McKitrick Rebuts Deutsche Bank

McKitrick replies to Deutsche Bank here.

50 Comments

  1. Craig Loehle
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You are so mean, Ross, expecting attention to detail from a Bank! Oh, wait…

  2. Alan Bates
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A minor error (IMHO) on Page 11. Second para reads:

    CABR correctly disputed my remark that the Briffa data were tree ring densities: they were temperature estimates based on tree ring densities. My statement otherwise was incorrect.

    I presume the last word should read ‘correct’, not ‘incorrect’.

    • JonasM
      Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Alan: No, ‘incorrect’ is the right word. The word ‘otherwise’ in that statement means ‘other than temperature estimates….’

      I stumbled over that too, until I re-read it.

      • JonasM
        Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Damn re-writing – I ended up with something that made no sense.

        Alan: No, ‘incorrect’ is the right word. The word ‘otherwise’ in that statement means ‘that Briffa data were tree ring densities….’

        I stumbled over that too, until I re-read it.

        • Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

          I had another reader complain that the sentence was too obscure, so I changed it to read

          CABR correctly disputed my remark that the Briffa data were tree ring densities: they were in fact temperature estimates based on tree ring densities. My claim that the graph was the density data itself was incorrect.

  3. Bernie
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have just checked out the web site for this group – some of the material on the blog site could have been written by Joe Romm, it is that bad! If Deutsche Bank is funding and/or relying on this type of analysis then they are doing a gross disservice to their shareholders and clients. I am aware that considerable business is being generated by so called green projects especially in developing countries and DB presumably is looking for a piece of this action. However, the quality of this analysis, as Ross clearly demonstrates, is so bad as to be embarrassing for DB. It is on a par with the shills on TV promoting gold and stain removal products.

  4. BDAABAT
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That’s not just a reply… that’s an evisceration!

    Bruce

  5. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is DB in the “Hockey league”?
    Ask DB to print the graph with the green decline.

  6. Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Not only is this a nice rebuttal, but it’s a very nice encapsulation of the hockey stick issue that even I, as a complete layman, can understand (apart from not knowing what “de-centered PCs” are.) ;)

  7. JEM
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Deutsche Bank report is fascinating. I’m trying to figure out who the audience is.

    Surely it’s not the kind of thing, absent other reports from other sources less willing to stick their heads in the sand regarding the behavior of the Manns and Joneses, that would drive the decision-making process at an institution like Deutsche Bank?

    Was it floated out to the public as an effort by the bank to brush up its ‘green’ public image?

    • Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 10:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

      One would have thought that banks were generally well acquainted with the consequences of misleading customers with graphs which purport to plot important quantities versus time, but omit critical information!

  8. RDCII
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am so tired of the “trick” of focussing on the word “trick” in order to “hide” the usage of the word “hide”.

    Anytime anyone does this, just ask them this question: “What were they wanting to hide, who were they trying to hide it from, and why did they feel it needed to be hidden?”

    I think that puts the emphasis back on the right part of the sentence. Trick may have multiple usages, but “hide” absolutlely means an action to prevent someone else from finding/seeing something.

    This was a great rebuttal. As always, I am as impressed with the analytical thinking presented on this site as I was initially disappointed with the obviously poor analyses on most pro-AGW sites.

    Those interested in a simple and clear explanation of “decentered PCs” should seek out “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, by A.W. Montford.

    • mrsean2k
      Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: RDCII (Nov 9 16:33),

      WRT “trick” and “hide”, this is obvious when you point it out, which is a sure sign you have an excellent point.

      Why, indeed, use of the word “hide”? I don’t buy the appropriation of the word “trick” as it’s spun, but at least there’s a grounds for appeal. Not so with “hide” – all of the damning connotations neatly distilled.

      If the line that this is form of wording intending to discuss making things clear, why not even “trick to clarify the trend” / “trick to highlight the increase”.

      But no. The correspondents know full well what they’re doing and why they think it needs to be done.

