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Welcome for visiting my blog. Hope you enjoy the visit and always welcome back again. Have a nice day!


Barnett's issue with CGC misses the point

Comments on Paul Kelly “The west is digging in against Labor”, 30/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/the-west-is-digging-in-against-labor/story-e6frg6zo-1225945329693
While Premier Barnett may have a point in terms of GST distribution on whether there should be a floor for any states, his attacks on the Grants Commission are misplaced.

While the use of black box is convenient to describe the Grants Commission when one has an issue with its recommendation, one should understand that most if not all of the methods are open and transparent, as are the process the Commission came to its methods and recommendation.

Further, the Commission only recommends a set of relativities which are supposed to be used to distribute the GST; the Commission does not have the power to force the relativities to be accepted by the commonwealth. It is the Treasurer who decides the distribution of the GST, albeit in most cases based on the recommendation of the Commission.

Another point is that the Commission reviews and develops its methods and calculates the GST relativities under the terms of reference from the commonwealth in consultation with the states. States could influence the commonwealth on the terms of reference. For example, the terms of reference for the commission's last review, the 2010 review which was completed in February, asked the commission to simplify its methods. So the commission did.

The problem is that it is often difficult for the states to agree on an alternative distribution principle to that adopted by the commission.

Beattie must be kidding

Comments on Peter Beattie “Swan succeeds where Obama fails”, 30/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/swan-succeeds-where-obama-fails/story-fn59niix-1225945028550
I am sure the comparison of Obama with Swan is relevant.

The condition in the US has been so different from Australia.

If policies developed or proposed are a guide, the RSPT, even the health reforms, don't lend support to the argument that the Treasurer is strong or can be a useful assistant to the PM.

Just think about what happened to Rudd - Swan was the Treasurer when Rudd was PM and RSPT was his baby and was the straw that crushed Rudd's prime ministership; he was promoted when Rudd was dumped!


Further QE unlikely to work when firms hoarding cash

Comments on Karen Maley “QE2 springs a leak”, 28/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/us-companies-unlikely-to-use-their-us1-trillion-cash/story-e6frg90f-1225944556660
The main issue for the QE2 is how effective it will be, given the behaviours of people and businesses in the US.

The following report says US businesses are hoarding trillion dollars.

Is further QE likely to change that behaviour?

It is an open question. But the answer is likely to be negative.

The current financial or monetary issue in the US is not lack of liquidity or the costs of credit or loans are too high.

They are not.

Further QE is likely to transform to more cash hoarding. And that is a problem.


More factors affecting regional growth in Australia

Comments on John Daley “NBN won't spur on the regions”, 28/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/nbn-wont-spur-on-the-regions/story-e6frg6zo-1225944415228
There are some more reasons why regional growth can be limited in Australia.

Australia's largest cities are still relatively small by world standard, even though there are some difficulties with urban infrastructures due to various reasons mainly from poor government planing policies and wastes in other areas. So it is more likely that our cities will get larger and larger and increase the share of urban population.

Another important point is that Australia is a try continent, meaning more frequent drought and lack of water, as well as very bushfire prong which will affect many people's decision on where to live, especially when climate change has become a big topic of our time.

Do people really want to live in places where daily water use can be a serious problem?

Do people really want to live in places where the fear of bushfires which could destroy their properties and cause the loss of lives is real and menacing?

I doubt it! This is because the costs of regional living in Australia are much higher if those natural issues are taking into account.


What climate policy should Australia adopt now?

Comments on Geoff Carmody “The only consensus on climate change is to chose the wrong policy”, 25/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/the-only-consensus-on-climate-change-is-to-chose-the-wrong-policy/story-e6frg6zo-1225942965363

The most cost effective approach is a broad based carbon tax.

It is much better than cap and trade with so many exclusions and administrative costs. Also the initial allocation of free permits and quotas cannot achieve fairness and equity.

In addition, revenue and trade neutrality will ensure fairness to every Australian and internationally, and not distort trade when uneven international climate change polices.

Revenue neutrality will avoid the government's using as a revenue raising measure.

Coupled with equal distribution of revenue among all Australians, revenue neutrality will create the basis for the most efficient emissions controlling policy.

