New Years Links, 1 January 2018



The artist’s fairy floss sold on the merry-go-round of life (sucker dealer): sucker dealer and the righteous anus, 1991, Dale Frank, National Gallery of Victoria








United Kingdom


United States




Terra Incognita




Capital Markets


Global Macro


…and furthermore…


Acrylic fur with barbed wire, 1968, Ti Parks, National Gallery of Victoria



      • The smoky sky is lit with reflections from the bridge fireworks and I can smell the acrid smoke slowly drifting from the harbour through the slight depression between redfern and newtown.

        And now it is spent.

        Time for some surge drinking.

    • Mockles! Fent on silpen tree,
      Blockards three a-feening,
      Mockles, what silps came to thee
      In thy pantry dreaming?

  1. My heart is filled with joy that Haroldus achieved the coveted first of the year posting. Good things to all in 2018!!

    • best luck to you my (much smarter and mentally tougher) friend.

      I love hearing your stories!

      although the stories do depress me a little.

  2. I’m am the passenger and I ride and I ride… Merry Christmas ya filthy animals. I might be slightly drunk. Haha.

      • Orthodox?

        I used to work with an Orthodox priest who had 10 kids. He loved Christmas time as he had full choice of all the post-Christmas bargains to go under their Christmas tree. Hated Easter time as he had to fast right through “ours” and then “his”.

    • Hehe I wasn’t sure the message would go through. I was in a low reception area (Daylesford Vic) and after midnight the phone networks are chockers. Mild hangover today, over purchased on booze but didn’t need it in the end.

      Looking forward to doing healthy things again after the Christmas / New Year binge.

    • Iran once had the garden of Eden, then all went on the UBI, became debauched and the lord had to destroy the joint.
      God doesn’t muck around when he wishes to take out some portion of the population, according to the bible.

  3. i was going to go see the town firework display tonight but i got sidetracked watching 90s cartoons.

    i feel so dejected the australian economy is going to just along this year undisturbed – and with it, house prices. i just want to see some carnage for once. we’ve got it coming.

    • From Chuang Tzu to cheer you up:
      There were three friends
      Discussing life
      One said
      Can men live together and know nothing of it?
      Work together
      And produce nothing
      Can they fly around in space
      And forget to exist
      World without end?

      The three friends looked at each other
      And burst out laughing
      They had no explanation
      Thus they were better friends than before.

  4. China introduces even more controls on capital flows.

    From the links

    “…The foreign exchange regulator said that if any Chinese is found using mainland bank cards to withdraw more than 100,000 yuan from overseas ATMs within a calendar year, they will be barred from taking out cash abroad using any mainland bank card for the rest of the year as well as the following year…”

    The question for 2018 is whether the army of Western China watchers will finally remove their preferred filter “When will China be like us” …as though we reached the end of economic history with free capital flows and a privatised monetary system and it is just a question of when China catches up.

    Restricting or reducing unproductive international capital flows might be the new black in 2018.

    But only if economic commentators in Western countries lose a bit of their hubris and general exceptionalism and open their minds and question some of their evidence-lite most cheerished ideological mantras.

    Perhaps Japan will be the first to retreat from our broken model. After all the Chinese clearly have learnt a lot from Japanese bank regulation during the early to mid parts of the 20th century and see banking system credit creation as a direct tool of public policy. Plus the US under Trump seems keen to cut Japan free so perhaps they will return the Japan Inc model that worked too well between 1945 – early 1980s.

    Perhaps a few serious discussions will take place in Australia during the Royal Commission despite Malcom Turncoat’s determination to stop them.

    Perhaps Trump will tire of looking like a do nothing and corporate ‘tool’ and decide to try to Amercia great by introducing a criterion of ‘productive’ when regulating Wall Street and US banking sector operations.

    Perhaps we will just get more war instead – that seems the preferred distraction from reform of our dysfunctional political economy.

    Have a fab New Year peeps and as Mr Townsend used to say

    “The world really is wonderful”

  5. A rare and intriguing headline on Nepal (but as I can’t imagine the content beats the headline I won’t read that article).
    The most interesting article at the very bottom.
    My simple analysis of the high use of consultants in Australia is that it’s the patriarchy up to its old tricks of rebuilding power and influence around men. Maybe it’s class and gender: our advice is better because we dress well, came from somewhere exotic and sound important. And it costs a lot.
    But I’m not sure I’ll have time to read that either, the cat’s gotta be let out at my sister’s, the apricots are ripe for the picking, the eggs have to be collected.
    Fireworks at nine in Canberra were just the right amount and required just the right amount of (low level) effort to be seen.

