Weekend Reading: 16-17 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

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Leith van Onselen

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

Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)

Comments

  1. 4th. Moving up the ranks.

    I love it how all the “First” comments get changed when they realise they weren’t actually first.

    What would we do without the Edit button?

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      There’s a pill for everything nowadays! Just a new form of wowser propaganda to try and scare the kiddies into abstinence. And what does a good pash lead to?

      I remember a mate growing up whose godly parents gave him cartoon books about how much you’d be shunned by both the god and the community if you did the nasty and especially caught the nasty (which was 100% guaranteed according to the lovely cartoons). Was propaganda then, is propaganda now.

      Just get out there and enjoy the pleasures in life because there’s a pill for everything nowadays!

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      “However, Professor Fairley said an example of a gonorrhoea outbreak at a music festival between seven people who all had some form of sexual contact, including kissing, boosted his argument.
      “There were six cases of throat gonorrhoea transmitted between them, with the same gonorrhoea type. Not one of those seven people had genital gonorrhoea,” he said.
      “I don’t know how it got to six throats if it didn’t get there by kissing.”

      Yeah, sure you don’t.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      A classic doco for sure…..

      I watched through it and couldnt help but wonder why we are importing people and creating aged care jobs for them

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        @Gunna Too right. But…

        It would make much more sense from an efficiencies and taxation perspective to simply export the wrinklies to the various countries that the employees you are referring to come from so that they could be looked after there. Wherever there/s is/are. I’d be happy to see the aged-care pensions follow them to the destination country/s too. Again, from a tax and costs efficiencies perspective.

        Gets my vote. Could call it the Final Cricket Touring Party plan. Plenty of 20/20 to watch nowadays too.

        I believe that would fix everything any commenter here has ever complained about, in the entire history of this site. Including house prices.

        If the name isn’t quite up to par, then try the Marigold Glove Hotel stay – it really has a ring to it.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        For the Golden Marigold Glove Hotel stay experience you’d need to provide checkable references. First. Obviously. From reusa.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I was beamed this one by a mate who noted that it is shorter and pithier (and slightly more upbeat) than the Frontline doco

      also recent from DW…..

      of interest, their look at healthcare diagnosis and superior diagnoses rates from AI to doctors

      Artificial intelligence & algorithms: pros & cons | DW Documentary (AI documentary)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0dMTAQM4cw

  2. Graeber reviewing Skidelsky’s new book.

    Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics.

    “….There is a growing feeling, among those who have the responsibility of managing large economies, that the discipline of economics is no longer fit for purpose. It is beginning to look like a science designed to solve problems that no longer exist…”

    “… The one thing it never seemed to occur to anyone to do was to get a job at a bank, and find out what actually happens when someone asks to borrow money. In 2014 a German economist named Richard Werner did exactly that, and discovered that, in fact, loan officers do not check their existing funds, reserves, or anything else. They simply create money out of thin air, or, as he preferred to put it, “fairy dust.”..”

    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/12/05/against-economics/

    A nice stocking stuffer for Money Cranks young and old.

    • As global biodiversity collapses, and oceans turn to plastic sludge. “The problem of how to determine the optimal distribution of work and resources to create high levels of economic growth is simply not the same problem we are now facing: i.e., how to deal with increasing technological productivity, decreasing real demand for labor, and the effective management of care work, without also destroying the Earth.”

      Even at the debate, monetary policy discussions seem to keep talking noble theory. Whereas current policy seems to look more like a tool to generate asset inflation for a few not consumption for a lot.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Economics is a social science for good reason, it reflects our analysis of our own collective actions – a form of navel gazing, and prone to perspective bias. IMHO economic thinking suffers from two inherent problems.

        Firstly its viewpoint is too short, the economists life is fleeting in comparison to the flow of society, so their analysis in general is going to be far to focused on the minutia for the most part to do any good. Quite simply economists are going to miss most of major drivers, because they simply unfold too slowly for them to realise on the most part, what is going on. It worse than not seeing the forest for the trees, its like not seeing the trees for the moss on their bark.

        Secondly in looking at the economic question – how to solve societies problems with the available resources at hand – the lenses we apply in analysing the problems or even recognising their existence in the first place, will be greatly influenced by the cultural values of those dominating the research, or in a position to influence the discussion around them.

        Ultimately cultural values around things like attitude to debt, what is money and what is it nature, the purpose and value of education, will all play a far more important role in terms of how our economy and society will function over the longer term, than any speculation over interest rates.

        Given that in the main most economists ignore such questions, they remind me of scientists looking at moss under a microscope and then trying to predict into which direction the forest is likely to expand.

        • Economics is not a “science”. It is like Astrology – it looks like a science, and claims to be able to predict the future, but it mostly BS.

          Science self-corrects. If it makes predictions that are false, then the theory is false. Economics still has the same theories that it had pre-GFC, which no mainstream economists predicted.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            You have a point – I suspect have the reason sociologists and economists are given more credibility then they they should be afforded is because they’ve rebranded the observation of human behaviour as a social ‘science’, when for all the reasons you mention it is no such thing.

    • Another extract from that review. Worthwhile reading for those advocating short sharp shocks as a necessary form of treatment.

      “.. Nonetheless, from Bodin’s time to the present, almost every time there was a major policy debate, the QTM advocates won. In England, the pattern was set in 1696, just after the creation of the Bank of England, with an argument over wartime inflation between Treasury Secretary William Lowndes, Sir Isaac Newton (then warden of the mint), and the philosopher John Locke. Newton had agreed with the Treasury that silver coins had to be officially devalued to prevent a deflationary collapse; Locke took an extreme monetarist position, arguing that the government should be limited to guaranteeing the value of property (including coins) and that tinkering would confuse investors and defraud creditors. Locke won. The result was deflationary collapse. A sharp tightening of the money supply created an abrupt economic contraction that threw hundreds of thousands out of work and created mass penury, riots, and hunger. The government quickly moved to moderate the policy (first by allowing banks to monetize government war debts in the form of bank notes, and eventually by moving off the silver standard entirely), but in its official rhetoric, Locke’s small-government, pro-creditor, hard-money ideology became the grounds of all further political debate.

      .According to Skidelsky, the pattern was to repeat itself again and again, in 1797, the 1840s, the 1890s, and, ultimately, the late 1970s and early 1980s, with Thatcher and Reagan’s (in each case brief) adoption of monetarism. Always we see the same sequence of events:

      (1) The government adopts hard-money policies as a matter of principle.

      (2) Disaster ensues.

      (3) The government quietly abandons hard-money policies.

      (4) The economy recovers.

      (5) Hard-money philosophy nonetheless becomes, or is reinforced as, simple universal common sense.

      How was it possible to justify such a remarkable string of failures? Here a lot of the blame, according to Skidelsky, can be laid at the feet of the Scottish philosopher David Hume. An early advocate of QTM, Hume was also the first to introduce the notion that short-term shocks—such as Locke produced—would create long-term benefits if they had the effect of unleashing the self-regulating powers of the market:…”

      • but the government intervened each time and so the self regulating aspects of the market were never actually tested.

        • Nah!!! The solution to having printed too much money to excess is to keep printing more money. Let the distortions grow bigger…and bigger…and BIGGER…and…strewth! What was that loud noise? What just happened?

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Don’t worry, they can repair burst blood vessels easily these days. Best not to drive yourself though in case another one bursts on the way.

            Good point none the less.

          • That would be fine Drsmithy if the printing money meme held any water, only commodity money fundies mangle it so badly.

      • How was it possible to justify such a remarkable string of failures?

