Weekend Links, 30-31 March, 2019

The great rock: dusk, Lloyd Rees, 1977, Art Gallery of NSW



Macro, Markets & Investing


China & Asia




Europe & United Kingdom


Terra Incognita


…and furthermore…




    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      There is a sea change in reporting on immigration taking place before the election is called……

      Gitto is being allowed to accurately report again

      High immigration is hiding the economy’s long-running weakness – Ninefax

      And get this. More than half the real GDP growth so far this decade is directly attributable to growth in the population. Growth in real GDP per person has averaged 1.1 per cent a year – equal to its performance during the 1930s, and slower that anything we’ve had in between.

      Get it? Allow for population growth – so you’re focusing on whether economic growth is actually leaving us better off on average – and our weak growth since the financial crisis becomes even weaker.

      If our economic performance seems better than the other advanced economies’, that’s just because our population is growing much faster than theirs.

      The symptoms of secular stagnation that other rich countries complain of are: weak growth in consumption and business investment, slow improvement in productivity, only small increases in wages and prices, and interest rates that are low not just because inflation is low, but also because real interest rates are low.

      • I almost fell off my chair when I read that this morning. Couldn’t believe it was allowed to be published.

      • Yep the majors all support it, and in reality want it to increase even as the worker base is punished…more so our kids. I find this similar to what I saw in the EU and the US. The locals end up less educated and less opportunity. What outcomes with real AI/bots take jobs? Who will pay the tax for services? I’m guessing we will up to a point and then services will be only for the few.

      • Surely with major labor changes coming (AI and the rest), we would be better positioned with a Small Australia?

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        If one deducted the billions of real estate money that some of the better heeled migrants brought with them then how would GDP per capita look ?……..a tad worse one might think ….

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Malcolm has got around to telling the Chinese some of their press is pretty Xenophobic too. I am wondering whether is real role in Australian history is to be a superb ex-PM than a PM

      Donald Trump’s Twitter use is ‘liberating’, Rupert Murdoch has ‘less influence’, says ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull – SCMP

      “You are never going to win friends by insulting them and some of those personal attacks were utterly offensive and of a kind I have never seen used in Australian media, rambunctious, independent as it may be, I have never seen criticism like that against a Chinese leader,” said Turnbull.
      “The suggestion was made in some quarters that somehow or other it was inappropriate of me to quote chairman Mao. I am sorry, chairman Mao is a great Chinese leader, one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, but his writings belong to all of humanity. Everyone is entitled to quote, read Mao, read that history, quote it. Just like Americans are not the only people who can quote Thomas Jefferson, English men and women are not the only ones who can quote Edmund Burke.”

      • Chairman mao was one of the greatest leaders????? By that he must mean a kindred spirit to Stalin and Hitler. Modern China advanced in spite of Mao not because of him. He was directly responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his countrymen and destabilised the entire Asian region. It was the likes of Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun who guided China’s development and protected it from the worst excesses of Mao. Mao was quotable, but by no means great.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        “Mao was quotable, but by no means great.”
        It just hints at the tyrant and values that lie slightly beneath Malcolm’s superficial exterior.

  1. reusachtigeMEMBER

    We need to understand and support this decision in the name of cultural diversity!


    This actual serious comment by the homo SJW, who rightly needs to accept his/her death in the name of understanding, sums it up well –

    “I feel as though criticising their religion is wrong and Islamophobic. I dont feel as though we can say anything about this. If we do then we are no better than that man who attacked the NZ mosques.”

  2. A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you – Aeon

    People in the West do not know what a lack of meritocracy looks like.

    This is what a lack of meritocracy looks like:

    Conscientious and hardworking, she was one of only a few pupils in Egypt to achieve almost perfect marks on previous exams.
    With hopes of going to medical school, Mariam sat her final high school tests expecting similar results. She walked out of the exam room confident. But when her marks came back she says she fainted.
    In not one but all seven exams, Mariam recorded a final score of zero out of 100. Not a single mark.

    Mariam’s brother Mina said the school or the examination board “swapped her papers with another pupil who obviously wasn’t doing so well”.


    That is what the West should be against – not meritocracy. A lack of meritocracy is why the third world is the third world. Australia is becoming less and less of a meritocracy. Every year, the fake Greens import more and more exam cheats.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      A “Meritocracy” without binding social and cultural values is just a fancy way of saying, every man for himself and the winner take all.

      • Well, given that it is impossible for any man to be 10,000 times as smart as the average man, no man should be 10,000 times as wealthy as the average man in a true meritocracy. ie, billionaires should not exist.

        As for the poor, every kid needs food and bus tickets and they should be provided by the state for free or a UBI should be put in so that poor voters can buy food and bus tickets from the market.

        Meritocracy = not tolerating exam cheats and not letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry into “uni”.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        True – but the issue is more the philosophical outcome of people believing that they are living in a meritocracy – the sense of entitlement that arises, the reduced levels of generosity. It is the behavioural impact on society that the promotion of the idea of meritocracy results in.

    • The very esistance of the test and the need to score her 0 points is a result of meritocratic ideas. In a non-meritocratic world there would be no test and it wouldn’t matter if she is officially declared the best student.

      Your example is example of corrupt meritocracy not lack of it

      • it doesn’t matter whether she got screwed based on gender, religion, race …
        the very reason they score her 0 is to show how meritocracy works

  3. Anyone know of an update to opal tower? Drove past tonight and lots of lights out (8pm).
    Also counted 3 cranes on high rise buildings in the precinct – you wouldn’t want to own one

  4. Interesting the Mueller report news did not make the news here. I mean surely this is important as now we have to position our funds for another 4 years of Trump or does anyone thinks Trump can lose without being shot by CIA.. Russia, Russia I mean.

    • I actually don’t know much about American politics and care even less but I would hope a much younger person, from either party, comes through. There are too many old people, particularly in America, that hold the reins of power. Their (our) time is mostly passed, it’s time for younger generations to take responsibility for the future imo.

    • Our media never reported it cos they were spewing fake news stories for years and now we know it was all made up to sell news and propaganda and they got caught out. This sort of behaviour is making people sit up and think that Trump was right all along about fake news and media bias etc. so he may very well get re-elected. MSM is a joke and is almost entirely propaganda these days in my eyes anyway.

  5. anyway it was an expensive haircut today. I was waiting for WGX to drop before I buy and sell 4 cents later but no movement so I paid a visit to my barber. 90min later back at my desk and WGX went from $1.23 down to $1.165 and back to $1.23. it is hurting…
    it was the smart barber, the one that does not want to buy yet. still he thinks prices will go up again next year. when I asked does he thinks our wages will go up next year..

    • It’s why we should be considering changing policy so the interest expense cannot be a shelter for any investment and should be quarantined to the asset.

      The global debt market has changed massively over the last few decades, but our tax policy has sat still. Taxation driven interest rate arbitrage, be it cross border or cross asset has developed specifically to game the tax transfer systems on interest expense.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      and for this reason alone every last entity paying tax should be publicly accessible on a national online database operating in real time.

    • I am intrigued how this works.
      How do they earn a million dollars and pay no tax but keep the million dollars or thereabouts for themselves?
      If you pay 500,000 dollars for tax advice you still don’t have the money unless your tax advisor gives it back to you.
      Genuinely curious as someone who pays punishing tax rates and has been told by multiple accountants to get used to it.

    • Seriously, how do you do that? I hear the ATO radio blurb daily on a better tax system….it’s all BS. Much like the child day care tax scams claiming non existent children, or what percent of the $153B social security is real need vs scams?? Roughly 60% is coming from our taxes. It seem the ability to manage all of this is failing.

      • 16/17 you could still have $20 mill in pension phase.
        Simple to earn $1 mill tax free plus get a $400k tax refund.

      • Yikes I never knew that. I think you can have 1.6m now, but when we retire will it even be there?

  6. GunnamattaMEMBER

    I know I shouldn’t but I find something almost admirable in Theresa may’s sheer indefatigable persistence……

    May hopes to hold fourth vote on Brexit deal – Guardian

    …and then I think to myself the vested interests which have coiled around Australia’s body politic will be every bit as immovable in their sense of entitlement

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      “The lady is not for turning “ ………..got to admire her ….at least she has some spine

    • I don’t get what she is trying to achieve. I mean, if they go ahead with Brexit, then what would stop the Scottish, who overwhelmingly voted for Remain, from declaring independence and re-join the EU?

