Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

56 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Keynesian economics can rescue the world from another Great Depression. But I doubt if the current batch of world policy makers truly understands the crucial point John Maynard Keynes exposes with his genius. Often debased into a ridiculous debate concerning whether money matters or not, probably done by Keynes’s
    enemies to belittle his contribution, the real crux of the solution is its consumer centric nature. Forget trying to save businesses even banks. They are dispensable. Save the net wealth of consumers. Give them an income stream. Suppress all negative impediments to private final net investment. Above all abandon the stock market to its own devices – stop spoon feeding old and inefficient businesses just because they have always been there. Joseph Schumpeter explained the importance of creative destruction – just let the failing businesses fail. Then just maybe economies can come out of this benefiting consumers and not the rich bloated businesses.

  2. Fully contain and eradicate is our only realistic option at this stage. Of course high amounts of research dollars (really resources) have to be given to research a vaccine and treatments too.

  3. I was going to argue that the Sandpit has outlived its usefulness. But should this go in the Sandpit or the Message Board? Like Buridan’s Ass, I gave up.

  4. Watching the NRL trying to sneakily and highly prematurely start its competition again, I am led to ask, would it be such a terrible thing if the NRL folded? I know a lot of people would lose their jobs but even so I wish it the worst. I don’t feel this way about the other sporting competitions. I didn’t used to think this way about the NRL. I think it’s because I have taken an intense dislike to the NRL Chairman Peter V’Landys. He seems to be a master of the art of how to not win friends and alienate people. He sure alienates me.

  5. The pandemic has exposed a new weakness of nuclear power. From a long NYT piece on the saga of the USN carrier Theodore Roosevelt, claiming the scalps of the captain and the acting Navy Secretary who fired him: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/us/politics/coronavirus-roosevelt-carrier-crozier.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    “The [coronavirus] outbreak started in the reactor department, with its crew members responsible for running the very heart of the ship: the nuclear reactors.”

    This fits. Any nuclear reactor requires a team of specialists to run it, working all day in close proximity. They can’t be readily replaced. If more than a few of them catch an illness, the reactor can’t be operated safely and has to be shut down. The carrier in question is in port and it’s not clear if the reactor is running. So far, it does not appear that any power reactor anywhere has shut down, but he risk is real. So much for resilience.

  6. James,
    That was an interesting link. I do have to wonder why the Captain estimated that 50 sailors would die if the ship was not evacuated. Would it not be true that the vast majority of the crew of naval vessel would be under 45 years old? These are people that are suppossed to be at very low risk of dying from the desease. Not only that military personnel should be much more fit than the overall population,
    Not that i really give a rats ass about what the Captian did. Or what the Naval Secretary did. They are all hopelessly warped. It is terrifying to realize what slow dumb fucks these idiots are. Operating an aircarft carrier in the middle of a global warming crisis!! God I am embarrased to share a planet with them. And to think that they spend billions of dollars of resources trying to prevent my mission form being a success. Those people are sick all right. But not with the corona virus.

  7. Seeking comments from the economically astute readership here.

    Two fossil fuels. Both black and come out of the ground. Both experiencing a pandemic-induced collapse in demand. Both shipped around the world. Both experiencing build-ups of stocks that may require production cuts.

    One, oil, enters a contango condition, leading to the world’s largest supertankers being chartered for storage, and six-month futures price up to 50% ($13) higher than current rate, despite OPEC+ deal. Charter rates for tankers soar.

    The other, coal, has a six-month futures price barely higher then the current rate, and despite rock-bottom charter rates for bulkers, not a whiff of any coal contango.

    I assume the explanation for this difference is mundane, technical and cost-related. Easier, safer and cheaper to store oil on VLCCs than coal on bulkers, and coal stockpiles on land are fairly straightforward whereas building more oil storage tanks is not feasible, at least rapidly.

    Or does this also say anything about the outlook for the two fuels?

    And, hypothetically, if the outlook for coal recovery was as bright as for oil, and futures prices were much higher, might we see the same sort of contango trade in coal, and how and where would such coal be stockpiled?

  8. Seeking comment from the economically astute readership here.

    Two black substances, both fuels, both extracted from the ground, both experiencing pandemic-induced demand slump, both having stocks increase to levels that may require production cuts.

    One, oil, has a six-month futures price, despite the OPEC+ deal, at a 50% premium, leading to the world’s largest supertankers being chartered at exorbitant rates for storage, to enable a contango trade.

    The other, coal, enjoys no futures price premium (well, ~5%), and there’s no demand for storage on bulkers despite rock-bottom charter rates.

    Is the explanation for the difference purely technical? That is, oil storage capacity cannot be rapidly expanded, but land-based storage of coal is fairly straightforward? And if that is the mundane answer, then why wouldn’t there still be a land-based, rather than water-based, contango market for coal, unless the outlook for the two fuels was fundamentally different?

  9. Smith9,

    I agree and I would go further. It would not be a terrible thing if all professional sports folded. I think modern professional elite sportsmen are absurdly over-payed. The women not so much perhaps. Sportsmen add little to nothing or real worth to society. I would take the line that IF they can earn income without subsidies and play without publicly subsidized stadiums then they are welcome to pursue their entertainment business. If fans don’t want their sport to fold let them support it. User pays makes sense for non-essential and entertainment industries. Subsidies make sense for public essential services and essential infrastructure. Let’s spend the money (meaning really the real resources) where it is needed. Each billion dollar stadium could have been a billion dollar hospital. I know which I would rather have down the road from me.

  10. Links incl to Romer in article… 80% return – 20% economy gone, where, for how long???

    “I’ve read the plans to reopen the economy. They’re scary.
    There is no plan to return to normal.
    By Ezra Klein

    “Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaningAmerican Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer.

    “I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness.

    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/10/21215494/coronavirus-plans-social-distancing-economy-recession-depression-unemployment

  11. The US and other Western countries need democratic socialism. If we achieve this new normal it will be far better than the old normal. I don’t see why anyone other than an excessively rich person living on economic rents would be concerned about this. We are not free now. Wage slaves are not free. Victims of corporate and capitalist state surveillance do not have full privacy now. State capitalism with Party Dictatorship (China) and Corporate capitalism with Crony Oligopoly each develop far more dangerous and intrusive deep states than democratic socialism.

    Properly instituted and implemented, democratic socialism is a way out of all this. It will be up to us to use our votes and virtual internet presences to achieve it. Public demonstrations are out for the time being. Various kinds of strikes are still possible if necessary. Worker strikes, poor tenants’ rent strikes, debt repayment strikes, eviction refusal strikes, women’s strikes (on days when they want someone else in the household to cook and clean); these and many more are all still possible. It will be our fault if we don’t change the system. Failing to change the system will lead to collapse and extinction. the stakes are that high.

  12. Looking at my stocks, i´m having a really hard time to find anything “ecnomical ruinous” going on. What pray tell is so intrusive about about the testing is hard to imagine. And last, an American complaining about digital surveilance state is might hilarious. There sure isnt anything new about contact tracing for Americans. Also, god damn google has much better data than the one the goverments wont get because of ridiculous privacy concerns in many nations from everyone! Also, whoever makes the Pokemon game and Uber from a large part of the population.

  13. “Looking at my stocks, i´m having a really hard time to find anything “economically ruinous” going on.” – hix

    That is precisely because you are looking at stocks and not at the real economy. Markets are not efficient. Markets get prices wrong, very often. Stocks and other asset prices regularly (and certainly currently) do not reflect real fundamentals. More specifically it is because figures (earnings results etc.) have not come out for the current period yet and most market players are simply not intelligent enough, not institutionally intelligent enough or do not have the right data collection and analysis systems to understand what is going on at the present time.

    Also, asset prices are still being propped up by the particular form of stimulus that American capitalism uses these days. Q.E. and similar measures mainly prop up stock and asset prices are not, for the most part, used to fund real production. I would predict big stock market crashes are still heavily on the cards. The timing is the hard thing to pick.

  14. https://www.stoxx.com/index-details?symbol=TW1GV&stoxxindex=tw1gv&searchTerm=Benchmark
    There is a difference between markets being inefficient and markets being uterly stupid. Also, let´s face it when someones go to “left” pubblication is the center for American progress, rich peoples capital income is exactly what the person thinks about when it comes to “the economy”, independent of how acurately that refflects the overall picture. I´m going to concede that the sharp rise in valuations since the bottom point in large parts reflects a very asset owner friendly policy response to the crisis accross the globe. And still, there remains no self evidence in major economic damage from social distancing measures.

  15. @Charles The pandemic has had a huge impact on demand for oil with air travel reduced almost to zero and car travel by 25-50 per cent. Coal is taking a bit of a hit on both demand and supply, so the net impact of price is very small.

  16. We may see a fall in coal prices now Chinese production is likely to pick up while economic demand remains weak. Hopefully the pandemic and resulting drop in demand will result in the end of Chinese coal power station construction. While the number of plants under construction were already much reduced, any new capacity is too much. (Not that Australians are in a good position to complain.)

  17. Tasmania, with 2% of the national population, today had more new cases than any other state. Turns out that when they shut down their borders, the first state to do so, it wasn’t to protect them from us. It was to protect us from them.

  18. You may think the Tasmanians are locked in with the Coronavirus, but actually the Coronavirus is locked in with the Tasmanians. May they make short work of it.

  19. Recent events in Tasmania show yet again how highly infectious SARS – Cov2 (COVID-19) is. These events certainly demonstrate that calling for the lifting of any measures, including stage 3 distancing, at this point in time would be highly premature. Such calls illustrate a complete lack of understanding of the serious dangers of this pathogen. Such calls also demonstrate a cavalier disregard for the lives of vulnerable individuals and for the lives of front line medical staff and other essential service workers (which include both Centerlink workers and supermarket checkout workers to name two groups).

    The freezing of the Commonwealth public service’s minuscule imminent pay rise by the government (for front-line and back office workers on very modest pay grades) is an absolute disgrace. It illustrates once again the meanness of the neoliberals with respect to government workers and public sewrvices. If anything, front-line workers in welfare, food retail and of course in the medical system should be receiving danger money (and proper PPE) for their risks.

    There is no shortage of money. The government can print or borrow it: as much as required. This crisis has certainly demonstrated the full validity of MMT / Functional Finance principles and the complete applicability and strong requirement to shift to democratic socialism. It has at the same time demonstrated the complete bankruptcy (pun intended) of neoliberalism and what J.Q. calls the “zombie economic ideas”. As J.Q. writes, it is time to “double tap” those zombie ideas once and for all.

  20. This a question about mathematics. I have become annoyed at allowing myself to slip into mathematical semi-illiteracy. I can still do arithmetic, simple algebra and simple geometry. If I sat a grade 10 maths exam, I think I might just pass… maybe. If I sat a grade 12 maths exam I would fail dismally.

    Given the lock-down, I am thinking of on-line tutoring myself in mathematics. I’ve found a site called basic_mathematics dot com, which touts “free algebra lessons”. It runs the gamut up to trinomials and quadratics and then introductions to matrices and sequences. Would this be a good place to start? Are there other sites people would recommend? Of course they have to be open and free.

    Eventually I would want to get back to calculus and then into matrix mathematics and sets to some extent. Would it be too much to hope I wonder if I could get to a 1st year uni standard of mathematics, at least in sections that interest me. I am interested in matrices and sets for computer programming, political economy and philosophical reasons. (I can do simple programming in Object Pascal).

    All advice appreciated. Perhaps a site which gives a graduated test would be a good start. You know the sort of test which starts with 1 + 1 = ? and lifts the difficulty of each question after that. A graduated smart test would be even better if such exist. I mean a test where early on it drops in a considerably harder question or two and then based on your performance bumps you up to a harder bracket of tests. I assume they exist?

  21. There is an IQ self testing site that mainly involves Euclidean geometric puzzles. This may give you a. self diagnostic start to your project.

  22. Erm, what’s it called or is searching for it the first test? 😉

    I’m kinda afraid to test my IQ these days. it might once have been in the 110 to 120 range, I don’t know. I am very afraid that age (66 soon) has lost me 10 IQ points at least.

  23. Interesting article on a drop in Power usage with Covid also what happened during the GFC. Note levels then did not return to previous.

  24. Australia should have a go at eliminating the virus and a think about eliminating the flu while we are at it. . A virus free Australia connecting with other nations to various extents and in different ways as they settle on different new realities (mostly bad) could mean a better country and life for us. A quick diagnostic test might be available someday .I think there is much reason for optimism but elimination would be a way to hope for a quick return to business as usual which would be bad .This virus has caused alot of hardship but but also alot of good too ,people have been forced to slow down and reassess -what is essential ,what do I really want and need ?. It has laid bare some basic facts. Fascist style leaders are particularly bad at dealing with this ,the virus just does its own thing ,unlike people it does not respond to threats.

    One of the worst effects here is the hardship caused by losing formal paid work . Those unemployed in that way have been demoralised for decades. I wish there was a way to hold so called conservatives to account for this .’Denied the dignity of work’ being a recent popular refrain ,implying that not being part of the formal work system it to have no dignity.

    As for self diagnostic sites the unconscious/implicit bias ones are always illuminating.

  25. One of the things that tell me i spend to much time on the internet is that i know this: Iq tests do age adjust. Maybe a high iq is just another diagnosis anyway^^.

  26. Ikon. Khan academy. Start where you want. Stop or go to any other subject. Specific tutorials. From 1+1 to …

    Then seek out other math tutoring sites too numerous to mention. Some too high priced. Some too coarse grained. Ads etc…

    Khan is free, gives tons of rewards so motivation and confidence up.

    “Using instructional videos, the Khan Academy website provides additional explanations of concepts in the Math Review for the Quantitative Reasoning Measure of the GRE General Test. For each topic in the Math Review, the table below provides links to relevant sections on the KhanAcademy website that contain instructional videos on the topic …

    “Bill Scott uses Khan Academy to teach AP®︎Calculus at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and he’s part of the teaching team that helped develop Khan Academy’s AP®︎ lessons. Phillips Academy was one of the first schools to teach AP®︎ nearly 60 years ago.

    https://www.khanacademy.org/math

    Or get all simulations to be in an ISO format with human readable code so transferable, standardised and able to be “driven” by mere mortals with a “scenario”. But you then need a scenario agregator for them to be of use.

    Ernestine and JQ may not agree with my paragraoh above. I tried to do this iin the 90’s but experts are – well – experts and like what they like. C++. R. Proporietary matlab isee. And the old fave excel and yes some people – experts at xl with addons can make it do anything – but no one can check the model easily.

    If you learn you’ll live longer. Go for it. And what about your book? Sandpit

  27. KT2,

    Thank you, I will look into that as well as Basic Mathematics dot com.

    I am still working on my amateur philosophy monograph. I am rather disorganized and ill-disciplined. What I think keeps evolving as I come up with objections, counter-arguments and counters to the counters etc.etc. I’m now a Priority Monist as this is most consistent with relational systems science, emergence and evolution. I am neither a materialist nor an idealist but an “existentist”. If there is only one “substance” (really one domain of “substance”) then it makes no sense to call substance material or immaterial. Such terms lose meaning without the other as opposite. Hence there are simply existents (objects, processes, fields, energies, systems, sub-systems) within a partly law-bound (so far as we can determine) relational cosmos system also characterized (embroidered? fractalized?) by stochastic, emergent and evolutionary processes.

  28. Are you enjoying your picnic today?

    My ability to do math, even to choose the coorect answer in a multiple choice chemistry questions may have gone down with age. But is it possible that my ability to know what coorect answers are the important ones has gone up with age?

    I really get a hoot out of those scientists who hype the idea that we have to promote research in to space exploration because if we are going to survive as a spiecies we have to inhabit more than one planet and prefrably more than one solar system. No one why I live on a planet in which people who have the mathematical and technical expertise run a nuclear reactor think it is a good idea to work on a nuclear reactor that propels a small city equiped with an airfield across the ocieans. Or that we have dumb shits who think that it is a good idea to build such things so that they can challenge the abiiity of nations with 1.3 billion people for looking for oil and natural gas in the oceans not very far from their own country.

    GROSS Stupidity-Cowardice-Bad Intentions (usually greed) are the hallmarks of the world’s leadership.
    The situation is so bizarre it makes me wonder what is real and what is just clickbait.

  29. “… nothing is / But what is not.” – Macbeth – William Shakespeare.

    Reality is far more complex and bizarre than any scientist’s hypothesis or any writer’s fantasy. The most surreal is the real itself.

  30. A solar trade website (http://pvinsights.com/) reports that the average wholesale price of a generic high-efficiency mono PERC solar module has dropped to 20 US cents per watt (FOB, pre-tax). It’s likely that there is some coronavirus effect here, leading to a faster drop than trend, but it’s still a milestone. A 500W panel now goes for $100 plus tax and shipping, if you are a developer buying pallets by the dozen. A household will pay more of course, and would be well-advised a pay extra for a name brand that’s still likely to be around in 10 years’ time to support the warranty.

  31. I think this lock-down is great in a number of ways. Consumption is down, power use is down, air pollution and noise pollution are down. I’ve have not seen the skies look so clear for a long time. The air has not smelt so sweet for a long time. I have not seen the native animals, especially the birds, look so happy and chipper. The animals sense the difference. Human activity down, animal welfare up.

    I recognize there are major problems for people. Unemployment is way up and the incomes of poor people are way down. The solutions really are simple. Implement a Universal Basic Income and a Job Guarantee. We have enough resources to give everyone enough of everything good but not enough to satiate them with everything bad.

    We must take the lesson that less is more. Less consumption, less travel, less self-indulgence, less gambling, less sport, less frivolous entertainments and so on: all this is essentially and profoundly good for people when they readjust . Yes, some weak or broken people are drinking more. Well, increase funding for mental health and treatment/prevention of substance abuse. Use the UBI and JG to give people income, positive activities and hope. Simply giving every person hope, a place to live, three square meals a day and an assured place in society with some respect and dignity makes a tremendous difference. Giving people more fat, sugar, nicotine, alcohol, pills, gambling, empty entertainments, advertisements, 8 cylinder vehicles and so on does not make them truly happy or productive. They might think they are happy but the desperation for more, more, more shows it is an addiction cycle not a healthy free choice.

  32. aka rog,
    I luved that link. It allows me to bring up something that I have been hesitant to bring up. But now that someone else has brought it up I can mention it too. I have been asking employees in the grocery stores where I go shopping and up until now none of them have reported coworkers testing positive for the coronavirus 19. I found that very suspicous. It is evidence that the desease does not really spread as easily as is being hyped. Of course I was not going to say anything about that because bringing that up might lead people to questioning the need for severe measures to prevent to spread of the coronavirus. Which naturally I support simply as a pretext for delaying biosphere collapse.
    But now someone else has raised this possibility anyways. So I may as well deal with it.
    A chaotic slow down of economic activity is much better than no slow down of economic activity.
    But of course a well planned slow down of economic activity would be much better than a chaotic one.
    Sadly a well planned slowdown may not be an option because the world’s nut cases lead by the US military industrial complex nutterbutters are not willing to accept that and still have the means to prevent it.
    I love boiling hot oatmeal with nutterbutters mixed in to it. Nutterbutters are a unique American junk food. When you put them in to really hot oatmeal and then spoon the mixture out you will get a big smile on your face.

  33. akarog,

    This study is helpful but the researcher drew the WRONG conclusions. The study results actually support an eradication policy. There are many places where people will continue to be unsafe unless the virus is totally eradicated.

    (A) The results show that the virus, though infectious, is not robust and has only one really effective transmission route, close contact by droplet (and kissing one would say) and possibly one relatively ineffective route by mediated contact with little time delay for contact like the sneeze-hand-handle-hand- hand to face route. This indicates eradication is a very realistic goal.

    (B) If the virus is not eradicated then old people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (and some others as well) will continue to be vulnerable in any close contact spaces. COVID-19s effectiveness at droplet spread and its high infectiousness will ensure this. Also, there ought to be high concern about situations where a lot of people touch handrails in quick and indeed continuous succession (rolling ships, crowded stadiums and concert halls) or gatherings where people eat food delivered (not so much prepared) by an infected person or gatherings where people are too huggy-kissy (for a COVID-19world) .

    (C) The lift-restrictions-quickly brigade tend have a cavalier disregard for vulnerable people and a lack of understanding of the dangers of a further outbreak. This virus could even mutate into something worse if we don’t eradicate it.

