Weekend Links 8-9 July, 2017

‘Open Cut, Muswellbrook’ Weaver Hawkins, 1955 National Gallery of Victoria




United Kingdom

United States


Terra Ponzinomicus


Capital Markets

Global Macro

…and furthermore…


  1. haroldusMEMBER

    RE this week’s pic.

    Go to google maps, put on satellite, go to Singleton and zoom out so you can see from Maitland to Muswellbrook.

    That’s the Hunter Valley.



    • @haroldus….

      As the first place – “winnar” – you get a – FABULOUS – weekend pub crawl in Muswellbrook….. Congrats – !!!!!!!!

    • re: Google Earth mines. Holy sh1t! I never realised the mines were so huge. They sell the Hunter Valley as a wine region. Looks like the key ingredient of the wine is coal dust.

      • DingwallMEMBER

        Used to live in Singleton and was in the Lower Hunter for a visit two weekends ago. Most of the vineyards are concentrated there and you feel a world away from the mines. Upper Hunter is where they are more interspersed.
        On a side note, Hunter Semillon and Shiraz …… glug glug!

      • The miners have a lot of site remediation ahead of them. Further, we insist they do it properly.

        Plenty Aussie jobs ahead in the Hunter Valley.

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      I may have to investigate further. Being part way through Chomsky’s “On Anarchism ” I am getting the feeling the universe is trying to tell me something.

      • There are many different vantage points whereby we can lament the fact that we humans are ‘condemned as commodities’ in this globalised corporate society they have captured. Structural change, not merely changes in interest rates deserves some thought.

        Gunnamatta said below that there are but ‘two ways for mine’. We need to broaden our perspective.

  2. Fareed Zakaria realises what is going on!

    “The party should take a position on immigration that is less absolutist and recognizes both the cultural and economic costs of large-scale immigration.”

    Bingo! There is a cost to mass low-wage immigration: Aussies/Americans/Britishers suffering more unemployment.

  3. The Traveling Wilbur

    Australia 2Y 1.869

    Yikes. How did that happen? Also, seventh!

    Cut teh rates.

    • I wonder if torching the cars ends up emitting more pollution / toxins than if the cars lived out there normal operational lives.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Nah, those nice Europeans like hybrids and electric vehicles so they’d burn clean, just like clean coal.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I’m wondering if the insurance policies on those burning cars cover Terrorist attack. I thought most policies didn’t.
        Is there a legal or contractural distinction made between “Terrorist” and “Protest” damage?

        Who makes the official call, that states when a protest act has turned into a Terrorist one ?

    • Nice work by the left, burn personal care of individuals to protest the G20 summit? Makes sense.

      • Just speculating here. The fires were probably started by angry young men. This demographic generally is responsible for the majority of stupid destructive stuff that occurs within our society, be it left, right or religious. The best way to minimise the destruction this group causes, and to prevent them from being exploited by manipulators, is to provide them with work and opportunities. They need to be given the ability to see that there is a future for themselves and those they care about. I’d hope that if this was provided they would still agitate for change when they see injustices, but not lash out against random targets to make a point in an attempt to get some attention.

      • Just for the shite of it…. “the left” [far left black block types (burn baby burn)] damages some private property…. whilst the far right militant neocons go all OT on whole populations….

        disheveled…. the car is toast [pun] vs. dad [and anyone near] is red mist… ummmmm

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    While wandering through the pages of outraged lefty-ism at the Guardian, I came upon a link of shame.


    Thought I’d choose option Australia just to see. Who’s up top for fines because corrupt practices? BHP. My old mob. Bought a tear to the eye it did. But we all knew about that anyway.

    The question is does this stuff drop us in the well of paranoia? Wait, I forgot which site I was on.

    Does this stuff drop us further in the well of paranoia?

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      ‘Necessary but painful’. There’s a three word slogan that even our Tony could use.

      Nah, they’re words that will only be used here after the destruction becomes too much to hide.

  5. Major post on Fridays MacroAfternoon thread …


    … No longer are people willing to unnecessarily pay a million bucks (Auckland), $770,000 (Toronto), $590,000 (Christchurch) … for what should be $250,000 – $300,000 in local currency … refer …


      • It is just remarkable how quickly things can turn. Check this out from Macleans in Canada …

        Toronto’s deflating housing bubble, in one chart – Macleans.ca



        Garth Turner of Canada;s Greater Fool blog (http://www.greaterfool.ca/ ) put it best I think …

        ‘… That’s the funny thing about bubbles. Everybody’s horny to get their hands on rising assets – until they’re not. It always happens fast, whatever the asset and no matter the trigger. Greed is a powerful emotion, but it wilts before the dominance of fear. If enough people fear houses will stop rising (prices don’t even need to decline), they’ll cease making the Herculean sacrifice required to buy one. And down she goes. …’

        … extract … mid June report / General Email …

        … Greater Toronto, Canada’s largest metro with a population of about 6.6 million and a housing affordability median multiple of 7.7 (refer Demographia Survey below) house prices have crashed 12% these past two months …

        Toronto House Prices Have Already Fallen 12% From Their Peak … Huffington Post


      • Toronto Update …

        Garth Turners … The Greater Fool Blog – Market Update


        Collapsing markets. Suicidal realtors. Overwhelmed Audi dealerships. Rising mortgage rates. Rampaging regulators. Vanishing foreigners. Chortling sellers. Shocked buyers. Whadda week. And this housing correction has just begun!

        In no special order, some of the latest news … read more via hyperlink above …


      • … Thanks Skippy for the kind comment …

        Bang On: Housing affordability rises as election issue … London (Ontario Canada) Free Press


        More than 80 per cent of Ontarians want to see home affordability issues addressed in the 2018 election platforms of provincial political parties, according to an Ipsos poll commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO).

        According to the Ipsos study, millennials are most intent on seeing home affordability addressed by party leaders. Nine in 10 Ontarians between the ages of 18 and 34 want parties to address the issue in the next election, compared to 82 per cent of Gen Xers. Furthermore, 88 per cent millennials stated they would be more likely to vote for a party whose platform promotes home affordability.

        The three associations are aligned in advising that the solution to home affordability is increasing the supply of housing in the province, and thereby increasing choice for those seeking homeownership. … read more via hyperlink above …

      • How is the RE thingy in the U.S. after the GFC and whilst were at it the whole car Mfg / Financial stuff working out.

        The point is those things are out put, seems like dealing with the initial in puts is where action is required.


        David Trinko: Renting or buying? Consider Lima (Ohio) region – The Lima News


        … extracts …

        … The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently released its analysis of housing costs across the country, including Ohio. Based on its title, “Out of Reach 2017,” you can probably figure that this organization didn’t see a lot of optimism in the rental information it collected. …

        … The study looked at the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, including its utilities. The Lima Metropolitan Statistical Area ties with Brown County, Hocking County, Mansfield, Perry County and Youngstown areas for the lowest fair market rent, at $681 a month. …

        … This region also gives you an opportunity to buy your own home affordably. Lima tied for fifth as the most affordable housing markets in the world in the third quarter of 2016, according to the 13th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. The survey noted the median price on a home is $110,000, while the medial income was $51,400, or a “median multiple” of 2.1 times your annual salary to afford your home, an honor shared with 10 other places, including eight American cities and two Ohio cities, Springfield and Youngstown. … read more via hyperlink above …

        Lima, Ohio – Wikipedia


  6. I finished reading ‘Game if Mates’ this week and it was as good as the interviews and reviews had led me to expect. It’s going to be my default birthday and Christmas present until all have it. One of its major strengths is that it is apolitical. This game and the granting of the grey gifts does not stop once you bite out one lot and the other lot comes in. It occurs because this is what people do, ie, they help out group members. So, unless the ability to grant the gifts is removed then it will just keep going and going and going. Knowing that my hippie friends and my Tory brother in law will both be equally bothered by it kind of makes it a fun gift to give.

      • They’ll clean themselves up. A partner, then children, then a more serious job, then a mortgage and then there are only a few token hippie gestures but they are just as captured as the majority of us.

  7. Andrew Bogut gets it.

    ‘Bogut, who has lived in San Francisco, Cleveland, Utah and Milwaukee, predicted traffic hell for Melbourne.

    “I don’t see how they are going to fix it,’’ he said.

    “They’ve welcomed the population growth but forgot about the most important things — roads and land and all that kind of stuff.’

    ‘The con’’ is our freeways are at breaking point.

    “Rush hour in the southeast suburbs starts at two o’clock in the arvo.

    “Infrastructure I don’t think is going to catch up to the growth and that is the scary thing down the track.’”


    • Fucking loser Basketball player, what does he know about booms and good times and fabulous relations! Population growth is the best thing ever for the most livable shit hole there is.

