Morricessions cost Australia better part of $100bn

Like the astronomer scouring the heavens for new phenomena, the observer of economic history only very occasionally has the chance to put his name to something.

I managed it once in 2010/11 when I coined the term “disleveraging” to describe the use of an external boom to deflate domestic credit excess. But it never took on. Shame really, that’s precisely what China is attempting today.

But I digress. Most things in economics have been seen and described before. We economists are mostly left only to observe where each fits.

Not today, I am pleased to announce. Over the past two years, Australia has developed a new kind of economic phenomenon that deserves its own nomenclature as a species of economic drawdown distinct from terms such as “recession” and “depression”.

It is the “Morricession”. What is it?

A Morricession happens when an idiot seizes control of the macro-economic levers and gyrates them so randomly that he, in and of himself, delivers economic contraction for one-quarter or more of annual GDP.

To prove that such a phenomenon exists we will need to illustrate that it is repeatable and observable. Otherwise, the recession might just be the result of a random walk, as opposed to an idiot grabbing the macroeconommic controls to hold his vertiginous self upright.

The case for an Australian Morricession is easy to prosecute thanks to COVID-19 delivering a uniquely symmetrical series of economic shocks over sequential years. While other economies shrugged these off with relative ease, the idiot at Australia’s macro-economic controls lurched alarmingly each time. So much so, and with such a precisely repeated pattern, that the Morricesssion is undeniable Downunder.

The first case of idiotic mismanagement arose in 2021. In that year, a new and more transmissible variant of COVID-19 leaked into Australia owing to poor quarantine systems. This was the direct result of the failure of the idiot at the macroeconomic controls to centralise border processing in remote areas, as experts had been calling for all year.

When the virus arrived, it greeted a population of unvaccinated fresh meat because the same idiot at the macroeconomic controls had failed to procure sufficient vaccines for the country. As other nations plowed on without recessions, Australians were forced back into government lockdown and the Morricession took hold.

Fast forward to 2022 and the pattern repeated itself with mind-numbing accuracy. This time the idiot at the macroeconomic controls determined that it was a great time to abandon all COVID-19 protocols. To throw open the borders, to remove all social distancing, to trash the carefully accumulated knowledge and expertise of several years, just as the most transmissible ever form of COVID-19 landed on Austalia’s doorstep.

Once again, there was no useful quarantine. Again, vaccines and testing kits were as rare as hen’s teeth, and the variant tore through the country unencumbered.

This resulted in the entirely predictable outcome of the economy being shocked to a standstill by illness and panic on both the demand and supply sides.  A second Morricession in as many years.

As you can see, the Morricession is both observable and repeatable as an economic phenomenon. Thus, I give you Australia’s twin Morricessions:

I’ve estimated the outcome for the Q1’22 OMICRON shock will be roughly the same as the Q3’21 DELTA shock. This seems fair enough given the crash in spending is reportedly even worse at this stage.

If we assume a counterfactual in which an idiot was not at the macroeconomic controls of Australia during this period then it would have grown, conservatively, at 0.5% in both quarters. That means the twin Morricessions will have cost Australia approximately 2.4% of GDP per dip and 4.8% of output in total.

That is $96bn lost forever into the brainless singularity that is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s head. Still not enough to fill it.

And as the rock-solid science of this post amply demonstrates, so long as an idiot is left within fumbling distance of the nation’s macroeconomic controls another Morricession is inevitable.

I have applied for the word “Morricession” to be included in the Oxford Dictionary and am composing a deeper analysis for The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press.

I am confident both will be favourably peer-reviewed and received in due course:

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. DonaldHornRebornMEMBER

    How the hell will the prime minister’s office “dead cat” strategise this one. With an election looming in May presumably the mantra of “best economic managers” will be exposed. With the current supply chain crises and all the other visible failings surely the quiet Australians will rise up at the ballot box ?
    The “let it rip” strategy was fully deliberate. People were not informed of just how infectious omicron is, and effectively left to their own “personal responsibility” which has resulted in Australia leading the world in infection rates. They sat round a table and planned this. Let that sink in.

