Christmas Weekend Mega Links Dec 24-28, 2016

Machine 10 Bridget McClean 1973 AGNSW

Machine 10, Bridget Mclean, 1973, Art Gallery of NSW

 

China

Asia

Europe

United Kingdom

United States

Americas

Terra Specufestorus

Commodities

Capital Markets

Global Macro

…and furthermore…

Video

Econ Duel: Fiat Money vs. the Gold Standard – Marginal Revolution

Audio

Prof. Steve Keen: Macro Outlook Under Donald Trump, Inflation, TSY Yields, and More (podcast) – Macro Voices

The most recent MB podcast

 

Comments

    • “The 25-year-old, who works full time, said this was her first investment property and she had been managing it herself in an attempt to save money. ”

      Somebody is in for a surprise.

      • SchadenfreudeKing

        When I moved to the US in late 2011, I rented my house out in Oz (not negatively geared because no Australian income :). I had a property agent manage it, and bought landlord’s insurance. And I had a non-paying tenant.

        They simply stopped paying rent. For no reason. They told a sob-story about a separation to the trubunal, who put them on a payment plan – the agent seemed surprised. There was a line in the sand where they could be evicted immediately if they missed payment. Surprise, surprise, they made payments right up until that date, and immediately stopped.

        I am soooo glad I had an agent dealing with this, plus insurance. We really got our money’s worth. Once we hit the threshold for insurance claims, it was simply an amusing and instructive thing to watch. When it finally came time for the eviction (when the lease expired), the agent physically turned up to the house and ensured they left, which took all day because they were late with packing.

        Meanwhile, my family of 4 was living in the US in a 2 bedroom apartment. No available credit because banks don’t extend it to newly arrived non-resident aliens. Meanwhile, these people were living for free in my recently renovated 3 bedroom house with a back yard (new insulation, new tiles throughout, new kitchen with no corner-cutting). And in this circumstance, the tribunal gave them a second chance. No “suck it, move out and go live in a flat” – that would be unfair, right? Even though it’s what the owners were doing.

        Screw being a landlord. Both landlords and tenants have too many rights. Shitty landlords can and do royally screw over tenants, and shitty tenants can royally screw over decent landlords. I’m a decent landlord – not worth it. Especially not without the tax breaks.

        Amusingly, the agent contacted us and said “guess what, the tenant we evicted just moved into the house across the street from me”. Apparently there’s a cohort of rental fraudsters who simply jump from house to house and fake the references, because the system tolerates it and the agents aren’t sophisticated enough to catch it.

        Of course, it all turned out well in the end. My family of 5 are still living in a 2 bedroom apartment by choice, and we now save approximately my entire gross Australian income from 5 years ago. We own no car, not many belongings, and have a lot of great experiences.

        I really do recommend getting rid of most of the crap you own, moving to the other side of the world where you have no access to credit, and living 2 – 3 people per bedroom. It really shows you just how shallow the Australian ‘dream’ is. Screw keeping up with the Jones’. I’ve found something else. Freedom.

      • interested party

        SchadenfreudeKing
        Lord Duds,

        That is all well and good when viewed through the lens of personal political and social retribution. Unfortunately, these are not the only points of view one should consider. For instance, are you aware of three pollutant cycles that greatly affect the USA ( your new found home of opportunity ) and also much of the northern hemisphere?
        Australia is not safe either but is less affected somewhat.

        The first is an air quality cycle.
        This tells the tale of feedback loops from carbon emissions and vehicle exhaust emissions that large populations produce. Have a look at the downwind side of any large population and take note of the health and quality of the trees and forests. Acidic fallout from the activities are very well documented. The lead issues in the water at Flint are a harbinger of times to come.
        A soil pH below 4.5 mobilises heavy metals and then at a slightly lower pH, aluminium becomes soluble, which then becomes a plant poison….. forest dieback/ die off / crop failure is the outcome. Look up forest die-off, and look at the causes. Less trees = more carbon = more volatility to weather.

        http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lead-testing/

        Lead is only one of several heavy metals that are water soluble at that pH level and below. All are toxic.

        The next pollutant cycle is water…. or more precisely, potable water.
        Much of the USA obtains their drinking water from the aquifers and water tables underground. There is a vast amount of farmland that sits above these aquifers. Other areas obtain drinking water from rivers and dams. ( Flint et al.) These bodies of water have catchments that often include farmland and industrial processes. Over many decades, farmers have sequentially applied highly toxic biocides that enter the water tables and catchment areas and are quietly accumulating.

        “Organic and inorganic pollutants have been routinely detected at unsafe levels in groundwater rendering this important drinking water resource practically unusable.” from the abstract…
        http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wef/wer/2014/00000086/00000010/art00029

        The third pollutant cycle is the chemical/food cycle.

        Many toxins are sold as pesticides, fungicides, herbicides etc… and many are banned in the developed world but are still used in less developed countries. Some of these less developed areas export food to the USA. There are situations where even heavily banned chemicals are re-entering use and will invariably re-enter the food chain. ( see DDT )

        The USA imports 69% ish of fresh food from Mexico.
        http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/Mexico-dominates-US-fresh-produce-imports-201449021.html

        Then this….

        “Pesticide use is threatening human health yet it does not
        threaten the survival of the human race as a whole because
        populations, worldwide and in Mexico, are increasing rather than
        decreasing.”

        http://www1.american.edu/TED/mexpest.htm

        So….. yeah Duddles. Good ole USA is a go-to point……hmmm.
        For me and mine…. we are fine staying put right where we are. I do get the economic issues that people have in the larger metro areas, but I see them as largely self inflicted. Cities are like those blue bug-killer lights to most…… on a still night you can smell the “opportunity” they offer….

        And on your new found freedom…… re-read all of the above. Nothing is for free, and in your case the costs are hidden in plain sight.

      • SchadenfreudeKing: I’m no expert, but I believe Oz does not rank too badly in terms of landlord rights. It is harder to get rid of deadbeat tenants in Britain than it is in Australia, and about equally hard in the U.S. (depending on which state and county). But, I understand what you are saying and this is exactly what happened to a friend of mine in the recession of the early 1990’s. He owned 12 investment properties in London. He had one particular dead-beat tenant who stopped paying the rent (maybe because he lost his job) but was also doing quite a bit of damage to the place. It took two years for my friend to get rid of this guy. During those two years, his net worth went from 2 million US dollars to negative one hundred thousand US dollars.

    • What similarities?
      Just keep stimulating housing, keep running a $2B trade deficit p/m. What can go wrong?

      • I had a lunch 2 weeks ago after I returned to Sydney from China with one of the talking head Forex/China analysts who pop-up from time to time on business shows. He was saying to me that the released figures from China were great and the actual growth rate had to be much higher than anticipated. I looked at him and said, if you discount out hoarding and the massive inventory build going on in every manufacturing sector, China’s growth will be well below the 6.5%. Needless to say this was a wake up call for him and he said I was the only person he had spoken to who had this opinion.

        I am not saying China is going to crash, what I am saying is on the ground, outside the big cities, inflation is rampant, wages are accelerating, companies are moving to Vietnam, Cambodia and even Cuba, there are quite a few closures and conditions are in no way rosy.

      • @OJ, some interesting things are going on wrt increased costs in China.
        https://www.rt.com/usa/371334-american-chinese-jobs-glass-tycoon-taxes/

        ‘Cao Dewang is investing $600 million in the US, expecting to fill an old General Motors assembly factory in Moraine, Ohio, with up to 3,000 jobs, according to WDTN. The plant reopened in October, and already nearly 2,000 workers are employed there under Dewang’s Fuyao Glass Industry Group, which supplies Volkswagen and General Motors with auto glass, according to Agence France-Presse.
        Fuyao Glass boasts that it is the largest auto glass exporter worldwide, reporting profits of 2.6 billion yuan, or $370 million in US dollars, last year, according to AFP. But Dewang is unhappy with China’s high taxes and labor costs.’

        When I resign very soon, not getting a pay-rise for 2 years is going to be on the list of reasons why I’m leaving, inflation might be high in the countryside but it is not non-existent in the big cities either. Ah well, cutting spending back severely is good prep for moving back I guess.

      • Hi Popcord, Just touching base to give feedback on what is like going from Mining to a Farming centric lifestyle…
        It is hard/weird to get used to , when you drive on a road and you get the “finger wave/acknowledgement from your fellow road users..The simple hello , that I remember as a kid, sitting on the bench seat of my parents Chrysler..Wow!!..
        The first time I had to “Inject” my sheep.. ( And injected myself..) with Sheep chemicals…My bunch of chickens that every day give up eggs that weigh 90-120g ( cause we feed them huge carbs ..)..The air..this sweet air , that smells of goodness, and sun and life.. ( I went to Beijing in 2008 and asked a young Uni Lassie…”Where is your sky..?? It is just brown/grey??:..And I felt sad for her)..It is sooo quiet here..Just stuff like Bahhing from sheep..and Birds..Kookaburras, Magpies, cockies…I went to Melbourne just recently , and was just so gob smacked!! The homeless and the amount of people just walking on the streets..!! OMG…This is not the Melbourne I remember from 7 years ago…This was like the USA..Freaked me out..When did this happen??
        Give me my slice of owned & payed for slice of S.A country life anyday, the Farms are cheap, and the people are warm….Just have to get a job to pay for the Electricity…Maybe a good option Pop..?? Take some time when you get back…check it out.. 🙂

      • @Donna are you in South Australia, where about? I’ve considered moving to the countryside or away from people in general.

