Tag Archives: RBA

Westpac, NAB Survive On US Federal Reserve Life Support

24 Dec

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATE: Aggregate balance of US Fed loans to Westpac = USD87.52 billion, NAB = USD378 billion (csv file 1e_Fed Dated Estimated Income Ranking Text Only)

From Bloomberg:

Fed’s once-secret data released to the public

Bloomberg News today released spreadsheets showing daily borrowing totals for 407 banks and companies that tapped Federal Reserve emergency programs during the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis. It’s the first time such data have been publicly available in this form.

To download a zip file of the spreadsheets, go to http://bit.ly/Bloomberg-Fed-Data. For an explanation of the files, see the one labeled “1a Fed Data Roadmap.”

The day-by-day, bank-by-bank numbers, culled from about 50,000 transactions the U.S. central bank made through seven facilities, formed the basis of a series of Bloomberg News articles this year about the largest financial bailout in history.

“Scholars can now examine the data and continue the analysis of the Fed’s crisis management,” said Allan H. Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the author of three books on the history of the U.S. central bank.

The data reflect lending from the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, the Term Auction Facility, the Term Securities Lending Facility, the discount window and single-tranche open market operations, or ST OMO.

Bloomberg News obtained information about the discount window and ST OMO through the Freedom of Information Act. While the Fed initially rejected a request for discount-window information, Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, filed a federal lawsuit to force disclosure and won in the lower courts. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to intervene in the case, and the Fed released more than 29,000 pages of transaction data.

As we saw in “Our Banking System Operates With Zero Reserves”, a previous data release showed that Australian banks … including the Reserve Bank of Australia … secretly borrowed billions from the US Federal Reserve to survive during the GFC. In the case of the RBA, the value of its loans totalled around AUD88 billion given the exchange rate at that time:

National Australia Bank Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) were all recipients of emergency funds from the US Federal Reserve during the global financial crisis, according to media reports.

Data released by the Fed shows the RBA borrowed $US53 billion in 10 separate transactions during the financial crisis, which compares to the European Central Bank’s 271 transactions, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

NAB borrowed $US4.5 billion, and a New York-based entity owned by Westpac borrowed $US1 billion, according to The Age.

This new data release allows us to see more detail about the secret loans to Westpac and NAB.

Two of the four pillars of our allegedly “safe as houses” banking system.

And now we can see that it wasn’t just a “New York-based entity owned by Westpac” that borrowed from the Fed. It was Westpac itself.

Between 20 Dec 2007 and 16 Jan 2008, Westpac secretly borrowed USD90 million per day from the US Federal Reserve.  Between 9 Oct 2008 and 1 Jan 2009, Westpac borrowed USD1 billion per day. For a total of 113 days, Westpac was surviving on daily loans from the US Fed:

Click to enlarge

For a total 252 days straight, between 6 November 2008 and 15 July 2009, National Australia Bank survived by secretly borrowing USD1.5 billion per day from the US Fed:

Click to enlarge

[Don’t forget that during the GFC, the AUD plummeted from 98c to the USD, to 60c … where the RBA actively bought AUD’s in order to keep it propped at 60c. So these USD quoted loans were in fact dramatically higher when considered in light of the relative value of the Aussie dollar at the time]

Half of our “Four Pillar” bankstering system survived on USD2.5 billion per day of US Fed-supplied life support during the peak GFC “fear” period … and in NAB’s case, for many months afterwards.

And all on the hush hush.

We’d never know about it, except for Bloomberg News taking the US Fed to court when they refused an FOI request for the information.

How’s your con-fidence in our AAA-rated Ponzi now?

If you’ve not read it yet, and if like most Aussies you are oblivious to the hushed up bank run that was occurring right here in Oz during the GFC, then you should take the time to read my June 24 blog, “Our Banking System Operates With Zero Reserves”:

Ian Harper, one of Australia’s leading financial economists, spent much of the weekend of October 11-12, 2008, reassuring journalists that Australian banks were safe.

But there was something about the calls Harper was getting from reporters over that weekend that worried him.

“There was a whiff of panic,” he recalls. It had been building all week. He had no doubt that the government and the Reserve Bank would be able to manage a run on cash, but it might take days to arrest. Panic has been an unpredictable force in the history of banking. And the instant world of electronic banking had never been tested with a full-scale crisis of confidence.

He talked about media calls with his wife. “Come Monday morning and they tell us one of the banks is in strife and internet banking is down, I can’t look you in the eye and say you can pay this week’s grocery bills.”

The man who had just been reassuring everyone there was nothing to worry about went down the street to the ATM and made a sizeable withdrawal to make sure his wife would have enough cash.

All around the country, banks were facing unusual demands for cash. Small businesses in Queensland and Western Australia were switching their deposits from regional banks to accounts with the big four banks.

An elderly woman turned up in the branch of one bank in Queensland with a suitcase and asked to withdraw her term deposits of $100,000 or more. Once filled, she took the suitcase down to the other end of the counter and asked that it be kept in the bank’s safe.

A story did the rounds of the regulators about a customer who wanted to withdraw his six-figure savings. The branch manager said he did not have that quantity of cash on hand, but offered a bank cheque, which the customer accepted, apparently unaware that the cheque was no safer than the bank writing it.

It was a silent run, unnoticed by the media. Across the country, at least tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of depositors were withdrawing their funds. Left unchecked, there would soon be queues in the street with police managing crowd control, as occurred in London at the Golders Green branch of Northern Rock a year earlier.

“With a bank run, or any rumour of a bank run, you can’t play games with that,” says Treasury Secretary Ken Henry.

“You can’t pussyfoot around that stuff. It’s a long time since Australia has had a serious run on a financial institution, but it’s all about confidence, and you cannot allow an impression to develop generally in the public that there is any risk.”

Now, what was it that I wrote just hours ago … about our AAA-rated Ponzi economy?

Bob’s No Mad Katter On RBA “Independence”

18 Dec

Well well well.

No sooner do I finish writing a blog that includes a positive mention and empirically-supported defence of the so-called “protectionist” trade views of Senator Joyce and “Mad” Bob Katter, and lo and behold, I read this headline (emphasis added):

RBA should lower rate or be sacked: Katter

Outspoken Queensland MP Bob Katter says if his new political party were ever to win power federally it would force the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates – even if that meant heads had to roll.

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), which was registered in late September, wants to devalue the Australian dollar by reducing interest rates.

The party’s policy platform states that the official cash rate should be brought into line with the rest of the world at between one and two per cent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate is currently 4.25 per cent.

