Thursday, 23 June 2022

Around the Traps 27/6/22

 It is time for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy

Northern America

Europe

Asia

Wonk

General

Climate

Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)

Econometrics

  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Should we nationalise electricty?

 John Quiggin asks the-national-electricity-market-is-a-failed-1990s-experiment-its-time-the-grid-returned-to-public-hands.

I am sympathetic to this argument in theory. Privatising an essential good was madness to me and the evidence is in. It hasn't worked. electricity prices are higher than otherwise would be. It is disappointing that institutions such as the Productivity commission cannot even admit they made a mistake when they champion privatisation.

However in practice you cannot uncook an omelete. No State Government is going to spend money to buy back electricity assets.

On a related topic here John says now-is-the-perfect-time-to-increase-coal-royalties-to-fund-australias-energy-transition

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Monetary policy for dummies

 Essentially the only game in town for the RBA is raising or cutting interest rates. Yes they can do other things but in reality they are minor.

Interest rates heavily affect the housing sector as it is very sensitive to interest rate changes. borrowers have less money to spend when interest rates are raised. We should also remember this affects business investment as well. Overall consumers will spend less as they realise the central bank is tightening policy.

I have to emphasis it is guesswork not science on whether a recession turns up or not. If Banks have been lax in their lending guidelines and/or the central bank is behind the curve. It is more likely a recession will occur.

In the former the housing sector takes a whack and thus reducing interest rates after this occurs does not do much. In the latter the central bank will probably raise rates quicker and more than otherwise. By the time they realise they have gone too far we are in recession.

Therefore hang on

Monday, 20 June 2022

The Energy fiasco

 I am not going to link any stories on this. I am guessing most people have already read to death on this subject.

The current crisis came in two parts.

1. The very large rises in coal and gas prices

2. The very large increases in breakdowns of units in coal fired power stations. This was unusual as it is expected in summer with AEMO regularly putting out alerts for blackouts because they are worried about too many units breaking down in summer. Put it another way if winter is like this what is summer going to be ?

This was exacerbated by the fact renewables only account for around 30% of output. More renewables would have meant less stress caused by the above.

It follows therefore the solution is long term ie more renewable energy. Can I add something with regard to the  proposed capacity mechanism. A coal fired power station delivers base load power. It is on 24 hours a day. It is never held in reserve as it is already on. A gas fired power station can be as it can be started and closed quickly unlike coal fired power stations. Too many people confuse base load power and dispatchable power particularly the former minister!


Sunday, 19 June 2022

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Around the Traps 20/6/22

 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)

Econometrics

  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

how are the sanctions affecting russia?

 Two views on how sanctions are affecting Russia or are they are? Perhaps they are looking at different things!

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

We are going to the World Cup

 Well I was wrong. We made it through to the world cup courtesy of a quite lethargic Peru. They were so confident of winning they had already called a public holiday to celebrate.

I was expecting to lose two or three nil because we had a slow defence which made mistakes and had few people capable of scoring. Although we had 'some' chances we really di not look like scoring. Yes Peru hit the post but they really did not look like scoring either. They were an old team.

The Arnieroos were ready for a penalty shoot out. We had proven penalty takers whilst Reu replaced some of theirs. The changing of goalkeepers was interesting. Peru would not have though the third string GK would be in the penalty shoot out.  Since it worked we can say it was a brilliant move.

Our opponents in the world cup are France, Tunisia and Denmark. Fancy playing France and Denmark in successive world cups. I really cannot see us getting a point. We have little cattle and you need cclass to score in the world cup.

Still we are there but the games will be played at a slow pace because it is hot outside!

Sunday, 12 June 2022

The honours system is broke

 Yet again we find people getting 'honours' for merely doing their job as Nick Gruen said moons ago. Even a dead man gets a gong!

This yet again proves the honours system is broke. 

Can we just get rid of them.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Aretha

 Did any female have a better voice then Aretha Franklin. This is my favourite song  of hers which I thought she would do amazingly well live but unfortunately she did not. She was quite wooden in her live appearances of this great song.

The story goes she and the back up singers simply had a great time one afternoon in the studio never thinking it would be made into a record. Luckily for us it was




Thursday, 9 June 2022

Around the Traps 10/6/22

 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)

Econometrics

Diane Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk


Wednesday, 8 June 2022

We were lucky

 Okay we beat the UAE 2-1. However we were lucky. The first half was desultory but we picked up in the second half. 

In truth we simply played so we conceded no goals in the first half. Some maybe worried about the right side bit I am not. Every time the fast winger shot he had no angle which a good fullback ensures if he is beaten.

We looked dangerous in the second half when Boyle was fed the ball went down the right side and crossed the ball. We scored once and Goodwin missed a sitter. The winner was a cracker.

