Weekend Reading: 2-3 June 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Unconventional Economist


      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        I’ll have a lolly cause I think I’m becoming normal. Veged out all week,no surfs, no rides no weights, had a big load of Mac’s yesterday. This morning got a guts ache quarter way up the hill then gave up and backed off, mate thrashed me, then even got passed by 3 sheilas.

      • @Boom
        I know just how you feel, went Mountain Biking yesterday and got smoked by a shelia on the downhill!
        Farkme I know the old legs don’t work that well on the uphills but I got absolutely smoked on a technical downhill single track. I can still beat most blokes half my age on the downhill sections yet I got absolutely chopped, came home and told my wife and all she did was laugh, poke at my tummy and suggest I was quickly becoming a couch potato.

      • Interesting Boomy. How often are you taking complete breaks from it? I found once I hit 40s that I could no longer take my (previous) annual two week break from all exercise. It’s better for me to keep the program going otherwise the body just completely falls apart!

      • Embrace it. Let it happen. Let the big Mac’s wash over you…
        Personally I’ve got my first kid arriving in a few weeks and I’m 100% planning on leaning into the Dad Bod thing. I may have already been working on it for months.

      • Dad bod? No… Don’t do it. I will be disappointed if my significant other lets herself go after kids.. I will be disappointed if I do it.

        I reckon that’s what causes half of divorces. I have a friend who became a dad and is stacking on the weight. I worry about him.

      • @boyracer A black diamond single track at Glenrock called BJ’s I was passing through Newie and hadn’t ridden that track in a long time, started at the water towers got warmed up on the top section (think it’s called Kenny’s) and then started into BJ’s. I got over the difficult entry and thought I was booming down the bumps at the top when this girl blasts past me her with weight way back, really just riding the back wheel over all the bumps no brakes just speed and technique. Then to add a little insult she drops down to do a perfect Endo turn swinging her back wheel around onto the trunk/roots of this massive tree….impressive stuff. I tried to speed up and ride her wheel but I had no chance she was gone.

      • boyracerMEMBER

        @fisho. Glenrock is a great spot.I’m a bit jealous of the guys that live in the area and can include a quick blat around it as part of their daily commute.

        Plenty of good options in and around Newcastle – shame my mtb days are mostly over. I have to experience it vicariously nowadays!!

      • @br what’s this too old to MTB talk, it’s ideas like that that sap your confidence…. next thing you know you’re eating a dirt sandwich. Nah as they say… Go hard or go home.
        I’ve told my kids that when I’m old, well over 80, I want them to find some 20 something mountain biking friends with huge ego’s so that I can teach them how to descend geriatrics style. you know something simple $200 bucks side bet …and go for it …I’m certain the youtube of a 20something wannabe smoked downhill mountain biking by an 80 year old would go viral….5 min’s of fame before I check out….sounds like a plan.
        In the mean time I’ve got to keep the skills from getting rusty.

      • boyracerMEMBER

        haha it’s not age that is the problem. I can still ride and keep up a decent clip although the hills now knock me for six unfortunately (I used to be a whippet up them).

        Injury is what destroyed me – I ride for more than 20 minutes and my feet swell up something fierce – plantar fasciitis I think. Worst I’ve had is not being able to walk for 2 days after a 4 hr enduro. Strangely enough I could still ride but as soon as I got off the bike I’d fall over.

        Old age I could accept. Injuries are just a kick in the teeth!

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Fisho my 41yo mate is only a little more than half my age.
        Jimbo, used to have unplanned spasmodic breaks but this roasting was probably due to the Macca’s and the missus being sick all week which I may have caught a little of, or bio rhythms, or just slackness, or,or.who cares.
        Usually more than a week and half is detrimental as opposed to less than that beneficial.
        Excuses, excuses.
        BTW, guts ache went away after a few hundred metres and smoked him on the next big hill (not as big, Forrest Way)

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Whoa time gets away, was for a while less than half my age but now bit more than inferred above.

      • I used to ride out that way when I was a young man, I was pretty good on road bike back than, regularly rode down Roseville bridge, Forrest way out to Whale beach bit of a swim and then back via Mona Vale Rd or throw in a quick loop out to Cottage Point. I was fit in those days, Sydney hills were easy after I returned from living in Germany. 100M assents are easy it’s 1000M assents that always did me in, I’ve no idea how those Tour guys do it day in day out. for a month.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Fisho, respect to you.
        Mccarrs Creek Rd is supposed to be 6klm of hill climb, not sure. Years ago did similar to you, Collaroy to Gore Bay with 50lb weight repaired for the North Sydney Police Club in a steel box on the back of my $5 bike passing cars down the Roseville Bridge.(can’t believe still alive) Also 90’s DY to Palm Beach with 68 chain ring 11 cluster only 5 gears in total.

      • I occasionally raced specially built bikes down Roseville bridge back in the early 80’s
        They had something like a 68 Chain wheel with 11 cluster, we’d pull in behind a Combie van that gunned it down the hill and then pass them on the bridge. those joins on the bridge used used to send you flying and if the wind was blowing you’d land what felt like a 1ft away.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Fisho, story behind the story quite hilarious.
        Never have been a proper cyclist, just a punter who loved riding to work (1970’s) detouring to carrying 50 lb repaired weights and engine heads on the back of the box on the back of the old back pedal brake cheap bike. Sea level to Beacon Hill to Roseville bridge near sea level to top of Artarmon near Channel 2 tower back to sea level every day.
        Rocked up to race, confronted with a bevy of shiny expensive opposition. Thought they must have had some strategic plan, the reason being for me being so far ahead up the hill. Wasn’t until about the 3rd repair stop that the leaders flew past and after that it was all catch up break down catch up break down.
        The funny part was when reached the finish, the media were about to interview the winners when one yelled out hey look at this guy and all rushed over leaving the winners by themselves.

  1. The ALP must raise the GST-free threshold to A$500.

    Cutting it to $0 probably means it will cost more to enforce than is worth. Why else is it not $0 in Canada and Britain?

    In 2013, we were told:

    The question for governments is whether Australia’s customs and border system can be changed so that lowering the threshold will bring in more revenue than it costs.

    Mr Baird is correct in saying the UK and Canada have low thresholds, but whether something similar can be achieved here is uncertain.


    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      The threshold isn’t really an issue with the vendor collection model the government has chosen since the ‘admin’ costs are the same whether the item is $1 or $999 once the systems are set up (primarily software). No-one will be manually inspecting or holding packages entering the country (for the purposes of GST collection).

      The existing rules of physical detainment of goods over $1,000 until GST/customs are paid will be retained but aren’t being applied to cheaper imports.

      There’s obviously going to be leakage and imperfection due to the vendor approach but it’s clearly a tradeoff between efficiency of operation and revenue collected. There’s no doubt many small suppliers of imports will either not be aware of their obligations to collect GST (or the conditions under which they are required to – re: $75k GST threshold, or to ask for and exempt businesses from paying it on imports if they provide a valid ABN/TFN).

      My best guess from first principles is that if the big electronic distribution platforms comply (ebay, amazon, alibaba, etsy) plus the larger individual companies then the expectation is most of the revenue will come in. These sources are also most able to be pressured through diplomatic/treaty channels if they refuse to assist.

      • adelaide_economist, what about when a guy goes to Bangkok, fills up the suitcase with goods, and comes back?

      • What you are saying, in effect, is that the gst collection is voluntary. So Scott Morrison just miscalculated with Amazon and they spat the dummy.

        This just doesn’t make sense. If the big guys just comply and charge 10%, then the impact on online sales will be negligible. If small OS sellers can just ignore it, then no effect. If Amazon geo blocks us, then people will be unhappy and blame Scott or Amazon. All this for a 0.6% boost to GST?

        The irony of all this is that whatever they do, nobody is going to pony up $300 for a canvas bag from .com.au when they can see it is $9.99 on the US site.

  2. https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/it-s-early-days-but-amazon-may-have-misread-the-australian-market-20180531-p4ziol.html
    My initial reaction to Amazon’s decision to stop shipping to Australia due to the government’s GST changes was furious at the failure of our government to reach some agreement with Amazon on the tax collection issue. I do shop at Amazon US as many Australians do primarily for things that are not available here. However, reading a bit more about this, it appears that there are various view points and interpretations to this issue. Is this a logistical issue for Amazon (to collect the tax) or there are some other reasons behind their decision? How do other overseas online companies comply with the new tax changes? How much did our oligopolies play a role in swaying the government’s decision towards an outcome in their favor? Is this a manifestation of our government’s inability to adopt to the changing global commerce landscape? How did other governments around the world deal with this issue?

    • Not just the consumer. A lot of small businesses import stuff from OS and if the GST means that customs gets involved, then it is a major pain. Unless you have actually dealt with the machinery of Fedex and UPS, you may not know what a monster this is. Triggering GST collection could mean a whole world of pain. It is not the 10% that anybody cares about. It is the red tape of collection that is being activated.

      Suppose that some big suppliers like Amazon do collect the gst. That means that the goods can be shipped to Aus with no customs. Small OS retailers might not have a way of collecting the gst and sending it to Australia. Does this mean the gst will need to be collected in Aus? Do Fedex need to change their system to flag gst paid or not gst paid? Anyone who has used the online shipping software of Fedex and UPS will be getting shivers up their spine just thinking about it.

      The complexities of this seem to be extreme. I think that if they seriously enforce this after July there will be howls of pain from all over the place. Not fro the 10%, but from the unintended consequences.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        Well slomo must be thanking his lucky stars that small business doesn’t vote tory.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Darkie, bought a battery for my Tomtom from the battery specialist yesterday, $32 got home saw it on Ebay $12. What can you say.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Bought a end milling cutter at a good price $28+ from Newcastle Aust, got the invoice $44 including gst +freight.
        Bought a better quality similar end mill from England via Ebay $10 no gst no freight.
        Sending other stuff across Syd dearer than other side of the world WTF.. What can you say.

      • The productivity commission noted that expected collections were $400M and no one knows if that is correct. That would represent 0.6% of the $60B GST collected each year.

        Sounds like a lot of political pain for not much gain now that Amazon are refusing to play nice.

        From the Overview pdf

        The legislated collection model

        CONCLUSION 1
        The legislated model should improve tax neutrality between imported and domestically retailed low value goods, and avoid major disruption for consumers when importing goods. However, the revenue collected is likely to be modest and will depend on the rate of compliance, for which no precise estimates are possible. Foreign suppliers will incur significant costs in complying with the legislated model and, as under any collection model, consumers will face higher prices.

        Is there a superior model?
        CONCLUSION 2
        Collection models where the legal liability for GST falls on entities within Australia’s jurisdiction and information technologies are used to monitor enforcement or facilitate collection at modest cost would avoid some of the limitations with the legislated model. Models of this kind (e.g. transporter, financial intermediary and self-assessment by purchasers) have been proposed. However, their efficacy is untested and they would not be ready for deployment by mid-2018.

