Weekend Links, February 21-22, 2015

montgomerie-link-golf-course

China

Asia

United States

Americas

Europe

United Kingdom

Australia

Commodities

Capital Markets

Markets /Investing

Global Macro

And Furthermore

A cherry on top

Comments

  1. Abbott wanted troops on the ground to fight IS. A go it alone operation.

    “TONY Abbott suggested a unilateral invasion of Iraq, with 3500 Australian ground troops to confront the Islamic State terrorist group.

    Flanked by his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, in a meeting in ­Canberra on November 25, the Prime Minister said the move would help halt the surge of ­Islamic State in northern Iraq.

    After receiving no resistance from Ms Credlin or his other staff in the room, Mr Abbott then raised the idea with Australia’s leading military planners. The military officials were stunned, telling Mr Abbott that sending 3500 Australian soldiers without any US or NATO cover would be disastrous for the ­Australians.

    They argued that even the US was not prepared to put ground troops into Iraq and it would make Australia the only Western country with troops on the ground…

    The Iraq idea was not the first time Mr Abbott had suggested a military intervention by Aus­tralia’s armed forces. The Australian reported in August that in the week following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine by Russian-backed militia, Mr Abbott suggested sending 1000 Australian soldiers to ­secure the site of the crash…Australia’s leading military planners also argued against that proposal” saying “there were serious problems” with it.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/tony-abbott-sought-military-advice-on-go-it-alone-invasion-of-iraq/story-fnpdbcmu-1227233174095

    Extraordinary.

    • The military officials were stunned,

      That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I literally laughed out loud a lot. Basically I was stunned when I read that, can’t imagine what professionals in the field thought!

    • It’s self evident that 3D1K’s ex-favourite politician/culture warrior is mentally ill, so colour me unsurprised.

      • 3d is just trying to get rid of TestosterTone before the next election, and hopefully as soon as possible – rightly aware that the longer he leads the Torynuffs the closer that go to electoral carnage.

        I tend to agree, he will lead the Torynuffs closer to electoral carnage. But I think he is a first term elected leader, and should be given a good (and part of me thinks the Torynuffs need a dose of that electoral carnage before they get the idea)

    • That makes perfect sense to me. We could have launched an invasion of Russia with those troops securing the Mh17 site. The troops in Iraq could have headed north through iraq via the Caucasus mountains and all 4500 troops could have linked up around Moscow encircling the Russian army. your problem is you don’t understand grand strategy.

      • Yes, Didn’t want to deploy 1,000 soldiers into the Ukraine to protect the crash site?

        Next thing you know the SAS are going into Indonesia to free the Bali two.

      • Perhaps he could have borrowed some elephants from Taronga Zoo to help his troops over the Caucasus?

      • Or even maybe, whilst in Iraq he could have made Baghdad his new capital.Then striking East with his 3500 troops subjugate the Iranians, afghans and Pakistanis. Then as he enters India the ragged troops troops mutiny…. But wait all is not lost. Christopher Pyne proclaims him a God and all return to Baghdad for drinking and feasting

      • Ah Disco, Elephants! Our famous cricketer would have put a coupe of slugs into them in no time. Captive elephants, national park, high powered rifle, too easy.I was stressed at the time.
        Another asshole exposed. WW

    • After being told that sending troops to the Ukrane was stooooopid Abbott decides to go one better and declare, unopposed by his staff, that Australia should unilaterally invade Iraq inpersuit of ISIL. Can just see the look Jugheads face when those wiser heads said “Christ aluve! You’ve really really are stooooopid aren’t you!” Ukrane, Iraq, subs, military pay debarcle: hazard a guess but Defence must not have any confidence in Abbott what so ever.

    • Wow. Just wow. Someone has leaked that one and now even The Oz is making the PM the subject of ridicule.

      Saying dumb things is one thing but making such a proposal is just mad. And you know it is truly mad because there is no way a sane person can make any logical sense of it.

      This is now comedy. And it’s real.

      • I don’t think Hitler in his most delusional moments, inside the bunker , would have come up with that Iraq escapade. If this report is true Abbot is certifiably insane. Is he poring over maps of the world ready to launch imaginary divisions of troops against his enemies?

    • Australian Survivor II… Ch7,Ch9, Ch10 could make 100s millions on ultimate reality show like that (will he survive, will he not survive?)

    • Can someone please tell Dumb Dumb that we don’t run Fantasy crusades to the Middle East anymore. We get dragged there in the smallest numbers possible to pay our insurance premium on the alliance with the U.S.

      Was he trying to impress his girlfriend at the expense of our defence personnel? Get rid of this teenage idiot.

    • wow!

      3500 troops wouldn’t have had a chance. Abbott would have been sending them to a sure death – possibly a very public and horrible one at that.

      • They would have most likely held there own but only that. I doubt they would have been overrun if they had air support but it would have been an isolated pocket and not really have helped the Iraqis at all.

      • Totally agree dennis, all this backpeddling doesn’t change the months I had to endure about what nice guy he really is and I should get back on the meds…

      • He is a nice person. Doesn’t mean that he is necessarily the PM for the times. I think he is not achieving what he would have wanted. Beset by barrage from all quarters, including self inflicted, he’s bunkered down. A tactical play, likely flawed.

        My advice was for a dignified change of leadership over Christmas, avoiding a public and very painful demolition.

        Those far more influential than I gave far warning.

      • 3d,

        Yes, I’m sure he’s a “nice” person, but unfortunately if you’re female, black, ethic or an asylum seeker that niceness is only itsy bitsy skin deep.

        Your “nice” for Abbott means if he meets you, chats with you etc he’ll be pleasant enough, but if you conflict with his (omg) “world view” you will get no look in. That’s why his family and friends are sooo shocked at peoples opinions of him, their interaction with him is on a different level to those others.

        The guy has an 1800s outlook, it’s as simple as that.

        And 3d I wouldn’t trust you, you were a big supporter of his and you are now busily stabbing him in the back. I also would suggest that while you are EXTREMELY sharp, your judgement is not to be trusted, he has performed as plenty here said he would and you were oblivious to his many glaring faults.

    • Why is anyone surprised? Told youse before the election that he was desperate to be a wartime PM. His type are always the same. Those who can’t fight send in people who can.

      • Very true Bogan, you had this turd pegged. Especially re: putting up the dukes when no one can actually punch you back.

        That apology still hasn’t arrived has it?

      • You know what bugs me about the bullying of that girl, apart from the bullying itself?

        She obviously knew what was coming up at ICAC. She knew that the NSW Libs were going to be shown to be hopelessly corrupt. OurTony knew too. And Tony also knew that she couldn’t say anything about it. So he went hard knowing she couldn’t expose his lies.

        What a fucking coward.

      • Especially re: putting up the dukes when no one can actually punch you back

        Preaching to the choir brother 😀

        Still though — I’m loooooooving 3d being the harbinger of a sitting LNP Prime Minister’s demise. Schadenfraudegasm?! I’m having epileptic convulsion! Or is that going to offend someone?

      • Mig, have you no respect? If you ever call a turd a Tony Abbott again I’ll get really cross! Be nice to turds!

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Even though I always thought of Tone as a prick and a loon, I find it hard to believe that he or his advisers actually expected any support from the military hierarchy for these ridiculous proposals.

        Instead I suggest that this leak/story is a poorly thought out and executed PR stunt by Tone and Peta, a dog whistle, aimed at winning back blue collar Racist voters.(we aren’t just going to send back the boats, we’re going over to kill the wog bastards also!).

    • There is talk of a spill motion being put on March 3rd. No formal announcement this time; just standing up in the party room and demanding a fresh vote.

      The knives are being sharpened….. they will be able to do the throwing a tomato on to it and cutting through a shoe like those TV ads the knives will be so sharp.

      • Sounding very like a game of semantics. Someone’s going to lose.

        Much of the article was about the power of Peta Credlin and the PMO management style. Murdoch himself politely suggested she resign. Fell on deaf ears. And here we are…

        Stakes have risen considerably.

    • Has everyone read the entire John Lyons piece in the Oz? Its a total hatchet job on Abbott. I give him just weeks now. My favourite bit:

      Insiders say that, these days, Abbott sits for much of the day in his office in Parliament House pondering national security, Islamic State and reading Winston Churchill. He has 50 staff in his office but he insists on writing many of his speeches as Credlin, sitting in the office next door, works the phones, managing the detail.

      Rupert has made the decision. Abbott is to be taken down.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        ” pondering national security, Islamic State and reading Winston Churchill”

        Reading Winston Churchill? I think our Tone is being more inspired by Napoleon’s Quotes and writings.

        “If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing”.
        Napoleon Bonaparte

        “In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage.”
        Napoleon Bonaparte

        “I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”
        Napoleon Bonaparte

        Women are nothing but machines for producing children.
        Napoleon Bonaparte

        “In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
        Napoleon Bonaparte

        See!………I’m thinking that Tone’s, small man syndrome, tough guy walk is based on how he imagines the former Emperor, once used to strut his stuff.

        No doubt the ALP is also paying head to the words of the former Emperor of France.

        ” Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
        Napoleon Bonaparte

      • Reading Winston Churchill?

        Our Tone is reading Churchill because he so desperately, desperately wants to be a wartime leader.

    • Look, I know that Abbott is a prize dill, and unfit to lead the country, but this is an unsubstantiated report from the Australian.

      Is there any confirmation of this from a reliable source?

    • Come on, even Defense has come out and said this is BULLSHIT.
      Who knows what actually was said, perhaps a joke or comment.

      Problem with media today everything is stripped of all context.
      The way the usual suspects come out on here shows the blatantly partisan prism that everything on MB is now put through.

      • The problem V is the claim, bogus or otherwise, is seen by most of us a possible, nothing to do with parties everything to do with Abbott — he’s a crusader, who know if what he says is a joke or serious to him, its all a joke to the rest of us.

    • Wow. it seems the new greek government and the millions who voted for them have suffered a very deep humiliation.

      Europe is repeating the stupidities of the past.

      • Nah, just a bit of time to get the Drachma2 printing presses fired up, and for them to propose some sensible reforms that are then rejected by the troika, thus legitimising the ultimate exit (which, remember, most Greeks say they don’t want).

      • It looks like the Greeks have backed down at the moment – but Yanoufakis and Tsipras now have to go back and face the punters who voted them in……..

        I would be surprised if it was the last we heard of Grexit

  2. All those cheering on this devaluation of the A$ without all the other necessary reforms of this economy and society – Please read the second article under’ United States’ above
    What Impact Will TPP Have on the US Trade Deficit? – Peterson Institute
    http://blogs.piie.com/trade/?p=109

    “This perspective leads to some widely unappreciated conclusions. There is no way to use trade policy alone to cure a trade deficit—yes, a country can expand exports, but if the firms, workers, stockholders, communities, and tax authorities do not change their expenditure and savings patterns at the same time, expanding exports will not change the overall trade deficit. Similarly, there is no way to use exchange rate policy (either on the part of the deficit country or the surplus country) alone to cure a trade deficit—a change in relative currency values can expand exports or reduce imports but once again unless the firms, workers, stockholders, communities, and tax authorities affected change their expenditure and savings patters at the same time, there will be no change in the overall trade deficit.”

