Sunday Supplement: 17 May 2020

‘Ringbarked Trees with Birds’, Henri Bastin, 1969, Art Gallery of NSW


Macro & Markets








Terra Australis

…….OK, maybe it’s the ghost of an editorial from the days when Fairfax had a far greater feel on the pulse of thinking Australians than the ghost stalking the corridors at Nine today, but this editorial comment is testament to a line taken by David and Leith here at MacroBusiness – backed by data and a constantly principled and self analysing intellectual framework, and a pretty robust comment section  – for a very long time.  Everyone should have a read of it……

The great Australian neo Liberal consensus is cracking.  Australia is going to have an Immigration debate.  Let us keep it civilised, but this is a debate Australia needs to have….


…and furthermore…


…and coronavirus…



  1. So did anyone buy a house at an auction today then go out and have dinner to celebrate?

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Yeah me.

      OK, obviously not me.

      I am the beariest bear on MB, apart from bcnich.

      Let the motherlovers burn and burn and burn.

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    for an Age editorial I thought that a profound statement of intellectually fair and reasoned thought on a contentious subject from an organisation under considerable financial duress.

    A chance to rethink immigration

    “Our nation is the sum of us all,” former governor-general William Deane once said. “All those who came here, all those who were born here.”

    With the rest of the world now cut off indefinitely, our nation today is made up of all of us who happened to find ourselves on this side of the Australian border (plus a few stragglers) when Scott Morrison effectively closed it on March 20.

    We have been left with a tableau of Australian life in the Year 2020. Frozen in time. And we have a rare opportunity to stand back and study exactly how we are constituted, before time restarts and it all changes again.

    Almost 30 per cent of the Australian population was born overseas and immigration has always been a key part of our economic policy and history. And it has always triggered debate – about integration, congestion, environmental impacts and the effects on the national labour force. This debate became particularly heated in the past few years, as predictions suggested migration rates would see our population hit 30 million by 2030.

    Immigration, for the most part, has improved our living standards and our social fabric. In particular, younger, skilled workers with a good grasp of English have taken little from the public purse. But making it easy for employers to hire foreign skilled workers does little to encourage workplaces to train workers already here. Temporary skilled worker programs without a path to permanent residency are especially problematic – a short-term fix that does little to sustain and grow our community.

    About half of our permanent visas go to temporary visa holders who want to stay here and contribute. Yet we have made it harder for them to do that. In 2017, the Turnbull government cut off some paths to permanent residency and last year, the Morrison government capped at 160,000 the number of permanent visas granted each year. This does nothing to reduce migration. It just forces more people to rely on temporary visas for longer, despite the greater uncertainty. This includes people working in essential jobs like healthcare and childcare.

    More than 2 million people were in Australia on temporary visas when Morrison closed the border. Many of them were encouraged to our shores to boost our economy, through work or study. And yet, as the good times have given way to bad, they have been told to go home if they cannot support themselves and for the most part denied government help. This is a stain on our national character.

    Kristina Keneally is right to invite a rethink of our immigration program. We have this moment to take stock of who is here right now and what our next step might be. We should consider the make-up of our migration program – and what support we offer migrants to ensure they can contribute to our society. The coronavirus pandemic is also encouraging us to become more self-reliant – and now is the time to invest in training our labour force, particularly as the jobless rate explodes.

    We also need to care for those who have found themselves among our number in this crisis. The government must provide greater support to those on temporary visas. We cannot turn our back on them. But we must also reconsider the temporary skilled worker visa scheme, particularly when it does not lead to permanent residency. It creates a situation that is unfair – for the sum of us.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Parrots are really getting the treatment this weekend. Got absolutely beaked in Saturday’s Weekend Links.

      • Wait until you get a call from work about an error message reading ‘Parroty error! System halted.’

    • Yeah Gunna but it makes a fundamental error. Temporary visa categories are for temporary situations: to visit, to study, to fill a temporary workforce gap: it should not be a foot in the door to staying here for ever. To address the temporaryness of those categories assessments and checking are abbreviated to make the process as short as possible. But just because the people are in Australia on those visa categories does not mean they meet the higher standards that we should expect for people we grant permanent residency to. Just as we don’t think it appropriate to give people from the Pacific nations who are here picking fruit a pathway to permanent residency I don’t think that we should allow people who are packing shelves in Woolies or driving a truck for their mates to keep hanging around (let alone get permanent residency).

      I’ve lived in another country on temporary visas and there was absolutely no doubt that I remained a foreigner who was being permitted to live there for a set period under fairly strict terms. I didn’t expect to be gifted permanent residency there and I don’t see why temporary visa holders here should expect to be allowed to hang around.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I read the piece as saying.

        1. Lets review Migration.
        2. Lets look at support we offer Temp Migrants.

        I think that any serious look at 1 would look at 2. I also think any look at 1 in relation to 2 would quickly come to the issue of ‘Why do we have so many temporary visa holders? What do they do? Why do they come? What effects do they have?’

        I dont disagree with anything you’ve written.

      • Display NameMEMBER

        Since TAFE was destroyed by making it “market based” we no longer train anyone. I am exaggerating but what has replaced TAFE is a parody of what was there before. Like most privatisations in this country we have plenty of examples overseas that have worked well, but we seem to consistently choose the worst options and then put little to no governance model in place. They look designed to fail or to transfer wealth to private minority interests. (Land and titles, gas, toll roads, TAFE, Airports, water, energy policy, climate change). Thankfully the visa system privatization has been pushed back, so far . I end up with very little trust that our politicians act in the best interests of the country or the average tax payer.

        • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

          Its all part of the Privatise everything, small government is better schtick.
          Private markets will always benefit the small minority of big players with the majority of people repeatedly bent over and fked.
          A massive propaganda victory for these plutocratic cvnts is the common belief that Democratic controlled Government will provide worse outcomes for the majority than our total submission to market forces.
          The opposite is clearly true and yet to anyone watching the supposedly “left wing” ABC insiders this morning you’d be lead to believe that “There is no alternative” ((TINA) to the Thatcherite Neoliberalsim of the economic status Quo.
          Anyone who thinks the ABC is “Left Wing” is a fken idiot!

    • Arcadia Planitia

      My biggest gripe with this piece is the convenient lie of the healthy young migrant who does nothing but pay taxes and never takes anything. That is just not the lived experience of anyone I know. Now listing the multitude of ways in which any extra person, skilled or not, takes up space and resources is an exercise that has been repeated here enough times already, with and without r#cist under or over tones.

      I’d like to take a slightly different tack. Let’s look at the so called holy grail: the genuinely super highly skilled migrant. Walk into any capital city tertiary hospital and you will find dozens and dozens of foreign born and trained medical, surgical and critical care consultants occupying permanent staff specialist positions and drawing taxpayer funded salaries north of $300,000 (before private practice fees are added). That was great back when there was a shortage of them. But now the Australian training programs are producing adequate numbers of local born and trained specialists who are qualified to take up staff specialist positions.

      These locals cannot get those plum permanent jobs and instead are forced to compete for casual ‘zero hour’ VMO contracts which certainly pay decently enough ($270 per hour and 1.5 that on public holidays) but with no guaranteed minimum hours, job security, no sick leave, no TESL (a form of very lucrative study leave with expenses paid for travel) and the requirement to reapply in some cases as frequently as annually with no right of renewal. Look at someone the wrong way, get too many patient complaints and you can be cut to zero shifts and next contract renewal you are just disappeared faster than a North Korean Army General who fails to compliment Kim on his latest hairstyle. That’s right, 15 years of study and training and you are basically an extremely highly paid uber driver – and that is after having gone through the intern, resident and training system with never more than a two year contract for job security.

      Chatting to a recently arrived foreign trained specialist on a temporary contract at a hospital in Sydney about work prospects, I pointed out the persisting shortage of Doctors in the bush. His reply ‘you local born Doctors should go there because you can deal with the culture and conditions better than we can’.

      And that’s the thing of it, taking in a permanent migrant is a whole of life deal for Australia. They can come at a time of genuine need, but then get to stay and to occupy lucrative positions long after the need has passed. In the cases I have mentioned, they will never be a net contributor of tax and in their comfortable retirement will draw from the same obscene smorgasbord of benefits offered to other wealthy retirees.

      Show me a migrant who takes nothing at any point in their time in Australia, and I’ll show you a unicorn.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        You will not get an argument from me when suggesting that Australia’s training processes for doctors and medical professionals should be looked at. I have suggested on these pages previously that the medical profession has an often vested interest in restricting the numbers of trained people coming through Australian training – particularly for medical specialisations – and using foreign doctors as a spac filla to cover over the need for GPs. I dont doubt that anyone raising their head above the managerial parapet of the system using those specialisations may inconvenience themselves in identifying this.

        I would see the question of what migrants ‘take’ (and what support they need, and what employment they get, and how they get this) as part of the ‘What is the economic and social box and dice of immigration?’ type question that any real public discussion and debate would have to come to.

        I dont doubt that most politicians would prefer to skate past that part of the debate fairly quickly and with as little attention as possible.

        • Arcadia Planitia

          Those are excellent points. The wider social question is fraught, unless you are prepared not to ask hard questions.

          We joke here endlessly about v#brancy. I would be quick to concede some social benefits – predominantly culninary – but trying to argue social drawbacks is just verboten. Take the example of violent criminal offending – recently debated at length using Victorian stats as I recall. I’ll jump over cheap shots like migrants spitting on footpaths etc – there are enough local grubs to balance that out.

          My argument would be that migrants should commit no violent crime and indeed bringing anyone here who ultimately kills or maims someone is a problem that needs to be sheeted back to the root cause from the perspective of Australia i.e. that a decision was made that bringing this person in would benefit the country and that decision was flawed. I don’t have to tell anyone how that flies with the fake left MSM doctrine, which is of course that as long as migrants are only committing violent crimes at a rate that is not greater than offending rate of the locals, then it’s all good.

          It’s tough.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Why should person A wear any responsibility for person B’s violent crimes just because they both came from the same country ?

            Would you entertain the idea that person A should wear responsibility for person B’s actions because they happened to go to the same school ?

          • fitzroyMEMBER

            Because often members of the same gang have the same background. Some backgrounds are represented more prominently than others in the crime stats. You import more of the same you can expect more of the same cultural issues.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            I tend to think that once we have people as our citizens then they are in, and if they happen to commit a crime then they are ‘ours’. That said I think nothing stinks more than ‘dual nationals’ or Australian visa holders committing some crime here,and then scarpering to some other jurisdiction the moment something goes wrong. I am not sure how common that sort of event is but I would think (and again I may be off in lala land) and look at the makeup of Australia’s migrant intake, should be looking at issues such as social cohesion in Australia (and propensity to commit some crime and do a runner) as well as the implications of having one or two nationalities dominate the migrant intake – personally I dont think any one nation should comprise more than 10% of our migrant intake (whatever volume we identify as being in our national interest).

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Why should person A wear any responsibility for person B’s violent crimes just because they both came from the same country ?

            A fair question but one that is not fair to ask in exclusion to another, being how do these individuals behave as a predicatable population group, and how will that impact the welfare, safety and economic security of the underlying and radically ethnically and culturally different society that they are being imported en mass into?

            Because we are not dealing with the question around the impact of one or two individuals, with mass migration we are talking about importing entire population groups – and then, the character traits, behaviors, and social problems become highly predictable.

            These questions become even MORE important when you consider that this immigration is taking place under the notion of Multiculturalism, whereby they are encouraged to both identify and associate with their country of origin. This has the effect prolonging the difficult process of successfully integrating and assimilating into Australia – which is actually the benefit that we are supposedly meant to be getting from all this immigration.

            Throwing up the “but what about the individual” might be a good way to preen your virtue, but it really it is a vanity cop out question – you get to play the morally virtuous, while poorer working class Australians get to wear the social tensions, beatings and robberies, thanks to the questions that you demand never be asked. For you it is win win.

            The reality is that people who refuse to ask questions about how importing massive amounts of difficult to intergrate and assimilate population groups into Australia, will impact the quality of lives of ALL Australians, are generally the same ones who benefit from higher house prices, or being able to afford their own house elf to magically peddle over to them and bring them their meals when they feel hungry.