  6. BUT IF MUM OR DAD ARE HELPING WITH THE UNI FEES, ‘LIKE IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD’. V3 (rates up 10%pa from 2004, parents need to cease being sloppy with advice on UNI. 35yr rate hikes cost 300k)
    A critical look at employment prospects per sector in our economy where unemployed and underemployed presently total 1.8m (ABC article, December 2017). See here for the ABC sighting that 1.8m number:

    In the 2014-15 year Scientific, Professional & Technical Services (SPT) jobs in Australia grew by just 0.4% (ie lawyers, accountants, scientists, engineers and IT Systems Design) and then in 2015-16 SPT jobs grew by 1.4% but aggregate sector EBITDA fell 4.2% so there would be pressure for the sector to churn its employees from traditional full time positions to interns(more:@@) research scholarships for 2 or 3 year periods, etc. This is plausible as the sector includes all research scientists. A breakdown against all other sectors follows.


    1. Wholesale trade +8%
    2. >Accomodation and food +7.2%!!
    3. Transport, Post, Warehouse +4.7%
    4. Construction +3.3%
    5. >Healthcare +2.9% (esp. nursing on the back of home rates hikes)!!
    There is a specific job-portal for teachers, and with immigration numbers up you would expect teacher jobs to be up: Caution: new accreditation standards require some practical Teaching experience before you graduate, and without it you have to restart your degree.
    Anecdotal evidence has it that there is high teacher turnover but with Science, Mathematics or Technology teachers, demand remains very strong (bzunica in MB Dec. 2017).
    The legals behind parents guaranteeing home loans aren’t strong, which suggests a possible shock to the sector. More:^^

    With teaching, it’s all about what subjects you teach. Science, Mathematics or Technology teachers – job wherever you want if you’re capable. PE, music or art – good luck.

    1. Manufacturing -0.2%
    2. ICT -1.8% (not including system design which is in Prof,Sci, Tech)
    3. [MOST DEGREES AREA] Professional, Scientific & Technical (PST) -4.2%.
    @@ (1/5th job same employer, 1/2 paid)
    Wiley Wolf
    December 29, 2017 at 10:47 am
    “Bank of mum and dad” (which now accounts for 50% of FHB loans ) on behalf of their kids who simply cannot get loans. Some say these loans would be more secure as younger people will have time to pay off these loans –but will the parents trash the kids in a downturn???
    “It’s the parents who could use the ‘undue influence’ as a ‘get out of jail card’ to be released as guarantor should the bottom fall out of the property market,” Scott Wedgwood, a family law partner with Barry Nilsson Lawyers says.
    Property borrowers who get loans from their parents to buy their first property are 2x likely to later encounter financial stress, ask for more help from friends or family, or struggle to pay their power bills, according to recent analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
    A plausible reason for this is the borrowers do not have the income, or discipline, to maintain payments without additional support, according to analysts.
    Family funding is a key contributor to a 5x increase in first-time home buyers in Sydney and an increase of more than 50% nationally over the past year, according to Mortgage Choice.

      • One at a time.

        Although they managed to wipe the zucchinis off and sell them as organic (which strictly speaking they were).

      • @Haroldus (pumpkins and zucchini)

        Reminds me of last year…. I threw a Japanese pumpkin out on the manure pile where I was agisting missus… turns out the thing went feral and we ended up with nearly 400 big pumpkins (that, after 2 flash floods, otherwise they would have been a hell of a lot more…. on a side note, if there’s an explosion of pumpkins on the Pullen-pullen Creek, they’re descendants of my pumpkin)

        Anyway, since we had so many pumpkins and after giving them away by the big bags, I took the rest and started boiling them and feeding them to the horses… one of the women there got veeeery upset that I was grabbing them all and not leaving anything behind, so she started running her mouth. I said to her: I planted the damned things, I took care of them, for all intents and purposes they’re mine…. that I choose to share them with the owner of the place, it’s my choice not hers… nah-nah-nah off she went carrying on about it.

        So I picked a more shapely one, kinda like an hourglass with one smaller end than the other, and I offered it to her and said here, take this and do your Keggel exercises ’cause you’re getting pissy about matters which do not concern you…

        Loaded the rest of the pumpkins, jumped in the car and left … she realized what that was only as I left and looked in the rear view mirror….

        Schweeeeet! 😝

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        First reed instruments and now tubas.

        I’m beginning to sense you may have a problem with things you can blow?

  7. Also, if i can be serious for one second.

    What do you think will happen in Enterprise Bargaining if UBI is brought in?

    I think I have some idea……

    • You lose all rights….

      A JG strengthens rights where a UBI is a tool to remove rights…..

      And with it any social goods, pure user pays end game.

      disheveled…. because “markets”…. die…

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      It made it as high as 7820 last week

      I do find myself wondering about how high it goes. I would imagine the Chinese will keep commodity prices up until the Chinese new yuear, but at the same time wonder about who really would buy AUD above this level.

