Archive | 2011

Will You Take Time For Small Change In 2012?

31 Dec

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing over the past two years.

My challenge to us all for 2012 is this.

Think small.

May God bless you and yours.

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Hope Remains – MSM Most Distrusted “Institution” In Oz

31 Dec

It’s true! Hope does spring eternal!

Keep right on disbelieving, dear reader:

Only one organisation in Australia is viewed, statistically speaking, as totally untrustworthy: the media. The scoop in the 2010 Australian Election Survey, published this week, wasn’t so much that the messenger finished last but that the gap between us and the political institutions we are supposed to hold to account was so wide.

Only 17 per cent of voters polled at the last election had confidence in the press, compared with 53 per cent for the Australian political system, 41 per cent for the public service and 31 per cent for the political parties.

Still a long way to go on disbelief in the political “system”. And in the “parties”.

And sadly, a very long way to go on disbelief in the “Banks and financial institutions”:

Click to enlarge

But at least we are heading in the right direction with distrust for our mainstream “news” sources.

Brace Yourself, Here Comes Your 37% Bigger Clean Energy Future Power Bill

30 Dec

Illustration by Zeg | Click to enlarge

Wonderful thing, this carbon dioxide derivatives scheme scam.

Even more wonder full … the Treasury department’s modelling of it.

Bend over and grab your ankles Australia. Here comes your Clean Energy Future power bill.

From the Australian:

The carbon tax will push up electricity prices by about double the 10 per cent nominated in Treasury modelling for some of the nation’s biggest industrial power users.

The biggest electricity users will face power price rises of about 20 per cent, sparking warnings that it will severely damage elements of the nation’s manufacturing sector…

National Generators Forum chairman Trevor St Baker said industrial power users would face higher proportionate electricity price rises compared with residential power users. This is because many big power users have contracts at lower rates than those paid by residential users.

Some of the biggest power users pay about 10c a kilowatt hour, while many others pay from 12c to 17c/kWh. Residential customers pay about 21c/kWh.

Treasury argues that power companies will pass through about 85 per cent of the carbon price, equating to a price rise of 1.95c/kWh for all users.

Oh, well that’s alright then. Just don’t mention that the Australian Energy Market Commission has reported that residential power users can expect a 37% increase in their bills (more below).

This would equate to a 19.5 per cent electricity rise for a big user with a contract price of 10c/kWh and about 13 per cent for a user with a contract of about 15c/kWh.

“The reality is that the little Victorian factories and factories all over the country are going to be affected,” Mr St Baker said. “There needs to be a circuit breaker. These are people who are employing people in the most marginal import-competing jobs. And they are all going to go overseas.”

Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell said the carbon tax would impose another cost on manufacturers on top of the high dollar. He said many businesses would be caught unawares by the increase in electricity prices when the carbon price takes effect from July 1 next year.

“The cost is bigger when you add the cost of renewable energy,” Senator Boswell said. “Renewable energy could take the increased costs up to 30 per cent.”

There goes the (manufacturing) neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, now that the carbon “tax” legislation has been rammed home by Green-Labor and the “Independents”, the lamestream media has gone all quiet on the true consequences.

As Keith Orchison at Business Spectator notes (emphasis added):

Given the supposedly “white hot” community views on electricity prices – which we were assured back in March was the voter mindset as NSW went to the polls and which we may see play a role in the upcoming Queensland election – there was surprisingly little mainstream media follow-through in December on an important report delivered to the Council of Australian Governments’ energy ministers committee.

The critical point in the report prepared by the AEMC [Australian Energy Market Commission] is that we can expect a rise of 37 per cent in power bills across the country between 2010-11 and 2013-14. In other words, a householder paying $1,500 a year for electricity today can expect to be forking out about $2,050 in 2013-14.

On the AEMC’s estimates, the two states with the most consumers – NSW and Queensland, with 4.5 million residential account holders between them, half the national total – will be the ones to see the highest prices rises: 33 per cent south of the Tweed and 32.2 per cent north of the river.

The AEMC breakdown of costs sees networks (transmission and distribution) contributing half of the increases across the country with wholesale energy prices (including the impact of a carbon charge) adding 40 per cent.

No Keith.

The lack of mainstream media follow through is not surprising at all.

They are the sand that the mainstream masses have their heads buried in.

Their job is done.

China Stops Encouraging Foreign Investment

30 Dec

Riddle me this.

A “developing” nation of 1.3 billion people, a country that is supposedly the “engine of growth” for “a new era” in the world economy, stops encouraging foreign investment in its local car manufacturing industry.

Meanwhile, a “developed” nation of 22 million people, a country that survives on digging huge holes and selling its coking coal and iron ore for steel production to said “booming” nation, not only actively encourages foreign “investment in” (read “ownership of”) all its vital industries (agriculture, mining, manufacturing) … it gives $25 million to the world’s biggest (foreign) car maker to build a car it was going to build anyway … sends billions in “stimulus” overseas to buy carcinogenic pink batts and crappy flat screens … and all the while, its Treasurer constantly bleats his continued expectation of a “huge pipeline of investment” to salvage the nation’s savaged finances.

Tell me … which of these two nations’ politicians are best serving the long term interests of their own people?

From Bloomberg:

China will stop encouraging foreign investment in car manufacturing to allow for “healthy development” of a market that saw sales growth plummet to a tenth of last year’s pace.

The change ends seven years of foreign-investor benefits including reduced tariffs on imported plant equipment, said Jenny Gu, a senior market analyst at LMC Automotive in Shanghai…

SAIC Motor Corp., the nation’s largest listed automaker, rose 4.1 percent to 13.88 yuan in Shanghai trading today, it’s biggest gain in almost two weeks…

The nation’s automobile manufacturers association estimated that 2011 deliveries may grow by the least in 13 years as a rollback in policies aimed at encouraging buyers curtailed purchases.

So, China doesn’t want more cars produced? Because a dramatic fall in sales is another red flag that the “China bubble” is bursting?

Or, they just want to guard their own economic destiny?

In either conclusion, by contrast our own politicians are made to look exactly like the short-sighted, self-centred, traitorous sell-outs that they really are.

An Average Aussie Unloads On The Average Labor Pollie

30 Dec

Reader “Tomorrow’s Serf” has a thoughtful word or many for modern Labor:

And so this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over……

We been forced to watch as our fantastic country has been poured down the toilet towards economic disaster by a bunch of, at best, incompetent, and at worst, treasonous fools and morons.

We have housing going down, retailing going down, mining slowing down, shares and stocks going down, (and up a bit and then down some more) economic activity everywhere going down, employment going down, happiness going down.

And interest rates, they’re going down……but not for long. And when they too start going up, that’s when the S will really H the F!!

Well something’s got to be going up! That’s right, government debt levels (last check, it was $228 billion??), unemployment, mortgage stress, senior executive salaries, politicians salaries (did Craig Thompson get a 40 percent pay rise too for his contributions to the sex industry?). Food prices, fuel prices, electricity prices. Then there’s the increasing number of useless bureaucrats, increasing taxes and surchages, fees and tariffs. Fines and penalties too. Yep, there’s lots of things going up.

I sit here in chilly old Bremen, Northern Germany, suffering from catastrophic global warming (BRRRRR!! NOT), enjoying my front-row seat watching first hand the implosion of that brilliant piece of social and economic engineering, the european union, implode in real time. Who designed this mess? Probably a politician, a bureaucrat or a banker. Probably a mix of all three!! And to think that the silly old Greeks jiggled their books, with the help of our old friends from Goldman Sachs (Hi Mal, we’re watching you) to be allowed in. I wonder if, now that the european credit card has been thoroughly maxed out, and the bill is now due, whether they think, with the benefit of hindsight, that it was such a good idea to join. Anyone for an Austerity Riot??

