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triage
Posted on: Jul 8 2019, 08:24 PM


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Geez J, I watched a couple overs when Healy straight drove three or four times in a row. She looks a lot like her uncle but those shots were pure Greg Chappell. I remember seeing some games on the teeve a few years ago and most of the players were struggling to hit the ball to the boundary but the timing of some of the stroke play on display last night was just fantastic.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jul 4 2019, 06:36 PM


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Not really apparently. EV's have something like 20 or so breakable moving parts - how often do you service your fridge? Even regarding all the computers and software apparently Tesla can do most of it remotely. That may be somewhat simplistic but one of the big investment banks has predicted that more than 50% of car dealerships in the US will close down in the next few years (and the big money in them currently is not in selling vehicles but in servicing them).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 29 2019, 09:47 PM


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nip - as was pointed out on macrobusiness this would be more of a Bear Stearns moment than a Lehman moment. Just as the US government bailed out Bear Stearns the Chinese have bailed out Baoshang Bank. The Lehman moment broke the dam wall because the authorities refused to bail them out causing a massive systemic shock.

I like how they said that Baoshang Bank had been reporting non-performing loans at only 2% until the muck hit the fan.


Anecdote time: Many years ago I had a meeting with the boss of a second tier Chinese financial entity who insisted that they had absolutely no non-performing loans. Knowing that his firm was based in a part of China that just had a real estate bust I quizzed him on the claim but he refused to budge. Afterwards one of the locals explained to me that if the financial entity did not insist that borrowers pay them back then the loans would not be classed as non-performing even if no repayments had been made. Moreover the rumour was that this financial entity had close working relationships with associates of the PLA and the provincial government so it had virtually an unlimited source of funds (from the provincial government) and had no wish to offend the PLA associates by asking them to repay the loans. No doubt China has tightened up a lot since then but I suspect that a lot of these financial entities would fold the moment various Chinese governments withheld their backing for them.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 29 2019, 08:04 AM


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Toyota also seems to be leaning towards hybrids over EVs but are of course covering all bases. I see it got to over 45 degrees celsius in France overnight. A bit of hot weather and Trumpy playing chicken with the Iranians in the Straits of Hormuz might tilt the argument away from ICE vehicles perhaps.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 20 2019, 07:02 PM


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A very impressive ASX announcement I have to say. Keen to see what the yanks and Europeans make of it overnight. I am always cautious of the spin that the corporate spruikers put on such developments so am interested in what the UQ researcher reports to a microbiology conference next Monday in the US.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jun 18 2019, 08:59 PM


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Really poor timing by Ramelius to have come out with a mediocre update.

They reduced expected FY20 production from 230k to 250k ounces to just shy of 215k and they quantified that Explaurum had done a Gascoyne with the Tampia project (only with rose coloured glasses was either Gascoyne's Dalgaranga project or Explaurum's Tampia project a real show). The market seems to be forgetting that Ramelius bought Tampia using very conservative resource figures, not the pie in the sky figures that Explaurum had been using. But anything tainted with the overstatement of resources at the moment is getting hammered.


I think it will take Ramelius to remind the market that they are extremely good mine managers before it forgives them. That and some decent drill results.
Such is life.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jun 16 2019, 10:23 PM


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Good point nip. Back in 1989 it was the visit by Gorbachev of the USSR to Beijing in mid May that caused the Chinese leadership to play nice for a while. They even kept Zhao Ziyang on as General Secretary of the Communist Party for Gorbachev's visit but within days he had been effectively purged and it had been decided to impose martial law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Sino-Soviet_Summit
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 13 2019, 08:24 AM


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A good visualisation of why attempting to predict future events based on recent events can be a mug's game.


The way I read that graphic is not a single analyst was within a bull's roar of getting the end of June yield right and that the article also seems to make a false assumption that by the end of December some of those analyst predictions will not end up close to the mark. It may well be that yields recover from here (?).


Actually there is one analyst who totally broke from the pack but guessed the wrong way (if they'd got lucky and guessed the right way they'd be able to live off that lucky pick for years to come as the only analyst who got the yield call right in 2019).

https://ritholtz.com/2019/06/surprise-treasury-yield/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 7 2019, 12:42 PM


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Phillip Soos is an independent economist and commentator. I watched a recent interview of him where he claimed that the the "debt accelerator" (annual change in the amount of mortgage debt) and the sales to new listings ratios are the two most reliable leading indicators he knows of for house prices, with about a 6 to 9 month lag. He said that even after the election those two metrics were indicating not only a continued fall in property prices but that the falls would begin to accelerate.

He appears to be of similar thinking to Steve Keen and also often refers to the analytical work of Martin North so it may be that he resides in the housing bears echo chamber. Martin North keeps pointing to what happened in Ireland in 2008 as the best guide for what may well happen in Australia in coming months (though as John Hempton points out, Ireland was tied to the euro whereas Australia has the free floating AUD which normally acts as a cushion for the domestic economy).

On the other hand the two main bloggers at macrobusiness, David Llewellyn-Smith and Leith van Onselen, have recently done pretty much a 180 degree turn by saying that now is the time for owner occupiers to buy as there is a new but weak cycle forming (something to do with housing not being about economic fundamentals but more to do with political economics and if the powers-that-be want the housing market to recover then it will).

But back to the hard grind of reality I just saw that a very average 4 bed house with no usable garage and only one bathroom in an average Canberra suburb sold at auction the other day for $706k. That is just silly.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 5 2019, 12:36 PM


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Just a follow up ....

... I see Dacian made an ASX announcement this morning and it was much, much more than just a production update. Basically the wheels are falling off and they've put a for sale sign up for the company. Is now off its lows for the day but still down about 60% on the price it was when it went into a trading halt a couple of days ago (and that was already about 40% off its highs).

I feel sorry for the mum and dad investors that got suckered by what appears to may have been a series of less-than-frank company updates in recent months. Gold is a major industry in Australia and this company was not a small speccy so it is quite possible some investors thought they may have been playing safe by investing in Dacian (as usual the regulators will do nothing: it seems in Australia these days the only way the ordinary people get looked after is if an ambulance chaser sees enough bounty to justify a class action). On the other hand I'm relieved I've dodged this particular bullet.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 5 2019, 07:45 AM


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smile.gif
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 4 2019, 08:02 PM


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Mick - another local goldy that could be going against the rising tide created by the high AUD gold price is Dacian Gold (DCN). I've been cramming this evening as to what is going on with it but apparently last quarter it downgraded its production estimate and guidance going forward and then yesterday it went into a trading halt as it prepared another production update. I'm not sure I can remember seeing a company take two full days to crunch the numbers for a production update other than when things are falling apart and they need to totally re-consider all their assumptions ie the update which may come out tomorrow will likely be a fair bit more than just a production update (??).

It does not appear to be the basket case that Gascoyne and Blackham are in that it still has a market cap of over $300m. However the DCN share price has crashed something like 40% in recent times on the basis that it seems that they are not finding the amount and grade of gold their modelling suggested they would find. Interesting side story is that co-incidentally the geologist who was the competent person in the modelling of Gascoyne's mine which is not producing the gold that was thought to be there was also the competent person for the modelling of Dacian's mine which apparently is also not producing the gold that was thought to be be there. How unlucky?
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 4 2019, 04:35 PM


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Well Gascoyne (GCY) hasn't, earlier this week they called in the administrators a month after they did a cap raising of about $25m. CBA is is owed heaps, I think the total debt outstanding is about $100m. Strangely enough the administrator has said it will keep the mine operating even though the company said they are going backwards with every ounce extracted.

And Blackham (BLK) is one sick puppy as well. Still operating and still mining but has the look of a zombie.

If these outfits can't make a quid with Aussie gold at record prices well I'm not sure there is much hope for them. Maybe AUD at 60 cents might do the trick?

On the other hand miners like Ramelius (RMS) and Silver Lake (SLR) with several operating camps, with no debt and each pulling in about $25m in free cash each quarter should, I would think, be solid performers.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 2 2019, 01:05 PM


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Is that the one in Bangkok? You jetsetter you. rolleyes.gif


Capital Appreciation, who apparently is a bit of legend in ACT real estate blogging, mentioned on macrobusiness that he went to an auction in Narrabundah yesterday. The place sold for $895k late last year and all they got yesterday was crickets from the crowd, so it was passed in at $900k (taking into account costs these people are looking at a chunky loss).

https://www.allhomes.com.au/sale/11-warramo...berra-176697316

Someone else pointed out that the number of confirmed sales in Sydney yesterday was about the same as for the corresponding weekend last year and about half that of the corresponding weekend in 2017. Sydney and Melbourne have been deflating for about 20 months straight now, and that predates the royal commission and any effect of the ALP's election platform. Perhaps we will see a dead cat bounce in the big cities but given the coalition has undertaken to cut another $1.5b from the public service maybe Canberra will flatline at best (???).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jun 2 2019, 10:21 AM


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This is probably good news for Botanix (BOT not BOX) which is working through the formal processes of getting several of its trial products approved by the US FDA.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/201...cannabis-weekly

Botanix uses synthetically produced CBD which means it is using a pure substance, unlike CBD produced from plants which contains varying amounts of CBD and impurities. And it already has two products in phase 2 trials, for severe acne and atopic dermatitis, and one for psoriasis in an early stage safety trial, which if they survive the trials will allow Botanix to seek FDA approval. Pressure for the FDA to go easy on CBD products will be alleviated if it can show that it is working with companies to produce CBD based products that have been proven to meet its standards.

What also separates Botanix products from over-the-counter type products is that the delivery system Botanix uses is able to deliver much higher amounts of CBD under the skin than other products that have been tested.

Anyway, Botanix is late delivering the results from a couple of trials which is rarely a good sign. So it may go the way that most of these pharma start ups go...
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 29 2019, 07:25 PM


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nip - I don't follow Galaxy but from what I gather they announced they are doing a buy-back and also that they are going to build a downstream processing operation in China. Re the first one, that's pretty weird if you ask me, I would have thought the company would do far better putting every dollar it has into expanding its operations. Buy backs are for companies and sectors far more matured than Galaxy and lithium (???).

And re the second one, it is one thing to swim with the sharks, it is another thing entirely to stick your head in a shark's mouth. I know a number of the WA spodumene (?) miners have done sales and equity deals with Chinese firms and that all seems to be okay. But, if, as it seems, China views lithium production in the same strategic way it sees rare earth production, then it is crazy-brave in my view for Galaxy to be injecting capital into a processing plant in China.

There is more talk, there is always talk, on hc that Pilbara (PLS) is about to announce the jv with the South Korean, Posco, which will mean it is also going downstream but in South Korea. I note that Pilbara does have a couple of Chinese entities on its registry and marketing its product.

Also, Orocobre recently posted a photo of a couple of its executives meeting with a Chilean official. Orocobre is a bit exposed in that both of its projects are on the same salt lake in Argentina. I would guess both Orocobre and its Japanese backers would be concerned about the concentrated location and country risk in the current set-up. It would make sense were they to diversify by acquiring and developing a lithium brine operation in Chile (but no talk of that yet).
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 28 2019, 12:55 PM


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What? Forget about the pathetic battery hen, why no mention of the rise of that all conquering, all devouring Australian Bin Chicken?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4dYWhkSbTU
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 24 2019, 07:37 AM


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nip - I listened to his interview on the Swagman podcast and in that interview he was very specific he was talking about Sydney markets, and more so the north western suburbs. He was asked what he thought about the Melbourne market and he said he had no opinion. The metric he was using was loan size over household income. He said that initially he was told by bankers that the maximum they would lend was 6.8 times household income but when he made enquiries of some mortgage brokers they were able to offer bank loans at over 10 times his stated household income. Hempton said he had no idea what percentage of mortgage loans in the Sydney market was above the 6.8 times banks themselves advised were the maximum. He said if only 5% of bank loans were over the maximum then no big deal but if it were 30% or 50% then that could trigger a major economic recession.

I thought the biggest statement Hempton made in that interview was his belief that the RBA will not defend the AUD and that so in an economic downturn it will be the AUD that crashes to buffer the rest of the economy from much of the pain.

My understanding is that whilst Hempton and his hedge fund is based in Sydney both his clients and his investments are mainly in the US and Europe. Anyway if you think he's a doomster then go for it, I have no particular dog in that fight.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 23 2019, 05:32 PM


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eb - thanks for that. There is a park called Jingshan Park which is immediately north of the forbidden city in Beijing where on weekends crowds of people go to either ballroom dance (or some other form of group exercise) or to sing patriotic songs. Mostly the people who knew all the old revolutionary songs were the older generation but there would always be a smattering of younger people as well. Made for an enjoyable outing.

Also I remember the time when China played Japan at the main soccer stadium in Beijing and over 50,000 beiren began chanting "kill the japanese". The Japanese team had to get extra protection to get out of the stadium unharmed. I have little doubt that the Chinese populace will fall totally in line with the authorities as soon as there is any preceived external challenge. When stirred China can out-North Korea North Korea. I would not want to be an expat living in China should Trumpy attempt to humiliate China. (sorry, wrong thread).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 22 2019, 12:16 PM


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He didn't call a crash. From what I can see he said that in the worst case scenario prices would drop x% and the AUD would drop y%. He also provided another scenario, one that he thinks more likely, where the outcomes would be far less dire.

The differences from Steve Keen and John Hempton is that Keen is an academic and Hempton is a money manager and that Keen spoke in absolutes and Hempton appears to be speaking in probabilities. Hempton would be crazy (and broke) if he did not look at all scenarios and to be ready to adjust depending on which scenario plays out.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 16 2019, 08:26 AM


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Another big US thermal coal producer goes broke, forced out by cheaper, cleaner alternatives.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technol...for-bankruptcy/

The difference is that in the US gas is accepted as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to thermal coal whereas in Australia it is not.

(also the url misspeaks by saying the company is the third largest US coal producer when in the article the company is identified as being the fourth biggest).
  Forum: Macro Factors

triage
Posted on: May 15 2019, 11:52 AM


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This should make your blood boil. How the hell are we having to import gas??? Why do we let big companies get away with avoiding paying tax??? And in what world does it make sense that Australia, which is one of the biggest exporters of gas, end up paying more for its retail gas than customers in east Asia???