        I would have thought the biggest reason is that a “hard money” policy pretty much implicitly puts the people with all the money in complete control of everything (regardless of what actual control they should have).

        • Yes drsmithy …. then some want a gold standard when it favors capital every time, hence the attempted coup on FDR by the industrialists, not that post Great Depression antics by the same mob that blew things up in the first place was working.

      • We can go even further back if you like – file under self flagellation….

        The problem is neoliberal oligarchy trying to take over for itself the provision of social services, replacing the government as social planner through the application of austerity.

        https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/11/links-11-15-19.html#comment-3242684

        Which begs the question why some are so opposed to MMT – PK and supportive of oligarchical patronage …. oh yeah …. sound [????] money [tm] …

      • It should be noted that – War Debt – is the number one reason so many nations in history get into accounting dramas, proceeded by bond holders demanding to be sacred cows. Per se in the American example its only had 17 years of peace in its entire history.

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      “Economics is a social science for good reason, it reflects our analysis of our own collective actions – a form of navel gazing, and prone to perspective bias”

      At least in the past competing schools of economic thought used to be taught.
      Today if you want to capitalise on an Economics qualification you have to submit to a very narrow orthodoxy in the service of vested interests.

      “the purpose of economic education is to explain how the world works but to create a vocabulary that basically will confuse people into believing that the world has to be the way it is and that there is no alternative”

      Hudson articulating what’s wrong with Economics today.
      15.50 to 20.00
      https://youtu.be/mH8FWrbzxEs

      • Economics was more commonly called natural history and political theory before the fundie ideological wing nuts with loads of monies decided to go on a crusade. The Science bit is just PR marketing for the unwashed, yet AnCaps like David Friedman love to dress up their ideological preferences with a bit of bad maths and physics.

        • BS! Economics was fundamental maths. The discussion was about how the different systems behaved. Unlike all modern economics the fundamental maths were at the core.

          • Please trot over to Lars Sylls for a deeper and evidence based approach on the topic, especially the not so long ago debate about econometics. BTW maths applied to humans is a form of scientism or did you not know, not that one can sneak ideology into it through its ex ante axioms or synthetic a priori.

            Typical of you to pop off with BS and nothing to back it up, save your indignation, but then again you never seemed to grasp that Kaldor was an old post Keynesian … chortle …

    • It’s not his job to raise the money. It is someone else’s job in the Bank. The bloke is lending at an IR that the Bank knows it can raise money for and make a packet for themselves. In the case of a stuff up the RBA steps in and provides the overnight money to give the Bank time. If RBA doesn’t step in IR rises. RBA cannot have that so RBA creates the money!!.

  3. Yesterday was the day – we went unconditional on the purchase of a house. Nice home in a nice inner east suburb of brisbane that will at least be a medium term place for us and due to its location will have some relative capital appreciation. Got a medium sized loan too, but works out at 3.1x our gross so hopefully will plow thorugh it quickly while teh rates are dropped!

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      Congratulations! You’re now a quiet Australian lifter. You’ll need to help me fight against the hateful jealously of MB posters.

      • Do you think the Queensland government can keep increasing its debt and share of the Queensland economy forever? I know the world is going to print but the Qld Govt is a very scary animal.

    • Nothing wrong with buying a home in any environment if you can afford it ( looks like you can on the face of it). But tell me, why would you want to “plough through ( the loan) quickly while the rates are dropped!” ?
      Surely, the time to pay off a loan is when the rates are onerous – high? And after all, the very reason that rates are low is to encourage you to ‘Spend!” , and not save via faster loan repayments?
      This is the problem – for all of us – we aren’t following the script as individuals. And if that’s the case, then the script doesn’t apply. Ergo, if we are continuing to ‘get it wrong’ , then whatever is suggested though lower interest rates ain’t gonna work!

      • It’s strange how people don’t get simple math
        when rates are high inflation and wage growth are high so paying as little as possible and waiting for inflation to eat away principal is smart move (ideally IO loan)
        in current environment when wage growth is almost zero paying as much principal as possible is good option because inflation is not going to help

        • I personally don’t like holding any debt, so paying it off as fast as possible in any Environment to me is a good idea. The lower rates go, the less it really helps me though, since the loan amount is modest enough that it will only save me a few extra $$$ p/week.

        • “…simple math when rates are high inflation and wage growth are high…”

          I hope you understand that there is no direct link between the two, no correlation or any other connectivity which guarantees this.
          Wages in high interest rates environment during a recession do not come close to following offsetting the inflation. By the time recession ‘recesses’, the wages lag and a lot of punters drown with premiums rocketing. Taking debt for blown assets facing high interest rates is probably the worse moment for a debt. Taking a debt into peaking inflation/IR environment is probably the best possible moment as assets are the most affordable and IR can only go down making it easier to pay off.
          I agree with OP that low IR is the best moment to cut all the fat and channel all the funds towards clearing the debt. The best way to face high IR is debt free and asset rich and be ready for the coming asset giveaway by those chin deep on debt. I look at the similar prospects to buy affordable and pay it off in 3 years, awaiting sheetstorm with a smile on the face

  4. I give it about 5 years until stories like this are so commonplace that they do not cause even a batting of an eyelid:

    ‘Chinese Gatsby’ billionaire built bar in Hunters Hill Aboriginal rock cave

    “The number of breaches he had, it was just unbelievable,” a council source told the Herald. “He just thought he could do anything he wanted.”

    Not too much longer until migrants like this don’t need to ‘think’, they’ll ‘know’ they can do anything they want.

    And of course the ‘no speak english’ defence gets trotted out whenever difficult questions are asked.

    Council officers visited the site on multiple occasions, but in each instance were unable to locate Mr Guo, instead finding a worker and a female occupant who didn’t speak English.

    When the Herald door-knocked the home this week, there was no sign of Mr Guo, and a woman answered the door who said she didn’t speak English. Mr Guo’s lawyers also failed to respond to a request for comment.

    This country is [email protected]#$%#@ked.

    • What a grub. There’s another one who’s bought land up somewhere near Forster I think that is busy building a moat around his property by illegally clearing land.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      That’s a house that needs confiscating, demolishing and replaced with high density vibrancying.

        • Hunters Hill is like stepping into the past, green wide open streets and low density. The only vibrants are the ones that come to use the waterfront park space and I’m sure the locals only “tolerate that”.

          • indeed – the locals will do what the Mosman council did – $12/hour parking on the beachfront for non-residents, to quote a Mosman councillor aid “to keep the w0gs away”

    • Need to send a mass of protesters out that way. Surely even the Greenies won’t be able to defend this idiot.

      Alternatively, write to to the Chinese ambassador. Could do wonders for Mr Guo’s social credit score.

    • ‘Thought he could do what he wants’… Wrong. He CAN do what ever he wants. He laughs at Australian laws just like the Banks laugh at them. No enforcement. No worries.

    • The most insightful part of that story was that the purchase of the house was personally referred to the FIRB by Joe Hockey, who was treasurer at the time, and yet still all of this has unfolded since. I wonder if Hockey was tapped on the shoulder by a few folks in Canberra and taken for a quiet cup of coffee to explain how things work with respect to Chinese investment in Australia and why it won’t be changing…

    • Now’s not the time to judge one of Morrison’s quiet Australians (doubt he actually is) having a go.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      As I understand it, Chinese believe that they can do, or not do as the case may be, anything they like, within the boundaries of their property.

      How good is ScoMao’s Straya.

  5. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    The Hive Mind
    https://www.sup.org/books/extra/?id=23082&i=Introduction.html

    The Paradox of IQ – while IQ is one of the most important factors determining an individuals life outcome, the social payoff to IQ is 6 times higher than the private (individual payoff).

    From a societal impact IQ results in summoning Legion, where the sum of the whole is greater than the individual components contributed to it – impacts on societies Productivity are strongly correlated with national IQ…. apparently if we want a safe and prosperous future, it will take more than simply banking on Australia’s “Magic Soil” or our “Magic Culture” to save us.

    Culture Matters, but apparently IQ matters more.
    🧐

      • david collyerMEMBER

        This is a serious problem. Australia should make migrants take an IQ test, in any language. Anyone young, healthy and above the Oz country average of 98 can come, others stay home. Be ruthless.

        • Why would you want smart migrants?

          They’re worse than dumb ones.

          When we have 50m people you don’t want your offspring competing with smart people for what’s left.

          The dumb one’s will be in slums fending for themselves.

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Does technology mean we don’t need dumb people who can lift heavy things anymore?

          That’s going to block quite a few career paths.

      • In the US they’ve decided that uni exams are raycist so they’ve adjusted the exams for each racial group so that the results all fall nicely under the bell curve. No joke.

        What is the point of testing if all you’re trying to do is engineer a particular outcome?

        The world is literally drowning in its own virtue. We are doomed.

          • That’s right. Equality didn’t reach their objective. So the terminology was changed to equity with standards changed to meet the targets.

            F557kin great huh.

          • The world that matters to us. I couldn’t give a rats what happens elsewhere – really I couldn’t.

          • You’re right – my day just got a whole lot better.

            In one way, I almost feel relieved that the lunacy isn’t exclusively contained in these borders, but on the other hand, the fact that it’s happening elsewhere just emboldens the peanuts over here.

            But it’s worse again: most of these progressive idiots actually earn a living on the taxpayer dime. Now that hurts! Fcken

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            The age of “Feelings over Facts” is everywhere – Universities support indigenous creationist views:

            “Science lecturers have been warned off making the familiar statement in class that “Aboriginal people have been in Australia for 40,000 years” since this clashes with “the beliefs of many Indigenous Australians that they have always been in Australia”

            https://mobile.twitter.com/jessesingal/status/1145065997939949568

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            That article (not you) was a bit short on the facts. It mentioned every one, but one, really. Not only can’t they be penalised, they can’t be rewarded either. Something the article ignores. Relevant line is 425 of Page 16 of the bill.

            As bills go, it’s an interesting read. And the relevant paragraph of it is going to keep school boards busy for weeks with parents of little creationists who don’t understand why they still got a zero out of 10.

            Must. Get. A. Life.
            Perhaps I can evolve one.

          • But it’s worse again: most of these progressive idiots actually earn a living on the taxpayer dime. Now that hurts! Fcken

            I’m going to put my neck on the line and say the number of “progressive idiots” who supported that creationist bill is probably a statistical zero.

          • Drsmithy don’t forget the “Market Place of Ideas” this really represents, its just so Hopple …

          • So Sr Smithy – you are arguing that if the govt is printing money and running negative RAT IR’s then that government needs to be running a fiscal surplus to balance the economy?

          • Its not “printing money” flawse, it proceeds investment and production at a state level, not to mention the market itself is a creation of government. What ideologues and various self interest influence groups agendas do to funnel distribution is another story.

        • Once again you miss the point, drsmithy, I’m talking specifically about the chumps who support the idea of adjusting ‘biased testing’ – this is exclusively the domain of morons of a ‘progressive bent’. ‘Bent’ being the operative word. You’re welcome to excuse this idiocy but there is no excuse. Let’s face it.

    • They get far too much done to be a shut-in. People also pay attention to them. That would disqualify them from shut-in status. Finally, they are actually funny. All signs point to no.

  6. Anyone think ‘the crash’ will happen next year? The impeachment circus is a nothing burger and I’ve read a few articles of late that the 1% will deliberately crash the economy as a last resort before next years US election. They can then blame this on Trump ad infinitum. Seems plausible

    • Trump will be first in line to do (crash) it himself.

      He is a very ordinary business man born with a silver spoon in his mouth – otherwise known as part of the Swamp!

    • I’ve been reading a lot about the coming “meltup”, which does seem plausible if the central banks go crazy again.

      • That is my personal bet. There is really no other choice. Any time anyone looks at a problem the REAL solution is more disastrous short term. So they have, are, and will go for the big double down every time. No choice really.

        Learn to lurv MMT

        • This is the point of view I’ve come around to sadly. Waiting for sanity is a good way to lose one’s sanity..

        • Precisely, flawse.

          The central bankers will not deflate a budding bubble because they have no way of proving that doing so would be necessary, how unpleasant, before the fact. By the time the bubble has grown so large that everyone can see its danger, it would too obviously dangerous to touch it.

          MMT, or the Zimbabwe solution, is looking inevitable by the day.

          • Zimbabwe was the result of a trade shock brought on by Mugabe’s land redistribution agenda to his soldiers on ideological grounds, without forethought to the economic realities. What occurred to its currency was a response to that agenda which crippled the nations trade flows, which in turn crippled its foreign FX balance sheet. To make things even more hilarious the Von Misses [tm] mob lauded Mugabe for the land redistribution [40 acres and a mule] but then lambasted him for his monetary actions – you can’t make this stuff up …. agreeing with the act that set things in motion, but then wobbling on about its outcome …

    • Especially considering this quote from Chris Joye that Leith put in a post a couple of months ago:

      When the RBA slashed its cash rate from 4.75 per cent to 1.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016, it repeatedly argued that this would not trigger a re-leveraging of household balance-sheets and/or a new double-digit house price boom, which is exactly what happened.

      …Most embarrassingly for the RBA, two of its top researchers, Trent Saunders and Peter Tulip, published a detailed academic paper shortly thereafter proving that almost all of the stunning increase in house prices between 2013 and 2017 was indeed attributable to the reduction in mortgage rates.

      Edit: It shows that they know this outcome is not good for the economy in the long run, but they still do it.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        It’s called self-interest and living in an ivory tower devoid of any link to reality and struggle street?

      • It’s like a Junkie that wants it’s next shot of heroin, they know it’s not a good idea, but they just want to feel numb once more, for a bit longer and hope all the world’s problems go away.

    • The CCP is not known for its openness and transparency acknowledging problems. The response to SARS illustrates that something like this it is probably FAR worse than they are acknowledging.

  7. GunnamattaMEMBER

    some interesting points here for Australia to think about – both similarities and differences with the UK – though obviously written by an open immigration/border believer…..

    It is not yet Australia’s most toxic issue – but the longer it is denied as an issue the more toxic it will become

    How immigration became Britain’s most toxic political issue
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/15/how-immigration-became-britains-most-toxic-political-issue

    • You can’t mention immigration in Australia without being called r4cist.
      Few want to be called that, so it’s not an issue.

    • Great link.

      But what maketh a ‘toxic issue’?

      My takeout was: “a toxic issue is one that the punters have decided for themselves to be important, even if it is on the self appointed poliburu’s ‘not to be discussed’ list”. To that extent, I think we are already here in Australia.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      I would say that the only reason immigration isn’t Australia’s number one issue, is because of the tremendous amount of effort our media and politicians put in to avoid making any issue or reference to it.

      This mutually assured ignorance towards immigration as an issue, is the most treasonous of ideological quid pro quo’s performed by Globalists of the Left and Right, in regards to threatening existing Australian’s way of life.

      • +1 mate, every effort is made never mention the option of lower immigration. They just say population growth is inevitable. Like nothing can be done about it. So lube up.

