Tag Archives: clean energy future

Infographic: Visualising The Size Of Australia’s Carbon Derivatives Time Bomb

24 Apr

On July 1, 2012, the government’s Clean Energy Future scheme will officially begin.

You know it as the carbon “tax”. It has been called a “tax” over and over and over again, by politicians, economists, bankers, and other vested interests, for a simple reason.

There are many who want you to think that the scheme to “put a price on carbon” is safe; that the government’s implementation of a “carbon price” is careful, methodical, and prudent.  A “fixed price” on carbon dioxide for 3 years. And only after 3 years, a transition from a fixed price to a “floating price” emissions trading scheme.

But there is something very important that they are not telling you.

There is a Ticking Time Bomb Hidden In The Carbon Tax.

It is called “derivatives”.

Carefully buried in 1,000+ pages of legislation, just 2 tiny, opaque clauses (109A and 110) have been included that allow the banks to immediately begin creating and trading unlimited quantities of unmonitored, unregulated carbon “securities” (another term for “derivatives”).

What are “derivatives”?

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This [graphic below] visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars.

LONG STORY: A derivative is a legal bet (contract) that derives its value from another asset, such as the future or current value of oil, government bonds or anything else. [Example] A derivative buys you the option (but not obligation) to buy oil in 6 months for today’s price/any agreed price, hoping that oil will cost more in future. (I’ll bet you it’ll cost more in 6 months). Derivative can also be used as insurance, betting that a loan will or won’t default before a given date. So its a big betting system, like a Casino, but instead of betting on cards and roulette, you bet on future values and performance of practically anything that holds value. The system is not regulated what-so-ever, and you can buy a derivative on an existing derivative.

Most large banks try to prevent smaller investors from gaining access to the derivative market on the basis of there being too much risk. Deriv. market has blown a galactic bubble, just like the real estate bubble or stock market bubble (that’s going on right now). Since there is literally no economist in the world that knows exactly how the derivative money flows or how the system works, while derivatives are traded in microseconds by computers, we really don’t know what will trigger the crash, or when it will happen, but considering the global financial crisis this system is in for tough times, that will be catastrophic for the world financial system…

Australia’s banks already trade in derivatives. Most of their derivatives bets are on movements in Interest Rates and Foreign Exchange Rates. And they have a total exposure to just these forms of derivatives, that is truly mind-boggling.

The numbers are so big, that no one can comprehend them.

You have to see it for yourself.

First, via the superb demonocracy.info website, here is an infographic to help you visualise what $1 Trillion looks like (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info

Got that?

$1 Trillion is a lot of money*.

The value of all Australians’ superannuation savings combined, is about $1.3 Trillion. As is the claimed annual “GDP” of the Australian economy.

Now, here is an infographic showing the Australian banks’ recent record high total “Off-Balance Sheet” derivatives exposure.  Remember, this is before the official start of a “price on carbon” allows the banks to start creating and trading carbon derivatives too (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info | Data source: RBA statistics

I want to emphasise the point made earlier.

Almost everyone incorrectly believes that no trading will happen until 2015. But the truth is, the banks can begin creating and trading in carbon derivatives from Day 1. Even though the scheme is supposed to be a “fixed price” scheme for the 3 years up to 2015.

Those 2 little clauses I mentioned earlier (109A and 110), are the reason why trading will begin from Day 1. Trading in carbon derivatives, that is.

They are opaque, easy-to-overlook clauses stating that the Clean Energy Future legislation does not prevent the creation of and trade in carbon “securities”.

The designers of the legislation (no, not the politicians), know full well that the banking industry can and does create and trade derivatives on everything.

Including the date of your death. That’s right. We have previously documented how banks are trading in Death Derivatives.

All that is needed, is for there to be a “price” put on some thing, effectively making that thing a “commodity”.

Once there is an underlying price, then banks can create a derivative.

Provided there is no law specifically preventing them from doing so.

It is that simple.

And that is why the Clean Energy Future scheme has those two little clauses buried inside. As Explanatory Memorandum 3.36 confirms, they are “included for the avoidance of doubt” that the government does NOT wish to prevent the banks creating carbon derivatives.

That is also why, just 3 days after the government released its draft legislation for “putting a price on carbon”, it was reported that:

Australian banks are eyeing opportunities to cash in on the proposed carbon tax by developing new financial products and services that capitalise on a market seen to be worth billions of dollars annually, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

Australian financial firms that have experience in European carbon markets, such as Macquarie Group Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and ANZ Banking Group Ltd are particularly keen to establish their presence in the Australian market….

ANZ’s head of energy trading said the value of the derivatives carbon market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government, according to the AFR.

You have now seen just how mind-bogglingly enormous is our banks’ exposure to (mostly) Interest Rate and Foreign Exchange Rate derivatives.

$17.93 Trillion is equivalent to nine (9) skyscrapers made of pallets of $100 bills, each towering more than twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The $10 billion that the government will raise from forcing companies to buy carbon permits – the basic mechanism for “putting a price on carbon” – is almost nothing compared to the value of derivatives that banks will create and trade.

Unmonitored.

Unregulated.

Off-Balance Sheet.

The government’s claimed $10 billion in expected revenue from the Clean Energy Future scheme, is equivalent to just one (1) of the 10 x 10 squares of pallets forming the base of one (1) of those derivatives skyscrapers pictured above.

That’s one (1) storey in two hundred (200).

I hope that you now have a better idea – a clear picture in your mind’s eye – of what the ANZ Bank’s head of energy trading meant, when he gleefully said that the value of the carbon derivatives market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government.

A government that has followed the lemming-like lead of Ireland, by explicitly and implicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for the deeds (and misdeeds) of the banks, by placing the nation as guarantor for the solvency of the Australian banking system.

Meaning, just like the rest of the West, our banks are Too Big To Fail.

And from July 1, thanks to the Clean Energy Future scheme and those two little clauses, the government has handed the banks a licence to print.

It is really a licence to kill.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

* If you wonder how it is possible that banks can have so much money just in derivatives bets, you might like to learn the truth. The “money” does not really exist. Almost all of the “money” in the world, is just electronic code in computers. And banks truly rule the world, by creating “money” (digits in computers) out of thin air, and lending it to you, at interest. Even the biggest central bank in the world, the Federal Reserve Bank, has admitted that this is how banking works. Learn more here.

Bankers’ Trojan Horse In Carbon Tax: Expert Confirms Breach Of Constitution

18 Apr

Your humble blogger recently sought legal advice from a prominent constitutional barrister, specifically concerning clauses 109A and 110 of the Clean Energy Act 2011.

Regular readers know that I have argued from before the release of the draft legislation in July 2011 ( Our Bankers’ Casino Royale – “Carbon Permits” Really Means “A Licence To Print” ), that the so-called “carbon tax” is in truth nothing more than a cleverly disguised, banker-designed and promoted derivatives scam ( Ticking Time Bomb Hidden In The Carbon Tax ).

Like the mortgage-backed derivatives that blew up the world financial system in the GFC, carbon-unit-backed derivatives are simply the next form of wholly unregulated, unmonitored, shadow banking artificial “money” creation that has had bankers licking their lips in anticipation from the moment the(ir) draft legislation was released:

14 July 2011, Business Spectator — Australian banks are eyeing opportunities to cash in on the proposed carbon tax by developing new financial products and services that capitalise on a market seen to be worth billions of dollars annually, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

Australian financial firms that have experience in European carbon markets, such as Macquarie Group Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and ANZ Banking Group Ltd are particularly keen to establish their presence in the Australian market….

ANZ’s head of energy trading said the value of the derivatives carbon market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government, according to the AFR.

I have now been informed by the eminent barrister referred to above, that I am right.

If it is judicially accepted that the Clean Energy Act 2011 is a bill “imposing taxation”, then the two cleverly worded little clauses buried within 1,000+ pages of legislation that I have long identified as those that specifically allow the shadow banking industry to begin creating and trading (unlimited quantities of) carbon dioxide derivatives, are, in the barrister’s opinion, in breach of section 55 of the Constitution:

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 55

Tax Bill

Laws imposing taxation shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

As we have seen previously, there are numerous other areas of the legislation whose constitutionality is highly questionable and thus contestable, under section 55 and other sections too.

Indeed, a number of constitutional experts such as Professor Greg Craven have publicly affirmed as much.

Unfortunately, I am advised that private citizens have no legal standing to mount a challenge against the legislation in the High Court.

[EDIT: For the reason that private citizens are not directly subject to the legislation. This perhaps answers the question many have asked, as to why the government still refuses to release a definitive list naming who exactly are the “biggest polluters”. If those who will have standing to challenge the legislation in the High Court do not have confirmed proof of this, it would appear that they could not prove legal standing in order to file an injunction to prevent the bankster scam starting up in the first place. Doubtless this key information will not be made known until after the government has sent out billions in “compensation” bribes to households in May, and parked $10 billion in the banksters’ Clean Energy Finance corporation in such a way that it cannot be retrieved.]

Those in the best position to mount a legal challenge, who do have standing before the High Court, are the State governments.

Sadly, as we have also seen, the Liberal-National Premiers of NSW and Queensland are even more vile, despicable liars than Julia Gillard.

Having campaigned heavily for our vote on the back of a solemn promise to “fight” the carbon tax if elected, Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman have now shown their true colours.

As two-faced standard bearers.

For the predatory, parasitic banking industry that they depend on to help finance their election campaigns, thanks to our rigged and decrepit system of governance that means political parties do not get their hands on the public cash in proportion to their share of the popular vote, until after the vote count has been determined at each election.

For a political leader to promise not to foist a predatory bankster scam on the public, and then do it, is an unforgivable crime against basic human decency and integrity, and, an unforgivable violation of public trust.

But to present yourself as a saviour, and plead for our vote with a promise to fight a predatory bankster scam, only to weasel out of actually doing anything to fight it once elected, is, in the firm opinion of this citizen blogger, a far worse crime.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say that on this issue, Julia Gillard is arguably one rung higher from the bottom of the rancid sewer that is politicians’ “integrity”, than Barry O’Farrell, Campbell Newman, and any other politician who has deceitfully gained political capital by falsely presenting themselves as an opponent of and a fighter against the banksters’ CO2 derivatives scam.

UPDATE:

Speaking of constitutional expert Greg Craven, here’s an excerpt from a column he has written for The Australian today –

“MEAN” is never a good word. There are mean dogs, mean great-aunts and mean parking inspectors. They all bite professionally, and enjoy their work.

Right now, there is a mean electorate out there. People have never liked politicians. But this is the first time that the popular mood has graduated from profound disdain to frank sadism.

Take X-rated state election results. Kristina Keneally was the bad premier of a bad government, but the last act of public vengeance rivalling her defeat was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Anna Bligh was the fairish premier of a decrepit government, but she copped worse.

Federally, in terms of a normal electoral cycle, the Gillard government should now be contemplating whether a third term will be merely tough or downright heroic. Instead, ministers stockpile cyanide pills along with press releases.

It is easy to dismiss all this as the result of poor leadership, bad policy and weak personal hygiene. But the reality is that Australian politicians everywhere are now faced with a terminally jaded electorate, less inclined to pass judgment than automatic sentence of death…

#^&%(^$! oath.

UPDATE:

By Abbott’s own words, Liberal Party premier of NSW Barry O’Farrell and Liberal party premier of QLD Campbell Newman stand condemned.

From the Brisbane Times:

When quizzed on his personal integrity, Mr Abbott said he had strived throughout his two decades in politics to be authentic, and that people should never allow things within their control to break their promises.

Challenging the CO2 derivatives scam in the High Court is well within the control of the State premiers.

Yet they have brazenly broken their pre-election promises to the electorate.

Despicable scum.

Hey Tony, If Lib State Premiers Won’t Rise Up … STFU

16 Apr

From AAP:

Abbott urges revolt against carbon tax

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has urged workers to “rise up” against Labor in protest at the carbon tax, which will come into effect on July 1.

