Tag Archives: stimulus spending

Labor’s Date With Fate

3 May

On February 24th 2010, Barnaby wrote an article for The Australian (published 12:00am Feb 25th), wherein he uttered nine words that now serve as both the tagline for this blog, and a stark reminder to the nation of Barnaby’s wisdom and foresight:

If we keep borrowing at this rate Australia and all who rely on the government to provide a basic service of health, defence, subsidised medicine, childcare, unemployment benefits, pensions, are all going to arrive at a point of reckoning. Stresses will be placed on the government budget because we did not manage the debt at a point where it was manageable.

If you do not manage debt, debt manages you.


Precisely 12 months to the day from when Barnaby penned those fateful words, Julia Gillard announced to the nation that the government she leads would introduce a carbon (dioxide) tax:

Yesterday Gillard announced the architecture of her pricing plan, but it was only foundations and scaffolding. Floorboards have yet to be laid or walls erected.

As Abbott quickly pointed out, her plan is a blatant breach of Gillard’s election promise not to introduce a carbon tax.

What would possess Labor to take such a huge political risk, on a policy that has (so far) cost the jobs of four political leaders?


They have blown hundreds of billions on botched roof insulation.  Unwanted and overpriced school halls.  Rorted “green” schemes.  The Nation Bankrupting Network.  And many more EPIC FAIL thought bubble policies.  Now, with an Interest-on-debt cost of more than $10 billion per year, and no discipline to simply stop borrowing and spending, they need the billions in extra revenue that a carbon dioxide tax would raise:

MYEFO 2010-11, Appendix B, Note 10: Interest Expense

A week from today, the Goose will hand down his fourth budget.  His fourth unbalanced budget. And a new record budget deficit.

If pensioners are targeted, Family Tax benefits slashed, childcare rebates cut, or any other essential service that you rely on is affected, now you know why.

Labor’s debt is out of control.

If you do not manage debt, debt manages you.

Barnaby is right.


Your business suffering thanks to the AUD exchange rate?  Michael Stutchbury says the deficit is driving up the dollar:

Wayne Swan complains that the soaring dollar is blowing out his budget deficit by crunching non-mining company profits.

But the more fundamental story is that Canberra’s structural budget weakness is helping to drive the Australian currency to its new post-float high of $US1.10…

Instead of being close to $50bn in the red, the budget already should be building up a solid surplus buffer to stabilise the mining boom economy.

Costello: Wayne’s World A Parallel Reality

28 Apr

Peter Costello has stepped up with some hard facts and figures to debunk the Goose’s latest myth-making efforts.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Five years ago the prices of Australia’s exports began rising sharply. The price of iron ore hit about $US30 a tonne and thermal coal about $US50. Australia had not seen export prices like that in a very long time.

The federal government was running budget surpluses. It had paid off its debt so it established a sovereign wealth fund – the Future Fund – to save for the future. This was to prepare for a time when things were more normal and to cover the costs of the ageing population. About $60 billion was deposited into it.

This year the iron ore price is nudging $US170 a tonne (about five times what it was when the Coalition was ”wasting” the boom) and the coal price is about $US130 (nearly three times the price of five years ago). If you look at a graph of historical prices, we are at the peak of Mount Everest. The rise of 2006 looks like Monticello – a small rise visible only because conditions were quite depressed before it.
The Reserve Bank’s index of commodity prices shows an all-time high in March 2011. The index is nearly double where it was in 2006 and triple the levels of the late 1990s. Adjusting back into Australian dollars it rose 32 per cent in the past year.

And mining profits are super strong. In 2006, BHP’s profit after abnormals was a massive $10 billion. This year it reported that profit for just the first half-year.

Since it was apparently wasteful to run budget surpluses, build a savings fund and cut tax in 2006, Swan could show us how things should be done now we are in a real boom. He could, but apparently he will not, because last week he gave a pre-budget speech lamenting how hard everything had become and saying that we should not expect too much, not even a balanced budget in May, let alone a substantial contribution to the Future Fund. And although he has found a way of sharing the pain of the Queensland floods with a flood levy, we should not expect to share the prosperity of the mining boom through any tax cuts.

There is reality. And then there is Wayne’s world.

In Wayne’s world a boom is something that happens to others, not to him. In his world, others find rivers of gold, but for him the river never rises.

In Wayne’s world, Labor is a superior economic manager which runs into bad luck all the time, while Liberals are poor financial managers who waste opportunities and somehow get good outcomes when the dice fall their way. It’s a weird place inside Wayne’s world.

