Weekend Links 6-7 January 2018

Tree of Life, John Coburn, 1965, Art Gallery of NSW

Macro Markets & Investing




Terra Incognita

…and furthermore…



Latest posts by Gunnamatta (see all)


      • Thx Boom. What a mess, society legislating itself to death to accommodate utterly absurd assertions! State sanctioned emotional terrorism…. FUBAR!

      • The Australia/ Thailand FTA came into effect in 2005, so we can’t blame that. It is amazing the size of the Thai car manufacturing industry now.

      • Gunna
        I also think people are underestimating the negative wealth effect that’s coming from the property down turn
        Credit is very tight now starting the new year and backs wlll be shittung themselves with royal commission
        The clamps are coming
        On top property investors are spooked and can’t refinance
        Think 2nd Qtr 18 will see the blood starting and falls won’t be gradual

  1. Universal Basic Income: Why Elon Musk Thinks It May Be The Future – IB Times

    We already got a taste of it with Rudd’s $900 cheques. The minority who had an income over $100k did not get the cheques. Even MB has anti-poor astroturfers ranting against UBI:


    Which is exactly why UBI should be put in already – the right wing anti-poor hate UBI along with how I can see a GP for free.

    • “Even MB has anti-poor astroturfers ranting against UBI”

      You can have one option, but not both.

      1. Free money.

      2. Lots of people.

      Get those fking idiot Greens and Labor to decide which one, before mentioning the ridiculous UBI ever again.

      • Ric, I rant against the Greens and ALP all the time. Then I got accused of being an LNP fan! Top notch analysis there. “You hate the ALP? You must love the LNP”.

        I hate mass low-wage immigration and love UBI. The ALP is not offering universal income but universal suffering. The Greens are probably not offering UBI either. SAP will probably get more votes if they had UBI in the manifesto – they are not getting many votes anyway.

    • UBI will be bastardised as the govt will mandate that people can only spend it on certain brands and products of MNC‘s. no way in the world they’ll give out free cash without having the rent seekers clip the ticket.

      • J Bauer, one side of politics will always try to hurt the poor (GP tax, HECS debt threshold lowered to $45k, etc) – with and without UBI.

        As for your MNC argument, I am poor and chose to use a Vodafone sim card (a multinational!). My car is a Toyota (another multinational!).

        See the comment by Dominic? Typical right-wing anti-poor stuff. “If UBI gets put in, the rich will move to a nation that has lower taxes”. So why is Toorak not empty now?

    • Guarantee heathlcare, education, access to justice, housing, food and THEN add UBI on top of that.


      See ya capitalism.

      • And 50m population in a country that’s sold everything. UBI’s not happening.

        Far more likely is a complete overhaul of welfare/medical/legal rights/ that will bring us in line with America. Poverty/inequity/jail for the disabled, dumb, sick and elderly.

        Get the pro population growth gang out of left wing politics or horrendous inequity is the new black.

      • Awesome!

        I am looking forward to Skippy’s detailed unpacking of the differences between capitalism and neoliberalism.

        I assume you mean to imply that one is good and one is less good.

        You can start your mission by explaining what you mean by capitalism and why it is good and then move on to how neoliberalism differs from capitalism.

        Footnotes to speeches by Gordon Gecko will be permitted.

        Turn up the airconditioning folks.

      • oo7…

        Neoliberalism is basically Laissez-faire with the twist of incorporating government to achieve some future free market utopia, not unlike the state capitalism used by so called communists, where eventually the state is no longer needed. Yet at the end of the day its all predicated on Atomistic Individualism or Newtonian metrics wrt the human condition.

        I have submitted copious amounts of links to Philip Mirowski and others which provides a granular unpacking of the whole sordid affair, from core axioms to revisionist history.

        We have had the discussion about Capitalism a long time ago, if your memory serves e.g. its not a monolith, but a system of social up lift, yet that does not preclude state intervention [see Smith et al] or social goods such as clean air and water, education, health and the commons. Neoliberalism basically portends to privatize everything and affix a price to it so the “Market” can determine its value [not that price and value are the same thing]. This is due to the perception that the market is some sort of computational device that always arrives at the truth [see Mirowski ].

        The worst bit is after several generations of environmental conditioning bias becomes inelastic or the new norm, this is filtered down from academia [science mart] to those in political positions and those they appoint in say the judiciary, which again sets the stage for feed back loops, especially considering how tightly coupled everything is these days [dogs breakfast].

        Now having summarized and attributed might you share your views on the wages vs productivity and how that squares with demand for credit. Not to mention how certain mobs developed fee systems and debt traps like the 2% solution, revolving debt and usurious interest rates. None of this happen in a vacuum, it was all given life by the same group of ideologues.

        Disheveled… BTW did you like the link on Murry I submitted for consideration wrt your Individualism link – ????

      • Not much of an argument Ortega, humans have been doing capitalism since Ag.

        Now if you want to argue its administration and the resulting distribution of social enterprise we can have an informed discussion.

      • Again Ortega its your place to establish a base line in reference to history without resorting to spirituous conjecture in a vacuum e.g. all societies are administered for good and bad. That leaves us with what mythos underpins societies and who advances that perspective, and for what reasons.

        Now we can reference history and establish what has more potential for both social cohesion and uplift or we can fly by the seat of our pants and then play the blame game afterwards….

      • Skip,

        Sorry for the lack of attention to marking your homework!

        But the news is not good. A low mark for failing to even define your terms and no applause for dodging the issue.

        “….humans have been doing capitalism since Ag….”

        What on earth does that mean?.

        And no you cant just wave your magic Mirowski wand and make the problem go away.

        Mirowski certainly talks about the obsessions of neoliberalism but even Phil seems to understand the history of power concentration and greed has a longer history than the 1950s. Your task was to identify precisely what capitalism is and how that differs in some meaningful way from neoliberalism. What makes one good and the other bad.

        Did you miss the bit of economic history before the new deal?

        You know the dark and satanic mill period, full of child labour, pit ponies etc?

        What was that?

        Just some of your standard since the dawn of agriculture hijinks?

        Do you have somevsnips demonstrating that old industrial revolution capitalists were warmer and fuzzier than the post WW2 variety?

        I know you like to pretend that ‘neoliberalism’ is new because you think it gets your private banking buddies off the hook as a bunch of timeless and harmless bits of social furniture but giving a free pass to capitalism? Really?

        Sweeper might dump you after such a reveal. Hmmm but Sweeper is hot and heavy on private banking too so perhaps you guys are still good.

        Have another try at fleshing out why you love old style capitalism and why it has lots of natural and wholesome goodness but neoliberalism is so hateful.

        Could it be the freedom?

        The focus on the individual?

        You might even make the MPS ski team!

      • In response to your personal opinions and vague unsupported projections….


        From Polanyi:

        “A self-regulating market-system is a utopia. No society could stand its devastating effects once it got really going. Hardly had laissez-faire started when the State and voluntary organizations intervened to protect society through factory laws, Trade Union and Church action from the mechanism of the market.”

        Commented on by Kuttner:

        “We have been here before. During the period between the two world wars, free-market liberals governing Britain, France, and the US tried to restore the pre–World War I laissez-faire system. They resurrected the gold standard and put war debts and reparations ahead of economic recovery. It was an era of free trade and rampant speculation, with no controls on private capital. The result was a decade of economic insecurity ending in depression, a weakening of parliamentary democracy, and fascist backlash….”

        WRT Capitalism and Ag, Ag enabled capital formation which then gave rise to city-states and ultimately nation states. I do understand that the term Capitalism was not used until much latter, tho that does not change how Ag shaped and allowed early political and economic systems to arise due to such capital formation.

        “And no you cant just wave your magic Mirowski wand and make the problem go away.”

        Is this even a concerted statement, using words like magic or make the problem go away. Its a non sequitur and a plethora of other logical fallacies all rolled into one. I have not waved anything, I attribute Mirowski in establishing a defined time line wrt previous periods wrt capitalism and its neoliberal variant, dominate since the 70s. Mirowski and others also do a granular unpacking of what axioms underpin the entire ideology, along with how the whole thing got traction in manufacturing consent.

        As far as your constant references to private banking buddy’s, I have no idea how you arrive at that conclusion. Being contra your position on a topic is not the same as being pro its opposite e.g. if not X invariably leads to Y, you seem to exist in a simplistic black and white world. Per se my link down thread about the FDIC case against PwC does not support that projection, nor does my long [years] pointing out the deleterious effects of the FIRE sector, references to Bill Black and control fraud, predatory and anti social behavior by not only banks but the C-Corps, etc….

        “Have another try at fleshing out why you love old style capitalism and why it has lots of natural and wholesome goodness but neoliberalism is so hateful.

        Could it be the freedom?

        The focus on the individual?

        You might even make the MPS ski team!”

        Again I have no idea where you get this stuff from, it seems to be largely attributed to your own mental demons. Firstly I never said I loved anything, old style capitalism is ill defined, natural and wholesome goodness is so subjective is its meaningless, as is ascribing hate to neoliberalism. I don’t hate neoliberalism, I only acknowledge its effects.

        Same goes for the subjective term freedom, it can mean anything to anyone. You have protected rights and unprotected as well as positive freedoms and negative freedoms, if one wants to square that philosophical sphere.

        Individuals that ascribe to group think are not much of an individual imo, a perspective that has more to do with esoteric underpinnings than a reflection of reality. Humans are herd animals at the end of the day, that some take advantage of that for less than ethical reasons is another issue.

      • Skippy,


        More ducking and weaving and no clarity as to what you meant by your original statement that capitalism was not synonymous with neoliberalism.

        You even helpfully provided us with some snips from folks who clearly agree that by historical standards modern neoliberalism is nothing remarkable.

        Some might even see a hint of the truth of the matter in the neo bit of neoliberalism.

        Guess what income tax rates were in the 19th century?. Modern neoliberals are tawdry socialists by comparison as them seem quite accepting of such impositions.

