Weekend Reading: 7-8 April 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


    • … said he, pulling out and falling to the right side: “I hope it was as good for you as it was for me”. The last words were drowned in the loud snoring coming from the right side of the bed.

      She looked at him in disappointment and couldn’t shake the only thought in her mind at that very moment: “One pump chump!…”



    … extract …

    • In Sydney, the urban containment effect adds $489,000 to the house price making the annual mortgage payments $29,000 higher. Figure 4 shows the components of the average house price in Sydney.

    • In Melbourne, the urban containment effect adds $324,000 to the house price, making the annual mortgage payments $19,000 higher.

    • In Brisbane, the urban containment effect adds $159,000 to the house price, making the annual mortgage payments $9,000 higher.

    • In Perth, the urban containment effect adds $206,000 to the house price, making the annual mortgage payments $12,000 higher.

    • No data is available for Adelaide, but the present median multiple (median house price divided by median household income) suggests that urban containment effect adds at least $13,000 to the mortgage. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Housing – New Zealand Labour Party


    … 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 …

  2. i found more booze in a trash can today, 2 bottles of unopened ‘absolute botaknik botanically flavoured berry lime’ absolute vodka, 330ml each

    i washed them under the tap then took them home, cleaned them again with disinfectant and put them in my fridge

    • Fantastic!

      Guy who makes a living helping people buy a property says “buy a property”.

      • I asked a barber over the telephone if I needed a haircut. He said yes. I scratched my completely shaved head and thought: “sounds legit! After all he’s the specialist”

    • Better go and take on an unrepayable debt whilst interest only liar loans are still available. I mean, who knows what effect withdrawing all that dodgy subprime finance will have on prices. Are these my feet?

    • The level of media spruking continues on overdrive. There is no doubt in my mind that Powerful people are doing everything they can to pump the bubble back up.

      • “There is no doubt in my mind that Powerful people are doing everything they can to pump the bubble back up.”

        Yes, this is expected, but the bottom line is no entity is as large as the market – not even close.

        “Powerful people”, if they think they can beat the market, will find in a hard way that they are actually powerless next to the power of the Force, as the BoJ did in 1990, the BoE in 1992, the Fed in 2008, the ECB in 2011, etc.

      • Sorry, I cannot help. My message to those who run the likes of the RBA can be summed up in a single Vader quote.

        Don’t be too proud of this Unconventional Monetary Policy terror you’ve constructed. The ability to print indefinitely is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      This guy is right! Some of the best buying opportunities in a decade or so.

    • House prices double every 7 years you know.
      Not making any more land.

      Doomsayer, Doomsayer !

  3. The Greens are finally coherent and different to the LNP. Both parties may be globalists but the Greens are finally thinking about the poorest voters. 65% of the Democrats want UBI – I would imagine 90% of Greens voters do. 46% of Americans say they want to pay higher taxes to fund UBI!

    Younger Americans, aged 18-35, are most likely to support UBI, at 54 percent, while only 38 percent of respondents 66 and older supported UBI.

    Hope those baby boomers die soon or simply not bother to vote.

    Those with bachelor’s degrees are more likely to support it, at 51 percent, than those without, at 42 percent.


    Amazing! Perhaps the graduates got replaced by H1B visa staff?

    Some say rents would go up if UBI is put in – that would mean less foreign “students” coming here!

    If not a full-blown UBI, have a wage top up scheme so that a voter with an income of $5k/year gets topped up to get $18k/year. Maybe that is more likely to pass the Samantha Armytage test. Heck, a wage top up is what the ALP took to the 1998 federal election! Why did they not put one in when they finally came to power in 2007?

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      I hope the greens bring in open borders, a ubi, and cheap mortgages.

      Heaven on Earth!

      • Cheap mortgages? A UBI that excludes 457 visa staff would give Aussie home buyers/renters an upper hand.

        Kind of like charging foreigners $10k/year for a driving licence.

        Open borders are thanks to the LNP and ALP. The Greens love open borders too but at least they are finally talking about throwing a bone to Stagmal and I.

        Alaskans have had UBI since 1982 and politicians dare not remove it and now Iran has UBI – where is the Aussie UBI?

      • haroldusMEMBER

        Jacob – UBI will go to Salim’s family back home.

        It will be rorted up the yinyang.

      • “I hope the greens bring in open borders, a ubi, and cheap mortgages.

        Heaven on Earth!”

        Two out of three ain’t bad.

    • Amazing! Perhaps the graduates got replaced by H1B visa staff?

      Nah they’ve just been brainwashed by those bloody lefty universities.

      But seriously, it surprises you that educated people are more capable of seeing the 2nd and 3rd order benefits of funding other people’s welfare?

      • Jason, it does.

        Stagmal and I have tried to point out that “unis” are a scam – just like Mr Allen Stanford was. But current and former students said to me “the unis are awesome”. Maybe they are a vocal minority and most Aussie students know that “unis” are a scam.

        The organisation, Black Lives Matter, wants UBI and:

        32.6 percent of the non-Hispanic white population over the age of 25 holds a college degree compared to 19.6 percent of adult blacks.

        Martin Luther King wanted UBI and the bill even passed the lower house. But it got blocked in the upper house by the “Democrats” and African Americans have been living in poverty ever since.

    • The Greens saved the Franklin. That’s a 10.

      The Greens wrecked Labor with losing control of borders. That’s a 1.

      The Greens present ubi. That’s a 1.

      Greens are not to be taken seriously.

    • 400k annual population growth plus UBI could come from no other party on the planet but the Australian Greens.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Stop being a bum and start working harder! I don’t want a cent of my hard earned property money going to leeches that don’t strive.

      • You’re paying tax! Surely we’re paying you for all your hard work. If not, we should be. Too much is being asked of the landholding class, society should start to give back to them. Just like royalty. On that topic, have you caught up with Charles since he arrived in the country? I’m sure you’d have a few useful tips for him on how to successfully reign over an empire of subservient and unappreciative commoners.

  4. UBI gets a workout here, and even though I’m in favour of it, the most interesting thing I’ve discovered when looking into it is Guy Standing’s analysis of society.

    His move away from the Marxist capital vs proletariat distinction and his new descriptions seem far more appropriate as a starting point for discussions on where we are and what comes next. What I think is best about them is that even though Standing is an advocate of the UBI, it isn’t necessarily the response to his diagnosis. The old is/ought fallacy. His Is is good, but does that make the UBI an ought?

    Along with Mark Blyth, Standing is the best articulator of the causes of friction in society I’ve come across. They both also explain how the policies of the governing are only increasing the chafing. The link below is the best summary of his work I’ve yet to come across.

    The political party that can talk to and resolve these issues is the one that will capture the majority. This because it effects the majority. Trump spoke to the fears and insecurities without offering any proper solutions. Sanders offered some solutions without acknowledging the fears. Within Australia none of the majors or minors are openly dealing with it. Labor are nibbling without contextualising and The Greens are charging in without setting a scene. If the Coalition are making moves I’ve missed them. Regardless, it’s time for a proper acknowledgement and discussion to start.


  5. Quick note of appreciation to the MB crowd for all their tireless work to bring us financial news and political opinions (although not all here agree with the views). It gives the subscribers/visitors an opportunity to exchange views and debate issues, unlike the MSM. We may not always, or ever, agree, but it is refreshing to have this platform, it is well worth the small price the members pay, and the non-members, I’m certain of it, contemplate (having been in those ranks for a couple of years).

    Keep it up!

    • Hats off to the lads.

      The very first Weekend Links got only 5 comments. Now look at it!

      It would be nice if they would provide fearless articles on politics in Britain. And some cartoonists post their cartoons on Twitter – so those can be embedded on this website. “cartoon of the day” perhaps.

    • Whom need trains when we are encroached by the bogeymen, from loch ness monster to ruskies, nkoreans, chinks to south african Tokolosh and more

      • The subs can be imported for half the price instead of building them here.

        Are you still in favour of mass illegal-wage immigration?

    • A surprisingly good article from Geeves, Harold.

      The CA gravy train is a long one. Top heavy with ‘administrators’ who undoubtedly have a burgeoning property portfolio. All these PC reviews and reports achieve nothing other than to give a sense of fixing things.

      Sutherland is a hard guy to warm to. Speaks like a funeral director with all his bland and predictable business jargon. All he is interested in is profit. Nothing else.

      No wonder WSC was formed by Packer and the players.

      It is all about power and self interest.

    • Cricket is dull and irrelevant, as is this issue. No-one else in the World is bothered. Please just can it.

    • According to an article in The Australian (paywalled of course), the networks have lost interest in the cricket and are eyeing a fight over the EPL rights. Roundball football owns the demographics (kids playing) so this makes sense.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Not yet please, wife stopped working so I pleaded with her to redeem her super a few weeks ago in fear of a fall in stock markets but took her until now to fill out the forms. Oh well she didn’t have much anyway. Incidentally I have none as all the different funds ate it away in fee’s.

      • Boom’s wife has signalled the crash… just like Gavin’s Mum triggered the Melbourne property market …

        (Although realistically the markets are so nuts right now it will probably rally next week anyway)

      • I really thought my mum selling would not be the peak of Melbourne property and I thought we would see more upside. But somehow mums $2m sale in Caulfield seems to have been just after the peak.. she had bought the same house in 1996 for $320k ish… That’s how silly prices have gone.

        My brother buying BiCoin around Christmas seems to have also signalled a peak.. lol poor bastard is still HODL in the hole it will bounce.

      • haha, can be interpreted many ways lol.. There is 4 of us kids, but my mum has already spent a chunk of it buying her place in the country and will spend some of renovating her shop front house in South Melbourne. But point taken lol.

    • The Betoota Advocate is onto it.

      “One outspoken young man, who identifies as a millennial, took the time out of his busy afternoon to speak to our reporter about the upcoming budget.

      “So basically,” he said.

      “He wants to give my retired parents more money, so they’ll give more money to me? How about you stop telling us what we want and perhaps listen to us?”

      “I want everything my parents had but without all the unchecked quagmire of misogyny and racism that was the 1970s. They never had to struggle like me. G0d! This country is so f’ing broken it makes my blood boil! Just find a solution, Malcolm. That’s what you’re job is.”

      More to come.”

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        “They never had to struggle like me.”

        When I’ve finished choking I might comment further… ignorant moron…

      • It’s a made up ignorant moron. But I do like the cheeky description of the Australian tax system being sold upon the theory of intergenerational trickle down.

      • If they promise goodies to everyone, maybe we’ll be distracted from the mass immigration and all the problems it brings and besides, the increased population can help pay for all the benefits they’re spruiking….

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Next time I’ll have a gander at the sauce as well as the quote it came from. I’ll avoid becoming a goose again that way, hopefully…

      • mild colonialMEMBER

        That’s a cheering set of comments below the article, nyleta. I have stopped reading climate collapse stuff but it is good to see so many people aware of what’s happening and without idiot neolib denier types present.

