Weekend links 19th-20th Dec 2015



After Xmas party links , in no particular order, more to come tomorrow…




    • MB staff. nave a long holiday. You wont be needed next year, you have been knocked off by automated journalism. AI on the march.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Mr Wolf, didn’t you know that’s already happened? Mr H is a bot! A ‘Doomitron 9000’. DE comes in every morning to randomly adjust the one available user control dial for the copy output to a setting somewhere between ‘Your children have no future’ and ‘We are all going to die’. 🙂 It’s been doing an admirable job, especially in the last 12-months.

        We know he’s a bot as he never splits his infinitives.

        All jokes aside, what a great year MB has had. Can’t wait until this time next year. They seriously need to consider inserting a tagline into their banner as a theme for 2016 though. I suggest ‘The end is nigh.’.

      • I used to think Mig was a Bot. Some how he always had an out of the blue response.
        Then he was banned.
        Maybe in the future, technology can ban other technology, and we will just be bystanders, and the whole friggin lot will be powered by solar panels, so we cant pull the plug.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Actually, I’ve known Mr H is a bot almost from the beginning. The Marvin the paranoid android prose style was the first give away.

        Life. Don’t talk to me about life… 😉

      • steve jobs and his mates must bet starting to feel so yesterday, with these freaks coming through.

      • Ludwig Wittgenstein

        Steve jobs never built anything. He’s a marketer not a technician. Bill gates on the other hand – yes.

      • Lug…

        Gates took open code from a previous employer and patented it, then with help of political leverage had a big say in how EULA laws were written, presto….. Monopoly…

      • As per Ludwig’s comment above. Jobs was an excellent marketer and takes a lot of credit for stuff that he didnt build… A little programming knowledge and some patience and you can build a lot of gadgets in your garage these days with so many electronic platforms like Arduino…

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        For the record, Steve ‘aint feeling anything. He’s dead. As for William, his ‘breakthrough’ was buying another developer’s OS and licensing it to IBM with a week. IBM didn’t understand the potential and made him a billionaire. It would be unfair to say that either of them never built anything, but it is unlikely either of them wish they had been born 30 years later (for financial reasons at least).

      • Regardless of how ms dos came to be, writing an interpreter and bootstrap program without seeing the machine it was to be used on seems like a decent coding feat.

      • Stat there is romanticism and then there is history….

        “When Steve Jobs recruited Microsoft to be the first third party applications software developer for the Macintosh, he was already concerned that they might try to copy our ideas into a PC-based user interface. As a condition of getting an early start at Macintosh development, Steve made Microsoft promise not to ship any software that used a mouse until at least one year after the first shipment of the Macintosh.

        Microsoft’s main systems programmer assigned to the Mac project was Neil Konzen, a brilliant young Apple II hacker who grew up in their backyard in the suburbs of Seattle. Neil started working at Microsoft while he was still a high school student, and single-handedly implemented the system software for their hit Z80 card that allowed the Apple II to run CP/M software.

        Neil loved Apple, so it was natural for Microsoft to assign him to their new, top-secret Macintosh project. He was responsible for integrating Microsoft’s byte-code based interpreted environment (which actually was a copy of a system used at Xerox that favored memory efficiency over execution speed, which was appropriate for the Mac’s limited memory) with the rapidly evolving Macintosh OS, so he quickly became Microsoft’s expert in the technical details of the Mac system.

        By the middle of 1983, Microsoft was far enough along to show us working prototypes of their spreadsheet and business graphics programs, Multiplan and Chart (they were also working on a word processor, but they neglected to mention that, since it would compete with MacWrite). I would usually talk with Neil on the phone a couple of times a week. He would sometimes request a feature that I would implement for him, or perhaps complain about the way something was done. But most of the time I would answer his various questions about the intricacies of the still evolving API.

        I gradually began to notice that Neil would often ask questions about implementation details that he didn’t really need to know about. In particular, he was really curious about how regions were represented and implemented, and would often detail his theories about them to me, hoping for confirmation.

        Aside from intellectual curiosity, there was no reason to care about the system internals unless you were trying to implement your own version of it. I told Steve that I suspected that Microsoft was going to clone the Mac, but he wasn’t that worried because he didn’t think they were capable of doing a decent implementation, even with the Mac as an example.

        In November 1983, we heard that Microsoft made a surprising announcement at Comdex, the industry’s premier trade show, held twice a year in Las Vegas. Microsoft announced a new, mouse-based system graphical user interface environment called Windows, competing directly with an earlier environment announced by Personal Software called “Vision”. They also announced a mouse-based option for Microsoft Word. When Steve Jobs found out about Windows, he went ballistic.

        “Get Gates down here immediately”, he fumed to Mike Boich, Mac’s original evangelist who was in charge of our relationships with third party developers. “He needs to explain this, and it better be good. I want him in this room by tomorrow afternoon, or else!”

        And, to my surprise, I was invited to a meeting in that conference room the next afternoon, where Bill Gates had somehow manifested, alone, surrounded by ten Apple employees. I think Steve wanted me there because I had evidence of Neil asking about the internals, but that never came up, so I was just a fascinated observer as Steve started yelling at Bill, asking him why he violated their agreement.

        “You’re ripping us off!”, Steve shouted, raising his voice even higher. “I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!”

        But Bill Gates just stood there coolly, looking Steve directly in the eye, before starting to speak in his squeaky voice.

        “Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”


        So Xerox did the foundational works with heaps of Government money [cold war thingy] and the kids ran off with the keys…. sorta like the financial dramas…

        Skippy…. check please – !!!!!!!!

      • Not sure how a story about developing application software for mac in the 80s disproves Gates wrote code for a basic interpreter for Altair in the 70s

      • Which path do you want to take stat… the short or the long one.

        Just to keep it simple Einstein did not pluck the theory of relativity out of thin air, had he not, there were heaps of others just as close and to some degree its all a matter of publishing or patenting first, tho the work is completely founded on the collective works of others, dead and alive.

        This whole thread started on the concept of creation vs. bill and steve, rhetorical fools errand.

        Yet Einstein on his death bed was still grinding out mathematical proofs, trying to prove the reality [bias] he projected on the Universe because – HE – thought the creator would have been elegant.

        Bill and Steve are a prime example of Nash’s theorem as a prescriptive and not as am unencumbered descriptive e.g “survival of the fittest” which is really going to sux as a feature and not bug of metadata.

        Skippy…. but hay… I threw {unwittingly} a old leather bound box of Einsteins letters to a friend across a garage floor, trying to empress a possible future father in law, with cleaning out the joint, strap broke. Upon being informed of the transgression I beat a hasty retreat having felt I had committed some egregious offense. Today I understand he was just a man.

      • Then you can go the long route…

        “Dartmouth BASIC

        Although the rise of BASIC is very much a phenomenon of the mid 70’s and early 80’s it comes as something of a surprise to discover that it was actually born in the 60s. BASIC was designed by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz at Dartmouth College, in the USA, with a very different purpose in mind from the language creators of the 1950s and 1960s.”


