Links 2 January, 2020

The Flood in the Darling 1890, W.C. Piguenit, 1895, Art Gallery of NSW


Macro, Markets & Investing

Asia & China

Americas & United States


Terra Specufestorus

…and furthermore….



    • it’s almost unbelievable how our governments, especially state ones became a collections of the worst people out there

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      13 houses of parliament for a nation of 25 Million. FFS.
      We are beset by a plethora of politicians all trying to justify their existence at our expense.
      Sack the lot of them.

    • that’s how Biden’s son got a highly paid job in Ukraine

      you are right that most of coding jobs are vibrant’s jobs but large majority of managerial jobs in IT are filled with local staff (I guess because they are bad at coding)

      • Konstantinos Laskaris, has been lead designer at Tesla Motors in Silicon Valley, California since 2012.

        Principal Motor Designer Konstantinos Laskaris, Motor Design Engineer Konstantinos Bourchas and Staff Motor Design Engineer Vasilis Papanikolaou, all came out of the National Technical University of Athens.

        How dare the managerial team consist of men who did not go to a vibrant uni.

    • As someone who did learn to code, the problem is I hate sitting in front of computers all day. I much prefer working with my hands. Not everyone can learn to code or enjoys it. But if everyone coded who would do all the crap jobs that need doing?

  1. The Gittins article is well worthwhile.
    Even if you do donate I still figure that there is a high chance of being hit by a “one off” bush-fire tax levy just like the QLD floods a number of years ago.

    From the poster GTB in the SMH comments section:

    The incredible costs of “small” government have been clear for some time now. Banks behaving badly without adequate regulation. Private and religious aged care facilities taking money and behaving awfully to people who can’t take care of themselves. Shoddy building construction that provides profits for developers and dumps the costs onto residents or tax payers. The Liberal party shopping list for their mates is endless, and so are the real costs that it imposes on the Australian people.

    • levy is guaranteed despite almost everyone having home insurance that covers fire – insurance companies are there just to collect premiums and pay out some petty cash when a single house burns somewhere

    • Part of the challenge for charities these days is that people have come believe that the Govt already provides funding or ‘should’ provide funding for said ‘cause’, so they say fcvk it, I’m not donating. Another insidious side effect of the initial overreach of Govt to begin with. Citizens say: okay tax the bejesus put of me but make sure you provide full service. Then govt scales back the service and cuts taxes but citizens mindset has not adjusted to the shifting regime, so certain services get squeezed.

      • I hate how charities all want you on a subscription model. I am happy to make 1 off payments here and there to various groups, but hate ongoing subscriptions to anything inc. charities.

        • +thousands
          Charities lost me when they moved to that model.

          The other thing that blew me away was I asked earlier this year to buy a pendant for $25 in support of the Australian Paralympic Association. I thought it was a bit rich asking for a fixed amount but grudgingly agreed. Before handing over the money I asked casually what proportion of the $25 would actually go toward the cause itself and was told less than $5! The rest went towards costs i.e. salaries, rent etc. in other words the main beneficiaries were landlords and a handful of people in need of a job. When your cost/donation ratio is 80% you have no right to ask people for money IMO. 30-40% is more reasonable.

          • When your cost/donation ratio is 80% you have no right to ask people for money

            I’m surprised a “free market” man like you would say that.
            Why not allow them to beg for money but insist they do not misrepresent their “product”.

            Excuse me sir, would you like to support our CEO, office expenses, marketing department, my salary and sick children?
            If they ask you to give money to sick children but keep 80% of it themselves, that is a simple case of fraud or obtaining financial advantage by deception. Where are the police?

          • @JohnR …

            Would would need to read the Libertarian – Rothbardian et al musings on philanthropy, summery would sound like trickle down with a side of that pesky elephant through a needle dilemma.

          • @Claw
            I have no idea what the ‘free market’ has to do with this – they (the charity) are indeed free to beg for money and any individual is free to give it to them – or not. When I give money to charity I expect the bulk of it to go to the needy and if it won’t then I exercise my right to ‘pass’.

            Truth be told, most people give money to charity to make themselves feel good and don’t care where it ends up, while the real givers to charity are those that give of their time and intercede directly in the cause itself.

          • @skip. Why would libertarians have a policy on philanthropy? Individuals are at liberty to do what they please – if they wish to give money (or time) to a cause, they do so. There isn’t a ‘manual’ (like progressives have) that issues strict instructions.