    In other words, in anything other than the very short term, this is just going to lead to disaster. We get no real benefit and suffer all the negative effects and those negative effects can be very very serious indeed – as we WILL find out.

      • I picked up some ALDI welding gear on Gumtree and am just working through the manuals as we speak.

        If an Australian can make a Hills Hoist 50 years ago I should be able to crank out some body struts for the oldies.

        Will throw in a meat tray for repeat orders.

        Can anyone point me in the direction of a reliable pig iron supply.

      • Can anyone point me in the direction of a reliable pig iron supply.

        North North West, about 8, 000 miles – so you know our neighbours – its called China….

      • [email protected]

        pig iron?Always wondered ’bout pressed ham..pig irons eh? ..who knew?

  3. Royal commission, ICAC, and what ever else is needed to stem the endemic fraud.

    When criminal ethos becomes a virtue held high or as a Meritocracy metric, distinguishing the cream from the curdle, you can be assured the psychopaths are in control.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/whistleblowers-nab-leak-reveals-persistent-bad-behaviour-in-financial-planning-fuels-royal-commission-calls-20150220-13hv1f.html

    Skippy…. aside… why send troops when we can just send them Tone…. that should sort things better than any military response…

    • Maybe to have another pointless slaughter in time for ANZAC Day, shit what a guy! – Tiny Abbott. This is so much worse that a silly knighthood.

      • [email protected]

        puts the interview where he froze when was asked to explain the context of his remark into stark relief also, and at the same time validates Albo’s quip ” in your guts you know he’s nuts”

    • Funny thing is – all of this ‘failure’ has occurred in a 5 year old bull market – wait until the parent company (banks) equities start going pear shaped and some real red numbers start flowing for the clients.

      The majority of it to-date sounds like a lacking in the ‘documentation’ required to give advice. The same documentation that requires you to pay $2,200 for a basic ‘financial plan’.

      They bring in an external consultant and shock me – nobody passes. The ‘templates’ need upgrading. All the clients will get paid out…

      The documents and regulators aren’t going to stop the markets falling – but they are one hell of a barrier to entry for someone wanting to set up an honest business not pumping homogenised product.

      I did a business plan for getting an AFSL aimed only at dealing with ‘sophisticated investors’ – it was simply uneconomic and employed more lawyers/box tickers than traders/pms.

      I laugh at the cost of the NAB trying to integrate JBWere’s IT. Ten years ago Weres were still using something that was built in house in the early 80s. Green screens and all…

      The whole retail financial advice market is a fetid mess – it is overegulated, overpriced, dumbed down and simply not designed to create decent outcomes.

      Management are generally bozos who aren’t smart enough to realise the guy they are paying massive bonuses to for ‘performance’ wont be there in 2 years (he will either get sacked for bad behaviour or switch shops before it catches up to him).

      It doesn’t bother them anyway because they will be looking for another spot somewhere else also. There is no ownership in any of these businesses promoting a long term view of success.

      ASIC are simply laughable. As long as the boxes are ticked – they will move one year closer to the government pension. Storm Financial was 100% their baby.

      Imagine the dynamism of APRA but up against more complicated issues.

      • I should say – even though the system was 20 years old – it was superior to some of the other place’s hodge podge of ‘off the shelf’ products doing the rounds in the early noughties.

        Technology spend is an overhead that large entities have ignored for decades in this industry.

      • Sorry but walls of text does not reconcile the deregulation – self regulation effort mounted by purely ideological methodology and funded by those that would benefit the most from it.

        Skippy… AET and neoclassical were the primary agents in spreading the good word.

      • In the 15 years I spent in the industry the regulation exploded.

        I don’t think the outcomes changed a bit.

        apart from establishing a new industry called “compliance”

      • Your regulation has exploded is quite anecdotal given the decades effort by industry to revert all the fire walls put up post GD and especially after WWII but going mental during the 70s onwards.

        I think what your talking about is policy, to be more specific, policy which was written by industry and forwarded via ideological and regulatory capture wrt the public sector. Revolving door is a well worn example.

        Additionally regulations that are not enforced are useless or worse a smoke screen and lets not forget Bill Blacks work.

        Skippy…. seems some never understood the neoliberal game, to busy high fiving and back slapping during the heady days, rather than doing due diligence.

      • Yet it did come in waves imo.

        Some old timey stuff for you 8~

        Financial deregulation and the globalization of capital markets, Volume 1

        Author: Versluysen, Eugene L.; Date Stored: 1988/08/01
        Document Date: 1988/08/31

        “Summary: Financial deregulation in recent years has vastly increased the ability of the financial markets to allocate international capital efficiently. It has also sparked explosive growth in financial transactions and resulted in a restructured, more competitive, and less costly financial services industry. But the deregulation has proceeded so rapidly that the volume of purely financial transactions now greatly exceeds that of transactions driven by international trade in goods and services. This new pattern has led to growing economic uncertainty and instability. Markets now run around the clock and respond to change so rapidly that there is a growing danger of chain reactions that could precipitate global market failure. Regulators in the major trading nations need to address the possibility of a full-scale breakdown of the financial system.”

        http://econ.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64165259&theSitePK=469382&piPK=64165421&menuPK=64166322&entityID=000009265_3960927021206

        Skippy… yet everyone [aforementioned architects] claim they were king hit….

      • I’ll be honest 5x8s — skippy is one of my sockpuppets.

        I keep a troop of desperate boomers, mostly they do what they’re paid to, but you can take the hero out the boomer but you can’t take hero boomer anywhere….

      • I really should but I kinda feel bad for these old timers with nothing to say for themselves, needing my direction. Its a cross I bear Stat Sailor….

      • slippy – you are talking about a completely different world.

        Deregulation of cross border transactions etc you reference is fantastic. I can buy shares in Norway and fund the transaction with borrowed JPY with the click of a mouse and a $50 fee.

        I was talking about the explosion of regulation of provision of financial advice – a completely different issue.

        One thing (for anyone else that is actually listening to what I’m saying) is that the salespeople are jumping through all these hoops of documents and questionaires – but ASIC hasn’t even been able to weed out obvious scams and PonzI schemes.

        The poor old financial planner ticks all his boxes and then ends up putting his clients cash into a ponzi scheme like City Pacific or LM Investments and who gets the blame?

        LM is a complete disgrace for the regulator. After all the scumbag ponzis blew up in 2008 – LM stood out like dogs balls as an identical rogue outfit and ASIC did nothing until everyone had done their dough 4 years later.

        I remember being ‘hosted’ by LM in around 2004 and leaving early after telling the manager he was running a ponzi and he would go to zero if the inflows ever stopped – I was 10 years early – but they were and they did.

        Will be interesting to see what the actual allegations are at the NAB.

        Beyond “lacking quality of advice documention ” – I’m betting unecessary rolling over of superfunds and over selling of taking out home equity loans to fund managed fund portfolios or worse, purchases of structured products.

        Opacity = fees

      • You seem wondrously impervious to references of accounting fraud, regulatory capture, ideological grooming and agendas which predates even your experiences and seemingly, knowlage base.

        Skippy…. it all ends up as anecdotal personal experiences and narrow optics.

      • @88888

        Yes the growth of the compliance industry measured against better client outcomes is a disgrace.

        I work in the industry and run a lot of projects. I ignore the compliance teams. And my colleagues in jealousy stand by in dismay.

        How do I do this? I take personal responsibility for my actions. I don’t outsource my ass covering to another team. I cover my own ass by doing a good job.

  4. Global Macro
    Warning: too much finance is bad for the economy – Economist
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/02/finance-sector-and-growth

    “R&D-intensive industries – aircraft, computing and the like – will be disproportionately harmed when the financial sector grows quickly. By contrast, industries such as textiles or iron and steel, which have low R&D intensity, should not be adversely affected”

    Good article – and Aus is a prime example.
    However the part about iron and steel etc is NOT correct.
    This whole expansion of the finance sector, past what is sustainable by the economy it is parasitising, is accompanied by Pitchford Thesis generation of a CAD dominated economy with too high a currency valuation – again the PRIME example is Aus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • This is fantastic. MS is the only company left still actually charging for an OS. And with Windows 10, that will become history.. If MS have any brains left in the company, they will use this as a an opportunity to kill OEM crapware stone dead.

      Not that I’m convinced that MS will do it… but if they don’t, Windows is dead except as legacy shite.

      • This is fantastic. MS is the only company left still actually charging for an OS.

        For all practical purposes Windows is “free” to pretty much everyone who has it – it comes with their new PC.

        People who buy Windows at retail, even upgrade versions, are probably a low single-digit percentage of customers.

        If MS have any brains left in the company, they will use this as a an opportunity to kill OEM crapware stone dead.

        Last time Microsoft tried to tell hardware OEMs what software they were and were not allowed to install on the PCs they were selling, they ended up in court.

        Not that I’m convinced that MS will do it… but if they don’t, Windows is dead except as legacy shite.

        Unlikely.

      • “it comes with their new PC.”

        … along with crapware that allows people to MITM you and intercept ALL SSL traffic. And God knows what other crapware being shipped by other OEMs is wide open.

        Don’t underestimate changes in technology over time. MS have a bad enough security reputation. If they don’t address this, it could very much affect sales in a big way. It takes a while for shit to stick, but once it does, it’s very hard to remove. Think of grandma saying ‘Oh Windows, I heard you shouldn’t use that because criminals will steal your bank account’.

        AAPL didn’t become the world’s largest corporation by accident; such a thing was almost unthinkable as recently as 1998.

        Remember, MS is not the monopoly that they were in the 90’s. And the competition are approaching feature parity; particularly Android and iOS.

        Like I said… MS risk becoming a legacy provider, only used by businesses because of legacy apps. If it happens, it won’t be an overnight thing, but they could very much be irrelevant in 10 years if they’re not careful.

  5. ‘Big banks lose crucial funding source’

    RI Ponzi death of a thousand cuts continues with source of funds closing the window to Australian banks.

    http://www.brw.com.au/p/business/companies/big_banks_lose_crucial_funding_source_mMeZChqLrnZrmG4kf8Yl2K?eid=cpc:nnn-14omn2225-optim-nnn:outbrain-05/01/2015-outbrain_paid-dom-displayad-nnn-brw-nnn&campaign_code=15caf011&promote_channel=sem&utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=paid%20outbrain

    and further more

    “Managing risk is not valued or understood as being central to sustainable performance, but rather an impediment to day-to-day business practices,” the audit states.

    (NAB’s internal audit team was on the ball that year. In April 2010, it had issued a “three star” audit against the bank’s payment systems and processing. In November 2010, NAB suffered a catastrophic payment systems collapse that left thousands of customers unable to access their funds.)

    Were things fixed? No, says the NAB whistleblower, who describes the culture inside the wealth division as “volatile” and “toxic” and the bank’s attitude to risk as “gross, reckless, wanton and indifferent”.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/whistleblowers-nab-leak-reveals-persistent-bad-behaviour-in-financial-planning-fuels-royal-commission-calls-20150220-13hv1f.html#ixzz3SK3PTyCG

    • Guy in our organisation used to be high up in Westpac. There was consistent complaints about dealing with any institution and how hopeless they were. In response he said the back ends of the big four are held together with spit and sticky tape.

  6. Whats the deal with the new term deposit regulations?

    I recently went into a branch to close out a TD but was told it cannot be done, must give 31 days notice.

    I must say i was not happy, as when I opened the TD I was assured that I Could access my money any time, but would forgo interest earned.

    • Liquidity management, part of the build up for Basel 3 regulations and the RBA CLF i.e. the bailout fund for bank shareholders and bondholders.

      No doubt we will go back to the old days with a current account and a deposit account when reality arrives.

      Australian banks need twice the capital and 3 times the liquid assets they have at the moment to survive what is coming.

  7. CONSUMERS BEING RIPPED OFF
    Coal prices have crashed, the carbon tax has gone, yet the cost of electricity continues to rise.
    Oil prices have halved, yet the price of gas, which is linked to oil, is going up 17%.

    In The Age this week. “The number of homes having gas and electricity disconnected has hit staggering levels, with more than 58,000 disconnections in one year.”
    About 34,000 homes had their electricity cut off and
    24,000 who had their gas cut off.

    Still joining the dots – an exercise which points to a conspiracy by industry to stiff gas consumers – there was another piece of salient news out recently.

    Departing (read sacked) AGL chief Michael Fraser letting slip that there was still a large volume of uncontracted gas sitting with Esso and BHP in the Bass Strait. “We need to contract or get more gas from Bass Strait,” Fraser said.

    The gas lobby has been running the line, talking about a “cliff” in gas supply.
    Unless new coal seam gas projects were urgently bought on the east coast would literally run out of gas. This scare campaign has been the impetus for the dramatic rise in gas prices.

    Yet there is no hard evidence for it, because the gas cartel does not reveal even to the government how much there is in the way of gas reserves or what is actually contracted and at what price.

    It is no secret though that, despite Australia’s enormous reserves, prices have been driven up by the rush to export the stuff to Asia. Local consumers are being forced to pay international prices and the producers have diverted supply to the Gladstone plants to be turned into LNG and shipped offshore.

    That, too, is now unravelling. Credit Suisse with a report this week pointed out gas prices had halved, in line with plunging oil, and that the Gladstone LNG projects were in financial disarray.

    Meanwhile, Canberra is contemplating buckling to pressure from the North West Shelf producers on the other side of the country to build an expensive pipeline so they can pipe their gas to Queensland to ship overseas.

    This proposal is being dressed up as the answer to the crisis in east coast domestic demand.
    The problem for consumers is that they will be funding it.
    Just as in electricity, the distributors effectively claim back their infrastructure costs by passing the cost on to consumers via their energy bills.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/a-conspiracy-to-stiff-gas-consumers-20150220-13keaa.html#ixzz3SJpxfA7Z

  8. As an unprecedented two cat-5 cyclones batter Australia:

    Harvard embattled as students, faculty and alumni join forces for divestment

    The lawsuit, filed on by seven graduate and undergraduate students last fall, argues Harvard’s continued holdings in the oil, gas, coal, and related sectors is a “mismanagement of charitable funds” controlled by the board of trustees in the form of the endowment and a direct violation of its obligations to the future of the university’s financial health as well as the planet’s well-being.

    According to the complaint, investments in the fossil fuel industry “contribute to current and future damage to the University’s reputation and to that of its students and graduates, to the ability of students to study and thrive free from the threat of catastrophic climate change, and to future damage to the university’s physical campus as a result of sea-level rise and increased storm activity.”

    • But not the GFC of course, that unmitigated rape and pillage of global populations by Harvard graduates, including both sitting Presidents, is a o f#cking k!

      • I agree with Mig – its intellectual pulling of the pud… the “catastrophic climate change” is a fact of life. One we have a part to play – but far less than many suspect. Getting out of mining, and coal is probably a good idea, investment wise. Despite what these clowns say – they will be pilling into O&G is a few years as oil prices inevitably begin to recover strongly. They just won’t tell you about it.

      • Political operatives are beholden to their source of funding, so it seems prudent to identify those particular sources and what agenda they depart with monies for, not broad bush bias.

        Are elite University’s subject to the same dilemma.

        Skippy…. history is not blind…. but…. some are too it.

      • Where’s what I don’t get skip: I’m sure Harvard grads are terribly worried about all that, I mean just look at what OxBridge has done in the past, and everyone who attends OxBridge is terribly keen to correct those PC wrongs. Or are they?

        I agree with Research, its pulling the pud.

      • Its a refection of reality trying to assert its self unencumbered.

        Skippy…. same thing is happening in Econ dept. imo.

      • Skippy…. same thing is happening in Econ dept. imo.

        If you mean that Econs is being dropped by all but the most sociopathic than I concur

      • No I mean students want to hear all sides of the debate and employ more rigorous methodology, to seek theory, rather than have to regurgitate dicta from antiquity as unassailable facts.

        The latter is a form of inbreeding, history is not kind in this regard.

        Skippy… some call it intellectual honesty…

      • Again…. personal feelings should not be confused with actual facts, bias seeking is highly correlated to that inbreeding thingy I mentioned.

        Skippy…. see Tones go it alone epic bunker mentality, soon to be a utube vid skit fodder….

      • Ah Mig, Looks like that surfing project I have going will qualify for green funding from Harvard, being environmentally friendly etc
        Money for jam .WW

      • Good show Wiley. But don’t worry mate, it’ll be money for jam for them too when it takes off like a 200 foot left hand curl!

    • OMG!!! 2 cyclones hit the Australian coast, thousands of kilometres apart, in late Feb!!! The sky is falling, the sky is falling… If it happened in June fair enough, but seriously

      • [email protected]

        Cat 5 and Cat 4 in fact.

      • How many times have we had two cat 5s hit us simultaneously?

        Idiot.

        Revert2Mean, on many occasions you have claimed to be tertiary educated and with a knowledge of science. Presumably that means that you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of statistics.

        I believe that you are therefore fully aware that to make any comment about the likelhood of 2 cyclones in cyclone season, you would need records going back probably about 1,000 years and perhaps longer. That is the way statistics works.

        Regardless of how hot you are for your favorite causes, surely mathematics is constant.

        Unless you have some scientific evidence about the frequency of N Qld cyclones over a long period, I think you owe felixthecat an apology.

      • Good luck with the apology, but on that, the Polynesians have been navigating those waters for 1000 years plus. Guess what they say? But of course it’s not science so…

      • Wow! You don’t need more than 50 years to say unprecedented? Do you know the meaning of the word? An English major you say? Pffffft

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        “How many times have we had two cat 5s hit us simultaneously?

        Idiot.”

        If it happens again anytime over the next few years, then maybe,I’ll raise an eyebrow.

      • Revert2Mean, you are a very tedious little man. Why can’t you at least show a little bit of intellectual honesty in your very frequent posts?

        Has it occurred to you that if you were fair and rational that more people would take notice of your ideas? As it is, only the numbnuts would be swayed by your rhetoric. The more rational readers will recognize you as someone who has no real understanding of basic concepts like statistics or as a fraud who dishonestly attempts to sway people to a point of view with specious arguments.

        Please lift your game. You should really apologize to the MacroBusiness proprietors as well for stinking up their blog with your inane hystrionics. You are a profligate waster of electrons.

      • Dank Matter, eat my shorts.

        I have a first in stats in my undergrad degree, and using recorded history as a basis for my statements means I am perfectly correct. In fact, BOM is saying the same thing.

        Go complain to BOM, you silly homunculus. :roll:

      • Wow! Did they do Stats wrong back in 1800 whatever when you did it? No wonder you’re such a cheap sockpuppet, you spray nonsense.

        Skippy earns a lot more than you BTW

      • Cyclone Marcia: Climate change is expanding the tropics

        The southward shift of cyclones under climate change will force planners to demand stronger building standards as far south as Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast.

        Storms such as the category 5 Cyclone Marcia, which crossed the central Queensland coast on Friday, “are going to become more common in the future along the eastern seaboard of Australia,” Professor Turton from James Cook University told Fairfax Media.

        The Bureau of Meteorology said the near-simultaneous landing of Cyclone Lam on the Northern Territory coast and Cyclone Marcia is the first recorded instance of twin severe cyclone events.

  9. just want to say – I work in the health field – have worked a number of years in a Melb public hospital – with close ties to various intensive care units. Have never known an IT guy to be tied to ICU writing progams. It’s bullshit , hence you will not publish. Hehe. Keep it up

    • Nothing to say now? I’ll call you out, you do nothing all day long but cry about climate change while giving your mate R2M a happy endng…

    • I agree. That’s the same conclusion I came to about him: just another denier troll, just another ‘turfer here, another paid commenter (this is clearly his full time job). Big Coal is hypersensitive to blogs like this, and when you have literally billions of dollars in profits, as they do, then why not employ some dysfunctional losers to pollute sites like this with denier bafflegab and climate FUD? It’s cheap and cost-effective; makes perfect financial sense! Sites like MB are opinion setters and need to be controlled. Employ a few young sociopathic, Aspergery ‘turfers who know how to use Tor to create a few sockpuppets, and you have the problem well in hand.

      Or so they think. But we’re onto them now 😉

      • Transparent much?

        StatSailor
        February 20, 2015 at 11:11 am

        R2M: Why no 3 dogs filter?

        Revert2Mean
        February 20, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        I like to keep an eye on the corporate propaganda.

        Ruh Roh!

        But you do boomr moron exceptionally well, so you know, theres that working for you….

      • Ok. F#ck you got me I’ll come clean to myself.

        Revert2Mean is a sockpuppet of mine. You’ve all been trolled. Including me 0.o

      • @ statsailor: Fake company, sure. Fake Facebook account, fake twitter account, fake webpages, and more. I posted links a while back on how professional astroturfing works, showing that the creation of false backgrounds is part of the modus operandi.

        Big Oil, Big Coal and related industries maintain contracts with public relation firms and lobbying firms for exactly this purpose. This is a big business, and you’re being duped 😯

        Don’t believe me?

        Read about it yourself

        The turfer will probably respond dismissively to this, or try to make a joke of it. That’s to be expected. I can’t see the responses because I’ve blocked him.

