September 2008

Irish Government Bails Out All Irish Banks

30 September 2008

In the latest development in the ongoing train-wreck that is global financial markets, the Irish Government has stepped in to guarantee deposits and debt of all Irish Banks. This is an extraordinary step to take and reflects a banking system that is truly broken. Finance, particularly banking, is built on trust more than law (as […]

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The Mathematics of NT-plus Screening

29 September 2008

Update: regular commenter Mark L has helpfully identified they reason behind the apparent anomaly in the statistics that motivated me to write this post. I had misinterpreted one of the statistics. While this takes the mystery out of the numbers, it does highlight how tricky it can be to get to grips with the statistics […]

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2042: Art on the Street

27 September 2008

It’s time for a break from watching the financial markets implode. Instead, this post will focus on the arts, Newtown-style. Every year, the shops of Newtown become an extended gallery exhibiting the works of young Australian artists. Or at least, that’s how I describe it. According to the City of Sydney website, the aim of […]

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The Mother of All Bailouts

25 September 2008

Financial markets around the world remain extremely anxious as the US Congress ponders the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) proposal, aka the Mother of All Bailouts (“MOAB”). Under this proposal, the US Government will spend up to US$700 billion to buy “troubled” mortgage-backed securities in the hope that this will lubricate the markets that have […]

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“Eat My Shorts” – Short Selling in Australia

25 September 2008

Earlier this week, Australia joined the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada and other countries in clamping down on the practice of “short selling” shares. According to the regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commision (ASIC), the new restrictions were aimed at reducing “unwarranted price fluctuations”. For the moment, the restrictions are in place for […]

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AIG: Too Big to Fail

17 September 2008

The phrase “too big to fail” (TBTF) has been used a lot throughout the credit crunch of the last twelve months or so. Now it seems that American International Group (AIG) was too big to fail as it was bailed out by the US Federal Reserve (the “Fed”), while Lehman Brothers was not and was […]

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Income Inequality in Australia and the US

13 September 2008

A topic that the New York Times visits from time to time is that of income inequality. In the United States, the gap between the highest and lowest earners has been increasing over the last 80 years or so. A recent article returns to this theme and provides further insight into the trend. It cites […]

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Paralympics Medal Tallies by Population and GDP

9 September 2008

The 2008 Paralympic Games are now well underway in Beijing. Since my Olympic medal charts on Swivel proved popular, I have now created a data set for the Paralympics as well, which I will be updating regularly (source: Beijing 2008 Paralympics website). One of the topics I touched on during the Olympics was the influence […]

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Weak Dollar and Australian Petrol Prices

8 September 2008

The world’s financial markets have shifted their focus from oil supply problems to the demand side of the equation. They appear to have decided that the US and European economies look so dire that oil consumption will collapse. As a result, oil prices have been in free-fall, barely staying above US$100 per barrel. If the […]

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Monetising Microblogs with Music?

4 September 2008

In my recent post on the future of Microblogging, I expressed concerns about the viability of twitter given that they are yet to find a business model. But perhaps I just wasn’t thinking laterally enough: earlier this week I stumbled across a novel approach to monetising microblogging. The new site Blip.fm brings music to microblogging […]

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