Weekend Reading 18-19 February 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:








  1. If there is any market to go long in, that is childcare. Government backed, artificially constrained by Urban Planning rules and never ending demand due to requriment for women to return to workforce ASAP to service the large debt loads they have taken on.

    The NSW government currently has a new SEPP proposal on exhibition which will override all Council rules. However, the rules have been designed by academics and are the wet dreams of people who can design on paper but not design something that reflects reality.


    The onerous requirement on the minimum land sizes will make it next to impossible to build a centre within 30km of the Sydney CBD. Childcare is not the highest and best use of land and childcare developers compete with residential developers who 9/10 times always win at auction because they can pay more due to residential projects making more sense.

    We now will have a situation where private operators can no longer build centres except for public institutions like councils and public schools. This will restrict further supply while the Federal Government pumps more people into the system via migration. From this prices will naturally increase via the supply/demand equation and childcare funding from the Federal Government.

    Get ready for childcare on average at $150 a day in the Sydney suburbs.

  2. Terror Australis

    “You know what uranium is, right?It’s this thing called nuclear weapons.
    And other things.
    Like lots of things are done with uranium.
    Including some bad things”.

    – Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, 15th Feb 2017

    *applause please*

  3. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/price-gouging-and-market-failure-behind-south-australian-blackout

    Market priorities

    If the performance of AEMO and the electricity generating companies in this case shows anything, it is that combining (mostly) private ownership with the profit motive is a lousy way to run an electricity grid.

    Neoliberal doctrine insists that the energy industry be run on market lines. But by its very nature, the industry is not just a money-making enterprise. It is also a public service, furnishing the life-blood of advanced civilisation.

    As a natural monopoly, the energy industry needs to be socially owned and rationally planned, with democratic input from the community. Only in this way can the need for energy security be reconciled with cost-efficient operation.

    That much is obvious even to the famously right-wing South Australian Labor Party. Dealt a cruel political blow by the blackout, state Labor ministers in its aftermath began talking like Bolsheviks.

    “We have a national electricity market which is all about dollars and cents,” Premier Jay Weatherill said. “It is a trading system where people are trying to maximise profit and minimise cost.”

    “We have an oversupply of generation, yet the market is unable to dispatch that electricity,” Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said. “That is a massive catastrophic failure.”

    AEMO, Koutsantonis charged, was running the electricity system “like a stock market”.

    disheveled…. oh man…. today is going to be a massive one all by my lonesome… if I do not report in late this afternoon… I’m asleep on the kitchen floor…. fair the well all….

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      What’s up Skip, I thought you finished that job last time, at it again are you, at least it’s cooler today

      • I live – !!!!! – coopers to the rescue…..

        Each floor is a job of its own, sprayed out all the top level w/ sealer, then first top coat on ceilings and prime doors. On Monday it will only take a few hours to final off linen cupboards, built-ins, walk in wardrobes, et al, then with the rest of the day prep door frames and spray final top coat, plus final doors. All up 14 drums of product.

        That leaves plasters to do a pre paint patch, which they are doing down one floor for me, which means after their finished I have a few days with one guy on my crew to final walls.

        disheveled… next job awaits across the river in west end, after that one right next door to it…. booked solid for awhile…

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “As a natural monopoly, the energy industry needs to be socially owned and rationally planned, with democratic input from the community”

      Thats Commie Talk Skip !!!

      • It’s somewhat telling that one of Victoria’s cheapest energy providers/retailers is Momentum Energy (owned by the Tasmania government).

      • So SaCo was the Permian epoch a monopoly on biological dominance – ??????

        Disheveled…. bit late to wank on about monopoly after decades of libertarian free market dogma….

  4. ‘Consumers lose’ as Federal Court rules against Uber in GST decision – ABC

    I was watching a segment a few weeks ago about Uber drivers ‘living’ out of their cars. The snippet of information that struck me as central to the apparent ‘desperate dependency’ of drivers upon Uber was that Uber finances the loan for the car and I believe it is well secured against the family home.

    One driver said words to the effect: I have to make 125 dollars every day, that might take 6 hours or it might take 18 hours, it doesn’t matter I have to make 125 a day.

    This dude lives in his car in a supermarket carpark were lots of Uber drivers congregate at nights for safety.

    • This is actually a win for consumers, well, sort of.

      As much as taxi industry deserves an agonising death, being replaced by Uber is absolutely against consumer interests.
      .gov.au had a choice to either abandon tax on taxi or slug Uber with tax.

      Next in line: profits earned in .au to be taxed in .au

    • Australians not looking at the bigger picture. Independent contracting is yet another attempt to subvert minimum wage laws. No surprise Uber would also make an attempt to subvert our tax laws as well. This court decision a big win for Australia, and you all better hope Deliveroo lose their minimum wage court case as well.

      • “Australians not looking at the bigger picture. Independent contracting is yet another attempt to subvert minimum wage laws.”

        Blimey…… wot? Totally behind reinforcement of minimum wage laws and big penalties. If only the tax office could figure out it’s happening at the time not after the event or never. But….. what has independent contracting got to do with anything ?

      • Independent contracting is a way to “employ” without actually being subject of employment contracts.
        Trialed and proven excellent in instant sacking, less than minimum wage pay (contract rates not subject to the “minimum rate”) and a plethora of other employment “entrapment” evasion.

        One man contractor at rates lesser than minimum wage for his services (or else… )

      • @dingwall. Perhaps I should use the term Independent Entity/Operator (as in self-employed). Read up on the Deliveroo court case. The argument is that people who deliver for Deliveroo are employees and not an independent entity, and that Deliveroo has setup this structure so that they do not need to pay minimum wages.

        This is the next stage of the neoliberalism enslavement of the worker. Near zero wages, you also see the global race to zero for company taxes which mean the slaves will have to pay even more taxes.

  5. Australia headed for ‘economic armageddon’

    How did this informative piece slip through the news.com.au editors filters? Wasted space that could’ve been used for Trump tweets, celebrity news and savvy property articles.

    • Leading headline too. Looks like some overworked sub-editor accidentally pushed the “publish” button.

    • “This, he admitted, would result in “a mild controlled economic recession” but would stave off “uncontrolled devastating depression”.”

      In other words, “This is the recession that Australia had to have.”

    • ‘Mr Adams called on the RBA to take pre-emptive action by raising interest rates and said the government needed to rein in tax breaks like negative gearing as well as welfare payments.’

      Pretty simple really. Raise teh rates.

    • Good find Andy ! I like this bit a lot …
      ”And to top it all off, Mr Adams believes the current policies being pursued by Treasurer Scott Morrison are “negligent in addressing the big economic elephants in the room” ”

      I would go further, I would describe the government behaviour as ‘criminally negligent’ its going to cost lives, lots of lives over the coming years.

  6. MBers fight the good fight for sensible policy which is why I come here. We all decry the stupidity of this housing bubble and point out the injustice it serves the economy has a whole and what it does to young families (among others!).

    It seems most of us take the fight out on the streets daily. I don’t know about others but I feel like the one lunatic running about on the titanic screaming about an ice burg while everyone else is living it up and and laughing at my paranoia. Not that I mind this as it felt like I was doing my bit.

    However, something about this week did it for me. Perhaps it was watching Stevens be appointed to look at housing affordability which was like hearing Martin bryant being appointed to look at gun control or do-nothing’s fart into the wind on CGT reform. Whatever it was I think I’m done. Like a few here, I’ve realised the only thing that’ll end the madness is an economic tsunami purging the reckless and shortsighted. It may or may not happen but it seems the only way any real change for the better will happen.

    Right now seems like when you’re riding your bike and you get the death wobbles – you know you can hold it for a while but you’re doomed so best to take the stack before you reach the oncoming traffic. Only problem being no one wants to take the hit to avoid even worse consequence later.

    At any rate, for at least my own sanity, I’m swapping teams till the [email protected]$ker explodes. I’ll watch with stupid satisfaction like New Years fireworks as prices go past the moon to Jupiter. I want the debt pile to get so stupendous that when it finally explodes, cosmic specufestors from alpha centuari will see the mushroom cloud and think twice about bidding up the price on a gaseous 3bedder in the Kuiper belt.

    Sadly it seems the only way we’ll learn. Ironically cheering on the stupidity may lead to a better long term outcome for all – all be it in 20 years time when the fallout has passed. At least my 4 month old boy may be able to buy a house some day.

  7. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Why haven’t we seen pftt007 of late?

    I hope he’s not ill. Or worse still, Skip and his, ongoing disagreements coming to a bloody end, with Skip taking him out “Seals” style.

    • Yes, his comments have been missed.

