Monthly Archives: May 2013

Prawn Crackers

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says a report alleging Chinese hackers stole plans for Australia’s new intelligence hub will not hit ties with Beijing. On Monday the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported blueprints setting out the building’s cable layouts and security systems had been illegally accessed by a server in China. Mr Carr did not comment directly […]

Bubble trouble: all information is not equal

This post is partly prompted by this comment and this paper (pdf) (via) on the US housing price bubbles and busts and (greatly) extends this comment by myself. It is also a response to the work of mathematician-turned-historian Andrew Odlyzko. In a previous post, I argued that easy monetary policy was not to blame for the asset booms […]

The $34m Question

US car giant Ford Motor will shut all its Australian manufacturing plants by October 2016, after more than 85 years of making vehicles in the country. About 1,200 workers are expected to lose their jobs from the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants, in Victoria state. Ford said its Australian operations had lost A$600m ($580m; £385m) over […]

Sometimes, there are no lessons

‘We must do something, here is something, let’s do that thing’ is one of the most seductive wrong routes those in power can take in the wake of an act of terror. Initially praised for his unwillingness to be drawn into the usual epidemic of jerking knees that breaks out whenever awful stuff happens in […]

A Hot Time in the Cold Town Tonight

There has been a sixth night of rioting in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, despite police reinforcements being deployed. Cars were set alight in poor suburbs inhabited largely by immigrants, although the unrest was reportedly not as serious as on previous nights. The rioting also spread outside the capital for the first time on Friday, with youths […]

Privilege: an advice

[A long time ago, I promised various skeptical friends that I would write a post on the idea of ‘privilege’, something about which I have had grave doubts for some time. Unfortunately life and work got in the way, and the post remained unwritten. However, I then made the same undertaking to various classical liberal […]

Knights! Action! Camera!

Apropos nothing more than the fun of it, photographs of knights a la medieval. On parade: Breaking lances in the joust: Since 2009, there has been the annual Battle of the Nations.  The rules are explained here. You can watch Russia v USA 21v21 here. There is an online TV series; episode 1 is here […]

Forever England

The soldier killed in an attack in London has been named as Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Drummer Rigby, 25, from Manchester, leaves behind a two-year-old son. Two suspects shot by police after Wednesday’s attack in Woolwich remain under arrest. A further two people have been arrested on […]

Charity begins at the IRS

The head of the US tax agency has quit after it emerged his staff singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny, President Barack Obama has announced. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had asked for and accepted the resignation of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Acting Commissioner Steve Miller, he said. “I will do everything in my power […]

Bubble trouble: not an easy money problem

The notion that “easy money” created asset booms is levelled (famously by Austrian school economists such as von Mises and Hayek) against the 1920s boom and by a range of commentators about the Great Moderation boom. In both cases, the Fed (dominated by Benjamin Strong as New York Fed Governor up to 1928 and by Alan Greenspan as Fed Chair 1987-2006) is held to be to […]