Of course, it may also be necessary to provide other measures to encourage other emission reduction processes, such as reducing land clearing, planting more trees and etc. For this purpose, a small part of the carbon tax revenue can be retained to do it.

PS: a carbon tax can also be very flexible and start with a low tax rate but send an important price signal for both businesses and consumers. This is particularly useful given the current international uncertainty and the domestic uncertainty for businesses.


Australia's luck with commodities

Comments on Tim Harcourt "Making our own luck", 22/10/2010, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-airport-economist/making-our-own-luck/20101021-16vm9.html
Prediction can be a dangerous task, as the example of the visiting American executive did about the old/new economies in 2000 that Harcourt used and illustrated in his article. An outlook reasonable at the time can turn out to be far off course.

The past decade has been characterised by the huge growth of some big developing economies including China and India that pushed up demand for commodities and their prices.

Australia, with its abundant natural mineral reserves and large mining production benefited from that mining boom. As Harcourt pointed out, the terms of trade has been high. So the Aussie dollar is now at about parity with the $US.

In a sense, Australia has been lucky with the endowment of natural resources that typified the so called old economy, even though it is arguably hostage to the growth of the developing economies such as China and India.

It is surprising that Harcourt in the end also provided his own prediction for the next decade, risking the same danger that US executive had a decade ago!

Nobel Prizes

Comments on Julia Lovell “China’s quest for a suitable Nobel”, 21/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/21/chinas-quest-for-a-suitable-nobel/
As a Chinese Australian, I am trying to be apolitical on the subject of Liu's Nobel Peace Prize.

Arguably, among the Nobel Prizes, those related to natural sciences are the least disputable, while the peace prize can probably be the subject of the most disputes.

Leaving this year's Liu' aside, last year it was awarded to President Obama. I remember at the time, there were quite some different opinions and some were even hoping that the president would not accept it, but he did.

That reflects the rank of the Nobel prizes on different subjects above.

Having said that, I appreciate the fact that some of the Nobel peace prize laureates, like Mandela, are more than deserving the prizes.

But as a Chinese Australian, I also feel that the various Noble science prizes are less disputable on another basis, that is, on potential biases by language. Literate prize may be more affected by language, that is, literatures in some languages have lower chances of being recognised and awarded the Nobel literature prize.

The Nobel Prize on economics may be somewhere in between, but it is more under the influence of a different nature, although also related to mainstream or non-mainstream.

PS: Nobel Peace Prizes may be helpful or unhelpful to a particular peace process, depending on a whole range of matters.


Solutions to Euro zone woes

Comments on Bronwen Maddox “Rich states hit the bailout barrier”, 19/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/rich-states-hit-the-bailout-barrier/story-e6frg6zo-1225940378228
There are two options for the Euro zone to resolve its current woes:

1. to kick some members out of the zone

2. to allow an effective internal tariff between some troubled members and the others to lower the costs for the former and raise their competitiveness within the zone.

Dutch disease may not be that serious in Australia

Comments on Michael Stutchbury “Productivity retreat won't ease squeeze”, 19/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/productivity-retreat-wont-ease-squeeze/story-e6frg9p6-1225940390023
Our farmers may or may necessarily be hurt by the strong dollars.

It depends on the world price for food.

Isn't it true that the Russian fires and its restriction on wheat exports caused the price to go up? How much a bushel?

High dollar may be actually not that bad after all.

Most of our exports are primary goods and their prices have been high.

The share of outputs from those sectors squeezed may not be that large.

The US and currency war

Comments on Shiro Armstrong “Using the G20 to avoid currency war”, 18/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/18/using-the-g20-to-avoid-currency-war
For the US to justify its use of currency manipulation by China, the word manipulation must have a special meaning, given that China has largely pegged its currency to the $US and the rmb moved up and down with the $US as it moved up or down against other currencies in the past.

The argument by US politicians and some economists like Krugman that China steal US jobs especially in the wake of the GFC sounds very hollow, given that it was the US that was the epicentre of the GFC and together with the reduction in imports from those GFC severe countries that threatened the whole world.

The argument for a flexible exchange rate regime as adjusting to trade imbalance has both merits and fallacy.

