Weekend Links 29-30 October, 2016

Th Shooting of Wild Dogs Clifton Pugh 1958

The Shooting of Wild Dogs, Clifton Pugh, 1958, National Gallery of Victoria




 United Kingdom

United States


Terra Incognita


Capital Markets

Global Macro

…and furthermore…



  1. Confronting art. Not quite what I want after surviving the crazy of peak hour Friday Beijing on my bike. The concentration of ‘sha bi’ by locals and f words by foreigners hanging in the air at one stage was kinda hilarious though. Cyclists of the world unite in BJ in anger at selfish, dangerous drivers.

    In case anyone is thinking of moving to China to work, there is a new foreigner work permit ranking system being introduced.

  2. When the property bubble bursts, do the banks just take an arm and leg, or do they take the whole body to make smashed soylent green with salt on toast?
    The new greenback edible meal ticket coupon for the masses. A currency of the people, for the people, by the people. Just like a chlorella smoothe, only chrunchy!

    • Damn watching the first Futurama episode that mentioned Soylent green right now!

      Personally, I hope it is the bank managers, mortgage brokers and accountants used to make the first batch followed closely by the MSM, property lobby, FIRE lobby and politicians and lastly any schmuck (my word of the day) who has more than 1 negatively geared property while living at home with their parents. Fully understand the desire to get ahead and make a buck, christ I grew up in Bundaberg for f***s sake. Housing is for people to live in whether they own or rent not a means to make mega-bucks for doing nothing. These schmucks are making coin for doing nothing while people who contribute jobs to this country and take real risks to start growing businesses are doing it tough. Screw it, why create jobs in Australia anymore, everyone here is a property millionaire, they don’t need a job anymore! Think I will create jobs in Japan and China where I am appreciated and the government gives me incentives for creating jobs. Oh wait, I am already doing that – screw you Australia you over priced, lazy arse, rent seeking bunch of self entitled *#$%^&!

      Hmmm either I am really pissed or its the couple of bottles of red talking!!!

      • I hear ya OJ – straya wants made in straya but they don’t want to know about the made bit

        Maybe a little red wine why not

      • The whole thing is a joke.. massive immigration, but no jobs (well except baristas and property related jobs).. who’s going to come here and buy a 2bd for $1M+ and raise a family?? Oh wait! The idea is that all these new migrants rent from us locals while we sit on our asses doing nothing and collecting rent.. welcome to the neo-feudalism.. Australians think that this new business model is sustainable.. they do not understand that sooner or later our cities will be unlivable, our Medicare will no longer be affordable.. our schools full.. our infrastructure is crumbling.. and we’ve reached our limit of baristas per sq km.

      • OJ – I haven’t seen you with such rage. I can feel the heat all the way to intheMiddletonofnowhere Grange.

      • @Nikola – many years of ups and downs in my own businesses around the world, the stresses and sacrifices only to listen to inane mumblings of little landlords talking property all the time. Never hear any discussion of great innovative ideas that can create the businesses of the future just always the f*@#ing housing market. Lack of service in the restaurant we ate at, the crap quality food available in Sydney at ridiculous prices and all round lazy attitude of Australians in general. So many things happened yesterday that were released thanks to the liberal libations from a couple of nice bottles of vino.

      • Trust me mate, it’s just the Red talking, I have these moments regularly but I usually self censor before hitting the send button.
        Aussies don’t like to be told the truth, matter of fact most are allergic to the truth, they break out in a cold sweat and run around telling anyone and everyone that you’re clearly a complete looser because you neither own your own home nor an IP. Talking to your average Aussie about real world productive investments is worthless and frustrating undertaking, I just hope that one day when reality does comes knocking, it doesn’t bring a baseball bat or a 9mm, but alas reality does have a habit of arming itself before it comes calling.

      • CB,

        Don’t mention baseball bats.

        I am still haunted by Lucille after episode 1 of season 7 of the Walking Dead.

      • Oj I can relate to what you’re saying. I flew into LA this week to present a business idea to a team of company executives who are pretty high up.

        It was the most stressful 3 days of prep practice and refinement in the 8 years of working at the company. But it did feel worth it, I wonder if I had won the auction I was bidding at 2 weeks ago and negatively gearing an investment if it would give the same sense of satisfsction?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “all round lazy attitude of Australians in general.”

        Jono, Your extensive knowledge of “Futurama” episodes, indicates 100s of “wasted”, Arse on lounge Hours.
        Don’t think I know of a single, non cannabis abuser, who watches this show regularly!
        Flying Around the world, (no doubt on the proceeds of the family’s sugar cane farm) doing “business deals” and developing an acute awareness of the differing dining standards around the world, doesn’t really sound like hard work to me!,….when was the last time you dug a hole?,…hmmm?

        As for your “jobs creating” over seas,….that’s just as detrimental to Australian productivity, as lazy, money for nothing property speculators.
        Thinking about “Buying out the neighbouring property at Kirribilli”,…Pfffft!

        A bit of the pot calling the kettle black, me thinks.

        Note – The above maybe the VB talking.

      • @EP – I didn’t inherit from the family farm – all the family including aunts and uncles have this longevity gene and are now close to their ’90’s. Gran and Gramps and even the greats lived well into the ’90’s and gran was gearing up for the letter from the queen when she passed. As for the rest, I owned companies in the US and made my money there. Lost most in GFC and started again. I get some amazing tax and hiring benefits for my RFID business in Japan as we are creating software and consulting solutions. The staff we hired up there speak English and have both high level language and micro-controller skills. Ask CB about finding this skill set in Australia at an affordable price. I own my beef business which my wife and I started with a couple investors and we have now bought out. The abattoir in China was started with around 20 Chinese Australian investors who understood the needs and future in China. While staff are cheap in China, these guys are in there working 10-12 hours per day 6 days a week.

        And as to the knowledge of Futurama, when you are on the road consulting, your travel time can approach 95% in the states. I would carry an external HD with a whole bunch of brain dead shit to help shut down at night. Other options were booze nights (always tried to limit these to 1 per week though with some clients it was hard) or local TV with ads. So no, no pot, not lazy, just a creature of routines built up over 25 years of too much travel and running my own business. Friday was always the night I would arrive back into Boston or Raleigh. Would head out to Capital Grill for a steak or to the local sushi train followed by a few reds with the friends before flopping in front of the TV for a couple of episodes of nothingness before crashing into bed. Now I don’t travel as regularly but still follow the nightly ritual especially on Friday. Sushi train in Hurstville (won’t be going there again – back to our usual near Central) followed a bottle of SA red (not the Wynn’s black label but still a nice drop) then my last bottle of Hunter Valley Cab Sav shared with the wife.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Seems I touched a nerve there John.
        You dont have to inherent the family farm to benifit from the privilege that comes from being a member of a land owning “Plantation class” of people,..how many Kanaks did your grandparents “Employ”


        Though Im a lefty and would ban non value added exports of Australian raw materials and produce if given the chance,…I do respect tradition and acknowledge your following in the families footsteps,…

        “The abattoir in China was started with around 20 Chinese Australian investors who understood the needs and future in China. While staff are cheap in China, these guys are in there working 10-12 hours per day 6 days a week.”

        Nice,..if you cant get the “Kanaks” here any more, go to china to get the slave labor and use it at the source.

        It kinda seems to me, the decisions “People like you” make, have just as detrimental effect on Australian “Jerbs” as the property speculators you so lament.


        Why even bother to express concern and emotion for outcomes in Australia?
        Your sence of Solidarity clearly lies with your Class, rather than Your Nationality.

      • No nerves touched but it was interesting to read your response. The perception of the landed gentry or class is amusing. Our family built their farms through the depths of the depression with multiple neighbours to ensure all had something and none starved. As German immigrants, they suffered their fair share of racism. I hated the ridged rules and dogmatic views and rebelled. The only thing I got from the family was a sense of dependence on self efforts not hand outs and brain power and persistence are more important than hard work to achieve financial rewards. So I have no problem with you believing that my family gave me a head start as this is the default meme in Australia for anyone with ambition who makes a go of it.

        As for jobs in Australia, we employ a handful on the farm and if all goes to plan in the next 6 weeks will finalise purchase of 2 more businesses creating a couple of new rural jobs. Ever tried running an abattoir in Oz? I am a member of NCMC and know the former owners of John Dee, Primo and Tabro and can confidently say staffing and training is hard because of the high cost of low skilled labour. Fix this and we may have an advantage. But in China, i will halve my workforce in the next 5 years as our automation systems from Germany are installed and brought online. As for Kanaks, i had to ask mum and they were used extensively in the area. Once the mechanical harvesters from Tofts and Massey Ferguson came out, they were replaced overnight by crews who bought a harvester and contracted to the farmers.

    • HA HA – yeah – my family’s farm in Bundaberg no longer grows sugar cane it is a macadamia nut and avocado orchard.

      • Go for it OJ AS an old sheep wheat cattleman it drives me nuts!!!! There is no end to the ignorance and sheer utter inanity!