        That is the problem with your whole edifice. You think there is something unique about the post war period when we are just sliding back to old fashioned capitalism. The kind that Grandpa rallied against….at least some Grandpas did.

        You know the kind of capitalism where people argued that the government had NO role with regard to money.

        You protest that you have no time for the perfidy of private bankers but defendind their public money franchise is about all you do these days.

        You and Sweeps fighting hard week in week out for a continuing role for private banking.

      • Again a bunch of spirituous conjecture and unsupported projections oo7, none of what you just said can be reconciled against everything I have submitted or forwarded in the past. I would even suggest you read the book the entrepreneurial state. I would also add that sovereign governments already have the power over money creation, its called law, that under neoliberalism its become the plaything of the market is not the same as banks running the show e.g. Wall St and policy agenda think tanks like ALEC have much more to do with it than your wanking on about money crankery. All of that occurred in the political sphere due to vested interests driving their agenda wrt how they wanted society to be run. That is neither democratic or social capitalism of up lift.

        Sweeper and I disagree with your fundamental approach to the political reality as well as your esoteric approach to the human condition. Do you even have any clue to what you did when you said you were on the side with angels. That is one self awarded massive plank in your eye and from a psychological view more than a bit delusional.

        You just don’t seem to understand the process that has enabled all this and the various players or enterprises involved per se the link on PwC. Your myopia on banks and money is purely an ideological driven agenda.

        disheveled…. yet such is the condition of money cranks….

      • Skippy,

        For all your huffing and puffing you consistently fail to provide ANY justification for the role of private banks with regard to public money. Just a bit hand waving and invocations of antiquity.

        The lived reality demonstrates the defects of the current privatisation model as it has been drifting back steadily to the private bank centric model that operated in the 19th century.

        Your preferred epoch of old style capitalism.

        The ONUS is on you to make the case for the role of private bankers because all you are doing is whinging about neoliberalism – the return of free market privatisation of the public realm – while defending the most egregious manifestation of it. Private bankers enjoying a largely unfettered franchise with regard to the status of private bank credit.

        The worst bit is you are not even prepared to own your position. Constantly ducking and weaving and trying to obsfucate that your preference is a privatised public monetary system. You argue for public monetary privatisation and then have the gall to claim you are critical of private banks. Give it a rest.

        The fact you reckon governments in the current model where “balanced budgets are demanded” have enough power says it all. The balanced budget mania is a core part of the privatisation of public money power.

        I know it is embarassing to have your neoliberal /free market / privatisation preference pointed out but if you are going to spruik for private bankers in the public monetary system at least own it.

      • oo7….

        Your becoming more and more spastic about this. On one hand you spat the dummy about nationalizing banks or regulation yet forward a free banking agenda and still wrap the whole thing around your views about banks having taken over money creation from the state. Which is made even more surreal when you want a non democratic administration of HPM removing politics from the equation, yet fail to reconcile that you will never remove politics from it.

        On top of all this banks are the only ones in your mind that have committed some sort of crime against society. As far as I can discern its all premised on QTM and EMH at the end of the day. Never once have I seen you direct your hate on any other sector or enterprise in the private sector.

        Actually the onus is on you to explain how banks are the responsible for – all – the events leading up to the GFC, including all the misdeeds by a every other C-corp. Banks did not instigate the divergence between wages and productivity nor did they establish and fund all the ideological policy think tanks ring fencing Capitols. Further more Banks are not the well spring in establishing the FIRE sector. All of this has deeper roots, yet you some how start your observations several steps after the fact to focus your attention on. That in its self shows how sloppy your methodology is e.g. you all ready have a predetermined target based on ideological reasons and then go collect information to support that proposition.

        disheveled…. banks do need reforming, as does other sectors, but to say banks created this whole mess is not supported by evidence. Were banks responsible for the Chicago Boys flippant response to Born, no.

    • Rudd’s $900 checks were not a UBI, they were a one time stabilizer offsetting demand weakness [psychological group fear].

      Good intentions[???] aside Jacob, I highly recommend that you research the entire history behind such theory’s as a UBI and the broader social implications. The sales pitch [free money] does not cover half of what its proponents intended, such as diminished democratic rights et al, otherwise consumers ™ would just vote for more money, which again would necessitate an undemocratic administration of it.

      disheveled… I would also add the drama not unlike selling a PR house to take price on the increase in equity, at the end of the day your just right back in the market.

      • Skippy, consumers would vote for more money?

        The UBI referendum in Switzerland proved that voters will not vote for more money year on year. The referendum actually failed – because the amount was too high and people were afraid the price of their burgers will go up due to burger flippers being able to quit their job and go on the UBI instead.

        But Iran has UBI – a modest one – and Iranians did not quit their jobs. The latest polling says Alaskans love the Alaskan UBI.

        Australians have not been polled on UBI but most Britons want it. Are Aussies really that different to Britons? Aussies certainly lapped up the $900 cheques from Rudd.

      • Jacob you still keep missing the point or ignoring it for what ever reason.

        That some countries use a UBI equivalent and your perceptions about how they – feel about it – is not applicable nor relevant to the issues I present. You have to present a counter argument against the specific issues I have tabled.

        You don’t seem to understand or ignore the cornerstone to all of this is power relationships and weakening of democracy, UBI is a tool to achieve this goal. Just the collective views of its original authors bares this out, in their view everything is a market, even the state. By giving people money in lieu to rights to a fair share of production citizens lose a tremendous amount of political capital and leverage. This is also akin to a gate way drug to enable the dismantlement of any social good provided by the state at the behest of its citizens e.g. health, education, commons.

        You also seem ignorant wrt the timelines from establishment and having a series run long enough to quantify the results of such policies. Things are measured in decades and not quarters or annually. Do I need to remind all the free market PR men proclaiming victory pre GFC only to have it blow up in their face.

        disheveled… Now that’s not to say I would be anti a small UBI and JG mix, my biggest issue is getting rid of the NAIRU and with it the inflation hysteria proponents. A UBI by itself does nothing in this regard.

    • I see a problem with UBI. We have gradually transformed into a society that uses money as the basis for law enforcement. While it is possible to go to jail for some crimes, mostly people are kept in line by the threat of financial destruction. For example, ignore the ATO demand for a tax payment and what you will get is an escalation of fines and penalties until you lose everything. Same with traffic fines, bills etc. It is unlikely that they will throw you in jail for any of this, but eventually you will end up living with Matthew Talbot and eating Whiskas Seafood Splatter.

      There is the dilemma. Do you still get UBI if you thumb your nose at society? If you do, then we will need to build many more prisons for minor legal infractions. If UBI is revocable, then all it does is eliminate the function of Centrelink red tape. The better solution for UBI would be to have a separate currency that was only tradable for food and accomodation – like food stamps but that has its own set of problems.

      • As demonstrated in a recent link I submitted wrt Nigeria [Africa in large] the establishment of ID pared with transactional function and administered by a major CC concern.

      • There is the dilemma. Do you still get UBI if you thumb your nose at society? If you do, then we will need to build many more prisons for minor legal infractions.

        So you believe the reason people don’t commit more “minor legal infractions” is because they’re poor ?

      • What happens now if you do not pay your traffic fines?

        Are you required to quit your job?

        I am absolutely in favour of jailing graffiti vandals.

      • “So you believe the reason people don’t commit more “minor legal infractions” is because they’re poor ?”

        Yes – that is why middle class people pay their fines and the ATO – because if they don’t, it will be a severe financial setback. Most people are very careful near Red Light cameras because they can cost you a lot. This is even when it is obvious that the camera does nothing to reduce accidents. If there was no financial penalty most people would use their judgement. Nothing works on drunks or crazies.

      • Yes – that is why middle class people pay their fines and the ATO – because if they don’t, it will be a severe financial setback. Most people are very careful near Red Light cameras because they can cost you a lot. This is even when it is obvious that the camera does nothing to reduce accidents. If there was no financial penalty most people would use their judgement. Nothing works on drunks or crazies.

        Wow. So the reason you don’t go blasting through red lights is because you’re worried about getting fined ?

      • DarkMatter…

        Speed cameras is a neoliberal approach to funding public services…. that’s not to say they don’t save lives….

      • You are being silly. No sane person goes through the red light in traffic because it is dangerous. However, if it is 3am and not a soul on the road, then going through the red light is a non event. Similar with speed cameras. A speed camera in a 50 zone has very little effect – in fact 50 zones only appeared recently. A good driver will drive at a reasonable speed which might be slightly slower or faster than 50 or 60. Usually traffic finds its own natural speed.

        Most accidents are caused by inexperienced drivers, or drunks and crazies. The cameras do not affect them because they are drunk or crazy. Inexperienced people have accidents at any speed because they don’t know what to do. Without the cameras, I would drive at a natural speed and have no no accidents – just like before the cameras were introduced.

        Case in point – the woman down in Bankstown who drove the 4WD into a school and killed 2 children. Nothing to do with cameras and law enforcement – just driver incompetence.

        drsmithy – you seem to have an unnatural fetish for rules and regulations. Sometimes that is a sign of moral confusion.

      • However, if it is 3am and not a soul on the road, then going through the red light is a non event.

        Except for the cyclist you didn’t see who thought it was OK to cruise through the intersection because they had a green light.

        Exactly the same reasoning for running a red light being a “non event” applies to *any* red-light running situation that doesn’t result in an accident. The only difference is who is making the judgement of whether or not it’s a “non event”.

        Yes, you can pick extreme situations and say nobody would disagree with your judgement, but concluding the same is true (ie: nobody would disagree) of _all_ possible scenarios is a fallacy.

        To wit:

        Without the cameras, I would drive at a natural speed and have no no accidents – just like before the cameras were introduced.

        What about the people whose idea of a “natural speed” on a given road is 50% more (or less) than yours ? Are they right so long as they don’t have any accidents ?

        You shouldn’t stop at red lights because you’re afraid of being punished. You should at red lights because of people coming the other way making the assumption you will.

