Weekend links 16-17 April, 2016

Heysen 1937 Guardian of the Brachina Gorge

Hans Heysen, Guardian of the Brachina Gorge, 1937, National Gallery of Victoria

…sorry I am flat chat for the next month or so.  This will get the WE links started today, and will be added to as time constraints allow





United Kingdom

United States


Terra Specufestor


Capital Markets

Global Macro

…and furthermore…



  1. Put this in the ASX links as well, but will repeat here as it might be of interest to those watching the RE space.

    So went to the auction for this place my wife and I had been quite taken by this morning:

    We expected it to go for 1 – 1.2, but there were no bids from any in attendance (6-8 couples, not sure how many were registered) except the agent, who put in the opening bid of 1 million. Pretty quiet, not much buzz. Didn’t recognise anyone there from the previous two open houses we’d attended.

    I assume they’ve got a couple of conditional offers of a million and were looking for a bit more, or an unconditional buyer. Will be very interesting to see if we get a phone call in a week or two asking if we want to make an offer.

    • The madness is still working it’s way through the system my neck of the woods……Sydney’s leafy North Shore.
      A 3 bedroom townhouse that last sold for $975k in October 2013, was bought for $1.5m during the week.

      A cool $525k, or 54% increase, in 2.5 years.

      Nice work if you can get it.

    • Potentially, it could be that classic bubble behaviour, the ultimate ‘irrational exuberance’ at the asset price peak before the beginning of the decline………

      • @Gavin This is common. I looked at something similar in Bellvue Hill advertised as 4 bedroom 2 bathroom. Lounge is counted as a bedroom @$1250 per week, original (tiny) 1950 kitchen. Double concrete tub in under house laundry & some sort of dugout with a door leadin under house as ‘storage.’ The place was ‘crusty’ newish wardrobe in one & musty original built in in 2 bedroom, inoperable fireplace. 457 painter completing job during inspection – essentially painting over damp mildew. ‘Competing’ for this renters delight was mid 30’s woman with her mother laughing awkwardly with agent trying to figure out purpose of a 2×1.5 alcove which add had described as a room. Another couple mid- late 50’s pissed off because there is so little for them to rent while renovating & this place had desirable size but substandard ( they were trying to grasp why there was 40 year old dishwasher in the kitchen that didn’t actually work. All rental are s&@t overpriced regardless of location or condition. S&@t & overpriced. I don’t care who gets burnt when/if this baby busts. Seriously if you can read you are responsible.

      • Great area drsmithy….

        Only a few draw backs – Moggill rd can be a mini Calif 405 during peak and those old Qld’ers are high maintenance [spider webs, lawn grub wasp and other insect egg sacks], not to mention the ride on mower or orchard tractor w/ slasher needed.

      • dr smithy, have u been looking for long??

        the western burbs are one of the nicest areas of bris

        i went to an auction a few weeks ago around the area…lots of people shaking their heads when the bidding opened at 1 mil

        i think a lot of people as well are taking mega mortgages and making min repayments to get by

      • dr smithy, have u been looking for long??

        the western burbs are one of the nicest areas of bris

        i went to an auction a few weeks ago around the area…lots of people shaking their heads when the bidding opened at 1 mil

        i think a lot of people as well are taking mega mortgages and making

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Not really looking per se. Have been waiting for the arse to drop out of everything.

        But it’s the part of Brisbane I intend to settle in, if I have to live in a city for work. So I keep a loose eye on what’s going around.

        Wife is about to have twins, which suddenly puts us into 4+ bedroom house territory. The place we’re in now is ok for a few years, but it’ll be too small once they start running around.

        But I’m not in a rush. We basically own the place we live in now (well, my wife does, she got in a huff about renting and went house shopping 🙂 ), so I figure even if we hang around for another few years, that just means another hundred grand added to the deposit.

    • bloody hell
      RE is so cheap in Brisbane
      such 5 bdr house on 2/3 acre block just 12km from the city would go in no time for at least twice as much

    • I think $1.2M is about right. But Moggill Rd sucks balls, and will suck the life out of you by the Wed afternoon journey home. And I hope you like big fat snakes !

    • Hi drsmithy. You mentioned there were no bids except the agent, who put in the opening bid. I guess that was one of the so-called ‘vendor bids’. These never made sense to me – what on earth is a bid from the vendor? How can a vendor bid to buy his/her own house?! I read somewhere that a bidder can simply accept a vendor bid, given that it is really a vendor’s offer to sell the place. So if you accept their offer it is offer and acceptance! Not sure how the auctioneer would handle that in practice. I just think it is amazing that the vendor bid is allowed, given that no one knows what it is or how to respond to one.

      • Yeah, there was some verbiage – which I assumed is legislatively prescribed – about how it was a bid on behalf the owner. So there was no deception involved. The agent also made it clear their “commissionary interest” (I think was the term used) was only at >1 million.

        I don’t understand the point of vendor bids, either (other than in this situation to essentially state the reserve price). What sane buyer would bid against the seller in an auction ?

    • Lol. I just wish he would not sign off “Skippy” and then continue blathering on with a psy-script. Either say it and sign off or mark it P.S. if it’s a genuine afterthought.

      • Quite right.
        I haven’t read anything from Skippy since the first and only one I read. Didn’t understand it, if I’m honest.
        The ‘skippy’ bit at the end…is it an affectation or some kind of nervous tic?

        Anyway, I’ve taken it literally and have taken to ‘skipping over’ Skippy’s contributions…..so no harm done….

      • Wow this must be the brain trust corner… lite on the distincto… tho heavy on the personal inferences about taste without any means to ascertain how…..

        Skippy…. cripples playing the man and not the content…. normally something I’ve experience from the AET or splinter mobs playbook….

      • Poor skip just misunderstood. Although I must say when it becomes multi-paragraphs of encrypted information I find it a bit hard to absorb. But every so often there is a golden nugget.

        He/She’s alright for a boomer ;).

      • Gavin…

        Trying to stupidifiy complex dynamic systems and events for those that like comic book grade narratives, too splain stuff, is not my problem. To much is actually counter intuitive, hence the need for some to do their own home work or dig for themselves without expecting to tax others time in unpacking stuff “to their satisfaction”. Not only that, but its a tried and true method of wasting peoples time in order to exhaust them, piss them off…

        Skippy…. btw are you sure I’m a boomer[?]… wow the Orwelliness of that term… it would give Bernays an everlasting hard on….

      • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – AlbertEinstein

      • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – AlbertEinstein

        It might help if you could show an example of what your banging on about rather than make unspecific generalizations aka broad brushing….. it says more about your inabilities than it does anything to doe with myself.

        You know quote me and then unpack it….

        Skippy…. drive by slurs are troll territory….

  2. Thanks Gunna – had reverted to ironing and cleaning – was suffering links withdrawal!!!

      • It’s alright questions asking for informed debate and more even research on both sides on the argument = denier or astroturfer. Funny that the same stonewalling of research occurred with the fat vs sugar debate in the 60’s and look where that got us. Still jobs aside is good to see a reduction in coal demand. Maybe cleaner air in China will help ease the house prices in Australia.

      • @Original John

        The stone walling on sugar vs fat……OHHHH you are talking about he astroturfing the sugar industry did just like the fossil fuel industry did on global warming.

        Great analogy. I love it.

        Its great to see the damage that vested interests do to humanity for profit and greed being pointed out – thanks.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        It’s alright questions asking for informed debate and more even research on both sides on the argument = denier or astroturfer.

