Weekend Links 18-19 March 2017

South seas icon No.21: Totem Mountain with brassy sky

South seas icon No.21: Totem Mountain with brassy sky, Shay Docking, 1972-73, National Gallery of Victoria





United Kingdom

United States


Terra Ponzinomicus


Capital Markets

  1. Unintended consequences: specialising in risky mortgages under Basel II – Bank Underground
  2. International Financial Cooperation Benefits the United States – Peterson Institute
  3. Goldman Sachs’ lessons from the ‘quant quake’ – FT.com
  4. Bond Traders Face New Paradigm – Bloomberg
  5. Chance for Smart U.S. Debt Funding Is Slipping Away – Bloomberg
  6. Shorting the Euro Is an Outdated Strategy – Bloomberg
  7. Currency Traders Race to Reform `Last Look’ After Bank Scandals – Bloomberg
  8. The Golden Age of Hedge Funds – CFA Institute
  9. Kolanovic: The VIX is low, strangely low – Get Ready For Vol – ValueWalk
  10. Banks warned to be more proactive in overcoming regulatory obstacles to payments – Euromoney
  11. EC calls for May deadline as stalemate over bank creditor hierarchy legislation sets in – Euromoney…there is likely to be implications of this further afield…
  12. The hole in Western finances – Economist
  13. Collapse of the Ruble zone and its lessons (pdf) – Bruegel…interesting read. The RUB zone was based almost solely on distributing Russian energy wealth, once that tailed off the RUB zone logic went with it…
  14. What happened to global banking after the crisis? – Bruegel
  15. Sovereign spreads in the Eurozone on the rise: Redenomination risk versus political risk – VoxEU
  16. Bill Gross: This could cause ‘hell’ to break loose in the global bond market – CNBC
  17. The Emerging Market Economies and the Appreciating Dollar – Economonitor

Global Macro

…and furthermore…

Latest posts by Gunnamatta (see all)


  1. Forget Aussie house prices, demented potato-headed ex-policeman politicians and gay marriage for just a few minutes and have a listen to the podcast below wherein a real climate scientist describes how dire the current global warming situation is. ?

    Download/listen (right click and “save link as” or “save as”)

    Enjoy the weekend. ???

    • Talk is cheap. Ask Obama.

      In the real world, not the fake paid-for climate model world, the world has not been warming.

      “There were at least 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in 2016 demonstrating that Today’s Warming Isn’t Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable.

      As of the end of January, another 17 papers had already been published in 2017. 17 New (2017) Scientific Papers Affirm Today’s Warming Is Not Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable.

      Within the last month, another 14 papers have been published that continue to cast doubt on the popularized conception of an especially unusual global-scale warming during modern times.”


      Once Trump cuts off the funding for these liars, we will be deluged by data proving that it was largely fake. The earth is not a dead planet with no natural variation.

      BTW, solar activity is as low as it has been for almost 200 years – expect a cooler climate and more volcanic activity.

      • That article at TrickyZone is by Kenneth Richard. Is that the same Kenneth Richard who previously compiled a list of 770 papers that “contradict the IPCC consensus statement”, but if you inspected the list carefully you’d find that almost none of them deny global warming? LOL. So is this a do-over? 😂

      • And how about that George Bush planning 9/11, and don’t get me started on the fake moon landing. JFK told me all about it when I met he and Elvis in a submarine under Antarctic ice sheets. (The Illuminati is really pissed about the ice melting because nuclear submarine meetings under ice are THE coolest way to decide on the future of the world. Rockefeller says we’ll just have them in an underground bunker but that is nowhere near as cool IMHO.)
        9 + 11 = Lies.

      • Revert2Mean & footsore,

        As is usual with the religious who believe that “God made the earth in 7 days” and stuff like that, you do not present any data. You resort to accusing me of the equivalent of heresy – “Global Warming Denialism” or “9/11 Conspiracy Theorism”.

        Here is some more data – the stuff you don’t want to have to study because thinking is strictly not allowed in your sect. For me, it is a bit like Darwin trying to explain that humans are descended from primates.

        The longest series of temperature data for Victoria – in an area that has not been massively built-up – is for Rutherglen (since 1913). It is ridiculous to use places like Melbourne’s CBD or Sydney’s Observatory when seeking long-term trends for the country – let alone the planet. Everyone knows that Melbourne and Sydney have been warming up – because of their change of use.


        The date of highest temperature – by month – is listed here for Rutherglen:

        January 1939 – 35.8C
        February 1930 – 34.8C
        March 1940 – 32.6C
        April 2005 – 26.3C
        May 1938 – 20.3C
        June 1957 – 17.3C
        July 1975 – 14.6C
        August 1982 – 17.7C
        September 1914 – 20.3C
        October 1914 – 28.2C
        November 2009 – 30.8C
        December 1994 – 32.3C

        Does anyone see a trend there? I don’t.

        Is it not obvious that if we had 200 years of data, half of it would be in the first 100 years?

      • Whoa, Alfie, you should go work for TricksyZone yourself, because you are a slippery little eel, that’s for sure!

        Rutherglen is a well known anomaly with very definite reasons for the temperatures you name there (the station was relocated several times, and even overgrown with vegetation on one occasion).

        I’ve got to watch you. You’re trying harder for your paymaster .. a pay rise could be in the offing, amirite?

      • Alfred,

        When in Rutherglen I like to drink their fine sweet red wines and eat at Parker Pies (my pick for the best pie shop in Victoria).

        The above statement is only slightly less relevant to the discussion on climate science than your small, random and localised sample of temperatures. Do you understand the difference between weather, season and climate?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Whoa, Alfie, you should go work for TricksyZone yourself, because you are a slippery little eel, that’s for sure!

        Well, kinda. I mean, he’s cherry picking out the outliers rather than looking at the overall trend of averages, which is textbook ‘lying with statistics’ stuff.

      • Alfred, Thank you for posting the Rutherglen data. Let me tell you how to see the trend. Go to the page that you posted, look at the top of the last column and click the button that says “Graph Annual Data”. Then look at the right hand end of the graph – mean annual temperature in Rutherglen for the period 1998 to 2016, compared to the long-run average. If you still can’t see the trend, let me know and I can recommend a good optometrist.

      • Funny how you guys don’t like raw data. It is like showing raw garlic to vampires.

        Yogiman, there is no trend. The most recent temperature value is below what it was in 1914. Clearly, you are the one in need of a little help from the optometrist. 🙂

        If you guys think this is a fluke, how about the last 30 years of Winter data from the highest mountain in Germany? Bang in the middle of Western Europe, on the border with Austria and within 300 km from 5 countries. The wind up there often blows at 100km/hour

        “Station At Germany’s Highest Summit Measures Midwinter Cooling Of Over -3°C Over Past 30 Years!”


        Germany is of course the very same country where the fake Greens are chopping down ancient historic forests to make way for wind-turbines – to “stop global warming”. Lots of converts over there.

      • Here is some of the nonsense we get in the paid-for media. In this case, Indonesia, that huge archepelago to the north of us.

        Rising sea levels threaten 2,000 islands in Indonesia

        In reality, satellite data (which is highly accurate) shows that the sea-level has been dropping in Indonesia for the past 12 years. Here is a scientific paper based on real data from NASA.

        Coral mortality induced by the 2015–2016 El-Niño in Indonesia: the effect of rapid sea level fall (PDF)

        This article contains the word “fall” no fewer than 32 times. You won’t ever get your lying ABC / BBC / SBS / Fairfax / Fox / News Corporation to ever mention it. Let’s make this quite clear: David Attenborough is a liar and a propagandist.

        And here is another article pointing out that the claims – by the “Scientific American” no less – that 5 Pacific islands have been consumed by the rising sea-level is entirely false.

        No, climate change didn’t cause “5 Whole Pacific Islands” to be swallowed by sea level rise

        The Australian government is giving your money to the ‘Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program’ to save these people from a rising sea-level – when they know very well that it is not rising.

      • Funny how you guys don’t like raw data. It is like showing raw garlic to vampires.

        Even Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat.com (WUWT) admits that raw data is crap.

        You cannot trust RAW data because (for example) in this case it comes from a bunch of differently located stations in Rutherglen, one of which was allowed to become covered in vegetation and therefore much cooler. You can’t understand this? Are you really that fucking stupid?

        If you guys think this is a fluke

        No, we don’t think it is a ‘fluke’, we think the data is corrupt, as the document I linked above showed. How about reading it, Einstein?

        last 30 years of Winter data from the highest mountain in Germany

        More cherry-picking from you, O Brainless One.

        Lots of things are going on high up in mountains that would lead to temperature anomalies, such as glacier melts (there are several glaciers on the Zugspitze, all of which are getting smaller), rainfall and snow cover changes. Nowadays, snow completely melts during summer on Zugspitze, but in the past snow might resist the summer months; the last case when the snow failed to melt during the whole summer season was in 2000. So there goes your tricksy theory.

        Summary: you’re off again cherry picking a few locations that have very good reasons for being a little different.

      • In reality, satellite data (which is highly accurate) shows that the sea-level has been dropping in Indonesia for the past 12 years.

        Where is your proof for that claim?

        Coral mortality induced by the 2015–2016 El-Niño in Indonesia: the effect of rapid sea level fall (PDF)

        That paper talks about a temporary 2015-16 El Niño-induced sea level fall, nothing more.

        Let’s make this quite clear: David Attenborough is a liar and a propagandist.

        Bah, you’re not fit to clean the ground he walks on.

        And here is another article pointing out that the claims – by the “Scientific American” no less – that 5 Pacific islands have been consumed by the rising sea-level is entirely false. No, climate change didn’t cause “5 Whole Pacific Islands” to be swallowed by sea level rise

        Why not link to the actual article in SciAm instead of to WUWT (a site run by a college dropout)?

        Watts, your university-flunking friend, does not disprove the SciAm article at all. The ocean has been rising in the Solomon Islands at 7mm per year, more than double the global average. The Guardian article (which WUWT uses as a link to “prove” that it’s all hype) says that too, and goes on to essentially agree with SciAm in that:

        The loss of land in the Pacific is a totemic image of climate change. Residents of low-lying nations see incursions of the sea where it did not use to be and blame the burning of fossil fuels. This study shows that the issue is more complex than this. But it also contains a dire warning.

        By the second half of this century the sea-level rise across the Pacific will be close to the rate observed in the Solomon Islands in recent decades. Albert’s team also observed a disturbing trend of wave energy increasing along with local sea-level rise, meaning islands exposed to high seas were trounced into oblivion.

        In this respect, the drowning of these lands is a window into the future. For the first time, we can see clearly that the amount of sea-level rise we expect from climate change will overwhelm entire landscapes.

        The Australian government is giving your money to the ‘Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program’ to save these people from a rising sea-level – when they know very well that it is not rising.

        You are completely, 100% wrong, as I have shown above.

  2. Dig Deeper! – Release foreign ownership data for housing in NSW

    It was good to see the ALP making an effort this week to extract data from a reluctant NSW Government about the level of foreign citizen buying of housing and land in NSW since 1 July 2016.

    However, it quickly became clear that the ALP needs to keep on digging and pushing Premier Gladys “Secret Squirrel” Berejiklian and Treasurer Domininc “I knowz nothing” Perrottet to cough up the data so the public know what is going on and there can be an informed debate.


      • Is Australia yellow? I know it doesn’t match with the index but everyone else is accounted for.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        That’s a brilliant chart Gunna, totally puts paid to the ridiculous “new-paradigm”-ers, “permanently-high-plateu” theorists and the growing ranks of uber-frustrated-lash-out-at-everything former bears who are stuck in a terminal sort of “gray-sky-thinking” in which anyone who carefully details the growing risks and imbalances (such as MB) are accused of getting their crash-hopes up and costing them millions in “should-have-bought-2,5,10-years-ago” remorse.

        Surely a truer sign of approaching or passing the real-top have we not witnessed until now – Bears, Bulls, Economists, Regulators, Journalists and finally Pollies are all losing their collective minds. Pass the popcorn 🙁

      • haroldusMEMBER

        So if I’m reading it right if our bubble went on for longer our curve would look lower and more concave, like ireland’s?

        And, the bottom is a log scale I notice.

        I wish they could chuck tulip prices in there

  3. Dan

    That said the Singaporean and Chinese governments do a much better job of managing their countries for their citizens’ long term benefit, so perhaps we can outsource all of our government functions to them.

    got me thinking. What if we take this outsourcing thing to its logical conclusion. Then it might have merit. Instead of focusing on the services government provide let’s examine government itself. Take Iceland for example. Wonderful country. Amazing people. A government with backbone and intestinal fortitude.

    Why not oursource the positions of MP and PM to the Icelandic politicians? They’re clearly capable of repesenting their constituent’s best interests. Are ours? Not only would the savings be significant, it would be an exceptional opportunity for trade and development on a level playing field.

    If that plan is given careful consideration, then perhaps those under consideration will be less quick to be pushing that barrow themselves. Or to sell the family silver in the future come to think of it.

    • Icelandic politicians are the product of the Icelandic people.. and Australian politicians are the product of the Australian people.. say no more!

      • Iceland is a small, homogeneous country. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.

        We do vote in dunderheads, but we are so separated from them, and the machinery of government, that we then end up caught up in their little game. Often, adopting, or opposing their views becomes the discussion instead of what is actually good.

        They are setting (tweaking?) the tenor of discourse. Howard was masterful at this. The whole Overton Window, but I think that J. S. Mill does a better job of describing it in ‘On Liberty’.

        For the above reason I prefer smaller government bodies that have a greater independence to each other and a greater involvement of the populace. Switzerland has the best model that I know of. But, I think that likelihood of Canberra, or the States relinquishing any power they have is a big fat zero.

      • You are absolutely correct. The Icelandic people (population 300,000) took on the UK’s Royal Navy in the Cod Wars and so embarrassed the British government that they won the right to save their fishing grounds from being over-fished by foreigners.

        The Australians consider themselves to be largely descendants of convicts or the poor. They lose no opportunity to tug their forelocks when in the presence of their masters – the Americans, the British and soon the Chinese.

        Just look at how aggrieved Tony Abbott was when the Queen would not invite her loyal servant to tea:

        Abbott was snubbed by Queen on his trip to London

    • I don’t want to be wanky replying to my own comment, but Gunna, thanks for the links! (and the art, I love the Bungle Bungles) I’m going to enjoy reading them.

    • Paddy Finucane

      Epic set of links Gunna.

      Unlike most here waking up to this dazzling array, I am home after drinking late at night. I have a pack of fags and plenty of alcohol in attendance. This set could keep me going to dawn.


    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I’ve just changed the art due to someone emailing to let me know I had used Bungle Bungles previously.

  4. PS The four horse-stablers of the Apocalypse (NAG, Westpackers, Ceebies eh and A to Z of dodgy lending documentation) will all raise rates now that Yellen’s kicking heads in the states. A whole 0.07 percent for the average punter.

    Yep, we’re all going to die.
    Can’t recover from. Here.
    The end is nigh.
    I’m moving in with my parents and telling them I’m saving up for a mortgage.

    Yep. We’re all doomed because we’re now 0.07% above THE LOWEST RATES HAVE EVER BEEN and unemployment is pushing the boundary where the RBA has to think about moderating its language as a precursor to easing. Again.

    But yeah, FHB stimulus, SMSF property funding bribes… none of that will make a difference.

    You’re all like Jay W. “Sure, you gave my state a 48 BILLION dollar defence project bribe. But what have you done for me lately?”

    Give me strength…

    • Relax,

      Asset prices are driven by fiat and there is heaps of that around. As long as it just makes a few people rich and they just stroke their computer screen balances and not spend it, it is completely harmless fun.

      Everything would be completely sweet if we just increased our intake of back rubs, piccolos and paleo cheese spreads.

      As a wizened old sage told me just the other day, even if the RBA has to go NIRP we will be fine because the Golden Kangaroo is an ‘automatic stabilizer’.

      Even if the $AUD is 20 cents US your 2 million dollar house can still go up up up.

      Nominal prices are forever!

      • Whoever told you that is an idiot.
        We’ve pledged 60% of our GDP (net) to the foreigners who set our economy in motion.
        They aren’t going to take kindly to lower interest rates if we decide to invert the interest differential at a time when the Fed, Euro land & BoJ are all promising (or at least hoping for higher domestic interest rates).

      • Sweeper,

        So you reckon US$0.20 is a bit optimistic in that scenario?

        Now who do you reckon might have reckoned that the RBA is completely unconstrained in setting whatever rate it wants and the $AUD is just an ‘automatic stabiliser’?

        See if you can guess

        1. Who it was
        2. What economic school they are likely to subscribe to.

        On a completely different topic this is worth a read if you havent seen it already.


      • Ok so you aren’t actually talking about Australia.
        Here is why the US is completely different to Australia in this context.
        US NIIP is roughly balanced, and (inflows are safe, outflows are risky)
        Australia’s NIIP is about – 60% of GDP, and (inflows are risky, outflows are safe)
        I’m sure if you sent Pettis an email he would be able to explain why this means different rules apply.

      • You’re not wrong. But you’re no more right today than you were 18 months ago. Or 5 years ago. So why is now any different than either of those points in time is the question?

        IO prices?
        Foreign buyers?
        Government policy?
        Budget/fiscal conditions (see China saving Mr Morrison’s bottom line).


        Fed. Maybe. What was the local reaction to that? AUD up 150pts and some banks moved less than ½ a rate rise.

        Scary stuff. That’ll keep all those FHBs who couldn’t find a house to buy previously from piling into the market (assuming you’re right about the ‘smart’ money stepping out and leaving room for them).

        You can only keep repeating how things should be for so long before reality has to set in and how things are needs to be faced.

      • Leaner – what are you going on about? Are you claiming that the RBA has complete freedom of action IF the external interest rate environment changes – everything else being equal?

        If you are simply making the point that crashniks should not get too excited because there are plenty of things that can continue to support houses prices in Australia, well duh, I have been saying that for years. In fact some might say it is the core of my calls for monetary and many other reforms. Call for reform means it has not happened yet and at the moment it is absolutely clear Australia will not lead the way on many if any of them.

        So we are agreed.

        Think of me as like Reusa but with less LOLOLO.

        In other words – we should expect the RBA to cut rates if offshore rates rise because they will act to support ADI housing related credit creation BUT there are limits to what that policy tool can do. Howver there are lots of other tools that are available to governnent such as the ones you mentioned so dont start counting your bubble bursting chickens before they hatch.


        That Pettis article had nothing to do with this “On a completely different topic…” – I was not referring to either him or the article – I just happened to be reading it at that moment.

        I was referring to a long ago (and much missed) visitor to these threads who does not believe the external interest rate environment places limits on a soveriegn fiat …….yadda yadda.


      • Sweeper,

        I was talking about Australia. I meant the $AUD worth $US0.20 might be optimistic if the RBA ignored the interest differential.

        Yes the US is very different as their IOUs are the reserve asset for the international financial system and ours are not.

        That Pettis article was good because he talked about the importance of looking very closely at what capital flows are being used for (productive v unproductive) in the context of Trump statements about what he will be trying to do. It is a loooong article but a good one. It had nothing to do with my initial comment that was intended to agree with Leaner and poke fun at the “RBA” has super powers believers.

      • Agreed indeed! (I shall have to take the service industry related remarks at face value though)

        And I try not to think of anyone as Reusa, except Reusa. No one else could be that good looking. Or equitied up.

      • Leaner,

        Yes – the differences are a lot more than just the LOLOLO so just keep staring at that twinkling Reusa peeper.

        My “cheese-free” Paleo Cheese spread is to die for. Literally, the things the production line uses to acheive a yellow cheesy effect out of pre agricultural inputs boogles the mind.

      • Even StevenMEMBER

        So pfh007:how have you positioned yourself against the imminent decline of the AUD? Gold, foreign equities, sold up everything in AUD you have?

      • 🙂 Wonders why Sweeper doesn’t claim the prize for guessing who? Who is Flawse’s nemesis? 🙂

        You’re right of course…as long as the ECB BoE and Fed keep throwing out a few trillion a year in fiat and we don’t give a RA about who owns our nation and how much debt we have…no worries. This can go on a long time. This is the essential point completely missed by MB over a long period. Reality is a bitch. It just won’t do what we want it to do!

      • @Everyone. This is rapidly becoming an everything is awesome thread. Certainly don’t disagree but others may be concerned for members’ welfare. Stockholm syndrome?

        @Pfh007. My diet restrictions require me (when being good) to avoid all the crap food at the end of the scale you refer to. I consider that a blessing.

        @ES. News24 has AUD/USD at 0.7784. You won’t need to worry about that for a while.

        PS it’s wrong. Entertaining, but wrong.

      • ES

        “..So pfh007:how have you positioned yourself against the imminent decline of the AUD? Gold, foreign equities, sold up everything in AUD you have?..”

        Imminent decline?

        Hasn’t it been imminent for about 4 years now – since the mining CAPEX boom went soft and the world was supposed to find out that lending / buying Australia was a bad idea. I have no idea what this wonderful world holds for the future. Things may go up and things may go down is my best prediction.

        All I will say is that we live in a world of fiat and ‘capital’ creation and capital flow manipulation by economies and political powers that are much greater than Australia and that means what that happens is very very hard to predict so long as Australia is locked in as a “true believer” in the unrestricted international capital flows belief system.

        We could chart a more independent path, as I recommend, and restrict unproductive capital inflows but generally the response to that suggestion is a combination of “if we try it will kill us”, “You must love Friedman”, “Where is your bunker full of beans” and “But the international capital flow brotherhood of capital is all-natural and gives us cheap toasters”.

        At this point the dollar seems to be floating quite happily on an updraft generated by:

        * other countries trying to devalue their currency with ZIRP/NIRP policies that sends predatory capital scampering our way – which we grab like a 2 year old near a bag of boiled lollies and use to bid up housing asset prices or the government grabs in exchange for its IOUs and uses to run a consumption driven deficit (with a few filthy expensive subs in the mix).

        * other countries using their ‘manufactured’ capital flows to acquire our hard assets like land and infrastructure and industry.

        * excellent prices for the lumps of dirt we dig up and put on boats.

        The most likely thing that will change the status quo – and it has not happened yet – is for some big ugly foreign countries like the USA or Japan or Europe to do what China has been doing for the last 20 years (but they have steadfastly ignored) and that is use the “power of money” to drive productive (mostly) economic activity through the roof and rebuild all that worn out infrastructure – e.g. Rome has a soccer stadium that looks like it has not been renovated in about 1700 years!.

        If they do that then we will hear a lot more about rising rates and a vanishing “savings glut”. When that happens all the dopey debtors who lack the spine to default on their obligations will be having a little cry and whinging about “why didn’t anyone tell us we could not run up a tab indefinitely”

        But until that happens find a comfortably seat and prepare for same old same old.

      • Oh right. Yeah I remember Peter Fraser. Tell him to apply his theory to Russia (late 2014 to present).
        Why hasn’t the collapsing Ruble acted as an automatic stabilizer?
        Oh and the answer isn’t foreign currency denominated debts. Because Russia had an excess of foreign currency reserves.
        Their NIIP was also favourable (unlike ours). And they can print as many Rubles as they want. Yet for some strange reason the CB decided to drain Rubles and hike interest rates from 10 to 17% at one point.

        The answer is some depreciations are good. Others are not so good.
        The good ones are those where foreign demand for bonds and other assets is stable, but a reduction in interest rates leads to depreciation per uncovered interest parity.
        The bad ones are where foreign demand for bonds and other assets collapses (at any interest rate). Say because the the country is deeply in the red and the CB did something stupid like invert the interest differential.
        Along those lines:

      • The reserve currency thing isn’t what makes the US different either. It’s a bit overrated actually.
        The difference with Australia is that their NIIP is roughly balanced. Plus their foreign liabilities are safe (cheap to service, especially currency which is free), whereas their foreign assets are high earning.
        Which means they don’t need foreign financing to fill the gap between earnings on foreign assets, payments on foreign liabilities.
        The net income deficit. Australia does need this.

  5. Despite all the bear porn on here today and this week. I’ll bet Sydney Auction clearance rates will be 75% and Melbourne 73%.

    What do you think?

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Friend sold yesterday at reduced price because he thinks the crash imminent.
      Responded to your last weekend post FYI.

    • There’s never been a better time to… buy an Investment Property.

      Other than any point before now in the last 14 years. But today’s not looking too bad either. Today 5 years ago would have been better. Or 3 years ago… or 6 months…

    • That sounds about right, a small decline but noticeable. Could even gather a bit more steam as the interest rate hikes take effect. Syd and Melb are just so, so interest rate dependent.

      But of course any correction expires at the May Budget with whatever lunatic plans to pump housing further…

      • prices will increase even faster?

        politicians will ramp up the bribes again?

        Dutton will announce a “get a stamp-duty concession with every 457 visa” policy?

        Turnbull will announce yet another energy construction scheme requiring thousands of jobs where identified skills shortages exist in Australia?

        AUD will rise 150points? Again.

        they’ll be issuing mittens in hell as it froze over as there would have to be some wages growth in the US first?

        China will be laughing all the way to the bank.

        you’ll need to double the size of your pool room.

    • I don’t think you’ll see auction clearances crash to something like 65% this weekend, but there has been a noticeable shift in MSM reporting and despite what some think they play a major role in how people perceive the property market. The animal spirits are not as strong as they used to be. Don’t think it will be the catalyst for a crash but it will give some punters a moment to contemplate ploughing massive amounts of debt into property.

      • Yes I feel I’ve seen a massive shift in negative sentiment but it seems to have little impact on punters behavior at the weekends. I do wonder why the sudden change in less than a year. It’s gone from bubble denial to “we have a massive problem” all of a sudden. Perhaps because with rates going up the writing seems to be on the wall? St Mal and friends are really just trying to manage a bubble.

        I’m looking forward to the May budgets stupidity.

      • Gavin, correct. Every time there is a whiff of rising rates here or in the US, the news outlets —which after all are merely propaganda arms for real estate sales (domain, realestate.com.au etc)— are suddenly replete with articles forecasting the imminent collapse of the bubble.

        We’ve seen this several times in the last decade or so. It becomes a massive yawn. ? ?

      • definitely there is shift in sentiment but we have to see how this pans out over the next few weeks. Employment and inflation numbers out of US will matter a lot in the next 6 months as that will set the stage for next hikes and how many of them.

        @Gavin “Perhaps because with rates going up the writing seems to be on the wall?” Plus it might be that Chinese are starting to disappear.
        So shrinking of customer base combined with rate hikes – that is what our speculators are faced with.
        Yeah Malcolm will let people use their super but those that will have the option (FHB) will shy away as prices are still way too high and most of these people are not buying not because they can’t borrow but because they understand what it means to have $800k debt or $600k if they use some of the super for deposit. It is not going to work and we only have 2-3 cuts to make at most so not enough to revive the economy. I think the Gov is realising they are running out of rabbits the Hat is empty.

        I think someone here predicted (I think could have been H&H an article on interest rates) this few months ago – that Australians could be facing rate hikes while experiencing slowing economy. I can see that as a very real possibility now.

      • I agree with Nikola in that the US moving makes a difference this time. The US have been near or close to ZIRP for the last decade but that time looks over. That along with less Chinese will impact the demand pressures. It won’t coming through immediately because there is a lag on these things in property.

      • I attended two auctions for 3 bedroom apartments this morning. One in Carlingford, the other in North Parramatta. Neither went ahead due to each only having one registered bidder.

      • I forgot to attend the auction 50m away from (playing (making noise) with my new Marshall cod25) but I went to check the sign and can’t see SOLD sticker on it. So looks like did not sell.

    • Mrs Nut and myself are off shortly to have a look at a couple of auctions on Canberra’s north side. We reckon home buyers with preapprovals will still buy but might not bid as high to keep the mortgage down and investors, unless it’s a value buy (is no Reno’s etc) might be spooked. Be interesting to see.

      • Went to two auctions in our suburb, both sold. One was a very basic 3 beddie, one bath room, single lounge, single detached carport on 550 odd sq/m for $500k fought out between subcontinent types and Asians and the other was a nicely reno’d 3 bed room, 2 bath room townhouse that was purchased by an Aussie couple for $480k. Sadly there was a young couple looking around and said both were way out of their league price wise. On a bright note, there didn’t appear to be any investors at either auction and both would suit an investor. Thankfully both places sold to owner occupiers.

    • Yes. Bubbles don’t typically burst when pessimism is at all time highs. Too many people watching and waiting. More likely the market will surprise and keep charging on. As the old saying goes, bullmarkets are like sex, they feel best just before it ends.

    • I was not far for Melbourne. Domain reports Syd 82% and Mel 78%. Property that did not sell very close to me is not reported by domain.

  6. on a lighter note, anyone have any opinion of these targeted training from coursera and udacity? to me it seems the death of the 60k australian masters. Udacity seems to have some decent partnerships.

    I’m tempted with the data analyst ones (already have degree and work querying dbs).


    20K+ for an OZ GD doesn’t seem to represent good value


    australia is fuckin toast, tho we weren’t selling the actual education, were we.

    • I’ve been doing the Python course on Udacity and found it quite good. I just have to keep consistently sitting down to do it.

      • i started that one as well! doing this stuff makes me realise i’m more interested in the data than the front end.

      • I’m the opposite, I like front-end stuff. Just because I’m more into design. But my weakness has always been programming so I’m trying to improve. Who knows I might end up enjoying it? For some reason I never have really caught onto it.

    • I’ve done a few different courses and found them to be good. Nothing to pump up the resume, just things I’m interested in. One thing I noticed is that a few first year/intro courses from the American universities seemed far more demanding than what I experienced when in first year here.

      • that’s what i think too, but OTOH i think my “real” degree is also worth marginally more than zero.
        i think these nano degrees might actually be starting to be useful.
        check this one out – some big uni on this one (https://www.edx.org/micromasters)
        my personal situation is now i don’t want to do a full degree, just skills i want to acquire.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        that’s what i think too, but OTOH i think my “real” degree is also worth marginally more than zero.

        Are you interested in jobs that are advertised with words to the effect of “degree required” ? Because if you do, and you don’t have one, the chances of your application making it anywhere near someone relevant to a hiring decision are about zero.

        There are plenty of junk degrees out there, but the old standbys of Science, Engineering, Medicine and even some Arts degrees provide a solid and broad foundation upon which to build real life experience, and the process of acquiring them should teach you important things about reasoning and understanding that will stay with you for life. Those are generally not things you are going to get from training courses (or whatever other names training courses might go by).

      • But once you have a degree these mini courses are a great way to add skills to your tool box and increase your appeal to an employer. My degree was a good foundation but none of what I do in my day to day job was covered in my course. In fact what I work on didn’t even exist until 2005 and I graduated in 2004.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        But once you have a degree these mini courses are a great way to add skills to your tool box and increase your appeal to an employer.

        Yes, agreed, though again they only have value from that perspective (employer appeal) if the organisation you’re getting them from has credibility.

        My degree was a good foundation but none of what I do in my day to day job was covered in my course. In fact what I work on didn’t even exist until 2005 and I graduated in 2004.

        I don’t know what you do, but I’d be surprised if it’s in any professional field and the base concepts didn’t carry across. Eg: if you’re a programmer, just because you might be doing most of your work today in a language that’s only been around five years, doesn’t mean you don’t use the things you would have learnt about, say, algorithms, ten years ago in a CS or InfTech degree.

        Lots of things are still built with modern materials and processes but using principles hundreds or thousands of years old.

      • As someone who hires people in the Data Science space, which seems particularly prone to these mini-masters, I look favourably at these things but only in people who have an appropriate degree from a traditional institution. Hence, if I was looking for a Data Scientist with Python skills, I might look at someone with a Stats major at a uni that prefers R more favourably if they also did one of these MOOC things in Python, but that’s about it.
        They’re fun to do though, and I’ve learnt a few tricks by doing them. At the same time, they seem to be used by unis as a promotional tool more than anything else, so it’s very hard to find one that goes beyond entry level stuff (almost none require serious pre-requisites, as if they did, no one would enrol.)

      • Robert,
        You mentioned you hire in Data Science space. Can I ask which industry?
        I am quite interested in learning more about your hiring process. If you are happy to discuss,email me [email protected]

      • @virus –

        I ought have interpolated a word like ‘occasionally’ or ‘from-time-to-time’.

        This year my plan is to recruit via Data Science Melbourne’s Internship program, which in the first half of the year is being linked with their Datathon:


        and has the advantage of getting to see how well people can explain their results

      • Thanks Robert. Datathon looks interesting. I am currently a one-man army at a tier-2 FI, will be looking at expanding in the future.

    • Did The Analytics Edge course offered by MIT in Coursera. Very good and practical application using R statistical software.

      • Oh that sounds like a good course. I had a quick look at R Software but it seemed a little intimidating.

      • Yes, the course is definitely not easy, but the way it is structured makes learning quite enjoyable and iterative. Not the kind of experience you will get at university. I also found that I needed to dedicate at lest 15 hours per week across the 12 weeks.

      • Not the kind of experience you will get at university.

        Indeed not – less maths, more spoon feeding.
        I think the insistence on relating the material to real world data analysis is very good, but leaving the derivations and the associated understanding of the required assumptions and limitations out is less positive.

      • Robert, that’s wrong. Actually, you cannot pass without being to able to apply applied maths using open-source software R (incidentally, most people could barely use SPSS). Part of the course also includes a competition where you can compete with the other participants on building a statistical model. The more accurate the model, the higher the grade. So yes, it is relatively basic compared to a university maths course, but very useful and practical in a real-world sense.

      • @tanmedia,

        I wasn’t referring to university maths majors, but rather university statistics majors which require sufficient maths background to fully teach the assumptions behind each statistical method, in addition to requiring students to analyse many data sets, which, in Australia at least, is done at the majority of institutions using R.
        The point being that you are then able to do know very specifically how your model is wrong, so you only rely on it when its safe.

      • Robert. Well yes, A 12-week MOOC is not the same as a 3/4-year degree in applied statistics. Secondly, R is not necessarily used by analysts, depending on the level of customization needed. For statistics, SPSS and ExcelSTAT are fine in most cases.

      • Well yes, A 12-week MOOC is not the same as a 3/4-year degree in applied statistics.

        All I was really trying to say, as a counter-argument to

        to me it seems the death of the 60k australian masters.

        My main frustration with things like the Analytics Edge is that they don’t give a good sense of how much of the ‘Statistics Body of Knowledge’ (for want of a better phrase) you have learned on completion, and they give you just enough knowledge to be able to get in trouble, but not enough to get you out again, or know how much trouble you are in to begin with.

  7. Christchurch residential rentals slump 20% in 2 Years … WOW !

    Christchurch rents buck national trend with 6 per cent fall | The Press / Stuff.co.nz


    Tenants in Canterbury are the only ones in the country enjoying falling rents.

    While the rest of the country has seen residential rents rise about 5 per cent, with double-figure amounts in some places, Canterbury’s more plentiful supply of homes has seen rents fall about 6 per cent in the past year.

    The data comes from homes rented by property managers and private landlords through Trade Me. …

    … According to Trade Me, the median weekly rent in Christchurch city fell by $100, or 20 per cent, between February 2015 and February 2017.

    The biggest drop in rents on Trade Me in the past year have been for units, townhouses and apartments, where the median rent of $350 is 6.7 per cent down on a year ago. For free-standing homes, the average rent of $395 was down 6 per cent per cent in the same period. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Christchurch bucks trend in Demographia housing affordability survey – Business – NZ Herald News


    2017 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
    Note … Fig 10 … Page 26 …


  8. House price shock: governments get serious … The Age


    Harsh measures to improve affordability now might spark a crisis of confidence and exacerbate price falls. Still, some measures are worthwhile if introduced slowly. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Capital city vacant land selling prices continue to rise in capital cities as prices fall in regional Australia – Core Logic


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


  9. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Things sure are different compared to the seventies, workers would go on strike at the drop of a hat ( personally not a unionist). Nowadays renters just winge about high house prices and do nothing like Mal. If tenants formed a national union went on a non rent paying strike, what could anyone do. Expanding on that the landlords could do the same and not pay the mortgage. Chaos no doubt but guaranteed to wake up the establishment to make changes.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      The workers at the time oblivious to bracket creep, corruption and inflation annulling any perceived benefit but they did win on self esteem. After a life of living outside the comfort zone ( spearfish 1klm out to sea at night by self no torch, made own hang glider, surf by myself giant waves etc) I have come to the conclusion a bad experience is better than no experience.
      So any bad experience ensuing the crash may be better than people rotting away by doing nothing.

      • I would agree with this, the bad experience at the time will feel really horrible but in hindsight people may even feel a bit nostalgic about. Especially if that pain teaches them an important lesson that makes them a little less dependent on a broken system. Comfortably numb is what most people including myself are I think.

  10. Contrary to the spruiking by RWNJs that climate scientists have been fudging their data, many climate scientists think AGW is far worse than we are being led to believe. And we are still pumping CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere like there is no tomorrow (pardon the pun).
    Meanwhile, back to Australian house prices and the various desperate means to prop up the bubble, in particular allowing FHBs to tap into their super. Here are figures for super balances, sourced from ASFA, for 2013-14 (could not find data for later years. Just add ~5-6% pa to update).
    Age M/F average ($000)
    25-29 16.4
    30-34 30.9
    35-39 44.9
    40-44 68.3
    45-49 93.2
    This is not going to contribute much to putting together a deposit for a house in Syd/Melb.

  11. – Yet one of the complaints of American employers is that prospective worker are weak in basic capabilities like reading, writing, and mathematics. While this is often the result of companies getting what they pay for, that is, if you offer rock bottom wages you should expect only minimally skilled workers to respond, clearly another factor is the ongoing starvation of public school budgets.1 –




    disheveled….. Capitalism – !!!!!!!

    PS. 20 doors today…. whoot…. first son and wife off too rowing and then let the good times -roll-….

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Capitalism – !!!!!!!

      Nobody wants to lose the race,…even when it is a, Race to the Bottom.

      20 doors eh?,..Ive got a half completed Gal to Copper gas service replacement to Complete and backfill.
      A job a knock.
      Wish it’d fucking stop raining.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Skippy, door job me too.
        Tig welding architects cast iron antique easel/drawing board, then off to tig weld door frame in the rain that’s OK but the wind will blow my gas away. Torn by fire door weight, they put a heavy fire door in a light weight frame so I have to stiffen it up as well. Quoting big machinery jobs next week.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        New machinery is such a pain, after the fire door today have to get a printing press working by Mon, cheap and nasty scotch key in shaft ruined it now the shaft has to be welded then lathe machined, milling machine a ketway slot and internal keyway put in bore of boss of 1m diam drive wheel.
        The hardest part of new cheap machinery is justifying the repair price being close to the original purchase price.
        Then again I just succumbed to buying a 50 amp 5 pin wall socket cost over $800 in shop (not even Clipsal), for ebay fake just paid $39 including freight .Even if it blows up can still use the housing to install good internals.
        Strange world.

      • @boomengineering….

        Ha…. its all fire doors for me on this day, fixed the jagged metal in the door furniture holes for them [people sticking fingers in to open and close only to find razor wire] with my rat tail file, chippies don’t seem to have such devices, nor sand paper these days.

        Hope that weak frame is embedded in something substantial or its not much of a 1 hour fire door when the frame deforms way before the door reaches its critical rating.

        You have a Bridgeport mill and lathe – ????? – bastard – !!!!!!!

        I used to use Appleby connectors before it all became plastic, 480 3 phase 100 amp service stuff, alas it all comes just a few Mfg now days and brands are just logos.

        disheveled…. having a fun time reeducating the tilers [Afghani] in job site etiquette and professionalism…. someone has to bring the kids up right…..

    • Let’s face it, the “job creators” don’t actually want the proles to be well educated.
      For the same reason it used to be illegal for the slave owner to educate the slave or the slaves to educate themselves.

      • “job creators”….

        Bernays weeps in the after life for not thinking that meme up…….

  12. pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER


    The Council was established by the Australian Government in May 2008 to monitor housing demand, supply and affordability in Australia, and to highlight current and potential gaps between housing supply and demand.


    The Council was abolished on 8 November 2013. The Coalition Government announced the abolition of a number of non-statutory bodies, including the Council, where activities are no longer needed or can be managed within existing departmental resources.


  13. Little thought for the day regarding Mal ‘Do Nothing’ Tremble.

    “The conservatives are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” – P. J. O’Rourke

    So in a way he’s keeping up a great tradition.

  14. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    From the thread, “Clarke and Dawe do the energy crisis”

    First paragraph only

    March 17, 2017 at 10:27 am
    For 30 years ive been hostile and instinctively opposed to the Privatisation of Public assets.”

    March 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm
    incredible foresight if you have been opposed to privatisation for 30 years!”

    My reply
    March 18, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Well not really, my father was a Unionist and a bit of a Socialist (raised by an impoverished single mother in the 30s and 40s), so along with that and a curiosity as to why Rick, on the young ones, was always going on about,… “Thatcher!!!”
    I began doing my research on what was going on in the UK under Thatcher as a teenager in the late 80s.
    And my opposition to De Nationalisation and Privatisation started to develope then.
    Keating was just a Johnny come lately to Raganism and Thatcherism


    Even though I was attracted to Keatings oratorical style, wit and panache, I felt hostility toward his agenda, but thought also,…what would I know? I mean I was just an apprentice plumber from 87 to 91.
    Then some time around 93-4 someone gives me a Video called “Manafacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky and the Media” a doco about Chomsky’s life and the analysis of the American Mass media as pened out in the book of the same name (first published in 1988)
    That video, first watched when I was really stoned, blew my mind and Ive watched it over a dozen times since, and it “baked in” my Pro Social Democratic, Anti Neoliberal/Privatisation mind set.
    Isee all media im exposed to, through the lens of Chomskys work.

    Here is that vid below


      • no way! IMHO if you can’t tell me how a phone works, you can’t troll the internet posting “articles” denying another kind of science.
        also studied marine science (coastal geomorphology) to third year, but don’t work in the field.

      • There may be an opening for “Dazed and Confused” coming up which might be worth applying for. “Unrepentant minion of the Coal Devils” is already full, unfortunately.

      • The Penske FileMEMBER

        R2M, I couldn’t get past the word “paid ” in your spruik. For the amount of effort you put into this site how about we see the word member next to your name

      • ✓ You’re right, Penske. The MB guys should give me complimentary membership based on the valuable denier-debunking service I perform here. I cannot pay because that would reveal my identity, and it’s important I stay anonymous for obvious reasons.

      • I’m sure that someone could figure it out if they wanted to.
        If you think that this is an important forum, and that it should continue to exist, throw down some gold.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        I cannot pay because that would reveal my identity, and it’s important I stay anonymous for obvious reasons.

        Are you Malcolm Turnbull?

      • Haroldus, I did a quick check and the testicles are still there, so no, I couldn’t be (ʘ‿ʘ)

      • haroldusMEMBER

        funny you should mention testicles.

        I am in the process of selling my 330i and getting a small cheap city car like a (shudder) Honda Jizz.

        I intend to encase my balls in lucite and hang them from the rear view mirror.

      • I am in the process of selling my 330i and getting a small cheap city car like a (shudder) Honda Jizz.

        VW Polo GTI.

        Audi S1 if you want to lash out (no auto though).

        Fiesta ST if you want to slum it.

        Don’t drive boring.

      • If you have to buy another car, wait for electric. We are only a few years away from widespread availability of EVs, and after that the resale on ICE cars will plummet.

      • Wow! something to agree on with R2M! The Chevvy Bolt http://www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html is looking like a car that could have a lot of appeal. A practical little hatch back with a 400km range. Couple this with a solar panel car port (or a small vaft generator) and for many people it would rarely need plugging in. That does seem to be a good deal. In fact, for people who only drive 20 – 30 km a day, they could probably sell a version with 200km range and save a huge amount on the battery cost – not to mention substantial weight reduction.

        We are at the start of a steep curve for EV development, so the next 10 years should see some amazing developments. I don’t hold many hopes we will see cheap EVs in Australia – the bonehead politicians and ticket-clippers will see to that.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Thank you R2M for considering me capable of Redemption!


      Ive never really been a AGW denier, just a critic of some of the Extrapolations ive read and heard in some of the Scientific data discussed.
      Also im quite Cynical about about our chances as a species to successfully mitigate human induced CC under our current Global Plutocratic World order.

      When Chomsky talkes about Democracy possibly being, an essential ingredient in the survival of our species, he is talking about democracy as being nessary to combat and limit Instutional Power, as this power when left unchecked, rapidly gets out of control.
      This loss of control has already happened and our Democracies largely subverted to plutocratic interests.
      IMO and Chomskys, If we dont change the current distribution of Power, out of the hands of a largely faceless plutocracy and redistribute power to the people, through real democracy,…then all other causes are destined to fail.

      Notice how the media rarely talkes about POWER.


      A Labor party take over and Reformation, is the solution to both our major concerns R2M,…when ya gona jump ship and join.?

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Ermo ,finished that job already? I’ve still got a client coming to pick up yesterdays cast iron antique bed welding job then start the printing press job. How did you go in the rain? I got rained on welding the fire door then while there had to fix their factory roller door.

      • Ermo, I’m with you all the way on overthrowing the plutocrats, mate.

        Here’s what happened a few years ago in the US. You can take it as a given that the same thing is happening here, just change the names of the players:

        According to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics, the oil and gas industry was the ninth biggest supplier of campaign funds during the 2013-2014 election cycle, with 87% of the $51 million it spent going to Republicans. The coal industry provided another $10 million in contributions, with 95% going to Republicans. K0ch Industries, the energy conglomerate controlled by billionaire brothers Charles and David K0ch, was the top oil company provider, accounting for $9.4 million in contributions; Chevr0n, Exx0nMobil, and Occidental Petroleum were also major donors. These figures, it should be noted, only include direct donations to candidates in accordance with federal campaign laws. They exclude funds channeled through secretive super PACS and supposedly “non-profit” organizations that are not bound by such rules. During the 2012 election, the CRP reports, the K0ch brothers helped steer an estimated $407 million to such entities; equally large amounts are thought to have been expended in the 2014 go-around.

        To a significant extent, these funds were shuttled to especially industry-friendly and powerful Republicans. Among the leading recipients of oil funding in 2014, according to the CRP, were John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, along with John Cornyn, the particularly enthusiastic pro-energy senator from Texas, and Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado, who just took a Senate seat from the environmentally conscious Democrat Mark Udall. Not surprisingly, among the top recipients of coal industry funding were Boehner and McConnell, as well as especially coal-friendly congressional representatives like Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley of West Virginia.

        These and other recipients of fossil fuel cash know full well that their future access to such largesse, and so their ability to get reelected, will depend on their success in pushing legislation that facilitates the accelerated extraction of oil, gas, and coal. It doesn’t take too much imagination to calculate the consequences of this conveyor belt of financial support, both for affected communities and for the climate.

    • There is an interesting theory relating to energy which has been advanced by cosmologists who think about the Fermi Paradox. Based on the estimates of how many star systems there are which may have life supporting planets, there have been no detectable signs of signals or radio waves at all. One theory is that when life does develop, there is a “Great Filter” which pretty much blocks development at a fairly low level. Blowing ourselves up, destroying the planet, resource limits are candidates for consideration.

      One intriguing possibility is that for a civilisation to get past the Industrial Revolution stage and past the resource limits they require a large amount of easy to access energy. In our case we had wood, then coal and oil. These, oil in particular, provided the fuel to get us past the point of dependence on constrained resources (although it is not a done deal yet). A lot of things could have gone wrong. The oil could have only been hard to get like shale oil – that would not have been possible 100 years ago, so we might have been stuck at the coal stage for ever. If life chemistry was a bit different coal may not have been available. Another possibility is that without the western techno culture and consumerism we could have been locked into centuries of oil powered wars that used up our resources. The wrong religion could have derailed us. There might have only been one chance to reach escape velocity, so to speak. Getting to the point of cheap abundant PV technology may have been a one in a million.

      So, here is a hypothetical. Which possible scenario would be best?

      Humans never get to the Industrial revolution – Middle ages goes on for tens of thousands of years
      Humans get stuck at 20th century technology and deplete all resources – revert to Mad Max middle ages with guns
      Humans get past the resource bottleneck and make it to the next level – some wear and tear on the planet

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Correction there has been one burst of radio waves discovered, Australians picked it up.

      • Interesting questions. I’d like for box number three to be ticked.

        It does seem that we are at a pivotal point in time. Did you read the aeon piece that Gunna linked to above where an astrobiologist suggests we are at the beginning of a new aeon, not epoch, but aeon.

        Also, Wait But Why? have a good post on the Fermi Paradox that some people may find interesting.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Since that first one discovered in Australia ( Parkes 2007 ) there have been 18 cases but telescope in New Mexico discovered the location 3 billion light years away in a dwarf galaxy

      • R2M

        “However, in some cases, ad hominem attacks can be non-fallacious; i.e., if the attack on the character of the person is directly tackling the argument itself. For example, if the truth of the argument relies on the truthfulness of the person making the argument—rather than known facts—then pointing out that the person has previously lied is not a fallacious argument.”

        You often criticise people who do not agree with your beliefs and portray them as untruthful – invalidating their arguments. What is more, if someone does not conform to your world view, you ascribe character flaws to them, which you then use to support the invalidation of their argument.

        On the other hand, when you pointed us all to some dodgy character who had been president of a Computer Virus company and is involved in some dubious technology startups, the idea that this might discredit him sent you off on a raging tantrum.

        I can’t think of anyone who is more inconsistent and one-eyed than you are. Do you have any capacity for introspection or self criticism? It is a rhetorical question – no need for links.

      • DarkMatter

        On the other hand, when you pointed us all to some dodgy character who had been president of a Computer Virus company and is involved in some dubious technology startups, the idea that this might discredit him sent you off on a raging tantrum

        You keep going on and on about this. You are once again trying to impugn an upstanding citizen of the US, Dan Miller, and his video on Fee and Dividend ( http://youtu.be/0k2-SzlDGko ).

        Miller was the president of Ask Jeeves for less than a year in the late 1990s. His short stint as leader was a role in which he mainly helped raise financing for the company. Thereafter he was onto other things, elsewhere.

        Senselessly, you are trying to pin on him a programming hook inserted into the Ask Jeeves toolbar by some overzealous programmer years later. It’s completely illogical, but this seems to be typical for you, the illogical connection of events and the inability to recant or resile from a position once taken, even if clearly and provably erroneous. As such, you are a low value contributor here.

      • Yes, definitely! If MB could just weed out everyone except the right thinking people, it would be much better.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      In an Australia where people are terrified of any form of intellectualism and legendarily specious about letting politics be discussed (without trivialising it down to who is nice or who isnt) – but substitute that with chat about what trinkets they’ve purchased or how much they spend – posts like yours EP are a reminder that it need not always be as thus. Keep making them. I disagree with you on the ALP, but agree pretty much completely with the end of the pitch you are kicking to. Ordinary everyday people in Australia should be encouraged to discuss issues and to get their thoughts out there, and to work through causes effects and strategies and encouraged to learn about them. More plumbers (and more everyone else) should be asking socio economic questions!

      I grew up in a household of my grandparents – who had come through the depression. They werent rich, they werent poor, and everything they’d learned they had learned the hard way after questioning the experience they’d had during WW2 (where my grandfather had 3 years as a Japanese prisoner of war – and the wife he left 6 weeks after getting married was given the ‘presumed dead’ notice). They were inquisitive and they were profoundly suspicious of the overly loquacious and the rich. You could have an intellectual discussion on everything with them, from the rights and wrongs of sunday trading, to religious freedoms (he was told by a priests he would rot in hell if he didnt recant the ALP in the 1950s – he told the priest to get fucked) and economics was a favourite.

      They were still alive when privatisation became the flavor of the day in the early 1980s and were great fans of both Gough and Hawke/Keating (and particularly Super). But I still recall my grandfathers observations on the freeing up of the dollar (which he bought) and the Accord (which he also bought but had suspicions about) when it came to privatising health insurance and the CBA to the effect that the money set would (if allowed) turn every last facet of life into a money stream which the ordinary punter would experience as just a continual snipping of the wallet. and far too often this is exactly what has transpired.

      I was a pro Keating man with some of the privatisations but a generation down the track I think the Australian public has every right to question the overall long term benefits. I dont think we have better telephones, airlines, insurance, or airports, rail and public transport, and the energy privatisations have been a conspicuous failure even for the true believers of privatisation. In every case we have had the embedding of a corporate entity on the taxpayer teat (in the form of subsidies or protections from competition) with service at or less that comparable elsewhere, but with far less social cachet and dividend (the apprentices who were once churned through Telecom, the Aircraft technicians, the SEC apprentices).

      I am not suggesting we go back, and I dont nationalising anything is going to work – but I do think that stating openly that there will be an examination of the experience of Australian consumers resulting from the privatisations, and a regulation for specific outcomes that the ‘providers’ can either meet or lose their right to provide the service, should be looked at.

      I know for a fact that the Australian National Audit Office has been stamped on a number of times whenever it has proposed examining the outsourcing of much of the Commonwealth public service in the 1990s and 2000s – because anyone who knows much about them will tell you they have been very expensive (with the real costs not realised even yet) and have done little other than wipe out the internal completion to these providers who now simply jack up the prices each contract round. I think Australia need to look at a national economic audit and first of all look at what needs to be done privately and publicly (and why) and from there ensuring that private providers adhere to particular social outcomes, and at the same time there is an audit of the net beneficiaries of the privatizations and outsourcings we have seen over the last twenty years. They havent all worked and that should be addressed openly.

      Enough of my ranting for now. Down to the next beach.

