Greens confirm housing bubble, nail banking reforms

The Greens are are offering an excellent reform package for banking and finance. Here it is:

Banking is not what it used to be. In the digital and deregulated age, it has become bigger, faster and omnipresent. Money can be moved almost anywhere and at any time of any day. Compulsory superannuation has given everyone a stake in the market. Financial advice has become a mainstream service.

The new world of banking offers a range of opportunities to consumers. But it also presents new problems. The global financial crisis (GFC) demonstrated how incredibly complicated and interwoven markets have become, and the scale of the problems that this can cause. The Greens recognise that banks provide an essential service. But they have also become too powerful and too greedy.


The Australian financial sector has been riddled with scandals over recent years. Misconduct has been uncovered at the financial advice arms of the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Macquarie. ANZ and Westpac have been charged with rigging interest rates. The Commonwealth Bank is alleged to have fraudulently denied life insurance claims. And the full horror of the collapse of forestry investment schemes has implicated ANZ and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

These scandals have been uncovered thanks to the bravery of whistle-blowers, the determination of investigative journalists, and the work of senate inquiries. But there is much more that needs to be explored, including the collapse of forestry managed investment schemes which is grounds alone for a Royal Commission based on scale of loss.

A Royal Commission with all of its resources and coercive powers is needed to uncover the full extent of misconduct in banking and insurance. A Royal Commission would be able to examine the structural issues that unpin this behaviour. A Royal Commission would give victims of white-collar crime a platform for their story to be heard in full. Royal Commissions have been used to examine financial scandals in the past, most recently after the collapse of HIH Insurance. A Royal Commission would cost $53 million. This is a good investment and it is what is needed to get to the heart of the problem.


At the heart the modern financial system is the ‘vertically integrated’ business model. Investment products are now being offered alongside conventional deposit and loan services. This has created conflicts of interest between what is good for a customer and what is good for a bank. Consumers have been sold risky and convoluted financial products that they cannot be expected to make informed decisions about. Ordinary people have lost money after being advised against their best interest.

The Greens would use a Royal Commission to fully examine the problems associated with the ‘vertically integrated’ model. This would include looking at ‘breaking up the banks’ to separate retail banking from financial advice and investment banking.


Australia also has one of the most concentrated banking sectors in the developed world. The ‘big-four’ hold nearly 80% of the loans market.  The Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank and Westpac are all too-big-too-fail.

The problem of too-big-too-fail became acute at the height of the GFC. To safeguard against a run on the banks, the government introduced a deposit guarantee. This guarantee remains in place, but the major parties have abandoned a plan to apply a levy for the privilege.

The big banks also benefit from the market’s expectation that the government will bail them out. The Reserve Bank estimates that the market advantage of being too-big-to-fail is worth between 20 and 40 basis points on the cost of credit.

So the government covers the big banks’ risks but they don’t have to pay a cent. This creates moral hazard and leaves the public exposed to private losses. The Greens would apply a tax deductable levy of 0.20% on the asset base of institutions worth greater than $100 billion. This measure would raise nearly $15 billion over the forward estimates. The rate of the levy is equal to the lower bound of the RBA’s estimate of the value of an implicit government guarantee. It is also the value suggested by the IMF based on the average benefit of implicit guarantees throughout the G20.


The recent spate of financial scandals indicates that current penalties for misconduct are not sufficient to deter bad behaviour. Many companies seem to be factoring in the relatively small fines as the cost of doing business.

The Greens would increase the level of penalties that can be applied to make them commensurate with those applied in other advanced economies. For criminal offences, this would be the greater of $5 million or 3 times the benefit gained.

For civil and administrative offences, this would be the greater of $1 million, or 3 times the benefit gained. The Greens would also increase the range of administrative penalties available to regulators so that they are more easily able to penalise those who have done wrong. This would include making ‘on the spot fines’ available for smaller offences. These would require a lower burden of proof and would help regulators avoid costly and protracted court cases.

Finally, The Greens would make it easier for regulators to pursue recovery of ill-gotten gains. Currently, ASIC and other regulators need to engage prosecutors to pursue the proceeds of crime. In combination with the increased level and range of penalties, this will provide real deterrence and force financial institutions to improve their culture.


In the previous parliament, the Greens negotiated with Labor to pass new laws to enshrine legal protections for public servants and contractors that expose wrongdoing in the public service. It is time to extend these protections to private sector workers.

But offering legal protections is not always enough for people to risk their financial security, job security and mental health. It is time to follow the lead of US and provide rewards for whistleblowers that expose misconduct that enables authorities to reclaim money. The US False Claims Act offers whistle-blowers a defined proportion of reclaimed money that is found to be wrongfully gained.


Banks and other lenders continue to charge fees and interest rates that do not reflect the cost of the service and are not made clear to consumers. These charges disproportionately impact upon the young and poor.

Principal among exorbitant fees are those charged to use ATM machines. It should not cost consumers $2.50 to access their money. In line with recent changes to credit card fees, The Greens would make it illegal to charge excessive ATM fees.

Payday lenders business model involves enticing vulnerable consumers into a debt trap. The Greens would cap establishment fees at 10% for loans less than $2,000, and cap monthly repayment fees at 2%. These are the levels originally proposed by Labor when they were last in government.

The Greens would also reinstate the time limit on banks holding unclaimed monies in dormant bank accounts to three-years. The government extended the period before a bank has to hand over money to seven-years. This means consumers have to wait another four years to retrieve ‘forgotten’ money with the help of a publicly searchable database.

Finally, The Greens would introduce a system of full account portability. The digital age makes ‘identity transfer’ relatively easy. People can carry mobile phone numbers from one provider to another. The same option should be available to consumers in banking. The Greens would require the adoption of a common data system to make it easier to change banks.


Australia is in the midst of a housing bubble that is being fuelled by speculators. However, investment property is not treated as a financial product. This has allowed dodgy developers to entice people into projects that have not gotten off the ground. It also allows ‘property investment providers’ to provide financial advice that they are not qualified to provide and for commissions to be passed on to mortgage brokers. This is exacerbating the level of speculation in the market. The Greens would include loans for investor properties within regulatory framework for financial advice to provide consumers the full range of protections.

The Greens would also prohibit superannuation funds from direct borrowing to invest in housing. The Financial System Inquiry warned that continued growth in borrowing for housing by superannuation funds could pose a risk to the financial system. However, the recommendation to limit borrowing by superannuation funds was ignored by government.


Australia does not have a truly independent dispute resolution body to help consumers reach agreement with banks and financial advisors outside of the courts. The Financial Ombudsman Service is the main dispute resolution body for banks and financial advisors. However, it is a membership organisation and its members are banks and financial advisors. In recent years, issues have arisen with the Ombudsman’s ability to address consumer concerns as a result of funding constraints.

