Saturday, July 8, 2017

Obama on March 2011 said the following to Justify the war on Libya.
"For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -– Muammar Qaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world –- including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents. (See complete speech here)
It turned out later in Obama had no evidence for his statement."

The 2016 UK Foreign Affairs Committee report says:
“We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. … UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.” “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Qadhafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence. While [he] certainly threatened violence against those who took up arms against his rule, this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty.”

Great, Nobel Peace prize wining president or what?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

US Unemployment Low or High

I keep getting this question of low unemployment numbers of US reported in the media, whereas I say there is high unemployment in the US.

So first the point form answer.

a) What the media reports is U3 from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). U3 are those unemployed and participating in the labor force, i.e looking for a job.

b) There is also a measure called U6, which is supposed to measure all unemployed.

c) Both U3 and U6 have issues because both use a model, birth death (of companies) to get all the U numbers.

Birth Death Model of Jobs
The biggest problem in the reported U statistics is the Birth Death model. By some estimates, 93% of the "jobs created" and "40% of jobs" (2016) are from the birth death model.  To quote "On the contrary, all data on establishment births and deaths point to an ongoing decrease in entrepreneurship."
 The birth death model originated in the biological sciences (I'll get the exact name one of these days). The model is also used in pricing Credit Default Swaps (CDS).  (I used to code this stuff)

The basic idea being,
 i) get a estimate of how many companies at a particular credit rating (eg AAA) lose their credit rating within time frames (trees)
ii) Use the above info for probabilities of a company (or basket) to loose their Credit Rating. Then price the CDS.

As you can see just the estimates can be problematic. Slight tweak and you get the numbers you want.

 So the caveat, when you read that the economy added more jobs, note that it was from a model (not a two legged one), a math model.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ex-LTTE cadres protest NPC takeover of Army-managed farms and pre-schools

Ex-LTTE cadres,  carrying placards went in the procession, chanting slogans demanding that their livelihood not be hampered by handing over the agricultural farms, managed by the Army, to the Northern Provincial Council.

The participants at the demonstration pointed out that more than 10,000 ex-LTTE cadres would be jobless if the farms run by the Army are taken over by the NPC and they would also be mismanaged. According to the participants, each person employed at the agricultural farms managed by the Army, earns nearly Rs 30,000 and the payment is made by the Ministry Defence.

They also pointed out that a large number of rehabilitated ex-women cadres and women from the families living below the poverty line have also been employed by the Civil Security Department (CSD) as pre-school teachers.

The demonstrators pointed out that the CDS trained pre-school teachers would also be in dilemma if the NPC takes over the pre-schools. A petition, urging the government not to get rid of the Army managed agricultural farms and the pre-schools, run by the CDS, was handed over to the District Secretary of Kilinochchi by the protestors yesterday.

from by  Ananth Palakidnar 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Saudi Arabia is now on UN Commission on the Status of Women

Saudi Arabia is now on UN Commission on the Status of Women. SA is also Head (or is it Behead) of the UN Human Rights Council..

Twelve other countries were also elected by the council in Geneva to serve for a four-year term, ending in 2022: Algeria, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Turkmenistan, Ecuador, Haiti and Nicaragua.

Every Saudi woman “must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars,” Neuer added.

Who voted for Saudi Arabia? At least 5 EU nations based on UN Watch math