        You would struggle to find a scientific field in human history that has held up to more scrutiny than climate change, with the possible exception of Evolution.

        Funny that the same stonewalling of research occurred with the fat vs sugar debate in the 60’s and look where that got us.

        And in this analogy “sugar” is the fossil fuel industry, right ?

      • @drsmithy Evolution is a great analogy as well. Many on this site may remember Dr Ken Ham. My family were supporters of his work when I young and I remember his “creationist” text book alternatives for Biology and Physics quite well as they stirred up the rebel in me with their holes in logic and research. Evolution when I went through Uni was proclaimed as the answer to all but the more I studied it, the more questions I found. So am I a denier of evolution? Bit hard given I have 4 peer reviewed publications in major journals and an opinion piece in the Annals of the Library of Congress on the subject answering some of the questions I had found and posing new questions on gaps that my new research turned up.

        I have never denied climatic change, what I do call question to is that we have found the answer to the cause and everything we now do is simply to support that answer. It is simply lazy and conceited to say that we understand a complex system so well that we no longer need to explore other options or find other causes for the events we are observing. How old is the world and how long has man been on this world? Have there been other climatic changes from hot to cold or cold to hot and what caused these? We can have no definitive answers just theories based on incomplete data in the geological history. I know nothing will change as this debate has been hijacked. That does not mean that climatic change is not occurring, rather it is a healthy skepticism to those who claim we have all the answers in a very complex system. Complex debates like this can be hijacked by the right side for profit just as easily as it can be hijacked by the wrong side for profit.

      • I haven’t seen anyone in the scientific community claim we have all the answers. Quite the opposite.

        But there are a hell of a lot of people on the political side taking that inherent lack of certainty and using it as a reason to do _nothing_, despite pretty much everyone with actual knowledge on the topic agreeing that’s a bad idea.

        The statements you make are, to be blunt, textbook “denier” talking points used for no reason other than to sow FUD and justify inaction despite near complete unanimity on both the major factors in climate change and the steps that need to be taken to address them.

        The only real questions in climate change now are “how long”, “how bad”. Nobody has seriously asked “will it happen” or “did we cause it” for pushing two decades, yet comments like yours suggest you believe there are still large chunks of the scientific community scratching their heads about whether or not it’s just solar flares, or something like that.

        Is there any credible scientific group that has evidence to to support the idea that climate change is primarily driven by the human behaviour of the last couple of centuries ?

      • @drsmithy – “But there are a hell of a lot of people on the political side taking that inherent lack of certainty and using it as a reason to do _nothing_, despite pretty much everyone with actual knowledge on the topic agreeing that’s a bad idea.” – you are absolutely correct. You could get a lot of these inactive people to take more notice if the debate is framed in terms they understand. The question is do you want to be right or do you want the situation to change? If it is the later then appeal to immediate issues that deliver the same outcome you desire by highlighting the pollution caused by burning of fossil fuels and the deleterious impacts it has to human health, the overwhelming cost to society through hospital care and the destruction it is causing to their children. Appealing to items like this achieves the outcomes we hope to achieve by getting your “loon pond” off their fat bought for arses and addressing problems that will make them look good whether a person believes in AGW or not. If you are indeed so concerned and want action to occur, then win over the morons by reframing it.

        @R2M, no, I am not in the loon pond, I keep trying and hoping to show you a middle ground where you can hold your strong views and engage with those who hold opposite and equally strong views whereby the change that is needed can occur with consensus and possibly in a timeframe to make a difference. Being right on either side of the debate will do nothing but make the situation worse. I doubt that even the most skeptic denier would object to improved air and water quality in the world through a reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Isn’t this one of the your core goals?

        ps “Is there any credible scientific group that has evidence to to support the idea that climate change is primarily driven by the human behaviour of the last couple of centuries ?”

        NASA has this on their website – this is the issue to which I point. A layperson will read this and think that all agree that man is the cause.
        “Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect” – no I am not arguing that man is not contributing to it but the claim is the “main cause”.

      • whether a person believes in AGW or not

        “Believes”? It’s not a matter of belief.
        “Climate change is not a belief system — it is a fact. This is science.” (EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy)
        “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

        I keep trying and hoping to show you a middle ground where you can hold your strong views

        But I don’t have “strong views”. I merely reflect the global scientific consensus. It is you who have weak views, uninformed views, and lazy thinking.

        I doubt that even the most skeptic denier would object to improved air and water quality in the world through a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

        LOL. Most deniers with “strong views” are either doctrinaire neoliberals who oppose any concerted global anti-AGW action for ideological reasons, or cash commentators, big polluter astroturfers, who are paid not to understand any opposing view.

        no I am not arguing that man is not contributing to it but the claim is the “main cause”.

        Main cause is CO₂ from the burning of fossil fuels, subsidiary causes are methane from warming of planet (methane is currently bubbling rapidly out of Arctic seas) and other knock-on effects.

        Specially for you, OJ, this short mp3 comment from scientist Paul Beckwith:

      • “How old is the world and how long has man been on this world?”

        John, with all due respect what does that have to do with anything? I mean we’ve never been in such large numbers or had the capacity to do as much damage as we have in the past half a century. Plus we weren’t putting CFCs up in the atmosphere for very long before they started doing significant damage to the ozone layer.

        “rather it is a healthy skepticism to those who claim we have all the answers in a very complex system.”

        I have no issue with healthy scepticism, and yes the Earth’s systems are complex, which is all the more reason to be extremely careful with them!

      • R2M excellent point. Climate change is not a political consensus. It not about “negotiating’ a better view or opinion. It’s about a dire set of scientific facts, that must be accepted and dealt with. People when they get terminal cancer will often negotiate and bargain, it is very rare that this psychological response to a factual and medical response works. Text books will be written on the social and individual basis of denialism and the terrible costs involved.

      • whether a person believes in AGW or not

        No we accept the science, just like we accept the science of electromagnetism, evolution, quantum physics, genetics, …, etc. Unlike you lot who, when presented with overwhelming evidence and a scientific consensus that conflicts with your ideology, dig your heels in and claim it’s a conspiracy. Belief is for people who think Lord Monckton is a scientist.

        This is a hard science not a soft science.

    • Yes, they can and Yes, they will. As long as we live in a Herd environment this will work for all governments around the world.
      but hey Libs are not increasing the migration, they “Stopped the Boats”. hahaha

      • Agreed, I enjoyed it (but the word “skippy” kept going through my head … this is his pet topic)

      • R2M…

        Its a widely accepted term in sociopolitical discussion which covers mainstream economics w/ an eye to Globalisation Free Trade Thingy …

        Neoliberalism (or sometimes neo-liberalism)[1] is a term which has been used by many scholars in a wide variety of social sciences[2] and critics[3] primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism beginning in the 1970s and 1980s.[4] Its advocates support extensive economic liberalisation policies such as privatisation, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States.[6] The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.[12][13][14][15][16]

        The definition and usage of the term has changed over time.[5] It was originally an economic philosophy that emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s in an attempt to trace a so-called ‘Third’ or ‘Middle Way’ between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and socialist planning.[17] The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s, which were mostly blamed on the economic policy of classical liberalism. In the decades that followed, the use of the term neoliberal tended to refer to theories at variance with the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism, and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy.

