Interesting stuff

Blowin's picture
Blowin started the topic in Friday, 21 Jun 2019 at 8:01am

Talking points worthy of further discussion without devolving into insult.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 5:31pm

100% Zen, id love to see that too.

Id also love to see the cops just not turn up for a few hours, if there was protestors glued to the road blocking traffic im sure after some time the pissed off public would sort things out im sure there is many who would also help them become unstuck without the use of solvents.

Ironically and sadly the police are actually their protection.

IMHO if these type of protest keep going on sooner or latter shit is going to hit the fan real bad, it's just a matter of when, we saw a tiny taste in london with that guy on the train getting pulled down and a few people giving him what he deserved.

But im certain that was only a taster im sure someone is going to snap real bad, or there is going to be some vigilante type group that sorts them out.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 5:32pm

I think that other aspect of the discussion is really complicated.

Where do you draw the line on allowing people to try to destroy others businesses or business dealings?

Especially when many campaigns are based on dis-information and lie's Adani is a perfect example of that.

Surely Adani should be able to take some of these organisations and the people behind the dis-information to court and basically make them broke.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 5:55pm

That number again, 1800 187 263.

If in doubt, give 'em a shout.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 6:34pm

.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 7:55pm

Wonder what this protest was about? (article is pay walled) only posted an hr ago.

"Protesters have been sprayed with pepper spray by Gold Coast police after a peaceful rally turned violent. Racial slurs were allegedly shouted before punches were thrown."

soggydog's picture
soggydog's picture
soggydog commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 10:45pm

Watch the four corners story on Adani, check the resource rent deferrals, water allocations, environmental history and general business ethics. Doing business with Adani is exactly the same as financing a meth lab. Your engaging with a known criminal, misinformation and deviancy is key to the operation, the process is toxic and heavily polluting if mis managed, which our proposed business partner has history, and serves little to no benefit to the wider community except for a few dealers..... did I mention in both scenarios we’re dealing with known criminals.

That’s how I think in regard to Adani.

soggydog's picture
soggydog's picture
soggydog commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 10:50pm

Like Chinese meth dealers.....your money also leaves the country. Adani

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 12:13am
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 9:26am

Soggydog watched the Adani four corners episode before after people here said similar things, and i honestly don't get how people take the view you do from that, if that is all the dirt they could come up with on such a big company doing business in a developing country then you really have nothing to worry about, much of the episode from memory was someone living next door to a site complaining about asthma or something, just the fact that something as trivial as that was a focus of the story says a lot. (personally i think these days 4 corners is absolute shite anyway, its just ABC version of current affair, always trying to dramatise and exaggerate an issue )

The irony of those who target Adani is Adani are world leaders in commercial renewable energy production, they own the second biggest solar farm in the world in India, it was actually the biggest for quite sometime until another company went bigger.

They also have proposals for the worlds biggest mixed solar and wind farm (again from memory in India)

They even opened a big solar farm in QLD this year currently building another in SA set to open in the next 6 months.

Although i did read in recent news their renewables projects in Australia are set to slow, as basically they have had heaps of trouble getting the solar plants onto the grid, because basically Australia's grid was never designed to deal with how it is now operating.

There is a real good article on the issue explaining it all if you google "financial review into the twilight zone" (won't provide a link as i tried to re-read now and it paywalled me on second visit, so link i give could be a paywalled link)

Personally i assumed and thought like I'm guessing most people do, that we can just switch over too renewables quite easily, I've now learnt its not that easy, the whole grid is not built to operate that way and even if fixed which will cost huge money (which the consumer will have to pay for) there is still big issues around managing the balance of where the electricity comes from and goes and how we manage the balance.

Basically the system was built to supply energy from one point to other points at a fairly constant managed level depending on demand.

But now we have energy coming in from all over the place peaking and dropping at times that don't suit, the whole thing is a mess and our appetite for renewables that even in the last year or so has increased at a crazy rate is making things worse.

BTW. Im not coming from a negative perspective with renewables, im a fan, but i really didn't understand how complex it all is and why renewables push up energy prices etc (which initially doesn't make sense seeing solar and wind is free) i thought like many we could just switch over with no real issues but its actually super complex going to be real interesting how they deal with it all.

It's actually made me think, i really need to get solar and battery's on real soon as a electricity prices are going to have to be pushed sky high to deal with it all, and then the irony is there that this will escalate the renewables boom even faster causing even more issues and higher prices.