      • Stable Genius

        Thanks Nyleta, that was suitably doomerish. I noticed many of the commenters mentioning their grandchildrens’ future with a sense of anxiety and regret. That’s why I advise young people not to breed.

      • Send me the link to the live feed showing the spinning ball Earth, that’s all I’m saying.

      • A 1999 Gallup poll found that 18 percent of Americans mistakenly thought the sun revolves around the Earth, rather than the other way around. (Germans and Britons were similarly heliocentrically confused in surveys taken around the same time, according to Gallup.)

        Look at the rise of the anti-vaccination movement. Job interviews should ask “what causes autism” and “does the sun orbit our planet”. Bam! 30% of the candidates sent home!

      • mild colonialMEMBER

        As Ted Evans once said to me, ‘economics is not a very exact science!’

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Economics is very exactly not a science. LOL.

        More specifically, proof by example:
        – Trickle down economics.
        – Free markets with simultaneous bank guarantees.
        – Targetted inflation without including the most expensive items your average punter ever buys in the measure.
        – Assuming a rational agent in counter-party transaction modelling.
        – Continual reassertions of future projections year on year despite no fundamental change in the characteristics of the system being modelled, yeay after year, and total failure for the expected result to appear in any of them (scientists would never do that) e.g.inflation projections and growth estimates.
        – …
        – TheCommenterFormallyKnownAsskippy can fill in the rest.

        Not in any way a science. Evidence shows TV shows canvasing the same school’s student’s estimates year on year gets better results.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        So my brilliant reply decrying economic theory was moderated because it inolved the usage of:


        Seriously​? sk#ppy?

        Someone has issues and for a change it’s not me.

        PS I was giving him props y’all.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Economics is very definitely exactly not a science. LOL.

        More specifically, proof by example:
        – Trickle down economics.
        – Free markets with simultaneous bank guarantees.
        – Targetted inflation without including the most expensive items your average punter ever buys in the measure.
        – Assuming a rational agent in counter-party transaction modelling.
        – Continual reassertions of future projections year on year despite no fundamental change in the characteristics of the system being modelled, year after year, and total failure for the expected result to appear in any of them (scientists would never do that) e.g.inflation projections and growth estimates.
        – …
        – TheCommenterFormallyKnownAssk#ppy can fill in the rest.

        Not in any way a science. Evidence shows TV shows canvasing the same school’s student’s estimates year on year gets better results.

    • According to Denise Brailey, the true figure could be much much higher than that.

    • Lol… That’s all I can say. It’s these idiots I’m bidding against at auction. Literally like lemmings all hurling towards their financial suicide. The banks say I can borrow $1M and my repayments are like $3000 per month, not much more than cost of rent. How sweet!

      Slight disclaimer after 3 years you’re repayments increase to $6000 lol.. fools.

  6. Haha good comment in UBI article along the lines of,’ greens want mass immigration AND UBI’?!

    • You’re not missing anything, except that none of the powers that be want this outcome because it will pop the bubble overnight, so it won’t happen.

      Might be just enough tightening to keep things slowly melting. That’s all. The pop will have to wait until there is an economic shock that the vested interests can not control or counter.

    • Yes it would be disastrous but Arrow is right. The banks will be protected from any changes in order to protect property and by extension the economy.

      Scummo effectively said that the other day. He thinks that the government is already addressing the outcomes from the RC so there is no need for any additional changes.

    • Those lending standards, are what I restrict myself to when I’ve been bidding at auctions. Since I don’t want to feel like I’m constantly on a hamster wheel. It’s a shame that they are not mandated for financial stability. I guess it’s like me bringing a knife to a gun fight at these auctions. I can’t wait for lending standards to be enforced… Will make auctions easier. 😁

      • Enforced by who? ASIC?
        It seems like the banks own ASIC given their total lack of action in the past.

      • CharlieChaplin

        Exactly, they sound similar to the budget I’ve been setting myself, also factoring in a 3% rise in interest rates. People are just willing to take bigger financial risks then is sensible.

    • Does anyone know the history of this?
      5 years ago I was offered six times gross household income loan from a mortgage broker. Considering that predatory lending and new feudalism I refuse that generous offer.
      Who allowed it to happen? Who allowed those yesterdays 2.5-3 times a single income limit to go to 6 times double income (12 times )?
      RC would be the right place to ask, but I somehow doubt it will. If anyone knows more about that please share.

      • In 2003 there was a Prime Ministerial Taskforce of housing Affordability. Malcolm Turnbull (yes the current PM) chaired a report which recommended securitization, sub prime lending as HOUSING AFFORDABILITY MEASURES. The full report is kicking about but a summary can be found below.


        Malcolm Turnbull is personally involved in seeing all of this come about. Mal and his corrupt mates.

      • Pretty sure the banks gave themselves permission to write such large loans. Juiced by Chinese money that came in to rescue many who were in over their heads, suddenly they could sell for double what they paid and were struggling to pay back. It wasn’t a problem so long as Chinese buyers could keep paying more and prices went up.

    • “Is it just me or do these lending limits look like they would annihilate the Sydney property market if they were mandated?”

      On face value it would, but I don’t dare predict anything any more. It might just mean that parents / grandparents have to dip into their equity to help more. It might mean only rich Chinese can buy while Australians are excluded from buying houses and are limited to buying dogboxes. With loan limits like the ones being proposed, only the wealthy few will be able to buy a house. It might mean the govt will have to come up with a bigger FHOG at our expense. Or maybe they’ll allow larger borrowings over longer periods, like multi-generational loans. Maybe make it easier for foreign nationals to buy up all the houses. Or open the floodgates wider – there’s no limit to immigration levels if desired. The one thing I have learned over the years is that no govt is going to sit by idly and let the property bubble burst without pulling out all stops.

      • ewsydney995MEMBER

        If house prices continue to slide, delinquency rates will rise as overleveraged borrowers cannot just sell up to pay off the debt if they get into payment difficulties. Banks will be forced to tighten lending criteria further to protect against loan losses. Prices will fall further etc. The exact opposite of the circular feedback loop that has allowed prices to skyrocket.

      • CharlieChaplin

        Don’t assume these Chinese are rich. I know of one that has the loan financed through a Taiwanese bank on an interest only loan. I think China (and I suspect Taiwan; any ideology on this aside) have their own credit bubbles and low lending standards.

      • Exactly, ewsydney995, but this was all starting to happen in 2008 before Kevin Rudd came up with a whole lot of ways to reinflate the bubble.

        CharlieChaplin, I’m sure SOME Chinese (or any other foreign investor) had to borrow to buy, but there were a hell of a lot of Chinese buyers who were paying extraordinary amounts, especially as China is a communist country AND they were supposedly limited to bringing not more than $50K out of China. We all know there was a lot of money laundering which gave them an advantage over Australians, and our govt chose and still chooses to turn a blind eye.

        I’m not saying I profess to know what’s going to happen, but there are still measures that can be taken to artificially prop up the bubble which, at this stage, has only started deflating a little.

      • +1000
        There is no level too low or vile for them to stoop to keep this monster going.

      • @md

        “It might just mean that parents / grandparents have to dip into their equity to help more”

        Banks have found a way to not only confiscate houses for which loans are defaulted but also retrospectively confiscate the once-fully-owned houses from older generations. They must be delighted at the stupidity of Australian masses.


        I always thought that prevalence of the likes of 99 year loans or 3 generation loans would signal the beginning of the end. I didn’t quite expect this form of 3 generation loans, but this can also serve as an indicator. Another useful indicator is a shift from auctions to private sales by the sellers. That indicator also started turning.


  7. Close friend works for one of the big four banks selling home loans in Western Sydney – picked his brains over Easter about the interrogation of loan applicants by the bank.Some facts right from the source:

    – General scrutiny of loan applicant income and costs has been pushed up (a little) recently in the last six months.

    – Amount bank is willing to lend has significantly dropped – in the his words where he used to be able to loan 700k now the banks credit department will only approve 450k (I thought this was a huge point)

    – Credit cards from other banks or non banks held by the loan applicants are not checked. That is if you don’t disclose they won’t check.

    – Costs borrower claims now broken down into multiple categories. The banks credit department will come back to the loan sales person and query responses if they don’t look right BUT in a clumsy way AND the bank does not cross check against their own records of the applicants accounts.

    – He sees plenty of I/Of refinancing from other banks that he can’t approve

    – Has some interesting anecdotes about the niavety of applicants.

    He’s been in lending working for the bank for about 20 years and is actually a really good bloke. Often tells young couples that the bank can approve but do they want to leverage themselves that far. I reckon he’s one of the fee around though.

      • One instance a couple where approved for a loan. Between being approved and purchasing a property they take out a 30k loan to purchase a car. Loan approval is good for six months only, they need ‘reapproval’ after purchasing a property as the six months have lapsed. Only just scrape across the line for approval with this new car loan on the books.

        Other one is about couples buying do the plan at max LVR not understanding that a lower valuation at settlement might decrease the amount the bank will actually lend them. Typically the bank of mum and dad seems to step in here if and when there is a problem. Still the applicants are apparently pretty clueless about this risk even though it’s explained to them.

        Makes you wonder about personal vs bank responsibility.

  8. Pascoe is perhaps the most ignorant bloke I’ve ever read in regard to macroeconomics – at least up there with Bill Barnacle.

    • Yeah, because you say so.

      Anyway good on you for the two’fer because making a substantiated argument about Bill would mean putting your butt on the line. Better just to associate by some undefined slur.

      I think your a classic case of everything that is wrong with economics flawse.

      • Strwth! My logical and rational arguments in regard to bill barnacle are well scattered through these pages over many years. You trot out your petty childish abuse. Great! That’s really intelligent!
        Ah….realisation dawns!!! Skip you don’t understand macro at all so please refrain from commenting on it.

      • That may be because flawse is one of those rare individuals who actually possess something close to free will – and strives to achieve one.

        An endangered species I am afraid.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        By being largely indistinguishable from the editorial in your local Rupertarian?

    • Elders defence of Andrew Barr’s out burst about the media is totally wrong. The Canberra Times has done a pretty good job at holding this developers stooge to account. He and his Goverments dealings through the former Land Development Agency were legally criminal. Barr pushed through the $1b plus light rail yet the ACT faces a miriade of issues from infrastructure to health to education and the Canberra Times questioned the return on investment for Canberrans. Barr’s outburst was nothing more than a petulant rant from a third rate politician who found being held to account was an insult.

      • One of the driving principles behind autonomous vehicles is to collect data on passengers, other being a captive audience to sell to.

      • I hope the data collection does not extend to proportion of time spent using a left handed mouse

      • I’m with ino. The dismisdive condescension that alludes to a rare, yet never displayed, omnipotence makes me think it’s skip.

      • @ino + @footsore. Yep. “putin did it” is almost certainly the Skipbot. Appeared quite quickly after Skippy stopped positing so the banhammer must have come down.

