7 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Amidst all the gloom about North Korea and other things that darken our lives, spring is here and the flowers are blooming, a few weeks early, the better to shake off those winter blues.

  2. Prof Quiggin – thanks for your very informed and accessible commentary on a range of issues.

    Any thoughts about Amazon coming in and perhaps taking over our food distribution systems? Much as I dislike ColesWorths and give Aldi a go, Amazon could dominate here in a bad way. Like a Walmart in the US, sitting outside town and destroying local business in small towns?

    This ties in with China. Prof Deborah Bautigam (Johns Hopkins Uni) dispatches fears that China is/will use Africa to feed itself, and starve Africa in the process, in her book “Will Africa Feed China?”

    She’s very similar to Prof Peter Nolan (Cambridge Uni). He reflects your past views re: fears that China will stop commerce in the South China Sea, in works such “Re-Balancing China”, “Is China Buying the World?”

  3. @Paul Norton

    I wonder who that colleague might be. Perhaps a factional rival in the Queensland LNP (that is, in Right), someone who is ambitious, someone whose portfolio encompasses people travelling between countries, someone whose commitment to civil liberties is none existent, about what you’d expect from a Queensland policeman.

    The problem is I can’t think of anyone who fits that description.

  4. Odious Brandis is easy to hate already from my perspective.
    He has been caught on the wrong side of history in being discredited I think terminally over the Justin Gleeson SC affair – basically George testified he consulted with Justin [if I may be so bold] over an LSD [a directive found by a Senate Committee as unlawful and clearly well within Gleeson’s area of competence to find so as he said which opinion was also confirmed by a former Chief Justice of the High Court and a long serving Solicitor General ] – I believe without hesitating Gleeson there was no consultation which logically means George fails badly. Where does that leave the current SG whose advice George quotes without producing it ?
    His abuse of the rule of Law is legendary by a supposed Conservative which usually as a group is a strict proponent of the same eg. politically-charged pre-trial statements of the guilt of Thomson [in error] and Slipper [acquitted of all] could only have prejudiced their trials. As an aside see the “Yarra Three” and their contempt of the Vic. Court of Appeal.
    Perversely I hope he hangs around as like Abbott his presence tars his colleagues with the same brush. The myth of is legal expertise fails on any analysis – watch him dissemble at the hands of Dan Sultan[ a real talent and decent human] on Q and A Monday the 28/8/17.
    One thing is clear we in Qld. have produced the worst AGs. when you throw in the incompetent little dictator Bleijie.
    Don’t forget come the next elections.

  5. North Korea, in particular its nuclear testing, raises the issue of external shocks to markets. If China is planning to close sea trade routes in South East Asia, then the actions of their “puppet kingdom” North Korea makes sense. The best way to shut down sea trade is with war. This would cause great loss of life, dislocation of millions of people from their homes and severe environmental damage. It has the potential to also cause economic damage to many countries. The questions raised by the thesis from Professor Bautigam, and from the thesis from Professor Nolan, are both questions of moral philosophy and trading theories. Already certain future market contracts are trying to quantify these fears for future trade growth.
    My concern is that a military response from the US military can be used to shut down certain trade routes. As Asian countries begin to militaries their production choices, the consumer goods surpluses are likely to shrink. Globalisation as we know it may fade away as government’s look to military deals instead of trade deals.
    It is a gloomy picture and I am aware of the positive tone that should be maintained in such debates. The world has faced similar nuclear disaster moments and come out unscathed. This latest scare may just be a lot of ego boosting nonsense. So it’s best to just wait and watch. Only on TV do numerical countdowns have to stop at zero, or in the movies a nanosecond before zero. Often after nothing there is just nothing.

    @Paul Norton

  6. Modi has just reshuffled the Indian government. Piyush Goyal has been moved from Energy &c. To Tailesys, and Kumar Singh replaces him. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2017/09/05/indian-cabinet-reshuffle-sees-raj-kumar-singh-appointed-new-state-minister-of-new-and-renewable-energy/
    My source thinks that this is motivated by a mess at Railways, whose former minister has beeb fired, and not a signal of any policy change on coal or renewables. Still, with Modi you need to stay alert.

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