Weekend Links May 31 – June 1

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 02 06.19





United Kingdom

United States

Global Macro

Capital Markets


And Furthermore……


Australia/New Zealand


  1. migtronixMEMBER

    BTC > USD600

    Thanks for the links Gunna, I love how the Bank of Portugal is concerned with US Household deleveraging. Idiots.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Cheers Mig, I actually like looking at analyses of one economy from outside that economy, and I actually think the Bank of Portugal research is quite square.

      I often try to slip Chinese views of the US or Europe (and of course vice versa) in.

      Then there are the pieces of analysis which dont talk about specific countries but have enormous implications for one (or some)

      Have a read of the Vox piece linked above with the incredibly boring title

      ‘Revenue substitution in resource-rich economies: Evidence from a new dataset (Vox) …a prophetic last paragraph

      and think about the Australian economy….

      and the Riksbank Governor and HKIMR pieces on Macro and China Real estate also have significant implications for the experience here

      • intertubernet

        Very interesting Gunna, and a nice short read.

        The paragraph you allude to is:

        “Resource-rich countries should carefully monitor the evolution of non-resource revenues; if the offset between resource and non-resource revenues that are growth-friendly is large, they should consider examining the design of their tax policy and revenue administration. In particular, attention would need to be paid to the design and administration of individual taxes, as exemptions and special tax treatments may have grown with rising resource revenues while revenue administration has weakened. Regarding VAT, for instance, besides having a somehow lower standard rate, resource-rich countries tend to have a larger number of reduced rates and exemptions”.

        Yes, that us to some extent, and royalties have helped, but it’s not like Australia has reaped anything like the windfall from mining that everyone thinks it has. Compared to most countries at our level of development the resources sector gets off pretty lightly.

        The real cash flow in our economy is unproductive debt (mostly spent on housing). The worry for me is not that our tax system is unbalanced and inefficient (although I desperately want to see that fixed), it’s that when the mining revenue drops there won’t be enough other economy left to tax (regardless of how we spread the pain).

  2. migtronixMEMBER

    Tracey’s efforts have helped establish what is now the growing field of bioelectronics. He has grand hopes for it. “I think this is the industry that will replace the drug industry,” he told me. Today researchers are creating implants that can communicate directly with the nervous system in order to try to fight everything from cancer to the common cold. “Our idea would be manipulating neural input to delay the progression of cancer,” says Paul Frenette, a stem-cell researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx who discovered a link between the nervous system and prostate tumors.


      • migtronixMEMBER

        Yeah man its way cool, I always understood electricity better than chemistry and always thought organisms can be looked at biochemically or bioelectrically…

      • intertubernet

        Biophysics Mig?

        I did comp bio myself. It’s the patterns that make life, not the substrate.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Nah I was more generalist with interest areas in everything LOL, but on my travels I did some work with biomech and biophyz guys — to do some 3d plotting to bring it back to yesterdays side topic — then quite a bit with the biochems re: gene mapping etc…

        EDIT: And yes, your rather beautifully put and poetic charactarization is very much how I would put it – like a hologram, every piece is capable of recreating the entirety by following the same “rules”/maths…

      • @Mig: Very often I’m reminded how biochemistry is much like editing Windows registry: Just when you think you’ve got it, your system doesn’t boot anymore.

        We’ve mapped the living daylights out of it – but we still don’t know how, or more importantly why it works! 😛

    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      Yeah a lot of the research in this area is producing viable treatments. Deep brain stimulation, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (look it up on youtube).

      At the same time it is quite shocking how haphazard some of these therapies are targeted, almost no better than phrenology.

    • Imagine the effects that this could have an anesthetics. Instead of been given a cocktail drugs they just hack in and switch off the sections of the body that they need to in order to perform the surgery.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        @mig No it will never work that way unless you can replace the action of the drugs with nanobots/programmable stem cells (the later is more unlikely) etc.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        nanobots/programmable stem cells

        Yes that’s pretty much where my mind was wandering — having these guys intercede and complete a neural path way of their own bypassing the cellular pathway — I know, I know, I like to ponder… but mapping this stuff with neural “comptrollers” like

        Neural prosthesis restores behavior after brain injury


        and you can see the possibility of fine grain control is not 0

  3. Attack on the Nimbys by NSW Lib. Eeeexcellent.


    “Pru Goward has sent a stark message to Sydney’s established garden suburbs, warning if you live near a train station, be prepared for more density. If you want ready access to jobs or public services? Be prepared for more density.”

    “”You can’t live in one part of Sydney and demand that you be in a little oasis of a garden suburb and yet demand that there be greater economic growth because you want job opportunities for your children,” Ms Goward said. “We all have to share the burden, as well as the benefits, of growth.””

    Hear friggen hear.

    • Yes, exactly what is needed.

      Sydney has almost 200 rail stations in the metro area and a large majority of them are surrounded by 1-2 storey buildings and quarter acre blocks.

      Every single one of them should have a zone around them – say radius 2000 m (a 20 minute slow walk) – that has few restrictions. Basically mixed – residential, office, retail up to 6-7 storeys (perhaps higher within 500 metres of the station).

      200 stations by approx 12,000 sqm (pi r squared) = 2,500,000 sqm of land ready for redevelopment.

      Save anything truly historic of course but most of them are surrounded by cheap 20th century dross.

      And have all newly built dwellings subject to a LVT.

      Whether it is developed of not is another question as relaxation of land use restrictions on the urban fringe and ending the first user pays all philosophy at the same time may allow the question – where do people WANT to live to be answered.

      Of course a sustainable population policy may reduce the need for rapid construction on the fringe or closer in – but both sides of politics are too witless to lead a mature debate on that subject.