The defence was better but every so often opened up. It is quite slow. Hrustic can , like Rogic, be magic on the ball and then lose because of a lack of skill. Bewildering.

We need to start with a recognised striker and I think McLaren will start against Peru.

Too often and too many defenders and midfielders always pass back even when there is no pressure. This indicates a lack of confidence in both their skill and creativity.

I hope I am wrong but I think Peru will win and win easily.

Arnie is getting a bad press. He has done the same as Ange but with lot worse cattle and now has to play the 5th placed ?South American country. Last time we played Honduras and they were awful!

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

The RBA gets aggressive. About time

 The RBA surprised most market participants (and me who thought it would be 40 bp)) by raising the cash rate by 50 basis points.

This was an aggressive move and it was about time. The RBA has been caught out and surprised by inflation rising to levels they clearly did not expect. The move by the RBA will mean to people they mean business. however it must continue.

I have said previously I think they should go to 1.5% so interest rates are back at neutral levels and then take a breather and watch the reaction. I now think they should move to say 2-2.5% and then take a breather. Inflation reaching 6-7% is way too high.

For two takes on RBA action

Monday, 6 June 2022

The States have it hard under inflation

 The major expense for State governments are wages. Hence we a lot of caps on public sector wages in the State government sector. In NSW we have had a 2% cap on wage increases since The Liberals were first elected.

When inflation is low this isn't really a problem. Unions grumble but rarely do much as real wages are not falling.

However when inflation starts to rise significantly like it is now ( 5.1% rising to 6-7%) then you get problems. People do not want to have their real wages falling. However State government cannot afford to give their employees wages so they do not fall in real terms because of the impact on the budget.

Most State governments have large deficits. Even those who claim to be in surplus cannot afford to give such wage increases BUT since they have 'surpluses' it is much harder to argue how problematic wage increases would be to their respective budgets.

Thus you have angry workers who have not only been left behind in relative terms but are now are being left behind in real terms. Strikes abound yet State governments cannot offer wage increases to match the CPI because of budgetary constraints.

Sorry I have no answer to this until the RBA eventually brings inflation under control.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

The Opposition front bench

 The Opposition leader Peter Dutton has announced his shadow ministry.

It does show a distinct lack of talent. IF we are to believe Angus Taylor ,who was an embarrassment when he was Minister, he cannot even read an annual report. IF we do not believe him then his is a liar. That is merely highlighting the most important shadow ministry.

However we should also remember that there will be a few that will shine in Opposition. Do you remember Simon Crean after 1996. Howard changed his prized policy after Crean claimed far too many scalps. 

We also need a decent Opposition to keep the government honest.

Having said all that I cannot see Dutton getting any teal seats back. Dutton will look out of place if Albo succeeds in changing parliamentary culture. Even if he fails just remember Keating was never popular only respected until 1994 and THAT budget. His shadow cabinet does look inspiring. Perhaps international events will intervene and change things in his favour alah Scullin or even Whitlam.

I should add two things both the new government have a  lot more experience on how to deal with any repercussions and so does the bureaucracy.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Around the Traps 3/6/22

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)

Econometrics

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

vox wonk


Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

the new ALP Cabinet

 HERE is the new cabinet. Overall it is a highly talented bunch. Most but not all have dominated their previous ministerial counterparts. There is quite a lot of ministerial experience and some who do not have that  ( such as Jim Chalmers) are showing signs of over confidence and even arrogance.

There are always failures. My guess the favourite to fail is Don Farrell  in cabinet because of his lack of talent and Anne Aly in the outer ministry as the portfolio is way outside her area of expertise.

There will also some unexpected success in Opposition. Simon Crean was like a greyhound in Opposition after the landslide loss in 1996.


We shall see.

Monday, 30 May 2022

My theory on why Flu has made a comeback

 Australia has not had a flu season for two years.

We are now experiencing a large increase in flu. Why is this? The last time I visited my cardiologist we both agreed flu might not be much of a threat because of social distancing and people staying at home when they have a mere sniffle.

Well here in Eastwood there is no social distancing. When I insist on it at the supermarket or at the fruit and veg those very people swear at me. People no longer care about covid so why would they give a toss about flu.

It is my belief the authorities should have a new education program promoting social distancing.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

The US Supreme court is mainly made up of partisan hacks

 I am forever grateful to Nick Gruen . His weekly e-mail is full of insightful articles via the links. Do yourself a favour and get it!!  This article os frorm that.

Read this and weep.

the-supreme-court-just-said-in-in-shinn-v-ramirez-that-evidence-of-innocence-is-not-enough


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Around the Traps 27/5/22

 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)

Econometrics

  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk