A Flawed Theory on How to Manage an Economy During a Recession

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“Quick! Get more sour cream and butter for the fat guy, stat! And bring some guacamole and extra cheese too!”

Nothing broke in the world economy over night. The Aussie market is at a 12-month high. The dollar is marching on the greenback with parity (and beyond) the ultimate objective. But we’re going to put all the bullishness from the fake balance sheet recovery aside for a moment and talk about bad medicine.

Your editor spent last night in a discussion with a querulous and drunk Aussie over the stimulus. “It looks like it worked to me,” he said. “Only world economy still growing. GDP up. We’ve got China. Looks like Ruddy and Swanny know what they’re doing. You’re just a hack. You’ve never run a country. And you’re a Yank!”

“Let me put it to you this way. Say you’ve got a guy in the hospital with a bad ticker. He’s a smoker, a drinker, and a fried chicken eater. His arteries are clogged. He’s got a belly like a hippo. He eats like Nero and drinks like Caligula. And say, for the sake of argument, he’s gonna die if he doesn’t change his nutritional habits. How do you treat him?”

“You tell him to quit being a fat @%$#!”

“Talk therapy. That’s good. But let’s talk medicine. What do you prescribe? More food? Do you say what I said before? Quick! Get the fat guy more calories.”

“I suppose not.”

“Of course not. The problem isn’t that the guy is starving and needs to be fed. The problem is that his diet is garbage and he needs to change his living habits. But if the doctor diagnoses the problem incorrectly, the medicine isn’t going to help at all. And as the Dean says, ‘Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

We’ll spare you the rest of the conversation. But here is our diagnosis of the Australian body politic: Wayne Swann is a bad doctor. His Keynesian prescription for the Australian economy is based on the assumption that aggregate demand must be supported in recession. But then, the Keynesian approach to monetary policy focuses on demand, not on production.

Don’t take our word for it. Swanny said over the weekend, that “Weakness in hours worked remains a potent sign of insufficient aggregate demand in the economy.” This is why, he says, it’s too early to take away the stimulus. “To entirely remove the fiscal support from the economy at once, would reduce growth by 2 per cent in 2010. That would risk stalling growth in our economy before a self-sustaining recovery in private activity has taken hold.”

Would it be so bad to lose a few pounds? Would it be so bad to reduce the amount of debt that supports toxic levels of consumption? Would it be so bad to let people build up their savings, reduce consumption, and restore the health of the household balance sheet? Or must we keep them fat, drunk and stupid at all costs?

Australian taxpayers are going to pay for today’s deficits for years on end because the Treasurer and the Prime Minister (and apparently everyone in the opposition too) is using a flawed theory on how to manage an economy during a recession. The Treasurer would have been better off thanking China for restocking its commodity inventories and left it at that.

But there are votes to buy! Supporting “aggregate demand” or firms that are “too big to fail” is another way of saying you must reward those who contribute to your campaigns or whose votes you need to keep you in power and in your privileged position. From an investment perspective, the relevant question is which industries benefit (or lose) the most from the government siphoning off money from the private sector and direct it whichever way it chooses.

Obviously bankers and builders will do well. What about everyone else? It’s tough to say. But you could be forgiven if you think that the ultimate objective of all this is to put average Aussies deeper in debt (housing and credit cards) and more in thrall to their banking overlords.

By the way, this is how governments pick winners (banks) and force everyone else to speculate. The injection of cash into the economy distorts asset values and makes good old securities analysis (Graham and Dodd style) useless. The free money and relatively low cost of capital favour the speculators over the investors, turning the stock market from a weighing machine into a one-armed bandit.

There is only one hitch in the plan for the public sector to replace the private sector as the main source of spending, though. The banks may refuse to play their part in peddling new money. Remember, the transmission of the credit crisis from the financial sector to the real economy took place via the banks. When the banks faced credit write downs, they cut off the extension of credit to small businesses and some households (although the government continues to underwrite speculative mortgage origination through subsidising non-bank lenders).

The stimulus and the FHOG were one quick way to get money directly into the hands of Australians without directly involving the banks. That’s why it led to an increase in GDP (which measures economic busyness rather than real value creation). But if the banks are still tight with credit (excepting the housing market) how else can the government keep people spending money they don’t have?

This may not be as big a problem here in Australia since there is now a minor disagreement between the Government and the Reserve Bank. But here’s a prediction: look for national governments to becoming increasingly creative (and brazen) in given direct handouts to people in order to “support aggregate demand.” The government will become a direct lender (through tax credits or the outright nationalisation of things like housing and auto finance).

Figuring out your investment strategy in this climate is tricky. But it’s not anything new. The late Harry Browne used to say that markets go in cycles from Propserity to Inflation to Deflation to Recession. Harry recommended a basic asset allocation strategy that matched the right asset class with the right cycle. You changed your weightings between stocks, bonds, real estate, and gold depending on which cycle you were in.

In “The Fourth Turning,” authors William Strauss and Neil Howe tell us that history is worth studying. “The reward of the historian is to locate patterns that recur over time and to discover the natural rhythms of social experience. In fact, the core of modern history lies in this remarkable pattern: Over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era – a new turning every two decades or so.”

“At the start of each turning, people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, the nation, and the future. Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle spans the length of a long human life, roughly eighty to one hundred years, a unit of time the ancients called the saeculum. Together, the four turnings of the saeculum comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction.”

We’ll have more on the turnings tomorrow and how Australia might be in a different season than America. Actually, that’s already true. Its spring here and late fall there. But the historical question is whether Australia’s economy and its future are now correlated to Asia and not “Anglo-American society.” This has massive implications for the economy, but also how Australians feel about themselves, “the culture, the nation, and the future.”

Dan Denning
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.
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Comments

  1. The Reserve Bank and the Government are one and the same thing.

    Reply
  2. Interesting how banks increased the cost of credit for mortgages and businesses. The Gov chose to prop up the mortgages, but the businesses are left high and dry.

    What can pull a country out of recession, encourages GDP growth and boosts employment levels?

    The answer is not mortgages.

    (but at the moment you could say the answer was ‘The Government’ ha!)

    Reply
  3. Physical commodity prices and copious offshore sourced funny money have been the substance behind the Australian government’s ability to keep our consumption and asset inflation economy afloat and which subsequently allowed them to clip the turnover ticket.

