Weekend reading: 13-14 July 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith is an economist and has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. The Traveling Wilbur

    So the moral of tonight’s story is: none of youse can fckn drive.

    Can’t wait for autonomous Ubers. Life savers for you lot.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Had a look at a man cave on Mon at Brookvale supposedly 140m2 but think it included mezzanine. You would have loved it, guitars , keyboard, 6m ceiling, space for cars and bed and amenities
      Realstate.com industrial

      • Why note a whore house in a Warehouse? Lots of space for lots of small dark rooms and showers… Plus they are in Industrial areas where is quiet at night and people are less likely to see you coming out of 1 or see your car parked outside.

    • innocent bystander

      I lived in one for about 7 or 8 years.
      You need to consider heating/cooling such a big open plan area (mine was pretty cool in the Perth summers but cold in the winter – usually the saw tooth rooves are south facing for the indirect light, so no winter sun).
      also if multiple people/kids noise can be an issue.
      Mine was great mostly, esp design/aesthetic wise, but in the end I missed the winter sun even tho mine had 3 courtyards.

  2. Anyone worked or working in the USA? What do the Yanks think of Aussies? Are they happy to employ them?

      • “Americans love Australians.”

        Back in the early 90s my Aussie wife and I had a couple of lads she knew from school days, in Brisbane, blow in to Boulder, Colorado for 3 days. Had all sorts of stuff lined up for them to do, excellent food and drink, incredible mountain views up the flat irons, but after the first night taking them to a few pubs they hooked up with some collage sorority girls …. never saw them again till the last day ….

        Dragged in looking like road kill and informed us before crashing out that they bounced from one sorority house to the next, there was a queue it seems.

        In the other hand they can be quite gullible and easily strung along about story’s of kangaroos going up and down the street, don’t ware shoes, place is crawling with killer everything, drop bears et al, and living standards out side Sydney and Melbourne that resemble a land that time forgot.

      • Skip. I spent 6 months as an exchange student in nashville back in my formative (read alcoholic) uni days. Was such fun and easy pickings convincing the locals that the “drop bears” not only could kill you, but had evolved/learned how to fashion crude tools and weaponry, and there were cases where they had been observed hunting in packs..

      • Nashville … eh ….

        Dated a girl that lived in 100 Oaks a few blocks from Johnny Cashes home and went to Vanderbilt University. Her dorm was nicknamed the virgin vault, oxymoron if there ever was one.

    • Yanks love Aussies as they’re the only people who make the Yanks look smart. Plus they can get together at the end of a hard week and enjoy a nice bottle of “French champagne” together.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Biggest issue is convincing any potential employers how easy and cheap an E3 visa is.

      • I worked under an E3 for about 4 years in Seattle. You need to be over there to apply, no one is going to give a second look to someone applying from the other side of the world. Second, don’t say you need sponsorship in the application. Apply and then state in the interview you need to be employed under the E3. Outline how it isn’t sponsorship by the firm, they just need to lodge a form with customs/immigration.

        It’s not that hard, as long as you have a degree, some skills, a cracking resume and interview well. Get them hooked and then drop the need for the visa, but don’t say it’s sponsorship. Say it’s a form and it’s free and there is no obligation on their part.

        The hard part is trying to get a green card from the E3. It’s almost impossible. I tried without any luck. I’ve noticed Trump wants to reduce chain migrants for workers under the green card allocation, so that might help in the future.

    • No. However I did many years ago go to the US on a visitors visa for a work conference. As an old AS400 operator was asked to do a couple of jobs. Does that count?

      • AS400? Never thought I’d see someone else drop that in MB. I still program for it…amongst others. Always was interested in working internationally with it…

    • Yes am in the US. Americans love Aussies. Still can’t figure out why. Outside of the major international hubs (LA, NY), just the sound of an Aussie accent draws interest and numerous questions and condolences about Steve Erwin.

  3. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Arthur, on the job front, s/s sheet metalwork & folding then 20mm thick sheet alum was cut like butter on my tablesaw meant for wood.. Fri at home using 100 ton press that I made every ccomponent of including power pak. Then job for jackhammer where they tried to weld pipe fittings to blades without realizing they are cast iron. Immediately after, next client an auger bit tube for drilling rig, hard steel probably 4140. Last week’s 1.5m fan is sucking too much and pushing past the next bay’s fan (backflow) so will harmonize motor speeds, pulley diams and blade pitches to do next week. So if you would like help wrt clients just look up website for email.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        People trying to DIY ends up false economy so when TSHYF it will exacerbate the downhill spiral.as more will risk it.


        @ Boom
        Plumber buddy has Reese sticker on his tray truck:
        ” We repair what your husband fixed”
        Izza long list of comedic tales about guys( n gals) ‘going in’ to places where they just don’t belong!
        For example: neighbor was a Bobcat novice Sat morning backing it off the trailer but smartened up lots by noon-back and forth to shift the dirt for his new outbuilding. By 2:00 he’d crushed his too shallow plastic septic lines and by 6:00 pm he’d fully bogged the Cat trying to use the bucket to ‘fix’ the drain fields before knocking on the door for help ( his very angry partner’s demand).

    • @Boom. Thoughtful of you to remember my post of sometime back with this reference. Truth is, my working days are (probably) mainly behind me now. Retirement looms. My initial question was real enough, I’d like to understand what it is that leads one person to have a successful self-employed business and another to not do so well. My businesses were usually successful only temporarily (as mentioned, I suspect a lack of people skills). Ha ha, typo had that as “lack of people kills”. I suspect you have the skills and don’t pay much regard to it. I would advise anyone to consider people skills as essential for business. Otherwise, be a paid techy as I became (because you don’t get arksed too many hidden meaning questions and aren’t expected to play the political game)

    • @Boom. Thoughtful of you to remember my post of sometime back with this reference. Truth is, my working days are (probably) mainly behind me now. Retirement looms. My initial question was real enough, I’d like to understand what it is that leads one person to have a successful self-employed business and another to not do so well. My businesses were usually successful only temporarily (as mentioned, I suspect a lack of people skills). Ha ha, typo had that as “lack of people kills”. I suspect you have the skills and don’t pay much regard to it. I would advise anyone to consider people skills as essential for business. Otherwise, be a paid techy as I became (because you don’t get arksed too many hidden meaning questions and aren’t expected to play the political game)

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Arthur, I also have lack of people skills but luckily can sell myself and tell them consider it done before I start. My retirement age went past ages ago, but use it or lose it. Funny your aspect on the political game as I found the opposite. Hated and couldn’t work on wages due inability of handling politics. btw the auger tube machining also drilled a hole at 45 degrees into hard wall thickness of 75mm. For the record a lot of my work involves completing and rectifying DIY. Most recent, cast iron welds with more self inflicted cracks, jackhammer incorrect choice of pipe nipple material, electrical where mechanic just put wires anywhere on contactors at any available terminal, those fan blades the workers didn’t note the increments on the variable pitch when unnecessarily taken off, the list goes long and wide.
        This DIY cost the recipients more to rectify and this behavior if likely to increase as the economy turns which will compound losses.

      • @Boom. Possibly I also jumped around changing careers too much. Boredom, you see. First Mechanical Engineering for 5 years. Then photography for 15 years (advertising, industrial and magazine work). Then back to Uni again to study IT and become a web developer/consultant for last 15 years. Self-employed in both photography and web development. Looking back I made far more money in photography than the others, but when you’re bored with something you can’t be creative anymore. Better stop now, someone will identify me!

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Better stop now LOL.
        I pretend to be someone else on the phone after no contact for over 10yrs and the first thing they say is “that you Boom”. Yep know where you’re coming from, marine engineer, fitter machinist, gym owner, Empire State Building working for mag publishers, brick cleaning, Pres ANBB, pushing laundry around in Menzies Hotel, ship and yacht broking business, TV adds, main sewage pipe installation (Johnny Young’s brother) even got a leading part in a film but finance fell through. Forgotten quite a few but you notice the varied back to engineering work is combating boredom, not suitable for repetitious work. Back to tangible job satisfaction, especially if no else could do it.

  4. haroldusMEMBER

    by harry

    Hikikomore shut-ins.
    A broken, tiny junk blends
    under the macro gaze.

  5. Fancy that, the West used to talk sense in 1977:

    since US medical advances were responsible for the expansion of the world’s population, they should also be responsible for keeping it down

    Today, USAID, the arm of the US government that provides funding for family planning services around the world, continues to support some of this thinking: a USAID-funded wife paper in 2014 recommended that sterilisation increase globally.


    So how the heck is it a good idea to have an insane rate of population growth via mass immigration?

    The West should be offering free sterilisation to anyone in the world who wants it and the West should have a shrinking population like Japan.

  6. Question: who are the most dangerous people on the planet?

    Hypothesis: Economists.



    Here are a few quotes from some famous economists:


    William Nordhaus (winner of the Nobel memorial “prize” for economics, 2018)

    “Agriculture, the part of the economy that is sensitive to climate change, accounts for just 3% of national output. That means that there is no way to get a very large effect on the US economy”


    Wilfred Beckerman (Oxford University)

    “Even if net output of agriculture fell by 50% by the end of the next century, this is only a 1.5% cut in GNP”


    Thomas C Schelling (winner of the Nobel memorial “prize” for economics, 2005)

    “If agricultural productivity were drastically reduced by climate change, the cost of living would rise by one or two percent, and at a time when per capita income will likely have doubled”


    Can anyone with a sane view of the world imagine a scenario where the availability of food drops by 50% or more and there are no knock on effects in the broader economy? I think, if I reduced my food intake by 50%, I’d be more than a little less productive in my day to day life. I imagine a 50% reduction in food availability would have a more than slight effect on the prices of said food in the shops.

    Why is it that these low grade m0rons have the ears of those in power, yet their modelling contains absolutely zero attention to feedback, let alone energy or limitations in sources and sinks?

    Why does anyone listen to them?
    And don’t get me started on their pretend “Nobel Prize”…


    What do you call an economist with a prediction?


      • Easy on there Dom, I’ve made a lot of money betting that our best Economists/models are wrong. What’s more it’s the easiest money I’ve ever made, Engineering models need to be useful and accurate, they’re hard work to get right whereas Economic models are more often clearly wrong making it rather trivial to best our Economists at their own game. Or maybe that is the real game!

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Don’t you know – pseudoscience and feelings are all the rage nowadays.

      • Galbraith was considered as an iconoclast by many economists. This is partly because he rejected the technical analysis and mathematical modelling of neoclassical economics as being divorced from reality. Following Thorstein Veblen, he believed that economic activity could not be distilled into inviolable laws, but rather was a complex product of the cultural and political milieu in which it occurs.


      • To all concerned …

        I have mentioned more than a few times over some years that Economics was previously termed Sociopolitical Theory with a side of Natural History. Now the rub comes in post WWII WRT our currant “dominate” mainstream Economics via the same lot that FDR took to task post Great Depression, a blend of useful ideologues, various esoteric shaman, and those that funded their ascendancy.

        Its not like I have mentioned Philip Mirowski or say an old associate from LSE –

        #010 Philip Pilkington – Living Through The Monetarist Experiment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=176&v=aKOpsY0chl4



        It should be noted that currently the dominate view is quasi monetarism aka Taylor rule E.g. provide liquidity to the market to jump start and let the sparkle pony do the rest.

        Then some are befuddled at why some of us call for a reformation in the subject matter, no wild eye ideologues please …. too wit … economics is not the study of rational anything … its just the opposite … the study of why humans act irrationally and how to best reconcile that state of affairs without draconian measures.

      • It may be that Veblen was unpopular because he had the temerity to point out that capitalism is in fact, inefficient:

        Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929) wrote his first and most influential book while he was at the University of Chicago, on The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). In it he analyzed the motivation in capitalism for people to conspicuously consume their riches as a way of demonstrating success. Conspicuous leisure was another focus of Veblen’s critique. The concept of conspicuous consumption was in direct contradiction to the neoclassical view that capitalism was efficient.


