Links 20 July 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Serious question: what does he reckon of all of the footage of overloaded hospital units in Italy, UK and New York (to name a few)? Faked?

    • Sydney based G&B Lawyers have recommended that Victorians don’t wear masks and challenge fines in court. Obvious self interest is obvious, but these loons are also raising fund in support of antivaccination causes.

        • I see, you know exactly what reality is. Based on that I reckon you supported the coalition’s invasion of Iraq in order to destroy WMD’s. That’s what the reality was then.

          • WTF are you on about? Reality is people are getting sick and some are dying all over the world, it is real and observable. Donald Trump cannot be labelled the greatest US president ever by any metric, that is reality.

          • drsmithyMEMBER


            These protests are said to be the biggest global peace protests before a war actually started; the peace movement is compared with the movement caused by the Vietnam War.

  1. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    “Reality punctures Britain’s Brexit balloon Costly border plans undermine the economic case for leaving the EU”

    I don’t want to start a debate about whether Brexit is pro or anti-growth, but I certainly remember the way tiny drops in economic growth predicted by the Remain lobby were presented in hysterical terms. Covid19 must have had 10 or 20x the impact and yet still they are trying to pretend we are in the stage of the economic ‘game’ where issues around (relatively insignificant) border transaction costs are somehow a relevant issue. Maybe in 1997 or 2002. Not in 2020. It would be like Australia ignoring everything else going on and pretending whether we have national drivers licences or remain state/territory based is somehow a vital national issue to resolve. Those things being ‘important issues’ belong to a time long gone.

  2. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    “No pull-up from private health death spiral”

    I like that this article finally looks at more than just whether someone has private health insurance or not. I’ve only ever had the junk coverage that protects me from paying the Medicare Surcharge Levy and when I’ve worked part time or been unemployed I dumped it immediately. I try and justify it to myself that at least it includes ambulance coverage (which in SA isn’t provided for free) although so far I’ve never used that either. I also made a tidy profit many years back when AHM (who I am with) demutualised and as a member I got a nice little payout.

    But private health care generally is shambolic in this country. They cherry pick all the easy and profitable cases and leave the expensive and complex stuff to the public system. The public system also provides huge amounts of training and teaching resources which the private system contributes nothing to but benefits from. Covid19 also showed how easily the system collapses when non-essential surgery is switched off. I’m not sure how much longer the system can carry on in its current structure.

    • Wasn’t surprised to see that the article was written by known doctor hater and insurance shill Stephen Duckett.

      Even amongst the most left leaning medical professionals he’s universally derided, in part due to his push for pharmacists to take over GP duties and constant bleating about medical fees. Duckett’s usual schtick is to blame doctors for the high cost of private healthcare, even though the reality is that private health insurers pay a pittance and the bulk of funding for private procedures and admissions already comes from Medicare.

      Last year when one of his Conversation pieces was reposted to Australian Doctor, it was also revealed noted that the Grattan Institute he works for receives funding from private health insurance companies – perhaps if Medibank private were to not donate to Grattan they could provide cheaper premiums and reimburse more for their paying customers and they wouldn’t be in such a mess now. Similar to Scott Morrison, Duckett was removed from a very highly paid position as CEO and president for the Alberta Canada Health Services well before his tenure expired for unacceptable performance.

    • Hill Billy 55MEMBER

      We have self insured for many years. The balance between our budgetted expenses and actual expenses we have put into super for later. Our budget for health is not much more than the standard private health insurance cost, let alone any actual expenses incurred, and we have consistently added to our super each year, even though we are now both in our 60’s. Private Health insurance is the biggest con job imagined by ticket clippers United. I cannot believe my 85 yr old MIL still pays for it! Madness!!!!!!

    • I do as complex, sometimes more complex cases in the private then the public. So do many colleagues.
      Your definition of non-essential surgery is interesting. We just took out the whole larynx of a guy who couldn’t get seen due to COVID. 6 month wait to see someone cost him dearly.
      The teaching in the public id one unpaid by other doctors. The public hospitals invest little in JMO education which is mostly run by medical staff for medical staff in the various specialist groups. Some is hospital based and some is specialty based (where we sit around and plot to induct people into closed shops and limited numbers under pain of death if theses secrets are revealed).
      Do keep parroting your inside knowledge of how it all works though.

    • The advice I’ve been given by people who work in the health system is get basic cover. This makes it easier to deal with the system should something come up that won’t get looked at straight away. The procedure will still cost you but at least you have broader options.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      “…when AMH demutualised..”
      Mutual, interesting word,
      there was atime, not that long ago when Mutual Societies were common.
      They allowed the ordinary person , inconjunction with other like minded ordinary people to band together in their common interests.
      eg National Mutual, The NRMA, countless milk and butter factories, farmers co-ops.
      As the world we were conned into 40 yers ago unravels, and the doyons of Economics admit their errors,
      it would do us well to re-examin Mutual Co-operative Societies as a way forward.



    The years to come seem likely to see America’s historic population dispersion continue or accelerate, as pandemic and lockdown worries have severely reduced the attractiveness of dense urban cores (especially in the highest density areas, such as New York City). As a result, the sparsely populated outer areas of combined statistical areas (CSAs), the largest category of local labor market defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), could be the destination of many former urban core households.

    This article examines the 105 largest labor markets (CSAs and uncombined metropolitan areas) with more than 500,000 population, as of 2019. … read more via hyperlink above …

  4. desmodromicMEMBER

    Re story on bilbies. For the moment their continued survival across most of their former range is dependent on predator-proof fences to exclude foxes and feral cats. Source:

    The harder task is to manage introduced predators across the broader landscape to save wildlife that continues to disappear. Meantime dumb-arse governments in Qld and SA are focused on killing dingoes in the cattle rangelands outside the dingo fence, where dingoes afford the native wildlife a measure of protection from introduced predators.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Why not just introduce something that eats cats and foxes? Like bigger cats…

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      Yesterday’s landline had a report on the dingo fence with scientific input. Worth watching

      • desmodromicMEMBER

        fitzroy, yes, I saw that story on Landline. Unfortunately the SA government doesn’t use science to make policy. It’s the modern way!

  5. NEW ZEALAND … The Warehouse struggling to compete in NZ too …

    950 jobs to go: Union says The Warehouse using Covid-19 excuse … Debra Foxcroft and Susan Edmunds … Stuff NZ

    … concluding …

    … “We also need to be mindful that The Warehouse’s store network that we know now, was largely established before the Kmart’s renaissance and growth, Briscoes’ strengthened ownership of the homeware category and continued ‘creep’ of the likes of Mitre10 Mega and others, into categories that were once the mainstay of The Warehouse in the bulk retail and discount realm.

    “The other mainstay – apparel, has been impacted by online and dominant fashion-fashion brands – such as Cotton On and Postie Plus who have strong value propositions and representation.

    “The Warehouse will be mindful of Amazon’s continued Infrastructure growth in Australia, where a new Queensland warehouse was announced recently. While the brand hasn’t had a major impact on that market yet, it’s building capacity and understanding. Longer term, it’s likely they will become dominant players in Australasia and have a similar effect to what has happened in the US and UK.”

  6. migtronixMEMBER

    And people wonder people don’t trust the “experts” we’re given:

    “What it says is an unlucky, random event has led to dramatic consequences in Victoria of an enormous outbreak. It has probably restarted from one or two or a very small number of infections.”

    In a second stroke of bad luck, those first infections hit “disadvantaged … high-density, vulnerable populations”, which allowed it to spread faster than it otherwise would, Professor McCaw said.”

    If its all random and unfortunate what’s to stop it happening again morons?

  7. “Preferred PM: Morrison 59 (+1) Albanese 26 (0) “

    Albo is unelectabie. Who will replace him?

    • Albo, promised so much delivered so little. Labor need to do something out of the ordinary, Keneally or Wong? It’s a pretty shallow gene pool when they can’t even land a blow on one of the most insipid Governments of our times.

      • They’re both in the Senate so I guess some Lower House MP would have go give up a very safe seat to parachute them in? KK has yet to win anything in her own right and from the distance of WA comes across as super-annoying. Wong is not aging well, sadly. Chalmers thinks it’s him but he has all the personality of a lifetime primary school teacher and has been known to turn on the tears for his own advantage. Does Labor have a suitable, articulate person who has held a job outside of politics and unions than can appeal to a broad range of voters?

        It’s a worry…Shorten is circling, he can smell blood.

      • His voice – aarrrgh terrible! Could be hard to listen to for any length of time eg an election campaign 😉