      • Depends where she lives – She is the MP for Goulburn which is a rural electorate.

        What is likely to happen is that the Greens and the ALP will do what they did last year and what the LNP did when in opposition.

        Run around promising the world to every interest group (the NIMBYs, the anti-sprawlers, the anti-developers you name it) drumming up a scare campaign and rendering any sensible planning reforms on the fringes or in inner areas political poison.

        Yet there will be complete silence on population growth rates and levels of migration. Which is the only honest approach for NIMBYs and all the others who dislike development. The cynicism of the Greens in particular in this regard is breath taking.

        The politics of No.

      • Yeah she’s in Goulburn, I assume, good move to put a rural MP as the planning minister.

        Any Nimbys will have to go for quite the road trip to have a protest at her.

        NSW Labor did something similar, they were going to be allowed to build like hell around Lane Cove, but then the Libs got in and changed it, now hopefully they’ll change it back.

        Sucked in.

        They should really do a number on the Inner West whilst they’re at it. 100 stories and tonnes of middle eastern immigrants. Just for a laugh.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yet there will be complete silence on population growth rates and levels of migration. Which is the only honest approach for NIMBYs and all the others who dislike development. The cynicism of the Greens in particular in this regard is breath taking.

        From reading the Greens policies, it seems they would stop most skilled immigration and focus primarily on family reunion and humanitarian immigration.

        According to the stats here:

        Of the ~190k immigrants in 2012-13, ~128k were through the skilled stream.

        So immigration would clearly drop dramatically under Greens policies.

        Further, that aside, I cannot imagine why anyone would think the Greens, of all parties, would be in favour of massive population growth.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Further, that aside, I cannot imagine why anyone would think the Greens, of all parties, would be in favour of massive population growth.

        I tend to agree with that, NIMBYs yes, Australian processing of refugees? Incontrovertibly, but pro mass immigration? Never been my experience.

      • ‘Further, that aside, I cannot imagine why anyone would think the Greens, of all parties, would be in favour of massive population growth.’

        Absolutely not. Population is people. People is the problem. Soylent Green Dream.

        Greens not People.

      • drsmithy,

        There are some fuzzy motherhood statements


        but i don’t recall the last time a Green politician actually spelt out what they mean and whether recent numbers have been too high and what numbers they would adopt if elected.

        1. How many skilled spots
        2. How many reunions
        3. How many education for permanent residency sales
        4. How many humanitarian – I would argue for an immediate doubling to 30,000 if we have sufficient support social services for that number and more if we do.

        In fact I don’t think the Greens even publicly acknowledge there are practical limits to the humanitarian intake.

        Unless they are talking numbers they are simply expressing platitudes that are not much different to the major parties.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        Spot on Pfh. This is my issue with the greens. Their policies on the economy, trade and immigration are not spelt out properly.

      • Absolutely not. Population is people. People is the problem. Soylent Green Dream.

        They look more like watermelons to me.

        Fair enough in some respects it might’ve been nice for Australians to have owned their mining.

        The Greens = greenwashing communism.

        Just as SPP has been accused of greenwashing racism.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Unless they are talking numbers they are simply expressing platitudes that are not much different to the major parties.

        Other than a philosophical preference to keep population down because of the environmental impact, you mean ?

        As I said, of all the major parties, arguing the Greens are in favour of population pumping is simply absurd.


      • drsmithy,

        “…arguing the Greens are in favour of population pumping is simply absurd….”

        and of course it would be if anyone was actually making that argument.

        As you seem to have gotten a bit excited, a quick reminder of what I said.

        “….Yet there will be complete silence on population growth rates and levels of migration….”

        And when it comes to the Greens apart from their policies page that is what we get. Not much better than the majors who also talk about sensible and balanced yadda yadda yadda.

        If you can convince the Greens to become a little more vocal in public I will sing their praises in three part harmony – with a bit of help from auto tune..

    • Here is the chance to get everyone arguing against each other until someone eventually says….


      This is exactly what SPP should be doing Bluebird….Tactics, aggression, results. I know they’re a political party and atm it’s not their focus…Maybe that’s what people like you and I can get going? A council that protests, winds people up, makes media announcements, attends interviews…..an official group…What are your thoughts?..

      In this case send people with placards from the west saying…”take your share North shore”….

      • Sorry mate I don’t really have the time. I would 100% support you and get the word out in forums for you though.

        Sorry to be a wimp.

        I doubt you’d get anyone caring until these changes go through from Goward and lots more people start having unit blocks stuck up next to them.

        Also SPP put themselves out there, and many who agree with their policies, like a lot of people here, didn’t vote for them. I still haven’t received a decent explanation as to why. My current explanation is just some sort of mental imbalance.

        No worries if people who are for mass immigration don’t vote for them, but I find it quite demented those who do agree with them not voting for them.

        So basically what I am saying is I hate wasting my time. Unless I am intentionally wasting it for myself. 😀

      • No problem Bluebird…I get it..life’s busy….I’m passionate about it and want to take it on in some way…probably end up being assaulted for being racist. (I’m certainly not…I love our diversity, great thing about Australia)….

        My GF said she wished she had the culture of my family (Portuguese like migtronix)….I said the Portuguese in Portugal have far less culture than us Aussies…We know it all from all races…Ask an Italian the last time he ate Moroccan food, or experienced Asia for 3 months (blessed we are here in Australia). I never forget that. We are however at the end of the benefits of diversity…Now they’re just more and more and more and more people. …..YUK.

      • I love our diversity, great thing about Australia)….

        Me too for the most part it takes the edge off our bogan tendencies and I’ve got Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Pizza etc all over the place.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I’ve got Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Pizza etc all over the place.

