Weekend reading: 22-23 April 2017

MB Radio: Rort of the ElitesGlobal Macro / Markets / Investing:





And in case you missed it, here’s last weekend’s podcast: Rort of the Elites

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Heading of to work before 6am on a Saturday!,…I don’t miss my Construction days chasing overtime every week.
        I am going to miss the boys Soccer this morning though, installing a Gas bayonet point and unbocking a greased up surcharge gully and kitchen sink drain.

        Job starts at 10 am at Bondi Junction and I hope to be done by 12.30pm. Being in the eastern suburbs,..I feel like I’ve undercharged the owner with my quoted price of $605 Inc GST.

        Festools are for fine, precise and quality work,…We plumbers are rough as guts and would never consider purchasing such poncey power tools.

      • Not OT just demands of the job and keeping flow going, its all flat rate anyhow.

        The Festool is more about particulates and contamination of work area [L class], especially wrt protective or decorative coatings.

        This is were I’m coming from – Topcoat Finishes: Festool Sanders & HEPA Dust Extractors for Painters



        disheveled… having several trades under my belt I have to say its one of the hardest and most challenging to get right, especially nicking up others sub par work.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Off to work at home for me too after cafe breakfast. Whale Beach this morn with mate on tow, surprised how much traffic that early
      Festool whore something to be proud of, although I spent most of week fixing my own tools and improving/redesigning the mill electrical system which doesn’t pay the bills.

      Ermo the man that doesn’t sleep.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Actually fell asleep around 8-9pm on one of the kids beds after doing the (on most nights) nightly story.
        I nearly always fall asleep first.
        I really do feel guilty about the extreme uncomfortablness of their beds, there’s no way I could sleep on one all night!
        Anyway,… First post was only won, getting a quick lookin on MB, whilst transitioning into my wonderfully comfortable $5000 bed. I get plenty of sleep!

        Probably should throw down some good money on new beds for the kids,.. before they develop some kind of childhood chronic back condition.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Be careful with bed buying, spent 13K on S king size then gave away the base to replace with heavy wood bed &frame ( upside down mattress base to have more ground clearance) and only me in it as she falls asleep in front of TV.
        Sometimes those hard uncomfortable one’s are better for you.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Hey Ermo & Skip, fell for the oldest trick in the book this morn, mechanic rang up for me to cast iron weld a vintage exhaust manifold, insisted he see me in person, stoked my ego, asked me how I would do it and then made an excuse to go. He’ll try to do it himself I reckon, hopefully it will be a case of not what you do but how you do it because the type of person who is manipulative and scheming fit in the used car brain type who have great people skills but bad engineering skills.
        Pushed my centrifuge job aside for an hour to see him as well

      • Cast iron weld on some vintage manifold for the first time…. manic bawhahahaha…..

        disheveled… next he will do some lead work with irons on body work….

  1. Service economy in the US coming back to earth.


    But our socialised markets don’t worry, they have a relentless bid under them. Central Banks are making asset prices part of the money supply as productivity and income slump under the weight of the debt mountain


    Think they will be able to stop this and get off ? No more than their Weimar equivalents could stop printing ever higher denominations of banknotes. Just because the Fed pauses for a while doesn’t mean the proceeds from the ECB and Bank of Japan won’t end up in Wall Street.

    • The comparison with Weimar is not helpful.

      If there is one thing we have not seen since the GFC it is little old ladies trundling down the streets with a grocery cart full of currency seeking to buy a single potato.

      Most of that private bank newly created public money is not getting anywhere near Main Street.

      What we have seen are speculators trundling down the street with the contents of a freshly created private bank loan accounts to spray at asset prices. While there is a bit of leakage into the broader economy from these speculator transactions – trickle down economics – for the most part the proceeds of those loans accounts are stuck in a relatively small set of grasping paws.

      Even making those lucky few rich doesn’t help very much as the wealth effect crumbs decline as they get richer and richer.

      Rather than fix the monetary model and adopt a more effective way of introducing new money and encouraging circulation of it through the wider economy all we have seen is even greater dedication to advancing new money on even easier terms to asset price speculators.

      Don’t expect this to stop any time soon as the trickle down slops, wealth effect crumbs, credit card limits, pay day loans pawn shops and social security gristle and bone are enough to stop the crowds from going all Network News.

      “I have had enough and will not take it more”

      Keep in mind there remains a large number of so-called “progressive” economists who still do not understand that the monetary model – where the public money supply is effectively little more than a private bank asset price pumping scheme – is the CORE of the problem.

      While Rome burns they keep calling for tweaks and fiddles that will mean nothing more than a slight pause in the asset pumping and wealth concentrating program otherwise known as our private bank dominated public money system.

      They are useful idiots supporting the status quo.

      • I disagree, the core of this problem is that Money has identified an asset class that simply cant/wont keep up with the creation of new money.
        It should come as no surprise to anyone that this marriage of a dysfunctional housing asset creation sector with a Money creation sector locked in overdrive can only result in House price appreciation. The only fools are those that can’t see through the charade of the central banks and their pretense that this isn’t happening.
        Taking money creation (through mortgaged lending) away from the Private banks wont fix the problem because modern Infrastructure development (what the public sector traditionally does to create Public assets) is no longer labour intensive. If we try to prime the economy through road building we’ll only end up with the successful contracting companies buying massive road laying machines that require very few people to operate. Worse still these machines require specialized knowledge to operate/maintain, so the economy leaks most of the capital we borrowed for machinery purchases and our labour force see an increased 457 guest worker count to service these complex machines.
        Nope neither of these approaches can work, it’s time for our society to identify tasks that the individual can undertake which increase our collective wealth and then find a way to fund these tasks from the public purse, not too difficult, you might say, until you add in the condition that international bankers must be able to see value in these social ventures before they’ll fund the game.

      • They are not going to give up their central power……. this was caught up with the problem of legal tender and Commonwealth centralisation before WW1. I agree that those granted a facility with say CBA should only be credited with CBA notes and not legal tender, but the founders of the Commonwealth made very sure that can’t happen.


        Notice how they forced private notes out by the same methods the communists forced private industry out in a country like East Germany when they took over… they taxed them out of existence.The Bank Notes Tax Act 1910…. ten pounds per centum for every re-issued Bank Note. No way the Feds give over their central powers except at the point of a gun.

      • Sydney,

        “…If we try to prime the economy through road building …”

        We don’t need to ‘prime’ the economy doing anything.

        The Federal Budget is approximately $420B every year. That is a lot of spending and a good chunk of it is absolutely core and both sides of politics largely support it – defence, justice, education, health etc.

        Public creation of public money as a substitute for the dodgy private bank dominated asset price fluffing model we have now requires nothing more than to reduce taxes and monetise the resulting deficit. In other words it need not borrow a cent or pay any interest. Just write a note to the RBA and ask that the Treasury Exchange Settlement account be credited with the desired amount.

        Taken to the extreme the government need not tax a dollar BUT then yes, you may well need a wheelbarrow to buy a potato. I am not suggesting that. Measuring inflation accurately will be taken just as seriously as it is now – except we will have a lot less asset inflation being ignored.

        As to how much the government spends $420B or $350B or $450B or what it spends it on (perhaps some big roads might be in the mix) is a matter for debate, voting and politics.

        However, even with no changes to a single current program the government can pump bucket loads of money into and through the economy simply by cutting some taxes and monetising the resulting deficit.

        The quickest and easiest way might be to just lift the tax free threshold and monetise the resulting revenue shortfall.

        The mantra about “balanced budgets” has a single objective.

        To maximise the space for private banks to create the money that any growing economy requires and we all know too well they do that via lending for speculation much more than lending for productive new investment that expands the productive capacity of the economy.

        All the talk about government and Weimar overlooks that at this very moment the private bank IOUs, that they create in the course of lending for speculation, can be converted on demand into banknotes …..they just aren’t (as often as they might) because they are, to a large extent, already in the hands of the already well off. When someone writes you a cheque drawn on their home loan account you can deposit it your account and withdraw the proceeds in cash.

      • Public creation of public money as a substitute for the dodgy private bank dominated asset price fluffing model we have now requires nothing more than to reduce taxes and monetise the resulting deficit.
        Ahmm Yeah Nah Nah. Deficit spending within an Economy maybe, however today we have Australian Public Deficit spending leaking into the Global economy and to do this it needs an offset loan. Nobody sources loans secured only by the wages we’ve paid, loans must be secured by assets, hence the construction of roads etc. In today’s world Deficit spending without an offsetting Capital injection is only possible for the issuers of true Reserve currencies. That’s in part why we’re in the current predicament where there are two competing Reserve Currencies (USD and RMB), as Aussies we’re once again coming to terms with the shift of Colonial power UK=>US=>PRC, they’re able to create currency we’re not, and that’s largely why we have a flood of Chinese money into our Asset markets.

      • nyleta,

        “…They are not going to give up their central power…”

        They may not give it up easily but talking about the nature of that power, how it is exercised and how it’s operations are concealed with propaganda, half truths and outright deceptions is the way forward.

        The idea that the creation of public money is safest in the hands of private banks (‘monitored’ by thoroughly captured regulators) is one of the most outlandish and outrageous bits of guff to infect the public.

        How much more evidence of failure do we need before we say enough is enough.

      • I have to admit I’m a little lost:
        If our government simply creates money and wishes it into existence they’ll trash the value of the AUD. While that would be sensible policy for a country that wanted to develop its Manufacturing sector (Mercantilism) it’s insane policy for a country that de-industrializing. A lower exchange rate is not helpful (over the short term) when faced with a Balance of payments crises, as would occur through unfunded deficit spending, the lower the exchange rate, the more CPI Inflation and the higher the costs for each imported item (for both Public and Private use) Low exchange rates is a no win corner for any modern economy.
        I think you need to strip the veneer from your system and understand the basics of Supply / Demand intersections for currencies, for loans, for products and for Assets.

      • Sydney,

        You are quite right to argue that a high exchange rate is better than a low one BUT that is only the case when the higher exchange rate is the resulting of trade performance and productive investment rather than unproductive capital flows.

        All successful modern economies understand this. The US is the sole exception due to the current reserve status of $US assets. It can manufacture $US assets and be quite confident of finding a large hungry market. Australia is playing with FIRE thinking it can do the same.

