finance

Direct Action

27 September 2015

It has been a very long time since there has been a post here on the Stubborn Mule. Even now, I have not started writing again myself but have the benefit of a return of regular guest poster, James Glover. This is a post to explain the Australian Government’s policy called “Direct Action”. I will […]

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Getting Australia Post out of the red

19 June 2014

John Carmody returns to the Mule in his promised second guest post and takes a close look at Australia Post’s profitability with some (ahem) back-of-the-envelope calculations. There are many forms of communication which underpin the function and productivity of a modern society like Australia. Despite the Cassandra-commentary from Mr Ahmed Fahour (the well-paid CEO of Australia Post), regular mail […]

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Government spending

20 May 2014

Before, during and after this month’s budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey sounded dire warnings about Australia’s “budget emergency”. Amidst this fear-mongering, it was a pleasant relief to come across a dissenting view. In a recent interview on 2SER Dr Stephanie Kelton (Department of Economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City) argued that the government budget is very […]

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Can I trust MtGox with my passport?

12 June 2013

In March 2013, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCen”) published a statement saying that companies which facilitate buying and selling of “virtual” currencies like Bitcoin constitute “money service businesses” and are subject to reporting obligations designed to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. A couple of months later, the seizure by US authorities of Liberty Reserve has shaken money service […]

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Unfounded liability

20 May 2013

Today a tweet from “Australia’s most idiosyncratic economist” Christopher Joye caught my eye. I followed the link and found a scaremongering article trying to whip up concerns about Australia’s levels of government debt. A key part of Joye’s argument is to accuse the government of creative accounting by including Future Fund assets in the calculation […]

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Bitcoin: what is it good for?

4 May 2013

Bitcoin has been a hot topic in the news over the last few weeks. The digital currency has its adherents. The Winklevoss twins, made famous by the movie Social Network after suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the concept of Facebook, now purportedly own millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins. It also has its detractors. […]

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NDIS and how many disabled people are there anyway?

3 May 2013

Regular guest writer, James Glover, returns to the Mule today to look at the figures behind the proposed NDIS. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is in the news again. A welcome development for people with disability and their carers and families…and friends and pretty much anyone else who cares about their fellow humans. It is […]

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Quandl

20 April 2013

I spend a lot of time trawling the internet for data, particularly economic and financial data. Yahoo Finance and Google Finance are handy for market data and “FRED”, the St. Louis Fed is an excellent, albeit US-centric, resource for a broad range of financial aggregates. While these sites make it very easy to automate data […]

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Wall of Liquidity

22 March 2013

Once again a misconception is gaining currency. There is increased talk of a build up of cash just waiting to be converted into equities or other assets. I wrote about this years ago in cash on the sidelines, but apparently the financial commentariat did not read the post, so it is time to revisit the […]

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Cypriot sovereignty surrendered

18 March 2013

Here is a rant about events in Cyprus. Normal dispassionate service will resume here at the Mule in the next post. Over the weekend, the European crisis took a sickening new twist in Cyprus. The government of Cyprus announced a “levy” on Cypriot depositors as part of a deal to secure a bailout of its […]

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