      • Deceived, maybe.

        Duped implies there are fucks to be given. There really aren’t

        There are plenty of other Migs in the world, personality and breadth of outlook wise. If he’s an actor, he’s likely playing himself. As far as I’m concerned the difference is irrelevant, but “mig is rea”l seems (admittedly it’s a close race) less improbable than someone finds it worthwhile to invent him.

        If I find out I’m wrong though, I’ll care as much as Robert Mugabe cares about who’s the mayor Yeppoon.

      • And if you want to know why he makes so many comments, many of which are unintelligible, think of the billing situation (payment per comment). Suddenly it all makes sense, dunnit? 💡

    • You are right though, there’s only ME. I’m the only one and I’m based at A. The others either use as system I help maintain or use mine. That’s why I can’t get the f#ck away easily!

      So you’re only half an idiot

  10. *sigh* this just gets better and better.

    The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP’s Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.

    Here, we’d like to explore yet another set of rules in TPP that will chill users’ rights. Those are the criminal enforcement provisions, which based upon the latest leak from May 2014 is still a contested and unresolved issue. It’s about whether users could be jailed or hit with debilitating fines over allegations of copyright infringement.

    Dangerously Low Threshold of Criminality
    The US is pushing for a broad definition of a criminal violation of copyright, where even noncommercial activities could get people convicted of a crime. The leak also shows that Canada has opposed this definition. Canada supports language in which criminal remedies would only apply to cases where someone infringed explicitly for commercial purposes.

    And here’s where I get pissed off massively with the whole climate change debacle (not debate, not the science, the debacle) : so we can set up global laws to jail people for downloading Dallas Buyers Club not can’t do anything about actually limiting emissions? Really? I mean, really!

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/go-prison-sharing-files-thats-what-hollywood-wants-secret-tpp-deal/

  11. “Everything that needs to be said has already been said.
    But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” (André Gide)
    Re those disgraceful examples of Australian industrial effort, the Collins class submarines, Note:
    When the Collins class Submarine Waller, went to Hawaii to exercise with the US Navy, Admiral Konetzi remarked ” Don’t worry we’ll make your boy’s look good”.
    And so the playing field was tilted in Waller’s favour, to allow for what it could do well, without exposing its weakness.
    The exercise was set up to suit the submarine. P296. Steel Spies and Spin.
    As I understand it of the 6 built today only 1 is available for duty. WW

    • Living here in Adelaide, in fact there’s an ASC warehouse next door to my workplace, i like to think we have the best non nuclear subs in the world , but we don’t wont to upset/ encourage our neighbours.

      They aren’t reading this i hope, um i mean, bloody subs what waste of money, and seamen, who wants that as their career title.

      I think i saved it!.

  12. “The 2012 paper suggests that when private sector debt passes 100% of GDP, that point is reached. Another way of looking at the same topic is the proportion of workers employed by the finance sector. Once that proportion passes 3.9%, the effect on productivity growth turns negative. Ireland and Spain are cases in point. During the five years beginning 2005, Irish and Spanish financial sector employment grew at an average annual rate of 4.1% and 1.4% respectively; output per worker fell by 2.7% and 1.4% a year over the same period.

    The new paper examines why this might be. One part of the thesis is a familiar complaint, neatly summarised in the 2012 paper

    people who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers
    In short, the finance sector lures away high-skilled workers from other industries. The finance sector then lends the money to businesses, but tends to favour those firms that have collateral they can pledge against the loan. This usually means builders and property developers. Businessmen are lured into this sector rather than into riskier projects that require high R&D spending and have less collateral to pledge. On a related note, see our recent Free Exchange on how bank lending has become more focused on residential property.

    A property boom then develops. But property is not a sector marked by high productivity growth; it can lead to the misallocation of capital in the form of empty Miami condos or Spanish apartments. In a sense, this echoes the research of Charles Kindleberger who showed that bubbles are formed in the wake of rapid credit expansion or Hyman Minsky who argued that economic stability can lead to financial instability as financiers take more risk. And it reinforces the recent McKinsey report which shows that too much total debt (not just government debt) can be bad.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/02/finance-sector-and-growth

    Sounds familiar!!

    • So true. I was one of those wasting my time playing find the right differential arbitrage to make a pile of smelly paper smell good. It paid very well, and techinically it was interesting stuff — but what was it all for? So someone could price debt mountains against piles of swaps and teir-1 and call it risk weighting. Which I actually let myself believe they knew what they were talking about, until Sept 08 when all those models broke down in exactly the way anticipated…

      • Well it couldn’t have any thing to do with all the slave labour used to build all the stuff there.

        Skippy…. wonder what ethnicity is the du Jour of nanny’s these days, Ethiopian is so yesterday…

      • Nannies don’t build towers and several of them don’t stay standing intact for over a decade if your theory holds.

        Nice deflection though, you’re earning your money now sockpuppet

      • No the actual high rises mig-i, its well documented.

        Skippy… The nanny thing is just another indicator of the prevailing ethos

      • The nanny thing is just another indicator of the prevailing ethos

        What about the Ukrainian and Russian hookers?

      • What brand of slave labour built the one in Melbourne that went up recently?

        CMFEU ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of…

      • The investigation reveals that:

        ■ Companies are withholding the passports of migrant workers, trapping them in the UAE.

        ■ Thousands of workers are living in substandard or squalid conditions elsewhere in the UAE in apparent breach of the TDIC’s pledge to house them all in its model Saadiyat accommodation village.

        ■ Dozens of workers were deported this year for striking over pay and conditions.

        ■ Workers decorating the university live in squalid conditions, with 10 men to a room, no free healthcare and some trapped because they have to pay back huge recruitment fees.

        ■ Mobile-phone video footage of a riot at the SAV in August shows dozens of men roaming the camp armed with metal spears and planks spiked with nails. Men are seen jumping out of windows to avoid the conflict.

        ■ A worker who claims he lost his leg while building luxury villas has been forced to live on the top floor of a migrant camp for a year. He only received a prosthetic leg last month and has been reliant on the Red Crescent for medical support. His claim for compensation and request for ground-floor accommodation have been rejected.

        ■ Louvre workers are having to work for nine months to a year just to pay back their recruitment fees. One worker who went on strike over poor wages was kept in his camp unpaid for three months and then sent back to Pakistan with 19 others.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/abu-dhabi-migrant-workers-conditions-shame-west

        A more discerning view….

        City of Gold, City of Slaves: Slavery and Indenture
        d Servitude in Dubai – Nicholas Cooper

        http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1302&context=jss

        Skippy… its always interesting to see some trod all over trip wires….

      • Skippy has pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to the employment of sub-cont workers in the ME. They generally illegally withhold their PPs, underpay them to what they were contracted for, rip them off for “accommodation” costs etc.

        The norm is a 2/3 yr contract for a 3 mth break with a return airfare, however most want/need to return and if that is the case the trick is to tell the employee if they go back no to work (saves them the fare).

        Safety on work sites is almost non existent. The last time I was there in 04 a minivan with workers was crushed with most killed after the crane detached from the building and landed on top. They extended it up a floor and failed to attach it to the building and down it came. Weekly site fatalities was the norm in the UAE.

        Refusing to pay workers is also the norm when any financial trouble hits, and individuals who stand up for their rights general are deported after the comp has their visa revoked.

        There are locals (HRs groups) who support the workers, but get little traction in the courts.

        But don’t be a smug Australian, I knew of western families paying home help $150 usd pm and these people end up working 14 hr days, 6 days pw.

        We’ll be no different if the laws are relaxed especially if the labour is “controlled” from their home, i.e. China, which is what the resources industry is after.

      • Completely agree about the conditions of the workers Dennis I’m just saying it doesn’t appear to materialise in the form of shitty construction, so the reason for the fire likely had little to do with crappy working conditions.

      • Your lack of experience is not a strength here migi-i.

        Skippy… the same holds true with the nanny thing too.

    • From the twitterverse

      “Running down 70floors isn’t too nice – that’s leg day done. #dubai #thetorch #fire”

      Nice

    • “The government is committed to further success of Australia’s investor visa program,” said Senator Cash.

      “Due to the massive economic boost from the program, I am looking forward to a bigger potential boost to the Australian economy from the Premium Investor Visa, which will come into effect on July 1, 2015.”

      Thank you Senator Cash ….. for the cash

      • Makes no sense, a Chinese person/potentially corrupt, buying a $5mill house, and leaving it idle in case he needs it? Serious, do they view this as a productivity gain? Or what is the benefit. Place next to us was bought in rose bay 12 mths plus ago, and the lights have never been on once. Not once, It’s a…..,fkn joke of a policy.

      • Dude, you don’t understand. From the buyer’s perspective, ‘money lives there’.

        They don’t give a shit about the local population or economy. Simple as that. And our useless idiot politicians have enabled them.

        Any Australian under the age of 50 who votes for Labor or Liberal needs their head read.

      • Yu dum gais. Wi pah king $ hia. No hai ding China. Year of Goat. Sum ting wong if house not go tu moon. Goat al weis cli ming hia.

        新年快乐 Sydney 😉

      • Yep, the telling bit was the OECD predicting a ‘soft landing’ in Ireland. What a laugh. Just unbelievable.

        Make no mistake. The SwHTF in our infinitely more imbecilic and property addicted country.

        And I wont shed a single tear when it does.

      • Bwaahahahaaaa!

        “The fundamentals of Ireland are pretty unique in the world at the moment….”

        Says the muppet spruik-master fool.

        Baaahwwhahahaaaahahaaa!!

        Every Strayan should be tied to a chair with their eyelids stapled open and forced to watch this debate.

        Unbelievable.

  13. ErmingtonPlumbing

    Whats going on? the New York Times doing pro union pieces!

    “It may be that as unions weakened, executives sometimes grabbed the gains from productivity. Perhaps that helps explain why chief executives at big companies earned, on average, 20 times as much as the typical worker in 1965, and 296 times as much in 2013, according to the Economic Policy Institute.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/nicholas-kristof-the-cost-of-a-decline-in-unions.html?src=me

      • I’m 10km to St Kilda’s west, and weather in Melbourne comes from the west. I say ‘hope you have an umbrella’

      • Wait! What?!? Frack.

        Not what I see on the horizon. Still though, rain in the water in awesome. I don’t think anyone will mind, its all backpackers here…

      • Now only if AGW was supported by ex nihilo axioms which underpin a wonky metaphysical construct and can only be debated ad infinity via ontological arguments.

        Skippy…. stoopid scientists… did they not read Locke…. oops… they might have read George Berkeley instead…

      • The Christian Foundations in Locke’s Political Thought are impaired right from the start due to the aforementioned original political documents foundations.

