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 […]

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 […]