Weekend Links – Father’s Day Weekend 2015


Bills, bills, bills. One is born, one runs up bills, one dies. What have I got to show for it? Nothing. A butler’s uniform and a slightly effeminate hairdo. Sometimes I feel like a pelican – whichever way I turn I still have an enormous bill in front of me. – Black adder



United States


Terra Terra everywhere

Global Macro/Markets

…and furthermore…


    • Related to nothing in particular, someone made this comment on an article in the Guardian today and thought it worth sharing with MB readers……………….

      • Tony Abbott is losing the war on his own terms. In his victory speech two years ago Tony Abbott stated that he looked forward to forming a government that “accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.”
      In an unprincipled fashion, the government always seem to place their political interests and ideology ahead of the national interest, and seem to believe that whatever they have to do to realize them is justified, whether it means driving young children insane or allowing them to be sexually abused, unfairly balancing the budget on the backs of the most disadvantaged in the community, or lowering the standard of political conduct to new depths each week just so long as their political objective is reached every day.
      In lieu of delivering coherent economic policy that serves the people, Tony Abbott has delivered a perpetual national security and terrorism scare campaign that constitutes the government’s own brand of dog whistle politics, using coded xenophobic language to frighten while offering the illusory consolation of appearing to pass “strong” legislation to fight terrorism to console. It is a low form of politics, but then Tony Abbott has a long track record of demagoguery, irrationally appealing to the lower emotions, while ignoring the facts.
      Only by using subtle racism and fear of the other can right wing neoliberal politicians persuade average people to vote against their own best economic interests by distracting them from their true agenda: to redistribute wealth upwards, cut welfare, and reach the other goals of neoliberal policy, like privatization – of public health and education – and cutting taxes for corporations. The ultimate goal for the Abbott regime is to transform Australia into a neoliberal plutocracy which serves the interests of the rich and powerful above that of everyday Australians.
      Tony Abbott‘s arrogance and dictatorial nature are but a signal of the seriously disturbing proclivity for authoritarianism in his government which threatens the civil and human rights of the citizenry. Indeed, the Abbott government have a pronounced authoritarian tendency to aggregate power to the executive, reject transparency, and to aggressively attack their political opponents. The government seem to believe that they are above the law, ignoring the rule of law’s primacy over the executive. In fact, the Abbott government have several characteristics of an authoritarian regime: repression of dissent, an absolutist ideology, an autocratic leader, a parochial political culture, and the sense of its legitimacy being based on an appeal to emotion rather than reason.
      The unconscionable track record of Operation Sovereign Borders’ persecution of the weak, the Trade Union Royal Commission’s politicization to weaken Bill Shorten and the union movement, the concerted attacks on Gillian Triggs for upholding human rights, the autocratic conduct surrounding the stripping of citizenship, the metadata retention laws, the fanatical pursuit of an extremist neoliberal agenda, and the habitual refusal of the executive to demonstrate accountability to the parliament or the courts are all ample evidence that the Abbott government’s marked tendency towards authoritarianism has risen to the level of actually threatening democracy in this country.
      The Abbott regime, and infamously Tony Abbott himself, have a distinct disrespect for objective truth and the habit of confabulating their own alternate version of reality, in Orwellian proportions, to the extent that what the government says and believes to be so is presented as the truth.
      All of this leads to the irony and outrage that Tony Abbott himself, and several of his ministers, themselves, have been terrorizing the populace with their dictatorial rhetoric, incessant lies, and distortions of reality, and the hyperbole of the terrorism and national security scare campaign. “Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: ‘Submit or die’” juxtaposed against, “Whose side are you on?” and “…heads should roll over this” lays bare more than perhaps the PM has intended.
      The inescapable impression ends up being that it is actually the Abbott government who are coming to get you. Instead of defending the country from them, they are doing the work of the terrorists for them: debasing democracy, frightening people, ignoring the rule of law, and attempting to narrow the national mentality down to a laser thin ray of insecurity. The government seem to want the people of Australia to feel every bit as afraid of themselves, as of the enemies they pretend to protect them from. Last weekend the country appeared to be one email away from tyranny with Operation Fortitude.

      • Abbott’s LNP gov. is more confirmation of how Australia has become influenced by US kooky conservative christian neo con crusader style GOP politics which is based on the belief that they cannot beat Democrats, by being open and playing fair.

        This is exemplified by their emphasis upon and encouragement of evangelical christian belief, cultural specificity, authoritarianism, compliant hollowed out media, media stunts, wedge politics, xenophobia, dog whistling, simplistic repetitive memes, attacking those who don’t or can’t vote for them e.g. immigrants, personalities over policy, and some all round nastiness (closely followed by Labor).

        The good news is, like the situation the GOP Republicans are being forced into i.e. the right hand nasty corner by their ‘extremists’ or ‘lemmings in suicide vests’ (some of whom have more empathy for Nazi types than their own citizens), or potential political oblivion with changing demographics if they persist with ‘anti-politics’ and ‘anti-society’ tactics like a sporting contest….. the notion of ‘whatever it takes to win’ in the short term has become their own Achilles heel.

        A real challenge for any political party and leader nowadays is to deal with the significant parts of the electorate who are not just one but two generations older and their traditional culturally specific views, but also looking at what emerges below with more digitally savvy, worldly, colour blind and culturally diverse younger generations, whom they would prefer to be or remain partially disenfranchised, to maintain the status quo for their core voting demographics.

        In short, by attacking ‘other types’ and/or those who are not eligible to vote (now) Australian parties and their leaders risk becoming unelectable through attacking their future constituencies. But then again, we get the politicians we deserve…..

      • interested party

        “But then again, we get the politicians we deserve…..”

        I call bullshit on that.
        We get the politicians we are offered. Any candidate worth his/her salt is destroyed…alienated……or subsumed.

        This is the menu…..take your pick.
        Change will only come when we can put fear back into politics.

      • Oz political parties’ memberships have been falling, how many punters turn up to a council meeting, who informs the electorate etc.?

        Related to kooky conservatives, from Slate ‘Donald Trump and white nationalism..’ Republican Party is “the home of an often angry and resentful white constituency,” which fears that discrimination against whites is a growing problem. Evan Osnos of the New Yorker, in a similar vein, seeks to explain the Trump phenomenon by viewing it through the lens of radical white nationalists, who warn that white Americans face cultural genocide as their numerical majority shrinks. Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, argues that Republicans face a choice: They can build their coalition around a more inclusive libertarian vision, the path that he prefers, or they can follow Trump and redefine themselves as the defenders of white interests in a bitterly divided multiracial society…..’ http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/09/donald_trump_and_white_nationalism_does_the_candidate_s_rise_represent_the.html

      • Agree IP. It’s thrown up as an unthinking ‘fact’ & often unchallenged here.
        Going to vote is like putting your hand into a compulsory “lucky” dip where once everyones ‘choice’ is revealed, it turns out that every prize is a festering arsehole that’s going to burst it’s rotting puss all over you.

        We need a better choice of prizes!

      • “Any candidate worth his/her salt is destroyed…alienated……or subsumed.”

        That is precisely why we get the politicians we deserve. Democracy is much more than just elections. But voters are too busy paying mortgages.

      • interested party

        Your comment holds water only if we have/had a democracy……so the question is…….what social/political structure do we honestly have here?
        I submit to you that we have never had a democratic system ever here in Australia. So I will reiterate my call that we get the politicians we are offered…nothing more…nothing less.

      • I know. We never had “true” democracy or “true” capitalism. I wrote several comments about this subject when Stephen Morris was around a few years ago.

        In short, my view is this; Switzerland was not built in one day.

        As you may know, Switzerland is the oldest continuing democracy and republic. There is a good reason why they are so much ahead of us or anybody else for that matter. It will take at least a few generations for us to reach where the Swiss are today. We cannot just mimic what Swiss are doing, because copying & pasting of a political system never works without proper political expertise and infrastructure in place (even if you ignore the machinery of how such a transplant operation can work).

        BTW, when I say “we get the politicians we deserve”, it works for both (positive and negative) ways. I don’t think the current LNP crops are as terrible as some on the MB site may allude to.

      • “I don’t think the current LNP crops are as terrible as some on the MB site may allude to.”
        You didn’t hear it from me…..but I would go as far as saying that many in Canberra ( of all persuasions ) are not comfortable in how they go about their work…..a tad ‘compromised’ ethically……and the face we see is not what they would prefer. But party lines call for soul selling so we get the crap we get. The question here is….who guides the party lines? and that I believe lays offshore.

        I wouldn’t want their job….it is not an easy task that they have…….and it is only going to get worse.

        edit to add….
        and on the ‘deserve’ bit…….on the whole, the Australian public have only acted in the direction that has been sold to them at any particular time. Yes, we can argue that critical thinking vs actions should have been considered but on the whole, the people have only done what was socially acceptable……..turns out it was the wrong tree after all….but you bark when you think you should bark. So ……..maybe we do deserve the best pollies in the bigger picture.

      • It is just part of the cycle. I think future historians will remember the Abbott government as the antithesis of the Whitlam government.

        As for the “terribleness” of the Abbott government, look around. Ok, we are no match for the Swiss. How many better governments can you find in today’s world? 10? 20? 30? Then how may worse ones? 100? 150? 200?

      • Yeah, I kinda agree on that.
        Stepping back from that a bit….long term I have faith in Australia. We seem to be one of the more balanced nations……putting aside some policy directions. I don’t get the coal thing. I understand the connections to business and all that entails ie: lobby groups etc…but in my permaculture dealings and contacts I see that there are a fast growing number of high net-worth individuals who are putting large tracts of land under permaculture design….and through that process it is counter-intuitive to right wing thoughts and actions. Cannot work that one out yet.
        Time will tell what eventuates.

      • You see, the Abbott government is performing within the expected range of the political parameters of Australia. Sure, they make silly gaffes and score own goals, but that is what you expect of pollies. After all, pollies just say what they think voters want to hear, so that they can get re-elected. They are a mere reflection of the electorate.

        Long term, I have also been optimistic. We never had “true” democracy because we haven’t earned it. It will require a great leap forward on the part of the voters, which in my view is not forthcoming any time soon. It may take 200 years, but I am confident that we will eventually get there.

      • interested party

        Nah….not buying that. ( first para)
        That is far too simplistic to cover politics. There are hidden agendas at play here…and abroad…in all locations actually. So to say that they are just playing to get re-elected is just a part of the story sold to the people. That comment would only stand up if there was just one connection ….between the pollies and the people. But there is not. There is a multitude of connections of which the peoples is just one…and that is increasingly being shown to be weaker and weaker. The politicians quite correctly pander to the strongest connection first….as you would expect any large body to do……..it is unfortunate that the public have been displaced in that strongest position.

        A unified population is the only chance of getting fear back into the politicians…….and I do not rate our chances of that unification very highly. Again….too many distractions……too many variables…..and like you said earlier…people are too busy paying mortgages.

        PS…..i know what you are up to here.
        First post of the weekend……..mmmm…..you want last as well…Ok, granted!

  1. Are any traders here familiar with the Shemitah?

    2015 is a Shemitah year where global financial calamitous events have supposedly occurred. It occurs every 7 years ie: 2008, 2001, 1994, 1987, etc. This year is supposed to be an extra strong 7×7 Shemitah year.

    Due to the Shemitah year ending 13/09/2015, there is a possibility of a huge market correction to the tune of >60% over the next few months. 11/09/2015 is the last trading day before Rosh Hashanah which through history has seen an initial 40% drop – Rosh Hashanah Feast of Trumpets on 13/09/2015. There is also a solar eclipse on that date which is supposed to have a compounding effect.

    Any thoughts or is this just religious voodoo?



    What can I say, I like Greg Hunter..