        The way ahead
        CONCLUSION 3
        Given the decision to collect GST on low value imported goods and the current limitations of alternatives, the legislated model is the most feasible at this time.

      • This is my concern. I don’t care about paying 10%, however where is the gst collected, in Aus or OS? If it’s OS how many companies would bother selling niche items to Aus, ving an Aus accountant and ABN etc. wouldn’t pay out. I buy a lot of small things from OS that are hard to find here, this decision by our wanker govt could mean we simply don’t have access to these products anymore even at any price.

      • The sales tax system in the United States is fifty times more complicated than our GST. It is all based on the shipping address. The rate varies not only from state to state but in some cases even from city to city within a state. Amazon already deals with all of that, but somehow they claim that our simple system of 10% throughout the whole country is too complex for them to handle.

      • Amazon already deals with all of that, but somehow they claim that our simple system of 10% throughout the whole country is too complex for them to handle.

        First, that link explains US taxes – all remitted in US dollars. What we are talking about is them collecting tax on behalf of a foreign country in a different currency.

        What currency would they remit to the Australian government in?
        Would they capture the gst at the time of sale and convert it to $au?
        What happens if the exchange rate changes between capture and remittance?

        amazon.au is run in Australia with au currency and au tax built into their system. Trying to capture gst in a foreign currency seems to be a major headache – I am not surprised they just block the sales. On top of that, you have not considered how the gst flag would ripple through the carriers like Fedex and UPS.

        Is there any example of a company like Amazon collecting tax for a foreign government? I believe that European/UK VAT is all handled at the entry point. Whenever I have shipped to Europe or UK the duties are on the receiver.

        Amazon have an AU outpost – why would they support this mickey mouse tax collector bullsh1t?

      • We don’t need no damned businesses here. Especially we don’t need no damned businesses who pay their GST and income tax!! Get rid of them. We don’t need no damned shops where we can go look at things so we can know what we are buying on the internet! We don’t need no damned businesses to employ our young people! Who gives a RA? The bloody hypocrisy in here is just amazing…and typical!!
        GST is only a part of the issue and a minor one at that. Aus Post is the BIG problem. You can get stuff posted from China to a customer in say Toowoomba or Roma for a fraction of the cost of sending from Brisbane to those destinations. People who warehouse here and send out to either retailers or even direc.t are screwed in this situation

        But who gives a RA? As long as people in Sydney and Melbourne can buy more crap cheap that’s what’s important!! FFS!

        Is this a GREAT country or what!!!

      • Well Oz Post is told they must deliver letters nearly everywhere for the same price, so it’s a big loss making business. On the other hand they’ve been told to compete with private parcel delivery services, so they’re just behaving like a business, prioritising their services to where they can make a profitable through volume and charging a premium to the unprofitable low volume destinations. It used to be called “economic rationalism”, public service is always bad, private service and profit is always good. Competition always good. Business, pure and simple, nothing to do with morality or wet notions like “national interest”. Now get with the program.

      • Flawse – The shipping problem is huge, especially if you are an exporter. A small .5Kg package airmail to US or UK will be pushing $20. Almost the same cost as fedex. It is well known that Aust Post subsidises the import costs – allowing a little $5 trinket from China to be delivered here for almost free. Meanwhile, shipping a 4kg box to Perth is about $120 – exactly the same as Fedexing that box to the US. How can that be true?

        It is nice to think about the old days when we have real shops with stuff to buy in them, but that ship has sailed. As you probably know, to run anything like that in Australia you need to have a specialised market, probably one where you deal in big stuff that can’t be shipped easily. We did this to ourselves with a busted economic model that means banking and RE are the only ways to make a buck.

        There is a bit of hypocrisy here to be fair – a lot of the people who want open access to world markets probably want to own IPs as well. On the other hand, it is a slap in the face for Scotty to lock in the bloated overpriced Aussie retail chain while giving a free pass to the big end of town.

        Also, for people in rural Australia, buying stuff over the internet has been a godsend. Sending them off to .com.au for 2-3 times the price will not go down well at all.

    • How did other governments around the world deal with this issue?

      As I said above, Britain and Canada have a threshold.

      • Ireland did too, any goods over a certain amount attract tax if imported outside of EU. However they would rarely enforce it in my experience. Maybe got stung 1 in 10 times.

    • Logistical monopoly gets angry when government does not genuflect to its will.

      Yet some around here say all government does is facilitate oligarchs, especially when considering international influences. That’s not even mentioning Amazons treatment of employees or security state connections, but yeah, cheap stuff….. seems some ideology’s internal coherency is a bit wobbly… time to externalize I guess….

    • SweeperMEMBER

      Morrison is finally right about something. It’s a joke that they think they shouldn’t have to collect the GST.
      Imports where GST hasn’t been charged should just be impounded for collection pending the consumer paying the tax plus storage fee & penalty directly. libertarians are big believers in the no free lunch doctrine and all.

      • Sweeps,

        You need to watch Morrison’s video. It is some of his best work.


        He is not saying the evil foreign retailers are avoiding collecting a tax. He says they are avoiding paying the tax.

        He is definitely wrong regardless of whether this less than 0.6% of GST collection truly is the final battle between socialism and some libertarian figment of your imagination.

        GST is paid by the consumer not the retailer. Consumers are the ones dodging the GST by buying from an offshore supplier.

        How this has anything to do with the evil libertarians from Silicon Valley anyway is a mystery.

        It is simply a matter of tax collection and whose job it should be.

        I know you dont like reading my links but you should have a read of the PC report that Morrison is flapping around and I linked to above.

        They float a range of alternatives that might work better but getting them up and running by July 2018 was the issue.

        Whether the GST is a fair and equitable tax is an issue that we can leave for another day.

      • Morrison is finally right about something. It’s a joke that they think they shouldn’t have to collect the GST.
        Imports where GST hasn’t been charged should just be impounded for collection pending the consumer paying the tax plus storage fee & penalty directly. libertarians are big believers in the no free lunch doctrine and all.

        Back to front as usual, Sweeper. This is not about the 10% gst – nobody cares. The reason for this change is to use red tape to make importing things much less attractive. The issue here is that the $1000 threshold made buying all sorts of stuff from OS attractive – it exposed the fact that local retailers sell the same thing for 2-3 times the price. In many cases they don’t even sell it at all.

        Why do retail items in Australia get marked up double or triple? Because everyone in Australia lives in a million dollar house and wants to drive a BMW (no pedants please). If someone in the US can sell you a book (with Amazon taking a cut), ship it to Australia and make a profit, why can’t an Australian retailer get within 20% of this. Even with 10% gst it doesn’t make sense.

        The thing is that for many businesses, the supply chain has been automated and is now dominated by a big efficient player that has made the others look like Flintstones. As an example, for electronic parts pretty much everyone will need to use digikey.com These guys will ship small orders of a few hundred dollars from the US – UPS free shipping – in 3 days. Simple and cheap – unless you go above $1000. Then the Flintstones effect takes over and 10% gst must be collected by incompetent Australians dreaming of their IPs, and that will be a flat fee (I think it is about $85). With a zero threshhold then buying small orders is not worth it. Again, not because of the 10% gst (nobody cares), but because of involving the Australian Flintstone form fillers.

        The truth is that Blockhead Scotty has thrown up a trade barrier and is spinning it as Amazon avoiding paying tax. Bull! The gst is paid by the customer. Why would anybody think that the Australian govt can dictate to an international company that they must collect tax on their behalf? It seems reasonable that lots of businesses (not just Amazon) will just wipe Australia as a destination because it is not worth it.

        Most people here probably do not have a lot of experience with international shipping. My company ships stuff all over the world, so I can say from experience that red tape is a massive problem. Some places are a no-go zone because of problems. For example.

        Africa (except SA) – order goes straight in the bin. Unshippable.
        South America – blocked at customs, requires ridiculous numbers and codes – usually not worth it. Airmail will be stolen.
        India – Indians know not to buy internationally because the cost to get through customs will dwarf the item cost.
        Russia – do not ship to Russia. Airmail will be stolen. Fedex only ship to business (and mostly can’t find the address)

        And, lastly red tape often causes sticker shock – where the customer sees the extra import charges and refuses the item, then cancels the credit card payment. If it was a Fedex shipment. Fedex then gives you the option of return at your expense (plus a $100-$200 fee), or destroy the shipment.

        So, the countries with the red tape and import barriers are in general the backward ones. Australia can now join in.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        I am not sure how what I said is inconsistent with your links 007 (or Morrisons statement).

        “He is not saying the evil foreign retailers are avoiding collecting a tax. He says they are avoiding paying the tax”.

        These are the same thing you realise? To be able to pay the tax the vendor first of all needs to collect it.
        This is Amazon’s issue they don’t argue that the goods they are selling should not attract GST they just don’t think they should be responsible for collecting it. Their cop out excuse is to say Australia Post largely should bear the compliance burden.

        Maybe you should have read your own links. In Morrisons own words:

        “Legislation has been passed that will collect GST on low value imported goods from 1 July 2018. The legislation uses a vendor collection model, whereby vendors (including suppliers and online marketplaces) will
        *collect* (my emphasis) the GST on low value imported goods at the time of sale”.

        then in “key points”:

        “The Australian Parliament recently legislated to apply the GST to low value imported goods from July 2018, using a streamlined collection model that places the responsibility for assessing, *collecting* (my emphasis) and remitting the tax on foreign suppliers”.

        “Following more debate and research, the Australian Parliament recently legislated for new measures to collect GST on these goods, to commence on 1 July 2018. The legislation retains the $1000 ‘low value threshold’, but provides for a new, streamlined collection model for imported goods falling under the threshold. In essence, under the legislated model:
        • foreign vendors, as well as redeliverers and ‘electronic distribution platforms’ (EDPs), such as Amazon and eBay, would be liable for GST on low value imported goods sold to an Australian consumer (without the involvement of customs authorities)
        • only those foreign suppliers that make sales of more than $75 000 to consumers in Australia each year would be required to register for and *collect* (my emphasis) GST. (Sales from foreign vendors below that threshold, if supplied through EDPs or redeliverers, would also be liable for GST)
        • foreign suppliers would be expected to include a GST component in the price of their goods, as domestic businesses do, and periodically remit this to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

        note 007 that for larger value bulk items customs collects the GST indirectly from the importer via the freight provider usually but the cost of having customs collect the GST here would outwiegh the revenue as your links also note.
        In this case because Amazon is the last link in the supply chain to the consumer (ie. selling direct to consumer) Amazon should be the one collecting/paying it to the ATO under a consistent intepretation.

        “GST is paid by the consumer not the retailer”.

        Thanks for the heads up. I would never have know how the GST is returned along the supply chain and that the tax incidence is with the consumer were it not for your insight.

        “Consumers are the ones dodging the GST by buying from an offshore supplier”.

        Probably why I said the consumer should have their goods impounded, to be collected pending them paying the GST directly plus storage and penalty.

        “How this has anything to do with the evil libertarians from Silicon Valley anyway is a mystery”.

        Because I rank the libertarian consumers freedom to evade tax on worthless crap from overseas well below the states right to raise revenue for community services and support the local economy.

      • The joke’s on you mate, I’m glad you feel the need to pay extra tax to our corrupt, thieving govt. However myself? Our politicians can go to hell and they do not deserve 1 extra cent.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        “Why do retail items in Australia get marked up double or triple? Because everyone in Australia lives in a million dollar house and wants to drive a BMW (no pedants please)”

        Heaps of reasons; retail competition, retail labour cost v overseas cost, cost of overheads and the biggest being the cost of freight per unit. Smaller and less connected markets have a higher freight cost per unit

        “The issue here is that the $1000 threshold made buying all sorts of stuff from OS attractive – it exposed the fact that local retailers sell the same thing for 2-3 times the price”.

        So what your saying here is that rather than enforce competition laws and look into retailers profit margins, instead the taxpayer should subsidize consumer purchases of imported garbage.


        And why should the same item from the same producer be taxable if imported in bulk but not be taxable if imported via a “distribution platform”?
        Maybe 007 would like to answer that as well.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        I’d rather pay tax to the government than pay 10% of a someone’s worthless overseas purchases.

      • Sweeper,

        Cheers for reading the links.

        Your summary provides an excellent explanation of why the PC commission conclusion was essentially.

        “Scotty your plan will drive up costs for suppliers and consumers and compliance will essentially be voluntary. There are better solutions and it will probably will raise peanuts but if you are determined to start in July 2018 it is ‘feasible’.

        Feasible is the perfect word for most of what Scott Morrison does.

        Rather than come up with a better solution that extracts the GST from the Australian consumer for buying imported “Junk” efficiently we go with a defective slug?

        So buying on-line from on offshore supplier makes a person a “Libertarian consumer?”

        I hope Border Farce impounds all the Hardcover glossy editions of Atlas Shrugged ordered from book depository by those horrid creatures.

        Darkmatter’s assessment sounds about right. It is really about stopping people bypassing local distribution and retail networks.

        Anyway the $75,000 threshold means all those offshore small scale sweatshop retailers of junk can proceed unmolested by Scott’s plan. How does that work anyway? How do charge the GST before you know if your sales will top $75,000?

        Its a complete farce.

        Your support for Scott is the weirdest part of all.

      • Heaps of reasons; retail competition, retail labour cost v overseas cost, cost of overheads and the biggest being the cost of freight per unit. Smaller and less connected markets have a higher freight cost per unit

        Missed the point. The higher freight cost is irrelevant because even with air freight (individually) from the US, it is still much cheaper. The point is that because of our broken economic model based on housing debt, any Australian who touches an item activates the “Australia Tax”. Again, nobody cares about the 10% gst. That is not the issue. Did you not read that?

        “The issue here is that the $1000 threshold made buying all sorts of stuff from OS attractive – it exposed the fact that local retailers sell the same thing for 2-3 times the price”.

        So what your saying here is that rather than enforce competition laws and look into retailers profit margins, instead the taxpayer should subsidize consumer purchases of imported garbage.


        What a narrow and parochial attitude you have. https://www.digikey.com/ – how is this imported garbage? And, you keep missing the point. Again, for about the 10th time, nobody cares about the 10% – buying OS would still be much cheaper, including the air freight. In fact, if you are an Australian company that makes things and then exports them (which is supposed to be what we want more of), then the gst is not relevant as it gets refunded anyway. Exports are not subject to gst, so all the gst inputs get refunded. The issue here is that collecting the 10% adds a huge amount of friction. If you import something, pay gst, then re-export it, the gst get refunded but the collection fees incurred do not get refunded. They are just more overheads.

        And why should the same item from the same producer be taxable if imported in bulk but not be taxable if imported via a “distribution platform”?
        Because that threshold acknowledges the counterproductive waste of red tape for small transactions.

        This all boils down to the fact that Australia is not competitive. Our economy is built around unrealistic prices to support a corrupt and dysfunctional financial system. Scotty wants it both ways. Po faced little stickler for the rules on imports, but blind eye to money laundering and illegal foreign property transactions. If the politicians really did believe in “free markets”, then there would be no way that flying a paperback book half way round the world would be cheaper than buying it locally. If your “Clockwork Financial Models” really did work, then flying stuff half way around the world would be ridiculous and never be a problem.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        So who should wear the compliance cost? Australia Post ie the taxpayer per Amazon’s ever helpful suggestion.

        Let’s face it this boils down to a regulation arbitrageur and libertarian minded consumers having a hissy fit upon losing state subsidies even though they don’t believe in subsidies on religious grounds.

        And why does it follow that Morrison must be wrong on this because he was wrong on money laundering?

      • And why does it follow that Morrison must be wrong on this because he was wrong on money laundering?

        Because it is inconsistent. He doesn’t care about 0.6% (as per pfh007 above) – actually less if Aust Post is collecting it inefficiently.

        He is pandering to people like Gerry Harvey who want to protect themselves from the efficiencies of the free market and keep the “Australian Broken Business Model” safe and well. Just like he panders to the money launderers who want a free pass as well.

        So in Scott Morrisons world –

        Money Launderer wants to use Australian Real Estate – Free Pass

        Guy who wants a $200 Special Keybooard from the US – NO FREE PASS + sanctimonius sermon (tax cheat, subsidised by tax payers, level playing field, protect aussie business, hard working mums and dads forced to subsidise OS garbage, Evil Amazon avoiding paying their tax, etc. etc.)

        How about Scotty tackles the 0.6% missing gst AFTER he fixes all the other huge bullsh1it with the Banks, the energy cartel, wrecking our cities with population ponzi and so on?

      • SweeperMEMBER

        GST obligations are hardly voluntary 007.

        and as usual I note you didn’t answer my question:

        “why should the same item from the same producer be taxable if imported in bulk but not be taxable if imported via a “distribution platform””?

        re. Morrison: same answer I gave DarkMatter; just because he is wrong on money laundering & most other things doesn’t mean he is wrong on this.

        You should ask yourself why you are supporting a multinationals efforts to undermine a democratic nation state. There is also track record here. eg. Barclays & bitcoin.

      • Sweeper,

        They are voluntary because the supplier is outside control of our legal system.

        They dont have to do anything at all. Which means if they decide to collect the GST and hand it over it is purely voluntary.

        Your gripe is that the consumers should be forced to pay the GST, if the foreign supplier fails to do so, so everyone in the market is on level playing field.

        I have no quarrel with that but it needs to be done efficiently and at lowest cost and inconvenience to everyone. Which is the point the PC report makes.

        My quarrel is with your support for the hopeless but ‘feasible’ model rushed in by Morrison.

        I will applaud Morrison however, as it is quite brillant that he has managed to convince old school lefties like you that he is striking a blow against evil libertarians and neoliberalism with this policy.

        He deserves credit for that at least.

        The only reason Morrison is upset is because for <0.6% of GST revenue Amazon are making him look like a turkey and he is freaking out that he is now annoying a bunch of voters – or as you describe them – libertarian consumers of junk.

        As DarkMatter notes this was all about pandering to Gerry Harvey and nothing more.

      • Sweeper,
        you missed the biggest expense-rent. This is more about protecting the price of land under Westfield and HN than fairness.
        Why not make a deal with credit card providers and PayPal. For everything with Australian delivery address, they add 10%. Out of that 10%, they can keep let’s say 1% for their effort. I am sure that they can come up with some simple solution like that.
        Many retailers splitting parcels to be under 1000 to avoid GST. This way they would have to pay too.
        Another thing re.imported garbage. Everything they sell in HN and Westfield is imported garbage too, because we don’t make things here anymore.

      • Well, Sweeper, good luck with your moral crusade to bring those evil deplorables to book with their junk imports. Impose a GST collection on a $50 item and watch it get abandoned. The customer will then cancel the credit card transaction. The shipper will call their bank and prove that the item was delivered but refused collection. The bank will tell the shipper to suck eggs and try phoning Interpol. That is actually true – it happened! That was what the NAB said even with a copy of customer signature for collection. Not their problem – phone Interpol.

        A few OS companies get a return or destroy phone call from fedex and they will ban Aussie in a heartbeat. This will be fun to watch.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        btw DarkMatter why would it be a bad thing if it was a protectionist policy?
        imo we should bring back import licensing to cover individuals.

      • btw DarkMatter why would it be a bad thing if it was a protectionist policy?
        imo we should bring back import licensing to cover individuals.

        Yes, good idea. Let’s copy Argentina and Zimbabwe and move on back to the 19th century. We don’t really need to be part of the modern world. Any money not spent on servicing Bank Debt is wasted money, I say. Generating wealth through Interest Charges, that’s the ticket.

        You will be right – do you still have your ink pot and quill?

      • Sweeper

        What question are you talking about?


        “..“why should the same item from the same producer be taxable if imported in bulk but not be taxable if imported via a “distribution platform””?…”

        I agreed with you that there should be a level playing field. Would you like some neon and flashing lights?

        That you agree with Scott Morrison’s hopeless policy that will not work and the PC think is a ‘feasible’ dud is something you need to justify.

        But sometimes you just need to admit you got it wrong……like Scott Morrison.

      • Sweeper is spot on!!!
        DM you are right about our cost structure – but not everyone drives a BMW and lives in a million dollar house – only in Sydney and Melbourne. The fact is we have what we have. I also understand your issues with the red tape involved however as a business here we have to deal with the bloody red tape AND the GST.

        pfh MY BUSINESS has to collect the GST!!! So we want to destroy local businesses by forcing them to pay all the high costs of the country; by forcing them to handle all the admin costs; by forcing them to collect the GST – well we have to pay for it then collect it basically speaking; then I have to pay Aus Post’s outlandish charges so that the morons at the top can get paid millions? I run the risk of something going wrong, being sued and forced out of business – ry suing someone in China!!!

        Again ALL that has mattered in what is written here is that parasites sitting in Sydney and Melbourne can check out the stuff in the expensive local shop, taking up the owner’s time and expense, then go and buy it cheaper from someone shipping direct from China or wherever.
        Talk about a low ebb!

      • Flawse,

        It is great to hear that you and Sweeper are going to put on the speedos and cut the undersea cables to save Australian retail.

        Sweepers plan is simple.

        If all of the retailers of the world refuse to collect GST for Mr Morrison every parcel and letter from overseas shall be impounded until someone calculates and collects the GST owed by the purchaser or checks if it has already been paid.


        Should keep an army of packet pokers busy in Sydney and Melbourne. More jobs for parasites in Sydney.

        Much cheaper and easier to just pull the plug on the interwebs to stop those crafty offshore mail order consumers.