    There is no doubt that in the recent past the funny money has been back as reflected by the AUD and local banking equity prices even if the lower valued commodities remain way off their peaks for now.

    So what future for on physical commodity prices? Martin Hutchinson has a view …
    http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/thebearslairview?art_id=10296

    Even though I believe in his bust scenario I think he may have backed the wrong horse on commodities. There are these recent rumours about a UK written gold futures contract and JPM and another bank being stumped up for physical supply they couldn’t meet when called (and that central banks had to step in to provide the supply) and maybe that set him off on the path of calling the supply side problem.

    For mine, I too think the futures markets are up to their necks in it. And I agree that a bunch of people together calling on the speculators and intermediaries for physical supply can knock those markets about big time.

    But my main contention is the same one I had about the US wheat & futures, where producers were getting done in and have learned to fight back by storing on farm and not taking out futures. This got to the point where desperate US govt tried to bring inventory back into the system and to market by foisting their quality assurance hiking elevator bulk storage charges up and down to control market supplies. But it takes growers a while to get on farm storage built to nullify the elevator tax and to get new intermediaries and QA processes and even though prices have been suppressed the price gun is being reloaded against the derivatives market and giving some power to those commanding physical supply.

    And in the case of those massive commodity derivatives contracts held by US merchant bankers that were torn up by the Chinese last year after the latters manipulation was uncovered?

    So maybe the same outcome as called by Martin but upside down. And a dangerous time to be running a commodity basis economy country with an otherwise unreconstructed asset bubble based services economy running on hot money.

    Reply
  4. Some country is going to be brilliant and tell the 5% of US taxpayers who are paying 70% of the taxes to “Come to Australia” or “Come to New Zealand” or “Come to Tasmania” and only pay a 15% flat tax.

    Without the top 5% of Americans, the US is going to fail – hard. Some other country could take advantage of these high producers!

    Reply
  5. Wondering about that myself, Mike. :) Many of our tenants have already made that move to WA. After four years getting their 457s, they’ll buy, of course; and this influx of money and skill is worth watching… .

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 14, 2009
    Reply
  6. Mike,
    you’re in an australian fantasy land if you think that place is australia.

    Not many well educated and wealthy people want to come to australia.

    Most (non australian) people see it as a cultural and intellectual void.

    Well, most of Europe/USA do anyway.

    Reply
  7. Mike – where does one pay a flat tax of 15%? In the Cayman Islands? Not here that’s for sure.

    Reply
  8. 15% tax in Oz – I’d expect that could be achievable if one is debt free on their home and various toys and takes advantage of negative gearing on their investments, salary sacrifices into super, uses a family trust … Any others?

    Oz cultcha – Yep we’re working on raising our kids to be footy hooligans and crack addicts so in a few more years Brit and Yank immigrants should feel right at home.

    Reply
  9. Well I like our backwater isle devoid of intellectualism, business mindedness and culture. Pity it won’t last.

    Reply
  10. I’ll have to concede the point about Oz being an intellectual void – Unlike others we weren’t clever enough to dream up lots of fancy financial products to base our economy.

    Reply
  11. Ned, 15% is not only achievable, it’s quite enough to pay. I’ve outlined the steps in previous blogs. The first is to list everything you _don’t_ know… . Many Aussies simply don’t know they don’t know… . ;)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 14, 2009
    Reply
  12. You’re right, Biker Pete. And the money making world’s biggest aim in life is to prevent anyone else from thinking.

    Reply
  13. Hmmm 15% achievable. Well BP for PM then.
    But just think the disgusting proliferation of self reliance, happiness and prosperity…oh and much smaller government…Biker your making me sick.

    Lachlan Scanlan
    October 14, 2009
    Reply
  14. Yes, I just did my sums – If I pay about $13,000 into super this year out of my estimated $48,000 income I’ll have a bit over $30,000 to live on after tax – With a tad over $11,000 actually getting into my super account after the 15% contribution tax.

    Which will work for me. And mean that my flat rate of tax on the $48,000 is 13.13% (Plus the Medicare Levy which will push it up to about 15% at a rough guess perhaps.)

    No grizzles here at that – My retired parents (there being two of them of course) get by just fine on about $22k pa after tax income – Although, Yes they do get concessions on lots of stuff. Which must count for a bit because $22k pa for two people sounds really lean to me – Scarey even? (I’d probably have to give up all my vices to live on that – And substitute with chocolate; Which doesn’t sound especially satisfying?)

    Not that I’m suggesting others can or even should do what I do – Or that they couldn’t do way better by putting just a bit more thought into it (negative gearing? family trust?) I’m very much a believer that one’s choices in life (and how they fund them) are their own business.

    Which means I’ll never be a politician in a democracy [Thank God!!!] – Because those blokes seem to reckon it IS their business what people choose to do and how it should be funded.

    Reply
  15. Ned,

    “I’ll have to concede the point about Oz being an intellectual void – Unlike others we weren’t clever enough to dream up lots of fancy financial products to base our economy.”

    First of all what does “base our economy” mean?

    Now, assuming you are referring to the CDOs etc. Then yes Australia has the same products but australians are incapable of believing that property prices could go down – and that property doubles every 7 years.

    Australia is going to be in a world of hurt at some stage when the bubble bursts. Most likely when everyone else is recovering.

    Reply
  16. Sorry Prozak – I hit “Submit Comment” button before I added the “on” on to the end to make it “base our economy on”.

    CDOs etc .. More a matter of referring to Greenspan dropping the 1930’s regs that kept Yank banks from getting too heavily leveraged. And then keeping his interest rates really low. And a general lack of feeling comfortable with economies that do financial tricks for a living (Iceland maybe?) Although, Yes the US has a HUGE amount going for it – Not least of which is it’s VERY big guns.

    Yep, a bursting of the Oz property bubble could hurt us – A LOT! (So government will protect against that so far as they can.)

    But a genuine recession in Asia is what just might cut the knees out from under us I think? (So it is nice that China has a big surplus and can stimulate for a few more years if needed – IMO?)

    How might it all pan out after that? All I’d say is that it is just one more chance for the US to come back to the fold a bit – Although they are slippery little buggers! :)

    Reply
  17. Ive got hurt feelings (sniffle, cry :)) I revealed the depths of my very modest personal finances above and crunched some numbers on same and got marked with a “1” – I’m relying on you here Pete – Remember the day I voted you up over something quite inane???:

    Cheers to all – Early start tomorrow – My parent’s house has sold and I’m making like a furniture removalist – The first two sales to long term Aussies crashed because the banks didn’t like their finances – But the sale to the recent migrants has been approved :)

    Reply
  18. Ned,

    I think you are insane if you put that much into super on your wages.

    I have a very different view on Super. When I work in Aus i pay the minimum. Overseas it is not compulsory so I always used to opt out of company pension plans. I work for myself now so it is much better… and I have a very complex structure set up that costs me 5% of my revenue – the good news is that I then only pay 5% tax – yep 90% take home! (DEAR SNOOPY ATO PEOPLE – I AM NOT IN AUS!)

    Anyway….

    You are basically handing to someone else the responsibility for your retirement. As far as I am aware Self-managed super does not make sense with less than 200k or so. So that leaves some retarded buy-side fund manager looking after your retirement.

    No thanks!

    Reply
  19. It’s a tough call Prozak – Because government figures they have given a bloke a tax break on his super so retain an interest in it – And everything that should be done in relation to it – I’d just like to see government “drop dead” – But as that isn’t going to happen then we’ve got to play the game. Yes, I wouldn’t worry with a SMSF for less than $200k – But mine is a bit over $400k, so carries it’s own weight now I suspect?

    And being in a SMSF, I’ve done the best I can to retain control over my own retirement – I think – For better or worse!

    Reply
  20. Ned,
    I guess a slight disconnect between your wages and age. You must be an old fart! /joke.

    As for your SMSF. Good job. At least you are in control.

    Reply
  21. HaHa, Lachlan. You have _no idea_ how much that 15% is, son! :) Pays an awful lot of welfare…. ! Well, at least we now know how much Prozak thinks is a large amount of super… . ;)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  22. hahahaha… “biker” Pete. do you?

    Or did I just assume that because of neds wage that his super would be lower?

    At least we again confirmed that Biker Pete is an obnoxious moron.

    small time “biker” pete…. poor little man…. must try and continuously compare his penis size to others… and continuously found wanting…. poor poor “biker” pete.

    Perhaps since you are so “rich” you can buy an extension?

    Or is there little point since it doesn’t work anymore anyway?

    I guess it is hard struggling with two inadequacies at the same time. The wife must be terribly disappointed.

    Don’t worry Biker Pete. She probably has someone to service her whilst you pay the bills!

    Reply
  23. I turn 51 this month Prozak – So I’m a somewhat senior chap without quite yet being elderly perhaps? :) I don’t have a wage (or salary) – I live off income from a rental property and bank interest plus a bit of contract work sometimes. I did two months (at $8k per month) at the start of this financial year which was enough to kick my income estimate for the year up to $48k – Which is enough (for me). If some more work should come my way I’d probably take it – Depending on other circumstances – I knocked back maybe $20k in work last year as it clashed with my travel plans. I like my leisure time a lot – Smile!

    Yes Biker, at my age if someone said they had 2 mill in super I’d think that is quite impressive – As opposed to the amount I have which is about average for SMSF members. But such things are relative and I try to think more in absolute terms of what is enough for me – Given that I value my freedom to choose what I do with my time. Plus also try to look after the future adequately. (I’d like to get back to Russia for 12 weeks next year. And then spend some time in Malaysia in 2011 – I have some “outlaws” in Malaysia. And the US and UK longer term … Not that I like travel at all … But spending time with friends and family is great – For mine.)

    Reply
  24. yes so right. I must apologise. I am sorry for thinking anyone would be impressed with my terrible bragging about how rich I am. Hold on. My mum is knocking on the door asking me what I want for tea. Bless her. 95 and still looking after me.

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  25. PeterM (oops.. I mean Biker Pete)

    Surely a man if your age… what is it now 62?… should know better than to brag and act a prat on public forums

    You’re a funny looking old duffer.

    Reply
  26. “Not many well educated and wealthy people want to come to australia.
    Most (non australian) people see it as a cultural and intellectual void.”

    I can see what you mean Prozak, it takes a lot of intellect and culture to counter someone’s argument with:

    “you have a small penis.”

    Astounding mate. I am in awe of your Oscar Wilde like wit and repartee. Seriously, take it somewhere else would you?

    Reply
  27. Don,
    Yes I agree. I am flattered you are in awe. No need to stand there agape.

    It was not I who as usual resorted to obnoxious bragging. generally seen by those with intellect and culture as a signal of a small member.

    I wasn’t countering any argument. I was countering an obnoxious braggart who attempts on frequent occassions to bully and put down other posters on this site.

    And Don. I am not your mate. Either use my name or call me Sir.

    Reply
  28. Prozak,

    the reason I felt it necessary to comment is best illustrated from your post above which effectively boils down to:

    “you have a small penis.”
    “your wife is sleeping with other people because you are sexually inadequate.”

    I fully appreciate that you don’t like Biker one little bit and that his posts really rub you up the wrong way. However resorting to such attacks is just not necessary or useful.

    Reply
  29. Prozak, have you ever lived & worked among the intellectual & cultured? It isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Much of the thinking & mastabatory jousting descends to simple slapstick anti-human notions that an Australian quickly writes off as quackery. So to have them here provides us a bit of fun but I’more interested in developing the local intellect & trying to rekick the cultural drive can we got going for a while in the 70’s but have let languish on the back of Gough’s bureaucrats having taken control. hey and go a bit easy once in a while maybe?

    More followers on the US deflationary monster here http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14636886&source=features_box1

    Reply
  30. prozak, prozak. This is no way to make friends. Nobody is perfect, everybody is wrong about something (probably more often than not), and we are all here to learn from each other, coming from very different backgrounds. No need for belittling comments and taunts.

    Reply
  31. Ned S, you speak for a big proportion of readers who are in a very similar boat as yourself. Your take is always read with great interest.

    Reply
  32. Yes, I agree, Dan. Ned, you enjoy a great deal of respect in this forum. Over the last year I’ve learned a great deal from your input. I’ve ignored Prozac’s recent rants, after recently reading a comment in The Economist (9th October ’09): “We should let the bears rove as freely as possible.” Clearly this ex-pat, ex-broker expert misread this as ‘rave’. What else might explain his recent posts? ;)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  33. Biker, you are not one to talk about prozak’s rants.

    I don’t agree with the jargon if his response, but his underlying point is completely valid.

    Good to know I am not the only one completely sick of you being an “obnoxious braggart who attempts on frequent occassions to bully and put down other posters on this site”.

    As I have already suggested elsewhere: why don’t you start your own blog – you can invite all your friends.

    Reply
  34. Ah, the old “Can’t answer your blogs, go somewhere else” response I’ve read so many times from you before, Pete. Expected no less from his cultured, intellectual colleague!~ :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  35. In our non-socialist 15% flat tax utopia we dont need welfare Biker. Even the old age pension gets chopped, they’ll have to mooch off the kids. Family benefits chopped they’ll have to work together instead of against each other now mother government not lactating. Think of the family togetherness ah soooo sweet. All drugs legalised too and less government regulation/wars against drugs required there…no dole bludgers or desperados to buy it anyhow. But the world wont be accepting these ideas anytime soon.

    Lachlan Scanlan
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  36. To all those people casting personal aspersions on others, you should remember to treat people as you would like to be treated.
    I’m sure DR haven’t constructed this site for people to be rude to each other.
    The world is in disarray, uncertain times ahead for many, and we should consider ourselves fortunate to be able to correspond with others so easily and safely.
    All is good in my world, just had a steak and a few beers at the Breaky Creek Hotel.
    Don’t know where that is – google it.

    David (Brisvegas)
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  37. I’ve been in your position prozak. After implying that pushbike pete exerted similar traits to a transient internet cafe hopping paedophile in an earlier Australian property related post I apologised reluctantly a day or so later. I don’t know what it is that makes us want to hit our heads against brickwalls when property tycoon pete spruiks property and how his property was all purchased at the right time, the right price, the right locality and the right tenants and it hasn’t devalued because he is so smart etc etc etc. Biker Pete annoys me – I am not a whinging tenant but BP is the kind of guy that drinks tea with his mum because at the pub he lasts half a beer before head punchy inny time comes around. We can feel sorry for him and he can feel sorry for us but I guess wealth involves lifestyle too.

    Claytonator
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  38. Just be glad you haven’t chosen a hobby with such a high rate of serious injury – a mate of mine took his first steps this week, almost a year after his nearly fatal motorbike accident. Financially, Prozak has an even higher risk of serious injury – hats off to you for surviving. Just accept, people, that you have biases and your own priorities, and stop being like kids in a playground, calling names and taking nothing in.

    Reply
  39. Your ‘reluctant apology’ was immediately accepted, Claytonator. If you go back and reread past posts, you’ll find that your statement: “…his property was all purchased at the right time, the right price, the right locality and the right tenants… ” isn’t entirely correct. As others will attest, we’ve admitted paying too much for three blocks. We’ve also stated that our particular property market has plateaued. Your apology was wrung from you by a jury of our peers. You’re a suitable mate for our cultured, intellectual London bedsit friend. Your retraction is as noble a gesture as I’ve witnessed on any blog, particularly since it repeats your allegations of paedophilia. Back down in the gutter you go with penis-pointing prozak and pete… . :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  40. Got kids Pete? Got a wife? Did you inherit your fortune? You don’t strike me as the type who would answer to a boss. Sadly that’s reality for some of us underlings.

    Claytonator
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  41. Sorry – Biker Pete i’m referring to here obviously

    Claytonator
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  42. Don,
    Yes you are correct. It was not useful.

    Sometimes I let scum drag me into the gutter with them.

    And I agree I went a little to far this time.

    Apologies to everyone who felt offended by my response to Peter M (aka Biker pete)

    Reply
  43. strangely my rant is rated 5/5 at present…

    so perhaps not many people that offended after all… or at least a couple agree with my sentiment toward Biker Pete aka Macca.

    Either way, apology to those that were.

    Reply
  44. Pete,

    Yes biker pete does have his own blogs… his own myspace, his own facebook and his own twitter.

    Alas, no one is interested.

    Which must be a huge blow to his ego… considering what he “tries” (very poorly i might add) to do for a living….

    so he came here to ramp himself up a bit and try and put others down.

    Reply
  45. Thanks Dan and Biker.

    Prozak you really do leave yourself wide open with comments like “I am not your mate. Either use my name or call me Sir.” In all of the various towns where I got dragged up you’d be doomed to be known as “Sir Prozak” for the term of your remaining natural life – Smile! But Aussie etiquette (as I understand it) says that while chatting about the size of a bloke’s middle leg might be tolerated in certain circumstances, casting aspersions on his missus’ fidelity is out and out antisocial.

    Anyway, not my problem with Biker being a big boy who is more than capable of taking care of himself obviously.

    My Mum and Dad have moved in with me for a few weeks – We’ll do a bit of work on their new secondhand place while it is empty – Rip up carpets to be replaced, fresh internal paint, tone down some chips in the floor tiles a bit, etc – It’s a house similar to what you build Biker – In a nice quiet area that is close to everything that makes them call this bit of Brissy home. I’m real pleased for them of course – No steps to go up and down anymore!

    You’ve got your Mum and one lad in Canada hey? With the other lad likely to move there. Yep, I can understand the attraction of moving there – Even at your advanced stage of decrepitude … :)

    Reply
  46. prozak, you finally made me say it. You belong on http://failblog.org

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  47. .. but apart from that, I respect your views when it comes to your expertise and I hope you keep contributing because the more the merrier.

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  48. Totally off blog topic but what the hell – The “call me Sir” comment reminded me of a yarn about some Aussies who were stripped to the waist and digging a trench in Tobruk in preparation for greeting Rommel – A Brit lieutenant comes striding up replete with swagger stick under arm and batman in tow – Demanded to be saluted! One dirty sweaty digger reached for his shirt, put same on, and said “Mate, you see these four pips – They mean I’m a major – And none of these blokes’ll salute me. But seeing you are so big on saluting, you can give me one, and then piss orff because we’ve got things to do!” Might be Oz folklore – Who knows – But a bit of fun anyway.

    Reply
  49. Dan,
    I am unlikely to click on a linked called failblog… but i am sure it wasn’t a complimentary suggestion.

    No need to respect my views. But glad you find some use in them.
    I am either right or wrong.
    I don’t care which.
    Unlike many people, If I am wrong I change my views.

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir” (keynes – perhaps the only useful thing he ever said)

    Reply
  50. Ned,
    Nice tale.
    I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that there are plenty of british army officers that have not changed a great deal in their “right to rule” attitude.

    Reply
  51. prozak – actually it wasn’t meant as an insult, but it’s actually a hilarious site. If we all have a laugh occasionally maybe it will take the tension out of this forum.

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  52. Goodo Prozak – I’m with Dan – Hang around. Oz is egalitarian. The intellectually, culturally and even financially challenged still seem to make a half reasonable fist of co-existing here. (Although I sure want to see Ken Henry tell the welfare lobby that it might be a good idea for them to start working a bit harder and whinging a bit less.) But that aside, providing one doesn’t actually succumb to naughty urges like profitting from feeding school age kiddies drugs, or interfereing with their nether regions or blowing things up or lighting bushfires, then Oz probably does have a place a person can fit it. “Eazy Peazy” as they say! (But just don’t say nasty stuff about anyone’s missus please – That’s naughty!) Cheers.

    Reply
  53. “in” – NOT “it”!!!!! – Bloody typos on a site where one doesn’t have the opportunity to fix same!

    Reply
  54. Yes. humble feature request – enable a preview button. I think a lot of the problems we’ve had recently would have been avoided if we had a preview button ;)

    Reply
  55. Ned S – Don’t worry about the typos, you are amongst friends :)

    Greg Atkinson
    October 15, 2009
    Reply
  56. Ta Greg – Some of my family and friends still use newspaper in their outhouse pits – And others drop (or make) a mill or two daily on the markets. Doesn’t mean I think either mob is better or worse than the other. – Just all battlers getting along as best they can at the end of the day given their lifestyle, opportunity and security expectations perhaps?

    Reply
  57. The Pill comments: “Yes biker pete does have his own blogs… his own myspace, his own facebook and his own twitter…. Biker Pete aka Macca…… Peter M (aka Biker pete)….” Your score is just one out of six, son. Is that how you’ve become a wealthy London trader…. guessing so well? Do you get it right just 16% of the time? Now, which wild guess was right?

    Cheers, Ned. Spending some time with the wife’s family here, before we get down to the states again… then further south. Yes, the kids fly over for Christmas. No plans to move here… just looking for a NH base. :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  58. Penniless Pete,

    fairly confident that I got it right. Just too many coincidences with you and the guy I found… you can bluff all you like…kiwi

    regardless. you’re a lowlife a braggart and a penniless pensioner living in a piss stained bedsit.

    Enjoy your retirement on the pension poor Penniless Pete.

    Reply
  59. OK… this guy’s an ex-broker, right? He does diligence, right… researches… (?) no guessing here, especially with OPM. He gives us all expert advice about investment… and we listen and learn. Here’s who he thinks I am:

    http://www.myspace.com/petermcallum

    My apologies to this seemingly-nice kiwi bloke he’s insulting.

    No wonder The Pill is an ex. ;)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  60. …is prozak a person or is he the hard drive from HAL…2001…stanley kubrick’s creation…invading cyberspAce and tormenting the mortals…we must sto I’M SORRY MIKE BUT YOU KNOW I CAN’T LET YOU CONTINUE…I KNOW YOU ARE PRETENDING TO BE dave TO CONFUSE ME…

    Reply
  61. There’s a Biker Pete in Sydney as well – Reading his stuff he didn’t sound like the type to be spending much time digging his own soakwells … So I guess he’s not you. Of course this fellah called Pete is in WA and does dig soakwells – But I sure wouldn’t be betting any of my money on him being you either!!!

    http://www.homeimprovementpages.com.au/professional/72790

    Reply
  62. Well, not without ringing his mobile first, saying “G’day … Is Biker back from Canada yet?” and seeing what sort of response I got.

    Reply
  63. Prozak,

    I apologise also for having a go at you earlier with my smart a** comment. What is it about the internet and rudeness? I guess none of us are immune. Anyway it is one of the main reasons that I really enjoy this site is the quality of the commenters which is shown in the way that we pull our heads in when we realise we step over the line. I cannot emphasise how rare that is.

    Reply
  64. Ned we all have to find our own way. I don’t see anyone out there who has the ultimate guide to investing..some just get more lucky breaks than others. The way to prevent us all becoming emotional when talking about investment is to accept that we will make all mistakes and that no matter how smart we think we are, we ain’t that smart ;)

    Greg Atkinson
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  65. I don’t know Greg, I am getting to be a pretty good indicator for shares, in reverse that is ie – when I buy, you should sell and when I sell, buy :(

    Reply
  66. No, I really think we need to play this one out, folks. Remember, The Pill said: “You can bluff all you like.”
    I’m still holding cards. Hands up, online, who thinks Prozak is right… that I’m Peter McCallum, at the URL The Pill has ‘researched’? Would you care to put a few thou on it? Would you trust a broker of this quality, a cultured intellectual whose last shot when he _knew_ who I am reads: “….you’re a lowlife a braggart and a penniless pensioner living in a piss stained bedsit.”

    The first step in changing your financial circumstances is to list everything you don’t know. Not a bad idea to list all the stuff you _think_ you know, too. I’d _never_ assume there’s a Mr John Prozak. ‘Mr Prozak’, however, assumes he knows my first name. If I wanted to brag, I would tell him my annual income, the amount we have in the bank, how many properties we own… and how much super we have. I’ll spare him that cruelty. His score is 1.5 out of eighteen so far, going back through his posts about me… just for a laugh… . :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  67. Pete, mate, I dig them all by hand, with a shovel… in my spare time…! :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  68. Greg and Don – It has been a difficult investing environment recently I gather – So anyone who comes out the other end in better shape than 20% down should probably just say “it could have been WAY worse” perhaps?

    I remember chatting with the head man of my Chinese Malaysian rellies a few years after the Asian financial crisis – It had been challenging apparently – But they got through OK with lots of capital to play again and figured life was still just fine! (Compared to what it could have been perhaps?) :)

    Yes Don – I know that feeliing well – Ask myself what I feel like doing and then do the opposite and I’ll make a fortune I think.

    Reply
  69. Sorry Ned… posted that one to my alter ego, ‘Pete’. By the way, the usual fool is posting in my name… apologising, etc. I wondered why you referred to: “… my mum … knocking on the door asking me what I want for tea… “. Gotta laugh!! :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  70. Thanks for the info Biker – A 95 yo Mum asking what you wanted for tea wasn’t beyond the bounds of possibility for me given that my Mum comes from a long line of little grey haired old ladies (as my brother once commented at risk of being smacked by a little grey haired old lady) – Her great granny got to 104 back in the UK (she scored a letter from the Queen on turning 100 I gather?); My Mum’s granny (my great granny of course) was about 93 or 94 when I saw her last about 30 years ago and my Mum’s Mum pegged out at about 87 maybe – I’m hoping my Mum is a throwback to the original British stock of course as I like her cooking (Plus generally just having her [and my Dad] around!) :)

    Reply
  71. Send my old ma (88) a postcard almost daily, Ned. Apparently it makes her day… . She shows the latest to all her visitors. Each year when we get back to Oz, she takes a hundred or so and and presents them to me(!) Never really sure she’ll be there when we get back.

    104 is a pretty good score, mate! The genes are on your side. Most of our lot make it to the late eighties and early nineties, but I can’t recall hearing of anyone ever getting a letter from QE2. Postcards will have to do… .
    Cheers, Biker

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 16, 2009
    Reply
  72. We’re just young whipper snappers at 50 (odd) and 60 (odd) Biker – Heck, you should have seen my 75 yo old Dad tossing those fridges of his into the back of my ute yesterday! (With his bung knee that can drop out at any time and his crook shoulder he can’t lift with anymore I figured the safest thing for all concerned was for me to stand well clear and be on hand to call the ambulance if required!)

    Yeh … That’s the one big worry with leaving home with aged family members Biker. I know that slight concern really well.

    Reply
  73. Pathetic Pete,
    Hit a nerve have I?

    “If I wanted to brag, I would tell him my annual income, the amount we have in the bank, how many properties we own… and how much super we have”

    This of course in itself is your crude bragging. I can assure you. I wouldn’t be impressed or concerned.

    You see Pathetic Pete – real men… ths sort that you aspire to be…Don’t measure themselves by what other people have.

    I know this an amazing concept for you to grasp so take a minute.

    Besides, sure you could list all your properties bank accounts etc.

    But we all know it would be a lie.

    The thing about braggarts like you on anonymous sites Penniless Pete is that whenever they refer to their “wealth” you can guarantee 100% that it is all lies……

    Everyone else here tolerates you because you amuse them.

    I don’t like liars.

    Calling you Mcallum was a head fake pete to see the reaction… I don’t care who you are.. I know enough about you already.

    Here is a tissue to wipe your eyes.

    Reply
  74. Don,
    no need to apologise. I give as good as I get.

    Reply
  75. Whilst I still don’t agree with your methods prozak, you do make a point – no-one else on this site brags about anything except for Biker.

    Surely if someone “has it all” then they wouldn’t feel the need to brag about it. Unless they don’t really have it all and are very insecure anyway.

    Anyway, it can be quite irritating (not to mention the unprovoked insults).

    I come here to read the articles (obviously) and to share thoughts/ideas and to hear what other people have to say.

    Biker seems to think that it is “funny”. But it is just childish. Strange how someone so far past their prime can act so juvenile.

    Although I think we (many of us) have unfortunately proven that we can play this game too.

    As some other commenters have previously pointed out, this site is ‘usually’ a mature and considerate place. But it hasn’t been of late.

    I really do think it started with you Biker. Time to stop the childishness and add some value – or disappear.

    Reply
  76. Pete,
    yes well it makes me feel dirty having to respond to Plonker Pete. But I will do the dirty work to tell someone like that what I think of them.

    It did start with him of course.

    But funnily enough I believe I was stepping in after seeing his comments and bragging aimed at someone else. And that pretty much set my opinion of him.

    I just can’t stand liars, obnoxious braggarts and anonymous bullies.

    Reply
  77. ……and he is all three.

    Reply
  78. You know, Prozak, after you soiled yourself online, I presumed you’d gone off to clean yourself up. I see you haven’t changed your shorts.. and you’ve splattered a mate as well. You’ll _keep_ doing that, as you say… . :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 17, 2009
    Reply
  79. Fellahs, stop inviting Biker to leave the site please. Like him or loathe him, the facts are that he has been right about Oz property so far – And I for one value that. So I certainly gain from Biker’s comments. And I gain from your’s too Pete. I’d even go so far as to say I’ve found you both to be generous and giving of your time. Although there’s a fair bit of difference in your “teaching styles” perhaps? That’s fine by me – I try to be a bit flexible as regards my “learning style”.

    Reply
  80. I read your postings..it made me smile, keep it up boys!

    Reply
  81. Ned,
    I don’t invite Pillock Pete to leave the site.

    He is more than welcome to stay. He entertains me in a weird – I can’t believe there are people who feel so inadequate they need to brag on the internet – sort of way.

    But he should seriously considering reigning in the lies. Constant bragging and lies does get tiresome and lose its entertainment value eventually.

    Reply
  82. I see you haven’t changed yet, Prozak… . Here’s a friendly tip: Whatever you’re paying for specialist help and medication, it isn’t working. Our hosts, currently in Spain for a month, have left a wealth of reading material behind. We’re impressed with one particular book, “What Happy People Know” by Dr Daniel Baker (St Martin’s Griffin, 2003, C$15.50.) The particular section which will help you is Chapter 2, p. 35. I’d counsel you to read it. Your posts and language mark you as very unhappy… and quite unwell.

    Ned, these plankton demean a good site. With my strong preference for property, it won’t matter what I say here! :) Dipped a toe back in a year ago, after I saw Pete hate-mailing all who prefer our asset class… and if I’ve erred along the way, it was to demonstrate that you can be wealthy and enjoy a wonderful retirement as a result of property. Not leaving, but if someone can ‘morph’ into my tag so easily, to make silly remarks, I’ll morph into a _new_ tag. It will spare DR (to whom we owe so much) the continual back-and-forth ranting which must be so tiresome to good people. I’m still here, using another tag, but from this point, _anything_ you read with the tag ‘Biker Pete’ has unquestionably been written by one of the three unhappy individuals who lack both wherewithal and respect. Why should they _stop_ posting in my name, anyway, especially now they’ve discovered who I _really_ am…. . ;) I’ll simply ignore their adolescent wind… .

