Albo is the cuddly face of the gouging oligopolies


Deconstructing today’s political leaders is like shooting fish in a barrel with a howitzer. They are so stupid or corrupt that you can’t miss them.

All it takes is the slightest historical context; they are exposed as frauds.

Take Albo’s latest buffoonery about supermarket profit gouging:

Anthony Albanese has dismissed calls for forced divestiture powers to add competition to Australia’s food and grocery sector.

Former competition tsar Allan Fels has called for the watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to get new powers to call for the break-up of corporate giants, describing the move as a potential “big stick” against anticompetitive behaviour.

Nationals leader David Littleproud is among advocates calling for supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths to be broken up, amid growing accusations of price gouging and a series of government reviews.

Speaking on ABC radio in Brisbane on Thursday, Albanese said calls for forced divestiture powers were dangerous.

“What we had the power to do is to encourage competition and encouraging new entrants,” he said.

“At the moment there’s a voluntary code of conduct and what the ACCC are looking at is whether some form of mandating is required.

“We have a private sector economy in Australia, and not a command and control economy. We’re not the old Soviet Union.


Is breaking up monopolies into smaller businesses that can compete typical of centrally-planned Soviet economies with price fixing?

Is Albo joking? The Soviets owned the supermarket and fixed all prices.

Anti-trust actions and breakups are consistent with the powerful liberal forces within the US. There, regulatory bodies periodically dismember overly powerful monopolies in the public interest despite the cries of said vested interest.


Three apparent examples are Standard Oil, the Bell System and Microsoft. There are many more.

Aggressive anti-trust action against monopolies is precisely what functional liberal democracies do on a semi-regular basis to ensure they sustain a competitive market structure.

For without such actions, as Adam Smith said, the outcome is a foregone conclusion:


“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Albo is not arguing against Soviet policy. He is arguing against US-style competition; by doing so, he is promoting the development of a kleptocratic business model that advances corruption, gouging, class structure and control fraud.

Albo and his government are the cuddly teddy bears of oligarchy stuffed full of the maggots of personal and corporate greed.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.