Weekend Reading: 23 March 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

Americas:

Europe:

Asia:

Trans-Tasman:

Other:

 

Comments

  1. MMT claims to be the legitimate heir to the theories of Britain’s John Maynard Keynes

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-21/modern-monetary-theory-beginner-s-guide

    John Maynard Keynes, Bill Gates, and Karl Marx want a 15 hour work week. If voters are to have a 15 hour work week – Bill Gates said “the purpose of humanity is not just to sit behind a counter and sell things” – the MMT has got to pay A$60/hour wages for 15 hours per week. That is a total income of about $43k/year.

    Good to see articles in the Aussie media last week about dental care UBI and public transport UBI. You can easily exclude the non-poor from free bus travel. Give a public transport concession card to every Aussie who had an income of less than $xx,000 in 2018.

    • ChristopherJMEMBER

      MMT is still dismissed as a conspiracy theory. Yet, for Bloomberg to print a guide for people, which is what many non economists have been asking for, shows just how far we’ve come

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        My take is this – right at the moment the orthodox monetary policy gods are standing naked on the steps being studied by the punters on the streets below. They are being openly scorned (by markets) and laughed at (by vested interests) and the punterariat is just about ready to bind gag and slap an apple in their mouths.

        They are totally done. The Fed gave up this week, the ECB gave up back in 2013, the Japs gave up a generation ago, the Chinese have never believed in it in the first place. Monetary policy as we have known it since the early 80s is not just dead, but floating face down in the water. Once Trump put the prospect of mortality in front of Powell he folded, Draghi has only ever been a patsy, the Pom and Jap and Canadian guardians of the sanctity of monetary policy have no more tricks to play and are there mainly as a reminder of days of yore.

        About the only central bankers who still plausibly believe in monetarism are the RBNZ and the RBA. The RBA knows it is a matter of time. Those letters that Keating and Peter Costello sent to then RBA heads should go into a glass case for posterity. The RBA has failed to underpin growth for quite some time, in doing so it has laid the basis for a protracted period of high unemployment, and created the uber debt, crazed asset price society we see before us coming apart at the point of debt serviceability.

        What do we get from here?

        At a global level politicians are overtly aware the status quo is ugly and the prospects bleak. They need an excuse to pump money into an economy, and they need to create the money somehow. They need their current central banks to remain just plausible enough as guardians of monetary probity to ward off any (longer term) prospect of inflation for as long as possible, but they sure dont need them to fight it in the here and now – for there is none to be had, and in the first instance it would be welcomed.

        It may take a little while longer yet but their cause for spending is global warming – billions or trillions of dollars just waiting to be splashed about on infrastructure, canals, walls, ports, rails, desal plants and solar, and presumably loads more for desert greening, tree planting and that kind of stuff , and a load extra to shunt people from low lying areas to somewhere dry.

        It is politicians who will resort to this. They know war is a lose lose game for the most part, they need the excuse to spend. They wont need central bankers (particularly monetarist central bankers) trying to tell them about abstract demand notions based on DSGE or the idea perfect people with perfect choices will make perfect allocation decisions – which has somehow morphed into ‘tell them lies or specious half truths about confidence and they will spend more and borrow it from banks’ over the last generation. What they will need is people to ensure the funds are going where needed and are spend with sufficient efficacy as to ensure that the political need (fullish employment and people not in active revolt) are broadly within scope. Central banks wont be steering the ship from here, they will become (at best) tour guides pointing out the highlights on the way.

        One of the very weakest links of monetary policy over the last 100 or so years has been the very notion of how money is created. How many of us here sat through classes telling us we had money coming from the fractional reserves in a banking system or some other equally bullshit laden explanation? Almost certainly all of us. But we have come to an age long ago where this is so blatantly palpably not true that the very basis of monetarism is rotten. It appears that money is created as debt, and that those organisations with the capacity to issue that debt and have it recognised (and backed by the state) as fiat currency, fiat economic growth and fiat demand satisfaction – and able to cream every avenue of the flows for profits for those with access to their ownership – have got away with a spectacular, untouchable rentier (if not hostage) arrangements for generations. This arrangement is ripe for being shaken down in the national interest. It will not be pretty, I have little doubt whatever is served up as ‘national interest’ will be highly distorted and subjective – but could it be as highly subjective and distorted as what we have? – but that money creation process will get a look, and MMT is the first, because it has stood in opposition to the status quo for some time, place for politicians in need to grab a tool to shake down the spectacular bullshido that is the monetary status quo.

        They will not turn to MMT because it is some sort of theoretically certain or proven idea which has arrived – even though I (personally) do think it perfectly plausible (or at least as plausible as what we have) – they will turn to it (like politicians have always done) because they think there is a half chance it Might work, and trying out whether it works enough will buy them time. Dont think of MMT as some giant tome sitting on a shelf of wisdom, think of it as a floating piece of timber large enough to cling to when the boat has gone down. For the boat has certainly gone down. The first class passengers might have got first dibs on the lifeboats but enough of them will go down add to the need to find something, the hoi polloi will bear a disproportionate share of the casualties, but will also comprise the majority of the survivors and will want the inquiry into what they’ve been through to be all that bit painful for those up the social ladder.

        Of course here in Australia the RBA will be miles behind that curve, and will still be touting animal spirits and investor confidence and the like. But their hearts arent in it any more either. They could have cut in February for mine, they could have cut in March, and nobody would really be surprised if they cut in a couple of weeks – but of course they are hanging onto that (and probably will hang on for another meeting or two) so that they have something to cover their dirty greasy nether regions when they meet the new government. Thats all their rate cuts are about from here – not the real economy experienced by real Australia – but their own sense of self respect amongst themselves and the people they will soon be answering to, with whatever specious excuses (GDP anyone? can numberwang and jobs give them one more outing on hold?) paraded around the ramparts to inspire the true believers one more time.

        But the new government is acutely aware of the new dynamic. I happened to get a sighter of Chris Bowen and Richard Marles late this week. Marles, a scion of the Whig ‘born to be’ set of the ALP, is a big Australia apologist who is essentially incompetent, and avoided talking about immigration, while talking about the need to get wages higher (as though this could be done with government fiat), and the head of Deakin University slapped down any questions about visa abuse, the trashing of education and the costs faced by ordinary Australians. But Bowen sounded very prophetic when he noted that the Macro is pointing downhill from here and the debt load being carried by Australians is uber large. He knows (for mine) that the ALP will not be meaningfully increasing wages, which then brings me to wondering what he (or the ALP government) think they really can do – and all they can really do is keep up jobs and try and relieve some of the debt burden. And we know that jobs will go (last) when the economy is South enough (and will be seriously tough to bring back), and we know the interest rate relief is that which still exists after it has been through the banks.

        They let jobs go too far and they as new government (and the entire Australian body politic) go out backwards – in addition to losing a bank (I would argue). They cant really increase wages far for the simple reason that anything done in Australia by Australians is still remunerated far more handsomely than any function or activity done outside Australia.

        So from here – locally – presumably we get a scenario where they take the loin cloth of maybe 2-3 rate cuts proffered by the RBA. That will get them the last remaining believers in ‘confidence’ and by half a poofteenths worth of debt relief for the punterariat – and cant we just wait for the first series of excuses and the ensuing lambasting of banks by politicians for not passing the lot through? – but the meaningful role of the RBA probably comes to an end about there. They can point to things out the window but something else gets to do the steering.

        The system they have overseen has ostensibly failed, the monetarism they have preached has done likewise . Who knows what comes next but I would have thought a new presence (presumably the Treasurer, or an appointee, with the Archbishopric robes of the RBA lending some tone to that arrangement) in the interest rate decisions. But their game will be infrastructure and any excuse to keep up demand with the public purse, and from there it will be funding that. It almost certainly wont be MMT as MMT believers think of it which is adopted, but a bastardised form of MMT grabbed in extremis by desperate political decisionmakers which evolves over time. It will be ugly, it will be ad hoc, and capricious, and will produce winners and losers. It will be just like the monetarism we have believed in for a generation – and yes it will presumably eventually fail, and its believers will tell us that is because it hasnt been adopted properly, and the conservatives will presumably tell us it is because it doesnt have the theoretical basis or discipline they sell to bring back.

        But for the here and now, and for some time to come, if it isnt MMT it will be MMTish, with a dollop of National mercantilism (or as much as can be applied) that we get served to get us (as Australians later, but as global citizens earlier would be my guess) as the carcass of monetary folly is consumed.

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Thank you, Gunna, for your views, and for all the effort you take to make this a place for thinking people to congregate. We know that the US Fed has been ‘doing’ MMT for some time now, but not for the benefit of the masses. What’s needed to lay the monetarists bare is for a UBI to be implemented somewhere. Can’t be Europe, as none of the countries have their own traded currency. Australia will never be one of the early adopters. Entrenched interests…. NZ might have a crack at it, they seem more decent and fair than our lot.
        Yet, I’m not optimistic bro. Every Australian has experienced the effects of climate change and it’s getting worse for everyone and everything, everywhere. Over three metres of rain in my gauge this year and four days above 40 degrees is unheard of around here. As a species, we will procrastinate, kick the can down the road, point to others to do something, until it is too late. Some, like Guy McPherson, think we are there already.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        @ChristopherJ

        My take on global warming is this. Is the climate changing – for me incontrovertibly I grew up on a farm and had an almost inbred sense of seasonality. The seasons are changing in Victoria. They are coming around later. Winters are getting warmer (and drier in Southern Victoria), summers seem to be getting significantly hotter.

        Nearly 20 years ago I was for a while the HR head at the Australian Antarctic Division in Hobart. I recall one day having a yack with the then Chief Antarctic Scientist (a fellow – good man – by the name of Michael Stoddart) I was looking at a map on his wall while he took a phone at his desk and then returned. I asked him why there was a black line around the coast of Antarctica and he replied ‘that is the point where they know the ice used to go to’. I asked ‘how did they know that?’ He replied t’the whalers used to go to the edge of the ice. At that stage, I was still i some doubt about climate change. I asked him what he thought. He stated to me that he thought that the earth warming was quite obvious from the data, and that it was almost certainly man made. I asked him off the cuff what the effects would be, and within minutes he asked one of the senior atmospheric scientists to come on down (the issue I had gone to Stoddarts office about, which wasnt serious, involved this gent). This gent (still there) said that as the temperature difference between the ice and the sea increased, the katabatic winds which were generated by this difference (the strong winds of Antarctica) would get stronger – this has been measured and is happening.. He said that as these winds got stronger then they (as one of the major drivers of climate in the southern hemisphere) would effectively pull all weather systems further south (closer to Antarctica). he said that then (and I have followed this since and noted that it is becoming more pronounced) it was obvious that the cold rain bearing fronts which once crossed southern Australia were being pulled further south and that rainfall in Melbourne (in particular) and Sydney was showing this to some extent. He said that this may ultimately be offset by tropical and sub tropical systems being pulled further south too from Northern Australia. I recall he noted then a particular type of occurrence (which we had in 1999-2000) of a tropical depression (cyclone) moving Westward across the North of Australia swinging south across Western Australia and still remaining strong enough to bang into Adelaide and Victoria as a storm. He suggested that most of these would be dry by the tie they got to SE Australia but as time went on there would be considerable scope for them to bring very heavy rains – but that this would be quite variable. My general guess (as someone who does pay attention to the weather) is that Victoria (where I live) is getting drier (which to some extent matches with the cold front coming through further south or weaker) in winter, with larger storms offsetting this sometimes in Spring or Summer (or even Autumn), while those summer months get hotter too. I think we are already there.

        For that reason I tend to think the question for Australia is plausibly (and I know this will offend many) not what we can restore to its natural state of Australia, but to some extent what we can create of what we have – and I suspect for cynical reasons, politics will drift this way. That has me wondering if maybe we anticipate and organise for far greater flows down the Darling (either harvesting heavier cyclones or install desal plants to make it happen – certainly burn the cotton plantations and roast those harvesting water licences for tax offset purposes). Given the bulk of the country is uninhabited desert there may be quite a few things which get tried. That isnt to say they will work, but I suspect some will get tried. I also think that because corporate Australia is so inwardly focussed it will be government (and government agencies which will need to have their capacity rebuilt after a generations worth of being stripped of capacity) which needs to do much of this.

      • If monetary policy has no effect on demand I guess it is just sheer fluke that inflation has more or less averaged the inflation target since CB’s started inflation targteing in the early 90’s or that the price level was lower at the end of the 19th century than the start of the 19th cenury under the gold standard, or that the Fed was able to prevent deflation even with it’s policy rate stuck at zero and austerity fever through QE plus programs.

        The truth is far more proasaic. CB’s and the elite just don’t want too much growth because unemployment is good for the bond holder class.

        MMT don’t see this because they abstract from politics. MMT is a policy program (not a monetary theory) which abstracts from politics. And thus it’s uselessness.
        Another example on this: MMT’s claim that the state can’t be insolvent because it can always print money. Which is the same as saying the state will always choose to defualt on it’s cash (hyperinflation) before it’s bonds. No evidence at all. Why would Parliament if given a choice choose to tell the RBA to hyperinflate rather than restructure the debt?
        Debt restructuring is a far simpler (and probably a less painful task) than currency reform.

        And it certianly isn’t the “legitimate heir to the theories of Jonh Maynard Keynes”.
        Keynes spent about 1/3 of the GT outlining a theory of the rate of interest and explaining it’s effect on demand.
        Contra to MMT he stressed that yes interest rates do impact demand partly in what later became know as the “Keynes effect”.

        From the article:
        “They say tweaking interest rates is ineffectual because businesses make investment decisions based on prospects for growth, not the cost of money”

        From the GT:
        “IT seems, then, that the rate of interest on money plays a peculiar part in setting a limit to the level of employment, since it sets a standard to which the marginal efficiency of a capital-asset must attain if it is to be newly produced“

        article:
        “Ineffectual because businesses make investment decisions based on propects for growth”

        A fall in the rate of interest boosts propects for growth through the intertemporal substitution effect, it also increase the PV of future cash flows *assuming no growth in cash flows* and even if a business finances new capital with internal funds. It does this by lowering opportunity cost. A concept at the heart of Keynesian theory.

        From the article:
        “MMT rejects the modern consensus that economies should be steered primarily by the raising and lowering of interest rates. MMTers believe that the natural rate of interest in a world of fiat money is zero and that pegging it higher is a giveaway to the investor class”

        From the GT:
        “I feel sure that the demand for capital is strictly limited in the sense that it would not be difficult to increase the stock of capital up to a point where its marginal efficiency had fallen to a very low figure. This would not mean that the use of capital instruments would cost almost nothing, but only that the return from them would have to cover little more than their exhaustion by wastage and obsolescence together with some margin to cover risk and the exercise of skill and judgment. In short, the aggregate return from durable goods in the course of their life would, as in the case of short-lived goods, just cover their labour-costs of production plus an allowance for risk and the costs of skill and supervision.
        Now, though this state of affairs would be quite compatible with some measure of individualism, yet it would mean the euthanasia of the rentier, and, consequently, the euthanasia of the cumulative oppressive power of the capitalist to exploit the scarcity-value of capital”

        When Keynes *predicted* zero interest rates and called for the euthanasia of the rentier he was not saying the CB could just peg interest rates at zero permanently. What he mean’t was that in an advanced economy the expected rate of return on real capital falls to such a low level that the interest rate on money (the benchmark rate of return) would tend to fall towards zero. And this would automatically deprive the bond holder of their yield. Totally different.

        Then there is MMT’s supposed strong suit; their understanding of monetary operations. Turns out to be completely wrong. All government spending is pre financed. Spending and tax receipts have no effect on bank reserves or the target rate because deficts are pre financed. Governments stockpile deposits and almost never go into overdraft – the US legally cannot go into overdraft. deficits to not increase base money.

        MMT is not a critique of the maintream, they simply do not understand the mainstream including Old Keynesian economics. This has been made clear over the past couple of weeks. Where wrong claims have been made by MMTers about mainstream theory eg. that changes in growth expectations, animal spirits don’t effect the IS curve, that monetary policy works through the business investment channel, deficits increase base money and lead to incipient falls in the target rate

        So all that is left when the theory is shown to be nonsense is a silly little polemic which 1. demonises taxation (when it is sorely needed) 2. lets the rich off the hook and 3. claims the 99% can increase their claim on the global wealth biscuit without reducing the claim of the 1%.

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Gunna, I spent three good years in mid 90s in Hobart. Was with Tas Treasury. Went back to Canberra and only realised later that I never should have gone back….

        When I took up the job offer in 1995, we leased our Canberra house and used equity to buy a block of land at the top of West Hobart, about 800m2 or so of very steep block. Paid $45k. I wanted to buy any of the old cottages in the area, but wife couldn’t settle on anything and set her heart on this block of land, so I acquiesced. We used equity to borrow 100 % and spent $110k from the bank to build a little place on poles and the view was extensive across the city and harbour.

