Weekend Reading: 24-25 February 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

Americas:

Europe:

Asia:

Trans-Tasman:

Comments

  1. The Traveling Wilbur

    Courier Mail Friday, 23 February, 2018

    Man held on organ abuse

    A Bracken Ridge man will front court today after allegedly breaking into Brisbane’s​ Masonic Lodge, stripping naked and trying to destroy a set of organ pipes.
    The 51 year old was allegedly found in Ann St hall on Wednesday night with a bottle of alcohol, a toy machine gun and a bag of McDonald’s takeaway. Still naked, he began yelling obscenities at security, Police allege he also threw broken-off pieces of organ around the hall.
    He was charged on Wednesday and is being held in hospital under police custody.

    haroldus? You OK mate?

      • Except perhaps Reusa – at his relations parties… 🙂 He can gobble that clown down like it’s going out of fashion, for all I care. 😀

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Gavin I once told my naturopath friend that he wasn’t evolving to eat junk food and his offspring wouldn’t survive when that’s all there was. Yep had Macca’s last night , it’s called normalization and
        for the first time I didn’t even feel guilty but did 60klms this morn to try to burn it off although bad fuel stays bad fuel.

      • @Boom as a gym junkie bodybuilder you’ll understand the importance of nutrition obviously. So you’ll know there isn’t much nutritional value in anything sold by the Golden Arches.

        I haven’t eaten the stuff since 2004 Morgan Spurlock film Super Size Me.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Gav i’m sure the caveman ate poisonous food sometimes. I have had comprehensive knowledge of diet, seen fads come and go. One thing I will say is the stress of worrying about what you eat is worse than a bad diet. Stress of having the bone pointed can kill an Aboriginal within a couple of days whereas a walking postman in Mosman who lived on Coca Cola and potato chips was still alive after a year. When the British Olympic team trained in my gym for the games I noticed the coaches also knew this, the athletes were just having a good time training and not worrying about it. Happiness is a great boost to health.
        This doesn’t mean eat junk it means eat good but don’t stress about it. This can also be applied in training techniques as the cheat principal to self spot, not meaning to cheat all the way through. Yes I was heavily involved, President ANBB, judged WNBF world titles in New York and worked in the Empire State building for ”Natural Physique”,” Exercise for Men” and” Men’s Fittness”

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Gav I forgot, opposites attract, when I’m by myself at the CC factory I never eat any junk but the missus loves it and it shows.
        She always used to say I was too old for her but at the dog park a lady asked if she was with her son, (me)

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        The new terminology for over reaction to good diet is Orthorexia Nervosa, but my mentor in the 1960’s winner of the first and second Mr Perth had it .He had never tasted Coca Cola until he was in his seventies just as an experience.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Sounds like a botched initiation ritual.
      If the Grand wizard is feeling generous, maybe this unfortunate rough Diamon, will still get to learn the secret handshake.

  2. LOOKING FOR YOUR MILLION DOLLAR SYDNEY HOME ? … THE GUARDIAN REPORTS …

    The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can’t afford … The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/23/the-gorgeous-photos-of-the-derelict-properties-you-still-cant-afford

    The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can’t afford

    Nobody focuses on the housing market crisis in quite the same way real estate photographers do

    by Steph Harmon and Carly Earl

    … extract …

    … “We didn’t touch anything. It was just too hazardous – you don’t know what’s under some of the clothing and stuff. Upstairs was super, super hazardous; you could fall through some of those bedroom floors.”

    The house has a price guide of $1m, and is described on the listing as “the ultimate fixer upper”.

    “All attendees are required to sign a waiver prior to entry. No entry to anyone aged under 16. No open toe shoes to be worn.” … VIEW & READ more via hyperlink above …
    .
    .
    … A politically induced poverty creation programme … strangling the supply and artificially inflating the price of land …

    2018 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

    http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf
    .
    .
    … and the lifestyle when Sydney was affordable …

    SYDNEY AUSTRALIA 1966 – YOUTUBE VIDEO

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR1CU8NjGW0

    ,,, Copy the above and distribute … thank you.

    • … Kiwiblog (Kiwi Tories) General Debate follow – up comment …

      https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/02/general_debate_24_february_2018.html/comment-page-1#comment-2146440

      Hugh Pavletich

      Harkman … Check out the house prices / multiples of the middle North American urban areas and those in California of this years Demographia Survey (note link included above).

      There is no dispute within the reputable global research community that impeding land supply is the primary driver of unnecessary housing inflation.

      Read what I have to say within the Introduction Section of this year’s Demographia Survey as well … making it clear New Zealand is the global leader in getting workable structural solutions in place.

      New Zealanders are now very aware indeed the artificial bubble pricing days are over … and understandably are refusing to pay bubble prices … yesterday’s Interest Co NZ report …

      BREAKING NEWS … NEW ZEALAND UPDATE …

      Owning a home is now more within reach for first home buyers in Auckland as prices tumble and interest rates remain low | interest.co.nz

      https://www.interest.co.nz/property/92294/owning-home-now-more-within-reach-first-home-buyers-auckland-prices-tumble-and

      The funny thing is, most Protectionist Tories didn’t see them (political and market changes) coming !

      • New Zealand’s most unaffordable urban area (see Demographia Survey http://www.demographia.com ) Tauranga’s Counil STILL doesn’t get it !

        It needs the same ‘treatment’ as Auckland (Councils should not be allowed to mess around with land supply) … see extract Labour Party policy at bottom …

        Developer says Tauranga ‘running out of land’ but mayor doesn’t want ‘free-for-all’ – NZ Herald

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11994326

        Developers say city officials are not moving fast enough to free up land for development as one predicts Tauranga will run out of land in two years.

        But the mayor says he does not want a “development free-for-all” when the city is still trying to manage the impacts of rapid growth.

        Classic Builders director Peter Cooney said the time the council was taking to make zoning and consent decisions was driving up the cost of development, making it harder to deliver affordable homes. … read more via hyperlink above …

        Housing – New Zealand Labour Party

        http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

        … extract …

        Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out

        Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.

      • Eric Crampton argues fixing problems constraining infrastructure financing and with local government housing supply incentives must be the Govt’s most important task | interest.co.nz

        https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/92306/eric-crampton-argues-fixing-problems-constraining-infrastructure-financing-and-local

        By Eric Crampton*

        The housing supply shortage is worse than expected. That makes it even more important that government focuses on the key barriers to getting more houses built. … read more via hyperlink above …

        Housing – New Zealand Labour Party

        http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

        … extract …

        … Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out

        Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds. … read more via hyperlink above …

        Housing Minister Phil Twyford says he’s planning a workshopping event for representatives of the finance community and players in the development and construction sector to help crack NZ’s problems around infrastructure financing | interest.co.nz

        https://www.interest.co.nz/property/92190/housing-minister-phil-twyford-says-hes-planning-workshopping-event-representatives

        The Government is planning to bring together players from the finance community with people representing development and construction interests to hammer out a plan to solve New Zealand’s infrastructure financing problems. … read more via hyperlink above …

        2018 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey Media Release

        http://demographia.com/media_rls_2018.pdf

      • PANICKED BRITISH TORIES HIRING TWEETERS BY THE HUNDREDS …

        Tories hire army of tweeters to take social media fight to Labour … UK Telegraph (behind paywall)

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/02/24/tories-hire-army-tweeters-take-social-media-fight-labour/

        The Conservative Party is hiring an army of paid tweeters to take on Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters on social media, the Telegraph can disclose.

        Brandon Lewis, the new Tory chairman, is recruiting hundreds of staff across the country in a bid to dramatically increase the party’s online presence and marshal groups of volunteers “on the ground” in every constituency.

        The attempt to “professionalise” the Tories’ campaign operation comes amid fears among senior Tories that the party faces disastrous results in May’s local authority elections. … (behind paywall) … read more via hyperlink above …

        … Recent reports …

        THE BRITISH HOUSING CRISIS & LIKELY POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES (REPEATING NEW ZEALAND’S RECENT ELECTION EXPERIENCE) …

        Tories fear middle-class millennials priced out of housing market could sink party at next election … UK Telegraph (behind paywall)

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/16/millennials-middle-incomes-half-likely-homeowners-1990s/

        Young middle-class professionals are half as likely to get on the housing ladder as they were 20 years ago, a new study has found as Tory MPs warned that the issue is an “iceberg” that could sink the party at the next election.

        A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that just one in four young middle-income families now owns their own home, down from two in three in the 1990s. read more via hyperlink above …
        .
        .
        Middle-income millennials priced out of homes market … Istitute of Giscal Studies Report … Financial Times
        … google search title to access if blocked…

        https://www.ft.com/content/024b1282-1236-11e8-940e-08320fc2a277

        Ownership among young adults has ‘collapsed’, says IFS report … read more via hyperlink above …
        .
        .
        … What lessons are being learned from New Zealand ? …

        Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey | Scoop News

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1801/S00070/demographia-international-housing-affordability-survey.htm

      • “Young middle-class professionals are half as likely to get on the housing ladder as they were 20 years ago, a new study has found as Tory MPs warned that the issue is an “iceberg” that could sink the party at the next election. ”

        Absolutely it will happen & may even be enough to swing the coming election. Lots of tweets are not going to have much effect, I wouldn’t think.

  3. Tony Wright in the Age has written that Barnaby Joyce only decided to resign when it was clear that he did not have the numbers to hold in the Nat Party room. That was certainly far from clear in his resignation speech at 2:00pm. It was then all about a circuit breaker for the sake of the Government and his party, respite and privacy for his family etc. etc. – He emphasised his preparedness to sacrifice as his local constituents mourned.
    If Wright was right, (sorry), was Barnaby deceiving, playing for sympathy and manipulating to the very end? Was his farewell today just his first step in preparing the ground for a shot at ressurection as leader after a respectable period of atonement? I would like to know the answers to these questions.

    • Im infuriated that scum like him can just move to the backbench and still get 200k from the taxpayer. He should be sacked. Then he should be investigated for the various conflicts of interest and corruption.

      • Catherine Marriott, claims Barnaby Joyce sexually harassed her. CM is an advocate for rural Australia in her former role as chief executive of the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association, and as the WA project manager of the Co-operative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia.
        CM is determined that the Nationals follow her complaint through to its conclusion, her lawyer, Emma Salerno, said yesterday.Ms Salerno said Ms Marriott wanted Mr Joyce to be held to account, and she hoped that her complaint would mean the party developed clear processes for handling such complaints. CM is a former WA Rural Woman of the Year.
        BJ is gone, will be sued for corruption and now he is up against harassment.

      • Jake GittesMEMBER

        And now Barnaby’s partner is going to find she is with an ugly beetroot faced middle-aged man on a lower income without influence, not the high status powerful man on a very high income with loads of benefits that she chose.

        Had to have a lie down at 2.30 yesterday afternoon; the schadenfreude level really peaked dangerously. Hopefully it will stay low for a while, or until Barnaby’s financial affairs are aired in the media.

      • Sadly, Barnaby will end up projecting his resentment for his career death and loss of reputation onto her, instead of blaming himself and his todger like he should. He will separate from her within a year. He will try to crawl back to his estranged wife. No idea if she will take him back.

    • You may want to read up on psychopaths. They always play the victim and always seek sympathy.

      Glib and superficial
      Egocentric and grandiose
      Lack of remorse or guilt
      Lack of empathy
      Deceitful and manipulative
      Shallow emotions

      Impulsive
      Poor behavior controls
      Need for excitement
      Lack of responsibility
      Early behavior problems
      Adult antisocial behavior

      When asked if he had any regrets about stabbing a robbery victim who subsequently spent time in the hospital as a result of his wounds, one of our subjects replied, “Get real! He spends a few months in hospital and I rot here. If I wanted to kill him I would have slit his throat. That’s the kind of guy I am; I gave him a break.”

      Their lack of remorse or guilt is associated with a remarkable ability to rationalize their behavior, to shrug off personal responsibility for actions that cause family, friends, and others to reel with shock and disappointment. They usually have handy excuses for their behavior, and in some cases deny that it happened at all.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199401/charming-psychopath

      BBC documentary – Are You Good or Evil? https://vimeo.com/123749208

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Exactly why the character of the whole over a long period of time is essential. That way this scum can be detected and weeded out.
        btw they are obsessed with sex for two reasons – their need for constant excitement and power over others. But this is a pattern they repeat in all aspects of their two faced lives.

      • It’s like looking in the mirror ? … must be, surely ; otherwise, please explain going so quickly to there from the article, Jacob.

  4. The (ongoing) Christchurch recovery fiasco … the Christchurch City Council should be fired and replaced with Commissioners … …

    No end in sight: Hundreds of projects still to go in ‘ridiculous’ Christchurch roadworks saga | Stuff.co.nz

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/101679098/no-end-in-sight-hundreds-of-projects-still-to-go-in-ridiculous-christchurch-roadworks-saga

    The Christchurch City Council’s $1 billion roading repairs budget will include tackling over 400 transport projects over the next decade.

    The state of the city’s roads is one of the major challenges facing residents and the council estimates there is more than 20 years of work ahead to get the roads to a condition in line with other New Zealand cities. It has about 400 projects on its books for the next 10 years – including finalising arterial routes through the central city.

    Transport projects make up $1.049b of the council’s planned infrastructure strategy. Major spends include replacing road surfaces, footpaths and kerbs, totalling $263 million, the major cycleway routes ($206m, up to a third of which will be paid back by the NZ Transport Agency) and public transport infrastructure ($65m, including $23m for buying the central bus interchange). … read more via hyperlink above …

  5. Just had a realtor tell me my offer that I never made (10,000’s over my 1st) that its on the table and looking good, and vendor asking for my final best offer. Housing crash must be just around the corner of my signed contract.

    • Just go along with it, drag it out for as long as you can but never sign on the dotted line. String the turd along.

    • At an open house this morning on syd north shore. Not a non Aussie in sight, just Aussie boomers and middle aged couples frothing at the mouth.

      • Suspect that all the Chinese that have gotten money out of the mainland all blew their wad on that stupidly insane, not in any way compensating for anything else, new development in St Leonard’s. 2 bedders were 1 million

    • If vendors can change agents after a few months, why can’t buyers?
      When an agent is blatantly doing the wrong thing why can’t a buyer change the agent to offer through?
      Any financial recourse/penalty on the buyer changing an agent to buy through??

      • A lot of agency contracts lock the agent in for (say) 3 months. If the house sells in that time, that agent gets the commission EVEN IF IT SOLD WITHOUT THAT AGENT’S HELP. It’s to stop people switching agents or going freelance. Carnts.

      • PS your “final offer” could be a bit lower than your recent one! After all, median house price has dropped since then.