        You need to be more tidy Bluebird

        @Rich42 E pá olá gajo 😉

      • intertubernet

        Diversity and population growth are false equivalents.

        The first big immigration push for Australia was to increase the white population (and eradicate the black), not increase diversity.

        Rapid, poorly directed population growth is the enemy of diversity.

        If you want diversity look to keeping our economy open, our institutions honest and efficient and our local businesses expanding to take the rest of the world by storm…

  4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10863888/US-money-slump-flashes-warnings-as-economy-contracts.html

    “Jan Loeys, from JP Morgan, said the strange action in the bond markets is causing a “growing unease among investors that something is not right about the world economy”, but it may merely be the result of very low inflation and therefore benign.”

    No kidding fellas!

    You mean driving an economy on asset bubbles fuelled with $85B per month for years and then winding that back is easier said than done.

    Wow !

    Next thing they will tell us is that dead elephants find reaching ‘escape velocity’ a challenge too.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Whatever they did they did a number on gold!

      golds down yields up, any idea @Macro Polo?

      • Hey Mig,

        Sorry I’ve been kept busy with a new job, and sorry if this reply is awful, I’m a little hungover. Mea culpa, I was wrong about gold putting in a bottom in the near term, my bad. To be honest I don’t know what drove that sell-off, but it sure collected a lot of stops.

        That aside, gold falling now makes me more bullish for when QE ends. This is related to something I mentioned the other day here regarding treasuries:


        “That said, and you probably know I’m fairly bullish on long bonds especially at the end of tapering, would not surprise me if we see some sort of buy-the-rumour, sell-the-fact in the lead up to the final tapering: I.E. a slight sell off in long bonds leading up to the final taper and then a rush back in to them when QE has ended.

        I only mention that as a possibility because if it does happen a lot of people will go back to believing that QE ending will result in higher rates, but again this will be wrong and the trade will inflict maximum pain if they are short at the onset of tapering, and are forced to cover when rates do not rise.”

        If gold (or Treasuries) kept rallying strongly right up to the end of tapering in October, the potential for a post-taper rally in both assets would be weakened, and there would be little short squeeze potential.

        What made both these assets a good trade at the start of the year wasn’t so much tapering (which was only a catalyst), but really it was just the hugely negative sentiment and positioning in safe haven assets – any change in policy or fundamentals was more likely to create a short squeeze than a sell-off.

        Fast foward 5 months, and it seems everyone has now taken the opposite stance, which is clear in hindsight – bonds aren’t going to sell off catastrophically if the Fed stops buying and gold actually rose after the taper. With this hindsight insight in mind, everyone starts to shift their allocations too late to take full advantage.

        I wouldn’t call it a crowded trade to be long safe havens right now, but that negative sentiment and positioning isn’t as strong for both asset classes, so the potential for a short term reversal seems possible to me given that volatility remains contained for now.

        This would be the pain trade that catches everybody out. Perhaps it has already started in gold, and treasuries will follow – It isn’t exactly a foregone conclusion, but I’m curious and watching for sure.

    • “You mean driving an economy on asset bubbles fuelled with $85B per month for years and then winding that back is easier said than done.”

      The collective withdrawal from a drug that has hidden reality from it’s takers for many years will be a sight to behold.

  5. The Patrician

    From the very good Michael Janda ABC piece. (I get the feeling he is reading MB.) Can someone savvy link this comment to his twitter feed?

    “Mr Wilson said that means FIRB largely relies on the buyers declaring their purchase, as state land titles offices generally do not check a real estate purchaser’s residency status.

    “The only state land titles office that has a foreign or domestic tick in it is Queensland. None of the others do,” he added”

    Let’s clear this furphy up right now.
    Qld state title office does not “check the purchasers residency status” before registering a transfer of title. No titles office does.
    There is no requirement to provide proof of the purchasers residency status to effect the transfer of title in Qld or anywhere in Australia.

    This simple yet crucial regulatory failure is at the heart of the problem.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I’ve just pinged him on twitter mate.

      I thought that performance yesterday by FIRB (and the RBA and the Real Estate lobby in general) was a straight out example of regulatory contempt for ordinary everyday Australians looking for square answers.

    • TP,

      Re twitter. All you need to do is click on the date stamp on your comment and the URL for your comment will appear in the top of the browser. Copy that and then paste in a tweet with the hashtags and the @ addresses of your choosing. see @pfh007 on twitter for some examples.

  6. James White (one of 3d1k’s heroes) just on ABC News 24 spruiking Australian housing and Chinese economy.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      The thing I dont get (understand) is how much lending by Australian banks (the big 4) to Chinese (in China) for the purpose of ‘investing in Australian residential real estate is taking place.

      I have seen first hand all the promo stuiff they have been doing in Singapore and Hong Kong, I understand it is more again in particular Chinese cities (I havent seen that but was told that from people in HK).

      I havent seen any stats on it – has anyone?

      I dont have a problem with either Chinese coming to Australia or Chinese investing in Australia – but we have laws about buying existing real estate [though completely unpoliced by FIRB or anyone else] , and you never see any iota of a mention of that in the advertising I have seen (and the broader issue of what happens with the system if the economy in one – or both countries – carks it and who ends up with what on their books remains unaddressed)

    • Thanks, a good sketch.

      In regard to the energy supply issues why wouldn’t they pursue geothermal energy?

      • Yes those monkeys in the mountains enjoy water warmed by hot rocks so it could be an option.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Cheers mate – its actually a lot of other people who send me the links of what they are/have read on what is their Friday (all banking economics types).