    • I can’t believe over 48k people watched that BS. This sounds like that Martin Armstrong numerology stuff. When it eventually fails to come true, they will come up with some other number pattern prophecising another future doomsday.

    • I’ve been reading about this too. Very interesting. Who knows if it’s real. I guess we’ll find out soon! This Shemitah year ends next Sunday, then the 50yr Shemitah begins.

    • About the only guy I have heard talk about why such events might occur is Yanis. Economics has as much to gain from philosophy and psychology as it does from the rigorous scientific method.

      If enough the dollar weighted mean of people believing the stuff is high enough, it will become true…

      • Forgot to say that he speaks about the “Power of Prophecy” or self fulfilling prophecy (something of a pet subject for me) in his latest interviews when asked about Grexit. He basically said, if he even threatened to go through with Grexit, it would happen because people would start moving capital out etc tec.

    • I think there’s enough evidence of cycles throughout history. But as for naming them & finding confirmation bias through any context to support them is another thing. I’m wondering if it’s more a demographic cycle of self talk to a degree & something that has to occur to hand over the baton to the next (leap) generation – an amazing amount of oldies I know reckon an ill wind blows & they just hope they’re not here to see it!

      The rest are still in combative denial.

  2. Ding, ding, ding! Stamp duty concessions for first buyers facing axe


    Melbourne University property Associate Professor Piyush Tiwari said stamp duty discounts for first home buyers had driven up prices while doing little to help aspiring homeowners outbid other buyers.

    Dr Tiwari said releasing more land and speeding up the planning approval process were more effective measures to improve housing affordability. He said there should also be a curb on foreign buyers purchasing Australian properties for investment purposes.

    Gasp, the truth, in MSM!!!

    • Professor of property , professor of Chinese business studies…. I don’t know what bullsh!t they teach these days in Aussie Unis PR Visa /711 slave factories.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        ….well certainly nothing that any student could ever fail, and consequently certainly nothing involving any actual intellectual or academic rigor

      • The true purpose of University education is to have all academics Profs etc become highly skilled surgeons, and able to remove that nasty lump from your hip pocket !

      • @MAV, Tiwara espouses supply side economics which are meh in the scheme of things. I’ve seen similar arguments espoused by a blogger on this site such as regulating land supply (as if developers will let that happen) to switching from stamp duty to land tax, ‘cos it’s efficient donchanow. This site has correctly supported adjusting NG and CGT, but the key to the imbalance has been created by the RBA trying to chase down the dollar with low IR despite evidence to the contrary……. it don’t work Mum ! Add to that zero transparency on foreign sales and illegal money spilling into the economy and we ended up with this festering property mess in the middle of an economic adjustment.
        It’s too late to fix the problem. The key lever to pull is job creation to kick start demand and when the real economy is cranking then that would be the time to fix the parasitic policies. Sadly politicians fuck around policy wise when times are good and don’t fix the fiddling until the economy tanks and then they do and because it’s mistimed it all turns into a cluster fuck. Timing is everything.

    • You guys are missing the point.

      When was the last time since you read/heard a property expert say something remotely sensible on the housing problem? Given the entire FIRE sector is nothing but vested interests, it is refreshing to see a “property professor” say that. That’s why I posted the link.

  3. “…..Tiwari said stamp duty discounts for first home buyers had driven up prices…..” A simpleton could have understood that that was what was going to be the result without having wasted huge sums of money to find out. Had they not learned from the housing grants fiasco? Oh, that’s right, they wanted to push up prices – got it. Parliamentarians are mostly imbeciles and crooks.

    • Almost agree St J – IMO the politik are misinformed and snuffling in the trough. The electoral cycle has us in a bind. Supply siders like Tiwari come out of the woodwork with strange views when the politik are struggling for answers…..and this lot are thrashing around in a rip tide! Essentially it’s too late to fix the problem. Demand needs to be addressed with a jobs creation policy and when the real economy is cranking then fix the parasitic policies. This doesn’t accord with the electoral cycle and unless Abbott is able to create a vision for the future that people can identify with then the ALP will re-enter the bull pen and the music starts all over again.

  4. This week was the first time in a while it felt the offshore guys in the ASX were getting crushed by the AUD tanking and it didn’t matter what else happened.

    Locals are adamant the yield trade is still on – though I refer to a veteran older than me who said that “if it yields 10%, it doesn’t ”

    The ASX is a leveraged bet on China – with an enormous debt balloon attached to a Ponzi scheme in Sydney and Melbourne properties

    Nothing new in that view – but the popular narrative is changing rapidly

  5. From CNBC
    Rich Chinese may pour billions into US
    …There are two other forces that may drive more wealth out of China—capital controls and inheritance taxes. As China relaxes its capital controls, it will become easier for wealthy Chinese to move money offshore and buy overseas real estate. The new rules will allow Chinese residents with at least $161,000 to invest up to 50 percent of their assets overseas, if they get approval.
    What’s more, Chinese legislators have been reportedly considering an inheritance tax increase from 10 percent to 30 percent. While the status of the proposed changes is unclear, many of the rich are deciding not to wait for the tax hike and are moving money offshore and out of reach of the government.
    “The smart money has been pulling out of China,” Miller said. “And I think you’ll seen an even broader cross section move money out in the future.”
    Liam Bailey, head of research at London-based real estate firm Knight Frank, said wealth flight from China is still in its early stages, as more of the Chinese wealthy look to diversify their wealth outside the country.
    “It’s still in an embryonic phase,” he said. “Over time, this market will mature as the process of investing overseas becomes a little easier.”

  6. … Brazil … South America’s largest economy ( with Venezuela and Argentina ) goes down … Kenneth Rapoza … Forbes …

    Latest political drama puts Brazil on path to becoming Latin America’s Greece … Kenneth Rapoza … Forbes


    Brazil is fast becoming the Greece of Latin America, seemingly willing to be wiped off the map of relevance like sad sack Venezuela and arch rival Argentina. It’s too bad, really. The American-loving Brazilians should take a cue from a lyric by American singer Taylor Swift: in a relationship there are only two decisions, you either stay, or you go.

    How Hugo Chavez Trashed Latin America’s Richest Economy – Bloomberg View


    Argentina Economic Report | Outlook, Statistics and Forecasts


    • New Zealand public servants and professionals need to stop behaving like South Americans …

      Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » A Culture of Impunity?




      Ross411 … allow me to “simplify” some of the key points above for you.

      1. Political / professional responsiveness: Do you think it odd, that 5 years following the first earthquake events 4 September 2010, the current responsible Minister has come to the blindingly obvious conclusion, unreinforced masonry buildings in high traffic areas should be treated as a priority ? Why haven’t any in the MSM had the “wit” to press the current responsible Minister (and the previous one) on this matter ?

      2. NBS assessments and solutions inconsistencies: Do you think there may … just may … be a problem with assessments when 2 20 year old simple commercial structures had assessments by 6 different firms of engineers with the following results … 0-5%; 28%; 32%; 56%; 67% and 99% ? After a year and more of agonizing and politics by the engineers … including peer reviews, MBIE and the LG involved (at the not amused expense of the property owner untangling the confusion … of course) it was agreed the first structures NBS was 60% … and for minimal physical costs it was raised to 67%, although the total unnecessary disruption costs for both owner and the tenants and numerous others involved were substantial. The 2nd structure with the 99% rating has of course been conveniently left alone … ignored … even though it is of course not credible. Brushed under the carpet in other words.

      3. Professional engineers inconsistent statements: The above most recent inconsistent public statements on standards in other jurisdictions by the NZSEE and EBSS are provided, as just further illustrations of the confused advice from members of the engineering profession over the past 5 years. Do you think it unreasonable we (including of course the politicians reliant on this advice in endeavouring to put in place sound legislation) should expect more credible, consistent and robust advice from engineers as professionals ?

      I trust the above is sufficiently simple for you to understand. Is this persistent “culture of incompetence and impunity” acceptable ?

      • Pragmatic centre-right support strengthens in New Zealand …

        Public Polls August 2015 … Kiwiblog


        … extracts …

        The average of the public polls has (New Zealand) National 22% ahead of Labour in August, up 8% from July. The current seat projection is centre-right 64 seats, centre-left 48 which would see National able to govern alone. …

        … In the United States Donald Trump is polling at almost three times the level of the next highest polling contender in the Republican field. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s net favourability rating has dropped 7% in one month.

        In the UK the refugee crisis in Europe appears to be impacting support for the UK staying within the EU. Net support for remaining has dropped from +20% to +7%. Jeremy Corbyn leads in the polls to become the next UK Leader.

        In Australia Abbott’s approval ratings have plummeted this month and the Liberals and Labor are tied in polls for the Canning by-election despite the Liberals willing it by 24% in 2013.

      • Is (New Zealand Prime Minister John) Key losing interest in the job ? … Rob Hosking … NZ National Business Review ( behind subscription wall )

        (Pavletich comment on above thread)

        We need to go back to the 2008 election … and what was promised then by John Key and the National Party.

        First … then Housing Minister Phil Heatley soon after that election … late January 2009 … BRINGING BETTER BALANCE TO THE HOUSING MARKET …


        … then Prime Minister Key spelling it out clearly to Mary Kissel of The Wall Street Journal March 2009 … YOU CAN’T SPEND YOUR WAY OUT OF A CRISIS …


        … then a video presentation by Mr Key October 2013 … ACTION ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING …


        We need to see quality analysis and investigative reporting on why Mr Key, the great hope in the lead up to the 2008 election, failed to deliver. And even worse than that … why he has proven to be timid, inarticulate and obstructive of essential reforms … and with his extensive international commercial background, too often exercising remarkably poor commercial judgement.

        There sure appears to be a world of difference between ambition and ability on the John Key front. Why ?

    • None of the South American economies will be in the position of Greece. They are sovereigns and made a mistake of financing their economy with foreign debt in foreign currency and are being squeezed by their creditors. Greece’s creditors have complete control of the Euro and so Greece is in a vice trap. The South American economies have productive capacity to support their domestic economy. Their currencies are struggling, but are still demanded. Default causes problems, but not those enjoyed by Greece.

  7. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Well it would seem to me the AUD has taken an overnight friday kicking to …….

    1 AUD = 0.692447 USD

    I must confess that earlier this year I pencilled in an end of year target of 0.68 and at the moment I find myself thinking it will blow that clean away. This time last year it went from 0.93 on 1 Sept to 0.81 at Christmas as crude and iron ore crashed. This time around you would have to be thinking of a rate cut between now and next christmas, and there is a MYEFO for the government to stuff up (against the backdrop of them not having got a budget past the senate yet and showing no enhanced indication of understanding economic policy, the global economy, the Australian economy, the Australian electorate or just how completely reviled they have become)

      • such a shame the RBA and the Govt on all sides threw manufacturing under a mining truck about 4 years ago and told strayan small and medium businesses to suck it up bitches we’ve got mining riches

        the RBA should never ever be forgiven for this

      • @Alby, yes as an organisation but also as individuals. Glenn, Luci… the list is long and undignified and they’re all culpable for our situation.

    • BoomToBustMEMBER

      my chart from investing.com says it closed at 69.08 USD, not sure the difference but either way the AUD copped a pasting yesterday. Now firmly in 68 cent territory on Monday.

    • Any thoughts on when the RBA will change is stance from jawboning the AUD down and pulling the level down on interest rates ?? From what I can see the AUD is now blow the RBA target and dropping quickly, what is the chance the next interest rate move for Australia will be up ??

      • That, for mine, is the big sea change ahead of us.

        If we set aside that year or so when Pascoemeter and Gitto and Gotti were telling us the uber strong dollar lasts for the rst of eternity and we had best learn to suck it up, the prevailing informed opinion (as opposed to spruik) has for some time been that the AUD needs to come down sharply.