From Michael West, one of the last investigative journalists left in Australia (and hat/tip to jelmech@bigpond.com)


https://www.michaelwest.com.au/gas-deal-a-m...-and-singapore/
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 8 2019, 08:57 PM


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Tis a poor tradesman that blames his tools ... also, this decision seems to confirm that Telstra is the only silver-back allowed in this patch of the forest.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 7 2019, 05:44 PM


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Didn't stop them in 2007 or 2013 though (both instances saw a change in government). It's as much a political decision not to cut the rates now as to go ahead and do it, certainly Josh Friedburger is playing it up as a sign the current government is on top of things. The RBA was in a no win situation today but they will cop some flack if they drop the rates in June and then again soon after.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: May 7 2019, 02:24 PM


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Mick - I was thinking the same thing. I've known a couple of wallopers who've worked in a PM's protection unit. I would think the bloke on duty will cop some stick from his mates and perhaps a bit more from his boss. The young lass with the egg looks harmless enough and generally we expect our bodyguards to be a bit more discreet than say the yanks. But still, that's a breach.

(also my "shocking!" was not my reaction but more a weak attempt at a play on the journo using "unphased" [as in electricity] in place of "unfazed").
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 7 2019, 12:15 PM


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"He appeared unphased in the minutes after the incident..."

Shocking!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-07/scot...-trail/11087174

The protestor probably used an organic free range egg, if she'd only used a cheap cage egg the eggshell would not have been so hard to crack.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 7 2019, 10:24 AM


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Mick - the advantage of using one of the big accounting firms is that they will give you the conclusion and recommendations you paid for.


The obscene amount of fees paid by government to the major consulting/accounting firms is one of the great conjobs of our history. For starters, how the hell does Defence not have inhouse expertise on something as basically important as aircraft maintenance. And even if they do not, as you say surely there are actual experts in engineering and the like that service the aircraft industry.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 5 2019, 08:04 AM


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Kyle Bass was one of a group of analysts on China that I used to regularly listen to. I've not seen or read anything by him for years but my memory was that he made some couregous predictions which did not quite come to pass and he lost his standing somewhat. Anyway I've stumbled across this recent presentation by him in which he sort of comes across as a USA USA MAGA sort of spruiker rather than a rational analyst.

Interesting what he says about Hong Kong - it has been defying the odds pretty much for as long as I've had anything to do with it. I agree it is overextended in all sorts of ways but then again that has been the case for decades. Who is to say that now is the time it will all crash and burn. From a personal angle it would be not the worst thing to happen if HK hit a (small) wall as I know a few HKers who think that they are invincible as investors and who could do with an ego check (imo).

Also interesting how he is keen for Trumpy not to sign a trade agreement with China but rather wait them out for another six months until they have no choice but to submit, along the lines of the USSR collapsing. Again, I suspect that that is too simplistic a take on things because there is nothing to suggest that the Chinese Communist Party has reached a similar place to the Soviets under Gorbachev. China effectively stood by the US during the GFC and if they think that the US is successfully destabilising them now then there will be repercussions. But anyway USA USA MAGA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFHblUtKOhw
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: May 4 2019, 02:38 PM


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Yeah, fair point, I was not aware that there was so much promised action in WA.

But $600m? The Orocobre LiOH plant to be built in Japan has a US$91m price tag. The Kidman plant might just be intended to have a much higher production rate but also Orocobre will be feeding 99% pure lithium carbonate into its LiOH plant whereas I think the hard rockers' product is about 6% pure which may require much more processing to get to LiOH.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 3 2019, 11:47 AM


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From the ABC about Adani hitting a hurdle on how it will look after a native finch at its proposed coal mine.

"Last night, the proposed coal mine was dealt a massive blow when the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) rejected Adani's current management plan for the southern black-throated finch. It told the Indian miner ..."

In the ACT there is an active trapping and killing campaign for the introduced bird pest, the Indian Myna. It seems like the Indian Miner is being as much of a pest for both major political parties and apparently for a native finch as the Indian Myna is for native birds in general.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: May 2 2019, 02:15 PM


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Not up to speed on the hard rock lithium players but just on the chemical processing idea Orocobre is working with Toyota Tsusho - a trading firm in the Toyota stable - to build a LiOH processing plant in Japan (near the crippled nuclear powerstation) and Pilbara Minerals seems to be looking to build a LiOH plant by way of a JV with POSCO in Korea.

Both LiOH plants are being built amongst clusters of businesses working on battery production. Orocobre's plant, which they will hold 75% of but only need to put in US$6.8m (total cost is about US$91m and most of it is borrowed at mate's rates of less than 1% interest), will be built near a cathode manufacturer and there is a planned battery factory there as well (I'm guessing it may involve the JV between Panasonic and Toyota that was recently formed to build a series of battery factories).

I'm a great fan of Michael Porter's theory on clustering of related businesses giving a competitive advantage. Were Kidman to build a LiOH plant in WA it would stick out like a shag on a rock. Australia has no car industry, we forfeited our advantage in solar panels, and Perth is a long way from even the east coast research and development clusters. I don't know enough about Westfarmers as to whether they have much inhouse expertise with lithium processing. But I would think that SQM, a lithium big-hitter, would want to play safe with locating any LiOH plant near existing clusters of excellence. But I could be way off track here ...
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Apr 30 2019, 12:45 PM


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This is not a river in Eygpt ... I read some analyst saying that a contracting housing market will not impact employment in the sector because Australia has a long term shortage of construction workers. But if a quarter of new home buyers are not going ahead with building surely that means that the demand of work building new homes will be cut by about the same proportion. I suppose not all alotment sales were going to new home buyers as apparently amongst the uber crowd people were leveraging up to the max to sit on numerous blocks in the expectation that prices would keep spiralling upwards.

From memory the construction sector employs about 9% of Australian workers so ...
(great link eb, thanks muchly).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Apr 26 2019, 04:38 PM


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Tesla's demise is like Brexit concluding, is like Trumpy finally going too far, is like China hitting the wall, is like the housing market having a major correction, is like a couple of my stocks becoming fairly priced, is like ... always about to happen, never seems to happen, we live in an era where there are no consequences. rolleyes.gif
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Apr 14 2019, 04:07 PM


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Yeah I started using it after some poster kept calling me a sheeple just because I did not agree with his batshit crazy conspiracy theories. Hence, Shawn. Sharescene is not quite the barroom brawl it used to be but I've grown fond of the picture.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Apr 11 2019, 02:05 PM


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Well someone found it exciting.

https://imgur.com/gallery/eN6LVFM

Just think: in ten years time people will look at that page and marvel at how bulky the storage units required were not at how many petabytes it took.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Apr 11 2019, 10:26 AM


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Yes hardly worth the 55 million year wait is it. Certainly less momentous than the broadcast of the final series of Game of Thrones, which we know is already finished being filmed and is in the can... rolleyes.gif . The space geeks seem pretty excited by the photo but I suspect most ignoramuses like moi will just go, meh, and move onto the sports pages.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Apr 3 2019, 12:58 PM


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alonso - does sound like you're not a seasoned shopper. Both Woolies and Coles work on weekly cycles starting each Wednesday. If you stick to buying special deals from them and do a bit of stockpiling the Coles/Woolies portion of your grocery bills can be reduced by 40 or 50%. Lots of people shop on Wednesdays for that reason (Aldi also puts specials out on Wednesdays and Saturdays). Then you have the pensioners and other welfare recipients (and public servants?) that get their money on a Thursday and of course the double income families have little choice but to shop on weekends. Tuesdays are at the end of that cycle so yeah the supermarkets can go a tad quiet. (I've never actually seen stats to back all this up but generally speaking Tuesdays are the quiet day in retail). rolleyes.gif
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Mar 28 2019, 12:07 PM


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Well the WA Supreme Court has okayed the schemes agreed to by Doray shareholders so the merger deal between Doray and Silver Lake should be done and dusted by 8 April (in time for Brexit! rolleyes.gif ). Don't know what the shorters are seeing, hopefully they do their dough. I've read all the arguments about shorters providing liquidity and such but much of the time I think they are parasites whose MO is to "short and distort" (as that article that blacksheep posted described it).
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Mar 27 2019, 07:37 PM


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It must be something else as the scheme has already been approved by Doray shareholders and pretty much all that is left to complete the merger is for the WA supreme court to okay it first thing tomorrow morning. Perhaps there is a view that Doray is getting the better of the deal than Silver Lake and that when the deal is done on 5 April SLR shares will adjust downwards to factor in that misvaluation (?). I have found with gold stocks (well actually with stocks generally) that whatever can go wrong does go wrong so maybe the deal is about to fall over at the last hurdle.

It has to be said that Silver Lake has enjoyed a wonderful run of late, since late November, similar to that of Ramelius. Both are benefitting from record high gold prices and both are sitting on over A$100m in cash and gold reserves. With the merger with Doray Silver Lake will overtake Ramelius in terms of ounces produced this fiscal year but both have been feeling their oats.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Mar 21 2019, 06:47 PM


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Good to see the plod involved. If the matter was left to the financial regulators ...
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Mar 15 2019, 04:16 PM


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... in bed with the vampire squid ... yeah nah I'll take that as a negative indicator for Geocon's prospects.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Mar 14 2019, 09:37 PM


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Mick

There's lots of this ...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-03-1...orkers/10900850

and this ...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-14/fran...tation/10900582

(what I don't think is pointed out by that Senate report is that buying a franchise is commonly used by new migrants as a way of buying themselves and their family members jobs - they are easy targets for the franchisors because the new migrants are ignorant of local business practices and laws).

So the end result is that the newly arrived are undercutting wages and business profits for the already established locals.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Mar 14 2019, 04:53 PM


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Well for lots of the locals things are (relatively) grim already. Pretty much the only reason why this country has been growing in recent times is because the ATM government has effectively thrown the doors at the airports open and is letting in just about anyone who can get a visitor visa and an airticket. All those extra arrivals means the aggregate figures keep going up but the locals are not seeing any improvement in their personal circumstances.

Of course when the aggregate recession hits many of the newcomers will choose to leave which will push the aggregate GDP down even further.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Mar 14 2019, 01:02 PM


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... though there's this ... corelogic reported auction stats for Canberra for this last weekend and the corresponding weekend last year. The auction results were below 30% and I heard it explained as being a slow weekend because of the local long weekend (for Canberra Day). So it was reported that there were 44 auctions held last Saturday with only 10 "cleared" auctions (as in the gavel dropped), which is about a 28% clearance.


But for the corresponding weekend last year, which was also the Canberra Day long weekend, there were 64 auctions held with a clearance of about 77%. So not only was there a 30% drop in auction activity there was a collapse in properties sold by auction in the ACT of about 80% compared to the corresponding weekend last year.

House prices in the ACT appear not to have fallen much yet, but going on auction activity and auction clearance rates all of the pressure is starting to pile on to the sellers.

(data via macrobusiness)
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Posted on: Mar 14 2019, 10:38 AM


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nip - by my count Geocon currently has 8 construction sites for high rise developments in the ACT. They claim to account for about 50% of the apartments being built in the territory. All their sites seem to be active again after the Christmas shutdown but I keep expecting to see flags on their construction cranes during working hours (they hang an Australian flag on inactive cranes). I see that they are guaranteeing set rental yields for 5 years for at least some of their off-the-plan projects which suggests that their sales side is under pressure.

Having said that I know of no apartment projects in Canberra that have shut down and local house and unit prices seem to be holding up okay. People keep telling me that the Canberra market is different, maybe they're right.
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Posted on: Mar 14 2019, 10:27 AM


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"Kohli will be seething !!!"

But a lot of bookies, not so much.

On the face of it, yeah, a famous victory by an understrength Aussie side against a powerful opposition at home, but unfortunately spot and game fixing in international cricket is a thing.
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Posted on: Mar 8 2019, 07:47 PM


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Because it is costing currrent taxpayers about $5b a year for starters. Because it is allowing lots of baby boomers to sit on their accumulated capital and live off "refunds" financed by current taxpayers rather than to gradually liquidate that accumulated capital. I actually spent time in the part of government that helped formulate superannunation policy in the Keating years and I don't recall that the purpose of superannuation was to allow people to retire, to live off the income from superannuation and hang on to the capital, and then pass it all on to the kids.
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Posted on: Feb 27 2019, 03:29 PM


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Meh, what could go wrong? ... it's not as if they are both prone to over-reacting ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JW_a-lz8sg

(looks like John Cleese's take on the haka)
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Posted on: Feb 26 2019, 06:28 PM


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Mick - you might be interested in this recent article by Stephen Roach which looks at both the US and China. He is the first commentator I can recall that argues that the US may come out worse off than China from the current trade ruckus.

The article appears not to be behind the Australian Financial Review paywall but I've put it throught the Outline site just in case (from all I've heard Outline is not dodgey and does break through a number of the media paywalls).

https://www.outline.com/2TSN6t

Just a reminder that for pehaps well over a decade Stephen Roach was Morgan Stanley's China pointman and he is (or was) as well informed as any western analyst on what was happening in China. He was no doubt a full-on China bull, but he was a very knowledgeable one.
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Posted on: Feb 21 2019, 02:53 PM


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I hope that statement by the Helloworld CEO was drafted by his gun lawyer as to this mug punter it looks like it contains a clear misrepresentation.

His statement says in part: "Mr Burnes did not request the meeting with DFAT personnel in the United States."


But Helloworld's pointman on servicing the needs of the embassy in Washington, Russell Carstensen, has sent written correspondence to the Senate in which he says in part:"I was contacted by Mr Burnes [Helloworld's CEO] via email/SMS and voice call to tell me he had arranged a meeting with Mr Hockey and I had to fly home via Washington to meet with him. I asked Mr Burnes how could this be done so quickly. He verbally advised me, ‘Hockey owes me.’"

Carstensen also said that when he advised Department of Finance officials that he had met with Joe Hockey about travel services to the embassy in Washington they indicated their concern about the probity of this and as a result Carstensen made no further effort to correspond with Hockey. For those who don't know the Department of Finance is a central policy agency whose remit includes the expected standard of behavior from public servants (particularly when it comes to spending money).
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Feb 21 2019, 11:33 AM


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Mick - though as it was pointed out on macrobusiness employment is a lagging indicator, many of the leading indicators are showing that a downturn will make itself obvious in a couple of months or so.