      • Your average student sharehouse with half a dozen people can’t get by without some codified rules.

        You really think a society can ?

      • Ok but whatever each person’s views are of running red lights, the point is still valid – we have actually transformed the society by policing it with fines for minor imfractions (fines which hold monetary value). In conjunction with things like point systems in the example of road rules. But people do respond to fines. It is a bit stupid that people don’t respond well enough to “drive dangerously and you might lose your legs in an accident” .. true, but charging people money for these infractions seems to be an added incentive to follow rules.
        So how does UBI (giving people money) really fit within this world where you take money away for these types of things? I guess still fits well of you think about it.. the entire UBI becomes a points or a coupon system I suppose where you might have to give it back if you get any tickets!

      • Ok but whatever each person’s views are of running red lights, the point is still valid – we have actually transformed the society by policing it with fines for minor imfractions (fines which hold monetary value).

        Transformed from what ? When ? How far back are you going to find a society that didn’t have fines of some description ?

        So how does UBI (giving people money) really fit within this world where you take money away for these types of things?

        Exactly the same way it does today ? You get a fine, you pay the fine. Why is the source of the money a life changing matter ? How does it reconcile with the belief professed above that most people follow the rules *anyway*, except the drunks and crazies ?

      • I don’t know. Something about being given money without actually earning it… probably won’t hurt as much to lose it. Dont know that fines as a deterent would be as great in a world of UBI.
        no, I think there are many who aren’t drunk or crazy that have a god complex that are equally likely to break rules. Then there are the plain stupid. Surprisingly don’t have to be drunk to be dumb on this world.

      • Something about being given money without actually earning it… probably won’t hurt as much to lose it.

        Why ? If you’ve got 500/wk coming in and need 450/wk of it to live on, what does the source of it have to do with what it’s worth to you ?

    • Jacob, the standard narrative regarding ‘right-wingers’ is that they are motivated by resentment when railing against welfare and other Govt transfer schemes.

      This narrative suits liberals and the political Left as there’s an inference in that narrative that Conservatives are inherently nasty people. While such nasty people no doubt exist the narrative is false and deceitful. Most Conservatives possess healthy amounts of commonsense and have a decent grasp of ‘math’ when pointing out that the (ever-expanding) welfare State is destined to bankrupt the nation as a whole. Right-wingers are (for the large part) pragmatists and understand full well that the laws of economics cannot be repealed — this is in stark contrast to the Lefties who believe that a near-utopian world can be created, if only the ‘right’ people were in charge to execute the plan. What endlessly amazes conservatives is that the perpetual failure of socialism has not dissuaded the Lefties that their dream is ‘bunk’.

      I don’t deny that UBI is on the horizon: one day we will have an economic downturn so severe and an unemployment rate so high that the electorate will make it a reality. But what socialists fail to appreciate is that every dollar that Govt spends is confiscated from someone in the private sector — the State has no income outside of that. Then what will the economy look like?

      Imagine a long-boat with rows and rows of oarsmen on each side, 100 hundred all up, with only 15 or 20 doing any actual pulling. The rest sitting around picking their noses, all the while wondering why the boat isn’t making much headway …

      • “Most Conservatives possess healthy amounts of commonsense”

        Fallacy of composition, commonsense is just another term for environmental bias or conforming to group think.

        Compounded by not attributing which theory of commonsense your evoking, its a bit of list.

        Btw selectorial balances are juxtaposed, not to mention government spends first and as a result the private sector is a result of that initial expenditure.

        Disheveled…. tho I do understand the grievance about distribution.

        PS. I also think your bastardizing the term Conservative, by which period are you referring too.

      • I was making a general point about how the Left and Right view each other. Perhaps it was not constructed in a fashion that met with your approval and I apologise, but I only have 5 to 10 minutes to read and respond on this blog.

      • The rich are getting richer. If the government is going bankrupt, the government is not taxing the rich enough.

        In Italy, people drive Ferraris but tell the government “my income is only €30k/year”.

        Negative gearing in AUS = a handout to the richest 40%.

        Newstart costs $9 billion per year while negative gearing handouts cost $10 billion per year and the aged pension costs over $44 billion per year.

        The aged pension = a handout to those with assets worth $1 million or more.

        The right wing radio hosts wanted the GST to go up but the LNP will not give out anti-poverty cheques to the poor. So just another tax that will hurt the poor more than the rich. While the luxury car tax does not impact the poor because I have never had an expensive car.

      • Imagine a long-boat with rows and rows of oarsmen on each side, 100 hundred all up, with only 15 or 20 doing any actual pulling. The rest sitting around picking their noses, all the while wondering why the boat isn’t making much headway …

        In reality it looks more like a longboat with 100 oars, 150 oarsmen, and a bloke sitting up the back who inherited it from his dad claiming the boat wouldn’t even be moving if not for him.

      • Without scorn I only disagree with the left involvement in anything, its not at the table.

        You have free market conservatives [religious mores] and free market social libertarians [non religious mores], yet at the end of the day its the moeny and power of their respective bases that move the Overton window.

        disheveled… as both are market based the move is to the right.

      • Jacob, please consider for a sec what you’re saying here. Your words: “If the government is going bankrupt, the government is not taxing the rich enough.”

        How about: the Govt is spending beyond its means? …. at least consider the possibility, because Govts are notorious for wasting money — there are no real incentives to conserve it.

        What about: where are the restraints if Govt just raised taxes every time it ran out of money? There is no relationship between what the rich earn and what the Govt needs to spend, just FYI. If Govt just raised taxes every time it ran out of money they would eventually run out of people to tax. Surely this is obvious?

        The rich are not dumb – they would pack their bags and move to a lower tax jurisdiction and then you’d end up with a country full of public sector employees, deadbeats and a few die-hards (and no money to pay anyone). Every year the Economist publishes a chart in which it ranks the world’s countries in order of Economic Freedom — it’ll come as no surprise to anyone that the countries with the highest per capita GDP are at the top of that list. The higher your taxes the lower your score, just FYI.

        Let me clarify that I do not support any of the speculative activities that our Govt encourages via the monetary system, the taxation system and its implicit support for the corrupt banking system. When I refer to the economy I am talking about genuine wealth generation activities, which are sorely lacking here with no improvement in sight.

      • The rich are not dumb – they would pack their bags and move to a lower tax jurisdiction and then you’d end up with a country full of public sector employees, deadbeats and a few die-hards (and no money to pay anyone).

        Which was, of course, the root cause of the mass exodus of “rich people” from the USA immediately after WW2, leading to its complete collapse in industry, technological advancement, wealth, living standards and inequality until the ’80s, when Saint Reagan started the tax slashing trend that’s been slowly building everything back up since then.

    • Jacob

      I’m hearing you now. If we all demand a UBI, population growth is not possible, it’s simply not affordable..

      I LIKE IT.

      • Ric, I vote for SAP, AHP, Cory, and her, to slash immigration but not enough voters do the same.

        Driverless trucks are about to hit the road and Aussie governments will legalise them very quickly – which means that 3rd world males will not be able to get $10/hour truck driving jobs here.

        If petrol stations go extinct due to electric cars, the 3rd world males working in petrol stations here for $10/hour will be unemployed.

        There is now a fully automated solar panel factory in China that does not have lighting! (Robots do not need lights/food/toilets/smokos). The only staff there are security guards – robocops are not yet a thing.

        All this means a UBI has to be put in and 3rd world males will not be able to get jobs here. But we should put in a modest UBI already because inequality is growing at a rapid pace.

        BTW, immigrants are not allowed to get welfare straight away – unless they have a refugee visa – they survive here by working for illegal wages but my point is they will no longer be able to survive by delivering pizzas (due to driverless cars), so they will stop coming over.

    • “We already got a taste of it with Rudd’s $900 cheques.”

      “We” as in “you”? Have you been a recipient since Rudd days? Get a job Jacob. Move to an area with employment prospects. Reskill or retrain. Stop expecting everyone else to support you.

      UBI without commensurate major tax overhaul is expensive and no panacea for people like you. You will always want more. The dependent class.

      • “We” as in “you”?

        Um, everyone who got the cheques – including foreigners unfortunately.

        Get a job? Why do you not pay for membership.

        You want the jobs to go to 457 visa staff anyway.

        Who says $900 is enough to live on? But a UBI of $900 would help pay the power bills.

        We can afford negative gearing, the infrastructure required by mass immigration (245,000/year), 12 submarines, corporate tax cuts, novated leasing handouts but not $900 cheques to the poorest voters!

        Only Alaska, Iran, India, China can afford UBI!

      • $900 is not UBI, $900 is a handout.

        Those foreign males you so despise took a risk, left their homes and families to move to countries and took on whatever work they could get.

        You may benefit by their example.

  2. Know IdeaMEMBER

    After viewing the reproduction of this week’s artwork I can understand why so many houses built in the early 1970’s were painted mission brown. Very period.

    • Cause the green sits well on brown?
      Poor old brown. Long may it rest in interior decorating purgatory. But you resell your Arabia dinnerware. Very collectible and in use at the vortex of trendiness in the world, silo. Obvs.

  3. Oooh, another great painting. almost as good as a Rothko.
    CHOCOLATE SHORTAGE??? How to cause panic. Wonder if there’s a number one trend on Twitter already.

    • Yr wasting yr time. a bunch of amateurs, they deserve to get done over.
      What ever happened to due diligence?? Nah she ll be right, lets get registered for the free handouts

      • billygoatMEMBER

        My BS cynic, sceptic radar is pinging that likely deliberate sabotage by inner circle pretender – much like our mate Dick Smirh aligned with Pauline Hanson.
        More of the same.
        No one really wants people agitating publicly for cheap afforadable housing when there is billions of dollars to be made flogging it (and everything else) to overseas investors.
        Fly west out of Melbourne, there’s plenty more land to house those not yet on our shores….North Melbourne, Footscray, Sunshine, Ardeer, Deer Park, RockBank, Melton, Parwan, Ballan(not so much – more white folk retreating from Essendon/Asot Vale) Ballarat and BEYOND!!!!
        Flatand subdividable a single acre at a time forever. No need to trot out cliched fallacy ‘They’re not making any more land’ They don’t have to, we already have plenty!
        Anyone publicly adverse to high prices is short term smoke and mirrors.
        Millenials acting like they rent the place. Comment gold – thanks for sharing.