    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      That’s like saying Philosophers are “Wrong”.
      Well,… actually most of them do seem to be wrong also.

      But it’s our forced submission to “There is no alternative” orthodox economics that has made the Democratic social organisation of our world so ineffective and unfair.
      Like the success of Christianity in the West, where local Aristocratic thugs had their wealth and power sanctioned by The Church, the current Economic orthodoxy serves only the powerful and wealthy,… not the Democratic desires of the masses.

      There are other heterodox Economic Narratives and Philosophies that can be contemplated,…but ya just not going to see them forwarded by a mainstream media that is in the service of Corporate power.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Most economists that you hear of are put there so you can hear them – the really interesting ones are the ones you rarely find in the papers or economist journals, eg Michael Hudson is a good contemporary example.

        The really average economists also vastly underrate the likelihood of non-linear moves and tail risk. A 50% fall in food production might represent a linear decline of food production, but the impacts would be very non-linear in terms of the outcome on economies. They remind me of dumb smart people, who can only remember facts and figures but lack the creativity to make new connections between pieces of data or risk questioning orthodoxy for fear of being outcast. They’re your typical rear view mirror driving economist.

        Much of the blame for the ‘Arab Spring’ rests with a rise in food prices, in many nations food prices are not 3% of national budgets, but 30%, and not 20% of household expenditure budgets but 80-100%. A combination of high fuel prices embedding its cost in the food chain and poor growing conditions resulted in food prices, mainly bread spiking by 20%, heralded much social unrest among the various ‘springs’


      • Look what happens when good economists drop truth bombs. Steve Keen has been shunned my the MSM here. Ha.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        ^^ Steve Keen… You’re spewing up Steve Keen as an example of a good economic modeller? LOLOLOL. See, this is what is wrong with you people. How’s his modelled house crash of 200x going for you? Again, farkn LOLOLOL!!!

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Speaking of making new connections – it appears AI is like to soon surpass your average economist in making them…

        As one example, researchers fed publications from before 2009 into the algorithm and were able to predict one of the most effective modern-day thermoelectric materials four years before it was actually discovered in 2012.

        The technology isn’t restricted to materials science either – as it can be trained on a wide variety of disciplines by retraining it on literature from whichever subject for which one wants to provide a deeper analysis.

        “This algorithm is unsupervised and it builds its own connections,” said the study’s lead author, Vahe Tshitoyan, adding “You could use this for things like medical research or drug discovery. The information is out there. We just haven’t made these connections yet because you can’t read every article.”


    • The economics profession has turned into a priesthood. This happened because being at the top of the priesthood is very profitable.

      (a) priests benefit from the largesse provided by the elites who run society.
      (b) elites benefit from the legitimacy a pliant priesthood provides.

      In a healthy society, the priesthood understands its role in society, as does the aristocracy. In a society gone rogue… well, you live in one, so I guess you know what it is like.

      You should take the predictions of the economists today as roughly analogous to witchdoctors. Once, these were based on empirical observations of the world. Not so much today.

      Moving up in the economics profession is all about your skill with coming up with ever more elaborate nonsense which best serves the latest in-vogue predatory instinct of the most shameless elites around.

      Its called progress. You live in a progressive cult state, basically a retarded theocracy which is in denial about what it is. Hence you have:

      (a) End is nigh fantasy, also known as climate change. Repent sinner, for you have sinned against holy gaia!
      (b) Angels on pinheads style heresies. Just how many genders are there is the modern ‘how many angels fit on a pinhead’ style argument.
      (c) Caste system – Elites/technocrats/deplorables/incels. If in-cel (involuntary celibate) reminds you of ‘untouchables’, this is not a coincidence.
      (d) Temples selling indulgences + Temple prostitution – The modern university system + the proliferation of college students doing sex work to pay for school.
      (e) Particular fascination with pedophilia and weird ritual disfigurement + infanticide – blue hair, tattoos, women right to choose to murder their babies for the glory of the temples, pride in the streets etc.

      Like all societies living through a high, it is a matriarchy, and is likely about to get a reality check, if the historical patterns hold.

      Welcome to the 21st. Enjoy your stay. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

    • One of the Nutters is studying economics at uni and even they call bullshido in theoretical economics. There’s a growing number of students, and lecturers that view economics as a behavioral science as much as mathematical modelling. Sadly they’ll never get a job at the RBA.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Economics is about human action. It has precisely nothing to do with mathematics.

        But the establishment insists otherwise.

      • It has mathematical applications, you can model trends, averages etc. What you can’t model is thevhuman behaviour element.

  7. Savers ‘staring down the barrel at zero interest rates’ as big banks cut – The SMH

    after additional 0.75% cut saving rates in banks are going to be negative which mean that young people trying to save for deposit are going to pay to big banks to give their money to BBs so they can be their landlords forever
    welcome to second richest nation on Earth

    • I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the boomer generation will be the most wealthy and lucky generation of all time. I think real sacrifice will be needed by future generations to pay for the mass over consumption of the past 50-60 years. Never will mankind be able to live in the same way as the last 50 years if we are to have a sustainable planet and Environment.

      That includes cheap flights / air travel all over the world etc..

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It will never be repaid, it was a once only population moon shot, supported by a planet gifted in relative resource abundance. It will be quite a different matter as we tip over into a world of relative resource scarcity.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I have no doubt. There’s no way someone of my education and ability would have been able to live the life I’ve had in a world based on merit. And I’ve not lived anywhere near the life some have because at the back of my mind there’s always been a little voice that kept on saying unsustainable.

        Pointing out to others that their kids and grandkids will never have those chances and life because unsustainable elicits anger and denial. It’s like fisho and others keep saying, the view that what we’ve been living is normal has to be knocked out of them with disaster.

        What I don’t get is the anger response. Ďeep down do they understand?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        What I don’t get is the anger response.