The Greens would establish an independently constituted Ombudsman as a government regulatory body. The Ombudsman would continue to be funded by the banks and financial advisors by way of a levy based on market size. However, the government would approve the target budget for the Ombudsman on the basis of consumer need.

Excellent proposals. However, the Greens have a problem. These are actually all liberal ‘market integrity’ reforms that are more in keeping with capitalism than is the extant oligopoly and its many faux-libertarian defenders.

But, owing to the language and unclear philosophical underpinnings of the policies, they ring like a rampant Communist agenda and will be dismissed as such.

The Greens need to fully transition their narrative from its old school regulatory roots to a vision for a liberal system that actually lives up to what it supposed to be: capitalism with competition not concentration; no public supports for rent-seekers, or appropriate Piguvian taxes if they must exist; regulation where there is market failure, externalities fully costed. They can embrace this along with notions of limits to growth, decarbonaistion and economic transformation.

That is where they will find mainstream legitimacy for what are a batch of ideas that are already largely there.


Houses and Holes


  1. “Compulsory superannuation has given everyone a stake in the market” finally!!! Someone said it

    • this way every slave at the bottom of the trickle-down system has not only interest but obligation to prop the market up so that rich get richer and poor stay poor.

      we are all in this together while rich get something out as well

    • and in most cases their stake in the market gets far more say in shaping their lives than they do!

      and in the background is some really good guitar work and Dave Gilmour singing “There’s no way out of here”

    • Everyone is a inadvertent gambler by having a stake in the stock market now, in the US too, thanks to the 401k system. Everyone is running with the pack, like rats all heading in one direction, to the slaughterhouse, because any really big financial collapse like the GFC (Great Recession) but bigger, and from which we do not bounce back —which I see as inevitable in time— will mean total destruction of the retirement dreams for all concerned. I’d much rather see all that money diversified into precious metals, real estate (where required deposits are much higher), fine art etc.

      • R2M…

        Disagree on PM’s they crash just as hard or more in bad times, problematic wrt to trade too, usually for less than price i.e. counter party’s understand the duress and cram down seller and hoard until price goes back up for a nice bit of asset inflation.

        Disheveled Marsupial… Forensic history is a much better tool than ideologically biased histrionics… cough fairy tales…

      • Disagree on PM’s they crash just as hard or more in bad times

        History shows otherwise. For thousands of years, gold has been valued as a global currency, a commodity, an investment and simply an object of beauty. Gold is the ultimate hard currency in the bad times. The ‘bad times’ is a period of severe credit contraction following an enormous credit expansion where solvency becomes the key issue. In such times asset prices, banking systems and government finances come under pressure and this ultimately results in deteriorating currencies. As a consequence, people are once again waking up to the power of gold. Get some now, Skip 💡

      • Sorry R2M your history is the fairy tale stuff I spoke of… per Argentina’s recent history people found it difficult to trade in gold and those that had say food or other necessity’s screwed down the price to a fraction of it, due to the commodity vs commodity dilemma… you can’t eat gold and lose bargaining leverage. This example is repeated over and over again historically, gold sellers have a bad habit of burnishing events because it suits their needs…

        Disheveled Marsupial… for a guy that understands a fair bit about AGW the gold bug thing is curious… lots of libertarian gold bug sorts like dooms day scenarios… scaring people in to buying gold… contra to the price of gold post GFC… that kinda volatility does not support the store of wealth or price anything…

      • Your views are pretty disheveled, that’s true. Anyone with gold in Argentine is laughing today. From MarketWatch:

        Conventional wisdom says that gold is a completely useless investment, a “barbarous relic” from a primitive and bygone age. It serves no financial purpose whatsoever.

        I have some sympathy with that point of view.

        But, there again, try telling that to someone in Buenos Aires.

        I notice that the latest financial crisis in Argentina, and the collapse of its national currency, the peso, has sparked a new bull market in gold down south.

        Any Argentine with some bullion buried in his backyard has seen its value rocket 25% this month alone in terms of pesos, according to data from FactSet. An ounce of bullion will now buy 10,000 pesos, a record high. That’s compared with fewer than 8,000 a month ago. Gold is proving to be a very good safe haven in the crisis.

        And this, I should add, is using the “official” exchange rate for pesos. According to Reuters, in the back streets of Buenos Aires the national currency is now changing hands into foreign currency for as little as 60% of the official rate.

        In the past five years, the value of gold has trebled when measured in pesos—again, using the official figures. In the black market it has risen further.

        Many economists say inflation is now running at 25% a year in Argentina. According to the Troubled Currencies Project, a joint venture of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and Johns Hopkins University, the real inflation rate is as high as 74%.


        Keep dreaming your Marxist dream, skip. Leave the gold to others 🙄

      • R2M…

        Whats with the Marxist crap when I’ve stated I support democratic capitalism, association slurs are bad form imo unless you can back them up. Seems when anyone challenges your beliefs on bimetallism you resort to lowbrow tactics.

        Your article talks about gold price, but not about trading with it, nor does it deal with the events which have plagued Argentina since Friedman’s boys when down there and got Pinochet rolling. Its a singular data point, then uses it to to draw causation from e.g. answers looking for events.

        Look gold is a very small market internationally hence subject to volatility, especially since its a fear based commodity. As far as your gold has been for thousands of years stuff, well yeah, because it gave the nobility complete control over it, but the gold did not give the laws the created value, it was the laws that gave gold value.

        Here this might help you out a bit…

        The Gold Bug Song

        Disheveled Marsupial… kinda takes the sheen off your AGW stance, don’t tell me you with the ecological economists and nogrowth/degrowth people too…. for a mob that gets so much wrong its absurd they think they have any validity…

      • gold is valuable only because we have unwritten agreement that gold is valuable money otherwise is almost worthless (as percentage of current price). It’s not even as rare as some other things that we could use that have some intrinsic value.

        Even among precious metals gold falls well below some other metals like Silver or Palladium

      • @drx but Au doesn’t rust, an ounce at the bottom of the ocean is still an ounce. Depending on your definition of value, that may be a consideration.

        But feel free to get a room with Skippy…

      • Mig…

        The fact that the gold is just lying there, and has a price expressed in dollars – and an ‘anachronic’ one at that – should make clear to you… gold nuggets/bullions/ingot are not monetary instruments… coins can be if issued by the state…

        This 16 part [so far] series should provide you and any others with a more granular perspective on money and banking…

        Disheveled Marsupial… you will note the terms “real, natural or intrinsic” are not used to subscribe validity….

      • Skippy,

        Whats with the Marxist crap when I’ve stated I support democratic capitalism

        Sorry. Your constant raving about the conservatives bespeaks a whiff of extreme leftyism, so an honest mistake.

