Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Morning

Asian share markets have fallen across the region, but not at the same levels as Wall Street overnight, although the ASX200 is having a go at it. Bitcoin has dropped nearly $2000USD however to a two month low while gold continues to decelerate into weekly support just above the $1936USD per ounce level:

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite is down nearly 1% going into the close at 3355 points while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index is off 1.3% to be at 24694 points. Japanese stock markets are doing about the same with the Nikkei 225 taking back its previous gains to finish 1% lower at 23205 points as the USDJPY pair like most major currencies remains calm, sitting just above the 106 handle:

The ASX200 was the biggest loser however, falling some 3% to close the week out at 5925 points while the Australian dollar goes nowhere, hovering just below the 73 handle as it finds just a hint of buying support here going into tonight’s NFP print:

Eurostoxx and Wall Street futures are down 0.5% or so following last night’s rout with the S&P500 four hourly chart indicating some support here forming at the 3460 point level as the BTFD crowd begins to move in:

The economic calendar has the big one for the month – US unemployment or non-farm payrolls. Always a fun one to stay up late on Friday night to have a squizz at….stay safe and have a good weekend.


Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. Sites can go downhill rapidly when people start posting the pastor but you deserve it
    First they came for the Facebook pajama mums
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a FB bogan
    Then they came for the anti vaxxers
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not an idiot
    Then they came for the estate agents
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was laughing too much
    Then they came for the Edit
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Modded comment
    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

    Think on it

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    A collection of thoughts on public sector ‘Leadership’ from Gunnamatta – 2019-20………(on request) – Thank you, it was nice to be asked…

    ScoMo takes axe to public service – 19 Dec 2019

    Let me tell you about the ‘leadership’ levels of the public sector.

    For the most part they have little ability with numbers, and they have plausibly even less ability with words. Unlike their predecessors of a generation ago – some of whom I helped public sector organisations walk outside the gates on the basis that they represented ‘stovepiped thinking’ or werent ‘team players’ (though many had other behavioural facets which limited their ability to engage with both other ‘leaders’ and the people whom they were supposed to be leading [and they were nearly all male] – they have little actual ability to do anything, apart from exhibit the behaviour of loyalty (subservience, desperation, pathological fear, expectation of better things for them) to the clique which they have become part of.

    Governments post 1996 (both sides) have planted their own at the top of most public sector organisations, and those plants have metastasized at lower levels all around the ‘ethos’ of leadership. The lower levels in turn have adopted a widespread ‘just do it’ mindset and have largely let go of anything remotely resembling ‘the public good’.

    What we have instead is a workplace ‘cult of personality’ of the type Stalin knew, with a grip on issues derived at sans data (numbers or words) and reflecting only ideology.

    For the most part I tend to the view that the only difference between 1996 and 2020 in terms of the public services is that a leadership cohort of mainly male psychopaths, all defending (who could often be quite disagreeable), upholding, propagating instituting a view and a mindset (which generally involved an identifiable logic in relation to verifiable data and an articulated narrative, and generally more comprehensively reflected a significant body of the views of the subordinate staff) has been transformed into a leadership of psychopaths with is now largely female [which I have no in principle problem with] but which is invariably glib, lacks any narrative in terms of logic verifiable data, or progress towards an outcome, which is all too often even more dismissive of subordinate staff, ‘customers’ (a concept which has been grotesquely deformed in almost all public sector organisations) and is focused on the concept of loyalty towards the head of an organisation – who is generally there to exhibit [and motivate in their staffs] the same loyalty towards the director, secretary, first assistant secretary, general manager or whatever, who in turn has the same desire (and expectation) to demonstrate that same unquestioning ‘loyalty’ to a Minister and a Minister’s office.