      I think a new referendum is the only viable option remaining, but what kind of options should appear on the ballot is a tricky question. They need to be very careful in crafting the options if they want to avoid yet another referendum down the road.

      What a mess.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Scots had a chance to vote to leave UK …and didn’t …..and if given another chance won’t ……….those barren highlands are pretty but they are unproductive …..(oil aside it ain’t enough) …….the real problem is ( as it has always been ) the Irish question ………..it’s all about the border …..and the DUP holding Mrs May in No 10
        ………….leaving means a hard border with the EU ……in Ireland ………………the new age sensitive British are not equiped for these things ……..

      • I don’t think you need a hard border for Northern Ireland. You can treat it as a special zone. Trust me, very few immigrants will want to move to Northern Ireland. It’s a depressing place.

        Plus in order to get there you still have to get to Ireland and Ireland has border security and is on an Island making travel by road impossible.

        People getting a boat from NI to UK mainland would still require ID.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Agree Gavin but the nub of the issue is the unionists don’t want NI to be treated in anyway different from the rest of UK ……they see it as the thin edge of the wedge
        of the republic getting them out of UK. Mrs May relies on the DUP to survive ….but looks like she is ready to pack it it so that may not matter . They have proposed
        technological solutions to the border but again the unionists are adamant that their can be no separation of NI in any form or shape .
        It’s a tricky problem and it would be good if they could do a deal with the republic but that’s a deal with the EU so they are stuck in a catch 22 .
        They may try to kick the can and get longer delay but then they are going to have a large part of the population offside .
        A crash out and be damned may yet happen . If that happens you can bet Merkel and Macron will make it as hard on them as possible while saying nice things .

    • “Then I’ll put my fingers in my ears and yell la la la la la la I can’t hear you until you stop.” she said. “That way, every skilled immigrant who comes to South Australia will find a job in their chosen profession.”

  7. Mining BoganMEMBER

    I believe kids’ basketball is the worst place you can be when suffering a force 10 hangover.

    Thump thump thump thump thump

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Indeed. Whodathought an afternoon on the hill at the cricket could go so awry.

        If I hadn’t done the need a slash/escape out the backdoor ruse there’s a fair chance the seasoned drinkers may have my death on their conscious.

    • That high pitched squeak of those shoes on the wooden floors lol.. then you have all that yelling from the parents and kids. So glad I’m not you right about now.

    • Not if you have a joint first, and maybe a couple of pies first up, with a can of coke.

  8. BoethiusMEMBER

    Via the ABC:
    “All up, China’s most audaciously located station — at the high point of Antarctica’s vast ice sheet at the heart of Australian Antarctic Territory — has seen 10 summers.

    This is a decade marked by incredible expansion of Chinese activity. Yet this station, as well as one another Chinese base within Australia’s claim, have never been inspected.

    Many are saying it’s time for a check-up.”


    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Just so you know

      Under the Antarctic Treaty (Australia is signatory) all territorial claims to Antarctica are held in abeyance. So we might think of ‘Australian Antarctic Territory’ but much of the rest of the world doesnt recognise that (including the Americans) claim. Ours comes mainly from the exploration of Doug Mawson and was handed to us by the Brits.

      The Soviet Union had bases in Antarctica (mainly the same as the current Russian ones) at the height of the cold war. The Chinese certainly arent the only ones sussing out what mineral riches lay beneath the ice.

  9. Why do you guys reckon the house price decline has slowed down so much in March? I was under the impression that more is selling now so vendors are adjusting prices, but perhaps buyers are getting more keen again.

    • Nothing ever goes down (or up) in a straight line. What’ll be interesting is the next part of the chart

    • Maybe because the early phase is an adjustment in trajectory, then the market finds itself, perhaps temporarily?
      We may even be looking back on the house price chart in 5 years time and merely view this point in time as the ‘dead cat bounce’ before the second slide.
      Business activity and confidence can take a holiday when people are waiting out a federal election too. Many reasons. Give it more time.

    • I thought CoreLogic explained that March is seasonally stronger, so wouldn’t read into it much.

    • Seasonal. Falls also slowed last Feb/March, but didn’t stop, then accelerated again into winter.

      • there’s nothing like a cold wet day to stop people forking out a million bucks on a house.

      • There is something of a winter effect, but it’s more that early in the year (Feb /March) is the main time of year people might be moving to a new area / city for work, study etc. So there is greater buyer demand in those months.

      • Traditionally this is the strongest selling season of the year. I noticed it also. Leading into late last year the 4 properties I had my eye on received no offers. For 3+ months. Then start of the year 3 of them sold (200k below original asking price of $1.1m) or close to that kind of discount anyway. ($100-200k)

        Now things have gone quiet again as the place that is still asking $1.1m (was $1.2m) is still on the market and can’t find a buyer.

        45 Proctor Street St Andrews Vic 3761 https://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-st+andrews-129503366

        I expect they will drop to $1m soon and still won’t get a buyer.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Not an overlay but this will get you to the ball park.

        For anyone wondering, yes we are being positively reamed by our colostomy bag of a private health system – to support the profit margins of the health insuring elements of the FIRE world.

        …….strange really, I am pretty sure there are people warbling on about how the private sector and ‘free’ market produce more efficient outcomes.

        Personally I would rather it all be government controlled with a single desk health insurer model – and anyone wanting to go outside can do so, but they are no their own from that point.

      • Great point Coming,

        All that takes place before the doctors, specialists and nurses get in for their slops. I got a shoulder done last year, the surgeon was a great bloke, but the anaesthetic guy was the type to up his charge the moment he thought some insurance crowd might be getting a bigger cut than he was. Dunno who the AMA cover though

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Yeah, well fessed up Dr Coming, (good to see the regular defenders of the medical status quo pop in to see my mention of private health insurers imply the AMA might be blameless)

        Anyway Mechanic, it would seem that your anaesthetist is getting publicity – either that or your experience is common with anaesthetists………

        Mind the gap: Aussies delay elective surgery over gap costs – Ninefax

        The Melbourne woman, who did not wish to be named, described her experience after eye problems just before Christmas last year.

        “I was finding it difficult to see and read and do my job,” she says.

        Using her private health insurance, she was told that surgery to fix the problem could be arranged within 48 hours. The proposed surgeon then ran through his bill.

        She faced $4500 in out-of-pocket expenses plus the cost of the anaesthetist, which “depending on who we get on the day” could range from $500 to $1200 in further costs for her.

        “That’s outrageous, it’s the same procedure, but they can apparently nominate what they charge as well.”

        She started having second thoughts and talked to colleagues within the health industry about her options. Luckily, the eye condition was serious enough to make the public health system an option.

        After a five-week wait she got her operation and her only expense was $34 for eye drops.

        She is now mulling over whether it is worth keeping her private health insurance at all.

        “It’s actually useless, there’s no point in having it,” she says.

        There needs to be a review of the entire medical/health system – from the most efficient means of treating the health needs of an entire society, to the types of medical ‘events’ Australian society is experiencing, to the access of non Australians to the healthcare system, to the numbers of students training in Australian tertiary institutions.

        But I strongly doubt an incoming ALP government will go there. The AMA Coming refers to will be quick to head off that possibility. Picking off the outright extortion of the private health insurance sector will be less political capital for starters.

        anyway, now that I’m home on a Saturday eve I can feed my cirrhosis of the liver potential…….

    • You do know that the PHC companies have wound back what you can claim for now and it so called based on government directives. So any moderating in costs isn’t once you have to pay the extras. All this is before the Apple, Google, FB, and Amazon get into our big data for their health care which is coming.

      • In Victoria at least,the big problem with public hospital care is mental health.
        An urgent appointment in the public sector can be 6 months! And l know, because we have been there with an extremely disturbed,suicide threatening offspring.
        And serious mental health problems are not wildly uncommon,even without drug and alcohol issues (not a factor in our case).
        We ended up with a two day wait for private care ,the cost of which leaves any discussion of private insurance cost for dead.
        But we had a serious and life threatening condition,and could not access care any other way.( and l’m experienced at finding my way around the system).
        There are people out there taking out loans to access care for their kids. Luckily,we didn’t have to, but l know people who have.
        Great painting too-he was a terrific painter and his drawings really special.