        When we left Hobart, we leased the house to a friend and put it on the market. Yet, it took forever to sell and I think we finally off loaded it in 1999 for $135k. Probably worth four times that 20 years later.

        Sweeper, no one can change your rusted on views about MMT. You don’t need to be an economist to understand and I don’t believe you do yourself any good service by wading in to refute the incredibly intelligent people who are its proponents. You even go so far as to say you know something about the IS curve when the ISLM model has been shown to be useless at predicting or modelling, well, anything.
        No it is best that I refrain from addressing your post and I wish you a happy weekend.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Chase I was an IR man who used to deal with major negotiations, complex personal issues, walking people out the door and commission hearings. I was asked to the AAD at that time because they thought they needed someone with IR expertise – I wanted a trip to the Antarctic. I had hitherto viewed HR as the ‘soft’ side. I had been there a couple of months when the HR Manager who had got me there walked in one day with some major issues and went off on stress leave. Nobody wanted to act in his stead. The then Director of the AAD asked me to do it, I said yeah, but I would be changing a lot. He agreed. At the end of the period having introduced a people management framework, a new agreement, introduced individual contracts (government mandate) for senior punters, ripped out an organisations worth of tits and bums posters on walls, investigated cnoflicts of interest, and put a rocket up their understanding of harassment, rewritten their work level standards and overseen the redunding of a lot of people, I told them I wanted a redundancy – If I had stayed in Tassie I would have gone crazy. They agreed and I got out. Their IR arrangements were reeled in by their owning Department (environment) almost as soon as I left. Most of the HR framework I left is still actually there – If ever you find a hard copy of the ‘Australian Antarctice division (New Directions) Certified Agreement 2002-2004 you will actually find a vague photograph of me was worked into the cover design courtesy of the late Wayne Papps (one of the great Antarctic photographers) . Fortunately I am a low level lickspittle in a nondescript organisation in Geetroit these days and couldnt give 2 hoots about anything any HR does these days.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        IMHO unless MMT is preceded by the write off of bad debts and the punitive debt load society is being forced to carry with our new cultural aversion for writing off bad debts, AND a broad based property tax, MMT spending will simply become an additional conduit of societies wealth through to the holders of debt/and or property

        Also we know that there will be no benefit to our economy as the forced injection of labor and consumer demand will ensure prices remain elevated and incomes, the stuff MMT is meant to boost, will remain under pressure.

        Nor will there be any strengthening of our social institutions as a result of MMT spending, on the contrary, the diverse cultural yet common economic zone we are pursuing will simply further erode trust in them.

        One group of tax payers, lets call them pre-Multicultural Australians, will resent any additional taxes and the violation of what they consider one of the sacred economic pretexts of not printing money, which they will view as eroding their savings, to pay for the services and welfare of another set of Australians, lets call them, newly imported culturally diverse Australians (NICDA).

        While on the other hand, the NICDA’s and more importantly their 2nd generation offspring still pursuing their own cultural values, as celebrated under our new national identity, will instead look suspiciously on these institutions that are predominantly controlled by pre-MC established Australians.

        I agree that the current model isn’t working, but the elites know that as well. To my mind MMT will be simply used for no other purpose that to keep the status quo going – ultimately the transfer of social benefit through to elites, via private taxes to holders of unproductive and what should be worthless debt, and the holders of property in rents. IMHO this the reason why MMT is suddenly being pushed as a popular idea.

        Far from helping to overcome economic inequality and relieve social tensions and improve trust levels, I suspect that unless MMT is accompanied by other far reaching and controversial social reforms that involve debt write off, taxation and immigration, it will only preserve the status quo and result in more economic inequality and further social tensions.

        IMHO MMT is the last hail Mary can kick to avoid purging the rottenness from the system.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        @Stewie

        MMT is the last hail Mary can kick to avoid purging the rottenness from the system

        and @Sweeper

        So all that is left when the theory is shown to be nonsense is a silly little polemic which 1. demonises taxation (when it is sorely needed) 2. lets the rich off the hook and 3. claims the 99% can increase their claim on the global wealth biscuit without reducing the claim of the 1%.

        I am inclined to agree with both of those observations…….

        I am not saying I think MMT ‘works’ – I tend to the view parts of it could work (if everything were to go ‘right’ – in a not dissimilar way to current economic orthodoxy going reasonably right for long enough to appear immutable), and parts of it give rise to implications that a lot of people probably arent going to like. I think it is plausible enough for those in charge of Treasuries and monetary policies will grasp in the absence of anything better to grasp.

        I completely agree with need to address taxation, I think we need to tax the living shinola out of anything which is not economically productive, in the national interest, and rewards a rentier position – ie most of the asset base of the 1%.

        The reason i think we will get MMT (of a type) is precisely because – as you note – it is easier, and will be an easier sell, than class war based taxation reform which seriously gets to the assets of the 1%, and the non productive mechanisms by which the wealth of the 10% (for example) is often accrued.

        I suspect we will get MMT (of a type) to fund the infrastructure to address changing climate (inter alia) and that the trade off will be the 1% will get scope to buy in – and that this will effectively make MMT a socio economic can kick (regardless of whether it technically ‘works’ or not) enabling the 1% a fall back position (owning the climate) as they hand over old economic assets (the telecoms, the insurance the banks, etc) in the name of socio economic reform. Of course i couldnt imagine any of that being smooth.

      • thanks Gunna for your perspective …….. as another ‘older white man’ …. I have witnessed the dismantling of what was so great about the ‘Oz of old’ … yeah we all have to adapt to ‘change’, but some change is not worth doing and some should not have been done and if done, must be undone ….

        the combination of ‘MMT variation of choice’ and the actual reality of climate change is what will destroy what is left of what really was, back in the day (not really that long ago), a working man’s [read ‘person’s]’ paradise …….

      • “I don’t believe you do yourself any good service by wading in to refute the incredibly intelligent people who are its proponents”

        Where is the evidence that they are incredibly intelligent? You say that but all I see is largely a bunch of finance types (not macroeconomists) who have stumbled upon a few insights which always surprise the general public (eg. the State can pay its bills with printed money) yet are common knowledge in mainstream macro, and have then turned it into a ridiculous theory.
        Have backed themselves into a corner and are now deliberately muddying the waters and refusing to clearly state their theory because they can see it is wrong.
        Out of all of them Bill Mitchell is clearly the most logical proponent yet to me it seems like he is just describing functional finance in a really convoluted and unecessary way- eg. why do bank reserves need to be part of the explanation?
        I don’t even disagree really with most of what he says but why can’t he just explain it in generally accepted terminology and without all the detours?

        As for the rest … incredibly intelligent seems to me a huge leap.
        For example comments like this:
        “Krugman’s framework treats investment as a simple function of the interest rate. Higher rates mean lower investment, and vice versa. Central banks can juice (or slow) the economy simply by lowering (or raising) interest rates”.

        “Conversely, when the outlook is exuberant, businesses may borrow and invest even more, despite the central bank’s desire to slow an expansion by raising interest rates (think savings and loan crisis). The downward-sloping IS curve does not allow for either of these possibilities. Yet both outcomes can, and do, occur”

        This is just flat out wrong; the IS curve does not say that the level of investment is simply a function of interest rates. Or that a favourable investment environment cannot co-exist with higher interest rates. All it says is that every possible IS curve has a downward slope. ie. given the autonomous factors – private sector confidence, expansionary fiscal policy, belief in the tooth fairy – there is a possible set of combinations of interest rates and GDP to produce saving investment equilibrium. Anything can determine the position of the curve, but given the position, the interest rate will determine the level of GDP. Mass delusion (irrational exuberance) can see the curve shift to the right which could then easily mean a higher than before interest rate would coincide with a higher than before level of GDP.

        That the author so clearly doesn’t get this just speaks volumes about their ability to tell the world mainstream theory is wrong.

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Sweeper – Have backed themselves into a corner and are now deliberately muddying the waters and refusing to clearly state their theory because they can see it is wrong.
        I think it is the academic economists, not us, that have backed themselves into a corner:

        http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2019/03/the-day-orthodox-economists-lost-their-minds-and-integrity.html

        Who is refusing to state their theory?

        skippy could be busy, or he could be tired of wasting hours in this place.

        Have a read of Wray and Black. I understand what they are saying. It’s not hard or difficult. You just need to have an open mind, bro. That’s all

      • I’ve gotta say it nice to see one of these threads without it becoming a slanging match.

