Weekend Reading: 18-19 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

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Leith van Onselen
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    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Elemntary mistake, on their parts…
      Should have used hydrogen.

      You get much more bang for your buck. 🐐

      Thank you, thank you. I’m here all weekend.
      Note: if you want to google Buck Goats… please type carefully. This has been a public safety message, brought to you by Wilbs.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Frost, once upon a time used to go ,industrial, human excrement ,whatever, no mater what, but with the pouring in of new un-quarantined Jimmy’s now have reservations about the pouring out of their expectorations.. People used to ask aren’t you afraid of anything?. ” Mosquitoes and nursing homes. Mosquitoes meaning disease.

        • Mozzies in Sydney? What serious disease do they carry? Oh, and you’re ok with your fellow white fellas pouring raw sewage into your recreation areas but only if they do it with white fella sewage. Boomie mate, I admire you on so many levels but sh!t is sh!t.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Triage, OK condemnation accepted. Maybe its just getting more timid with age although only a few years ago worked near the equator (remote) where the best life expectancy of the natives was 33yo most died of unknown diseases before the age of 30yo. Disclaimer those unknown diseases may be known here.
            btw I said diseases not serious diseases, unfounded or not its my phobia. The wife has one for Thor’s thunder, not so much the actual lightning.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            The first meeting at that job.,” For Christ sake you guys if you get sick go to the medical center, we are sick of pulling dead bodies out of the toilets.^
            I’ve never been scared of being dead, but have always been scared of being half alive.
            Btw healthy people catch diseases quicker than sick people because their antibodies are not up and fighting AWL.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Footnote.
            Before you bring out the R word my wife is part Jamaican.
            To anyone interested. Sewerage is the pipes Sewage is the effluent. Unless you’re Yank then it could be sewer system.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Triage, you may have misread my comment. I was referring to phlegm & mucus not sh,!t which is less prone to contagen.

  1. – Nonsense. Along with the shift from an economy based on manufacturing towards an economy based more on the socalled “Service Industry” we have seen that the relative influence of the labour unions has diminished as well.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Dom, rest of the reply.

      boomengineeringMEMBER
      January 16, 2020 at 10:27 pm
      Dom,
      The reason they don’t drop the rents is that commercial property price is directly valued to the rent and if the rent falls then the value falls which leaves the deposit too low which in turn requires a margin call which in many cases the landlord didn’t have. This could lead to foreclosure. To overcome this in the post 89 crash landlords were offering 1 years free rent as long as the original lease that the bank saw stayed at the same price.

      DominicMEMBER
      January 16, 2020 at 10:51 pm
      Thanks boom

      As suspected. This will be fugly when it unravels.

      boomengineeringMEMBER
      January 16, 2020 at 11:10 pm
      Also in many cases the banks would have known about this but would turn a blind eye content not having to act as long as the repayments were met and the books showed the perceived value.

      boomengineeringMEMBER
      January 17, 2020 at 12:00 am
      To explain the deposit. The bank will only lend a percentage of the value of a property so skin in the game deposit is required. If the value drops enough then the deposit is lost so the bank needs a new buffer from the mortgagee. Good money after bad. This could keep repeating itself if prices across the board keep falling.. A lot of incentives to abandon ship if continued throwing money into something that may never return to even the last valuation.
      If you borrow 1M then the bank pays 900K and you pay the amount above that so when the valuation goes down to 900K your deposit is lost forever.

      boomengineeringMEMBER
      January 17, 2020 at 12:19 am
      This continual topping up of deposit averts negative equity at the expence of fistfull of dollars wasted never to be seen again.
      Btw The banks prefer to have the fake high valuation as it makes their solvency look good.

    • The evidence suggests otherwise. lMembership decline across all industries. This is only from 1994, the end of the Hawke – Keating experiment, if the base year is earlier it would be even more stark.
      https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1819/UnionMembership

      Table 2—union density (%) by industry [7]—various years from 1994 to 2016

      1994 2000 2010 2016
      Agriculture, forestry and fishing 12.3 5.4 1.9 1.9
      Mining 44.6 32.3 21.3 17.7
      Manufacturing 40.8 31.1 17.8 13.3
      Electricity, gas, water and waste services 66.4 53.2 37.3 26.3
      Construction 34.1 26.4 16.8 10.1
      Wholesale trade 14.6 10.4 5.7 5.0
      Retail trade 23.3 17.7 15.4 11.4
      Transport, postal and warehousing 51.9 36.4 28.8 20.6
      Accommodation and food services 19.3 10.3 4.4 2.4
      Public administration and safety 54.7 38.1 33.0 32.1
      Education and training 56.1 44.1 39.2 32.5
      Health care and social assistance 37.0 32.3 26.5 22.2
      Arts and recreation services 23.8 17.1 15.5 8.5
      TOTAL 35.0 24.7 18.3 13.9

  2. The end of the checkout signals a dire future for those without the right skills – ABC

    Even if you have the right skills, a tsunami of skilled vibrants come here to replace you.

    Unless you live in a dictatorship called Singapore:

    A number of measures, including reducing the foreign worker quota for the services sector, will be put in place to ensure Singaporeans continue to have “good jobs and opportunities”

    Or another dictatorship:

    Saudi bans foreigners from certain jobs to give citizens more employment opportunities

    How good is democracy!

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Racialistism is what that is! Shouldn’t be allowed.

      Bunch of commies if you ask me. Those govts should go back to selling burnable fossil fuels and leave markets to sort themselves out. It’s the best way.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Aussie flight out of the cities as they can’t go with the flow and live 30 to a room. A nice bus driver fellow I know bought a house for $M’s round the corner, not hard on his wage when sharing with multiple families . Next door jam packed as well. All this extra strain on infrastructure and council will cause rates and taxes to rise making it difficult for single family households to stay.

  3. The Traveling Wilbur

    American Economic Association worried the developed world is stuck in permanent low growth

    Queen worried children and grandchildren might not be too interested in Royalling in the future

    John Farnham worried that next Farewell tour may not be the last one

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Speaking of Johnny Farnham
      I attended the sideshow carnival thingy down in Huskisson last week and was stunned at the number of young fellows sporting very Johnny Farnham esk mullets!
      I saw almost a dozen these horrible haircuts being sported by various fellows all under the age of 21 it seemed to me.
      WTF!
      I thought the mullet was gone for ever!

      Maybe it’s a South coast thing.

      Thank Christ my kids and their little Sydney friends found these haircuts to be equally awful and hilarious!

      • Jesus Ermo, here I was picturing YOU with a mullet! Isn’t it a requirement to get your plumbing card?

        • billygoatMEMBER

          Favourite mine worker T – Shirt pre Hi Vis Days …circa 1992… liquor in the front…poker in the rear…club/pub T shirt promo.. didn’t get it til I read out loud in my head. Should have been offended as 21 yo ex uni arseT student but no. Just how things were!!

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        The mullet is back for late teens and is big in the seaside burbs especially in SE QLD. Kicked off about a year or so ago but now really taking hold. I think it’s ace!

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      I feel sure the owners are doing the right thing. The hotel will now be booked to capacity by fun-loving Saudi princes and their entourages.
      Oh, hang on.. they go to luxury isolated castles in the south of France and surround themselves by highly paid girls don’t they….
      Hmmmm, there must be someone else?… Highly paid Pakistani workers? Taliban tourists!
      Yes I can see it now!

      Bask in your Burka!.…… Have a riot at the covered Ova!..

      A sure-fire winner.

  4. boomengineeringMEMBER

    With all the bushfire appeals Inc fake ones lately, time to think of mandatory disclosure of % going to administration before collecting.

    • …only if you don’t own it! Or halve, if you do…..
      The markets can do funny; gut wrenching things….

      • Yep.

        Tesla shares have more than doubled in the last three months

        Tesla Stock Crosses $500 for First Time

        • Tesla is the poster-child of the latest liquidity fueled bubble. Hopelessly unprofitable, credulous investors keep tipping vast sums of money into the giant maw that is a business on its way to bankruptcy. This is the kind of thing that happened ahead of the original Dotcom bust. This bubble is now officially bigger than the original.

          Prepare accordingly.

          • Tesla will end up owned by the Chinese. They have already transferred their IP in order to set up factories there.

          • I agree that it’s like the Dotcom bubble all over again. But in SFO recently I was in traffic and nearly every car around me was some model of Tesla. I couldn’t believe it. Never seen so many in 1 place. I recall a few years ago seeing a few but they have since ballooned to be nearly every second car on the road.

            I watched a documentary called “General Magic” on my flight over. Really worth watching. First company that started the IPO before they had profit to show for their efforts. The catalyst for the Dotcom boom and bust.

            I think Tesla may suffer the same fate. Although I do think Tesla is under estimated and I want them to succeed. I really like the cars and company. Silicon valley is an interesting place, I find it very energetic being over there, but the affordability issues and homeless issues around SFO really make me question if it would be worth living there.

            Plus the place is filled with more Uber and Lyft drivers than software engineers.

            Anyway I digress. This is a huge bubble and I think it will end badly and it won’t be much longer at this rate that we find out what the end looks like.

          • Tapped out and closed the position. Prediction for 2019 of a Tesa bankruptcy did not eventuate.

          • Just remember the fundamentals may be wrong but prices can still keep going up. I learnt this with Melbourne / Sydney housing.

            I know you guys want to short Tesla, but like I said above I really really want them to succeed. So I hope they don’t go bust.

          • I was one of them although I used put options which I cashed out of a couple of months after I bought them for a gain of 2x and I haven’t touched the stock since.
            Tesla never was an ideal short – it occupies too much attention and mind space which always suggested the risk of a chance of a short squeeze. But the real issue why I didn’t short Tesla is if you’ve got $1tn of speculative attention on the company then even if only 20% is bullish that’s still a $200bn company .. we saw that dynamic with Beyond Meat

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Craig Wright explaining his trusts.

          It is an interesting read:

          In fact, I created a system that allowed for the embedding of gaming information as people listened to standard pop music or even researched and looked up scientific publications. Nobody checks the padded data. You can proxy to many sites pulling down what seems to be rather innocuous material and incorporate streamed information at the same time.

          I didn’t deal with the monetary side; some of the casinos used bitcoin but most used Liberty Reserve. I held accounts with Liberty Reserve prior to its seizure by the US government in 2013. The National Australia Bank and Westpac each used Liberty Reserve to move funds, and if four top Australian banks use it, it must be okay — well, it turns out, it wasn’t.

          ….Having created certain types of command-and-control software and also having coded covert channels, I was actually able to embed information that enabled me to monitor and record the complete operations of a number of criminal operations involved in cybercrime. I even modelled them and released papers.

          https://craigwright.net/blog/law-regulation/looking-the-other-way-2/

    • I wrote a trading bot against bitfinex api. up about 250% since I let it loose a few months ago. woot woot !
      it runs in google app engine, and costs a few cents per month. I was trying for entirely free, but data ingress/egress has a cost..

    • In 2013 US mortgage debt was $13 Trillion.

      in six short years they have added 3,000 Billion in debt. It took 40 years from 1950-1990 to add the first $3 Trillion, ten years for the next $3 trillion, 3 years for the next $3 Trillion, then two years for the next.

      They have 1,500 Billion dollars in outstanding student loans.

      They have 1,200 Billion dollars in outstanding car loans.

      People have this view of the US as a $13 Trillion dollar economy. Reality is they export around $1.6 Trillion worth of goods each year. They have a $200 Billion annual deficit.

      But this is nothing.

      During the GFC US corporate debt stood at around $6.6 Trillion and was enough to collapse the global economy. Remember people blame it on the housing bust – but in reality it was fear of inter-bank and corporate lending due to fears of debt levels which brought it about.

      By the end of 2018 that debt level had sky-rocketed to $10 Trillion. And in the two short years (year and bit really) it has absolutely EXPLODED to now stand at $15 Trillion in total US outstanding corporate debt.

      Here’s the catch. Like Australia’s mortgage debt – $4 Trillion needs refinancing this year alone – and they ‘aint getting it. Simply while stocks are surging sales and receipts, profits, are collapsing. Borrowing money on absurdly high debt levels with collapsing income from financial markets already completely tapped out and incredibly wary – themselves in recession (see Germany) is simply not going to happen.

      23,000 Billion Federal government debt
      15,000 Billion corporate debt
      16,000 Billion in mortgage debt
      1,700 Billion State and local government debt
      1,500 Billion student debt
      1,200 Billion car debt

      1,600 Billion in income.

      US housing debt collapse has already started.

      • Yep, the numbers are staggering and most of this debt will never be repaid. And before the debt jubilee spruikers chime in, this debt represents ‘wealth’ to the lenders so no-go. Monetary system reset is the only solution. Voluntarily or by force. It’s baked in the cake.

        • “And before the debt jubilee spruikers chime in, this debt represents ‘wealth’ to the lenders so no-go”

          Spot on. Mark Blythe keeps hammering this point every time he does a talk or interview. As do many others but he’s one I’m familiar with.

          • I skim read it, but it’s another over-complicated view of what’s going on. Are the rich being bailed out? You bet. Has the world become one financialised parasitic mess? Definitely. Is the average Joe going backwards relative to the 1%? Absolutely.

            The sole reason for this is the central bank assisted creation of unlimited amounts of credit by the commercial banking system. As credit expands, so then do the prices of all goods, but financial assets in particular. It’s Econ 101. These assets are collateral for the banking system and therefore fundamental to the functioning of the economy. If assets decline in price so the financial system is undermined and the ability to expand credit is severely hampered. A credit seizure threatens the economy via a deflationary spiral. Therefore a central bank’s sole job is to keep liquidity plentiful (response to repo crisis) and ensure that leveraged financial positions can be maintained. If you’re a bank or a hedge fund and you are borrowing to finance an asset paying 3% with term repo of say 1.8% all is good. Plentiful liquidity keeps borrrowing rates low and a bid under financial assets ie. A win-win situation for leveraged financial players. Suddenly repo rates surge to 10% and what happens? Forced selling on a huge scale. A massive deflationary spiral. This is why the Fed has to keep the liquidity spigot open all the time and will have to supply ever greater quantities of liquidity to the market. Talk of ‘normalising’ is bullshido of smelliest kind. Pure nonsense.

            As long as the Fed is trapped in this ponzi-like situation the price of financial assets will simply continue to inflate. The end arrives when the real pool of capital / savings in the economy can no longer support all the underlying assets. With the middle and working classes being gutted presently, it won’t be long before the rich listers find they have businesses whose real value is a fraction of what is currently indicated by their market prices. That or the price is right but the purchasing power of the currency in which the securities are denominated is way lower than presently suggested.

          • Hay Dominic reality is complex, hence why those that lay all agency on money via Central Banks are labeled money cranks …

            Look I don’t think the 1800s supports your, views let alone the early 1900s, persoanly I find ALEC and the Powell memo farm more relevant in the big picture of things than what various ideological administration of the Fed portends E.g. the former is responsible for the administration, money has no agency and considering the machinations of AET in the run up to all this its a bit absurd to think your mob has any relevance.

        • What is interesting Dom about the current market, is if you read Bloomberg or the like and their usual quotes from the players, it’s all rational and reasonable based on lower interest rates which the market, the story goes, only just happened to notice recently.

          What they never mention is how the boom is solidly concentrated in growth stocks and US tech-ish firms in particular, while value has largely missed the market boom. If there was a true cycling out from bonds to say equities, you’d expect value to be at the forefront of that as opposed to growth as it is value that has a risk profile more compatible with bonds.

          It creates unusual conditions where although the market is booming, it’s still possible to find value and stay in the market.

          But being in tech myself, I can’t help but worry there is going to be a washout . There is so much money being wasted on so many useless people and initiatives. Eventually, one would think, the Finance people will cotton onto the fact that the returns are not being realised. Even those initiatives which launch successfully are not guaranteed commercial success – a great deal of tech is now subject to massive competition and/or quick depreciation, and ultimately, to uselessness.

          • 100%
            Two things to note:
            When bubble times like these come round the inclination is always for the media and the investment industry to justify why this time is different.