        Now I still dont think it is down where Iron ore crude and other commodity prices balanced against the departing manufacturing sector (so reduced rebound when the AUD plummets) and the massively indebted private side would logically have us. I think the funding side of that indebtedness (from offshore via the banks backed by the budget to be splurged on local houses) lends itself to considerable stickiness which is still affecting things, particularly as the rest of the world is still printing and what they are printing is still looking for a yield which we are still providing, and that the AUD is still overvalued.

        But I do think we are reaching a point where the RBA and policymakers would be concerned about the falls, and their mantra may start to change from encouraging falls to leaning into the falls (I bet they do this quicker than they did when everyone thought it was too high). At a guess I would reckon they say nowt until it is past 0.60 though.

        Then on the other side of that is the moment (which i am kind of looking forward to and can almost taste) when nothing they can do seems to limit the falls in the AUD (my guess would be 50s) and morale starts to slip. Then of course the denouement comes when the inflationary impacts of a currency slide can no longer be ignored (40s?) and there has to be a rate rise……..

        ……..all after they have spent most of a decade shoehorning people into leveraged buying of real estate.

      • +1 US UE falls to 5.1% etc…US rates about to hike. Get ready for the capital flight
        Time to normalise the price of mortgage debt

      • New blood, capable blood, will be required at RBA before rates rise. Slash or hold is the go for these guys & gals. RBA’s challenge in the short term will be to keep credibility between OCR/target rate and the market pricing of CDS and bonds.

    • It’s anyone’s guess trying to value a currency. IMO it’s just a paddock for the currency clippers. The failed RBA monetary policy has created a speculative bubble at the same time as various global economies are readjusting. Central banks have experienced policy failure, particularly over the last decade and the question in my mind is whether the separation of Treasury and RBA policy should be maintained. The RBA is not meeting it’s Charter and Treasury are all over the place at the present, being jerked around by a toxic politik.

    • In which other city are Domestic and International terminals on opposite sides of the runway without a connecting train? What a onward connection nightmare!

  8. US’s Most Populous State Just Voted To Divest From Coal

    The California Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that prompts the state’s public employee pension funds to divest from coal.

    The bill passed the Assemby with a vote of 43 to 27, and will require the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) — which combined are responsible for $476 billion in assets — to remove all holdings in companies that get at least half of their revenue from coal mining. The divestment would have to be completed by July 2017. If signed into law, the measure would be the first of its kind in the United States.


    Energy round-up: carbon markets have failed

    In fact, a new report released by the New Zealand government reveals that almost all of their emission reduction obligations for 2014 were met by paying for offsets in transition countries such as Russia and Ukraine, cheaper options because emissions cuts are easier to make there.

    The problem is that many analysts believe these foreign emissions reductions would have happened anyway. Cutting waste from coal or pipeline leakages, for example, is win-win for industry as it also keeps their costs down. As a result, the impact of New Zealand’s ETS is close to zero. This also applies to the EU ETS, in which about a third of total emissions reductions come from international offsets

    • I was chatting with my neighbour yesterday and he told me that his next job is at the Hazlewood power station. He is working on a chimney refurbishment that they hope will assist in getting another 50 years out of the station.

  9. That ABC piece on the spring auction frenzy looks like it came directly from a real estate industry press release…all it lacks it a quote from Dr Wilson.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      A frenzy of borrowing …………for vastly overpriced,damp,crumbling 60 year old brick veneer rubbish houses…………this has to be silliest situation ever …….let’s hope the event that will crack this comes soon ………

  10. Below Pettis’ reference to China but could easily read for Australia. Really interesting …


    Rebalancing is often harder than expected, in other words, not just because of opposition by vested interests, but more importantly because highly inverted balance sheets cause policymakers to overestimate potential growth during the miracle years. But when growth during the rebalancing phase contracts more than expected, the same balance sheet inversion that exacerbated the expansion phase will also exacerbate the slowdown, especially as declining credit quality reinforces, and is reinforced by, slower growth.

    • Interesting read. Last chart in the conclusion is really interesting to see the drop off as the boomers die off around 2030. Thanks.

      • China_Bob when you step outside the echo chamber groupthink this stuff comes from. you might figure out is just biased optics, which in turn do more to modify the observer than it is a reflection of reality [time and space problem].

        “The big data revolution and the assumption that N=ALL

        According to Cukier and Mayer-Schoenberger, the Big Data revolution consists of three things:

        Collecting and using a lot of data rather than small samples.
        Accepting messiness in your data.
        Giving up on knowing the causes.

        They describe these steps in rather grand fashion, by claiming that big data doesn’t need to understand cause because the data is so enormous. It doesn’t need to worry about sampling error because it is literally keeping track of the truth. The way the article frames this is by claiming that the new approach of big data is letting “N = ALL”.

        But here’s the thing, it’s never all. And we are almost always missing the very things we should care about most.

        So for example, as this InfoWorld post explains, internet surveillance will never really work, because the very clever and tech-savvy criminals that we most want to catch are the very ones we will never be able to catch, since they’re always a step ahead.

        Even the example from their own article, election night polls, is itself a great non-example: even if we poll absolutely everyone who leaves the polling stations, we still don’t count people who decided not to vote in the first place. And those might be the very people we’d need to talk to to understand our country’s problems.

        Indeed, I’d argue that the assumption we make that N=ALL is one of the biggest problems we face in the age of Big Data. It is, above all, a way of excluding the voices of people who don’t have the time or don’t have the energy or don’t have the access to cast their vote in all sorts of informal, possibly unannounced, elections.

        Those people, busy working two jobs and spending time waiting for buses, become invisible when we tally up the votes without them. To you this might just mean that the recommendations you receive on Netflix don’t seem very good because most of the people who bother to rate things are Netflix are young and have different tastes than you, which skews the recommendation engine towards them. But there are plenty of much more insidious consequences stemming from this basic idea.

        Another way in which the assumption that N=ALL can matter is that it often gets translated into the idea that data is objective. Indeed the article warns us against not assuming that:

        … we need to be particularly on guard to prevent our cognitive biases from deluding us; sometimes, we just need to let the data speak.

        And later in the article,

        In a world where data shape decisions more and more, what purpose will remain for people, or for intuition, or for going against the facts?

        This is a bitch of a problem for people like me who work with models, know exactly how they work, and know exactly how wrong it is to believe that “data speaks”.

        I wrote about this misunderstanding here, in the context of Bill Gates, but I was recently reminded of it in a terrifying way by this New York Times article on big data and recruiter hiring practices. From the article:

        “Let’s put everything in and let the data speak for itself,” Dr. Ming said of the algorithms she is now building for Gild.

        If you read the whole article, you’ll learn that this algorithm tries to find “diamond in the rough” types to hire. A worthy effort, but one that you have to think through.

        Why? If you, say, decided to compare women and men with the exact same qualifications that have been hired in the past, but then, looking into what happened next you learn that those women have tended to leave more often, get promoted less often, and give more negative feedback on their environments, compared to the men, your model might be tempted to hire the man over the woman next time the two showed up, rather than looking into the possibility that the company doesn’t treat female employees well.

        In other words, ignoring causation can be a flaw, rather than a feature. Models that ignore causation can add to historical problems instead of addressing them. And data doesn’t speak for itself, data is just a quantitative, pale echo of the events of our society.”


        Skippy… thats not even getting into the human tool user problem and abuse CB.

        PS. BTW TED is just a libtard marketing platform now, its like the Heritage-Cato institute for geeks.

      • I would also point out that complexity is a great way to obscure fraud, one would have thought people by now would have grokked that…

        In May 2009, Simons was questioned by investors regarding the pattern of losses in a Renaissance fund owned by outside investors while the investments held by Simons and fund associates enjoyed enormous gains in value.[31]

        On July 22, 2014, Simons was subject to bipartisan condemnation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for the use of complex barrier options to shield day-to-day trading (usually subject to higher ordinary income tax rates) as long-term capital gains. “Renaissance Technologies was able to avoid paying more than $6 billion in taxes by disguising its day-to-day stock trades as long term investments,” said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the committee’s ranking Republican, in his opening statement. “Two banks and a handful of hedge funds developed a complex financial structure to engage in highly profitable trades while claiming an unjustified lower tax rate and avoiding limits on trading with borrowed money,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) in his prepared remarks.

        Skippy…. yeah that’s the kinda guy I want spending their squillions [proceeds of looting] on “effecting positive change”, we already have Scientology for that.

      • @Skip mate you can dis Lloyd Blankfein all you like I accept he is a big part of what you hate but please leave Jim Simons out of it. I’m not a friend of Jim’s but I know several people that are and I’ve never heard a bad word said about him. Maybe you dont like he methods, or maybe you just dont understand them, but to suggest that he doesn’t understand what he’s doing is simply wrong. It’s absolutely clear that others don’t understand his methods, I know from private discussions that a lot of the methodology involves time domain to frequency domain translations with similar processing domain translations in the data sample space. To do any of this properly you need to understand the limitations of big data and how to pre filter & resample/decimate or the Aliasing will kill you. If you have any knowledge of Cryptanalysis you’ll understand some of what he is probably doing because it’s clear from recently released NSA papers (dating back to the 1980’s) that his investing methods share a lot in common with the NSA’s preferred Cryptanalysis method.

      • No hate involved CB, just pointing criminals and their attitude to others, to gain personal wealth, at the cost of society.

        Skippy…. your man love is noted, tho sociopaths breed just like all humans, some even go to church and give to the poor, still it does not change things.

    • Simply awesome


      “Jim Simons’ Medallion Fund is the best hedge fund that Insider Monkey has come across. The fund’s returns are so spectacular that Jim Simons became one of the richest people on the planet. Medallion Fund employs high frequency trading and exploits inefficiencies in the stock market. One strategy they use takes advantage of the inefficiencies in the execution of large transactions. One of their algorithms determines whether a very large order is executed and front runs it. As a result Medallion experiences high transaction costs and high expenses. That’s why they charge a 5% fixed fee. On top of that they charge performance fee. That fee had been 20%, but after 2000 it increased initially to 36% and then to 44%.

      Currently the fund’s investors are current and past employees and their families. So, the fund’s 44% performance fee is a little bit irrelevant. Jim Simons owns between 25-50 percent of Renaissance Technologies (RenTec), and he is also the largest investor in the Medallion Fund. So when Medallion reports a 50% return in a given year, the return is really close to 100% for most of the fund’s investors.

      • Yea, thought you might like it. It’s definitely true with Jim, that the man behind the method is far more interesting than the method. I also really like what Jim’s doing with math/science teaching in NYC schools…time for Australia’s philanthropists to take notes….I mean what’s the point of mega money if you can’t effect positive change?

      • So it’s almost impossible for an outsider to invest in the fund or to learn about how he does it… in which case who cares?

      • Wow. Everything that’s wrong with the finance industry in a paragraph.

        Yeah I agree….having said that, ppl like Jim Simmons are actually bringing a science to it all and anything that replaces the testosterone pumped moronic dealers is a plus in my books.

        On a greedy personal note, it’s good to know there might be hope for me to strike it rich someday if I want to sell my soul…

      • I would also point out that complexity is a great way to obscure fraud, one would have thought people by now would have grokked that…

        In May 2009, Simons was questioned by investors regarding the pattern of losses in a Renaissance fund owned by outside investors while the investments held by Simons and fund associates enjoyed enormous gains in value.[31]

        On July 22, 2014, Simons was subject to bipartisan condemnation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for the use of complex barrier options to shield day-to-day trading (usually subject to higher ordinary income tax rates) as long-term capital gains. “Renaissance Technologies was able to avoid paying more than $6 billion in taxes by disguising its day-to-day stock trades as long term investments,” said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the committee’s ranking Republican, in his opening statement. “Two banks and a handful of hedge funds developed a complex financial structure to engage in highly profitable trades while claiming an unjustified lower tax rate and avoiding limits on trading with borrowed money,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) in his prepared remarks.

