The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has just released a note on “guidance on managing the financial risks of climate change” which includes the graphic shown above. Now, if they were releasing an approach to dealing with the psychologically disturbed people who take this stuff seriously, that would be one thing. But they seem to believe that the risk actually comes from global warming itself. What can be done with such fools? They will be the financial ruin of us.
I only look at Ross Gittins to find out just how far off the beam economists are, and once again he does not disappoint: Now we’re trying Plan C to end wage stagnation:
It’s a tacit acceptance of an obvious point many economists (and I) have been making for ages, but the government and its advisers haven’t been prepared to acknowledge: since consumer spending accounts for well over half of gross domestic product, and growth in wages is the chief source of growth in household incomes, without real growth in wages economic recovery simply isn’t sustainable.
The key to rising real wages is rising value added per employed person (ie higher productivity). That many economists (including Ross) think buying things will create value only shows to go you what a primitive subject economic theory remains. Come and see the billion dollar station they are building at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne to see why real wages are going nowhere. If you build what no one is going to buy – a government speciality – you will not only fail to create growth you will diminish it.
Why isn’t that obvious? And it won’t matter a bit whether every single worker on every single project spends all of their income to the last dollar.
Who can say if any of this will really happen? What can be said is that there is no reason to be certain it couldn’t. We are pumping out money incomes across the world to people who are not producing anything. We have pushed our economies into recession as an act of policy. Value adding linkages are being broken at every turn. And the thing about recessions and crashes is that they are never seen before they happen other than by a handful of speculators who manage to clean up while everyone else goes broke. Just like in the Global Financial Crisis.
This is the larger question asked at the link: “What happens when a country divests itself of anything that can assure its self-sufficiency? Australia provides an answer to that question.”
The central element of pre-Keynesian economics was value added. Unfortunately we are all Keynesians now. Read it all.
It is quite amazing the hagiography that surrounds these political nonentities who have happened to be premiers when the Chinese Flu arrived. Over-reaction to the maximum extent has worked for them all. The experience has cured me of any notion that elections are to determine the best for the community. Each and every voter asks themselves, what is good for me personally and then votes accordingly. And with the pandemic, they have asked themselves, am I personally still alive? And receiving the answer, yes, vote for the people who they believe allowed that to happen. Even if this Covid thing was very unlikely to kill them, they have been grateful nonetheless.
As for us folk here in DanAndrewStan, our gratitude knows no bounds, as boundless as the local ignorance of pretty well everything that matters to their own personal wellbeing. And in the spirit of goodwill towards all men (and women) and even toward Dan himself, let me bring the following two articles from The Age to your attention. First this: ‘Strong Dan’ and ‘feared Dan’: The two faces of Victoria’s Premier.
Premier one is strong and authoritative, with a seemingly invincible self-belief. His addresses to the state, day after day over weeks and months, exuded firm, even stubborn and unflappable, resolve and clarity. He carried most of the people with him, and this was despite the millstone of heading the most incompetent Australian administration in living memory around his neck…. Premier two is a hounded authoritarian running a one-man government, dubbed by some as Dictator Dan, with an ineffectual Parliament and the usual check on leaders in the Westminster system – the cabinet – sidelined. Living in a small bubble of his own creation, with dogged self-belief, seeming at times like a delusion of grandeur, he showed an obsessional fear of letting go, lest the whole world disintegrate.
Comes with this picture I have seen for myself quite a few times on trips into town.
Missing only are the trams which ran through the entire metropolitan area the whole time, usually empty but at least everyone was being paid their wage to maintain demand along with the entire Victorian public service most of whom had no actual functions to fulfil. Working from home must have been so exhausting.
The other article is this: State government road debacle leaves project stalled, contractors owed millions. This is Premier Two who will have bankrupted the state and still depends on Chinese Belt and Road sellout of the state to pay the bills. In the meantime:
Jean-Paul Cellier’s business, STA Traffic, did 12 months of paid work as a subcontractor for Civilink on Derrimut Road until early this year, when the money stopped amid a flurry of “promises and stalling tactics” by the company. STA claims it is owed about $300,000. “We’re used to waiting to get paid, that’s normal,” Mr Cellier said, “but not getting paid at all makes you very frustrated. The government is paying to get this project done and that money is going somewhere – ultimately, we’ve missed out.”