      • The Traveling Wilbur


        Brilliant. ROFL. +2. I see what you did there (and just wish I’d thought of it first). Well played.

      • Mig? I doubt it.

        Speaking of Mig, I actually respect his foresight. His track record has been very good – on Bitcoins, on NST, on gold, among others – you just need to filter out the hyperactive part of his typing.

      • Mig is patchy at best on BTC. Sure, he apparently bought in near the start and made a killing. But he also called BTC a ‘screaming buy’ at USD $10,000 on its way back down from the peak – it never got to $10K again. (Yes, it might one day, if you believe that – but even best case it booms to the moon, $10K was not a compelling level to buy at!)

      • Arrow2, of course Mig made his share of mistakes (on FX, etc.) like everyone did. But his early entry into Bitcoins and NST alone would have wiped out any other losses he may have made.

  9. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Why does it take so long for these things to get sorted?


    It would be three years ago I reported here from the ground that the estate on the edge of Newman had stopped dead so there has been trouble since well before then. Look at the Storm Financial debacle. It must be ten years since it all went birko yet the crooks only got their ridiculously small fine just recently.

    Is it a lack of willpower by authorities and regulators to accept that there were problems they should have noticed well before the trouble starts?

    • From the article:

      Her restriction on providing financial advice or running a financial services company expires at the end of June.

      Glad that is indeed all sorted and this enterprising Australian can get back to business.

      But wait, there’s more:


      In a letter to those still desperate to know where their money went, Ms Macpherson says “a book will be published to get the truth known”.

      “One of my sayings is that ‘I am a big fan of the truth’ and unfortunately many people have been left wondering what the truth of the matter actually is with our Pilbara developments,” she says.

      “Please do pre-order a copy… it will help with the print costs and put you in a draw to receive an early addition, which you are welcome to sell to the media if you wish.”

      She said anyone signing up to the launch would receive the introductory chapter within 30 days.

      She truly makes Nathan Birch look like Professor Alan Fels.

    • At the other end of the scale, we’ve been to open home’s where the real estate agents have spruiked all sorts of sh1t that boardered on investment advice.

  10. You’re spot on Waleed, UBI ain’t no pinko leftie idea. It has royal neoliberal heritage and the push for it comes from the rent-seeking leeches that have gutted the Ozzie economy. Milton Friedman of monetary magic fame was a great advocate coz “choice” and “markets”. Good on the Greens for supporting neoliberalism in all its forms. Sorry Jacob, I’m dead-set against it, since it will only push up rents and entrench the power of the rent seeking leeches that have gutted the Australian and western economies. First we must intellectually defeat the neoliberals and their fifth columnists – witting and unwitting. Then we must crush them.

    • +1 it appears awesome in principle until you think about how it will actually work in practice. Rents will magically go up like house prices did after Rudd’s grants. Company scrip that is only valid at stores owned by Gerry Harvey and Wesfarmers, with a few % of every transaction going to the very financial interests pushing for this.

      • Do gooding ignorance on the part of some and cynical self-interested manipulation on the part of others. Both are to be found amongst the Greens. Go Greens!

    • If it pushes up rents, less foreign “students” will come here.

      Instead of UBI, I would rather get a wage top up – so if a guy has an income of $5k/year, he would get topped up to have an income of $18k/year. But if a guy already has an income of $40k/year, he would get no top up. But I am not sure if that is politically viable.

      • A much better dole in the very short term. UBI or some such idea could make sense under certain conditions but that would require a total political -economic rejig that would KO the leech economy that dominates today. Presently unthinkable..

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Not politically viable ? You’ve basically just described the dole with bigger numbers.

      • A big difference with UBI is that there is no shame and persecution with UBI. The dole still has an element of ritual humiliation associated with it. I am not sure the silvertails will ever want to give that up.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        A big difference with UBI is that there is no shame and persecution with UBI.

        There’s no inherent shame and persecution with welfare, either. That gets tacked on by moralising conservatives to remind the lower classes of their place.

      • “that gets tacked on by moralising conservatives”

        Wow you are out of touch!! Have you ever seen a CES? The humiliation is baked into the whole process. It is not “tacked on” – it is built in. drsmithy, sometimes you seem like a completely clueless left wing elite in a left wing ivory tower. Do you actually have any practical experience with the lower classes? You know, that is probably a prerequisite for being attached to the real left, as opposed to the fake left.

        Its not all about counting the lawn grubs in Kenmore you know.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        It is not “tacked on” – it is built in.

        It’s built in to the system that mostly conservative governments have been running for decades, yes. Just another aspect of “starve the beast”.

        But that’s a very different claim to it being an inherent part of welfare as a concept.

      • Left or right – neither really does a good job with the dole. The Libs just see it as the natural order of things that the poor people are subhumans. The labor party feather their own nests and aspire to buying houses out west while assuaging their conscience by ladeling out money to “women who want to be saxaphone players”.

        Either way, the poor devil at the CES ends up filling in forms and making up 20 or 30 absurd job applications to get his pittance.

        Guilt free UBI payments are the diametric opposite of this.

      • AUS almost got EITC in 1999:

        In Australia, the ALP took an EITC policy to the October 1998
        election. It was poorly sold, and provided benefits to those
        earnings as much as $75,000.
        ♦ Immediately after the election, five economists – Peter Dawkins,
        John Freebairn, Ross Garnaut, Michael Keating, and Chris
        Richardson – wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, suggesting an

        The EITC is a subsidy to low-wage workers. Under an
        EITC, not only do these workers not pay taxes, but they
        receive money back from the tax office. This can
        amount to more than US$4000 per year.


        So a means-tested UBI for non-rich voters only. Which Ross Garnaut said is fantastic policy.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I’m glad you agree the humiliation is in the system not the premise.

        Im sure the same people would do their best to make claiming your UBI payment as demeaning as possible.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        So a means-tested UBI for non-rich voters only. Which Ross Garnaut said is fantastic policy.

        That’s not a UBI, it’s a better dole.

      • Your desire to be paid other people’s money for nothing puts you on a par with the FIRE sector rentseekers.
        You are just less subtle and less successful.

    • When you think about it, UBI is a massive change in how we run our society. It is really a surrender where we admit that employment and the basic value of human labour has failed. That is a really big step!

      The problem is that to take that big step, we must also admit that most of the other economic sacred cows are broken as well. Consumerism, debt, capital, interest, investment – all broken. If you introduce UBI into the world of rentier finance and ticket clipping, it will just be sucked up by the system. Poof! Gone!

      Have a look at the current debate on immigration ponzi. The people who we would entrust the introduction of UBI currently struggle with the observation that if you fill up cities with millions of extra people and don’t build infrastructure you will get a disaster. How could you let these people impliment a UBI? Who exactly would design the UBI that works properly? Our current “leaders” have the soul of a used car salesman.

      The UBI is a proposal that is so poorly understood in the current economic fog of unknowing that it may be decades before it can be discussed in any meaningful way. One immediate problem is that a “UBI” cannot work with our simple money. For ideas like UBI to work you need a type of money that represents multiple dimensions of “value”. Pretty much everyone will think that is crazy, and that verifies (in my opinion) that solutions to the impending crises of automation and unemployment have no plausible basis for discussion in the current framework of economic thinking.

      Nevertheless, the future is coming and it will not be denied.

      • I can’t say I understand UBI. I mean I would be happy with an extra $20K per year without having to work for it, but what would it cost me to receive it?

      • md,

        This is the best summary of a UBI I’ve come across. It’s an hour long and he goes through many aspects, including:
        – out how it can be afforded (reduce business welfare, deal with rentier capitalism),
        – the results from trials (labour participation went up across the board; health, both mental and physical, went up; school results went up)
        – Looks at objections to it
        – Looks at the differing motivations for (libertarian, neoliberal and progressive. He’s in the progressive camp n that it should not replace other services because all that does is extend rentier capitalism)
        – Why it’s suddenly popular (the system is broken and even the Davos crew realise that something needs to be done.)
        – and quite a few other things

        On the whole money for nothing thing, I think that his argument that considering a UBI as a citizen’s dividend to be paid out through the capture of economic rent is strong.


        The idea of a UBI seems be taken like the Church hearing that the Earth goes around the Sun. The Church’s notion about the world is dogma, it won’t accept any evidence otherwise. The trials have shown that people don’t just pull bongs all day and that not being poor assists people in being able to do stuff like pursue work or look after family. Yet the view that ‘other’ people are lazy and will decay away won’t disappear. Hopefully, as more trials are done the results will continue to show that our worst preconceptions and judgments of others aren’t always true and the moralizing that is dressed up as common sense will disappear.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        When you think about it, UBI is a massive change in how we run our society.

        No it’s not. It’s the complete opposite. It’s an attempt to keep things going in the same way in a world seemingly heading towards near zero employment (hence income, hence demand).

      • “No it’s not. It’s the complete opposite. It’s an attempt to keep things going in the same way in a world seemingly heading towards near zero employment (hence income, hence demand).”

        Throwing away the idea of the value of human labour to keep the wheels on is a big thing. Your argument is a bit silly. Obviously our “leaders” will try and find a bandaid patch to maintain the status quo. In doing so, they are effectively admitting defeat, that the rules have changed. It is unlikely that the UBI will work, as there is very little evidence that the people who will implement it are playing with a full deck.

        My point is that the clowns we have now can’t deal with what is in front of their nose, so expecting UBI to be a big success would be optimistic to say the least.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        We live in a world built on the premise of people spending “money” to buy stuff.

        If the queue of people buying stuff disappears, because they don’t have any money, then what ? For all the supply-siders’ puffed up chests I doubt even the most zealous among them would stand at the end of a production line spitting out widgets that nobody can or will buy shouting MOAR for very long.

        Note that at some point in the future when a UBI really does start to become more “universal” (rather than a simpler-to-administer dole), that becomes “If the queue of people buying stuff disappears because they don’t have any money, even though we can make almost everything they need and want for free, then what ?”.

        Solution: give them enough money to keep the machine working as is without having to deal with a scary Star Trek-esque world where you can magic up anything from a cup of tea to a computer, from “nothing”, on demand.

        The main reason this discussion is mostly pointless is that just about everyone throwing around the term “UBI” has a different idea of what it means. Everybody’s right and everybody’s wrong.

      • The machine won’t work because we have no way to stop the ticket clippers from just grabbing the UBI money. We will be back at square one. Everyone wishes for the cozy world of 1950, but – if wishes were horses, then beggars might ride.

        All sorts of things will be tried to keep the wheels on. In fact, we are seeing this now with the population ponzi. Ad hock solutions that just don’t work. Sure, the boosters can spin up the marvels of immigration, but 1-2 million more in Melbourne and Sydney and the pitchforks will come out. UBI is just another bandaid on a broken leg.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The machine won’t work because we have no way to stop the ticket clippers from just grabbing the UBI money. We will be back at square one.

        Yes. That is my point. The UBI keeps the system of today functioning as usual without having to really address difficult issues like massive structural unemployment and near zero cost production.