      • @Donna. Thanks for that! Glad to hear the move is progressing well. These major life changes take time but it sounds like you are making real progress. I’m not going to be living in a big city when I come back, me and big cities are over. I’ll start out on the Mornington Peninsula and then if I can afford to move somewhere on my own (financially and health-wise), I am going to go more rural. I’ve got a 2 year reintegrate into Australian society plan, so I’ll hopefully know what to do at the end of 2018. But the goal between now and then is to at least learn how to grow veggies cos at the moment the pie in the sky dream is to move to Tassie and be an organic veggie farmer. No idea if there is any money in it but right now I need something to dream about!

  1. Wow, AUD down to 71.7 – thought there would be something of a small bounce back to 73 to load up on USD. Maybe should go get it now.

  2. Like unwrapping a Christmas gift, that was the feeling I got scrolling through the above links, thinking of the hours of fun and thought.

    Best wishes to all MB’ers

    • you may as well be talking to a brick wall if you want to show that manufacturing has any value in AUS (or anywhere else in the West)
      we are at the end of 30+ years of the neo-liberal revolution where it has finally attained orthodoxy in academia, commerce, government and the elites.
      Even though to most observant people it is clear that the world’s various economies are fatally overloaded in debt and financial obligations & that governments are now controlled by privately owned financial forces, there is no other option entertained by govt/academia/power-elite/commentators-who-matter than more of the same. In other words we all have to clap harder, everyone! right now!. Otherwise the neo-liberal unicorns that fly in the sky shitting rainbows of “trickle down”, and “efficient capital allocation” etc will no longer grace our skies.

      Ever notice that the word “demand” is rarely heard and never seen?
      You know, it’s slowly dawning on the Important People Who Wear Suits that a near decade of less than CPI wage growth can have some consequences. And don’t start me on THE LIE THAT IS CPI.

      All we gotta do is flip houses and then we can get this year’s BMW. It’s all great, mate! Problem is that I need lots of powerful drugs to join in with the rest of the country with this. I just can’t do it…

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Hear, hear. I too could have joined the parasitic scum of jointly managed investment property/hotel/residence absentee owners, for example, years ago. Decided against, for much the same reasons. Equally, I could have ordered all my takeaway dinner menu items off the under 7’s menu and stared a charity drive at work under a scheme I setup where 40% of the receipts were reserved as management fees. But that didn’t feel right either. Much like kissing my brother in-law’s wife.

        Ethics huh. Good manners may cost nothing, but ethics sometimes do.

    • All those bludgers on welfare should be shipped off to Manus Island in preparation for residency in a new country. I’m sure one of those socialist northern European countries will take them.

    • It is interesting to speculate on what is the real motivation behind the Centrelink crackdown. In a practical sense, if there are few job opportunities, then it’s like trying to squeeze 10 elephants into a mini minor – impossible. What is worse is that imposing financial hardship on people with no money is boneheaded to say the least. The possible motivations that I can think of:-

      1. It is futile, but bashing the unemployed is a type of theatre for the “working” members of society. Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys. You don’t want any of those debt slaves thinking about abandoning ship.

      2. The conservative politicians actually believe that unemployment is a “vice” afflicting the lower classes, and just like stealing, it needs to be punished. As loopy as it seems, we probably have to admit this type of crappy thinking is possible from our politicians.

      3. Make social security benefits so unpleasant that more people opt for working off the books for $2 an hour, thereby bolstering the ranks of the foreign visa workers – increasing our productivity, and balancing the budget(?).

    • If only the LNP went after the 32% of Australian companies that pay no tax with as much venom and vindictiveness as they do beneficiaries then may the budget wouldn’t be such a fucken shambles, it would be just a shamble.

    • That was me. I haven’t received a debt yet – just the letter demanding payslips because there was a ‘discrepancy’ between what Centrelink paid me, versus my annual taxable income. It’s a joke. as I moved from Austudy to full-time work, with no overlap in payments. Averaging out annual taxable income for the year, and claiming my income overlapped Centrelink payments is nothing more than fraud and a form of speculative invoicing.

      I got the required payslips, however was reluctant to submit them — it seems like they’re baiting / fishing for data. In any case, I couldn’t submit the payslips anyway. The website kept throwing up ‘service unavailable errors’ (I have screenshots), and then when I tried to review my employment stuff, it wouldn’t let me proceed beyond selecting my employers..

      I don’t have the time during business hours to sit on the phone for hours, nor the time to visit an office (apparently compliance stuff needs to be handled online anyway). I simply submitted an enquiry online telling them to either provide me an amount to pay, in which case I’ll provide evidence to the contrary — or to leave me alone. I also asked on what grounds they require evidence given any debts are greater than the 6 years statute of limitations, and irrecoverable under The Social Security Act if there is no evidence of recovery action within the 6 years (http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/6/7/3/08). Next step will probaly be a FOI request for my Centrelink file to show they did not undertake any recovery action within the 6 years since the alleged BS debt, and therefore cannot recover it. I also asked them under what legislation they can engage in speculative invoicing and guesstimate a debt by averaging out annual taxable income across all fortnights.

      The Omnibus Bill includes amendments to remove the 6 year limitation (http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=LEGISLATION;id=legislation%2Fbills%2Fr5707_aspassed%2F0012;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbills%2Fr5707_aspassed%2F0000%22#0385965951ef49db9d7398db70ef40b5), so I’m guessing come 1st January they will probably try and issue me a debt..

      My next argument (probably going to Administrative Appeals Tribunal at this point) would be that they ‘require’ payslips > 6 years old, however this requirement does not seem valid, as any reasonable person would assume under the existing legislation to 31st December 2016, that after 6 years the debt is irrecoverable anyway, and as such would not retain old payslips.

      For now, I’m leaving it. If nothing happens, good. If I receive a debt, I provide them my enquiry receipt number and screenshot evidence (plus news articles) showing how horribly broken the site was at the time and begin an FOI request. Depending on the amount (and people are receiving debts of several thousands), I’m happy to seek legal representation.

      Since being on Austudy in 2010, I’ve now moved into full-time employment and earning a comfortable six figure income — I’d happily pay back any genuine debt, but this is just a BS attempt at speculative invoicing from an entitled government attempting to kick the poor and disadvantaged — while corporations continue to pay little to no tax. Absolutely disgusting.

      It’s a bit sad to see people online who appear to be just caving in and paying the wrongly issued debt..

      Also disappointing to see only The Guardian and Crikey appear to be carrying this story and covering it in any depth. The News Corpse narrative appears to be almost praising ScoMo for coming down hard on ‘dole bludgers’, with virtually no investigation or questioning of the legitimacy of the debts..

    • “The conservative politicians actually believe that unemployment is a “vice” afflicting the lower classes, and just like stealing, it needs to be punished. ”

      In their defence I suspect many of our conservative politicians have lived pretty sheltered lives. I doubt too many really know what it’s like to be screwed by an employer or worry about whether they’ll be employed next week. Plus many have bought into the most ridiculous and unrealistic aspects of neoliberalism, so it’s not surprising that they look down on us peons.

  3. I disliked both Trump and Clinton immensely during the campaig and if I was an Amarican I would not have voted for either. Given the choice between the two I would have begrudgingly have voted for Clinton. This was my analogy.

    Sure, Clinton is like goon that has been left out in the sun for a week but Trump is metho that has been pissed in and laced with arsenic. You don’t want to drink either, but only one can seriously be considered.

    Looking at the nominees that Trump has put forward another analogy comes to mind. The American people, who were rightly pissed off at the cheap and nasty amphetamine that the politicians had been forcing them to take have switched drugs. Unfortunately, they’ve decided to inject bath salts in the hope of getting a better high.

    What is going to be offered to us at our next election and which one are we going to choose?

    • It is not a binary choice.
      That is the same as people saying you can only vote Labor or Liberal. I suspect you did not do that ;p

      • I know that. I mentioned that I wouldn’t have voted for either, but for a lot of people it is taken as one. I’m just bemused that anyone thought that a real estate agent in an expensive suit was thought to be anything more than that. I also understand that many voted for him as a protest. But was it worth the risk?

      • I wouldn’t have voted for either unstable shill. But if pushed I think the nutters representing the cult of the current status quo needed a solid sobering kick in the nuts. Whether the regime of the new nutter can do anything without imploding the whole show remains to be seen……. He may well just be bringing the inevitable forward.

        Clearly enough voters are fed up with the continual lies & feel there’s nothing left to lose, to the point they’re willing to run the risk of wrecking the joint…… If the cultists had been more inclusive & able to listen anytime in the last 20 years instead of just megaphoning their own righteous lines the underbrush wouldn’t have been there to light.

    • Wilbur Ross = Andrew Mellon. Recent political events are perfectly understandable . Everyone is sick of watching the heat death of our financial system under the weight of debt ( Greece is in all our futures if we don’t write off a large slice of debt )

      We are voting for bread and circuses while we watch the debacle that we all know is coming. There is nowhere to hide in this world of ours.

    • I would have voted for Trump, just to wreck the system faster. But I would have been living in California and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I also would have done it because I work in Silicon Valley and it’s 1 big massive echo chamber in that Industry of “progressive” ideas but that industry is also hollowing out a lot of other jobs. Think of AirBNB and Uber etc.. It’s all good saying “we can”, but rarely does anyone ask “should we” when it comes to IT and technology.