    John Cadogan used the phase “special needs” in his video https://youtu.be/1AcNoYWJ3ro
    He sums it up perfectly.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Check out the comments on the PMs Facebook page, on yesterday’s post. 90% negative, and his minions have deleted 3500, so far.

        Even his ‘super fans’ are calling him out.

        The bloke is gone.

        • So is Djokovic, I reckon, they’ll send him home. It would be a delightful irony if Serbia’s Christian fascist idiot was the final nail in the coffin of Australia’s Christian fascist idiot.

          But we’ll come out of the Morricession just fine, under the wise hand of Treasurer Frybenberg-Chalmers. Who will generate 1m jobs in 4 years, and two-thirds of them will be filled by unskilled migrants. What’s not to like?

          • Yep plenty of the Joker supporters would vote Lib as well. Could syphon off more votes to UAP/PHON. Lot of Serbians seeing this as personal so they could very well put Libs last just because of this fiasco.

      • H&H you may be understimating Scovid, he is a very dangerous man.
        Putting on my Bcnich hat ;
        1, Morrison is deliberately destroying the Public health system, the goal of LNP governments for the past 50 years. (never waste a crisis)
        2. Morrison will cancel the upcoming Federal elections on the grounds of a National emergency.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Oh yeah, this was deliberate all right. Revenge on the Australian people I’d say for ignoring his initial LIR and go to the footy call.

      Anyhow, distractions.

      What if Omicron itself was the distraction they wanted? Look at what’s going on. Medicare is being dismantled. Welfare recipients being forced to work. WH&S rules being changed.

      This is their last gasp to destroy the place.

      Doesn’t even take into account the dodgy deals going on. Look at the dodgy tanks deal just announced, $1.1b more than what was announced six months ago. Who’s getting that kickback? There’s plenty more.

      He’s used distractions the entire time he’s been in power to undermine Australia. Omicron is just the biggest.

      • Thanks to the virtual lockdown I wonder how much market share will be taken from small business to big business?

        • Small services getting absolutely crushed I imagine. Every pub/bar/music venue I know is either a) closed half the time because no staff b) bands can’t play because new restrictions on dancing c) it doesn’t matter if they open anyway because no-one is showing up.

          One venue (Melbourne) had a sold out ticketed sales to a gig that went ahead, and only 30% showed up

          • I would guess one of the Media Tech companies and whatever delivery companies probably got some of the revenue then instead of the pub/bar/music venues?

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        We all know the bloke getting the kick back. Hewson inferred the bloke was the last person you’d want next to a funnel of money, when chatting to the Jolly Swagman a few months ago.

        • What will the next distraction be? Knighting Prince Andrew? Getting Boris down under for a party? Turning up at the tennis?

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      “Personal responsibility” is another neo-liberal example of victim blaming – when the government system is not put in place.
      They are too busy checking the increase in the prices of their investment apartments and holiday homes in Air BNB.

    • Uncle WattleberryMEMBER

      Mate, I’ve been ruminating on this and letting it sink in. The thing is, I keep coming back to this question: How could a bloke or blokes who couldn’t organise a shout in a pub plan anything? There’s no conspiracy. Things just happen to them and they either benefit or don’t.

    • How the hell will the prime minister’s office “dead cat” strategise this one. With an election looming in May presumably the mantra of “best economic managers” will be exposed. With the current supply chain crises and all the other visible failings surely the quiet Australians will rise up at the ballot box ?

      “Just think about how much worse it would have been under Labor, because they’re such terrible economic managers.”

      This has been the (media supported) messaging justifying Coalition economic malfeasance for literally decades now. Will this be the time it doesn’t work ? No idea, but I hope so.

  2. Wrong. It’s not 96 Billion dollars lost. It went into some people’s pockets. Scomo is just following orders… Don’t personify it.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    I think you’re giving scomo far too much credit for the degree of control he has, and wants. He has no desire to control the economy because he has no idea how to do it so thats something best left to the experts. The banks.

    I would simply say he completely bungled the stimulus and had it been done properly many of these flow-on effects could have been avoided or reduced.

    But the guy failed at handing out free government money to the people, pretty much the only thing modern governments embracing Thatcherism do. That, more than anything else he may or may not have done is grounds for his ridicule.

    Managing the vaccines was pretty badly done, but so were the rules, but these rules were defined by “experts”, with or without vested interests, that’s up for debate.

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Hey, where’s the Hungarian? Troubled finances is his gambit.

    He’s either very, very crook with the WuFlu or he’s just not going to come out and face the reality of it all.

  5. working class hamMEMBER

    Public outcry directs his decisions.
    -The country is burning, photo op time.
    -Economy stalls in lockdowns, funnels public money into private sector.
    -Vax available, contracts for boys.
    -RAT tests required, “not everything can be free” contracts for the boys.
    -Too many isolated workers, change the iso rules.

    Every decision he makes has the appearance of being time critical, any tough calls, forced by reasons beyond his control, with the always present “smirk”, knowing that no one realises who actually benefits financially from his announcement and no one will hold him accountable.

    He runs the country like a business, simply adjusting his tac whenever he see’s financial gain for those people/companies that he needs/owes. There is no forethought or planning, just opportunities.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Like a business? There’s more planning in a business.

      He runs it like a Mafia, playing favors and seeking patronage.

      It’s this sort of feudalism that Westminster Parliment evolved to minimize.

    • And much of the Google Tax Sponsored Media will present him as doing a good job. He might even get re-elected!

    • TheLambKingMEMBER

      Kids should not be jabbed, anyone under 70 should not be jabbed, the data is in and it doesn’t support mandatory jabs, lockdown etc. Under 20 and you have a .0013% mortality rate, it’s trivial for the response.

      By your logic, we shouldn’t then vaccinate against measles, mumps, rubella, polio etc. But anti-vaxxer logic is oxymoronic.

      • BoomToBustMEMBER

        What is moronic is the total lack of peoples ability to see the conflict of interest. We are taking advice from the companies that make the money, more illness requires more medication. If you give it 5 minutes of thought you can clearly see it is not in their best interests to get you better, the complete opposite is the truth. I’ve seen an interview from a pharma executive where he said their goal is not to make people better, but to make profit.

        Then lets talk about how long it takes to develop a vaccination, around 10 years (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/vaccine-development-barriers-coronavirus/) where they accumulate all the data to ensure its safe for public use, they developed these in 6 months. Also they are all provisionally approved, this means that they do not have fully regulatory approval, it also means they have no liability. Would you buy a vehicle with no warranty? Of course you wouldnt, so why would you willingly inject a product that has not undertake the same rigorous testing and has manufacturer liability and is only provisionally approved?? And why would you give that to your kids who are the most vulnerable ?? You’d have to have rocks in your head.

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          What is moronic is the total lack of peoples ability to see the conflict of interest. We are taking advice from the companies that make the money, more illness requires more medication.

          Then shouldn’t you be pro vaccines? As they prevent illness and hospitalisation. Why would Pfizer want to sell a vaccine when they would make more money on anti-viral and treatment drugs? In illnesses like HIV people are on expensive anti-viral drugs for life!

          • BoomToBustMEMBER

            I understand your logic and where you are coming from, unfortunately this type of thinking is 2D rather than 3D, as with most/all pharma meds they dont fix the underlying cause, and always cause other side effects that need more meds, that needs more meds to fix. If you think about pharma as a business and take health out of it, a businesses objective is to make as much profit as possible for its shareholders and directors. Pharma is no different, they are just in the medical business. If people get better then they dont need pharma and profits drop (we havnt even discussed them being sued here).

            If you look at the ingredients of many vaccinations they contain mercury, small amounts disguised in another product. How much mercury is good for you?? Simple answer is ZERO. Then there is the aluminum, another heavy metal. How much aluminum in your system is good for you ? ZERO. What happens to all these metals in your system? They build up slowly over time, your body is not capable of removing them. Look up the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning.

