Weekend Reading: 29-30 September 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


    • Was the site down just before midnight? I even stopped annualising in order to be first but could not access the site. What kind of sorcery is this?

    • I’m guessing you wrote a comment with a keyword to trigger spam bot, which then later got edited and approved? For extra salt in Harry’s wound.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Jesuus. And I thought I had problems testing out WordPress features to annoy people. *waves at Ino*.

        But that’s Machiavellian. I’m not sure haroldus will ever be the same again… Remind me not to invite A2 to a knife fight (as the saying goes). Wow.

        Now all I have to do is site specific Google MB comments until I find A2’s test pages. Bwahhaahaahahahaha…

    • One of the illegal occupants allegedly told Ms Zhao: ‘I will pay rent only if you take off your pants.’

      I thought tenants had to remove their pants to pay rent, not landladies? Reusa what backwards universe is this?

    • Poor Zhao, guess she’ll have to forego the ‘easy money’ and go and get a real job to earn another $2.2m like she did……by age 30.

    • The tenant assessment – he was wearing a suit and looked like a businessman. He sure was – subletting it with individually locked bedrooms. No managing agent or inspections. Seemingly no professional advice on eviction law. Well, she saved a lot of money there though.

  1. New encryption law to force citizens to hand over computer passwords

    Pure psychopaths in parliament!

    Need Rohan Gunaratna to tell us if terrorists can be caught without this insane law.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Hey Gav you sure can save money by fixing your own car. The missus ML slow air shock leak, best price mechanic repair $600+ for part + labour $300, dealer repair $2,500, looking up US $6,000+, Decided to to it myself bought the bag on line $95, and its an easy install as well.

      • I didn’t have the time to fix a clutch that wasn’t fully disengaging, and got quoted hundreds to put in a new clutch and got bullshitted to about hydraulic problems when they’d already looked at the car which had a cable clutch.

        Finally i found the clutch cable was fraying and stretching at the connector where it attaches to the top of the peddle.

        $65 for a new cable i bought and fitted myself.

        I have an 80+% success rate of getting bullshitted to by garages and end up fixing things myself.

        Good to have a common model and colour of car that has cheap parts at the wreckers.

        Comprehensive insurance on it is cheaper than the excess most plebs pay for theirs.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Similar happened to an old guy trapped in the stairwell after the building manager shored up the fire doors to stop graffiti artists going in from the under carpark. I occupied that building (gym) years before and heard banging when going past in the street, but just thought it was just a tradie. It used to happen all the time finding skeletons in ship double skins and cavities getting welded in and any amount of hammering went unnoticed.

  2. I shall promulgate the new three word slogan for the Libs/Nats

    Push the Bush!

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game!

    • Yeah, it’s the unaccountable system right!
      Whoever’s driving this cancerous system Aren’t messengers, they’re Representatives & Enablers, or perhaps They’re the Dastardly Creators! The buck stops somewhere…….

      Don’t Push Me ‘Cause I’m Close to the Edge
      I’m Trying Not to Lose my Head!

      Coming to a town near you like it or not apparently…….!

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Colin, thanks for the support the other day, responded to your return of ”Falling Home Smash Retirement” Sept 25.
        Clients client wanted ErTi 1 titanium filler rods, ended up settling for ErTi 2 ( price difference) which I had.
        Didn’t stop him giving me no end of grief and interference due to his lack of knowledge.

      • No worries Boom, I know you’re an active bloke who likes his job (frustrations are occasionally part of the job unfortunately) hence the heads up. Sometimes it’s hard to get through to customers who think they know something & can’t listen…… They’re a PITA! Load it heavily with a “C” factor & a “F” around fee to make it worth it 😉

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        All well that ends well, except for finally locating the rods in India which didn’t need after his change of heart the job ended up in my normal rate so all OK.

    • Good to see Pfh007 straight on the case…

      Twitter can lend itself to people making stupid statements. But that is a stupid statement.

      • I used to follow her until I noticed she became really aggressive and abusive when someone would not agree with her views.

      • It is definitely a strange statement to make but it is very consistent with the position of the ACTU who reckon that the problem is ONLY the temporary residents having work rights and high rates of permanent immigration presents no problem.

        Plus it is not clear which temporary residents they would like to lose work rights.

        Working Holidays/Backpackers?
        Pacific Islanders who come for seasonal agricultural work?

        And it is not clear why a high rate of permanent migration does not affect the supply of labour to certain job markets either.

        It is certainly true that an increase in the size of the resident population increases demand for goods and services and that generates employment but BOTH temporary and permanent immigration sources of population growth will do that.

        Restricting the work rights of temporary residents makes sense because we are importing temporary demand for goods and services and if the temporary residents cannot supply labour that increases the demand for the resident labour. Yet I bet the universities will squeal if their customers lose their work rights.

        If permanent migrants generate more jobs than they actually take then it could be argued they are generating an increase in employment for the existing resident population, but is that the case? The Productivity Commission did not seem to think so.

        What they rarely talk about is the extent to which the increase in employment due to population growth is sufficient for the larger population.

        OR more importantly what are the details of the distribution and nature of any new jobs and who is getting them?

        Are the temporary and permanent residents taking the additional goods job or just the bad jobs?

        Are the existing locals in some job markets being displaced? Particularly young people who find themselves competing with new residents with double degrees that are not recognised in Australia so are working as waiters or in call centres or driving cabs.

        The only thing that does seem clear is that when someone says permanent immigration has NO impact on the job market or on wages in specific markets or generally, they are mostly like virtue signallers desperately trying to dodge acknowledging that there are limits to the rate of immigration that is in the interests of the average Australian.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Well put 007,
        Van blocked me ages ago,…funnily enough it was right about the time I was thinking about subscribing to the Guardian and it helped cement in my view that the Gardian is becoming more and more infected by a self appointed “leadership of the left” that is not left at all, they are more interested in their elitist virtue signaling, Identity politics circle Jerking, than the plight of the Working class.
        They are a FAKE left, full of Privilege and devoid of Solidarity or any sence of loyalty to those they feel they are entitled to rule.

      • Wow!

        That reasonable question got me blocked by Van.

        Funny enough Ermo, I was just this week contemplating subscribing to the Guardian to add a bit of variety to my diet of Cato club monthly, the Mont Pelerin Watchers Weekly and Galt’s Gulch Gazette.

        Guess they want a different kind of subscriber.

      • pop growth increases demand for goods and services but a person working full time produces more than they consume. if this wasn’t the case there wouldn’t be economic surpluses. so immigration can and does “take jobs”. not only that it distorts employer behaviour by reducing the incentive to train workers, which forces inexperienced jobseekers to fester in unskilled, dead-end level jobs forever (bc there’s nowhere they can go to receive training that allows them to ‘move up’ the job ladder).

      • Pfh and Ermo – as per my comments.. One of the reasons why I stopped following her (I think at the end she might have blocked me) was that I noticed she was blocking almost anyone that would not agree with her unless that person has more followers than her and is another celebrity. In lot of cases she would first get bit nasty before blocking them. I wander if she responded at all to both of you or did she just blocked you.
        You know, you can follow her as long as you follow and agree with her views. Occasionally you may have to tweet how impressed you are with her vision and use of big words. The moment you disagree and present alternative view and you don’t have as many followers as her (or you are not a celebrity) she will block you. Especially if you expose how narrow minded or simply wrong she is – and you PFH did just that with your question.

      • Trick question… if wages and productivity diverged in the mid 70s and adjusted wages have not seen a increase since… what was the issue before immigration became a supply and demand driven topic. Not that supply and demand is a cornerstone to all under the sun anyway – see RE.

      • If it’s trick, it’s probably not the answer you’re looking for. This is just lived experience. In Manufacturing it’s been the rise of Silicon based lifeforms – particularly from the mid 80’s on. CIM, JIT, FMC etc…. all productivity enhancing initiatives that demurred workers & broke unions to impotent irrelevance, they being replaced with employer enabling HR. Not to mention the Far More devastating offshoring to cheap China by the likes of all the Hardly Normal’s great & small. Then the AUD blithely dozed even more over the cliff to make way for dirt to cheap China. But that was then, this is now, the procession rolls on & we’re now forced to deal with a horde of cheap Foxes let loose to finish off the highly endangered & disheveled Quoll. All enabled by……

        The next wave of enhanced Silicon might just take the rest & mop up excess Foxes too. Those who sell the tech shovels win the game? Maybe we’ll all become useful social commentators/mouthbreathers…… certainly no use being productive.

      • Skip – she was not even born in the 70s. See her tweets and her interviews and telll me if VB can dive that deep.

      • Skip,

        Your ‘trick question’ is irrelevant to the question I posed Van regarding the distinction she was drawing between permanent and temporary immigration with regard to pressure on wages.

        Colin has addressed your concerns. That there are multiple causes does not negate the contribution of any one of them.

        Your own accounts of the strong demand in construction for the skilled services that you are able to deliver illustrates that the supply of and demand for labour is still a thing. A couple of hundred extra Skippys in Brisbane all offering the same services would make a difference. Just imagine if they all commented on MB as well. It would be like stock gathering around a dwindling waterhole during a drought.

      • @ Pft007

        IMO, the more important question is why and how the excess labour resulted in lower/stagnant wages rather than the unemployment. The whole system seems to be well oiled machine(ation)
        If the unemployment numberwang is not 100% fake, temp residents could be the top band of employment theft without whom there would be enough jobs on offer to command higher pay rates. A class of (temp) residents – with a purpose to compete for lower wages, finely controlled to affect the labour market and unemployment rate as desired.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        @staggie. Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the delayed response​.