        In the 1960s, usage of the term “neoliberal” heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.[5] Once the new meaning of neoliberalism was established as a common usage among Spanish-speaking scholars, it diffused into the English-language study of political economy.[5] Scholarship on the phenomenon of neoliberalism has been growing.[18] The impact of the global 2008-09 crisis has also given rise to new scholarship that critiques neoliberalism and seeks developmental alternatives.[19] – snip

        Skip here… for a more granular historical unpacking see:

        The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective

        by Philip Mirowski (Editor), Dieter Plehwe (Editor)

        What exactly is neoliberalism, and where did it come from? This volume attempts to answer these questions by exploring neoliberalism s origins and growth as a political and economic movement.

        Although modern neoliberalism was born at the Colloque Walter Lippmann in 1938, it only came into its own with the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society, a partisan thought collective, in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1947. Its original membership was made up of transnational economists and intellectuals, including Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and Luigi Einaudi. From this small beginning, their ideas spread throughout the world, fostering, among other things, the political platforms of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and the Washington Consensus.

        “The Road from Mont Pelerin” presents the key debates and conflicts that occurred among neoliberal scholars and their political and corporate allies regarding trade unions, development economics, antitrust policies, and the influence of philanthropy. The book captures the depth and complexity of the neoliberal thought collective while examining the numerous ways that neoliberal discourse has come to shape the global economy.


        Skippy… otherwise you can go with the boomers did it, commies, socialists, hippies, or what ever other convenient bag of kittens are easily thrown from the bridge…

      • Absolution for all – those tricksy neolibbers. Amazing how no one got rich in the process…hang on…

        (maybe they had a bit of help from some happy to turn a blind eye…)

      • aj.

        Is that supposed to be an informed and articulate response…. as before… your post hoc, ergo propter hoc is not substantiated by anything but your fervent desire for it to be so… e.g. your desire to casually correlate MMillions in some grand pet conspiracy theory should not be confused with causation.

        Skippy…. reductive pin the tail on the decadal age group by virtue of voting for legacy party’s, which are in turn beholden to special interests with more money and bargaining power, makes for some epic twisted logic…. never knew you were down with Clavin…

        PS. its nutty that we agree on many things, but, your slavish desire to display, what seems like a case of abused child syndrome is just bent. Do you own it or does it own you….

      • I reckon there’s more to the story here, it’s that simple. This is not about not knowing what was going on, everyone has known about this for years. Even those in the absolute outer still watched the banking frauds (Storm et al, City Pac etc and all those in the decades before) roll out on colour TV.

        An unacknowledged deal was struck – who’s being honest about the deal?

    • The crux:

      When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was….. nothing. This is why the zombie walks.

    • Part of the reason for neoliberalisms success is the lie (which Monbiot has repeated) that Keynesianism was proved wrong during the stagflation period of the 70’s and 80’s.
      Keynesians like Tobin (who Samuelson called the greatest economist of his generation ie. better than Samuelson) were actually proved right. It the late 60’s early 70’s, before the oil shocks and fed easy money, they had already worked out an adjusted Phillips curve where inflation was a function of unemployment and lagged or entrenched inflation. Everything that happened from 1972 until today has vindicated this view. In the early 80’s inflation was brought down from an entrenched high rate, only through a dramatic increase in unemployment. And once it was reduced it stayed there, even while unemployment stayed high. This vindicated Tobin, and contradicted Friedman, who said inflation should keep falling as long as unemployment remained high (it didn’t). Likewise in the post 2008 world – Tobins Phillips curve has been spot on, high unemployment yet stable although very low inflation. Again Friedman proved wrong.
      Keynesianism didn’t fail in the 70’s and 80’s. Economics failed, and has failed ever since. Unfortunately dimwitted journalists and liberal academics always need a black and white over simplified narrative of epoch changing events where one ideology replaces another. Keynesianism figured it out in 1933 and has been correct ever since.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Keynesianism didn’t fail in the 70’s and 80’s. Economics failed, and has failed ever since. Unfortunately dimwitted journalists and liberal academics always need a black and white over simplified narrative of epoch changing events where one ideology replaces another. Keynesianism figured it out in 1933 and has been correct ever since.

        Beautifully put. Keynes nailed it (the mechanisms), same as Marx did (the observable phenomena) before him……..

        But those vested interest/uber set types they will hammer those nails back any way they can – and if it means they need to dumb down entire populations, buy out their sources of information, corrupt their administrations, or create entire parallel universe intellectual paradigms (see contemporary economics and its ‘mainstream’) and embed those into a class of functionaries, then that is what they do.

      • Corporations in America stopped investing profit back into their operations and started the whole c-suite pay orgy, then cried when they were noncompetitive with other nations, hence the ramp up in subsidy’s book ended with tax off sets… all whilst cramming down wages with the scary hyperinflation bogeyman and taxes are theft memes…

        Skippy…. really wish some understood the whole corporatist cortex injection wrt the atomatistic free market libertarianism as corporatism from an individuals purview e.g. get enough unwashed to think like a corporation from the singular point….. too bad about that bargaining power tho….

      • Cart before horse Skippy.
        Fixed asset investment commenced its long-run decline in high income countries when Volker embarked on disinflation and the inflation fetish was formalised as central policy firstly starting in New Zealand. Check the numbers on the World Bank website. Coincidence?
        What would you do if you were the CEO of a multinational selling in high income countries, where the state has a statutory mandate to maintain a weaker than otherwise economy?
        I certainly wouldn’t invest in excess capacity. If I had no ethics, I’d probably lobby the government to protect my IP, sell its artificial scarcity value to Western consumers, book my profits in Ireland, pay no tax, raid the shareholders money and buy back stock.

      • Sweeper…

        Funny I thought Volkerization was due to the political log jam created by the loon pond anti taxers whom supporters were all MPS Mc’Hitlermouseketeers due to inflation concerns wrt the military spending on the Vietnam war…

        Skippy…. It was such a roaring success in enriching the upper strata that it became defacto econnomics….

      • One must question as to how all these unfunded, excessively generous welfare systems piled up in the West with all this wanton ‘Neo-conning’ going on?

        All those adherents of Hayek and Rand apparently spending and promising excessive levels of welfare entitlements and putting future generations into debt. Laughable.

      • 8~

        You seem to forget the never ending supply of money for MIC and Corporatist bennies… how about those pallets of money in the ME… ????????

        Hell Government has nothing on the shadow sector… http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/towards-a-theory-of-shadow-money.html

        Skippy…. looking at money in a commodity sense will leave you blinkered… that’s if you don’t know better, but, are forwarding the canned fiscal conservative ideological political view, whilst playing dumb.

      • The MIC and ME are all disgusting wastes of money.

        But lets stop kidding ourselves branding all these wastrels ‘neo-conservatives’. Current Australian government case in point. They are the highest taxing and spending government in history and the left is complaining!

        The neocons and austerity (lol) narrative holds no water. The world is awash with deficit spending.

      • There is a huge difference in front loading corruption and public expenditure 8~

        Thought all the years of Bush Jr would have dispelled the fiscal conservative meme… not that economics has not changed that much in the last 50ish years anyway… save keeping wages stagnate and lowering credit underwriting as a means to keep demand propped up whilst the looting increases…

        Whilst were at it Hayek went ordoliberalism in the end so there you are…

      • So neo cons aren’t fiscal cons (I agree) but they are still apparently responsible for the (invisible) austerity according to the Age/Guardian narrative?

        And sorry if you don’t think the left are as corrupt as the conservative parties you are turning a blind eye. In Australia they are funded by a group of thugs who openly generate revenue from extortion.

        All these lables. Someone needs to call a spade a spade. Western government is a PR exercise.

        As a socially liberal, fiscal conservative – John McAfee (quoted below) is the closest I can find to someone in ‘public life’ I would bother to vote for.