      • @js …our experience was with my wife’s spine problem and it took three months to get to a specialist, and this is the third one as their fix is to drug you up which eventually causes other issues via side effects that need another drug. And the kicker is the cost as you say. So what we’re doing is to build a medical fund to pay and so far it’s working, but could evaporate if hospitalisation is needed. So far we’re lucky like you to be able to afford it,

    • One of my ex colleagues in the US said a Tesla Mod 3 so called 35k price is more like 50k USD on the road. He didn’t tell me about the running costs. Sort of a Jetstar airline ticket …a lot more when you add all the extra costs on.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        looks like the secret training paid off, beat my mate this morn. Training was 10 laps North head hill.
        1st lap ratio = 3.24
        2nd lap ratio = 2.89
        3rd lap ratio = 2.62
        4th lap ratio = 2.39
        5th lap ratio = 2.20
        6th + laps = 1.84
        Although it was quite cold for the first time this year which suits me and not him so that was contributing and the time wasn’t special considering not many reds and a tail wind.
        Will measure the N H distance and inclination soon.

      • @BE .. well done. We call it the same here …secret training. If I ever win I get accused of that lol No riding yesterday as it was cold a raining with high winds. I was out last night so missed this morning, but may ride later. Winter has kicked in here and it might be a lot more indoor training. What tyre pressure do you use? I’m running 90psi, but for a long time to make it harder, I was at 60-80. I did a month at 60 and really intense intervals and that kicked my fitness up to the best for a few years. I don’t recommend the low pressure for fast hill descents as the tyre can roll off.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        90 psi for the 25 rim/tyres. Used to have 110–120 on the narrow tyres of old.

    • Here’s an Australian electric scooter company.
      Some articles I’ve found about them are also saying Australian made, but I can’t confirm it. I’m guessing it’s some bits fabricated here, most overseas, and assembly finished here. However they are doing it, it’s good to see them going for it.

      • I suspect a lot of these outfits are just foreign fronts for Chinese product. Give it a foreign sticker and jack the price up = easy money. You would need to do your due diligence carefully.

    • Martin North pointed out that Core Logic index based on settlements which has around a two month lag. It will be quite telling if prices don’t continue rising over the next fortnight.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Went for a sticky at a ordinary house ( that’s needs a lot of work to make pleasant ) on the north shore this morning
      Sold 18 months ago for $2.45 mil . Price guide now $2.1 mil …..good chance it might go for less )
      Add in stamp duty and other associated purchase cost and that savy investor is looking at a nearly $500 k loss if not more .
      That’s been a nice little negative earner for them .
      Suspect there are quite a few of those sort of adjustments to feed through in the coming months

  10. The banks’ new “serviceability” criteria essentially boil down to this: if you have one property, you pay 4% interest; but, if you have multiple properties, you have to pay 5%. So, the article claiming that multi-property owners are being subsidized by taxpayers is incorrect. What’s really happening is that money is flowing from taxpayers, through the hands of property investors and into the coffers of the banks. It is the banks who are getting those tax dollars, in the form of the additional 1% interest.

    • The whole IP craze was a creation of the banks for the banks. They trained the spruikers… the whole thing is a scam based on greed lies fraud and predatory lending.

  11. God there are some articles in the reading list today that really shit me and I can only thank MB for bringing them to my attention.

    People here have already mentioned the meritocracy article. But the article which shows the decline and fall of America and the West (yes I’m being over the top but bear with me) is the Atlantic article about homework.

    Read those two articles and then ask yourself: what sort of person do you want do do your heart surgery?

    While I’m sympathetic to the idea that we should look at how the school system works and how we can engage and get better results for the less academically inclined, the fact is that homework is an important part of school, and, if used properly, an important part of learning.

    When done right homework teaches students to work and think for themselves. It teaches them (or should teach them) that sometimes you have to struggle with things to understand them. And of course it should teach them to manage their time and work to deadlines, at least in the higher grades.

    Teachers might whinge about losing the joy of learning but I haven’t quite worked out how students are instilled with the joy of learning if they don’t learn anything.

    Part of the reason I think we are seeing so much stress at the HSC level, with all these kids moaning about how difficult life is, (sorry the HSC is NOT THAT HARD) is t hat they’ve never had to develop any sort of work ethic.

    And it’s all very well to talk about creativity, it’s hard to be creative if you don’t know how to do anything. For every Jimi Hendrix there are a million unlearned idiots who play like crap, unless they finally wake up to themselves and realise they have to learn something. For every Richard Branson, there are a multitude of unemployables who won’t go anywhere because they can’t read properly or do maths. And it’s all very well to whinge “the education system has failed them” They have grown up in a culture where education is not valued.

    Now I know this is anecdata, but I work in STEM and the best scientists I’ve met have been of Chinese, Russian and German origin who are really, really grounded in what they do. As a result of working and learning throughout their lives they have a deep well of knowledge to draw on which gives them the ability to be creative. Letting kids do fingerpainting is great but they need to learn how to work too.

    There’s a false logic when whingeing about meritocracy. Buried in the campaign against meritocracy is the idea that hard work and talent are worthless, or worse, to be despised. While luck has a disproportionate effect, and many times the talentless rise to the top (or get there through nepotism) the simple fact is that it is far easier in many fields to get to the top if you’re hard working and talented.

    • These seem to be your opinion rather than facts

      Your tiny sample / andecdata don’t prove anything
      The Chinese/Russians etc you meet are probably the best of their countrymen. The genetic trash are back in Russia squatting in trackpants

      Not that I know what the right answer is either , just that unsubstantiated absolutism bug me

    • Haven’t read the article – but as is the Australian way will offer my opinion anyway.

      Finland for a long time held the mantle of worlds best education system based on outcomes – Maths, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry etc on a world playing field.

      China, Japan, Taiwan etc who valued education just as highly were a long way down the list for averages – despite some individual high achievers. This is despite them having “Tiger mums” as they are known who force their kids to do insane amounts of home work.

      The Asian countries all turned to Finland for the answers.

      Kids do not start doing any “educational” school work till they are 7 – yes, not even learning to read. There is no homework in high school – if you can not learn what you need to learn in 8 hours of school for the day – cramming more in will not help. They are taught about HOW to learn, how to be creative, how to work with people, how to understand themselves.

      So the quality of that schooling was what mattered. So their teachers were required to have a minimum of education a masters – minimum. They are also some of highest paid people in the country.

      The reality is that home work – or not home work – is totally irrelevant, to you and me. Its absolutely completely and utterly irrelevant discussion – absurd really.

      What is relevant are the results – what works. What gets the best results. And Finland had been dominating that for decades – literally – decades.

      So the Asian countries after years of scoffing and pushing their kids through absurd tortuous routines started adopting these policies – and the results were immediate – over night they shot up the lists and now dominate the world rankings.

      So you can bang on all you like about “BACK IN M DAY” – as though its some sort of logical reason – how we used to do things, like harvesting wheat with a scythe, plowing fields with a horse, beating kids for being left handed, or – you know, just look to what actually works.

      I suspect there are a lot of things you hate, and are angry about – change bothers you, you hate new and different things. Try letting go and embracing whatever comes a long for what it is – rather than forcing things to comply to your order.

      Entropy. The second law of thermodynamics. The natural state of the universe is chaos – not order.


      Chaos, high entropy – is perfection.

  12. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “South Korean population on cusp of steep decline “ ………..they need immigration with its great diversity and vibrancy ……or is that only for western countries ?

  13. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    I found that Vox article on Immigration and Inter-generational inequity to be quite fascinating – study shows relationship of social inequality within Europe nations is mirrored by similar “synthetic nations” constructed for like ethnic group in US pop’n.

    The writers frame “the persistence of differences in local culture, norms, and institutions.”

    Highlights just how much culture matters, and that adding people from more illiberal and unequal societies, adds PERSISTENT illiberal and unequal values to our own.

    • Some of our Eastern European origin politicians seem to be cut from a right wing clothe, and play politics for keeps.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It is the “persistence” comment that really got me… almost as though behaviours are heritable like perhaps even partially genetic.

        Would it be going to far to suggest that the nations we have are a direct result of both the culture and genetic population groups that make it up? Radical, but probably untrue because it is undoubtedly racist….

        ….’and yet it moves.’ (Galileo)

      • People completely change when they migrate to Australia. That’s the amazing thing with immigration. I think it must be the pressurised air cabins and or sh!tty airline food that does it.

      • Stewie any greatness that Australia has left is no product of its Judeo-Christian foundations, it is all only due to the Dreamtime Serpent shaking its tail enticing a rainbow wave of all-giving vibrants.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      “Can these differences be taken as evidence for differences in income mobility between communities within the US rather than, for example, Scandinavian Americans being more upwardly mobile than their fellow countrymen? The answer is arguably yes, because the black population shows similar patterns of income mobility in these areas.”

      “A growing literature finds that the persistence of economic status is strongest in unequal societies such as Britain or Italy, and weaker in countries like the Scandinavian welfare states.”

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Yes, I saw that. But is the increased black mobility a function of absorbing Scandinavian values Osmoticly, or is simply a consequence of being immersed in Scandinavian culture and being pulled along in its values? Because the issue is, if adding more Scandinavians makes your society more egalitarian, what is the consequence of adding more Africans and African culture?

        PS: England is a far more multicultural society than Sweden, which is, or was, a far more homogeneous although that is rapidly changing.

  14. Does anyone have any viewing recommendations?
    Mine’s ‘Russian Doll’ on Netflix.
    It’s ‘Groundhog Day’ with cursing and cigarettes and booze and bleakness.
    It looks seedy as well.
    There’s a layer of grim grime on everything, like ‘Withnail & I’.
    It’s a hoot.

      • The long still shots where we just exist with the couples in their moments of silence breaches our instinctively cynical take on the reality genre to show us that there is no I, only We, and that it is achievable with anyone should we be willing to give more than we take. The nation’s faith in the power of love, and the dignity that it brings those who are in love, has been restored by MAFS and I, for one, look forward to the next season of this epochal view into the eternal need for understanding and companionship.

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Did you see Happy? I quite liked that one.

      And Norsemen.

      And embarrassingly, I am up to season 2 of Elementary.

    • Taboo, Counterpoint, The Bridge (sorry I’m an SBS cheapskate). I’ve had a couple of goes at The Orville (by the Family Guy dude) but I just find it lame (but then again I find much of Family Guy lame). Also a few western movies in The Salvation (a nordic western), Jane Got a Gun (Natalie Portman with a gun), and Bone Tomahawk (Kurt Russell and some cannabils).

      • I noticed that SBS on demand has “The Bureau”
        or “Le Bureau Des Légendes”
        I watched that the whole series on DVD purchased cheap in China
        It’s a really good modern day Spy story.

      • Danke SBS on demand is great. Far less filler than Netflix.
        13 Assassins is showing and it is a good update on 7 Samurai.
        Gintama is good Japanese comic book nonsense, if not a great film.

      • +1 for Counterpart, also add Billions and Patriot.

        @triage, Counterpoint? have you been listing to a certain podcast?

      • Damien – ha! I actually heard Amanda on RN for the first time last week, she was on about overregulation and climate (scoff) change. I didn’t feel compelled to stay listening to her but it’s a good thing that RN gives someone with her views some airtime. Amanda was not particularly polished at it but she’s never been short of self-belief. I remember when she was in Beijing as immigration minister and with some private lessions in mandarin behind her she attempted to give an entire speech in mandarin. After the opening sentence she totally lost her tones – and mandarin without tones is gibberish. The diplomats had warned her that the universal diplomatic standard is to give a greeting in the local language and then revert to your own language but she had insisted. Anyway her ballsyness got her to the heights she reached so good on her.

        As for typing counterpoint and not counterpart that was just sloppiness, even in this informal setting I should draft and proofread my posts.

      • @triage, read too much into the counterpoint thing. There is a podcast I listen to called boars, gore and swords that does a recap of counterpart but they kept calling it counterpoint. Hence, counterpoint, a counterpart podcast.

  15. Just took a Subaru Forester XT (2005 model) for a drive.

    1 owner, full service history and unmolested (no mods). It went well, but felt a little unrefined compared with the Mitsubishi Airtrek -R (Ralliart) I took for a drive last weekend.

    The Airtrek was definitely more “racey” in terms of suspension set up, little burble from the sports exhaust, all black look (wheels, windows and paint) etc..they only came in Auto though.

    The Subaru however was something the missus liked driving more and I think she likes Turbo power! I’m now looking to sell the Jimny, I’ve loved it running costs wise, but it’s just not a good interstate car and the Subaru has cruise control.

    In my opinion the Airtrek looks awesome (especially in person), the Subaru not so much. The potential for more power is higher with the Evo 7 motor, than the Subaru Boxer motor (they don’t like too much boost on a stock bottom end). But I think the Airtrek may attract the wrong sort of attention. The Subaru won’t get many double-looks from those that don’t know.

      • No need these days, with YouTube. I can find lots of material online now. My dad had loads of magazines in his old garage years ago as did my friend’s father. Sadly we threw a lot of it out. Too hard to keep it all and store it.

        Still got a bunch of workshop manuals for cars I’ll never own I should eBay but it takes time.

        I reckon shopping for a new car is almost as difficult as searxhing for a new home.

        I wanted something I could tow my project cars with, but it means buying a car with a bigger engine for something I’ll only do 5% of the time.

      • Might be cheaper to just rent something with big towing capacity now and again if you don’t often need it (or better yet, convince a mate he needs to buy a big Hilux – oh I stand corrected a Landcruiser!)

      • @Arrow2, brother in law has a Hilux, but he’s in Victoria… eventually i’ll be back in Melbourne. Job sorted..

      • You boys should have been at the Vaucluse collectict car show at Vaucluse part this morning, some very nice cars, xj220, 80’s lambos, latest Porsche’s etc. rare Alfa’s , mg’s. Gulf wings etc.

    • I’ve played around with boosting Subaru’s a couple of times but I find them really fragile
      The sort of performance upgrade that is trivial to do with a Honda B or K engine will fry a Subaru engine in just a few thousand Km’s, usually with the head gasket blowing but it’s also common to put a rod through the side of the block (maybe not for most people but it was common for me)
      The most annoying thing was that I was never really sure why I cooked the engines (temps were good Oil pressure was good, bearings were good, yet suddenly the Con Rod snaps or the gaskets blow or or or.
      That was a long time ago but it cured me of any desire to own Boxer engines.

      • ARP head studs and aftermarket conrods seem to be a given for boosting the boxer engines. That’s kind of why I’m looking for a stock example or a well built modified example with supporting mods.

        I do think the 4G63 is a better engine in the Airtrek.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Put a Datsun 1200 engine in a Austin A35 early 1970s then drove it from Perth to Sydney kept breaking down and got towed by trucks most of the way. Anyhow to cut a long story short, got stuck halfway up the Nullarbor (dirt track in those days) with a blown head gasket. No choice but to make one out Kellogs cardboard packet. Didn’t even fire. Got towed to Nundroo then waited for a proper gasket from Adelaide. btw reached mates place in Sydney did a U turn and the axle broke.

      • I have absolutely no experience with Mitsubishi engines obviously I know that 4G63’s are considered one of Mitsubishi’s best performance engines and plenty of people build reliable 300hp engines using the 4G63.
        kinda second hand experience but my wife had an Evo-II she loved that car

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Arrow2, too bad no time for full story on that trip, way more eventful than that segment.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Arrow2, ok short as possible.
        That car I made, took the engine out and brought it to the dump, where two guys seized upon it. Put the engine in the Austin which doubled its HP. My mate used to beg not to be picked up by it to go to work but I would convince him that this time it wouldn’t break down which it invariably did, late again. Decided to drive it to Sydney.(from Perth). Word got out and a near 17yo chick from the Police Boys Club where I did voluntary work gym instructing wanted to come to get away from her father paying her $6 per week in his grocery shop. Needless to say it kept breaking down and was terrifying getting towed by trucks vastly exceeding the safe speed of the narrow Austin and was imagining standing on the side of the Austins last remaining piece of metal not yet scraped off by the road. Before reaching the SA border we went up a side track for repairs and saw cop car in the distance at a screaming speed with lights and siren blaring. When on the road cars were just flying past but the The Nullarbor (350 miles of dirt) was in flood and being high & top heavy past all the cars in the water. Broke down again in the middle (head gasket) failed to fix so towed to Nundroo ( Aboriginal settlement) where we stayed for 3 days waiting for the gasket from Adelaide Courtesy of a truck driver. At Nundroo was approached by three Aboriginals with painted faces & bodies from three angles who demanded a drink so gave them all I had which was water. It took quite an effort to find the supplier of the gasket but eventually found and paid him that very benevolent person. Finally reached Sydney and broke the axle so sold the engine and the boys filled the body with junk and it rolled down the hill from Ben Boyd Rd Mosman to a water front car park. When working on next car outside Spencer St cops came to interview the chick because the father had told them she was abducted. They found the address because I closed the bank account containing a dollar. An interstate debacle, and reason for the blaring sirens earlier in the trip and didn’t even interview me.