Addressing the party faithful on the Gold Coast this week, Mr Katter made it clear that if the Reserve refused to play ball board members would be removed individually or the entire bank “replaced with another body”.

“I don’t want to be advocating political involvement in the Reserve Bank,” the party’s founder told AAP on Saturday.

“But its independence doesn’t extend to the government of Australia abrogating its responsibilities to control the economy.”

Mr Katter said the RBA was using interest rates to control inflation but it wasn’t an effective tool.

Further, Australia didn’t have a problem with inflation, he said.

“Even if it did, it would be infinitely more important to rescue every single industry in Australia – tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and mining.”

The federal member for Kennedy said the high Australian dollar was “murdering” tourism particularly on the Gold Coast.

He noted that Europe currently has interest rates around one per cent while the United States is at 0.25 per cent and Japan zero.

“We are 500 per cent out of step with the rest of the world,” he said.

“There has been a protracted attitude over a quarter of a century that has been diabolical for this country.”

A Katter-led government would request the Reserve to lower the official cash rate and if if it didn’t would “take action”.

Damn!

Has “Mad” Bob Katter been reading Mark McGovern’s paper on Australia’s Debt Dreamtime too?

His comments and policy directly (though insufficiently) seek to address one of the central points made in McGovern’s paper:

Reserve Bank policies are worsening Australia’s external position and needlessly driving up internal costs

… in recent decades the reliance on interest rate movements in inflation targeting along with an insensitive allocation of rates across investment classes have compounded problems and raised investment risk while doing little for inflation objectives. Clearly this challenges current conventions in Australia, and elsewhere, but an argument needs to be had. Reserve Bank of Australia decisions of interest rates may be well be worsening not only Australian competitiveness (since investment becomes markedly more expensive and unattractive as next discussed) but also its external position…

Now, watch all the usual suspects … the government, Treasury, “expert” economists, talking heads et al –  come out in force to denounce Bob’s policy as “mad” and “extremist”.

Just like they jumped all over Senator Joyce in 2009-10, for his courageous, prophetic, and correct call on the danger of ever-rising US debt levels.

Can’t have anyone with a public platform telling the truth about The Big Club, or starting to propose solutions that would undermine the status quo (read “power”), now can we (language warning):

Oh yes … by the way.

“Mad” Bob is right on the money concerning the Great Global Warming Hoax too.

Take very careful note of his comments in the following brilliant video, courtesy of the must-follow wakeup2thelies (from 1:34):

He’s on to the bastards!

And to top it all off, “Mad” Bob wants to change or remove outright the many ridiculous “Big Brother” nanny state laws … think fishing, firearms, camping, billy-boiling, etc … that seek to prevent us blokes from being proper blokes, and turn us all into soft, jelly-bellied, quiet, passive, make-no-trouble-for-government sheilas.

Definitely my kinda bloke, is Bob.

Begone our pathetic Australian cultural cringe … I admire good old-fashioned rough ‘n tough Aussie blokes.  Doubtless their slowly dying out is a big reason why I love old folk, and regretfully concede to feeling a mixture of scorn and sorrow for the latte-sipping, preening, “how-do-I-look?” obsessed, all-things-American-idolising Gen X and Y.

Hey Barn! How about pulling up stumps from the LNP coalition, and teaming up the National Party with Katter’s Australia Party?

One can only hope.

Interestingly, it seems that I’m not the only one who’d love to see the Green-Labor coalition get KAP’d:

Good guys still wear white – Katter’s Australian Party set to run Labor out of town

[Contrary to the line being pedalled by the LNP, a vote for Katter’s Australian Party will not play into Labor’s hands, Dean Bertram argues in The Australian Spectator this week. He writes..]

While I never thought that the progressive Left could teach us anything of worth, at the last Federal election they did. Those leftard voters who swung from Labor to the Greens were able to grab the reins of this country and steer it by their own faulty compass straight towards the perils of a carbon tax.

Imagine a brighter future, where, in place of the current monstrous Labor-Greens hybrid, Australia is governed by a minority Coalition government dependent upon the support of a party committed to solid conservative principals. And we know that [Bob] Katter wouldn’t compromise those principals should such a deal be struck. He wouldn’t sell us out.

We witnessed that when sides were drawn in the aftermath of the last Federal election. So if we want to turn this country around before we are forever trapped in the snares that the Left are setting, right-thinking Australians need to take a leaf out of the progressives’ playbook and change our own voting habits. Thanks to Katter, we finally have another viable choice: a new party that appears to be prepared to put the national interest and the rights of Australians above the dreams of dangerous globalists, be they crony capitalists or enviro-communists.

Katter is currently building a solid team for the Australian party’s inaugural run in the upcoming Queensland State election … The party currently has 43 candidates in place and plans to have about 75 by the time the election is called next year. Moreover, early poll figures indicate that it is set to replicate One Nation’s initial electoral success in that state.

… [L]et’s hope that Katter can round up an equally capable posse to join him in the Federal arena. Because good folk all across this great nation have been circling our wagons for some time now. We’re surrounded and being worn down by an ever-encroaching federal government, a rabid Marxist ideology that disguises itself behind political correctness and environmentalism, and a crony capitalist system that is inimical to both small business and what’s left of this country’s agricultural and manufacturing industries. The Australian party is shaping up to be our long-awaited cavalry. Which, after all, seems fitting, because the white-hatted Bob Katter is leading the charge.

Dean Bertram is right.

We leave the last word to Barnaby:

“I’ve always believed that if there’s a marketplace out there that can be filled in its political requirements by someone who can articulate a cause that collects a vote – good luck to them. That should be the job of all of us,” the Nationals’ Senate leader told ABC Radio today when asked about the idea of a new political party.

RBA & Treasury Coverup – Data Culled At Behest Of Banks

6 Dec

Being the first Tuesday of the month, there’ll be lots of attention on the Reserve Bank today, with many hoping for another cut in the official interest rate in time for Christmas.

So I thought that today, we might take a closer look at the RBA too.

Remember that critical joined-at-the-hip relationship between our Big Four banks, and the government’s balance sheet, that your humble blogger has been banging on about lately?

The relationship that means our government must get its budget back in shape, else its guarantees that are the only thing propping up our zombie banks will lose credibility with the ratings agencies?

Michael West at The Age has been looking at those government guarantees too. His investigation has dug a little deeper into the dark heart of our government-banker kleptocracy (my emphasis added):

Public information turns confidential – RBA culls data

The Reserve Bank of Australia and federal Treasury have been systematically purging public information from their databases at the request of the big banks.