        Skippy…. yeah that’s the kinda guy I want spending their squillions [proceeds of looting] on “effecting positive change”, we already have Scientology for that.

        PS. China=bob and crazy 8~…. hate to say it, but, you both exhibit criminal tendencies and low ethical behavior – empathy for others.

      • I think I’ve seen this movie before. A bunch of clever people think they’ve outsmarted the system and make oodles of money and reinvest it until it becomes so large that…

        LTCM any one?

    • CB I usea similar system, not as elaborate, but the coding highloghts the porbabiliies for each stock in colour (not reproduced here)
      Below some core data.
      It pays to take maths seriously WW

      EAR 1582 EchoRes 0.07 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.10 0.09 0.12 30 -3 16 3 7 -11 -2 -4 35
      HMX 1610 HammerMetals 0.09 0.09 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.06 28 -14 -21 20 7 20
      CWC 1559 China Waste Corp 0.72 0.67 0.66 0.60 0.37 0.46 24 -38 -8 -2 -6 8 3 -20
      BRB 1549 BreakerRes 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.06 22 -24 44 3 21 -31 -3 32
      EVR 1584 EndeavourMining a 0.66 0.60 0.64 0.63 0.63 0.68 0.61 0.48 0.53 0.51 0.62 0.67 0.54 0.65 19 -19 8 22 -3 9 -21 -10 -7 -3
      EVN 1587 EvolutionMining a 1.18 1.12 1.25 1.16 1.15 1.17 1.14 1.01 1.00 0.95 1.00 1.08 0.99 1.15 16 -8 8 6 -6 -11 -3 -5 -3
      KTA 1626 KrakatoaRes 0.19 0.19 0.20 0.20 0.14 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.15 0.14 0.14 0.16 14 -7 -3 -3 -6 -3 -8
      ZAM 1714 ZamancoMin 0.05 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.04 – 0.04 0.04 0.05 14 2 -2 -2 2 1 15
      SBM 1692 StBarbara 0.47 0.44 0.46 0.55 0.56 0.57 0.58 0.50 0.51 0.43 0.50 0.56 0.53 0.60 13 -5 12 15 -15 -13 2 -4 6
      BOA 1547 BoadiceaRes 0.14 0.15 0.14 0.13 0.16 0.16 0.18 0.19 0.17 0.18 0.22 0.20 0.16 0.18 13 -20 -7 19 6 -11 6 13 3 21
      CAS 1570 CrusaderRes 0.17 0.15 0.16 0.17 0.19 0.16 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.14 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.15 12 -7 8 -7 -13 -9 9 -4 -11
      IAU 1620 IntrepidMines 0.15 0.15 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.13 0.12 0.13 0.11 0.11 0.12 10 -5 -15 8 -4 4 -4 -6
      DRA 1579 DragonMin 0.18 0.17 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.16 0.19 0.15 0.15 0.16 – 0.17 0.17 0.18 9 -3 -8 16 7 -21 23 1 22

      • ww are you willing to explain what you are doing there (or am I going to go insane trying to work it out?) i can see you’ve got the last 14 days and i think i remember you saying you watched for the crossing of a MA?

    • Haroldus, Mate, I cant tell you what I do with the data.
      Bill Gates once said that once you get data in digital form, it is able to be interpreted by computers, then you can manage it.
      The List is a partial snapshot I just happened to have open, of the top performing gold miners for Friday, you will see that from the ASX codes.
      Trading the stock market is dead easy, but you have to have the tools to allow you to interpret the sea of numbers. and then the courage to act.
      If you sat down with a pen and paper and wrote out initially what are the core causes and indicators which affect the price of a companies shares and how are they apparent, then apply filters and weightings, I’m sure within 6 months you would have a workable system.
      Like I said my first system was outlined and published by Sir Ron Brierly, 40 odd years ago(it was called the Radley system) and I too had to go the Reuters terminals at the stock exchange and pay $5.00 for a data down load or copy from the share list in the Australian. Everything was calculated and drawn by hand.
      Computers make it soo easy.
      But I have to say this front running by faster software is straight out ungentlemanly and probably illegal.

      • ta mate getting the pen and paper out.
        also – do i remember you saying you were going to do a little tutorial thing after you did well in that competition or do i have things all mixed up in my tiny mind?
        thanks again for responding

      • It’s interesting what you say about front running being illegal, because if a human does it, it definitely is illegal, if a computer does it of it’s own volition (as in programmed to do it), than we’re in a grey area.. It’s illegal for the human because it was common practice for traders on the exchange floor to front run their own customers orders, of course this was easy to detect so the traders formed pacts to share information about large customer orders and front run another traders customer (much harder to prove).
        For HFT programs large orders look just like impulse events, so they deploy bots to look for behavior characteristic of a large order coming, sounds weird but almost all systems display tell tale signs of a big event coming, Think of an event like a Tsunami, before the wave arrives the water recedes like a super low tide than comes the wave (event) even optical Solitons .typically show undershoot ahead of the pulse, the share market as a system is no different there are definite “tells” and when identified these lets you trade on major market events ahead of the market aka Front running….is this immoral, I don’t see it that way…but Skippy would probably disagree. Lot happening at the moment to trade big event orders on so called “dark pools” but they’re kidding themselves if they think this stops algorithmic front running.

      • The man is the greatest investor of all time.

        The length of his track record and the sheer level of outperformance is remarkable. These strategies obviously have limits regarding funds under management and these became apparent with the extra funds not performing to the standard of Medallion. None of the complaints from miffed investors or tax collectors ever gained traction.

        LTCM comparisons are nonsense. JM’s converge trades required huge leverage. He has blown up twice now. Simons remarked regarding converge trades that they sounded great but for the actual timing of the convergence. If they couldn’t model it they wouldn’t trade it.

        In 2008 when the quants around the world found out they were in the same trades and got carried out – Medallion almost doubled in value.

        Rentec did not manage $50bn with such success operating a ‘front running’ shop in line with the nonsense highlighted in ‘Flash Boys’. There is no way possible they could have dominated such an arms race to that extent (and for so long) trying to win at the latency arb game or paying for retail order flow. Everybody is trying to front run volumes – it is only the time frames that differ – Rentec just had/has models superior to everyone else because they are smarter.

        His charity work devoting money and encouragement to public school maths teachers is fantastic. I only wish I personally had of been able to be inspired by at least one decent maths teacher in high school.

        Simons could never have built the same business in Australian for lack of the numbers of gifted statistics, maths, physics and astronomy PhDs. The reaction to a mention of such a self-made, successful person from many on this board also displays an embarrassing knee jerk and ignorant reaction.

        This is another interview, also very enjoyable.


        No socks, reaching for his lighter…

    • Interesting comment on the Soros article…

      14m ago
      0 1

      We boomers are rightfully hard on the millennials because they are a cohort of spoiled, selfish, uneducated brats who relate only to the cellphones to which they are glued in near-catatonic states. Never forget that many, many of us, back in the day, rejected all those things you claim we wanted: middle-class heaven. What do you think protests and the hippie movement and Woodstock were all about. We cared deeply about such things as peace and ecology and civil rights for all, not about what technology we owned and how much money we had. Millennials seem totally wrapped up in mammon and don’t give a toss about causes, even such causes as would benefit them. I can’t stand them. Maybe they’re mad at the Sixties, but the Sixties are mad at THEM!

      The other funny thing is post 60s wages went sideways for decades, yet some how boomers stole all the wealth, when in fact the wealth is actually concentrated in the very top quintile 5% to .1/.01%. That’s compounded by all the propaganda to cut social services et al to this and everyone else age bracket.

      Skippy…. at the end of the day I would point out its a PEW paper and if you don’t have a historical perspective wrt to this think tank your missing out on its agenda.

      • Skip, MB is mostly about youngsters who think the houses that are rightfully theirs have been stolen from them by __________ (fill in the blank, but the word “boomers” appears often). If house prices suddenly collapsed, this site would sound like this: [[[crickets]]] :mrgreen:

      • Wat? A lot of people referred to youngsters these days are in their 40’s and have kids approaching their teens. How dare they want more than a 2 br apartment.

        The boomers are the worst generation in the anglosphere for the last century; simple as that. And I’m not just whining; it’s actionable. They have deliberately structured things to benefit asset holders at the expense if workers. This must be reversed. If it is not, and this is allowed to continue, we will see the elderly dying in the streets, because no young person will care.

      • truthisfashionable

        I’m impressed, you managed to comment on an article with the exact vitriol that the article calls into question.

        I won’t tear apart the comment you quoted, it’s too easy, the truth is available and its not what boomers want to hear or believe so they will continue to ignore it.

        R2M and JayBone show the exact same traits in their comments. It must be some kind a superiority complex, where the glorious boomers cannot be questioned, nor can they be faulted. Their beliefs are the only beliefs anyone should be allowed to have and every generation after them must conform to their beliefs or be belittled as though they are failures for wanting something, anything different.

      • WOW massive population age brackets must have some sort of central hive mind….. lmmao… morons….

        Skippy… Listen to it… I want… I want… and I want it now!!!!!

      • “We boomers are rightfully hard on the millennials because they are a cohort of spoiled, selfish, uneducated brats who relate only to the cellphones to which they are glued in near-catatonic states. ”

        This sort of silly generalisation is beneath you, Skip..

        My mistake, this was a comment from the comment section of article. Nevermind..

      • There’s just so much wrong in regards to R2M’s post above that i simply cant be bothered.

        Anyway I wonder how long until R2M understands Australias capital allocations and its cause and effect on capital works such as R&D for green tech.

        Btw kudos to you first relevant reply to a post!

      • We boomers are rightfully hard on the millennials because they are a cohort of spoiled, selfish, uneducated brats who relate only to the cellphones to which they are glued in near-catatonic states.

        Seems odd someone quite insistent we can’t talk about boomers as a cohort seems happy to quote someone talking about millennials as a cohort.

      • drsmithy,

        Yes, I noticed that inconsistency as well. As Skippy might say – attributing global characteristics and a hive mind to a demographic cohort is bad optics and table meets head material :).

        Just grateful to be generational X and clearly oppressed by both of those demographical borg cubes.

      • Because Drsmithy it highlights the Scott’s box game being played by the PEW think tank and the riff Soros rag plays on it, pure intentional inter-generational pot stirring.

        Skippy…. PEW is a cesspit with an agenda…

      • Oh,

        I think R2M managed to embody the very point Skip was making and in doing so caused me to misconstrue the purpose of Skip’s quote. My bad. Waggle of finger now purely at R2M.

  11. truthisfashionable

    Home sold for a loss [Perth] – The confusion on the replies astonishing:

    This one stands out to me:
    “but no sane person accepts any offer if it means a loan is not going to pay out the principle amount owed”
    Sounds like an example of negative equity in the end. Wish there were more details, the OP should make it a case study.

    • And this is when home ‘owners’ realize who actually owns the property – the bank does!
      Only someone who has/can achieve clear title – someone who is un-mortgaged/has positive equity – can ‘get out’ of a market that is falling.ie: sell at less than they paid for it. Anyone who has negative equity is likely to be ‘imprisoned’ by their property holding(s), and will be forced by the mortgagee to sit and watch as prices fall, knowing that unless they have alternative funds to make-up any difference between the sale price and the outstanding mortgage, the (bank) will not allow the sales process to complete.
      This is what happened in the UK in the late 80’s and late 00’s, and will likely happen there again, as it will down here.
      Anyone who has the slightest inkling that the property market might fall, has to get out ( if they wish) whilst they still have a mortgage that is = < than the sales price.

      • If the mortgage has been sold on, then the bank that originated it does not own it anymore….

        Skippy…. did everyone just collectively suffer from amnesia all the sudden?