  9. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll second, for Jeff Alberts’ benefit, the plug for “The Hockey Stick Illusion”.

    As for DB, I smell carbon trading. WUWT reports that the Chicago exchange on this has just gone defunct, but in letters to The Times yesterday (November 8th) a group including our Climate Secretary Huhne was calling for Cancun to help create carbon markets, even with suggested prices needed.

    I hope this comment will not get snipped; my last one was – but I’m not bearing a grudge, much :-)

    Rich.

    • Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

      WUWT reports that the Chicago exchange on this has just gone defunct, but in letters to The Times yesterday (November 8th) a group including our Climate Secretary Huhne was calling for Cancun to help create carbon markets, even with suggested prices needed.

      The chances of getting anything through Congress is now nil. I’m sure you’re right Deutsche Bank and its friends would wish to create whatever they can. Perhaps Huhne and co feel they can further decimate Europe’s competitive position without electoral consequences. I doubt all his new friends in Downing Street, currently with him in China, feel so sure. (High snip-risk – accepted like a man, as always …)

      Whatever, hats off to Ross for chasing down this rabbit hole. In the end Deutsche Bank comes out looking very mediocre. Is that really the image they wish to project as they compete for new business across the world?

  10. John
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    DB is indeed in the hockey league. Insurers and reinsurers can charge more if the regulators and populace are in agreement that climate change will bring more damage. They have a vested interest to make sure most people and most government regulators thing that a warmer world will bring increasing damage and increasing insurance payouts.

    • Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: John (Nov 9 17:29),

      John, here in the States, insurance companies are required by law to apply for rate increases determined by actuaries sufficient to maintain loss ratios and other measures of financial soundness and stability, with the final rate approved by the government’s agent known as the Insurance Commission or other similar names.

  11. François GM
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lord Oxburgh and Dr Pachauri are both on the Board of the Deutsche Bank – or at least were at the end of 2009.

    http://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2009/ar/supplementaryinformation/advisoryboards.html

    • Mark F
      Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

      FTM. (Follow the money).
      It will be interesting to watch the next step by DB. They’ve opened their trench-coats, exposed their pee-pees, and Ross and the rest of us have the footage. Having engaged in what they thought was an easily-winnable spat of patronage toward Ross, their cavalier and amateurish pronouncements are now open to public viewing. I suggest that we each drop a copy or a link to our favorite reporter, gummint person or other interested party.

    • Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Pachauri and Oxburgh are members of DB’s Climate Change Advisory Board, indeed. (Presumably this means that Oxburgh at least has a good idea of Pachauri’s earnings from this source). Along with John ‘BP’ Browne (the internationally known environmental destructionist). Time for DB’s long suffering customers to vote with their feet/custom.

  12. justbeau
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dispassionate, temperate demolition of the Deutsche Bank and Columbia U opinions. The CABR authors may be well-intentioned, but their knowledge of the subject is lamentably misinformed. Thanks for helping these poor souls toward the light!

  13. Frank
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The title of the DB report says it all: “Climate Change: Addressing the Major Skeptic Arguments”. Not “analyzing”. Not “weighing”. Not “debating”. Deutsche Bank has simply given a pro-AGW academic group free money and publicity to rebut negative news. Sometimes banks analyze investment opportunities to help guide their clients and sometimes they analyze to help market investment opportunities. This reads like a “marketing” report. One could ask why one of the major banks – sponsors the dot-com and housing (and green energy?) booms – might want to use the Columbia Climate Center to prop up the AGW “consensus” after Climategate and Glaciergate, but Steve doesn’t allow us to speculate about motivations on this blog.