        They’re angry because their whole lives they’ve been told if they worked hard they deserved what they earned, and you’re telling them they don’t because they haven’t really earned it, they’ve been given it.

        You often get the same reaction from Libertarians when you try to explain to them what “society” is and how it is responsible for almost everything they have.

      • But but but any Libertarian that doesn’t construct / manufacture / make his/her own good fortune isn’t much of a Libertarian.
        What possible need would a true Libertarian have for this “society”? …other than the obvious which is to thank the Libertarian for being a Libertarian and creating all real social wealth.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        But but but any Libertarian that doesn’t construct / manufacture / make his/her own good fortune isn’t much of a Libertarian.

        So basically none of them, then, unless they were raised in a forest by wolves (and even then) ?

        We live in a society that exists *only* because of the work of countless generations that came before.

      • docS, I have a 21 yr old, they’re angry. Boomers forget they are the future. Another enema Mr Wilson?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        ”We live in a society that exists *only* because of the work of countless generations that came before.”

        Also, next breath…

        ”It is right and just that we ignore the work and wisdom of countless generations that came before, and accept Multiculturalism smothering our society and culture with competing values.”

        You are so funny Professor.

    • I’d have thought that there would be no problems, with Saj Abdoolakhan in charge of things.

  8. Cash For Trash Aussie style
    sounds good until you ask questions like
    – What is the seniority of this low interest rate government issued debt (oh it’s unsecured hmmm)
    – Why would anyone ever pay back such a loan?
    – Why is the government making these private contractual building problems their responsibility?
    There’s a lot that should be done at but creating a financial rescue package for the stupid and/or corrupt is at the bottom of my list.
    Let be clear on one point, there can be no cure for the cancer that has invaded Australian minds, it must be excised, cauterized and than chemically treated to ensure it never grows again.

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      As soon as the Mascot tower fiasco came to light Alan Jones started to rentlessly lobby/advocate for Government/taxpayer funded bailout of these “Mum and Dad” investors/appartment owners.

      Every day he is banging on about this.
      The first time I heard him suggesting that these Owners should get their Stamp duty refunded was immediately after he asked his viewers the Question, Should responsible parents and taxpayers pay for the breakfast of children of irresponsible parents in criticism of some Public School breakfast program!

      This Toadie of Australian Plutocracy is all for socialism for his corporate mates but not the “Battlers” he so slyly beguiles.

      He is a total grub.

      I wonder if he is worried that his multi million dollar Bennelong apartment is equally as Fked.
      Cracks with salt crust along them throughout the basement car parks of his building and a lot of water ingress during storms.
      They were completed 20 years ago now.

      • RecessionImminent

        I would support a bail-out if it is funded by a levee on construction companies and property investors. We should extract such an amount that will be sufficient to cover the next 50 years of defects.

      • Yeah it really pi55es me off that these guys want government intervention after so many years of protesting that governmental rules and regulation were the problem. I can’t blame them for trying but frankly the Aussie public should treat such suggestions with the contempt that they deserve.
        Individuals need to be held to account. Their greed needs to have a balancing force and that force is Fear. genuine fear, real tangible palpable fear …pulse racing, nighttime sweats …paralyzing fear
        RE Auction “winners” need to be honestly asking themselves if they’ve just made the biggest mistake in their lives. If they’re not asking themselves this question than the market is out of balance.
        Markets that are unbalanced are always dangerous places, our buyers need to know this, our urban planners need to know this , our politicians need to know this…..there’s a huge lesson here ….so naturally we’re going to whitewash the facts.

      • Ah look if Alan Jones died tomorrow no one would miss him. His importance is inflated beyond his true worth. The cvnt brags about commanding 17% of his time slots audience. To me, 83% of the total radio audience don’t give a sh1t about of programme. Me included.

    • tripsterMEMBER

      Isn’t this just another example of privatising profits and socialising losses?

      • Hey I’m all for it personally…whatever I can get away with …but should the public be foolish enough to let me? that’s the real question?
        I must admit I’m mystified as to why the average battler now sees themselves as somehow a beneficiary of an inequitable system that so clearly robs them and their peers.
        As a country we can do soooo much better than to promote inequality and imagine that we’ll profit from said inequality.

      • fisho – as a nation we accepted inequality and we aspire to get as high on the ladder as we can. we are not doing this in order to better ourselves but just to create a bigger gap between us and rest of the crowd so we can look down on as many as we can. the only satisfaction now is if you can show you have more than the people you engage at bbq, pub etc.
        it me, me and me – f u.
        after the last fed elections I am sure no one has any doubts about this.

    • https://outline.com/aDkthK

      What are Australia’s other defective towers aside from Sydney’s Opal Tower?

      World Tower
      Meriton was served with at least 15 official breach notices and formal complaints between 2011 and 2013 including flooding problems caused by shoddy work, malfunctioning lifts that frequently trapped residents, faulty fire systems, and defective swipe-card systems that locked residents out of the building.

      Meriton was also sued by the City of Sydney after it failed to fix potential fire hazards in three of its city apartment blocks, Regis Towers in Castlereagh Street, the Summit in George Street and the Mirage in Bunn Street, Pyrmont.

    • Dude…. it’s an advertorial opinionated puff-piece. Since you started with the memes earlier, the article is the equivalent of a picture of ${RandomGirl} holding a prophylactic package with her lips…

      • Contraction is demeaning for barren spinsters as is decline for british crown or american democracy.
        Negative should be banned too, in favour of, perhaps, ‘return to previous growth size’ as ‘Negative’ can be demeaning to Nancy.

      • Djenka,
        How about *falling* sales, *falling* interest rates and *falling* GDP. Surely not all words relating to shrinkage are offensive.

      • David, I am flabbergasted and aghast how inconsiderate you are of other’s feelings and I won’t even contemplate explaining how ‘falling’ is offensive to people with erectile misfunction.
        You could say ‘reaching previous high’ for GDP and home prices, without offending anyone

        But you could use all those words, without offending anyone, if you used them against politics/policies leaning right from the ultra-extreme-left… just saying…

    • Ugly
      All those unemployed former FIFO workers now doing ice…
      Not a happy story.