      • Janet,
        “Anyone who has the slightest inkling that the property market might fall, has to get out ( if they wish)”

        This is exactly….EXACTLY….why you don’t treat your home as a trade!!!!!!!!! For crying out loud….a bloody stop loss on a house???????
        For those who speculate……let the purge begin, I say.

      • Lmmao…. its all commingled debit swirling around the planet, your retirement fund or investments are highly coupled to not only the RE sector but, the entire credit markets…..

      • Someone owns the mortgage, skippy. And when you go into whoever originated the loan, whether they still ‘own it’ or not, if the face amount outstanding is more than the proposed sale price, they are highly unlikely to allow a transfer of title to be effected. A property owner does not ‘own’ the property until they have paid for it. Until they have, someone else will in all probability be the entity that determines its fate.

      • I was speaking to someone who bought their place just over 30 years ago.
        They got it for 3 times his income, with the minimal deposit.
        His wife started working part time later on.
        He threw everything he had into paying off the mortgage.
        Working overtime and being a frugal as possible.
        Paid it off in 5 years.
        He is thinking about moving and he now has the luxury of viewing the market as relative.
        That is, he only cares about the value of the next house against the value of the house that he is selling.
        He has that freedom that Janet speaks about above.
        A freedom that many of my newly mortgaged peers will not know for a very, very long time.

      • My point is Janet…. you might find it hard to figure out who actually owns it or has it been sliced and diced squared and cubed making it a dogs breakfast, which unknowingly, everyone is eating themselves.

        Lets not forget in Americas case 60%ish of all vintage has clouded title.

        Skippy… RE was just an event which made a much bigger problem possible in polite public discourse.

      • Skippy, you know this but it is the appreciating land, though plus house, at 3x income, not the depreciating consumable house, that is footsore’s point. (aside from issues of land ‘ownership’)

      • Sorry Rage…. after decades of wage suppression, followed by a decade and a bit of ridiculous RE/Land valuations, I don’t find those old timey 3X very relevant. Especially once credit securititzation is mixed in, compounded by erroneous risk metrics to determine underwriting.

        Never got the land bestows rights thingy either, unless one is a christian dominionism sort or equally esoteric about objects have agency…. I always thought it was Laws. Tho’ one does learn the in through out our species history on of the greatest tricks is to get the unwashed masses to – think – they have freewill, when in reality its just the social template at work.

        Skippy…. also the confusion over rights vs. responsibilities.

      • ok, I agree with all that except that the old 3x income and the current ~ servitudinal x income are resultant facts.

    • pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

      So much for “full recourse loans means it can’t crash here”. Just wait for this senario to be talked about over the BBQ to add some panic to the downturn when it starts properly. “F we better sell now before we end up like Bob.”

      • Bob should have gone bankrupt before they made it illegal. Now Bob is doomed because they will squeeze every penny from him until he dies.

        I would welcome this form of recourse. The fat stupid lazy aspirationals deserve to be ridden by bankers as slaves until they are dead. They wouldn’t give the youth of their country a chance… they certainly don’t deserve a second one. And the masters that they elected will bring my wishes to fruition. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      • Why is it illegal for someone to go bankrupt? If I was Bob I would inform the mortgage holder that if it did not provided me with a reasonable loan that is exactly what I plan to do since I have no cash or equity. I certainly would not use visa card credit since that is no longer covered by bankruptcy.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      I told this story about a Perth mate yesterday. He’s over the west and wants to head to Northern NSW. I’m on the net, showing him areas and RE and he’s loving it. BUT…his Perth place is down somewhere 5-10% and he’s going to wait for the pickup to break even first.

      He’s toast, as well as many like him.

      • Confucius say: “He who panics first panics best.”

        But hey, on the other hand – we need a thick blanket of crispy investors to drive some common sense home, so, good luck to him!

      • Pleepare to meeeet doooom! Was he one of the ones who thought it was awesome when it was going up (even though every dollar they made had to be paid for by someone else?). Or did he just get in late? If it’s the former, then ‘Ha ha ha ha ha!’. If it’s the latter, then he was obviously aspirational, so still ‘Ha ha ha ha ha!’

    • [edit] okay just read the OP again. OP in ACT, house is in Perth, so its an affect of Falling house prices over there, likely an attempt at an Investment property.

      How many “attempts” at investment are there in Oz RE? Looking shaky even as the eastern states roar on….

    • Really Interesting method, sounds a lot like the hot electrons are quantum tunneling, if the hot electrons are FN tunneling (or similar) then over time you’ll get lattice damage = leakage. I’m guessing that the energy of the hot electron needs to be maintained so that it can be directly used to split the water molecule, probably present as steam hmm.
      A couple of things occur to me
      – the extremely small Al to Ag gap required for direct ban tunneling (say less than 100nm in SiO2) distance is going to only result in energy absorption/ conversion of light in the high UV and maybe a little in the blue region of the spectrum. this will make it very inefficient and that’s a real world issue, we already have a situation where PV solar cells with efficiency much below 20% are not worth installing because of labor / roof space concerns.
      – non-barrier separation methods immediately raises concerns about the lattice damage, installed such a system MUST last at least 10 years

  12. pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

    Is anyone able to recommend a better none SMSF Super portfolio?

    My current objective is to be risk off and especially hedged against further AUD falls.

    I currently have mine with ING Direct – Living Super and have added their share trading option which in addition to thier standard range of managed fund options allows me to hold individual stocks from any in the ASX200 plus a few extra approved ETFs from this list -http://www.ingdirect.com.au/superannuation/tips-hints-guides/shares-etfs-lics.html

    Some rules they set are;
    80% max of portfolio can be in the share trading section.
    20% max of portfolio can be in any one stock code.

    My portfolio is currently;
    20% cash
    20% USD (US Dollar exposure ETF)
    20% ETPMAG (silver exposure ETF)
    20% GOLD (gold exposure ETF)
    20% ETPMPM (~54% gold, ~20% silver, ~14% palladium, ~12% platinum exposed ETF)

    Any suggested improvements are welcome 🙂

    • In my opinion your commodity exposure is too big and u have overlapping metals etfs ( gold/silver in 2 etfs). 31% gold exposure is gold bug stuff. As part of ur portfolio u should look at assets which have a productive exposure (shares/property)

      If u have defensive risk profile: u may want to look at how the vanguard defensive asset allocation looks like as part of your research. Google ‘vanguard defensive portfolio’ to see what a typical defensive (all weather) portfolio looks like.

      As for what my portfolio looks like….

      5% aus cash
      5% aus equity (+puts on fmg and other mining)
      10% iaf etf (gov bonds with avg 5 yr maturity)
      45% usd (+mini aus short exposure)
      10% us treasuries (avg 5 year)
      20% us equity unhedged
      5% gold

      2 year return is 15% pa.

      Hope this helps

  13. One step closer to human microchipping.

    When the Australian Border Force goes overboard you’re left with Operation Overkill

    On her morning drive to work through the inner-west Sydney suburb of Stanmore on Wednesday morning, Sarah* was surprised when police stopped her for a random breath test.
    But when the officer saw her UK driver’s licence, his actions left her dumbfounded.
    “He asked to see her visa – but we don’t have a paper visa, its electronic,” said her boyfriend, Mark*, who, together with Sarah, is in Australia on a skilled work visa.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/when-the-australian-border-force-goes-overboard-youre-left-with-operation-overkill-20150903-gje6lg.html#ixzz3kp1A8NFj

    • Ha ha ha! Go Border Force! The more stories start circulating in the US and Europe about how Australia has gone 500% full retard, the better.

      • Coming from the nation that was ground zero for the GFC and in the process diminished the very bed rock of modern capitalism, land ownership, that’s pretty funny lorddudley. Not to mention the biggest transfer of wealth upward in modernity, almost 100M out of the work force, massive student debt, most expensive health care on the planet, crumbling infrastructure and rentiers out the wazoo….

        Skippy…. Worst for last….. the foundational well spring to neoliberalism and global hegemony…. Tony’s just like Howard was to Bush… its just kabuki…

      • Skip: you can slag off the US all you want. I don’t give a shit. Simple fact is the place offers a far better deal to young productive people now than Australia does. And no amount of whining about banks or the GFC will change that.

        In the next few years, Oz is staring down the barrell of depression. The US is not. It’s as simple as that. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      • Sorry Lordudley but the evidence does not support your claims:

        Last week, I wrote about how high school graduates will face significant economic challenges when they graduate this spring. High school graduates almost always experience higher levels of unemployment and lower wages than their counterparts with a college degree, and their labor market difficulties were particularly exacerbated by the Great Recession. Despite officially ending in June 2009, the recession left millions unemployed for prolonged spells, with recent workforce entrants such as young high school grads being particularly vulnerable.

        Underemployment is one of the major problems that young workers currently face. Approximately 19.5 percent of young high school graduates (those ages 17–20) are unemployed and about 37.0 percent are underemployed. For young college graduates (those ages 21–24) the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent and the underemployment rate is 14.9 percent. Our measure of underemployment is the U-6 measure from the BLS, which includes not only unemployed workers but also those who are part-time for economic reasons and those who are marginally attached to the labor force.

        When we look at the underemployment data by race, we often see an even worse situation. As shown in the charts below, 23.0 percent of young black college graduates are currently underemployed, compared with 22.4 percent of young Hispanic college grads and 12.9 percent of white college grads. And as elevated as these rates are, the picture is bleakest for young high school graduates, who are majority of young workers.


        Skippy…. That still does not address debt levels pursuant to education nor wage – income quality.

        PS… Don’t forget that I am an American and left a decade before the GFC as I saw the writing on the wall and its not over dudly… not by a long shot…

      • Maybe Skip… we shall see. My take is Australia is far more corrupt than most people think, and definitely more hollowed out than the USA. They both have their problems. My take is that for the young and educated, the US is a much better deal.

        That may change, but I’ll put money on it (literally; all my money is in the US, as well as my family) not changing for a few years yet.

        Never underestimate the self-entitlement of Australia’s generation of old farts. They’ll strip the wealth from everyone else, and feel good about it, as long as they’re allowed to.

      • I’ve yet to see a sitting parliamentarian chop some lines up to start off a Q&A session.

        Skippy…. I know Calif very well Dudley, not to mention a fare few other regions and affiliations, back in the day.

    • The most surprising part of that story is that it happened to a British woman called Sarah (I’m going to go out on a limb and assume she’s white).

      EDIT: missed the “names changed” on first skim through.

      Also, without want to appear to defend any aspect of this debacle, she shouldn’t be using her UK license if she’s here on a working visa.

      (I actually didn’t realise we had fully electronic visas. I would have thought there’d be some sort of sticker or stamp that goes into her passport.)

      • @ drsmithy

        up to 3months following entry to the country, temporary visa holders are allowed to drive on a foreign (international) license.

      • up to 3months following entry to the country, temporary visa holders are allowed to drive on a foreign (international) license.

        Yeah, I know. She didn’t sound like a short-term temporary visitor though.

      • All the cops were doing is upholding the law. Full stop, and about fkn time a bureaucrate took Their job seriously.

      • All the cops were doing is upholding the law.

        When did it become a part of their job description to do so?

        All this is point the finger in another direction to the distract the rightfully angry public. “Deport the Illegals” ala “Stop the boats”.

        The true issues will go ignored.

      • All the cops were doing is upholding the law.

        As immigration is a Federal responsibility, that’s what the AFP and Boarder Farce are for.

      • Physical visas and stamps disappeared ages ago and DIBP recommends that travellers carry an email confirmation when coming to and entering Australia, but since when has anyone needed to carry ID in Oz?

        Further, I’d assume police do not have (live/direct) access to DIBP system (PRISMS?) to check or match visa validity, becuase it’s the job of DIBP. However, there is nothing stopping police in reporting someone who has been dragged in for other reasons…… a simple telephone call (without the media frenzy around a stunt).

