Waratah trains: why the NSW government isn’t at fault

The suggestion that the NSW government had done nothing wrong would normally seem unlikely, irrespective of context. Even more so when the context is a $2.6bn capital investment project that’s at risk of collapsing, requiring a massive government bailout, or both. However, the funding shortfall threatening the public-private partnership (PPP) to build 78 new Waratah … Continue reading Waratah trains: why the NSW government isn’t at fault

Finding a new Foster home

So there's an interesting piece on Bloomberg quoting the Sunday Times saying that Fosters Group, the Aussie wine and beer company, might sell its beer operations (branded Carlton & United Breweries, confusingly enough) to SABMiller. This makes sense. Since I was working as a drinks industry reporter getting on for ten years ago, I've been … Continue reading Finding a new Foster home

Why isn’t there a new Bond movie?

Yes, I know MGM (or, more accurately, the latest in a long bunch of shysters to own the rights to the MGM name and to make James Bond movies) are in serious financial trouble. But if I was in serious financial trouble, and I owned a money tree, but I couldn't afford to harvest the … Continue reading Why isn’t there a new Bond movie?

Technical BP question, or ‘lazy crowdsourcing’

So, on BP, let's assume that it gets so busted by compo claims that its entire US business gets liquidated and sold to Exxon (as seems to be the current, insane narrative: "we'll pretend BP are evil rather than the same as everyone else, so we don't have to stop the drilling and the oil … Continue reading Technical BP question, or ‘lazy crowdsourcing’

On third-columnists, deliberate or otherwise

I’m a Keynesian who believes in fiscal expansion in tough times, and I'm a market-favouring leftie who believes in progressive taxation (whilst trying to minimise disincentives to work at all levels). However, I’m embarrassed by Richard Murphy of TaxResearch.org.uk, and the way in which the press tend to print his daft views as a serious … Continue reading On third-columnists, deliberate or otherwise

Those British Airways strikes

While there's been a lot of commentary on the British Airways strikes, the analysis (whether pro-company or pro-union) tends to miss two major points. The business model is unsustainable - but that's the management's fault, not the unions' BA’s model before the global financial crisis was to charge a fortune for excellent service in Club … Continue reading Those British Airways strikes

Financeblogger playground spat

When I grow up, I wouldn't object to being an incredibly rich, disgraced, highly influential, not-proven-guilty-of-fraud Wall Street figure and would-be press baron. However, unlike Henry Blodget, I don't think I'd devote a day's worth of output to slating other financial commentators for being insufficiently productive, hard-working, etc. Worrying about the productivity of people who … Continue reading Financeblogger playground spat