        Your article talks about gold price, but not about trading with it

        It’s safe to say that only a fool would try to trade gold coins for food in Argentina, especially when the peso value of the metal is multiplying. 🙄 So your example is a little odd, to put it mildly.

        Look gold is a very small market internationally

        And almost all of it is traded in paper, which represents >100x the actual physical gold and silver available. Do some research!

        its a fear based commodity

        Gold does well when people fear the future. I believe the future is bleak and will bring lots of fear to mens’ hearts. So do the math, if you are capable, or unless you have a Pollyannaish view of the future (which knowing you, is entirely likely).

        Silver is a vital industrial commodity, as well as being a precious metal. Hard to go wrong investing in it.

        As far as your gold has been for thousands of years stuff, well yeah, because it gave the nobility complete control over it, but the gold did not give the laws the created value, it was the laws that gave gold value.

        Which neatly ignores the fact that gold was valuable loooong before laws gave it value, and long after laws ceased to give it value.

        Here this might help you out a bit…

        [Snip links to the economist Pilkington’s views on “gold buggism” and gold standard]
        To see the other side’s view on a gold standard, try James Rickards (podcast)
        I find Rickards more convincing than Pilkington.

        don’t tell me you with the ecological economists and nogrowth/degrowth people too…. for a mob that gets so much wrong its absurd they think they have any validity…

        I absolutely am with the degrowth people. It’s the only possible future. Here’s some listening for you:

      • Glad you came out a publicly stated your ideological based economic beliefs R2M, kinda puts your excessive AGW stance in perspective e.g. you bastardize science to forward your ideological agenda.

        “Which neatly ignores the fact that gold was valuable loooong before laws gave it value, and long after laws ceased to give it value.”

        Yes religious laws back in the early days of city states and even tribal society, well understood territory in anthro R2M.

        “Sorry. Your constant raving about the conservatives bespeaks a whiff of extreme leftyism, so an honest mistake.”

        It would help if you quoted me and then unpacked how you arrive at your conclusions, you have a bad habit of compartmentalizing everything and then wanking on about it.

        “And almost all of it is traded in paper, which represents >100x the actual physical gold and silver available. Do some research!”

        I have and regardless of the paper trading its platform is tiny compared to other commodities or sectors, there is about 155,000 tonnes of gold in the world and before you say rarity equal price you might want to check out antiquities where rarity holds no water.

        James Rickards is just another Peter Schiff selling their book to the uninformed… geez he was general counsel for the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management debacle. the same guy that said on March 24, 2009, Rickards presented his view at a symposium at Johns Hopkins, that the U.S. dollar was facing imminent hyperinflation and was vulnerable to attack from foreign governments through the accumulation of gold. He’s got an agenda R2M and want to bring back the gold standard, you know the one that is inherently deflationary always crashing and burning…

        Disheveled Marsupial…. you could have just said you were a fundamentalist libertarian wing nut in the first place…. good luck with that quasi biblical thingy…

      • Glad you came out a publicly stated your ideological based economic beliefs R2M

        I have no ideology, just a practical approach. I thnk we face a very uncertain future. I think most asset classes will tank (deflation). In such environments, people turn to stores of value: good real estate (e.g farms), quality fine art, precious metals, a very few stocks (and I’m not good at picking them). This has been shown to happen numerous times, and the coming crash will be a doozy.

        kinda puts your excessive AGW stance in perspective e.g. you bastardize science to forward your ideological agenda.

        1) My climate science stance is not “excessive”. I merely parrot what the scientists themselves are saying. That you think it is excessive shows your deep ignorance of what’s going on (color me unsurprised).
        2) I have no ideological agenda. I vote Green. If everyone agreed gold was shit, I would never have bought it. If everyone ran to diamonds in times of stress, I’d buy that instead. 🙄 It’s called pragmatism. Perhaps that’s my “ideology”.

        Yes religious laws back in the early days of city states and even tribal society, well understood territory in anthro R2M.

        There were no codified laws throughout much of prehistory when gold was treasured. And BTW why do you think ancient people valued gold, skip? Nothing to do with rarity, beauty and immutability? It still has those properties today.

        I have and regardless of the paper trading its platform is tiny compared to other commodities or sectors, there is about 155,000 tonnes of gold in the world and before you say rarity equal price you might want to check out antiquities where rarity holds no water.

        Tell me why governments are net buyers of gold since 2008, skip. Why are they investing in this barbaric relic?

        James Rickards is just another Peter Schiff (snip)

        Meh, you weren’t even prepared to listen to the podcast. I do you the courtesy of reading your links, but you don’t extend the same courtesy to me. Figures.

        you could have just said you were a fundamentalist libertarian wing nut in the first place

        If you are capable of misreading me so badly, one has to wonder what else you’ve got wrong in a very fundamental way 😯 A lot, I’m guessing.

      • Whilst were at it….

        …it is also true that fiat money is more susceptible than a gold standard to corruption and devaluation, which is almost always a regressive change because the rich have access to stores of value other than cash, and the poor often don’t.

        There is absolutely no evidence for this. Last time we saw massive build-ups of private sector debt and corporate fraud was during the 1920s in the run up to the stock market meltdown of 1929. As any historian will tell you, the US — and most of the rest of the world — was on the gold standard in this era. All the gold standard does is impose inflexible and damaging exchange rates on economies and constrains much needed government deficit spending in times of recession. That is what its proponents want to do with it today.

        No wonder your so easily co-opted by the marginalists or even a product of the marginalists….

        “The environmental movement quickly embraced ecological economics because it promised to reconcile ecology with economics in a new science that would be reliably on the side of environmental protection. The MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and other large foundations invested heavily in ecological economics. Leading environmental figures such as Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken, Bill McKibben, and Al Gore, and popular writers like Thomas Friedman picked up its language and its concepts, as did the United Nations, European governments, and nongovernmental organizations.”

        OK so we have a mob that has no understanding of monetary or financial systems but attempted to meld itself into mainstream [neoliberal] economics…. and some are confused….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. seems you have a bad case of religion R2M and like most are prepared to force your prophecy on everyone else come hook or crook… your own brand of rapture as it were… never took you for a Gary North kinda guy…

      • For shame, skippy, that reply was a copy-paste without attribution from here.

        Haven’t you got any of your own thoughts, or are you just a follower of this or that economist’s opinions?

      • R2M…

        Gold in anthro was a soft malleable metal used for decoration, it was easily sourced in streams and alluvial plains, at the time e.g. its value was for decoration only. It was only after deity based society rulers decided to use its properties, to embellish themselves, did it have any other use in society i.e. they attached religious significance to gold which by extension is covered by religious laws.