      • To be fair though, rather than some sort of conspiracy (other than at editorial level) most the apparent ‘complicity’ is more about career risk, I would have said. Turning to education, for example, how many other academics agree wholeheartedly with Gerd Schröder-Turk but refuse to speak out for fear of not only losing their jobs but actually becoming unemployable for speaking out. It’s a bit cowardly for sure but self-preservation is a natural human trait. Mortgages, children, future savings – these things matter to most of us.

    • What Australia needs to do is to clearly state its immigration objectives, develop measures of those objectives, recruit (allow immigration) to those objectives and to revisit those objectives annually, and then to adjust the immigration according to the verifiable attainment of those objectives.

      I would have thought the first objective is to ‘promote a harmonious, economically diverse society, facilitating improved quality of life for all Australians, where Australians have opportunity and afford their children economic opportunities to do likewise with their lives’ (or something to broadly similar effect).

      From there, would be economic measures – what does our economy do currently, how sustainable is that, what are the risks to that, how do the risks get minimised (via immigration), how does immigration work with other policy measures to facilitate that outcome.

      But I would have thought (and feel free to tell me I am wrong) that the end point of any policy development resulting from data analysis should be – (1) this is how many people we are going to take, (2) ABC are the attributes we want them to have, (3) DEF are the additional infrastructure measures we will need to produce in order to enable the increased immigration, (4) GHI are the industries and sectors we want to be growing (and if these people arent specifically employed in those sectors then, those sectors are growing from ‘freed up locals departing sectors into which the immigration is now flowing) and then (5) JKL is the contribution that sector is now making to the national economy (not just GDP, but per capita, taxation contributions, the current account effect – the ‘net’ effect of the immigration, also allowing for environmental and water considerations).

      Then from something like that sort of analysis you get all sorts of other measures which could be looked at and tailored. What actual skills do we need? What areas of the economy are actually experiencing shortages? (and is immigration the best way of addressing those shortages on an ongoing basis?) How successful is/has the infrastructure expansion been? What are the benefits for existing Australians, and ‘How well are the new Australians (immigrants) getting on with the previously existing Australians? and what are the costs/benefits of making that experience better?

      I see that piece, as largely starting from the position of ‘Immigration is good’ – no matter what the effect (socially or economically, or even in a budget outlay sense) – and ‘Immigration is a right for the people doing the migrating’ (regardless of the impact it has on other peoples assumed rights to have jobs, to have any given level of income, their aspirations, their access to services, and their qualities of life – and ‘Immigration has no net costs for any society receiving immigrants’ (which I think simply wrong).

      Australia has a two party mainstream economic position revolving around the pro large scale immigration position (it is a net positive, has no costs).

      The lived experience of many Australians (including many fairly recent immigrants – I actually know plenty of recent immigrants who question why it is that there are so many people coming into the country when meaningful jobs either dont exist or are paying peanuts) is that immigration the way Australia is currently running immigration does indeed have costs and has no/little net positives.

      That gap between those promoting heavy immigration (both mainstream sides of politics, the corporate world in particular) and those experiencing what they think are the costs, is obviously the the great political divide which has opened up between those being ‘managed’ (as our politicos and the corporate world now seem to see us – as opposed to the past at least the politicos saw themselves as managing the process of achieving what the democratic system gave to them as the objectives of the electorate) and those doing the managing.

      But essentially the more pushing they do, the more pushed we become, and the closer we get to something seriously breaking (if it hasnt already).

      • Interested PartyMEMBER

        Gunna, I think we first need to reconcile the idea ( assumption ) that Australia as a sovereign nation, is in fact in Australian control of it’s own policies…including, and particularly, immigration.

        Is this assumption accurate to start with? If not, I submit that this is where we need to start the repair process.

          • No…whatever the colour of the foreign buyers is not my particular point. We are willing to sell any asset, business, farm, mine, to anybody just so we can continue to boost consumption, so that the two great totally non-productive parasites, Sydney and Melbourne, can continue to screw over the rest of the nation and anyone who will be born to inherit the resulting bondage.

          • Once upon a time, Straya had plenty of goods and services to export. The current account was largely balanced.

            Then Straya started living beyond its means. Straya started importing and consuming more than it could produce and export. The CAD became precarious but selling of productive assets largely masked the trouble. As long as foreigners could find useful Strayan assets that could be purchased using AUD, they did not dump as much AUD as they would have.

            Over time, Straya pretty much exhausted salable productive assets. Straya then started selling residential properties. As long as foreigners could find useful Strayan residential properties that could be purchased using AUD, they did not dump as much AUD as they would have.

            This is where Straya stands today.

            The question is, what will happen when foreigners can no longer find anything useful that AUD can buy? Foreigners would have no choice but to repatriate their profits by converting the export receipts denominated in AUD to their home currencies.

            Just like rising AUD will lift all boats, crashing AUD will sink all boats. This rather equitable sinking process is called poverty.

            Average Strayans will not know how much they have sunk until well after the fact.

          • Darth – welcome to the exclusive club! Watch out for a mish mash of inanity from Skippy!
            Once upon a time = 1959. There was a small surplus around 1971 but that’s the only one in the last 60 years. Might run one this financial year but I’m betting the Christmas Quarter will ensure it doesn’t happen. Also, as you indicate, so many of our assets are now foreign owned there will be a large repatriation of dollars which will lag an apparent CAS

          • Flawse if you look at the chart about surpluses you’ll find they always proceed a recession at the least, not that money has anything to do with endemic corruption and contracts of dubious quality [contracts proceed everything]. This is also highlighted by the chart that shows government and private sectors are juxtaposed to the penny, so it hard to argue the private sector is the well spring of everything.

      • I have no problem with fixing our immigration issues but I have a huge problem with conflating these fixes to immigration with a return of value to Australia’s human capital.
        The lack of intrinsic value in Aussie labour has almost zero to do with Immigration, sure immigration depresses local wages but that said this change does nothing to increase the value of Aussie labour sold on the global market.
        The complete absence of global value in our local human resources is the problem that remains the same after you “fix” immigration. Local Aussies will not suddenly Invent the next great Internet thing, nor will Aussie’s suddenly find that they possess the skills to write award winning apps (that others want to buy). We won’t suddenly find that the market for our wine doubles, anymore than we’ll discover that we’ve planted tomorrows must have crop. Just to be clear none of these global economic green-shoots are really happening, sure there is the odd winner but it’s not anything that can be counted on to drive our economy in the second half of the 21st century (the post China infrastructure economy)
        That’s why, for me, fixing immigration is little more than a fig leaf, it only temporarily disguises the fact that our nuts have fallen off and we’re clueless as to where we should even begin to search for them.

        • GunnamattaMEMBER

          Thats the fundamental point

          Why bring people to country where land is more expensive that just about anywhere, where the taxation system is almost designed to inflate housing costs (and promotes profoundly speculative investment rather than economic investment) and the entire competitive economy is almost designed to fail.

          There are a load of things to be fixed alongside immigration, just to make immigration work

          • What are you saying?
            As I read it your argument is something along the lines of:
            Let’s fix immigration because it’s doable, maybe we’ll get lucky and this fix will create the momentum needed to fix our global Labour competitiveness and tradeable skills shortfall issues.
            Is that what you’re saying?
            Personally I think it more likely that Fixing immigration will be sold as the one change that’s needed only to lead to disillusionment when the immigration fix actually fixes nothing.
            We’ll win one battle but still loose the war.
            This is precisely why I see improved education outcomes as the only sustainable fix, but this needs to start with the Aussie community somehow agreeing to sponsor (or otherwise advantage) students that are developing skills known to be Globally tradeable. In today’s Australia we take the opposite approach and create economic advantage for students developing / learning skills that are known to have absolutely no globally tradeable value.
            Changing these attitudes and education outcomes has little if anything to do with immigration but everything to do with how successful / sustainable Australia once China’s Infrastructure boom dies off.

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            I know “that will fix thing” (singular) is a popular MB meme, but it seems to be clouding some thinking. We could fix two thing, at similar times, if we tried. Is there a need to argue over which thing first fix we much?

          • TW The economic and social dislocation of ‘trying to fix thing’ will be more than we can bear. Further, and worse, our education system is now so screwed that it cannot respond to the needs of a productive economy.

        • The path to the Dark Side is paved with seemingly genuine goodwill – like simplistic and superficially plausible “magic solutions” that require little effort.

      • “What Australia needs to do is to clearly state its immigration objectives…”

        But it has.
        The fact that the objectives are not advertised directly and sometimes are implausibly denied does not make them any less be the objectives set.
        ♡♡♡ RE support ♡♡♡

      • Just ignoring the external account again eh Skip. It’s damned inconvenient to your ideology eh….so we just eliminate anything that might get in the way of th4 ideology….now where has that happened before.
        BTW My arguments about economics in here are about the maths. Ideology is all you have. You don’t think.

    • 2010 election pledge to introduce a target figure for “net migration” – which the Conservative party failed to meet, again and again, only enflaming public resentment and mistrust over the issue

      Kiwis and Aussies are not outraged by the immigration lies peddled by Jacinda and Gillard. So good on the British people for being outraged.

      a commitment made in 2004 by Tony Blair as prime minister. In a 2015 BBC documentary called The Truth About Immigration, the presenter Nick Robinson talked of immigration in the UK as an issue that “adds up to an awful lot of change and that’s led to an awful lot of anxiety”. He identified the source of all this worry: “A single decision taken without much thought in Downing Street, to allow immigration from new members of the EU from eastern Europe.” That decision by the Labour government would, Robinson said, likely be debated by historians in 50 years’ time as the “most significant taken since the second world war”.

      Bingo. It is madness to have an open border with a low wage nation.

      In 2012, Labour leader Ed Miliband said immigration was “one of the areas we got wrong” and spoke of “local talent” being “locked out of opportunity”. And in 2013, Straw, the former home secretary, described it as a “spectacular mistake”.

      In 2018, Ed Miliband smartened up further and demanded UBI.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        That last ref, is the one I thought had a lot of resonance here – Obviously there were people within the mainstream UK Labour party in a position to at least acknowledge that something had gone awfully wrong in the UK with immigration.

        The ALP has never been able to come at that. The ALP is still in the ‘all questioning of immigration is bigotry’ camp
        The Liberals, on the other hand, have at least picked up the scent of that. But being Liberals they impose random meaningless ‘caps’ and run Net Overseas Migration full bore anyway.

        • Tony Blair apologised for the Iraq war but Howard did not.

          Blair has gone further in admitting error because he’s the leader under most pressure. The Chilcot inquiry is about to report on the war, and is known to contain criticism of Blair’s decisions.

          Bush and Howard are under no pressure because there has been no official inquiry into the war in the US and Australia. In Washington and Canberra, we are more concerned with protecting the egos of politicians who supported the war than we are in protecting the lives of soldiers to be sent into future wars.

          https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/an-apology-for-the-iraq-war-is-nowhere-near-enough-20151026-gkisxt.html

          The ALP is simply more corrupt than the British Labour Party and probably more stupid too. The ALP is probably still holding onto the belief that 40% of year 12 finishers should be let into “uni”. I doubt the British Labour Party has that insane policy.

          The British Labour Party wants to nationalise these monopolies:

          13 hours ago

          Labour’s nationalisation wish list grows ever longer

          Corbyn has his sights set on the railways, electricity distribution, Royal Mail, water utilities and private finance initiative contracts — where private companies manage public projects. All would be nationalised, analysts expect at far below market price, with shareholders given newly issued government gilts as partial compensation.

          https://www.ft.com/content/d68bef84-07b8-11ea-a984-fbbacad9e7dd

          Sadly, the BLP is far behind the Tories in the polls.

    • Meanwhile over at the economist Australia high immigration is held up as a model, never mind most of it is now not true or is out of date on recent evidence eg low wage growth, immigrants working below their qualifications etc
      https://amp.economist.com/leaders/2019/11/16/voters-could-make-the-world-twice-as-rich-why-dont-they

      With the huge amount of money liking for a place to invest the west should be actively pushing policies for investment into developing countries, that would mean less immigrants, more sustainaility (here & there) greater influence/democracy overseas & crimp China’s influence in places like Africa while investors get a higher return (and is it really that m uch more risky given the coming population br?oom in sub Saharan Africa?) it would be a win win win win scenario.

      • “With the huge amount of money liking for a place to invest”
        Most of that money has a debt attached to it. Not really wise to invest long term in risky places. The money is actually a figment reliant on poorer countries continuing to buy US Treasuries with their savings.

    • Meanwhile at Domain.
      https://www.domain.com.au/liveable-melbourne/melbournes-most-liveable-suburbs-2019/south-yarra-takes-the-title-of-melbournes-most-liveable-suburb-903529/

      Melbourne is set to become the biggest city in Australia. Its population is forecast to overtake Sydney’s by 2026 if it continues to grow at the current rate of more than 100,000 people per year.

      Despite this rapid growth putting pressure on the city – particularly its road and public transport networks – population growth actually had a positive impact on the liveability of a place, one of the study’s authors Adam Terrill from Tract Consultants said.

      “Along with people generally comes new services and facilities, such as shops, cafes, open space, and public transport. There is a definite correlation between density and liveability, in that a more dense suburb tends to have greater liveability,” Mr Terrill said.

      Yes definitely Melbourne has become far more livable in the 12 years I haven’t been living there. I definitely noticed an improvement with more congestion, stress and headache, but hey we got a few more hipster cafe’s.. so it’s all good.

    • I read a few of his articles and…wowsers! Fake companies, fake lawyers, IP theft, identity theft, everything else theft, fraud, trademark squatters, failure to supply, failure of legal protection for foreign entities…and those are the positive aspects of doing business with China.

      It’s a horrible, profoundly dishonest culture and anybody who does business with them will regret it. They are to be shunned.

    • About 5 years ago I took on a private language student who worked ffora big European engineering and energy firm. We we’re talking about China’s development progress and then them current situation and I said one of the saddest things about China was that Chinese didn’t have any faith in the long term future of the country/society. Her looked at me and said now I believe you’ve here 15+ years, you truly understand what’s going on. The next little while is going to be very very interesting

          • Poppy really is a genuine Old China Hand and is one of the reasons I keep (mostly) lurking on MB. There also used to be chinajim and the impressive chap who through his missus was involved in all sorts of big ventures in/with China. These days fisho speaks from a lot of experience and you yourself, gramus, also seem to be well grounded in things China.

