Weekend Links 9-10 May, 2015

sunrise of the black swans1







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Global Macro, Investing, Economics


…and Furthermore….

Ritualised Forms
Latest posts by Ritualised Forms (see all)


  1. Richard Di natale, head of the watermelon greens, drives a ford territory


    All that carbon emmited that bloody hypocrite greenie

    he obviously doesn’t give a shite about the environment

    Where is his Prius

    • Prius are marginally better – not perfect.

      Hence his other efforts at Carbon mitigation easily offset his use of a Territory, things like being hte head of the Greens, drawing global awareness to the issue.

      • Borris, correct. You may enjoy this podcast at Legalise Freedom

        Richard Heinberg discusses his latest book Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels. Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels. But just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide a relatively painless solution, Heinberg suggests instead that we are in for a wild ride; a civilization reboot on a scale similar to the agricultural and industrial revolutions.


      • That’s where the logic falls apart Boris.

        Every human uses carbon. The more of us, the more carbon used, the more habitat carbon sinks we need to destroy to accommodate each and every one of us, whether we “only” ride a bicycle or drive a Ford. Whether we “only” eat vegetables or are carnivores. Whether we “only” go to a highschool that’s built for us or go to uni.

        The main problem X 1000 is too many people. The Greens fail to address this issue above all else. They are not being honest. It’s time Greens staunch supporters had a closer look at what BS they’re being fed.

    • Oh gawd, you’re one of those tedious people who think that the type of car that a particular individual drives affects the conclusion of a heavily studied question of scientific fact. Yet another distractor and obfuscator. “Look. Al Gore flies in planes! Therefore climate change is a SHAM. QED!”.

      You people are a joke. But by all means, keep going. You’re destroying the ideology of the right. Other right-wing governments are now distancing themselves from the anti-science loon pond, because they realise that associating with such will destroy their parties by both polluting them with opportunistic fruitcakes, and by destroying credibility with the public.

      • As a scientist, I agree with the science 100%. There is absolutely no doubt that chart has been affected by the industrial revolution and POPULATION EXPLOSION.

        What I don’t agree with is the blinkered position of all these people that think they understand it all.

        Fighting carbon while ignoring population growth is so dumb, there is no suitable metaphor for it.

        Where’s the carbon sink habitat destruction debate?

        The 60’s hippies were 10 times smarter than the modern Greens.

    • “All that carbon emmited that bloody hypocrite greenie

      he obviously doesn’t give a shite about the environment”

      By the way…
      1. Learn to spell.
      2. Learn to use punctuation.
      3. I recommend shouting at the TV more. I’m sure hearing you ranting ‘bloody hypocrite greenie’ at the idiot box would be comedy gold!

      • Careful LordDudley, remember the man has a masters degree. And he’s widely read. His argument and writing ability may seem puerile and stupid to non-intellectuals like us but it’s only because we’re not smart enough to understand.

      • @Lord Dudley and DT.

        @Dan the Man has an opinion you don’t agree with and you two pompous twats attack his grammar and spelling? That’s disgusting.

        “to non-intellectuals like us”. A pathetic attempt to put yourself way above everyone else. It’s people that consider themselves “intellectuals” that steal the debate and take it to illogical places those “below” you blindly follow.

        WhoTF do you think you are DT? Have a good look at yourself mate, that elitist BS is below the belt and beyond unnecessary.

      • @rich to consider the context of this, dan the man was involved a lengthy discussion on Friday where he prefaced his pseudo scientific nonsense by telling everyone that he had a masters degree and had read widely. He also challenged other people’s education levels when they dared question him.

        I’m simply satirising the BS of his comments.

    • Where is his Prius

      He traded it in, because he had to. Is this all you’ve got? 🙄

      When trading in his hybrid vehicle in 2014, Senator Di Natale switched to a Ford Territory out of practical ­necessity because he lives on a farm in one of wettest parts of the country

    • Do as I say, not as I do.

      Okay, let’s see you drive a Prius around the foothills of Victoria’s Otway Range, where he lives, where roads like this flood frequently. 🙄

    • The less than honest leader of the less than honest Greens wants to drive a 10.5l/100km car let him. He shouldn’t have to do what he tells his subordinates to do.

      LNP, Labor, Greens. Same, Same, Same.

      • rich, first I’ve seen you say your a scientist. Out of curiosity what is your BSc (any additional study?) and what area are you working in?

      • @dennis. I completed a degree about 15 years ago. Distinction average. Worked for a while in a couple of science industries and saw the disgusting behaviour of the ladder climbing managers.

        MD to minister: “We need to cut xyz by 1000 for it to be sustainable.

        Minister to MD: “okay, halve that and we’ll go from there.

        MD to media: “Our research says it’s clear “we need to cut xyz BY 500 for it to be sustainable”.

        There is zero conviction, eventually everyone acts for themselves. Ask 1000 scientists PRIVATELY what our number 1 environmental issue is and I’d be amazed if 95% didn’t say human population.

      • I’m not about to tell you where or what dennis. Why would you need to know that? Me telling you, should be enough. WhyTF would I lie? I have a complete knowledge of chemistry, biology and ecology and know what I’m talking about. That should do it. BTW, it’s not the first time I’ve said it, and I don’t throw it around for credibility as some angrily suggested yesterday. I’m simply getting tired of being told I’m wrong when I have the background to know, I’m actually right and people refuse to listen to science and logic because it conflicts with their socialist ideals. We’re either sticking with science or we’re not.

        @flyingfox. Yeah right. I’ll tell my mate he might actually not be an accountant. I saw your hatred filled comment yesterday challenging my credentials and my apparent lack of being a scientist. Look I know where it’s coming from. You’re wrong and I’m right. Like I said, ask 1000 scientists what our number 1 environmental issue is. Most will tell you the same thing, will you challenge their credentials? Bizarre.

