Category Archives: applied price theory

The Sopranos – Tony Talks To Christopher Moltisanti And Brendan Filone


James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal

The History of Parliament

Today is the first in a trio of blogs to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Paul M. Hunneyball, Associate Editor of the House of Lords 1604-1629 project, kicks off with a sequel to his blog from last LGBTHM, ‘James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean Court’. In this new blog he explores the evolution of the duke of Buckingham’s position at court in the 1610s and 1620s and explores the intricacies of his relationship with James I…

Villiers, 1st duke of Buckingham, is probably best known today for his
decade-long liaison with James I. However, in historical terms he is equally
notable for being the principal court favourite of two successive monarchs,
James and his son Charles I, an unparalleled feat in Europe during that era.
When one considers the very different nature of his relationships with the two
kings, Buckingham’s achievement seems…

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Capital gains taxes: some thoughts

croaking cassandra

It is a day for repeating some material from old posts. I haven’t yet read any more than a few news reports on the Tax Working Group’s report.  But I have debated capital gains taxes for years.   This was a post on the topic from 2017.  Here was the gist of my comments.   My bottom-line is that capital gains taxes aren’t the worst thing in the world, but mostly are a distraction from what should be the real issues.

Anyway, here are some of the points I make:

  • in a well-functioning efficient market, there are typically no real (ie inflation adjusted) expected capital gains.    An individual participant might expect an asset price to rise for some reason, but that participant will be balanced by others expecting it to fall.  If it were not so then, typically, the price would already have adjusted.  In well-functioning markets, there aren’t…

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Michael-James Clifton: Parliament’s Role in Withdrawing from the EEA, and Difficulties in Ratifying the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement

UK Constitutional Law Association


The importance and role of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement has often been overlooked. Yet, as the UK exits the European Union, the question of the UK’s desired relationship with not only the EU27 but also the EEA30 has never been more live. In a previous blog post I argued that the UK has not notified its intention to leave the EEA as required. This post examines the domestic law implications of this conclusion.

On 20th December 2018, the day after Parliament rose, the Government published an ‘EEA EFTA Separation Agreement’. This was accompanied by an ‘EEA EFTA Explainer’. To date, the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement has been ‘agreed,’ but not ‘signed’. Subsequently, on 8th February 2019, the Government published another draft agreement, the ‘EEA EFTA No Deal Citizens’ Rights Agreement’.

Turning to the intended ratification of the EEA EFTA…

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Renewables Reality Check: Giant Batteries No Solution to Wind Power’s Chaotic Delivery


South Australia is Australia’s wind and solar capital: resulting in an unstable grid and the world’s highest power prices.

One wheeze in purported answer to the debacle above was Elon Musk’s giant 100 MW lithium-ion battery. It cost taxpayers a cool $150,000,000 and delivers occasional spurts of power to the grid, whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

Its principal purpose is to allow the nearby 200 MW Hallett Power Station a few minutes lead time to fire up its 12 unit, open cycle gas turbine plant, to thereby avoid a total grid collapse when wind power output collapses – as it did on 24 January (see above), when the state was hit by heatwave and 29,000 households were left powerless.

The dual fuel plant can run on gas, but, more often than not, it’s running on diesel and spewing tonnes of filthy, noxious, particulate matter into…

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Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Seven Labour MPs have resigned the party whip. It’s not clear what they plan to do next but many commentators assume that the formation of a new centrist party will be the eventual outcome

Is there a market for a new centrist party though? Nick Barlow thinks not. He wrote a piece on ‘the centrist fallacy’ last year in which he looked at data from the British Election Survey. He found that most people think their own political views are in the centre ground even when they are not. So lots of people might say they would support a centrist party but wouldn’t actually like its policies when it came to an election. He also found that, based on the questions in the BES, the electorate skews to the left on economic issues and to the right on social issues.

The FT’s John Burn-Murdoch plotted the same data on a…

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book spotlight: the coddling of the american mind by lukianoff and haidt

coddlingDisclaimer: I’m a member of Heterodox Academy and I spoke with Jonathan about the book while it was being written. I am totally biased but don’t blow out of proportion!

The Coddling of the American Mindis a book about two things. The first might be called the “rise of sensitive people.” That is, people now seem to be a bit on the fragile side. Say something awkward on Twitter and you might have thousands of people mocking you. Or say something about race or gender in a class, and people will get on your case. In my business, the Trustees of your university might go on a rant if you are on the wrong side of the discussion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Surprisingly, the book is also a self-help book. This is because Haidt and Lukianoff ascribe the rise of sensitive people to the counter-productive ways of thinking…

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Originalism and defamation

Notes On Liberty

Today, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a solo opinion urging the Supreme Court to reconsider a hallmark case in First Amendment law–New York Times v. Sullivan. That case held that defamation claims brought by public figures had to meet a heightened standard of proof by showing “actual malice” by the alleged defamer. The basic premise is that muscular use of private defamation suits discourages criticism of public figures and thus clashes with First Amendment interests.

Justice Thomas’s primary complaint with this standard is that judges created it with a wave of the wand rather than a serious analysis of the original understanding of the First Amendment. He points out that the ratifiers of the Constitution gave no indication that they intended to abrogate the long-standing common law of libel that had existed in the colonies and England for centuries. For those who believe that the Constitution’s meaning should reflect…

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Labour’s Decarbonisation Plan


By Paul Homewood

Rebecca Long-Bailey has moved forward (or backwards) on Labour’s plans to decarbonise the UK.

The woefully inadequate Long-Bailey has only got the job of shadow business secretary because she is a hard left acolyte of Jeremy Corbyn, for whom most of his MPs refuse to work for.

Her latest move is to gather together trade unionists, industry leaders, academics, engineers and public institutions to look at the detail. No doubt this will be the usual bunch of renewable lobbyists, paid up members of the green blob and marxist academics.

But I have come across a document she put out last September, which offers some insights into how Labour will start to try to meet its manifesto promise that 60% of UK energy would be low carbon by 2030.

It consists of four strands:

Currently there is offshore capacity of 8 GW, due to rise to 14…

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