    That mindset means that nobody ever questions the actual intellectual skills, or history of newly appointed senior staff – they are appointed in the first place because they are the ‘right fit’ or are ideological ‘safe hands’. Rather they are welcomed into a club, and expected first and foremost to ‘behave’ in a particular way, which in the first instance involves loyalty to others in the same clique. It is only when they fall over (as would appear to be the case with this woman recruited into the SA public sector executive recently) that the ensuing search for why (which is invariably a blame apportionment exercise in itself) becomes apparent. The far greater question is not why some entirely unqualified individual was able to get in, but why so many utterly bereft individuals remain in place in executive levels in public service organisations all over Australia, long after they have ceased to grasp straightforward concepts, and long after they have ceased to be able to coherently identify and organise for the expectations of ‘customers’ or their own staffs.

    And this is just the outcome out politicians (particularly our Liberal and National politicians) quite like. They spend gazillions on meaningless consultants. They completely fuck up things like IT (particularly the Commonwealth public sector). They desperately want to get rid of ‘Old White Males’ (generally because these represent some form of corporate knowledge and understanding of things beyond ‘loyalty’ in terms of function or the experience of ‘customers’) and love nothing more than to give vacated positions to some old white female (if she has done the time), or suitably emasculated males (particularly recent migrants, all keen to keep the buttock above moist – but also those desperately trying to sustain a family or mortgage) who are desperate to make their way up the chain and can thus be relied upon to be ‘loyal’ no matter what ideological nonsense is shat down on them from above. They beam out endless meaningless emails and, make endless completely wasteful site visits, and adopt ever more achingly insidious programs, catchphrases and slogans, and generally festoon themselves with only the choicest lips to apply to their buttocks. They create the juiciest of contracts for ‘private’ consultants, contractors, and often are surprisingly open about the prospects of moving into the private sector on the back of the contracts they have taken part in farming out.

    They duck and weave at the slightest registration of an ‘issue’ (meaning both subordinates and other sections/branches or whatever need to keep an eye out). They avoid responsibility like the plague. They are no less inclined than their predecessors to workplace bullying, sexual harassment, or simply hoping that malcontents will simply retire and go away (and boring the pants of them in order to achieve that outcome), as well as outright bullshit.

    They are a large factor in Australia’s contemporary socio-economic, and across the board policy, malaise.
    What will happen with these ‘reforms’ is that they will be used to:-

    Provide greater Ministerial loyalty within APS leadership ranks.
    Provide even more payrises for APS leadership ranks – which the APS doesnt get
    Provide redundancies for a load of mainly aged long serving Canberra residents.
    Provide more ‘non ongoing’ employment opportunities at APS2 level for younger people.
    Provide a load more juicy contracts for ‘service providers’ who have been generally shown to provide an inferior service than the public servants they replace, but are far more effective at extracting funds from the public teat.
    The public will not get ‘better’ outcomes.
    The public will not get lesser cost outcomes.
    The public will get Ministers announcing they have ‘streamlined’ public service
    The public will get a load of glib APS SES types smiling like the overly remunerated psychopaths they are, nodding in agreement.

    ALP: Senior public servants should declare all their interests – 4 Feb 2020

    Too right,

    Senior public servants = All people employed under the Australian Public Service Act above SES Band 1 or Assistant secretary or equivalent – should be required to declare their assets.

    Public Servants above APS 6 = Executive Level 1 or 2 – who are in positions to scope decide or recommend on contracting or employment – should also be required to declare assets

    Given the spate of public sector ‘Non Ongoing’ recruitment (which cannot be appealed or questioned) it is becoming apparent in Canberra Melbourne and Sydney in particular that there are instances of recruitment decisions made where executive levels have an interest insofar as people applying for these positions are renting abodes from those up the public sector food chain.
    Beyond that, seeing as our public sector seems to have become an endless vat of public funded slops from which contractors of all sorts, from
    Psychometric testing
    Copiers and Printers, Waste Management
    Grounds maintenance
    Buildings maintenance
    Call Centres
    Web site developers
    Management Consultancy
    Staff Surveys
    Training & Development
    etc etc etc
    are allocated an endless stream of contracts for services, the people involved in the scoping and allocating should be accounted for under the conflict of interest.code of conduct provisions of the Public Service Act.