And yeah lots of the stats are totally screwed up by the unprecedented numbers of migrants being allowed in. For instance I saw that after scummo promised to create a million new jobs some analyst worked out that almost all the new jobs will be created as a result of the migration numbers and that almost all of the jobs created will go to migrants, not locals. So in terms of GDO per capita, wages growth and unemployment levels things will continue to go backwards. This country is likely already in a recession but no one knows about it (it's our wile e coyotee moment).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq_bjaI0NTo
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Posted on: Feb 21 2019, 09:55 AM


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11:15 am is pretty much the same time that bank share prices took off on the day the banking rc was released. Looks like the trading desks start their day at 11:00.
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Posted on: Feb 21 2019, 09:49 AM


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He said another chain in the same boat was women's fashion house Maggie T, which was created in the image of fashion icon Maggie Tabberer.

"Maggie T was something of the past," he argued.

"It was nice, it was quaint, but it wasn't resonating with the greater bulk of the Australian consuming public."

Yeah I reckon that is a strange thing to say about Maggie T given that the brand was set up to cater for women of greater bulk.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-21/aust...tition/10832062

But anyway I reckon there is more to it than just local brands suffering from competition from foreign operators. In the two big shopping centres I frequent in the ACT there are shopfronts boarded up all over the place. I remember in the months leading into the 1990 recession you could see a wave of shops being vacated in regional cities and suburban centres. It was only when the full force of the recession hit that the effects became manifest on the high street. This time around even A grade retail locations are buckling even though talk of a recession is still only on the margins.
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Posted on: Feb 13 2019, 10:35 AM


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No EB, you're the little bird of happiness. biggrin.gif I think you are on the money.

  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Feb 9 2019, 07:25 AM


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I've been really unimpressed and disinterested in the Big Bash this year. Seems I'm not alone with crowds down about 30% on last year. From the snippets I've read about it lots of lopsided games, lots of players not firing etc. Anyway last night I decided I should make the effort to watch some on the teeve and it happened that the underperforming Heat were playing one of the Melbourne sides. I sat down just as the Heat started batting. Bloody hell! There was some clean hitting on display with both batters scoring about 80 off 30 balls to finish the game within 10 overs. What a demolition job.

So I was lucky to witness probably the best 10 overs of BBL cricket this year (though the women's semi finals were pretty good as well).

Also, what a joke the national selectors are: Kurtis Patterson scored two centuries for Australia A and goes straight into the test side (fair enough). Matthew Wade totally dominates the entire BBL season and cannot even make the limited overs squad. One can only assume that the national selectors are protecting Tim Payne who apears to be a better captain than he is a cricketer. Surely Wade could be selected purely for his batting skills. A travesty imo.
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Posted on: Feb 7 2019, 07:01 AM


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Yeah I doubt it would have come out of the lock-up. More likely it came from a polly or one of their staffers who would have been poring over and discussing the report for the entire weekend. Sometimes it's not what you say but what you don't that conveys the message. Shameful that they did not release the report on Sunday night. So obvious what they were setting up.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Feb 6 2019, 12:16 PM


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Gee there's no irony in the setting for that photo: scummo and two bankers at a happy clappy convention on values.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Feb 6 2019, 10:46 AM


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Mick - If Kenneth Hayne was a racehorse there would have been a stewards enquiry called and he would have been taken straight to the swabbing box and the vet would be whistling up a sample. Up till now I would not have considered it a possibility that a high court judge in Australia, even a retired one, could be nobbled, but there is little doubt in my mind that for whatever reason Hayne ran dead in writing up his report.

I thought Rowena Orr looked like something or someone had rattled her towards the end as well. I said at the time that the CEO of Combank had got the better of her, she seemed not to challenge some of his absurd assertions like she had done with previous people. Maybe she had a sick kid, maybe she had been cowered by an young buck alpha male, maybe it had been suggested to her that she needed to look ahead to her career prospects, I don't know but that was the first time I had the impression that the royal commission was starting to back away from its initial impressive approach.

I now see the productivity commission has come out and said that the various airport monopolies in Australia are, despite all indications, not behaving like monopolies. Graham Samuel, who admittedly heads up the airline lobby group, was scathing about that finding on ABC radio national this morning. He gave the simple example where the productivity commission found that stupidly high carpark prices at airports are fair because of the convenience factor, and he pointed out that to park at Sydney Airport costs $54 but to park at a nearby major hospital is $27, half the price. Smells like another dodgey report that protects existing oligopolies that have tight links with this government.
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Posted on: Feb 5 2019, 10:57 AM


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blacksheep - it now seems clear as day that it was all a stitch-up between the bankers and the current government. The only question unanswered is weather Kenneth Hayne was in on it or if he was just a patsy. Wonder who the commissioner ran the draft of his final report past for any suggested corrections?


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-05/big-...letter/10778928
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Posted on: Feb 4 2019, 10:21 PM


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What EB said! biggrin.gif

Mick if you want to kill some hours SBS ondemand has heaps of kung fu shows on at the moment leading up to lunar new year.

(gong xi fa cai EB)

The worry I have with Mitchell Starc is that speed alone clearly is enough against the likes of the Sri Lankans but perhaps not against better batters. The Indians got into him a bit and he did not seem to rise to the occasion. But you'd have to keep picking him anyway as if nothing else he can clean up the tail.
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Posted on: Feb 4 2019, 06:50 AM


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The day is starting off appearing to be an absolute horror for the housing sector.

First up, today we get the final report of the Kenneth Hayne banking royal commission. Anything less than an excoriation of the lending mentality of the banks will be a shock and a profound disappointment. Any idea that the banks can go back to their old loose lending ways is or should be a fantasy. What has been going on in the housing market in the last six months will become the new norm.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australi...SKCN1PS0M3?il=0

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-04/bank...making/10771612

Then there's this. A fire has broken out in a high rise apartment block in the Melbourne CBD at about 5:00 this morning. The ABC is reporting that firefighters believe that it is spreading through the combustible cladding on the building. From all reports there are thousands of apartment blocks in Australia where combusible cladding was used in construction. The problem (plus a few others not typical in modern Australian buildings) was highlighted by the Grenfell fire in the UK. Up till now no action has been taken for most Australian buildings but to remedy the problem will cost individual unit owners tens of thousands of dollars. Besides who wants to invest in or live in a fire-trap?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-04/spen...bourne/10776018
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Feb 1 2019, 08:47 PM


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The dudes at macrobusiness have been calling for some time now that the next RBA move will be down (they may not be considered mainstream but it is fairly obvious that lots of insiders keep an eye on what they are saying). Likely what the RBA does will not be the whole story anyway as the banks are pushing their rates up independently of what the RBA is doing (something like 40% of their money is raised offshore and that is where the upward pressure is coming from apparently). The other factor is banks are knocking back heaps more mortage applications - a couple of years ago they were knocking back something like 5% of mortgage applications now the figure is more like 40%.

Also, I've seen numerous reports where banks were offering loans of say $1.2m 12 months ago but now are only willing to lend say $800k. So someone who could afford to pay say $1.5m for a property can now only buy something worth say $1.1m. I suspect the banks will get such a rogering from the Royal Commission report that they will remain risk averse for the forseeable future.
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Posted on: Feb 1 2019, 08:36 PM


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Any experts on body language out there?

https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/20...ergs-hand-video
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Posted on: Jan 24 2019, 05:28 PM


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Different opposition and different conditions obviously but gee it's refreshing when one of our opening bowlers bowls full and at the wickets and takes a couple of early wickets. Pat Cummins and the GOAT can do the job from there.

Hey J what is wrong with the Gabba and Qld cricket fans? School holidays, 3 Qlders in the team, and yet when I was listening to it on the radio they had not much more than 6,000 at the ground. Why can smaller cities like Adelaide and Perth pull much bigger crowds? Are the tickets too dear or is there just no marketing done?
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Posted on: Jan 21 2019, 10:49 AM


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Sounds a bit like buying a lottery ticket: you know someone is going to make a killing from the venture but what numbers do you need for that someone to be you. (like the car industry in the US in the early 20th century - there were hundreds of start-ups but only a handful came through).
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Posted on: Jan 19 2019, 06:59 PM


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J - I listened to some of the call on ABC radio for both games. Really competitive stuff, and fantastic endings to both games. Healy's run out on the last ball of the Sixers Renegades game was also the work of a champion. But yeah it does look like Perry can do it all. Great stuff. Shame the boy cricketers cannot get their acts together and play like professionals.

The women also showed up the men at the tennis, if not in results then at least in effort. If it were up to me I'd ban both Tomic and Kyrios from all Australian tournaments for being incorrigible d!ckheads.
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Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 06:36 PM


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Nip - At the moment I'm reading a book called "The Tiananmen Papers" which is a chronologue of internal Communist Party reports leading up to the 4 June massacre. The striking thing for me is how all along Deng Xiao Ping and the other elders wanted to close down the "turmoil" being caused throughout China by university students protesting because it put at risk the clear strategy of reform and opening of China. Even though Li Ping should have been installed as the boss of the Communist Party during this period, Deng and Co plucked a little known Jiang Zemin out of Shanghai who had no experience in the Party Central in Beijing to be the big boss. Li was rejected by the elders to a large extent because he was a conservative not a reformer whereas Jiang was a pragmatist who knew to follow the codified instructions of the Party elders.

So this strategy of economic reform and opening - political reform and opening was never a starter - had been in place from Deng and Chen Yun to Jiang and onto Hu Jintao which is a span of about 35 years. It is true that it seems that Xi Jinping is attempting to turn back the tide by effectively renationalising much of the Chinese economy but it might be some time yet before we know that Xi's strategy is worse or better than the reform and opening strategy.
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Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 02:26 PM


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I read somewhere that about a quarter of this company's revenue comes from penalties for late payments and that it gets around being under the regulator's watch by not charging interest as such. I dunno, maybe it's another disrupter like Uber (was allowed to be), but I'm fairly confident there will be heavy lobbying for a "level playing field" for providers of consumer credit to include Afterpay.
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Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 10:42 AM


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I think this is a good read from the Irish Times (not intended as a shot at anyone here who is generous enough to share their thoughts and analysis).

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/persona...casts-1.3747774
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Posted on: Jan 12 2019, 12:16 PM


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No pajama cricket on free to air Channel 7 today. Yay, I actually find most ODI games unentertaining. Anyway, it doesn't matter as SBS is currently showing something like 8 hours of the Indian Pacific train journey, surely that's got to be the future of tv. smile.gif
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Posted on: Jan 10 2019, 08:40 PM


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"Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-west region, saying the weapons have the capacity to destroy US ships entering disputed waters in the South China Sea....


...Late last year, Chinese Navy Rear Admiral Luo Yuan suggested Beijing could sink two US carriers in a bid to deter the US from entering the South China Sea.

Admiral Lou was quoted in Taiwanese media as stating that destroying two carrier would kill around 10,000 US personnel, claiming that this would be the best way to hurt the US as 'America is most afraid of the death of its people.'"

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-10/chin...-ships/10705594

I don't think the Chinese are that stupid or ill-informed. The US came into existence on the battlefield and ever since has been a warrior nation, having fought against just about every major nation, in a steady procession of wars. They are not "most afraid" of the death of their countrymen, rather that is what riles them the most. They have tens of thousands of battle tested soldiers, and hundreds of senior officers that know how to fight and win battles and wars. Pretty much all of their military technology has been on-the-job tested and they still possess overwhelming military force. Mao thought he could overpower the US in the Korean War by inflicting maximum casualties on them but he was wrong. The US public opinion against the Vietnam War turned as much from the pointless loss of Vietnamese lives as American lives. And of course the attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese turned American public opinion from a disinterest in getting involved in the war to being fully in favour of it.

In contrast the last time the Chinese faced an enemy force was the Sino-Vietnam war in the late 70's in which the battle-hardened Vietnamese belted the snot out of the Chinese forces (though strategically Deng achieved what he set out to do) and Vietnam was only acting defensively. Not saying that the Chinese would be a walk-over or are not an impressive military power, but I do think it is naive to think the Americans would turn chicken.
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Posted on: Jan 10 2019, 06:14 PM


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Reuters has put out a list of announced investments by major car companies in electric and hybrid vehicles and batteries. Totals US$300b, about half of it to be spent in China.

https://graphics.reuters.com/AUTOS-INVESTME...B3HD/index.html
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Posted on: Jan 9 2019, 10:34 PM


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J, Don't forget your baseball mitt as the bash brothers seem to be hitting some form. smile.gif
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Posted on: Jan 7 2019, 11:55 AM


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Yeah, J, but the main thing is that they are all good blokes and they get along with each other ... The worry is that the selectors will give the current bunch one last chance to prove themselves against the Sri Lankans rather than blood the players that have the technique and statistics to warrant being taken on the Ashes tour.
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Posted on: Jan 1 2019, 11:25 AM


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So, Mick, you think the merger with Doray will make Silver Lake a better company not just a bigger company?

They're getting some promising hits in some of the old Integra ground they acquired so maybe they don't need Doray so much. I always wished Chris Cairns had not been so timid when he was running Integra and the current Silver Lake management is showing that he actually had plenty to work with. I can only guess that the plan is to absorb Doray so as to get Silver Lake to have a big enough market cap as to get the index funds and institutions interested.
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Posted on: Dec 30 2018, 05:52 PM


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All round shemozzle imo.

Rubbish MCG pitch again. The Indians deserved the thumping victory but surely much was decided by the toss of the coin.
They need to drop pretty much all the batters but they can't. Finch and the 2 Marshes have to go, should have gone for the SCG match but must go for the Sri Lankan games. Seems common agreement that Renshaw and Burns need to be readied for the Ashes series so they have to come in and also probably Maxwell

Our much vaunted bowling attack is underperforming. Gary and Pat Cummins are value but Hazlewood just has to start regularly taking bags of wickets or Cummins should open and perhaps look to Hazlewood or someone elsee as the first change bowler. Starc is a strike bowler but as Mitch Johnson commented during the Perth game, he just has to step up and be the leader.

And whichever official booted a few of the crowd out of the old Bay 13 for the chant "show us your visas" needs to be sacked. How is that even close to being racist? The Barmy Army go on about Aussies being convicts, I suppose the Aussies go on about bars of soap to the pommies, why is it racist to joke about a bunch of migrants being migrants.

Our cricketing world seems to have had a total collapse in confidence.
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Posted on: Dec 27 2018, 07:20 PM


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nip - JohnR at macrobusiness posted this link earlier today.

https://twitter.com/OddStats/status/1078033224801177607

It seems that yesterday's jump is in less than salubrious company. Also if the plunge protection team was to hit the market the day after Christmas would likely give them the biggest bang per buck possible (due to really low trading levels).

