Friday, October 31, 2008

Herald Sun Sub-Editors Plumb New Lows

And I shouldn't really comment because this blog clearly has no standards.

But apparently Kate Ellis is "Australia's Sexist MP"


I was expecting some sexual harassment expose, but alas just a pretty picture.

Monday, October 27, 2008


John Quiggin has this to say about PPP’s in the context of the credit crunch, and the performance of the ratings agencies leading up to the crisis:

“In Australia, despite the fact that no state or national government has ever defaulted*, the agencies regularly threaten the withdrawal of AAA ratings if governments invest in infrastructure assets. One result has been the push to rely on private financing, through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). It seems likely now that many of the private partners in these deals will fail, and that the government will be left to clean up the mess.”

The little asterics is for Jack Lang in NSW during the depression, although technically this wasn't a default because the Federal government took on the loan obligations that the Lang government refused to pay.

But, the upshot of this analysis is that the time has come for Government's to go Keynesian again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

fallen leaves

your words are like wind
roaring down an empty street
cold comfort to fallen leaves

Sunday, October 05, 2008

On love

"It seems we always fall short of the mark when we try to explain or justify love in terms of a list of qualities that the beloved contingently possesses. Worse still, those who go looking for love armed with a checklist of essential qualities of the kind to be found in personal advertisements, '35-40 years old, C of E, non-smoking, professional, sporty, good sense of humour, likes cats, arthouse movies and Sichuan cuisine' seem unlikely to find it.

And the reason is that love is essentially open-ended. In loving someone, we embark on a journey whose path and destination is largely unknown. Love takes us hostage to fortune. It binds us to the wheel and woe of the beloved in ways we could not have anticipated and cannot reject. To be genuinely open to being someone's close friend or lover, is precisely to admit to yourself that you're not entirely sure where the journey will take you. And this truism about love is one that the quality's view has a hard time accounting for."

Jeanette Kennett

Saturday, October 04, 2008

First Home Buyers Accounts

Ah, the barefoot investor, the person I go to for investment advice. He loves the first home buyers savings accounts, they're great:

"The only problem I can see with the FHSAs is that there's a minimum lock-up of four years on your funds. It's too bad if you find a house in year three or if you break up with your boyfriend, quit your job and want to use the cash to move to London, as you do."

Hmm yes not very flexible when set against the lives of your average first home buyer. Good point hero investor sensai.

Then this gem of wisdom:

"The problem is, Gen Y have never known hard economic times."

What, we didn't exist in the early nineties recession? We didn't exist when the stock market crashed in 1987? Tech wreck? Asian financial crisis? Just because we weren't active participants in these eras, doesn't mean that we didn't witness them in an indirect way.

What's more, how does this apply to people exposed to the dwindling manufacturing industries in Australia. Anyone with a passing exposure to these industries, through parents or older siblings, will probably not see the last twenty years as an unrivalled period of economic sunshine.

Then he closes with a great Delphic/ astrological piece of investment advice:

"Opportunities like this come around only every so often. Embrace it.

Tread your own path!"

So should we opt in or out?

Little bit contradictory there bro.

I guess maybe he should have of finished with: "if it suits what you want to do, then do it". That seems to be the gist of these inflexible savings accounts.

Or maybe he could have added, invest in stocks at the bottom of the cycle, and you may be better off than dumping your money in these accounts for four years- given that your life circumstances could change a lot over four years.

Ah well, if this is the kind of economic guidance we are getting in these challenging times, God help us all!