    Public servant fat cats dine while everyone else starves – 7 April 2020

    To add to the discussion here are three sets of remunerations charts from three staff agreements in three Commonwealth public service departments


    Services Australia (Centrelink & Medicare for starters)


    As Leith notes all of the heads of these government agencies are ‘political appointments’ – even where they are long standing public servants they will have made sure the tongue is firmly aligned with Ministerial requirements over a long period of time, but in some instances they are appointed from outside the organisation (often with little to no knowledge of what the organisation does or why it does it). There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that but it does give rise to a ‘cult of personality’ mindset in many public service organisations. Particularly given the rise of the ‘manager’ – who often has little technical or function specific knowledge.

    The more pernicious effects can be seen at levels below the head of the organisation where the ‘cult of personality’ develops more ostentatious forms. DepSecs (Deputy Secretaries) and FAS’s (First Assistant Secretary) and AS’s (Assistant Secretary) are all people above the pay rates on these charts fill whole divisions and branches with a layer of ‘management’ which often has sweet FA to do with day to day jobs being done but all too often festoons the people working to them with meaningless statistics, KPIs, motivational workshops and seminars, and an overarching need to agree placidly with ‘everything management comes out with’ and a focus on ‘not asking difficult questions’.

    Their public service contributions over the course of a generation include the wholesale rogering of nearly all public sector IT arrangements – with a view to providing good contracts for the ‘private sector’ and ensuring that there is no internal APS capacity – a personnel management regime across the APS which has it with an average age (for ‘ongoing’ staff) in the late 50s, a redundancy program in the early to mid 2000s [still flickering here and there] which paid people to get out the door (without considering the longer term demographic implications) which has never been appropriately costed and shown to deliver lasting savings for the Australian public, but has more been about getting staff ‘off the books’, and the end of compulsory public sector retirement at 65 (meaning they can continue to maximise that super contribution), and a ‘service delivery’ culture which has fallen over with the coronavirus outbreak – revolving around single points in [that be your 1800 numbers] shunting as many people as possible to serve themselves on line and peons answering your calls who cant deviate from the ‘script’..

    The people at these levels are appointed out of politically aware processes too, and the people at this level fill the places below them – the EL2 (Director) and EL1 (Assistant Director) and even often APS 6 positions. The cult of personality is often very competitive at these levels with Obeisance to a Director or AD often a sine qua non for underlings to get any sort of development or (in some circumstances) even to be allowed to get more meaningful work. The EL2 and EL1 (and APS6 types|) are often those overseeing recruitment for non ongoing positions being advertised to the public. This is the level where the type of person who hangs around in an APS 4 or 5 position for twenty years can all of a sudden get access to a higher level of remuneration (ideal for taking the final payout super up an additional income notch) for making the right kind of noises for the person above and ‘letting go’ of what may or may not be right or wrong.

    The mug punters most of us see in a Centrelink or Medicare or when we go to apply for a passport are generally downmarkets types (maybe APS 3 or 4 – though many of these will be managed by an APS6). The other thing worth noting is that generally it will only be older APS staff who have access to the defined benefits super schemes – anyone who has joined since about 2005 is in nothing better than an accumulation style industry fund..

    Sunday Supplement: 28 June 2020
    You got any evidence whatsoever to support that contention?

    Management is a dead weight on any workplace, reliant on lies and speciousness, withholding information but using it to reward others, invariably (in most workplace but maybe not all – I have seen some where management contribute meaningfully) sapping the motivation of subordinate staff over a long period of time and generating a need for (very expensive) more management in the form of the endless surveys the endless motivational sessions, and ever more intense and intrusive ‘performance management’ – with their in situ ostensible presence revolving around being able to lead for ‘strategic outcomes’ – which in 95% of workplaces are perfectly clear – while at any given time dabbling in the day to day drang and sturm to reward ‘behaviours’, the most important of which is to make sure subordinate tongues are firmly wedged into the gluteal cheeks of said management.