      The real story for mine is the USD, and all the short term yields suggest supply of USD is tightening, but waiting and seeing will be the order of the day. I reckon DXY has formed a head and shoulders to a selloff but the only thing I can think of which would trigger that would be Donald doing something monumentally stupid – the US data looks OK to me.

      …..and of course thats before the RBA comes back from holidays late January and looks at an AUD anywhere near .8000 (which would mean they would need to take out the sentence about the fall of the AUD supporting the economy from the Minutes). They wont cut before iron ore comes right off IMO

    • Holy mackeal look at thise charts, If they werent soo far nearly off the Y axis Id say they weree a hoax
      Given they are correct.
      So how is the debt repaid, given the falling productivity and earning capacity of the punters and the nation
      What are the options if the debt is not repaid.
      How does Straya compare?
      Its gunna be HUGE.

  8. Reply to Stagmal:- I understand completely. Your not asking much. Just for society at large to provide you your own piece of earth and a roof over your head. I and many others are in the same boat. There have been so many structural changes leading to this debt ridden over priced and unfair world. At the heart labour is losing power to capital. We rely on easy debt rather than wage growth which is driving up asset prices. Politicians are frightened to face the fact that the debt dragging down the system and driving up house prices will never be repaid. The moment for me came when that Liberal head of the affordable housing committee declared there was really no housing affordability problem in Australia. There are lots of forces in the world loading like a spring that maybe we will only understand after the event. You know that. Everyone here knows all this. I’m not sure there is advice in all this. I don’t feel wise enough to offer any. Any advice Macro Community?

    • Politicians dont give a rats cheese about the debt, they didnt take it on.
      those worrying about debt are only those who have it and care about paying it back
      If you need a job to earn an income to repay a debt you need to be where jobs are
      You are not a tree, you can be anywhere jobs are within a week.

      • Mobile labour theory has a lot to do wrt the debt thing your talking about, not to mention social cohesion.

  9. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    On another topic. I can’t believe that Hot Cross Buns are already in the shops. Do people seriously buy them now?

    And a Happy New Year to all.

    • Easter in January: it’s how retailers modify social behavior. There’s bound to be some ‘chef ‘ employed by a supermarket who has some recipe idea such as cross buns with snags and prawns for the Aussie day barbie. Just add heat and the crosses on the buns already have BBQ stripes.

  10. ‘Fifty days before 9/11, Frank Lowy and Larry Silverstein bought the World Trade Centre in New York (how unlucky was that?) at a time when there was a requirement for massively expensive renovation and asbestos removal from the buildings:

    ‘To maintain the trade center as class-A office space commanding top rents, the Port Authority (previous owners) would have had to spend $800 million rebuilding the electrical, electronic communication, and cooling systems.’
    The removal of asbestos raised this figure to well in excess of $1 billion.

    Lowy and Silverstein double-insured the WTC for multiple terrorist attacks (meaning they could claim for the same damage twice if two planes or attacks were involved) and collected $4.577 billion for WTC’s 1, 2, 4 and 5 and $861 million for WTC7. Total $5,438,000,000.’

  11. God forbid if the peasants of Australia voted for a President who represented their wishes. Corrupt muthafckrs wanted to make sure any future Australian President would be a stooge to the system.

    “An Australian republic and a carbon tax: Cabinet documents offer insight into Keating-era policy issues”

    The Prime Minister’s Department cautioned against letting voters choose the president, saying appointment by Parliament would provide “effective safeguards in respect to the calibre and non-partisanship of candidates”.

    Mr Keating later told cabinet “it is imperative that his or her mandate does not flow from popular election”.

  12. 1. But, seriously, have you heard about shale ***? … rofl / lmoa / lol / etc /etc/

    *** laughs at clueless “dwat”.

    2. AUD = currency to be very long vs USD = commodity and oil price rises accelerating, powered by their economics, and by the weakening USD; the latter – on index basis – now @ 3 months lows, and near 6 + 12 month lows.

    I will communicate when I cash out, but still long XJO, Shale and China and Japan … not to worry, my good mate

  13. Reply to skippy about ‘What about economists and MBAs in the ABS sector breakdown of employment?’ in my comment from earlier today. ABS data in this space is not straightforward as Group finance companies of corporate groups are tricky to deal with so they exclude Finance from the 8155.0 series. That clearly would have lots of economists and MBAs in the group finance companies and the ABS exclusion also leaves out banks and insurance. There is a sector shown for administration and its EBITDA fell 1.8% for the year to June 2016. My first degree was accounting with economics, then some master economics/ statistics, a MBA with a full finance major, couple of masters law.