It is not different from using deliberate depreciation to export one's own problems with the disguise of a market determination of exchange rate. That is no different from the "beggar thy neighbor" policy, albeit with the name of flexibility, or market mechanism.

But we all know markets can generate serious problems like bubbles. Who can say that trouble does not occur in the exchange rate markets?

The US has been in this situation for a while.

Mature or immature Asia?

Comments on Yoichi Funabashi “Asia’s clouded horizon”, 18/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/18/asias-clouded-horizon/
I am not sure whether this should be regarded as rational or irrational, mature or immature, realistic or as a burden of the past when talking about Asian affairs people often involve the US, this is particularly the case with those countries which have alliance with the US.

Until Asian countries can sit together with each other equally without resorting to external elements, Asia will not be itself that it should be.

All counties irrespective US allied or not, should develop a reasonable, rational regional framework in which there is mutual respect, responsibility and obligation that is a win-win for every member.

I look forward to that time, although that may be a very long journey.

Gillard needs to change direction and priority

Comments on Niki Savva “Lead on reform or lose way”, 19/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/lead-on-reform-or-lose-way/story-e6frg6zo-1225940390052
Gillard appears to be a good negotiator that is good for operation, but not a leader with strong vision and strategies to achieve that vision.

While it is a fact she succeeded in forming a government, with incumbent advantages and some left leaning Greens and independent MPs, she has paid high price over her poor performance since she became the Labor leader and PM before the election.

Real Julia versus other Julia. East Timor processing centres fiasco. No carbon tax versus her remark of silly games of ruling in and ruling out. Citizens assembly, dumping it and parliament committee. The debacles of her ministry names and inclusions or exclusions. All within a matter of how long?

They do not reflect well on her leadership.

She needs to delegate some of her negotiation tasks to her colleagues and concentrates on big issues and gets them right.

Maybe she hasn’t got a strong advisory team around her.

PS: For climate change policy, she needs to move to a flexible carbon tax with distribution of income to people. She needs somehow to broaden the mining tax base and lower the tax rate but have a lower floor. She needs an effective border protection strategy.


Features of Australian housing market and mysteries of bank funding

Comments on Jennifer Hewett “Something has to give in housing market”, 17/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/something-has-to-give-in-housing-market/story-e6frg6zo-1225939389620
It seems there are some mysteries here.

Why should the cost of funding for the banks have to be higher than that before the crisis, given that in many OECD countries the official interest rates are so low, either zero or close to it? Surely they were not as lows as such before the crisis. The differentials between the Australia and overseas interest rates should be larger now. That is a mystery why the funding costs for the banks are higher now.

The second mystery is the ratio of price to income. Surely, when international comparison is done, there should be some consistency required, including the cases with dual-income households and income from other sources.

One has to take into account some unique features of the Australian housing market. It is relatively small, close to Asia and overseas buyers can have a relatively large effects on demand and price.

This probably means the Australian house price is over valued as far as domestic income is concerned. However, overseas demand can sustain the over valued price and house bubbles in domestic terms may not burst as in other markets in other countries.

That, unfortunately, has some implications for Australians. Their housing is a double edged sword. For high income earners who can afford to buy a house, that is probably not too much a problem, even though the price is high, since the price will be higher in the future when you sell it so the overvalued value can be kept and rising further.

For low income earners, the higher housing costs are a real burden relative their income.

In this context, whether there is anything the government can do to assist them without being too disadvantages to high income earners remains to be seen.

On the other hand, the Australian banks enjoy more profits from higher house price, higher demand and higher lending than otherwise.


An alternative exchange regime

Comments on Ulrich Volz “A regional solution to global imbalances: We need a Beijing Accord”, 16/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/15/a-regional-solution-to-global-imbalances-we-need-a-beijing-accord/
While the dominant view on exchange rates in economic theories is the flexible regime, the regime has a fundamental weakness in terms of its inconsistency with the macroeconomic objective of price stability.

On the other hand, the fixed exchange rate regime in terms of one currency only like the $US has also its weakness when the $US is flexible with other main international currencies. It is moving with the $US against other currencies.

An alternative is to anchor a currency onto a basket of main international currencies. This will have some of the advantages of both the flexible and fixed exchange rate regimes. It is flexible with every of the main currencies that is anchored to and is fixed with the basket, that is the weighted currencies.