Let's see how things pan out when everyone is back at work.
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Posted on: Dec 20 2018, 09:04 PM


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sad.gif

(but in good news Australian Super has taken a 5% holding in Orocobre).
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Posted on: Dec 20 2018, 09:48 AM


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"What a lot of people don't know is, in his high school years he got sent to a military prep school. Upon graduation it was expected the graduands would go on to become an officer and a gentleman at one of their fine academies. He instead chose to go into business. But his buddies are now generals sitting opposite him for dinner."

That's a nice bit of rewriting of history. Trump was sent to "military prep school" because his old man was concerned young Donald was starting to play up. The New York Military Academy was a nursery for officers and gentlemen about as much as the Salvation Army is: the primary purpose of the former was to prepare kids for academic success. (and also, pretty much anyone who has read anything about Donald Trump knows he got sent to boarding school by his parents).
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Posted on: Dec 18 2018, 03:42 PM


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Yep, agree. I hope Gary got man of the match.
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Posted on: Dec 17 2018, 06:26 PM


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Could be Canberra's first multistorey cathouse, a new take on serviced apartments. rolleyes.gif Seriously what with the number of nail and eyebrow and massage shops that are filling in all the empty retail space in various shopping centres in the ACT we are probably not that far from going there (though I am constantly amazed by how busy even out of the way nail salons are, not only in Canberra but in rural towns).


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Posted on: Dec 17 2018, 12:55 PM


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Interesting, nip, thanks for that (is it from the soon-to-be-sold-or-closed-down Canberra Times?). My reaction:

1. they are just mimicking a Hong Kong fad (no doubt attempting to attract Chinese students &/or investors).
2. Those so-called micro-apartments are not so squeezy - micro apartments or nano units in HK come in at about 12 sq metres, that is 60% the size of even the smallest of the units in the Canberra proposal.
3. so sad, even in Honkers the fad of the micro apartment seems to have passed. Since this linked article was published last month one of those Tuen Mun projects mentioned have stopped its marketing campaign after they sold only 3 of the 150 units that they had put on the market.



https://beta.scmp.com/business/article/2175...-last-seen-2016

Also the ANU has said that they have placed a limit on the number of international students they will enroll in future years. What with the thousands of dogbox units coming onto the market in the next couple of years this proposed project could be answering yesterday's problems (a couple of years ago the ANU block booked a whole motel in Lyneham for a year to help alleviate a shortage of student accommodation but since then numerous student residential colleges have been completed).
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Posted on: Dec 15 2018, 11:31 AM


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Every year Barry Ritholtz posts a spray about the dangers of paying any attention to professional serial prognosticators, and it's that time of year again.

https://ritholtz.com/2018/12/fun-with-forec...g-2018-edition/

The bitcoin predictions are a giggle seeing how it is down under US$4k a pop at the moment but seeing I've never heard of any of those people it may be that they were fringe players just trying to get some attention.


And as far as I'm concerned Peter Schiff totally blew any credibility in 2007/08 when he picked the crash but then based all his predictive recommendations on the greenback crashing, all in with no hedging. Anyone that took his advice would have been smashed. As far as I know he's never owned up to it: he takes credit for calling the crash of course but not getting the greenback totally wrong. That he has rarely been right in the last decade also suggests he is probably not the best analyst to follow.

But that is a weakness for these regular columns by Barry Ritholtz. He only highlights the bloopers, not the clean hits. For instance I am pretty sure that lots of analysts who looked at the bitcoin market closely thought it likely that it would crash. And I know of no gold company that has developed a project based on gold moving to US$10k / oz.


The other weakness with Ritholtz's article is that it does not point out that most / many people read what the prognosticators say to look at the arguments they use to reach their predictions not necessarily the predictions themselves. Jim Rogers has been focused on the growing size and influence of China for more than a decade, Marc Faber has flagged weaknesses in the Chinese financial system for just as long. That China is not the dominant player that Rogers predicted and that China has not had a major crash that Faber predicted does not mean reading their analyses was a waste of effort.
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Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 06:08 PM


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The Washington Post is running with the story with a major article on its website. All over red rover. Trying to impose a media blackout these days is as effective as having an ashtray on a motorbike.
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Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 12:46 PM


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Mick - I am not sure whether merely posting links from overseas sites would be a breach of the court order preventing publication of any information about the court decision. The linked article is NOT about the clergyman and the court decision earlier this week and seems to be okay to post as it is an ABC Australia article.

_______________________________________________________

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-13/geor...dinals/10614092
_________________________________________________________

Funny story about how a Google executive had to explain to US Senators why if you searched for images of "stupid" the front results page was mostly of images of Donald Trump.
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Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 07:10 AM


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nip - no, if it's true (and both the Oz and the Age are commenting about a major court decision earlier this week which they cannot discuss) it is a biggy. Not sure that it matters but I'll not post the person's name or the crime he was convicted of but it is to do with a senior clergyman and child abuse. Apparently the block is in place because there is expected to be more court action, whether it's an appeal or a new case, due in early next year.


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Posted on: Dec 11 2018, 10:12 AM


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Not sure where exactly that ACCC has been during these years of bankers running amok but the good news is that once the ACCC get onto a case they go in boots and all (unlike the dandies at ASIC and APRA). So they reckon that once again the bankers didn't let a good crisis go to waste. When APRA insisted that bankers restrict interest only loans to 30% of the home loans they issued going forward the banks took the opportunity to act in concert and increase the interest rates on existing interest only home loans. By so doing the banks pocketed in excess of one billion bucks of windfall profit in just the last year.

Hopefully the ACCC takes 'em to the cleaners.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-11/exis...s-accc/10604314
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Posted on: Dec 8 2018, 01:48 PM


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Decided to dip my toe in the water and watch a bit of Channel 7 cricket. Not the best day, what with all the rain delays. But did see Michael Slater conduct a live interview with someone in the crowd that caught a ball ... came back later to hear Michael Slater and the Chris Gale journo talking about how well one of the Indian players can dance and how it's just fun to watch him celebrating scoring a century. They could have gone with an interview of a cricketer who caught a ball and they could have talked about why that Indian player was so happy but hell why talk about cricket...

So yeah nah, it's pretty obvious that Channel 7 intends to My-Kitchen-Rules test cricket. Can't wait to see interviews of some sheila who had a crush on the GOAT in primary school and how one of the player's dad is suffering from high blood pressure which puts a terrible strain on his relationship with one of his work-mates.

(of all the Channel 9 commentators why would Channel 7 save Michael Slater? He was by some margin the lightest weight at Channel 9, oh wait ...).
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Posted on: Dec 7 2018, 04:39 PM


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Or ... Trumpy has the pips with GM for closing down a number of manufacturing plants in the US after Trumpy claimed he had fixed the US car making industry. I find it doesn't pay to overthink what motivates Mr Trump, he is not cerebral he is reflex: you slight him, he slights you back.
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Posted on: Dec 6 2018, 05:34 PM


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What an excellent day of cricket, very competitive, lots of good performances. Great to see Hazlewood do damage early on.

Listened to a fair bit on ABC radio: great team of Jim Maxwell, Andrew Moore, Harsha Bhogle, Alison Mitchell, Ed Cowan, Jason Gillespie and Captain Grumpy. Recently I was talking to a bloke who lives in the same neighbourhood as Allan Border and apparently AB is a lovely chap in real life. Very sensible comments from him. I reckon Andrew Moore is the best NRL game caller going around and he has done a fine job today as a cricket caller.

... and to top it off, Pat Cummins throws down the wickets. Great stuff, really surprising.
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Posted on: Dec 5 2018, 09:20 PM


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Yeah the big miners do often arrive at the party just as the beer runs out.


Interesting that Rio is getting back into borate mining, if only by accident. They had a significant borate / borax operation in Argentina but considered the borax market to be in a long-term downturn so they sold it off to Orocobre (which is mainly a lithium producer from brine). To date it has not been a good buy for Orocobre so Rio got that one right.

Speaking of Orocobre, they recently finally announced that a final investment decision had been made for the stage 2 expansion of their Olaroz lithium brine operation (they hold about 66% in a jv). They intend to produce about 25,000 tonnes a year at the expansion plant.
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Posted on: Dec 5 2018, 09:05 PM


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"Ch 7 coverage ...... we await with bated breath !!"

I'm sure Bwuccy will make it speeeciaal (though hopefully he will not even be part of the commentary team). Gilly's good but Warne's a bore. I'll be sticking to the ABC radio call as much as possible.
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Posted on: Dec 4 2018, 07:30 PM


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As has been pointed out elsewhere, why would anyone pay to hear what the LNP thinks they might do regarding the banking royal commission findings when everyone knows that will be the job of the incoming Labor government. But yeah obscene that the mob that 27 times knocked back the idea of a banking royal commission being needed are now trying to profit from the rc's existence. There is a saying: "never let a good crisis go to waste".
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Posted on: Dec 1 2018, 10:19 AM


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Mags - it gets worse - Ken Henry is on the board of dirctors of the ASX. Gamekeeper or poacher?
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Posted on: Nov 30 2018, 05:59 PM


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Mick - nothing like that will happen here if Morrison and Frydenberg have any say in the matter. Even before he was interviewed by the Royal Commission the boss at APRA, Wayne Byers, had his tenure extended by the Hungarian, as if to warn Kenneth Hayne that Byers is a protected species. Nothing like pre-empting the RC's findings.

I watched much of his interview by Michael Hodge QC today. Byers to me came across as shifty, cunning, sly, and in the quietest of voices Hodge demolished his credibility and reputation.

Regarding the fees for no service scandal Byers regularly asserted that actions and decisions were made by APRA in 2015 and Hodge regularly pointed out that the RC had specifically asked for documentation witnessing the what and the when of these actions and decisions but that APRA had no such documentation. Byers attempted to pass it off as (1) the APRA officials would not be expected to commit to the record such information (as if!) (2) APRA had assumed that ASIC was already on that case (but apparently no-one in APRA checked with ASIC) (3) APRA thought the problem was just isolated gremlins in the financial institutions' systems and (4) that it was a matter for APRA's operational staff alone. Commiss Hayne pointed out that this single issue will cost some individual finanical institutions hundreds of millions of dollars in remediation and Michael Hodge pointed out that the issue was of such size as to bring into question the very survival of affected financial institutions (Byers jumped on that comment, saying that no financial institution was at risk of failing due to the fees for no service matter, but the point is that having numerous industry players each skimming hundreds of millions of dollars from customers could hardly be waived away as isolated gremlins in the system).

I thought Ken Henry has proven to be shameless for not resigning after his outrageous performance earlier in the week. The same now goes for Wayne Byers as far as I'm concerned. And this current government is attempting to protect him!!

Anyway all we can do is wait until 1 Feb next year and see what Kenneth Hayne's assessment is.
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Posted on: Nov 28 2018, 11:56 AM


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Surprise, surprise, our little mate, Ken Henry, was a member of the board at the Reserve Bank from 2001 to 2011 (due to him being Secretary to the Treasury for that period). There were no consequences for those in charge of the Reserve Bank and its subsidiaries, hopefully Ken Henry is not allowed to get off scott free for the shemozzle that has been NAB under his chairmanship.
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Posted on: Nov 27 2018, 03:05 PM


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I thought Ken Henry was about the worst performance I've seen at the rc. So full of himself, so much pontificating and condescension, so much indifference to his duties as a board member. He comes with the arrogance of being a long-term senior advisor and policy maker to numerous governments: he is our version of Sir Humphrey Appleby. The very fact that he has not yet resigned as NAB chairman pretty much says it all.

Having said that I think that for all her brilliance and competence Rowena Orr does seem to struggle a bit in questioning alpha males, last week Matt Comyn of the CBA and now today Ken Henry. I thought she allowed Ken Henry a little bit too much lattitude to obfuscate around answering questions, even allowing him to get away with snide remarks about both her and Commissioner Hayne. She did stand him up one time to give a direct answer to one of her questions, and he noticeably bristled at her impertinence.

Martin North and others have speculated that were the housing crash to get bad enough at least one of the big four banks would likely fold, with both Westpac and Netbank being the popular favourites. Having seen Ken Henry's lousy performance today I'd steer well clear of NAB as long as he is in the picture (saw some talk that the ALP are actually keen to bring him back to lead the commonwealth public service after May).
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Posted on: Nov 22 2018, 09:47 AM


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... in a trumpian way, j, in that they scored more runs than we did but we clearly won. rolleyes.gif
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Posted on: Nov 18 2018, 09:07 PM


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J - I know he is keen to re-introduce asbestos into the building industry so I had assumed he thought he could use asbestos in the forests as well but no, apparently not .... his solution is to rake the "floors" of the forests ...

https://imgur.com/gallery/qdleaVP

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration...g-the-floors-of

No doubt someone talked to him about control burns and clearing the undergrowth and Trumpy's translated that into Nu York talk.
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Posted on: Nov 17 2018, 08:04 AM


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Mick - there was a counter view expressed in an article on the ABC website. It was that ASIC had done its typical trick of flaying a big bank with a feather, that by not bothering to go through each of the cases but effectively merging them into one transgression ASIC was letting Westpac off the hook with the $35m penalty. $35m to Westpac is nothing and there would have been dancing in the corridors of Westpac's HQ for getting out of the mess so lightly.

The "ABC" view was that the judge was telling ASIC to go back and do a better job, and work out if and why specific loans were faulty and that only then could he work out what penalty Westpac should face for each and every transgression. If it is found that there were no transgression then Westpac would get off with no financial penalty but if it were found that the transgressions were systemic then Westpac could potentially be facing fines upwards of a billion dollars.

I think that is Commiss Hayne's view as well. He has clearly stated that in his view existing laws and regulations are sufficient, and that what needs to happen is for the regulators to stop appeasing the banks. By allowing banks to pass off a series of individual transgressions as a single transgression minimises the blame.

Anyway we will know in a fortnight whether the banking royal commission was all window dressing or not.
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Posted on: Nov 16 2018, 04:48 PM


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Wow, maccas finally makes an appearance.

Disappointing but not unexpected that the Hungarian pre-empted this session of hearings by extending the tenure of the APRA boss months before it was necessary. Wonder if Commiss Hayne takes the hint and backs off zeroing in on APRA or whether he presses on undaunted.

