Archive for May 11th, 2010

Greece: the lesson to be learned

Theodore Dalrymple:

In fact, Greece is only a particularly acute or virulent case of the sickness that afflicts much of the Western world. Greece’s overall debt is higher, no doubt, and its deficit larger, than those of other countries, but the difference is one of degree, not of kind. Like most of the rest of us, the Greeks have been living beyond their means.

When the crowd tried to storm the Greek parliament, shouting, “Thieves! Thieves!,” its anger was misdirected. It was a classic case of what Freudians call projection: the attribution to others of one’s own faults.

Sound familiar to a certain government’s expected budget tonight?


When will Western governments and individuals reign it in a bit?


Dry run thwarted?

As if the bloke, Faiz Mohammad, didn’t know there were batteries and an on/off switch in his shoes. Perhaps he really is just a big idiot for thinking shoes like that would fly on a plane, but perhaps not.

Let’s see if anymore comes out about this.

Israel vs Iran

Iran could be ready in two years. Israel is ready now.

Swan’s third Budget

I reckon it’ll be a shocker. Amazing that Labor, in under three years, can so drastically turn around a surplus. A sixty-odd billion dollar deficit is what we last got yet Krudd and the Duck blather on about having a quick return to surplus… in FIVE years.

What a joke. And Terry McCrann points out where they’re already playing tricksies, namely with the timing of the Henry Tax Report, the scrapping of the ETS, and Rudd’s giant mining tax grab.

It’s almost an artform what this Rudd government has achieved. Record deficits, school halls BER fiasco, Pink Batts fiasco, Fuel Watch, Grocery Watch, keeping a lid on interest rates (although as an investor with no mortgage, that ain’t so bad personally), asylum seeker number numbers overflowing to the point that they’re now being put in 4-star hotels (nice message being sent there), scrapping his and our most important issue, the ETS, thus pretty much proving AGW is nothing more than a political issue, a tax grab… sheesh. Did I forget anything? Yep. Not delivering on healthcare.


The only good things I can see in tonight’s budget is Swannie’s apparently going to make it a bit easier tax-wise on small business, and that unemployment is still low.


Of course it won’t be a “spendathon” like back in the Coalition days, Joolia. There isn’t any money left. You bloody spent it all… and then some!


Not too bad… unless you’re a miner, and if that super tax falls through, it’ll be hard to fund all the goodies promised the rest of us.


Reactions from around the Interwebs. A lot depends on China. Too much?

Bolt’s take: “Smooth on the outside, desperate within.

Yep, it’s good Rudd et. al. aren’t spending money they don’t have, but really, that’s only because they’ve done so already. And I hope I’m wrong, but this budget relies a bit too heavily on mining companies keeping enough business here after Kevin’s 40% Super Tax comes in coupled with China growing at relatively the same or better pace. That said, it’s most unlikely our mining industry or China’s growth will reduce significantly anytime soon.

So overall, an OK budget. Not as good as what we used to get with Costello, but not too bad. Bolt may be right in there being a few too many desperate measures, but it looks likely that it’ll swing.

PS Yes, I was wrong about it being a shocker. Good.


I particularly like business and small business taxes being reduced (from 2012/13), and the tax free threshold for low income workers being raised to $16,000. It was $5000 back when I was working part-time through uni. The tax break on our savings interest is a good thing, too.

However, from what I’ve seen at a glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything (at best, it’s not being plugged) about getting that stimulus package debt down.

And no matter how OK this particular budget is, there shouldn’t have been a deficit to whittle down in the first place. Remember, when Swan got hold hold of the purse strings, it was $20 billion in surplus… all wiped out in the space of a year thanks to unbelievable billions being wasted left, right and centre.

Why is Fannie Mae still around?

They playe a huge part in causing the Global Financial Crisis, and are now asking for a further $8.4 billion in aid. But check this…

The company has now racked up losses of nearly $US145bn, or nearly double its profits for the previous 35 years. While many of the nation’s biggest banks have repaid their government loans and some are back to racking up big profits, Fannie and Freddie are still suffering from the housing-market crisis.

What a shocker. I dunno. I guess they have to be propped up until their toxic assets are cleared (if ever). But after that, it just seems ridiculous to this mug punter that they should be allowed to hang around. Franklin Raines should be in jail.

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