Ho Ho Ho. We have run out of money. And do not for a minute think it has ended here.
Despite the problems involving WBHO, the government has shortlisted it as a favoured builder for its separate upcoming $2.2 billion Suburban Roads Upgrade. In 2019, WBHO executive chairman Mr Nel admitted of the Western Roads project: “We didn’t realise that we would have to do a lot more work than we priced for.” In its financial reports, the company complains of “perpetual delays” and rising costs tied to changes in design scope and problems with utility providers, as well as a misinterpretation of technical requirements and subcontractor failures. WBHO is pursuing claims against its design consultant and utility providers.
Complete financial disasters at every turn. There is no Premier One but wait till everyone finds out.
I don’t know that this is a mask infringement, but it has certainly been noticed. This is from our sister blogsite in Canada: They Went From “Flatten The Curve” To “Put Your Hands Behind Your Back” So Fast We Didn’t Even Notice.
Then there was this on the front page of the Hun today: Show us the money.
Plea to reveal project overruns & delays as blowouts top $6.4bn COST blowouts on 10 of Victoria’s key infrastructure projects, including the West Gate and Metro tunnels, have risen to more than $6.45bn. Concerns over delays and associated ballooning expenses on projects have prompted calls for the urgent release of detail on their progress. The information was left out of the budget for the first time in years on Tuesday, with Treasurer Tim Pallas saying the coronavirus pandemic made preparing progress reports difficult. But sources close to the government have detailed blowouts of $6.45bn on just 10 projects, including $2bn on the Metro Tunnel and $1.2bn on the West Gate Tunnel. The state budget revealed only 84 per cent of timelines on the West Gate project were met last year.
They can spend and spend and spend, but adding value and covering the costs of deficits with a projected revenue stream, that they’re not so good at.
FROM THE HERALD SUN: This is a pictorial from inside the paper to give you some idea of the massive cost blowouts Victoria is absorbing. And now they intend to add another $10 Billion to build a train to the airport. Where are the adults?
Daniel Andrews is good at wasting money on over-priced infrastructure projects. He had already bankrupted the State even before the Chinese Flu came along. But here is the psychology of what then occurred. Although he is quite stupid, he thinks of himself as a genius. And what he has found out is that his stupidity is now recognised by all, other than the dwindling number of our fellow citizens caught up in the toxic virus of the Melbourne Syndrome. And along with his low grade intelligence, he has a ridiculously high level of self-regard. As a result, the incessant level of bungling has led to his refusing to admit that even a single one of his decisions has been at the centre of the problems in dealing with Covid. Look at this from The Oz today:
Josh Frydenberg, the nation’s most senior Victorian federal minister, has pleaded with Daniel Andrews to free Victorians from “devastating’’ coronavirus restrictions, warning that businesses are losing hope and the state now has 40 per cent of the nation’s effective unemployed.
The Treasurer sparked a bitter political row with the Victorian Premier on Monday when he accused Mr Andrews of “callous indifference” towards economic hardship in the state after restrictions on many businesses were extended for two weeks.
A dismissive Mr Andrews hit back, accusing Mr Frydenberg of playing politics when Victorians wanted their families kept safe so the state could reopen safely.
More psychology here, this time a bit of projection when he accuses The Treasurer of “playing politics”.
Face it, he’s a political moron and even worse economic manager. But he has had some psychological wire tripped and he is now going to show us how it is done properly.
He was elected because he promised to get rid of rail crossings and even he found it too expensive and hasn’t done it. Now he is in charge of dealing with the Covid where we once again discover how massively out of his depth he is.
And there is this which has just cropped up. I wonder who Mr Stupid will blame: Hotel quarantine guests at risk of HIV and other viruses after testing blunder.More than 200 people who were in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program are being urged to get tested for HIV and other viruses after a testing mix-up.`State health authorities have announced that 243 people are being advised to undergo testing for Hepatitis B and C and HIV after it was revealed that single-use blood glucose testing kits were used multiple times.
Dan really has to go. Worst Premier in Australian history.
The core concept of Jobkeeper was all right, to make sure no one was deprived of the ability to buy because they had lost their income. The data in the graph are however insane. Does no one any longer have a sense of proportion, and can no one any longer look forward for more than a day at a time? And it comes with this, also at the link:
It comes from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and it shows how much more money Australians are making than the year before. It’s a lot. We’re flying.