      • Yeah right. I’ll tell my mate he might actually not be an accountant. I saw your hatred filled comment yesterday challenging my credentials and my apparent lack of being a scientist.

        Well if someone with a diploma in bookkeeping keeps referring to themselves as accountants in the company of CPA’s then they will get the same treatment. I have a PhD, I work in research, have all my career but I still don’t refer to myself as a scientist because I don’t have enough experience and also I don’t completely run my own research program.

        All my colleagues are scientists, the bona fide kind you know, all with PhDs and publication track records. Most of my mates are as well.

        I encounter many more everyday and we talk about various things including politics, the environment etc. No one I have met carries themselves like you. Tis not hatred, it is sheer ridiculosity of the statement…sorry.

      • @flyingfox. “I encounter many more everyday and we talk about various things including politics, the environment etc. No one I have met carries themselves like you. ”

        I touched on that yesterday. Of course they don’t carry themselves like me. If they were honest their career would be over. Either they’re not smart enough to comprehend it, they have their head in a petri dish all day and haven’t considered it, or they are lying like most others do protecting their career.

        Are you seriously telling me population’s not a problem? I can’t believe I’m asking someone with a PhD in science (or even a pleb with a brain) if population is an issue. FFS be a bit more honest. This has been my entire position. The absolute absence of honesty within the Greens, their supporters, and the media .

        You haven’t addressed what I said about Flannery and 12 million sustainable population in Australia. Pose that to your scientist mates today.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Are you seriously telling me population’s not a problem?

        I imagine he’s telling you population is not the ONLY problem.

      • @drsmithy. “I imagine he’s telling you population is not the ONLY problem.”

        That is not the dialogue I have had with flyingfox. He’s now even resorted to discrediting and questioning my credentials. So, let’s hear it ff.

        ff lacks wisdom. He may have a PhD (which when I was at uni was embarrassingly easy to get), but he lacks maturity and wisdom, as do you drsmithy. You are both being manipulated by liars.

        Give population a weight.

        Where does it sit? Biggest issue? Insignificant?

      • I have had this discussion with my friends and colleagues multiple times. Most are surprised at my response that over-population coupled with the western lifestyle are the only problem the world really has. They are as equally surprised when I tell them that for the most part it is sorting itself out. Want to help in the area, start contributing to initiatives that are encouraging family planning etc in the handful of countries where the birth rate is majorly above replacement. The only other way to meaningfully reduce population is to involuntarily euthanise people over a certain age.

        Does Australia have an over population problem? Hell no. Do we need more people, not necessarily. We have more important issues that are exacerbated by having unfocused immigration policies.

        That’s my position and I have debated with you on this in the past but I don’t want to waste my time.

        P.S I see you have retracted your comment on the ease at which a PhD was attainable. Good on you.

        Edit: BTW you should have a close look at the NOM number you keep quoting and especially at what happened between Q1 & Q4 2006.

      • “Does Australia have an over population problem? Hell no”. You don’t have a science degree. As for your mates. OMFG.

        “I see you have retracted your comment on the ease at which a PhD was attainable” I didn’t retract anything. Still stands. I’ve seen it. Stop flattering yourself.

      • rich, you’re claiming you’re a scientist. I’ve just asked you what specifically was your degree, Bsc in what? What area have you researched in? What additional study have you completed, if any? It’s relevant because of your claim to be a scientist. You could have a degree in origami for we know.

      • I’ve already told you dennis. I’m not willing to go into more detail to retain my anonymity.

        FFS if I was lying I’d simply make something up wouldn’t I?

        What are you suggesting?

        I don’t understand chemistry, biology, ecology?

        I’m only saying what every other scientist would anyway. Over population is out biggest problem.

        Why are you all resisting this with such force? What is it that’s making you not see logic? It’s the most bizarre thing. Have you asked yourself what makes your brain not even understand simple sums?

        22000000 people use 100000 units of whatever.

        reduce their usage by 20%= 80000 units

        50000000 people use 182000 units.

        Are you now going to challenge my maths credentials? You people are ridiculous.

      • @rich42

        I have shown this to you before and here it is again.


        By their projections, Australia’s carrying capacity is 40m. And their blog is here.


        They have a pretty good explanation of what parameters they use and why. Most importantly, they have two projections. Long and short terms defaults. The long term defaults result in a capacity of 9M. I live it is my self proclaimed learned friend to figure out why that is not the ideal case in this globalised society.

        Based on their short term projections, we are @55% of our carrying capacity and thus my comment still stands. Australia is not over populated.

        As I don’t want to waste my time in mindless debate with you, I will be avoiding you in the forums. Please have the common courtesy to do the same and good day to you.

      • You engaged with me yesterday with abuse.

        I’m removing myself from this forum for a while.

        “estimate the productive capacity of the Australian landscape”

        You’re a fucking idiot mate. That’s the intellect of the people arguing against my position? A Green voter? WTF?

      • Rich. The Greens do have a coherent policy on population

        Guys, don’t you have something better to do that throw insults at one another in the comment field of a forum trying to get a bit of discussion going about the economy? This is a links field to pieces of commentary about the global macro. Loads of these insults and other forms of abuse or emotion provoking pejorative statements have just been consigned to the spam folder. The next step is to consign ID’s to the spam folder for a while. You have been warned. Spambot

      • I’m not sure if I believe that message from the ‘Spambot’ was generated by a computer. Or maybe MB have secretly been researching AI that generates very convincing computer generated text that sounds human and is in the context of a discussion. If the latter, what options are available to invest in this bleeding edge technology?

    • 3D’s patron (Gina the Hutt) wants us to work for $2 per day. If workers aren’t barely able to survive, that means there’s more fat to be cut.

      • truthisfashionable

        If they want to lower the wages that is fine, but the cost of living has to fall with it. I think this point is always missed, Australia is bloody expensive!