        Read my post responding to Ross Gittins.

        Do you really think the current $AUS exchange rate is a sign of health?

      • DingwallMEMBER

        @ Sydney “……it’s insane policy for a country that de-industrializing” – what exactly are we de-industrializing into ??????

      • Just void all the demand deposits. Then swap the equivalent in bonds held by foreign lenders for cash. That’ll fix it.

      • Agree with what Sydney said; strip the veneer and consider the supply & demand curves separately for currency, bonds, new loans, deposits and other assets.
        New loans and deposits are very different (ones a flow the others a stock). Currency, bonds (other assets) very different again.

      • Skippy and Sweeper,

        I commend you both for your brevity and as the stalemate is likely persist shall leave it there.

        Have a good weekend gents!

      • oo7…..

        You cant cure endemic corruption by limiting the amount of money in all its various forms i.e. people create money at will all the time. Whilst value is predicated by preferences and always in flux, albeit screwing with peoples minds via Bernays machinations is not a help.

        disheveled… look… the disagreement goes way beyond money oo7, its fundamental to the human state and its historical back ground.

      • what exactly are we de-industrializing into ???
        Good question, I’ve got a reasonable idea of what types of industry are taking over in both the US and Germany but no clue about Australia’s future.
        People far smarter than myself tell me it’s all about the “Service Industries” which sounds good until you scratch a little deeper and look at the dynamics of Service jobs and realize just how hard it is for any country to Export Service functions unless you’re targetting the bottom of the Service ladder, as in call centers. This leaves you competing with sub $1/hr Indian and Filipino workers.
        There are Service jobs at the top of the food chain such as Hedge Fund and Private equity activities but they involve so few people that they’re not really relevant as “jobs”.
        The problem with Global service jobs is the absence of solid middle income jobs that employee lots of bods.
        So What are we deindustrializing into? Well in truth we’re on the road to Poverty.
        Our Business assets outside of RE are mostly decreasing in value, our share of global Intellectual Property is in free fall, our collective Ability to undertake complex tasks and complete demanding / cutting edge projects is all but non-existence.
        For me this is what the road to Poverty looks like, lots of borrowed money, supporting devaluation of genuine Assets (things that earn export income) while we reward Hoarding. That said is is what is happening, understanding this change is what’s important for this generation of Australians, it’s not logical and it’s not the only (or even optimal) solution but it is the solution that our fellow Australian’s have chosen. In the end you play the ball that you’re pitched.

      • @Sydney…

        Don’t disagree with your synopsis, but would only add that the drivers for much of this is driven by things such as the Summers memo – externalize externalities and exacerbated excessive profit taking [especially when so much of it is generated by wonky non productive machinations and w/ feed back loops].

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    ‘ow about a chart then?

    on the slate

    on the slate 2

    secular stagnation?

    some IMF charts on those japesters in Beijing

    a batch of comparisons on pension contributions

    a guide to the French election (at least who the main candidates are)

    One I picked up showing pension assets to GDP…..

    some charts from the UK suggesting they have our debt issue (or we have theirs) when it comes to houses……

    and where they are getting their spending dough from

    What the Fed has on its radar…

    but it all ultimately comes to an end at some point once the Fed starts tightening………(which it has)

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Good one Gunna …..love that mortgage debt chart ……the “roaring 20’s ” and “Great Depression”of the 30″s look like a pimple compared with the debt levels to day
      ……..we really have reached a new paradigm ………..

      • Actually, if anything, these mean we should party like it’s 1899.

        Yet another inciteful, evidence based observation (using G’s own pics) that will fall on deaf ears on this site… but yeah, world’s gunna end, avacado blight coming, national toast shortage, whatever… Have a good weekend all. And try not to bump your head on the lentil of your fallout shelters.

      • Looking at those charts, especially the first two; it’s easy to see why Steve Keen, and others predicted a massive bubble burst before the arrival of the GFC. We were well overdue then, but look at what has happened since. This time really is different, unfortunately. Nobody could have predicted the lengths successive governments would go to to keep the housing bubble inflating and they still haven’t used up all their ammo. Even with mindblowing household and mortgage debt, they (govt and other vested interests) are still determined that prices must keep rising. It really is a monster eating up the whole economy, and there’s still no letting up.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        md ……..spot on ….when people are spending 2 million plus of crippling debt for a house in Homebush you know something is wrong …imagine the life young Australians could have roaming the world with 2 millions in their pockets …….I know my kids are ..( well, maybe not 2 mill ….but they dont borrow ) ….and I cheer them on …….wake up young folk …you are being conned ……….Home bush ..2 million ….seriously? … FFS !

      • No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of people with acces to credit.

        Not once.

      • “No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of people with access to credit.

        Not once.”

        Concur Leaner…. C-corps are people by law, shadow sector and as Bill Black says “best way to rob a bank is to own one….

    • Gunnamatta – You routinely produce some awesome charts as comments. These are more than worthy of guest posts. Why don’t you speak to the team and put these in as a post with your commentary?

    • That is really cool.
      I could use one for work but I don’t think the boss will go for it.
      How will they get around people crashing into each other, not to mention buildings?

    • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

      Thanks for the link Stomper.
      I love the new small flight technology.
      A mixture of high density batteries, efficient brushless electric motors, lightweight composite materials, CNC and 3D printed components, computerised design and microprocessor flight controllers.
      The Chinese and Japanese model/toy industry have made small scale flying components dirt cheap now.
      The possibilities are endless; drones and flying machines for security, mapping, wide-area photography, search and rescue, remote delivery, exploration – you name it.
      It is quite feasible to step from hobby flying machines and drones to something larger and more useful like this.

    • Despite all the crap in the world today, there is some pretty awesome stuff in the pipeline.

    • I don’t think globalization will end but rather that the pause button will be hit for a couple of decades.

    • But what if Australian Politicians never implement a foreign buyers tax? I used to be much more left leaning, embrace multiculturalism and all that, but now with all that’s going on I’m starting to go hard right. It’s mostly because of Chinese capital outflow pricing Australian’s out of homes and rampant immigration driving down wages etc…. Enough is enough… I’m fed up.


      • +1

        Dunno if I’m moving to ‘the right’ though, maybe just enough to offset the extreme left.

      • You’re still on the left. It’s just that the parties of the left have become indistinguishable from the ones on the right after the 90s, and it’s a global phenomenon.

        Free flow of money and people is the stick that Capital uses to punish the worker. A truly leftist party would halt immigration for wage growth reasons alone. A truly green party would halt immigration to slow the sprawl of our cities. But the last time they were in power, they opened the floodgates, and here we are. It is now racism to suggest otherwise.

        Their cheerleaders are today’s updated version of Stalin’s “useful idiots”. You can always trust the conservatives to side with Capital, but what the “left” has done is outright betrayal.

  3. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/triguboff-compared-to-nazis-over-move-to-end-jewish-familys-leases/news-story/c0c8b46da5337023a4ff5945f66093ad

    Last month, Mr Triguboff appeared to cut the family adrift after issuing it with eviction notic­es for its lease over the Yeshiva Synagogue, or shul, as well as the Sydney Talmudical College Asso­c­iation and Chabad Lubavitch of Sydney.

    Rabbi Feldman’s son, rabbi Yosef Feldman, wrote to Mr Trig­uboff that he was “the first Jew to close a shul since the Nazis”.

    Muhahahha..Karma is a bitch. I guess Gotti does not have any “editorial” powers in Uncle Rupert’s tabloid trash. Anyway, what a greedy [email protected] Do Jews believe there is hell?

    • No sympathy for Harry, he would be happy for young Australian’s to live in 1 of his shoe boxes and eat shit. I quite like him being labelled a Nazi even if he doesn’t really deserve it in this case.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      In the OT there are mentions of a place called shoel deep underground, where all the dead go. It’s a kind of twilight zone. How appropriate for that super greedy bastard.

  4. I’m ripping all of these from thedepression.org.au
    The webmaster of that site really dislikes rentseekers.

    Final scene from The Big Short. As the unspeakable B word starts appearing in the MSM and around workplaces, are we just heading to this outcome?

    J is for Junk Economics. Another interview with Michael Hudson about his new book.

    Australia for the Australians: A pamphlet by Banjo Patterson where he considers the destructive nature of land bubbles. The section on roughing it in the slums stood out after yesterday reading what Highrise Harry is proposing.

    And finally, a trailer for Cameron Murray’s new book on grey corruption, Game of Mates. It looks like a great read.

    • Just put Game of Mates on the to buy list (or hopefully the local library will have it). I have a feeling it will be incendiary, need to figure out how not to explode while reading.

      • I’ve recently given up on the notion that there is justice. Not that justice of sorts is possible, just that it doesn’t happen that often, and that’s the way they like it. By aligning my expectations to something closer to reality, I don’t get quite so bothered.

      • @footsore. I’m with you there on both counts, these days I just want to understand what is going on so I can attempt to protect myself, I’ve moved beyond outrage to just deal with it. I don’t want to get into the game of exploiting others, but I’d like to minimise the amount by which I am being exploited in my own country. I’m just starting to socialise with people now that I’m back, and I’m finding that I’m having some really interesting conversations, everyone seems to understand the paradigm in Australia has changed and things are a lot harder than they used to be.

  5. alterbrainMEMBER

    Several Articles recently have me thinking about what changes might occur in Australia, with investment implications. None of these are immediate, but:
    The big Banks are facing disruption.
    1. They know it: “The competition regulator has rejected an application by the banks to collectively negotiate with technology giant Apple over access to the iPhone’s “near field communication” (NFC) controller.

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank had asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for permission to form a bloc in order to give them more negotiating power in discussions that would have asked Apple open the NFC to their own digital wallets. http://www.afr.com/technology/accc-knocks-back-the-banks-on-apple-pay-20170330-gvaj21

    2. They can see it in China. My son has just returned from his latest visit noting that people use their phones for almost everything. Cash and credit card traffic is minimal. The AFR notes:
    At the core of Alibaba’s digital payment ecosystems is the online payment service called Alipay, also known as the PayPal of China.

    Citi says in its latest research that Alipay is much bigger than its American peer with a total payment value estimated at $US900 billion, or three and half times the size of PayPal.