        But if you do, I’m confused. How can this thing you wrote possibly be accurate?

        but a person working full time produces more than they consume

        Or do you have a different definition of working for public servants?

      • i mean it depends on what they do obviously, some jobs do “nothing” or ostensibly do nothing, but people doing productive stuff who work generally produce more than they consume. if they didn’t we’d be a subsistence economy. hence why immigrants can and do “take jobs” from others.

  3. From this morning’s “Letters Fairfax Won’t Publish” file:

    28 September 2018

            Australia Day and false facts on “independence”

    I was appalled to learn of a federal government website claiming that “Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901” (Penny Mackison’s letter, 28 September). When it comes to false facts this is a whopper.

    When six of the seven self-governing Australasian colonies federated on 1 January 1901 they were neither more nor less independent than they had been the day before. Except in one small respect their status relative to Britain was no different from that of New Zealand which remained outside the federation.

    The colonies’ partial independence had been granted at the time of their self-government and confirmed by the Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865 [1] which clarified that colonial legislation was to have full effect within each colony unless repugnant to any British Act of Parliament which applied to that colony.

    The only independence granted on 1 January 1901 is set out in Section 74 of the Constitution which prevented appeals to the Privy Council on “the limits inter se of the Constitutional powers of the Commonwealth and those of any State or States”, a purely internal matter.

    The Commonwealth’s independence – along with that of Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the Irish Free State – was granted by the Statute of Westminster, 1931 which repealed the Colonial Laws Validity Act insofar as it applied to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Government did not ratify this until 9 October 1942.

    The States’ independence was completed on 17 February, 1986 when The Australia Act (UK) received Royal Assent repealing the Colonial Laws Validity Act insofar as it applied to individual States and thereby removing all remaining legal ties other than to the person of the Monarch.

    The federal government website needs to remove its travesty of history forthwith.

    Stephen Morris

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_Laws_Validity_Act_1865

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Stephen, Good find.
      Nothing surprises any more. Before claiming The British were in a quandary whether to go ahead ” but the Dutch are our friends we can’t take their possession” Then they did it anyhow without their consent, behind their back, while the Dutch were too busy trying to keep Belgium within the Netherlands.

  4. Anyone from Canberra here? Spent some time there and no wonder the fed govt is pushing for 300,000 p.a new migrants and wants them out of syd and Mel. The apartment building there is insane, look like whole suburbs of apartment blocks are being built (the ones complete are half empty).

    • I sometimes thought, since the GFC, lots of the on goings have been about reconciling the bad financial sausage like MBS e.g. need new clean skin or imported $$$$$ inputs to keep fail rates to a low roar. Once fail rates get near double digit the whole risk thingy inverts and goes manifold.

      The McCrazzypants part is it all works on paper until human agency goes Grishams law i.e. the bank in Calif that Bill Black talks about getting done for predatory loans to low socioeconomic sorts just morphs into an unregulated mortgage issuer and then funnels proceeds through the shadow sector and ultimately back through the retail banking sector.

      Then they have the cheek to say look maw…. Capitalism – !!!! – I’m rich and deserve it – !!!!!! – and anyone pointing it out is dismissed as a socialist or commie…. chortle….

    • Yes went through recently within the last year or so. Same shocking apartments being built as Sydney / Melbourne and Brisbane.

      What I still can’t work out is why apartments cost half a million each. In my mind they should be $180k or so…

      It parallels Ireland in an uncanny fashion. So many cheap apartments went up and then after it all collapsed they were empty, lots of them badly built. The main difference in Ireland is that they didn’t smack them up all over their CBD due to building height restrictions and preservation of historic buildings. Instead they were dotted in suburbs with poor transport options.

      • arescarti42MEMBER

        It’s a combination of high construction costs (higher in Canberra than Sydney or Melbourne) and high land costs – the ACT government has a huge monopoly on land, and has forced the price of housing lots and multi-development blocks up to stratospheric levels

      • Its high because of investor demand and the building industry has worked hard for yonks to deskill labour by construction efficiencies [crapification]. Land prices in CBDs and inner rings is always high traditionally due to demand.

      • Here’s why apartments aren’t cheap at Cronulla. Developer buys 4000 square metres of land for 54 mil. Construction costs 29 mil. Number of units is 63 plus a few shops at ground level. Looks like just the cost of land and construction is going to be 1.2 mil per unit! Once the land value returns to sane levels the prices will collapse.
        Would have been nice to have a few of the 50 year old one bedroom units on the site that were bought out for 1.5 to 2 mil.

      • I dunno about those Marsupials 😉 But most animals have more respect for each other than the more ‘sentient’ ‘rules’ based dwellers on this planet. They can even work as a team – something we’re quickly becoming incapable of as we evolve from humanity into…….. Protoborgs?

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Just like to know what it was. The items mentioned were…

        ABC news link.
        Money laundering
        Lisa Wilkinson

        Ooohhh….that worked. I know what word it was. R a c i a l i s t

      • Create your own blog and then say what you want.

        Persoanly I would not be opposed to flinging some sorts off the balcony when they soil the lounge room.

      • @ Skippy

        I hope that this is the rock bottom of your uninspiring comment (both the use of one UnHollywood John Wick and the wonkiest reference: “rule”) as the only way is up from the rock bottom.

        New World Order was/is about “rules” too.
        Drang nach Osten too…

        I do agree that some rules must apply, “where, when, how and why” being the most indicative of the intentions.

      • Djenka…

        The context was rules were getting silly by MB, more than likely due to some *feeling* of having their “freedoms” limited. Then you expand the scope to – new world order – level stuff which has nada to do with the reference I made or its intent e.g. this is a private on going concern and not some 4chn or reddit mosh pit. One can easily get their freedoms on at such platforms without having a whinge in other peoples lounge rooms.

        I would also suggest that some look up the terms they use when triggering mods and inform themselves. This way they might express themselves without triggering mods or using words which are ideologically inflammatory from an ridged perspective e.g. not all non native Australians – are – thingy. Heaps of native Aussies are a-holes, yet that does not mean – all – Australians are.

        As far as your evoking “new world order” what part of spreading free markets during the last 40+ odd years did you miss – ?????

      • Skippy,

        The only way I can see what you infer is if it comes from a burden of a previous experience. The OP is a simple sentence and does not create the context you see.
        Now of all the people I observed here (one of the highest value of frequenting), You were the last one to expect to be defending ‘rules’ which are supposed to enforce some sort of an etiquette but alas often fail to do so when inconvenience strikes. NWO and Drang nach Osten are an archetype of the ‘rules’ and their interpretation as the moment in time requires. I surely missed nothing from the last 40+yrs of the NWO spreading the ‘free market’ and enjoy every moment of its decay. Much the same as the other victims of the “freeing of their market”. I often read one gentleman here whom numerously said “what freedom of market?”, his name was Skippy. Bottom line, observe the OP without the context (as indicated by you) and it may be clearer what I am all about – from own experience.
        For something to be a “private concern” there can be no open door, incentive to enter, placarding of the lounge with ads and a ticket clip to visit the bedrooms PLUS invitation to procreate wealth. The root of the word “publish” is self explanatory, invitation to comment cements it further as public Sure setting the etiquette is purely prerogative of those that somehow own, but the observation of the etiquette fluctuation and double standard….
        I would also suggest that some look up the terms…
        I did and it is inexplicable other than as a wonkiness of what you defended with one John Wick quote.

      • Djenka…

        I support the administration of such platforms in the manner NC has done over the years e.g. commenting is a privilege and not an individual right, otherwise, if an impasse occurs one can always start their own blog. You should check the rights of entry rules at both sites. I would note a long time commenter Haygood just got their rights removed for espousing very unethical views. So on one hand his rights to use others labour is superseded by his need to preserve his income outside the boundary of established rules.

        If you want to discuss rights and privileges as awarded purely by class distinctions or market forces that’s another conversation. I’ll leave this for you to ponder on that note – http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

        The difference between MB and NC is funding drives vs voluntary membership [MB also has its Fund], though both do have an advertising income. I also regularly suggest both sites to those unfamiliar with these alternatives to MSM, so in a sense I drive sales for both – over some years imo. This translates to income and eyes on site which again has beneficial outcomes for both.

        Wrt to your thoughts about myself and markets I would remind that I forward MMT – Post Keynesian views with a reformist bent and social democratic administration. This is not the same as TINA – only markets or its opposite of a totalitarian state.

    • @ MB – yes …… “I’m beginning to think I’m one stepped from being blocked ……. didn’t think my posts were that controversial ……….

  5. Looks like the US Treasury is on board with the Fed about raising interest rates. In this weeks bond auctions the 2 year coupon went from 2 and 5/8% to 2 and 3/4% and the 5 year coupon from 2 and 3/4% to 2 and 7/8%………will be interesting to see if this extends to 10 year and 30 year soon…..any coupon raise over 30 years is a real commitment

  6. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Just listening to Triple M in Sydney

    Just between the end of the news and before the sport..

    The newsreaders broadcasts …. research suggests …not sure from where…. “Good news first home buyers…. vendors are more than likely to offers a 5% discount if you are a first home buyer…”

    Virtue signalling at its best…

    • Why would a vendor care? I mean they certainly didn’t care if you were a Chinese buyer with cash during the boom? Clearly they didn’t care for first home buyers then? Why now?

      • Fair point. Let’s all play the national game, pass the parcel. Is it a boom or a bomb? If it goes off, the feeling out there is going to be …intense.

      • TheRedEconomistMEMBER


        Sometimes a vendor might want to have a say in who buys their house.

        I got lucky about 5 years ago when some empty nesters sold the house they built 40 years earlier and raised a family.