    • UBI is a bribe that doesn’t solve the underlying issues and it’s hilarious if Waleed is pushing it.

      • That very much depends on the implementation and the accompanying reforms. If it is the only thing done, without looking at dealing with the structural problems then it’s a sugar hit at best. If it is a part of a broader push to deal with rentier capitalism, the commodification of everything and the neo sefdom that Stephen Morris often brings to our attention then it is an option that deserves serious scrutiny and proper consideration instead of lazy dismissal.

      • CEO and Basic Income Guarantees

        I read an excellent article by Chris Hedges (April 1, 2018) – The Oligarchs’ ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ Scam – which was published by Truthdig.

        His argument is that:

        A number of the reigning oligarchs … are calling for a guaranteed basic income. It looks progressive. They couch their proposals in the moral language of caring for the destitute and the less fortunate. But behind this is the stark awareness, especially in Silicon Valley, that the world these oligarchs have helped create is so lopsided that future consumers, plagued by job insecurity, substandard wages, automation and crippling debt peonage, will be unable to pay for the products and services offered by the big corporations.


    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Can you imagine how farkn ugly the people are who strive to achieve a UBi payment rather than build their own wealth!? OMFG no! Condition of payment should be that you have to live in a special confined area so that real achievers don’t have to gaze upon your face.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      The neoliberal version of UBI usually goes along with eliminating all other forms of welfare and privatising any remaining public services and assets.

      The Greens do not seem to be proposing either of those (that said, details on what they are actually proposing are pretty light).

      • The neoliberal [market based] version of a UBI is premised on consumer choice theory and atomistic individualism.

      • drsmithy, how is it the dole when the recipient is allowed to have a full time job that pays $70k/year?

        It is EITC and Ross Garnaut wanted it in 1998 (maybe not at such a high wage). Milton Friedman wanted it in the 1960s (obviously not at such a high wage).

        The only reason to have a UBI “instead” of a wage top up scheme is because a wage top up may be less politically viable than UBI. A guy with an income of $5k/year getting topped up to have an income of $23k/year – without having to jump through hoops at Sarina Russo – would make some with an income of $25k/year or more, very angry. Polling says most people here want a certain class of welfare recipients to undergo drug testing!

        But then again, the current hoop jumping system is still not cruel enough for some pricks who have never been injured – so maybe the Greens should just go ahead and put in a wage top up scheme when they come to power again.

      • PDI,

        “The neoliberal [market based] version of a UBI is premised on consumer choice theory and atomistic individualism”

        Get rid of premised and put in justified and I’m with you. The justification is then sold with the nonsense of better outcomes for all while the rentseeking continues unabated. However, that is just one possible implementation of a UBI and so it does not automatically void the other ways it might be implemented. There’s lots of info out there if you’d like to broaden your knowledge on the topic.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        drsmithy, how is it the dole when the recipient is allowed to have a full time job that pays $70k/year?

        The same way it’s the dole today when people are allowed to earn an income ?

    • Bob Carr for PM!

      Great photo and caption. I think Dick Smith and Bob Carr could get elected.

      • I had a good laugh at the knobjockey posting the gif of Bernie Sanders – someone who is actually very close to Bob Carr in terms of wanting immigration cuts.

    • The Kouks 3rd Chin

      The rabid hatred that spews forth from extreme lefties is a sight to behold . Its as if they havent thought about the issue for longer than a microsecond and relexively cry racist as a knee jerk reaction.

      • Funny thing tho is the “anything” left has not been running the show for around 50 years. Its just hippie punching to distract from the dismal track record.

        About as funny as all those that diminished occupy wall st now baying on about banks. That would make them hypocrites and very late to the party, though they would like to claim ownership of it after the fact.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Bob forgot to adjust the Bondi pic for Sea Level Rise, which will be obvous by 2040.
      Ths is the same Bob Carr who was Premier of NSW when Edie, Joe and Ian were running NSW.

      …and this site used to return you to the link you activated, now you have to scroll through everything you have already seen to find where you were.

  11. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Saturday anecdote …….Popped in to a few unit open houses this morning on the North Shore to see what the savvy investors are trying to off load at the moment .
    One was quite funny …..instead of the hordes of Chinese of yesteryear they were only 3 Chinese ….the agent inside ,the tout outside to make sure he steered any vaugly interested people into the apartment and a mysterious fellow dressed in weekend clobber who kept strolling around making positive comments about the place .
    There were no other interested customers other than wife And I
    Wife asked who this third person was and was told by the agent he was “a colleague “ . So have we got a new sales technique now ….rent a Chinese to give the illusion of demand ?

      • The Kouks 3rd Chin

        Gav can you throw down a few ok suburbs with ok houses between 6-800k mate? Am also looking in this range. We could end up neighbours. Can only really see Reservoir as ok. Fawkner sucks arse

      • I’m looking down in Frankanistan (Frankston, Seaford) but also further into Eltham sort of area. Footscray also has some ok stuff, but lots of contaminated land in areas.

        I agree Fawkner is the pits, not gonna happen. 😀

      • The Kouks 3rd Chin

        Living around Foot es Cray myself mate. Its huuuugely overvalued. The air pollution is insane. Diesel trains, Geelong Rd, Westgate, etc. I leave kids toys in the garden and theyre covered in a film of SOOT after a couple of weeks. But houses are well over a million now. Welcome to Dystopia mate.

      • The Kouks 3rd Chin

        Eltham or Woodend are the only 2 places i would buy if i had a gun to my head. They have one thing these other f holes don’t. Trees!! And plenty of them.

      • I agree, that’s what I like about Eltham, feels nice and lots of greenery and trees etc.. also St Andrews, Hurstbridge, Warrandyte.. but gotta be close-ish to trains and transport.

        I think Frankston South is nice but it’s boomed in price (many places over $1M now). I was interested in this 1 a while ago. Advertised around $950k.. Sold for $1.3M LOL..

        Thing is Frankston is really far out… I was looking closer like Bon Beach, Mentone, Parkdale but missed out on a place in Parkdale (Gazumped even though I found out I had the higher offer later)..

        I offered $1.01M – but kind of glad I missed out now..

      • I spoke to a RE friend the other day and he said houses under 1mil are going way over their worth while houses over 1mil are barely selling, weird. I grew up in Eltham and its the pits if you have heyfever or asthma so i gtf out! Eltham, Greensborough, Diamond ck etc nice place otherwise

      • I’ve noticed same across the board actually. Houses in the $600-$700 range go way above their worth. Houses over $1M sit there doing nothing.

        To me that indicates the stamp duty concession at work. Low rates are supporting purchases at the half million to $750k range.

    • all signs of desperation are there but prices are not moving much. My call will be -0.17% drop for the week.

      • Hmmm I’m not so sure… I’m seeing places listed at 100k or so below what I would have seen 6 months ago. And quite a lot of volume coming onto the market in Melbourne. Every day I refresh a suburb and see quite a few more listed, so there is a lot of choice out there if you’re looking for a “regular” house. It just so happens I am often looking for a unique property in terms of space / workshop / garage area so not everything ticks boxes for me. But if I wasn’t mad about my cars I’d have plenty of choice around the $600-$800k mark in Melbourne in places I’d consider ok to live. More listings and more competition with fewer buyers (lending tightening) just points to lower prices.

  12. Meanwhile in South Africa… Here is an academic lol… Still think we shouldn’t fast track those white South African farmers? How do you have a sensible conversation with nut jobs like these?

    Every country has its but jobs, but not all are in important positions of power..

  13. The Japanese seem to have done everything first. Their bubble popped first, the demographic shift hit first and they defined and ignored the class of the underemployed well before we did as well.


    “Freeter (フリーター furītā) is a Japanese expression for people who lack full-time employment or are unemployed, excluding housewives and students. The term originally included young people who deliberately chose not to become salary-men, even though jobs were available at the time.

    Freeters may also be described as underemployed. These people do not start a career after high school or university, but instead earn money from low-skilled and low-paid jobs.

    The word freeter or freeta was first used around 1987 or 1988 and is thought to be a portmanteau of the English word free (or perhaps freelance) and the German word Arbeiter (“labourer”). Arubaito is a Japanese loanword from Arbeiter, and perhaps from Arbeit (“work”). As German (along with English) was used in Japanese universities before World War II, especially for science and medicine, arubaito became common among students to describe part-time work for university students.”

  14. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER


    “Senator Hanson blasted the “20 minutes” devoted to indigenous culture, saying she couldn’t understand the rap song and most Australians didn’t listen to didgeridoo music.”

    Whats she on about?,…even White “Captain Cook C#nts” play didgeridoo these days.

  15. StomperMEMBER

    Getup Action Hub
    Fair Tax Foundation Launch
    Join us for the launch of the world’s first people-powered corporate watch-dog.

    In the face of increasing corporate influence, GetUp is joining forces with experts at UTS to launch a people-powered institute to keep corporate power in check: the Fair Tax Foundation. It will have one simple mission: conduct research to expose corporate misconduct.

    Please join us Tuesday 10 April from 6pm at Cafe80, UTS to learn more about the bold plan to expose corporate wrongdoing.



    Paul Oosting – National Director of GetUp

    Associate Professor Roman Lanis, Dr. Brett Govendir and Mr. Ross McClure – Foundation of Economic Justice

    Sponsored by Professor Martin Bugeja, Ashish Sinha, David Brown

    Drinks and snacks will be served.

    April 10, 2018 at 6pm – 8pm
    14-28 Ultimo Rd Ultimo
    Cafe 80, Dr Chau Chak Wing Building
    Sydney, New South Wales 2000

    More details…


  16. Last week I was called Putin apologist. I wander if the same person dares to call me Putin apologist again. And all because I refuse to buy the story without seeing a proof.
    It appears Boris does not have the proof he claimed to have.

    • Joseph Tainter had something to say about this…….It is amazing that people think giving a computer control of something will simplify the situation…the opposite is usually the case.


      I have sat with software engineers when old plants have had their control systems updated…unless you have access to the guys who wrote the old stuff it is a real exercise in logic……how they put it all together is beyond me

      • that’s a good link, there must be someone here willing to rebut it?
        seems like a major problem with the banks is a headlong rush into automation.

    • I would call BS on this. When automating systems you make sure the profile of the decisions matches what you currently have after implementation. Usually you start with like for like, ie automate what you have currently and then optimize once verified. CommBank would have had a bunch of data warehouse tools that would have sliced the data any number of ways to enable them to know how their various processes work.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      So much scope to rewrite …….no doubt it would be well received ..in many parts ……

      “And did those feet in ancient time
      Walk upon England’s mountains green?
      And was the holy Lamb of God
      On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
      And did the Countenance Divine
      Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
      And was Jerusalem builded here
      Among these dark Satanic Mills?
      Bring me my bow of burning gold!
      Bring me my arrows of desire!
      Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
      Bring me my chariot of fire!”

  17. haroldusMEMBER

    James Sutherland keeps emailing me.