        It always annoys me when people try to do the $2 a day challenge in Australia and try to compare that to living in a 3rd world country. For $2 a day in a 3rd world country, you CAN live, its not a great life, but you can house, feed and have clothes for your family.
        In Australia, its going to be impossible to even find food cheap enough to feed yourself.

      • 3D’s patron (Gina the Hutt) wants us to work for $2 per day.

        Well that’s fair enough, after all she did start at the bottom earning minimum wage and worked her way up to bogan billionaire status. Oh wait ….

      • If they want to lower the wages that is fine, but the cost of living has to fall with it.

        That’s the general idea.

    • If the stats are correct, you can earn the median wage on a 40 hr week at minimum wage. Says something about the wage structure here.

  2. Lessons for the Australian and New Zealand Labor ?

    Why did Labour lose this election? It never tried to win it – Telegraph


    The reason the Labour Party has just lost the 2015 general election is that the Labour Party didn’t try to win the 2015 general election. It wanted to win. Oh yes, it wanted to win desperately …

    … concluding …

    … But we’ll never know. Because Labour never even gave itself a chance. Instead it chose the wrong leader, gave him the wrong team, deployed the wrong narrative, pursued the wrong priorities, adopted slogans instead of a policy program, moved away from the political centre and – crucially – tried to win without winning.

    A member of the shadow cabinet just told me “we’ve now got two years to save this party”. Actually trying to win the 2020 general election would be a good place to start … read more via hyperlink above …

  3. Maybe Labour UK lost because they actually suck. Sometimes it’s actually pretty simple. Nothing there. Literally stood for & demonstrated nil! They need to regroup & rethink without the politically elite advisers. They need to actually get with the real people. Don’t take advise from the bloggers & non real voters. Work hard & find out what matters. Big talk & bulldust won’t cut the practical voters. Especially as they don’t actually have to vote. Interesting result for UK & EU & et al!

    • Also remember that the UK Tories refused to allow themselves to be infected by the rabid anti-foreigner global-warming-is-a-hoax loon pond. They’re more like the Australian Liberal Party before Howard.

    • Understanding the incredible success of the Scottish National Party, an area they have traditionally taken for granted, might give British Labour a good starting point. It might be the ‘taking votes for granted’, whilst only offering Conservative lite policies thing that is the core issue. Same thing for Labor in Australia.

    • Predictable result. The same is happening here. Greens and Labor stand for nothing sensible.

      Labor and Greens will make LNP stronger and stronger as more and more voters simply can’t vote Labor or Green.

      Give us a moderate party FFS. We’re screaming for one.

      Fix Australian politics, get rid of Labor and Greens. Give LNP some opposition.

      • @DT. True.

        LNP stand for FA, while destroying us with 400k people a year, selling our assets and doing favours for rich people. We’re all going to end up poor because LNP flourish while we have the idiot parties Labor and Green. LNP will do just enough to stay in power as seen here. http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/the-crowded-centre-of-australian-politics-20150508-ggxhrj.html while in the background they’re killing us.

        Labor and Greens have to be replaced with smarter parties that articulate to the voters what’s being done to them.

        ATM, we’ve got this idiot Shorten advocating a big Australia and Greens banging on about gay marriage.

        Get rid of these clowns to stop LNP destroying Australia.

    • Allister Heath of the Tel had an excellent article May last year …

      Voters have had enough of bloated and dysfunctional governments – Telegraph


      … hyperlinked within this short one September last year …

      The shift to conservative values … with the young too … | Scoop News


      Is Labor in Australia and New Zealand moving with public opibion ?

      • “Politicians, for their part, continue to stick their heads in the sand, and have reverted to their comfort zone of utterly unrealistic or even blatantly dishonest promises about health care, living standards, job security and the rest, while presiding over huge increases in the national debt, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be in power when the bill has to be paid.”.

        In Australia’s case, add huge increases in population. Seems a great article. I’ll get a coffee and read the rest.

  4. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/bjorn-lomborg-uwa-consensus-centre-contract-cancelled/6456708

    “The University of Western Australia has cancelled the contract for a policy centre that was to be headed up by controversial academic Bjorn Lomborg after a “passionate emotional reaction” to the plan.”

    Ha ha ha! I’m waiting for the usual suspects to stumble out of the loon pond, bleating about lefties, ivory tower elitists, and a global conspiracy against free speech.

    It’s going to be comedy gold!

    • I’m having a Schadenfreudegasm 😎

      From ThinkProgress:

      But in Australia, where much of the media is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, the fact that Lomborg is uniquely unqualified to head a major academic center is apparently not well known. Or at least it wasn’t. That changed when UWA announced last month that it was taking $4 million from the government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott — who killed the Aussie carbon tax and has said that “coal is good for humanity” — to hire Lomborg, who has said that poor countries need more coal and that climate change is no big deal.

      Since then, Australians learned from outraged Australian climate experts and others that while Lomborg downplays the threat of global warming, he “has published no peer-reviewed articles in the climate science arena” and doesn’t have any training in climate science. They learned from Dr. Frank Jotzo, director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy at the Australian National University, that “Within the research community, particularly within the economics community, the Bjorn Lomborg enterprise has no academic credibility.”

      “It is seen as an outreach activity that is driven by specific set of objectives in terms of bringing particular messages into the public debate and in some cases making relatively extreme positions seem more acceptable in the public debate,” Jotzo said.

      A Sydney Morning Herald columnist asked this week whether the Copenhagen Consensus Center — Lomborg’s current institution — was “just a U.S. postbox.” The Danish state defunded the center in 2012, but apparently Lomborg liked the alliteration, so he kept the name. The column noted that the address for the center isn’t Copenhagen but a Neighborhood Parcel Shipping Center in Lowell, Massachusetts — which it is! As the paper notes, “Nothing says “venerable research institute” like “parcel forwarding service.”