Visiting a Melbourne bed-making factory on Monday, Mr Abbott said the carbon tax would act like a “reverse tariff” affecting Australian manufacturing while benefiting overseas competitors.

He said Labor purported to represent workers but was attacking their jobs.

“The carbon tax will go like a wrecking ball through the Australian economy,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Deer Park.

“This is why even now I call on the workers of Australia to rise up and say ‘no carbon tax’ to a government that still claims to represent them.”

Right.

The workers of Australia have said “no carbon tax”, loudly and clearly.

Over 88% of votes at the last election, went to parties promising that there would not be one (Labor, and the LNP).

You want US to rise up?! What exactly do you mean by … “rise up”?

Here’s an idea Tony.

How about the NSW and QLD LNP State premiers make good on their loud, solemn pre-election promises?

What’s that?

Your banker mates – including Joe Hockey’s wife, and Malcolm’s Goldman Sachs buddies, et al – won’t let you?

Because they are now within mere weeks of being able to start up their long-awaited, 100% unregulated, unmonitored, CO2 derivatives Ponzi scheme disguised as a “market mechanism” for “emissions reduction”?

Quelle surprise!

Green-Labor.

Liberal-National.

All useless, spineless, self-serving, dishonest, unrepresentative swill (h/t PJ Keating)

The Fix Is In – Premiers Bow To Bankers’ Carbon Derivatives Scam

16 Apr

You know those Liberal Party state opposition leaders, who promised to fight the carbon tax if only you would elect them premier?

As predicted here on this blog, they are all talk, no action, when it comes to actually fighting the bankers’ CO2 derivatives scam, despite plenty of expert legal advice that there are solid grounds to challenge the legislation in the High Court.

From the Age (emphasis added):

NSW drops carbon tax challenge

THE passage of the carbon tax has received a boost, with legal advice to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell suggesting that a High Court challenge to block the tax would fail.

On Friday, Mr O’Farrell said NSW would consider joining a potential bid by Queensland to block the July 1 implementation of the carbon tax in the courts.

Note well: O’Farrell’s original, loud and oft-repeated pre-election promise was not conditional on having another State premier to hold his hand.

But The Sun-Herald understands Mr O’Farrell has already abandoned any thought of leading an assault on the Gillard government. Sources confirmed advice had come back that a legal challenge would be likely to fail in proving the carbon tax was unconstitutional.

So, advice that you are “likely” to fail is sufficient reason to not fulfill your pre-election promise, hey Bazza? Sounds like a convenient excuse from a twisting and turning liar to me.

Mr O’Farrell has made political mileage out of the carbon tax since it was announced. Last week, the NSW Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, blamed the upcoming impost for the 16 per cent electricity price rises approved by the independent pricing regulator.

The reluctance of NSW to challenge the controversial tax is likely to slow momentum for a High Court bid. Victoria, like NSW, has said it would consider joining a Queensland bid.

The West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, has stated publicly that his advice is that a bid would fail. The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, said he would not act without at least one other state with him in alliance.

The fix is in.

Unsurprising. And just what this blogger predicted.

Because when all the major political parties are beholden for the loans they need to run their election campaigns, to the banksters who are behind the global drive for a new, legal, yet wholly unregulated, unmonitored CO2 derivatives casino, you know in advance what the outcome will be.

Know thy real enemy.

Campbell Newman Does A Barry

28 Mar

Click to enlarge

NSW Election Campaign. February 24, 2011.

Barry O’Farrell:

“I don’t support a carbon tax, the Premier does,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“The premier’s advisers say carbon taxes will cost families another $500 a year on their power bills.

“I don’t think that’s affordable.

“If you’re talking about reducing the cost of living pressures you can’t support a carbon tax.

“I won’t and I’ll go to Canberra to argue that point if I’m elected premier.”

[Mr O’Farrell] called on voters to voice their anger when they vote, saying a new coalition government would “send a shiver up the spine of every federal ALP backbencher sitting in a marginal seat”.

“The coming poll is the only opportunity that families and small businesses have across NSW to try and stop this carbon tax dead,” Mr O’Farrell said on Friday.

QLD Election Campaign. February 24, 2012.

Campbell Newman:

The carbon tax is bad for Queensland. It’s bad for jobs. Frankly, if the carbon tax is introduced it will make it even harder for us to achieve our four per cent target. But that’s why I’m here today, to say that we will fight every single day, if we’re elected, as the Government of Queensland, to fight against this tax; that even if the tax is introduced, we will work with Tony Abbott and state premiers to fight the tax still.

We hope that Queenslanders will see the opportunity in this election campaign, but particularly on the 24th of March, to send a signal to Labor – who are so caught up in their own activities and their battles at the moment – send a signal to Canberra, to Labor that you don’t want the carbon tax and that’s why people have on the 24th of March an opportunity to actually send that signal to vote against a carbon tax.

Both Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman made clear promises during their election campaigns, to fight against the carbon tax.

Numerous constitutional experts have said that the carbon tax legislation can be challenged in the High Court, ideally by the States, under section 114 of the Constitution (amongst others).

Many NSW voters, including this blogger, have petitioned Barry O’Farrell to action this, and make good on his campaign promise. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no further response from Premier O’Farrell.

Nothing … zip … nada … has actually been done to “fight” the carbon tax, by any Liberal-National State Government (NSW, VIC, WA, and now QLD).

It appears that Premier O’Farrell is as untrustworthy as Julia Gillard.

Promise one thing before the election.

Do the opposite after the election.

Queensland’s new Premier Newman made an identical promise before the election.

Will he now “do a Barry” after the election?

* I urge Queenslanders to directly petition their local MP, and Premier Newman, informing them of Your Will that the new Queensland State Government should challenge the carbon tax in the High Court. You can use the sample petition below:

Dear [insert State MP’s Name],

I know that it is my duty to keep you informed of MY WILL on anything that comes before Parliament, or that should come before Parliament.

My communication to you concerns the [insert State name] State Government budget, and possible impacts on the budget arising from the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future legislation.

