Title: “Crunchtime”: Bringing together the best policy minds to discuss Australia’s future
Location: Trades Hall Auditorium, 4 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW
Link out: Click here
Description: The best policy thinkers from Australia and abroad will come together for “Crunchtime” — Australia’s first progressive think-tank conference.
Broadcast on March 11 2009 by ABC Radio National Big Ideas
A blog member has kindly produced a transcript of the off-the-cuff talk I gave at this forum. I’ve made minor corrections to the punctuation below, but the text is otherwise as delivered on the night without speaking notes–so there are some grammatical slips. For those who want to listen to this alone–without also listening to Bernie Fraser beforehand–here is a link to the MP3 of my talk.
As usual, the latest set of data from the ABS on the economy was “unexpectedly worse” than (neoclassical) economists had been expecting. The consensus was for a 0.2% increase over the month of March, from 5.2 to 5.4 percent. In fact, it leapt by two and a half times as much, to 5.7%.
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is part of a phrase attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularised in the United States by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The statement refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions. (Wikipedia)
I’ve just been sent this link to a hilarious face-off between Max Keiser and an Economics Professor. Max calls the Wall Street speculators “financial terrorists”, calls for decapitation as in days of olde…
There’s an interesting story in the New York Magazine by Michael Osinski–the author of the main software package used to create the CMOs and CDOs that have helped cripple the financial system.
I’m still having difficulties getting my podcasts up and running at the moment, so in lieu here is a link to the ABC Radio National Big Ideas recording of an Evatt Foundation forum on the Global Financial Crisis.
Speakers were Bernie Fraser, ex-Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, myself, and Garry Weiss, a corporate lawyer (this is also the speaking order).
Permanent link to this post
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The whole of the most recent Real World Economics Review (formerly known as the Post-Autistic Economics Review) is devoted to the question of “How should the collapse of the world financial system affect economics?”.
My paper, which led volume 49, is reproduced below. If you’d like to read the entire volume, click here for the online version and here for the PDF. You can also go here for back issues, and to subscribe for free.
This is a facetious way of letting you all know that, as of about 5 minutes ago, there are now 1,000 users (plus yours truly) subcribed to this blog.
The average daily unique readership count is currently 5,500, which I believe implies roughly 3–5 times that many readers on a monthly basis.
The First Home Owners Boost (as it is officially known) has certainly given the Government bang for its buck. By spending roughly $200 million of its own money to date, it has added about $3 billion to the housing market. But the additional $2.8 billion has come from increased mortgage debt taken on by those most vulnerable to a serious economic downturn, at a time when the latest “unexpected” increase in unemployment indicates that, like it or not, the global downturn is coming our way.