        They wanted a young family to buy it. We came along and they saw us as we rocked up 10 minutes before the open home. On the second viewing they wanted to meet us. After 8 parties took interest in the place and those who offered second and final offer, the vendors asked the what we offered. They were happy with our offer despite being the 3rd offer. Agent wasn’t so happy… but vendor and my family were.

        We are still battling with the mortgage though.

        They took our offer

    • arthritic kneeMEMBER

      Heard the same thing today reported as ‘news’ on the Sunny Coast. 5-10% was quoted. Seems like someone is trying to drum up some cannon fodder

  7. Agricultural Robotics:
    I’m looking at a couple of companies in this area.
    Is anyone familiar with a company called Swarmfarm
    There are lots of other similar companies out there, however I get the feeling most are more about collecting some Gov’t grant money rather than really doing the tasks they set out to do.
    I don’t have a good feel for the real world market value of:
    Small dedicated autonomous farm bots VS Big Ag machines.
    The small bot approach looks enticing especially when these small bots can introduce (reintroduce) farming methods that reduce fertilizer and pesticide use
    This is technology where Australia can really lead the world, exciting stuff …if it is real.

    • >There are lots of other similar companies out there, however I get the feeling most are more about collecting some Gov’t grant money rather than really doing the tasks they set out to do.

      Financial innovation, most likely! why am I not surprised in the least?!

    • I’m going to send this (& any more you’ve got?) to a couple of farmer mates for the reaction…… I can see them saving manhours, & product input costs at a minimum – work 24/7 & possibly better quality too. If they can see a saving they’ll buy them! Talk about moving their workers up the chain is BS IMO though considering what I saw in Manufacturing & what I’ve previously seen of farmers/employers in general over the years.

      I get your reticence, anything that Is any good usually ends up OS after they’ve milked any grants they can get locally. I like Henry’s quote 🙂

      • I’ve talked to a few farmers that I know but when it comes to this sort of methodology change those that are deeply involved in the day to day running of a farm are not necessarily the most useful for inputs.
        It’s a bit like that famous Henry Ford quote
        “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
        As I see it the real value of a move away from big Ag and big machines, is that it opens the door tom mixed farming and Permaculture methods which can potentially use much less resources (especially water and fuel) while simultaneously rebuilding the soil quality that our Big Ag methods ruin.
        The farmers that I talked to were kind of fixated in acres/ hour and machine upkeep (last thing they need is dozens of small machines to maintain). It seems from my limited feedback that a real shift of this sort will require some top shelf reliability engineering and real production quality focus (neither of which are aspects of product development where Aussie engineers traditionally excel).
        Still I don’t want to be negative…green shoots and all.

    • We stayed in a sub penthouse apartment in Sydney- one of two,31 story’s l think, in George street.
      Our place was fine( although had been totally refitted apparently). The American tourists next door were dealing with floor to ceiling visible mould throughout the place- the photos looked a little like shag pile carpet on the walls. They were screaming at the front desk staff,and who could blame them.
      We did use the pool complex,although there was definitely mould in that complex- asthmatic kids wheezed furiously.
      Great views over parks and a Sydney school though.

    • Women are the mayors of the three biggest cities in France and Spain. The ones running Paris and Madrid seem to be doing a fair job within the limits of what mayors can do (albeit ones that run local police forces etc), but in Barcelona where the Podemos connected Comuns candidate Ada Colau has been running the show lately things have turned ugly fast The dealing of drugs and fights between drug dealers in the laneways of the old city centre have exploded, drunk tourists think they can do as they like, even walking around naked and screwing in the street, and African immigrants have taken over whole sections of pavement in front of struggling shops to sell dodgy wares, even for a while dangerously (inc case of an emergency) filling up the underground pedestrian accesses to the main underground station: There has been a sense of a breakdown in public civility and the sense of personal saftey has disappeared while the local police stand helplessly aside, unable to enforce the law. Many locals are dispairing of the situation and talking of leaving, particularly those with kids.

      • To be entirely honest, i’m not sure it is women per se. Might just be the fact that, statistically speaking, slightly more women lean left. But that does not make them responsible directly, seeing as how women are hardwired (from an evolutionary standpoint) to be more communal. Bit silly getting upset at something that is.

        Maybe just leftists, and a small minority of highly visible female leftists (apex fallacy on my part).

        Still, with all the male bashing in the media, overt sexism seems to be the way to go. Also, its amusing.

    • Dude….

      Neoliberalism is a far right wing socioeconomic template with things like liberalism as cornerstones…. duh…. Rand was a female…. chortle….

      • Sigh libertarianism and not FDR liberalism, though the latter has reverted to its original state e.g. liberalism pre FDR’s slight of hand wrt the term.

      • What – ???? – being one of the key instigators – apologists for neoliberalism is old hat how…. next thing you know and you’ll say Jesus is old hat….

  8. I just can’t believe how many educated people can’t explain what happens once automation removes 70% of the jobs that exists today. When I put forward an idea that we will have to move to a new system because capitalism will not be able to survive the new environment they just shrug and ask “move to what? socialism?”
    Then I ask:
    How can we achieve infinite growth in a finite world with finite resources?
    Who is going to buy all the goods and services produced/offered by the robots? With what?
    What are all unemployed people going to do? Ok, Immigrate to Oz, I guess.

    My view – we will either become a global dictatorship – and this is where our elites are pushing us into right now.
    Or, there will be WW3 or mass revolution where unwashed masses will topple most governments and enforce a new system. I think Russians and few other countries tried communism 100 years too early. But with the advancement of technology communism might be the only option.

    EDIT: forgot to mention: Most people said – I am glad I will not be around when this happens – automation taking over most jobs.

    • First they came for the dinosaurs and I did nothing………..nearly everyone is a techno-cornucopian, they expect Elon Musk to save us. Very few people do enough maths now to understand the exponential function. My own view is that even if that Yanks and the Russians don’t end up swapping EMP’s, it is only a matter of time until some nihilists get them and why wouldn’t they use them with the jackboot on our necks ever more visible ?

      • Also Brad Delong’s article on “Peak Horse”.


        Similarly, one could just as easily have said, a century ago, that: “Fundamental economic principles will continue to operate. Scarcities will still be with us…. Most horses will still have useful tasks to perform, even in an economy where the capacities of power sources and automation have increased considerably…”

        Yet demand for the labor of horses today is vastly less than it was a century ago, even though horses are extremely strong, fast, capable and intelligent animals. “Peak horse” in the U.S. came in the 1910s, I believe. After that there was no economic incentive to keep the horse population of America from declining sharply, as at the margin the horse was not worth its feed and care. And in a marginal-cost pricing world, in which humans are no longer the only plausible source of Turing-level cybernetic control mechanisms, what will happen to those who do not own property should the same come to be true, at the margin, of the human? What would “peak human” look like? Or–a related but somewhat different possibility–even “peak male”?

        “Peak [human]” in the U.S. came in the 2010s. After that there was no economic incentive to keep the [human] population of America from declining sharply, as at the margin the [human] was not worth its feed and care.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Wouldnt those slaughter bots be susceptible to EMP devices?
        Rand corp did a military report I kind of rember where they discussed the EMP damage from a multi megaton Nuclear weapon detonated on the correct trajectory and high altitude saying that it would wipe out all electrical devices and power grids over a surprisingly large area,…including vehicles!

        The most deaths was predicted from the collaps of the food distribution and payment system infrastructure, noting that most cities only carry 3 days food supply,…25 million dead if detonated over Chicago (so high that near no deaths from blast or initial radiation burst)
        Made me think this is as much of a concern as “Mutually assured destruction” when it comes to the restraint of the use of Nuclear wepons in “limited exchanges”,…to much economic damage.

        Still Id rather see us thrown back into a pre “information technology” world by the EMP frying of global circuitry, than have a global plutocratic dictatorship, thought policing everyone with these “slaughter bots”.

      • The effects of EMP would be very hard to predict. There are vast numbers of electronic things that are sitting in warehouses not connected to anything. I doubt they would be affected.

        EMP might be a blessing in disguise, since it would cripple the cities and big infrastructure, but in doing so it might allow the system to reset in a more distributed way. Wifi would still work, and there are literally billions of wifi capable devices all over the place. There is open source software for making mesh networks out of lots of distributed wifi devices. Cheap computers like the Raspberry Pi have been made in tens of millions, and every one of those is about the same as a 2005 server computer. wifi routers sitting in your cupboard are each capable of being a wifi link, even if they are 5 years old.

        Technology would not die, but we might end up in a Mad Max scenario. Make no mistake, EMP would turn the megacities into real hellholes. People who set themselves up on a rural acreage would be much better placed.

      • WiFi might “work”, but you’ll struggle to find anything capable of sending or receiving a signal, either because it’s been burnt out or because there’s nothing to power it with.

        People on acreage would be better placed for a few days until the hungry mobs made it out of town.

        Now, if you live somewhere remote enough that you have to drive for over an hour to buy groceries, and half of that on a dirt track, you might be far enough away to last until the raiding parties start coming out. Though unfortunately your “wifi” ain’t going to help because it hasn’t got the range.

      • “Though unfortunately your “wifi” ain’t going to help because it hasn’t got the range.”

        You are obviously not an engineer and probably have never heard of amateur radio or the ARRL.
        People like you just think in the box. Not a shred of innovation or can-do left at all.


        You can make highly directed directed antennae from aluminium cooking foil. With the right software (open source) that makes a point to point link from two discarded wifi boxes. If you want to get fancy, you could weather seal Raspberry PI boards and put them at the focus of the hi gain antennas. The new RPi 3B+ can use the 5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, which is good to about 75Mbits/sec. That is a $35 computer. As well, a few of them could provide a server for a small community. I am sure a few TByte drives from Officeworks would still work. A TByte is a huge amount of information.