      I just sift through what looks OK and what doesnt and load them in (tho that does take some time)

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      We are

      1….populating because it would be racist not to
      2….populating for our economic development in some unspecified way
      3….adding to the skills of our society whether we need them or not
      4….increasing demand for inner city real estate so that those owning can get a better price than they would if only local buyers were in the market
      5….populating to increase the social diversity we have

      6…all of the above (and more)


      • migtronixMEMBER

        You forgot the biggie Gunna

        ….. Populating to stop the boats. And it worked!

      • I hear that a lot of nursing grads can’t even get a job now because of 457s.

        It’s one thing to screw over IT, at least we can adapt in a reasonable amount of time and we’re not very important, but selfless nurses? That’s a new low.

        They get what 50-100k for dealing with blood and guts and all sorts of bad stuff. What an awful people we’ve become.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @bluebird yes and no, you can bring them in but to do anything value add you need AUS quals – unlike IT.

        The College of Nursing are equal opportunity rent seekers, it will only be at the lowest paid level 457 would displace someone who did a, subsidised no less, local nursing degree.

      • Populating Northern Australia to counter the declining birth rate/longevity as per White Paper to be released at the years end. Geo located immigration I suspect. Not everyone will be going to a Sydney Urban Activation Precinct.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER


        I think the nursing issue is due to big increase in the number of medical degree places in the last 5 years. Same thing is happening with dentistry, doctors etc but to a lesser degree.

        457’s just make it worse.

    • Important to remember that the biggest demographic change is about to occur as our actual deaths double over the next few decades and our natural growth drops radically. How will this effect our NOM?

  7. RE: Google Cars,

    Locally there is a big push to get the regulation through in some form before these cars come over and start using the roads. They are not far away, if not google then some other player will poke their head around first.

    Data is a big thing here, as would be expected. Australia has it struggles in regard to geospatial data. There is no shortage of need, just not the personal at Gov. level, where it has traditionally been collected, stored and distributed, and not the scope at private. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Personally, I’ll be interested to see how they set up the ‘vision’ of the car. Robotics has been struggling with this field for years. If anyone has any links in regard to this please pass on.

  8. Twiggy spruiking China and iron ore at some mining conference sponsored by the Oz and WSJ….


    Fortescue chairman and major shareholder Andrew Forrest told the conference that Chinese steel production was continuing to run at record levels despite patchy economic indicators.

    “The Chinese ability to manage poverty out of its country is unprecedented and their consumption of steel is still running at record rates,” Mr Forrest said.

    He said betting against China’s growth story was the “only guarantee of a loss I have seen in a long time’’.

    “I’m pretty comfortable with the iron ore price oscillating around the $US110 (a tonne) mark,” Mr Forrest told the conference.

    “It could wander down to $US80, it could wander up to $US140.”

    He said it was a case of “thank god we have China’’.

    “You have a situation where they’re trying to urbanise an Australia every year,’’ he said

    And, surprise, surprise….

    A procession of speakers at the Australia in China’s Century Conference in Melbourne yesterday cautioned against reading too much into the near 30 per cent decline in iron ore prices so far this year to $US95.70 a tonne

    They’re sounding increasingly desperate.

    Cue spruik from 3d…

    • If the Chinese do get involved in hostilities, tibet, india, japan, vietnam, north korea etc or look likely to why would we not restrict iron ore and scrap exports to reduce their ability to forge bullets, guns and ships?

      Pig Iron Tone?

      Of course we would not do it – we are talking money after all.

      We would probably just queue to seek blessings from the dalai lama and hope that fixes our bad Karma.

      • That optimists argument – that there are large chunks of the world awaiting urbanisation overlooks the fact that those parts of the world that are not urbanised have to be able to pay for it.

        China is a very poor indicator as it has essentially used a command economy structure to deny its people the full benefits of its trade performance and instead pour those resources into fixed assets.

        If a country is unable or unwilling to do that (i.e democracies) it can only urbanise and invest in fixed assets at the rate that its people are willing to do so and that depends on their incomes and their preferences.

        As we know – it takes a lot to persuade people to invest in infrastructure.

        Malinvestment with Chinese characteristics is still malinvestment and let’s not kid ourselves that the cost of those investment decisions are not going to be an issue in China. People are not silly, they know that money spent on white elephants is money that could have been spent by them.

        What will help the cause of urbanisation around the globe is a massive crash in commodity prices, due to excess supply, that puts the costs of urbanisation within reach of the developing nations that lack authoritarian regimes willing to make resource allocation on a massive scale in a particular way.

        But I am not sure our resource companies are keen on a model of developing world urbanisation that involves glut supply price levels.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I read that whole thing thinking “man someone has finally found a journalist with a decent ironic style wrapped in incisive critique!”, scrolled all the way back to the top and what do I find?

      Mark Latham 🙂

    • So Secco’s been reduced to writing for a lefty publication no one reads. Suits really.

    • The article is really about the IPA, whose opinion is bought and paid for by grotesque media oligarchs and mining heiresses alike, pushing their own ‘entitlement’ agenda, fashioned into a simplistic morality play of heroic individualism and virtuous user pays free markets, against the evils of socialism and unions and misguided progressivism, lapped up by corporate ideologues, capitalist true believers, and miscellaneous 3d1kwit conservative lackeys like a bunch of wide eyed six year olds booing at Punch & Judy marionettes.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Ain’t seen nothin yet Spleen :

        n Europe, the so-called “Troika” of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund has brought down elected governments as part of an unrelenting drive to wipe out public-sector jobs, increase the age of retirement, gut health care and pensions, lower minimum wages and introduce “labor flexibility.” This has been accompanied by the banning of strikes and the encouragement of right-wing and fascistic movements to suppress popular opposition

        Sound familiar? It will.