During the course of an investigation into the wholesale funding guarantee, BusinessDay found large swathes of information relating to the use of the guarantee had been expunged from the http://www.guaranteescheme.gov.au website.

This culling of public data follows revelations here last year that the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) had been deleting evidence of the waivers it had provided to liquidators.

Commitment to transparency?

Now the RBA and Treasury appear to have made an even greater mockery of the government’s “commitment to transparency and accountability”. The funding guarantee scheme is an unprecedented concession for the banks – they are underpinned by the taxpayer and, thanks to sovereign largesse, cannot go bust.

Nonetheless, almost all detail relating to more than $100 billion in taxpayer-guaranteed funding has vanished. Only the details of current guarantees survive.

We can only surmise that both the government and the banks are trying to pretend there was never any corporate welfare in the first place. For the banks’ part, it is harder to justify $10 million executive salaries for running a taxpayer-guaranteed institution.

And for the government’s part, the censorship can only be put down to an obsequious backpedalling on previous public commitments in order to appease the powerful banks.

Unconvincingly trying to rationalise their role in the purge, Treasury responded that public information about sovereign support for the banks had suddenly become confidential.

“Further data on liabilities issued under the Scheme by individual participating institutions is not provided on the Guarantee Scheme website for reasons of confidentiality,” a spokesman told BusinessDay.

It was the sort of line which would have made Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.

With Europe in disarray, and the impending prospect of further taxpayer support for the banks – the RBA has recently foreshadowed relaxing the rules on what assets banks can swap for RBA cash – this is hardly the time for there to be any question over the integrity of public institutions and their information.

[click the link to read the entire article, including how the RBA and Treasury tried to cover-up in response to Mr West’s investigations]

None of this should come as any surprise to regular readers of barnabyisright.com.

There are already very big questions over the “integrity” of our public institutions.

As we saw in Funding For Policy Scandal – Australia Is A Kleptocracy, our very system of government means that our political parties depend on bank loans to fund their election campaigns.

Why?

It is because the parties do not receive their multi-million dollar handouts from the public trough – a distribution which is based on % of the popular vote – until after the election, when the actual number of votes received by each party is confirmed.

So, they have to go hat-in-hand to the banks, begging for loans, in order to mount their campaigns in the first place.

If that is not a relationship of dependency that is absolutely ripe for corruption, then I don’t know what is.

There really is “An Unholy Alliance Of Politicians And Bankers Versus Ordinary People”

More Proof That RBA Governor Stevens Is A Liar

6 Oct

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens is a frequent target for criticism here:

Stevens’ Nonchalance ‘Stunning’

Stevens: ‘Risk Of Serious Contraction’ Passed

Stevens’ Australia’s Most Useless?

And the RBA more generally is also a favourite target:

RBA Officials Have A Vested Interest In The Fate Of Aussie Real Estate

Our Banking System Operates With Zero Reserves

RBA Says Our Banks Are Stuffed … In Other Words

In our most recent flame on the RBA Governor ( “Final Proof That RBA Governor Glenn Stevens Is Either A Liar, Or A Blithering Idiot” ), we saw how Stevens lied about economists failing to predict the GFC. In a speech at a fancy dinner, at the peak of the GFC. While celebrating his $234,000 p.a. pay rise.

Now, we learn that Stevens lied about RBA officials’ knowledge of corruption in their own ranks.

From The Age:

Some of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s most senior officials were involved in covering up extensive evidence of corruption inside the central bank’s subsidiaries, Note Printing Australia and Securency.

An investigation by The Age has found top RBA officials suppressed damaging information in 2007 and 2008 about the payment of secret commissions to middlemen hired by the RBA firms to win banknote contracts in Nepal and Malaysia.

Among the officials who knew of the serious corruption concerns are deputy governor Ric Battellino, former deputy governor Graeme Thompson and former Note Printing Australia boss Chris Ogilvy…

The evidence of the cover-ups is contained in internal documents from the RBA and the banknote firms, including many seized by the federal police after executing search warrants.

The documents challenge RBA governor Glenn Stevens’s statement to a federal parliamentary committee in February that ”no one in the Reserve Bank or on our board” knew of corruption allegations involving Securency and NPA before The Age revealed them in May 2009.

And we the taxpayers are (given no choice in) paying this bloke over $1 million per annum.

I’ve said it before.

It bears repeating.

Abolish. The. RBA.

h/t Twitter user MsMonneypenny

Why I Hang Farther To The Left Than Bob Brown

18 Aug

Got your attention with that headline?

Good.

Because on the topic of Australia’s last remaining real source of wealth – “our” natural resources – and, on the directly related topic of who should own them, you may be shocked to learn that your humble blogger hangs waaaaaaaay way out there on the so-called “left”.

With the likes of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Russian Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin.

And the government of Norway – which consistently ranks as the happiest nation on earth, and, the most prosperous.

[You see, when you are not beholden to group-think, and the false Left vs Right paradigm, then you can author what the Fairfax media called a “tribute site”, dedicated to supporting the debt-and-deficit views of a so-called “extremist” “far right” politician, and yet, hold “far left” views on other specific issues.  Independent, issue-by-issue critical thinking is a wonderful thing.]

Explanation to follow.

First though, a little background via this media release from Senator Barnaby Joyce, 17 August 2011 (my emphasis added):

Some towns are more equal than others

The Queensland Labor party obviously believes that all towns are equal but some towns are more equal than others.

I note that Queensland Natural Resources Minister Rachael Nolan is already backtracking from the Labor party’s decision to only ban mining within 2 kilometres of towns with more than 1000 people.

Ms Nolan also attacked the Federal Coalition saying that:

This government does not believe that landholders are entitled to the resources beneath the ground. They have never been and to change that now would represent a massive windfall to the agricultural class, to the detriment of those who own the resources now – that is, all of us.*

Ms Nolan is wrong. It is concerning that a Minister does not seem to understand the basic aspects of her portfolio.

Farmers in Queensland owned the petroleum and gas resources under their property until 1915, when the Queensland Government took them off them to protect the resources for the crown during World War I. From my latest investigations I think World War I has finished but the resources were never handed back to farmers.

To quote from section 4 of the Petroleum Act 1915:

… it is hereby declared that petroleum on or below the surface of all land in Queensland, whether alienated in fee simple or not so alienated from the Crown, and if so alienated whensoever alienated, is and always has been the property of the Crown.

Resources have been taken in other states in even more recent times, with the last being the NSW Coal Acquisition Act in 1981.

If Ms Nolan does not believe me, perhaps she would believe former NSW Premier Neville Wran, who stated in his second reading speech on the Coal Acquisition Bill 1981:

The proposal is not without precedent. In 1938 a Tory government in the United Kingdom acquired all coal then in private ownership. In 1953 the Menzies Government resumed all minerals, then in private ownership, in the Northern Territory.

In 1971 South Australia followed suit and acquired privately owned minerals. All petroleum in New South Wales was vested in the Crown without compensation, by the Petroleum Act, 1955 …

* Ludlow, M., Dunckley, M and Kerr, P. 2011, ‘Mining ban expands’, Australian Financial Review, p. 5.

As a fine, upstanding, and outstanding representative of the interests of the rural community, Senator Joyce advocates strongly for the rights of farmers and rural landowners. Especially of late, in their critical challenges with mining interests seeking to explore for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) resources beneath their land, placing our food and water security at risk.

I strongly support the rational, objective, common sense basic position put forward by both Senator Joyce and the Greens – that agricultural land should be very carefully protected against any risks from the mining sector’s activities.

Indeed, I support going even further than either Barnaby or the Greens on this issue.

Why?

There are no “resources” more vital to human existence, than water #1, and food #2.

If proposed mining activities pose any plausible risk to water and/or food security, then protection of our water and ability to grow our own food must always take top priority.

To argue otherwise, you must either be an idiot. A troll. Suicidal. And/or genocidal. There are no other options.

Where I differ with (or perhaps hold a more nuanced position than) Senator Joyce – and most definitely differ with the Australian Greens – is over the question of how best to maximise the benefits for all Australians of our Great South Land’s natural resources.

Senator Joyce is quite rightly concerned with the rights of rural landowners.

The Greens appear to be concerned with the protection of agricultural land – as should we all.  But in truth, the Greens are far more interested in taxing the crap out of the mining companies, whilst paying hypocritical lip service to the quasi-religious notion of “stopping catastrophic climate change”.

I am interested in the national (human) interest.

So, I advocate for nationalisation of Australia’s mineral, petroleum, and natural gas resources.

In our world of facile, intellectually-lazy “labelling” of every one and every thing (in lieu of reasoned, nuanced thought), that viewpoint places me right out there on the “extreme left”. Yes, right alongside “evil” socialists like Hugo Chavez.

And the government and people of Norway – the happiest and most prosperous nation (per capita) on earth.

Why is Norway so happy and prosperous?

One very big contributing reason, is that the Norwegian government nationalised their North Sea oil reserves decades ago, and has retained tight control over this vital resource sector ever since, including via the 67% government-owned StatOil. Profits are returned to a now-massive sovereign wealth fund, on behalf of all the citizens of Norway.

(This is used to finance what many would label a “welfare state”; the generally-understood definition of which I do not broadly support – another nuance, for another time).

Beginning in 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez moved in the same direction. He began an ongoing nationalisation drive, stripping foreign-owned companies of control over vital national resources, especially Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, along with food and key industrial production.

(The fact that it was predominantly US multi-national petroleum companies who lost out as a result of Chavez’s actions goes a very long way towards explaining the true reason why he is painted as an “evil” “insane” “socialist” villain by Western politicians and lapdog mainstream media … and thus, why you probably believe Chavez is all bad, and all wrong. How dare he be more concerned with the national interest of Venezuelans, than with the profits of multi-nationals or the deceitful ideologies of “free trade” and “globalisation”!)

In Australia, we have a ridiculous, unintelligent, ill-considered, short-sighted, shallow, and polarised “debate” over national resources.

Many argue for a mining “super profits” tax, to help “spread the wealth” of our here-today-gone-forever-tomorrow mineral resources, via a sovereign wealth fund.

Others mount high-minded, impressive-sounding arguments against this.

Many argue for restrictions on foreign ownership of Australia’s resources, including prime agricultural land.

Others mount high-minded, impressive-sounding arguments against this.

Those who argue against restrictions on foreign ownership of vital Australian resources include the treasonous “independent” Reserve Bank:

The Reserve Bank has warned that the economy’s increasing reliance on mining exports has left it more vulnerable to global downturns but suggests foreign ownership of the sector could help reduce those risks.

A paper co-authored by RBA assistant governor Philip Lowe and presented at the bank’s annual conference highlighted the benefits of foreign investment in mining at a time of intense political scrutiny of the industry’s ownership and profits.

The Greens correctly point out the fact that it is foreign-owned interests who benefit most from our country’s “poor white trash of Asia”, quarry-to-the-world status:

In June, Greens leader Bob Brown used a National Press Club address to slam the size of mining payouts to offshore investors and demand higher taxes on the industry to ensure Australians received their fair share.

He released research showing that $50 billion in mining company dividends would end up in overseas hands over the next five years — far more than the government’s watered-down mining tax would collect for taxpayers over the same period.

“Most of Treasury’s planned super-profits tax is now due to end up in the deep, deep pockets of millionaires in Switzerland, London, Calcutta and Beijing, rather than in Australian schools, hospitals or railways,” Senator Brown said at the time.

The Greens’ solution?

A bigger mining tax.

This sort of small-minded, tax-and-spend idiocy typifies the problems with our country.

Our politicians huff and puff a lot of high-minded hot air. While doing sweet FA, or at best, tinkering around the edges of critical issues.

Because most do not really have the national interest at heart.

They mostly have only their own interest at heart.

It does not have to be this way, dear reader.

Look at the example of Norway.

Then look at Bob Brown’s comment I’ve bolded in the above quote.

And ask yourself a simple question –

“Why dick around with half-arsed ‘solutions’ like mere “bigger taxes” on foreign-owned interests who are profiting off our national resources? If you’re serious about our national interests, then why not go the full monty – just like Norway and so many others – and nationalise our vital national resources?!”

Let us be quite clear.

My views on the topic of foreign “investment” (ie, ownership) of vital Australian natural resources, is far more than just “far Left”.

It is not automatically an anti-capitalist, anti-“free market” (a myth which has never existed, by the way), anti-liberty, anti-democratic, or anti-freedom position.

Instead, it is a nuanced viewpoint.

I strongly support the rights of Aussie landowners to have their livelihoods protected against risks from mining exploration/extraction.

I strongly support the absolute, unequivocal primacy of protecting agricultural land and water resources, over and above the interests of mere mining profits (you can’t eat and drink coal or iron ore, or the profits from them either).