        Skippy… did I say my dad was a cobol sort for BofA back in the day or his grandfather was head of medicine at the UChicago.

      • did I say my dad was a cobalt sort for BofA back in the day

        No, but I bet, as a COBOL programmer, he also found you as frustrating as we do. 🙄

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        @skip And mine wasn’t? Ka-ching.

        PS CoBoL. Really? Isn’t that about saying a lot, with many, short, logically-connected, words? Sure he wasn’t an ADA man? 😉

      • Seems equally irrelevant – designing an interpreter being a different task to designing the language it interprets.

      • “@skip And mine wasn’t? Ka-ching.” – snorty

        Stat – “Seems equally irrelevant” – poorly defined, concerning the weight of evidence standing against you.

      • My contention is that early in his career bill gates wrote commercially viable code and I give an example. You’ve brought no evidence to the contrary.

        You have brought some evidence to suggest that later in his career gates was an unethical businessman which I don’t dispute but which is in no way contradicts the first contention .

      • Stat the contention was steve vs. bill and building stuff, to that end I attempted to show the difference was hair splitting and had little to do with their eventual wealth accumulation or what they did/do with it.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        If that was what you were aiming for skip, I could not agree more. My feeble attempts at narrative story telling were aimed in a very similar direction.

        Maybe after every Skippy… section’s post we could have a Skippy redux… section included (like the text above) too? A lot of us mere mortals would appreciate that.

      • No – you replied to lw to say that gates didn’t build anything because he didn’t build the first version of DOS. I suggested something else he did build. You reply with some other things you say he didn’t build but none of it was a rebuttal of my counter example.

      • Define – Build – Stat

        “Gates took open code from a previous employer and patented it, then with help of political leverage had a big say in how EULA laws were written, presto….. Monopoly…” – skip

        “No – you replied to lw to say that gates didn’t build anything because he didn’t build the first version of DOS.” – Stat

        I have no idea how you arrived at your conclusion, nothing was said about DOS, what I did say was Gates built upon others works and parleyed network leverage to an advantage over other competitors, and by doing so established a monopoly. This history is especially curious when the previous works were done via Government initiative and not some act conducted in a vacuum.

        It becomes an exercise in burnishing individuals to craft the narrative whilst providing a counter example in morality plea. Persoanly I don’t agree with either steve or gates and their back stabbing narcissistic machinations. At least steve is dead and can’t do anymore harm by projecting his world view on everyone else, due to his leverage, gates on the other hand is quite happy to play visionary gawd.

        Skippy…. I’ve always found it disturbed how neoliberals eat their own wounded…

      • Are you saying that gates did not contribute code to the Altair basic interpreter or subsequent ms basic interpreters?

        The original argument was about whether gates or jobs could have done something like the kid with the iPhone . I maintain gates could have done something similar in a software sense. You haven’t rebutted the idea at all.

      • Stat… would of, could of, is not the operative here. What is operative is the broader context and what that can tell us.

      • Nothing broad here. I say gates contributed code to ms product that shipped. You show no sign of disagreeing. From this I conclude he built stuff at one stage of his career.

      • “Nothing broad here”

        Stat if you can not find a broader purview in the information I provided above then that’s your drama, not mine, BTW – I say – is not compelling in any sense.

        Skippy… seems you only want to engage in a extremely narrow view or force the framing to only allow what you want it too. I won’t. Anywho have a nice holiday stat.

    • Hotz is good, but honestly, the self driving car on the highway problem is not that big a deal. Sebastian Thrun, the guy who won the DARPA challenge in 2007 published an online course detailing how to do it a few years ago. Hotz is a good hacker, but he has yet to prove his AI chops.

  1. Alarming Chinese beige book reveals dire economc situation … Zerohedge


    It’s notoriously difficult to get a read on the health of China’s economy.

    The ambiguity is in large part attributable to the NBR’s tendency to goalseek the data in order to ensure that growth remains in line with the Party’s “targets.” To be sure, virtually no one believes the official numbers and when it comes to GDP, the situation is complicated by what we’ve called Beijing’s deficient deflator math, which causes China to habitually overstate economic growth during times of rapidly falling commodity prices. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Perfect storm for Hong Kong property? – Select Property




    The Cities Doing The Most To Address The U.S. Housing Shortage | Newgeography.com


    America is suffering from the severest undersupply of housing since the end of the Second World War. Although population growth has slowed significantly since the 1950s and 1960s, production has slowed down even more so. It’s not surprising that homebuilding declined after the housing bubble burst in 2008, but from 2011 to 2015 it continued to fall, dropping almost a quarter.

    Meanwhile, housing price inflation has re-emerged. Housing now accounts for roughly 35% of household expenditures, up from about 30% in 1985, while expenditures on food, apparel and transportation have dropped or stayed about the same.

    High home prices help to boost rents by forcing potential buyers into the apartment market. As of midyear, rental costs were eating up the largest share of renters’ income in recent U.S. history, 30.2%. Since 1990, renters’ income has not increased, but rents have soared 14.7% (both inflation adjusted). … read more via hyperlinks above …

  3. QE has made the Japanese people poorer? It has made ALL peoples’ poorer….

    The entire Japanese economy is a gaping wound; Japanese households most especially. Both Japanese Household Income and Japanese Household Spending, real and nominal, are declining again. That’s an undesirable outcome all its own, but given the huge declines in 2014, renewed contraction is evidence of monetary cancer. In real terms, the Japanese are left much worse as by that simple math, incomes and spending over a three-year period are significantly lower. (QE) has made the Japanese people much, much poorer …(it) just doesn’t do what monetarists think it does. With a seriously eroded economic foundation and no monetary magic left with which to support what remains, what comes next? The question perplexes now much more than Japan.


    • “Essentially the Japanese went from living off fundamentals to living off capital gain created by a chronic expansion of credit. As for those who stayed out of the mad asset-buying rat race in a nation that had the mother of all asset bubbles? They were left behind . . . until 1991.” – Lindsay David

    • QE does exactly what monetarists think it does. Enrich the elite at the expense of everyone else. Saying this out loud would be uncouth.

  4. Episode 59

    Disclaimer: All characters and events in this Episode – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated…..poorly. The following Episode contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone.

    Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away …..

    Darth Vader: He is here.

    Governor Tarkin: Santa Claus? What makes you think so?

    Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.

    Governor Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now.

    Darth Vader: Don’t underestimate the Force.

    Governor Tarkin: Saints are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that’s left of their religion.

    [answering a comm signal]

    Governor Tarkin: Yes?

    Voice over comm: We have an emergency alert in S&P 500.

    Governor Tarkin: Golden cross? Put all sections on alert.

    Darth Vader: Santa *is* here. The Force is with him.

    Governor Tarkin: If you’re right, he must not be allowed to escape.

    Darth Vader: Escape is not his plan. I must face him, alone.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      You remember how that following scene where Vader meets ‘Santa’ ends right?