      • Love it boom, thanks for sharing! The cops chasing you for (not) abducting a teenager is a cracking finish.

        Strangely, of all the bits of lost Australia that we glimpsed in there, this one is the most poignant: “It took quite an effort to find the supplier of the gasket but eventually found and paid him that very benevolent person”

    • I used to tow around 800kg up the mountain with my MY99 WRX. I’d imagine a Forester with same turbo and bigger engine would cruise very nicely.

      Use 15W50 Synthetic on these things. Ignore Subaru’s 10W30 recommendations.

      • I think towing capacity of these is about 1500-1600kg. Problem is a car trailer from Kennards is like 500kg and my 240z’s weigh in around 1100kg. So just exceeds the limit.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Put a tow ball on my Fiat 850 but nowhere to secure it so drilled a 1’2 hole in the bumper for bolt then a self taper in the drip pan. Borrowed my brothers huge trailer and loaded it up at Kwinana with sch 40 and sch 80 2” and 4” pipes. Some 2” on the roof racks as well. It could hardly pull it but miraculously made it to Waikiki. Needless to say huge cloud of blue smoke ensued indicating a completely blown engine. You get locked up for that these days.

      • @Gavin, I just checked. Manual is 200kg more. i.e. 1800kg.

        @BE. on a mostly flat road the towing capacity is really determined by your right foot. Something like a turbo Suby can tow a lot more than specified without damaging the chassis. As you imply though, get busted, or worse get involved in an accident, and you are in strife.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Freddy correct, at the start there was a slight hill corner of road to Spearwood and inland road to Freo which it near burnt the clutch out keeping the rev’s up in 1st gear. From then on plain sailing but the death knell was trying to reverse it up the drive.

      • If you want a cheap tow car from what I’ve heard a Prado 90 series or 120 series are solid candidates. Both will easily tow 3000kg but I think the actual rating is 2750kg.
        The old 5vz-fe is a rock solid engine (very thirsty but solid) also takes moderate boost really well and they’re cheap even with 300K on the clock they usually still have good compression and no valve or rod knock noise.
        The 1GR-FE is also a strong proven engine
        The Diesel Prado’s were a little less stellar with the early 120 series D4D’s having a host of problems and the 90 series 1KZ-TE was a walking time bomb especially if you boosted it. but apparently the early 150 series before DPF’s were good solid engines.
        Prado’s are much cheaper options than a 70, 100 or even 200 series Landcruiser but to be honest if you wan’t to tow something heavy in Australia than a proper Landcruiser is the right car for the job just my honest opinion.

      • @Fisho – those are indeed ideal tow rigs, but as you say thirsty motors. It doesn’t make sense to buy a car that’s good at 1 thing but sucks at everything else. So I think something like the Forester is a good compromise (does 90% of what I need it for).

      • TheRedEconomistMEMBER

        If you do go a Subaru Forrester with a tow bar make I am pretty sure you need to have a external oil cooler as well.

        I found once the 2007 forester hit 180k it started having raidiator and fab issues.

        Moved it on with 199k on the clock but spent $2-3k getting it to decent condition and not feeling I was selling a car with plenty of trouble.

    • Hi mate – had this car – similar. I had a tow ball and hence a bigger inter-cooler installed.

      Other than that – stock.

      The turbo on sports mode has a compressor – its fills up and is ready to use. Nothing used to beat this car off the mark really – except other similar cars. It was great. Pulled up next to a guy with one (he was in his 40’s) fully modded – lowered, breaks, the works – they look insanely good done up – all the kids want them and they hold value well. Anyway – he took off my vision skipped a few frames – it was like a Tesla. Insane.

      These cars will beat almost any 4wd on steeps and snow. Not great clearance but there is a reason everyone in northern America and Russians get these cars – amazing in snow.

      They are a lovely car to drive – best city car I have ever had. Long distances are also ok – however there is too much freeway noise in all cheap cars. No way to get around it without custom sealing.

      I bought a Prado specifically because we do LOTS of long distance driving 4-8 hour drives for camping. Prado’s were built specifically for Australian long distance commutes – that is their number one design priority – its not a joke – its true. And nothing comes close.

      Be aware – this Subaru will have a problem now – or soon – with oil leak and the heads. Consider that – replacement engines are cheap (ish).

      IF you can afford it – buy the 2010 – 2018 model Prado diesel – if you are doing long trips – best car you will ever own.

    • https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/254146585261
      I went and saw this automatic Forester today, the missus was wondering if she would prefer auto. But actually she didn’t like it. However I noted it had very bad old tyres, it pulled to the left, and I noticed the front left wing had been replaced so I suspect it had some previous accident damage, may have been a salvage title car. Small amount of noise from the gearbox at low rpm’s. Bit of a concern, but man I could write a book on used car salesmen. This place was the worst. Definitely a lemon farm. :).

  16. Boeing has fix for 737Max 8 MCAS system

    Hmmm I spent most of my adult life working in Product development and I’m clueless how anyone can think they have a Software fix for a problem that they haven’t shown to understand, or more to the point haven’t released what they know to have been wrong with the old “software”.
    F’ing unbelievable, I wonder if China will let them get away with a Patch’n’Pray development approach to Flight critical control software…the FAA appears to be on board…excuse the pun
    I know Microsoft is notorious for rolling out an endless kludge of Fixes for problems that they clearly never properly understood but until now I held Boeing to a higher standard. FFS they make airplanes and there are consequences to getting this sort of thing wrong (2 already)…yet here we have a fix before we have a root cause fault …..
    Praise to the Lord Alleluia….it’s a miracle… a solution before we even understand the problem..
    What can one say, the lord works in mysterious ways…but apparently not half as mysterious as Boeing!

    • fisho – what would be worse? If they are spinning they have the answer before they know exactly what the problem is or if they’ve known what the problem is for a while and only now are fessing up with the answer?

      • Exactly, If they have had a known serious problem, that they’ve been working on for a while, than Boeing themselves should have grounded the Max8 fleet before the Ethiopian crash, to not do so was unforgivable.
        If all this brand new software development has happened since the Ethiopian air crash than please excuse me if I’m somewhat skeptical as to the thoroughness of the software design and implementation processes and that’s forgetting root cause analysis.
        Also please understand why I won’t be flying on any of your Beta testing aircraft or is this still Alpha testing?.
        There’s no way to spin this that Boeing doesn’t come across looking like money grubbing ba5tards that will take unnecessary risks with other peoples lives, that’s a long long long way from the Boeing culture of the past that delivered fantastic aircraft like the 747 and 777.

    • The root cause is a new engine slapped on an old body originally designed for a different engine. From what I’ve read it doesn’t glide anymore as the centre of gravity has changed with the new bigger engines and therefore tends to stall if left alone so hence the MCAS software to patch it up. The proper solution would probably be to bin it and start afresh but with the amount of money involved the problems will be patched up unless another crash happens which I hope does not.

      • Oh god. Its got nothing to do with gliding. Its the pitch up under power due to lift of the engine nacelles and them having a more forward CoG.

      • yeah I’ve read similar reports and trust me I have nothing against using modern technology to supplement something that is otherwise marginal stability wise. It’s nice to think that we can continue with unconditionally stable commercial air frames but it’s probably a pipe dream because there are obvious efficiency advantages from pushing the stability limit.
        As with anything in engineering a good solution is a good solution and a bad solution e will send you broke quickly

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      A lot of people thinks MCAS exists to ‘prevent stalling’, it doesn’t. There is a certification requirement that as the plane pulls up, it must get harder to pull the column. Due to the location of the engine, the force on the column decreases instead. (Note this is only when autopilot is turned off, with autopilot on the computer can control the force on the column).

      There are plenty of solutions to this issue, however Boeing choose to do this via manipulation of the stabiliser, thus 2 planes crashed. The ‘fix’ via better software won’t ‘solve’ the issue : what would ‘solve’ it is a redesign of the plane’s wing like they did with the 777 which has a very similar issue.

      • Good input, as I said above, I’ve got nothing against good solid well thought out solutions, it doesn’t mater if they’re electronic, software or basic aerodynamics, however that said IMHO there is no room in the industry for any company that embraces a “Patch Tuesday” operations concept.
        You’ve got to know what you’re doing and do it right.