      • At least their put there giving it a go. I donated to them a couple of times. You gotta stand for something.

  4. Looks similar to me
    This Aussie will win

    Also think bond yields will rise over next few years in US

      • Colin
        I think any market that is over levered will be hit hardest
        US STOCKS

  5. Maggie T goes tits up; The retail downturn has claimed one of Australia’s best-known brands, with plus-size retailer Maggie T entering administration this week.
    The collapse of Maggie T follows listed handbag retailer Oroton, A string of other major retailers have collapsed in the past 18 months, including Marcs, David Lawrence, Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett, Payless Shoes and kids fashion brand Pumpkin Patch.
    Analysts from Citi said in October that Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Myer could all face an 8 % decline in earnings as a result of increased competition from Amazon.
    It’s a similar, if not worse, story in the US, which is in the midst of a major retail downturn.
    Credit Suisse’s are predicting a wave of store closures and administrations in the US in 2018 as the industry deteriorates faster than the market had expected The increase in retail collapses were expected to put pressure on shopping centre landlords in America in the coming year AND Billabong has been dumped.
    Interesting times

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Hey WW Do you know what happened to grubby Clark Rubber since that episode ?
      Please forgive me MB’ers helped a stranded cyclist on my way back from the hill climb who turned out to be a pommie RE agent.

      • the word is he and a heap of other legends of the game turned religious when they realised the drugs and a lifestyle had permanently ruined their hope of a normal life.
        the local mormons up here always hold up one of the famous board shapers from byron as one of their own now.
        the success story from all that lot was Hayden Kenny and Jack Oneill of the USA.
        Arrived at the Surfclub 4:30 this am to find a number of the old derros sleeping on the carpark, on the warm bitumen
        the years of drug use has turned em into zombies, literally just roaming the environment hour by hour, on the UBI, and $5 bottles of sherry.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        WW that should have read foam not rubber anyhow just looked it up, He shut his 40M surfboard blank business over night in 2005 which up till then supplied 90% of the worlds blanks. This sent shock waves through the industry looking for new suppliers.
        What happened to him? raising cattle and sheep on his Oregon farm

      • “so, what do you do?.. Oh.. A real estate agent. Sadly I don’t carry a multi tool or any spares”

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      I was at the Oroton shop last weekend in Westfield Parramatta and it was doing bristling sales : after merchandise are less than 50% off. Bought a decent wallet for $60, original price is $150. Beyond the retail downturn, the bigger issue is may be the pricing point.

      • If you dont pay full price how do you know that you didnt buy a cheap and nasty knock-off?

        Price is the only determinant of quality and discernment.

        Keep the receipt showing the discount handy to silence critics.


      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        My fellow bogans used to love that, boasting about how much some item they bought cost. Used to boast about paying $20 for a pint or schooner or whatever jt was at flash pubs in Perth.

        Nothing screams class like paying over the odds

      • Veblen good… on a social psychology thingy…

        Disheveled…. tho prices are largely “administered” according to ones market and has little to do with classical or neoclassical price mechanics.

  6. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Cricket people. There’s quite a few knowledgeable types on these pages. Could youse approach the ABC for a writing gig please? If I have to read one more Geoff Lemon piece I’m climbing up the bell tower. Analysis my arse. More like 13-year-old private-school-boy-in-love-for-first-time-bad-poetry.

    I think he’s trying to be the new Gideon Haigh with new, improved pretension.

    I’m not linking. It’s that bad.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yep. He read a lot of Geoff Lemon. One too many bad metaphors sent him spiralling into madness.

    • Lemon wrote a great article calling out the channel 9 commentators for the self indulgent wangers they are. I like him.

      • Yeah and that nob Brad Macnamara who produced the Ch 9 cricket until last year (I think) replied to the article basically asking WTF was Lemon and what level did he play…

  7. FDIC win against PwC could finally force auditors to look for fraud

    A federal judge has given the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. a big win against PricewaterhouseCoopers, a decision that could cost the auditor more than $1 billion in damages and finally put auditors on the hook for detecting fraud.

    It’s a new responsibility that these firms have traditionally argued is not the point of an audit.

    On Dec. 28, U.S. District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein gave the FDIC a victory on one of three claims it brought against PricewaterhouseCoopers, the auditor of Colonial Bank Group, a financial crisis-era bank that failed after a massive fraud was discovered between the bank and the mortgage originator Taylor Bean & Whitaker.

    But the claim — for professional negligence — was the FDIC’s most serious against PwC related to audits of Colonial for 2002 through 2005 and again in 2008.

    The case against PwC, and its internal audit co-source vendor Crowe Horwath, for professional malpractice and breach of contract, was the first FDIC suit against an auditor for financial crisis-era bank frauds or failures.

    Asked for more details, a spokeswoman for the FDIC said the regulator does not comment on pending litigation.

    The Colonial Bank failure cost the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund $2.3 billion, according to the FDIC’s court filing. Judge Rothstein’s decision reduced the potential damages to an estimated $1.4 billion, after determining that a related breach by Bank of America BAC, +0.23% of its custodial obligations to Colonial Bank was not foreseeable by the auditor. A hearing on the damages has not yet been scheduled.

    But even the lower award could stretch PwC’s finances since it has already agreed to two additional confidential settlements in the last 18 months, one for a related case brought against the firm by the bankruptcy trustee for TBW and another for the crisis-era failure of brokerage firm MF Global, another PwC audit client. – snip


    Whilst money cranks and free market ideologues run around with heads on fire the cornerstone to the whole debacle escapes them, due to their fixations, yet, time and time again the fundamentals always boils down to fraud and anti social tendencies. So that begs the question about what idioms neoliberalism deploys that enables such behavior and what well spring gave credence to them.

    • Ah yes but the free market says the big four are also too big too fail.. like Arthur Anderson.
      Besides, as the money crankists point out it was the deposit creation abilities of banks like Lehman that did it (even though they didn’t issue deposits). Not the accounting scams like Repo 105 and those meant to call it out (E&Y). Because.. free markets.

    • Birch is just another Allen Stanford [or his lawyer], their just convenient front men to create demand pull from the unwashed, which also serves as a break glass in case of an emergency tool.

      • billygoatMEMBER

        NB paid actor playing gormless, dumb, fat everyday Aussie who made it big in RE.
        In words of Doc Neeson ‘Take a long line….reel em in’
        Aussie Houing its catch and release (on the way down) after they’ve caught the bait thinking their onto something (the housing ladder) comes the pain of removing the hook, being stood on (does that cause internal damage to a fish or are their brains too small they can’t feel anything….Ask a scientist – they know everything/sarc) and throw them back in water bleeding from the mouth!
        Oz is one huge waterway of bleeding fish with sharks circling. If I allude to who or what is cocling my comment will await moderation but we all know.

      • Billygoat…

        Funny story…

        Used to know and occasionally work with an ex SAS guy that worked in the trades and was a payed musician [interesting story of its self]. Anywho he was working in one of the big 5 star hotels in Sydney during the early years of RE spruiking and low and behold an RE seminar was being held by one of the biggest “Music Men” where he was working.

        Long story short.

        He was approached by the music man after observing the administrative and skill levels this person displayed in the discharge of his duties. He was approached and after a short meet and greet offered lunch at a posh restaurant [wink], he accepted. So during lunch the music man proposed an offer to this person, which basically boiled down to running the set up of his seminars at top pay w/ the addition of establishing a RE portfolio for him in exchange for stepping up when called out during a seminar, as an example of the seminars successful approach to wealth creation.

        He had the cheek to decline, you see this person was actually a savvy operator with heaps of knowledge and international experience. That he worked as a tradie and musio was so he could avail himself of half the BS, when in reality he could have leveraged it all for the big bucks and esteem.

        So Milgram.

        Disheveled…. His story about a European job and bar convo with a instrument specialist was epic, alas not family blog stuff…. real men thingy….

      • So the ex-SAS guy only wanted to benefit from half the BS by working as a tradie and muso?
        Could you explain further? It doesn’t really make sense.

      • Andrew….

        Don’t conflate.

        Being a skilled trades man working in a 5 star hotel is not the same as being a poster boy for a RE spuriker, you still have more self anonymity and your not someone in someone else pocket like a monkey on a Hurdy-gurdy.

        Did I say Milgram – ???? – do you grok….

        Disheveled… at least Carnegie had pangs of guilt… removed himself across the Atlantic as the deed was done, but yeah, investor demand.

      • I would also add Andrew this person was a knock about that entered service out of a bit of curiosity and economic reasons. Albeit never intended to be SAS, that occurred after an altercation in boot where he was ordered to do some mind numbing remedial task without proper equipment to achieve it. After a bit of too and fro about the logic behind the order it was decided they knew the best place for him, hence a long and interesting path to SAS.

        Such was my path too… hence our affinity and mirth at many things…

        I once landed in the 101st, CO [code name tube steak] was enamored by my badges, wanted me to be his driver and radio man, I protested [why all the money and time spent, not to mention the cull rate, only to be a driver for some 90 day wonder] then I got offered to be on the post pistol team, he declined because of emotive reasons, then I got an offer from a Captain of a SF team during a master helo repel school.

        Anywho… after being involuntary extended from my original contract by over a year and the accumulation of some high-jinks, I was asked to reenlist, tho I would need higher up support. My immediate command structure was prepared go to the Sargent Major of the Asian Pacific forces, I declined due to the knowlage about what I would eventually become and how I would view most others.

        disheveled… per se someone like yourself, a piece of soft white bread that has never encountered the sharp edge of all the machinations of armchair ideologues and weekend warriors formulating policy because it makes them better off….