    “Alipay has an almost 50 per cent market share in third-party online payment and an over 80 per cent market share in third-party mobile payments in China,” Citi said.

    The financial arm of Alibaba is called Ant Financial. It now offers a full range of products including savings, lending, and online banking. Alibaba’s credit scoring system called Sesame Credit is transforming lending and borrowing by making loans available to people with little if any collateral. http://www.afr.com/brand/chanticleer/those-in-fear-of-amazon-ought-to-worry-more-about-alibaba-and-tencent-20170420-gvoz72

    Poorer wages, the search for convenience, lower usage of cars and property costs are affecting consumers behaviour towards online shopping, restaurants and how they live. Some of the changes documented in the excellent BI series https://www.businessinsider.com.au/death-of-suburbia-series-overview-2017-3?r=US&IR=T may be reflected here – not exactly, but analogous. “People in the US suburbs are changing the way they shop, where they eat, and what they want in their homes.

    Malls are shutting down as e-commerce continues to take over, and the casual-dining chains that fed shoppers after a day of hoofing it through the mall are struggling to cope.”
    It’s only starting here and the picture is mixed. Some SYD diners are exploding, others imploding. What happens if our big financial institutions are disrupted? Where would a tech hub be centred in Australia – would that even happen? Nevertheless, it’s not just mining that might be facing profit erosion.

  6. Another big win for Aussie Stupidity….Go Straya!
    Let’s face it, it’s a fact Australian High school graduates just don’t need Maths. The sheer stupidity of the ATAR scaling for General Math is one of the stand out corrections needed in NSW HSC reform, so guess what, it’s being delayed.
    Can anyone explain why a subject that only seeks to reinforce Math from Grades 7-10 should be in any way compared with the Very difficult Extension 2 math. It’s like trying to compare the Australian National 100M sprint with your Kinder garden school yard race, any comparison you might seek to make just devalues the accomplishment of the truly gifted athlete, or in this case the Math-lete.

    • One of the funniest things I’ve seen recently was Prof Michelle Simmons railing against the “feminisation” (ie dumbing down) of science and maths for the HSC.

      You could hear a pin drop.

      I kept waiting for the flood of articles in the Guardian but…. nothing.

      When I went through the HSC 30 years ago it had clearly been dumbed down from the course in the 50s and 60s, and it’s only gotten worse.

      I don’t know what’s in the current math course but for a very long time “4 unit maths” as it was called was hopelessly out of date (no linear algebra for example). It was moderately difficult but had an almost pre WWII perspective. There is undoubtedly scope to make the course contemporary but also very difficult. It’ll be interesting to see how the course actually looks in the end

      • Is it also a breadth of topic problem? The number of fields that a student is meant to be across is something that is quite daunting. Is it better to do a few things very well with a deep understanding, or to know a little about a lot of things and merely be competent? I’d argue for the former, but I also sympathise with the sentiment that the student should be exposed to as much as possible or they will lose a competitive edge and be left behind. Especially in the dog-eat-dog world that we live in.

    • This has more to do with unis. I teach both ext 2 and general and general shouldn’t be a basis for anything while ext 2 is genuinely difficult, the hardest subject at hsc level. Unis need to put in some hard prerequisites to make kids take the harder subjects. Some kids should still be able to score well with general, they just shouldn’t be able to access the degrees that are in anyway maths based.

      • Agreed back when I studied EE at UNSW 3unit Math was a prerequisite. It didn’t matter what scores you got in other math subjects, if you didn’t take 3 unit or higher math than you weren’t eligible for tertiary study in many courses in the so called STEM fields.
        For the record I have no problem with the current 3/4 unit courses being updated, matter of fact I thing they definitely need a better Statistics unit and I’d probably include matrix Algebra, but I’d be happy with any of the obvious course updates to mirror the modern use of math in many diverse fields.

      • Dunno. I kind of think the focus on making yr 12 maths harder is overdone. The unis don’t trust the schools so they go back to the beginning of yr 12 anyway in first yr, just at a brisker pace. If you did well in yr 12 due to ability rather than spoon feeding that shouldn’t be a problem for you. OTOH if your great ATAR isn’t due to mastering the material or a sign of ability, then the shell shocked look I used to see on the faces of the students who took both maths subjects at yr 12 without understanding them should be the least of your punishment. Moving my tongue slightly further from the inside of my cheek, Im sceptical wrt tinkering with statistics in yr 12 maths – it’s its own thing, and the syllabus is crowded. Learn what’s there properly over add more stuff would be my preference

      • @Stat, are you suggesting that General Math properly mastered is a reasonable starting point for a Technically demanding university course?
        I’m not an educator but that seems silly to me. I agree that it’s better to understand and absorb the material than to just focus on the process of getting the right answers. In that sense the HSC is far too predictable, you can simply learn the mechanics of doing 70% of the questions and then insert the relevant figures and get the question right. I must admit I taught my son to recognize these problems and just dump the solution on the page, this gives you more time for the difficult problems, ext 2 (old 4 unit) is a bit of a race against the clock so shortcuts to get the bulk of the stuff done are important. That’s actually why I favor extending 4 unit (and changing) the course requirements so that nobody can game the exam.