        Even before gold was used as coinage the deity based rulers decided they could trade trinkets for usable goods and give the lower classes a taste for it or hold a little bit of a deity in their possession. This echos through out history, see RCC or any other religious backed nation state up to the end of monotheistic rule…

        For a guy that reads AGW science you should probably expand on that methodology and read up on anthro, its not selling its book…

        Disheveled Marsupial… its actually all based on mysticism out of antiquity R2M… so much for your science based platform…

        PS. Its obvious R2M…. stop with the accusations and deal with the relative OP… oh if you mean do I have any personal beliefs… NO. I don’t operate under the assumption of beliefs… I think, that means my stance changes as the information I have does.

      • 1) LOL. So you have no excuse for copy-pasting much of what you post, sans attribution?

        2) If gold is all about ancient mysticism, why are central banks net buyers since 2008? You have no answer.

      • R2M…

        Your trying to play the same game Mav did with accusations of plagiarism to distract from the information and your desire to ignore it or engage in pettifoggery by muddying the waters. Put up or STFU, that means presenting more than what issues out your mental sphincter after passing through your bias conformation filters…

        I gave several links and a short synopsis of why you are incorrect, which is unpacked in detail and not just deductive reasoning extenuation’s, with an accurate anthropological portrayal… your responses were nothing more than post hoc, ergo propter hoc assumptions presented as empirical evidence.

        Lets stop the games R2M, you’re a monetarist, and prepared to twist AGW or anything else to forward your ideological preferences. Hell you can’t even understand what has happened over the decades because in bizarro monetarist world everything is about money crankery aka the failed attempts to make money honest whilst letting the leash off the markets to engage in all sorts of stoopid* and destructive activity’s…. and then blaming it on the money or governments… we should all live like the good old days in the old testament…

        Environmental economics is just another iteration of neoclassical economics with an eco bolt on for public PR optics e.g. a strange melding of neoliberalism and artificial resource constraints for the unwashed whilst the elites party on….

        Disheveled Marsupial… The CrazzyMc’pants part is your more like 3d1k than you even realize, you’re just more of an old testament fundamentalist John the Baptist about it…

      • FYI….

        “2) If gold is all about ancient mysticism, why are central banks net buyers since 2008? You have no answer”

        Again your bias conformation is hyperactive. Please tell me how much of it is as part of their entire balance sheet or have you forgotten all the other purchases they make like FX or other sovereign issuance et al… its just another commodity / asset class w/ the distinction that it does not rot like perishable commodities, but its just one class…. the myopia on gold is just hyperventilating for those that think – one day – they will be squillionairs because they horded it out of some strange moral obligation… its whack…

        Just to reiterate the Great Depression was on a gold standard and it did nothing to stop all the fraud and corruption e.g. money has no agency… duh… so the problem must be something else… theoclassical dogma is quite prevalent in all this tho…

        Disheveled Marsupial…. you might want to consider the inelastic nature of “beliefs” and how social psychology is applicable in this regard… the cog dis for you must be excruciating…

    • mig…

      Engels said it a long, long time ago… equity offering which had next to zip rights… but was a great tool to condition peoples additives…

      Disheveled Marsupial… don’t know what to make of the faux-libertarin thingy tho… no true Scotsman fallacy…

      • Skippy -you sound like an intelligent chap most of the time BUT not when you try to discuss Gold because there’s obviously a lot of baggage you’re toting. Stick to fiat and see how far that saves your sorry A$$.

      • Sorry AuRules…

        I don’t have any baggage and as I’ve noted my family owns several hundred thousand acres of geology rights in perpetuity, which includes gold, 3 old mines from the early 20th century with plenty of alluvial and locked still around, even the old mines are not tapped out yet.

        My entire view is from an historical perspective, right back to when humans first started fiddling around with the stuff and not from the sell – investor side. I would add that those that crack a fat about people earning income – profit from asset inflation in RE and then bang on about gold is about absurd as it gets, as gold has zero productive qualities about it. If you want some of the BSD action on that kinda thing get some water derivatives.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. hay its not like I’m banning the trading of a commodity or anything… just pointing out it does not have supernatural powers… especially in the event of societal collapse…

      • just pointing out it does not have supernatural powers… especially in the event of societal collapse…

        Yet you are too thick to see that said “societal collapse” is highly likely to result in a gigantic revaluation of gold. You reject this oft-shown reality with some apocryphal anecdote about the inability to trade gold coins for food in Argentina … just risible nonsense. 🙄

      • R2M…

        Good to know you’re rapture ready….

        So gold is going to magically go up in price… when food and water would be the most important survival necessity in a societal collapse… mate do you even know some hard core survivalists say if someone came to their compound and were asked what they had to trade for food and shelter and said gold…. they would shoot them on the spot… as a public service to the future…

        Disheveled Marsupial… wow your part of the hyperinflation crazy clown car parade… when are you jokers going to deal with being so wrong all the time and still foam at the mouth… oops… mysticism is like that… thinking processes go right out the window…

        PS. do you roll around on the floor on weekend too – ????? – IQMLTK… skip where is the volcano… where – where – where…. the fever is strong with this one… insert maniacal mig cackle…

      • Skip, you mean apart from electrical conductivity, heat and radiation shielding righ? Try getting a house to do that

      • So gold is going to magically go up in price… when food and water would be the most important survival necessity in a societal collapse…

        You have a very primitive and undeveloped idea of what will happen during a collapse. I refer you to books on the topic, John Michael Greer may be helpful here. The Mad Max scenario is very unlikely. Instead, we’ll see a steady loss of jobs, loss of industry, loss of asset values, deflation (not sure why you keep talking about hyperinflation … there may be a period of that, but the whole era will be profoundly deflationary, and precious metals do well in both deflation and inflation).

      • Greer and Druids…… wheeeeee….

        “John Michael Greer is currently the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), a Druid Companion of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD), a certified Tarot Grandmaster, and a practicing Geomancer. Since 1996 he has authored numerous books on magic and the occult including: Paths of Wisdom: Cabala in the Western Tradition, Natural Magic: Potions and Powers from the Magical Garden, Circles of Power: Ritual Magic in the Western Tradition and Inside a Magical Lodge. He has also contributed articles for: Renaissance Magazine, the Golden Dawn Journal, the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Mezlim, New Moon Rising, Gnosis, and Alexandria.

        John Michael Greer was born in 1962 in Bremerton, a small town suburb of Seattle, in Washington State, USA. Raised in a non-religious family, his parents, John D. Greer and Jo Ann M. Greer (nee Smith) were both schoolteachers in the local area, and as John reveals: “They were not so much atheists as simply apathetic toward religion, which simply didn’t matter to them,” as such they had no influence on his own later religious evolution. John also has a sister Pamela J. Smith (nee Greer).

