Tag Archives: Commonwealth securities

‘Til Debt Do Tear Us Apart

11 May

Senator Barnaby Joyce writing for The Punch yesterday:

Well, I hope you all feel comfortable that you now owe $140 billion. If you take our population as approximately 22 million, that means you owe in excess of $6300 for each man, woman and child in Australia.

I will keep talking about debt until people realise the dangerous position it puts us in. We are borrowing in excess of $1 billion each week. We see every night on the news the problems of other countries that have not dealt with their debt but have waited for the inevitable when the debt deals with you. How could we be so foolish as a nation to be mounting up debt the way we are?

Then, to all intents and purposes, nationalise half of the sector of our economy which has actually kept us from the jaws of recession – the mining sector. This is something that would be more appropriate for Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales or Castro in Cuba. Australia hasn’t experienced this sort of insanity since the failed approach by the Labor party when they decided to nationalise the banking industry in 1949.

The actions of our Government of late have been quiet bizarre – ceiling insulation, resource tax, BER, 2020 summit, fuel watch, grocery watch, war on obesity and the response to the Henry tax review that only accepted a few of the 138 recommendations.

The government has labelled these measures as a “revolution” or a “war” but really, it’s just been pandemonium.

People are genuinely getting worried that the Government has gone rogue and lost the plot.

Anyway, back to the debt. When will the Government come to the conclusion that as it keeps borrowing in excess of $1 billion a week that inevitably something is going to go “snap”?

The Government no doubt will tell us we should say “hip hip hooray” that our record deficit is not quite as big as they thought it was going to be.

Then they are going to tell us that at sometime in the future, when they cannot be pinned down, it will all get better, like the child who is going to clean up their room in three years’ time.

If there is one thing that Australians can do for themselves, it is not to get into excessive debt. There are no tricks in how you pay it off – it is just very hard work and lots of sacrifices and pain, where pain never needed to happen.

It’s always the same – the pain of paying it off is five times the joy of getting it and when you look at what the Labor Party has got us, they’ve really got us nothing, except for getting us into a lot of trouble. The resource profit tax looks like the last pill of insanity after a huge night on the town.

This budget will determine that either the Labor Party are going to start turning around the debt or it is going to confirm our worst fears about them. I clearly spelled these out at my National Press Club speech where I stated that the Labor Party has no respect for money, no capacity to handle money, and no knowledge of money.

All these fears have crystallised in their inability to grasp the nettle and immediately start turning around the debt – not in two or three years’ time, but now.

Barnaby Is Right.

Australian CDS Spreads Worsen

11 May

Amid all the anxiety over debt-laden European countries and their banks, few seem to have noticed ominous signs for Australia.  Late last week, as fears really began to rise about the Eurozone, spreads on credit default swaps (CDS) for Australia’s sovereign debt widened the most of all countries in the world except New Zealand.

What does that mean?  Simply, as fears rose about European countries defaulting on their debts, the cost of taking out “insurance” against Australia defaulting on its sovereign debt increased by more than almost every other country.

From CMA Market Data‘s “Sovereign Risk Monitor”:

Friday, 7 May 2010 — 23:30

Sovereign Wideners
Entity Name 5 Yr Mid Change (%) Change (bps) CPD (%)
New Zealand 68.27 +13.91 +8.34 5.80
Australia 54.14 +12.35 +5.95 4.64
Chile 98.64 +11.01 +9.78 6.74
Korea, Republic of 129.84 +10.59 +12.43 10.86
Japan 89.39 +10.32 +8.37 7.73
United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland 99.50 +9.26 +8.44 8.44
Qatar 103.29 +8.14 +7.78 7.02
South Africa 190.42 +6.88 +12.26 12.59

Could this reflect the markets losing confidence in Rudd Labor’s ability to manage the economy?  After all, this dramatic deterioration in the markets’ perception of our ability to repay our Rudd-spent sovereign debts also coincides with the government’s announcement of their new Resources Super-Profits Tax –  a tax on our only remaining productive sector (apart from agriculture).

It also comes just days before the next Budget… one which few could seriously believe will genuinely rein in Rudd Labor’s massively wasteful spending and set a determined course for a return to budget surplus.

When it comes to Rudd Labor’s economic (mis)management, it seems the markets are speaking loud and clear.

Is anyone listening?

Another Week, Another $1.8Bn In Debt

3 May

The Rudd borrowed-money spendathon continues.

Already $138.5bn in the hole, this week alone the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) reports that another $1.8bn in Commonwealth securities and Treasury notes will be auctioned off, to raise money for yet more wasteful spending.

Meanwhile, the interest rates that the government must offer to pay to attract buyers for our sovereign bonds continues to steadily rise.

From The Australian:

The government is facing a battle to keep costs under its self-imposed 2 per cent growth cap, with blowouts in some programs and higher interest payments adding to the deficit.

Yields On Aussie Bonds Rising

8 Apr

And so it begins.

Have we just heard the ‘canary in the coalmine’ of government debt pause its happy singing?  When the government finds it has to start offering higher yields in order to sell its longer-dated sovereign bonds, you know that the market is beginning to smell inflation… and/or, losing faith in the government’s ability to pay up on maturity.

From The Australian:

The federal government drew solid demand today for an auction of new July 2022 bonds, its longest nominal debt on issue, but had to pay an attractive premium to sell the bonds.

In the latest extension of its yield curve, the Australian Office of Financial Management sold $1.0 billion of 5.75 per cent July 2022 bonds with a weighted average yield of 5.9642 per cent.

