Links 20 June 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:







  1. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Global capital elite delegates slam faux population ponzi limitations as capital extraction impediments

    Global oligopolists and a leading neo feudalism brand management guru have savaged the federal government’s visa changes, accusing them of being the leading edge in questioning a generations worth of Monopoly-Capitalist mantra which has paved the way to Australia’s economic malaise and suggesting that a nation with a higher foreign born population than any other in the OECD is labelling foreigners unfairly.

    Coca-Cola Amatil managing director Alison Watkins, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman and GE president Geoff Culbert described changes that will further restrict access to Australia’s visa system as hypocritical and retrograde. They also noted that all three ran businesses which focussed on minimising profits in Australia insofar as they related to taxation payments made here, were happiest when their employees in Australia were paid least, and found fresh migrants the the most committed to corporate values and behaviours while being most expendable without complaining about their minimum.

    Former World Trade Organisation director Pascal Lamy lashed out at changes spurred by the global populist phenomenon.
    “We have spent 35 years broadening the scope of global trade for the 1% who control more than half the world’s earnings just to extract ever more from the rest, and free trade and importing cheap labour from elsewhere has been our key leverage tool. Just because highly indebted former middle class types are upset about having their pay outcomes offshored or their services undermined by taxation avoiding multinationals, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at the upside. Australians shouldn’t underestimate how good this is…..’

    Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman: ”You put up barriers here and it will get reciprocated.” before adding “If we don’t take on board Indian and Chinese IT guys coughing back part of their incomes to people importing them, for the 457 visas they bring them out on, then it is highly likely that China and India will prevent Australians from delivering pizzas in China, or cease overpaying token Australian ex-politicians to sit on their boards. You never know where this sort of stuff ends.” . Speaking at the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum in Canberra on Monday, he also concluded “As a part of the globalisation trend, labelling foreigners as a source of income and jobs has always been a good political trick in a nation which does nothing but export dirt, and bullshitting on about services and technology a convenient way to distract attention from all the extra pressure on infrastructure.”

    In April, the Turnbull government announced it would abolish 457 visas and replace them with “temporary skill shortage visas” for fewer occupations on much stricter two-year and four-year timeframes.

    The changes have meant that people in hundreds of jobs across the technology, business and hospitality sectors are no longer automatically eligible for permanent residency following on from their 457 visa.

    The move has pushed many skilled workers to consider returning home because they do not see future opportunities in Australia. Australia is facing a potential shortage of dishwashers, aged care assistants, delivery drivers and hairdresser assistants unless more are trained locally in coming years.

    Coca-Cola Amatil managing director Alison Watkins

    A survey of more than 800 NSW businesses in May by the Business Chamber has revealed that nearly two thirds expect a shortage in the next twelve months if they are forced to hire full time staff or permanent people whom they have to train, and can’t pick and choose between desperadoes for whatever hours they have on offer who already have the requisite skills.

    Woodside’s Peter Coleman said the wider community should be “very concerned by the changes”, adding “if things continue at this rate then the next step is looking at who pays tax, and we know some of them don’t too”.
    Former WTO boss Pascal Lamy.

    “We have a misconceived view that we are somehow losing jobs. The reality [is that] some jobs are too costly to develop here, and effectively we are only losing expensive, skilled, well trained and well remunerated jobs in globally competitive industries. There will always be plenty of jobs for those who want to be working poor in a nation that has no viable economic sectors apart from tourism and aged care.”

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has repeatedly defended the visa changes.

    “This is a real retrograde step and one we should be very concerned about. It takes us back to the 1970s when employees had rights and companies paid taxes and people didn’t have to pay university fees and could afford houses. Do you really want to go there?”

    Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alison Watkins described the move as purely political.

    “We are a small country and we need to be able to attract the best skills she said despite not making clear why we needed them if all we were going to do as a nation was dig things out of the ground or grow them on top – which are both areas where Australia has plausibly better skills than most nations, it’s absolutely hypocritical to suggest we need them for picking fruit, menial jobs like kitchen hands, delivery drivers, online customer service jobs and the like. We have far too many of almost every profession – apart from those affiliated with the AMA – and we are no longer sure Australia has the educational infrastructure to train anything other than embezzlement and tax avoidance 101.”

    GE’s Geoff Culbert said there had been almost no consultation and it would now be hard to get “the genie back in the bottle, because people who weren’t not consulted when we initially decided on running a population Ponzi and have been ignored whenever they’ve asked questions about the increasing numbers of strangers and their role in higher house prices and lower wages, think the advent of migration running at 3 times the long term average may have something to do with it.”

    “This is the problem with democracy because it’s policy driven by the next election, and politicians who fear for their turn at the political entitlements rort need to be sensitive to what is popularly palatable.”

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has repeatedly defended the policy.

    “Where people are highly skilled, particularly if they are being employed in medical research institutes or tertiary hospitals, in many cases they won’t be affected by the changes that we’ve made,” Mr Dutton said in May.

    He said the first of regular reviews of the skilled occupation list would be in July.

    “We’ll continue to work with employers because there is an important place for some people to come in on that visa stream, but I want the default position to be Australian workers to fill those jobs.”

    Despite the comments, large numbers of Australians still view the Minister as being somewhat creepy and quite likely to slip a little something into the mix, which they don’t like, at any given point, without providing them any knowledge of what he is doing.

    • “Australia is facing a potential shortage of dishwashers, aged care assistants, delivery drivers and hairdresser assistants”

      Holy cow! The fake left wing believe anything!

      Gillard gave out 457 visas to junk food outlets. And 457 visa staff were imported to drive trucks. ALP also gave out Aussie passports for doing a bloody hairdressing course. Now the same lines are being trotted out while there are so many unemployed Aussies!

      Politicians absolutely live in ivory towers.

      • Our politicians know exactely what they are doing. They want for their cronies cheap work force. The notion that politicians work for the people or the nation is the greatest illusion of all in our time. Wake up!

    • Mining BoganMEMBER


      “This is a real retrograde step and one we should be very concerned about. It takes us back to the 1970s when employees had rights and companies paid taxes and people didn’t have to pay university fees and could afford houses. Do you really want to go there?”

      Only to get a shed full of now classic cars while nobody’s paying attention.


    PC culture in over drive me thinks. Plenty of my Asian friends will say far worse about themselves when I hang out with them. Just yesterday I was with a lady of Chinese decent in San Francisco and a Japanese fella in my team when an Asian lady in a big BMW X5 was displaying issues with getting out of a car park. Then stopped in the middle of the road to let her friend in the car while holding up traffic as she popped the rear boot open by mistake while driving off down the street with the boot / hatch open in the air.

    Both my Asian colleagues said Asians can’t drive to which I joked and called them both racist before agreeing with them that the stereotype has some truth to it. I asked why that might be?

    They just said before their oblivious to their surroundings. Of course not all stereotypes are negative, most of our engineering team is Indian or Chinese where it is the exception to find a white male working those jobs.. these are 250-300k jobs in many cases. But yeah white priveledge and all that.

    • Gavin,
      250-300K jobs in Sydney??

      If 250-300K jobs are in sydney and every tom,dick and harry is in one then… I suspect Sydney is not in a bubble!

      • Thanks Gavin.
        I dont think you are dumb as you are on 200K package (if i remember correctly? 150 base + Super + 20%bonus?) 🙂
        Dumb == me (walked out of FAANG interview because “i felt like walking out”) 🙂

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Of course not all stereotypes are negative, most of our engineering team is Indian or Chinese where it is the exception to find a white male working those jobs.. these are 250-300k jobs in many cases. But yeah white priveledge and all that.


        Mountain View California mate […]

        LOL. You’re in one of the most PC-SJW-lefty-liberal places the USA has to offer. Think there might be a connection ?

  3. What will the GST-free threshold be when shopping online?

    Or will it be insanely set at $1?

  4. Trust the Kiwis

    Recent figures released by the New Zealand government show users and abusers of trusts abandoning the country after it implemented transparency laws to regulate the trust industry.

    New Zealand trusts have built up a particularly good reputation amongst offshore service providers for their ability to hide assets. They have been called the “Fort Knox of asset protection”.

    But in response to the Panama Papers the New Zealand government changed the law to compel all New Zealand foreign trusts to register (a foreign trust being a New Zealand trust where the money comes from a resident outside New Zealand), and provide details of who benefits from the trust, and who controls it.
    Given that there are of course many entirely legitimate reasons why someone would want to hold an offshore, tax free trust, we would of course expect operators and beneficiaries of trusts to welcome such transparency!
    Well it seems not. Recent data revealed in response to parliamentary questions from New Zealand’s Green Party shows that weeks ahead of the deadline to register trusts, most trusts have failed to register and many have abandoned New Zealand. In total, out of more than 11,500 foreign trusts in New Zealand, fewer than 70 had signed up to the new register three weeks before the deadline for doing so.