      • Have to agree with Stat on Unis starting from scratch and not just maths, been that way in America for decades. HS is just basic social indoctranation w/ some low level education for retail – service jobs. Used to be that company’s did in house OJT, but that has been outsourced for plug and play widgets.

        At the end of the day its all industry driven and not from an educational perspective.

        disheveled…. just another own goal like the results of Gates’ CORE or privatization of education e.g. falling standards and increasing corruption.

  7. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/peta-credlin-in-frame-for-kelly-odwyers-seat/news-story/b21f55ce838c26cb8077e16b462fa6c0

    “Disgruntled millionaires are ­reportedly trying to draft Peta Credlin to unseat federal cabinet minister Kelly O’Dwyer in the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Higgins in Melbourne.

    A powerful group of Victorian Liberals wants the high-profile former chief of staff to Tony ­Abbott to challenge Ms O’Dwyer in retribution for her role in the tax on their superannuation savings, the Herald Sun reports today.”

    Don’t you love democracy..

    • You forgot the inverted commas around the world democracy.

      Don’t you love ‘democracy’.

    • How delusional are these fuckwits to think that Credlin’s electable. Even if she does, Crudlin will be so tarnished by Abbott’s legacy and her own antics that to the wider electorate will be seen as poison. Bring it on I say!!

      • I was all ready to rant at the wonderful possibilities such a queen-making would bring that you were clearly not able to visualise.
        Then I read your last sentence – +1 – vote for Credlin indeed!

  8. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Finally got around to watching The Big Short ………at least one line from it is even truer today ( reinforced by Gunnas chart above ) ….”Homes are debt not Assets ” …..

  9. Found this video funny, wonder if AusPost has similar problems?

    Quote from the description:

    I uploaded this as I could not find a proper source credit to showing my fellow carriers in the USPS how Royal Mail is struggling, and how privatization may not be the answer.

    • America is also looking at privatzing their air traffic control. Regional users that rely on air transport, like the agricultural sector, are trying to prevent it as they realise that there won’t be an incentive to maintain services and infrastructure in areas with a low to no profit margin.

  10. haroldusMEMBER

    apropos of nothing, does anyone play forza horizon? how do you drift? the guys on youtube drift better than i drive, but I still can’t work out the trick.

    • Probably the same dilemma one has learning to B-hop in TF Half Life death match – CTF, rather than being based on real life mechanics, its more of an exploit of the game physics. With this observation controllers can be an issue.

      Disheveled… ex admin on mill+ server and top 5 competitive clanie…

  11. Managed to read the judgement in the Full Federal Court in Chevron. It is minimalist compared to the initial judgement (which was somewhat War and Peace), but a decent win for the ATO. On a sliding scale of mass avoidance to a bit of trimming round the edges, what Chevron entered into was more towards the naughty side so for those reasons I’d be surprised if they got special leave in the HCA.

    Really interesting to see if Australia and other jurisdictions flex their muscles a bit more from this now. For all that markets predict the price of debt, there is precious little legal precedent until recently on how that may eventuate in arms-length circumstances.

    • The ATO is VERY happy with the judgement – the win itself obviously but more that the FFC pretty much adopted the ATO’s analysis on how the TP rules work.

      Stand by for a lot more activity in this space and, I suspect, a whole of multinationals settling before it gets to Court.

      For a bit of light reading, check out the ATO’s submission to the Senate Committee on Corporate Tax Avoidance (#139 at http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Corporatetax45th/Submissions) – it is effectively a “How the Oil and Gas Industry avoid tax in Australia” manual. Stand by for some VERY dirty tactics from the Oil and Gas industry in response.

      • Perhaps they should litigate more often, and given the state of taxation of corporates in Australia (or the lack of it) change the law

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Jason I have slapped the tables from that submission just below. I missed the submission a couple of weeks ago when it was made – great spotting.

        Fitzroy, I am with you on the need for a far more legally obnoxious ATO when it comes to corporates. The phenomena of ASIC sending out its press releases to banks in draft form for comment makes me think that the APS – across the board – needs to start firming up its address of the corporate world. I would note though that when the ATO (in particular) starts going heavy the political squeals are never far away.

    • The TJN [tax justice network] is making inroads into both political and business spheres wrt to this matter imo.

      The Tax Justice Network is an independent international network launched in 2003. We are dedicated to high-level research, analysis and advocacy in the area of international tax and the international aspects of financial regulation. We map, analyse and explain the role of tax and the harmful impacts of tax evasion, tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. The world of offshore tax havens is a particular focus of our work.

      Our core goals are to create understanding and debate and to promote reform, especially in poorer countries. We are not aligned to any political party.


      • The TJN are a bit of a joke to be honest. Their heart is in the right place but they make some pretty fundamental errors when it comes to Australian tax (which the ATO have to point out at times) so it is hard to treat them that seriously.

      • Jason I find your hand waving not very compelling, you need to back that up.

        TJN has in fact put lots of pressure on OECD countries, tax havens et al, and the deleterious effects of the past dominate attitudes wrt taxation, biggest is taxation’s role in society.

        Interpretations wrt the ATO on stuff aside….