      More of this gold here

      Australia’s education minister, Christopher Pyne, says he won’t stop until he finds some academic institution that will take $4 million to hire Lomborg.

      Cucking Funt! 😈

      • Great. Next time I feel like I’m slacking at work, I can at least say to myself “at least I’m not blowing millions of taxpayer dollars funding unqualified political opportunists”.

        Chris Pyne is a distillation of Eastern Suburbs Adelaide. Australia didn’t get this government of duplicitous liars by accident; they reflect the electorate.

      • I’m sure Pyne will find a one of those highly reputable institutions that gives you a laptop, blowjob and residency in return for a few quid to major in Lomborgism Linguistics.

    • StomperMEMBER

      There are some good recommendations – which is why, like the last two inquires, they will be ignored.
      Releasing it at 5pm Friday tells it all.

    • The Patrician

      The report

      The history
      On 12 December 2013, the Senate referred an inquiry into affordable housing to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 26 June 2014.
      On 17 June 2014, the Senate granted an extension to the committee to report by
      27 November 2014. On 2 October 2014, the committee was granted a further extension to report by the first sitting day in March 2015.
      Following a further extension granted on 2 March 2015, the committee is now due to report by 14 April 2015.
      On 13 April 2015, the committee presented an interim report with the intention of tabling its final report before 8 May 2015.
      Submissions closed on 25 March 2014.

      The members
      Senator Sam Dastyari (Chair from 2 July 2014) New South Wales, ALP
      Senator Mark Bishop (Chair until 30 June 2014) Western Australia, ALP
      Senator Sean Edwards (Deputy Chair from 2 July 2014) South Australia, LP
      Senator David Bushby (Deputy Chair until 1 July 2014) Tasmania, LP
      Senator Matthew Canavan (from 1 July 2014) Queensland, NATS
      Senator the Hon. Kim Carr Victoria, ALP
      (from 1 July 2014; substituted by Senator McLucas from 15 July 2014)
      Senator Chris Ketter (from 1 July 2014) Queensland, ALP
      Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas Queensland, ALP
      (substituted Senator Carr from 15 July 2014)
      Senator Louise Pratt (until 30 June 2014) Western Australia, ALP
      Senator John Williams (until 1 July 2014) New South Wales, NATS
      Senator Nick Xenophon South Australia, IND
      Senators participating in this inquiry
      Senator Chris Back Western Australia, LP
      Senator Jacqui Lambie Tasmania, IND
      Senator Sue Lines Western Australia, ALP
      Senator Scott Ludlam Western Australia, AG
      Senator Penny Wright South Australia, AG

      • StomperMEMBER

        Lacking in the report is any assessment of the impact of foreign investment nor the impact of historically high rates of immigration on residential house prices.

        Why were these areas missed or excluded? Didnt the committee do a fact finding trip to China?

      • The Patrician

        +1 Stomp …or more specifically the inflationary effect of the complete regulatory failure of the FIRB….but that might be a bit too close to the (Labor) bone

      • @stomper.

        1. Labor are not smart enough to connect the dots.


        2. Labor are filthy liars that deceive their constituents.

        Either 1 or 2, they are not fit to govern.

  5. Seen how strong the moron left have made the conservatives in the UK?

    THE LEFT IS THE PROBLEM both here and there.

      • @Revert2Mean. The more people the less fairness, you can see it all over the world.

        Socialists fail to see most aspects of any issue; that’s the problem.

  6. Australian Banks May Just Be Getting Started on Raising Capital – Bloomberg…you betcha…

    I have often wondered what I had failed to grasp in this ‘capital requirements model’ that is supposed to reassure investors. Capital is = Assets is this correct? So how does issuing bonds provide more capital? Bonds are by nature a liability and a non-expert would be forgiven for thinking this would cancel out giving zero net change to ‘capital’.

    I am assuming that equity values would suffer at this point!

    So to my point, is the above wrong? If the above is not wrong then the asset depreciation, capital ratio increases and increased expense of that capital MUST form a logical feedback loop.

    Only one possible result should such a loop emerge. Bailout!

    Forgive me if I am completely wrong, please set me straight.

    • http://www.pieria.co.uk/articles/the_anti-austerity_economics_of_the_snp

      Comment on an macroeconomic illirterate Party by a macro illiterate commentator. Streth!

      On the topic of macroilliterates
      “That means that government surpluses which were associated with the credit binge, and only were made possible by the unsustainable credit binge are untenable in this new (old) climate. The Government needs to learn about these macroeconomic connections.”

      Yep that’s good!

      “A return to higher saving ratios is surely signalling a need for a return to more or less continuous budget deficits, depending on what happens to the external sector.”

      Then we get a total disconnect from reality. Note the little ‘depending on what happens in the external sector’ – as if in a NRAT interest rate economy the two are not directly connected.
      Note also the obscure worthless ‘Household savings’ being used as justification that the government can go on a social agenda spending binge.

      In an analysis the words ‘Current Account Deficit’ ‘Foreign Investment'(Sell every effing thing we own to foreigners (SEFT) ) ‘Capital Account’ ‘REAL Productivity’

      What we have had is a nation hurtling headlong into debt only partially offset by selling off every mine and industry in the country. Fantasatic! (sarc)
      Now the private DEBT growth is slowing Barnacle says it is absolutely essential wee keep up the headlong drive into debt through government debt!

      Wow! So we continue to sell of our mines farms factories and homes at an ever faster rate to sustain our out of control over-slefindulgent consumption.
      Very deep thinkiing!
      (Heads off to find a large tree to beat my head against so i can stop feeling the pain generated by this tripe. Maybe i should just go back to reading the origional Magic Pudding – It would make more sense.)_

      • Just cheer it on, flawse. That’s what I do. I want to see how insane it can get before it goes plop and the free money hose goes from blow to suck.