Which makes me wonder about the wisdom of we Aussies allowing ourselves to be dragged into the next great social and economic experiment, APEC. The Asia Pacific Economic Council. But Julia seems to think it makes good sense. She was recently running around the Pacific somewhere, minding someone else’s business, as she does, bleating about Free Trade, and closer ties. You know, all the usual stuff.

But this is the same woman/politician who thinks other things are good ideas too. Things like NBN’s, Pink Batts, BER’s, MRRT’s (just as the mining boom busts), MDBA’s (because you can’t let farmers have water to irrigate – hell, they might grow some food), Carbon Taxes (sorry, make that a Bankster generated, Carbon Dioxide Derivative Trading Platform), shutting down the live cattle trade in the NT, shutting down the coal mining industry, stopping logging activities in Tassy, flip-flopping on flogging uranium to India, blowing out the Federal Budget to around $230 billion in 4 years, giving cash handouts to support Asian electronics industries, encouraging people smuggling, and appointing a global corporation like Serco (who the hell is Serco, anyway??) to run our Gulags for us, again at considerable cost to the long-suffering taxpayer.

If you wanted to destroy the economic structure and fabric of a nation, you couldn’t make a better choice than appointing the current Labor government.

Not that I think this is really a “Labor” government. Labor was the party of the working man. The guy who rolled his sleeves up and worked hard, played hard, drank hard. You know who I mean. The bloke you couldn’t help but admire. So he voted for his political team, like my tradie mates still do. Fair enough. But they mis-spelt “Labor”. They are being conned by the modern Labor politician. Today’s Labor pollie has never handled a shovel, can’t wire up a house, couldn’t fix an engine, can’t change a washer or a light bulb, and has certainly never milked a cow or driven a tractor.

What he/she can do is think up smarmy one-liners to insult his constituents, he can stare straight into a TV camera and lie with conviction about giving a rats arse about the average punter. Today’s Labor politician is adept at explaining unusual official Credit Card activity at brothels and restaurants (Craig), is not above threatening staff members at hospitality venues with the loss of their jobs if a table isn’t immediately made available for them (eh Belinda), is a master of the “late night meeting” with “business associates” hoping to secure “NO BID” mining leases all over the country side. He is a whizz at lining his own pocket at the expense of the citizen. He/she are charlatans.

This mob is not the Real McCoy. It’s a wolf in sheeps’ clothing. It’s a cobbled-together mish mash of self interested “Save the Worlders” with a bunch of political opportunists with economics and law degrees and stints at the UN (like Craig Emerson our Trade Minister) Anthony Albanese (remember him with his smarmy side swipe at “the Convoy of NO Confidence” calling it instead “the Convoy of No Consequence”.)

It’s a mob trading on the fond memory of probably well meaning and patriotic Labor politicians of days gone by. Chifley, Curtin. Those guys. They’d roll over in their graves if they could see this current lot.

No, I’m afraid this lot aren’t there for us. Nobody could be THIS bad by accident. And if it’s not accidental, then it’s deliberate. And if it’s deliberate, then it’s treason.

And that’s a hanging offense (or should be).

We’ve asked for an election. We’ve demanded an election, and they laughed at us and gave us a Carbon Tax. They’ve lied, cheated, given themselves a 40 percent pay rise whilst battlers who voted for them (and those of us who didn’t) struggle.

Maybe we just have to occupy Federal Parliament and have them arrested!!

It’s time to call a spade a Bloody Shovel. Yes indeed, it’s long past time.

I feel better having gotten that off my chest…

Our Second Biggest Market Slumps, “Fundamentally On A Downward Slope”

30 Dec

Started out, just drinkin’ beer
I didn’t know how or why
Or what I was doin’ there
Just a couple more
Made me feel a little better
Believe me when I tell you
It was nothin’ to do with the letter

Sometimes I wonder
What all these chemicals
Are doin’ to my brain
Doesn’t worry me enough
To stop me from doin’ it agai-ai-ain
Wipin’ out brain cells
By the millions but I don’t care
It doesn’t worry me
Even though
I ain’t got a lot to spare-are-are

– The Nips Are Getting Bigger, Mental As Anything

If Treasurer Swan had enough grey matter to comprehend what is happening in the global economy Ponzi, then he’d probably be turning to the drink by now.

Because Japan’s economy is getting smaller.

From Bloomberg:

Japan’s rebound from the March earthquake and tsunami sputtered in November as production and retail sales tumbled, deepening the nation’s return to the deflation that first took hold a decade ago.

Industrial output slumped 2.6 percent from October, more than all the forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey of 29 economists, a government report showed today in Tokyo. Retail sales slid 2.1 percent…

“Fundamentally, Japan’s economy is on a downward slope,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief economist at Itochu Corp. “Exports are falling and negatively impacting Japan’s economy due to the global slowdown.”

“Industrial production is unlikely to recover to” levels seen before the 2008 global financial crisis, Junko Nishioka, chief Japan economist at RBS Securities Japan Ltd., said before today’s reports.

Other data also suggest Japan’s recovery may be stalling. Exports fell for the second straight month in November from a year earlier and capital spending in the third quarter dropped 9.8 percent.

Japan is our second biggest export market.

According to DFAT, as of October 2011 … before the November slump reported by Bloomberg … our exports to Japan were worth 62% of our exports to China:

The world’s third largest economy is also the most debt-laden nation on the planet:

Click to enlarge

Back in June we brought you the warning that our biggest economic danger could be hiding in plain sight.

It’s worth recapping:

Buy a farm house in the middle of nowhere, pick up a gun or two, prepare for hyperinflation and brace for a catastrophic bankruptcy. Thirty minutes with hedge-fund manager J. Kyle Bass has you wanting to do all of the above.

The head of Dallas-based Hayman Advisors LP isn’t thinking about Greece or even Spain but Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy. He says his bet against Japanese government bonds is even “more compelling” than his gamble to sell short U.S. subprime-mortgage debt, which earned him $500 million in 2007.

Shorting Japan has been a losing proposition in recent years. But the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis altered the outlook for a nation whose debt is more than double the size of the economy. Bass says a collapse is inevitable, making Japan’s 10-year bonds — they yield 1.3 percent, among the lowest in the world — a natural for a bear investor.

His argument is this: Japan now spends half of its central- government revenue on servicing debt. This task won’t get any easier as the country’s population ages and shrinks — provided rates stay the same. What’s more, the price tag for the earthquake and its effects will far exceed Japan’s initial $300 billion estimate, pushing the country over the edge. In Bass’s view, the biggest asset bubble ever is hiding in plain sight.

Feel like a drink?

It’s almost NYE after all.

Why We Could Replace The RBA With 5 Bits Of Paper And A Hat

29 Dec

Why do we listen to any of these bozos?

Ever.

And why do we pay them $1m annual salaries?!

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens argues that economic forecasts should not be seen as handed down from the oracles.

Umm. We’re paying you $1.05m per year mate. Tell us something we don’t know.

He had the Reserve Bank staff review their own accuracy and found that 12 months into the future, they got the gross domestic product number right to within 0.5 percentage points only 20 per cent of the time.

Brilliant.

Our long term “trend growth” is around 2.5% (and falling).

And yet, the RBA’s self-review shows that these elite economic forecasters only get their GDP growth forecast accurate to within about 20% … on one-in-five occasions.

I have a suggestion.

Sack the lot of them. Abolish the RBA. And replace them with a hat containing 5 slips of paper. The slips can be marked in 0.5% increments, from 1% through 3%.

The World’s Greatest Treasurer can draw one slip of paper out of the hat for the May budget. And another for the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) update.

Voila!

Economic forecasting of equal accuracy to the RBA’s elite, criminally overpaid #JAFA’s.

Imagine how much taxpayer money we would save.

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