            This has all the hallmarks of Dotcom 1.0 when value was forgotten altogether. I remember because I was invested in many value stocks which then went on to perform pretty well after the Nasdaq had cratered and the pre GFC credit bubble started building. This time, however, absolutely everything is in a bubble including bonds so there are few places to go.

      • $16 trillion US debt looks like a child’s play compared to ours $2 trillion (US population is 13 times bigger plus they have higher GDP per capita and average household income,
        we also added $300bn mortgage debt in last 3 years

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      A symptom of deep societal inequity?

      Super thin towers, with one or two apartments on a floor are the least energy efficient and most expensive to construct per square meter.

      They don’t exist in egalitarian societies.

      • the cost of construction is almost irrelevant relative to prices paid …
        Our big highrise developers have profit margins of well over 50%, some like Meriton have 80% which indicates constructions costs to be a tiny part of unit sales price – no matter how tinny buildings they build

    • See, who do you attack when cash is banned and your money enters Schroedinger’s cat box? Nobody, that’s who! Now be a quiet Australian and eat your brioche!

      • Schroedinger’s cat (money?) box. That’s quite good, Hope you don’t mind me borrowing that !

        • By all means – spread it far and wide. Schroedinger’s Bank Account is now available at all respectable ADI in Australia.

      • It helps to understand money is not a workaround to barter, it also helps to understand money is a signal to deeper economic factors and not a precursor, otherwise the drunk under the street lamp looking for their car keys seems applicable.

  5. The path to zero emissions is expensive – but not impossible
    https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/the-path-to-zero-emissions-is-expensive-but-not-impossible-20200116-p53s7d

    It’s interesting that keeping status quo never comes with a price tag. It’s always if we go coal free it will cost $xxbn but I never heard someone saying if we keep using coal as we do it will costs $xxbn

    reality is that most of our coal power plants 18GW out of around 25GW are over 35 years old and will need to be replaced in next decade or so. Cost of replacing 18GW with new coal plants would be at least $100bn and based on our track record probably much more (and price is only going to increase with the time).
    with that much money we could instead build 75GW of large utility scale solar generation that would be able to generate twice as much energy

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      It has been espoused that the bushfire smoke will cause cancer in about ten or twenty years. Does this mean that the Ambo Chasers will be seeking a class action including everyone in Australia today against the Governments. If this panned out then everyone would pay tax to fund their own compensation payout to the exclusion of new arrivals past this date who would not be exempt in the higher tax requirement

    • While I don’t disagree with your conclusions I think it is worthwhile considering just why it would cost so much to rebuild our Coal fired power station infrastructure.
      By way of example I wanted to build a small project the other day and went to Beginnings to pick up some supplies. Mainly Steel fence posts
      https://www.bunnings.com.au/australian-handyman-supplies-50-x-50mm-2-4m-galvanised-steel-end-post_p1104578
      That’s $41 each, we’re not talking about a bundle or 6 pack prices, that’s $41 per fence post.
      WHY? not that I believe that any business needs to justify its prices, because the more important question is: what allows Bunnings to remain so expensive and yet continue do so much business?
      It’s $41 fence posts that create the environment where only paying $10B/GW for coal fired power generators seems like a bargain.
      Trouble is PV solar sells at retail in Australia for under $1/W which is $1B/GW
      As much as I’d personally benefit from Australia going 100% renewable, I can’t help but think that our nation will suffer by not addressing the issues which allow the market for $41 fence posts to exist.

      • Flammable Cladding

        Bunnings is ripoff city. They do a very good job of lacing their aisles with low quality plastic crap which is cheap in overall terms (but a massive markup on what they are paying for it at the dock off the ship from China) so as to create the impression in the consumer that they are ‘a great place to go and reasonably priced’ but as soon as you move up from the mass consumer/no idea DIYer items, the price skyrockets. I could quote you a number of other things that are just insanely priced. The psychological effect of being in that place just numbs you to the prices, which is exactly as they intend.

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Well that partly explains why the handyman who replaced our factory electrical meter room door charged $724 for a hollow core (supposedly weather proof) instead of a solid core which apparently cost $199 from Bunnings.
          Skip should go into the handyman business seems to have good coin. His other costs, NMB padlock, cheap sliding latch and 2 hinges.
          The door is already buckling from the sun.
          Looks likely the strata management will get the boot and we’ll do our own maintenance as the other owner not happy.

          • Yeah Naw Boom …

            Part of the problem is you can’t get good basic materials anymore E.g. lets say a client wanted all new window furniture after a repaint, all high end stuff, except the screws – even with pre drilling a couple of mm in torque is enough to snap off the screw, then it just starts to compound. Most would not even know that currant framing timber makes getting walls plumb impossible, grain is to wide due to fast growth plantation timber, hence all the cracking whilst the new build breathes in the first years of its life. This is compounded by all the open space architecture in trend.

            I’ll stick with the repaints of Queenslanders and post WWII stuff, better materials to work with.

          • Hey Boom, I mentioned earlier in the week that I bought some High Tensile Steel bolts (Grade 5 rated)
            After I snapped the first bolt without even trying I sawed the second bolt in two and discovered that the bolts were absolute rubbish under the microscope the metal looked more like Swiss cheese than High Tensile steel.
            Are you seeing a lot of bogus ratings on the bolts that you use?
            There’s no way known that these bolts are Grade5 they’re not even good mild steel bolts just complete Chinese rubbish. I feel lucky now that I snapped the first bolt because I’d hate to think I had good high strength bolts only to have them bust under load.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Fisho, thanks for the update, not had a problem yet as have a huge stock of 8×8. Sounds like a steel mill issue rather than an ingredient issue although have witnessed inferior Chinese S/S before by an old guy trying to compete in manufacturing.
            I told him the reason his material costs were higher that their finished landed pproduct is because we buy our S/S from Italy and Sweden. Well at least we did then.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Fisho, I buy my bolts from B.R.L. in across the road, in Brookvale, cheaper than Bomond although when unusual required sometimes get from Victoris at a premium prce. Sometimes can’t get ithe thread pitch in Australia so make my own.
            Advice don’t buy from hardware stores.

          • Thanks Boom. I guess I need to be more careful with properly sourcing nuts and bolts.
            Makes me wonder what other benign activities one must take additional care with when in Australia.

          • Boom/Skip agree the problem is that it’s difficult to find quality materials now. That’s why I bought my Mudbrick house with 100 year old Timbers out of a Geelong warehouse. The doors and hinges are do solid and beautifully built.

            Video here (sorry it’s bad quality but I didn’t want to film anyone else who was inspecting it at the time), but gives you a sense of the materials and quality.
            https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZRbXPZD3Pb2wrXH76

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Gavin, does 3000 year old recycled Chinese wood qualify ( maybe from a temple). Our floor supposedly. Over $30.000 but doubt the legitimacy of the source.
            Just saw the vid, wow feels really warm and cosy even from here.

        • Maybe but the more serious problem is that there doesn’t appear to be a path away from this dysfunction.
          For me it seems like we’re still at the beginnings of our dysfunction rather than nearing the end.

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            Yeah, agree Fisho. The Big Hammer is a symptom rather than the cause.
            Our local manufacturing base once locked out poor quality imports by having higher national standards. A virtuous circle between the regulator (AS), the manufacturers, the government and the customers. But, when everything is imported, there is no incentive to police quality.
            The Australian Standards regime was expensive, but it was better than the tsunami of poor quality materials on the market at the moment.
            As we often say, our culture knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.

    • Nuclear.

      shifting entirely to solar and wind power would cost vastly more

      Economist Geoff Carmody has estimated it would cost, conservatively, more than $400bn in batteries alone to ensure a reliable electricity supply from wind and solar.

      The standing UN panel on climate change says nuclear energy should be part of national plans to slash emissions.

      https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/its-time-to-discuss-nuclear-option-to-meet-energy-needs/news-story/00f16ee6b937ac307ec2744040766462

      France, which replaced its entire coal grid with nuclear power in
      around 15 years (concluding in 1992), and Sweden, which rolled out a
      large nuclear grid in around 20 years (concluding in 1985).