  7. The only way to beat the conservatives is kill Labor and Greens and start a MODERATE party. Voters would flock to it.

    We are desperate for one.

  8. “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11588763/Greece-could-use-parallel-currency-as-desperation-grows.html”

    Imagine how many of these IOU’s/Drachmas thingies that 1 Euro would get you on the black market???!!!! The Greek government grasp of economic reality looks very very close to zero.

    • Au contraire, flawse. I think they actually know what they’re doing here. They’re following the script for exit from the Eurozone. The big European banks don’t care because it’s my understanding that the risks of Greek default have been quarantined.

      The Economist ran a nice article about it last month:

      Essentially what you do is introduce the scrip and introduce capital controls to stop Euros fleeing the country. You now have two currencies, but only one circulates. You then convert the remaining Euros, and all remaining outstanding debts, into the scrip.

      The scrip is called the Drachma.

      Now that both The Economist and The Torygraph are reporting this, I figure it’s a done deal and Greece will be out of the Eurozone by year end.

      Think of how cheap the place will be to holiday in!

      • Oh, and I note the idea for the scrip was floated by the ECB in the Torygraph article, NOT the Greeks.

        If this isn’t a signal from the ECB to the Greeks to implement the pre-agreed Grexit plan, I don’t know what is.

    • Dudley

      Yes I’m thinking that a Greek exit from the EU combined with erasure of their debts to EU, IMF et al is the only option for either party.
      The problem the Greeks will then have is a currency that will be worthless as an International currency. It won’t buy anything. The only use anyone else would have for it would be for a holiday. What that all means is on the black market which will develop Euros will be worth some very very very large number of Drachmas.
      Can the Greek economy be turned around as a bargain tourist destination? I don’t know enough to say but i’d guess not. In any case the immediate cut, to an already struggling Greek living standard, will be devastating. How devastating? Let’s say their diet will be strictly limited I think.
      Social disruption will follow.

      Heads off to find a wine bottle with something left in it.

      • Generally agreed.

        If this happens to one’s country, it’s much better if the country is self-sufficient in food and all the farms aren’t held by foreigners who just export the lot.

        If Greece is screwed over, it will be a very big warning to the countries next on the chopping block. At some stage, some nation somewhere is going to start confiscating foreign-owned farms.

      • Was the drachma “worhless” before greece joined the euro?

        Did greeks have trouble feeding themselves before the euro?

        Your assertions are a little overdramatic dont you think? Like most of your obsessional fire and brimstone preaching

      • Coming said: “Was the drachma “worhless” before greece joined the euro?

        Did greeks have trouble feeding themselves before the euro?

        Your assertions are a little overdramatic dont you think? Like most of your obsessional fire and brimstone preaching”

        Coming, this argument is essentially that it was fine before, and will be fine now. It’s flawed. We don’t live in a static world. The drachma was a circulating currency in a fairly stable equilibrium with other currencies based on interest rate differentials and trade flows. That currency no longer exists, and re-introducing it is going to cause a lot of dislocation and smash a lot of incomes in Greece; probably most incomes.

        There are millions of malnourished people in first world countries right now. It’s the marginal ones you don’t see; the elderly, the poor, the disabled. It’s well documented that major recessions result in a drop in nutrition for these groups, and Greece is staring down the barrel of a depression and major social dislocation. If you don’t think that this will cause malnutrition to increase in the country, then I have a bridge to sell you. Every depression causes an increase in malnutrition, because a segment of society (not everyone; it’s mostly the invisible old, poor, and sick) can no longer afford sufficient nutritious food.

        This can be exacerbated if the local produce is exported; and don’t pretend it doesn’t happen… it’s happening in multiple countries right now. There have been many riots in Latin American countries over this precise issue. There are Latin American countries right now that are both net food exporters, and that have problems with chronic malnutrition in major segments of their population.

        This is not fire and brimstone ranting. It is an established historical pattern. International financiers can, have, and will turn a country into a food-exporting profit centre irrespective of the effects on the population. I doubt it will be too bad in Greece, and I think that Greece will recover after a few years, but malnutrition and bread lines WILL rise when the shit hits the fan.

        And the Germans won’t care. They’ll just go on calling Greeks lazy and indolent and being smug about being German. This of course is part of the problem.

      • Incorrect. My argument is that the Greeks do not have to accept this austerity that the Germans will impose on them.

        They are a sovereign nation, not a vassal of the IMF, EU or the banks

        The Greeks can offer a 1:1 Drachma:Euro exchange for all their existing debts. They can issue drachma to support their government expenditure. The currency will lose value, but the Greeks have enough that the rest of the world wants that they will be able to import goods that are NEEDED if not luxury goods.

        Before they survived on tourism, and whatever minor exports they produce. They can do so again, without all the expensive gadgets that the Germans would love to export to them.

        Flawse’ only solution is for human suffering, while the banks and debt peddlers continue to reap their unearned profits.

      • Actually coming they did give up quite a bit of sovereignty by joining the EU, aided by that Goldman spaghettification of debt package, so they could meet the conditions of the Maastricht treaty.

        Skippy…. now the whole thing is more about the ELA and others playing pass the parcel.

  9. http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/the-crowded-centre-of-australian-politics-20150508-ggxhrj.html “If he’s smart, Shorten will neutralise Abbott’s one big remaining electoral advantage. Shorten will embrace the Morrison policy that stopped the boats”.

    It’s too late. Shorten will never ever be PM. I’ve said that since he was leading Abbott months ago. I think they’re now even. He’s blown it. What a goose.

    He also wants a big Australia, just in case there’s an Einstein. 73% of us don’t want a big Australia, LNP want it to feed their corporate mates, Shorten wants it because he’s an idiot.

    Get rid of Labor and Greens, they’ve made themselves unelectable and have given us LNP.