      On the other hand, his blog posts have stepped up a gear. Ms Ellis always seems to bring out the best in PFH.

      • Nice work.

        ‘Are household debt levels too high? That’s fine too according Luci because speculating on house prices with debt is a rich man’s past time. Which is kinda the inequality point in a nutshell Luci.

        “…This is why we say that most of the mortgage debt in Australia has been borrowed by those most able to service it…”

        “..As you can see, this other property debt is even more likely to be held by high-income earners than owner-occupier debt is…”’

        Hasn’t anyone given her the message? Does she not listen? The debt is actually held by the poorer, aspirationals trying to get ahead. Nurses, Coppers, Teachers etc. It’s all about them. Get it right Luci.

      • Nice piece Pfh
        It astounds me how Ellis’ gets away with sprouting this nonsense unchallenged year after year
        The platypus is a protected species

      • Tx Jimbo and TP

        “…It astounds me how Ellis’ gets away with sprouting this nonsense unchallenged year after year..”

        Quite easily – the myths about the RBA (and APRA) and the cloak of ‘independence’ work very effectively. People just assume that they are ‘above’ ideology and politics and so just take whatever they say at face value.

        How she could give that mendacious long play obfuscating speech at a conference about Housing and Inequality and not be chased out says it all.

        The operation of the RBA and APRA and the structure of the Australian banking / monetary system must be at the top of the Royal Commission To Do List.

        Fixing it is not as difficult as FIRE industry spruikers and apologists like to make out but it does mean we need to step outside of the status quo and ask some tough questions.

        And no it is not (as a few like to insist) just a case of a good tools in the hands of crooks – the problem is fundamentally structural – broken tools that are tailor made for crooks to take control of and use to extract massive profits and rents.

      • It has nothing to do with Chrome.

        If you are marked as spam there are a plethora of tracking tools which will detect you and block you.

        IP address and cookies being the oldest method.

        Now they use a fingerprint recognition system – browser type, system capabilities, operating system and build up a picture of you which is about 90% unique and accurate – very hard to get around without specific blocking scripts.

        After this they will use things like accessing your camera – these have an unique identifier on them which can be used to black you.

        Pixel tracking – these are simply images which can be downloaded onto your machine and encoded with data to identify you as blocked. If the site can load one of these – you are blocked.

        Tracking cookies these are shared across domains.

        Injecting byte streams into the TCP connection – really, really bad but being done in the United States by service providers.

        Call back injections – call backs and reloads are used to identify you.

        If you have been banned by a forum or spam bot you need to install some seriously heavy duty extensions in order to be able to get around them.

        I have a specific browser set up with about ten extensions plus VPN + TOR + TAILS which I use in order to be able to access some websites without anyone knowing who I am.

        If you want to travel freely around the world – you don’t want to have visited many sites – and these are all very innocuous websites of absolutely no significance or danger – just forums for ideas and ways of thinking.


      • Joseph,

        That is very interesting and is consistent with the behaviour of the MB spam folder. Which seems to have gone all HAL recently and refuses to open the pod doors.

        I wonder how EDGE on Windows 10 is getting past HAL while Safari on several devices and Chrome (on Win and IOS) cannot.

        It feels like I am being followed by the truck in Duel and it is just a matter of time before it realises that I am hiding in the rest stop using Edge.


      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Hello 007

        Good to see you back.

        Why would you be blocked?
        I post heaps more “offensive” stuff than you, I poat uncouth you tube clips, drop the C and F bomb all the time and according to Smithy, my posts are facist and anti- semitic.
        Others consider me a Commie.

        What have you said,…. or Who have you pissed off?

      • Ermo,

        Apparently I never was banned. MB reckon they have this new spam folder HAL who is sending all my comments to the spam folder and like the other HAL they are unable to control Spam-HAL.

        Not sure why Spam-Hal is letting me use Edge successfully but no doubt its ‘learning’ algo is sniffing out my trail right now.

        I prefer to think that it is love not hate and Spam-Hal just wants me in the spam folder so “it” has me all to itself and can make profitable shorts on central banking. 🙂


      • Great summary statement, pfh:
        Data points, research, stats are no match for a Central Banker with a highly refined feel for a Platypus Moment.
        I believe that’s the RBA’s version of ‘Truthiness’.

      • The spam blocker is seeing an entirely new user when you shift to a different browser – it has not registered you yet.

        They can just look at your “installed fonts” and see if you are unique as these are generally quite unique.


        Above is your fingerprint, then check at the bare minimum of tools you need to prevent being tracked.


        Its extraordinary.

    • My bet is that if Trump doesn’t get kicked out, he’ll get interest rates to rise which’ll flow through to Down Under and collapse the property bubble and the rest of the economy, if some other shock doesn’t do it first, like a loss of the AAA rating.

    • Would have been right with timing if Hillary got in, but she probably would’ve pumped asset bubbles with everything and the kitchen sink like an uber Turnbull if given the chance.
      Trump getting in was somewhat of a Force Majeure event that’s rippling through policies globally.

      • Trouble is Trump made a lot of his money through real estate. Do you really think he’s not gonna try and reinflate house prices in the US? He’s already started rolling back lending restrictions on the banks. Benefits him directly and helps the masses with property feel richer.

      • @Kolchak…

        It is curious that people carry on about RE et al yet cant or wont square el’trumpos past, they just affix the business – man – brand on him and with it all their cognitive baggage. Its like an emotional transference from the last relationship partner, too the new one thingy…. and its not like its some top secret neither.

        Trumps dad laid the foundations with his racist slum lord method, which after banks did their mercenary no bid NYC bond game, crashed RE and pauperized vast swaths of citizens, only to ride the tide that lifted all boats during the time period in question. Add on some illegal labour practices, mob dealings, BK’s for profit, massive tax offsets, and Bobs your uncle….

        Disheveled…. going to be interesting watching the USA run like a reality TV show….. a hook at the end of every episode…. stay tuned… don’t turn that channel… we’ll be right back after a word from our sponsors ™….

      • Skippy,

        as you said, Trumps just “rode” the tsunami created by FIRE and people can see that, hence the ease of “forgetfulness” of “smaller crimes” in the wake of the biggest mankind’s threat (finance&military incorporation)
        It is the nature of the humans, to unite against common threat, true or perceived and focus on the greatest threat

  8. New Zealand’s housing shortfall … What is it ?

    Treasury / ANZ says the national shortfall is about 60,000 houses.

    PM Bill English notes within the video interview below that some (unspecified) estimates suggest 15 – 20,000.

    He correctly emphasises ‘price’ is the best measure of scarcity and abundance … and that this measure indicates the problem is worsening …

    NZ needs 60,000 more homes, ANZ says | Business | Stuff.co.nz


    Govt slashes housing shortfall figure without explanation | Radio New Zealand News


    Hugh Pavletich (in the short time available) endeavours to ‘clarify’ a few matters with radio broadcaster Chris Lynch of Newstalk ZB in Christchurch …

    Hugh Pavletich ‘Bill English is wrong on housing and he knows it’ … Newstalk ZB Christchurch


    After 12+ years (since the release of the first Demographia Housing Survey), hasn’t this ‘nonsense issue’ gone on long enough ?

    When are the politicians going to start performing ?

  9. Senator Ian MuckDonald said he’d like to be carried out of Parliament in a pine box. Next sitting week’s fine by me.

    • @footsore….

      Good basic walk through of the applied mechanics w/ references to historical precedent, contra to the metaphysical or ideological biases some are want to use as optics in defining reality. Especially when such ill conceived optics cant even accurately describe reality and then have the audacity to use them to formulate policy.

      disheveled…. Wilbur can you articulate what – specifically – wrt the article compels you to draw a parallel with “clown car” anything…. lest you resemble the attitude Roth describes in his opening paras…. IQMWLTK….

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      At least in theory, the government could just skip the whole bond-issuance thing (though that would leave the Fed rather flummoxed in the mechanics of its mission). That “borrowing” requirement is self-imposed, inscribed in law; it’s not handed down from on high. Removing that requirement would have no direct accounting effect on total private-sector assets, only on the portfolio mix. (Imagine there’s no bondholders, and no government “debt”…)

      So the change in the “portfolio mix” would mean what?.
      A more equitable distribution of income and wealth?

      What is the moral/rational argument that justifies this “self imposed borrowing requirement”?

      Why must government inflation/deflation concerns and efforts to control them be based only on the economic overhead of compounding Interest rates to controll private access to borrowed money.

      Why couldn’t we just tackle inflationary/deflationary conditions on the economy with fluctuating leveles of Non debt generating Government Expenditure (with out jacking taxes to “pay for it”).
      Times of ecomomic stagnation and deflation jack up free health and education, infrastructure, defence and wealfare, even a UBI. But pull back on the rate of growth of these expenditures if/when inflation becomes an issue.