      • Indeed. The result of endless boom-bust cycles. When will we ever learn. I seem to recall Wayne Swan talking about a 20 year boom a little while ago and the current mob think that the economy is always booming when they’re in power no matter what the lived experiences are for people who are exposed to the economic reality.

    • Mandurah has always been rough around the edges but this is a new level of Sub-Bogan.
      I’ve spent the last ten years telling everyone who would listen, and a lot who won’t, that youth unemployment is a scourge on outer metro towns like Mandurah. The mining boom should have delivered millions of hours of work to local workshops but instead the work went to Thailand, China, Indonesia…anywhere but Mandurah. We could have got 10,000 kids through apprenticeships and set them up with a trade and at least a chance of a future but the resources companies had it their way and we’re got 10,000 meth-head thugs. But we rely on the resources companies, they get to choose who runs the joint, they get to set to timing and level of local participation in their projects. What’s the answer? Maybe more laws requiring them to acknowledge how much work they send overseas? Then it would be public instead of hidden behind their marketing BS. What else can be done under the current Constitution and jackboot of neo-lib?

    • Jeeze. I love the irony of the ex-Freehills managing partner talking about avoiding burnout when he made millions from a business model which depends on exploiting junior lawyers until they drop. What a bunch of sh1tebags those top tier partners are.

      • Mrs Nut did a spell at one of the big four. As she was a specialist, older and competent they left her alone. She knew her charge out rate and what she got paid. She was on significantly more than the wide eye grads these fvckers were burning through at similar chrage out rates.

  9. A sea of red across the Corelogic daily indices today except for Sydney and Melbourne which are both zero. I hope nobody thinks that’s dodgy.

    • Corelogic’s price outcomes lately are really questionable. I wonder if there have been changes to their algorithm we don’t know about.

      The way it has flatlined doesn’t feel natural to me.

  10. Auction Anecdote from Coburg(s) yes with a plural… 😛
    I was somewhat interested in this property.
    Guide Price: $700,000 – $750,000
    If it fell in the low to mid 700s range as indicated…since it had a rather large garage area, but it was very very average in person. Clearly a backyard build (the garage) and low roof line/bricks not even finished etc.. something that would make a home owner in a South African shanty town proud of his work…

    Plus only 2 bedroom and it would require another $200-$300k to extend and improve it long term..

    But close to the city and it would be a compromise on the kind of garage space I wanted, but I viewed it as temporary IF and when I decide to upgrade/move later. Plus if I could save on stamp duty even better (as FHB).. but after seeing it I was less keen on it and my father in law said it was a dump and he wouldn’t pay $1 for it. Haha. I think I found someone even more cynical about property prices in this country than I. 🙂

    So what did it sell for? $889,500, factor in stamp duty and it’s a joke..

    Clearly the RE Brain Bug ain’t dead yet in this country. Buyers were young couple with a kid apparently (baby).

    I think Domain will make a song and dance about this 1 later. Seems the agents knew it was gonna be a big auction day and had cameras and video rolling .etc.. (in laws arrived early and saw them setting up)..

  11. http://www.pitchforkeconomics.com/episode/a-roadmap-to-utopia-with-rutger-bregman/

    A discussion between an economic historian who puts forward the radical proposal of a UBI as well the even more radical proposal that corporations pay their tax, and a plutocrat who pushed against the UBI but agrees with the tax idea. The thing that they both have in common is that they both recognise that neoliberalism has not been good and will lead to greater problems if it remains the default setting.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      “neoliberalism has not been good” is up there with “novachok is only slightly fatal”.

      Still, we got YouTube. Swings and roundabouts.

    • UBI is a neoliberal idea to the core

      Bugger having the government employ people to provide services and make stuff – let’s give indirect handouts to private companies to do that instead

      • Footsore I agree with Coming …. and the historical back drop supports it, only ideologues with baggage support a UBI. Some ex ante thingy about self actuation if given free money regardless of concerns broached by optics like biopolotics.

        Never can tell with you mate, one moment your all purist [past tense] and then seemingly adaptive to new information, till its crunch time and you revert to past pretense.

        Do you think this is a bloody game – ?????

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Rhetorical question that is, I assume. Pictorial Hayek evidence available upon request.

      • Footsore if your not up to speed on some decades of the supposition of a UBI and then get a twinkle in your libertarian eye, when some deductively wank on …. don’t put the stank on me for pointing it out …

        TTW …. do try bootstrapping your brain one day …. the moeny thingy is not working out for you it seems ….

      • Soooooo, you didn’t listen to the economic historian discuss UBI. Have you per chance read Standing’s book on UBI where he traces the history of the idea and covers various implementations?

      • I am well versed in the historical back drop to a UBI or do you forget my mentioning more than a few times Milton’s camps views E.g. anti democratic. In the light of the overwhelming ideological underpinnings about individuals and the state you won’t find me confusing rhetoric with old wine in a new bottle.

        I mean you do get the anarchist utopian bit right – ????

  12. Ross Perot Had the Last Laugh
    Ripped as a human punchline in his heyday, Ross Perot’s political career foretold violent change in America

    “Early in the 1992 campaign, Perot was leading the three-way race. At one point in June of that year, a Gallup Poll showed him with 39% support, with Bush at 31% and young Bill Clinton at 25%. A Time poll a few days later had him at 37%, with Bush and Clinton both at 24%. These were stunning numbers.

    It can’t be an accident that a third-party candidate rose to prominence at precisely the moment when the two parties came together on economic issues, particularly trade.”

