Links 19 April, 2016

Macro, Markets & Investing




Terra Incognita

…and furthermore…


  1. Some news from the bush:
    The man in the hat Bob Katter says, The demographic centre of Australia is a bit south-west of “Lake Nash”. The closest port to Lake Nash is Normanton.
    My Great Granddad, and the biggest insurance company and biggest bank in Australia made the same decision to centre their enterprises in Brisbane as well as Australia’s most central port — Normanton.
    But with the government being based in Brisbane, Normanton was doomed.
    Although 90 % of the world’s population is in the northern hemisphere, nearly all of Australia’s trade product goes south.
    The exception was Century Mine and the prawn industry which used Normanton and the mouth of the river town, Karumba.
    Over 60% of Australia’s live cattle comes from a 550 km radius from Karumba yet 500,000 ox worth $500m go out through Townsville and Darwin.
    Prior to the price explosion last year, the middle man and his live cattle (LiveEx) facilities have got $500 per ox, for doing virtually nothing, whereas the cattleman has been getting only around $700 an ox Because road transport costs compared to shipping costs are enormous, do we allow this economic madness to continue?
    The cost inefficiencies in Townsville are enormous.
    The price of land to hold the cattle, the cost of triple handling since we can only take one trailer at a time through the city.
    The cost of carting hay from Clermont and Atherton and cutting hay for the holding facilities and for the boats is too expensive.
    If the live cattle facilities had arrangements with “Perum Bulog” (Indonesia’s purchasing agency) and buyers in Vietnam and the Philippines then there would be a $200 a year investment.
    To achieve this goal at $100 an ox, the Karumba LiveEx Co-operative would have a gross income of $100 a head for a $50 million dollars per year. Every cent of this would flow into the pockets of the people of North West Queensland, plus extra $100 million for our cattlemen.
    To make this happen, we need a government guaranteed loan for 8×1,600ha irrigation blocks in the Kurumba and Normanton hinterland, a diversion weir on the Gilbert River, and an off-stream storage landing for the cattle.
    We also need a cattle barge purchase by the co-op and two pylons in deep water to take live ex 5000 to 20000 ox boats.
    The irrigation blocks would pay for themselves.

    Lake Nash station is about 120k south of Camoweal. Lake Nash News: A MAN has been killed after the vehicle he had been travelling in ran over him on Wednesday.
    Police arrested a 38-year-old woman over the fatal crash, which happened about 3.30am Lake Nash about 600km east of Tennant Creek and 17km from the NT- Queensland border.
    Superintendent Bob Rennie said a 38-year-old-male was allegedly struck by a vehicle about 15km outside the township.The NT News has been told the car was being driven from Mount Isa in Queensland, which is about 375km by road, after some or all of the passengers had been drinking. Mount Isa is only 17km farther from the town than the Barkly Homestead Wayside Inn.
    There was reportedly no room for all passengers inside the vehicle so one man rode on the roof.
    It’s believed when the car came to a sudden stop he was thrown forward to the ground and the vehicle ran over his head.

    • Thanks WW – I was in Cairns 2 weeks ago discussing live export through Townsville – sounds like they are unable to handle the volumes anyway. I know a few vessels have left through Normanton but the port can only handle the smaller vessels. But, we have a government intent on a population ponzi and not interested in the rural areas so nothing ever gets done

      • Stay in touch. I have carried out a heap of preliminary work re export of mineral from Bing Bong or Karumba.
        Already know most of the answers,
        Have emailed Katter and am seeking contact with Keith de Lacy.
        Next time you are in Bne look me up. I know that area up there well. This mob will pass on my email

      • Population Ponzi is money-for-old-rope, whereas Live Cattle export sounds like real work and probably damn hard yakka, this presents a rather obvious choice for our weak kneed pollies.

    • Thanks WW – next planned trip to BNE is for the Hawks/Lions at the Gabba :). Might have to go to Roma and Warwick again next week but that is still not confirmed.

  2. “US trade deficits are killing growth and profits – CNBC…if they dont run trade deficits, who will? (apart from Australia)…”

    Where do they get these brainless idiots to write this simplistic tripe? Out of elite economic schools?. So the fact the US runs a massive trade deficit has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the US has chosen to over-consume? That the US is prepared to sell itself and its future, as well as tax the future of the world in a short term drive for more and more and more and……more consumption?

  3. The mixed fortunes of Australian motor vehicles – Callam Pickering!The-mixed-fortunes-of-Australian-motor-vehicles/c1tye/571439440cf2331db0f7bbf5

    As much as I like what CP is writing I can’t help but feel that what he really needs is some honest to goodness embedded Industrial experience.
    If I were CP I’d seek a job that was way outside my comfort zone, Imagine the insight CP would have if he did a stint with the Minerals Council….yea yea it’s a sellout, but IMHO you can’t ever really understand an organization until you’re looking at it from the inside. As an Engineer over the course of my career I’ve worked on several projects that I was philosophically against, but I still did my best to solve the technical problems that found their way to my desk.
    I know that I benefited from the experience if only because I truly understood the strengths and weaknesses of these companies. I not only understood what changes were possible and which were Impossible (pointless to even suggest) but I also understood organizationally why certain changes were never going to happen…I can’t help but feel it’s this honest insiders depth of understanding that’s missing in much of CP writes.

      • Most Ordinary Americans in 2016 Are Richer Than Was John D. Rockefeller in 1916

        The is entirely dependent on your benchmarks. If your criteria were, say, leisure time and self-determination then to claim today’s working poor locked into 40-60 hour weeks on multiple part-time jobs with no possibility of improving their lot are better off than Rockefeller – who spent nearly half his life “retired” – is absurd.

        The greed and moral bankruptcy of people who argue we shouldn’t be concerned about inequality because twenty thousand years ago everyone was living in caves, is breathtaking in its shamelessness.

        “Me want, fuck you.”

      • Strictly hetrosexual mate… no exceptions!

        I actually think it made a good point. One exception to your claim, Rockefeller never really retired… he was a player to the end.

      • I actually think it made a good point.

        It did not. It was just the dependebly perennial excuse for the encouragement of greedy, selfish and psychopathic behaviour by conservatives, people for whom too much – money, power, whatever – is never enough.

        To add that cherry of hypocrisy on top, people writing or supporting these sorts of opinions will often claim to be Christian !

        One exception to your claim, Rockefeller never really retired… he was a player to the end.

        Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement at his estate, Kykuit, in Westchester County, New York.