  3. Hey Pop, thanks for the link on WeChat, I scored prime quality grade A beefy expat with secret sauce!

    Was talking tonight about the pro’s and con’s of moving back to HK (for my wife) or staying put in Sydney and buying out the neighbour in Kirribilli. It was a real difficult decision to be honest. 1 is an international city and gateway to the world with insane property prices and the other just has insane property prices with a few passable beaches and some real nice boating areas. In the end we agreed that we can have both. Buy the neighbour’s apartment in Kirribilli and combine it with ours to double the floor space. Money we make from AirBnB covers the cost of staying at the serviced apartments we use in HK (friend is the owner so we get preferential pricing). Short flight to the facilities in Lianyungang and the local Mayor has a suite for me at the Pullman complete with PRC bugs and all meals (including Moutai) included. So, complete the deal I am working on and onto the PT (Permanent Traveller) lifestyle with my latest office in a briefcase for me…. Still don’t get what all the kerfuffle with the Panama papers was all about, just some dumb schmucks who got caught right? Secret to any tax advantage structure is to plan and execute before you make money, then the costs of setting it up appear to be part of business as usual not a strategy to be tax advantaged.

    On a completely unrelated matter, any one see the new Macbook Pro release and details? Must confess to being a cheap bastard when it comes to such things (I run a Hackintosh Mac Pro in the office which cost me 1/4 of Apple prices and is now 3 years old) and my current Macbook Pro is now 5.5 years old and just starting to show a few scratches. Any thoughts on the new 15 inch full spec version with 1gig, processor upgrade, video upgrade (don’t tell the wife but I am bringing back the WoW after a 12 month hiatus)? Any purchase needs to have at least a 5 year survival time (which my current 2011 model has after SSD and 16GB RAM upgrades), if not then I will keep the existing beast and get a portable monitor for the road (http://www.gechic.com/product_en.asp).

    • Got to admit I do like the mac laptops. The OS is kinda nice too, much more security/privacy than Windows 10.

      That said though the recent update was pretty underwhelming, you’re paying quite a premium compared to similarly specced Windows laptops. You also have to swap all your cables to the new USB connector. If you’re in the running for a Macbook Pro and your current one is out of date then I’d suggest going for last year’s model if you can get it for better value proposition.

      If you don’t mind going Windows, the Razer notebooks have a similar design to the Macbooks with plenty of beef. Half the battery life however.

      • You get what you pay for, and if time is important to you and you do meaningful work the Mac operating system can be a good choice for many. Especially when you consider how easy it is to communicate with the iPhone and iPad. And nowadays the Windows OS operates almost as fast on the Mac platform as it does on the Windows machines when the right emulator is used on the Mac; these are readily available. But it is difficult to run the Mac OS on a Windows machine. Nonetheless, the recent Mac OS releases don’t exactly set the world on fire; catering more for the latte and smashed avocado set really, as is Micro$oft now with their latest offerings, so I’ll be sticking to MacOS version10.11 (El Capitan) for the foreseeable future.

      • I run Sierra on the Macbook Pro but stayed on El Capitan for the Hackintosh. Very comfortable with running Windows on a Mac and MacOS on a Windows box having built hackintoshes for the last 8 years. That said, good idea to look at the previous year model, will check it out when I am in HK next month. Not worried about replacing cables etc as performance is key to the mobile office suite I tote around with. Looked at the Surface but talking to a long time user I know, reliability was a big concern especially given the level of travel I do to remote China where one does not want to be caught with non-functioning computer equipment.

      • Haroldus,
        I’m a byoc type of fella. Bring Your Own Cask.
        And it has to be rolling tobacco.

        Have you ever seen the old BBC doco ‘LSD: The Beyond Within’? Well worth your time.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        2oz of Mt Sabine heads for general bien etre, a bottle of Stanton and Killeen Classic Rutherglen Musca for me, maybe 4 bottles of Wynns Black label Cabernet to share around, and a couple of Cascade stubbies (also for me) to get into the swing of things.

        Some cheese and bikkies, a selection of dips from the nearest Aldi – and let the show begin. Seeing as it is at Kirribilli, maybe some flaming torches and a loud hailer, whistles and drums, and some park cricket gear.

      • alwaysanonMEMBER

        I know this was facetious but I would totally have a Macrobusiness MeetUp. I’d even fly to another city (I’m in Sydney) if it was going to be a proper one…

    • alwaysanonMEMBER

      I work for a tech company that is mostly Macs and we are disappointed in the new MBPs. Worse keyboard, worse battery life, no more RAM (16GB not enough for pros in 2016) and no USB or HDMI ports (you need dongles for everything). Plus more expensive. All for the sake of being thinner and lighter which we didn’t ask for. Many are thinking of defecting to the Dell alternatives like the XPS 15 running Linux.

    • Careful mate, if you attract even half as much state interest as I do than I’ll guarantee you that your laptop has a few nice viruses.
      Most of the time while in China I run Mint from a liveUSB with the internal HDD disconnected. Even with these precautions I change laptops real regularly, I never travel into/out-of China with a laptop that I’ve used. I encrypt my necessary data with a random data One Time Pad and upload the encrypted data to a cloud server, just for entertainment I carry the OTP decode USB ….I wonder how many Cryptanlyists are ripping their hair out trying to figure out what on the USB.

      • I tend to use virtual boxes and replace the SSD. To date never been infected but one of my travelling companions used a USB given by a company employee in China on her windows 8 box and that was it. I always carry my own wifi repeater that tracks usage to look for adherent behaviour, and the poor little thing had a fit over the amount of traffic being spewed out after the USB. Replaced the drive when we got out of China and needless to say, never use USB from a Chinese client again.

      • @alwaysanon …Yep with OTP there’s no password and I make sure I have an upload that decodes properly for under-duress access. The link to the real data changes daily so I can’t give them the data even if they decide to use Rubber-hose_cryptanalysis. After two days without access the real data gets completely erased and the links are lost forever. All I ever carry is a huge file filled with random data. On the hard drive I always use Truecrypt but I never store anything useful there, it’s more entertainment for the tech boys and buys me time so that the real data they’re after can be long gone before they realize they’ve wasted time decoding another bogus file. Of course they respond by infecting me with a zero-day so I just give away the laptop. And so the game continues.

      • I haven’t used Peppermint but I did use a Chromebook for a while…I really liked the Toshiba Chromebook good screen. 10hr battery life and real light. Trouble is I dont really trust Google.

    • OJ I dunno…If you have been around China a long time as you seem to have been you should be allergic to Moutai! After 30 years of I am completely screwed. Mind you I got badly damaged a few times!
      It’s just pure alcohol damned near for anyone who hasn’t had any. It hits your stomach and you stomach turns over in revulsion! It’s about 1.5 the proof od Over-proof Rum!


      • OJ – my family comes from around there. Originally descendants from the Cania gold fields and an uncle and aunt in Bundaberg. I still remember heading off at 5 am for tobacco picking on one of the Italian farms back in the 70’s. At UofQ with doctors on Bourbong street near the train crossing. Driving up to Bundaberg through the cane fields was a great experience.

      • OMG! I just looked on Street View and Bundaberg is nothing like it was 25 years ago! Who could have guessed? I will have to go back some day and have a look.

      • “Driving up to Bundaberg through the cane fields was a great experience.” At UQ in ’80’s and would time the christmas trip home to hit the Goodwood road exit near Childers right on dusk for 50 or so klics of uninterrupted cane toad massacre. Thankfully only ever helped out on Grandfather and Uncle’s farms when young and did tomato picking for 1 week before getting a job with the DPI on my breaks.

      • You had to drive over the cane toads facing towards you to make them pop. If they were facing the other way then they would just bite their tongue and hop away.

        i swear that up in Bundy once I killed a cane toad and buried it in the back yard. Next day it was gone! Still it was Easter.

    • Anytime. I haven’t done it myself, but I’d lose a heap of potential points by not having done my HSK. Have been mulling over the implications of the incident that caused yesterday’s wechat. Still not sure if it was a one off or if it should be slotted into a ‘wider change picture’. Just hope that doesn’t happen to me. Bumped into a couple of long term Aussie business people I haven’t seen in ages at a block Halloween party this afternoon. Their take was they are increasing the foreign population but they only want very specific types, and English teachers ain’t on the list. My issue is I fall into a category(corporate comm/cultural skills training) they don’t really recognise officially, and my employers don’t pay enough for someone like me. Hopefully it won’t be a problem soon, but the locus of control is definitely tightening.

      The change in abode plans sound good. There’s no reason why you can’t have your cake and eat it too, I’m sure you know how not to be greedy and get indigestion in life.
      I thought this was very interesting from several perspectives.

      • The treaty they are discussing coming into effect next January is actually kind of interesting for Chinese in Australia. I notice they say reporting is in September 2018, but I heard an earlier date from a Chinese bank official I was talking to. Later date might be for offshore banks reporting back.