      • The olds just got back from seeing the NGV Van Gogh exhibition. They wanted to eat first, but the queue was insane. They were surprised that although they had tickets (they are members) they had to queue to get into the exhibition. Then they said it was so full they could hardly move, hence needing to queue to get in. Also didn’t think much the display, they thought it was decidedly pedestrian compared to previous recent exhibitions, but that’s by the by. So at 2.30pm they get out and still want to eat in the NGV, queues still insane. They drive to Brighton to eat. God knows why they went on a Sat in the holiday but it sounds like Beijing crazy full where you just stay at home because ‘people mountain people sea’ make anything extremely unpleasant and exhausting. Mum said she couldn’t believe the number of Asians there, and they are used to seeing the ethnic mix changes in Melbourne and are comfortable with it (Mum has volunteered with refugees for over a decade). Would be good to see more of the other groups who have migrated to Melb recently using the NGV, not just the north Asian migrants and tourists, but it is awesome they go.

      • Walking through Pitt Street Mall in Sydney last night. It’s just Asian faces everywhere. The odd Australian here and there. It’s funny to think in the 70s and 80s it wouldn’t have been like that. Maybe Asian’s just like shopping on Friday nights? It’s not that it bothers me so much that it’s obvious what’s going on and why the city is changing and why prices for housing are nuts. It’s just a case of more and more and more people.

        I’m actually looking to move further out of the city and maybe regional Melbourne areas (where a train line into the city still exists). I want a larger block of land, a workshop / garage space and a little bit of privacy. As much as I enjoy being in the mix of things happening I also like to retreat away from crowds and just unwind.

        I dunno maybe I just hate people haha. I’m not the fabulous relations sort.

      • I was pondering a few thing the other night and I thought about my dog. They are a strange animal in that they prefer the company of humans even over their own. Then it occurred to me that I prefer the company of my dog to most other humans!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I’m hearing ya flawsie,
        I’ve been fond of dogs my whole life, but being brought up by a single parent, I was never allowed a dog.
        I had a couple in my late teens to mid 20s, but circumstances and a wife with a sever aversion to dog hair, has me dogless.
        I’ve always been the mate to mind friends dogs when they go away (only just tolerated by the wife) but I long for my own.
        My job brings me into contact with over 100 customer dogs per year and I’m always saying to wifey, ya should have seen this dog today,…the kids would have loved it (they want a dog to).
        I am slowly starting to break my wife’s resolve, but a sticking point is my desire to have an “Inside” dog, that watches TV with me and hangs out at me feet when im on the computer.
        I find “outside” dogs (dogs who sleep out side) tend to have a skungyness to them, an aloofness that I think comes from them resenting being kicked out of the house every day like some kind of,…well you know,…like some kind of dog.

        The dog breeds I’m Keen on are kelpies and boarder collies, but they are heavy shedders,….So I have come to the compromise of getting a Poodle,…either a large male minature or runty standard bitch,…a black one of course.
        With my intention, to take this dog to work with me every day on the work Ute,…Im worried that my tradie mates and customers will ridicule and tease me.
        Will they both question my Sexuality and Manliness for owning such a “Fancy” dog?
        Is there any such thing as a “blokey” clip for this breed.?
        Should I just consider, getting another wife?

        I’m so confused,…please help.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        Ermo you can go and borrow Mining Bogan’s lawnmower with your poodle.

        I can’t see that anyone would pay you out.

      • EP – just get a Border Collie pup and take it home. Put it in a room with the wife and the BC will do its trick. It will fix those eyes on her and hypnotise her. That’s it – problem solved. If anyone doubts this, they never had a BC. They can hypnotise people just as well as sheep.

      • EP I agree with DM. The BC will fix her to the spot! I’m a country bloke originally so it’s dogs outside. My old Border Collie fixed that. Wormed his way inside one paw at a time! Very sneaky! Mostly Sam sleeps outside at night. He goes happily accompanied by a feed – well he gets to teh stage he demands to go! No wife here just an ex, from time to time with family, who loves dogs.
        Note that BC’s and kelpies descended from Northern Europe dogs. A mate of mine in cold country has log kennels for his dogs. In the morning you go down and a dog is outside with a layer of frost over him. The function a couple of degrees warmer than us so they like cold.
        P.S. He doesn’t mind his leather lounge in front of the fire either!

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Well Pfh, as the owner of Jack Russells…Shorty Jack Russells to be exact…I must commend you on your choice of song and recommendation to EP. But oh my dog the hair!

        My chair at work even has a light coating of it.

      • Australia has been sold to China. Just get used to it. The stronger culture won. No point being bitter.

        (Get a Labrador)

  8. I was catching up on Mark Blyth stuff during the week and thought some of you kiddies would also enjoy it.

    This is a short presentation called ‘Globalization and the backlash of Populism’, one of three on the day.
    The slides are here
    His favourite slide shows the Bank Of Japan’s modelling of interest rates back to 1350. (p36 of 62)

    The follow up discussion with the other presenters wasn’t too bad.

    And here is his post French election summary.


    • fitzroyMEMBER

      Thanks footy, I did enjoy it. I couldn’t get over the arrogance of some of the panel members, and their inability to see past the right of the populace to act in their own interest. I think the lady on the end had the most perspicacity.

      • I agree about the lady who was there to guide the panel discussion. She didn’t do a good job at all and just comes across as self involved and condescending. The other two participants, while not being as plugged in as Blyth seems to be, do provide some other info and perspectives on what’s occurring. I didn’t watch their full presentations but going through the slides and thinking about what they were saying makes me think that I should.

      • fitzroyMEMBER

        Golden grovelling admission footy, I haven’t seen the slides, I will look at them now.

      • I completely agree. And the fact that he doesn’t act like a disinterested bystander, but is as pissed off as those whose story he is telling also endears him to me.

      • I just watched the clip.
        It’s the first time I’ve heard him discuss climate change. He again makes very solid points.

  9. Taibbi on nuclear North Korea, and nukes in general.

    This was news to me.
    “A lack of dialogue on the nuclear front between Russia and America is an extremely negative development, given that our two countries have nearly blown up the planet by accident multiple times, in underreported incidents.

    The most serious of these was probably 1983, when a Soviet satellite mistakenly detected the launch of five American minuteman missiles headed toward Russia. Only the high-stress judgment of a 44-year-old Soviet lieutenant colonel named Stanislav Petrov prevented a massive counter-launch and the probable deaths of millions.

    “I had a funny feeling in my gut,” Petrov said years later, explaining his determination that the signal was faulty. “When people go to war, they don’t do it with five missiles.””

    Music time.
    Here’s a very understated track from the UK in the early 80s that thinks about the final day.

    And a fan made clip for another song that just collects together footage of explosions
    As Colonel Kurtz mutters to the void “The horror…..”

    • Von Newman, McNamara, Nash, risk assessment or goal seeking is a self licking ice cream cone….

  10. Open Question: Should we be teaching our children British English or American English?
    Personally I’m a convert to the American English primarily because British English causes so much confusion with business and technical communications to countries where English is a second language, such as China, Russia and many parts of Europe. Most Americans understand that British English is a little different and they get a bit of a laugh at our instance to add extra letters, that are often silent, like the ue at the end of Analog.
    Hopefully my kids will be spared the need to learn two English languages.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Mmm,… tough question fella.

      Well, I kinda think that out of respect for the mother country and the indigenous originators of the English language, we should stick with the British/English version of the language.
      Which way does Canada go?

      I don’t know if my Irish Catholic ancestor would approve of my judgment though, sent here to Sydney in 1816, against his will as a Convict Slave, not allowed a place of worship untill the 1840s, the United States would have seemed a much fairer place.
      The Yanks hadn’t even gotten into a Neoliberal program if their own back then, but the English, well they were the trail blazers of Neoliberalism,…turning Ireland into little more than a Market garden for English consumption, leaving only the crap land for the Irish people to feed themselves from.
      Lucky that in 1589 – Sir Walter Raleigh (an Englishman!!!) brought the potato to Ireland, giving them something that they could grow, in the most marginal of soils, left to them.

      So although the English are the pricks that really got the Grubby Globalised Neoliberal ball rolling (firstly in Ireland), the Yanks are the biggest pricks now, So again, I say we stick with the British version.

      A question of far greater import, for the Australian people to ponder is,… who’s head are we going to put on the back of our Coinage, once the Queen dies????
      Surley, not that pompous goofy goober, Charles!!!
      Our Coinage would become a laughing stock.
      Maybe we could start putting the head of the Prime Minister of the day, on all newly struck coins.

      • In my opinion it has nothing to do with history and everything to do with our future and our integration into the global economy.
        Like it or not English (American English) is the language of global trade, if you’re working with China, Japan, South America, they’ll want to see proper American English used for any contracts, but legal issues aside even basic business emails need to be properly understood and not have the recipient wondering if you’re an idiot that can’t spell. My work involves a lot of highly technical specifications, and the last thing you want is confusion introduced because two parties can’t agree on the correct way to spell certain words. Imagine you’re a Russian that thinks his English is pretty damn good and you’re involved in a conversation between an Aussie and an American each using their own spelling. Do you really want this guy wasting his time looking up why the Aussie insists on spelling Color with an additional u. Is this a different word, are we all talking about the same issues?
        It’s easy for native English speakers to adapt and accept that there are two Englishes but it’s more difficult for a Chinese guy to adapt to this reality.