        Related, proposed citizenship laws focused upon those (Oz moslems) fighting with ISIL in the Mid East, and having another citizenship they can fall back on, assuming they are the only ‘terrorists’ (in broad sense of the term) being targetted.

        What about those who have been living in Oz for a generation or two whether from Northern Ireland, South America, Greece, Vietnam etc. etc., if it can be shown they were part of ‘terrorist’ group? If solely Oz citizens, without dual or another citizenship to fall back on, what happens? (Like Oz Serb guy, minus citizenship, some years ago under Howard, deported to Serbia for low level crime, but had neither Serbian language nor citizenship, Oz govt. relented as it had become embarrassing that the guy was camped out in front of the Oz Embassy in Belgrade. He could also argue that he was getting something back for the taxes he had paid….). Again makes for good media bites and dog whistling, but clearly not well thought through.

        But the Border Farce is sending another message to our police?

      • This is not about IDing people or verifying immigration status. The copper was just trying to verify if the woman was driving licensed or not.

      • Jason,

        As a person who held a UK DL she had the right to be driving. The cop saw the DL origin and then wanted to check if she held a valid visa. If she was visiting she wouldn’t need a visa to drive and if she held a visa same result, so why the need?

    • Wow this article is sooooo incorrect it’s not funny.

      Of course the Police are going to ask for a visa if they see a foreign drivers license. Foreigners are only allowed to drive in NSW on a foreign license for up to 3 months (for tourists), afterwards they need to hold an Australian license. This is because of the enforcement system, tracking points/demerits/suspensions/etc.

      Our mate the copper was probably just making sure she wasn’t driving un-licensed. Total beat-up story.

      • It doesn’t matter if there’s some justification in this instance; not in terms of Australia’s rapidly declining image abroad… it fits a pattern. There is international awareness building that Oz is a nation of fat stupid xenophobes. People in the US are certainly noticing based on media reporting; about the only stories about Oz reported in California are examples of Oz going full retard.

      • Sayz the guy living in the country with paramilitary for police and a prison industrial complex which is used as both slave labour and rent extraction.

        Skippy… Our police are not even close to the judge, jury, and executioners the states have created by militarizing them, not to mention rampant PTSD.

  14. Mining BoganMEMBER

    My partner has been bagging me because I’m now entering events in the 50-55 age bracket. She’d give up on me pretending to be 20 except in some areas I’m a tiger. 😉

    Anyhow, I started googling age runners and found this guy.


    He ran a 5.40 marathon aged 94. Awesome. Simple life, simple diet…bloke is a legend.

  15. Many people hope that a correction in housing will bring back house prices to what they were in the 1990’s (3-4 times annual income). I doubt we’ll ever see these valuations again for one reason: China. People underestimate the economic dynamics that did not exist in 1990’s but exist now. China’s has roughly 1 million millionaires that have amassed about $16 trillion in wealth. Half of China’s wealthy plan to emigrate or have already taken steps to move their families and fortunes overseas. You just have to do the math to realize that even if only 5% of that money makes it to Australia, that’s $800 billions. This is what makes a housing correction here different from Spain’s and Ireland’s, something that gets ignored by MB analysis. China’s wealthy will keep house prices in Sydney and Melbourne at a high plateau for the fanciable future.

    • Actually – I think we need to hear more about this “high plateau” thing… I’m sure nothing will come of it, unlike any of the previous times someone dared to speak about it.

      So tell me, how do I purchase a few acres of this “high plateau” thingummybob?

      • Ino, unfortunately, some commentators here are caught up in their own dogma and unable to dispute facts (or data) that does not fit with their (religious like) belief system. I pointed out some facts. Whether you like them or not, does not make them any less valid. Would you care to provide a comment that would add value to the conversation?

    • arescarti42MEMBER

      “This is what makes a housing correction here different from Spain’s and Ireland’s, something that gets ignored by MB analysis.”

      I’m confused, what exactly is it that makes it different? Australia doesn’t exactly have a monopoly on stable western democracy.

      We like to think we’re exceptional, but at the end of the day we’re really just a small isolated country at the arse end of the world with not a lot going on in the way of jobs and economic opportunities outside of houses and holes.

      If I was a Chinese millionaire looking to permanently relocate, there’s far more on offer in the US and EU than there is in Australia.

      Really the only thing that makes Australia different is we’re more lax on preventing illegal investment and money laundering, and that loop hole is rapidly closing, and will continue to do so as the existing seething anger continues to grow within the community.

      • We like to think we’re exceptional, but at the end of the day we’re really just a small isolated country at the arse end of the world with not a lot going on in the way of jobs and economic opportunities outside of houses and holes.

        Couldn’t agree more. However, in addition to houses and holes we have an economy next door that went through once in a lifetime transformation which resulted in unprecedented wealth looking for safe havens outside of China.

        By the way, I’m not by any means condoning what’s happening, far from it. I’m just able to separate emotions from data, something a lot of commentators here fail to do.

      • arescarti42MEMBER

        You still haven’t answered the question of why Australia is different to all the other potential destinations for hot Chinese cash. Why are we a better investment than the US or EU, with much large and more diverse economies?

        It is that we’re physically close to China? Chinese are going to choose Australia to park their money because it’s a shorter plane trip by a few hours? I don’t think so.

      • You still haven’t answered the question of why Australia is different to all the other potential destinations for hot Chinese cash. Why are we a better investment than the US or EU, with much large and more diverse economies?

        Nowhere did I say we’re a better investment destination than the US or the EU. Anyway, my opinion (or yours) as to which is a better investment destination does not matter and is not the issue here. What matters is what the rich Chinese think and do. One of their primary reasons for seeking residency overseas is simply a better future for their kids (and not necessarily a better return on their capital). The US will get the bulk of that but the US economy is an 18T economy and can absorb a lot of that. We on the other hand are a 1.5T economy concentrated in two cities. So even though we get less investments here, their impact is much more felt. The US does not have 100s of apartments selling off the plan within the space of 2 hours. Unheard of over there.

    • By dynamics that did not exist do you mean that there were considerably fewer millionaires in Japan at that time? There appear to be about 2 million Japanese millionaires now, fewer than the year before due to currency movements.

      The Chinese seem to like investing in places including the US, Canada and the UK. I’d guess that if 5% comes to Australia, at least 10% will go to those places. I’d also conjecture that a very substantial proportion of that wealth is in assets like shares and property. If 5% of that is cashed in, how will that effect the valuation of the remainder, and the ability to convert hard assets into cash?

      • Japanese millionaires (unlike Chinese ones) are not looking to establish residency outside of their country. My argument is that many rich Chinese already see the train wreck coming to their economy and precisely for that reason they are moving a substantial amount of their wealth overseas. A collapse in China’s economy will only expedite that (though amounts will be less due to correction, but still substantial).

      • arescarti42MEMBER

        If their concern is the train wreck coming to the Chinese economy, why on earth would they move their money to the economy that is most reliant on the Chinese economy, and most likely to take a dive as a result??

      • BoomToBustMEMBER

        Would you move your cash out of China into AUD or USD ?? If you move it to AUD and you can do a quick search for currency rates and trends it doesnt take much to see the AUD declining rapidly vs the USD. Sure, bring all your money here, then loose 20-30% of it. Or move it to USD and keep 100% of it. That is simple maths to me.

      • Fair enough re Japanese. Bigger point was if there’s a serious mass sell off of Chinese assets there will quickly be no buyers. And that’s before the ccp try to ban asset sales.

      • If you think return on capital is the main motivation for rich Chinese moving cash overseas you’re mistaken. There are many factors at play both China specific and destination country specific. For example, if you want to talk about money laundering, we’re one of the “soft target” countries:
        “I think it [Australian real estate] is a softer target,” Malcolm Shackell, a partner in PwC’s forensic services division, said.
        “Certainly when you look at some of our trading partners — Singapore, the US and the UK — the real estate industry is captured under the AML [anti-money laundering] regulations in those jurisdictions.”

      • I repeat, the “investment” in australia by wealthy chinese is not done for monetary gain (nessecarily) .

        The biggest driver for chinese buying Aust property are:

        A) get money out of China before chinese goverment enacts it’s communist manifesto and wipes their wealth out.

        B) generally the Chinese investors are allready trading with Australia and so have the avenues to transfer wealth via trading. (Send under priced product import over priced product)

        Example: cleanskin wine rebranded as something amazing selling for 100x it’s original price to China.

        C) lifestyle Australia is considered unpolluted, safe whilst being fairly close to China (can visit family easily)

        Weathly in China is like being wealthy whilst playing monopoly, game ends and your Monopoly money goes back in the box and your poor again. Chinese are seeing the “game” being packed up and are trying to convert their Monopoly money into something actually tangible.

        I’m close with a couple of Chinese families who’s are currently trying to produce a nest egg outside of China.

      • I’m just sitting back and waiting to see if China invades Singapore to repatriate all the Chinese expat money.

        Depending on how the story gets spun here, maybe we’ll have the US Navy do something useful for a change and invade Grand Caymen for being accomplices in tax fraud.

        If we’re not so lucky, we’ll invade Ukraine and Syria because Putin has a very large Swiss numbered bank account – and that’s just wrong.

    • “Half of China’s wealthy plan to emigrate or have already taken steps to move their families and fortunes overseas”

      Is this a FACT or does this just fit your agenda??

      You are aware that what has been going on is Illegal and at some point something might be done about it. Do you really expect that entire future generations of Australians will just accept that they can never own a home?

      Do you expect that people will continue to migrate to Australia once the recession can no longer be ignored?

      Will the Boomers continue to rent their portfolios out from the grave?

      Will Australia / The banks keep its AAA credit rating when the recession is no longer hidden behind migration numbers. The very thing hiding the recession is the very thing that will dissappear when its clear as day, making it a very quick contraction!

      Do you honestly think that $1 Million for an average house is sustainable? Is even $500,000 sustainable, no it’s not.

      Australian Housing is going to crash. When it does it should be celebrated, as it will liberate entire generations, and hopefully result in people dreaming bigger than just buying their own home, maybe we will create some businesses for the future, and people can achieve something meaningful

      • Dude you missed the point about my comment. Did I say anywhere that what’s happening is good?
        This link (and many others if you care to look) outlines the data I mentioned.

        I share your frustration with what’s happening and I agree 100% that Australians and specially the young generation are getting the short end of the stick here. I would be the first one to celebrate if we get a correction that halves the housing prices, but as much as I would like to see that happen, I look at the data and I see something else.

      • Interesting to note that the article you cite implies a strong preference for US assets over all others.

    • Old news….the ones that could or wanted to move out started doing so in 2012…All the rest will find it increasingly difficult to get money out assuming they wealth hold up in the first place…(how many un-millionaires came out of the stock boom and doom?)

      • At least 50% given how many were made by the stock bubble. Seems like there’s already a few un-billionaires cos their companies are all listed.

    • I have two issues with this analysis. First although there may be millions of Chinese millionaires what we are seeing at the moment is a rush of them to exit. This “pig in a python” effect is pushing up prices but once the pig has passed what then?
      Second, any thinking Chinese millionaire would invest in US real estate. Not only is it not topped out, you get the added bonus of a rising USD.

      • The point I was making (but perhaps did not do a good job explaining, judging by the responses) is that the “context” of Australia in 1990s (with house prices at 3-4 annual income) is very different from the context today. Substantial wealth has been created in China and we’ve been seeing the overflow of this wealth here and other places. Given that this wealth is seeking diversification, residency, safe heavens from anti–corruption measures, it’s here to stay for the long term. Given that (and a multitude of other local factors such as tax laws favoring rent seeking, concentration in two cities, etc..) I do not see house prices going back to 3-4 annual income (in Sydney and Melbourne).