        You know he has no better offers. Don’t go higher. The agent wants a sale and doesn’t care about a few grand here or there. He just waits to see who is weaker, the seller or buyer, and then he puts the pressure on that one to go up/down. Just don’t be the weaker party!

  6. Hanson “a plebiscite…sustainable population policy…voted down by the Coalition, Labor, the Greens and the crossbench. They refused to even debate it..”

    “This morning I spoke with Michael McClaren on 2GB about this and about why the other parties are too afraid to have this discussion. Have a listen and then let me know what you think”.

    https://www.facebook.com/PaulineHansonAu/videos/726524474218534/

    “You can read more about that bill here” – bit.ly/2ENx0W9
    “You can read my full notice of motion here” – bit.ly/2nP85dH

    http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;page=0;query=BillId:s1123%20Recstruct:billhome

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      The parties may not want to discuss it but the public certainly do. eg the Pakistani taxi driver been here less than 10 yr thought immigration way too high.

      Ric are you Pauline ?

      Is sitting for the citizen test still required to answer that Captain Cook discovered Australia or have they realized he wasn’t even captain (lieutenant) as well as using Dutch and Spanish maps to get here. Not a very good introduction to Aussie, being propaganda ed to.

      • I had an identical conversation with a taxi driver from the airport. Sydney is a horrible congested frustrating nightmare. I don’t encounter a single person that doesn’t think that. Why aren’t we voting for people that will change it.

        No I’m not Hanson. I wish I had her courage. I’d get into politics but I don’t consider it fair on my family. I wouldn’t do it. Especially tied to someone “they” so freely sledge as a redneck. The left are a disgrace. Hanson deserves our support. I’ll be voting for her until population growth is addressed. Until the Greens address the environment. Until Labor’s a workers party. Yes, I well know Hanson’s a fool when it comes to the environment. ATM, my priority is doing what I can to change Australia’s population trajectory. That in itself is 100 times more effective than the BS fake environmental initiatives that come out of the Greens and Labor. They’re a joke hoodwinking naive Australians.

        I couldn’t care one bit about the citizenship test. It’s BS. Achieves nothing. Solves nothing. Stop the numbers. That’s what I care about.

      • I should mention that Taxi driver was Lebanese. He and his family and friends are voting for Hanson. I had a great conversation with this guy after a long flight. He had been here 33 years and says what we’re doing is crazy.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Labor Party, Workers Party, I think Ermo changed to Workers Party or am I missing something. None are any good lesser of evils, maybe right to use Hanson for prompts.

      • If they open the comments, they should be obligated to publish unless it violates their policy. Rejecting comments because they conflict with their narrative is hardly “freedom of the press”.

        SMH and the rest of media are as much of a problem for Australia’s future as are LNP, Labor and Greens. It’s time we voted for change.

      • For the record, this was a Letter to the Editor, not a comment. (Some of us old fashioned people still write letters to the editor.)

        I have, however, also encountered censorship in the comments and have given up on them.

        My greater concern was with Fairfax’s factually incorrect and misleading series of articles last year opposing (direct) Democracy.

        I painstakingly itemised all the errors of fact and submitted it to them. For example, Peter Hartcher claimed that Brexit was “decided by a binding referendum”. The very opposite is true. In R (on the application of Miller and Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the United Kingdom Supreme Court determined that only Parliament could take a decision to leave the European Union, notwithstanding the Brexit plebiscite. This took the form of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 which was approved by the House of Commons on 8 February 2017 by a majority of 494 to 122.

        This is only one of numerous errors, omissions and misrepresentations. And yet they refused to publish any correction, clarification or alternative opinion.

        Who then are the purveyors of “fake news”??

      • Stephen Morris

        Hanson seems to be getting a good run with media atm. They’re far less cynical when they talk to her. Not sure what’s going on there but I’m suspicious. They’re $1m per year grubs.

        Vote to take back our democracy. Vote Hanson.

    • Australia’s version of Representative Democracy is multi-partisan support of policy that is lowering the living standards of majority voters.

      • Hanson “a plebiscite…sustainable population policy…voted down by the Coalition, Labor, the Greens and the crossbench. They refused to even debate it..”

        That should have been headline news, on every media outlet. Instead I found it on Hanson’s FB.

        Media, LNP, Labor and Greens are violating our democracy. The solution is simple. Get rid of them.

      • The only way those three political parties will be voted out is rising resentment. Perhaps we should be encouraging the Greens to continue labelling people under financial stress as racist.

      • @Freddy

        “is rising resentment”

        IMO there’s more than enough resentment to make change. The problem is we’re acting as individuals. We need a coordinated way to vote in each seat to unseat the incumbent. That’s what has to happen. In addition you’ve got unthinking, uneducated fools continuing to vote Greens and labor. At least LNP voters get what they’re voting for. Labor and Greens are screwing us.

        THE BIG POLITICAL SWITCH.

        “Perhaps we should be encouraging the Greens to continue labelling people under financial stress as racist”

        Good thought. Pretend to be a Green and tell people that in the SMH. I like the idea of going to Greens seats and promoting the development of the best areas to take new migrants. Greens are the biggest hypocrites in Australia.

      • Ric, look at the way Leith was treated by that lady on ABC, she was clearly a paid off corporate lobbyist disguised as a demographer, talking over the top of Leith to discredit him and make it difficult for him to make his point, even playing the race card. Followed up by the progressive clown in the Guardian again trying to discredit Leith. Then followed up by Pauline Hanson jumping on the bandwagon, stealing SAP policy and some of Leith’s comments, and conflating the issue with her dislike of Muslim refugees.

        All sides of politics conspiring to maintain the status quo with propaganda and conflation. There are too many people being played for fools. That means we are destined to continue on the path of rising resentment and populism. That suits the Greens and PHON perfectly well because they too are established parties protecting their income.

        On the positive, Leith doing a remarkable job of bringing this issue to the mainstream.

      • I agree and I voted ON at the last federal election. I don’t think enough of the population supports cutting immigration though. I have many lefty and liberal friends that grew up in wealthy neighbourhoods insulated from the effects of immigration and when i mention cutting immigration they call me a racist, there is no debate. Because 1. They have never lived in a poor infrastructure outer suburb that is way overpopulated. 2. They have all bought homes in the last 1-2 years and have huge debt. They are constantly telling me how the prices keep rising and it was the best decision they ever made. They know full well high immigration is holding up prices but their job security is not currently affected by it so who f**ks it then
        I get the same story from work colleagues and relatives too. That’s my circle anyway. I’ve tried to convince them otherwise but it’s a losing battle.

        Congrats to MB for persisting with this issue

      • “I get the same story from work colleagues and relatives too. That’s my circle anyway.”

        Your circle sounds pretty average. Nationwide, it has long been said that 1/3 are outright owners, 1/3 are mortgaged, 1/3 are renters. So 2/3 want to see house prices rising. And now, because of the size of the debt, many cannot afford to have any house price falls.

        So, house prices will keep rising until they can’t.

      • “2/3 want to see house prices rising”

        I would have agreed a few years ago, but not now. My circle of friends and family are mainly working/middle class families. Over time they have realised their children are (or going to be) so financially stressed they will either forego having children of their own, or move to another city. They are people that were looking forward to growing old in the company of their children and grandchildren. One by one they have been telling they now want prices to fall for the sake of their children.

        Granted there are still a lot of selfish people out there who want your children to slave away and subsidise their retirement. However, I reckon we are very close to a turning point where most people actually want prices to fall at least a little.

      • I hope your right Dumpling. Just yesterday I had a convo with some friends about rising house prices. Goes like this, prices are falling lately in Syd/mel have you noticed. No its just sideways movement prices never fall once they reach a certain level. Why? Because they just don’t blah blah blah. You have to get in now and buy a second property because blah blah up and coming blah blah. They vote greens/labor. I get the same sh!t story from almost every person i speak to. The ones i know who want it to fall also want it to rise once they or their kids have bought. I guess most ppl in my circle are quite selfish.

        If you are right we should see substantial votes swing to ON style parties at the next federal election. We will see… i had high hopes for WA and Qld but…

  7. Question for the weekend private bank apology crew

    What is the case in support of giving specific private profit making companies a critical role at the centre of our public monetary system.

    Or to put it another way.

    When the creation of public money is a mere matter of key strokes or printing some paper or minting some coins why do we license a special category of profit seeking private organisation to perform a central role in the process?

    Understanding the case in support of this role is critical to assessing the need for reform.

    This is a perfect opportunity for those private bank apologists in our midst who passionately object to calls to fundamentally reform the role of banks in our monetary system to put forward their arguments in support of the special role of private banks in our monetary system.

    Note: If you are planning on rolling out a dust storm of BS and insist that the private banks do not have a special role and privileges in our public monetary system please desist from wasting everyone’s time.

    Prep Reading:

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/02/macro-afternoon-369/#comment-3055870

    • oo7…

      Been doing it for years, result, infantile name calling. I mean fake left is about as adroit as ridiculous generational classifications, ludicrous pigeonholing. I came here years ago and attempted to communicate in a intellectual manner, only to be met with migi and posses vulgarian screeds [too much applause]. So it seemed the only way to communicate was to speak in the local tongue. There is a distinct psychological and emotive bit of baggage associated with your camps people, due to the imprinting and conditioning its practitioners must undertake to join the cult. This invariably sets up a self awarded ‘sense’ of infallibility and ownership of reality, anyone else is a heretic or deviant. This is why you get pulled up on theoclassical et al sensibilities e.g. ex ante – a priori.

      This is on top of watching your messaging PR evolve over the same time period, especially the revisionist history or poor form of taking others opinions and crafting them to suit your views on reality [dawg like rhetorical skillz]. This is in refusal to acknowledge Sweepers and my stated opinions on policy to reform not only banks, but, the entire institutional architecture that enables both banks and large business entities from engaging in anti social activity’s for short term-ism driven agendas.

      This is in complete refusal to address a multivariate problem, which spans decades, and reduce it to a monetarist money crank view on money alone. Then to flesh out that ex ante reductive belief one has to concoct phraseology like public and private money et al, out of whole cloth, giving the perspective some corner stone to bolt all the other a priori preferences on.

      disheveled… that you can’t see the social – political outcomes of your camps decadel agenda and then have the cheek to pin it all on banks is surreal.

    • That’s a strange and curious thing to say after pointing out more accurate observations to you last night ii7, seems you completely ignored well understood facts as they did not conform to your agenda.

      I for one don’t have to address strawmen arguments concocted out of whole cloth, so I have to exist in your preferred ideological framework. Rather than deal with a symptom I think its appropriate to deal with what enables so much anti social activity. This is terrain that you seem allergic too, only monetarist money crankery is debatable in your world view, all other factors are edited out for some reason.

      disheveled…. in contrast you forward prosecuted futures, yet seem completely or conveniently ignorant of the derivatives debacle in risk assessment….

    • Comment in filter…

      Suffice to say pointing out derivatives and VaR having a more profound effect, than your line of argument, only to be hand waved away makes your comments above spurious.

    • 007 didn’t even address the link between derivatives and Australian Housing which he said wasn’t important.
      Makes a point. Clearly wrong. No attempt to defend it or acknowledge it was wrong.
      Who better to ask questions of other people.

    • Nonsensical? The question is a simple one. If you can’t or will not attempt an answer why bother respond at all?

      #FakeLeftinAction

    • The question is not simple, furthermore coming from someone that has a propensity to ignore facts, put under their nose, in response to their statements which are contra to what is being attempted – in framing events – should not be laid at others feet.

    • doesn’t make sense 007.
      If it was on an exam paper the Lecturer would be rushing into the exam hall desperately grabbing the microphone, apologising and then telling the students the question won’t be assessed. Then they would probably lose their job.

      • Haha yeah. If it was Mankiw’s class the students would just boycott the question.
        Kind of like what I’m doing here…

      • Sweeper,

        You and Skippy have always refused to provide a justification for the role of private banks in our public monetary system.

        Calling it a boycott is just flattering yourself.

        Evasion, obsfucation, spruik, spin, flim flam etc are closer to the mark but apologia is sufficient.

    • “..What is the case in support of giving specific private profit making companies a critical role at the centre of our public monetary system…”

      So the private bank apologists think it is a trick question?

      Lol

      • What is the case in support of giving private taxation authorities the central role at the heart of the exclusively public monopoly taxation system?

        1500 words.

      • Well now that the private bank apologists have turned up, stamped their feet and had a huff about being called apologists for the role of private banks in our public monetary system, that just leaves us with the little matter of the ‘tricky’ and ‘nonsensical’ unanswered question.

        “..What is the case in support of giving specific private profit making companies a critical role at the centre of our public monetary system…”

        I will put it back in the Tupperware so it stays nice and fresh for next weekend

        Until next time have fun peeps.

      • don’t waste the Tupperware. just toss it in the bin, double check the recipe and start again.

      • Sweeper,

        Watching you and your fur-bro hyperventilate, duck and weave and try to dodge the simplest of questions is endlessly entertaining.

        What was it again?

        An a priori falsehood! Gold!

        Straight to the pool room.

        PS: Siri had no problems pulling up a bunch of answers in seconds. Perhaps Siri can help you and Skipout with your homework.

        Siri suggested this

        https://www.ft.com/content/7f000b18-ca44-11e3-bb92-00144feabdc0

      • “Siri suggested this”

        I – think – playing taps for some reason….. is apropos….

        BTW your aware that FT is a neoliberal rag – right.

      • “…BTW your aware that FT is a neoliberal rag – right…”

        That’s right Skip.

        Every article, every op-ed, every story is carefully handcrafted by a propaganda team of interns from the Mont Perelin Society wearing Martin Wolf masks.

        Now the cat is out of the bag!

  8. From the Letters Fairfax Won’t Publish file:

    23 February 2018

    Rather than telling Melburnians which type of mega-city they must endure (The Age, 23 February 2018), why not hold a referendum so that the people of Australia can decide what target population they want.

    It is, after all, their country.

    Isn’t it??

    Stephen Morris

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      But what you are asking for assumes we’re a democracy.
      No way the rent seekers will allow that.

      • We are a democracy and it’s quite easy for us to exercise that democracy but we don’t. This is our fault.

        Hanson tried to debate population growth in the Parliament and was shut down by LNP, Labor and Greens. See my post above. Australians voted for LNP, Labor and Greens, and will incredibly vote for them again. Our fault, well and truly. Get your democracy back, vote ON.

      • “We are a democracy.” That’s debatable.