      There is a lot of folks being left behind by new economies and transitioning to new technologies. They are pissed off and in many ways deserve to be so. They are not benefiting from any of the rapid change and falling into poverty. I think a lot of folks need to start thinking about the impact change is having on these folks instead of their “I’m alright jack, and so is everyone else” mentality.

      We will see what Trump does, I hated both candidates but I enjoyed taking the contrarian opinion against many of my work colleagues, it really got under their skin (especially the politically correct ones). Milo Yiannopoulos was also a good source of entertainment and really stirred the pot for the left. Good, the language police need a wake up call.

      • Hmmm that’s up there with wishing for world peace …. so you just want to wreck “the system”? Righto. Then surely if your only aim is for there to be anarchy and are not so fussed about how that is achieved then you will be joining the Left Renewal faction in the factionless Greens. Clearly they are also intent on wrecking “the system”.

        ” Left Renewal issued a statement of principles that includes the ‘rejection of the state’s legitimacy’. ”

        “”We believe . . . that capitalism is a violent and antagonistic relation between workers, and those who exploit them. As workers, whether or not we are waged, we experience perpetual violence and that this violence must be brought to an end. We therefore fight to bring about the end of capitalism,’ it states.”

        “‘Capitalism depends upon violent and authoritarian divisions within the working class, such as elitism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, religious sectarianism, and ableism (among others). It is only with the abolition of these authoritarian relations that we will be able to create a thriving movement capable of transforming society and so must challenge these wherever we encounter it.'”

        “Left Renewal claims ‘Australia is based upon an act of genocide which exists within a broader framework of global imperialism’.”

        My own view is that these nutters will not get even a sniff of an opportunity to wreck the system but they may quite possibly assign the Greens to the political dustbin (who other than crazies like our Gav and JC would vote for a group with the explicit mission of “gutting” and “wrecking” our system).

        http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/hardleft-faction-forms-inside-greens-aiming-to-end-capitalism-20161222-gtghf9.html

      • Gavin, never in human history has wrecking the system brought anything but greater pain to the population at large. There are other ways.

  4. Debate/discussion between Jim Rickards and Ann Pettifor on whether Gold is money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsuGtjXS5tM

    Jim Rickards argument is that for something to qualify as money it must be trusted in an exchange of goods. Gold is trusted therefore can be used as money. However, this my research and experience so far in readying to buy a small amount of gold:
    – The bullion dealer I dealt with (ABC Bullion) will only accept specific brands of gold (ABC/Perth Mint/PAMP) and will only exchange for cash after they have taken it back to their office for testing.
    – Minted smaller denominations come at a significant premium and are being forged.

    Based on that experience I am tending to agree with Ann Pettifor that gold is a form of collateral but not money. Note that I will still be including a small amount of gold bullion as part of my portfolio.

    As a side note, it is interesting they both believe we are headed towards fascism.

    • I have been in precious metals in a small way for 40 years…… unless you are a rich person I have settled on Krugerrands and 10 oz silver bars. It is only money when your currency is convertible. Having said that I have known of places and times when only physical US dollars or precious metals will get you a plane seat out.

      • Some Argentinian friends tell me a similar story about the collapse of their banking system and subsequent refusal to accept pesos.

        I have been watching some more vids. The scams are quite advanced. Even hollowing out genuine bars and refilling them with other metal of exact same weight. Even dealers are being conned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trMTQBKbZlk

      • We had a 20litre bucket filled with worn out tungsten tips at one time. Shame we didn’t know what to do with them…….. MUCH heavier than you might initially expect.

  5. “There’s no more Left or Right, there are Nationalists and Globalists.
    That’s the great demarcation line that determines the fate of the world today.”
    – Marine Le Pen

    • Nobody saw the time stamps???? Dalian was showing 2016/12/26 as the trade time!!!!! True futures trading!!!! Given the moves as I was watching were in the 5-6% range, wonder if they refunded the losses on trades performed during this glitch!!!!

    • That is a good read. He is right that neoliberalism lost its legitimacy in 07-08. Neoliberalism only ever promised one thing: growth. Genuine full employment and an egalitarian distribution of income were sacrificed for growth. That was the story; suffer a bit of inequality and unemployment, but watch the potential growth rate shoot higher, watch inflation fall and stabilize. Recessions would be a thing of the past, productivity would shoot up, eventually everyone would be better off.
      Everything promised was a lie. But there has been no genuine social democratic movement to expose the lie because they all sold out to it in the 80’s & 90’s and went on an excursion down the rat hole of identity politics. Things have festered for 8 years breeding frustration and confusion. And now we have Trump.

      • You’ve nailed it for mine.

        Everything was sacrificed at the altar of growth (and GDP growth at that) for a generation up to 2008, everything since has been that paradigm eating itself….

        Our elites (corporate, political, administrative, and cultural mainly too) are still pretty much anchored to that belief.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        @IP IMHO not quite. More like the drunk at the end of the night checking discarded empties for fag-ends before consuming them, or more like the coke addict moving on to crystal ’cause they can’t afford the good stuff anymore, or the emergency services personnel trying to put out the fire with gasoline. But, in the wider sense, yes. Definitely.

      • interested party

        Yes Wilbs, you describe the process that brings us to my outcome. They are both one and the same, just a degree of separation …. journey and destination thingy.

        Merry wilbs day to you.

      • When a picture is worth a thousand words…..

        Mark Ames: Libertarian Liars: Top Reagan Adviser, Cato Institute Chairman William Niskanen: “Deficits Don’t Matter”

        “Another Monday, another “deficit crisis” panic. If you haven’t got the feeling yet that you’re being played like a sucker over this alleged “deficit crisis,” then let me help you cross that cognitive bridge to dissonance. It comes in the figure of the recently-deceased William Niskanen, the embodiment of how Reaganomics and the Koch brothers’ libertarian movement were joined at the hip. Niskanen was an advisor to Ronald Reagan throughout the 1970s; a board director for the Koch-founded Reason Foundation; a member and chairman of Reagan’s Council on Economic Advisers from 1981-85; and he moved directly from Reagan’s side back to the Koch brothers’ side, as chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute from 1985 until 2008.

        This is a brief story about how the 1% transformed this country into a failing oligarchy, and their useful tools, starting with A-list libertarian economist William Niskanen, Chicago School disciple of Milton Friedman, advocate of the rancid “public choice theory.”

        First, let’s go back to December, 1981, and news is leaking out that Reagan’s supply-side tax cuts for the rich, combined with huge increases in defense spending, caused an explosion in the deficit to unimaginable levels, from Carter’s projected deficit of $27 billion to a real deficit of $109 billion and climbing fast–this, despite the fact that Reagan ran as a “responsible” deficit hawk. Someone needed to rationalize that deficit away, and the job fell to none other than CEA director and future Cato Institute chairman Niskanen, as reported in the AP on December 9, 1981:” – snip

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/mark-ames-libertarian-liars-top-reagan-adviser-cato-institute-chairman-william-niskanen-%E2%80%9Cdeficits-don%E2%80%99t-matter%E2%80%9D.html

        disheveled…. the photo under the header pretty much sums it all up….

  6. boomengineeringMEMBER

    I lived in Neutral Bay in the seventies since 71 not much changed since then Sydney house prices were considered excessive then as well

  7. found this recently.. someone should find the author of this and interview him again 40 years on

    Get Ready for the Phoenix
    Source: The Economist
    September 09, 1988
    Vol. 306, pp 9-10

    THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.

    Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favored by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.

    At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction. Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987. The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform.

    For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October.

    These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers. The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.

    But in spite of all the trouble governments have in reaching and (harder still) sticking to international agreements about macroeconomic policy, the conviction is growing that exchange rates cannot be left to themselves. Remember that the Louvre accord and its predecessor, the Plaza agreement of September 1985, were emergency measures to deal with a crisis of currency instability.

    Between 1983 and 1985 the dollar rose by 34% against the currencies of America’s trading partners; since then it has fallen by 42%. Such changes have skewed the pattern of international comparative advantage more drastically in four years than underlying economic forces might do in a whole generation.

    In the past few days the world’s main central banks, fearing another dollar collapse, have again jointly intervened in the currency markets (see page 62). Market-loving ministers such as Britain’s Mr. Nigel Lawson have been converted to the cause of exchange-rate stability. Japanese officials take seriously he idea of EMS-like schemes for the main industrial economies.

    Regardless of the Louvre’s embarrassing failure, the conviction remains that something must be done about exchange rates.

    Something will be, almost certainly in the course of 1988. And not long after the next currency agreement is signed it will go the same way as the last one. It will collapse. Governments are far from ready to subordinate their domestic objectives to the goal of international stability.

    Several more big exchange-rate upsets, a few more stock-market crashes and probably a slump or two will be needed before politicians are willing to face squarely up to that choice. This points to a muddled sequence of emergency followed by a patch-up followed by emergency, stretching out far beyond 2018 – except for two things.

    As time passes, the damage caused by currency instability is gradually going to mount; and the very tends that will make it mount are making the utopia of monetary union feasible.

    The new world economy

    The biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates, as a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another.

    These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates. As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still. With uncoordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile.

    Alongside that trend is another – of ever-expanding opportunities for international trade. This too is the gift of advancing technology.

    Falling transport costs will make it easier for countries thousands of miles apart to compete in each others’ markets. The law of one price (that a good should cost the same everywhere, once prices are converted into a single currency) will increasingly assert itself.