        A Venezuelan techie apparently has set a new record for longest WiFi link. Networking guru Ermanno Pietrosemoli established a wireless connection between a PC in El Aguila, Venezuela, and one in Platillon Mountain, a distance of about 237 miles, mostly using off-the-shelf equipment and a few hacked parts.


        All this mostly just sits on the vast amount of software built into the wifi devices. We don’t have mesh networks because the telcos don’t want that – they want their own systems.

        So, just think this through. A small community could have local wifi and some servers, and several cheap masts with 75Mbit links to other groups. Lets be conservative – 1-5Km links. The weird thing is that for rural communities, this would probably be an upgrade from NBN!

        It is highly unlikely that the whole world internet repositories would be destroyed, so the information would gradually diffuse back into the system. People would dig up old CD ROMs that they might have kept and upload that. What would be deleted would be the vast amount of crap like celeb gossip and junk email. Email would survive. Everything we think of as the “web” is actually based on open source software, it is just that it has been wrapped up by commercial systems to be a product. Strip that away and all the pieces are there to rebuild the web.

        When things get tough, people wake up and start using their brains.

      • You are obviously not an engineer and probably have never heard of amateur radio or the ARRL.

        We were messing with pringles cans in the early 2000s to shoot wifi across suburbs, does that count ?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I was under the impression that pc boards were the most susceptible to EMP effects because of their micro circuitry.

        Either way, a future Capitalist monopoly on all this incredible technology coming our way is a surefire pathway to the reintroduction of Feuadalsim and abjection for the Vast majority of the population.

        Real democracy is the only way we can temper this technological power,…it may also be essential for survival.

        Though Im no communist,…I agree with Chimsky here,…You cant have a real Capitalist “Democracy”

      • EMP damage to electronics is definitely a curly problem.
        From the limited experience I have had with EMP damage to electronics, EMP most resembles Electrical over-stress damage from Charged Device Model (CDM) discharge.
        Most Electronic systems are tested for Electrical over-stress behavior under conditions of Human Body Model and Machine Model stress cases. These two cases are very well understood and protected against. CDM is a newer spec that only really applies to chips and PCB sub-systems during the assembly process. An EMP event just like a CDM event charges the whole device or sub-assembly and picks its own discharge path, so you can easily have a situation where sensitive analog inputs need to discharge all the EMP energy imparted to the device, When this happens it is not unusual for thin gate oxides to just punch through.
        So if anybody drags out slides of HBM or MM esd (Electrical stress damage) and tells you that this proves EMP wont cause wide spread damage electronic systems damage, you’ll know that either the guy presenting is an idiot OR more probable is you’re being deliberately feed misleading information, or disinformation as it’s know in certain circles.
        BTW: knowing too much about this is topic only increases your chance of being randomly selected at the airport for special attention.

      • Most PCBs for electronic equipment (like ARM boards) are 4-6 layers with extensive ground planes. A lot of the E1 energy would be induced in the ground planes. On top of that, these boards are covered in bypass caps which would absorb induced differentials between voltage rails. PCB interconnects to RAMs and IO might be at risk, but again they are likely to be 0.3mm away from a GND plane. That is quite a small inductive aperture to intercept the E1 pulse. Another factor is the orientation of the PCB to the E1 wavefront.

        The CE tests (shudder) apply an external high voltage pulse to electronic equipment and it has to survive. That is quite different to an EM pulse passing over an isolated PCB. Other factors would be shadow effects. In a carton of 100 Raspberry Pi boards in a warehouse, the ones in the middle of the carton would be shielded by the ones outside. Then there is the metal racking system, the silver insulation foil in the building walls. It would be a complicated picture.

        Unless there are credible experiments that say otherwise, I would estimate that a lot of electronics would survive. Perhaps not your desktop PC or anything connected to copper pairs. Maybe not your phone or laptop (except if they were accidentally in a Faraday Cage).


        “An EMP has a smaller effect the shorter the length of an electrical conductor; though other factors affect the vulnerability of electronics as well, so no cutoff length determines whether some piece of equipment will survive. However, small electronic devices, such as wristwatches and cell phones, would most likely withstand an EMP.[38]”

        So, EMP would probably devastate the cities and infrastructure, but we would not be instantly back in the late 19th century.

      • drsmithy

        “We were messing with pringles cans in the early 2000s to shoot wifi across suburbs, does that count ?”

        Well it would count if you had actually learned something from it. Obviously you knew very well that cheap wifi gear can be turned into data links. You probably know as well that the software to build networks out of this is open source and readily available.

        So, presumably that means that you just post contrary stuff here just for the hell of it. Do you live under a bridge by any chance?

      • @DM you’re missing the point that EMP is kind of a Common-Mode charging because the whole electronic assembly gets charged relative to something external that see no charge for whatever reasons( shielding being one of the reasons …) So what you’re saying about massive Ground planes becomes part of the problem.
        Normal electronic systems damage happens with an event relative to the Ground plane, so the ground planes help discharge the induced voltage on the input leads. However with EMP you sort of have the opposite thing happening, so on a normal Input to something like an ARM the input will have normally reverse biased diodes relative to the power supplies and the power supplies will have several clamp diode strings or SCR’s or Nch/BJT devices that clamp the VDD/VSS supplies. (for something like an ARM this Clamp would fire at maybe 5V (for 3 V external interfaces). So inputs are protected by the forward biasing of the diodes which transfers the ESD energy to the much beefier power routing (although these days there is often a supplemental NCH clamp that is rate_of_change fired )
        OK so with all that in mind: what happens on a Common mode charging of the whole assembly with discharge occurring through some parasitic path often associated with external sensors or things like serial bus connections. All the EMP energy of the whole assembly has to discharge through the unintended path. the speed with which this discharge occurs is also part of the problem. As I said understand Charged Device model failure modes and work backwards from there.
        To be clear it is not a difficult problem to solve, it’s just one that most electronic systems are not designed to deal with.
        How big a problem it is is still largely unknown because the available data relates to the failure of power/telecommunications systems for a very different technology era.
        Just to be clear I’m not overly concerned with EMP at the electronics level because in many cases the entire system sees the event as a common mode charging, it’s systems where parts of the electronics experience differential charging that are most at risk.

      • Well it would count if you had actually learned something from it. Obviously you knew very well that cheap wifi gear can be turned into data links. You probably know as well that the software to build networks out of this is open source and readily available.


        However, while you are of the opinion that most farmers living out the back of beyond are going to have a few embedded PCs and (open-source compatible, pre-rooted) wifi hotspots in the cupboard – that weren’t zapped in the hypothetical EMP – along with all the necessary gear, knowledge and skills to cobble them together into a mesh network, I am not.

        “Readily available” is not the same as “widely distributed”, especially when everything that makes it “readily available” would be gone in the case of the hypothetical EMP.

      • drsmithy

        This is a silly argument. The farmers don’t have to know anything or have the equipment. There will be hundreds of thousands of useful ARM computers in circulation or in warehouses, and given that there is a crisis, some engineers will work out how to put them together. People will form communities, and the engineers will type out instructions on how to make a network link. Since the new NBN sattelite up in the bush, there are thousands of old dishes lying around up there. Or, maybe a wok or a pringles tube. Have you ever looked at https://www.instructables.com/ ? Not everyone is a dumb consumer.

        It is interesting to note that if you went back 10 years, then the picture post EMP would not be as rosy. Desktop PCs were more common then and they would likely be fried. Thanks to the mobile phone market, we have things like the Raspberry Pi which are fully fledged computers that can run the full OS linux stack. There are so many of these devices in circulation (or shoved in a cupboard), that we probably have reached the point where our technology base is guaranteed survival. There are enough solar panels and related technology. To power a RPi you need a 12V battery and a cigarette plug USB charger. These are common items.

        If we did have some crisis like an EMP, people might actually realize what a great idea the whole Open Software thing was. Richard Stallman (prickly nerd that he is ) might actually be appreciated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman

        People have been lulled into this form of stupor with technology that it is like a cargo cult. The latest mobile phones have ridiculously powerful 8 core computers with 8 Gb of memory – and most of that actually does nothing. It is mostly bling. In the case we had a reset (like EMP), and stepped back 10-15 years, the big hit would be to the financialisation of consumerism. Probably the internet that would grow out of that cull would be better for losing the dross.

        drsmithy, you should buy a raspberry Pi and set it up, and try and use it for a week. That might be an instructive exercise for you.

      • FFS.

        You mean the warehouses in the cities that just got EMPed and are now disaster zones ? Or the ones in the countries on the other side of the planet (maybe even the ones doing the EMPing) because basically the whole world now runs on JIT logistics ?

        You mean the Engineers living in the cities that just got EMPed and are now disaster zones ? The (mostly) guys who are going to be some of the first people to hit the limits of survivability ?

        You mean the Instructables (or whatever) website you can’t get to any longer because you no longer have any comms, power, or access devices ?

        Even Android phones often require manufacturer magic codes to root them and make them general purpose. What happens when you can’t communicate with the manufacturer anymore ?

        Nobody will care about this stuff in the early days after such an event. They will be concerned with family, transport, fuel, water and food (and for some, weapons). Re-read Ermo’s post above – supposedly 3 days worth of food, fuel, medical supplies, etc, is locally stockpiled (this does not seem an unreasonable estimate to me – I’d be sceptical of over 5). So probably a week or two down the line stuff is going to start running really short (and there are going to be a lot of toilets that haven’t been flushed). Nobody is going to be trying to cobble together mesh networks in that sort of timeframe, and outside of it things in the cities are going to start getting pretty ugly.