    A generations worth of MBA types festooning the managerial world – MBAs invariably being analytically shy, and long on exhortation of belief and of treating subordinate people like widgets and as chattels and directly preaching the cult of ‘leadership in such a way as Stalin would recognise it instantly – invariably brings every last issues arising anywhere as one to be ‘managed’ – take a look at the politicians, their advisors, the public sector chiefs and any given corporate leader. Of course they are told and believe from the get go that the rules they would and should apply to the underlings never ever get applied to them, and they believe in this – take at any given exec and their propensity for groping underlings, defrauding underlings, or bullying underlings.

    As someone who spent one career bailing managers out of court, and another observing them as a journalist, and has helped large numbers of people complete said MBAs (which are generally disturbingly similar, not really an academic or intellectual qualification, and largely just ‘networking sessions for that type of psychopath), I must confess I switch right off the moment anyone tells me they are a manager, sure in the knowledge that if they arent a psychopath already their world is shaping them to become one. Most large employers (public or private) inherently know this, which is why they want project, contract and temporary employees underneath them,

    At a broader level ‘Management’ is terrified of any employees or subordinates other than them thinking in terms of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and your policies to price people out of studying humanities and social sciences plug right in about there. Hopefully when the revolution does come there will be a little bit of knock head with something akin to the Fijian battle clubs for an awful lot of managers. They are every bit as self focused, paragons of belief over rationale and corrupted as the priests of the Middle Ages who would sell indulgences or access to heaven.

    Melbourne’s extraordinary COVID-19 quarantine failure – 3 July 2020

    to outsource cheap

    Welcome to ‘Service delivery’ as known by public sector organisations all over Australia. There will be a load of ‘contract managers’ and ‘customer service managers’ with their fingers all over the contracts, another load of people studying ‘KPI’s’ and getting loads of meaningless statistics on the consumables (PPE gear present – check) (facility and room capacity – check) (requisite number of people pretending to be ‘security’ – check) without anybody checking that the core requirement – a properly trained and equipped punter, operating with clear instruction, in a facility fitted out to ensure tasking – is actually taking place.

    The sinking wreckage that was once University of Queensland – 23 July 2020

    The vast bulk of all public funded organisations in Australia – Commonwealth and State – direct public sector departments and public funded institutions like Universities – have

    exactly the same managerial approaches,
    are festooned with exactly the same ‘elite’ hacks,
    have exactly the same managerial cultures,
    comprising exactly the same glib specious duplicitous and self-serving personality types,
    reward exactly the same types of ‘behavioural compliance’ (regardless of any actual workplace outcomes – indeed for many subordinate staff the experience may be ‘the less contribution to the workplace or a meaningful workplace outcome, the more meaningless the recognition or reward and the more the psychopaths above get rewarded’)
    have exactly the same meaningless KPIs or measures,
    beam out exactly the same types of surveys and questionnaires inquiring into the thoughts of their punters,
    discovering exactly the same levels of prevalent disenchantment with psychopath managements and meaningless systems,
    resulting in exactly the same sorts of budget outlays, for exactly the same sort of privatised ‘motivational’ sessions, for exactly the same type of detachment by the bulk of their employees,
    leading to exactly the same type of perfornance bonuses and golden handshakes for exactly the same type of executive psychopaths.

    All leading to exactly the same approach to questions – overt or suspected – from employees or ‘customers’ or ‘clients’…….’get rid of the question by getting rid of the person’.

    The ‘management’ process is a joke across the board.

    They all need exactly the same sort of 90% culling.

    60 Minutes does Melbourne’s hotel quarantine catastrophe – 4 August 2020

    But when all is said and done this is not about the failings or legality or the taxpaying, or the Australian national interest of those companies which have cornered the market for these types of security services. They all ‘contract’ individuals in circumstances which make employees ‘contractors’ – generally ill informed and educated people get ‘offered’ contracts stipulating they are contractors and not employees, have no leave entitlements, and can be expunged on a whim and can be engaged for as little as an hour or two.