      Reactors are expected to be connected in South Korea, Belarus, Russia,
      Finland, the United Arab Emirates, India, Slovakia, and Argentina by 2022.
      Constructions are also progressing in Turkey, Abu Dhabi and Bangladesh

      • batteries would cost $400b at the current prices but equivalent size pumped storage would cost 20% of that or less.
        We need just few pump hydro plants of Snowy 2 size to meet all the needs. They could be built on cliffs near the coast using sea water.
        5 small reservoirs 1.5×1 km, 50m deep could supply eastern states over night even if there is no wind at all
        10 reservoirs 3×3 km 50m deep could supply entire country for a week even if there is no sun or wind anywhere in the country
        few of those reservoirs using seawater could be built near Sydney on cliffs south of Royal NPk or near Hawkesbury River.

        there is no technical problem, there is really no financial issues just political will

          • calcs are fairly simple
            100 m high dam, one cubic meter (1000kg) per second, produces 1 MJ/sec, or 1 MW. (ignore for now 90% efficiency).
            So, 1000 m³/s from a 100 m dam would produce 1GW, times 3600 secs in an hour – a reservoir 4 mil m3 (3.6 x 1.1 for efficiency) provides a storage of 1GWh, if a reservoir is 40m deep that 10ha lake – for 10 hours that’s 100ha or 1 km2,
            if reservoir is at 200m head that’s 0.5km2 lake …

            for example Snowy 2 will use two existing lakes. Upper lake Tantangara has a capacity of 254 million m3 at 1200m above sea. lower lake is at 550m so head is 650m so to produce 2GW around 300m3/s are needed so 254m m3 can supply enough water to produce 2G for 232 hours (not all water can be used and efficiency so lets say 175h)

            350GWh storage from one of the smallest reservoirs in Snowy, NSW consumes that much energy in an average day (24h) so 7 plants like this could supply the state for a week (both energy and capacity demand would be met)

            the cost is estimated to $5.1bn + $1b for transmission lines so lets pessimistically say $10bn. If new dams were required the cost would probably be $15bn

            at current prices equivalent battery storage system (including inverters, installation, …) would cost over $100bn USD or around $150bn AUD
            pumped hydro is proven, mature technology and still by far the cheapest large scale storage

          • Search csiro pumped hydro sites. CSIRO, ANU info. Base minimum head of 300 m was compromised in a relatively smmall number, mainly WA NT SA.

        • I really don’t understand why we aren’t going full bore down the pumped hydro route. It seems crazy to be thinking about anything else IMO.

        • Yep.

          All these people discussing viability of this and that without discussing pumped hydro for renewables storage is amazing, and annoying…

          It obscures what is actually a non-competition, no-brainer situation: just get on with the renewables transition, as it’s both cheaper and cleaner.

        • Sounds good, but just one question:
          Is it possible to build this somewhere else, and we just lease it?
          If we build it somewhere where Aussie labour is not needed for the construction / operation than I’m certain we can get the project done on budget otherwise it’ll likely over run the budget many times over …in the end I suspect it’ll make the $400B for batteries look cheap.
          But seriously, there are cheaper options that I believe we should investigate before going the full-on hydro route.
          High on my list would be Compressed air energy storage. Any coastal town could build a sea bottom secured system for a small fraction of the cost of a traditional Dam. The same logic applies to constructing Coffer Dams off the coast and expelling sea-water from the dam. Most of the coffer dams sections can be prefabricated elsewhere ad dropped into place off our coast. Makes this a much much cheaper dam construction technique.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            You just love those overseas slave labour conditions don’t ya Fisho.
            I don’t want any of my tax dollars going to support foreign dictatorships.

          • Just out of interest EP: How do you believe Australia will survive if we can’t make this transition efficiently?
            The transition away from traditional centralized Coal fired power generation is already well under way, I’d say it is already unstoppable. We will need this new system with integrated storage whether we like it or not.
            Basically we need to build this system, our only real choice is wrt the steps we take to minimize costs.
            If we do this well than Australian Electricity production costs can be among the lowest in the world, if we F’up this transition than we can forget any plans we have to support / develop energy intensive industries (Hydrogen export economy, Aluminum, Ammonium Nitrate) Lot of these industries need cheap power.
            If cheap power is to be a long term (next 50 years) strategic advantage for Australia than it is critical that we don’t F’it-up by over-pricing our solutions.
            You might be interested in jobs for boys over the next 5 years but I’m more interested in a transition that sets us up with low cost power for the next 50 years.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            Australia would already have the cheapest electricity in the world if Global Corporate plutocracy hadn’t undermined the, visionary Rex Connors, 1974 Gas pipe line from the North west shelf to the East Coast.
            We could/would have transitioned away from Coal a decade or 2 ago if not for your mates in the unelected Parliament of global capital flows.

            Not only does NG produce less carbon dioxide per kWh generated but scaled down Gas fired power plants don’t suffer scale losses meaning generation can be positioned in multiple locations closer to consumption.
            I’m sure your aware transmission losses run at about 20% in Australia.

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/23/gough-whitlam-1975-coup-ended-australian-independence

            So no I don’t trust your Profit driven, Private sector gouge of the Australian public by a rapacious Global Corporate plutocray as a meaningfull solution to Climate Change mitigation and transition.
            I think It should be democratically lead and controlled, run at cost with no outrageous guaranteed returns on capital or profits going to foreign shareholders.

            Cheap Gas fired electricity in combination with renewables should give us a competitive advantage globally to make up for you so loathed Australian wages and humane working conditions.

            If central banks can turn on the printing presses to save the banking sector and asset prices then they can sure as fk be turned on to Save Civilization! from Climate Change

          • Sorry but I missed your point
            If I understood it correctly you want to invent a time machine and go back to 1973 so that you can change history.
            And that’s your plan for how Australia continues to have affordable electricity for the next 50 years.
            Did I miss something?
            The idea seems sound but I’m not sure about the implementation, maybe a few more details would help.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            Genuine lol at your time machine reference.

            No my point is, more of the same, of what we’ve had for the last 40 years, ain’t Gunna solve sh!t.

          • @EP
            I’m not asking what you don’t want to do,I’m asking very specifically how do you wish to handle this transition from today’s centralized Coal burning electricity system to a more decentralized Renewables based generation infrastructure combined with some form of storage.
            “Not your way” is not an answer, neither is I’m just not gunna transition. Like it or not this change happens over the next 20 years.

        • Thank goodness this has not been privatised:

          In September 1997, the federal Liberal government decided to build a new nuclear reactor in the Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights.

    • Bolt brain farts again

      Let’s go straight to plan B geoengineering with nukes antarctica it’s cheap sulphuric acid sprayed by airliners to if we do both it could by some time

        • I am actually quite partial to fluorine oxidizer chemtrails… oh, and anything with beryllium – that right there is some good sh*t. (Not that beryllium is a stand-out candidate for rocket propulsion, but it certainly is a standout candidate at poisoning anyone attempting to use it as such)

  6. – 1917 is worth catching on the big screen.
    – If chasing something to read this is lots of fun.
    http://www.littleblackclassics.com/
    I’m not sure if they box up all of them but the first 80 can be bought as a set.
    – Matt Taibbi dropped a few articles this week across at rolling stone. They are all worth checking out.
    – Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem is a very funny collection of short stories about a bumbling space traveller.
    – The film ‘The Congress’, based on another one of his books, is worth seeing if you like futurism and trippy animation.
    – Have a fun weekend.

  7. How good is this rain! See, thoughts and prayers work! Praise Jebus, have faith and be a quiet Australian…. or else!

  8. Flammable Cladding

    Why is the SMH spamming us over the last 2-3 days with fraudulent crap about that fat slug Hockey’s alleged achievements as ambassador to the US?

    Frankly I’d rather just get back to their usual fare of overfed women of privilege reminding me how dreadful I am for being a white male.

    • What are we doing in Australia? Why we just keep letting them in by the plane load. Health care is a state responsibility.

      • Customs and passenger screening is a Federal responsibility. Unless by “state” you are using it broadly to capture all government ?

        • Customs is a Federal responsibility but there are generally no health checks, just drug, contraband and travel documents. Once the infected people exit customs they become the responsibility of the state health system.

        • inflating the RE bubble with stolen capital from China is everyone’s responsibility – so no screening at all costs.

      • A&E is already at breaking point in Australia, let alone what would happen with a major health crisis. Although a huge percentage of what is presenting are not emergencies.

