Tag Archives: keynesianism

Rain For Henry, Stevens’ Parade

5 Mar

From Business Spectator:

Today’s commentary is all about lessons learned and not learned in the GFC.

ABARE has rained on the commodity bulls’ parade with forecasts of falling commodity prices in the medium term, and a falling dollar from next year. This is no surprise to this column, which has argued consistently that the prices of the last cycle will not be repeated because that cycle’s global building boom – from Shanghai to Dubai – was a once-in-a-lifetime event, characterised in the worst cases by massive empty buildings. Mine supply has also now caught up.

The commentary then goes on to critique Michael Stutchbury’s recent article regarding the Australian housing bubble:

Heavens to Betsy. This column will simply observe that house prices reached unprecedented multiples of income in the last cycle and are now threatening to go higher still. And even in Stutchbury’s own terms the boom is based upon easy money – this time fiscal – the First Home Buyers’ Grant (FHBG). We might also note that it was coupled with the lowest cost of mortgages in fifty years. Let’s call a spade a spade. The FHBG was, in the long run, a calamitous policy. It has re-inflated the great Australian housing bubble, underpinned it with moral hazard and badly compromised monetary options… A historic opportunity to de-risk the Australian economy was missed.

If we learned anything form the GFC it is not to trust financial advice, and John Durie of The Australian analyses where new regulation to protect small investors is headed. “Myriad studies have revealed that 50 per cent of Australian adults don’t understand what 50 per cent means.

Labor Borrowing A Billion A Week

2 Mar

Abbott tells it how it is:

QUESTION:

Interest rates are expected to go up again, um… Who would you blame?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well, if you’ve got the government out there borrowing more than a billion dollars a week that puts a lot of pressure on interest rates. Now, plainly interest rates will always be higher than they otherwise would be when you’ve got the government out there in the market borrowing as dramatically as this government is.

Keep informed of Australia’s sovereign debt level… unlike Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, who doesn’t bother.

See for yourself just how much this wastrel Government is borrowing every week, by clicking here. To see how much they intend to borrow in the next few days, click here.

Already, you are better informed about Australia’s debt than the Finance Minister.

Abbott: Low-Growth, High Inflation Future

1 Mar

Tony Abbott also sees the danger signs that so many are warning of:

The danger for Australia, as we enter what could turn out to be a long period of 70s-style low growth and high inflation, is not just that the Rudd government has saddled us with debt and deficits but that it’s undoing the reforms on which a golden age was built.

Rudd Labor have tried to smear Tony Abbott’s economic credentials too, trumpeting that he thinks “economics is boring”. Whether that is true or not is beside the point – just because a subject is boring, does not mean you do not understand it.

Tony Abbott is a Rhodes Scholar, with a degree in Economics.  The Rudd Labor economic team, by comparison, are all uneducated imbeciles. Compare their credentials here.

Barnaby is right. Tony Abbott is right as well.

Thank goodness that at least two people in our parliament are aware of the serious economic problem that lies ahead.

Greek Debt Crisis Reflects Global Problem

1 Mar

The Greek debt crisis represents a threat to the entire Eurozone, and ultimately, the global economy:

Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London, says the Greek crisis reflects a larger economic problem in Europe. EU members like the Netherlands and Germany have spent too little and their economies are driven by exports. Meanwhile, southern economies like Greece and Portugal have spent too much and amassed debts as a result.

Now that sounds familiar – “…economies are driven by exports… spent too much and amassed debts as a result”. One could be forgiven for drawing a logical conclusion – that the Australian economy, far from being a shining beacon of fiscal prudence, actually encapsulates the worst of the Eurozone’s economic dilemma.

Greece’s problems are also spilling beyond Europe’s borders. The value of the euro currency has plunged for example, which makes American exports – key to the U.S. economic recovery – less competitive.

Ultimately, Tilford says, the Greek problem reflects a world economic problem.

“The eurozone s really just a microcosm of the global problems we see. So unless we see the big countries in East Asia rebalancing away from exports and toward domestic demand, we are not going to generate a self-sustaining global economic recovery,” he said.

But Tilford does not believe Europe is ready, or willing, yet to undertake fundamental economic reforms he thinks are needed to right these imbalances. The region may rescue Greece, he says, but it will only be putting a bandage on a far bigger problem.

Could it be that, as with every other global trend, Down Under Australia has not “escaped” the GFC at all, but is simply running a few years behind everyone else?

Barnaby is right.

OECD Economist: Double-Dip Recession Looms

28 Feb

One can only wonder if Treasury Secretary Ken Henry watched the ABC’s “Inside Business” this morning:

One of the OECD’s leading economists says there is a strong chance that the world’s leading economies could quickly slide back into recession.

The deputy director of the OECD’s financial and enterprise affairs, Dr Adrian Blundell-Wignall, has told ABC1’s Inside Business program that the threat of a double dip recession remained because problems in the banking system have not been solved.

“There are many icebergs the ship has to negotiate before we’re out of jail here. This is going to be a 10 year process, not a one year process,” he said.

Dr Blundell-Wignall says many of the banks’ problems have been hidden by changes to accounting rules and their most toxic assets have been shifted to the balance sheets of the big central banks in the US and Europe.

Dr Henry recently stated that the GFC is “over”:

“What people have called the global financial crisis, that has passed“.

Dr Henry went on to predict a “period of unprecedented prosperity” for Australia, one that could “stretch to 2050”.

Dr Henry failed to predict the GFC.

Rogoff Sees Sovereign Defaults

25 Feb

From Bloomberg

Ballooning debt is likely to force several countries to default and the U.S. to cut spending, according to Harvard University Professor Kenneth Rogoff, who in 2008 predicted the failure of big American banks:

Following banking crises, “we usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults, say in a few years,” Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said at a forum in Tokyo yesterday. “I predict we will again.”

Most countries have reached a point where it would be much wiser to phase out fiscal stimulus,” said Rogoff, who co- wrote a history of financial crises published in 2009.

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