I strongly support just and proper compensation for landowners wherever their property and/or livelihood may be impacted by the activities of other industries.

I strongly support the right of all Australians and their descendants, to enjoy peace of mind thanks to assured, long term water and food security, above all other “economic” considerations.

And, I strongly support the right of Australian citizens and their descendants, to have their interests protected (by their elected government) against the redistribution of wealth from the soil of our land, into the already-bloated bank accounts of foreign interests.

At the end of the day, that is the very heart of the matter.

All the confusion, and rhetoric, and theory, and ideology, and spirit-sapping noise over the relative alleged pros and cons of mining/agriculture/taxes/”free”-markets/socialism/capitalism … is all just a great big load of intellectual onanist #JAFA crap, that only serves to achieve one thing, whether intended or accidental.

It keeps our nation divided into warring tribes, all squabbling over red herrings … while the Big Fish make off with our big fish under the cover of theoretical, ideological, and philosophical darkness.

Why piss about arguing over the merits/demerits of a mere “tax” on foreign-owned mining companies?

Why piss about arguing over how big or small such a “tax” should or should not be?

If you really believe your own rhetoric … that Australia’s natural resources are vital to our national interest … then why not back your conviction with action, put your balls on the block, and simply nationalise the lot?

Despite what you have been led to believe, this is not a far out, “extremist” idea at all.

See for yourself the long list of countries – many of them iconic so-called “capitalist”, “free-market” countries like the USA and the UK – who have all nationalised key resources, infrastructure, and/or industries, for their national interest.

Of course, to do so here in Australia would require a government of adults. Not the current crowd of self-serving, incompetent halfwits … on both sides of the House.

Which is why I also advocate that we change the electoral laws, to only allow real adults to run for public office.

And, it is why I advocate above all for fundamental monetary reform. A complete decentralisation of the power of “money” and “credit”. Thus rendering moot the inane, archaic, 19th century, debunked-by-reality “free market” “capitalist” arguments of the RBA and the banking sector et al that we “need” “foreign investment”. Because when the RBA, the banking industry, #JAFA economists, and/or politicians say that we “need” foreign “investment” “capital”, what they are really saying is this –

You ‘need’ to remain slaves … to foreign credit-suppliers”.

You see, dear reader, the reason why I advocate these “far out” solutions, is because I am Australian.

I believe national sovereignty stands in the way of transnational tyranny.

And I believe that to continue selling the farm, and/or what is under the farm, into the hands of foreign interests (whether ‘national’, ‘multi-national’, or ‘private’) under the guise of “foreign investment”, is both 100% unnecessary, and not in our national interest.

To quote another infamous political figure … “I make no apologies for that.”

UPDATE:

And in timely overnight news, the gold price jumps on revelations that the “evil” “leftist” Mr Chavez will nationalise Venezuela’s gold industry –

Gold settled at record highs today after Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said he planned to nationalise the country’s gold industry.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said today he plans to nationalise the country’s gold industry in a move to take over production and grow international reserves.

Speaking on state television via telephone, the leftist leader said he would be introducing a new decree to put exploration and extraction of gold into the government’s hands.

It will be “a decree to take the gold sector,” which still remains in the hands of a “mafia and smugglers,” Mr Chavez said.

“We don’t only have oil wealth, we have here one of the largest reserves of gold in the world … Let’s convert it into our international reserves because gold is increasing in its value.”

Mr Chavez also plans to move the country’s existing gold reserves out of European banks and into vaults owned by the country’s central bank. Venezuela’s official gold reserves, of 365.8 tonnes as of June, make it the 15th largest gold holder in the world according to the World Gold Council. The Latin American country is well behind the US, which leads the pack with 8113.5 tonnes, and second place, Germany, at 3401.0 tonnes.

Vast oil reserves.

A gold industry.

A President with brains and balls.

Lots and lots of pretty women.

Venezuela’s lookin’ better ‘n better all the time 😉

By the way, how does Australia compare with Venezuela for official gold reserves?

Badly.

Less than 80 tonnes, compared with Venezuela’s 365.8 tonnes.

Why?

Yes, all thanks to our stupid/treasonous Reserve Bank, who sold off most of our reserves early this century in a blunder to top all their (many) blunders:

Just over ten years ago, Australia’s central bank the RBA sold off most of the countries gold reserves under the belief that the price of gold would continue to remain flat, and that as an asset, it would no longer play any role in the future financial system, or any crises that may result.

A paper written by the central bank which recommended selling off the gold reserves conceded that that asset whilst the assets served as “insurance against a breakdown in the international financial system”, it was not necessary to hold.

The central bank’s justification for reducing its gold reserves so drastically was that gold represented a poor investment, and Australia had successfully integrated itself into global financial markets, and that it need not worry about access to those markets during a financial crisis.

Since the sale of the gold reserves the global financial systems has experienced severe stress on a number of different occasions, starting with the implosion of the technology bubble at the start of the millennium followed by the September 11th terrorist attacks, and more recently the global financial crisis in 2008.

The price of the precious metal over that time frame has risen spectacularly and the asset has begun to play an increasingly important role in the global financial system since the  financial crisis.

The central bank argued that continuing development of financial system meant that circumstances which would require Australia to call upon our gold holdings for economic reasons looked increasingly remote.

Idiots.

Or traitors.

In either case, the RBA should be disbanded.

End the RBA.

Follow the lead of Hugo Chavez.

When “Outspoken” Is A Perjorative For “Truth-Teller”

12 Aug

Outspoken former RBA board member Warwick McKibbon (emphasis added):

Ditch the delusion that stimulus saved us from GFC

The sell-off in global sharemarkets reflects the realisation that debt problems in advanced economies are serious, but it reflects more than this. For some time the fiscal fragility in the global economy has looked like a slow-motion train wreck

Australia is now likely to be hit with a second global shock. This is different from the GFC in a critical respect. It is a concern over excessive government debt so the response in Australia should not entail a new fiscal package …

Bad fiscal design always has an unexpected cost. Why is a flood tax being introduced just as the economy slows? The forecast that this would help dampen the boom is now likely to be wrong. There clearly should be an urgent review of the mismatch between spending commitments in the pipeline and highly uncertain revenue. This is essential to better understand future fiscal vulnerability.

The delusion that what saved the Australian economy from the GFC was entirely fiscal policy needs to be jettisoned.