        Basically, people who owned houses in Melbourne and Sydney over the past 15 years (or more) got a free lunch (has to do with luck more than anything else), and everyone else got the sort end of the stick.

      • My wife is Chinese, and the majority of her Chinese friends arriving here get jobs and mortgages. They too struggle with the high cost of everything here. Sure there are many millionaires looking for somewhere to park their loot, but they are the exception not mainstream and most of those are not totally stupid to invest into a deflating economy when safer options are available elsewhere. For the moment majority of Chinese, like most Aussies are clueless of the trouble Australia is facing and believe we are a stable and prosperous economy with a future, but that perception will not last.

  16. If there’s anything to this 15th October – (repatriate your offshore funds!) rumor, then what better way to do that (and keep the capital inside China) than a big devaluation before that date, to get the currency uncertainty out of the way? If China wants to stop the leakage of capital and people from its shores ; capital and talent that it will need to continue the internal adjustment of its economy, then it has many ways of doing that!



    John Oliver on Stadiums … via YouTube


    Like pretty much everything in the modern U.S. economy, wealthy and connected people fleecing taxpayers in order to earn even greater piles of money is also the business model when it comes to sports stadiums. Many cities have tried to make voter approval mandatory before these building boondoggles get started, but in almost all cases these efforts are thwarted by a powerful coalition of businessmen and corrupt politicians. Sound familiar? Yep, it a microcosm for pretty much everything else in America these days.

    To get you up to speed, here are a few excerpts from an excellent Pacific Standard magazine article: … read and view via hyperlink above …

    Crony Chronicles: I Want To Be A Crony – YouTube


    • Stadiums – Idiocracy

      “the QCA report said many programs were “ineffective” and the state’s economic performance would lift without them.

      It recommends dumping assistance for Hollywood movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and new stadiums like the one Labor has promised for Townsville.

      But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is standing by her $100 million pledge.

      “The Townsville stadium means a lot to the Townsville community. Most fundamentally it means jobs”, Ms Palaszczuk said.”


    • You are spot on. The AFL and fleeced over $2.5 billion in the past 10 years from state and federal governments. Total joke

    • Prime Minister Shorten (nearly killed me to write that!) today issued the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into big business and the Liberal Party links.

    • The New Daily? Founded by then Big3 Union superfunds pushing anti big business line. What a joke. Anyway, interested parties all ensure their point of view gains an ear – that’s a big part of the political game.

      • Wing Nut has you there 3d,

        ……..though I would have added Uncle Rupert is a Right wing lunatic with a penchant for corrupt illegal practice

  18. http://www.domain.com.au/news/barangaroo-raises-prospect-of-userpays-strata-fees-20150904-gjewla/

    Sounds like living in a prison. On the plus side will create lots of jobs for pool drainage technicians and rope ladder sales will be set to skyrocket.
    Everyone wants a pool nobody wants to pay, everyone wants a lift, nobody wants to pay etc.

    Surely a policy of if you can’t afford the strata fees for the complex facilites you shouldn’t be buying is a far better (not to mention simpler) policy!

    • “this system could continue to metered grease trap use… ”
      sounds like a disaster waiting to happen as stingy owners (you know the Sydney boomer types who buy into buildings like this) tip the contents of their frypans down the toilet to save money and root up the plumbing for the entire building!

      • Not to mention the practicality of measuring some of this stuff. How often you use the pool/lift, how much garbage you dispose of, how many steps you take on the carpet, how often the rollerdoor goes up.
        WTF, sounds like a nightmare. But it is classic sydney-boomer type behaviour, nothing like discussing over a BBQ those strata people who are using more than their fair share of the facilities.

    • Derp. If the ground floor apartments pay less strata fees, everyone else will pay more. The result will be that ground floor apartments will become cheaper to live in than the other apartments. Of course, the direct result of that is a rise in the prices of the ground floor apartments, otherwise they’ll be priced below market rate. Net result: same strata fees paid by less people, higher apartment costs on average.

      Here’s an idea for the beggar thy neighbour penny pinchers – if you don’t want to pay for a facility, live in a building without that facility.

      Differential strata fees are a recipe for higher prices and building neglect. I expect Sydneysiders to embrace them with open arms.

      • I’ve seen it all before in another country. A disaster system that was abandoned.

        E.G. ground floor apartments do not want to pay for the lift but when the waste chute becomes blocked, top floors guys make the same case.
        Problem is that there are untangible values that stems from the utilities even if not used. A building with a lift and a swimming pool will fetch higher prices even for those on the ground floor that never take a bath or a swim.
        It generally is a Pandora’s Box and it is better kept closed.
        Things that cannot be untangled should have a lid.

      • Florida condo market had a huge strata fee problem with broke tenants unable or unwilling to cough up. This lead to relatively new and upmarket falling into slum status in just a few years. Created genuine buying opportunities.

        This is exactly what happens when money tightens and savings HAVE to be found. This topic being merely on the table for discussion is another sign of the market having topped, for some if not all players.

        I assume the owners have 10% down and balance to come? What could possibly go wrong!

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Mike Baird increasingly looks like he’s building his future ……with his NSW branding ……at the citazens expense …….sorry not impressed at all !! ….pathetic opportunism ….!!

  19. Pursuant to our dramas….

    The map shows all land and property registered in England and Wales in the name of an offshore company between 2005 and July 2014. It uses data released following Freedom of Information requests from Private Eye and expert work by software engineer Anna Powell-Smith.

    Freehold properties are indicated by orange shapes covering the exact area of the property. Leasehold properties are shown by purple pin points. The map includes properties owned by any overseas company, not just those based in tax havens, sometimes for legitimate reasons. Even the freehold on the saintly Eye’s premises, owned by an Australian company, appears. Highlighting an individual property’s details also provides a link to email the Eye with any further information readers may have about the property.

    All data is from Land Registry records, which occasionally contain errors. “Price paid” figures may be totals for sales including other properties. When a property title has been identified, the underlying Land Registry record can be obtained for a £3 fee from http://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

    Using this data the Eye published a series of exposés of the companies, arms dealers, oligarchs, money launderers and others who use offshore companies, before David Cameron addressed the issue on a trip to the Far East in July. “There is no place in Britain for dirty money,” he said, promising to publish details of the property titles held by offshore companies. Even if this were to happen, however, it would fall far short of enabling offshore-owned property to be immediately identifiable, as the Eye can now make possible.

    So what kind of operator might be found in this mine of information? The Eye’s quarrying so far has unearthed an eclectic cast of characters.

    Strange company
    Property investment and development companies routinely use offshore corporate vehicles to own major buildings to achieve capital gains tax and stamp duty advantages. When, for example, 1 Cabot Square, the original Canary Wharf tower, was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2012 as part of a financing deal, it was acquired by Luxembourg company OCS Investment sarl. Scores of leaseholds on other parts of the docklands financial district are also held offshore.

    Those taking advantage of the super-prime London property boom to develop luxury apartments also keep their companies clear of the UK tax net. When in 2006 Christian Candy’s CPC group acquired Bowater House in Knightsbridge for £480m in a joint venture with the Qatari prime minister, to create the plutocrats-only One Hyde Park apartments, they did so through Guernsey-based Project Grande (Guernsey) Ltd. The Candy brothers’ UK company simply “managed” the development, the real profits on the development heading to the Channel Islands (with the help of one of the Candys’ UK companies’ directors at the time, current HM Revenue & Customs board chairman Ian Barlow). Leaseholds sold on the apartments themselves are also owned through offshore companies.

    Other typical players of the offshore commercial property game include chains of shops such as Boots, Shell forecourts and pubs such as the Slug and Lettuce, not to mention countless “retail parks”. While chancellor George Osborne has ended some tax advantages available to individuals who own property offshore, in six years in charge of the tax system he has shown no appetite to curb corporate tricks.


    Skippy… Those Financial Secrecy Index links (from the Tax Justice Network) for several countries are absolutely awesome. They are beautifully written–exceptionally good reading.

    For example, the one on Ireland was harrowing, eye-popping, and well documented, naming names of key actors–some still active–in shaping tax, regulatory and civil service policy. It provides historical background, including relatively recent events that for some strange reason (ahem) haven’t been discussed in Ireland during all these “post-crisis” years and analyses. Its observation of how the entire civil service was gradually systematically “captured”/trained to not question government policy matches reality on the ground.

    • Nicely summed up in your link:

      As BNP wrote in an August 28-dated report, “Once foreign investors lose faith in Abenomics, foreign outflows are likely to trigger a Japanese equities meltdown similar to the one observed during 2007-09.” And from there, the contagion will spread to the entire world, whose central banks incidentally, will be faced with precisely the same question: who will be responsible for the next round of monetization and desperately kicking the can one more time. But before we get to the QE endgame, we first need to get the interim point: the one where first the markets and then the media realizes that the BOJ – the one central banks whose bank monetization is keeping the world’s asset levels afloat now that the ECB has admitted it is having “problems” finding sellers – will have no choice but to taper, with all the associated downstream effects on domestic and global asset prices. It’s all downhill from there, and not just for Japan but all other “safe collateral” monetizing central banks, which explains the real reason the Fed is in a rush to hike: so it can at least engage in some more QE when every other central bank fails.

  20. St JacquesMEMBER

    And this is why I say the revolution will come much sooner than people think, once the economy heads south. Get ready for smashed foreign owned property in this corrupt and treacherous country. It is also the real reason the visa Border Farce thing has been made so prominent by Abbott and Co at this time; it’s a deliberate distraction from their betrayal of Australians through the FTAs with China and the US.

    Here’s a song for our times

    • St. Jack,

      There will be no revolution, we are all talk and no action. Not only will we roll over on 457s etc, but you watch how no protests eventuate over foreign RE purchases. We’re quite happy to sell each other down the drain, the “Australian fair go” is nothing but a myth.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        It wasn’t always a myth Dennis. But we have become apathetic, hopeless,greedy, fat, dumb, drunk, drugged, backstabbing pompous rent-seeking f*&Ks. No wonder the Chinese laugh at us behind our backs and only half jokingly call Straya their colony, and the worst part about it is that we deserve it! It’s like taking a lolly off a baby. Lord Dudley is absolutely right, a country gets the politics it deserves. Look at our Glorious Leader! A photo alone tells you everything you need to know about that idiot. But when the economy starts heading south, that is when people will start to wake up. In the meantime, keep banging the drum about what is happening and what needs to happen. Cheers Menace.

    • St. Jack,

      In the past, yes, but a long way back….to the late 70s-early 80s when most were in the same boat, however since then we have adopted the US position of gain at anyone’s expense. I also doubt much will happen even with a recession and if we do the parties will pay lip service to voters. The lower and middle income class are being sold down the drain.

      • It wasn’t that long ago Dennis. Sure, during the Vietnam War the nasty baby boomers marched in the streets, burnt their identities, camped in parliament, stopped transport etc. In the Franklin Dam fiasco they and their children chained themselves to trees. Now with the recent fracking fracas in NSW folks are locking their gates and the Adani Coal Project was stopped by people bucking an unfair system, so the potential is still there. IMO the problem is that people are wrapped up in survival mode running two family incomes or furiously trying to make ends meet working or looking for work. People will get angry in the oncoming recession and the dam will burst open. That reminds me, where the hell is Steernorth these days?

    • It seems that the ChAFTA may allow a “single ad on social media such as Facebook” to allow a Chinese substantially owned company to import and use foreigner workers instead of Australia workers. If Australians can not be found to fill positions I can see some sense in allowing foreigner workers to fill those positions, but any government concerned with Australian unemployment would do its best to at least ensure Australian unemployed are informed about such available positions.