Costello’s depiction of Wayne Swan as living in a “Wayne’s World” parallel universe has some rather interesting and ironic … parallels.

In the movie Wayne’s World, our hero Wayne falls in love with Cassandra Wong, a Chinese-American lead singer for a heavy metal band.

In our real-life version of Wayne’s World, our hero Wayne has fallen in love with “Cassandra Wong”, the Chinese-American buyer/s of 73% of our 189+ Billion sovereign debt.  This “Cassandra” has sung a tune about an endless China boom, promising decades of heavy metal-fuelled prosperity for Australia as a result.

And Wayne has fallen for her siren song.

Friday On My Mind – Another $700m In Debt

27 Apr

While most everyone else is obsessing about this Friday’s royal wedding, I’m thinking about another kind of “marriage” contract.

Til Debt Do Us Part.

You see, $189.84 Billion in debt is not a big enough ball-and-chain for the Goose.  Come this Friday, he’s signing us up to another $700 Million in the red contract.

Noone with two brain cells to rub together could still believe this government’s line that they will produce a surplus budget for the year (just 1 year, mind) in 2012-13.  Their ongoing dalliance with debt is all the evidence needed.  They are addicts, who will never go a single year without borrowing-and-spending far more than they take from us in taxes.

The simple fact is, we’ll all be paying for Goose’s indiscretions.  For decades to come.  Our creditors must be paid.

So tell us Wayne … who’s buying now?  Who Really Owns 73% Of Our Debt?

Stevens $234K Pay Rise As GFC Peaked

24 Apr

Now that S&P and others have belled the cat on the US debt crisis, one wonders whether Glenn Stevens might apologise to Barnaby Joyce, for not taking his 2009 warnings seriously.

Better yet, perhaps Stevens might care to donate some of his $1.05 Million salary to the man who correctly predicted what he denied.

At the least, he should be forced to explain to the Australian public why any “public servant” deserves a $234,000 pay rise in the middle of a global financial crisis.  Such as the one he received, at the very peak of the GFC panic in October 2008 –

A pay increase of A$234,000 ($252,000) at the height of the global financial crisis made Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens one of the world’s highly-compensated central bankers.

Stevens’s 2010 total compensation was A$1.05 million, with an A$805,000 base salary that was 61 percent more than European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet’s and four times that of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke

Spokesmen in the Reserve Bank and Treasurer’s office declined to comment … when contacted by Bloomberg News yesterday.

Stevens’ pay increase alone, is far more than Barnaby earns.  Even though Stevens was blind to the oncoming GFC, and the US (and European) debt situation.  And despite the fact that he has apparently learned nothing from his mistakes in the lead up to the GFC.  See here, here, and here.

The real public servant – Barnaby – is right.


On a per capita basis, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens’ “base” salary alone ($805K) is 54 times bigger than that of the Governor of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

Hardly a surprise, when one considers that ‘our’ RBA has been given the power to set their own salaries

The Remuneration Committee is a committee of the Reserve Bank Board. Its membership is drawn from the non-executive members of the Reserve Bank Board.

This Little Goose Went To Market

21 Apr

This Little Goose Went To Market

With the Budget coming up, let’s take a look at how well the government has been managing our >$189 billion gross national debt “investment” portfolio.

The Australian Office of Financial Management’s (AOFM) official Overview of the Portfolio document makes for interesting reading (click images to enlarge) –

AOFM Portfolio Overview - Face Value

AOFM Portfolio Overview - Market Value

Note the difference at 31 March 2011 between the Face Value, and the Market Value, of the “Physical debt” and the “Physical assets“, respectively.

The Market Value of the debt in “our” national portfolio is now greater than the Face Value, to the tune of $7.9 billion.  And the Market Value of the assets in our portfolio is now $3 billion less than the Face Value.

Notice also the standout feature – that our portfolio is being taken ever deeper into the red.  To the tune of $15 billion (15,000,000,000) every 3 months, through end September last year.  And by a further $23 billion (23,000,000,000), in just the last 6 months.

Seems someone forgot to tell Wayne Swan that the GFC peaked 31 months ago, in September 2008.  And, that there is an ongoing and worsening European debt crisis, the US has been placed on negative credit outlook for the first time in history, and the World Bank President has warned the global economy is “one shock away from a full-blown crisis”.

Wayne must be oblivious to all this.  Because this month he authorised the AOFM to “invest” up to $4 billion more in Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) – yes, those things that blew up America’s financial system.  Read the detail at the AOFM website, and you’ll see our Swanny is even happy to “invest” more borrowed billions in RMBS’ that hold Low Doc loans exceeding 10% of the initial principal value of the security pool.  Seems he’s never heard of “sub-prime”.

Oh yes, and to pay for these – and the ongoing mega-billion NBN disaster – he’s all set to borrow even more hundreds of millions at the end of next week.

Would you want this Goose managing your investment portfolio?

Bring on an election!

Roast Goose

Same Old Labor Govt – Same Old Debt

9 Oct

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 4th October 2010:

Senator Barnaby Joyce says that the Labor government seems to be getting back to normal. “Our gross debt went up by $3 billion last week, the week before it went up by $4 billion. The gross Federal debt is now $163.152 billion.

This is the issue that should be front and centre of Labor Government’s attention, beyond private members bills for euthanasia, same sex marriage and a bid to cool the planet with a new carbon tax.

The reality is there in the numbers. The debt is racing ahead; it is not under control, it is not going to stop.

There is no argument for this profligate waste of money. How much money do we want to owe people overseas?

This money does not include the states’ debt which is on its miserable way to $240 billion, as noted in front page articles of recent weeks.

We also have to note now that local governments too are expected to borrow money.

If we do not get on top of the debt, these debts will get on top of us.

More Information – Jenny Swan 0746 251500

Barnaby Rips Into Swan On Live TV

23 Aug

The highlight of the election coverage.

Wayne ‘Goose’ Swan is torn to shreds by Michael Kroger during Channel Nine’s live election broadcast.

As he lays on the mat spitting out his teeth, Barnaby lays the boot in.

If only the Coalition had got stuck into Swan like this months earlier.

Highly entertaining viewing.

Is China Bankrupt?

3 Aug


All governments lie about their finances. At worst, as in Greece and the United States, the lies are bold and transparent. Everybody knows the emperor has no clothes, but no one want to say so. At best, as in Canada and China, the lies are more subtle – more like a magician’s misdirection than a viking raider’s ax. Look at these great numbers, the lie goes, but don’t look at those up my sleeve.

There’s a good argument to be made that if you look at all the numbers, instead of just the ones the budget magicians want you to see, China is indeed broke

… China has a history of taking debt off its books and burying it, which should prompt us to poke and prod its numbers.

A must-read article. Poke and prod China’s numbers here.

BIS: Global Economy “Vastly Worse” Than In GFC

29 Jun

The latest report from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank to the central banks – warns that the global financial system is in a “vastly worse” position than 3 years ago.

From the Associated Press:

An organization bringing together the world’s major central banks warned Monday that the global economy risks a replay of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, with massive public debt in Europe and the United States replacing the private debt that fueled the credit crunch two years ago.

“A shock of virtually any size risks a replay of the events we saw in late 2008 and early 2009,” the Basel, Switzerland-based organization said in its 206-page annual report.

In a stark warning to governments to clean up their finances, the central bankers noted that “macroeconomic policy is in a vastly worse position than it was three years ago, with little capacity to combat a new crisis.”

The report recommended winding down stimulus packages, raising interest rates in the long term and forcing through reforms of the financial system to prevent sudden shocks from causing market-wide collapse as they did two years ago.

Joyce: Gillard Set To Outspend Rudd

25 Jun

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 25 June, 2010:

Rudd borrows $95 million a day, Julia set to break record

Senator Barnaby Joyce today said that the new Labor Government has a lot of work to do to get this country back on track.

“The new appointee of the faceless factional bosses, Prime Minster Gillard, has already stated that she wants to get the Government “back on track”, and it certainly is a long way off-track at the moment” said Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure and Water today.

When this Government came to power Australia’s gross debt was $59 billion. It is now $147 billion. This Government has spent $88 billion in 935 days. This is a new record for Australian Prime Ministers.

“This Government has been an unmitigated disaster for our country, and even the Labor party now agrees. They have been racking up debt on the national credit card at $95 million a day.

“Every day of the Rudd Government, that money could have built almost 500 km of sealed country roads or repaired and refurbished over 100 bridges in regional Australia. Instead, thanks to Julia Gillard and her team we have overpriced trinkets at the back of school yards. .

“If the new PM really wants to get this great country back on track, she needs to stop this reckless and wasteful spending. The budget that the Deputy Prime Minister handed down less than two months ago forecast borrowing of $150 million a day for the next financial year. Gillard is already on track to smash Rudd’s record and things look like getting worse before they get better.”

“Australia can’t afford another term of pandemonium from the Labor party.”

More Information – Matthew Canavan 0458 709 433

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