I suspect the major item of interest in the first week will be how the counsels assisting go about pulling apart the HEM issue with ASIC and Westpac. The judge in his ruling left it open that in fact Westpac may not have broken any law by pushing through dodgey loans based on HEM. I think we already know what Kenneth Hayne thinks about that so perhaps Westpac and ASIC will get some of the hard questions that they have avoided addressing to date.

Could be an anticlimax but there is already talk that at least one of the Big 4 CEO's could be gone by the end of this fortnight.
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Posted on: Nov 13 2018, 07:21 PM


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Yeah but markets hate uncertainty, which is what the ASIC Westpac action has produced. It could take months or even years to conclude this court case and the financial risk to Westpac could be anywhere from $0 to some figure approaching $1b.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-13/west...-means/10492908

With the banking royal commission due to start up again next Monday, and it will be focusing on policy issues coming out of the previous hearings, I would expect that they will spend some time looking at the questions similar to that raised by this judgement. As pointed out in the article we already know what Commissioner Hayne's view is, which is not good news for Westpac and others.
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Posted on: Nov 11 2018, 09:25 PM


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Close but no cigar ... I thought the Stoinis wicket was the turning point...
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Posted on: Nov 11 2018, 06:03 PM


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Hey J - does Chris Lynn normally open for Qld? Does he prefer to open? Not sure why you'd send your shock trooper in to open against the best fast bowling attack in the world - the saffas showed that you do not need to start smashing the ball from the first over. Shaun Marsh needs to score a big ton from here even if we cannot get close to 300.

My pet whinge, Josh Hazlewood, saved his stats by taking a wicket off the third last ball of the innings. As I type this the third SA fast bowler has just taken a wicket...
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Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 07:05 PM


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Yeah Mick I get that but if Pakistan cannot play their home games at home then why let them play their home games at all. It seems to me to be all about the money from the arabs and from the cable networks. Anyway to be elitely honest we got a thrashing in both the tests and in the limited over games so I suppose we should take it on the chin.
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Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 10:50 AM


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I saw a story (on SBS I think) about the train trip from Adelaide to Darwin and basically how the drivers had bugger all to do for much of the time. In fact their main job was to keep pressure on one of the pedals - as soon as there was no pressure on the pedal the train automatically stopped. The idea is if the driver became incapacitated in any way there would not be a runaway train. I find it astounding that these BHP trains, presumably each with only one driver, would not have a similar feature. Madness. Unacceptable.
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Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 10:44 AM


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Actually I'm not sure why anyone agrees to play in the UAE. They don't even play cricket themselves do they. What's the point? I can only guess that the arabs throw bucketloads of cash around to buy some friends for a few days.

And as we know the only thing that interests Cricket Australia these days is the money (ratings for the first ODI of SA v Aust was about 200,000 on Fox cf the last ODI of SA v Aust in Perth was about 1,000,000 on 9 - but that doesn't matter because Fox agreed to pay CA more than 9 would).
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Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 07:30 PM


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No wickets for Josh Hazelwood again. Little point having a strike bowler who doesn't strike that often. Oh, that's right, he's a fixture in the side because he is one of the vice captains. In contrast it looks on paper at least that the old warhorse, Dale Steyn, ripped into our batting effort: 7 overs 18 runs and the early scalps of numbers one and three.

... we are in for a very long summer ...
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Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 04:50 PM


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I suspect the saffas have forgotten what form of the game they are playing today. At the rate they are going in the first four overs they will have chased our score down within 20 overs.
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Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 03:49 PM


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Yeah another poor performance from those apparently in possession of elite honesty. If they keep up this level of performance they'll soon be downgraded to bogan honesty (which is yeah of course I cheat if I think I can get away with it). wink.gif

I heard Michael Klinger on ABC radio saying that the pitch they are using has a fair amount of grass on it and if they'd used that pitch for shield or test cricket the game would be over in 2 or 3 days. Not sure why you'd prepare such a track when the visiting team has the best fast bowling attack in the world (I remember they did that for one of the WI sides that had Holding, Garner, Marshall and another (??)). It is one thing to be fair and honest it is something entirely different to be masochistic.
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Posted on: Nov 2 2018, 07:03 AM


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Recently an ex-test cricketer, can't recall who, noted that for a top line batsman, once you get a start the onus is on you to go on and score a lot of runs, anything less should be viewed as a failure. According to this argument yeah sure Shaun Marsh is a quality player but the fact that he got a start in both innings and did not score at least one big century is not good enough. You let someone like Kohli or Smith get a start and it may not lose you the match but you know you will struggle to win the match. Shaun Marsh does enough to keep getting picked in the test side. Is that really enough for a 35 year old player? (there's a difference for when Hayden and Langer and perhaps Damian Martin were pushed out of the door for having poor form as they still had the ability and the attitude to deliver big scores at the test level). If Shaun Marsh cannot deliver innings that win test matches I say we should start developing younger players.


But yeah also, I've seen a few comments that the standard of domestic cricket is pretty lousy so far this season.
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Posted on: Nov 1 2018, 06:47 PM


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Ian Chappell claims another official's scalp. He took on the Don back in the day as well.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-30/ian-...8?section=sport
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Posted on: Oct 25 2018, 09:39 AM


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Geez this annoys me, more defence of the fact that the two Marsh brothers keep getting extra chances at the top level. There are plenty of cricketers, particularly from Victoria and Queensland, who no doubt were talented players but were given none of the consideration that the Marsh brothers have repeatedly had. The simple fact is Shaun Marsh at 35 is not the future of Australian cricket and he is currently out of form: drop him. Another simple fact is that Mitch Marsh was selected primarily as an all rounder but his bowling clearly is not up to test level and if he also fails with the bat: drop him.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-25/you-...rmance/10425754

Anyway the cricket wil be on 7 this season and those clowns take everything to the lowest common denominator and I'm not particularly into the personal stories of some sportsmen's relatives so yeah ... bring on the A League and ABC radio.
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Posted on: Oct 24 2018, 02:05 PM


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According to this article there are plans for a new competitor to Tesla to begin constructing electric cars in Singapore. I'm not sure whether this story is all hot air or whether the new venture actually has a chance of cleaning up...

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45950377








(sorry, rolleyes.gif )
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Posted on: Oct 19 2018, 09:11 PM


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I dunno, J, the marinated lambchop (will have to make an effort to remember his name) played good. Picked up 5 wickets for the game, got a start in both bats, including a top score in the second innings. Better than the combined effort of the brothers Marsh.


Who do we play next? India, yes? Bloody hell, we could be in for another touch up. Khawaja's injury will just be seen as an opportunity for Shaun to open again, before the spinners come on.
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Posted on: Oct 19 2018, 06:15 AM


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Trouble brewing at the Atacama Salar in Chile. A version of the tragedy of the commons where both lithium companies seem intent on grabbing as much brine as they can no matter what the long term consequences may be.

https://graphics.reuters.com/CHILE-LITHIUM/...B1MH/index.html

Working on the theory that problems for your competitors is good news for you the lithium brine stock I follow, Orocobre, which operates from a different salar, in northern Argentina, may attract more intention from investors as a result of these concerns in Chile. Anyway, we'll find out how Orocobre is managing its own production problems as we should get to see their September quarter production figures in the next few days.
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Posted on: Oct 18 2018, 09:14 PM


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spot fix much? Naaahh, surely not that obvious ...

Anyway they lead by 500 runs with 2 days to play ... has a test match ever been called off due to a sandstorm? Or is it too much to ask for that a gulf war breaks out in the next 48 hours?
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Posted on: Oct 17 2018, 09:41 PM


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Pakistan are already 220 runs in front into the second innings and it's still only day 2. We'll lose this one, the low scoring in the Pakistani first innings actually meant that they had more time to do us over.

Ah well you can put this series down as being good batting practice for the Marsh boys as they start building up for a big summer back home.
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Posted on: Oct 16 2018, 10:08 PM


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Marnus Lambchops: has bowled 9 overs and has taken 3 for 30.

Mitchell Marsh: has bowled 5 overs and has taken 0 for 15.

Just saying ...

ps game on with Pakistan at 8 for 247 after winning the toss and batting first.
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Posted on: Oct 16 2018, 06:01 AM


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The lead story in this morning's Early AM on ABC radio was ... confirmation that the sixth in line for the pommy throne is not shooting blanks .... really? this is the most pressing issue of the day? ... how pathetic are we that this is anything other than a human interest filler ... anyway going on that lot's form I'd probably wait for the test results before getting too cocky.
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Posted on: Oct 14 2018, 01:23 PM


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"therapeutic cannabinoid" - yeah nah, probably. As Botanix Pharmaceuticals says why would you extract therapeutic cannabinoids from a plant when you can manufacture the stuff in the lab. Similar logic to the production of aspirin: lots of people use aspirin but these days virtually none of it is produced from willow bark. A couple of major problems with relying on grown cannabis is you cannot be sure of the quality or the quantity of the input (growing conditions).
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Posted on: Oct 12 2018, 06:56 AM


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In the end a solid defensive effort from the baggy greens to just hang on for a draw. Hopefully a turning point for Khawaja with a big ton against spin and good to see some gristle from a couple in the middle order.
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Posted on: Oct 11 2018, 08:35 AM


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Mitchell Marsh: in this test match bowled a total of 10 overs for 38 runs for no wickets and faced a total of 52 balls for a total of 12 runs.

Obviously not there for his good looks or rapier-like wit so ... a leader of men he must be.

To be fair it looks like Pakistan winning the toss and batting first pretty much took Australia out of the game.
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Posted on: Oct 10 2018, 10:59 AM


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So .... when's the footy season start up again ? ....

(but sledging waahooo, yes it's good to know that we are still good at sledging because you know, these are the important things in life).

https://www.crictracker.com/didnt-bother-ab...n-haris-sohail/
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Posted on: Oct 6 2018, 04:21 PM


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" the duration of the principle and interest mortgage"

Hmm is that an actual cut and paste from the Oz? If so, I'm surprised on two levels: first, that a professional journalist would make such a basic error and secondly that the spellchecker that News Ltd uses even recognises that word (boom, boom).
Also funny question at the end. Surely the key question should be why so many interest only loans were approved in the first place not why are so many of them are now being converted into principal and interest loans. Once interest rates start to trend up and/or property prices begin to trend down it is more prudent and humane to clean out most of the interest only loans sooner rather than later.
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Posted on: Oct 4 2018, 07:42 AM


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A while back I joked that Honda should invest in Tesla to get its exposure to the ev market (joked as in I have no idea what I'm talking about and was just making shit up). Well as it turns out, I almost fluked it.

Honda is going to invest US$2.75b into a GM unit that is developing self-drive or autonomous vehicles. The payment stream is over 12 years but they are putting up US$750m upfront so they appear to be fair dinkum. The headline refers to GM's autonomous technology but a statement from Honda refers to both the autonomous and ev technologies. So clearly they were looking aournd for a dance partner but decided to ask the popular girl instead of the wall flower that is Tesla.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/03/honda-g...omous-vehicles/
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Posted on: Sep 29 2018, 05:39 PM


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Obviously the contest tightened up in the second half and they are describing it as one of the great grand finals (the good thing about Aussie Rules is that there is never any hyperbole involved...). Oh well, my loss, but I still thought the first half was very ordinary, particularly the eagles, another one that got away from the poor old Collingwood fan base.

Onto cricket I see both Mitchel Marsh and Josh Hazlewood have been made vice captains: does that allow them to drop one of them from time to time but still have a vc in the team? Why do you need a captain and two vice captains in a 11 man team? Why have I got so much shit on my liver today?
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Posted on: Sep 29 2018, 03:45 PM


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If Channel 7 let Bwucy MacAveny anywhere near the cricket I'll, I'll, well I won't watch the bloody cricket that's for starters. I now know why women get so annoyed at mansplaining.

See the one day domestic comp is underway ... and getting maximum exposure.

PS another ordinary game of aussie rules unfortunately. I've tried to watch multiple games this year on the teeve and end up turning them off: low scoring, one sided contests, average skills.
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Posted on: Sep 28 2018, 03:31 PM


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Missed the Hungarian's response but did catch Tanya Plibersek's (Bill must have the day off). I don't follow local politics much but I do know that Ms Plibersek attracts a fair amount of venomous comment, not sure why (and here is not the place).

Anyway she made the point that the current mob in government knocked back this royal commission 26 times and delayed it getting underway for something like 600 days. Also that they have cut the funding to ASIC twice in the last 4 or so years and wanted to give tax cuts to the tune of about $17b to the big banks.

She announced that if they win the next election Labor will set up a task force within Treasury to implement the rc's recommendations from the final report, and that the government should agree if the commissioner says he needs more time.

Anyway about now I suspect this all becomes a political football so I will drop off posting until they hold the next session, about the regulators, in mid November.
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Posted on: Sep 28 2018, 02:18 PM


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Stephen Letts from the ABC has produced an excellent chronology of major events pertaining to the banking royal commission.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-28/bank...meline/10310800
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Posted on: Sep 27 2018, 07:43 PM


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Here's an appetiser as we wait for tomorrow's release of the Hayne RC's preliminary report: Slater and Gordon go after NAB regarding their credit card insurance.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/company-new...ocid=spartanntp
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Posted on: Sep 26 2018, 12:40 PM


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Yeah that's a dumb comparison. For one thing Kodak and Blockbuster did not have a fair chunk of their customers effectively locked into decades long contracts. Anyway how the hell is Wayne Byres still getting paid by APRA, shameless bastard. Let's see what the royal commission's prelim report says about the regulators on Friday.
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Posted on: Sep 21 2018, 06:21 PM


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Used to be that Australia rode on the sheep's back. Nowadays it seems that our companies and businesses can't make a quid without riding on the underpayment of workers. Macrobusiness has a long list of the employers who have been caught underpaying their workers, and now it seems that the big east coast coal miners, like BHP and Anglo, are going to have their turn in the spotlight (or at least the labour hire firms they use are).