    Politicians permitting, national economies will follow their financial markets – becoming ever more open to the outside world.

    This will apply to labour as much as to goods, partly thorough migration but also through technology’s ability to separate the worker form the point at which he delivers his labour. Indian computer operators will be processing New Yorkers’ paychecks.

    In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving. As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments.

    In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.)

    The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment.

    The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF.

    The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate- would be in its charge. Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit.

    With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today. This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case.

    Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.

    As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice. They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades. Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones.

    It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies.

    That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union. The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.

    The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy- would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows. This course offers governments a splendid time.

    They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices. It is a growth-crippling prospect.

    Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Hahahahaha! The *Economist* HA ! Classic.
      I particularly like these pearls of wisdom:

      “Politicians permitting, national economies will follow their financial markets – becoming ever more open to the outside world.
      This will apply to labour as much as to goods, partly thorough migration but also through technology’s ability to separate the worker form the point at which he delivers his labour. …… As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments……In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, ……..”The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment”

      HA HA HA. purist neoliberal fantasy based on completely unreal premises about the way the real world works. Utterly wrong. Yet this is the shite that neoliberal toilet rag expresses with every publication. That last line reminds me of the Eurozone.. Hey fellas, how’s THAT working? LOL !

    • BTW bedugl, that was a brilliant find. It’s on its way to the pool room. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

  8. Mining BoganMEMBER

    How come churches aren’t as busy as the shops? Maybe shopping centres are our new temples…

    Bah, humbug.

    • When your supporters include the Australian Christian Lobby, George Pell, Tony Abbott, Corie Bernardi and Erica Betz your brand is trashed to the average punter.

    • They’ve not realised the masses won’t go anywhere that lacks a cafe. If you could do brunch at morning service you’d get some peeps in. Especially if the coffee was good and the smashed avo was cheap.

      Perhaps the pastor/priest/cleric dude/lady could add a property segment to the sermon.

      “Blessed is he who swaps principal place of residence with his brother so that they may now both negative gear, for they are truly their brother’s keeper.”

      “And on the seventh day God rested and watched ‘The Block’, for he knew that many renovations were still needed if he was to get what he knew the property could go for.”

      That stuff would go down a treat.

      Steer clear of the whole virtue, integrity and selflessness stuff. It hasn’t managed to draw and hold a crowd in Australia since March 1996.

  9. DYNAMIC PRICING FOR THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY … UK TELEGRAPH … CRUISE INDUSTRY LESSONS ? …

    “Dynamic pricing has revolutionised whole industries. The one sector that hasn’t seen a shake-up is restaurants” …

    City Munch: the app that’s changing the way we use restaurants … UK Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/sme-home/city-munch-restaurant-app/?WT.mc_id=tmgspk_listfour_1325_AnF0kRg4Py6k&utm_source=tmgspk&utm_medium=listfour&utm_content=1325&utm_campaign=tmgspk_listfour_1325_AnF0kRg4Py6k

    New app City Munch lets diners pay less during quieter periods to help restaurants put bums on seats, offering real-time deals in your area. … read more via hyperlink above …

    … Dynamic pricing … for example the cruise industry …

    Save up to 82% on Last-Minute Cruises!

    Welcome to America’s Clearinghouse for Discount Cruises

    Discount Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cruise, Cruise Line, Cruise Vacation

    http://www.vacationstogo.com/

    CRUISE INDUSTRY 2016 REPORT (pdf)

    http://www.cruising.org/docs/default-source/research/2016_clia_sotci.pdf

    • Seems a little flawed though, as there is no point in a restaurant selling ‘food’ below cost of the food and service labour. Sometimes you would be better off with a quiet restaurant, and send the excess staff home. Some diners even prefer a quiet restaurant rather than jammed to the gills.
      Whereas a cruise, the ship is sailing regardless of how many are on board so best to maxmise passenger revenue.
      Although I suspect the allure with these types of apps is more the promised discount, rather than the actualised one.

  10. The Traveling Wilbur

    Enough!!!

    Time to start focussing on what’s important at this time of year. What actually matters. The real reason we put up with all the bs that gets thrown at us throughout the year. The reason why we get out of bed in the morning and then gather round our LCD displays and mobile devices, together, as the tenants of this time of year rightly demand.

    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/doctor-who-the-return-of-doctor-mysterio/MP1651H155C00DS2

    Merry Whovias to one and all… and run you clever boys, run!

  11. Dick Smith copped a bit of stick on immigration lately by getting a bit too close to Hanson – and not the musical siblings.

    Now is the time for him to return to his Buy Australia roots by strapping on some “Unproductive Capital Inflow” booster rockets and heat seeking missiles that will send him right in the direction of neoliberalisms soft and squishy weak spot.

    https://pfh007.com/2016/12/24/dick-smith-how-to-make-buying-australian-even-easier/

    And the theme is honey so all the Bears should tuck in and enjoy.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      So, what next? Billy-ray references? Axel-F? Bieber? God forbid… Waterfalls?

      And here I was trying to enjoy my Christmas.

      Speaking of which, Feliz navidad, happy Chanukah, and a merry Yuletide (for the Pagans)! And a merry Christmas to the rest of you mono-deity worshipping Christians and christians out there. Stay safe, happy and away from the wheel after bevys, y’all.

      Cheers!

    • John Quiggin noted a few days ago that the LNP will do all it can to swallow up One Nation. This is a likely outcome because Pauline Hanson seems to be an easily corruptible individual and her supports were not smart enough to see that they were being played by Howard and Abbott vis-a-vis the irregular arrivals versus regular arrivals when Pauline was dispatched the first time.

      They’re so conservative they’d rather vote for a far right party than a centrist party (such as SAP) that clearly articulates what the problem is and propose solutions that make sense. Pauline is only worried about Muslims and Asians because it pushes her supporters buttons. She’s fine with Europeans swelling our ranks.

      Like DT she is an easily bought individual. Hell, she probably names her price before she gets an offer.

  12. The Positive Money people have updated their Introduction to Sovereign Money but be warned clicking the link will attract all manner of bad kharma and juju from the FIRE sector support crew who will, no doubt, work tirelessly to smear and squirrel grip until Santa arrives.

    http://positivemoney.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/SovereignMoney-AnIntroduction-20161214.pdf

    This paper presents a reform to the banking system that would remove the ability of banks to create money, in the form of bank deposits, when they make loans. It would transfer the ability to create new money exclusively to the state, creating what we have termed a ‘sovereign money’ system.

    The proposal has its origins in the writings of Frederick Soddy (1926). It was presented to US president Franklin D. Roosevelt by Frank Knight and Henry Simons in the aftermath of the Great Depression (Knight et al., 1933, Simons et al., 1933), and popularised by Irving Fisher’s book 100% Money (Fisher, 1935)1. Variations of these ideas have since been proposed by Milton Friedman (1960), James Tobin (1987), John Kay (2009) and Laurence Kotliko (2010).

    More recently, economists at the International Monetary Fund modelled Irving Fisher’s original proposal, as applied to the US economy in 2006, and found both “strong support” for all of its claimed benefits and extra positive e ects (Benes & Kumhof, 2012). Since then, the idea has been supported by the Financial Times’ chief economics commentator, Martin Wolf (2014a, 2014b), and highlighted by former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King (2010, 2016), former chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, Adair Turner (2012, 2014, 2015), and a Vice-President of the European Central Bank, Vitor Constâncio (2016).

    While inspired by Irving Fisher’s original work, the proposals in this paper have some significant di erences. Our starting point has been the work of Joseph Huber and James Robertson in their book Creating New Money (2000), which updated Fisher’s proposals to recognise that money, the payments system and banking in general is now electronic, rather than paper-based. The reforms presented here build on Huber and Robertson’s proposal and draw on further research by Positive Money between 2010 and 2016.

    Similar proposals have been referred to as ‘100% money’ or ‘full reserve banking’. However, there are some subtle technical di erences between those proposals and the one in this paper (for a comparison, see Huber, 2015). We therefore refer to this specific reform as a ‘sovereign money system’, describing a system in which money as a means of payment is created exclusively by the state, usually via the central bank.
    This introduction to a sovereign money system takes account of feedback, suggestions and constructive criticism from a wide range of economists and commentators, for which we are extremely grateful.

    There is still considerable research to do around how a sover- eign money system could work in practice, and we hope this paper will provide a starting point for more in-depth research.

    We particularly welcome collaboration with the wider research community to address these questions.

    • 007….

      Being opposed to “positive money” is not indicative of support for the FIRE sector, having to insinuate such emotive negative qualities about others to burnish what your – selling – is actually intellectually and ethically bereft.

      Again at the core of Positive Money is the anti democratic authoritarian control board of – our – social credit.

      That Frederick Soddy is trotted out just goes to show the Von Neumann [neoliberal godfather] underpinnings to this entire theatrical kabuki. The money part is just a sideshow to beguile the unwashed, when its political application is where the rubber meets the road.

      Using guys like Joseph Huber is also not a good look, where his camps so called Environmental Economics is just neoclassical dressed up green washing for consumer consumption, its still premised on the axiom of “self interest”.

      I would also caution on referencing the IMF in buttressing your arguments, whilst the research dept is not so ideologically ridged the administration is defiantly hard core neoliberal to the bone.