    This is a public policy failure, and it is the thin end of the issue. It is the chickens of a generations worth of lazy and uninformed outsourcing carried out at State and Federal level across all public services by governments on both sides. Once upon a time (lets say 1995) governments looking to ‘market test’ a function would measure and consider what they were getting with public servants undertaking the function and what they were getting with ‘the private sector’ undertaking the function. Almost invariably the public servants would be more expensive, but equally invariably the public servants could demonstrate greater accountability for the outcome, were subjected to far more auditing (a considerable expense in itself).

    Over time that resulted in (in the 1990s we are talking) almost everything from catering to cleaning to grounds and building maintenance being outsourced. ‘Security’ was always one too. The issue with security however was that at a time when there were Commonwealth security types (who started out as a branch of the Federal police for just such circumstances as have been experienced in the quarantine lockdowns) there was always consideration of ‘how secure do we need that site or that function to actually be?’ In a world prior to 9/11 there may have been a case for ‘not that secure’ but today we have a situation where a number of public service sites around the country are essentially ‘protected’ by fairly low level security types who may well cost less than their public servant predecessors – but nobody ever knows.

    The Commonwealth Audit office has been stymied more than once on trying to get an effective audit of like for like costs of changing from public servants to ‘the private sector’, and the state public audit functions have fared no better – including a generations worth of managements who have blown millions on redunding public servants. What invariably happens is the public servants are redunded after ‘the private sector’ bids low at a ‘market test’ – which invariably means that after the first contract is up the next round of tendering has no internal competitor to pitch a ‘standard of service’ line, and which sees the contract go to the cheapest option, which is then reliant on those inside the relevant authority or department ‘scoping’ the activity in a contract sense – ie making sure they cover for every contingency – against the backdrop of the relevant authority or department having less and less awareness of what the function actually does, and the ciircumstances it may face. Needless to say governments and public services around the country get reamed on the next generation contracts for any services ‘outside the scope’ of any contract or any ‘additional services’ required under them.

    At the same time those bidding for the contract tend to pitch for a pretty basic contract, onto which they can plug all sorts of ‘add ons’ for things outside the contract. They have a vested interest in the contract being basic, facing little internal competition for the function, and little day too day focus on what they are actually doing by the organisation doing the tendering.

    Over time and into the 2000s what would unfold was that the contracting process itself came to be seen as expensive so ‘corporate support’ or ‘service delivery’ type functions found it cheaper simply to establish a ‘panel’ of providers for which they would occasionally tender and get all of the likely providers, from whom the organisation would simply choose at whim as needed. The effective result of this is that the ‘competing’ companies would tend too divvy up the contract amongst themselves, and while at it make sure that no contract was scope in such a way as to minimise their take from the public teat.

    These security companies for this particular project were all taken from a ‘panel’ without any particular oversight apart from the ‘competition’ to become part of the panel.

    And it’s the same for many/most IT, photocopier and printer servicing, ‘consumables’ (paper pens folders, etc) right through to building maintenance, catering and then right into such functions as audit (and your big four auditors play essentially the same game), any form of ‘’consulting’, human resources in many organisations and even lawyers in many functions.

    The senior managers (read Ministers, advisors, and executives) have all been given a free pass for a generation insofar as they can ‘get functions off the books’ (which reduces the ‘footprint’ of the organisation and helps them to look as though they are ‘streamlining’ and possibly becoming more efficient) without having the redundancy costs of the previous public servants considered (and these can be humungously expensive), while forever letting go of any sort of ‘value for money’ proposition the contract actually encompasses for the taxpayer.

    In addition to that there is the added possibility each and every such contract implies a considerable amount of ‘risk management’ or ‘probability management’ with the contracting. In this type of situation we can be 100% sure that all of the ‘private’ security functions are billing that little bit extra for the circumstances, which for absolute certainty will never have been envisaged in any contract which sees those companies on a panel.

    It is time to review thoroughly, in the public domain, with accountability sheeted home to executives, a generations worth of public service outsourcing.

    That security guard who rogered a quarantinee in a hotel, has not got his end away anything like the companies biding for public service contracts, and the public sector executives who have taken the cheap and easy option for a generation while leaving the public carrying the risks.

    In times like these, it pays to be a public servant – 13 August 2020

    That would be my assumption for the Commonwealth Public Service.