        This is acerbated by the original documents foundations and resulting evolution up to the resulting seventeenth and eighteenth century political philosophy. Which must also be observed by the impetus which drove his truly “revolutionary” work – to justify the Glorious Revolution aimed at refuting the patriarchal version of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine put forth by Sir Robert Filmer.

        Yet for all the verbiage according to Locke, God created man and we are, in effect, God’s property. It is God who determines how long one of his creatures will continue to exist in his world, thus suicide is unacceptable. The chief end set us by our creator as a species and a s individuals is survival. A wise and omnipotent God, having made us and sent into this world:

        …by his order and about his business, they are his property whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another’s pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our’s.

        Yet per the ownership – ridged propertarian ethos the state of slavery is just a matter of view point.

        At this point we might say that in cases where the unjust aggressor is defeated in war, the just victor has the option to either kill the aggressor or enslave them. Slavery is the state of being in the absolute or arbitrary power of another. Locke tells us that the state of slavery is the continuation of the state of war between a lawful conqueror and a captive, in which the conqueror delays to take the life of the captive, and instead makes use of him. This is a continued war because if conqueror and captive make some compact for obedience on the one side and limited power on the other, the state of slavery ceases. The reason that slavery ceases with the compact is that “no man, can, by agreement pass over to another that which he hath not in himself, a power over his own life.” (II. 4, 24)

        Lets not even get into the hunter gather labour theory ground, the Rwandan genocide as an example is counter factual.

        I digress…

        Skippy… shite fights between Puritans and Catholics, in this day and age, has to be the height of vacuous reasoning dressed up as observation based theory. The original Bill and Teds Excellent Journey as it were, the sequel as authored by Von Mises and the trilogy by Milton Friedman.

        PS. there goes my Sunday with having to buffer that garbage through my synapse.

    • mig,

      Are you screwing with the bots software?

      1st the Abbott comment then property and not one mention of his girl Julie and mum, Gina!! What’s up?

    • Meteorologists around the world are waiting for BOM analysis of the extraordinarily rapid intensification of category five Cyclone Marcia.
      Source:
      AAP
      20 Feb 2015 – 8:21 AM UPDATED YESTERDAY 3:08 PM
      0

      Cyclone Marcia’s rapid rise from tropical tiddler to category five monster in under a day is a remarkable, globally significant event, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

      Cyclone Marcia started Thursday as a category one storm over the Coral Sea but, shortly before midnight, it reached category five, with peak gusts of 285km/h and as it roared ashore near Yeppoon Friday morning.

      Forecasters at the Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre were forced to issue rapid-fire warnings as the cyclone strengthened.

      BOM Queensland regional director Rob Webb says its too early to say why Marcia intensified so fast but meteorologists across the globe are anticipating the BOM’s detailed analysis of the storm.

      “Rapid intensification (of cyclones) is of interest around the world. We want to be able to give people as much lead time as possible (before a cyclone hits),” he told AAP.

      “The meteorological community around the world will be interested in this kind of storm.”

      Mr Webb said cyclones typically increase in intensity by one category a day, on average.

      “We are talking about something that went from category two to category five pretty quickly yesterday,” Mr Webb said.

      “It certainly intensified more quickly than any cyclone in recent times that has impacted Queensland.”

      Cyclones are notoriously difficult to forecast but this is especially so for a physically small cyclone such as Marcia, which Mr Webb said can respond strongly to small environmental changes.

      Although equal in intensity, Marcia was much smaller than Yasi in 2011, the last category five cyclone to hit the Queensland coast.

      “Sometimes with small systems they can intensify quite rapidly and can decay quite rapidly, so we were monitoring it and making sure we could give people the best possible lead time through the afternoon,” Mr Webb said.

      “Sometimes, even with the best science that we have, these cyclones do intensify differently. We will go back and study it and see what we can learn from it because it certainly was a remarkable event.”

      BOM was on top of the changes and rapidly issuing updated warnings as Marcia intensified, Mr Webb said.

      http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/20/marcias-fast-intensification-mystery

      Skippy…. seems consensus has it was a outlier after all….

      • Larry is probably the better comparison. Small, fast and developed quickly to Cat 4 or 5. Only difference was there was a day’s notice.

        That was scary.

      • Skippy that cyclone rating change was a figment of the imagination of the media, and the BOM reacted Where is it now… No where to be seen. Couple of shacks were blown over, but that always occurs.
        One year we will get a real Cat 5 cyclone down the east coast to say latitude 21 degrees and blow a heap of these jerry built modern houses over, then we will have an inquiry as to what has been going on with our building industry and code compliance. Like Ermington P highlights most of these modern houses are just waiting to fall over. WW

      • WW I understand the vagaries you speak of, tho Global indicators are reinforcing the accuracy view, its just now a matter of trying to dial in the precision.

        “We will have an inquiry as to what has been going on with our building industry and code compliance.”

        When Housing became a loan vehicle in the first order of business, the results were baked in. That and double digit Apprentices with one Journeyman to supervise the site, all whilst pinging back and forth between mulitpule job sites and having Apprentice or Journeyman tradies as construction Mgrs running 10+ sites at a time…. wellie…. them loans better be well underwritten and insured.

        Oh wait the state will pick up the tab and then taxed so the loan holders won’t suffer impairment. Oops that would be us and others with personal investment portfolios, argh the government is up to its eyeballs in revenue investment too.

        Skippy… oh well…. the mills have already extracted their profit all ready…. at least someone realized all that price…

    • Spent the day at Healseville Sanctuary. Fabulous day out that way.

      The sun stayed out even when it rained.

  14. Amends but this seemed apropos to a topic thread above…. Plus Michael Hudson’s humorous syntax is an antidote to the mental anguish the territory covers.

    Michael Hudson: T is for Trickle-Down

    By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is “The Bubble and Beyond.”

    Part T in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary

    Tableau Économique: The first formal national-income account, developed by the Physiocrat Francois Quesnay on the analogy of the circulation of blood within the human body. (See Economist, Say’s Law.)

    Taxation: The way in which a government gives value to money by accepting it in payment of taxes or for public services (see State Theory of Money and Chartalism). The basic fiscal-financial principle at work is that whatever revenue the tax collector relinquishes is available to be pledged for debt service. Without taxation, much more of the economic surplus would be taken by the financial sector, especially inasmuch as government money has less basis for issuing its own money and credit as the tax base shrinks.

    The political maxim that taxes are what society’s victors are able to extract from the losers tends to demarcate political parties over the issue of what and whom to tax. Today, wealth and finance are being un-taxed, while the tax burden is shifted onto employees (labor and “consumers” via sales and excise taxes).

    Tax shift: For most of history, taxes have been levied mainly on real property. Not only is this the most visible form of wealth, but property owners were the major class with a sufficient economic surplus to pay taxes. Since about 1980, however, taxes have been shifted increasingly off real estate onto labor via regressive sales and excise taxes, whilst cutting taxes mainly on the highest income brackets. The tax shift favoring finance and property thus leads to economic polarization and immiseration, while wage withholding for Social Security and medical insurance induces forced saving by turning taxes into prepayment of user fees for hitherto public services. – snip

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/michael-hudson-t-is-for-trickle-down.html

    Skippy…. for more see my personal favorite – R is for Rentier

    http://michael-hudson.com/tag/the-insiders-economic-dictionary/

      • Milton draws upon classical authorities and Christian writers to support his argument that the people have the right and duty to rise up in rebellion and overthrow a tyrant:

        If men within themselves would be governed by reason, and not generally give up their understanding to a double tyranny, of custom from without, and blind affections within; they would discern better what it is to favour and uphold the tyrant of a nation. But being slaves within doors, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public state conformably governed to the inward vicious rule, by which they govern themselves. For indeed none can love freedom heartily, but good men: the rest love not freedom, but license: which never hath more scope, or more indulgence than under tyrants.

        Skippy…. In 1649 people did all kinds of weird stuff with and with out government involvement, religious day to day social mores would send most around the twist.

  15. One for the road….

    The mayor of Ryde, in Sydney’s northwest, was allegedly knocked unconscious by a “coward punch” after tensions boiled over at a council polling booth today.

    Bill Pickering was handing out sandwiches when he was confronted by former mayor and independent candidate Vic Tagg.

    Witnesses told 9NEWS Clr Pickering was knocked to the ground by an alleged coward punch, when things turned ugly.

    It is understood the mayor was knocked unconscious after striking the ground and then had a seizure.

    Paramedics rushed him to nearby Ryde Hospital where he underwent scans.

    “Hopefully he’s ok – but it could have been a hell of a lot worse,” one witness said.

    Voting was under way at the time for Ryde’s East Ward by-election. The by-election was triggered by former mayor Ivan Petch’s resignation in December following an Independent Commission against Corruption inquiry.

    Witnesses say Mr Tagg had made several claims that the Liberal party was “corrupt” before he allegedly punched Clr Pickering.

    Clr Pickering is a member of the Liberal party.

    Police are yet to speak to Mr Tagg.

    Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/02/21/18/22/ryde-mayor-allegedly-polling-booth-coward-punch#x1oE8isVhLWSjCtH.99

    • truthisfashionable

      I can’t believe how open they are about mainland Chinese bidding on existing property.

      Absolute Mania, May all these people have terrible luck paying such silly money for old property.

    • Will get worse as the Aussie dollar declines further.

      NSW state government is happy collecting stamp duty.

      Federal government is happy because now that’s one of our top “growth” industries

      Existing owners happy selling at prices they could only dream of few years ago.

      Chinese buyers are happy getting out of China.

      Banks are happy because they make money sitting in their chairs while the rest of us are buried under a mountain of debt

      RE agents are happiest making once in a life time easy money

      Tell me who’s not happy besides first home buyers and our young people?

      With the current me-first mentality that’s prevailing across our society, it’s no surprise this situation is allowed to happen and even celebrated.

      You just have to leave it to the market to sort it out.

    • Can’t be any worse than that last lot of Baby Boom, and besides, none of that is touching Australia.

      We do houses.

  16. A SECRET plan to kick millionaires off the aged pension was shelved by the Abbott Government’s budget razor gang in favour of slashing the indexation of payments for every pensioner in Australia.
    ….

    For the first time, Liberal sources have revealed the indexation cut was not the preferred option of former Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.

    Mr Andrews had instead proposed a targeted cut that would only hurt wealthy seniors.

    His preferred solution was to change the taper rate to withdraw pension payments faster from wealthy seniors with investment properties and investment income. The family home would have remained exempt from the pensions asset test.

    Over time, this would have helped slow the growth of the large numbers of asset-rich Australians who claim the age pension.

    http://m.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/pm-scuttled-secret-plan-to-kick-millionaires-off-the-aged-pension/story-fni0cx12-1227233764992

    • Geez, you are really digging up the dirt on testosterTone there 3d……..

      First term elected leader, and all that stuff. Could they ditch him and not look like a pack of gooses? Though I’d concede they look like whackos right now.