    • There’s a name from the past. Back in the early to mid 90’s I used to see Ross regularly at the Dickey’s BBQ restaurant on Forrest Lane, he was actually a really nice guy. I know he comes across as a bit of a nutter whereas in truth he was anything but.
      Sure he was hard nosed especially when it came to business, however he was also incredibly generous.
      RIP Ross

  13. Have you never quite gotten around to reading all those leather bound volumes of Hume on display in your reading room? Is the-invisible-hand™ the only bit of Smith you’re able to pretentiously mansplain to one and all after the third bottle of red has been sufficiently aired? Well, here’s the book for you, ‘The Infidel and the Professor’ by Dennis C. Rasmussen. It’s a goodun. It has gossip, historical context and explores both of their works. Especially good is the time spent on Smith’s work on morality. He championed free market capitalism on the basis that there were sufficient public back ups to prevent rapacious greed merchants from exploiting the vulnerable. An oft and conveniently overlooked aspect of his philosophy when he is waved about by the more fanatical free market capitalists of today.


    • Ah yes mansplaining, the sin in the feminist universe of explaining something while male.

      • It’s not just men to women. It’s alphas to betas, old hands to rookies, fathers to sons, sports fan to sports fan, yadda to yadda. There was a lot of it at the pub on Wednesday before and after Origin and even more in the office the day after. Thoughts are had, voices deepen, chests puff and wrongs are righted by a self appointed all knowing source. I like the term and think it should be liberated from the confines of male to female conversation. Especially because it generally irks the know it all whose bluster you’ve just had to suffer. Using it on the ladies is also recommended. Pets Credlin, she’s a mansplainer. Hilary Clinton. Mansplainer. Amanda Vanstone. Yep, she’s a mansplainer. Think of it as words going their own way, if that soothes your sensitive soul.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      No, it’s not because you’re a woman that I’m laying out the rationale for my explanation in this fashion. It’s because I’ve owned pets with greater deductive reasoning capacity than I think you have. Is the obvious comeback. Wierdly, don’t hear it often.

      (when men mansplain to men, which happens far more often, it’s just called being a d1ck)

      • Probably shouldn’t have used the m word. The point that it’s a good book with much to learn from will be lost if there is a blizzard of snowflakes.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        R youse saying I cant hold two streams of thought simultaneously? (lol. wink)

        But yes. You’re right. The main point is the book and I wouldn’t want to detract from that. That said, it took me a while to one-handed type my comment, so I didn’t see your other thoughts about mansplaining until after it posted.

        Re Smith… he had a sound basis for his propositions for personal responsibility, guaranteed social assistance and freedom to operate commercially above that. Then. IMHO those days are gone. We’re better off pushing for a new shiny UBI than we are trying (and inevitably failing) to win back what’s been sacrificied to the neo-con powers that be since Keating took the reins.

    • Yet some are confused about Smiths view on deception in business or social undertakings, rearguard action by the libertarians is a sight to behold, hope they choke on it like the failed attempt of Charles Munger’s last missive and how no amount of money could make the ideology fact …..

      • David Hume.
        “Generally regarded as one of the most important philosophers to write in English, David Hume (1711–1776) was also well known in his own time as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, his major philosophical works—A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), as well as his posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779)—remain widely and deeply influential.”

        Here’s an ‘In Our Time’ episode on him.

      • Thanks footsy, the first link’s about a week’s worth of reading for me! I did have a snigger he had a Kant for a mate.

    • Would not be surprised if the original developers bought it back at half the price to knock it down and build more apartments. FYI I have seen many dodgy developers that have simply changed their name and registration a few times mask their reputation.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      19 Gadigal avenue is a bit different to the normal strata. When it was first form, the comples is divided into two strata : one for residential, and one for the commercial lots which is below it.Later on, someone bought all the commercial lots and turn them into residential (6 Wolseley Grove), so there are two residential strata, even though it is the same complex.It also means demolition is not an option unless both strata is mopped up. Currently, the non-leaking apartments below is renting out for 800 to 1.1k pw. If not for the mess with the water leakage, those apartments would be worth 800k to 1 mil each easily.

  14. ‘The Nordic Model May Be the Best Cushion Against Capitalism. Can It Survive Immigration?’
    It’s not going to survive below replacement fertility rates.

  15. Bring back the poll tax.

    $15,000/year tax on all citizens. Under 21 excluded.

    No pay? No right to vote, no right to own land, no driver’s license, no access to anything beyond the most basic healthcare (generic drugs, GP, vaccines, treatment for accidents and injuries, euthanasia.) The tax could be recorded against land asset as a lien for the retired or those who have a bad year.

    Income taxes and payroll taxes could be completely eliminated, and with the savings on healthcare, GST could be eliminated. The tax system would be hugely simplified.

    Land Value Tax of 2%, 15% corporate tax, mineral tax, covers the rest of society’s services. Land value tax reductions of 0.2% per child under 18 encourages fertility. Sweetener tax of 50% for anything with added sweeteners, and $100/tonne Carbon tax captures the two major externalities and reduces the health burden further due to better food and air.

    $30,000/year for all foreign-born, citizenship offered after 20 years at this full rate. Annual intake of 35,000 men and 35,000 women, must be under 35 years old and pay the first year upfront cash. Have a kid with an Aussie *and* get married and get the reduced rate after two years. Back to the full rate if the marriage is dissolved.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      I’d prefer the existing system (well, pre this month) with a 20% premium applied to the tax of anyone who voted LNP. 12.5% for Labor voters.

    • Did Australia ever have a poll tax?

      There should be a poll tax on foreigner – but not on Aussies. Gladys will not even charge foreigners $40/day for a train ticket.

  16. Perth Bullion in liquidation. It will be interesting to see the legal implications for those who:
    1) own physical metals and kept with the bullion company
    2) those who took delivery of precious metals and use this company’s safety deposit box facility


    Disclosure: I own gold stored at Perth Mint which is owned and guaranteed by WA State govt.

    • Does the WA State government guarantee market price when the RBA confiscates your gold as outlined in the 1959 banking act?

      • In your doomsday scenario you won’t be able to take your gold with you as you escape the country, you won’t be able to legally exchange your gold for goods. The best you have is a black market situation where you hope others trust your gold is real (I wouldn’t), and hope nobody follows you home afterwards.

        If you slept well at night I’d suggest the annual storage costs are worth it. But somehow I doubt anyone predicting an imminent doomsday fits into the “sleeping well at night” category.