          • drsmithyMEMBER


            So we automatically assume anyone who comes out of a “bad school” is also bad and therefore avoid having anything to do with them.

            Plus, of course, the converse, where anyone coming out of “good school” is good and therefore automatically support them.

            Ie: create a class/caste society.

            (Or maybe we could look at how most crime – particularly violent crime – is perpetrated by men and work your logic into that ? Maybe a lower burden of proof can be applied to men accused of violent crime than women ?)

            It is often a mystery to me exactly what aspects of “western civilisation” you lot want to “save” given how hostile you are to most of its basic tenets (and usually fairly well aligned with the principles of most of those cultures you hate).

          • fitzroyMEMBER

            Some automatic assumptions have validity. Were you to take migrants from Japan you would not have the same difficulties as taking them from Sudan. Not all cultures are the same.

            Few people are prepared to take responsibility for the decision to admit this migrant given the seven counts of rape and the throat cutting and bashing of a 63 year old woman in her own home in three separate incidents involving four victims over a three day period in this migrant’s fifth week in the country.

  ;query=hakeem hakeem;mask_path=

            Virtue signalling has a price. It is usually paid by a person in a lower economic group than the signaller.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Does that mean you’re going to take some responsibility for all the crimes committed by WASPs ?

          • Thank goodness for morally upstanding folk like DrSmithy who stand head and shoulders above us deplorables. What an admirable and virtuous man. Recognising and acting on obvious patterns of social pathology to protect the poorer members of our society is wrong if doing so gets in the way of ever increasing vibrancy. After all, someone’s gotta deliver DrSmithy’s ethnic Uber Eats for below minimum wage.


          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Strangely I don’t find the position of the 63 year old funny

            Strangely I don’t find your usual lack of integrity and intellectual honesty surprising.

            I assume it must be something you find useful at work.

            But at least the gall of it is amusing.

          • What’s happened to the guy with the numbers name who suffered away in the emergency department? Where are you, dr? Loved your posts.
            Non sequitur, I like your posts Dr Smithy.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            The only person creating a caste society would be people pretending these differences don’t exist, and then go right along and set about importing population groups that will inevitably dominate a particular tier or class of the resulting society.

            Biology ISN’T a social construct – genetic differences in capability for certain traits varies between population groups. It is inevitable that the resulting society would turn into a tiered, caste society, JUST LIKE INDIA has done, and Somalia has done, and just about EVERY SINGLE MULTICULTURAL society has done.

            Nature and voluntary choice self sorts over time, unless of course you spent countless dollars in propaganda and eugenic social policies trying to encourage people of all race and cultures to mix with all the others ones, instead of simply defaulting to with their own familiar cultural traits and values…. sort of like every second car advertisment that you see on TV.

            …and why is it when you see an Inter-racial advertisment, EVERY TIME it is the white guy who they cast as the dumb foil? Almost like they’re trying to tell the audience white men are stupid and lower caste.


            Is that your goal? To get a beautiful nation of Australian beige? It’s cool but just come out and declare yourself a supporter of Nazi eugenics programs and reverse racial purity, which all sort of nullifies the complete point of pursuing immigration in order to attain diversity.

            You point about Men being the perpetrators of violence is irrelevant – THEY ARE ALREADY BORN TO AUSTRALIA, we aren’t importing them.

            But NOT asking questions, NOT noticing the differences, NOT speaking up and defending ANYTHING to do with Western Civilization is what you are all about, aren’t you Professor.

            Why? Because you[‘d rather not besmirch your contrived morals with nasty thoughts.

            You are pathetic – Western Civilization and everything around us would not have ever taken place if ‘men’ like were the majority. They would have been conquered long ago and turned into eunuchs, which is pretty much what you are.

        • Whoosh. The point flying over your head.
          There is almost no shortage of locally trained specialists in any specialty. That is the point. Numbers trained locally have expanded enormously. Yet still we have overseas trained doctors brought in to fill non-existent gaps especially in large urban centres.
          There is no cabal restricting training. In fact, there are some real duds getting through since he gates were flung open.

          • So, Olaf, who is driving the sustained push to get in more foreign trained doctors? Who is profiting from skewing the system? My, probably simplistic, take is that lots of these migration arrangements have become distorted by the decision making being effectively handed over to the vested interests profiting from keeping the programs running at full bore.

          • Years ago one service I worked at decided that they didn’t have to take in any new trainees because they could get overseas specialists on the cheap to fill junior medical positions. They reasons that they wouldn’t have any obligations to provide further training which would free up the senior staff. This was despite them having recent experience with one such fellow who had extremely poor English skills to the point that he was required to take English classes.

            I feel these kinds of short sighted decisions come from Medical administrators who are too focused on cost cutting and too far removed from the coalface to realise the implications of their actions.

          • BigDuke6MEMBER

            Triage. As said below the push is from punters wanting cheaper doctors, politicians to pander to them and so getting most of Australia declared an area of need and lastly doctors themselves by losing many female doctors and complaining about having to work too hard.
            But the most important point is that specialists aren’t simple to train. Folks just think more medical students means more bums on seats. No. To train docs you need the public to practice on and private hospitals take so much operating that there isn’t much to go around. Also it’s nigh impossible to get rid of hopeless trainees without them running off to the newspaper’s saying they’ve been bullied. TBH the standard of surgery in Australia is incredibly high so it can fall a bit before too much is noticed.

        • BigDuke6MEMBER

          Sigh. I wasn’t going to comment today but I can add I guess. Yes we homegrown docs are hard done to. But as I’ve said here before …. and I’m taking the side of the patient here… there is a sense of entitlement in Aussie doctors where they cannot help but kill their golden goose. The greed of some north shore specialists makes stories go around whichmake the population happy with endless foreign doctors to keep prices down. I remember telling juniors they need to stop whining and work hard or the management will be delighted to bring in foreign docs. Some of whom are dodgy but ya gets what ya pays for. Anyway don’t worry. The new tsunami of new Aussie docs is coming on line. They are very undertrained but it’s the new way. More docs doing less and having a life. I’ve worked like a dog, been under more pressure than you’ll ever know with my family taking the brunt of it. And I’ve been well paid. The younger ones want to live longer and be more functional. The patients may find their operations don’t go as well but that’s the way you punters and certain greedy docs have wanted it.