    • migtronixMEMBER

      +many that was a great read, and man is he so right

      While the budget occupied most Australian’s minds, keeping them in an ever-present state of conflict with neighbours, co-workers and family members, a cruel hoax that had followed a similar path of division and recrimination appeared to be entering its final stage in Australia’s poorest electorate.

    • Another excellent read. I’ve learned a lot of troubling things about Tassie from that blog.

      Would anyone hazard to rank the Australian States in terms of troubles?

      I couldn’t rank them but as I gather from my browsing Tassie is a mess; S.A. is dying (both literally and figuratively); QLD and W.A. are still running on dirt; Vic is hoping nothing happens to house prices; N.S.W. is houses and FIRE; and N.T., well, that place has always been a mystery to me.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      the original piece that was based from was in the Telegraph


      We are at the early stage of the new normal that 2008 brought in (or the response to it did)

      I agree with the theme of rising house prices wiping out middle classes, but would anticipate that there would be a major political reaction (as the UK is already seeing with the UKIP – not necessarily related to this subject I know) and that the ability of people to move location (as we are seeing with the Chinese moving to wherever they can to get better ownership of property rights) ultimately there is a case for governments to start looking at encouraging emigres from the developed world to fit into a local development narrative. That is already happening, and I know quite a few expat types securing boltholes in arcane pieces of the world to counter what is generally recognised as an economic straightjacket coupled with political farce.

      • I agree there is no speculation on reaction to the demise, rather an assumption of quiet acquiescence – which apart from a bit of noise on the edges (Occupy type stuff) I expect will be the case. The struggle to simply make ends meet will leave little energy for reaction, at least during the transition.

        Governments can legalise soft drugs and ensure free wifi to ease the pain.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        yeah right

        …..the majority of the populations of the western world will devolve into obese glazed eyed TV staring hominids chowing down on fast food ladled into their gobs as they stare outside their cages. Well spotted, you’ve nailed it.

        …and that United States preparing for a rising China with an economy going relatively backwards……..or that Europe, with an economy forever a squirrel grip away from a resource ransom of some sort…..They will really want the highly motivated martial qualities of such types on their side.

        (Not to mention that China with too much Testosterone, Russia with a declining population, and the coming of age of Africa – all really demands a fluff up the bean bag and pass the family bucket while we find another rerun of heres Lucy type thinking)

      • 3d1k’s conceit gives him the false hope he and his kid will somehow be immune from the predictions he is making.

    • The Patrician

      …and we love that they do.

      “The Australian now is pathetic”

      Wow. Cop that Rupe…and this is from the guy who co-founded it 50 years ago and came back and fixed it after it broke down in the eighties.

  9. @migtronix (or any other programmers/ computer scientists)

    What is the language that you think will be used for automation?

    • That’s actually a very interesting question because I’m seeing a strong movement within the automation community towards distributed processing and distributed control. This means that something like a robotic hand will itself understand how much force to apply when picking up certain objects and probably how to grasp the object.

      At a system top level this means the programming of how-to-do a task will be largely removed and supplied as an application level driver. This makes top level programming far more task oriented and introduces many problems similar to task synchronization in a massively parallel computing environment with the added twist that mechanical system stability and safety will become the dominate top level automation focus.

      Unfortunately, as far as I know, none of our normal programming languages is really intended for this sort of job. Typically they’re not good real-time environments and as a result constrain real time tasking to fit a very primitive execution structure like a timer driven Round-robin-tasker.

      I suspect some new languages will emerge with inbuilt concepts of parallelism, stability control and inter-task communications structures.

      I’m real interested to see what others suggest ….

      • Thanks China-Bob.

        It has been suggested I start picking up some programming for my field. I doubt that what I learn will be applicable to automation (perl and c++) but with all the discussion around the topic I thought I’d pose the question.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        I suspect some new languages will emerge with inbuilt concepts of parallelism, stability control and inter-task communications structures.

        This has to happen. However, I remember all the hubris around this when multicore systems became the norm. No major software dev tools/ paradigms have come out since.

        concurrent, distributed and real time are three of the hardest aspects of programming. Mix them together and you have trouble.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        @mig Why scala and haskel? Functional programming may not be the right paradigm.

        @footsore Dunno re automation but I would suggest you pick up python. More useful than perl and comes in handy in most situations.

      • If you really need speed then you will need a lower language – assembler maybe with some machine code.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        @PF those days are long gone. You phone (assuming android) is programmed in Java…

      • I don’t know much about Scala but it seems to be an attempt to take all that is good from all these new languages that have come out over the last 10 years or so. As far as I know you can program functionally or in a more object oriented or procedural fashion or however you want. Also with more straight forward type multi threading.

        I’ll put my money on Scala to be running our robots. That’s what he meant by “automation” I take it. It runs on top of Java so you can fall back to Java.

        Personally I prefer Ruby over Python if you’re talking about *nix like scripting languages. Perl should be taken out to a paddock and shot. 😛

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Also with more straight forward type multi threading.

        Ding ding ding, we have a winner (ditto for haskell with other interesting features)j

        @Peter Fraser: for certain kinds of robotics you’re right, spectrum analysis and feedback etc etc, will probably involve field arrays with ML — but that would be like 0.001% of stuff, an optimized C compiler can roll ML as good as you could.