    • American english is pretty much a standard for us however I do like to throw in the ‘me’ onto the end of program and use ‘ue’ on analog. What shits me to tears is the creeping use of American words like cookie instead of biscuit, ketchup instead of tomato sauce, fries or crisps instead of chips, fanny instead of Abbott. Just fuck of with those words.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER


      as an ex journalist who has made a nice sideline (and still does) writing and editing things for corporates, lawyers and academics on the other side of the world [it isnt my day job but what i do when I come home and turn on the computer to avoid spending too many hours haggling with MB types] my advice would be to make sure your kids know both – real well. My son is being educated (at least until now) in Australia (mainly British English), and already he can spot the difference between British and American english.

      The reason I say that is because there is a nice little niche for anyone who can work with both, particularly when it comes to editing things for non native English speakers (bearing in mind that English is the corporate language of an awful lot of NESB companies), and that having the ability t rewrite things from one English to another can be almost as valuable as being able to translate from one language to another.

      As Ermington notes above which English you use can have a lot of overtone (political implication) . I too come from an Irish background and of people who often loathed the English in many ways, but many of them (and many are in the legal world) are diehard British English types. It is also a great way to sneer at either the Poms or Americans (or speakers/users of eithers English). My kids learn British English and I make the effort to explain American English to them wherever they come across it. The Australian education system is generally (but not always) British English. American English they will pick up nearly everywhere else.

      • Know IdeaMEMBER

        If you get a drivers license qualified for a manual transmission you can drive a car with a manual or an automatic transmission. Just learn British English and you can easily handle US English.

        Why does it have to be an either or situation? So that thee corporate elites get what they want? Pahlease.

      • Thanks Gunna for the reply. Fortunately (maybe unfortunately) my kids are speak 3 languages one is fluent enough in all three that she’s seriously considering a career in Simultaneous Translation. She’s actually pretty amazing at doing this already, she practices by watching movies and translating them on the fly and then getting her Mum (or should I say Mom) to check the translations. I couldn’t even dream of doing this, it’s way to hard for me. It’s amazing the speed with which she can translate Idioms and get them right….I sit there going ..well ahm ah. it kinda means this, but she’s like bang right translation done and when no translation exists she also kind of knows this instinctively. That’s one of the reasons that I don’t want her American English to get too polluted with Australian/British English. The idioms are just so different between British and American English.

      • Another thought is that if India can get out of its own way, and become an economic superpower, British English may become more popular as the default ‘business English’

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Good lord, if your child can handle that she’s not going to get confused with the occasional extra ‘u’, ‘z’ instead of ‘s’, or one country’s slang vs another.

      • Good lord, if your child can handle that she’s not going to get confused with the occasional extra ‘u’, ‘z’ instead of ‘s’, or one country’s slang vs another.
        Yeah one might think this, however I’ll go with her Mom’s insight she kind of knows this game.
        In her opinion it’s not about mastering both languages but rather the real problem is to keep both languages separate. When I’m with friends that I know are fluent in two languages we’ll often drift from one language to the other or worse still mix’n’match with a few words of each language, that kind of laziness is what destroys your ability to do simultaneous translation. If you want an analogy it sort of pollutes two otherwise useful databases by combining them.

    • TEFLis a big business in England and many people learn their English from the English. Equally US English is taught and also learnt via culture, movies, music etc and many people, perhaps more in Asia, relative to European, have a US leaning, though US English is deep in Germany because of the bases and Germans will talk with an American accent.

      The other aspect is that many non-English speakers will speak another and even 2 other languages. Native English speakers are lazy and it has no kudos in career terms to have other languages, it’s seen as a hobby. For the English learners the spelling and styles of one version of English vs another is not critical and as US commerce is global and also technology that version tends to dominate, though not in all professions: the law in many places is English because of empire and English common law taught as a basis of national legal systems.

      The loss of some letters was Webster’s doing when he established a ‘true’ American variant of English and removed the legacy French spelling in English for his US dictionary. Another meddler.

    • Never had issues writing in British English to Chinese partners, so it is not an issue in my opinion. Also English is no longer a choice of two flavours either (spanglish, singlish, hinglish, …), so a bigger issue might be people from anglo brackgrounds not knowing other languages or other perspectives.

    • British English is a more beautiful language. If we lose it we will lose something important…or perhaps we already have!

      • I agree the beauty of British English is my only real reservation, so much subtly leaves the language when you restrict yourself to American. With British English there are so many ways to complement while at the same time denigrating including Latin sarcasm in your English was always acceptable (even encouraged) at British public schools and this undoubtedly contributes to the richness of our language. But that has to weighted up against the functionality of the American version and its universal usage….if language is in the first instance a communications tool then functionality is kind of important.

    • Bf
      I agree re functionality. I’m (was) just the sole defender of beauty!! American English is just one step on the road tothe world of twitface take us back to the world of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ In the end, post liberty, we will again grunt at each other. So I hold out in my house with spirit walls.

  11. Here’s a Ross Gittins piece that looks at a recent Ben Bernanke speech that seems to almost say that Neoliberalism has caused vast and remorseless damage to the American population.

    Of course he doesn’t say that, what he does say is
    ” “….it’s clear in retrospect that a great deal more could have been done, for example, to expand job training and re-training opportunities, especially for the less educated; to provide transition assistance for displaced workers, including support for internal migration; to mitigate residential and educational segregation and increase to access of those left behind to employment and educational opportunities; to promote community redevelopment, through grants, infrastructure construction and other means; and to address serious social ills through addiction programs, criminal justice reform and the like”.

    Bernanke concludes that “the credibility of economists has been damaged by our insufficient attention, over the years, to the problems of economic adjustment and by our proclivity towards top-down, rather than bottom-up, policies.

    “Nevertheless, as a profession we have expertise that can help make the policy response more effective, and I think we have a responsibility to contribute where we can.””

    Come on Mr. Bernanke, you’ve got your gold and your ribbons, if you see the problem you should name it and not just be an apologist like Mr. Swann and Mr. Keating are in Australia.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Come on Mr. Bernanke, you’ve got your gold and your ribbons, if you see the problem you should name it and not just be an apologist like Mr. Swann and Mr. Keating are in Australia.

      And Gitto, and Pascoemeter, and Joe Hockey, and ScoMo, and Peter Costello, and John Winston, and Robert Gottleibsen, and Alan Kohler, and Martin Fergusson, and Kimbo Beazley and Creany, and and and and……….

      our entire political and economic narrative for more than a generation has been leading us to a dead end where we are smothered in debt.

      There is only 2 ways out for mine.

      One is the questioning of the entire money creation process and taking it off the banks (or taxing it heavily) and creating greater funding of social goods. I dont think we will go that way. I think we may adopt dribs and drabs of that style of approach after (and only after) someone else experiements with it and finds something which gains traction.

      The other way is population ponzi driven suffocation of the economic substance of Australia and the turning of it into a quarry owned by global capital (which pays sweet FA tax) and which, as the option of last resort (as a reflection of the inability of its elties to address the hard things) turns itself slowly into the worlds largest retirement centre, with lots of friendly low paid serfs to wipe dribble and clean bums of the aged, while lots of other low paid serfs sell trinkets and staff experiences and clip tickets in a myriad of fascinating (but ultimately economically meaningless) ways. I think we will go that way……….hair shirt, traffic congestion, ever shittier services, ever diminished belief in our politicians or commentariat, as we slide slowly beneath the waves of economic relevance for the rest of the world.

      I think I need a drink.

    • SweeperMEMBER

      “if you see the problem you should name it and not just be an apologist like Mr. Swann and Mr. Keating are in Australia”

      Blyth had a good quote about the sell-outs in your link. “People who have basically shorted their constituents”.
      That’s a perfect analogy. They sold out working people to the finance sector and have personally profited out of the fall in labour share.
      In an ideal world, the first step would be to clawback the profits the Keatings and Mandelsons have taken along the way by shorting the labour movement.
      Expel them from the party. Then cut and paste the 1945 labour manifestos (like Corbyn). And stop trying to reinvent the wheel on the basis that there is some great insight which the immediate post-war social democratic leaders were unaware of.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        And stop trying to reinvent the wheel on the basis that there is some great insight which the immediate post-war social democratic leaders were unaware of.


      • Sweeper,

        When you refer to 1945 are you intending to distinguish those reforms to banking from the decisions in 1947 to announce nationalisation.


        This is an important issue because the 1947 decision was a shock to many whereas the 1945 reforms appear to have not caused too much fuss – apart from the banks that is.

        Interested because you have said a few times you support nationalisation notwithstanding the experience of the ALP back in 1947.

        Yet at other times it sounds like you support the 1945 reforms or even just the Menzies model – which also involved heavy regulation.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      So unfair! Some people are born with the gift, that’s just a fact of life. Great music to start the day. Thx

      • Johannes Kepler


        Hard work pays off. It looks incredible, like a gift, if you haven’t worked your nuts off every single day at it.

        If you have – then you know how long has been spent learning every variation, of every scale, on every semi-tone, their cousins, their relatives, their minors.

