discount it.

Let us go through all the relevant pots on what is going on thus far

  • It was Trump who broke the agreement various countries had with Iran DESPITE Iran always sticking with its side of the agreement
  • Trump now wants a new agreement. Why would Iran agree. It has one at present and Trump has shown he cannot be trusted. Some deal maker!
  • Saudi Arabia has a very poor record on security. They invaded Yemen on an excuse and to this day have not taken the country despite the poor arms and weapons by people opposing them
  • They have bought billions in systems to protect themselves. The systems are fine HOWEVER the are operated by Saudis who are quite incompetent hence a successful attack on a very large refinery. It is of course a pure coincidence US troops will be in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the Systems will now be manned by competent personnel??
  • Iran was never going to accept what the USA had done to it. It has now done the perfect crime so to speak. although most agree Iran probably did the strike attempting to prove it is very difficult. Iran does have deniability on this.
  • Whilst some portray Trump as a warmonger he is in fact quite the opposite. He wants to get out of foreign ventures if for any reasons then because of the cost.
  • Iran knows the USA knows the cost of a war with Iran. Iran calls in all its proxies and thus the price of oil goes through the roof just in time for the next Presidential election.
  • They also know the political cost of creating a war in the Middle East for Trump.

If we put all this together it is unlikely war will eventuate although the precedent of WW1 and poor diplomatic competency increases the odds. Trump maladroit and incoherent foreign policy could also exacerbate this as well. 

Let us hope sanity prevails

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Around the Traps 23/9/19

It is for Around the Traps again.

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

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Have Economists dropped the ball on climate Change?

Andrew Oswald and Nicholas Stern believe they have in their provocative piece on Vox wonk as I call it. It really is a wonderful site.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Gladys Lui problems explained

We wrote last week about Gladys Lui and the number of questions she must answer.

She was a member of at least communist China front organisations. One very important and influential committee was for eleven years. ( see Clive Hamilton's article in previous article.)

Why would a person who claimed to move from Hong Kong because of poor circumstances be  on such committees. Just remember she was invited onto these committees to promote Communist China.
We can only assume because she built a good network of very wealthy people from Hog Kong. To be very wealthy in Hong Kong you MUST be good relations with communist China.

This also relates to her fundraising for the Liberal party. Why did the Liberal party return funds because of where the money came from.

This is also related why the previous Prime Minister elected ( pun intended) to bypass a find raiser held in Chisholm by Gladys Lui

Lui has not responded in parliament nor has she released a statement rather  Morrison's own department has on her behalf.

This begs the question of why?

The answer is IF Lui  responded in Parliament  to the allegations and it was shown to be false she would be forced to resign from Parliament. Also Morrison can always say he will not answer anything to do with ASIO relation to Lui.
Morrison is betting people will get bored with this issue if nothing more is released i]on this issue and then move on.

We shall see. As both Michelle Grattan and Katherine Murphy attest there is nothing racist or even a smear in asking questions about Gladys Lui

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Around the Traps 16/9/19

It is time yet again for Around the Traps.

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

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Gladys Liu has a lot of questions to answer

Gladys Liu the new member of Chisholm is in a lot of trouble.
I will let Clive Hamilton do the hours.

On a prima facie basis she is in a lot of trouble. Asio had a lot of problems with some people at one of her fundraisers. The State Libs in Victoria gave back a substantial amount because of 'concerns'.
She keeps on changing her story and worse makes absurd claims such as I don't remember.

Clearly the voters in Chisholm are seen to be wood-ducks now if not earlier. She is known for using 'dirty tricks' in politics.

Let me make some brave forecasts.
1) The Government will NOT allow Liu to resign under any circumstances.
2) Liu will continue to be a millstone around Morrison's neck . ( how good is that sarc)
3) Liu will not contest the next federal election.


Morrison had a press conference and avoided any comment on either the ASIO recommendation that Turnbull avoid the Liu function or that the State Libs gave back money that Liu had gained.


Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The last election. Why did Labor lose?

Kevin Bonham relooks at the last election in view of the ANU survey.

It is a MUST read.

Say no more!!!.

Monday, 9 September 2019

ScoMo does not understand basic economics

Leigh Sales asked Scott Morrison a good question. He clearly did not understand it.

On a very basic level the government now has a surplus. It is taking money out of the economy. In very good times this is good as Keynes said in 1936 as it is offset by the private sector. however this is not occurring at present.

The RBA is doing as much as it can but cutting rates when they are already low aint going to do much. Phillip Lowe has repeatedly called for more Infrastructure spending.

Now we know here it is not the overall deficit/surplus that makes a difference to changing the economy but the Structural deficit/surplus. Se Here and Here for example.

Lowe is implying the changing in the structural budget deficit is not enough to boost the economy.

Interestingly Chritoph Boehm has written a very interesting article where he n makes the point public consumption not investment has a greater multiplier effect.  I leave that for the moment although one would expect greater economic benefits if the infrastructure projects were on the list of Infrastructure Australia's list of priorities which only TWO are..