            Of course the Left hate individual liberty which is why they are constantly demanding more Govt. You wouldn’t catch a Progressive sticking his hand in his pocket to give to a good cause but they waste no time demanding the Govt confiscate ‘other peoples’ money to give to a cause they (the Progs) think is deserving. Same as it ever was, skip 😉

            Those who appreciate pure democracy would naturally lean toward libertarianism while those of a more authoritarian bent prefer socialism, because telling other people what to do, how to behave and what to think is their whole raison d’etre 😉

          • Uum … because I have studied a multitude of Libertarian – AET literature that covers their complete history, Hopple is one of my Favorites, same goes for the Robber Baron and Zimbabwe treatment over at Von Mises E.g. RB period good and Mugabe good for land redistribution but bad for printing money – never groked that the land redistribution induced a trade shock the screwed their FX – trade world and just like other classical hyper inflation events resulted in a debt deflation which then drove the death spiral.

            You many not be aware but me and Pilkington from LSE, plus others were quite immersed in various economic platforms and wrangling AET Libertarians. I am the one that relegated AnCap David Friedman to economic hell over at reddit, his book from about 19 years ago on AGW was quite the mangling of physics and metaphysics I must say.

            Anywhoo …. why did Von Mises remove the “traditional” Von [heraldic authoritarian symbolism], they seemed loud and proud of it back in the day even when it was pointed out. Oh and a little joke some of us used to have, never walk with an AET fundamentalist near lakes – wink …

          • smithy, you have nothing of substance to offer this blog, but you’re a world class troll, I’ll give you that.

          • skip, the Lord knows what your sources are but they’re confused and wrong. You are clearly reading a critique of Hoppe (not Hopple) and von Mises who is ideologically wedded to a view that is polar opposite. You’re hardly going to get a balanced view from a peanut of that persuasion now are you?

            You’re better off just reading the people themselves and (hopefully) actually understanding precisely what they’re saying. There is no way on this green earth that any libertarian supports Mugabe’s land re-distribution. That’s BS up and down. You have no clue – just give up and turn on the TV. Much more your speed.

        • Easy way to get them to stop calling you: “sorry mate, I don’t have a job, … hey you’re a charity, can I have some money please?”

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      heard an insurance bloke on the radio talking of this.
      he reckoned that their is a tax collected on all insurance policies by government.
      Where does it go ?

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Lucky you, can’t wind myself up to start again despite being bored shtless.
      Economic crunch definitely here as Gav bought a house, MB bears capitulating and I was feeling the same boredom when retired before the 1989 crash.
      Keep telling myself to stay bored rather than venture out like last time. but want to relent maybe back to the gym business. Losing everything and starting again would stop the boredom at least. No stay bored.
      btw surf dirty this morn due to rain washing down the Asian mucus, bushfire ash and general road pollution

      • You should see the toxic surf when L.A. gets its first monsoon rains, rainbow coloured waves and that mouth full of enhanced foam is only for the diehards …

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Thanks Skip for the reminder. Used to surf Deadmans next to the sewer outfall before it’s extension. Whenever it rained heavy the treatment plant couldn’t process so let it out raw. Had to hold head up real high to avoid 6″ froth, not to mention blind mullets and modess pads.

      • Why does my house purchase always get singled out as the defining moment the market is gonna collapse lol?

        I dedicate this song to Bcnich! Here comes the sun!

        I am hoping everything holds up until Easter. Gives me time to liquidate a few stocks and convert some currencies.

        • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

          You can come and move into my Garage when it all goes pear shaped Gav.
          But you’ll have to find somewhere else to put that shytebox Datsun of yours.

          I’ll only charge $500/week rent and that’s with Free power and water.
          Beers from the fridge are 2 bucks each.

          • Lol reminds me of the first rental inspection I ever had. It was in Dublin 6 and this place was a studio apartment (sounds swish) in the basement. Very little natural light, carpets drank of cigarette smoke and the electricity required you to feed coins into a meter.

            I am guessing none of it was a legal set up. Missus and I looked at each other and thought, why did we come here to Ireland? Landlord says, do you want it? We both said no thanks. He said it will be gone before end of day. He was right someone snapped it up quick.

            I am grateful I lived through that, it made me realize how bad things can be for some and how dysfunctional housing markets can be.

            We found another studio apartment that was better, spent 1 year there. Then the housing market collapsed and we rented 2 nicer places after that. For modest rent. I read an article the other day that said Dublin was back to the shortage and crappy rentals getting crazy money in rents. I really hope society can put an end to the madness at some point.