      Our National and international Economic issuse should should not be “Managed” by unaccountable private profit seaking plutocratic instutions.
      That job should be the in the hands of democratically ellected Governments.

      • Sovereign bonds are a hang over from the gold standard days, basically a bone thrown to the elites to get on board with changes in monetary operations….

        disheveled…. one has to remember even slave holders were compensated when slavery was abolished thingy….

  10. A conversation with Brian Eno about ambient music.


    In it he chats a little bit about Trump and Brexit and calls out Trump and co. as being Leninists, that is they just want to smash stuff up. Funnily enough, Mr. Briebart has made this claim about himself before.


    The politics bit takes up a very small fragment of the Eno piece. A very interesting piece about music, sound and creation.

  11. The KLF are returning!

    A good primer on why the only band better than TISM matters.


    Includes footage of their famous burning of a million quid, and then being lectured on a TV show by a self-indulgent ponce from Def Leppard about how irresponsible it was.

    A protest party in the vein of TISM and KLF, that is a political movement that I could get behind.

  12. CSIRO scientists make Graphene out of soy cooking oil.

    “An everyday cooking oil has been used to make graphene in a lab — a development scientists said could significantly reduce the cost and complexity of making the super-substance on a commercial scale.”


    But it’s just science, so why should we Australian’s care? Science isn’t as beneficial to society as high property prices.

    • CSIRO hey? No doubt the government will sell the technology to some US company for a few hundred bucks.

    • “beneficial to society as high property prices.”

      to be pedantic, it is “ever increasing property prices”

      high prices is relative to the capability to borrow.

      Otherwise agree with your view.

  13. Anyone thought to suggest to William Burke’s Sustainable Australia to get some Aboriginal candidates?

    That would blow away the idiot left’s “we’re all immigrants”…or….”unless you’re Aboriginal, you can’t oppose population growth” arguments.

    BTW, did the left ask Aboriginal Australians if it was okay to invite 400k migrants to their country every year?

  14. Mirvac – Board Members – MD & CEO Susan Lloyd – Hurwitz


    Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz was appointed Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director in August 2012 and a Director of Mirvac Board in November 2012.

    Prior to this appointment, Susan was Managing Director at LaSalle Investment Management. Susan has also held senior executive positions at MGPA, Macquarie Group and Lend Lease Corporation, working in Australia, the US and Europe.

    Susan has been involved in the real estate industry for over 27 years, with extensive experience in investment management in both the direct and indirect markets, development, mergers and acquisitions, disposals, research and business strategy.

    Susan is also President of INSEAD Australasian Council, a Director of the Green Building Council of Australia, a member of the NSW Public Service Commission Advisory Board and National Vice President of the Property Council of Australia.

    Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Sydney and an MBA (Distinction) from INSEAD (France).

    Deluge of affordability data forces government’s hand | The New Daily


    Voter backlash and a slew of damaging data has made it impossible for the government to refuse to act on housing affordability, setting the scene for a May budget that unleashes superannuation fund money to fix the problem.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to the National Press Club on Wednesday that “ensuring more Australians can afford to buy a home is a priority”, although he warned there are “no quick fixes or silver bullets”.

    It has been a tough two weeks for a party that until recently denied there was anything wrong, as report after report proved the ‘Australian Dream’ is getting out of reach. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Demographia in the news …


    • Of course the punters will swallow the line that this is where we are headed:


      I wonder how people have the gall to put out these sorts of lies. Not that I don’t wish for an Australia like this, it’s just that we have got less than zero chance of this becoming reality in the debt loaded, stagnating economy that successive scumbag Governments on both side have mismanaged into the ground for the last 30 years.

      Fuck me my country.

    • Thanks for posting Bonza.

      Listened to Lindsay David speaking with Jon Faine the other day, and the feedback callers were all on some property price bubble hopium drug, smug-full of arrogance.

      If Adams thinks this govt (or any govt) will willingly bring on a ‘controlled recession’ he’s kidding himself. They are going full-tilt. Besides, we’ve already crossed the event horizon.

  15. If you want an insight into the delirium inside the tech-libertarian bubble of Silicon Valley read Zuckerbergs 5000 word manifesto ‘building global communities’.
    He seriously thinks facebook has filled the gap left by the erosion in civil society in the post 70’s neoliberal era.
    Furthermore, Facebook can solve all the worlds problems:
    “For some of these problems, the Facebook community is in a unique position to help prevent harm, assist during a crisis, or come together to rebuild afterwards. This is because of the amount of communication across our network, our ability to quickly reach people worldwide in an emergency, and the vast scale of people’s intrinsic goodness aggregated across our community”.
    Somewhere along the way he forgot that Facebook is a business. It is not part of civil society. It is not a voluntary collective organistion. It’s actually a hyper-individualistic one, which preys on peoples worst characteristics, fomo, vanity, narcissism. It slots perfectly into this hellish identity zeitgeist. God I hope these nerds dont go into politics.

    • It’s also ground zero for the disastrous, manipulative, self-selecting, echo-chamber of modern “news” reporting the drives people deeper and deeper into a bubble of their own preferences and biases.

      • Scott Adams would appear to be demonstrating the effect I was talking about perfectly.

        ‘I predicted Trump would win, therefore criticism of him is delusional.’

      • Just to clarify Dr, Scott Adams isn’t endorsing Trump and never has. His angle is the persuasive techniques he is using, and that most of us are missing. His argument is that people with a bit of life experience and used to analysing see a different picture from people that react emotionally. I’ve seen comments – post this conference – saying literally “I thank God he’s President”. Scott’s point – although it gets a little lost – is that one group see that performance and go “OMG”, and the other says “Thank God”.
        Whether any Presidency can declare war on the press and survive a constant drum beat of negativity is going to be an interesting experiment. Trump’s response is one that has worked for him always in the past – go out and talk directly. That’s why he’s back on the campaign trail. All the minor stuff has been delegated, he just makes the big decisions. Will it work? He still has 37% that willingly admit support. Just think about that for a minute. Nearly 40% of Americans think he’s doing just fine.

        So .. he’s gone out and done a rambling speech, mainly about himself and his ‘well oiled machine’. Shocking the press corps. But Scott is right – he’s talking no differently than when he was on the campaign trail. He really is talking normally – for Trump.

      • @alterbrain…

        The fact that the majority of eligible voters did not participate makes a mockery of any post elective analysis, because percentages and ratios are meaningless in retrospect…

      • I didn’t say Adams was endorsing Trump. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a fan and simply prefers to couch his language in a non-commitant way.

        His argument is that, because Trump won – and he predicted Trump winning – the people saying he’s having a ranting, raving press conference are wrong and the people who he’s talking the way he always does are right.

        Which is technically correct, in a sense, but it is a false dichotomy (based on a non-sequitur). EITHER he’s having a ranting, raving press conference OR he’s speaking the way he normally does. The possibility that he’s having a ranting, raving press conference AND he’s speaking the way he normally does – and that’s why the people who don’t like him, don’t like him – is not even considered.

        So, with no better information at hand other than a logical fallacy structured to support Trump and attack his critics, my conclusion remains unchanged. He is promoting exactly the self-selecting, echo-chamber problem I described, by arguing anyone who disagrees with him is wrong because they disagree with him.

    • It has disappointed me that Facebook competitors have made little attempt to destroy the monopolisation of social media. Surely social media is no different to email where the protocol itself does not belong to any single entity. As an end user I should be able to subscribe (become friends) with someone on Facebook and receive all their content without actually needing to register with Facebook. We would then no longer have to put up with the bs advertising and fake news.

      • What’s in it for Facebook if you can consume their offerings but never sign up for their service ?

        The entire value proposition of social media is network effects. They are not the product, you are the product.

      • Neither Microsoft nor Google have a monopoly on email yet they still provide a free service. There is something obviously in it for them. As an end user if I am pissed off with the one email provider I can move onto the next and all I need to do is notify friends to update my email address. I can do no such thing with social media. It is a restraint of trade and the antitrust laws are not being enforced.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Im with you Freddy,…. its an unacceptable monopoly that should be opened up by legislation.

      • Neither Microsoft nor Google have a monopoly on email yet they still provide a free service. There is something obviously in it for them.

        Yes. Being able to build up a profile of you based on every email you send and target advertising (or sell it) appropriately.

        I can do no such thing with social media. It is a restraint of trade and the antitrust laws are not being enforced.

