So, who noticed?

American women go on strike to highlight their clout

That clout was how much? GDP dipped? The electricity went off? Sammiches were not made?

Of course, if consumer spending dropped that would be serious but anyone think that consumption was part of their strike instead of production?

About 1,000 people gathered


Germany’s Lufthansa airline had six all-female crews flying from several cities in the country to Berlin. Sweden’s women’s football team replaced the names on the backs of their jerseys with tweets from Swedish women. Finland announced a new $160,000 International Gender Equality Prize. Women also held rallies in Tokyo and Madrid.

Mmmhm, hmmm

Actress Anne Hathaway spoke during 2017 International Women’s Day at United Nations Headquarters.

Pointy elbows.

Understanding network effects in dating

Celebrities have the same needs that the rest of us, they’re just wealthier, better-looking and demand more privacy. It’s why Tinder quietly set up a special members-only version of its app, called Tinder Select, to keep elite bloodlines in the elite. As the name implies, it’s a secret dating world where only the beautiful and the wealthy can connect. Unfortunately, the great unwashed don’t have a chance of getting in unless you’re invited by a core group of members.

Only those already potentially exposed to Paris’ herpes should date those also potentially exposed to Paris’ herpes.

Very sensible form of quarantine.


So, the FT publishes a chart of newspaper readership in print. Note that, in print. For 2015 – 2016.


The Sun is hurting (oh dear). So too is The Times. Poor Mr Murdoch. The Guardian isn’t. And the Indy has at least in part survived not being published in print.

But the numbers you are looking at are only print readership. The Indy’s numbers now on this are therefore zero. These numbers were collected before the decision not to print……

Seriously, how can someone gain a job as a professor without being able to follow this sort of simple logic?


I’m in a hurry in a Parisian hotel room. When the Chancellor will be speaking today I will be at the OECD. I will miss at least four broadcasting opportunities. Country-by-country reporting demands it.

That’s a couple of hundred quid in appearance fees that won’t be received then.

First, if Theresa May really meant she was governing for everybody she should have re-read her Adam Smith and realised that tax has to be equitable: the bill has to be biggest for those most able to pay.

Quite so, more than in proportion to their income.

That is not true in the UK. We have a ridiculously low corporation tax rate, and capital gains tax is much the same. Inheritance tax is almost wholly avoidable for the richest. And we have no wealth tax.

It’s more than in proportion to their income. Anyone want to try denying that higher incomes pay a higher rate of income tax in the UK?

Well, yes, obviously, someone would. Spud.

Second, this should be a budget for spending: masses of government spending financed by near zero cost borrowing. Any business person would agree. But it’s not going to happen. Just when we have the chance to start building the post Brexit economy we won’t. As an economist it’s almost painful to watch such incompetence.

Would anyone like to point me to the spare capacity that could be utilised by this borrowing? What’s the unemployment rate for example? What’s the spare construction capacity maybe? OK, so this is over in the US but even Larry Summers and Paul Krugman are now agreeing that the stimulus argument there no longer works. And there’s obviously a point where it doesn’t here either.

He’s missed an important part of Keynes, hasn’t he? That when the facts change I change my mind?


A senior NHS boss has been forced out of his job after exposing a hospital sex ring where senior consultants used code words to arrange sex with colleagues, it is alleged.
The health workers exchanged hundreds of emails in which they used code words such as ‘Marmite’ and ‘cappuccino’ to arrange sexual liaisons at one of the country’s top hospitals, it was revealed last month.
The discovery of the sordid activity – which often took place yards from patients – has led to claims of a cover-up after the hospital refused to sack the two highly-paid consultants after a disciplinary hearing lasting just 20 minutes.

Consenting adults have sex with people they are not married to.


Err, yes, and?

WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents claiming to reveal top CIA hacking secrets, including the agency’s ability to infiltrate encrypted apps like Whatsapp, break into smart TVs and phones and program self-driving cars.
WikiLeaks said the files released on Tuesday – mysteriously dubbed ‘ Vault 7’ – are the most comprehensive release of U.S. spying files ever made public.
The leak purportedly includes 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.

It details intelligence information on CIA-developed software intended to hack iPhones, Android phones, smart TVs and Microsoft, Mac and Linux operating systems.
WikiLeaks alleges that some of the remote hacking programs can turn these electronic devices into recording and transmitting stations to spy on their targets.
It also claims the CIA can bypass the encryption of Whatsapp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloakman by hacking the smart phones the applications run on.

Who didn’t think they were doing this? And the NSA, the FSB, MI6, GCHQ, whatever the Frog spiers call themselves and so on around the world?

That’s what spies do, spy. That’s actually why we have them. And of course, in order to be able to spy on the bad guys, the reason we pay them in the first place, they need to develop the tools that could be used to spy upon all of us.