        The common use of the word “democracy” to refer to elective government is quite modern, dating back to 1798. Prior to that, the term “democracy” was used – at least in elite circles – in a pejorative sense to depict anarchy and chaos. We can see this usage in various speeches from the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the ensuing ratification debates:

        All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. (Alexander Hamilton, Speech to the Constitutional Convention, June 1787)

        Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos. (John Marshall)

        …democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. (James Madison, Federalist No. 10)

        Whatever we might think of Democracy, it is clear that Hamilton, Madison and their colleagues conceived of it as something to be avoided at all costs.

        An important change in usage occurs in the 1790s, paradoxically as a result of Hamilton and his Federalist Party attempting to smear the “Republican Party” of Jefferson and Madison. This was not the modern Republican Party but an earlier Republican Party which confusingly evolved into the modern Democrats.

        “The Republicans contended that the Federalists harboured aristocratic attitudes and that their policies placed too much power in the central government and tended to benefit the affluent at the expense of the common man. Although the Federalists soon branded Jefferson’s followers “Democratic-Republicans,” attempting to link them with the excesses of the French Revolution, the Republicans officially adopted the derisive label in 1798.”

        So, ten years after ratification of a deliberately non-democratic constitution (in the historical sense), we see a political party appropriating the title “Democratic” safe in the knowledge that there was no real threat of actual historical democracy.

        This trick was not lost on politicians elsewhere. In the ensuing two centuries “democratic” has been used to described almost every form of regime. The “German Democratic Republic” (the former East Germany) was in fact a police state. Likewise, to this day the brutal North Korean dictatorship chooses to style itself “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

        By repeated usage a regime may even encourage lexicographers to include a new definition of “democratic” in their dictionaries: “a form of government characterised by election for office”. But such a definition is sui generis and and thus tautological: elective government is “democratic” because we’ve added a new entry in the dictionary defining “Democracy” to mean elective government.

        We do know both from theory and evidence that voting in general elections does not necessarily reflect policy preferences. Mathematically it cannot. There are many policies and only one vote. A single vote cannot transmit that much information on policies.

        For example, in 2016 commentators fell over themselves to point out the narrowness of the majority in the Brexit plebiscite. What they all failed to note was that 87% of people had voted against UKIP at the preceding general election. While apparently agreeing with UKIP’s policy, the vast majority of voters were not prepared to elect it to government. Policy preferences cannot be inferred from general election results.

        Unlike Californians or Swiss or others who enjoy Democracy (in the historical sense), Australians have never had an opportunity to vote freely on their system of government. The Federation Referendum offered only two options: federating under elective government or remaining unfederated but still under elective government. Politicians have steadfastly refused to give the Australian People a free vote on other alternatives.

        And this brings us to the most important aspect of Democracy: not as a system of government but as a means of choosing and legitimising the system of government. To use John Locke’s famous expression, who else has the “Charter from Heaven” authorising them to decide the system on behalf of everyone else?

        (This is discussed in more detail below under the Is-Ought Problem.)

      • Stephen…

        I use the commonly understood basic formula wrt democracy e.g. wet ink, publicly hand counted ballots in an open and transparent process. Now if you want to get into the weeds with lofty rhetorical philosophical a priori based debates conducted in vacuums I’m not interested. I’m more concerned with concrete benefits to society as a whole based on empiric observations.

        Its akin to my old conversations with PDK [Paul Daniel King] back in the day on economic sites, the lofty rhetoric was a massive case of hypocrisy wrt the persons actual deeds. Gabbed on about the NAP but worked for MIC
        with government contracts. This is the problem with the pure deductive approach, it slaves the mind to an endless process of internal dialogue without any means to evaluate it, outside some assumed views about its logical – internal – constancy. And some wonder about others making jokes about main stream economists assuming a thing and then extrapolating from it. Defects in real world application are never a problem of the assumption but either irrational people or lack of precision in the metrics the model uses. Hence the “never ending story” of adding more bolt-ons to the original a priori deduction.

        I would suggest that if any form of voting can be subjugated, after the fact, you have a bigger problem than some system architecture bug.

        disheveled… it is also the stated opinion of libertarians that democracy is a gate way drug to totalitarianism and only the market can deliver freedom and liberty… how is that working out….

      • Ref: John Locke

        You are aware he worked for the aristocrats and nobility right – ???? – ran slaves for them. Look I don’t know how to tell you this, but you have to square history with verbosity. I also caution on elevating – any – philosopher to prophet like stature, especially due to the information gap antiquity suffered. I mean does anyone want to argue reanimating such people and assume their opinions would be exactly the same once exposed to new information, that would seem maladaptive.

        disheveled… as someone that cut their teeth on theology in their youth I find this avenue thin gruel, extraordinarily susceptible to authority and human agency dynamics.

      • We have a bunch of #@# over us that tell us what we can and cannot vote on. That is by definitionn NOT democracy.
        We might have a kind of “democratic check” on them to restrict their more outrageous behaviour,but that does not constitute “democracy”.
        Must go.

      • Policies are largely determined by political culture not democracy.
        No one votes on political culture; it takes decades of genuine (non ballot box) politics for a political culture to change.
        And this would be the case even if we were able to make the system more democratic.

      • St Jacques….

        When everything is a market, even democracy, what do you expect, so it begs the question of whom drove that agenda and why…

        Don’t see how fiddling around with gimmicks like e-voting or its ilk, which are market based in conception, fix the fundamental issues. In Americas case democracy was experiencing its hay day post WWII, then some oligarchical ideologues took exception and started a long program to rectify what they saw as a – threat – to their omnipotence in crafting the social narrative.

        This is highlighted by those like Hayek writing pure political ideological novels for the well heeled and then seamlessly changing past views to support things like Ordoliberalism e.g. slaving the state to the market. Yet none of this is a problem wrt democracy, as its not the precursor of, but the vestige of thingy…

        disheveled… at this juncture removing representative democracy would only remove the veil exposing corporatism for what it really is…. oligarchical…

      • @Sweeper

        The Schelling Focal Point in elective government allows establishment parties to “control the narrative”. That makes it difficult, and perhaps impossible, to change culture.

        By eliminating the establishment parties’ control of the narrative, Democracy allows new issues to be brought to the table. Once a referendum is initiated, it WILL be discussed however much the Elite would prefer to keep it off the agenda.

        For example, if Australia were a Democracy and a referendum to set a preferred population target were initiated, there is no way it would not immediately rise to the top of the agenda, displacing concerns about Barnaby Joyce’s affairs and all the other diversions which currently pass for “news”.

        Time is running out.

        With the industrial era fast passing into history, conditions are not in favour of greater democratisation. Indeed, the opposite is true. On almost every front we are reverting to pre-modern conditions.

        Unless something happens soon to reverse this trend, the Holocaust beckons.

        The battle for the future of humanity will be won or lost on the issue of Democracy.

      • political culture changes when people realise genuine choice is the choice to alter the socio-economic system. politics takes place outside and inside the artifice of electoral politcs, power shifts within the community, compromises get made and then a new settlement is achieved reflecting the new break-up of power. This happens over decades. There are no electoral shortcuts. The new settlement goes about fine tuning and formalising things via “democracy”.
        I could see a silly immigration number plebicite getting up within the context of the current hyper distracted liberal-right coalition political culture.

      • Other than as discussed below (*), by what possible criterion could any immigration number be determined to be “silly”?

        The notion of “silly” in relation to an immigration number is a matter of preference.

        To suggest that a number determined by a democratic process was “silly” would be to claim that one’s own preference is in some sense “superior” to those of other people.

        It is the notion of individual superiority (inevitably unsupported by any logical argument) that underpins anti-democratic rhetoric.

        – – – – – –
        (*) An exception arises in the case of a breach of the pareto criterion in which all interested individuals prefer number A over number B but the aggregation device yields B as preferred to A. Arrow’s Theorem tells us that for any non-dictatorial device involving 3 or more individuals, capable of handling any number of preference options, and not susceptible to the introduction of irrelevant alternatives, it must always be logically possible to have sets of individual preferences which yield such a breach.

        For example, it is logically possible to have a set outcomes in which a majority (if that is the aggregation device being used) prefers low immigration to moderate immigration, prefers moderate immigration to high immigration, and prefers high immigration to low immigration.

        In practice, when such outcomes occur they are resolved through the introduction of further preference options (i.e. horse-trading) in which concessions are made to one or other of the original options until a stable outcome is achieved.

      • I meant the idea of a plebiscite on an immigration number was silly and therefore not impossible to see happen.

      • @ S Morris

        ‘That makes it difficult, and perhaps impossible, to change culture.’ – Only because the tactics that seem viable to you are limited in their nature. That it, your assessment used to be correct – but in the last few years there is now an effective set of measures to change culture, as you put it.

        ‘By eliminating the establishment parties’ control of the narrative, Democracy allows new issues to be brought to the table.’ – since when is it democracy that allows this? It is normal human discourse. Your assessment is that ‘democracy sets up the circumstances under which human discourse can change culture’ is per say fine, but it is not an exclusive set. Many other social tech’s exist which can translate discourse into cultural change. Democracy uses some of these techs, but there is no causal relationship here (casual relationship sure – but no causal – if you disagree, proof?).

        “Time is running out. With the industrial era fast passing into history, conditions are not in favour of greater democratisation. Indeed, the opposite is true. On almost every front we are reverting to pre-modern conditions.” – while all of this is true, the problem is democratization. As you noted elsewhere, the fathers of the American revolution quite clearly saw that democracy was a terrible idea. Pretty much everyone from the fall of the Roman Republic onwards to the late 19th century thought Democracy was a terrible idea.

        “Unless something happens soon to reverse this trend, the Holocaust beckons. The battle for the future of humanity will be won or lost on the issue of Democracy.” – Sure, but the solution is not more democracy. It is the evolution of a new social tech. Btw, be cool – many of the things you want are happening – we are winning.

        For what it is worth, it is not that democracy is per say good or bad. It is a social tech. Like all social tech’s it has lower bounds below which it will fail, and upper bounds beyond which it will also fail. Bounds of what – roughly population, but genetic and memetic fracture also play a role. That is, a highly diverse society has a far lower max upper population bound than a monoculture.

        The challenge is not weather or not people voted, but rather is a large % of the population able to provide effective feedback to the governance system, so that the feedback can be incorporated into the governance structure. Think like a firm asking its clients what features they like/dislike about a product, in this case the quality of governance. If most people cannot effectively provide feedback to the system, this will show up as governance failures, i.e. corruption – a word that refers to the set of ‘stuff that is an example of governance failures’. Corruption is not actually a thing, it describes a meta of things, where the underlying unit is ‘a single point of governance failure’.

        All of the above being said, take heart – the things you want are actually happening. The cultural change you are looking for desperately is happening, you just aren’t seeing as much of it because the change has not yet made it to the more established cultural spaces you inhabit.

        P.S. The core principle is power has to be made accountable. Politicians are no longer ‘power’ so to speak. Major corps, special interest groups, cults, grey space entities etc are the real power these days. Making your average two bit politician, ala Baarnaby accountable, by auditing who he has been poking on the side and whether or not they billed the taxpayer, while amusing, will not fix squat.

        That is, democracy – where people vote for representation, is not sophisticated enough to keep the above schmo’s accountable. Hence we need an upgrade in the social tech we are using for governance.

      • The response is the same in either case.

        The proposition, “. . . the idea of a plebiscite on an immigration number [is] silly” is a statement of preference concerning the manner in which an immigration number ought to be determined.

        As discussed below, it is a statement of preference concerning “the method which ought to be used to aggregate preferences“. But it provides no basis by which that preference may be privileged over the preferences of other people, including people who hold that “. . . the idea of a plebiscite on an immigration number is NOT silly”.

        Statements concerning the method of aggregating preferences are categorically different from other statements. In all other cases, it may be assumed that there is to be an aggregation of preferences (using some agreed aggregation device) and the aim of the statement is to sway the individual preferences of other people with a view to altering the aggregated preference.

        This is the way in which all rhetorical and persuasive debate is framed. For example, the is-ought fallacy is employed throughout: “We OUGHT to do this because of [something that IS]”. Such a statement doesn’t actually prove what OUGHT to be done; it merely aims to convince another to alter their preference to agree that it OUGHT to be done. If enough people are convinced (or more often if sufficiently influential and powerful people are convinced) then the aggregated preference will be altered accordingly.

        It is such a common practice that it’s easy to forget that it is strictly illogical.

        When the question concerns the method of aggregation itself, however, those illogicalities come to the fore. Unless there is unanimity on what the the method of aggregation ought to be, there remains the problem of aggregating the conflicting preferences on what the method of aggregating preferences ought to be.

        This is the problem of infinite recursion discussed below. The solution (to the extent that there is a solution) is discussed there. It just happens to be a form of Democracy. That’s not a statement of preference. It just falls out as the solution to the problem, provided one assumes that the discussants agree to refrain from proposing solutions which unnecessarily require the doing of things that are logically impossible to do.

      • Alas!

        There are too many people who would prefer any form of government – no matter how dysfunctional, no matter how corrupt – rather than contemplate the obscenity of seeing their fellow citizens – the bogans, the deplorables, those whom they regard as their inferiors – given an effective say in the government of their country.

        They would see the modern world, even the human race itself, destroyed rather than surrender the belief in their own superiority.

        By the time they realise their error it will be too late for us all.

        Robotic historians in centuries to come will conclude that humanity destroyed itself not by plague, pestilence or war . . . . but by snobbery.

    • BTW Stephen are you suggesting the owners, per se like this blog, have to deal with their property in the manner – you – deem appropriate, even after reading the terms and conditions.

      Again I would find it helpful to understand your use of James M. Buchanan, considering his ideological driven works, his historical record wrt its political application and the inherent conflicts I see wrt your rhetoric in comparison. I detect a bit of a double standard when you complain about say the Economist or other publications disallowing your views, yet at the same time engage in similar activity e.g. not responding to direct quires to clarify your views with more than walls of prose.

      disheveled… how can one use the word Democracy without the deliberation period put too use…..

      • They need a license to operate. Part of the condition of that license should be allowing a broad spectrum of opinion.

        It’s media, LNP, Labor and Greens all in bed with each other to take from you and hand your wealth/country/future to their favourite people.

        It’s easy to stop. Vote for someone that will change the rules to reflect what we want. Vote for someone that decimates their little self serving club.

      • “license should be allowing”

        Sorry ric but this cut&pasta should illuminate the fallacy of composition your experiencing… amends…

        PeeJay

        Hi – I’d like to discuss driving my LH drive car on your UK motorways. I’d like to follow my own local laws but I’m going to make sure that I follow the principle of “equivalence of outcomes” so I will always drive with the aim of not crashing. I recognise that continuing to drive on the right as I do at home would create difficulties given the flow of traffic in the UK, but obviously on a motorway I will be able to drive in the outside lane and treat it as the equivalent of the slow lane at home – I believe this will be an acceptable compromise that recognises my sovereignty while creating a deep and special road-based relationship.