    Abbott came to power in 2013 and immediately instituted a public sector pay freeze. Then management (and employees) across the board dragged their feet so that the next agreement round didnt come about until circa 2016-17 (a few lowball offers and a lot of employee votes sending agreements down).

    That round pretty much expired last year. I am aware that Defence (which saw its last agreement round get voted down a few times) decided to ‘administratively’ (I think using the Public Service Act) roll over their last agreement and add 2% per year, which was supposed to start this year, but has been delayed (and probably will again). I was told Services Australia have looked at doing the same but held off for fear of staff voting against that.

    By my rough calculations, that would see Defence (for example) having gone 2% increases over 3 years from 2016 and then maybe another trio of 2% rises from 2021, to give them 12% over about 12 years from 2012 through to circa 2024.

    If you look at the Executive and Senior Executive remunerations they have done a lot better.

    The whole question of public sector remuneration is also clouded by Superannuation. The vast majority of old public servants – and we should be aware that the average age of permanent (or ‘ongoing’) public servants is circa 60 – are on the old PSS defined benefit scheme. That provides a completely different outcome to the new PSSap (accrual) scheme which basically works the same way as any large industry fund.

    That difference means that quite a lot of older public service types will simply tough out a longish period of sub par pay outcomes, because their super is so good. Those guys tend to hang around – and thanks to Joe Hockey removing compulsory retirement at 65 they can do so as long as they like – and that means middle management is gummed up with time serving seniors all looking to ‘max out’ their super, and limits scope for younger public servants to move up the food chain.

    In times like these, it pays to be a public servant – 13 August 2020

    From what I have seen working in this area the majority of public servants hired over the last 10 years have been on fixed term contracts, or what they call non-ongoing roles…. They get 12 or 24 months and then the job goes back to market or scrapped, no ongoing pension, no redundancy, no payout.


    Check the average ages of the ‘ongoing’ staff – and you will find that the big three Commonwealth employers – Services Australia (the old DHS, Medicare) the ATO, and Defence – have an average age in the late 50s or early 60s. They have an average for ‘non-ongoing’ staff in the low 30s.

    Weekend Links: 22-23 August 2020

    My personal opinion is that if you look through the ranks of the APS (and I have extensive experience with some of them from a generation ago, and experience with the types now running the show at lower levels, and can pick up plenty from their behaviours and approaches) there would be very few people above EL1 (the old SOG C) who arent essentially the same ‘personality type’

    ‘Rat like’ fits the bill perfectly. There will be decent people about the place (no matter what place it is we are talking about, and the APS is pretty big) in some particular instances however. Almost always those people will have a technical or professional skill which warrants their status (or which makes up a significant part of their role).

    Here in 2020 the prime determinant of seniority that I can see – and I am someone who dealt extensively in getting rid of a previous generation’s worth of APS executive types, and was involved in the public sector reforms of the late 1990s [which often got rid of ‘old male’ technical and professional specialists quite explicitly] – is that those aspiring to go higher need to exhibit the ‘appropriate behaviours and leadership ethos’ (or words to that effect) in the context of ‘appropriate behaviours and leadership ethos’ essentially boiling down to preparedness to set aside data, logic, reality as experienced by subordinate staff, clients etc to be able to plant ones tongue firmly between the buttocks of those higher and to espouse the right words (reflecting that firmly planted tongue) to subordinate staff [in particular] and the public.

    Reflecting the APS as one of the few organisations with a majority female leadership cohort, there is a particular type of female who ‘gets ahead’ with phrases like ‘game player’ ‘networker’ ‘says the right things’ etc often coming into play. The problem that I see with this (recognising that leadership cohorts in any large organisation are rarely particularly honest, and rarely particularly open, and are always inclined to close ranks before the prospect of scrutiny) is that this has created a lower rank majority (below APS6 for the most part) who simply have no confidence or trust in their chiefs, and who over time simply slip into a mindset of turn up to work, do whatever it is they are told – in sufficient volume or however it is they are told to do so as to avoid performance issues for themselves – and go home.