  4. “Re: Trafficking//Loretta Lynch

    From:[email protected] To: [email protected] Date: 2015-03-16 11:02 Subject: Re: Trafficking//Loretta Lynch

    We will send around a draft tweet. On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 8:52 AM, Huma Abedin wrote: > She knows Loretta. Not an extremely close relationship and don’t > remember last time they connected. > She was in running to be Spitzer LG years ago. Hrc wanted Leecia Eve, > others pushed Lynch. Regardless, definitely a cordial relationship. > I would vote for a tweet. > —————————— > *From:* John Podesta > *Sent:* Monday, March 16, 2015 8:35:43 AM > *To:* Kristina Schake > *Cc:* Jim Margolis; Joel Benenson; Mandy Grunwald; Jesse Ferguson; > Jennifer Palmieri; Robby Mook; Jake Sullivan; Huma Abedin > *Subject:* Re: Trafficking//Loretta Lynch > > > Pretty sure she knows her, but not certain. +Huma > On Mar 16, 2015 8:32 AM, “Kristina Schake” > wrote: > >> We weren’t planning to, but with the new development think we should. We >> could do a tweet today. Does she know Lynch? If so, we could make it more >> personal or do it as a statement . Copying in Jesse too. >> >> On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:55 AM, John Podesta >> wrote: >> >>> We doing anything on this today? >>> >> >>”

    Who did Bill meet on tarmac? Un fucking believable

  5. “Ronald L. Rivest, an inventor of the RSA encryption algorithm (his name is the “R” in “RSA”), said standards can be weakened to allow law enforcement officials access to encrypted data. “But,” he said, “you’ve done great damage to our security infrastructure if you do that.” The issue is not simply national, said Rivest, a computer science professor at MIT who signed the letter. “Once you make exceptions for U.S. law enforcement, you’re also making exceptions for the British, the French, the Israelis and the Chinese, and eventually it’ll be the North Koreans.”

    In a leaked email! LOL can’t make this up


    • Not only did she not say anything about the investigation reopening, all she could say was women, women, women, girls, women, women, women.

      What can she possibly do “for women” that hasn’t already been done? Just bizarre – I don’t remember Obama saying blacks, African Americans, blacks blacka…. He already had that vote

      And that crap about “it’s a woman’s thing, I LOVE to make lists! And CROSSING THINGS OFF” what the fuck is she talking about?

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Look ! A distraction !

        The wonderful thing about talking about “womens’ things” is it’s potential to expand infinitely until it leaves no space in the MSM for talking about anything else, and especially so abstract and serious and history changing as the like of the TPP, TTIP and TISA, and how global corporations will use these trade treaties to screw over ordinary American employees even more, and how, despite her recent Damascus conversion, she played a key part in the writing up of those monster treaties and is sure to try to bring them in the backdoor.

      • The whole thing is beyond coocoo-land, if Trump said anything about men he’d get torn a new one by EVERYONE – left and right, but hilldawg can talk nothing but women and girls to crowds of basically only women – and nobody says anything! I’ve never seen anything like this and I remember the Iraq war propaganda vividly…

      • Keep up the good fight Mig.

        I don’t get the women women women thing either. Unless it because HRC enjoys a good woman, Hounddawg Bill likes as many good women as he can get his hands on and no one respects women as much as Trump.

        Women on her brain. Her brain which received injury so severe she claimed this as part reason she couldnt answer FBI questions. Meanwhile she spews forth every platitude and inanity ever invented in the political arena and conformist media lap it up. She is the DiCaprio of US politics, all hot air and no substance. But she’s worse than Leo, she likes an overseas intervention or three, her Warhawk talons well honed.

        HRC, the Obama era reject, soon to be POTUS. Nothing more than some kind of perverted affirmative action creation.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        edit Yes, it’s extraordinary, talk about anything but that which matters, like trade, defence, email scandals,, whatever. It’s peak empty identity politics, but there’s been decades of mass programming to prepare the way for this. Regardless your political opinion, compare with Merkel or Thatcher, or the great women of history, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth of Austria, Elizabeth of England, Isabel I of Castile……lol her winning the WH like this would be a set back,for the cause of women.

      • Trump is playing identity politics as well, just a newer version of it.

        It is certainly hilarious watching the RA-RA-RA-Trump! brigade bitch about identity politics, “virtue signalling”, and the like.

      • drsmithy, I think you can be very confident that Trump is a bona fide convicted thought criminal. You nailed him! Well done.

      • Let me guess, you’re someone who whinges about ‘people who try to shut down discussion by yelling “racist”‘ ?

  6. Productive v Unproductive capital inflows


    Just in case you were thinking that drivng down the $AUD with lower interest rates WITHOUT carefully regulating unproductive capitals inflows was an option


    Will international investors get cold feet about buying Australian Government bonds? (not that we should be selling them anyway)


    Just as well we are not some tin pot Emerging Economy country dependent on commodities or asset price ponzi schemes.



    … extracts …

    … The parking space at 55 Conduit Road, in the exclusive Mid-Levels district high above Hong Kong’s financial centre, was sold for HK$4.8 million €566,000 this week, according to filings with the Land Registry. …

    … Hong Kong has the world’s least affordable housing, with the median housing price 19 times the median annual pre-tax household income, as measured by Demographia, a US consultancy.

    Parking lots are also at a premium, with 1,574 spaces changing hands in the third quarter this year at an average price of HK$1.3 million, according to Centaline.

    – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016) …


    Don’t count on making big bucks from your home , Opinion News & Top Stories – The Straits Times


    As social values change, emphasis is now placed on property as housing rather than as speculative assets

    Should cooling measures be eased, now that property prices are sliding further?

    That question has cropped up again.

    October data showed that private home prices fell 1.5 per cent in the third quarter from the second – the steepest such fall in seven years. That was also the 12th consecutive quarter of decline. In all, private home prices were 10.8 per cent lower, compared to the third quarter of 2013.

    But Singapore’s property prices remain high when compared to many major cities. The 2016 survey of housing affordability by Demographia puts affordability here at a median multiple price-to-income ratio of five, which is considered “seriously unaffordable”. This means median housing prices are five times the median household annual income – which means it takes five years of wages to pay for a property. A multiple of three and under is considered affordable. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • When a condo sells in the Greater Toronto Area, it is more likely than not that an investor without intentions of calling that unit home has bought it.

      That’s what the results of the latest Urbanation survey of GTA developers suggest. The results of the survey were first revealed last night at 505 Richmond Street West.

      “We know that the government is looking closely at the Toronto market with the expectation of perhaps introducing a foreign buyer’s tax as they have in BC,” said Shaun Hildebrand, VP of Urbanation


  8. A response to Hugh


    That Straits times article is a classic

    “….In the latest example, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the Government is considering selling downtown flats on different terms, to make up for the “lottery” effect of some couples enjoying huge capital gains……

    He said the Government wanted a “fair and equitable” way to do so, such as by selling the flats under a shorter lease or increasing the resale levy or increasing the MOP.

    In another interview, Mr Wong said cooling measures will be here to stay for a while to curb capital inflows, including from overseas, adding: “We don’t want to be a nation of property speculators.”…

    And this

    “……They hark back to nostalgia for the heyday of the 1990s and early 2000s, when properties were unabashedly assets that people churned for massive gains free of tax, and the state actively promoted the doctrine of one’s home as an asset to be upgraded, to enhance its value (remember the whole “asset enhancement” exercise?)….”

    Singapore has no idea how to run a successful economy.

    Bet they dont have any reality TV shows about speculating on asset prices either.

  9. Welp, NCAT Tribunal hearing is in a little over a week against slumlord/agent who refused urgent repairs, falsely advertised, lied about legislation, issued a retaliatory eviction and was generally incompetent. I know the tribunal is supposed to be rather informal, but it will be interesting (and a bit worrying) to see if they bring legal representation.

    We still don’t have a place to move though, and it seems as though the agent is probably giving us a terrible reference check — as we’ve been rejected for 4 or 5 places now. We’ve been accepted for 3, but they’re quite cheap and nasty houses in dodgy areas that the agents were desperate to fill. One rejection included a house we offered an extra $10 p/w for..

    The next step will be getting documented evidence from an application showing the agent giving us a poor reference, then threatening to go after them for defamation.

    Worst case scenario, I think we’ll just hang around to buy ourselves more time and tell the agent to go to NCAT for a termination order. The local advocacy service suggested this. I don’t feel terribly keen about waiting here for a locksmith and police to enter and forcibly evict us though.

    Not sure how any of this relates to weekend links, but eh.. whatever. I suppose it shows my determination to not jump on in and buy a property. Despite that, the risk of potentially ending up homeless because of a bitchy, unskilled 20-something property manager seems fairly real. What the hell. Maybe it’s a sign of the times — and tensions are running high in the rental market for agents/landlords. Wishful thinking?

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Yeah, same thing happened to a friend of mine. Slumlord wanted them out so agent told fibs and ended up blacklisting them. Friends didn’t know what to do so had to cop it sweet and build reputation. Until…

      Slumlord and agent had visits from big, angry people. My friends had other friends. Big, angry friends. One shouldn’t be an arsehole in a small town. That agent has never worked again. Don’t think slumlord shows her face around much anymore. Friends rent a nice home.

      So Zarathustar, have any big, angry friends?

      • Lmmao reminds me of a 7th day Adventist builder that tried to screw over the Brickies when they came to the site to pick up their check. Builder tried the 11th hour I’m not happy with the job so I’m knocking off a few thousand.

        Needless to say he ended up running for his site shack demountable to lock himself in, so the brickies started poring petrol around the shack and rigged up a torch and were dead set ready to go medieval. No other trade on site got involved, tho you could see him looking at everyone with pleading eyes….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. a check was produced with the right amount and it was like nothing happened – en fin

    • All the best.