Yeah 100% this is good in a sense and its an example of how they capitalist system is actually the solution and not the problem, the answer to dealing with reducing emissions IMHO is in the economical aspect not in the feel good green thing, im betting most people are like me the main deriver to switch to household solar to save money.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 9:15am

Front page of this link saying why Adani should never proceed

https://www.stopadani.com/why_stop_adani

It’s not paywalled. What news services paywall in Australia again apart from the Murdoch rags?

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 11:53am

Related but on a tangent -

It could be argued that Australia's fixation with primary industries is going to haunt it in the future.

Australia is so lacking in economic complexity, it ranks 93rd in the world, up there with economic powerhouses like Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran, Mali and Turkmenistan.

"The enormous wealth generated by iron ore, coal, oil and gas masks, and probably contributes to, an economy that has failed to develop the industries needed to sustain its position among the top ranks of the developed world."

"In the 15 years to 2017, Singapore – a nation with no natural resources apart from human capital and proximity to big markets – expanded into 19 new global industries that generated $US14.4 billion ($21.3 billion), or $US2560 per resident. They include gas turbines, x-ray machines, synthetic rubber and imitation jewellery.

Over the same period, Australia broke into seven new products in a meaningful way, according to the Harvard database: precious metal ores, ammonia, rare earths, activated carbon, hydrochloric acid, scrap rubber and wax residues.
The value per Australian: $US33."

https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/australia-is-rich-dumb-and-getting-du...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 12:53pm

Of course Pauline was always right.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/doctor-mahatir-describes-an-unr...

It just wasn’t in the interests of those who would profit from the wholesale transformation of Australia to have their ruse revealed so early in the piece. So they gaoled her without reason to stem her political influence and it was openly supported by everyone who swallowed the farcical “ diversity is strength “ cover story parlayed by the profiteers and the mouth-breathtaking globalists, who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that trans-national systems of governance always fail under the sheer weight of their diluted cultures.

From the Roman and British empires to the USSR and everything in between, pan-tribal unions fail every time. They only ever succeed when a dominant culture subsumed the rest ( Re: Han China) .

Of course, those who profit from open borders and those who dream of being on the inside of a global bureaucracy , will never acknowledge the experience of history as they plot to reduce us all to nothing more than economic units and a homogeneous mass of humanity to be subjugated as they desire.

Even in the face of the potentially fatal fracturing of the social experiment of the USA which was previously considered invulnerable , the globalists refuse to accept the planet altering folly of the plans built on their avarice of power.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 12:43pm

yeah there are two articles on the old recalcitrant in the Age today.

what do you reckon, the majors ought to be forced to declare their position on this before the next election?

Big Australia is not wanted by the vast vast majority of Australians but we have never been asked.

personally I don't care where our migrants come from as long as they have allegiance to Australia, something I doubt some have, its just the sheer numbers, I heard yesterday Melbourne is going to double in size in 40 years at current growth rates, as if that's a good thing FFS.

like savvy residents in HK if I were under 30 living here I would be working on an escape plan from this madness, but where can you go? remote WA? SW Tassie? South Island NZ? where?

What's going to happen first? world wide water/food shortages or total economic collapse? either way best be in some remote non urban area.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 1:30pm

A link to Stop Adani?...(no bias there) but at least they are only half truths, they are not the outright lies seen by other organisations of seen on social media, that make claims like "Adani will destroy the great barrier reef" with zero evidence to support this, which is the problem, because people dont question it and then Adani gets a bad name.

Here is their main points from that link.

Destroy the ancestral lands, waters and cultures of Indigenous people without their consent.

(Well this isn't true like in any culture there is those for and against but the Wangan and Jagalingou people Traditional Owners. On 16 April 2016 in Maryborough, the majority of the Wangan and Jagalingou people voted 294 to 1 to authorise an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Adani.)

Allow 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year for 60 years.

(Thats technically true but currently there is about 11,000 shipping movement through the great barrier reef every year and every year there is already over a thousand coal shops moving in and out the reef, and incident are quite rare, even in unlikely negative events the damage is unlikely to be different to any other ship grounding on reef, if it was a liquid like oil being shipped, yeah sure the risk would be much different because obviously much harder to contain.

The reality is if you go on a surf charter boat somewhere like the Mentawais every time, your boat anchors and pulls anchor on coral, they do much more damage than these coal ships do, that only pass by reef in shipping channels and and only anchor in sand, mud or rubble bottom inshore areas.

Get access to 270 billion litres of Queensland's precious groundwater for 60 years, for free.

(An aspect on the water issue ive never heard/read about is, where does this water go after it is used? in what condition is it in after use? How much will trickle back into the system? could farmers use it after Adani has used it? That much water just doesn't vanish or evaporate, it surely must have a possibly second use?

Risk damaging aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.