    Dear Australian Cricket Fans,

    I wish to update you on the actions Cricket Australia is continuing to take in response to the recent events in Cape Town. We recognise the concerns felt by all of you regarding this situation, so I wanted to share these updates with you directly.


    As officially announced yesterday, Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner have accepted the charges and sanctions, so no hearings will be required.

    These are significant penalties for professional cricketers, and they were not imposed lightly.

    We know the players will return to playing the game they love, and in doing so, we are hopeful they will rebuild their careers and regain the trust of you, our fans.

    Independent Review

    Last week we flagged an independent review to examine the wider context of this event as an important step towards restoring pride in Australian cricket.

    The review will examine if any cultural, organisational and/or governance issues should be addressed within Cricket Australia, not exclusive to the Australian men’s teams.

    We are currently seeking advice from a wide range of qualified individuals, firms, sporting and other organisations who may have conducted similar reviews, or have relevant experience with these sorts of issues.

    We want the review to be completed as quickly as possible, but we are also committed to getting it right. We will take whatever time is necessary to ensure we fully understand the expertise required to conduct such a review, and the procedures it should follow. I’ll share the details with you once we have worked carefully through this process.

    We are strongly committed to a culture of inclusivity, supportiveness, accountability, respect, integrity and doing what’s best for cricket, and you, the fans.

    Consideration of a player charter

    In addition to the independent review, Cricket Australia will initiate a separate player (and former player) driven process to consider a “charter” that sets out standards of behaviour and expectations of Australian men’s teams.

    The outcomes from this process will form reference points for the independent review.

    Further details will be announced shortly and we will keep you updated on this process as it progresses.

    Our focus is on doing all we can to prevent such events from ever happening again, and rebuilding the trust of the cricket community.

    I would like to take the opportunity once again to express our gratitude to the Australian public for all the feedback we have received. We have read all your passionate responses and recognise your concerns. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to all your submissions, but I can assure you we will continue to do everything possible to restore your faith in the game and address your feedback.

    Best regards


    James Sutherland
    Chief Executive Officer – Cricket Australia

  18. got bitten by a cockroach

    went outside to put my shoes on and picked one up off the ground

    a cockroach was crawling around inside

    it bit my hand

    it caused an intense stinging feeling

    this has never happened to me before

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Revenge of the cockroaches ……… for competing with them in the after dark places of Dubbo ….poetic justice ?
      One day the insect empire will strike back ……..be warned !

    • How many legs did it have? If there were more than 6 then I think those ones are called spiders.

    • I grew up in Darwin where most things will either bite, sting or kill you or combinations thereof; and that’s just the locals. The animal kingdom has assembled some of the finest creatures with great big nasty teeth to take over where the locals left off. Having been bitten by a roach myself, it could have been worse.

    • Hope you didnt piss it off any further! You might wake up to find he has brought his missus to set up family in your earhole!

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      First time I met Jack the dog he bit me on the big toe. He’s now a loyal companion.

      You may have found your companion for your travels through the streets of Dubbo.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        The Collectors.

        Book 2 in the Stags and Brownie series of urban dystopian novels.

        A man and his faithful 6 legged companion roam the badlands of Dubbo eking a living on the only productive remnants in a post-crash world – recycled bottles.

        Brownie tracks ’em down and keeps watch while Stags loads up the hatchback.

        “It’s chips tonight brownie” Stags shrieks as they set off to Woolies, voucher for $4.20 in hot little hands/claws.

        Meanwhile a large figure sporting a tiny bowler hat watches from behind a swing set in the industrial estate. Watching, always watching.

      • @Haroldus

        Ibidem, mine about Ipthwitcth…ah, bugger it, I’m feeling generous: lump Goldcoast in there too.

    • Someone I know once ate a little cockroach by mistake. They taste a little bit like peppermint apparently.

      • I must confess I am struggling to choose the right title for the latest Episode:

        “The Phantom Cockroach”

        “Attack of the Cockroaches”

        “Revenge of the Cockroach”

        “A New Cockroach”

        “The Cockroach strikes back”

        “Return of the Cockroach”

      • Cockroaches are not good for you. I once read of someone earning a Darwin Award by eating the little buggers – my faded memory tells me it was for some competition about who could be the most disgusting.

    • There was a real estate agent in your shoe? And he bit you? I hope he at least gave your shoe a million dollar valuation.

  19. There is every reason to believe that the next stage of the techno-financial revolution will be even more disastrous for national political authority. This will arise as the natural continuation of existing technological processes, which promise new, algorithmic kinds of governance to further undermine the political variety. Big data companies (Google, Facebook etc) have already assumed many functions previously associated with the state, from cartography to surveillance. Now they are the primary gatekeepers of social reality: membership of these systems is a new, corporate, de-territorialised form of citizenship, antagonistic at every level to the national kind. And, as the growth of digital currencies shows, new technologies will emerge to replace the other fundamental functions of the nation state. The libertarian dream – whereby antique bureaucracies succumb to pristine hi-tech corporate systems, which then take over the management of all life and resources – is a more likely vision for the future than any fantasy of a return to social democracy.

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      “Third, and finally: we need to find new conceptions of citizenship. Citizenship is itself the primordial kind of injustice in the world. It functions as an extreme form of inherited property and, like other systems in which inherited privilege is overwhelmingly determinant, it arouses little allegiance in those who inherit nothing. Many countries have made efforts, through welfare and education policy, to neutralise the consequences of accidental advantages such as birth. But “accidental advantages” rule at the global level: 97% of citizenship is inherited, which means that the essential horizons of life on this planet are already determined at birth.

      If you are born Finnish, your legal protections and economic expectations are of such a different order to those of a Somalian or Syrian that even mutual understanding is difficult. Your mobility – as a Finn – is also very different. But in a world system – rather than a system of nations – there can be no justification for such radical divergences in mobility. Deregulating human movement is an essential corollary of the deregulation of capital: it is unjust to preserve the freedom to move capital out of a place and simultaneously forbid people from following.

      Contemporary technological systems offer models for rethinking citizenship so it can be de-linked from territory, and its advantages can be more fairly distributed. The rights and opportunities accruing to western citizenship could be claimed far away, for instance, without anyone having to travel to the west to do so. We could participate in political processes far away that nonetheless affect us: if democracy is supposed to give voters some control over their own conditions, for instance, should a US election not involve most people on earth? What would American political discourse look like, if it had to satisfy voters in Iraq or Afghanistan?”

      Figured the writer was Chinese, Jewish or Indian.

      Indian it is.

      • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

        Wonder what populations or ‘voting blocs’ would hold sway in a ‘global flexible democracy’?

        On centralisation: “Deregulating human movement is an essential corollary of the deregulation of capital: it is unjust to preserve the freedom to move capital out of a place and simultaneously forbid people from following.”

        Has the massive inflow of people into Sydney (following Capital) provided anything at all of value? What has it done to the Dubbos of the Country? Was it easier for Capital to attack Greece economically before or after the advent of the EU (a theoretically improved negotiating position)?

        Human civilization is facing massive environmental headwinds, we need as much redundancy as possible i.e. decentralization.

        Facebook, Google, Apple or Wall Street are not essential to society. Any country could do a China and tell them to behave or f&*k off.

  20. CharlieChaplin

    http://digitalfinanceanalytics.com/vlog.html Martin North, waring the same crumpled shirt, gives his usual dry but complete breakdown of housing, banking and economics for the week. He seems to be improving in delivery!

    Keep up the posts stigmal. My regular Stagmal urban haiku is becoming addictive. Maybe the cockroach was Gregor from Kafka’s metamorphosis!

  21. rj2k000MEMBER

    Michigan’s MiDAS Unemployment System: Algorithm Alchemy Created Lead, Not Gold
    [The MiDAS fiasco is not the only case where robo-adjudication has been used to seek potential benefits fraud. It is alive and well in Australia, where the government’s Centrelink program rolled out a similar approach in 2016 with similar results.]

    • JuanitoMEMBER

      I watched it yesterday and is was worth while but pretty depressing and scary as well. The timng with the facebook/Cambridge Analytics scandal was spot on! Tim Urban from Waitbutwhy is in it as well.

  22. Just did a quick find on the word ‘trump’ – it’s only used once in a post by footsore – the others are in the links. So not a high priority.
    This guy is going to cause some serious global disruption and no one is paying attention. He came with a platform and he’s sticking with it. The swamp critters get fired if they don’t tow the line. My kind of guy.

      • Nothing different than what Federico Peña and Clintion did. Federico was Governor of CO where they set up a scam based on ethnic minorities getting X% of the bids for building DIA. It was just a run around where the BSD just used them to funnel flows through. For his services Federico became Transport Secretary.

        Going to be one big looting exercise with the added bonus of selling off public title.

    • That story is the definition of subprime.

      Murdoch media has been pumping out similar subprime spruiker articles recently.
      Someone is trying pretty hard to lure more suckers to keep the bubble going. Murdoch himself?

    • Something very unique to property, I suppose. Where they say “I made XX million investing in property and NOW I WANT TO HELP OTHERS INVEST IN PROPERTY”… another one to get get BIRCHED when IO loans terminate!

      None of those articles have a straight forward ending like “Mr.X made YY millions and he is happy”..it is usually a spiel for Nathan-Bitching

      You never see that in stocks, bonds, precious metals, IPO’s, or any form of income/capital generation!

      • Yep. They need an answer to the question “if your scheme is so foolproof, why are you telling everyone about it?”. Cue a stream of bulldust about “I just want to help others… help share the love… I am so passionate about having everyone be successful…” blah blah spew.

        Should send your SCAM ALERT METER through the roof.

    • “It’s about putting your money to work.”

      Yes, putting it to work in a property brothel. Are these people so dim they never ask where this magic money is coming from?

    • I wanna puke at the spruik Andrew looks all sweaty like he knows something wickled this way comes

    • ingenuity – the quality of being clever, original, and inventive.

      Not one of McGrath’s factors fits the definition. The DT needs a dictionary.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      See, John McGrath gets it. Youse freaks don’t. And never will. Poverty is your calling.

      • Whilst I’m no fan of John McGrath, he is actually correct when he cites Sydney’s (and Melbourne’s) unique factors that make us different to other parts of the world – mass immigration, especially to Melb and Syd, and as he says, ” low interest rates, a tax system that rewards property investment and a growing market of international buyers.”

        Also from the article: “Dent also failed to account for Australian’s love affair with property and the rise of alternative entry points to the market such as rentvesting, McGrath said.”

        All true, though I don’t agree that “we have low unemployment, a strong and resilient economy,”

        Harry Dent’s predictions are understandable given the insanely high prices in Melb and especially Sydney. When he predicted the bust of the bubble ten years ago, it SHOULD have happened but our govt wouldn’t let it happen. Now that the bubble is so much bigger, it SHOULD burst even more, but I don’t think it will. Is a fall of 10 or 20% a collapse when prices have risen 20% each year for the past few years? Mass immigration and all the other factors will keep a floor on prices.