      • Hi Peter,
        What I’m seeing is a trend towards functions (eg robotic hand) becoming objects that come supplied complete with all the firmware / software to complete the task. This is similar to what we see in teh PC industry where something like say a HDMI driver has all the code to compress /decompress and equalize the line built into the delivered device. It might be hardware, firmware or software however at the device interface we dont care. Instead the device itself implements a set of functions with standardized calls (passing expected parameters)

        Today ALL the Assembler programming will happen at the device level or lower. Many times a simple function might have 3 or even 4 four microcontrollers built-in so achieving the ideal loading of each microcontroller is far less important then other factor such a managing the power budget. So even within a device the top level interface will often use high level languages such as C and some sort of minimized *nix kernel. The big advantage of this approach is that the interprocessor comms standard is easily achieved if the standard *nix wrapper and libraries are used. For example, Dig around inside your WiFi router and you’ll see it is built on a *nix framework.

        OK so what does all this mean?
        Basically unless you are working for the manufacturer of specific low level devices (motor drivers sensor reading etc) you’ll probably never ever use assembly programming. an d I mean NEVER.

        What interesting today, is that even if you do work at this level you’ll also probably not use any traditional form of assembler because many people designing this level of hardware modify the microcontroller instruction set to suit the task specifically creating special hardware supported instructions like FFT’s, IFFT and FIR filter structures. This level of development happens mainly on FPGA (field programmable gate arrays) based emulators.

      • WRT top level languages I’ve never tried to use Java or similar mainly because many times it is at this level that you want to implement system safety. This means interfacing with triple redundant lock-step systems, its rather specialized area that has up until now been almost exclusively the domain of aircraft control engineers and some Military systems programmers.

        If I were looking at top level robotic tools for the future I’d focus on the systems methodology and languages used within Boeing.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        Thanks CB. I agree that systems will become OO with a unified interface.

        I also suspect that atleast initially FPGA’s and the like will have a big part to play in the integration of the systems.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @CB so… Ada ? 😉

        Well there are robots and there are robots. The vacuum cleaner is probably running java – having said that you can make the java stack very tight, it’s what it was designed for, and many – most? – bots will run java stacks (probably. Net too now it’s open source) but not your battlefield all terrain (including sky) transformers 😀

        Even with a bot car you’ll notice there’s a whole z-axis they don’t have to worry about that Boeing does…

      • Not sure about using Ada but at the top level, for many robots you’ll need to be able to demonstrate compliance to a functional specification especially wrt fail safe aspects this means using “formal verification” methods.

        Real time, distributed processing systems that are formally verified is at bests a research subject TODAY, lots of interesting work going on.

  10. I’m a fan of the knowmore.washingtonpost.com site for interesting and funny tidbits. I followed a recent link of theirs to a great page which talks about US military inforgraphics. Even if you don’t read the text, just scroll down and enjoy the images. The last one is a corker.

    medium.com: military infographics

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Yeah when it come to docs the military all over it — interesting link cheers.

  11. Boys were saying some of the banks are working on a product, whereby the Chinese etc who need to invest $5 mill here to gain residency, buy gov debt, then flip it to a derivative of the debt, and get 95% on their money back? Plus residency.
    What a……joke
    But again banks taking good fees.

    • Macquarie bank..


      To qualify for residency under the Significant Investor Visa program, $5 million must be invested in Australian Government approved products for four years.

      Real estate is not an approved product.

      But Macquarie Bank is lending the $5 million back to investors, which Mr Fuggle says can then be legitimately put into real estate.

      “Proceeds of that loan are essentially unregulated money so they invest that wherever they like,” he said

      If there is a way to securitize grandma, the plutocrats at maccas would have done it already.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        A useful wrap from Gadens


        As it presently stands, complying investments for an SIV include :

        bonds issued by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory of Australia;
        certain managed funds regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and
        investments in a private Australian company where the applicant has an “ownership interest” and where the company operates a “qualifying business”,

        with each State and Territory of Australia having additional requirements that must be met for an applicant to be nominated in the SIV programme.

        a little more fleshing our from Credit Suisse




        ‘Q. Is it possible to invest in property?
        A. Investments in property will not be considered as a complying investment. You may however invest in ASIC regulated managed
        funds which may invest in real estate in Australia.’

        further useful tips from the ASX


        ‘Australian Securities and Investment Commission regulated managed funds
        An ASIC regulated managed fund for the purpose of the Significant Investor visa is a
        managed investment scheme defined in the Corporations Act 2001 and regulated by the
        Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Any interests issued in the fund must not
        be able to be traded on a financial market and must be covered by an Australian Financial
        Services Licence.

        Investments in ASIC regulated managed funds include any investments made through an
        Investor Directed Portfolio Service.

        For an ASIC regulated managed fund to qualify as a complying investment it must be limited
        to categories of investments specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument in writing.

        These categories include:
        • infrastructure projects in Australia
        • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions
        • bonds issued by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory government
        • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in companies and trusts listed on an
        Australian stock exchange
        • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions
        • real estate in Australia; and
        • Australian agribusiness.

        The managed fund must be open to the general public and the fund manager must provide a
        compliance declaration on Form 1413 that their services would be limited to the categories of
        investments in Australia specified by the Minister in the legislative instrument’

        then of course you could not imagine Maccas would be holding back – and they arent


        nor Westpac (Pdf)


        and the boys at Mallesons have some handy tips too


        ‘Direct real estate investment by the person is not a complying investment. However, a managed investment scheme (with the trustee holding an AFSL) can be established for the development of a single real estate asset.’

        then Levitt Robinson…..


        ‘The scheme, which gives residency to wealthy foreign nationals who invest $5 million in government bonds or eligible managed funds was boosted in November last year when the categories of qualified managed funds investment were expanded to include annuities, derivatives, mortgages, and interests in unregulated managed funds. Investment in real estate through a fund is also allowed.’

        I dont think there is any doubt whatsoever about significant investors being able to buy whatever they feel like, one way or another.

        A useful brief comparison with international schemes is available from Baker Tilly Pitcher Partners (pdf)


      • Nice work fellas.