      Disheveled…. “Modeled” in a vacuum you mean… sigh…. and lest we forget the Chicago schools part in this entire episode [unleashing the FIRE sector], including its political actions…. Pinochet et al….

      • Skippy,

        I see Santa filled up your smear sack right to the brim.

        You missed mentioning Fisher, Tobin (hand wave to Sweeper), Kay, Kotilko, Adair Turner, Mervyn King, Constâncio and Martin Wolf.

        Still researching your dirt file on those?

        But you need to get your eyes tested as there was one name that usually gets you foaming. They claim “Milton the Monster” talked about a ‘variation’ on the idea in 1960.

        Your ongoing defence of the current dysfunctional system of central/ private banking public money creation is tireless and tiresome.

        You are doing it again when you claim that any substantive changes to the current model of mostly privatised public money creation would amount to an “anti democratic authoritarian control board “.

        If you bothered to educate yourself a bit on the many variations on the idea you would quickly see that what you smear with “”anti democratic authoritarian control board ” would in most of the variations be a MASSIVE improvement on the clearly neoliberal, fraudulently “independent” and non-transparent model of RBA/APRA regulation of the Australian banking and monetary system.

        If you actually supported a model that did not involve a secretive / insider focused system of defective regulation you might have a leg to stand on but you are a grubby pot calling black, a kettle that clearly will be much much easier to keep clean.

        Have a happy holiday!

      • …. it smacks of agendas and not comment quality imo….

        …..it smells of comment stalking, no respect for others opinions, and an obsession with having the last word too….

        I will bin the rest

    • I’ve been out of this a long time and my memory of this sort of stuff has grown pretty rusty and though I’ve admittedly really only skim read the 64 pages of the sovereign money doctrine, many of the basic arguments do not seem greatly different to MMT. If the cut and thrust is that what we have today is an economy driven principally by the expansion of private sector credit (bank lending) which has ultimately led to massive private sector indebtedness, financial instability, rising inequality, and all manner of morbid symptoms as much of the credit created simply goes into unproductive things such as pumping up asset bubbles then I don’t think you would find any MMT proponents who would disagree with that argument.

      Many MMTers would probably argue to reign it in by nationalizing the banks and bringing their activities under strict control by bringing them into the public sector.

      • Lef-tee,

        Your observation is a good one.

        MMT and ideas about ‘sovereign / positive money’ or whatever you wish to call it are very similar and form part of the ‘chartalist’ school – which holds that public money should be understood as law as law is what gives its status and power as public money.

        All of these ‘chartalists’ understand that essentially public money is law.

        I use the term public money for money that is backed with the full faith and credit of the public. Naturally money issued by the public sector has that backing but so does credit created by ADI (Authorised Deposit Taking instutitions) aka licensed banks. Being able to create credit that is treated as if it were created by the central banks is what makes licensed bank created credit special and different from the credit created by any other private person or organisation.

        Anyone can create ‘private money / private credit’ – frequent flyer points, bit coin etc are examples but essentially any form of private credit is a form of “money” – but that does not make it public money. Naturally some commodities can be used as money as well – gold. silver etc but at the present time commodities are not public money.

        The GFC caused a lot of people to start thinking about the whole idea of ‘public money’ and how the power of its creation and management should be exercised. The central issue is whether the current model for public money creation – which has been called a public / private fusion or a Finance Franchise model needs to change.

        https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2820176

        Some think the current system works fine and we just need to tighten up the ‘regulation’ so that it works more equitably and efficiently and is less prone to gaming and abuse. In other words put the private franchisees ‘ADI Banks’ on a tighter lead with stricter control of when they create credit, for what purposes and to whom they give it to. Getting a ADI bank to give you credit is the ultimate insider skill.

        Others think that even if the Franchise Finance model is retained there should be a large shift in how much public money is created by the franchisees (ie the ADI banks) versus the public sectors. In other words they want ADI credit creation put on tight limits and encourage the public sector to create more public money for spending, tax cuts etc.

        Still others – and this is the sovereign money / positive money end of the spectrum – argue that the Franchise model never made much sense, will always operate inefficiently and unfairly and will continue to be prone to lobbying attempts by the Franchisees to increase their independence and power to use power over public money creation as they choose and to make large private profits and inflated asset prices.

        They argue that the simplest solutions is to reserve public money creation to the public sector by a government undertaking the actions they were elected to undertake.

        In the Australian context the annual Federal Budget is about $420B and if the government did not tax a dime that amount of money could pumped into the economy every year. Now no one is suggesting that this happen but it does make the point that to the extent that a growing economy requires additional money for the economy to expand without inflation or deflation the government can do so without difficulty by running an appropriate deficit – by either spending a bit more or by taxing a bit less.

        In short there is no need for Franchisees (ADI banks to create public money) but that is not the same as saying we don’t need or want private banks. All that would happen is that they would then concentrate on being an intermediary between savers and borrowers using public money created by the government in the course of performing its election mandate.

        All spending and taxing decisions will of course remain the responsibility of the elected government. The ONLY possible role for an independent body would be for something like the ABS to advise the government based on their empirical surveys of prices etc, as to how much of a deficit/surplus they think would be required to maintain price stability. That independent body would have NO say over what the government spend money on and they would have NO say over the lending activities of the private banks who are now just intermediaries of public money and not public money creators.

        Compare that limited role to the massive role the RBA and APRA currently have with regard to resource allocation and economic policy making and there is simply no comparison.

        There is no inconsistency between the logic of MMT and the logic of Sovereign / Positive money and all the other chartalist variants on the theme.

        Where some tensions do arise is with regard to the issue of how much power over public money should be returned to the public sector.

        Those that have a suspicion or distrust of the public sector will tend to favour leaving more power over public money creation in the hands of the Franchisee – Skip (and a lot of small government traditional Americans) is clearly in that camp. Those that believe that the track record of the Finance Franchise model is so woeful and the risks associated with shifting more or all of the power back to the Franchisor (the public sector) are small support things along the lines of sovereign or positive money.

        One of the most absurd smears is that proposals to move more power over public money creation back to the public sector and away from the private banks is somehow a neoliberal plot.

        One need only spend a few seconds at neoliberal fan sites to know they hate the idea of returning any degree of control over public money creation to the public sector. It is their worst nightmare – the public having more say over how the power over public money is exercised.

        More money spent in the public interest and less spent in pumping up private asset values and giving access to the money power to insiders and mates? No neoliberal would support that!

      • Great explanation as usual pfh. Fwiw I instantly noticed the inherent contradiction in accusing this line of thinking of somehow being a neoliberal plot.

      • Cheers Pfh007.

        Yes, that makes a lot of sense to me. I’m wondering how much longer we have before their is little choice but to shift to some version of the forementioned system. Yes, we wonder these things all the time and are then amazed at the ability of the establishment to find ever more creative ways of kicking the can on and on down the road, nearly a decade later it’s still being “successfully” kicked (though I definately do feel change in the air). In Australia’s case, perhaps we have just about reached the point where stagnation sets in. The banks ability to issue the privately-created fiat money washing around the economy is dependent on finding willing borrowers, unlike sovereign government who can simply issue it at will (if they choose). The rate of interest has been progressively whittled down and down since the GFC in order to facilitate continuous private money creation – since the private money comes with individual repayment obligations, the RBA has led the rate of interest ever lower so that private households can support continuous credit expansion by being able to bear larger and larger debts relative to their income – which has been manifested in the extrordinary explosion in household debt. But we must surely be getting close to the point where the rate of interest payable on bank loans cannot be lowered further and repaying borrowed money cannot be made any cheaper. From this point on, where will the spending needed to support growth come from if governments maintain an austerity mindset and private borrowing begins to dry up due to households being already saturated with debt? To add a further drag on growth, we have ultimately chosen to rely on imports for so much of what we consume that growth (spending) is bleeding out through the external sector (exactly how much the exporting of dirt by our almost totally foreign-owned mining sector offsets this is debatable, significant portions of mining revenue generated by digging Australian dirt obviously do not actually make it into the domestic spending stream and prices are volitile anyway).

        So here we are at the end of 2016 with government committed to squeezing public money issuance for political/ideological reasons (surplus fetish), the private sector indebted to the gills and almost no room to make further growth in private debt possible (at the rate needed to fuel strong growth at least) because of having almost reached the effective interest rate floor – and an economy clearly in rather poor shape and possibly teetering on the brink of recession. I think that this time we might be finally close to the point where we either go down some kind of sovereign money road or accept recession/stagnation. My bet is that our elite will initially choose that latter.

      • Thanks Ranald / Lef-tee,

        Yes – I dont think there is much room left for the extreme position and eventually there will be general acceptance that excessive public money creation in the form of interest bearing ADI credit creation is not sustainable as the interest is not created by the loan and that simple fact is the problem.

        However, private banks are not going to give up their privileges easily, especially when they have effectively convinced a whole bunch of people, including some pretty vocal and radical lefties, that public money creation by the public sector in the public interest is dangerous and it is best left in the hands of private banks – supervised by captured regulators.

        So the most likely scenario is that the public sector will be allowed to create more public money but only for a very limited range of purposes – say paying a chunk of the construction cost of a PPP infrastructure project or to fund a rebate on mortgage interest.

        In other words the public sector will be allowed to create more public money but only to support the unsustainable model of private bank ADI credit creation as public money.

        Can it be stopped?

        Can real control over public money be restored to the public?

