Establishing an Association

Flattr this!

This is main­ly of inter­est to Syd­ney mem­bers: I need to form an Asso­ci­a­tion, pri­mar­i­ly to admin­is­ter the funds that have been raised via dona­tions to this blog (and also

Dona­tions have totalled over A$10,000 so far, and while I had thought this raised no income lia­bil­i­ty for me, I have been informed that it could be regard­ed as income by tax­a­tion author­i­ties. Form­ing an Asso­ci­a­tion to man­age the funds will over­come this dif­fi­cul­ty.

Debtwatch No. 43: Declaring victory at half time

Flattr this!

Note: the first part of this post will main­ly be of inter­est just to Aus­tralian read­ers, but I con­clude with a numer­i­cal expla­na­tion of “Why Debt-Defla­tion Caus­es Depres­sions” that will be of inter­est to read­ers every­where.

Last week I took part in a debate enti­tled “The Great Res­i­den­tial Hous­ing Debate — the next Bub­ble or a legit­i­mate Boom?” at the annu­al con­fer­ence for Peren­ni­al Invest­ment Part­ners; I put the Bub­ble case and Chris Joye of Ris­mark Inter­na­tion­al pre­sent­ed the Boom case (here is my paper and my pre­sen­ta­tion). As is well-known, Aus­tralia is one of the few coun­tries in the OECD not to expe­ri­ence two quar­ters or more of falling GDP as a result of the GFC, and prob­a­bly the only coun­try that has not expe­ri­enced a fall in its prop­er­ty mar­ket.

Adam Schwab’s Pigs at the Trough

Flattr this!

Adam Schwab has fol­lowed up his many columns on Crikey with a book on the pil­lage of Aus­tralian com­pa­nies by Ponzi financiers and incom­pe­tent exec­u­tives. Some of the com­pa­nies mis­man­aged and in many cas­es fleeced by these once high-fly­ing exec­u­tives no longer exist–but the exec­u­tives are still “high fly­ers” since the crash of their cor­po­ra­tions did­n’t seem to affect their own per­son­al wealth.

The book, Pigs at the Trough, is launched today, and hav­ing read it I do com­mend it to Debt­watch read­ers. The pref­ace to the book, which gives a good feel­ing for both its sub­ject and its flavour, is repro­duced below.

On The Record Interview

Flattr this!

Car­son Scott inter­viewed me for Sky News Busi­ness Chan­nel last week for the pro­gram On The Record. Rather than focus­ing on the news of the day, this pro­gram attempts to give the back­ground to peo­ple in pub­lic life.

As such there’s more of a focus on the rea­sons why I have tak­en the activist stand that I have on the econ­o­my than on my analy­sis of the econ­o­my itself. While some of this focus­es on my fam­i­ly and edu­ca­tion­al back­ground, it also gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explain that my major moti­va­tion was the desire to rid eco­nom­ics of the pseu­do-sci­en­tif­ic Neo­clas­si­cal non­sense that dom­i­nat­ed eco­nom­ics since the ear­ly 1950s.

Max Keiser Interview

Flattr this!

Max Keis­er inter­viewed me in his ines­timable style on the Max Keis­er Report ear­li­er this week, and the inter­view is now avail­able (the inter­view began at rough­ly mid­night my time on a day that had start­ed for me at 5am, so there are some slips in my deliv­ery here–for instance at one point I say “fail to avoid” when I meant “avoid”).

I’ve had some dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting the embed to work (the lat­est ver­sion of Word­Press seems to do some­thing unto­ward to the embed code) so you may need to hit the “refresh” but­ton before you’ll see the video below.

Greenspan wins Dynamite Prize in Economics

Flattr this!

Alan Greenspan has been judged the econ­o­mist most respon­si­ble for caus­ing the Glob­al Finan­cial Cri­sis. He, and 2ndand 3rd place fin­ish­ers Mil­ton Fried­man and Lar­ry Sum­mers, have won the first–and hope­ful­ly last—Dyna­mite Prize in Eco­nom­ics.

In award­ing the Prize, Edward Full­brook, edi­tor of the Real World Eco­nom­ics Review, not­ed that “They have been judged to be the three econ­o­mists most respon­si­ble for the Glob­al Finan­cial Cri­sis. More fig­u­ra­tive­ly, they are the three econ­o­mists most respon­si­ble for blow­ing up the glob­al econ­o­my.”

Doonesbury on Banking Pigs

Flattr this!

I’ve been a fan of Gar­ry Trudeau’s Doones­bury car­toon since my stu­dent days (when, coin­ci­den­tal­ly, Trudeau was pro­fil­ing life as a uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent).

As any read­er of the strip knows, unlike most com­ic strips the char­ac­ters in Doones­bury age and move with the times. Today’s times are those of a finan­cial cri­sis, and once again I’m play­ing a role–though as ana­lyst and crit­ic rather than par­tic­i­pant. Dit­to also Trudeau, who has post­ed a love­ly lit­tle jibe in today’s Sun­day spread. For all those who are exas­per­at­ed with the spin doc­tors and debt spruik­ers who have grown fat while bring­ing the globe to the eco­nom­ic precipice, I rec­om­mend today’s Doones­bury car­toon (Sun­day Feb­ru­ary 21).

Launching the Talk Finance Forum

Flattr this!

Many vis­i­tors to this site have com­ment­ed that, though the dis­cus­sions are very infor­ma­tive, they are also very dif­fi­cult to fol­low. A dis­cus­sion that begins under one post will recom­mence under anoth­er, and with over 200 posts and 16,000 com­ments so far, that makes fol­low­ing a com­plete thread of dis­cus­sion effec­tive­ly impos­si­ble. It was not­ed that a forum with struc­tured dis­cus­sion head­ings might be a bet­ter way to go. So we have estab­lished the Talk Finance Forum

Jessica Irvine’s piece in today’s SMH

Flattr this!

(Edit: Please note that there is a foot­note to this sto­ry)

I nor­mal­ly don’t com­ment on arti­cles about me, since I am aware that now that my views are part of the pub­lic debate, I have to take the good with the bad in cov­er­age. I would­n’t have writ­ten this either, were it not for the line “If only his pre­dic­tions were so reli­able” in Jes­si­ca Irvine’s piece in today’s SMHWalk­ing on a wire stretched between stim­u­lus and debt”.

Brilliant Business Insider Article on Dynamite Prize

Flattr this!

The Dyna­mite Prize for Economics–to be award­ed to the three econ­o­mists most respon­si­ble for the Glob­al Finan­cial Crisis–is going gang­busters with over 14,000 votes so far.

It may pick up even more thanks to some excel­lent work by Busi­ness Insider/Clusterstock, which has pro­duced a bril­liant graph­ic illus­trat­ing the prize.

It’s mag­nif­i­cent, and here it is below for your enjoyment–click on the “Go To The Short List of Nom­i­nees for the Dyna­mite Prize in Eco­nom­ics–>” link and that will take you to the graph­ic, or click here to go straight to the graph­ic.