        I’m with davidjwalsh

        I dont think people realise what they have lost for most of the ‘progress’ we have had this last generation. Australia was once a very very good place to live (I migrated here with parents 45 years ago from UK) and raise a family – my kids have decent jobs, i have had a lifetimes work, and my wife has never really (had to) worked, we own a comfortable house. I’m not sure if current immigrants to Australia, or even Australians raising families from now are going to get the same deal. And if they are to someone somewhere will need to pull their fingers out in a policy sense.

        Southern Victoria is getting hotter in summer, and drier in winter too.

        On MMT as a small business guy I figure it makes no sense at all (what I know), but as noted above what we have now makes no sense and the desperation is mounting – but thanks all for the pros and cons

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Someone who strives for success doesn’t look to only work 15 hours a week, they do what it takes to work 150 hours per week! You have no ambition.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Plus if they work 150hrs they support the local amphetamine innovators.

        Everyone wins.

      • But Reusa, if they only work 15 hours, just think of all the energy they have to keep up relations all night (and next morning) 🙂

      • Well, those who have worked 150 hours per week for a year can safely forget about ever becoming successful.

    • Scotty were coming in hard lower the rates increase imo,s to500,000 per year but she won’t hold together captn you will push her to 6.5 unemployment our oligarchs demand it there’s duck tape in the tool box our economic engine is the envy of the world FEED ME SEYMOUR

    • (1) Focus on wealth (or assets) not on money (or fiat currencies).

      (2) Raising the minimum wage will benefit debtors and punish creditors as rising prices will inflate away the existing debts. No net effect for those who are on the minimum wage as prices will adjust accordingly.

      (3) Debt jubilee, UBI or any other form of injecting money to a heavily indebted economy will transfer more assets to the hands of creditors (mainly foreign interests) because the creditors are not stupid enough to hold their proceeds in cash as they know that AUD will be inflated away.

    • @ Jacob

      Not going to happen.

      A friend of mine who is a self employed plumber earned 3 times what I earned but his “taxable” income was lower than my PAYE tax. He and his family would qualify for your card.

    • world is heading toward recession and gold performs poorly when recessions start
      GFC is the closest to a financial cataclysm we’ll see in our lives yet gold fell almost 30% around Lehman Bro crash
      If you look into past you’ll see gold falling as recession starts and than goes up so the best time to buy gold is 6 mnths into a recession – once king dollar get too tired

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        But what would you buy gold with if a bail in occurred beforehand ?
        Maybe those devalued bank notes in the mattress ?
        Even if so,, the questions would be thick and fast as to where the cash came from.

      • So is there why every time gold got close to breaking $1300 lately someone immediately sells $billions worth?

        Have you considered that the reason why gold fared poorly during downturns is because central banks could not allow it to be seen as a store of wealth?

      • @boomengineering
        bail in is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard off – there is no single reason why would government do something like that, in fact if crisis starts government would need to create even more money as the existing credit generated money starts disappearing via defaults
        bail in would destroy the system in which the rich elite and political elite do better than ever – they have no reason at all to destroy the system. Poor would benefit the most from bail in

      • @doc
        Could it be govts preparing fiscal stimulus causing a sell of in gold post the declaration of a recession? I’m curious if you have a theory, I find it interesting.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Doc, ridiculous it may be but Australia had a bail ins 1892, so never say never. It was in the form of forced share buying some took 25 years to recoup and others went broke so total loss of deposits.

      • In 1892 there was a gold standard and we were not sovereign nation – so quite different

    • Joel – spot on. That same happened when Powell was giving his speech. Someone new it will cause gold to spike so dunked $1bn of paper on the market. Problem is it appears market was not shocked and price falls only lasted 6 hours before going up and finishing well above $1300. Originally price fell below $1300.
      i Might be wrong and lose my shirt but I am going to start to load up on gold stocks..
      btw – bought and sold wgx twice and alk once this week and made some nice profit but planning to change strategy as my view is gold price is on its steady way up. I think we might be witnessing the first signs of loss of confidence in the fiats.

      • Nik, i agree with your reading of the fundamentals explaining the current price dynamics of gold.

        However I recommend caution due to the simple fact that leaders are hell-bent into going full MMT. But for it to have chance of working, without sparking massive inflation, there must be no store of wealth. Therefore they will do everything to discredit gold as they print.

        One can make the case that the suppression of the gold price over the last couple of decades is already an expression of MMT in action.

      • Aware of that Joel but thank you for bringing it up as it is an important point to consider for anyone else thinking same. Will be doing this gradually and keep an eye so I can exit fast if needed. If I can find one risk free investment in my life..

    • Should I do what my sari wearing neighbours are doing, and stocking up on the gold stuff and burying it the backyard? Alas, I don’t have a backyard. Sigh.

      • if I was Mr IQ I would have suggested to wait for the fire to start and your sari wearing neigbours start running for the exits.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Seems like our only viable strategy going forward is suppression of the ego and adoption of a common base monicker by all users / members.

      I suggest Norman Plum.

      Or… Spartacus.

    • Why not post all articles to the MB reddit page – then we can have extensive comments sections there and know when replies arrive?

    • I used to wonder what it took to get banned from MB.
      Now it’s a case of how not to.
      Both games are fun in their own way.
      The one with the greater greater constraints tends to be more fun.

      • Every single poster, including your party mate reusachtige, is now an enemy of this website. Do what must be done, Lord footsore. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy. Only then will you be strong enough in the Moron Side to save your portfolio….

      • Then ban hammer has never been in my hands.
        The party would be a mess of another sort if that were the case.
        I’d ask for the ability to redact.
        Posts with blacked out sentences and words.
        Those that think the world is conspiring against them would have kittens if that were the case.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Flawes banned ?
      Bring back Flawes, no one deserves to e banned for expressing their views.
      Unban him I say… diversity of opinion is what made MB such a good place,or are we all to have the same views on this site?

      • See my new comment a few paragraphs above (if it survives moderation). It’s done with barely smart heuristic algorithms, probably supplied with the basic framework the site is built on and intended to work for a multitude of sites built using the same basic framework. Unless the MB IT crew have a lot more time on their hands than I think, they are unlikely to have modified the heuristics much. If they have, then it hasn’t worked too well as seen by the general negativism of most commenters to the results. So, not really an expression of MB [email protected] (se what I did there?) but just AI functioning at a fairly low standard.

  2. Robert Mueller has submitted his final report on the 2016 US presidential election.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-23/mueller-submits-report-on-donald-trump-russia-investigation/10932596

    There might finally be some clarity about what Brexit means coming in the next couple of weeks …

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/22/secret-cabinet-office-document-reveals-chaotic-planning-for-no-deal-brexit

    And once the NSW state election is out of the way we enter the final strait leading to a decisive federal election sometime in May.

    On top of our footy and cricket teams being total trainwrecks of late we have been living through unusually unsettled political times. Just perhaps we will finally start getting something resembling order in the next couple of months.

    • note to all – do not underestimate the impact of the Mueller report and, in particular, the consequences of the DNC denial of the ‘findings’ ……….

      even before it was released, the MSM was suggesting the lack of evidence didn’t matter ….. it was all indicating that the ‘Trump universe’ was all a Kremlin front …. the TDS effect is just getting started …

      2020 is not only crucial for the US but for Oz as well …. watch this space even while our own politics self destruct …

      • it’s called “regulatory capture” – Boeing effectively self-certified the plane

        Fun fact: If you buy the more expensive model of the MAX you get two angle of attack sensors which solve the crash problem.

      • According to that article above only one of the two AoA indicators is actually used by the relevant system.

    • I’ve no confidence that the American regulatory authorities will take action against Boeing but I suppose if enough airlines pull their Max 8 orders then Boeing will be punished financially.

    • I’m definitely not defending Boeing but I suspect the root cause of this apparent MCAS failure will not be anything that would have been discovered with a thousand test flights. With that in mind I can only really say that Boeing failed to properly inform the FAA and the airlines about the significance of this MCAS system in that it has the ability to completely countermand Pilot inputs.
      IMHO Where you stand on this level of electronic override depends on how you interpret the information available on the Air France Flight 447 disaster. It seems obvious now that one of the Fl447 pilots completely failed to just fly-the-plane, he had the stick pulled back when every indicator showed that they were in a deep stall and were just falling from the sky. I suspect Boeing Engineers spent a lot of time focused on creating a system that could prevent their own Flight447 disaster but not enough time on properly understanding the failure modes of a system like MCAS.
      The weird thing for me about both of these crashes is that the plane didn’t appear to be operating in any sort of difficult conditions, in Engineering speak these were not test corner case failures. typically corner cases occur when different system limits are stacked up in an unexpected combination or an unexpected sequence.
      Neither of these crashes appears to be all that unusual so the planes were operating well with in the aircraft’s system limits yet both crashed!
      I suspect all this focus on the number of AoA indicators and how they’re displayed / used will prove to be just a knee-jerk reaction and in many ways a distraction directing our attention away from the real root cause of the systems failure.