      And I assure you, it won’t be with him becoming stronger than you can possibly imagine either.

      Sigh… save me Abe-1-Econ-01. You’re our only hope.

    • Luke and vader in an epic lightsaber fight.

      Vader: I know what you got me for Christmas, Luke.

      Luke: How could you know, Vader?

      Vader: I felt your presents.

    • I’m thinking a random anonymous guy on a blog, with no qualifications or experience or public peer review making dumb, unsubstantiated comments is something I won’t be thinking about this Christmas.

      • J, I think we can safely say that CO2 levels went up last time the earth warmed after an ice age, only problem is there were no humans. Same as the time the earth warmed after the ice age before that.
        So what came first, chicken or egg, Warming then CO2 or CO2 then warming.
        Can you faith answer that. Maybe the Pope can guide your belief. You tragics need a miracle !

      • So what came first, chicken or egg

        WilliWanka, you’re going to go blind! Give it a rest, cabron. Every “argument” you’ve ever presented about AGW (including this one about CO₂ ) is a tired denier meme, already extensively answered here:

        Spend some time there and save us having to read your mental excreta every fucking day.

      • lol, the latest issue of the National Geographic (now fully owned by Rupert) lead article is on Mary, the World’s most powerful woman) maps the world’s sightings of Mary, only some of which are officially recognized. Annoyed my believer wife when I pointed (wrongly, but that is beside the joke) that Australia is, again, punching above its weight on a per capita basis.

      • Not lilely the Pope’s mob still believe the earth is flat.
        How will a satellite orbit a flat earth. That will need a miracle of physics

    • Oops, your scientific illiteracy is dangling about. Might want to tuck that back in before you embarrass yourself.

      • J, look in the mirror and say, I believe what everyone tells me. That will make your holidays special

    • There are only 2 types of commenter who deny the proven scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming:

      ► Comment whores, who have sold their asses to the highest bidder — cash-for-comment scum;
      ► Congenital idiots, for whom there is no hope because subnormal IQ is a lifelong condition

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      “In the absence of any PROOF.”

      LOL! Are you saying there is no proof that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Cripes! There isn’t a scientist in the world that would argue that. Just like there isn’t a sceptical scientist that will deny that our emissions have caused warming, they’ll argue about how much, but not that CO2 has no impact on climate.

      I’ve really got to keep away from MB, too many cooks.

      • I’ve really got to keep away from MB, too many kooks.

        Makes you wonder when management here are going to wake up and ban deniers.

        Norwegian Meteorological Institute senior researcher Rasmus Benestad said, when commenting on a dishonest article in the Tory rag “The Telegraph” that suggested scientists were massaging temperature data to falsely show global warming: “a person who writes such a misleading story shows little respect for his readers.” The question is, since deniers and antiscience trolls are allowed to post similar bovine excrement here unmolested by mods, are the MB bloggers also “showing little respect for their readers”?

        Bill Nye the Science Guy: “Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic.”


    • A big increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has NO effect on the climate WW? A lot of very bright scientists around the world at top level institutions and universities have poured a great deal of effort into studying that question from every conceivable angle, especially in the last thirty years – are you sure you’re that clever? Let’s ask a counterfactual then: what would the climate be like if there were no atmospheric CO2 http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-would-a-CO2-free-atmosphere-look-like.html

      • This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said.

        “I was most impressed by the sheer scale and the high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them,” he said.

        Merry Xmas.

        ? ☠ ?

    • WW,

      Sorry, but your a sad sack of an individual! You never let your lack of knowledge in ANY area stop you from taking an ignorant position on anything.

    • WW – Let’s go with your theory for a second and say that it’s all a big hoax, there is no global warming etc.. At least not caused by humans or the by product of fossil fuels. Under this assumption, what do climate warriors have to gain from spouting this lie? What is their angle? What is the benefit to them? Why do it? What would it achieve?

      I’ve always been curious about this? I’m hoping you can enlighten me.

      • Mate you are misreading the story.
        Everyone agrees there is global warming, it is a phenomena of the earth
        Happens all the time apparently,
        4 times as we have recorded. However we dont know if CO2 leads or lags global warming.
        Now write this in your diary, the earth has just moved from a glacial period, scientists forecast we are moving to a warmer period before then cooling to another ice age.
        That has happened 4 times recently so you could assume it will occur again.
        Why all the ho ha, cos the vested interests want to keep you miserable punters in the dark whilst they take away your personal freedoms and money. (and that is well advanced)
        All here agree, AI will put half the working population on the footpath in the next 15 years.
        Keep focused on CO2 and you wont feel the pain so much, much less think about revolution.
        Next year many of you will lose your jobs, not to global warming, AI.

      • Gavin still curious?, Where are any of you myopic mates going to tell me global warming is caused by humans, Ah what the hell, this time it must be different.
        With the shallow thinking of all you tragics you are all ripe for replacement by AI. Too easy

      • Mate you are misreading the story.
        Everyone agrees there is global warming, it is a phenomena of the earth
        Happens all the time apparently,
        4 times as we have recorded. However we dont know if CO2 leads or lags global warming.

        So if it’s not CO2 what is it? I assume you know that they take polar ice samples and check how much CO2 was in the atmosphere at that time? There is an almost perfect correlation between increase in temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Now write this in your diary, the earth has just moved from a glacial period, scientists forecast we are moving to a warmer period before then cooling to another ice age.
        That has happened 4 times recently so you could assume it will occur again.

        I’m well aware we have been through different heating and cooling periods, and that in itself is not the problem, rather we are pumping SO much CO2 into the atmosphere that we have no idea what long term damage it will do to the planet and the Earth hasn’t seen this kind of change since before human’s were running around. I’d say the Earth will survive in 1 way or another but… it probably won’t be very habitable for us.. That’s the problem.

        Why all the ho ha, cos the vested interests want to keep you miserable punters in the dark whilst they take away your personal freedoms and money. (and that is well advanced)

        Ok so how much freedom will we have when there is no food because crops won’t grow or are damaged by crazy weather conditions? What freedoms exactly will they take away? Freedom to drive a car? Hmm what about Electric Vehicles? Freedom to have electricity in your home? What about renewable energy? Freedom to fly? I don’t know what alternative we will have for this yet…I honestly don’t know what freedom’s will become diminished if we switch from carbon based fuels to renewables? What exactly will change?

        How will my money be impacted?

        All here agree, AI will put half the working population on the footpath in the next 15 years.
        Keep focused on CO2 and you wont feel the pain so much, much less think about revolution.
        Next year many of you will lose your jobs, not to global warming, AI.

        You’re talking about 2 different things here… AI and Global Warming. So you’re saying Global Warming is merely a distraction before the machines take over? I think a lot of traditional jobs will be replaced with AI, I’m ok with that. Before the Internet there was no jobs working with the Internet. Technology has a habit of replacing jobs but often creating new fields of work.