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            Yeah, Original John was very good but I think he threw it in when some didn’t take him seriously…

        • I’ve been out 3 years and am not keeping in contact all that much as you can od on theplace eventually and things can get emotionally toxic. I’ve left and part of successfully reintegrating is properly orienting yourself to your new place. Having said that my emotional reactions are calming down re China so I’m reading more now and not avoiding the topic as much. My gut instinct is telling me that all is not as it seems on thesurface. The west will be a huge issue eventually. I’m horrified tbh. I can well believe they’re doing what is finally being reported on. But at the same time I can’t believe they’re that fckn stupid. But I can cos I’ve got friends I other parts nearby who’ve been picked on and that was truly unnecessary but they did it anyway. Am waiting forthe geopolitical implications to kick off one day with the general public in the muslim world, Esp belt and road countries (watch Pakistan). That will be fascinating, one day they may hate China more than us. HK. Just wow. Like really wow. But fmd those HK oligarchs are reaping what they’ve sown. It’s so funny in a truly horrible manner. Their arrogance… Haha. Umm the economy is going to be interesting, short medium and long term. Will they avoid the middle income trap? Does their debt matter? Time will tell. The social credit system is a huge step back in time. I was there during thegolden age when the gov stepped out of people’s lives and the way the people flowered was just amazing. That’ll stop. As will a lot of innovation they may have done as the system will not encourage it. I used to be very optimistic about China’s future but I’m a lot more pessimistic now. I never thought they’d go democratic because Mainlanders aren’t interested in it, it scares the [email protected] out of them, but the level of repression atm and that will come down the road is tragic. The people of China are a huge proportion of total human capital and their potential is incredible. They do see the worlddifferently to us and I fear we all be the poorer for any decrease in their innovative capacities. They’d finally thrown off the cultural and intellectual shackles of the cultural Revolution (which did not encourage independent thought or any thought at all) and it seems like the trajectory is to return to that. Sad.

          • I’ve read your contributions here with great interest Popcod. You seem like a very nice person. I hope your return to Oz is going OK. Cheers!

          • Yep that’s about how I feel these days.
            It troubles me that the freedoms discovered by Chinese people in the first decade of this century are being surrendered so quickly. I think you’re right when you say that today’s Chinese genuinely fear freedom and the responsibility that comes hand-in-hand with freedom and with choice.
            Some would say that China’s story couldn’t end any other way, but that said, the dreamer in me remains hopeful.

      • Oh! I’ll tell my super-wealthy young friend – all on coal. According to MB he’s broke years ago.Funny the world is still building coal fired power stations by the hundreds.
        NAB management must have inside info on how all these solar panels are going to work all night.
        I wonder what mde NAB Management experts on Climate Change? Reading the SMH, and Guardian? Or do they just sniff the wind of extremist politics and figure we’ll be totally reliant on Sydney/ Melbourne inner city housing values and coffee shops for our economic wealth? So best to continue to issue all lending for that purpose.

        • all on coal.

          What?

          how all these solar panels are going to work all night.

          Solar panels during the day and gas at night.

  8. Important Christmas shopping question.
    If Booktopia doesn’t stock the book I’m after, which is the next best website to get a book from?

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      They play from the ScoMo/LNP “hymn book”: we don’t comment on operational matters. Code for: what the great unwashed don’t know won’t hurt them?

  9. We all know the auction results are dubious at best. Prime example today, 2 auctions in kirrawee same agent C21 first 1 auctioned at 10.30 is passed in second one auctioned at 12.30 sells, no surprise which 1 made it into the official figures.

    • Funnily enough, watched that the other day. Another good one is on the Canberra fires with heaps of fire footage. Gives a chilling idea on how bad these fires can get.

      And yes, our pollies are fvcking scum using this as a political football.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      I think it’s farkn awesome he’s made a really cool and entertaining use out of a sh1tty old cave!

      I’ve come to the conclusion use all just hate Chinamen.

  10. So I’ve just spent the last few hours learning the solo to TNT note for note.

    I’ve got the notes down at about 80% his speed.

    Will take a couple of weeks to get it to his speed.

    He was really sparse, tasteful and clean, especially across strings. He sounds like he makes one tiny fvckup, at the end of the second phrase before the last phrase

    In case anyones interested, he’s mostly moving around the Em pentatonic, but the first phrase descends down the E dorian (G and C#).

    I did the first phrase using the penta in the 12th fret, but the one that goes backwards if that makes sense (ie the 4th finger is on the low 12 fret E). Then you can descend from the G and D strings 12th fret 4th finger.

    The rest of the figures I think are played in the penta shape everyone uses at 12th fret (1st finger low E 12th fret).

    Everyone plays there, but Angus is so distinctive with his use of patterns and timing.

    Wonderful to play and depressing to think that at 20 he’s better than I’ll ever be.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Did you change your plans about that thingy you wanted me to cut & modify?. Played some Rachmaninoff the other day to dust off the ivories and see if I could still play.

      • Thanks booma it’s on the project list but with 20 guitars and 5 I actively play and mod there is a lot to do!

        Plus annoying things like budget etc.

        I’m currently working on the first guitar I ever got when I was 15, and modding the sh!t out of it, but that’s different to the pickup one

        But I’d love to see your factory, so will get crackin on this reasonably soon

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Btw,, wrt, TNT, they played at the night club where I was a bouncer before they were famous earlty 70″s. Something special even then and drew a crowd.
        Don’t forget that job is a freebie done in the home workshop as factory (mancave) is in central Coast.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Just close encounters, similar to Mick Jagger & co bouncing for in Perth 73, same sort of scenario.

          • Was he your build and height? Did he act friendly or aggressive?

            All reports are he was friendly unless on a bender, but he wasn’t so bad in the early years.

            He would have been late 20s when you met him, he died early 30s.

        • You might have noticed I have a small obsession with Bon Scott-era ACDC.

          I think in a global context, this is our greatest artistic export

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Asking a lot of my memory as good as they were they were just another band at that time.so didn’t take much notice. Lighter build than me then, always in a hurry to get to the next gig, if thats any heip.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Platonic relationship looking back.
            That’s was the nightclub where 15 Balmain boys repeatedly jumped on and kicked my head when I thought about it then rushed into the alleyway to save the other bouncer. They wrecked the club and killed a bouncer at Kings Cross after. Was in hospital for a week and had to escape by sneaking out. The young nurse was showing me topless photos of herself at Bali, a relatively unknown destination then.

    • He’s at 125 bpm, I can do it at 115. That 10 bpm is the difference between OK and very good. ie semiquavers at 115 vs 125

      But I’m getting a really good feel of how he sets up his pentatonic runs – he only descends in this song, I’ll have to have a listen to see if he ever ascends in any other songs.

      If anyone wants a hand learning it let me know

    • AC/DC and The Angels. Two of the greatest rock machines of all time.

      I bought a Gretsch just for playing AC/DC riffs.

      My parents…both in their 80’s… visited over the weekend and asked me to play a tune on my guitar. I started with “Jailbreak” and realisd they weren’t getting it so moved to some Dylan and Denver’s “Country Roads”. All ok.

      • Thing that blows me away is how tasteful he was in his solos.

        When I was that age I was putting every note in I could as fast as I could for every solo.

        ‘Course, we weren’t ACCADACCA.

      • Also am listening to some wonderful palm muting in the rhythm by Malcolm in High Voltage as I type this.

        So good, Bon sounds great, they all sound great.

      • Also you may laugh, but the “A Star is Born” soundtrack is really good. Just listen to the songs, not the cast stuff.

        And Bradley Cooper is annoyingly good.

  11. The Traveling Wilbur

    Wikipedia The Goon Show page. Has this:

    Milligan and Harry Secombe became friends while serving in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. Famously, Milligan first encountered Secombe after Gunner Milligan’s artillery unit accidentally allowed a large howitzer to roll off a cliff, under which Secombe was sitting in a small wireless truck: “Suddenly there was a terrible noise as some monstrous object fell from the sky quite close to us. There was considerable confusion, and in the middle of it all the flap of the truck was pushed open and a young, helmeted idiot asked ‘Anybody see a gun?’ It was Milligan.” Secombe’s answer to that question was “What colour was it?”.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Turning already methinks. eerily quite on the bike ride this morn, for lease signs abound at Brookvale, heaps of cars for sale at Long Reef, not even many cyclist’s .Rat run lovely and quite at my place.
      Same as Ermo’s comment the other day, no calls for work either.
      Went to see an auction round the corner but it was not on site, bit of misinformation according to the missus, this morn listed for sale.https://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-nsw-north+manly-132275974

      • I think you’ll find the happiness fairies are falling out of the sky with the state of geopolitics and increasing AGW concerns, social psychology works like that ….