The best is with the the weights determined by a country's trade shares with those countries.

An alternative is to have an internationally recognised one, so that countries wish to anchor their currencies can do so. This international one should be based on a number of main trading nations, and its value against the main constituencies should be instantaneously be available just like a exchange market.

Another step in the alternative approach is to have a framework of adjustment mechanism if and when large international imbalances involving a country whose currency is anchored with those main currencies occur.


Dispute of the Diaoyu Islands between China (including Taiwan) and Japan

Comments on Kazuhiko Togo “Japan must acknowledge ‘territorial issue’ over islands”, 15/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/14/japan-must-acknowledge-territorial-issue-over-islands/
The claims by the parties and disputes over the islands have a long history.

One of the stories is that the US the occupier after WWII, should have returned those islands, together with other territories, to China but deliberately didn't which has resulted in the disputed situation.

Nevertheless, one has to face the current situation of claims of sovereignty by different parties.

If the parties can resolve their disputes peacefully, it is good and they should be left to do so.

Risking for being condemned by all parties, I would suggest that the different parties long involved in a dispute of this nature should devise a mechanism based on a combination of the senate and representative voting systems to have an effective joint control.

That will involve the compromise by all parties. But it will bring peace and benefit to all sides.

If they can’t, the question is: what is the international means to resolve international disputes of such nature?

There should be an international court under the UN Security Council to undertake this task.

But international territorial disputes are notoriously difficult to resolve. Just consider the issue of the situation between Israel and Palestine.


China's target to reducc carbon intensity

Comments on Zhongxiang Zhang “An assessment of China’s energy conservation and carbon intensity”, 14/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/14/an-assessment-of-chinas-energy-conservation-and-carbon-intensity/
There are a number of interesting points here.

Firstly, just like the use of carbon pollution by the Rudd government, this article uses dirty coal. One is not sure when clean coal technologies are used, whether coal will still remain dirty or not.

Second, many people say China's statistics are problematic. The question in terms of carbon intensity should perhaps not really be about that problem, but about the consistency of China's statistics. If the statistics are largely consistent over time, then it will not be a serious problem.

Thirdly, assuming the measure of intensity is consistent over time, then a question on whether China's target is ambitious or not, or credible or not, also involves whether the World Energy Outlook 2009 baseline levels (its business as usual levels) are correct or not, if they are to be used as a guide for evaluating China's target.

Fourthly, while it may be interesting to know that “the whole world is waiting to see whether China can turn this challenge into a win-win outcome for China and for global climate change”, it is also important for the rest of the world to take serious actions as opposed to “waiting to see”.

Lastly, while it is convenient to talk about China being the world’s largest aggregate emitter of carbon dioxide, one should not ignore the fact on per capita basis China’s emissions are only a fraction of those in most industrialised countries.

After all, it is the per capita level of emissions that is the key issue, given the huge variations in the size of countries across the world.

It is important to have this on any international negotiations on emission reduction, because that is arguably a human right issue and there is an issue of international equity and fairness involved in reduction obligations.

Isn't it misleading on climate change debate?

Comments on Des Moore “No consensus among climate scientists after all”, 14/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/no-consensus-among-climate-scientists-after-all/story-e6frg6zo-1225938383591
There are some points which are debatable in Moore's article.

Given that the uncertainties of the climate change and the possibility of government policies to curb emissions have existed for so long already, why should any investments in power generation be compensated at all if the government is to introduce a carbon price? It is a matter for any businesses/investors to judge for themselves to determine what technologies to use under this sort of uncertain business environment, isn't it?

Secondly, the statement of "slow progress of climate change discussion in China" is likely to be false and misleading. China has done and is doing more than Australia or the US in actions of tackling climate change, including forcing the closures of many high emission businesses and companies. Although that is not the best approach in terms of efficiency, fairness, how can those actions be defined as slow progress? By any standard? Especially given what has been happening here in Australia?

It is one thing to point out the existence of different opinions in the science of climate change, but it is another matter to resort to misleading statements for doing it.


Politics needs not be hypocritical!