        Problem is that MOST mail order is to Australian online shops who pay GST and still undercut brick and mortar shops in Westfields. Perhaps we should charge 20% GST for stuff bought online to give the malls a hand.

        Or we could do what the PC report suggests and get the banks to update their software so they can tag transactions as having paid GST and if not whack it on or send a report to the ATO.

        Think how more easily this could be done if everyone used bank accounts operated by the RBA. They could send a please explain everytime a transaction without GST is registered.

        The ATO could then render a tax invoice for all the GST you did not pay and demand payment from the bank customer buying offshore.

        Mr Morrison has really done a great job getting both Sweeper and Flawse to fall for his dud model.

      • Flawse, I have to disagree with you here.

        You and Sweeper keep pitching this as a righteous punishment for the frivolous shoppers of the big cities. That is a very narrow view, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        For a start, anyone who imports stuff in bulk is already covered. If we buy $50k of stuff from US or UK then it is held until GST and duties are paid. We already do that, no problem. For small stuff, the corner shop model is dead. It has failed and it will not come back. With the internet we can buy stuff from anywhere – it is like mail order on steroids. Scotty trying to revive Gerry Harvey and his $100 kettle shops is a lost cause. That ship has sailed.

        You seem to think this is all about priveledged wankers in the cities buying handbags online. Just because you hate them doesn’t mean that you can let Scott Morrison pull a dirty trick. As has been noted here about 50 times, it is not about the 10% GST. That is a red herring. The goal is to make it impractical to buy stuff from OS by using the inefficiency of Aust post and similar as an artificial trade barrier. That is a hell of way to run the economy.

        There will be unintended consequences. You may only see retail, but lots of tiny businesses rely on importing bits and pieces from all over the world. I gave an example of digikey.com – any business that repairs, builds or makes anything with electronic parts will depend on these guys. That means startups in AI or robotics, solar equipment, and so on. Their life will be much harder now, and if companies like Digikey block us, we might as well be Zimbabwe. I would imagine that the problem will be much worse for people who deal with mechanical devices.

        Here is an example. In the US there are companies that are making small water turbine generators. So it would be interesting to try and build an energy storage system with a header tank. After July that means at best paying maybe an extra $100 for import paperwork, at worst the company just declines to ship to AU. So then you need to find a US reshipper. Too hard basket.

        If you want Australia to go back to the old days, why can’t we also go back to the old days without a broken economy and population ponzi? The answers lie back in time – but so do the old shops of the 1950’s.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Ultimately this is as dumb and wrongheaded as “blocking” torrent sites like thepiratebay, equally easy to workaround, and will be similarly “successful”.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        That’s how I see it as well Flawse. DarkMatter and 007 believe the freedom of a late night inner city internet shopper to buy imported garbage online ranks as more important than jobs and tax fairness and a level playing field for Australian businesses.

        And if you are a multinational “platform” (read regulation arbitrageur) well then you are spared all the GST obligations and compliance burden that every other small business selling in Australia has to wear.
        Yep just have a hissy fit about it, tell the parliament they are wrong and that Australia Post should wear it at taxpayers expense.
        Message from 007 and DarkMatter: if you are thinking of starting a business don’t do it in Australia. Set up shop overseas sell direct to the Aussie consumer boost your sales and avoid all GST obligations.

        And only last week 007 was saying the external liabilities are a huge issue; yet here he is arguing in favour of taxpayer subsidised imported junk. When every piece of taxpayer subsidised imported junk sold through the “platform” creates real external liabilities – not fake external liabilities like the ones flowing through existing housing and going straight out of the country again – real ones which have to be repaid with real goods (and not junk as the rest of the world isn’t as dumb as us)
        But hey let’s have the taxpayer subsidise imports of junk so that we can sell a bit more farmland and a few more mines.

      • Another well reasoned and balanced retort by Sweeper. Notice how skilfully he avoided inane repetition of slogans and strawpersons. Flawse – you have just been agreed with by an dill. That may not be what you want.

        “a late night inner city internet shopper to buy imported garbage”
        “more important than jobs and tax fairness and a level playing field for Australian businesses”
        “arguing in favour of taxpayer subsidised imported junk”
        “taxpayer subsidised imported junk”
        “and not junk as the rest of the world isn’t as dumb as us”
        “the taxpayer subsidise imports of junk”

        So, what you are saying is that all the stuff on the internet is junk or garbage. Could you spell it out for us a bit more, some readers might have missed that. Could you also clarify the late night aspect? Is the garbage purchased late night and the junk during daylight hours? I’m confused about this.

        Yes, blocking Australians from rat running Gerry and his band of retail scalpers will solve all our problems. Soon there will be corner stores and little shops springing up all over the place. Aust Post will be sitting on a pile of abandoned junk, the gst coffers will be full, people will be forced to buy kettles from Gerry and all will be right with Oz. It is a lovely dream.


      • Having backed himself into a corner supporting Scott Morrison’s dud model that the Productivity Commission would only describe as ‘feasible’ Sweeper is getting a bit frantic.

        Apparently Scott Morrison is fighting neoliberalism and libertarians and big city hipsters importing junk that they could buy locally from Australia’s finest junk craftsmen.

        The alternative of coming up with a model for making Australians pay GST on imports that is efficient, low cost and works is too hard for Scott and too hard for Sweeper.

        Go for the dud!

        Just shut it all down!

        Lets go with stupid.

        Wonderful performance.

        Perhaps the ATO could set up a webpage that allows people to pay GST on their ‘junk’ imports and scare them into paying with threats to examine credit card records.

        A few of Sweepers hysterical comments might help compel compliance.

        Perhaps Sweeper could lead the way with a few GST payments that he did not pay on his imported junk orders. Everyone would appreciate the leadership Sweeps.

      • OK – I just checked on Fedex for their solution. Having experienced Fedex Shipper software, my guess is that Fedex deliveries under $1K will take a big hit. It depends on whether they patch it so the shipper can ignore those boxes, but usually if you don’t fill the boxes then the software blocks you from proceeding.

        Unintended consequences.


        Where can I get further information on this new legislation?
        Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for further information,
        alternatively you can email the ATO at [email protected] or call
        +61 2 6216 1111.
        Where can I get further assistance on FedEx shipping software in order to
        provide GST registration details?
        Contact your local FedEx Technical Support team for all enquiries or
        assistance on FedEx automation products and applications. Contact details
        can be found on fedex.com.
        If I fail to provide FedEx with GST registration details, will my shipments be
        Businesses that are treated as the supplier of low value goods for GST
        purposes and are registered for GST are legally required to ensure that
        relevant tax information is provided to transporters. If this information is not
        provided electronically, FedEx will proceed with delivery, but the merchant
        may be subject to penalties applied by the ATO for non-compliance, further
        details of which can be found on the Australian Tax Office website.
        How do I know if I am required to register for GST?
        Merchants with annual sales into Australia of AUD75,000 or more will be
        required to register for GST and comply with this legislation. Please contact
        the ATO for further details.
        Will FedEx Share my GST registration details with the Australian Tax
        Transporters are required by the legislation to electronically report ARN
        and ABN details received from merchants to Australian Customs at time of
        importation into Australia.
        What is the definition of a Consumer who is liable to pay GST?
        A purchaser is a consumer if they are either:
         Not registered for Australian GST; or
         Registered for Australian GST but do not purchase the low value
        imported goods for use in their business in Australia
        What if any shipment to Australia has a declared value of more than
        There is no change to the current process, GST on High Value shipments
        will continue to be collected from the importer at time of importation.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I am intrigued by the notion that buying a pair of shoes from an overseas vendor makes them junk, but buying the exact same pair of shoes (at 2-3x the price) from a physical store down the street makes them… not junk ?

        Nobody is buying stuff from Amazon to save 10% in GST.

      • yes, drsmithy – for once we are in total agreement.

        These people have completely lost the plot. For the 51st time … NOBODY CARES ABOUT 10%.

        Unless the real issue here is that the cost of collecting the gst (even in Australia) is more like 100% – 200%. That would be an interesting argument.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        Never said bulk imports of the same product weren’t also junk Smithy.
        Merely that all junk should be taxed equally and sellers treated equally.

    • haroldusMEMBER

      My prediction. The second the first newspoll comes out after the ban Slomo will either:
      1) Roll over like a dog,
      2) Libspill, or
      3) Quit to head the HIA.

    • Thanks for all your comments. This is what makes MB great. No MSM article on this topic was able to provide any valuable insights.

      • Whatever gets clicks. And keeps people obsessed with housing.

        Now there’s a thought. Imagine the headlines after the crash finally washes out:

        “There are other asset classes you know”
        “Houses are for living in”
        “Why not just go surfing on Saturdays?”

      • Lol Arrow. I look forward to it. “This young couple made a fortune investing in their small business.”

    • For several months now, Domain have been doing this thing where they have an ambiguous headline that kind of suggests falling prices; when you click, the first few paragraphs talk about a soft market, but then it shifts gears, with a couple of cherry-picked examples, to suggest that there may still be pockets of growth that are bucking the trend.

    • Verified Queensland auction clearance result of 25%. 272 scheduled, 37 sold at auction, 28 before, 5 after, 202 passed in or result hidden by the agent. This of course doesn’t account for sales which are fraudulently declared by agents more than once. However, the good news is, a record number of vendors were successful in purchasing their own property with a vendor bid.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        However, the good news is, a record number of vendors were successful in purchasing their own property with a vendor bid.

        That’s great for the stamp duty.

        Oh that’s right, these winning bids don’t pay it, which shows what bullshark vendor bids are. My bugbear these are.

  3. When the safety net becomes the hammock: A fired-up Waterhouse, speaking about the racing industry, said: “Life’s just a bit too good in Australia.”“They’re not cut out for it. They’re not ready to do the hard work, they not ready to do the hard yards.“They haven’t been trained to do it and they’ve got the dole. They’ve got the comfort zone.”
    The Melbourne Cup-winning trainer said she and other horse trainers were forced to employ overseas workers to muck out stables and prepare horses for 3am track work.
    Waterhouse, who trained Fiorente to victory in the 2013 Melbourne Cup, said there were plenty of entry-level jobs available in horse racing for Aussies who wanted them.

    But she said they were turned off by the pre-dawn start times.
    “Nobody in Australia could run their stables if it wasn’t for the overseas backpackers or students on special visas,” Waterhouse said.
    Asked if she thought many young Aussies are lazy, Waterhouse said “not lazy … but with the dole it’s just too easy not to work”

    • Dopey economics for someone with bookies in their family. A dole cut would see half their customers disappear. (the other half is John McGrath and he’s on tick)

      • racing is in all sorts of trouble
        the money is going into pokies, in huge amounts
        (the numbers being put about for a new 7 tower development of the star casino here, would blow your mind)

    • Paddy Finucane

      Sounds like Australian racing relies of serfs. Irish racing does too, and gets them from Eastern Europe mainly

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Asked if she thought many young Aussies are lazy, Waterhouse said “not lazy … but with the dole it’s just too easy not to work”

      I’d take a wager she couldn’t live off the dole for a fortnight before tapping out.