    This of course strongly suggests that many of the people using New Zealand trusts were doing so to hide their money. From whom? We don’t know, and perhaps never will. – Tax Justice Network

    disheveled…. file under when everyone is a corporation…. of course Dawg has the largest market cap… first mover advantage and original job creator thingy…

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      And one whole day off a week too. Probably the seed from which all the unions’ other insane demands come from. Especially that fruit picking workers tax gouge protest.

      : )


    All housing affordability measures have their drawbacks, but all point to one policy response required, PM English says. ‘Build more houses’; Welcomes some Auckland land price falls, says materials costs need to be next |

    All measures of housing affordability have limitations, although all point to the same required policy response of building more houses at lower costs, Prime Minister Bill English says.

    On that front, he welcomed news that land prices in some parts of Auckland were falling and that Auckland consenting had been made electronic, cutting time from the process. However, work is still needed on reducing the costs of building materials, English said.

    English was speaking to media at his post-Cabinet press conference after Radio New Zealand reported Monday that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand had warned the Ministry of Business, Industry and Employment (MBIE) that its new Housing Affordability measure should contain higher interest rate assumptions than had been used, yet MBIE released the measure regardless last month. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Housing crisis: Household debt sees Australian banks downgraded again … Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    h/t JG

    Now Moody’s downgrades the Dumb Bubble – MacroBusiness Australia
    … behind paywall …


      Labour slams new Government housing affordability measure as ‘ham-fisted’; calls on Nick Smith to reissue it with ‘accurate numbers’ on true state of housing affordability … Interest Co NZ

      Mixed measures are technically unsound … as I explained mid-April …

      MBIE failing to meet self-imposed targets | Radio New Zealand News

      … and too … February 2011 in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age …

      Report: housing affordability out of sync with incomes … Domain

      … Why hasn’t Prime Minister English fired Minister Smith ?

      … Hasn’t this Governments housing circus gone on long enough ?

      • Harcourts says the house prices that were being achieved at the height of the market are no longer realistic |

        The country’s largest real estate agency says average house prices are starting to fall, and the inflated prices that were achievable last year are no longer realistic.

        Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said the agency sold almost 15% fewer homes in May than it did in May last year, and average prices are being affected by declining sales.

        That is particularly noticeable in Auckland where the average price in May was below the average in May 2016, for the first time since sales started declining late last year.

        The average price of Auckland homes sold by Harcourts in May was $947,809 which was well below the $1,024,317 benchmark set in April this year, and down 0.7% compared to May last year.

        In Christchurch the slide in price has been even more severe, with May’s average sale price of $498,370 down 10% compared to the average price of $553,114 in May last year.

        “Vendors are starting to adjust their expectations when it comes to prices,” Kennedy said.

        “The inflated prices that were achievable at the very height of the market are no longer realistic.” … read more via hyperlink above …

        Hello Hugh Pavletich,
        kiwikaryn replied to your comment on NZ house prices rise in May, but sales volumes collapse (behind paywall)

        “If enough people fear houses will stop rising (prices don’t even need to decline)”. This was the exact point made by Michael Burry in The Big Short. The gig is up when prices stop rising, not when they start falling. In Chch I am seeing huge amounts of stock coming to market, mostly low end, clearly investors trying to get rid of investment properties now they are struggling to rent them at prices to cover their escalating mortgage costs. Stock is at the highest its ever been (across the 14 suburbs, and price brackets that I monitor) and its June, when it should be at its lowest. God help them when all the spring stock hits the market in a couple of months.
        ‘Completely broken’? Widening inequality fuels discontent among Kiwis |

  6. Every time I read ZH I want to head for a bunker…….. From the top link…..
    “Seven weeks after the Lehman bankruptcy [former Federal Reserve Chairman] Bernanke doubled the size of the balance sheet [of the Fed] from $900 to 1.8 trillion. He did in seven weeks what the Fed did in ninety-four years. My point is, they can’t do it again. They’re out of dry powder.”

    Hard keeping a level investing head with this stuff rattling around in it……