Comments on Matthew Franklin “PM Julia Gillard promises reform wave”, 13/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/pm-promises-reform-wave/story-fn59niix-1225937893280
The government's NBN has done enough damage to Labor and the government's credibility on reforms, productivity, and Gillard's announcement of rail link in Sydney during the election campaign and her now saying "A rigorous, disciplined drive for reform has to inform all our economic decision-making," and "I want to take the market-based tools that have made our financial and industrial capital so much more productive" and etc.

What about her policy on the run, including the citizens' assembly during the election and now being dumped? No carbon tax during the election and now not ruling out it? Her minsitry names fiasco?

So far, it has not been looking too goo d for Gillard.
How can people believe anything they say?

Politics is hard, but it shouldn’t be that hypocritical and lack of integrity!

An independent national fiscal institution needed

Comments on Peter van Onselen “Political debate ignores role of debt in development”, 13/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/political-debate-ignores-role-of-debt-in-development/story-e6frg8zx-1225937860456
The current political and institutional arrangements are the main source of the problem you have identified in this post.

It seems there should be a rebalance between political government and more independent institutions that have adequate resources and the capacities to look into longer term and policies, as well as the evaluation of current and past policies for their alignment with longer terms issues.

What that means is we should consider and establish an independent institution similar to RBA in terms of independence from the day of the government to look after fiscal policy matters and policy options and effects.

It is a new thinking but has been long overdue.

PS: politics in western countries including Australia are mostly focused on shorter terms due to the political processes and the election cycles.  That is a fundamental weakness with the current state of democracy.

To balance that and to take account the importance of both democracy and longer term national interest, there should be some institutions which look after long term issues and policies and which are independent of the government and politics which are of short term in nature.

The independent judicial system in western countries is a good example.  A number of independent central banks in terms of monetary policies are another.

Lessons from government past failures on climate policy

Comments on Greg Combet “Put a price on a cleaner future”, 13/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/put-a-price-on-a-cleaner-future/story-e6frg6zo-1225937875487

Greg, some points to consider for lessons:

Government can get the price wrong or unnecessarily higher than it should or could be at taxpayers’ expenses, so it is not just a matter of a price. We need the best and lowest price to be costly effectively and efficient!

Labor tradition of tough reforms – what about the abandon of the ETS in last term?

Climate change: is the science a complete certainty?

The CPRS: government needs to consider why both the coalition and the Greens opposed it. Further was the CPRS a good or a flawed approach? It can’t and shouldn’t simply think any scheme is good!

There are more points the government should consider.

Government and taxpayers need vigilance against special interest companies/groups

Comments on James Massola “NBN is financially viable, says Optus”, 13/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/industry-sectors/nbn-is-financially-viable-says-optus/story-e6frg9hx-1225938048763
This is a ridiculous and shamelessly naked act of self interest from a special interest company!

How can Optus know the financial viability of the NBN?

Companies sometimes even don't know their own financial viability, let along others'!

Optus obliviously will benefit from government spending on NBN, even though it is taxpayers who will pay for it.


Climate change policy key to Gillard's governing

Comments on Paul Kelly “Gillard's main fight lies ahead”, 9/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/gillards-main-fight-lies-ahead/story-e6frg6zo-1225936191039
Undoubtedly Gillard will face more difficult times ahead in governing and in being effective and reformative.

However, on carbon price, it should not be too difficult for Gillard to design and implement.

The key is revenue neutrality and with "people" as opposed to big business in mind.

If it is revenue neutral and any proceeds go back to people for their rights to good environment and climate in this context, a carbon price (more likely tax at the moment with the Greens in the driver seat) will not be as taxing to most people as the CPRS designed by the Rudd government.

This is because there will not be too much of the revenue spent on business subsidies under the pressure of business lobby.

Further, the revenue will not be siphoned to government pocket.

It will all go to people who will have to pay for the tax and switch to higher cost energies for a while.

If the majority of the electorate is with the government, then what should it be fearful for?

So, if the government is not greedy for itself to get the revenue and is fair to people, a carbon price/tax should be an easy matter for it to introduce.

Of course, trade neutral is also important to sell it to business and the public at large.

If Gillard can be successful in climate change policy, she will have achieved a lot in economic reforms. Then it is not too difficult to deal with others.