        I don’t have all the answers, I think at some point the concept of money will need to become redundant especially if we don’t all need to work jobs that most of us hate doing anyway…

        Even if by some remote chance your theory is correct, the worst thing that will happen is more people will become more environmentally conscious and we will force companies to take more responsibility for the Environmental damage they make. And this is bad, why? Because profits?

      • “Even if by some remote chance your theory is correct,
        the worst thing that will happen is more people will become more environmentally conscious and we will force companies to take more responsibility for the Environmental damage they make.”
        WW I.m all for that. But you are still a slow learner.!
        Now where are all your entrenched mates.???

      • That is one bizarre political theory WW.

        Especially given how successfully money and rights have been removed without even the slightest hint of climate change being involved.

    • @Wiley Wolf – To be honest with you I’m less concerned because I work for a company that is building AI into a lot of aspects of our daily lives. So my job will likely be 1 of the last replaced by AI. However if at some point I am replaced by AI, then what?

      Well what are the essentials you need in life? Shelter, food, clean water and medical access/care? I can still build a home (Maybe AI will help make it more efficient?), if I have land I can grow food, and collect water. Medical care? Won’t AI take care of me in that respect or will it be like AI in terminator films?

      The real change will be a shift in power, who will own everything, who will have all the resources / money? I can’t predict that, but the future has always been unknown.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Gavin won’t need money. He will have trained-killer robots. Or at least he will now I’ve given him the idea. Just make sure to lube them regularly. To keep them loyal.

    • This myoptic faith is the same delusion that makes you climate change tragics believe CO2 causes global warming. In the absence of any PROOF.

      Science doesn’t deal with PROOF, it deals with evidence.

      All the evidence says elevated CO2 levels increase temperature.

      This has been well accepted science for well over a century. Any credible evidence to the contrary would be massive, massive news.

      • Smithy Ask your wife what causes stomach ulcers, 100 yrs of belief down the drain over night.
        Wake up you tragic.

      • Smithy Ask your wife what causes stomach ulcers, 100 yrs of belief down the drain over night.

        Thanks to evidence. The critical factor missing from the “climate scientists have been in a worldwide conspiracy for a century to hide the truth about CO2” idea.

        Like I said, actual evidence of increased CO2 not causing warming would be massive news.

    • Wiley youre kidding and your comments on climate chang are pure BS. Its you who clings to a belief system rather than one based on fact.

      CO2 absorbs Infra Red radiation and releases energy in the form of heat. That is scientific fact. If you deny this, you may as well deny the existence of Gravity.

      Now tell me by what means / mechanism CO2 does not warm the atmosphere. And then provide proof for your argument. You really have NFI.

      • Insomniac, you are new here, first time poster, going to have to get you up to speed.
        Ulcers are not caused by stress
        Diesel is not the better fuel for cars
        There is no god of any description
        House prices dont always go up
        No Easter Bunny, no Santa Claws not tooth fairy
        IR radiates into space, 3/4 of the planet is wet.
        Tip: dont believe anything you read in the MSM.
        Temperature change is a cyclical event for this planet.
        No one really knows the mechanisms.

      • desmodromicMEMBER

        WW, arguments that it has been hotter or colder in the distant past are mostly irrelevant. Climate change matters when it is rapid because biological systems change or collapse in such circumstances. The debate is whether the current rate of change in temperature is a cause for concern. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests it is.

      • Desmo, you could be correct. Getting rid of half the people from the planet wound be a good start at mitigation. Who is going to point the bone. We could use the union way, last on first off.
        Here is a tip, the Irish potato famine wasnt caused by a lack of potatoes, it was caused by too many Irishmen, scale it up for the next one, but I suspect drinking water may be the commodity this time.

  5. There was an interesting conversation developing yesterday on Aussie Public debt, a number of posters suggested that any public debt analysis that didn’t include our Private debt was worthless (given the almost seemless conversions of Private debt to Public debt that occurred in Ireland and several other countries).
    I given my opinion many a time (it all comes down to Australia’s structural need for imported capital, our economy would collapse in a matter of weeks if we were denied access to more foreign capital suggesting that significant defaults private or public debt are now impossible). my basis, as always, for this conclusion is the absolute necessity of imported goods for the ongoing day-to-day function of the Aussie economy. Without the structural importance of imported goods I’d be in the Foreign Private debts and CAD don’t matter camp, F#$%’em silly foreigners loaned me money to buy stuff, lets see them even try to collect. With this transition of Imports to structural importance, any significant defaults by other Australians will have immediate consequences, for everyone. Many products will just disappear from the shelves, people wont be able to get to work (no petrol, no car…..) . This all puts me firmly in the Private debt becomes Public debt camp, I doubt that anything will change my own opinion, but I’d at least like to try to see the problem from the It just don’t matter perspective….Australia is a sovereign nation with its own currency etc etc.

    • It’s a good debate to refresh. Prima facie private debt is much much worse than public debt, because it is almost never directed at social infrastructure, and almost always directed at dumb consumption through marketing that takes easy advantage of the human condition.

      So converting private debt to public debt is about as stupid an outcome as you could get, and one that always happens but shouldn’t.

    • Aside from the “Iceland is a Sovereign Nation with its own currency” example of what can happen, I fail to fathom why those who believe “we can issue as much local currency as we want to run the place”, fail to understand that as an importing nation, who in their right mind is going to export stuff to you if what they get in return is ‘worthless; endlessly created’ local currency? My view is, they won’t! They’ll want, say, US$ in return, and that….is where Public and Private Debt, and Foreign Borrowing capacity and the price of that really matter…….

      • I agree Iceland is the poster child for the FU world solution, I’m not paying anything back …suck-it-up. Trouble is Iceland is a tiny country and wrt global finance size definitely matters. We’re seeing this wrt Greece where they’re undeniably bankrupt but everyone avoids acknowledging this fact until the US/Eu commercial bank debt gets transferred to the French and German public purse.

    • It looks like all the No risk …Australia is a sovereign nation with its own currency!.. crowd, have all gone into hiding which kinda pisses me off because they’re always there with their quick flippant MMT remarks but never to be found when you have sufficient time to really delve into the topic. Maybe it’s not by accident.

      • Well China-Bob there is NEP – Mosler and a plethora of other MMT portals which one could easily access without having to crack a fat about service.

        Skippy… the issue is how its been abused and how that relates to policy… imo…

  6. Andy Borowitz was hilarious in yesterday’s New Yorker

    “A criminal lawyer representing Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli has informed his client that he is raising his hourly legal fees by five thousand per cent, the lawyer has confirmed.

    Minutes after Shkreli’s arrest on charges of securities fraud, the attorney, Harland Dorrinson, announced that he was hiking his fees from twelve hundred dollars an hour to sixty thousand dollars.

    Shkreli, who reportedly received the news about the price hike while he was being fingerprinted, cried foul and accused his attorney of “outrageous and inhumane price gouging.”

    “This is the behavior of a sociopath,” Shkreli was heard screaming.

    For his part, Shkreli’s lawyer was unmoved by his client’s complaint. “Compared to what he pays for an hour of Wu-Tang Clan, sixty thou is a bargain,” he said.”

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      “This is the behavior of a sociopath,” Shkreli was heard screaming.
      Ha, ha, thanks Skip, an ironic downfall perfectly made for a movie.

    • I had to search the back-story: “Martin Shkreli, who achieved near global condemnation after increasing the price of Daraprim – used by many Aids patients – from $13.50 to $750 in September.”

    • and s”hkreli has bounced in and out of the spotlight, most notably by spending $2 million for the exclusive ownership of Wu-Tang Clan’s new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

      • Oh it only gets better… Shkreli was picked to attend Crammers little NYU school, tho Crammer has machine gunned Twittler to disavow any personal links as he left his enterprise in the good hands of others….

        “According to a Bloomberg profile, Shkreli began his life in finance as a 17-year-old intern for Mad Money host Jim Cramer. During his time there, Shkreli opined that biotech stock would drop, Cramer acted on the advice and made money. This led to a brief SEC investigation that came to nothing. By his 20s, he started his own hedge fund, Bloomberg writes “Shkreli developed a reputation for using a stock-gossip website to savage biotech companies whose shares he was shorting.”


        Skippy…. feel free to watch the old Jon Stewart utube vid…. always good to review…

      • Ta, hadn’t seen Stewart v Cramer.
        I reckon many so-called investors know it stinks but just want part of the booty. Reminds me of post-communist Albania when pyramid schemes sucked in two thirds of the populace – I remember a quote from one dirt-poor participant, words to the effect that ‘we knew it was fraud but thought this is capitalism’.

      • There’s no doubt about it Perovskites are a fascinating new solar cell technology but they’re definitely not stable and from what I’ve heard degrade remarkably quickly if there is any moisture available at the crystal surface this creates an encapsulation problem that just might be more difficult than simply using something like multilayer Silicon hydride cells. Also just rumor but what I’ve heard the material deposition has moved on from the simple wet chemistry methods that made Perovskites so attractive to Vacuum dep methods that are creating better quality crystals resulting in a huge increase in the recombination times which indirectly results in better overall efficiency by boosting the conversion efficiency from the red end of the spectrum.

    • “Hydricity” Would Couple Solar Thermal and Hydrogen Power
      Solar heat could help generate both electricity and hydrogen fuel at the same time in a system that scientists in Switzerland and the United States call “hydricity.” Such a system could supply electricity round-the-clock with an overall efficiency better than many photovoltaic cells, researchers add.

      New Flow Battery Ups Storage Capacity by Factor of Ten
      To smooth out the peaks and valleys inherent in generating electric power from the sun and the wind, utility companies want massive battery farms capable of storing the surplus energy from renewable power sources for use when the sun goes down and the wind isn’t blowing. One candidate for this application is a redox flow battery that uses liquids to store and release energy.

    • Josh MoorreesMEMBER

      the metal powder one is an interesting one, some isreali guys have been working on it for decades using metal nano particles which you can essentially just treat like petrol in a normal engine. Would increase the weight of the car but I can’t see it taking off with the rapid development of batteries.

    • how stupid, low energy prices are possibly the worst scenario for the roll out of green energy and yet it’s flaunted as a “win”.

      Hmm what does green energy produce? Oh expensive energy… Yay! For lower energy prices…. -.-

      • Exactly. Fossil fuel energy price crunch is renewable energy nightmare. Yet activists are too stupid to realise. This is the scenario that led The Automatic Earth to predict that there would be no renewable energy revolution in our lifetime.

        Even Germany, having spent billions on transition to renewables, still finds coal the predominant energy source – and the billions spent on Energiewende have ensured very high cost electricity which in turn is returning the Germans to lovely lignite 😉

      • 3d1k… the problem you occasion is money is not the appropriate measurement, not that you understand money at all.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Well, at least we know now that it’s not being paid by OPEC. In 12 months, if it’s still here as frequently, we’ll know if the paymaster is/was WA based.

      • @3d1k the cost advantage that coal has is precisely why new technologies like Preovskites are so interesting. See the link from above
        The problem with traditional PV solar cells is that it can take between 2 and 5 years to recover the energy used to just manufacture a monocrystalline Silicon Solar cell. It takes lots of heating and processing to get a silicon ingot sufficiently pure that it is viable to grow a single crystal from the melt. Even after this the crystal is zone refined by slowly moving a melt zone through the crystal to remove residual contaminants. there’s no doubt about it making monocrystalline Silicon Solar cells takes lots and lots of energy. amorphous and polycrystalline Si structures are a little less energy intensive in the manufacturing stage but the real future of solar belongs to approaches that use say 1/100 of the energy that they produce which requires approaches like Organic solar cells or Preovskites or one of a host of new approaches that dont require ultra pure substrates as a starting material.
        The research is slow but intense, I’d expect to hear about commercialization for some of these approaches within 5 years. If technology finds solutions for inherent Preovskites weaknesses than the future for coal is very dim, it’s just to danm easy to build these structures, to be honest it’s bucket and spade chemistry

      • China Bob – I should caveat these comments with ‘aside from a technological breakthrough hitherto unknown’ 😉

        If such an event should happen, of course would impact coal. That said, still a slow and very expensive process to take the next step and implement new technology. Hundreds of billions have been thrown at conventional renewables yet these still account for a miniscule proportion of global energy production.

      • interested party

        “Fossil fuel energy price crunch is renewable energy nightmare. Yet activists are too stupid to realise.”
        Do remember that the activists are not entirely driven by the dollar cost of the FF. They act on other costs…… that many choose not to acknowledge.
        The energy transition is under way and no one said it would be a smooth ride.

        Patience, grasshopper…… patience. Don’t let dogma cloud the view of the opportunities.

      • 3d:

        This is the scenario that led The Automatic Earth to predict that there would be no renewable energy revolution in our lifetime.

        Nicole Foss has been wrong on everything so far. I’m amazed she has the balls to keep touring with her lectures. She was predicting imminent collapse 8 years ago, and has not changed the message since!

      • I like Foss. She is very engaging in person and very very bright. Of all the collapsniks, she’s my favourite. She nailed the commodity rout years ahead of anyone else: deflation and liquidity traps, problems with bonds etc remain potential live issues. As you know her view was unless storage and reliability were conquered, no renewable revolution – compounded by fossil fuels being cheap as chips (for a period), governments and taxpayers increasingly reluctant to fork out the big $$$ for expensive renewable energy.

        And you well know, were the global credit bubble to burst, and it might, renewables are toast.

      • And you well know, were the global credit bubble to burst, and it might, renewables are toast.

        Unknowable, because collapse would devastate FFs as well (tight oil mining lives on credit, as do ocean going rigs). Suspect all forms of energy would collapse, but the need to lower emissions will not go away, no matter what the financial situation is, so I suspect renewables will continue to grow exponentially.

