Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: July 2008

I love notes I write when procrastinating. btw, Boguslawski is a case which states that retrospective recognition of states extends back in time, only insofar as the effective control of the recognised government could be said to exist.

Originally posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 5:34pm

Ok. I’m far far too busy to be posting notes but this has to be said:

Two things I’ve noticed whilst studying law.

1) The name of the Hon. presiding judge in Moore v Mitchell is “Judge Learned Hand.”

2) There is a case (for some reason omitted from our syllabus) called Boguslawski

(full name: Boguslawski v. Gdynia-Ameryka Linje Zeglugowe Spolka Akcynja)

Praise be to Heaven.


Note: I never actually made proper notes for third-year pre-honours… ironically because I spent my time writing notes for second-year pre-honours in preparation for third year pre-honours. Lol. Anyway, here are the notes I uploaded as a facebook note.

Originally posted: Saturday April 12, 10:16am

This note is mainly for my own purposes, as I find it highly likely I will lose my notes I made on finance (I think I’ve already lost them, so I might as well jot them down now). Also, I don’t feel like starting my law assignment or my mooting just yet. In a kingdom of blind men, procrastination rules supreme.

Now, I’ve just finished reading up on the Finance second year Pre-Honours course (which I didn’t do, but have to know since I’m doing third year pre-honours this semester). I have come to the conclusion that it is actually remarkably simple.

Before the emergence of sophisticated capital markets, investors were restricted to simple choices which limited their freedom to choose. Fortunately, Adam Smith came away, blew away all the communists and established efficient capital markets which increased freedom of choice considerably. However, the question remains, what financial asset will a sophisticated investor choose?

Fortunately, financial economic provides an answer by limiting the choice set considerably, and providing a few simple choices in this complicated, and most sophisticated financial system- regardless of an individual investor’s preferences.

We call this the Fisher Separation Theorem. You have an absolute freedom to like whichever assets you like, and the absolute freedom to choose whatever assets you wish to buy within the range of your initial monetary endowment. This is strictly separated from how you will actually exercise your choice, which, if you are smart, you will exercise in exactly the way we say.

But look, we’re not elitist. We think everyone is smart, or as we like to say “rational”. But there are problems, for example people who both gamble (a sign of risk-loving) and buy insurance (a sign of risk-aversion). How could this be?

Fortunately, Milton Friedman in his infinite majesty proposed a solution: maybe some investors are both risk-averse and risk-loving? Some other guy (Friedman’s blinding light blocked all light from reaching his name) disagreed, at his own peril. One does not simply disagree with Milton fucking Friedman. I admire his guts – one for standing up to Milton Friedman, and two for abandoning everything for a guaranteed place in the unemployment queue. But back to his actual disagreement. He thought that risk-loving was always irrational, and that’s fair enough. We have an absolute say over what people believe in America, I mean look at our mega-churches. Instead he proposed an alternate solution entirely consistent with being rational- maybe people are stupid, and can’t calculate simple probabilities. What if they thought they had a 1/5 chance of winning instead of a 1/10 chance? If we do a few calculations, we see buying into this 1/5 lottery is the same as buying into insurance (if he similarly stupidly believes he can get a payout without going to court for a few years against the monopolistic industry gods). It’s mathemagic!

But hey, let’s get back to being rational. You can believe whatever you want, but here’s a few rules for what you need to do to be smart.

(1) cowardice: you must be risk-averse. You can’t argue with me on this point, because I’ve just defined you to be a coward, and cowards don’t fight back remember?
(2) You are absolutely self-serving and would sell out your own grandmother if you got an extra cent. This is a logical conclusion from the fact that you are a coward and unable to stand up for any principles except the ones propounded in this article.
and there’s a few others, which I won’t list because I’m rational. It would take effort, and that’s a definite no-no without adequate payment. It’s about 5c/60 mins for hard manual labour, and $60m/5mins for sitting at a desk and pretending to be a CEO.

So in conclusion, we have financial theory to thank for making us so very sophisticated (and above all, incredibly rich). It removed the barriers choice, freeing us of those few simple choices and maximising our utilities. But to deal with the complexities of the financial markets, financial economics developed many restrictive assumptions to simplify everything down to a few simple choices. Isn’t it wonderful?

This first plank of my evil plan to archive my old facebook notes on this blog. No password, since this post discloses no private information.

Wow reading my old note brings back memories. That was a great night. Incredibly pompous theater with friends, followed by exotic Lebanese food where they refused to give us tobacco. My recommendation as an economist to be: watch this if you can.

[Archived facebook note follows]

Originally posted Nov 28, 2007 at 2:52pm

To celebrate the victory of a faux economic conservative, there was but one choice- to watch the Musical We Had To Have- a celebration of a real economic conservative- the Honourable Paul John Keating.

Keating is a brilliant and witty production. It begins by following Keating’s life from his own personal wages break-out from Bankstown to become the beloved patron of the arts, and stretches all the way to the rapid disinflation of his career. (Those of you unfortunate enough not to do an economics major may miss the puns in that last sentence.)

Not only does it incorporate many of Keating’s best one-liners as songs, it creates new one liners: “Have you noticed the suit?” which are so very Keatingesque. The famed arrogance is immediately apparent- a lackadaisical Keating reclined against a wall describing himself for those few unfamiliar with his fame, and continues throughout in songs like “Ruler of the Land”, whose chorus is “who is the man- you’re the man!”.

I’m not normally one to focus on the technical aspects of productions but I was most impressed with the innovative use of the sparse props and stage space. Keating himself would have been most impressed with such innovation. The sheer range of music was great, and this musical has the distinction of being the only thing ever to make me enjoy a rap song. The actors’ facial expressions were brilliant, and I’m amazed I could tell what they were expressing from so far away.

But its not all flash and glitter. Like Keating himself, there are glaring faults. I’m quite sympathetic to the conservative criticism by eg. Andrew Bolt, that lefty type productions needlessly indulge in swearing and filth for the heck of it. Downer’s “I’m so freaky” song could have been cut in half and used perhaps only as a one-liner, though obviously the outrageousness of the performance was a part of the joke. Whilst I’m on the topic of criticism, I should say that Peter Hartcher is a true philistine. Apparently he said that this musical was historically inaccurate. What? Keating didn’t win in 1996, well blow me down! He is truly all tip and no iceberg.

I’m sure I missed a lot of references, but there are references aplenty that I understood. Cheryl Kernot’s great line: “you’re my foreign affair!” and Keating’s “so fight back” then pushing Hewson off the stage were amongst the highlights. Unlike Rudd, it really inspires one to fight for what’s right. I must admit that song near the end “The Light on the Hill” made me a bit emotional. Solid stuff. Go watch it now, the profits won’t go to ALP Head Office or union thugs.