      Stoned with Noam Chomsky ….gee I miss those days

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        How an we do a fair dinkum audit when as you say”I know for a fact that the Australian National Audit Office has been stamped on a number of times…”?
        Why can’t we go back to Nationalisation of essential services ,if it will give us secure and affordable results as it did in the past?
        If we did nationalise these services , then would be the opportunity to periodically run audits to keep sloth and complacency at bay.For that is what occcured last time , allowing the “small govt./ privateers to con their way onto the public teat.

      • For the Chomsky fans, ‘Requiem for an American Dream’ is out and worth setting aside an hour or so for. Not a lot of new material, but it’s apparently his last long form interview, which is fair enough given he’s nearly 90.

      • Super ‘Choice’ has been and still is the biggest con run on the Australian public since the draft. No other single factor has played a bigger role in Australia’s shift from post war solidarity to the current “I’ve got mine, fuc8 off.” mentality pervasive in all levels of society.

        If you think Keating did this country good by forcing those who can least afford it to tithe themselves to some finance conglomerate year after year instead of being able to utilise that income now where it will most make a difference – their mortgage, or rent, or kids – you are either missing your own point or suffering from an ideological hangover.

        You need to rethink this. Super ‘Choice’ helps those least it was sold to as having the most benefits for. Tax dollars AND punters’ income streams BOTH disappearing down the pocket of the big end of town. Especially State St’s. And mostly offshore to boot. In perpetuity. For sweet FA actual value or service provision.

        My Dad said “Tell him he’s dreamin’.” btw.

    • I have always despised Keating with a passion that has only intensified as the media and the liberal chattering class has mythologised him year after year.
      The media used to hate Labor. And Labor used to welcome it and feed off of it. If they weren’t hated they weren’t doing their job. As Chifley put it:
      “We have a very great responsibility to more than half the people of Australia, despite the slander and calumnies of the press against the party and individuals in the party”
      Yet all the journalists love Keating. Starting with Kelly, then John Edwards, Troy Bramston then Megalogenis who is always telling us how much we miss Keating – I don’t. 3d loves Keating – just like the 3 preceding News Corp journalists – News Corp loves Keating.

      In terms of biography, Keating had an almost identical upbringing to John Howard (and Margaret Thatcher for that matter). And an almost identical world view.
      Add in the well rehearsed performance – which Keating acknowledged he did deliberately when he “throwed the switch to vaudeville”. The small business background obsession with shiny suits and shoes – and a double breasted jacket permanently araldited to your Torso (like Reagan). The identity zeitgeist hangover from the 60’s and 70’s which Keating appealed to post 93 when the working classes jumped ship following the 10 year neoliberal slash and burn.
      Like Thatcher in the UK he introduced to Australia the diseased ridden neoliberal inculcated religion of ‘market knows best’. Which is still posioning everything.
      If you read any journalist, or a lawyer they will tell you all the “reforms” were debated and reached via consensus. They weren’t. They were made behind closed doors by a small group of apparatchiks and the first generation of professional unionists (Kelty, Ferguson (what happened to him?). Keating forced bank deregulation through the 84 national conference. The huge cut in the top rate from 60 to 49% was also forced through. Primarily The Accord accelerated this centralisation of decision making away from the rank and file in the industrial body to the Keatingites in the political wing. Look at the drop in union and ALP membership post The Accord – it is striking and is no accident.
      Journalists and lawyers will also say the trickle down approach had noble objectives. It didn’t. Like Tony Blair (who Keating advised after he left politics) Keating had other ambitions. As Paul Lyneham put it re. the Piggery affair (something everyone should study if they want to know the genesis of this stuff):
      “For Keating it was all or nothing. He would either become PM or quit politics. For he had another ambition and time was running out. In the book “Keating, The Inside Story”, his biographer, John Edwards, says Keating wanted the freedom that came with serious wealth, the freedom enjoyed by men like Robert Holmes a Court and his close friend, Warren Anderson.
      Says Edwards: “Keating knew that if he now went for great wealth he would have to spend his forties and fifties working single-mindedly to acquire it.”

      It is a very sad yet all familiar tale. Joe Lyons, Billy Hughes, Joseph Cook, John Kerr, Colston…
      Chifley was aware of it:
      “We have difficulties within our movement. Some feel they can best serve their own personal interest or political expediency by trying to get over as fast as possible to the right without becoming opposed to the Labor Party…The Labour movement can only be as great… as the united efforts of all those who believe in it, of individuals who are not in it to get out of it something personal..”

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Great post Sweeper.
        I used to argue with my dad about how I Hawk and Keating were OK.
        “Sell outs” my father would angrily say.
        I used to just think he was just being an old fashioned, past his time Socialist.
        But I think he was right and I was wrong.
        Guys lije Scullen, Curtain, Chiffly and even Cadwell are the proper labor heros.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Chifley is the Australian leader everyone who enters politics should study. As much as Curtin was a great leader, it was Chifley who held it all together while Johnno was off sick or gone missing on the booze.

        Bold Ben doesn’t often get the kudos he deserves. Good to see him get a mention.

      • Absolutely. The older generations learned politics the hard way. As in they lived the foreign policy decisions, efforts to generate full employment, welfare state etc.
        Starting with boomers it all became a bit abstract. A bit shite. Like another accessory you wear to social gatherings.

      • They used to call it Economic Rationalism, back in the day…same thing as neo-liberalism? ER I think was an Australian term.

      • Sweeper,

        That was very good.

        I was prepared to cut Keating some slack on the basis that a program of reform that had good points (Australia was full of often dysfunctional regulation – we couldnt sell milk or papers or eggs at the servo for some bizarre reason) went too far and there were unexpected consequences, but some recent quotes from PJK suggest he is completely unrepentant (and unreflective) about anything.

        On the bright side I am finding some signs that people in the ALP are prepared to reconsider some of the ‘certainties’ of the economic ‘rationalist’ era now that the defects of some of the deregulation (especially financial) are becoming blindingly obvious to more and more people and they are increasingly prepared to vote for an alternative ANY alternative.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I don’t think you are cutting enough slack to the man.

        At the end of the 1970s Keynsianism had come to a grinding halt. It wasn’t Keynsiansim as Keynes would probably have had it but another bastardised form which was serving just another batch of vested interests here the US and UK and was found wanting in the wake of the OPEC crises in the face of stagflation. The neo liberal ‘movement’ (if you call it that) was born out of the offshore experience and we simply took on the intellectual badges.

        We had additional baggage in the form of a heavily protected domestic economy which had been protected to fit in waves of immigration post WW2 (we were building up industries for the future). It was fairly obvious from the early 1970s onwards that protection as Australia had it was imposing lots of costs on Australians and had created (in Keatings famous words) the worlds largest industrial museum. The nickel meltdown of the late 60s, the political chaos of post Menzies and complete absence of economic narrative from the Tories (always the intellectually lazy end of Australian politics) paved the way for Whitlam woke up one morning and slashed tariffs by 25% across the board to leave Australia just ripe for the OPEC hikes 8 weeks later. Looking aside from the Khemlani loans and the 74 budget, a simple misunderstanding of the GGs powers knocked him off in 75 for Fraser. By that stage Australia was an economic basket case and Phillip Lynch (the epitome of suburban accountant makes national Treasurer) just wanted to balance books as industrial relations chaos ensued. Lynch died of cancer leaving a young John Winston Howard a chance to display the ideological fetishes he had picked up (which at that time were a tad too ripe for even Fraser and others of that government) which were the first sighter anyone in Australia had clapped eyes on of what may pass for neo liberalism (as we have come to call it). In the end what brought Frasers government down was a simple inability to present an economic narrative, and a pathological inability to listen and negotiate with Unions (at that time headed by Hawke). Ultimately it all ended in tears amidst the prices and incomes freeze of 1982 which came in the wake of the investment phase of a mining boom which had made an already uncompetitive economy even more so, and a drought which added to the overall gloom. Australia wanted something different in 1983, I remember it as though it was yesterday.

        Sure you could say that a lot of the neoliberalism has turned to shit, but for 13 years Keating did as he claimed – he kept the voice of workers in the decisionmaking levers, and made sure they got a cut of the improved economic pie from the reforms he set about baking in. My view is that he wouldn’t have been a hope in hell of pulling off some of what they did if it hadn’t been for the IR genius of Hawke – but the plans: The car plan, the transport plans, the infrastructure, the financial reforms, the rewrite of the IR Act, even the education reforms put more money in, and of course Super gave ordinary punters a sense of something in it for them and the general feel that the place was doing the hard yards for the future. I was overseas for a couple of years from 92 and was vaguely aware he was losing the plot, but he only really lost me the day I turned on the TV and heard him tell a batch of Uni protestors to go get a job – the government by that stage foundering on personal rivalries and a lack of where to take reform next.

        For mine the fault such as it is in him losing in 96 (and they’d been in power a long time by then) , and of the ALP losing the balls completely to lay claim to their own economic reform heritage (far superior to anything the Torynuffs had ever come up with) . If Beazley hadn’t been such a ‘small target’ soft cock in 1998 or 2001 Australia may have had a refreshed ALP implement some decent ideas and save more of the industrially exposed sectors. I doubt they would have run private debt the way Howard did, I doubt they would have changed CGT, and I am pretty sure they would have asked far more questions about sacrificing the exposed sectors with the AUD to fit in the mining boom. But that’s all in the what if realm. The economy pretty much cruised for ten years after 1996 because of what the Hawke Keating governments had done, and Costello pretty much did spend ten years in the hammock. It was those ten years that the reforms which had been brought about were deformed from the original game plan – industrial investment was allowed to wither (as it supported Howards IR strategy) Super was turned into a tax avoidance industry with subsequent premium increases never coming up to scratch, education (which the Keating Government hadn’t always got right) was turned into privatised vocational visa exporting joke we know it today. The other thing the ALP has completely lost is the respect of working people. Post 96 ALP politicians seem to think of doing a couple of years with a Union as a sort of finishing school.

        Sure you could say that things could have been done differently. But I don’t reckon there would have been a hope in hell of Australia standing alone against the global tide of neoliberalism, so for mine it become a question of what did we get? I think 13 years of Hawke Keating a far superior socio economic outcome than the Poms got with Blair or the Americans with Clinton or Obama, and the thought of what a Rudd Gillard type of government might have bequeathed earlier in the piece is equally as depressing.

        On the Union front although I know the Unions have lost members hand over fist since the Accord days, some of that has just been industrial change – personally (as a former IR man from the Management side) I think the biggest single factor was the determination of the Howard government to strangle the Union movement even if they had to strangle investment in exposed sectors of the economy to achieve that. That Australia doesn’t have a Union movement quite as desiccated as the US or UK to my mind says something for a degree of respect that gained for their contribution during the Hawke Keating era. Sure union amalgamations were painful, and large unions aren’t always the way to go if you are on the ground (and are of course subject to utterly mystifying decisionmaking process and imperatives of their own) – but I don’t think the small unions would have made all that much difference in the face of the changes since the early 1980s either.

        Yes I agree that conservative commentators (and yes I loathe them too) and politicians fawn over their portrayal of the Keating era reforms, but for mine that is the weakness of the contemporary ALP (particularly in the Beazley era) to stand up and say we did that and it is ours. By the time Rudd came around again in the late 2000s a generation of Australians who had worked well at reform under a Labor government had been sold the idea that they were somehow inferior economic managers, or that it was time to kick back and relax as Uncle Peter and Uncle John handed out the freebies.

        Sur e Keating had ambitions, show me a politician who doesn’t. If there is the whiff of corruption about the piggery then he is hardly Robinson Crusoe. As someone who knew some of the Button family I spoke with John Button just before he passed on and we had a laugh about the latest Hawke persona foibles. He mentioned that ultimately power does corrupt, and I am sure this is true no matter what sort of power it is – just that it is more depressing when it is power on the platter of worker and progressive reform aspirations. My personal view is that after a while the extent of rich and powerful people they mix with and sit down and eat and drink with starts to corrode them. They start thinking to themselves ‘I am as smart as this guy, I am doing more for this nation, I am entitled to something more.’ They get ‘opportunities’ sniffed in front of them. It doesn’t matter whether it is ALP leaders, Union Officials, public servants, or senior corporate managers. In my view (and I spent a long time dealing with organisational issues) every person managing more than about half a dozen people will start to exhibit behaviours which take on an element of psychopathy, and the longer they do it the more obvious it becomes. They become decadent and despotic, driven by whim. None of them are gods (even Chifley or Curtin) and all have feet of clay and have trampled people to get to the top. That isn’t nice I suppose, and it isn’t meant to exculpate some of the off handedness and self worship some of these people indulge in (including Keating – who I suspect is losing his marbles these days) but it is my extensive experience of the types of people who come to lead any organisation.

        For mine the far bigger issue is what the progressive side of politics does to get itself credibly elected. I am not talking about simply winning the next election, I am talking about getting into power and doing something meaningful on behalf of working Australians with it.

        I like the new ACTU Leader, and thought her comments were refreshing, and I thought Shorten’s reply pusillanimous. It isn’t as though corporates don’t break the law or as though corporate leaders don’t break the law, and she has history on her side. Also I liked the comment from the point of view the Torynuffs probably know the IR world is about to heat up again after a generation of quietude, and as that ponzinomics consensus falls apart and places on the iceberg require pushing people off. There will be a bit of squealing there, and a Union leader who is prepared to look the world in the eye and say they are prepared to show some cojones (although they will have to show them) may mildly disturb their slumber.

        My thoughts for the eve

      • “At the end of the 1970s Keynsianism had come to a grinding halt. It wasn’t Keynsiansim as Keynes would probably have had it but another bastardised form which was serving just another batch of vested interests here the US and UK and was found wanting in the wake of the OPEC crises in the face of stagflation.”