  14. ianl8888
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 7:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    DB is heavily invested in carbon trading, wind farms and solar panels and has been for some considerable time. I know whereof I talk here (hard experience with one of DB’s major branches)

  15. mpaul
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 7:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    DB’s code of conduct can be found here:
    http://www.deutsche-bank.de/ir/en/download/Code_business_conduct_ethics_Deutsche_Bank_April_2010.pdf

    It contains the following provision:

    “Deutsche Bank promotes honest and ethical conduct in all its business activities. In particular, this means to act responsibly and in good faith and with due care, competence, prudence and diligence, without misrepresenting facts or allowing own judgments and decisions to be subordinated to or guided by extrinsic considerations.”

    At a minimum, this report seems to violate the provision that employees exercise “due care”.

    The code applies to:

    “… employees (full and part-time), agents, and at our discretion
    external parties engaged by us through agreement.”

    Regarding violations of the code:

    “Our Corporate Governance Officer is responsible for the
    enforcement of and for monitoring compliance with these provisions, subject to the supervision of Supervisory Board or relevant committee(s).”

  16. anonym
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just to mention: many or most non-Adobe PDF readers ignore the “locked”-PDF nonsense. I’ve just confirmed that text from the original DB report can be cut and pasted freely (at least as plain text) using GNU Evince.

  17. AusieDan
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have sent DB an email criticising them for their ignorance and recommending that they commission Professor McKitrick to writ a true paper on the climate for the benefit of their clients.

  18. mpaul
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 9:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    hmm, its interesting, Real Climate/GISS offices are at 2880 Broadway in Manhattan and the Earth Institute at Columibia (the authors of this work) are at 2910 Broadway in Manhattan. Google Maps lists the distance apart as 407 feet and the travel duration as 11 seconds. I’m sure its just coincidence.

    • Bernie
      Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 10:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      That would be a world record by foot!! By car, that estimate is slightly optimistic for NYC!!

      However, I do recall a coffee shop in the bottom of Gavin’s building. Perhaps the GISS and Columbia group have team meetings there?

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

        a coffee shop in the bottom of Gavin’s building. Perhaps the GISS and Columbia group have team meetings there?

        Bernie, have you forgotten the backstory to Gavin’s restaurant? It’s the restaurant in Seinfeld. See Anthony’s post here
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/21/nasa-giss-a-division-of-vandelay-industries/

        • GregP
          Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

          What a hoot! It would seem that GS and JH are characters in search of their own sit-com…

          I’m pretty sure you’ll find GS’s mug at dictionary.com under ‘smarmy’. ;)

  19. Noblesse Oblige
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Deutsche Bank has more than a dog in this fight. The bank has a $60+ billion green portfolio, which it wishes to assure investors is safe….not to mention their income from carbon trading. And consider the cast of characters. Robert Socolow, chair of the American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) that re-endorsed the bizarre 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change, sits on the Climate Change Advisory Board http://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2009/ar/supplementaryinformation/advisoryboards.html Other members of this Board include IPCC chief Pachauri, Lord Oxburgh, of superficial Climategate investigation fame, and former BP CEO John Brown, whose former organization funds the Sokolow program at Princeton, as well as many other climate-oriented operations.

    Deutsche Bank is in fact a major player in the incestuous web of rent seekers and financially committed players who are at risk of significant loss as AGW becomes widely understood to be a non problem.

    • Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 2:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Noblesse Oblige (Nov 9 22:47),

      It’s “Honest Graft”

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

      If a bank tries to publicly influence the stock of some company to profit from it, they get in big trouble, but if they (or a reinsurer like Munich Re) hype global warming, it is just “providing information”.

  20. AntonyIndia
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 11:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Deutsche Bank also rode the wrong (shaky data/computer modelled) train in their own field: finance. They jumped on the demand driven real estate band wagon and payed the price. See the testimony of Professor John C. Coffee Jr. before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on March 10, 2009: http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d5da9848-ea57-475a-b6e9-93fc74b85abd

  21. ntonyIndia
    Posted Nov 9, 2010 at 11:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Deutsche bank also rode the wrong (shaky data/computer model) train in their own field – finance. They paid the price for jumping on the “consensus” bandwagon of demand driven real estate and CDOs. See the testimony of professor John C.Coffee Jr. before the United States Senate committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on March 10, 2009: http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d5da9848-ea57-475a-b6e9-93fc74b85abd

  22. Bill
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 12:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Deutsche Bank and Mark Fulton are the first good arguments I have seen for actually letting the European bankning system collapse.