        “Neither the Democratic, nor Republican parties can be trusted with our economy.

        George W. Bush’s presidency was characterized by massive spending, not only on unjust war, but also massive new farm subsidies, huge increases in education spending, and finally the disastrous Wall Street bailouts.

        The Obama administration followed suit, with its endless fiscal “stimulus” and “stabilization” spending, bloated entitlement budgets, and an ever-rising national debt ceiling.

        The failed policies of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington have lead us into a decade of economic stagnation, all the while still wasting money on endless war.”

        I watch how conservative and weak the Millennial generation is and I fret for the future.

      • 8~

        On August 2, 2015, McAfee was arrested in Henderson County, Tennessee, on charges of one count of driving under the influence and one count of possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

        Hate to be the one to tell you but… libertarianism is just one huge Bernays public PR psyopt… makes Scientology look like Sunday school level thunkit and some wonder why main stream economics is considered a religion dressed up as a pseudo science. The only gravitas it has is the money that has been backing it, see think tanks and stocked pond chairs in academia e.g. AET stopped being a serious intellectual pursuit as soon as it sold itself out to monied interests closely followed by neoclassical.

        And if you think libertarians are anti war lmmao…. Hans Hermann Hoppe was in the EU pre GFC telling elites from all sectors at private consortium’s that they should embrace their status as betters, self evident shtick. Mate all this stuff can be traced back to its roots in Judaic – Christianity through out antiquity as it extenuates. Go back and read your Locke wrt slavery.

        Skippy…. the hard core libertarian stuff on children is some sick twisted puppy thinking….



        PS. Hayek and Rand both wrote stuff and then acted differently…

        This should put Hayek in some sort of libertariam circle of hell, along with Ayn Rand, who took Medicare and Social Security payments when she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

        To quote Blue Texan at FireDogLake:

        And before any glibertarians come back with “but…but…she paid into it so there’s no hypocrisy” in comments, Rand herself wrote,

        There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.

        Adding an extra layer of crow to the deliciousness, the Ayn Rand Center for the Center for F*ck You I Got Mine Individual Rights has an article on its website right now titled, “Social Security is Immoral“.


      • McAfee also spent a time well ‘off piste’ in Belize supposedly cooking Bath Salts… I couldn’t care less.

        I love how you try and school me on how Libertarianism has been sold to me like cigarettes.

        Unlike your socialism of course… that has a great history of purity, lol.

      • Current Australian government case in point. They are the highest taxing and spending government in history and the left is complaining!

        You’re a partisan moron.

      • Partisan Moron?

        Which party am I supporting?

        It must pain you to your bones that the LNP has taxed more and spent more than the ALP.

        Of course the Greens would promise to go further …. into debt

        The abuse of ‘partisan moron- isn’t lost on me either coming from the contributer who corrects anyone misrepresenting a Greens position with handy link to their website platform

        Useful idiot

      • 8~

        I have repeatedly stated I don’t do isms or ologys, the best you can ascribe to me is democratic capitalist. BTW the libertarian no true Scotsman is not a defense, its an admission.

        What part of libertarianism being a core component of neoliberalism escapes you…. anywho…

        How Corporate Lobbyists Conquered American Democracy


        Skippy…. just Ron Paul’s close affiliation with Gary North should be a huge tell.

      • Which party am I supporting?

        None of them, I’d assume. After all, any Government is still some Government, amiright ?

        You are arguing the measure of success “the left” uses is level of taxing and spending, regardless of how or why it’s happening. Ie: that taxing and spending is the objective, so they would naturally support any high-taxing and high-spending Government, regardless of what policies that Government was actually enacting or philosophies they held.

        That makes you a partisan moron.

        It must pain you to your bones that the LNP has taxed more and spent more than the ALP.

        Jaysus. Wow. That’s not even wrong.

        Of course the Greens would promise to go further …. into debt

        Probably. But at least they’d be doing it providing things like supporting the desperate and destitute, providing healthcare and education, and creating productive and sustainable industry, rather than trying to ensure a handful of already rich people get even richer why the rest of society gets fucked.

        The abuse of ‘partisan moron- isn’t lost on me either coming from the contributer who corrects anyone misrepresenting a Greens position with handy link to their website platform

        Yes. Of course. Offering simple facts and leveraging the basic functionality the world wide web was – literally – built to provide, is “partisan”.

        (Can someone insert an image of a Patrick Stewart/Captain Picard facepalm here for me ?)

      • “It must pain you to your bones that the LNP has taxed more and spent more than the ALP.”

        Didn’t Howard cut taxes 5 times in a row?

        ““The tax cuts Howard and Costello gave are now costing [the budget] about $30 billion a year,” says John Hewson. Without those cuts and the $9 billion Hockey gave – unasked for and against the will of treasury – to the Reserve Bank, says Hewson, “the deficit problem wouldn’t exist”.

        And that’s without including some $40 billion in tax concessions for superannuation, which accrue overwhelmingly to the wealthiest 20 per cent of taxpayers.

        “You can easily add it up to show that the deficit that exists today is a fake number,” says Hewson. “They’ve basically imposed it on themselves.”

        More correctly, they imposed it on the less well-off.”


        This is in line with neoliberalism. “…the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement; governments’ refusal to recoup a decent share of revenues from minerals and land; the privatisation of public assets and the creation of a toll-booth economy; wage liberalisation and the destruction of collective bargaining.

        The policies that made the global monarchs so rich are the policies squeezing everyone else. ”


        First the rich made money by producing things, then producing thru globalisation-taking advantage of cheap labour and pocketing the profits, when that had run its course, they decided in the 80-90s the they wanted to make money by privatising state assets. They did that, and still wanted more, but what happens when you want more, but there is nothing left to privatise? You then financialise the economy. Making money out of thin air, debt pedalling and selling interest. In other words, making money but not producing anything. That too has run its course, as the GFC has shown. What will they do next?….they’ll come after your pensions/assets/deposits/super (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ), then what? Cannibalization. then what? War/genocide/cull. Then what? Circle of life…..

        Politicians are not in control, they serve the neoliberal agenda, serving the rich that is all. As it always was.

        ’twas statsailor who posted this once, i will post it again…

        If you think things have changed…
        Friend you better think again
        Bluntly put in the fewest of words..


        some background on the financialisation of the economy:

    • A nice look at our very own pack of crackpots.

      “In defence of Abbott: for the ‘delcons’, electoral victory doesn’t matter”

      There’s a split in conservative ranks between those who support Turnbull and the ‘delusional conservatives’, who yearn for Abbott’s return at any cost

      This line sums our brand of neocon loonies: “where Turnbull has even been taunted by the rightwing rank and file as a “cuckservative”, a term of derision imported – just like every recent idea the Australian right has had – from US conservative politics” Our lot can’t even create their own identity, slavishly follow someone else’s brand.