      • Nad sorry MD. California and Ireland had high immigration and they crashed through the floor. Our tax incentives encourage suckers through the floor but won’t stop the price from hitting the cellar if funding freezes up. And as for McGrath’s best reason why “Australia is different” – “we have strong and prudent banks” – HAHA! Comedy gold. I guess he has been spending too much time at the bookies to have noticed the Royal Commission.

        Nope, he’s simply wrong – Australia’s not different. We (and McGrath, by the way) are farked.

  23. haroldusMEMBER

    Tonight harry is listening to:


    Fun fact about Led Zep – you hear those rapid “duggas” on the kick? Bonzo only played a single kick. He got a double once and Jimmy Plagiarist threw it out. Too many kicks!

    Another trick to listening to Bonzo – pay attention to the hats, normally they are on the beat or the 8th/16th. They keep the time while everything else moves around.

    • It says ‘he grew up in NZ’… So, does new-minted include people who grew up in a country as well? Might as well include some of our pollies including many commentators here on MB as newly-minted!

    • Interesting choice of articles from RE on a day that 30% of Brisbane auctions cleared. News Corp doing everything it can to create the impression of a boom.

      • Yes 30% cleared but only half were reported. Real clearance rate of 15% in Brisbane. Have agents calling me every day.

  24. I placed myself on waitlist for Analog Man Overdrive Pedal. Apparently there is 1.5 years waiting period.. But second hand King of Tone sells for double the price of new one.

  25. Just to flesh the link out a bit more.

    By the early 1980s it was already common knowledge among people I hung out with that the only way to get non-crazy macro-economics published was to wrap sensible assumptions about output and employment in something else, something that involved rational expectations and intertemporal stuff and made the paper respectable. And yes, that was conscious knowledge, which shaped the kinds of papers we wrote.

    Paul Krugman

    More or less says it all, doesn’t it?

    And for those of us who do not want to play according to​ those sickening hypocritical rules — well, here’s one particularly good alternative.


    • Those in your link seem to use a very narrow definition of game theory.

      No, the essence of game theory is about anticipating one’s opponent’s next possible moves by placing oneself in the opponent’s shoes so that one can strategically counter them.

      • If you want to claim its narrow you have to show your work, saying its narrow is not compelling.

        I would remind that even Nash backed away from his early works.

        St Jacques

        Same goes for up likes.

      • “No, the essence of game theory is about anticipating one’s opponent’s next possible moves by placing oneself in the opponent’s shoes so that one can strategically counter them.”

        Here I’ll attempt to highlight, GT only shows us what to look for, yet, it does not automatically give us the answers.

        PS does the output change when the baseline is homo economicus.

      • Game theory is much broader than the subject of economics. That is why it is important to read broadly, outside of economics, if you want to be good at economics. Game theory can explain many aspects of nature and society that range from biology to entomology to politics to baseball, among other things, such as:

        • Why there are only one or two sexes in all the species known to date, not 3 or more.
        • Where there are 2 sexes, why the ratio between the male and the female is roughly 1:1.
        • Why our regulators would be politically reluctant to prevent the growth of our bubble.

        I cannot spend my whole day writing a book so I will be brief. You can look up relevant books if you want.

        The first has to do with the amount of resources available to a species vs the benefit of diversification. If two species, one that has two sexes and the other three, game theory shows that the former will utilize the available resources more efficiently and outcompete the latter. The latter, if existed, would go to the wall first in times of famine.

        The second has to do with the number of offspring to whom a mother can leave her DNA. If you assume that the amount of resources required to bring up a baby (or an egg) to an adult is roughly the same for male and female then, for the species as a whole, it would be much more resource efficient for a mother to have as few sons and as many daughters as possible because one male can mate with many females and lay as many eggs as possible for a given amount of resources. The trouble is, a “traitor” mother can multiply her offspring by laying more sons than daughters at the expense of all the other “honest” mothers.

        For the third, see https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/06/understanding-economics-without-economists/#comment-376882 and http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/06/understanding-economics-without-economists/#comment-376982

        In baseball, it has long been established that the ones who are successful at the major league level are those who are adept at game theory. It is said that hitting is about timing and pitching is about upsetting said timing. The most important quality of a pitcher is the ability to deceive hitters and the most important quality of a hitter is to see through the deceptions.

      • Probably should put the authors summary:

        From Lars Syll Half a century ago there were widespread hopes game theory would provide a unified theory of social science. Today it has become obvious those hopes did not materialize. This ought to come as no surprise. Reductionist and atomistic models of social interaction — such as the ones mainstream economics and game theory are founded on — will never deliver sustainable building blocks for a realist and relevant social science. That is also — as yours truly argues in the latest issue of real-world economics review — the reason why game theory never will be anything but a footnote in the history of social science. Heavy use of formalism and mathematics easily foster the view that a theory is scientific. But although game theory may produce ‘absolute truths’ in imaginary model.

        The pdf is right there, gets right into all the analytics along with it being a cornerstone to neoliberalism.

      • We are talking about economics dumpling as a social science. I would also point out your example has a very narrow concept of what success is and fails to reconcile the long term consequences when such models become dominate.

      • Look, putin did it, you may be an economist but many here are not (myself included). Your definition (and of the author you cite) of game theory may be the norm in economics but that is certainly not the case for the broader world.

        One cannot conclude that game theory is bad or useless just because economists fail to successfully apply game theory to economics. Talk about economists giving game theory a bad name.

      • I’m talking about GT applied to humans dumpling and if your serious about the topic the pdf is right there, its to that you have to reconcile your currant views. This back and forth cannot do the topic justice due to its scope and ends up a perfict example of what I’m on about.

        Like I said this gets into base axioms, people like Von Neumann, Nash, McNamara and how Industry and Ideological polies salivated at its prospects. And its not like when Rand did its little experiment and the secretaries agreed in advance of the experiment , that the social scientists concluded the secretaries were defective, and not the model itself.

        Then one has to consider when such devices are pointed at individuals or humanity at large that one is engaging in economics, it is natural history or sociopolitical theory at the end of the day. Yeah some changed the nomenclature to economics and then burnished with science at one point.

      • Ok, so you are actually not denying that game theory has been useful in biology, entomology, baseball, etc? I assume you also agree that baseball is played by humans? Then I am not sure what the problem between us is.

        As I stated, one cannot conclude that game theory is bad or useless just because economists fail to successfully apply game theory to economics. If some overconfident pollies or economists like McNamara misapplied game theory and caused a disaster that is their fault, not game theory’s.

        After all, if some pollies or economists are stupid enough to attempt to apply Einstein’s theory of relativity to economics and failed, would you give the theory of relativity a bad name, too?

      • Again it seems you have not read Lars work, as such, there is not much use in talking about GT when you don’t even understand what Lars is on about. You only seem interested in keeping GT from being blemished.

        “Game theory gives us analytical truths — truths by definition. That is great — from a mathematical and formal logical point of view. In science, however, it is rather uninteresting and totally uninformative! Even if pure game theory gives us ‘logical’ truths, that is not what we are looking for as scientists. We are interested in finding truths that give us new information and knowledge of the world in which we live.

        Scientific theories are theories that ‘refer’ to the real-world, where axioms and definitions do not take us very far. To be of interest for an economist or social scientist that wants to understand, explain, or predict real-world phenomena, the pure theory has to be ‘interpreted’ — it has to be ‘applied’ theory. A game theory that does not go beyond proving theorems and conditional ‘if-then’ statements — and do not make assertions and put forward hypotheses about real-world individuals and institutions — is of little consequence for anyone wanting to use theories to better understand, explain or predict real-world phenomena.

        Game theory has no empirical content whatsoever. And it certainly has no relevance whatsoever to a scientific endeavour of expanding real-world knowledge.”


      • “We are interested in finding truths that give us new information and knowledge of the world in which we live. Scientific theories are theories that ‘refer’ to the real-world, where axioms and definitions do not take us very far.”

        That is what game theory does in biology, entomology, politics, baseball, etc., as my examples above show.

        “Game theory has no empirical content whatsoever. And it certainly has no relevance whatsoever to a scientific endeavour of expanding real-world knowledge”

        Wrong. It is bemusing just how wrong these clowns are.

        Nothing you stated refutes my original points, (1) you and your idols seem to use a very narrow definition of game theory (and assumes that is the norm for the whole world), (2) one cannot conclude that game theory is bad or useless just because economists fail to successfully apply game theory to economics.

        If anything, your posts revealed just how self-centred economists are. They think economics is a much bigger part of the world than it actually is. No wonder the world economy is in such a mess.

      • Game theory and the shaping of neoliberal capitalism

        Neoliberal subjectivity arises from the intricate pedagogy of game theory that comes to the fore in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game and is interchangeable with contemporary paradigmatic instrumental rationality. Rational choice is promoted as an exhaustive science of decision making, but only by smuggling in a characteristic​ confusion​ suggesting​ that everything of value​ to agents can be reflected in their appraisal of existential worth even though this is patently not the case in life viewed as a ‘fixed game.’ Without a critical and scrupulous pedagogy that carefully identifies as optional the assumptions necessary to operationalize strategic rationality, a new neoliberal understanding of capitalism will dominate the worldview​ of the student of game theory and inhabitant of neoliberal institutions.


        I see you still have decided to dismiss the critique without reading it. Seems your off the cuff response is their using the model incorrectly.

      • Putin, cannot you provide a single example where game theory deserves your smearing campaign that is outside of economics?

        If you are referring to “game theory in the narrow economist’s jargon” by “game theory” then you should spell this out from the outset so that I don’t need to waste my time.

      • I don’t find the smear factor your attempting to affix here dumpling, simply a case of exposing something for what it is and how it has been used. You then pop up to go off on unrelated matters, but, use baseball in economic terms, and then complain about economists using it incorrectly.

        If I remember correctly Morris is a big GT aficionado.

      • “No, the essence of game theory is about anticipating one’s opponent’s next possible moves by placing oneself in the opponent’s shoes so that one can strategically counter them.”

        Your original statement was couched in economic terms dumpling. Everything I just provided unpacks the above, obfuscating about it now is poor form.

        PS. hell I can smell the rational agent model through my screen.

      • “Your original statement was couched in economic terms dumpling.”

        Not it wasn’t. My original statement was not referring to economics in particular. It was about game theory in general which included, among other things, politics, warfare, biology, entomology, baseball, chess, etc.

        Do economists read about or know anything outside of economics? Or do economics think everything in the whole wide world is about economics?

      • Those are all economic dumpling, everything concerning sociopolitical theory is economics e.g. markets, politics, social organization, et al. The comment I quoted from you was an economic view based on all the things Lars pointed out i.e. You cannot close the models. Its logically impossible. You cannot have a closed model of an economy that has more than one sector AND runs through time. Marx couldn’t do it. Neither could the neoclassicals. Its inherent in the material that they’re attempting to model.

        I can’t even begin to quantity the disparity your binary example exhibits.