  10. Aldi goes to RIO
    Aldi has cut prices by an average 4% in the last six months, and 6% on its top-selling 100 products, as it battles to retain its discount credentials amid a bitter supermarket price war.
    “Customers can trust us on pricing, we don’t wildly fluctuate and we don’t confuse them. It’s why millions of customers come through our doors, including half-a-million new customers this year, because they are fed up with the smoke and mirrors, and their lack of trust, in other retailers.”
    Aldi is currently the fastest-growing grocer in the UK. Its sales rose 15% in the three months to 25 April when sales of the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – fell back.
    Aldi plans to open more than 70 stores this year and a similar number next year, as the major grocers close stores and abandon plans for new outlets. It is also testing out small city centre stores, which could enable it to expand in London, where it currently has few outlets.
    A first such store in Kilburn, north-west London, is attracting 30,000 shoppers a week, with Barnes saying it was profitable and exceeding all expectations. “It’s been a struggle just to cope. I know it’s a lovely problem but it’s still a challenge to offer customers the in-store experience we want,” Barnes said.
    He admitted that some customers were beginning to grumble about stores being too busy but said Aldi was “still the leanest, meanest, and most efficient out there”.

    • Its unsustainable in the long term, yet its great for short term financial reporting.

      skippy… Cannibalism… smiley disease…

      • truthisfashionable

        If they could implement self serve checkouts instead of the current slow lane method i’m sure they could easily deal with the increase in customers.

        I know some people grumble about self serve, but for me, I can’t tolerate the slow lanes any more.

      • And some wonder why people don’t have jobs or jobs are increasingly crapified.

        Skippy…. The race to the bottom will not end well.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Really truth?

        I’ll stand in line and wait. My 15-30 minutes isn’t that important. I’d rather a kid had a job.

      • I’m with MB here. However on my few visits to Aldi the checkout staff were slow and inconsiderate of people waiting. No effort being put in at all.

  11. Curious about the post which was just removed after grabbing a coffee not 10min ago…

    spam filter picked it up, it has been released from spam: Spambot

      • Prob meant to be the monday morning paint peeler and has been put back in the launch silo. Something to look forward to !

        doctorX put a good comment up on it – which has been used in part to good effect in another context!

        My guess is that is precisely the case. A comment may have been loaded that wasn’t supposed to go up until Monday. I pulled a comment out of the spam folder that look fairly innocuous though. Spambot

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      West Connex is a blatant attempt to get the people who live in Western Sydney to pay for road improvement in Easter Sydney. Once the toll starts, the LNP will lose every all seats west of Straitfield. Widening the M4 won’t solve the bumper to bumper issue in the morning because the bottleneck starts much further up. Most people travelling to the city from the west catches a train, because it takes half the time!! By their own forecast, the tens of billions of dollars spent on the road will improve travel time by 2 minutes, because Sydney’s population is set to grow by 1.5 million!!

      The smarter thing is to save all those billions of dollars by not growing Sydney by 1.5 million people.

      • “The smarter thing is to save all those billions of dollars by not growing Sydney by 1.5 million people.”

        Couldn’t agree more.

        All three main parties bring us mass population growth. Get rid of all of them.

      • But how will our petit landlords keep growing their equitymate? Think of the battlers/specufestors!!!

      • WHO just recently did a paper on population trends and concentrations, 54% of the global population is in city’s w/ it expected to go up to 66% in 2050.

        World Urbanization Trends 2014:
        Key Facts

        Globally, more people live in urban areas than in
        rural areas, with 54 per cent of the world’s population residing in urban areas in 2014. In 1950, 30 per cent of the world’s population was urban, and by 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be urban.

        Today, the most urbanized regions include Northern America (82 per cent living in urban areas in {2014), Latin America and the Caribbean (80 per cent), and Europe (73 per cent). In contrast, Africa and Asia remain mostly rural, with 40 and 48 per cent of their respective populations living in urban areas. All regions are expected to urbanize further over the coming decades. Africa and Asia are urbanizing faster than the other regions and are projected to become 56 and 64 per cent urban, respectively, by 2050.

        The rural population of the world has grown slowly since 1950 and is expected to reach its peak in a few years. The global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion and is expected to decline to 3.2 billion by 2050. Africa and Asia are home to nearly 90 per cent of the world’s rural population. India has the largest rural population (857 million), followed by China (635 million).

        The urban population of the world has grown rapidly since 1950, from 746 million to 3.9 billion in 2014. Asia, despite its lower level of urbanization, is home to 53 per cent of the world’s urban population, followed by Europe (14 per cent) and Latin America and the Caribbean (13 per cent).

        Continuing population growth and urbanization are projected to add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050, with nearly 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.

        Just three countries—India, China and Nigeria—together are expected to account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050. India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers, China 292 million and Nigeria 212 million.

        Close to half of the world’s urban dwellers reside in relatively small settlements of less than 500,000
        inhabitants, while only around one in eight live in the 28 mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants.

        Tokyo is the world’s largest city with an agglomeration of 38 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 25 million, Shanghai with 23 million, and Mexico City, Mumbai and São Paulo, each with around 21 million inhabitants. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants. Tokyo is projected to re-main the world’s largest city in 2030 with 37 million inhabitants, followed closely by Delhi where the population is projected to rise swiftly to 36 million. Several decades ago most of the world’s largest urban agglomerations were found in the more developed regions, but today’s large cities are concentrated in the global South. The fastest-growing urban agglomerations are medium-sized cities and cities with less than 1 million inhabitants located in Asia and Africa


        Skippy…. as you were….

    • Vote against LNP, Labor and Greens.

      You remind me of Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. You’re also horribly repetitive and you know little about the Green Party’s actual policies.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        You remind me of Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. You’re also horribly repetitive and you know little about the Green Party’s actual policies.

        He knows little about anything he criticises and, indeed, revels in his ignorance. On more than one occasion after having a factual error about Greens policy corrected, he has said “how was I supposed to know that”.

