Jump to content
  • Welcome to Whats Up Austraila!

    Intuitive, Social, Engaging...Registration is FREE.
    Register Log in


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Jerry_Atrick last won the day on March 3 2018

Jerry_Atrick had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

228 Excellent

About Jerry_Atrick

  • Rank
    Well-Known Member


  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Outside Australia, it is but a whimpering pussycat... We take Macquarie and NAB seriously; ANZ has a bit of a presence.. but CBA - pfft.. We don't even take their business these days... Having said that, got news today that the part of the bank I an contracted to may be shutting down - so it will be a) back to risk (yuk!), b) back to nuclear (yes!) or c) to the dole queue 😉
  2. As you know, I work in banking.... Mainly investment, but I have done some retail and commercial... The banks couldn't give a rat's khyber pass about customers - borrowers or savers (aka unsecured lenders)... The reality, with low interest rates, they make lower profits as the net margin is lower in absolute terms.. There is an old bankers 3-3-3 rule... "Borrow at three percent, led with a 3 percent margin, at the golf course at 3pm..." In this, the margin is 100%.. So, Say I borrow $100 from you at 3% for a year from a depositor... I lend it at 6% to someone else... My margin is $3. Now, if interest rates go down to 1.5%.. (I intink in the UK they are currently .75% or thereabouts).. If I charge a 100% margin, I am charging borrowers 3%.. I am paying $1.50 and earning $1.50 margin - on the same capital. Yuk.. I don't like that one bit.. Of course, it is more complicated that as a bank uses short term deposits to fund long term debt (called financial intermediation).. They have to hold capital (which is not necessarily cash) to cover expected and a derived unexpected loss. But, banks like deposits ad they call them "cheap and sticky".. They are cheap to buy (we are getting well below wholesale rates for our deposits as a collective) and we tend to leave our deposits there (yes, some people don't,. but in Aus, you sting them, anyway). But the gist is, your margin in absolute terms is a lot lower in low interest times than it is in high interest times.. and that is why the banks hate it and that is why the banks (in Australia) don't pass it on. The banks in most develped worlds do pass it on. Yes, it costs the savers (rarely will you get interest with a current account, and term deposits will nto keep up with inflation). I know there have been a few new entrants into the Aussie banking market (HSBC, ING, etc), but from what I can tell, it is still the big 4 that are benefiting from client interia - in other words laxziness to move. This means, you effectively have a cartel. The US also have a cartel because of their backward laws that protect regional banks. There are a few second tier banks, and they do OK off the coattails of the bigger banks strategic cartel coattails. There are a few cheap mortgage places (can't remember the name of it, but it advertises on TripleM that if your home loan rate doesn't start with a 2, then you aren't with them.. be careful though.. the 2 could be followed by another number before the decimal place ;-)) The reality is Australia simply doesn't have the competition - so much so, that in my second last institution, they specialised at riaisng Aussie debt in the UK - even with the FX risk, large AA Aussie institutions were prepared to pay to take that risk away and take the debt markets here as, all in, it is cheaper than raising debt in Australia. Anyway, now you know the real reason Aussie banks don't want to drop their rates. Ol' josh is correct to order an inquiry... This article is complete BS... Yes.. depositors do suffer with low interest rates - but if a single bank was left standing while all the other dropped their rates, they would be broke fairly quickly - they would be paying depositors top dollar while those same depositors would have their home loans wth other banks at a lower rate... For the deposits that the other banks are missing out on - well, there is enough wholesale money to pick up the slack and since they can't get retail rates, they will happily fund home loans.... https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/bank-inquiry-ignores-depositors-as-westpac-warns-rates-could-go-higher-20191014-p530ie.html
  3. Aren't they known as commodity derivatives? 😉
  4. @facthunter, I am not saying BJ didn't say he wanted to bring back imperial measurements; all I am saying is that I hadn't heard it - at least from the referndum campaign onwards - and I would have thought it would be big news if he did say it. @Methusala, while Murdoch news establishmnents are probably pro-Brexit, they aren't the only gig in town (here) and almost all of the others are pro-Remain. However, I take the point - the carp that Murdoch spits out is probably consumed by the bulk of the Brexit voting public... But given the result, not by that much