        I find roundabouts confusing but traffic lights are ok, so I’d like to diverge when I get to a roundabout, always subject to the overriding “equivalence of outcomes” principle, so I promise to not actually crash. Your police may be concerned by the screeching tyres and evasive action of other road users as I exercise my very limited and reasonable “right to diverge” but I hope you will regard this as evidence of the vibrant and dynamic nature of our new deep and special relationship.

        If an accident does happen I don’t want to be subject to UK courts since that would infringe my sovereignty. Instead I propose that we set up an independent tribunal to adjudicate.

        Over time there my be other aspects of your motorway laws that I find difficult to comply with or just hard to understand so I reserve the right to follow a programme of “ambitious managed divergence” – we can discuss the details as we go along (just call me on my mobile – it’s not hands-free but I can usually reach it in the passenger footwell – I can always stop if I think it’s unsafe to continue driving – people hoot as they swerve to avoid me parked in the fast lane but reaching the hard shoulder is such a pain and I find driving without the music of the horns is distracting).

        I look forward to forging a deep and special partnership of motorway users. But let us be creative as well as practical in designing an ambitious partnership which respects the freedoms and principles of the UK, and the wishes of the foreign drivers like me. A partnership of interests, a partnership of values; a partnership of ambition for a shared future: UK drivers and me side by side delivering prosperity and opportunity for all.

        This is the future within our grasp – so, together, let us seize it.

        This is in reference to Brexit, which helps unpack the Tories epic cog dis in dealing with reality, which IMO has similarities with some people opinions about what they should be able to do, because stuff…..

      • Accusing people of responding with walls of prose. Nice one. Maybe you are a brilliant satirist and I have been wrong all along about your indecipherable contributions.

      • Andrew…

        Not everyone agrees with you, your comment does nothing to address the above, many understand exactly what the cut and paste is forwarding in relationship to some peoples concept of rights and how that ultimately washes.

        Disheveled… I don’t think you have a reference point to the person [PDK] of which I was talking about.

  9. Has The Economist disabled comments on its articles? If so, that is a worrying new trend as the organs of propaganda suppress contrary views.

    On the matter of economists making moral judgements, the counter-side of this argument is that people are not obliged to accept the opinions of economic (or any other experts) when they tell us what policy we “ought” to adopt. That is the famous Is-Ought Fallacy.

    There is in general no “is” information which allows one to reach an “ought” conclusion.

    The simplest form of is-ought fallacy is a direct inference from is to ought. A fundamentalist conservative may argue that the world “ought” to be as it is because it “is” as it is. Many people will know from their own experience that if one asks discomfiting questions about an established system of government one will fairly quickly flush out a Believer who declares authoritatively: “Our system government operates on the basis that etc, etc, etc.” Indeed it may operate on that basis, but that tells us nothing about whether it ought to operate on that basis.

    Such straightforward forms of is-ought are easy to identify. But is-ought arguments are so commonly used for persuasion in everyday life that we may be blind to their presence and it is worth dwelling on them for a moment so that we can be alert to them when they arise.

    A very common form of is-ought fallacy has the structure: “X causes Y, therefore X ought (or ought not) to be allowed.” Take, for example, the following typical persuasive argument of the type used every day to persuade people to support or oppose a particular policy :

    “Judges should not be directly elected because evidence shows that elected judges are more likely to impose the death penalty than unelected judges.” [ No support or lack of support for this proposition is implied. It is merely used as a convenient example.]

    Now, we might personally agree with the sentiments expressed in this argument, but if we dissect it dispassionately without regard to our own preferences we see how it can fail in any of three ways:

    i) assuming the desirability of outcomes: the argument assumes that the listener opposes the more frequent imposition of the death penalty. People who prefer more frequent executions will not be persuaded by this argument;

    ii) assuming the “is”: the argument assumes that election causes more frequent death sentences, and that its elimination would reduce the number of executions. But if the alternative to electing judges directly were to have them appointed by politicians who were themselves elected, then abolishing direct election might have no effect. In jurisdictions with high rates of capital punishment it is already open to elected members of the government to abolish it, or to suspend it, or to limit the circumstances under which it can be used, or to commute individual death sentences. That they fail to do these things suggests that they might not appoint judges any less inclined towards passing death sentences. Where the “is” is itself a highly tendentious claim, this error becomes one of hypothetical evidence; and

    iii) assuming that the “is” solely determines the “ought”: even if one agrees on preferred outcomes and even if one accepts the causality, the argument assumes that this is the sole factor determining policy. One might prefer direct election for other reasons, reasons which override concerns about high rates of execution.

    It is this third type of error which is the real killer for is-ought fallacies. To take a more extreme example to illustrate the point, we may agree that public expenditure ought to be kept to a minimum, and we may agree that the police force is expensive to run, but we might still disagree on abolishing the police force. There are other overriding factors involved in arriving at the preference.

    Only if we agree on all three premises (the desirability of outcomes, the “is”, and the sole determination of the “ought” from the “is”) will we accept the logic of this type of is-ought argument. And usually we are concerned with cases where the premises (especially the third one) are very much in dispute.

    Is-Ought arguments are so common in everyday argument that we sometimes forget that they’re actually illogical.

    This also undermines the anti-democratic “technocratic myth” that all decisions ought to be made by the “experts”.

    There are indeed many decisions which most people would agree to be left to the “experts”. For example, in democratic Switzerland, the People could if they wished set monetary policy by referendum. But they don’t. In 2014 href=”https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/gold-reservesadd-the-underlinevoters-roundly-reject-swiss-gold-initiative/41139376″>a referendum requiring the Swiss central bank to increase its holdings of gold was rejected by 77% of voters.

    But there are also decisions where people do NOT want decisions to be made by experts because “they increase economic growth” or “increase trade” or any other reason.

    This also makes a mockery of the elitist (and terrifying) claims we heard after the Brexit plebiscite that many Leave voters “weren’t even university educated!” One wonders how a degree in pharmacology or architecture or media studies makes one better able to decide an essentially subjective matter like Brexit. Especially when many highly educated people also voted to Leave.

    Ironically, the truly educated person would know that such arguments are themselves illogical!

    It’s worth remembering that the universal adult voting franchise – even for elective government – is barely a century old. Historically it is a recent phenomenon. There are many people out there who pay lip service to the principle of democracy, but scratch the surface and they are elitists with an unshakeable belief that “other people” – the bogans and deplorables – are inferior creatures whose preferences are of lesser value than their own.

    As the rhetoric of elitism continues to spread – often in journals which preen themselves as being “Progessive” – there is a real danger than the concept of popular democracy which came to the fore in the 20th Century may prove to be ephemeral.

    We are being “refeudalised” . . . . all in the name of snobbery.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Stephen, Can’t be too honest/controversial ramifications can be martyrdom. There are many examples of mysterious deaths in Australia due to voicing of opinion.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      But Kant, demonstrated that the “ought” has the force of a command.
      Who would have thought that we would end up with the economists unconsciously wielding the categorical imperative to destroy democracy? But there we are.

      • This creates an an infinitely recursive set of propositions.

        Even assuming it is the case that “‘ought’ has the force of a command”, how can we conclude that we ought to heed such commands.

        The solution to the problem of infinite recursion (to the extent that there is a solution) may be found here:

        https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2016/07/afr-should-shut-itself-to-boost-the-reform-it-craves/#comment-2678042

        The most that can be said is:

        a) IF (admittedly a very big IF) in a debate concerning “the method which ought to be used to aggregate preferences concerning the method which ought to be used to aggregate preferences“, the participants agree to refrain from proposing solutions which unnecessarily require the doing of things that are logically impossible to do,

        b) THEN the only solutions remaining are those which involve the aggregation of preferences using a device which has been chosen directly or recursively from an initial “non-privileging” device. (This is the only device which does not require the doing of something that is logically impossible to do: namely, identifying individuals whose preferences are to be privileged a priori.)

        Further, it may be shown that such a non-privileging device must have the characteristics of an indefinite-pass initiative-and-referendum system with compulsory voting.

        On the other hand, IF premise (a) above is rejected, then no further reasoned debate is possible. Any such debate would necessarily be a slanging match in which the opponents of conclusion (b) insisted that their preferences ought to be privileged a priori even though there is no logical means by which they can establish why that ought to be.

        [It would be like a group of mathematicians discussing theorems, but with one of them insisting that pi “ought” to be equal to exactly 3.00. Clearly (!) pi “ought” to be equal to 3.00 because it “is” the case that such a value would make all calculations so much easier.]

        But there’s more.

        It might be argued that my refusal to accept the a priori privileging of your preference is no better than your insistence that I do accept it, that the two positions are symmetrical.

        But . . . this symmetry is broken as soon as we move from a 2 person universe to a universe of more than 2 people.

        If in a larger universe:

        a) I encounter more than one person who insists that I accept the a priori privileging of their preference; and

        b) if the preferences of different claimants differ (and experience shows they do differ in the world we inhabit),

        then how can I possibly tell which claimant is the “real” holder of Truth?

        Even if I wanted to accept that you were a holder of Truth, your failure to demonstrate it to me incontrovertibly forces me into a position where I cannot recognise you as such without arbitrarily refusing to recognise all other similar claimants.

        Moreover:

        a) if you choose to withhold from me the incontrovertible demonstration that you are the holder of Truth; or

        ii) if you are not able to to provide me with the incontrovertible demonstration and you choose to withhold from me any explanation of why you are not able,

        then I can only conclude that it is your own preference for me to proceed on the assumption that you are not incontrovertibly in possession.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        My remark on the categorical imperative was completely facetious but on Kant’s “ought” was not. Thanks for the extended reply. Interesting as always. Cheers.

    • This isn’t a new trend, Youtube is censoring a lot of truther channels and Twitter is purging non-leftist/globalist accounts using this Elite-concocted ‘muh Russia’ narrative to justify silencing dissent. I know a lot of accounts which are obviously not Russian people being silenced because they were libertarian or anti-Establishment. These are dark times for liberty and freedom of speech. To my leftist friends: beware the false prophet. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

    • Stephen re whether The Economist has disabled comment on its articles. I don’t know the answer to that but I can sort of understand the dilemma that the magazine faces. On the one hand the comments section of publications like The Economist were often just as if not more informative than the actual articles, with vigorous discussion of the issues raised in those articles. It was an acknowledged strength of that newspaper. On the other hand the last few times I read comments on online version of The Economist many / most of the comments were trolling the magazine or denigrating some perceived idealogy – reading pretty much like your averge skippy post actually – rather than mounting a cogent on-point analysis of the specific topic at hand (not suggesting that you are like that – for one, you do not attempt to dominate near every discussion with the same talking points).

    • I deleted twitter for this reason while on facebook if i see a lefty propaganda news feed pop up i report it as offensive

  10. PSA: everything is not OK, in my personal opinion, our institutions have been captured to advance a satanic agenda. Please listen, research widely (and in the alternative media), respect your neighbour and think critically at all times. Out!

    • The 11 Satanic Rules of Earth aren’t too shabby. Rule 9 is especially good and should be added to whatever rule set that the Catholic Church has.

      The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

      by Anton Szandor LaVey
      © 1967

      1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked. (Everyone posting here fails that one.)

      2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them. (My bad)

      3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

      4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy. (Spambot can do what it pleases.)

      5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. (Pretty obvious, but sometimes it needs to be spelled out.)

      6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved. (This one can be pretty subjective.)

      7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.

      8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself. (Hell yeah!)

      9. Do not harm little children.

      10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.

      11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

      https://www.churchofsatan.com/eleven-rules-of-earth.php

      I’ve suggested the above to be adopted in a previous workplace. Sadly HR went some vague mumbo-jumbo that left everyone feeling a little dead on the inside.

      • And here are the 9 Satanic sins.

        1. Stupidity
        The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.

        2. Pretentiousness
        Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn’t applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone’s made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.

        3. Solipsism
        Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won’t. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of “Do unto others as they do unto you.” It’s work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.

        4. Self-deceit
        It’s in the “Nine Satanic Statements” but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it’s fun, and with awareness. But then, it’s not self-deceit!

        5. Herd Conformity
        That’s obvious from a Satanic stance. It’s all right to conform to a person’s wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.

        6. Lack of Perspective
        Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.

        7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies
        Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the creator and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.

        8. Counterproductive Pride
        That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow, then do it.

        9. Lack of Aesthetics
        This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but an eye for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It’s not what’s supposed to be pleasing—it’s what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.

        https://www.churchofsatan.com/nine-satanic-sins.php

        Church is out, go be good little Satanists.

      • – Usury
        – Ever rising cost of living
        – Poisoning our food and water
        – Turning women against men
        – Gradually destroying the courtship process (#metoo)
        – Destruction of our borders and sovereignty
        – Endless propaganda

        I could go on and on… but I’m just a conspiracy theorist right.

      • I’d stick with the more common term of idiot, but if you want to use a fancy term like conspiracy theorist, go right ahead.

      • “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it” – George Orwell.

    • You’re in the wrong place for this stuff buddy – this audience is no where near ready for that stuff.

      If it makes you feel better, the latest thinking is that they are simply a slightly different life form, which seems to require / consume emotional state information as their energy / food source. Yes, they can also seemingly exist in higher (/lower?) dimensions.

      Happily, these seem to also be quite stupid (so to speak) in the absence of intelligent humans offering their services. There also seems to be a quid pro quo with their human collaborators. This quid pro quo seems to be how many people succeed, especially in the media/entertainment/cultural sectors, as these entities seem adept at creating short term emotional state manipulations in other non-aware people’s minds (i.e. your defences are down).

      The issue as been that no one believes this stuff exists, personally only recently changed my mind – i.e. months ago. But enough people now do, so folks have started to look. Also, common techniques like the satanist basics like pedophilia/blackmail etc have been effectively used to keep it all very quiet. This is changing, and while organised religion/prayer etc remains the primary line of defence, but is far from our (as in our species) only defence.

      There is an effort to build a large number of random number generator trackers in cities worldwide, so we can effectively track these things. The current thinking is the emotional state manipulation abilities are based on some quantum level effects, the next step is to isolate and be able to measure this stuff accurately.

      I can assure you, this is far from a good faith effort. Given the historical meddling of these things, the aim is to be able to excise this problem with extreme prejudice. We did not become the apex predator on this planet because we are all cuddly and squeamish.

    • I hear there’s an online petition (Facebook?) against it. Shocked. I thought no one has savings these days, it’s all debt and speculation. Is redraw/offset fair game under these rules?

