Swine Flu: you wouldn’t want to bet on it

Thanks to Renata Avila of Global Voices for the link to this Swine Flu Map from Health Map.

Intrade also have a new Future Trading market: How many cases of the A/H1N1 Swine Flu will be confirmed in the United States?

It’s a bit like betting on the black death.

Kevin Rennie

End of Recession in Sight!

I hate to say I told you so…

BUT, according to Wayne Swan the economic recovery will be much faster than previously expected with the turnaround anticipated by the end of 2010.

So all you doomsayers were wrong, and me and Shane were right.

Of course, that is if you believe Wayne Swan.

Mr Swan says Australia’s recovery will be faster than international forecasts predict.

He’s rejected suggestions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that recovery will be slow.

“No, absolutely not,” he told ABC Radio.

“We are in extraordinary times. We are in the middle of global recession. The forecasts do need to reflect that.”

Mr Swan reportedly has told state treasurers his recovery scenario in the budget would have the economy bouncing back to above-average growth rates, close to four per cent, at the end of the recession.

The turnaround should be visible around the end of 2010, followed by good growth.

That’s in line with what occurred after the 1990-92 and 1981-82 recessions, although the IMF predicts this recovery will be much slower.

The government will provide detailed forecasts for both 2009-10 and 2010-11 when the budget is delivered on May 12.

The forecast for 2010-11 would normally be based on trend growth, Mr Swan said.

A new report pointing to a $40 billion reduction in revenues, due to the fall in commodities prices, demonstrated the brutal impact of the global financial crisis on government revenues.

“The consequence of that is a higher temporary deficit,” he said.

You don’t say. I wonder if Wayne is softening us up with this long term vision of good news in the lead up to the short term bad news budget. No doubt the World’s Greatest Treasurer will surface from the pit to provide his remarkable analysis of the budget in a couple of week’s time.

Electricity – to privatise or not

After the blackout again today, there has been discussion on whether privatisation of electricity is a good or bad thing.

Can we bring the discussion into this thread as I think we will all learn a lot if we have a dedicated thread for this?