  5. I certainly haven't heard that and a quick google search doesn't yield anything that indicates that. FWIW, when I arrived here in '96, I went to a butcher and asked for 2 x 200g pieces of Scotch Fillet.. He berated me for not eating English Fillet (at which point I said where I come from, it is known as Scotch - the meat is actually Aussie) and then he had to look up a conversion chart to work out how many ounces it was.. There are a few crusty old folk who would love the return of imperial measurement, but I can't even recall it as a topic of conversation in the last 3.5 years. Well, it looks like he has got at least Varadkar to agree a pathway to a deal... Actually, despite his public buffoonery, he is seen as quite intelligent. Borat isn't too bad either.. I believe he is worth quite a bit of money... Looks like Boris is on the way to doing an acceptable deal. In answer to your first question - not really. If you think Aussies think low of their pollies, you should see the general public sentiment here. My son, an ardent (17 year old) remainer nad his generation rightfully believe that demicracy in the UK is a facade. In reality, there is no alternative here.. all snouts dug into the trough heavily exposed.
  6. A Belgium minister gave me my most favoured quote: "When they were in, theu wanted to opt out; Now they are coming out, they want to opt in". Britain was able to derogate from man rules that were deemed collateral due to its size (it is the second biggest economy in the bloc). But I have to applaud the Europeans who almost stick to their principles.. When Cameron went to the EU asking for concessions on the free movement of people, it was swiftly rejected. It is one of the 4 freedoms which is designed to sopt Europe going to war with itself again. It works well.. In their position, I would have said take a hike, too.. Joining the Euro was mandatory for those home states whose constitutions allowed it or where it was settled constitutionally. Famously, the Irish government sent the voters back to the referendum polls until they voted yes... FWIW, and only anecdotally, France has ignored European regs and directives when it has deemed fit and hasn never suffered much of a consequence. They don't formally derigate, liek Britain does... they just ignore. Britain's problem is it is too polite and follows the rules. France's "derogations" rarely become a formal statistic. I took the time to read the Good Friday Agreement. It is very explicit in that, when Northern and the Republic of Ireland together deem themselves ready to form a union, it will be done and Northern Ireland will no longer be a province/state of the United Kingdom. In all honesty, from who I know in London and Somerset, no one would care... Of Scotland, not too many people, except the Scots making more money in London financial services than they ever could in Edinburgh, most people seem indifferent as, apparently (though I have not confirmed it), the real claim to the North Sea Oil/Gas royalties lies the with Shetland Islands, and apparently they are staunchly aligned with England and have (again apparently dsaid) they will break away from Scotland and stay in England (and Wales).. A sort of British Alaska... I do not at all attest to the accuracy of that... I can't speak for the individual corporations involved, but I would say this is a story from a pro-EU publications (and most are; especially the financial press and the finalncial sections of th press). In 2005, when I forst got into this caper of financial services (unf, in projects and not the actual money makers), I was working for a firm in Melbourne that was actively trading European stocks over the counter (i.e. not in any of the exchanges). My penultimate engagement was a Japanese bank and they actively were trading in European stocks over the counter (OTC - i.e. not on exchange). The bank currently engaging my services uses US based firms to trade stocks OTC. I don't want to go into the technical details, but all of these are trading venues; i.e they are effectively exchanges in their own right. Acquis is a listed exchange; Turqouise is owned by the LSE and CBE is the Chicago Board of Exchange). They are locating their because of a regulation called MiFID II which will make it easier to obtain what is called passporting rights than a branch of a foreign firm. To give you and idea, SMBC (Sino something bank of China) also have a registered business in Frankfurt and a German Banking licence. All their trading is done from London and will be. I have to admit - this really is a project fear quote... We had a discussion with the economists at work today. It went something like this: Economists: Well, you know, why would we want to leave a bloc that has the 4th largest economy. And, we are dependent on them as they have a large trading suprlus with us... Traders (I am not a trader, but happened to ba around when they were