Constitutional barrister Bryan Pape and other legal experts are on public record indicating that the [insert State name] State government has grounds to challenge the Commonwealth government’s Clean Energy Future legislation, under section 114 of the Australian Constitution.

IT IS MY WILL that you take immediate action to cause the [insert State name] State government to challenge the constitutionality of the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future 2011 (ie, carbon tax) bills in the High Court.

Yours faithfully,

[signed]

[insert your full name, address, and date, as legal evidence that you are a constituent.]

Details for contacting your State government Premier and local State MP’s below:

QLD

NSW

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

NT

The Simple Way To Tell That The Mining Tax And Carbon Tax Are Unconstitutional

22 Mar

“By their words you shall know them.”

What is the biggest red flag alerting you to the likelihood that a government bill is unconstitutional?

When the wording of a government bill repeatedly insists that it is in compliance with a section of the Constitution.

Or, when the bill repeatedly insists that it does not do something, or is not something, that would constitute a breach of the Constitution.

Because if it were in keeping with the Constitution, then there would be no need whatsoever to say anything.

This is not just the rational surmising of your humble blogger.

A constitutional law expert agrees.

From Yahoo!7 News (emphasis added):

Government facing mining tax revolt

… [Macquarie University’s] Dr [Margaret] Kelly not only thinks Fortescue will get a hearing but that it has a decent shot at winning the case.

“Given the shortness of the Act, the lack of definitions in the Act, and the very general nature of the Act, then I, if I were the Commonwealth, wouldn’t be as hopeful as apparently the Prime Minister currently is,” she said.

She says challenges made under section 114 of the Constitution would attract serious consideration by the High Court.

The fact that each of these acts purports to say the Act does not impose a tax on the property of the states, I think, quite clearly raises that question unambiguously.

“The acts in their various forms also raise the question of, is this really a tax as opposed to being, as I say, a pecuniary penalty or some kind of fee?

“That too is a constitutional question.”

Dr Kelly is right.

In the 425 page (!?!) Explanatory Memorandum to the 288 page Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011, we find the following (emphasis added):

Imposing the MRRT

3.31    The MRRT is imposed by three different imposition Bills. One imposes MRRT to the extent that it is a duty of customs [section 3, MRRT customs imposition Bill]; one imposes MRRT to the extent that it is a duty of excise [section 3, MRRT excise imposition Bill]; and one imposes MRRT to the extent that it is neither a duty of customs nor one of excise [section 3, MRRT general imposition Bill]. This reflects the constitutional requirement that laws imposing duties of customs shall deal only with duties of customs and that laws imposing duties of excise shall deal only with duties of excise (see section 55 of the Constitution). However, there is only one assessment Act.

“This reflects the constitutional requirement” does it?  Utter bollocks!  What it “reflects”, is Australian governments’ now standard method of circumventing the clear wording and plainly obvious intent of the authors of the Constitution. I for one have no doubt whatsoever that when the authors of our Constitution wrote section 55, they certainly did NOT do so with the intent that every new tax, customs duty, or excise duty, should require the separate drafting and passage through both houses of Parliament of multiple, interdependent but at the same time, mutually-contradictory bills defining the new impost as being (1) not a tax, (2) a duty of customs, (3) a duty of excise, and (4) neither a duty of customs nor a duty of excise. To suggest otherwise is risible, and would be to assume that the authors of the Constitution wanted to make it as complicated and difficult as possible for government to impose genuine taxes, customs duties, and excise duties. No dear reader – the true reason why Australian governments (both “sides”) use this multiple interdependent but mutually-contradictory bills technique, is plainly obvious: their new imposts are not taxes, customs duties, or excise duties. They are unconstitutional money grabs … and they know it.

3.33    MRRT is not imposed on property belonging to a State. That ensures that the MRRT complies with section 114 of the Constitution, which prohibits the Commonwealth from imposing a tax on any kind of property of a State. In practice, this will only have an effect to the extent that a State mines its own taxable resources. In that case, the State will not be subject to MRRT.

Sorry BrownGilSwan.

Sorry Big Three multinational mining oligopoly PM-removers and tax-dodge designers.

Your saying so, does not make it so.

Indeed, the opposite is true.

Your saying so, almost certainly makes it not so.

Previously, we have seen exactly the same blatant Constitution-sidestepping ruse used in the 19 different bills and 1,000+ pages of the Clean Energy Future 2011 legislation:

Charge payable

(10) If a carbon unit is issued to a person in accordance with this section, the person is liable to pay a charge for the issue of the unit.

(11) Subsection (10) has effect only so far as it is not a law imposing taxation within the meaning of section 55 of the Constitution.

Note: See also:
(a) Part 2 of the Clean Energy (Charges—Excise) Act 2011; and
(b) the Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge—General) Act 2011.

Compare …

Clean Energy (Charges – Excise) Act 2011

A Bill for an Act to impose charges associated with the Clean Energy Act 2011, so far as those charges are duties of excise

And compare …

Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge – General) Act 2011

A Bill for an Act to impose charges associated with the Clean Energy Act 2011, so far as those charges are not duties of excise

The government’s bills for the mining tax, and the carbon tax, are not unlike a spoilt domineering child trying to get its own way.

Fingers inserted in ears.

Eyes screwed tightly shut.

And insisting, “It IS it IS it IS it IS it IS!”

Or, “It’s NOT it’s NOT it’s NOT it’s NOT it’s NOT!”

Basic rule of life, dear reader.

Listen very, very carefully to a government’s words.

Then ask yourself, “What is the opposite of what they have said?”

The opposite, is far more likely to be the truth.

Carbon Tax Legal Challenge By Evil Aussie Miner

14 Mar

There are so many ways in which the CO2 derivatives scam (aka “Clean Energy Future” aka “carbon tax”) can be challenged as unconstitutional, it beggars belief that we have to wait for a good ol’ Aussie-made-good mining billionaire to step up and actually do it:

MINING billionaire Clive Palmer has escalated his campaign against the Gillard government, vowing to use his resources to mount a High Court challenge to the carbon tax.