      • I must confess that I did not know until today that biology, entomology, baseball, etc were all economics.

        Thank you for providing insight as to how an economist views the world – it was beyond my wildest imagination.

      • What John Nash (!) says underlines the very fundamental methodological weakness of game theory and neoclassical mainstream economics at large. Overemphasizing​ the reach of instrumental rationality and abstracting​ away from the influence of non-economic factors, reduces the analysis to a pure thought experiment without any substantial connection to reality​. Limiting theoretical economic analysis in this way — not incorporating both motivational and institutional factors when trying to explain human behaviour​ — makes economics insensitive to social​ facts, and thus useless.

        Economic relations are always embedded in socio-cultural contexts​. Not taking account of that, economics will never be able to come up with useful and relevant explanations. ​

        How game theory developed by John Nash (Nobel prize for economics, 1994) was used first to run the economy, and then to justify conservative politics. Considering the widespread acceptance of the market based social ideals, and the underlying game theory behind these ideals, the simple question begs to be asked: “So… Is that all there is?”

        :: Us, the psychopaths : Game theory and market democracy ::


      • Dumpling your statement was an economic rationalization. I did not put those words in your mouth, your attempts to distract from that matter does not refute Lars et al views on GT. Trying to distance GT from its use in dominate economics by its application in other stuff is irrespective.

        The completely absurd bit is you responded to the original link with the very thing the link is talking about and then you make claims about it being a narrow view. You yourself provided a binary model of humans seeking some advantage in outcomes, how much more economic market based modeling can you get. You might as well said Praxeology.

        What is about Austrians not groking they supported neoliberalism, were foundational in its construct and still want to bang on about anything.

      • As a warning about the extremely limited applicability of game theory as a way of analysing social behaviour, the article is worth reading. This, on p47 pretty much gets to the gist of it:

        “If the real world is fuzzy, vague and indeterminate, then why should our models build upon a desire to describe it as precise and predictable? The logic of idealization, that permeates the base model, is a marvellous tool in mathematics and axiomatic-deductivist systems, but a poor guide for action in real-world systems, where concepts and entities are without clear boundaries and continually interact and overlap.
        Being told that the model is rigorous and amenable to ‘successive approximations’ to reality is of little avail, especially when the law-like (nomological) core assumptions are highly questionable and extremely difficult to test.”

        I think where Lars goes off the rails is the philosophic attack on game theory – which is a branch of mathematics, not economjcs.. The point of a mathematical theorem is that it is not analytic. Kant laboured that point when arguing against the pure empircists.. But of course you don’t learn anything about, say, biology or physics by endlessly playing around with mathematical theorems, no matter how elaborate and interesting they are in themselves. That’s for mathematicians.

      • St Jacques, that is what I would call scientific common sense and also equally applies to physical laws.


        Richard Feynman once succinctly summed up the nature of physical laws.

        “What do we mean by “understanding” something? We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes “the world” is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics. Even if we knew every rule, however, we might not be able to understand why a particular move is made in the game, merely because it is too complicated and our minds are limited. If you play chess you must know that it is easy to learn all the rules, and yet it is often very hard to select the best move or to understand why a player moves as he does. So it is in nature, only much more so.”

        I sense the same problem with economists as with religious fundamentalists – they take their bibles too literally and forget about the approximate nature of the physical laws or mathematical theories. I am not necessarily against a religion as long as people remember that whatever they read in their bible is about philosophical ideas behind them.

        But then again, the education system is so fucked up these days that even some scientists might actually believe that an apple literally hit Newton’s head when he discovered his law of universal gravitation or Archimedes really ran through the streets of Syracuse naked when he discovered Archimedes’ principle.

        As for game theory, as you correctly stated, its origin can be placed in mathematics and has its applicability well beyond the realm of economics. Things went wrong when economists and pollies started taking game theory into their hands.

      • No, no, no, the Syracuse story is a ridgy didge, rolled gold, true blue. An old Greek told me that according to a reliable family story passed down the generations, as Archimedes was running down the main street starkers shouting “Eureka” somebody shouted “are you alright”?” to which he responded “my bath overflowed ! “. From then on they started calling scientists mad.

      • Who was talking about Royal Science or scientist or lest we become confused engineers. Then again as with Nash, Kant has to be contextualized throughout his entire life’s works, he too eventually retracted some of his more ridged opinions.

        Lest we forget Spencer whom was on all accounts a progressive in his early day ended up a bitter old conservative when his popularity waned.

        Dumpling GT people willingly forwarded its application in politics and economics [same thing anyway]. So don’t try more hand waving about economists or politicians bastardizing the purity of GT.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The second has to do with the number of offspring to whom a mother can leave her DNA. If you assume that the amount of resources required to bring up a baby (or an egg) to an adult is roughly the same for male and female then, for the species as a whole, it would be much more resource efficient for a mother to have as few sons and as many daughters as possible because one male can mate with many females and lay as many eggs as possible for a given amount of resources. The trouble is, a “traitor” mother can multiply her offspring by laying more sons than daughters at the expense of all the other “honest” mothers.

        So… Are you one of the lizard people ?

      • I’ll leave the mathematicians to argue over whether mathematical truths are analytic/synthetic. Good article and must read for economists.Way overdue..

      • Putin, I was wondering what you were getting at when you disparaged game theory the other day.


        Your today’s posts made it clear to me that you were actually referring to a small subset of game theory. As I said, I could have avoided wasting my time if you had spelt this point out from the outset.

        I would have thought economics is a small part of the world (and a tiny subset of the universe). That you think politics, warfare, biology, entomology, baseball, chess, etc. “are all economic” shows arrogance, the same type of mindset one would need to have to apply a mathematical model to a complex system with confidence (or overconfidence). But the bottom line is that failure by those who attempted to apply a branch of mathematics to a complex system by incorporating it into a simplified model does not diminish the value of the underlying mathematics.

        How can I make this point clearer? Ok, let’s take climate change.

        There are a bunch of climate scientists who put a range of physical laws into computational models and apply the models to simulate and predict an enormously complex system called earth’s atmosphere. Obviously, their models are not accurate enough to account for any temporary variations in a given local region. Suppose some climate scientists were stupid and arrogant enough to advocate the use of their models for local weather forecast, and then failed, would you disparage the range of physical laws that underlie said models?

      • drsmithy, cannot you read? It is about an example application of game theory to entomology.

  26. Food for thought!

    “Doctors at the Salisbury District Hospital announced today that Sergej Skripal’s health is rapidly improving. It is unlikely that any targeted poisoning with a real ‘military grade’ nerve agent would have allowed such an outcome. This brings us back to food poisoning as a possible cause of the Skripals’ ordeal….. shellfish poisoning, which is caused by a neurotoxin known as Saxitoxin or STX, is the real culprit of the Skripal incident…..Sergej and Yulia Skripal were found on a public bench in Salisbury at about 4pm on March 4. …..Half an hour before the Skripal’s collapsed they had eaten at Zizzi, a seafood and pizza outlet.”

    • That’s punny! But how do you explain the responding police officer also being infected when Saxitoxin is, from what I’ve read, not contagious. Did the officer coincidentally eat at Zizzi’s?

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      The real victims here are the cat and the two hamsters that died unnecessarily. Oh, and the truth..but that may have been dead for some time…

      *waves at Boris*

    • It can still be the Russians but I need to see evidence. I was against Iraq war and was right. why isn’t Boris pressed to provide evidence??

      • It is starting to come together now, there has been another CW provocation in Douma and the Ukrainians have used a bulk carrier to block the Bosphorus……the Russians are bringing anti submarine planes into Syria. The US obviously didn’t believe General Gerasimov that he had been ordered to destroy any or all missile launchers that cause the death of Russian soldiers.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Here’s an idea ….what say we spend some more taxpayer money hiring more inspectors and trackers to really monitor and audit all these streams of funds
      to prevent them being stolen in the first place .
      Good for employment for some young Australians
      Save on police, court and jail costs ……and we would still have the rest of the funds not stolen to do some good with .
      Guess that doesn’t fit with the new “efficiency model” for our once world class puplic service .

  27. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Where’s Wiley Wolf? Every network is pleading for the punters to turn up at the Empire Games and Goldy because things are kinda dead. ABC sports guy can’t even be bothered wearing shoes. He’s orright though. Knows what he’s talking about. Dissed the Clarke straight up.

  28. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    This kind of stuff is just a treason against the Australian people.

    “when both countries are forecast to pump and ship roughly 100 billion cubic metres of LNG each, Qatar’s government will receive $26.6 billion in royalties from the multinational companies exploiting its offshore gasfields.

    According to Treasury estimates, Australia will receive just $800 million for the same volume of gas leaving its shores.”

    The massive disparity – and prospect, first revealed by Fairfax Media, that Australia will receive no significant take from LNG for “decades” – has sparked calls for a public inquiry into the the petroleum resource rent tax or PRRT.

    A letter co-signed by 21 left-leaning organisations and unions, including the ACTU, ActionAid, Greenpeace, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Uniting Church, has been sent to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by the Tax Justice Network urging a Parliamentary inquiry into PRRT.

    “The undersigned organisations have major concerns about forecasts of declining or stagnant government revenue from PRRT coinciding with Australia becoming the world’s largest exporter of LNG,” the letter states.

    “The PRRT system, based on voluntary compliance and and self-reporting [by gas extractors], operates with limited transparency and inadequate oversight. Australians need greater public confidence that they will benefit fairly from the exploitation of our natural resources.”

    Why can’t we have a postal vote,…or better yet a Referendum on Nationalising OUR Gas resources,…if these global energy cartels won’t pay us the best going rate.
    Put it to the people!


    If only The CIA and Global coporate plutocracy hasn’t shut down the Whitlam Government and Their brilliant,…and a little weird,…Minerals minister.
    We wouldn’t even be having this discussion, if Rex got to push through his dream for Australia.
    Pitty he wasn’t a little more sus of that Pakistani guy.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Qatar hasn’t got the memo about social licence and how their resources are for the benefit of everyone but them. Probably a good reason to invade them.

      What are Bush, Howard and Blair doing this week?

    • Yet more evidence that I have got it right all along.

      Australia has sold the majority of its assets including the mining and the petroleum sectors. Qatar, on the other hand, boasts one of the largest sovereign wealth funds on the planet and owns many productive assets around the globe.

      What sort of conversations are going on in the corporate boardrooms of the relevant oil and gas companies?

      “Referendum on Nationalising OUR Gas resources”

      Guess what, that’s what happened in Zimbabwe!! Um, one more step closer to becoming the next Zimbabwe. Such a clear and present danger. It is hard for me to comprehend how a bubble denier’s brain functions, but the amount of denial on this site about Australia becoming the next South Africa or Zimbabwe is….. breathtaking.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        How do you think the Qataris cut such a better deal than us Dumpling?
        Sometimes the simply threat of Nationalising or signing up with a competitor national champion is enough to get the plutocrats to pay up more.
        Your embrace of “Free markets” is infantile,….they do not exist, they never have and never will.

      • “How do you think the Qataris cut such a better deal than us Dumpling?”

        By having a much stronger presence in the corporate boardrooms by owning large fractions of the relevant corporations. That is how large multinational corporations are governed, whether they operate in a free market or not.

        “Sometimes the simply threat of Nationalising or signing up with a competitor national champion is enough to get the plutocrats to pay up more.”

        You mean, like Mexico and Venezuela did with PEMEX and PDVSA, respectively?

        Look, EP, throw away your ideology and look at what happened in the past, what is happening now and make an educated guess as to what will likely happen if we follow your lead.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “You mean, like Mexico and Venezuela did with PEMEX and PDVSA, respectively?”

        I think Norway and The Arab Petro states are better examples dumpy.
        even China our biggest trading partner and soon to be largest economy ever,…laugh at how easily we sell out our sovereignty in the name of “Markets”.
        Its OUR fking Gas mate!

        Adam Smith’s invisible hand wasn’t markers,…it was state intervention and local bias.
        Something most people in this country would vote for given the chance,…through real democracy.
        Your preference seems to be Neo Feudalism, with a Global Aristocracy of private tyrannies.
        Just like Sachs man Turnbull is rooting for.


      • EP, you do realize that “Norway and The Arab Petro states” and “even China” are all CAS countries, like Qatar.

        Cannot be compared to chronic CAD countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Australia.

        Incidentally, “Norway and The Arab Petro states” and “even China” also *own* Statoil, Saudi Aramco, CNPC, etc.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Yes, this is a massive political failure.
        We should be importing no taxpayer funded cars, buses, trains ships, nor any steel or building materials at all, with our vast coal and Iron ore resources.
        With only 25 million people, a massive resource base and first world education infrastructure, our failures are a direct result of 30+ years of embracing Neoliberal privatisations and free trade agreements. Not some Socialist agenda!
        I believe in a mixed economy for our Country, with a mixture of state and private ownership, where our laws and legislation is decided Democraticly, by all,…not “negotiated” privately, in secret deals, between ambitious and tratorist politicians and Plutocrats, behind closed doors.

      • “our failures are a direct result of 30+ years of embracing Neoliberal privatisations and free trade agreements. Not some Socialist agenda!”

        The only trouble is that it does not square with the data.

        The chronic CADs started long before “Neoliberal privatisations and free trade agreements” were embraced. It is hard to pinpoint when Australia started travelling down the road of the Moron Side of the Force. Steven Keen places the Year Zero to 1964 from the nation’s debt profile.


        But chronic CADs must have started earlier than 1964 because the rising debt profile is most likely a result of a shortfall from the CADs.

        A logical conclusion is that “30+ years of embracing Neoliberal privatisations and free trade agreements” is a means to kick the can still further down the road to extend the party, not the cause.

        You have to dig deeper if you are interested in finding out the truth.

      • EP

        Look into Abba Lerner and structural things like sound finance vs. functional finance.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        The large CAD’s started when Keating opened the capital account.
        Before then we had CAD’s but on avg. they didn’t really exceed nom GDP growth. Which is why the net foreign debt was about 15% or so (all officially held) before Keating wrecked the country.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      EP didn’t Julia renegotiate the Rent Resources taxes after Gina and Twiggy waved there diamond jewellery at her from the back of a ute?

      • You mean after Gina and Tw.. brought down one PM. Also, every bogan (except our own) believed the propaganda that the mining tax will destroy jobs. Julia had no choice..

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Disgraceful what Global Corporate Plutocracy has done to South America.

      • Econo-fart

        “these countries did not go down due to socialism they went down due to the fact they were colonised”

        And what sort of forms do you think modern colonialism take?

        Australia might be unique in her willingness to be colonized. Talk about good old days under the British rule.

        A CAS country adopts socialism and you have Norway.

        A CAD country adopts socialism and you have Venezuela.

    • Lost in translation I suspect. What they deem to be conservatives have accepted the causes and ramifications of climate change since the days of Margaret Thatcher, there might be a few UKIP types that do not but they are considered oddities. What we deem to be conservatives seem more aligned with and motivated by the American republicans.

  29. – HEY TRADERS IS THIS IN YOUR ALGORITHM (re house bubble)
    In 2010 it looked like China cooled its housing market (Global Property Monitor) by allowing / promoting net emigration (Knomea) but I have no data to show that this event has re-emerged since. Ignore this and you could get ZAPPED should they switch to a pro-immigration stance and SUCK THE VERY LIFE OUT OF PROPERTY.

      • rj2k000MEMBER

        [While properties in the $5 million-plus range are selling strongly, those in the $1 million to $3 million bracket are moving more slowly, he said.

        There is a lack of stock as more people opt for an expressions-of-interest style campaign because they are worried an auction won’t work, according to Mr Fraser.

        “We’re finding there are one or two stand-out buyers for a property. Whereas last year we were averaging five bidders at an auction, we’re probably now averaging one-and-half.

        “If there is a decent offer on the table we are advising them to seriously consider it rather than going all the way through to auction day.” ]
        The downward pressure has only just begun. As house-flipping specufestors get more into negative equity, the death spiral will accelerate, especially when the recent rapid increases in Libor rates flow through to bank lending costs.

        The Forces Of Change Set To Give Banks A Headache

      • Lol, I agree less auctions is an indicator that prices are heading south. There is still the odd house that is hotly contested, but the more average abodes are struggling where as before it was a frenzy.

    • One of the local real estate agents ( Flam from Hodges) 3185,is advertising their expertise in private sales and off market sales, as well as auctions. Never seen that before-always auctions,auctions,auctions with this crowd.
      They must be having a change in outcomes to even think of non auctions,let alone push it through advertising

      • Locally I noticed agents sending in just rented pamphlets and promoting property management. Before it was a weekly barrage of Sold for record prices pamphlets in my mail box. Did my head in, but it’s definitely slowed to a trickle and more focus on rentals 😁

      • Even better scrap private education like Finland which provides an incentive for schools to be properly funded and everyone have the same opportunity to a good education.

        Same with health care etc..

  30. Just watching landline and they are talking about renewable energy a community funded projects in particular. Apparently we are behind the global trend. That prompted me to think how we are also behind the RE global trend considering we just managed to copy what the yanks did 10 years ago back in 2008.
    At least we are consistent by lagging behind everything.

  31. Interesting…. Have lending restrictions eased? According to Mr Plank it has.

    [ This lines up with house prices continuing to soften, lower auction clearance rates and fears of banks having to tighten credit in response to some fairly dodgy lending practices being uncovered by the Hayne Royal Commission.

    However, ANZ’s David Plank believes the weaker housing pulse may be regaining a bit a bit of vigour.

    Mr Plank noted auction clearance rates in Sydney — the weakest market in terms of house prices — has recently improved, loan cancellations are not high from an historical perspective and the number of property resales made at a loss are also not particularly high, unless you are trying to sell in Brisbane or Perth.

    In Perth, around a quarter of owner-occupiers are selling at a loss, while more than a third of investors are finding themselves underwater.

    In Brisbane, the proportion of apartments being sold at loss in Brisbane is rapidly heading towards 30 per cent as well.

    With tougher regulations from APRA throttling investor lending and interest only loans, Mr Plank said the recent trend has been a lowering of interest rates on fixed rate investor loans and an easing of lending criteria rather than a tightening.

    “At present we think the likelihood is that the continued low interest rate environment will see recovery in house prices in the second half of this year,” Mr Plank said. ]


    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      So increasing house price wealth for the punters is a function of new debt creation while bank manager CEOs take home $12 million pa ………..
      Pity the poor last holders of the debt pool……there has to be a point where the repayments on the debt levels required to keep it going can not be met by the punters income …..and who will be there for them ?
      …………….Mr Plank will be long gone with his take from the scam …..how far can he get …$15-$20 mil…………where is the leadership of Straya in this disgrace ?

      • With wages going nowhere that point is not far.

        I think someone will respond to my comment with – 18 months.

  32. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    I might not have been first,…But I’ve just taken the 400th post,…eat that Haroldus!

  33. http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2018/03/the-big-three.html

    the punch line

    It is precisely because progressive democracy continuously threatens to collect MORE taxes than the citizens are willing to pay (in order, for example, to ameliorate climate change and restore ecological habitats)—it is because of this that democracy, itself, must be challenged, threatened, held in check, to protect the pocketbooks of a wealthy class that loathes and fears, above all else, the taxation of their wealth.

    It is the complex interaction of failing democracies, collapsing ecosystems, and the corrupt, profiteering, manipulation of the old “commodity” money-rules and norms, that drives failed states and mass migration—which, in turn, are rapidly giving rise to national bigotries and the marginalization of hundreds of millions of men, women, and children forced to flee from unlivable conditions while being provided no place to go.

    In the case of each of these challenges, a constructive confrontation can only begin with a sweeping acknowledgement that the old “commodity” money-rules and norms are no longer applicable to our modern social economy—nor have they been for over half a century. Modern fiat money, we now understand, moves in a direction opposite the old mercantilist “commodity” money: instead of moving from the citizens to the democratic state—in the form of taxes—it moves from the democratic state to the citizens (and subsequently to the “mercantiles”) in the form of sovereign spending. And it is precisely this democratic sovereign spending, well considered and strategically directed, that can indeed:

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Is that you Skipp?,…I hope so,…Id be heartbroken if MB had actually lost our Skippy.

      Anyway,…I found this to be Bullsh#t,

      “It is precisely because sovereign democracies cannot collect enough taxes that it appears climate change and ecological collapse cannot be addressed—the “cost” is simply too high for tax-dollars to cover. Worse, we are in a Catch-22 which demands that to increase tax-dollars collected, it is necessary to expand the business development that is the root cause of the climate change and ecological collapse we seek to correct.”

      Sovereign Democracies can produce all the fiat that is required to address “climate change and ecological collapse” as well as providing the social safety net, of a robust welfare state,…without taxing everyone to death.
      How much QE was created out of thin air to sustain asset prices post GFC,…22 trillion wasn’t it?
      Money is created out of “thin air” all the time,…for speculative gambling/”Investment’ pursuits by the private sector.
      Why not “turn on the Printing Presses” to develop a 100% Australian developed and built, renewable electricity grid for the whole country.
      Cheapest electricity in the world would help with our National competitiveness,…and if combined with a collapsing dollar due to “Sovereign Risk” well well,…we might start making Sh#t again,…fancy that.
      You can put the Pr#cks running it on the same bonuses and KPIs as the Private sector uses,to manage efficiency and time management concerns,…It can all be so easily be done in the 21st century.
      If only not, for those Plutocratic Ar$e holes and their toadies.

      • Re read it, not saying what you think it does.

        BTW that is exactly how America promoted its best era, made the cost of doing business low. Now look at it.

      • Skip? That’s what I thought reading his comments above.Thanks for the article on the misuse of Game Theory, Putin..