  23. Peter P.
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 3:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hey All, what do you think about his idea?:

    On a crowdfunding site (say like kickstarter.com), start a crowdfunding drive to raise USD1,000,000 in prize money. This prize money will be awarded to the first person or team that can provide conclusive empirical proof showing manmade CO2 is responsible for global warming. This competition will run for 2 years. All submissions will be checked and verified by statistical experts.

    Once and for all, let’s settle this global warming argument. At the end of the competition, we will get a conclusive answer one way or the other.

    If one million people contribute $1 each or 100,000 people contribute $10 each, we will have the needed prize money.

    • jb
      Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 9:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah right. And maybe the UN could form a panel of “leading” scientists to come to consensus on the winner.

      • Peter P.
        Posted Nov 11, 2010 at 8:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Damn. Is the UN really that corrupt? ;P

        But seriously, if the submitted code of the proof is presented online to the whole world to check, how could the IPCC and friends get away with a false proof?

  24. Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 3:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Last night I watched the Swedish docu-choo-choo heavily insinuating that McKitrick had a financial interest in making people doubt the “good science”. Here I say, thank God Ross does have some financial awareness! and thank God that his desire for truth rides high enough to stand up to the hidden financial interests, those who would persuade the rest of the world to believe bad science and believe they are saving the planet, while really it’s all to line the pockets of a few.

    This makes me wonder, who in the Swedish TV outfit is benefiting financially from persuading folk that it’s “those villains over there” who are “causing confusion and stalling actions needed to Save The Planet”. Sure, getting the science back on track would benefit everyone financially by averting financial suicide… except those like DB.

  25. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 3:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I still prefer Ross’s proposal that reward and loss to gamers and gamblers be linked after the event to the actual temperature change. So, DB should express its stated confidence in the science by putting aside serious monies that is loses if it gets colder. Symmetry is neat.

    The present setup of credits resembles pyramid selling, with a few powerful people in the know at the top, ripping money out of those who progressively join in way down the ladder. Pyramid selling is illegal in some countries because of its regressive, asymmetric nature. I do not know about Germany, specifically.

  26. andymc
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 6:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I note, on page 7 of your report, that CABR state the emails were stolen. Perhaps they could supply the Norfolk Constabulary, who are currently investigating the incident, with any evidence they have which supports this assertion.

  27. James Doogue
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What a good, easy to read rebuttal. Clearly the reason CABR found no problems with Mann et al, is that they really weren’t looking for any. A bit like when a broker is sponsoring an IPO, but without the full and clear disclosures and the disclaimers which are usually in the prospectus, if only in small print. Noblesse Oblige (Nov 9 10.47 pm) is correct in stating Deutsche have massive green loan portfolios to protect. Much of the green loans rely on the continuance of generous Government (taxpayer) subsidies. If they are stopped, the loans default and Deutsche lose a lot of money.

    A clear example of CABR bias is when stating the emails were stolen. Just like many other assertions they had no evidence to support that statement. The emails of course may well have been leaked by a party to the emails who actually has a conscience.

    Deutsche will be required to have a formal complaints resolution scheme which will be required to address complaints from the public in a timely, open and honest way. Can I suggest that you submit a formal complaint to the bank that CABR have issued a deliberately or accidentally inaccurate and misleading report which is likely to cause members of the public and possibly the Government to make incorrect financial decisions. That they failed to properly address your detailed report pointing out the errors and where they did concede an error, the correction was hidden in an Appendix rather than correcting the original text – which is an entirely inappropriate way for a financial institution to correct an error in any document. Your complaint should state that you wish for the bank to issue a public and meaningful correction to ensure the corrections reach as many people as may have read the original CABR report.