  3. I’ve been watching a 2015 German TV series this week called Deutschland 83
    It’s worth a look for anyone interested in the early 80’s escalation of the Cold war by Reagan. The series deals with the planning / deployment of the Pershing2 Nuclear missiles in West Germany. This was a very contentious move because the Pershing2’s had a maximum range of 900miles meaning that they’d be used for targets that were real close to the West German border with a very high likelihood that any radio-active fallout would blow back to West Germany. From the US perspective this deployment was seen as pivotal in the escalation of the cold-war and the eventual defeat of communism.
    This German TV series presents a much more balanced view of the situation as seen from both the West and East German perspectives. Needless to say these were dangerous times with both side highly suspicious of the others activities.
    Deutschland 83 is a spy drama dealing with the whole buildup to the November 83 Nato war games, which were mis-interpreted by the Soviets and East Germans as an escalation ahead of a preemptive Nuclear strike
    … some have even gone so far as to say there was no misinterpretation, they believe they had clear evidence of Reagans belief that a Preemptive strike was needed to put an end to Communism (and some would say Humanity).
    The series deals with the inner workings of the foreign Intel arm of the Stassi called the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA)…which was ran by the legendary Markus Wolf

    • Raygun was no neocon, he considered them insane and would not give them the time of day. Now some agree that he did rekindle the cold war, in order to stimulate the economy militarily, Star Wars et al as it would past through both houses and public better. This also put huge pressure on the USSR economy given its monetary system, usher in Gorbie [late stage alcoholic], Afghanistan and Chechen freedom proxy fighters and boom…. move in Chicago boys w/ Rubinomics…. nationalist and ex security sorts take exception and send the Friedman posse back home…

      Now their defensive weapons systems are unmatched – oops….

      Waves at Kodiak….

      drsmithy… spitting distance…

      http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2016/04/asx-at-the-close-658/#comment-2579884 – enjoy

      Skippy…. first match of the season against metwest team from kids shave sooner than most AO tomorrow… woot – !!!!

    • drsmithyMEMBER


      Several mates have recommended this series to me as well. I haven’t watched it yet, but I do have it downloaded and ready to go.

  4. Thanks, Gunna. Any reason why you think Geelong is going to be ground zero? Couldn’t see the subtext in the article other than Target is bailing on Geelong for unspecified past mismanagement.

    • Closure of Ford and all related small businesses of which there are/were many in North Geelong.

      The decision by Targét is proof that there is no commitment to decentralized business and regional employment. What good can really come of relocating to Melbourne’s Western suburbs? It’s a head office, not a distribution centre.

      If you want a truly cynical perspective I’d say they are keen to develop the land for housing. The former North Geelong golf course is presently being re-developed and Target backs onto it.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Re – why I think Geelong will be ground zero

      …Alcoa left about 4-5 months ago
      ….Ford leaves in less than 6 months
      …..Target is essentially going
      ….the refinery remains under sufferance

      Geelong has a local council which is completely dysfunctional. I am not a great fan of the Andrews state government but they have the Geelong council right. Lyons may be a bully, but he sure isnt alone in the environs of town hall – either amongst the elected councillors or the executive levels of staff.

      The Council is one of the largest employers in Geelong, and beyond them there is Barwon water and the hospital sector (Barwon Health in its many guises, St John of God in its many guises) and the aged care sector (in its many guises) and Deakin University – all ultimately dependent on the taxpayer.

      A cruise around the CBD will reveal more dead shops than you can poke a stick at, after you get past discount carpet traders, payday loan or second hand goods joints, or cafes and restaurants (do a search of business for sale around Geelong and it gets pretty freaky) which are essentially being used to write off tax in some way because there isnt a hope in hell they are turning over a buck. When I ask about why this would be happening I am reliably informed (from within one of the larger accounting firms in town) that the major buyer of all small businesses around town is the migrant set seeking a visa rather than an ongoing business seeking investor, and presumably the owners of empty shops are pulling some form of tax lurk.

      The RE market is holding up OK (asking prices are rising I am reliably told) but that market is being driven by ‘refugees’ (as one RE agent I know calls them) from Melbourne who have either cashed out or who have given up on living in Melbourne – and can hack the train ride for work or work from home. That in itself is probably not a problem, but the form it takes most overtly (Geelong West being a prime example) is aged people cashing out of Melbourne and buying abodes which sucks once vibrant neighborhoods of life, and does little to help attract those wanting to invest in something productive. Kids leave knowing there isnt anything for them to warrant staying by way of career or life opportunities, many of the older set (once they realise they may not be as well off as they thought) arent likely to be significant spenders. And governments are IMO likely to become more and more parsimonious on those whom Geelong is attracting.

      My thoughts weave somewhere around all that…..

      • Geez, that sounds so depressing. Why is it that Oz seems to be turning into a nightmare these days? Rising land costs are sucking the productive economy dry and leaving an empty hollow shell, while all the wealth gets hoovered up by those past their prime..

      • I was playing with the idea of doing something rural past there. Great beaches, no smog, less people pressure………being a refugee from Melbourne has its attractions

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        If you have work and arent concerned about the future of kids (or have other workarounds sorted for them) and/or can hack the travel to Melbourne then it is an eminently reasonable place to live. Anywhere near the coast will be more expensive than places away from the coast but for those who can you can buy a 4 bedder on 2000 square meters at Bannockburn for as little as 460K http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-bannockburn-121923766 (though I am not sure living in Bannockburn would suit everyone)

        There are upsides – indeed as someone who lives closer to the centre of Geelong I often think there is more life in places like Waurn Ponds (proletarian), or Bell Park (unpretentious) or Highton (babyboomer entitlee heaven) than there is in the centre of town. There are only 2 cinemas in town (I have actually been thinking of trying to set up some sort of art house cinema location myself) and culture (away from the GPAC – which has a decent serving) can be fairly bland.

        Outside town the places closet to transport to Melbourne are fairly expensive – Torquay, Jan Juc, Ocean Grove Clifton Springs/Drysdale are all essentially suburbs by the coast, nothing to distinguish but nothing to sneer at – good if you like outdoors and coast

      • Thanks for your thoughts Gunna, I am under the pump at the moment but I hope to have a look shortly….

  5. If the trend of monthly average temperature spikes continues a new argument for legalising drugs could be put forth: we’re f$#ked so let’s get f%$ked.

    • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! Although I have no kids, and generally dislike people, I do feel bad about the mess we’ll be leaving future generations..

      • haroldusMEMBER

        I have one kid and also generally dislike people (feeling’s mutual i would guess) but also despair at the planet.
        paging dr malthus. i have a suspicion religion may lay at the heart of many of our problems.

    • I do fear what the younger generations will make of this. Hopelessness and despair, or rise to the huge challenge? 😮


        I’m hoping it totally p*sses them off and so it should. Most are way too accepting of the status quo and I sense that it all it would take for a rebellion / revolutions is one big verifiable event to expose the deceit.
        Like this:
        Life mag 2 page ad from 1962-
        “This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries,” the ad begins without a trace of irony. “Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies — if converted into heat — could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second!”


      • We’re already being screwed financially, why not leave us with a planet exhausted of all it’s resources and lacking in fresh water and clean food? We deserve it after all.

        On a serious note I really wish my generation wasn’t so apathetic.

      • Gavin…

        OCD hoarders of tissue paper and other odds and ends are scorned by many…. whilst other OCD hoarders are worshiped as supreme human beings….

  6. Maybe Mal is being underestimated with the buy a regional dogbox, get a Shinkansen for free idea.
    Google company Sidewalk is thinking similarly.
    Google are contemplating building their own techno city:


    “One potential revenue source for this type of district, the publication notes (a report by The Information), would come from appreciating real estate revenues. This is a popular idea in urban development circles. Certain projects — like a transit hub or, in this case, self-driving cars — theoretically DRIVE UP FUTURE LAND VALUES, and the developers reap income from that.”
    This is only speculation from recode.

    Sidewalk, owned by Alphabet says on their website:

    Challenge – “High cost of living occurs when housing demand outpaces developed land and infrastructure. ”
    Opportunity- “Modern affordable housing is enabled by performance-based code, advanced materials, and new ownership models.”