      Like dont get me wrong, I assume that that Malcolm would be a better front man than TestosterTone, but his scope for bringing about meaningful change or cohesion from a party which includes more than the recommended daily dosage of fruit loops would have to be in doubt wouldnt it?

      • This is the end game for Abbott. Ministers leaking en masse to News Corp and News Corp publishing the stories!

        Its only Bolt and Piers defending him now.

      • gunna, has 3d a new employer? Surely the MCA wouldn’t be interested in this.

        Who needs enemies when Abbott has friends like that!

    • I think Aussies should value what they have with Prime Minister Abbott.

      I understand that knighthoods for the Prince of England is quite anachronistic, but there is no doubt that Mr Abbott is a man of the highest moral integrity and a resolute defender of democratic principles and the free market.

      This is a man who has shown his mettle in standing up to Vladimir Putin, is obviously looking to place Australia at the vanguard of the defense of Western values with plans to buy the best submarines for the Australian navy that money can buy, is a devout man, and his preparedness to step into the breach in Iraq – there will be numerous Americans wishing we could have a leader prepared to commit troops in the way I see he would like to. This is an elite leader.

      On the economy there is so much more to applaud. His preparedness to stare down socialism and to commit Australia to global free trade and the access of Australian companies and infrastructure to the benefits of global capital and contemporary managerialism is to be commended.

      • He stared socialism in the face, said not in my backyard, and promptly come up with paid parental leave and rate cuts! Because that’s how Catholics do it…

      • That’s brilliant satire …. thanks! ” the defence of western values” , ” an elite leader” , ” so much more to applaud”, ” resolute defender of democratic principles” , what absolute gems. He is the Thomas Jefferson of our time.

      • Ah Mig, that 3D is truly a Cat 7 Judas. Looks like this is how the Liberal Party behaves. MT would be ecstatic to have 3D on his team, so would I. WW

      • “He is the Thomas Jefferson of our time.”

        Skippy…. mental editing of ones canons has been observed to produce such results.

      • Skippy, you could be correct. Jefferson expressed opposition to slavery, yet he owned hundreds of slaves and freed only a few of them. Historians generally believe that after the death of his wife Jefferson had a long-term relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings, and fathered some or all of her children.
        I wonder on 3d’s heritage. WW

      • WW,

        The Smithsonian had a great paper on Jefferson about a year ago, highlights include his nail shack for determining managerial material, field bosses and house servants, the gushing over 6% per annum increase in valuation of his slaves [better than GLD] which covered his lavish house hold running costs…. is just dandy.

    • I’ve been banging on about this all week of sorts. Morrison is happy for millionaire pensioners to keep their nose in the public purse to the tune of $500m per year yet is happy to shaft the young unemployed. The new proposal to slow indexation will only hurt those pensioners who can least afford it while Morrison’s wombat pensioners (a protected species) continue to gouge the public purse…just at a slower rate. Fucken yey, that makes it better.

      So now they heave a real dilemma on their hands at their own making. Form the Guardian:

      “Senior ministers had said they agonised over whether Tony Abbott would be accused of kicking seniors off the pension and breaking an election promise not to cut pensions, the report claims.” Now the Abbott Government is going to have to agonise over justifying to Australians why millionaire pensioners are still able to access government benefits while those who need it the most are punished.

      • The only thing I would be careful about is how you determine whether a pensioner is a millionaire or not i.e. inflated RE price or broad investment income stream asset valuations.

        Plenty of pensioners with low cash flow – asset weighting sitting in their property of some decades just plugging along till morte. Rate increases, food and utility are bad enough, without encumbering them with a status they did not want.

        Is Tone et al attempting to liquidate them to increase supply and provide more loan creation potential in the short term.

        Skippy… sometimes it seems like watching a few steal all the food provisions from the ships life rafts and squirrel them away in their own private craft…. Bon Voyage~

      • Sorry Skip, should have said “financial” assets. Big difference between those with $2m in the bank getting part pensions and those who are asset rich and cash poor of which there are plenty.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        “Big difference between those with $2m in the bank getting part pensions and those who are asset rich and cash poor of which there are plenty.”

        My 89 year old neighbor First built a garage on his block at 19 years of age, moving into it with his wife, whilst building the house he now lives in over a subsequent couple of years.

        Over the 70 year period he has lived there, he has raised 3 children, never been unemployed, always lived by an ethos of frugality, has been an active participant in the local community and watchful sentinel of our street. He now tenderly cares for his dementia ridden wife of 70 years, refusing pressure from others to put her in a home.

        The cost of living is a great burden for this pensioner and I have suggested to him on a number of occasions, why not sell and down size but this man wants to die in his lifelong home ( not speculative investment). His children and half a dozen grandchildren are frequent visitors to this family sanctuary and Home, which through no fault of his own is now worth over 1 million dollars.

        To take away this mans pension would be a disgrace and earn an electoral reproach from many on both sides of the political divide

      • EP, people like your neighbour aren’t the problem, if anything, they should be the rule not the exception. Hope he lives out his dream to pass away in the home he made. What we do need to force a hand on is the issue of the elderly who have financial asset still claiming the part pension but yet Morrison is happy to protect. This has to stop.

      • Mr Ermington Plumbing, you write well.

        Seconded. On the pension thing tho, at 89 he’s been no the pension for 30 years, and over those 30 years the pension have got more generous against the average earning. so….

      • To take away this mans pension would be a disgrace and earn an electoral reproach from many on both sides of the political divide

        Cool story bro.

        If he had a house worth next to nothing and a million bucks in the bank, would you feel differently ?

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Dr Smith – “If he had a house worth next to nothing and a million bucks in the bank, would you feel differently ?”

        Yes………………..Whether old mate’s house next door is worth a million bucks or “next to nothing” makes no difference to him and pensioners like him,who have lived in the family home most of their lives and hope to die there. Estate taxes if we must take from them, its not as though the government will have that long to wait.

        Mig – “over those 30 years the pension have got more generous against the average earning. so…”

        so….I’m a redistribution kind of guy Mig, I regularly bore the shit out of friends, family and associates by banging on about the virtues of the welfare state, the Nordic model, is the one I think we should all be gunning for.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

        Sweden has dropped the ball a little…………..”While Sweden’s neoliberal reforms[11] have reduced the role of the public sector over the last decades, and saw the fastest growth in inequality of any OECD economy,[12] Sweden still remains more equal than most societies”

        Solidarity fellow travelers. 😉

      • Yeah but Grandpa didn’t redistribute sh#t and his wife likely never worked a day in her life, now my income on top of uni debt and stagnant wages needs to be redistributed to someone who hasn’t worked just about as long as they did work?

        WTF?

        Earth to plumbing I can’t afford a fucking house to die in!!!

        Thanks..

      • “I can’t afford a fucking house to die in!!!”

        Because some wanted to deregulate so the market could be set free, capital could frolic unencumbered, individuals could reach their full potential.

        Skippy… sadly not everyone is born equal…

      • Yes………………..Whether old mate’s house next door is worth a million bucks or “next to nothing” makes no difference to him and pensioners like him,who have lived in the family home most of their lives and hope to die there.

        Well, under the proposals that have been floated at MB, the house effectively is a pile of money worth a million bucks in the shape of a Government-run reverse mortgage scheme.

      • Well, under the proposals that have been floated at MB, the house effectively is a pile of money worth a million bucks in the shape of a Government-run reverse mortgage scheme.

        Sorry, I meant to add that, also, none of the proposals floated here involve forcing people out of their homes.

    • [email protected]

      giving the AFP unfettered metadata retention is analagous to having Eddie Murphy’s Police Academy driving F1 machines.
      All the cockups still occur but twice as fast to twice as many.

      NONONONO!!!!

  17. Greek Update
    Unemployment is at 25%, with youth unemployment almost 50% (corresponding eurozone averages: 11.4% and 23%)
    Economy has shrunk by 25% since the start of the eurozone crisis
    Country’s debt is 175% of GDP
    Borrowed €240bn (£188bn) from the EU, the ECB and the IMF

    Greek Prime Minister Tsipras has warned of “real difficulties” ahead, as his government faces a Tuesday deadline to submit a list of reforms to lenders. The deal is widely regarded as a major climb down for the PM, who won power vowing to reverse budget cuts.
    “We have a long and difficult road ahead.”
    The government was elected by promising to reverse austerity and end the bailout has had a major climb-down. It has had to accept supervision by its creditors – no moves without EU agreement – and a loan programme with conditions.

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed on Friday that there would be no payment of new funds to Greece until the conditions of the deal had been met.

    On the streets of Athens, reaction to the deal in Brussels was mixed. Mr Costas, dismissed the deal as a “somersault that the whole world will remember”.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31564846

    Just look again at those Eurozone unemployment nos, Without major strategy improvements we are headed sown the same path. WW

      • MAte some are wising up:
        A piece of sarcasm popular on Slovak social media sums up the frustration with Greece: “Adopt a Greek for 500 euros.
        He’ll do everything you don’t have the time for: sleep until noon, drink coffee, take a siesta and in the evening he will even go to the bar for you.
        At last, you’ll have the time to work two jobs.”
        “They (Greeks) should start to work hard to pay their debts like everyone else.”
        “I definitely wouldn’t give Greece another penny,” said another user in the same forum.

      • Ortega Interesting article, I have copied some tips for our captains of industry to review. and for the punters.
        The key to productivity. The Germans — armed with:
        large and scaled-up firms,
        low corruption,
        state-of-the-art technologies,
        financing opportunities, and
        smart global supply chain management —
        (and a product which is in demand)
        get a lot more result out of each hour worked.
        So does the U.S.
        With the wealth that their productivity buys, Americans and Germans can afford things like leisure, or savings, lots and lots of stuff.

        Matt Yglesias put it simply, broadly, and truly:

        “Countries aren’t rich because their people work hard.
        When people are poor, that’s when they work hard.”

        I think the last line could be prophetic WW

      • Yes, which just highlights the predicament for the Greek people, working like mad with nothing to show for it, squeezed by external forces and those who made decisions on their behalf and made out like bandits.

        So – big changes ahead for Greece. And big changes ahead for Europe. The two are interlinked and its lunacy to believe the euro would survive any ‘grexit’ unscathed (as if that is all it would be).

        What’s also ignored (and I understand why) are the many, MANY German/Dutch/French/Austrian retiree residents with very expensive properties in Greece and the very serious repercussions/blowback for them.

        The eurogroup are stupidly playing hard-arse with something way past its blow-up date.

        The lessons that were learnt from historical humiliations and subsequent scorched-earth wars have all too easily been forgotten in Europe.

        When they write the history of the next cataclysm, they’ll pencil in this moment as the obvious last/best opportunity missed. For the troika and the MoU.

  18. This ought to bend some…

    “China has no interest in a gold-backed currency. They prefer Keynes’ plan.

    ” The desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.