        Huh ? Sure you can. If you want to change from Facebook to Myspace, or Google Plus, or Instagram, or whatever, nothing whatsoever prevents you from doing so. You can send your friends your new social media profile and they’ll be able to see whatever in it you set to public, or have to join if you want to leave it private.

        There’s nothing in it for Facebook to give you all of the benefits of being a user without extracting the “payment” for being a user.

      • “or have to join if you want to leave it private.”

        There is no way my friends are all going to use Myspace or whatever just to see what I am up to. That leaves Facebook with a monopoly. That is the restraint of trade the anti trust/competition laws are supposed to protect us from.

      • Freddy,
        Your concept is quite right but difficult to implement. All these anti social networks can claim to be different and incompatible and that can make it that way. Actually having an account with all of them in parallel is desirable as it would promote all the “services” to everyone.

  16. Why expediency is the cool new black in Canberra
    Anna Bligh’s move to banking upsets Treasurer
    Nationals fume as One Nation wins rural bank inquiry

    Things getting a bit strained in government 😉

  17. Ice and cocaine bust sees four Gold Coast men charged with hundreds of offences

    “The CCC has charged a 41-year-old Main Beach mortgage broker with 244 charges, a 55 year-old property developer from Surfers Paradise with 296 charges…”

    They’ll all be at it if propoerty prices drop.
    What better way to make money from a negative-equity-maaate unit you can’t sell than make a meth lab?
    It’s what strayans are good at 😉
    Ice Wars

  18. let the finger pointing and blame shifting begin;

    “Overseas workers: NSW government contractor didn’t check whether Australians were available”

    The NSW government has confirmed that it did not check whether Australian employees were suitable to fill 32 computer software jobs, which its contractor filled using overseas workers. The overseas workers on 457 visas were hired after the government’s ServiceFirst shed more than 200 employees who had provided computer support services.


    This one could also get interesting. Both sides of Government have been on an ApS outsourcing crusade for the last 10 or so years and the results are now becoming apparent. Maultinationals 1, Tax Payers 0.

    “Big fix to govt’s $6 billion tech woes”


    From what I understand, it’s IT today however there are many other jobs being outsourced and the effects on skills fade, corporate knowledge et. won’t be seen for years to come.

      • Well if the looks from the demolition crew setting up across the road, this morning, as an indicator, as she dropped me off at site before going too rowing, I would say yes….

        Disheveled…. the thick dark silken raven hair and violet eyes has me done in the head… all the rest is just bonus…

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Skippy enjoy while it lasts, after 2 kids neighbors were perving and couldn’t work out how I ended up with dual body & face stunner. When we got married she thought at 27 I was too old she being 20..
        Now she is fat with white hair, and I’m not even grey or balding.
        I think people think shes my mother.

      • Boomengineer….

        She has had 4 kids [one is a loosehead prop] and a diminutive lass [45 kilos-ish], albeit a pocket rocket that played sport in school, represented Oz in the commonwealth games, and now is a complete rowing nutter w/ son [the prop].

        Disheveled…. her genealogy does not support your views, not that it would matter with advanced age or that at my mid 50s, with her being 10 years younger is pause for concern. I married her for her altruism first and foremost, everything else is just the game of life…..

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        She held up till her mid fifties, but yours should last longer due to sport mindedness.
        My mother was in Olympic games 1920,s rhythmic gymnastics.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Escobar, no point, her mother died at an age before mine went to pot, in any case I was blinded by her looks at the time, shouldn’t always go for looks but what can you say.

  19. ‘Vulnerable’ Melbourne caravan park residents face eviction after developer buys site

    “The caravan park was bought last year for more than $30 million by developers with links to China.
    The site’s owner, Andrew Yu from the company Longriver, plans to build 294 townhouses on the site.”

    One Nation should fill the letterboxes of this place explaining whos dick is up the arses of our politicians 😉

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      No doubt the money was too good to refuse for the previous owners and I don’t blame them for taking the money and running, $30 million. But the people who live there are going to have their lives turned upside down and inside out so as to facilitate huge streams of money, much of it black, looking to use Australian real estate as a vast laudromat and hideaway. This is now our economy. What a country we’ve become.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      St Mal, ScoMo and Trudge will be clinking glasses loaded with Cristal over this. It’s what they want, those that need help should hurry up and die. Only those from a wealthy family and with dubious business connections deserve to live well.

      They knew years ago that this system was useless without oversight. They knew it would tip people over the edge. They were told this would be the result. Yet they’ve defended it all the way. They should be gutted and hung from a streetlamp.

  20. Mining BoganMEMBER


    It’s not a happy place, is it? Zimbabwe. I spotted a rare old vehicle for sale there recently. Bulawayo. Yeah, that would be nice. Did a bit of research on getting something of value out just for interest. Oh dear. Seems there’s a few hurdles.

    We must have a few refugees here on the board somewhere. Is it possible to get anything out without paying the value of the object in bribes?

    • If anyone can help it’s this guy.

      He got this 240z out of Zimbabwe a while back, has contacts over in ZA also. (Ex South African) with a classic car business in ACT now. Nick is his name.

      Think he’s had more trouble getting cars into Australia than out of Zim. 😀

      Zimbabwe is an odd place for sure. I was there a few years ago, doesn’t feel all that safe walking around at night and humidity is a killer. Then you have all the hawkers trying to sell you trinkets or hyper inflated currency. Had 1 bloke try and buy my old shoes… Botswana in comparison is amazing. If I had to live anywhere in Africa, it would be Botswana, great place. In fact my sister is living there right now.

      PS: What’s the car?

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Hey, thanks. A 1937 Studebaker Coupe Express Pickup. They made the most interesting and best looking trucks.


        You know, Studebakers used to be dirt cheap and their owners are notorious tight arses, but even they have shot up in price with all of the cheap money washing around the world. They took a hit in the states from the GFC so I should have grabbed the two I’d like when our dollar was above parity. Oh well, now they’re just another market destroyed by said cheap money and I’m out. If a Stude can cost $50k+ then you now the world has gone mad.

        I agree with you 100% about Botswana too. Glorious place and people. I’ve been telling folk for years to give it a go.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Geez, your mate has got good taste in cars. That silver CSL he’s sold is a winner. Always liked them.

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        There are a surprising number of classic cars in Central Africa. They were brought in my rich elite upper class Poms and Europeans after the war, and later by also American missionaries (I thought these people were meant to be frugal). They were always prized (and actually used). I have a friend who has done well buying up and selling these classics. His main markets are USA, UK, Europe with a few to Aus. He says the Aussies don’t want to pay the going rate.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        FBB, how can Aussies pay the going rate when a two bed unit costs a million bucks. Probably wouldn’t have a garage to put a car in anyway. Have to keep it in the street.

        Anyhow, you and Gav have given me some hope. I’ve fired off an email to Zimbabwe, something that doesn’t happen every day. My self-imposed unemployment is over so perhaps a little treat…

      • You know, Studebakers used to be dirt cheap and their owners are notorious tight arses, but even they have shot up in price with all of the cheap money washing around the world. They took a hit in the states from the GFC so I should have grabbed the two I’d like when our dollar was above parity. Oh well, now they’re just another market destroyed by said cheap money and I’m out. If a Stude can cost $50k+ then you now the world has gone mad.

        It’s a car from 1938, the cost of restoration drives prices. It doesn’t matter how cheap they were, it depends how much demand there is now for them now and cost of parts + if there is any rust repair panels available or you have to fabricate by hand etc..

        However classic cars in general have shot up since the GFC. I think in part because of baby boomers retiring but also because you can easily work on the old stuff. The new stuff not so much. Plus classic cars look lovely and are a form of rolling art work. Low interest rates also play a part.

        FBB, how can Aussies pay the going rate when a two bed unit costs a million bucks. Probably wouldn’t have a garage to put a car in anyway. Have to keep it in the street.

        There is probably some truth in that, but it depends on the demographic buying. The boomers who are asset rich probably can afford to pay top dollar, but the UK is where the big dollar Nissan/Datsun 240z’s have sold recently. Brexit has put the brakes on however as the currency has taken a hit.

        Just be careful dealing with anyone in Africa, that’s why I think get help via Nick, he knows the in’s and out’s of dealing in that region and can probably help with import process etc.. Sometimes it’s worth paying someone to deal with all that and wear the risk.

        Geez, your mate has got good taste in cars. That silver CSL he’s sold is a winner. Always liked them.

        Yeah and up until recently not too expensive, a friend was looking for 1, they were all rusty. Can’t say there is too many BMW’s I actually like. At least not a lot of the modern ones.

      • Crap I cant help myself a marsupial tail…. play on MPFC ripping yarns….