  8. Now the SMH and the Age are getting into the story of the summer.


    If people in Melbourne are too scared to go to restaurants and stay at home what is left?

    Come to Sydney….bring your construction cranes please as we could always do with another couple of hundred !

    Abandon the cultured European city in the south to the Judge Dreds and the perps and come to the city of traditional family values. But take care as Queensland had a higher Yes vote in the SSM vote…fancy that..a bigger yes vote in Queensland than vibrant Sydney. So you may still want a Taser or two.

    But on a slightly more serious note, how many stories like this will take before the national roller door starts coming down and the Big Ponzi population program get fingered by the general public.

    Someone needs to tell the narrative spinners at the Domain this stuff aint good for the property pumping business. But then perhaps that is why we are getting such excited coverage.

    Fix the troubled and vibrant teen problem fast BEFORE it ruins the climate for growth orientated businesses like property speculation.

    Running a high growth debt driven ponzi economy wasnt meant to be easy.

    • It will come to a head once an innocent person in their own home takes a few of these grubs out and then has the book thrown at them. Then the marches will start. We can’t be too far away. I live close to the epicentre and there are daily stories you won’t hear about – these same innocent parties forced to use their cars (attempted run down) to disperse a gang of a dozen African kids from damaging their property or the response from the Triple-0 operator telling a friend that a squad car won’t be able to get to them within the hour as a group of five case their cars and caravan out at 1.30am (a precursor to a home invasion apparently).

      The press is all over it and the comments no longer moderated – if the Fairfaxes and Murdochs of the world are all for this, then the minions who run their news desks and papers aren’t toeing the line. They’ve clearly had enough as well.

      • I see a small number of home invasion victims in the Sydney ED where I work. Usually there is at least a minor stab wound, on rare occasions there are much more serious injuries. Whilst I don’t believe that anyone deserves this, I have yet to see a single one where a drug deal or debt was not involved. I have friends who work up at Westmead who say the same thing, and they see a lot more including shootings.

        Home invasions by multiple offenders against an unknown victim are on a whole other level to what appears to be going on in Sydney at least.

        How best to report it and manage it politically will be debated endlessly, but if this becomes the norm then there had better be some damn quick deportation action on a large scale, naturalised citizens or not.

      • I think it is a distraction technique. Focus anger on blacks as a way of distracting from the distruction of living standards at the hands of certain other (cashed up) immigrant groups.

        They know that the anger is there, now it is simply a matter of what to do with it and how best to channel it ina way which doesn’t disrupt ‘business’

        Plays well to the government line that refugees are the problem.

      • Gramus,

        No doubt that Dutton is playing the wedge.

        And it is working a treat with the outrage industry trying to ignore and downplay something that is clearly a problem. Why? Because they hate Dutton.

        Dutton would be loving the reaction as he knows that houses wrecked by teens is laura order 101.

        But these issues are not so easily managed.

        Public opinion is an uruly beast and it would not take much for issue to widen.

        A few public statements,by recent arrivals that their true loyalties lie elsewhere would be enough.

        Look at s44. The chattering classes are stunned that split loyalties are even an issue. Get a few recent migrants whinging about what they were sold at top dollar or a foreign government doing so on their behalf and the mood could swing quickly.

      • +100000000
        This is a manipulation. There is no doubt a problem but it is being amplified for propaganda purposes. Govt wants to distract from the problems of mass immigration by other immigrant groups and channel discontent in a political benign way.

        We are witnessing dark politics at work.

      • It is an ugly distraction that is being used for political purposes but I think you may be reading a bit too much into it. They are just playing the race card and tying it with a law and order issue. Instead of it being “Damn kids, why aren’t they being punished? Where are their parents? Their parents must be horrible monsters”, it’s “”Damn black kids, why aren’t they being punished? Where are their parents from? Their parents must be horrible monsters.” With those few extra words you ramp up the fear and outrage and you’ve got yourself an issue.

      • @ footsore take the next logical step…. ‘damn refugees/immigrants’ good on the government for cracking down’.

        Take the next logical step in people’s minds…

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yes, classic Rodent tactics. Demonise one small part of the overall then increase the numbers of the rest while everyone goes vigilante on Facebook.

        Expect immigration numbers to be quietly increased by 50k a year minimum. The ones with the money.

      • 1.5% of the crime stats for 0.1% of the population. Massive beat up. Move along.
        The top 10% of income earners earn 30% of all income.
        One is a 15 times over-representation, the other 3 times.
        I hope you guys stop moaning about income inequality.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Not saying it’s not a problem. The bigger problem is this will be used to distract attention away from the much bigger damage that mass immigration causes.

      • MB,

        I don’t even think it’s a bait and switch. If they want to pump immigration they will do it regardless. This is just plain and simple demonising of a segment of the community for political purposes. There are a bunch of other things that they could go after the current Victorian government for, but that would take more effort and would even require a discussion about the different policy issues and their long term effects. When was the last time that the press and the political class managed to do this? This should of course include immigration policy but that isn’t the only topic that needs to be reviewed and discussed.

      • Junkee clearly are political geniuses to work that out.

        But it does not matter because gangs of teenage wrecking houses is great press. The battle of bidwill is Sydney in the early 80s was no different.

        Calling it a beat up is just stupid and is exactly what Dutton wants clueless lefties to say.

        He is probably praying that some do gooder comes out and says society is to blame not some teenage rat bags.

        When lefties spot some obvious corporate crim what does someone like Dutton say?

        Yes it is terrible and we will throw the book at them.

        The Issue then dies in its tracks.

        Why anyone would want to make excuses for teenage ratbags is the true mystery……even if it was not super dumb politics.

      • “Calling it a beat up is just stupid and is exactly what Dutton wants clueless lefties to say.”

        It is a beat up for political purposes. That’s the point of the junkee article and I happen to agree with it. I’m not apologising for the ratbags, to use your phrase, but I don’t accept that this minority group is holding Melbourne to ransom. That is what the Dutton and the press are implying and it is an exaggeration made for political purposes. An observant rightie, to again use your lingo, I think would come to the same conclusion. Is there an issue within this community? It would seem so. Is it the existential threat to life in Melbourne that the Liberal Party and the Herald Sun are making it out to be. Nope. That’s a beat up. And of course Dutton and co want people to bite and come to the defence of these kids. That plays right into their hands. But you can disagree with the actions of both groups, the ratbags and the scaremongers, without being, as you say, a clueless leftie.

      • Footsore,

        The article specifically states

        “….The Herald Sun continued to report on gang last year even though police said back in April the group was a “non-entity” and was never predominately made up of people with African backgrounds….”

        And claims it is nothing but racist dog whistling.

        That is exactly what Dutton and Hunt want. A bunch of clueless lefties arguing there is no problem in the face of evidence to the contrary.

        A bunch of stats arguing the problem is 000000.5% does not help.

        Serial killers are a tiny percentage but everyone goes ape dooh dah when there is even a sniff. I am yet to encounter an ice maniac but the papers and TV assure us that they are roaming the streets in herds.

        Gangs of kids wrecking homes is always news. That they are kids of refugees given sanctuary etc etc makes it big news.

        The only acknowledgment by Junkee that crimes were committed was

        “…just because a small proportion of that group have been found guilty of committing crimes…. ” but even that was swamped by the following section which amounted to the usual stuff about whiteys committing crimes as well.

        Zero comment on the oddity of kids of refugees on the rampage. At the very least one might expect the article to raise the issue of whether it suggests we are having trouble digesting even 15,000 refugees from war per year. Shipping low skilled jobs offshore by the tens of thousands and importing ‘students’ to fill the remainder might mean we cannot accommodate more.

        But zero on any of that.

        Just the usual morage indignation of the racist spotting PC police.

        But none of this matters really as what Junkee really are looking forward to is being able to claim that Australians are horrible racists because we find they agree with Dutton and Hunt that kids wrecking homes is a problem. But only the whites of course as surely no people of colour would vote conservative on law and order.

      • @phf007,

        Wow – I never thought I’d see the day vicpol were described as a ‘bunch of lefties’

      • Statsailor,

        Vicpol are not the clueless lefties.

        The clueless lefties are those that think stats win the issue. No one – lefties, righties, greenies etc – accepts stats that dont fit their preconceptions.

        Dont mind me, just keep on running the line that Dutton is a racist because he gives “teenage gangs” a hard time and see how many votes he scoops up.

        It seems we have learnt nothing from the Howard era.

        But if it makes you feel good just do it.

      • It was you who quoted vicpol as pretty much the only group who have said there isn’t a problem hence I assumed they must be the lefties.
        At the same time, I assume that vicpol’s motivation in saying these people aren’t in ‘real gangs’ is to avoid creating further gangster wannabes like Sam Lisczak/ Rodney Phillips.
        I guess for me the stat of 1.5% of crime should also correspond to the attention given by police, politicians and the media, rather than the current 80-100% been given, and the percentage of time as someone living in an area of Melbourne with a fair few Sudanese people that I’d like Queenslanders who work in Canberra to give to this issue is zero, but you can’t have it all.

      • Statsailor,

        I quoted the Junkee article to make a point about how Junkee was arguing the issue.

        But your demand that zero attention be given to the issue makes the point more perfectly. It is precisely that attitude that Dutton seeks to farm.

        What is the statistical threshold at which you would be willing to tolerate public discussion of any teenagers running amok?

        Does the threshold vary depending on the ‘profile’ of the teenagers?

        As i said it appears we have learnt nothing from the Howard period.