        Cough gunna….. American and UK Keynesianism are not even close, not to mention the political and special interests involved, see Galbraith et al or that Keynes would be horrified at half the shit attached to his name now dead.

        The 1970s…. oh yeah that is when C-corps stared looting for fun and profit and sticking the bill to everyone else, because vacuous numerology dictated all things by tautology. OPEC had nothing to do with it, see Volcker cramming down labor due to the Vietnam thingy and wing nut anti taxers [thank you Austrians and neoclassicals – (theoclassicals)].

        disheveled…. you might want to study the effects of stimulants at the turn of the 1900s and social effects…. economics is a derivative of such….

      • Hay Gunna….

        Just maybe it has more to do with how humans view each other and whom dictates that and why, and how that is reconciled….

        disheveled…. when you have anti democratic agency because it screws with profit expectations and it becomes the dominate sociological meme… FFS…. well financed to boot….

      • I spose I don’t feel the same sense of inevitability. I’ll just touch on a couple of things which I think are important because there is a lot there and your comment covered an extended period.

        The stagflation thing has always been a huge stick used by the neoliberals to bash the Keynesians. In fact I would say a key reason for neoliberalisms success is the idea pushed by journalists that Keynesianism was proved wrong during the stagflation period of the 70’s and 80’s. But it isn’t true.
        Keynesians like Tobin (who Samuelson called the greatest economist of his generation) were actually proved right. It the late 60’s early 70’s, before the oil shocks and Fed easy money, they had already worked out an adjusted Phillips curve where inflation was a function of unemployment and lagged or entrenched inflation. Everything that happened from 1972 until today has vindicated this view. In the early 80’s inflation was brought down from an entrenched high rate, only through a dramatic increase in unemployment. And once it was reduced it stayed there, even while unemployment stayed high. This vindicated Tobin, and contradicted Friedman, who said inflation should keep falling as long as unemployment remained high (it didn’t). Likewise in the post 2008 world – Tobins Phillips curve has been spot on, high unemployment yet stable although very low inflation.
        Whatever the reason for the neoliberal upsurge, a discrediting of Keynesianism wasn’t one of them.

        The interesting thing about the Fraser government to my mind is that it was more of a traditional social democratic government than Hawke/Keating. Fraser was a committed Keynesian. Who had actually studied and understood economics (unlike Keating who was always in over his head).
        The LNP was infiltrated by neoliberals during his government. Yet he managed to resist them. Howard cooked up the Campbell inquiry which had a pre-determined deregulatory bias. Fraser refused to implement all but one of the recommendations.
        The rest were pushed through by Keating in an epic betrayal, which ignoring everything else he did, on it’s own should justify expulsion from the party.
        I mean everyday on these pages there’s discussion around balooning household debt, offshore borrowing of banks, the housing bubble. These all tie back directly to Keatings arrogant decision to deregulate banking in 84. Both on the bank funding side, and on the credit side. And by accelerating the entry of foreign banks. He created the Icelandic model. And it was justified by the lie that the regulations had to be abandoned else the non-banks would slip through the cracks and circumvent them. Frankly, it seems to me totally schizophrenic to on the one hand get how damaging this stuff has been, yet not get that Keating is primarily responsible.
        Because he gets it, although he never lets on. After the early 90s recession he knew he had made a catastrophic failure. Essentially creating a Frankenstein too big to fail monster which has to be allowed to double down year after year else everything collapse:
        The credit creation machine could *never* be turned off – this was known in the late 80’s:
        Said Paul Keating: ‘The old domestic banks went like charging bulls into credit expansion from 1985 on … They did this at the expense of their book quality. … And in a sense they won. Eventually, they had us in a position where we dared not check them less they failed. Westpac and the ANZ virtually did fail: the government and the Reserve Bank had to hold them together until they got back on their feet. There was an obvious time in the 1980s to stop this credit creation, but no one would stop”

        Lets call it what it is. Privatisation of the pension system and a huge con. Something even Gingrich and the most conservative Republicans have failed to achieve (with some help from Monica Lewinski). As Rumples pointed out once I think. Nobody saves for retirement. Retirement incomes are paid for by the working age population.
        With that in mind it becomes obvious that the privatised system simply replaces state intermediation of retirement incomes. Something which is very profitable for the FIRE sector. But at what cost to the worker?
        I mean think about what has actually happened. The worker foregos pay increases, in lieu of savings which are regressively taxed, which they then rely on their employer to send over to the top end of town, for the fund manager to gouge, and dump into the stock market (itself not mean’t to be a savings vehicle, but a way for firms to raise capital), and then cross their fingers and prey to “market forces” that the market doesn’t do a post 91 Nikkei and they may actually have something to retire on. Not that the accumulated balance actually funds their retirement. The state of economy and the dependency ratio when they retire does that. And this is the policy of the working class. What a joke.

        “Sure you could say that a lot of the neoliberalism has turned to shit, but for 13 years Keating did as he claimed – he kept the voice of workers in the decisionmaking levers, and made sure they got a cut of the improved economic pie from the reforms he set about baking in”.
        In 1983 labours share of national income was approx. 61%. When Keating was voted out in 96 it was about 54%. Well below the OECD avg. Another epic betrayal.
        A direct result of the high income tax cuts, the corporate tax cuts, the muzzling of the unions in return for a social wage which never really came.

        The post 96 economy:
        I would say the economy cruised in the absence of what Keating had done. These were what Mervyn King called the nice years (non inflationary consistently expansionary) There was a late 90’s surge in productivity across the developed world (mainly due to the tech boom). Australia never reached the developed world avg. I don’t think. Or make a scratch on the productivity levels of the un-reformed era of the 60’s.
        Then came the mining boom post 03, and of course the credit creation machine which Keating switched on in 84 and can never be turned off also kept things humming along.
        There were essentially no fundamental neoliberal reforms under Howard/Costello. In a way there was nothing left to wreck. Expect for the GST, which of course Keating first proposed, only to be knock backed (wisely) by Hawke.
        It’s amazing how the team Labor crowd want to gloss over the slash and burn of the Keating era, yet will point at things like replacement of CGT indexation with the discount (remember indexation was introduced with the early 80’s inflation rate in mind), or Costello tinkering of the tax settings on super. I mean really is that it?

        The piggery. Well lets bear in mind that this happened while Keating was PM, involved Indonesian buyers and the main financier was the peoples bank. Maybe it was all above board. Just like the travel allowances, and the tax return which didn’t get done.

        All in all I despair at reading a narrative that it was all inevitable. That the same party who built the workers welfare state, built public health, public housing construction, all paid for by progressive taxation, believed in and fought for full employment at all costs, and cultivated the social democratic political culture over 100 years, had to be the party to introduce the disease of neoliberalism into Australia. When even Malcolm Fraser could hold back the tide. I just don’t buy it.

      • Gunna and Sweeper

        They are the best contributions in a long long time here. And that type of discourse fills me with hope for EP’s loved ALP and I dream of a new Ben Chifley to lead the country back into the light.

        My heart is attracted to Gunna’s version (that I also experienced) but my brain, is saying that Sweeper is right. I recall the moment of ‘understanding’ that the banking monster was out of its cage. Keating talked about banking competition and we all thought the costs to the punter would come down we thought that is what competition in banking meant. But of course so few understood ‘banking’ and we are where we are.

        To get any viable alternative that may return our homeland to social and economic inclusion and prosperity many intermediate steps will need to be taken. There may even be times when several backward steps will need to be taken ‘before’ progress is possible.

        Without jest or joy I feel that, as with past generations, it is only the wisdom gained through painful experience that can re-calibrate our nations moral compass. And that chances of success are, at best, remote.

      • Yes, excellent stuff Sweeper and Gunna,

        I agree with Gunna insofar as I dont consider all of the policies of the ALP during 1983 – 1996 to be flawed. There was definitely a need to reduce some of the pointless regulation and excessive ‘picking winners’ forms of industrial protection.

        The problem is that the bad bits – the ones that Sweeper refers to – were really bad.

        However, I am not convinced that even now many (left of the LNP) understand why they were bad or even that they ARE bad. The superannuation farce is still considered a magnificient acheivement by lefties across the nation. The idea of free international capital flows, the significance of the difference between productive and unproductive flows is almost never discussed and if it is you will get as much support from the ALP left as the ALP right. Even the Greens support large chunks of it!

        This is a fundamental problem.

        If a large chunk of the centre and left of politics do not understand how some of those 1983-96 reforms are screwing the country and large chunks of the population over – what hope is there for change?

        It would be nice if Keating conceded some of the mistakes but that is unlikely. What is critical is that the current ALP work out the good and the bad bits of the Keating period – dump the duds and own the good bits. But when is that going to happen if they still think that many of the bad bits were good!

        All of that is fine but even if the understanding is achieved it still will not be enough unless someone has a functional plan for deleveraging a household debt bubble, a house price bubble, a foreign debt bubble – that does not involve a catastrophic debt deflation event where the debtors are creditors are simultaneously smashed.

        No one – I repeat – No one will vote for that and no pollie will be mad enough to suggest it.

        Sweeper what are your thoughts on that?

        I am curious as I dont see how you can deleverage the household sector (remove a large % of that banking system credit as money, that household debt represents, from the economy) without introducing a replacement that will inevitably involve fundamental changes to the monetary system and banking model.

        How do you restrict and wind back household debts without setting off a bomb? Wishing the deregulation never happened is not enough and we cannot retrace the way we came by simply reversing the changes.

        That is what Keating seems to have realised too late.

        The reforms I support are all directed to a solution to that critical problem. They seek to drain the money supply swamp of the household debt as money and it replace it with non interesting accruing public sector credit as money.

        I am curious how you would do it as you seem very opposed to any solutions along those lines.

      • Sadly for me, Sweeper, and happily for you, you have converted me away from my Keating fandom with your evidence based approach. I guess he had the right mindset and that’s what I relate to, you can see it in his sense of humour about the Tories, but he was captured. Captured before we even knew him perhaps.

      • @Sweeper….

        I don’t think Keating had a functional knowledge about any of it, anymore than Bill Clinton did when Rubin [and posse] advised him. Furthermore did the Rubinites even have a clue [separation of wages and productivity – which imo Rubin was advised and responded “I did not know that”], because if they did, it would mean intent.

        EMH, QTM, rational agent models, and all the other quasi religious iconography, et al… by the creative writing class some call mainstream economists.

        Not to mention pre GFC all the glee from the Austrians and neoclassicals about how utopia had arrived and were proven correct. Post GFC they were staunch protectors of the banks and other miscreants from mobs like occupy and any leftie seeming mob, and now flip flop and gab on about bad banks and credit….. sigh~~~~

        Disheveled…. loved those pre GFC AET+ get togeathers where all in attendance [well connected flexians] were advised that their status was – self evident – proof they should be running things…. barf~~~~

      • Pfh007, I see no chance that Keating will concede anything. I just wish he would spend his years enjoying his multi millions and his former PM allowances and stop telling Shorten to keep near the centre (read radical free market right). The ALP need to cut the tag, and I feel like they have known that ever since the 96 election. The problem has been there were too many figures involved in the period in senior roles. Eg Beazley, Ferguson. Once this generation has moved on there may be a chance for rejuvenation. The idealogues like Wong, Husic, Bowen who believe in it should be moved on imo.

      • Exhibit A –

        March 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        Anyone read old Krugman lately? The guy is losing his mind, with the latest post particluarly nutty.

        This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

        The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can’t be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these “populist” voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won’t hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that’s what happened.

        I think he’s just trolling now, hoping to get some of his comment section riled up.


      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Proceeds of crime ?………illegal purchase of property contrary to Australian law ? ……..Scomo what say you ?

      • That’s bullshit the two didn’t know the rules. And it will be bullshit that Abbott manages to get an exemption for the two. I’d like to see that excuse being tried on before a judge, “we didn’t know the law!!” Coming from individuals with a extensive commerical trade background and presumably university educated.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Unknowingly my arse. They’re just common filth who tried to rort the system. Shoot them both in the face and then jail them, confiscating all proceeds from the sale.

        Hey, our Tony isn’t trying to get them off an ‘unjust law’ is he?

      • It’s ridiculous that they would have bothered to avoid the rules, FIRB is just a rubber stamp and presumably a little point of cash collection. I gather FIRB actually has quite good adherence because it’s no big deal.

    • If the photo of the house depicted in the article is to be believed then try –
      24 Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights

      Which govt department has the responsibility to check the legality of the purchase – ATO, FIRB or AFP?

      This is a gift to the Labor party, they can run with the story of LNP inaction on money laundering all the way the next election.
      A full audit by ATO of Hualei Properties might also be in order.

      • Labour won’t touch this with a ten foot pole. They should but I think they too are scared.
        Never mind China will do it for us. Few of us have been saying this for while now.
        BTW – now I see why asbestos Julie went aggressive on China last few days. lol.

      • Asbestos Julie needs to be careful. The Chinese have long memories and she won’t be foreign minister forever.

      • Jay Wetherill could do something with this but not Shorten he has no stomach for nor skill necessary to discharge his responsibilities as ALP leader.

    • Yep charged in China for his dirty dealings in Australian real estate.

      Let that one sink in, suckers.

      • Don’t forget that little extradition treaty due to go into effect soon between Australia and China…..

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Yep …..exactly what I have been saying for a long time …..Hand over a floor of the AFP building in Canberra to the China National Police and let them do the job that our politicians appear to be too scared ,corrupted or compromised to do ………as a tax payer and a father of priced out Australian children I’ll gladly support it ……

    • Noone talks about the dirty moeny that flowed into China decades ago…. where does everyone think all the productivity went in lieu of wages thingy…..

      disheveled…. noone gives a rats ass when the proceeds, even by extenuation, fattens – their own – bottom line…. and then some lose the plot over RE…… sigh….

  15. GunnamattaMEMBER

    I am just starting to get a whiff of elites starting to shit themselves.

    Their preferred (Malcolm) option stinks of incompetence, nobody really likes their plan B (the ALParatchiks), and their distration (PHON) looks like imploding for mine….

    Politics at tipping point as one in four voters flee Labor and the Coalition


    all in all a good thing. a political consensus meltdown may enable us to rebuild from the bottom up

    • Humanity is in a cul-de-sac right now. We have to make major changes or perish. People everywhere can sense it. That’s why you have so much confusion, the rise of populism, and a surge in religious fundamentalism. Out of this melting pot hopefully a few good leaders will arise (a young Bernie Sanders-type in the US, for instance), or even governments led by scientific technocrats aware of the climate, population and resource depletion threats.

    • DodgydamoMEMBER

      Good! Now we just need to get it up to one in three… Then the red and blue team players will actually need to earn their seats from the electorate at that point

      • God, youse are being optimistic. Australians love to complain and are very compliant in their actions. They say they’ll vote minor party but never do. What’s that expression about rusted on barnacles hull whatever.

    • Spot on Gunna.
      Also to add – People are not any smarter today than years ago as a matter of fact we are probably dumber overall. What people are realising is that they will never be free now. All their lives they will be paying bills while they see (internet allowed this) elite’s enormous wealth.

    • “all in all a good thing. a political consensus meltdown may enable us to rebuild from the bottom up”

      Rebuilding is probably the only way, however there is an implicit danger in this. The people doing the rebuilding need to have a better idea about what was wrong with the previous system. Take for example economics. How many Steve Keens are there out there that would get a look in? People with a financial background would see the opportunity to start again – using the same play book. After a meltdown, the appetite for growth would be much bigger!

      Would our political system save us? Probably not. If you look at the last 20 years, can anyone see any evidence of voting for the libs or labs actually changing anything in a way that helped our future? The government of both stripes has morphed into a kleptocratic appendage of the financial system that is functional in both forms – liberal and labor. Functional, but not for us.

      I know that Mr EP is a proponent of re invigorating the Labor Party, but honestly how can this work? There is very little evidence of enlightenment in the labor politicians, and not a lot in supporters either. Is it possible that our political system died some years ago and what we have left is the stinky old _Zombie corpse? (spambot won’t catch me again on that one!).

  16. TailorTrashMEMBER

    The outcome of this case will be interesting…….are laws that try to favour your own citazens unconstitutional ? …………We should watch and learn ……

    “The representative plaintiff in the proposed class action is Jing Li, a Chinese national who learned she would have to pay an additional $83,850 on a $587,895 home in Langley that she agreed to purchase days before the government announced the new tax.”

  17. boomengineeringMEMBER

    To answer your question, no haven’t got a Bridgeport but was offered one that I was repairing if I couldn’t fix it but I already had 3 mills and a mill drill biggest weighing over 7 tons.
    The son and I did fix it but the Bridgeport is made in USA whereas it’s circuit board by a company in England which had closed down leaving us to design, build and install a new one along with micro switch systems.
    Out of the comfort zone once again.

    • circuit boards…. been there and done that.

      Multi-meter and then reflow if necessary… amazing what techs could do in WWII….

    • If you need to make a replacement PCB, it is a lot cheaper to do this now.

      http://kicad-pcb.org/ – free and most likely any part will be in the library. quite a few tools to pick from
      https://oshpark.com/ – turn around less than 2 weeks and most likely a few boards for about $150 including shipping

      Bit of a learning curve, but the ability to replace unobtainable circuit boards can be a very valuable skill.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Thanks Darkie, may come in handy but hoping there won’t be a next time .They tried to fix it themselves, fried it, which always makes it harder.

      • Very interesting for someone who works on older cars and may need to reproduce certain PCB’s for components No Longer Available (NLA).

  18. #LuxLeaks appeal verdict: tax justice heroes convicted again
    March 15, 2017 0 0 Blog, Secrecy

    The #LuxLeaks whistleblowers appeal verdict is in and once again it demonstrates what an upside down world we’re living in, when whistleblowers on the frontline of tax justice find themselves convicted for a second time for exposing information that was so clearly in the public interest. Disclosure of such information can be decisive for driving political change, and this is exactly why tax deals in Luxembourg were brokered behind closed doors. Now it’s time to swing the spotlight onto accountancy firm PwC not only for the disgraceful way they treated these whistleblowers, but to hold them to account for their role the whistleblowers exposed in siphoning off tax revenue from so many EU member states. You can read about the less known but truly shocking treatment of whistleblower Raphael Halet in detail here.

    The Tax Justice Network’s John Christensen says today,

    “This is a disgraceful verdict when you consider that the real villains are accountancy firm PwC and the Luxembourg tax authorities who should never have negotiated these secret tax deals which go against the grain of free trade and all of which will almost certainly be found to constitute illegal state aid.”LuxLeaks

    We condemn this appeal verdict and for anyone who wishes to support these tax justice heroes, they do need financial help with their legal fees. You can do that by clicking here and here.

    As the Tax Justice Network CEO Alex Cobham says in this RFI radio interview these people have performed a great public service. We ask, in whose interest have these trials of these tax justice heroes been? Not the citizens and domestic companies of Luxembourg, for whom no secret deals were on offer. Not the Luxembourg state, which should be addressing the shocking failures of governance that have been revealed. PwC, the big 4 accounting firm is at the heart of this story. They should be hanging their heads in shame for the tax abuses they have commissioned and profited from.


    • Per usual you put something granular under the free market ™ peoples nose and nada…. everyone gets a strange case of no opinion or whistling past grave yards…. Kudos

      Disheveled…. not that half the people here would understand that any wealth they have is a direct result others Criminogenic activity… but hay the Austrians and others said it was “natural”…. rimshot…..

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      From Wikipedia

      “Follow up in Luxembourg Edit
      LuxLeaks revelations stress the fact that tax rulings are a priori legal but secret under the law of Luxembourg. [5] Numerous European Member States sign tax rulings (22 out of 28 States), but European statistics show that in 2014, Luxembourg is the European country having the highest number of these ongoing ‘sweetheart tax deals’.[67] After LuxLeaks revelations, tax rulings kept on being agreed in Luxembourg. The Luxembourgish tax administration indicated that 715 new tax rulings were signed in 2014 and 726 in 2015. The content of these rulings remains secret: neither the name of benefiting companies nor the tax rates obtained are known.[68][69]

      In May 2016, some press articles reported that Luxembourg has started to propose to multinationals some verbal tax rulings instead of written ones, in order to keep them secret. Luxembourg denied this information.[70]

      In December 2016, Luxembourg government shows good will and changes its tax rules for companies, making it more difficult for multinationals to avoid paying taxes through international structure.[71] However, in January 2017, The Guardian publishes revelations showing that Luxembourg continues obstructing tax reforms efforts in Brussels, as was the case when Jean-Claude Juncker was the Grand-Duchy Prime Minister.[72]

      In Luxembourg, LuxLeaks revelations are often considered as a national trauma due to the stigma made to the country, perceived abroad as “tied to banking secrecy”.[73] Following the LuxLeaks, the Luxembourg government set up a nation branding policy to improve the image of the country. Nevertheless, with the trial of the whistleblowers and journalist who are involved in the disclosure of the leaks, Luxembourg continued to be perceived as a tax and judicial haven.”

      Verbal deals? WTF!

      What do the Europeans want from their “Union”. With out a Federalist kind of tax harmonisation across the whole European project, whats the point of of the existance of the European Union?
      Is it just to allow Multinational to cut secret deals with member states and avoid Democratic oversite?

      Im embarrassed to say I dont recall coming across this story as it was unfolding.
      Its an important story to follow and Solidarity for whistle-blowers essential.

  19. Results from today’s auctions show an example of contrast between the ‘bubble’ prices being paid in some cities vs much more sane prices in others:

    Sydney, last sold in 2006 for $660k, sold today for $2.01m:


    Adelaide, last sold in 2010 for $365k, sold today for $350k:


    I am seeing a number of Adelaide properties selling below their 2009 / 2010 prices.

    • Henderson rd near the ‘village’ of Erko and Newtown cafe culture was at once time a working class area ( circa 1990) with light manufacturing and depots. With media companies moving and the technology park in Redfern the area has gone full wanker and is now crowded by purveyors of authentic first pressing Tuscan olive oil’; dubious antique furniture shops and many art galleries selling second rate art reminiscent of 1980s Australian expressionism perfectly fitted to the vacuous Sydney artistic-interior designer sensibility. An area goes from making things to now full scale consumption based on a huge CAD.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        My mate has still his place he brought in wells st redfern in1996-7 for around a hundred grand and now says its worth 1.2 to 1.4 million.
        The place is well over 120 years old, less than 4.5 meters wide and when you step out the front door, you are imediately standing in the Gutter!

        He doesn’t liver there anymore but when he did we had some memorable nights at the Tudor inn around the corner.
        I never drive through Redfern without getting a quick and easy pumpkin beef from “big boy thai” on Chalmers st.
        Great littke place, been there for decades.

        I always double check that ive locked the car though.

    • wrt Adelaide, does fit in well with what my Dr. friend experience.

      Another personal anecdote, apartment we were renting at Mawson Lakes was put up for sale in 2013 with asking price 285K, after 6 months it went for 250K….Fast forward to today, apartment in the same building, similar configuration has asking price 235K (I think).

    • wrt Adelaide, does fit in well with what my Dr. friend experience.
      That ridgehaven listing, it says “Auction 390K”… and you are saying it sold for 350K. The owners accepted below reserve????

      Another personal anecdote, apartment we were renting at Mawson Lakes was put up for sale in 2013 with asking price 285K, after 6 months it went for 250K….Fast forward to today, apartment in the same building, similar configuration has asking price 235K (I think).

      • I don’t think so, for a while it was the easiest spot for a Chinese person to move to and obtain the state sponsored PR. Same with the uni and college programs. Was quite popular with people from Hebei and Hubei provinces where it was heavily marketed

    • I was in Adelaide recently, felt like Melbourne in the 1980s not too overcrowded etc.. I would live there if I could convince the missus. I quite like it, much better than overrated Sydney.

  20. haroldusMEMBER

    ashes is going to be good

    cummins (patto?)
    GOAT (SOK?)


    Can’t fuckin wait. Broad and Anderson will be old. Stokes is best allrounder in world (he’s only 25 – he looks 40!). Root is also very combative, who knows how he’ll be as captain. Not sure the Poms have a settled order at the moment.

    • I’m not against the Vics but, Maxi and Wade won’t be there. Maxwell made one score but the captain has no faith in his bowling and he won’t able to hold down a batting place over time. Wade’s glove work is just not up to scratch and there are better glovemen waiting. Handscomb and Khawaja in. If Cummins stays fit he plays – he’s looking world class in this game. Lyon is going to be more consistent than SOK, especially on our pitches that don’t offer much help, which SOK needs to be dangerous

      • it’s great to have a bit of depth, eh.

        s marsh has to go – the only reason he’s there is subcontinental record but only 1 dig in a losing game this series………..

        khawaja had a great home series and had that century against the saffas in the last test at the top from memory when warner was off the field (was that that one?)

        i think handscombe has been overshadowed by the revelation of renshaw. didn’t he nearly make a double against pak?

        Neville had a couple of gritty stands in the last losing ashes. he was stymied (like every lower order batsman) by clarke’s selfish refusal to accept the inevitable that he was shit, costing every innings, and the series. how many runs has wade made since his return? fuck all i would suggest.

        i hope you’re wrong about maxi. when you consider the chances given to MMarsh………

        i don’ think Cummins has cracked 150km, but it’s good to see him trying things. he was so young the first time around and it’s great to see him back. i like patto so much cause he hates the poms a lot……(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darren_Pattinson)

        lyon was 3rd aus wicket taker last ashes (after starc and josh)

    • handscomb..locked in
      oh..and the leggies union aint happy
      zampa boyce swepson…
      now on to the impossibility of violating the universal law of physics that the all rounder cannot be named anything but Mitch marsh…..this can simply be managed by deed poll wherein henriques Abbott Cartwright maxwell stoinis et al change their names to the prerequisite

      • I don’t think we have a test class all rounder at the moment. So if we are talking no 6 then a batsman who can bowl a bit. Perhaps Travis Head might be worth a go? Smith obviously values his bowling more than maxwells based on the Odis this summer

  21. I saw some of the posts before they were deleted (not yours R2M) and they appeared designed to provoke, instigate or fan flame wars.

    Last weekend links was pretty ugly – go and review it if you have any doubts.

    Sometimes (myself included) we just need to bite our tongues and let snakey deliveries go through to the keeper without attempting a shot.

    Not every provocation needs a response and certainly not one matching in tone.

  22. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Bloated toad Stuchbury just on the telly banging on about high domestic gas prices because of fracking bans. Piece of shit. Looks like everyone was right. Ruin the country to aid monster profits by energy and mining companies.

  23. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Don’t need those brain friers anymore, did one for the navy last year no one could fix it for six years 4th 5 th axis on big machine missing parts( previous contractor lost parts after failed attempt), didn’t know what type or make encoder, end ended up being rotary optical encoder Heideneim, then had to break code to put in parameters machined adapter plate etc still didn’t go as someone 6 yrs ago told the computer 4&5th didn’t exist so break into code to install more parameters. Finally success.
    Thanks again, Boom.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      That machine had hundreds of wires and components 3 cabinets control board etc initially didn’t even know which it should feed to.

