Archive for the ‘ Finance ’ Category

Occupy Unmasked


It was Andrew Breitbart’s final project before his untimely death.

And the full movie is about to be released.

Meanwhile…

And currently…

Killing the golden goose


Perfect timing for a carbon tax and mining super profits tax! /sarc

And after all that, boy oh boy will Queensland Premier, the LNP’s Campbell Newman be unpopular. TBH, I think he’s going to far with all his cuts and stuff.

His latest is raising state mining royalties by 50% to the tune of an extra $1.6 bil.

OK, so he has to raise revenue (and slash 14,000 public sector jobs) to deal with the disastrous $90 bil odd debt Labor left QLD in, and thus he really is in between a rock and a hard place, and sure, he has time before the next election, but one suspects a lot of people who voted for him will be quite grumpy indeed.

Swan will blame Newman. Newman will blame Swan :roll:

UPDATE

The editorial in the Australian:

THERE should be no surprise if the Newman government’s first state budget was tough. Treasurer Tim Nicholls must have known there could be no half-measures if he is to restore the once-prosperous state’s financial position. He told Queenslanders: “we trust and hope neither this government, nor any other government will need to undertake such a difficult task of such magnitude again.” After years of fiscal ill-discipline in other jurisdictions, we would not be too sure.

A word of warning? Tony Abbott winning the next federal election isn’t even going to be half the battle. Our gross national debt will have gone up more than $100 bil by then.

North Korea’s new economic reforms


A sliver of light, glimpsed ever so briefly, at the conclusion of a most long and dark tunnel? Perhaps.

The beginning of the end of North Korea’s debilitating socialist economic system?

News reports suggested that [North Korea] has sought to expand its implementation of the so-called June 28 measures, which some observers said are tantamount to the renouncement of the socialist system.

The measures give greater autonomy to state corporations, allowing them to choose their production items, prices, amounts and marketing methods, according to reports.

They also allow farmers to take in 30 percent of their harvest.

Imagine that. North Korean farmers will now be able to keep and sell 30% of the fruits of their labour. Easily mocked in our rich Capitalist society, but it’s a step forward, progress, from the old socialist system whereby farmers could only keep what was left over from the quota the state made them harvest.

And imagine that: companies being allowed to produce what they want and set a price.

Funny old world isn’t it? As rich, free Capitalist countries toy more and more with socialist this and socialist that, a down-trodden, poor-as-fuck, relatively isolated, under-the-boot socialist country toys with the idea of Capitalism.

Ha! North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is essentially saying, “Over to you, people,” whilst Obama is saying to every hard worker, businessman and entrepreneur in America, “You didn’t build that!”

But with these latest North Korean economic reforms, I said it’s only a sliver of hope for a reason.

Yang Un-chul, of the Sejong Institute think tank:

“Even if they allow some autonomy to farmers and corporations, when they don’t have any personal property, such incentives would not work. Even though they take in some percentage of their harvest, this would, after all, be taken away by middle-level officers.”

So where are these climate scientists, gurus, our government is so sure of?


A planet in peril, or a society?

On ABC’s QandA political affairs program last Monday, aside from GetUp!’s Simon Sheikh’s collapse, we were privilege to the dulcet tones of Climate Change minister, Greg Combet.

A major part of his reassuring argument is that the government simply cannot ignore the warnings of all the world’s top scientists.

Noted empirical evidence – namely that we haven’t seen any warming in at least ten years – was dismissed as a rubbish argument.

No, Combet smoothly argued the scientists had to be trusted.

So? Who?

The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?

Even they’ve admitted they are just another UN body, and certainly not the “gold standard”.

They admitted they don’t necessarily promote views of the world’s “top scientists”, but rather, make sure every geographic region is represented as equally as possible.

Sorry, but that’s not the world’s top scientists.

No Frakking Consensus:

Leading scientists. Top climate scientists. The best scientific minds. That was the fiction. Now, at long last, the IPCC is admitting that its authors don’t, in fact, all belong to the highest echelons of the scientific community. Instead we’re advised that the IPCC has “always sought” to “achieve geographic representation.”

The end of Chapter 5 in my book reads:

Journalists say we should trust the IPCC’s conclusions because its reports have been written by the world’s finest scientific minds. But in order for that to be the case the IPCC would need to apply very different criteria when selecting its authors.

It would need an explicit policy that says something along the lines of: Even though we are a UN body, we are not influenced by UN diversity concerns. We select the world’s best experts and only the world’s best experts – regardless of where they come from or what gender they happen to be.

In fact, readers may recall that the crux of the IPCC argument, the one governments such as our own are rolling with (OK, well basically just ours), was written by a teenage boy.

The blurb:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) performs one of the most important jobs in the world. It surveys climate science research and writes a report about what it all means. This report is informally known as the Climate Bible.

Cited by governments around the world, the Climate Bible is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new regulations are being enacted. It is why everyone thinks carbon dioxide emissions are dangerous. Put simply: the entire planet is in a tizzy because of a United Nations report.

What most of us don’t know is that, rather than being written by a meticulous, upstanding professional in business attire, the Climate Bible is produced by a slapdash, slovenly teenager who has trouble distinguishing right from wrong.

This expose, by an investigative journalist, is the product of two years of research. Its conclusion: almost nothing we’ve been told about the IPCC is true.

So?

Who?

What top climate scientists? Could Combet quote one? A credible one?

The “father” of global warming Gaia theory, perhaps?

No. Remember, James Lovelock came out recently and admitted much of the doom and gloom he’d forecast simply isn’t and hasn’t turned out to be the case.

Unfortunately, not so many other climate scientists are as free to revise their views as Lovelock is. You see, he doesn’t require government funding to keep him afloat.

That is a significant catch 22 that simply cannot be dismissed.

So?

Who?

Australia’s very own Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery, who the government pays $180,000 per year for three days work per week?

Well, this is a bloke who predicted permanent drought for Australia’s three major eastern coastal cities.

Now the dams are as good as full, and the desal plants have been mothballed – at a cost of considerable billions.

So? Who?

That other government-paid climate expert, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, who predicted our thriving reefs would be wiped out by now?

Who, Combet? Who, Gillard?

Who are they, are they on your payroll, and have any of their predictions come true?

Of course, their argument is bunkum, like as if a trace gas, of which humans produce only a fraction of, somehow drives global climate.

Hence, you’ll see more arguments like GetUp!’s Simon Sheikh’s; that being, “to rise above the politics”, like he said on QandA last Monday.

You see, to them, it was never about the science, even though that’s of course what they claimed and possibly what they also believed to a point.

And when the science started riding home, the hard empirical data that refuted the models, they argued it was time to “move on from that”.

OK. So we’re back to the political argument many claimed it always was?

Oh no, now it’s “let’s rise above the politics”.

Utterly vacuous words and sentiments. Deceitful, too – and perhaps to themselves the most.

People like Sheikh I do believe mean well. But he’s trying to change the way the world works because essentially, he doesn’t understand how the world works (and he must have been asleep in history class).

I would argue, however, that he does see genuine problems such as real pollution but has unfortunately, like many of our politicians and scientists, been caught up in CO2=pollution nonsense hypothesis.

He’s stuck.

He, like the other 50,000 delegates at the Rio+20 convention, have made and staked their careers on this.

Families to feed.

For example, what would he and his wife, Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) chairperson, Anna Rose, do if this all came unravelled?

What would Combet do?

What would Flannery do?

What would Gillard do?

Looking at the big picture, that is hardly important. It’s what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and what they will do before time is up that actually matters in the broader sense.

Larry Pickering:

Now we know what Emerson’s “Whyalla” rendition was all about. It was a “get that up ya” celebration which wasn’t directed at us at all. He had already lost us.

Gillard’s old bed mate, Emerson, was serenading Abbott alone in a taunting display of ridicule.


*You know, if they’d actually just made it a big money-go-round – not a take from the rich, give to the poor – but an actual money-go-round, and admitted it as simply as that, something that might have stimulated the economy, I’d probably be half for it…*

Also, if this carbon tax did ANYTHING to lower global temperatures, then they might have a sliver of an argument. That said, the whole world could adopt it and not even Tim Flannery claims it would make an iota of difference.

Their argument of, “So what? We do nothing?” is fallacious. By wasting so much time, money, and endeavour on the carbon caper, there is in fact a lot we are not doing that we should be doing again.

Tsk, tsk, DSK… 62, ugly as sin, but didn’t know the bombshell was a pro


Ooookay then.

DISGRACED former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged today with involvement in an organised vice ring that procured prostitutes for top-class clients, lawyers said.

All very James Bond isn’t it… or is it?

Overweight, old, ugly but apparently he “never had the least inkling that the women he met could have been prostitutes.”

Oh well, innocent until proven guilty and all that jazz.

But speaking of DSK, just what was a confirmed socialist doing running the IMF anyway? In a capitalist society, one would think the vehicle of last resort for sick economies would be run by someone more capitalist than Adam Smith.

Paywalls: where they’ve worked, where they might, and where they might not


Where a paywall seems to have worked, where it could, and where I can’t imagine how they’re going to pull it off…

I don’t think anybody really has a crystal ball on this one, but I reckon the Australian Finacial Review, the Australian, and the Herald Sun respectively.

Niche, semi-niche, tabloid.

National, national, local.

In case you missed it:

And in those three, yes, an overall tone that I{DON’T-HEART} paywalls, not after all this time without them and the once never dreamed of smorgasbord of news and opinion content to gleefully choose from.

*although there is a chance it could help some blogs…

Discussion needed on foreign state-owned farm ownership, but perhaps avoid the “hyperbowl”


So the MP With Australia’s Best Interests at Heart, none other than independent Tony Windsor, has thrown his authentic Akubra into the ring and said his two cents about the issue of Chinese state-owned firms buying up Australia’s farms.

“We shouldn’t debate about stopping foreign investment – no one is going to do that – but should foreign governments have freehold ownership over our land?

It’s something we should debate and look at the distinction between state-owned buyers and others.

And a cursory google search finds all sorts of alarming press about the Chinese government investing in and buying huge swathes of our farmland, including the notable ABC special report provocatively entitled, “Selling the Farm to China”.

Foreign interests including state-owned companies from China and the Middle East are increasingly looking to Australia to secure their food production by purchasing key agricultural assets.

The sale of agricultural land is exempt under Foreign Investment Review Board regulations and the FIRB’s attention is usually triggered only by the sale of companies whose assets exceed a $231 million threshold.

And many are right to be concerned about state-run Chinese firms cashing in on Australia’s farms, but is Liberal senator Bill Heffernan (concerned, in the report above) not playing perhaps a bit of politics here?

It would be wise to keep this in a little perspective. Even when investing as little as $1, state-owned enterprises (SOE) have to have approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Why’s that important? Because most of the investments from China come from SOEs, so that $231 million threshold doesn’t apply, and nor does the exemption for agricultural land.

And this:

ABS released some land ownership data based on a survey of 11,000 agricultural businesses recently and the study found 89pc of the surveyed agricultural land was entirely Australian owned, while 92pc was majority Australian owned.

So not that much land is full or part foreign owned, and most of that has been approved by the FIRB because at least in China’s case, those investments are from the Chinese state so you can’t really go around attacking China on this one.

For sure, we don’t really know exactly how much farmland Chinese SOEs own, and that’s something that should definitely be rectified, but you can be rest assured it’s not that much, most likely nowhere near proportional to the panic generated over it.

If people still want to get worked up, be at some sections of our media, notably one that doesn’t mind the odd bit of exaggeration when it comes to their rural reporting.

Most of us were suckered in to that one for a while.

Let’s hope we’ve learned and don’t get suckered into this one, too.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 304 other followers

%d bloggers like this: