It's been quite wet in parts of Northern NSW. The road between Armidale and the coast is called Waterfall Way. This ABC shot of the road down the Dorrigo mountain suggests why. The road was closed soon after this photo was taken.
For entertainment. This YouTube video attempts to explain some of the intricacies of Brexit - and the UK..
Staying in the UK, both Helen Dale and kvd pointed me to story in the Guardian: 'London Bridge is down': the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death. It's a long but very interesting piece, drawing out some of the logistic and political complexities involved in responding to the death of such a long serving and respected monarch. Queen Elizabeth the Second became Queen on 6 February 1952.
The first annual meeting of the G20 since the election of President Trump has been held in the German spa town of Baden-Baden. The consensus communique released following the meeting deleted previous references to climate change and free trade. The BBC report states that after the meeting ended, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he would not read too much into his country's desire to change the language behind the communique, as "what was as in the past" releases was "not relevant".
Mr Mnuchin added he had been "very clear that we do believe in free trade but we believe in balanced trade". .
The Australian Financial Review provides this comparison of the wording between 2016 and 2017.
In the same story, the paper reports claims by the Australian Treasurer that he and his Canadian counterpart worked hard to get some trade reference that was acceptable to both sides, at least keeping a trade reference in. Australia has pushed global freer trade because it is in the country's interests as a smaller relatively open economy.
There has actually been a lot of economic news recently that I am still trying to absorb. However, one point that is worth noting now is the way that first the NAB and then Westpac immediately raised their Australian domestic home loan interest rates in response to the official interest rate increase by the US Federal Reserve.
The reason given was the impact on bank funding costs. The Australian banking system raises around 40% of its funds on the international market. I expect further increases independent of any Australian Reserve Bank action as the slow process of unwinding the responses to the Global Financial Crisis continues.
The interest rate rises have obvious implications for the apartment building splurge that has been reshaping Australia's biggest cities. There are a number of interconnected issues here that are current hot topics.
One is the supply of affordable housing, especially in the bigger metro cities. I hope to write something on this. My central concern is that there is no such thing as a free lunch or, alternatively, silver bullets. Some of the proposed solutions will introduce their own distortions and inequities
A second issue interconnected with the apartment boom are the planning failures now being revealed in the supply of services including especially education. Forecasting errors are central to those failures, a topic in its own right, as are the nature of decision lags and processes.
Another related issue is the use and abuse of quantitative measures. Here I record for later use (hat tip Legal Eagle) Every attempt to manage academia makes it worse.
The running Australian soap opera called energy policy is another example of planning failures accentuated by the application of ideological models independent of evidence. The problems Australia now has go back
Finally and for something different, for lovers of dark chocolate, the Huffington Post has provided nine reasons why you should it some every day.
I'm not saying the paper is right, but I do like dark chocolate.