        As a child, John was very much a loner and often shied away from social interaction, however it was clear to those who knew him, his parents and schoolteachers, that he was also a very bright child, if a little obsessive about things that gained his interest. It was not until much later in his life, that a name was put to this obsessive side of his nature. In 1998 he was diagnosed with a condition called Asperger Syndrome (AS). AS is a sub-group of autism, it contains many of its symptoms but without it’s history of language delay. Those with AS are most likely to have a better than average IQ, but have trouble learning social skills, instead they take up obsessive interests to make up for their lack of social contact.

        One of John’s early interests was reading fantasy fiction, and by the age of ten he had discovered his first role model, the wizard Gandalf from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, an obsession that led to his later interests in Spirituality, Mythology and Esoteric traditions. Indeed while still attending Highline High School in Burien, WA (another small suburb of Seattle), he was already studying the Golden Dawn system of Hermetic magic.

        After finishing High School in 1980, John started his college education studying Comparative History at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington State, but in 1983 took a 7-year break from his academic studies to concentrate on developing his skills as a writer. Shortly after starting his break, John met his future wife Sara Carroll, a Ceremonial magician, herbalist, musician and a Priestess in the Pagan arm of the Universal Gnostic Church. They were married on the 28th July 1984.

        Throughout the remaining 1980’s, John took on a variety of jobs to make ends meet, including: work as a certified nurses aide in nursing homes, a clerk in a photocopy shop, work in a dry cleaning shop, and work as a microfilmer. In 1991, he returned to complete his college education at the University of Washington in Seattle, from where he graduated in 1993 with a BA (magna cum laude) degree in Comparative History.

        By this time John was becoming dissatisfied with some aspects of the Golden Dawn system of Hermetic magic, and wanted to explore a more nature based spirituality, which led him to Druidry. In 1995 he started a correspondence course taught by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). The OBOD is an English Druidic Order founded by Ross Nichols in 1964, and is now the largest Druidic Order in the world with an international following. The Order takes it’s named from its three traditional grades, each of which normally takes seven years to complete. The first grade “Bard” focuses on the powers and gifts of song and poetry, the second grade “Ovate” teaches medical knowledge and healing (herb craft etc), while the third and final grade “Druid” is centered on spirituality in conjunction with nature.

        A year later John’s career as a writer took-off when his first book: Paths of Wisdom: Cabala in the Western Tradition (1996), a handbook based on the Golden Dawn’s cabalistic philosophy and published by Llewellyn Publications. Since then he has averaged at least one new book each year. By the end of the decade and in order to supplement his correspondence studies, John tried to make contact with other Druidic Orders in America. One such was the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), a Church of Druid nature spirituality founded in 1912 by a Dr. James Manchester M.D. However, the Order had been going through a management crisis, and during the late 1990’s had become non-active. Unable to make contact with them at that time, in 2001 John joined the Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF), a modern Druid Order founded by Isaac Bonewits in 1983. Both John and his wife Sara, who had also joined the ADF, allowed their membership of the ADF to lapse in 2004, this due to other pressing commitments.” – snip

        He is no better than a self help mystic author, biblical antiquities spoofer [chariots at the bottom of the red sea, ark on a mountain, Jmans tomb under a apartment complex, bible code et al], pyramid power, crystal power, etc, etc….. and he makes his living off it – all – phualeazeee….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. can he levitate too – ???? – remember that mob or shall I retort with some Hare Krishna metaphysical navel gazing… save the planet…. join a cult…. barf….

      • mig…

        Come on you know better…. gold is not priced in functionality, but pure speculative trading w/ a peak demand function e.g. its why the sell side loves anything that drives demand up… absolutely anything… because in increases their base wealth as well as profit – income.


        Taxes drive fiats worth and not specufookulation, not that fiat claims to be a store of wealth i.e. time and space problem a la the Cambridge Capital Controversy… its just a tool that assists in trading, trading being the most important issue and not the fiat.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. tho as we can clearly see increased financialization is actually a tax on socially productive enterprise e.g. extraction activity which diminishes job creation and social wealth and well being…

    • moderate mouse

      Yeah, and we get a small fraction of the gains but 100% of the losses.

      Dishevelled inbred tomato rodent: Playing with other people’s money – the ultimate moral hazard!

  2. Adam Bandt is my local member and failed to reply to two requests asking him to raise in Parliament the lack of enforcement of foreign takeover roles. Handsome is as handsome does.

  3. Rampant Communist agenda ? Yes I can see the Rupert Murdia headlines now. “Green watermelons coming for your white collar criminals! Hide your daughters!”

  4. that is not what greens need – we already have another ‘fake left’ party – Labor that is promoting neoliberal capitalism more than neoliberals themself

    we need a strong political option with the old good threatening narrative that includes nationalisations, revolution, dictatorship of proletariat, … that is the only way to stop progression of neoliberal economic degradation of human existance

      • we need them as a constant reminder and threat for our ruling neolibs (from all parties Labor, Liberals, Greens, …)

        The biggest problem since late 80s is lack of fear among the ruling classes

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        The Moslems took over as the main threat in the late 80s. Essentially religious communism. They need a good purging too!

      • reusachtige…

        Moslems = Arabs…. must be part of the middle class Boomer conspiracy….

  5. Tassie TomMEMBER

    Firstly I’ll agree that Megabank is getting a huge free pass with its implicit guarantee being too big to fail.

    However, my problem with charging a levy is that the government guarantee will change from implicit to explicit, and may actually exacerbate their irresponsible high-risk behaviours.

    It would work only if accompanied by strict macroprudential policies AND with an agency able to 1) enforce the policies and 2) keep ahead of the banks’ financial innovation (trickiness).

    • This is a very good point.

      It does make the guarantee explicit. This isn’t a problem AS LONG AS the amount of insurance – basically what the ‘levy’ is, an insurance premium – against moral hazard is sufficient. The government is charging 0.2% of funds, but this is all going to be spent I am assuming on other policies, which may be good spending on productive infrastructure or it could be wasted.

      So really the levy doesn’t change the moral hazard problem at all, it sanctions it while not really providing any protection in the event of failure.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s already explicit. What I would like to see is that all senior executive and the board must regurgitate their remuneration from the last 5 years if the guarantee is needed.

    • my solution is this. Govt sets up a system where banks must sign up to a 5% tax rate increase if they want an explicit guarantee, The following year add another 5%. If banks dont sign up then they are EXPLICITLY excluded from a guarantee. On day one of the new regime, all banks will sign up due to fear of capital flight. This will not hit their solvency, but will hit their share price harder and harder each year a bank is on a guarantee. Before they can leave the guarantee, they will need to prove to depositors that they are viable, and the rates they offer on deposits justify the risk …. or in other words act like a private business again? Banks will be forced to adopt a more conservative lending approach and better liquidity/capital reserves etc. The process will take time, but shareholders will demand the change to avoid destruction of share price via increased taxation.