      Many years ago (back when electronic were much slower) I had a similar head scratchier of a problem with a control system that sometimes spat the dummy. The occurrence of the problem had almost zero to do with the system parameters or operating conditions, ultimately we tracked it down to a condition called Metastability, once we understood the cause the solution was trivial, we simply added a couple of resynchronization stages and never saw that weird failure again.
      When I talk with advanced control systems engineers these days I hear all kinds of incredible algorithms and methods being used that leverage the enormous computing power that comes practically free with microprocessor cores like ARM. we have an incredible number of high precision integrated ADC’s and Digital IO that let you precisely measure all manner of signals but somewhere in the back of my mind I always come back to my own experience with weird and unexpected outcomes. If I talk to most young engineers about Metastability they look at me funny and think it’s some sort of textbook quick quiz but it’s not a quiz because these failure modes are real and they’re still there and waiting to jump up and bite you. I kinda suspect that this MCAS problem will eventually be tracked down to something stupid like clock domain data re-synchronization, or maybe something as simple as a communications PLL that’s not properly locked to the datastream coming from the digital output of the AoA module.
      I get the feeling that MCAS is one of these big-data control systems where errors in data synchronization are just treated as another source of system noise….but these errors are not noise because these errors are not really random and that’s what makes them so dangerous when you apply averaging techniques to filter the noisy data stream. Even the most advanced Particle Filter system control methods are useless if system noise becomes unexpectedly synchronized through something like sample PLL harmonic or sub-harmonic locking.

      Any as an old falla those are my thoughts, please tell me how wrong I am.

      • That was a great read. Thanks. I was a Mechanical Engineer (plus an electronics hobbyist) back in the analogue electronics era, so I had to do a fair bit of googling to understand the digital component of what you wrote. I have learned some stuff today e.g. digital metastability.

      • You cannot make a system foolproof because people will come up with ever inventive ways to out-fool the system.

      • It is the flip side of computing and modeling power. Engineers are less focussed on the physical reality of what they are dealing with and more on the mathematical reality of the model they are working with.

        As for systemic scary, the power system is moving away from the physical dynamics of spinning machines, which have been understood since the beginning of the industry and towards being power electronics/control system driven. There are all sorts of fundamental unknowns, particularly how control systems will interact in the context of a large scale interconnected power system. There are new failure modes which are not understood and WILL result in problems = power system crash = system black.

  3. Saw this at NC……..the techo-cornucopians are losing the argument. The examples of Puerto Rico and now Mozambique have shown people that if you are not in a city state you will whither on the vine if stuff happens Having to evacuate large areas of northern Australia for a storm shows we have no infrastructure out of the cities for recovery now either.

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-03-21/bruno-latour-on-politics-in-the-new-climatic-regime/

    Governments are going to have to do a lot more spending going forward however they generate the credit……….people have seen the future and are battening down all over.

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    @ChristopherJ.

    Four days above 40°? I lived Innisfail-Cairns area for 25 years and don’t remember one day over 40. Some high 30s yeah but four over 40°? I left because the hotter days made it so much harder for me to do the outdoors things I liked but this is ridiculous.

    • Spent 30 odd years in Darwin and much the same. The wet season never really got above 32dg, now it’s 35dg plus. Add the 70-80% humidity, it’s no wonder many of the friends we caught up with recently want out. We jokingly said “how’s the dry season?” To which the responses ranged from “what dry season” to “ah, I remember them”. Moving way south to Canberra , in the 10 years we’ve been here the summers are getting hotter for longer.

      What those climate change boofheads don’t get when they say “climate always changes” it not the change itself, that’s constant. It’s the variables such as rate of change and the severity of the change is where it’s all turning pear shaped.

      • Locus of ControlMEMBER

        Darwin’s most recent Wet season has probably been the most uncomfortable one I’ve experienced in my 11 years here. Very little rain (although not lowest on record I think it was the lowest since 1989 or something like that), very high temps (day and night) and very high humidity. Last year we set an overnight temperature record: a minimum of 30 degrees! https://www.eldersweather.com.au/news/hot-days-ahead-in-perth-as-darwin-breaks-overnight-record/528900 Nights either side of that, whilst not record-breaking, were about 28 or 29 which equals no respite!

        The irony is that I moved here because I don’t like cold Winters very much. And for many years Darwin had ‘good’ weather as far as I was concerned. But if we get too many more high temp/ high humidity combo days like we have had this past Wet season, I’m out. That’s equally as unbearable as a cold Winter. Probably to some place with more temperate weather – SE Qld perhaps.

      • I’ve been working in Brisbane last couple of years and this summer has been stinking hot here too. Definitely hotter for longer than it used to be when I was here last. Nearly middle of autumn and still 30+ every single day, we should be in the mid high 20s by now. I actually spoke to a lady who just moved here from Darwin to get away from the extreme heat and she said it wasn’t much different here at the moment.

      • be careful what you wish for …… I’m getting the hell out of Canberra – being here too long, last winter was awful ……. Brisbane is the destination and while expect it to get a bit hotter than in the past it will be nothing compared to the years spent in Sri Lanka and similar equatorial humidity ……. literally can have a sweat break out under the ‘cold’ water shower …

    • ChristopherJMEMBER

      Thank you, Mining B. Yes, we are right on the coast, 3ks or so from the water. Birds were falling out of the trees and 50 per cent of the flying foxes died over the period. I had a nesting pair of sunbirds just out of my window here and I remember spraying her and a lot of other birds during the hottest days, to no avail in the end. I have a pretty accurate thermo in my car and it was telling me 47 at one point.
      Re outdoors, yes, after 30 plus years in office, have been earning dollars from my hands. Plenty of days when you just have to finish at 1 (starting at 7). When I was doing nbn stuff up here, I’d do 5 litres of water without going to toilet on some of the warmer ones, and I’m only 70kg.

      Heat, it’s the one safety factor that is given little attention other than to wear long pants, sleeves, oh yes and gloves, when it’s 35 in the shade. Some of the underground pits I’ve been in have been closer to 50. No one gives a shit up here. If you complain, well you know the rest. Some of the biggest kants in Australia are employers in this town…
      Where you now bro?

    • @ MB and CJ ……… back in the 70’s as a poor student I worked during the ‘long break’ for the Perth W&S Board digging trenches for sewer pipes in new subdivisions …… a ‘normal’ Perth summer, long handle shovels, in an 8 foot deep trench having to throw the sandy soil up and over your shoulder ……. yeah, it got hot …… get out and pour water over your head, soak yourself and your clothes and you were dry again before you had a chance to finish eating your sandwich ….

      climate change is happening but the adjustment might be a bit easier if people got a bit more real about what the ‘environment’ actually is …

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        David, ME TOO. Worked for Johnny Young’s brother Fred, 70’s, digging 10 ft down for main sewage pipe new development Spearwood area. Black dust covered my body except for where the sweat ran down like a river, then had to catch a bus as was. Lost any semblance of pride of which I am now grateful.

  5. a mate from work just called telling me he is about to enter the poling station is going to vote SA – glad to hear I turned one Liberal vote to SA in Baulkham Hills. Yes he voted Liberal all his life but still has human hart.

    • I voted Sustainable #1 and Labor #2. Greens #3 Flux #4 etc.. I hate the Greens but they also have some affordable housing policies I agree with.

    • I just saw an RE agent in a 2005 Ford Falcon sedan put up an auction board. The AMG C63 Biturbo must be in for a service.

      • proofreaders – this mob only knows how to show off. they don’t know how to act humble. don’t think they are trying but simply adjusting to the new reality that $35k base salary has to offer.

      • Doubt its an actual agent putting up a board these days. I would be surprised if they even know how to use a hammer.

      • I had a surreal experience back in 2009. The house next door was for sale but the RE agent accidentally put the For Sale sign in front of my house instead. It stayed there for 4 days because of the Easter long weekend. It was kind of like living in a Kafka novel.