            When our daughter was born 6 years ago they wanted to immediately jab her against hepatitis B to boost her immunity before she really has an immune system and to something that is obtained generally via sex or sharing needles. When was the last time you heard of a new born baby catching hep B??

          • working class hamMEMBER

            Subscription based services are the best for consistent profits. Boosters are getting pushed hard now, the monthly/daily pills are coming.

            https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-drug-pfizer-confirms-pill-results-potency-versus-omicron/ba9a7c50-365f-4eaa-931c-d81783c02701

            “The company also said on Tuesday that full results of its 2250-person study confirmed the pill’s promising early results against the virus: The drug reduced combined hospitalisations and deaths by about 89 per cent among high-risk adults when taken shortly after initial COVID-19 symptoms.”

            2250 person study? such a large study.

            History repeatedly tells us that large pharma corps place profit before patients health.

          • TheLambKingMEMBER

            If you look at the ingredients of many vaccinations they contain mercury, small amounts disguised in another product. How much mercury is good for you??

            Ah, anti-vaxxer playbook of playing the mercury boogey monster! No point arguing with you then. Every anti-vaxxer gets pointed out that no vaccine in Australia (or pretty much anywhere in the world) contains mercury (thiomersal.) (EVEN THOUGH thiomersal has completely different characteristics to the mercury in thermometers – but you guys don’t want to listen to the scientists who actually understand chemistry)
            https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/about-immunisation/vaccine-safety

            Aluminum? You probably breath in as much each day as there is in a vaccine and the food you eat contains many times more aluminum each day than a vaccine. Every cut you have had in your life exposes you to more aluminum than a vaccine administered into a muscle.

            When our daughter was born 6 years ago they wanted to immediately jab her against hepatitis B to boost her immunity before she really has an immune system and to something that is obtained generally via sex or sharing needles. When was the last time you heard of a new born baby catching hep B??

            Because Hep B is dangerous to children and Hep B risks are everywhere for kids! They can get it from being bitten by other infected kids in the park or in care (who get it from their mums in pregnancy – my wife works as a midwife in a tertiary hospital and will see at least 1 kid infected at birth every week) or from a needle in the playground.

      • Under 20 and you have a .0013% mortality rate, it’s trivial for the response.

        AND

        By your logic, we shouldn’t then vaccinate against measles, mumps, rubella, polio etc. But anti-vaxxer logic is oxymoronic.

        OK, please expand on this initial statement, followed by your conclusion of his logic.

        I would assert to many, his logic is wildly different to what you assert, and that is not his logic… but you’ve clearly pulled something out of a different hat.

        How is this his logic?

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          OK, please expand on this initial statement, followed by your conclusion of his logic.

          Those diseases have very similar low case mortality rates and almost non-existent cases in Australia, but we still vaccinate against those diseases. His logic was ‘why do we vaccinate (kids and under 70’s) against a disease with such a low mortality rate?’. I was asking if we should then, by the same logic stop vaccinating against measles, mumps rubella etc?

          The answer of course is that we vaccinate against diseases that can kill people because we can! We can prevent death and permeant problems by vaccinating. And we have also shown that we can illiminate disease with vaccination – which also protects the people whom vaccinations don’t work (or can’t be taken.)

          • Those diseases have very similar low case mortality rates and almost non-existent cases in Australia, but we still vaccinate against those diseases.

            We also have a body of evidence that says the vaccine is less harmful than the disease, excluding the lethality.

            His logic was ‘why do we vaccinate (kids and under 70’s) against a disease with such a low mortality rate?’. I was asking if we should then, by the same logic stop vaccinating against measles, mumps rubella etc?

            Well the main reason vaccines were introduced for these wasn’t the lethality, but their virality. Measles in particular, has a immune suppression response to our immune system, and it’s the non-lethal effects which are seen to be quite harmful and an enduring suffering of the pathogen.

            There is no recorded case of covid being enduring. There are two outcomes, the protein spiking your lungs and you die.. or your immune system always overcomes COVID.

            The answer of course is that we vaccinate against diseases that can kill people because we can!

            Chickenpox
            Pneumococcal disease
            Diptheria

            No, we vaccinate people because there is a overwhelming cost-benefit analysis to do so.
            This does not exist for covid, a respiratory virus which has a 99.98% of naturally overcoming the virus with ones own immune system.

            The arguments for a society-wide medical intervention of covid are to reduce contagion rates, which covid does not, and to reduce severity where hospitalissation would otherwise be required for treatment, which the data is spurious andd what looks to be intentionally opaque…

            As well as the natural progression of all viral pathoegens, where the prevailing strain (Omicron) is benign, requring very little hospitalisation, and suffers often asymptomatic.

            Yes, there are high risk categories… oldies and fat people mainly.

            Let them choose to be vaccinatied, and impose BMI mandates nation wide.

            But subject the mainstream population, particularly for sub-18 years olds, where it is proven the vaccine causes higher rates of myocarditis, is unnecessary, putting it mildly

            We can prevent death and permeant problems by vaccinating.

            We can prevent death by being young and being a health weight range. One is immutable, but it seems to not be taken into account.

            And we have also shown that we can illiminate disease with vaccination – which also protects the people whom vaccinations don’t work (or can’t be taken.)

            Considering the rate of mutation with COVID, and how _viral_ vaccines work… we are not going to eliminate it. That possibility was lost once we allowed any planes to leave China in December 2019.

      • Michael JohnsonMEMBER

        Of course he can be bloody trusted. A man of that substance is not going to blow hos career and professional integrity for the hell of it. The media sensationalize everything to keep it going. Generally the bed-wetting compliant sheeple (usually the liberal left) panic and fall into line. Be clear, Covid-19 is well capable of killing you, particularly if you are the average death age (85) and have underlying health problems. Its another way of dying of pneumonia (the old persons friend).
        The drug companies love it and the drug companies have over the past 50 years got most US pollies in their pocket.
        No it is not a big murky conspiracy, it is just the way the system has evolved.
        The hand-wringing dependent lefties love nothing more than to fall into line. Easy fodder with high emotional triggers that the pros know how to ping.

  6. What’s another $100bn between mates… a big deal.
    Frydenstein splurges $40bn of public money on his mates without blinking.
    Move on.

  7. Michael JohnsonMEMBER

    MB should rise above silly student political banter if it looks to grow and broaden appeal.
    All pollies these days are underwhelming.
    Poor old Albo went straight from Uni into local area government and has never left since. A Balmain DJ, pollie hipster with no private sector employments history ever. Perfect resume to lead the country? How is the rest of the ALP front bench (lol)?
    Face it, both sides are pretty useless. thanks in general to the left side of politics traditionally wanting to spend on large social handouts and buy votes. The right learned that this works pretty well (check EU for past 30 years) so now both sides spend to oblivion!
    The Libs have been in power for a majority of the past 20 years. Highest ever spending on hospitals, education and throw in the NDIS and transfer payments. All around, liberal western democracies it is the same story. A complete spend-fest, just run up the Debt/GDP and buy the votes. If you say no then you are an evil fascist, tory (sad but that is where we sit).
    We as Australians form both sides of the political fence should stand up and demand an end to this.
    Too much wealth accrued through lazy assets (real estate etc) off the back of cheap % rates and tax concessions. There is a concentrated asset backed wealth bubble that is the real problem and needs to be lanced.
    As much as Shorten is a knob (tells Anrnie Schwarzenegger that he is the next PM lol lol!!) he was on the right track with banning neg gearing on residential property etc.
    So there you have it.
    Don’t be an angry zealot, grow up, they are all dills!

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      In Lismore the Base hospital underwent a $30million upgrade. 3 new wards have been added.
      However they lie mothballed because there was no funding to staff them
      Pure Yes Minister.