      • Zero attention to Victorian crime specifically from Dutton, who doesn’t represent Victorians, and whose portfolio is not police. The police should certainly give a lot of attention to teenage crime, which I imagine is a fair proportion of all crime, and is no doubt where a lot of adult crimes get their start ( Lisczak/ Phillips included).
        Attention to specifically Sudanese crime in proportion to their contribution to overall crime statistics. Overall, Vicpol seem to have got their act together compared to the mess post – Overland, which itself derived from political interference , so I’m inclined to leave them alone.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The criminal justice system is simply designed to deal with teenagers, instead it relies on the parent to correct their behaviour. The African teenage gang exposes the problem of two culture clashing: discipline in South Sudan families is traditionally enforced physically, however that practice is not condoned in Australia. South Sudanese parent don’t know how to discipline their kids without hitting them, and the child protection authorities will takes the children away if the parent do so.


      (Scroll down to page 144)

    • The answer to this element is simple … just delete African intake from the Humanitarian Program.
      The Humanitarian Program is to be increased from present 13,750 to 18,750 in 2018-2019 year.
      So, looks like the African intake will also increase because the refugee portion of the Program is usually divided in thirds between Asia, Middle East and Africa.
      So a lot more criminal activity is in the pipe line.

      I’d like to see Australia take a stand and revoke the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
      This would then limit our obligation to refugees originating from Europe.
      We could still take refugees from other parts, however we wouldn’t be obligated.

      A good read about Australia’s refugee program here: socialtechnologies.com.au/australias-humanitarian-refugee-program-2016-2017/

      • Big continent, Africa. Is your issue with anyone born in Africa, or just the current set of South Sudenese refugees. Howza about Congalese, Liberians, Algerians, Gambians, Nigerians… etc.?

      • @sw16,
        Yes Africa is a big place consisting of a lot of countries. Many of these countries have signed the 1951 Refugee Convention.
        It would be best if refugees from Sudan,Somalia and other trouble spots, were offered temporary sanctuary in other African countries, rather than permanent resettlement in western countries such as Australia
        Permanent resettlement of refugees is not a requirement of the 1951 Refugee Convention
        Permanent resettlement is offered only by a small number of the signatories, of which Australia is consistently ranked in the top 3 on a per capita basis.
        Indeed there is no requirement at all to take refugees from any camps … it”s just something we (politicians) do!
        I mentioned above Australia should revoke the 1967 Protocol, however it would be better to make a clean break and pull out of the corrupt Refugee Convention altogether. The world has changed since the signing in 1951, which was to cater for the displaced people and refugees after World War 2.
        I think refugees and displaced people should be given protection in like countries, based on their ethnic, religious and cultural characteristics. Countries such as Australia can provide financial aid to greatly assist with settlement in these countries until it is safe to return to their homeland.
        Bringing them here is not the answer.

    • Meanwhile in Israel…

      Which can’t be criticised in anyway because Jews.


      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called African migrants “a threat to the social fabric of society, our national security, our national identity … [and] our existence as a Jewish and democratic state.”

      C’mon lefties, where are the knives? Racist, xenophobic, Jewish supremacist? Inward looking, haters, stuck in old nationalist ideologies?

      What a farce!

      • Its bad form to lump say Zionists in with everyone else, one would think the white man dilemma would preclude such simplistic narratives.

      • Whats difficult about understanding that not all Jews are pro Zionist or white men raciest bigots, albeit considering the propensity for some to use generational – market based – views when discussing age cohorts and preferences, its probably too much to ask.

        disheveled… always pointed away of course…

    • Awaiting moderation.

      I mentioned vibrant twice. Might be a new trigger word. 🙂

      I suspect it might be because I edited my original comment to add some more flourishes. That might now trigger automatic moderation. Your comment may have been drawn in by that.

      I am sure they will reappear once the moderator has a cup of hot java.

    • I’m sure there was a similar chart back in 2016 warning of the stock market bubble.. of course since then the S&P 500 made 50% gains (from early 2016 to early 2018) and those waiting for the bubble to burst missed on 50% gains.. It’s sexy to talk about bubbles and make predictions but reality is something else..

  9. So look, I thought I’d try and be open minded when it came to Nathan Birch. So I went and watched a couple of his you tube videos. In one he advocates behaviour (landlords entering a property under false pretences) which is definitely unethical and likely illegal. And that’s just to start with. I stopped being open minded about Nathan Birch.

  10. first – lol

    Anyway, Intel will be in big trouble from here on. This is not only because of the security flaw (this will be big part but not the only..) they have but because of they broken 10nm process.
    AMD closed the gap and are better CPUs for many environments. Now it appears AMD will release their 12nm process and leave Intel way behind. I am packing to go to Canberra so I don’t have time to elaborate but few of you know what I am talking about. Both PC (lap top these days) and Server markets will belong to AMD. Only thing INtel can do (or are left with) is bribe HP, DELL, Apple and Lenovo again as they did back in the Athlon days.

    • You may be happy to hear that Raspberry Pi is completely free from those nasty CPU bugs. It has a simple ARM core that can’t do speculative executions. Anyway, there is a trend away from using big CPUs and instead moving to networks of smaller nodes that don’t mix user data. We might see that model getting more traction, since people will have less faith in companies like Intel when they say nothing can go wrong.

      In a related point, ARM is just introducing its new A75 core which may be affected. All the new Android phones due in 2018 are slated to use A75/A55 clusters like in the Snapdragon 845 chip. I wonder if this will delay that if ARM have to patch the design. The other point here is that in 2016 ARM was sold to Japanese company with Chinese backers. Subtle bugs like these should worry us if we let other nations build and design our digital infrastructure.

      • and that on 28nm. Imagine once they shrink it down to 10nm.
        Intel’s designs are breaking down at 10nm as there is too much leakage. AMD’s design appears to be more elegant and can go further. At 14nm AMD is already on par with Intel and better in many server environments. In March AMD goes 12nm while Intel still struggles with their 10nm. This was before the security issue Intel faced. With the new security issue to deal with Intel will have to redesign lot of things and will put them further behind. Intel CPUs have issues when they speculatively execute and cross a privilege level boundary. Gave them edge on performance but will now get them in lot of trouble.
        BTW – Customers have lawyers too.. lot of them will sue when they realise that instead of two they now need three racks to do same. ouch.

        And that is on CPU side. On graphics side, well, Intel started to use AMD graphics now – so I heard. lol

    • The level of market dominance by Intel isn’t going to turn quickly. Especially when they’ve been so much better for the last decade.

      Traditionally AMD have been badly let down by the supporting technology, particularly motherboards and chipsets available for their processors.

      A computer – especially in the enterprise market – is much more than just its CPU. Absent substantial price and/or performance differences, the CPU is pretty much a commodity.

      • That is changing as latest amd architecture is very scalable and perfect for cloud/data centre environments where number of cores and hyperthreding.. Too much wine..
        The security issue may fast track some companies to move to amd without waiting for end of life refresh. Intel CPU slows down around 30% when patch is applied. That makes them unfixable for large environments.

      • The security issue may fast track some companies to move to amd without waiting for end of life refresh. Intel CPU slows down around 30% when patch is applied. That makes them unfixable for large environments.

        Likely the cheaper option for them would be to just buy 30% more hardware.

        That 30% is very much a worst-case scenario from what I’ve read.

      • drsmithy, as you can see, the arguments against UBI are ridiculous – especially the arguments from the anti-poor right-wing.

        “what happens if a UBI recipient gets a parking fine and does not pay?”

        Um, what happens now to a librarian who does not pay a parking fine?

        “who will work in restaurants?”

        Um, currently they get 3rd world males to work in restaurants for $5/hour, and UBI should be restricted to citizens + refugees only. No way should UBI go to foreign “students”.

        “the rich will move to a nation that has lower taxes”

        A stale old line by the anti-poor. Why is Toorak not empty now? And if UBI is funded by a tax on coal and LNG, how would rich pricks theoretically moving abroad change anything? The only thing that might happen is Toorak mansions coming down in price – which would be a good thing.

  11. I had a definite shoeshine moment last night while walking the dog through town. Three “clubbing” type girls were sitting on steps unceremoniously outside a club and one Shazza was Kath and Kim styling it quite loudly , “Ya know you need to get the property, then you get it revalued and get the loan on the equity and then get another house“. My schadenfreude kicked in and I pretended to window shop/ears drop, however the girl noticed and didn’t want to give away any “trade secrets” (They looked like real estate types). I mean she could have got this wonderful advice at a seminar she payed good money for, career training!

  12. I think it was three girls from the RE office the senior one was probably schooling the other two. I can imagine them in the office and asking the mighty Gun sales boss, “what’s this magic equity plan ohh wise one”, and the douche running his hands through his hair” sigh, ask blowjob Betty (the senior girl In the orifice). I don’t have time as I am off to sell houses ladies!”

  13. Went to a few opens this am in brissie. Chinese and foreign buyer still v strong. The qld govt 7perc tax cant come quick enough. We shd not have to compete with groups that have been here for 5 mins and it is not a level playing field. There are v few advantages given to people born here.

    Its all v sad for the next few generations

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      Doubt the 7% tax will slow the Chinese down as it’s petty cash to them, plus they realise Straya is now their country lock, stock and barrel.

    • China is stimulating like mad and some of that money will end up here in property. There is also another 70k ish new international students coming in the next few months ALL of which will be able to buy existing property.

      I keep saying this, and I hope I’m wrong, but property could be well supported by foreign buying in 1H

      People badly underestimate the impact of international student numbers on every aspect of the Australian economy.

      • You keep saying this Gramus, what’s your source? UE says China is slowing and there are the ever growing number of capital controls. Not hassling you, you’re just keeping me cautious of having hope.

      • Ireland and Spain had 10x the immigration we have now and when the tables turned they all left…very quickly, no different here.

      • Would argue it is different here. If the Canadian experience is anything to go by the high income primary breadwinner will leave after several years, however the kids and other caregiver will stay on.


        Perhaps the reason why Canada wound the program back was that it was not really producing long term benefits:

        You said it yourself, education is something that most people fail to estimate, and that is precisely what makes us different. No job required during the education stage. What happens after graduation is not clear. Fortunately we have the best free trade agreements in place, with all the best people, and a government that is happy to sell off assets. Expect business activity that is bound to create winners and losers.