      Wish the industry was licensed so she can have hers deservedly revoked for 10 years. In light of unaffordable buy prices being a likely future, our rental laws desperately need to be fixed.

      Excellent stories MB and skip.

    • Zarathustar….

      Don’t know your local laws, but in some places tenets that do work on the rental are deemed to have added value and as such have legal rights. I not sure but it would be funny to fix the stuff on “safety” grounds [huge legal deal due to insurance et al] and then invoice them, failure to pay means you can submit in court for a key lien…..

      Disehvled Marsupial…. as always you have to check local laws and factor in the dominate attitude of the courts.

    • It’s easy enough to get around the reference check. Simply give them a friends details and have the friend say they are a private landlord who rented to you. Job done. Also now is the time to prepare a formal complaint regarding your bond to the department of fair trading. they send a letter to the agent and if they don’t formally respond in 2 weeks the agent loses their rights to keep your bond. At a minimum it is more work and hassle for them.

      • The problem with this is that they often require bank statements / tenant ledger to show you are capable of affording rent — whch means fraudulence. There has been no bond dispute yet (not due to leave for 2 weeks), but we are going to Fair Trading to make various complaints against the tenants.

        To settle the disputes for the issues experienced, we need to go against the landlord (as the agent just acts on their behalf). There is little evidence the landlord is responsible at this point — everything points to a dodgy agent. So, we will be complaining to Fair Trading about the agent. Part of that will be pre-empting and advising we’re now concerned about a possible bond dispute.

    • @zarathustar in my experience VCAT will put you in a room for mediation. If you cant reach agreement they will schedule a formal hearing. I doubt they can evict while these proceedings are on foot.
      Generally, if you haven’t run a meth lab or bikie den, you should get a good hearing.

    • Don’t be surprised if they have representation. Friend has been to VCAT on a couple of occasions against property types, make sure your facts are water tight; dates times etc and also produce your rent payment history, 6 monthly inspection reports etc that shows you’ve kept your end the bargain. If you get on with your neighbors, and oddity these days, ask then to write a letter saying your good, quiet neighbors who keep the place tidy. Little things that can blunt angles of attack.

      • Like any other legal quasi legal process, you should access earlier decisions that are analogous to the circumstances in your dispute and give the desired result f course. Then you just repeat the pertinent sections of the decision like a script. Takes the stress out and if the decision is from a tribunal president that’s even better.

        What jurisdiction, what are the facts in dispute?

      • I’ve never even met the neighbours (it’s sad that’s the way things are now). I have some character references though, including one from an ex-neighbour I may be able to use..

        @tonydd — There are some case studies on the NCAT site, including an example of retaliatory eviction. The site advises the case studies do not set a legal precent, and are informational only. Having said that, the circumstances of our received termination notice are even more odd/peculiar than the case study (and eerily similar in some regards!) and indicative of a retaliatory eviction. Hopefully the Tribunal agree.

    • Re: tenant ledger
      How do you pay your rent? Are you given any records? Perhaps you can just present those records rather than (or in addition to) give them the RE agents contact details.

      • Through the fucking poisonous DEFT system with its 85c transaction fee.. There is a tenant ledger, but it obviously has the agent’s details on it.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Back in the 90s we had a Nasty 20 something property manager who gave us nothing but grief, so we put an ad in the trading post for a ridiculously under priced V8 commodore, using her Name, mobile and work phone number.

      She received 100s of bogan callers who wouldn’t stand for being told to fuck off!,… Ha! revenge is sweet!


    • innocent bystander

      I put in a longer reply that seems to have got lost.
      in essence, make sure you written submission is excellent.
      decision pretty much made by mediator before you arrive at informal sitting.
      based on Perth experience. might be different there.

      • Grafton NSW NCAT was a joke, corrupt abusive judge, fraudulent agent were in cahoots, and a slumlord from hell, all biased to the agent, total scumbags.

  10. FWIW the bus bombing in Brisbane amounts to a psych patient losing the plot, at least the driver died almost instantly, the tow truck driver did the most to limit loss of life or injury.

    Disheveled Marsupial…. file under freedom and liberty ™….. sigh…..

  11. Another flip:

    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-nsw-enmore-117477667 – sold for $1.025m in Aug14
    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-nsw-enmore-123818382 – sold for $1.391m prior to auction this week.

    Nothing has changed except the kitchen cabinets have been painted white. 17%pa for the past 2 years — this is reality and is consistent with a number of resales in the area. The RBA is really asleep at the wheel and Joye is right, even though his stats/index are showing smaller gains.

    In the same postcode

    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-nsw-newtown-116822467 — sold for 920k in May14
    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-nsw-newtown-122669286 — sold for 1200k in Jun16

    14%pa gain in 2 years

    Just down the road from the first example

    http://www.belleproperty.com/selling/NSW/Inner-West/Enmore/House/34P0242-4-london-street-enmore-nsw-2042 – $1.21m in Oct12
    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-nsw-enmore-123243138 – $1.945m in Aug16
    (12.5%pa compound for 4 years with no renovation)

    I could go on…. plenty of examples. Maybe i should send them to Chris Joye so he can publish them all.

    • Properties bought from around mid 2015 would not make much profit if any. Some areas in Sydney still growing but South West is dead now. Normally South West is the canary.. as it gets impacted first.
      If unemployment numbers over the next 3 months continue to be similar like last month watch out.
      Next year job numbers will be even worse as few large resource projects will start to shed workers and then comes the Auto. Only massive government spending can save the day.

    • There are some little pockets of madness even in the outer suburbs of Newcastle.. I found this house when looking for rentals for myself:


      They’re wanting $600 p/w, presumably to cover the $750,000 sale price on 01/11/2014… Yes, three quarters of a million for a fairly typical 3 bedroom brick house in an outer suburb of Newcastle back in 2014.. Not exactly waterfront property or anything. $750,000 would be arguably more justified for somewhere on the beach like Merewether, Bar Beach, etc (but I’d still consider it overpriced, unless it was a mansion) — but given it’s location, the price is utter madness.

      Plenty of other examples in similar suburbs (Waratah, Georgetown, Mayfield, etc) at similar locations where prices are up around $500k+

      • $600 p/w? I just spat my coffee on the screen. We pay $80 less than that per week for a much nicer 3 bdr house in Ryde

  12. FBI reopens case? Charade of due process now the criminality and corruption laid bare #HillaryforPrison2016

    • V. interesting FBI has reopened the case. Obama/Democrats widely thought to have stepped on a few necks to get the original nothing-to-see-here verdict. What has changed for them to re-open?

      • My guess is these fuckers know their shit is getting leaked within days and are looking for some cover

      • @ Mig – thinking same but then again she has to win. I don’t think these fuckers care more or less about what law says. They are above the law. By now she should have been out of the race but look at the MSM. I believe it when I see it.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Total retard that Trump is, it would be a wonderful can of worms to see opened,…him pushing for Hillarys prosecution and incarceration.

        It would really open up the discussion and awareness, on what really goes on in Washington.

        Hard to believe that Trump, if he did win, would even be alive for very long, after becoming President. He just threatens to expose too much of how power is really wielded in the US/World, all be it by mostly accidental blustering and the shooting off of his mouth, rather than anykind of Altursium or solidarity for the people.

        If he “wins”,… he’s a dead man.

    • I just heard Donald telling us the he wants the US to take the best and brightest from everywhere to make America great again. No way the Peasants are going to stay home and apply the skills and education Lithuania paid for. And they can go to Flint, where 1 in 6 houses have been abandoned because the waters still a bit dodgy.
      The whole things a mess isn’t it? Still, nothing another blast of QE shouldn’t sort out for all of us…..

  13. There is a good interview over at the Keiser Report with Michael Hudson about job figures being bunk because you are considered gainfully employed when only working part time. The vid us embedded in this page.


    That starts at about 12.30 in. The first half of the show is looking at the Clintons. Stacey does a good job of raising the corruption of the Clinton foundation. Max is Max and gets his rant on. Sometimes he should just let her speak uninterrupted.

  14. Who thinks that world-inflation has probably bottomed and is now on a sustainable rise ( refer: commodity/agricultural & allied/house&land prices), as is – therefore ( when one additionally includes positive effects of our rising terms-of-trade)? – long-term interest rates – Australia included.
    So ?…… our currency is not to fall to zero, as is also the case for our short & longer-term interest rates? When the information changes fundamentally, does when change one’s view … or simply resist with rationalised arguments?

      • Mig … thanks for the welcome.
        S&P 500 / DOW / ASX 200 ………… all now near 3 month lows.

      • @travis … Sale …. of the CENTURY

        In reference to shares and bonds = interest rates going higher, Mate … because inflation is.

        Above also associates with your later comments. Cheers… want to take a bet that I’m right and you not ?

      • @uptown – I agree there is more risk to the downside also but my valuation case sees top line revenue coming off with deflation as against your case of a higher discount rate. Nah don’t need to bet I’ll happily acknowledge you if you prove correct and if I’m right? well I don’t care that much so there’ll be no crowing from me
        enjoy the ride, first 6 months of next year should be a beauty

      • @travis … come-on …. a 50c bet ; that way, it almost ‘ensures’ interest.