      Its a win win really – capitalism is serverd well as banks have the choice to act in a free market or a govt protected one. Most importantly they have an incentive to move back to a free market without destroying the banking system in the process.

      • Tassie TomMEMBER

        An alternative solution might be to require, as a part of one’s approved deposit taking institution license, a detailed plan of how the business will be wound up in alternative scenarios, and to explicitly cut them loose. Such scenarios might include liquidity crisis without insolvency; insolvency with loss of 10% of total assets; insolvency with 25% of total assets; and insolvency with loss of 50% of total assets. Publish them – no secrecy.

        Unfortunately at this stage of the cycle the horse has probably already bolted, hence your solution is probably better at this stage.

      • good points Tassie Tom. Like you say though the horse has bolted. We are on a methodone program at the moment – if we go cold turkey the patient will likely die. With my plan. over time we may be able to wean some banks completely off drugs so they can resume normal duties.The others who can’t or won’t change should remain a ward of state (and at their own cost).

      • Helpful hint…. thetr has not nor ever be such a thing as a “Free Market”… its a meme…

        As such… to frame the discussion in erroneous truisms is people attempting to flesh out an illusion and then base actions upon it…

        Disheveled Marsupial… agency is an act of law first… markets are secondary to the establishment of laws… hence laws or lack of laws or their enforcement establishes how markets function… see Hernando De Soto… no laws no property rights…

      • skippy – you are probably right. Lets replace the term “free market” with a market where private companies are allowed to fail. Its the misallocation of risk (and ultimately the removal of it by the govt guarantee) that is to blame for our ponzi economy.

      • I think the term ‘fail’ in the simplistic sense of one size fits all ideological economics is problematic. Whether one likes it or not the global markets are tightly coupled and intertwined, systemic institutional failure would have a high price tag on it and could easily cost more than its market share +. It might be a better course to reform institutions whilst considering diseconomy’s of scale which would remove most of the TBTF drama.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. the last few decades has created a minefield… hell losing a CEO can wipe significant price off a corporation… even if they are a corrupt SOB… positive in today’s reality…

      • OK skip but can let people fail! As in the living breathing kind? White collar criminals pay out just as much as the regular kind to the *cough* private prison complex?

      • mig…

        I think sarbox and other tools should be used in litigation against persons in executive positions, without a doubt, that said, its problematic due to hiving off their risk to outside experts. Another feature of the libertarian influence in free market ideology and not a bug, wealthy people do not commit crimes, they make mistakes, where poor people are all proto-criminals from birth.

        I mean who in their – rational mind – would send the Übermensch rational agents seeking to maximize their utility to a prison filled with poor people…. gasp…

        Disheveled Marsupial… Caveat Emptor unwashed filth…

  6. Some fair suggestions in there, but also some populist nonsense. They think $2.50 is excessive for use of an ATM, have they actually costed this? i.e. depreciated up front cost of the machine, rental cost of the space, weekly armed guard attendance to restock, maintenance and supporting infrastructure?

    My guess is they have no idea the real cost and even if they did, is it a higher markup than your typical cup of coffee or cup of coke? Are they going to make those markups illegal?

    • Except for the bit where it’s a demand deposit and they have an obligation to pay you when you ask, and they shut-down branches and offshore services… I’m pretty the costs are way below that, after all its only inter bank they charge you… Explain that?

      • Mig, $2.50 would be a typical charge for a foreign (not a bank customer) user of the machine or perhaps a customer who is using them excessively (outside of a free transaction limit)… can you name a bank that charges their own customers $2.50 with every ATM use? Maybe there’s one out there…

      • Sorry BB I may have misinterpreted. It was freezing as I was cutting across from Spencer to Exhibition, en route to coffee!

    • ING have free withdrawals from any atm if u deposit more than $1K a month into your ing account.
      Cmon mate, you think the banks provide this service at cost? You’re dreaming.

      • Thanks, interesting. So call it a $1 now (perhaps). If you made an assumption that the number of free vs paid ATM uses were roughly even on any particular machine, it probably works out that they don’t make that much, just that those paying subsidise those who don’t (assuming that wasn’t taken into account in RBA workings, don’t have time to read the doc in full).

        Most bank customers can avoid ATM fees fairly easily.

    • Living in Europe 1 of the things I noticed most was a lack of fee’s when using ATMs even non AIB (bank I was with) ATMs. Just saying if they can do it in Europe, why not here also?

    • FFS – sticking up for Bank Charges at ATMs is laughable. Banks (ALL) are Bastards & come with no conscience. They make Billions a year in clear profit -using OP Money that they pay very little interest on. Most so called savings A/Cs these days pay as little as possible – point 5% if you’re lucky.

      I’m happy to say I haven’t personally used an ATM in Australia for around 30 years ! I’m not a sheep & I don’t queue or stand at a machine by choice. F$#@ that ! It’s easy to take out a K or 2 or 3 whatever & use that along with C/Cards paid auto in full on a monthly basis.

  7. “Australia is in the midst of a housing bubble that is being fuelled by speculators”.
    Telling it how it is. The Greens won’t crack 10 percent at the election if they keep this up.

      • Yes, they may be deliberately positioning for the post-bust. The sad Hing is that people will rush for the “safety” of the lib/labs when the SHTF. It’s going to be a question of which of those two can better disingenuously persuade people that the other guy done it.

  8. just more of the same to keep mob busy thinking change is coming

    our financial policy problems are not too big to fail banks, high ATM fees, or lack of financial advise regulation but rather the very fact that private banks are all allowed to create money and make profit on it.

    so what greens want to do with these policies is to save neoliberal capitalism from itself

    • Nailed it. First and foremost the Royal Commission must deal with the question of how money is created. All issues flow from this singular point.

  9. BoomToBustMEMBER

    The problem with the greens is that they are the greens. While they are currently addressing a niche using financial policy most people including myself will never vote for them. They are more dangerous than Trump with all their other policies.

  10. Whilst were banging on about RE…. back in the land of freedom and liberty… aka GFC ground zero…

    May 31, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Report from Mortgage Land: Loan Underwriters Still Not Doing Their Jobs

    The first comment I ever made here was a rant about how, years after the financial crisis, a friend who was house shopping had Wells Fargo approve her and her hubby for a loan amount whose monthly payment was 80% of their stated take-home income!

    Well, I saw the same friend just yesterday and they just bought a new house to move closer to the kids’ school. They shopped around at a couple of local banks and were approved, again, for loan amounts they obviously couldn’t afford. This time about 70% of their monthly income. When she expressed disbelief to one banker, he replied that it was “your responsibility to decide whether or not you can afford it”[!] Her real estate agent told her that they were one of the few clients she had who “shopped within their means.” She’s apparently sold a number of $1M+ homes (in Montana) to people who ended up losing a job 6 months later and becoming (literally) homeless in very short order. So underwriting apparently just isn’t a thing anymore.