Shrug, it has always been possible for a spy agency to devote its utmost resources against any one of us and fit us up whatever the hell it is we do. The electronic world hasn’t changed that in the slightest.

How long I wonder, how long?

In The Guardian:

Economics blogger Tim Worstall has a good take on the German factory orders decline, on Forbes.

Yes, OK, but I started blogging about economics 13 years ago. Am I still a “blogger” after near a decade of making my living writing about economics all around the place, including The Guardian? Do I ever get upgraded to “freelance” or “journalist”?

Or is it like the courtesan who marries well, since she started out doing the knee tremblers behind the bike shed she is forever known as the knee trembler?

Opportunity costs

Adults are having sex less often than they were 20 years ago, according to a scientific study in America of almost 27,000 people.

Researchers found that adults had sex about nine fewer times per year than they did back in the late 1990s.

The more things there are to do the more it costs to do any single one of them. Because the price of something is what you give up to have that thing. If there are more things to give up then each and any one choice costs more, people do less of things that cost more.

This has long been tracked more generally. I think we’ll all agree that women’s choices have significantly increased over recent generations. Women are, self-reportedly, less happy than they were. Sure, we can make jokes about feminism and unrealistic goals but the fact of the matter is that female happiness has been moving down much closer to male self-reported happiness.

Closer to that of those who always did have the wider range of choices.

Opportunity costs, it’s the second important thing you’ve got to know about economics.

The perfect typo

I have recently tired my hand at writing

From here.

No, I’ve checked, it was a typo. But what a lovely one, he’s trying to point out that this classical liberal thing is the way to make the poor richer, to allow the dispossessed to possess and so on and the slip from I have tried to I have tired my hand is simply lovely.

He’s not entirely right as I’m not and nor are you. But try it out, anyone capable of creating, by a slip, a phrase that I’m going to steal (and oooh, I will) is worth a try.

Accountant cannot count

As the FT has noted, Philip Hammond is to allocate £500 million of extra funds to schools in the budget. However, of thus sum £320 million is to go to 140 new so-called free schools. That is £2.3 million each.

The remaining 24,372 schools in the country will share £180 million, or £7,385 each.

Alternatively, split that £180 million amongst the 8.2 million pupils involved and that’s £21.95 per pupil, which is going to make a resounding difference.

Myself I think I’d try to count how many pupils will move from the old to the new schools before I did a per head analysis……

I might even try to differentiate between capital costs and running. But then I was never very good at my accounting classes in my econ and accounting degree.

How odd

The mystery of why sheep get horny in the winter might have been solved, according to new research.

Melatonin blah blah, light differences etc.

But winter? We talk of spring lamb, don’t we? And with a 150 day gestation in sheep that means they’re horny in autumn, doesn’t it?


It’s a sales pitch that has yielded big profits. The North Face reported annual revenue of $2.3bn last year, with 200 stores around the world. Patagonia is smaller, but growing more rapidly. The company had sales of $800m in 2016, twice as much as in 2010, and has 29 standalone stores in the US, 23 in Japan, and others in locations such as Chamonix, the French ski resort.

Well done to The Guardian, thinking that revenues equal profits.

Idiot is idiot

Standard Life is going to take over Aberdeen Asset Management. I hate to say it but it has all the feel of those notorious pre-2008 crash financial sector mergers that were so ill-fated.

Of course history does not repeat itself, exactly. Irrational exuberance does.


The two companies are exploring an all-share merger

Amazing that he wants a falling tax gap then, isn’t it?

Second, the deficit was smaller than expected this year and smaller than the economy needed. Tax drains funds out of the economy. That’s not by chance. That is its purpose. The government prints the money it needs to spend: it reclaims it through taxation. The spend stimulates demand. The tax reduces it. The net combination resulting in a fall in borrowing means that the economy was deflated by more than the government expected in the last year. The result is that we are, quite simply, worse offer as a result. And many know that.

So why does he want to increase the amount the government collects in taxes?

And he will need to do so: we know the economy is slowing already: it’s a trend that is going to get worse as the impact of Brexit pound deflation feeds though into higher UK prices.

Sigh, the net effect of a devaluation is expansionary.

This is a surprise in what manner?

A new report revealed hundreds of Marines are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Defense for sharing explicit photos of their female colleagues in a lewd Facebook group.

The group titled ‘Marines United’ had hundreds, possibly thousands of photos of unsuspecting servicewomen, some who were on active duty.

There were 30,000 followers of the secret Facebook group and many members made sexually aggressive comments about the victims. Some suggested in the 2,500 photo comments that the servicemen perform sexual acts with the women and film it for the other members.

Take 182,000 young people, male and female.

Get them as fit as you can.

Marvel when sex breaks out.

No, I don’t advocate gawking over nuddie pics of co-workers either but why the fuck is anyone surprised?