        OK… back in the early 80s in South Bay California I became friends with 4 brothers that had an epic case of car love and manic entrepreneurial expectations. Anywho everyone had day jobs and then on the side we did the gray market in European classic and new-ish cars [insurance – movie write offs or drug addition resolution] w/ some conversions.

        Long story short… one of the brothers day job was as a parking lot attendant for a popular beach side F&B – entertainment parking lot in Redondo Bch [yes all attendants were ripping off the alcoholic operator for significant sums to facilitate their life styles or side enterprises ]. Well on one Friday evening when I popped by to get the poop on what was transpiring, for the night, at his booth, a middle 30s dude rocked up in a Porsche 911 SC with all the vulgar gold trim.

        Wellie we just had to have a chat about it didn’t we.

        So after much discussion about his ride and the extras he blew money on just for bling [not that we pulled him up on it] he had the misfortune to make a statement about …. yeah boys if you work hard and sux Koch… like I did… you too someday could ride in such a personal conveyance of personality buffing carriage.

        Disheveled… then my mate at he booth said,,,, yeah mines parked right over there not 20m from the booth… and it was cleaner, badder, and more refined in every aspect… the look on that dudes face was priceless and a huge indicator of how the world works to a post military sort of guy…

      • 2002 tii turbo – ????? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfysH0nO-vY

        disheveled…. I do miss my Dino, TR3 with factory race set up and my old 12 window combi… yeah and the 944S2….

        I can appreciate the 2002 Turbo, I also like the 2002tii with the early style mechanical fuel injection. But I’m not particularly tickled to own the BMW’s. My father used to work for Bib Stillwell over many years and liked his European cars. I have just always liked the Japanese stuff, not really sure why? Perhaps because they were affordable? I do like the Z8 from The World Is Not Enough, although they are made of unobtanium 🙂

        Did you really have a Ferrari Dino? Geez I’d miss that too! Beautiful car, even though it’s not technically a Ferrari :). But 1 of my favorites. The old split window Kombi’s are great also. A friend of mine at work had a 944 83 model and non-turbo. I got to drive it a few times, incredibly slow for a sports car, but what a great handling car and I just loved it. I literally wanted to sell my FD RX-7 and buy 1 after driving it. But the cost of Porsche parts in Australia is absurd and I really would have wanted the 944 turbo, the FD RX-7 is literally better in almost every way, except maybe build quality. The Porsche feels very solid, the only thing I don’t like about my RX-7 is the interior feels a little too plastic.

        My friend crashed the 944 (midlife crisis car) and it kind of broke my heart, wrote it off etc.. It was a really well kept example until he got it. He went from Porsche freak, even got to meet Magnus Walker at an event in Sydney, to completely turned away from the hobby of classic cars. Oh well..

        I think what I like most about classic cars is all the stories that go with them and the memories too of course.

      • I had a contract administrator called me from the North Connex, he’s out here from India on a 457, there’s lots of Frenchmen there too. There’s lot’s of 457’s on the NWRL and M5 East too. Mainly office engineering support staff. Now I can accept the need to bring out a design specialist, but 457’s for fill positions to payout subbies claims? The company I work (ASX listed) for brings Filipino welders and trades assists to work on their projects, they don’t do any local labour market testing. I asked when the last time they hired an apprentice, trainee draftsman or cadet engineer and someone said 15-20yrs ago. The AIG even provides “advice” on overseas sourcing. Fu*k me, they have a big winge about Koreans dumping steel here from the very modern an efficient mills they have in Korea, but the AIG is happy to dump labour resources here.
        If Pauline and her One Nation had any “balls”, they’d be withdrawing any preference deals with this government and LNP state governments until a Royal Commission is held into visa rorts and all the other rorts like RE and Chinese money laundering going on at the moment.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Strayans are too fat and comfortable and brainwashed to pull together and grab their politicians by the neck and force real changes. A bloke I used to play tennis with told me that his train signalling equipement maintainence company used to have zero trouble hiring locals with training and experience, but around the mid naughties, the supply of suitable Australians began drying up, and now they are almost completely reliant on foreigners. Well why bother training up inexperienced locals when you can import experienced people? Just another example of the clever country becoming ever cleverer.

      • Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow. – Alan Greenspan

        Disheveled…. little problem in the kitchen methinks – so its a question of is it a feature or a bug thingy – anywho…… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CJ9EDtZ2p8

    • Wages are really high to prop up the property bubble.

      Hopefully 457 overload will lead to economic collapse, wage normalization to more realistic levels, then the 457 rort killed off by a Trump-like government.

      • Wages have been stagnate or dropping relative to productivity for decades, poorly underwritten credit, as an offset, has more to do with RE prices than your opinion imo… not to mention that credit issued is incentivized by short term c-suite remuneration and market fashion….

        Disheveled…. el’trumpo made packet on forced RE devaluation and resultant gentrification of CBD and near rings, that was his whole shtick… its not like he was or is some insane savvy operator that bootstrapped himself from obscurity to wealth and power by the force of his will alone….

  21. http://www.onenation.com.au/policies/housing

    One Nation proposes:
    That at the time of purchase and signing the contract, the sales agent (or if a private sale the solicitor handling the conveyancing) must sight documentation of the purchaser being an Australian citizen by way of Passport, birth certificate or permanent residency documentation, which would be noted and signed on an appropriate form by the licenced sales person.
    All purchases from foreign investment shall be recorded with the Immigration Department.
    If a temporary resident or foreign investor purchasing property, approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board must be attached to the contract.
    All new housing developments, regardless of the number of units, must have half of the stock sold to Australian citizens or permanent residents.
    Foreign investors who have bought property in Australia illegally, would face forfeiting their properties, and the real estate agents who sold them, heavily fined or loss of their licences.
    Foreign students who are found to have bought properties and not living in them while studying will forfeit the property.
    Foreign students who do not sell their properties within a year of leaving the country after finishing their studies will also forfeit the properties.
    How many properties in our cities do foreigners own illegally?
    We would advise Australians to report anyone who they suspect may have purchased a property outside the guidelines of the Foreign Investment Review Board. At the end of the day it may make enough of a difference for Australians to own their home.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Forfeit the property. Excellent. Just like proceeds of crime, which is what it is. Crime.

      Crime openly supported by our politicians.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Think of the cash windfall from the sale of all those confiscated properties!,… They could fund all those company tax cuts without having to decimate welfare!

        20 % of confiscated properties to social housing

    • Chodley Wontok will be thrilled that he can still purchase property using FIRB’s existing approval system.

    • Excellent. I think I will write to them and encourage them to go harder – specifically a Vancouver style foreign investor tax and acting on the 8 year old anti-money laundering legislation.

    • Seems reminiscent of old Soviet or Nazi social policy…. boy did that workout well… got a grudge against anyone – ???? – end scene from body snatchers thingy….

      Disheveled…. then there is the whole Rwandan thingy… under the cover of the cover of mass ethnic killing heaps of scores were settled, too include intra-famialy…. something about traditional views on eldest son getting a share of dads land and the 2nd son left to look after dad in his later years…

  22. http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/nsw-government-passes-the-buck-over-hiring-of-it-workers-on-457-visas-20170207-gu7hpk.html

    The NSW government has confirmed that it did not check whether Australian employees were suitable to fill 32 computer software jobs, which its contractor filled using overseas workers.

    The overseas workers on 457 visas were hired after the government’s ServiceFirst shed more than 200 employees who had provided computer support services.

  23. There is no benefit to being born and raised in Australia anymore

    My kids can go to school with a 457 visa holders child here in qld and pay nil, nada for using up facilities

    Foreigners can buy existing property to their hearts content – they only have to go onto the FIRB website to seek ‘approval’ in the form of an emailed statement

    NO labour market testing of 457 visas so big companies like chevron etc can import them by the boatload, depressing wages

    we have pollies on all sides talking about housing being a ‘supply’ side issue and mentioning nothing about demand

    the fact is, it is everyone for themselves now in australia. I want a big, nasty recession to happen, and fast. I really dont care, it has got to that stage. Tell all your friends and family NEVER to vote labour, libs or greens who are complicit in the sell out of your childrens future

    • Quote “She reminded them of where the income came from. “We eat off it, it feeds us.”
      It’s not something I would do, or condone, but I understand the motives behind, for someone young just to get ahead in Australia these days. Fortunately my daughter can immediately obtain a foreign passport should she wishes once she grows up and wants out where better opportunity may exist, and she has an extended family in the USA, China and Singapore should she want to live in one of those countries. Ihttp://www.smh.com.au/nsw/workings-of-alleged-drug-ring-linked-to-sydneys-assyrian-organised-crime-revealed-20170216-guezxl.html

    • Little Johnny goes to his dad and asks, “What is politics?”
      Dad says, “Well son, let me try to explain it this way. I’m the breadwinner of the family, so let’s call me Capitalism. Mommy is the administrator of the money, so we’ll call her the Government. We’re here to take care of your needs, so we’ll call you The People. The nanny, well, consider her The Working Class. Your baby brother, we’ll call him The Future. Now go think about this and see if it makes sense.”
      So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said.
      Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying and runs to his room only to find that his diapers are very soiled.
      So the little boy goes to his parents’ room. Mom is sound asleep.
      Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny’s room. Finding the door locked, he looks through the peephole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed.