(Australia has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the world and as we know Adani has been jumping over hurdles after hurdle, if this was a true risk, it wouldn't get passed)

Add 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution to our atmosphere.

(From a figure point of view this is technically true, but as we know it's only half the story and extremely misleading, because if this coal is not used, Adani will just continue to burn higher emitting coal or if its forced to seek coal elsewhere it highly likely it will be higher emitting coal, the big reason it wants out coal is the decent quality of the coal and the easy accessibility to the coal.

This means less coal needs to be dug or burnt to get the same energy as lesser quality coal, and easily accessibility means lower cost to mine

Even the Queensland Supreme Court said in dismissing a case brought against the development; “If the mine proceeded it would not increase the amount of global greenhouse gases or any environmental impact resulting from those gases.”)

On a side note in 50 years time or so what will become of an open cut mine like i assume Adani is?

Well the reality is once revegetated nature will quickly take over and what was once a fairly flat plain will become closer to a vibrant oasis of life, go anywhere in the dry outback and you will find those lower gorge type areas or even decent dips in the landscape are the pockets of life and focus, its just like creating an artificial reef, just cause man made it doesn't mean nature won't claim it and turn it into a focus for life.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 1:09pm

Half truths you say indo?, I stopped reading there. well given what's at stake here and the willingness for Adani and its supporters to litigate I would have thought any group opposed would have to be very very careful not to misrepresent the facts nor science but please carry on.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 1:15pm

Ha ha..i know you read it all, it's just hard to argue with the facts.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 1:28pm

.... as on ABCW with Virigina Trioli you little ole feminist, nah I don't think so on both counts!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 3:29pm

indo said re Adani and the ABC Four Corners program,

"...if that is all the dirt they could come up with on such a big company doing business in a developing country then you really have nothing to worry about"

Ha! I remember watching the four corners program mentioned and thinking "these guys are fuckin' crooks"

Is it really a case of 'nothing to see here, move along'?

Nope. They are as dodgy as they come.
https://www.envirojustice.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Adani-Brief_...

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 4:21pm

Notice the word "alleged" on half of that list, alleged basically means unproven, which just leaves you with just unproven allegations, which really shouldn't be on the list if they are not proven.

Put any big company under the microscope and dig and you will find dirt though, same with people look at what happens to politicians and not just on one side of politics, but both sides.

I don't think Adani are angels, but i also don't think they are the devil either, people for some reason have just decided to target Adani i guess because they are the first to try to operate in that region.

Personally i think as long as they jump the hurdles they need too and get approval then they should be able to operate, especially if the majority of people in that region or state support the proposal.

IMHO thats the big thing if there is any outside influence from public that holds any weight and affects any type of proposal in both a negative or positive way it should be from the people of that region, defiantly not from some city folk that in most cases have never even been too the area.

I guess thats what the recent election was in a way QLD in particular North QLD sent a pretty loud message to the rest of Australia in particular the inner city latte drinkers, who want to stick their noses in everyones business, personally i say to locals up there good on ya's.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 6:30pm

I've always been a bit bemused by people who are negative about life in Australia. Wake up and smell the roses people, Australia has the best lifestyle of any country in the world - (other than NZ maybe hehe) Singapore? They can have it. I mean where else would you rather live?

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 7:06pm

Yeah India really needs more coal

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-50280390

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 7:11pm

100% Agree Spuddups, i love Indo, but really Australia is pretty good, if i couldn't freely come and go between there and Australia, it would suck Australia is an awesome country.

On the topic Andy shared, i cant read the link as paywalled for me, but its no surprise Australia main focus is primary industry in particular the resource sector, because we are resource rich, we also have priced ourselves out of things like manufacturing because of our extremely high wages and just general operating cost.

Then anything that can be done online is also going offshore, because again our high wages.

Just got to be smart and make sure you work in an area that cant go offshore or be overtaken by technology.

Singapore is just a freak of nature, nobody should compare themselves to Singapore, but we should all learn from Singapore IMHO they get so much right, especially for a small country, Singapore is getting expensive though.

Was just curious now and googled extinction rebellion Singapore, not one hit, not surprising doubt that shit would be tolerated in Singapore.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 8:24pm

Spuddups and Indo -

Australia does have an awesome quality of life but what you seem to have missed is that it's changing steadily.
This includes housing affordability, secure work, increased cost of living.
This "being negative" is about looking to the future and avoiding getting (further) shafted by politicians and businesses.