National guideline for curriculum versus national curriculum

Comments on Justine Ferrari “A curriculum at the crossroads”, 9/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/a-curriculum-at-the-crossroads/story-e6frg6zo-1225936206830
The current national curriculum attempt, while having its merits, has been wrong from the start.

It is an attempt of centralisation by Canberra, or the federal government.

With that in mind, it is difficult to leave enough flexibility to suit different circumstances across the nation.

What it should have been doing is a high level guideline of curriculum rather than a uniform national curriculum.

Think outside the Murray-Darling Basin!

Comments on Graham Lloyd “Plans must stay true to use of scarce resource”, 9/10/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/plans-must-stay-true-to-use-of-scarce-resource/story-e6frg6xf-1225936209319
Given the reported costs to both farmers due to water cuts and the government due to water buy back, why don't the nation and indeed the Commission think outside the square to be creative and more cost effective and efficient in dealing with the environment?

The thinking should be outside the basin, not just within it!

For example, with those costs in mind, why can't the nation (the government) spend some money in getting water from the northern part of the country into the river system?

Australia is a dry continent. It pays to build water infrastructure to utilise natural rain water from the north. That will last forever and will be a true nation building project.

PS: The article starts with:
"IT is tempting to let the focus stray from the parlous state into which the river system was allowed to slip.

WITH the Murray-Darling Basin charged, birds returning to the wetlands and the rivermouth open to the sea for the first time in half a decade, it is tempting to let the focus stray from the parlous state into which the river system was allowed to slip.
Environmentally, the starting point of yesterday's report by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority that the river mouth remain open at least 90 per cent of the time is a good one.
Consistent flows are needed to preserve the health of the internationally important wetlands such as the Coorong and Lower Murray Lakes and ensure the continued overall health of the system."

G20 and other world and international institutions

Comments on Thom Woodroofe “The G20: More development needed”, 10/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/10/the-g20-more-development-needed-2/
The G20 should consolidate on its role in world economic and financial affairs first to make it both effective and efficient to steer the world economy and ensure financial stability.

In that role, the G20 should gradually play a leading role in coordinating the agendas of main international economic and financial institutions like the world trade organisation, IMF and the World Bank.

It is possible and indeed desirable for G20 to play a leading role in negotiating a world climate change agreement. The UN should mandate G20 such a role, perhaps as its effective climate change secretariat.

At this stage, it appears more difficult for the G20 to play the role for world security, given the complexity of security issue. Just imagine, if the five UN security permanent members could not reach agreement on some issues, how could the G20 which include all those five to reach agreement on the same issues?

So, the best strategy for the G20 is to play a role in areas it can be successful and gradually to establish itself to be an effective world body, and then to broaden its agenda and influences, including possibly the reforms of UN governing mechanisms


The US has got too much at hands!

Comments on Donald Emmerson “China’s ‘frown diplomacy’ in Southeast Asia”, 8/10/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/08/chinas-frown-diplomacy-in-southeast-asia/
The US has many things to be concerned or worry about, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the middle east, its economy in terms of slow recovery, high unemployment and big deficits.

The book of Obama's Wars reflects part of the problems the US has been having: its military still thinks it is invincible and can win the Afghanistan war to a decent standard, but its political master has to consider its costs in both short and long terms and has to take a different direction.

In that context and with implications for the Southeast Asia region, the following from the post is interesting to note:

"As for the divergence of Southeast Asian and American perspectives on China, suffice it to recall this remark by a high-ranking official in an ASEAN country: ‘Remember,’ he told me, ‘for us in Asia, the US is geopolitical, but China is geographical.’ In other words: Faraway friends are welcome and helpful, but the local landscape is a permanent fact. One has to adapt to it — and to the seascape — to survive."


Is IMF credible in lecturing other governments?

Comments on David Uren “Labor facing storm clouds: International Monetary Fund”, 30/09/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/labor-facing-storm-clouds-international-monetary-fund/story-fn59niix-1225932014281
I used to have high respect for IMF the fund, but not any more since its appalling responses to the Asia financial crisis in 1997.

It has changed any bit for any better ever since.

It always lectures other governments in the world on this or that, even though it itself cannot do its job properly.

Isn't that enough to ignore what it says?