      • Hand waving is in response to your “The TJN are a bit of a joke to be honest.” comment.

        The 2014 foot note is not indicative of the whole or from a global perspective, as such, I find your one data point and rhetoric about it, especially the “Hearts in the right place” but shtick, not representative of whole of their works.

        disheveled…. especially taxation’s role in society.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Great spot Jason

      That submission should be compulsory reading for every Australian. The beauty of it is that the tables they use illustrate their point perfectly

      here they are

    • Maybe 1 good nuke is what Sydney needs to reset expectations around capital gains. I mean I live here, and I’d almost like to see it happen. 😛

    • Ortega – think about how a Nuclear Strike on Brisbane would help property price growth In Sydney and Melbourne! You would have 1 mill + People heading south for somewhere to live + it would also get rid of all those pesky off the plans yet to complete in Brisbane.

    • Gives a new meaning to “housing prices going nuclear”! On the other tentacle – I think we’re going to find that cockroaches and RE agents will survive just fine – thanks. Presumably the prices on ground 0 will be stay up just fine – it’s the land price, not the building cost. And hey – presto – best way to level a plot of land, even asbestos will be vaporised. Can you imagine the savings in cleanup costs?

      Come on NK – show us your tiny cojones!

    • The same environmentalists that support Big Australia which is forcing increased urban density and sprawl.

  12. 2big2failMEMBER

    On Interventionistas and their Mental Defects – Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Medium

    The interventionistas case is central to our story because it shows how absence of skin in the game has both ethical and epistemological effects (i.e., related to knowledge). Interventionistas don’t learn because they they are not the victims to their mistakes, and as we saw with pathemata mathemata :
    The same mechanism of transferring risk also impedes learning

      • +1
        I also thought that the observations of the original poster were good. It’s often hard to look beyond our lived experience when explaining something, this post and the response cover both sides well.

      • I do wonder if the reply was from an MB reader. I don’t think Joe Average on the Street understands what’s going on, it seems like someone who follows MB or is an Economist replied. Then again maybe I don’t give Joe Average enough credit. After all for all intents and purposes I could be Joe Average.

  13. Watching Dutton on Insiders on Sunday morning; he is showing clearly up to the job of leading the Liberal party to a complete wipe out,

    • The good thing about watching Insiders using iview is that I can skip the polly interview. There is not a single local polly that I can be bothered listening to these days. I do watch the rest of the show though just to find out what is happening locally.

      I reckon the French presidential elections will be hugely influential, particularly if the non-aligned centralist, Emmanuel Macron, wins. Notice that both Putin (supposedly from the left) and Trump (supposedly from the right) have effectively endorsed Marine Le Pen. So no longer is it left vs right but it has become fringe vs centralist. If Macron were to show that being a centralist is a viable position maybe we could see the formation of a coalition of sorts of centralists in Australian politics (???).

  14. “Malcolm Turnbull grilled by Leigh Sales over ‘Australian values’, citizenship test overhaul – ABC”
    20 minute interview
    Zero mention of reducing the migration intake by either Turnbull or Sales
    The bait and switch has worked again
    Mission accomplished

  15. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Our next Prime Minister has been torn a new one this morning. I can hardly wait for him to knife Malcolm. He is the PM Australia both deserves, and needs before it comes to terms with just how grotesque it has become……

    Peter Dutton defends comments over ‘five-year-old’ boy and Manus shooting incident

    ‘I have facts you don’t’: Immigration minister Peter Dutton stands by Manus claims in fiery interview

    • Wow.

      If Dutton is the PM going into the next election Shorten could use the old TISM gem ‘IMight be a C**t, but I’m not a F***ing C**t’ as his campaign jingle.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised for there to be a cabinet reshuffle in the near future so Dutton is again moved to a portfolio that matters (and inevitably fail as he has previously done) rather than one where he can beat up people who don’t vote for him.

      Call it the ScoMo play.

    • If you have the facts C.ntton, let’s have them. But wait, there’s an investigation that needs to be finished. So why the fuck did you make a comment at all then? Just a grubby gutter rat.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      I wonder how he’d react if someone just casually announced a connection between him and Constable Dave. They are both ex Qld coppers after all. You can see that sort of thing in his mind. They must be alike.

      Nah, nobody would sink low enough to make dodgy claims about child abuse, would they Peter?


  16. Pop Quiz Property Hot Shots*. Reservoir is about 12km from Melbourne CBD.

    Private Sale $139,000

    Note: purchaser must be an owner-occupier over 55 years of age and agree to the terms and lease conditions of the retirement village.


    So it got me thinking, obviously without investors, with restrictions on owner occupier and the fact it’s probably in a retirement village that has it’s own strata costs and perhaps certain restrictions (I don’t know what?), obviously it’s designed so that retired folks have an affordable option…

    Why on Earth can’t the same thing be done for first home buyers? You know restrict buying from investors, foreigners, anyone retired etc.. so that first home buyers have a chance to own in a suburb that isn’t as far out as Sunbury (or further)?

    Now obviously that would mean that when selling you could only sell to first home buyers and potential for capital gain is going to be lower, but so what? It provides affordable housing for people who need it and perhaps part of the restriction is that you cannot own another property for lease (in another suburb etc..).