      • drSmithy, on 8 April 2018, you said to DarkMatter (another UBI fan) “Im sure the same people would do their best to make claiming your UBI payment as demeaning as possible.” https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/04/weekend-reading-7-8-april-2018/#comment-3083124

        Ed Miliband says he wants UBI to replace the demeaning and intrusive dole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccZ53UVhYxk

        The dole is also lethal – some Aussies are required to be injured or killed while doing work for the dole.

        One does not claim UBI – the ATO would put money into the bank account of every voter every week.

        USA almost got an income guarantee under President Nixon – 90% of the newspapers in 1969 wanted it. Now, 90% of the newspapers are probably owned by Murdoch.

      • Of course she couldn’t. She has a job.
        Neither could I, it wouldn’t even cover my indemnity insurance nor even one quarterly BAS instalment.
        What is your point?

      • @Jacob

        you said to DarkMatter (another UBI fan)

        You may need to check your reading comprehension. I have posted on several occasions my opinion that UBI is riddled with problems that make it impractical. The main problem is that it assumes that people require money to support the consumer based economy, while at the same time conceding that human labour has no real value.

        The other big problem is that in an economy based on ticket clipping, UBI will just be absorbed by the ticket clippers and end up back at square one. UBI in a separate electronic currency may avoid some of that, but once you split the currency it is a new world.

      • @Jacob I demand that you apologise for besmirching me and lumping me in with drsmithy.

      • DarkMatter, I am besmirching nobody. If you look at your own posts from 8 Apr 2018 (link above), you said this:

        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?


        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.

        Unless there is another subscriber named DarkMatter, anybody reading your comments will feel that you prefer UBI to the current system.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Of course she couldn’t. She has a job.
        Neither could I, it wouldn’t even cover my indemnity insurance nor even one quarterly BAS instalment.

        Why would someone on the dole be paying indemnity insurance ?

        What is your point?

        Living on the dole is not easy, and usually the people claiming it is would have a snowball’s chance in hell of being able to survive even a couple of weeks on it.

      • @Jacob

        Unless there is another subscriber named DarkMatter, anybody reading your comments will feel that you prefer UBI to the current system.

        OK, you have taken literally what was a slightly rhetorical interchange between me and drsmithy. I sometimes forget that there are people reading these blogs who can’t follow complex arguments.

        I was illustrating the fact that UBI doesn’t involve ritual humiliation, and as such it would not appeal to the ruling classes of elites. What I was saying was a slightly jocular barb at the elites who make decisions not only on economic grounds, but on their desire to punish poor people as well. I was suggesting that drsmithy (convicted lefty) really should know that. So, with that brief interchange, I got to poke drsmithy in the ribs and make fun of the elites. UBI was being ridiculed, not promoted.

        One of the big problems we have now is that the education system has been so severely eroded that very few people can understand the nuances of the english languages, which is a great pity. To see the extent of this you should try and read more english from the late 19th century or early 20th century. The sophistication of those times was quite profound. When people used to read more widely, it was common for writers to use subtle devices to convey ideas – it was a technique.

        Jacob – read more books and you might have access to new and interesting ideas. It is just a matter of practice.

    • I wouldn’t want that work either… Maybe that makes me lazy but either it doesn’t pay enough or there are just better jobs out there that don’t involve gruelling 3am starts. I’ve never been a morning person. Not sure why? Just always hated getting up early for work. When traveling and camping I almost love it. But for work on a daily basis. Man.. no thanks.

      • Yep. It’s a distraction her banging on about the dole. The problem is she’s offering appalling work – mucking out stabled at 3am – and paying a pittance.

        We aren’t lazy. We’re just not mugs. The problem is simple. She’s not paying enough. Stingy b!tch. Don’t let her dog whistling about dole bludgers distract us.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        She’s got the $hits that her little hobby business isn’t as cheap to run as her Arab sheik competition, with their expendable and compliant slave labour workforce.
        She is revolting,…uttering a real “let them cake” coment without even realizing it,…an absolutely narcissistic, self absorbed grub.

      • yeborskyMEMBER

        Quite a family, that mob. Robbie should have been cleaning stables (Bart’s maybe) as part of his penance to society after his “indiscretions”. It’s a long time ago now but, once upon a time, this lot were applying for a casino licence. Can you imagine? Can you just imagine?

    • Maybe not to easy not to work, but too easy to work – i.e. at a job that isn’t as horrible as the one Waterhouse is offering.

      Exactly the kind of comment you make when you got where you are by choosing the right parents.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “Life’s just a bit too good in Australia.”

      Yes to good for plutocratic Cnts like her,…let’s bring back 75% personal income tax rates for the million dollar incomes and smash family trusts and the other dodgy “tax minimisation” loopholes that abound.
      All personal income should be taxed at the same progressive rate,… those traitors that dont like it, and ship themselves of overseas should lose all access to the Australian market.
      Fk them off.

    • I know many stable hands and trainers, worst industry ever, abuse, sexual harassment, injuries and that’s just the horses! Seriously a shocking horrible mob and they want to ride the workers hard like the horses and would shoot them if they could after, scum.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      I like the bit where she says it’s a hard job but our kids want wages that suit a hard job that she’s not willing to pay.

      How many businesses and industries would close down without the mass importation of unskilled labour?

      • How many businesses and industries would close down without the mass importation of unskilled labour?

        We already have data on that. Just look at Britain, Japan, South Korea. They still have restaurants, golf courses, petrol stations, shops.

        So basically nothing will shut down.

        Due to immigration cuts, the incomes of cleaners in Manchester went up recently – which is why right wing pricks love mass illegal-wage immigration.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      She seems like the type that would demand an employee lie in mud or horse sh#t so she can walk over them without getting her shoes dirty.

  4. Can’t believe how volatile markets are becoming. SP500 up 1% in a day – again – after similar drops earlier this week. Oil down 2% in a day. Even staid old 10 year yields are ricocheting about like a grandma who accidentally stepped on a skateboard.

    What bemuses me is the goldfish-like memory markets seem to have. Italy is forgotten within two days? Trump trade war keeps surprising the bleating herds and then just as quickly gets discounted? These are long term themes that are not going away. WTF?

    • Gunna has a chart on peaks and troughs
      when we hit the next trough,
      you’ll have Jaws looking in the window
      of the yellow submarine.

    • Long term gets shorter and shorter. When I studied Economics at Uni ( a bloody long time ago) long term was 10 to 30 years. What’s it now – 12 months?
      Hehe…anyway the US FED can print Trillions in a second. Long term probably doesn’t count much eh?

      • True re “long term”, i thought about this when posting. But I decided –

        The EU / euro’s problems are definitely long term. Decadal.

        Trump trade wars are medium term but the undercurrent in the US that drives them – anti-globalisation sentiment, middle and working class decline – are long term and not going away. Yet every time Trump goes ahead and does something he actually said he would, markets have a tantrum. And promptly forget about it 24 hours later.

        So yeah. Mis pricing abounds. Eventually they will get it right (yellow submarine time per WWolf)

    • Here’s my guess. Could it be algorithms chasing that fraction of a percent that causes the markets to move so quickly? A trend is identified and then the bots start going after it. I imagine that the flesh and blood day traders would also be able to react more quickly than a decade ago as well. Like the news cycle, there is so much noise that is being reacted to that it is harder to identify the underlying trends and directions.

    • Cyclone Ranger


      Step 1: Recognise reality. Tick.
      Step 2: Now find a strategy for profiting from it.

      I’m still working on 2. But ticked off 1. a while ago (as you describe above).

      PS I think of US yields more as base-jumping from K2 and Everest than boarding 360s.

      • CR
        Got to say when I have spent 50 damned years thinking what SHOULD happen I find it difficult to figure out how to profit from what is going to happen. The timing and sequence of events is tricky!

    • The Italian Job, surfing A wipeout will cripple the world
      If Greece was a sardine, Italy is a whale. Greece’s economy is less than one-third of Straya’s
      Italy’s is 1.5 times larger. That’s why the potential for crisis in Italy is already making massive waves. Stock and bond markets have already fallen around the world.
      Italy might not repay its debt.
      The drama starts with politics, and bleeds into the economy.
      Italy had an election in March and it went down the Trump path, voting for candidates who are furious and want to shake things up.
      That’s all fine for a democratic state. Italy is definitely not going well — unemployment is over 11%
      But one problem, several different parties all got a share of the vote. Nobody clearly won.
      Italy surfed along with no government for three months until this week, where the political crisis reached a point where their dramas spilled over into global economic markets.
      People feared Italy could then have a referendum to leave the EU.
      This is like Brexit, but super-sized, because Italy uses the euro and the UK doesn’t.
      And if Italy stops using the euro, things could get ugly.
      Bad. Leaving the euro will almost certainly cause a disaster.
      The minute Italy gets its own currency (assume they go back to the lira) they have an exchange rate with the euro. You can bet the lira to euro exchange rate would suddenly crash. The lira will be worth a lot less. The debts Italy built up in euros suddenly look even bigger.
      People are already pretty sceptical about whether Italy can pay back its enormous debts and if they get bigger overnight, well, Italy might just default on them.

      George Soros weighed in to say that the situation was worse than people imagined.
      “It is no longer a figure of speech to say that Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality,” he said.
      Original by Jason Murphy, surfing edition by WW

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “The minute Italy gets its own currency (assume they go back to the lira) they have an exchange rate with the euro. You can bet the lira to euro exchange rate would suddenly crash.”

        It’d make building cars a lot cheaper in Italy than in Germany.
        Very few talk about the enormous free ride German manafacturing receives from the Euro being dragged down by the Southern “republics”.
        It’s easy to see why Germany is pro Empire, and Italy considering becoming a REAL Nation state again.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I just finished reading the Big Short.
        The takeaway for me was that nobody runs or understands the market, most traders didn’t (don’t) understand what they were (are ) doing,which allowed the massive misallocation of funds.
        and it was never properly sorted and can (will /is) happening again.
        I nearly didn’t read past the Prologue I was so gobsmacked at the lack of the CEO’s and upper managment’s understanding and oversight of what their employees were doing.
        Round 2 approaches.

      • bolstrood,
        My take away from The Big Short was the same as uni, school, politics and the workplace. Most people are just trying play the game without really being interested in whether or not it is good, bad, right, wrong, constructive, destructive, and on and on. Some games are more sophisticated than others, and some have higher stakes and rewards but they are still mostly just games. It just seems to be human nature. One just hopes that those playing the games of rule making and regulation are switched on, fair and diligent. That doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment, but one can hope.