I have said previously also the government is hoping It can retain its surplus ( most economists would say it is merely balanced being less than 1% of GDP)  and somehow the economy recovers.  This might happen but then again the recovery could well be tepid.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Has China woken the Dragon in Hong Kong?

The Chinese government and their acolytes have been shown to be chumps in Hong Kong.

The law to extradite people to mainland China was seen for what it was and there were HUGE demonstrations against the bill.

The hapless leader has only just dais the bill is dead. Why she took so long to say this simply shows what a poor politician she is and that is what she is supposed to be.
Indeed I think it can be said she has NO credibility and will  never have any and there will be no progress whilst she remains leader.

What the Chinese political leadership has done in a very ironical sense is wake the dragon on Hong Kong. Whilst billionaires who make their money by their communist 'connections' want closer relations with Chins most in Hong Kong do not.

What has started out as a large protest against a diabolical bill has morphed into almost a Hong Kong independence movement. There seems little likelihood of this protest falling away anytime soon.

What can the Chinese leadership do?
This is Hong Kong remember not Beijing. The political consequences both locally and internationally if Chinese armed forces marched in and started shooting would be unimaginable. The protests for example would escalate and Hong Kong would come to a standstill.
This would override anything else happening on the world stage for China.

What can they do?

I am no expert but Ii would say two things
1) Be patient. at some time the demonstration will start to fall away unless provocative action occurs.
2) Replace the hapless leader because of sickness or she wants more time with her family.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Around the Traps 6/9/19

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, 4 September 2019

poor GDP figures

The National Accounts were released yesterday and they were not good.


A few thoughts.

  • This could be the ONLY financial year where employment growth was greater than GDP growth. It is almost always the other way round. Periodicity anyone.  This surely cannot simply be put down to tepid wages growth.
  • The private sector is going backwards. Only Net Exports and the public sector is growing.
  • This is the slowest growth since the GFC but of course back than we had the GFC to contend with.( It does show how good the ALP were at handling it).
  • Although Nominal GDP is now slightly above its average very little is going to wages. Have a look at the Wages shares of GDP.
  • The government is putting a lot of stock in the tax  offsets will lead to greater spending. If our family is any guide it will lead to lower debt.I also sceptical of interest rates doing a lot at its present low levels.
  • both the government and the Opposition have a surplus phobia. More infrastructure projects on the list supplied by Infrastructure Australia (which both parties have patently ignored) is greatly needed.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

After 44 years we have a current account surplus

In 1975 under that economic guru ( you do understand irony don't you?) we last has a current account surplus.
Finally after 44 years we have one again. My old mate Peter Martin has a good article on it.

to put it in simple terms there are great similarities between the two occasions.
High commodity prices and low business investment !

We import around 80% of our business investment thus we never should get too worried about current account deficits.

Much ado about nothing

Monday, 2 September 2019

The Sri Lankans should go

There has been quite a lot of debate concerning the Sri Lankan family being sent back home.
There is a very good reason why they are.
They claimed to be asylum seekers but were found not to be so.
Thus they are only illegal immigrants as all people who claim to be asylum seekers but found not to be so.

This is the ONLY reason for deporting them.

The idea of those evil people smugglers ramping up their businesses if they were allowed to stay is patently absurd.
Plenty of boats have attempted to come to Australia although the rate has dramatically slowed after Rudd's remarks no-one would ever being allowed in Australia if they attempted to come here by boast.
Turnbacks has meant most have not arrived. Those that have then the people in them have been jetted back to the homeland.

Morrison and his ilk would have us believe people who wish to come to Australia as refugees would part with their cash on this basis.
It is absurd. Journalists who have interviewed people in camps in Indonesia have been told as such. Yes there still are a few wood ducks but most know if they get on a boat they will be towed back to Indonesia.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Sussex Street is rotten to the core

The ICAC hearings have not been good news to the ALP.

  • The NSW party takes money from a property developer which is against the law
  • The $100k is divided up to five lots of $20k from certain employees  to avoid the law
  • the general secretary simply does not understand what is right and what is wrong
There is more but is more needed to show how rotten the ALP head office is.  If you went back in history one would not have been  surprised if any of the previous general secretaries of the NSW branch would have behaved any differently..

If one thing stands out to me it is the attitude of  it is getting into power and then receiving the entitlements that goes with that. It is never getting into power to improve the welfare of the people at all.

Once , like the National party in Queensland, this corrupt way of thinking was put up with because of 'the political nous' that existed in sussex st.

No more. The ever changing of State leaders to maintain their grip on the political leadership in NSW showed this to be fallacious. more so in the toppling of Kevin Rudd at the federal level.

What can be done? Federal intervention? Perhaps a short-term solution but in the end the same faction and the same thought processes will dominate.

Andrew Fisher would be weeping if he could see this now.