      Edit; Here is one.
      https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-banks-seizing-our-saving-deposits-oppose-bail-in-legislation

      Some interesting history on this over the last two years. All hush hush clearly;
      http://cecaust.com.au/releases/2016_04_28_Treasurer.html
      ‘Treasurer Scott Morrison responded in an 18 March letter to a constituent’s concern about the “bail-in” policy—seizing deposits and retirement savings to prop up failing banks—now in force across most Western economies.

      The Treasurer’s letter reveals he is either lying, or in complete denial about the real condition of Australia’s banking system.

      He wrote, “I can assure your constituent that the Australian Government is not preparing legislation to seize bank deposits in times of financial instability.”’

      And the latest discussion on it. Wow! Like I said weeks ago, the legislation is very wishy washy.
      http://cecaust.com.au/main.asp?sub=bail-in&id=bail-in2017.html

      • I hear there’s an online petition (Facebook?) against it. Shocked. I thought no one has savings these days, it’s all debt and speculation. Is redraw/offset fair game under these rules?

        Redraw would definitely be “safe” in the sense you wouldn’t lose the money paid into your mortgage, but you may not be able to redraw it any more.

        Offsets would be a bit more interesting. Ostensibly they’re just a savings account, but they’re also treated as “special” by the bank, so…???

    • pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

      So when the brown hits the fan.
      Where does one move thier deposits to protect them?

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Very good question.
        But interesting to read that ScoMo has apparently issued footsoldier Coalition MPs with talking points, to “spin” over the potential stitch-up for depositors?
        I wonder how many MPs would actually be depositors?

    • Senator Whish-Wilson (Greens) was the only one who addressed bail-ins in his discussion of the bill, which I understand has now passed. He was clear that bail-ins are not possible under this legislation. Can you point me to the part where you think bail-ins are possible? (genuine question)

    • John – I can’t see the full article but is one of the reasons suggested for the drop in sales the fact that the Chinese were displeased with the Koreans for installing an American air defence system? The Chinese have a trigger finger for using trade and commerce involving other countries as a political / diplomatic weapon. They have us by the short and curlies with regards our education sector, and similarly South Korea’s car industry is heavily reliant on China.

  11. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Street Talk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with Mining Bogan.

    Work colleague shows me a property in Cairns he’s thinking about buying as an investment.
    Cheap says savvy investor.
    Compared to Melbourne. Not cheap for there.
    Why?
    Not a bad area to own a rental tenant quality wise but the sort of rents you’re talking will need a higher income tenant than Cairns provides. Wages aren’t that high. Someone isn’t being honest about rents.
    What do wages have to do with anything?

    Remember Asian lady talking about competition from food joints owned by visa chasers? She closed down a couple of months ago after 18 years. Tried for rent reduction but yeah nah so she walked away. Shop still sitting empty. Landlord won’t negotiate price with anyone. Hearing a tiny Asian lady give a venomous “fcuk ’em!” Is quite amusing.

    Also at said shopping centre, talking to RE shop ‘salesman’.
    You guys must be nervous now that Sydney has gone negative
    Sydney is booming like here.
    Nope, negative.
    Where’s your numbers?
    *showed him* oh, would you look at Melbourne quarterly say I feigning surprise
    Numbers don’t look right
    Yeah nah, look fine to me

    • Give it a few years and we’ll be like thailand, but with rich chinese owning the restaurants frequented by chinese students whilst Aussies make their living cooking snags on the bbq on the footpath.

    • I just went out for an early dinner, or a late lunch (linner? dunch?) and being the only one in the restaurant the staff were just chatting amongst themselves. The topic: revolution!!!!! It’s apparently almost upon us or they are going to make it happen. They aren’t impressed with the behaviour of our politicians or our political parties. They want to remove the influence of big business and vested interests in politics. And, they wish do away with debt related misery. They were an enthusiastic bunch but they seemed a bit thin on details and plans of action. Best of luck to them.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Well, I’d say those kids need an old, angry man to release them from their shackles and send them on the way to glory…and probable death. That’s the traditional way.

        Where was this eatery again?

      • MB – I remember seeing a research paper that suggested that where you have lots of old blokes and relatively few young blokes the old blokes tend to send the young blokes off to war, but where you have not so many old blokes and relatively lots of young blokes then the young blokes tend to violently overthrow the old blokes. Using that as a predictor, places like Saudi Arabia are short odds for civil upheaval whereas places like Australia will keep sending our young’uns off to fight in other peoples’ wars.

    • innocent bystanderMEMBER

      chatting to retailer/2nd hand shop yesterday. He’s been around for ages and knows how to survive etc. Is diversified in his area.
      But the debt on his property portfolio was making him sick so he divested. He had quality property in good locales so could sell. He feels, and looks, better.
      His mate on the other hand had rubbish properties and after selling up was left with nada.
      Given that Perth is mostly rubbish property this isn’t looking good for a lot of people.

  12. President Trump campaigned on a pledge to end the supposed “war on coal” that he claimed President Obama had been waging. But the reality is that more coal capacity was retired in the first 45 days of 2018 than in each of the first three years of the Obama administration.

    In fact, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported last week in its 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook that by the end of last year, coal plant owners “had announced 12.5GW of planned retirements for 2018, foreshadowing the largest year for coal decommissioning since the 15GW of retirements in 2015.”

    Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, explained this week that “a coal plant has retired every 16 days since Trump was elected.” That’s the same pace as during the Obama administration’s full eight years, but much faster than the pace during Obama’s first term.

    https://thinkprogress.org/coal-plants-now-shutting-down-faster-under-trump-than-obama-4da9d4554ec0/

  13. Sydney property update. Attended 15 Wilona Ave Greenwich. Modest 3br cottage in great street (typical property in street worth $3.5-4.5m). Agent originally quoting $1.9-2.1m. Opened at $2.0m. Sold for $2.555m. Guessed that 6 or 7 different bidders participated on the day.

    • stretching the logic that it’s always better to own the worst house in the best street than the best house in the worst street. Would you bother keeping the cottage or is it basically $2.555m + demolition costs for a block of land?

      • Cottage very livable. But small estimate 90sqm. Block size >650sqm which is large for the street but it is at end of culdesac so narrow front.

        If redeveloping you would knock the cottage down and start afresh. A lot cheaper per sqm for a new build than renovation.

      • Vendor must be wetting themself laughing.

        Can now buy a big house in a nice US state and keep almost $2m in change.

    • CharlieChaplinMEMBER

      Insanity! People should be rioting in the streets! Despicable! I feel sorry for you guys in Sydney. It seems like the place has been destroyed in less than 20 years. What a waste.

      • A market is set at the margin, as always. One insane bidder is all that is required to set a record price for the whole suburb.

        It works both ways though.

      • CharlieChaplinMEMBER

        thats been my experience; especially at auctions, the central bulge of the bell curve of bidders is far more reasonable than the crazy outlier. not sure if it works both ways though. A crazy higher bidder will be accepted. A crazy lower bidder will not….only if there is a death of bids or other offers

    • Northern Suburbs of Sydney though! So kind of worth it when you factor in prices in and around Melbourne and Sydney at the moment. Still silly, but inline with the current market.

  14. “The legal classification of corporations as people allows for a whole host of things, from making lawsuits simpler to justifying why Goldman Sachs was able to donate some $4.7 million to American political campaigns during the last election cycle.

    But if corporations are people, can one of them ride in your car? And if so, does that qualify you to use the carpool lane?

    That’s the question Northern California political activist Jonathan Frieman hoped to have answered when he was pulled over driving in the carpool lane last October on Highway 101 in Marin County. The police officer issued Frieman a nearly $500 ticket for driving by himself in the carpool lane, and Frieman countered that he wasn’t solo because he had stack of documents in the car representing a corporation he had co-founded.”

    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Corporation-not-person-in-carpool-lanes-4173366.php

  15. Reckon I’ve seen about 8 ads on rotation today all telling me to buy Crypto or signup to an exchange.

    “RG 168.36 A PDS is to be prepared by or on behalf of the issuer or seller of the financial product: see s1013A. A PDS must contain sufficient information so that a retail client may make an informed decision about whether to purchase a financial product: s1013D.”

    “The content requirements of a PDS for financial products other than those that are subject to a tailored regime (see RG 168.10–RG 168.12) are set out in Subdiv C of Div 2 of Pt 7.9 of the Corporations Act. Briefly, a PDS includes information such as: (a) fees payable in respect of a financial product; (b) risks of a financial product; c) benefits of a financial product; and (d) significant characteristics of a financial product”

    There is less regulation here than in Russia. Anyone seems to be free to setup a bitcoin exchange completely unregulated set prices and see orders, trading imaginary money, which may get “hacked” and then collect fees in real money all undisclosed.
    But it’s all good. ASIC went on 7.30 and warned people not to get scammed.

    This is pretty spot on imo:

    “FOMO has solidly trumped WTHIT (what the hell is this??). When the history is written, cryptocurrencies will likely be described as one of the most brilliant scams in history.”

    “We all laugh at primitive tribes which used large stones (or pigs) as currency. Well, laugh as you will, but a stone or a healthy pig is something. Cryptocurrencies are nothing except the marketing power of inventors, financiers and others who love the idea of buying a black box (which is obviously empty) for the price of a Kia and dreaming that it will turn into a Mercedes. There have been times recently when this dream has materialized within hours”.

    “This is not just a bubble. It is not just a fraud. It is perhaps the outer limit, the ultimate expression, of the ability of humans to seize upon ether and hope to ride it to the stars.”

    “Since bitcoin and its cousins are, at the core, absolutely and utterly nothing, there is no limit on bitcoin supply except the outer boundaries of human folly. At a ‘market cap’ of $175 billion for bitcoin alone, a 1% increase in the ‘limited’ supply of bitcoins conjures $1.75 billion out of thin air”.

    • Google is very smart.

      It serves up the right ads to the right people. It must sense your interest and fascination.

      Ask Skippy for some advice and you could have a super duper mining rig up and running and cranking out some yield less profits by Monday or at least you could be playing 4th dimension chess with a 22 sided die with Skippy until 4.00 am each night.

      But watch the power bill!

      • Why so blasé about a scam?
        Some unfortunate brainwashed are actually buying this worthless rubbish 007.
        And then there are these bitcoin exchange cowboys. Completely unregulated, marketing, taking fees (in real money) a financial product which is in reality “at the core, absolutely and utterly nothing”.
        Why shouldn’t they be regulated like anyone else. ie. banned?

      • Blase about a scam?

        Coming from a private bank apologist that is pretty funny.

        How many billions upon billions have your ‘legit’ private banker buddies scammed in the last year alone?

        Right across the globe your mates are creaming it in and all Sweeper can say it is the fault of some guy kicked out office 21 years ago.

        I have no time for Cryptocurrency scammers but even less time for the apologists of the current role of the private bank “scammers” in our public monetary system.

        Of sorry I forgot.

        Asserting that private banks have a role in our monetary system is an a priori falsehood.

        Isnt that the official Swippy position?

      • Unreal. The banks have real assets or claims to real assets on the asset side of their balance sheet. They are closely regulated by 3 regulators and have to meet general conduct obligations as licensee’s under at least 4 different licenses. All their financial products come with disclosure. Telling their creditors they’d been “hacked” wouldn’t stand up in court.
        A crypto exchange is an unregulated “exchange” marketing worthless unbacked imaginary money to the functionally financially illiterate who heard about crypto from the IT guy at work.

      • Dear Dawg….

        First “Siri suggested this”.

        And now “Google is very smart.”

        And some get – sad – wrt Curtis talking about Bernays.

        disheveled… are you saying oo7 that google is like a smart ™ city or smart car or smart phone…. chortle…

      • Sweeper,

        You can talk up the ‘regulation’ of your private banking mates all you want but the fact remains that they leave the cryptocurrencies crooks for dead.

        Its nice that you do care for some victims of some scams but the fact that you spend your time making excuses for industrial grade fraud and deception is noted.

        I see you fur-bro popped up – you should take a hint from Mr Morris and choose better bunk mates.

      • Coming from someone that believes things are smart that’s par for course.

        Argument to authority oo7[?], from someone that sides with racist political ideologues like JMB who corrupt democracy to forward their personal ideological preferences.

        disheveled… the whole IPA FEE underpinnings is quite obvious.

      • 007 you are not doing yourself any favours here.

        Comparing commercial banking to a completely fraudulent scheme just makes you sound like one of the cult members. Which makes me think Mig might have brought you into the cult and now you are stuck holding crypto?

        Industrial grade fraud? The banks have real tangible assets / claims to real tangible assets. Crypto by it’s nature is fraudulent because it’s nothing.

      • Sweppy,

        “..Comparing commercial banking to a completely fraudulent scheme just makes you sound like one of the cult members…”

        Perhaps to the ears of a private bank apologist.

        As much as you and your fur-bro like to insist that I am in the crypto ‘stripe’ my position remains unchanged – cryptocurrencies and private bank credit are both forms of private money.

        My clearly stated preference is for a state monopoly on public money so that the average citizen has a completely public money option managed by their elected representatives in government.

        Should ‘private’ forms of money be permitted? Of course, private money is nothing more than private credit. Should it be subject to regulation to reduce the risk of fraud? Of course. Suggesting that I argue otherwise is the standard nonsense that you and your fur-bro mate have become famous for.

        The only real difference between old and these new forms of private money, is that the private money issued by a private banks has more regulation and has been given protection by and a guarantee by the state. Yet despite that protection and a guarantee that has still not prevented private banks across the globe engaging in industrial grade fraud and deception time and time again..

        That is the problem for private bank apologists like you and it is striking that you spend almost no time shedding crocodile tears for the victims of your private banking mates.

        Your own dodgy private banking ‘product’ has a such a terrible track record of fraud and deception that there are lots and lots of people looking for an alternative even though the private banks have been given state protection..

        Is it any surprise that people are looking for get rich schemes when asset price pumping scams have been turned into an art form by the private banker that you and your fur-bro are so eager to support.

        So when it comes to people falling into the arms of dodgy crypto currency scams, it is about time that the supporters of the private banking role in the monetary system take some responsibility for creating a rich swamp for scam artists to flourish.

        You and your private banking mates have created the environment where completely unregulated, internet crypto schemes look half reasonable to a surprising number of people.

        So keep up the ‘research’ into cryptoscams and Google will keep dishing you up ads for cryptos.

        Perhaps if you start researching private bank fraud you will find Google will start dishing you up enticing private bank offers for loans to have a punt on real estate asset prices. Remember real estate prices always go up!. You can’t lose. Get a foot on the ladder. Build your ‘wealth’ with property speculation. etc etc

        Or are you already receiving those offers by the truckload…like just everyone else in Australia.