        So, here goes: ” I wager that the ASX 200 will be at least 10% lower any time during the next 8 months” . How that grab you ?

  15. Again in the vein of ‘probably contrary to MB general thought’ – refer previous post @ 3:33pm :
    So, who thinks that the devalued/devalueing Yuan will not, in fact, turn out to be ultimately deflationary [ as proposed by MB ] , but actually (has contributed, and will continue to contribute) to increased upward pressure on particular commodity/agricultural prices ?

    Can it be that the Chinese – facing capital export restrictions, also as a result of their declining currency – then simply (have hedged /will continue to hedge) their externally-denominated wealth position by investing heavily into particular commodities/agricultural futures? …. that is, the declining Yuan contributes ultimately instead to inflation of particular prices.

    • not me. Debt overhang domestic economy downward pressure on exchange rate, the power of which multiple times bigger impact than any desire not to repatriate any trade revenue.
      Deflation still on course, part attribution to input costs from China but mostly ie. >50% effect from domestic demand in Aust/USA/EU falling off a cliff due to over leverage consumer

    • “that is, the declining Yuan contributes ultimately instead to inflation of particular prices.” – yep you are 100% on the money here. Only problem is, why isn’t Shanghai gold sales increasing? I don’t follow bitcoin often but have heard it is being bid up also in Yuan terms while HK insurance policies are selling like hedge cakes. Real issue for these folks who are bidding up the commodities is the PBOC who can change the rules on them overnight and effectively wipe them out. Margin increases in Thermal Coal have started though as noted here it possible that a true shortage exists so impact may be contained.

      Also as noted in the last few weeks, what will happen when the “smart” money from China chasing yields outside China finally tires of 5% returns while projects yielding 20+% in China can be found? We funded our development in Jiangsu with such money and while still a trickle relative to the current outflows, it is and will continue to increase. Oh and don’t dismiss the chances that the PBOC will pull a fast revaluation soon.

      • Smart money being key. Spent a couple of hours this afternoon having my brain picked over the idea of Chinese investing in a ‘chateau’ in Australia by my investment bank HR student on behalf of her husband who has a client wanting to buy a vineyard in Australia. After straightening out their terminology (and warning them that if anyone in OZ was trying to sell Chinese a chateau they were quite likely being fleeced) we got into a discussion of dumb (or unsophisticated/uneducated if you want to be kind) tuhao and their lack of understanding of easy come easy go. Apparently there are still a lot of them, investing for face only, returns optional, more money than sense. The money gods of China’s generous gift to the rest of the world, one wonders when/if it will ever run out. She’s the HR for this banks private wealth management section, her comment was that the way wealth management was conducted in Europe and China is VERY different. Their clients only want to know how much the investment will increase by, they don’t want any other information concerning the investment.

      • Popcod….

        Now some know how the Europeans felt about the American nouveau riche around the early 1900s…. this is just a sequel with some new actors…

      • @Pop – I suspect said Chateau is in Victoria and once was associated with a French brand. I pulled the numbers apart on this deal and it was not a good investment due to the massive overhang in unsold wines. Wonder if it is indeed this one.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        That’d be the Blue Pryenees estate (which was once Chateau Remy). The partners which bought out the French circa 2003 or 2004 have been looking to sell out for a while. There has been a lot of Asian buying of landholdings in the area.

        The wine produced there is superb quality – but unfortunately the market has been crafted these days for a demand which just wants liquid and alcoholic (without knowing or caring what it is drinking) – which means a lot of the winemaking impulse is now about creating a location to go to – conference venues, hotels etc – rather than the wine.

      • I have a friend in China atm who is speaking with a couple of Chinese parties who expressed interest in said Chateau. Big sticking point has been the need to move a very large number of bottles of wine at a very large price in the Chinese market. Sure they have their Chinese branding done but at circa AUD$60 RRP, this requires an investor who can also handle the importation and distribution in China to be successful. Kills off quite a number of your normal tuhao.

      • Oops whilst were on wine its important to check the climatic projections and industry guidance wrt to that…. relocation has already begun….

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Excellent …….we need more comics like this for the masses ……..very clear logical and thought provoking ……eventually a great darkness awaits unless we start planning with the half empty tank now

      • “start planning with the half empty tank now” – Thx TT, great response. I checked out the rest of his website, he is creating a comic book on thermoeconomics. It is like the message Nate Hagens preaches – in comic form. I hear Nate is writing a book too.

  16. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Want with my artist wife to a gallery this afternoon . Noted an innovative new business .

    Why not let us come to your Million dollar Uncle Harry skybox and ” completely transform your space .Our home curation service follows our 7 step C.U.R.A.T.E.D
    process ” ……..can’t afford it ?…never mind …you can start with $500-$1000 interest free per month with Art Money ….yeh ,just get your wall hangings on credit !…..what ever happened to the good old Toulouse Loutrec prints that were good enough when ah were a lad !

    Mind you good luck to any artists that can sell their works …….even if on credit …….

  17. Anyone have any thoughts on Phil Anderson from dailyreckoning opinion that housing is in an upswing cycle starting in 2008 and may continue to well into 2020 plus? Seems hard to believe but i guess anything might be possible these days. I sure hope it doesn’t take that long for a proper correction.

    • No one else there seems to agree with him, including the likes of Vern Gowdie who makes great sense. But Anderson has the lead by a furlong with his calls so far.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        PPP ha a point man for most possible outcomes ……..Vern is on the hold your powder dry in cash point …..Phillip Anderson is on the pour into realestate point …..and Kris Sayce is ……..what way is the wind blowing today point …………and all of them are in the Matthew McConnaughey …..Wolf of Wall Street …round and round 24//7/365 keep those subscriptions comming point ……………….there ….that’s my cynical take ……….mind you, collectivlly they do have value …….but you need to have a good multilayered filter ………

      • “China could crush the market by forcing its nationals to repatriate money tied up in overseas property,”

        I think this little gem is something many in Australia don’t realise is a real possibility. The Chinese government has been tightening controls over its citizens for the last 5 years. Not all at once, but they are boiling the frog slowly. Simple things such as exit control from the country, naked officials losing benefits and entitlements for promotion, foreign trade agreements with repatriation clauses (note quite a number of these come into full effect starting Jan 2017) and massive increase in propaganda on trains, billboards, tv etc in China. Don’t know if it will happen, but I won’t be surprised when it does happen. Know too many “connected” Chinese who have been “detained” or had a sudden need to return to China at extremely short notice to dismiss anything at this stage.

      • depends on your perspective. 100% cash here so I long for a day that the Chinese upsticks and take the capital home. Bring it on, nothing to be feared at all

    • Everybody right until they are wrong.

      I look into my crystal ball and I see price-to-income ratios normalising by way of wage inflation rather than nominal house price falls.

      I also see the entire inner city suburbs being zoned medium-high density. Whilst this may seem like a bonanza for house-owners, it won’t be. It will be more a case of taxing people out of houses and into apartments.

      • Or put another way, a currency correction (crises) taking the AUD to US 0.10.

        Keeping in mind, we now make nothing, the job losses from drop off in consumption due to the trade-able inflation would be all consuming.

        But I get your point !

      • It will please me no end to see house prices crash. The reason I lean towards wage inflation is because it further punishes savers.

        Sod’s law of economics. Punish the savers!

    • The Penske FileMEMBER

      Danny. My take on his piece is that he using a cycle methodology for RE pricing with no mention of both Australian and the world’s debt levels. It’s this reason that I put his thoughts in the garb category. I haven’t read his full book or whatever it is that they tried way to many times some week or two ago to flog to me however they have written it up in the daily print several times. Maybe he’s explained how circa $200t in debt doesn’t matter there.

    • I don’t read much of it these days so I don’t know what Anderson is saying. However I continuously warn here that CB’s, including the RBA, know only one thing and that is to print. There is no room to turn around in this rabbit hole. China stiill has so me USD2.4 Trillion that it has to get rid of – or at least a large portion of it. It’s been my contention that any crisis here would erupt in the external account. Given that we still have quite a few resources and a lot of land to sell, and we are quite happy to sell houses etc to anyone then a crisis in the external account is unlikely to erupt while CB’s such as the Fed, ECB and BoE are printing. Remember also CB’s have looked through the inflation (by any sensible and honest economist’s definition) in all this. They will continue to do so and the RBA has recently stated that it will continue to do so. Other CB’s will continue to do so even if it starts to show up in CPI. If they touch the brakes the car will swerve violently and head for the edge of the cliff. At that stage they have to hit the accelerator really hard to get the car to straighten up again and head off down the mountain at an even faster rate than before.
      Over the next whatever years houses may well end up being priced much higher in nominal terms – perhaps multiples higher.
      One thing that could possibly crash this scenario is the current rampant xenophobia about Chinese. In which casw we sould be damned careful what we wish for.
      Another factor is that it seems they are going to elect a warmongering fascist tart to the most powerful position of what is seemingly still the most powerful nation on earth. In the very depths of my gut I fear the consequences of that.