Mr Palmer told the ABC’s 7.30 last night he had legal advice that the carbon tax, set to take effect on July 1, was unconstitutional.

Asked on what grounds it was unconstitutional, he said: ”The grounds are set out in legal advice and they’ll be coming out in the High Court. I can’t answer that question because I’m not a lawyer. I can only go on the advice that I’m given.”

The move comes weeks after Treasurer Wayne Swan accused Mr Palmer and other wealthy mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew ”Twiggy” Forrest of wielding too much power and being a threat to democracy.

Last night, Mr Palmer hit back, saying: ”I’ve given away each year more than a hundred times the Treasurer’s salary to Australians who are needy. I wonder how much of his salary has he given away to Australians who need that wealth?

”In the spirit of love and reconciliation we can forgive the Treasurer, but the Australian people will never forgive the Labor Party for destroying the opportunities of our children, our future generations.”

He said the carbon legislation acknowledged the possibility of it being declared unconstitutional. ”When it says it’s found to be unconstitutional, the government will create charges through other acts, that’s in the legislation.

Mr Palmer is right.

That particular point is precisely what this blog has argued throughout 2011.

The CO2 derivatives scam legislation totals some 1,000 pages and 18 different bills. Much of this – especially the multiple bills – is purely a result of the Government banksters’ lawyers trying to deliberately circumvent sections 51 and 55 of the Constitution – see The Carbon Pricing Scheme Is Unconstitutional and More Proof The Carbon Tax Is Unconstitutional.

The State Governments can also challenge the CO2 derivatives scam as unconstitutional, under section 114. This blog has endeavoured to encourage NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to do exactly that, without success to date … despite the recent direct assurance of Premier O’Farrell that he would have the state Attorney-General look into it – see Premiers’ Appeal – Carbon Tax High Court Challenge and No Excuses, Mr O’Farrell.

Premier O’Farrell’s lack of credibility – indeed, his hypocrisy and complicity – was amply demonstrated within hours of his giving that personal assurance, when he stood beside PM Gillard and gushingly accepted the siting of the Greens’ $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation Carbon Bank / slush fund in Sydney … benefiting NSW by a whole 40 new jobs. At a cost to all NSW residents of billions, in higher costs for everything.

So as usual, we cannot rely on politicians from either “side” of politics … even when their primary election campaign pledge is to “fight the carbon tax”, and “I’ll go to Canberra to argue that point” if elected.

It takes deep pockets to challenge the power of the Federal Government.

Let us hope that “evil” Aussie-made-good local miner, Mr Palmer, is as good as his word.

Because one thing is certain.

Australian politicians of all stripes and colours are not.

UPDATE:

From a different news report, Mr Palmer is quoted as having said “I think the constitution of Australia is much more important than having a number of lawyers or parliament trying to slip around it.”

Indeed. And as readers of barnabyisright.com know from the abovementioned posts in 2011, “trying to slip around” the Constitution is exactly what the 18 bills of the Clean Energy Future package are designed to do. It is so obvious, it is disgraceful, and any so-called “judge” who failed to recognise the patently obvious attempt to circumvent the clear meaning and intent of the Constitution should be sacked … and disbarred.

UPDATE 2:

You can watch the interview with recently declared National Living Treasure (how apropos!) Clive Palmer here.

UPDATE 3:

With thanks to @wakeup2thelies

Carbon Price To Knock $30bn Off Economy

13 Mar

A new study commissioned by the Minerals Council doubtless has about as much credibility as Treasury modelling (ie, none).

Nevertheless, it is only logical that with EU carbon permits trading at under 10 Euro per tonne with little hope of price improvement, Australia’s “carbon price” starting at a fixed $23 per tonne and rising over 3 years, before changing to a full emissions trading scheme with a fixed floor price of $15 per tonne, is going to hurt.

From the Australian:

AUSTRALIA faces a $30 billion hit to growth by 2018 if domestic carbon prices remain higher than the European price, according to new economic modelling that will add to business pressure to bring the $23 starting price closer to Europe’s $10.

The modelling, by the Centre for International Economics consultancy, warns that keeping the $23 fixed price regime and the floor price of $15 a tonne – key elements of the current package – will have almost twice the impact on economic growth by 2018 as allowing the Australian price to track international prices.

A higher price in Australia than in comparable international markets could also cost the mining industry a cumulative $4bn and durable manufacturers $1.5bn over six years, the CIE modelling predicts. In a blow to the Coalition’s direct action policy alternative, leading CSIRO researcher Michael Battaglia has warned that the abatement figures in Tony Abbott’s alternative policy are “ambitious”. The centrepiece of the policy – sequestering 85 million tonnes of carbon in soil by 2020 – might only achieve abatement of between 5 million and 20 million tonnes, he said yesterday.

The CIE research, commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, comes amid projections that slow growth in Europe will mean international carbon prices will not rise significantly above the $10 around which they are currently sitting.

When Australia’s carbon package was announced, Treasury assumed an international carbon price of between $29 and $61. But the European credit crisis caused prices to slump. The research will amplify calls by key business backers of carbon pricing, including the Australian Industry Group’s Heather Ridout and the Business Council of Australia’s Jennifer Westacott for the policy to be rewritten.

Last week, Ms Ridout said the difference between the Australian and European prices was effectively “a tax on industry”, while Ms Westacott described the disparity as a concern for the competitiveness of Australia’s industries.

Obviously.

As regular readers know, here at barnabyisright.com we have clearly demonstrated – from the government’s own documents – that the Orwellian-named Clean Energy Future legislation is little more than 1,000 pages of babbling legalese designed by bankers, for bankers, to disguise two (2) tiny little clauses that are the key to the entire scam.

A CO2 derivatives scam:

How can I be so sure?

Because not one of [the] claimed “Objects of the mechanism” requires laws that specifically permit bankers to create unlimited quantities of wholly unregulated “financial weapons of mass destruction” called derivatives (or “securities”).