        Any major migration outflow from Australia may depend on where the next crisis occurs. If it is domestic in origin, then sure we will loose some marginal working visas, but don’t expect education visa holders to be impacted. If the currency is weakened (if that is even possible?) then it may do two things 1) make the program more attractive, 2) encourage the government to undertake panic asset sales.

        The Spannish experience was a construction and property boom that used temporary labor. Most that left were Economic migrants that were there to work. No – job no reason, or ability to stay. Many returned to their native Latin America, presume others that could moved on elsewhere in the European union.

  14. matthew hoodMEMBER

    Someone please tell me this is not true.
    ‘The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurance, friendly societies and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises. It was established on 1 July 1998.’

  15. It’s Turing Machines all the way down.

    Last week when we were all obsessed with Bitcoin, I posted the idea that (gold) coins in an economy serve as a persistent record of information (state). Further to this, I wondered if you could use this as the basis of a machine – like a Turing machine. drsmithy did ask me to elaborate on this idea, which is quite reasonable since most people do not think of economic systems as machines. Over the break I have been exploring this idea and some very interesting ideas come from this.

    The first is that any economic system can be described as a Finite State Automaton. This is not exactly a Turing Machine since a Turing Machine is a logical construct that involves infinity, however mathematicians seem to have a trick that lets us use the proofs of Turing Church and others to prove things about FSA.

    The second idea is that economic systems cannot be described using continuous variables. Economic systems are based on discrete objects as units, so that means that an economy can always be described by a state vector. As an example, you can’t trade something for (math.pi) dollars. More to the point, there seem to be no physical operators in the real word that can process continuous variables. Try and come up with a real world device that accepts an input and produces an output which is math.pi times larger than the input. Good luck.

    The really interesting idea that follows from this is that once you accept that an economy is a Finite State Automaton, then it is an arbitrary machine running an arbitrary program and therefore the proposition that it can proceed to another particular state without halting is, (by Turing and Church) undecidable. What this means is that since an economy only exists in “machine space”, any relational link between observed states (even simple linear relationships) must be undecidable. That means that all economic laws and theories using conventional mathematics based on continuous variables must be undecidable. That quite neatly covers everything from General Equilibrium theory to Supply/Demand and all things in between. These “laws” may work sometimes, but they cannot be proved to be correct.

    So, how do you show that a complex system like an economy can be deconstructed into a FSA general purpose computing machine? The basic element to make a machine has three components. One bit of persistent state (memory). A discriminator which observes the state and uses a rule set to change or not change the bit. Energy applied to the discriminator so it complies with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. ( Maxwell’s demon). This unit cannot form a Turing Machine on its own, but a network of them can. As an example, someone has made a fully working 8086 CPU from 580 simple state cells like this.

    What does this have to do with gold coins and an economy? Well here is a model that uses the basic mechanisms of an economy to produce an equivalent Finite State cell which is functionally the same as the ones use to make the 8086 CPU.
    Imagine we have a village of 580 cottages.

    Each cottage (N) has a Husband and a Wife (no gender assumed) and a single gold coin. Initially the coin is with the Wife and this corresponds to State-0. There are two operations that can happen – transfer the coin to H (SET) and transfer the coin to W (CLEAR). To an observer, the state of any cottage may be observed by looking at the H. No coin means State-0, possessing the coin means State-1. The location of the coin can only be changed by a transaction command, so in between those it stores 1 bit of information. This is consistent with the proposal that units of currency only store state information in an economy.

    Next, each cottage has its own little solar powered demon up on Demon Hill, overlooking the village. The demon has no memory (stateless), but he has 8 telescopse to observe 8 pre-assigned cottages to see if H of cottage N has a gold coin. In addition, he has a little book with 256 pages corresponding to the possible combinations of his allotted cottage states. Each page has a command written on it – either SET or CLEAR. Every morning at 6:00, the demon looks at his set of cottages and then spends the day checking his book to find the matching page. At 6:00 in the evening he runs down to his cottage and issues the SET or CLEAR command to H and W. SET moves or retains the coin to H. CLEAR moves or retains the coin to W.

    The little economy as described can simulate an 8086 CPU. The machine description is available in VHDL and will compile to a set of 580 rule books for the demons, and 580 lists of cottages they must observe. After that, Windows 3.1 and Excel here we come – although quite slowly. I think that any economist will accept that the basic mechanism here – an agent observes the state of the economy, and based on a rule set issues a transaction to change the state – as a reasonable proposal.

    This machine model of an economic system highlights the fact that an economy is essentially an information system. Mathematical models based on continuous variables and functions just do not apply – they are a hangover from the 19th century. The little Maxwell’s Demon (billions of them exist in your mobile phone CPU) is actually a tiny entropy or information pump. What he does is observe a number of state bit from the system, and using his rule book condense these bits into 1 bit which is stored by the system. That one bit he writes actually has a fraction of all the observed bits as components, and because he absorbs energy, he can effectively pump negentropy into the system and make it more ordered without violating the 2nd Law of thermodynamics. A demon is not a supernatural entity – simple physical systems can form Maxwell’s Demons. For example, a light bulb with 8 wall switches in series (instead of one) is a Demon. There are 256 combinations of the switches and only one results in the light turning on. In a chip 8 transistors can do the same job – nothing supernatural at all.

    One likely way of refuting this machine analogy would be to say that an economy is just a tool used by humans and it simply reflects their complex behaviour. This is not valid, since all you are doing is extending the scope of the automata to include humans. Eventually you will need to resort to supernatural mechanisms to explain the system, which I believe is a step too far, even for economists.

    • Interesting post.

      I don’t think you can ever model human behavior except in a very basic way. Trends perhaps.
      Humans are analogue and have primeval responses – tricky to emulate.

      • Well, that is the point. There are no truly “analogue” systems. Continuous variables are a theoretical construct of pre-information age mathematicians. There are no analogue processes in the human body, particularly the nervous system. Everything we know about how the human body works is in discrete chunks – Finite State Machine.

        It is an interesting exercise to try and identify any true analogue process in a biological system. Truly continuous variable are totally incompatible with the real world we observe.

    • Still don’t really understand your point. That at a particular instant in time you could snapshot and model the entire economy as a FSM ?

      There seem to be assumptions in there about things that are fixed (eg: number of coins, value of coins), when in reality they are not.

    • Good work
      Smithy has a point, but you are on to it.
      In the interim, Gunna’s charts are state of the art thinking-observations of human behaviour
      “Let the trend be your friend”.

    • Interesting modelling approach but I can’t see a good reason for believing that any “state” of the economy can be really defined as a Finite State if for no other reason than the time varying nature of real Economies.
      As an example: A perfectly defined state for the NSW Electricity system (say a decade ago) would be laughably miss-defined today meaning that a properly defined “complete” state space description is never possible even at the Micro-economic level. At the macro level with a changing geo political environment it’s just hubris to think you can build such a model.
      Unfortunately the whole modeling problem is not helped by simple fact that our so called macroeconomic metrics (GDP, GNI …….) are woefully inadequate trailing indicators/measures of the economy. I’ve touted the Harvard/MIT Complexity index on more than one occasion because this analysis framework at least tries to deliver the forward looking business/economic metrics that will give us some idea of where we’re collectively heading rather than just delivering a map of where we’ve been.
      Put simply you don’t have the necessary information to define the present state let alone properly map future states or even attempt to define the state transition space.
      My thoughts go something like XORing any data with a Random number is sufficient to make the data appear random to anyone that lacks the magic decode ring (original XORed constant) This is how I see measures like GDP working to obscure information Interestingly however ((Random Xor Data) Xor (Same Random Xor OtherData) dose not appear random because of correlation. that’s why I try to remove these obfuscating measures from my models.
      BTW for modelling purposes I find it useful to define the transition space in bilinear / trilinear form, theres lots of good stochastic books from the 80’s that take this approach IMO it’s more useful than simply throwing your hands up and calling all nonlinear / transitional systems Chaotic and resorting to monte-carlo analysis approaches for every problem.

  16. Here’s a viewing suggestion for fans of sci-fi. Inuyashiki is an anime about a 58 year old man that is turned into a robot by aliens. As well as ending up a far better action event than Marvel, DC or Star Wars it also does really well at the human level.

  17. The justification for competition at the retail level in the electricity market was that consumers would experience ‘lower prices and more innovative products’.

    Does anyone have any examples of ‘innovative products’ in the electricity market? Much like the telecommunications market, I suspect most innovation is in making products more complex with the aim of obscuring the real per unit cost paid by the consumer.

    • This is covered in the excellent podcast series based on the reporting of Michael West

      What I found interesting was the different ways that the different states have managed to mess things up. Victoria, with its deregulation of the retail side. NSW, with its gold plated infrastructure. And QLD, with its Government owned company playing the maximise profits game to the detriment of its stakeholders, the population of QLD.

      The series focuses more upon the regulatory mess than the technical side of power production. It is still worth a listen if arguing about baseloads and renewables gets your rocks off.

    • Electric vehicles
      UNtil they came of age, the electricity market was looking shaky
      now with electricity as the replacement for much transport energy, the market is wide open again.
      no amount of renewables can supply that demand

      • $TSLA Tesla’s Game Is Ending


        Tesla’s Game Is Ending
        Jan. 6, 2018 6:20 AM•TSLA
        No rational investor would invest in a stock that has a long streak of losses, is mired in debt, and fails to bring its new products to market when promised.
        However, Tesla seems to defy gravity. It has support from an army of believers who prop up the share price and make shorting a dangerous proposition.
        But the day of reckoning is coming, the game is ending, and soon we will have the result.
        A rational investor would question the value of any company with any of the following characteristics:

        Never turned a profit in 14 years of operation
        Burdened by massive debt
        Burning cash at an alarming rate
        Consistently fails to meet targets for introduction of new products
        Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has all of those characteristics, yet the stock is surprisingly resilient. In spite of the losses, the missed targets, and the negative cash flow, the stock market still values the company at over $50 billion. Tesla’s valuation equals that of Ford (NYSE:F) and is only slightly lower than GM (NYSE:GM), companies in the same industry that are much larger and much more profitable.