      • I guess I have the same logical opinion as everyone else here, however in the real world i must be in the minority

    • Danny Like the DR I could argue sensibly for any scenario. I just don’t like the one-way bet scenario MB has had since JC played fullback for Jerusalem. They’ve been dead wrong. You can argue since the day JC first went over in corner to score the winning points against Bethlehem that houses have been over-valued. Certainly that’s the case since I about 1980. The crash has been predicted every day for the last decade but it doesn’t happen. This is all based on the ‘fact’ that houses are over-valued. So I just like to warn against the ‘sure thing’ notion.
      Why have people been wrong? They did not watch the numbers and at the moment numbers rule.

    • Same in Syd they say, l just bought a place off a non resident. He Bought it 2 yrs ago and left in vacant, pool etc included. Place very run down. problem is now we are struggling to settle as he’s trying to get around the 10% non residence tax. Thanks Malcom for this bllsht.

      • did he make money on it? tell him to sort his shittit out otherwise you will dob him in to the ATO. The amnesty finished last year tell him. put the pressure on him

      • he’s trying to get around the 10% non residence tax

        Fuck me he’s a non-resident. Tough shit. Boo fuckin hoo. Pay the fuckin tax. And fuck off.

        (That’s the non-resident, not you 8mill)

      • It isn’t arbitrary 10% non-resident tax but rather an estimated guess at the CGT that will be owing.

        The real question is why the threshold is $2 million (though hope it all works out for you)…

      • Only because we (you) are talking big numbers here, I would be taking advice if this dude has ‘good title’ because if he doesn’t he cannot pass it on to you. Take good care 8mill

      • He has a mortgage over it also, so basically can’t clear until his non resident issue is sorted. We paid mid 5’s. And yes everything will need to be crystal l think before we settle.

    • I’ve been using the realestate.com.au suburb profile function which charts median sale price for that suburb & trend. Most Sydney suburbs I’ve looked at show either a flat or downward trajectory. Probably not relevant in context of Sydney overall median which is seemingly affected by the whole shrinking volumes/inflating prices thing as a whole, but still important to show that there is variation out there & not everything is going up in price.

      • I worked that out mate and agree. South West is dead already and Med price is driven because most of the auctions are concentrated around those few pockets that still grow. But point is MSM will drive the message of Med price like there is no tomorrow in order to keep the game rolling for few more months – until unemployment starts to bite stronger and/if/or Chinese bid totally disappear.

  18. Because it’s the weekend am wasting time on…… Forza Horizon 3.

    Glorious scenery, great physics and pretty good feel using the handheld controller.

    I have a hotted up Torana XU9 that I have painted in that metallic gold colour they had.

    Also, I have found a Lamborghini Aventador is quite a good paddock basher.

    And, it’s quite fun to drive through the gold coast at 200km+ in a Reliant Regal.

    • been driving around in a woody (not with a woody) and am now going to pick up my seawitch sandman.

      what a waste of time, yet strangely addictive

  19. http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/10/28/22/30/sweden-refuses-to-suspend-assange-s-arrest-warrant-for-funeral

    Is anyone following the meme that Assange might be dead or extradited? There have not been any sightings in a while – especially since his internet was cut off. I know it is tin foil hat territory, but we live in strange times. A couple of suspicious things however. There was a media story about what a terrible boss he was which had a photo of him on the balcony from 6 months ago. The wording suggested that the picture was current. Next is the telephone interview he did the other day. Firstly, telephone recordings are severely bandwidth limited, so it is a great way to hide blemishes. Secondly, there seemed to me to be excessive pauses between his words. The run-on between words is very hard to synth, actual words can be easily pitch shifted to mimic normal inflection, so cut and paste speech is probably not even hard but it will sound a little stilted.

    Now I know that Assange is guilty of character flaws, looking funny and various thought crimes – so many people will be saying that they hope he is dead and he deserves it – but I certainly hope we are not living in a world where the tin hat brigade are actually the realists. I am interested to see if he actually does appear in the flesh before xmas. If we get some story that he has fled the embassy and in hiding, I will be very suspicious.

  20. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Yet another entitled mainstream politician who thinks public office is a junket……….

    There ought to be a mechanism by which politicians are performance managed each year, and which identifies and accounts for all of their assets – and by which the public can extract back from those found to be a waste of the public time and money.

    Dog-loving minister Steve Herbert spends $113,000 on taxpayer-funded travel


    • the misuse/abuse of Big data is definitely an interesting topic, however what I’m more interested in at the moment is the relate topic of the deliberate pollution of big data’s databases. Anyone that ever got involved in Cold-war data analysis knows that Misinformation is far more common than information. I like to think of this as the Aussie High speed train where 95% of Aussies agree that a high speed train between Syd/Melb would be a great idea. You can read 10 positive posts for every negative post however it’s the negative posts that usually contain a real in-depth analytical analysis of the problem (Economics, engineering etc). In the cold war there were similar problems where some high ranking general would comment about troop movements which contained misstatements implying an order of magnitude greater troop mobility than was actually achievable. As a data analyst you either include this information (in your data set) or you remove it. If you include it, and similar outlier data than you complicate the math to properly handle outlier data, this is all without even considering the possibility that the General was a deliberate dis-information vector. At this point you needed to get CI involved, of course there was no point involving CI without also involving CCI…welcome to the wilderness of mirrors.
      I’m not so sure that big-data is really ready for the deliberate pollution of its databases with disinformation on a big data scale but it’s coming.

      • Chortle mig….

        CIA Whistleblower Sentenced to 42 Months Based on Metadata


        And since Cath O’Neil has been pointed out up thread is might be of some interest….

        “I recently read and article off the newsstand called The Rise of Big Data, It was written by Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger and it was published in the May/June 2013 edition of Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). I mention this because CFR is an influential think tank, filled with powerful insiders, including people like Robert Rubin himself, and for that reason I want to take this view on big data very seriously: it might reflect the policy view before long.

        And if I think about it, compared to the uber naive view I came across last week when I went to the congressional hearing about big data and analytics, that would be good news. I’ll write more about it soon, but let’s just say it wasn’t everything I was hoping for.

        At least Cukier and Mayer-Schoenberger discuss their reservations regarding “big data” in this article. To contrast this with last week, it seemed like the only background material for the hearing, at least for the congressmen, was the McKinsey report talking about how sexy data science is and how we’ll need to train an army of them to stay competitive.

        So I’m glad it’s not all rainbows and sunshine when it comes to big data in this article. Unfortunately, whether because they’re tied to successful business interests, or because they just haven’t thought too deeply about the dark side, their concerns seem almost token, and their examples bizarre.

        The article is unfortunately behind the pay wall, but I’ll do my best to explain what they’ve said.” – snip


        Disheveled Marsupial… so lets review – you ascribe black box sniffing in legalities [think MERs] in human terms, next that such data could be focused [if not sourced] by ideological views like the Powell memo…. and managed by the good folks like the Council on Foreign Relations, ALEC, and the master of disaster like Ruben aka Rubenomics….

        PS. as with wonky economic models big data is more a reflection of biases than an accurate deception of reality…. number 42 eh….

      • Unfortunately C-B, nobody cares about that stuff even if they do understand it.

        Big Data: Correlation is the new Causation.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      I stopped buying the SMH when Mike Carlton left …….his skewering of politicians and others was so surgical, acute and supremely entertaining …..Fitzsimmons is a blunt instrument (in a silly red bandanna) by comparison ……….( Mike, hope you subscribe to and read MB )

  21. The ECB had to crank up the US dollar swaps again last week, not over yet


    Those of us that survived the 70’s can tell you that stagflation-lite is not inflation.


    The good news has a smaller base as time goes on, the US Fed is now central banker to the world.


    • Speaking of ZeroHedge:

      In the aftermath of the Brexit revolution that has swept from power virtually everyone that was part of the political group that onboarded Carney in 2012, Carney may be calling it a day. According to several British newspaper, such as The Times and Mail Online……the central banker may decide to step down as soon as (this) week…..should he indeed announce his depart this week with the UK in far worse shape than how he found it, we are confident Goldman Sachs will be happy to open one extra executive chairman position just for him on very short notice.


      • Not that I don’t think Brexit is a good idea but they should have hit the track running. There is going to be a lot more pain than there should have been with this delay.


        Carney knows that globalisation is just like hiding a failing smaller bank by getting a bigger bank to take it over. The bad investments are just hidden, they are still there, and when the tide of globalisation recedes under geo-political pressure he doesn’t want to be exposed as just another debt pusher, which is all they all are now.

      • Carney might just be a bit smarter than he appeared to be if you listened to what came out of his mouth. While UK was in the EU Carney and every other economist wanted to overlook the problems developing in the UK economy. I guess while the UK was in the EU it could go on for longer before crashing. ‘Brexit’ allows the UK to reform but the reform process there, as it would be here, could be quite painful.
        Carney might try to get out before everyone realises that, as per Nyleta, the model they were all running was BS

      • flawse….

        Wellie tanking the pound whilst being a resource poor island and throwing trade agreements [um maybe 10 years to sort w/ STEM bleed] in the Thames is not a very great economic plan – unless you think Zimbabwe was a master stroke….

  22. I have an interesting quandary for those who’ve been following the “Shrinkflation” meme, and the challenge posed to real estate exposed industry by collapsing volumes.