        I started teaching my 7 year old a few years ago – blues, minors, majors, he blows people away – they think he is some gifted freak.

        But no – just sits down and plays piano, guitar, wind, every night of the week


      • St JacquesMEMBER

        JK – I don’t disagree, a person can, through sheer persistence, achieve amazing things, but there is another level that not even sheer hard work can get you to. (btw I was being complimentary and therefore was being a bit hyperbolic in a joking way. Look, he’s only 16 and got a long way to go.)

      • Johannes Kepler

        Yeah I understand – but it really is just practise and teaching.

        Anyone can do it.

        In my mind the real talent lies in the perseverance and dedication to practise as much as is required.

        Honestly the real art to great art – is the teacher and knowing what to learn. 20 Years of classical taught me a LOT – no doubt – but within two years of jazz and blues I was an entirely different beast who was at the top of their game.

        A few minutes with a great teacher transformed my whole life – they just showed me half a dozen different scales, how they relate – and that was it. Not much to me – but anyone listening it as the difference between someone who can play and a genius.

        I also spent my life painting and drawing – and there is no real “art” here either – just tricks.

        People don’t really get this. The think there is a trick, a secret, a talent, an art – there isn’t.

        That said – this kid is playing the best guitar I have heard in years and years – maybe ever – he is incredibly talented.


      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Salieri was the hard worker. Mozart was the genius. No amount of hard work can turn a Salieri into a Mozart, a Newton, etc. But today there a thousands upon thousands of Salieris because the opportunity is there. Especially if they off young.

    • The music isn’t my cup of chai but there’s no denying that the young man has talent.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Oh, to have fingers that haven’t been broken, point in the right direction and not stiff in the cold from arthritis.

      Meh, I’d still never be on stage. Unless I’m pushing gear around.

      • Johannes Kepler

        The greatest piano players fingers were usually broken, barely moved, rickety old clothes pegs.

        It was the rhythm and feel that makes em good.

        R.L.Burnside is a great example (guitar not piano though)

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Why did they have broken fingers? Sporting endeavours or sudden piano lid closure?

    • I don’t get it. I respect the musicianship behind Jazz but it’s just sophisticated noise as far as I am concerned. Making a song the whole world loves is what talent is imo, even if it’s as basic My Sharona or something.

      • Johannes Kepler

        Yeah I get what you are saying. But its music for musicians. The more you understand something, the more you appreciate it.

        I can absolutely assure you this is completely amazing to those who understand it.

        Some people do not appreciate Guernica, or understand why writing R.Mutt on the side of a urinal is a big deal – others do.

    • thanks Nikola, one to watch out for.

      There are so many extraordinary musicians and I can recommend Pat Metheny as one at the top of the jazz guitar pile. Always exploring and pushing the boundaries, he strikes a chord (!) with me in his rejection of the ‘sound bite’ generations – the shallow analysis of our world be it news reporting, 3 minute saccharine pop songs, smart phone obsessives etc. Agree with Mr Kepler here too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25GqxQxhjuo. My message to my percussionist son (rock, classical, jazz, mainly kit and mallets) is that there is no such thing as talent and was very pleased to hear that this is also the message from the school head of music when he told the concert band that the best pianist in that band ‘has no talent’.
      There’s lots of Metheny on you tube, including on his luthier Linda Manzer.

  12. St JacquesMEMBER

    There’s a meme that’s being put around in the MSM that Melbourne (and presumably Sydney) are quiet little regional cities that are going through “growing pains” to become “global cities” (whatever the hell that is). So for those who suffer a debilitating anxiety over size, here’s a list to allow you to sleep easily and recuperate your vitality.. The European list dates to 2012, but they are growing at only a tiny fraction of the pace of our cities:
    Australia (2016)
    Sydney (greater regional area): 5 million
    Melbourne 4.6 million (does not include Geetroit)
    Brisbane 2.3 million
    Perth 1.9 million
    Adelaide 1.1 million

    10 largest Metropolitan Areas in the EU 2012:
    1 London UK 13.614 million
    2 Paris France 11.915 million
    3 Madrid Spain 6.388 million
    4 Barcelona Spain 5.357 million
    5 Ruhrgebiet (Essen) Germany 5.135 million
    6 Berlin Germany 5.098 million
    7 Milano Italy 4.275 million
    8 Roma Italy 4.234 million
    9 Athina Greece 4.109 million
    10 Warszawa Poland 3.272 million

    • I like London a lot. It is huge and has lots of problems, but it also has a history that goes back almost 2,000 years. I don’t see why we can’t have at least a few mega cities. London, New York, Paris. They offer something that can not be easily replicated. Part of the charm is the layer upon layer of history.

      Sydney and Melbourne not so much. Sydney has all the charm of a McDonalds Toilet. Growing them out to 10m or whatever will not give us another London or New York. It will give us a giant soulless matrix of flammable dogboxes full of unemployed people watching imaginary renovation shows on TV. Making cities like Sydney and Melbourne more interesting and more liveable would be a much better goal. Quality over quantity. Australia could be a great place if we collectively had some imagination.

      • Completely agree, when I see another McMansion squeezed onto a half a quarter acre block I just want to cry. Not only are they ugly as fuck. They have as much soul as a Kardashian…

        I just think it’s sad as fuck, that we’ve allowed it to get like this. What a great place this country was to grow up in the 80s. Now ruined by greed, stupidity and shit poor political decisions. The lucky country’s luck is running out. Good I say.. it might force real change.

      • “What a great place this country was to grow up in the 80s.” Even better in the 50’s. Still remember day one of television in 1956. Half the town was in the local cinema/hall watching the couple of tiny B&W idiot boxes set up on the stage. What a day that was! In a sense it was the beginning of the end of an age of innocence. Little did we know….

      • Johannes Kepler



        That London figure is greater London – as in – if you included Colac in Melbournes population.

        A real MEGA city starts at 28 Million.

      • I think the only way we’re lucky now is how we make our money. We must have the most amount of rich dummies in the world. If this keeps going, bugger gonksi and making your kid smart, just get them to be a tradie and build unit blocks for investors and immigrants.

      • A real MEGA city starts at 28 Million.

        Why 28 million? What happens after 27 million?

      • Johannes Kepler

        They are three times the size of these “mega cities”.

        London realistically has a population of 8 million. It doubles each day.

      • “give us another London or New York” New York? It’s a s..thole! Ugly, old without beauty and noisy! As I saw a bloke describe it “If I never go back there it will be too soon”

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        I took the EU metropolitan populations from a 2012 Eurostat derived list. I regard the metropolitan areas as the truest indicator of the “real” city economically and socially. Other measures are usually along administrative/political lines.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Metropolitan areas are defined economically and are not to be confused with statistical divisions like Greater London. Melbourne’s metropolitan population above does not include Geelong (which would make it 4.8 million) – even though Geelong could be regarded almost as a suburb or ex-burb of Melbourne, and it certainly does not include places as far afield as Colac.

      • Speaking of commies, what is Moscow like? I have never been there so I have no idea. Did most of a century under the commies have a good or bad effect?

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Come to think of it JK, what’s this dorky obsession of yours with mega-cities? How many millions of people do you know? Want quality, world class innovation centres? Try Stockholm or Zurich that are in the low millions. btw, to return to the dorkdom subject of megacity size, why do you say a “mega city” starts at 28 million? Metro New York is 20 million, Mexico City 21 million. OK there are bigger places in Asia but why should anyone give a shit? Is this some competition? Any city that is over a million is by definition a mega city, and once its multiple millions, from the experience of the person on the ground it is simply huge. Give me Copenhagen or Stockholm.. These are people places and dynamos of innovation. They show quality trumps quantity and at 2 and 2.2 millions, big enough.

  13. I’m with Bogan, the Guardian Australia is making infinitely more sense than any of the dross spewing from the MSM’s. This one from Lenore Taylor nails the problem for the Libs and the challenges for Labor.

    “Free market promise at an impasse and new battlelines being drawn”

    Broader questions on distribution of wealth and power are being considered, regardless of what the Daily Telegraph or Tony Abbott say


  14. Little update from my leafy Sydney burb:
    Open house inspection today a couple of streets down, noticed a fleet of SUVs parked on mine. Wandered out, counted at least 60 unknown cars with more coming. Checked out the house, almost entirely native Boomers and mainlanders.

    Meanwhile a 5 bedder behind my place sold 2 weeks before auction.

    If this is what “stricter lending” looks like then I don’t want to know what it would have looked like otherwise…

    • haha Inner West Sydney, saw an auction this morning full of Chinese couples (50s/60s age demographic). I love our cultural enrichment screwing me out of a home at an affordable price. 😀

    • J BauerMEMBER

      Similar story near me. The thing that caught my attention was the newness of the SUV’s, with the majority being the newly released model Top model of whichever badge. equity mate is alive and well.

      • BradleyMEMBER

        A friend of mine who works in a multi euro dealership told me yesterday about Asians and briefcases of cash. Plenty of times apparently.

      • That’s what losers say, give up. Some of us won’t roll over so easily. Neither should you!

