Day: March 4, 2019

Can @Oxfamnz explain what institutions and policies underwrote this Great Escape


Banking crises are not bolts from the blue

croaking cassandra

The Herald’s economics columnist Brian Fallow devoted his column last Friday to the Reserve Bank’s proposal to massively increase the proportion of their balance sheets banks would have to fund by equity.  He ended on what seemed to be a moderately sceptical note.

So we are left trying to weigh a highly debatable but significant cost against an incalculable benefit.

As I’ve noted here, the sort of cost-benefit calculus we can glean from various Reserve Bank publications just doesn’t stack up at all.    In his speech the other day (which a couple of readers have suggested I was too generous towards), the Deputy Governor indicated that the level of GDP might be up to 0.3 per cent lower (permanently) as a result of these change.    Call it an annual insurance premium of 0.25 per cent of GDP (and bear in mind that the estimates Bascand is using don’t…

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Unresolved biology question of the day: Why do cats sprint out of the litter box?

Why Evolution Is True

Not all cats do this, but many of them do. After defecating, a cat will exit the litter box on the gallop, sometimes running like crazy around the house. (They don’t seem to do it after urinating.) Some of mine did it, too, and I’ve seen this behavior in many other cats.  But why? There are many reasons given and many sites purporting to answer this vexing question (see here and here, for instance), but most of them don’t satisfy me. Perhaps there is a panoply of explanations, each of which might apply for some cats or some post-poop dashes, but I think the phenomenon is so general that there has to be an overarching explanation.

To show you how it looks, I wanted to put a YouTube video of the phenomenon here, and I was certain there would be one (after all, it’s the Internet and cats). But…

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