    It will be good to meet you, Ned. We always have at least one free house in WA if you ever need it, or need free holiday accommodation. Lots of good reds, too. I’ll contact you about this early 2010. No need to reply to this post, mate! It’s cool. :)

    Biker Pete, Vancouver Island, Canada
    October 17, 2009
    Reply
  83. Let’s hope that is the end of that – back to normal programming :)

    Ned, I find the example of Garnaut an interesting study in the way the media works. Take Professor Ian Plimer for example, I have met him a few times and he is a pretty sharp bloke and I have no doubt that he is thoroughly enjoying stirring the pot with that book of his – good luck to him. However quite a few times the press likes to mention that he is oooh booga booga a mining company director! Shock horror! Then we have Mr Garnaut who has been a Chairman of Lihir Gold since it started and who have been happily pumping their untreated cyanide tailings directly into the ocean from startup and it doesn’t even get a mention. I am not against the mine at all, just don’t like the lopsided reporting that goes on.

    On the subject of Lihir Gold, I completely applaud their “economic stimulus” program whereby they pay top dollar for worthless assets (350 million for Ballarat Gold) and then a few years later awwww didums announce that it aint as good as they thought – no doubt because the gold price collapsed pfffft – and they move on to the next big thing.

    Garnaut’s paw prints all over that Ballarat thing:

    http://www.lglgold.com/data/portal/00000005/content/20382001168904149953.pdf

    This is the guy we got to model the impact of carbon trading on the Australian economy and he can’t even figure out the value of a gold mine.

    OK, I have calmed down now but obviously I am not a big fan :)

    Reply
  84. Last point – the sob story announcement that they burnt USD 250-350 million in a couple of years – good job boys! Keep up the good work!

    http://www.lglgold.com/data/portal/00000005/content/34068001248152372628.pdf

    Reply
  85. Don..good points about Garnaut. There are quite a few of these self-titled economic legends running around the place. In theory they know what they are doing, in practice they end up making a dog’s breakfast of anything they touch. I especially like who is chairing Infrastructure Australia..a former chairman of a company that lost a fortune!

    Greg Atkinson
    October 17, 2009
    Reply
  86. Hello I just read all those comments, so for my effort I will also comment.
    It sounds to me we have become a gang and we are looking for an Alfa male.
    I am the one who is in the back ground who just follows you all around (meaning I read your stuff and say nothing).

    Or it is we have all become complacent and there will not be another bear market for quit some time (meaning the subjects that are written on the DR are highly not probable for some time)

    So instead we start to look at the negative of everybody’s input as we are all bored!

    Get ready for the next down turn in the market!
    We have the sun in our eyes and cannot see properly we have been distracted

    Reply
  87. Good points rick. I don’t know, really, about the ‘market’, but I trust it as much as I trust news organisations to tell me what’s going on – to be taken with a grain of salt, as often misleading as they are informative. It’s true, DR has a biased view of things, but that’s okay – we all have that, and it has to do with our own priorities and personalities.

    I think though people are right that global economies are changing – the US particularly for the worse. The big question is how to remain above sea-level when this is happening, how to prevent being robbed blind / ripped off? That’s the number one question on my mind when I scan what is now dozens of RSS feeds for answers. DR has a lot of depth and that’s why it’s high in my list.

    Reply
  88. rick e I think we need to break up the world a little. DR tends to focus a lot on the U.S., Europe and Oz and I am not exactly bullish on any of those markets. But I am fairly bullish on Asia, (including Japan) and Russia and figure they can make up over the longer term, for lower consumer demand in the U.S for example.

    Anyway we have hardly had a great rally in Oz..we have simply come back up to a normal recession type correction level and I reckon it will be hard going for stocks to push much higher above 5000. A stronger AUD, lower commodities prices and weaker demand for iron ore is not going to help our GDP numbers much. Maybe not many people will agree with me, but I believe it is quite possible Australia will dip back into recession territory over the next 12 months no matter how much government money is tossed about.

    Greg Atkinson
    October 17, 2009
    Reply
  89. It has got me tricked what criteria the larger gold miners use when choosing to acquire assets Don – One assumes they are interested in profitability? But some of stories one hears about the stuff they buy! Some of it has to be out and out speculation as to an ore body’s potential by corporations that are feeling cash rich and asset poor. But other stuff, one just thinks What were you using for brains? Sure the ore body might sound just fine – If it was in a different part of the world. But all of the other problems in the part of the world it is actually in are just SO BIG and so entrenched and so obvious(???), that surely no smart corporation would want that asset on its books?

    They do seem to make some clangers alright. Some of that has to be learned arrogance I suspect – Godlets of the world who’ve had some successes changing some bits of the world assuming that must mean they will always have success changing all bits of the world?

    Reply
  90. Fair enough Prozak – I do seem to recall you mentioning that you were quite happy to have BP around.

    As to whether BP tells outageoues fibs regularly, like many things, we simply need to trust our own instincts on such stuff I guess.

    I know my thoughts on that – And am quite happy to let DR readers known if they change over the next 6 months. But very, very much doubt they will – BP rings true to me like a bit of bright hard steel being hit with another bit of bright hard steel – But I can let you all know in 6 months if desired.

    Ta Biker – Looking forward to it – I like Wolfblass port (it could be picked up at $8 a bottle in Brissy last week providing a bloke bought two.) Given that it is very possible my retirement might not affluent, I’d really hate to corrupt my taste bubs with anything finer! (But how could there be?)!!! :)

    Reply
  91. Wow – lots of comments.

    Mike, 5% of US tax payers keep the whole system afloat eh!
    What about inviting the other 95% and then we can see exactly how much wealth this magic 5% you refer to actually generate.

    You have to laugh at some people’s idiology, it truly is dumbfounding at times.

    As per the 15% tax rate, I have a different twist. The World really is crying out for a nation to adopt a flat tax (GST like) system.
    Everyone pays it at the same rate and on money you spend, inherit, or transfer over-seas.

    If the government needs more money next year, the rate goes up. They get pillaried, and are not re-elected.
    If a government has done really well and needs less money next year, then it can reduce the tax rate, everyone likes it, their stock and trade credibility is high and they are likely to be re-elected.

    National accounts prevent the national debt from ever exceeding 20% of GDP and each government must return their budget to balance at the end of each term. No running up debts the other lot can sort out when you are kicked out of office. You wanna spend money in government, then you find it yourselves, and fully justify it to the electorate in an open, understandable, and honest manner.

    Simple is always best, always cheapest to administer, and always one that people need no wasted resource such as tax consultants, auditors, or accountants, to work within.

    If the same tax regime existed for individuals as well as corporations, then a truly egalitarian society would be constructed.

    You earn 50K a year. You spend 50K a year, you pay 20% tax on the money you spend, you pay 10K a year in tax.
    You earn 100K a year. You spend 100K a year, you pay 20% tax on the money you spend, you pay 20K a year in tax.
    You earn 100K a year. You spend 80K a year. You save 20K and earn interest (free of tax) on 20K (not 16K) and you pay 20% of your spent income, you pay 16K tax a year in tax.
    Sooner or later someone saving 20K a year and earning interest is either a.) going to die and pass the lump sum onto someone else who will pay 20% tax on the inheritance, b.) spend more in a year than you earn inflating at the 20% the tax man gets the amount of tax you pay in that year, b.) you move the money off-shore to avoid future tax but incur the off-shore tax on the monies at 20%. Sooner or later the tax man gets his 20%.
    It is a crime and an insult to savers that you pay tax on your earnings, save the money for a rainy day, get paid interest on your sacrifice, and then taxed on the monetary reward. What a real incentive to save ?
    The regulatory framework for corporations must run to over 5% of earnings in accountants, payroll, super, and auditors (as a minimum).
    With such easy and simple rules, all of these will be gone and be gainfully employed producing rather than consuming. This would instantly make Australian corporations 5% more efficient than their international peers.
    As for the Australian consumer. Well, no more employing a tax consultant or accountant, in order to calculate how much you have overpayed the ATO each year. Surely a win as there can be no credibility to having to claim back tax you should not have paid in the first place.
    How many government employees would be freed up into real productive work. All those I.T specialists no longer needed to write computer systems no one understands.

    Sorry, got so carried away I believe I may have orgasmed at the simplistic beauty of my nation changing idea.

    My final point is Maggie T’s poll tax in the U.K early 1990’s.
    My last itemised individual poll tax bill was for just short of 400 UK pounds. Itemised at the back were the constituent parts making up the final demand. Of this 400 quid, over 170 was on ‘collecting and administering the poll tax’. So to pay a bill of 230 pounds cost an extra 170 pounds to collect. I hope this illustrates the beauty of my point clearly.

    Reply
  92. 2b or not 2b I c the question !

    Sorry for the mistake.

    Reply
  93. Ned,
    I think you have your answer.

    Pillock Pete – so embarrassed by his behaviour and the exposure of his lies has decided to post under a different name.

    The End.

    Reply
  94. Joe,
    I personally wholeheartedly support the concept of a high consumption tax on ALL goods and no income tax.

    It means tax of 30% (the level it probably needs to be at) is unavoidable by all participants in the tax system.

    unfortunately it is also unworkable as to get it at a level to raise enough money it means raising the tax level of the poorer parts of society.

    unless of course you also had a rebate system where only those on lower incomes (some arbitrary level compared with marginal rates today) recieved a tax rebate every year.

    Reply
  95. Prozak – I didn’t have a question that begged an answer as I recall – Just an opinion that I figured was unlikely to be changed by any events that might transpire over the next 6 months or so. And had made an offer to advise DR readers of that should it occur – Eazy, Peazy as they say – Cheers!

    Reply
  96. Prozak,

    Purchase of food items, zero rated.
    Purchase of childrens clothing, zero rated.

    That way you are only taxing the avoidably expendable income and ensuring food and children have a low pay safety net. No refund/rebate required.

    Think about it, you earn less as a low paid worker so the share of earnings spent on food and clothing is a much larger percentage of your earnings.

    This will have a health boost to our low paid too, since take-away foods would be taxable. Cheaper to buy fresh and cook than to eat out or eat junk.

    They have zero ratings on VAT on many items in the U.K.

    With such a simple system with a fixed rate on all applicable items, you end up with a system whereby any errors must have been deliberate attempts to avoid tax and as such should be punished by a prison sentence. 1 month for first offence, and incrementally for further breaches.

    The tax system would be revolutionary amongst first World economies and would give the nation an economic advantage.

    Reply
  97. JC commentented The poor will always be with you (or somesuch?) – And a lot of people in cultchas what reckon they are real smart reckoned JC just mighta bin god (until relatively recently anyway) – So if god gave up on achieving true egalitarism about 2 millenia ago, then best of luck of Krudd and Henry I think. With Oz egalitarism being a livable compromise until god smarties his act up just maybe?

    Reply
  98. A footnote for “knew” migrants – The correct spelling is egalitarianism. (PS: Oz doesn’t have it and never did and never will – Ditto for your mob; But if you bust your butt here for a while you just might be able to do OK regardless – I hope!) Providing Krudd and Henry don’t get too much more stupid :)

    Reply
  99. Australia is 9th in the world for the largest wealth gap between the top 10% and the bottom 10% earners ……and getting worse.

    egalitarian? I think not!

    Reply
  100. Hi all,
    As the name suggests, I am new to this finance world. At my age (late 40’s) I am hoping it is not to late to learn.

    However,trying to learn anything from you lot, takes forever and a day. What I can see, is that you all just want to score little cheap shots on each other. NO NO NO this is not what I am trying to say.

    How about using your collective abilities to find solutions or at least feasible arguements, to situations in the world today, that a lot of people like myself, dont have the knowledge about. NO NO NO this is not what I am trying to say.

    I get a laugh reading some comments, this is a funny site, is it not!
    But of course, I did not come here to learn, from those that I hope, have considerable more knowledge than myself. NO NO NO this is not what I am trying to say.

    Whilst trying to get your own point of view across, some,seem to enjoy
    gaining cheap shots, instead, why not point energy in direction that will be of more benefit to those that just read to learn.

    Please do not make me write something else like this again. Took me an hour to think and then type. Rather be learning.

    I suppose you all are saying such things, because you can.
    As someone recently said, are we all getting bored!
    Please remember this, I believe a lot of people read your comments without submitting.

    Cheers

    Reply

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