JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



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The TPP monster has 5,544 pages. A real free trade agreement would have 1

Lately the Five Star Free Market label is just a fake seal of approval for something Unfree

Just as carbon trading has nothing to do with a free market, so it is with monster free trade deals like the TPP. The free market meme won the intellectual debate of the 20th Century, but now its good name gets used and abused to sell the idea it defeated –  bigger-government.

A real free market deal has only one page and a bunch of signatures. But it takes a lot of pages to list all the unfree parts and to spell it out in sub-sub-clauses that hurt or help thousands of businesses around the world. Who gets the sweetest deal out of the complexity — the card carrying networkers — those who schmooze up to the right minister or bureaucrat. The people who compete on price or quality alone would win in a real free market, and so would we as customers. Instead the document rewards the gatekeepers, the rulemakers, the industry with the best lobbyists and the monied set who can donate enough to the right causes to get a better deal.

Tipping the scales at 5,544 pages — [...]

Would you give up the internet for a million dollars? Killer video on economic growth.

This is what economic growth means, and what some regressives fear so much.

How much would money would you have to be offered to give up the Internet for the rest of your days?

We are all rich beyond  the wildest dreams of yesterdays Kings.

Thanks to The Fund for American Studies.

Something serious happening to the Chinese economy?

Something suddenly changed in December last year in the world’s second largest economy (some say it’s the first). For the last few years private investors in China have been running away at a faster and faster pace. Apparently, no one wants to invest in the Chinese economy except the government, and six months ago, the State launched a rocket.

The massive growth of China is partly thanks to rampant money-printing. Say hello to Malinvestment. The Chinese economy is sick. It’s distraction time. Anyone want to stoke a war?

 

I saw the graph on the ABC news last night thanks to Phillip Lasker. The original graph came from Bloomberg under this unlikely headline:

 China Proves Doubters Wrong For Now as Credit Boom Stokes Growth

“Stoking Growth” is not always desirable — to go biological — cancer “stokes growth” and so does Ebola.

“The amount of cash Beijing is shoveling into the economy is stunning,” said Andrew Collier, an independent analyst in Hong Kong and former president of Bank of China International USA. “Given high fixed-asset investment among state-owned enterprises, it’s likely most of it is being consumed by the inefficient state sector. This is [...]

Carbon tax and Sydney Uni economics, both slugs on the economy

Michael Harris,  Senior Fellow in the School of Economics at University of Sydney, has the impossible job of defending the monstrously ineffective carbon tax against the pointless-but-efficient “Direct Action” program. The carbon tax cost $15b, and cut emissions by 12 million tonnes. The Direct Action plan cost $660m, and is projected to save 47 million tonnes.

Having no numbers remotely on his side, Harris goes quantum semantic. Watch the leap. A tax is not a cost, only a transfer. That makes your tax bill so much easier to pay:

There is also a difference between costs to the economy, and transfers within it. The amount of revenue raised through any tax is not a cost; it is simply a transfer from one “pocket” to “another”. The money has not been destroyed, and it remains available to be spent on something.

Now it seems to me that if I buy a beer, it’s a transfer from one “pocket” to another pocket and if that money is destroyed in the process, that would be the end of the bottle shop. The world of economics rather depends on that money not being vaporised and being available for the shop owner [...]

Australian Budget released — Will it live up to expectations?

UPDATE: The bottom line. Meh.People are calling it “brutal”, and saying it’s a slash and burn budget, but really government spending will only shrunk by 0.5% of GDP.

[The Guardian] “The government is cutting overall spending, but relatively slowly – from 25.3% of GDP to 24.8% next year, 24.7% in 2016-17 and rising to 24.8% again in 2017-18. By comparison Peter Costello’s first budget was much more savage, cutting government spending from 25.1% to 23.9% of GDP.”

The Australian 2014/15 Budget has just been released. It’s the first budget of the Abbott government.  (Catallaxy has the transcript of the speech). Given election cycles there will probably not be a better opportunity to move towards a smaller, less burdensome government. Are the cuts enough? [UPDATE: No].

How much unnecessary tithing is there to the carbon monster?

There are some good signs: 16,500 public service jobs will be cut. And “70 government agencies will be scrapped or merged” including the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Depressingly, while this is useful, it’s not much. There are apparently so many government agencies no one can figure out the exact number. There are estimates it’s close to 1000.

UPDATE: From News.com [...]

The Ben Factor. One man drives a market. The world pretends it is “free”.

How much is that company worth? You can look at its PE, debt, market spread, sovereign risk, and discounted cash flow, but in the end, it’s the Ben Factor (BF) which dominates all companies, metal prices, and sovereign currencies in the West.

The Ben hath spoken, and said that in future, if the economy is looking better, he might slow the printing of $85 billion US dollars a month, some indefinite non-specified day. All that was … obvious. But, world-wide investors and traders hang off the words, trying to second-guess what the BF banality implies. No one will say it, but everyone knows that it the rate of the flow of easy cash so much as slows, all hell will break loose. Balanced on this thin veneer of pretense, stocks, metals and whole national currencies change direction within minutes.

The Ben has spoken.

What hath changed since yesterday? Not much. But global paroxysm ensues.

Bernanke taper talk sends markets into a tailspin

Closing Bell: S&P 500 posts biggest fall since November 2011 on Fed’s stimulus plan

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American stocks tumble to four-year low

China, Fed frenzy send Aust stocks tumbling [...]

The Obama Money Plan — Oh dear, the secret is out!

Brilliant. The country-and-western economic thesis. It’ll catch on. So much for those Keynsian doctorates.

Ray Stevens, composer, comedian, singer.

We’re printing money

Obama Money

Let’s do what the government does, it works for them, it might work for us, so I forgot my ethics and morals and swallowed my pride We took out every credit card we could get and took out the maximum debt

[...]

Monckton: Is carbon dioxide mitigation cost-effective?

Lord Christopher Monckton compares the cost of action with the cost of inaction and finds that even assuming that the IPCC estimates are correct, that would be far more expensive to reduce CO2 than to pay to adapt to the potential damage. He compares 8 case studies of carbon trading schemes, as well as wind-farms, and even a bicycle-hire program, and finds that costs vary from $90 tr -$101,000 tr per degree forestalled.  By Garnaut’s own discount rates, the global abatement cost would be 2.3-4.5 times the inaction cost. — Jo Nova

[...]

Fairyland economics — Labor invents perpetual money machine

It’s fairy-land economics out there. In a big economic advance, the Labor Party realized  that they can solve world poverty: the secret is to take money from the big producers, and hand it to anyone and everyone — it will not only keep our national economy productive and efficient, but millions of people will be richer!  Why we didn’t do it 50 years ago!*

Millions to be ‘better off’ under carbon tax

Think of the possibilities! If it works on a national scale, why not go international — how much richer would we all be if we buried our  five cheapest sources of energy in a pit under Maralinga, forced everyone to use the sixth, seventh, and eight best sources of energy, AND we took the profits from the most efficient successful operations around the globe (known henceforth as “polluters” (sic))  and gave them to all the world’s poor and needy?

Where do Gillard and Combet think the “Big-Polluters” get their money from? Would it be from:

(a) giant Swiss-bank-accounts held by Nazi war criminals, (b) ancient Saxon wishing wells, or (c) pots at the end of the rainbow?

Do they think the big-polluters pull money out [...]

Carbon credits: another corrupt currency?

Carbon credits are a form of fiat currency, yet as calls for carbon trading grow, ironically, another fiat currency collapses—destroying life savings, wiping out jobs, and taking down historic institutions overnight. [...]