      The next morning, the little boy says to his father, “Dad, I think I understand what politics is now.”

      “Good son, tell me in your own words then what politics are.”
      The little boy replies, “Well, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, the Government is sound asleep, the People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit.”

    • Personally I’m not opposed to 457’s because they have become the vector by which Australian wages find realignment with International norms.
      Traditionally the solution to international wage disparity (for similarly skilled nations) was to allow the currency to float and thereby find it;s own natural level, theory suggest this is the level at which the wages of country X and country Y were normalized. Floating exchange rates enabled this dynamic competitive adjustment to occur far faster than the actual wages could be adjusted.
      Unfortunately with the advent of large scale capital flows we see exchange rates that simply do not adjust as predicted by this simple formula, matter of fact exchange rates dont adjust at all while the richer country has assets to leverage, mortgage or simply flog. At an operational level (forex) these capital account flows are indistinguishable from current account flows so they serve the same role of propping up the exchange rate. Reality is that it is Aussie labor is being made globally uncompetitive AND that no automatic readjustment mechanism exists to counter this trend.
      The only adjustment mechanism that I can see is active wage suppression and that means importing labor even when it’s not really needed, 457’s are simply the tool by which this objective is achieved.

      • So you want to drive wages down further in a high private debt environment. Sounds like short term opportunism by the few for their own benefit which ends in disaster for everyone else. You’re at least honest enough to admit what the government wont i guess.

      • So you are for an impoverished underclass in Australia?

        Why not look at dealing with other costs of living and business first. While everything else is so expensive, and getting more so, your 457 solution just leads to more people thinking that Queen Pauline is a good idea. Not to mention the population Ponzi aspect of it.

        Another idea is that if you can’t afford to pay your staff, then perhaps you shouldn’t be running a business.

      • Inaccurate China-Bob…. no such animal as – free – floating currency…. the IMF and WB set brackets… go out side of that to devalue under the assumption that exports would magically increase and you would get the treatment, see Mexico and the Asian melt downs.

        Now the whole idea of importing workers is to both suppress wages [inflation meme] and for corporations to wash there hands of any in-house skill education, just sourcing plug and play widgets and cogs…

        disheveled…. not to mention I posted stuff on multinationals not having much interest in productive activity aside from balance sheet – equity buffing games… everything else is hive off and outsourced….

        PS. I would highlight the assumptions wrt Brexit and the actual outcomes…

      • So you want to drive wages down further in a high private debt environment.
        No actually I’d much prefer it if Aussie wages sky rocketed because this would force Exchange rates to adjust, but unfortunately that cant happen.
        Wage Inflation is ONLY possible in a global environment of Supply deficits and it’s not likely that we’ll see this any time soon. Without some form of global Supply Interruption all we’ll see a a continuing off-shooring trend for anything and everything that can be off-shoored, jobs which can’t be exported will be filled with imported labor.
        As for Private Debt: the real trick will be in keeping it Private, as we saw in both Ireland and Greece what was Private quickly became Public debt, at least until the major banks we’re effectively bailed out.

      • “The only adjustment mechanism that I can see is active wage suppression and that means importing labor even when it’s not really needed, 457’s are simply the tool by which this objective is achieved.”

      • CB, it was you that explained to me that surplus nations buy government bonds of deficit nations, therefore nullifying the effects of floating currencies. I would otherwise agree with you on that point at least 😉

      • “CB, it was you that explained to me that surplus nations buy government bonds of deficit nations, therefore nullifying the effects of floating currencies.”

        You should really look into the mechanics and players behind that, some of it is pure financial weaponization for political and ideological reasons [see south America – waves at Chicago school and Milton], on the other hand multinationals and bond vultures enjoy a game of creative destruction, applying leverage to sovereign nations in order to facilitate leverage on a wide verity of unearned profits and rentier style machinations.

        Rinse and repeat for a good time… yet these machinations directly influence the GDP of the mercenary country’s or their controlling interests profitability and how that correlates to said influence in sovereign policy formation ….

        disheveled…. its not like some don’t have a choice in what they do…. its done with intent… and the consequences are for the unwashed to experience…. that is their moral failing or bad luck to begin with…

      • In a nut shell – the doyens of free market fundamentalism would have us believe there is an inevitability in events we cannot fight. That there are few choices in reality and that we should therefore simply consent to global plutocracy. Once people figure out the implications of that consent though, it all comes crashing down in destructive forms of protest. Aka Trump/ON etc etc
        Time for a rethink CB

      • it was you that explained to me that surplus nations buy government bonds of deficit nations, therefore nullifying the effects of floating currencies.
        It’s true and will remain true However we as a society (aussies) have chosen to sell off our assets rather than adjust our expectation (wages/exchange rate) to the reality of global market prices. The pity is that we’re choosing to do this just as major game altering changes are rippling through the market. Emerging Automation will rewrite everything we think we know and understand about the whole Capital/labor equation, yet right at this critical junction we’re giving up the game and selling out our future.
        Logically one might suggest we are selling and mortgaging everything we own ahead of declaring bankruptcy, but it doesn’t need to be that way, the game doesn’t need to end this way especially not for Australia.

      • @AlexD Time for a rethink CB
        I’m not the one that’s advocating for this confusion of Current and Capital accounts. I accept the flow of assets and currency through the Capital accounts because there are no other choices, it’s just what happens.
        However make no mistake about this it is within the control of average Australians to change their habits and thereby to change their world, they choose not to change and that’s the underlying problem.

      • neoliberalism has sold off our assets in a losing global game of Monopoly. I say that we don’t need to be playing that game in the first place. If you asked Australians whether they prefer cheaper TVs and cars, or your own home/free education/free healthcare/welfare safety net, I would bet you would get a very different answer today than 20 years ago.

      • I wouldn’t be opposed to 457 visas either if they only applied to senior executives.
        Starting with the guy who is “running” the post office.

      • Concur Freddy…

        China-Bob… there is nothing inevitable about what you say, quite the opposite of what you say, save the perception management you forward…

        Disheveled…. a neoliberal perspective imo China-Bob… TINA~~~~~

      • What the heck CB? So your solution to a world where growth is constrained on the demand side is a country by country policy of real depreciation by way of wage suppression.
        And what do you think lead to the problem of inadequate demand in the first place?
        Suppressing real wages below productivity growth is exactly what has sucked demand out of the system. That was the policy of China etc. post the Asian crisis which lead to the current account imbalances and super low interest rates. Hardly the solution.
        Trying to frame a demand problem in terms of competitiveness dates back to the gold standard.
        Not every country can accumulate gold. Britain tried your prescription in the 20’s.

      • @Sweeper
        From my perspective you either stay in the game or you give up.
        Aussies are giving up!
        At the moment we need to maintain our share of the global markets for tradeable products AND we need to stamp our badge on some of the emerging sectors for new products and services. This whole SA electricity disaster is a gift from the gods, a real world sizable electricity grid with very high levels of renewables. The world needs solutions for this problem, it’s not just an Australian problem it’s a global problem AND it’s a global opportunity.
        Those Australians that would stepup to the plate and attempt this task are facing complete uncertain, they have to pay high wages and fight poor Venture access, but worst of all there’s no political will. It looks like this opportunity will be snatched from their hands putting the whole REnewables market into a tailspin.

        In business you dont get gifted such fantastic opportunities all that often, if you cant even capitalize on the ones that fall in your lap by accident than theres no chance that you’ll win those that you need to really fight for.

        it’s all so preventable if we act yet all so final if we fail to act and yes local wages are a factor preventing local firms from achieving global prominence.

      • There’s a ton of innovation i can do as hardware products and software, but in the current environment, i couldn’t care less. I’ll do the hard but interesting stuff as products when i retire in 20 years. I’m only doing a bit of hard but interesting stuff in hobby spare time currently, that has more immediate uses rather than anything earth shattering.

      • China-blob…..