    Finally a small error on page 6 of this document where in one instance towards the top of the page 1980 has been typed as 1908.

  28. Don B
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If DB is promoting the CAGW hypothesis to generate fees they “earn” while directing client money into green investments, it would be similar to someone distributing a report lauding Bernie Madoff’s trading strategies who earned fees directing client money to Madoff. Not that I believe, in any way, that Ponzi schemes and CAGW are related. :)

  29. Manfred
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 12:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    could Al Gore or anyone else sue Deutsche Bank, if he lost money with carbon trading or elsewhere, relying on DB misleading information ?

  30. EdeF
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    These guys need to put on their hockey pads if they are going to take on MM 05.

  31. John Norris
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 8:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re page 11:
    “A full understanding of the context does not mitigate the problems revealed in the emails, it confirms them.”

    That sums up climategate beautifully. If you were engaged with the McKitrick, McIntyre point of view prior to climategate, what was communicated in the e-mails is crystal clear. They confirm pretty much everything said on CA. If you weren’t engaged beforehand, and you listen to the “just pals joking around in emails” spin, and don’t go back and collect the full context, I guess you just aren’t going to get it.

  32. Faustino aka Genghis Cunn
    Posted Nov 10, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “At a certain point it becomes disconcerting that Deutsch Bank, which is among other things one of a few international banks qualified to act as a Primary Dealer for the New York Federal Reserve, and is thereby subject to particularly stringent requirements about the accuracy of commentary it publishes on economic and policy issues, is going to such efforts to excuse publication of misleading information.”

    Has Ross sent his critique to the NYFR? If not, I suggest he does so. Reserve staff should be able to grasp Ross’s criticisms, and should take them up with DB as inconsistent with maintaining their primary dealer status.

  33. Ron Cram
    Posted Nov 11, 2010 at 1:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I posted this comment on their blog. http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/10/29/who-said-what-answering-ross-mckitrick%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cresponse-to-misinformation-from-deutsche-bank%E2%80%9D-part-ii/comment-page-1/#comment-2996

    It is awaiting moderation. It will be interesting to see if it ever appears.
    ————-

    You appear to be willfully blind regarding the “trick” to “hide the decline.” Jon Stewart has a better understanding of “hide the decline” than you do… “trick you into not knowing about the decline.” http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-1-2009/scientists-hide-global-warming-data

    Ask yourself these questions (my answers are parenthetical. Please take them as the null hypothesis and see if you can disprove them):

    1. What was Phil Jones trying to hide? (the Divergence Problem – tree rings showing temps should be going down but Phil’s global temp series shows temps are going up)

    2. How long have he and “Mike” been hiding it? (Mike’s Nature paper came out in 1998)

    3. Prior to Climategate, did Mike and Phil ever discuss “hiding the decline?” (Nope. People who knew about the Divergence Problem had asked Michael Mann if he had spliced the temp record onto the proxy reconstruction on RealClimate.org and Mike vehemently denied it and denied any other researchers had done it even though he received Phil Jones email admitting it.)

    4. People who hide things are afraid of something so what were Mike and Phil afraid of? (They were afraid the public and policymakers would learn their ring tree proxies are not reliable. They claim the data after 1981 is “bad data” but the data was not measured wrong and so the data is not “bad” using the normal definition. The data is just contrary to Phil’s and Mike’s narrative. Real scientists do not truncate or replace contrary data, they report it.)

  34. Jim
    Posted Nov 11, 2010 at 7:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I would lie to congratulate Ross on a clear and consise examination of the statements made in reports and the climategate mails. This kind of logic I find is quite disamring and powerful.

    I wonder why so many well educated committee members esp. in UK are unable to either comprehend or produce such a body of work on Climate. Steve suggests laziness but that is to ignore the positions that these attendees occupy on a daily basis. Many things they could be accused of but laziness? I think not.

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