    1. Though the super-sovereign reserve currency has long since been proposed, yet no substantive progress has been achieved to date. Back in the 1940s, Keynes had already proposed to introduce an international currency unit named “Bancor”, based on the value of 30 representative commodities. Unfortunately, the proposal was not accepted. The collapse of the Bretton Woods system, which was based on the White approach, indicates that the Keynesian approach may have been more farsighted. The IMF also created the SDR in 1969, when the defects of the Bretton Woods system initially emerged, to mitigate the inherent risks sovereign reserve currencies caused. Yet, the role of the SDR has not been put into full play due to limitations on its allocation and the scope of its uses. However, it serves as the light in the tunnel for the reform of the international monetary system.

    2. A super-sovereign reserve currency not only eliminates the inherent risks of credit-based sovereign currency, but also makes it possible to manage global liquidity. A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by a global institution could be used to both create and control the global liquidity. And when a country´s currency is no longer used as the yardstick for global trade and as the benchmark for other currencies, the exchange rate policy of the country would be far more effective in adjusting economic imbalances. This will significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability.

    III. The reform should be guided by a grand vision and begin with specific deliverables. It should be a gradual process that yields win-win results for all.

    The reestablishment of a new and widely accepted reserve currency with a stable valuation benchmark may take a long time. The creation of an international currency unit, based on the Keynesian proposal, is a bold initiative that requires extraordinary political vision and courage. In the short run, the international community, particularly the IMF, should at least recognize and face up to the risks resulting from the existing system, conduct regular monitoring and assessment and issue timely early warnings. ”

    ~ Zhou Xiaochuan
    Governor, People’s Bank of China

    http://www.pbc.gov.cn/publish/english/956/2009/20091229104425550619706/20091229104425550619706_.html

    Skippy…. ridged propertarians ignite…

    • Gold backed currency, heck no. Old news.

      But they still see it as an important financial asset.

      https://www.bullionstar.com/blog/koos-jansen/the-chinese-governements-gold-policy-from-the-horses-mouth/

      “The gold market is an important component in the make up of financial markets. Gold has both financial and commodity attachments. Good efforts to develop the gold market will enable it to play a unique function not found in other financial assets, complementing and helping the other markets in finance, completing our financial system helping in both breadth and depth, raising our market’s competitiveness and readiness to respond to crises, contributing to stability and security of our finances.”

      • It has little functionality in economic activity, albeit a sociological and psychological preference, largely due to environmental indoctrination e.g. induced or casual rarity is intrinsic to price.

        As it is such a hang over from antiquity, with the help from those that engage in its activity’s, as such, it is prudent to assign it to a basket of assets underpinning ones currency.

        Skippy…. was Buffet the one that said 10% is his allocation as a price hedge.

      • Doesn’t sound like something Buffett would say.

        skippy: “sociological and psychological preference, largely due to environmental indoctrination”

        So the same reason fiat currency has value.

      • Fiat is just like gold in the sense that law establishes its worth, although fiat is by virtue of taxes where as gold is by set price.

        Actually Buffett hates the stuff….

        Buffett is well-known for not only his strengths as a businessman, but also for his rather outspoken hatred of gold. The stance is somewhat controversial given the massive popularity of the precious metal that has made millions for investors all around. Also, we have seen other billionaire investors betting big on gold in recent weeks. Nevertheless, Buffett is not the least bit timid about his opposition towards the commodity. We scoured the Internet to bring you the seven best Warren Buffett quotes regarding gold and why he hates it so much.

        1. “Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

        2. “The problem with commodities is that you are betting on what someone else would pay for them in six months. The commodity itself isn’t going to do anything for you….it is an entirely different game to buy a lump of something and hope that somebody else pays you more for that lump two years from now than it is to buy something that you expect to produce income for you over time.”

        3. “Gold is a way of going long on fear, and it has been a pretty good way of going long on fear from time to time. But you really have to hope people become more afraid in a year or two years than they are now. And if they become more afraid you make money, if they become less afraid you lose money, but the gold itself doesn’t produce anything.”

        4. “I will say this about gold. If you took all the gold in the world, it would roughly make a cube 67 feet on a side…Now for that same cube of gold, it would be worth at today’s market prices about $7 trillion – that’s probably about a third of the value of all the stocks in the United States…For $7 trillion…you could have all the farmland in the United States, you could have about seven Exxon Mobils (NYSE:XOM) and you could have a trillion dollars of walking-around money…And if you offered me the choice of looking at some 67 foot cube of gold and looking at it all day, and you know me touching it and fondling it occasionally…Call me crazy, but I’ll take the farmland and the Exxon Mobils.”

        5. “The major asset in this category is gold, currently a huge favorite of investors who fear almost all other assets, especially paper money (of whose value, as noted, they are right to be fearful). Gold, however, has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative. True, gold has some industrial and decorative utility, but the demand for these purposes is both limited and incapable of soaking up new production. Meanwhile, if you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end.”

        6. “What motivates most gold purchasers is their belief that the ranks of the fearful will grow. During the past decade that belief has proved correct. Beyond that, the rising price has on its own generated additional buying enthusiasm, attracting purchasers who see the rise as validating an investment thesis. As ‘bandwagon’ investors join any party, they create their own truth – for a while.”

        7. “I have no views as to where it will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won’t do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) will be making a lot of money and there will be a lot – and it’s a lot – it’s a lot better to have a goose that keeps laying eggs than a goose that just sits there and eats insurance and storage and a few things like that.”

        There’s a real good reason why Warren Buffett hates gold. One who buys gold is hoping for the greater fool to buy it from them for a higher price at some future date. But that’s not investing — it’s gambling.

        Instead, Buffett seeks to surround himself with assets that are constantly producing value. Income that flows through the business is reinvested in new lines of business that go on to produce more income. It’s a never-ending cycle where new wealth is created each and every year. It takes advantage of the wonders of compounding income and leaves behind the folly of being allured by a lazy, good-for-nothing, shiny object.

        Skippy… store coupons are also a form of money, yet you can’t pay taxes in it.

      • “Buffett seeks to surround himself with assets that are constantly producing value.”

        If only Australian investors were doing this instead of punting on houses, relying on the very same “greater fool” theory mentioned. Except in the case of the Australian property investor they take far greater risk by leveraging 10:1, 20:1 and sometimes more.

        There is a place for Gold in anyone’s portfolio, no one is saying you should buy a 67 foot cube of the stuff and forgo allocation to other income producing assets.

        Interesting how different Warren’s view turned out compared with that of his father Howard:

        http://dailyreckoning.com/gold-backed-money-the-choice-of-a-free-society/

        You almost have to wonder if there are some family issues behind Warren Buffett’s obvious distaste for Gold.

      • Barron I had a look at your link and low and behold its just a media portal for Agora Financial.

        Agora Financial is a privately held publishing company that produces print and email publications, books and conferences directed toward providing financial advice, commentary and marketing predictions. They are based in Baltimore, MD.

        the A subsidiary of the holding company Agora, Inc., Agora Financial was founded in 1979 by financial writer and essayist Bill Bonner, the author of Empire of Debt and Financial Reckoning Day.[1][2][3] Bonner’s co-author Addison Wiggin is the executive publisher of Agora Financial.[4] Wiggin served as executive producer and co-writer on the 2008 feature-length documentary film I.O.U.S.A.. A film about the growth of the U.S. national debt, I.O.U.S.A. was based on Empire of Debt, and was financed by Agora Entertainment, another Agora, Inc. subsidiary.[5]

        The company publishes a number of financial newsletters focused on advising investors on making money in energy, metals, emerging technologies and small-cap stocks, including the Daily Reckoning, Outstanding Investments, and Capital & Crisis. Agora financial also founded the Richebacher Society, a group focused on continuing the work of the late economist Kurt Richebacher.[6]

        Byron King, editor of two of Agora Financial’s publications, Energy & Scarcity Investor and Outstanding Investments, has served as an oil industry analysis in the media, specifically in the wake of British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.[7] Other members of the Agora Financial staff have provided analysis for CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg.[8][9][10] In March 2011, Agora Financial acquired Laissez Faire Books, a Libertarian bookseller based out of New York.[11] Established in 1972, the bookseller publishes and distributes libertarian books, with a focus on economics and finance.[12] Jeffrey Tucker, author of Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo, and It’s a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes, as well as former editorial vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, was hired as Laissez Faire’s executive editor.[13]

        More good times –

        A financial newsletter firm whose parent company has previously been accused of defrauding customers is marketing to the tea party movement.

        Agora Financial sent an email advertisement to more than 50,000 Tea Party Nation subscribers Tuesday. It promoted an investment opportunity signed into law by President Ronald Reagan that offers “triple the retirement income most stocks or bonds pay” by profiting off oil companies. The investments, called master limited partnerships, can be used to invest in oil pipelines and are traded like stocks.

        Tea partyers were invited to learn more about the secret to making double-digit returns from those products by paying an annual $49 subscription for an Agora Financial newsletter, a business model similar to one that previously ran parent company Agora Inc. into legal trouble.

        The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Agora Inc. and a separate subsidiary, Pirate Investor, in 2003. The SEC accused the two of engaging in a scheme “to defraud public investors by disseminating false information” and making more than $1 million from related newsletter sales, but only Pirate Investor was held civilly liable. An Agora Financial spokesman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said his branch of the operation is entirely separate.

        http://www.rollcall.com/news/Company_Selling_Investment_Tips_Advertises_to_Tea_Partyers-209852-1.html

        Skippy…. Be careful mate… lots of scam artists out there… big and small… tho some are just plain crazy to boot….

      • Skip I just had a look at your link, and Hudson is ex-Wall St.

        Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst

        Ruh roh

      • skippy, the platform it’s published on is largely irrelevant as it’s just a straight up copy of Howard Buffett’s letter from 1948, first link from Google when I searched for it.

      • Mig-i – Baron

        Hudson is ex – wall st. and thinktankistan who writes about the dysfunction in both economic and political spheres, without criminal charges laid against him in court.

        Seriously mig-i – “Ruh roh” – I warned you about excessive self medication. Going to the dogs is a colloquial term. yet it does have grounding.

        Baron I did highlight the “careful its a scam site” with hard ideological preferences, strangely your link is way down on search preferences, like zip.

        As far as Howard Buffett goes he was a Murray Rothbard fan boy as well as a Congressman from the 2nd District in Nebraska and uber conservative. So his gold buggery is more an article of faith than it is an informed historical perspective.

        Skippy… disingenuous is not a good look or compelling wrt discourse of any kind, seems a inherited trait for some stripes.

      • 1907 for the most modern example 8~

        Edit: price is not indicative of value or utility, especially over long time lines and chaotic events.

        Skippy… other wise you have several millennia of data that refutes that suggestion.