        Almost all the HAMs, et al, will have their equipment fried when an EMP hits assuming it’s hooked up at the time to an antenna and/or mains power supply at the time. Some probably have spare equipment on hand, but how many have a complete replacement rig ?

        You are only considering the components, not the system. You are looking at each individual part of the scenario in isolation, not how they fit together.

        None of what you are talking about is impossible, but it requires a lot of things go right to make it happen.

        People have been lulled into this form of stupor with technology that it is like a cargo cult.

        Yes, yes. Just like nobody cranks their car to start it anymore, nobody knows how to double-declutch (if they know how to drive a manual at all), nobody does their own oil or spark plug changes, etc, etc.

        What would actually happen if everyone had to go back to UNIX (or whatever) commandlines is that computers would again become inaccessible to the majority, hidden behind the high priests of technology.

        Can you write your own compiler, kernel, drivers and OS from scratch ? Can you create your own hardware platform from scratch to run it on ? If the answer is no then you’re not really that much different than the “cargo cultists” you’re sneering at, you’re just putting together a larger selection of bits and pieces created by someone else.

      • drsmithy

        You really are out of touch with open source software and linux. The image for a RPi is readily available and fits on an 8G SD card. All you need is one copy and it can be duplicated onto other ones – and 8G SD cards are all over the world. I bet if you looked you would find half a dozen around your house.

        There is no need to use “unix cmdline” . Linux for these little machines comes preconfigured with a graphical desktop that looks almost identical to Windows XP. Also preloaded is Libre Office – which is an open source clone of MS Office. You don’t have to open a terminal at all if you don’t want to. Most people who work in an office could be up and running with a few hours of practice. Writing documents, spreadsheets, email (eventually). Chrome browser even works pre installed.

        I think that what you have missed here is that most consumer grade devices – like android phones and iphones are completely useless without a working internet connection, but this is not at all the case with any computer that can install a debian based OS. The android and iOS devices have been locked up explicitly to prevent them being usable without the ticket clipping contract. This is not the case with ARM based single board computers.

        Raspberry Pi have shipped about 20m devices. Then there are the chinese clones – maybe another 10m or so. All these devices will run some sort of debian OS – which looks like Windows XP. On top of this the RPi guys have ported their desktop to an image that will run on any i86 laptop built in the last 20 years. https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-desktop/
        (BTW – if you have any old laptop that can’t run the latest OS like Win 10, you can resurrect it with this image. The result is actually better than windows 10). In an EMP scenario, there are bound to be some laptops that survive. Put debian on them and you can use them for whatever you want – servers, wifi, office computers, whatever.

        My point here is that if we did have an EMP, after the initial turmoil subsided there would be enough general purpose electronic devices around to rebuild much of the internet. It would kick us back 10-20 years and decentralise, but most of what we would loose is crap anyway.

        drsmithy, if you think that linux is command lines and unusable, you really need to brush up on your technology. I have a Raspberry Pi 3 set up in a corner and I can read MB on it just fine – no cmd line required.

      • Look, I spent the better part of 15 years as a FreeBSD/Solaris/Linux sysadmin, in environments well into the hundreds of machines (when they were all actual physical servers) and distributed across multiple countries, on top of years of personal interest, you really don’t need to waste time telling me what Linux is and how it works.

        I detested the regular sneering superiority by nerds at people who didn’t know as much as them about some random esoteric aspect of technology when I was more involved in that community and I detest it even more now.

        What’s the difference between someone “cargo culting” a raspberry pi from a downloaded image and someone “cargo culting” a Mac ? In both cases they don’t understand how it works and are equally screwed when the magic that makes it go stops working.

        I have not missed any of your points. You have not addressed any of mine other than to wave your hand and say ‘there’s lots of kit out there’ and ‘open source will prevail’.

        The practical implications of just about everything electronic and electric stopping permanently in a city today are staggering. If it’s only localised and the rest of the country is still functioning well enough to assist then the long term consequences are not especially dire. If it’s part of an actual war and hit every decent-sized city in the country, however – a very real possibility since our population is so concentrated – then we’d be buggered. Sure, people will cobble stuff together eventually, but it’d take a long, long time to get anything close to contemporary capabilities even from a decade or two ago, and there are very real risks that full recovery would be nearly impossible due to lack of access to raw materials and manufacturing capabilities.

    • Fundamentally it’s about who benefits from the productivity gains. I think the world could definately function but yeah the capitalist model is going to struggle. Work also gives purpose to a lot of people’s lives.

  9. Advice please: On Tuesday I handed over my bank check to ANZ in order to deposit into my linear account (yes, I am joining MB fund) and I am yet to see the funds in the account. How long does it take?? Or should I call Rowena?

    • How long did it take to get in contact with the MB Fund?
      I tried the ‘I’m ready to invest’ thing twice but have heard nothing and it’s been over a week now

    • Give them a call or email- they are pretty responsive. It maybe because they haven’t done the fund allocation yet.

    • Yeah it took about 3 – 4 working days for me but I did a Direct Deposit. So Cheques might be longer as they take 3 – 5 days to be cleared. Can you call your bank to find out if the Bank Cheque has been presented? Guess will tell you whether ANZ has actually cashed the cheque to do the deposit yet. Keep the receipt they gave you for the bank cheque.
      When I called to find out whether they got the monies, somehow MB was able to see the amount in the acct about a day or 2 earlier than when it showed up on linear portal. So you can try that too.

      • money got taken out from my account on Thursday (did not check Wed so might have been taken out earlier). I am bit nervous when dealing with money launderers..

      • csfn – well for starters, it’s a duplex, you only get the right half of that building, secondly Downer is an outer, fairly dowdy suburb of North Canberra “Township” (“Canberra” actually consists of 7 or 8 discrete urban areas one of which is North Canberra with a population of about 50,000), thirdly, Downer was constructed in the 60’s (?) to accommodate the Department of Defence personnel when the Department was relocated from Melbourne, and as such many of the structures were project built and are nearing their end date. People pay that sort of dough in that area for standalones to knock down and rebuild.

        But of course there are plenty of frogs in the saucepan who will say that this represents good value.

      • What Triage said, plus just the fact that this is the usual real estate spruik that focuses on a single high priced auction to make you think the market is hot… but avoids mentioning that the city wide clearance rate is in the 50s.

    • No its not. I’ve just spent six months living in a squat in Melbourne with German backpackers. The ones with uni degrees or going to university they’re all going back to Germany or anywhere they so desire.The ones without, the carpenters, they want to STAY IN AUSTRALIA. “Germany is really hard to live man, you get paid shit and work all the time because you are competing against east europeans”.
      But “unskilled” “uneducated” people are invisible except when they’re being “racist”.
      “Dino Cviko, a 24-year-old journalism student in Sarajevo, told BBC Capital that he hoped to move to Germany when he finishes his studies – even if it means giving up the possibility of working in journalism. “Most of us actually want to move out of here, out of Bosnia,” he said. “Especially to Germany, our promised land.””
      Whats he going to work in if it means “gving up the possibility of working in journalism? Probably carpentry. More gaslghting rubbish

  10. This was the week that Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s ‘friendship’ ended. Prepare for a precipitous decline in US China relations as China turns inwards and Xi Jinping seeks to emulate Mao.

    From Bill Bishop:
    This last week may rank among the worst few days in U.S.-China relations in recent memory:
    – On Monday the latest round of reciprocal tariffs took effect and China rejected the U.S. invitation for trade talks in Washington.
    – In response to U.S. sanctions on a department in the People’s Liberation Army and its head over Russian weapons purchases, China recalled its navy commander from his U.S. visit and postponed military talks scheduled for Sept. 25–27.
    – The U.S. approved a $300 million arms sale to Taiwan.
    – China denied a U.S. request for a Hong Kong port visit for the USS Wasp.
    – President Trump accused China of meddling in the upcoming U.S. election and said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping may no longer be “friends.”
    My thought bubble: I can find no indications that the relationship is not going to experience even worse weeks going forward. As Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported Sunday:

    The Trump administration is planning to launch a major, “administration-wide,” broadside against China, according to two sources briefed on the sensitive internal discussions. These sources, who weren’t authorized to discuss the plans with the media, told me the effort is expected to launch in the next few weeks.
    And if Trump thinks that he and Xi are no longer friends there could be a whole different level of deterioration in the U.S.-China relationship far beyond trade. They never were friends, but Trump believing they were seems to have provided some restraint on U.S. policies.

    More at Axios

    Australia will not be immune from the precipitous decline in US China relations which is on the way.

      • What the money Bill Clinton took – ????

        But seriously…. America wanking on about fiddling around in other country’s elections… lmmao the CIA is Coup Central… War is a Racket… Hudson’s latest posts… colonialism and then corporatism… etc….

    • Rebuilding US manufacturing capability (or even Australian), takes far longer than dismantling it. A factory can be closed overnight. Building one takes a bit longer. Recruiting and training staff, building the customer base. It’s all a completely different prospect, and requires some sort of social unity. Therefore, in the short term, the US trade deficit will increase when demand is stimulated. They just can’t manufacture much locally. The tax cut and funds repatriation sugar hit has been frittered away. The strong USD is harming short term exports. US image is not helping either, if consumers in export countries are not enthused about buying American.

      The outcome, when there is an impatient leader needing a constant short-term fix, is to hit the brick wall harder. This is going to deteriorate. Because the planned measures are supposed to have been sourced more widely across the US civil service, they might be more targeted and effective doing China as much or even more damage than the US economy. We’ll know soon. Either way, it’s looking like an external shock for the Australian economy might be poking its head over the horizon.

      • One would think the propensity for say mobs like apple [hedge fund out of Reno] and as fisho noted recently that mfg becoming highly centralized with marketing – brand only distribution point of sales, precludes such long lead time investments. This is investor demand writ large w/ a side of anti trust blinkers after arguments about marginalism and cheaper goods being the panacea for wage inflation [zomg].

    • You do realize that Trump is not the one that has forwarded this agenda, its his economic advisor.

      See Peter Navarro, but don’t stop there just have a quick wiki check on the list.

  11. The Traveling Wilbur

    So…I guess it’s time to go short on popcorn futures then.

    That was extremely anti-climatic.

    And not one word on the RC interim report in any of these comments… that, plus the finance index of the ASX topping out at 1.7% UP yesterday, makes me think that there’s a lot of uneaten popcorn going to waste in these here parts.

    Or… Is the fact that the index closed at 1.2% up and the DAX was absolutely hammered last night our new hope? Please advise soonest. My local Woolies closes early and I’m all out.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        While I’m sure that’s a valid viewpoint I might await some input from our more unbiased friends and neighbours.

        Oh.. wait…

    • Maybe it’s just that the RC confirmed the veracity of this bubble and corruption talk so much that nothing surprises us.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Oh that’s for​ certain – but that explains the relief rally on Friday on the ASX (no unexpected corruption consequences, yet, is good news).

        The subsequent DAX hammering (which ALWAYS drags down finance futures for the ASX)… correlation? causation? coincidence?

    • FFS TTW what happens every time a massive fraud gets aired and it goes though the washing machine…. the market has information that sorts the risk and price is reconciled.

      • No.

        EMH suggests that price is always a true reflection of reality wrt to information and results in equilibrium. In this case I was forwarding the notion that animal spirits go back to normative behavior because frauds are given a wet noodle e.g. when so much of what transpires in the markets has a antisocial – control fraud foundation the most worrying concern [uncertainty] to price is anything that might up set the status quo i.e. if markets are geared for such a perspective, at onset, and investors are behaviorally conditioned [Grishams law] by fear… the outcome is backed in[.]

        There are cases in the past where individuals committed egregious fruads and argued that throwing the book at them would have a profound effect on market valuations – cough – financial voodoo…

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      LOLOLOL! #fakenews and #alternativefacts by the japs. Nothing of this fakery has been mentioned on or TVs!

      • I’m afraid you’re mistaking “asteroids” with “hemorrhoids”… former are in space, the latter are around Uranus…

      • Ah! So we should be soaking the TV in to get into your parties? Which one’s best, Kochie, Carl or La Trioli?

      • “Japan’s MINERVA-II rovers – MINERVA II2 and MINERVA II1 – traversed the surface of Ryugu, an asteroid located 174 million miles from Earth’s surface and documented what they found. Minerva stands for Micro Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle for Asteroid (2nd generation).

        The robots took a series of snapshots as they bounded across the asteroids surface, taking advantage of the low gravity to travel more than 50 feet per leap, a journey that would take up to 15 minutes to complete.”

        How awesome is that!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Totally awsome,…makes one feel proud to be a Human.
        What other lower order species has even come close to an achievement like this!,…none!

        So a Dolphin can see and think in sonar, along with all the other senses we possess,…so fking what!,…We can see whats going on, on an asteroid 170 million kms away!,…eat that flipper!
        And as for Salty the seal,…that Cnts got nothing,…just like all the other supposed big brained marine Mammals,…haven’t t even got opposable thumbs,….losers!!!!!!!!

      • Supporters of right-wing politics are prettier, more confident and satisfied than those on the left, conservative commentator Daisy Cousens has told a libertarian conference in Brisbane on Saturday.

        First thing that springs to mind:

        “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

        And if that story represents the typical fare at “LibertyFest”, then this one seems pretty apropos as well:

        “Empty vessels make the most sound.”

      • What most people don’t realise is that historically the US Supreme Court almost always defends the interest of the Elite. That’s why it continues to exist. Many people will happily cite Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) as the landmark case which overturned the “separate but equal doctrine” authorising segregation. Far fewer are aware that the Supreme Court was merely reversing a novel legal doctrine which it itself had invented 58 years earlier in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson for the precise purpose of allowing segregation. Only one judge dissented.

        And that’s not a rare case. For example:

        Dred Scott v Sanford (1857) which held that “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves”,whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court; or

        Pace v Alabama (1883) in which the judges unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of state anti-miscegenation laws; or

        the Civil Rights Cases (1883) in which the judges restricted the equal protection clause of the recently enacted Fourteenth Amendment to cover only actions by a state, not by individuals, thereby allowing discrimination by individuals; or

        Plessy v Ferguson (1896) in which the judges (with only one dissent) created the artifice of “separate but equal” so as to permit continued racial discrimination; or

        Twining v New Jersey (1908) in which the judges refused to apply Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in state cases; or

        Schenck v United States (1919) in which the judges unanimously read down First Amendment rights to affirm the conviction of a defendant who had been prosecuted for publishing material advocating opposition to the military draft; or

        Palko v Connecticut (1937) in which the judges refused to apply Fifth Amendment rights against double jeopardy in state cases (Palko had been acquitted of first degree murder at his first trial but was convicted the second time around and went to the electric chair in April 1938); or

        Betts v Brady (1942) in which the judges denied counsel to indigent defendants when prosecuted by a state; or

        Korematsu v United States (1944) in which the judges approved the forced relocation of US citizens of Japanese decent on the basis of their race; or

        Dennis v United States (1951) in which the judges read down First Amendment rights in order to uphold the conviction of defendants who had “conspired” to form a Communist Party but who had not taken any direct action. (“They were not even charged with saying anything or writing anything designed to overthrow the Government. The charge was that they agreed to assemble and to talk and publish certain ideas at a later date” – Justice Black’s dissent); or

        Bowers v Hardwick (1986) in which the judges upheld a ban on sodomy.

        Most of these decisions have since been overturned as Elite opinion on the matters changed, but that did little to protect people at the time.

        On the other hand, the judicial oligarchs have demonstrated long-running support for politically powerful groups.

        For example, in Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886) they decided that the “rights” of the Fourteenth Amendment applied not only to natural persons but to corporations. Thus, attempts by the state to regulate the profits of railway monopolies were struck down because (in the opinion of the elite judges) they infringed the “right” of the railroad monopolies to charge what the judges regarded as a reasonable profit.

        This line of thinking continues to this day. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) prohibits the restriction of independent expenditures on political communications not only for natural persons but for corporations. It interprets “freedom of speech” to include the “right” of corporations to buy politicians.

        And then there is Meyer v. Grant (1988) and Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation, Inc. (1999) which struck down the repeated attempts by democratic states (those with initiative and referendum) to regulate the payment of petition collectors.

        And then there were such beauties as Lochner v New York (1905) in which the judges overturned state laws regulating working hours or minimum wages because these were held to infringe the “liberty” of workers to negotiate with employers who had an overwhelming bargaining advantage. Or Coppage v Kansas (1915) in which they overturned laws protecting workers’ rights to join a union because these were held to infringe the “liberty” of workers to negotiate with employers who banned union membership (“Yellow Dog Contracts”).

        As the famous US judge Billings Learned Hand once observed:

        “[Judges] wrap up their veto in a protective veil of adjectives such as ‘arbitrary’, ‘artificial’, ‘normal’, ‘reasonable’, ‘inherent’, ‘fundamental’, or ‘essential’, whose office usually, though quite innocently, is to disguise what they are doing and impute to it a derivation far more impressive than their personal preferences, which are all that in fact lie behind the decision. . . . .

        “If we do need a third chamber it should appear for what it is, and not as the interpreter of inscrutable principles.”

        All that’s happened in recent years is that The People – by virtue of improved communications, not mediated by the mainstream media – have come to see the system for what it is . . . for what it always was: a Council of unelected Ivy League lawyers appointed for life terms whose job is to defend Elite interests (and that may include the interest of a few minorities who have managed to gain powerful Elite patronage) against the wishes of The People.

        Oddly enough, Iran has a similar institution:


      • Morris….

        “Pollyanna doesn’t begin to cover your Hollywood version of our legal system(or that of any other country)…the rule of law was verbiage created by a mister dicey…who imagined a British constitution but insisted manumission and suffrage for women or freedom for Irish was NOT to be allowed under “the rule of law” which simply covered the transition at that time from a “royal court” to a “political court” with the British Parliament being the law of that Land…and British “common law” in effect means rule by non royals with money and power…it does not mean the law defends the unwashed…

        The supreme court has always always always been about politics…as is the department of law currently misnamed as the “justice department” …

        Section 6 of the enforcement act of 1870 makes it a felony…FAY LOW KNEE to discriminate against black folks…no ruling that I know of has ever overturned it or lessened its capacities…but since the “just us” department does not allocate resources to “work on that”… Oh well…

        And black folks not being allowed to vote if they had a felony…the intent of congress after the civil war was unquestionably that no matter what, considering the manumission and as a reparation, black folks would ALWAYS have an undeniable and unrescindable capacity to vote…state laws could not evolve to prevent federal voting…but we see what is…

        And as to the illegal and inhuman conditions and manners of arrest today ? Take a look at how protesters during the civil rights era were arrested…were they hand cuffed and hog tied at arrest as happens commonly today ?

        We have gone backwards recently haven’t we ?”

  12. I know that it is a long weekend with footy finals, but my goodness – Sydney had a clearance rate 45% on Domain, with many non-reports. They would want to hope that it picks up again next weekend

    • what was it same long weekend this time last year?