  7. Fraser Institute Awards 2015 Addington Prize to Harvard Professor and Colleagues for Research on Government Deficit Reduction

    “Do sharp reductions of government deficits (labeled fiscal adjustments or fiscal consolidations) cause large output losses?

    They conclude that reducing government spending to address deficits is less damaging to an economy than increasing taxes.”


    • Controversies

      According to an article published in CBC News Online, some people allege that Michael Walker helped set up the Institute after he received financial backing from forestry giant MacMillan Bloedel, largely to counter British Columbia’s NDP government[45] then led by premier Dave Barrett. The CEO of MacMillan Bloedel at the time supported wage and price controls.

      In late 1997, the Institute set up a research program emulating the UK’s Social Affairs Unit, called the Social Affairs Centre. Its founding Director was Patrick Basham. The program’s funding came from Rothmans International and Philip Morris.[46] When Rothmans was bought by British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1999, its funding ended,[47] and in 2000 the Institute wrote to BAT asking for $50,000 per year, to be split between the Social Affairs Centre and the Centre for Risk and Regulation.[46] The letter highlighted the Institute’s 1999 publication Passive Smoke: The EPA’s Betrayal of Science and Policy,[48] “which highlighted the absence of any scientific evidence for linking cancer with second-hand smoke [and] received widespread media coverage both in Canada and the United States”.[46] At this time the CEO of BAT’s Canadian subsidiary, Imasco, was also on the Fraser Institute’s Board of Trustees.[47] The Fraser Institute ceased disclosing its sources of corporate funding in the 1980s.[47]

      In 1999, the Fraser Institute was criticized by health professionals and scientists for sponsoring two conferences on the tobacco industry entitled Junk Science, Junk Policy? Managing Risk and Regulation and Should Government Butt Out? The Pros and Cons of Tobacco Regulation. Critics charged the Institute was associating itself with the tobacco industry’s many attempts to discredit authentic scientific work.[45][dead link]

      In 2004, the Fraser Institute issued a statement of support for the legalization of cannabis and its sale on the market.[49]

      The United Nations International Labour Office issued a report which criticized the Fraser Institute for making methodological errors and having “a strong conceptual bias.” [50]



      Skippy… prostitution… mate how much to get you to do tricks….

      • Only one thing to remember Skip:

        … reducing government spending to address deficits is less damaging to an economy than increasing taxes.

      • I commented on that a few days back…. no reply..

        December 18, 2015 at 7:25 am


        There is the option wrt the corporate tax dilemma aj notes, no political funding with progressive taxation for individuals and then allow low or zero corp tax. Just end the obfuscation, political bribery and white shoe law firm – industry – public revolving door. You know checks and balances.

        Skippy… but… naw you morons would probably say neyt…. as totalitarians usually do….

        Skippy…. I do side with Mosler on a big chunk of this territory, unless your mob want to play stoopid…

  8. The Traveling Wilbur

    Macdonald’s key to rescue of Big W. (courtesy of the Daily Tele).

    The retailing giant today said former Oroton Group chief executive Sally Macdonald will take on the role [of chief executive] from January. Ms Macdonald, who led fashion retailer Oroton from 2006 to 2013, will lead the transformation of Woolworth’s general merchandise division, which also includes EziBuy.

    So the bag lady is going to rescue Big W? I wish her all the luck in the world but really, that’s like hiring an ex Ferrari GM to run Misubishi Electric. I.e. a good idea until one remembers that being a Ferrari GM has nothing to do with engineering. Or needs-based merchandise. At least the stores will get a makeover. That will help. Let’s hope she’s not a sushi fan though.

      • France has obvious problems with this. Have you read it?

        The premise of the book is that in 2022 the French people elect a fundamentalist Islamist party (in coalition with the Socialist party, just for some extra silliness) into power that subsequently brings in Sharia law.

        If you think this is an “obvious problem” facing France, I have a nice bridge to sell you.

      • I doubt Smithy has read a book since Year 10. Go on Smithy, give it a go – you’ll be surprised – funny, rude, honest, philosophical…prescient? Certainly topical. Houellebecq is worth reading.

        Oh, and for the various members of the brains trust that shout with glee – it’s a fiction! – well der, its a novel set in 2022. Good grief.

      • Do you not think France has obvious problems?

        Do I think France has an obvious problem that a fundamentalist Islamic party is going to attain enough political power to impose Sharia law as the book posits ?

        No. Such an idea doesn’t even have enough credibility to call fanciful.

        France has a problem with poor, unemployed immigrants, and those problems have far, far more to do with “poor, unemployed” than it does with “immigrants”.

      • Oh, and for the various members of the brains trust that shout with glee – it’s a fiction! – well der, its a novel set in 2022. Good grief.

        As you well understand, minebot, the point being made is the absurdity of the premise in the context of it being presented by yourself and the usual crowd of bigoted wingnuts as “prescient?”.

      • R2M, sorry about the thread architecture including you.
        drsmithy, I haven’t read the novel yet, I love good fiction, the exploration of the human spirit through the possibilities of ‘what if …’ & so on. Your pseudo-righteous positing reminds me of the exasperation of Peter Carey when facing criticism due to the historical inaccuracy of ‘the true history of kelly’.’ It’s fiction’ he would hiss.

      • Your pseudo-righteous positing reminds me of the exasperation of Peter Carey when facing criticism due to the historical inaccuracy of ‘the true history of kelly’.’ It’s fiction’ he would hiss.

        My complaint is not with the book, it is with the conga line of wingnuts and professional fearmongers like the minebot presenting it as some sort of “Islamic invasion” scenario to justify their bigotry and incitement of mindless discrimination.

        Singling out whole groups of people because they have the wrong imaginary friend has historically not ended well.

      • MB Awards Night.
        (Sarah Ferguson in slinky red-carpet dress, under 3” spotlight)

        “The Best Read of 2015……. And the winner is (drum roll, please)…………The Traveling Wilbur.”

      • Lol. That was hilarious.

        A personal bias for this one from the minebot:

        3d on: mining stocks
        June 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm
        Aj – want a piece of the action, buy shares in your favourite miner – bet your super fund has done it for you.

        Remind me again how much money those holding miners have lost since then…

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Thanks 3d,

      if ever a man needed confirmation you had devolved into ear flapping moon barking swivel eyed reactionism, exhorting your own twitter feed to tout some ranting right wing gibber would do the trick…

      • 3d1k… its a fictional book, sorta like Atlas Shrugged, tho some do fall into the narrative…. cognitive – environmental bias thingy…

      • I should probably point out Micheal Hudson’s “Super Imperialism” was picked as a – how to do book – when it was actually written as a cautionary tale. This is the case against your stripe 3d1k, where answers are always seeking the questions to validate or vindicate preconceived ideological perceptions.

      • Gunna, apologies, thread architecture.
        Skippy, I expect most here have read Rand, obviosly MH also has an agenda, doesn’t mean it can’t have literary merit. Let’s not go all F 451 eh.