        At this point I simply point out that the majority of those ‘investment’ options are involving nothing more than a change in the ownership of some financial or capital asset.

        There is no indication that the ‘investment’ must add to and expand the productive capacity of Australia.

        So not only has the government established a complicated facade that creates work for the legal and FIRE crew but it also pumps up the $AUS with no clear benefit.

        If these rich folk are interested in becoming Australians and have real talents then there is no need for an option that allows them to jump the queue. They would be selected first anyway.

        This is nothing more than a scheme designed to allow rich folk who are less attractive as potential migrants to jump the queue. So much for non-discriiminatory – money clearly talks to the LNP. The selling of citizenship.

        And by putting upward pressure on the $AUS and the cost of existing housing, in doing so it is another small nail in the coffin of Australian competitiveness.

      • PFH.. this is a policy implemented by the previous Labor government with Lib support.

        There is bipartisan support in the Parliament for any policy that feeds the ticket clipping parasites in the FIRE sector.. damn the national interest and the public interest.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Exactly Mav, I dont think this is about ending immigration light provisions for the uber (and almost always corruptly) rich, though the Marxist in me may on days like to do so.

        I tend to see it more about making sure that the system which lets them into Australia provides a better dividend for Australians.

        And that should start with

        If you bring 5 million to Australia you will

        1. Tell us how you got it and show us that you have had it for at least 3 years.
        2. Show us that you will invest it in a productive venture in Australia (which will be backed by a business case, and where all all contracting for that venture is backed by fairly standard business covenants)
        3. That venture will employ at least 25 Australians
        4. That venture will still be operating in 7 years (or the visa dies with the venture)
        5. The Visa will be subject to the visa applicant building a residence at a place of their choosing in Australia, and not buying an existing dwelling.

        Something like that which provides a dividend socially would be preferable.

        Both sides of politics put in the short steps on this.

        But internationally it is worth noting that the Canadians have pulled the pin, the Americans arent issuing any more investor visas (having had their system overwhelmed – and they have more rigorous investment and employment provisions for their investor visa than we do) and the Brits are starting to at long last get the geopolitical implications (particularly in light of the ‘Wests’ lack of traction with Russia on Ukraine – look at some of the comment in the European press)

        The significant investor class is always the beneficiary of corruption in the originating country, and once they come to another country they face a strategic decision. Do they cut themselves off from access to their wealth in the originating country and go completely native in their new country? – the vast majority dont, which means they are still the beneficiaries one way or another of corruption in the originating country, and that they arent committing themselves to their new country, and arent inclined to truly relocate wealth. This often translates to them ‘investing’ in as little as they can possibly get away with, and investing solely so that they have a non originating country bolthole (judiciary) to get to when the corruption in the originating country is unveiled (and sometimes it isnt).

        The other issues coming into play here is that they have a flimsy regard for the administrative processes in the new country – and I point you in the direction of uber rich Russians in the UK – and bring with them the expectation that whatever outcomes (think property redevelopment permissions, regard for neighbors vis noise, taxes, licenses for things like boats etc) they want can be purchased at the drop of a hat (or not paid for at all) having been initially been brought to the view by the fact that their wealth has bought them their initial entry visa in the first place. [and I say this as a man who has sat exams and written assignments for the ultra wealthy set so that their kids get some quite prestigious marks in some quite internationally prestigious institutions – and been well paid for it – another example of their expectation of being able to buy the outcome they want which i didnt mention above, be careful what you hear from them about merit].

        But it isnt a matter now of saying they dont come, it is a matter of shaping that to benefit Australia little more than it does currently.

      • dumb_non_economist

        I think all they are chasing is money, I doesn’t appear they are considering anything that would add to the country, the requirements are just too simple for that.

      • Mav,

        “..PFH.. this is a policy implemented by the previous Labor government with Lib support….”

        Yes – and when they get back in it will be their policy again.

        In the meantime, it is the LNP selling citizenship to the highest bidder.

        An opportunity for the ALP and the Greens.


        How does a rich foreigner converting FX into $AUS produce a dividend? Apart from some upward pressure on the exchange rate.

        We have more than enough $AUS and capital (once we stop using it to speculate on house prices).

        All we need are migrants with skill and brains and a competent banking system.

        If they happen to have capital as well – fine – but that is not sufficient reason to have them jump the queue.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER


        I would buy that line mate, but I just dont think anyone or anything will stop the phenomena

      • Gunna,

        Yes, certainly not while there is a popular perception they are actually ‘bringing’ money into the country.

        But if that perception is challenged there could growing demands that selection is based on the best and brightest without regard to whatever capital they may have be able to ‘demonstrate’ they in theory might deploy.

        Trying to work out what is ‘useful’ capital as against, dirty, rent seeking, illusory etc capital is just too difficult and feeds far too many lawyers, bankers and public servants.

        Another great opportunity for the Greens to demonstrate they are different.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        For a mere $7 a doctor can look at that for you, for $20 Billion we might find you a cure (Hint: Its not free education)

      • Sick. Yes.

        Felt sick since the budget details started to ‘leak’.

        And whatever happened to all the ‘budget wont actually be as bad as the leaks’ BS?

        This budget was worse, and keeps getting worse.

      • I’m sickened by the fact Labour has let two great opportunities, this and the 457 visa fiasco, slip by pretty much unnoticed. Their strategist should be sacked.

    • If public schools are still anything like they were when I was at school throwing money at them is a huge waste.

      • I’m quite sure you can’t fix public schools. Finland is a nation of civilised people, we are a nation of bogans.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I tell you one thing Chief, Finland is home to (in addition to zillions of lakes and cheap lakeside real estate, with great skating swimming potential) some pretty fine redneck types of its own and some impressive neo nazi types as well.