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-21/mine...ne-key/10290834

Anyone know any litigation funders that are investable? The ones funding the various class actions facing the banks are tapping into a billion dollar business.
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Posted on: Sep 21 2018, 08:28 AM


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So apparently the cure for obesity is to normalise it. This article starts off talking about how for centuries authorities ignored that consuming citrus fruit was a cure for scurvy and then jumps to discussing the massive increase in obesity rates in the US. And the logic is just as scurvy was cured by treating it obesity can be cured by ignoring it. The justification is that most diets do not work and that some obese people are quite healthy therefore being obese is a normal healthy state of existence, and what really needs to be done is to destigmatise it.

https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/article...esity-is-wrong/

A bit like how some American drug companies invent diseases for drugs they have developed so I see efforts such as this as part of an attempt to rewrite reality into a form that better suits you or at least better suits some vested interest. It is not much of a stretch to think that some evil food production company is behind nonsense such as in this article. For a large percentage of the community the simple fact is that if you get reasonable exercise and you stick to a moderate balanced diet then you will likely stay both healthy and fit.
But we live in a "truth isn't truth" age. Sad.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 05:17 PM


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I see that Peter Kell, the deputy chair of ASIC, just quit. He had been exposed by the royal commission for being very chummy with the banks, particularly CBA, and I thought he was doing the honorable thing by falling on his sword. But the Guardian is reporting that actually the royal commission is about to zero in on how ASIC has been regulating the banks and insurers and it seems that Mr Kell may have cut and run before he had to face Rowena and the Commissioner (I think the last time he gave evidence to the RC he was questioned by Michael Hodge who is also doing a good job).

Makes me wonder how the APRA boss has managed to hang onto her cushy job after her trainwreck of a performance at the Royal Commission: helps to have no shame I suppose.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 01:15 PM


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Rowena Orr is onto the insurance company, Allianz, for badgering and bullying the audit firm Ernst Young into producing an "independent" report on its compliance function that minimalised the problems in that function. This raises the issue of the nonsense that is "independent" work done by the big audit and legal firms done for big business and government.

It is one reason why the big audit firms have pulled such massive revenue streams out of the government agencies in Canberra. The agencies pretty much get to write the conclusions they want in their "independent" reports and studies under the cover of the reputation of the audit firms. Often the conclusions are written before any investigation is carried out.

Just as the regulators like ASIC are captured by the banks and insurance companies so are the big advisory firms. Everything is such a shemozzle.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 11:55 AM


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Interesting times at Ramelius, lots of moving parts at the moment.

It appears that whether the acquistion of the Edna May operation by Ramelius was a profitable decision remains an open question. But in recent weeks they have begun acquiring a number of satellite gold prospects with the intention of feeding ore into the Edna May plant. They began by picking up the smallish Holleton project to the south of Edna May. Then, last week they launched a hostile takeover of Explaurum Ltd (EXU) to get control and access to that company's Tampia Hill development project and adjoining Mace prospect which lies about 150km south of Edna May. Ramelius is proposing to swap one RMS for 4 EXU which puts a value of about $60m on the deal. To top it off they also announced their plan to acquire the busted Marda project from the creditors for about $13m.

Today the company announced that they have decided against moving to stage 3 of the open pit development of Edna May but instead they will focus on much higher grades available underground. This option means a much reduced capital cost in developing Edna May but also means that they have heaps of spare capacity at the EM plant (thus leading to higher operating costs per ounce produced). Clearly they intend to haul lower grade ore from Marda and hopefully Tampia Hill to mix in with the ore coming from EM underground and the adjacent Greenfinch open pit (yet to be approved and developed).

Also today they put out their 2018 (as at 30 June) Resources and Reserves Statement which shows total resources of about 3.5m oz at 1.5g/t and total reserves of about 700k oz at 1.6g/t.

All looks promising to me: heaps of cash, heaps of reserves, heaps of development and production options, no debt, managers that keep underpromising and overdeveloping. They need to get the Explaurum deal over the line but it is not a mortal blow if they do not.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Sep 17 2018, 08:16 PM


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Scummo only called a royal commission on aged care because 4 corners tonight starts a two part special on the aged care sector and he wants to get ahead of the story. According to the ABC when 4 corners put out a call for anecdotes about abuse in aged care facilities they were overwhelmed with the number of responses.

The thing is a politican should never ask a question that they don't know the answer to, and I think that once the horror stories start coming out on a daily basis from the rc the government will be put on the defensive. Maybe the plan is to have the election before the rc gets underway.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Sep 17 2018, 12:24 PM


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AMP just admitted that it has discovered that it continued to charge premiums to over 4,000 people who had AMP life insurance policies after being notified of their deaths and to date had failed to refund those premiums. It lodged a breach notice with ASIC over this earlier this year (and was only picked up by AMP after CBA got caught by the Royal Commission charing dead people fees). It also admitted that even when it did refund premiums paid by dead people it did not include allowance for interest lost on those premiums (in other words AMP held the premiums for a prolonged period of time and kept the interest earned on those held premiums) and do not consider that practice requiring of a breach notice.

Rowena Orr has now moved onto general insurance. One of the factoids she gave in her opening summary is that insurance companies in 2017 (?) paid car dealers about $600m in commissions for signing car buyers up for add-on insurance, that add-on insurance products generated about $1.6b in revenue for these insurance companies but that only about $114m was paid out in claims. So the car dealers pocketed a net $600m on selling these add-on products and the insurance companies pocketed about a net $900m on these add-on products. Like printing money ... She flagged that they will be doing a case study on the add-on insurance products flogged to car buyers.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 16 2018, 10:29 AM


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This unnamed American investor seems to think that the Royal Commission will have a major impact on Australian banks in that by triggering the banks to tighten lending the RC will bring about the bursting of the housing bubble.


Much of what he says has been talked about by various chicken littles for yonks but any yank who knows it is ozzie and not occie shows that he has put a reasonable effort into garnering the facts about what he is talking about. (that he mentioned that he found Rowena Orr, one of the senior counsels assisting the rc, formidable also shows he is indeed following the rc).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lrdxpKPocY...amp;app=desktop

(h/t: timmeh at macrobusiness)
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 15 2018, 12:09 AM


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According to Martin North, 60 Minutes is going to do a very bearish piece on Australian real estate this weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHNiML-5URg


I confess I have not watched any 60 Minutes program in decades. Too tabloidy. But hey, I need a bit of confirmation bias so will probably tune in.

(hat tip: Gavin at macrobusiness)
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 14 2018, 03:45 PM


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ABC reports on analysis from Morgan Stanley suggesting that the big four will get away with at worst gravel rash from their brush with the banking royal commission.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-14/bank...-banks/10246846

As plenty have said, this was always going to be the case. When four companies make up 25% of your stock market only a fool would expect serious injury to be inflicted on them (that's me...).

The best I can hope for is a root and branch reorganisation of the financial regulators, some banking executives facing jail-time or substantial financial penalties, a number of executives and board members fall on their swords, some of the existing functions that the banks have taken on being hived away from them (the most obvious one is trusteeship of bank-run super funds but I question the banks involvement in superannuation and funds management at all), a substantial upping of the scale and application of "enforcement actions", an expansion of the role of the financial ombudsman service (who have come out of this week most impressively).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 13 2018, 11:14 AM


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An article about Westpac's potential exposure to be taken to the cleaners.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-13/west...-loans/10238710

And Commbank only admits to repeated misleading behavior because one of its executives has been placed under oath at the rc. Also, interesting that ASIC allowed CBA to draft an ASIC media release which allowed CBA not to admit to misleading behavior.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-13/bank...e-blog/10241132
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 13 2018, 08:18 AM


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Could be an interesting morning for CBA and ASIC at the royal commission today.

Yesterday, the counsel assisting, Rowena Orr, spent a surprising amount of time talking to a CBA boss about a single heart attack victim who was denied a payout by CBA because of the definition of heart attack used at the time by CBA. So far I think it has been established that after some unaccepatable provarication to the client and to the Financial Ombudsman Service CBA eventually paid the customer what he would have been paid had they accepted that he'd had a heart attack. In part, this was brought to a head by a Four Corners story in early 2017 (?) that alleged that CBA had broken the law in how it handled claims for illnesses such as heart attacks. All good (and great for the customer affected) but hardly suggestive of some massive systemic problem like many of the previous case studies looked at by the royal commission.

But then yesterday afternoon Ms Orr moved onto the fact that ASIC had carried out an investigation of the claims made in the Four Corners story about CBA insurance. In late 2017 ASIC found that CBA had not broken any laws and within the bank this was seen as a massive victory. But Ms Orr then showed that since at least 2011 CBA was aware that its definition of heart attack fell well short of what was universely accepted by relevent international heart specialist organisations, was being advised by its own chief medical officer that the definition it was using was wrong and discriminatory but persisted with using that definition for commercial reasons. Moreover she seemed to suggest that ASIC, in preparing its final report on the Four Corners allegations, worked with CBA so that CBA could present itself in the best possible light. Again, I think it is worth noting that it was made quite clear that the way ASIC handled the issue was considered by CBA executives as a massive win for CBA.

Ms Orr may not attempt to join the dots here but my feeling is that she is not far from suggesting that for a number of years CBA wilfully ripped off its insurance policy holders and that ASIC gave CBA a free pass on that behavior. I suspect this will be another example of the regulator working too closely with the regulated.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Sep 11 2018, 08:36 AM


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Let me preface this by saying I don't have much truck for Aunty-bashing holus bolus. I take the bits of it that interest me and ignore the bits that don't interest me but it remains my main primary source of local news and entertainment.

That being said ... this morning's early AM started with a story about some Canadian fund manager who basically said that markets cycle, that just as we had a crash a decade ago at some point in the future we will have another crash. If anyone thought that was news or fresh information then clearly they need to up their financial literacy. Meanwhile during yesterday's Banking Royal Commission hearing a senior boss of an insurance company admitted that it appears his company committed something like 300,000 criminal offences in the past five years but there was no mention of that on the ABC news bulletin that preceded early AM nor during early AM itself.

Why there is not ongoing and daily renewed outrage about what is being uncovered by the banking rc amazes me. Why the ABC (and perhaps other local MSM outlets (?)) does not think these relevations are newsworthy is so disappointing.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Sep 10 2018, 09:27 AM


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Bloomberg has actually corrected the range the new mercedes EV has from 200 miles to 280 miles which is better than that offered by the Tesla X. So, game on.

Also this article indicates that Mercedes is going to build their EV at an existing plant that produces ICE vehicles as a way of allowing it to handle volatility in demand (as in, if the EV becomes a hit they can quickly scale up using existing facilites but if the take-up of the EV is slower than predicted then the facility can focus more on producing the ICE vehicles).

Perhaps best not to get the entry of Mercedes into the EV niche out of perspective though. Check out the chart in the article which shows that using current projections Tesla will still be the dominant EV brand in the luxury sector for at least the next couple of years.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/201...ion-attack-plan

(Also right at the end of the article it is noted that Mercedes say they are not interested at this stage in investing in Tesla).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Sep 9 2018, 03:13 PM


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Like watching most stages of Tour de France. Some bloke out by himself for an extended period of time peddling like buggery but when it's time to get serious the organised teams of the front runners power over the top.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/201...ion-attack-plan

QUOTE
"There is no alternative to betting on electric cars, and we're going all in," [Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter] Zetsche said. "It is starting right now."

Operators like Mercedes Benz began to internalise how to mass produce motor vehicles a century ago, now it mostly comes down to the technology and the marketing. For instance it appears that how long their current battery set-up runs for without recharging is a compromise, clearly not as good as Telsa's but can their sell it to their customers as being adequate?

Mr Musk probably needs to admit that he cannot win this race and needs to adapt to that reality. He has developed massive brand recognition and appears to still have some competitive advantage in related fields
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 25 2018, 08:05 AM


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At least someone was hard at work last week trying to fix things in Australia.

"Lawyers for the banking royal commission have recommended the Commonwealth Bank and the National Australia Bank face criminal charges over their treatment of superannuation customers."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-25/lawy...eaches/10163892

They also indicate that they think both AMP and IOOF have some legal exposure.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 08:41 PM


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The ACCC continues to show the wet lettuces like APRA and ASIC how a real regulator operates. Identify questionable behavior, put in some hard yards investigating the matter, ask the tough questions and then if it looks like the case stacks up put the transgressors through the courts.

This time they've nabbed Heinz for selling 60% sugar as health products for kids.The $2.25m fine is one deterrent but Heinz has a massively valuable name for producing baby and children's food products, and being publically outed like this must be a serious blow to that reputation and brand.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-24/hein...public/10162404

The worry is that with all the nonsense and destabilisation going on at the moment with the government there will be a concerted effort to bury the conclusions and recommendations of the Hayne banking royal commission. A weakened government may not be willing to own up to their financial regulators being a joke.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 07:19 PM


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Here's the South China Morning Post's take on the visit by Malaysia's Mahathir to China. Looks like lots of diplomatic wordage being used by both the leaders and by the article's writer (in the age of Trump it all sounds rather quant). For instance I don't reckon the Chinese would actually be that impressed with Mahathir unilaterally killing under construction projects - sets a terrible precedent. And I don't reckon the Malaysians would be overly impressed with the Chinese sending de facto warships into territory claimed by Malaysia. But they both managed to put a positive spin on the interaction. Well done to them.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/...bel-not-so-fast
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 01:39 PM


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Actually, nip, personally, I really don't care. Haven't for some time. I've never watched Neigbours or Home and Away and local politics is about on a par with the quality and content of that muck. But anyway, each to their own.
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Aug 22 2018, 08:35 AM


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Here is a recent newsletter by an old China hand. I've not come across Bill Bishop before but with the loss of a couple of my usual goto China observers I will have to make an effort to follow him. He suggests that Xi remains fully in control, that the Chinese have decided that the yanks are out to destablise them and notes that the Chinese managed to uncover and kill 30 CIA "assets" so the Americans are pretty much flying blind at the moment.

https://nb.sinocism.com/p/thoughts-from-my-...nt-beijing-trip
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 19 2018, 09:24 AM


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I haven't worked out how to crack the Wall St Journal paywall so I'm not sure exactly what this article talks about or concludes

https://www.wsj.com/articles/honda-took-pri...ible-1533484840

but just going on the blurb I've read that suggests that it appears that Honda by itself is too small to get into the EV market maybe they should look at linking up with Tesla.

Honda at one stage was looking to produce aircraft, their bike and car divisions know how to mass produce high quality products, and by teaming up with Tesla they would have immediate scale and brand recognition. In a firesale of Tesla assets I guess that Elon Musk would have no say in the matter and it would be likely that the Chinese would outbid anyone else so I guess Musk and Honda would need to link up before he lost control of the company.

