Carbon price:

Doug Clark writes: Re. “Euro vision: Australia’s new carbon regime explained” (yesterday, item 2). What I can’t get my head around is at what point the government gets the money from the certificates to do good works, and the EU solution is not making it clearer.

I keep thinking of a company raising capital by issuing and selling shares to investors at the issue price. This is the primary market, and the issuing company gets the money. The company may then list on the stock exchange and its shares are traded. This is the secondary market where buyers and sellers come together to trade shares, but the issuing company gets nothing from these secondary trades.

With the ETS, the government issues the certificates and polluters must buy them at the set price (which will now be tied to the EU market price) if they want to keep polluting. Is this like the primary market, and the government keeps the money? Then there is a secondary market in the certificates, especially in Europe and the certificates are traded pretty actively.

So the polluters have the choice: they can either buy certificates on the secondary market (which is cheaper at the moment) or buy new ones from the government. If the market price is cheaper, why would you ever buy from the government? Clearly they’ll have to track the market, or offer a discount, or people will just buy on the market and the government won’t raise any revenue for good works.

Have I missed something?

Nigel Brunel writes: Cathy Alexander wrote:

“Until then we were the southern hemisphere’s mouse that roared on climate change.”

With respect — New Zealand was and is the only country outside of the EU with a federal ETS. Although we — New Zealand — are not a mouse, more of a microbe.

Jeffrey Bleich:

Terry Quinn writes: Re. Yesterday’s EditorialCrikey wrote:

“There’s an argument to be made that Jeffrey Bleich is one of the most powerful people in Canberra. And you’ve probably never heard of him.”

First Crikey tells its subscribers that high profile Jeffrey Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia, could be one of the most powerful people in Canberra. Fair call. Then Crikey tells its subscribers they probably haven’t heard of him. Game set and match a clanger!

  • Crikey is proud its Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane has filed a wide-ranging, topical interview with the US Ambassador to Australia. Tick
  • Crikey thinks the ambassador arguably is “one of the most powerful people in Canberra”. Tick
  • Crikey thinks its subscribers are dills. Tick
  • Crikey therefore thinks its subscribers probably haven’t heard of the ambassador who arguably is one of the most powerful people in Canberra. Tick
  • Crikey actually tells its subscribers this! Tick
  • Crikey thereby pulls the rug from under the very article it is promoting — about a high profile ambassador talking about a high profile widely reported issue on which he has already been quoted in mainstream media such as The Australian, the SMH and the ABC. Tick
  • Crikey thereby embarrasses its Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane. Tick
  • And the clincher … Crikey insults US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich (probably a subscriber himself so make that a double). Tick