      • NO. That would invest a minister, that is a F%^KING politician, a parliamentarian, with immense powers, and you can be guaranteed that over time, the conditions required will be ever more sloppily enforced and policed as they are now with 457 visas and foreign investment in housing. Their aim is simple – to destroy the bargaining power of Australians in the job market. If an employer cannot provide the wages and conditions considered normal in Australia, he should seek to relocate in the third world from whence the benefits will accrue to both that country and Australia through trade via comparative advantage – which is one of the pillars of classical economics.. I will never trust a minister, that is, a bloody politician, and his public service minions, with that power, ever! Parliamentarians are very happy to betray their constituents for their own political or personal advantage and they are almost all entirely bereft of moral character.

      • Interesting what the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties may report on it, though, my understanding is that no matter what it reports the Federal Executive may ratify it. In other words, once the LNP controls both the house of representatives and the house of the senate it will be able to pass legislation to enacted the terms of the agreement. Good by to equitable terms for many if not the majority of Australian workers.

    • Unions are dumb, they should have paid their airfare and delivered them by limo to the dairy. Plebs will believe only what they see with their won eyes, unless its from the MSM domain etc

  21. This is what the FTA has in store for you.
    Ningbo Dairy has bought several dairy farms in Kernot, in South Gippsland, and plans to build a feedlot and $20 million milk-processing plant to export fresh milk directly to China .
    Ningbo’s vice-president Harry Wang last year criticised Australia’s high wage costs and said he could improve the Kernot farms’ productivity and profitability by importing workers from its 12,000-cow mega dairy operations in China.
    Several sources say Yo You management later backed away from the claims, saying its comments were misconstrued.
    But Fairfax Media has uncovered evidence that in August 2013, Ningbo was actively recruiting Chinese dairy farm workers for Australian jobs.
    Trade Minister Andrew Robb says foreign investment is critical for innovation and new ways of thinking (for the Chinese, Aussies become the lab rats and slaves)
    The Age and WW.

    • That project is being rushed through with the complete support of the Vic Gov as well. If they need something done it gets done yesterday.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        A Labor government no less! The betrayal of the Australian people by their parliamentarians is complete. The system cannot be fixed, the system must therefore be eliminated. Swiss system is needed NOW!

      • Which is why they are all pushing for the FTA to be passed, pronto. Wankers will sell the country out for their own benefit.

    • Been happening for years in SA where driving though vineyards the field are full of bobbing coolie hats (not being racist – that’s what they’re called) and this has been going on for at least ten years. Meanwhile the young people can’t find work – I don’t get it.

    • A lot of ifs what’s and maybes to unpack.

      What is clear is the AussieJobsforAussies is being framed by the unions as key battleground for the next election. Never mind that we saw record 457s under the previous Labor Government, most famous being Gillard’s spinmeister John McTernan.

      Unions and Labor didn’t give a fuck past few years, Labor actively negotiated majority of current FTAs fully aware of the resulting labour provisions. The noisy voices will get the air time, facts will be discounted or ignored.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      The quiet anger is burning in the hearts of the people ……..this will erupt eventually …….Tiny Abbott better enjoy his last months a PM …….even his liberal heartland is seething in anger at his sell out of ordinary Australians and their children ……………Stearnorth …..forward …….. we are there for our children ………even if we are those hated boomers !!!

  22. What a farce the G20 is!
    “The draft statement seen by Bloomberg News before the talks began…….The Chinese asked for specific references to their problems to be left out of the final communique”
    Sure, we knew that would be the case, but couldn’t they have at least pretended to have come up with the final media release during the talks?!

  23. Ghost Cities of China: A Discussion with Wade Shepard – Chengdu Living

    Wade seems to be arguing that Apartment Dog boxes in China are just like the romans digging a hole and burying gold coins.

    To argue that the prime reason has not been to juice GDP growth defies logic. To argue it’s more a long term development plan ignores the fact that urbanisation has dramatically slowed, that much of the development has occurred where it’s unlikely to ever be of use.

  24. Krugman appears a little mis-informed about the structure of the Oz economy.

    ““It’s not helpful to have the price of commodities that Australia exports go down … that said, Australia is a big, very diverse economy, it has other exports and it has a flexible exchange rate. So if you look at what’s happened in the past couple of years – certainly Australia has taken a hit from weakness in its exports but it has also had a major depreciation of the Australian dollar and that offset a lot of it.”

    He makes a few good points in the article, but he misses quite a bit of the problem too.


    • DE,

      Krugman is a corporatist Dem mental kettleing tool aka a neoclassical with pangs of emotion wrt induced human suffering.

      Or as the Marxists would say… Keynes is trotted out every time capitalism [free market] blows itself up, Krugman is trotted out give some validity to all the looting w/ Cecil B. DeMille rays of hopium… that good times are just around the corner.

      Skippy…. Krugman had a hard time keeping eye contact in that ABC news interview imo…

    • On the ABC rural program this morning the Indonesian plan to decrease live cattle imports blew up with urgent orders being placed as the locals run out of protein. Problem for them is the Oz producers have started shipping to Vietnam, China has placed orders in stream, leaving the Indonesians without guaranteed future supply. They are so desperate the animals they can get on boats are being trasnported direct from wharf to slaughter with no condition recovery period. The locals are pissed off with the political games their leaders have played and lost, so are setting up private buying groups to bypass the regulated bullshit and stop it becoming a political football again. An uncommon win for the farmers!

    • Stunning price run, especially with Indonesia slashing numbers. Producers need these margins now because if El Nino is as devastating as forecast it will make growing and restocking very expensive.

  25. When the facts get in the way of a good story…
    “There’s been lots written about Australia’s strong population growth and how there’s likely to be twice as many of us in the next 40 to 50 years.
    Apparently one baby is born every minute and 45 seconds and sadly, someone dies every three and a half minutes. And the net gain from overseas is one migrant every two minutes.
    This results in an overall population increase of one person every minute and 18 seconds.
    So, by the time you’ve finished reading this blog, Australia’s population will have increased by another two people. You can keep track here at the ABS Population clock
    But there is an even more important statistic that those interested in property should be aware of and that’s household formation, because it’s really the number of new households, rather than absolute population growth, which creates the underlying demand for housing that drives our property markets.
    Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics released it’s “Family and Household Projections” providing an estimate of household growth in Australia over the period to 2036.”

    Michael, best to get the actual facts and data correct.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3101.0
    Not a net gain every 1 min and 18 seconds. That would be 404,307 for a year. We are at 330,200 currently. Even the abs clock is wrong at 1 min and 22 seconds, as that is 384,585.
    Net Migration is currently at 184,100 people, not 240,000 as you state.
    You also did not mention that we have had two years running now of fewer babies, yep fewer babies in actual numbers and more deaths.

    “Births- The preliminary estimate of births for the year ended 31 December 2014
    (299,700 births) decreased by 5,400 births from the year ended 31
    December 2013 (305,100 births).”

    Best you redo your occupancy projections I think…
    At 2.58 per household, we needed 127,984 dwellings and we built how many exactly?

  26. I was just watching a John Oliver vid on stadiums and it appears the teams in general keep nearly all the revenue generated by their stadium, which are normally funded by the state. Does anyone here know the level of funding for AFL/NRL from Stat/Fed gov etc?

  27. FiftiesFibroShack

    Keep a lookout for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas session “Nuclear Delusions”, by Eric Schlosser. One of the most interesting talks I’ve seen for a while. Check out Command and Control if you haven’t already, plenty of other great reads from him as well: http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Schlosser/e/B001IGNUIY

    Jon Ronson’s talk “Shame Culture” could also be of interest to a few here. He covers a lot of the same ground in this JRE podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUuFMjhRkmU

  28. Geo Blocking? Really!
    Three cheers for UnoTelly !!!
    Having ploughed through the first 45 of 66 Episodes of “Gran Hotel”, our ISP had to drop ‘Global Mode” last week and left me with all sorts of unanswered question as my viewing was curtailed! But UnoTelly has given me back the USA Netflix, and now I’ll get to know what happened to Julio….!

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      I’d say it looks like you’re in Guatemala now Dr J… but that would be unfair to Guatemalanarians (who I am sure can access all episodes of Grándé Cásá Su at any time).

      Time for another VPN? 🙂

  29. BoomToBustMEMBER

    Interesting read. This sums up my current game pla (and probably the same as many MB’ers), and as David Collyer would say “Dont Buy Now!”


    We Are Our Own Worst Enemies

    After many years of managing through market cycles, it seems pretty clear to me that humans are uniquely wired incorrectly for long-term investment success. When asset prices double, we want those assets twice as bad. When asset prices drop in half, we want nothing to do with them. Isn’t this exactly what we saw in US residential real estate markets a decade ago? Isn’t this what we experienced with the rise in dot-com stocks in 1999 and their demise over the three following years? Human decision making shapes the rhythmic bull and bear market character of asset prices. We know the two most prominent emotions that drive markets higher and lower are those of fear and greed.

    • Yes, astounding, isn’t it?

      I have only one strategy; be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.

      What’s more, I can keep using the same old strategy, year in year out, and still can come out on top. There is no need to innovate at all, which means that markets are not making any progress with time at all. I first thought that couldn’t be right; markets are not stupid, they will make adjustments. But no, they didn’t. Now I am convinced that markets are indeed stupid.

      The biggest error I made in investing so far is that I did not start it earlier. Well, there is nothing I can do about it now.

  30. Mining BoganMEMBER

    The man is pathetic. Not an increase in numbers, just take some from there and less from somewhere else.


    Rumour is our Tony wouldn’t have been welcome at the G20 in Turkey come November if a little help wasn’t forthcoming. Too bad everything with this cretin comes with a rider.

    The UN will probably be wondering why we sent a potato to negotiate numbers as well. Bad manners that.

  31. I think d-day is coming for Australia, I think it’s going to kick off real soon. Will be looking for short options this week, any company with out solid liquidity (aka big4) will be on my shopping list.

    It’s a bubble on a bubble on a bubble (China,housing,big4) and something is going to give.. 0.681 foreigner investors you may exit now.

    • Krugman reckons Oz is a big and diversified economy capable of weathering the storm, and if he is right we are screwed. Our dollar takes a dive and everything becomes vastly more expensive, but asset prices hold up. That’s the scenario he was painting in my mind when I read the Guardian article. But like you, my intuition from watching forex charts is telling me something is afoot.

      • Lol,

        My current thinking is that cracks will appear this week. I’m expecting some form of further tightening of liquidity / lending (which leads to further tightening etc etc until bust)

        Im not saying it’s going to implode this week but rather the first definitive “warning shot” for Australias future.

        At the very most I say 90 days, put options should exceed 3 months.

        ASX200 4900-5000 by Friday 😉

        I’ve said it for a year, as I exit currency I will be shorting ASX… AUD has further to fall but will let the amatures play with that 😉 3600 pips…

        Cramming cash into shorts….

    • Sim on the 3rd August I went short the banks and energy stocks
      Wrote to Trevor Sykes and called him a wanker, he was not amused.
      All ords to go to 4500 soon 4000 in 12 months
      I ran a summary of all the p/e and earnings for the market on Sat and will have a look at them today.
      There is no bottom to this at the moment.
      Once those with funds in equities manages by the super companies realise the magnitude of the losses in their portfolio, sales of property will follow (I have been told a number of times ” the wife still wants that European holiday we planned”) Very very few have joined the dots.
      Had a look at the media companies Ch9 and Ch7, good to see those guys near record lows (again) and heading for a wipeout. TV promoted this housing boom almost by itself. Stokesy is ruined.
      Too much risk in being long anything, till after canning election anyway. Abbott, could depart, or Abbott and Hockey.
      As an investor you need a clear good opportunity and a clear run for a strategy to unfold, now is not the time. You will make more money by keeping your hands in your pockets, and your wife out of the shops.WW