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Gav, word of advice. A few of us cheer your remuneration but others not.If you see a cesspit with people inside complaining, be careful as they often don’t want the ladder you offer but would rather grab your leg to drag you down to their level.
          Btw good luck and hoping your self employment idea comes to fruition.
          On the ferry atm.

          • Oh I know mate, seen it before many times. I never lived the high renumeration lifestyle. I’ve got shoes with holes in them and t shirts that are ripped along with jeans etc..Yes I bought my cars and spent money on them, but I’ve often curtailed a lot of unnecessary spending to save save save to get myself into a house. It was a 10 year+ process of saving hard and sacrificing. I’ve never used credit cards and all my bonuses and stocks went toward saving for a house. That’s how I did it, mostly through hard graft but also riding the NASDAQ bubble up. So there was some element of luck too. No doubt.

            I know my next job will not pay as well, but I’ve always been good at managing my money. My mum taught me that at a young age and the value of saving. She was the book keeper for my grandparents business and did pay roll etc.. she had paid off the family home before marrying my father and I came along. My other brother and sisters are not like me in this regard. Neither is the missus (she had $8k of credit card debt after the wedding) and I paid it off for her.

            I even encouraged a good friend of mine to start a savings plan. He was always living pay cheque to pay cheque and burnt through cash on frivelous crap. He bought a new car on finance 10 years ago, took him years to pay it off. He now has an 89 Prelude and has managed to save $40k+ in the last 12 months.

            The simple rule is 30% of income on neccessities. 30% on whatever you want. 30% to invest and save. Even when I only earned 33,000 euro (first job in Dublin). I managed to save 12,000 euro in that year.

            My point is I know my next job wont pay as well, but my mortgage is much less than I was paying in rent in Sydney and I can adjust my lifestyle to match my income level. I owe no debts on my cars and I often work on them to save money, vintage cars cost register and we all need a hobby (the 30% goes here). Debt is a trap, which is why I’ve avoided it all my life.

        • Gav
          I love that song.
          I hope people aren’t using you as a benchmark I thought you were currently looking to buy a home.
          I think you have to live somewhere and if you are in a good home with reasonable debt it’s ok
          For me, I’ve never taken fixed rates but I would lock myself in p and i at 2.89% for 3 or 5 years and not worry
          I think you’ll see those fixed rates rise, notice bond yields rising each day.
          The ones who get in trouble are the investors with multiple properties, and so many people have bought those shitxx cheap high rises and on top Chris Joye, Steve Johnson daily mail, Peter Switzer, Craig James, core logic and all the other bulls maybe right, they are the guys making the big bucks
          I’m just a guy writing a few comments on this site
          What do I know, I’m not an expert real estate agent or MSM TV commentator
          Don’t have car loans or credit card debt or any other debt and just lock in and relax
          Don’t margin lend on shares or do any derivatives or trade with any leverage, just stay conservative low risk etc

          • The Have bought a house meme is all just in jest I’m sure. Although I believe it may be true also. I was fully aware when I bought that may be the case. Like you say low debt. And fix rates for 3-5 years. I fixed for 3. But even if rates go back to 7.5% it will still be manageable on 1 income.

    • what we need the most is an innocent child finally saying that Emperor is naked

      I’m sure he or she would be treated with far more respect than Ms Thunberg for doing so.

        • Give me a break…if only the blind could see…you mean Mater Thunderberg…if that’s a wee girl I’ll run naked through Martin Place screeching the Emperors NAKED!!!

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I spoke to an angry old man today. He said Greta should hang by the neck for scaring children. Also said Dan Andr3ws should hang as well and could have stopped these fires if he’d acted earlier…plus that Scummo is doing the right thing by getting out of the way and doing nothing. He absolutely exploded when I suggested Scummo is doing nothing because he’s waiting for the rapture.

        I believe I spoke to an actual, fair dinkum, ridgey-didge Hillsong member today. A tremendous moment.

        • The trick is to act like it’s completely normal in a Seinfeldesque way.

          “Scomo’s just being a good Christian. Let’s face it – who wants to be responsible for stopping the rapture happening? And isn’t it funny that everywhere he goes just happens to be on fire? People complaining that he’s just all about “Thoughts and prayers” are selling him short, if you know what I mean…”

          “And what the deal with these volunteer firefighters? If they were any good they’d already be getting paid…”

      • It will be pandamonium…. thank you, thank you, I’m here a for the rest of the year! Try the uh… sea-food buffet!