    • That’s enough losses to fill 5 MCGs! How many Olympic swimming pools of losses does that equate too?

      • Fill? Or you meant ‘tear down and rebuild’ 5 MCGs?

        Better yet, how many toll-roads? Or Ports Of Darwin?

    • The RE elves must have been up all night because there are dozens more for sale signs that I have noticed this morning. It’s on in 2443 2444

      • a house 50m from my place is back on the market again. Owners tried to sell it for $820k last year when it could have fetched ~$760k. Now they are asking for $745k and I doubt they will get that.
        Different strategies in my area though. This house does not have For Sale sign but it pooped up on real estate.com. Another house that has been for sale for 2 months now got their sign removed but still for sale online.

      • @tonydd – was just commenting to Mrs Hixtar about the same thing this morning walking to vote. Unbelievable how many for-sale signs are up this morning in Innes Lake area of Port Mac. Not just newly built houses either.

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Cairns. The RE pull out of the Saturday paper has more pages than the rest of the newspaper.
        Everyone trying to sell at the mo. Seeing sold signs, but this is in Whitfield and Edge Hill.
        All depends on getting credit and valuation approval now. Sellers are seeing a lot more subject to finance clauses. The only way they are going to get the sale, imo…

      • Prices have been holding on, but time on market is increasing. Realestate auction and sales results for 2444 are mostly high end or entry homes and prices are withheld.

        The good mid range homes, in good areas, which used to be priced at 800/900k are not selling.
        I’m holding out until I can buy a good house for 650, and pay no stamp duty (first home buyer).

      • Went to some open houses of detached houses at the lower end of the price spectrum around Canberra town yesterday. Three of them were recent auction rejects, and for each of them we were the only people there. No interest, or at least not at the price range the vendors wanted. At one place the agent said that $530k had been bid at the auction but the vendor’s bid was $590k. There was another house that had just come on the market and again we were the only people that turned up. Note that these were detached houses, not units or townhouses which are obviously nearing oversupply (it was a fine day and the ACT was not impacted by the NSW election).

      • “This house does not have For Sale sign but it pooped up on real estate.com. Another house that has been for sale for 2 months now got their sign removed but still for sale online.”

        Ahhhhhh, I bet they want to understate the supply side volume to avoid panic.

        I get a hunch that the “hidden for sale sign index” may be an accurate indicator of the health of the market.

      • Symptoms of IO rollover to PI?
        Specuvestors now exiting… if so, then this party is just getting started.

    • 10.91% decrease is inverse to 12.25% increase. The rate of decrease doesn’t compensate enough the rate of increases in the past (though is fairly close to)

    • So at this rate Perth is 470 days to zero index value (credit to another member who used this metric)

    • lol coming from DB one of the most corrupt dodgy banks on the planet. However, do we trust APRA’s data after the RC? I’m not sure who or what to trust these days.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        A fund. How’s the riding Going?
        Am in training to beat my 42yo mate.
        7 th lap of North Head hill passed a guy only 58 kg to my 90kg although he was in his eighties.

      • Hey BE, Great ro hear you’re training. Every kg you loose is 5 watts you don’t need to generate they say. All the boys pulled out thiis morning so right now I’m 60 k into my ride and having a coffee. The bloody wind is grinding. Gusting pretty high. My fitness is good so far this year touch wood. I’ve donr 3400k so far. I’m supposed to be doing less k’s and more altitude. Doing out of the saddle 5k intervals in the big chain ring biggest gear is helping the leg strength.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Great to see you using the big gears. Not many of us do. I do 1st lap in big high chain ring with 4 th cluster and each lap change down one.but confess the Q rings help.

      • BE I was 82kg and took 2 years to get to 62kg so it’s easy to keep the weight down as I eat way better and quit drinking. I get down to 58kg easy riding the mountains. Resemble a stick insecr though. Loosing the weight and cycling has changed my life. I was pretty sick a few years back.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Did you read my reply to tell you not to bother parking the bike in high to avoid derailer spring stretch. I had been doing that my whole life until I came to conclusion that spring steel doesn’t lose its spring back easily, so the pain of starting & changing at start off didn’t warrant it for minuscule difference. I have ordered 4 off 11 sprockets as it gets 95% of use and they wear quicker as well. Then I might make a new derailer hanger to wrap the chain around the sprocket to mitigate chain over sprocket jump.
        Caught up with a guy on a very expensive fixed wheeler, how these guys ride in traffic to the City without incident beats me ( no brakes).
        You at 58 kg is how I now understand why and how you do those big klms. Horses for courses, me being an ex powerlifter have no cadence so am just a high gear grinder (hills as well) happy not to lose too much size and strength as a trade off for speed and endurance. ( 60klms tomorrow)

      • BE I missed that one, but thanks. The guy who told me has Camp gear and what I’ve noticed it’s always needing adjustment, and my Ultegra hasn’t been touched since Dec 17 and the gears still change perfectly. I’ve changed a few chains and cassette’s, but that is it. He’s constantly tinkering. It’s so cool that you can make your stuff, There used to be a two brothers in Albert Park that did what you do and made everything. I went to the shop and it was just very nice engineering. Funny today there was a guy with a beautiful fixie, but same observation as you…death trap on the road. Maybe ok on a cycle path, but here in Melb there are no second chances and lots of cyclist are dying,

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Thanks afund, me too. Was 89ks at my sickest (2010) and couldn’t run more than 100m. Now 70kg, same as when I was 17. and I can run up hills.
        Got to exercise and eat well as you say.

        I’ll get on the bike when the legs can’t run. I am lucky to have Tonto who comes along each day. S’lot harder when it’s just you, eh?

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Christopher, great to see you exercising. When you get old your brain becomes your body’s worst enemy, its always telling you to eat junk and rest all day, so please keep it up. In my case I have to trick it by saying I won’t go for a surf, I’ll just look but bring the board, I won’t bike far I’ll just start, don’t feel like lifting so I’ll just lift the bar only. Once started well its a bit light so I’d better load it up a bit.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Disaster. My Ill conceived notion of smoking a group up L Reef hill evaporated when whack the cleat snapped from wear. Kept going but turned back on bottom of McCarrs hill as need to pull big gears. 11 jumping on flat as well. Lone ride as mate Simon injured and Shorty (hes tall) thinks he can’t keep up .Mike pulled out as well. Sht happens.will limp home now.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Sorry Yeb that should have had the ! after the whack!!!, but was on the road, so hope I’m forgiven.
        Afund btw Simon is 6’3” and 70kg so will take a hard grind training to beat again. Wish there was a velodrome nearby, as more suited to track. My old bike is a Campi with 68 chainring –11 that ride at Adcock park velodrome. A guy this morn said he liked his Campi as he loved working on his bike all the time.

    • “APRA appears to have a data problem – the number of mortgages is up 75 per cent since March 2008; yet population is up only 18 per cent over the same period,” the analysts said.

      They need to take into account the investor frenzy too though.


      • They need to take into account the investor frenzy too though.

        Also the introduction of longer duration mortgages and uptake of IO mortgages (inifinite duration mortgages).

    • So which is it?

      Several sources have confirmed that the APRA data did not account for split mortgages and therefore may be overstating the average mortgage balance.

      But the data may also understate the average because it fails to account for offset accounts in which households may hold excess cash against their mortgage to reduce their interest payments. These loans account for about 8 to 10 per cent of balances of the banks’ total mortgage books.

      FWIW, APRA have recently started to ask for “headroom” stats ie how much money a person can draw down under a facility rather than just how much they have drawn down.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Let us not forget that the number of permanent migrants went from about 90,000 per year when Howard was first elected to close to 160,000 when he left office.

      and

      In the 10 years ending in 2005, the annual NOM averaged 105,000. Since then, the NOM has averaged more than 220,000. In other words, the NOM has more than doubled, which undoubtedly is behind the public’s growing opposition to immigration. The latest figure for the NOM (for the year ending in the September quarter of last year) was 242,000.

      Note that net overseas migration accounts for more than 60 per cent of the growth in the population. Australia has one of the highest rates of population growth among developed economies, with the population growing at close to an extra 400,000 people a year. This is more than Canberra’s entire population.

      This is something Leith and and others have been saying for about ten years now.

      The charts she needs to illuminate this point are these……

      and

      • The unemployment rate steadily came down from 2001 to Sep 2008. And in mid 2008, I read that the unemployment rate will be even lower in 2009. So I was not opposed to mass immigration as long as it was getting easier and easier to get a job. But that changed when the $900 cheques were given out and they were given out because the unemployment rate was dire.

