Links 8 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


    • Enjoyed the Fukuyama link. Bloke suffers from having a bad sub editor. What does this remind you of?
      “Fukuyama pronounces that “a civilization devoid of anyone who wanted to be recognized as better than others, and which did not affirm in some way the essential health and goodness of such a desire, would have little art or literature, music or intellectual life. It would be incompe­tently governed, for few people of quality would choose a life of public service. It would not have much in the way of economic dynamism; its crafts and industries would be pedestrian and un­changing, and its technology second-rate.”


    A Record 52% Of Millennials Now Live With Their Parents, Highest Since Great Depression … Zerohedge

    … extract …

    … A new report via Pew Research Center explains a record amount of young folks have moved back home because the virus pandemic has crippled their finances. As of July, 52% of millennials were living at home, up from 47% in Feb. At least 2.6 million youngsters over the Feb. to July period returned home, pushing up the total to 26.2 million. … read more via hyperlink above …
    A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression … Pwe Research Center


    Geoffrey Blainey on the forgotten lessons of WWII:

    “Today the nation’s wartime crisis has largely been forgotten. Its sobering events are probably taught to only a fraction of those school students old enough to understand them. Of the adult population in this migrant country, more than half possess little or no knowledge of Australia’s plight in 1941-42.

    Yet if it is true that an awkward period of confrontation between China and the US has begun, and if it is true that Australia has no chance of standing aside, then the lessons of 1941-42 should be remembered.

    In some circles today, there is more fear of a great-power war than in any year since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the US came close to conflict with Russia. Several well-informed Australian observers liken the present situation in China’s seas to the perilous situation in Europe in the late 1930s. Scott Morrison has spoken about “the radical uncertainty we face, eerily haunted by similar times many years ago in the 1930s”.

    If Curtin and Lewis were alive today they might wonder whether the lesson of the war’s dark days had been temporarily overlooked. They would feel uneasy that Australia seemed — as far as we know — to be relying on new submarines to be built mainly in France, with a delivery date far into the future and a fuel that could be outdated. Yet maybe we, the public, as in 1941, are partly to blame. Re-arming disrupts the pleasures and plans of daily life.”

    Lewis being Essington Lewis, the Australian industrialist and director of munitions during WWII.

      • Much better to start another lovely day with some Malthusian-type doomsday moaning.
        Puts a spring in the step and a twinkle in the eye.

      • I thought common sense was fatal to progressive cultists like you?

        You know, garlic to vampires, kyroptonite to superman, common sense to r2m.

        • Different era entirely. If you think a few subs would deter China from trampling us underfoot if they so wished, you’re in fantasyland.

          • Nobody said a few subs alone would save Australia. The point being made was that Australia needs to be more self-reliant and more prepared for potential military conflict.

          • 20 million vs 1.4 billion? Don’t be ridiculous. We are entirely reliant on the US, end of story.

      • Narapoia451MEMBER

        After spending decades cheering on the coalition as it did it best to gut Australian manufacturing, education and scientific institutions you have to wonder if some folks at the Oz secretly are doing some self reflection. Then you remember they choose to work there so probably not.

        Oh well, I’m sure Australia can leverage the skill sets that have been built up under the coalition’s guidance and become world leaders in converting (renovating even) high rise apartments into savvy vertical bunkers

      • I commented in another post about the Oz.
        I always thought it to be an unabashed Murdoch partisan rag
        The weekend version had a very well-balanced array of articles
        Except for Chris Kenny – the man’s a douche bag.

      • The Murdoch press have turned 180 degrees.

        I am sure they would be eager to tell you that they have always been at war with Eastasia.


    It’s time to face facts – the office is dead … OPINION Rosa Prince … UK Telegraph (behind paywall)

    The point isn’t that home working is preferable, it’s that it’s inevitable

    When Ricky Gervais unleashed his masterpiece The Office on our TV screens 20 years ago next summer, it was as if our working lives were reflected back at us in all their cringe-inducing frustrations and unexpected tender moments. Now the prosaic goings on at the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg seem a nostalgia piece, as outdated as a black and white movie, a peep into an era some of us remember with fondness but all recognise as the past…. (behind paywall … read more via hyperlink above …
    Work from Home Gets Entrenched: Embraced by Workers & Businesses in the UK, it’s Upending Real Estate, Retail, Restaurants, Bars, Cafés … Nick Corbishley … WOLFSTREET

  4. The Reuter’s article misses a key point, that the EU requires access the fishing rights and EU courts still over-rule British legislation. Restrictions not imposed on any other international partner, recent collaboration aside.

    The irony being, the purported losses from a no Brexit deal now so inconsequential, given the self inflicted lockdowns, its no-longer a barrier. Moreover, the EU cannot negotiate a deal without all parties agreeing, and given recent threats to Holland and Co. over aid to the South, a deal now literally an impossibility.

    • The link to the four EVs added to the import list – one is the 62 kWh Leaf. Do you know if this version also has integrated reversible home charging like the official 40kWh Australian delivery? As in, can it serve as a household battery too? I understand all EVs have this capability but not (to my knowledge) as an integrated design feature. 62 kWh is multiple Powerwalls.

      • Yep but but the question that I would be asking is,
        Does using the battery in this manner effect the EV waranty?
        I would imagine that many might use 10kwh to 20kwh every night plus drive to work
        On average this probably doubles the expected daily battery load

          • Interesting, but it doesn’t say what the Battery warranty actually is.
            First generation Leaf’s had a bit of reputation for the battery only holding 30% of the original charge and Nissan still claiming that this was within specification and did not need to be replaced under warranty. Of course it did need to be replaced the day after the warranty period expired.
            I also remember recently reading some EV battery warranty blurb where the guarantee was for a number of charge discharge cycles, it seemed to imply that partial discharge/charge cycles were counted the same as full charge, discharge cycles.
            I would recommend you Read the exact details AND make a printed copy of the actual warranty offered at the time of purchase.

          • Sounds very frugal, but we use about 25Kwh to 30Kwh per day and even more if the AC/Heating is running.

          • Good on you, but that would be low consumption for a couple – it’s about half the typical usage for a family of four.

    • Likely battery sales to other car companies. Tesla are miles ahead of other car companies in terms of battery pack performance/costs. They will be announcing further developments later this month regarding their next gen batteries.

  5. Chairman MeowMEMBER

    “The position that the U.S. is taking is a very dangerous one. The position the U.S. is taking is that they have jurisdiction all over the world and can pursue criminal charges against any journalist anywhere on the planet, whether they’re a U.S. citizen or not. But if they’re not a U.S. citizen, not only can the U.S. pursue charges against them but that person has no defense under the First Amendment. It remains to be seen whether a U.S. court would accept that position, but that certainly is the position that the government is taking”

  6. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Pratt is publicly supporting Dan, and Scott is not.

    Industrialist vs Retailer (sitting on a mountain of debt).

    What interesting times we live in.


    185,000 workers expect to lose their jobs within next year, Stats NZ says … Susan Edmunds … Stuff NZ

    One in 14 workers expect to lose their jobs or businesses by mid next year, new data shows.

    A survey by Stats NZ in the June quarter found that 7 per cent of employed people felt there was a high or almost certain chance they would lose their jobs or businesses within the next year.

    That equated to 185,000 people.

    Another 18 per cent said there was a medium chance. … read more via hyperlink above …