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Friday, 04 March


The Weekend Quiz – March 5-6, 2016 Bill Mitchell – billy blog

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz, which used to be known as the Saturday Quiz! The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. The mainstream macroeconomics conception of the banking system characterised by the concept of the money multiplier posits that changes in the monetary base are driven by changes in the money supply.

2. If the nation is running a current account deficit which is accompanied by a government sector surplus of equal size,...


WA’s Muja coal power station ready for “gold watch”, says Solar Council Renew Economy

ASC and green groups present giant gold watch to "one of Australia’s oldest, most inefficient and polluting power stations", which they say is standing in the way of investment in solar and clean energy.


US energy storage market grew 243% in 2015, largest year on record Renew Economy

The annual U.S. energy storage market is projected to reach 1.7 gigawatts by 2020—with a value of $2.5 billion.


Memo to Barnaby: If you want cheap electricity, nuclear is not the answer Renew Economy

Barnaby Joyce, whose electorate is about to become a major renewable energy hub, tells Murdoch media nuclear is cheaper alternative. No, Barnaby, it isn't.


Wind energy not to blame for South Australia power outage Renew Economy

Market Operator investigation shows SA power outage caused by faulty line signals and the actions of gas generators, not renewables. Meanwhile, regulator slaps the market operator and fossil fuel generators over soaring grid stability costs.


CWP launches micro-grid business with investment in CIT Bruce Renew Economy

CWP Renewables set to launch new micro-grid division with project taking Canberra Institute of Technology off grid using solar and storage.


Coal won’t solve the energy poverty problem Renew Economy

Times have changed, and old electricity-generation models don’t work anymore.


What to know about February’s satellite temperature record Renew Economy

Global warming also lurks in the atmosphere and new satellite data shows the incredible heat that’s building on the planet.


CWP wins ACT auction, to press go on 260MW wind project and micro-grids Renew Economy

CWP renewables to build 260MW and invest in micro-grids after winning ACT wind energy auction.


TPP: Govt accused of "willful blindness" AFTINET

3 March 2016

Economics Editor for The Age Peter Martin has questioned whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - or anyone else for that matter - would mind if the TPP "fell over". 

He argues that economic modelling finds the benefits of the deal for Australia to be "almost non existent," criticises DFAT's National Interest Analysis for "merely summarising" the deal, and accuses leaders of "willful blindness." 

He is also critical of new Trade Minister Steve Ciobo's approach. He writes:

"Hillary Clinton is misguided. Her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership is based on "misinformation". Malcolm Turnbull's new trade minister says so.

The woman most likely to be the next US president, the former secretary of state who ran America's missions abroad, the woman who criss-crossed the world pressing flesh about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, knows less about it than Steven Ciobo."

Read the full article here

Thursday, 03 March


Japan – another week of humiliation for mainstream macroeconomics Bill Mitchell – billy blog

In September 2010, The Project Syndicate, which markets itself as providing the “Smartest Op-Ed Articles from the World’s Thought Leaders” gave space to Martin Feldstein – Japan’s Savings Crisis. Like a cracked record, Feldstein rehearsed his usual idiotic claims that interest rates in Japan would rise because “of the continuing decline in Japan’s household saving rate” and that “the higher interest rate would eventually raise the government’s interest bill by about 4% of GDP. And that would push a 7%-of-GDP fiscal deficit to 11%”. Then, so the story goes, “This vicious spiral of rising deficits and debt would be likely to push interest rates even higher, causing the spiral to accelerate”. At which point, Japan sinks slowly into the sea never to be seen again. It turns out that the real world is a little different to what students read about in mainstream macroeconomics textbooks. At the risk of understatement I should have said very (completely) different. Better rephrase that to say – what appears in mainstream macroeconomics textbooks bears little or no relation to the reality we all live in. Anyway, events over the last week in Japan have once again meant that this has been just another week of humiliation for mainstream macroeconomics – one of many.

One should note at the outset that the predictions of Harvard Professor Martin Feldstein should always be disregarded. Please read my blog – Martin Feldstein should be ignored – for more discussion on this point.

With the Eurozone crisis on-going, commentators have regularly suggested that any day now, Japan is likely to follow Greece down the path to bankruptcy.

On April 11, 2010, a Agence France journalist wrote...

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