July 2008

Poor Phorm

30 July 2008

Google and others have had great success with online advertising, while the provision of the mere “pipes” of the internet has become an increasingly competitive, commoditised business. So, it is no surprise that some ISPs have felt they have missed out on the real success of the internet and are keen to join the party. […]

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NAB takes $830 million hit

25 July 2008

nab, the largest of Australia’s banks saw its share price fall by almost 14% today after they announced an A$830 million (US$795 million) provision on mortgage-backed CDOs (“collateralised debt obligations”). It has been estimated that the US sub-prime mortgage crisis has resulted in over US$450 billion in write-downs to date and, earlier this year, the […]

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22 July 2008

This evening I caught up for a chat and a couple of beers with Dan Walsh, the technologist behind the scenes of the Australian social news site Kwoff. For those not familiar with social news sites, the idea is that users submit links to interesting news articles (or blog posts, funny photos, videos or anything […]

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Update on Sydney Petrol Prices

21 July 2008

A little while ago I wrote about the relationship between crude oil prices and the price Sydney motorists are paying for petrol at the pump. The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has now released their price data for June and, not surprisingly, prices continued to track moves implied by rising crude oil prices. The simple regression […]

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Spam and Social Networks

19 July 2008

Social networks have been growing at an extraordinary rate over the last couple of years. The big contest has been between Facebook and MySpace and recently Facebook was reported to have caught up with its older rival. These two social networking giants aim to be walled gardens where users can chat, exchange photos, share music, […]

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The Garnaut Report and “Tit-for-Tat”

13 July 2008

For those outside Australia, the Garnaut Climate Change Review is our equivalent of the Stern Review and last week a draft report was released. In this report, a nation’s decision as to how to act in the face of climate change is compared to the prisoner’s dilemma: Effective international action is necessary if the risks […]

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The Gradual Demise of the Compact Disc

8 July 2008

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), after taking a look at sales for the first half of 2008, has run crying poor to the Herald Sun. While they have not yet released these figures to the public, they presumably continue the trend evident in published figures for 2006 and 2007. Australian Music Sales

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The Axe Falls at Moody’s

2 July 2008

A month ago, I blogged about news of a bug in a Moody’s structured credit ratings model. The story was originally broken by the Financial Times and now they are reporting that Moody’s is sacking their global head of structured finance, Noel Kirnon. Moody’s have also taken the unusual step of sending a letter to […]

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The Price of Carbon for Petrol

2 July 2008

Commenting on my petrol prices post, Mark Lauer suggested that excise on petrol should in fact be increased to deal with negative externalities: Personally I think we should be increasing the excise. It represents the many negative externalities that car use in our society creates: carbon emissions, use of space for (larger) roads; materials, construction […]

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