Monthly Archives: July 2011

Competition policy in PTAs

Here’s a surprise…or is it? According to the WTO’s 2011 annual report, the most common WTO-extension (WTO-X) provision of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) is in a domain that the WTO dropped from its negotiating agenda in 2003: competition policy. Research for the WTO’s 2011 Annual Report shows that 90 of the 96 PTAs examined have […]

WTO embraces the irresistible

WTO’s annual World Trade Report for 2011 signals a turning-point for the soon-to-be-Doha-less Organization. It attempts to provide a rationale for abandoning WTO’s half-hostile stand-off with the more dynamic universe of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and for embracing PTAs instead. Or, as the subtitle of the report puts it, in EU-ese, a rationale for moving […]

Smoking and climate change

Malcolm Turnbull, in a recent speech invented a parable about a foolhardy smoker to illustrate his claim that contesting the views of the “best scientists” on man-made climate-change is an “attack on science”. But does this parable make sense? Should we consider the the claimed “consensus” of science-policy bodies on dangerous global warming to be […]

Treasury’s advocacy of a CO2 tax

One thing on which I agree with Julia Gillard is the poor quality of many journalists’ analysis of her proposals. But when you cram journalists with nonsense, you must expect some of them to regurgitate it from time to time. “In theory, this is an ingenious model for adapting our fossil fuel economy to global […]

Black calls the kettle Rupert

It is difficult to think of anyone less likely to offer an objective assessment. Conrad Black on why Rupert Murdoch is a “great bad man”. “Although his personality is generally quite agreeable, Mr Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company. He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; […]

Why shoot elephants?

It’s the most effective way to kill them. Any game-keeper will tell you that. Just as any economist will tell you that the most effective way to control obnoxious behaviour, like polluting the river, or just undesirable behaviour, like driving your car into the city, is to tax it. Are there alternatives to shooting? Yes, […]

De Lacy on the Carbon Tax

“Keith De Lacy, chairman of takeover target Macarthur Coal, said yesterday the absence of a viable alternative to coal to fuel Asia’s economic growth would maintain high prices worldwide and protect miners against the latest “attack” by the Labor government on the industry.” Extract from The Australian Read the rest of the interview. De Lacy, […]