    • You need to read the history of how MCAS came about. Its the background to it that is the issue. Its the certifying and development costs that made it come about. Of course it can be fixed in software, because the entire system is driven by software.you keep rambling about your history of system development, but it seems you havent read, or refuse to talk about, the reason MCAS was invented. Hint, follow the money. Certification and training costs to try and counter the airbus 320neo.

      • I have read why MCAS was invented and I have no problem with that solution, none at all, done well it’s a rock solid solution, done poorly well that’s what we seem to have isn’t it.
        All that I’m saying is that this is a very quick fix for a problem that until recently they (as in Boeing) was claiming didn’t even exist now suddenly they have a fix before the report even comes out.
        Maybe they should have done a complete airframe redesign that was optimized for modern larger engines but instead they chose, (for largely commercial reasons) to squeeze the last little bit of life out of an old trusted aircraft, that’s not an unreasonable approach just don’t F’it up.
        wrt the lift generated by the engine nacelles causing Pitch up under power, I do understand that this results in a very complex control problem but as you say they’ve clearly figured it out on their Autopilot. It’s manual flight that requires the MCAS assist to conform with the response of previous 737 NG for certification and training reasons.

      • The main issue with MCAS is that boeing was financially chasing airbus sales. MCAS in of itself isnt the problem. The problem lies with the sales pitch of the MAX not needing training for existing 737 endorsed pilots. So MCAS was not even in the flight manuals. Its basically a hidden system that noone on the flight deck understands what it does because its not in the books! If it was explained how it works, i doubt we would be having this conversation. The problem is not the software or aircraft engineering. Its the certification and finance decisions that bore this out.

    • They’ve given it a software update! …. so it’s all good!

      Another thing I learnt is safety features are optional extras at Boeing.

      I will never fly in one of these planes again.

    • Arrow – realestate.com is reporting for the ACT 15 sales from 38 auction results available, which is 39%, but apparently there were 51 auctions scheduled today so going on their figures the final clearance may end up less than 30%.


      There was a fair bit more activity at the open houses I went to today compared to last weekend.

      • Triage and CA, I’m wondering how much double reporting is going on. The realestate.com auction results for Palmerston showed one sale for the week for a house that sold on 26 February. Getting good milage out of that one!

      • Well spoted Wing Nut. Apparently that property was “sold” on 26 February 2019 which was a Tuesday so as likely as not it was never taken to auction (so not double counting but simply a made up stat). Giving the agent the benefit of doubt perhaps contracts were exchanged on 26 Frebuary and either the deal went unconditional or was finalised sometime last week and there was a clerical error in recording it as by auction. Another possibility is that it is some clown’s attempt at puffing up some pretty dire auction figures: if only a third of auctions in the ACT result in sales why would vendors continue to pay agents the additional costs required for auctions? I’m not familar with that agent but clearly they market themselves as a premium operator which suggests they live off auction activity (???).

        edit: it is not listed on the domain page which is showing 51 auctions on Saturday whereas realestate.com is showing 52 auctions. On balance it looks like a clerical error, not a wilful effort to pump up the stats.

      • Triage I agree, while I’m sure agents do all sorts of tricks to juke the stats, there is also a degree of pure incompetence in all human affairs. And especially in the work of the junior flunky from the local RE agent office whose thankless job it is to send the stats in on Saturday arvo when the big guns are already around at Reusa’s place lying about the size of their… commissions.

    • Capital Appreciation

      I didn’t go to any open homes or auctions but to me it still seems that Canberra’s property market is heading down at a fair clip. This one in Narrabundah was due to auction today but was withdrawn earlier in the week and now priced at $1.25 million: https://www.allhomes.com.au/sale/113-caley-crescent-narrabundah-canberra-176446431
      I’m not surprised as I went past it last Saturday when it was open for inspection and there was no-one there and today when it was open there were only three cars, of which one could have been the agent’s. Both times the agent was out front pacing around looking worried. They might get a sniff of interest around 1.25m, but there’s so much on the market around that price that I expect it will need to drop to meet the very thin buyers’ market. Only a year ago you would have had families crawling all over this property.
      This one, also in Narrabundah, was passed in some weeks ago and the agents then priced it ludicrously high at 1.795m+, which would have been a struggle even during the boom times. They’ve now dropped it to 1.6m+:

    • Capital Appreciation

      I’m finding the allhomes new price for properties link very useful as you can list all properties with reduced prices in the last day, yesterday, last week, and even a specific day over the past two months. The weekly number of properties with reduced prices has been steadily rising from around 60-70 from late last year to 80-90 now, and will probably continue to rise from here. I wish I’d kept a spreadsheet.
      Here’s one in Ainslie on one of its best streets (Duffy) that failed to sell at auction and has now had its price dropped to 920K. It looks like a property flip turned flop. Last sold in 2017 for 850K, but they’ve since painted and renovated it with new kitchen and bathroom, extended deck and a new white picket fence.

    • Capital Appreciation

      The Canberra unit/apartment market is getting very interesting. They’re struggling to sell all the off the plan and recently completed stock, while there is a wave of sellers putting older properties up for sale. Some aren’t even that old and I suspect some could be forced interest only sales or just sellers seeing the writing on the wall and getting out.
      This one in Watson sold for $307K, or around a 20K haircut from the off the plan price of 327.9K from 2012:
      This one in Narrabundah sold for 380K about a month ago after being on the market for over half a year, which is a solid loss off the 412.5K price they paid for it new in 2013.
      There’s actually another three for sale in the same complex and one owner is clearly delusional as they’ve priced their unit, similar to the property above, at over 490K! Dreamin’!
      You can even lose at the bottom end of the market with this one bed unit in Queanbeyan selling for 127K, after only selling middle of last year for 130K. Maybe they didn’t like the neighbours.

      • Lol at those examples. As Edwin Almeida (Martin North’s property expert) likes to say the built house/apartment/whatever is a depreciating asset. Seems like some people are discovering that truth again.

      • Fantastic stuff, thanks CA. How quickly it’s changed from “yeah but it wont ever happen in Canberra” to “yeah the vendor’s willing to negotiate”.

      • Capital Appreciation

        Triage, the moronic side of the force is still strong. I caught up with a former work colleague for drinks recently and I think I floored them when I said don’t expect to make a gain when you sell your Gungahlin apartment. At the moment, buying off the plan at the prices set by developers = immediate negative equity.


      • CA – many thanks as ever for the detailed Cbr reports. Fantastic.

        I had a call this week from an agent who had my number from an auction that sold back in Dec. Wanted to know if I was still looking around and what was I interested in. For me at least, this sort of callback seemed unusual – a sign of a shortage of buyers, at any rate.

        I asked him how he saw the local market. He said “definitely weak” (true), “won’t rise for the next two years” (unusual observation from an agent) “but won’t fall heavily as Sydney” (probably true, but we’ll see).

        Listings in the segment I’m observing (large houses, inner south and woden valley) are rising steadily. Still mostly very high prices being sought and one of two are getting it but plenty are getting less than asking (and even more commonly the price is witheld entirely, which in my mind can only mean a weak result).

        No auctions at all for me this week but next weekend is a big one, at least five on (all with clashing times – do agents do that on purpose to force buyers to choose?) – including a couple of very expensive-looking near-new builds. I expect these are a certainly to pass in, given the builders will undoubtedly want full cost recovery plus a creamy profit, notwithstanding the very weak market –

        These scream “overcapitalising” to me, especially the second one which is on one of Garran’s worst streets, right alongside busy Hindmarsh Drive – but there are some out there who do want a brand new, enormous house I guess. Maybe my ambitions are too modest, that’s why Reusa never invites me anywhere…

      • As houses become cheaper, apartments become less attractive. Why put up with the noisy neighbours skulking about at all hours, the poor sound insulation, apartment life sucks!

    • Sydney clearance rates now may as well be written on toilet paper. Last week the revision was a whopping 10% between prelim and final. This week maybe even more? A real clearance rate of ~50% on low volumes….

      What was Cooley’s clearance rate?

    • CanuckDownUnder

      Hmm, my suburb has a 100% clearance rate today. I know a place near my kids school was being auctioned today yet it’s not on the list, I’ll just assume it also sold.