  24. To the moderator: well done, you have successfully stopped me participating here again. DLS agreed that my posts would not be deleted or moderated; that was my condition for returning. I won’t waste my time at a site where some snot thinks he has the right to edit or delete me.

    And on the way out, I’ll say this: MB has allowed “Alfred” to continue as a paid member, even though he posts utter tripe and climate denial bullshit. If you have such low standards as to allow an out-and-out liar to be a member, I don’t want a bar of it.

    • For someone who blasts others you don’t take criticism or censure very well at all. I’ll admit that I was also being a dick towards Alfred (is he really that stupid, a fanatic or a paid troll? I don’t know, but he does infuriate me), but if the sites moderators decide to pull me up that is their decision and out of my control.

      If you really thought what you are doing here is important, as you have implied multiple times, you’d be more civil. Blaming the mod for being called out for acting like a jerk is, well, a jerk move.

      In regard to your second point about known bullshitter a being banned, if 3d1k has a ban against him for his mining lies then Alfred also has no place on this forum when propagating his climate lies. There is discourse on a topic of contention, like pf007 vs skippy, myself and Natural Trust in Land Tax, and then there is ungrounded nonsense, Alfred’s posts on climate change.

    • boyracerMEMBER

      “I won’t waste my time at a site where some snot thinks he has the right to edit or delete me.”

      That is a fairly epic level of hypocrisy there R2M.

      Most people on this site wouldn’t know but 5-6 years ago R2M somehow became admin/mod of a small site called Bubblepedia (which discussed crazy Australian house prices for the most part). I posted there occasionally. At the time R2M took over he became fairly militant towards APF (Australian Property Forum) to the point there was some kind of imaginary war going on between the two sites.

      After R2M started advocating some fairly extreme measures (obtaining and disclosing personal details of alleged astroturfers, trolls, sock puppets and the like) I called him out on it and told him I disagreed with that course of action.

      R2M’s response was to publicly accuse me of being an astroturfer, delete all my posts and my account. His “evidence” was that I supposedly was using an IP address known to be used by astroturfers (being that that I used a Bigpond IP address I suppose that could have technically been true).

      I was not the only one to receive this treatment for daring to disagree with R2M on that site. The site died a fairly slow and inexorable death under R2M’s stewardship. For him to now complain about being moderated is quite amusing.

      I don’t bother to read R2M’s comments as his zealotry towards anybody who even dares to disagree with his narrow viewpoint is basically ludicrous. I don’t think this site will miss his, shall we say contribution, for lack of a better term.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yes, the cranky bloke from bubblepedia. It was sad to watch that place wither. Had a look at Safety Bear’s blog for a while but everything just fell away.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      I don’t want to see anybody bared or censured here.
      I haven’t liked the (I suspect forced) absence of Mig or 3d1k and I wouldn’t like to see you Go either R2M.
      Freedom of Expression and all that.
      Plus, preaching to the already converted is fucking boring!
      Hang around Brother.

  25. Revert 2 Mean

    Please don’t be childish. Just move on and pursue your goal to persuade your adversaries, if you want an on going slanging match get his email address and do it in private !

    But yes you should stay and adjust t the world where people disagree with you … some don’t care and others are paid to rattle your cage.

    • innocent bystanderMEMBER

      the guy is a tool
      will make it easier for Labor, not necessarily a good thing.
      Libs are blaming everything and anything for their loss except the economic mismanagement, the real issue imho. But then again real issues don’t matter in elections as we seem time and time again.
      Having lived in WA for a while, and spoken to quite a few swinging voters, it always seem to come down to the voters’ own short term hip pocket interests.

  26. Chuck Berry is dead.

    To quote TISM on how everyone has just been copying him for the past 60 years

    “Paul McCartney once said the Sex Pistols were another band playing Chuck Berry.
    At the time I thought you boring old wanker, now I think it’s downright scary.”

  27. I just got back from watching the Sustainable Australia Housing Affordability debate. They have recordings (multiple) on their facebook page and are worth watching (link below). Mark Latham nails it again when describing the combined forces of vested interests including the supposed parties of the people.

    During the Q&A session I noticed Mark becoming quite agitated at academics attempting to solve the problem from many angles. SAP would do well pay attention to Mark’s agitations.


    • I thought Latham was quite entertaining but lost the plot by being:

      1. Solely focussed on immigration as the only cause for unaffordable housing

      2. Ignorant on other causes that require regulatory intevention

      Cameron Murray was great – easily the best on the panel!!!!

      • It was Mark Latham’s point to remain focused on the main issue of population growth. If you start talking about many different taxes and regulations it will give the many vested interests the ammo to turn voters against you.

        Cameron Murray a very smart academic but this is politics.

      • @Freddy the debate was affordable housing.

        Immigration is one component on the demand side but there are many other drivers of this inequity.

  28. I thought, this must be how Trembles is feeling about now, when I read this.

    Wheresoe’er I turn my view,
    All is strange, yet nothing new;
    Endless labor all along
    Endless labor to be wrong.

    Samuel Johnson

    • Well, I’ve always known that their eyes would light up as soon as you mention any of the following keywords: wedding, birth(day), death, childcare. Close seconds are: boating and horses.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Good post gav

      We fuck our selves over not just by what we spend on as old mate points out, but also our lack of giving time, to organising ourselves to doing something about it.
      Join your local branch brother and spread the message.

      I liked from your post,

      commercial dissent is near impossible. Do you want to be the weirdo without a Facebook account? The uncool stooge for staying at a motel or taking an old-school cab? Of course not. You’re hip, you’re with it. Everything worth doing is in an app.
      So it remains mostly our fault. Our choice, our dollars. Every purchase a vote for an ever more dysfunctional future. We will spend our way into the abyss.
      If nothing changes, we’ll continue to vest the tech titans and their lords with economic monopolies that grant them undue power. They’re too big to be conscientious. “Don’t be evil” is a slogan for an upstart, not a conglomerate. You simply can’t distribute such noble a moral codex across endless divisions, all with their own P&Ls.

      “And don’t fall for the soothing charity by the extractive victors either. That charade is as old as time. It’s the process by which ruthless tech lords seek to rebrand themselves into noble benefactors for the good of society. By giving back some of their spoils as they see fit. Kings of plenty doling out gifts and mercy. Don’t buy it. And I don’t mean that in the sense that, say, Bill Gates hasn’t done good with his fortune. But that society isn’t better off when we have to rely on magnanimous tech lords to solve its ills by decree.
      Incumbent power centers will not go quietly into the night, though. Excuses will be aplenty, because unlike the robber barons of old, they’re not going to defend themselves with water canons and lock-outs. It’ll be cold war skirmishes fighting for fake moral high grounds. Natural monopolies! Network effects!
      Because competition is for the little people. Pitting one individual contractor against another in a race to the bottom. Hoarding all the bargaining power at the top. Disparaging any attempts against those at the bottom to organize with unions or otherwise. Ragging on that as “untapped energy”.
      When you accept this entire picture, it’s not so hard to understand why some people are starting to freak out. I’m freaking out. This is worth freaking out about.”

      Yes Im freaking out at the fact so many are not!

  29. Robert,
    You mentioned you hire in Data Science space. Can I ask which industry?
    I am quite interested in learning more about your hiring process. If you are happy to discuss,email me [email protected]

  30. Dear Mr Skippy, 

     You have been given ample guidance as to what is appropriate comment at MacroBusiness, and of communication channels to raise queries.  The observation from this end is that you (yes you!) simply dont get it.

    The comment fields at MacroBusiness are about discussing the articles under which they are located, or, as is the case with the Weekend Readings or Links, to discuss the issues raised in the readings, or the weeks politics or economic news and so on.  However that doesnt seem to be enough for you.  You appear to want a forum to discuss MacroBusiness spam management and your perceptions on its rights or wrongs. The question for anyone connected with MacroBusiness is the extent to which this is desirable, the extent to which this is remotely in the public interest, the time and management impost this incurs, and the implications therein.

    Let’s once again clearly state the spam management framework, shall we?

    Spambot will remove any comment which:-
    a. Is deliberately intended to offend another
    b. Is deliberately intended to obfuscate, deceive or appears to be a straight out lie
    c. Makes excessive use of cut and paste from other websites – particularly when a link to that website and synopsis of a sentence or so would suffice. This is also about not ‘hogging’ the comment board.
    d. Is excessively profane
    e. Makes potentially libellous claims or assertions (particularly if they are unsupported)
    f. Is essentially irrelevant to the subject matter of the post (for whatever reason – don’t be too pedantic, but do not allow the commentary to become snowed by irrelevance).
    g. Is intended to do nothing other than argue with MacroBusiness Spam Management

    The purpose of this approach is to create an environment where intelligent people can add their thoughts related to the discussion at hand and do so in an environment where they are not intimidated or offended, equally not smothered by materials sourced and taken from elsewhere, and equally where valid and well written points are rendered lesser for being surrounded by inanity, irrelevance, distraction, or abuse.

    Every last one of your comments deleted this past weekend were arguing about the function of Spambot or perceived shortcomings with the management of MacroBusiness.  Your thoughts about MacroBusiness spam management have nothing whatsoever to do with economics or Australian economic policy.  MacroBusiness is about encouraging people in an open and engaging forum, to discuss economic and politics, not about having some form of free for all on spam management. These were, and will continue to be, deleted.  If you keep posting them, Spambot will keep deleting them. Spambot doesnt need to ‘make a case’ for deleting a comment.  It is  solely a matter of  ‘ does a comment pass a pretty modest standard or not? ‘ The moment Spambot sees the world ‘Spambot’ tossed down like some gauntlet to be picked up for a duel  by Spambot, there is no need for Spambot to cogitate a moment longer – It is spam. It is deleted.  If this is not a ‘good look’ for you, then it could be observed that it is a better look for MacroBusiness.  If you feel this implies some form of anti-intellectualism, then there are those who believe that allowing comment fields to devolve into an unending claim and counter claim cloaked in your particular forms of gibberish may be worse.

    The only ‘fact’ Spambot is concerned about when retaining or deleting comments is whether the comment does, or does not, come within an openly stated ambit of ‘spam’ – the only factuality Spambot is remotely concerned about is Spambot’s interpretation of what is spam.  Your allusions to cognitive biases, ad hoc and arbitrary rules, and needs to deal with questions you pose, may all have substance in some other, parallel universe – however for Spambot it is a simple question of, Is this a plausible comment about the article? is this a comment about (in any way) economics or politics and the Australian economy? Is it an effective use of MacroBusiness time to spend much time working out what this comment is about? Is this person a member (and worthy of more time) or not?  All too often your comments do not clear these low hurdles.  This, it should be acknowledged, is before looking at your penchant for cutting and pasting large slabs of text from elsewhere.      

    Now this brings us to another observation about some of your postings – you seem to view the comments field as some form of rarified gladiatorial battle in which having the last word, or at least restating the same view over and over until others cease interacting with you, is some form of achievement.  This has been noticed in your interactions with other commenters, and holds true to your interactions with Spambot.  You just keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result.  This weekends Weekend Links is a perfect example. You loaded up your observations about MacroBusiness Spam management after seeing someone else do likewise, and it was deleted.  Then, how many times did you post something directed at Spambot?  Spambot has tried to be nice.  Spambot gave you an email address.  Spambot left warnings with your comments, now Spambot is (quite helpfully, really) replacing your incoherent rants with direct links to articles of interest for people interested in the motivations of some people making comments in the internet.

    When all is said and done MacroBusiness runs about the loosest approach to spam and inflammatory comments you will find anywhere.  In a perfect world there would be no spam management policy because people would be reasonably informed, and would be tolerant of others with differing opinions and facts, and would have some semblance of awareness of when to let go of an issue.  But, alas, we do have some rules, and these are they.

    I have the pleasure to be, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant



    There is nothing hateful in my comments, I asked simple direct questions about a specific case of affairs and unpack why. For this I get spambot making wild claims about my psychological condition without any means to evaluate how they arrived at this conclusion. This is against spambots own rules, as well, as some of the members out bursts and some dog piling by others.

    Just because you think so or say so is not indicative of fact, especially since spambot has not even shown they have any acumen in making such diagnoses. Random links with a spray and pray approach, used in some sort of broad brush to put my state of mind into question and as such diminish the relevance of the questions I posed is just classic miss-redirection.

    Shooting the messenger is not the same as making a case, where abuse of power without recourse is actually indicative of the some pathology that spambots milquetoast suggestions about myself would indicate. And yeah – I’ll defend myself to the end – if others, including spambot, make such spurious claims. Especially as spambot refuses to actually deal with the questions posed wrt this whole incident and goes off setting strawmen up as a distraction.

    I would also remind spambot that there are laws wrt to such things and should seek advice about such. If one were to feel compelled to protect their name and seek remedy through such actions, one would think reason would prevail and not emotive – cognitive bias. Its a self inflicted wound spam bot, anytime the topic or information makes some people uncomfortable the arbitrary rules are applied in an ad hoc manner to remove the offending material and make out that the author has some sort of personalty issues.

    disheveled…. the anti intellectualism is not a good look nor does it burnish ones image imo…. it smacks of some undisclosed fundamentalism…

  31. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    WTF is going on Skipp?
    What kind of comentary are you having blocked?
    Is this connected to some of R2Ms ragings this week end? I found that whole thread very odd,…wondering where did that come from.

    Psychological conditions and personality disorders are what make people interesting,..so keep up the good work.
    I know a fellow-traveller when I see one.