  15. TailorTrashMEMBER

    One has to wonder WTF it was being constructed OF …….to burn like that …..even before it was filled with plastic furniture ………http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/40536171…..
    Suspect a lot of savvy investors around the world are going to get burned

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I’ve got to use half a dozen firelighters,, bone dry redgum, a load of newspapers, and blow for ten minutes before I can get anything to burn that well

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        Hi, I have enjoyed your Geelong socio-economic and demographic observations.
        Please can I ask your opinion of Geelong West as a location for owner occupied or investment property.
        Any other commenteers welcome to chip in.
        Many thanks in advance . .

      • Johannes Kepler

        Geelong West ?

        Holy shit. The By Pass is the greatest thing since sliced bread – no need to deal with the place.

        I am just gobsmacked that people live in Gedroit at all. I genuinely am.

        The thing about Victoria is that we have had the longest period outside of drought in my life time. And we are definitely heading back into one – and when it comes its going to be horrific – people just FORGET what this state is normally like – dusty, brown, horrific, dirt bowl.

        Geelong west is the epitome of that.


      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        FBB, My observations are these…….

        Geelong West has gone a touch vanilla since its heyday when there were 5 pubs, a load of heavily tattooed labouring types and real exporting industries in the streets.

        These days a drive down Pakington Street or Shannon Avenue is broadly akin to driving down your suburban shopping strips in Melbourne – chock full of aged types and babyboomers, far too many overpriced cafes, trinkets, clothing, and homewares. If you are looking at it as a place to live I would observe it has everything nice and close – including medical facilities (Geelong in general has very good medical facilities and a lot of specialists). If you are looking for high culture then Melbourne is 50 minutes away by train. Indeed as someone who drove down Centre rd Bentleigh (in Melbourne) yesterday I would observe that Geelong West is not as packed and that the traffic moves better, and that the proximity f the Ocean beaches at Torcool and beyond gives it some upside. Once a hotbed of workers and foreigners (I speak of Turks and Greeks and Poms and Germans and Italians, and later Vietnamese) is has become a vanillabed of retirees rentiers and white people wanting somewhere ‘nice’..

        Prices there may surprise. You can see spiffed up 3-4 bedroom California bungalows being palmed off for 600-700k (which were being palmed off for 3-400 k just 5 years ago). There are loads of people exiting Melbourne cashnig out 1-2 million buck places there and buying something smaller for half th price and less in Geelong – and Geelong West is a favourite for this set.. Many of the subdivisions are quite small and being rapidly apartmentised or made smaller.

        I thought of buying there myself, but as someone who lived there during the days when you could have a real fight with men with real tattoos, and was genuinely working class – I myself drank intermittently with Hayden Shell in the Petrel, where we cheered along with the rest of the bar the night a young Max Uechtritz took on the heavies at the Trimbole funeral, and once successfully lifted both a mate and his beer out of the way of an incoming fight at the Queen of the West which cleaned up the table and ignited a general melee, and I worked at the Saleyards for a while as a barman – I wanted somewhere with larger back yards, and where the ghosts of the past wouldnt come from overpriced cake shops amidst a sea of new and expensive cars, and I dare say the daughter of the Turkish concreter who I once sparred with (she was the sister of an Australian middle weight wrestler) in the early 1980s would chuckle that I now take my daughter to ballet lessons there.. .

        If you go there for a look around my recommendation – indeed one I passed on to and was thanked for by LvO recently – is that you try a breakfast at 63 degrees.

        There are far far worse places to live. I understand property prices have taken off there more than elsewhere in Geelong, and I know not about rents and returns there at the moment.

        I hope that helps

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        Gunna and Johannes,
        Thanks for the comments – your response is much appreciated.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Oakland eh? Didn’t they have a big fire like this a couple of years ago that shut down the area?

      Another case of “nice place you’ve got here, be a shame if something happened”?

    • The lower rise buildings there are timber framed. Timber floors etc. They move when an earthquake hits and don’t crack apart.

  16. bolstroodMEMBER

    SMH headline today
    “Kevin Rudd urges missile defence shield”
    Well the panics well and truly on.Just because N korea has a rocket that may be able to reach far northern Australia.
    Defence planners have never taken a nuclear attack on Australis seriously , so no plans have been developed.

    Australia has been and is a nuclear target since Pine Gap was built.
    We are the most exposed nation on Earth to a nuclear attack because a few bombs, not necessarily rocket delivered , can take out our population without irradiating the continent.
    We contribute to our danger by filling our population centres with highly inflamable , high rise apartment buildings that will, in the event of a nuclear explosion , add to the intensity of the fire storm that will follow.
    If we build a missile shield , all a potential enemy has to do is send the bombs in freight containers and detonate on arrival.
    Only 5% of inbound containers are inspected , so the odds of getting nukes thru customs is very high.

      • Locus of ControlMEMBER

        Relax. We may get our Darwin Port back sooner than you think: http://www.afr.com/news/policy/foreign-affairs/chinese-buyer-of-darwin-port-struggles-to-pay-interest-and-heavily-in-debt-20170704-gx4ak0

        In summary – Landbridge took out a humungous loan to buy the Port. The revenue from the port doesn’t even pay the interest bill. The (Chinese bank) lenders (to Landbridge) want their principal and interest (not currently being paid). And us canny Aussies (who knew ‘canny’ was one of our attributes?) wove a little clause into the sale contract to the effect that if Landbridge defaults, the Chinese bank(s) that loaned to Landbridge can’t take the port as security, instead ownership reverts back to us.

        The only question I ask after reading that article is: did we get the money for the port upfront and in full? If yes, we get to have our cake and eat it too (i.e. we get the money for the port and after default, get the port too). Win-win.

    • Good point. I think few people realise how small and transportable a nuclear device can be. The focus on missile delivery is misguided (pun intended).

    • Nuclear target because of Pine Gap… Really?

      Rather than destroy the infrastructure of an entire occupiable nation based on one surveillance outpost, wouldn’t it make more sense to simply nuke the outpost, since the very nature of any hostile action would be based on the strategic significance of that one post?

      It’s almost like saying, ‘a man seen carrying handgun in Parramatta, police opt to nuke entire suburb.’

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        2 scenarios in play.
        1; Pine Gap would be taken out in any conflict with US and a top tier antagonist.
        2; A full scale war with US ,& it’s allies v’s 1or 2 top tier antagonists.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      KRudd is presumably just schilling for some military mates.

      It is difficult to construct a scenario where North Korea drops a nuke on Australia, other than by accident.

    • I love how probuild says in one breath that they build to australian standards, and then acknowledges that the whole fucking building industry has basically been as dodgy as fuck in the next. I think what they really mean is that they are talking with lawyers whilst the bankruptcy process goes through. A new ABN belonging to ReallyProBuilt was registered yesterday.

    • My toilet blocked up last Sunday, my landlord is a massive tight fisted asshole. So he thinks he can fix everything. Anyway before I bothered the old bastard I went to Bunnings bought a massive fuck of plunger and tried to unblock it to no avail.

      Anyway he’s been around twice now in the past week and tried to figure out how to unblock it with no luck. We have an outdoor toilet (yes the house is that old) which is not blocked as it’s further downstream of the waste water etc.. So we can use that even if it’s freezing outside and horrible like the outdoor toilets often are.

      Tomorrow he’s going to come around to smash open some concrete to try and look at the pipes at the side of the house to see if there is a blockage, if not there he has to smash into the side of the house and bricks to find what might be going on.

      If he can’t fix it tomorrow I’m going to tell him he needs to call a plumber and stop being a penny pinching jack arse.

      We are somewhat stuck because I need a double garage, pet friendly accommodation in the inner west that isn’t $800 p/week plus and is somewhat close enough to work that I can ride my bike in.

      However I’m still glad I’m not a landlord trying to unblock my tenant’s toilets, penny pinching. I would love to move out before he needs to spend $2k + on plumbing issues and leave the place vacant a good month or 2 with real estate agent fees etc.. Just to get back at him for the constant rent increases and 0 money spent on the place in the last 3 years.

      I guess my point is rent is already high, I don’t see how they can ask much more to cover their costs and I’m so fed up with my landlord I’m about ready to move to another house. Despite all the costs on my end and even if it’s a bit more expensive, if the house is nicer it’s almost worth it for your sanity.

      I do wonder how much better we would be if tenant rights were better in this country. Part of me wants to blast him for being a tight arsed old fool but realises it won’t do much good in my current situation and that I have to put up with this inconvenience at the same time.

      I really really hope he can’t fix this issue easily though. Will serve him right and I’m almost 100% sure it’s not our fault or we didn’t put anything silly down there to block it up. Just old shit plumbing in an old house that has 0 maintenance work done by him.

      • haha if only I knew a good plumber… The only problem with EP is he’ll come around and convince me to join the labor party. It’s a bit like having a co-worker who is a good mechanic come around to help you fix your car but he’s also a Jehovah’s Witness. Sometimes it’s less hassle to pay someone else ;D

        I am of course joking about EP but it might not be my call in terms of the plumber who comes around. It might be up to my tight arsed landlord.