    • Gunna
      Great pick up
      Truly this is what I’m most concerned about
      I believe and have been worried we are going into a period of more pandemics
      Can I ask you Gunna are we safer down here in Australia or do they just spread everywhere very easily ?

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      What kind of increase in Sydney and Melbourne will this translate into?,…15%


      • Hard to tell, but the combined effect of HK capital flight and mainland money circumventing capital controls will have an impact.

      • Maybe not in an economically holistic sense but there could well be commodity price upside and increased ‘shadow’ outflows that will boost asset prices. The CCP will act to save itself and that means more stimulus.

    • 2020 predictions.
      – My hairline will keep receding.
      – The weight I put on over Xmas won’t just disappear like it use to, if at all.
      – More things will hurt when I get out of bed.
      – The music the kids listen to will seem stranger to me.
      – Hangover suffering will go up another 5 – 10%.
      – My burgeoning old man grumpiness shall start to really take hold.

    • I doubt. China can’t afford another 2016 stimulus push. Also, any stimulus will be highly regulated and very few coins will escape outside China. They learnt great deal from the 2016 lesson. I hope they did.

      • The CCP will always act to protect its own power and that means unleashing waves of investment and the financial stimulus that goes with it. They will do what they have always done because it is all they can really do.

        They will push it until it stops working. And plenty of it will be stolen and leak out of the country regardless of capital controls.

  2. What’s that ScoMo doing, spanning around with cricketers while people are having terrible fire strife.
    Goes to show, you don’t have to have a long neck to be a Goose.

  3. My friend is a big war buff and told me that China bought a huge air strip somewhere central in AUST and are extending the air strip to land the largest military planes
    Does anyone know about this ?
    How did we allow this

    I asked him how did we allow this

    • Big Clive was right! By the way, did they buy his ‘conveniently located’ land next to the initial landing strip?

      • Frost my mate is a big military expert, and he said if we stopped any resources to China from anything they owned they would fly in and defend, he said we wouldn’t have time or power to stop it, he said the same would happen in Africa, some marginal group over throws a government and says China had luck these are our resources they would not hesitate to defend their ownership
        He felt it was unlikely the Americans would defend us, maybe to protect their own military interests
        That really sounds like a very big concern
        I can’t believe we allowed that !!!!

        • chinese military would have no chance of invading Australia even if we don’t actively defend ourselves. Something on the scale Czechoslovakians did in 1968 would be more than enough to make Chinese invasion a disaster.
          We are so far that Chinese would have trouble feeding any significant number of invading military personnel.
          Sea invasion so far from mainland is logistically so hard even without any resistance and Australia is so remote and so hostile environment that we don’t have to worry

          • They are developing a marine expeditionary force that could be put into NW Australia quickly… not much out there to stop them… a big airfield would help. Could the use it for fighters to protect the marines?

            You can’t write any of this stuff off in the longer term as their global reach grows.

      • “Meridian locals love it”
        They won’t love it when all their names are hing Zheng loa and all they have to eat is Chinese food because that is where the Chinese military will take over and live

        Janet we really have sold our soul and we are going to pay a very big price for our greed

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Mate, if we are talking major airfields in central Australia we are talking Alice Springs or Woomera, with the possibility of Yulara (Uluru) which i dont think is big enough for military purposes, and would land military kit maybe 5 hours from anywhere which would conceivably be of any use. Alice Springs is used by the Americans vis Pine Gap, Woomera is ex Defence used by the Poms in the 50s.

      To get to either from the North you would need to fly past some fairly complex surveillance capability (the ‘sea gap’ as it has been put in so many Defence White papers) and/or Australia’s main ground based air defence systems between RAAF Tindal (Katherine) and Darwin (also a RAAF base). Defence also maintains about 3-4 bare bases across northern inland Australia (WA and QLD mainly).

      To get near any of that you would be looking at (assuming you were talking China) flying over Indonesian airspace – and the Indonesians have a pretty good track record of letting Australia [and the RAAF] know the moment there is anything fishy happening in their airspace – or maybe flying over Philippines and PNG when there are solid surveillance capability in North QLD.

      None of that of course is to say it would be impossible, just that there is some front foot position against it happening.

  4. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Was supposed to be welding corroded aluminum at Bushells today but the intermediary is in the bushfire area and also lost mobile contact. Not real keen as doubt if they have the right equipment or consumables not to mention the ticket clip.
    Btw gave the labour hire owner $150K gross work there all quoted and most approved because was sick of getting jerked around the boss there. Introduced them and left him with it all.