          • Er, no, I don’t remember being asked that at all

            Does anyone else remembering having any agency in such a decision ?

            Unless I’m missing something – how might this unasked question be manifested in a way that I might have responded ?

          • billygoatMEMBER

            Cheap doctors… isn’t that google?
            Same with medication of alternative.
            FFS all covert..sorry COVID medical news & treatment delivered online by phone. Talk about Con fucius

      • Those unicorn migrants don’t exist anymore. My parents came to Australia in the 70s. They both worked in a rural health service far from any capital city for a decade before having children, and only then they looked at moving. Ironically left a country where property prices were 10x wages. Paid their taxes, never took the dole, pension and too proud to demand any handouts. All their migrant friends were similarly qualified, and while there was a mix from different Asian countries there were none from mainland China as their degrees wasn’t recognised in Australia. The only one was a woman who came in on a sham marriage, divorced and was pretty blasé about marrying a rich doctor/dentist, aggressively chased a husband which everyone thought was a bit unusual and completely shameless at the time.

        Fast forward to the 2000s – one of my friends recently took up a part-time lecturing position. Class is filled with mainland Chinese women studying accounting/finance all wanting to marry someone rich and manage their money. He would get asked if he knew anyone single who fits the bill – he does, but doesn’t want to subject any of his friends to this. Skip to the late 2010s – another friend is working in migrant health services while trying to get a public hospital position was seeing 50 of these patients a day doing some BS masters – all with similar intentions about marrying up.

      • Are you sure a full time staff specialist working for a public hospital also runs rooms ?

        From what I can tell you either have full time staff
        Specialists and not billing PRNI for example or you have consultants and or VMOs on some combo either say a higher wage and percentage of Medicare PRNI billing plus private rooms , this is obviously very much needed in regional areas

    • You only have to read the last two sentences Gunna, missed the point of the article completely. It’s a transparent shill piece for increased permanent migration. Classic Labor bait and switch.

      You don’t even have to have the second stage partner visa granted before you can access Medicare. You’re eligible for a Medicare card from the day you get granted a bridging visa, ie, the day you apply (if you’re onshore). So in other words, fly in on a tourist visa, apply for an 820 partner visa and get Medicare from day one.

      Think of all those Filipino’s marrying lonely old boomers for the access to PR and then leaving them the day after they get it! Just having a go!

      Sham. Shut it down.

      • We have to expect every article in the MSM to be a Trojan horse. Saying they think immigration should be discussed then grooming us to the answer.

    • billygoatMEMBER

      n particular, younger, skilled workers with a good grasp of English have taken little from the public purse.
      FMD has to stop reading 🤮🤮

  3. Been doing a few uberbraus ($33 a case at Liquorland) and had a couple with a couple of mates playing pool under the mate’s house.

    It’s not the same. Doesn’t even feel like a Saturday anymore (if you stay away from the shops)

    • Does anyone know how can imported German beer be significantly cheaper than Australian? 1st Choice the same price.

      • Has been since the 90s and Coles and Woollies shops continue to stock at least one imported ‘brand’ lager that undercuts the Aussie beer prices.

        How they do it? We are a high price country compared to much of Europe. A case of lager is very cheap in Europe. A suspect there is an arbitrage opportunity if you do it in bulk and can guarantee supply to your customers.

      • DominicMEMBER

        I’ll have a guess: higher regulatory hurdles, greater manpower inputs (with higher wages), higher land costs (and therefore lease rates), and so on.

        It’s a wonder they don’t impose a huge import tax on the foreign beer, like they do on wine, which is currently 50%!

        • I’ll do another guess. Corporations know the locals will buy local at least part of the time and they aim to provide high dividends to their shareholders and themselves.

          • DominicMEMBER

            Whatever the reasons, I do know that alcohol is grievously over-priced in this country. The protection for the wine producers is particularly egregious.

    • bzunicaMEMBER

      I get the impression that this is a kite flying exercise to see how the public would react. This is why it is written by a no-name backbencher who, if the feedback is bad, does not reflect the views of the party. ALP using an LNP move.

    • that doesn’t help, partners arriving don’t create new households but create crowd

    • Mate you’ve gone full Chinese. I never did that in all my years living there and everyone promenaded around the apartment complex and the surrounding streets in their jammies. It was really cute actually.

      I did end up almost naked in the toilets in my mixed student dorm after a big night out at Solutions though (going to the toilet then jumping in the shower then having a dawning realisation that something wasn’t quite right and realising with horror there was no towel beside the shower like there should be and that you were wearing your room slippers not your corridor platform slippers you wear to keep your feet out of male Korean student gob and then your brain computes that because you were [email protected] and it was summer you took your dress and bra off when you stumbled into your dormroom and slept in your knickers only and that is what you walked down 3/4 of the hallway in to get to the toilet/showers and it’s 45 mins before class starts and the hallway will start to be full of male and female students any moment getting ready for the day).
      Ah student life in Beijing in the late 90s. Fun times! 😊🎉😇🍺

        • Not finishing that was a bit unfair wasn’t it? So I got my sluggish overhung brain into gear and pulled my waist length hair over my bare chest, waited for some Korean girls to leave the toilet (I couldn’t communicate with them to ask if anyone was in the corridor), put my hands over my ‘assets’ and crept to the bathroom door, peered left and right saw no one then I ran as fast as I could down the corridor to my dorm room, 1/3 of the way there I lost a slipper, I hesitated for a moment but thought fck it I don’t care about Korean gob on the floor atm, burst into my room and dived into bed and pulled the sheet over my head. My Russian room mate looked at me and said what the fck??? I replied I know I know I know over and over then I told her I left a slipper in the corridor and could she please go get it? She did. Was there anyone in the corridor? No. I forced myself to go to class even though that was the last thing I wanted to do. By the time break was over I realised no one was gossiping about me so I finally started to relax. I had got away with it. I’m pretty sure my 4 DPRK class mates who were the biggest goody 2 shoes said something about cultural and moral superiority and I caught the eyes of a a different Russian classmate and we smiled at each other cos they didn’t know how party at Solutions until 5am on Friday morning.