They are completely unnecessary. Moreover, the ongoing GFC turmoil proves that unregulated derivatives markets represent a clear and present danger to our government-propped banking system, and thus are a sovereign risk.

And yet, this is just what our Green-Labor government is doing right now in the Senate.

Carefully buried in their Clean Energy Bill 2011 we find the ticking time bomb (underline added):

109A Registration of equitable interests in relation to a carbon unit

(1) The regulations may make provision for or in relation to the registration in the Registry of equitable interests in relation to carbon units.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an equitable interest that is a security interest within the meaning of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, and to which that Act applies.

In other words, while the regulations may make provision for registration of equitable interests in a carbon unit, they specifically (subsection 2) do not make provision for registering a “security interest” in a carbon unit.

[A “security interest in” a carbon unit is, quite simply, a derivative or “security” that is based on the underlying “value” of the carbon “unit”]

It is clear then, that the government does not want to record carbon derivatives creation and trading.

They want to permit it. Just not record or regulate it.

Indeed, they wish to ensure “avoidance of doubt” that banks are legally allowed to immediately pull the pin on creating and trading these (wholly unregulated) financial weapons of mass destruction (underline added):

110 Equitable interests in relation to a carbon unit

(1) This Act does not affect:

(a) the creation of; or

(b) any dealings with; or

(c) the enforcement of;

equitable interests in relation to a carbon unit.

(2) Subsection (1) is enacted for the avoidance of doubt.

And just in case you missed the point – and your missing the real point is, in fact, the whole point of their using such opaque language – then the truth is spelled out more clearly elsewhere.

Where?

Way down in the fine print, of course. In the Explanatory Memorandum tacked on to the end of the Bill (underline added):

3.36 The bill does not affect the creation or enforcement of, or any dealings with (including transfers of), equitable interests in carbon units. [Part 4, clause 110] This provision has been included for the avoidance of doubt. In addition, the bill does not prevent the taking of security over carbon units.

Now I ask you, dear reader.

How does the scheme’s granting permission for banks to create a secondary carbon securities trading market (ie, “security over” carbon units) help to reduce CO2 emissions?

Indeed, how does a wholly unmonitored and unregulated shadow banking market in carbon derivatives help to create a single cent in extra government revenue, for the Senator Milne-championed Clean Energy Finance Corporation to pour down the toilet of otherwise commercially unviable “green” energy projects?

Answer: It doesn’t.

The government will never see any of the profits generated by banks from their multi trillion dollar trading in wholly unregulated carbon derivatives.

But you can be certain that they (and we) will hear all about it when the banks’ multi trillion dollar derivatives betting on movements in the market price of thin air blows up too. Because that’s when – just as with the global mortgage derivatives trade that triggered GFC1 – the bankers will (again) come running to government for a bail out.

Rest assured, dear reader.

Even if this latest round of calls for changes to the legislation are acted upon by government, of one thing you can be certain.

Just as the current legislation specifically allows for unlimited, unregulated creation of CO2 derivatives by banksters for trading and profit in international ‘shadow banking’ markets – and from Day 1, not just when an ETS begins – so too any new or revised legislation will still specifically allow this ticking time bomb hidden in the carbon tax to be created.

Because that is the ONLY reason why the legislation exists.

To allow the creation of wholly unmonitored, unregulated derivatives-on-thin-air by Big Finance, in unlimited quantities.

The fuel-air mixture for the biggest shadow banking financial bomb ever devised:

No Excuses, Mr O’Farrell

5 Mar

Yesterday, your humble blogger received a public undertaking from Premier Barry O’Farrell, that he would consult the NSW State Attorney General with a view to a legal challenge by the NSW State Government to the Federal Government’s carbon tax.

Today, a gentle reminder for Mr O’Farrell of his pre-election commitment to the people of NSW.

Feb 24, 2011:

I’ll fight against carbon tax: O’Farrell

NSW opposition leader Barry O’Farrell says he will go to Canberra to argue against a carbon tax, if the coalition wins the state election.

He was speaking during a live leadership debate with Premier Kristina Keneally, who is in favour of setting a price on carbon.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Thursday that a carbon price will start in Australia on July 1, 2012.

“I don’t support a carbon tax, the Premier does,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“The premier’s advisers say carbon taxes will cost families another $500 a year on their power bills.

“I don’t think that’s affordable.

“If you’re talking about reducing the cost of living pressures you can’t support a carbon tax.

“I won’t and I’ll go to Canberra to argue that point if I’m elected premier.”

Mr O’Farrell, the High Court of Australia is in Canberra.

And your most powerful argument against the carbon tax, is the Australian Constitution, section 114 in particular:

States may not raise forces – Taxation of property of Commonwealth or State

A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.

In October 2011, constitutional barrister Bryan Pape publicly stated that State governments have legal standing to challenge the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future Bills 2011, given their impact on state-owned electricity generation and distribution assets.

But it is not just state-owned electricity assets that will be impacted by the carbon tax.

As we discovered in my in-depth research of the Federal Government’s NGER Register of “biggest polluters” ( The “500 Biggest Polluters” Exposed – Everything The Government Is Not Telling You ), the carbon tax will also impact on many other state-owned enterprises and utilies, including public hospitals and health care facilities, public transport, state rail networks, water utilities, state universities, state forests, and more.

Section 114 of the Constitution is clear. The Commonwealth cannot impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.

Mr O’Farrell, you campaigned on a clear anti-carbon tax platform; pledged to take up the fight against the carbon tax in Canberra; and urged NSW voters to elect you as their representative to pursue that fight:

O’Farrell calls for NSW carbon tax revolt

NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell has joined the chorus calling for a people’s revolt against a carbon tax, saying the March state election is a chance for voters to send a message to Canberra.

During a visit to a shopping centre at Cranebrook, in Sydney’s west, Mr O’Farrell said the yet-to-be-determined price on carbon would raise annual energy bills by $500, and increase grocery and petrol prices.

He called on voters to voice their anger when they vote, saying a new coalition government would “send a shiver up the spine of every federal ALP backbencher sitting in a marginal seat”.

