Friday, September 28, 2007

Sixty pint beer binge leads to four-week hangover

It may be the longest hangover in the history of binge beer drinking. When a 37-year old man walked into a hospital emergency room in Glasgow, Scotland last October complaining of "wavy" vision and a non-stop headache that had lasted four weeks, doctors were at first stumped, the British journal The Lancet reported Friday.


Friday, September 14, 2007

London House Prices Fall Most in Three Years, Rightmove Says

The average asking price for a home in London declined 2.5 percent to 384,439 pounds ($774,000) from August, according to Britain's biggest real-estate Web site. The reading is taken from a survey conducted from Aug. 12 to Sept. 8.

Via Bloomberg

The RighMove House Price Index September 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Are you rich?

Here is the annual income distribution for the year 2005-2006, more data here


The case against Grants

Grants are used in the UK to promote renewable technologies, the market is not big enough so Grants by raising the demand increase the development of these technologies.
But Grant is not a neutral act in the economy, it's a transfer from the tax payer to the person who are gonna invest in these technologies - some would argue it's a transfer directly to the producer but it would be hard to argue that without any data-.

- Market distortion
The Grant are given to approved technology, these has the following consequences :
. Grant are running after the technology, post approving the development
. Innovator have incentive to stick to the approve technology, neglecting unforeseen development - it raise the cost of non mainstream development, because of the risk of not behind consider for a grant, and the red tape to be approve-.

- Unfairness
. Grant go to the people that can afford the installation, it's not the poorest. It's a transfer to the rich.
. It neglects effort by poor people that find other solution to the problem that are innovative but not technology related. e.g. If I save my 20% by turning the light off nobody is gonna give me money.

- Cost
. To finance Grant you need to raise taxes to finance the Grant and the allocation of the Grant.
. Taxe is always expensive, if you collect 1 it's gonna cost the economy 1.5
. Redtape to deal with the administration of approved technology, installer

- Evualation problem
. It's really hard to evaluate the impact of a Grant because you need to compare with what would have happen if the Grant was not implemented.

- Global renewable market
One can anyway ask the question of the effect of the Grant in one country when the markets are global.

So what do you do? The recommended solution is definitely taxes, - remember that anyway in grants you've got taxes-.
Taxes energy on their CO2 emission is probably the best way to achieve these goals
. it's non intrusive - only distort in the way we want it - and fair - if you use the collected money to compensate the poor family-.
. it's effect it's on all the national market, not only the technology preselected.
. it cost less than grants - no approver, distribution -.
. it's not easily corrupt by rent seeker.

The Pigou Club is a group of economist in favor of such tax in the USA.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

All that for that ??

TfL said it had clarified assurances on jobs and pensions during Tuesday's talks.

Asked if anything new had been offered during the talks, Mr Hendy said: "There isn't anything fresh in terms of 'meat' to give them.

"They had... all of the assurances on Thursday and Friday."

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said they now had the assurances, they had been seeking, in writing from the employer.

BBC News

F*****g T**ts

-- Update

Considering the profile of the guy ...

Bob Crow - socialist leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union; former communist, friend of one-time miners' leader Arthur Scargill and - depending on what you read - the man who has a bust of Karl Marx and a portrait of Che Guevara in his office.

On BBC, and on Wikipedia.

We should probably buy him a one way ticket to cuba ...