        Tesla’s valuation is propped up by two strong beliefs among its investors:

        A belief that battery powered electric cars will soon replace internal combustion engine cars as the predominant vehicle for personal transportation.
        A belief that Tesla, which makes very good, but very expensive electric cars, will become a dominant player in the car industry of the future.
        It has become a game between longs and shorts. If those beliefs become reality, then Tesla’s value will be fully justified, and the longs will win the game.

        However, if Tesla continues to burn cash and run up record losses, then the shorts will prevail.

        The end of the game is approaching. There are two potential catalysts on the horizon that could determine the fate of the company.

        Tesla could run out of cash and find that it can no longer raise funds from the equity market
        A bankruptcy reorganization would be a decisive win for the short side, with no chance of recourse. How likely is it?

        In the past, whenever Tesla has needed cash, it has been able to go to the capital markets and issue more equity or debt. It has never been necessary to conserve cash, because cash was always available from investors.

        The company has a market value of over $50 billion, so an equity raise of $5 billion would only dilute by 10%. If I were a Tesla investor, I would welcome that dilution, because it takes the bankruptcy option off the table.

        The last fund raising was done by way of an issue of junk bonds which are now trading at about 95% of their issue price. That bond issue was done when Tesla’s share price was at an all-time high, a time when an equity issue would have made a lot more sense. At the time, Elon Musk was trying to talk down the share price. It is possible that Elon went to the market to issue equity and was told “No – not at this price.”

        Since the bond issue, Tesla seems to have moved away from its “growth at all costs strategy,” and is moving to preserve cash. For example:

        This statement about increasing Model 3 production to 10,000 cars per week comes from the Q3 earnings call – “We do want to call upon significant CapEx until we are confident about cash flow on Model 3”. In other words, the production increase is postponed until cash flow improves.
        Q4 saw a cutback in model S production and a drastic reduction in new car inventory. Model S and X sales in Q4 hit a new record of 28,320, but production was cut back to 22,140, thus reducing finished goods inventory (including in-transit inventory) by 6,180 units. Did Tesla really reduce Model S production so that workers could move to the Model 3, or did it cut back production and dump inventory to generate cash?
        In April of 2017, Tesla stated that it would double the number of supercharger locations in North America by the end of 2017. That number, which stood at 373 at the time, has now increased to 480, an increase of less than 30%. Has Tesla cut back on the development of the supercharger network to save cash?
        We will have a better idea of how close Tesla is to bankruptcy when the Q4 results are published. Most analysts are expecting an equity issue sometime in H1 2018, long before the Model 3 line hits full production. It could be game over for the longs if they can’t raise more capital.

        Model 3 has to be profitable
        In the long term, it does not matter if Tesla is a few months late in meeting its production targets for Model 3. If the Model 3 is ultimately successful, and can be made at a reasonable profit, all of the production delays will be forgotten.

        I have worked for many development projects. If the project is over budget and behind schedule, there are complaints, but eventually people will forgive and forget. However, if the final product fails to do what it was designed to do, then you are finished, you never see that client again.

        But Tesla has two strikes against it. The model S was supposed to generate profits to develop the Model X. There were no profits from Model S – Strike One.

        Model X was supposed to generate profits for the development of Model 3. That is how it works in the rest of the auto industry, a portion of the profits from one product goes into the development of new products. However, Model X has never generated any profits – Strike Two.

        By the time Model 3 reaches its full production, whether it is 5,000 cars per week or some other number, the game will be almost over. If model 3 is not profitable, then its three strikes and out for Tesla.

        If Model 3 is a success, and by success I mean that it generates real profits and positive cash flow for the company, the longs will win the game with a home run.

        Paradoxically, the delays in getting Model 3 into production have postponed the end of the game, probably until the results of Q4 2018 or Q1 2019 are announced, which is more than a year from now.

        If you are long Tesla, good luck.

        If you don’t believe that Tesla can profitably manufacture the Model 3 cars at the quoted sales price, then buy the January 2020 puts. The game will surely have ended by the time your puts are due to expire. I have placed my bet on a strike out.

        Disclosure: I am/we are short TSLA.

      • WW….

        I think stompers comment shows how naked Tesla is, having said that I have no dramas with electric cars, only that there are issues with the PR vs reality. Look diesel is like everything else, there are trade offs, and one has to do a comprehensive dirt to dust comparison rather than focus on singular downsides in isolation. Think of the Larry Summers memo or China banning imported waste.

        I would also add that I find green economics or neoclassical view wrt environmental degradation inchoate, such is the issue when trying to reconcile royal science with ideologies.

    • Love how Mr Martin’s calls Nathan Birch, Mr IQ lol… Like he doesn’t know it’s not his real name.

  18. “US on the cusp of enjoying ‘energy superpower’ status, analyst says”

    This is why the USA is pandering to Israel.

    The USA no longer needs the arab states (such as Saudi Arabia) as allies as within a few years it will be self sufficient when it comes to oil production (due to technology and deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico).

    The global banking system is controlled by jewish influenced global investment banks – and the USA (complete with it’s government debt of $19 trillion) needs the money more than it needs the oil !

    For those that use Facebook – feel free to subscribe to my channel for different perspectives of the world.

      • What does it do to with the topic on hand?

        Everything. Precisely.

        Because the US is becoming an ‘Energy Superpower’ and soon to be an net energy exporter (as opposed to net energy importer) they no longer need to cosy up to the arab states in order to get a supply of oil.

        This means they can much more openly back Isreal and the Jewish people then previously.

        Given the jewish control the global banking system – and the US (with it’s $19 trillion in government) needs a supply of money more then it now needs a supply of oil – it makes perfect sense.

        Anyone that doesn’t respect that the jewish control the world banking system doesn’t understand the history of finance deeply enough.

      • Raglan.Disagree.
        1 All the US refining capacity in those southern states is set up for heavier Middle Eastern (Saudi) crude oil types. They don’t have the any material capacity to process lighter shale oils. They do however have the ability to blend the domestic shale oil with the heavier crude imports and thats is what they have been doing. This is the only reason why they allowed exports of crude products – it is because of the excess supply of domestic shale oils.

        2. Would argue they need the Saudis because they Saudis sell oil in US dollars. This creates implicit demand for dollars. Without the PetroDollar what is backing it?

        Try replacing your bank with Bitcoin for all your financial services, if you don’t like who runs the banks.

    • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

      Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..

      ….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..

      ….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!

    • Haven’t you heard? Except for increasing immigration, the Government is incapable of making any potentially unpopular decision without a $120 million ABS survey.

    • Im a little torn on this one… Think some personal responsibility needs to be taken, but some of the poorer demographics just are not in a position to make sensible long term choices. And secondly, do you think they wont find a way of getting around the tax?

      Perhaps some packaging laws that shows the effects of diabetes, obesity and tooth decay on the product?

      • Gav, I would like to think so too, and the labeling has worked OK for some of the young ones to reduce smoking rates, but im not so sure on the oldies. I also would like to think there that there may be other benefits to introducing things such as product warning and packaging/labelling laws. Increased viability and awareness of the link to some of these ailments may prompt people to actually look into some of these issues themselves and have the the freedom to debate the benefits of a tax.

        Resistance will be strong given some of our politicians seem to be more effective at functioning as food industry lobbyists:

  19. The coming of the useless class.. Yuval Noah Harari is a prominent thinker. His book “Sapiens” is definitely thought provoking.. and if what he’s predicting is true, we’re going to have our fare share of the useless class here especially once our Ponzi scheme of importing people to boost the economy stops working as people become less important and AI more important.. The masters of the future are the ones that “own” the algorithms and are proficient in AI and that’s not us if we continue on this trajectory..

  20. Hologram of Big O

    ticket prices
    PLATINUM $128.00
    GOLD $99.00
    VIP ON STAGE PHOTO $464.00
    If they get that much money from punters for those tickets it shows there really are more greater fools.
    Expect the Pavarotti comeback tour soon.

    • So it is $296 to get into the preshow Texas Room with Richard Wilkins, more specifically from the website:

      “you will have an exclusive up close and personal meet and greet with Australia’s number One Entertainment personality Richard Wilkins”

      How much extra do I have to pay to NOT have to meet and greet Richard Wilkins? I am not really a ‘money is no object’ kind of person, but this would be the exception …

  21. Sigh…. Todays Uber hack has caused significant damage to the bank account of this user.
    Forced consumer spending strike commences now.

  22. http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2127077/why-australias-cure-chinese-influence-worse-disease?utm_content=buffer5ed71&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Here we go and my apologies if anyone already posted this as I have not gone through all posts. As predicted there will be steady stream of articles about anti China feeling in Oz. Bit by bit student and tourist numbers will start to go down.
    Our political leaders (if we can call them that) should have handled the issue more discreetly. But Mal wanted to be a gunslinger in order to win few votes from ON.

    I expect more such articles. Some will target our education (the value of Oz degrees etc..) and some will target our not up to date hotels when compared to rest of Asia and so on. Relentless banging on all Online Forums..

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      Beautiful, bought a tear to the eye.

      Now the subcontinent, what caused them to stop coming last time? A few Indians being bashed on the train by a Lebanese gang?

      Maybe those South Sudanese will come in handy…

    • So Jennifer Duke (from Domain) has taken over Ross Gittins economics role while he is on leave? Bloody hell, is no one else left?

    • Did that article strike you as illogical, a grab bag of incomprehensible reasoning? Certainly struck me that way. Me and a colleague think the original study didn’t count up to twenty percent of demand because it relied on the census for population. The need for a buffer of vacancies to allow for transient populations; illegals and short term visa holders not doing the census. So we think there is still undersupply and therefore market forces are at work. as my colleague says: fake news.