        Please deist with the neoliberal tropes…. wages are not a problem when reconciled with parabolic advances in productivity for decades. Its only an issue of distribution of productivity that effects demand – full stop. So if your ideological camp wishes to double down on an increasingly nonfunctional attitude towards society and then stare at scapegoats… don’t wank on about totalitarians or any other biased strawmen…

        Disheveled… your logic is internally inconsistent with reality… stop making shit up…

      • China-blob…..

        Please deist with the neoliberal tropes…. wages are not a problem when reconciled with parabolic advances in productivity for decades.
        It simply doesn’t matter what you did in the past, that becomes an asset, what you can do in the future is what really determines your NPV it’s that way for all companies and all smallish countries.
        Its only an issue of distribution of productivity that effects demand – full stop.
        Yeah I can see what you are saying BUT when most of the population of Sydney produces absolutely nothing you rely on the productivity of others to have anything to distribute….that takes us back to entitlements, as in I’m entitled to a share of that which I didn’t earn because …well I’ve never really understood what comes after that statement.
        So if your ideological camp wishes to double down on an increasingly nonfunctional attitude towards society and then stare at scapegoats… don’t wank on about totalitarians or any other biased strawmen…
        Mate I’m not the one one with my hand on it, yeah their are other possible solutions but they all ultimately require that Aussies earn their way in the world.

      • China-blob…

        It must be difficult to engage with others that fundamentally disagree with your ideological perspective and how that effects debate because your camps dialectal framing of reality is maladaptive [Kantian rigidity reinforced by incentive].

        If you read your Hudson et al your perspective is rubbish e.g. most developed countries are not net exporters, but net importers, due to financial dynamics i.e. is it deemed foolish to export non renewable common resources – see Summers memo on up lift and global sharing. This will only become more acute with the advent of potable water scarcity i.e. see derivatives. Though in some cases like fracking some countries are more than willing to hollow out potential productivity for a short term financial boost to GDP or political outcomes.

        Disheveled…. I’d be careful of thinking your undertakings as having anything to do with productivity or earnings derived from your day job…. methinks Veblen did an apt job of describing your stripe… making a living off others toil….

      • China Bob,

        You said:
        “Wage Inflation is ONLY possible in a global environment of Supply deficits and it’s not likely that we’ll see this any time soon”.
        So you admit that growth is held back by weak demand.
        Yet you keep insisting wage suppression will fix the problem – although you haven’t stated how.
        I am trying to make the point that the above 2 points are contradictory.
        Holding down wages will not boost investment, because the problem is not high wages its a lack of markets to sell into.
        If you hold down wages in the context of weak demand, business responds by cutting selling prices in order to *maintain* existing market share.
        Its a deflationary policy which only works over a very long and painful period in a country without its own monetary policy, by lowering the price level v money, and therefore the interest rate (assuming the interest rate is not already stuck at zero).
        So why would you not advocate just lowering the interest rate the easy way in order to reduce the cost of Australian labour *and* capital on world markets and stimulate demand (since you admit that is the problem)?
        Or are we playing class war here?

      • I’m not sure if some here have a reading disability so let me say it loud and clear:
        Matter of fact it’s the best possible solution but in the global economic environment that we have it simply cant happen. However, as a realist / pragmatist I’ll settle for what can happen and see if there is any way that social goodness can flow from the possible, rather than waiting for the impossible to magically materialize.
        So in answer to Sweeper, yes the best solution is for Australia to Grow out of this stupidity, but failing this growth we need to be allowing for other feedback mechanisms to realign our wages and recreate value in our Aussie export industries.

  24. Hear this folks.
    One of my friends have a house in Bankstown (Sydney suburb) fully paid and a 2 bedroom apartment with $200k equity. She and her husband asked Comm Bank for Bridge Loan so they can buy a house somewhere around St George Area. Their house was valued by Comm Bank between $880k-$930k and they are looking for small house/townhouse for around $1m.
    Comm Bank turned them down.
    They also have another investment property they bought last year but I am not sure if they have any equity in it. This is Southwest Sydney so prices would not have moved much on this property in the last 8 months since they bought it.

    Looks like banks are really spooked.

    • Must have decided they have too much concentrated risk in that area. Push them onto an other lender so they can carry the risk. With a fully paid home you would have thought someone would be falling over themselves to extend credit their way.
      Guess we really do need to allow access to superannuation to buy all the properties.

      • that is what I told them. From what I can see someone is still giving credit.
        What caught me in this case was that these people do have enough equity.

        I think Comm bank really expects for the RE to go pear shape in very near future. Only under such circumstances the bank would not count the apartment equity into the calculation.

      • The banking system is a bunch of dickhead executives getting paid big bonuses to gamble other people’s money on high risk loans. The only thing they are spooked about is the thought of losing their bonuses. It is more likely that they are being forced to comply with new APRA 10% growth limits and have filled their quote for the time being. They will be back chasing their bonuses at the first available opportunity.

      • First mover response is interesting, as it may prompt overseas funding partners to reassess the pricing of credit to other Aussie banks. If CBA can demonstrate competency in risk management, that might serve to improve the price at which they pay to borrow in relation to their peers.

        Let the remaining banks fight for market share then watch as they loose control of both funding costs and credit quality.

  25. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Anyone got an electric lawn mower? Don’t know what to get. And yes, I know this isn’t whirlpool.

    • I got by with a cheapie $20 whipper snipper from Kmart for a couple of years, but that was in a pretty small yard and I wasn’t exactly holding out for a cover photo on Better Homes and Garden.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I saw one in the big green hardware and stuff shop for $70 on friday. I ran it past lovey and she said “go for it, you need the exercise…”

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I showed that to lovey. She had a look of confusion, then started smiling. Never seen it done before. The acceptance of the idea came with “go for it, you need the exercise…”

    • innocent bystanderMEMBER

      if you decide to go that path do some research cause the cheapies are rubbish and jam.
      can’t remember the brand I bought now. was from green shed but wasn’t that ozito rubbish.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yeah, they only had that one. I’ve been doing a squizz of gumtree just to see what’s out there.

    • MB have you considered sponsoring a 457 to cut your grass? I hear you can make upwards of 100,000 selling a visa..?

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Hey MINING B, you reminded me of the Studebaker my old man had in the nineteen fifties living at North Cottesloe, It always seemed to be coughing, missing and spluttering early 1940s or before from memory.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “Anyone got an electric lawn mower? Don’t know what to get”

      I dont think I have read a less Manly Question, here on the pages of MacroBusiness, in the 3 years I have been a Subscriber.
      You are an Embarrassment to both the Miners and Bogans that your Name identifies you with.
      I suppose your hopeful you can find one (a Mower) in Pink!

      The only way you can restore your masculinity, in my eyes, is to purchase a proper Mans mower, that is one that runs on Petrol.

      15 -16 years ago I purchased my Greenfield mower for around 6 or 7 hundred bucks. Its got a cast Aluminum chassis, heavy duty wheels and robust construction with a High torque, 190cc 4 stroke Quantum 60 XTS engine.
      My only concern was that this engine ran much quieter, than my previous, high revving 2 stroke mower,….would my Neighbours and friends start to question my Sexuality I worried.
      Fortunately though, these concerns were unfounded, I witnessed the ladies in the street still checking me out whilst mowing with their longing gazes and the Men would always give an approving Nod to the quality and manliness of my internal combustion Machine.

      Unfortunately the engine has got a Knock develope in it recently (the boy keeps throwing/leaving rocks all over the lawn!) and is blowing a little smoke so I went to Hoppings mower centre, (the place I purchased it from) to get a price to rebuild, but the guy sells me on just replacing the motor with a Brand New overhead cam 190cc latest model, for only $350 inc new blades!.
      Fuck giving my money to Bunnings and China when I can get better value for money from the local mower guy.
      I’m now really looking forward to my mowers engine fully shitting itself,…not even gonna bother picking up those rocks the damned boy keeps leaving on the lawn.

      As for this whole Electric Lawn mower business Mining Bogan,…. you do realise they Run silent,….dont you.
      If you do buy one, the only way you will be able to retain the respect of Your neighbours, family and friends will be to copy this Guy.



      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Pfft. I rent in Victoria. Know what that means? No solar power so I’ll be charging the batteries for that baby with coal. Brown coal. The coaliest, dirtiest coal of all. My face gets smudged with coal dust just turning the shed light on.

        As for the noise, well, there’s a kid here who likes making vroom vroom noises. He’ll do. He can run along behind me with his sooty face and his black lung vroom vroom noises. No one will pick it from the real thing.

        I’ll still look manly with the help of brown coal while I’m saving the environment by torturing grass, Winning.

  26. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Skippy, she held up until her mid fifties, but yours should last longer due to her sport mindedness.
    My mother was in Olympic games 1920’s rhythmic gymnastics

    • Again… her genealogy going back many generations does not support your conclusion….

      Disheveled… seems your anecdotal views has more to do with your personal experiences and feelings than it does wrt a more evidenced based method, projection imo….

      • Too a point I agree… yet at this juncture love conquers all and if things on the aesthetics side were different, aside from health concerns, I would not mention them or allow such thoughts to occupy space in my mind….

        disheveled…. sometimes her strengths shine through and sometimes mine, as well, as our weaknesses, it is via these processes that – WE – confront the challenges of life and grow as human beings…. then again I could berate her over her external CAD during a very specific time line regardless of physical or emotional duress….

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        No detailed analysis on the weekend of late nights and early morning sport for me just light heated conversation.
        Similar CAD scenario but be thankful one side has the insight to mitigate the consequences. One couple acquaintance both were big earners broke by the end of each week.

      • @boomengineering….

        My rambling is a method of pointing out the inconstancy in human relationships and the environment that it operates in…. and what goals are applicable, by that determine them, be it esoteric, or of similar construct e.g. my reference to CAD is a proxy for life long achievement vs. a very narrow moral implication about momentary impropriety from a very narrow view of human existence on a very myopic view of time and space and how that is quantified as T or F, all things considered.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        In the end nothing really matters, there is no right or wrong, only parameters and tolerances set by divorced from reality figureheads in that certain society. When 3rd engineer on a ship in 1972, locals of PNG gave me privy to their moral standards
        E.G. when their offspring was naughty they would not smack them, just give to the neighbor to eat. Driving though a village I was told not to hit a pig because they tasted better so were worth 3 humans

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Odd conversation fellas,…I have no contribution or observations to make there.

        @ Boomengineering, did you sail with an Engineer by the name of Mike Gunning back in the early 70s

      • @boomengineering…

        You spent time as a merchant mariner in the 70s, you have nothing but my respect as I am well aware of what experience that foretells… and not much glory for the effort…

        PNG – ????? – that’s an enigma… what transgressions did they exhibit via pre Judaic-Christianity examination and post Judaic-Christianity influence i.e. in antiquity Indians being perplexed at white English sorts playing cricket at mid day when culture dictated its bloody hot so lets find refuge. That said I have deferred job offers in the past in PNG just because the corruption is so endemic that it makes 1st world corruption absolutely a moral paragon of ethics.

        Ex elite military sort, some mercenary experience, and a cunts hair of joining the foreign legion, due to a mate on leave in L.A. – saying lets leave the soft fat consumers to dream expectations rewards whilst we live reward or abject failure…. whilst we swam across marina de ray from one bar to another…. on a lark… price some pay for a French pass port and new identity… sigh…

        Disheveled… the god old days where mercs traveled as reps for coke or xerox….. times change… and as such perspectives…. some call it getting old….

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Posted to wrong spot above.

      Odd conversation fellas,…I have no contribution or observations to make there.

      @ Boomengineering, did you sail with an Engineer by the name of Mike Gunning back in the early 70s

  27. TailorTrashMEMBER

    My daughter moved to an uber trendy Inner city area so I visited her to catch up over lunch . She said she would like to ” give her north shore white man daddy the full Inner city alternative experience “. She took me to a lentil eating establishment where you decide what you pay for the meal. The food was excellent …very veggie ( and lentil ).

    The place was packed with a collection of the most exotic creatures I have seen since I spent time in a Kathmandu doss house in the 70’s .

    The customers consisted entirely of trainee earth mothers and dreadlocked males of mysterious occupation (I’m sure they were successful novelists,creative directors of digital advertising companies or did the occasional gig at a market stall selling healing crystals ).

    My daughter said her friends say she is too conservative for such a place .
    Her answer to them was ” no ,no you don’t get it …..me in my straight blue dress and beige ballet flats is the really alternative person here “……….have to say she is spot on !

    My daughter paid the bill and was generous as I would expect.

    This is a community initiative that is run as a not for profit operation and provides training and employment guidance for refugees and asylum seekers
    (and probably does more good than all the billions of taxpayer dollars syphoned off to the VET schemes)

    I left feeling quite uplifted that there are pockets of an older, kinder more generous Australia hidden among the “in your face” property obsessed place Sydney has become .

    I did wonder if the landlord had donated the property for the eating establishment rent free ……..we can only live in hope ……..

    • Look into the history of Starcraft, there is a very small optimal window which involves age and brain synaptic activity in achieving optimal cognitive function and physical dexterity to be a professional gamer [ living wage ]. This is why, in say Korea, managers would build teams and talent not unlike gladiatorial enterprises of Rome et al and when the use by date is past give them the flick….

      disheveled…. funny thing…. not long ago in Korea there was a roaring trade in removing the membrane between the floor of the mouth and the tongue because some for profit shysters said it diminished the ability to speak English… and at the time the fashion was to get ahead was to speak English…..

    • I was going to say that $300-400 for a studio in the CBD is a bit optimistic, but it looks like there’s currently twenty of them available (mostly for high $300s).

      I imagine the “boutique inner city hotel” Mr Simpson stays at costs a lot more than that, though.

    • This article is the most ridiculous I’ve ever read. Byron is crap anyway unless your a backpacker, only try hard hippies driving large suv’s live there and the surf is full of sharks!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I saw a big one surfing “the Pass” with about 60 guys in the water,..a few paddled in, I stopped waiting for the out wide sets and paddled right into the middle of the hussell.
        There were 100m+ rides on 5 to 6 foot waves coming through, no way was I going In without getting a last ride.

      • Yeah I’ve seen one at the shipwreck. Don’t add the dorsal page on Facebook there are sightings almost every day

  28. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Well I tried to post an interesting story from life in Sydney but Spambot seems to have objected to something in it …….so I used all my verbal dexterity to rewrite it in different ways …..but alas spambots alogorithms are cleverer ……I even tried Dr Smithys suggestion to put a trigger……….WARNING THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES TO BELIEFS ABOUT REAL ESTATE THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND SHOCKING …..but to no avail …………spambot is immovable ………..

    Pity that ……….because I thought it was a gem of observation worth sharing ………….

  29. TailorTrashMEMBER

    So I ” buy a house for $1 million and pay 4.9% Pa ……….(the great hidden inflation in Straya ) and mean while …I buy my lunch on a credit card ……..and should I not have the readies ……..11.49% …..,yeh but no but !

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his inquiry into the nation’s four big banks has brought real results after the ANZ said it was cutting interest rates on two of its credit cards.

    ANZ will from Thursday cut its low rate platinum card by two per cent to 11.49 per cent and its low rate classic card by one per cent to 12.49 per cent, which it says are the lowest rates since 2003.

    “I’m bringing the banks regularly before the House economics committee and they are being held to account for their actions and you are seeing real results,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Darwin on Sunday.

    “Last October’s review by the House of Representatives committee was the government’s response to repeated calls from Labor, the Greens and others for a royal commission.

    Sorry Malcolm ………….sounds pathetic ……….

  30. boomengineeringMEMBER

    The evidence based method you refer to has ramifications conflicting with the necessity of complexity theory required for analysis of human behavior, not undermining the value of simplistic conclusions. IMO.

  31. http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/robert-simeon/64851-why-housing-affordability-is-a-political-no-go-zone-robert-simeon.html
    “With much being written about money laundering within the Australian property markets the appointed watchdog, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), is investigating more than $3 billion in suspicious transfers from Chinese property investors last year.

    This was further backed – up late last year when the major Australian lenders ceased lending to foreign buyers amid concerns. I was then surprised to read this week that foreign investors are again on the surge where this time they are paying cash to settle the full amount of the purchase.

    Now many will be asking the obvious questions as to where all these monies are originating from based on recent announcements that the Chinese government had shut down money transfers from China?

    Well, allow me to lay your concerns to rest – the smartest thing that Joe Hockey did when he was treasurer was to hand all data collection on every property transfer in Australia over to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You may have forgotten that some months later after reviewing the respective data an excited ATO announced that they were expanding their forensic property investigations back to 1985.

    Just this week, I received a telephone call from one of the ATO investigators requesting purchaser contact information for a property we sold late last year. Nothing was said, I simply adhered to their request and provided the relevant information.

    What this clearly tells us, is that every property transaction is scrutineered by the ATO and you can no longer beat the system.

    With so many discussions on housing affordability this is one announcement that should please all those closely following the real estate movements. As each property settles all the data is then sent to the ATO for recording and investigation.

    It has become very clear that everybody buying Australian real estate should know that each transaction is noted and investigated. And yes, they have the resources.”