    All a bit vague, and maybe a little contradictory? Who knows, no one is talking.

    • For all the free publicity Google gets, the only way it makes money is spruiking ads to people. Nothing particularly innovative about that.
      Imagine living in a Google city, no thanks.

      • Yep and spending some of that money on “moonshots”, thus gaining more publicity. They even call them moonshot projects at Google. Speculative projects that are unlikely to ever produce anything useful.

      • Say what you want about Google, but I know a lot of Googlers are priced out of housing in SFO and the problem seems unrelenting. It seems fitting they would look at ways to solve this problem of housing affordability. SFO has a lot of problems with land tax and restriction on land use.

      • Probably amongst the single most ignorant thing I have ever read.

        Here is just a fraction of what they offer.

        EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE IS A REVENUE STREAM – NOT INCLUDING ADS. Most are considered free or do not have a revenue stream because people are unaware of how MASSIVE Google is in the paid business market. For example APPS, mail, documents and even maps are free for limited use, but people do not realise that you must pay for large volumes or business accounts.

        None of these include their paid development work, consulting etc.

        Google is the number one mapping application – since Apple couldn’t even do it.

        Android has 87% market share of all smart phones.




        Chrome the number one browser.

        Google Cloud services are the number one service (yes, bigger than Amazon).

        Google Documents is the number one service.

        Google Big Data the number one back bone service.

        Google API’s are the number one service.

        Google Translate has 180 languages with native accents with direct real time translation via voice – Apple – 20

        Google Play largest store


        Chromebook fastest growing notepad


        Google Fibre – largest fibre network in US




        Photos / Drive – by far the best image organisational tool there is



        News stand




        There are several hundred more free services as well.

      • @V – I know this debate well, if Google moved to Detroit what do you think would happen? A land boom in Detroit and within a couple of years rents would skyrocket, land values soar and foreign investment into construction etc.. Basically you would be shifting the problem from 1 state to another. To what end? In the beginning it would lower costs for hiring people because you wouldn’t have to pay them as much for living costs in the area, but pretty soon it would increase and so for all the effort of moving you would have a couple of years of lower costs but end up right back where you started.

        Plenty of examples where Google has opened an office in another location and property prices around it have increased. If you look in Dublin the property market tanked, but property in and around Google, Twitter, Facebook etc.. Down by the Docklands in Dublin didn’t really feel that much pain. In fact values have probably gone higher in those areas.

        So what is the solution? (Genuinely asking) ? Because I don’t know…

      • David,

        And for all of the those services, sure they bring in some revenue, but what about the expense side? Youtube, mapping etc will be costly as hell to maintain.
        89% of Googles revenue comes from advertising. All of those ‘free’ services you have listed exist because of the ad revenue.

  7. Any comments on Brexit?

    It appears overblown to me and represents an interesting trade opportunity for those bearish the AUD

    The big banks are suggesting 15%-20% down downside for the FTSE and Cable if Brexit occurs.

    GBPAUD is already down over 15% from highs – I don’t believe the Brexit will actually occur (bookies saying ~35% chance) so want to open trade soon – my intention is to leg 1% into a call spread and double or triple the size if Brexit actually occurs and it goes against me short term.

    You can pick up 3-1 odds on a move back towards GBPAUD 2.10 over 9-12 months depending on your trade tenor

    I truly find it difficult to believe that exiting the EU will have a major negative effect on UK trade and further that this AUD rally against everything is remotely sustainable over a 12mth period.

    • “I truly find it difficult to believe that exiting the EU will have a major negative effect on UK trade”
      Short term – will have some negative effect. I think UK will have to negotiate lot of independent free trade agreements and there will be some payback from some EU countries.

      • Payback from the banks and an attempt to dissuade the others from those with massive vested interests in seeing the money roll on in the the EU

    • G’day 5 x 8

      Re the Brexit this bloke will be worth reading as one of your inputs. He was spot on with the elections as he has been re REetc in the UK. Quick summmary – he doesn’t like the money printing but that’s what the idiots are doing and going to continue to do – realism!
      IUt is another site that collects articles from other places but when he, Nadeem Walayat, writes one himself it is worth a read.

      The brainiac in my family has a model of currencies that includes all sorts of stuff like political decision making, CB idiocy etc etc etc. The idea being to try to get away from one’s own biases – assuming he doesn’t build them into the model. That said he is a very rational type. The model gets it right 56% of the time. Time to keep feeding data is his big problem now. It was just a hobby type thing. My point is that for all his work he gets 56% – objectively!

      I’ll probably quit MB for a while in the next day or two. So maybe cheerio – do your best not to let it get more insane than it sometimes is!!! 🙂

      • haroldusMEMBER

        the ad that came up was “with the new commbank property app, you can check your market position……..etc”

        well, i had to laugh.

        otherwise ya cry.

        and if ya cry ya die

    • “what with Murdoch’s bog roll and the increasingly cartoonish Fairfax, the Guardian is filling an intelligent MSM void in Australia………”

      It is a shame that there is such a void of reporting for people who only wish to be treated like adults. We need The Australian, ABC, Fairax, Nine and others to all be providing strong and thoughtful pieces, yet they are rare.
      It is the same politically, we need Liberal, Labor, Greens and the Nationals to be intelligent, challenging us and each other, but it is just a void. We are all poorer because of this.

      • ……and it is into this void step the spittle-flecked incompetents.
        ‘Methane’ Morrison springs immediately to mind.

    • Again – 60% of the population does not focus on facts – they only listen and respond to slogans.
      “We stand for less Tax and Labour wants to raise your taxes”. That’l do. We have a winner – in the blue corner.

  8. Another misstep my Turdball? The asianisation of Australia is a sore point with many in voter land.

    “Malcolm Turnbull’s election pitch stamped ‘Made in China'”

    Why? Because Australia’s economic “transition” is going to be central to the election campaign. And China is the source of that transition.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbulls-election-pitch-stamped-made-in-china-20160415-go7jt3.html#ixzz45xjvOyq1

    While we’re at it, Lenore Taylor sums up nicley the chasm between retoric and reality being spun in the tax and budget debate by Morrison and co.

    “Pesky facts are spoiling Scott Morrison’s economic story”

    The trouble with the treasurer’s election narrative, in which spending is the only villain and tax cuts the hero, is the evidence isn’t following the script


    • just remember that about 60% of the population does not read. They only listen what politicians say. Hence all Libs are still saying they are not going to raise taxes – only take some revenue measures. And the herd will just nod and blindly go and try to swim across the river full of crocks.

      • What % of that 60% group of non readers actually pay any taxes in Australia?

        SFA I would summise.

        The ‘aspirationals’ are an interesting bunch of voters.

    • “The trouble with the treasurer’s election narrative, in which spending is the only villain and tax cuts the hero, is the evidence isn’t following the script”

      For political and deeply petty reasons I’d love to see the Coalition in power when the next recession hits. Skippy is probably right though, they would use a recession as an excuse to roll out crippling austerity and cuts taxs. Their two dimensional economic world view would probably make any recession or depression much worse.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Need more pieces from Lenore Taylor …..good girl…………keep those pesky inconvenient good questioning journalistic pieces comming ……..lord knows we need it …what with real estate stories ,Rugby league sex scandals and the price of groceries at Aldi we kind of forget what might actually be important to the well being of the people ………
      ………………….right !………..now let’s reduce company tax on companies that spend a huge amount of their business expenses budget on finding ways to reduce tax (expenses that in themselves reduce their tax payable )so that they already pay minimal amounts versus the PAYG wage slaves …………Really …..inconvenient ……indeed ………

  9. Hmm, for once I can’t access the age in Beijing. (Vpn isn’t working at the moment). It usually loads really quickly.

      • Hehe, without a doubt! I just wasn’t going to put that in writing. I’m a good laowai, I’ve internalised the self-censorship lessons very well 😉

        It’s up and running and finally back to it’s usual speed.