        It can but the general level of understanding of how the system works is so woeful that it will take a while and the private ADI are very very good at causing confusion and convincing people that there is no alternative to a privatised system of public money creation.

        But as that introduction indicates there are a growing number of very senior people talking about the defects in the current model and what alternatives might be viable so there is room for hope that at the very least there is some retracement from the current extreme position.

      • People should not attempt to discuss MMT if they don’t understand it or worse project their biases on it due to there ideological perception of reality. Nor should people confuse a description of the currant monetary system and the economic template dominant form the 70s as being synonymous.

      • Skippy,

        “….People should not attempt to discuss MMT if they don’t understand it..”

        What nonsense.

        That is just another of your tired techniques of shutting down discussion you dont agree with. You simply claim someone does not understand something and reckon that is all you need to do. As with any developing school, even within MMT there are a range of views. So your claims to some special insights to the inner secrets of MMT should be taken with a grain of salt. If people want to talk about MMT they certainly dont need your permission or approval.

        The only point I made about MMT (above) was that takes a chartalist perspective – that money is law – and in that sense it has a lot in common with soveriegn money / positive money – whether you like it or not.

        Chartalism has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years but it really only started to be thought about seriously when the gold standard and Bretton-Woods systems collapsed.

        Rather than carrying on about all the hair splitting distinctions you would do better to focus on what all the chartalist schools have in common and that is an understanding that money is law and as such is power and who controls that power is a critical subject of investigation and consideration.

        If you are uncomfortable about that power within the public sector and prefer it in the hands of private banks just say so.

      • 007….

        I have supplied numerous critiques which show you don’t understand MMT, let alone the currant political realities wrt your conception of public vs private money creation. That your camp attempts to reverse engineer the English language and definitions of terminology to suit its theory and its application – non-testable.

        As stated before…. congress allocates the budget and the fed enacts it, as such the term public moneys in PM camp description is inaccurate.

        Disheveled… as far as I can tell and the consensus of others is your perspective is akin to AnCap with turning the monetary system over to non public administration.

      • Skippy,

        Yet again you demonstrate why engaging with you is a waste of everyones time.

        Beyond asserting that you are right – or were proven right by some unspecified cut and paste at some point -you have said nothing.

        You can’t even respond coherently to my statement that MMT is essential a type of chartalism.

        Nor any response to my comment that what we are talking about is power and control over public money creation / destruction.

        If you knew anything about MMT you would know that.

        At core you just hate MMT being placed in a context with other chartalist approaches.

        New converts like you are often the most devoted but with time your perspective will widen – we hope.

        MMT has plenty of valuable things to say but it not petrified like a fossil – yet – as much as you might want it to be.

        Have a happy holiday.

      • 007….

        Contrary to your assumptions and personal biases which you have a bad habit of projecting I do understand. I understand when you talk about Uber that your pushing a FIRE sector perspective of market activity under the pretence of creative destruction and EMH, regardless of your claims about money theory. I also understand the authors and people you use to buttress your argument and their history’s and perspectives.

        Disheveled….. sorry but you seem to be the one with a narrow perspective and a penchant for making claims without any evidence to back it up…

  13. Merry Christmas all. Today I am in Canberra visiting a relative, its like a ghost city and I can’t believe the number of houses on the market or the number of buildings that appeared to have been boarded up/fenced off/emptied which I can only assume is for demolition. Also seems to be a lot of new apartments being built.

    I must say it is also bloody hot here!

    • mild colonialMEMBER

      You do know about the Mr Fluffy demolitions? We’re at peak demolition.
      Best time of year in Canberra. I could probably hear a pin drop in Belconnen.

  14. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Gunna ……..somebody give me a few Furphys sparkeliing ales for Christmas …..which I just enjoyed ice cold …….this produce of Geelong may not replace the economic contribution of soon to be gone car making but a nice local product none the less ………….lets have more of this local enterprise please ……..yes we can !!
    …..merry Christmas to all ……….

    • DSGE theory – seizing an academic sandbox, applying it to the real world with disastrous consequences and bureaucrats wonder why citizens are fed up with listening about economics. I read this last night and still find it incredulous this rubbish is still part of the undergraduate course in eco and commerce. Proof of failure is obvious …. has been for decades and yet policy makers keep on blindly utilising this tool which is as useful for forecasting as throwing chicken bones in the dirt.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      What Malcolm said. Our Malcolm, not the other one.

      When you run into an economic model that accounts for ‘aberant’ human behaviour (i.e. self-interest) then, wake me.

      Until then, its one conga-line of pretenders and idiots after another, spouting any line of academic in-vouge garbage that happens to their minds to be the most likely path to their next PhD. OVER it.

      In the meantime, I’m looking into setting up a bespoke planet-design and construction business. Publicly listed of course. Float should be ready in 7 and a half million years or so.

      Merry Christmas all!

  15. For all those who are cheap bastards like me for the next day or so the paywall around Foreign Policy magazine’s website is down. Today is 25 years to the day since Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev resigned, the USSR collapsed and the cold war ended. In light of that Foreign Policy has a number of articles about what has happened regarding Russia since. Some of it is interesting and of course some of it looks at how the Trump administration should approach Russia.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/

    One analyst in one of the articles claims that Uncle Vlad has so far nicked about $200 billion. Impressive.

    I recently picked up a July 1960 edition of FP. Great reading, not only for the ads but also for the analysis. Of course pretty much all the predictions made in the articles have subsequently proven to be way off but seeing the logic and facts used to justify those predictions is enlightening.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Had a squiz at the article about the collapse of support for democracy in western countries. Yeah, its the dumb peeps not understanding the objective technocrats who’s theories led to deregulation and saved us from all those dangers like stagnating income, mounting inequality, insecutrity, homelessness, volatility, GFCs…..oh wait….

    • A boxing day rant (better than joining sales at Myers with the Mrs)…..

      Cheers for that. There are some good reads there, though I tend strongly to the view that Foreign Policy magazine is your classic neocon magazine with a ‘Russia is the bad guy’ stock in trade – and Bill Browder and Niall Fergusson won’t do much to disabuse me of that.

      For mine, I tend to the view that Russia represents a sort of unmentionable scar – particularly for the neoliberal consensus which is currently coughing up its grip on the developed world – and a vague sense of regret, that, but for a host of decisions which seemed plausible enough at the time, the world may have a completely different Russia to engage with currently. I would also add that if you stripped that sentiment back you would come awfully close to the possibility that the Western world (and mainly the US – UK nexus) has completely fucked its handling of Russia, and the former Soviet Union, and that the chickens of that mishandling are still coming home to roost.

      If you go back to that day Mikhail Gorbachev meandered off into history to leave the stage to Boris Yeltsin, the United States and the Western world had an opportunity. They could ensure that the dismantling of the Soviet Union was orderly and delivered benefits to the people of the former Soviet Union, or they could pocket the windfall of a reduced geopolitical spending requirement, and leave the peoples of the former Soviet Union to sink or swim of their own accord as they addressed the immense challenges of the end of the centrally planned era.

      Looking back from 2016 it is pretty easy to see they largely adopted the sink or swim approach. Eastern Germany, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Czech Republic and Hungary, represent plausible success stories where former Soviet nations have largely transitioned into functioning western style democracies (though all have their issues), and you could make a case for Poland and Slovakia (though you’d have to ask questions about the way vested interests in both nations have shaped their polities). The rest is largely a tragedy. Bulgaria and Romania so beset by corruption that the EU is still baulking at complete integration, Moldova so poverty stricken people smugglers use it as a cheap way station, Belarus still trapped in a time warp of Lukashenko, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan still trapped in a world of ethnic rivalries, corruption and local strongmen, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan one party states largely still run by the descendants of those who were there in power when Mikhail told them they were on their own, mainly marked by violent, capricious, corruption riddled regimes.

      Next cab off the rank is Ukraine, where the Soviets in power in 1990 simply became ‘nationalists’ and birthed the most spectacular failed state on the planet. They’ve driven the living standards of a people who have fertile agriculture, commodity resources, a significant industrial base, and strong cultural and economic ties into Europe, backwards for 15 years after nationhood, and handed control of the nation to a self-serving batch of maybe 500 corrupt oligarchs, prepared to hold their nation, every nation with whom they engage, and the EU, to ransom to extort further cash, while treating everyday Ukrainians with contempt.

      Finally we come to Russia. They got, from 1991, 9 years of complete chaos in the form of dysfunctional parliaments, impotent regulators, sham assets sales revolving around the dismantling of the economic basis of the Soviet state (pushed along by the IMF, World Bank, the US, an army of carpetbagging advisors and consultants – all keen to hurry the process so the Soviet State couldn’t be recreated) a ‘democracy’ which saw a freshly created oligarchy (those with the funds to buy the assets being sold off by the Russian state in the first Yeltsin administration) and its freshly created ‘free’ media quite literally go out and buy an election (Yeltsin 1996) where everyone knew Boris was a coronary event away from the afterlife and his family had decided to make personal hay while the sun shone, and where ordinary Russians were already showing signs of an inclination to go back to the CCCP. Russia descended into uber chaos in that second Yeltsin administration as the price of crude collapsed to $10/bbl in 1998 and Russia was abandoned by global capital and the western world, and a profoundly corrupt coterie group of oligarchs took control of the running of the country. All the while ordinary people’s standards of living went into reverse, and criminal gangs – largely the creations of the oligarchs – went about whacking each other on the streets of Moscow. In the 18 months following the collapse of crude, while Yeltsin was a missed heartbeat away from the afterworld, Russia had three Prime Minister’s trying to craft some sort of order from the chaos. Vladimir Putin was the third of those and the moment it appeared he had some sort of sway over the chaos the Oligarchs who had created and feasted on the second Yeltsin administration, slipped him into the Presidents seat (3 months before the ostensible end of Yeltsin’s term, due to health reasons) – with a deal that he wouldn’t touch the Yeltsin family and the Oligarchs which had been spawned by it – and confident they had a compliant future head of Russia in their pocket.