      • Johannes Kepler

        I live in a quarter acre block two gardens, 4 vegie patch, cubby house, pond, two sheds, garage, 3 bedroom – gardener 5 minutes from Clifton Hill 10 minutes to the city – 2 minutes to train station / shops / school walking.

        $2 Million house – rent $500 / week.

        People pay too much. They really do.

        My ducted gas heating stopped working – got a new one the next day – completely new unit.
        Toilet blocked. Plumber out, camera up the pipe, dug it up, fixed the next day.

        Had too much ivy – came around and fixed the entire garden.

        Wasn’t happy with the slated BBQ area where the tramps were – sent round a team to lay down gravel and sand to fix the slate.

        Lighting was a big off – sent someone round who replaced all the lights and installed new dimmers.

        literally – ANYTHING I want – they send someone round – its like living in some sort of 18th century manor house with servants.

        My last house they refused to fix the dishwasher. Moved out – place has almost fallen down with the new tenants destroying it.

        Land Lords just don’t get it. Until they have really, really shitty tenants. Only then will they change.

      • Similar issue here over the last week! Toilet started backing up, and main sewer pipe was holding. Hunter Water have since been twice and jetted two different areas, but now have to wait until Monday for a camera to go down.

        Most frustrating part is the toilet is not sealed at the base (no wax ring or anything), and there’s a bypass at the back of the S trap which someone has just jammed some concrete in (again, not sealed). End result is after the toilet backs up, shitty water spews everywhere so now the cubicle is flooded with shit / water.

        The two plumbers we’ve dealt with have been fking hopeless. We reported the leaking toilet, and the blockage went to Hunter Water. Plumber turned up, filled the sewer pipe and confirmed the issue was with Hunter Water and then just left!… Then claimed the issue had been ‘fixed’… Contacted the agent again, and she claimed to have contacted the plumber. We contacted the plumber again to organise — the plumber claims he was never contacted by agent. Plumber turns up randomly Saturday night (and looked tanked) saying he had a jetter — completely ignoring the toilet not being sealed again and the fact that Hunter Water are still looking at the blockage.. Then turns around and says he doesn’t have equipment to reseal the toilet, so disappears again.

        Absolutely hopeless. They don’t seem interested in actually sealing the toilet, and just want to leave it hoping that there won’t be issues again after the blockage is cleared. What happens if someone takes a giant turd and plunging is required?

        Despite this, they’re more than happy to turn up and do nothing — and I’m sure charging stupidly high callout fees.

      • “constant rent increases”….and you dont want to move because of the other 800 per week rents in the inner west are too high… sounds like he’s charging unders and your being the tight fisted penny pinching renter

        from your post you list your needs as a double garage, pet friendly accommodation, close enough to work to ride, a landlord that will fix things properly. Sounds like you cant afford them all, so you should prioritize or move further west !

      • The other third world problem that is popping up in our multi-million $ slums of Sydney is the rolling blackouts. Not reported, but around Gladesville on the outskirts of the Inner West there have been about five outages since Christmas. Not surprising given the massive hirise development along Victoria Rd and the third world electricity poles.

        Anyway, I was talking to one of the locals who lives in an old block of flats. She was sick of the blackouts, so she called Energy Australia to complain. Energy Australia advised her to put in “a ticket”. It was several blocks that went out, so probably a transformer that went down, but your average person has no comprehension of these things. So, she lodged a a ticket and a contractor was assigned to come out to the flats to “find a fault”. When he came out he was very cranky, so maybe he was losing money. What could he do? Well he declared the electrical wiring into the flats too dangerous to inspect. Who thinks the landlord will want to rewire a 1920’2 block of flats? Would this affect insurance claims?

        I don’t know the ins and outs of electricity supply, but my guess is that these service calls get marked up and then included as a cost of maintenance and eventually reflected in higher fixed component of the elec bill. Seems like a scam – does anyone know how this works?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I don’t like Real estate work, to much Wrangling with non decision makers, an annoying waste of time.
        The tenants want what they want, slow moving property managers who don’t really give a fuck, in-between you and the person who has to pay for it.

        I do the Jetting for another Plumber who looks after the major real estate in Ermo, he gives me a couple jobs per week, all local, and pays me that day, so I give him a good discount.
        There are heaps of properties I go to every 6 or less months, that the owners have been told, have boundary traps, or pipework sections that need renewal, but they can’t or won’t throw down the money required to do it,… happily inconveniencing the tennant instead with cheaper, but frequent jet blasting.
        Eventually, the aggressive action of repeated jetting, just completely breaks up and undermines the pipework, forcing repair.

        I’ve seen several owners make the decision to sell, based entirely on the fact the house sewer is having to be jetted on a monthly or even weekly basis!
        My cousin (also a plumber at Belrose) walked up to the new owners of a property in his area and gave them the quote he had given the real estate 3 years eairler!
        He got the job the first week they had moved it!,…a 20 k sewer renewal.
        Not that expensive when considering it replaced a 40 year old service on a 2 million dollar property, that’ll be good for another 40 years.
        But I remember reading somewhere, that the average “Hold time” for a property is only 7 years!
        I’ve been in mine 20 later this year.

      • “$2 Million house – rent $500 / week”

        Woooohoooo!! P/E must be over 100. Even the best business known as BRK.A is trading below 20

        The Moron Side of the Force is strong with this land.

  17. Just spent a day with friends from western Sydney, told them 80% of immigration going to western Sydney, 20% to the posher bits. They didn’t give a fuck. Most people just have a come what may attitude towards politics. Its easy to get caught up thinking otherwise if you spend a lot of time on the internet.

    • Absolutely Owen. I get infuriated when I read a lot of the political commentary going on here and even more infuriated when most people don’t seem to know what you are talking about if you mention it. Fact of the matter is that the vast majority simply don’t care.

    • Johannes Kepler

      Thats because they think you are a racist.

      If you just bring it up – at all – people wont say anything, they will just think you are a massive racist and put a line through your name.

      Happens all the time.

  18. Another classic Pape story.

    ‘JAN ASKS: My hubby and I have read your book and are on a Barefoot warpath. However, we have one big problem. Our mortgage is far beyond 60 per cent of our combined incomes. It’s actually more like 85 per cent and we earn decent money — I am on $95,000 and he is on $115,000. We have two young children, aged five and 11, who want things all the time. Can you recommend a saving strategy without simply saying “you bought a house that was too expensive”? We know this. Also, we live in Perth, so it has lost value. It is not finished yet, either, and we are now having to do the renovations ourselves. What can we do?

    BAREFOOT REPLIES: You may be on the warpath, but the enemy has you surrounded. I get that you’re looking for reassurance, but you’re asking me to recommend a savings strategy when 85 per cent of your combined income is going towards your (unfinished) home and you have two school-aged kids who “want things all the time”. I’m good, but I’m not that good! I can only guess you bought the home when you were on a higher household income, because there’s no way a bank could-a, should-a, would-a lent you that money on your current income. I actually can’t work out how you’re keeping afloat — perhaps you have a lump sum you’re living off that you haven’t disclosed. Either way, unless you can increase your income dramatically and quickly, you’ll eventually lose your home. That’s the only way I can see you could lose the battle while still standing a chance of (eventually) winning the war. Right now, you need some good soldiers on your side. There are none better than Financial Counsellors Australia. Call them on 1800 007 007 and have them represent you with your bank’s hardship department.’

    Surprised he’s questioned the 85% issue. Hasn’t he heard of mortgage brokers? They can make anything happen for a trailing commission. A good one can even split the atom for you if need be.

      • well it is there – tells them they can’t be saved. I would interpret this as “sell and cut your loses”. they will need proper advice though in order to opt for the bets way forward – is it better to declare bankruptcy or what other options do they have?

    • Hang in there, Jan. Did you consider applying for multiple credit cards? Don’t listen to the ugly losers who try to trick you into giving up your hard earned home so that they can snatch it cheaply!! I mean, think about what reusa will say to you if you bail – not to mention your beautiful looking neighbours!!

      Since BAREFOOT appears out of his depth, I will give you a tip. Try cat food from woollies. Don’t forget to have $2 noodles once a week for a change. But be mindful, cat food is more nutritious, so rotate different brands to balance your diet. You will be fine. It’s a small sacrifice to make for your dream.

    • And there you have it – BAREASS investor taking to BAREFOOT advisor. 😀 What comedy, eh? 🙂

    • I would have also accepted ‘you’re both clearly too stupid for the incomes you’re receiving.’

    • Combined incomes net are somewhere around $13000 a month. Repayments at $11K per month or $132000 per annum. Something seriously stinks because even at 5% P&I (an outlier paying P&I), they’ve borrowed somewhere north of $2.5m. More if it’s interest only and all of it occurring right under Denise Brailey’s nose in WA!

    • Can’t wait for more of these Darwin Awards to go out.

      They could of course move out and rent the place negatively gear it and move into a much more humble shit shack, or move in with the grandparents for even more points!

  19. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Ah the old dunny issue has everyone firing up.