        Unfortunately, the lunatic left did not cut the immigration rate in 2009. And in 2010, Gillard lied about not wanting a big Australia. Since then, just about everything has been getting worse due to mass immigration. School ovals replaced by illegal apartments. Aussies on $18/hour replaced by foreigners on $10/hour. Budget surplus replaced by a gigantic deficit.

        All that self-inflicted misery while Norway has less people than NSW.

        Sweden is deporting cheap Aussie labour:

        https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/long-swedish-word-has-a-short-message-for-aussie-workers-go-away-20190301-p5112p.html

        It is fantastic to see Aussies in the comments cheering on the deportations – probably the opposite of what the author expected – and demanding the same be done in Australia. Of course, Sweden is not the biggest source of immigration into AUS – a very low wage nation is.

        For 50 years, right wing pricks have been saying “Aussies get paid too much” and the left wing lunatics gave them what they want by giving out 457 visas for $0 each. A comment under the article is brilliant:

        How is it that every Western country in the world has a ” skills shortage”? They’d just better train more locals or miss out and make do.

        Precisely. USA has a whopping 325 million people and the RWP say “we need more skilled immigrants”. Shame on the lunatic left for believing that lie. SpaceX is not allowed to hire foreigners and they still managed to invent reusable rockets.

      • “Note that net overseas migration accounts for more than 60 per cent of the growth in the population.“
        The fact that immigrants to Australia have 3 children on average, compared to only 2 children for home-grown Aussies, accounts for the other 40%. In other words, NOM actually acounts for 100% of the population increase! It’s just that 60% of the effect is immediate while the other 40% occurs a few years later.

  6. I’ve been handing out SA how to vote cards this morning. Great experience to see constituents in the poorest seat in the country vote National. The Greens person was amazing just assumed I was racist, telling young female voters voting Greens will save Koala’s lives …… Ooh yes please we love animals. FFS

      • That’s the other thing that gets me, this attempt to downplay it or normalise it as some kind of kink caused by childhood trauma etc.. like WTF!

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        Yup the hollywood elite still defend that horrible pedo Roman Polansky . . .

      • Not trying to defend this conduct BUT from an historical perspective there is really no reason to have the age of consent set to 16 years or 18 years of age as it is in most countries today.
        You don’t need to wind the clock back that many years to find that in most countries the age of consent was 13. Now what happens if you look at the facts around all these so called Paedos when the age of consent is lowered by a few years, are they still Paedos, or are they suddenly just one of the guys that likes it a bit on the young side?
        I’ve mentioned before friends in Tokyo that were really into the whole Enjo-kōsai (compensated dating) scene, now they tell me that they never slept with the girls but I don’t know what to believe. As they’ve said if you wind the clock back 100 years than nobody would have even raised an eyebrow at the idea of rich powerful Japanese man dating or even marrying a 14 year old, I suspect that human nature hasn’t really changed that much in these 100 years but the legal implications of these now anti-social actions have indeed changed enormously.
        In China Chairman Mao apparently like it real young prepubescent (under 11), if you’re to believe the rumors he bedded over 1000 virgins. What’s really interesting is that the parents of these kids sort of celebrated this gift from Mao and that’s in China where these Girls were now unable to ever marry. I remember reading an intelligence report on this topic where the western intelligence agency assumed that they could destabilize China by publicly revealing this information, but it didn’t work out quite the way they planned….
        All that I know for sure is that the world is a much weirder place that the narrow view of human activities that is endorsed by our current western leaning legal system, a much much much weirder place!

    • The film “Pretty Woman” (1990) created the misleading impression that prostitution is a great career move – leading to wealth and glamour rather than poverty, drug abuse and despair. Although I applaud “Leaving Neverland” (and denounce Streisand’s comments) I have to admit that this film runs the risk of creating a similarly misleading impression of the “typical” child sex abuse survivor.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Think the liberal party is on the nose at all levels in old blue liberal land ……the old anglos are mourning the loss of their leafy suburbs …….but a lot of new arrivals ( who now own what’s left those leafy suburbs and the ever encroaching appartments )are at the polling booths and are deciding how Gladys will do .

  7. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Well, fancy that. I’ve just got a message that the camp in Port Hedland is in lock down because red alert and not to venture outside. Haven’t been near there for two and a half years.

    If there’s a disaster and they can’t find my body, am I died?

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Thanks Mining
      That reminded of me getting into trouble for forgetting to report to base in Melb, when travelling alone to Surat from Ballera (gas pipe) in case something went wrong and couldn’t be located.

    • Stay strong Mining, we’re coming. Just charging up the Prius now.
      Remember boredom is no excuse for cannibalism.

      • I like how the talking point is that it was Daley’s PhD comments from last year. It’s like they still haven’t got the memo from the gay marriage plebiscite – their pet immigrants aren’t turning into progressive voters. Between christian prosperity doctrine (chinese and koreans) and islam the ALP are caught completely unawares. Trying to out-virtue signal the greens in order to keep the inner city has lost them the rest of Sydney.

      • @Tony I agree, it is amazing to see just how ineptly both major parties are at courting the immigrant vote, it’s like they have developed some sort of one dimensional model of “the immigrant” that is to be applied to all situations and all immigrants. there’s zero understanding of just how conservative many of these immigrant societies really are, they lead with progressive attitudes and wonder why the vote swings against them.
        In the end I suspect the days of our two party system are numbered, we’ll probably end up with a far more fragmented political system, and a huge transition as we learn to govern with collections of minority parties holding sway on all major issues.

      • And that was with zero preparation not even name of candidate on the HRV card. Laurieton did well l believe 😉

  8. Mining BoganMEMBER

    What on earth is Footscray wearing!!??

    Is nothing sacred from the powers of advertising?

    • Surely the apparel of AFL footballers has existed almost entirely as a form of advertising hoarding for more than 30 years?

    • They’re even talking about making the grand final an evening game. Is there nothing sacred that us old buggers can’t hold onto?

      • Having been out in Collingwood after a premiership, delaying the victory fuelled binge is a good idea.

      • In my experience, if Collingwood is in the GF, Collingwood fans start drinking when they wake up on Grand Final morning. If you have a night Grand Final, they run a real risk of not seeing any of the game (this might not be a point of distinction compared to fans of other football teams).

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Ruined the NRL final. When it was on Saturday at 3pm, we made a day of it. Now, when we make a day of it, we’re all pissed or asleep by the time the game comes on.
        Keep the AFL on Saturday arvo, like it’s always been

  9. Libs have won I guess – has Antony Green called it yet?
    I’m guessing due to LNP MVP Michael Daley.

  10. So the Dutch had an election Thursday, for provincial seats which are themselves not super important, but those elected will in turn choose the senate so we can forecast what the numbers there will be. It appears that the party FvD (Forum for Democracy) will take the majority in the senate, having 0 seats last time around on account of not existing yet. So there is some hope for new breakaways after all.

    But this is just leading me to what I want to post, the victory speech of the party leader Thierry Baudet: https://pastebin.com/QpbZ8qn5

    Now I’m not saying I endorse every (or even any) thing there, but I would just like to imagine the possibility of an Australian politician, of a (now) major party, giving a speech like that. Probably the dream is too great

  11. For those looking for something to watch, there’s a documentary on flat Earthers called ‘Beyond the Curve’ up in Netflix.

      • It’s a shame there was so little on their arguments as to why they believe the Earth to be flat.

    • You missed it Footy. It was about the psychology of these people who believe in this sort of thing and why they do. I found it fascinating. I would also recommend the Louis Theroux Scientology doco.

      • It did have a cult of personality aspect. Still, if they claim that the Earth is flat then I’d like to know why.

    • ChristopherJMEMBER

      Thanks footsore, saw it and it was good. I like how the flat earth ‘star’ goes around the disk like a giant led spot light.

      Re stuff to watch, latest J Pie on Brexit – (because they broke the contract)

    • I hear that Australians are actors. Australia isn’t real. Well, our ‘growth success’ isn’t real.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      “It needs to be affordable via pensions “
      There ya go luv …..just hand over one third of your government pension to the nice bank ……..eat ? ….did you say eat ?

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Dear Mrs Pensioner

        Your quarterly mortgage condition inspection took place in XXYYZZ.

        In that inspection we found some issues we would like to raise with you.

        We found

        1. A number of hooks, pins and blu tack markings on walls.
        2. Indication that a small furry animal regularly spent time inside the abode
        3. Significant holes in lace curtains
        4. Indication that ablution facilities are not cleaned regularly

        Please note that these are conditions of your mortgage, and see to their rectification, or if these present difficulty for you please contact our mortgage condition manager line on 1122334455, to enable us to work with you on appropriate management of your mortgage.

        Jarvath Sindranawhurl
        Interest only Pension Mortgage Accounts Manager – Australia
        Global Banking Corporation

    • I wish words did fail me but the politicians never fail when it comes to snouts and trotters in the trough.
      The only true bipartisan approach is when it comes to expenses and “the rules” which are so lax as to be invisible.
      Senator Farrell even managed to give the taxpayer the middle finger in his explanation by claiming his trip was to meet the chair and CEO of the “Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority”. In Sydney, mind you because why would the CEO of the Expenses Authority for Canberra-based Federal MPs meet those MPs anywhere but Sydney.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        To Andrew – apart from expenses (on an anything goes approach), pollies also have a multi-partisan approach when it comes to remuneration increases. There is a puppy-dog tribunal to “judge” what they are worth and then the pollies usually pass the recommended increases through parliament in the depths of night when hopefully the pliant MSM and the great unwashed (voters) are asleep.

    • Latham is one of those incompetents who have sat in parliament and done nothing at all to prevent the slow shred of the social contract.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Maybe I should do one of these for Australian politics……

      ‘When you send roboletters to social welfare recipients trying to claim insignificant sums from 1992 or 2 cents last year, but still have politicians suckling on the public teat to take their spouses to the Grand Final when they have been given ticket for that event free by a bank……

      You break the contract.’

      • ChristopherJMEMBER

        Yes, Gunna. I lose the ability to comprehend the corruption I see. All for one soon

    • There’s a lot of these stories – I wonder if they’d be as penitent if they didn’t lose. Probably not.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        In a time of fake news does it mean that the quote “the winner writes history” no longer holds true?

  12. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’m still celebrating the win of the great Liberal Nationalist Party in NSW. Soon they’ll be victorious over Loser Shorten and his shambles party too. Woo hoo!

  13. Farmers really are turkeys wishing for Christmas with their continued support of the nationals.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Looking like Lismore is a Nat loss, along with Barwon and the one on the Murray
      Slowly slowly catches monkey.
      Next the demise of the enraged Beetroot

    • Nationals are playthings of big agriculture and big mining. Country people don’t get a look in and know it.
      Nationals are a disgrace.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        They are indeed, a class act. Niall Blair, a NP minister and Legislative Council member having been re-elected yesterday for an 8-year term, has apparently said today that he is resigning from Parliament.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Resigning from Ministry, not parliament according to his local rag

        NSW regional water minister steps down

        https://www.edenmagnet.com.au/story/5971246/nsw-regional-water-minister-steps-down/?cs=7

        “Public life does not come without costs and while the opportunities have been immense, the costs personally and more recently professionally, have taken their toll,” he said.

        Mr Blair, who is also deputy leader of the NSW Nationals, informed leader John Barilaro “some months ago” he does not want to be considered for any new ministerial roles or as a party leader.

        He will remain in the Legislative Council.

        “I am proud of my various achievements in Parliament and my Ministerial portfolios and am confident they will stand the test of time,” he said.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Doug Anthony might have been one the last of the decent Nationals ( but if I remember right he was Country Party ) ……..there are still a few in there with good hearts but something smells like dead fish to me ………..

        …….does Blair think he can sit on a nice little earner bench in the NSW parliament for the next what ever years and escape any responsibility for this environmental disaster that occurred on his watch ?
        Surely Westminster democracy has the mechanisms to remove him ?

      • Not quite. They are also big on boomer enclaves of Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Oxley (ironically one of the poorest electorates in NSW).

        Coastal Boomers love their tax rortes, caravan rego discounts and hate dole bludgers, migrants and abos.

  14. An observation of this week’s auction results. Average price in Sydney (houses+apartments combined) is $685k. Yet the median prices are $1.322m for houses and $800k apartments. I understand that if credit is tightening that prices will compress at the upper end and drag the average price down. However, if you consider that half of houses >= $1.322m and half apartments >= $800k then $685k average price overall seems awfully low.

    http://digitalfinanceanalytics.com/blog/auction-results-23-march-2019/

    • The median price of houses sold at auction has been around $1.3 million for the best part of a year. I don’t know if that is because better houses are now selling for a lower price (so the median price itself isn’t moving even though you get more house for the money) or what exactly it reflects

    • Another observation. 7 houses auctioned in wealthy bayside suburb of Hampton in Melbourne. None of them sold.

    • Unless there is a third category that is not broken out there – land and or vacant land sales?
      Guessing the category price averages and proportions of the overall market:
      House: 1.32m – 20%
      Units: 0.8m – 30%
      land: 0.3m – 50%
      Add the price weighted proportions together to get the overall auction average across all categories. = 654k
      Super crude back of envelope stuff and highly vulnerable to skew by outliers.
      Can anyone in the industry comment if a 50% auction sales volume for land is even sensible?

    • that is mathematically impossible
      no matter how many houses or units are there and no matter what price distribution they have, median for combined units and houses has to be higher then the median for units
      if most of sold properties are units than combined median would be close to median of units but definitely higher

      • They don’t provide a median for combined house and units. They offer “Total value sold” and “Total number sold” so we are calculating an average, not a median for the combined categories. it may be possible, but that is some extreme skew at the lower end, whereas you would think that the skew may be more likely to lie at the top.

        Edit: another thought. Is it possible that they could be reporting places as sold, but declining to nominate the sales price?

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      And with the Indian ones they’re even more efficient by having established the result in advance. Much less fuss and fireworks that way.

  15. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Who else here hates poor people? Looking at the NSW election results map. How stoopid are poor people for voting that loser Labor party? They deserve what they get. No ambition.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Hear, hear.

      Poor people who had any brains would get a better suburb with an incumbent Liberal candidate so they can vote them out at the next election. It’s a free country after all.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        Yeah totally agree. There is just something inherently wrong with them. It’s like their brains haven’t evolved properly or something. They’re just so backwards. And usually butt ugly too, which makes them ten times worse. Maybe a throwback gene the rest of us have shaken and evolved beyond. They are horrible.

    • Whenever a homeless person asks me for spare change I pull out a big wad of hundred dollar bills and tell them I don’t have any spare change.

  16. Why does the ABC bother employing Anthony Green? It is a bit pointless. It’s like calling a cane toad race, at the end of the day there will be a winner, and the winner will be a toad.

    The results will be whatever the results will be, we don’t need a declaration of how things are playing out until the officials call it. He is not an official. Surely it doesn’t take too much to analyse results and note where a count is heading?

    • Right on, he’s an accessory at best to dilute the remainder of the smug commentariat. And that ‘prediction’ thing he does gives me the shits, back when i was at school you’d make a prediction ONCE and then be judged by how how close you came to the final result. Antony Green style ‘predictions’ actually mean updates every time an electorate’s progress is shown. That’s no prediction, it’s a bloody commentary. Where’s the insight, where’s the skill? Wonder what his appearance money is.

    • To fund new infrastructure to handle our current population we need a higher population so we can collect more taxes….(can’t beat that logic)

      • I am sure all that cash in hand, underpayment / no payment, and remittances will help with the coffers.

    • Dark forces continue their war. A war against the existing residents of this country.

      • Mr “We all need to live in high density high rise dog boxes to become a great city”. And where do you live? Oh, I live in leafy Easter Suburbs in a house….

      • What a disgrace and the reporter whilst being a bit tough should have gone personal by telling the greedster he just wants to profit from the erosion in everyone else’s living standards and aspirations. I doubt whether he could have convinced anybody that his views and practices were born out of altruism. Good to see 60 Minutes running this and giving Dick Smith some more air time.

    • Yes, the extreme neoliberal growth agenda absolutely crushes the working class suburbs. Rich leafy suburbs by the harbour, not so much. But don’t sweat it, the middle-class progressives have confirmed all the great reforms that will bring high density utopia are just around the corner… even though a new LNP government has just been voted in lol.

      • Can we get some junky-looking junks over-flowing with new arrivals and effluent permanently moored on the harbour to spoil their view and amenity?

  17. TailorTrashMEMBER

    The bank of MAD …..now at $29 billion ….just behind Macquarie ……wonder if that’s the full “value“ of the homes on security …..or just the “equity “
    held ………need someone with a greater understanding to explain ……..but looks like a lot of potential pain ………https://youtu.be/zLrrKCSU8IM