  12. Court rules NAB unable to recover Gold Coast millions due to breach of banking code.


    “NAB suffered the defeat in court after it tried to argue that the industry’s self-regulatory Banking Code of Practice has no legal effect. Victorian Supreme Court Justice James Elliott ruled in March that the code has contractual force, and that, because NAB breached it, the bank could not recoup $6 million in loan guarantees for a series of failed Gold Coast property investments.”

    • @L Thanks loThe banker also failed to tell Mr Rose, the founder of the Rosebank “Stackhat” safety helmets, that he should seek independent legal and advice, and failed to offer a 24-hour cooling off period, Justice Elliott ruled.

      “These actions were a breach of clauses 28.4 and 28.5 of the code, Justice Elliott found, and meant NAB could not enforce the guarantees made by Mr Rose.ve that news that I felt was always in the pipeline to emerge at some point”.

      If this gets through the appeal it will be huge, as mortgage brokers for the majors are in a category of “unreliable witnesses” when it comes to the above questions they will need proof……. unlikely.

    • “They were Australian citizens and had done nothing wrong, she said.” < well of course they are. I wonder if this wanker is up on charges for bashing the journo?

      I remember last week trying to convince people on this site that a lot of chinese 'investing' in aussie RE had nothing to do with actually making money and everything to do with parking ill-gotten gains in a safe place. I watched a similar process in Spain when all the russian mobsters landed in Malaga. A few bribes and some loopholes later, and boom, EU citizenship and no hope for extradition.

      Ah but detractors will tell you that Spain is a corrupt country and the governments here are straight as arrows… lol….

      • As someone who knows in fairly detailed manner how corruption often works in the Russian speaking world, and has been told that corruption is essentially the same in the Chinese world, I would observe that the process of spawning foreign bases for the corruption (both for the buying of assets and the laundering of proceeds of corruption) is an essential part of the process. A key part – corruption doesnt deliver outcomes unless it has an out of State (where the corruption is taking place) presence.

        On the Chinese I keep getting stories related to me out of banking types in Hong Kong of some Chinese guy who has an inordinately large number of Sydney apartments. Have a look too at the Caixin piece loaded re fugitives in New Zealand (and Canada, and the US and Portugal etc etc etc)

    • Buggery, cold porridge and one’s own fag to warm the loo seat.
      It’s really for status of the parents than the education itself.
      Britain did this to about 4 generations of children who were shipped home to prep school and then boarding school while their fathers ran the empire.
      Where’s my G n T?

  13. http://www.watoday.com.au/business/china/chinas-most-wanted-fugitives-in-australia-20150508-ggwgku.html

    “The sprawling display-style homes of Atwell, a melting pot of fly-in, fly-out mine workers, young families and a growing Asian community on the southern fringes of Perth, is the epitome of blissfully bland suburbia.

    Yet here is where one of China’s most-wanted “corrupt officials” resides, his name, photograph and personal details plastered on a Communist Party list of 100 alleged criminals who have absconded overseas – 10 of whom are believed to be hiding in Australia.”

  14. I quite liked the mineweb article showing the “return matrix” for gold over 45 years. The graph was a bit irritating because the graph increases on the x axis but decreases on the y axis, but that’s a minor nit.

    The more bizarre thing was the conclusion that “gold is a long term investment”, when the graph clearly shows that the only people who have made any money bought at the right time and sold (relatively) not long after.

    Surely the real conclusion is “follow the trend”.

    • I took the opposite view away
      You have to buy it when it’s hated and sell it when it’s loved

  15. proofreadersMEMBER

    Captain Wayne (APRA) and Captain Glenn (RBA) – no one’s listening.

    On page 2 of my Sydney Sunday Telegraph today, there is a full-page (that wouldn’t have been cheap)advert from Westpac aimed at home borrowers giving teaser rates and even making reference to low doc (surely not what I think it means?) loans in the fine print.

    Page 3 tells me about some highlights of yesterday’s Sydney home auctions – a house in Merrylands, Sydney with a reserve of $950,000 goes for $1.202 million ie 26.5% over the reserve.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      Oh, I just googled the Merrylands property – 47 Warwick Road. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, two garages plus two carports, a 638 sqm block, almost mint condition inside the home and able to be let for $440 – $460 per week (a 2% gross yield). A negative gearer’s dream, with plenty of capital growth to come. I am eating my heart out.

    • I spotted that same photo the other day and thought the same. I dont know who in the Torynuff inner sanctum approved its use, but it makes Bubbles look like a an uncomprehending git.

      Every Australian should have that image in their mind when the Treasurer outlines the budget this week.

  16. In the MB Christmas Poll I suggested UKIP would get 24 seats, and it got just the one ! How could I miss by so much? “UKIP’s most significant achievement was its silver medal count: the party came second in 120 seats” It was a confounding election for many people…..

    • …and I’ll go one further. Just when Morrison is out and about doing a pretty good job, the Libs release their two most senior members’; you remember those blokes, the ones we’ve not seen for a while, Abbott and Hockey. One their first major outings and on day one, without fail they fuck up. Hockey’s little gems above and now Abbott;

      “Really Mr Abbott? $185k really not “especially high””

      So where exactly does a family earning $185,000 a year sit on Australia’s income distribution? The short answer: very high.

      The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling says those with an income of $185,000 were in the top 6 per cent of all family incomes, including singles, this financial year – that’s on the ‘adjusted family income’ measure used for child care and family payments income testing.


      Somebody muzzle these two idiots.