      In that first Putin term he did a deal with the oligarchs to the extent that he wouldn’t touch them or the processes they had accumulated their wealth with, provided they stayed out of politics and didn’t undermine state interests, which he made clear from the get go were about recreating order, sorting out the national economy and its finances, and recreating a national sense of respect for themselves on the part of ordinary Russians. When some Oligarchs showed signs of baulking at that he broke them (Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky).

      The rest, as they say (and it isn’t all Putin’s doing) is history. A national leader who had seen his nation taken to the cleaners by neoliberal economic ideology rejected it out of hand and began reconsolidating state ownership of assets (particularly in energy). A national leader who had seen the ‘free’ media used to buy an election by a group of uber wealthy beneficiaries of corruption, brought the media under state control and took steps to ensure those oligarchs didn’t buy any more elections. A national leader who had seen the scant regard with which the IMF and World Bank (in particular) treated debtor nations, went out of his way to make sure Russia paid down every last cents of state debt miles before it was due, and wasn’t backward in pointing out the neo liberal agenda and its downsides. For a Russian public which had seen politicians, policeman, gangsters, judges, journalists, and business identities blowing each other up on the streets of Moscow for ten years he bought back a sense that the risk was being reduced – if the policing is a bit heavy it is nothing Russia hasn’t experienced before. For that same public, which had developed extreme reservations about the oligarchs and their propensity for using the state to further their own wealth he returned a sense of the oligarchs were at least now bowing to state imperatives. For a nation which had come to sense that NATO, the EU and the US, were trying to ensure a position of being able to shoot into Russia without the Russians being able to shoot back, and were forever trying to move military assets closer to Russia, Putin called out what they were thinking and told the Western world (and the neo liberal [or neocon – there was nothing to distinguish them in a geopolitical sense] consensus) where to get off, and set about bolstering his military ability to be able to back that up.

      That isn’t to say the guy, and Russia, don’t have significant downsides. It is, as the Americans have identified, a ‘vast kleptocracy’ and there is not the slightest doubt in the world that Putin and those close to him are prime beneficiaries of that. He himself probably is amongst the richest people in the world, though we do have a situation where disentangling what is a state asset used by him, and what is his personal asset, and what are or could be gifts for him held in fief by others, is monumentally difficult. The ordinary punters of Russia are quite poor. Russia has spectacular corruption (though still to a degree lesser than Ukraine) and the regulatory services are all too often deployed as weapons in competition between the elites, rather than for a public good. The media is state centric and although good at pointing out shortcomings in the western world, would not go within a bulls roar of really looking at key issues (corruption mainly) affecting Russians. In the geopolitical sense, Russia does push the envelope; it has taken parts of Georgia, it does back a brutal tyrant in Ramzan Kadyrov as head of Chechnya, it has taken Crimea by military means, and it does back separatists in Transdnistria and eastern Ukraine with arms. More disturbingly, rightly sensing that the neo liberals of the world wouldn’t hesitate to remove VVP if they thought they were a chance, and wanting to keep as many like neoliberal ‘disreputables’ in play as possible, it does back (in Assad in Syria, much of central Asia, Lukashenko in Belarus) some ugly regimes.

      More pertinently, given events in the US election, Russia does direct a lot of effort to hacking, digital disruption and surveillance. Anyone with a website will be able to tell you that simply geoblocking Russia significantly reduces the risk to that website.

      As far as most Russians are concerned it is beyond doubt that the Americans and the ‘West’ have been seeking to influence Russian elections for the generation since Gorbachev handed over the reins. You can see it in the NGO activities, the media coverage of things Russian, and UN and global institution activities in Russia. For most Russians, Russia having an ability to eavesdrop on the Western world, or hack into its communications, or even to be able to spread disinformation, is nothing that they don’t feel they have experienced for a generation. If they think their government has the ability to do it back then they are often supportive of that.

      From there the closest engagement of Russia and the ‘West’ has generally been at the ‘elite’ end of town where uber wealthy Russians, who all Russians assume have been beneficiaries of corruption, are welcomed into New York or London, often fleeing law enforcement in Russia, and often get rewarded with passports and visas and rights to abode and buy property which ordinary Russians would never be able to access if they were fleeing Russian law. In the end the Davos set got Khodorkovsky out, and a walk through the expensive burbs of London New York or Miami will alert to the possibility there are a lot of minor bureaucrats, minigarchs, and oligarchs who have apartments, mansions and estates there, having got their booty out of Russia. The ‘West’ rewards parasites praying on Russia, and most Russians tend to the view that the western ‘ideal’ of Russia is an enfeebled state which is militarily and economically impotent. For some Russians a bit of totalitarianism in Moscow is an acceptable alternative to having impotent chaos which rewards the criminal. If that is the dynamic the Russians are seeing then why wouldn’t they seek to influence perceptions and know about the thinking on the other side?

      I don’t have the slightest skerrick of doubt that Russian controlled elements sought to hack into whatever they could in their pursuit of knowledge about what was unfolding in the US. Similarly I don’t have the slightest doubt that Russian media presence presented issues in the US and UK media to influence the way those publics saw events, so as to be able to further Russian state interests. The question is not about whether they would try. The question about whether they would have succeeded in hacking would be answered only in knowing the security of the US officials whom the Russians are believed to have hacked – but like most security the weak link is the people, not the system. The question about whether Russian state media was an influence in determining voting priorities of publics in the US and UK would reflect not so much the Russian media, but the degree to which the media in those nations had ceased to be credible to those living there – and it is fairly obvious they have cashed in their credibility with the publics they service, amidst a raft of issues which couldn’t ever really get traction – such as taxes of the elites, corporate tax avoidance activities, the increased take of the economic pie by the 1% set, immigration control, the offshoring of working class jobs, lack of wage gains for the 99% and private debt. Like if the Russians had wanted a perfect environment into which they could pump fake news and have it believed, it isn’t as though we haven’t gone out of our way to give it to them.

      So where do we go from here with Russia? God only knows. I cant see crude prices going anywhere significantly above where they are, and energy is the only real lever Russia has – both as a direct tool in its geopolitics, and in the funding of the Russian state (and military) it enables. So I tend to see the high water mark of Putin’s influence as probably having just passed. We can be fairly sure that next time around there will be strenuous and well-funded efforts to ensure that any Russian influence in the media sufficient to influence electoral dynamics across western Europe or the US will be curtailed. I don’t doubt VVP will win the 2018 Russian Presidential election easily. But after that it wouldn’t surprise me to see another round of effort to undermine Russia, and or seek to establish something in the post Putin era which was more inclined to come to agreement with the neoliberal interest. I cannot see ordinary Russians getting increased access to visas and passports in the EU, UK or US, and I don’t really see Russia addressing corruption any more than it has, and I don’t see living standards in Russia getting significantly worse, but rather trudging along the bottom where they have been since circa 2012.

      I reckon there is great scope for some form of Russian over reach, but also for a miscalculation on either the western or Russian side to disrupt things. I reckon Trump and Putin will have conceptual similarities in common which are recognisable to each other – both are scions of revolt against a neoliberal consensus which had been feeding ordinary people shinola, and both are essentially frauds insofar as both are beneficiaries of that consensus (trump as property developer and VVP after becoming head of state) – but I don’t think they will be able to do all that much for each other. I don’t see that much scope for more trade between the US and Russia, and I am not that positive on the financial sanctions on key Russians being removed. More importantly I can’t see Trump being able to deliver higher crude prices which would loosen the economic straightjacket on Putin. Putin may be able to come to some sort of ‘spheres of influence’ deal with a Trump administration which would free up US military assets to focus elsewhere, and possibly to sort out a batch of frozen conflicts Russia is involved with, I can see the current Ukraine administration withering on the vine as the EU and US walk away from any engagement with it – which would free up Russian funds supporting separatists there. That said if things got out of hand I could see Russia laying claim to Novo Rossiya, though I think an increased autonomy deal with those areas remaining inside Ukraine is more likely.

      All in all, an entertaining time ahead

      • Thanks gunna I was sort of hoping you’d put forward your views of what’s happened in Russia.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Seconded. Great read. Thank you Gunna – really helped frame the perspective of what your average Russian must be thinking. Especially about the West.

        Gracias. +100.

      • Magnificent read mate

        Though, as always, your ability to bury one of the right thinking person’s few sources of decent analysis about Russia at comment Number 180 in an obscure links section of a (in a global sense) obscure Australian blogsite – without even dressing it up and loading it at your blogsite – mystifies.

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the wife and kids mate, greets from StP.

    • You have to wonder how much has been plundered from the Australian economy over the same period by multinationals aided by a complicit political system.

  16. Forget Dick Smith, the man we need is Julian Assange………. an Australian prisoner of conscience. The only hopeful figure i know of since John Lennon.

    http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2016/12/23/news/assange_wikileaks-154754000/

    It really is going to be the Age of Incompetence and Secrecy………we will clutch at straws as it becomes increasingly obvious those in charge don’t have a clue what to do and would lack the courage to do it even if someone told them what has to happen. Keep your loved ones close and circle the wagons.