  10. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “In Vancouver, there are lots of kids of corrupt Chinese officials,” said Shi Yi, 27, the owner of Luxury Motor, a car dealership that caters to affluent Chinese. “Here, they can flaunt their money.”…………and in Australia no doubt ………….I am all in favour of working very closely with the CCP to get these thieves back for what they deserve …….the party that does that will win any election in Australia at any time by a landslide …………http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/world/americas/canada-vancouver-chinese-immigrant-wealth.html?WT.mc_id=D-NYT-MKTG-MOD-31506-0416-PH&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_c=

    • I was actually thinking of writing to Clive about this last week. He is an idiot but he is an idiot that wants to survive and he also knows he is not going to the way things stand. So I think we have someone that can take this up for us. All the independents will support it.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Go for it Nikola ……….nothing to loose ……..poor old Clive is toast …….but utterances from his mouth will get press as he sinks beneath the weight of his own distorted image ….

  11. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Ok …… A Sydney real estate whinge ………went to a North Shore Auction today for a property I was kind of interested in …………went for $195 k over asking price quoted …..and asking price quoted was about $500k over what such a property in old casual suburban Aussie would have fetched in days of yore …… 2 Chinese bidders upping each other to the end ……..the successful bidders ….young couple with kids about early thirties ……….a lot of local Aussie Chinese there and some
    More recent Chinese immigrants …………..all rolling their eyes and muttering ……stupid ….over paid …..stupid …….crass ….look at me I’m rich ……stupid ………..
    ………………………………onya straya ……….Vancouver here we come ………….

      • Hoocoodanode? Dearohbloodydear! The short termism in economic decision making is just horrific – from academis through to RBA and Treasury. Unfortunately the quoted experts from other lands, academic and CB’s, are even more myopic!

  12. GunnamattaMEMBER

    More questions being asked about Chinese buyers of apartments being able to settle with the increased stringency on getting money out of China

    From the Rupertarian……….

    White knuckles on China’s property ride


    “The question that remains is what percentage of foreign money relies on local bank debt in Australia to get their sales across the line, and that’s a very good question that no one has really been able to answer,” CLSA property and building materials analyst Andrew Johnston tells Inquirer.

    “We’ve had a white-knuckled ride, but it’s only in the last year we’ve seen issues coming up through the cracks.”

    A veteran of the sector, Johnston is known for healthy scepticism over the prospects of some of the country’s largest developers, which are reliant on apartment sales to drive the bulk of earnings.

      • I read an article that said McGrath share price was tumbling due to the volatile property market in Sydney. LOL Volatile.. I thought property only went up? How can that be volatile?

  13. Uber have bid for 800 of the 9,634 car license quotas released in Singapore for May to July.

    These are worth around $50,000 each. Down from well over $80,000 three years ago. Cars are being deregistered faster than forecast.

    Uber owns a car hire business that supplies the drivers.

    Uber fees discounted by another 15% this month.

    Expats no longer given fat packages and probably realising Uber is a better option than buying a Camry for $130,000 on a small island.

    The government went easy on Uber aiming at reducing congestion. Sounds like it is working.



    • Sad about the price fixing tho… hiving off risk to drivers… whilst attempting to become a hedge fund run out of some tax haven….

  14. Good to see DLS on tonight’s ABC news with his opinion piece on McGrath woes!!!!!

  15. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Comment on this weeks art ….
    ………Brachina Gorge ……been there ……truely impressive ……..mountains of granite on their sides ……….and what the impermanence and value of Real Estate ?

  16. haroldusMEMBER

    An anecdote apropos of nothing as the comments seem a little quiet. Warning – pretty boring so don’t get involved if you don’t like gardening outrage stories.

    Last week I cracked it and finally tidied up my unit balcony (after nearly 20 years) and have been on an OCD crusade of setting up the balcony garden.

    Pulled all of the soil out of the existing pots shaking out the grass roots (were pretty much all root bound apart from the waterlogged ones), bought some more potting mix (Bunnings) and planted green manure (for the anaerobic ones seeds from Bunnings), carrots, 2 lots of flowers (marigold and butterfly mix – the 4yo would not listen to rational explanations about self sufficiency), and beans (Bunnings).

    All have come up except the carrots so i might have fucked up there. If they do not come up will put in more green manure in prep for spring.

    Last week I had been an almost keen consumer of Bunnings’ products.

    Also emptied out the dried-solid worm farm (am guilty of just a little neglect – came out in a solid block into the garbage bag – what was in that dust I breathed???) in preparation for the 5th floor market garden.

    But that’s not the point of the story. This arvo I went to Bunnings with my OCD list, reprinted below, the point being I wanted to get a lot from the Mascot store (Corner Bourke Road & Gardeners Road); but when I went in the plant section looked pretty grim so the 4yo went in the play space while daddy went checking stuff out. after reaching my limit of soul-shrinkage in that store i masochistically decided to try Alexandria Bunnings (8-40 Euston Road) in case they had better plants. the bribe to the 4yo was the play space there.

    BUT when we were leaving my missus got bag searched!!! I know I might look pretty dodgy but my missus doesn’t. She looks a bit nerdy if anything (sorry missus).

    So fuck you Bunnings. I am ashamed I went to you in the first place considering your destruction of small local businesses. Even if I pay more I’ll be going to whatever local nurseries I can find (good luck in the inner west haroldus).

    If only there was a Masters I could go to in revenge.

    But seriously if anyone knows anywhere in the inner west to get pot compost let me know.

    ***Later – hypocritically have been on Amazon ordering as much from that list as I can. The problem is where can I get that shit in Australia at not double the price? Hate myself hate Bunnings.

    Haroldus’ Bunnings Shopping list
    seaweed extract
    seed planting mix
    mini greenhouse
    ph meter
    moisture meter
    scrub brush

    • “But seriously if anyone knows anywhere in the inner west to get pot compost let me know”

      Flower Power Enfield….. still family owned (but thats another story)!!!!

      • thanks i’ll check it out. have to work out how to fit it in to the gardening trek

        guess these places are all ripe for development

        and driving on the weekend in the inner west is no fuckin fun.

    • Check out the Security Centre of any of the Big Box stores if you get the opportunity. They are like the deck of the Enterprise. Most of the surveillance isn’t done by bods endlessly watching screens, it’s done automatically; programmed to watch you from the second you park your car. If you’ve wittily written something as innocent as “That dress I got at K-Mart was an absolute seal!” on your Facebook page, the Bunnings cameras will be watching you like a hawk….

    • Idea# 54632 to find budget savings:

      Do a find for “Life Gold Pass” and replace with “you get nothing” on all documents relating to politcal retirement perks.

    • No tax payer funded from here? Just a $200k pa pension. I’d love to know who the 31 people were who voted for her? Obviously 31 people she has assisted in some way in the past.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Nearly $5k a week for the rest of her days after a 22 year career of achieving exactly nothing. That’s welfare.

      Re the vote, Abbott’s henchmen had to vote for St Mal’s man to kick the filth out. Such an interesting world for the faceless men. Once Tones takes over the reins again after the election that new bloke will be gone before he gets the chance to stand again.

    • Bio on Choppers replacement Julian Lesser, another one of these “free market, small Government” advocates who’s never held a real job.

      Julian Leeser has been Director, Government Policy and Strategy at Australian Catholic University since 2012. He has a background in law, government and public policy. He is responsible for the university’s public policy and government relations strategy. He has also taught the Core Curriculum since 2013. In his role he has also inaugurated the Interfaith Parliamentary Prayer Breakfasts in the NSW and Federal Parliaments.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        You have to realise that these folk just know how to do things. Check this quote from Madame Kerosene.

        “History showed me that the world had two groups of people: firstly, it had those who were part of the decision-making process and actually had some say in the direction that the nation in which they lived took. The second group of people were those who had decisions made for them.”

        History shows she never did anything except vote how she was told. Truly one of our greatest welfare fraudsters.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Careful there flawse, the Bronniecopter failed law three times. That lack of a law degree didn’t really help us there.

        Although, she did play a barrister on the telly…

      • When I read your comment I immediately think of THE chopper… Not the helmut monstrosity.

    • The party got rid of her because Dick Smith said he’d run against her if they didn’t.

      I hope he still stands.

  17. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/16/hillary-clinton-protest-george-clooney-fundraiser-bernie-sanders

    A 64-year-old woman, who said she lived a few buildings down, came out to see Clinton. She was shocked to find a protest: “All these young people like Bernie? He’s a grumpy old man. You see him in debates, and he’s so tetchy. I don’t understand.”

    So typical of baby boomers everywhere..

    Many of the protesters had only moved to town recently, but several said that even in that time they had seen the city change. Mark Noviski carried a sign that read: “Let them eat $8 toast! Hillarie Clintoinette is out of touch!!!”

    “A couple years ago, a restaurant serving $4 toast caused a protest about gentrification,” said the 26-year-old. “And I’ve seen that toast get more and more expensive ever since.”

    Why aren’t our millennials protesting on the streets about high house prices?

    PS: If you don’t get the Google Bus reference, see the following



      • Home? What’s that? He is probably living in a closet.

        The protest wasn’t against $4 toast..It was against gentrification.

    • “Why aren’t our millennials protesting on the streets about high house prices?”

      Agree fully. Nothing will be done about housing affordability until those affected start complaining. Loudly.

  18. GunnamattaMEMBER

    July 2 – here we come……..

    and part of me is thinking it is going to be close – because I think the Torynuffs have coqued things up a lot. Of course two/three good policy positions (Negative Gearing, Bank Royal Commission in particular) has me flirting with the ALParatchik crowd, but I know that somewhere they will be carrying some policy turds too.

    Early election firms as Turnbull government loses hope on ABCC bill


    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Going into a double dissolution on 50/50 Newspoll requires a lot of courage. If MT lose the election, will the loon pond elect Abbott again as leader?

    • The LNP is one big IPA policy turd – I would vote for ANYONE ahead of that bunch of idealogically corrupt loons. They reflect everything that is wrong with right wing governments and have done their best to undermine everything that made Australia fair and egalitarian. Time they were GONE!!!

      • I’m going the full Dudley and putting Libs first. Not that it would matter in my electorate. I just don’t believe that any meaningful change can come about prior to a visible social catastrophe. I don’t want that catastrophe, I just believe that it is inevitable, and I want the Libs to wear it when it happens. Hopefully Abbott will have his captain’s cap back on when it comes.

  19. TailorTrashMEMBER

    In response to pfh007 …..on auction clearances

    “there are signs that they may be losing their nerve and are edging slowly backwards away from the crime scene.”………………………perhaps those guys at APRA and RBA are starting to have sleepless nights …….and unreported auctions seems higher this week ……..maybe the guys at McGrath are too busy out looking for other jobs ………

    • “perhaps those guys at APRA and RBA are starting to have sleepless nights”

      Why would they? They will still gt paid handsomely. Everything will be cheaper for them. Remember they knowingly and wilfully created this mess! What would happen was as clear as the nose on your face – yet they still chose the path they have. Why?
      If it was not ther choice whose was it? The US FED and its associated Banks? Our own economic ‘Star Chamber’? Or both of these in tandem?

  20. Auction clearances for Melbourne:

    Total Scheduled Auctions

    Clearance Rate*
    Sold prior to auction: 83 Passed in: 207 Sold at auction: 465 Withdrawn: 12 Sold after auction: 7

    Actual clearance rate :


  21. GunnamattaMEMBER

    a new export earner for us – a base for slave based hot desked, visa defrauding

    ‘Slave houses’ hiding in inner-city Brisbane


    Two modern-day slave houses, staffed by foreign workers forced to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with no pay.

    Behind the surprisingly elegant walls of these inner Brisbane minimansions more than 50 Taiwanese nationals were working the phones non-stop in a scam aiming to defraud as many Chinese as possible, police alleged.

    They were forced to shower at the same time, controlled in everything they did and told it was “impossible” to leave the million-dollar homes in Morningside and South Brisbane, one of the alleged victims told police.

  22. http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/why-you-should-buy-one-more-coffee/news-story/feb18ea8c78908010ac8f652ef151bd6

    I think this one was written just for Flawse – I had to read it 3 times to check if it was cross posted from The Onion. Anyway it is official, selling each other cups of coffe will save the economy.

    Combined with Kisten Craze article on “Stop whinging and enjoy high house prices”, its been a good weekend.


    Get out there people and get rich!


      • Well I wish! If I could survive in Sydney by hanging out at coffee shops I would be all over it! I only wish I could have worked out the technique 30 years ago!!

    • Thanks DM! I’m afraid my brain has been just plain overwhelmed by the lunacy that appears all over our MSM. Why are these people allowed to write this trash? Uh oh! They’re told to i guess! I wish there was another country i could run to – there ain’t! Maybe i’ll just become a permanent traveller!

  23. 30 years ago we had to have a Tokyo Earthquake contingency plan – basically, buy every US$ you could get your hands on and sort the rest out later. Of course, Japan had huge unemployed reserves to fix Tokyo then (NB: a Big One is way past due). Today? Those reserves are fundamentally gone. What is The Plan when Tokyo gets hit now, because if Tokyo/Japan goes, I reckon….that’s it for all of us? And as a reminder, today we get another one…..
    “Magnitude-7.8 earthquake hits Ecuador”

  24. I hope the rich read the article about taxes rising on them during wartime.
    We’ll never have another war.

  25. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Kelly O’Dwyer , Assistant treasurer of Australia ……..brought to you by NAB .( her former employer ) ……..nudge …nudge …wink …wink …….say no more …….is it any wonder there is no enforcement of the law on the findings of her inquiry …….she is a paid insider stooge ……….if she does not go the same way as Bronnie ……then forget it Australia …….get angry people ….get very angry ………..Bill …..get on to this …….its begs a response …….we are waiting ……!

    Along with Mr Morrison, she has rejected Labor’s call for a banks royal commission, which could be potentially damaging to major players in the financial industry.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fundraiser-for-assistant-treasurer-kelly-odwyer-to-be-sponsored-by-nab-amid-banking-firestorm-20160415-go7c4y.html#ixzz464LaPCqh
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  26. GunnamattaMEMBER

    The non Domain crowd at Fairfax have it in for Turnbull I reckon, but I think the sentiment is gaining traction – and they have that right……

    Australians are slowly but surely coming around to the idea that the Messiah of 6 months ago is a dud.

    We asked voters what they thought of Malcolm Turnbull and the results aren’t pretty