Outspoken chairman of the Future Fund – the government fund containing public servants’ super, that Barnaby has warned will be raided to pay down debt – says that the global sovereign debt crisis could take 20 years or more to “play out” (emphasis added):

The chairman of the $75 billion Future Fund has warned the debt crisis engulfing Europe and the United States could take at least 20 years to resolve, causing ongoing market volatility.

David Murray warned the post-global financial crisis environment would continue to be characterised by a series of market shocks, with investor uncertainty heightened by concerns over the ability of political systems to contain any emerging meltdown.

And he sounded the alarm on the level of government and private sector debt in Australia, saying they both needed to be reduced, given the capacity of Australia to be caught up in a new global financial rout.

“The global financial crisis was caused by excessive debt which had built up in the world at both the government level and in the private sector in developed countries,” Mr Murray told ABC radio.

“The sorting out of that problem is something that could take up to 20 years. As that post crisis environment unfolds we will see continuing events such as we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks.”

“Outspoken” is another of those words wielded as a weapon.

In modern, politically-correct Unspeak, it is the latest putdown label for “truth-teller”.

When someone speaks the truth, contrary to the “mainstream wisdom” – especially someone like Warwick McKibbin or David Murray holding a public position, who cannot be “politely” attacked more viciously – then they/their viewpoint is labelled as “outspoken”.

The unspoken implication of labelling someone as outspoken … is that we should not speak out.

That we should all be good, silent, obedient slaves.

Wayne: OOPS! I Did It Again

6 Aug

You see my problem is this:
I’m dreaming away;
Wishing that heroes, they truly exist.
I cry watching the days.
Can’t you see I’m a fool
In so many ways?
But to lose all my senses…
That is just so typically me.
Baby, oh.

Hands up all those who think yesterday’s bloodbath in global sharemarkets should inspire us with confidence that all is well here in the land of Oz?

Let’s see now … that’ll be Wayne … and his friend Glenn … oh yes, and their new mate Martin … noone else?

Interesting, is it not, how all the same clowns persist in repeating their same tired old lines.

Overwhelming weight of evidence to the contrary be damned.

Here’s our Treasurer Wayne Swan as quoted by AAP (via the Australian):

The Australian share market slumped around 4 per cent this morning following a similar drop on Wall Street over rising fears of another economic downturn and worries Europe’s debt problems will widen.

“Australians should never forget that our economic credentials are among the strongest in the developed world,” the treasurer said.

“Australia has a proven track record of dealing with global economic uncertainty.

Indeed we do.

But “a proven track record of dealing with global economic uncertainty”, and “a proven track record of dealing wisely with global economic uncertainty”, are two very different animals.

What is your track record, Wayne?

“The fact is the share market in Australia is not back to levels prior to the global financial crisis and now we’re being hit by another bout of uncertainty.”

Hold the phone!

I thought you’ve been tirelessly telling us just how well you brought Australia through the GFC?  Now you’re telling us the share market “is not back to levels prior to the GFC”? And it’s getting its a*** kicked again?

But but but … you had me believing that you were our Saviour, Wayne!

Please… say it ‘aint so!?

I think I did it again. I made you believe
We’re more than just friends.
Oh, baby;
It might seem like a crush,
But it doesn’t mean
That I’m serious.
‘Cause to lose all my senses…
That is just so typically me.
Oh, baby; baby.

I’m devastated!

Oh Wayne, I feel so used!!

What … what was that you said again?

Mr Swan insists Australia is in the right part of the world at the right time, as the Asia-Pacific economy remained strong.

Really?

Funny. That’s not what the latest RBA Chart Pack graphs suggest.

Here’s China and India:

Looks to me like Chindia’s GDP growth has been on a downward slide since late 2009 / early 2010, Wayne.  Ever since their GFC Mk1 “stimulus” money began to dry up.  Seems they didn’t get any sustainable bang-for-their-stimulus-bucks either. Both of their economies are now running at lower rates of growth than 6 years ago Wayne … that’s 2005.

Oh look … here’s our second biggest trading partner, Japan:

Oops.

Looks like Japan’s GFC “stimulus” can-kicking exercise has stopped rolling up the road too, Wayne. They’re back to 2001-02 levels of growth.

And our GDP growth chart looks even worse:

Ummmm … Wayne, ol’ son.

That approximate trendline I’ve added to the RBA’s GDP growth chart for the land of Oz looks suspiciously like a long term downward trend to me. And looking pretty ugly at the pointy end.

What was it your mate Glenn was saying just yesterday, about his RBA’s forecast tea-leaf prognostication for GDP growth?

The Reserve Bank has slashed its growth forecasts for the Australian economy while predicting inflation would remain high for longer than expected.

The August statement of monetary policy released today shows the central bank believes the economy will grow by just 2 per cent in 2011, on a yearly average, compared to its earlier call of 3.25 per cent.

The reduced forecasts are greater than economists had expected. It predicts this financial year growth will be 4 per cent down from 4. 5 per cent.

Ummmm.

Not bad.  If your revised prognostication turns out to be right this time – questionable, since you only made the first one a couple of months ago – then you’ll only have screwed up your first guesstimate by a measly 38.5%.

By the way.

A little tip Glenn.

Your own Chart Pack says our GDP is already sitting well below 2%. About half that, actually.

Expecting a surging “recovery” out of the blue red yonder, are we?

Got any other sage comments?

In the statement, the RBA said economic growth would be lower because of a range of domestic and overseas factors.

“Growth over 2011 has been revised downwards due to a slower than expected recovery in coal production and to a lesser extent a downward revision to consumer spending as domestic and international concerns have weighed on sentiment,” the RBA said.

Ruh roh!

The Greens want to shut down the coal industry. Preferably within 10 years, they say.

And you’re saying, Glenn, that the main reason why your original economic growth forecast has been revised within a couple of months by a whopping 38.5%, is due to a “slower than expected recovery in coal production”?!?

Anything else to add Glenn?

“The medium-term outlook continues to be characterised by the significant pipeline of resource sector investment with a number of large projects already underway and by strong growth in resource exports.”

Oh yes. That tired old line.

Sorry Glenn.

Macquarie Research tore that particular ass-umption underpinning all of your “forecasts” into lots of little shreds some time ago.

Back over to you Wayne:

[Swan] said Australia’s fundamentals – low unemployment, robust financial institutions and low public debt – would help protect the economy.

“Robust financial institutions”?!?!

Surely you jest.

“Low public debt”?!?!

Ahhhh … Wayne.

Something isn’t “low”, just because it may be less than others that are huge.

Your total tax revenues are only around $300 billion.

You’ve got us in debt to the tune of nearly $200 billion.

And don’t give me any of that “Net” debt crap.

“Net” debt might sound better (for you) when you’re spruiking, because it’s a lower number than the Gross figure that you really owe.

But presuming others will pay you back what they owe you, is counting your chickens before they’ve hatched.

We owe $200 billion in public debt.  End of story. Versus … at best … $300 billion in taxes this year.

By your own “estimates”, we’re paying $11+ billion per annum in Interest-only.

And you’ve got to run the country with the rest.

And another thing Wayne.

You’re always banging on trying to make out that our “public debt” is “low” compared to basket case “developed” economies abroad.

You remember.  Europe, the UK, the USA. Those “developed” economies.  Hardly a big claim to fame to say our public debt is lower than these paragons of fiscal prudence (/sarc).

But what about our Net Foreign Liabilities, Wayne?

Ummmm.

Wayne.

Net Foreign Liabilities at nearly 60% of GDP?

I had a little look in the RBA’s data, Wayne.  Takes about 20 seconds.

Our Net Foreign Liabilities of nearly 60% of GDP?

In real numbers (not this “% of GDP” nonsense) … that’s $780.57 Billion at March 2011 (RBA Statistics, H5.xls).

Oops!

Wayne … you’ve done it again.

You’ve confirmed your official title, and your legacy for the history books.

World’s Stupidest Treasurer.

One Chart Debunks Treasury’s Growth Forecasts

21 Jul

Our erstwhile Treasurer keeps insisting that our economy is strong, that the budget growth forecasts are sound, that he roolly roolly will get that one year of budget surplus in 2012-13, and go back to sleep children, everything’s fine.

Even Dear Leader Julia has been in on the act, trying to instill con-fidence … while flogging the dead horse called “carbon tax” to the public.

Now, recently we brought your attention to the Macquarie Economic Research debunking of the Treasury department’s growth forecasts. That is, the assumptions underpinning the May budget “estimates” and “projections”.

“Truly extraordinary” assumptions for “stratospheric” growth, were some of the bold words they used.

In the RBA’s latest release Chart Pack, there is one single chart that tells you all you need to know about the Treasury assumptions of a neverending China-fuelled “boom” in investment in Australia – the quarry to the world.

And what is that tell-all chart?

China’s credit and money supply growth:

Sorry Wayne.

The credit-fuelled China boom is already over.

It’s just a matter of time before reality hits.

Not quite convinced?

Ok then, here’s another. China’s industrial production.

Is China producing as much steel? Or making as much crap, as it was pre-GFC?

Nope.

The key China trends are all down.

It’s just a matter of time.

As we have been pointing out here for quite a while.

Bye bye Swanny.

Bye bye economy.

UPDATE:

Lo and behold! Maybe Treasury is reading barnabyisright.com?

From the Australian this morning:

Treasury’s warning on China as IMF fears Eurozone debt crisis will infect global economy

Treasury has warned the Gillard government about emerging threats to the Chinese economy, which shielded Australia from the global recession and continues to underpin its resilience in the face of global economic weakness.

The warning about China’s runaway inflation, contained in a working paper posted on Treasury’s website yesterday, could have ramifications for Australia’s resources-rich economy, which is dependent on the highest terms of trade in 140 years.

Although the paper is understood to have been prepared in May, the situation has worsened and China’s efforts to control inflation have become more urgent in the past two months.

The warning on China came as the International Monetary Fund cautioned that the debt contagion in Europe could infect the global economy, and the nation’s largest supermarket operator, Woolworths, warned that the year ahead would be one of the company’s most challenging as Australians spent less and tried to save more.

Would that be the same “inflation” concern that gave rise to this RBA chart, by any chance –

Clowns.

Treasury, that is.

Banging on about “inflation” in China (which as the chart shows, has been worse). When the real problem in China is that the massive amount of “credit” (ie, debt) issued to prop up their economy through the GFC, has simply fuelled overinvestment / malinvestment and thus the world’s biggest bubble in real estate … as we see in this RBA chart –

Did you notice that the chart on the right – “Floor space sold” – looks to have pretty much topped out?

Hmmmm, what happens to a property bubble when the amount actually selling ceases to rise … anyone, anyone?

Buehller, Buehller?

And what did Wayne have to say about the warning from Treasury about China and Europe?

The comments prompted the Treasurer to urge Europe to get its house in order.

ROFL.

Global Economy Headed For “Slow-Motion Train Wreck”

6 Jul

The RBA’s soon to be dumped Board member Warwick McKibbin warns – unofficially – that Greece will be just the first carriage to careen off the rails, in what will be a global train wreck.

From Bloomberg, 30 June 2011 (emphasis added):

The fiscal outlook “is what I call the slow motion train wreck — the first carriage to break is going to be the Greek economy, but we have a series of economies facing very serious fiscal adjustment,” said McKibbin, a professor at Australian National University whose board term ends July 30, in a speech in Melbourne today. He said his comments reflected his personal views, not those of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

“There’s almost guaranteed collapse or crisis in the euro zone and there’s serious global inflation problems and a policy response looming,” said McKibbin, who is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “All of these have implications for relative commodity prices.”

In contrast, Treasurer Wayne Swan in a speech at the same Melbourne conference today said: “Some have a dire view of what’s happening in Europe. I don’t share those views.”

Hmmm.

Just as he did not share Senator Joyce’s views in 2009, that the US economy was on a debt trajectory that made the risk of default a real possibility. One that Australia should have “a contingency plan” for, just in case.

A warning that is now coming to pass.

Barnaby was right.

And Swan, and every economist in the country (except Dr Steve Keen) … was wrong.

Bookmark this page.

So that you can refer back to Swan’s latest oh-so-confident and authoritative pronouncement that all’s well.

I know that I for one am fully seized with absolute confidence in the word of our career political hack cum “Treasurer”. An arts student, with zero business or financial credentials or experience whatsoever.

Here’s how McKibbin’s comments were reported locally, compared with the USA’s Bloomberg.

From the SMH, 1 July 2011:

The global economy is facing ”a slow-motion train wreck” with Greece only the first nation to be hit, Reserve Bank director Warwick McKibbin has told a Melbourne conference.

Referring to the most recent global economic crisis as a mere ”blip”, he said the coming crisis could undo the mining boom and bring on inflation of the kind not seen since the 1970s.

Professor McKibbin told the Melbourne Institute conference dozens of European countries now had gross government debts on track to exceed 60 per cent of GDP. ”Japan is forecast to be 200 per cent of GDP, the US is forecast to be over 100 per cent of GDP,” he said.

