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 blanket […]

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 our so-called […]

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 told […]

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 the […]

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 the […]