    • Would they be doing this unless they thought it was a real risk?
      The Chinese coronavirus thing is a genuine concern. Evidence has emerged that human to human transmission is possible. Chinese will travel to try and get proper healthcare. That is why these things turn up in Hong Kong…

    • When I was in at Good Guys Darwin yesterday I asked about retail and payment methods. They’ve been steady for the past few months. I commented on all the retail chains closing down and they said they are acutely aware of it. On payment methods paying outright straight away is still the most popular (though I’m not sure if that is on credit, debit or cash), then lay-by and then the afterpay system that they use. I found it interesting even if it is only anecdata..

  9. that 3rd link from the top of the list (Silicon Valley Economy is here… New Republic) is worth a read. Could easily have been talking about Sydney and Melbourne. This was particularly close to home:

    “Projections from the state Employment Development Department found that the fastest-growing occupations in San Francisco were taxi drivers, chauffeurs, couriers, messengers, and personal care aides.”

    • there is a bit different here
      SF has infinitely more jobs that create (develop, design and build) real stuff

      in Sydney and Melbourne we have two kinds of jobs left – those same gig jobs plus other bullshit jobs – there are almost no jobs in Sydney/Melbourne where people actually develop/design/create something that can be sold overseas

  10. Belarus makes forex trading non-taxable

    Our own ATO is all at sea with private individuals trading FX. Just read the ATO tax guidelines. They seek to treat it as “investment” income, same as interest from your bank or dividends from your shares. Any fool can see it is nothing of the sort. It is far more akin to gambling (in particular punting on the ponies) than it is to investment. Gambling profits are taxation-free. So should be forex trading profits.

    This would be better for the ATO for the same reason they choose not to tax gambling profits. If you tax profits, you have to allow tax deductions against losses. Since almost everyone loses when they punt, the ATO sees that it will lose far more in deductions than it will make if they make gambling taxable.

    My information says that 80% of amateur forex traders get wiped out. So it’s just like gambling, more losers by far than winners. Also it is conceptually like gambling in the sense that for every loser (sorry, looser) there is a winner (probably the bookmaker). No new wealth is created. Further similarities exist: you study the form, appraise the risk/reward ratio, keep tabs on favorite horses (currencies) etc. etc. If you do all these things assiduously and you are talented, you might make a profit. Most likely you will make a loss. It’s far removed from any type of “investment”.

    I have had several email and phone exchanges with the ATO seeking to advance my opinion. No success at all.

        • I haven’t kept up but I always thought that MONA is just a way of enticing the TAS community to think that Walsh is a good bloke.

      • on the FX question – depends on the individual’s methodology, but broadly speaking, not taxable unless it’s your business to trade FX …

        otherwise, I listened to Kerry Packer’s testimony before the Senate Committee and learnt a great deal. Study the application of a tax laws and plan accordingly …..

    • My interactions with ATO:
      1) Asked them on tax implications of owning a horse or greyhound. Answer: if it makes money it is considered an investment. If it loses money it is considered a hobby.

      2) Many years ago you needed to have your own company if you wanted to be an IT Contractor. It gradually changed to what it is today (effectively an employment contract working for an agent) so I decided to shut my company down to save money on accountancy/company fees etc.
      a) Prior to shutting down the company, all money left in my company was paid out as dividends to myself. The following year my accountant was overwhelmed and couldn’t get my PAYG tax return done on time. When it was finally submitted, ATO issue me a notice for $3500 in interest on taxes that I never owed. They briefly had this bs rule that presumed same income as previous year, and charged interest on late tax return, even if your income had dropped.

      b) ATO screwed something up with my final company return, and issued my company a cheque for a few thousand dollars a year after the company was shutdown. The only way to get access to the money would be to reopen the company (accountant estimated over $10k in costs and court fees to get ASIC to reopen), plus all the fees to shutdown the company again.

      They behave like a criminal syndicate.

  11. Melbourne airport baggage carousel has commbank and Westpac advertising in Chinese.. gotta flog them new jimmies a mortgage.

    • the only reason they’re being let in en-mass is explicitly to take out mortgages Gav. It’s a feature, not a bug

      • But what ties them to Australia? Jingle mail is a real risk. Easy come easy go…. perfect candidates for 30 year mortgages.

    • The main FHB market is now new immigrants. Friends of mine tell me immigrant communities are being heavily targeted by spruikers (and the banks)

    • The other consideration re Westpac is just how desperate they are to find buyers for a load of cr*p high rise they have financed. Speculation is that Westpac is bigly exposed. Dumb Chinese money just the ticket.

    • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

      thanks Skip, that’s a great video. I dearly want to see a 2020 election between Trump and Sanders

    • Yang is similar in that he recognises that the issue isn’t Trump, it is the conditions that allowed Trump to succeed. The Democrats will keep losing if they only think “How can we beat Trump?” instead of “Why did people vote for Trump?” or the most profane of questions “What have we been doing wrong?”

      • Lmmao at democrats losing like its not a symbiotic relationship with ratchet like effect aka Third way or Washington consensus.

        • Up-themselves journalists who think they know the answer to everything don’t really help either.
          It’s a good clip but I don’t think it justifies the word “nuance”…seemed pretty straightforward to me.

        • democrats are loosing not because they are worse than republicans but because Murdoch machine works well

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      LOL,…The people Bernie were talking to clearly didn’t like their deplorable/White privilage/racists narrative being challenged.
      Good on him for speaking up against those #FakeLeft Plutocratic Stalinists!

    • Except he is completely wrong.

      The accusation that Trump is a racist is based entirely – exclusively – around the Democrat narrative that THEY are the people who care about coloured people – and Trumps anti-immigration campaign is racist.

      Its absolute horse excrement.

      The reason Trump won is not because he said these marginalised / coloured / minority people are the cause of your troubles – he said that mass migration of low skilled workers is your problem – and he is dead set right.

      The real issue facing Bernie – and the left in general – is sitting in the room with him right now, absolutely disgusted that anyone would dare question the narrative that straight white men/women are the problem.

      Tell the entire population of your country (blacks being 12%) that they are bad, vile, horrible people and all the worlds ills are because of them – and you will lose every election from here to eternity.

        • Yes the south has racists – my facts still stand.

          The ratio of southern whites in poverty FAR exceeds that of the black community.

          And southern racism was a Democrats hallmark – the Republicans ended that.

          The issue is of course, as I have pointed out – and you have now perfectly demonstrated – it doesn’t matter about who is worse off as a community – if you are white you don’t matter. It only matters if you are black or coloured.

          If you are white the response is “they took muh jerbs”.

          If you mention the issues facing whites – racism.

          You have perfectly demonstrated why Trump is in the office, Scomo in Australia, Bojo in the UK etc, etc, etc.

          Thanks for being the problem.

          Its a CLASS WAR – not a RACE WAR darling.

        • Trump has taken GOP policy to the extreme by continuing to convince poorer whites that their enemies are immigrants and African-Americans. The 1 % want immigrants as, like Australia, they can use them to keep wages down. Look at USA wage trends over past 50 years.

          Unfortunately, Trump is an extreme creature of the Swamp and wants to be in the top 1 % so his policies benefit the 1 % with minimal trickledown to his poorer white voter base (see tax changes and tariff outcomes).

          His speciality is to convince the poorer whites that he is their man and focus on the migrants and African Americans who he says are taking income from them.

          The 1 % have no intention of paying higher wages to the white poor.

          Ably assisted by Fox News which is a mouthpiece for the 1 %.

      • The reason Trump won is not because he said these marginalised / coloured / minority people are the cause of your troubles – he said that mass migration of low skilled workers is your problem – and he is dead set right.

        He’s not.

        They could all disappear tomorrow and it wouldn’t fix anything.

        Sure, it might hide some of the symptoms for a bit longer, but all the root causes would remain. And Trump sure as sh!t ain’t going to fix any of them.

        The real issue facing Bernie – and the left in general – is sitting in the room with him right now, absolutely disgusted that anyone would dare question the narrative that straight white men/women are the problem.

        The problem Bernie has is that the narrative is almost entirely set by neoliberal conservatives.