    Hypothetically (…), if I was a technology worker employed by a large multinational IT contracting firm in enterprise application development for Australia’s big banks, as well as a few other smaller players in the FIRE sector, and I was offered a similar job in Big Data focused engineering for an (unnamed) listed digitial real estate company, which job is likely to be more secure under the shrinkflation and/or housing crash scenario?

    In other words, who is more likely to be cutting technology staff come the crash – big banks who outsource most technology capability, and are playing catch up with emerging ‘fintech’ players, but are obviously heavily exposed to real estate and financial markets, or a large digital real estate tech company who effectively makes money on transactions, and related data services?

    Is the RE tech company more likely to retain staff because it is their core business, compared to the banks whose core business is banking and finance, and could temporarily dispense with tech investment? Or is it more likely that the RE company will cut staff because RE transactions are f*ked? Or will they stage a comeback in the crash-real, as listings flood the market….

    All hypothetical of course, but I’ve been trying to nut this one out for days… (other considerations being equal)

    Any views welcome.

    • innocent bystander

      I would think the RE sector is more vulnerable.
      Banking is a broader church and has plenty of growth left in the IT user interface and bank office data linkage.
      Have you considered actually working in an area that you like, regard as helpful to the human race? No Offence meant – just speaking from personal expereince

    • Interesting problem, from my experience a raising tide lifts all boats and a falling tide …well some boats run aground.
      Unfortunately from your position in data analysis it is probably not possible for you to accurately predict if you’re on one of the boats that will run aground. However all is not lost because what one can say with some accuracy is that belts get tightened when the tide falls, as in everyone tightens and actively looks for ways to save some money especially in their non-core business areas. That my friend is opportunity, these two businesses with related internal data processing requirements will both be looking for a way to reduce their direct costs, they’ll both be trying to out-source the data processing. The obvious solution is for you to try to satisfy the needs of both clients, through your own external data processing company, do this properly and you grow as they shrink.
      If you look at RE companies like McGrath and you’ll see rats deserting a sinking ship, most of these front-line rats will stay in the industry they’ll just reorganize under a different banner. I can guarantee that they won’t build their own big-data center before reorganizing, so they’ll be really happy if this service is available from a third party, the same goes for Mortgage writers within the banking system, they’ll leave and likely reorg as mortgage brokers. Imagine how happy they’ll be if they can still get the big-data mortgage experience without having to run the data center themselves. That’s two happy customers buying your services and growing as you grow.

    • Thanks for the input, I’m inclined to agree with both of you. My suspicion is that the RE sector is more at risk, and that banks are far enough behind on innovation that the demand for technology workers will not completely disappear in the event of a crisis. But I can also see that there are always opportunities for those paying attention who have useful skills / no debts / liquid assets etc. Though starting a successful company is certainly no mean feat at the best of times, and I reckon it would be even harder in the middle of a downturn, with a shortage of credit / cash / demand etc., but rewarding for those with the right idea and timing.

      And I would definitely love to be applying my skills to something of value to humanity. I love the tech side of it, it’s just that in employment areas like IT, there seems to be a shortage of economic activity adding value to humanity in this country right now, as most MB readers would probably agree… 😉

      • innocent bystander

        FWIW, I spent my whole working life in IT. Most of that was self employed.
        Took many sabbaticals to work Europe ski fields etc etc, but I digress.
        What worked for me was keeping my technical skills up (cause I enjoyed building stuff) and understanding my clients’ businesses. So I could be a non nerd and bridge the technical/client divide. The spin off from this was I could use my technical expertise to move into an application area I had no experience in, and when the technical skiils became dated use the application expertise to gain new technical knowledge. Worked for me anyhoo.
        It sounds like you have flexibility as to location, as I did, and stints overseas were always rewarding, if not financially at the time, at least culturally and proximity to new frontiers to explore.
        At different times I specialised in Medical, Education and “Social Services”. Plenty of interesting rewarding fields out there if you look about.
        good luck, whatever you choose.

    • scottb1978MEMBER

      In a downturn most normal business’ would cut costs by slashing new projects and therefore expensive developers who are building the new projects(which get shelved) are made redundant. They would keep a small team of guys around who are maintaining the existing code as they can’t afford to have problems that can’t be resolved or make incremental improvements.

      That said though I think the banks have the spare cash and the need to keep some innovation going as the financial industry is going through a wave of innovation that they need to atleast keep up with or they will be left behind.

      Real estate companies I think would be screwed. They would keep some developers to maintain the existing code but all new projects would be canned with them unlikey to put more work into a contracting market. In the same way it makes no sense to increase investment in the mining industry when it’s coming off the back of a massive boom and the market is cratering. All you can think about is how to cut costs and run your existing operation as lean as possible.

      For real estate companies I think any innovation would be around trying to pivot to something else.

    • Hi.. I was recently in a similar situation.. offers from big-name insurance organisation (one from NY and one from UK).. and an offer from an Australian credit union. NY/UK offers were too good but big organisations, established teams, NY too cold and UK depressing weather. The position at CU was more interesting, i was going to be the first hire to help them build the capability/team/technology but less $$ compared to NY/UK…. took the Aussie CU offer! 🙂

      I did think about the “collapse” after reading the CU’s financial reports it appeared that they might not have been so reckless with their lending.. so took the offer…. but as someone pointed out, rising tide lifts all and falling tide…. I have to keep my fingers crossed and soldier along! 🙂

      I have ML background.

  23. GunnamattaMEMBER

    so this is the new approach to law…….

    Asylum seekers who come by boat banned for life under new laws


    I now look forward to new laws such as

    Illegal foreign buyers banned for life under new laws

    illegal tax avoiders get lifetime tax review under new laws

    illegal politicians expenses claims get ban for life under new laws

    funds transfers of proceeds of corruption attract ban for life under new laws

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      good point skippy

      Visa overstayers get migration ban for life under new laws

      would be a useful addition

      along with maybe

      Tourists carrying more than $10k cash into Australia get cash confiscated and migration ban for life under new laws

      and of course plane charterers breaking flight laws get ban for life and migration ban for life too under new laws

    • If this isn’t a cynical way to get attention off total immigration and focus it again on asylum seekers. It’s almost as pathetic as focusing on “dole bludgers” to get the budget under control. And Mig, these people are not Christian in any way that I know, they just throw the word around in a hope to secure their vote. Never think they’re actual Christians.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      So, my guess is that Pauline wanted the total ban and the trade off was her support for harsher welfare laws in the Senate.

      Pauline, a woman who grabbed her money from ex-partners and the gubermint. Banging on about freeloaders. Pure garbage. I once got removed from the bar at the Amateurs because of her. I was wearing this…


      I wore that shirt until it died. Mate reckons they’re worth money now.

      • Pauline, a woman who grabbed her money from ex-partners and the gubermint. Banging on about freeloaders.

        It’s a pattern. She bangs on about immigrants, but tried to emigrate to the UK. Came back after a while ‘cuz they’d already let too many darkies in.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Amateurs or Cairns Cup. Not sure. She was having a visit. A few snide comments but mostly ignored until she turned up with her entourage. That’s when I was kinda pushed to one side and out the door. Her voting base seemed to be 50-year-old men with beer guts. There was an awful lot of them.

        Even ended up over the road at the Woree pub wearing it. There’s a target for any budding arsonist out there

    • Initial thoughts. Wear and tear would be quite high which would eat into an already small profit margin. Stay away from an Aurion which is likely to be thrashed and expensive to run, and stick to something like a white base model Corolla. Try one car first.

    • Yea …in the past I’ve looked at a couple of these sort of “share-economy” ideas as venture investments, most of the rental company business cases are only sustainable because they contain hidden-fee feasts and hive off most if not all of the business risk to the provider of the goods to be “shared”.
      If I were buying a car for them to rent I’d be real interested in the hidden costs and the worst-case exits.
      – Overseas based renter has an accident and the car gets written off, Most personal comprehensive insurances would not pay up under these circumstances because once you started renting it the car it stopped being for Private use and the driver didn’t have an Australian drivers license (check your insurance on this issue). The Rent company would claim to be “just an agent” and the OS based renter would flick you off..at most you get to keep their security deposit…you get $2K and a $50K car gets written off. It would take a heck of a lot of rentals to make up for the difference.
      I think it’s also worth considering exactly who would use this company rather than just going for a lease or long term rental through Avis. I suspect there would be two customer sets
      – young drivers that dont meet Avis’ age / experience requirements (personally I have enough problems with my own son’s running into other peoples cars I dont need this added risk)
      – people looking for a differentiated product (as in not a generic rental car, making an Aurion the wrong product…they’d want a sports car or Hummer or similar)

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      From your link harry

      “It is your responsibility to ensure that your car is covered by appropriate Compulsory Third Party Personal insurance. Depending on the state in which the vehicle is registered, you may need to amend your vehicle registration to ‘commercial’ or ‘business’. As the requirements differ from state to state you should contact you state registration authority and CTP insurer for more information.”

      Get some insurance quotes first brother could be orders of magnitude more.

    • thanks everyone thought it was a bit too good to be true.

      pity, i already had a fleet in my imagination! just like mini IPs!

