Tag Archives: economic illiterate

Media Confuses Millions, Billions

11 May

Oh the joy of being an unaccountable media scumbag!  Having the power to destroy the credibility (and ministerial career?) of Senator Barnaby Joyce for a mere slip of the tongue over “millions” and “billions”… yet not even being able to get it right yourself.  In print!

Count the number of times two different “esteemed” media services have got it wrong themselves in this news story, from The Australian, via AFP:

Europe agrees to aid package with EU and IMF funds that could top $1bn

From: AFP May 10, 2010 – 11:08AM

  • Europe to give $630m in aid
  • With IMF contributions aid could hit $1bn
  • Struggling euro expected to surge on deal

EUROPE has agreed a package of crisis aid for troubled eurozone countries totaling “more than 500 billion euros,” ($718 million) which will be topped up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a European Union diplomat told AFP.

The fund would be made up of €440 billion from eurozone countries and another €60 billion of loan funds coming from the European Commission, with more again from the IMF, the source said.

Spanish finance minister Elena Salgado suggested the IMF’s involvement could take the package up to €720 billion.

I’m guessing that the total amount they’re talking about – the figure that should be in the headline – is $1 Trillion. And therefore, that the “more than 500 billion euros” mentioned in the first paragraph should have had “($718 billion)” written after it.  And not “($718 million)”.


Tanner Lied About Whitlam Debt

1 Mar

Tanner - "We were not in debt under Whitlam"

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner recently defended the Whitlam legacy on the ABC’s Q&A program, claiming that the Whitlam Government had no debt:

“In the period when the Whitlam government was in office, most people would be surprised by this, Australia had negative net debt,” Mr Tanner told ABC Television on Monday night.

We were not in debt under the Whitlam government.

Note carefully: that’s not one, but two intriguing claims. That Whitlam had (1) Negative Net debt, and (2) no debt.

I’ve done a little digging in the RBA Statistics archives, to see if Tanner was telling the truth. The results so far suggest that he lied…

Continue reading ‘Tanner Lied About Whitlam Debt’

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