Monday Message Board

Back on air with another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

84 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Warning: Preemptive Gloat

    Just checking in to remind everyone that back in Nov 2008 I stated that Obama would win two terms. mainly due to the voters wanting someone to stick around long
    So either I am very lucky or as Jack Nicklaus once remarked, “the more I practice the luckier I get”. to clean up the colossal Bush mess, a task I described as “janitorial” rather than “messianic”.

    I followed up in Apr 2010 when I predicted that the Tea Party would  “burn out” and Obama would win the 2012 election “comfortably”. I also argued that Obama needed to focus on winning a bigger share of the “white working class” vote. It looks like the auto bailout has swung working class white Ohio into the DEM column.

    In conclusion I would also like to point out that everyone goes on about Ray Fair, Doug Hibbs and Nate Silver in the US and Possum Polytics, Poll Bludger and Mumbles in AUS. They are all great quants but I am now sitting on a 6 on 6 winning streak picking US/AUS federal elections through the naughties. With a good chance of making it 7 on 7 with Obama.

    Its still possible for an upset Romney victory to spoil my winning streak. Especially if base turnout favours the REPs. If the poll goes as I predicted then I would be interested to see

    Either I am very lucky or as Jack Nicklaus once remarked, “the more I practice the luckier I get”.

  2. Warning: Preemptive Gloat

    Just checking in to remind everyone that back in Nov 2008 I stated that Obama would win two terms. mainly due to the voters wanting someone to stick around long enough to clean up the colossal Bush mess, a task I described as “janitorial” rather than “messianic”.

    I followed up in Apr 2010 when I predicted that the Tea Party would  “burn out” and Obama would win the 2012 election “comfortably”. I also argued that Obama needed to focus on winning a bigger share of the “white working class” vote. It looks like the auto bailout has swung working class white Ohio into the DEM column.

    Everyone goes on about Ray Fair, Doug Hibbs and Nate Silver in the US and Possum Polytics, Poll Bludger and Mumbles in AUS. They are all great quants but I am now sitting on a 6 on 6 winning streak picking US/AUS federal elections through the naughties. With a good chance of making it 7 on 7 with Obama.

    Its still possible for an upset Romney victory to spoil my winning streak. Especially if base turnout favours the REPs. If the poll goes as I predicted then I would be interested to see if any other psephs can top that.

    Either I am very lucky or as Jack Nicklaus once remarked, “the more I practice the luckier I get”.

  3. Strocchers’ record of prognostication is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he is probably not genetically coded for making correct predictions.

  4. @Jack Strocchi

    Predicting a second term for a President is not all that hard. You could pick Clinton, Bush, and Reagan. Three terms for a party is about it, which explains Bush Senior and to some extent Gore’s failure. Also both of them were wedged to some extent and there was some hanky panky around Florida in Gore’s case. Carter was a dead man walking so he was a gimme. LBJ pulled out. Kennedy was shot dead and Eisenhower and Truman got two terms.

    More impressive would be predicting the ECV margins and the states that would flip.

  5. Katz said @ #23

    Strocchers’ record of prognostication is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he is probably not genetically coded for making correct predictions.

    I share a disproportionate genetic overlap with the first and greatest political scientist. Niccolo Machiavelli, Mach the Nice, as I fondly think of him. If I have any chops in this game its in good part because I feel his stern countenance peering over my shoulder.

  6. Jack, since you are probably not controlling the elections behind the scenes I’d say you were lucky. Before a horse race it is possible to guess which horse is mostly likely to win, but it’s not possible to actually know which horse will win as there is a substantial amount of randomness that can’t be accounted for. And we know it can’t be accounted for on account of how the betting industry still exists. Similarly, in elections there is a certain amount of unaccountable randomnes. So unless you have supernatural abilites, it’s luck. And it may not have been all that lucky, as I don’t know how close those elections were. Also, humans have a tendency to think their track record at prediction is better than it actually is. Sort of like how the majority of people think they are better than average drivers. I’m not saying that you have forgotten about the times you were wrong, I’m just saying that forgetting about the times they were wrong is a very common occurance among humans.

  7. Good news: Obama won a second term thus keeping fringe nutjob policies off the table

    Bad news: Republicans seem set to hold the House of Reps, hence carry on with their highly destructive partisanship (one example of which was the threatened US Government default on it’s debts in July-August last year, a move unprecedented in history, which caused a collapse of confidence. Way to go, guys!)

  8. The University of Western Sydney have (seems this is true) proposed to axe Bachelor of Economic and BoE (Honors) due to “the reduced funding from the government”. In my opinion, this is an extremely disappointing decision made by the univerisity considering the economic department at that university is quite good, with units which explores different theories other than the mainstream neoclassical synthesis (Neo-Keynesian) such as post keynesian and neoclassical.

  9. I think the Tobin tax, properly applied, may be more in keeping with free enterprise values, in the current context, then its absence.

    Consider investing in silver with the Perth Mint versus investing in a gold ETF (or fresh air). A seller of fresh air IOU’s, indexed to a warped price for gold …. warped largely by the very existence of the ETF … Well the seller doesn’t have to incur storage costs, fabrication costs, and transport costs, because he’s selling a bunch of promises. By whacking a big Tobin tax on the non-100%’ers we would be giving the potential for the building of real wealth as opposed to paper castles in the air.

    Now I’m not saying that gold accumulations alone are “real wealth”. Because by investing in one monetary metals you take this metal out of the productive process. Giving them fiat and derivative characteristics. But if you can have people accumulating and lending at interest, a wide range of durable metals (Tungsten, silver, gold, chromium, titanium, copper, paladium, platinum, and so forth) under these conditions the cost of any one of these isn’t blown out as much. And the extent that their cost is blown out, it merely amortizes the extraction costs of base metals. The focus on gold alone would impose great costs on the economy. But the focus on a broad base of metals wouldn’t really do this.

    Now there is nothing wrong with government cash money. If this cash money isn’t pyramided on and this cash money gets its value from being a tax voucher. So initially monetary reform would be getting rid of the bank ponzi money and replacing it with cash money. But the provision of paper money involves costs. To have other money’s available it is important that these costs be recovered. So that its only fair to have a Tobin tax on bank transactions involving this government money. Would we be right to maintain 100% government cash money without metal competitors? No I don’t think so. I think we need alternatives to stop abuse of the cash money.

    For the moment the Tobin tax would be a good reform measure for all sorts of abuses in our capital markets. For front-running trades using high-frequency algarithms just for example. It would put the focus on long-term value, and make the capital markets a bit more efficient at allocating resources then they are now. Which would not be hard.

    The thing is that positive inventories speculation is a social good. But our modern system is overwhelmed by negative inventories speculation aka phantom supply. Negative inventories speculation is anti-social. The Tobin tax could target this form of speculation. It ought to be applied so as to leave the positive inventories speculation alone if possible.

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