“The coming poll is the only opportunity that families and small businesses have across NSW to try and stop this carbon tax dead,” Mr O’Farrell said on Friday.

“To stop this tax needs every voice and every vote and the poll on the 26th of March gives people an opportunity to do that.”

Mr O’Farrell, your campaign promise worked:

ALP deserters ‘spooked’ by carbon tax

JULIA Gillard’s carbon tax may have saved two high-profile NSW ministers from a Greens’ assault in inner Sydney, but the move exacerbated the revolt against the 16-year-old Labor regime in its own heartland.

In western and southern Sydney, mining areas and long-established industrial towns, factory workers, two-car families and low-income households swung more heavily against Labor than the NSW average.

Echoing their federal leader Tony Abbott, incoming Coalition MPs in NSW argue that traditional Labor voters were spooked by the prospect of job losses, higher petrol prices and rising household power bills from a carbon tax.

Mr O’Farrell, you have made a promise.

You have a case to argue.

You have no excuses.

P.S. Please inform Mr O’Farrell and your local MP (or your own State Premier) that it is Your Will that the State Government should challenge the constitutionality of the carbon tax legislation in the High Court. Sample letter and contact details here.

An OSCAR For The Clean Energy Future

11 Feb

How appropriate.

The key, mission-critical system used by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency for reporting and calculation of “emissions” by the “biggest polluters”, is called OSCAR.

And now, with just over 4 months till the carbon ‘tax’ begins, the “science” is in.

OSCAR is trash.

As indeed was the government’s $20 million taxpayer-funded advertising campaign for the carbon “tax”, which according to the Auditor-General:

“.. contained facts which were not properly sourced and seven breaches of financial management regulations.”

Last year, we closely followed the unfolding story … fairytale … of the Green-Labor Clean Energy Future legislation.

Regular readers know that close examination of the legislation, and the government’s ever-changing claims about the number of “biggest polluters”, and the comments from the bankster industry, and the comments from the banksters’ “expert” talking head economists, clearly show what the Clean Energy Future really is.

An unconstitutional, bankster-designed, CO2 derivatives scam.

With a ticking time bomb carefully hidden inside.

They also know that the government released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). It tacitly conceded that Government emissions audits are nothing more than a propaganda exercise, to maintain “public confidence” in the scheme. Because without public con-fidence that the scheme is actually monitoring emissions accurately, and that companies are actually complying with the scheme, then the whole charade would collapse –

“If there was a perception of widespread non-compliance, community support for the scheme would be much harder to maintain (in the absence of community acceptance and support, the long term future of the scheme could be called into question).”

Indeed, the Government’s RIS actually admitted that “perceptions” of the scheme’s effectiveness are more important than whether or not it actually is effective:

“In closing, it is important to note that, in considering impacts on the credibility of the scheme, perceptions of non-compliance can be more important than the actual level of non-compliance.”

Last week, the Auditor-General released an “independent performance audit” by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), into the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The report is titled “Administration of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme”.

It is a fascinating read.

Now for lazy “give me the headline” readers, you can see the lamestream media’s lazy summary in The Age here – Audit Finds Errors on Emissions.

For more intelligent readers, or for those passionately and sincerely deluded folk who are placing their (blind) faith in the Government’s “carbon tax” to save the world from Warmageddon, you may find the following excerpts discomforting.

A forewarning – there are quite a few excerpts here. The Auditor-General’s report is 124 pages long. I’ve stripped out only the most interesting items, and highlighted them in yellow.

Rest assured, it is well worth your time to go through this. Especially if you wish to have a much clearer understanding of just what a total farce … and money-sucking fraud … the Clean Energy Future regime and its government department actually are.

I’ve done the tedious work.

And to make it a little more entertaining for you, I’ve sprinkled comments throughout.

Enjoy:

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To “encourage” compliance is code for, “Pleeeease go along with our scheme … pretty please?” At least this thinly-veiled begging makes a change from, say, The Goose’s impotent posturing towards the banks.

“Significantly higher” costs for compliance by business, ‘eh?

Hmmmm. How much higher?

Patience, dear reader. Remember, this is just the ‘Summary’ at the beginning. The ugly details come later.

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“Currently, the department does not verify the reported data”.

Ummmm … so it could all be total crap.

Or at the very least, riddled with even more errors than the ANAO audit discovered.

Remember, these (self) reported emissions by the “biggest polluters” are the basic, critical data relied upon by Treasury to “model” the impacts of the carbon “tax”.

How apropos was the title of my July 2011 blog post just days before the announcement of the draft legislation – A Disturbance In The Farce

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Hmmmmm.

Just how big is a “significant error”?

Naturally, we have to look in the fine print for that:

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So in the Clean Energy Future, a “biggest polluter” has only made a “significant error” if it is “greater than 40%” of the total annual emissions that qualified you as being a “biggest polluter” in the first place.

Would that we all could cruise through life with such a generous standard for (in)accuracy in our work.

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She’ll be right mate. We’ll get around to submitting a report of our self-assessed “emissions” … eventually.

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Hark!

Hear that sound?

That’s the sound of Treasury’s “modelling” on the impacts of the carbon “tax” losing any remaining vestige of credibility.

It’s also the sound of your wallet getting emptied at an even faster rate than you thought, as corporations pass on “significantly higher” costs than Treasury had “modelled”.

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Great big new “tax”.

No tangible benefit.

Quelle surprise!

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Funny how there is such a lack of “progress” under a new global tax regime being instituted by … progressives.

Ok, that’s enough from the “Summary”. Yes, all 31 pages of the “Summary”.

It’s probably more than enough for anyone with an IQ above room temperature to get the picture.

That even according to the Auditor-General, the government’s scheme for monitoring and reporting the emissions of the “biggest polluters” is a farce.

But if you want more … and the really good stuff is yet to come, because as every Yes Minister fan knows, the Summary is for the gormless ministers and the media, and you always hide the stuff you don’t want people to know in the endless pages of tedious detail  … then here’s selected excerpts from the remaining 93 pages of detailed subject areas:

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And thus, dear reader, we have official confirmation – from the Auditor-General, no less – that your humble blogger was right throughout 2011, in his numerous blogs exposing Gillard’s “1,000 biggest … 500 biggest … more in the order of more like 400” “biggest polluters” lies.

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Meaning … if you believe in the accuracy of the government’s data, which of course, as we have seen, you can’t … almost half of Australia’s total “emissions” won’t be directly covered.

Hmmmm … bushfire season coming up again.

Pushing on a string, anyone?

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Sheesh!

$472 grand to tell us that the emissions reporting regime is a farce?

Great use of taxpayer dollars.

I’d have told you that for one one-hundredth of the price.

Indeed, I have been telling you that … for free.

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Translation: The technical requirements being asked of corporations in order to report emissions are too bloody difficult.

Doubtless explaining why so many have either (a) failed to report, (b) reported months late, or (c) screwed up their report.

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Arguably the most amusing quote in the entire audit.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) actually defines “compliance” with the scheme as the ability to “encourage” corporations to comply. Its own definition recognises that the onus for compliance “rests primarily” with the corporations.

Oh yes, dear reader … I have no doubt whatsoever that corporations are very much “encouraged” to comply with the Clean Energy Future regime … particularly when they can see how impotent and farcical the DCCEE and its systems actually are.

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“because of resource constraints”.

Public ‘service’ (vomit) code for “give us more money”. Sir Humphrey Appleby would be proud of this report.

“a fully functional compliance capability is not yet in place”“a critical capability to have in place prior to .. July 2012”

Better get a wriggle on then, fellas. You’ve got about 18 weeks.

Oh that’s right. Silly me.

That’s just the coded threat underlying the appeal for more taxpayer money.

“Quick quick La Gillardine, give us another few billion, or we won’t be ready to ‘encourage’ corporations to ‘comply’ in time.”

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Just in case you missed our department’s appeal/threat for more funding the first time.

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Translation: the DCCEE will only tell the responsible Minister what the department heads decide that he “needs to know”.

Don’t believe that’s what they mean?

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Translation: The DCCEE has not been telling the responsible Minister (Combet) that the department is waaaaaaaaaay behind the eight-ball in implementing the basic (and critical) emissions reporting bureaucracy.

Sir Humphrey Appleby would be so proud of this department.

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Data integrity is critical.

And yet, how exactly are emissions determined?

Well now, that’s in the fine print, of course:

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Translation: The corporation tells us how much electricity they used, or generated, and/or how many tonnes of dirt they dug up. And our special black box called OSCAR “automatically calculates” the number of tonnes of “emissions”.

Sounds like a Great Big New FUDGE FACTOR to this humble blogger.

And since the audit also goes on to demonstrate just how appallingly agricultural (pun intended) the OSCAR software system is, one would have to be wilfully ignorant (or a vested interest) to believe that this system will actually generate and report accurate emissions data.

Don’t believe me?

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The “biggest polluters” own record-keeping is not up to par. Indeed, some corporations admit that they are passing this task off to junior staff or “third party providers” (read: the accountant).

But it gets worse, because …

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… even the DCCEE doesn’t actually know how poor the “biggest polluters” record-keeping is, because the department’s own auditing program still isn’t finished, and so they didn’t have any documentation to show the Auditor-General, aside from their own “guidelines” handed out to corporations!

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Difficult for the construction sector to get the necessary records to report emissions, you say?

Contractors, you say?

I can smell a RORT-A-THON coming on.

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Independent third party verification of the “biggest polluters” annual reports?

Never mind. We’ll take your word for it.

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OSCAR, ‘eh?

Given the quality of data going into, and out of this system, one wonders if some nerdish wag in the DCCEE wasn’t thinking of this Oscar when they chose the name:

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Someone left the lid off the trash can.

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And the trash can is full of holes.

So, what do we do when the trash is leaking out of the trash can?

Why but of course … we stuff it back in again:

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How much trash is leaking out … that we know of so far?

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Oh, only 22% and 9% of total reported emissions for 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Or, about 77 million and 30 million tonnes of CO2-e.

At $23 tonne, that’s only about $1.7 Billion and $900 million dollars worth of “carbon credits” in error.

And let’s not forget the fine print caveat at 101 , telling us that there may yet be a further rise in resubmissions for those years … so, we can’t even rely on the DCCEE regarding error rates!

Billions of dollars for a massive department of sloth and gross ineptitude … money very well spent.

And speaking of costs, now we get to the Auditor-General’s assessment of costs of compliance with the Clean Energy Future scam:

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Fair enough.

If the actual compliance costs are not similar to those estimated when the legislation was passed through Parliament, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

And indeed, we most definitely do.

For those readers who have not yet been enlightened to the woeful record of Treasury “modelling” (see Why Would Any Sane Person Believe Treasury’s Carbon Tax Modelling When Its Budget Forecasting Record Is This Bad? ), then now might be a good time to close your eyes:

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And of course, as always, it’s vital to check the fine print:

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Translation: we did our best to make the cost of compliance for corporations appear as low as possible, by ignoring the “outliers”. But sadly, we couldn’t fudge the headline “result” any more than this.

And the reason why the costs for corporations is so high, is because complying with the reporting requirements is a major pain in the arse:

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Thank you, Mr Auditor-General.

That’s another $472K of borrowed money well spent by the government.

To check up on the (lack of) progress of … the government.

I wonder just how much more money the DCCEE will insist that they “need”, in order to get their “self-assessment” emissions reporting system ready by July 1st?

And I wonder how long it will take the government’s propaganda unit to prepare their next “education” campaign, to ensure that those oh so critical “perceptions of compliance” in the community are favourable?

After all, if we the people begin to have doubts that “big polluters” are fully complying with the scheme, then the “long term future of the scheme could be called into question”.

Wouldn’t that be terrible.

As the inimitable Senator Joyce said recently:

“The carbon tax is the biggest scam since … a pyramid scheme that if I mention its name I’ll get a suit”

Barnaby is right.

 

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