          • Where was Solutions, Poppy? Sanlitun? I used to walk through there fairly often, but during the day it looked pretty sad, as those areas do in the sunlight. Or was it over on the western side? (never much of a rager).

            I remember that around where the US Embassy used to be there was Beijing’s version of little Moscow, with some bars and restaurants and a fairly large undercover market that specialised in fur coats. Always lots of Russian tourists, and the word was that most of the females were prostitutes and almost all the blokes were mafia, and they flew into Beijing to pick up fur and leather gear at a fraction of the Moscow prices. Not sure what else they were up to but most expats kept a distance from them (not saying your uni friends were of that ilk).

          • @Triage Solutions was at the west gate of Peking Uni, so in Haidian, nowhere near Sanlitun. I don’t think it survived past the early 2000s. We were all at a language uni not too far away on the northwest 3rd ring rd. We went to Sanlitun on the weekends, but Solutions was Thu night party night (luckily class was from 9-12 on Fridays, not starting at 8am like the other days). Yeah SLT looked very sad in daylight hours right up until a few years before they completely redid it, which occured in stages over the past 5-8 years. The Russian element was v interesting. There were a lot of normal Russian kids as students but also a decent chunk of the male students were somehow avoiding military service. They were all a bit sketchy on how it worked (not sure if that was language related or not) but we had a rich Siberian Jew (not practicing) in our friendship group doing that, and there were a few sons of Russian and Kazakh crime families at our uni for the same reason (you can guess which ones were the star students). People would buy their dope off the sons from the families you’d be careful of; it was resin that came in from Pakistan and was really good stuff. I knew another Aussie bloke who stumbled into a Russian club in the Jianguomen Embassy area in the early 2000s. He was absolutely shocked at what he saw going down that night and refused to tell me details. I was not impressed. When I was first in BJ in 95 I wasn’t in the Uni district but just north of the 2nd ring rd on the eastern side. In those days it was a very different city, we’d party in the foreign student dorm, go to Ganjiakou to eat Uighur food, and the blokes would buy dope there off the Uighurs (who’d sneak back to Xinjiang when things got too hot for them in the capital) and we’d mainly go to a PLA run nightclub called Nightman, which had atrocious music for most of the night, but we’d hang out for the last hour when the Chinese left and a Western DJ came on and then we could dance. We didn’t party much in SLT then, except to go to the live music place above the friendship supermarket whose name I’ve forgotten right now (it was resurrected several years later). I lived in the residential compound next to the Russian Embassy for about 13 years, so I’m sure lots of my stupid conversations were recorded in the Russian restaurants I ate at frequently. Oh and just fyi Ganjiakou was basically torn down by 99 when I went back so they’ve been pushing Uighurs out for a very long time.

          • DominicMEMBER

            Lol. You need to be careful these days – the number of allowable words (under the new and improved moderator) has diminished dramatically. 😉

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Sounds like a worthy Aussie green and gold performance Pop.
        You did us proud.

        • Banana ManMEMBER

          I have seen an aussie made fitting that you can use to hack your soda straem and run a commecial co2 bottle. Works well, highly recc.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Good point Jase, but is it really important at all to put an exclamation mark on your manliness?

        I thought all that stuff was verboten these days. 😉


    … Why were politicians, public officials and others so gullible, panicked and reckless ? …

    … How are they going to be held to account ? …

    Coding that led to lockdown was ‘totally unreliable’ and a ‘buggy mess’, say experts … UK Telegraph
    … behind paywall …

    The code, written by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London, was impossible to read, scientists claim

    The Covid-19 modelling that sent Britain into lockdown, shutting the economy and leaving millions unemployed, has been slammed by a series of experts.

    Professor Neil Ferguson’s computer coding was derided as “totally unreliable” by leading figures, who warned it was “something you wouldn’t stake your life on”.

    The model, credited with forcing the Government to make a U-turn and introduce a nationwide lockdown, is a “buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming”, says David Richards, co-founder of British data technology company WANdisco.

    “In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust.” … (behind paywall) … read more via hyperlink above …

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Wasn’t this the professor who “voluntarily” resigned as a key UK government adviser on the virus, a week or so ago because he had been spotted going to his mistress’s house in London a couple of times recently counter to one of his pieces of advice to the government being that “partner” couples not living together should remain separated? If he is the said professor, then off memory it was said that he and the mistress were both living in open marriages. So, all good – nothing to see here, move on?


        … The United Kingdom …

        Britain heading for Eighties-style unemployment crisis … (behind paywall) … UK Telegraph

        Britain is heading for an Eighties-style unemployment crisis with up to half the workforce braced for a hit to incomes, a top Bank of England official has warned.

        Andy Haldane, its chief economist, said more than half of the nation’s 33-million-strong workforce was already unemployed, furloughed or working shorter hours as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown.

        He said: “The very reason I got into economics and the reason I got into public policy was because of the scarring experience of the early Eighties unemployment which peaked at three and a bit million – and we’re going back to that, basically. … behind paywall … read more via hyperlink above …
        … and New Zealand …

        OPINION Economic vandalism destroys important legacy … Danien Grant … Stuff NZ

        OPINION: The scale of the economic vandalism being unleashed on this country rivals that of Sir Robert Muldoon. This prime minister and her finance minister, in cahoots with a weak central bank governor, are destroying 36 years of prudent fiscal and monetary economic management.

        They do not understand economics. They do not understand business. Even more frightening, they do not understand the importance of the institutional legacy they have inherited and are in the process of destroying.

        This is an inexperienced government who have panicked at the economic fallout of their recent decisions. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Looks like Boris has found his fall guy.

      Most non-Computer Science Academics are terrible coders. (Scratch that, even the Comp Sci Professors write code that wouldn’t stand up in a commercial environment.) Most coders would make terrible Academics.

      The question is, how did the code get sent for review? It’s the math that’s more important. And why were the Pecadillos of the Professor revealed, when there is a whole Cabinet Room full of expertly concealed ones?