      Normally I let the Mrs handle the kids party circuit but I was up today for the first time in years. It’s amazing how party chat has changed, the only people talking about real estate today were renters. One parent was talking about the townhouse they recently moved into, said it had just sold for $1.1 but places like that were going for $1.3-1.5 at the top of the market. Another was saying how they almost bought something OTP three years ago but are so relieved they pulled out at the last minute, it wouldn’t be worth what they would have paid for it and that the building is only six months old and you can already see how shoddy the workmanship is. And not one savvy investor bragging about their portfolio!

      • The silence of the property investors is the best bit. 😁 I used to cop flack from people for posting about it all being a massive bubble on Facebook. They used to say if you bought already you would be ahead etc..

        Now they don’t respond at all. But I quietly gas light them with property doubles every 7 years or only the top end is falling or land their not making anymore of it. Or stocks are a risky investment etc.. 😁

  17. https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/nauru-refugees-struggling-with-life-in-the-us-valley-of-opportunity-20190329-p518r7.html

    They are Tamils who fled Sri Lanka during the civil war and spent a decade living as refugees in India.

    The Prabhakars were among another wave of migrants – those sent from Nauru.

    According to the International Rescue Committee, 26 refugees from Nauru have been resettled in the El Cajon area. Twenty-five are Sri Lankan Tamils and one is from Afghanistan.

    Earlier this month, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age spent a week in El Cajon with one of the resettled families. It was almost a year to the day since their plane from Nauru touched down in America. And it was, they had hoped, the end of a long journey.

    “The people smugglers told us, ‘You will have a good life, Australia will take care of you’,” says 23-year old Niwali.

    “We had no idea about Nauru or Papua New Guinea. If we had known we would be sent there, we would never have come.”

    I do not doubt that this family has had a tough existence. The Sri Lankan civil war was a nasty, brutal business and but for the winds of fortune, rather than any underlying justice, might well have had a different outcome.

    But if there are Sri Lankans living in India and truly being persecuted there, then surely the answer is to tell India to clean its f#cking act up and maybe stop trading (by which I mean accepting their unskilled workers to come here, not pay taxes, do cash in hand jobs and send 75% of their earnings back to India) and playing cricket with them?

    Niwali’s 18-year-old brother Mathavan has struggled socially. He’s fit and healthy but seems drained of energy.

    “I don’t go out a lot,” he says. “I don’t have any friends. I go to work, I go to school. That’s it.”

    You know what? For various reasons, that was me in Australia at age 18. Nerdy at school, never had a girlfriend, no mates, awkward and just stayed at home. Life was pretty miserable, but you just got on with things.

    Niwali studied information technology in India and worked as a paralegal in Nauru. She hoped to find an office job in El Cajon but was instead given a job making sandwiches at Subway. While working there she also studied to become a medical assistant.


    During the Herald and Age’s visit, Niwali started a job as a medical assistant at a doctor’s clinic in El Cajon. She had recently completed an internship there and liked her boss.

    But within a few days she had quit. On her first day she found out she would be paid just $US11 an hour – the minimum wage in California for firms with under 25 employees. It was less than the $US13 she gets paid at Subway, and not enough to cover the family’s living costs.

    She has also registered as an Uber driver to help bring in more money when she has free time.

    I just wonder how people born in the US at the bottom end of the pile feel about this?

    Moreover, how many hundreds of millions in Burma/China/Syria/Lebanon/Mexico/Central America/Western Sahara or even back in India are worse off than this family that now has shelter and US constitutional rights?

    • The bottom of pile in the US would suck. It really surprises me when I visit. Everyone believes in the American Dream but nobody questions it.

      Working for an American company has shown me how cut throat it can be come performance review time. Honestly I don’t want here to end up like there. But with mass immigration we are heading there. Suppression of wages and stripping of workers rights. We should be more like Germany.

      Ever watch that Michael Moore documentary when he asks German factory workers if they have another job and they laugh at him?

      In the US you gotta hustle or you get left behind really quickly.

    • Could they not have gone back to Sri Lanka, post-civil war?

      The sense of entitlement is strong. I wonder if that comes from their culture?

      • yes they could have …… even during the height of the war through the mid 80’s to 90 Tamils ran a good deal of the country, lived and worked throughout the non-Eelam (read Tiger controlled area), took the majority of uni places etc etc – I know because I was living there at the time…..

        the extent to which the west, and particularly Anglosphere was sucked in by the Tamil propaganda is incredible and the lead in to the BS ‘we have a right to be here’ mentality which permeates these communities …..

      • Interesting insight, cheers. Some cultures do have a sense of entitlement that is audacious. “Australia will look after us’.

    • I worked in the US in tech for years and it’s cut throat, but I know Mexicans there who came illegally and worked their butts off and are now very well off even compared to the average American. They worked in hotels, construction etc. not so well paid jobs. The biggest issue is health care, but if you live near the Mexican boarder you go there. Many of our American friends did this as well. I still go there for work yearly and if anything my last visit in Austin it’s even better for work. Booming in many of those southern US cities with large influx in CA residents who just want cheaper homes and better schools and jobs. CA is in meltdown an ex colleague told me on Friday. I’m also not saying it easy for those people, but they will be able to find work and anything IT is a bonus. But, you can get skills in many trades there if you’re willing to work. I was surprised to find many pacific islanders in San Diego working and thriving there as well. We used to meet them at the rugby games. Seriously, I’ve lived in the EU/US and here plus worked in loads of other countries,and I think they were lucky no to come here. We’re just a mean country that monetising everything that’s needed to survive.

      • Problem for me is I spent a lot of time in SFO and NY, Chicago. But smaller places like Louisville Kentucky were pretty cool and affordable homes to boot! I also visited Harrisburg PA because my mum’s cousin lives there.

        It felt very much like a place in decline. I guess like Europe your experience of the US is very different depending on which state you go to.

      • @Gavin I was going to NY as well but not SFO for ages now. Imo that place is unlivable and lots of creepy types. A friend just got a job at AMZN in Seattle and the house he’s buying 4 bd 2 bath double garage for 347k. It’s a 2004 build but the photos look good and not much to do. I agree, you can be in trouble in several places in the EU and by mistake I came across that, but out of the big cities I love it. One of our possible future moves is southern France if I can’t afford what I want here. My wife speaks French and having worked there I manage that’s all but we have lots of ex colleagues there so that makes a difference. Australia now for me is looking less likely unless we can move from Melbourne to the country.

    • The Penske FileMEMBER

      “Stair aversion’… It’s what I’m feeling with this one at the moment.
      I first received a text “off market opportunity” in September last year and went to the original auction in early Feb. Only one bid by the vendor of $1.5M and they even did the old refer to the vendor and went inside the property and came out again…. zip. Then taken off the market and then put back on…. days on the market? Anyway, I like it however the lay out basically says no elderly in laws … ever! Living area on the 3rd floor and there’s no sh1tter there either. Price now dropped from $1.59M to just under $1.5M and it was leased in Dec…. I always look at the Section 32 to see how long the “victim” has had the property and who the mortgagee is….. if there’s a second mortgagee mmm. This is a good test case for the wife to see how the market really is.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Dudes have to protect themselves. There’s a lot of lads who have watched their fathers lose everything. Reckon there will be a fair bit of MGTOW in that.

      Also a fan of the outraged feminists who outraged that the study was about men…even though when you take a close look at the chart there are two lines. I wonder if that’s part of the reason as well. Hmmmm…

      • Dudes have to protect themselves. Never a truer word, mate.

        I married a gorgeous narcissistic sociopath, and followed it up with a reformed alcoholic who didn’t tell me about that interesting fact and then fell off the wagon.

        Catastrophes in every way that have taken literally decades to recover from financially, and the emotional skeletons will be rattling around in my closet until the day I shuffle off.

    • It’s an interesting thread with lots of good ideas on what might be causing the effect.
      Nobody mentioned Japan, who arrived at this point first (that I know of).
      There is no question that the human population is peaking and will decline…there will be lots of mechanisms that force this downwards movements…this is one of them (and pretty fundamental).

      • Possibly the most important experiment ever done on population


        Basically – all populations end up reaching an equilibrium phase of super high populations maximizing resources – this results in aggressives, deviants, outcasts and recluses.

        The population eventually dies.

        Its incredible how perfectly it aligns with humanity.


    • I think you’ll find it’s 1 of many of his Playboy mansions and he’s selling to release some equity for more buying opportunities in future.