    My experience is similar after buying our place. 1 month after moving in …the dunny started backing up. The kids were frighten to use it. We did have another fortunately … but that one was dark and dingey. I soon realised why the previous owner had put fresh bark under the back stairs. Moisture and crap had started coming to the surface. I don’t begrudge the previous owners though… they were older and wanted us to buy the house ahead of other higher bidders.

    But getting fixed was interesting. Fortunately I drink at my local for these very reasons. I am a while colllar worker but loves a beer. I drink with plumber, painters and tilers. Thus it helps with advice and cost. Since I could do some of the pig work….. digging down 1m to expose the pipes…. a $5k job turned into $500 and a few schooners.

    So now when the wife is non plussed with me spending odd afternoon at the local … I remind her of the blocked dunny and how I got it fixed and saved a few grand which we didn’t have at the time.

    • J BauerMEMBER

      Your tradie mates must pitty you (as mine do me). White collar worker, stuck behind a desk all day, working for a boss, working past 4pm, no cashies and paying the full rate of tax.

      One of my builder mates has taken to burying cash in the back yard… according to his tax return he earns $60k, but his 3 kids go to private school in Sydney and his mrs drives a Mercedes amg 63.

      • Johannes Kepler

        Well – he’s fucked now.

        ATO are literally targeting tradies, builders, etc. If you’ve been buying AMG’s on 60k you are going to get reamed.

        I really don’t mind people earning a decent quid – what I hate is people earning a decent quid and doing absolutely fuck all for it. Tradies in this country have been taking the absolute piss and seriously damaging our entire national economy. People dedicate 10-15 years of their life to become a specialist with doctorate degrees, masters in computer engineering etc and turn around and get paid 80-120k, meanwhile some plumber with a 4 year apprenticeship under his belt is charging $300 / hour.

        Its tradies that make me think I am happy for the immigration boom. A plumber in London went from £300 / hour to £30/ hour once the Polish turned up.

        Can’t happen fast enough.


      • @Johannes Kepler…

        Having worked in both spheres I can tell you neoliberal crapification has spared neither. Heaps of people with decadal effort in acquiring “specialist” knowlage or post grad certifications are just as effected as those that spend as much time in the so called manual trades. BTW you won’t find many subbies on the pay scale that you bemoan, that Hr rates are high is not an indication of what a subbie actually makes. And you should be happy to know the recent influx of Chinese, Korean, Afgani, trades people whilst not reducing the job tender cost are greatly reducing the Hr. costs whilst lowering the skill and knowlage pool depth. Irreparably.

        This is the Mcrazzypants part, tertiary educated people wanting to cram down trades people because they are getting crammed down, seems like a self fulfilling death loop where the principles just sit back and watch.

        Disheveled… The other thing is as a professional craftsman my work is completely dictated by Royal Science and hard won skills through experience, so I take umbrage at those that attempt to make it out as some lower level human endeavor. Be careful of what you wish for Johannes, you might just find yourself in another sort of dark ages.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        A Plumber on non Construction wages, working only 38hr/week (maintenance) will often earn under 80k (around $40/hr)
        Construction plumbers will earn from 90 to 160k, but at the higher end, only with O/T, on a 6 day week.
        It’s shit, boring, dusty work that wears out you body, and I see guys leaving the trade,… permanently,… all the time.
        The construction side is boom/bust, leaving you out of work a lot, I was out of the trade for 4 years in my early to mid 20s, after being sacked with all other 17, first year tradesmen in the large plumbing contracting firm I worked for in 91.

        I will never work as a plumber, on wage again, it’s not enough money. My builders still get me for $75/hr do and charge, but if I’m on a quoted price (most of the time) I’m aiming for $150/hr, “on the coal face”,…but that has to cover all overheads and Non billable hours!,..I’m not making much more than when I was on wages, but I do have better hours and I quite often get to say “I’m not doing “That” job, you will need to find someone else for that one!”, You don’t to get to pick and choose on wages.

        I’m still quite cheap, compared to my competition, take the bigger maintenance firms that can deliver a plumber within an hour, anytime you call (30+blokes),
        They are usually carrying a $100-$150 advertising overhead! Just to have you find them first!,…Add their other overheads like Supervision, Admin, compliance, workshop, vehicles and unbilable wages etc etc and it’s no surprise to me they charge $750 for the sewer jetblast that I charge $275inc GST for,…but I’ve got 2 local Reno’s (got love local work!!!) going at the moment, so you might have to wait to next week to get me.

        Note, in NSW a plumber,drainer ,gasfitter who has completed his trade can not aquire a contractors licence, untill he/she has completed an additional advanced course (4 nights per week for 1 year completion) and worked for a licenced contractor for 2 years as a qualified tradesperson.

        Anyway I think you would do better for your self, rather than complaining about what other people earn, why don’t you get organised and fight for better wages and conditions for your self!
        Use your Tradesmen to degree comparison, to demand better from your employer and if you fail,…well you seem to think being a plumber is so easy, why not retrain and become “One of Us”!
        Come on,…. One of Us.

        Solidarity Brother.

      • Right on Skip, eloquently said.

        As someone who is white collar, I often dream of being blue. If only to feel useful in some way. I like working with my hands and doing physical labour. I hate sitting in an office stuffing my face with candy and being unhealthy like many do.

        I may flip to blue collar in future, or merge the 2 somehow. I don’t look down on blue collar, in fact I envy their skill set at times. Especially those in the mechanical engineering fields, working on cars, tuning them, racing them, making parts, selling them etc..

        I dislike the fact that some don’t pay taxes. Nobody enjoys it, but actively avoiding paying by being dishonest is not good no matter if you’re a plumber or a multinational. It’s wrong. Everyone pays it to make society less shit (or you hope so).

  20. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Yep not far from the truth there ….

    Plus most of them are ardent Liberals …. Howard’s Battlers… whereas I lean more to the left.

    I wear a flanno most weekends to fit in …. they are warm and comfy though. ;>)

  21. Here’s an interesting take on the, Young Men not working problem.
    I have very little understanding of the “gaming” eco-system, but I’m really interested in this weird virtual world of desensitizing “reality”.
    I can’t help but think that this is the path a society would take if it wanted to prepare it’s young for the unfortunate task of implementing the “final solution”, as I said I just don’t understand what motivates our young men to dive ever deeper into this almost real virtual world, a place where killing has no consequence. Even the whole “rebirth” process seems to mirror the Christian morality of being Born-Again wrt all your sins are forgiven.
    Or maybe I’m just an old fart who can’t stand to see young people enjoying themselves in a way that doesn’t put coin in my pocket….that critique come direct from my 20something son.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      This explains why the USA labour market is so tight and those who work are doing so well…oh wait on….

    • You should find twitch on your computer and as an introduction watch some streamed games of Player Unknown: Battlefield. This is a multiplayer combat simulation where 100 players are dropped onto an island littered with weapons and supplies and it is last man standing. To make it dynamic, the playable zone shrinks down to a random location, so you can’t hide in a basement. The environment is quite realistic and the weapons work mostly like the real thing. There is no second chances, so if you get shot you are out of the game. It takes a lot of skill, strategy and luck to win one of these games.

      Young men are finding challenges, friends, excitement in these games that has largely disappeared from our modern western society. I think it is a reaction against the fake nanny ticket-clipping illusion that we have allowed our society to become. Look at the media for example. Real Estate that no one can afford. Ridiculous TV that dribbles out anaemic politically correct junk. Non stop advertising for consumerism. Nonexistent jobs with a dubious future.

      That article says “they finally worked it out”. What a testament to the blindness of our experts.

      • Thanks DM, I’ll have a go at understanding but to be honest I’m probably too old school to see the beauty even if it’s spoon feed to me.
        I have a group of friends who as young men all joined the Foreign Legion, they talk about kill ratios above 300:1 for professional soldiers vs freshly minted Jehadi Joe’s so I’m not blind to the skills that enable one to succeed at such tasks. I guess in the end I just don’t find this either entertaining or relaxing, mind you I have the same opinion about Porn so I’m a useless indicator of what the average consumer wants/needs to fill this emptiness (as you call it) in their lives.

      • @DarkMatter +1
        Spot on for my personal situation.
        Nothing grand to be gained in the work environment, so I’ll side with mediocrity from the comfort of my Oculus Rift and whatever I’m currently enjoying on Steam.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      I can’t help but think that this is the path a society would take if it wanted to prepare it’s young for the unfortunate task of implementing the “final solution”, as I said I just don’t understand what motivates our young men to dive ever deeper into this almost real virtual world, a place where killing has no consequence. Even the whole “rebirth” process seems to mirror the Christian morality of being Born-Again wrt all your sins are forgiven.

      The suggestion that computer games are keeping young men out of work doesn’t really stack up to any sort of system-wide analysis. For a start, there’s clearly no widespread labour shortages. I suppose you could make an argument young men are choosing games over being “entrepreneurial” but, again, I think you could argue more convincingly there are much more significant forces at play there as well.

      In the good old days it would have been drugs, drink and crime taking up those idle hours, or maybe sport if you were lucky.