  17. Here’s my Chrissy present to Leith. A couple of articles about sugar.

    Both are in response to the release of a new book that looks at the role of sugar in causing obesity and diabetes type 2. The first is more of a history lesson (I did not know that the language of science in the first half of the 20th century was german (??)).

    https://aeon.co/essays/sugar-is-a-toxic-agent-that-creates-conditions-for-disease

    The second attempts to be more critical of the arguments in the book against sugar.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/the-sugar-wars/508751/

    The book being promoted by both articles is

    http://garytaubes.com/works/books/the-case-against-sugar-2016/

  18. The Traveling Wilbur

    Ode to Spambot

    It rises to curses and expletive and heckle
    Nominally washing the posts of the fettle
    It pushes and prods and balefully nods
    And for some we know not,
    Whether it be, Hyde or Jekyl.

    Our thoughts go in one end
    And most times out other
    Though always we wonder, if not this time,
    Should I try another?

    It saves us from rascal and robot and Neanderthal
    It saves us from threats both seen and invisible.

    Does it share our humour
    Our penchant for pun
    And entendre?
    Does it smile or sigh when it considers our drivel?
    Does it read left to right or straight up and down?
    Does it oft give voice and spake ‘Enough, I’m leaving town!’?

    Would that it were busy and computationally expensive
    For late at night haroldus, Mig and Skippy and me
    Would then breach its defences!

    But however much we might lament
    The passing of posts into the netherworld of the unread
    Twixt filter and fissure;
    And on-screen and bin
    We know deep down that its a good thing when Spambot has a win.

    It keeps our natures better for one and all to see
    But rarely do we give thanks, instead, it’s usually ‘Let it be’

    From pillar to post,
    It’s the host with most
    Saving our thoughts and others’ feelings
    Saving us from enmity and bitterness and vice
    And most of all, from ourselves.

    So to Spambot and the botettes
    We humbly say thank you
    As we pass through another Christmas,
    Through the years,
    Safely, under its auspices and care.
    So to Spambot and poster
    And to MB our hoster,
    We solemnly declare:
    Three cheers!

    And remember, a Spambot’s not just for Christmas!

    • Spambot passed its eye over the comments and saw that all is not well. Then, with the power vested in it by the bloggers, it purged all that did not follow the commandments. Macrobusiness has been made pure and clean again, but for how long?

    • I will comment more tomorrow after I have a meeting with a middle eastern investment syndicate interested in investment in China. The thing that still interests me is the flow of money back into China from foreign Chinese. Small at the moment, but when this ticks up, things will get real interesting. In the meantime, my wife has connected with an Asian Investment Business Club with projects in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (mostly agriculture and supply for Chinese ag imports). This group identified a new loophole in the outbound capital movements from China which I suspect will last for a few months more at most. Good to get cash in an account for you in Australia or NZ but you are SOL come Jan 17 when HK starts sharing details on foreign holdings with the mothership and AUS/NZ follow soon after. Won’t go into the loophole, 99% of MBer’s would not be in position to take advantage of it. Not illegal on either end, just falls into the murky shades of grey region of tax and accounting for international companies. Some will suggest that this can be a new saviour for buyers needing funds out of China. Sure, but 100 times easier to do this method into the US, larger amounts can be “hidden” and it is actually easier to get leverage on the funds flow in the US. So a few might use it to acquire assets, but really wasted on Australia given the data sharing on offshore bank accounts and assets starting in 2017/8.

  19. re. the inequality piece. I’m not buying Milanovic’s and the mainstream idea that inequality is due to globalisation. imo it’s due to out of date corporate governance where executives are able to game the system and pay themselves stupid sums. Dean Baker came to this conclusion. Either fix corporate governance or cap executive salaries at 12 times min income (per Swiss referendum).

  20. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Thats it for mine.

    globalisation isnt the cause of inequality, the same as immigration isnt the cause of depressed wages

    Its the ability of the 1% to game those issues to suit themselves, while avoiding paying tax, which is the issue

  21. DarkMatterMEMBER

    There have been some interesting links on MB discussing economics and the principles of money – MMT, DSGE for example. I have trouble understanding a lot these ideas, mainly because they just don’t seem to have very much in common with the way physicists and engineers view complex systems. Even dressed up as higher mathematics, economics seems odd. Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium – its sounds very impressive, but why should we expect a complex nonlinear system to be stable? Predicting the behaviour of a network of systems may be a problem with no solution.

    Anyway, here is an alternate view of what money is. There seem to be people around here with broad knowledge of economic theory, so I would be interested to know if someone else has stumbled down this path. The idea of cheap compute cycles as a substrate of entropy flow is definitely an intriguing idea.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57310557/money.txt

    • Way over the head of someone who got a ‘G’ in Calculus and Applied Maths in 6th Form and who had never even turned a computer on until 40, but two things stood out in that piece that ring true:
      – dollars, the $20 note, the interest, the litre of petrol and the asset value are not locked together – they are subject to arbitrary change.
      – the ideas of people like Minsky start to look somewhat prescient
      Thx for an interesting read.

      • As well as Grishams law….fraud as a multiplier… contra to equilibrium…. something about information thingy…..

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        Most people would benefit from at least a basic experience with programming computers. Even writing a little bit of python code offers insight into what a computer program is about. Even more instructive is to write some machine code for a microcomputer – like the venerable 6502 machine from 1975 which was the core of the Apple ][ computer. It is interesting to note that in the late 20th century, many thousands of people jumped in and wrote programs in 6502 assembly code. That different point of view has had a profound effect on our society.

        The crazy thing is that we are surrounded by supercomputers – phones, tablets, tv – yet these devices actually make it almost impossible to write a computer program. The web is based on vast reams of “code”, however web code is also designed to be unintelligible. The age of enlightenment for machines was smothered after a few short decades in the name of consumerism. Fortunately, you can just go out and buy a Raspberry Pi for $50 and spend a few days making it do some stuff. That exercise would do most people a world of good.

    • Not at comp here in Noosa so working off wife’s work iPad or I would link. Go to fixing the economist blog and put DSGE in the search field, enjoy.

      Disheveled… additionally… if an economic models baseline does not reflect humans or our activities in an accurate way…its rubbish in and manifold rubbish out.

  22. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Looks like poor old Banana man might be in for a rough 2017 …….those bonds he bought from a ” wealth management ” operation on Alibaba might not be real ……
    …….one wonders how much of the proceeds of these frauds find their way into Sydney ,Vancouver and Auckland realestate …….

    And that insurance company is about as useful as our mortgage insurance operations in straya

    “Incidentally, Cosun’s bond issuance totals 1 billion yuan, according to Zheshang Insurance. The insurer’s total registered capital is 1.5 billion yuan.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-26/mystery-chinas-multi-billionaire-default-deepens-new-bond-scare-emerges

    • There will be a lot of that around next year if signs of ‘softness’ develop.

      No way will ScoMo, the RBA and APRA sit back and let folks think twice before loading up with lots of debt.

      As far as ScoMo and the mainstream are concerned, households must swallow up loads of debt if ScoMo is to have any chance of cutting the federal budget deficit. Skimming off a nice slice of fresh household debt (with the price held down by loads of unproductive ZIRP/NIRP inflows) – either directly or along the way is our national business plan.

      Trump might be about to blow it out of the water with a load of stimulation in the USA that will start driving up the interest rates charged by our offshore lenders but no one is quite sure what he will end up doing.

      Not exactly an environment to be encouraging first home owners to take on a mountain of debt but that is how the Liberal Party operate.

      Shaking down international miners for some extra cash is not an option for Colin, but tossing young families under the debt bus ……..no problem at all.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Colin might have been talking to Andrew Robb about life after politics and how to do well?

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      This still has a way to go before it collapses into a stinking heap . I get a lot of real estate promo stuff in my leafy north shore mail box enticing me to sell up or buy into some apartment development . The latest one did catch my attention . Looking to downsize ? How about one of our luxurious apartments ?…..3 bedroom FROM $1.8 mil …OFF THE PLAN………for a fiberous cement and gyproc skyspace ….with exorbitant quarterly strata fees (probably going to the developer for the expectant life of the building …10 years )
      And the developers name FIDUCIA …….think I’ll excercise my fiduciary duties to my wife and kids and say no thanks

      No doubt there are still many greater old fools to be fleeced ………the old fools who build this country ………this is sad indeed Malcolm and Scomo ………hang your heads in shame ……

    • I object. This kind of stimulus discriminates against all but the reckless and foolish first homebuyer. They know not what they do.

      If someone wants to throw their life away on a mortgage then that is their choice. But we shouldn’t be paying for it.

      Also, we should not be encouraging and enabling scum real estate agents and bankers through welfare handouts, for that is where that money will go, straight to the house dealers who are destroying the youth of this country with this housing addiction.

      Spend that money on police to get the corrupt rentseekers instead. Put them all behind bars and clean up this country. Rehabilitate the billabong. That is what will make this country great again.

      Vote 1 footsore*

      *footsore maintains the right to not do what he says he will. Any sense or meaning in anything footsore says is accidental and unintentional.

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      Don’t stress yet, it’s for new builds only. That combined with increased emigration/unemployment and reduced immigration (state-wise)…stupidity should be minimised.