    • Half of a fibro sh1thole next door to the airport. Houses like this used to be last option for those avoiding homelessness.

    • How did that sell for 1.3M in 2017? Botany is right next to the Airport and surrounded by industry and severally polluted with toxic chemicals in the water table below.

  18. Plenty more water headed for Lake Eyre now….might get to 2 m in parts. More interesting is how far down the Darling River the flood at present in the Warrego river gets

    • Yes, let’s see how far it gets down the Darling after The Rooter’s mates have drained it for all its worth.

    • Very interesting, and with reference to the above twitter link, proves that Tindr is stopping us all from getting it on ;-P

    • They don’t say as much, but Australian Aboriginals are presumably carrying Denisovan DNA.
      Always reminds me of the Taleb quote; Not everything that happens happens for a reason, but everything that survives, survives for a reason.

      • John R, yes, Aboriginal Australians share between 3-5% of Denisovan DNA. What is not clear is the link between Homo Floresiensis from the Indonesian island Flores. The Denisovan, Florians and Aboriginals all co-inhabited and migrated through the Indonesian island chain into PNG and Australia however the Papuans and Aboriginals are more closely linked to Denisovans.

    • You just have to look at Zuckerberg’s face and haircut to realise that he’s not of this earth. And he’s not coming in peace either.

    • Yes, in a globalised world we need global institutions. Not that I can see it ever happening

  19. GunnamattaMEMBER

    This guy is, of course, 100% correct……

    Germany Blames ‘Silver Spoon’ U.K. Elite for Brexit Chaos – Bloomberg

    “Brexit is a big shitshow, I say that now very undiplomatically,” Michael Roth said at an event of his Social Democratic Party in Berlin on Saturday. He accused “90 percent” of the British cabinet of having “no idea how workers think, live, work and behave” and said it would not be those U.K. politicians “born with silver spoons in their mouths, who went to private schools and elite universities” that will suffer the consequences of the mess.

    • Very true. Many of those just see greater power for themselves with the EU out of to way or are completely delusional in thinking there will be some great rejuvenation of the UK just by cutting red tape or having their own laws etc. But they have few if any of the advantages they once had & the modern world needs more red tape white every new development (sure some is unnecessary brought most not). It will be bad for the UK & will, I’m sure, slide down the world rankings in the coming decades. Sad.

  20. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Interesting piece from Stephen Letts and the ABC (Just about the last real journalists in Australia). If the below is anywhere near correct – note the charts – the the ALP is coming to power at just the right time to ease the household plight with some targeted spend. Health would be the first cab off the rank one assumes, but you could also imagine some direct measures to pare mortgage repayments too, and which should give them plenty of ammo to offset the rightfull removakl of negative gearing in terms of housing price crashes…..

    How much bang will the economy get for its budget dollar? – ABC

  21. GunnamattaMEMBER

    What is it with these guys? They get the free cruise and they figure they have a right to soak the taxpayer on top of that? They could workshop this sort of stuff during the selection process with some hypotheticals maybe…….

    ‘A rich magnate offers you a cruise or some free tickets to the grand finakl – do you or do you not hit the taxpayer up for travel expenses to attend?’

    Liberal MP Scott Buchholz billed taxpayers to attend Gina Rinehart cruise with his partner – Ninefax

    • alwaysanonMEMBER

      That was domestic, much more work-related than the Grand Final etc and the spouse at $300/ticket Flew fairly affordably. The Comm Car over Uber (even Black) for her was a bit much but I find it hard to get too worked up over that example. There are far worse junkets pollies have been taking…

    • If Reinhardt loves Trump and the US style or economic vandalism so much then she’s more than welcome to fvck right off and go live there. And while she’s at, take that pack of grovelling syncophants with her.

    • She can join the wonder boy, A Pratt, in the States. Talk about silver spoons beating hard work.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      +1 Turnbull could have got some brownie points for this for his otherwise-stillborn innovation nation thought bubble. On the other hand, the Mad Monk told us we were no good at manufacturing motor vehicles, so he killed off the industry for us to concentrate on our natural advantage ie building submarines?

  22. Zuckerberg calling for government regulation after all the evil. What’s interesting he’s still allowing certain religious hate and not others…I find that very weird. This is all come as nations push back against him, but when he’s hiring ex political leaders you wonder if it’s genuine. I don’t know, but I’d be saying 99% not. Most people have probably forgotten the deliberate feeding of bad news to teens and how that played out…nothing was done yet those teens are stuck with the consequences. My guess that the bias will get worse from ex colleagues who quit FB jobs.

    “From what I’ve learned, I believe we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.”


  23. Some very interesting graphics of city densities & distribution, (if that sort of thing floats ya boat) unfortunately Syd/Melb not shown. Some cities clearly show a good density gradient, while others likely distorted by poor policy/design.


    “Brasilia, city that got designed by planners from the beginning rather than growing by market forces, shows peculiar density patterns.”

    I expect Sydney’s 3 cities to produce similar distorted growth

    • There is code there to run on any location you want with any radius.

      Looks like it’s pulling population density data from “JRC Earth Observation Data and Processing Platform”

    • Title should read ‘Desperate coalition turn to helicopter money to stimulate the economy as moving budget date backfires’.

      Thing is, all they’re doing is bringing purchases forward, for it to really work they need to make multiple payments each being 1.618 times greater than the previous.

      politicians should be held liable in a court of law for all their dumb decisions.


      • It’s just a bribe – but not to buy votes, because you get it even if the Libs lose the election.

        It’s a bribe to get Labor to pass the budget.

        If Labor doesn’t, the Libs can say “you are denying the public this vital cash yadda yadda yadda”.

        Same for all the budget pork.

        Labor will pass the budget to avoid any blowback. Anything not requiring separate legislation will sail through.

    • On the issue of replacing the batteries in EVs, surprise, surprise, the Australian driver gets ripped off.


      “In Japan, you can buy a guaranteed, refurbished second-hand pack on an exchange basis from the recently opened Naime (in north-western Japan) lithium battery recycling centre.

      (The Naime plant is operated by the 4R Energy Corporation, a joint venture between Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation). A pack from there pack costs US$2,850. (AU$4,000).

      In Australia – anecdotal reports are that dealers are inflating replacement pack prices well beyond these numbers – which is not a good look.”

  24. Another weekend done. Another weekend closer to total economic armageddon I can only hope. This place cannot burn fast enough.

    Die FIRE CVNTS die.

    • Just running the trusty VibrancyMeter(TM) over those surnames:

      Early false negative on her name

      …Rebecca Assie …

      After slight recalibration [ the VibrancyMeter(TM) was saturated after analysis of Vic Police media releases of a recent South Sudanese vibrancy injection at the BP service station in Narrie Warren at 2330 last Thursday night]

      We find:


      Ms Assie was born Mariam Mohammed Elali (sometimes shown as Marian Mohammed El Ali) in Lebanon in 1957. She came to Australia in 1976. She worked at an Eveready factory, packing batteries, for approximately ten years from 1976 until she married. Her husband died in 2015. They had eight children, two of whom died when young, and another who died as an adult.
      On 27 August 2002, Mariam Mohammed Elali changed her name by registration to Rana Shadood (shown in some documents as Rana Chadood or Rane Shagood; the variations were possibly recorded by others in error). On 9 June 2004, she registered a further change of name, to Rebecca Assie.

      Which led, naturally to

      For these reasons:

      (i) I affirm the decision to cancel Ms Assie’s DSP with effect from 17 November 2011;
      (ii) I affirm the decision that Ms Assie did not qualify for DSP when she applied on 7 November 2013;
      (iii) I set aside the decision that Ms Assie did not have a debt to by reason of overpayment of DSP from 4 September 1990 to 27 November 2011 and substitute the decision that she has a debt of $209,499.90 for that period.


      …her late husband, Jamal Elali….
      …Joulan Obeid …
      .. another woman, Farah Dagher, also received over $66,647 in fraudulent Centrelink payments…
      …a plot to have Sahar El Kaddour act as a carer for Raghda El Moubayed…

      and the result is:


    • Yep. Graham Richardson (ALP Senator) stated 1ebanese vibrants were over-represented in
      1. Centrelink
      2. Prison

      “Big mistake, says former Labor Minister Graham Richardson:
      The second and third generations of the ’76 arrivals [of Muslim Lebanese] are over represented in two places — the prison system and Centrelink. Bikie gangs are recruiting and in some cases, being overrun by Lebanese Muslims…”