    • One further specific point to expand on what China-Bob mentions about hiving off risk: the insurance that they arrange is just an umbrella consumer product i.e. has usual exclusions. So, if driver is pissed, some else not on rental agreement drives it or anyone takes it down to Brighton-le-Sands (or equivalent in Bris or Melb) for a nice evening of illegal street racing then insurance is void and you are sh*t out of luck.

      Added to this they are outsourcing the main labour costs of the rental business: handing over the car and getting it back and doing the inspections. In other words they are just providing a website and credit card payment facility.

      All of this is generalisable to the basic proposition that if you are offered any retail investment opportunity, then the possibility for super profit has already been extracted by the offering entity. On any view, this – and every other ‘sharing economy’ opportunity – is a RETAIL offering. That is not to say that many will not be suckered in to believing that it is otherwise.

  24. Following on from my post on Peak Oil Comic, this is a great article:
    “Reminding us that our present growth-based market economy has only been around for a couple of hundred years (and is already hitting the buffers), Fleming’s lifework looks to the great majority of human history for insight: “We know what we need to do,” he writes, “We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”

    What he found was that—in the absence of a perpetually-growing economy—community and culture are key. He quotes, for example, the historian Juliet Schor’s view of working life in the Middle Ages:

    “The medieval calendar was filled with holidays …These were spent both in sober churchgoing and in feasting, drinking and merrymaking …All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one third of the year. And the English were apparently working harder than their neighbors. The ancien régime in France is reported to have guaranteed fifty-two Sundays, ninety rest days, and thirty-eight holidays. In Spain, travelers noted that holidays totaled five months per year.””
    ….”Of course, in theory all the workers could just work half-time and still produce all that is needed, much as Tomorrow’s World predicted. But in practice they are often afraid of having their pay cut, or losing their jobs to a stranger who is willing to work longer hours, so they can’t take the steps needed to solve their collective economic problems and enjoy more leisurely lives. Instead, people are kept busy partly through what anthropologist David Graeber memorably characterised as “bullshit jobs.””


    • Well these days we get 52 weekends + 4 weeks leave + 10 public holidays per year (and that’s assuming you don’t throw any sickies), amounting to 134 days, which is more than a third of the year.

      I daresay there’s also a rather rose tinted view of medieval life. Back then just running a household was likely 50+ hours a week of labour. Today it’s probably single digits.

      • Dr S – I take your point about working hours, but I posted the link in connection with the theme I have been studying in my own time recently which is fossil fuel depletion. Please take the time to view the Peak Oil Comic in my post above if you haven’t already. He also has a cartoon about fossil fuel slaves which he is raising money for, so the cartoon is only half finished.

        “Under the current economic paradigm, the only way to keep unemployment from rising to the point where the population can’t be supported is through endless economic growth, which thus becomes an obligation. So we are damned if we grow and damned if we don’t, since endless growth will eventually cross every conceivable biophysical boundary and destroy the planet’s ability to support us. That’s why, in practice, we just keep growing and cross our fingers that somehow it will all work out. As Fleming writes:

        “The reduction of a society and culture to dependence on mathematical abstraction has infantilised a grown-up civilisation and is well on the way to destroying it. Civilisations self-destruct anyway, but it is reasonable to ask whether they have done so before with such enthusiasm, in obedience to such an acutely absurd superstition, while claiming with such insistence that they were beyond being seduced by the irrational promises of religion.”

        Nate Hagens mentioned in one of his presentations (I am paraphrasing): “it is pointless to pull developing countries out of poverty, if China and India live like the average American, geologically, the planet will run out of (affordable) fossil fuels. What happens after that? We all plunge back into poverty, if your definition of poverty is de-industrialisation. What is the point of pulling someone out of poverty when in doing so they eventually are pushed back into poverty?”

        The reason why we don’t spend 50hrs per week running a household is b/c of all these fossil fuel slaves doing the work for us. Something has to power these slaves.

        Have a look at this website and see how many kwh it takes to feed a family. Nate said a grown man digging ditches for 9 hours generates 6 tenths of a kwh per day. Do the calculations as to how many kwh it would take to grow your own food Vs powering industrialised agriculture and importing it from everywhere: approx 34000kwh just to put food on the table: https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/btc/gasfood112105.php

        ie: Something has got to give. We are in for a rude shock unless we start planning for a future where we reduce energy consumption levels – that is what they’re trying to say.

        Here is more about economy vs ecology:
        “The ruling class will never give up fossil fuel, because it’s key to their power over workers”

      • Dr S – I take your point about working hours, but I posted the link in connection with the theme I have been studying in my own time recently which is fossil fuel depletion. Please take the time to view the Peak Oil Comic in my post above if you haven’t already. He also has a cartoon about fossil fuel slaves which he is raising money for, so the cartoon is only half finished.

        Thanks for the clarification.

        I did read the comic – it’s good, but I’ve seen similar explanations in the past (maybe by the same person).

        I don’t disagree with a sustainability narrative, but I do question the use of “typical American” numbers as the benchmark for our current standard of living.

        I’ve lived in the US and the wastage there is phenomenal. For example, when we lived in Zurich, we produced (from memory, it’s been a few years) about one 35L bag of rubbish per week and made extensive use of recycling (there are financial incentives to do this). In the US this rose to maybe two 35L bags a week. However, our rubbish was literally half that of our neighbours, and recycling was minimal. Another example is the cars – heavy, inefficient vehicles are commonplace in the US even though they provide little to no additional functionality for common-case usage.

        Related to this, I question the implicit argument that all, or most, energy consumed must be sourced from fossil fuels. For example, electric cars are a drop-in replacement for probably 75% of people right now and huge numbers of people could have their electricity needs served through various renewable generation and energy storage technologies. Or, of course, nuclear.

        In summary I agree we need to step back our consumption dramatically and that the “growth must always increase” philosophy is foolish and self-destructive, but I question the argument we cannot do so significantly with minimal impact on serious quality of life metrics. I do not think the choice is as stark as “how we live today” vs “pre-industrialisation”.

        There is also a distinction to be made between using fossil fuels because they are simply convenient (eg: gasoline), and using them because they provide a unique(ish) capability (eg: plastics and fertilisers), which I think is often lost in these discussions.

  25. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Maybe it’s my 1950’s haddock and chips up bringing but I am fascinated by our current obsession with food ……had a lovely Brunch this morning at a lower north shore cafe ….not a smashed avocado in sight ……but the new IN thing appears to be a swipe of Chimmichurri with your Bruschetta …………..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37013960

    • Said food obsession, like all things in life, takes its part in a great circle that leads back to the FIRE sector


      As a doctor, this sort of thing makes my blood boil. Especially the part about obesity ‘running in the family’. Faark me x100 …

      Anyhoo, thinking about the FIRE implications of this, I assume that the collective scumbag super fund manager cohort are none too happy about the steady withdrawal of balances out of super, or do they get to impose excessive exit fees?

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Too right Doc…………………….Yes ….I took my HARD EARNED money out to MY ( and my Wife’s ) SMSF some years ago ……..but the leeches circle and try to tell me they can “manage it better “………but right or wrong I know where MY MONEY is ……..and stuff em ! ……….I’d rather my kids get it than some FIRE connected concrete boxes in the air ,creaming commissions and management fees bullshit operation that might go bust and hide under the veil of limited liability corporation ……it’s a shame that we don’t educate our kids in such things from primary school ……………our society would be healthier for it …….

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Isn’t free trade a wonderful thing ………….Petain or Quisling …..but more in the Aussie vernacular ……Cunt …….

    • Maybe Mr. Abbott should have said “Andrew is open for business.” during his election victory speech.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Yeah, he’s well inside the top ten of the hit list.

      Selling out your own country for personal gain. Priceless.

    • It’s the Mckibbin Doctrine in action: Australia has sun, sand, houses, minerals,agriculture and politicians which all have a marketable price for the highest bidder

  26. Mig,

    Where can I find out about blockchains, Bitcoins and the like?
    I haven’t heard much about them recently but I’m sure that they haven’t disappeared.

  27. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Was talking to old people on my weekend adventures. Apparently the plan is to spend the majority of their savings to buy a holiday house just so they can get the pension. Or some pension. I don’t know. Stopped listening at holiday house. Who the fuck needs a holiday house? And when’s the next swear day?

    Anyhow, how does the good folk at the ATO treat these sort of shennanigans? *waves at the ATO*

    • MB

      it is included in the assets test as far as i know

      they would not be able to do that without losing any pension as it is not the ppor

      any pension stops at 800k i think, but it i tapered as of next year steeply as it should be

      as it stands, as an aside, why the fuck should we work til 70 when boomers can retire at 65 now on a full pension…as in we are paying into stuff we will never get

  28. https://www.rt.com/business/364709-germany-china-european-takeovers/
    LOL, these Germans need a lesson from Straya on how to bend over and take it in the….
    German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has urged the European Union to adopt a tougher approach with China, citing his concerns over Beijing gaining the West’s “strategically important key technologies.” He warned China’s WTO status was at stake.
    “China itself is going on a shopping tour here with a long list of interesting companies – with the clear intention of acquiring strategically important key technologies,” the German official wrote in a guest column for Die Welt newspaper, as cited by Reuters.