      I think computer games are preferable. Training killers ? I find it hard to believe gaming will do a better job than hanging around the local group of ne’er-do-wells snatching purses, stealing cars and beating up pooftas and homeless bums. On the flipside, many of those games do an excellent job of teaching prioritisation, resource management, time management, strategy, etc, etc.

      • Yeah I hear what you’re saying, it’s been so many years since I did any pofta bashing that I’m not sure I’d even be up to the task, (it’s definitely a young mans sport), and it does seem like a bit of a dieing art. Mind you, from what I’ve heard, each time you toss one off North Head another appears to take his place, making it a bit like a video game, so I can understand the connection.

      • @Blackfella
        If that was an attempt at humour it failed dismally.
        If that was in any way serious its possibly the most tasteless and reprehensible comment to ever go up on this site, and there have been doozies from the bigots and simpletons that sometimes pop up to troll and vent.
        I’ve no idea what it takes to get sent to the sin bin, but in my opinion you’ve earned some time there.

      • Maybe missing the /sarc tag….but I wasn’t the one who dragged Poftas into a discussion about video games, like wtf do gay guys have to do with the topic of video games., I was kind of searching for the connection

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The connection is that’s what the kinds of angry young men you’re worried about computer games turning into brown shirts did for fun before computer games existed.

        If you haven’t played games or shot guns, I suggest trying both before getting to worried about the “similarities” between the two.

      • Do people honestly need /sarc tags …seems pretty obvious to me, but I’ll respect MB opinion and take my sin bin time if that’s my reward.

    • They’ll get there sooner or later. I think getting the 30s is the new normal for guys to get a family.

      Not exactly loads of incentive. House prices in the sky, divorce heavily favouring the woman.

      Anyway who gives a shit. Overpopulation, plus whites have a habit of breeding arseholes that want to work in the FIRE sector, or more fake leftists.

  22. Trofim Lysenko

    ‘…– says Goldman fallen foul of politically correct hiring policies.
    “This is what happens when management stop hiring people based on their ability to make money, reward mediocrity not merit and politicize HR in order to fill production roles with Social Justice Warriors (SJWs),” he proclaims on LinkedIn. “The front line producers cease to have the ability to be objective, to make money for the firm and for shareholders and spend half their week in ridiculous diversity meetings that have nothing to do with making money and returning money to shareholders.
    … The blame for these hires was laid at the door of Goldman’s allegedly bloated HR function, which the employee said prioritized, “aggressive alternative action policies,” over hiring the best.”’

    • drsmithyMEMBER


      One can only imagine how low the bar is for being considered an “SJW” by a Goldman Sachs trader. Probably anyone who wouldn’t be prepared to convince their grandmother to go all-in on an investment product they’ve got shorted themselves just for a bit more commission.

    • This is half concerning, and half schadenfreude inducing, cuckservatives getting a dose of their own medicine. Might just have to get blue hair if you want a job in the future. Or maybe a fedora and a beard.

  23. haroldusMEMBER

    abc’s goin off! here’s one for you footsy

    “Management, ownership, makes a simple calculation: ‘Am I more likely to get lower prices if I isolate the individuals and negotiate one on one, especially if they are young and not financially sophisticated, or is it more beneficial for me if I negotiate with the union which has professional staff, who know what they’re doing, where the players can bargain together and make the bargaining power more equal’,” Mr Fehr said.


    • St JacquesMEMBER

      That pretty much sums up how modern management works. It’s just another arm of rentierism. Thank the neoliberals.

    • That piece really highlights why the Rio Tinto bargaining attitude doesn’t work in for professional sports. You can find someone else to do most jobs at a comparable level, but that doesn’t hold for sportspeople. There’s a reason that a person who is only fractionally better ends up with a higher wage in professional sports. That 0.1% can make a huge difference to the outcome of the game, and therefore to the popularity and income generation of the team they play for. The irony, to me, is that this is also how the uber executives of the managerial class thin about themselves, and justify their obscene pay packets when there are far many more people who could step in to their role than there are who can play professional sports to the level expected by the public. Not to mention that professional sports people come under far more scrutiny for under performance than our executive class.

      England have said they won’t bother hopping on a plane unless this gets resolved.
      They look good in the first test against South Africa that is being played at the moment.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Very well described. It seems to me you could replace higher up corporate execs with a simple algorithm. Very simple, straightforward, low skill work aka as being an exploitative @hole.

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Good. Fuck off and “meet the market” at $2 790 000 fuckers.

      600 000 for a 1 bedder in stanmore? fuck off. how many hours of fucking work is $600 000 let alone $2 790 000.

      fuck ME this city (and country) is fucked.

      for fuck’s sake.

      • I found lots of the article particularly irritating. But this took the cake..

        Vendors Walter Shellshear and Bianca Perera said they felt it would have been a different story if they had sold sooner.

        “We’d noticed the market had got tighter,” Mr Shellshear said after the auction. “If it was two months ago, I think it would have had a price with a three (million dollars) in front.

        A price of $3M based on what exactly? Some fucking hipster artwork painted on a wall? Give me a fucking break you selfish, self centered arseholes. Why do you think someone should have to spend $3M to buy a particularly average shack in Newtown?

        I mean seriously these people have lost their fucking minds. Been blinded by greed. If only we sold a few weeks ago? What will happen if you wait 2 more weeks and 2 more weeks again? Will you continue to be offered lower and lower prices? I fucking hope so… I’d seriously consider $1M over priced for that. It is absolutely NOTHING special. A price of 2.6M is like winning the lottery you take it and run.

        And don’t get me started on Wanker Wilson. 1 Auction Clearance rate rise and suddenly the market has recovered? What a Douche BAG.

      • Fuck times infinity. The people of this country are a bunch of teenage brats. They’ve got a hide passing judgement on Tomic. Pot kettle. Raise the fucking rates.

        At least he has hard won skill.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      “The home, which backs onto Camperdown Rest Park, was one of more than 520 Sydney properties scheduled for auction on Saturday. By evening, Domain Group had collected 397 auction results to put the clearance rate at 71.5 per cent. Chief economist Andrew Wilson said the figure showed the Sydney market had recovered, recording its highest result in more than a month.”

      And we all know how Domain “collects” those auction results ………
      ……….sorry mate …it didnt sell …..forget this phone call ……..we got a 70% number to make …..only want to hear about sales ……
      ……….Onya prop doc …that Sydney market has definitely ” recovered ” cos Domain told us so ………$ 2.7 million for a workers cottage in NewTown …..jeez hipster cool does come at some price ……decidedly uncool if you ask me …..

      • Real-estate.com are no better. Headline clearance rate for Canberra was 63% which is down on the low-mid 70’s of late. The actual numbers tell a different story. Reported auction were 54 out 65 scheduled however 23 sold at auction, 11 sold prior, 18 passed in and 2 withdrawn which means 34 sales out of 65 scheduled auctions for a clearance rate of 53%. The trend for Canberra is certainly down.

  24. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Here is a load of Chinese and Indian soldiers getting heated with one another in the boondocks of the Himalayas

  25. Australia won’t have to worry about some brat with a boofy hairdo to nuke us, Trump probably will thanks to this epic piece by Chris Uhlmann:

    “President Donald Trump skewered as ‘friendless’ and ‘awkward’ in viral take-down”

    Uhlmann calling him an “uneasy, lonely, awkward figure” who was left “isolated and friendless” with “no desire and no capacity to lead the world”. and;
    “Donald Trump has pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader. Some will cheer the decline of America, but I think we’ll miss it when it’s gone — and that’s the biggest threat to the values of the West, which he claims to hold so dear.”


    • It’s the Illuminati that runs the west. So why not. Take it easy. Send your hot daughter to sit in for you. Seriously why bother keeping up appearances any more? Most people who care about politics must know this by now and the other 80% or so are thinking about the Kardashians and their next holiday.

      • Whatever Dude is my favourite puppet master group. Made up of Bill, Ted, Wayne and Garth, this lovable foursome just keep accumulating power and wealth through their merry hi-jinks. While they are not as intentionally sinister and manipulative as the Rothschilds and Stonemasons, the fact that so much power is now concentrated into their hands and that their every word and action leads to a consequence that is ultimately beneficial for themselves, and detrimental for those captured in their capital accumulating hegemonic zeitgeist (that is you, I and everyone else) leads all informed, yet ultimately powerless, people to fear Whatever Dude and wait for its demise. Unfortunately, Keanu Reeves is immortal, so he shall one day be sole ruler of the world.

      • Very amusing. They can even laugh at us 20% via movies like The Big Short, Wag the dog, Eyes Wide Shut, and Keanu is in the star of the ultimate movie about being woke, The Matrix. It does seem strange that such a rich and good looking guy hasn’t settled by his 50s, strong evidence that he is immortal.

    • I was caught behind a dude who was brushing his teeth while driving in the right lane on the freeway this week. That seemed like madness to me. Now, it almost seems like a best case scenario.

    • Not quite the same but apparently it’s a common problem with limos that people what porn on the tv in the VIP section, which is still clearly visible to outsiders even with the window tinting. I witnessed this myself in the UK a few years ago.