    • Thanks 3d, this is not the first time you’ve praised this book, shall give it a go. A present to self after le wife asking me what I wanted, me nominating a pipe bender and then having to surreptitiously source, collect and hide it from myself on her (and the 1k’s) behalf).

      btw, are they really your 3d on your feed?

    • 2d,

      You and a few others here are proof enough for me about the bs that a university education teaches one critical thinking skills.

  9. Sydney auction results. 61%. More importantly, median price $947k which is 15% down on two weeks ago.

    May be a statistical anomaly with only poorer people buying/selling before xmas but then again maybe not.

    • Don’t think the volume is sufficient to read into too much. Won’t be for another three weeks as well. So time to enjoy peak summer before the fun and games start again.

      Although i’m near certain someone will use a clearance rate with a 6 in front to say the bottom is in.

    • The Melbourne result mirrors the Sydney result. Slightly higher clearances but median well down at $647k. Higher volumes make it more statistically relevant. Also many results shown as sold but price is n/a showing that agents don’t want punters knowing about the lower sale prices.

    • Figure is massaged as always. Include the withdrawn auctions as failures to sell – which they are as they are only withdrawn when there is no interest; take out the vendor bids and take out the sold priors as they were taken off the auction list and sold via private treaty and therefore should not be counted as auction sales – and the clearance rate is circa 41%

    • RE prices always grow.
      Just sometime they grow negatively.

      IMO, there is still plenty a leverage left over to support the prices.
      There is a small army of 10-20% deposit holders that are on the edge and may snap at first sign of affordability for their first home (e.g. guys like me that want to stop being homeless and have to remind them selves regularly not to buy as yet)
      IR are likely to go down

      • Dj.

        Where are you thinking of buying ? and if in Sydney the 20 – 40 % deposit is almost half a million at its upper end.

        Someone with half a mill would have had a fair wad even 2 years ago I would have thought, they have watched their deposit get smashed with significant price rises but ‘chose not to enter the market’.

        I think it more likely that as is usual (I am informed) that at the ponzi peak the market entrants are of the most sub-prime category, and thus there may be an army of them but they don’t have much if any deposit that they have saved over time.

        But I hope you get a bargain in the end.

      • I think mostly of recent migrants with no or little money brought in and a chasing game for their deposit saving to catchup with the price growth. Reversing only the last 12m of price growth will suddenly make them in the comfort zone.
        Sure not big enough army to support the permaplateau but perhaps just big enough to start the bull trap (see below link) and drag in a few others along.


        BTW, I am out of the purchase game for now patiently awaiting substantial correction.

    • Ludwig Wittgenstein


      Total Scheduled Auctions

      Clearance Rate*
      Sold prior to auction: 78 Passed in: 174 Sold at auction: 242 Withdrawn: 19 Sold after auction: 9

      Literally just making up numbers out of thin air. No matter how you look at these numbers the auction clearance rate is 40%

      That is essentially stuffed.

      But it gets better


      633 auctions

      S Sold at Auction: 347
      SB Sold before Auction: 96
      SA Sold after Auction: 0

      Passed in: 190
      Passed in on vendor’s bid: 68

      Clearance rate: 70%

      This week: 633
      Last weekend: 1539
      This time last year: 545

      Weekend: 70%

      straight up fabricating numbers – I would love to know how this is even allowed.

      Actual clearance rate on 824 auctions is 53%

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Now that all Glenn has left is a hammer, I wonder if he’s starting to worry now that everything is starting to look to him like a nail. A coffin nail.

      • Wilbur,

        Perhaps, I just cant see the RBA and APRA standing by while their beautiful Debt Machine – that is built on rising asset prices – implodes.

        Expect the following:

        1. Interest rate cuts

        2. Home buyer grants

        3. Free citizenship to off shore parties who buy a house – especially if they choose to leave it empty. Construction that does not add to supply for sale or rent will suit the RBA just fine.

        4. Ramp up migration

        5. Slow down new construction that adds to supply – note comment above about new construction that does not add to supply.

        As long as the government can attract a supply of people willing to buy housing – existing (students, temp residents, permant residents, ) and new (foreign investors) – with inducements like citizenship or residency the bubble will not pop.

        The most likely way the bubble will pop is if foreign interest in new construction crashes and that kills the prices for new construction and as a result the amount of new construction. The rising unemployment (post mining boom) will then have two critical impacts.

        1. It makes it hard to maintain high migration – the politics become increasingly toxic.

        2. It cools further local appetite/capacity for mega household debt.

        It really all depends on how strong is the market for selling residency and citizenship to affluent foreigners.

        While that market is healthy there will be no pop.

      • pft007….

        The drama was and still is mis-priced risk, control fraud and ideology over system architecture realities.

      • Yes – ideology and fraud by the bucket load generating the very opposite of an ‘equilibrium’ seeking system. It reminds me of that video on YouTube where some guys run a dryer with a brick in it. Impressive failure but what was most impressive was how long the machine kept going.


        That is the worry – how much damage can be done to the host before the ideology and fraud exhausts itself.

      • Pft007…. I don’t subscribe to the EMH equilibrium thingy… ex nihilo problem…

        Randy Wray: Debt-Free Money and Banana Republics
        Posted on December 20, 2015 by Lambert Strether

        Lambert here: Yes, I like a gentle polemic…

        By L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives

        By L. Randall Wray

        Some time ago, I labeled the “debt-free money” campaign a non sequitur in search of a policy. (See here.) However, this non sequitur refuses to die. I went on to joke that if they want a debt-free money, they ought to propose that government issue bananas as currency.

        I frequently am asked to do interviews and I almost always accept them. However, when I was asked last week to participate in a radio show devoted to debt-free money, I struggled mightily to get out of it. As you’ll see, the program’s producer took my idea of banana republics and ran with it. I thought readers might get a kick out of this exchange (the producer’s emails are in italics, my responses are in bold). After the exchange, I’ll summarize my objections to the notion of debt-free money.


        Skippy… some seem to ascribe to some scripture based approach rather than evidence based.

      • Oh I didnt realise that was where you were heading.

        Some MMT fans for some reason, that is never clearly explained, love to make excuses for debt based money aka bank money while extoling, with good reason, the merits of fiat aka law based money.

        I will check out the link about bananas but I suspect my position will remain much the same.

        Yes, if fully regulated and controlled bank money may not do much damage and therefore could be tolerated but the history of bank created money – going back centuries – is that it cannot be regulated or controlled for long.

        Like commodity money – bank money is a barbaric relic.

      • Had a read of Wray’s Banana republic post. Fairly standard fare – a partial chartalist getting snakey at the concept of full chartalism. As MMT fans are at least partial chartalists and understand the importance of fiat they are on the right side of the argument but their often antagonistic attitude – and that is the tone – towards full chartalism is tedious.

        Wray’s arguments are fairly characterised by some of the comments. Nit picking stuff that does not explain why partial chartalism is superior to full chartalism.

        Compared to the other side partial chartalists and full chartalists should be allies.

        At least that is the way I see it.