      • I thought this paragraph was just as interesting;

        “The executive director of the Australia Institute, economist Richard Denniss, said the Prime Minister’s comments were “proof that Mr Abbott, like many high income earners is out of touch” with average earnings in Australia. A recent survey by the Institute found that 51 per cent of people who earned between $100,000 and $150,000 a year thought that the average Australian earns between $100,000 and $150,000. One third of those who earned over $150,000 thought the average Australian earns over $150,000″

        Illustrates how such dopey statements such as the PMs occur, it’s clear that many high income earners are quite out of touch with what the majority actually earn. Likely comes about because people on similar incomes tend to socialise with each other, and therefore can end up thinking even a very high income is quite normal because many of the people they know are on similar money, so they assume everyone else is much the same. It’s how someone on $100k + a year can convince themselves they are struggling. It’s probably why commentators like Chris Joye can promote the RBA average income figure that’s somewhere north of $100k without questioning it. However, it’s pretty inexcusable for the PM and Treasurer to be so ill informed, it speaks volumes about their attitude (probably their minders as well) to ordinary citizens that they could be arsed spending a few minutes to find out some of this basic information.

  17. Loved the Spreadsheets of Power article for a laugh

    Someone with the temerity to bag modelling behind decision making process who is upset the modelling of climate change which is at least as complicated / wrong as any other modelling is being over ridden by the likes of Lomborg

    Someone has to make a decision – the author simply has different inputs to others and gets all emotive about it …

    He sounds very guilty about his choice of profession and is obviously seething he no longer works in the public sector

    • But, but – it looked so cool and Green?

      How long until people react to new battery/PV tech like they have learned to react to early stage cancer drugs? They are 5-10 years away and have variable chances of making it to market

      It’s going to happen (like the awesome new cancer drugs) but it will happen faster if people/govt stop wasting money on toys like rooftop solar, Tesla wall units and Priuses

  18. Just watched Chris Uhlman interview Chris Bowen.

    Uhlman needs to take the reigns at Insiders. It was refreshing to see someone make the likes of Bowen look like the doofus he was doing the best to emulate.

    Seriously – the ALP are currently adding nothing. Everything bad about the LNP (most of it ) the ALP are trying to go further on.

    Australia is like a Looney Tunes car full of dynamite heading into the sun

    • If Australia had the same tax revenue to GDP as under Costello the budget would still be $25bn in the red.

      Spending problem?

      Country in a fantasy world

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        If Australia had the same tax revenue to GDP as under Costello the budget would still be $25bn in the red.

        And it’d still be substantially less than the OECD average.

        Spending problem?

        Depends on what you think society should be doing for itself.

      • As long as you ignore compulsory superannuation and compulsory private health insurance – the OECD reference applies. If you factor these pseudo taxes into the calculation (and others) – that crutch falls to pieces.

        Regardless of motives – you aren’t getting value for money.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        As long as you ignore compulsory superannuation and compulsory private health insurance – the OECD reference applies. If you factor these pseudo taxes into the calculation (and others) – that crutch falls to pieces.

        Private health insurance isn’t compulsory, and superannuation isn’t a tax.

        Regardless of motives – you aren’t getting value for money.

        Possibly, but that is a fundamentally different argument.

  19. @r2m – per your last comment directed at myself…

    The last 50ish years has been predominantly a factor of post WWII libertarianism… cough ‘Free Markets” from a sociological view point, like it or not. The vast majority of anti human induced negative externalities, don’t mess with my mojo party [environmental indoctrination] are variants of this theme. As such anyone with a functioning memory of this time period should be able to reflect and figure out how we got in this predicament in the first place, its not like the evidence and outcomes kept constantly building, especially when the worst could have been mitigated, even more so of late.

    Personally I was surprised at comings observations of troll on troll action and unsupported “global warming malarky” quip. Why even bother to comment if all it amounts to is pissing in the wind or expectations of mirth, when by their reckoning, all the indicators the data points at suddenly goes poof and with it – egg on faces – seriously.

    Skippy…. BTW there was nothing in my comment which asserted coming had any such leanings, it was to put AGW into scope and unpack the modus operandi of those that are purely ideologically motivated.

    • Might as well pop this in to as its related to the sun effects wrt AGW.

      New Sunspot Count Techniques Rule Out Sun as Perpetrator of Global Warning

      Climate controversy
      Clearing up its blemishes could give the
      sunspot record new life, says P. T. Jayachandran,
      an atmospheric physicist at the University of
      New Brunswick in Canada. Satellite engineers
      had been moving away from using sunspot
      numbers to calculate solar activity, in part
      because the measurements were considered
      too unreliable. Instead, they had begun to
      use direct measurements of solar flux, the
      radio emissions from the sun. But those flux
      observations only go back as far as the 1940s.
      For any view of patterns of solar activity
      stretching further back in time, these records
      too had to be calibrated to the sunspot records.
      This problem becomes especially acute
      when it comes to how the sun’s activity affects
      Earth’s climate. This becomes more uncertain
      over longer time periods, says Joanna Haigh,
      a climate physicist at Imperial College London,
      partly because there have been “extreme
      differences in assumptions” about the power
      output from the sun. With Svalgaard’s
      corrections to the revised sunspot series, it
      no longer seems that the sun is going through
      an unusually active phase. In fact, it has been
      mostly stable for the past few centuries since
      the Maunder minimum. The argument that
      the sun, and not human activity, is driving
      global warming loses one of its supports.
      Svalgaard is still not so naive as to think this
      will be the end of the argument. “We expect a
      grand fight on that front,” he says.
      With the wrinkles in the earlier data ironed
      out, we can have a little more confidence in
      the world’s oldest data series. And while plans
      are afoot to automate the collection of the
      international sunspot number, for all their
      imperfections humans remain the most
      reliable observers. For now, Holmberg will
      continue delivering his numbers as he always
      has – methodically, consistently, without fail.
      As a scientist and a historian, he’s proud his
      hobby can continue to be put to scientific use.
      “It gives me satisfaction that my data become
      part of something bigger.”


      Skippy… wonder what the next myopic data point will be switched too.