    And this was at local, independent banks, not one of the usual criminals. What’s going on here? Obviously the local banks must be selling those loans on to someone else, since no one would want to sit on those things. And obviously, applying underwriting standards is now the responsibility of the borrower…


    Respondent says…

    May 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    After the GFC, we found out there a lots of banks and “mortgage loan companies” that were acting as “loan mills”. They would be canvassed by the big Wall Street securitizers for any and crap they would write, the securitizes would bundle up the loans, send the bundle to S&P for the coveted AAA rating, along with all the backing loan approval paperwork. Then, with check in hand for S&P service fee, they would negotiate how much the bundle should be “padded” with a loss allowance for bad loans and then qualify for the AAA rating. They were using historical mortgage data which indicated foreclosure rates around 2%. Wonder if they’ve updated that rate???

    Then I’ve read that after the sausage gets made and declared AAA Kosher, none of these details are made available to even the most demanding, energetic and fastidious bond fund manager, just in case anyone may want to double check the work.


    May 31, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Every now and then I wonder if it’s safe to get into a MBS bond fund again – and be rewarded with a decadently scrumptious 3% return and live like a [very] minor king again. Or at least afford going out to eat now and then. I guess not.

    Disheveled Marsupial… of course the boomers did it, IR, central banks, which forced the loaners to create or issue loans contrary to historical guidelines… Friedman and the Developer lobbyists on the other hand… wanted deregulation over 60 years ago….

    • “Obviously the local banks must be selling those loans on to someone else”….

      Bingo… Therein lies the answer. In the old day the bank manager would frisk you down pretty good as s/he would be wearing the risk of default for the next 20+ years on their books.

      These days they package up and sell off the things as quickly as possible to someone else for a once off payment. Once again it is turning into a game of ‘hot potato’. Of course last time (back in 2007/8) nearly everyone was holding a few ‘potatoes’….

  11. Nice to see someone proposing to”prohibit superannuation funds from direct borrowing to invest in housing”.
    The influence on housing since the ability to borrow has been astounding.
    I am not sure whether super funds can borrow for other asset classes but personally haven’t heard of people doing this. The institution super fund I have a small super amount in hasn’t offered this facility to me.
    In an election environment where the two majors seem to be playing populist politics at the cost of real economic discipline, the green’s statement seems to me as a commitment to financial responsibility and a sign of a party growing up.
    Even a green vote by me would not sway the blue ribbon Liberal seat in which I reside though.

  12. Labor will avoid a coalition at all costs before the election because Australia won’t vote for them if they think a return to the disastrous Greens/Labor/independents era returns with open borders.

    All Greens have to do is declare no boat arrivals will ever settle in Australia, at the same time spend money on facilities in Nauru and Manus, and Greens and labor will win a coalition government.

    Why are they letting a micro issue (refugees settle in Australia instead of a well equipped Manus) destroy their voter base leaving LNP to shaft us all.

    It makes no sense.

    LNP win, = no boat arrivals

    Greens lose = no boat arrivals + no bank RC, + no NG changes, plus mass population growth, plus Barrier Reef dead, plus plus plus.

    Greens have to get rid of the all or nothing philosophy, because it’s always giving them nothing.

    • If the Greens do an about face on refugees, their existing support will vanish over night.

      2010 election ALP and Liberals actually differed on refugees – result was dead heat.
      2013 election Greens and PUP both were strongly against prevailing refugee policy, and captured a combined 14% of popular vote, which is actually very good for third choices in Australia. By way of contrast, Australian Democrats peaked at 9% in their first contested election, and never managed above 7% again . It is at least plausible that PUP split the ‘stick to the duopoly’ vote, so the Greens have a decent chance of getting back above double figures this time around (11% in 2010 election) – but a change to their refugee policy now would see them follow the Democrats into the footnotes of electoral history.

    • “Why are they letting a micro issue (refugees settle in Australia instead of a well equipped Manus) destroy their voter base leaving LNP to shaft us all.”

      How can it be a micro issue if it’s so important that it will cost them being part of a coalition government with Labor?

      • The gravity of the issue needs to be weighed against everything Greens don’t get to do because they have no power.

        For me, refugees being properly housed on Nauru instead of Australia is completely outweighed by everything else. No contest, that’s why I hate the Greens. They’re sacrificing the good of my country for a handful of people (among 60m global refugees). Let it go. It’s a non issue.

        Actually with no power, Greens can’t house them well on Nauru. Greens are the problem in all of this.

        House them properly on Nauru and get some power to fix everything wrong with LNP.

      • get some power to fix everything wrong with LNP.

        I’d hazard a guess that ‘fixing’ anything wrong with the LNP is as high on Richard DiNatale’s list of priorities as supervising a new translation of the Communist Manifesto is on Malcolm Turnbull’s.

  13. The Greens have to get pass the tabloid newspapers, tabloid television news and the angry tabloid radio shock jocks. Until the Greens win over these groups, 10% of the vote is the Greens future.

    • Terror Australis

      How many people under 35 years old still buy newspapers, listen to radio or get their primary news flow from TV?

      • Hah! Yeah.

        I’ve literally never owned a TV, only read newspapers at cafes or when they’re linked online. Radio however, remains an excellent alarm clock if combo’d with a light alarm and the JJJ app works pretty well.

        Murdoch gets nothing from me.

      • myne is correct about dear uncle Rupert Murdoch, his voice has been losted in the noise of social media. Unfortunately, there many people locked in voting based on single policy only and never consider all other policies, and there is still a post war generation that will never consider greens because they are still fighting the Cold War, that ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. For this generation, social media is life and death something conservatives don’t understand, social media is very progressive. This generation also understand that bandwidth is life blood, and that a fraud band is death. Something that conservatives also fail to understand. Someone who watches a grandmother who loves FaceTime but hates the fact that fraud band does not give her the ability to use all of FaceTime features.

  14. Finally! Looks like Di Natale has acknowledged Whish-Wilson’s financial acumen. I’d like Geoff Cousins to get on board too.

  15. The Greens have come to represent two groups: old school commies and small ‘l’ liberals. About half their support comes from each of these groups, with a smattering of others (protest votes included, although these increasingly go to micro parties and independents). The Greens need to communicate their message to both of their core groups. Hence, market liberalism is dressed up as old style regulation. My guess is that in the long run, the commie group will fade away and the Greens will become increasingly a centrist-liberal party. We’re seeing this transition already, both in terms of their supporters, but also in terms of their candidates and leadership.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      +1 on this comment. I was a small ‘l’ liberal and now vote Green and there are definitely some others in my boat.