    Is that too communist an idea? Or too German in thinking? I dunno… It seems to me that solving the housing affordability could be an easy task but it would require actually wanting to do it. I’m surprised this property is still on the market it’s been listed for at least 2 months now. Even had a $10k discount.

    * I couldn’t remember where I got it from. Turns out Speed!

    • Yet another scam by developers. You own the house (depreciating asset) and lease the land (appreciating asset). That means the owners of the land can jack up the lease as they please leaving you with the option of just paying the extra cost or selling the house at a big loss. If they ever choose to redevelop the land you are stuck with a house and nowhere to put it.

      Recap on other developer scams:
      1) Developers install themselves as the strata managers in new apartment buildings. Because many apartments are owned by foreigners the strata managers (will) just keep jacking up the strata fees knowing full well they can’t be voted out.

      2) Serviced apartments where the developers only sell enough apartments to cover their cost, install themselves as managers, keeping on jacking up management fees, and make sure that your apartment is only leased if all of their apartments are already leased. Leaving you with the potential of $10-$20k of management fees and F/A rental rental.

      There are no shortages of parasites in the real estate industry.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Spot on …..you are definitely not your cousin….. blind Freddy ……….strayan real estate ……caveat emptor !!

  17. GunnamattaMEMBER

    A weekend gardening question (for any of the MB cognoscenti who may know the answer)

    I have a big corner full of a succulent style of plant down the backyard. I suspect rats live in there (real rats not politicians). I want to get rid of the plants with as little energy expenditure on my part as possible. I cant burn it out because it is right alongside the fence and about 5 metres from the neighbours house.

    I have sprayed week killer around it and it killed the grass coming through it but hasnt affected the succulent – it is a weird grey colour (big pink flowers in summer)

    I wanna kill the bastard – how?

    • Too much water.

      Just to simplify its an arid plant e.g. excessive water is not its normal enviroment.

      Think the little cacti used to adorn windows or nooks, give them too much and they turn into mush…

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Large syringe ….14 gauge needle …..weed killer of choice …….inject a good dose into main stem ……

      …now the rats ……..offer nice office ….big white car …generous for life pension and a promise of a place on board of weedkiller company ……..too easy !

    • I found that no plant resists a determined spade to the roots… The other day I removed a humongous agave-like bastard – I needed the old girl for that (the ole’ Fergie 35) to pull it out with a chain around its base – but it sure beat trying to kill it any other way.

    • I think you can buy concentrated Roundup, unfortunately Bunnings do not sell it. Try a rural supply merchant in a hobby farm area for herbicide brands and herbicide of varying strengths, my far western NSW farm in laws gave me something a few years ago, it was really good, a mere 1 liter killed a large patch of grass and weeds for at least 12 months!

  18. I thought coal was dead?
    Clever Chinese, hedging their bets on all power sources, nuclear, coal, wind, solar.

    The world’s biggest single coal-to-liquid (CTL) project went into production 2016-12-28 in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region:
    N38.173903, E106.608088
    It is able to turn more than 20 million tonnes of coal to 4 million tonnes of oil products annually, including 2.7 million tonnes of diesel, 980,000 tonnes of naphtha petroleum and 340,000 tonnes of liquefied gas, according to Yao Min, deputy general manager of Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group. China planning to build 50 million tons coal-to-liquid equipment before 2020.

  19. Oh dear… according to the full-screen size text (bold yellow I might add) with nothing else on the screen except the day of the week it plays, “Anh’s Brush With Fame.” will be broadcast on the ABC on a:


    I was wrong. Apparently we are all going to die after all. Lets hope we manage to make it to the public holiday.

    On Tuesady.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      ….but wait there’s more !! …fine print disclosure number 1 ……….can one of our lawyers offer what this might mean ? ………looks like something written in China ?

      “Calculated on a purchase price of $2,400,000 for a non-FIRB investment purchaser with 90% construction to complete on the fixed method and subject to the enactment of relevant laws.”…………????

      • I’m no lawyer but it seems to be referring to the bit at the top – “Investors, save up to $90k on an apartment if purchased before June 30*”

  20. This kid should be PM, at least he’s achieved something even if he didn’t finish it. Kid’s a do-er not an er’er, um’er like Turdball.

    “Boy stopped at Broken Hill after ‘driving solo across NSW’ on way to Perth”

    A 12-year-old boy has been stopped by police after he attempted to drive across Australia on his own, getting almost a third of the way there. The boy was pulled over at Broken Hill in far western NSW on Saturday morning, some 1300 kilometres into his journey.


    • And he is right on board with Barnaby’s decentralisation push and talking points. At a family BBQ in Kendall before setting off he was heard to say:

      “I’m listening to what my juvenile justice case worker has to say about the transition, but for the moment I am just getting on with the job … of stealing cars.”

  21. hahahahaaha boom times ahead suckers!

    “Melbourne just keeps keeping on despite the distraction of holidays and the ANZAC weekend,” Andrew Wilson said, “Melbourne still has plenty of upside energy especially with stamp duty exemption for first home buyers after June 30.”

    Good to see the Government doing it’s part to juice demand from a new group of suckers.