      [edit: rj2k000’s link indicates it was 61.5% (with a median that would indicate today a circa 20% drop in median price) this time last year for about the same listings (400ish), same public holidays/grand final/long weekends etc.].

      stuff’s getting real.

      • Yeah, it was a very weak result even considering the long weekend/footy. Things definitely getting real.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Central Coast agents, North Manly mixed bag with some lower prices and others selling quick at fairly high prices.

      • Howdo, Boomen? I can’t be of much help to you mate as I only watch the unit market and Nth Balg is almost exclusively free standing houses. However, it’s definitely a sought after area as it has the proximity to more exxy suburbs without the price premium. And there has been a lot of addition/rebuild going on there for that reason. Back in high school days, had a mate who lived in Myrtle St and he’d jump the back fence and have a few holes of golf on the quiet. 🙂 All the best.

  13. Well, new bike day today. Stumpjumper 27.5 comp carbon, converted to tubeless.

    My first mountain bike, so suspect I’ll be back at the bike shop for some accessories shortly. I’m thinking a hydration pack and first aid kit primarily.. also going up need a shock pump, although the shop has set the suspension up for now.

    • The Oakes. Woodford to Glenbrook. You leave the car at Glenbrook and get the train up to Woodford. Mostly downhill to Glenbrook. Great scenery, downhills and a bit of single track towards the end.

      (assuming you are in Sydney)

      • Newcastle, but keen to travel a little and see what’s about!

        I’m thinking I should try a skills clinic.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Ive done that Oaks fire trail several times over 15 years ago,…its a good ride, but wrecked the rear shock absorber on my GT Idrive on my first run.
        I brought an upgraded replacement on line, one of my first online purchases, for just over a third of the cheapest price I could get from a bike store, I said Id be happy to pay double for a store purchase but not tripple, the bike shop owner said a company called “Dirtworks” had the exclusive import rights for Australia and they set the price, he went on to warn like of a script that my online purchased risked me being ripped off,…the other Bike shop owners and the people at Dirtworks all said the Same.
        That online purchased shock is still on that bike in my garage,…its done an easy 10,000km

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      That hydration pack sounds good, but have never wanted to carry that extra weight and wind/r, may have to bite the bullet.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I’m looking for a new one right now. Need one for some trail runs where carrying safety gear and sufficient water is a condition of entry. Probably smart too when you think about it.

        I’ve been eyeing off Nathan, Salomon and Camelbaks and am leaning towards Salomon but don’t really know. Anyone out there have experience?

      • I demoed a Stumpjumper alloy 27.5 couple of weeks ago for a few hours at Glenrock, which ultimately led to my decision.

        That demo was a little scary.. i quickly realised a 750mL camelbak bottle and no other supplies is a really dumb idea.. especially as someone without the technical skills

        At a minimum, I’m thinking hydration pack, first aid kit, inner tube (tyres are 2.6″.. not sure how likely large gashes in the sidewall are), small pump, couple of gels.

        Again though, I’m a total mtb noob

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yeah Z, that’s why I’m looking at the Salomon skin pro 15 for that little bit of extra water and carrying capacity. You’d fit all you need in one that size. A bit of brand loyalty for me as well because I’ve had a pair of trail shoes from them that have been absolutely wizard.

    • Get used to clipping out of the pedals before tackling any steep single track or get used to the taste of tree bark

    • I’d also recommend a set of finger splints for those times you go over the bars and tear the tendon off the end of a finger. Yes, the voice of experience talking. Or should I say, the voice of incompetence…

    • My good mtb got stolen and I now have a 29er mtb from….Aldi which is a rebrand and pretty good for the price. You don’t need to pay too much to have fun. Problem is I get lost in the moment down the trails and go too fast if I crash or stack I’m stuffed, something I think about on the way home.

  14. With rising U.S. motygage rates and the Australian Banking Royal Commission report will we start seeing “Irish style’ responsible lending ?

    … With United States mortgage rates lifting …

    Housing Market Rolls Over As Mortgage Rates Hit Seven Year High … Zerohedge


    … and following the damning Australian Royal Commission Banking Interim Report released Friday … and contrite and grossly irresponsible infantile Bankers … access extensive reporting …


    … can we now expect to see responsible ‘Irish style’ general mortgage lending capped at 3.5 times annual household incomes ?

    Following the 2007 events … subsequent research by the Central Bank of Ireland (accessible via hyperlink below) found irresponsible high multiple lending was the major reason its Banks went under … requiring bailouts of in excess of 70 billion euros …

    Mortgage Measures | Central Bank of Ireland


    • … latest IPSOS New Zealand poll … lifting 50% Kiwis major concern excessive housing costs … 24% of Aussies … read on …

      New Zealand Issues Monitor – Concerns about housing grow



      New Zealanders’ concerns about housing issues grow, while New Zealanders are also feeling more positive about the Labour-led government compared to last year when National was in power.

      New Zealanders have nominated housing (50%) as the most important issue facing the nation in the latest Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor, released today ( 13 September ) . Poverty (32%), healthcare (31%), cost of living (26%) and crime (24%) rounded out the other top concerns.

      The Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor regularly asks over 600 New Zealanders to select from a list of 20 issues the ones that they feel are the three most important issues facing the country.

      While the top three issues in July 2018 are the same as those seen in February 2018, results have increased for all three, indicating increasing levels of concern. These were: housing (50%, up from 41%), poverty (32%, up from 29%) and healthcare (31%, up from 27%). … read more via hyperlink above …

      Access earlier information / reporting
      Inaugural IPSOS poll
      Performance Urban Planning


  15. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Cops came around last night, passer by thought someone was getting murdered but it was just me with severe cramps from the bike race against the 41yo mate . Told them I took a magnesium so all OK , they just laughed and went away.

      • Naw it was an ex navy roommate in Hunting Bch that raced competitively in beer can series as a solo rider. Back in those days I might partake a one hit whilst surfing or sailing [trimming spinnaker on Sat pleasure cruise laying on the cabin hatch], aside for the obligatory thingy whilst out at night so everyone was chill. Never smoked say before yacht races, except the firecracker 4th July run down the coast to Mexico. Used to crew on a mates boat that was a stripped out maxi, except for the generator to run the blender for honey and strawberry margaritas.

        That’s before all the 7 gen hydro science bud with absurd levels [30%+] of THC that starts enabling psychosis.

        For a long time its been just German beers, top shelf tequila or scotch, and velvet reds like my 101A. Lived the whole movie Blow and Less than Zero thingy back in the day.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Thanks, bolstrood, I have a minimum of two bananas a day with home made muesli so I guess I need a natural top up with something else.
        Never had cramps until a year or so ago ?

  16. New Keynesians use mathematics to ‘prove’ some very odd stuff … Take, for example, a paper by Campbell Leith and Simon Wren-Lewis entitled Electoral Uncertainty and the Deficit Bias in a New Keynesian Economy. The thrust of the paper is that our particular form of party-based democracy naturally leads to ‘deficit bias’ … The authors identify the root problem to be one of ‘heterogeneity’ — the fact that different political parties will have different views about how to run the country. Let’s look at a snippet from the paper to see how they use maths to support this earth-shattering discovery:

    This lays bare a fundamental problem with the New Keynesians. Their model reduces the economy — the complexity of which is beyond the limits of human understanding — to a ridiculously simple model which bears no relation to reality. They then selectively prime the model with whatever data provides the desired answer. In this case they have defined a model economy with only two household types and then assume that a political party will ‘solely represent’ the interest of one of them. Is that really what politicians do?


    So whilst some bang on about equally contorted and absurd distortions like generational pigeonholing, political organization, and a cornucopia of other reductive simplifications, it boils down too – its the economics stoopid*.

  17. Morrison on Insiders this morning being questioned about the Banking Royal Commission.

    He is a Grade A slime stain.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I turned it back to the comic tragedy that is our rugby union team. At least then I only nod sadly at the telly.

        When Caretaker PM Scummo was on brave Jack ran and hid in his bed because he thought I was yelling at him.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I liked the bit where he unwittingly outlined the problems facing every Australian in his desperation not to talk about leadership and coups.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Too much happy-clappy pentecostal stuff from our ScoMo? Overall, he probably had responsibility for ASIC and APRA and yet he couldn’t realise how ineffectual and compromised they were and they likely will always be? Defending the indefensible?

    • Yep a Snake Ol salesman of the highest order.
      When asked about Australia’s increasing CO2 and methane emissions he said “per capita emissions are at 2009 levels”
      Surprise surprise , fancy that.
      When you increase the population by 1 million people every 3 years what would you expect.

      Mind you he has a bit to do to catch the yanks

      • The metric of per capita emissions is a very bad idea. It only serves to confuse the issue, and it is used dishonestly by both sides of the “debate”. The pro immigration camp (including the greens) use per capita to justify large increases in population which have little effect on the per capita number – so no problem, they say. This completely ignores the fact that an Australia of 50m will be producing vastly more CO2 than 25m. That does not even begin to identify the environmental damage and water issues that 50m people will bring.

        On the other side, the per capita figure is used to paint Australia as reckless energy vandal, despite the fact that at 25m (presently) we are responsible for about 2% of the world energy consumption. You can’t have it both ways. While everyone is wacking each other with this silly per capita number, the real issue of Australia exporting 75% of the coal we dig up is not really mentioned.

        I think that the AGW climate issue is a lost cause, because nobody has any idea how to realistically fix it. The obvious answer is that we are slaves to a out of control financial system that maximises growth and excessive consumption. In the face of that brick wall, all we get is blame, posturing and finger pointing. Probably the answer will come from some combination of technology and systemic collapse, but that is out of our control.

        Think about it – our PM is Scott Morrison who believes in Pentecostal religion and thinks that selling houses to each other is the basis of a thriving economy. You are not going to get any long term thinking from this guy, and there are “leaders” like this all over the world. As far as the future is concerned, we will just have to hope for the best.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Agree with all you say.
        I have trouble getting my head around the fact that we will not change our behaviour even in the face of annihilation.
        Very sad.

      • The pro immigration camp (including the greens) use per capita to justify large increases in population which have little effect on the per capita number – so no problem, they say.

        They do ?

  18. Great interview with Keen –

    Steve Keen of Kingston University, London gives an important high-level talk on the considerable shortcomings of mainstream economics. Keen argues that a major objective of the discipline is to justify the virtues of markets, which in turn leads them to adopt a strongly ideological posture along with highly simplified models and narrow mathematical approaches to reach conclusions that they find acceptable.

    Keen has many informative asides, like the introductory level texts he used in the 1970s were more advanced than many graduate level guides.


    Do check out the first comment because it lays the foundation for what many consider modern [chortle] economics…

  19. Some interesting anecdotal evidence for more housing pricing issues / correction. We currently rent in the leafy 3134 postcode, just had our rent increased from $530 to $560 / week after being static for 2 years, significant jump IMO.

    We also accidentally opened a letter sent to our address for the landlords from their bank (1.5 months ago, today is D-Day) saying they are behind on mortgage repayments by $6,600 (balance owning at time of letter $626,000 and recently valued at around $750,000) and have until today to rectify the situation. (property was purchased around 2 years ago for $730,000, lived in for less than 1 year then rented out, Chinese landlords), we have the threaten the use of VCAT to get anything around here fixed.

    We believe that they are extremely cash poor and over stretched and that they will be a domino that falls fairly soon, we also believe they obtained the first home owners grant by deception. With all this in mind and peak rental season upon us we have decided we will look for another place to rent and move, ie jump before being pushed by the banks foreclosing. Ideally we are going to hunt for somewhere that not only meets out living needs, but has been a rental for 6-10+ years so the exposure to big crashes is minimised.

    Does our choice to move now seem like a wise one?

    • Moving sounds wise, why pay extra rent in this market. Maybe pay your rent two weeks late and help the dominos fall.

      • Hardly unethical paying your rent 2 weeks late. But then if he wanted to be ethical, the ethical thing to do would be to call the bank that sent the letter and say the people no longer live there as it is rental property and they need to send the mail to another address.

        As far as the moral high ground goes, you could get a more lofty view if you paid for membership of this site given how prolific you are on it.

      • Being as they are Chinese and quite sure they have ripped off the FHB and are more than likely doing all the dodgies they can we fully intend use the scorched earth principle, initially it will be to ensure we get our full bond back (we also took over 200 photo’s of the property before moving in with our DSLR), then we will report them to all agencies known including the bank.

      • Again I sorted that freeloader view back in the day, argue against it based on evidence or not, but don’t try that rubbish with me. BTW I’m not using MB and this is not a “pay to play” platform. The principles of this blog are quite in their rights to make it a member only club – with fees, not breaking any rules in my commentary.

        Who is talking about morals, I said ethics, you know the kind based off social psychology and not some antiquarian prose to befuddle the unwashed into subjugation.

        I suggest if you want to deploy unethical means to change things…. there is always black block et al. And some still don’t understand studies on negative reinforcing loops…. sigh….

    • Time to get out. If you get another letter from the bank addressed to the landlords, do a “return to sender” with your own letter stating that you have been renting at the property since date x, and the person it is addressed to does not live there. They sound like they are already stuffed, but this should guarantee they do not get a PPOR loan at a lower rate.

      You may also want to add that you suspect this may be fraud or illegal activities at play – I had to pull this one when I found out a neighbour’s friend was using my address to receive a credit card.

    • Their greed was about to inconvenience you! Luckily you got the inadvertent jump. Move while the choice is in your hands & you have time to suit yourself! Being given 4 weeks & pressured is the PITS! It used to be UnAustralian to put someone in, but by what I can gather that’s an antiquated & overrun custom nowadays, so go for it if they haven’t played by the rules, screw ’em before they screw you!

    • To discuss cost you nothing, correct?
      Offer 2 year at 400 a week. If the bank takes the property you may have recourse if they break the lease, not sure about that.

      • Its a great thought, I asked a customer who is a RE agent, they said if a bank forecloses they only need to give 14 days notice to vacate ! Otherwise i’d be asking for exactly this.

    • Ah, advice from a RE agent. If you are bright you can check yourself. A lease can exist through sale, or have vacant possession. Banks have money and might have to compensate if you pay more …

    • You know you can get an estimate of rent and whether the rent increase can be actually reasonable on some tenancy website. Otherwise you can refer them to some ombudsmen to negotiate… forget what site it is but I used to check it each time I got a rent hike. I would move and next place I would ask whether the owner has a lot of equity in the home with the agent. Owners needed renters to provide bank statements to show steady income. I think the time will come soon where potential tenants ask for owners lvr docos to prove they can afford the property through the course of their tenancy.

    • @ B2B

      For too long the only way was up and no landlord will debate the increase once a decision was made. My rent went 6% up 2yrs ago and no amount of indisputable evidence that rents actually went down was having any effect…. I moved next door which was less expensive, larger and better positioned. That pissed off the old landlord and they tried to nail my deposit for giving them the notice approx mid November (could not lease for 3-4 months.. and eventually the owner returned in)
      Prepay of the rental bear no weight. Opposite actually.
      I offered to prepay a full year (for a discount better than the interest rate banks will pay on savings) to my current landlord and they asked me if I planned to run after the lease… Prefer a weekly trickle than a flood followed by the drought.

      You may win if your vacating notice is conditioned by rent revert and a guarantee of a further 12m no change… but once the trust is broken nothing can fix it and perhaps it is better to move on.
      There is no win or win-win solution. Only how many parties lose.

      • I 100% agree, our landlord is already struggling to make ends meet (have lodged VCAT paperwork to force them to fix cooling after giving them 4 months notice before summer), no doubt any threat of moving unless rents reduced will have our bluff called, so the way we see it is find a new place and move. We are thinking about attending any open for inspections and telling people what the landlord is like and what their financial position is as well. We dont want anyone else to go through the same pain as we have.

  20. Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How it all Went Wrong – by John Rapley

    Top comment

    Sold rather deceptively as a book about the failures of economic theory, this is as much a standard modern economic history textbook than anything else. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a cracking read. It’s a broad history of capitalism and the theories that accompanied it along the way – from Adam Smith to Ricardo, Marshall, Keynes, Friedman, Minsky and more.

    Ninety five per cent of the content is a standard narrative taking in everything from the enclosure of the commons, early industrialisation, the rise of the bourgeoisie, urbanisation, colonisation, the rise of the franchise and mass political parties, all the way through to the post-Cold War ‘end of history’ and the triumphalism of neo-liberalism.

    It’s a shame the thesis of the book feels tacked on in the final chapter and not more woven through the preceding chapters. Perhaps Rapley was wary of giving away too much too early, but I would have liked to have seen him written more about how economic theory so often becomes an ex-post rationalisation of the winners in continuing to exploit the less fortunate or to cement their power. More political economy perhaps.

    His attempt at an upbeat conclusion, using multi-cultural Brixton as his focal point, also feels a bit forced. Perhaps he didn’t want to end on his earlier (and more cogent) point that after centuries of exploiting and colonising the developing world, the citizens of the developed world are now going to be on the receiving end.

    But overall, this is an excellent read – full of insights and a rollicking overview of 500 years of economic history.


      • AE86’s were chuckable, agile, well balanced little beauties – nearly bought one before dorifto was a thing. This bloke’s paid a few bucks to get the bum loose & as controllable as that……… but on the streets like that is asking for serious grief.

        There’s been some Old beauties throbbing around here all weekend for a car show – Lotta work gone into them. A Blown Yellow ’36 tudor caught my eye, but he probably want’s $100k for it.

      • First car I bought with my own money was an AE86 twin cam Corolla. It was very good up and down winding hilly roads. Very, very good.

      • The old “boys race uphill, ‘men’ race downhill” eh. Easier to unload the rear downhill without a lot of power…… Easier to travel further than you wanted to too…… I’d prefer to nail them the traditional way, safer for mine.

        You lucky bugger A2 🙂

      • When I finally advertised it for sale in Canberra (slightly too cheap, needed quick sale) I had people from several states call me about it. One guy offered to fly from Adelaide to pick it up sight unseen. I figured he was going to thrash my precious baby into the ground so I sold it to someone else…

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Yep houses & cars are opposite to surfboards. They say look at the old house they don;t build them like that anymore but the sht have fallen down and are out of sight, whereas surfboards, the good one were so good they got ridden to death and only the sht is left to see. Some ppl say Chinese make rubbish but they can make good stuff but at the same price as German so why buy an unknown if your go to pay the same. As for cars the only real difference is now we have a choice of a good car or a cheap one. In the old days you didn’t have a choice of a cheap car by today’s disposable income standards.

    • …All I know is what I like and that tends to be solid old homes.
      If you could ask the cavemen what they liked….

      There should be no fear from the new methods of building and less expensive is not a guarantee for cheap build. Even if it usually means that.
      One thing I like with the Aussie style dry walls and partitioning – can move walls and can run the cables as you wish.

    • Ouch! My long weekend rhymed with this. Toddler thrilled with stuffing their hands in newly discovered “pockets” … So nothing to break fall when faceplanting on a downhill sidewalk 😮