having the discussion): Yeah, but if we stop buying form them abd get our goods fro somewhere else, then how much will that impact them? Economists: Shrugged shoulders (Gallic shrugs at that) I don't understand why Aussies are for the UK staying in the EU... One of the countries the UK are looking to fill the free trade deal void with is Australia. Abbot was out here plugging it (wonder if he found a buyer for coal) and the Aussie High Commissioner is plugging everything from Aussie agriculture to used Holdens... I had to give this one a winner.. I didn't know whether to like it or give it a funny... Spacey - best yet! OK... to the EU.. We have to remember... It is a supranational institution, but at the end of the day, it is a trade deal. Of course, it has a lot more attached to it.. And the notion is manifestly profound. But there are so many issues with it, structurally, that it is at best, a sword for the main participants. I would nornally agree with the Greek bloke that it is best to be in it to change it, however, even if feebly, Britain tried, failed and it is now (supposedly) coming out. As I said before, I agree with the EU's decision not to allow Britain to derogate on this critical freedom. But they allow other countries to simply ignore EU laws - if they are powerful enought. The bureaucracy and inertia, with having to get 28 member states all with their own agendas to agree, even as as qualified majority, is nigh on impossible to achieve reform. Britain coming out has shaken the EU to its core.. Juncker, et al have gone on publoc record that it has to take a more flexible and less bureacratic approach.. Of course, being who they are, they can't, but Le Garde (or whatever her name takes over) and hopefully, it will heald a new era - maybe good enough for the UK to rethink it's position - who knows (although as i am on a N reg aircraft, any local reg problems largely don't impact me...)... The current institution is well overdue for an overhaul. It has piecemeal develped since the 50s, where it was concocted for a very different world. It is almost like, they have to scrap it in its current form; take the still relevant and good stuff forward and augment it with more relevant and good stuff. Here are a few of my observations: If you want to have a union based on market integration, it has to be all or nothing. At the moment, the integration is supposedly the free movement of goods, services and labour. However, to make it fair given the tight integration, it has to be level. Some of the problems they have are; different coproations law per country, different contact law per country, different taxes per country (Luxembourg is a low tax regime they continue to allow!!!), etc. These all have to be harmonised/the same in order for an supranational trade agreement (aka economy) to work. In fact, taxes should be collected centrally and dolled out to the countries on a proprortional basis after the deductions for the EU costs are taken. Then countries could spend on their domestic issues as they wish. Without a level playing field, many will be justifiably aggreieved. Sure, subsidise those states that are economically worse off to get them to a level playing field but that is what happens today.. Of course, if one centralises the tax take, then problems like Greece have almost are fixed overnight. Your country breaks the rules , they pay the price. This is more easily enforced if the above is taken. Simply, when redistributing the tax take, deduct the fines. Simples. Learn to communicate.. The EU has done a lot of good and much of the bad press is actually poor implementation of EU rules by the particular country. Of course, if the EU decided to scrap directives and recommendations and just dod regulations, then there would be no scope for regulatory arbitrage. There no doubt are more, but the point is, it needs an overhaul and unf. it takes a shock like Brexit to even stand a chance.
  7. Italy is bending against the EU. The newer entrant countries are all for it as they have benefited economically and to some degree, socially. Although the refugee crisis stretched some of their thoughts on the EU. Poland and I think Hungary, have had very public tussles of incompatibility with the EU and their laws. Ireland love the EU. Germany and France effectively control trh EU and France ol;y really opt in when they like it (OK - I may be being a little cynical with that - but they decided they didn't like EASAs approach to cost sharing, so they slapped on their own rules that are tsupposed to be time limited to give them a chance to appeal to the EU to have the rule changed - when they lost that appeal - they kept the rule slapped on).. In all honesty, the only poll I will believe about whether a country wants to stay in or come out of the EU is the poll where the people are formally asked in an election. I have heard/seen polls ranging from 35% wish to leave to 55%.. I think the truth lay somewhere in between...