      • b
        I haven’t read the book but the movie has a slightly different take with the Mark Baum character saying in the final scene something along the lines “the banks weren’t being stupid, they just didn’t care” and that “the banks knew that the taxpayers would bail them out”.


      • Scumbag Soros is at the heart of Europe’s existential danger!!!

        Really, in the short term Italy should stay with Euro. Draghi will print ‘whatever it takes’ to keep this terminally ill patient alive. However, for Italy, the longer it stays with the Euro the worse will be the final outcome.

        I would guess the Lira would crash – not so much because of economic fundamentals but because of a false economic narrative that now runs / ruins the western world. The reason it would crash would be because of capital flows. However Italy does run a significant CAS so, left to itself without attacks from the globalists, it could do quite nicely in the longer term.
        Note that even within Italy itself there is a substantial difference in the economic model of North and South.

  5. DingwallMEMBER


    Does this seem bloody lenient? The “Chemist-in-charge” had been supplying prohibited drugs for two years.He pleads guilty and received an 18-month jail sentence to be served as an intensive correction order in the community, for drug supply and proceeds of crime matters ( the guy peddling it all got 3+ years in jail )
    And last month, he had his pharmacy licence stripped for 18 months for failing to tell pharmacy regulators of his conviction.

    Ignoring the stupidly light sentencing, how the hell does he get to ultimately keep his pharmacy licence in any way, shape or form? How was it not stripped in the sentencing ?

    • Yesterday for lunch I walked the dog (black lab) to the Sushi place. In the way some middle aged scrawny / squirrelly guy says hi, he sort of wants to Pat the dog. Has a small back pack. I say it’s fine to Pat him, but he pauses. You’re not the police are you? He’s not a sniffer dog is he? I say no mate. He looks at my jacket (freezing in Sydney lately) and it has an army style but it’s not. Then he looks at the jacket and asks again are you sure not police haha. Clearly a drug dealer type. Thinks I have to tell him if I’m a cop ha. Anyway he liked patting the dog I guess. He was definitely paranoid (probably a drug user more likely) apologizes for asking etc.. then on his way.

      I dunno if I’m seeing more sketchy types around of just noticing them lately? Could be a reflection of a weaker economy? Or greater malaise? Hard to say.

      • I reckon so. I’m seeing it more too. But it could be just confirmation bias – ie you notice things that confirm your theories. Or observation bias – you notice things more because you are looking for them.

        But all that said, anecdotes and personal experience DO matter. A lot of those who are apparently good at picking crashes set a lot of store by “gut feeling” real world indicators.

    • Ahh maybe I can help
      Properly trained and fully qualified Chemists are in short supply, not much point in locking large numbers up in prison. whereas slime bag drug dealers are a dime a dozen….best place for them is prison.
      Makes no sense but that’s the way it works out.

      • mild colonialMEMBER

        Maybe I can help. Pharmacy Guild most powerful lobby group in Australia. (Didn’t I read that here?)

    • This suggests that all political advertising and even the ballot paper should just show eyebrows in order to easily identify the narcissists.

    • A study done by a beautician who confused correlation with causation but it’s OK she’s nailed cuticles now.

  6. Attended auction of 20 Wilona Ave Greenwich. Superb reno effectively a new build and somewhat “unique” using the term loosely. Quoted 5-5.5. Sold 5.75. Massive result. Premium end obviously alive and well.



    Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says if the aim is to get more people into houses, it makes sense restrictions don’t apply to KiwiBuild | interest.co.nz


    Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr thinks KiwiBuild homes should be exempt from loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions.

    Speaking to The Nation on Saturday, Orr said this makes sense as the policy is aiming to get people with lower incomes and families into homes. … read more via hyperlink above …

    … Roger Witherspoon comments on thread above …

    How do you make the unaffordable affordable? By making credit freely available to sub prime borrowers. Or am I missing something here?

    Surely all these well intentioned schemes just inflate the price of housing? Like National’s laughable first home buyer subsidy, effectively adding $50,000 or more to the price of all entry level housing. If you give someone an extra 5% towards their deposit then they can borrow an extra $50,000 at a 10% deposit rate. So they can bid $50,000 more for a house.

    All these bright, well intentioned bods are all from the same intelligentsia caste that created the house price problem in the first place, not to mention the leaky home fiasco. When will they actually identify the real causes of the house price bubble and stop believing in comfortable platitudes?

    The Texans make us look really dumb:

    … New Zealand Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr interview on Newshub The Nation …

    Reserve Bank Governor ‘scared’ by level of mortgage debt in NZ | Newshub


  8. really feel like an electric toothbrush is the single most transformative thing you can buy. there is no returning to pre-electric life after you have made this transition

    • Yeah. Though if you think that’s life changing a waterpick will blow your mind. No going back to manual flossing after that.

    • Keep thinking of buying a “rabbit” for the missus but then she might enjoy it more than me. And that wouldn’t be all that much fun!

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      I could say the same thing about jet blasters, but I’ve got this choke I cleared last week, that after sending the camera up a fourth time to still find the roots not fully cut out, had me thinking I might have borrow my old electric eel back of the mate I sold it to years ago.
      Not often that I can’t get the job done with my Ramjet 5000.

      I dont like using the old Marco Drum eel anymore,…to dangerous,…nearly broke my wrist with mine when I first got it and stupidly used rubber gloves to guide it in.
      Gotta watch not chipping ya elbows and knees on the spinning 40kg + “drum” too.



      1 minute in this Guys shows you how not to use an electric eel.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        “nearly broke my wrist with mine when I first got it and stupidly used rubber gloves to guide it in.”

        Think Reusa would be more at home handeling one one of those things than a “rabbit “any day ……….

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Ermo, went to buy a Rothenberger Romax crimping tool but H&G wouldn’t sell it to me because I wasn’t a plumber so I made my own hydraulic one.Twice as powerful (adjustable pressure) and a third of the size. Went back to show him and the other plumbers all wanted one to fit under sinks etc. Didn’t matter that I was taught pipe fitting by Scottish guys from the North Sea oil rigs. (no pipe fitting trade in Aust)

    • Can’t scrape the detritus off your tongue with one though. Need a manual toothbrush for that. Careful.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        That was very exciting but I fear the Spanish have gone soft. Once upon a time there would have been untethered heads rolling around the place.

      • mild colonialMEMBER

        It’s a very good point. We vote in people to represent us then vote in others to stop them. We could just have proportional representation evenly populated electorates across the country and not worry about states.

      • The federal system of democracy has produced some of the longest surviving and most stable nation states going. Not very efficient but apparently effective. If you get rid of the checks and balances it becomes too easy for someone like Tayyip Erdogan to have their way. Even now in the US, there are some states that are acting as a viable counterbalance to the current direction from the White House.

        Getting rid of the senate or the states makes about as much sense as getting rid of redundant fail-safe systems in commercial aircraft or getting rid of prudential regulations on the financial services sector under the guise of improving efficiency.

      • mild colonial
        58% of the population lives in Sydney/Melbourne Brisbane and their satellite cities. So what you would get is the whole non-productive sectors based on RE ruling the country totally impervious to the issues and problems in the whole of the rest of the country. The productive sectors would be crucified to an even greater extent than they now are.
        The whole ‘one vote one value’ meme is total BS. It ends up some people’s vote is worth everything but others their vote is worth zero as anything that is an issue for them will never be considered – no matter who they elect.

      • Don’t get rid of it, give it an enema. A federal ICAC that can lay criminal charges.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        We have the situation where Major political parties lie to voters about their policies during election campaigns.
        Voters do not trust political parties so they take out insurance when voting the Senate, where they may still be lied to.
        One set of liars cancel out the other set.
        Given that at least 13 members of the present parliament have been found ineligable to sit in the parliament, some long term parliamentarians,all legislation passed by this parliament are void and invalid. There is a case to call on the Govenor General to prorogue parliament and call new elections .

    • Watching Martin North be quietly smug about being proven right is beautiful. The schadenfreude is palpable despite as usual deadpan delivery 🙂

      Then he starts talking about Melbourne, and is really worried, and now I’m scared too.

      • rj2k000MEMBER

        Half the bubble refos from melb are fleeing to geelong, propping up the bubble and clogging the highway and trains.

      • Was talking to me local council member, he says a mate of his is trying to sell his house, and is having to, ‘meet the market’.

        I think the dynamics are starting to change, and it is all starting to fall apart. This may be responsible for some of the stranger dynamics we are seeing happening, extinction burst type behaviour.

        It would look exactly like random traffic buildups in weird places for no reason. Not saying this is applicable in your anecdata, but its possible.

      • rjk2000,
        My anecdata has Geelong becoming an absolute mess as the market falls. Not only has it become the destination for first buyers who can’t afford Melbourne it is also a great place to get your first IP. It doesn’t seem to be a healthy and resilient community at all.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I can tell you guys from on the ground that Geetroit is being sustained by a load of mainly older types who have sold their 3-4 bedder 1/4 acre abodes in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for maybe 1.5 million (or more)and discover they can have pretty much the same lifestyle (but better proximity to beaches) in Geetroit for maybe 450-600k. All the places in inner Geetroit (South Geelong East Geelong) are invariably being sold off the refugees who want to be close to a hospital (and Geetroit H is well equipped), Geelong West has been sold over to people who want to recreate a really bland version of what Northcote was like maybe 20 years ago, the former refugee/working hoi poloi areas of Bell Park Norlane and Corio are being swamped by refugees from Melbourne wanting dirt cheap within an hour (by public transport) of the Centre of Melbourne, Belmont and Highton are drifting towards post Balwyn Templestowe whiteness, and Torcool Barwon Heads Ocean grove St Leonards and Portarlington have al gone upmarket for the babyboomer who wants sea air. Real families with real working requirements are mainly being shunted into Leopold, Clifton Springs/Drysdale and Grovedale/Waurn Ponds, and down to Armstrong’s Creek where they can have a 400 metre block and listen to their next door neighbors bowel issues. Newtown, Chilwell and Hamlyn Heights are for the Malvern-Hawksburn-Deepdene set who feel Melbourne has become a bit gauche, and the traffic slows on Shannon avenue accordingly.

        One assumes it all ends in tears at some point – but as long as punters can sell an abode in Melbourne and buy something in Geetroit for maybe 1/3 the price it will in all likelihood have plenty of allure to come.

        ………which bodes very well for afficionadoes of 70s music giants who want to play packed overpriced gigs at Mt Duneed, or fitness instructors at Eastern Beach

      • Super Phoenix

        Once the airplane is in a tailspin there is not much a passenger can do. May as well finish the drink before the G force takes it away from you.

  9. Only a week until the Swiss referendum

    How money is created by the central bank and the banking system
    Zürcher Volkswirtschaftliche Gesellschaft
    Thomas J. Jordan
    Chairman of the Governing Board∗
    Swiss National Bank
    Zurich, 16 January 2018

    “..It is a great pleasure for me to be your guest here tonight. The subject of my speech is the creation of money in our economy. Since money creation in our financial system is closely linked to the granting of loans by banks, I am also going to talk about lending. I shall, moreover, address the issues of sovereign money and access to digital central bank money, insofar as they relate to our main topic…”

    Not surprisingly the SNB is opposed to the referendum proposal but worth a read all the same.

    • This might sound a bit familiar

      “..Deposits with commercial banks are distinct from central bank money. When speaking of these deposits in my remarks today, I will be referring to the sight deposits – also known as demand deposits – of their customers. Customers also hold savings and time deposits with banks. These cannot be directly drawn on for transaction purposes, but they are cash equivalents and are therefore included in broader definitions of money.

      Bank customers can use their sight deposits to make payments. Unlike central bank money, the deposits with commercial banks are not legal tender, but they do represent a claim on central bank money. Bank customers can withdraw sight deposits in the form of banknotes, i.e. central bank money, or instruct their bank to make a cashless payment. The latter leads to a reallocation of SNB sight deposits – again, central bank money – from the customer’s to the payment recipient’s bank.

      From the public’s perspective, cash and deposits with commercial banks are virtually the same for payment purposes. However, deposits are subject not only to the risk of inflation, but also to credit risk. If their bank becomes insolvent, customers’ claims to central bank money cannot be redeemed, or can be redeemed only up to the maximum amount covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.5

      It is mainly in times of crisis that the public becomes aware of this risk. Were this not the case, there would be no runs on banks such as have been experienced time and again in the past. Credit risk is, however, offset by a number of advantages.

      Unlike banknotes, sight deposits with banks provide access to services in connection with payment transactions. In normal times, they also generate interest income…”

      What a money crank!

      • But… but… you linked Warner and he said government should borrow from private banks –

        He also suggested direct purchases of non-performing assets from the banks by the central bank; direct lending to companies and the government by the central bank; purchases of commercial paper, other debt, and equity instruments from companies by the central bank; and stopping the issuance of government bonds to fund the public sector borrowing requirement, instead having the government borrow directly from banks through a standard loan contract.[8][9]

        So on one hand your all in a tizzy about credit and on the other hand forward government funding itself via private credit which then seems a small bridge to the links I provided below.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        I don’t see how that supports your case 007.
        He is saying that demand deposits are not perfect substitutes for State money – ie. not private fiat..

      • My two favourite private bank apologists !

        Wassup Sweeper !

        Cant you read?

        He is arguing that banks are different to non banks. You know the thing you insist on denying ……at least when you are not arguing for nationalisation of private bank.

        Everyone knows that public money is not identical to private banker pseudo fiat. That is why it is called pseudo fiat.

        But compared to the nonsense you have been peddling for years he is postively in money crank territory.

        You guys you should feel pretty good as a professional private apologist like this guy has arguments that are as non existent as yours.

        Tell me which of his arguments in favour of maintaining a role for private banks you liked the most. Was it the one about freedom or just the compelling brilliance of preserving the status quo.

        My personal favourite was the rubbish justification for the central bank playing politics.

        Oh sorry, i suppose you dont think his intervention is political because it is about ‘ money’…..how very neoclassical of you.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        1. “What also needs to be pointed out is that the impetus for credit and money creation comes not from the banks, but from their customers. A bank sets the conditions and must be able to transact the payments that its customers want to make with their deposits. But it is the customers who decide whether or not they want to take up the bank’s offer”.

        Have made this point that deposit creation is limited by publics demand for deposits as an asset.

        2. “As we have seen, the banking system can increase the volume of customer deposits by granting loans. This certainly does not mean that banks are free to create unlimited amounts of credit and money, however. The reasons are to be found in the banks’ risk/return calculations… ”

        Have also made this point that deposit creation is also limited by banks assessment of profitability. Banks won’t create deposits where it isn’t profitable to do so after accounting for required return, cost of intermediation, accounting, admin, compliance, security, risk, marketing etc. etc.

        “…and the SNB’s monetary policy”

        have also made point that CB policy sets limit on deposit creation through the interest rate target. Increase in target reduces qty of bank reserves demanded which has a knock on effect on deposits as there is a desired ratio of reserves/deposits for banking system as a whole.

        3. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have tried to somewhat demystify the subject of money creation by the commercial banks. The topic has repeatedly become a focus of attention, especially among bank critics, and the language used is often provocative. Featuring prominently is the image of ‘privileged banks’ that can ‘create money out of thin air’. The image has a long history, yet is often misunderstood”

        Pretty sure I’ve also said the “priviliged banks” meme is codswallop.

        “Also, while the sovereign money initiative targets traditional commercial banks, let us not forget the role played by ‘shadow banks’ in the global financial crisis of 2008/2009. More importantly, when governments and central banks were rescuing systemically important financial institutions, they had not only the protection of sight deposits and thus payment transactions in mind, but also borrower-lender relationships. They feared that if systemically important financial institutions were to suddenly fail, financial sector lending might collapse and the economy implode. So the sovereign money initiative, with its focus on payment transaction accounts, does not resolve the ‘too big to fail’ issue. Regulatory adjustments, of the kind that are already being implemented, offer a better solution”.

        Correct. the financial system blew up because of the behaviour of non-banks as pointed out endlessly.
        eg. when the money market funds blew up in Sep 08 the amount sitting in money market mutual funds was about 1/2 of the amount sitting in all US deposits and 6-7 times as much as the amount sitting in demand deposits.

      • Sweeps,


        Debunking the privileged bank meme?

        He just confirmed it and argued for its importance.

        As for your other points they have never been disputed. At least not by me.

        You need to talk to Skippy about magic money trees.

        As for shadow banking ……they present a risk due to the involvement in private banks in that sector.

        Private banks playing in non bank credit creation contaminates the public monetary system.

        But then that is what you like isn’t it? A public monetary system packed full of your buddies with them playing hot potatoe with non bank credit creation.

  10. Re: The above discussion on Amazon.

    I think the answer may be to remove taxes on all Goods (hence establishing the level playing everyone is crying out for) and only tax Services. GST as it stands is increasingly becoming outdated. Make up the difference with a land tax.

    Do people consider the opposite situation, for example an Australian business selling to the world. Imagine if it was forced by 50 different foreign countries tax agencies to make GST equivalent remitances in native currencies. Unworkable.
    Dumping the problem on DHL/Fedex etc for low value goods doesn’t work either as clearance delays in the supply chain will cause real issues (OK fine for the average consumer ordering birthday presents), however the unseen is packages destined for Australian business where the issues of distance cause enough delay w/o adding more.

    • Indeed. A land value tax us cheaper to administer, harder to avoid and isn’t regressive. That it is a good idea immediately is a Mark against it. Add the Australian worshipping if all things property and how many dodgy deals occur around it and it’s likely to only ever be talked about.

      • You are aware that Hudson has refuted the land tax thingy and noted that the Georgists have gone neoliberal.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Make up the difference by making Multi national co’s operating here pay tax

      • Skippy,

        To my knowledge Hudson is opposed to rent seeking and sees the biggest source of rentseekers to be the FIRE sectors. That in no way refutes or invalidates that land also soaks up rents.
        Do you mean neoliberal or geo-libertarian? Yes there are Georgist that swing hard to the right, but then there are others that swing to the left. An LVT is to a great degree apolitical as it is just about collecting economic rent. It cares not if you are a cpaitalist or a proletariat. The political aspect kicks in with how the government of the day goes about things. If just a citizen dividend and nothing else then it’s across to the right. Services and infrastructure everywhere, then it’s to the left. It is even possible for governments to sit in the middle with a bit of column A and a smidge of column B.

      • Um no footsore…. Hudson points out the financialization that now is available to circumvent land taxes as envisioned by Henry. That still does not redress the Georgists becoming party to free market economics malaise.

      • Do you have a link to where Hudson lays this out as I’d be interested in seeing it. I know that he has a low opinion of some Georgists but didn’t think his focus on the destructive FIRE sector and debt had led him to completely dismiss that rent also accumulates in land.

        But, Hudson aside, the original post was on the idea of replacing the GST with a land tax. A land tax is not the silver bullet that some Georgists make it out to be, but given the current dogs breakfast of tax in Australia removing taxes off income and capital and replacing regressive and distortionary ones like the GST and Stamp Duties with an LVT is far more equitable and simple.

      • Well the original idea was to remove the ‘Goods’ portion of the GST and only tax the ‘Services’ component. Given ‘goods’ these days are commodities and the business model of importing a good, whacking on a massive markup and reselling is a dying business model and makes the economy uncompetitive. (ie. People ordering from Amazon et el. and paying airfreight on small unit orders is proof that the current retail market is not supplying the necessary range of goods or goods at competitive prices.)

        The 10% price reduction in goods would be good for the economy, especially those on lower incomes.

        Not sure how to best raise the taxation revenue lost, but I would think land tax, restructure of resource taxes, etc. could make up the difference.


      • Footsore,

        Be careful when Skippy quotes Hudson in support and dont rely on Skippy’s claims as to what Hudson has to say about anything. Skippy is quick to chuck Hudson under a bus when Hudson gives Skippy’s private banker buddies a slap.


        Read carefully any Hudson links the roo reckons support him.

        They usually dont when it comes to private banks.

    • That guy is so damn annoying. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past about 30 seconds of any of his videos.

  11. For a while ( last week), carmaker Ferrari could borrow money at better rates than the Italian government.
    The reason why …. was seemingly simple: the possibility of a Eurosceptic government that would….even quit the single currency.

    • I don’t understand why that would give Ferrari favorable rates? Demand for Ferrari’s to remain high or go higher?

      • 2% jump in govt bonds in one day italexit nerves. Just a squiggly nervous line giving headline.

  12. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Have Domain published ther auction results for yesterday ….when I google search only getting last weeks ?

  13. Google hey, “do no evil”. well maybe a little evil lol On the drone one several employee’s resigned and it’s said goog will drop it. Read that as it’ll be spun off for the willing. It a surveillance company which just makes a few products, and lots of money which will only grow as they control more and stifle innovation when you look at the large number of startups they squash. Nothing new and just carrying forward what MS did/does.


    • As a companion piece –

      “While all sorts of remedies for the notional democratic disease were proposed at MPS, ranging from the restriction of suffrage to bypassing of legislatures, Cornelisson makes the astute observation that the most common language used to frame democracy critique was to have recourse to ‘constitutional’ interventions. The thought collective consequently sought to assess all manner of virtual devices to freeze up political activity, and short-circuit the influence of citizens on the legislature; only then to pretend they had all been put in place in some imaginary pre-lapsarian epoch in the form of an iron-clad constitution.

      Hayek made a contribution in his Constitution of Liberty; but Buchanan eventually became the master of this glass bead game, to the extent of relinquishing the promotional label of ‘public choice’ for that of ‘constitutional economics’. In his major work The Limits to Liberty, he ominously intoned, “Democracy may become its own Leviathan unless constitutional limits are imposed and enforced.” 28 This, in a nutshell, explains Buchanan’s outsize significance for the larger Neoliberal thought collective in the later 20th century. Buchanan became their poster child for their preferred political stance: constitutional immobility. Once one comes to appreciate this dynamic, then it appears rather fallacious to assert that neoliberals were just striving to ‘improve’ democracy; their ambition was explicitly to hobble it, and to minimize its expression of any potential will of the people. The people had to be brought to defer to the natural order of things. The simple lesson for them was: you should enjoy your so-called ‘freedom’ only if you don’t try to exercise it in a democratic context. 29

      This is why contemporary neoliberals are so prickly about any and all work that seeks to explore the culpability of figures like Hayek, Friedman, Buchanan and others for the Pinochet dictatorship. I am aware there are a plethora of attempts by the thought collective to absolve their own favorite neoliberal of inspiring the Chilean dictatorship;
      30 but mostly, they miss the mark. Endless special pleading that they were ‘just passing through’ Chile to give a lecture or two (or attend an MPS meeting) and never fully endorsed the dictatorship are unavailing; they didn’t need to provide an elaborate blueprint for their disciples.31

      The function they served was to fortify the Chileans in their belief that the citizenry harbored an irrational hatred of the market, and therefore had to be disciplined.”


      • Nancy Maclean taught by Linda Gordon … chortle … anything from someone credible that doesn’t believe in invisible power structures.? Lol at quoting feminists.

      • Jenson is that your retort…. really… just to utter the word feminist, can you even give a description of what you mean by feminist. I mean is say suffrage a radical feminist agenda and what about everything else. You do know that you have to redress what both she and Mirowski point out with some semblance of historical foot note.

        In case you missed it the entire thing boils down to anti democratic views, those that support it, why, and what compels them to think so. You are aware that its pro oligarchical with a large gender bias and as Mirowski points out has a tendency to affiliate with more radical racist and bigoted groups for political leverage out of convenience. One might ask the ethical forbearance of such sorts in pushing their agenda, how far they are prepared to go in facilitating their group think.

        On the other hand your comment is an a priori example of everything highlighted in both links.

      • Anti-democratic views?


        Like those ones you keep peddling to justify why privatizing the public monetary system is in defence of freedom?

        According to Skip we have to privatize public money because democracy cannot be trusted.

        Keep the majority of power safe in the hands of private bankers all watched over by independent regulators of loving grace.

    • I listened to the 80000 hours podcast on Bryan Caplan’s case against education from last weeks links. I came away thinking that Caplan has a somewhat superficial econometric argument, and a very misanthropic, game-the-system view of life. During the week, I read the above NC article on Buchanan. That lead me to wonder if Bryan Caplan was a Public Choice man. Quick trip to wikipedia…sure enough…George Mason University.

      I wonder if there are two type of Public Choice proponents. The cynical “make a living for myself by pushing an agenda that aligns with rich people who will fund my work” type, and then another subset of really weird people who actually go through life making these anti-social “what is the best outcome for me right now” calculations every second of every day–the public choice true believers.

  14. • We discuss why we can’t afford the rich and challenge ideas about wealth, entrepreneurialism and investment.

    • Also: ten years ago the Tax Justice Network was told it’d never happen, but this month British Members of Parliament voted to stop secret ownership of companies in British Overseas Territories. The Crown Dependencies got away for now. But the pressure is on them as a UK Foreign Affairs Committee report says corrupt assets of Kremlin-connected individuals pouring in to London is a threat to the UK’s national security.

    • And while some of the money hidden in the Overseas Territories may flow to the United States, the EU may actually add it to their blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions…


    • Will be interesting to see where this goes. As far as I know the Crown Dependencies are not part of the UK so the UK parliament has no legal authority. I suppose the UK can put all sorts of pressure on them. Maybe get the Queen to do her bit?

      • The strange bit is the EU warts and all seems to be attempting a paradigm shift where England on the other had wants to cling to its past.

  15. Macquarie lucky to not be involved in the banking RC.


    A former Macquarie Bank adviser told the ABC that customers like Mr and Mrs Lewis were routinely classified as “sophisticated investors” by Macquarie Bank’s wealth management division. The legal term allows any bank to place a customer’s money into potentially volatile share trades without having to explain in writing the reason why or potential consequences.

    Mrs Lewis said she and her husband should not have been put in that category because they lacked the necessary financial knowledge. “We were not sophisticated investors,” she said. “We had no idea about the share market or the industry when we sold our farm and gave them that money to look after us and our future.”

    • Macquarie Bank makes CBA look like boy scouts… but then the boy scouts did at least join the kiddy fiddling fix it club.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      No luck involved, they have their man in he top job.
      Who set the peramaters of the RC?

    • From the article:

      The law states a sophisticated investor must earn more than $250,000 a year or have more than $2.5 million worth of net assets.

      The couple met that definition because of the value of their 6,000 acre farm outside Swan Hill.

      That means Macquarie Bank’s classification was perfectly legal.

      • So just because you have a high paying job or a good chunk of money that makes you a “sophisticated investor”??? That’s some pretty loose terms.

      • Yes, by definition it does.

        It doesn’t mean you have any idea about investment though.

    • Labor equals communism equals controlled thought and speech; Liberal equals capitalism equals free thought and speech and so the playbook is peddled.

    • That interesting. Most people I worked with in the US were dem voters if they ever bothered to vote, and all in high tech or finance. When I worked in San Diego we had many friends that didn’t work in high tech jobs (so mostly bad health care plans) or had zip effectively even if they were city workers (read council workers), and they all travelled to Mexico to get medical and dental word done. One friend was unfortunate to get cancer, and was booted out of his city job. Lucky his wife had her own business and was able to eventually pay. The other thing was in California the state was broke and even road works were in short supply. Not uncommon to have massive holes in the burbs and my favourite was in La Jolla … someone must have got sued. One other incident near where I lived where a subsidence happened, a house was badly damaged, and every one in the city council ran away. Eventually, the home owner went legal via the insurance company and it was fixed..but the council condemned the home and the owners were in a bad way during all of that.

      • I’ve never visited the US but have heard many stories about how things can go pear shaped if you don’t have the money. Some favorites are the driver for my friend’s band super-gluing a bit of his body back together because he didn’t have the US$900 for stitches. Another friend lived in NY for yonks and got her parents to send her medication from NZ. It didn’t come through one month so it cost her US$700 for a 15 minute visit to get a script written.

        As a comparison, when I was in Japan my back went crazy. I got a medical card and there was charged a very nominal fee when visiting a regional hospital. The Doctor’s english was also better than my own. (damn over-achievers). A friend broke their arm cycling there and didn’t claim on their insurance as the excess exceeded the amount they paid at the regional hospital. And locals get it even better than that.

      • footsore, and to think this is the medical system the LNP would like for Australia.

      • It’s why if you ever go on holidays to the US it’s really important to make sure your insurance will really covers you for health. It’s a nightmare if you don’t have cover and are a long way from Mexico.

      • @Wing Nut Most doctors vote Labor, and look at the over charging going on…I think we’re already where you’re talking about. I get your point and with private health at some point soon none of us will be able to afford it. My wife just had a cancer scare, and over a few months we’ve paid a few thousand already.

  16. Priti Patel: Conservatives no longer the party of meritocracy and have become lazy in the battle of ideas … UK Telegraph
    … behind paywall …


    Theresa May’s Conservatives are abandoning their position as the party of meritocracy, Priti Patel has warned.

    The former cabinet minister states that while Margaret Thatcher was “in tune with the hopes and aspirations of the British public”, there is scant evidence of “meritocracy” or “political and economic freedom” in the “DNA” of the party today.

    The Conservatives had become “very, very lazy” in the battle of ideas against Labour, she claims. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Priti Patel: The Conservative party is retreating from the battle of ideas | PoliticsHome.com


    Priti Patel – Wikipedia


    … Earlier important article …The UK Telegraphs Allister Heath …

    The real ticking time bomb for the Tories is home ownership – Telegraph
    … ask the trashed Kiwi Tories …
    GONE GONE GOING section


    … extract …

    … Remarkably, 354,700 new homes were built in France last year, compared with 140,880 across the UK, a pathetically inadequate number barely half of that required. The French were actually bitterly disappointed with their own performance: their recent average has been around 400,000 homes a year. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • France’s population is growing by less than 300k per year (less than half due to natural change) – 240k from 2016 to 2017. What the f do they need to build so many new homes for?

    • I liked this tidbit at the bottom of the article:

      “Put Gove in No 10, says Tory donor
      The Tory donor Crispin Odey has called for Michael Gove to take over as prime minister, claiming Theresa May “cannot carry Brexit through any more”.

      Odey, a hedge fund manager, said Gove, the environment secretary, was “very aware he has to appeal not just to the wealthy, but also more broadly”.”

      Major shareholder says dump CEO as profits are in jeopardy.

    • Ha, if the French try anything stupid there is still enough of a Royal Navy to blockade the Channel Ports like in the old days…….it is just like Henry VIII kicking out papal influence,……can’t run the old bank IT won’t allow it for this one. J P Morgan thinks that Italy might be on to something…….They will both be a lot better off in 10 years time, just a bit of adjustment


  17. Even Noel Whittaker is passing comment on Barnaby’s interview.


    “With Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion set to give a “tell-all” interview on television, the couple has promised to place the $150,000 payment in a trust fund for baby Sebastian.

    This has attracted all sorts of comments about where to invest the money and how much would be there when Sebastian turns 21 – but nobody seems to have thought about the tax implications.

    Setting up a family trust won’t help Joyce and Campion, or Sebastian, avoid tax and it might make the problem worse.

    The obvious first question is whether the $150,000 is taxable income for the interviewees. Probably, yes.

    The Tax Office says money received for a media interview is taxable if the amount is significant, and the recipient does something – such as giving an interview – to earn the payment. They also consider whether the interview was planned and organised in advance and the payment was negotiated.

    This all seems to fit nicely with the Barnaby-Vikki scenario.

    It would be preferable to have all the proceeds paid to Vikki, who is almost certainly in a lower tax bracket than Barnaby, but the Tax Office could well take the view that the interview was a joint effort and the tax should be split 50:50.”

    More at

  18. The most concise list of politically protected fcktards the infest the LNP. Fifield will be firing off a nasty gram to Fairfax over this one!.

    “The list of Coalition politicians which makes Turnbull cry”

    This current bunch of Coalition politicians is truly dreadful and it would be a dead heat for the dreadfulest.


    The key omission from this list is Turnbull himself, the asswipe in cheif providing top cover for these morons to operate with impunity.

    • The grammar error in the headline is obvious except to the journalist and academic which wrote it.

      • Shirley you meant “except to the journalist and academic which that wrote it.” … there – I broke it for you. 😀