Indo, of course it's no surprise that Australia's main focus is primary industry, the point is that it's a problem in the mid to long term.
Your claim about high wages killing us is doubtful, you've got countries like NZ with similar wages faring much better with regard to establishing a high-tech future.
Also, Canada, Brazil and Russia have heaps of natural resources but are inside the top 50 economic complexity ranking.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and this is echoed by many entrepreneurs and business people, the key problems are the barriers put up by governments.
These include the administrative burden of creating a new firm, the protection of existing businesses, and complex of regulations, all of which have hardly changed in the last 20 years.
Financial support via tax credits or deductions, grants, subsidised loans and loan guarantees are largely going to big firms.

In other words, it's poor political management that's a large part of the problem.

Another example is the gutting of funding to the CSIRO - in the past, heaps of new start ups got a boost from the CSIRO.
Then in 2014, the Abbott Government cut $110 million from science funding and 1400 staff lost their jobs from the CSIRO.

Dumb ideology, dumb policy.

Indo, do you realise Singapore is a dictatorship??

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 1:09am

“Australia does have an awesome quality of life ...”

True enough for many but because of the myriad of well known intractable cultural, social, economic and political problems Australia faces the fair go we grew up with is being steadily replaced with entrenched inequity especially if you belong to a minority, un or underemployed, dependent on welfare or black.

It’s all a matter of degrees, of incremental change and particularly of lost opportunity to be truly great..

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 1:18am

High wages.......how do you explain Germany?

I guess you could start with education, gov policy and focus.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 8:41am

It really depends on what things you see as negatives in Australia?

IMHO most of the negatives in Australia have been fuelled from high immigration rates and globalisation. (and on social issues far left ideology, but lets just leave that one out of the topic)

But the flip side of high immigration rates has been a strong economy, i know i couldn't live and work where i do if there hadn't been huge population growth in the last 20 years, there just wouldn't be the demand for work.

Otherwise the real problems are in the low skilled areas of society, traditionally we had a lot of employment in manufacturing too give these people jobs, now it is limited more to service type industry and retail etc

We lost our manufacturing industry because of our high wages and globalisation and technology like internet sure didn't help.

Technology has also replaced many low paid jobs in all kinds of areas, and then you have big companies like call centres etc take their jobs offshore, they do this because it just makes business sense to do so, because our wages are too high.

Technology and the internet is even taking higher skilled jobs, for instance if you want an logo made or a website before you would have to do it locally, now you can get in done online by someone in another country or even do it yourself very very cheaply..

For years i was using a good mate for this type of thing knowing the money goes into his pocket, but now i just cant justify it, when i can go grab a web template and hosting dirt cheap and build a website from a template on lazy weekend and get exactly the same result and have total control. (just one example)

BTW. im no expert on NZ, but my brother in law is from NZ, they married and lived in OZ for a few years, then went to NZ for a few years, they love NZ and still go back when they can but they they came back to live in OZ a few years ago because wages were just to low compared to cost of living.

PS. Australia does have the highest minimum wage rate in the world.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 8:54am

Well , well....it seems that despite the stuttering protestations of the usual apologists at the time , the truth is now in the open air . Even the WA education union agreeing that the furthering of fee paying international students into our secondary schools system is nothing but the commencement of privatisation. Exactly as was the case for the tertiary education sector.

The fact that people who openly declare their love for socialism would support this bewildered me initially, but I’d failed to take into account the fact that misplaced PC overrides all other imperatives and that the class war , of which privatisation is the tip of the spear , is not really relevant to the modern day “ comrade “ as they’ve long since severed any connection to the working class they now openly despise . None as blind as those who refuse to see , I guess :

“With this background in mind, education unions have lambasted a plan by the Western Australian Government to increase the number of international students at public schools, labelling it “privatisation by stealth”:

Education unions have “grave concerns” a program specifically encouraging Chinese students to enrol at Western Australia’s most prestigious public secondary schools will contribute to an over-reliance on fee-paying international students at the expense of locals…

State School Teachers’ Union WA president Pat Byrne said while international students were already paying for places in public schools, the program “exacerbates what is already an undermining of public education” in the state…

“Given the costs which these students will be expected to pay there is a strong possibility that schools will be tempted to choose students according to the income they bring with them.

“This would result in local students being denied opportunities which might otherwise have been available”…

“This is another form of privatisation by stealth,” she said.“

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 9:24am

I guess that might include Applecross and Rossmoyne... parents made it competitive to buy in those catchments, probably still do. Is there nothing we cannot sell off?

and

"Remember, remember,
The 5th of November..."

(not just a horse race or interest rates meeting)

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 11:08am

Shit is getting real

“MARTIN LÜSCHER does a useful Q&A with Jeff Gundlach at Finanz and Wirtschaft:

Central banks are easing, and stocks have reached a record high. But that doesn’t mean that everything is okay. Jeffrey Gundlach sees big trouble ahead. The CEO of the investment firm DoubleLine is worried about the development of corporate debt. But also the levels of government debt and the US equity markets are not sustainable. According to Gundlach, investors have to brace for significant disruptions.

They need to position themselves for the next global downturn because it will lead to substantial changes in the markets.

When will the downturn come?

It doesn’t matter whether it comes in one year or four. If you don’t start preparing now, you will maybe do better while the economy continues to do okay, but whatever gain you get from that will be overwhelmed by problems with your investments in the downturn.

How do you have to be positioned?

Investors should systematically reduce risk. They have to be highly diversified, and that doesn’t just mean financial assets. You should own your house free and clear if you can. People should not own stocks if they have a mortgage.

Do you see any historical parallels?

It feels like 2006 when people realized that there was tremendous over-leverage and that it would lead to an extraordinary collapse in credit.

Why do investors need to prepare now?

It’s difficult to make those adjustments while the decline is underway because the liquidity won’t be there. This time the liquidity is going to be very challenging in the corporate bond market.

What is the problem with the corporate bond market?

The corporate bond market in the United States is rated higher than it deserves to be. Kind of like securitized mortgages were rated way too high before the global financial crisis. Corporate credit is the thing that should be watched for big trouble in the next recession.

How big is the problem?

Morgan Stanley Research put out an analysis about a year ago. By only looking at leverage ratios, over 30% of the investment grade corporate bond market should be rated below investment grade. So with the corporate bond market being vastly bigger than it’s ever been, we’ll see a lot of that overrating exposed, and prices will probably decline a lot once the economy rolls over. Furthermore, central bank policies have forced investors into asset classes that they usually would be a little bit more hesitant to allocate to.

Is it better to own stocks then?

The US equity market will be the worst performing equity market in the world if you look at the past three major economic downturns, globally. Before each of those three downturns there was one segment of the global stock market that outperformed in a noticeable way, and the economies related to that stock market were perceived as to be invincible.

Which ones were they?

The late 1980s saw Japan as invincible with the Nikkei tremendously outperforming every other market to the point where there was incredible overvaluation of Japanese real estate when the recession came in the early 1990s. The Japanese Market was the worst performer. It never made it back to that level. In the advent of the Euro, there was a lot of enthusiasm about the economic prospect of the Euro area, and the stock market in Europe was incredibly strong in 1999, outperforming every other market. When the recession began, it was the worst performing market and never made it back again, broadly speaking.

And now it is the US?

This time US stocks are crushing every other area. It’s due to some fundamentals like the better economy, but also due to tax cuts and share buybacks. In the next recession, corporate bonds will collapse, and buybacks will stop. The dollar has already topped. It may begin falling in earnest during the next downturn and US equities will lose the most. They will probably not make it back to the peak for quite a while. When the US market drops, it will drop a lot.

What about gold?

I’ve been an advocate of gold since it was at 300 $ per ounce. I’m not positive in the short term. But I think it might be worth it to buy gold at 1400 $.

Is there any place where you find value?

Outright value? No. I don’t think there’s anything in the world of financial assets that one could call value, because the policies of the central banks have pushed valuations to levels that historically are associated with avoidance rather than allocation.

How low will the Federal Reserve go with interest rates?

The Fed will follow the bond market. It’s all they ever do. The reason they started easing this summer was that the bond market was pricing 2-year Treasuries so far below the Fed Funds Rate. They couldn’t really sustain the level where it was. Ultimately it depends on what the market does. The Fed doesn’t know what they’re going to do.

On which levels do you expect US long-term rates to be?

Rates should rise a lot in the next recession because the bond issuance will be in the multiple trillions of dollars, but maybe the Fed will suppress them as the European Central Bank has done. The Fed is already doing quantitative easing. But they don’t admit it. They are injecting liquidity in the repo market. It seems to me that the Fed is suppressing long-term interest rates.

How is the Fed suppressing long-term rates?

Jerome Powell says this is not quantitative easing because quantitative easing was designed to bring down long-term interest rates. Still, in a sense, he’s abetting the enormous issuance of T-bills. If the Treasury were issuing 30-year and 10-year bonds instead, yields would be rising already. So they are in a weird way suppressing long-term interest rates through the management of the debt issuance. What I find fascinating is that you don’t get natural demand for 1,85% T-Bills today. Do you think you’re going to get natural demand for 1,5% 10-year treasuries if you’re issuing five times the amount you are issuing now? I don’t think so.

So the Fed will keep long-term rates low?