    • and of those 36 sales, 20 sold prior

      Slightly better in Sydney, 70 sales of which 23 prior
      almost identical results to 18/05/2019

    • david collyerMEMBER

      Hardly a functioning market with price discovery. We are blind. It is certain clearing prices are lower.

      Later historians won’t use the auction data, they will use the lagging, accurate ABS indices. Meanwhile, we wait.

    • And if you scan through the actual list there are way more than 36 properties sold. Property data is as clear as mud. Just hopeless or hopelessly corrupted.

    • can’t find the link anymore but few weeks ago I reported a house (next to town cemetery) dropped the price from $1.15m (if I remember right) down to $1.075m (new price is 100% correct). 3 days ago wife told me it sold for $1.035m. This is decent house with massive yard on high hill and vert quiet part of the town.

      Camden NSW.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Yes, I think this was all missed in the recent excitement over KK’s recent utterances.

        A triumph of hope over reality. The fact is that people who draw their salaries from the public purse have a strong incentive to encourage greater numbers of taxpayers.

        And / or greater amounts of taxation.

    • Arcadia Planitia

      I do wonder how many of those idiotic outbursts are born from the complaint of a generous constituent that they cannot get their partner into the country and ‘want something done about it’.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      The current permanent immigration rate would be a lot easier to bear if we didn’t have 2.2 million foreigners with right to work Visas within our Country..

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Yeah my nuts are definitely off the tractor this morning in downtown Geetroit

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Many years ago I once attended a rave in far North Queensland and found a small vial of “Fresh Minty” breath on the dance floor, already having my faculties impaired I foolishly took a squirt of what actually turned out to be liquid LSD.

        Disappointed at it’s lack of ‘mintiness’ I realised I’d made a big error when my care free neighbour, who’d dropped the vial, suddenly freaked out in all seriousness when he realised what I’d done – apparently it is usually doled out a single drop at a time… as opposed to a squirt. Despite attempting to wash my mouth out with any corrosive Coca Cola I could find, I still managed to give myself a 1950’s Dr Hoffman hero sized dose of the stuff, and what then followed was the most epic Trip I’ve ever been on, culminating in complete ego death.

        The point of this post isn’t to reminisce with a tale about a bad trip, but just to say that shortly before the point my sense of self dissolved away completely, I remember sitting on the trunk of a fallen tree admiring the high planes of the Atherton table lands, and that this weeks painting has triggered intense flash backs to that moment – indeed the likeness and effect would only be improved if the trees and branches could be rhythmically curling up and down, with perhaps a few more rainbows on the ground.

    • DingwallMEMBER

      Rexy on the heart and soul of Australia ….. these days that’s real estate

      A couple of other highlights………….

      oooooh Brett Dallas …….. they sunk the boot in …….

      He could run that boy….. Singo on the other side wasn’t too shabby either

      – Sterlo with a few strands of hair still
      – The “unmade bed” rarely played to his capability in Origin even surrounded by a gun team.
      – Early call of “cattedawg” 🤣

      Barnhill has let 3 go and he still hasn’t found the mark”

      • Who was the unmade bed? Was it Joey Johns (?). Always kicks off a good argument about him being fast-tracked as an immortal. I can’t remember him dominating SOO for sustained periods of time like Wally did. And the fact that he was often picked out of position in rep teams also counts against him imo.

    • What a coincidence. I happened to watch the first half on Friday night and the second half on Saturday morning. Perhaps YouTube has a shut-in algorithm because it had been suggested to me for around a fortnight. I thought the exact same thing about the advert Rex popped up in.

    • More than any other country, Australia is being propped up by tax revenue right now. I think someone pointed out a bit of evidence that now more than 2/3 of Australians are receiving income from the government. Either by employment or by social security. And iron ore, coal and gold are about to crash.

        • In short:
          IO: virtually the only customer (China) is at the end of its demand for what Australia supplies.
          Coal: already on the downward slope. The biggest users are dramatically shifting to renewables. No one will want to touch the stuff within 10 years.
          Gold is in the ultimate bubble now. As I’ve mentioned before here, it has no fundamental value, is not an asset, produces no yield and is simply a speculative tool for the cowardly investment folk. Once the US public companies outside tech start to pick up, which they will on a massive scale like never seen before, gold will realise its true value.. i.e. not much. In addition to that, there will be sell offs by governments to get their hands on USD which will be king. Just my opinion on the world.

          • happy valleyMEMBER

            Les – you are a mini-bcnich when one’s not having a bcnich or when bcnich has gone MIA/AWOL?

          • Don’t disagree with coal but not really convinced on iron ore and gold.

            Iron ore looks like being the beneficiary of continued Chinese stimulus and Brazilian supply constraints.

            Gold will likely continue to benefit from the central banks ongoing monetary stimulus measures.

            How do you see these ending and a crash resulting by the end of the year?

          • DominicMEMBER

            That’s a big call on gold – it’s been highly sought after and valued for 5,000 years. Quite some bubble then. If the gold bubble hasn’t burst in 5,000 yrs why would it do so now? The Fed just printed over US$2 trillion in a matter of weeks – global gold stocks on the other hand are increasing at just over 1.5% per annum. Just trawling through my well thumbed copy of Econ 101, if one good is increasing at a more rapid rate than another, then relatively speaking, the scarcer good will be much more highly valued. Of, course, that could all prove to be nonsense, but I gravely doubt it.

          • @Dom – gold produces no yield hence why people are so keen to buy negative IRs bonds or keep their savings in negative IRs savings accounts.. because of the high yield.
            Wait until people realise US, UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Japan, China and many others can’t actually repay their debt and creditors will have to take a haircut.
            So don’t be silly to invest in the barbarous relic. Imagine if you are in the middle of nowhere and need to buy food or whatever.. what are the chances for anyone to recognise gold and trade you goods and services. They all will want paper with magnificent picture of some historical figure or exotic animal – an off course, as many zeros on it as possible.
            Current conditions are great sign of stability and only a fool will invest in gold. When every central bank says they will print into infinity and some already doing it while buying corporate bonds, ETFs etc.. why would one want to diversify into gold. I just don’t see the case for gold here.
            It would have been different if we faced some calamity like global pandemic or at least some dark clouds would appear on the distant horizon..