      • oo7…

        Sorry but, I have been observing this from almost 40 years, not to mention studies going back to our species early days. Suggesting that I don’t have information to base anything on is only in your mind and again you fail to provide proof to support.

        If your memory serves I pointed out the currant time line starts around when Milton and Stigler wrote propaganda for the developer lobbyists, proceeding any bank dramas. This is also around the same time you have stuff like the Powell memo, establishment of mobs like FEE and forwarded by mobs like the Creel Committee. Even so retail banks at this time evaluated risk and held risk at a local or regional level and IB’s did their thing. Then the aforementioned mob went on an [I]deological bender banning anything that was viewed as a threat and flooded the information market with its good works to gain dominate market share.

        Banks and other C-corps are just a reflection of the above, as is the dominate sociopolitical enviroment. One can draw parallels with past epoch’s like the change from moon to sun worship and its underlining significance, same applies to stone, bronze, iron ages.

        Again, its hard to argue about RE – asset inflation [unearned income] and then bang on about crypto, banks for all their fault still provide a modicum of social good and maintains the payment system. Sweeper and I have suggested policy’s to deal with the socially corrosive aspect of which I think contracts are the linchpin. To date crypto has been predominately all about fraud and corruption and creating asset inflation without any assets to put a floor under it or contracts to provide recourse. This invariably leads us right back to things like derivatives and risk management tools like VaR, which imo proceed credit creation, have a direct effect on quantity and quality of credit, let alone suffered a huge dollop of human tool user problem due to corrosive short term incentives.

        I think you under appreciate the whole social psychological enviroment aspect the mob I pointed out at start, the way generational market based cohorts are discussed in the hope one will be rational ™ and respond to the conditioning its authors expect, rather than what has transpired, either way they make money up and down, one of these days thingy.

        disheveled… I also find your abandonment of positive money [science of money (heavy Bernays sauce)] project in lieu of crypto instructive.

      • I can’t work out 007’s crypto fever either.
        Isn’t it the ultimate Rothbardian fraudulent warehouse receipt? There isn’t even an empty warehouse.
        Which makes me think 007 was taken in by one of Mig’s pro crypto rants around Christmas time… freedom for Christmas.

      • Sweppy,

        Crypto fever?.

        I don’t get a stream of crypto ads being served up to me but you do.

        What does Google know about you that we dont?

        As an apologist for private banks, it stands to reason that you are researching the tech so you are well positioned when your private banker mates decide to take private crypto main stream.

        Is that what you are chatting about at your hot desk?

        How the private banks can take control of govt ‘regulated’ crypto.

        Just as well you care so much for the little people or we might think it was all a bit self serving.

      • oo7…

        You would not know what comes up on others comps, hence basing any opinion on its is fact less conjecture or worse a weak attempt at leading.

        disheveled… I don’t get ads, so that kinda throws a spanner in your works ™.

      • Sweppy,

        You need to keep up. Sweppy is my preferred descriptor for both members of the hive mind.

        I was referring to the other Sweppy with regards to the ads.

      • MobyDobie 61 points 13 hours ago

        They’re not even penny stocks.

        At least with penny stocks you own a part of some shitty company and its assets.

        With ICO you own a string of alpha numeric characters.

        disheveled…. still illiterate… you don’t own anything, you have – residual claims -after everything else is sorted and is at the leisure of its executives.

      • hahaha that was gold.
        some highlights:

        “I’m sorry, and I would love to be wrong about this, but all of this really just smacks of an attempt to ‘raise money’ for your product development through an ICO, which will likely never be developed, leaving your organization with a convenient stack of real fiat currency people have exchanged for a useless altcoin and no recourse to get their money back in the event that this doesn’t ever come to fruition”.

        “Why did you choose to use ICO and a blockchain rather than a more tradition method for the fundraising specifically?”
        “Because it’s easier to commit fraud with an ICO. Loans, VC, and IPOs require pesky contracts and regulations”

        Hello Reddit! I am /u/Brotherman_Bill, founder of “Holding a bucket outside of Wal-Mart”. All I ask is that you put money in my bucket, in return I’ll hand you a piece of paper that I like to call “Bucketcoin” that you can redeem for false promises (that I’ll whisper in your ear). How does this sound?
        So, if you guys have any questions about buckets, Bucketcoin, or what Wal-Mart I’ll be sitting outside of, feel free to fire away!

      • Someone should still inform the commenter on penny stocks thinking they have claims to assets et al.

        You don’t own anything, you have – residual claims – after everything else is sorted and is at the leisure of its executives.

    • Not that I’m any fan of high-density living, but…

      Isn’t the Economist’s view of “liveable” based on surveys of wealthy (Executive+ level) ex-pats ?
      Is every “city” in that list being measured in the same way in terms of area (ie: is there a consistent definition of “city limits”) ?

  16. “Nationals MP George Christensen calls for an end to the Coalition”

    Nationals MP George Christensen has called for the end of the Coalition, after the scandal engulfing former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce threatened to tear the partnership apart.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nationals-mp-george-christensen-calls-for-an-end-to-the-coalition-20180224-p4z1l8.html

    Christensen really is one dumb fck. Has it not dawned on Jabba The Hut minus the intellect that neither party can govern outright and need each other just as Labor and the Greens do? By all means split, let’s see how long you’ll last in the sea of irrelevance.

    • It only takes 1 member of the coalition to bring this government down,
      Go on George , make my day

  17. Anyone got auction results?

    Just watched the obligatory Saturday night property story on nein news and auction results were strangely absent. Doc Andrew was there of course, doing his best to put a positive spin on things, his beaver-like grin reassuring punters that all was well despite things being a bit more tilted to buyers. He thought that perhaps buyers were “surprised” by the volume of properties being auctioned this weekend.

    An auctioneer suggested that it was just select properties in low demand, those not facing in the right direction or lacking a car park.

    But still no auction results. The number please…anyone?

      • Yes, Louis Christopher predicting a final result of between 60-63%. If that turns out to be correct then the 70% claim based on agents reporting the ‘good’ results is deliberately misleading.

    • pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

      PRELIMINARY results (final data updated Wednesday at 8pm ish)

      VIC 72% +or- 26%
      NSW 71% +or- 27%
      QLD 45% +or- 23%

      Remember it is prelimanary data – and good results tend to get reported earlier than bad results. I expect by Wednesday data flowing in it’ll be revised down to low 60s given the high +or- variable (normally around +or- 20% at this point)

      Data taking half a week to flow in is just the nature of the beast (especially if you’re asking agents to capturing ‘did it sell after auction’ data)

      https://www.realestate.com.au/auction-results/

  18. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Domain has Sydney at 70% ( final number last week 67%) and Melbourne at 69% ( final number last week 70%).

    Oops. For csfn ^^^^

    • Considering the volumes those are solid clearance rates. Prices may start going up again. Unles we are witnessing accelerated selling but then med prices would have dropped and it hasn’t.

    • These numbers are meaningless based on the reporting rate. The clearance rate based on the number of auctions is around 40%

    • Cheers MB.

      Not to keep a running tab on Mr Christopher’s twitter feed but it seems there may be a bit more of an issue here than just under reported results. Suggestions that the sold properties included in Melbourne’s stats include properties sold a few weeks ago. Worth a read…

  19. DarkMatterMEMBER

    So, i have been looking at the crypto phenomenon in some more detail, trying to understand what is going on. I think that a lot of the negative and rusted on critics have not thought this through. The idea that crypto currencies are worthless and just a scam is quite ridiculous. At the end of the day, all money systems are just a way to keep track of information, a database of sorts. By any reasonable standard, our current money system itself is of dubious worth.

    The crypto Ethereum is very interesting. This incorporates a distributed Virtual Machine that executes programs or “contracts”. Money with built in rules and processes, all secured on blockchains. There is a problem with transaction overheads, but this is a software problem and it is being solved. There is a system called Plasma which effectively allows for splitting the blockchain into a hierarchy of sub networks. This points towards lots of subnetworks of tokens which ultimately connect with the other blockchains. This looks like what a true “free market” should look like. Money taken away from the control of the Financial Elites and made public. This technology may very well pose a threat to the FIRE sector, as finacial services and legal contracts get replaced by algorithms.

    One of the other cryptos that is very interesting is Enjin – which is also based on the Ethereum blockchain. Enjin is designed as a currency for virtual worlds and gaming. The thing about Enjin is that as well as having an intrinsic coin value, Enjin coins can be linked to items in the virtual world. Think about CSGO weapon skins for example, or south park WOW “sword of a thousand truths”. The Enjin coins have two vectors of value – the Ethereum value, and the item value. This is a huge innovation, because it means that “money tokens” are unique. A token can be linked to a piece of information. Think about it. Money can now have state. The transition to entropic money started about 1980, and it is approaching critical mass. This is a complete break from the past, because money with “state” can only be possible when you have access to vast numbers of compute cycles for almost free. We have that now – a mobile phone runs on a little battery and is capable of 10’s of billions of compute cycles per second – and there are billions of such devices worldwide.

    I can’t see any reason that crypto currencies subordinated to blockchains like Ethereum can’t be made that attach to ideas – like our system of voting or plebecites. It might be possible to use a crypto currency to trade ideas and opinions. Perhaps a workable form of democracy could come out of this? Nobody really has any serious expectation that our financial and economic system can fix itself. Perhaps the internet will save us after all?

    • Bitcoin good for 3(?) payments per second. Ethereum faster at 15 payments per second. Performance problems “fixed” with Bitcoin Cash and achieving around 60 payments per second. So if talking about Cryptocurrencies capable of replacing large chunks of the monetary system then it is unlikely to be any using Blockchain. HashGraph on the other hand capable of 250k payments per second. Will there be something even better than HashGraph?

      Other than that I do agree there are suitable applications. However, most ICOs remind me of all the dodgy startup companies in late 90s with glossy prospectus’ asking you to send money to unregulated countries.

      Also, I very much doubt USA will permit anything that undermines the USD. There are already sniffing into the rumoured Bitfinex/Tether/Bitcoin scam.

    • There are a few main points
      a) slow transactions per second – how does cryptocurrency scale without losing its decentralised nature
      b) why would governments and wealthy people allow a cryptocurrency to displace their own currency ?
      c) even if you somehow went got past a) and b), governments can still force you to buy fiat currencies via taxation – or did you think governments would accept a basket of cryptocurrencies ?
      d) is it useful for a society where money is by virtue of its operation, deflationary?
      e) do you think a smart contract will be upheld by a court by virtue of the mathematics behind it, or will it come down to he terms of the contract ?
      f) ultimately, do you believe that a cryptocurrency will protect your wealth if there is an angry mob at the door ?
      g) okay, we embrace a crypto future, but why Bitcoin/ethereum/ripple/Monaro ? Why not a national cryptocurrency ? Or some other arrangement ? But why go for a coin that is 75% mined out, is mostly being mined by a communist government and the alternatives are a bunch of dubious coins that are often scams.

      A lot of people want cryptocurrency because they are tired of central banks printing money, but they forget a lot of people preferred it to possible financial Armageddon. I’m ok with financial Armageddon but I don’t see cryptocurrency going anywhere unless cryptotraders come with an army.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        The things that convinced me were the “smart contracts’ – the idea of embedding rules in the blockchain. That is a very powerful concept and I can’t see why it isn’t better than lawyers and regulators. It is a bit like automation for the legal/financial sector.

        The second thing is the idea of loosely connected subnets connected by the smart contracts. That is a standard solution to solving large problems, and it is exactly in line with the big push for distributed computing. People have been working on parallel and distributed systems for decades now, so it is not like this came out of nowhere. It is Google technology that is finding a new application. All the elements required have been lining up for decades, so probably cryptio currencies were inevitable.

        http://plasma.io/plasma.pdf

        Your other questions are of the form ” How will x allow this to happen?” I don’t know. Nobody knows. My view is that we have lit the fuse and there will be an explosion. It is unlikely that legislators understand what it is they are stopping, so apart from pulling the plug on the internet or becoming N.Korea, the crypto engineers will be several steps ahead of them.

        There is another social factor to this. Have you noticed how popular crypto is amongst the Gen Y (mainly males). They feel disenfranchised by the current system and have no respect for traditional “economics”. They want a revolution and can’t see a downside to a crypto revolution. To them, there is no way to buy a house or build a life because the system is rigged. Banks, debt, jobs, stockmarkets – it is just a big sh!t sandwich controlled by greedy old fossils (like our closed minded old friend down below). Young people just don’t see most of the obstacles, and they are the ones who will be in control soon.

      • “There is another social factor to this. Have you noticed how popular crypto is amongst the Gen Y (mainly males). They feel disenfranchised by the current system and have no respect for traditional “economics”. They want a revolution and can’t see a downside to a crypto revolution. To them, there is no way to buy a house or build a life because the system is rigged. Banks, debt, jobs, stockmarkets – it is just a big sh!t sandwich controlled by greedy old fossils (like our closed minded old friend down below). Young people just don’t see most of the obstacles, and they are the ones who will be in control soon.”

        This is essentially the crux of it

        It is a number of unintelligent and unsophisticated “investors” who basically have no other potential path to wealth or financial independence open to them

        Onto this quiet desperation, the spruikers mix some superficial austrian economics (muh central banks are evil!), with aspirational imagery (lambo dreams), and package it in a final layer of memes (those dumb nocoiners, just HODL)

        People like darkmatter who like to think of themselves as tech savvy then buy into it double

        But ultimately the whole thing is a pyramid scheme at best

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        You are a cranky old bloke for sure!

        Central Banks have played their part in this by allowing the financial system to slip away from them. Your old 19th century world is self destructing and they do not have a solution. Zero Interest rates, asset prices out of control, value destruction because of automation. These horsemen will bring change, like it or not. If you think we are going back to the 1950’s, then you are likely to be disappointed.

        I suspect that most people have not thought through the implications of the stunning rise in available compute cycles we have seen over the last 40 years. In a way, the financial system embraced computers and effectively opened Pandora’s box. Money stopped being a scalar quantity decades ago and has been converting to a complex entity with an ever increasing part as entropy, or information flow. This explains why the Bankers are losing control – because they don’t have models that fit this. Crypto currencies are in a way, the next step. The movement to information systems is now inevitable. The big change we will see is the destruction of “value” as we knew it. AI, automation and Virtual Worlds will mean that a lot of things just don’t have a physical value. Blockchain networks look like a very good candidate to keep track of “worthless” things. We currently have lots of “worthless things” that people still like – for example, the original StarWars movie. 40 years old, a couple of Gb of data. What physical value does that have?

