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Sunday, 16 December

23:50

A victory for common sense? "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Dj vu...all over again

A story popped up in the news once again this week, about loans being written to investors in China without appropriate checking of documentation between 2013 and 2016. 

Nothing new, here, however - in fact it was a well-known issue that was shut down some years back.


The media is absolutely loving the Royal Commission tidbits, and I guess it's pretty easy to believe that there are systemic issues when the same story keeps getting rehashed over and over again.


Conversely, today it's not at all straightforward to get a mortgage in Australia.

Borrowers must be able to pass serviceability at mortgage rates of a minimum 7 per cent, which is the equivalent of up to 14 (fourteen) interest rate hikes away for many borrowers. 

Meanwhile living expenses are being queried, corroborated, and re-checked...and to an absurd degree in some cases.

There was even a story in this weekend's Sydney Morning Herald about a borrower being pulled up for spending on a takeaway kebab.

I wish I could say this was a beat-up, but it accords with...

Saturday, 15 December

23:32

Sydney and Melbourne join Powering Past Coal Alliance at COP24 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The Powering Past Coal Alliance announced on Friday that Sydney and Melbourne had joined the Alliance at an event: Accelerating the global coal transition. This follows the Australian Capital Territory joining in September 2018. Other states and businesses that joined at COP24 included Israel, Scotland, Senegal, and Scottish Power. The Alliance, formed in Bonn in 2017 at COP23, now includes 80

17:07

The Bigelow Foundation and Angela Thompson Smith "IndyWatch Feed National"

Reality Denied

I was recently re-reading John B Alexander's book "Reality Denied." (2017. Anomalist Books, San Antonio, Texas.) In chapter one he relates his experiences working for Robert Bigelow's National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS.) On page four, Alexander writes of Bigelow "...NIDS was not his first foray into supporting PSI research. For a time, Angela Thompson had done work at the Bigelow Foundation..." I wondered just who Angela Thompson was, so conducted some research.

Angela Thompson Smith

Dr Thompson Smith is listed as a member of the advisory board of the Exopolitics Institute.  Here, I found:

"Dr Angela Thompson Smith's primary qualifications were in nursing and social work in the U.K. She gained her BSc in Psychology at the University of Wales, in Cardiff; her M.S. at the Facility of medicine of Manchester University, England and later, her PhD. in Psychology with Saybrook University, San Fransisco, CA. Dr Smith continued her education with united Way of Southern Nevada/UNLV where she completed the certificate in Non-profit management.

Dr Smith has a wide experience of research and management having worked as a research analyst at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and, later as a staff member with the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory, at Princeton University, New jersey. In the southwest, Dr Smith became Research Coordinator with the Bigelow Foundation and taught professional; development courses through the University of Nevada, Adult Continuing Education program.

Following five years as a staff member of PEAR (1987-1992) Dr Smith was employed as Research Coordinator with the Bigelow Foundation (1992-1994.) Prior to The Bigelow Chair in Consciousness Studies at The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), before the Consciousness Research laboratory at UNLV, and before the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) in Las Vegas, there was the Bigelow Foundation. Incidentally, according to the Secretary of Nevada business name search,  NIDS is still listed as an active business name as of 2018.

17:00

The Weekend Quiz December 15-16, 2018 answers and discussion "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekends Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you havent already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

Question 1:

A national government can run a balanced fiscal position (taxes equal spending) over the economic cycle (peak to peak) as long as it accepts that, after all the spending adjustments are exhausted, their strategy will ensure that households and firms overall spend more than they earn that is, run down previous savings or accumulate more net debt.

The answer is False.

Note that this question begs the question as to how the economy might get into this situation that I have described using the sectoral balances framework. But whatever behavioural forces were at play, the sectoral balances all have to sum to zero. Once you understand that, then deduction leads to the correct answer.

The trick in the question is that it invites a confusion between the factual (accounting) statement a government deficit (surplus) equals $-for-$ a non-government surplus (deficit) and the proposition put.

The households and firms overall do not exhaust the non-government sector. So what happens when the governments runs a balanced fiscal position to the private domestic sector balance (the households and firms) depends crucially on what happens to the external sector.

To refresh your memory the balances are derived as follows. The basic income-expenditure model in macroeconomics can be viewed in (at least) two ways: (a) from the perspective of the sources of spending; and (b) from the perspective of the uses of the income produced. Bringing these two perspectives (of the same thing) together generates the sectoral balances.

From the sources perspective we write:

(1) GDP = C + I + G + (X M)

which says that total national income (GDP) is the sum of total final consumption spending (C), total private investment (I), total government spending (G) and net exports (X M).

Expression (1) tells us that total income in the economy per period will be exactly equal to total spending from all sources of expenditure.

We also have to acknowledge that financial balances of the sectors are impacted by net government taxes (T) which includes all tax revenue minus total transfer and interest p...

12:33

Want to solve climate problem? Nuclear isnt the answer "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Want to solve climate problem? Nuclear isnt the answer https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/energy/want-to-solve-climate-problem-nuclear-isn-t-the-answer-62428

Alternatives to nuclear energy, in particular renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar energy, have become drastically cheaperBy M V Ramana December 2018 It is nuclear power that will be the main tool to reduce emissions...

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