Well, no. That’s not exactly what they said.
But if you have the ability to look beyond the end of your nose; if you have seen that governments across the “developed” world have been stealing their citizens’ super to prop up their own and their banks’ finances; if you have seen the dire state of the Federal budget; and if you have seen the sneaky policy quietly introduced by the Liberal Party, and now implemented by the Labor Party, then the unstated implication is clear.
Some day soon, a tapped out Australian Government – whether Labor or Liberal – will “borrow” your super to give to the banks.
In our “national economic interest”.
In the opinion of your humble blogger, this is as clear and as inevitable as the rising of the sun on a crisp cloudless morning.
The rays illuminating this truth have been faintly flickering over the horizon, ever more brightly, for well over a year.
Now, it is dawning.
The only question is this – Who is awake early to see it?
From the Australian (emphasis added):
Funding shortfall threatens resources projects
THE economy’s ability to reap the full benefits of the once in a generation resources boom is in jeopardy, with major projects facing a funding gap as more foreign banks leave the Australian market and local lenders struggle with ongoing turmoil in financial markets.
The big four banks all warn that a record pipeline of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of resources-related projects cannot be met by the banking sector alone while it is being crunched by current economic instability and is being forced to raise its capital levels to comply with new global banking rules.
A range of submissions from the major banks to a Productivity Commission inquiry into the future of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) show the banks are worried the funding shortfall is set to worsen.
There are fears that a funding gap will exacerbate the “hollow nation” notion that Australia is not capitalising on the boom.
Oh dear! Where to begin?
On the one hand, there are many (including your humble blogger) who have cogently argued that both the Treasury Secretary’s and RBA Governor’s economic policy settings are deliberately geared to hollowing out the rest of the economy to “make room” for the mining boom. Both Treasury and the RBA have openly admitted this. Their deliberate high AUD policy is the most disastrous example. But now, the new claim is that the Big Banks need an extra source of funding, or else the nation will be hollowed out by not maximising a mining boom?! Orwell would be proud.
The biggest bank, the Commonwealth, predicts that the number of banks lending in the Australian market will shrink further.
Translation: We know that Wayne has made “increased bank competition” a mantra, hoping to placate voters’ anger; what better way to pitch for government “help” than to warn (threaten) of a future with reduced competition.
National Australia Bank’s group executive of wholesale banking, Rick Sawers, said there was a risk that funding to the resources sector could become constrained, which would ultimately hold back the sector’s growth.
“As project capital costs have increased, particularly in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors, maximum individual bank exposure amounts are being tested,” Mr Sawers said.
He said “additional sources of capital” were required.
Mr Sawers said Australia needed to ensure that international sovereign wealth funds were encouraged to invest in the local market.
The banks argued that there was a role for EFIC to provide funding to ensure export-oriented projects could be developed.
So if it is true that the big banks are going to have difficulty accessing enough money from overseas to finance Wayne’s oft-touted “massive investment pipeline” in mining, where do you think the extra money is going to come from?
If investment by international sovereign wealth funds in Australia’s mining boom was such an obvious winner for them, there would be no problem, and no need to “encourage” them, now would there?
There is another “sovereign wealth fund”, that could more easily be “encouraged” by government to “invest” in the Big Banks.
Consider: What is by far the biggest pool of “savings” that could be quickly and easily tapped, by a tapped out Federal Government?
Why, the fourth largest retirement savings pool in the world, of course! The $1.3 Trillion in Aussies’ combined superannuation savings. The pool of funds described by Minister for Superannuation and PM-in-waiting, Bill Shorten, as “our” “sovereign wealth fund”, a “significant national asset” that “strengthens our financial sector“:
Superannuation is our sovereign wealth fund
This week marks 12 months exactly since the government announced plans to take compulsory superannuation from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.
… our superannuation savings place Australia fourth in the world. Its $1.3 trillion in funds under management through superannuation significantly boosts national savings and provides greater retirement security for millions of Australians. Superannuation is also a significant national asset because it strengthens our financial sector.
It is the same pool of funds that Gillard has already tried “encouraging” to invest in government “infrastructure projects”, like the NBN -
The Gillard government’s 2011-12 budget has proposed a raft of initiatives aimed at encouraging superannuation fund and private investment in infrastructure projects.
Back to the Big Banks’ veiled threat:
Westpac warned that the major Australian banks were already facing “considerable pressure” because of large resource-related projects and the ongoing squeeze in global financial markets, while other funding sources “cannot meet the demand for funding created by the historically strong project pipeline in Australia at present”.
ANZ said an estimated $109bn in debt would be needed to finance projects this year and Germany’s Deutsche Bank said the impact of the global financial crisis was still being felt four years on as banks were forced to restrict their lending.
The banks’ warnings are contained in new submissions to Julia Gillard’s chief micro-economic adviser in a bid to convince it to reverse a recommendation that EFIC be cut back.
The Productivity Commission has accused EFIC, the government’s export credit agency, of handing out damaging subsidies to big exporters.
Now do you understand why the ALP government has passed legislation to increase the compulsory superannuation levy on employers by 33.3% – from 9% to 12% – and is using the blatant lie that the mining tax will pay for the increase to smear over the truth, that it is small business who will wear the extra cost, even though the Treasury and RBA’s policy settings are already sending small businesses bankrupt in record numbers?
Now do you understand why Tony Abbott claims that he does not support the superannuation increase, but has refused to repeal it on becoming PM?
Make no mistake, dear reader.
That is the new dawn coming over the horizon.
What has already happened in countries like the USA, UK, France, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, and many more, will happen here too.
It is just a matter of time.
For more, here is a selection of previous articles, in reverse chronological order: