Monthly Archives: June 2011

Big tobacco bites back

The Gillard government’s plain pack­ag­ing for cig­a­rettes leg­is­la­tion is dis­com­fort­ing even for those who have no patience with the huge and unnec­es­sary costs that tobac­co use impos­es on the Aus­tralian pub­lic health sys­tem. It looks like anoth­er piece of heavy-hand­ed, “go for the jugu­lar” gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion (like the appalling NBN, the car­bon tax and the […]

Alarm or deny

How can it be that the same data on tem­per­a­ture trends and sea-lev­­els sup­ports such rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent agen­das? Because the data, from time to time, does not strong­ly deter­mine any way of look­ing at the world. This obser­va­tion is as cogent today as it was when it first appeared; per­haps more so. The total­i­ty of […]

Nuts to NAB

If ever you need­ed a demon­stra­tion that “senior bankers” view the econ­o­my only as a prop for their loan books this non­sense is it. “ ‘If you are ask­ing for an eco­nom­ic assess­ment of the two (poli­cies), a car­bon price fol­lowed by an ETS is eco­nom­i­cal­ly supe­ri­or. It will dri­ve cer­tain­ty and invest­ment,’ the NAB chief […]

Unlikely data

I don’t see any need to know these things: If the US Fed­er­al debt of $8 tril­lion or so were paid in dol­lar bills the height of the pile would reach to the moon four times. One mil­lion, five hun­dred and twen­ty four thou­sand kilo­me­tres. The num­ber of mod­ern Homo Sapi­ens believed ever to have […]

Treasury modelling of a carbon tax

I teach my post-grad­u­ate stu­dents of inter­na­tion­al trade that the val­ue of eco­nom­ic mod­el­ling lies not in the pro­jec­tions —which are unre­li­able at best—but in the insight that build­ing mod­els pro­vides into how a trad­ing econ­o­my works. The exchanges between Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott in the past day or so about mod­el­ling “com­pen­sa­tion” for […]

Dziękujemy Polska

Prices on the EU Car­bon Allowances mar­ket have crashed due to over­sup­ply head­ed into the sea­son­al (sum­mer) down­turn. The mar­ket for emis­sion per­mits has been dis­cred­it­ed by fraud, re-sale of used allowances and VAT scams since it’s launch. But also it seems that buy­ers realise that the back­lash against the anti-growth “carbon=pollution” agen­da of the […]

Ingredients of trade success

OK, so I read World Bank doc­u­ments for the pic­tures. It’s true…I’m not ashamed to admit it. The prose in these tomes is often gluti­nous but the graphs are great! The chart shows why there’s much less inter­est, now, in tar­iff bind­ings, the cur­ren­cy of WTO agree­ments. The last big reces­sion (2007–9), unlike those of […]