Category Archives: Blogpost

Brexit and the General Elauction

great briitain leaves european union metaphorWith the general Elauction underway we can expect the minds and energies of our political leaders to be focused elsewhere for the next month or so.  However, the world doesn’t stop when the posters go up. Neither, to be fair, does the government or administrative policy making, but it slows. In the context of BREXIT, this may be problematic

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs ; the General Election Battleground

This election will, in large part, be fought on the government saying “the economy was in rag order, we fixed it, reelect us”. A key element of this will be “we have created <insert large but not implausible number> jobs since we took over”. Missing will be any discussion of external circumstances but hey, its an election.

What is the real story?

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The Planning Stupids… they havent gone away you know

Sallins, where I live, is a nice pleasant canalside village. Right in the center of it is a large derelict site, on which planning permission for a town center was given ye these many moons ago. More or less directly opposite it, down a lane, is the GAA. The latest plan is to rezone THAT for a town center. Why? To date the local councillors have been rather mute.

Here, read below an information leaflet sent round in advance of an open meeting in mid January. It is mindboggling.

A written petition against this foolishness is going into the councillors this weekend. At least one is running for national election so perhaps 1000 signatures, which is what they are in sight of, will sharpen the mind and soften the cough. I took the names and contact details out of the leaflet, but they are easily obtained if one needs.

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Taxes – You are Here (and its not where you think)

So the general elauction is in full swing. And the theme of GE2016 is “Irish taxpayers are uniquely, punitively, outrageously taxed, and thats causing all our trouble:. Pretty much every party, bar the courageous (in a Sir Humphrey Appleby way) Social Democrats are pledging to cut, slash, reduce….

Meanwhile, away from the fevered fantasies of Irish political parties, in the real world, this is where we are. Data from OECD Taxing Wages 2015, 2014 data : here

First, the total : the tax wedge, defined as  the difference between total costs to the employer (so including PRSI and other social security) vs what the employee gets (so including USC and PRSI). Oh, look….

taxwedge

Then tax on the average wage (a shade under €700 per week for 2014 from CSO data) by family type. Cash transfers here are the standard benefit packages such as childrens allowance or its equivalent.

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Finally at different percentages of the average wage. Ireland is in red.

Screenshot 2016-01-31 08.51.57

 

Feeling overtaxed is fine. Claiming that we are, at least in the comparative sense, is not. Its not just a misreading, its a misrepresentation. We get the politicians we elect. If we elect people who look us in the eye and lie a hole in a pot, so be it.

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The January Barometer in Stocks – Is it real?

bear_marketThe January Barometer in stocks is an old saw “as January goes, so goes the year”. So a down January, as we have just seen, should spell trouble ahead for the stock market. So, is it true?

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Silver fix, fixes in silver, Holmes’ razor, poisson distributions and MRDA

Last weekend I and some others posted a working paper on gold and silver price suppression (there’s no evidence for same) on SSRN. In it we noted that there were large movements in and around the times of option expiries, and mused that this was similar to patterns in other markets where traders manipulate the price. Then this happened.

Screenshot 2016-01-30 08.06.34

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General Elauction 2016

So, the election, or perhaps we should just call it the auction, is in full swing.

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