The black line is now at 16 per cent, which means we’re making 16 per cent more money in 2020 than last year.
Think about it like this: Australians who were banking $1000 per week last year are banking on average $1160 now. That’s a lot of extra money each week.
Where is the cash is coming from? Up until the start of the pandemic, the black line was being held up by the blue bars: earnings from work, i.e. salary and wages. We were 4 or 5 per cent richer than the year before, because more wages were being paid.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic starts. The blue bars turn slightly negative – wages and salaries went down (they would have gone down even more if not for JobKeeper!). But the red bars shoot up. That’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg turning on the money taps.
JobSeeker is the big one, and the two $750 payments that went to pensioners.
We’re paying out 16% more in incomes while productive output must have fallen along with business profitability by some massive percent! If these numbers are anywhere correct we are heading for the rocks.
I will add that if the government, any government, still believes that the level of demand is what keeps the economy moving ahead or adds to job numbers, they are about to find out once again just how wrong that is. Not that they will learn, because they are too stupid, but they will find out all the same.
Every so often you come across something so revealing that there is little more to add once you have seen it. In yesterday’s Herald-Sun there was an article titled, “China Backs Dan deal”. Of course it does, but this is how the story opens:
Daniel Andrews has questioned Scott Morrison’s priorities and demanded the Prime Minister come up with new trade markets for Victoria if his Belt and Road deal with China is cancelled.
Let me say that so far the Prime Minister has performed miles beyond my hopes with every instinct, especially on foreign policy, near perfect. Belt and Road must go. But that wasn’t what caught my eye. This was such pure economic ignorance – that he had demanded the Prime Minister come up with new trade markets for Victoria – yet I imagine it is a view largely supported by his equally ignorant supporters.
It is how these socialist think, that it is up to governments to find overseas markets. Of course Andrews has no idea how a market economy works. Obviously this is the way he thinks, that it is up to the government to sell our produce to foreigners and to create jobs for workers. A complete klunk, but the kind of ignorance that leads to economic collapse of the kind found in Venezuela right now.
This is from a fascinating article by Geoffrey Blainey in the Weekend Oz: As the Pacific theatre opened, the nation was ill-prepared. In the article he discusses Essington Lewis. This is what Blainey wrote about Lewis:
The leader of Australia’s industrial war-effort was Essington Lewis, an engineer and chief executive of BHP, whose extensive steelworks and allied factories were centred on Newcastle and Port Kembla.
Visiting Japan for a fortnight in 1934 and closely inspecting many workplaces that were out of bounds to journalists, Lewis was surprised to discover that Japan “was armed to the teeth”. In an emergency it could build 100 aircraft a day at a time when Australia had less than 50 active fighting planes.
Back in Melbourne he formed a syndicate called the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, which in 1939 built the first Australian military aircraft, a simple, lightly armed trainer-plane called the Wirraway. Later came fighter bomber aircraft that really held their own. It was remarkable that we mass-produced planes before we mass-produced cars, the first being the now-nostalgic Holden.
In 1940, Robert Menzies as prime minister had placed Lewis in charge of the nation’s industrial war-effort, and eventually a huge workforce of men and women were producing war equipment of a variety that surprised the few foreign industrialists who visited wartime Australia. Lewis, pre-modern in his business ethos, achieved this huge task without seeking payment from the government.
For five years Lewis wielded more power than the high medical officials whose diagnosis of the coronavirus pandemic we now hear each day. He shunned publicity but was known by sight to the hundreds of thousands of workers in munitions and aircraft factories and shipyards, for he inspected each site regularly and minutely.
And do let me emphasise this:
For five years Lewis wielded more power than the high medical officials whose diagnosis of the coronavirus pandemic we now hear each day.
Let me paraphrase what I take Blainey to have meant, and even if he didn’t it is what I understood.
For five years Lewis, who had spent many years at the highest levels in the private sector, wielded more power effectively and with positive purpose than the narrowly-educated and operationally useless medical officials who like the vast majority of the public sector have never spent a moment in a business environment, whose mistaken and highly damaging diagnosis of the coronavirus pandemic we now have to conform with each day much to our cost.
There is a lesson there, if only we could work out what it is.