    Admittedly, there is one problem with unilateral eradication. A cleared country must have limited contacts with uncleared countries and/or implement strict incoming quarantine protocols. Given that the world has been far too connected and too globalized for anti-pandemic safety, this will actually be a good thing.

  34. I think you will find that Streeker made no conclusions as to an exit strategy and advised to wait for the results of a more detailed study.

    There is also the problem of congregations or clusters at various points eg turnstiles/barriers etc en route to shops. There is an opinion that the NYC subway was the primary conduit for COVID.

    Click to access HarrisJE_WP2_COVID19_NYC_13-Apr-2020.pdf

  35. The argument for opening schools should also look at how kids get to school, train bus etc, normal queuing for canteens etc and contact sports. Even sport which is non contact but involves exertion, heavy breathing etc could increase the range of potentially infectious droplets.

    The social distancing should be from front door to front door.

  36. Streek has a PR Firm associated with the the FDP, the rich people and business party in Germany managing his public presentations. I wouldn´t take him too seriously just because he has the right degree. He was pushing his don´t take covid serious its like a flu agenda before he did the study, suggesting that overall mortaility rates this year would be lower than in a normal year before the lockdowns. He saw what he wanted to see, then he released his premilary results to the public in a press conference. His scientific peers had quite a few methodological questions afterwards. It seems they fear he overcounted the asymntomic infected with a flawed test. But thats not even the point. The real point is that he created headlines suggesting there was anything new about how the statistics based on positive test results undercount the infect and thus overcount the mortality rate. But really, his estimates of overall mortality and the like are not that different from what e.g. Imperial college suggested or anyone including laypeople that took some time to look at the matter, politicians and other experts advising governments were doing.

    Now Streek is at least an actual researcher. There´s much worse out there with a Ph.D. in medicine and strong opinons about the subject that unfortunatly are taken serious in Ph.D. admireing Germany.
    Unfortunatly, there are vastly different quality standards for achieving that title depending on degree. Standards in medicine are far below what is expected to get an M.A. in other subjects.
    To become a doctor in Germany, one has to achieve two things: A) Get really really good grades at school B) Memorice like mad for two big multible choice tests. Frankly the downisdes of that educational approach sometimes show in a situation like this one. I know about a medical Ph.D. in my broader social circle who thinks its all a goverment conspiracy theory. And no, she doesnt have schizophrenia.

  37. In the news, a US passenger of the Ruby Princess died after 2 weeks on a ventilator. His wife, who also tested positive to COVID, has no symptoms.

    This is an unpredictable and confounding virus.

  38. Are you enjoying your picnic? Do you smell fish frying? Of course all small fish get thrown back in to the pond. No fish under 2 are hamed let alone smoked. That will certianly not be true once the global warming party starts.
    This message is brought to you by Heinsberg Ice Kristalweizen Miracle Ale Export. Brewed with water fresh off a tarmac flavored with Canadian Hops. Enjoyed at any picnic occasion or wake.

  39. My take on the Trumpists cutting off funding to the WHÖ is that they smelt smelt frying. (Smelt is a small fish caught in large quantities on the rivers that drain in to Lake Supirior. The fish are caught during the spawning season and fried in beer batter) Publically they are blaming the WHO for being neglegent.
    I bet that their private thoughts are some what different.

  40. In South Korea, President Moon’s Liberal party has won a crushing electoral victory and now holds an absolute parliamentary majority. The victory was largely down to he very competent handling of the pandemic, but the manifesto also included a GND: carbon neutrality by 2050, a carbon tax, an end to financing coal projects abroad, and a transition fund. They still need to translate these pledges into a timetabled plan, but there is no reason to think Moon is not serious about this.

    Australia exported 43mt of coal to Korea in 2018, split roughly equally between metallurgical and steam types. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-russell-coal-asia/australias-pro-coal-lobby-should-heed-south-korea-warning-russell-idUSKCN1S01N3. The question for Australian coal miners is how long this market will take to die. Domestic coal production is an insignificant 2mt a year, not likely to create a real political obstacle (cf. Spain). A cohesive, hierarchical, Confucian, educated society will coalesce rapidly round the new strategy, and the technology poses few difficulties. My guess is the coal phaseout will be quite fast. Expect POSCO to announce a large-scale DRI project soon.

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