Barnaby: “Waiting For Swan Dude To Mutter The Word ‘Surplus'”

11 Aug

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times (emphasis added):

Debt is now a long-term problem

In the mall outside the City Hall gathered the Socialist Action Alliance; speeches, placards, all fairly predictable, about 80 of them.

The zealot loud hailer core were looking a little tired, and a bit passe, but the students were revelling in experimenting with another illicit substance, communism.

Across from them was the Ban the Burka group. There were fewer of them, all in blue, special King Gee Ban the Burka shirts with a motif on them that looked like they wished to ban Pac Man.

Then there was just a cacophony of noise which, from where I was standing, while waiting for my wife and daughter to return from a shop, sounded something along the lines of “Bigot stoning Moslem ban”. The amalgam of the two mantras had led to a perfectly reasonable request.

Into the midst of this came another undergraduate dressed all in black with a cape and a black-winged motorbike helmet. “Bat Thief” was emblazoned across his chest.

He cut quite a dashing figure. Beside him stood plain clothes Boy Wonder with a placard on a stick offering “free hugs”. They were obviously a duo – it was outside City Hall after all.

Bat Thief stood beside me, observed the scene and muttered “racism”.

Which group he was referring to and exactly what he was going to do next shall remain a mystery.

Anyway it appeared to be either too much or too inconsequential for Bat Thief.

He and his coterie of skateboard super heroes exited behind the Ban Pac Man crowd.

The constabulary was also there and had managed to apprehend three felons; the charge, riding a push bike in the mall, mitigated by their combined ages being less than that of the youngest protester.

This was the day that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US Government. The mall appeared oblivious to the fact that the world had changed. A fire that was lit by debt and had never gone out had come raging back over the horizon and could financially take all before it.

Australia has been distracted from the main issue. I have more faith in Bat Thief and the Free Hugs boy wonder than I do in Wayne and Julia to get us through this one.

If you put your face too close to the painting you can’t see the picture, and to see this picture you have to go back to 2008.

I remember reading some very prescient articles that formulated my belief that debt had gone from a transient problem to a long-term structural problem.

William White, from the Bank of International Settlements, started to raise serious concerns about interbank liquidity. Dr Paul Woolley and Eric Janszen argued that people had been borrowing money to gamble on derivatives. A very dangerous thing.

I remember when studying for my CPA, it was one of the first lessons taught, learning that Toyota once decided they could make more money trading options than selling cars and almost went broke. Unfortunately we had whole nations trying to do it.

It always amazed me that if a humble accountant from St George was reading this then why wasn’t the Treasurer? At the time he seemed too busy fighting a war on inflation, in an attempt to embarrass the previous government, rather than tackle the problems facing the world.

Now, the problem then was debt and the problem now is debt.

Southern Europe doesn’t want to pay their taxes but they want the social protections of a benevolent government. The problem for the Germans is that they are sick of bailing them out. They may no longer have a choice because the problem is becoming too big for anyone.

America’s debt is at a level that is beyond the human mind to actually fathom; it has become a form of mathematical metaphysics worthy of Donne or Dryden.

Here in Australia we are led by an apparently fiscally conservative government that has increased public debt by 150 per cent since 2007.

Only those other noted fiscal conservative governments in Iceland and Ireland have grown their debt at a faster rate.

Our Treasurer’s promise to deliver a surplus is as much of a show as Bat Thief’s cape and skateboard trick. I am waiting for Swan dude to mutter the word “surplus” and then disappear down the street with the Labor party on their skateboards.

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2 Responses to “Barnaby: “Waiting For Swan Dude To Mutter The Word ‘Surplus'””

  1. JMD August 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Barnaby is funny.

    To borrow, & mangle, a phrase from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (google them!);

    Humour will get us through times of no money, better than money will get us through times of no humour.

  2. JJ August 12, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    I think we are all missing the “big picture” item here….
    Labor are told what to do, and they will do it or be removed (remember k rudd?) from power.!
    This is all in line with the end game plan of stealing wealth, creating panic and issuance of a new global reserve currency backed by the UN.

    Wait and see…..

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