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Traffic accident externalities

Background. Traffic accident costs are a significant component of total road transport costs.

I have been examining proposals for introducing distance-based car insurance charges as a way of addressing traffic accident issues as well as environmental externalities associated with road use. There are arguments for […]

Canaries in coalmines & climate change

Bird observers to some are a weird lot. Fanatical, obsessed with what these others see (or often ignore and don’t see) and dismiss as trite. The obsession of bird observers with their environment however often feeds into useful science.

US observers have noticed that over 40 years 177 bird species have moved further north […]

Critiques of the Geithner plan

A pessimistic, scathing critique of the Geithner plan by James K. Galbraith.

In some ways mimics Paul Krugman’s pessimism in the NYT .

Here are reservations along similar lines by John Quiggin.

HT AlterNet, an excellent site.

New site

I have a new site at WordPress:

Readers please adjust your browser settings. It is goodbye Blogger for at least a while. I have got to express my sincere thanks to for making the incredible Blogger software available free. It is amazingly simple and powerful software. My reasons for making the change? I […]


More of the same here. It’s my first post on my new WordPress site. I am still working on the design of this site. Readers will have to live with the poor aesthetics for a while. But great things will happen.

What the Welsh do at night

This is power shepherding.  Literally brilliant.

Thanks Bernd

Joel Fitzgibbon

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s friendship links with a Chinese national seem to have gone well beyond the point of occasional, friendly personal encounters. Free trips to China and gifts from someone also making hefty financial contributions to the ALP seem completely over the top. Particularly when Fitzgibbon lies about the gifts until they are revealled […]

Accident-prone Liberals

This pessimistic – though I think accurate – piece from conservative columnist/journalist Doug Conway appeared in today’s Manly Daily:

ANNA Bligh’s historic win in Queensland extends to 25 the number of consecutive state and territory elections where conservative parties have either lost to Labor or won fewer seats.

The only aberration came last year in WA, […]

H.E. Seyed Mohammad Khatami

I heard this remarkable man – ex president of Iran 1997-2005 – speak at La Trobe University this evening.  Mr Khatami is a Muslim cleric whose main interest is political philosophy.  I found his prepared speech, which ran for half an hour, academic and rather dry.  For another 2 hours however he took good-natured, […]

World trade collapse

The value of world trade will fall 9% in 2009 compared to growth of a miserable 2% (not 4.5% as forecast) in 2008 the WTO said on Monday.  World production will fall by 1-2% in 2009, the first fall since the 1930s.  Further falls in trade can be anticipated as the recession intensifies – the […]

Visualising the financial crisis

Jonathon Jarvis provides this exceedingly clear view of the global financial crisis.  One of the best I have seen.

Stuff white people like

This is a fun blog that has been operating for a bit more than a year.  I’ll add it to the blogroll.

Moleskine notebooks – expensive without additional functionality. Coffee – particularly fair trade coffee – that $2 makes a difference. Asian girls – they don’t have mid-life crises and produce attractive hybrids. Funny […]

US vs. China on climate change

Given that the US has been so slow to come to the party to even think of seriously addressing climate change it seems almost hypocritical of it to threaten retaliatory tariffs on Chinese carbon intensive exports if China does not adequately price carbon.   Europe had already threatened to do the same to the US when […]

In praise of economics

Both of my university-age kids are studying economics.  When intelligent young people ask for advice on what to study at university I often advise them to study economics.  This often raises a wry smile given that people often know that all I have done all my life is work in economics.  But I try to discount the […]

More nostalgia – Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention is one of my all-time favourite bands. They still perform although their early album with Sandy Denny Liege and Lief remains my favourite. Denny died tragically in 1978 after skipping through a number of groups. Liege and Lief is monumental folk-rock music:

‘To rouse the spirit of the earth and move the rolling […]

Labor to be returned in Queensland

7.59pm: Despite some good swings to the new LNP I believe Labor will be returned with a much-reduced majority.  In the old Parliament Labor had a huge majority of 37 seats – LNP 23 seats, Labor 63. It was a huge ask for the new LNP to win.  My prediction is based on the ABC’s extrapolation […]

Long pictures

I enjoyed this oldie from BoingBoing.

Einfeld goes to jail

Former head of Human Rights Commission and perennial liar Marcus Einfeld has gone to jail for at least two years.  The left loved him as a personality judge. But he lied about a $77 fine (he had lied about traffic convictions several times before), lied about his academic qualifications (he bought degrees) and his past directorships and plagiarised […]

Nostalgia – Norman Gunston & Frank Zappa

I had forgotten how good both of them were. Here goes Zappa on the Illinois Enema Bandit. And a totally disgusting version (with Captain Beefheart) of Willie the Pimp.  We miss you Frankie.

Tiger Woods to come to Oz

Tiger Woods will play in the Australian Open this year in Victoria.  He will be paid $4.5 million for his 3 day effort half of which will be subscribed by the Australian taxpaper.  This is his appearance fee and ignores possible winnings. The event will be held at Kingston Heath and I am already […]