“The Commonwealth had to pay up to get good demand,” Westpac strategist Damien McColough said, noting good interest from buyers on yields closer to the 6.0 per cent level.

Over the past two months, the yield on the more common 10-year Australian Government bonds has risen from 5.48% to 5.85%.

We’re About To Discover That Sovereign Nations Can Go Bust Just Like Companies

30 Mar

From BusinessInsider:

Bill Gross (Ed: Head of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond trading firm) knocks the halo off of sovereign bonds in his latest March outlook.

He highlights how sovereign debt has been struck with more bad news than corporate debt lately.

While sovereign credit used to be generally considered more secure than that of private companies, suddenly the default of nations such as Greece, the U.K., or even Japan seems on the table, while that of many strong corporates remains remote.

What’s happening, according to Mr. Gross, is that government bonds are starting to look just like corporate bonds, rather than existing on some privileged less-risky peer as in the past. Because it’s anything goes and anyone can default in the new ‘unibond’ market.

Bill Gross commented that:

Government bailouts and guarantees such as those evidenced and envisioned in Dubai and Greece, as well as those for the last 18 months with banks and large industrial corporations across the globe, suggest a more homogeneous “unicredit” type of bond market. If core sovereigns such as the U.S., Germany, U.K., and Japan “absorb” more and more credit risk, then the credit spreads and yields of these sovereigns should look more and more like the markets that they guarantee. The Kings, in other words, in the process of increasingly shedding their clothes, begin to look more and more like their subjects. Kings and serfs begin to share the same castle.

Barnaby Joyce began raising questions about the possibility of ‘default’ by nations such as the USA last year. He was roundly ridiculed by all and sundry for doing so.

Unfortunately, no one raised the point that there is more than one way that a sovereign ‘default’ can occur. Historically, the most common form of ‘default’ is simply where the sovereign nation inflates away its debts. How? By destroying the value of its own currency:

Thus there are no longer any holy bond cows left in this world.

Heck, even U.S. bonds are subject to ‘stealth-default’ risk, which is simply the eating away of bond value over time via inflation and dollar depreciation.

Barnaby is right.

More Labor Bad Accounting

20 Mar

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 20 March 2010:

The Labor Party has added another $2.1 billion to our debt in the last fortnight which cracks the $130 billion mark. This is slightly less than the Clem 7 tunnel in Brisbane and would build 10,000 kilometres of sealed roads in regional Australia. They know they will never be responsible for paying it back.

Every week we find out more and more of what they have purchased with our credit card. The Building Education Revolution (BER) appears to be a very choice piece of work. Yet another brilliant example of the Labor Party not dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s, as Mr Tanner pointed out with regard to his input into the Ceiling Insulation Program.

The Labor Party cannot control costs. It appears they have never had experience in running a business and have now decided to experiment with the Australian economy as an economic crash test dummy with silly and dangerous ideas.

The cost overruns, inside deals for unions, burning houses and electrocution fatalities are just the start of understanding how the Labor Party manages the economy.

Today, what inspired this media release is that I have just walked out of a K Mart, after a buying a cheap pair of working trousers, and a mother with two children and an older couple were lined up to tell me about money that has been squandered in their district. They were concerned what the effect of going public with their story would have on their local school teacher but the story has grabbed my attention.

$250 000 has just been spent on a school hall in a local village/town. They could identify $110 000 worth of costs but $140 000 was for them “mystery money”. The school raised a complaint with the contractor and has since been refunded in excess of $30 000.This seems to be the story nearly everywhere you go and now is more widely ventilated with what we are reading in the papers.

Mr Tanner, Mr Swan and Mr Rudd are responsible for this. Their whole management critique is farcical. The ceiling insulation program has literally turned into a national crisis; the BER is the Big Education Rip off; the hidden Henry Tax Review; the $43 billion NBN project that was begun without a cost benefit analysis. To top it all off, is the Labor Party’s continued insane desire to re-jig the whole Australian economy based on a colourless, odourless gas that will apparently lead to Australia, single handedly, cooling the planet. On and on it goes, this rolling Greek tragedy, which is Labor Party management.

As an accountant, I have seen this form of management that the Labor Party indulges in.  It reminds me of the new arrival in the family business who is flash as a rat with a gold tooth and is quickly swindling away years of hard work.

They have the whole household on hire purchase, with the new car, the new boat, the new pool, the new stereo, multiple overseas trips to many and varied destinations but they have no new income and the result is a massive debt. You get this sinking feeling that just like they blew in, they are going to blow up then blow out.

More information- Jenny Swan 0438 578402

Next week, the Rudd Government has scheduled to take us another$2.1bn into debt.

Eurozone Faces ‘Sovereign Debt Explosion’

15 Mar

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Europe’s governments are at increasing risk of an interest rate shock this year as the lingering effects of the Great Recession drive debt issuance to record levels and saturate bond markets, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The warning comes as bond giant PIMCO spoke of a “sovereign debt explosion” that has taken the world into uncharted waters and poses a major threat to economic stability. “Our sense is that the importance of the shock to public finances in advanced economies is not yet sufficiently appreciated and understood,” said Mohamed El-Erian, the group’s chief executive.

Mr El-Erian said most analysts are still using “backward-looking models” that fail to grasp the full magnitude of what has taken place in world affairs since the crisis. Some 40pc of the global economy is in countries where governments are running deficits above 10pc of GDP, with no easy way out.

Australia too, is issuing government debt at record levels – $1.6bn last week, another $2.1bn scheduled for this week.

See the Australian Office of Financial Management’s website.

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