  19. Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry

    ► Willie Soon is researcher at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
    ► Documents: Koch brothers foundation among groups that gave total of $1.25m

    A prominent academic and climate change denier’s work was funded almost entirely by the energy industry, receiving more than $1.2m from companies, lobby groups and oil billionaires over more than a decade, newly released documents show.

    Over the last 14 years Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, received a total of $1.25m from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers, the documents obtained by Greenpeace through freedom of information filings show.

    Told ya so! Willie $00n is just another paid liar. So when you hear that 97% of climate scientists endorse AGW, and you wonder about the other 3%, this is why they exist. 😡

    • We know, you get a tiny cut of the giant garbage truck sized armoured vehicles that dump wads of cash out front of my place every week.

      You’re one of my lowly paid sockpuppets which is why you can’t post on any other topic.

      What I’m not getting is, are you unhappy with your pay? I think that’s where this is all headed, but we really should do pay negotiations behind closed doors

    • Fighting the good fight against the tyranny of AGW…. R2M.

      Skippy… Friedumb and Libations demand it….. [!!!!!!]

      • Libertarianism must be the dumbest philosophy ever dreamt up. It was designed to suit the very rich, but these days you find some very stupid poor people, who are dupes conned by the media, as fervent believers.

        I mention the Koch brothers above. They are true libertarians. In 1980, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate.

        According to Forbes Magazine, the Koch brothers are now worth $80 billion, and have increased their wealth by $12 billion since last year alone.

        For the Koch brothers, $80 billion in wealth, apparently, is not good enough. Owning the second largest private company in America is, apparently, not good enough. It doesn’t appear that they will be satisfied until they are able to control the entire political process.

        It is well known that the Koch brothers have provided the major source of funding to the Tea Party and want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

        What else do the Koch brothers want?

        ► “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
        ► “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
        ► “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
        ► “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”

        etc etc :roll:

      • Mig-i….. The Kochs are equal opportunity employers…. no problems working for the Commies either…. got a leg up from them in the very beginning….

      • Libertarianism must be the dumbest philosophy ever dreamt up.

        It’s not “dumb”, it’s just the philosophy you see in children and psychopaths.

        It can be summed up in four words – “me want, fuck you”.

      • Migration you say sockpuppet. I’ve already chidded you for missing that up top.

        Now there’s this:
        Researchers have quantified how the Greenland Ice Sheet reacted to a warm period 8,000-5,000 years ago, when temperatures were 2-4 degrees C warmer than present and so could inform us what might happen if the same occurred now.

        Dr. Nicolaj Krog Larsen, Aarhus University in Denmark and Professor Kurt Kjær, Natural History Museum of Denmark, ventured off to Greenland to investigate how fast the Greenland Ice Sheet reacted to past warming. Over six summers, they cored lakes in the ice-free land surrounding the ice sheet. The lakes act as a valuable archive as they store glacial meltwater sediments in periods where the ice is advanced. That way it is possible to study and precisely date periods in time when the ice was smaller than present.

        You need to lift your socks…. puppet.

        http://www.science20.com/news_articles/greenland_melting_the_past_might_tell_what_our_future_holds-153388

      • Lucky we have APRA “monitoring” the mortgage lending channel and responsible” lending.

        Meanwhile Sydney median houses now at 13x household income.

        And our brain dead politicians wonder why consumption isnt rising!

    • Had NAB as a client for a few years. They mostly wanted to know in confidence material about other banks. Their IT systems are of historical interest. Best avoided.

    • Joye’s “21st-century Volcker moment” is a direct result of wonky tax policy as informed by equally wonky ideological agendas.

      Skippy…. tho one can hear the manic cackling of conservative Peggy Noonan – “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to”

    • Chinese New Year. Looks like the proposal to stop foreigners from buying existing properties is nothing but hot air..

    • Just to flesh out his post on AFR we should check on his previous opinions.

      Volume 1

      Innovative Approaches to Reducing the Costs of Home Ownership

      A Report Commissioned by The Menzies Research Centre for the Prime Minister’s Home Ownership Task Force

      June, 2003

      http://www.rismark.com.au/pdf/mrc.pdf

      Its hard for me to get past page 2 with out Roflommao…

      and again in 2009 per – Crikey cage match: the truth about house prices

      “There is some World Bank research, cited by Shane Oliver himself some years back, which shows that house price levels correlate strongly with the degree of urbanisation across different countries.

      Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on Earth, much more than the US and even the UK.

      It suggests that there are solid reasons why house price- income multiples are higher here than elsewhere, and likely to remain so.

      by grn on Jul 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm

      GRN, I also think Shane Oliver is one of our best analysts and the 12/11/2008 Oliver’s Insights is worth reading as it makes it clear how things could have gone either way: http://www.ampcapital.com.au/K2DOCS/AC952C44-82B3-4AE0-89BD-DB32B638A27A/olivers-insights_House-prices-and-debt-Australia%27s-Achilles-heel_12-11-2008.pdf?DIRECT

      I’d also like to correct a myth often bandied about with the apparently simple words “supply and demand”.

      The Supply:Demand ratio that matters is not the number homes needed in a market versus the number of homes that exist in that market.

      The ratio that does matter is the number of people/couples able and willing to buy a home in a given market at a given time, versus the number of homes available for sale in that market at that time.

      The numbers in the second (relevant) ratio are much smaller than the numbers in the first (less relevant) ratio, and are therefore far more volatile and subject to influence from public policy, interest rates, unemployment, and the number of homes that are off the market because they are tied up in investors’ portfolios.

      That’s why government policy is effective in keeping home prices up. That’s also why large numbers of speculators are able to exert enormous influence on prices by buying and holding. The percentage of total homes owned by investors in capital cities has gone up by something like one percentage point in the last ten years. The effect on the second ratio – ready buyers to available homes – has been dramatic and is one of the main reasons for the relatively high prices in Australia compared to other urbanised countries.

      by james mcdonald on Jul 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      GRN, agreed. That research actually comes from Luci Ellis at the RBA — refer to her Zipf curve analysis in one of her excellent RDPs in around 2002 from memory. I repeated that analysis in my 2003 report to the Prime Minister’s Home Ownership Task Force…

      by chris joye on Jul 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm”

      Skippy… I concur that urbanization is a leading factor, as is, of now, the rejuvenation of CBD’s. Yet noone can enter the market with out the means to do so, which then boils down to credit for most local punters or cash from international investors [better returns and financial profile than Casinos at Macau et al?]

  20. http://tinyurl.com/lsly6qf

    City of Sydney public talkfest – Solving Sydney’s Housing Affordability Crisis

    Thu 12 March – 630pm – 800pm

    Lower Town Hall

    Speakers
    John Daley – CEO, Grattan Institute
    Prof Duncan Maclennan – University of St Andrews Scotland
    Dr Tim Williams – CEO, The Committee for Sydney
    Dr Cassandra Goldie – CEO, Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)
    Jon Ross – Executive Director , Head of Public Sector, Westpac
    Andrew McAnulty – CEO, Link Housing
    Toby Long – GM of Master Planned Communities, Mirvac
    Eamon Waterford – Director, Policy & Advocacy, Youth Action
    MC:
    Steve Cannane – Journalist and current affairs reporter, ABC

  21. Interesting quote from article:

    “The principal of Ray White Castle Hill, David Dowling, told the crowd that while the rezoning could provide them with the biggest windfall of their lives, dealing with developers was not a do-it-yourself job.

    “A lot of people are out of their depth dealing directly with developers,” he said.

    “Most people here have no concept of what’s to come … Castle Hill will end up looking a bit like Chatswood.”

    Not good news for Castle Hill residents who want to stay. They are left with no choice but take the money and move elsewhere.

    http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/castle-hill-residents-join-forces-against-developers-over-valuable-land-set-for-highrise-20150220-13jnk4.html

  22. Bold vision is needed at the federal level. Australia should build new cities. What’s happening in Sydney and Melbourne is not good for the long term well being of Australia (at all levels, environmental, social, etc..)

    Why not direct the $5M for residency program and all the Chinese investments (including Chinese developers) into a couple of new cities to be built?

    It’s the ideal time to do it. Money is very cheap. The government can issue bonds and embark on the largest project to reshape Australia in a sustainable way.

    There has to be some people with brains making policy is there?

    • truthisfashionable

      “Why not direct the $5M for residency program and all the Chinese investments (including Chinese developers) into a couple of new cities to be built?”

      That’s the exact idea I have had!

      But I doubt its going to be a politician that can do it. We need a smart, well connected and well funded business person to take the lead. However, there is a dearth of those in Australia also.

  23. Eh? Blocked?

    Oh, there I is.

    Boo!!!!

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sydney-siege-report-the-system-has-let-us-down-says-tony-abbott-20150222-13llj2.html

    “…had a “long history of provocative, attention-seeking behaviour” and making “unreliable or false claims”. He “regularly and persistently” contacted ASIO and the National Security hotline offering to be an intelligence source…”

    Our Tony seems to be talking about himself here.

    • change the tipping point from protection of the individual to the safety of the community and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

      Sounds like bloody socialism to me Bogan, what the hell?

      • I took the graphic, at least, to be specifically about digital infrastructure development. – a different focus to the article itself. I can believe China is building infrastructure at a decent clip.

    • Well, apparently Singapore and Hong Kong are the best there is, so with the way property prices are going…

  24. For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.

    One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.

    But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate-change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html?rref=business&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Business%20Day&pgtype=article

  25. Good read…

    Time to tear up the paperwork Gillian Tett, FT. The pink paper reviews David Graeber’s new book.

    “High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3420962a-b7bb-11e4-981d-00144feab7de.html#ixzz3STaiabIb

    Yet, as Graeber points out, modern technology has not removed the bureaucratic processes, just shifted them online. “The invention of new forms of industrial automation in the 18th and 19th centuries had the paradoxical effect of turning more of the world’s population into full-time industrial workers,” he observes. “So has all the software designed to save us from administrative responsibilities in recent decades ultimately turned us all into part- or full-time administrators.”
    ©Shonagh Rae

    He blames the issue of spreading bureaucracy on something else: power. A century ago Max Weber, the sociologist, pointed out that bureaucracies always tend to defend their own interests as institutions. Graeber thinks the issue now is not just about the triumph of bureaucratic institutions per se but the bureaucratisation of our entire culture.

    For the 21st-century world has now developed an extensive web of subtle rituals and cultural patterns around bureaucracy that make these processes seem normal — if not inevitable. And the crucial point to grasp is that this pattern supports the status quo and the position of the elite. The counterpart of rising income inequality is the spread of those bureaucratic forms.

    And what makes the pattern doubly insidious — and ironic — is that reforms that are supposed to promote free-market ideals often end up creating more bureaucratic processes. Take, for example, the post-2008 banking reforms or developments in Britain’s National Health Service.”

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3420962a-b7bb-11e4-981d-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3STZfIlR8

    Skippy… ouch…