Monthly Archives: July 2010

Feather duster ambush

Of course, the Labor party would not have needed to “back down” if it hadn’t inflated the issue with worse-than-WMD hys­te­ria, reli­gious zeal (cf. Ross Garnaut’s invo­ca­tion of Pascal’s wager) and con­tempt for con­trary evi­dence. “Julia Gillard has put the pretty wrap­ping paper of con­vic­tion and con­sen­sus around Kevin Rudd’s emis­sions trad­ing back­down. But inside […]

Kay on the theory of value

Bril­liant sum­mary of the inter­ac­tion between dif­fer­ing pref­er­ences and judge­ments in error. “Wher­ever there is uncer­tainty, mar­ket prices reflect the beliefs of those who are more than aver­agely san­guine. The result is a reserve of illu­sory value, con­stantly depleted by events and replen­ished by fresh uncer­tain­ties. That is why mar­kets dis­play a sys­tem­atic propen­sity to boom […]

Led by lunatics

Mark Lawson’s new book “A Guide to Cli­mate Change Lunacy” (Con­nor­Court Pub­lish­ing, 2010) arrives with bril­liant tim­ing, just as Aus­tralia gets another chance to make a choice on cli­mate change poli­cies in the 2010 elec­tion. Based on his cre­den­tials as a respected jour­nal­ist — he’s a lead­ing sci­ence jour­nal­ist and edi­tor for the Aus­tralian Financial […]

A climate ambush

When she took power, Julia Gillard said she wanted a national con­ver­sa­tion and ‘deep com­mu­nity con­sen­sus’ about cli­mate change. What she has given us, instead, is an elec­tion cam­paign that is, by its nature, guar­an­teed to pro­duce nei­ther. “I was con­cerned that if you were going to do some­thing as big to your econ­omy as […]

Watch this

Rev­enue strong; div­i­dends down. Google invests in ideas you wish you’d had. “Patrick Pichette, chief finan­cial offi­cer, said Google was invest­ing for what it expected to be a big expan­sion in online mar­kets in the next decade. ‘We think it’s the right thing to do at the moment in the com­pany.’ ” Extract from—Google profits […]

Krugman’s take on protection

It seems Krug­man will say any­thing to score a point. He wants to argue that insuf­fi­cient demand (unem­ploy­ment) is a prob­lem and that redis­tri­b­u­tion (trade taxes) is not. “…the attempt to place blame for the Depres­sion on pro­tec­tion­ism is a sort of Noble Lie, an attempt to scare peo­ple into trade pol­icy that’s good for other […]

Trade ‘imbalances’ are misleading

Alexan­dro Jara, the Deputy Director-General of WTO “[R]elying on con­ven­tional trade sta­tis­tics gives a dis­torted pic­ture of trade imbal­ances between coun­tries. As we saw when look­ing at the Chi­nese con­tent of the iPad, what counts is not the imbal­ances as mea­sured by gross val­ues of exports and imports, but how much val­ued added is embed­ded in […]