  16. Too big to fail creates moral hazard. The balance sheet tax could be tiered to encourage the break up. The $250,000 free guarantee could be limited to small banks only, not mega banks, that need to have higher credit standards to attracted ” no risk seeking depositors ”
    Allow banks to fail, taking depositors with them. A scary return to market forces and efficiency.

  17. I was sitting here wondering this morning. Would it change the guarantee if it was re-written in such a way that it guaranteed only bailing out 2/4 banks in the event of an event, but all pay the levy. The banks that will get bailed out are not specified and the broad guidelines are the most conservative/prudent/socially responsible at the time will be allowed to continue operations.

    Haven’t thought it through, got as far as how do you take moral hazard out of the equation.

  18. I want a progressive tax system for businesses.

    Any business over 20% market share in a segment + 2% tax.

    Any business over 30% market share in a segment +4% tax.

    Any business over 50% market share in a segment +6% tax.

    It’ll quickly cause our megaoligopolies to split and float segments of their business.

    I’m looking at you, CBA, NAB, WBC, ANZ, TLS, SGT, AGL, QAN et al

  19. The NZ Greens are so far advanced on the housing issue, that they actually support the abolition of Urban Growth boundaries. That puts them ahead of the entire political spectrum in Australia. I bet the Australian Greens would still be fundamentalists on this.

  20. “For criminal offences, this would be the greater of $5 million or 3 times the benefit gained.”.

    Hell yes!

    Not sure about rewarding whistleblowers, but given the great personal cost many whistleblowers pay, and how hard white-collar crime is to detect without them, it may have merit.

    • Actually, I don’t know about the 5 million starting point. But the fines for white-collar crime have to significantly outweigh the potential benefit.

    • I like the way the US SEC does it.

      “The Commission is authorized by Congress to provide monetary awards to eligible individuals who come forward with high-quality original information that leads to a Commission enforcement action in which over $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered. The range for awards is between 10% and 30% of the money collected.”

  21. It’s pretty simple. The Greens are the only party that wants to prepare the country for the future, and the future is a post capitalist world whether we like it or not. The suggestion that capitalism has always fostered competition is ridiculous, for the last 50 years it’s operated with a fantasy model that has no firms, and no profits. In reality it’s always encouraged monopolies because that is how you extract maximum rent. Minsky shows us by capitalism’s own design it is prone to bubbles and instability. It is in built.

    The comparison of the The Greens with small l liberalism is also not right I don’t think. The idea of free markets is another historical myth. The notion that markets emerge through private enterprise is a myth. The state has always been required to create markets. The Greens acknowledge the intrinsic role the state plays in markets and want to get rid of corporate sectional interests that dominate the role. I.e. they are the only party that believe in true democracy, i.e. the rule of the majority.

    In that sense they are more social democrats than small “l” liberals.

    I agree that The Greens in a practical sense really should change focus to the economy to win more votes. They do have a far stronger economic plan than either major party. Young people already see it. I think if they got a platform to talk more about it on old media more baby boomers and Gen Xers would too. Although I fear it will take generational change to wipe out the intellectually hollow tradition that is neoliberalism.

    • I think when our bubbles burst, and the illusion that Labor and the Coaltion actually know what they’re doing is shattered, many people will look to the smaller parties. I think that will be a mixed blessing though. I’m sure we’ll end up with some pretty dangerous right-wing parties popping up to compete for the disenfranchised vote.

      • What and the far-left Greens aren’t dangerous ?

        Go to Venezuela and try finding toilet paper, rice, milk and other basic items. The Greens invited Chavez to Australia 10 years ago to share his socialist vision with us, and the idea of nationalising every industry is a threat to capital formation, wealth, living standards, commerce, political and economic freedom and our prosperity.

      • Jono,

        Linking the Greens with what is occurring in Venezuela is as daft as tying the Liberals to the horrors of Pinochet in Chile.
        Venezuela has failed for a variety of reasons, and the thugs that are in charge would have destroyed it regardless of the ideology they hid their corruption behind.

      • It’s funny to see the anti-fossil fuel Australian Greens compared to a government whose only consistent policy has been ‘make the in group rich by pumping as much oil as possible (shame they can’t keep the in-group a bit more stable)’

      • “…the idea of nationalising every industry is a threat to capital formation, wealth, living standards, commerce, political and economic freedom and our prosperity.”

        Is that an actual policy of the Greens? As a member, I must have missed it.

  22. Not once did the Greens mention the RBA.

    Central banking comes straight out of Das Kapital, they would never let interest rates be set by the market, to let competitive currencies that are sound and fully backed by reserves, to exist in Australia.

    • You can’t let the market set IR unless you let everyone create fiat-bearing credit, in which case it’s just an exchange rate….

    • Central Banks are the result of Das Kapital…. groan….

      Try after repeated implosions during the 1800s and especially 1907 crash [the failed attempt to corner the market on the United Copper Company’s stock led to a string of bank runs and a national panic] the BSD capitalists of the day thought with the emergence of socialism and communism that they might be informed to establish a more robust banking system, to ward off the ev’bal poor people and suckers from going pro revolution.

      Now even with that observed you have to understand the Central Banks are not a monolith, every era has its own distinctions as money and monetary theory evolves. Since the 70s it has been monetarist and then increasingly quasi monetarist in the last decade or so, Volcker, Greenspan, then the Bernanke and now Yellen. To which I would add since the 70s the central banks have been increasingly staffed by groomed ideological orthodox economic practitioners whom are more beholden to their sociopolitical beliefs than rigorous academic introspection and discovery, see Krugman, Mankiw and other assorted mainstream economists.

      Disheveled Marsupial…. helpful hint jono…. try reading some actual history and be careful with Pavlovian trip wires to the bells…. someone put in your head…

  23. “What and the far-left Greens aren’t dangerous ?”

    I will admit I do worry about the communist element in the Greens, but the leadership seems to be moving them in the right direction. Plus with climate change, and other environmental problems, the Green’s might yet turn out to be the most sensible option.

  24. “The Greens need to fully transition their narrative from its old school regulatory roots to a vision for a liberal system that actually lives up to what it supposed to be: capitalism with competition not concentration; no public supports for rent-seekers, or appropriate Piguvian taxes if they must exist; regulation where there is market failure, externalities fully costed. They can embrace this along with notions of limits to growth, decarbonaistion and economic transformation.”

    Agree. I do feel they are coming along though. More and more talented people are being attracted to the Greens. In my seat of Batman, which is historically a safe Labor seat, the only ones working hard for the vote are the Greens, they are out there meeting and talking to the public, and the representative is a professional, sharp, intelligent candidate. I hope she makes some inroads.
    Currently we have the member for non-disclosure of neg gearing.

    • Your current member does seem to have made a point of making a safe ALP seat available for someone else who wants it more.