      • Pht007…

        Checks and Balances…

        Banks got out of control due not to the nature of money but the ideology which afforded them the ability to bribe the political system, legally. BTW the government has full chartalist powers but suffers the same dilemma aforementioned, Trillion coin for example, congressional powers over the treasury and the Fed, so its a bit of a stretch to single out money as the monetarist end all be all issue.

        That’s not even to mention all the money types out there to start with, which is allowed, its just paying tax that results in tender laws.

        Skippy…. I’ve never subscribed to the moralizing of objects….

      • To put it another way…

        “Wray’s position. Dismissing ‘balance sheets’ suggests that this is the case. Balance sheets are the essence of banking and the FED sits at the top of the US banking system and is defacto, because of its relationship with the US Treasury, an arm of the US government. To understand the monetary system it is necessary to understand the relationships between the entities using and issuing money. A fundamental aspect of the those relationships is balance sheets and a fundamental aspect of balance sheets are ‘liabilities’ and ‘assets’ – which is the language of credit.

        I can understand your frustration as I came into this topic from a ‘debt-free money’ perspective. What concerned me at the time (and still does) was the expansion of private sector debt to the point of economic implosion. As my opinions have developed due to extensive reading, I have come to the understanding that a) our monetary system is a credit-based system b) that credit-based systems are the norm historically c) there is nothing inherently problematic with credit-based systems. It is my opinion that public understanding of our credit-based system would lead to better banking regulations and more productive use of fiscal policy. And that money and wealth are not the same thing and it is dangerous (in the sense of poor economic and political policy development) to think they are.” – H/T Nell

        Skippy… E.g. regulation is the primary agent… tho those that created this mess think you can have your cake and eat it too…

      • Skippy,

        “I have come to the understanding that a) our monetary system is a credit-based system b) that credit-based systems are the norm historically c) there is nothing inherently problematic with credit-based systems. It is my opinion that public understanding of our credit-based system would lead to better banking regulations and more productive use of fiscal policy. And that money and wealth are not the same thing and it is dangerous (in the sense of poor economic and political policy development) to think they are.”

        (a) Agree

        (b) Agree

        (c) Agree

        But that is not the issue. The issue is whether the “loan” credits and debits created by private banks should be treated as one and the same as those issued by the govt.

        I have no problem with banks or anyone for that matter issuing IOUs (to record debts) to people and those IOUs being used in trade or commerce.

        Nor do I have a problem with the government issuing IOUs the demand for which is driven by their ability to be used to extinguish tax obligations.

        I just don’t see any advantage, beyond it being the practice for the last 150+ years, to treat IOUs created by private banks to be treated as if they were IOUs created by the government. To the point where a person with an account full of bank loan credits can demand they be delivered in government IOUs.

        There is certainly no accounting reason to do so. Creating matching debits and credits for Government IOUs is straight forward.

        The Central Banks credits the Treasury ES account and debits the Central Banks Asset account “New Money”. If the Central Bank requires something for the filing cabinet the Treasurer can send them a letter directing the Central Bank to create new money.

        Or alternatively, if there is a concerns for reckless spending there can be a committee who have a single job. By reference to the inflation/deflation rate and the objective of maintaining a stable value – have them direct the Central Bank to create or un-create money and leave it up to the government to work how to achieve the deficit or surplus that implies.

      • Just to keep it simple… the debt free money is an oxymoron…

        Marriner Eccles DID clearly distinguish liquidity & capital, back in 1938….. Next – !!!!!!!

        Bonus question…. now which effects quantity and quality of M more than the other…. Fed issuing reserves or control fraud…

      • I dont think we are actualy disagreeing.

        Debit free money is an oxymoron because all monetary systems require debits and credits.

        But a debit is not necessarily a debt and in any event not all debts are equal.

        A debt that accrues no interest it is quite different to one that does.

        When people use the expression debt free money they mean money that does not have a trailing commission attached.

        Accounting can be less than helpful at times – it creates an impression that can conceal more than reveal.

    • You can currently get 6:1 odds on Donald Trump being the next US President. I struggle to see how that is not a safer bet than piling into the ASX even at the current depressed prices of the majors. I suppose Donald doesn’t do franked dividends but hey …

  10. I got a notice on Friday:

    WBC CEO:
    sells 47320 WBC shares
    allocated 39491 and has 323615 share rights

    basically sold all his holdings because he knows something is up? or because he gets so many, just sells them all anyway?

    Edit: Actually the article says he now holds 18.9M (585514 WBC shares) but the letter says he holds 53722.

  11. (John Ward 19/12/15)

    This is the bottom line: Governments are today in the business of averting our eyes such that they divide, confuse, dissuade, mislead, distract, smear, and blind us all to the Truth. It was Margaret Thatcher who first said – in private, of course – that the key reason for pushing people into home ownership was the ability of that property millstone to rapidly dilute revolutionary leftist ideas. As with so many things she thought but kept quiet about, she was sadly dead right: it remains my view that a lot of contemporary braindead materialism began with raging house-value obsession from 1983 onwards. But above all, properties and the things one buys for them – plus the maintenance thereof – mean most people are far too busy to give serious thought to philosophical concepts like freedom, democracy, and equality before the Law.

    • Janet, correct, And the punters have taken to this economic form of suicide better and with more gusto than anyone could have imagined. As a force, the will of the people is spent.
      It has been a genocide of the most massive proportion,
      Everyone is mutely focused on climate change, wide screen tv’s and smart phones.
      Now the real leaders of can re-emerge, with no fear of threat.
      Someone once said religion was the opiate of the people, the modern equivalent is debt.
      Punters, over Xmas work out how you are going to get yourself back to the rim of the pit under the darkening threat of automation and robotics.
      How many of your friends will you leave behind?
      Who will be your new mates?? Do you have what it takes??

      • …the darkening threat of automation and robotics.

        Where’s your trailer parked at the moment? Hot inside? You seem to be suffering from cabin fever.

      • The average person is so blaise to the likely effects of automation and robotics. People think electric cars are coming fast, yet this space is flying up behind people’s jobs, ready to bit them on the ass basically out of the blue.

      • Money or in this case sovereign currency has always been issued as debt, oodles of books confirm this, try 5000 years of Debt for an anthro perspective.

        Skippy… now if you want to crack a fat about stuff try the ideology which enabled so much risk to be insanely under priced… that’s the actual problem.

    • Janet,
      One could argue that a net benefit has been a quite stable society albeit at great cost to the environment. All things have their limits, and the two I mention cannot be precluded.

    • What is life like in a world where mundanities such as property ownership and associated domestic frivolities are absent…

      We can’t all live in caves philosophising about shadows!

      • Hmmm I did not see him on the water yesterday nor today, must have stayed in the air conditioning. Going out on Wed-Sat so will keep a weather eye out for him ??

  12. what happened to the “Children’s Corner” AKA Weekend Global Warming links??!?… now the whole thing has descended into a grade-school level debate….. again. Either remove R2M or give him his little-shit corner again… ffs…