        Even the Centrists are usually forced to begin from that ideological position and justify any challenge to it.

        Tell the entire population of your country (blacks being 12%) that they are bad, vile, horrible people and all the worlds ills are because of them – and you will lose every election from here to eternity.

        This is certainly the narrative that comes out of your local Rupertarian.

        But like pretty much everything else in there, it is fabricated to drive division, fear and partisanship.

        • False.

          Like him or hate him Trump has taken US employment in every single minority category to record levels – blacks, hispanics, women etc. Not merely in sheer volume but as a population ratio and relative to their own numbers. The current statistics outperform anything from even the biggest employment and infrastructure programs post war etc.

          I hate Trump – but facts are facts.

          Now there are also well over 15 Million illegal migrants in the US – if they had of run a consistent migration policy like most western countries then the employment and wage growth would be off the charts.

          This website has been charting the impact of rampant excessive migration and its impacts on employment and real wages almost since its inception – there really isn’t much debate about this.

          The same issues are being seen right across the western world – from UK to Australia. Low skilled mass migration gutting the opportunities of the working poor and uneducated.

          Quite frankly your post was just an opportunity to push an anti-neo-liberalism agenda rather than anything logically substantive.

          • Sorry but Trump has actually rolled back labour laws and government programs to the detriment of all, completely focused on deregulation from FinReg to environmental with the threat that your retirement fund depends on him being in office. Wages going up a fraction when outgoings for the pay to play or skin in the game are going up parabolic, its just ludicrous to suggest wage earners are doing better.

            Must be why homelessness, early death, lead in drinking water and a whole cornucopia of other developed nation standards are falling.

            https://www.epi.org/publication/unprecedented-the-trump-nlrbs-attack-on-workers-rights/

          • Like him or hate him Trump has taken US employment in every single minority category to record levels – blacks, hispanics, women etc. Not merely in sheer volume but as a population ratio and relative to their own numbers. The current statistics outperform anything from even the biggest employment and infrastructure programs post war etc.

            Trump has ridden the trend that came out of the Obama years.

            Of course, “employment” today is not the same quality as “employment” in the post-war era.

            My point remains. None of the root causes would be addressed if every single illegal immigrant in the USA disappeared overnight. Indeed Trump has _worsened_ many of those underlying issues.

            It is a class war, and Trump is very much NOT on the side of the working class.

            The same is true of the rest of the western world and its leaders.

            (I’m kind of surprised you didn’t manage to insert some of the usual “how awesome is China” comments.)

    • A definition of nirvana?

      Doctor, I have permanent erection, can you get me something for this?
      Doctor: I can get you a 3br house with a harbour view, all expenses paid and I will leave my husband if you do nothing!

  12. How many millions could be channeled into more productive activity, if the mandate to ‘entertain’ was taken out of the ABC’s Charter / Act?

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Society is screaming out for an organisation to help Folk Without Enough Debt(FWED). The crippling mental health problems linked to FWED cause untold misery, not to mention creating challenging conditions for GDP.

        Can you help a FWED sufferer today?

  13. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    Told you guys – get your calcium score done

    See that wiggle fella …. never got it done

  14. TailorTrashMEMBER

    In this wildfire season …..one has to ask …..what does Reusa and the property lobby recommend ……open question…..

      • No need in it for those that have seen it burn, but for those that have not, still this is something different in a natural setting.

      • Most people live in the city and have probably never seen a gum tree burn, let alone practically spontaneously combust as they are apt to do.

    • The election was won in Queensland with Working Class voters rebelling against Labor over Adani. LNP aren’t going to dump another leader especially over coal.

      • You sure?
        Because I havent really seen a good analysis of what made qld vote for PHON and Clive Palmer.
        What I do lnow is they got the votes and theu ran their campaign on a nationalist platform… anti immigration played a far greater role than pro coal messages.
        So is it a pro coal sentiment that keeps scomo there or is it an “labour will just let everyone in the country”?
        Also keep in mind, thats fighting the last war.
        The next one may not be fought in QLD… i expect liberals to lose votes elsewhere now with a do-nothing climate change policy to make up for any they gain in qld. As it is, queenslanders are also house proud. Scomo being on holidays when his country is in trouble would not pass the pub test up there.
        Gotta be careful of always fighting the last war.

        • There was a lot of coverage of annoyed Queenslanders in the run up to the election, especially when Bob Brown drove into town.

          I believe the current media coverage is plain wrong much like the Brexit coverage. I know many blue and white collar workers and they haven’t changed their views on Climate Change or coal. It is a media illusion.

          IMO the risk is actually for Labor. They were too cocky last election. Albanese started to soften his stance on Adani, and the bushfires has thrown him back the other way.

    • It appears that the LNP’s plan involves two things. Firstly, to maintain power, and secondly, to use that power to assist certain established businesses. It had been unfortunate that the established businesses that they support have shown no interest in changing to adapt to the world that we live in. They just want to farm profits and process them offshore. Until some thought is given to the current state of the world and what needs to be done to adapt and prepare for the future we’ll keep suffering under them. Added to this is the reluctance of Australia to pursue change. The last election would have been a lot better for us if both Labor and the LNP were promoting reforms that they thought dealt with our current problems. This would also benefit the smaller parties and independents as it allows their ideas for reform to have more air.

    • Smokey will be there. The Liberals, aka Smokey post Prime Ministership implemented similar rules to Labor that requires a two thirds majority to unseat a sitting PM. This will never happen because even if there was a appetite for change, factional positions will never see a two thirds majority get up.

      As for the big money influence, won’t happen. None of these entities donate in any meaningful way to the LNP. When you have coal Barron’s like Gina Reinhardt donating millions to the IPA which, due to the opaque way the organisation works, we’re unlikely to see how much flows into the LNP coffers. That’s not including the out and it bribery that occurs for example when Gina presented Barnyard with a $40k cheque for being the Rural Person of the Year. WTF? There was no better candidates than a philandering, hypocritical politician? Barnyard only handed the money back a couple of days later after it was leaked to the media. What might change the LNP’s view is if the EU impose a coal tariff or an outright banning of coal imports however this is unlikely to happen.

      In short, we’re stuck with Smokey, stuck with the obfuscation of information and stuck with a deeply divided nation.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      ..” looking like norf FC after it had been dragged through Eaton “ ………best description of Boris ever

  15. AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES … ANIMAL DESTRUCTION …

    ‘They are incinerators from hell’: Biologist blames GUM TREES for Australia’s brutal bushfire season – and says they should be banned anywhere near human settlements … Shive Prema … Daily Mail Australia

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7901407/Australias-bushfires-blamed-gum-trees-biologist-Jeremy-Griffith.html

    • A prominent Australian biologist has blamed eucalyptus trees for the bushfires
    • Jeremy Griffith said gum trees are fire resistant and actively encourage fires
    • The biologist said there should be laws stopping people from planting gum trees
    • However, koalas and some possums rely on eucalyptus leaves for their food
    • Mr Griffith also warned other places like California of the dangers of eucalyptus
    .
    .
    Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in NSW as bushfire ash washed into river … Graham Readfearn … The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/17/hundreds-of-thousands-of-fish-dead-in-nsw-as-bushfire-ash-washed-into-river

    Ecologist fears the Macleay River may take decades to recover, with heavy rains likely to affect other waterways

  16. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Australia’s problem is not imports whether that be human or product it is the opening of the floodgates without the screens that we used to have. There are good immigrants and products that can be and is imported but now to onus is on the individual to discern and differentiate who and what they allow to impact their lives. Fisho found out the hard way that our benchmarks are gone and hopefully triage won’t find out the hard way.

    • The underlying philosophical driver of the mainstream left in politics today is that the entire western world was built on the spoils of colonialism and aggression. As such the west has not merely an onus but an absolute moral obligation to restore and return that wealth and share it with the rest of the world.

      This is coming from some of the most powerful elected and philosophical thinkers in politics and academia today. I encounter it all the time – its not some peripheral, edgy idea, it is absolutely concrete solidified position.

      It doesn’t matter if we have the food, jobs, money, resources to cater for as many people as can possibly shoved through the door – we have to take as many as possible.