        I say that as a man who is seriously thinking of living there, relocating there, once I have served time here to get my Mrs an Australian passport.

        Their education system (something I have studied quite closely with a view to having my kid go through it) is notable for having bugger all set exams/homework for kids under about 10-11, almost no private schools whatsoever, and having about the worlds most impressive literacy numeracy outcomes. The downside is that Finnish is an utter bastard of a language to learn.

      • The downside is that Finish is an utter bastard of a language to learn.

        You also get to freeze your nuts off.

    • What a beat up. The ‘journalist’ is deliberately misrepresenting Pyne’s comments solely to stoke the embers of fear.

      ‘Emotionally’ committed to private schools – so what – reassuring if your kids are in the private system and in no way a threat to the public system.

      The only real threats to education are the quality of teachers themselves (generally low) and certainly in the secondary/tertiary sectors, technology – which is guaranteed to transform the sphere.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Yeah right, if someone – and Gullard would have been a good example – from the ALParatchik side had waffled on about being emotionally committed to public schools punters like you would have screaming from the rafters about how the private school rort is under threat.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        LOL who has kids in private school that need reassuring? Perhaps they don’t belong there after all *wink*

      • migtronixMEMBER

        So with your lot its:

        Co-payments for schooling

        Co-payments for health

        Co-payments for policy *wink*

      • dumb_non_economist

        “The only real threats to education are the quality of teachers themselves (generally low) and certainly in the secondary/tertiary sectors, technology – which is guaranteed to transform the sphere.”


        As usual stating opinion as if it’s fact. How many public schools have you had anything to do with to make this comment? My three daughters went to the local primary school after coming back to Australia and it prepared them very well for HS, the teachers in general were excellent. The same can be said for a number of other local primary schools in the area with two HSs which have good reputations for academic achievement, so much so asians move here for the schools.

        If you have issues with teacher quality lay the blame where it belongs, at the feet of successive govs that have done nothing but lower teachings professional standing.

      • Me too, went to public schools, 95% of the teachers were great and did their jobs just fine.

        It’s just high school, most of it is basic until say senior level maths and english.

        However the culture was like that out of the movie Puberty Blues. The fellow “students” were the main problem. I’d say bouncers or some sort of private mercenary army might give a better outcome if you want more smart people. But why do we need more smart people? Aren’t we just going to grow and hope, just build more houses and import more immigrants? Maybe be the food bowl of Asia. We have no silicon valley or some such to absorb lots of smart people in great numbers, and quite frankly the pay and lifestyle of STEM just isn’t appealing enough.

        The IPA private army, the lefties would love it.

  12. migtronixMEMBER

    Unfortunately, it will not just be investment and industry that are driven away but people, too. I am an Australian Student Prize Winner, a first-class honours graduate of Melbourne University and a Dean’s Honours Recipient from its engineering department. I study solar power at Oxford University and despite the incredible potential of my industry I have no future in Abbott’s Australia. Instead I will be welcomed home to a non-existent industry, no unemployment benefits and an ever-increasing HECS debt. I don’t want the only carbon emissions I save Australia to be the flight I never take home. We should be exporting solar power technology, not solar power jobs.


    The only exception in

    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      Furthermore, the multidisciplinary nature of research means that the Medical Research Fund will be ineffective without adequate support from physics, engineering, chemistry and many other scientific areas Abbott is currently de-funding at research, doctorate and undergraduate level.

      The late Carl Sagan commented, “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

      • migtronixMEMBER


        And that’s what I was getting at when this MRFF trial balloon was launched whilst simultaneously ditching R&D pathways left right center…

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Here I totally agree with you dude and its the same with the link I posted above, if they are soooo worried about CO2 emissions in Australia WTF are they letting in more and more and more people who will be responsible for greater emissions ?!!?!? The silence is stupefying!

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Lefties are just bogans in disguise with a higher iq.

        Dude, holding flag? I’m not so sure! The idiot is probably marching past several properties owned by CCP. The lefties around here maybe…

      • The idiot is probably marching past several properties owned by CCP.

        Well they often say that they “welcome their new overlords”.

        We don’t have to be in love with each other to have a better country.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        We don’t have to be in love with each other to have a better country

        No we just need to learn Finnish — easier said (though not in Finnish) than done apparently 😉

      • I find it hard to even say big and small in mandarin. I’m very grateful we have the global language. 😀

      • That is the million dollar question. The number one cause of environment degradation are humans, yet all we get are hardships and suggestions that only deal with the symptoms and not the problem.

        So human activity is supposedly causing climate change, the answer is to limit humans and population, not increase the population. We never hear this though from The Greens and the Left, just lectures and elitist attitudes.

        Australia was a far better country at 16million people when I was a teenager, now just a mere extra 6 million people and the nation is getting crushed, dominated by greed.

      • Yeah I saw that segment, it was a disgrace. I switched it off when I started hearing the fallacies and misdirection. They basically ignored the global trends and what is happening all around the western world. Australia has no hope when we have apologists who just want to bury their heads in the sand and claim racism to block debate.

    • That doesn’t play into the equation, entitlement is strong in the University student world.

      I got no concessions when I went to Uni, I had to pay my HECS immediately as I was working full time and studying for my degree part time. Mean while the full time students and their unions demanded I pay the extortionist student union fees for facilities I never used or needed. Disagree with them and you’re like the great Satan.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Yes I remember them, had the same feeling towards the “services” they provided at ransom, but then what do you expect — they grow up to be Treasurers, they’ll never have to use their own money so…

    • dumb_non_economist

      Absolutely brilliant.

      Question though, is it true about using images of the Speaker?