    It doesnt matter which APS organisation you look at, an experience something like the above is quite widespread.

    However the upside is that the end of NeoLiberalism, which is playing out right now, will expose an entire leadership cohort for its shortcomings (and the limitations of buttock tonguing as an end in itself), and the APS – which has been forced to increasingly denude itself of technically competent leadership for circa 20 years – will be forced to get that skill base back.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Thanks Gunna. I’ve seen all those behaviors in Australia’s corporate world too, and much like the public service, they are being exposed by the virus.

    • Great write up re. Management.
      But this:
      “Governments post 1996 (both sides) have planted their own at the top of most public sector organisations”
      Politicisation of the public service started 13 years earlier:
      “I’ve got the reserve bank in my back pocket”

      • By around 1990 a third of all public service departmental bosses (then called secretaries) had previously worked in Bob Hawke’s PMO. So, having the public service run by ring-ins was already happening under Labor. But like a lot of things when Howard got in he ramped up the arrangement.

        • It started in around 1986. Menzies really established an independent public service which lasted until 86.
          I will let the gallery guess who said this:
          “Central to our reforms of the public service was the desire to ensure that the government of the country belonged to the elected politicians. We stated at the outset that a key objective was to make the Public Service more responsive to the government of the day, more responsive in the sense that it would be better able to recognise and achieve the Government’s overall policy objectives”.

          Hint: it’s the same person who despite ushering in free market economics into this country, this week was denying a basic model of determination of the real wage and supply and demand for labour.
          I mean if you are are “true believer”… in .. the market, surely you believe in general equilibrium models?

        • I’m tip-toeing around this. As much as I agree with every word around the problems with executive management, I cannot understand how anyone who has any understanding of the last 40 years of Australian history can mark 1996 has some sort of turning point.. in anything in this country. It just makes no sense. Not least because the party elected in 96 (and its media backers) enthusiastically supported every single one of the major “reforms” of the party it replaced during the previous 13 years.

      • Ex Business journo/editor, ex management IR hatchet man – (ex Moscow, Canberra Melbourne Hobart London & Alice Springs). Had an impressive rising career in Straya until he exposed a too few Mates in the Game, then was exiled to Russia where he was Chief of PR for a little known but highly influential oligarch. Married a Russian beauty queen 20 years his younger, then returned to his charming Geetroit dacha where he cultivates tomatoes, eggplants, squash, corn, salad greens and Mary Jane.

        • Selected works:

          ‘The electro-conductivity of Executive gonads: An Australian Public Sector Field Survey’ 1998, Herriott-Watt University Press
          ‘Lies, damned lies, and KPIs for executives’ 1996, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
          ‘If you can smell something burning, it’s probably you’ – Memoirs of a cultural change facilitator 2005, Moscow State University Press
          ‘Limits to suspension of disbelief, self-belief, and the functioning of the human tongue for Executives’ 2006, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
          ‘Oxy-Acetylene based cultural change and organisational structuring possibilities’ Max Planck Institut 2008
          ‘Reframing the narrative when you are the last person in the world who believes anything you say, can’t count, can’t write and have cognitive issues addressing the world around you’ – 遺身 for Executives’ Lingnan University, 2009

    • just words. Nothing that guy said made any sense. “See that no trespassing sign” ” private property”
      Mate who do you think is protecting your right to private (probably heavily mortgaged) property if it isn’t the State?

  3. Goldstandard1MEMBER

    I was filtered for this on the Chris Joye post. Would love to understand which rule this broke???

    My read is that Joye has nowhere to go. He may as well commit whilst the numbers look salvagable and see what happens. I give his scenario 5%. Makes no sense to jump in when odds are you’ll be underwater in 3 months……actually on day one given stamp duty.

  4. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Excellent podcast with Steve Keen. He really is a good communicator. Thanks fellas. And thanks Pfh007 for the excellent question.
    Keen nails the basics to the floor. No manufacturing + no Plant * no Capital = very weak country.

    Thanks fellas. Thanks Prof Keen.

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