          • Les:
            If gold is the ultimate bubble it is only reflecting the ultimate bubble of money creation (technically inflation) we have seen lately.
            Gold produces no yield because there is no counter party risk, if you hold it you own it.

          • “Once the US public companies outside tech start to pick up, which they will on a massive scale like never seen before, gold will realise its true value..”
            Why are they going to pick up like that when it never happened after the GFC?

          • Haha niko, nice one. How’s that ALK going…!

            I was initially pandemic short term bearish on Gold but after CB liquidity binge I’m now very bullish and long.

        • DominicMEMBER

          No they don’t skip. Taxes redistribute money.

          Loan repayments and loan defaults destroy money (fiat, that is, not real money).

          You’re welcome.

        • DominicMEMBER

          “Gold Is Money, Everything Else Is Credit” — John Pierpont Morgan

          Don’t let ideology get in the way of facts, skipster. Education is liberating, trust me. You’ll be less uptight when armed with the facts — it definitely worked for me! 😉

    • Just saying nyleta …. but Hunt is on the record as saying “economics is a science” and a VP of a company that “manages” 5B in pension funds, considering the state of pensions in the U.S. and why, I would be more than a little cautious with any pod cast investment offering.

    • So the Real rate of Inflation = Nominal longer-term bond rates less expected nominal rate of inflation. ie: Real inflation will be deflationary and with it the economy.
      Sounds right.

      • It is proving really hard to generate inflation by doling out credit……they have been trying for a long time now. We need to move to the next stage where the Fed takes a back seat and just supports the US Treasury. The next few weeks should tell us something with the huge issuance there and then there is the prospect of another $ 3 trillion coming. Historical times we live in.

        • it will be interesting to see how much of the $3 trillion will find its way to the unwashed. That will decide if we have hyperinflation on everything or just equities and real estate aka same old same old.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Janet: 10yr Treasury yields are 0.64%, CPI for April c.1.00%, which means that real interest rates are -0.36%.

        This, in turn, means that inflation is consuming savings. Where’s the deflation? Only when real yields are positive are savers keeping their heads above water (in the above example). However that assumes two further things: a) that savers invest in 10yr treasuries (or in that region of the curve) and b) that the CPI is an accurate reflection of the savers’ cost of living.

        Two big assumptions, neither of which are likely, in most cases.

        They say that if you repeat something often enough people become conditioned to believe it even though it’s completely false. Deflation is not happening – it’s a fantasy. If you wish to prove it to yourself, keep an eye on all aspects of your personal cost of living – that should convince you.

    • DominicMEMBER

      I think we’re all agreed (apart from the resident marsupial) that the endgame is the total destruction of the existing fiat regime.

      The disagreement arises in the path we take to get to the destination. For a long time I was in the deflation / inflation camp but money creation is now so extreme that I think we’re cutting out the middle-man. The Fed’s response during the GFC confirmed that for me — there was a miniscule decline in the overall money stock and the Fed just put their foot on the gas and boosted base money by a factor of 5.

      In order for deflation to occur, the Fed would have to stand aside and allow things to take their course, which they won’t, IMO. If there is a wave of mass business defaults in the US (which looks likely) that will put significant pressure on the money stock and on bank capital but the Fed looks ready to replace all of that money stock and much, much more …

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        … not just the path, but also disagreement over whether such total destruction is ever going to be possible again. Short of WWIII. Obvs.

        2tr USD and 360b AUD of Central Bank magic pudding coinage says: “No”.

        • DominicMEMBER

          I’m not sure of your angle but, for perspective, it took the Fed just under 100 years to build their balance sheet to $890bn. Post GFC QE expanded that to $4.2 trillion. Powell attempted to ‘normalise’ the balance sheet briefly but got as far as reducing it to around $3.8 trillion, which set off the Repo crisis in Sep 2019 — so he had to reverse course, toot suite! The balance sheet is now around $6 trillion and many are suggesting, given the colossal size of coming deficits that this will top $10 trillion in short order.

          In other words we are into the ‘parabolic phase’ – where ever larger amounts of money are required to keep all the plates spinning. No need for wars – destruction of the Dollar based system is baked in the cake at this point. The only question is, how long has it got.

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            I was obviously a little oblique (heh) but at least I wasn’t obtuse (heh, heh). But you surmised correctly, as that was exactly the vector I was starting down… with the conclusion that 10tr will come, and go… as will… some time after, 100tr… and then 1000tr…

  5. I agree with bcnich on what direction he thinks interest rates will go and his theory behind it. That’s about it.

    • Those burns are…. cathartic!

      Especially liked the one about ‘wait! Those two aren’t a representative sample of the student population origin!’ And the one ‘how long did they have to look for those two?’ … skating right past the obvious ‘knees and lips’ snark.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I love the one mentioning the 2 million Chinese students vs the early childhood student from Turkey with Scottish boyfriend – apparently no other country on earth will let them be together 🤣 – by…. Luan Nuygen. Good luck racist shaming him.

  6. Banks are not deposit taking institutions that lend money.
    ‘Where does the money come from when you get a mortgage at a bank?’
    Economy Professor Richard Werner explains today’s source of money creation.
    -It does not come from other peoples savings in that bank
    -It does not come from using the fractional reserve system
    Instead your pledge to pay the mortgage is treated as an asset (security) to the bank which gives it the right to create this money out of nothing and to be added to your account.
    Other notable comments:
    -When you put money in the bank you are not a depositor, but a general creditor and you loan money to the bank.
    -Central banks are preparing bitcoin-like cybercurrency. All money to be digital and cash abolished. Central banks would achieve total control over all economic transactions.
    -Digital accounts of dissenters or regime critics can be shut off.
    -The UBI is going to be used as a bribe to have humanity chipped and a totalitarian system will be achieved.

      • Most people’s heads would explode, none of this is taught in schools, uni or econ class.
        People that have the nagging feeling that there is something wrong in the world today, and are looking for answers, the best place to start is at the basis: how is money created, what is it used for and who ultimately controls it.
        The question of which political -ism we want to be run by is secondary.

      • You’re welcome.
        If you decide to go down the rabbit hole may I wish you good luck in finding the right answers.
        And a little warning before you start: although the journey is worthwhile, it might also be life changing.

    • You’d think there was never a pandemic in history with all the amazing coincidences being spotted these days

  7. migtronixMEMBER

    “Aggregate production functions are reduced-form relationships that emerge en-
    dogenously from input-output interactions between heterogeneous producers and
    factors in general equilibrium. We provide a general methodology for analyzing such
    aggregate production functions by deriving their first- and second-order properties.
    Our aggregation formulas provide non-parameteric characterizations of the macro
    elasticities of substitution between factors and of the macro bias of technical change
    in terms of micro sufficient statistics. They allow us to generalize existing aggregation
    theorems and to derive new ones. We relate our results to the famous Cambridge-
    Cambridge controversy ”

    This is the kind of nonsense we get from your pet ideology PK.

    First & second order is literally another way to say cardinality. Muppet.


  8. On the vibrancy issue. Anyone suggested how things are supposed to open up to countries where there is no way authorities will be on top of the situation via contact tracing, countries like India.
    No way will everybody be able to go through two week quarantine, the numbers will be too large.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      If they’re found to be infected during the quarantine period, what happens next? They can still infect others during quarantine period and treatment.

    • Who will pay for the two week quarantine and how quickly can that arrangement be corrupted?

    • DominicMEMBER

      Our hotels are all empty so it actually works well. The Gubmint clip the visa coupon and the local hoteliers get some revenues from the visitors so everyone’s a winner. Oh and all those vacant rentals out there ….

      Genius really.

  9. Jim's Central Banking

    The Taibbi article is excellent.

    Does anyone know of other journalists doing work like that?

    • DominicMEMBER

      Taibbi’s been at the top of his game for some time. Good lad.

      Just surprised he hasn’t met with an unfortunate accident.

      Glenn Greenwald is also consistently excellent. Politically he’s quite left wing but not in that blinkered virtue-signaling way. He actually has a brain and calls everyone out, including his own side. The Guardian will publish him when he writes on a subject in which they and he have a shared interest but ignore him entirely when he’s calling out some left-wing hypocrisy. He could never be a staffer on that paper, whereas psychos like George Monbiot are always on message.

  10. I came across this article touting a Sydney company started by b*nkers that aims to insert itself between customers and retailers, to save electronic copies of purchase receipts. Then they make the receipts available to banks so that customers can see them using online banking.
    I visited their website and it looks like a marketer’s dream. Linked to a master file containing your personal details will be a database storing every line item of every transaction, to be made available to whomever pays them to know about it. No mention in their privacy policy of anything that would dilute the value to their paying customers, like being able to opt out or request deletion of your records.

  11. How apt that Clarke and Dawe scene is today. 6.2% unemployment. Sorry not unemployed, jobkeeping. Yeah whatever.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      A glimpse of the future in the land of land ….now that’s some stupidity …….

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Could only think of the Rondo 16mm folded steel battern that swing is probably screwed into.

    • Ukraine fnMEMBER

      I think that some people need to hand their kids back starting with that couple.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      That’s OK, I’m sure we can just sum the whole thing up as “orange man bad”, right ?

  12. God bless!!

    Coronavirus US: Evangelical preachers and their congregations dying from COVID-19 in droves

    One report on US Pentecostal pastors has found more than 30 have died as a result of the virus. Many led crowded church sermons in defiance of government appeals to close their doors. The toll among other denominations is yet to be determined. But parishes that defied lockdown orders over Easter are featuring prominently among recent hotspot reports.

  13. haroldusMEMBER

    Another 5 hours in the garden, renovators strangely silent.

    Today I:
    Moved and remade no-dig bed, 3 bags manure plus pea mulch and coir plus 2 bags compost. Now have 4 beds, with decreasing levels of sunlight.
    Brought 20 soil/compost bags out to the back yard. Front yard nearly clear now.
    Renewed bed and planted peas in the front and broad beans in the back (only coir and compost), no nitrogen.
    Repotted 2 chili plants.
    Put in edging for shade garden, it’s so shady that I can’t imagine any vegetable would grow there, there is some reflected light though. Am thinking about native violet for ground cover and Clivia and Bromeliads for a bit of colour/interest. (
    Took the germinated lettuce/kale seedlings and put them in the mini-greenhouse out the front, so hopefully they can develop there.

    Started tidying up the area near the house (near the shade garden) so is actually pleasant to sit out there. Although this mainly entails taking all the sh!t up the back near the shed. As I don’t face it when sitting there, it doesn’t exist.

    • Stirling effort, you win. Today I: lay on the couch dusty as fvck doing sweet FA.

    • Cliveas are really lovely in the cream / pale yellow colour but do have a tendency to get sunburnt in direct sun in summer . Heres a picture – I think much nicer than the standard orange variety.
      Also bees are most attracted to purple blue and yellow flowers- think about planting some purple alyssum, marigolds dahlias etc in with your veggies to increase pollination and yield. Bees also love herbs mint basil rosemary any allium (like chives)

  14. “Once the US public companies outside tech start to pick up, which they will on a massive scale like never seen before, gold will realise its true value..”
    Why are they going to pick up like that when it never happened after the GFC?

  15. Mining BoganMEMBER

    The local car wash cafe was packed this weekend. Full of Euro SUVs. I’m trying not to be too judgemental but in a time such as now with half the country un or underemployed there’s plenty of chances to slip outside and give the beast a tub? Although, when I ran past this arvo it looked like multiple retirees sitting together in the sun while waiting for their car to be cleansed.

    Reckon that place will be a virus haven.

  16. ABC news just reported that with JobSeejer/Keeper in the mix the actual unemployment level is 58%.

    Unbelievable…truth from the ABC!!

  17. Resolution by 60 countries wants WHO to investigate origin of Wuhan coronavirus

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 60 countries, including all members of the European Union, have drawn up a resolution for World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, which demands an investigation into the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports said Saturday (May 16).

    The move comes just before this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), which will take the shape of a videoconference on May 18-19. Tedros has already come under fire for his refusal to invite Taiwan to attend as an observer, despite the island’s positive record in dealing with the pandemic.

    • Oh dear. Can you guys slow down. The CCP has trouble getting angry and keeping up with boycotting these recalcitrant countries.