        Why are you so bitter and obsessed with crypto speculators? A large number of the crypto fans are refugees from the present financial system who are just looking for easy dollar. Just like the stock market traders or the house flippers. So what? Crypto is now in its Wild West stage, and the worst elements of society will be attracted to it. That has nothing to do with the technology and the nature of economic systems. Our financial system is poorly understood, corrupt and broken. If it can’t be fixed, it must be replaced. What other candidates are there for a replacement?

      • how old do you think I am?

        To be honest, if I sound old then you sound very adolescent

        I’m not sure if we are essentially agreeing with each other

        Star wars doesn’t have any value in the monetary sense, and neither does crypto

        In that sense, blockchain is essentially like torrents: a deflationary tool that democratizes resources

        Thing is, you can’t profit from that

        Do you agree?

        Anyone can make a new blockchain, in fact you can even copy and paste an existing one

        The tokens may provide some utility (I think its limited but you think its extraordinary), but the utility dividend does not accrue to the creator or the owner but the user.

      • > The things that convinced me were the “smart contracts’ – the idea of embedding rules in the blockchain. That is a very powerful concept and I can’t see why it isn’t better than lawyers and regulators. It is a bit like automation for the legal/financial sector.

        Because two parties can sign any contract they like, and despite that, one party can take the other party to court. Having an automatic contract doesn’t upend the fact that court still has jurisdiction and can choose to reinterpret the contract. A trivial case, a court will not allow you to sign yourself into slavery. The point is the court has the final say, not the contract, smart or dumb.

        From a community point of view, look into Ethereum’s hard fork history; a bug in the contract caused money to be lost; in response, the community decided to stop honouring the contract by forking. This is going to happen regardless of your cryptocurrency because real money is backed up by people with guns and courts that enforce those rules. It’s how the system works. Society’s don’t enforce rules to the bitter end, they do what makes sense.

        No one is a fan of government and central bank policies, but if you want to start your revolution, you better bring a few guns too.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        The “old thinking” is a jab at the persistence of beliefs about money, economics and even mathematics that comes direct from the 19th century. We don’t live in that world anymore, and this time it is different, because the rules are changing. The value of human labour is failing. Nobody is quite sure what anything is “worth” anymore.

        “Star wars doesn’t have any value in the monetary sense, and neither does crypto”

        And neither does Real Estate. Most people can no longer ever own a house, all they can do is pay interest on it and pass it back to the bank when they die. In a way the financial system has already created their own “crypto” system of worthless money, it is just that the belief in ownership, profit and value have been left intact. Why does everyone believe that our current “money” will magically find its own level, whereas a crypto blockchain system must necessarily implode? From a theoretical point of view, crypto is in a rapid evolutionary development stage, and ideas are failing, being modified, and being fixed at a incredible rate. Probably thousands of times faster than economic experiments in the past. What is also true is that the testbed for crypto is using mostly “funny money” that would otherwise be riding on the stock market, so no net effect. Nothing is being created or destroyed. A lot of little people might have $1K or so – big deal. If you look at a busy crypto trading site like Binance, you will see a huge amount of trading and hundreds of coins. This is like an iterative evolutionary development process. Have you heard of the process “Simulated Annealing”?

        “In that sense, blockchain is essentially like torrents: a deflationary tool that democratizes resources
        Thing is, you can’t profit from that
        Do you agree?”

        Profit? What is that? With our non-crypto economy people can’t even tread water and find a useful way of making a life. “Profit” is one of those old words that no longer has any real meaning for the majority. I think most people would settle for a convenient reliable way to exchange things that doesn’t involve a drip feed to Wall Street.

        “Anyone can make a new blockchain, in fact you can even copy and paste an existing one
        The tokens may provide some utility (I think its limited but you think its extraordinary), but the utility dividend does not accrue to the creator or the owner but the user.”

        My understanding of the hierarchy of distributed blockchains is that they form a network that distributes and regulates relative value. So if a new currency is created, initially it has no value except speculative value. If it is useful, then “value” from the other blockchains will flow into it. Obviously, any currency where new coins can be made at will, or mined by useless searches will not work. Once the gold rush period is over, then nobody would want them anyway. On the other hand, a currency where coins are minted by the process of doing useful work – that could work. Here is an example. A blockchain (subordinate to Ethereum, say) is created and there is a mechanism such that if you write Short Story, then that generates new coins. The creation of coins is linked to creating something useful. That has the potential for actually creating something much closer to a Free market .

        Here is what I think is wrong with your view. Since we abandoned the Gold Standard, our money system has been assumed to be “self leveling” There is no mathematical proof that supports this – it is, as far as I can see – an act of faith.
        An alternative Crypto system of money must also be “self leveling”, as it is intrinsically worthless, just numbers. Apparently this is self evidently impossible.

        The error, I believe, is in imagining a crypto system can just pop into existence ex nihilo. That is absurd. What can happen is that a crypto system can evolve iteratively and become a stable system. What can happen then is that what we consider “money” will seep across into the alternate system. There are no impossible boundary conditions in an iterative process like that. If the new crypto system has the potential to represent “money, value, worth” in multiple dimensions, then it will be a superior system and in the long term prevail over our current relic of the steam punk era.

        The really big question that remains – crypto or fiat – is how we decide who owns land in the future. This is a problem that is looming and it is much bigger than coins and dollars.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        This guy – Doug Casey – thinks that the US government will create its own FedCoin, and right soon as well. Interesting arguments. I think that even a lot of the financial establishment see crpto of some sort as inevitable. The big question is if they can control it, or whether it will get away from them.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMcO3Hk_Aq4

      • Ah ok, As soon as you mention the gold standard, I realize you are an ill-informed crackpot who regurgitated something he read on a reddit post

        I think I can safely leave this conversation without the risk of having missed out on learning something

        The fundamental deficiency in your thinking is that you don’t understand that Money is a tax credit

        I think for full disclosure, we would like to know what the nature and size of your long crypto positions are

        The crypto coins you hold: do they have utility for you, or are you holding them because you think they will increase in value later on

        If the former could you please tell us what that utility is

        If the latter, I rest my case

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        I can tell you that. About US$96. That is all you need to experiment with the mechanisms. A cheap experiment.

        You people are narrow minded little money grubbers who think that everyone else grubs in the dirt for “profits”. Widen your mind you dope and learn some mathematics. Get out of the 19th century. It is no wonder our Financial system is such a mess with such a shocking poverty of intellect. Negative, bitter, sullen and hostile.

        The truth is that the crypto engineers seem to have more progress advancing the theories of money in a few years than all the economists have done in 500 years. Hopeless plodders, economists can’t explain interest rates, where money comes from or how debt works. That is why we are in the mess we are in, and we are in a mess – almost every MB post is about economic dysfunction.

    • ” At the end of the day, all money systems are just a way to keep track of information, a database of sorts”

      Completely incorrect, rendering the rest of your thoughts invalid
      Money systems are about control, and power, by the wealthy and by the government

      You’ll find 100% of the crypto believers are in it for the personal gain, so that they can be rich and powerful too
      All the other tacked on bits about decentralization, “muh central banks” etc are just to make them seem morally and intellectually righteous

      • “Completely incorrect, rendering the rest of your thoughts invalid”

        Not so. Underneath the power and control, money is a database of information. You can use the basic elements of a transactional money system to build a logic state machine and therefore a computing machine. Money records state. How people use it is a layer on top of that basic system. Do you have any understanding of information theory? If your background is traditional economic thinking then most likely you can only see this in the rear view mirror.

        Crypto is being developed by a completely different group of people than your Wall street crowd. Assuming that the technology to split blockchains into loosely coupled subnets works (it looks like it will), then the shift to crypto currencies is unstoppable. It is too cheap and easy to deploy and because it uses the internet, does not align with traditional political boundaries.

        Cryptocurrencies will be disruptive, there is no doubt about that. So was the internet. To me it looks like a reasonable bet that over the next decade a sizeable chunk of the world’s “money” will move into crypto currencies. That will cause lots of problems and throw a lot of olt-timers under the bus.

        If you think I am a get-rich scammer, then you are very wrong. I am an engineer, and this phenomenon looks to me like a very big transformative technology. Private/Public encryption, cheap computers, internet – ther eis a logical progression here and we are nowhere near being done with it.

        Here – http://plasma.io/plasma.pdf apply your rusty old 19th century brain to this.

      • You keep repeating yourself

        The question is why would we need the information to be decentralized?
        Who does this help? How?

        Centralization actually works extremely well for most people: transactions can be monitored, taxed, reversed, challenged etc.
        This is also extremely desirable for the government, who maintain their power through their monopoly on currency and taxation

        A decentralized, trustless system is actually completely unnecessary for everyone except criminals.

        Now if you are saying blockchain has some utility, possibly it does but limited as it has a lot of features that are mostly redundant
        However, its not a revolutionary technology: essentially its a shared excel spreadsheet

      • Also this smart contract is more “baffle them with bullshit”

        who writes the smart contracts?
        who gets the participants to understand the terms of the smart contracts?
        who decides whether the terms of the contracts have been met?

        This is all just buzzword, fantasy bullshit

        In the real world, people rely on trusted intermediaries and will continue to do so: the banks, the government, the courier companies, lawyers and so on and so forth

        Please find me one practical, real world example of smart contracts in use

        Smart contracts is just adding in Macros to the afore-mentioned shared excel spreadsheet – you have to be having a laugh if you think this is going to be disruptive on the same level as the internet

        Speaking of internet, the whole idea of being able to buy a part of this coding, whatever its merits, is absurd

        Its like suggesting that you could have profited from the development of the internet by buying a piece of TCP/IP or HTML

        Code does not work that way. Code is DEFLATIONARY, because it is infinitely reproducible and deployable
        People buying the latest shitcoins don’t seem to understand that

      • Also this smart contract is more “baffle them with bullsh!t”

        who writes the smart contracts?
        who gets the participants to understand the terms of the smart contracts?
        who decides whether the terms of the contracts have been met?

        This is all just buzzword fantasy

        In the real world, people rely on trusted intermediaries and will continue to do so: the banks, the government, the courier companies, lawyers and so on and so forth

        Please find me one practical, real world example of smart contracts in use

        Smart contracts is just adding in Macros to the afore-mentioned shared excel spreadsheet and you have to be having a laugh if you think this is going to be disruptive on the same level as the internet

        Speaking of internet, the whole idea of being able to buy a part of this coding, whatever its merits, is absurd

        Its like suggesting that you could have profited from the development of the internet by buying a piece of TCP/IP or HTML

        Code does not work that way. Code is DEFLATIONARY, because it is infinitely reproducible and deployable
        People buying the latest sh!tcoins don’t seem to understand that

      • I think this thread is best summed up by “if you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it well enough”.

      • Yep it amounts to a pathetic attempt to literally monetise the techno-libertarian tech for tech sake fetishes and ideas… in the form of money. a concept which isn’t very original or cutting edge imo.

      • Coming,

        “..A decentralized, trustless system is actually completely unnecessary for everyone except criminals…”

        That is an interesting observation because a truly centralised trusted system would be a system of accounts either at the RBA or directly managed by the RBA.

        The current system of deposit accounts at private banks is a decentralised system and, not surprisingly, is popular with the freedom lovers who argue that it’s popularity with criminals is a small price to pay. They argue against accounts at the central bank simply because they make supervision and monitoring of private affairs much too easy for government.

        Though Skippy is too chicken to admit this is part of the reason he supports private banks, it is an important part of his position. I have some sympathy with the rationale, i.e. limiting the power of government, even though recent history suggests that we are paying very high price in terms of criminality for this decentralisation.

        Cash of course is the extreme end of the decentralisation spectrum and is why the law and order crowd insist we must abolish cash as soon as possible.

        So is there an alternative that is centralised and trusted for the simple law abiding folk but allows some room for those who like their privacy but are not criminals even if that creates some room for criminals.

        Yes.

        A system of central bank administered public accounts that most folk will use combined with separate private monetary systems that are regulated but involve risk of loss. People can use the private systems at their risk – even regulated private money will involve risk. Those private systems might be private bank credit or private cryptocurrencies or some hybrid of the two.

        Yes private banks would lose their current privileges under this proposal. But that is no great loss as they will be glad to be free of the yoke of the regulations that come with the current privileges.

        And no people cannot pay their taxes with private money.

      • A decentralized, trustless system is actually completely unnecessary for everyone except criminals.

        I think that’s a teeny bit harsh, but I have asked a few times what practical outcomes this all delivers to the typical punter.

        The primary example given is around international transactions of money and the fees incurred, either in purchasing something or transferring money to another party.

        The first is already handled today by selecting the right credit card.
        The second can’t really be circumvented, but is a corner case at best (at least, for legitimate transactions).

        Then, of course, if you bring up probably the single biggest problem with a “decentralised, trustless system” from the perspective of Joe Average – what to do about fraudulent transactions – you generally either get one of two responses: “it’s their own fault” or <<crickets>>

      • oo7…

        Your so wide of the mark it seems intended, but then when concocting its all one has to work with.

        You just can’t or won’t wrap your head around how I think, because its completely foreign too those such as yourself. I just gave a short synopsis of events up thread and you did not even blink, just straight back to disparaging remarks and stuff about banks. Everything I put under you nose is verifiable, events that proceed your rather over cooked and self awarded sense of understanding. You can’t even reconcile a few hundred years of history, nor accept the outcomes, you just think it need better selling or gimmicks like tech.

        The last bit of your comment is the cornerstone to all other aspects – regulation. I am completely juxtaposed and your camps quasi religious tendencies are not compelling, quite the opposite. I require something a bit more substantial and real. I think your camps track record speaks for it self. If it was not so heavily subsidized it would have gone BK already.

        disheveled…. what part of not sharing your beliefs about humanity or reality escapes you.

      • Sweppy

        “Though Skippy is too chicken to admit this is part of the reason he supports private banks, it is an important part of his position.”

        Still too chicken huh?

        You admit you support the role of private banks in the public monetary so why not tell us why?

        We know why because you have made it clear time and time again. It protects us againt totalitarianism.

        But it is always nice to hear it said it clearly and unmistably rather than just via snide little insinua.

        Neither you nor Sweepy had the cojones to answer the question I posed but dont worry you will get another chance next weekend.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        Because we already have a worthless scam – the money printing crooked banks. Crypto is not the same as a Bank, therefore logically it can’t be a worthless scam.

        You old blokes are so slow. Get back on your Zimmer.

      • Because we already have a worthless scam – the money printing crooked banks. Crypto is not the same as a Bank, therefore logically it can’t be a worthless scam.

