Kosciuszko Walk 1pm Thursday 15th Federation Mall

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On Thurs­day April 15th at 1pm, Steve Keen will begin a walk from Par­lia­ment House to Mt Kosciuszko, to ful­fill the famous bet with Rory Robert­son over house prices.

Keen claimed that, just as Japan­ese house prices had fall­en 40% since its Bub­ble Econ­o­my burst in 1990, so too would Aus­tralian house prices. In Octo­ber 2008, Robert­son chal­lenged him to a bet that this would nev­er hap­pen at a debate in the Par­lia­men­tary Library, where the los­er would have to walk from Par­lia­ment House to Mt Kosciuszko.

KeenWalk T‑shirts Available

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The T‑shirts have been print­ed and they look fan­tas­tic (if I do say so myself). There are 3 designs:

One high­lights the core issue that con­ven­tion­al eco­nom­ics ignores, and Debt Defla­tion the­o­ries take seriously–the ratio of pri­vate debt to GDP:

Debt to GDP Ratio from 1860 till 2010

Anoth­er shows the rela­tion­ship between the ratio of house prices to dis­pos­able incomes and the First Home Own­ers Grant. The Grant has been intro­duced, relaunched, or dou­bled on five occa­sions, and each time it made hous­ing less afford­able:

The FHOG and housing unaffordability

KeenWalk: Getting to Canberra

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I’ll be post­ing a few links about the Walk to Kosciuszko here, main­ly for infor­ma­tion of those who will be tak­ing part. They will dupli­cate posts on the Keen­walk site itself, where the mem­bers are large­ly but not exclu­sive­ly those who will be join­ing me for the walk.

This post is large­ly about logis­tics: get­ting to Can­ber­ra, and pos­si­bly pool­ing resources to do so. Apolo­gies to those who are look­ing for ana­lyt­ic content–this post will have none what­so­ev­er. But if you are one of the walk­ers, please pop over to Keen­walk now and make your com­ments on this post there rather than here…

Vote for Revere Award

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Vot­ing is now open for the Revere Award for Eco­nom­ics. The Revere Award is the pos­i­tive com­pan­ion to the Dyna­mite Award in Eco­nom­ics, which was devel­oped by the Real World Eco­nom­ics Review to rec­og­nize the fail­ure of the vast major­i­ty of econ­o­mists to fore­see the Glob­al Finan­cial Cri­sis. It was award­ed to the three econ­o­mists whose work most helped cause the GFC, with the even­tu­al win­ners being Alan Greenspan, Mil­ton Fried­man and Lar­ry Sum­mers (see Greenspan, Fried­man and Sum­mers win Dyna­mite Prize in Eco­nom­ics).

Growing like Topsy

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My Walk to Mt Kosciuszko is no longer a soli­tary affair: at last count, I will have a dozen com­pan­ions for the entire dis­tance, and anoth­er 16 join­ing me for at least one day.

One of those com­ing for the entire trip is the Com­men­tary Edi­tor from Busi­ness Spec­ta­tor, Rob Burgess. Rob will report from and on the Walk on a dai­ly basis, cov­er­ing it both as a news sto­ry, and as the basis for a dis­cus­sion of the wider issues fac­ing busi­ness and eco­nom­ics in the unchart­ed ter­rain of the sup­pos­ed­ly  ‘post-GFC’ world.

Final T‑Shirts

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After exten­sive and much appre­ci­at­ed crit­i­cal feed­back on the draft designs, this blog entry show­cas­es the three T‑Shirt designs I’m pro­duc­ing for the Walk to Kosciuszko.

Each has the words “I was hope­less­ly wrong on house prices. Ask me how” as required by the bet. Each also has a graph­i­cal answer to the ques­tion:

  • Tim­ing;
  • Our Debt Bub­ble; and
  • Gov­ern­ment manip­u­la­tion of the mar­ket in the form of the First Home Own­ers Grant.

Everyone’s a critic…

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Thanks for all the feed­back on the T‑Shirt designs for my forth­com­ing walk from Par­lia­ment House to Mt Kosciuszko. I must admit I was a bit sur­prised by how many peo­ple were opposed to the dis­tort­ed text, but I take the point (of course, there were some who were strong­ly in favour of it).

And I do also want to have some fun–it isn’t all sour grapes! As some­one who has done graph­ic design at var­i­ous stages in my life, I like the look of the “fit text to curve” text–it’s the T‑shirt I’d like to have in my col­lec­tion. So what I’ve decid­ed to do is to pro­duce at least 4 of the 5 T‑shirts shown below, two of which have text fit­ted to the curves, and three of which do not.

T‑Shirts for Kosciousko

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As is wide­ly known, I will be walk­ing from Aus­trali­a’s Par­lia­ment House to Mount Kosciousko–a dis­tance of 225km–as the result of los­ing part of a bet with a well-known “bull” on prop­er­ty in Aus­tralia, Rory Robert­son. I am oblig­ed to wear a T‑Shirt with the words “I was hope­less­ly wrong on house prices: ask me how” embla­zoned on it.

As I explain on www.keenwalk.com.au, I was ambushed with this bet in front of an audi­ence of 80–100 peo­ple at Par­lia­ment House. I have respond­ed in kind by turn­ing the walk into a protest about the man­ner in which keep­ing prop­er­ty prices high has come to dom­i­nate eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy in Australia–with what I pre­fer to call the First Home Ven­dors Boost being the most out­ra­geous exam­ple of that.

Debtwatch Association Meeting March 9

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Sev­er­al mem­bers have point­ed out that I got the month wrong: the meet­ing to form the Asso­ci­a­tion will take place this com­ing Tuesday–which is March 9, not April 9 as I first post­ed here.

My apolo­gies for the con­fu­sion. In any case, it looks like quite a few peo­ple were able to see past my slip and we now have about 15 mem­bers signed up for din­ner this Tues­day at a rather nice venue in Syd­ney (I will stick to just let­ting peo­ple know where by return email). The cost for the din­ner will be $65 per per­son, and it will start at 7pm at a venue not too far from Syd­ney’s CBD.

Talking About the Blog II

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Last month I gave a talk about the blog at Swin­burne Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, at the invi­ta­tion of one of the blog’s most active mem­bers, Dr Matt Mitchell. Swin­burne’s video of the talk is below, and it neat­ly melds my talk and the pre­sen­ta­tion I gave:

Steve Keen’s Debt­watch Pod­cast http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/SteveKeenOnEducation.mov

| Open Play­er in New Win­dow

The vol­ume will appear too low when you hear Mat­t’s intro­duc­tion, but this is because the audio lev­el was set on my radio mic, which is much loud­er than the the­atre micro­phone. Turn the sound up to hear Mat­t’s open­ing, but be ready to turn it down when I start talk­ing.