      Its beyond cognitive collapse – its truly some of the worst thinking imaginable and it is totally dominating their minds. Much of the progressive left has shifted unknowingly to a global socialist model of sharing and literally has concept of the philosophical ideas behind “Political Realism”.

      The world has been defined and always will be defined by adversarial states and a one world unified government will never be, would never want it to be quite frankly as its a terrifying concept – simply will not happen without humanity first being brought entirely to its knees on the verge of total apocalypse.

      As such the only people who will lose are those who are willing to give everything away to those who are desperate to take it all from you.

      First generation builds the wealth, the second doubles the wealth the third loses it all – nothing could be truer about Australia.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Italian saying from plough to plough in 3 generations,
        So no excuse for not knowing the consequence
        Dutch saying from clog to clog in 3 generations (only poor people wear clogs)
        So no excuse for not knowing the consequence.
        End product of Russian revolution,
        So no excuse for nor knowing the consequence
        Animal Farm.
        So no excuse for not knowing the consequence.
        Nature survival of the fittest.
        So no excuses for not knowing the consequences.

        The most powerful and elected philosophical thinkers in politics and academia should be stranded in nature where they would die without food as a result of benevolence and kindness

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          Boomer, in herd animals like primates, it’s survival of the most cooperative. Survival of the fittest group, not individuals. Humans are pretty hopeless on their lonesome, and incredibly effective as a group.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Arthur, the survival of the fittest, meaning, individuals, groups and extrapolated to countries.

        • reading Dark Emu which footsie also recommended, very good. They kept it going for 40,000+ years.

          • Ha ha. But then sheep ate it and we need further investigation. It’s a bigger work of fiction than Lord of the Rings.

        • “the intellectuals, the least useful section of the middle class” – George Orwell

          Pfh007 dug that one up from the archives earlier this week.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        But the ‘left’ haven’t been in power in the Anglo countries since before Regan and Thatcher. Almost 40 years. And it’s Australia’s right wing government that is adding 300,000+ people per year.
        Not sure what your point is. The ideas you raise are not influencing the people in power.

        • “…Australia’s right wing government that is adding 300,000+ people per year…”. They can do this because the treacherous progressive ruled Labor party allows it, indeed their multicultural ‘brown man’ population replacement ideology is a primary objective.
          Once upon a time the Australian Labor Party and the unions mission, was to protect the Australian workers, Australian amenity, Australian way of life and culture. It is the Labor Party’s treachery of abandoning their traditional values that allows business via government to foist nearly 300,000 NOM on a brainwashed population each year.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “This is coming from some of the most powerful elected and philosophical thinkers in politics and academia today.”

        If it’s not directed and controlled by the Working Class and the Poor, the vast majority in all the western democracies, then it not fvcking LEFT!

        The #FakeLeft leaderships you refer to almost exclusively come from the ranks of the Ruling class, and their wanna be Toadies from the haute bourgeoisie.
        They are a corruption of Democracy not a product of democracy.
        Right wing Plutocrats know that Real democracy will always produce a real Left.

        Thats why we don’t have either.

        https://youtu.be/gGfFXc0TwhU

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Thanks Ermo, you saved me the post of similar nature. Sharing with the rest of the world isn’t capitalist ideologically either, stealing may be.
          Arthur, looking at nature (my religion) those groups you refer to fight other groups, they don’t pander to them.

      • The problem with this theory is the vast majority of think tanks are right wing socially and economically, all funded by Capital seeking dominance in the socioeconomic narrative. The so called left did not have the same funding and by the lack of it was relegated to the wilderness. A quick scan of Hudson’s ‘Think Tank Memory’s’ will put that to rest for you.

        That’s not even mentioning the purge of almost all non Orthodox economics from academia, what remained was bastardized to conform with its basic axioms.

        Now it can be confusing because Thirdway or Washington consensus sorts promote non traditional social mores in a conservative economic framework, so its basically a purity contest.

        • buttzilla thirteen

          it is certainly abrahamic. Hudson speaks of political revolution as necessary prerequisite for economic change. I would add that removal of abraham / 2nd temple / roman thought, from our mindset is the first prerequisite. Impossible to remove the third-way or centrist position without directly challenging the judeo-christian ‘foundations’ of society (chortle?)

          • You see Raygun kept the loon pond at bay, then Bush jr mobilized it against the long standing rule that no one would politicize religion for some utopian agenda, now advanced by the three fundie mobs pushing their cart in the U.S. This is where the R2P moralists attempt to vindicate horrors in an almost Augustine like manner.

            Albeit I do find it curious that the U.K., U.S., and Israeli seem to be blending into one contra to other nations, I would add that our currant administration seems inclined to that perspective regardless of any public mandate.

    • One of my mates is an Indian immigrant. He’s a world renowned genetic engineer and has made a great contribution to our country.

      Then there are all the Indian immigrants stacking shelves and pushing trolleys at my local Woolies. Their contribution to our country is smaller, in my opinion.

      The fact that about 90% of the staff at that Woolies are Indian immigrants is interesting too. Given their over representation compared to the general community, it’s almost as if the hiring manager is somehow positively discriminating towards that ethnic group. That is unpossible of course.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Your mate is the type Immigrant we should aspire to bring here, the others are retarding our need for technological advancement.

      • You might be surprised at the qualifications of a lot of those menial labour immigration sorts and how that plays out necessitating menial work, which I would point out can become long term if one can’t get a job in their field after awhile.

        • Well, if there is not adequate work in their chosen field of expertise, why bring them here in the first place? They obviously don’t have any or enough capital to develop an enterprise utilizing their skill and intellect, so what value are these highly qualified persons providing to a country that is obviously telling them we don’t them? From a humanitarian perspective, they would be far more effective remaining in, and contributing to, their home countries.
          It’s a waste of human capital…we have surfeit of home grown “talent” to meet the demand for lower end menial work.

          • Its because of a few things, like qualifications not transferring, social friction in the work place, all the common social ills like nepotism and networking, et al. Yet this does not change that wages per capita or productivity has been stagnate for decades, all whilst demands on that is increasing, and the only thing to offset it is RE/Casino yields.

            Then some wonder why everyone is stressed out and fighting for scraps to the detriment of all.

      • For large mass employment companies like Coles and Woolies, Jimmy’s are probably an employee of choice; reliable, obedient, won’t cause trouble, unlikely to join a union etc.

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Thats the whole point too much immigration keeping wages too low mitigating the need for progress. Without progress we slip into 3rd world status

          • Boom its a bit like your statement on retail shop prices, supply and demand function’s befuddle some because they never actually look outside the framework E.g. if wages and productivity diverged in the 70s what suggests that immigration by itself would change wages – especially if the investor class looks at it like an abomination.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      It’s a good listen. Macfarlane wrings his hands about the cost of housing, yet completely ignores the Government’s ability to regulate lending as an antidote.

      • And how did that workout for Warren when she was head of the U.S. consumer protection agency, how did it workout with the suggestion of a bit of propriety with Frank – Dodd, seems anytime someone hints at the effects of cannibalism capitalism being unsustainable in the long run – they go straight to the top of the menu.

    • Had a listen, bit of a non event. I’m a fan of the podcast in general but it’s a shame Joe only bowls underarm.

    • We don’t have a market anymore. We have CBs artificially inflating asset prices to repair bank balance sheets, and stimulate spending via Wealth Effect.

      • LOL the above covers more than just the neoliberal period, furthermore it highlights the ideological demagoguery dressed up as economics, I mean its not like the ex ante philosophical musings used to underpin contracts and rights of some superseded everything else ….. but we don’t have markets anymore …. chortle … barter with a side of says law …. what a trip …

          • Sorry I’m a human that can’t be pigeonholed into some marketing niche for targeted advertising, but hay, that you do as an expression of your own Free Will [tm] might. Why you would do that is the question.

          • EP …

            You know by using that you automatically ascribe your own little pigeonhole for “others” too – stuff – you in arbitrarily …. best bit is when you identify with it like some do with astrology ….

          • “Sorry I’m a human that can’t be pigeonholed into some marketing niche for targeted advertising, “… and yet you can. What you said there is pretty much what a marketeer would expect a bboomer to say and so be vulnerable to targeted advertising.

