Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mid week review

Not a lot happening in the news the last few days. You know this must be so when The Australian Financial Review (subscription required) runs a front page headline 'Labor turmoil rocks Beazley'. Problems with controlling factions in the faction-driven ALP are as old as the party itself and scarcely news. After the fiasco of Simon Crean overwhelmingly holding on to his position in a preselection ballot, Kim Beazley probably should sack Stephen Conroy as deputy Senate leader but one wonders if he has the spine to do it. And who cares given the near complete irrelevance of federal Labor these days.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that the cash rate will be held fixed at the level it has been at since March last year, namely 5.5%. This is somewhat surprising given RBA references to 'overheating' and to recent interest rate hikes in the US, Canada and Europe. Recovery in the Japanese economy might also be expected to put pressure on rates. The RBA did start increasing rates earlier than these economies and might have picked up some evidence of a slowdown in labour markets. The RBA have released a Chart Pack on developments in the Australian and world economy that tells you what is happening at a glance. Our major trading partners growing faster than the rest-of-the-world so prospects look good.

The Commonwealth Games coming next week to Melbourne. Yawn.

Me? Well I have been busy doing my paid job and am revising a paper on addiction economics for my illicit drugs project. I am also teaching quite a bit. I've been swimming most afternoons with my son as the weather has been good. The leaves on deciduous trees are ominously starting to drop so I want to take advantage of whatever is left of the warmth. (It interests me that the leaves drop before the warm weather ends giving you a warning that the end is near).

How has your week been? If you have any comments on my blog or have anything else to relate please do so.


rabee said...

I like your blog.

Where's your picture? Where's the other picture.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is always a good read.

You bring up some interesting topics.

derrida derider said...

On the autumn leaves, I always understood that it's the change in the length of the days, not the temperature, that tells them when to turn.

lesleym said...

Hi ken and Harry
Autumn leaf colours are both temperature and moisture dependent. The best colours come when there has been good rainfall and good average daytime temperatures so that there are plenty of sugars being produced. Then when a few crisp cool nights appear, the sugars are trapped in the leaves and are turned into the red-coloured anthocyanids and yellow carotenoids. In Toowoomba, this effect was very noticeable when there were cold clear nights around Anzac Day and soon after.
Daylength is a determining factor in flower production. Hence, our legume pastures were late in flowering when the Eastern Downs had foggy days in high summer. (Daylength also affects animals that reproduce seasonally. Hence our goats came into season early with extensive foggy days.)