      • Freddy, I own a little gold too and would hand it over if that is what the RBA demanded. I just don’t think that the scenario is necessarily doomsday. I suspect that if the RBA excercised its powers the value of gold on the black market would go to zero anyway for all the reasons you just stated. But I get your point. Some options are safer than others.
        After watching Adams and North discuss the topic, I’m convinced that the RBA is not worried about its gold reserves, because it can confiscate if need be.

      • IMO RBA not worried about their gold because there is not enough of it to worry about. 80 tonnes is worth around $5.6b. During GFC RBA didn’t even bother and just asked US Fed to lend them $50b USD. Adams a bit hysterical at times.

  17. Canberra anecdote: I’ve been told there are problems with a 20 year old apartment and townhouse development in Narrabundah / Red Hill. It seems that the the pillars in the basement carpark of the apartment block, whilst built to required standards of the day, have proven to be not up to the job and there is sagging and some cracks developed to such an extent that the building no longer met the fire standards. All good though because apparently they’ve put some support posts in for the time being and plans are afoot to fix thing permanently. Twin effects for current owners are that it’s been flagged that body corporate fees will have to go up by multiples for at least the next 7 years or so to pay for the rectification work and market values have already dropped by about $150k or so. Some may seize on this as a buying opportunity in one of Canberra’s leafy suburbs…

      • CA – that sounds about right. Are the problems there well known? First time I’ve heard about it. The worrying thing for me is that apparently the original engineering work done there was in line with the code of the time but it seems that the code itself was deficit. How many developments were built under the code as it was then…

      • I may be wrong but there are several similar complexes built around 20 years ago on that street all overlooking the narrabundah golf course and a stone’s throw from red hill boundary. These are always for sale but there seem to be more for sale lately and they’re dropping in price and taking ages to sell, but I thought this was due to the over supply of apartments. Numbers 40 and 41 have several for sale. Where did you hear this info? I’m tempted to go and have a gander. If one of these complexes is in trouble, you’d think the others could be in trouble.

      • There was an open house for one of the townhouses yesterday and apparently the agent was giving (some form of) disclosure about the issues and the way ahead and was offering access to the engineer’s report. As I understand it, the townhouses are not affected directly but to get to those townhouses you have to go through the basement carpark – it’s a sloping site – and so even if the problems are a relatively straight forward fix people in the townhouses will have to go through a construction site for as long as the rectification work takes.

        There must be hundreds of new units being built in that pocket at the moment so it is not as if buyers will be starved of options.

      • Triage, sounds like 41 Leahy Close, Narrabundah. If you look at the allhomes listings and map, there are 3 bed townhouses directly overlooking the golf course in front of the other part of the complex, which are 2- or 3-storey apartments. Build date 1995. That little nook of Narrabundah overlooking the golf course has around 5-10 apartment complexes of similar age and appearance, with the car park housed underneath in all of the complexes.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Chased by the first, out ran it, which confused it (it was down a very very steep hill); house sat the second for 3 months, scared witless most of the time, though he was actually adorable; have yet to see the third in Australia. Maybe a sad demise is occurring there due to farmsteads shuting down?

      • Dunno. Blues used to be quite common when I lived in Adelaide. I don’t think i’ve seen one since I left in 99.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I met a long haired rotti recently. Some genetic throwback or something and very, very rare. Got a beard like Ho Chi Minh. Beautiful big playful thing he is. Loves a wrestle but really gentle around oldies. He’d be something to see angry though because you can see how protective he is.

        Also know a young blue heeler girl. Gets ever so excited when she sees her friends. Got away from her owner the other day so I had to drop everything and give chase. Of course that’s seen as a game. More running. Only reason I got her was because she stopped and decided a tummy rub would be nice.

        I’ve got more dog friends than people friends I think.

      • Blues are one of the most protective dogs i’ve come across. Lovely dogs, but they seem to go a bit nutso in their old age. German shephards seemed to be the same. Just hit a certain age and get very unpredictable.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        There’s a blue heeler cross that gets exercised down where I do my interval training. Little old lady owner loves it when I’m there because her heeler and her border collie run around with me while she relaxes. Too much dog for her really. The border collie is fine but I don’t trust the other one. Used to nip at my heels but realised the game stopped when he did that so now just sprints with me. At no time does he ever let me get between him and his owner, even if we’re down the other end of the oval. When we get back down where his owner sits he shepherds me away out by the fence.

        I’ll slip up one day and get a nip if I’m not on the ball.

      • lol, you will bogan. They have an invisible line that once you cross, they switch from adorable looking doggy to manic killer. I remember a few times walking up to utes with them in the back, looking all passive and wanting a pat and oh boy, once you get that bit too close. Holy sh1t.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Mining, Watch out for those Rotties, Had Arnold years ago. When people would say how big their Rottweiler was Arnold would near walk over them. To be fair he wouldn’t have passed any show as the height limit would have been exceeded, must have inherited some big dog genetics somewhere. Anyhow when he turned 2yo suddenly turned on me so had to assert the pecking order which would rather have not had to do.

      • MB: “I met a long haired rotti recently.” Was it love at first bite? How did the “I don’t think this will work” conversation go?

      • Having a great time with our Belgium Shepard cross Kelpie [1 1/2 years old Female] and straight back long coat black German Shepard [1 year old male], although the Female is picky about other dogs and people coming up to the wife at the dog park. The female is about 25 kg where the male is 55 kg so he will pop 60+ kg before 2 years old. Quite intelligent and easy to train, love it in fact.

  18. ErmingtonPlumbing

    “What’s potentially more problematic with the classist nature of green production and consumption is that urban hipsters pride themselves as being “woke” about sustainability issues, while simultaneously alienating the rural and overseas agricultural, peri-urban, and manufacturing classes, without whom “hip” lifestyles would not be possible.

    Urban hipsters are quick to dismiss poorer classes as having no “green consciousness”, for not living up to their expensive “green” standards, and failing to recognise the fact that opportunities to live “green” are limited in places that are economically disadvantaged and neglected by the authorities. They also tend to turn their backs on working-class political struggles for the fairer distribution of wealth and well-being across society.”


  19. Sometimes the site requires members (or me anyway) to reautheticate for some reason. Just login and it will br good.

  20. Australia’s house prices to fall off a cliff – and China will be to blame: Futurist who foreshadowed 9/11 makes shocking prediction


    Strategic futurist Dr Richard Hames – who successfully predicted 9/11 and the global financial crisis – insists the Australian housing market is set to plummet. The man once described by Forbes magazine ‘as one of the smartest people on the planet’ told Daily Mail Australia he is ‘un-optimistic’ about the country’s property prices. ‘The reason is to do with Chinese money – it artificially inflated the prices, so the cost of housing rose by about 80 per cent in Melbourne, and 65 per cent in Sydney a few years ago,’ he explained.

    • Steven Newsom, STL MO, United States, a day ago
      Sounds like an affordable housing boom to me.

      I’ll remember that 1.

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Even with the removal of that explosive hot money out of China if we continue to grow our population at 1.6% or more while at the same time allowing developers and land bankers to control and trickle feed our land supply markets then we will continue to have the most over valued land in the world.
      Especially in Immigrant destinations like Sydney and Melbourne.
      Australia being a Country of only 25million people has immigration causing much more dramatic effects on our Economy than it does in the United States or Europe where there are 100s of millions and rates of population growth much lower.

      • Local investors riding in the slip stream of Chinese hot money was a pretty potent combo. The latter completely skewed (screwed?) the market like only they can. Remember Banana Man and iron ore futures? Right now, the market is being sustained by the local remnants who are able to bank profits from that period, whilst everyone else is locked out. That’s why volumes are so low.

  21. Robo Debt Mk II set to strike


    Thousands of families rushing to file their tax returns could be hit with a surprise debt instead of an expected tax offset as the federal government begins reviewing parents’ incomes for the last financial year to check they received the correct amount of childcare subsidy.

    The childcare sector is bracing for a flood of upset and confused parents, with about a third of the 1.1 million families who receive the childcare subsidy predicted to have been overpaid for the previous financial year.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Nah, ScoMo will burn for them. Meanwhile, Josh was on Insiders this morning effectively giving financial advice for us to get in to the stock market.

        How good is Straya.

  22. Corelogic has globes for the Sydney and Melbourne daily indices for the second day running. Very odd.

    • Never understood the lack of acknowledgement wrt primary residence being totally dependent on long term employment, given that people now face the prospect of having 10+ jobs during their adult lives and the potential for having to move – how that works out compared to the past experience of other generations.

      • +1. I noticed one of the lenders offering a fourty year loan. What could possibly go wrong?

      • 100% Skip, I lived in Ireland for 6 years in a good paying job, but never saw the need to buy over there. Why when prices were falling and most of the places I was renting I’d never buy due to poor build quality.

        Then I moved to Sydney and thought renting would be temporary (2013) and prices surged crazy, but I never intended to stay in Sydney either. I had intended to buy in Melbourne but all the places I knew and wanted to live in had gone $1M+ and I just didn’t see the value.

        In hindsight I should have bought back in 2005 but I saved money to go travel and move to Europe and figured a house could wait. If I had bought and rented it out, probably would have been ahead of where I am now, but all the travel and working abroad really opened my mind to the world and gave me expereicnes I’d never have had and friends I’d never had made otherwise.

        It’s not like a generation ago where you lived and worked in the same place for 20 odd years. I’ve been with the same company for 11 years now, but that’s not normal these days and many of my peers were similar but we are all now moving on. The Industry has changed a lot etc..

        In some ways it only makes sense to buy in places to be a landlord rather than buy to have a home.

  23. Here’s an article about type 2 diabetes from the ABC


    Notice that in the article there is no mention that for many people type 2 diabetes is relatively easily reversible. Why would Greg Johnson, the CEO of Diabetes Australia, not point out that a major benefit of having your type 2 diabetes diagnosed is that within 8 weeks of that diagnosis for many people it be be reversed? And this is proven science, not speculation.

    A pommy researcher by the name of Roy Taylor and his various research teams have worked out that type 2 diabetes for many people is caused by a fatty pancreas and a low calorie diet can strip the fat off the pancreas in as little as a couple of weeks. Insulin resistence, gone. And Diabetes UK are onto it.


    But not Greg Johnson. I take that ABC article and Mr Johnson’s failure to note that type 2 diabetes is reversible as not much more than an infomercial on behalf of the drug companies that produce the drugs and equipment used in maintaining type 2 diabetes as a chronic disease.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      High blood pressure can be cured within days by fasting and drinking plenty of water. My brain fart tells me type 2 could also be cured within a few days or more by simply not eating anything at all and satisfying hunger with water.

    • Dr Jason Fung has been curing Type 2 for years with intermittent fasting. It is not necessarily about carbs. It is about letting the body reset its glucose and insulin levels. I recommend reading his articles or watching his videos.

      If you have a spare six hours! I have watched his lectures. Worth it.

    • Luckily for the drug companies the majority of people with type 2 won’t opt for the lifestyle fix long term.

  24. Here’s a cool video explaining a certain aerodynamic condition that helicopters can encounter if they aren’t careful. In laymens terms it’s when a helicopter descends into it own downwash causing it to very rapidly descend if something isn’t done about it. Fast forward to about 2m to get to the bit where they use water to show the airflow happening through the rotor disk.


      • The Traveling Wilbur

        I was more thinking the other end of the process. Now I know how all the leaning savers on this site must feel. Fortunately, just a one-off for me.

  25. The Traveling Wilbur

    Couch. ☑
    Beer in fridge. ☑
    Pajamas. ☑
    Slippers. ☑
    Brownie points banked. ☑
    Mrs understanding. ☑
    Tea brewed. ☑
    Team to support in Finals. ☑

  26. The Traveling Wilbur

    If only there was a team left in the competition that was able to bat in a controlled fashion under difficult conditions and sustained pressure. 🐑