The real worry if Tesla collapses is that it will take a lot of the outside pressure off existing car manufacturers to push on with their EV programs.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 18 2018, 02:06 PM


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Mags
Just on "We're lead to believe, the bigger and flasher the building the more reputable and genuine the business" it seems that today's cathedrals are being built to sell mazdas and hyundais. Some of the local showrooms for car sales are massive structures of glass and glitter, gone are the days of these things being sold from actual caryards. In contrast, all the banks are either closing down local branches or moving to a couple of ATM machines and a desk. But yeah, agree that of course the banks HQ's are an entirely different matter.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 18 2018, 09:15 AM


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Yesterday's performance of the APRA deputy boss was embarrassing, if only for her having such a tin ear. She would have obviously listened to the admissions by NAB, CBA and AMP reps of corporate fault and also to the IOOF's MD train wreck of a performance, and she must also have heard the Commissioner and the Counsel Assisting raise questions as to why criminal charges have not already been laid. In light of all that, for her to then attempt to defend behavior the banks themselves were not willing to defend was gobsmacking. The cherry on the top was when asked by the counsel assisting what APRA's position was regarding superannuation trustees allowing fees to be taken from members for no service she replied that it was "undesirable". At that exact moment you could say that APRA in its current form was as good as finished.

In contrast the ASIC commissioner showed real smarts. Not only did he say that even though ASIC had not persued any criminal charges in the last decade or so the RC should watch this space as any minute now something on that front may happen. Also, he said one of the reasons that ASIC had not been more forceful in enforcement was the presence of APRA having primary responsibility for much of the sector, and also that there was not legislation that specifically allowed ASIC to take court proceedings. Michael Hodge, the counsel assisting, made the point that even so there was plenty of existing legislation that allowed ASIC to have taken the banks and super funds to the courts. But despite that uncomfortable fact I suspect the ASIC commissioner positioned his agency as being part of the answer (whilst skirting around the fact that it is part of the problem).

Two outcomes I think will come from the RC is that there will be a number of financial institutions and their executives who will be charged with criminal offences and that there will be a major rework of the regulatory environment, likely with a single regulator morphing out of ASIC with APRA being closed down. Also, I think there is a real chance that IOOF will either have its license revoked or will be forced to merge with another operator.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 17 2018, 04:56 PM


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nip - (yeah I get that your comment was meant partly in jest but) my impression is that the new broom in Malaysia has uncovered substantial levels of corruption involving China players, both with regards the one road infrastructure projects in Malaysia and also with regards the previous prime minister. I reckon that the old fox, Mahathir, has headed to Beijing holding a fairly strong hand. There is a pretence that China has been pushing, that one road is all about international trade, and the last thing it would want is for a well connected Malaysia (both into the muslim world and also through the Commonwealth association) to blow the whistle on one road being in part a vehicle for corruption and influence.


Mahathir is an old Chinese communist fighter from way back. Sabah state is just below the Spratleys. I reckon he would see that situation as a existential threat to the federation.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 15 2018, 07:47 PM


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Mick

There is nothing more black and white than fiduciary duty and the royal commission has shown fairly conclusively that a number of banks have embedded trustees into their organisation and that those trustees have repeatedly put other parts of the organisation before those customers whose interests they were required to protect. Same goes for bank employed financial advisors who have a fiduciary duty not to push their clients into bank products that are objectively inferior to other similar products available in the market.

Regarding super funds, it is patently obvious that industry funds are a far better option than the rubbish usually offered by banks. It used to be that the default superannuation fund for most employees was an industry fund but it was a wilful decision by this government to allow bank run superannuation funds into this market. The banks are of course making an absolute killing as most people are simply not financially literate enough to know any different. In my opinion that is why the current government was so much against having a banking royal commission (I think they knocked it back 23 times before finally being forced into it): they are complicit with the banks.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Aug 15 2018, 05:32 PM


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What ASIC says it wants to do is moot (as used in the US) imo. I would be quite surprised if one of the recommendations of Mr Hayne is not to disband both ASIC and APRA and to put in a totally new regulatory system for the financial sector, with a regulator that is an enforcer of the laws and regulations of the financial sector. Time and time again the counsels assisting Mr Hayne have pointed out instances where ASIC failed to take the enforcement action available to it against banks who were breaking either legislation or regulations.

Quite clearly the banking commisison is also heading towards a recommendation to break up the big "banks", with numerous examples of one division of a bank protecting or benefitting another division of that bank to the detriment of its customers. But clearly the current regulators have not been up to the task of dealing with major corporations intent on getting away with as much as they can.

  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Aug 11 2018, 02:44 PM


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I'm pretty sure that ASIC is hoping that Congressman Collins will offer ASIC a couple of work experience placements in Washington DC so that the staff can ensure that such activity is no longer comptemplated. Not only will it teach the congressman that ASIC is really really serious about crimnal activities it will boost the chances of those ASIC employees pulling a wonderfully paying gig with a local financial institution.

Seriously, ASIC and APRA have to be disbanded and the regulatory system has to be rebuilt from scratch. And some executives from the financial sector need to do time behind bars.
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 07:57 PM


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On MSNBC this afternoon they were saying that the congressman held his shares in Australia and when he was told by the CEO that the clinical trial had failed the Australian shares were already in a trading halt. So he himself could not and did not dump his shares. But within a few minutes of getting that news the congressman had rung his son who then passed on the info to his girlfriend's dad who both held their shares in the US (over the counter trading) and they dumped those shares. Apparently by doing so they avoided losing about three quarters of a million US dollars. The congressman apparently lost "millions". So the insider trading conspiracy was carried out in the US (actually on the Whitehouse grounds) and the people who lost money because of the insider trading were Americans, hence why the US Justice Department arrested and charged the congressman.
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 08:34 AM


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double post
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 08:31 AM


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joules, what that yank pollie did wrong was to inside trade an ASX stock in the US. If he had tried it on in Australia our regulators would have not even noticed or perhaps they would quickly shelve any investigation as something far too difficult to pursue. Or maybe our new ASIC boss would have suggested an enforcement order in the form of the politican having a couple of ASIC officers visit for a sleep-over.


Seriously, my impression is that inside trading is very much business as usual in Australia which is possibly why the American congressman thought he could get away with it. ASIC is a total joke, and the AFP and state forces are just not interested in white collar crime.
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Aug 7 2018, 04:51 PM


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... which is a major change from past practice where the banks would regularly move staff into the financial regulatory bodies ...

Seriously, I can't see the point of it. F' em, why should the regulators fraternise with the bankers, just regularly do flying audits. The regulators are not supposed to be mates or partners with the bankers, they are supposed to keep in check their excesses.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Aug 7 2018, 09:45 AM


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John Garnaut has penned a fantastic piece on how the Chinese Communist Party works to influence and nudge opinons around the world.

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2018/au...a-s-china-reset


(hat-tip Dingwall at MB)
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jul 22 2018, 10:36 AM


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Australia is doing better than I thought in terms of R&D spend:

http://uis.unesco.org/apps/visualisations/...pment-spending/

and worse than I thought in terms of being a diploma factory for international students

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-44872808

In my view it is simply not sustainable to have so many Chinese and Indian (or any other nationality, it just so happens in our case to be mostly Inidan and Chinese) students flooding into the place. Short term it pumps up our GDP and growth stats, long term we will suffer from allowing such an imbalance to persist.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Jul 20 2018, 05:03 PM


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Typical Kim ... this is a bloke who it was generally acknowledged gave his best orations when formally conceding electoral defeats. If only he had as much fire in the belly and clarity of thought in the lead-up to those elections. Now he is a governor, the last thing we need is for the queen's representatives to actively participate in political debate, and the hollowing out of Australia's manufacturing sector is deeply political.

(not saying that what he said was right or wrong, just saying it is inappropriate for a queen's representative to buy into local political debate).

PS and anyway I think it is naive to think that the Chinese would allow a downstream industry to develop in Australia in competition to the strangle hold they have already established.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Jul 19 2018, 12:01 PM


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Christopher Balding is leaving China and not writing articles anymore (he was a regular Bloomberg contributor and had his own blogsite).

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...ving-china.html

Anyone know of anyone else based in China writing China stuff? Michael Pettis has gone quiet, Christopher Balding is exiting and Ross Garnuat's lad is back in Oz and not very active. sad.gif
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jul 11 2018, 05:05 PM


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It's soccer time ...

https://imgur.com/gallery/uY6KpjL

https://imgur.com/gallery/ctzLYAG
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Jul 7 2018, 08:28 AM


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This one is getting a fair amount of airplay eb. Obscene capital gains up to 2006 but then wipeout.

https://www.realestate.com.au/property/4-wo...allaroo-wa-6025

It may well be that our housing crisis is a bit like our weather patterns in that it is working its way from the west. The sandgropers are calling that the bottom is in already but they would say that wouldn't they. I reckon people should not focus on what the price was in 2006 but what it was in 1994.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jul 5 2018, 08:04 AM


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Here we go. It is exactly what you would expect from Mahathir Mohamad, who as a young bloke fought off the ethnic chinese communists and set up the bumiputra system and the modern state of Malaysia. I wondered why the Malaysians were allowing the Chinese to move in and now we see the fightback from the old bloke.

It looks like he can cut back Chinese influence under the guise of corruption and waste, as it seems that the contracts let to the Chinese companies to build infrastructure have allowed lots of money to go missing. Might be where the ex-PM got some of his designer handbags from. But Mahathir is also making it clear that he wants to realign more with Japan and less with China (he also reckons the TPP needs to be renegotiated).

If the Malaysians conclusively show that the One Belt One Road initiative has been a trojan horse for Chinese companies to act corruptly then it becomes a much lessened vehicle for China's international ambitions.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Malaysia-i...ucture-projects

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/malaysia-...705-p4zpjq.html
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jul 2 2018, 07:31 PM


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nip - I described the update elsewhere as reasonable with a topping of spin.

The Q3 production figures were an absolute shocker so it is hardly surprising that Q4 production showed a 28% improvement. They actually missed the revised down annual production guidance they issued in early April, but only by a bit. If they could maintain production at the levels they hit in May and June then they'd be looking at annual production of 15,500 tonnes which is a way short of the nameplate 17,500 tonnes they based on their figures on but 15,500 tonnes would be a step improvement from what they have been hitting so far. So the update was far from a disaster but still leaves lots of room for improvement imo.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Jul 1 2018, 08:40 AM


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Posts: 3,734

On the macrobusinees blogsite several commentators are pushing the view that there will some sort of successful popular uprising in China as a result of the looming trade war between China and the US. I just don't buy it: if it didn't happen in the taiping uprising where 20m people died, if it didn't happen in the 1930's when the Japanese invaded northern China, if it didn't happen in the late 50's early 60's when Mao starved about 40m peasants so as to buy influence and nukes from European states, then I'm not sure why it would happen now. China is just too big to fall apart over a single threat imo.
But there seems increasing evidence that it is having another financial moment, a bit like what happened in 2015. A financial crisis maybe, just not the end of communist rule (no Berlin War for China). Here is a blogpost from Tyler Cowen, basically a cut and paste from a couple of newspaper articles. Read the comments, some interesting views expressed.
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...-pessimism.html
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jul 1 2018, 08:19 AM


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Posts: 3,734

I often find reading hotcopper threads quite deflating: so much absolute knowledge, such unbridled confidence, so many investors who manage to jump from stock to stock to stock with perfect timing who in hindsight claim perfect foresight. Even though I know there is a selection bias and a massive bullshit bias to all those who, like Mr Trump, must get sick of winning all the time I come away being less confident of my own attempts at managing my investment assets. sadsmiley02.gif sadsmiley02.gif

In fact one of the few things that gives me any confidence is that my lack of confidence suggests I am not deluding myself.

As David Dunning of the Dunning Kruger Effect theory says:

What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.

https://kottke.org/18/06/the-dunning-kruger...onfident-idiots


So for fleeting moments I take comfort that I am not blind to my investing incompetence like some of the hc fools ... only to come back to the brick-wall realisation that simply knowing I am incompetent does not alter the fact that I am most of the time quite incompetent. Ah well, maybe I'll strike it lucky instead. Anyway, all the best to the ss community in the forthcoming financial year. wink.gif
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 29 2018, 07:36 AM


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Posts: 3,734

BP goes beyond petroleum.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chargema...SKBN1JO0NU?il=0

Not sure about this though. If you have each car parked for at least 10 minutes getting a recharge that will last for no more than 160 clicks I suspect most existing servos will only have room for maybe three or four cars at a time. I still think that shopping centre / fast food joint car parks offer a better location for recharging stations. I suspect that BP is simply trying to cover and blunt potential competition to its service station model.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 22 2018, 08:06 AM


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Posts: 3,734

I'm not sure where Udo was exposed to asbestos but I post this BBC short video about Wittenoom in memory of him.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/stories-4453596...tralian-tragedy
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Jun 16 2018, 09:36 AM


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Posts: 3,734

I have not been following things China very closely of late. This is the first article I've come across suggesting that its economy is running a bit rough (as it says, things have looked to have been going well so far in 2018).

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/china-ec...6?r=US&IR=T

Not sure about the gist of the article though. Back in 2015 the first indication that the Chinese economy was hitting a period of turbulence was anecdotal tidbits, such as executives disappearing or killing themselves, violent outbursts from investors and workers about unpaid monies. I've not seen any of that sort of reporting this time around.

Perhaps what makes it interesting is the racheting up by Trump of the trade war. On the other side of that is that the US mid-term elections are 5 months away and in the short term I suspect China can cause significant grief to Trump.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 14 2018, 12:17 PM


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Posts: 3,734

I thought I'd better start a thread for Stavely Minerals rather than bludge off the thread for the NZ listed company that has the same share code.

Here is the company's website.
https://www.stavely.com.au/
The question I was looking at, with nipper's input, was the history of exploration around the Mt Stavely area. It seems that CRA had a couple of cracks at it, in the early 80's and then again in the mid 90's and then Newcrest kicked some rocks in the area called Thursday's Gossan Prospect in the early naughties. The current work being done there is done by an outfit run by, amongst others, Chris Cairns and Peter Ironside, ex of Integra. Integra was bought out by Silver Lake a few years back. I used to follow Integra and Chris Cairns so I've decided to keep an eye on what he's up to with Stavely.

