Reserve Bank defends transparency on rates policy

Thursday March 25, 2010

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 10:09 pm

According to the ABC:

The Governor of the Reserve Bank has shrugged off concerns about transparency regarding its interest rate decisions.

A step in the direction of transparency might be to be publish how members of the RBA Board vote. The US Fed publishes this information. The minutes of the RBA Board’s meetings on monetary policy are quite vague by comparison.

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Centrebet Federal election market is down

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 5:52 pm

Centrebet’s Federal election betting market is down; screenshots from their site, below, with no entry for the Australia Federal election market.

Has the Minchin resignation and the Coalition front-bench reshuffle got Centrebet spooked? Has a punter tried to drop a big wager in this market?

Screen Shot 2010-03-25 At 5.50.51 Pm

Screen Shot 2010-03-25 At 5.54.13 Pm

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Health Care Reform vote

Sunday March 21, 2010

Filed under: politics,R — jackman @ 8:57 pm

A little bit of churn relative to the House’s 1st shot at this but otherwise a remarkably similar vote, with an estimated cutpoint almost at the same place; see some raw R output, below the fold, after the thumbnail…


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Senators’ ideal points against Obama vote

Thursday March 18, 2010

Filed under: politics,R — jackman @ 9:04 pm

I added another plot to the output generated by my overnight ideal point scripts: a scatterplot of estimated Senate ideal points against Obama vote share in their state (color coded by party, local linear regression overlays by party, labels for some big residuals).

I suppose I’m surprised by the way that the loess curve for the Democrats flattens out to the left of 50% Obama vote share. It is an interesting picture to stare at and speculate as to why that is the case: party whipping by the Dems, agenda control (distorting our estimates of the ideal points of Dems in ranks, say, 35-60), lack of fit by the one-dimensional model, some combination of all this, something else…

Outliers: Coburn (R-OK), Demint (R-SC) and Ensign (R-NV) among the Reps; Lieberman (really a Dem?, and a positive residual), and two big negative Dem residuals, Brown (D OH) and Harkin (D IA).

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Major Jim Golby

Friday March 12, 2010

Filed under: general — jackman @ 6:25 pm

We just held a very touching ceremony where one of our PhD students, Jim Golby, was promoted to Major, United States Army.

It was a very classy ceremony, held indoors in our seminar room (!) on a rainy Friday here at Stanford, but well attended by a mix of family, friends, students and faculty. Jim’s wife helped pin the Major’s insignia on his uniform. During the ceremony we learned that Jim is up for this promotion about a year early. Congratulations…

We’re running about 2 military admits a year to our PhD program, mainly Army. Ceremonies like that today help remind us why we love having these men and women in our Department.

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Australian beach on world best list

Filed under: Australian Politics,general — jackman @ 12:57 pm

The ABC reports:

An iconic Australian beach will be made one of the world’s first ever “surfing reserves”.

The beach, which will not be named until later this year, will join Wakiki in Hawaii and Malibu in California on the newly established list which recognises exceptional surf beaches around the world.

Kirra? Bells? Angourie? “Iconic” suggests Bondi. Moreover, saying “Malibu” is about as specific as saying the “Gold Coast”. So I wonder.

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Stata Fail

Wednesday March 10, 2010

Filed under: computing,R,statistics — jackman @ 1:45 pm

From a recent mailing from Stata (highlighting by me):


Funnily enough, there is a Daniel Rubin, a bio-informatics person here at Stanford.

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principal components and image reconstruction

Tuesday March 9, 2010

Filed under: computing,R,statistics — jackman @ 5:47 pm

Jeff Lewis at UCLA told me he teaches principal components with an image reconstruction example. This got me inspired to try it myself.

A snapshot appears below, showing how the image quality improves quickly with a relatively small number of principal components. A full, Sweaved write up is here, making use of the biOps package in R.


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Rudd picks a fight with NSW over health reform

Thursday March 4, 2010

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 4:21 pm

I mean, why wouldn’t you? A very (un)popular target… e.g.,

Screen shot 2010-03-04 at 4.18.23 PM.jpg

And if nothing else, we’re not talking about Peter Garrett etc this week.

From the ABC :

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has accused New South Wales Labor politicians of pushing health bureaucrats to actively undermine his $50 billion hospitals reform program.

Mr Rudd says the state’s Labor politicians are spreading a “deliberate fear campaign” against his funding takeover plan, which would pump one third of state GST revenue directly into hospitals.

And he says other states are doing it too.

“This is a deliberate fear campaign being used by New South Wales health bureaucrats, backed perhaps by New South Wales state politicians, to prevent or get in the road of fundamental health and hospital reform, because they don’t want change,” he told Fairfax Radio.

I wonder if the line about a “deliberate fear campaign” was delivered with a grin, wink, nod…?

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Another Newspoll, another tick down for Labor at Centrebet

Monday March 1, 2010

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 2:19 pm

Newspoll has 52-48 2PP (1 point change towards the Coalition since 2 weeks ago).
The betting markets seem to be responding: Centrebet has Labor to 1.30, Coalition to 3.40, probability of a Labor win is down to 0.72. Labor was last at 1.30 on Sept 7 last year. Time series here.

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