”At zero interest rates that can be sustained, but at 5 per cent interest rates countries have to put aside 5 per cent of their GDP every year just to service the debt. That is not sustainable.

”Already consumers aren’t spending and investors aren’t spending because of the tax increases that are in prospect.

”Greece, Portugal and Ireland don’t just need to have their debts written off, they need to have a 30 per cent to 40 per cent depreciation of their real exchange rate,” he told the conference.

”There are two ways to do that, either pull out of the euro and depreciate by 40 per cent, or have deflation of 40 per cent over the next 12 months.

”I do not believe any society can survive having a 40 per cent deflation that’s been imposed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.”

As the US created more dollars to inflate away its debt repayment obligations, countries that are linked to the dollar, including China, India and parts of Latin America, would suffer 1970s-style inflation.

”In India inflation is 9 per cent, in China it is 6 per cent. That inflation is pushing up resource prices for now, but it will have to be brought under control with much higher interest rates,” he said.

Joking that he could not talk about Australian interest rates, which were in any event ”always appropriate”, the Reserve Bank board member warned that the inflation would spread worldwide.

Soon-to-be-former Board member McKibbin has form.

For criticising the Labor Government over its “stimulus” measures in response to the GFC, amongst other things.

Little wonder they will not renew his term.

Can’t have anyone in a position of “authority” telling something even vaguely resembling the truth, now can we.

The Pricing Carbon Choir – Why Should *Any* Sane Person Trust Economists After The GFC?

2 Jul

There’s a little faux furore doing the rounds in the last 24 hours.

Allegedly, that awful Tony Abbott doesn’t trust economists.

In particular, he does not trust their judgement over their “popular” position on the proposed carbon “X”.

From The Australian:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott defies economists on carbon tax

Tony Abbott today slapped down economists who were backing a price on carbon to deal with climate change, accusing the numbers men of getting it wrong.

The Opposition Leader urged economists vocally calling for a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme to examine their thinking.

Speaking at the The Australian-Melbourne Institute Growth Challenge conference in Melbourne, Mr Abbott said economists should not be taken in by Labor’s use of the term “market-based mechanisms’’.

“It may well be, as you say, that most Australian economists think that the carbon tax or emissions trading scheme is the way to go,’’ he said.

Maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists.’’

Indeed.

Consider.

Not one of these economists who are calling for a carbon “X”, saw the GFC coming.

Not one.

Australians lost billions from their retirement savings.

Our country was plunged, unprepared, into a massive Labor and greenie-Ken Henry-inspired monster debt-a-thon.

Why?

Because NOT ONE of these #JAFA’s saw the GFC coming.

Including the latest #JAFA economist to be given charge over the Australian economy – and your future – the new Treasury Secretary, former student of “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke, Martin Mini-me Parkinson.

Only one (1) Australian economist did see it coming.

Dr Steve Keen –

And only twelve other economists, worldwide, along with him.

Proof?

Here’s a paper referencing the thirteen international economists who all predicted and forewarned of the GFC for years in advance, and propounded cogent analyses as to why a GFC was coming. Including Australia’s own Dr Steve Keen, who won an award voted on by his international economic peers for having done so:

This paper presents evidence that accounting (or flow-of-fund) macroeconomic models helped anticipate the credit crisis and economic recession. Equilibrium models ubiquitous in mainstream policy and research did not.

Note that well.

It was only those rare economists who shun the kind of modelling that is “ubiquitous in mainstream policy”, and instead use “accounting” models, that got it right.

In other words, it was only the few economists worldwide who think like accountants, who were able to see the GFC coming.

Is it any wonder then, that our much-ridiculed accountant in the Parliament, Senator Barnaby Joyce, is always the only one on the ball when it comes to correctly predicting the risks of what is coming?

REMEMBER back in 2009 when Barnaby Joyce pondered aloud the possibility of the US defaulting on its debt?

Just to recap in the concisest way, things went badly for Joyce. We found ourselves pondering this yesterday as we listened to the dulcet tones of the ABC’s Eleanor Hall on The World Today: “. . . the [US] Treasury has warned that Congress has only until August 2 to come up with a compromise to lift the $US14 trillion debt ceiling or risk a default and a default would have drastic consequences, not just for the US but for the global economy”.

Is the time approaching where Joyce must be acknowledged as a clear-eyed prophet?

Strewth found him in a reflective mood.

“Maybe they will retract their pillaging of me and hand back the shadow finance portfolio as the sun is blotted out with the return of the migrating pigs,” Joyce mused.

“Alas, Cassandras are rarely enjoyable company in any party. It was hardly the greatest feat of the prefrontal cortex amygdala [utilised for intuition, he explains] to foresee that one, but politically it had to wait for the economic karaoke to bravely sing all together prompted by the big bouncing cheque.”

Amen.

But wait, dear reader.

There’s another outstanding reason why no sane person should trust the “leading” “mainstream” economists’ opinions about “pricing carbon”.

The majority of these economists you are hearing from on the subject, have a massive conflict-of-interest.

They are owned.

By banks.

Take a look at this little online stoush that I had right here on barnabyisright.com, with “leading” #JAFA economist Saul Eslake.

He objected to my portrayal of his and his fellow dozen economists’ Open Letter in support of “pricing carbon”, as being a Banksters’ Glee Club.

Then under return fire, he foolishly conceded that, as far as he knows, 77% of those economists (including himself) are current and/or former employees of banks.

Mr Eslake himself being former chief economist of the ANZ Bank, and now employed by BHP Billiton (who stand to make a killing from “pricing carbon” – really!), and the Australian Government via the “independent” Grattan Institute.

Quelle surprise!

By Saul’s Own Words They Stand Condemned.

The sector of the economy that stands to benefit the most from “pricing carbon”, is the financial sector.

Banks.

And banksters.

And their many minions.

Including Malcolm Turnbull, whose balls are owned by international carbon-trading-pushers Goldman Sachs, after their “confidential settlement” to keep him out of court in the half a billion dollar lawsuit over the HIH collapse, in which Mr Turnbull was a named defendant.

Tony Abbott – who has an economics degree himself – is actually demonstrating both brains and balls, by defying the “mainstream wisdom” of economists over the carbon “X”.

No sane person should trust economists at all after the GFC.

And especially, no sane person should ever trust those “leading” mainstream economists who are now out there publicly singing for their supper, on behalf of the bankstering industry.

The “Pricing Carbon” Choir.

Blithering Idiots, and Liars all.

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