  5. Can I ask someone a question please re equities
    Say I own shares listed on the NYSE, and I dealt through a large Canadian stock broker’s office in Melbourne.
    My shares on my login are held or listed on my login, at their Melbourne office

    What is my counter party risk? Does anyone know. they are a large SPDR ETF listed in USA

    Am I safer to transfer my holdings to my nabtrade account. SRN or HIN.

    I think I feel more comfortable with Nabtrade because it’s home in Oz, but it may make no difference.

    I am not asking for advice just more someone’s thoughts or how the system works.

    I don’t have much knowledge in these matters around counterparty risk

    I am not expecting an exact answer

    • hope someone give you the answer.. but I have a question for you.

      Have used Commsec Iress and if yes how does it compare to NAB platform?

      • I really like Nabtrade, very happy
        App is terrible you need to use on your PC.
        There is something I don’t like about commsec
        Think it’s Craig James.
        I cringe when I see him on TV
        That flower he wears

        • But you need the app for your stop loss don’t you? (about a year ago I emailed them and they said it had to be the app)

          Unless I missed it somewhere

          I’m hopeless with my stops, I have to say.

          • listen fckn.. buy few ALK now @ 56c and wait until they start releasing their Boda results. If you lose money don’t blame me, if you make money you owe me.

          • Haroldus I don’t trade and thus don’t use stop losses
            I take long term positions and I feel that I am a little unsure with my position I reduce the amount of my investment
            I rarely take greater unless I really think I am almost certain and I still will only take 2x leverage max
            I rarely short unless I have to, because it’s a hedge and I don’t want money in the bank or I really feel like it’s a certain trade
            I always wait for my levels or else I won’t go in.

            I traded for many years and I like my sleep these days, don’t need the head ache

            For what I do I am really happy with NABTRADE

            Don’t buy US listed shares, they advertise the commision as 0.1% but have a look at the exchange rate, you’d be converting at 68 somewhere when AUD is 70c

          • bcinich – since you mentioned short selling.. I am looking at Telstra puts exp June 2021. reasons behind:
            – I doubt their automation has been implemented at levels they claimed to the Asx and as a result they cut too many people
            – I believe their customer service (in mid-market) will decline rapidly and that will cost them lot of business
            – Their MPLS network, in my view, is worth fck all as internet based SDN solutions can do same for around 25% the cost
            – 5G is not going to do what 4G did for TLS last time and they count on 5G big time it seems. Some may ask why which is fair question:
            – People don’t have same spending power as they did years ago when 4G was launched. Based on that I doubt TLS can charge extra for their 5G so they will be forced to drop prices in order to defend market share.
            – Whatever revenue gains, if any, from 5G will not be enough for them to make up the loses from other products.
            – All of the above will trigger more cost cutting initiatives (since CEO is bean counter) which will trigger even more deterioration in customer service and more loss of business – until CEO gets fired.

          • @Nikola
            I don’t know anything about individual companies. I really just follow macro trading
            Index, ASX, maybe commodities gold, dow
            Just have an overall view
            I don’t like buying puts or calls because of time value decay and spread you have to buy at
            I just take a short ETF 1×1 on an index
            Nothing to complicated

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            No point spending a lot of time fretting about that.

            Pull ’em all out and see how that sounds.

  6. Re: Recession, Robots and Rockets 2020’s link.
    And expect a cure for cancer. Rich Boomers will never die! Just keep getting richer. The greatest generation the world has ever seen!

  7. Who is this Costello bloke out talking about what should be done?

    Another Coodabeen? He certainly did not have the nuts to do it when he was in politics.

  8. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Scummo says the real tragedy of the fires is dairy milk being poured down drains. This he said after attending a “tremondous” funeral of one of the firefighters killed.

    F#ck off Scott. Just f#cking f#ck off.

    • yep, saw that and I am confused. and some people here keep hammering immigrants (vibrants) for their command of the English language – lol.
      This guy has no sense at all. ffs how can one think loss of milk becomes top priority when human life is at risk due to same threat.
      Tremendous – fck me. Even Pauline knows it is not the right word to use when describing funeral.

      • I think he has a personality disorder. Who else needs to spend 190k on an empathy consultant? Our Scott does, that’s who.

    • ‘Tremendous’ is a Trump word. Trump uses it extensively. I think Scotty is trying to spin/manipulate/lie like Trump.