  8. Maybe a little "unbiased"* reporting form the ground.. Firstly - the only people who really like BJ are the same types that really like Trump... And thankfully, they are a minority (albeit larger than most predicted in the UK. However. as unpopulare and buffooned as he is portrayed in the media, there is little doubt he is a clever oeprator.. And there is little doubt he would get in should an election be held. He wants an election because it would a) give him 5 years as PM and b) give him the mandate to get Brexit done. So, let's look at a couple of the assertions here: He wasn't elected by the people. I love this one. He was.. I hate to say.. Because, as with Australia, one votes for their local MP, not the leader. Of course, in practical terms, one is voting for either the leader or the political party; rarely for the MP. However, at the end of the day, it is the team that can command the majority of the house (not necessarily have the majority).. That means, as with Australia, the team that commands the majority can change their leader and therefore the PM. Australia has done it as well (I think Rudd was ousted by the ALP of late, certainly Keating's first tenure as PM was after stabbing Hawke in the back - and he didn't just operate a caretaker government until Hews unceromoniously threw himself under a bus by doing the same thing that Theresa May did.. promise a brand new tax. I feel Boris will be elected for the sole purpose of getting the UK out oif the election. Once that is over and done with, he will be in shaky ground. It beggars belief that people are willing to turn a blind eye to some of his antics which are becoming very public - but the public are willing to do anything now to get out of the EU.. even many but the mist ardent remainers are going that way (yes, there are Brexit voters who want the thing reversed too).. People are sick of it. And people are realising it will not be the armageddon it was originally portrayed as (Even Carney - the Bank of England Governor has said their previpus forecasts overstated the forecast effects). This uncertainty is killing the economy and while one side claims businesses are not ready yet (they have had 3.5 years) and the other side claims they are, the companies I have worked for an know people who have worked for have all planned for a no deal Brexit from Day 1. For some industries, this is hard as it would be a massive infrastructure investment to handle disrupted supply chains, but the inability to plan for the future is the problem - the option takne itself is not a bid deal to them anymore. The proroguing of parliament being illegal - I agree that BJ was doing this to circumvent the operation of democracy, as after all, parliament is what in theUK is defined as the vehicle of democracy. UK democracy, like Australia, operates a representative democracy; i.e. it is parliament that determines through its vote, the laws of the land and largely how things are goverened. However, unlike Australia, which has a constitution, the UK operates under the doctrine of Palrliamentary Sovereignty with residual royal perogative powers of the soverign exercised by the government. One of those sovereign powers is prorouging parliament. I don't disagree that BJ had in mind muting parliament so he could get Brexit through.. we have to put tis into context. An excellent article by a radio presenter/journalist, albeit one who voted Brexit but seems to have moderate views is this one: https://www.iaindale.com/articles/calm-down-calm-down-prorogation-is-not-the-end-of-democracy-as-we-know-it. Interetingly, it is common to prorouge this time of year and BJ's prorougation was for a week longer than normal (depending on who you speak to). However, the Supreme court ruled it was illegal, anf their judgment seems reasonable to me in that under the Bill of Rights (1685 or thereabouts) parliament did not ascent to it. However, there are two things that have been questioned by lawyers resulting from this case.. Firstly, the Supreme Court itself, as the highest court is not served by the highest judges of the land, apparently. I read somewhere that as an institution, the High Court has the most senior judges of the land and the Supreme Court has senior judges mainly from the family court.. I am not sure how true that is. But the Lord Cheif Justice and the Master of the Rolls are the highest judges and don't sit on it (and btw, they found it lawful). This, admittedly, may have an element of conspiracy theory. However, they raise another point and that is, it is clearly a royal perogative and that the queen herself signed it. Now, the queen assents to many things and as pointed out, by convention, signs. This includes Royal assent to Aussie acts of palriament (well, she has delegated this to her governors and governor generals.. and she is acting as the Quee n of Australia, but you get my drift). Under constutional law, the courts have no more power to inquire into the legality of the use of the royal perogative than they do an act of parliament... and many lawyers, even in