Rates will rise first. Because it would be strange for the Fed to announce one day out of nowhere that they were doing a massive quantitative easing program buying 10-year and 30-year Treasuries. There would have to be a catalyst for that to happen. And the catalyst would probably be similar to what happened in the repo market, where the whole thing unraveled in a day, rates went up to nearly 10% and the Fed came in and rescued everything. Maybe you could get a «taper tantrum» type of move on the long end. That might lead the Fed to announce this vast program. Powell said he’s going to use large scale asset purchases to fight the next recession. That’s what he said at his last press conference.

What else could he do?

He could introduce negative interest rates, but I think Powell understands that the US cannot introduce negative interest rates without the entire global financial system collapsing. Because where’s all that capital going to go? Which markets are big enough? Negative rates are the worst thing that could happen in the US.

Why is that?

You can see what negative rates have done to the banking system of Japan and Europe. All you’ve got to do is look at the relative performance of bank stocks. The underperformance of European banks is correlated to the yield of the 10-year German Bund. I don’t know if the politicians understand that negative rates are fatal. It’s fatal to Deutsche Bank and insurance companies in Switzerland.

Will Europe leave negative rates behind?

It doesn’t seem so. They certainly don’t seem to want to. They concluded that negative interest rates are a short-term boost for the economy, yet for the long term, they are fatal. So how many short terms do you need to glue together before you get the long term?

It has been going on for quite some time.

So has the US budget deficit. But that doesn’t mean that it’s irrelevant. It just means that it hasn’t happened yet.

Nobody seems to worry in Washington about debt and deficits.

They don’t worry because they think that the Fed will monetize it. Maybe they’re right. People have given up on the idea that we’re going to pay our debt back. I don’t think anybody believes it. I don’t see how. The US debt is so high that to pay it back, we would have to retrench so much.

What will happen instead?

You could create inflation through universal basic income. That would debase everything. Or you could default on Social Security benefits and welfare benefits. These are the options. We’ll do some combination, maybe raise the eligibility age from 65 to 75. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but what we have now is unsustainable. The debt is unsustainable. Interest rates are unsustainable. The wealth inequality gets worse every minute. It’s already beyond the point of sustainability, and when the next downturn comes, there will be a lot of anger and unrest.

Will the downturn be the tipping point for these changes?

Yes, because the misery is going to be apparent for a considerable fraction of the population. It’s going to be pretty intense, and the response will be money printing. When Ben Bernanke said, we’ll never have deflation because we have the printing press and when he used the word helicopter money, people thought it was some euphemism, some joke. People thought that that could never happen. Now we have candidates running on it. Kamala Harris has a version of it, Cory Booker has a version of it. And for Andrew Yang it’s the centerpiece of his campaign.

How soon do you expect a recession?

I don’t see a recession in the next few months. The indicators aren’t pointing in that direction strongly enough. They are a lot weaker than they were a year and a half ago. But they’re not universally corroborative. Unemployment is still too low for a recession.

Where would you see negative signs first?

Consumer confidence is probably the best indicator. It ties it all together. Consumer confidence drops with falling employment, leading to a reduction in spending. Recessions are highly psychological.

CEOs are already pretty pessimistic.

CEO confidence is really low, like during a recession. And CEO confidence usually drops first. It tends to lead to slower hiring and less investment. So it’s easy to paint the case for a recession next year. However, there are levers that the Trump administration will probably pull – or try to pull – to push it out a little bit.

What levers?

Either by dumb luck or by planning, Trump is doing just about everything he can to push a recession out. Tariffs are hurting retail sales right now. They’re delaying people’s buying decisions, particularly when he says «there’s a 25% tariff, but we’re gonna have a deal». That makes people wait for the deal. So one way to sculpt consumer behavior is by talking tough and putting on tariffs in 2019 and then taking them off. I don’t know if he’s going to do that, but he certainly put them on. What if he took them off in March or April and suddenly the delayed buying decisions might get pushed forward? Maybe the softness in the economy that we saw this summer is based partially on the tariffs. Perhaps all that this is doing is putting in some softness that can be reversed.

That will help the economy enough?

The administration has talked about a payroll tax cut as well. They might roll that out during the campaign which would increase consumer spending almost one-to-one. That’s a potent economic stimulus, and by weakening the economy in mid-2018, he achieved the goal of getting the Fed to do a complete U-turn – from quantitative tightening and sequential rate hikes to quantitative easing and rate cuts. Those cuts work with a lag. That could help too. And so you’ve got all these things working, and the three of them together could potentially stave off the recession. If you did nothing, then you probably would have a downturn before the election.

Will Trump get reelected?

The only thing that could derail him is a recession.

What about the Democrats?

If Trump is not impeached, none of them have a chance. The strongest candidate is Pete Buttigieg, but I think he’s just too young. And I think his identity is probably a little bit ahead of its time in certain parts of the country.

What about Elizabeth Warren?

She can’t win. She could maybe win the nomination. But Medicare for All is a losing policy in the general election. She says that 160 million people that have private insurance are going to accept inferior health care to what they have now so that other people can have an improvement in their health care. That’s a tough sell. Maybe she can pivot back, but I don’t think she can pivot back on Medicare for All. And she shot herself in the foot by refusing to answer the question of whether she will raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All. Everybody knows that the answer is yes. She could tell a story «yes, we will raise taxes on middle class, but don’t worry, over several years, you’ll see that the savings you get with no deductibles and no premiums will overwhelm the tax». That’s kind of what she’s trying to say, but she refuses to answer the question. That hurts her authenticity.

But she has a considerable following.

In the political cycle in the United States, it’s prevalent right now to trash capitalist ideas – trash markets, trash corporations, trash wealthy people, and call for solutions to wealth inequality. That trend is inexorable. These are all massive issues that will lead to some pretty significant changes when the downturn comes, including wealth confiscation or free money programs.

Will the Modern Monetary Theory be part of that new system?

Probably. I think that it will be part of the transition to a new system – an attempt to forestall the unhappiness by giving money to people.

In your time as an investor, have you ever been in a situation like today?

Of course not. This situation has taken since 1945 to develop. And it really got going with US-President Ronald Reagan. So I started in this business when the scheme was starting. And we used to think that 8% interest rates were set to last forever, and it was unthinkable that the Fed would buy bonds, inconceivable! And now it’s normal. And free money used to be unthinkable. What people got themselves fooled by was feeling somehow that there’s real stability to societal institutions because they’ve experienced it most of their life. Some still think they’re experiencing it. But they’re not.

Will we ever go back to normal monetary policy?

No, we’re going to have a new normal long-term policy. That’s going to be different. We have to figure it out. Look: In 1970, there were no credit cards. In 1970, there were no car loans. People saved money and bought things. That was normal. The debt-to-GDP ratio was stable. Economic growth was real. It really happened.

And today?

In 2018, the dollar growth of nominal GDP was less than the dollar growth of the national debt. That means that there is no growth. We’re having an illusion of growth. It means that we’re issuing IOUs and spending it, and it shows up in the calculations as growth. But spending is not growth.“

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 11:10am

And here is a long form piece which summates things nicely

https://ftalphaville-cdn.ft.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Perfect-Storm...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 12:05pm

The Conversation finally breaking ranks with Uber woke academia .

https://theconversation.com/no-australian-city-has-a-long-term-vision-fo...

Waldorf Salad's picture
Waldorf Salad's picture
Waldorf Salad commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 1:01pm

The mad globalists have all but destroyed our buying power and economy, all the while smiling as their debt bubbles multiply. The snare is set. All the economy needs is a trigger point to fall off the edge now. No doubt the blame will be placed on the good natured hard working citizen-slaves. Revelation 13: 16-17 can then happen as per the long plan. More dying in their wars and debt slavery for the Proles. Cue Winston Smith.

spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 12:49pm

@Blowin,
Yeah read this. Nothing we don't already know - but important that it went out across the entire ABC news network/platform. Hopefully the media will report more on this through the Wakefield Futures Group - an eminent scientific and academic collective as a foil to the insidious, dangerous and plundering "More Growth and much more population" Lowy Institute. If they(Lowy) and partnering cohorts truly believe this, then they need to fast track fund the finest minds to help turn the deserts green and desirable for cross continent mass human habitation or else shut the fuck up and use their wealth and influence to put the planet and our population on a truly ecologically sustainable trajectory.

Stay salty

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 12:59pm

God....remember the Trump/Russiagate hoax ?

How embarrassing for those who pushed that barrow full of shit . Akin to publicly declaring your preparations for when the Y2K bug returns I imagine.

Classic.

Waldorf Salad's picture
Waldorf Salad's picture
Waldorf Salad commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 1:36pm

Blowin, the Salad read an interesting saying recently.. "Obfuscation creates a dysphoria"... maybe the Trump-Russiagate hoax was just that? Obfuscation? Fluff? People see enough fluff they just give up. Pfft. Apathy and cynicism results. This cynicism causes anger in some people. Anger and anxiety are both popular these days. Being anxious and or offended has become a lifestyle. Social engineering.

Just observations is all..

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 4:29pm

In that article on The Conversation, the author calls out population growth in a big way and it was heartening to see that none of the 40 comments afterwards brought up the terms xenophobia or racism.

Pretty good for a site like that, maybe the message is getting through.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 7:02pm

Agree. The Conversation is traditionally a microcosm of Proud Leftard Stupidity where any legitimate, though contrary opinion has been “ flagged for moderation “. Truly at the cutting edge of sanctimonious cancel culture in Australia.

And yet they permitted an article which faintly suggested that unmitigated importation of humans into Australia was perhaps, maybe , not an unalloyed positive for the nation.

There’s always hope.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 7:17pm

I spoke too soon.

There's a fella on there who believes that we shouldn't address population growth because

a) we have no right to do anything now because unsustainability was introduced in 1788

b) we should concentrate on dismantling capitalism and the whole system instead - anything less is a mere diversion.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 10:16pm

John Birmingham’s vagina has officially prolapsed.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/queensland/here-s-why-i-haven-t-watched-...

Thank fuck this whole anti- colonialist cultural drudgery has pretty much run its course. It’ll only be the late - to - trend leftards decrying Australia and ANZAC days in the near future.

Even the ever nose-led MSM is starting to sense the change of public discourse amongst those who constitute the absolute majority.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 10:47pm

“”

What people got themselves fooled by was feeling somehow that there’s real stability to societal institutions because they’ve experienced it most of their life.

Everybody today mistakenly thinks that social progress and civilizational advance goes in one direction only, but that ain’t the case. Certainly not locally (eg 1990’s Balkans wars) and certainly not globally (eg The Dark Ages).

Argentina was once a wealthy and prosperous and powerful country. Look at it now. Our social institutions are not stable…in fact, they are observably being corrupted and crumbling before our eyes as The Great Princes enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else. Anybody who thinks we can’t go backwards, way backwards is fooling themselves.””

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 8:21am

" because unsustainability was introduced in 1788"

All of northern Australia, eastern Australia was a giant rainforest of Gondwanic tree species; a dry rainforest of the same origin existed inland as far as Alice Springs, eucalypts were 5% of the fossil record, not 90+%... What happened? Fire.

Every time a new group of people come to the southern lands (incl as far as Easter Island), they are deceived, then get to play 'environmental manager' with what's left after they eat their future.

See: 'The Future Eaters', chapter 'Sons of Prometheus'. In fact, whole book is excellent, and before a lot of the radicalised guilt of modern uni teaching.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 8:26am

I haven't watched or listened to Melbourne cup for years, nothing political, it just doesn't interest me and i guess i just don't look for excuses to drink and party like i use too. (actually i look for excuses not to these days, because i just cant handle the hang overs)

But i do kind of feel a bit sad about that, i do kind of wish i could embarrass it and get into it all, because really its part of Aussie culture which we don't have much of (unless you decide to identify as indigenous) all these iconic Australian days seem to be getting destroyed its kind of sad, we seem so desperate to preserve others cultures but we have little interest in preserving our own, weird world.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 8:59am

I can imagine you totally embarrassing the Melbourne Cup. Indo ;)

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 10:09am

Indo’s fantasy day is Dandy markets

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 10:12am

Famous hedge fund manager Ray Dalio captures the finance/political zeitgeist with this commentary:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/world-has-gone-mad-system-broken-ray-dalio

1) the flood of free money has led to funding ventures that don't make money
2) govts have even larger deficits coming and will fund with debt
3)govt deficits/pensions and fewer workers able to fund them will lead to a showdown, potential default of obligations or monetisation or tax hikes
4)Money being free for the creditworthy and unavailable for the non-creditworthy exacerbates the wealth divide

VJ note: what he is terming 'money' is actually 'fiat currency'

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 10:15am

I liked the Birmingham piece. I spose cos it mirrors the vanilla indifference I feel towards the race. As much as I like to have a drink I simply cant bung on some faux enthusiasm for horse racing for one day of the year. I also dont particularly care if other people do, though a small part of me likes to run against the grain, which is also an angle Birmingham ran with.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 10:32am

great day to get pissed and pull a root though.

he left that out.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 10:47am

I went to the races once- felt like a knob wearing the suit and felt even more sorry for the horses.

Got pissed and did pull a root though- that was a bonus.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 at 11:05am

Had to work in Melbourne for a few years, caught the train in and out and on those trains there isn't much about life you don't see. The Spring Racing season was a mixed bag seeing all the ladies all prim and proper and looking the goods in the morning and totally shit-faced on the way home either sleeping it off or making eyes at any male in the carriage. Believe me there was nothing edifying about the trip home.

In an earlier life I went to the races a bit, went to the Geelong and Warrnambool Cups but not the Melbourne or Caulfield Cups. Never scored a root at the races but I did go out with a bookie's daughter for a while ....