25 April 2014

Dean Procter

Dean Procter - Transinteract

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A place to share stuff that isn't at all fintec related but is amusing, absurd or scary.

Aussie Treasurer and Reserve Bank Waking Up 1yr Too Late

03 February 2009  |  1800 views  |  0

It was almost a year ago that I called upon governments to get together and develop a plan for the crisis.

They met but did nothing. Lights on at the Reserve Bank and no-one home, or at least nobody with a clue. My impression is that they are dinosaurs with little understanding of the world we live in. Living in the past.

The Treasurer (especially Costello) had no clue either, nor apparently did anyone in government. They did too little too late.

We now see a $42 Billion dollar 'stimulus package'. Peanuts.

There is little hope that it will stop the Australian economy from going backwards. There is no-one awake at the wheel, we're headed for a crash.

One major point of ignorance is that most Aussie debt and the banks are only worth what the real estate backing them is worth. No-one wants to admit that Australian real-estate prices are probably 30% over-inflated.

The Reserve Bank has been given a wake-up call on interest rates, but the banks can't afford to let them go too low. They have no liquidity and no asset backing, or at least not enough. Today the Reserve Bank meets to give the interest rate knob another girly twirl in a pathetic attempt to maintain the inflated property values. If Australia wasn't suffering from a housing shortage crisis the prices would have crashed before now.

I really think that all they have done is given the economy a transfusion, but it won't stop it from bleeding slowly to death.

The Rudd government was unqualified to, and seemingly incapable of seeing the big picture. That is not to say that they didn't inherit a lot of problems from John Howard, letting his mates pig out at the trough while a bunch of shoddy real-estate con-men and corrupt councils contributed to the housing shortage. The hype is still going on with many a shonkster spruiking that the real estate values will hold and improve later in the year. Lock them up. They're either idiots or criminals and shouldn't even be allowed to sell cars. I can only hope they believed their own bulldust and find themselves bankrupt.

The banks of course don't want any talk of real-estate price falls because they would all be insolvent.

There have been many complaints by bank employees about being forced to pressure customers into borrowing. The customers are understandably reticent. The banks are obviously desperate. If you look at the super funds and other institutions which are bank backed, they are really in trouble.

I know I'm supposed to just perpetuate the lie in some weird sort of national fervour, but I'm afraid I'm not prepared to lie.

Anyone who borrows any money for almost any purpose at the moment would have to have rocks in their heads.

I'd be more inclined to put the blame where it lays, with the banks. Nationalise them. We're guaranteeing them anyway and as soon as the real estate prices in Australia collapse, and they will, the banks will be lining up for handouts. The Commonwealth Bank was government owned and probably should be again. They are primarily responsible for the over-inflated housing prices and levels of household debts, and the loss of half the assets of several generations of Australian workers.

Nationalise the banks and lower the cost of everyday financial services, instead of girly twirls on the interest rate knob, which just lets the banks gobble up as much as they can in an effort to recover their profits.

The government made a grave error in the 1990's fully privatising the Commonwealth Bank (Commbank). Well that was a great move, in less that a decde the cost of banking went through the roof, interest rates went crazy and greedy banks funded the hype which put us in this position. They had a go and blew it - big time. Nationalise them, reduce banking costs and that will provide a stimulus to the economy. No-one needs to lose a job, they'll just be working for a new boss.

While Kevin Rudd is trying to do his best, he hasn't exactly been surrounded by bright sparks and they all took way too long to wake up to what was going on in the world. The Reserve Bank board should all be sacked, what a bunch of under-performers.

They have done something, but I wouldn't describe it as bold, nor enough.

I'm still very bearish on (Aussie) banks. I think they live in dreamland, and are only lucky that the average Aussie is asleep at the wheel too, but I suspect even they'll be a wake-up very soon.

The rate cut coming today takes Australia back to the 60's as far as rates go, but the gearing is still through the roof and we just don't have the economy to sustain that gearing. When the crunch comes it'll be back to the drawing board for this lot. Even if rates were zero, the outcome would be the same, leaving the government to artificially hold up property prices in an effort to support the banks and all the real-estate investors. That will be the real cause of what is to come. In Australia, real estate investors get tax breaks enabling them to compete with owner occupiers, who get no tax breaks. That and councils and state governments feeding at the real-estate trough has lead to inflated housing prices. It is probably time for the government to start building homes, but that would deflate the existing inflated prices. The government will fail in all attempts unless they address these issues.

One thing I feel is certain, unless home prices fall to realistically supportable levels, we'll see this happening all over again shortly in the future. I have little sympathy for real-estate investors, you win some, you lose some. I have even less sympathy for the banks which have been mismanaged and driven by greed, without any thought for the consequences of their actions.

Until something is done we'll be worse off than a banana republic. You can grow new bananas every season, but if you sell the dirt all you have left is a hole.

I haven't mentioned manufacturing, because it is almost non-existent in Australia, we rode on the back of the sheep and now the only future appears to be in selling the very ground we stand on, but unfortunately even the Chinese aren't buying.

I almost throw up when I hear government and the oh so bright journalists pussy-footing around the word recession. Talk about living in denial. We were in trouble long before the Chinese stopped buying our dirt, and China's boom just delayed the inevitable.

I know I'm not supposed to be negative, but I'd have to have a lobotomy to think otherwise.

I certainly won't join the bulldust hype machine trying to delay the inevitable. It would be idiocy so long as they don't have a real plan.

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