Scotland, are questioning the validity of the judgement.. Of course, those same lawyers are hailing it as a victory for democracy, as I am.. Whichever, the PM is subject to the law and what was found was he exceeded it. We have to accept this or society breaks down. We also have to remember that democracy is representative.. and in that, parliamentarians vote on various laws to determine how the country is governed.. but in a representative democracy, this should be about acting on behalf of the will of the people and not frustrating it. Brexit has been expressly shown to be something the people want.. although by a small majority. It is encument on parliament to deliver Brexit. In the referendum, it was in or out.. no conditions, no guarantees, no "deals". When I looked at the ballot paper, one of my thoughts was if the exit vote gets up, it is in the hands of the pollies.. people will have to be trusting. I don't think the desire of the people has changed much since. People may have voted for something out of protest, out of spite, out of ideology or out of being able to profit from it. However, they did without coercion.. and the worry is democracy is not being delivered. Also, who are Bojos competitors? Jeremy Corbyn is an outright commie loony who fraternises with terrorists.. In fact, my partner has agreed if he gets in, we are Aussie bound. Swinson - absolutely defiant of democracy.. and the Brexit party - Farage? Yuk! Watch this space..
  9. Nevertheless, I would expect the minister to fully avail themselves of all the consequences of their decision through various sources (I don't rely soloely on my staff to tell me what is going on or what the ramifications are).. That is why they are paid the big bucks - allegedly why... In addition, they hold themselves out as being competent to take on that responsibility - if they turn out not to be, then they can't expect to take all the spoils that comes with it. Also, I am not talking about every day stuff ups.. When I said, " makes such an incompetent or advertently bad decision such that there were no other plausible outcome apart from one that doesn't provide benefit; or one that disadvantages the community" I meant seriously incompetent such that, with a modicum of assessing what was happening, the poor outcome is as plain as the nose on their face... And they have not publicly declared the issue... Not including royalties or at least addressing them in some form (e.g. they will be decided at a future date based in some objective criteria that would contrain negoitations rather than challenge the legality of post-approval imposition) would fall into that basket.. It is well known and ought to be in the competence on any minister who is in charge, no matter how short of period of time they were in charge for, that the reveue offices of the respective level of government typically receive compensation in the form of royalties from moning activity... However, if for example, Adani agreed to some other form of minimum participation - e.g. minimum number of jobs, or funding of local community facilities, etc. well, that would be mitigating dependent on the quantum of the contribution from Adani v the expected gross royalties expected... I am being hypothetical in terms of Adani as I don't know the ins and outs of their deal, but as a general principle, it would seem not an affront to have such a law... The definition of such a law has to be tight enough to not allow it to creep into every day stuff ups...
  10. I think its time for a "dereliction of public duty" offence where, if someone in a controlling position in government makes such an incompetent or advertently bad decision such that there were no other plausible outcome apart from one that doesn't provide benefit; or one that disadvantages the community, then those responsible are immediately expelled from parliament and surrender every right and benefit (e.g. pension, etc) related to their parliamentary position (Maybe with the exception of security as they will need it). Once they stand a chance to really be held accuontable for their decisions or watch, things will change pretty quickly. At the moment, they can leave in disgraced complete with their ill-gotten gains.. What incentive is that to do the best by the community. Of course, there is a bit of work to do to ensure that it is an objective and stated measure (e.g. if a platform/manifesto is to do something stupid and people still elect them, well, they would be held in dereliction if they did not do it (or those willfully blocking it would be held liable under the same law). A defence would be where they have fully and publicly declared the reasonably foreseeable outcomes or lack thereof.. if the public acquiesces, well that would then be OK. Imagine if the QLD gov't declared they were giving permission, subsidising everything (i.e. providing an investment in the project) and not taking a return.. Maybe public opinion, apart from those set to immediately profit from the mine, would have been different.. or at least more intense.
  • Create New...