          • See the thing is I understood marketing from the 6th grade, before I ever heard of Bernays or supply side economics. All due to a combination of my families work environment discussed at home and a nice young teacher that did a whole class on it with highlights to social or class distinctions aka Veblen goods. This is all underpinned by my own work experiences and further studies in sociology – natural history. Only got stuck into economics a few decades ago and did my own deconstruction and reconstruction with lots of heterodox observations.

            Best bit about marketing types is their strange belief in having some superior power or information which enables them to screw peoples heads on the way they want. Not that they have had their heads screwed on by others – for their own reasons. But then again how many generations have been brought up in front of the TV, where high powered psychology is targeted at kids as young as 2 or 3 years old, now upgraded by personal electronic devices that one can’t separate themselves from anymore that some boot camp pivit can be from their M16 or suffer the consequences.

    • and yet BBs cannot sleep seeing those poor infantile Millennial enjoying life way more than they every did

      • LOL, so things like holding up a mobile phone for the whole rock concert? Im not a ‘boomer’ but the claim of enjoying life more is ridiculous.
        The only thing that is different is the inane narcissistic culture of self promotion that has developed. But I think there is hope as those born after millenials seem to be pushing back against it.

        • I agree with every word you said. Plastic people in a plastic world and they’re having fun? Jumping up and down on the spot at a “music festival” with the aid of a tab bought from that bloke over there? Trying not to fall off a cliff while grabbing the latest all-important selfie? I wonder if any of them actually bounce when they hit the deck or just splatter botox all over the place. I hope you’re right and the next generation may pull itself back into the real world in time to recognise the challenges it faces.

    • Coal fired Holden utes, geriatric coalfired power stations, coalfired jumbo jets.
      Beautiful lakes made from old Coal mines,a reborn barrier reef made from Adani coal.
      Australia will be the fossil fuel theme park to the world.

  17. ‘It’s so depressing’: Why this developer can ignore NSW planning laws
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/it-s-so-depressing-why-this-developer-can-ignore-nsw-planning-laws-20200116-p53s53.html

    The Department of Defence is embroiled in a battle with residents of an apartment building in Potts Point over the construction of a 12-metre high substation at the Garden Island naval base. Potts Point residents including Wendy McCarthy (right) have been pitted in a David and Goliath battle with the Department of Defence over the construction of a substation at the Garden Island naval base.

    Just imagine how unfair it is to see this “enormous” (12m) substation obscuring harbour view of few rich BBs.
    What would say people across the Sydney that got 35 storey highrises in their backyards? Nothing, they didn’t have harbour views to start with so they should be fine

    • The illusion of growth. If that is the only thing that makes it look like the economy is growing, and you have a generation of politicians who only think about growth in terms of property development, then the developers will be allowed to do whatever they please.

    • Nietzsche is ranked as punk and yet his descendants in Sartre, Foucault, de Beauvoir, Fanon are V punk as is Wittgenstein, who isn’t punk at all. Problems with their taxonomy. They ought to reread L’Ordre des Choses. Again.

      • Wittgenstein is Television and Public Image Ltd punk.
        I’d put him up there.
        Nietzsche definitely sits higher than Satre.
        He probably suffers the Depeche Mode problem.
        They broke a lot of ground with industrial music but don’t get the credit due to their focus on pop song structure.
        Sartre is more like the rolling stones and Led Zeppelin.
        They’ve got the chops and some good licks but it definitely isn’t original.

        • Wittgenstein’s own taste in music was conservative: Beethoven, Brahms; he reviled Mahler as a composer of bad music. His work was more substantial than a two chord thrash but singular and not par of any movement, which he couldn’t abide.
          Sartre belongs with Heidegger ( not for Heidegger’s affinity with Nazism) whom he poached wholesale and made it more recondite – as if it needed it – with Hegelian obscurity in French.

        • Yet the entire construct of the “frontman” for a band was an Italian violinist back in the mid 1800s, made more money in a very short time than all the great composers did in a lifetime.

          I also think its funny that ‘Whip it’ was foisted on Devo for market and profit reasons yet was a big FU and still became popular, or that so many dead heads can’t reconcile their wealth as the biggest live band ever in the U.S., all starting from handing out acid to the front rows of their early gigs and concerts … its all entirely branding and marketing wrapped around everyone having a solo at the same time.

          Lol at watching punk get monetized in L.A. during the early 80s, wellie you could be a surfer in the morning, office monkey during the day, and punk rocker at night in L.A. …. only rule was nobody walks in L.A.

        • I’d shift Schopenhauer to goth, old school Bauhaus, and the whinier of his descendants can go to emo. Kierkegaard is more an overthinking post punker from from the UK. Something like Matt Johnson or Green Gartside. Now we are splitting hairs.

  18. Kermit The Frog

    https://michael-hudson.com/2020/01/democratizing-money-a-discussion/

    American wage-earners have to pay so much income – not only to the financial sector, but the real estate sector whose housing costs have been bid up by bank credit (80% of bank credit is for mortgage loans) – that if they got all of their goods and services for nothing, if you gave the Americans all of their clothes, all of their food, all of their transportation, all of their entertainment expenses free, they still couldn’t compete with foreign labour because their debt service is so high, their housing costs are so high, and their medical costs are so high. So essentially, that limits markets for American goods and services.

    This is why Trump’s trade war is all show and no substance.

    • You should also look at Bill Blacks unpacking of the non regulated mortgage market and the back door used by the shadow banking sector with the traditional sector. In one specific case a regulated issuer [bank] got pulled up only to close down the business and start back up as an unregulated business [non bank], in Long Beach targeting lower income sorts.

      Hell even without primary RE costs health and education costs go up annually into the double digits if not more in some cases.

    • I call BS. Housing in the US is much cheaper than in Europe. Americans are just deciding to buy huge houses.
      On top of that, US houses are better built and follow building codes, with proper ventilation. Many houses in Europe, particularly the East. do not.

    • Move the unelected upper house parliment ‘establishment’ into pleb city?
      Sounds like a populist distraction. What other more important legislation is going through unnoticed?

      • Plenty of posh people in York…”but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man.” Austen.

      • The Aristocracy returning home to its Roman roots or a bad case of the Hampton’s not being a defensible line – ????

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      …all those terribly terribly proper inherited peerages…….and the rewarded labour ones ……( not to mention the ethnic representatives ) ……being forced out of the Palace of Westminster……..I like Boris …….but I fear he will meet with an unfortunate accident………MI5 and MI6 will be working overtime ……..

      • Wherever do you get that perspective from when the monarchy is entrenched in those agencies down to its DNA since WWII. You many not know that previously said agencies were keeping an eye on the royals, but that was soon sorted out to everyone’s liking. Not to mention so much that has happened during and post Thacher is all about mommy and daddy and where you went to school.

        • TailorTrashMEMBER

          Skip ….not sure what you just said but think we agree
          …..MI5 and MI6 are very deep swamp …..they kept a very close eye on Edward VIII …..and no doubt will on Boris and Sussex …….can’t have disagreeable chaps
          getting about upsetting things …..not the done thing …

        • Forget Thatcher – it’s always been about hereditary – the class system there is appalling.

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      All well and good until some graduate of Singh’s Shearing School backs a poorly-controlled sheep into a bridge overpass or daycare centre.

    • Stone the Crows

      The Daily Mail, come on mate surely that rag is for low brow types without a functioning brain cell ?

  19. It is a measure of the success of this fascinating, innovative history that it forces the question: after Slobodian’s reinterpretation, where does the critique of neoliberalism stand?

    First and foremost, Slobodian has underlined the profound conservatism of the first generation of neoliberals and their fundamental hostility to democracy. What he has exposed, furthermore, is their deep commitment to empire as a restraint on the nation state. Notably, in the case of Wilhelm Röpke, this was reinforced by deep-seated anti-black racism. Throughout the 1960s Röpke was active on behalf of South Africa and Rhodesia in defense of what he saw as the last bastions of white civilization in the developing world. As late as the 1980s, members of the Mont Pèlerin Society argued that the white minority in South Africa could best be defended by weighting the voting system by the proportion of taxes paid. If this was liberalism it was not so much neo- as paleo-.

    Adam Tooze

    https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/quinn-slobodian-and-the-birth-of-neoliberalism/