        That’s not how you logic, brah.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        It must be close to supper time at the retirement home for grumpy humourless old curmudgeons?

      • Goodness me. Where were all the tech buzzwords?
        Still haven’t said why it isn’t a worthless scam.
        You’ve said it isn’t a bank – an entity with real tangible assets and intrinsic value – which is the first time I’ve ever agreed with you.
        But still you can’t tell me why these fraudcoins are not “at the core, absolutely and utterly nothing”
        … except for worthless scams.

      • This is quite an achievement! Somehow I have managed to round up quite a collection of joyless grumpybums in one corner of the internet! It is a bit like herding cats. The high achiever award goes to Sweeper, who completely missed the fact that he was getting the p!ss taken out of him. Lets hope his economic acumen is better than his interwebs skills.

      • It must be close to supper time at the retirement home for grumpy humourless old curmudgeons?

        Indeed. We’re all filling out our buzzword bingo cards. Lots of winners so far.

    • John Key, from ‘the other side’ of politics, became NZ PM in 2007 full of hope and ambition for the country as well “You don’t get out of debt by borrowing more money!’ he famously told us and that the local property market was a mess that needed fixing. But….he was taken aside at some nondescript point and told to ‘tow the company line ‘ “Listen, John. If you don’t do as we are doing – get your citizens borrowing to pay off the debt – there won’t be a New Zealand, because there won’t be an ‘us'”, and so he buckled, and we have the same relative mess, still, today that Jacinda is setting about changing. Will she? Maybe, unless she too is ‘got at ‘…. I wish her all the luck our country deserves.

    • Thanks for the share. This line especially stood out for me:

      “My economist friends argue that the sourness of Australian politics is not neo-liberalism but cronyism. Myself, I think it’s a mix.”

      Cronyism is a great descriptor and succinctly explains the current mindset of many politicians and their viewpoints, and the the majority of the public is either too trusting, too naive, apathetic or just oblivious to what is going on. A media that is largely complicit also needs to bear some responsibility. The media never asks the hard questions – I’ve never seen or heard Scott Morrison’s links to the Property Council being brought up, either in the context of the immigration discussion or the whole NG issue where he chose not to believe the treasury advice based on his own experience.

      You would have thought that politicians would have changed their behaviour after Bishops helicopter ride, Joyce accepting money in the guise of a prize from Rinehart, various politicians attending private weddings on the public teat or the whole dual citizenship debacle – but they continue doing whatever they like with no regard for any consequence which is little more than some temporary humiliation and a slap on the wrist.

  20. Sydney Toll road charges
    I recently drove on a short section of the M2 tollway and was somewhat surprised to discover that the toll was $7.15, seems very high to me. I’d hate to be on minimum wage and paying these tolls.
    I got onto the Toll way at Beacroft Rd (just down the hill from Epping station) and off at Lane Cove road, it cant be more than 4km. that’s almost $2 per km for a suburban toll road….from my experience that has got to make it one of the most expensive suburban toll roads in the world.
    Anyway my question is:,how are average mums and dads coping with this expense?
    will they abandon the toll roads if/when the economy stumbles?

    • From the light horse interchange on the M4 to the Camden Valley exit is $8 each way.

      Add in the reintroduced toll on the M4 at HomeBush. $4.5 each way rising to $8 when the tunnel is complete and you are looking at $30+ return to visit the inner west from the outer west

      • The real problem is that it didn’t gain me anything.
        I was heading to Top Ryde and just wanted to avoid the railway bridge at Epping rd..
        Lane Cove Rd was probably an even worse choice, time wise and it cost me over $7.

    • Portugal has the most toll roads of any country in the Europe all thanks to the EU and their development initiatives – they were bursting at the seems prior to the collapse – now they are empty – sight to behold.

      Yes – tolls are quickly abandoned in a down turn.

    • This is the precise quantifiable example of what is wrong with mass migration and what it costs working class v harbour side classes. This is the perfect rebuttal to Infrastructure Australia’s propaganda. These figures should be repeated ad nausem and politicians could be invited to defend the reality of their making.

  21. Real estate agents forgot to post nearly 415 of the 946 results from Sydney yesterday. I wonder why?

    Doesn’t matter, they declared 70% clearance and popped champagne corks and everything is fabulous.

    • There were three properties for auction in our Canberra suburb, only one of the three sold yet Real Estate.com only reported on two of the three properties and Domain only reported the sold property omitting the two passed in properties. These auction results border on fraud.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Maybe it’s just that our powers of perception are failing. Like right now Ive just seen a half-marathon being promoted as 22k.

        If I’ve been wrong about that for all these years then what else concerning numbers am I wrong about?

    • Mate, you’re a smart bloke! If you don’t put yourself out there they won’t know you exist & they’re not going to knock your door down. Shake it up, look out of your crowd & don’t wave your fishing rod at them – they’ve seen that all before. If they give you ‘tude, give it back with a smile, it may just be a test – they’re good at that…… Or it may be for real & you can blow them off & spend your time with someone more pleasant. But….. You’ll never know if you never have a go.

    • Check your spam folder. There is bound to be many emails from hot Russian women trying to get into your pants. Those spam filters are trying to deprive you of love.

    • I, for one, am prepared for such a love. At a distance, however. And I will need your bank account and credit card details before proceeding.

    • This could get interesting. Not sure what Australian holdings Anbang has, but I am sure there are other Chinese companies this could well apply to.

      Via https://outline.com/uk5r46
      Anbang insurance seized by Chinese regulators over alleged fraud

      China’s government will take temporary control of Anbang Insurance Group Co. and prosecute founder Wu Xiaohui for alleged fraud, cementing the downfall of a politically-connected dealmaker whose aggressive global expansion came to symbolize the financial overreach of China’s debt-laden conglomerates.

      The move adds another high-profile scalp to President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive and allows the government to protect thousands of Chinese citizens who funded Anbang’s meteoric rise by piling into its high-yield investment products. It suggests that after months of clamping down on acquisitive non-state conglomerates, China is increasingly acting to insulate the economy from their shaky finances.

  22. Another from the ANU/”Defend immigration at all costs” lobby

    https://theconversation.com/blaming-immigrants-for-unemployment-lower-wages-and-high-house-prices-is-too-simplistic-92255

    Best comment is from Jane O’Sullivan, Associate Research Scientist, UQ (https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-osullivan-1809)

    “I’m concerned to see such a partisan and ill-informed piece from the Crawford School. The premise, that drawing attention to stresses cause by rapid population growth amounts to “blaming migrants” is an unworthy ad homonym tactic. Immigration quotas are not the fault of migrants, and should be open for civilised discussion.

    If wages share of income is at an all-time low and wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and graduates are taking longer to find jobs and a third of them are not finding work in their discipline – especially in the areas for which the highest numbers of visas a granted – at the same time that business profits are booming, then labour is oversupplied. You can’t accuse governments of not releasing enough land and building enough infrastructure, when they’ve been rezoning at record rates and have tripled their infrastructure spend, and racking up huge debts to fund it – as the Grattan Institute has shown. None of the claimed benefits of immigrants cited here are quantified, when in most cases there are analyses available, and they don’t show that immigrants are a net benefit to the resident population – see the Productivity Commission’s 2016 “Migrant Intake Into Australia” report for a start. “It would be principled to undertake evidence-based analysis” before making the claims made in this piece.

      • “The mob” need to get their way via a coordinated vote.

        We need a way to vote the incumbent out in every seat.

      • @ Ric
        You are absolutely right, political power comes through political organization. An unorganized mob has no political power. How the clear views of the mob will be organized in this case is unclear.

        I do think that there is enough momentum now for it to go somewhere. It is just a question of where.

      • There’s some pretty smart people among us. It should happen here. Contact existing candidates in every seat get find who’s willing to commit to reducing population and support them via media and a coordinated preferencing on how to vote cards.

        I would personally donate, fund raise and campaign.

        I saw the Sustainable Australia van on the road yesterday. Disappointed to see via email their reference to population growth is now third down their list.

        It needs to be a clear first and it needs to be their brand. They got it wrong changing their name IMO especially given the attention it’s getting now.

      • @ I’m in furious agreement that SAP made a fatal mistake by changing their name. They fell into the trap of not wanting to be considered racist. In changing their name they lost their fundamental identity.

        SAP won’t be the means by which this crystalises politically. Neither will Hanson IMO. I think it will be a liberal backbench staring at political oblivion which will force change in government position.

      • I agree. Either way imo, LNP will be winning. That’s not my preferred outcome, but that’s what I think is coming.

      • I think it will be a liberal backbench staring at political oblivion which will force change in government position.

        Which, being an unprincipled decision, would mean it would be reversed as soon as it became politically convenient to do so.

      • drsmithy

        “Which, being an unprincipled decision, would mean it would be reversed as soon as it became politically convenient to do so”

        Exactly the same as the unprincipled position it would be with Labor or Greens. That’s why I keep saying, the best solution is Hanson, along with breaking the treasonous LNP, labor and Greens..

  23. Since when was it the job of Infrastructure Australia to promote mass immigration or even discuss it?
    IA’s responsibility and core competency is the difficult job of accessing the benefits and costs of proposed infrastructure and prioritising projects. Why is it suddenly trumpeting the quote “immense potential” of mass immigration – something that is completely outside its statutory responsibilities and its capabilities to assess? Just another example of the steady loss of professionalism and the politicization of the public service.

    • Leith had him rattled. I liked the initial focus on Quality of Life – describing this with real life examples is a difficult argument to counter as it taps into the collective lived experience of your average Australian, and not easily refutable even with the best kind of statistical analysis.

      • Spot on. All over him Lethal, he had no comeback once you hit him early with the quality of life grab bag (crush loaded schools, roads, hospitals and public transport). Just another professional meeting goer with absolutely no clue, no insights, just motherhood statements about ‘challenges’ and ‘getting our heads around’ how we deal with things. OT.

      • I liked the initial focus on Quality of Life – describing this with real life examples is a difficult argument to counter as it taps into the collective lived experience of your average Australian, and not easily refutable even with the best kind of statistical analysis.

        +1

        This comes back again to the “feels” vs the “reals”.

    • Jake GittesMEMBER

      Having been on the receiving end of PR from Sydney Business school at Uni of Sydney their work is almost all dubious and in some cases, ridiculous; framed around the orthodoxy of the university economics dept, allied to large business, and even spurious, e.g that multilingual people will be less productive than monolingual because their brains are translating, and in some cases, just erroneous due to the fact that they have no direct exposure to business IT and are therefore like most academics late on the actual leading edge of innovation. Wright fulfilled all of that as a hack of no particular distinction and like that DocDemo at ANU, proving that a good education maybe elusive at an Australian university.

  24. A way to fix debt problems is to have a “debt tax” that increases a small amount each year.
    Claytons’ Rates: a way to have rising interest rates when you haven’t got “rising interest rates”.
    It would probably have to start with the US and have some degree of global agreement.

  25. http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/property-investors-squeezed-by-interestonly-credit-crackdown-20180222-h0whwf

    Excerpt:
    Emilia Rossi, digital and lifestyle entrepreneur, rents an apartment in Melbourne’s Docklands and has bought four investment properties with interest-only loans, a product that is causing increasing nervousness for regulators and lenders.

    Mrs Rossi, 34, purchased her first property, a townhouse in Canberra, about 10 years ago, with a deposit of about 10 per cent and has mined the equity from rising prices to buy another townhouse in Brisbane and two apartments in Melbourne.

    “I’m a high-risk investor,” Mrs Rossi, (wife of Socrates), mother of recently born Hercule, said. “I am willing to take risk because I am still young and have time to make mistakes and learn.”

  26. St JacquesMEMBER

    Sweeper sure it can take decades to change the “political culture”, but it is naive and unhistorical to suggest “democracy” does not depend on “structure” of the political system. Any knowledge of history going right back to Athens would show that is pure nonsense. In fact Athenian democracy itself was literally invented overnight by implementing a carefully thought out system.

    • sometimes things change very quickly after a long build up
      1945 – 1965 were very stable ,conservative years,
      Then came the Dylan, Beatle , Rolling Stones,,rebellion and Anti war/ psychadelic/ Timothy Leary, Hippy R&B, Civil Rights all at once, around the world.
      Bring it on again

  27. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    First time I’ve been asked to vote for a National conference Candidate.

    Dear EP,

    This year Australian Labor Party members will vote for the delegate who represents them at the National Conference in Adelaide. I have nominated to represent Bennelong, and I’m writing to ask for your support in the coming poll.

    I’m proud to have been the Labor candidate for Bennelong in the 2016 General Election, it was a great privilege to lead our local fight for Labor values.

    In the lead-up to last year’s by-election in Bennelong I helped to put pressure on John Alexander to resign, and when Kristina Kenneally was announced as our candidate, I offered my sincere congratulations and support.

    I am proud of our local Labor team. Bennelong is my home, and Labor is still the best party to represent us locally, and to lead our country.

    I’d like your support

    This National Conference promises to include important debates about party reform. I believe that the workings of our Party should represent the democratic values we apply to our leadership of this country.

    A link in this email suggests hope for reform to Greater Democracy in the Party and thus Australia.

    https://markbutler.net.au/news/speeches/grasping-the-nettle-on-democratisation-of-the-alp/

    “Back in 2015, I had the privilege of being elected National President of the Labor Party on a very clear platform of wanting to contribute to reforms that would see our great Party become more democratic and participatory, and substantially bigger and better organised. More than two years later, most of the meaningful changes that were discussed by Party members during that ballot have been blocked by factional leaders at the National Conference and various State Conferences. I’m sorry to say that ours remains a Party that gives ordinary members fewer rights than any other Labor or Social Democratic Party I can think of.”

    It’s all a numbers game fellas,…come help bring about some change.
    https://www.alp.org.au/joinlabor

    • Exaggerated. US spends twice as much (per GDP) on defence than its NATO allies. Trump made an election promise that it would ask NATO allies to share the financial burden.

    • I like tuna casserole – at least that’s what she tells me which is why she serves it everyday. But sometimes it has a funny taste – like almonds. And sometimes I don’t feel so good. But she says that’s a normal side effect of tuna casserole.

      • Mmm good ole cyanide, just like mom used to make. I guess it goes right there with the freshly cut grass smell of phosgene… mmmm-mmm! Good times, good times!

    • It’s rather hard to type with just one hand, when the other one is being squeezed in the door jamb… double hard to formulate a coherent story too…

    • This made me lol…the irony

      “To focus only on the demand side of a problem and not the supply is a very odd approach to applying economics indeed.”

    • The immigration spruikers seem to always talk about “better planning” – can someone please tell when that is going to start happening? What does better planning look like anyway?