        • Maybe the ignorant cattle (Quiet Australians) are waking up to the accelerating crapification of Australia. Doesn’t inspire one to spend.

          • Quiet Australians … you mean the ones Howard said he needed to put to sleep – ?????

            And secondly were so close to being just like America … why give up now … utopia is just around the corner …

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Real estate has changed around here, reno’s or new 2-3M, unreno’d as above. Not as much difference before.
        At Warringha Mall cafe atm. The whole place like a ghost town, could be too early but Big W has reduced hours. Reminds me talking to a CC RE agent years ago he said he went to work one day and had no calls, then hardly any after that (89 crash) “like someeone turned the light’s off.”

        • The bottom always gets consumed to keep the top in high flow shower heads boom, I can go back 10K years in say Germany and a bone pit with 10K people in it during a environmental calamity, all sourced from the periphery. Akhenaten used to hold sacrifices that were acres in size whilst the unwashed were malnourished.

          Yet some today think post WWII U.S. was a leftie commie socialist blight on the natural [tm] order of life, good thing neoliberalism came in to save the day ….

      • I predict libs will roll out the pork barrel to win that seat back. Spit tunnel, metro station, Manly Airport, a bridge connecting north and south head. House prices to the moon.

        Watch how much tax payers money they blow on a small population.

  12. Arthur Schopenhauer

    “This coulda a been a great big open pit Uranium mine. But f&@k me now you gotta fire…”

  13. Farg me! Their fatal error is they didn’t get the Chinese involved. As Confucius say, man who bend over to collect mortgage always going to get overextended.

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/the-money-lenders-in-the-temple-after-head-monk-racks-up-big-property-debts-20191116-p53b78.html

    ‘For sale: Buddhist temple. Set on 2.4 hectares, featuring a grand archway, meditation centre and lotus pond. Must sell quickly due to millions in unpaid debts racked up by the head monk.

    “It is clear Master Dao made a series of naive, ill-informed decisions based on advice from self- interested individuals,” says the temple’s lawyer, Chris Ford.

    The money lenders are in the temple after the Melbourne Linh Son Buddhist Society failed to pay back loans worth tens of millions of dollars.

    The debts helped the society amass a considerable property portfolio, which included large packages of development land in Melbourne’s west.

    But to say the real-estate play was risky would be putting it mildly. Under Master Dao’s leadership, millions in high-interest non-bank finance was advanced by a series of lenders you won’t find on the ASX.

    One list of properties shown to The Age suggested the temple owned at least 12 properties, including 63 hectares in Mount Cottrell, before the house of cards came tumbling down.

    Unable to meet the onerous monthly repayments, the temple and Master Dao became embroiled in legal action.

    Last Wednesday, the congregation was exiled from the temple, possibly forever. Accounting company Hall Chadwick is preparing to sell the property on behalf of the mortgagee.

    The ousting was not a surprise. The threats go back to the start of the year, when another money lender was claiming $8 million be repaid.

    Eviction was avoided on that occasion as the debt was refinanced. Before getting his money back, lawyer Peter Schwartz said Master Dao had “bitten off more than he could chew” as a property mogul.

    “He should stick to the beads, as they say,” he said.

    Other creditors have taken action in the Supreme Court in recent months demanding payment of seperate debts of $13.5 million and $4.6 million.

    Seven months later, Attila Kelemen, the broker who took control of the debt, wants his money back. A warrant sent to the sheriff sought payment of $10.3 million, as well as possession of the temple.

    The Master himself is being pursued in the County Court, along with the temple, for $27 million for failing to settle on a real estate purchase in Sunbury.

    Meanwhile, the interest on the debts continues to grow.

    The society, which has around 2000 members, took in just over $100,000 in donations last year. Rooms at the temple were also rented out, offering “enlightened living”.

    “Initially, my first observation was that there was ridiculous amounts of debt,” Mr Fraser says.

    “The thing that was most overwhelming is that they were paying 96 per cent interest, which is crazy.’

    • That last $27 mill wasn’t for 620-acre of private farm between Sunbury and Diggers Rest, was it?! I believe those concerts were quite transcendental…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbury_Pop_Festival
      (Yes. A poor attempt at humor on a day when having just watched one of the members of the Royal family disembowel himself on TV, like the interview itself, might have failed – PS: Who in their right mind allowed him to do that?!)

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Dao!

      Clearly all the meditation and enlightenment seeking did not pay off.
      He epically failed to become Yuan with the universe.

      • The whole thing about yin and yang is its roots are in alchemy and how that ended up giving an Emperor mercury so he could cheat life itself, as he went mad the unwashed got the burnt end of yin and yang. With enough pontification post facto it became a de facto religion even after the results were in … funnie how that works …

        • ErmingtonPlumbing

          As cryptic as ever Skip!
          Don’t you change for anyone you mad Cnvt!
          (Highest praise you can receive from a Plumber)

          • I got bored of studying Haroldian thought (to be honest, I found it a little bit reactive and even a tiny bit shallow) and have set my heart of becoming Professor of Episkippyology. My goal is to find the Rosetta Stone to deconstruct the most cryptic and mystical of these ancient writings. Having become more proficient in my translations, i find to my surprise that not only do I understand some of the underlying messages, but even agree with these alternate imaginations of theosophical wisdom. I fear this is a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

          • Wellie whilst were on about Cvnts and laurels, awhile back I chanced the local pub for my quarterly few quite ones and some young tradie sort had his gob up against the glass between the public smoking – drinking section, between where I was begging for a rollie. So I fired him one up and stood on the chair to toss it to him, with a here you go Cvnt.

            Did he ever take exception and lose the plot, even grabbed a closed patio umbrella and tried to stick me with it. I didn’t even flinch, looked at him and said what kind of tradie soft cvnt are you, whats Australia coming to when young tradies bite at being called anything, especially when getting what they asked for …. then the whole lot of the rest sitting in the section said I should stop picking on him … chortle ….

            Furthermore later on him and his big mate came in and sat next too me, starting trying to niggle me and I looked right at his big mate and asked why he was not pulling him up for being a wanker. Not that without said big mate the kid would have been a lamb to start with and I told him so. Big mate got up but did not move closer, so I got up and said he should consider why his mate was acting a fool and why would as a mate he would enable more of the same – wtf are mates for …

            Anywho the staff were involved after the first instance and asked if I wanted to press charges for the initial failed attack. I said no, someone just needs to help him pull his head in and tell him he should be a bit more careful about his choice in adversaries – regardless of age or reap the consequences of that. Even had to show the kid my drivers license to prove my age … lol … getting sorted by someone on the cusp of 60 would not burnish his image among his peer group or would I think …

          • Bravo – !!!!!

            JohnR …

            Here’s the rub John, heaps of this is backed by anthropology and natural history, yet for the uninformed the problem is connecting the dots due to the ever present observer problem or more unfortunately bias rigor mortis.

            This can be highlighted by say intersexuality which effects 1 in a 100, yet some are completely fixated on just two factors in establishing their concept of reality.

          • ErmingtonPlumbing

            @JR
            I too have spent many many hours over the years deciphering these “alternate imaginations of theosophical wisdom” and when finally interpreted generally find the content to reflect my own world view.
            He’s clearly more of a brainy Cnvt than most of the plumbers I know.
            That what we love about him.

          • Actually he was a lower middle class knockabout with a history of antics, my kids know of him, not a snowflake by any means. Not a small fry either compared to my whip strong 80kg at less than 6ft these days.

            See this is the problem with this generational market based rubbish mate, it sets up ludicrous strawmen for fat fingering of agency which they have not. Then some ponder the paradigm of getting half of the unwashed to go after the other half whilst Capital socks away 34T in tax havens and then institutes austerity for the sanctity of their earned value[????].

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Skip hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. Couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag, just used my body shape to prevent instigation and when patrons were smashing glasses on the table I would say nothing and just clean it up. . Closest ever got to fighting sport was wrestling in controlled conditions.
            The erpisode started 2 wks earlier when 6 of them were attacking 2 patrons, accidentally grabbed a victim fell over a chair and his girlfriend started kicking, I broke it up with one on my back felt like a rabbit, threw them out with the rabbit attached..
            Rumor had it some patrons concealed guns.
            This time 2 of them were punching 2 girls in the face and we each chucked one out. Can remember like yesterday the aggressor saying to the other bouncer hit me here go on hit me here, he obliged and threw a punch when another hand grabbed it grom around the corner and pulled him into the alleyway. He was surrounded by them but visibly taller, I stood in the doorway and made a decision to save him. Rushed in but was downed by a milkgrate to the head. A jumping kicking free for all ensued on my head , got up and they fell off. Staggered away then with help dragged semi conscious into the office where I could feel the door being hammered with gusto. After they wrecked the club they went to The Cross and killed a bouncer.
            The cops came for me after hospital to identify the culprits but when said I didn’t care to they said I didn’t have a choice in a homicide case. Huge books with thousands of small photos, no chance.

          • To enlarge your cvntionary (compare and contrast with dictionary) the Slavic word for ‘cvnt’ is ‘pizda’ and it’s just as potent and versatile as the English one. This will certainly cover you for pretty much all Eastern Europe area. Go forth and use it loud, use it proud!

  14. ErmingtonPlumbing

    Well the “OK Boomer” hashtag is trending on Twitter and causing some consternation.

    Whoopie Goldberg has lept to their defence (Boomers) stating that it was Boomer hard work that cleaned up the smog filled LA Sky line whilst Millennials were napping.

    No mention of Boomers exporting that pollution along with millions of well paid Manafacturing jobs to the developing world.

    Had me thinking,….Yeah OK Boomer.

    2.40 mins to 3.10mins in is where she makes her absurd claim.

    https://twitter.com/ErmoPlumber/status/1195853402120437762?s=19

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Ha Ha,…yeah I know Brother.

        But sometimes all this tom foolery is just to much fun to resist.

        I’m looking forward to a Skippy retort.
        😘

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          I’ll fill in for him. The Boomers didn’t waste time complaining that the prior generations owned a house while they didn’t. They just knuckled down. Reminiscent of From plough to plough in three generations. Pre boomers paved the way, Boomers kept it and subsequent generations will lose it.
          Italian freind of mine Bombadier now deceased owned half of Brookvale spent nothing on himself but gave his kids 1M a year but they wanted more.

        • You rang …

          From Kent state too …. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/whip-it-sip-it-good-the-remarkable-wines-of-devos_b_59c1cc8de4b0c3e70e7428df

          Did so called marketing [tm (everything is a market)] generational cohorts like boomers get to vote on neoliberalism, was it openly debated, was evidence submitted for others consideration, or was everyone regardless of birth date only given the option of what brand [tm] image and cult of personality that public choice theory had to offer in administrating neoliberalism – Coke vs Pepsi.

    • Both state governments, oppositions and councils have a strong handle in how developer “donations” work.

  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUdeLgfWgUM
    Life In Australia: Sydney – Posted Apr 30, 2019

    From The Film Australia Collection. Made by The Commonwealth Film Unit 1966. Directed by Joe Scully. Episode 12 of the Life in Australia series. This series was made to encourage immigration to Australia and to highlight the various social activities, employment and educational opportunities and lifestyles of the various cities and regional centres throughout Australia. This film shows an idyllic picture of life in the New South Wales capital of Sydney in the mid 1960s. Previously uploaded in SD it is now available in 4K HD.

    Some amazing footage of Sydney and footage as the Opera House was under construction.

    • Some things don’t change – like the gridlocked traffic waiting to get over the Bridge, and others do – like all those children doing their science work at Forest Hills High are now all 70-year-olds! Life…..

    • This was posted many months ago here but it was in 720p at that time.
      Tnx, for updated link as I can get it now in 4K, looks great on large tv.
      I still watch this here and there comparing the landmarks as I see them

    • So what perchance might effect trade flows and how would that effect everything else, is it a self inflicted economic choice or is it the effect of outside political machinations. Then some still ponder the political choices which surmounted in WWII.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Skip, addmision above post,
        Short term memory loss accidentally. omitted
        Also milkgrate to the back of the head.

        • My response was to EP boom, that said I did bouncing in L.A. post military during my last 2 years in Uni and post for more income and perks. So you would know 99%+ of all dramas is some girl loading the gun because she perceives an indignity has been done. FFS at one time I worked the door at the Kettle restaurant in Manhattan Bch in the 80s as a side job and it was on after 2’clock, offers of 100 bucks to jump line just for eggs and hash.

          Loved clearing the Redondo Bch Red Onion at closing, bouncers in corners pushing the customers [sheeple] to the exist … after wl cheapo shots before the bell, yet checking the toilets was always a kinder surprise, nothing like having a bloke banging two, not one chicks on sinks at a time, with bullets of coke partaken.

          But hay … compared to being dragged into the toilets by a shela that would have no dramas being a penthouse pet at the end of the evenings fasitivities only to she here the next day and was clueless about her activities the night before is a keeper …. and no I did not engage ….

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Stayed with a mate/ ex gym member at Redondo 90’s. Walked to the beach to the horror of locals concerned with drive by’s of which I knew nothing.
            Used to jump the queue any where and get in for free just with a wink and nod but was expected to help out if needed.

          • Yeah I remember you saying in the past boom, but here’s the thing, I dated, worked, and swam in the elite pool and abandoned it, much to my surprise it followed me. Guess some stuff just does not wash off no matter how hard you try.

  16. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Nearly forgot most important thing, the lesson learned.
    It’s better to be a live coward than a dead hero..

    • Heads up … China has a billion consumers vs less than 400 million, is not saddled with being the worlds police and how that effects internal distribution of productivity to prop the aforementioned up, gives better terms to other nations in trade contracts, is not embroiled in end less wars on far away lands to enforce its contractual demands that others are threaten by guns to agree with … its a long list …. that’s not to say China is a model that everyone should emulate, but considering the historical record …

      • Don’t let your ideological blinkers prevent you from watching the video Skip.
        Services is not growing, retail is not growing, consumption is not going anywhere. Active consumers?

        • Don’t have an ideological dog in the hunt, that’s the point, but calling out one country when up to and post the GFC the U.S. has a long list of issues is ideological.

  17. Fvcking hell just poured my Coonawarra Cabernet into my Ballantynes while reading comments.

    I’m drinking it, pretending it’s Champion Ruby.

    • Can I call you a silly cnut? Is that acceptable? So difficult navigating etiquette these days.

      Army story…one of my my mates came back to a civvy black tie dinner after a month in the weeds. He said he turned to the grey haired lady next to him and said “Would you mind passing the fcuking mint sauce”. Silence ensued. 🙂