Chris Cairns is being unequivocal that the current campaign will find the porphyry system that the previous exploers have missed. A number of hc posters are conflating the probablity of finding of the porphyry system with the possibility of finding a major copper and gold system. At the very least there should be a steady flow of updates about drill results - they have two rigs working full-time at the Thursday's Gossan Prospect (4 weeks per hole so there should be updates every few weeks or so) and another one full-time elsewhere in the Stavely Project.
PS thanks to nipper for the instructions. graduated.gif
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Jun 14 2018, 10:25 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

hey nip, did you get your dates right (or were the grapes talking)? In one of the Stavely reports there is reference to CRA doing some drilling in that area from '95 to '97 but there was no mention of anything from the early 80's. Were you there in the 90's or was the drilling program in mid 90's CRA's second shot at finding something in the Mt Stavely area? Also Newcrest had a drilling campaign there in the early naughties so at least on paper the geology must be encouraging.

Chris Cairns reckons he's getting advice from a bloke by the name of Greg Corbett who claims to be a bit of a porphyry guru (of course he would say that) and one of the hc posters reckons that CC told him he has been talking to one of the Newcrest boffins. I suspect that CC is being a geologist's geologist and is earnest in thinking he can find the peophyry (if not the copper and gold).

What does worry me about this company is that there is too much talk about Cadia-style and the next Kalgoorie. For me, that sort of talk sets off all sorts of alarm bells. As an aside, I saw some puff piece talking up how another Pilberra gold explorer had picked up "thousands" of watermelon seeds of gold on their patch. It was only in the body of the piece that it was clarified that all those "thousands" of nuggets amounted to 6 oz. Sort of explains why the bloke who "discovered" the Pilberra fields sold his stake and now sells metal detectors.

PS After a decade here you would think I'd know how to start a new thread on ss but I don't. This one is clearly for a New Zealand stock. If CC finds anything Stavely might need its own thread.
  Forum: NZX

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Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 07:46 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Here is a link to Martin North's latest youtube post. Except for the beige shirt, his presentations are cool, calm and rational, and are not the sort of analysis and interpretation I've found elsewhere (often youtube commentators on housing are deadset dickheads - apparently that is how you make the big bickies in the world of youtube). According to the survey results that he presents the confidence of Australian households is going from bad to worse even though most people still think they are getting wealthier.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9eE_p12Xgk
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 12:47 PM


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Posts: 3,734

And here's a real test of whether the lobby groups will allow governments to rein in support for the housing bubble. The Qld government announced in its budget that it is cutting its first home owners scheme grant from $20k to $15k. I'm not sure why they did that (FHOS was always a bad idea anyway because the handout goes straight onto the price of the property being bought so its just money for old rope for the vendor) but in any case the usual suspects have predictably gone crazy with indignation.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/q...612-p4zl26.html
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 08:43 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

Mr b - I read somewhere that in one of the major banks in the last couple of years they were knocking back on average 5% of property loan applications but in recent months they have been knocking back about 40% of property loan applications. For the time being at least there is a fair dinkum credit crunch in place, and the sector most vunerable I would think are those that are coming in with minimal equity ie your typical first home buyers. Anyway going on past performance the authorities will blink just as soon as the housing/banking lobby start moaning and they will throw mountains of money at the market. We live in an era where there are no consequences...
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 12 2018, 11:43 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

Mick - BEV is battery EV (that is, EV only) and PHEV is plug-in hybrid EV (that is, still uses an ICE [that is, internal combustion engine wink.gif ]) - what can I say? the weekend was long and I was bored so I googled.

And yeah, blacksheep makes a sterling contribution, not only in quantity but in consistent quality as well.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Jun 8 2018, 06:23 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Integra (IGR) was one of the first goldies I followed, going back over a decade now. The boss was a young geo, Chris Cairns, who when talking about kicking rocks was as bouncy as a kid in a lolly shop. I followed him to a couple of mining conferences, he was quite articulate and personable and better than most of his type at marketing. He had some early success but always seemed to be holding off waiting for that bonanza hit which never quite came. As agressive as he was with exploration I thought he was overly timid when moving into development and production. For instance the team at Silver Lake (SLR) started from scratch and went straight into production and for a while had great success. So much so, that they mounted a successful takeover of Integra just as Chris Cairns had finally taken his company into production.

My impression is that as it happened the Silver Lake side of operations crashed and burned and the company has become highly reliant on the assets they picked up from Integra.

A few years back I read somewhere that Chris Cairns and his accountant mate Peter Ironside had gone kicking rocks in western Victoria.

Then a couple of weeks ago I noticed that Silver Lake was nominating their next mine as a field that Chris Cairns had resourced up early on but had failed to find sufficient additional ore to justify mining. Today, I think (?), Silver Lake put out another statement saying that they had returned some high grade hits in a field that Chris Cairns had extensively explored - the luck of the bit, he had drilled to the east and found not much and they had drilled just to the west and hit paydirt. So it's off to the races for Silver Lake it seems, based to a resonable degree on the work done by Chris and his team.

All this caused me to track down what Chris Cairns is up to. Turns out, as nipper pointed out 4 years back, he and Peter Ironside and a South African geo, Jennifer Murphy, IPO'ed Stavely Minerals. And now Chris Cairns is back to his bubbly best, gushing that he thinks he has hit a "Cadia-style-gold-copper porphery" and all he has to do now is find the motherlode (if it exists). Now over the years I found Chris to be very optimistic about his work but he stayed within the bounds of geology, as in this case he is not saying that his discovery will be as big as Cadia just that it is of similar geology which means it could be as big as Cadia. Not unusually there is a gang of posters on hc who have lost the plot, dreaming of how many bags they are certain to get from Stavely.

Anyway, maybe Chris will find the bonanza field that he didn't quite discover at Integra. If not from this drilling campaign then maybe the next one, or the next one. The bloke is like a bloodhound, great to see someone who is right into their job.
  Forum: NZX

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Posted on: Jun 5 2018, 06:26 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Yep mrbear, as Mick points out on the ANZ thread, now the authorities are starting to talk about jailtime for banking executives. The mere threat of it will likely have a much greater impact on the big banks' behavior than any fine or reprimand would have. It is not the bank's customers or shareholders that are being caught rorting the system, it is wilful mindful decision making by career banking professionals, so it makes sense that the bulk of the penalties should fall on the bank executives, not on bank's customers or shareholders.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Jun 3 2018, 11:12 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Ha, ha! The murderous dictator, Kim Jung Un, might just have a mean sense of humour. Lots of speculation around as to why Mr Kim used such a huge envelope for the letter he sent to Donald Trump. Check out the photo of Mr Trump holding the envelope in the article to see how big it was.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pushing-the-en...was-so-massive/
In fact, the envelope is so big that it makes Mr Trump's hands look quite tiny. That just happens to be a cheap taunt - that Trump has really small hands (and by inference, a small dick) - that over the years Trump has been particularly sensitive about. Pay back for Trump's jibe about Kim being short and fat?
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: May 31 2018, 02:18 PM


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Posts: 3,734

It took the yanks five or six decades to roll back the prudential laws that were introduced after the Great Depression, this time around it has taken only one decade. The taxpayers bailed the big banks out and now they are being given free rein to run amok again. The banks weren't being stupid, they just didn't care.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu2wNKlVRzE
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: May 27 2018, 07:03 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Yeah I'm not so sure about that idea that disruptive technologies come from nowhere and develop incredibly fast when it comes to lithium and electric vehicles. Once the big car companies have established multiple production lines for all these new ev models they will need to run them for a decade or so before the next generation of technology can be commercialised. Take diesel cars for example, they are effectively a dead man walking but from what I can see heaps of diesel cars are still being produced and sold. It will take years for them to be phased out.

Both Tesla and BYD are showing that getting a foothold in the global car manufacturing sector is not easy or necessarily profitable. The growth of ev's will be largely set by the established car manufacturers and they will do that in their own good time.

Besides lithium has a natural weight advantage when used in anything that is mobile. Perhaps the big storage battery sector is more exposed to the risk of disruptive technologies but my impression is that the expected growth in lithium use is largely based on the expected use by vehicle manufacturers.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: May 19 2018, 07:35 AM


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Posts: 3,734

This might be of passing interest to all you blood sucking CSL millionaires wink.gif


https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...money-good.html
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: May 14 2018, 12:41 PM


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Posts: 3,734

Bloody hell, I'm gutted. Arty (Udo) had mentioned his illness on this site but he always maintained his generous, thoughtful, caring, intellegent approach to posting at all times. A real gentleman. My condolences to Dagmar and Udo's family and friends.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: May 9 2018, 07:06 PM


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Posts: 3,734

So this Chinese government official reckons that it's okay for governmental involvement when it benefits China but it's not okay for governmental involvement when it does not help China. Little doubt that the Chinese see securing control of lithium resources to be a national strategic goal.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-li...l-idUSKBN1I93C7
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 5 2018, 11:55 AM


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Posts: 3,734

Thanks nip, you seem to have a good handle on the sector.

Here's an article that I came across via the marginal revolution blogsite.

I have had a few goes at getting an idea about if and where to put money into the health sector but it still feels like playing pin the tail on the donkey. The demographics, the wealth affect in an aging China, the rapid progress in computers and AI, etc all suggest the sector should show growth and profits but on the other hand the ballooning costs suggest that plenty in the sector will crash and burn.

Going on the analysis presented in this article regarding the pharmaceutical sector, it looks like for the time being that the costs are winning. Sure if you pick the right racehorse you can win the Melbourne Cup, but this study suggests that for most operators in the sectors their destination is the glue factory.

Actually I'll give you the link to the marginal revolution post and you can click on the link there to get to the article.

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...urn-pharma.html
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: May 3 2018, 01:30 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

Thanks eb. Mark Mobius has been a perma-bull for as long as I've seen his comments, going back to the mid-90's: Templeton was big in HK and he was a very visible front-man, his baldness before baldness was the thing helped him stand out in Honkers. It used to be Mark Mobius was the bull and Marc Faber was the bear, though Faber was a bit more nuanced than that.

First time, as far as I can recall, I've seen him say anything negative. I wonder whether his new fund can go short as well as long or is he just trying to use the uncertainty to justify the high fees he will attract from running an active fund. One thing though, Mobius is 100% salesman, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on his prognostications.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: May 3 2018, 11:27 AM


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Posts: 3,734

Well I got that wrong.

Apparently the information about CBA accounts was not from the archive but were copied onto a couple of tapes to allow the printing off of bank statements. The tapes containing the account information was due to be destroyed, the problem is that there is no verifiable evidence that the tapes were destroyed. So the issue is not that CBA had lost account details but that they are not 100% sure where copies of some of the account details had gone.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: May 3 2018, 10:37 AM


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Posts: 3,734

Does that mean that all those people who used the Commonwealth Bank for money laundering and other criminal activities can sleep a bit easier now? That's convenient.

I cannot believe that an institution such as CBA relied on only one archive system but I'm learning heaps about Australian banks that I previously thought was just not possible.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: May 2 2018, 06:37 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

Mick, I generally have the opposite problem to you. When I'm drafting comments up they all make perfect sense but then I hit the submit button and the message gets all vague and garbled. rolleyes.gif

That Egyptian bloke sounds as dodgey as. Firstly, sorry but being dodgey would have been a prerequisite to get into the telecommunications business in North Korea. And how is it possible that he has half of his $5.7b fortune sitting around so as to be available to buy bullion with. If not tied up in his own businesses surely it would be invested in other ventures and in property?
  Forum: Macro Factors

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Posted on: Apr 24 2018, 08:02 AM


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Posts: 3,734

Well that's a bit weird. As you would expect, the Guardian refers to the the van "ploughing" into pedestrians in Toronto but unexpectedly for me the London Telegraph refers to the van "plowing" into pedestrians. Seeing how nationalistic the crew at the London Tele is I'm surprised they have allowed creeping Americanism onto their pages.

As an aside, there seems general agreement from news organisations that the vehicle "plowed" or "ploughed" into the people: from my sample only our auntie and the FT made the effort to avoid using the hackneyed term.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

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Posted on: Apr 23 2018, 09:50 PM


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Posts: 3,734

So, what do you think blacksheep, can AMP survive in its current form? BP was able to come through the disgrace of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (but only just) but Arthur Anderson folded like a house of cards when it got outed in the Enron debacle. AMP is a company of substance, a grand old lady of the Australian corporate scene, but it has been caught red-handed lying to the regulator, its customers and its shareholders. Can it rebuild the trust that is necessary for it to do business?

If I were into conspiracies I'd suggest that AMP might be used as the sacrifical lamb to take the heat off the big 4 banks. But I'm an optimist so I hope that the big 4 also get taken out to the woodshed.
  Forum: By Share Code

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Posted on: Apr 20 2018, 05:20 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

I noticed that as well, arty. A little freudian and archaic combined? According to Barnyard what with a single income and all the domestic complications he's doing it tough but hopefully he's not sold an exclusive to Women's Weekly or something.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Apr 20 2018, 02:19 PM


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Posts: 3,734

In an ideal world some of these banking executives would get jail-time, some of the regulator bosses would be sacked and their agencies be totally reworked and a couple of political bods would suffer career-ending setbacks. For instance I don't know how Scott Morrison in good conscience can remain as Treasurer given how hard and long he fought not to have the royal commission. But we live in an era of no consequences so I'm guessing none of the above will eventuate.

Hopefully at some stage the rc rips right into the massive money laundering industry that has been allowed to develop in Australia but it would be too much to ask for it to also look into how the financial services sector and the regulators have allowed thousands of established Australian residential properties be illegally acquired and owned by foreigners.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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Posted on: Apr 12 2018, 08:50 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,734

Yeah nah, the auditing companies will play the odds and continue doing what they do. What are the chances of the regulators catching an auditor doing "poor work" and what are the chances of that unlucky auditor copping a maximum fine. I see the big 4 alone had revenue in Australia last year of $7b, and that some of their biggest customers here in Oz are the government departments and agencies that are supposed to be monitoring them.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/04/ne...-parasite-born/

The core problem with auditors is that they have to sing for their supper, and if they don't please the company they are auditing then that company will look elsewhere for future audits: if that means that they look the other way when companies misbehave then that is what they will do. Or to put another way, auditors, just like any other professional, are bound to primarily service the party that is paying their fees, so of course auditors will make every effort to deliver what the client wants. Certainly with public companies at least auditors should be appointed, and paid for, by the regulator and should have fixed term non-renewable contracts.

Also regulators need to sort out the protocols for audit companies that provide other additional services. Many years ago now but I have personally seen a big 4 audit firm offer audit services for virtually nothing on the proviso that the company, a major company worth billions of dollars, also use its other services (IT, human resources, financial services etc). Just as it is dumb to allow banks to expand into financial services conglomerates I think it is dumb to have allowed auditors to mutate into broad professional services behemoths.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

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